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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo supposes that most friends of the decanter are well aware that this past weekend – specifically July 1 through July 3 – was the 150-somethingth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  I didn’t post anything about it  because I kind of burned out on historickal postings a couple years back, feeling I was becoming boring and repetitive, and decided to take a break.  Something tells me that I will soon be ready to plunge back in to such things [Ed. – you mean going back to being boring and repetitive?  Quiet, you!] , but I’m not quite there yet.

Anyhoo, I mention it now because I am currently on the back porch of stately Port Swiller Manor in the quiet evenfall, listening to the rain come down and the occasional distant rumble of thunder, and something just now wandered back into what Ol’ Robbo likes to think of as his braim.

You see, on the night of July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle, there was a hell of a thunderstorm over Gettysburg.  It thoroughly drenched the poor wounded scattered all over the battlefield (and probably killed many of them), and hampered both Lee’s efforts to beat a speedy retreat, and Meade’s efforts to chase him down.

Now, the day’s fighting, which had culminated in Pickett’s Charge, also featured a mass cannonade by both sides – the Confederates first trying to soften the Union center, and the Union replying against the Confederate guns and then blowing holes in Pickett’s lines.  And what wandered into Robbo’s braim was a memory that he had read somewhere of an apparently widespread belief of the time that cannon-fire somehow provoked thunderstorms, and that many were not surprised by the deluge that night.

Of course, correlation does not prove causation.  And the odds of getting caught in a thunderstorm anywhere in the American East during campaigning season are, well, pretty good.  Indeed, Central Pennsylvania in particular gets bulls-eyed on an almost constant basis during the summah.  On the other hand,  empirical observation is not to be completely ignored, and I sometimes wonder whether there might actually be anything to it.

No, I’m not going all AlGore here.  I’m talking about a localized phenomenon: all other conditions being satisfied (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.), could a massive discharge of the chemicals contained in gunpowder change the atmospheric balance in a very limited area to produce an isolated weather event?  I remember the Old Gentleman back in the day looking up at baby cumulo-nimbus clouds and remarking that “one more torque of energy” could turn them into thunderheads.  Could such a discharge supply that additional torque?

Beats the hell out of me, but I enjoy wondering about it.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Independence Day!

Ol’ Robbo really has nothing planned to mark the occasion this year.  Indeed, as is sometimes the case, I am bacheloring it this week at Port Swiller Manor, as the Gels are scattered about at camp and visits to grandparents and whatnot.  So right now I’m just sitting out on the porch with the cats, the dog, and muh coffee (covfifi?), enjoying the cool of the morning, and trying to muster up the energy to go spread a couple bags of mulch and zap some weeds before it gets too hot.  Depending on whether or when we catch a thunderstorm later, I’ll grill up a bacon-cheeseburger and some corn for my dins and then sit back out on the porch and listen to the fireworks.

Hey, I’m not known as the World’s Most Exciting Man for nothing.

Anyhoo, a few thoughts:

♦  I see the usual crop of “Whither America?” essays out there today bemoaning the polarized state of politicks and the debasement of our so-called culchah, and wondering How Much Longer We Can Go On As A Nation.  My guess? We’ll probably muddle through somehow.  (And I’d have said the same thing even if She Who Must Not Be Named had been elected.)  I still believe that when push comes to shove and people are shaken out of their complacency, there is still enough of the American Character in the majority of the population to see us through.  (Okay, I admit this sounds trite, but it’s either this or a ten-thousand word essay, and I’ve not nearly enough energy for that this morning.)

♦  Good for The Donald for coming to the defense of poor little Charlie Gard and his family.  (Go on over to the linkie to get Ace’s background and take.)  To me, this whole wretched situation illustrates perfectly the monstrosity of single-payer, State-run “health care”.  When Leviathan is lord and master, you are nothing but a slave and your life is nothing but a statistic.  (Oh, and one cheer, I suppose, for Papa Frankie, who finally voiced his support for the Gards as well, although it took him long enough to do so.)

♦  This article on a proposed global nuclear weapons ban and the high art of virtue-signaling made Ol’ Robbo smile nostalgically because it brought back to mind his time at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT in the mid-80’s when, in response to that crazy summbich Reagan threatening to blow up the world, it became very fashionable for various city councils and campus student governments to pass ordinances and resolutions declaring themselves to be “nuclear-free zones”.  (For some reason, Providence, RI stands out in my mind as an example.)

In response, I drew a cartoon for the conservative paper on campus featuring a handy-dandy, do-it-yourself, “personal” nuclear-free zone:  It featured a hippy with a paper bag over his head.

Curiously, there were those who didn’t think this was s’damn funny. (They were the same crowd who were distraught over the campus health center refusing to stock cyanide capsules to be used in case somebody dropped The Big One.)

(A glass of wine with Vodka Boy over at the Puppy-Blender’s place.)

Whelp, better go spread that mulch……


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Via a Facebook gunnegshun, Ol’ Robbo found himself perusing this article about recent goings on in the Virginia State Legislature.  It seems that, so long as the legislature itself is controlled by Republicans, but that rat-bastard, Clinton bag-man, Terry McAuliffe remains governor, no real sea-change could be expected.  Instead, it seems they spent this session….tinkering.

Shall we have a dekko at your (or, at least, my) tax money at work?


Driving in the left lane on state highways without a good reason could now result in a $100 fine. The bill’s sponsor, Del. Israel O’Quinn said he wants to prevent people from driving too slow in the left lanes, which he said endangers law enforcement and spurs road rage.”

Yer damned right! Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way! (Oh, and the legislation should have gone further and banned all Maryland drivers, but that’s just a pet-peeve of mine.)


State-owned liquor stores will now be able to sell a high-proof grain alcohol that is “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color,” which includes the well-known brand Everclear. University officials had voiced concern about binge drinking, but proponents of the law noted that Everclear can be purchased legally in most other states and is often used in cooking.

Duuuude….Ol’ Robbo once experienced Everclear jello shots back in his college days -with pretty disastrous consequences.  Ditto with the Moonshine that a buddy of mine in law school used to bring back from a neighbor of his in rural Georgia.  Two things puzzle Ol’ Robbo about this item:

1.)  Why the hell does our Great Commonwealth still have “state-owned liquor stores”?  Virginia fascists.  I hate Virginia fascists…..

2.)  Cooking with Everclear? Seriously?

(The other two items in the article have to do with needle-exchange for drug addicts and female genital mutilation.  Hardly the stuff for a light-hearted blog post, but you can go on over and read about them if you wish.)



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July 2017