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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, Youngest Gel (yes, Youngest) foozled her first try at getting a learner’s permit this morning.  Apparently, as she had feared, she started over-thinking the questions on the test, changed at least one right answer to a wrong one, and thus failed.

She’s pretty upset, as you might imagine.  But after all, disappointment is character-building.  So she’s got that going for her.

As for me? Well, don’t tell her I said so (yes, I’m looking at you, Middle Gel), but I’m actually rather relieved.  For some reason, Ol’ Robbo is somewhat antsier at the idea of Youngest behind the wheel than he was with her elder sisters, most likely because it still seems to me only yesterday that she was sitting in her high-chair with spaghetti sauce all over her face.

Thinking about that, I was once again reminded of the classic Basil Fawlty self-dialogue:  “Zhoom!  What was that? That was your life, mate.  Oh, that’s nice…do I get another? Sorry, mate.”

Anyhoo, I gather she’ll be eligible to take another crack at it in two weeks.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo often takes a walk round the National Mall on his lunch break.  Over the course of time, I’ve seen many, many things there, but never something quite like this:

WASHINGTON — A 45-foot-tall sculpture of a nude woman could be coming to the National Mall for an extended stay. 

Organizers of the Catharsis on the Mall event are trying to raise funds to transport the R-Evolution sculpture from San Francisco to D.C. in time for this year’s event, which is set for November. 

The organizers say they have received approval from the National Park Service to have the structure on the grounds of the National Mall. It would stand next to the Washington Monument and face the White House.

The article says the purpose of the statue is to encourage people to “de-objectify” women’s bodies.  Or something.  I’m not sure how erecting a giant, unmissible object is supposed to do that, but whatever.  Also, if the way tourons take pictures of themselves pretending to prop up the Washington Monument is any indication, there are going to be hijinks a-plenty that the organizers of this thing probably didn’t have in mind.

Speaking of objectifying women, our Maximum Leader is back on the blogs with a post about the passing this  week of Hugh Hefner.  Ol’ Robbo can’t say that he thinks Hef’s legacy was a net gain for the culchah.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo finally got around to watching Rogue One last evening.  I’m hardly what you would call a Star Wars fanboi (I still haven’t seen Episode VII), but I must say that I think I rather enjoyed the film overall.  A nice, tight story; good cinematography; a Death Star that seemed almost to possess a malice of its own.

And what I really liked was the fact that so many different characters were involved.  It felt much, much more like a genuine fight between Empire and Rebel Alliance, and not just another episode of Skywalker Family Squabbles© with a bunch of extras on either side.

If the film had a weakness, I’d say it’s that I really didn’t know much more about any of these characters at the end than I did at the beginning.

Also, I have to say the CGI appearances of Zombie Peter Cushing and Zombie Carrie Fisher disturbed me somewhat.  Being made to play a character even though you’re actually dead somehow just doesn’t seem right.

Nonetheless, as I say, I think I liked it.

On the other hand, I see there’s a new Star Trek series being launched, Star Trek:Discovery.  It’s already being called ST:SJW because it’s being marketed as having a real Hard Left vibe.  Thanks, but I believe I’ll pass on that one.

Merely as a palate-cleanser after the day’s insanities, Ol’ Robbo will note here that he spotted a new-to-me word on a bumper sticker this morning, “ferroequinology“.

I gathered it had to do with train-spotting, both from the context (an illustration of a locomotive and some text to do with wandering around tracks), but also because I remember enough Latin to know that “ferro” + “equus” = “iron” + “horse”.

I looked the word up on Wiki and evidently it’s a “non-standard” term invented by the people who go in for this particular hobby, but it still made me smile.  What better pseudo-scientific name could they have hit upon, after all?

Feel free to incorporate it into your next cocktail  party conversation.  And thank me later.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo hasn’t paid any attention to professional football for some years now, but I can’t help noticing that this “taking a knee” thing during the National Anthem seems suddenly to be escalating, and that The Donald is calling out the NFL for it.

Have the players (and owners) actually thought this thing through?  Do they really believe that their core audience wants to see football politicized like this?  Or that the average fan has the slightest bit of sympathy for the disrespectful faux-virtue-signaling of guys paid millions of dollars to play a game?  Are they so supremely confident in their market that they feel they can flip it the bird with impunity?

I certainly don’t think so, and I don’t think the Donald does, either.  And the vaporings of the MSM aside, I think his message for these guys to stop acting like assholes resonates mightily among a majority of people.  As the saying goes, you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.

Anyhoo, I just hope this idiocy doesn’t spread into the MLB.  I did see where one guy on the A’s pulled it the other day, but hopefully that was a one-off.

UPDATE:  Good Lord – the lone Pittsburgh Steeler who stood up to this nonsense, an Army Ranger with three tours in Afghanistan to his credit, has now been forced to kowtow to the Machine.

UPDATED DEUX:  Greetings again, my fellow port swillers!  Ol’ Robbo heard the fellah in the office next door this morning comparing the Knee-Taker Brigade to Rosa Parks.  Figure that one out if you will.  Oh, and NPR told me this evening that The Donald is a complete awful because he’s wasting his time fighting this out on the Innertoobs while the people of Puerto Rico (pronounced “PWAIR-to REEEK-o“) are starving to death due to lack of White House assistance, IOW that Maria is the Donald’s Katrina.  Whelp, it turns out the island’s governor didn’t get the talking point.

I’ll be very, very interested to see how public opinion breaks on all this over the coming days.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Now that the days are beginning to draw in somewhat and it becomes duskier for both Robbo’s morning and evening commute, I once again observe that there appears to be a direct correlation between the darkness of a car’s body and the odds that its headlights are not on.  If I had a head for the mathematics, I’ll bet I could reduce this to some kind of formula.

Downtown this evening at a light round the corner from my garage, I came up next to a woman on a bike in the left lane.  Not only was she on a bike, she was also towing a toddler in one of those baby trailer things hitched on to the back of her bike.  In rush hour? This struck me as insane.

There are too many people who don’t seem to understand that courtesy to other drivers includes courtesy to the car behind you.  Remember when you’re coming to an intersection that the fellah behind you also wants to get through before the light changes.

Ol’ Robbo has always assumed that those rubber lines stretched out temporarily across roadways were used for counting cars and thereby generating traffic usage data.  Usually there are two or three of them grouped together.  I also assume this is to ensure count accuracy, rather than, say, to calculate speed.   At the moment, however, there are two groups of at least five such lines stretched across the parkway that Ol’ Robbo travels on his commute.  Why so many?

There is very rarely a day on which Ol’ Robbo does not mutter to himself at some point, “Goddam Murrland drivers!”

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy autumnal equinox!

Ironically, while the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor received its first blast of fall coolness in mid-August (three or four weeks early, in fact), we’re back up to more summah-like temperatures this weekend.

Go figure.

Speaking of which, Ol’ Robbo was intensely amused this week to see, via Ace, an article from Pravda on the Potomac admitting that the “science” behind Glowball Enwarmening is, well, maybe not quite so “settled” after all:

The new research, thus, seems to potentially empower a critique of climate science that has often been leveled by skeptics, doubters and “lukewarmers” who argue that warming is shaping up to be less than climate models have predicted…
Overall, the dispute raises questions about how widely the carbon-budget concept has proliferated — and just how much we actually understand it.
“It goes to show, this carbon-budget approach is still much more, let’s say, immature scientifically than what we often assume,” [Center for International Climate Research’s Glen] Peters said.

“Immature”?  You misspelled “fraudulent”.  This has never been about science, but always, always, about politics and inventing justifications for centralizing authoritarian power.

The back of my hand to it.

Anyhoo, Mrs. Robbo bought me a power washer this week and I intend to take advantage of the balmy weather tomorrow to use it on, well, anything that comes within range, I suppose.

Including Mrs. Robbo.

[Insert malevolent cackling here]

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Via the Puppy-blender, Ol’ Robbo came across this article on the fifteenth anniversary of the short-lived tee-vee series “Firefly“.

Ol’ Robbo never saw the show on network tee-vee, but came across it later and now owns the series on DVD and watches it every few months. Apart from the solid crafting and nifty dialogue of the show, in terms of its general spirit I consider myself to be a true Browncoat, especially considering all that is going on these days in the Imperial Swamp.

Anyhoo, the article prompts both a reminiscence and a question in what passes for Ol’ Robbo’s braims:

First, the reminiscence.  I’ve probably mentioned here before that the creator of “Firefly”, Joss Whedon, was a classmate of mine at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT.  Indeed, we lived in the same residential college.  All I remember of him back in those days was seeing him wandering round campus in some kind of daze.  Whether recreational pharmaceuticals were involved, I simply could not will not say.

Second, the question.  “Firefly” is stridently libertarian in tone, the crew of the good ship Serenity all opposed to the totalitarian impulses of the Alliance for various reasons, yet in his own life Whedon has been a knob-gobbling supporter of Progressivism in general, and Emperor Barky O-Beho the First in particular.  Why is this? Does he not get the paradox?  Or does he just not care?

The World wonders.

Oh, and as I’m on the subject of Whedon, I will state here and now that his adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is wretched, both in understanding and performance.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I see where boxing legend Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta has died at the age of 95.

One of Mrs. Robbo’s cousins married a niece of his.  Ol’ Robbo attended the wedding (which was at a catering hall – a compromise, I suppose, since he is Jewish and she is Catholic) and the reception (which was at the niece’s parents’ house, I think) out on Lawn Gyland.

The two things I remember (this was better than 20 years ago) were a) that copies of the couple’s pre-nup were set out for the guests’ reading pleasure in the loo, and b) the presence of a large number of attendees who looked like extras from “Goodfellas”.

I do not recall that LaMotta himself was there, but then I was trying to stay well in the background the whole time, so I really wouldn’t have known.

The couple are still married, by the bye, so apparently the pre-nup was unnecessary.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Remember that scene in Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks takes a near-miss shell hit on the beach on D-Day?  He looks around for a bit, stunned and detached, while everything seems distorted and slowed down.  Then the camera starts jiggling around, there’s an aural sensation of revving up, and suddenly he’s back in the here and now.

I just realized that I have been going through something of the same thing since the Mothe died, carrying on in a state of shock for several weeks and only coming back into the here and now within the past couple days.  (Propelled, I don’t doubt, in part by the medical adventure described below.  Let that one sink in.)  I’m still sad, of course, but now I feel it’s all under control and I can function normally again.

Is this how it’s supposed to work?

Anyhoo, I think I can now say that I’m back.



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September 2017