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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

An odd day here at Port Swiller Manor, in that we have a big, blue, sunny May sky, but also a howling northwest wind and chilly temperatures.  (My porch thermometer bottomed out at 35 degrees last night.)  Nonetheless, when I went out this morning (my first time in La Wrangler in two weeks), I had the top down.

My jaunt was up to the hardware store to restock my birdseed supply, as my feeder has been empty for about a week and a half.  One of Ol’ Robbo’s simple pleasures is to refill his feeder after such a lapse, pour a cup of kawfee, and sit back and watch the birds return.  It’s a funny thing, but the chickadees are almost inevitably the first ones in.  On the other hand, with any luck the despised cowbirds, impatient of easy loot, will have gone elsewhere by now and won’t come back.

And speaking of birds, the catbird has returned.  Another sure sign of the approach of warmer weather. (I’ve seen mockingbirds as well but they don’t tend to come into my yard for some reason.)

In the garden, my roses are opening up.  I think as soon as we get a good warm spell, the peonies will follow.

As for the movie flash, I caught “North To Alaska” (1960) on an obscure cable channel last evening.  Ol’ Robbo has never seen this film before.  It struck him as a pretty decent flick, with John Wayne pretty much being John Wayne.  It also confirmed me in my long-standing opinion that Stewart Granger’s appeal was largely a matter of eye-candy and not acting skill.  On the other hand, I’d only ever seen Ernie Kovacs’ comedy sketches and was pleasantly surprised at his film presence.  Of the leading lady, one Capucine, as John Cleese’s French knight would put it, “Oh, yas, she’s a verrah nice”.

The channel is running a Dook marathon this weekend and one of the films they’re airing is “The Fighting Kentuckian” (1949), another Wayne film I haven’t seen.  Ol’ Robbo was gob-smacked, when they ran a plug for it, to learn that Oliver Hardy, of all people, is in it.  Who knew?  Alas, it comes on at a time not convenient for me and Netflix doesn’t seem to carry it.  I see where the devil’s website does, however, and at a reasonable price.  Anybody have an opinion about whether it would be worth it?

UPDATE:  “Good news, everyone!” as Professor Farnsworth would say.  I was checking back on my Netflix queue and discovered that “The Dam Busters” (1955) has suddenly been added to the active list!  It’s been sitting in my “availability unknown” column – along with about 40 other films – forever.  Apparently, it’ll be reissued at the end of the month.  I’ve long suspected that Netflix is perfectly willing to let its DVD library crumble into dust (I recently discovered the swine had been billing me for a streaming service I did not order) but this gives me a wee bit of hope.

UPDATE DEUX:  Back to gardening, as you can see I’ve added a couple of rose pics.  The upper is one of our double-knockouts.  I wish I knew what variety the lower one is: I brought it and a couple others back from my parents’ cottage up to Maine years ago and I’ve long since lost the information.





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May 2020