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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, here we are.

Ol’ Robbo found himself reviewing a rental contract this morning for the off-campus house Middle Gel is going to share with a couple of her sorority sisters next year. (Hard to believe she’ll be a senior already!) Not that my legal analysis is worth all that much: The last time I paid any attention to landlord/tenant law was when I was swotting for the bar thirty years ago, and I forgot most of it immediately after the exam. But nothing outrageous caught my eye and one of the roommates is already living there this year and knows the practical ropes, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. So I’ll only charge her a couple hundred bucks for my time and effort. (I keed! I keed!!)

With the advent of the season’s first push of really warm weather, I took Decanter Dog for a long walkies this afternoon that eventually brought us down to the neighborhood pond. We flushed out the local great blue heron, which I hadn’t seen in a while, but I also noticed, of all fool things, a solitary bat twittering about over the water. In broad daylight. And well before it could expect much by way of flying insect life. Go figure.

Speaking of bats, I’m hesitant even to mention it here and perhaps it’s nothing more than a residual tremor from what I posted about yesterday, but this morning I had a dream about the angel of death. I was in that half-asleep/half-awake state when I suddenly felt a breeze in my ear. I immediately “knew” it was caused by the tip of a wing passing near, knew exactly whose wing it was, and sat up in bed with a gasp at the thought. Of course, a few minutes later the cats started pestering me to get up and feed them so my alarum quickly turned to irritation, but that memento mori feel has been about me all day.


On a much less serious front, Ol’ Robbo doesn’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about the “travails” of Meghan Sparkle-Markle. She’s simply Hollywood grifter trash. That is all.

Oh, and on an even more ridiculous front, somebody needs it ‘splained to them that Pepe Le Pew is not supposed to be a role-model but instead was always understood as an object of scorn and mockery. Even as a very small kid I found him icky.

Turning back to Robbo’s home world, granted we’ve still got most of the week ahead to go but Ol’ Robbo actually finds himself keenly anticipating next Saturday night’s jump forward to, well, whichever “time” it is that one jumps forward to in the spring. (I can never keep them straight.) And why? Because the extra hour of light starting Sunday evening means Ol’ Robbo can return in comfort to his outdoor grilling! WOO HOO!! I’m already anticipating the thick-cut steak I’m going to pick up and slap on the grill. In Ol’ Robbo’s humble opinion the sure and certain Truth of the Divine Will, the only way to properly cook a rib-eye or strip steak is to get the thickest one you can, get the charcoal as hot and concentrated as possible, and sear the thing about two minutes tops each side. The only steak worth eating is one that is charred up nicely on its outside, but still believes it has a fighting chance of escaping from one’s plate.

Finally, and also on the food front, although we’re still four weeks out from Easter, it’s never too early to start thinking out one’s Easter Dinner menu. And on this planning, Ol’ Robbo has some very exciting news: The entire strength of the Port Swiller Manor establishment will be home for the holiday. A recent survey reveals that not one, but all three of the Gels would be perfectly happy with Ol’ Robbo serving up rack of lamb! (Apparently it was a bigger hit when I tried it a couple years ago than I had realized.) And not only that, Middle Gel is bringing her Young Man to dins and he said he’d love it, too. (I have not yet met said Young Man but hear good reports of him. This positive response, of course, brings nothing but additional credit.) I now need to start limning out some nice side dishes……

Tuesday UPDATE: Speaking of the warm weather Ol’ Robbo mentioned above, we were able to have dinner out on the Port Swiller Manor porch this evening for the first time this season. (Since rebuilding it six or seven years ago, we eat outside as much as possible.) Very, very nice. And on that subject, I noticed today an early hatch of some sort of insect flying about, so I suppose I should withdraw my comments about that bat I saw yesterday. It’s almost as if Ma Nature knows what she’s doing…..

Meanwhile, our old pal Sleepy Beth remarks on my mention of Middle Gel’s Young Gentleman:

I am wondering, does the prospect of significant others get easier to stomach as the gels have aged themselves?

I’d say yes, yes it does.

Partly this is due to the fact that the unknown and unknowable abstract future is almost always scarier than the concrete reality of actual events. (Even when said actual events are bad, one is usually too busy dealing with them to waste energy on being scared.)

Partly this is due to recognition that the Gels are at that stage of life (23, 21, and 19 years, respectively – in other words, thank God they’re not adolescents anymore!), where it is right and proper that they be looking to start building their own nests. (Indeed, I have noticed that the word “grandchildren” is starting to creep into Mrs. R’s speech.)

But these are general considerations.

From my own specific experience and perspective, I also am very much blessed by the fact that I can trust the Gels to make good, solid decisions. Without getting into too much personal detail, all three are grounded, old-fashioned, and, yes, religious-minded creatures, largely immune to the mores of the tempora about which Ol’ Robbo routinely rants here, and I’ve not much worry that in the end they will all find the right fellahs for the right reasons. Of course they might will make some mistakes along the way (Lawd knows Ol’ Robbo did himself back in the day), and of course they’re as subject to random outside forces as anyone else, but that’s a part of living that can’t be avoided and so about which I don’t worry too much.

That said, I still claim the right, should Middle Gel’s Young Gentleman or anyone else treat one of the Gels badly, to hunt him down and explain to him the errors of his ways with a tire-iron.


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March 2021