Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A wet and downright chilly (low 50’s) day here at Port Swiller Manor puts the kybosh on Ol’ Robbo’s pottering about the demesne. I can report, however, that my very first termater plant now has about half a dozen little green globes on it and promise of more to come. I’ll have to start hunting up salsa recipes some time soon.

The retrograde late winter/early spring conditions have also temporarily halted all cicada activity. I don’t think the Brood is having a good cycle this time around. Their initial emergence was hampered by a series of cool nights. Last week they seem to have gone finally into hyperdrive, but now they’re shut down for the next few days again. I imagine that once an individual pops out of its larval stage, it only has a given period of life left to get busy and reproduce and that these delays represent time they’ll never get back. Certainly the corpses of the early risers are starting to mount up in considerable number now.

I am sure that the life cycle of the 17-year cicada serves some purpose in God’s universal economy, but damme if I can grok the math on it.

(And by the bye, if Decanter Kitten doesn’t stop climbing the porch screens trying to get at the little blighters on the other side, there’s going to be a felinecide in the family.)

Anyhoo, on to other things.

–I mention Youngest Gel in the post below. By measurement this morning, I discovered that she grew two and a half inches her freshman year and is now well over 5′ 7″. This rayther astounds me, as I’d always believed that girls got most of their growth in relatively early in adolescence and were done by about 18 years. (Something similar happened with Middle Gel, although she only went from short to not quite so short. It grinds her gears to be the smallest one in the family. Eldest seems to have followed the more traditional sprout schedule.) Go figure.

—Speaking of gears, Ol’ Robbo is going to be very, very happy when we finally rid ourselves of our Honda Juggernaut and put Mrs. R in something smaller and sportier, as she has started hogging garage space again. She doesn’t do it on purpose, but only forgets about it from time to time and leaves me crowded way over to one side. It’s fortunate that I’m pretty thin, as when this happens I often find myself having to writhe sideways to get in and out of La Wrangler.

–Speaking of thin, Ol’ Robbo had a really solid set of workouts this week. My problem with exercise has long been that I go at it hell for leather for a number of days, get burned out, and then fall off completely for some length of time. I’m trying to work on this yo-yoing by giving myself more consistent days of either rest or light sessions between the heavier ones. (At least, that’s my excuse for taking today off. My story. Sticking to it.)

–Speaking of problems, Mrs. R is (as I type) in the middle of an online seminar about Makey-Makey, an electronic package for do-it-yourself lil’ inventors which she hopes to incorporate into her science classes next year. Our efforts earlier to get her hooked up, plugged in, and on-line looked more like something out of the Marx Brothers than anything else. Our non-5G innerwebz service suddenly isn’t working for whatever reason (Thanks, Verizon!) and Mrs. R’s dinosaur work laptop can’t handle the 5G kind we still have. So there was much running about with hair on fire trying to find one which did all she needed. After several false starts (my own laptop’s mic doesn’t work for some reason) the only one with full bells and whistles available was Youngest’s and it’s a Mac. Mrs. R has never dealt with a Mac before. You can judge for yourself the level of panic in that people were actually asking me technical questions!

Whelp, that’s about it. I see the forecast seems to have just been revised so that the rain might hold off long enough for me to grill dinner after all. Woo, Hoo! Better go check and see that I have enough charcoal after all.

UPDATE: The grilling was a success, although what the Iron Duke might have described as a damn near-run thing: It wasn’t sprinkling quite hard enough to affect the coals, but it was enough to prevent me from taking out the rolls to be toasted as I do not care for soggy bread. The rain kicked in more forcefully just as I was finished cooking.

On the wireless front, Mrs. R discovered that her streaming service was out as well. After a few minutes of her asking me questions I couldn’t possibly answer, I suggested she call up Verizon and yell at them. After she had a completely one-sided conversation with an automated system, everything came back on again. I guess we’re in the very best of hands with our robot lords and masters.