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On behalf of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art, please allow Ol’ Robbo to wish you a happy, fun, and non-demonic Halloween!

For ourselves at Port Swiller Manor, I never did bother to carve a pumpkin this year, and I believe we had exactly one party of kids come by for candy. Heigh ho.

Eldest and I spent the evening watching “So I Married An Axe-Murderer”. Fun, but just a leetle Mike Myers goes a long, long way.

UPDATE: Well, if there were lots of kids running about in the neighborhood last evening, Ol’ Robbo sure didn’t hear them. I believe there was some kind of neighborhood afternoon “event” for the younglings, which might explain why more of them weren’t going door to door later on.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Father let fall at our TLM today that it was likely he’d be required to start reading the Epistle and the Gospel in the vernacular in another three or four weeks. I suppose that’s for the benefit of those of us too mentally challenged to follow along with the translation from the Latin in the program or in our missals.


On another front, I’m sure most of you know that Joe Biden met with Pope Francis last week, and that after the meeting Biden said that Franky had told him he was a good Catholic and that he should go right on receiving Communion.

A friend, a long-time blogger who now spends her days taunting FacePlant into throwing her into time outs (some of you may know her), immediately hit the ceiling. The pass has been sold. The key to the citadel has been handed over. Francis has abandoned the Church’s plain teaching on the subject of fitness to receive the Host, particularly here in the context of high-level politicians who push extreme pro-abortion agendas.

For myself, I think the controlling phrase in that news item is probably “Biden said”. There’s no independent source and the Vatican, whose message control team has always played at the single-A farm level, isn’t commenting.

As much as I dislike Bergolio on multiple levels, even if he said something about Biden’s faith, I’m sure it would have been a good bit more complicated and probably attended by a good many circumstantial caveats and the like. And although I may be blindly innocent in this, I still have a hard time believing he’s so depraved as to encourage such blatant public contempt.

On the other hand, considering Joe’s credibility always brings me back to what Jeffrey Pelt said to Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”: “Listen, I’m a politician. That means I’m a cheat. And a liar. And when I’m not kissing babies, I’m stealing their lollypops.” Anybody who has paid even casual attention to Joe’s record over the years will easily rate that statement as “true”.

You may choose to decide how much credence to attach to all this. Me, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. In the end we’re all answerable for what we do and say, even if we think we’ve got away with it in this world. God, I’m told by a very reliable source, is not mocked. UPDATE: I should have added that as bad as Francis is, a brief glance at history will show that we’ve had far worse. Holy Mother Church will survive. That promise was made by an even more Reliable Source.

(Father’s homily for Christ the King Sunday, by the bye, was excellent – just the thing to remind one of where to put one’s priorities.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A cold, wet, and windy day here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor as a small nor’easter works its way up the coast.

The only remarkable thing about this particular storm is that my iPhone forecast “app”** thingy was predicting a 100% chance of rain today five or six days ago. A bold strategy, Cotton, and I guess it paid off.++

Once again Ol’ Robbo dutifully cleaned the leaves and whatnot off the driveway in an effort to preempt the storm blocking the drains and flooding the basement. At least since this will be a daytime “weather event”** I can keep an eye on the situation and dash out to clear clutter as needed. UPDATE: Checked the driveway at first light. I’ll take “What is a futile gesture?” for $500, Alex.

I’m supposed to go get my second jab today. Eldest counsels that I ought to stick with the plan, as the weather is likely to keep the lines shorter. I admit that her thinking has merit.

On the other hand, I also just remembered that the top is still down on my Jeep and it’ll be a pain in the neck to put it back up. (Cold canvas is a nuisance to work with.) There’s a voice whispering in my head just to blow the whole thing off and stay in my metaphorical robe and jammies all day. ^^

We’ll see,

** Words and phrases that will be eliminated from the English language if Robbo ever becomes Emperor.

++ Spot the reference.

^^ I say metaphorical because I cannot stand actually doing so once I’m up and out of bed. It’s always been a thing with me.

Mid-Battle UPDATE: Defenses holding so far. I’ve only had to clear the drains twice. The leaves are getting so water-logged now that only a very heavy deluge will move them.

And second vax status? Blown off.

And for those of you who have absolutely no interest whatever in such domestic reporting, laugh along with Ol’ Robbo at PETA’s recent announcement that the MLB should rename bullpens to “arm barnsbecause the former is insensitive to cows. Really!

UPDATE DEUX: Ma Nature says “Hold my beer and watch this!” It hadn’t got too far into the garage before I spotted it, but I don’t doubt that the dulcet “BWAAAM!!” of the basement pump will start soon enough.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those of you keeping track, Ol’ Robbo is happy to report that he is on the backside of whatever seasonal bug it was Eldest brought home the other day. (Just in time to get my second forced jab this weekend, with God-only-knows what kind of effects. Yee-haw.)

(Speaking of which, thank Heaven Ol’ Robbo has no young kids or grandkids to worry about at the moment. Geesh.)

We had our first nor’easter of the season over the past two days. (I think we get another one on Friday.) Lots of ka-boom! followed later by lots of whoooooosh!! Of course, the show greatly accelerates the leaf-fall already in progress, thereby overwhelming my drains and causing my basement to flood, so as much as I enjoy these storms, they also include lots of grrrrrr!!

I mentioned below that I was binge-reading Charles Portis during my down time. He wrote five novels altogether. Want to know the mark of a good author? I couldn’t tell you which of them is my favorite except to say it’s the one I happen to be reading at the moment.

And I am now definitely on the edge of starting my latest Evelyn Waugh binge, having picked up Decline and Fall last evening. (I do have specific favorites among his works along with some I don’t much like.) UPDATE: Okay, okay. Since you ask, I find Vile Bodies (aka Bright Young Things) to be too relentless in its bleak hammering. And I’ve never cared for Brideshead Revisited’s pure melodrama.

I have been boycotting Major League Baseball this year because it decided to get itself involved in politicks. But I am slightly tempted to watch the Series since the teams playing in it are from Texas and Georgia. Karma can be a beyotch sometimes.

(And no, I never had any interest in the NBA in teh first place, and I haven’t watched pro football since Dan Marino retired. As for the NHL, I grew up in South Texas back when hockey was a foreign country. If Ol’ Robbo ever becomes Emperor, I will decree that it not be played in any city south of Mason-Dixon. Some of the venues these days are beyond ridiculous.)

UPDATE DEUX: I learn that today apparently is National Black Cat Day. Who knew?

Ol’ Robbo has only ever had one black cat, back in the days of my yoot. The Mothe named her Bathsheba, which in retrospect might be in somewhat questionable taste, but we all just called her “Bash” anyway.

Smart cat and friendly up to a clearly-defined point. She once killed a coral snake and brought it to our back door.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Eldest Gel picked up some kind of seasonal bug this weekend, which meant that she was banned today from reporting for duty at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method, but it also meant that Mrs. Robbo was banned from going in as well.

This infuriated Mrs. R, who feels perfectly well herself. Indeed, she almost never gets sick: Other than for scheduled procedures and such, I doubt if she’s taken more than five days of sick leave in her twenty-five years there.

On the other hand, Eldest did manage to give the bug to Ol’ Robbo, who is susceptible to such things. I’ve been in bed the past day or so binge-reading Charles Portis.


Speaking of school, Ol’ Robbo admits a certain amount of puzzlement over the fact that the Left seems to have dropped all subterfuge recently and come right out in the open in its war to stamp out any parental say in what the young persons are being “taught” in the public schools. First the poorly stage-managed attempt to get irate parents criminalized as domestic terrorists. Then Terry McAwful’s blurting out of the quiet part during the Virginia gubernatorial debate. Now full-on WaPo editorial action.

I mean, it’s been perfectly obvious for some time now to anyone actually paying attention that this was the goal, but I should think that an outright barefaced assault at this point would not bring the thing to fruition, but instead would be more likely to finally wake up the mushy middle to what is going on around them and cause them to push back. The wolves seem to be taking off their sheep costumes a wee bit prematurely.

So what is the sudden motivation? Arrogance? Idiocy? Panic? (I am willing, of course, to embrace the power of “and” here.)

Or is Ol’ Robbo just missing something? Have we really reached the point of civic decay where belief in the likely success of such a straight-up frontal assault on the family is warranted?

The world wonders.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Another lovely autumn day here at Port Swiller Manor.

Ol’ Robbo’s main task this morning was weeding the pachysandra patch out by teh road. The pachies are for the most part Mrs. R’s fiefdom, but weeding involves getting right up next to what is a pretty busy street and I won’t let her do it. (You may call me paternalistic. I would point out she’s my wife, not yours.)

The key is situational awareness, keeping an ear open for cars in the distance and an eye on them as they get closer. And, of course, waiting till nobody’s coming before getting at those last ones right next to the asphalt. Why some escapee from the Jerk Store hasn’t blared his horn at me in order to make me jump yet, I don’t know, but I expect it every time I have to perform this unpleasant task.

On another front, we had a turn up for the books in that I was finally able to get the basement windows open to air the bloody place out after Heaven knows how long. There are three of them down there, all with the kind of sash lock that needs a key to be opened. Said key had vanished some time ago, leaving the accumulated fug with essentially no place to go. Ol’ Robbo was juuuuust on the edge of removing and replacing the locks when he happened finally to stumble across the key: Turns out it was at the bottom of my Box of Many Things. Why I didn’t look there in teh first place, I dunno, because things like this key are exactly what the BOMT is for. (That said, I put a discreet hook up on the side of one of the frames as a new home for it.)

A keyed sash lock, by the bye, is a stupid thing, and (as this story demonstrates) is far more of an annoyance for the home owner than it is for any burglar genuinely bent on breaking in. It occurs to me that if he’s already torn out the storm window and ripped off the screen, jimmying the lock off with a screwdriver or smashing the sash outright is hardly going to be a reach for him. (Fortunately, we live in a very low-crime area. Port Swiller Manor has had only one burglary in our twenty-odd years here, and that was when some yoots got into the house after Ol’ Robbo had idiotically left the back door unlocked one day while everyone was off at work and school.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, today is the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, fought in 1805, in which the Royal Navy under Lord Nelson crushed the combined fleets of France and Spain and put paid to any hope Napoleon had of being able to convoy an invasion force across the Channel. Nelson himself, of course, was killed in the battle.

Ol’ Robbo doesn’t have anything in particular to say about the action at the moment. But it’s been a few years since I marked the occasion here, and especially since I’m pretty sure one of the goals of the Great Reset is to distort history out of all reality if not disappear it altogether, it seemed right and meet so to do. (UPDATE: Just to tie it all together, I would point out that Great Resets have a very bad habit of producing Napoleons. And Maos. And Pol Pots. You get the idea.)

So raise your glasses, ladies and gentlemen, to the memory of Nelson and those gallant tars of yesteryear!

Come, cheer up, my lads, ’tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year;
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?

Chorus: Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men, We always are ready; steady, boys, steady! We’ll fight and we’ll conquer again and again.

We ne’er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run, why we follow, and run them ashore,
For if they won’t fight us, what can we do more?


They say they’ll invade us these terrible foe,
They frighten our women, our children, our beaus,
But if should their flat bottoms, in darkness set oar,
Still Britons they’ll find to receive them on shore.


We still make them feel and we still make them flee,
And drub them ashore as we drub them at sea,
Then cheer up me lads with one heart let us sing,
Our soldiers and sailors, our statesmen and king

(Chorus X2)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those of you who like to keep track of such things, may I point out that tonight is the full of this year’s Hunter’s Moon?

Ol’ Robbo forgets about the moon’s waxings and wanings from time to time, especially now that I’m not commuting, but is always delighted to “re-discover” its cycle.

Should be a lovely moonrise this evening.

*** Ol’ Robbo was going to segue into some remarks about the headlines these days, but after a short **types-deletes** struggle I decided to give it up and just laugh. Suffice to say this: A thing that can’t go on won’t.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A bit of good news yesterday, as it turns out that the heart murmur noticed during Decanter Dog’s checkup a couple weeks ago is nothing more than Anno Domini and doesn’t even require any medication. Mrs. Robbo had been worriting herself over the possibility that it might have been something worse, possibly even terminal, and my “keep calm and carry on” advice seemed of little comfort. I’m glad that’s all cleared up now.

Still, the thing is a reminder to me that when DD does shuffle off this mortal coil, it’s going to be a bad, bad day at Port Swiller Manor. DD is Mrs. R’s very first dog, and ever since we got her six (?) years ago, her baby. This has become even more the case now that the Gels are grown up and flying the nest. We’ve had seven cats together over the years and have lost five, some losses being harder than others, which I guess is some kind of preparation, but this will be many orders of magnitude worse.

Well, alas, that’s the problem of pets, and as far as Ol’ Robbo knows there’s absolutely no way round it.

In the meantime, however, although we don’t know exactly how old DD is in terms of years, physically I’d say she’s in early middle age and, aside from needing to shed a couple pounds, in overall good health. So hopefully we’ve got some time before we need to face all that.

UPDATE: On a cheerier note, and as long as I’m pet-blogging anyhow, I notice that Decanter Kitten’s tail, which thinned out noticeably over the summah, is thickening up again. (She’s a Maine coon.) I wonder if this will prove to be some kind of weather gauge like a woolly-bear, predictive of the harshness of the on-coming cold season. We’ll see. (She’s mad at me, by the bye, because I won’t leave the porch door open for her while the temperature is below about 55 degrees or so, thereby disrupting her habit of going in and out at will.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It’s getting on to that time of year now where I can foresee the end of mowing season so I’m only buying gas for the lawnmower a gallon at a time lest I get saddled with leftovers all winter. Just once I’d like to finish the last cut of the season just as the mower runs out of the last of the gas I have left in the can in the garage. “Nail the landing” as it were.

Meanwhile, the proportion of my time spent raking up leaves is gradually increasing. At this point it’s mostly just trying to keep the driveway relatively clear, especially as there’s a front moving through today with a chance of thunderstorms and a layer of wet leaves on an asphalt incline is almost as slippery as ice. A bad biznay when you’re trying to get out into my busy street.

I’ve not seen the hummingbirds for several weeks now so it seems likely they’ve all split for the coast. I’m leaving the feeder up, however, Just In Case.

Ol’ Robbo’s bonus task today was to have to climb out Youngest’s bedroom window onto the garage roof to clip back some ivy that has got a bit too frisky. Let us just say that I have a hobbit-like bad head for heights.

Finally, speaking of Youngest, I added “sundry” to the post title because she’s off sailing in a regatta today at Western Michigan University. Thus, I can truly say today that “I’ve Got A Gal In Kalamazoo“!

(Oh, I slay me.)

UPDATE: The Gel messages “Won one of the races!” Yo, ho!


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October 2021