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.)