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Courtesy of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art.

Courtesy of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and Happy Thanksgiving (or “Friendgiving” as the kids are calling it now, whatever the hell that means)!  I hope you all have a blessed and grateful holiday get-together with your family and friends.

Ol’ Robbo will be out of action for the next few days due to holiday logistics.  Meanwhile, I’d just like to register my glee over the latest moonbat meme to come across the innertoobs.  You see, according to said meme, we ought to embrace the wholesale immigration of Syrian refugees because the Native Americans (™) embraced the arrival of the Puritans back in the day.  Hence the holiday.  If you don’t accept this groupthink, so the reasoning goes, you’re a hypocrite.


Are these not the same moonbats who for some years now have told us that the Pilgrims were genocidal invaders hell-bent on wiping out the Indigenous Nations?

Yes, yes I think they are.

And how has that worked out for the “Natives”?

It isn’t hypocrisy, it’s just plain fool triumph of feeling over reason.  As I’ve said before, these people don’t think, they emote. God help them and us all.

Anyhoo, a very happy Thanksgiving and I’ll see you later.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

My apologies for the recent lack of posties.  Veeeeery busy down the office this week.  Also, past few evenings have seen a slew of hour and a half homeward commutes.  (Port Swiller Manor is only about 14 miles from the office.  Back in my college day I could have done it quicker on foot.)  The combination of these influences has left me somewhat slack-jawed and uninterested, or at least incapable of summoning up the energy to say anything intelligent.

Instead, I’ve been giving myself over to passive entertainment.  Ran through “Band of Brothers” the past three nights, but tonight I’m going with “The Italian Job”.

(Yes, I like Mahky Mahk.  Are we going to have a problem here?)

Moar content over the weekend, hopefully.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Veterans’ Day!  A glass of wine, well a cup of coffee anyway (sun/yardarm and all that), with all of you who serve or have served or who have family or loved ones who do or did.  Looking back, I regret that I never did.

Anyhoo, now that the Gifting Season (that is what I’m going to call it with respect to commercial matters) has set in, the catalogs have started to fill up the Port Swiller mailbox.  One of the ones that came yesterday was from the National Geographic, and I must say that it surprised me:  Since when has Nat Geo gone all Smithsonian in the stuff it flogs?  Books and maps and whatnot, I take for granted.  But fashion? Jewelry? Have I just not noticed this before or is it a new thing?  (Toys, too.  The Little Boy that still lurks within Robbo looked mighty wistfully at the working drone, the magnetic levitating globe and the laser Khet game.)

About that fashion and jewelry:  Almost all of it is “themed” – Irish, Far Eastern, African, etc.  Is this not cultural appropriation at its basest?  Is this not an outrage to our sensibilities?  Is this not a micro-aggression?

Pardon me while I assume the fetal position and let loose a cry-bully primal scream.

/logs off

/logs back on

Ah, that’s better.  I hope you learn a little lesson from this, Nat Geo.

My old grandmother used to give me a yearly subscription to National Geographic magazine when I was a kid and I must say that I really appreciated it.  No, not for the pictures of half-naked African women (at least not mostly), but because I’ve always been a nut for maps and exploration.  (For example, I’m the one driver in ten thousand who appreciates the elevation sign at the top of the pass or the announcement that one is entering or leaving the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  And I confess that Google-maps and all its little functions are like catnip to me.)

We used to get the “bonus gift” that came with the renewed subscription, too – books on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars (I’ve still got them) and several record albums.  (Anyone who doesn’t know what a “record album” is can get off my lawn right now.)  One of the albums was of Revolutionary War era songs, many of which I still sing to myself.  Another was of Mississippi steamboat songs, the only one of which I can recall being Stephen Foster’s “The Glendy Burk“.  (I still sing the first verse and teh chorus.)

I remember that latter album mostly because it had a painting of a big paddle-wheeler on the cover that I used as a model to draw a cover for a 7th grade book report I did on Tom Sawyer.  When Mr. Richter looked at my report – clear plastic binder, elaborate cover art, neat handwriting – I recall him saying, “Now this is a typical Robbo the Swiller effort.”  I’m sure it was part of the reason that he recommended I move up to advanced English in 8th grade.  (Why I had been placed in regular English for 7th, I never learned.)  From there, the rest was history – English major and law school.

Funny how life works out.



bootsGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo spent the morning taking another slap at the leaves round Port Swiller Manor until the unexpectedly continuous rain  caused him to finally give it up.

As I laced the ol’ Bean boots for the first time this season, it occurred to me that I have owned them longer than any other single piece of clothing in my collection.  I recall that we got them in preparation for my going off to Connecticut for college in the summah of ’83, along with some turtlenecks and several Norwegian sweaters that I lost a few years ago when Mrs. R jihaded the wardrobe after we had the closet and bathroom redone.  Mrs. R claims it was an accident, but I have my doubts.

Anyhoo, the ol’ boots have never let me down.  Are they still a thing, or is this another of my anachronisms?

The jeans north of the boots in this pic are another matter altogether.  I know I’ve written about it before, albeit a very long time ago, but it is one of Robbo’s little idiosyncrasies to only own one pair of jeans at a time, and to wear them until they literally come apart at the seams before buying another pair.  The current incumbents are on their last legs, with frayed seams all around and holes under the back pockets which would be of a lot more concern were I not a boxer man.  As it is, I won’t wear them in public at all and will only venture out into the yard in them with a jacket or shirt tail strategically positioned over the Port Swiller posterior.


Jack, the Rigidly-Orthodox Port Swiller Pumpkin, On Post And Ready

Jack, the Rigidly-Orthodox Port Swiller Pumpkin, On Post And Ready

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Halloween!

Shot:  In case you missed it, the Energy Department says that jack-o-lanterns cause Globull Warmeninz:

Most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the trash, says the Energy Department’s website, becoming part of the “more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.”

Municipal solid waste decomposes into methane, “a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide,” Energy says.

The horror! THE HORROR!

As it happens, I still have a fondness for jack-o-lanterns left over from my misspent yoot.  (The traditional ones, mind you – triangle eyes and nose, snaggle-toothed mouth.  None of this fancy-shmancy pumpkin “art” nonsense.)  I love to see them perched on doorsteps, twinkling from afar in the dark.  It’s just a thing.

And if it makes Energy sleep better at night, I will note that we don’t throw Jack in the trash after his gig is over.  Instead, we take him out back and try to throw him across the creek and into the woods.  About half the time he makes it, smashing apart upon impact.  Otherwise, he often hits the face of the bank and rolls down into the creek bed, more often than not ending up looking back up at us with something like reproach on his face.  We call this “giving Jack the cliff”.

Chaser:  Colleges are censoring Halloween costumes in order to avoid offending the sensibilities of precious snowflakes:

“If there’s a gray line, it’s always best to stay away from it,” said Mitchell Chen, 21, a microbiology major and director of diversity efforts at the Associated Students of the University of Washington. The university emailed to all students this week a six-minute video of what not to do for Halloween.

There has already been one major cultural collision this week that fanned the flames: On Thursday, the University of Louisville in Kentucky apologized to the school’s Latinos after its president, James R. Ramsey, was photographed wearing stereotypical Mexican attire at a Halloween party for staff members on Wednesday. In a picture posted online, Mr. Ramsey wore a sombrero and fringed poncho and stood next to university workers who were dressed as members of a mariachi band, with sombreros, maracas and fake mustaches.

What a stupid time to be alive.  Thank you, Mr. Rogers.  Thank you so bloody much.

UPDATE:  Good Godfrey Daniel!  Ol’ Robbo simply hadn’t contemplated the ramifications of Halloween falling on a Saturday this year.  I went in my innocence to Total Bev late in the afternoon to stock up on plonk and the place was an absolute zoo.  Now, you may call me stuffy if you wish (which you probably already do), but I don’t think much of adult Halloween parties, which seem to be becoming more and more popular.  May as well just call them orgies and be done with it.

Jack, Hors De Combat

Jack, Hors De Combat

UPDATE DEUX:  For the benefit of the Captain and others who may be interested:  No, he didn’t make it.  Hit the lip and rolled back into the drink.  In my defense, I re-aggrevated the tendonitis in my elbow yesterday by doing yardwork without a brace and can’t heave as well as I might have done.  Oh, well.




For those friends of the decanter who don’t know already, allow me to pass on the good news that Eldest Gel was accepted early decision into Sweet Briar College this week for the Class of 2020.  We are all very, very happy, indeed.  (I pulled this vixen pic off of Mrs. Robbo’s FB page.  I don’t know where she got it, but I think it suits our mood perfectly, especially since the Vixen is the school mascot.  Also, did you know that the school colors of pink and green were the basis of the whole preppy fad thing back in the 80’s?  True.)

The gel has been getting all kinds of FB and email congratulations from alumnae, many of whom she’s never even heard of.  This only reenforces the lessons she’s learned about loyalty to the place, a loyalty I think she’s going to develop to a very deep degree herself.

A glass of wine with all of you!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A morning off spent doing All The Things:  haircut, oil change, replacing basement lights.  There something very satisfying about taking care of these little jobs.  Tomorrow will be spent dealing mostly with leaves.

This week also marked the annual re-instillation of the rear seat side-windows on ol’ Robbo’s Wrangler.  I always try to keep them off as long as possible (much to the annoyance of the Gels when they have to ride back there) both because I love the flow of air and because they’re a nuisance to zip on and off, especially if they’re cold, but comes that point in mid-fall when I finally decide just to leave them there until spring.  On the other hand, I leave the rear window rolled up all year round, only putting it down for extremely heavy rain or snow.  With the heater going, I find that the cabin remains quite comfortable even in the coldest weather.

Speaking of La Wrangler, who is now better than 12 y.o., I have noticed more and more lately that when I hit a bump or pot-hole at speed, the whole front end judders rayther violently for a few seconds afterwards.   Poking around on the Innertoobs, I discovered that there’s even a name for this: They call it the “Death Wobble“.  This made me laugh up until the point where I realized that it will be exactly the sort of thing the mechanics will wang me for good and hard if I take her into the shop.  Probably have to sooner or later, but the problem isn’t so bad that I feel inclined to do so just yet.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo noticed this article yesterday morning over at the TelegraphBacon, ham and sausages ‘as big a cancer threat as smoking’, WHO to warn.

I joked on FaceBuke that the article had no effect on me except to make me hungry (which was true, by the way) and dismissed it from my mind.  However, I noticed today that the WHO release was “trending”, as the kidz say, and also that NPR was running it breathlessly in their top o’ the hour nooz updates, asserting quite nakedly that the science is now settled (SETTLED you knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers!) and that any points Big Meat makes about the health benefits of meat consumption are completely false and anyway, so what.

This push prompts ol’ Robbo to borrow a line from Bender and invite the WHO to bite his shiny metal ass.

For one thing, I’m a complete carnivore.  Even assuming the “data” underlying this pronouncement is legitimate and I risk knocking some years off my life because of it, I simply don’t care:  I’d rather have fewer quality years in this world than more bland, dismal ones.  (This, by the bye, is one of the benefits of a solid belief in the Life Hereafter – you don’t need to worry yourself so much about stretching out your time on Earth.)  Also, mind your own damned business!

For another, I don’t for an instant believe that said data is legitimate.  (The Telegraph article at least hints that there are correlations with other obviously bad lifestyle choices such as failure to eat any veg and lack of exercise.) The WHO is another of these One World Gub’mint entities, whose first priority is the preservation and expansion of its power through the subjugation of us peons to its will, and whose second priority is to bring about the Earthly Utopia under the guidance of its expertise and wisdom.  As I often tell the gels these days, science plus politicks equals politicks (of course, we see exactly the same thing going on in the whole Glo-bull Worming kerfluffle), and history shows us that whenever such forces are combined (i.e., whenever Communism rears its ugly head), objectivity goes out the window, ideology triumphs, a very large number of people wind up dead, and a very large number of the survivors wish they were so.


Anyhoo, ol’ Robbo ordered bacon on his lunchtime turkey sammich today (which, I might ad, I only picked up after finishing my 3.5 mile walk).  I would have done so anyway, but the thought that I was figuratively snapping my fingers under the WHO’s collective nose made it all the more enjoyable.




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Mrs. R reminds me that today marks the 15th anniversary of the day the Family Robbo moved into Port Swiller Manor.

This increases the record for length of time ol’ Robbo has lived in any one place.  (The second slot belongs to his boyhood home in San Antonio into which he moved in 1974 and resided until he went away to college in the fall of 1983.)  Barring some unforeseen circumstances, I can’t think of any particular reason why I should not live here for another fifteen or twenty years, unless I’m either nuked at my downtown office or carried out of here in a box, whichever comes sooner.

I gripe here from time to time about various money pit crises such as the flooding basement saga, but overall I take much satisfaction and even comfort in learning and knowing the quirks of the place (which was originally built in the early 70’s and had only one family owners before us).

Of course, we’ve done a great deal of customizing, tinkering and repairing since we moved in.  I remember an incident about three years after the fact when one of the daughters of teh former owners appeared on the doorstep with what I believe to have been her fiancee.  They were passing through the area and she wanted to show him the house in which she had grown up.  Of course, I was quite willing to let her have the run of the place, but I can never forget the look on her face as she clapped eyes on the front hall and took in what we had already done to it, realizing that her home as she remembered it was gone forever.  She declined to come in, and after a very brief stroll around the yard, cleared off.  I felt a bit sad for her but not apologetic.

I suppose it’s true that you really can’t go home again and I sometimes wonder what it will be like if and when my own children come back to see the place once they’ve gone out into the world.  Given current trends around here, once Mrs. R and I are out the place most likely will be bulldozed and a McMansion constructed in it’s stead.   Eh.

Well, given the subject of my musing, what else can I do except to post the obvious musick video:


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Following up on my previous post, it turned out that Mrs. Robbo didn’t really much want to go to the party either, so we pulled a Bunbury.  Instead, Mrs. R went and gave teh pooch a bath while ol’ Robbo toddled downstairs and popped in the DVD of the old Leslie Howard version of “The Scarlet Pimpernel“.   Once you get past the rayther poor early 30’s production qualities, it’s not a’tall a bad flick.  A couple of observations:

– Very early on in the movie, Howard appears disguised as an old crone sneaking out of Paris.  I would be prepared to bet a fair bit of money that Terry Jones had this exact character in mind in some of his Monty Python drag bits.

oberon– Merle Oberon.  Sink me!

– It is wonderfully disturbing, given the awful times in which we live, to watch a movie about hysterical mobs and ruthless authoritarianism.  Mark Twain is supposed to have said that history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.**

Anyhoo, having watched the flick, I remembered that Anthony Andrews had done a remake in the 80’s which I seem to recall was pretty good, too.  Fortunately, Netflix carries it, so I shall see.  I also tossed in “Danger:UXB“, another Andrews piece and a prime example of the Golden Age of Brit teevee.  Just for good measure, I also went to the devil’s website and picked up the original novel by Baroness Emma Orczy, having never read it before.  While there, I also compulsively picked up another one of Frank Sheed’s theological gems and the autobiographies of Kit Carson and General John Fremont.

And since I was surfing Netflix anyway, I also tossed “The Last Legion” into the queue.  I did this because I enjoy laughing over the absurdity of Colin Firth trying to play a battle-hardened Roman general.  It has absolutely nothing to do with svelte south-Indian beauties in wet, clingy shirts.  Nope, nothing at all, at all.

This is how ol’ Robbo’s so-called mind works.  Probably explains all the headaches.


** I know this is said to be a false attribution, but even if it isn’t true it ought to be.

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