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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, Ol’ Robbo is officially a college dad now after a dropping off of the Eldest Gel that went far, far less stormily than I had feared might be the case. Certainly there were some tears and flares of temper, but once the Gel got over her initial jitters, she grew quite happy. And when it was time for Mrs. Robbo and Self to leave, she didn’t exactly shoo us away, but she trooped off with her roommate to an assembly rather quickly. My last sight of her was when she turned, smiled, and waved before disappearing around a corner. (That one’s going straight into my file of special memories.)

I admit to feeling a knot in my throat a few times over the weekend, but the truth of the matter is that I’m so excited for the gel that I find it very difficult to feel any more than a passing sadness at her leaving us. I know Mrs. Robbo is taking it harder. Whether this is a typical father/mother split reaction or whether I’m just a cold, heartless bastard, I leave to your considered judgment.

Anyway, touching wood and all, but I’ve a hunch that the Gel is going to blossom wonderfully in her new environment.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, Mrs. Robbo picked out the new tile for my basement man cave this morning, so hopefully I’ll finally be back to regular keyboarding by Sunday evening.

What NOVA Curmudgeon said about Mrs. R’s state over the looming departure of the Eldest in the post below sort of came home to me last evening when we got into a debate about whether to change the dog’s diet. (Mrs. R is forever tinkering because she doesn’t think the dog eats enough. My philosophy is to pick one brand and stick with it. When the dog gets hungry enough, she’ll eat.)

Anyhoo, because we’ve had this discussion about eleventy-billion times already, I said, “Look, will you please stop fussing about the dog?”

She replied, “Well, if I don’t fuss about the dog, then I’m going to start fussing about the Gel, and I just don’t want to go there right now.”

Being the sympathetic and understanding fellah that I am, I knew this was my cue. So I took her in my arms, looked deeply into her eyes, and said, “Well, if you’re going to fuss, can you at least do it quietly so I don’t have to listen to it?”

I reckon the bruise on my shin will heal up fine in a few days.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is thumb-posting from the back porch of Port Swiller Manor this evening, the better to enjoy the lovely thunderstorm that just rolled through (well, is still rolling, in fact), after several infuriating days of near misses. It’s about damn time we got even a spot of temporary relief from the wretched Dog Days pattern we’ve been in over the past couple weeks. The only thing that keeps Ol’ Robbo going at this time of year is the knowledge that we can expect the first legitimate pre-fall cool front some time in the first or second week of September. Otherwise, I’d have no real choice but to grab a machete and run amok.

(* Name the singer. This should be a gimme.)

Anyhoo, as regular friends of the decanter know, this weekend is the big college drop off for the Eldest Gel, an event I am finding myself approaching with an admixture of relief, apprehension, disbelief, and denial.

Part of the disbelief is over the speed with which her high school years seem to have flown by after what was an agonizingly long younger period. How does one account for that? It can’t just be the kid’s personality or one ‘s relationship with them, since I’m getting the same feeling with the Middle Gel, who will be a HS junior, as well as the Youngest, who will be a freshman, and they are all wildly different from each other. The phenomenon is much more tectonic than that.

Perhaps I’m just really finally beginning to feel my own advancing age.

Whatever. Fortunately (or not), we seem to have got caught up in the last-second “What do I pack and what have we forgotten and What the Hell is going on?” Boogaloo for me to spend TOO much time over early middle aged navel-gazing. Next few days should prove veeeery interesting! More as events unfold.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter seem to enjoy my occasional posts about odd dreams, I believe? Well, Ol’ Robbo’s got a humdinger for you this time.

I had to fly out to the Mountain West overnight this week on biznay (thus ruining a pre-planned week at Smith Mountain Lake, but never mind).

As I’ve mentioned before, I never sleep well in a hotel, usually drifting between a light doze and wide-awakeness. It was the same this time, with Self becoming fully conscious about every two hours or so.

I had to be up particularly early for my appointment yesterday, so when I found myself awake around 4:30 ack emma, I simply muttered, “Oh, ALL right!” And rolled out of my bunk.

But as I started getting ready, a thought popped into my tiny little mind: “Hold on a tick,” I said to myself, “this is MY bathroom! What on earth am I doing HERE? I know I flew out yesterday, so what’s going on?”

After thinking on it for a moment, I said, “Oh! this must be a dream!”

And then, as they say, I woke up.

I found I was back in my hotel bed. But after breathing a sigh if relief, I suddenly became aware of subtle movement off in the corner shadows. And just as I jumped up and shouted “Burglar!”, some great brute came leaping in to throttle me.

And then, as they say (perhaps rather less often), I woke up again.

I’ve had these dreams within dreams now and again before. They never cease to discombobulate.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’Robbo spent the bulk of today traveling to and from the wilds of southwestern Pennsylvania, there retrieving the Middle Gel from camp. (She and the Youngest did their usual term earlier in the summah, but she had gone back for a second term to work on the kitchen crew.)

As I tooled along I-70, something occurred to me: Back in the day, the standard was “slower traffic keep right” and the general rule was “lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way”. Oh, sure, there were those who ignored this, but at least it was the expectation.

Not so much, anymore. People seem to float all over the lot, driving at any damned speed and oblivious of all around them.

What happened? Were these old-fashioned, common sense measures suddenly deemed “speedist”? The outworn privilege of an acceleration-centric patriarchy? Is it now a thought crime not to respect whatever speed the other driver now identifies with? Am I just a hater?

I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is appalled at the length of his extended absence from his bloggy round table.  My apologies to those two or three to whom this lowly blog makes any difference.  Where the hell has the summah gone?

The Port-swiller home computer still is not back on line and I am sending in this entry via my iThingy, which is a real pain, so I’ll keep this brief:

The good news is that Ol’ Robbo’s man cave should finally be put back together in the next couple weeks, with full communications restored.  The bad news is that I will have much to say on the milestone of the Eldest Gel going off to college, which I’m sure will bore most of you to death.  (Well,thT’s what the decanter is for.). So have another glass, keep faith, and stand by. Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sorry for the recent dearth of posting.  Long story short is that we had yet another basement flood since my last one, finally driving the Eldest Gel to remove herself from said basement and move back into the upstairs bedroom we had been using as an office.  (I nearly herniated myself hauling things up and down the stairs.) I don’t care to reestablish the computer in the basement until we get this water biznay sorted out, so I am essentially off-line at the moment.   Indeed, I only have access right now because I needed to re-up my past-due car registration before the Ogpu got me.  I hauled the computer and printer back up to the gel’s room and am currently typing off the top of her dresser and will have to disassemble it again as soon as I log off.

Anyhoo, sooner or later I’ll be back to regular posts.  In the meantime, help yourselves to the decanter and the stilton is over there on the sideboard.

Toodle-pip!

Collected Aftermath

Collected Aftermath

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo loves to play a little game with Ma Nature: On stormy spring and summah afternoons, he has a look at the radar just before leaving the office and decides whether or not to risk trying to make it home with all the side panels off La Wrangler.  The go/no go decision is based on an average commute time of about 45 minutes or so and the track and speed of the various cells in the neighborhood.

If I win, I get satisfaction.  If I lose, I get rayther wet.

Today, with storms rolling in from the southwest, I timed it to near-perfection, as the rain started within about ten minutes after I got home.  (TRUE perfection is when I park in the garage and am able to scamper out to the mailbox and back just before the deluge.)  But this time I also got an added bonus: As I took my usual pre-dinner shower, I started to hear a series of loud THWACKS!  At first, I thought it was just one of the cats fooling with a toy, but I soon realized the sound was coming from the roof and skylights.  Jumping out, I glanced out the window and saw that we were, in fact, being treated to a hailstorm of some intensity.

It’s been years since we last got any hail round about Port Swiller Manor, so this was a real treat.  (Fortunately, it was mostly somewhere between pea and marble sized, so did little more than knock down a lot of leaves.)  It was also very cool to sit out on the back porch eating dinner and watching the fog rise all around as the hail melted.

Thanks, Ma!

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

With the rain pattering steadily on the roof of Port Swiller Manor and the dog snoring comfortably at the foot of the bed, it was mighty hard for Ol’ Robbo and Mrs. R to stagger to their collective feet this morning.  The thing lead Mrs. R to ask an interesting question:  Do rainy days like this have the same kind of soporific effect on dogs as they do on people?

Frankly, I’ve no real idea.  I’ve never noticed it with the cats, but then again cats sleep about 20+ hours per day anyway.  Dogs? As I say, I dunno.  But I’ll bet it’s possible.

sbc sealGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo ran the Eldest Gel down to Sweet Briar College yesterday for an “accepted applicants weekend” fandango.  (Sorry, Mothe, this is why I didn’t have the chance to call you per the usual.)

I’m not sure which was the stranger experience: Seeing teh Eldest taking her first steps into a wider academic universe as a bona fide collegiate newbie, or running into a couple of faculty again who I knew 25 or so years ago when I was a law student at Dubyanell dating Mrs. R in her undergrad days at SBC.

One thing I am sure of: As part of the weekend, we took a campus tour.  The smells (of the dorms, the academic buildings, of the grounds) haven’t changed a single bit.

And this, to me, is a Good Thing.

Holla, Holla, Holla!

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