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“Aw, Hell……”

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Once again the Babylon Bee proves its status as Americas’ new paper of record:  Chick-Fil-A Trades Adoring Christian Fans For Outrage Mob That Won’t Be Appeased Until Their Every Demand Is Met.

From what Ol’ Robbo can figure out, there are actually several layers of reasoning to the CFA Foundation’s decision to redirect portions of its charity giving, some of which may actually be legitimate in terms of producing more beneficial results.  But the way nooz of this move broke was an absolute P.R. train-wreck, and the resultant popular perception correspondingly disastrous from a culture war point of view:  Whether CFA actually caved to the SJW cry-bullies in moving away from funding the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, many people on both sides sure as heck think it did.  The result is going to be an enormous loss of good will among CFA’s Christian supporters, but there’s not going to be any corresponding gain in such good will on the other side.  When the cry-bullies smell blood, they only push harder.  And I don’t think any amount of post hoc damage control spin is going to have much effect on either of these camps.

As far as the Family Robbo is concerned, we’ve been patrons of CFA since long before any of this culture war stuff erupted because we think the food is tasty and we like the fact that the service is almost invariably polite and efficient., the stores almost always spotlessly clean.  So for now, we’ll most likely keep on chikin’in.  That changes, we’re gone.

(And having written this post, now Ol’ Robbo is all hungry again……)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo got an especially heartfelt chuckle from this article:  Scholars Now Believe Saul Threw Spear At David For Playing Christmas Music Well Before Thanksgiving.

It’s from the Bee so it’s satire, of course.  Or is it?

I haven’t heard any X-mas tunes yet (nor have I seen, for example, reindeer antlers or Rudolph noses on any cars) but they’re coming.  Oh, yes, they’re certainly coming.


As I’ve mentioned here before, the local classickal station starts inserting “holiday” musick into its rotation right after Thanksgiving.  At first, these insertions are fairly sporatic, and I always fall into the trap of thinking maybe it won’t be so bad this year.  But they inevitably crank it up to eleven, and by the time Christmas Eve actually rolls around and the stuff is nonstop, the only feeling the umpteenth airing of “O Holy Night” or “The Holly and the Ivy” raises in my soul is the urge to grab a machete and run amok.  (On the other hand, it takes but a single airing of “If Bach Had Written Jingle-Bells” to make me start smashing the furniture.)

As a matter of fact, I’m considering some Advent abstinences this year.  I usually give up musick for Lent, so perhaps I’ll do the same thing.  As well as being a good spiritual exercise, it might help the ol’ blood pressure, too.

Supplemental greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo rarely does double posts on Saturdays, but my muse provoked me to offer up second helpings this evening in re various DVD’s I’ve watched over the past couple days, baseball season now being over and done.

Know what remains a perpetual delight to me? “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure“.  I’ve watched it umpteen times over the years, both in videotape and now as part of my DVD library, and its loose, good-natured, non-serious tone never grows old.  One of my favorite bits of dialogue:

Bill:  You ditched Napoleon?  Deacon! Do you realize you’ve stranded one of history’s greatest leaders in San Dimas?

Deacon:  He was a dick!

The original Bill and Ted became a cult classic, largely because it didn’t take itself seriously.  The sequel tried too hard to capitalize on this success, largely IMHO because the suits got hold of it, and to me was a dud as a result.  I understand they’re trying for the hat trick now.  Eh, it could go either way.  I’d love if they could recapture the original goofy spirit, but I’m also doubtful.

On another comedic note, I have come to the conclusion on my second viewing that “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” simply isn’t funny.  Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, I know.  But it just. doesn’t. click.  Sorry.

Speaking of Cary, though, this evening Ol’ Robbo indulged himself in “North By Northwest“, probably his very favorite Hitchcock.  The presence of a young and talented Eve Marie Saint may or may not be part of the appeal.  Certainly the fact that I love the theme musick is.

Incidentally, to show what an ignoramus Ol’ Robbo actually is, it was only within the last few weeks that I became aware that the title of this movie was a direct nod to Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

Hamlet: “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

– Act 2, Scene 2

Makes a lot of sense when you think about it, given that the whole damn plot of the film is built on concentric circles of confusion, play-acting and deceit.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Is there some kind of postal regulation that gives a mail carrier the discretion not to serve a box if, in his opinion, it doesn’t meet a given set of safety and anchoring requirements?  Ol’ Robbo is inclined to think there must be, as it’s the only reason that comes to mind to explain why Port Swiller Manor has been boycotted the past couple days by our mailman.  (The only other reason I could think of is that we’ve become victims of the “cancel culture”, but there’s nothing visible outside to give us away as potential targets, and I doubt if the USPS is organized or competent enough to carry out such a campaign on a systemic level.)

What happened was this:  A few weeks back, our box got clipped again for the umpteenth time since we’ve lived here.  The snowplows often get it, but we have our fair share of “clear conditions” hits, too.  One wouldn’t think this likely, since the road is quite straight with a modest uphill grade, but people manage it nonetheless.

This particular strike revealed that the wooden base that sits athwart the crossbars and on which the box is anchored has rotted out over time.  Not having the time to attend to it properly, I just wedged it all back together.  Since then, it’s been disintegrating steadily, and a couple days ago I was reduced to just setting the box atop the wreckage.

I suppose this was just too much for postie.  Not only has he not delivered our mail the past two days, he hasn’t picked up our outgoing stuff either.  (The neighbors confirm they haven’t had any issues.)  He might at least have told us, you know.  Or perhaps slapped a “condemned” sticker on the box.

Anyhoo, all this prompted Ol’ Robbo to get off his duff and fix the damn thing properly this morning.  This entailed ripping out all the rotten stuff, digging some fresh lumber out of the workshop, measuring, sawing, and hammering.  I must say that there is a certain keen enjoyment in successfully completing a job like this (and without getting hit by a car myself).  And, if I may say so, that mailbox ain’t going nowhere now.

At least until the next time somebody hits it.

UPDATE:  My surmise seems to have been correct.  The box was full of the usual bills, catalogues, and college solicitations this afternoon when I got home. Evidently, the postal gods have been appeased.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I suppose it’s axiomatic almost to the point of banality to say that teevee commercials are, on the whole, annoying.  But every now and again, one comes along which, for me, goes beyond the merely irritating and instead provokes genuine ire.

An example of this is a current ad running for (I think) Volkswagen.  It features a hipster high school kid walking home from school.  He’s ear-budded and has his face buried in his iThingy.  As he strides along, various people are forced to get out of his way.  The climax of the ad comes when a neighborhood mom is trying to back out of her driveway as the kid comes up.  She doesn’t see him, but some new anti-collision sensor does and hits the brakes for her. The kid never once looks up but just keeps walking.

It’s that last part that gets me fuming.  Had there been any kind of acknowledgement by the kid that he was acting dumb – a double take, a small wave, a mouthed “sorry” – it wouldn’t have been so bad.  But he remains wrapped up in his own little world throughout.  The arrogance of the thing is breath-taking.

So rather than being impressed by Volkswagen’s new whizz-bang safety tech, I find myself wishing the kid would get hit, and serve his narcissistic idiot self right.  It seems the young people today are more and more indifferent to, not to say contemptuous of, the idea that stupid behavior leads to bad consequences.  This ad just seems to reinforce that mentality.

Oh, and I hate the musick, too.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s return to Metro commuting means that, on his way to his local station, he now drives up a long hill on one of the principal local arteries.  A couple years back, Capital One built a tall, shiny skyscraper in the neighborhood.  It dominates the horizon as I climb said hill.

Evidently, the exterior lighting of the top four floors of this tower is changeable.  So, for instance, during Robbo’s beloved Nats’ post-season run, they were all picked out in red after our more clutch wins.

This morning, I noticed a scheme which I suppose was a left-over from Veterans’ Day yesterday.  It was an attempt to recreate the American flag.  For some reason, however, the lighting system evidently can’t get all that detailed.  Instead of thirteen red and white stripes, they could only manage four.   So the thing looked far more like the Confederate Stars & Bars.

I must admit I smiled malevolently when I noticed this.  Not out of disrespect for veterans or due to pro-CSA sympathies, of course, but just because I loathe corporate idiocy.

Stupid Capital One.  What’s in my wallet? What’s in your braims!


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Per the post below, Ol’ Robbo finds himself loitering about awaiting the garage door repair guy this cold Saturday morning.  So let’s get to it.

♦  Even as I type, I’m watching the wisteria on the porch stairs dropping its leaves, as we had our first really hard freeze this week.  Guess who forgot to pull the ferns off the porch before this happened.  **Whistles, shifts eyes hither and yon**

♦  Another thing I haven’t got round to yet is putting the back seat side panels back on La Wrangler.  I suppose I ought to do so, especially as there’s actually a chance of snow Tuesday, but cold canvas is such a pain to deal with.  Also, the increasing darkness reminds me that half my dashboard lights are out.  I can’t read my speedometer at all without them.  No, officer, I don’t know how fast I was going…..

♦  I had forgot, until I saw it again last evening, that Sally Kellerman was in one of the very first episodes of Star Trek: TOS.  I had to laugh, because I can only ever think of her in one other acting role, and the line, “G_d dammit, Hotlips! Resign your G_d-damned commission!” kept going through my head.  (Yes, Ol’ Robbo is easily amused.)

♦  Youngest has been in charge of closing at her kawfee shop the last day or two.  I asked her how that was.  She says that after working the kitchen crew at Bible-thumper camp and having to clean up the dining hall three times a day after a couple hundred campers go through, it’s a piece of cake.  Heh. (Oh, and she loves her that sweet, sweet paycheck.)

♦  Speaking of working yoots, last weekend when I dropped in our local hardware store, a voice said, “Hi, Mr. Robbo!” I looked up and saw that it was one of the cashiers.  She was a tall gel of about Youngest’s age.  I couldn’t place her at all.  Ol’ Robbo isn’t used to being called out like that and I was so flustered that I just managed to hem and haw enough for politeness sake.  It wasn’t until I got home that I remembered who she was: the pitcher on several little league softball teams I helped coach back in the day.  But she’s about twice as tall as she was the last time I talked to her, so I reckon I’m entitled to a bit of slack here.  Next time, I’ll be prepared.

Well, looking back out the window, I see that buzzards seem to be circling the yard.  I suppose I’d better go see what that’s all about.

And on that note, Epstein didn’t kill himself.

UPDATE:  Door fixed.  Whatever the buzzards were after was just inside the wood line behind the back fence.  That area is so covered with bramble and briar that I couldn’t get back in to it, so I can neither confirm nor deny that it’s Hunter Biden.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was scheduled to have his tufts of hair cut back this afternoon, but at the last minute couldn’t make the appointment.  And why?  Because one of the Port Swiller Manor garage door torsion springs chose today to commit suicide, thus trapping La Wrangler inside.  (I actually heard the thing snap earlier but couldn’t figure out the noise.  It was only when I tried to get out that I discovered the problem.)

I confess that I did NOT see that one coming.  And thank Heaven I was not counting on doing a supply run to the store and Total Bev today, or it could have got ugly.

(Repairman is coming tomorrow.  For those friends of the decanter in the immediate Dee Cee area, we use Academy Door & Control and have always had a very good experience with them.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

The Robbo eye was caught by this little article today:  Recognition of favorite songs almost instant, researchers find.

A snippet:

It happens to everyone: A familiar song comes on the radio, and suddenly you recall every note and every word.

Now, new research has pinpointed exactly how long it takes people to recognize that favorite tune — just 0.1 to 0.3 seconds.

Read the rest, as “they” say.

I’d say this is quite accurate.  As regular friends of the decanter know, Ol’ Robbo listens constantly to the local classickal station during the day (only turning it off during the top-o-the-hour NPR nooz updates with a gratifying “Shut up!“), and I find that it only takes me a bar or two of a piece I know in order for me to recognize it.  (And it doesn’t matter whether I like the piece or not.)

Here’s the funny thing.  I am, without boasting about it, very musickal.  Mrs. R and my brother, on the other hand, are both tone-deaf.  Yet I’ve noticed that they recognize songs they know quite quickly, too.  So whatever the imprinting mechanism, it must be distinct from musickal “talent”.  I dunno what that means, if anything, but there it is.

A glass of wine with the Puppy-Blender.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I’m sure most friends of the decanter have already seen the “holiday” teevee ads bursting forth?  Earlier. Every. Year.  Within my lifetime, I will not be surprised to see said ads appearing the day after July Fourth.  You can bank it.

Oh, and apparently one of the hip new “gifts” being pushed is a “cheat pass” for wives.  (Note to the UK Telegraph: Any couple thinking that way isn’t actually married. Which I suppose is actually the object of this exercise.)

Basta!  Ol’ Robbo has given up railing against all this and instead is leaning toward detachment.  Single candle versus cursing the Darkness and all that.*  Stranger in a Strange Land, perhaps, although I don’t know that reference well enough.  Or, to turn another reference on its head, they can’t take the sky from me.**

I aim to misbehave.  Single candle style, of course. ( **Shifty eyes** )

* I reserve my right, however, to put up snarky posts about hideous neighborhood decorations.

**Spot the slight misquote.




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