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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Before heading out on his anniversary trip, Ol’ Robbo tried to pre-post a couple of entries here apropos to marriage, in order to cover his extended silence.  (You know, so that the three or four of you who actually pay attention to this blog wouldn’t come and sack Port Swiller Manor in my absence.)

Evidently, I did or did not do something I was supposed to under the harsh bloggy strictures of WordPress, because none of said pre-paid posts ever turned up on the main page.

Oh, well.

Anyhoo, I’ll resurrect the meat of just one, a very short Python sketch over which I have laughed immoderately ever since I first saw it.  (Sorry about the subtitles.)

 

Incidentally, “Well you can’t change your bloody wife!!” is not a bad line to consider when you’re going through some of the darker patches.  Trust me on this.

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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Over the past two days, Ol’ Robbo has attempted to leave comments in responses to posts by long-time lovely and talented friends of the decanter Sleepy Beth and Diane, both of whom use Blogsplat.  In each instance, after foiling the fiendish “I am not a robot” security picture challenge (which reminds me of something out of an Indiana Jones adventure – “But in the Latin, ‘Jehovah‘ starts with an ‘I‘”), I keep coming up against the demand that I identify myself by my “Google User” account.

Well, I haven’t got a “Google User” account. And furthermore, I don’t want one.  (Evidently, Middle Gel does and also has accessed it from Ol’ Robbo’s laptop, because that’s the default to which the thing keeps running back. Rayther than getting caught in that potential quagmire, Ol’ Robbo has simply abandoned said attempted comments.)

Previously, Blogsplat had been perfectly happy to recognize me as a simple, country WordPress blogger.  What the heck is going on now?

UPDATE: Wow! Speaking of Blogsplat brought back to Ol’ Robbo the memory of the old Llamabutchers, with whom I started blogging on said platform way in November, 2003.  I had thought those archives long lost, but just now (on a whim) I punched them up to discover…...they’re still there! (By the way, rereading it after fifteen years, I’m still very proud of my first substantive blogpost, in which I thoroughly trash Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings movie.)

UPDATE DUEX: Additional Wow! I had also thought the Llamabutcher bloviations over at MuKnew, to which we transferred, had also been sent back to the primordial pixel slime (like in “Waterworld”), to be lost forever.  Again, I was wrong!

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

At our regular monthly office meeting today, one of our IT wallahs came in to give a presentation on some obscure techie matter.  After introducing himself, he asked our indulgence while he set up his electronics in order to put his talking points up on the big flat screen.***

“I’ll bet you it takes him fifteen minutes of fiddling with his wires and inputs for a presentation that will last no longer than two,” I muttered to a friend sitting next to me.

She groaned appreciatively in anticipation.

Fourteen minutes and thirty seconds later, the thing was finally ready to go.

“And they call me a cynic,” I murmured.

My colleague, to her credit, giggled.

** Any friends of the decanter remember this old comic strip? It was a great favorite among the Family Robbo in my misspent yoot.  “The Urge To Kill”, one of the stock descriptive labels of the strip, had a prominent place in our household lexicon.

*** Of course, he also had the identical presentation in paper form, copies of which were distributed around the room in something short of two minutes flat.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I don’t usually double-post these days, but just as an administrative note, Ol’ Robbo would direct your attention to the Port Swiller blogroll on your left.  As you can see if you’re a regular friend of the decanter, it’s a bit different this evening, as Ol’ Robbo finally got around to cleaning it up.

Basically, I deleted several links to sites (mostly MSM) that I simply don’t read anymore, (And with some of which I’ve come to be in violent disagreement recently.  Yeah, Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg, I’m looking at you!)  The vast majority of changes, however, involve my finally consigning a bunch of links to long-dormant fellow blogs to “Under the Table” status.  I really mean this as a mark of respect.  Even though a lot of these blogs have been dead three, four, five years or more, and some of them have even been deleted completely from their hosts, I like to keep their memories alive because of the impact they’ve had on me.  Bumpers all round, Ladies and Gentlemen, and no heel taps!

Of course, Robbo is well aware of his propensity, when he finally gets up the energy to clean things out, for going a bit overboard.  (Not half as much as Mrs. Robbo, but that’s a story for a different post.)  So if I’ve deleted or reassigned a linky in error, please let me know.  (And, as always, if any friend of the decanter has suggestions for blogs I ought to be reading but am not, please send those in as well.)

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo noted this comment from the Puppy-Blender in the light of all the Face Book privacy violation crap that’s suddenly (yet not surprisingly) surfacing:

I hope a lot of people will move back to blogs and away from big corporate platforms. As I wrote a while back: “I think that the old blogosphere was superior to ‘social media’ like Twitter and Facebook for a number of reasons. First, as a loosely-coupled system, instead of the tightly-coupled systems built by retweets and shares, it was less prone to cascading failure in the form of waves of hysteria. Second, because there was no central point of control, there was no way to ban people. And you didn’t need one, since bloggers had only the audience that deliberately chose to visit their blogs.”

Maybe I should start featuring people who move back to blogs.

Yeah, that would be really nice.  (And can I just note that I’ve been blogging for fifteen years now and although the old Llama Butchers got Insta-lanched a couple times, none of them were actually my posts?  Can ya’ help a retro-buddy out?  Just saying…….)

I still remember those days and the great satisfaction I derived in putting together (well, helping to at any rate) a decent blog and then gradually building up our own unique network of friends and gunnegshuns.  Back then, it felt more like a spirited conversation, free from any sense of restraint by The Man.

Now, I feel I’m more or less mumbling at the clouds, largely because most of the old bloggers I knew have either dropped out of social media altogether or else have gone over to Face Book.

(I’ve got an FB account myself, but I try to keep what I say there rigidly separated from my meanderings here.  And at least on my “personal” page, I’m pretty much reduced to “liking” things like my niece’s prom photos.  The only response I dare there to outbursts of SJW nonsense is to quietly “mute” whoever puts up the post.)

Here’s hoping the exposure of the ugly face of Big Social Media brings about a return to those better times.

___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___

Totally off-topic, I was out a little while ago inspecting the Port Swiller Manor driveway to gage what kind of icing I’m likely to have to deal with tomorrow morning when this puddle image caught my eye:

Single candles, don’t you know.  I thought it was neat enough to capture on my phone and share.  Enjoy!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

An interesting article over to Legal Insurrection on surviving the death of the blogsphere, which death the author attributes to suffocation by way of other social media platforms which have substituted the former free-wheeling, good-timing outlet of opinion with something more dour, miserable, and at times hysterical.

Personally, I’ve never twittered, nor had any interest in doing so.  I am also seriously considering getting rid of my facebook account simply because I can’t really say anything on it worth saying.  (Probably the only thing that stops me is the genuine value I get out of a couple of closed groups devoted to religion and literature.)

But yeah, I remember the Good Old Days.  (Do you know that Ol’ Robbo has been blogging since November of 2003?  Yes, indeed – first with the old Llama Crew, and from behind the decanter here since July of 2008.)  It was all so interactive and creative back then, with lots of us small fish meeting up through random linkage and comments, and eventually building little bloggy families.  Even though most of my fellows have hung it up now, I still keep the links to their old sites up in fond remembrance, more as mementos to the past than anything else.

Nowadays, of course, it’s quite different.  I can’t recall the last time anybody linked one of my posts.  Fifty views is a good day for me, as opposed to the 500-odd we used to get back in the day.  If WordPress is to be believed, there are about 30 of you who follow this blog, and I get very, very little outside traffic.

But you know what?  Ol’ Robbo doesn’t really care.  After all, this is a hobby, not something I’m dependent on for a living.  (Thank Heaven!) It’s a place where I can come and just toss things off at random as they come welling to the surface of my alleged brain, plus get in a little practice at writing.  And even though my voice is absolutely miniscule in the greater scheme of things, I like to think that I’m still making at least some impact on some people, even if just a few.

So here’s a glass of wine with you all!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

On the way home to Port Swiller Manor this evening, Ol’ Robbo swears he found himself stuck behind someone who was watching teevee while he was driving.  Seriously – I could see his iThingy up on his dashboard with what looked like some guy doing stand-up on the screen.  We were stopping and starting, and this doofus driver kept letting large gaps open up in front of him before he’d notice and then scurry to catch up.

Yeesh! 

Have people really gone that absolutely bat-shite insane? Have they really become so completely self-absorbed that their personal entertainment trumps all other considerations? Have they become so utterly beholden to their little rectangular electronic gods that they can’t tear themselves away from adoration even for a moment?  (Don’t answer – these are rhetorical questions.  Of course they have.)

It’s almost superfluous to add that the car had Murrland plates on it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As promised, Ol’ Robbo made himself bring along his laptop on his current biznay trip, and so I am now posting for the very first time here from the comfort of my hotel room.

Ain’t technology wunnerful.

We were chatting with the clerk while we checked in this afternoon.  Without completely giving away my location, this town is right in the bulls-eye for the big solar eclipse that will move across the United States next month.

The usual rate for this place is $91 per night.

Know what they’re charging for that week?

$1100 per night.  And they’re booked solid.

So is everyone else.

Apparently, a lot of locals are also renting out their houses for the event – and charging similarly primo, not to say, ridiculous rates.

The other clerk told us that somebody even called him seven years ago to see if they could book a room that far in advance so as to catch the festivities.  (The answer was no, apparently.)

Who knew a total eclipse was such a thing?

(Apparently, we’ll get about a 75% eclipse in the Port Swiller Manor neighborhood.  That’s plenty for me.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I believe that after all these years (almost 14 by my count) of blogging, today marks an historick first, insofar as I am posting today for the very first time from the immense comfort of my hammock on the back porch of Port Swiller Manor.

I must say, I could seriously get used to this.   (Indeed, one of the Four Things which Ol’ Robbo hopes to do when and if he is ever able to retire is to turn his attention to more serious writing.  If I’m not mistaken, none other than William Makepeace Thackeray is said to have done his very best work while similarly lounging in his hammock, so you never know!)

And what are the Four Things, you ask? Well, as I say, one of them is serious writing.  Another is to reform my garden from a butterfly-bush wilderness into an orderly, civilized set of flower beds.  The third is to actually sit down and work up some piano musick to performance level, instead of forever sight-reading.  Finally, I want to take up golf again, which I haven’t seriously played in 25 years.

So there you are.

Anyhoo, a few odds and ends for you:

♦  We had a very cool and wet spring in the neighborhood this year, with a resultant lushness that I haven’t seen in quite some time.  Indeed, so much so that the hedge of hollies which we planted along the sidewalk out front some years ago have positively exploded.  T’other day, Ol’ Robbo came home to find a piece of paper taped to his mailbox.  Its gist was that the hollies were sticking branches out over the sidewalk and could we please cut them back.  It was signed, “Your friendly neighbors.”

I’ll give them that the trees needed pruning (which I did yesterday), but there is something about the passive-aggressive nature of this “friendly” notice that really irritates Ol’ Robbo.  Indeed, I was half-tempted to scrawl “Balls to you!” on the thing and just leave it there.

Ah, well, at least it was a tad better than the little snirp who, once or twice over the years, has actually hacked down some of my branches and simply left them lying all over the sidewalk.  I caught him at it once, and it was only the gray hairs on his head that kept me from taking a horsewhip to him.

♦  Speaking of horsewhips, Ol’ Robbo realizes more and more what a bye he got with the Eldest Gel not being at all interested in dating when she was in high school.  Suddenly it seems both of the younger Gels have romantic irons in the fire, and Ol’ Robbo’s stomach muscles are tightening accordingly.  (Actually, the Youngest’s is a very polite and sensible young man, who I think I like.  She’s so besotted with him that she’s actually going to try and take honors chemistry next year because he is.  Gawd!)

♦  And speaking of the Younger Gels, it’s off to Bible-Thumper Camp tomorrow morning.  This will be Middle Gel’s tenth year and Youngest’s eighth.  (Right now, all of Robbo’s wymminz are in the kitchen, squabbling over a trip to Tarzhay to pick up last-second supplies.  Why does everything have to be so complicated?  Ol’ Robbo is feigning deafness.)

♦  Oh, and have I said it lately?

LET’S GO, NATS!!!

Whelp, that’s about it for now.  Another advantage of hammock-blogging, now that the Gels have left on their equipment-run, is that I can simply hit the power button, close my laptop, and go nappy-byes.

As I say, I could get used to this.  Zzzzzzz………

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is out on the porch this pleasant Saturday evening, lap-top in, er, lap, glass of wine at his elbow, watching the sunlight gradually withdraw from the sky.

A few idle thoughts for you:

♦   Eldest Gel called me at work yesterday morning, positively fuming.  “DAD!” she said, “I just got my latest paycheck and…..WHAT THE HELL IS IT WITH ALL THESE DAMNED TAXES?!!!”

Because I am what I am, I immediately remembered that line from one of the first episodes of “Friends” when Jennifer Aniston’s spoiled-rich-girl-tossed-into-street character gets her first coffee shop paycheck: “Who is this FICA guy? And why does he get my money?”

Also because I am who I am, I responded by quoting the paycheck gal from “Raising Arizona”: “The gubmint do take a bite, don’t she!”

This wasn’t exactly a Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus thing for her, as she’s already deeply suspicious of the State, but her long-standing theories are now being backed up by experience.

♦ Middle Gel and I caught the end of our beloved Nationals’ third straight win against the hapless Mets earlier this evening.  The team were wearing these weird, sky-blue hats and socks and whatnot.  The Mets, and the umps for that matter, also had various sky-blue accessories.  Everyone seemed to be wearing ribbons, too. Puzzled, the Gel looked it up on the innertoobs: apparently this is some sort of Fathers’ Day Weekend tribute.

Ol’ Robbo dearly wishes the MLB would just cut this sort of thing out.  This is baseball, for Pete’s sake, not the Virtue Signalers’ Club.  Furthermore, some of these stunts go well into subject matters on which, shall we say, not everyone actually agrees, even though it’s politically incorrect to say so.   Knock off the ribbon-bullying and stick to the game, says I!

(Oh, and while Ol’ Robbo is handing down directives, get rid of the damned DH rule, too!)

UPDATE:  Gratuitous on-point first attempt at posting YooToob clip from my laptop:

 

 

♦  Finally, Youngest Gel, some time this past wintah, bought tickets to go see her favorite band, 21 Pilots, play a concert in Columbus, Ohio this week.

The problem? Said Gel didn’t bother to coordinate with anyone about a) whether she was actually allowed to go, or b) if she was, how she was actually going to get there.  In typical Youngest Child mentality, she figured she’d present the concert as a fait accompli, and rely on our scrambling to find a way to make it happen.

Gel is now having a sadz because she finally realizes that we’re not going to accommodate her.  (Sorry, no.  I wouldn’t let Eldest Gel drive you that far even if she wanted to, which she doesn’t.)

Next battle? When year-long insufficient GPA warning meets passionate desire to get learner’s permit.

The tears.  They’re……delicious.

Am I a very bad man?  I think so.  I think so.

UPDATE DEUX:  Sun now long gone, I see the fireflies are out this evening.  First time I’ve seem them this year.  Ol’ Robbo dearly loves him some fireflies.  They’re so….shiny.

 

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