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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.)

 

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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.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Friends of the decanter may be interested to know that, after several months of excruciating thumbs-only blogging from his iPhone, Ol’ Robbo is typing out this post with (most of) his ten fingers on a brand-new Acer Aspire E 15, an early Fathers’ Day gift courtesy of Mrs. R. (We decided that trying to revive the dead iMac in Robbo’s study probably just wasn’t worth the bother.)

Yee, as they say, haw!

As I sat at the kitchen table this evening setting the thing up, the two Elder Gels draped themselves over the back of my chair kibitzing in a most officious and condescending (not to say, amused) manner about Ol’ Dad trying to deal with 21st Century technology.  (That my very first act, before even turning the durn thing on, was to paste a square of duct-tape over the camera lens, was a source of additional hilarity.  Inept and paranoid in their eyes, I am.)

Whipper-snappers.

They’d have thought it even funnier a few moments ago as I tried unsuccessfully to figure out how to download a picture from my email account to this post.  Cut, paste, and save are still sweet mysteries on this thing, but I’ve no doubt I’ll sort them out, as Manuel would say, “Heventualleeeee!”

Anyhoo, I’m back.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is enjoying a much-appreciated Friday off today. My sole achievement so far has been to refill the bird feeders off the porch, and even then I didn’t bother to change out of my robe and jammers. Hey, I like to watch the birds with my morning coffee. Got a problem with that?

On the whole home computer thing, I’m beginning to lean towards a Laptop of Robbo’s Own.  (Everyone else at home has one, so why not?) Any suggestions? I really only would use it for on-line shopping/research and blogging, so I don’t need anything fancy-shmancy (or pricey). Mrs. R wants me to take the desktop into the Apple store to see if they can fix it, but it strikes me that would probably wind up costing just as much.

Eldest Gel is home for the weekend.  She asked me last evening what I thought of Bitch McConnell telling Liawatha to sit down and shut up in the Senate.  I replied that he also should have told her to go make him a sammich.  The Gel laughed heartily.  That’s my gel!

Well, I suppose I should shift myself soon, as my non-paying job never ends: tax docs to prepare, lightbulbs to replace, and a run to the Bost Office today. But first? Maybe one more cup o’ Joe.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Finally, finally, for the first time since about mid-May, ol’ Robbo is once again posting over the family Mac in the comfort and convenience of his basement lair.

The power! THE POWER!! THE POOOOWERRRR!!!!

Mwahahahaha…..

So just a small sample of this and that to get back into the feel of things:

♦   Regular friends of the decanter may be wondering how the Eldest is doing her first week of college?  Well, as to be expected, the barometer has swung pretty wildly between “Stormy” and “Set Fair” as she begins to internalize just what she’s got herself into.  She reports that she took her first road trip over to Hamster-Squidney Friday evening and hated it. “Nothing but beer and pot,” was her dismissive summary.  (Scots Presbyterian roots run deep.)  Somehow or other, this rejection doesn’t bother ol’ Robbo very much.

♦  Do you know what a “tiguan” is?  Neither did ol’ Robbo.  Neither did the Volkswagen salesman from whom we bought a used one yesterday for the Middle Gel, who will be a high school junior this year.  He thought it had something to do with wind.  Turns out that it was just the idea of some German marketing-wallah who thought it would be hip to blend together the words “tiger” and “iguana”.  I’ve no idea why.

♦  In case you missed it, Tom Wolfe has a new book coming out entitled The Kingdom of Speech.  From the ad copy over at the devil’s website, it doesn’t sound like another one of his sledge-hammer social satires, but instead something of a more academic nature:

Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech–not evolution–is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements.

From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.

Whatever you want to call it, I plan to pick up a copy.

Well, that’s enough to start.  As I mentioned below, ol’ Robbo is starting his summah hols, and since I’m not planning on going anywhere, I’ll probably spend a fair bit of time flittering about on the innertoobs, catching up with a bunch of blogs I haven’t been able to conveniently get too in my forced exile.

In the meantime, I’m off to Netflix to charge up the ol’ queue, which has been dry as a bone for about a month.  See you soon!

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