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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.

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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!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As of this afternoon, Ol’ Robbo finally got to start his summah vacation.

Two (three?) weeks ago, I had planned to join the family, along with the family of the Former Llama Military Correspondent, at beautiful Smith Mountain Lake in Ol’ Virginny, but was compelled instead to fly out to a court hearing in the Mountain West.

So much for that.

I also considered taking last week off, but again got kyboshed by court biznay.

Grrrrr..,.

Finally, though, I drew the line. I’m taking next week off, dammit, and that’s that. Perhaps it was the crazed look in my eye, but nobody down the office objected.

I’ve known I was worn out this past month, but I perhaps didn’t realize just how much until I came home early to Port Swiller Manor this afternoon and immediately fell asleep.

So what does Ol’ Robbo plan to do with himself until after Labor Day? Oh, the fun never ends! Monday, I finally get my contacts updated. (The eye-strain lately has been something fierce.  Probably should not be driving.). I also plan to whack back the forsythia to encourage better blooms next spring. And if I’m REALLY feeling wild, there’s probably an oil change in the near future.

Woo. Hoo.

As for posting, the long saga of the Port Swiller man cave floor ended this morning, so Ol’ Robbo will be re-connecting the House iMac tomorrow and can finally say goodbye to this iPhone thumb-blogging nonsense. Expect….blather.

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 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 »

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