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US_flag_13_stars_–_Betsy_Ross

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo will be away tomorrow retrieving the younger gels from camp and probably will not have much time for posting over the holiday weekend, so let me go ahead and wish you all a happy 4th of July here and now.

Unfortunately, I must say that I cannot recall another 4th in my half century on this earth when I did not feel more anger, disgust, and fear about the state and direction of our country than I do now.  We’re despised by our allies and laughed at by our enemies.  At home, we’ve slipped into what amounts to soft fascism and rampant social libertinism, all the while floating our “lifestyle” with money that doesn’t actually exist.  21st Century bread and circuses, indeed.

Of course it can’t go on because both math and the gods of teh copybook headings are hard.  My only hope is that when the crisis comes on (and it will), we remember what we came from and will rebuild accordingly.

In the meantime, fire up your grills, grab your favorite adult beverages, pop a few (real) fireworks, and salute the flag, not for what it represents now but for what it has stood for and can stand for again.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sorry, I don’t at the moment have anything particularly weighty to say after the recent seismic upheavals in the Body Politick other than “Dum spiro, spero“.  Perhaps I will venture on some more substantive musings in the near future, perhaps not.  I can tell you this:  Teh Eldest Gel, who has become a keen follower of current events, noted earlier this evening that progressives don’t argue, they have temper tantrums.  “It’s like they’re a bunch of goddam toddlers!” she said.   Yep.

In the meantime, since his beloved Nationals aren’t playing this evening, ol’ Robbo is going to settle in for an “Arrested Development” festival.  As I have said here before and, no doubt, will say again, it is my considered opinion that this was the single funniest program ever put on television.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Mrs. Robbo left this morning to go visit her parents for a couple days, teh younger gels are off at summah camp and I hardly ever see the eldest anymore, so this weekend is effectively just your host and his menagerie.  Woo Hoo!

♦   Thanks to what was a pretty strong consensus here, I ordered a new set of headphones for my musickal evenings this morning.  Thankee muchly for your recommendations.  It only took me two months to get around to it.  Procrastinate we much?

♦    Speaking of electronics, I find myself hating smartphones more and more.   I especially despise the zombie-like way everyone seems to stare at them, oblivious to their surroundings.

♦    I see where Phil Austin, who played Nick Danger for Firesign Theater, died this week.  My college roommate first put me on to these guys and I wound up buying a couple of their albums.  True, it’s dirty hippy stream-of-consciousness drug humor, but it was still pretty durn funny.  (I say “was” because I had cassette tapes, now long gone, and it must be close to twenty years since I last listened to them.)

♦  I also see where the Vegas odds-makers are betting Robbo’s beloved Nationals are going to win it all this year.   I dunno, but since we just got done sweeping both the Bucs and the Braves, I’m starting to get excited.  [Insert obligatory “Great kid, but don’t get cocky” here.]  We’re supposed to start a series against the despicable Phillies this evening, but I don’t know if the weather is going to cooperate.

♦  Fence guy is coming tomorrow to slap up some wire on the fence in the Port Swiller backyard, thereby allowing us to literally let Daisy off the leash on occasion (under supervision, of course, in case she proves a digger).  We decided against the whole Invisible Fence thing because of the price and the complexity and because I’m unwilling to try training her on it when she’s already so skittish around me.  The squirrels and the woodchucks are in for a nasty surprise.

♦   Speaking of the back yard, ol’ Robbo demonstrated his apparent genius for stumbling across yellow jacket nests yet again the other evening.  I was throwing up a tarp against a corner of the house where we think water is getting into the basement again and thumped down a paving stone literally within two inches of one of their burrows.  Fortunately, a storm was rolling in and it was already quite dark, so even though I disturbed them, they only came out sluggishly and I got away without being stung this time.

Well, also speaking of the back yard, time to go mow it before the rain rolls in.  Whatever terrible nooz comes out today, I’m not going to let it ruin things for me.  Don’t you let it, either.

UPDATE: Done and done.  Everything’s mown, trimmed and blown so it can rain now ’til its eyes bubble for all I care.  And, Eldest Gel, who has been working all week at her church’s vacation bible school, is bringing me home an egg, cheese and bagel sammich.  FTW!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This evening, ol’ Robbo popped over to the devil’s website and bought himself the 7oth Anniversary Edition of “Gone With The Wind”.  Why? Because he fears that, if some people have their way, the movie will be disappeared from public view as suddenly have been all Confederate-relatated symbols at National Park gift stores, major retailers and on-line game producers, and as some hope will be at various national memorials, statues and monuments.

Not that I hold any particular brief for displaying the Confederate Battle Flag.  I certainly wouldn’t want one.  After all, my people were Scots Presbyterian Abolitionists who ran a stop on the Underground Railroad in southern Ohio, and my great, great grandfather was a Union artillery officer who fought in the Atlanta Campaign.  But I tolerate the right of others to display the CBF much as I’m asked to tolerate things like crucifixes in jars of wee-wee or Illinois Nazis (I hate Illinois Nazis) or Che or Mao t-shirts, and I fear and detest this kind of digital Jacobin airbrushing.

Anyhoo, this allows me to trot out a story I’m sure I’ve told here before:  Mrs. R had a classmate in college whose grandmother knew Margaret Mitchell back in the day and who attended the world premier of GWTW in Atlanta.   A year or two after we were married, we dropped in on this classmate for a visit and got taken to meet her grandmother at brunch.  As I recall, teh woman was aged and petite but ramrod-straight.

When the classmate introduced us to her grandmother, the woman’s first question was, “Wheyah are you from?”

“Well, we live just outside Dee Cee in teh Virginia suburbs,” I answered.

“No, no,” she said, “Wheyah are yor people from?”

“Erm…,” I replied, “Well, my family has roots in Ohio and Upstate New York, and Mrs. R is from Long Island.”

“Oh,” she sniffed, and I could tell exactly what she was thinking: “Dayum Yankees!

UPDATE:  Whoops! Catching up on the comments to posts below, I see that I, in fact, told this same story within the past 48 hours.  Sorry about that.  Know what else I’ve done two days straight?  Accidentally left my wallet at the office.

I thought I had a few years before Alzheimers’s set in.  Guess not.

UPDATE DEUX: Prof. Mondo has thoughts on the vainglory and moral preening behind the airbrush movement.

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As I mentioned immediately below, Mrs. R spent the day yesterday running the younger gels up to their summah camp, carpooling with a friend of ours and her son.  It was only upon her return to Port Swiller Manor rayther late in the evening that I learned the party had got somewhat lost on the way there.

“How on earth did that happen?” I asked.

“Well,” said Mrs. R, “the GPS steered us to the wrong highway and then it took a while for us to realize it and get back going in the right direction.”

Eh, whaaaa…..?” I said.  “Never mind the fact that the camp directions specifically say not to rely on GPS to get there.  We’ve been running the gels up to that camp and back for something better than eight years now.  Do you mean to tell me that you still don’t know the way?”

“Well,” she said, “You know I’m not very good with directions.”

But, but….,” I said, “amongst the five of you in the car, you must have made that trip fifty times in the aggregate.  Are you telling me nobody knew how to get there?”

“Well, no,” she answered.

At this there was much eye-rolling and hair-pulling by your host.  Jesus. Mary. Joseph.  Ol’ Robbo is a complete shark for geography, directions and what might be summed up as general self-orientation/awareness and it absolutely flabbergasts me that the people around me can be so…. cavalier about such things and also so increasingly dependent on technology to tell them where to go.  Regular friends of the decanter will know that I speak the truth when I say that I have been on about this for years and years.  As sure as Shire-talk, this is part of Skynet’s plan: condition people to become utterly dependent on their GPS systems and then, on Judgement Day, steer them straight into pre-arranged ambushes.

Do not tell me I didn’t warn you.

Grrrrrr…..

I also mentioned in the post below that teh Eldest Gel and a friend took a jaunt down to King’s Dominion yesterday.  Apparently head-swollen by her successful completion of this trip, she announced today that she wished to drive down by herself to Virginia Beach this coming weekend in order to meet up with her godmother and attend some sort of Sweet Briar College celebratory do.

Mrs. R hemmed and hawed about it, but when I learned of said Eldest’s plan, my one-word response was NYET!

Honest to God: A 17 year old novice driver trying to negotiate the worst beach traffic in the Mid-Atlanatic alone? I. Don’t. Think. So.  Hell, I hate making that run and do everything I can to avoid it.

Teh Eldest and I spoke about the biznay this evening.

“Daughter,” I said, “You know I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do this.  Period.”

“You mean you won’t let me do this, not that you can’t, DAD.  You’re the lawyer, DAD.  Be clear about your word choice, DAD.”

“Can’t, won’t.  Whatever floats your boat. Bottom line is that it isn’t happening.”

Hmmph!” she said, stalking off to her room, “You’re awful, DAD.”

“Yes,” I replied, “I’m a mean old man.”**

And there it ended.

As for battle honors, I knew based on her relatively token protest and her resorting to semantics that she knew I was right about this one.   But really, it was a no-brainer.

**Spot the quote.

UPDATE: Sheesh, you guys!  It’s Mal Reynolds from the pilot episode of “Firefly“:

Kaylee: [sounding weak, but cheery] Oh, don’t you worry none. Doc fixed me up… pretty. He’s nice.
Mal: Don’t go working too hard on that crush, mei-mei. Doc won’t be with us for long.
Kaylee: [big smile] You’re nice, too.
Mal: [smiles] No, I’m not. I’m a mean old man.

Now I know there are Browncoats among the friends of the decanter, because I’ve talked here before about the fact that Joss Whedon was a classmate of mine in college and how amazed I am that such a typical Hippy Progressive Fascist could have turned out such a Libertarian teevee show.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was going to stay completely off the topic of this week’s brutal mass-murder down in Charleston because the story line seemed so inevitable: psycho-monster slaughters innocents; vultures swoop in on still the warm corpses to push their various politickal agendas (race, guns, self-aggrandizement, etc.); street thugs take advantage of the situation to go wild; civilisation crumbles just a bit further.

I’ve seen this movie before.

However, what I didn’t expect was the complete awesomeness of teh victims’ families:

Relatives of the nine people shot down during a Bible study session inside their historic black church confronted the 21-year-old suspect Friday during his initial hearing. They described their pain and anger, but also spoke of love.

“I forgive you, my family forgives you,” said Anthony Thompson, whose relative Myra Thompson was killed. “We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. … Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”

My friends, this is Christianity in action.  First, the obvious nod to the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  Second, though, note the plea that the killer repent.  Repentance isn’t just an empty “Yeah, man, I’m sorry.”  It also requires suitable penance.  In this case, indeed, it may very well require submission to the full weight and penalty of the Law, i.e., a trip to teh Chair or whatever it is they use down in South Carolina these days.   But if Stormdoor (or whatever his name is) actually does this sincerely, the relatives recognize that his soul can still be saved.  These people are thinking the long game, not just our brief appearance here on Earth.

That, as I say, is a true understanding of Christian salvation.  And I tell you truly that I’m not sure, given the same set of circumstances, that I could myself measure up to these brave folks.

God bless ’em.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ace picked up on a story this afternoon about some hipster-doofus preening over his company establishing a “penalty” jar for anyone using the expression “you guys” in the workplace.  Because sexist, non-inclusive micro-aggresion.  Or something.  G’wan over and read it.

For the record:

As most friends of the decanter know, ol’ Robbo is the sole male entity at Port Swiller Manor, his wife, his children, his cats and his dog all being members of what used to be called the Fairer Sex.  I address the various combinations of them as “you guys” all the time.  They, at least the ones who speak English, do the same.  To date, none of them have burst into flames, turned into pillars of salt or otherwise been reduced to quivering jellies of oppressed helplessness by my thoughtless, patriarchal labels.  I get tagged for all kinds of Bad Dad infractions these days, but this ain’t one of them.

And for bonus points?  One of my very best friends (besides Mrs. Robbo, of course) is a woman.  We’ve known each other a quarter century.  We call each other “dude” in homage to our mutual liking of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.  Again, no psychological scarring that I’m aware of.

So I’m going to file this one under “passive-aggressive bullying”.

What I wonder is this:  In part because of my job and in part just because, Ol’ Robbo is pretty up on teh Innertoobs and all the newz and memes and whatnot that get flashed across them, so I’ve got what amounts to bench seats in the current social wars.   Of course I’m going to see things like this.  But how much farther out does it travel?  How far into what one might call, resorting to classical thinking, the res publica does this kind of virus spread?

My hope, when I find myself feeling overwhelmed from time to time by the SJW assault on Civilisation, is that the majority of people simply ignore such things, either intentionally or else simply because they’re too busy focusing on other matters.

Yes, that’s my hope and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, hang on….I just got a message that there’s a “Mr. Odoacer” at the door who wants to have a word.  Be right back.  I’m sure he’s just distributing pamphlets or looking for petition signatures.

In the meantime, speaking of Bill and Ted and “Dude!”, one of my favorite bits from the movie:

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those of you who do not follow ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nationals, I should preface this post by noting that the Nats have a lot of new faces in their bullpen this year and, as of the first week of June, are still trying to figure out who are going to be their go-to set up men in the 7th and 8th, ahead of Drew Storen in the 9th.

JanssenAmong the mix of said faces is Casey Janssen, a pitcher with the Blue Jays of Toronto for some years before coming over to Dee Cee this year.  He had some injuries, and has only recently started to appear in our games on a more regular basis.

The few times I’ve seen Janssen whilst watching games on tee-vee, I’ve found myself saying, “Self, who is this guy? Wait! I know! Something to do with heresy…..Arianism? No.  Manichaeism?  No.  Wait! Now I remember! Jansenism!

(I will not even attempt to summarize Jansenism here.  Suffice to say that it is a heresy focused on the fault line between free will and predestination.)

Anyhoo, that’s what I use in order to remember him.  Crossing streams, I know.  However, should he make a good name for himself pitching, that problem goes away.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to mention this.  After thinking it over, I have self-identifed as Napoleon.  In future, I expect all of you friends of the decanter to address me as “Sire“.  See to it.

UPDATE DEUX:  Most friends of the decanter probably will pick up on the Monty Python riff in the title of this post.  (Well, I hope you will.)  I should note here that I think this sketch was far funnier in record form than it was in the original tee-vee series.  Ol’ Robbo has long-standing opinions on the effectiveness of various Python bits.  Some worked best on film, some worked best in studio, some worked best in audio.  It all had to do with timing,  inflection, and chemistry.  Not sure that I can come up with a grand unification theory to explain all my opinions, but they’re definite nonetheless.  Go ahead and ask me about a given sketch and I’ll give you my analysis.  Go on, I dare you.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, ol’ Robbo hasn’t much postie material to work with this evening.  Historickally speaking, particularly for Royal Navy sharks, this is the anniversary both of the Glorious First of June in 1794 and of the celebrated frigate action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon in 1813, but I’ve done those before and am not feeling ready to recycle them.

In re current events, much of today’s nooz cycle was taken up with the Supremes’ decision in the case of the Muslim gel who was denied a job at Abercrombie because of her head-scarf.  Alas, although I have a very deep professional interest in that decision, I can’t possibly talk about it here.  (And my opinion might not be what you think.)

Additionally, the ball game scheduled for this evening between Robbo’s beloved Nats and the Blue Jays of Toronto was postponed due to the monsoon-like conditions that descended on the Dee Cee area this evening and resulted in a right drenching on my commute home.

HOWEVER, for the benefit of those of you stationed about the decanter, now that a dog has joined the strength of the Port Swiller Manor establishment, I have a terrific, automatic fallback whenever I need something about which to write.  I mean, who doesn’t like posts about dogs, amirite?

DaisyAnyhoo, an update about our dear Daisy, who really is a complete sweetheart.

First, she went to the vet this week for a check-up.  The vet thinks she’s actually younger than the seven years we were told by the rescue people.  Perhaps five or six.  Teeth good, ears good, eyes good, heart and lungs good, she’s in fine shape.

Second, she definitely has warmed up to me.  Indeed, I spent much of this evening rereading my McAuslan with Daisy flopped out on my lap.  I don’t know her actual weight but I would guess it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 lbs.  Thus, she’s on the heavy, but still plausible, end of lap-dogdom.  She certainly thinks so at any rate.

Third, from our walks together I have noticed that she has an interest in and  hatred of Jacobin squirrels that would receive the stamp of approval from Jonah Goldberg’s late, lamented Cosmo.  One needs to be careful to keep a firm grip on the leash whenever she gets the idea that these secular-Utopianist tree-rats might be in the immediate area.

Fourth, speaking of walks, in my yoot in the South Texas exurbs, the idea of picking up one’s dog’s, er, output would have been met with howls of derisive laughter.  (Of course, we didn’t really “walk” our dogs.  Our yard was a couple acres and they mostly did their biznay along the tree-line at the edge.  When they dropped closer in, well, you just remembered it and avoided the spot until Ma Nature had disposed of it.)  I have not yet got used to this task.

Fifth, the other morning I had my first dog-walking social encounter, spending ten minute chatting with a complete stranger as our pooches got to know each other.  I can well see why college boys keep dogs when they can.

Sixth, I am delighted at the way Mrs. R and Daisy have come together.  The whole reason I have been without doggy companionship since the early 90’s is that Mrs. Robbo insisted she was not a “dog person”.  Daisy has, I think, been an eye-opener for her.  Granted, starting from scratch with a puppy is a whole different ball-game, but I already can see that this “starter dog” biznay, i.e., dealing with one that has already been broken in, was the right initial step.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats are off this evening,  so it looks like I’ll be dipping back into the Netflix queue.  Next up is “Bridge on the River Kwai”.  Heck of a long film, but I find that if you fast-forward through the bits where William Holden is standing around looking moody, the thing is more manageable.

In the meantime, I see that there has been some crowing and gnashing of teeth (depending on your point of view) over a Gallup poll out this week that purports to show that the country is shifting left on many moral issues.  The poll has been being conducted annually since 1999 and claims that this year, for the first time, social liberals and social conservatives are “at parity”.

Frankly, I don’t think I buy this.  On the one hand, I believe there’s no question that what I might call Left-libertinism has become more and more fashionable in recent years thanks to the cheerleading from the gub’mint, the academy, the MSM and Hollywood.  On the other, though, I can’t help wondering if the supposed decline in the number of people holding conservative social values isn’t really a decline in willingness to answer pollster questions about such values.  In an interview this week, Marco Rubio said that mainstream Christianity is on the verge of being tagged as “hate speech”.  Whether this is a correct assessment or not (and, FWIW, I think it is), my observation suggests that a good many people believe it and are simply clamming up.

Personally, I never answer polls or surveys, nor do I discuss moral or politickal issues with anyone outside my family or close, trusted friends.  Long-time friends of the decanter will know that, even in more-or-less bloggy anonymity, I have cut back steadily on commentary about such matters here since 2008, and that this place is nothing like the flesh-flying-out-the-windows-inconveniencing-the-passers-by air of the ol’ Llama Central before that.   That’s no accident.  Prudence, i.e., the protection of my family from harassment, calls for it.   On the other hand, I, of course, strive to keep the candle lit and on a candlestick to give light to all within Port Swiller Manor.  Eh, what can you do?

The punch line, to which I turn for comfort repeatedly, is that Truth is Truth no matter what fashion or the law says, and that it will prevail in the end.  You can’t take the sky from me.

Now, off to the movies….

 

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