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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s been away from the decanter for the past couple days owing to a biznay trip that took me up the coast.  Since my destination was within the “Acela Corridor”, I took the train there and back.  Aside from the typically grungy stations with which one has to deal, I really don’t mind train travel at all.

I happened to be in the “quiet car” on the way up.  A couple of young jackass lawyers (but I repeat myself) were seated in front of me, talking at the top of their voices.  I was amused the first time the conductor came by and told them to knock it off.  I was delighted the second time he came by and said he’d throw them out of the car if they didn’t shut up immediately.  It took much willpower to stop myself from getting up and shaking his hand.

On the way back, I found myself sitting behind a bunch of young middle-management types.  Amongst other things, they were discussing tactics and strategies for ongoing deal negotiations by their firm.  Ol’ Robbo was shocked:  Does nobody understand the concept of proprietary information and the conscious need for security these days?  How did they know I wasn’t a representative of the other side furiously scribbling down everything I overheard?  Sheesh!

They were also comparing the lavish overseas vacations they had taken or were planning to take with their wives and girlfriends.  In the mixed company of a train car, this strikes me as downright rude and vulgar, and just the sort of thing to set the Bolsheviks rioting.  I believe the not-so-prosperous-looking yoot sitting across from me felt the same way.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I hope you all had good Thanksgiving Day celebrations and are now loafing about, recovering from the after-effects.

As usual, the Family Robbo packed up and went to see my brother and his down in North Carolina.  Brother managed to crock his back a few days ago, which meant that we didn’t go for our usual “Black Friday” hike and also that Ol’ Robbo found himself the Official Lifter Of The Heavy Things as far as dinner preparation went, but a good time was had by all.  Just a few observations:

♦  There really not being enough room at my brother’s house for ten adults and a small boy, we stayed at a hotel while down there. It’s a brand-new place, having still been under construction when we went last year.  It is astonishing to observe that, nearly one-fifth of the way through the 21st Century, there are still interior decorators who believe avocado green is a good idea.

♦  What with not hiking yesterday, we instead flopped in front of college football all afternoon.  I really thought Virginia Tech was going to beat the gentlemen of T.J. State, but the Hokies fell apart in the last ten minutes or so and blew it.  Too bad.  (My nephew attends Tech, so the whole family was rooting for them.  Clemson and South Carolina play today and I’ve a niece at each.  The family dynamic over that one is….somewhat more complicated.)

♦  Ol’ Robbo really dislikes those X-mas car commercials in which one spouse surprises the other with a new car with a big bow on top or, even worse, with a his n’ hers matching pair.  I could never, ever contemplate making that kind of financial commitment without consulting Mrs. R first.  (There is also a smarmy-elite feel to those things – $50 grand? Walking around money! – which I would think more likely to generate seething envy in the mind of the average teevee viewer than anything else, but what does Ol’ Robbo know.)

♦  I was cajoled into reading The Monster At The End Of This Book (starring lovable, furry, old Grover) to our youngest guest, my 4 y.o. great-nephew.  It’s been quite some time since I used to read this to the Gels, and I’m not sure the boy is totally clear on who Grover actually is.  But I was pleased to find that I can still do the shrill, hysterical voice, wave my hands around in panic, and generally behave quite silly, and whatever the boy’s Sesame Street-foo, he enjoyed the performance.

♦  Ol’ Robbo wanted to get an early jump on the longish drive back to Port Swiller Manor today, so last evening he said to all the Gels, “Be ready to go by 5:45 AM.”  This morning they were……ready to go by 5:45 AM.  Amazing what a smooth start will do for a trip.  And fortunately, the traffic was really not bad at all, so we got home in very good time.

Well, that was Thanksgiving 2019, that was.  Advent starts tomorrow and once again Ol’ Robbo finds himself having left it late to see whether he has a sufficient supply of purple ribbon and candles.  Better go check on that…..

UPDATE:  Huzzay, huzzah, my fellow port swillers! We found out last night that Youngest has been accepted early decision by Miami of Ohio!!  As regular friends of the decanter may recall, she went out to tour the place last summah and fell in love on first sight, so she put in her E.D. application this fall.  We’ve been on pins and needles ever since.  (She wrote an amazingly quirky and clever personal essay about her education to date which I’m pretty sure is what got her in.)

So far as Ol’ Robbo is concerned, Miami is a perfectly decent school full of perfectly decent people in an absolutely beautiful spot.  (Distinguished alums include Peej O’Rourke, World Champion Nationals’ right-fielder Adam “Mighty Mouse” Eaton, and a cousin of mine from my great-grandmother’s family.)  Ironically, it’s greatest rival is Ohio University, where Robbo’s parents met as undergrads.

So go…..a, lessee…..REDHAWKS!!



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo probably won’t be able to get at his keyboard for the next few days, so I’ll go ahead and wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving now.

Remember,  It is not, as the SJW mob would have it, about celebrating Indian exploitation, nor is it a platform for hectoring your troglodyte relatives about impeaching Trump.  Further, it isn’t simply a marker for the start of the shopping season as Big Retail would like you to believe.

Images courtesy of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art

No, cheesy pin-up art aside,  Thanksgiving is first, last, and always about gratitude, something not very fashionable these days, but absolutely vital to a healthy soul.  Make sure to take the time to meditate on this and to be truly thankful for who and what you have, and not to stew in envy over what you don’t have.

See you on the other side!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

So Ol’ Robbo sees this article this morning: W&L Students Demand Right To Strip George Washington And Robert E. Lee From Their Diplomas.

As regular friends of the decanter know, Ol’ Robbo did his undergrad studies at The People’s Glorious Soviet Of Middletown, CT, a hard left outlier back in the mid 80’s.  After that, I specifically chose Dubyanell for law school because it was then such a conservative school and I wanted to get back some of the traditional college experience of which I felt I’d missed out at Wes, and because I so loved the rich history of the place.

Well, the school obviously has gone to Stalinist hell now.  Not another dime do they get from me, even the nominal amounts I’ve been giving just to pump their class participation rates.  I know this is just a student petition, but even if it gets turned down, I guarantee you the very name of the school is going to change within the next couple years.

When my office moved to a new building a couple months ago, I brought my diplomas home.  I’ve had little inclination to go through the bother of taking them in to the new place, but now I find myself more tempted to do so, just to put Ol’ George and Bobby Lee up on the wall in defiance.

A glass of wine with the Puppy-Blender.

“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.

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.)


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