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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!

Ol’ Robbo has had occasion from time to time to note that there is something about his person that seems irresistibly attractive to cats and to crazy people.

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in Philly’s 30th Street Station waiting for the train to whisk me back to Ol’ Virginny and squinting vacantly into the middle distance when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  It was an older fellah sitting next to me who I’d half-seen out of the corner of my eye busy about something for some little time.

“Excuse me,” he said.  “Could you turn and look this way for a moment?  I’m sketching you.”

He did, indeed, have a pad in one hand a couple pencils in the other.

“Sketching me?” I said.

“Yes.  See, I used to be homeless and I started sketching people’s portraits for food.  I’m not homeless anymore, so I do it now because I enjoy it and to help out other homeless.  When I’m done, you can decide whether you want to help, too.”

Having got a look at the Robbo face full on, he started up again, in the meantime delivering a rolling monologue. He proved to be quite the raconteur.

He talked about his life and hard times.  He showed me his artificial leg (the real one apparently having been run over by a car).  He joked about Philly cheesesteaks. (“I’ve eaten around a million of them but never knew Philly was famous for them.”)  He talked about who he chose to sketch.  (“Never women eating by themselves.  It makes them nervous.”)   He offered words of wisdom.  (“Are you married? When you get home, tell your wife she’s beautiful.  Then ask her if she knows she’s beautiful.”  He said this several times.)  He kept calling me “pretty boy” (but said that he was the original “pretty boy”) and, when he found out what I do for a living, cracked several lawyer jokes.

For my part, I went along with it.  (He posed no threat.  What was I going to do?  Stand up, yell “Good day, Sir!” and march off in a huff?)  I insisted on an exact count of the number of cheesesteaks he’d eaten.  I said even a rube like me from the sticks had long known Philly’s reputation.  I topped his lawyer jokes with my own and said they were all funny because they’re all true.  He was delighted and said he was surprised that somebody who looked so stone-faced could banter back like that.  (Well I can, you know.  And no, I’m not always scowling.  As I said above, it’s squinting.)

As he was winding up, he said, “Okay.  What are you going to do when you get home tonight?”

“Tell my wife she’s beautiful,” I said.

“And what else?”

“Ask her if she knows she’s beautiful.”


“Yes,” I said.  “And then I’m going to tell her to make me a sammich.”

He burst out laughing.  “Man, you’re funnier than I am!”

I wound up giving him some money.  He seemed legit, and indeed had a short article about himself from one of the local rags.  (He’s here, too.  Scroll down to the fourth bio.)  In the middle of things, a bum came up to panhandle him.  He said he’d buy the guy some food in a moment, but he wouldn’t give the guy any money.  The guy went away disgruntled.  And even if it was just a hustle, he’d obviously worked hard at it and given it real entertainment value.  Further, he was extremely polite and personable, and I enjoyed chatting with him.  So it was worth it either way.

Oh, and the sketch?  He put it in a clear plastic folder and gave it to me.  I replicate it here for your consideration with the sole caveat that it looks absolutely nothing like me.  Enjoy!


Portrait Of Robbo. Or Not.


Supplemental greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo rarely does double posts on Saturdays, but my muse provoked me to offer up second helpings this evening in re various DVD’s I’ve watched over the past couple days, baseball season now being over and done.

Know what remains a perpetual delight to me? “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure“.  I’ve watched it umpteen times over the years, both in videotape and now as part of my DVD library, and its loose, good-natured, non-serious tone never grows old.  One of my favorite bits of dialogue:

Bill:  You ditched Napoleon?  Deacon! Do you realize you’ve stranded one of history’s greatest leaders in San Dimas?

Deacon:  He was a dick!

The original Bill and Ted became a cult classic, largely because it didn’t take itself seriously.  The sequel tried too hard to capitalize on this success, largely IMHO because the suits got hold of it, and to me was a dud as a result.  I understand they’re trying for the hat trick now.  Eh, it could go either way.  I’d love if they could recapture the original goofy spirit, but I’m also doubtful.

On another comedic note, I have come to the conclusion on my second viewing that “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” simply isn’t funny.  Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, I know.  But it just. doesn’t. click.  Sorry.

Speaking of Cary, though, this evening Ol’ Robbo indulged himself in “North By Northwest“, probably his very favorite Hitchcock.  The presence of a young and talented Eve Marie Saint may or may not be part of the appeal.  Certainly the fact that I love the theme musick is.

Incidentally, to show what an ignoramus Ol’ Robbo actually is, it was only within the last few weeks that I became aware that the title of this movie was a direct nod to Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

Hamlet: “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

– Act 2, Scene 2

Makes a lot of sense when you think about it, given that the whole damn plot of the film is built on concentric circles of confusion, play-acting and deceit.


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!

Ah, the joy of early nightfall.  Not only do I have to drive home in the dark (which I hate because I don’t see so well at night), I also up my odds of getting kilt by oncoming traffic when fetching the mail upon my arrival at Port Swiller Manor.

Anyhoo, a few odds and ends:

♦  Ol’ Robbo watched his beloved Nationals visit the White House yesterday afternoon (via Yootoob).  What fun everyone seemed to have!  I thought the Marine Corp Band playing “Baby Shark” particularly funny.  As for Kurt Suzuki whipping out a MAGA hat? I understand the Twitter Mob are swallowing their tongues over that.  Had he flipped off the President, of course, they’d have cheered him to the welkin.  Nuts to them and bless him.  (And what a class act Ryan Zimmerman is, too.)

♦  Last evening’s Star Trek: TOS episode was “All Our Yesterdays“.  It featured a young and delicious Mariette Hartley in a skimpy cave-woman outfit.  Ol’ Robbo had quite the crush on Ms. Hartley back in the day. [Ed. – Who the heck didn’t you have a crush on?  Quiet, you.]  She seemed to do an awful lot of “special guest” appearances on teevee shows in the 70’s and 80’s, all of which were quite delightful to my impressionable, er, mind.

♦  For dins this evening, Ol’ Robbo made himself an omelet stuffed with pecorino romano cheese.  Nobody else I know seems to like this idea, but I would strongly recommend you give it a try.  And an added twist?  Mash up a clove of garlic into the eggs before you pour them into the pan.  I would not recommend this for a date night, but in every other circumstance I think you would enjoy it.

♦  Speaking of dins and the dark, this is the time of year when outdoor grilling becomes a problem because my patio is not well-lit.  I need to find some kind of free-standing light that I can park next the grill.  Anyone have any suggestions?

♦  Regular friends of the decanter may recall that Ol’ Robbo’s doc recently put him on blood pressure medicine.  Valsartan, to be exact.  I seem to be suffering most of the side-effects about which the Mayo Clinic and others warn.  Is this really worth it? (I have a follow-up appointment with the doc in a couple weeks and intend to make much of this.)

Well, enough for now.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo won’t bore you with his usual Sunday religious rants.  In his homily today, my pastor came about as close to accusing Papa Frankie of idolatry over this whole pachamama  thing as he could without actually crossing the line.  Afterward, I finished George Wiegel’s latest, The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How The Church Rediscovered Itself & Challenged The Modern World To Reform.  Depressing as hell.  His history of the past 150 years of HMC’s relationship to modernism is quite informative, but if he seriously thinks the current postmodern “culture” has any interest whatever in being evangelized, he’s fooling himself.  No, the whole thing has to collapse good and hard, and it’ll be a few isolated Christians who pick up the pieces and start over.

Instead, I’ll take advantage of the extra hour to plug a movie I re-watched the other evening but which doesn’t seem to get much notice these days:  “The Train” (1964).  With the Allies closing in on Paris in 1944, Nazi Paul Scofield attempts to smuggle a train-load of masterpiece paintings to Germany.  Burt Lancaster’s Parisian station master, together with the remnants of his Resistance band, seek to thwart the attempt.  Lots of suspense, action sequences, intrigue, subterfuge, and railway technicalities, it’s a very exciting and entertaining movie.  Lancaster seems to me a rougher and more Byron-esque version of Charlton Heston, and is particularly gripping here.  Highly recommended, and available in DVD from Netflix.  (Unless I’ve got the only copy – I haven’t mailed it back yet.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Before taking the deep plunge into the NLCS (*smacks lips, repeats*), how about a few odds and ends?

♦  Going back to the Metro after about an eight year hiatus, I notice that the number of people milling about the platforms with their noses buried in their iThingies has increased exponentially.  We hates that. Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

♦  Speaking of which, I saw a young lady in my rear-view mirror last evening.  In one hand she held her iThingy.  In the other, a snack.  How the heck was she steering?

♦   Speaking of young ladies, Ol’ Robbo takes satisfaction in the fact that St. Greta of the How DARE You did not cop the Nobel Peace Prize this year.  Not that the NPP actually means anything, but still.  We take these little victories against the Madness whenever we can.

♦  Speaking of madness, I saw an amusing headline over to YahooNooz this morning (not linking because Yahoo has gone insane) that some WNBA player was angry at the lack of respect being shown to their finals.  Ol’ Robbo frequently forgets that the WNBA even exists.  As for the NBA, pretty alarming how beholden they turn out to be to the ChiComs, no?  Thank Heaven pro baseball has largely avoided politization, at least so far.  I’ve never cared about basketball anyway, but it would be a real blow to have to give up MLB.

♦  Speaking of living the Counter-Culture Life, Ol’ Robbo caught Apocalypto on the cables last evening.  (I think somebody was doing a little Columbus Day trolling.)  Eldest had recommended it to me and I found it quite fascinating, the ending quite shiver-making.  I’ve no idea how accurately it portrays the pre-Columbian Maya and this is Mel Gibson after all, but from what I do know I would guess it isn’t far off.  Noble Savages they were not.

♦  And speaking of movies, Ol’ Robbo has been on a Shakespeare kick recently.  I’ve been reworking my way through the old Age of Kings series (how can one not like Sean Connery as Hotspur facing off against Robert Hardy’s Prince Hal?), and the other day watched the late-70’s Beeb production of As You Like It featuring the young Helen Mirren.  (Not quite the shmokin’ hot Excalibur Helen Mirren of a couple years later, but this is Shakespeare, not shlock.)  Those late 70’s/early 80’s Beeb productions tend to be hit or miss, but this is one of the better ones.

Whelp, that’s enough for now.  A four day weekend for Ol’ Robbo.  I need to run some errands this morning and get in nacho supplies for tonight’s NLCS opener (*smacks lips again*).  Tomorrow will be a genuine fall yardwork day.  And I believe Middle Gel is coming home for a visit Sunday.  Good times.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Youngest recently informed me that she has a crush on Christian Slater.


Is this just another manifestation of her eccentricity, or are there others in this camp, too?  As the Mothe used to say, I don’t have the genes to appreciate this sort of thing myself.

(I will admit that I enjoy watching “Broken Arrow” every now and again.  Travolta’s psycho is very entertaining.)


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Rumors have started circulating that Gary Larson may be about to bring “The Far Side” cartoons out of retirement.

Ol’ Robbo was a great fan of TFS back in the day, but I have to confess that I have mixed feelings about this.  Way back when, Larson was an absurdist, plain and simple.  But that was before the culture turned into the wretched, polarized, hyper-politicized, Jacobin hate-fest that it is these days.  Can Larson return with a wit enjoyable to a vast and variegated audience?  (So far as Ol’ Robbo recalls, he rarely, if ever, got mixed up in politicks.)  Would he even want to?  Or will he swallow the virtue-signaling Kool-Aid?  (And if you think the latter can’t happen, I’ve got two words for you:  Berke. Breathed.)

We shall see, I guess.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

What with one thing and another, Ol’ Robbo had never seen “3:10 To Yuma” before last evening.  (The 1957 original, that is, not the Russell Crowe remake.)  And do you know, aside from the completely hokey theme song, I really, really liked this film.  The plot is a kind of psychological thriller of the “High Noon” school, where one honest man tries to stick to what’s Right in the face of betrayal, bribery, threat, temptation, and danger.  Van Heflin is perfect as the shlub farmer who finds himself deputized and alone.  And Glenn Ford is alarmingly scary as the murderer Heflin guards while waiting for a train to take him away, being alternately menacing, reasonable, charming, and more menacing.  But I also loved the way the whole thing was put together.  I simply don’t know the vocabulary of cinematography, but I could somehow see and understand how and why the various shots and sequences were framed the way they were and how it all built on itself.  Very well done, indeed.

The other night I also happened to watch “Broken Arrow“.  (The 1950 western, that is, not the 1996 John Travolta/Christian Slater action flick which is fun in itself.)  In this one, Juh-Juh-Jimmy Stewart is a scout on the southwest frontier in the 1870’s who finds and saves a wounded Apache boy.  This leads to a meeting with the great chief Cochise and gets Jimmuh to wondering whether a peace couldn’t be worked out between the Apaches and the whites, since they are all men in the end.  General O.O. Howard agrees with Jimmuh, so he undertakes to open negotiations.  During the course of events, Jimmy meets Sonsee-array, Cochise’s daughter.  They fall in love, but of course things aren’t going to be all that easy.  It’s an okay film, I suppose, known for being one of the first to take a far more sympathetic view of the Indians, but I think the Noble Savage bit was probably a bit overdone.

And one extremely pedantic historickal point:  The real Sonsee-array was not the daughter of Cochise, but of Mangus Colorado.  In fact, Cochise married another of Mangus’s daughters, making Sonsee-array his sister-in-law.  Just thought I’d clear that up in case you ever find yourself in a bar-bet on the matter.

UPDATE: Long-time friend of the decanter Sleepy Beth checks in with her own review of “Jupiter Ascending”, a movie Ol’ Robbo has not seen and now probably won’t.


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