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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, I see that MLB’s “All-Star Game” is being played this evening.  As fond as I am of baseball, I have no intention of watching.  To me, the game – and the week’s worth of hoopla that surrounds it – is really just a meaningless stunt.

Ol’ Robbo is happy to see that the two Nationals selected to the NL team, pitcher “Mad” Max Schertzer and third baseman Anthony “Tony Two-Bags” Rendon, have chosen to sit this one out.

I spent a good bit of time here early in the season bewailing my beloved Nats’ dreadful start, but in case you haven’t noticed, they’ve got the best record in MLB since the end of May, are now in 2nd in the NL East, and are furiously chasing the Braves.  I’m glad that they’ve been honored and all, but Max and Tony simply decided that they’re better off avoiding the risk of injury in a worthless show game, and instead concentrating on the Team.  I like that a lot.

So I’ll simply wait out tonight and the rest of the week watching old “Star Trek” reruns and catching up on my Netflix queue, and look forward to the second half race, which I think could be a real humdinger.

What else is there to say except

GO, NATS!!!

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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No doubt many friends of the decanter have heard of this morning’s torrential downpour in the area of Your Nation’s Capital.  Indeed, I believe a number of you got to experience it first-hand yourselves.  Four inches in two hours is what I understand, causing flooding in the White House basement, the National Archives, the Metro, and various tunnels and underpasses.

And of course my basement study flooded, because my basement study always floods when it rains heavily enough to cause water to seep into the garage.  (Must I fess up to this when we eventually go to sell the place?)  But at least it’s in exalted company this time around.

Although the storm hit right during the height of rush hour, I was actually already at my office and missed out on the commuter fun.  And although I keep the local doppler radar up on my desktop whenever there’s any weather in the area and was watching the thing, I had no idea just how heavy the downpour was until all my various electronic devices started chirping at me with flood warnings.

It was only when I returned to Port Swiller Manor in the gentle evenfall that I discovered Ma Nature had left me a personal calling card.  The water had come down the hill in front of the house so fast that it scooped out a lot of large gravel from a little parking spot to one side and flung it all over the driveway.  It also transported a good bit of the mulch we put on the front beds just last week.  So I’ll have to come home early tomorrow in order to shovel it all back into its proper spot and clean up the mess.  Heigh, ho.

 

Speaking of deluges, Ol’ Robbo is getting mighty tired of this Wimminz Soccer Championship biznay being hurled at him from all sides.  I am completely indifferent to soccer (no matter who’s playing), plus I gather that the stars of the American team are complete jerks.  Plus, the whole thing reeks of lefty identity politicks (Grrrrrl Power and OrangeManBad, mostly), with a side of Globalist Chic.

And the fans whose self-congratulatory preening I kept overhearing today? Somebody made an excellent point:  Such fans are basically the Vegans of the sports world.  They won’t shut up about it, ooze personal sanctimony, and, if you fail to express sufficient enthusiasm, look down their noses at you as if you were some kind of knuckle-dragging deplorable.  I laughed when I read that.

Anyhoo, I’m glad the tourney is over.

UPDATE:   Whelp, the mess was somewhat worse than I’d at first thought.  Not just the driveway, but various other spots needed cleaning up.  Also, the basement flooding was worse than I’d expected.  My study, which usually floods, is floored with ceramic tiles.  The larger room, however, is floored with Pergo, which does not react well to having water run all over it, which happened this time.  Yuck.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Pray, Ladies and Gentlemen, fill your glasses, bumpers all round and gunn’ls under, and bless the anniversary of Our Country’s establishment with three times three and no heel taps!

Huzzah Huzzah Huzzay!!

As it happens, Ol’ Robbo will be spending the day on his own, a general diaspora of his wimmin-folk hither and yon this week not ending until the first of them returns tomorrow.  I had thought of undertaking the very patriotic duty of cleaning out the garage today, but the forecast calls for a constant threat of thunderstorms and the last thing I want is to haul everything outside just to have it get caught in a downpour.

So I plan to just chill with the dog and the cats.  My beloved Nats have an early game today in which they’ll go for a sweep of the Fish, so I’ll probably watch that.  Perhaps some exercise later on.  I do have a nice big strip-steak for dins, so there’s that.

Fireworks? Ol’ Robbo loves him some fireworks.  Back in my misspent yoot, we used to shoot off bottle-rockets by the gross. (Of course, that’s verboten now.)  I suppose I could go to the local publick display but it would be hot and crowded and I’d feel like an idiot going on my own.  There’s the “Capital Fourth” on teevee, I suppose, but I don’t care to encourage PBS.  As a matter of fact, I’ll probably just sit out on the porch with an adult beverage and listen to them going off in the distance, as I usually do.

‘Murica!

UPDATE:  Getting the grill ready for my steak (pray the storms hold off just a little while longer), I looked up and beheld a B-2 bomber power by overhead.  I’ve never seen one in person before.  Looked like a giant bat.

Either that sumbich Trump has got us in a war, or else it has something to do with the festivities downtown (and Ol’ Robbo is enjoying bigly the Lefty bed-wetting over this year’s military display).

Either way, my reaction was, “Oh, hellz to the yes!”

‘MURICA!

UPDATE DEUX:  Prayers answered.  The rain (which is starting now) held off, and Ol’ Robbo cooked that steak to absolute perfection.  There is simply no other way to do proper respect to a good cut of meat than to give it the bare minimum time over as hot a charcoal fire as you can manage.  No. Other. Way.

UPDATE TROIS: Oh, and the Betsy Ross flag up top? I’ve been doing that for years and years.  I know all about the Nike Corporation/Colin Kaeperbottom kerfluffle this year, but see no reason at all to change my ways.  They are invited to take their Stalinist airbrush virtue-signaling campaign, roll it into a cylinder, shove it up their collective backsides, and set it alight.

Oh, and Nike? I need a new pair of running shoes. Take a wild guess at where I’m not going to buy them.  Kisses!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yep, summah is definitely here with a vengeance in the Great Commonwealth of Virginny.  But as Ol’ Robbo surmises from his traffic meter, most of you probably don’t want yet another post about mowing the lawn.  So how about a little random, some serious and some not so much?

♦  Following up on my post about mysterious calls from Mrs. R, the fons et origo of that one was our landscape guy, who has a very bad habit of not staying within the scope of work we ask him to do.  Part of this is a language barrier – he’s from Chile and still struggles with English – but part of it, I think, is shear pig-headedness worthy of Angus McAllister, Lord Emsworth’s head gardener.  We had him clear out the Port Swiller Manor gutters this week, and I notice that while he was at it he killed the Virginia creeper that was wrapped around the chimney.  We’ve been arguing about the creeper and ivy on the house for some years now, and I’m positive he took the opportunity for a little accidental-on-purpose chicanery.  Suff on him.

♦  Ol’ Robbo did not watch the Donk debates this week but did see some clips and reactions.  By all accounts they went Full Progtard.  Never go Full Progtard.***  They evidently want me dead, so why should I listen to them (or to the Never-Trumpers, for that matter).

♦  I do not wish to speak ill of the dead or for an instant suggest that the monster who did it does not deserve everything he’s got coming to him, but this Utah college girl murder has me incensed in large part because a whole lot of stupid brought it about.  (I don’t know if the rumors the kid was looking for a Sugar Daddy are true, but what possible good reason could explain meeting a stranger in a park at 3 o’clock in the morning?)  I have told the Gels time and time again: Don’t. Do. Stupid. Things.  In the twisted reasoning of the current zeitgeist, this makes me some kind of patriarchal misogynist, but dammit, this story is precisely why I continue to say so.  (They’ve taken it to heart, too, thank God.)

♦  In case you haven’t noticed, Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats have quietly pulled up over the .500 mark for the first time since, well, Opening Day almost.  I confess I feel a bit ashamed of myself for setting my hair on fire and prognosticating doom and gloom earlier on.  (Tom Paine no doubt would deride me as a “summer soldier” and “sunshine patriot”.)  Ain’t baseball just like that, though?  What else is there to say, except GO, NATS!

Whelp, as I like to say, lawn ain’t gonna mow itself.  Be back later.

**Spot the reference.

UPDATE:  Done and done.  Nasty job in this weathah.  Truth be told, I think I overdid it somewhat, as I can feel all the symptoms of my internal thermostat red-lining now.

Help me, Obi-Wan Iced Kawfee! You’re my only hope!

Speaking of which, Ol’ Robbo spotted an article some time earlier this week noting that the term “Climate Chaos” is now back in vogue among the meteorological scare-mongers.  Funny, I thought that happened a few years back.  As I recall it, they stopped saying “Global Warming” after several of their high-profile conferences got snowed out and people pointed and laughed.  Some of them tried “Global Weirding” for a while, but that didn’t seem to stick.  So they hit on “Climate Chaos” both because it’s scary and because it’s enigmatic enough to be used at all times and in all conditions.  BOOGIE-BOOGIE-BOO!!

 

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

On the back of a minivan this evening, Ol’ Robbo spotted a bumper sticker which read “Protect Your Child, Not Your Guns”.  (The van also still had its “Hillary!” sticker, so there you go.)

It immediately occurred to me that this is an idiotically false dichotomy, and that there actually are few better ways to protect one’s home and family than to arm up.***

Am I missing something?

Yes, there’s a reason “bumper sticker mentality” is used as a term of disparagement.

Not that I had an opportunity to say anything, but now that I think about it in true lesprit de l’escalier fashion, I’d also love to have been able to yell, “Say, does that include protecting an unborn child?  No?  Well, bless your heart!”

Maybe next time, eh?

 

***As it happens, Middle Gel and I were talking about this just the other day.  She’s a petite thing, about 5’3″ and not much north of 100 lbs, and I’ve always fretted in a vague way about her being out there in the Big Bad World.  Currently, she carries pepper-spray and a stun-gun, but she can’t wait until she’s old enough to pack heat.  Neither can I.

 

JUST BECAUSE IT ISN’T WORTH ITS OWN POST UPDATE:  May I just say here that, despite the gentle pressure of Googlelag, I don’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about World Cup Soccer, men’s or women’s?  Thank you.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

School is officially OUT in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, and the difference in traffic flow sans buses this morning was downright dramatic.  I was tempted to drive round the block a few times for no other reason than Because I Could.

In addition, what a delightful day Ma Nature served up for us: Dry, breezy, temperature in the mid-70’s.  For the middle of June in the Virginny Piedmont, I’ll take that any time.  Ol’ Robbo was planning to watch “The Blues Brothers” after dins this evening, but I might just postpone that (it’s supposed to hot up starting tomorrow) and spend the evening on the porch watching the bats and fireflies.

Speaking of summery things reminds Ol’ Robbo of something that has been on his mind off and on for a while now.  If I ever become Emperor, I think one of my decrees will be to ban the Shift from Major League Baseball.  I understand the strategic rationale for it, but to me seeing three infielders all stacked up on the same side of 2nd Base is Just Wrong.

Granted,  when a batter manages to foil the Shift by getting a hit to the weak side, the result can be highly gratifying in a Nelson Muntz “HA-Ha!” way.

In the end, though, mere gratification must never be the basis for justifying the Wrong.  I mean, just imagine what an entire society based on such standards would look like.

Oh, never mind, that’s where we are now.

Anyhoo, thinking about this brought back a memory from Ol’ Robbo’s misspent yoot.   I usually was among the last picks for teams in middle and high school P.E. because I was rather weedy in those days and wore nerd glasses.  With softball, however, it was a different matter.  I was never one of the first picks there either, but I was usually pretty high up once the recognized jocks had been selected.

This was because I possessed the talent of being able to hit the ball pretty much anywhere I wanted to.  Pull side, opposite field, up the middle, it didn’t matter.  Somehow or other I had discovered the principles of bat control, and could adjust my swing accordingly.

My great trick was to belt a ball down the 3rd Base line my first time up.  Then, when I came up a second time and all the outfielders had shifted over accordingly, I’d put the next one down the 1st Base line.  The jocks on my team would laugh appreciatively.

Another trick involved a particularly annoying jerk who gave me a hard time every now and again.  When he was playing in the outfield, I would lash a line drive in his direction, knowing he couldn’t possibly catch it.  (He was a lousy fielder.)  Then I would trot around the bases laughing while he scurried off chasing the ball deep into tiger country.  (We played on an open patch with no outfield wall to stop the ball.)  The humiliation was schadenfreude-licious.

Good times, good times.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo finds himself on the cusp of a four day Memorial Day Weekend, so how about an adult beverage, a chair on the porch, and a little this and that while my dinner is in the oven:

Storm of the Century of the Week Watch:  A line of thunderstorms came through Your Nation’s Capital this afternoon and we actually had a tornado warning downtown.  Everything is so wired together now that everybody’s iPhones, landlines, and desktops started cooking off with the alert at the same time.  I don’t much care for that.  Granted, it did get quite dark for a bit.  As it was lightening up to the west, about ten minutes after the alert, incredibly I heard our boss working her way along the hall and trying to shoo people into our “shelter in place” room.  I feigned deafness.  For whatever reason, she never made it as far as my office door.  Perhaps just as well, as I’d have had to squint at her.  Pure silliness.

Milestones:  Today marks the fourth anniversary of our adoption of Decanter Dog.  As I’ve mentioned before, she’s deeply neurotic and not terribly bright, but she’s extremely loyal to the family and has been one of the best things we’ve done.  (We don’t know how old she was when we got her – estimates are of anything between three and eight – so we don’t know how old she is now.  Hopefully, she’ll be around for many more years.)

Urge To Kill Department:  Bring me the head of Dave Martinez! I’m done with this mess.

Holiday? What Holiday?:  Ol’ Robbo is facing a daunting array of outdoor tasks this weekend which include a lot of painting, power-washing, and extra yardwork.  More about all this anon, but it’s all basically in aid of getting Port Swiller Manor shipshape for the arrival of the In-laws next weekend.  I’m actually spiking Mrs. R a bit over all this because I plan to do even more than she’s asked me to. (Yes, I have a twisted sense of humor.)

Whelp, I just heard the oven go “Bing!” so I’d better get to it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is loitering around over an extra cuppa coffeve this morning because he really doesn’t much feel like mowing the lawn. I think it has something to do with watching his beloved Nat’nals blow several perfectly good opportunities to win against the Cubbies last evening and turn the game into a humiliating blowout defeat.  I’m getting close to panic-mode with this team. I really am.

And speaking of panic, did you see where the UK Guardian has decided it needs to turn the volume up to eleven on its “climate change” reporting rhetoric?

The Guardian has updated its official style guide to more “accurately” address the seriousness of climate change, the British publication announced Friday.

In an article explaining the decision to readers, environment editor Damian Carrington said Guardian reporters will hereby be advised to use “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” instead of “climate change,” “global heating” instead of “global warming,” and people who used to be described as “climate skeptics” will now be branded “climate science deniers.”

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner said in a statement. “The phrase ‘climate change,’ for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.

Orwell smiles.  Control the language and you control the debate.  Note particularly how skepticism, which is supposed to be the bedrock principle of scientific inquiry, is mutated into anti-science wrong-think.

Well, call Ol’ Robbo a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, but I’m sticking with my skepticism.  The simple fact of the matter is that nothing about the Earth is static and Ma Nature has been fiddling with the thermostat herself for time immemorial.  (Could Mankind have some kind of impact on all this? Maybe.  But I’m willing to bet it’s most likely round the margins.)  The other simple fact is that the “climate science” at issue here appears to be absolutely full of holes: bad data (the sets are too small and I’ve read horror stories about some of the collection methods), inconsistencies, frauds, hidden calculations, and (it’s all modelling anyway) failure to conform with actual events.

As I’ve said many times before, this whole biznay is about politicks, not science, and specifically globalist authoritarian politicks.  The devil with Mizz Viner and her  catastrophes for humanity.

Whelp, enough grumbling.  The cold, hard fact is that Ol’ Robbo’s lawn ain’t gonna mow itself, so I better get myself in gear and git her done.

UPDATE: Done and done.  And because we’re having our first real hot stretch of the year, Ol’ Robbo flipped on the porch ceiling fans and is relaxing with a tall glass of iced coffee.  Nectar of the Gods, as I’ve said here many times before.  The fastest way to Ol’ Robbo’s heart may be a glass of wine, but a glass of iced coffee on a hot, summah-like day will get you mighty far, too.

Oh, and as I was standing about on the driveway waiting for Mrs. R to stop fiddling with her phone and pull out so I could finish clearing off the clippings, I got to say in my best Duke voice, “Get goin’, sister!  We’re burnin’ daylight!”  She didn’t think it was s’damn funny, but my day is more or less complete now.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

How about a quarter of unconnected thoughts to start the week?

Firstest:  Despite the fact that it was cold and rainy in Your Nation’s Capital today, Ol’ Robbo went out for his usual lunchtime walk round the National Mall.  And as I trudged along, I was accosted by a nice-looking young woman -evidently from her accent a tourist from either the Caribbean or Africa – who wanted to know where the “Mall” was.  When I swept my arms around and said, “This is it”, she got a dumbfounded look on her face which I immediately knew meant she had been expecting a shopping mall.  This very same thing happened to me a year or two ago and at that time I was too surprised to respond tactfully.  This time, however, I kept my wits and said, “No, there aren’t any regular stores, but all the museums have nice gift shops.”  She seemed pleased.

Also, as I rounded the reflecting pool in front of the Grant Memorial, I noticed the air was full of swallows buzzing back and forth over the water in search of flying yummies.  I always love seeing this, as I also do the new hatches of Mallard chicks paddling to and fro across the pool’s surface.  Alas, this is my last spring to indulge this before my office moves away.  Gonna miss it.

Segundo:  Ol’ Robbo is very pleased that the two Elder Gels have gainful and interesting employment this summah.  Eldest started today working at Wolf Trap – she’s helping with set-up at first and will work concessions once the season starts –  and seems quite excited.  This sort of thing is right up her alley, combining the Arts with Hospitality (to which she’s always been drawn), and the more I ponder it, the more I wonder if this summah might not lay the ground-work for a future employment track.  We shall see.

Meanwhile, MIddle Gel is in the midst of an intense May-mester stats course, but when she’s done she intends to stay down in the Tidewater working for a dive-outfitter.  (She fell in love with scuba this year.  Also, boyfriend is down there.)  She’ll get paid to work in the store, but she also has a three-year internship for which she doesn’t get paid, but gets her dive-certification fees (which are hefty, so I gather) waived.  (As part of this, she’ll be going down to the Keys at some point this summah to help the outfitter conduct a dive for some clients.)  When she’s done, as I understand it, she will have gained her professional dive certificate, which she plans to parlay into graduate work and an eventual career possibly in marine biology.  (This is not a far-fetched idea at all.  Sistah’s hubby is in the field and is very enthusiastic about the opportunities for bright young ladies coming up.)

We’re not requiring Youngest to get a steady job this year, as she’s got a month’s worth of Bible Thumper Camp plus the college tour.  She herself said just yesterday, however, that she really needs to earn some money.  Musick to Ol’ Robbo’s ears.  I suggested she go with babysitting: Not only is it flexible, a responsible kid in these parts can make a killing in sweet, sweet, non-reportable cash payments.

Trois:  Regular Friends of the Decanter may recall Ol’ Robbo’s mention of his genealogy-obsessed cousin who regularly offers up new and intriguing bits of family lore?  (I believe the last time I mentioned her here was in connection with her news that one branch of the Family had been present on the Virginny Frontier in Colonial times and had suffered losses in Shawnee attacks on Kerr’s Creek in 1759 and 1763.)  Well, she’s at it again.  While in town this past weekend to go out with Mrs. Robbo, she informed me that she had definitely established our direct family tree in the neighborhood of Carlisle, PA, then very much the frontier, in 1763.  “Gawd,” I said, “I hope they weren’t mixed up with the Paxton Boys!” She’s enough of a history nerd that she laughed at the reference.  But I’m not so sure it wasn’t a possibility.

The Fourth Thing:  Well, Ol’ Robbo is off to watch “Bend of the River” which turned up today in his Netflix queue.  It’s not the best of the Anthony Mann/Jimmy Stewart westerns:  “Winchester ’73” takes that honor.  And why?  Because in the latter, Jimmah is driven by righteous anger to hunt down the no-good brother who murdered their father.  That I can accept completely.  But in the former, Jimmah plays an ex-Border Raider under Quantrill seeking redemption for his past wickedness by doing right.  Jimmah? A cut-throat hooligan? G’wan with ya!  I just don’t buy it.  But I like the film anyway.

Oh, and a Bonus:  At least Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats can’t lose today, seeing as they aren’t playing.  Sheesh. 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sorry, but my Muse is absolutely, stonily silent this evening.  Several ideas have popped into the Robbo braims, including thoughts on radical environmentalist headlines this week and their relationship to Gnosticism; the end last evening of Youngest’s school softball season; and today’s birthday anniversary of Johannes Brahms.  Try as I might to woo her assistance, however, she’s just not having anything to do with translating them into coherent posts.  (Hell, it’s taken me twenty minutes to suss out just this paragraph!)

Blame pollen, I guess.

I suppose I’ll go and see what new ways my beloved Nationals can find to lose ball games.  That’ll free up my tongue, probably, although not in ways suitable to a family blog.

Later.

 

 

 

 

I

 

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