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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was truly disappointed that his beloved Nats dropped three out of four to the Braves over the weekend.  At least we didn’t get swept.

At nine games back now, I doubt we’re going to be able to catch them, especially as they’re surging and we’ve started wobbling a bit of late.  (Never say never, I know, but that hole we dug for ourselves at the beginning of the season is starting to look just too deep.)

Here’s hoping we can hold on to our wildcard lead, however.

So what else is there to say except




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sometimes the days are random.  Sometimes they’re really random.  I think today goes in the latter class.

♦  Holla! Holla! Watch – Eldest Gel went back to Sweet Briar to start her senior year this morning.  Mrs. R went as well, in part to carry overflow junk in a second car, in part because both of them have been invited to take part in a legacy-recruitment project and the dean of students wanted to have dinner with them.  I think the Gel’s going to have a most-productive year.  And here’s a fun fact for you:  With her move-in today, Eldest is now rooming on the same side of the same hallway of the same dorm as did both Mrs. Robbo and my Sistah (albeit, not at the same time).  I think that’s pretty neat.

♦  Meanwhile, Ol’ Robbo had to take Youngest to an oral surgeon for a consultation about having all her wisdom teeth yanked.  We sat in that office for a total of something close to two hours, while the consultation itself took all of five minutes (and was pretty durn expensive, too).  The coming en-yankening is not something I envy her.

♦  Speaking of Youngest, I was surprised to learn today (when it was delivered) that she’d gone out and bought herself a Study Bible.  Apparently, her recent return to our Christian Sports Camp (where she’s applying to be a counselor-in-training next year) really had an effect on her, as she told me today she’s never felt so close to God before.  She plans on doing Young Life at school this year, too.  Go figure.

Not that I’m complaining at all, at all, mind.

♦  And speaking of deliveries, we got a notice today from our homeowner’s insurance carrier that they’re dropping our coverage in a couple months.  They explained that it’s nothing we’ve done, they’re just getting out of the private residential market.  Very strange.  So I suppose I’ll need to shop around now.  We’ve carried our cars with USAA for forever, and I’ve often mused about consolidating homeowner’s coverage with them as well.  This may prove an opportunity.  Of course, any tips or recommendations would be appreciated.

Well, that’s enough.  I suppose I should go see about some din-dins, and then make up my mind whether I want to watch “Casablanca” or “The Brothers Grimm” (which I’ve never seen) this evening.  (Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats are playing the Bucs, but there are so many storms in the area this evening the game is likely to get spooled out over many hours and I need my beauty rest.)  “Grimm” was recommended to me by Eldest because she knows of my fondness for Terry Gilliam movies and ones with Jonathan Pryce in them in particular.  If I watch it, I’ll let you know what I think.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A delightful evening here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, especially considering that we’re sitting dead red in the center of August.  Loafing out on the porch, Ol’ Robbo thought he might provide you a few dainties on which to nibble as the sun goes down:

♦  Today was Ol’ Robbo’s second telework day of the new regime.  I think I can get used to this.  And yes, I’m finding it to actually be quite productive.  The question no doubt flies around the decanter, “So, was he wearing pants?”  Well, if you ask the Magic 8-Ball, you’ll only get the answer, “Reply hazy, ask again later“.

♦  I’m sorry, but as dearly as I love both Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, “Bringing Up Baby” is just not a funny movie.  “Holiday” is funny.  “Adam’s Rib” is funny.  But “Baby”? Just too manic and cutesy.  I don’t care what anybody else says. (I tried to re-watch it the other evening and couldn’t stick more than about half an hour.)

♦  Ol’ Robbo was excited to try out his brand new pair of running shoes this afternoon.  My previous pair was so old that I can’t even remember when I bought them.  They were so worn out that the heels were literally crumbling, causing my ankles and knees to corkscrew when I walked on the treadmill in them.  Not good.  I try not to fling my gold about more than necessary on personal items, but this purchase seemed to me quite justified.

♦  The consolation of having to go back to the Metro to commute to my new office is that I get a little extra reading time in.  Obviously, in such conditions one can’t get into anything too heavy or profound, so I’ve circled back round to my shelf of adventure stories.  At the moment, I’m revisiting H. Rider Haggard, specifically King Solomon’s Mines.  (I plan to read the rest of the Quartermain stories in turn.)  I half-hope that some SJW witnit will spot it and give me grief for my un-wokeness, but I’m not terribly optimistic.  These people are just too pathetically ignorant.

♦  Some fascinating conversations with Eldest Gel this week.  The other day we discussed God’s omniscience and existence outside of Time as it relates to Fatalism and Free Will. “Look,” she said in her direct way, “God knows what you’re going to do, of course.  But you’re still the one who makes up your mind to do it! Otherwise, you’re just a slave or a robot!”  Today, it was Schrödinger’s Cat.  I tried to suggest this was just a thought experiment, but she was having none of it. “The damned cat is either alive or it isn’t!” she said.  “It doesn’t matter at all whether you know it or not!  It’s like that tree in the forest – of course it makes a noise when it falls!”  It seems to me that a Gel who can avoid both the Scylla of Calvinism (and Islam) and the Charybdis of hipster quantum-theory navel gazing ought to go far.  Heh.

And yet this same Gel can’t seem to put her blasted dishes in the gorram dishwasher, no matter how much I rant.  Go figure.

Whelp, that’s about enough “filling up the corners” for now.***  Think I’ll toddle downstairs and see how my Beloved Nationals are doing.

See you in the Gardening Thread tomorrow.


***Spot the quote.  This ought to be an easy one.

UPDATE:  Ugh. Blown save.  Ol’ Robbo hates blown saves.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is still enjoying his summah hols (as apparently, from my traffic meter and comment silence, are many of you!), but nonetheless thought he would toss up just a little bit of random here:

♦  Got myself in a bit of trouble on FacePlant yesterday.  My Beloved Nationals have been en fuego ever since the end of May and after an apparently suicidal first couple months are now only four games behind the Braves for the NL East lead.  (This may change since we’re playing the Dodgers this weekend.)  Anyhoo, their FB fan page keeps touting the fact that the Nats are “the Best Team in Baseball” since May 24.  All I said was that this sort of thing carries the danger of awaking the wrath of the Baseball Gods and that maybe there’s a better, less apparently boastful, way to put it.  For this I was rebuked.  I’m not wrong.

Speaking of which, I’ve been invited by long-time friend of the blog NOVA Curmudgeon to go catch a game against said Braves next week.  My first time in the ballpark all season.  I’m really looking forward to it.

♦  For the steak-lovers here, I can heartily recommend Blackstones Grille in Southport, CT as a fine place to dine.  Their idea of how to cook a piece of meat comports exactly with mine.  I would only recommend that you bring a yuge appetite and, if possible, a wealthy benefactor.

♦  Last evening the Elder Gels and I watched “Con Air” together.  It was the first time for both of them even though they’re Nick Cage fans.  Hy-Larity ensued.

♦  Ol’ Robbo was complaining about the heat wave here last week.  What a lovely, lovely change a few days have made.  Cool and crisp this morning.  Is this Globull Enwarmening or the New Ice Age?  I’m confused…..

♦  Finally, I haven’t been up and down I-95 north of Dee Cee for a while, so it was only this week that I discovered the Delaware service center has been renamed the Biden Welcome Center.  Personally, I think “Creepy Uncle Joe’s Truck Stop” is more le mot juste, but that’s just me.

Well, that’s enough for now.  Time to go deal with weeds…….


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


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.


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!”


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.


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