Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I don’t want to sound like a grinch, but just what the heck is “Giving Tuesday” and when did it suddenly become a Thing?

More like “Hustle Tuesday” from the ads that have been bombarding me all day.

Look, I try to be charitable year round, and furthermore I try to do so in a way that does not draw undue attention to myself.  All this concentrated We Can Do It!/Pat Yourself On The Back social media hooraw leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth.

Just saying…..




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I was not aware of this until my brother**  mentioned it this past weekend, but Amherst College, a chief rival of Ol’ Robbo’s own People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT,*** recently dumped its unofficial mascot of the “Lord Jeffs” and instead adopted….the Mammoths?

The selection board said people who suggested mammoths noted they are “impressive,” ”stupendous and monumental,” and “near mythic.” [Ed. – They’re also long-extinct.]

Backers also noted the school’s natural history museum houses a mammoth skeleton discovered by Amherst professor Frederick Brewster Loomis and brought to the college in 1925.

The process started in January 2016 when school trustees decided the school’s unofficial nickname, Lord Jeffs, was inappropriate in part because the 18th century British Gen. Jeffery Amherst suggested giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans.

A quick visit to the skewl’s website reveals that Lord Jeffrey’s name has now been removed from the campus inn, too.

I expect the skewl will have to change its own name, in the end, if it wishes to be consistent.

Cor lumme, stone the crows.

I’m going to go a bit geeky here, but bear with me:  The smallpox blankets idea is to be found in Amherst’s correspondence with Col. Henri Bouquet, his most prominent field commander, during the height of Pontiac’s Rebellion (which was largely sparked by Amherst’s own ham-fisted incompetence).  At the time, garrison after garrison of British troops was being wiped out on the frontiers and the colonial administration was in something close to panic.  I’m pretty sure that Amherst was just venting in frustration.  At any rate, nothing ever came of the idea.

I’m also going to suggest that in a rational, adult world, it would be pretty well understood that the “Lord Jeffs” mascot is a nod to the skewl’s historickal roots, and not in any way an endorsement of germ warfare against Indians. ****

But of course, we don’t live in a rational, adult world.  Instead, the zeitgeist is dominated by the very worst traits of adolescence and toddlerhood, coupled with an apparent belief that we can simply wipe the historickal slate blank and start afresh, an idea straight out of Jacobinism.


“Elite education” is an oxymoron these days.  It’s no longer a matter of classical liberalism, but instead has descended to nothing more than post-modernist, cultural-Marxist brainwashing.

And it can all be yours for the low, low price of a quarter-million over four years!

Speaking of Indians and mascot changes, Mrs. Robbo’s grandfather attended Dartmouth back in the day when their mascot was still the Indians.  We still have a pillow needlepointed by his wife which features an Indian leaning up against a big “D” with a cask of rum on his shoulder.  I’m very sure that when some form of the Chinese Social Credit System is implemented here (note that I say “when”, not “if”), that will cost us some major points.

** My brother attended Hamilton College.  They’re still the Continentals, but I predicted this is probably next.  Because reasons.

*** Wesleyan’s mascot is the Cardinals.  So far as I know, it always has been.  There’s probably a religious joke there, considering that it was founded as a Methodee school, but I doubt anyone there nowadays would get it.

**** This is the same argument for rejecting the pogroms against Generals Washington and Lee at Dubyunell.  The school kinda, sorta beat this off this past summah, but I’ve got a baaaad feeling that was only the first wave and that it will fold under additional assault.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Although in the New Calendar this is Christ the King Sunday in the Catholic Church, in the Old Calendar which we follow at our Traditional Latin Mass, it’s simply the final Sunday after Pentecost.  (In the Old Calendar, Christ the King is the last Sunday in October.) In either case, today marks the end of the Liturgical Year and we’re now squared away to begin a new one with the start of Advent next Sunday.

Our Padre today was talking about the end of the fiscal year in the biznay world, a time at which the accountants crunch the numbers to determine profits and losses, and to see just how the biznay “did” over the prior year.  He suggested a parallel examination of our own personal faith – what did we do over the year that brought us closer to God? What did we do that pushed us farther away? What changes are we going to make this coming year to improve our balance sheet?

Pretty good food for thought.  And, at least in my case, a pretty good argument for corporate austerity going into the New Year.

Since it’s Sunday, Ol’ Robbo will use the opportunity to wish you all a belated happy St. Cecilia’s Day.  (Her Feast is actually November 22, which happened to be Thanksgiving Day this year.)

Because Ol’ Robbo is so fond of musick, St. Cecilia (patroness thereof) is probably my favorite of the lot, and certainly has the most workaday role in my life: I keep a Donatello relief of her on top of my piano, and when I start using bad language in frustration over my feeble playing, I turn to her for aid in asking pardon.  I also thank her for her assistance on those rare occasions when I feel I’ve done justice to a particular piece.

And speaking of musick, I am here to tell you that as of today, Sunday, November 25, 2018, Ol’ Robbo is already sick to death of the X-Mas musick playing in the grocery stores, in teevee commercials, and already on the Local Classickal Station.  For those of you requesting an extra side of curmudgeonry in Ol’ Robbo’s “holiday season” posting this year, your order is ready for pick-up.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I hope all you friends of the decanter had a happy – or at least an uninteresting in the Chinese curse sense –  Thanksgiving.  I can certainly say that the Family Robbo’s was one of the best I can remember: Thirteen of us sat down to dinner on Thursday, and it was a positive joy to see the Gels, along with my nephew and two elder nieces, really taking their places as the next adult generation of the family.  No harsh words, since every single one of us except my elder cousin and my four-year-old grand-nephew (it’s a long story) are more or less of the same socio-politickal frame of mind.  Instead, lots of rapid-fire banter and general jollity.  Plus, they all ate like wolves.

A few odds and ends:

♦  As they have for many years now, Robbo’s brother and SiL hosted.  Brother likes to roast his turkey on the grill, so we two always wind up spending several hours outside on T-Day afternoon, fiddling with the coals, adding wood chips now and again, worrying about whether the thermometer is giving accurate readings, and generally kibitzing.  (The adult beverages, of course, may be taken as a given.)  This year he did such a good job of it that Ol’ Robbo is beginning to think about doing his Christmas roast beef the same way.

♦ I notice that hotels seem to take great liberty with the use of the word “suites” in their names.  To me, a two bed double is a two bed double, whether it has a small reception area attached to it or not.  “Suite” means separate bedrooms.  I had to share with Mrs. R and the two Younger Gels this year.  (Eldest goes to school nearby and just stayed in her dorm.)  They’re all slobs.

♦  Another tradition Brother and I have is to go hiking on the Friday after T-Day, in part to work off our overindulgences of the day before, in part to flee the madness that is “Black Friday”.  This year, however, it was much colder and danker than we had anticipated.  We took one look at the sky, said, “Nah, Brah”, and instead spent all afternoon watching college football.  First was the Texas-Kansas game, about which we cared not much except for a residual fondness for the Longhorns from our misspent yoots in Texas.  Second was the Virginia Tech-UVA game, about which we cared a great deal since my nephew is a junior at Tech.  Woah, what a game.

And all the Hoos in Hooville went boo-hoo-hoo!

♦  Speaking of traditions, the other day Ol’ Robbo had seen a clip for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special featuring the Peanuts gang all around the table and said to himself, “Self, I see that Franklin is sitting all alone on one side.  Perhaps somebody will yell RAAAAAYCIIISSS!!!”  I was only joking, but evidently in the Brave New Dystopia, nothing is funny.

Sigh.  On the drive home this morning, Mrs. R was rattling off talking points about how Charles Shultz was, in fact, quite enlightened about race relations for his time, how he insisted on having Franklin in the show despite others’ objections, and how one has to look at these things in context.

“You’re wasting your time, you know,” I said.  “For the people screeching, this is about the will to power.  You can’t reason or argue with it.  It consists totally of ego and emotion and has no goal other than destroying absolutely everything outside of itself.”

♦  Actually, the character I’d hate getting stuck next to is Pigpen.  Blech.

♦  And speaking of the drive home, it simply poured all the way from west-central North Carolina to Northern Virginia.  Middle Gel had driven herself to the Feast from the Tidewater area on Wednesday, and the whole way home today I was thanking Heaven that at least all this muck is supposed to blow out overnight and that the Gel would have a nice day to get herself back to school tomorrow.  It was only a short while ago that I learned the stinker had herself lit out this morning to go stay with her roommate (who lives near campus) overnight and thereby save herself the slog tomorrow when traffic gets bad.  So what am I gonna do with all this pent up worry?

Anyhoo, a good time was had by all, everyone is back where they ought to be, and Ol’ Robbo has the indulgence of another full week before I need to get myself in an Advent frame of mind.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is going to take a couple days away from the laptop in order to rest his eyes some and also to do a bit of meatspace holiday reveling.

If it’s content you want, here’s a link to the question I asked a couple of years ago (and which is a matter of war to the knife for some people): Which was really the “First” Thanksgiving?

Knock yourselves out.  I’ll see you on the other side.

And in the meantime, drive careful and make sure you eat and drink too much!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo recently noticed that Verizon had added a couple of new local stations (one of which seems to be based in Winchester, VA Hagerstown, MD – see below) to its cable package.

I suppose in order to gin up an audience base, these stations are running “Star Trek” four-packs each evening: TOS, NG, DS9, and V.  I’ve started re-watching TOS just for the heck of it.

They’re running the “modified” version of the series that came out a few years ago in which the vast majority of the original external space shots have been replaced with CGI updates.  I have to say that as much as I liked some of the cheesy old effects, I actually approve of this do-over because it’s respectful of the original, doesn’t draw undue attention to itself, and doesn’t seek to muck about any plot points.  (Nowhere, nowhere is there any suggestion of the equivalent of Han not shooting first.)

I can’t help thinking again that Lucas coulda learned a thing or two from this.  (Of course, that assumes that he respected his own original, didn’t want to draw undue attention to himself, and didn’t seek to muck about any plot points.  And as they say, never assume because it makes an “ass” of “u” and “me”.)

And no, I’m not a sci-fi geek.

UPDATE: The new cable channel is the H & I Network.  Its programming seems to be largely old-school reruns, with which I have no problem at all.  (Not that I watch much teevee anyway.)  They seem to have taken over WDCA in Dee Cee, and also have a station WDVM in Hagerstown.  The latter is currently running an ad for a bottom-feeding car dealership that features an astonishingly good voice impersonation of Marisa Tormei in “My Cousin Vinny”.

Oh, and to illustrate my main point above, last evening’s episode was “The Squire of Gothos“.  At one point, the Enterprise is trying to escape and the super-powered alien uses the planet Gothos itself to box her in.  The original sequence was, if I recall correctly, meh.  The new one is pretty cool without being all about itself.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I don’t usually link to or comment on stories over at AoSHQ simply because I believe anybody who drops in here is probably already a member in good standing of the Moron Horde.

I did want to highlight this post, however, because it’s been making me laugh all afternoon: [Stormy] Daniels: Trump Destroyed My “Career” of “Writing” and “Directing” “Movies” of People Having Sex.

Yes, she’s claiming that Trump ruined her career….as a pron star!

Furthermore, she did so while speaking…. at the Oxford Union Debating Society!

As Dave Barry likes to say, I swear I’m not making this up.

Ol’ Robbo immediately thought of one of his favorite exchanges from the eminently-quotable “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum“:

Pseudolus: In love? You? Who is she?

Hero: Sometimes you can see her in that window!

Pseudolus [disgusted]: A common courtesan in the house of Lycus?

Hero: Is that bad?

Pseudolus: Well, there’s no way to make it look like an achievement……

If I recall correctly, the whole Stormy Daniels thing originally was splashed across the front pages in an effort to peel conservative Christians away from Orange Man Bad.  It didn’t work, obviously, and now from the wreckage it seems Mizz Daniels is going for the martyr angle.

I’m going to guess that won’t work much either.

(In fact, I do rayther feel sorry for her, but probably not in the way she wants me to.)

** Words of Wisdom from the Old Gentleman in reference to work and career.

Eldest is taking a course on non-profit biznay this semester, as she toys with minoring in same.

Her current assignment is to interview somebody who works in the non-profit sector, asking them questions about motivation, mission, oversight, etc., etc.

Naturally, the Gel picked Mrs. R as an interviewee, since the latter has been a private school Montessori teacher for better than 20 years now.

Ol’ Robbo overheard bits and pieces of the interview this evening (at least Mrs. R’s part of it) and had to smile.  Back in the earlies, Mrs. R was such a zealous acolyte of the Montessori method, easily able to enthuse about it for hours on end, that I frequently twitted her about her devotion to St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method.  (She never, ever, thought that was s’damn funny, by the bye.)

Now? Well, I won’t say she’s fallen into apostasy, or even agnosticism.  I will say that she sounds…tired.  Like 20+ years tired.

I mean no criticism.  Indeed, I think this perfectly natural.  Hence the quote of the Old Gentleman’s wisdom in the title.  Indeed, it’s the ones who don’t burn out who give Ol’ Robbo the most pause.

As for myself, Ol’ Robbo passed the bar in 1991, so you can do the math.  I never had any “passion” about practicing law, but simply recognized that my talents for reading, writing, and argument made the profession  a natural one for me.  Maybe I wasn’t a young zealot, but on the other hand, I’m really not feeling any burnout at this point.

This is why I have always loved the quote from “Lawrence of Arabia” in which, Prince Faisal says, “With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion.  With me, it is merely good manners.  You may judge which is the more reliable motive.”

(By the bye, I think Eldest is ultimately going to wind up in law school herself.  She has a real gift for legal and evidentiary analysis – from what I could hear this evening, she was basically taking a deposition like a pro.  And given her rayther Cromwellian personality, she’d make a terrifying district attorney.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Flipping about the innerwebz before Mass this morning, I came across this: Noted Vatican Theologian Calls For Examination of Validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation.

Make of it what you will.  Myself, I don’t know enough to judge whether this is legitimate argument or something from fake-moon-landing territory.

I will say this: Back in the early 2000’s when many disgusted Protestants (including Ol’ Robbo) swam the Tiber in search of Orthodoxy under the leadership of Papa Bennie, the movement was often compared to the mustering of the Out-Companies to Minas Tirith in The Return of the King.

Updating that allusion, it seems pretty clear we’ve got a Denethor on our hands now.  What we do about it, I really don’t know.

LIGHTING SINGLE CANDLE IN DARKNESS UPDATE:  I should note that attendance at my parish in general – and at our weekly Latin Mass in particular – is actually on the rise.  I believe this is due to my Padre, whose reputation as an unshakeable Holy man is steadily spreading.  So to continue with the allusion, I should cheer up, as there are still plenty of Beregonds (and Faramirs, for that matter) out there.**

**And if you are puzzled because you think Faramir a fallen character, that means you’ve only seen the movie and not read the book.  I am dispatching a squadron of Riders of Rohan to deal with you……


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Following up on the addendum  to my storm-of-the-century-of-the-week post of the other day, I left the trash cans out by the street overnight just in case the trash people made a run today to make up for their absence during Thursday’s storm.

They did.

I also put the mailbox back on its post this morning and lashed it down temporarily with a bungee cord just in case the mailman dropped off what he wasn’t able to put in it Thursday after it was knocked to the ground.

He did.

And tomorrow morning, my main chore will be to re-attach the mailbox in a more permanent fashion.  Hammer, nails, and replacement boards are at the ready.

All of this brings Ol’ Robbo much satisfaction.  It’s petty and mundane, I know, but the joy of dealing with and resolving Life’s little concrete domestic problems is real.

SATURDAY GARDENING POST UPDATE:  Mailbox successfully remounted.  There was no actual damage to box or post, so all I needed to do was straighten out some bent nails and reattach it to its base.  Easy-peasy, and nobody hit me while I had my back turned to oncoming traffic!

On another note, I have been informed that “mailman” is not acceptable usage.  The correct term is “postal worker”.  Strong Steps will be taken if I continue to demonstrate such insensitivity in my blogging.




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