Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

To the young lady sitting behind me in off-and-on stand still traffic this morning:  Dear, people can see you squeezing your blackheads.  You might want to save that for some other time and place. (Same to you fellahs who feel the urge to pick your noses.)

As Lon Solomon likes to say in his local radio ministry, “not a sermon, just a thought”.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I don’t usually double-post these days, but just as an administrative note, Ol’ Robbo would direct your attention to the Port Swiller blogroll on your left.  As you can see if you’re a regular friend of the decanter, it’s a bit different this evening, as Ol’ Robbo finally got around to cleaning it up.

Basically, I deleted several links to sites (mostly MSM) that I simply don’t read anymore, (And with some of which I’ve come to be in violent disagreement recently.  Yeah, Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg, I’m looking at you!)  The vast majority of changes, however, involve my finally consigning a bunch of links to long-dormant fellow blogs to “Under the Table” status.  I really mean this as a mark of respect.  Even though a lot of these blogs have been dead three, four, five years or more, and some of them have even been deleted completely from their hosts, I like to keep their memories alive because of the impact they’ve had on me.  Bumpers all round, Ladies and Gentlemen, and no heel taps!

Of course, Robbo is well aware of his propensity, when he finally gets up the energy to clean things out, for going a bit overboard.  (Not half as much as Mrs. Robbo, but that’s a story for a different post.)  So if I’ve deleted or reassigned a linky in error, please let me know.  (And, as always, if any friend of the decanter has suggestions for blogs I ought to be reading but am not, please send those in as well.)


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This weekend, Mrs. Robbo and I drove down to the Tidewater to take Middle Gel to an accepted applicants to-do at her new school.  Part of the festivities involved a big BBQ lunch yesterday (given in the school’s gym instead of on the UVA-inspired lawn due to the craptacular weather).  We sat down at random with another kid and his parents, and damme if after five minutes of conversation it didn’t turn out that not only do these people live just a couple blocks away from Mrs. R’s Montessori school, but that the Dad also works for the same employer as I do (for about the same amount of time) and was two years ahead of me at The People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown and knew a couple of the same people I did there. UPDATE: Oh, this fellah and I also both went to law school in the Great Commonwealth of Virginny, (although he was a Groovy U-V and I was not).  And not only do I know personally the managing partner of the firm he used to work for, but that same managing partner’s daughters used to babysit the Gels back in the day.

Eyebrow status? Raised to eleven.




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo hates commuting during Easter Week, especially when it coincides with the cherry blossoms coming out.  All those tourons, both driving around lost and clogging up crosswalks at the intersections?  Grrrr.  It usually takes me about fifteen or twenty minutes to get to the river from my office.  Today it took nearly an hour (with another half hour to go from the other end of the bridge to the Port Swiller garage).  Move along.

Know what else I hate? Those people who surreptitiously use their iThingies while driving by holding them flat against the bottoms of their steering wheels.  (It’s illegal here and they try to fool the cops that way.)  You can always tell who they are – the ones who float three or four lengths back from the car in front even in the slowest traffic, or sit for five or ten seconds in place when everyone else has moved on.  This plays absolute merry hell with the poor shlub behind who risks getting caught in “the box” when the lights change.  Cut it out.

Finally, may I speak to those (mostly) middle-aged men driving Porsches?  Guy, if you’re going to plonk $60K (or whatever it is) on a fancy sports car, could you at least drive it like one instead of piddling about?  Otherwise, what the heck is the point?  And don’t give me any of this fear-my-baby-will-get-in-an-accident foo-fah.  You’re far more likely to cause one with your pokey hesitation than you are putting the thing to its intended use.  Man up.

Oh, and with spring (finally, kinda, almost) here, of course the swarms of cyclists are increasing, too.  I have nothing to say to them except pray you don’t get in front of me.  Ramming SPEED!

[Ed. – Sorry?]

‘Ooh, ah like a nice tune, ‘yer forced too!

[Ed. – Then you can go on posting?]

Most certainly.  And now, my fellow port swillers, greetings!

Ol’ Robbo didn’t do all that well this past Lent with heightened prayer, meditation, and reading, but he did do a very good job in sacrifice by giving up all musick for the 40 days, apart from an hour or so on Sundays , and sticking to it.

You have to understand that for me, musick is a near-constant presence in my normal life.  I keep the radio on in the car and in my office all day.  I frequently listen to CD’s in the evenings.  I put in a few hours tickling the ivories on the weekends.  Cutting all that out produces a real, well, silence, and is a …SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI UP!

[Ed. – Told you.]

A real but manageable penance.

Now that it’s Easter Week, of course, I’m indulging myself to the fullest and enjoying it all the more so for having abstained these past weeks.

He is risen, indeed, two, three…..


(By the bye, the Python sketch on which I’ve been riffing in this post is an excellent example of one they did better on record (the Matching Tie and Handkerchief Album, if I recall correctly) than on tee-vee.  That’s an endlessly fascinating topic of conversation in and of itself – which sketches worked best in which mediums and why.

Well I’m fascinated by it.  And remember, if you enjoy the topic half as much as I do, then I enjoy it twice as much as you.  Ha, ha!

[Ed. – Cue the 16-ton weight!])

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

In case you missed it, George Washington University (annual cost $72K),  is offering an “event” this Easter Week entitled “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!”

Say what?

How do Christians in the USA experience life in an easier way than non-Christians? Even with the separation of Church and State, are there places where Christians have built-in advantages over non-Christians? How do we celebrate Christian identities and acknowledge that Christians receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country? Let’s reflect upon ways we can live up to our personal and national values that make room for all religious and secular identities on an equal playing field.  All are welcome!

Well, at least they’re out in the open about their bigotry.  “How do we celebrate Christian identities and acknowledge that Christians receive unmerited perks…?”  Short answer: We don’t.  Something’s got to go and I’ll give you two guesses what it is.

Is it really “easy” to be a Christian these days?  Ol’ Robbo certainly doesn’t find this to be the case.  Anywhere outside my family and my church community, I have to keep my head down and my mouth shut most of the time.

By the bye, somebody at GWU needs to brush up on their history.  Most of the “Founding Fathers” were lukewarm Christians at best.  A number of them – including Washington, Jefferson, and Madison – were Deists, people who accepted that some kind of Divine Power set up the Universe, but who thought (to one extent or another) that the whole biznay of Jesus, with His “miracles” and His claims to be God and His “death and resurrection”, was a lot of hooey.  See, e.g., the “Jefferson Bible“.   (I believe there was one Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.  I also believe there were also one or two prominent Jews among the Founders.)

Let’s have a look at some of the “Learning Objectives” of this “event”:

  • Participants will be able to describe what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically.
  • Participants will be able to describe the role of denial when it comes to white privilege.
  • Participants will be able to differentiate between equality and equity.

Ah, there you go.

When Ol’ Robbo was an undergrad at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown back in the day, he accidentally stumbled one time into a session of something called “Crit/Self-Crit“.  Within about 30 seconds or so, I realized that it was nothing more than an exercise in forced self-loathing.  That’s all this really is, at least as far as any “White Christian” idiot enough to actually attend.  (And, of course, an exercise in grievance-mongering for anyone else.)

Thank Heaven Ol’ Robbo is immune to this sort of nonsense.  (Oops! Is it privileged for me to say that?)

A glass of wine with The College Fix via The Ewok.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers and again, Happy Easter!

Sorry about the moroseness of the post below.  For what it’s worth, I’m already feeling better.

Anyhoo, we had a very pleasant Easter Weekend at Port Swiller Manor which featured a visit by my brother and most of his family.  At dinner yesterday, the bro mentioned a story he had read about recently reporting that amateur divers had discovered the remains of a WWII German U-Boat at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

I was amazed by this piece of news.  How the heck could a Nazi sub sneak all the way up the St. Lawrence and into the Lake without being spotted or running aground in the tortuous stretches past Montreal?  And even if it managed to do so, to what possible end?  It couldn’t go attacking, simply because it would quickly run out of fish and also be bottled up once the Canadians were on the alert.  So what would be its mission?  Landing sabotage teams? Spying? Something else?

It was a truly fascinating topic of, admittedly, somewhat vino-fueled discussion.  Sounded like a couple of First Lords of the Admiralty, we did.

Alas…..I finally got around to looking up the matter on the Whirled Why Dweb this evening and discovered…..the story is apparently a hoax from a couple years back.

Oh, well.  It was fun playing Churchill while it lasted.

The premise would make a pretty good historick thriller though, wouldn’t it.

Raphael – Resurrection of Christ

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is going to be busy for the next few days and unlikely to get time for gratuitous dallying over the decanter, so I thought I would go ahead and wish you all a very happy Easter now.  Yes, it’s Holy Thursday as I type this, but transporting forward, He is risen, indeed!  Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Frankly, however, Holy Week has turned out to be something of a dud for Ol’ Robbo.  I’d had all sorts of plans to really go in for the Triduum, especially as Mrs. R and the Gels are in Flariduh for spring break, but when push came to shove, I found I only really have the energy to manage purely obligatory church attendance this year.  (I’m not even planning to go to the Vigil Mass Saturday night, which I’ve always done in memory of the fact that I was received into HMC at that Mass ten years ago.)

Similarly, we are hosting Easter Dinner, which will involve my brother and his family plus my elderly cousin.  Originally, I was looking forward to concocting a combination of rack of lamb and interesting accompaniments (which I still haven’t nailed down, apart from grilled asparagus).  Now, I’m rayther dreading it all.

Why is this, you may ask?  Well, I think it all goes back to still grieving over the loss of the Mothe in August.   The same dragging enervation, which had gradually dried up last fall, suddenly reappeared around Christmas and flattened me.  (I couldn’t manage Midnight Mass, as much as I adore it.)  It wore away again as the new year progressed, but caught me again a couple weeks ago when I was reflecting on the 11th anniversary of the Old Gentleman’s death.  Now, seemingly, here we are again.

When the blue devils got to me at Christmas, I consulted my parish Padre about them.  He basically said yeah, the first year after you lose Mom is rough; that the feeling will bubble up again on holidays and important dates like birthdays; and that it’s all perfectly natural so don’t worry about it.

I’m telling myself that again now.

Basta!  The melancholy may drain me at the more surface-y levels, but I’m also grateful for the profound strength of Faith that is buoying me deeper down.  So I say again to all of you:  Happy Easter!  He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!




“Affability” – James Gillray, 1795

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo spent a pleasant Saturday morning trimming up the wisteria which abounds at Port Swiller Manor and otherwise cleaning up round the yard in impatient anticipation that warmer weather may finally arrive here soon.  Looking about me, I sense that the local flora and fauna share my impatience and at the first sign that Spring actually is here to stay will take off with a whoop and a holler.

It’s too bad that the cold is hanging around so long this year.  We’re hosting Easter Dinner next Sunday and will have about a dozen people for it.  I can’t fit that many into my dining room comfortably, but I could have had us all out on the porch together if only it were warm enough.  Barring something unforeseen this week, doesn’t look like we’re going to quite make it, so the kids will have to be banished to their own table in the kitchen.  (Which is a real pity, because they’re all old enough to be enjoyable table companions now.)

Oh, and on the subject of yard work, it looks like Ol’ Robbo finally is going to have to swallow his pride and invest in one of those abdomen braces.  I’ve noticed recently that my lower back gets awfully sore when I drag or carry heavy things about in the yard.  My old neighbor wore one habitually, even for the lightest gardening tasks.  In my youthful arrogance, I used to chuckle about it, but now it looks like the laugh is on me.  (And yes, you can get off my lawn.)

UPDATE:  For Tubbs.  I couldn’t find a fellah in a truss, but how about Farmer George?  (History of the cartoon, including the caption, here.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo hadn’t realized until today that this weekend is the big “Tide-Pod Kidz Against Icky Guns” rally in Your Nation’s Capital.  And it only hit me personally when I left the office this afternoon and discovered that crews were out and about setting up crowd-control barriers and whatnot and, in the process, blocking several intersections key to my commute.

Rush hour traffick in the Swamp is bad enough, especially when the crowds of tourons reappear in the spring.  When this sort of thing happens, however, one finds oneself feeling like Frodo and his friends trying to get out of the Old Forest but being dragged back in by Old Man Willow.  (At one point, I started to make an illegal left turn to get clear, but there happened to be a cop sitting on my right rear bumper.  He started blatting his horn at me menacingly, so I quickly abandoned my escape attempt.)  It is extremely wearing and grrrrr-making.

So perhaps I’m even more prejudiced against this stunt than I might otherwise have been, but I don’t really think so.  I’m disgusted with the Kidz, of course – snot-nosed little narcissists who think virtue-signaling about their feelz trumps Reality.  But I’m actually enraged by the Authoritarian Left machine that’s exploiting these idiots to push disarmament of law-abiding citizens and strip me of my right to defend myself and my family.  (And no, I don’t think Ol’ Robbo is wandering into tinfoil-hat territory here.  There’s Soros Money in them thar protests.)

Anyhoo, all this kerfluffle has been having the opposite of its intended effect – at least with me – in that I’m motivated to finally get off the Port Swiller backside and start doing some serious research and pricing, especially now that Mrs. R has given me the green light.  I may have mentioned here before that I’ve never actually fired a handgun, so I know very little about them and will need to get proper training, advice, practice, and so on.  However, I used to do a good bit of bird and skeet shooting as a teenager, using, among others, a Remington Model 1100 12-guage.  It seems to me that one of these would be a good first step since I’m already familiar with it.  (And, after all, isn’t this what Joey the Plugs “Choo-Choo” Biden recommended?)

In the meantime, these Kidz can get the hell off my lawn and go back to their Tide-Pod eating.

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