You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 13, 2011.


The largest exhibit ever of artifacts from what’s believed to be the remains of Blackbeard’s flagship is opening at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, with bells, cannon, lead shot and part of the hull among the items on display.

In fact, Mr. FLG could really liven things up by dressing as Blackbeard and then showing up at the museum’s doors demanding that they give him his stuff back.

Heck, I’d drive down to see that!

It seems that there might be some new trouble with the port-swiller comments.  I checked the security thingy, but it doesn’t look as if I’ve turned them off.  So if you’re having trouble getting through, it might be a wider Worpresss issue.

I was going to ask that you drop a comment in response to this post, but realized that if you can’t comment, that would be a pretty moronic request.  So if you’re having problems, please drop a note in the Tasty Bits Mail Sack, which is llamabutchers AT


UPDATE: I think Marvin nails it.  For whatever reason, the new comment thingy is now waaaaaay down at the bottom of the page.  Without looking for it there, you might think you’ve been cut off.  Perhaps I’ll bestir myself to notify the authorities.

While ol’ Robbo is very fond of his wine, he hardly ever touches the harder stuff.  When he does, apart from the Christmas bottle of Laproaig 10-year old, his almost invariable rule is to stick with G&T’s or vodka tonics in the summah, and vodka martinis with a twist in winter.

I am often criticized for being a stick-in-the-mud, a hide-bound reactionary whose blinkered world-view and unwillingness to try that favorite liberal word, the alternatives, make me a very dull boy.

I pair these two sentences because they both came into play Saturday evening when Mrs. R and I went out to dinner with her parents, who were passing through town.  As we sat down at the local steakhouse, the waiter wait-person server, a personable young fellah, started chatting us up about the evening’s specials.  Amongst said specials was a featured drink, a blueberry martini, the construction of which now escapes me, but involved more than just tossing a couple berries in the glass.

Suddenly seized with a spirit of spontaneous adventurousness,  or perhaps still reeling from the heat and humidity of the day, I decided to break my usual custom and give one a try.

It was vile, tasting more like a kiddy juice box, or perhaps cough syrup, than anything else.


I like to think that episodes such as this validate my deep skepticism of the “new and different” mentality and my concurrent dislike of abandoning the tried and true.


Thank you, sweet Ma Nature, for returning to June The Way It Ought To Be weather this morning!  I’m so relieved that I’m even willing to overlook the fact that, despite the storms that rumbled and bumbled all around the horizon yesterday evening, not a single drop fell on the Port-Swiller residence and ol’ Robbo had to go out and water the porch plants after all.

Nonetheless, it was a real mad dogs and Englishmen kind of weekend, most of which I was forced to spend outside, and from which I am still recovering.

Friday afternoon saw an early Father’s Day picnic hosted by the elementary classes at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method.  The event kicked off with an hour or so of sporting about the grounds under the full brunt of the midday sauna, and in an effort to keep the two younger gels from going for each other’s throats over Who Gets To Play With Daddy Now, I found myself furiously scuttling back and forth among various activities.  (And just as an aside, that was the last time ol’ Robbo tries to swing himself across the monkey bars in public.)  By the time lunch was announced, the idea of food was an absolute horror.  I finally wound up wedged into an armchair in the corner of the nine year old’s classroom listening to recitations of Father’s Day poems, and even with her on my lap I can’t say that I didn’t eventually doze off.

Midday Saturday saw the first round of the youngest gel’s softball playoffs.  I really haven’t posted much about her team, on which I serve as batting and bench coach, as well as the voice of reason to the highly excitable manager.  As this is a AA team with eight to ten year-olds, the earlier part of the season was more of an exercise in getting them to stop looking at butterflies and squirrels than anything else, but I must say that in the last few weeks they have, all of them, really started to wake up and play ball.  At this level the league doesn’t keep official standings, but we certainly ended up with a winning regular season record.

At any rate, by whatever trick of fate, we drew the best team in the division for our first encounter, a team coached by the league’s VP for all of softball, a quiet, reasonable man who has a competitive streak not easily seen on the surface but stretching for many, many fathoms below.  I don’t think many people gave our team much of a chance, and after our opponents racked up five runs in the top of the first (the maximum allowed per inning), there might have been some sage nodding of heads.  But damme if we didn’t come right back and get five of our own in the bottom of the first.  And so the game progressed, with them getting a few runs here and there and us matching them.  When it was called for time after six innings, we were all square at 12 to 12, the youngest gel having gone three for three with two RBI’s, including the final tying run.

Sunday afternoon saw the completion of the game.  Going into it, I confess that I had an uneasy feeling that although we had battled the other team toe to toe the day before, they were going to come back mad enough to make short work of us.  However, I am happy to report that my misgivings were completely unfounded.  Before the game, our highly excitable manager gave the team a brief history of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s defeat of the Soviet juggernaut, suggesting to them that history was about to repeat itself.  And having been dubbed the Miracle on Dirt, the gels went out and picked up right where they left off.  Finally, in the ninth inning, we managed to get runners at first and third and then finished off the game with a rayther unusual walk-off infield fly that was flubbed by the other team’s shortstop.  Final score: 14-13.

It was very exciting.

Next round is Friday evening.  If we can keep from getting too cocky, the chapeenship game will be Saturday morning.

Go, Team!


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June 2011