Back in action:  The dead of winter, fewer fishing trips, John came down for three trips.   Three other guys wanted to get out.   The schedule is filling in decent for March and April.  

Just a great stretch of weather.   Three days for John.   Two other parties.   Five days straight.    One guy joined John for day 1.   This was the only average day of the five.    The next four days were easy.   We are talking big trout all morning long.    I ran the smoker three times.   I have 25 containers of fish spread still in the refrigerator.    A trip to Orlando I’ll unload some of that.   Winds were light.    The feeding was strong and the size of the fish was well above average.     One day, a nice lady named Terry got in on the action.   She had never caught big trout.   Now she has caught seven.      Curt and Paul finished out the fifth day.    They had a little less of a bite but they worked their way to a solid day.

The house:   Progress continues.     The future is more improvements.   Weeks away from spring training, umpires are going to arrive.   If I can get my handyman active the new door will be cut in the wall and installed and the roof put up over the deck.      I will also add a charcoal grill.     50 more plants will be going in.   My friend, an expert, she will be doing some of that.     I am considering adding some fencing.     Eventually if the city approves there will be a long planter by the road.    Every day:   Something gets done.

Book sales are light now.     They started out good.     I figure there are hundreds of people out there that just haven’t done it yet.   Book number two publishes inside two weeks.    The third book is virtually ready.    The advice I am getting is to wait.    I probably won’t wait too long.   But I will put some more work in on it before that one is completely finalized.

My mother move is getting closer.     Into an assisted living situation, I hope that makes things really easy for her.    48 years in one place it is a chore to get things ready for this move.   I did ask about Dad’s tools.    If there’s one thing I haven’t done right in life it is tools.   She talked it over and it was decided that Dad’s tools are coming to Florida.    I have finally reached an acceptance of his absence.    Kind of strange I guess but I feel that finally I am used to the fact that he is gone.   It took a while.  

I’ve mostly ignored the news.    The headlines and the stories haven’t been inspiring.     I haven’t seen much ridiculous to comment on but again, I’ve been avoiding the news more these past few weeks.    Frank Robinson died.    I had him one game during spring training.     He was with the Expos.    I had the bases.    A rookie had the plate.     He came out on me late game, unusual in Spring Training.    He said “Neil, my team is terrible.    I need to start early.”    I knew what he meant so I said, “Come in closer and act like you are giving it to me.”   He did.   I said, “You give it to me for a full minute and then go down and let the kid eject you.     I’d do it but I’ve already had my experiences to tell.   Let the kid tell people he ejected a Hall of Famer.”     So we did it.   I coached him to point his finger into my chest.     He walked off, went down and he was really respectful to the young umpire, who reluctantly ejected him.     I used my voice, loud enough where the kid knew it was coming.      After the game Frank came back out to the top step and waved.    I yelled “Good luck.”     The only thing that was funny about it, when he was “giving it to me” I told him two guys in the minor leagues he should keep his eye on.     Oh, did he appreciate that.   He said “They weren’t even on my radar.”   I said, “Keep your eyes open, they’re the only two prospects I’ve seen in your system.”     Both of those guys were called up to the big leagues in the next year.   Coincidence?

Kind of a lengthy rut, I am seeing someone again.   The mail lady.     Oh, is she good looking.     And funny.     I was in the driveway.   Instead of putting the mail in the box she walked it up to me.    I’d never seen her before.     Quick small talk.    I told her the driveway was my social life and if she was ever bored to just drive on in after work.     So, six hours later, she pulled up.   I started a fire.    I made her dinner.     It was fun.    The sads news:   A promotion may take her away from here.  

The house:  Progress every day.   Umpires descend in three weeks.   So I’m going to push my handyman.   Get the door cut in the wall to connect the interior to the deck.      The roof for the deck, not as important I would also like to have.   More than anything:   To keep the leaves from the neighbor lady’s trees off the deck.      The inside “bar” is being installed in a few days.     I’m doing the central Florida thing for a few days, when I get back, the bar gets built.    About 100 plants are going in, courtesy of Bobbie.   She is connected.   I want stuff for the front porch (I know little about inside plants).   And she knows vegetables.    She already has pepper plants here.    Cucumbers are going to be in.    A bunch of other stuff is going in.        The lemon tree is my pride.    I will pick the last of the lemons and take them to Craig’s.     The tree is loaded with blossoms and looks like next year’s crop will expand.    It keep growing.   I can’t wait until it is putting out 300 lemons a year.  

Book sales:  Lighter than I expected.    A lot of people just haven’t spoken up.    To me there are 2000 people that should “want” the book.    Of course, the world is funny.   I now have 20,000 pompano teasers.    I could quit tying them and I’ll probably never run out.   The reality, not everyone fishes like me.    If I went back 20 years, I’d be buying them 100 at a time once a year.     I rarely sell them 100 at a time.     Anyway, it doesn’t really matter.     What I have invested in materials isn’t obscene.     And I’ll use them.     That teaser is one of the very best fishing tools there is.  

Book sales:   The second book is going to publish.    Maybe some people are waiting so they can buy them both at the same time?    On advice:  The third book won’t publish for a while.    It is virtually ready as well.    I’ll take my time.    I’ll do that one later.    I guess none of it really matters that much.   When it’s done.   How well they sell.    It doesn’t matter.     I reach “break even” pretty fast.     

Selling stuff has been funny.   I used to sell stuff the day I decided to get rid of it.   It just isn’t that way anymore.    I would still part with one kayak.    But, no one interested, I’ll just keep it.     A new rod sponsor, I have the other rods I can get rid of.   I haven’t even tried.    They can collect dust.     I really don’t care.   I get tired of trying.     One guy, a former client accused me of being ultra negative when I gave a lecture in one of my emails about people buying stuff.     I wasn’t.    I was expressing surprise that was misinterpreted.   I don’t care.    I really don’t.   So I have more stuff laying around here.    Big deal.     I’m just amazed that people don’t scoop up a good deal anymore.   That’s all.  

I am becoming a pain again.    The new governor gets an email from me every three days.     No response.    I will not stop until I am part of the agenda.    We have real problems.     It is their job to address it.   I’ll be dead and gone.   My legacy will be that “I made it better.”     Very simple.   Things that are broken, I’ll work on having them fixed, continuing what I have been doing for the past 17 years.     Captain Mel was impressed.    And he would have really enjoyed seeing the things I have done in the last nine years.     He did his best.    He didn’t get into the inside as well as I have.    But he stood for the right things.    And, he wouldn’t have been surprised by any of the things I have done.    I don’t back down from anyone.     If it’s not right, I’ll stick with it until it is.     My failure:  Snook.    Snook are in dreadful condition.   I fought that fight.    I won.   But it didn’t change anything.      To me, that is a failure.     Not my failure.    A failure of the Florida Wildlife Commission.    I still laugh.    Their promise:  They would be in touch with me on matters moving forward.      Five years later, how many times have I heard from them?       Zero.     So they’re liars too.   Sue me.   I just published it.     My father would pay the legal fees.   His stance:   I tell the truth.   If I got sued for telling the truth my father would have put his lawyer on it.    It is because of how I live by the truth I have never had legal problems.  

Off the serious stuff:   My hockey team must have drank heavily every day during the All Star break.   They haven’t been the same in the four games to start the second half.    Heavy scorers, they can’t get a puck in the net to save their lives.    Decent defense, they have won a shootout.   Lost a shootout.   Lost in Overtime.     But they just aren’t scoring.    They need to put it back together sometime.     They are already playoff bound but it would be better if they would dominate again.    They aren’t.      Not that I’m a wild die hard guy but I am following the team.   It was more fun two weeks ago.  

Frank Robinson is gone.    Irony:  Exact age of my father.     Frank was good for baseball.    I only met him once.     I was impressed.    Not surprised.   He knew what he was doing.   He knew what I should be doing.   We did it good together for one day.     He lived a long time.   So did my father.    It was just their time.  

The fact you are reading this means I got things fixed.     They screwed with my program.    I couldn’t post anymore.    Worse yet the company who runs the program they said they couldn’t help me.   I had to contact the “host.”  Well contacting any of them:  A nightmare.     I don’t know how these companies stay in business.     It should never be this hard but I encounter it over and over.    My problems with Google are not over either.   Google can sue me too:   They are a dismal company.   Just dreadful:  The worst I have ever seen.  

Things I can’t figure out:  Why does Cleveland not have a hockey team??   Black History month.      Many things I can’t quite grip.    I don’t care but I will never understand.    I got in trouble recently because of the LBGQT”whatever” community.      I didn’t say anything negative or really even slanted.   All I said was I didn’t know anyone who qualified for part of the category.      An ultra-liberal attacked me.   Guess who ended up on top at the end of this one?     I let the attack go on until the point where it was time to be an umpire.     And I was.      Standing up for people?   This person was humbled.   After I went on a major rant I talked about how we were treated as umpires and to think about that before he ever passed judgment on someone again.   A point well taken it turns out.     I didn’t fault the guy for standing up for something.    He was just trying to pick on someone and he made the wrong choice.     A witness, one friend for the last 20 years who never saw it before:   Me in battle mode.     That is the happiest guy on Earth these days.     He always wanted to see me in that situation and he got it.   And I hate to tell you but some of you that are in the category:  You are totally bizarre.  

It’s too bad you live your life like you are a solid citizen when you owe me money.    You are a loser.    Read this, be upset, never pay me the money and I will put your name in here the next time.   I give up.    I have been so good to so many people over the years.   How is it reciprocated?   It’s not.   People get something for nothing.   I guess that’s OK for some people.    I’d never do it.   I couldn’t sleep at night.   Of course, there are other where sleep should be tough.    Same thing, after all I’ve done:  How can you turn your back on me?    My true friends are horrified.     I don’t care.   I have made choices to move on.    Good choices if you ask me.  

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