Taken aback:  From a college professor

For whoever reads this.   I was a professor of Neil’s in college at the University of Arizona.     Reconnected with Neil after 26 years just last year.     I didn’t buy his first three books.     I bought The Professional Baseball Umpire.    I figure I have read 25,000 books in my lifetime.   This was the best reading I have ever seen and I’m only halfway a baseball guy.     I’d be a zero baseball guy if my father and I didn’t share it.      It is a look into the life of a guy in the profession.   Because I know Neil, it was extra special.    A writing style like I have NEVER seen, it’s like you’re sitting in front of a fire talking to the guy and he’s telling his stories.     Neil says “That was intentional.”     I need to get at least five copies for gifts.  Not giving my copy away.   I will read this one once in a while the rest of my life.   Truth be known:   In three months, I’ve read it twice.    I was glued to it.   Kind of nice for me:  When Neil started umpiring, he was in my class.   I can tell you:  I have to laugh.    Neil was the wrong guy to argue with before he became a professional umpire.    He had the bad end of an argument in a class excercise and I’d say “won” handily.    The other kid stayed after class and said to me, “Could you not put me against him again.”   That kid, an A student.    Killed me to give Neil a B.       Neil’s take on it.    “How did I earn a B?”    There is excellence in life.     My thing:   I’m sorry I missed him umpiring years.   I can tell you, the photos in his book were good enough to make me feel like I was partly there, but had we been in touch:   I would have flown out every year and followed him around for a week or two.      Nod of approval that Neil is now a fishing guide.   What a nice life change after his first profession.      Neil:   Live a long time.    You are special to me.  

The coronavirus scare is still going on.     Three weeks ago:  Worst traffic I have ever seen in St Pete.   The last two days, the fewest people I have ever seen on the roads.   

I now know two people who know someone who has it.   No one I know has it that I know of.   One scare:   A phobic person.   Nothing wrong with them.   I’m on my own most of the time.   Contact with the world is more minimal than pretty much anyone I know.  

The order has been given:   I’m getting a dog.   If I get to name him, he will be Covid.   It will be a lab.    Black lab is what everyone tells me.   I’d take the yellow one too.    Anyway, never have had a dog but I decided it’s time.   New fence closing in the yard.   

All of these hot dog companies and only like one of them makes their hot dog the same length as the bun.

Toilet paper:   Asking almost everyone.   No one can tell me why toilet paper is in demand.   

Hate President Trump?   I just watched him speak.   He could be retired and sitting on the beach.  Golfing.   He is doing the job and the speech he gave:  He is trying to do things right.   I may not like him if I knew him in person.   But that has nothing to do with the job he is doing.   Or, I might like him a lot.    He steps aside, is polite and is obviously listening to the next person who is speaking, probably someone he has already spent hours with in session without a camera on them.    You hate Trump:  Good luck being married to your politics.   Every time I see him I see that he is better for America than any of the other options.     Joe Biden his challenger?    Trump is reelected.    Joe Biden:   He should have walked after he finished as vice president.    Still scratching my head why Obama picked him as vice president anyway.   He should have had Snoop Dog or someone.  

Fishing:  The weird challenges right now.    Talking to people who say “But it’s closed.”    In almost every one of those cases I have said “Unless you go there in a boat.”    If your boat ramp is open close enough to that spot, you can fish it.     Closures are temporary.   How long will this go on?   I don’t have the answer.   Two months?    Seven?   A year.    No one knows.    I am happy to see people taking precautions.    Lots of people I see wearing masks and gloves:   For an outbreak that has less than 5000 cases in a population of 16 million.     Stay at home.   I am.   I take a few people fishing.   I don’t kiss them.   I have though, shaken hands with a bunch of them.   If they initiate it.    No one knows it and I think it is “mostly unnecessary” but I bleach the kayaks after every trip.      Overkill.   I still don’t know anyone who has it.   I now know three people who know someone who has picked it up.    My father, departed two years and three weeks now:   He predicted this.   But I would still like to have his input on this one. .    Smarter than anyone on Earth, I can’t talk to him about things like this anymore.   As usual, if we did have the chance to talk, he would say I had a lot of the answers.       No travel two months ago.   No packages from other countries allowed, two months ago.     If you find a way to travel out of the US, you are not allowed back.     Sorry, my way is better than your way that allows international travel.    Shut down.   Shut down and the amount of this virus in the United States:     Zero.    If you have no travelers.   And no shipments coming in.    That’s zero isn’t it?     

How long does it last?   The heat of summer, supposed to help.    A vaccine?    There will probably be one.   I’m torn.    I don’t get a flu shot.   All these people I know who got one:  They got the flu.    I like my shot against this with my immune system.   If I die, so be it..    In my life:  I put the fence up.    Locked, no one is getting in here.    Twice a week, I beach the fence even though odds are no one has even touched it.      Odds of me getting the virus are slim.    Especially, one more trip to the grocery store once the get restocked:   I will not have to go to the store again for a year.      People I have seen who have picked it up, hate me for saying it but, it wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t an idiot.       In life, you take your risks.    Honestly, with this one, if you are under 70 years old you can take the risks and if you lose you might not even die.      But, if you picked it up, in my observations:   Your decisions are BAD.     I have been told “I agree, but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”   That’s from someone more sympathetic than I am.     For me:   If you got it, because you made bad choices, good luck but I don’t really have the sympathy that guy over there does.  

Tough ones:  A pastor keeps church open against orders.    Arrested.     The way I hear it, he is released.     Does he open the church again.   If he does he faces a prison term.    Tough one.    What you believe in.   If I was that guy, I might be going to prison.      Weird times we live in.  

Getting off serious stuff:    I put down 50 new pavers.    Fisherman’s Night headquarters here:   Making my house better all the time.   I just wish I was the guy I used to be and you wouldn’t believe the things I would be doing.   But, I keep working on it.  

Stay out of politics:    Some of these people have aged 30 years in four years being in that position   Don’t do it    That’s my tip of the week.

I threw some rocks.     I can’t actually talk about it.    Suffice it to say, for those who do read my stuff, the far inside for me you’d figure certain things wouldn’t happen.   Those things that have happened, and I have been dealing with for a while now:    I don’t care.    I did it right.   My father, if he was still alive, he would be mad.    Gone, it’s up to me and Go and live your own life.   Leave me alone.      You’re screwed up in the head, leave me out of it.    I’m happy living my life, good luck living your own.  

I’m not extremely good at throwing rocks.

Brings up an interesting point:   Who does read my stuff?    I can tell you, with the stuff I just said, the right people won’t even see it.    And that’s fine.     I’d quit writing but there are all of these people who read everything I write and it is part of their lives.    That is an honor.     And that is why I put effort into it.    I could quit writing and life gets A LOT easier.     Without doubt.    But apparently, what I have left to say while I am alive, there are people that want to see it..  

So many things that are good    So much in the world that is just Bad.    Life as we know it: It has changed. 

Neil Taylor

Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding.Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.
Neil Taylor

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