I like the black guy that doesn’t live like he is a black guy. I don’t like most white people. I guess it’s all my burden to live down.
The Neil Blog in it’s “whatevereth” edition. What I have to say: Some people like to read it. I just do it on “what’s happening” and whatever I figure is worth throwing out there.
A tropical storm. Too windy to get out on the water. Rain for 36 straight hours. Cloud cover making it way more comfortable. Far enough into September, you can feel that the better times are coming. Six months of no air conditioning, open doors and not chugging water all day.
I am a fishing guide. I am a former professional baseball umpire. I am a lifelong American. Devout. I haven’t killed anyone yet but if I do, it will be someone who did something against America, I am fairly certain. The last one was on 9/11. I left a lot out. Everyone has their thing. One of mine is that one. I can’t go back and change things. But, if I made different decisions I would have spent the last 19 years fighting terrorism instead of being a fishing guide. How would I have served the world best? My father was pleased. He said if I accepted it, my mother would never sleep again. Anyway, she’s still alive so perhaps I did the right thing. Or, I could have not told her??
Black and white: I’ll bet if the radicals were at Ground Zero on September 11th they don’t care as much that I am a rich white man. A rich white man that pulled you out of the rubble, which would have been what happened if I had been there It happened and I asked Dad “Should I go up there?” He said “You are the right guy. But they won’t let you in even if you make the drive. Just watch, like me.”
So, I did. Pained. But I watched. My life was dominated by it for almost three years. In my dreams. In my awake thoughts. My chance to be an insider, I passed. In hindsight, still not sure if I did the right thing. But it’s done. I’m not a big second-guesser. I made my choice. Wrong, right, whatever: It’s over.
The hatred in the world: It doesn’t compute. But, whatever. I talked about it last time. There are these people that don’t just live their lives, they hate it that I’m alive. And to me, that’s too bad. Why??
Debates. I had a guy arguing that first responders are as likely to be rapists as NFL players. Well, maybe he’s right but I doubt it. I saw it in college. I’ve watched it ever since. The testosterone of a football player and a general attitude, they have a higher likelihood of committing one of these crimes. The guy either has a hatred of first responders or a devout love of football players. Neither is good. Steadily everyone I know is turning their back on football.
I don’t discourage the debates. I do scratch my head sometimes. So, my experiences taint my thoughts. I’m just not on board with certain things. You make heroes out of football players. You make a hero out of Pete Rose. Let me tell you, I’ve met Pete. I spent extensive time with him. He was interesting but I would not classify him as a hero. When I was a kid I had a different opinion of him. After my experiences I have another. He was alright. But he has a massive ego. The strongest I have ever seen. Pete can live off his accomplishments. He killed his other opportunities and quite honestly, penalties are penalties and you get what you get.
“Political correctness has ruined sports for me.” I understand.
My husband died in a helicopter crash. It’s the Sheriff’s fault.
Instead of “get out of there” people kept going up. If my Dad was in charge, 400 firemen don’t die because he orders them out. At the beginning, my father told me “That’s jet fuel, those buildings are coming to the ground.” That’s like an hour and a half before it happened. Dad always knew. He was that smart. He called terrorist attack before the second tower got hit. He had the smarts but he had a respect for me. He got to Tampa and we were fishing and we talked. I told him I was in the wrong business: I should be the guy that’s putting a guy to the guy’s head that did it. He said “You have that in you. I don’t. But let someone else be the one to do it. Sit back and watch, like me.”
Tough one. My anger never went away. My lack of being involved in any of the revenge, while I can live with it, I still think I should have been there. Dad, he liked my fire. He also liked my decision making. When it comes right down to it. He just liked the paths I chose. I honestly think he was torn on that one. I think he would have liked me to be part of the crew. But. He liked his wife sleeping too.
Whoever did it, needed to die. And, it happened. So, the world is right. Such weak-minded people. To carry out what they did? Pathetic. Allah? Allah is no good if you ask me. He gets people to do these things? In the history of the world, so many bad things have happened surrounding religion. It’s not just theirs. But these days, they are setting the bar high.
Black and white in America remains a problem. My buddy, since college, we only ever had one incident. I said something about watermelon. He said “I’ve never liked watermelon.” Half an hour later he said “I’m the only one in the family that doesn’t like it. It might actually be a race thing.” I told him “I like it and as far as I know there is no black in my lineage.”
Black/white, it is almost as interesting as being a police officer. A lot of those guys are hanging it up. Can you blame them. In California, someone just walks up to a cruiser window and shoots the man and woman on duty. Why? Senseless death in this world. I talk to policemen regularly. Part of the initiation of a new one, talking to me. I tell them “Be the one who goes home at night. Do what you have to do to be the one that goes home at night.” Sometimes, that’s a tough challenge. I think we have gone backwards.
My stand of the week. They post an article on the top six fly fishing women in America. I spoke up. Lisa Lowman wasn’t on the list. All these young hot chicks. Lisa, really getting it done, doesn’t make that list? I got hate mail fast. A former umpire, I disposed of those people efficiently and quickly. One reply shut them all up. I’ve watched. Lisa has to be on that list. In fairness, any of the six on the list that are legit, I’m going to praise them. How many of the six just know somebody? Hate to ask it but this is America. Lisa Lowman. Her husband Brad was head of the fishing department at Bill Jackson’s in my years there. He’s a stud in the sport. But his wife also has serious skills. I give up. No wait, I have some battle in me.
I am ready for election year to be over. Tired of the commercials. Ready to just have things set and move on. I haven’t gotten my ballot yet.
OK, so on to happiness: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Conference finals against the NY Islanders. First two games, good. They lost game 3 by two goals but mostly, played better. I expect them to bounce back in game four. Can they put them away to get to the finals? Or will it be a series? Up two games to one, you have to like their chances. Going up 3 to 1 would be key. And, they do it. Up 3 to 1 after a 4 to 1 in in game 4. One win from the championship. Dominance. Now, to finish off the Islanders. Dallas has whipped Las Vegas who was the favorite out west. Looks like strong chances it’s Tampa Bay against Dallas. Game 5: Outplayed them again, lost in double overtime. Two games to win one to move on. Dallas awaits. No Point or Stamkos. Then get Point back, it helps. They should win one of the next two and move on.
The football team, loses by 11. Expectations that they have a decent year. Tom Brady, three touchdowns but two picks. The Washington Redskins win. Wait, they aren’t the Redskins? Whatever. I am restarting my pool this week. The bar finally reopened. I’ve already passed out a bunch of sheets. My picks are done. I took Jacksonville over Tennessee. Seattle over NE. Dallas over Atlanta. TB over Carolina, in the games that I believe could go either way.
The other bar: Squares. No contest. So, people are looking forward to having mine back again where there is some talent and the best picker each week is the winner.
But, did it really happen? A guy who makes 11 million per year in the NFL said he feels like a slave. More time: Confirmation. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it is true. The culture of victimhood.
Got the Bailey brothers out again with their buddy John. John got into it the best. Overall: Not as good as it had been (on a better tide). But, they all caught fish and Craig and Jack really just like fishing. A month and a half ago they got on them really good with me. Anyway, always wish it could be better but it wasn’t bad.
Very good fishing, also happiness. Just an unreal bite, pretty much like I have never seen. Decisions. The species closures worked. I look at it and I think, just leave everything closed. If fishing is going to be this good, leave it the same. Interesting one. Trout didn’t need to be closed.
I’ll restart fisherman’s night. I’ll set up the alumni party. I’ll work on the Umpire gathering. All good things.
The Kayak Fishing Academy, November 7. The next tournament: Terrific Trout, Tampa Bay is one week later on the 14th. $30 entry fee.
The Captain Mel Classic hasn’t been set yet. It will be sometime next spring, likely in April or May. The virus interrupted the 2020 one. Things are very well set. A special raffle for a custom rod, sunglasses and any other high-end item I get donated between now and then. I will be donating a two-person charter for that special raffle. The regular raffle we always have will be the same. $2 a ticket for that one. $5 a ticket for the high-end items.
Looking forward to “things happening.” So many things on hold this year. Progress with the bar reopening. That opens up the host site for the November tournament. It opens up the football pool. Things seem to be finally coming along. The virus thing isn’t over. But to me, it never really got that bad. I’m not sure I believe their numbers. My number sits at four. Four people I know got it. Mrs. Grumbling passed away. Did she pass away because of the virus or because she was almost 90?
On the language front. Twice today: “Than” used instead of “then” incorrectly.
Still overcast from the tropical storm, it’s a hurricane heading for Louisiana. It has kept it cool for a couple of days. It has rained for 36 hours now. Just a sprinkle overnight, still, it’s precipitation coming down. My property is soaked. My plants are happy. Five more systems in the Atlantic. Will any of them have a chance at coming here? Perhaps one. Early cold fronts have steered them north so far. Sally formed closer and moved just off our coast. We were on the wet side. Close enough to it to get wind, I didn’t have charters scheduled anyway so the timing was good. Cloud cover for three days: Keeps in 15 degrees cooler. It has been quite nice.
Back to normal late summer weather. For maybe two weeks. Then, it’s Fall. The rainy season is winding down. The greatest weather months dead ahead, I do miss the rain. I’ll be turning on the hose for the plants for months. The past two months, I haven’t touched the hose.
Some good photos to share. My mother sent them to me. Grandpa Hill. My brother Mark. My father. Uncle Bob. Umpires visiting my aunt’s house in 2000. Denise and Deb with Mark, Denise holding me. Photos that if I ever saw them before I forgot.
Writing: Book 5 complete, it’s mostly down to my monthly fishing reports. I’ve covered nearly all fishing topics. I do have a book 6 I will get to work on eventually. Edits to The Professional Baseball umpire, that may publish under the publishing company. They were interested in that one. I also talked to then about Kayak Fishing. That one sold decent to my clients but didn’t reach the audience that this company might reach. It is the most complete book on the sport ever written. All my books, I put the work into it. Now that I have an agent, I’m likely to be nominated for things (something I’m not interested in, my ego is not that strong). This will all take shape over time. For obvious reasons, there are delays on certain things. When this stuff becomes “News”, life changes.
A trip to the store. We had a cookout for sports on Sunday. My grocery store list: Pretty complete, I restocked big time. How this is news: With the virus stuff, my trips to the store have been spread out. This trip, I’m stocked up for months again. One more smaller trip gets the last of the stuff on the list that I just didn’t get to. Like beer. The beer didn’t have specials like they normally do so I didn’t get much of it. I figure, “next time”, it will be on sale again and I’ll restock. The garage fridge is the beer fridge. And it has plenty. But if I buy two cases, I top it off. So, in a couple of weeks, another trip. The neighbor guy doesn’t drive and he likes to ride along.
If I die, it won’t be from drinking hand sanitizer.
The selling of teasers: I made an effort. Successfully. The direct sales, not many lately. But they will come. I packaged them up two a package the way I sell them to shops. Ten and twenty packs for the serious pompano guys. Bulk packs in the mackerel colors as well. They will sell eventually. Other stuff that can go. Someone wants to stock up, they need to meet up with me. Tying them, I have slowed down. Ordered 400 more hooks. Only 50 left. I have so many teasers, I don’t need to tie for years. But I probably will. At some point I will have a major buyer. Do I get into the pompano jig business myself? Time will tell. Avoiding new projects mostly. But that one is possible. The remaining hooks: Some will become flies. But I’m practically overstocked on those too. Only one real buyer the whole time, where are all the other fly fishing guys? I’ve tied a winner. Anyway, whatever. I can step away from all tying and I’m not going to be out of anything for a LONG time.
The Neil Blog continues on. Every day someone I talk to brings it up. I’m putting enough in these where people have been clicking on it and reading. It’s supposed to be entertaining and informational to an extent. When there’s things to add, I add them. When it gets the right length, I publish. So: This one publishes.