After losing the first one, the Lightning beat Carolina three straight games.    The last one, down 1 to 0, they stuck to it.   Tied it.   Took the lead.  Empty netter for a 3 to 1 win.   They are playing better again after losing a few games.  Dallas, Detroit and Chicago upcoming.    Only one game against Florida.    One more against Carolina.    Will they stay away from injuries?   Imagine this team if Kucherov wasn’t out.   They faced Dallas for the first time this season.  A 5 to 0 win.    Lots of games in the next month.   Every other day part of the time.  Every other day most of the rest of the time.   Only a couple of times with two days off.  Third shutout for Vasy in a row.   Beating Dallas 1 to 0.   Empty netter, technically they won 2 to 0.   They are back in first place.    Their toughest opponent the rest of the year:  Florida.   Chicago showed up to play.    Toughest game they’d had in weeks.    Ended Vasy’s scoreless streak.   He’s young.   Play him every game.But you can’t stop watching them.  They scored twice to tie then with less than a second left in overtime, Hedman scores the winner.     Another win.  Then, a tie, losing in a shootout.   Picked up a point instead of two.    The rubber game?  Chicago was good.   Florida, down two goals, wins.   They continue to look like the contender.   2 to 0, suddenly it’s 4 to 3 TB.    Lightning take two of three, pick up a point in the other game.  Chicago could have won all three.   A six to three win to close out, Chicago was good.   Next up Detroit.   Win one of two against them.   You can’t win ‘em all.    They almost made a comeback but fell short.   Then, they beat Nashville.  Then, they sit Vasy and lose to Nashville.   If he’s not playing:  Better score 7 times.   He’s a kid.   Play him every game.   Moving on:   Dallas, a win?   They give up the lead then win in a shootout.    They went to third place.   That’s how tough their division is, their best start ever (halfway through the year) and then are in third place.    Back up to tied for first place.    Back against Chicago.  A game against Florida.    Interesting times.  Chicago is good.   Lightning played them tough but Chicago has a team.  Gourde is making his money.   On the night they beat Chicago, Florida loses.   Carolina, overtime?  Just one point?   Just learning the point system.   Hedman, length of the ice empty net goal.   Dead center.   Then, Florida.   Won, 5 to 3.   Beat them in a real dogfight.    Empty net goal so really it was a one goal win.    Big game.   Put them up four points.   Next up:  Dallas and then Carolina.

I don’t understand your sport’s rules.    You flip the puck out of play, two minute penalty.   Why not just a faceoff?  Why in soccer, you can’t use your hands (unless you are the goalie) but in hockey you can?

People are interesting.    They don’t use their email anymore?   Email is huge for me.   It is my preferred method of communication.    I feel like I am in a minority there.   Not sure I understand people.   This is just one example..   One of many.    It is a text message society.    People went that way.

There are still people who say OJ didn’t do it.   Come on.  Same people think Casey Anthony didn’t kill a little girl.   Accusations.   How many are real, and how many are just a money grab by the “victims?”    Texas quarterback, under that scrutiny.    He seems like a nice enough guy.   Is he innocent and this is a scam?  

It just rarely happens..   My favorite shows and it’s an episode I have never seen.

College basketball:  Duke, a .500 team.    Weird.   Also weird:  No longer a technical foul for hanging on the rim.     It used to be automatic.   Now, it’s no big deal.   Arizona, a dreadful year.   That program is the worst it has been since 1986.   If I get into a pool this year, I’m taking Baylor deep.  In fact, I took them all the way.   Trouble finding pools to get into.   I got into three, all online.    Why aren’t there more pools?   Texas and Ohio State both cost me big. 

Laus Deo.  Mean anything to you?    It is inscribed on the top cap of the Washington monument.

You are still misspelling stuff.  

My father gets mentioned frequently.    If there was a cure for cancer, he would have found it.   His theories went unpublished.  But he had some doozies.    I finally got used to it:  Not having him to talk to.   I got my answers from him.    Like Grandpa Taylor said “I’ll know how to figure it out myself.”   But I leaned on those guys for years.   Dad, for many years after Grandpa was gone.    I argued with Dad on some things.   Not with any passion but I pitched my case.   He liked my arguments.    But in the end, I’d do it his way.   He knew best.  

The Neil Blog continues.    More always comes up to talk about.    I was planning on this one taking longer but things just kept coming up and I kept adding it to the file so it became ready earlier than I anticipated.   This feedback:   “Neil:   Your Blog is one of my regular Favorites now.     You put an effort into it.    You don’t get too deep into pushing anything but you aren’t afraid of your opinions either.   I knew you when you were an umpire.   I’ve followed your entire career as a fishing guide.   Like your blog, it has all been interesting to watch.    I tip my hat to you.”  Another one:  “Finally, someone else who doesn’t like Killorn.   I can’t stand him.   He’s good part of the time but he is a liability.   You are a savvy sports guy.   Enjoy your entire Blog but your Killorn comments have really hit the mark.”   Killorn has played better.  Less of a liability, he can still do things to hurt the team.    I’m out.    You can be his fan.  I’m not.  

Allergy season.   The best it has been for me in 27 years.   I’m doing some sneezing but easily it’s 1000% better than any other year I can remember.  

Deaf people probably don’t understand why farts are funny.

Living Room. Can you die in a living room? Has anyone ever died in a living room?

Why aren’t blueberries blue?

Which letter is silent in the word Scent.   The S or the C?

The word Swims upside down is still swims. 

Why do we say “slept like a baby” when babies wake up once an hour?

If a spoon was made out of gold, would it still be Silverware?

When we’re young, we sneak out our house to go to parties. When we’re old, we sneak out of parties to go home.

George Orwell predicted cameras watching us in our homes, but he didn’t predict that we would buy and install them ourselves.

If you run at 11pm you are a night person. If you run at 5am you are a morning person. If you run at 3am you are a suspicious person.

It’s not fair that coffee stains your teeth brown, but milk doesn’t stain them white.

The best part of cucumber, tastes like the worst part of watermelon.

One of the biggest scams in life was your mom saying she won’t get angry if you say the truth.

8 hours of drinking is binge drinking, 8 hours of TV is binge watching, 8 hours of sleep is barely enough.

Peer pressure as an adult is seeing your neighbor mow their lawn.

Only one sock goes missing because if both disappeared, you wouldn’t notice.

Knowledge is knowing that you can carry all of the groceries in at once. Wisdom is making multiple trips so that by the time you are done, other family members have put away most of the groceries.

There is nothing better than realizing, right after you wake up, that you won’t have to face repercussions for the terrible choices you made in your dream.

25 years ago seeing a toddler use technology was seen as a stroke of genius, today it is largely met with thoughts of a lack of parenting.

An underrated perk of being an adult is you no longer outgrow your clothes.

If the thumb is not a finger, then there is no middle finger.

Fishing for Max went fine.   Decent action ended with pretty good action at the final spot.    He will be a business partner in making fishing kayaks.    Coastal Mojo is the company.   The Fishin’ Magician is the name of the kayak.   Moving forward.  Design.  The mold maker.

Cold front going through.  Just a little rain.   But, the wind is blowing.  

A first. I go to court today. Over my fence. Installed a year ago, I got approval. Ten months later I get notices. The fence company made phone calls. I wrote letters. It still comes to a court case. I go in with a letter from the fence company and “common sense” on my side.  Just ready for it to be over.  Move on with life.  One more court date.   The discussions, I thought I was going to win this one and now I’m not so sure.     They changed the rules on me.   Plain and simple:  I’m told the fence is fine and eleven months later that it is not fine.    The judge was a nice guy.    The deputy in that court room was friendly.    The whole thing is just stupid.   If I pay a fine, the fence is fine.    How is that right?  

Finishing projects out front.   Paining the pavers.    The bee station.   The fillet table.   All progress.  Things are coming along.

The barbed wire goes up next.   Metal posts so it can be welded in and less likely to bypass.   The vines over certain parts of the fence, no barbed wire needed there.   

The Neil project for 2021?   Building a kayak.   Another chapter of my life. In development. Meeting with a designer. Interviewing Mold makers. Within months I will be making my own kayaks. The orders already talked about will have this project at break-even. The people that don’t know about it yet, all pure profit. Direct sales to people I know, direct profit. A business partner, this is a 50/50 deal. We each pay 50% and we each earn 50%. Honest to a fault, I’ll be the one doing most of the orders. He will get his share all the time. I will finally have new kayaks. I will have kayaks for the Captain Mel Classic. Coastal Mojo. The kayak, The Fishin’ Magician.  Initial development.  Prototype stuff to make sure the boat is right.  

For the fishing people, pertinent to the Neil Blog.   My input is nonstop.    This is the latest:

Keep snook and redfish closed to harvest.   In one sentence, that’s the biggest thing that needs to be done.  Extended closures on these species have not yet had a good impact.   More time is needed.    Snook, an eleven year gap in good condition.   Redfish have not been very good for six years.    Trout didn’t need to be closed.   They can reopen.    

Put pressure and get enforcement to stop the poaching of pompano, most notably in Manatee County.  

Flounder have also been bad for about five years.    Attention to them would also be good.   

There are a lot of changes to the fishery and they are not positive.  No silver trout in February?   That’s never happened before.   As humans we are impacting our environment.    We need to identify and fix the problems that are coming up.    Scott Moore would be ideal for an action person.   I would help him at his request.   But nothing is being done and that’s not good.    The FWC doesn’t even know about most problems because they aren’t in touch with the people who are out there all the time.    

All my effort, is any of it getting through?   Changes to regulations matching my recommendations is interesting.   Or is it coincidence?   Arguments exist.  Why can’t things be better?  

Finishing the front deck.   The vines continue to mature.   My battle with the city over my fence, another court date.   I thought I would win this one but it is still a stalemate.   Stupid.   Do they want to pay for everything that gets stolen if I have a fence people can step over?  

Fishing trips coming:   Ben Lindquist.  Webb Turner.   Tom Strock.   The wind forecast is bad for a week.   That’s going to jerk around Tom’s days of fishing.    Ben and Webb are farther out.  Webb, my partner in 1995.    Ben, behind me, worked with friends of mine and I was around him every spring training.   A fly-fishing client while Tom is here.    Fighting the wind forecast but should get it in.  

Getting older continues to be interesting.   My neck hasn’t felt great.    Sometimes it’s my back.   This time, my neck is not perfect.    Hopefully that goes away again.  

Times rolls on.   Back to fishing in what should be “the start of the busy season.”  The year of death continues.  Two high school friends had kids that died this week.   For Holly and Richard, very disturbing times.   Both young men that died suddenly.    A fact of life:  Sometimes it’s not fair.   I hope the best memories win out.  

My bees:  Unreal.   If I put the 7Up out, there’s 300 to 400 bees on any given day.   If it’s cold, fewer bees.   But the population is strong.   Ryan’s next visit, he’s bringing a hive to put up and see if these bees make honey.  The sugar water is used more that the 7 Up.   They like it all.    I built the bee station.    I painted the concrete under the bee station.   It looks nicer.    No question, the bees like the flowers on my climbing vines.  Free time, I sit with my bees.   It is interesting.  I’m allergic to the bee sting.    Not one of them has stung me.   At 8AM, they were good.   By 10AM there were 600 bees on my station.   Just amazing to me.    Research, it take like 580 bees to put out good honey.   I have that.   When the hive gets here, we’ll see how good these ones are at making honey.   Hoping they are at least halfway efficient.   Not looking to make a business out of it, just curious what they can do.  Oddly enough, the day I get 20 pounds of sugar, their numbers thinned out.   Just for one day?   We will see.   I think it is definitely a wintertime thing. 

Bundy, Hernandez.   Pure sickness.   Maybe with both instead of just Ted.   Hernandez has a $40 million dollar contract and does what he did.   Unreal.   Ted Bundy got off easy.   Executed my freshman year in college, he should have been killed with rocks.    Small rocks, takes you days to die.   36 murders?   How does someone become like that.  Watching the story, you have to have sympathy for his mother.    Never saw it coming.  The guys were both above average in looks.   How much was decisions.    How much was these guys just being completely screwed up?  There are more out there just like them.    Who will be the next serial killer?  Oswald was a bad guy too.   He might not have done it all, but he did plenty.   I see they may reinstate the death penalty for the Boston Marathon bomber.   Whnstate the death penalty for the Boston Marathon bomber.   Why is he still alive?    I fished Fort Desoto that day, with a guy from Boston.   We went to the restaurant out there when it happened.   He called his wife right away.   She was about 100 yards from the worst spot.  

That medicine;   Coma or death.  Don’t take this if you are allergic to it.   Some of these medicines, the possible side effects are prohibitive to actually taking the meds.   God can’t bless sin. 

Moving forward, things change.   Who will be next to die?   It’s going to happen.    It’s happening more now than ever.   People continue to wear out.   Michael Stanley, a rock legend in Ohio, married my cousin Libby and had twins.   He’s gone.  

Cousins Scott and cousin Tom around:   A lot of talk about the olden days.    Lots of talk about the people of that time.    They are almost all gone.    Tom’s brother, coming to town but I might not be here.  

Fisherman’s Night:  Once a month again.   Pretty much the same guys every time.    A full house this time around.   I haven’t promoted it.   I get the grill going.   The guys hang out and have drinks and something to eat.   They talk fishing.    It’s back to every month.  Fourth Thursday, replacing “Kayak Fishing Skool.”    Changes:   Ryan will be doing more of the seminars.   I’ll keep doing the social.   Other changes.   But the big one is the kayak.   That gets into production:   It’s life changing.    I can’t wait to have 200 of those laying around.    My first ones will be “sea foam green.”   My business partner, big on that color, we’ll make a bunch of those.    I’ll likely switch the colors out regularly.   I have to work on the sources for materials and determine just how many colors.   Right now it’s just five.   

The schedule is exploding.   Nine inquiries in two days.   Four on the schedule and the others are hot to get out there.    John from Maryland is coming beginning of next month.   He’s good for three or four days.   I’m very happy to have it the busiest it has been in two years.   I knew it would happen, and I expected it to happen in “March.”  

Going fishing most days, that’s going to be fun.   It hasn’t been like this for several years.   As I predicted:  A busy season.    Several of the guys want to go multiple times.    John from Maryland, good for 3 to 4 days.   Bring it on.   The wind, always a problem in the spring.   Two postponements, fitting two in, more postponements.   It’s the usual trend in March, every year.

The wind cost me one.   They left town.   The two days we tried:  No possible way.   When they come back…   That’s life.   I’m fine with it.    We will enter times when the wind doesn’t disturb things as much.    But, it’s spring.   This is what you get in spring.   Getting back out, it was easy.   Nonstop catching for HOURS.

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