Uncle Neil on Life and Death:  A fact of life. There are going to be these losses. Sooner or later? My father, two and a half years ago. He was my best friend. I adapted. It took a year to finally get in the right place but I did. He lived 82 years. He liked his life. It was his time. My brother died seven years before that. Suffering a deteriorative condition, we lost him before that. It was bad. I hope you get to where I am. I’m OK with the people having passed on from this world. They enjoyed their time. I enjoyed knowing them.

New challenges:  I’m not going to die.   But things were easier before I turned 50.   You live life, you have to deal with things. I’ve had it easy. My father and grandfather lived a long time so I didn’t get cheated there. Other things, as they come up, I deal with it. Some of them are fascinating. Others, not so much. But, I keep on living.

This was a consolation note I wrote to a lady who lost her husband.    She wrote back and said it really helped.   She wants to get to where I am.   She feels after getting my input, she is more likely to get there sooner.     I got a private message from a guy.   I don’t know him.   “Neil, your reach out to someone you don’t know to add your own perspective for someone going through the same thing you did, it was inspiring to watch.    I haven’t seen people accomplish much good in 2020.   But what you did:   Achieves that.   I just wanted to tell you, I appreciate who you are even though I don’t know you.    I’d like to meet you someday.  Because I’m impressed.”  

It has been an interesting week.   I’d had a political discussion with a guy about two months ago.    Kind of forgot about it.    I enjoyed it.  The guy, so smart, I liked his perspective even though we were on opposite sides.     So, this time has passed.   He calls the other day.   “Neil, I have changed my vote and I have changed my way of thinking.   I’m still not a fan of Donald Trump but I have to say, this country is working very well with him in charge-just what you said, I had to admit that it’s true.    I am voting for him.     The guy doesn’t sit great with me but that’s partially in my head (like you said).   I’ve never met him.   You are probably right.   He wants to be under the skin of everyone who isn’t voting for him.    Well, I had to look at *what’s right.*   In my opinion, what’s right is leaving him in office for another term and watching the country do well because of it.    This is me admitting I was wrong.   It was all because of you.    Your way is very good.   You never treated me like I was an idiot because I wasn’t on your side.   You even conceded some things other people might have never done.    No surprise to me that you were an umpire.   You are dead on FAIR. “  

Further interesting:  Do I have cancer?   Well, they are going to find out.    Haven’t told the family.    Enough red flags, they are running some tests.   If I get wiped out by cancer:  I lived my life.    The prostate, my father’s specialty.   He always said, if you are a man and you live long enough, you are going to get prostate cancer.   I’m there.  

Back on point:  My ace in the hole; He’s made money hand over fist in the last three years.  All because of what this president has been doing.    I don’t fight dirty.   It was a discussion.    And this guy, super smart, I had respect for his side.    To his credit:  He has an open mind.   If the rest of the world was like this guy, we would be better off.  

The millions of dollars you made, couldn’t you have paid someone to fix your teeth??

The Tampa Bay Lightning.    In the championship series against Dallas.     Game one:   They played ok, but couldn’t score.   Lost.  Game two, they dominated.   Series tied 1 to 1.  Game 3:  Interesting.  Dominance:  5 to 2.   Taking charge.   Stamkos plays.   Two minutes.  Scores their second goal.   Huge to have him back.  He is out again for game four.   Two wins from the title.   Game four?   People are jazzed.   Expecting another win.    Dallas needs to start playing.   Tampa Bay has just dominated.     They could be up three games to zero if they could have scored in game one.    No problem scoring ever since.    What happens next??

A big time for local sports fans.   The Devil Rays, games ahead in first place with just days to go in the regular season.    It is just one of those things that I do. I call them the DEVIL Rays. This guy got really upset with me just now. “They are not the Devil Rays anymore. They haven’t been for years.” I killed him. Other people piled on. I replied “They were and always will be the DEVIL Rays. My ten years in baseball, I can call them whatever I want.” Not the first time I’ve struck that nerve. Honestly, who cares? I can tell you: I don’t care. The hockey team, punched their ticket for the finals. The Devil Rays up three and a half games with a week left, wiped out the Yankees this year. If the football team puts it together, it could be a great year for the Tampa Bay sports fan. But me: I. Don’t. Care. I lamented and surrendered and I have now admitted: I am a Tampa Bay Lightning fan. Probably the only team I will be jazzed about the rest of my life. Troy Blades is to blame.  In the Stanley Cup finals, battling Dallas.  Will they be the overall winner?   Chances are good.  

Football:  Started with a loss but they might have a good season.    I could see them beating New Orleans in the playoffs.   Can Gronk and Tom Brady make the difference?    Brady’s old.   Gronk can still do it.    Time will tell.   Tennessee burns me again for the fourth year in a row.    I pick them, they lose.   I don’t pick them, they win.     Minnesota and Jacksonville were my two losses that cost me a win.     I was only one game out.   Discussions on this week’s games.   Major choices.    I think the person that wins this week has four losses.    Maybe someone gets lucky.    I’d say this week, so many games a toss-up, luck is big.   Sheets turned in:   Very different picks.   Closest:  Three different.    I have 8 different than Mike.   Either he or I picked good.  Or, we both picked bad.    It will be interesting.  

The fishing:   Funny.  Better tides, action not as good as it was.   I think the tropical storm mixed it up a little.   I expect it to get back to what it was.    It’s approaching Fall.   The species closures:   Things should be VERY good this winter.  

I was glancing at a woman’s breasts earlier.   It made me happy.  So, I didn’t get to touch then.   I’ll live.   “A woman’s intimate area”, is this a new term?     Nowadays, it’s on TV.    I just honestly never heard it before.   

Noise from the streets.   Why you take a nice car and change it so it is a noisy gas guzzler?   I have to listen to it?   Why??

Oh, life:  Notifying people of something.  Sometimes it isn’t hard.   Sometimes it is like hitting someone with a sack full of doorknobs.    That is your talent in life:  How good are you at delivering this kind of news?  

Fishing:  110 fish on one day.   For the Montana girls:  An afternoon trip, not as good.    The action overall has remained excellent.   But sunrise is the way to go.    A little break, which is good for cancer testing.    Things are decent and with species closures, will they get even better?  

Pompano didn’t come through, second year in a row.  What is the future of that species?  Flounder never came back like they once were.  What is the future of that species?  More redfish is good.   Snook still have a ways to go.   They are still nowhere near 2009 levels. 

Neil Taylor’s intimate area:   That’s around my belly button. 

I hope I am installed as the next justice in the US Supreme Court.     Alas, I hear it will be a woman.  When can guys call discrimination?   John McCain and Ruth Bader Ginsberg:  They had their day.   It passed them both by.   They both stayed too long.   Sorry but I call them like I see them.    I was once a big John McCain guy.    Not at the end.    I’m not stupid.   I have seen what people do.   People who stay too long:  It happens.  Lute Olson died one month ago.   He stayed too long.  His wife doesn’t die, he retires and Steve Kerr makes a basketball dynasty at the University of Arizona.     That’s life.  

People won’t agree.   That’s fine.    A pilot shot down in war:  The first person I heard cast them into question, my father.    He didn’t disparage the guy that got shot down but preferred the guy who didn’t get shot down.   Fact.    Long before it was heard about nowadays.  

The world is a funny place.   A woman gets shot up in crossfire when her guy shoots at the cops.   Well, what are the cops supposed to do.  They’re under fire, they returned fire.    Give her family 12 million dollars.  For what?   For being mixed up in illegal activity?     A joke.    George Floyd was worse.    We celebrate these people.  “Protest” for these people.    Dak Prescott, the latest to start spouting off.   He’s killing his organization.    I doubt Jerry Jones is pleased.     So, the woman got shot up and died.   That’s too bad.   Maybe if she made better decisions, she’s not in that situation?   That’s the way I understand it anyway.  I wasn’t there.   But I will go with the three cops and not the felons.   No charges because “actions were justified.”   Why the $12 million?    Now people being arrested for their rioting.     Whatever.  

I haven’t tied a pompano teaser in a week.    I don’t need to tie another teaser for years.    All packaged.   All ready to sell.    I haven’t tied the flies either.    Taking a break.   I tied fairly frequently and went through most of 400 hooks.  At a glance, I have about 50 hooks left.    I’m sure I’ll dabble.   Maybe try some new things.   

The news I am still not supposed to talk about yet, a change in the fishing industry.   That nearly complete, I’ll get to in my next reports and it will be mentioned in a future Blog.   Nothing changes for me really.    Just a change.  

October, days away, we have survived another summer.   Months of nicer weather, cheaper power bills.    My power bills go down to like $35 a month in winter.     They’re $120 with the air conditioner running.   It’s heating up now and will be hot and muggy for about three days.  Then, front number 2.   After that one, we are probably into the season change.   We have dodged tropical weather this year.   Still some time left for that, will we get one?  

Maybe not until next year.    I would like to see some more rain for my bushes before it’s all done with.   But, I’m fine with turning on the hose again. 

The kayak launch, south, needs a digging again.   A trip planned with a young guy that will show up early and get the seaweed up.   It’s still in good shape after what we did two and a half months ago.  One more cleanup and it should stay nice for eight months.    You all owe me a 12 pack for what I’ve done there.     Put a lot of work into it.    Took three loads of crushed shell for coverage.    It is in really good shape, stellar with one more dig.   And, the fishing was great down there.    Like up north, I sat there for four hours just watching the guy reel in fish after fish.  

Virus restrictions diminishing.  Restaurants and bars to full capacity.   A normalizing?     Still hear about cases.   Is it too early.   Wait another month?   They made their decision.   Hopefully it is the right one.  Time will tell.    Watching people react:  Those upset, why not just stay home.  Reading the plight of so many small businesses, they have relief now.   They can have customers and get back to income.    That should be good for the world.   Called “Phase 3”.   Who comes up with that?   To me, it’s still the end of Phase 1.   “This is going to go away without a vaccine.”   Heard that one for the first time just now.   A vaccine, I’m not getting it until it’s been out for a year and I see that it doesn’t kill people.   Athletic conferences:  Reversing decisions and announcing they will play games.    No fans but the games will take place.   Hey, it’s worked for hockey.   It doesn’t make any difference that no one is there.    It’s great.   Mask ordinances remain to be seen.   I would say it stays.   If they are going to full capacity, people are closer together and their time on foot, have them keep wearing their masks.     But:  What to I know??  One friend of mine:  A big proponent that the masks are bad.    She is very anti mask.   CO 2 and other considerations.   Interesting.  

It remains funny to me.   I didn’t get the virus.    I found it easy to stay 25 feet away from any other human being.    If you did too maybe you wouldn’t have gotten the virus.    Sorry, it was your choice.   

Voting by mail.  The debate.    So, is there more voter fraud that way or otherwise?   I’m not sure you can convince me either way.    It shouldn’t be this hard.    It shouldn’t happen.    Voting and election of officials should be painless and error free.     The people decide.   And it is accurately computed.    What is the problem here?   Honestly, I may live out my days in Costa Rica.   I may put it all behind me and just go somewhere and be happy.   The Latino community.   Who are they voting for and why?    The news:   It’s Trump.    Trump is good for the working person.   That gets the votes.    For a lot of the population, that’s going to be large.    The hatred of Trump is funny.   I laugh.    It’s nothing he’s done, people don’t like him because he has been successful.   Earned billions.  Then successfully becomes president of the United States.   And people don’t like it.    That’s it. 

But, who cares what I think?    Like I said, when I’m living in Costa Rica what does any of it matter to me?   The way things are in this country, I am just quite simply tired of watching it.    People showing no appreciation for where they are and what was done before them to give them their freedom.     It’s pathetic.  

Life goes on.   With new challenges.   Everything will be fine.  

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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