The Neil blog.   Who reads it?    I got correspondence from a guy in Russia who followed and he thinks the Neil blog is one of the best developments in his entire life.   Well, that’s one.    You always wonder:  Does anyone read it?   Does anyone even really care.    It turns out, my regulars follow it.    They care in their own way.     I’m honored that anyone wants to hear anything I have to say.

Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies, when he smiles:  Identical to my brother Mark’s smile.     

My brother Mark a gap in my life for a decade.   He had his life but he stayed on me, just as he did when I was a kid.    He wanted the best for me.    I can say, he was impressed I walked on big league fields.    He didn’t say a lot when I started it.    He figured I’d be with Fortune 500 companies out of college.    But he got on board when I got it going.     He was so irritated when it was over.     His condition was worsening and it was hard to explain to him that the best umpires don’t always get what they deserve.   Anyway, his decline was upsetting.   His ultimate demise, while a blessing, still marked the end of just one brilliant human being.    No question:   Mark was my father’s son.    That’s two of the most intelligent people I have encountered in my entire life.    In fact, I can’t name any two people more intelligent than those guys.

My successes:  With my brother, I failed.   Things I could have done that my father would have been displeased:  I should have done it anyway.    Water under the bridge:  There really was nothing I could do in that situation but I tried harder than anyone else did.    Where everyone else failed:   They thought they were still dealing with Mark.    He ceased to be Mark about two years before his death.    I will attest that is a fact.  

Fishing, always interesting.    I took a father and son.   Set up by the mother/wife, I delayed this one because of some weather and I didn’t like how the bite was the couple of days before we had it set up.   Local, they were OK with delaying.     I took them yesterday.   Turns out the father and I have multiple mutual connections.     A very interesting guy, he was really eager to discuss the umpire angle which I did.     Part way through the trip I asked him how old the kid was.    7th grade.   I said, “He’s way more mature than a kid in the 7th grade.”   Scott said, “That’s all thanks to his mother.    She does a great job with the boy.”   Anyway, the kid was the one who was really into the fishing.   He’s been doing it.   He has friends that they do it together.     For several hours:   He talked my ear off.    He was good with his questions but he was better yet at listening.       His father was so pleased, he wants to go again in the next few weeks.     That will be great.     They really get it.    They enjoyed everything they saw.    Typical.    Dolphin.   Manatees.   Birds.   But the fishing was decent.     It actually could have been better.   Then again, I guess, it could have been worse.  

The Russians meddled in the election?     If the Russians were able to impact your vote:   Don’t vote anymore.    You are an idiot.   On that note:   Hillary is on the news saying that she got cheated out of victory.     So, three years later, she still can’t just accept that she got beat?    How long does it take?     I read that their fees, her and Bill speaking:   Plummeted.     Well, whatever.   I wouldn’t have paid 50 cents to hear what either of them have to say.     For me:  It’s not politics.    I tried.   I don’t like them.    I’ll never like them.    They are not my kind of people.   

Seriously, aren’t there real news stories??    That one has been going on for years.   Impeach the president.   Why, because you don’t like him?    Bill Clinton earned impeachment.   Richard Nixon earned impeachment.    Donald Trump earned dinner on me sometime.   Our country is pretty sad with its politics.    No respect for the people who should get it.   Respect for people who I would whip badly if we ever met face-to-face.  

In a new one:  My email account locked me out, to get back on they wanted an email address.   I typed it in and they said “That’s this email address.   Enter another one.”   What if their email address was the only one I have?    This security stuff:   Gotta tell you, a lot of it overkill.  

People are messed up.   Someone wanted to blow up Bernie Sanders.   Now, Bernie Sanders:   I don’t know how he ever even got on the radar.    I just laugh actually.    Bernie president of this country?   We would have to shut this country down.     But I wouldn’t hurt the guy.    This hatred.   This “harm” thing.    I don’t really get it.     Yeah, I said I would whoop the guy who is a moron who doesn’t reserve respect:   But it’s the younger ones that can fight back, not Bernie.    

I think back to when I was younger.    All the impacts on my life and how I came to be who I am now.     There are things I wish I could restore.   No question, I had some better features back then.     But, this is pretty much who I was supposed to be.   And it is not bad.    Honestly:  Who has had a better life than I have?     No hands go up?    Well, sorry about that but I’m not trading what I got for anything.

I almost have everything I want.    I can’t get her here.   If I could:   I would have everything I ever wanted.     It only took me 37 years to get on the radar.   I can stick with it a little longer.   

Apollo Creed asked, “Do you think I won the last time?”       I won but I didn’t beat him.    That’s a guy that’s honest with himself.    Such a cheap budget movie with excellent writing.   Excellent writing.     Rocky the movie itself:   It is the American story.    Success.    A zero budget film that did like seven sequels and is still the best thing to watch if it’s on, compared to all the drivel that they put out there now.   Mick, Mick was up there near master Yoda.    Mick might have been older than Yoda.  Speed.   Speed is what we need.   Greasy, fast, speed.  

Book #3, it’s done.    After the tournament.   To print.    Not about fishing, we will see how it sells.   I already have a bookstore talking to me about it.    Anyway, book #4 might not be mine anymore.   I might contract that one out to someone I met.    More on that later.   

I can tell you this much:   I have held back.   That won’t last forever.   

A fishing lure laying on a table out in the front yard.    I was telling this lady “I should have given it to the guy that was just here but I didn’t think of it.”   She picks it up.     She says, “This could be my new necklace.”    I took the hook off it:  It is now her new favorite necklace.    

Life is what you make it.   I have made mine very good.    Everyone is going to die.   So.  We all have to deal with that.  Unless you die first…    My father:  I still can’t figure out how to fill that gap.    Even when we didn’t talk about anything important, it was good for me.   That’s gone.   Gone for over a year now but the absence is just as relevant today as it was last April.     I’ll survive.    I’ll thrive.