Morning all:

Happy Easter to everyone. As I dragged my morning newspaper in a little while ago, complete with its three pounds of Easter Sale advertising inserts, it crossed my mind that it sure wouldn’t hurt to reflect a bit deeper on the meaning of Easter. Reflection on what was given us, coupled with the fact that all of us, in one way or another, should look at various facets of our own lives for possible new beginnings. Having said that, my first cup of morning coffee tastes excellent as usual, especially now that the winter of 2004 is officially in the history books and Spring is in full bloom .

Last weekend Adrianne and I went to see the very best of women’s soccer as Washington Freedom played both Xavier University and University of Cincinnati women’s teams. One of the real thrills was watching Abby Wambach play along with the other Olympic team hopefuls .

Monday was Passover and both Jason and Adrianne celebrated Passover dinner at Cathy’s father’s home. Unlike most family feasts an important component of this celebration is that strangers are also invited to join in. This makes for a different and eclectic group around the table each year the celebration takes place. That evening we took care of Adrianne’s dog, Shang, since she had a busy day and then the dinner. Since Shang loves his walks we did a three-miler around the neighborhood. It was fun to see clusters of cars at various homes, and in each the formal dining rooms all lit up, lots of silver to be seen sparkling through the windows, as in each the Passover ritual was celebrated. It was a nice way to view this scene of “community”.

We are now officially less than one month away from the start of the 17-year Cicada cycle. Last time that the Cicada’s surfaced was 1987 and we are apparently on target for a similar event this year. Then, in a small geographic area – the Southwest section of our state – approximately 5-billion of the insects emerged from their 17-year underground grub stage. Once above ground they will shed their skins and emerge as flying breeding machines. Since they have no mouths they only live for 2 to 3 weeks. The males set up a horrific screeching to entice the females and for several weeks whole neighborhoods will have it appear that jet-engines are warming up somewhere on the street.

The first 500-million or so will just become meals for anything and everything – birds, cats, moles, dogs, etc. Since the Cicadas appear as “pieces of flying candy” to pets and the like, it is difficult to stop from eating them. But, none of these can digest the hard skeleton, so once gorged they promptly start throwing up their stomach contents. Each morning, the outside steps and walkways will have a carpet of shriveled Cicada remains. The strategy for success that these critters have developed is through overwhelming numbers; something like the Russian army did in the Nineteenth century. Oh yes, next month welcome to our neck of the woods. Anyone care to pay us a visit – we really do need a few more folk to man the brooms.

Have a great week.



PS. With April 15 – Tax Day – a few days away, be sure to click on the “Week’s Best” button below

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