Morning all:

Saturday a week ago I flew out of town. At the time the bulb flowers were in bloom. Yesterday upon my return all the flowering trees were out to greet me, all blooming in their full glory. Lawn mowers were in use everywhere; even our small Starburst Magnolia and two Bradford Pear tree start-ups were blooming. What a pretty time of year.

It probably is not an age thing but I need to lay the blame somewhere. Yesterday morning my flight dropped me off at customs and immigration in Atlanta at 5:15 AM. The overnight flight was completely packed and sleep opportunities were fitful to say the least. It was nine-thirty when Marcia picked me up at the airport. Enjoying the spring weather and the new-found pleasure of experiencing low humidity I wandered over to talk with the neighbors. That major event caused me to crash in my chair for a couple of hours. Once up, Marcia and I hauled the deck furniture out of storage and set it up. Two more hours of crashing in my chair! Now, with a serious energy boost under my belt I got the leaf blower out to clean the drive and garage. The energy drain was immediate and I skipped the chair crashing bit and crawled into bed. At seven-thirty Marcia woke me to ask if I could light the grill to grill dinner. Ten-thirty I was gone for the night.

My final night’s stay in Brazil was in the city of Campinas. As you can see by the photo the place is not small, yet it is really only one of several sub-cities to the amazingly large São Paulo area. Anyway, I digress; the outdoor hotel thermometer read 37, which if correct, I converted into a very humid 98 degrees. I did not spot the temperature bit until after I had walked the seven blocks to the local Pão de Açúcar supermarket. Going was not too bad. On the other hand walking back to the hotel carrying ten pounds of Brazilian coffee in several plastic grocery bags was not very smart. I need to start thinking taxi. Oh yes, I did bring along an empty bag specifically to drag it all home.

Entry into the USA requires most visitors to have a photo and fingerprint scan done as part of our security program. In Brazil, a judge got wrapped into this event and got angry about our all inclusive carte-blanc policy. Upon his return to Brazil he made a ruling and now every American, and only Americans, get processed normally and then file into a single line; you guessed it, to have their picture taken and their finger scanned. Does tit-for-tat mean anything? One hour later I stepped out into the hubbub of cars and busses in front of the terminal. Oh well, It least I did not do what a American Airlines pilot did last year when, with major frustration after over two-hours of delays, he signaled his unhappiness with his middle finger. Without ever leaving the airport, and $10,000 worth of fines lighter, he was on a flight back to America. Thumbs up!

Have a great week.

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