Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“The N.C.A.A. tournament starts out at 65, then it goes right to 64, then 32, then 16, then 8, then four, then down to just one. I mean, it’s like GM stock, really, when you think about it” — David Letterman

I am in a bit of a funk this morning. Late this week I completed with my end of doing our taxes – 8 hours total. Then the race was on to get it to the accountant’s desk. He just smiled and handed me self addressed envelopes: “to send checks and pre-pay, I’ll let you know the amounts after we calculate as we apply for an extension.”

As I sit with my morning coffee and mull over the fact that folk in congress and four of Barak’s appointees have tax issues (including the snafu-prone Treasury Secretary and the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee [think tax] – most of them lawyers and all with tax specialists in their back pocket), this tells me that for us, the little people, the whole taxing structure is obscenely onerous, idiotically complex, and smacks of legalized theft. I’m about ready to reenact what our forefathers did when they brewed tea in Boston harbor.

A week ago Marcia fired me. Our happy ‘sharing-the-dinner-preparation-experience-by- taking-turns-cooking’ is kaput. This was all without even a “three strikes, you’re out” warning. Marcia told me the reason was that she felt I had lost interest. My perception is her increasing concern that I had too much interest. I believe that she felt that I was just way too lusty in the kitchen—especially when it came to my favorite two-some, Pepper and Spice.

Actually, I have slowly clawed my way back just a little bit. Twice since my firing I have manned the grill, preparing some excellent barbeque. Also, last night’s trout was lovely dear. We’ll see what the future brings.

Our pair of Red Tail Hawks is settling in to the neighborhood amazingly well. Twice now we’ve seen one of them land in a nearby tree carrying a squirming snake that quickly becomes the mid-day meal. The large dead tree in our neighbor’s yard seems to be the dining room of choice.

The other day I managed to get the binoculars and the tripod set up to voyeuristically observe mealtime. Little did I realize that it would become much more of an event. Friends from down the street happened by and I invited them up to the deck to have a look. As Robin stood on her tippy-toes to look, the male swooped in and created an instant ‘intimate’ quite X-rated moment. His partner never skipped a beat tearing at her snake. And here I always thought it was the male who’s heart was won over through the stomach.

I also noted that Mr. Hawk did not light a cigarette prior to flying off. The new cigarette tax is already having its anticipated effect.

Spring is in full bloom in these parts. Another week and the young leaves will have blocked the ability to see through the trees. Days are in the mid sixties to low seventies. This coming Monday will be the opening of baseball season.

The Cincinnati Reds, being the oldest professional baseball team, means that opening day is a major event in our town, complete with a parade prior to game time. The police department asked Citizen on Patrol volunteers to assist; I will be downtown at 8 AM on Monday. Last night the television weather-weenie forecasters started predicting the opening day temperature to be in the thirties with a chance of snow flurries. I do not remember any agreement to volunteer in sub-warm temperatures.

On April 26, 1995, a plane flying over the Cincinnati Reds opening day baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Riverfront Stadium towed a banner that said, “”Owners and Players: To Hell With All of You”. This was a fairly widespread reaction to the baseball strike that began in mid-season the year before and resulted in the cancellation of the World Series – something even World War II had not done. This is a different time. However, way back in my mind, I am certain that any number of legal teams will be watching the skies – like hawks, for a potential lawsuit bonanza.

This weekend, at the former Voice of America radio installation site, will be kite flying events. Warring kites, large, hugely large, unusually designed, acrobatic, and you name it kites, will all be flying. Guess where I’ll be? Marin has already corralled his parents into going and I’ll be right with them.

Make it a great week everyone.



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