postcard photo

President Donald Trump suggests that I may use a postcard to report my federal taxes as soon as Congress simplifies the tax code.

“A great idea,” was my first reaction.

I let the proposal incubate for a couple of minutes before questions began emanating from my puny, pigmy, pusillanimous mind.

Would the U.S. Postal Service be prepared to print millions of 38-cent postcards in time for citizens to report their taxes? If that were to happen, the U.S. Postal Service might make enough money to cover employee retirement benefits for a zillion years. That is, if Congress didn’t borrow the money to finance its tax plan.

What would I report on the postcard? Would I report my income, which falls a tad short of middle-class status since I quit my day job and became a Social Security beneficiary? Would I report my deductions for contributions to worthy causes, state and local taxes, insurance, co-pays, pills, band-aids and dental expenses? Continue reading POSTCARD TAX PROPOSAL MAY NOT LAST ‘FOREVER’



My favorite local newspaper just shortened the maximum length of  “letters to the editor” from 250 to 200 words, which caused me to wonder if shortening other aspects of our lives would be beneficial.

Like shortening the length of games we play, including baseball and football. Fewer strikes, fewer timeouts, fewer downs, fewer reviews.

Limiting the length of school classes, lunch hours, sermons, coffee breaks and wait times at doctor’s offices.

We could shorten each day by turning back the clock at 2 a.m. Not just once a year but every day. That would help ensure that many of us would live longer and, thus, we would draw more Social Security income.

Shorten musical concerts by changing whole notes to sixteenths.

Limit the number of pages in books and require that the typeface be no smaller than 12 points.

Technology already shortens our messaging, including the 140-character limit for tweets. However, I hear that they’re going to double the character count.

Even though I attempt to limit each blog that I write to 400 words, I would be hard-pressed to stop writing when I reach the 200-word limit imposed by my favorite local newspaper.

A least I’ll


Neal's fly pattern 2017

My eldest son ties fly-fishing flies, including the one pictured above.

I also once tied flies but could never hold a candle to his skills in cranking feathers and thread around a hook.

My son got a head start on me when he was in high school and began tying flies. I was a hook, worm and bobber guy who wasn’t interested in creating or casting flies.

Years later, I decided to join him as a catch-and-release angler who uses barbless hooks.

First, I had to learn how to fly fish. I traded my fishing pole for a fly rod and reel, acquired waders, boots, thermal underwear, vest, dry fly floatant, polaroid glasses, nippers, strike indicators, split shot, hemostats and a dip net. Continue reading CREATING FLIES THAT FOOL FISH CAN BE A WORK OF ART