Good afternoon from rainy Tampa, Florida. I sure have a way of going out of town when big news hits Iowa. Last summer, it was the awful floods. Now, it's the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. It was interesting to watch the coverage of the ruling down here. It received a prominent story in both the Tampa Tribune and the St. Pete Times. It was also one of the first stories on the local tv news I watched, not to mention all the coverage on the national news. One of the first things I thought about (beside the fact that I was out of town during another big news day) was something from a few years ago. Statehouse Republicans were talking about pushing for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Some Democrats said that was unnecessary and that the law already banned them. Oops. It will now be interesting to see when Republicans push for this again next year what Democrats will do. I don't recall, for example, Iowa Governor Chet Culver of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin ever saying the wanted gay marriages. So will they now oppose an amendment banning them?
Random Florida observations...
Poinsettias are blooming at my in-laws. I'm pretty sure I've only previously seen the flowers in a pot during the holidays. Although, with this latest "winter" storm, Iowans may be thinking Christmas is already here
I heard a news anchor in Tampa say something like, "It's spring now, but it sure will feel like winter." Tomorrow, the high is ONLY 65 degrees. Sorry, Iowans.
I had something called crab white bellies for lunch today. Not sure exactly what they were. But there were great.
I'm amazed how my 17-month-old nephew, Ian, can "push the buttons" of his 2 1/2-plus-year-old brother. He really knows what he is doing:)
My runs along Bayshore have really struggled in 85 degrees and 85% humidity. I sure hope the Principal Riverwalk can offer something even a fraction of the beauty you see running along the bay in Tampa.
We're headed to a bar to watch my beloved St. Louis Cardinals home opener this afternoon, provided the snow, wind and freezing temps don't push back the game.
Here are my predictions for the National League Central:
Chicago Cubs--too much talent. If they can't win it this year, their curse may be permanent.
St. Louis Cards--could be better than some fans fear. But Schumacker needs to at least be average at second, Carpenter needs to come back strong, Ludwick and Ankiel need to keep developing and Pujols needs to be Pujols.
Cincinnati Reds--seem to be improving. Could surprise with a .500 finish or even a little better with an improved offense and bounce back years from Arroyo and Harang.
Milwaukee Brewers--without C.C. and Sheets, I don't see how they can repeat last year, no matter how many steak Fielder trades in for tofu this season.
Houston Astros--too much cost-cutting decisions. Oswalt, Lee and Bergman should make them competitive, but there's just not enough offense and starting five to go around.
Pittsburgh Pirates--seriously. They're the Pirates. They always suck. Sorry, Tom Vilsack.