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Portland, Oregon
 
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Terry & Dave Taylor

A-10 Basketball Tournament

Cincinnati, Ohio: We have arrived. Today at Our House, it would warm to 72 degrees. It was a beautiful morning and we flew out of Portland (first-class, naturally, on my Delta Sky-Miles) and had views of St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier to the north and Mt. Hood, Mount Mr. Jefferson and The Sisters to the south. What a glorious day! The flight was happily unremarkable and we arrived in Cincinnati (the airport is in Kentucky) before dark and it was snowing! Icy cold.
 
Of course, we had checked the weather before we left and were prepared with warm coats, but still it was a shock. We arrived at our hotel and checked-in to our room and ran into Greg Collucci in the elevator. Collucci was the three-point man for GW while Lisa was in school. After graduation he has been an assistant coach while attending grad school at GW. After settling-in, we went down to the bar at the hotel, only to be swept-up in the swarm of the UMass team checking in and also saw GW coach Karl Hobbs. I am already getting excited about the games, not to mention realizing (yet again) that I am very short.
 
Our Old Budgie, Joe Paterno, is not well. Joe is part of the famed Joe Paterno/Rich Brooks parakeet duo we acquired in 1994. Rich Brooks died 4 years ago (good riddance, he was just a domineering jerk) and Joe has been alone with us since. Joe truly blossomed after the death of Rich Brooks and has had a good life - traveling around with us sometimes in our RV and singing his heart out to us every day. When we go on longer trips, he stays with his "Aunt Nancy". Since DT's retirement, Joe has spent much of his time with Nancy. Joe is 11 years old (that we know of). Parakeets live 2-7 years. Joe is terribly spoiled. He dines on a custom-blended seed mixture, including organic oat groats from Bob's Red Mill and he enjoys daily fresh organic herbs and vegetables. His favorites are broccoli, carrot greens, basil, mint, celery leaves, sprouts and cucumber. He sings to us in the morning, sings when water is running, sings when he hears Jimmy Buffett (the ultimate parakeet) and sings when the clothes dryer is operating. Like clock-work. Last week, it stopped. He stopped singing. No amount of Jimmy Buffett could get him squawking. He has spent the last few days being carried around the house, wrapped-up in a towel - my little parakeet enchilada - to keep him warm. I swear, a few times I thought he has passed. But he keeps breathing and he keeps eating. Joe has lost use of his legs and drags himself around with his beak. Joe is now at Nancy's. He is taking anti-biotic water, but honestly we feel he is dying of "extreme old-age" (as James Taylor would say). Tonight when Nancy arrived home from work - he greeted her, just as usual. Yet, still he sits at the bottom of the cage. I will keep you posted.
 
Also tonight we learned that the peaceful volcano we flew over at 11a, blew up at 5:30p. Goodness - what a sight that would have been to see that from the air, eh?
 
We dined at the hotel tonight - just at the bar - and when we didn't finish our pizza, our waiter took it outside to the homeless people on the corner. It is 30 degrees. If you can even believe this - neither of us has ever been to Cincinnati. All we know about this town is Bengal's & Red's and that you must have chili served over spaghetti noodles. There is a fabulous new museum about the Underground Railroad recently opened, which we will visit.
 
Please check back for updates, though I must say right away a few things. GW has won their division, so they have a bye. Xavier is a local team, so will be the crowd favorite. This could be GW's year, though we are fearing a GW-Xavier final and I don't think my heart/nerves/stomach can take that match-up.
 
To all my Oregon readers: Use sun screen people!

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