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Monday, March 13, 2006

almost perfect

The first almost perfect weekend of the spring has come and gone. The weather in the mid-atlantic was spectacular. One saw the first sign of life in the marinas that had been moribund and empty since late October. As I made my traditional stop by Castle marina on saturday morning, there was the sound of activity, rigging being checked, motors flushed, shrink wrapping being removed in anticipation of the Chesapeake bay summer that was tasted on the spring like breezes that floated across the island. Golf courses were jammed as the fair weather players once again joined their heartier brethren who played on through the winter any time the temperature was above 30. The whole island began to climb out from under the heavy weight of winter. Although I am sure that there will be some of those nasty cold blustery days in the weeks ahead, Spring has been foretold and we are all feeling the tinglings of anticipation for unfurled sails, growling engines, dock bars, bikini clad beauties, swimming in hidden coves along the Wye river, Red Eye Sunday afternoons Jellyfish Joels, The Crab Claw and all the pleasures of summer along the Chesapeake bay.

It was incredible to be out again at the dock bars in shirt sleeves, drinking cold beer with hot shrimp, catching up with people we haven’t seen since the first frost.The Jetty was like a magnet for kent islanders on Friday evening. To stand out in the sun with friends watching the sunlight dance across the narrows and feel the breeze off the bay, no longer hawkish and bitter, but carrying instead salt laced aroma that foretells of good weather, grand adventures and great friends ahead was semi-spectacular. It would have been criminal not to be there for that Friday Happy Hour.

Combine the weather with the other events of the weekend and it was just a great weekend. Watching the ACC tournament outside it is an unusual occurrence and one all local fans seem to have taken advantage. All the outside joints were jammed by tip off all weekend. As usual the tournament did not disappoint. Maryland was, as predicted out early, Wake Forest almost cinderellaed, Boston College showed that they are in fact, more than ready to be a full fledged member of the toughest conference in college hoops, knocking off the tarheels on their way to a final against the $%^&*&^% dukies. I would love to be able to disparage Duke basketball but it is in fact, not possible. They are well coached, they are talented and they play smart-every year.The faces change as players graduate..and by the way their graduation rate is one of the best in college basketball..or leave for the NBA but every year Duke is right there, a constant threat to win the ACC as wel as the NCAA championship. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this year JJ Reddick has come inot his own in a spectacular fashion. He makes shots that he just should not be able to make. He sinks 40 foot 3 pointers like they were lay ups,.Every time Duke was pressed this weekend, here came JJ sinking a series of bombs, finding Williams or McRoberts wide open underneath, making plays and shots the crushed Miami, Wake and then BC for Dukes record setting 16th ACC championship.Reddick is the Niederhoffer of college hoops, routinely doing things that are thought to be improbable, if not impossible. Warm Weather, cold beer, and ACC championship basketball.A great way spend a weekend in March.

I would be remiss if I did not mention here the Colonial Players of Annnapolis production of Enter the Guardsman, a rendition of Fernec Monlars play The guardsman. Like many small theatre companies, Colonial Players production can be hit or miss. This one is a solid hit. The comedic tale of love, fidelity and the lack therof is well done, the musical adaptation sparkles and the cast hits the right notes of comedy and drama. Renowned sailing instructor Duncan Hood is spectacular in the machiavellian roll of the playwright who so carefully orchestrates the birth and death and rebirth of the actress, actors and guardsmans love triangle. He plays the role right on the verge of over the top as it should be played. The production runs through April 8th and if you are in the area, you could do worse for an evenings entertainment.

So with thoughts of warm days, great nights and exciting college hoops, I return to the office and the land of no volatility markets. Although I am sure the footstep of winter is not completly off the land, it weight has lessened. And I am also aware the market can continue to drift like this for long periods of time, I take heart in the there are still a few decent liquidations and option selling opportunities available to keep food on the table and the bar fully stocked. I am certain that summer will return to the Chesapeake Bay and we will have a string of weekends like the one past, and eventually the stock market will give the type of trading opportunities we have had in months and years past. Until then, we savor the anticipation created by this past weekend.

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