Letter From New York 03 09 15 Not at all, all bad…

The Weather Channel app indicated today was going to be warm but rather cloudy. Instead, the sky is blue and the sun has beamed down happily all day, warming my part of the world to a stunning 48 degrees; I even wandered a bit with only a fleece jacket on for a while.

The trees are casting sharp shadows and there is the sound of water dripping as icicles melt. Perhaps we are on our way to spring at last!

Tonight I am trying my hand at Shrimp Scampi accompanied by a white Cote de Rhone. My friends Lionel and Pierre are coming and I am savoring what time I have with them as soon they are off to Baltimore, where Lionel has a new job.

The news of the day is not all bad. Strange in places but not all bad.

Forty-seven Senate Republicans have sent a letter to the leaders of Iran warning them that a deal with Obama might not last beyond his administration. Something like this is unprecedented, I suspect. It feels wrong to me. Not surprisingly, the White House is furious.

IS continues to feel pressure. The Iraqi forces continue to put pressure on them in their drive to retake Tikrit. The US led coalition has bombed their oil fields, which once got them somewhere between $850,000 and $1,500,000 a day. Between the raids and the oil glut, oil is no longer their biggest source of income.

Divisions seem to be rising, with Syrian and Iraqi fighters resenting the privileges given to foreign troops in the form of better pay and postings. A resistance movement seems to be forming; several militants were gunned down in a drive-by shooting recently.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, has admitted in a documentary that he cooked up the plan to retake Crimea long before he originally said. The trailer, with this piece in it, was shown on Russian television last night. No date for the actual documentary screening has been set. It is called “The Path to the Motherland.” Well, we suspected, now we know.

While the world’s archeologists are attempting to save Syrian and Iraqi artifacts and ruins, the Vatican is attempting to get back a letter written and signed by Michelangelo. It was stolen back in 1997; a ransom request was received today. The common thinking is that this was an inside job.

And in Israel, three men found a trove of Hellenic coins and jewelry while spelunking and have turned the treasure over to Israeli authorities.

Today, speaking of treasures, the Apple Watch was unveiled. It starts at $349 and goes all the way up to about $17,000. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, promises it will be like a friend on your wrist, a coach. I am going to be interested to see if it catches on. The report I read indicates it is not as user friendly as the iPhone.

And in another bright moment for Apple, HBO Now, HBO’s OTT offering, will be exclusively available on Apple devices for the first three months.

What also was shown today is a new MacBook, which is light and wonderful and gold and almost stole the show.

What is not stealing the show, is Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco, which continues to brew and boil and bubble. Politico speculates that she will address it at a press conference scheduled for sometime in the next few days.

In 2006, Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the film, “The Queen.” She is back as Elizabeth II in a Broadway play entitled, “The Audience.” Though my Bachelor’s and Master’s are in Theater, I rarely attend. However, this is one play I intend to see, once I have returned from India.

Ah, the day has reached that state when all seems cast in shades of brown. I must go set the table and prepare for dinner. A martini awaits.

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