Good morning everyone.  Normally, it would have been Bruce Barber’s column yesterday, however, I thought I put it up, but I guess I didn’t.  (Sorry Bruce).  It’s started out to be a bit chilly, but the sun’s up and hopefully we’ll have a warm, slightly windy day for today “Steak in the Park“.  In addition to a quality steak, there’s all the fixings that go with it and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to buy “adult beverages” as Dario would say.  After the meal, they will have a silent auction, so be generous as all funds go to different projects the Rotary Club is sponsoring for the community.  If you don’t have your ticket yet, better beat feet to get one, as they are probably going to be sold out.  Be there or be square!  Photo by Kat Hammontre.

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Rex Vs the Rats Part 3: Baja Dai Ichi
By Margaret Reish Downing
Margaret and Rex San Felipe
Previously on Rex Vs the Rats: Rex was still smarting from his encounter with El Rigoberto, the bossy rat mastermind, whose troops continue to mow down his garden. Rex hiked through the desert, headed for a refreshing dip in the Sea of Cortez. Suddenly, a familiar and most unwelcome voice squeaked into the silence:
“Yo, Ese. Why the long face?”
Rex froze in place. “Arg!” he thought. “They told me back in ’67 what would happen if I inhaled! Now I’m hearing that talking rat again!
“Cat got your tongue? ¡Jajajajaja!”
Rex took a deep breath. He was hallucinating for sure, so might as well let things play out, right? “Oh, goodie. It’s El Rigoberto. What do you want, lard ass?”
“Who you calling a lard ass, cabrón!” the outraged rat hissed. “Don’t forget that you are speaking to the First Deputy Council of Ministers of the Nación de Baja Las Ratas. Show some respect!”
Rex snorted. “I don’t give a rat’s ass who you are!”
El Rigoberto scurried from out behind a a mound of empty clam shells. He got up on his hind legs, rising to his full eight inch height. “I’m gonna let that go, ‘cause I have a question for you, huevón.”
The rodent’s yellow teeth glinted in the sunlight. “You’re always trying to take down my people with your peanut butter and Velveeta. So if I was to set traps for you, dummy, what would I need to put in them? Pepperoni pizza? Carne asada? Would a spicy chicken filet sandwich appeal?”
“You could start with yourself.”
“That’s a real knee slapper, amigo. I asked you a serious question.”
At this, a horde of vermin swarmed protectively around El Rigoberto. The group fixed a red tide glare on Rex’s face. “OK, fine! I don’t eat meat anymore,” Rex replied with as much dignity as he couldmuster, considering he was talking to a rat, and under duress at that. “Maybe some curried cauliflower with a side of braised tofu?”
“So you’re a vegetarian? Me, too! I knew you wasn’t all bad,” El Rigoberto exclaimed.
“What about sushi?” inquired a mellifluous voice. “In this world of gastronomic miracles, strict vegetarianism is so limiting.”
Rex and the rat army looked up: A large handsome osprey beamed at them from atop a dessicated cardón. The small scarf tied around his neck gave him a rakish air.  ¡Ay, caray!” shrieked El Rigoberto. “We’re out of here!” He and his frightened minions ran off, disappearing into an arroyo.
“Konnichiwa!” the osprey said. “You are El Rex, verdad? I am Baja Dai Ichi a su servicio. I’m in need of a ghost writer for my new book,Sushi, Maquiladora Style. I’m afraid my hunt and peck method at the keyboard is rather time consuming. ¡Ja ja ja! Can I count on your help?”
Rex gulped. He was pretty sure that “no” would be the wrong answer. “Um, sure…”  “¡Muy bien! First chapter is, how to select the freshest seafood.” Baja Dai Ichi spread his wings. “Fortunately, we reside on the shores of the richest fishing waters in the world.”
The osprey squawked, and three turkey vultures swooped from above, seizing the back of Rex’s shirt with their beaks. They lifted him into the sky and headed out to sea.  Moments later they dropped the shrieking Rex into an empty row boat. Baja Dai Ichiwas perched on the prow.
“Stop sniveling, and allow me to demonstrate,” the osprey said. Rex took some deep breaths, and finally got a grip. Baja Dai Ichi put on a dazzling performance. Rex watched openmouthed as the sea bird dove repeatedly into the warm saltwater, skewering rooster fish, shrimp, sea bass,corvina, triggerfish, turtles and mackerel with his talons and depositing them in the boat.
At the growl of an approaching engine, Baja Dai Ichi flew away, leaving Rex standing knee deep in writhing fish.  A young woman in the official uniform of Mexico’s National Aguaculture and Fishing Commission hailed Rex from a speedboat. “Buenos días, señor! May I see your fishing license?” “Fishing license? Fishing. License. But… I wasn’t fishing.” The warden eased her craft up against the rowboat. She pointed at the pile of fish inside. “I – I can explain.”
“Lo dudo, señor. Identification? Rex handed over his Costco card. The warden began filling out a long form. She finallytore off the original and handed it to Rex. She then snapped digital photos of Rex and the contraband.
“Fishing without a license, violation of fishing limits, capture of protected species, lying to authorities and probable misuse of a controlled substance. Your court date is indicated on this form. How do you say it in English? Your ass is grass!”
“Yeah, I know, and you’re the lawn mower.” “Now, throw them all back,” she commanded. The warden, arms folded, watched as Rex tossed all of the fish back into the water. She nodded, revved her engine, and sped away.
Luckily there was a set of slime covered oars in his boat. Rex rowed himself to shore. He threw himself on the sand, gasping. Later, as he dozed off in the warm sun, he heard El Rigoberto’s snickering.
“You’re not in San Diego no more, pendejo. But don’t worry. What happens in Baja stays in Baja!”

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I’m back!  Good morning everyone and I’m not certain what kind of weather we’ll have for the day, as I’m writing this at 10:18 pm on Sunday evening.  I feel like I’ve been absent for a month and thank you Bruce and Dario for helping me out (it hasn’t been a month, but I like to exaggerate a it).  If you didn’t catch either articles, you can always click on their names and see them all.  Margaret Reish Risling So, where to do I start.  I guess I should read my last column so I don’t do the “pete and repeat” thang.  Our next soiree in little old San Felipe is the famous “Steak in the Park” which is a San Felipe Rotary event.  It’s about the tenth year, I believe and it’s held at the Hayward City Park, next to the fire station.  Years ago, Bill Gabbard (may his generous heart and soul rest in peace) would drive to the United States and bring back the best steaks he could find – he was the head cook.  Kay Gabbard and so many other volunteers (too many to mention) provided all the fixings; I tended bar for them a couple of years and it was a great event.  There have been rumors (I heard one tonight and straightened him out) this year’s Steak on the Park was canceled for lack of participation.  Not true.  It’s Thursday, February 26 beginning at 1:00 to 4:00 and the cost is $14.00 (dollars).  Tickets sell out fast.  They had 475 at last year’s event.  I just found the poster and I was off by two years.  It’s actually the 12th Annual Steak in the Park and in case you’re not aware (as I wasn’t completely) of all the different community services they provide, check out their Facebook Page under “Rotary Club of San Felipe”.  They helped put a roof on the rehab center; bought shoes for our rowing team; donated to the Cancer Center and much more.  All funds collected from this event will go for Rotary projects to benefit the

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