Once again with thanks (and apologies) to Boston Globe sports writer Nick Cafardo, here is the latest edition of random thoughts, observations and basic snarkiness—The Hanging Shad’s “Apropos of Nothing.”

1. The 2011 session of the Connecticut General Assembly is shaping up to be a series of sweet victories for Gov. Dannel Malloy. Of course, the budget is not completed and won’t be until after the constitutionally mandated session ending date of June 8th. Paid sick leave, in-state tuition, the instituting of General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the make-over of UConn’s Dempsey Hospital are all either accomplished or well on their way to being so. Of course, the budget or more precisely the deal with labor, could grab the steering wheel of the Malloy Express and yanked it hard right, directly into a bridge abutment (which might be on land for which the state paid millions if it’s in the path of the ridiculous busway).
2. Even when state House Minority Leader Larry Cafero is right on issues such as his call for an outside audit of the budget proposal or his condemnation of the corrections bill that needs a do-over, he is impossible to listen to. He’s the legislative equivalent of fingernails on a chalk board.
3. On the national scene, a Sarah Palin presidential bid could be the Obama reelection campaign’s best friend. Add that to Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party movement—Ron Paul?? Please—and you have a recipe for a second term for the president.
4. Even to casual sports fans, the save made by Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas Monday night is the save of the Stanley Cup playoffs thus far. Superman wears Tim Thomas pajamas to bed.

5. Traveling is great fun even if it seems like a mini-version of moving.
6. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a few minutes of the Backyardigans singing in Spanish.
7. I’ve had a chance to spend a week with my counterparts (Regional Communications Officers for Oxfam) from around the world—Cambodia, Ethiopia, Senegal (West Africa Region), Sudan, El Salvador (the host country), Peru and the US (me). Great people are great people in any language and from any culture.
8. Long-term negotiator for state employee labor unions Dan Livingston is an effective, brilliant lawyer. So why not spend a few extra bucks for some production quality on this video so Danny doesn’t look like he’s making a hostage tape?