Friday, July 20, 2018

I'm Heading to Work, Why?

I had a moment yesterday.

The Sky from the Instrument Console in Cat
July 19, 2018
I was in Cat, my Jaguar convertible, with the top down heading to work on I-95 after playing racquetball at the club. It was early, about 7:01 AM, and the day was beautiful. The sky was crystal clear, the humidity was low, the temperatures were cool. It was going to be an idyllic July day.

And I was heading to work and spend the day in a building with no windows!

Traffic was slow and so I snapped a selfie of the sky and the top of my windshield so that I could remember the day and the moment.

In Bob's perfect world I would be on a beach somewhere enjoying the sounds of the ocean lapping against the sand and watching the pelicans formation fly along the beach in search of breakfast. It is July and that is what I normally do for most of the month of July--but not, sadly, this year. We are waiting to vacation until late-August.

Why do I feel that I am missing valuable beach time?

I'm not really missing any beach time, but the blue sky was calling to me yesterday as the traffic was creeping along I-95.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Broken Glass

Broken Sliding Door Glass
Sometimes I wonder what happens around the house while I am away at work.
Broken Sliding Door Glass form the Outside

Last evening, I came home after a challenging day to face broken sliding door glass!

Yup, Broken, completely. 

Chris was home most of the day.

She was watching two of the grandsons and a friend. 

How do these things happen? Inquiring minds want to know.

Victims of circumstance? The inner pane is intact and the outer pane is totally fractured but not, as of yet, displaced. Chris taped it to provide some additional support until the broken glass can be repaired or the door itself replaced.

Ugh! Summer fun?

I think not.

Now I am looking for a glass replacement/repair establishment. If it is not one thing, it is another.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pick Up Stix

I remember playing a game, during my youth, called Pick up Stix

Yes, the name was intriguingly misspelled! 

I remember that, although I wasn't sure until I found the image on the internet to confirm it. 

I remember the cardboard tube that held the sticks used in the game and how the challenge was finding and retrieving sticks that had been put down in a bundle without moving any other stick.

It was a simple game in theory, but hard to complete.

Spaghetti on the Floor
Last evening, I had the opportunity to play the game for real. Chris and I were making a new dish with pasta and I was in charge of cooking the spaghetti. I had no problem getting the water boiling, but during the intervening time before adding the spaghetti I was helping Chris prepare the remainder of the dish. 

I forgot that the box of spaghetti was already open and picked up the closed end to open it, whereupon all of the spaghetti fell out and onto the floor.

The scene was funny in its simplicity and mess on the floor. 

Chris was not amused, but, hey, it happens. Fortunately we had an unopened box of spaghetti in the pantry and so there was no need for an emergency run to the store for more.

I find it is almost more fun to laugh at myself than to laugh with someone else. 

And I was immediately reminded of the game Pick up Stix. 

In the end, the pasta dish was awesome, even after the short delay to clean the kitchen floor.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Break

It is mid-July and we have arrived at MLB's All-Star Break!

The big game is tonight and it likely will be the last game that Manny Machado plays wearing Orioles colors. A trade to Philadelphia seems almost certain within the next few hours.

The Orioles have managed to crawl out of the cellar. They are no longer the worst team in baseball, by virtue of their recent 4-4 homestead they have become the second worst team in baseball by .005 percentage points. 

It is possible, but not likely, that the  Orioles (28-69, .289) will win 30 games before accumulating 70 losses. They remain on track to lose 115 games this season and it will likely get worse as the fire sale gets underway. 

The Orioles are chasing the 1962 Mets (40-120, .250) for the most losses in baseball's modern era (since 1900). The worst team of all time are the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134, .130). I think that record is safe.

It is sad that this season, which began with so much promise and a win has devolved into wondering if the O's will set a modern era record for the most losses and trying to divine which three or four starters may return next season. 

I'm not sure I want to learn the names of another all new lineup. The abysmally poor season has sapped my interest in baseball.

Can I get a refund on my partial-plan season tickets?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Musings - July 16, 2018

Geese on Hole 1 at Eisenhower
July 15, 2018
1. Unbelievably, July is half over already. It seems like the month started just yesterday.
Radio Flyer over Piney Orchard
July 14, 2018

2. Yesterday was a beautiful golf morning. I played my best round of the year. I also enjoyed the wildlife on the golf course as well.

3. I flew Radio Flyer in Nicole's neighborhood on Friday and obtained some very nice images of the houses. I enjoy flying in different neighborhoods, but I am mapping out a more complicated path for Radio Flyer in my own area.

4. Found an interesting lizard Odenton the other day. It apparently is an Eastern Fence Lizard--I was impressed, I had not seen a real lizard in the area before.

5. Congrats to the French for winning the World Cup! And on the day after Bastille Day! What a great French weekend. Vive la France and drink some French wine to celebrate.

Eastern Fence Lizard
July 14, 2018
Finnegan with a Flower
6. In other sports news, the Orioles, mystically, took a series from the Texas Rangers over the weekend winning two of the three games. That lowered their expected losses for the season from 117 to 115!

7. It is time for baseball's All Star break! At least the O's won't lose the next three days.

8. Sometimes animals do the cutest things. Finnegan and Makayla sat in a flower bed the other evening. It created some unique images.

9. Planning a cruise with 8 other people is a lot like herding cats.

10. On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. (from

11. When all is lost, ask the I.R.S. - they'll find something. Douglas Horton 


Just Sitting Down With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead - The New York Times

France caps a frenetic and fabulous World Cup by blazing past Croatia for the title - The Washington Post

China's economy slows just as the trade fight begins - CNN

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"There can be no freedom without order, and there is no order without virtue...Yet how often this simple truth, the importance of this belief in basic values, is overlooked in a society of high technology and mass communication and bewildering, everyday events."
Remarks at the Centennial Meeting of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in Hartford, Connecticut, August 3, 1982

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Another Perfect Pool Day

Lucas Backstroke
July 14, 2018
The weather continues to be unbelievably awesome and each new day brings another pool opportunity. 

Yesterday revolved around pool time.

Lucas Freestyle
July 14, 2018
In the morning it was off to another swim meet with Lucas swimming. It was fun to watch his competitive spirit in the pool. He swims freestyle and backstroke. He also swam as the anchor for the relay team.

It was an early and fun morning.

The afternoon revolved around lounging on a floatie in the pool enjoying the relatively low humidity and the sunshine.

It was a perfect July Saturday. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Waiting for the Sunrise

Sunlight in the Tree Tops
July 14, 2018
I took some time this morning to wait and watch the day break over the land. It was dawn of my second favorite foreign holiday--Bastille Day!

I was quiet and I was trying to sleep on the couch because I just could not stay in bed any longer--but, I was still tired and sleepy.

Evening Beginning to Fall
Annapolis, MD
July 13, 2018
I enjoy the early morning summertime sunrises. We have had a string of great weather days that almost make up for the foul weather experienced earlier this year.

The sky was clear as light began to creep over the trees in my backyard. 

And then, suddenly, it was daylight and the sound of departing aircraft from BWI filled the air as the day began in earnest.

So I made a cup of coffee and thought about last evening as, from the streets of Annapolis with friends, I watched the day pass. 

Annapolis Harbor
July 13, 2018
It was a quite a week and, frankly, I was happy that it was over. It was appropriate that the workweek ended with a Friday the 13th! It was almost as if the week had been scripted like that from the beginning of the year.

But this morning's dawn holds the promise of a new day and a weekend full of activity with family and friends.

Saturday has dawned and it is time to get moving and greet the day head-on.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 13, 2018

At Least

I learned a new combination of words yesterday that have a complicated and far more difficult connotation than I realized.

"At least . . . "

The words have two definitions, one is clearly mathematical and the other is for use in a life setting:

if nothing else (used to add a positive comment about a generally negative situation).

"the options aren't complete, but at least they're a start"

At lease can be used by well-meaning people who just do not understand a situation to try to make people feel better. But it falls well short. 


My cat ran away.
At least you have two dogs.

My car is broken.
At least you can have it fixed.

My roof is leaking.
At least you have a house.

I have (insert some disease or sickness)
At least it is treatable.

I saw a short video by Dr Brene Brown in a leadership class yesterday about the difference between empathy and sympathy and the use of the words "at least" really resonated with me. If you have a few minutes, watch the whole video, but if you are in a hurry, fast forward to 1:55.

I realized that using the words "at least" minimize the problem and the feelings of the person with the problem. They do not help and they may harm. 

The image I added to the blog highlights the problem. When I fail, I don't want to be reminded that I tried, and failed. I want someone to understand where I am. Maybe just a hug and a reassurance that I am not alone. 

I read another blog on the sympathy and empathy. I found it short and interesting.

What’s The Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy, And Why Has Sympathy Got Such A Bad Name?

I am going to try not to use the words "at least" except when referring to mathematical situations in the future. I realize that "at least" does not convey my true intent when someone brings a problem or concern to my attention.

At least it is Friday.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Summer Lillies in the Garden
It is truly summertime!

The weather has been fantastic with clear skies and warm but not oppressive temperatures and humidity lately. I am sure that the hot weather will soon return, but for now I revel in the cool, 70 degree, mornings and warmer afternoons.
Patrick's Puppy Rex (or is it Pudge?)
 Taking and Afternoon Nap

I have been enjoying driving Cat, my Jaguar, now that it has returned from being repaired. I may actually have to work some to get 5,000 miles on it this year. At least it is giving my truck a respite from the daily traffic grind, or the rhythm of the cars.

The summer flowers are abounding in the gardens and even dogs find a reason to nap in the afternoon on the back deck while the world continues around them.

I am also enjoying the abundance of fireflies that are sparkling in the trees during the early evening hours.

It is the best time of the year! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Flying and Family

The Cul de Sac at the End of Rainbow
July 10, 2018
I took Radio Flyer out for a quick afternoon flight yesterday. It was nothing special, but I am continuing to work on my map navigation skills. I flew my drone away from me over the trees and up the street and brought it back using the map for navigation and also putting it into the sport mode where it flies very fast. 

Chris and Finnegan on the Driveway
As I was ending my flight, I spied Chris and Finnegan returning from a walk. My battery was getting too low to actually fly close to them, but I did snap a quick image for posterity as I was landing. 

It is not a spectacular image. I had actually flown along the street earlier in an attempt to find them on the walk, but apparently the trees obscured them.

Later that same evening, Chris and I joined with Jeremy, Julie, Patrick, and Tina at Jeremy's house for an impromptu gathering. There were also some dogs involved as well. It was fun to meet together on a Tuesday evening and share the news of the day. What else are we going to do on a beautiful summer evening? 

I was honored by the love shown by my entire family, even those who were not available for the impromptu gathering. 

And now it is Wednesday. Another day full of challenges and opportunities!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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