Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Musings - October 24, 2016

TPC Las Vegas
October 22, 2016
1. My long weekend trip is nearly over. All I really have remaining is to travel home. A long day of travel through three time zones.

 2. I played golf at TPC Las Vegas on Saturday, it has some of the most stunning views that I have seen from a golf course. 

3. Vegas really never sleeps.

4. The Presidential election is now only 2 weeks away and early voting has started. America, it is time to make a choice.

5. I am excited that one of the two longest championship droughts in the MLB is about to come to an end. Chicago and Cleveland will make history no matter which team wins. And who would ever have thought we'd see Chief Wahoo in the World Series? 

6. Patrick made a time-lapse video of the sunrise out the hotel window. It is very impressive. He did a great job documenting a great sunrise.

7. A dark spot in imagery of Mars is likely the wreckage of the European Schiaparelli lander

8. New York City is close to opening a subway line that has been planned for almost a century! Sometimes miracles happen.

9. It was a difficult day in the NFL yesterday with all of the family favorite teams, that played, losing. The losers include the Ravens, Steelers, and Redskins. The Cowboys were spared because they were on a bye week. The Ravens effort was especially frustrating because they had 12 rushing carries for a total of 6 yards. 

-- Bob Doan, writing from Las Vegas, NV

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bloody Mary Drink-off

Bloody Mary at BWI
I know it seems a bit strange to be writing about Bloody Mary's, but I have seen some interesting interpretations of this breakfast drink during my trip to Las Vegas. 

Let me state right up front, I have NOT personally consumed any of these concoctions, but I have witnessed other members of my group enjoying these drinks.

Hotel Bloody Mary
The first Bloody Mary of the trip was at the airport bar in Baltimore. It was made with everything and contained shrimp, an assortment of veggies, olives, and bacon. The salt around the top of the glass was a nice touch. Sadly, for the people who ordered this beverage, it was delivered only about 15 minutes before we boarded the flight to Las Vegas. 

The second Bloody Mary was even more over the top. It was created at the hotel for members of our group that we met up with in the check-in line. It was astounding and even more over the top than the ones a few hours earlier in Baltimore. It was definitely breakfast and while there was no shrimp, it appeared that a whole side of bacon was included in the glass. 

Bloody Mary at TPC Las Vegas
The final entry in the Bloody Mary competition was at TPC Las Vegas where we played a great round of golf. This was a more classic and, frankly, less appealing version that some of the others; but it was appropriate for drinking from a moving golf cart. 

The winner was the Bloody Mary at the hotel. I may never see one like that again!

-- Bob Doan, writing from Las Vegas, NV 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Out the Hotel Window - Las Vegas

Out the Hotel Window - Afternoon
October 21, 2016
I have experienced two cities that never sleep during the month of October, New York City and now Las Vegas. 

I have two images out my hotel window, one in the early afternoon and one as the shades of the sunset were painting the sky. 

Out the Hotel Window - Evening
October 21, 2016
I have a good view of the airport, similar to when I was in Los Angeles. It is hard to believe the life that happens behind me, in the other direction. 

I spent a lot of time wandering around being amazed at the sheer numbers of people who come to Vegas. It is astounding. And there is a lot of fun to be had--for a price. Everything is very pricey and not the way I remember it from 30 years ago. I had a burger and a beer for lunch yesterday and it cost $40. I'm going to have to be a bit more frugal if I am going to survive the trip with my wallet in tact.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Las Vegas, NV

Friday, October 21, 2016

Under the Sky

Not my Photo of Stars
Last evening was likely one of the finals evenings outside around the fire pit watching evening fall clad in shorts and a tee-shirt. The warm evening air enveloped Chris and I as we chatted about the upcoming weekend. The fire danced and cast its changing glow across our faces.

Colder weather is coming to greet the weekend and as October continues slipping away into November, it is likely these evenings will continue, but we will be wearing coats as we cast off the pervasive chill.

I saw the stars come out, as well as they do in this area of too much ground light. It was a fitting end to the busy day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Debate or Brawl

Debate night in America happened again last evening. It was another ugly dogfight on stage for the world to wonder how these two people, out of 300 million Americans wound up as finalists in the Presidential olympics.

The debate was, perhaps, the best of the three with issues getting more time than personal attacks. But, the debate still lacked a clear winner. I was left with the realization that both candidates have gaping holes in policy plans and ideas to run the country.

Some of the issues discussed during the evening included:

Second amendment. Should we return to the wild, wild west or is it possible to legislate the safe, responsible use of guns? Should we have a national right to carry?

Strong borders--getting rid of violent people or build a wall. How open should our border be? should be deport illegal immigrants even though it will cost taxpayers a bundle of money?

Supreme court. How do we want the future court to work? Which candidate has the best concept of the Constitution and how the Supreme Court can protect it. Frankly, I was dismayed by both candidates' approaches. 

Abortion--right to choice? Pro-life? This issue has continued for years and the discussions were designed to appeal to the base supporters for each candidates. There wasn't nothing new here.

Russia? Encourage espionage against Americans or defend our networks? Nuclear balance? There was a lot of finger pointing and this is a dangerous issue that was not properly nor adequately addresses. 

Expanding the economy through jobs programs. Raise the minimum wage? Women equal pay. Increasing access to college.

Taxes and jobs. Raise taxes or lower taxes? Stimulate the economy? Shipping jobs overseas? Buying steel from overseas and not supporting American workers.

Fitness to be President of the U.S. The continuing abuse of women issue versus the email controversy. The problems associated with the Clinton Foundation. 

Is the election rigged? Corrupt media, outdated voter roles, candidates with potentially criminal charges.

Whining before the vote. I think the President's remarks were right on. Don't start whining before the vote.

Moving in Syria against ISIS. The constant claim that ISIS was created by one of the candidates scares me because it demonstrates a profound lack of foreign policy understanding.

All-in-all, this was a much better debate.

And the winner is? 

No one.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Debate night

It is debate night in America again.

Which of the candidates will win? Or will they both lose, again?

I have so many questions.

There are serious differences in reality between the two. And I'm not sure either reality is the correct one.

Anyway, here we go for the last time before the election.

I will definitely be watching and listening.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Times have changed for clowns. 

I have been reading about the scary clowns in the papers and seeing reports about them on TV.

I remember, many decades ago when I was a kid, that clowns were fun and funny. I remember them in parades driving small cars and doing stunts to make people laugh. 

There was an interesting article in the New York Times the other day titled, What Do the Scary Clowns Want? The article discussed the current trend of scary clowns and traced their origins. I was surprised to learn that scary clowns go back into at least the 16th Century. 

Ronald McDonald
The current scary clown epidemic had caused one of the most beloved clowns to go into hiatus--Ronald McDonald has been placed in retirement. The Washington Post reports that Ronald McDonald is laying low until the current clown scare is over

I imagine that it is going to be a very interesting Halloween--I'm not sure whether scary clowns or creatures are going to be in the biggest numbers, although Target has halted the sale of clown costumes and masks

I guess the phrase "clowning around" may have a new and more sinister meaning.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Musings - October 17, 2016

1. I'm in shock realizing that October is already half over. 

Autumn Kissed Trees
at Arundel Mills
October 16, 2016
2. The weather is going to be fantastic this week. Highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's until Friday when more seasonally cool weather returns!

Tina working on Jeremy's Gift
3. I noticed that the trees are becoming "autumn kissed" with color.

4. Sometimes birthday presents are more fun in the making that the recipient even realizes. This was Tina and Patrick working on a gift to Jeremy yesterday. 

5. The NFL is concerned because the numbers of people watching the games on TV are down 10 percent. Perhaps they will figure out they are offering a flawed product which has become too commercialized and the rules too complex. 

6. When did clowns become scary?

7. The battle for Mosul started, according to the New York Times

8. Will there be any relief after election day from hearing about Trump or Clinton every hour of every day? Sadly, probably not.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Celebrating Another Year

Birthday Cheesecake
Yesterday Chris celebrated the completion of another year since her birth. 

It was a atypically quiet day. We were able to get a few things done around the house in preparation for the coming dark days. 

She received a rousing birthday chorus during the evening as her favorite cake was served--cheesecake. The boys did an adequate job. I usually make a special New York Cheesecake, but she called it off in the interest of time because it takes about five hours for my special cake.

Birthdays are special days, although I try to avoid mine. But I believe everyone needs to be celebrated and birthday's are a natural time to celebrate.

Happy Birthday, Chris.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Reflecting on NY, NY

First Street Vendor Chili Dog
Two weekends ago, Chris and I took Ethan to NYC for a fast weekend of sightseeing and excitement.

Chris with Morgan Freeman
There were the usual sights to see, however, there were a few other things that we enjoyed that helped to make the weekend very special.

One of the most enjoyable was Ethan's first chili dog from a street vendor! He thoroughly enjoyed it and there were a few more chili dogs consumed over the weekend. It seemed, however, that none of the follow-ons were as good as the first one. But he definitely enjoyed them all.

And then there was posing with a celebrity along the street. Who knew that they were every where? And he stood still for so long. He never even moved. Of course he was wax and standing in front of Madam Tussauds.

As we happened along the street, I ran across an NHL (yes I meant to type H) store. With hockey season about to start, I had to head inside. And what did I find? They were expecting me and had a jersey already prepared with my name on it! Actually it was a replica of Shane Doan's jersey. He is captain of the Arizona Coyotes. But it was cool to see the jersey with my name on it. I would have purchased it, but it was over $400! A real game jersey.

Memories made and remembered. That is the true gift of vacations and traveling.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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