Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Musings - August 20, 2018

Finn in his Football Jersey
Ready for the Season
1. August is slipping by gain. The days are already shortening perceptibly.

2. Why is going to the ice cream store for a hot fudge sundae after dinner such a treat? It almost seems sinful.

3. Chris and I were sitting around last evening and the subject of our old animal friends came up. I teared up thinking about our old companions: Hans, Meghan, and Zach.

Crepe Myrtle on a Summer Day
August 19, 2018
4. Summer is ending. The teachers are heading back to school. Chris is happily retired and is not suffering from the end-of-the-summer stress.

5. Finn tried on his football jersey the other day, just to be ready for the NFL season kickoff. 

6. House project abound. Yesterday's project: stain the ceiling of the porch!

7. I finally and successfully acquired the correct blade for my chainsaw. That was a lot harder than it had to be.

8. The crepe myrtles are in bloom. Radio Flyer was up yesterday getting a different view of the magnificent crepe myrtle next to my pool.

9. Radio Flyer was busy during its flights yesterday finding things around the neighborhood. 

10. The Orioles had a particularly bad week. They are 2-8 for their last 10 game posting a 37-87, .298 record 50.5 games out of first place and looking at losing 114 games this season. The highlight was a complete game, 100 pitch win by Alex Cobb on Saturday. 

11. Today in History. On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.


Greece’s Bailout Is Ending. The Pain Is Far From Over. - The New York Times

Trump rewrites history as Russia probe pressure mounts - CNN

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cicada Squealing

Cicada in the Tree
The sound was deafening. 

I love the sounds and smells of summer. In the afternoon and evenings the cicadas buzz as the temperatures crawl above 80 degrees. It is one of the sounds of summer that I enjoy. They sound like so many buzz-saws in the trees. 

The other evening, Chris and I were walking the dogs and I heard a cicada singing seemingly right above my head. I stopped, saying to myself, "I should be able to see this one." And I found it sitting on a branch, just above the sidewalk. 

Next came the challenge of getting an image of the bug! It was exciting to see one alive, I usually find them dead in the pool skimmers. 

The cicada continued singing all during the imaging opportunity, oblivious to what was happening on the ground below it. 

I successfully snapped the image and then got away from the almost 100 decibel noise that was making my ears hurt.

The bug continued singing as Chris and I continued our walk.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hibiscus Morning

Hibiscus Around the Pool
Last winter was tough on some of the plants that I bring inside to escape the freezing temperatures.
Hibiscus Blossom Gracing my Pool

While the palms did fantastic, the flowering hibiscus lost most of its leaves and went into a hibernation type mode. It has taken all year for it to finally develop leaves and look healthy. This week, my patience was rewarded with flowers. Beautiful hibiscus gracing my pool environment and reminding me of tropical climates. 

The arrival of the blossoms and the multitude of buds makes the wait worthwhile. I hope to do better this coming winter. This hibiscus has been through a few winters in my basement, but this past one was the worst.

While it is late-August and the hibiscus is only now blooming, I will enjoy its tropical flowers for the rest of the season. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 17, 2018

Misleading the World with a Broken Moral Compass

Religion is back in the news--and not in a good way. 

Vatican Calls Abuses by Pennsylvania Priests ‘Criminal and Morally Reprehensible’ - The New York Times

Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania, Report Says - The New York Times

The abuse of children trusted to the care of religious leaders has been occurring for decades and it has been systematically covered up by the leadership.

One friend wrote on Facebook about the situation stating that his 90-year old mother called to ask if he had been molested as a boy. He reports that she was relieved when he was able to tell her, "No."

The abuses are not something that happened in some distant and barely recognizable far-off "there." It happened, and is likely happening, here in our towns and cities where the church is supposed to be the beacon of morality and the dispenser of hope. 

Instead, thousands are experiencing degradation and living with the brokenness and despair that results from abuse at the hands of trusted religious leaders.

This is not the first time this pattern of abuse has surfaced in the Catholic Church. 

Sadly, it likely will not be the last. 

The Catholic Church is at the center of the current abuse allegations; however, abuse of children by religious leaders has not been confined to its sanctuaries. There have been stories of abuse in other religions and denominations as well. The Catholic Church seems to have adopted a culture amongst it leaders of covering up abuses in a widespread and systematic manner rather than ferreting them out and providing help to the abused and subsequently removing the abuser from contact with children.

It must change!

I should have changed decades ago when the abuses began to be revealed.

My friend makes some insightful comments for overcoming the systemic problems of the church. He writes: "There are solutions that could help. Allow married priests, admit women priests, and conduct an independent investigation of all priests - starting with the Cardinals and working down to the parish level. Any priest that molested someone would be immediately defrocked. Any priest that knew of the abuse would also suffer the same fate. It is long time past to clean up the church."

I am reminded about the difference between religion and Christ-following. Religion is man's search for God and holiness. Christ-following recognizes that God came and stood in the mud and muck next us and then cleaned us up and brought us up to His level.

Religion is fundamentally flawed because it is created by people.

My friend closed his observations about the abuses in Pennsylvania by writing: "We do not want Mothers calling their children asking them if they had been abused by someone from the Church."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sunrise, Sunset, Repeat

Patuxent Greens Before Sunrise
August 15, 2018
In a rare twist, I managed to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset yesterday.

I decided to take some morning time and play golf with two guys from work. We had a 6:15 AM Tee-tim, but were actually able to tee-off at 6 AM. There was no one else on the course and sunrise was not until 6:19 AM. It was very dark when we hit the first golf balls of the day off the tees at Patuxent Greens Golf Club.

Across the Tees
Patuxent Greens
August 15, 2018
I thoroughly enjoy watching the day start from the manicured fairways and greens of a golf course. Yesterday was no different, with the exception that the heavy rains of the past few weeks have not been kind to Patuxent Greens. The fairways and some greens definitely were showing signs of damage. 

And then there was the sunset. I watched the sun pass below the horizon from the comfort of my backyard. Although I cannot actually see the horizon from my backyard, I watched the sun-light move up to the top of the trees and then the colors of the sunset appear.

As Chris and I were sitting there and the twilight deepened, the bats began to fly overhead dancing in the sky performing their unchoreographed ballet in the air. We love watching them twist and turn while hanging in the evening sky as they chase after the bugs and mosquitoes.

And thus the day ended as it began, I was admiring the sky and the sun and the joys of being able to appreciate the rays of the sun as they grace the Earth and bring joy into my heart.

I'd love to do it again, today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Golf on the Weekends--Tiger's return

I was reflecting upon the weekend. 

Golf in the rain. The PGA Championship that Tiger nearly won.

Golf is a great game!

Plugged Ball
August 11, 2018
During the wet course round on Saturday we experienced a lot plugged balls. None of the drives had much of a roll out. That makes the game a bit longer. Those roll-out yards are really nice and help to get the ball closer to the hole.

I heard on a sports talk show that Tiger's return will bolster the game of golf.

That is exciting.

Golf is a lot more exciting than watching the Orioles lose another game, although the Orioles actually won last night and ended a five game losing streak. 

Tiger's return is exciting the fans of the sport and he matches up well against the young guns who have been ruling since he went down with injuries. The drama of the weekend sport is really amping up.

At least it is more fun than watching the political news of the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain into the Pool
August 13, 2018
Rain Falling
August 13, 2018
It descended on the area again last evening. A torrential rainstorm that was relatively brief, less than 30 minutes, but ferocious. 

The lawn still needs to be mowed!

The pool was a mess. 

The rain drenched everything. The rain also filled the pool above the skimmers and I had to bring the level down after the storms subsided.  

It was quite a storm. I believe we received almost two inches of rain during the downpour.

And then there were blue skies with white puffy clouds.

Wow. what a difference a few minutes make. 

I am hoping for a better day today. Sunshine and dry weather so that I can get the outside chores accomplished.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Musings - August 13, 2018

Blackened Tenderloin
1. August is nearing the mid-point. Time is zipping by faster than I could believe possible. 
Deer on the Course
August 11, 2018

2. It is very hard to compose a blog on my phone. I miss a lot of typos. I need to do better when I am traveling without my laptop.

3. Autumn colors are beginning to creep into the bushes of Upstate New York. I saw many sumac trees which have already begun to don their autumn finery while traveling this weekend. Rumor has it that it may be an early Autumn.

4. People drive very differently depending upon the location. Maybe it is just that Maryland drivers are an impatient lot and like to get to their destinations quickly. I thought everyone knew to add 10 to the speed limit sign.

Looking Across the Farmlands of Central New York
From the Camera Aboard Radio Flyer
August 11, 2018
5. I like returning home after a weekend away. Home is where I can just relax and be myself. 
Our Hole at the
5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic
August 11, 2018

6. Owning a home is like buying a hobby. There are always so many projects that need attention. I guess that is why we have houses, to do projects.

7. Why does it seem as if the rain is falling every day, again? Oh yeah, because it is!

8. I was able to get Radio Flyer airborne a couple of times this weekend. I had wanted to fly into the gorges around Ithaca, but we ran out of time. The scenery looking over the farmland just west of Cayuga Lake was beautiful, however. Radio Flyer has completed 86 flights for a totaling just over 12 hours of flight time.

9. The Orioles were swept by the Red Sox this weekend and have lost 5 in a row. They are 35-84, .294 and are on track to lose 114 games this season. That is an increase of two additional losses since I last computed the dismal number. They have returned to being the 30th best team in MLB.

10. On this Day. Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.


Rally by White Nationalists Was Over Almost Before It Began - The New York Times

World stocks hit one-month low as Turkish rout spreads - Reuters


“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Golf in the Rain

Mike, Jeremy, Me
August 11, 2018
It was a rainy start to the 5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic, but we got the tournament played after a two-and-a-half hour rain delay.

We started and played the first five holes in a rainstorm, but that actually was good because our team was five under after seven holes and definitely in contention.

The team, consisting of me, Jeremy, Mike, and Andy played well together.  Generally, someone made a critical stroke when other shots went astray. Andy's chip in for birdie was an especially nice shot.

We actually won the Skins with a birdie on 18 and donated our winnings back to the scholarship fund.

The day actually finally cleared off and turned into a beautiful golf day. While we didn't win the tournament, we had a lot of fun and helped to contribute money for Troy's scholarship fund.

— Bob Doan, Writing from Danby, NY

Saturday, August 11, 2018

California Fire Reflection

Last evening's spectacular sunset over Central New York was aided by the California fires. It is being reported that smoke from the fires in the upper atmosphere contributed to the color and depth of the sunset.

It is very strange that the results of such widespread destruction could be part of something so beautiful. I was lucky to have Radio Flyer ready to fly and image the incredible colors.

Radio Flyer just hovered and took images as the sunset deepened. Sometimes I refer to sunsets as fire in the sky, yesterday it was truer than I knew.

The colors were spectacular and I was glad to have seen the sunset and enjoyed its beauty.

— Bob Doan, writing from Danby, NY
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