Friday, April 26, 2019

Doggone Good

Finnegan with Corn-on-the-Cob
April 25, 2019
Dinner is a family time and around our house and that includes the dogs! 

They are never far from us during the evening meal and sometimes, even though we have a pact not to feed the dogs when we are eating, there are morsels of food that find their way to our canine friends. 

Finnegan enjoyed his first taste of corn-on-the-cob last evening as dinner was winding down. Makayla routinely finishes the last two rows of corn from my cob, but until last evening Finnegan had not shown an interest in the sweet taste of the kernels.

He now has experienced the taste of fresh corn and he appeared to enjoy cleaning the kernels off the cob.

My how they grow up.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Checking in on the Orioles

It has been a while since I checked in on the Orioles. 

The Orioles are not the worst team in baseball right now. They are close, but not at the bottom of the league. Their 10-16 .385 record makes them the 13th best team in the American League (of 15) and the 27th best team in all of baseball (of 30). They are a dismal 3-10 at home but a hopeful 7-6 on the road. 

What are the highlights? 

Well, they just won a series from the Chicago White Sox. 

Chris Davis has plumped his batting average to .155, which means he is hitting .375 since his record setting 0-34 start. He did not play last night. By the way, he is still .045 below the infamous Mendoza Line.

The team is working to build an identity and here is Baltimore they are referred to as the "Baby Birds." I'm not sure if that is a term of endearment or and outright slam against the team.

The team gets a day off tonight and then heads off onto the road to Minnesota to hopefully get revenge for being swept in a three-game series here in Baltimore beginning on Friday night.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Bad Bounces

Sometimes the ball does not bounce the was we would desire during sporting events.

GORC U12 (Haslup) Wildcats
Parade Day
April 13, 2019
Last evening for the GORC U12 Team (Haslup) Wildcats, the boys could not get a break. And it was a lot of things that do not show up in the box score which contributed to the 10-3 loss. 

There was just so much that by the end of the evening it was clear that the ball and the calls were went against our boys. It was definitely a learning experience.

Here are the lowlights from the game:

We had a runner step off of 2nd base and get called out on a trick play.

We had another runner called out on appeal for missing second base--I personally saw him step on the bag as I waved him onto third base.

Then there was the runner that did not hear the fly ball call and decided to run home for a score only to be thrown out at third for not tagging. 

And then the worst call of the night, which arguably ultimately cost the team the game was when the shortstop was run over by the baserunner while making a play on the ball. The runner should have been out and that would have saved a number of runs during the pivotal fourth inning in which they scored the maximum of 6 runs. The interpretation from the umpire bible is very clear: If a base runner impedes a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball, or who is making a throw in continuation of fielding a batted ball, you have interference (5.09(b)(3)). Call the runner out. Award the batter first base (unless he is the one who interfered). Other runners may only advance on this play if forced by batter going to first. In this case, the lead runner would have been out on this play and the complexion of the game materially changed as the inning unraveled after this play. Sadly, the umpires were woefully uninformed of this rule.

But wait, there's more. To add insult to injury, as the game moved to the bottom of the sixth inning, and the home team Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs, the umpires called the game due to darkness. In this league, the sixth inning has unlimited run scoring and it was clear the Wildcats' bats were finally beginning to find baseballs over the plate.

Wow, my blood pressure rises even now as I review the evening on the diamond. I was proud of myself and Mike as we held our emotions in check and kept the boys focused on the game and not the calls. We never stopped believing that we could win--right up until the umpires called the game due to darkness, And then, it was over. Except for the bad taste in our mouths. 

Tonight, practice and Saturday will be our first win!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Sunlight Makes Good Friends

Riordin, Louis, and Finnegan
Easter Sunbeam Sleeping
Elkridge, MD
April 21, 2019
There they were the other day, all together vying for a sliver of space in the sunbeam. 

It was a quiet Easter morning at home and none of them had any expectation of what was going to happen as the day progressed. Additional people and additional dogs would descend upon the quiet bringing excitement and mayhem to the day.

But, for the moment Louis, Riordin, and Finnegan were at peace enjoying a sunbeam.

I longed to share that time, but I was satisfied remembering enjoying my own sunbeam on a sandy Florida beach just a short month ago. 

Moments like that are made to be remembered in the chaos that is life.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Musings - April 22, 2019

Easter Sunday Basketball
From Radio Flyer
April 21, 2019
1. It is the 4th Monday of April. Easter was yesterday. Springtime has arrived.

2. i made a  mistake yesterday, I looked at the pool and it appears like the black lagoon. Getting it ready for the swimming season is going to be difficult.

The Family
From Radio Flyer
Easter Sunday 2019
3. Easter has passed, but we are people of Easter. Christ has risen.

4. Yesterday was a day for families and ours gathered to play some basketball, enjoy great food, participate in an Easter egg hunt, and just take a few minutes out of a busy world to be together.

5. I learned a new phrase yesterday: eucharistic hospitality. I was encouraged to see this phrase the bulletin of the church we attended.

6. When the weather is nice, and the weather forecasters are wrong about impending storms, I think I enjoy being outside more. 

7. Baseball can be frustrating. Yesterday, for example, the Orioles were down 4-3 to the Twins at the bottom of the 9th inning with the bases loaded and 2 outs. The batter had a 3-0 count when the pitcher threw ball 4 to walk in the tying run. NO wait! The umpire called the, obvious to everyone, Ball 4 a strike. On the next pitch the batter hit a gentle fly ball to the outfield and the game ended  with the Orioles losing! It was a classic case of: "They was robbed!"

8. Radio Flyer took to the skies yesterday to document the Easter Egg Hunt. Sadly, the video didn't come through and so the antics of the family were lost. I was looking forward to the birds-eye view of the dogs chasing each other around the fire pit.

9. Today in History. On this day in 1970, Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.


Sri Lanka Bomb Attacks Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds - The New York Times

The Sweet Success of the Spiral-Cut Ham - The New York Times

Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich - The Washington Post

U.S. prepares to end Iran oil waivers; Asian buyers to be hardest hit - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

``When World War II ended, the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Our military might was at its peak, and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear weapon, with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination then, who could have opposed us?
``But the United States followed a different course, one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravished economies of the world, including those of the nations who had been our enemies. May I say, there is absolutely no substance to charges that the United States is guilty of imperialism or attempts to impose its will on other countries, by use of force.''
Remarks to Members of the National Press Club on Arms Reduction and Nuclear Weapons, November 18, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter 2019

Happy Easter!

May the resurrection bring you hope and build your faith.

As the sun rises on this Easter day to warm the Earth and our hearts remember that the cross is empty, the stone is rolled away, and our Savior having defeated death is risen. 

The message of the day is love and unmerited forgiveness!

Titus 3:5-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”

Share the excitement!

He is Risen!
He is Risen, indeed!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Unwelcome Visitor

Raccoon in the Tree by the Drive
Shot through the Window of my Truck
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
An unwelcome visitor has apparently moved into the neighborhood. 

My neighbor had told me about the visitor last week, but yesterday, I had a visual sighting while backing into my drive.

Raccoon in the Tree
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
I was concerned about spotting a raccoon during the daytime as I had always thought that meant a sick animal, but I did some reading and discovered that at this time of year, nursing mothers often hunt during the day for food for themselves and at night to feed the babies--that is a scary thought. The readings also indicated that if the raccoon is not stumbling or walking never, that it is likely not sick. This raccoon was very nimble running across the neighbor's lawn and up the tree to monitor me as I backed into the drive.

The other thing the readings indicated was that if you see one raccoon, then you have an infestation. Things will likely be getting worse around here. It has been a long time since we have had raccoons. It was a few years ago when the last ones ventured through. I remember that they were always into the garbage--ugh. A terrible mess. 

I guess we will have to deal with it as it comes. And if there are little raccoons involved, the messes are sure to begin, soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 19, 2019

Dancing Lights in the Glass

Lights Dancing in the Wine Glass
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
It happened again last evening. 

It has been a while, actually since the Ides of March, when Chris and I last enjoyed ending an evening around a fire pit. The weather has been too cold or our lives too busy to enjoy an evening ending glass of wine and fire in the pit. But, last evening after mulching gardens, mowing the lawn and doing some other chores around the house we enjoyed a glass, or two, of wine around the fire pit. It was nice--it was the first evening since we had left for Florida during late March that we had been together with suitable weather to enjoy a fire pit evening. 

Fire in the OPit
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
Chris and I reconnect during these evenings. Life is busy, too busy, and I need an evening of staring into the flames to help me recover from the day.

I look forward to these times which are generally cell phone free zones to talk and dream, and dream some more. The future is out there and it is being shaped by the present. 

Last evening I heard the peepers as they sang the evening away to darkness, I also heard the jets flying past and the train roaring in the distance. But, I also saw that our brown bats had returned for the year as they were winging their way across the sky above our heads. Springtime has truly arrived and the almost 80 degree temperatures made it seem as if Summer were knocking on the seasonal door.

It was a perfect ending to the day, preparing me for the challenges of today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Fire at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Paris
As it Was
Much has been written about Notre Dame and the fire. I know that it is almost anti-climatic for me to write something, but now that the embers have cooled in Paris and the extent of the damage is known, I have been reflecting upon the edifice and my own personal experience confronting history inside of the building. 

Notre Dame on Fire
April 2019
I was fortunate to have visited Notre Dame twice during the early 1990s, while living in Europe, I enjoyed visiting Paris and Notre Dame, in addition to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre among the many other attractions in Paris. Caricatures of my three children still hand in our house that were drawn during a visit to Montmartre. They were much younger then, of course.

It was back in the day when cameras still used film and we never really knew how the pictures we snapped looked until after processing and printing. I have them somewhere, but failed to find them before writing this blog entry.

The Coronation of Napoleon
I remember standing in the cathedral, amazed by the sheer size of the place. Seeing where Napoleon once stood and crowned himself emperor was breathtaking as was the painting, Coronation of Napoleon,  by David of the scene which is in the Louvre. I also was able to walk among the gargoyles atop one of the towers of the cathedral and look out over Paris. One day, I had hoped to return to Paris and retrace my steps and visit the cathedral again, however, that will not likely now happen. 

Watching the news, during the fire, I was there in spirit with the Parisians singing hymns and mourning the loss one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Under the Lights

GORC Park Field 7
GORC U12 (Haslup) vs Bowie
April 16, 2019
It was a beautiful evening for baseball. 

The temperatures were cool, but not uncomfortable and there was no wind. The field beckoned to the players almost calling them by name and inviting them to ply their craft on the dirt and grass.

The boys were ready to take the field and being the home team they had an advantage. They would have the last ups! And as the night progressed they really needed it.

The game degenerated a bit as the innings turned over from top to bottom. While the team kept the score close, that fact that we only had three base runners finally caught up with the  boys and the mercy rule was enforced at the bottom of the fifth inning with the score 11-1.

Mercifully it was over. Although, it never seemed as bad as the final score would seem to suggest.

But we have more work to do with our players. Practice is tonight and the next game is a week away.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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