Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday 9AM

It is 9 AM Sunday morning as I write this and it has already been a busy day.

I was up before the sun and on the racquetball court at 6 AM to get in the games that I had delayed playing since the rains on Friday and Saturday morning.

And then for fun, I started learning Pickleball--and played three games, if you can call them games, of this new sport.

From there I zipped off to Jeremy to assist with picking up a sofa--which tool until 8:50 AM. Boom!

And now I am home for breakfast and a shower before heading off to a baseball doubleheader.

A busy summer Sunday. What could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Rain has Stopped


After the Rains
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021

After two days of almost continuous rain, it has stopped. 

Maybe the world will dry a bit today. 

The pool is full and the ground is soggy. I'm glad that I did not plan on golfing today. It should be a soggy round and likely cart path only for the golf carts. 

The temperatures have cooled considerably from the six straight days of 90 degree temperatures. Today will be in the mid-70s--which means my pool will be cooling from the nice 82 degrees it had obtained. 

Well--at least the rain will be diminished for the weekend. 

Today is a lot different from last Saturday when I was on a golf course by this time enjoying the heat and the sun!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 11, 2021

Let's Just Move the Moon


Our elected officials never cease to amaze me. 

It was reported yesterday that Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert asked the Park Service to change to orbit of the moon to help fight climate change. 

I can't make this up--here is the video from a reputable source:


Well, the good news is that Republicans are at least admitting that climate change is real! 

That is something to celebrate--they are beginning to accept scientific fact. 

They are also apparently admitting that the Earth is not flat. 

For those who do not want to view the video, the conversation, as reported in The Guardian went something like this:

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity, and so … is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit, or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?” Gohmert asked. “Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate.”

Eberlien said she would have to “follow up with you on that one, Mr Gohmert.”

“Well, if you figure out a way that you in the Forest Service can make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert added.

Something to ponder on this Friday.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, June 10, 2021

At the Ice Cream Stand


Cindy's Soft Serve
Elkridge, MD
June 9, 2021

At the end of a long mid-week day last evening Chris surprised me and suggested a visit to our local soft serve ice cream stand. 

It is always a treat to head off to Cindy's because it is a place where Elkridge gathers on hot summer evenings. And despite the fact that it is not yet officially summer, people were gathered there last evening.

The conversations in line are always interesting.

Last evening it was about the bugs, the Brood X cicadas which are everywhere and are being very loud. As we were in live we enjoyed a few of the bugs landing on people and flying through the line. These bugs are generally more accepted than mosquitoes. The cicadas land on people, but do not bite. They are just annoying.

Apparently some people tolerate the bugs better than others. One landed on Chris and a woman in line advised her of the intruder. I calmly picked the bug off her shirt and set it free into a nearby tree.

I do love these bugs. 

I like the clicking sound they make when I pick them up.

Their only defense mechanism is their overwhelming numbers. It seems everything eats them. We even saw a woman harvesting them from a tree as we returned home. I am not interested in eating one. 

Another great evening in Elkridge.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Beware the Wine Tasting


The View from an Unnamed Winery
Northern Loudoun County, Virgnia
June 6, 2021

We experienced a COVID-19 modified wine tasting at a prestigious Northern Loudoun County, Virginia, winery the other day.

The facility was beautiful and reservations were highly encouraged for the Sunday tastings. I had made a reservation and the checking in process went smoothly. We were given a nice souvenir glass, which I think we left at the table and went off to the covered porch for a nice tasting. There was pleasant music and everything seemed very nice. 

Then the tasting. 

There were two tastings--the first, for $22 was for six of their normal wines, and the second for $18 was for three of their award winning wines. We did both--starting with the normal tasting. The wines were poured into plastic cups and I have to admit they were very small pours. We then took the tray with the cups and information about the wines to our seats to conduct the tasting on our own.

Here comes the problem. It was a near 90 degree day. Meaning it was hot. With the small pours and all six wines already poured the samples quickly warmed to a temperature which was not suitable for the tasting. We tasted two whites, one rose, and three reds during the first tasting. I have to admit, none of the wines, except for the Meritage tasted well. 

Believe it or not, I then went and bought the second tasting which was the real reason we visited the winery. Same problem. Three wines, all red with price points above $50 per bottle were too warm and were not enjoyable. 

I dearly wanted to buy something and find a drinkable wine, but because of the environmental conditions of the day, there was no way the wines would hold up. 

Note: tasting flights of wines outside on a hot day is not a good way to enjoy the fruits of the winemakers labors.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Cicada in the House

It was very creepy last evening as I was shutting down the house for nighttime. 

I turned the lights off in the living room and then heard the distinct buzzing of a Brood X Cicada somewhere in the room. And then I felt it fly past my ear making the awful sound that they make. 

It took collaboration with Riordin, our cat, to find the bug and corral it and then grab it gently by the wings to move it outside. 

Yes, I relocated it and did not flush it like I do the numerous stinkbugs which invade our dwelling. 

I am very respectful of the bugs. They are, after all, 17 years old and I believe have a right to ensure the continuation of their species. Enough of them are being splattered on windshields that I wonder if it will hinder the continuance of their kind at some date in the future. I remember the stories of the passenger pigeon which used to darken the skies, but went extinct in 1914. Perhaps it takes billions of cicadas to ensure the continuation of the species. 

I for one am happy that they are providing free aeration of the soil.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 7, 2021

Monday Musings - June 7, 2021


1. It is the first Monday of the month of June 2021. The month is off to a fast start. There are 29 Mondays remaining in the year!

2. Summer officially begins on June 20, which is now less than two weeks away. Prepare for the solstice! Although the day of the solstice is supposed to be the longest day of the year, this year, the 20th and the 21st are within 1 second of each other.

3. Look at the Orioles! After suffering through a 14 game losing streak, they have won 4 of the last 5 games! Amazing! They no longer have the worst record in baseball, that honor belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks, at least for this week.

Barrel Room at Big Cork Winery
Rohersville, MD
June 6, 2021
4. What to do on a hot pre-Summer Sunday afternoon? Head to the mountains of Maryland and Northern Virginia to taste wine! That made for a great Sunday afternoon. Good food, friends, and of course wine was the star of the show.

5. It is clear that traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels! the roads are jammed again at rush hour. 

6. With the long days for the remainder of the month, I wonder what fun evening activities that we will find in which to engage.

7. Chris and I have been watching a series on Netflix and came to its end. I researched the series and determined that there will be no further seasons to enjoy. It is sad when a good series ends, kid of like ending a book. 

8. Today in History. On June 7, 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan missionary, leads the first successful ascent of Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley), the highest point on the American continent at 20,320 feet.

Stuck, an accomplished amateur mountaineer, was born in London in 1863. After moving to the United States, in 1905 he became archdeacon of the Episcopal Church in Yukon, Alaska. Stuck traveled Alaska’s difficult terrain to preach to villagers and establish schools.

In March 1913, the adventure-seeking Stuck set out from Fairbanks for Denali with three companions, Harry Karstens, co-leader of the expedition, Walter Harper, whose mother was a Native American, and Robert Tatum, a theology student. Their arduous journey was made more challenging by difficult weather and a fire at one of their camps, which destroyed food and supplies. However, the group persevered and on June 7, Harper, followed by the rest of the party, was the first person to set foot on Denali's south peak, considered the mountain’s true summit. (In 1910, a group of climbers had reached the lower north peak.)

Google Settles Antitrust Case Over Online Ad-Practices - The Wall Street Journal
China’s Tech Clampdown Is Spreading - The Wall Street Journal
Severed head, body parts and kidnappings on Mexico midterm election day - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter--and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Summer Arriving

Deer on the Golf Course
Compass Pointe Golf Courses
Pasadena, MD
June 5, 2021

 It certainly feels as if this is a Summer weekend. The skies are clear and the temperatures are over 90 degrees. The trees are fully leafed and the cicadas are loud!

It is time for fun and outdoors activities. 

I have to admit I am enjoying the time spent outdoors and the close encounters with nature. For instance, yesterday a fairly large deer crossed right behind the hole I was preparing to loft my golf ball into. I took a moment to capture the event on my camera. 

The pool is back up to swimming temperature and if I were not going to be heading off to wineries to enjoying wine today, I would be spending the day in the pool. 

Or rather, I would be doing work around the house with the intent of falling into the pool to cool off after doing some projects.

Either way--I love this weather. 

Let's get out and play!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Golfing Saturday


Water Coming off Jeremy's Driver from the Dew
Compass Pointe Golf Courses
Pasadena, MD
June 5, 2021
Chris, Jeremy and I had an early morning Tee Time at a local golf course too begin out Saturday. 

Turtle in the Rough
Compass Pointe Golf Courses
Pasadena, MD
June 5, 2021
It was a beautiful morning and we were out before the cicadas amped up their volume, although by the time we finished they were in full chorus. 

It has been quite a while since I got up at 5 AM to make an early Tee Time. The dew was very heavy and on one hole the spray form Jeremy's club was very impressive. 

During our outing we saw many deer including one fawn and the turtles were out in the water and one enterprising turtle was spied crossing the golf course. It pulled inside its shell as I came close to take the image, but as we left its vicinity it continued its movement across the course.

The golf was good. And the day got hot by the time we finished about 11 AM.

A great start to Saturday. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 4, 2021

On the Cusp of Summer

Hydrangea in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
June 3, 2021

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer. But, despite it being unofficial, the summer flowers are beginning to bloom. 

For instance the hydrangea in the front yard is blooming. It is an Endless Summer Hydrangea, and I call it the hydrangea that ate Elkridge because it is so large. 

There is evidence of other summer flowers beginning to bloom as the last of the springtime peony blooms fall from the bush

The lawn is fully green and thick in advance of the summertime heat which will thin the blades and may foretell a time when I will not have to mow on a weekly basis. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Note: I edited this item to correct the identification of the flower. Who knows why I originally called it a hyacinth? 

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