Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why I'm Growing a Mustache

I am growing a mustache. 

More than a few people have noticed the addition to my lip as it is finally, after two weeks, beginning to become visible to the casual observer.

Why, some ask? I have never before seriously grown facial hair.

Well, it is Movember

What is Movember? It is a month devoted to highlighting men's health issues. Everyone knows that October is breast cancer awareness month, it is hopes that November will become synonymous with men's health issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. 

These are tough issues for men to discuss, but men's very lives depend upon bringing these issues into the open.

Men die, on average, six years sooner than women. 

The Movember Foundation is dedicated to highlighting men's issues. The Movember Foundation is the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. They have one goal: to stop men dying too young.

One visible way that men show support for men's health issues if to grow a mustache, or moustache, during November. And provide other support to the foundation to fund men's health awareness.

Grow a Mo, save a Bro!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Veterans Day 2018 - A Special Tribute

Veterans Day fell on  Sunday this year meaning that the holiday covered two days. That was a good thing.

While it is unfortunate that the children in most Maryland schools have to attend classes on Veterans Day, because of that I attended one of the most touching and memorable Veterans Day celebrations I can remember. The event was held yesterday at Waugh Chapel Elementary School in Odenton. 

I was invited is because my grandson Jackson is in the fifth grade there. Even better, he had a speaking part in the Veterans Day assembly.  I was honored to attend, but I have to admit I was not entirely sure what I was going to find once the assembly began.

The school body assembled in the gym for the Veterans Day celebration. There were readings and poems, and songs along with a keynote address from a Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer. But, there was also unbridled patriotism and, I believe, a genuine effort to honor the veterans, the moms, dads, and grandparents who were in attendance.

The assembly began by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and then singing the Star Spangled Banner. The readings were short, as they should be to maintain the attention of the school children. Jackson did a spectacular job reading his poem and I was able to capture it on video. I was genuinely touched as the entire student body sang God Bless the USA. They sang with enthusiasm and I felt proud to be there in attendance to see and hear them. I admit, I enjoyed listening to them sing so much that I did not record the moment. It is, however, etched in my memory--the Waugh Chapel Elementary student body singing in unison and the growing enthusiasm as the song continued. 

It was a most special Veterans Day and it made me proud to stand up as an American and as an American veteran!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Musings - November 12, 2018

1. It is the second Monday in November. I get a day off to observe Veterans Day. 
The Finished Basement Bathroom

Riordin in Finnegan's Bed
2. The basement project is nearing completion. The bar is supposed to arrive today. 

3. Chris returned from Ithaca with Mom and Dad. While she and Finnegan were away Riordin appropriated the dog bed and his own. While the dog was away the cat played.

4. Family Weekend NFL Results

    Steelers (6-2-1) defeated Panthers 52-21
    Redskins (6-3) defeated  Buccaneers 16-3
    Cowboys (4-5) defeated Eagles 27-20
    Ravens (4-5) were on a bye

5. Writing of sports, one wonders why the Orioles have not hired a general manager and a manager.

6. Take a minute to thank a Vet today. 

7. For those counting with me, 24 down and 20 to go! December 11th is getting closer.

8.  Today in History. On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.


In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception - The New York Times

In China, Desperate Patients Smuggle Drugs. Or Make Their Own. - The New York Times

Iran military says it is ready to protect oil tankers against threats - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. 
  --First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day 2018

The Temperature Outside
November 11, 2018

Well, there can be no doubt about it now, Winter is just around the corner. 

The temperature outside this morning is 24 degrees!


I am glad that I am working inside, but I already miss being outside. The leaves have fallen everywhere and I need to get them off the lawns and from around the pool. But it is too cold!

Today, however, is a day to celebrate our veterans! Those who, like myself, have dedicated themselves to this Republic. 

It is not a secret that I respect the thoughts and words of President Ronald Reagan, and so on this Veterans Day 2018, I have found these thoughts about the day from our former President:

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan explained why the old label for the day had ceased to be applicable:

…I may be one of the few people in this room who remembers when Veterans Day was called Armistice Day, commemorating the armistice that ended the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year in 1918. And I might add, I not only remember when it was called that day, I guess we may be the only ones that were on the streets in the wild celebration of the first and actual Armistice Day when it was signed.
Armistice Day honored those who gave their lives in “the war to end all wars”— a day of hope that they had not given their lives in vain. But within a few years, and in spite of an impressive effort on the part of the Western democracies to limit arms and to outlaw war, aggressors rearmed and war came again. Ironically, Armistice Day was made a legal holiday in the United States in 1938, just 1 year before a second and more terrible conflagration swept across Europe.

President Reagan at Arlington
Veterans Day 1986

President Reagan's 1986 Veterans Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery contains some inspiring words.

Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.
I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember. -- From The Daily Signal
He went on to recognize many of our heroes during that speech, but, it contains one more line that really caught my attention:

We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance.
-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Nearing Completion - I wish

Loaded for the Dump
November 11, 2018
I have already been to the dump today with items no longer needed and the reconstruction of the basement is well underway.

It was too cold to play golf this morning, anyway, so I don't feel too bad about not hitting the small ball around the course.

It is hard to believe that the floor was only begun to be laid one week ago. The baseboards are nearly compete and items are being completed as the end draws near. 

That written, there are still many things left to accomplish.

I have to get back to the basement and get cracking one the remaining items. So much to so, but looking better with each passing day. This project turned out to be much larger than I had imagined.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, November 9, 2018

Frenetic Friday

My Favorite Thanksgiving Decoration
The Season of the Turkey
The threshold of the weekend is here again. I wish that I was happier about it, but this weekend is looking to be one of those frenetic weekends without a lot of rest.

The remodel project is in full swing. I have an assortment of tasks to complete there as the rooms inch ever closer to being able to support occupancy. 

This is also a rare three-day Veterans Day weekend. With Veterans Day falling on Sunday, I get to enjoy what is called Veterans Day Observed on Monday! As I looked at the calendar I realized that the season of the Turkey is almost over. Black Friday is just two weeks away and Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks from being here. November is drawing to a close and it only just seems like it was beginning. Which, in fact it is, it is only the 9th, it just seems later as time is slipping away so quickly.

This weekend is a good example of time slipping by. In addition to working the basement remodel project, I also usually hang the outdoors Christmas lights on Veterans Day. We don't illuminate them until Black Friday to signal the beginning of the Christmas marathon. And, we still have not cut the ornamental grasses around the pool. And, since it has been raining, I have not removed the leaves from the lawn.

So many things and so little time.

Have a memorable Veterans Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Project Update: Flooring Installed

The Money Shot
Flooring Completed
November 8, 2018
We achieved a major milestone in the remodel project last evening. The floors are fully installed and we are beginning to reclaim rooms as I get the baseboards replaced.

It has been a struggle. I had hoped to be complete this weekend, but I still have cabinets to order and the treads for the stairs will not arrive until next week.

The new bar, however, arrives Monday and I am very excited. 

The washer and dryer are back in place and my task is to return the area to livable conditions. I have the baseboards installed in the back bedroom, with the exception of two oddly shaped pieces that were kicking my butt last night when I was tired. 

One of the hardest things we did last evening was to reinstall the washer and dryer. It was hard because the pair of essential household machines are older and the rubber feet are deteriorating a bit and they left marks on the new floor as I jiggered them into position. After some minutes of scrubbing, the flooring was restored to its "new-ness."

I finally feel as if the end is in sight on the project. We are still hemorrhaging money, but that too is beginning to slow. I sorely underestimated the total cost of the project. The little things do mount up. 

But it is going to be grand when finally completed!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Project Update: Floors

Laundry Room with Washer and Dryer Removed
Ready for Flooring
November 6, 2018
Over the next two days, we expect that the flooring part of the project will be complete.

It has been a struggle, but the floors in the laundry, bath, and back bedroom are all prepared for the installation. 
Basement Bedroom
Ready for Flooring
November 6, 2018

Additionally, the walls have been painted and touched up. 

Even after the floors are installed, we will have a number of things to complete. New cabinets will need to be installed and some of them have not yet been purchased. 

The new bar arrives Monday! A true Veterans Day celebration. 

It will be good to have the floors installed and get the basement back into function order. There are still so many things out of place., like the washer and the dryer.

We are still deciding about the stairs. It is amazing how expensive the materials are to upgrade the stairs! Ugh. I have a feeling that tis project is going to continue until well into December. It may never be complete. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Musings - November 5, 2018

1. It is the first Monday in November. There are less than 60 days remaining in 2018 and 50 days until Christmas. More importantly, there are 17 days until Thanksgiving.

Although Not Complete, Reclaiming Living Space
The Remodel Project Continues
November 4, 2018
Lucas Unpacking Wine
November 4, 2018
2. Daylight Saving Time ended yesterday morning. I saw the time change on my cell phone. It was weird, I woke up and 1:58 AM and went back to sleep at 1:02 AM. I guess it was my own time warp.

3. It was tough to stay awake last evening. It was dark so early. The dark season has arrived.

4. Work on the basement project continues. We cleaned things up a lot and made the space livable. We even watched a TV show from the room last evening.

5. Lucas was a great help yesterday as the wine closet was repopulated. He enjoyed putting the wine bottles back into the wine rack. He was very careful and we appreciated the help.

6. Election Day is tomorrow. Vote or don't complain about the outcome.

7. For those counting with me, 19 completed and 25 to go. I hit the halfway point this week.

8. I watched the sun rise yesterday. I was reminded about how vibrant the colors of the autumn are against a crystal blue sky. The trees have donned their party costumes to celebrate the last party before winter arrives.

9. Family NFL Weekend Results

  Dallas (3-4) plays tonight
  Ravens (4-5) lost to Steelers (5-2-1) 16-23
  Redskins (5-3) lost to Falcons 38-14

10. The season of the turkey has arrived!

11. Today in History. On this day in 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer, who went into the fight with a 35-0 record. Foreman dedicated his upset win to “all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail.”


The Rhine, a Lifeline of Germany, Is Crippled by Drought - The New York Times

This midterm election is like no other in a generation - The Washington Post

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

“We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Floor Begins to Take Shape

Floor Installation
Steve Takes a Break
November 3, 2018
Day one of the expected three day flooring installation of the basement remodeling project was completed yesterday. 

It looks great. 

While the guys doing the installation were installing the flooring in the main room, Chris and I were working in the laundry room and bathroom doing painting and preparation. 

The Repaired Wall
The installation went along smoothly. It was a long process because of the closets and stairs at the beginning of the room. From there, however, the flooring began to get laid more quickly.

I was finally able to paint the repaired wall where a large piece of dry wall was installed. It came out perfectly! I was impressed.

Riordin Inspecting the Laundry Room
Ready for Flooring
We are still undecided about what to do with the stairs. We have a couple of options, but the carpeted stairs are definitely going to get an upgrade.

It was a long day. Chris and I got started about 7 AM and Eric and Steve, the flooring installers arrived shortly after 9. They worked until about 7 PM. We did, however, enjoy happy hour together.

More work to do! Chris and I have to stay in front of them and I think we have a plan to do just that. The floors are prepped, it is just a matter of painting and moving furniture so they have a clear shot.

And then there will be the moldings and baseboards that will have to be installed. 

New cabinets are also being procured to replace the ones that were removed. It is quite a project and I still hope that we will be finished, mostly, by next Saturday!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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