Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Eighty Years


Sailors, planes and a huge ball of fire and smoke atwreckage-strewn Naval Air Station, Hawaii, following 
one of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A date that will live in infamy forever.

 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Eighty years ago today the Japanese Empire conducted a largely successful surprise attack upon the the U.S. forces stationed in Hawaii that brought the United States fully into World War II.

2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded during this surprise attack which began before 8 AM Hawaii time on a Sunday morning. 

Pause today and think about how lives were transformed in just a few minutes as the idyllic tropical islands were transformed and thrust onto the frontline of the world at war. 

The attack on Pearl Harbor remains an event that must never be forgotten, not so much for who conducted the attack, but more because of how and why it happened.

Take a moment today and read or reread an account of the attack in memory of those who served and lost their lives, whose world was turned upside down within a few moments on what served as a gateway for the U.S. to fully engage and enter World War II. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Musings - December 6, 2021


1. It is the first Monday of December 2021. The year is sliding to a conclusion and there are but three Mondays remaining in the month.

Patrick's Snow Village 2021
Glen Burnie, MD
December 5, 2021
2. Happy St Nicholas Day! Most Americans don't remember this holiday which is very popular in Europe. Did you put your boots outside of your door last night?

3. Family NFL Report

    Cowboys (8-4) defeat Saints (5-7) 27-17

    Ravens (8-4) lose to Steelers (6-5-1) 19-20

    Washington (6-6) defeats Raiders (6-6) 17-15

4. Snow Village weekend. Although I did not set up a village this year, Chris and I went to Patrick's and helped put the finishing touches on his annual edition of the Snow village. It was fun and then I was able to watch a frustrating Ravens team lose to the Steelers.

5. From the Washington Post this morning: About 1 in 420 Americans has died of covid-19, according to official data. And we’re still averaging more than 1,000 deaths per day.

6. It is with sadness, but in recognition of a life well lived that I note the passing of former Senate leader and three-time Presidential candidate Bob Dole at 98.

7. Today in History. On December 6, 1884, in Washington, D.C., workers place a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city’s namesake and the nation’s first president, George Washington. As early as 1783, the infant U.S. Congress decided that a statue of George Washington, the great Revolutionary War general, should be placed near the site of the new Congressional building, wherever it might be. After then-President Washington asked him to lay out a new federal capital on the Potomac River in 1791, architect Pierre L’Enfant left a place for the statue at the western end of the sweeping National Mall (near the monument’s present location).

Coronavirus vaccine demand grows in U.S. amid omicron concerns, booster eligibility expansion - The Washington Post

Return to Iran nuclear deal remains an elusive prospect - The Washington Post

The most-vaccinated big counties in the U.S. are beating worst of the coronavirus - The Washington Post

Inflation, Falling Unemployment Prompt Fed Pivot - The Wall Street Journal

China Seeks First Military Base on Africa’s Atlantic Coast - The Wall Street Journal

China threatens countermeasures if U.S. boycotts Beijing Olympics - Reuters

Protest against coronavirus restrictions turns violent in Brussels - Reuters

Bob Dole, war hero, longtime U.S. senator, presidential candidate, dies at 98 - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 5, 2021


Snow Thrower in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
December 4, 2021

 After I finished removing the leaves from the yard yesterday,  it was time to get the snow blower out of the shed and ensure that it is prepared to face the Winter season ahead. 

Winter starts in just over two weeks and it can be a real problem to retrieve the machine from the shed when it has snowed. Having the snow blower out and ready is much preferred. 

Once I had wrestled it out of the shed and had it sitting in the newly leaf-free yard, I noted how the scene seemed strange--a snow blower sitting in a grassy yard on a warm late-Autumn day. 

The good news was that apparently I had properly stored it for the season as it started easily and ran smoothly. Of course, I could not check the snow blowing capability as there was, thankfully, no snow. Snow, however, in the forecast for Wednesday and it might mark the first use of the season. 

I hope not! But I am ready.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Wedding

Jeremy and Julie
Ellicott City
December 3, 2021

 Jeremy and Julie, after five years, formalized their love and relationship yesterday by saying: I do. 

It was a perfect wedding on a fantastic December-almost-Winter afternoon. The assembled family and friends were treated to a touching and beautiful ceremony at the new Howard County Circuit Courthouse followed by an enjoyable reception lunch at a local tavern. 

Welcome to the Family
Ellicott City
December 3, 2021
It was a great day. The bride was stunning in her movie-esque dress which was perfect for the day. The groom stood tall in his suit coat and tie. Together they make the perfect couple. The family was excited to welcome Julie officially into the family and there is the hope that the newly married couple will find years of happiness together.

The reception luncheon after the ceremony at a local tavern allowed for us to meet Julie's family. We enjoyed an afternoon of food and conversation and worked to bring the families closer together. I think we all meshed very well. 

And so, today the wedding is over and the marriage begins! Congratulations Julie and Jeremy.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 3, 2021

A December Fire

Around the Fire with Christmas Wineglasses
Elkridge, MD
December 2, 2021

Typically, when sitting around a December fire I am bundled in heavy clothing and coats. But last evening, the temperature was in the 60s and Chris and I decided that we could enjoy the fire pit without being heavily bundled against the cold. 

We enjoyed sitting around the fire planning our exploits for the next two months and discussing the ever-present Christmas gifts that remain to be purchased. It was remarkable how comfortable we were even among the mounds of leaves that had gathered in the pool area sine I lose removed them about two weeks ago. 

I am fairly certain that we will not likely be sitting around a winter fire like this again soon. The cold weather is coming and it will make it all just too cold. But for one evening it was nice to sit and relax before we become swallowed by the hustle and bustle of the season

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD  

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Advent Wine Calendar

 With the first day of December Chris and I began to open our Advent Wine Calendar. The countdown to Christmas will now be littered with wine bottles in addition to shopping bags and boxes.

What a great twist on a tradition. Instead of only moving a marker on a calendar or opening a small compartment containing a candy, this adult-themed Advent Calendar provides a sample of a wine for enjoyment during the holidays. 

Chris searched diligently to find the calendar during early November and she was fortunately able to secure one for our Advent enjoyment. 

We sampled the first offering last evening--a Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi. The CabSav was a light body wine with a satisfactory nose but a bit thin in terms of flavor and definitely did not last. As one of my friends would say, it allowed too much light to escape when held up for examination. 

But, the glass we enjoyed set the tone for a great evening out and a great dinner. 

Welcome to the Advent Season. I wonder what the wine will be tonight.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Endings and Beginnings


December 2021 has arrived. It happened overnight when November slipped into history and December arrived with the stroke of midnight.

And the frenzied shopping season will definitely ramp up now. 

As the dark season ramps up, we are down to 9 hours and 36 minutes of sunlight per day. There are about 11 more minutes per day to lose before the solstice and light begins to return.

And so it is interesting that as November has ended, December began, but December is in itself an ending. 

It is that circle of the calendar and the year. 

But as many know, this December is special as when the month ends I will transition from full-time employment into some form of retirement. And warmer weather in Florida at least for the Winter, and Autumn, and maybe Spring.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

No Need to Hurry

 I think the retailers just realized something--if Black Friday sales are spread over multiple days people will not spend more money, they will just spend what they had planned to spend spread across the increased shopping period. 

Hmmm. Makes sense.

It is the last day of November and the shopping season is in full swing. I spent time last evening searching for and purchasing the perfect Christmas gifts. It seems harder this season. People are not as forthcoming with lists from which to choose the perfect gift. 

Well, there are 24 more days until it all needs to be done. No need to hurry. Why should I stress myself out about supply chain problems and distribution issues. Add to that not enough employees and the new COVID variant. it should make for a great holiday!

Still--why add undue stress worrying about such things. Maybe it has all become too complicated. 

Well, I am sure it has become too complicated. 

Let's just work through it one day at a time. I am pretty sure Christmas will arrive right on schedule regardless of our individual stress level. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Musings - November 29, 2021


1. Wow. It is the last Monday of November and that means there are just 4 Mondays remaining in the year. There are 26 shopping days until Christmas.

The Family Room Decorations
Elkridge, MD
November 29, 2021
2. The house has been transformed for the Christmas season. The tree is up and the decorations have been freed from their storage boxes. The fireplace is ready for a Winter fire to warm our hearts and bodies.

3. Family NFL Update

    Dallas (7-4) lost to Raiders (6-5), 33-36

    Ravens (8-3) defeated Browns (6-6), 16-10

    Steelers (5-5-1) lost to Bengals (7-4), 10-41

    Washington (4-6) hosts Seahawks (3-7), tonight

4. The colder weather has kept me inside for much of my four-day holiday weekend. 

5. Does anyone have any idea how many Christmas/Holiday movies there are? I know there are a lot!

6. What is up with people who have their holiday shopping already completed? What happened to the joy of going to the stores during the season to find exciting gifts for our loved ones? I know that I do not do it much anymore, it is far easier to sit in front of my computer while watching a sappy holiday movie and complete my shopping.

7. Guess what? There is a new mutation of COVID-19. It is called Omicron! Isn't that great. Where did it come from? The unvaccinated people of the world.

8. Today in History. November 29, 1947. Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state.

The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s, when both groups laid claim to the British-controlled territory. The Jews were Zionists, recent emigrants from Europe and Russia who came to the ancient homeland of the Jews to establish a Jewish national state. The native Palestinian Arabs sought to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state.

How Omicron Variant Rattled the World in One Week - The Wall Street Journal

Nissan to Spend $17.6 Billion on Battery-Powered Vehicles Over Five Years - The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Nuclear Advances Weigh on Renewed Talks - The Wall Street Journal

As China Speeds Up Nuclear Arms Race, the U.S. Wants to Talk - The New York Times

University Scientists Warn of Backlash From U.S. Hunt for Chinese Spies - The New York Times

Man Survives Flight From Guatemala to Miami in Plane’s Landing Gear - The New York Times

Taiwan says China military trying to wear it out, but it can respond - Reuters

First suspected case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 detected in Switzerland - Reuters

Earthquake hits remote northern Peru, 75 homes destroyed, no deaths reported - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Outlaws and Doctors

Photo by Patrick Doan

 My family, which came to America during 1629, has a checkered history. Yesterday my son Patrick visited the grave of a long dead Revolutionary War relative and it reopened a chapter in our family's history that we probably should forget, but it is incredibly interesting and at times confusing. 

The site of Levi Doan's resting place, along with his cousin Abraham, is just outside of a Quaker Cemetery near Doylestown, PA. They were part of the Doan Gang, a group of five brothers and one cousin who supported the British during the Revolution by spying on the American forces and stealing horses to support the Redcoats. But they were very complicated. The stories make them sound like a cross between Robin Hood and common thieves. 

The following story, from the referenced history of the gang, shows how the Doan's were more than common thieves and murderers:

A young mother whose husband was with Washington at Valley Forge could not obtain a travelling pass from the British in order to buy food for her children. Despite repeated petitions to the British leaders, the pass was not forthcoming. Spurned on by the cries of her hungry children, she finally set out for the mills along a series of back roads that would keep her from the sight of the British sentinels. The woman was so exhausted from hunger and the long journey that she was near death the following day when she endeavored to return home. Burdened by her sack of flour, she struggled along the road, periodically dragging her cargo through the woods to skirt the British guards along the way. Suddenly she was stopped by a man. She immediately assumed from previous descriptions that he was one of the Doans. She told him of her husband at Valley Forge and her hungry children and the stranger, Moses Doan, gave her his purse with all the money he had in it. He then warned her of another sentinel just ahead on the road and disappeared before she could thank him. She pressed on and was almost home when a British guard challenged her and demanded a pass. When she could not produce it, he demanded her sack of flour which the woman, weak from her journey, gave up meekly. At that moment Moses Doan appeared from the woods. She knew it was Moses by his clothing but his demeanor was quite different from the man she had met only minutes before. He shambled over to the soldier like an old man and asked that he return the woman's flour, even offering twice its value in gold. When the guard refused and then threatened to arrest Moses, he seized him by the throat and told the woman to grab her flour and run. As soon as she was safely away, Moses drew a pistol and shot the guard in the head. Instantly, the alarm went up from the guard house and along the line of pickets. Moses escaped into the woods where he found his horse and rode for the safety of the river. Before he was to finally escape he would shoot another guard and kill a British officer who was in the lead barge pursuing him across the Delaware. Having failed to capture him, the British soldiers later attributed his escape to supernatural reasons which served to further escalate the legend of Moses Doan.

Sometimes as we search for family history, we find more than really want to know. I was encouraged, however, since the Doan's who settled in Buck's County, PA, were from Israel's side of the family. My branch is from his brother Daniel who became a respected Doctor in the Barnstable, Massachusetts, area near where the family came to America. Daniel married Constance (Hopkins) Snow whose mother, Constance Hopkins, came to America aboard the Mayflower. Yes, they were both named Constance.

So wet are not all outlaws! Just a few of us!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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