Wednesday, September 30, 2020



I had planned to write a review of last evening's debate between the presidential candidates for my blog today, but after watching the spectacle that unfolded in front of the world, I'm not sure that much more needs to be said.

Little of substance was discussed.

Grievances were laid bare. 

Paranoia was on display. 

The most important thing I saw was the difference in character between the two men vying for the highest office in the land and arguable the world. 

Biden says president has made U.S. more divided as Trump interrupts and slings insults - The Washington Post

There were some scary statements.

“Proud Boys — stand back and stand by,” President Trump. Despite what Donald Jr. said this morning, these words are not the same as: "stand down."

And the results? Members of the group used Trump’s “stand back and stand by” comments to create a fresh logo and messaging campaign on social media. A few minutes after the debate, the Proud Boys’ main account on Parler had tweeted a video of Trump’s statement. “YES SIR, PROUD BOYS STANDING BY,” it said. (Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and militia members in presidential debate marked by disputes over race)

It was not a presidential Presidential Debate. 

It was Theater of the Absurd--but we get to choose which direction we want this nation to go.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Monday Musings on Tuesday, September 29, 2020


1. It is the last Tuesday of September. The month ends tomorrow. The arrival of Autumn was relatively uneventful with the exception that Summer abandoned us. Fortunately, it is still summer-like in Florida.

2. Driving for long hours makes me appreciate the size and diversity of this country. 

3. The Orioles finished the season 25-35, .417, which is a great improvement from last year. They won three more games than I forecasted, which is good and they did not finish last in the division. I learned a lot about the team and I saw they need to work on the bullpen!

4. Family football finish

     Ravens (2-1) lose to Chiefs 20-34
     Cowboys (1-2) lose to Seahawks (3-0) 31-38
     Football Team (1-2) lose to Browns (2-1) 20-34
     Steelers (3-0) defeat Texans (0-3) 28-21

5. It is weird, I am on vacation and totally forgot that yesterday was Monday! I wrote about clouds, I guess my head was cloudy from too much relaxation. Actually, it was foggy from the hot house where the A/C has not yet been repaired. 

6. Is anyone else concerned that it appears as if Russian banks literally own the president? Does that make him an agent of a foreign power? I think he has big debt to the German Deutsche Bank and Chinese banks as well.

Intracoastal Waterway
Tequesta, FL
September 28, 2020

7. We enjoyed Happy Hour at one of our favorite outdoors watering spots on the Intracoastal Waterway last evening. It was a beautiful evening with friends.

8. Today in History. On September 29, 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. Miller had been behind bars since July 6, 2005, for refusing to reveal a confidential source and testify before a grand jury that was looking into the so-called Plame Affair. She decided to testify after the source she had been protecting, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, signed a waiver giving her permission to speak.

Tax Records Reveal How Fame Gave Trump a $427 Million LifelineTax Records Reveal How Fame Gave Trump a $427 Million Lifeline - The New York Times

White House Pressured C.D.C. Over School Risks - The New York Times

Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries - The New York Times

Global Virus Deaths Surpass One Million - The Wall Street Journal

Presidential Debate to Focus on Coronavirus, Supreme Court - The Wall Street Journal

Maryland County to Pay $20 Million to Settle Suit Over Police Shooting - The Wall Street Journal 

Unraveling of Trump policies a distant hope for separated immigrant families - Reuters

Meatpackers deny workers benefits for COVID-19 deaths, illnesses - Reuters

Ronald Reagan quote for the week

  • My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, September 28, 2020



Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, Florida
September, 27, 2020

It is the ultimate measure of relaxation when my cell phone is being used only as a camera and I ignore the stream of texts and news that continue to arrive unabated. My mind focuses upon the clouds and the bed of sea shells in front of me as I listen to the waves sweep across the beach. 

Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
September 27, 2020

Sitting under the colorful umbrella to help keep the damaging sun's rays from burning my skin while I look out to the east and consider the clouds. I enjoy the colors of the ocean mixing white, blue, and green and the pinks of the sun's fading rays reflecting in the clouds. The beach is anything but crowded and I can feel alone with my thoughts and of course the glass of wine in my hand.

It is fun to watch the shore birds play in the beach searching for food and rushing along the surf together or alone. 

Relax and watch the clouds as the pass. 

Another day in paradise? Not really, but close.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Back to the Ocean for an Ending and a Beginning


Jupiter Island Beach Looking East
September 26, 2020

I was greeted by the ocean yesterday morning. It was a flat ocean with rolling waves sliding onto the beach. My morning walk was fabulous as I reconnected with the water, the waves, the sand, the sea creatures and found myself marveling in the beauty of the ocean and the ever changing beach. The sky added excitement to the scene as Chris and I enjoyed shaking off the remnants of the 14 and a half hour drive and sleeping in a house that was just a bit too hot and too humid.

Small Boat off Jupiter Island
September 26, 2020

As we walked, we saw a fisherman headed out to deeper water in a small boat racing to get to where the "big" ones are. A day on the water catching fish and enjoying the bounty of the sea was ahead.

Sunrise this morning was at 7:11 and I was sitting on my patio looking to the east as the first rays of the sun graced the land and the palm trees that are behind my condo. Chris and I will head off to walk a beach again this morning in a few minutes. It is something that we do almost every morning. We have multiple beaches to choose from to enjoy our walk and the beaches are different every day. 

I want to thank everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday. It is humbling to receive greetings from so many friends. Thank-you. I wish each of you a great day and a great year. I have to admit that spending my birthday in my happy place, even without air conditioning, was perfect. Not having the cool air in the condo will make it even more of a luxury when it is finally repaired. I enjoyed a very special birthday pie with friends last evening to go along with the celebration. No, it was not the cake that Chris, who carries the tradition on that my Mom started when I was a kid, makes every year--but it was perfect for the place and the time. 

And special.

As I celebrate a year just ended another begins full of hope and promise. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, September 26, 2020



Broken A/C Unit
Tequesta, FL
September er 26, 2020

Some trips seem fraught with opportunities to overcome adversity. As I begin day one of my escape to Florida to enjoy the condo before the 
winter season Chris and I are again confronted with misfortune.  

It seems that the electronic boards in our air conditioning unit expired during the two week period since we were last here. So we arrived in Florida with our two dogs in 90 degree heat and high humidity without an essential creature comfort. 

It is not too bad. Our friends offered an air conditioned comfort bedroom for the night, but we wanted to sleep in our own place. We did accept an additional fan to supplement our ceiling fans. We actually slept very well. 

Fortunately, our friends went to the condo during the early afternoon to get the a/c cooling in advance of our arrival and discovered the untimely demise of the system. That allowed us to actually get a repair person in to diagnose the problem before our arrival--but, as with most electronics lately, the parts need to be ordered and the earliest we can expect repair is, well, Tuesday! But, possibly later. That is the earliest!

I am reminded that I grew up without the comfort of air conditioning. People until about the mid-20th century lived routinely without air conditioning. My sixth floor dorm room at the University of Miami did not have air conditioning when I arrived there. I survived.

The dogs are taking it in stride.

We have had quite a time lately. The electronics board on the refrigerator went as we departed the condo a couple weeks ago, the exhaust on the truck needed to be repaired before we departed, and now the A/C. That is just the way it is I guess. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Friday, September 25, 2020


Chris and I have found the remnants of Tropical Storm Beta near Lumberton, North Carolina. It is slowing our driving a bit, but the weather radar shows we are just skirting the southern remnants of the storm. We have five hours under our belts and the trip has been smooth.

Seeing the signs for South of the Border makes me smile as they always have when I have make the journey on I-95. The signs are new and so it must be open again. I had heard they were closed a couple years ago. Who knows if that is true.

We expect to be in rain until Savannah and then, hopefully better weather. I had to do an emergency repair on the truck exhaust system when I got home from work last evening and was successful. It reminded me of how much I do not like being on my back under vehicles doing repairs anymore. I did get a new tool however. I have a Dremel again. I used it to cut an old exhaust strap off the muffler.

Well about ten more hours to go before we arrive at home in Florida. I am looking forward to being wrapped in the heat and humidity. The 40s and 50s of the past two weeks have been a reality check reminding me that the dark season is coming.

— Bob Doan, Southern North Carolina

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Friday Eve


I have been joking about how Thursday has become Friday Eve--well, I guess it has always been Friday Eve but we just considered it to be another Thursday. 

It must be a sign of the times that I am looking forward to the weekend more and more. If I could pull it off, I might consider a way to extend the weekend.

A few decades ago, when I was stationed in Germany with the Air Force I enjoyed being in a NATO staff officers position. I learned that the different cultures of the then 16 nation NATO had distinctly different ideas about weekends. The best example was from the Belgians. They would leave at noon on Friday, allowing them to drive home to Belgium for the weekend, and not return until noon on Monday. We joked that it was a Belgian weekend. While at times it was a bit frustrating that they could leave half-way through Friday, in retrospect it was a good idea.

I wonder if I could implement that where I work?

Probably not.

So, I guess the best I can do is foster the idea of Friday Eve for Thursday and get everyone in that weekend state-of-mind a day early. 

At the least it will get their minds off coronavirus. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Whose Fault is It?


Yesterday, I heard the most viscerally offensive defense of the failed governmental COVID-19 policy yet. 

It was simply, if nothing had been done then the projections were that 2,000,000 Americans would have died. And that is supposed to be a defense? The experts are saying that if something had been done sooner perhaps 60,000 less people would have died.

The Atlantic postulated that: 

A Failure of Empathy Led to 200,000 Deaths. It Has Deep Roots.

And I can agree with that statement. 

The article I referenced is eye opening and saddening as it recounts studies which help to understand why we have become less energized to the magnitude of the losses.

The article contains this paragraph:

It’s hard for anyone to comprehend the sheer horror of mass death. As I [Olga Kazan, the author of the article] wrote in April, “compassion fade” sets in when victims are no longer individuals but statistics, and few Americans have witnessed something of this scale before. But there’s an additional explanation for this empathy deficit: Part of the reason this majority-white, majority-non-elderly country has been so blasé about COVID-19 deaths is that mostly Black people and old people are dying. Eight out of 10 American COVID-19 deaths have been among people older than 65; the rest of the dead are disproportionately Black. White people’s brains psychologically sort minorities as “out-groups” that stir less empathy. Segregated neighborhoods have also helped insulate white Americans from the horror Black Americans face, because the ambulance sirens and the packed hospital wards are typically far from their own zip codes. “We literally don’t see those deaths in the same way we might if we didn’t experience segregation,” says Nour Kteily, a management professor at Northwestern University who studies hierarchies.

What I see is that the United States is the world leader in cases and deaths and that after a small dip in the positivity rate during the past few weeks the daily number of new cases continues to rise even as testing has been reduced or even strangled in some areas. 

We are going in the wrong direction and it appears that no one is committed to combatting the proliferation of the disease.

It is similar to the situation where the Congress cannot get relief to people in need from the economic disaster that COVID-19 has caused in the country.

Change is needed! We can argue about who is at fault, but it really doesn't matter--everyone is at fault. Each of us is at fault if we have not taken the time to communicate to our elected representatives that sober plans, answers, and actions are needed now. The time for partisan politics has passed. 200,000 Americans are dead and more are dying daily. 

Whose fault is it? 

It doesn't matter whose fault it is. What we need is leadership that will take charge and work to solve the problem rather than denying that there is a problem or blaming it on someone else.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Normal Saturday Returns


Chris and I enjoyed a more normal, BC* Saturday this past weekend. 

Ready at the Plate
Loch Haven Park, Maryland
September 19, 2020

We went to and enjoyed an autumn youth league baseball game. It was a clear, crisp, cold autumn morning with temperatures in the 40s as we woke and in the 50s at game time. We drove to the game, which had a 10:00 AM first pitch time looking forward to being back at a baseball field watching our grandson play ball.

Getting the Sign
Loch Haven Park, Maryland
September 19, 2020

We dressed warmly, but not warmly enough--I needed to get into the sun every half-inning to absorb enough warmth to enjoy the game as we were seated in the shade. I could have chosen to move to a sunny spot, but we were between the dugout and home plate on the first base side of the field right at the fence. It was a great position to watch the game that I used to coach.

The game started late and went the full two hours ending about 12:30 PM. It was a great escape from the news of the day which caused me to enjoy the outing even more. Jax had a frustrating day at the plate but pitched three solid innings allowing one earned run and throwing only 44 pitches. 

After the game, it was time to work around the house and enjoy the sunny, yet cool, day outside. I mowed the lawn and tended to some other minor projects ending the day, as Chris and I do, enjoying a glass of wine chatting about life, the future, and dreaming a bit about times to come while mindful of things past.  

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

*Note: BC is Before COVID

Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Musings - September 21, 2020


1. It is the third Monday of September. There is one Monday remaining this month.

2. Does anyone else feel as if Summer just abandoned us and departed? The temperatures have really taken a fall this week. I am very glad that I closed the pool last week.

3. Saw this shirt on Facebook--I might decide to purchase one because it is too true. 

4. I ran across the above home COVID-19 test. I followed the instructions and took the test myself. It worked.

5. Yesterday was a beautiful Autumn day--wait, Autumn does not begin until tomorrow!

6. Family NFL Weekend Report
     Ravens (2-0) defeat Texans (0-2) 33-16
     Cowboys (1-1) defeat Falcons (0-2) 40-39
     Steelers (2-0) defeat Broncos (0-2) 26-21
     WFT (1-1) lose to Cardinals (2-0) 15-30

7. The Orioles have assured themselves of another losing season. They are 23-31, .426, with just six games left to play. I had expected them to win 21 games and at least they did better than my prediction. And they were even in the playoff hunt in September--well, until the Orioles annual September losing streak kicked in. 

8. Today in History. On September 21, 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”

Ronald Reagan Quote for the week

“Let me speak plainly: The United States of America is and must remain a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. Our very unity has been strengthened by this pluralism. That's how we began; this is how we must always be. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, anti-Semitism, or bigotry of any kind -- none. The unique thing about America is a wall in our Constitution separating church and state. It guarantees there will never be a state religion in this land, but at the same time it makes sure that every single American is free to choose and practice his or her religious beliefs or to choose no religion at all. Their rights shall not be questioned or violated by the state.

-- Remarks at the International Convention of B'nai B'rith, 6 September 1984” 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories