Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Musings - November 18, 2019

1. The month is zipping by at a rapid pace. It is already the last half of November. Thanksgiving is next week and I see signs of the Christmas season in almost every store.

2. It is hard to believe that my two week respite from the Northeast ends tomorrow. I will leave the palm trees behind and board a flight to face the worst that winter can toss at me.

Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 16, 2019
3. On Saturday, despite the cooler temperatures, Chris and I went to the beach on Jupiter Island. The sun was warm and we were treated to Caribbean Sea colors as the ocean was relatively calm and the sky was blue.

4. Family NFL Results and probability of making the playoffs:

  Ravens (97%) defeat Texans 41-7
  Cowboys (61%) defeat Lions 35-27
  Steelers (34%) lose to Browns 7-21
  Redskins (<1 17-34="" font="" jets="" lose="" to="">

Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter, Florida
November 16, 2019
5. The iconic Jupiter Lighthouse has been dark during the time we have been in the area due to maintenance. I was able to manage yet a slightly different image of it the other day as it was illuminated by the sun with the back from of the dark clouds. 

6. As we close up our condo, in preparation for the winter, we are leaving lot of memories and work behind. I think we have nearly made the place into our home and there are only minor projects remaining to fill our time during the next visit. I am already planning my first visit of 2020.

7. It was instructive to see how the 18 degree drop in temperature caused the true Floridians to seek heavy jackets, while those form more northern climates continues to wear shorts. I did, however, change into jeans when the temperatures dipped below 60 degrees.

8. Is there such a thing as Christmas season burnout? With the jump form Halloween to Christmas, skipping Thanksgiving, I worry that by the time Christmas actually arrives, people will be burned out.

9. Today in History. On November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at gunpoint. The final death toll at Jonestown that day was 909; a third of those who perished were children.


Congress Expects to Pass Another Stopgap Spending Bill to Keep Agencies Open Through Dec. 20 - Government Executive

Hong Kong Protesters Trapped at Campus - The New York Times

Republicans Shift Defense of Trump While He Attacks Another Witness - The New York Times

North Korea says will not offer anything to Trump without receiving in return: KCNA - Reuters

Russia starts process of returning captured naval ships to Ukraine: TASS - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Next, the budget process is a sorry spectacle. The missing of deadlines and the nightmare of monstrous continuing resolutions packing hundreds of billions of dollars of spending into one bill must be stopped. We ask the Congress once again: Give us the same tool that 43 Governors have -- a line-item veto so we can carve out the boondoggles and pork, those items that would never survive on their own. I will send the Congress broad recommendations on the budget, but first I'd like to see yours. Let's go to work and get this done together.

Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union - January 27, 1987

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Palm Trees, No Drama

Palm Tree with Moon in Front of my Condo
Tequesta, Florida
November 16, 2019
There is something about palm trees that help me to lose the drama in my life. Some days life is full of just too much drama and getting rid of it helps to preserve my sanity. Whenever I see a palm tree, I automatically exhale and the stress and drama in my life vanish.

Palms Behind my Condo
Tequesta, Florida
November 16, 2019

I guess palm trees are one of the reasons that I love Florida so much. I know that when the plane touches down on the runway when I am arriving that the first object that my eyes search for are the palm trees. When I finally see the palms, I know that I have arrived in Florida. I am blessed in that I can see palm trees from both the front and back of my condo! There is a palm tree right next to my driveway that I have to avoid every time I park my car. I love that palm tree because it is reminds me that I am in Florida. 

Palm trees are signs that my life has become a drama free zone! 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Beaches and Birds

I have discovered that Florida weather forecasters are as inconsistent  as Maryland forecasters. 

Yesterday was supposed to be rainy 70 percent of the day with the bulk of the rain in the morning and. early afternoon. It turned out that the rain was spotty, hit or miss and a very low percentage. Turns out, it was a great day, until late in the afternoon. There were clouds on the skyline which provided for some additional beauty to the beach. 

Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019

A Squadron of Pelicans in Formation
Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019
The beach was wide, long and clean. And, did I mention, there was almost no one there? The weather report kept most of the beach-goers away and so we had the wide expanse of sand from horizon to horizon to ourselves. 

Seagull on the Beach
Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019
Well, we didn't exactly have the entire beach to ourselves, we had a few birds, many birds actually, to enjoy. They filled the beach as they were scavenging for food. The pelicans over the water were especially fun to watch as they flew their seemingly precise formations across the fairly calm waters less than a wingspan above the ocean.  

The birds provided ample entertainment, as did the waves which I ventured out into for the first time during the trip. They were crashing hard on the beach and I did a bit of body surfing. It was tiring because the waves were big--over 6 feet in some cases. 

It was a great day and since the temperatures are cooling into the 70's, its was likely the last opportunity to actually get into the water for the year. 

Another idyllic day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Friday, November 15, 2019

Too Much Plastic

Plastic Ware on the Beach
Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 14, 2019
I am in shock, frankly. After walking the beaches faithfully for the past 9 days, I am shocked at the amount of plastic that is washing up on the beaches! It is stunning and I had no idea, until this trip, how much plastic waste is washing up on the beaches. We are awash in plastic. 

Chris and I have been walking the beaches, picking up trash and doing our small part to clean the environment. It has become clear that as a society and on a global scale we need to reduce or eliminate the use of one-time use plastic for utensils and bags. I am appalled at the volume of plastic utensils that adorn the beaches. And the bags--from small bags to grocery bags are everywhere. Sadly, many of the bags are small clear plastic bags that may have been used for fishing associated items. Why would fishermen pollute the environment by throwing the bags into the water where the turtles and other animals can then confuse them as jellyfish; eat them and die? 

We need to take action to reduce plastic in the environment. I have not been a supporter of taxes on plastic bags, until now. I believe we need to stop the use of plastic straws and utensils as well. If we do not, we will strangle the planet in plastic.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Return to the Flagler Museum

Christmas Tree in the Main Room
Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
I do enjoy good museums and the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach is a good museum. It provides a detailed look into the Gilded Age and how the very upper crust of American Society lived. 

Christmas Tree in the Drawing Room
Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
Unlike when Chris and I visited during out last trip here, the museum is now decorated for Christmas. That surprised me a bit when I first entered, but then upon reflecting a bit, it made sense. The decorations were not lighted--that happens after Thanksgiving. 

It was nice to tour the museum again after seeing it only a few months earlier. I was able to go deeper into some of the exhibits and gain a better appreciation for Henry Flagler and how he created modern Florida in his vision. The key was building a railroad to connect the villages of St Augustine, Palm Beach, and Miami. He then built the Overseas Railroad to connect Key West to the mainland. It was an extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. 

As it rained during most of the day which precluded going to the beach, visiting the museum was a great way to spend time and gain a better appreciation of history as well. 

I recommend visiting the Flagler Museum. It is a must do when in the West Palm Beach/Palm Beach area.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Palms at Night

Lights Wrapped Palms for Christmas
Jupiter, Florida
November 12, 2019
Chris and I went to dinner last evening in an upscale part of Jupiter. We went to a nice Italian restaurant that we have visited before, but we were treated to the Christmas decorations already in place in the area. 

While the actual Christmas Trees and associated decorations were not illuminates, they were decorated, the Palms along the streets were decked to in full lights. I love light wrapped Palm trees. They make me smile! In fact, we may go back again just to enjoy the ambiance of the area at night. I have to admit, even though I am fully committed to not overlooking Thanksgiving in the rush to get into the Christmas Season, seeing the Palm trees wrapped with lights did make me begin to look forward to the holiday season. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sunset and Palms

Palm Trees in the Sunset
Jupiter sound, Jupiter, Florida
November 10, 2019
Since returning to standard time, sunset and Happy Hour coincide. This has provided the opportunity get some great images of the sunset behind palm trees. There is something relaxing about enjoying downtime and watching the sun set with palm trees in the foreground. It is a one of the best ways to end the day. 

Hobe Sound National Wildlife Preserve
Hope Sound, Florida
November 11, 2019
But do not get me wrong--there is more to the day than the ending. Yesterday, for instance, Chris and I were on the beach at Hobe Sound and spent time watching a very aggressive crab. The crab came out of the water and claimed a portion of the beach as its own! The crab let me get pretty close and get a few nice images of it. It definitely did not retreat, but raised its claws and made quite a spectacle of itself. The funniest part, however, was that it would occasionally fall over from being so demonstrative. Like some people I know. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Musings - November 11, 2019

1. It is Monday, November 11th. It is Veterans Day! Thank-you to all who have served and who are serving to protect this great nation. And thank-you to the spouses and families of Veterans who stand beside them every day supporting them in their service to this nation. 

Vanishing Footprints
Jupiter Island Beach
November 10, 2019
2. Walking beach is a great way to start the day--especially in November.

3. Isn't it amazing how the ocean washes evidence of human civilization away? Look at how the tide has washed away the footprints Chris and I left in the sand mere moments before.

Coral Cove Park
Jupiter Island, Florida
November 10, 2019
4. The ocean was especially violent yesterday. The waves were crashing onto the rocks with unusual force spraying the surrounding area. 

5. What do you get when you find a Costco next to a Lowes? Answer: An empty wallet!

6. I enjoy watching the birds alone the beach. They are very busy and almost do not notice my intrusion into their space. 

7. Today is a good day to take a moment and think about the blessings that we, as Americans, have. Let us then resolve to take action to make our town, county, state, and country a better place to live. Each of us holds the key to making our community a better place to live by getting involved. 

8Today in History. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside CompiĆ©gne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.


Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester Amid Clashes - The New York Times

Amid China’s Debt, a Hospital Is Asking Nurses for Loans - The New York Times

U.S. aviation authority downgrades Malaysia's air safety rating: sources - Reuters

'Leave now': Australians urged to evacuate as 'catastrophic' fires loom - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

A year ago, Americans' faith in their governmental process was steadily declining. Six out of 10 Americans were saying they were pessimistic about their future. A new kind of defeatism was heard. Some said our domestic problems were uncontrollable, that we had to learn to live with this seemingly endless cycle of high inflation and high unemployment.
There were also pessimistic predictions about the relationship between our administration and this Congress. It was said we could never work together. Well, those predictions were wrong. The record is clear, and I believe that history will remember this as an era of American renewal, remember this administration as an administration of change, and remember this Congress as a Congress of destiny.
Together, we not only cut the increase in government spending nearly in half, we brought about the largest tax reductions and the most sweeping changes in our tax structure since the beginning of this century. And because we indexed future taxes to the rate of inflation, we took away government's built-in profit on inflation and its hidden incentive to grow larger at the expense of American workers.
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress Reporting on the State of the Union, January 26, 1982

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rain, Cold, and Projects

Newly Illuminated Display Case in the Living Room
Tequesta, Florida
November, 9, 2019
The pace of projects around the house lessened, time coincident with rainy and colder weather that kept us indoors for most of the day. Chris and I did not make it to the beach due to the rain and cold. Let me define cold--low 70's.

Display Case
Tequesta, Florida
November, 9, 2019
We did manage one project as the puck lights arrived from Amazon enabling us to illuminate the display stands that we have. The project was fairly simple, but of course there were problems to over one. For instance, the cords were not long enough to complete the project in the manner that I had originally intended and so there has to be some improvisation. And then there was the matter of getting the appropriate black tape--black electrical tape just would not do the trick of holding and hiding the wires. 

Aside from that and a trip to Wal-mart to get essential household and kitchen items that we did not realize we needed until we actually tried living here, it was a sedate day. We did check out one thrift shop, but did not find any "must have" items.

In the end, it was a relaxing day. But also productive.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Mindlessly Watching Coconuts

Sailboat off Jupiter Island Beach
November 7, 2019
Until yesterday, Chris and I had were visiting the beach twice per day. Once in the morning for a walk and then again in the afternoon just to sit and watch the waves roll up onto the beach. Yesterday, however, we devoted ourselves to completing projects around the house--fixing leaky bolts on a toilet, hanging new blinds, putting a new sweep on the main door, and hanging a coat rack. Because of the projects, we decided not to hit the beach during the afternoon and went, instead, to the condo association pool. It was nice to get into the pool and cool off after a day of work. 

Coconut in the Surf
Jupiter Island, Jupiter, FL
November 7, 2019
When we are at the beach we find an assortment of things to watch. Sailboats often transitive horizon, but the other day it was a coconut that caught our attention. The coconut was playing in the surf; washing up onto the beach and rolling back into the waves. The coconut made its way along the beach and then came back. The pattern was repeated a few times as it seemed that the combination of the wind and the tide were keeping the coconut confined to one stretch of beach. After a while, another coconut arrived and played in the surf with the first one. But, for some reason, that coconut continued down the beach and out of sight while the first coconut remained. Maybe the chemistry was not quite right between them?

Mindlessly watching coconuts in the surf releases the stress-causing thoughts that fill my everyday life. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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