Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Seventeen Months

Here we go again--perhaps it never really ended? 

The presidential election season is running hot and perhaps the candidates will burn themselves out before the actual November 3, 2020 elections arrive.

Here is what happened yesterday:

Trump, at Rally in Florida, Kicks Off His 2020 Re-election Bid - The New York Times

Reading the article, it sounds like more of the same. Here is what the article said about the kickoff. 

President Trump delivered a fierce denunciation of the news media, the political establishment and what he called his radical opponents on Tuesday as he opened his re-election campaign in front of a huge crowd of raucous supporters by evoking the dark messaging and personal grievances that animated his 2016 victory.

It appears that some presidential candidates believe that the road to the White House is paved with hate-mongering, stoking the fires of fear, and blaming others for personal shortfalls. 

In my humble opinion, I think is is time for a different and more coherent and inclusive approach to the presidency. We should celebrate and protect the diversity embodied in the Constitution rather than trying to limit the application of its protected freedoms. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer's Threshold

Summer, the best season of the year is upon us. 

I was out working by the pool and noticed this small butterfly. It was a reminder that summer is upon me.

Already this season the fireflies have been gracing the evening providing their cold light to brighten the evening darkness.

As the evenings have stayed moderate and the pool has warmed, the joy associated being outside has increased. I expect to see more summertime animals to grace my poolside lounging.

Friday will be one of the longest days of the year, in terms of sunlight, 14h 56m 19s. I will enjoy every second of the longest day of the year. 

Bring on the sun and the summer.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Musings - June 17, 2019

Hibiscus Around the Pool
Elkridge, MD
June 16, 2019
1. The second half of the month of June has arrived. Time is speeding along as my favorite season of the year approaches.

2. Summer begins on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 11:54 AM EDT!

3. The summer flowers are blooming and they are adding much needed brightness to the season. Springtime is winding down and I am enjoying the long days of summer.

4. I look out into my backyard and I am greeted with the full, deep green of summer! I love the trees and how they shape the scenery.

5. Floating in the pool yesterday was great fun. It was a beautiful day, despite the dire warnings form the weathermen.

6. Did anyone notice that the Orioles managed to be tied with the Red Sox 3-3 at the end of 9 innings yesterday and then managed to lose the game 8-6 at the end of 10?

7. I still have not played golf in over two months. I am seriously hoping to break the drought next weekend.

Statue of Liberty
From Jersey City, New Jersey
October 2, 2016
8. I hope all of the fathers out there enjoyed our special day yesterday. And today? Well, it is back to work!

9. Today in History. On this day in 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue, which was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland, became known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.


Freed Hong Kong democracy activist joins mass calls for leader to quit - Reuters

Iran say it will reach allowed enriched uranium limit in 10 days - Reuters

Liberals Want Trump Impeached, but Centrist Freshmen May Have the Final Say - The New York Times

In Trump’s trade war with China, L.A. ports are ground zero - LA Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin -- just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance."

 -- A Time for Choosing, October 27, 1964, Los Angeles, CA

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day - 2019

To all the fathers out there--Happy Father's Day!

Yes, it is our special day. It is a day to remember and celebrate our fathers, the men in our lives who helped to mold us into the men and women that we are today.

I found a poem that sums up the essence of a father and thought I'd share it here.

Silent, Strong Dad

Published: February 2006
He never looks for praises.
He's never one to boast.
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most.
His dreams are seldom spoken.
His wants are very few,
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken, too.
He's there...a firm foundation
Through all our storms of life,
A sturdy hand to hold onto
In times of stress and strife.
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad.
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad.


Dads, enjoy the day.
Sons and daughters, remember your dad.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Paying a Bundle for Cable

Every so often I take a good look at my cable TV bill and wonder, why am I paying so much for so little?

That is the truth. While the cable companies offer a plethora of channels, I usually have difficulty finding anything worth watching and default to sports or old movies. I mean, how many times can one really watch, The Proposal?

Yet, I continue to pay a a high monthly fee for cable services that I mostly don't use. Take for instance the music channels. With the advent of multiple music internet providers who really needs, or uses, the music channels provided by the cable companies? Yet the 30 or so music channels are counted into the total number of channels that I receive.

And then there are the non-HD channels. Who watches those channels? And why do the HD versions and SD versions get counted as two channels--it is really only one offering? 

I am getting perilously close to cutting the cable cord--but I have 15 months remaining on my current contract! Ugh.

I wish we could get to a place where we pay-as-we-go for cable. I think I would save a bundle instead of paying for a bundle.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 14, 2019

Promotion Day 2019

Jax Receiving his Promotion Papers
Waugh Chapel Elementary School
June 13, 2019
Jax on Promotion Day
It is the end of the school-year and yesterday Chris and I attended the 5th grade promotion ceremony for Jackson. We had a lot of fun watching him close-out his elementary school career along side of many of his friends. I think they were all ready to get out of there and to the after school pool party that had been arranged for them at the local facility.

It was a likely my last visit to the elementary school that I have been visiting for the past nine years. I have attended a wide variety of events and activities. There were concerts, awards ceremonies, and promotion ceremonies, and many other reasons to visit the school and revel in the activities of both Ethan and Jax as they progressed through the years

Yesterday, however, was a celebration of Jax and his academic career. And now he is off the the wild land of middle school. It is hard to wrap my mind around the thought.

Congratulations, Jax!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD  

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Thoughts, June 13, 2019

Wow, the item I wrote yesterday about the Orioles generated about as much interest as a broken arm. I guess that is about right since the O's are one of the worst teams in baseball. I have not had an item read by so few people in a very long time. 

Triple Play
I was reminded yesterday about how life can change in a moment. A good friend passed fairly suddenly and I am still very melancholy this morning. While his passing was not unexpected, it was sudden and I had hoped that he would recover from his illness. I will miss him very much and I am still in denial about his passing.

I wondered why I pay so much for cable TV, internet, and phone. I have the "Triple Play!" Well, it is a triple play in my wallet. I am seriously considering completely changing the way that I access television and the internet. 

I think I cannot still wrap my mind  around the idea that the youth baseball season is over, well until the autumn. 

The rains returned overnight. Everything is wet.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Orioles Update for June

I have not written much about the Orioles this season. There, frankly, is not much to write. The team is rebuilding and has settled comfortably at the bottom of the standings for the league. It seems that they can win one game of most series, but fall miserably short of being respectable. 

Sporting a record of 21-45, the Orioles are 20 games out of first in the division and 15 games out of Wild Card contention. The team is tied for last place in MLB with the Kansas City Royals, or put another way, they are tied for 29th place in the standings. 

Last evening, to begin their homestead, they defeated the Toronto Bluejays 4-2. The line score shows the tale of the game.


It was a win, but even-so  the team is now 9-23 at home! 

Chris Davis has taken sole possession of the formerly called "Mendoza-line" which has always been considered a batting average below .200. The line has been redefined as something below that point as Chris Davis is currently batting .164 and still on the team. He finished the 2018 season with a .168 batting average. Unofficially, the Mendoza-line is "often thought of as the offensive threshold below which a player's presence on a Major League Baseball team cannot be justified, regardless of his defensive abilities. The term is used in other contexts when one is so incompetent in one key skill that other skills cannot compensate for that deficiency." (from Wikipedia) Because he is getting $23M per year, he is still suiting up every night when players with lesser salaries would have been long gone. 

I have attended one game so far this season in person and I do not regularly watch the games on television, opting for some movie that I have already seen on Netflix. Usually, I know how both the game and the movie will end.

There are bright sport on the team. John Means, the pitcher last night, has a 6-4 record and as solid 2.60 ERA; but it took him 103 pitches to get out of the 5th inning to qualify for the win last night. 

Jonathan Villar, the shortstop, is exciting and sporting a solid .262 batting average, but he was caught stealing and suffered a put-out (meaning he was on base two times and both opportunities were lost). He has 12 stolen bases for the season may be on track to exceed the 21 he had during 2018. 

The star or the team is, arguably, Trey Mancini, who has 13 home runs and a solid .298 batting average. 

And so, nearing the mid-way point of the season, the team is on track for a 52-110 season, which is marginally better Thant the 47-115 they sported last year. Before the season started I predicted a 105 loss season and since they have almost completed the season meetings with the Yankees (2-10 with 7 games remaining) and completed play against the Twins (0-6 with no games remaining), my prediction may still be in play. That means they are 19-29 .395 against the rest of the league!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Door Flag

Door Flag
Elkridge, MD
June 9, 2019
Chris and I found a new door flag to hang at the entrance of our house. I took this image of it hanging after dark--it really highlights the flag. 

We like having a flag hanging at the entrance to the house to highlight the season. This one helps connect our two homes--here and Florida. Although we cannot simultaneously be in both places, we can remain connected to each. 

Door flags and garden flags add a personal touch to the premises. Some of the flags are used to display adherence to a certain set of beliefs or political preference. For instance, I am seeing rainbows as door flags. Other flags are patriotic and people display the American Flag, but at our house the location of the flag holder is on the wrong side of the door. Yes, there is a correct and incorrect place to display the American FlagThe flag we fly just tries to evoke the sentiment that I'd rather be at the beach. 

Fly your flag proudly, whatever you are trying say.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Musings - June 10, 2019

1. It has been a two-week hiatus, but Monday Musings is back! Do I hear cheering?

2. Welcome to the second Monday of June. Summer is upon us.
Where I Was Last Monday
Tequesta, Florida
from Radio Flyer
June 4, 2019

3. I have to confess, because I was in Florida last week I did not even realize that it was Monday and forgot to write Monday Musings.

4. It was sobering to watch the President making remarks from Normandy's beaches on the anniversary of D-Day reminding me that it had been 75 years since oppression was repulsed.

5. The youth baseball season is over but not forgotten. We are having a team party next weekend. 

6. The rains have started again. Chris and I got some great outdoors work accomplished during the good weather. Another 8 bags of mulch were placed in the gardens and the pool was spruced up a bit.

7. I am enjoying that it does not get dark until after 8:30 PM. It makes the days last longer.

8. The official start of summer is less than two weeks away! Summer begins on June 21st at 11:54 AM!

9. Reminder--schools are beginning to release for the summer during the next two weeks! Watch out for distracted children and parents.


Hundreds of thousands march in Hong Kong to protest China extradition bill - Reuters

Texas Is Latest State to Pump the Brakes on Red-Light Cameras - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

  -- A Time for Choosing, October 27, 1964, Los Angeles, CA

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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