Friday, February 28, 2020

Baseball and Sun

And so it begins. The first day of the Spring Training trip was a success. Even the weather cleared to make the day spectacular. The morning clouds gave was to clear sunny skies. It was cool, but comfortable.

We visited the new Braves facility in Venice and saw a game between them and the Cardinals. You might think that that is not an Orioles game, and that is true, but two former Orioles played. Nick Markakis plays for the Braves and hit a double. Matt Wieters catches for the Cardinals and went hitless.

Today is a golf and baseball day. Golf tee time is 7:14.

Baseball is later in the day.

Day two is off and running.

— Bob Doan, writing from Sarasota, Florida

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Palm Tree Fix

I did get my Palm Tree fix today. This palm tree is outside of the Braves facility in Venice, Florida. I attended a beautiful afternoon game between the Braves and the Cardinals. The stadium is aptly named Cool Today Park. 

A beautiful cool and windy day. But the sun is shining. 

— Bob Doan, writing from Venice, FL


The All Stars


The All Stars after their Games
Ethan and Jackson
Arundel Middle School
Odenton, MD
February, 26, 2020
Last evening was a celebration of youth and basketball. Ethan and Jackson were both representing their teams in the end-of-the-season All Star games for the GORC league. It was a very exciting time since they both were selected as All Stars.

Jax at Mid-Court before the Game
There was a lively crowd on hand and the best referees from the regular season officiated the games where it was a lot of fun watching the best kids from all of the teams that we had seen play during the season came together to play some exciting basketball. 
Ethan at Mid-Court Before His Game


And the skills were definitely on display. Fouls were kept to a minimum and the boys played basketball. It was fun to see the skills on display and remember how all of the players developed during the season. I had attended almost all of the games and witnessed the players development during the season. 

And now, Basketball is done and it is on to Baseball! But, for one last evening filled with highlights, three-point shots, spectacular defense, and gritty play Basketball was celebrated. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Smell of the Rain


I walked outside yesterday morning and the rain was softly falling as predicted. For the first time since last year, the air was scented with the smell of earth and life. It was no longer the cold, sterile smell of the winter, but rebirth and renewal was in the air. 

It was a refreshing experience. It told me that Spring was close! The days are warmer, the sun is shining, I am feeling refreshed and overcoming the lethargy of the dark days. 

Some of the yards are sporting flowers--crocus and daffodils. My yard is colder and while the leaves are up, the flowers have not yet bloomed. But they will soon.

The dark days are over. The daylight is remaining now until 6 PM and the sun is up before 7 AM. Life outside is about to begin again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Decline--The Virus--The World


Credit...
Yonhap/EPA, via Shutterstock
Here we go------

The stock market was down over 1,000 points yesterday and is poised to continue finding a new bottom number in the days ahead. The morning numbers suggest a small bounce this morning in pre-market trading, but the outlook is not good, for the short term.


What we are seeing is the interconnectedness of the world economies which are in the early stages of being ravaged as a result of the coronavirus. 

Stock markets stabilized a day after coronavirus fears pulled them down worldwide. - The New York Times

U.S., South Korea may scale back military training over coronavirus concerns - OAN

The markets in Asia were down, probably as a result of yesterday's U.S. freefall, but the European markets stabilized. What the day brings here in the U.S. remains to be seen.

What does this mean? We live in a world that is connected--the virus is traveling, the world economies are connected, industrial production is interdependent. Being an isolated country, completely self-dependent and separated from the world is no longer possible. 

We are connected with the world and we need to understand what that means and as a country work within that paradigm for the good of both our country and the world!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Musings - February 24, 2020





1. The race through the year is definitely moving forward. This is the fourth and last Monday of February. Daylight Saving Time is two short weeks away and March begins on Sunday! Based upon the weather so far, the groundhog was correct, we have an early Spring!

2. All stars! Both basketball playing grandsons made the all star team for their leagues! Awesome. And now, on to baseball! Outdoors practices begin March 9th.

3. Sunsets with clouds can be stunning. 

4. And they are off! Spring training began in Sarasota over the weekend. The Baby Birds are 1-1. They have scored 11 runs and given up 10 runs. I am excited that the season is here. 

5. Today in History. The Alamo. On February 24, 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issues a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.
A native of Alabama, Travis moved to the Mexican state of Texas in 1831. He soon became a leader of the growing movement to overthrow the Mexican government and establish an independent Texan republic. When the Texas revolution began in 1835, Travis became a lieutenant-colonel in the revolutionary army and was given command of troops in the recently captured city of San Antonio de Bexar (now San Antonio). On February 23, 1836, a large Mexican force commanded by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana arrived suddenly in San Antonio. Travis and his troops took shelter in the Alamo, where they were soon joined by a volunteer force led by Colonel James Bowie.

Headlines

Europe Confronts Coronavirus as Italy Battles an Eruption of Cases - The New York Times

Seven wounded in shooting at flea market in Houston - Reuters

Israeli jets strike Islamic Jihad targets in Syria and Gaza: Israeli military - OAN

Assange's fate hangs in balance as UK court considers U.S. extradition bid - Reuters



Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Funny Signs


Virginia is for lovers, I am guessing that it is also for people with a refined sense of humor. 

Yesterday, while visiting wineries/vineyards in Loudon County, Virginia, we happened upon a sign that made me smile and also decide to take an image of it. I am glad the owners of the winery had a sense of humor. I am also glad that wineries are a place where families can go to have fun for an afternoon. 

It was a beautiful day, with clear blue skies and a warm sun in the sky. It was hard to believe that it was only the 22nd of February and I was visiting wineries wearing only a jersey shirt. One of the wineries had fire pits roaring and it would have been nice to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine around the fire pit, but as it was getting late and consuming too much wine while on a road trip is not recommended, we passed on the fire pits and returned home. 

We had a great afternoon, visited some nice wineries, and enjoyed a mid-Winter's day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Red Herring


The Russians--are they inside of your closet or cell phone? 

Something that should not be in the news and also should not be getting people fired for doing their jobs has become another red herring to distract the news and the populace from the bigger issues of the day. 

There are two articles in the New York Times that discuss the dismantlement of the intelligence community which is underway in Washington. Like the minimization of the State Department before it, there will be long-term negative effects upon the security of this country if allowed to become a full-fledged replacement of qualified independent intelligence professionals with inexperienced puppets.

Richard Grenell Begins Overhauling Intelligence Office, Prompting Fears of Partisanship - The New York Times

Will Richard Grenell Destroy the Intelligence Community? - The New York Times

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 21, 2020

Short Week Friday


It has arrived again. The day that much of working America longs for, Friday, has arrived. 

And this was a short workweek for Federal employees and most schools because of President's Day. So Friday seemingly arrived quicker.

That of course was only for those of my friends and acquaintances who are not retired and still work a regular job. But still, I must confess that it is a big relief when Friday arrives and only the 8 hours of the workday stand between me and the weekend!

A thought about holidays though. We enjoy 8 of the 10 Federal holidays in a 5.5 month period from September until mid-February. The other two, Memorial Day and Independence Day, are the only holidays from mid-February until the beginning of September. It is a long stretch!

I remember in Europe, when I was younger and in the Air Force that there was what we called a Belgian Weekend which began about noon on Friday and ended about noon on Monday! Wow--I could use weekends like that!

Nonetheless--have a happy Friday whether you have to work or not! The weekend is upon us once again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Critters at the Feeder


Bluejay at Feeder
Ithaca, NY
February 16, 2020
Watching birds and squirrels at bird feeders is an entertaining way to enjoy breakfast and the quiet time that follows.

Bluejay Arriving for a Peanut
Ithaca, NY
February 15, 2020

Sometimes, as the birds come and go, I manage a special shot, like the bluejay arriving to snatch a peanut. 

Birds at a feeder provide some minutes of enjoyment. And then, sometimes, additional critters arrive to enjoy a peanut of two.

Squirrel Thief
Ithaca, NY
February 16, 2020
They were cold winter's days. I believe the temperatures outside were somewhere about 0 at the time the birds were arriving on the 15th. It was just too cold to be outside. It was about 20 degrees warmer on the 16th.

But the animals were out and eating and entertaining.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD




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