Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday Again

 It has been a very busy couple of days. 

Jax at the Plate
Severn, MD
April 18, 2021
Of course, with Chris enjoying beach time in Florida there is more to accomplish around the house--but I seem to have something scheduled for every day and evening.

Last evening, for instance, I enjoyed a great massage to soothe the muscles I abused on Saturday. 

During the afternoon after work, I rode my studio cycle through Switzerland on a 44 minute, 10 mile, uphill ride. Ugh! And this was after working full day. 

Sunday's game with the Severn Seminoles was exciting. Jax had a productive day and it was nice to sit in the warm sun and to enjoy some baseball. 

Important note: Chris is not just enjoying beach time, she has been working hard at planned projects and repairs in our Florida condo. 

Tonight looks to be busy again! At least the time passes quickly.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday Musing - April 19, 2021


1. It is the third Monday in April. Yay. It is also the 16th Monday of 2021 and there are only 36 Monday's remaining. That is important to some of us.

2. I watched the Severn Seminoles win a game is grand fashion yesterday by invoking the Mercy Rule! Jax had a great game. Maybe some video tomorrow.

AL East Standings As of Games Through April 18, 2021
3. OK, I guess I have to acknowledge the Orioles at this point. While I think they are doing terrible, they actually are playing some exciting baseball. They need to learn timely hitting.

4, You know what is weird? My favorite President is a Republican, but I have crossed over to the other side because of the tainted and divisive policies of the previous president, whose name will remain unmentioned.

5. Busy weekends pass to quickly, while weekends without a lot of activity seem to drag. 

6. I wish I was fishing today.

7. Is today really Monday, or is it a figment of my imagination?

8. If I could be anywhere right now, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be where I am.

9. Today in History. April 19, 1775, At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, a shot was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

Landmen Who Once Staked Claims for Oil and Gas Now Hunt Wind and Sun - The Wall Street Journal

Stock Rally Broadens in Encouraging Sign for Bull Market - The Wall Street Journal

As Police Reform Laws Sweep the U.S., Some Ask: Are They Enough? - The New York Times

3 People a Day Have Died in U.S. Police Encounters During Chauvin Trial - The New York Times

Ross DouthatRon DeSantis Is the Republican Autopsy - The New York Times

Minneapolis braces for unrest as Chauvin trial enters final phase - The Washington Post

‘Ripe for fraud’: Coronavirus vaccination cards give rise to burgeoning scams - The Washington Post

Investor group calls for banks to set tougher climate targetsEnvironment  - Reuters

UKQueen Elizabeth stands alone as Philip is laid to rest; William and Harry talk - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It is also appropriate that this journey should begin on Easter Sunday -- a day of peace proclaimed, a day of triumph over evil and suffering. In a short time, we will be worshiping at St. Andrew's Cathedral, and I can assure you that our prayers this afternoon will not just be for the success of this mission, but for an enduring peace among the peoples of all nations.

On this Easter, in the year of our Lord 1984, I ask for the prayers of all Americans and the peoples of the world for peace among men and peace among nations. Let the nations and the peoples of the world renounce war, and let us pledge ourselves to its permanent abolition. Let us forsake its anguish and agony and live in love with one another.

Like all Americans, the people of these islands cherish peace. Unlike most of their countrymen, the people of Hawaii have known firsthand the destruction wrought by nations that take up arms against each other. As we passed over Pearl Harbor this afternoon, I don't have to tell you of our silence as we reflected on the Arizona Memorial beneath us. The building that is now the Pacific Air Force's headquarters is still pockmarked with bullets from that fateful Sunday almost 43 years ago. And 32 years later, it was here to this airport that our first prisoners of war returned from an awful captivity in North Vietnam.

The American people have never sought war nor the test of arms. And yet in my lifetime I have seen four such wars -- none of them because the United States was too strong or too ready. The United States is resolved to avoid war, pursue peace, and to do so by remaining strong and remaining ready.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Day at the Course

From the Tee Box at Hole 4
Timbers at Troy
Elkridge, MD
April 17, 2021

 The important thing is that I survived 5 hours of sports activity.

I played racquetball in the morning for an hour followed by just over four hours of golf at Timbers.

I had an OK golf outing, considering that it was only the second golf outing this year. 

It was a beautiful day, just a bit on the too cool side to be called a perfect day, but when out golfing almost any day is a perfect day. My game was ragged--which was to be expected, but there were a few pars and at least one good look at making a birdie--which I missed but was left with an easy tap-in. On the down side, I totally collapsed on the second hardest hole on the course (12) after missing a par put and making a bogey on the hardest hole (9). Ugh. That is golf!

It was a great sports day. Today, sadly, I must devote mostly to business, although I am going to a Severn Seminoles 13U baseball game in a few minutes. 

I do enjoy weekends!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sports Saturday at Hand

Cheery Window Box for a Bright Saturday
Elkridge, MD
April 17, 2021

 A busy sports Saturday is what I am in the middle of enjoying. 

This morning at 7 AM, as dawn was breaking, I was on the outdoor racquetball court. It was about 43 degrees, but the play soon got me very warm. It really is a great way to start the day. I actually held my own on the court, which made me happy. 

Following racquetball I have a Tee time for just before noon at Timbers. It will be only my second golf outing of the year and I am using a new driver--which I am still a bit unsure of. I may take my old one in case I lose confidence in the new one. 

I should be exhausted about the time evening arrives. I am thinking a nice late-afternoon nap will do the trick.

I have to enjoy life today because tomorrow I begin one of the tasks I dread the most: TAXES!! Ugh. Settling-up with the governments is a tortuous task that never comes out in my favor at the end. 

Play today and work tomorrow.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 16, 2021

Discovering History in my House

Junghans Ships Clock
M/V Usarmao on Reverse

 I have clocks. Many sizes and kinds from small alarm clocks to towering grandfather clocks. And wall clocks. While stationed in Germany with the Air Force, Chris and I began collecting clocks and I learned how to repair them. So we would buy non-functional clocks and I would make them run again. At one point I though it would be a good second career, but that urge has passed. 

One of the clocks in my collection is a ships clock made by Junghans--a solid German clockmaker to this very day. The clock measured about 7 inches across the case. Oh yes, the clock works.

I never though too much about the clock or if it had ever been on a particular vessel until the other day when Patrick and I were talking. He asked if I knew what ship the clock may have been associated with. I remembered there was some almost unintelligible writing on the back of the clock and we turned it over to find M/V Usarmao written on the back. I remember looking at the back when I bought the clock and Have to admit I was not familiar with the designation M/V (not being a sailor) and thought it was someone's signature or the name of the owner. 

SS Usarmao
In Dar es Salaam
Date unknown
Now, however, many decades later I recognize the M/V as either Motor Vessel or Merchant Vessel. So, of course, we immediately checked the internet and discovered that the M/V Usarmao has a history as a passenger and cargo ship and was last operated by the German Navy before being scuttled in 1944. The ship was built in 1920. The website has some interesting history of the vessel and the location of the wreck.

The website reports:

Passenger ship requisitioned by the German Navy to base crews and supplies. 12/09/1940: Sunk by Allied aerial bombing in the port of Bordeaux. Then handed afloat. 25/08/1944: Scuttled by her crew in Lagrange, Gironde (France) Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?2083

Fascinating. I have this piece of history connected to a ship that was part of WWII action.

OK, now for the disclaimer. 

I have no idea if the clock is genuinely from the M/V Usarmao. All I know is that the name, for some reason, is written on the back of the clock. I do not remember where Chris and I purchased the clock, it was likely from a flea market in Germany. No mention at the time of purchase connected the clock to a ship. Although my German is pretty poor and even if the seller mentioned the history of the clock, I did not understand it. 

So, I will live with the illusion that the clock is in fact from the ship. There is a serial number on the clock which may provide a definitive clue, should I wish to pursue it. 

History in my house! Wow!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 15, 2021

My Truck

My 2016 Ram 1500
Elkridge, MD
April 28, 2020

 My truck is not just a vehicle, it is an essential part of the family. It had been used to haul uncountable numbers of things around town, to Delaware and back,  and down the East Coast.

When last I saw my truck, it was attached to a U-Haul trailer and ready to roll this morning to Florida with an initial load household items for a friend who is moving. Chris is lucky enough to accompany him on the trek and will visit out condo while she is there. I am expecting to take a long weekend and also check on the condo now that the seasonal renters have departed. 

And so, my truck is on I-95 somewhere, as I write this, likely almost to North Carolina where the sunrise will soon splash its light on the travelers as dawn breaks. 

I wish I were making the trip and I wish it were my household goods in the trailer. But, the bed of the truck has items for our condo as we begin the process of relocating from Maryland to Florida. It is a process which will likely not be complete for over a year--but I am sure that my trusty truck will make a few more journey's down I-95 before we are through.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Special Birthday


Ethan Blowing out the Candles
Odenton, MD
April 13, 2021

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

It happened yesterday, my oldest grandson turned the magical age of 16! 

Wow, do I feel old. 

We celebrated Ethan 's birthday last evening and of course we spent some time reminiscing about the actual day of his arrival on the planet. But mostly, it was a celebration of a great kid who has brought incredible amounts of joy into the family. 

I remember that it was during the last 17-year cicada, Brood X, uprising when Chris and I learned that we were to be grandparents. We noted, that it would be on his or her 16th birthday that the noisy bugs would return. A special celebration, indeed. And the bugs will be arriving soon.

We enjoyed a great evening and a special once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Volcano on St. Vincent

Navin Pato Patterson: Plumes of ash billow from the La Soufrière volcano
 on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which started erupting on 9th April.

 There is a volcano erupting in on the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent.

I have been there. I have not been to that particular volcano, but I have been to St Vincent as part of a sailing cruise. During that same vacation I also visited a volcano on St Lucia. I wonder of that volcano will become more active. I remember the sulfur smell of the volcano right there in the middle of the island of St. Lucia. 

St. Vincent, as I remember, was more remote and poor. We sailed along the west coast of the island and on there return from sailing south of St Vincent, we anchored at Cumberland Bay for the night.

The eruption of the volcano is having dire consequences for the island. According to a report from the United Nations:

Volcanic eruption leaves ‘entire population’ of Saint Vincent without clean water

There is little romantic about a volcano erupting and destroying lives and property. 

The people there are going to need assistance.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Musing - April 12, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of April and the 15th Monday of the year. There are 37 Mondays remaining in 2021. 

2. In a normal year, Tax Day would be in three days, but as it is not a normal year, we have until May 17th to file our taxes. Yay! I get to keep some of my money for a bit longer. 

3. Sitting on the back defect watching the Spring storms cruise through the region was the extent of my entertainment for last evening. 

AL East Standings
Games through April 11, 2021

4. How about the Orioles? They came home from starting the season on the road and immediately lost three games. They are now in last place in the AL East. Wait, they are also tied for second in the AL East. How weird is that? 

5. Chris and I sat outside last evening before the thunderstorms arrived and watched the birds flying around and the rabbits playing. Its was great entertainment. We saw one rabbit that must have some domesticated rabbit in its ancestry. It had white markings in its fur.

6. We still have some Easter candy hiding in the house. 

7. I remain fascinated at the transformation of the forested areas from gray bare trees to green foliage. I do so enjoy the springtime.

8. The pool will be opened in three weeks!

9. Today in History. April 12, 1861The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

Online Schools Are Here to Stay, Even After the Pandemic - The New York Times

Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage - the New York Times

Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters to become the first Japanese man with a major title - The Washington Post

As variants surge, a patchwork of surveillance efforts has ramped up to detect them - The New York Times

The Other Reason the Labor Force Is Shrunken: Fear of Covid-19 - The Wall Street Journal

Why China Is Jumping Into Digital Currency - The Wall Street Journal

China considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines to boost protection rate - Reuters

Asia off to cautious start ahead of earnings, U.S. data - The Wall Street Journal

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

We know that the secret of America's success has been our drive to excel, a spirit born and nutured by our families. With their dreams and hard work, they've built our nation, made her great, and kept her good. Everything we've accomplished began in those bedrock values parents have sought to impart throughout our history -- values of faith in God, honesty, caring for others, personal responsibility, thrift, and initiative.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Springtime Afternoon

Turtles in the Sun
Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia, MD
April 10, 2021

 Although yesterday began with rain and fog, by mid-afternoon it was very pleasant and Chris and I were able to take an enjoyable walk around Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia. 

The lake, as I have written before, provides a scenic mile and a quarter walk which is far nicer than the uncountable number of walks we take through our neighborhood. For instance, the most abundant form of wildlife yesterday were the turtles congregating on branches near the shore enjoying the afternoon sun.

Yesterday we were able to enjoy the springtime as we once again strolled along the lakeshore. Given the morning's rain and fog, I was surprised by the number of people strolling or biking along the trails. There was one group of youthful bikers who were intent on demonstrating their ability to ride on one wheel and I have to admit I enjoyed watching their unbridled exuberance. And, fortunately, they were mindful of the walkers on the trail. 

It is springtime and I am enjoying being outside more and more as the weather permits. Today it will rain and, hopefully, that will enable me to watch the concluding round of the Master's since I will not be able to exercise my feeble golf skills on a course near me. 

Everything contributes to make springtime and enjoyable season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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