Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sunrise, Sunset, Repeat



Patuxent Greens Before Sunrise
August 15, 2018
In a rare twist, I managed to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset yesterday.

I decided to take some morning time and play golf with two guys from work. We had a 6:15 AM Tee-tim, but were actually able to tee-off at 6 AM. There was no one else on the course and sunrise was not until 6:19 AM. It was very dark when we hit the first golf balls of the day off the tees at Patuxent Greens Golf Club.


Across the Tees
Patuxent Greens
August 15, 2018
I thoroughly enjoy watching the day start from the manicured fairways and greens of a golf course. Yesterday was no different, with the exception that the heavy rains of the past few weeks have not been kind to Patuxent Greens. The fairways and some greens definitely were showing signs of damage. 

And then there was the sunset. I watched the sun pass below the horizon from the comfort of my backyard. Although I cannot actually see the horizon from my backyard, I watched the sun-light move up to the top of the trees and then the colors of the sunset appear.

As Chris and I were sitting there and the twilight deepened, the bats began to fly overhead dancing in the sky performing their unchoreographed ballet in the air. We love watching them twist and turn while hanging in the evening sky as they chase after the bugs and mosquitoes.

And thus the day ended as it began, I was admiring the sky and the sun and the joys of being able to appreciate the rays of the sun as they grace the Earth and bring joy into my heart.

I'd love to do it again, today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Golf on the Weekends--Tiger's return


Tiger
I was reflecting upon the weekend. 

Golf in the rain. The PGA Championship that Tiger nearly won.

Golf is a great game!

Plugged Ball
August 11, 2018
During the wet course round on Saturday we experienced a lot plugged balls. None of the drives had much of a roll out. That makes the game a bit longer. Those roll-out yards are really nice and help to get the ball closer to the hole.

I heard on a sports talk show that Tiger's return will bolster the game of golf.

That is exciting.

Golf is a lot more exciting than watching the Orioles lose another game, although the Orioles actually won last night and ended a five game losing streak. 

Tiger's return is exciting the fans of the sport and he matches up well against the young guns who have been ruling since he went down with injuries. The drama of the weekend sport is really amping up.

At least it is more fun than watching the political news of the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away



Rain into the Pool
August 13, 2018
Rain Falling
August 13, 2018
It descended on the area again last evening. A torrential rainstorm that was relatively brief, less than 30 minutes, but ferocious. 

The lawn still needs to be mowed!

The pool was a mess. 

The rain drenched everything. The rain also filled the pool above the skimmers and I had to bring the level down after the storms subsided.  

It was quite a storm. I believe we received almost two inches of rain during the downpour.

And then there were blue skies with white puffy clouds.

Wow. what a difference a few minutes make. 

I am hoping for a better day today. Sunshine and dry weather so that I can get the outside chores accomplished.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Musings - August 13, 2018



Blackened Tenderloin
1. August is nearing the mid-point. Time is zipping by faster than I could believe possible. 
Deer on the Course
August 11, 2018

2. It is very hard to compose a blog on my phone. I miss a lot of typos. I need to do better when I am traveling without my laptop.

3. Autumn colors are beginning to creep into the bushes of Upstate New York. I saw many sumac trees which have already begun to don their autumn finery while traveling this weekend. Rumor has it that it may be an early Autumn.

4. People drive very differently depending upon the location. Maybe it is just that Maryland drivers are an impatient lot and like to get to their destinations quickly. I thought everyone knew to add 10 to the speed limit sign.

Looking Across the Farmlands of Central New York
From the Camera Aboard Radio Flyer
August 11, 2018
5. I like returning home after a weekend away. Home is where I can just relax and be myself. 
Our Hole at the
5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic
August 11, 2018

6. Owning a home is like buying a hobby. There are always so many projects that need attention. I guess that is why we have houses, to do projects.

7. Why does it seem as if the rain is falling every day, again? Oh yeah, because it is!

8. I was able to get Radio Flyer airborne a couple of times this weekend. I had wanted to fly into the gorges around Ithaca, but we ran out of time. The scenery looking over the farmland just west of Cayuga Lake was beautiful, however. Radio Flyer has completed 86 flights for a totaling just over 12 hours of flight time.

9. The Orioles were swept by the Red Sox this weekend and have lost 5 in a row. They are 35-84, .294 and are on track to lose 114 games this season. That is an increase of two additional losses since I last computed the dismal number. They have returned to being the 30th best team in MLB.

10. On this Day. Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.

HEADLINES

Rally by White Nationalists Was Over Almost Before It Began - The New York Times


World stocks hit one-month low as Turkish rout spreads - Reuters


RONALD REAGAN QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Golf in the Rain

Mike, Jeremy, Me
August 11, 2018
It was a rainy start to the 5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic, but we got the tournament played after a two-and-a-half hour rain delay.

We started and played the first five holes in a rainstorm, but that actually was good because our team was five under after seven holes and definitely in contention.

The team, consisting of me, Jeremy, Mike, and Andy played well together.  Generally, someone made a critical stroke when other shots went astray. Andy's chip in for birdie was an especially nice shot.

We actually won the Skins with a birdie on 18 and donated our winnings back to the scholarship fund.

The day actually finally cleared off and turned into a beautiful golf day. While we didn't win the tournament, we had a lot of fun and helped to contribute money for Troy's scholarship fund.

— Bob Doan, Writing from Danby, NY

Saturday, August 11, 2018

California Fire Reflection

Last evening's spectacular sunset over Central New York was aided by the California fires. It is being reported that smoke from the fires in the upper atmosphere contributed to the color and depth of the sunset.

It is very strange that the results of such widespread destruction could be part of something so beautiful. I was lucky to have Radio Flyer ready to fly and image the incredible colors.

Radio Flyer just hovered and took images as the sunset deepened. Sometimes I refer to sunsets as fire in the sky, yesterday it was truer than I knew.

The colors were spectacular and I was glad to have seen the sunset and enjoyed its beauty.

— Bob Doan, writing from Danby, NY

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why I Play


The weekend in upon us again!

Chris and I are headed off to Upstate NY later today for the 5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic. This is an annual tournament done to bolster the scholarship fund established in memory of our nephew. 


I enjoy playing the tournament and contributing to the scholarship fund. Chris and I are sponsoring a hole again this year as well. 

It is always nice to reconnect with family and friends who come out to support the tournament as well as remembering Troy and his quick wit and love for golf. It is because of Troy that I took up the game of golf and discovered something that I had been missing for most of my life. 

My first true golf experience was participating in the 1st Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic. I played with borrowed clubs and shoes. It was a frustrating experience, but my teammates were very forgiving and supportive and I realized that golf is a great sport that combines a lot of mental thought along with physical performance; hence it is a complete game. 

Not only that, every time I play a round of golf I think of Troy and give thanks that he gave me his favorite sport to enjoy.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orioles Thursday - August 9th


Baseball remains my favorite professional sport, despite the failure of the Orioles this season.

I admit, golf is moving up the ladder since I also get to play golf and appreciate the sport from a participant standpoint.

But, it is Thursday and time to check in on the Orioles as the season is beginning slide into the final stages. 

Last evening the Orioles pulled off a late-inning rally to win 5-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays. It is something that they have not done a lot of this season. 

The Orioles (35-79, .307) are now tied with Kansas City as the 29th best team in MLB. Please remember that there are only 30 MLB teams. they have been playing .500 baseball for the past few weeks and have lowered they expected total losses for the season to 112!

Update on some of the Orioles players who are now wearing different uniforms:

Manny Machado is only hitting .274 in 18 games for the Dodgers. He was hitting .315 with the Orioles.

Jonathan Schoop in 6 games with the Brewers is hitting .120. He was hitting .261 with the Orioles.

Maybe the Orioles picked a good time to make some significant roster changes?

As football season ramps up, Baltimore will turn purple and begin following the Ravens. I, however, will continue watching the Orioles and hoping that it gets better next season. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Storm Clean-up



Pool Debris
August 7, 2018
I am amazed that a short-duration storm can cause me to spend hours doing clean-up.

Pool Debris 2
August 7, 2018
It happened last evening. A fast moving thunderstorm zipped through with some powerful winds and I spent most of the rest of the evening cleaning up--especially restoring the pool to its pre-storm luster.

This morning, I am happy to report, the pool is crystal clear. But, it took work. The trees around the pool were severely shaken by the winds and gave up their leaves and debris in copious quantities. 

Perhaps I was a bit misguided a few years ago when I planted a crepe myrtle tree near the pool fence, it spews blossoms into the pool continuously during August. I do enjoy the bright late-summer color that it provides, however. 

That written, the storm is over and the clean-up completed, I have another day and I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the promises that it brings. 

I just wish I could have a lanai over the pool like the homeowners in Florida. It would make life so much easier.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Are You Embarrassed?


I have been avoiding politically charged blogs for a while now, but can hold it back no longer.

I am embarrassed.

I am an American and I am a patriot. I have devoted my adult life to supporting and defending our country.

I feel that I am experiencing the decline and fall of the Roman Empire all over again. We have an executive branch which daily provides mixed messages tinged with only a hint of the truth, a Congress that is more concerned with partisan politics than seeing the elephant in the room and governing our great nation, and a Supreme Court which is divided and has apparently lost its moral rudder.

This headline caught my eye yesterday: We've never had a president 'incapable of telling the truth,' says former Bill Clinton press secretary - The Week

The United States has gone from being the undisputed leader for other nations to emulate and a force for justice and democracy in the world to the laughing stock of the world as we become so inwardly focused that we cannot or will not see the myriad threat confronting our borders--and they are not immigrants from the south.

Tariffs are for trade war losers.

Walls are for the fearful.

Scapegoats mask failure.

Lies are for the deceitful.

My country right or wrong--I have great hopes for the mid-term elections.The majority of voters in our country need to unite and clearly express their frustration at the way our country has changed during there past one-and-a-half years! Yes, it has only been that long. We are just past the halfway point.

The time to begin change and restore our country is now! Find and support candidates who are devoted to leading our country from a bipartisan perspective.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday Musings - August 6, 2018


View from the 18th Tee Box
Whiskey Creek Golf Course
 Ijamsville, MD
1. The first Monday in August has arrived! At least it came after the first weekend.

The Doors Removed for Replacement
2. Another busy project weekend. Not only did I, with the help of the almost entire family fell a tree, but the broken glass door was replaced, the furnace filters were cleaned, and I got to play a round of golf at a very nice course near Frederick.

3. August started with a lot of rain, a continuation of the end of July, but the weekend was very nice. 

4. Chris and I were lucky to find a perfect replacement door for the one with the broken glass. Fortunately, it took only about an hour to perform the replacement and clean up the glass.

5. Poison ivy is no fun, just ask Chris.

The Sliding Patio Door Installed
6. The Orioles have won a few games of late. They are 5-5 for their last 10 games and are projected to lose 113 games this season, if they continue playing as well as they have been of late. They are 1/2 game from becoming the 29th best team in baseball!

7. On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

8. Joke of the Week: A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?" The survey was a huge failure. In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant. In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant. In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant. In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant. In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant. In South America they didn't know what "please" meant. And in the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.


HEADLINES

Steel Giants With Ties to Trump Officials Block Tariff Relief for Hundreds of Firms - The New York Times





Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. – Ronald Reagan

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Down it Came


The Ash Tree Designated for Removal

Beware of the home owner with a chainsaw and the willingness to use it.
Patrick on the Chain Saw

The team assembled yesterday to remove one of the dead ash trees lining the yard. Patrick, Tina, and Jeremy assisted Chris and I in the felling and removal.

With the exception of about 15 feet of the trunk, the entire tree was removed in about an hour through the hard work of the team. There is now plenty of wood for the fire pit!

The entire tree would have been removed had there not been a nail deep inside of the ash tree that dulled the saw blade. I have purchased two new blades and will be buying a sharpening kit soon. The final pieces should be removed today.

There is something fascinating when a tree is felled. That last moment when the tree changes from defying gravity by reaching for the sky to when it becomes so much wood lying on the ground to be cut and removed is a sad one as a long time friend that has provided shade beauty is finally lost.

But it was time, the tree had succumbed to the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Another gift from China.

Soon the tree will be warming cold nights in its final form as firewood.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Will the Rains End Soon?


Northeast Weather Map
August 4, 2018
The rains across the Northeast may finally be ending today.

I know that my lawn is drenched, but I was able to get the tractor out and mow yesterday during a break in the storms. At least I will not be faced with a jungle when the sun finally dries the grass.

Trees have been falling and doing lots of damage during this wet period. The floods are real and the threat of dams breaking are likewise real. It has been a very wet period in the Northeast while the west is suffering from incredible heat. I wish we could even it all out.

I had thought that it would be dryer this morning, but that does not seem to be the case. The lawns were drenched by overnight rains. It remains dark and gloomy.

There is a rumor that the sun may shine soon. I am anxiously waiting for it in a too wet world. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 3, 2018

Broken Glass--The Saga Continues


The project of last evening was to determine the best approach to fix the broken glass in the sliding patio door.
Me Taking and image of the Broken Glass Pane

Through an unfortunate accident that occurred two weeks ago and detailed in my blog entry titled Broken Glass, one pane of the double pane sliding glass door leading to the pool was broken. We have been living with the glass pane taped to allow use of the door and to prevent the tempered glass from falling out. 

It is a trashy, unkept look and it needs to be corrected--especially before the hot weather returns or winter arrives.

It is hard to find companies that can replace broken glass. We received one estimate and it was over $600 and would not restore the insulating gas between the glass panels of the door.

We remembered that we bought the sliding door unit at either Lowes or Home Depot and last evening we visited both stores to see if we could find a matching door. We struck out at Lowes, but hit what we believe is the jackpot at Home Depot. We were able to purchase just the moving panel with blinds for the unit that we believe is the same, or nearly the same, as ours. We knew we purchased the new sliding patio door unit during 2014 or 2015 and so it was not all that old. 

Installation will be attempted on Saturday! Hopefully. If it all works, we will have replaced the door for about $330 and it will be just like new. Or better.

Here's hoping!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Where has the Week Gone



Possible Spotted Beet Webworm Moth
July 21, 2018
Danby, NY
I can tell that I am having a busy week at work. I am coming home tired and have not snapped an image on my phone since the one on Monday morning of the bushes to be recycled loaded and ready in my truck.

Some weeks are just like that, busy. It does make the work days fly by, however.

I was reviewing my images from the past month and ran across this moth/butterfly imaged in Upstate NY. I did my best to identify it and believe that it may be a spotted beet webworm moth. I thought the identification would be very easy given the white spot on the underside, however, the identification charts seem only to show the top view of the insects.

I have not flown Radio Flyer in almost two weeks! Although my drone accompanied me on the weekend trip to Antietam and Harper's Ferry, it is not legal to fly in a National Park Service controlled area. I would have flown around the hotel we stayed in, but it just wasn't not that photogenic.

I hope to change that this evening. It is Thursday.

As an aside, the Orioles are 5-5 for their past 10 games and have lowered their expected loss total to 112! How exciting is that? They remain the 30th best team in MLB and are only 1.5 games from being the 29th best team.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July is Gone


Fireworks at Big Cork Vineyards
July 28, 2018
August has arrived! There is just no way to stop the progression of the months.

Looking Down the Tracks
Harper's Ferry Station
July 29, 2018
Of course, July is my favorite month of the year! And now it is gone. 

I am amazed how quickly July passed. Perhaps it is because I was busy and there were some nice periods of good weather, although it was the second wettest month on record in the Baltimore area. Interestingly, July 1955 holds the record for the wettest July on record with two tropical storms/hurricane remnants passing through the region.

We just had a lot of rain during July.

July 2018 was a busy month. It started with a visit from Mom and Dad to enjoy the fireworks and the 4th of July and it ended with fireworks at Big Cork Vineyards after the concert. I guess the month was full of explosions.

Radio Flyer
July 4, 2018
Radio Flyer also got a few good flights in during the month. It is unfortunate that it cannot fly in National Parks, as there would have been some great shots this weekend.

My drone did have some issues during the month in terms of losing connection, but all-in-all it was a solid month of flying. 


July brought friends and family together for the Independence Day celebration, which was just awesome. Independence Day is fast becoming my favorite holiday as Christmas moves farther down the list. I suppose that if I lived in Australia or somewhere south of the equator that Christmas might be a more enjoyable holiday. But Independence Day in July in the Northern Hemisphere provides the opportunity for swimming, family, baseball, and fireworks. 

In the news, one of the greatest stories on the planet unfolded as 12 boys and their coach were rescued form a cave in Thailand. The drama of that situation played out for weeks before finally ending with the successful rescue.

Sadly, the month ended on a low note as the Orioles dismantled the team by trading Machado, Schoop, Brach, O'Day, and Gausman. The team is rebuilding and the hopes of playoff baseball are now at least four to five years away. 

And that, as Walter Cronkite used to say, is the way it is, July 2018.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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