Friday, November 22, 2019

Final Mowing of the Season


Last evening I mowed the lawn!
Ornamental Bush
Elkridge, MD
November 21, 2019

Freshly Mowed Lawn
Elkridge, MD
November 21, 2019
For real on the 21st of November the lawn needed to be mowed to prepare it for winter. The grass had grown and in fact the lawn looks better right now than it looked all summer. The lawn is green--it is just crazy that I had to mow the lawn during November. But, even though it was cold, I had fun realizing that this will likely be the last mowing of 2019. 

After the mowing was complete and the tractor placed in the shed, I took a picture of the lawn and one of the ornamental bushes. The bush takes on the fire red color of the season. We are lucky in that we have not had any snow. The temperatures are cold, but snow, thus far, has not made its way into the region. 

Autumn is sliding into winter. The nights are getting longer and colder. The green lawn reminds me that spring and summer are coming again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Drawbridges


Drawbridge Over Lake Worth
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
In reviewing my photos from the visit to Florida, I happened upon one that I took from the Flagler Museum of a Palm Beach drawbridge. While not a particularly interesting image by itself, as I reflected upon the subject and the region I realized drawbridges define coastal South Florida. 

I remember that as a kid I was fascinated by drawbridges. Ithaca did not and does not have any. Seeing one for the first time, I think I was in college, was a fascinating experience, it was almost like the first time I happened upon an escalator, I just wanted to stop and watch the precision of the huge machinery lifting the road to allow maritime traffic to pass underneath. 

Floating Drawbridge
Willemstad, Curacao
July 29, 2015
The area where I reside in Florida when I escape to the south is replete with drawbridges. Sometimes, I believe they have it in for me and seem to open at the most inopportune times. There is one particular drawbridge that I traverse multiple times per day and I clearly remember one day that it was open fully fifty percent of the time I attempted to pass. And as you are likely aware, drawbridge openings are not a short affair. It takes a good 5-10 minutes for the entire cycle to complete. 

One of the most fascinating drawbridges that I have seen was in Willemstad, Curacao. That bridge opened by sliding away in the water. It was a floating drawbridge.  Against the colorful town, it was a sight to see and enjoy. 

I will have to become used to the open and closing of drawbridges as I spend more time in South Florida as they are a way of life for the coastal communities. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Palm and the Cactus


My Palm Tree
Tequesta, Florida
November 19, 2019
Waking yesterday morning in Florida and being treated to a clear blue sky and warm sunshine was a perfect send-off and ending for my two weeks away from the north. I felt compelled to take a picture of my palm tree--the one that I park the car next to  in my drive when I am there. It is not a huge palm tree, as palm trees go, but I must be mindful of it as I back the car into the drive. I additionally use the palm to position the car so that I do not back into the garage door. 

Thanksgiving Cactus
Elkridge, MD
November 19, 2019
After an uneventful plane ride to Baltimore, Chris and I entered our home and were treated to our Thanksgiving Cactus in full bloom for the upcoming holiday. We knew that the cactus would likely bloom during our time away, but thought that it would be complete by the time we returned. We were happy that was not the case. It was a joy to round the corner into the family room and see the cactus brightening the space with its blooms. 

The house is decorated for Thanksgiving, however, we will likely begin the Christmasification process this weekend. It is the season! I usually install the exterior Christmas lights on Veterans Day, however, this year I was enjoying the sun and warmth of Florida on that holiday. So now the work begins. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
   (I do not know why I prefer to write out Florida, but abbreviate Maryland as MD)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Last Sunset

Sunset to the South Over the Beach
Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 18, 2019

Sunset to the East Over the Atlantic Ocean
Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 18, 2019
Last evening Chris and I continued our ritual of saying good-bye to the ocean. This is something that we do at the end of every trip as a way of recognizing the end of the vacation and fixing in our minds that last image of the ocean waves crashing on the beach. Last evening the surf was definitely strong and the ocean was angry. We have observed a lot of beach erosion during our visit. All of the beaches we visited have shown signs of erosion from the pounding of the surf. 

Jupiter Lighthouse Looking to the West
Intra-coastal Waterway
Jupiter Island Florida
November, 18 2019
Sunset to the West
Intra-coastal Waterway
Jupiter Island Florida
November, 18 2019 
But the real joy of last evening, as we visiting the ocean for one last time, was the spectacular sunset. It was one of those rare sunsets that fully encompassed the sky. We looked to the east across the ocean and we could see the reflections of the sunset in the clouds and looking to the south along the beach the sunset was also stunning. When we walked across Jupiter Island to stand on the Intra-coastal Waterway and face fully to the west, however, the sunset was awe-inspiring. It was a sunset to remember and I am very glad that I captured the memory of it in more than a few images. 

It will be a some months before I return to stand in the places where I stood last evening, but the memory of the last sunset will be with me for a while. The sunset was a true example of "raining fire in the sky" that John Denver sings of in his song Rocky Mountain High.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

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.


Headlines

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. 

Crab
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.



Headlines

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

Friday, November 8, 2019

Crowds


Osprey
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019
The beaches were crowded yesterday. Not with people, but with birds. 

A Flock  of Sanderlings (Sandpipers) on the Beach
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019

Chris and I walked the beach in the morning and later during the day went to enjoy the warm sun and relish in the waves crashing on the beach. It is November and we are enjoying time on the beach. And unlike some northern beaches, we are not wearing coats--we are actually more concerned about getting sunburned!

As we stroll the as yet uncrowded beaches, we are able to observe the wildlife. Soon, with the return of the snowbirds, these beaches will see a lot more people. During the afternoon yesterday as we sat on the Jupiter Island Beach, the birds seemed unconcerned by our presence and began to come within a few short feet of where we were. 

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019
Some of the birds are migrating and they are fun to watch. The semipalmated sandpipers were especially friendly even though we were not feeding them. 

Beach Trash
Carlin Park, Jupiter, Florida
November 7, 2019
Chris and I are not just visitors to the beach, but we are committed to trying to clean-up one small piece of the environment. Yesterday, we collected a lot of trash. I am wondering if it is trash from the Bahamas still washing up on the shore after the devastating hurricane earlier this year. We were amazed at the amount of trash washing up on the beach and all of it is a danger to the marine wildlife. Taking it out of the environment is something small that we can so. And yes, we have found a use for the plastic grocery bags. They make a great place to put the trash we are picking up and then depositing all of it in the appropriate receptacle. 

And off to start another day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Escape


Rising Sun Over the Chesapeake
From a Southwest Airlines Jet
November 6, 2019
Chris and I departed yesterday on a pre-dawn flight to escape the impending cold of Maryland and enjoy a last gasp of summer in Florida. We arrived at our Tequesta home before 10AM. Yesterday was a very special travel day--When was the last time you were on a flight and only had 25 passengers in a jet designed for 147? For Chris and I it was yesterday flying from Baltimore to Palm Beach International. When we boarded the aircraft the crew told us to take a row!

Pelicans in Formation
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 6, 2019
Arriving home in Tequesta was a great experience. Although we had to encourage a few renegade geckos to change residences, the house was in great shape. Getting the car started was a problem, but a new battery, delivered and installed by AAA, solved that problem. Once we finally arrived at the beach for a relaxing afternoon, the stress of the past few weeks and of the early travel day drained away and we were greeted by our beach friends--the pelicans and the ospreys. 

Beach Sand Ridge
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter, FL
November 6, 2019
As we expected, the geography of the beach has changed a bit as a result of the hurricane near miss and recent storms. The beach is smaller, but still not crowded. There is a ridge of sand from where the ocean has begun to reclaim the shore. The water was green and rough. It was also warm! While I did not go swimming because of the pounding surf and high waves, I was able to wade in the water and enjoy the ocean at my feet. 

Looking East from Jupiter Island
November 6, 2019
I took some nice images of the beach and the ocean. The rough waves made for good subject material. I enjoyed the pounding surf, but the erosion suffered by the beach has been extensive. Chris and I saw many different treasures along the shoreline--including a wide variety of sponges which have been ripped from their moorings. For some reason, none of the sponges seemed picture-worthy and so there are no images to share. 

We are excited about being in Florida for the next two weeks. I had to chuckle when the weathermen were enthused about the prospect of cooler temperatures arriving during the next few days. What is wrong with mid-80's? I enjoyed the warm day on the beach. At least the cooler temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 70's. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Turkeys Arriving

Turkey Flag in Front of the House
Elkridge, MD
November 3, 2019
The house is decorated for the turkey season. November is a brief pause before the insanity of the Christmas season gets into full swing. However, Chris has already begun planning for the holiday and I must confess that there are gifts already waiting for Christmas Day.

We have a collection of turkeys that have now replaced the Halloween decorations. Turkeys are much more festive and less scary than Halloween goblins. Although, if you have ever been chased by a turkey I'm sure that you might disagree with that thought.

Chris and I are on a flight to our Florida home this morning. As the cold November weather begins to deep into the region for the weekend, we are escaping to our own piece of paradise.

But when we return, it will be almost time to celebrate the holiday by eating a turkey. And the one on the banner gracing the entrance to our home will be laughing g all the way to the container where it will wait in darkness for next season.

— Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Light Art


Interactive Light Art in the Daylight
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
Walking around the Inner Harbor Saturday evening, Chris and I discovered art with lights. They were very creative scenes that employed lights. We had a lot of fun watching them and interacting with them.

Interactive Light Art at night
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
One of the art works involved pedaling bikes to activate portions of the art. It was fun to both interact with the art and the other people. 

The art really changed character as the evening fell. 


And then there were pieces that were larger and we were able to walk into an enjoy. I videoed the following one as Chris walked into it.




It was a fun evening and we had a number of unique experiences. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Musings - November 4, 2019




1. Here we go--the next to last month of the year is here. Welcome November, it is too cold all ready.

2. The GORC Wildcats 12U season ended yesterday with a disappointing doubleheader loss. Well, at least we know what we have to work on during the off-season to get ready for the Spring campaign.

Chris in Front of a Lighted Art
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
3. Welcome Standard Time. I am sure I prefer Daylight Saving Time. It got dark just after 5 PM last evening.

4. Chris and I spent Saturday evening at Baltimore's Inner Harbor enjoying the atmosphere and watching the sunset. After dark, the place came alive with light and color. It was a very enjoyable evening. 

5. Family NFL Results. The next time the league needs to pin a loss on the Patriots, just call on the Ravens, just saying!

   Ravens soundly defeated the Patriots 37-20
   Steelers squeaked by the Colts  26-24 (on a missed field goal)
   Redskins lost to the Bills 9-24
   Cowboys play tonight against the Giants

Baltimore Across the Harbor
November 2, 2019
6. As Chris and I were walking along the waterfront of Baltimore's inner Harbor Saturday evening watching the day fade into darkness, we observed the beauty of the Baltimore Skyline with the lights of the buildings being illuminated and reflecting in the almost still waters of the harbor. It was a scene for a picture, and so, of course, I took one.

Ferris Wheel
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
8. Do you remember what a Ferris wheel looks like at night? It reminds me of Volunteer Firemen Carnivals from when I was young. The excitement of the nights and the lights and the sounds. 

8. Today in History. A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on November 4, 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.
The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies, as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO).



Headlines

A Million D.U.I. Cases a Year, but Breath Analysis Often Fails Test - The New York Times

Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming - The New York Times

Scores injured in chaotic weekend of Hong Kong protests - Reuters

North Korea, U.S. could resume talks in mid-November: South Korean MP - Reuters





Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

May I congratulate all of you who are Members of this historic 100th Congress of the United States of America. In this 200th anniversary year of our Constitution, you and I stand on the shoulders of giants -- men whose words and deeds put wind in the sails of freedom. However, we must always remember that our Constitution is to be celebrated not for being old, but for being young -- young with the same energy, spirit, and promise that filled each eventful day in Philadelphia's statehouse. We will be guided tonight by their acts, and we will be guided forever by their words.

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


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Santa Maria


2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
It was sitting the Baltimore Harbor last night and I recognized her as soon as I saw her tied to the pier. 


2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
It was the full scale 2018 replica of the Santa Maria, Columbus's flagship of the squadron that with the Nina, Pinta are famous for carrying the discoverer to the "New World."

Discovering history through the replicas is a fantastic thing. The Santa Maria is only about 161 feet in length. That is roughly one tenth the length of Oasis of the Seas at 1186 feet. Oasis is a ship that Chris and I have had the pleasure of sailing upon a couple of years ago. The crew of the Santa Maria was estimated to be between 35-45 men. Who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a small wooden ship. 


Looking Down on the Main Deck
2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
She is beautiful, however, The woodwork is amazing and the ship appears sturdy. It, of course, is a floating museum. It is important to understand the conditions that the crew faced on a daily basis. It was not a lot of fun to be a seaman during the late 1400's. Life was tough and perils were found everywhere.

Yet, the small ships and crews found their way around the world. 

I enjoyed coming aboard and exploring the portions of the ship that were open to the public. I was amused that the ship was sporting extensive Halloween decorations, some of which are evident in the images that took. 

It was an enjoyable time delving into history. And after visiting the ship, Chris and I proceeded to enjoy the festivities adorning the Baltimore Inner Harbor for the remainder of the evening.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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