Sunday, March 24, 2019

Leaving it Blank

Driving home from baseball practice yesterday, I passed a sign in front of a in church in Odenton that caught my eye and made me think.

Usually the sign has some interesting statement or Bible verse on it which I believe relates to the weekly activities or the message for the Sunday services. 

I wish I had stopped to take a picture of yesterday's sign. 

I typically look at the sign,  note what it is trying to tell me and drive on thinking no more about the message.

Yesterday, however, it was very different. 

The sign said: "This space intentionally left blank."

That got me thinking. I have seen that phrase, or a similar one, "This page intentionally left blank" in a lot of places.

Here's the rub--if it says that it was intentionally left blank, and the words are written there, is it really blank?

I think not!

If it were really blank, then the page or sign would have not words on it. It would be, well, blank.

What a concept.

So the sign if the sign in front of the church was trying to be blank, but wasn't really blank, then what was the sign really saying? 

Perhaps it was trying to tell me that nothing is really ever blank as there is always something there, we need only to discover the substance. 

Deep. Very deep.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Blue Skies and Cold Giving Way to Political Heat

The weekend dawned clear, bright, cold and windy!

It sounds like a recipe for fun. But, I will shortly sojourn outside to begin work around the house. I actually need to drain the pool again. The water level has become critical due to the continuing excessive rain. Yes, excessive. We received another roughly two inches this week alone. 

The excitement in the country has risen with the completion of the Mueller Report. It is nice to have that behind us and ready to move forward, finally. We will see, finally what are the true contents of this much expected report. I anticipate the volume of political rhetoric will increase to drown out the sound of jet engines before the weekend is through.

I wish we could get past the election behind us and get on with running the country. There are too many hanging "chad" issues out there. We are, as a nation, rapidly becoming irrelevant in the ever changing world because of our political logjam. 

So the blue skies and cold to start the weekend may give way to excessive political heat!

Ride the wave and let the fun begin!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring Training Update

I freely admit that my excitement level for the upcoming Orioles season is far below usual for this time of year. I am one of those people who enjoy the start of the MLB season because anything can happen and there is always a World Series in the possibility as the umpires call "play ball" for the first time.

The Orioles have done well this Spring Training season. They are currently in the middle of the pack with wins and losses at  12-13. I've long since lost track of the ties, I know there were at least two. But their record is very respectable for a Spring Training campaign. The team has shown moments of excitement--but there are still some glaring problems, also known as elephants in the room. 

Chris Davis has picked up where he left off the regular season last year by posting a .148 Spring Training batting average and Mark Trombo is not far behind with a .200 average. Davis is the most egregious with 27 at bats while posting 4 hits, 6 walks, and 15 strike outs! Ouch!!

On the pitching side, Dylan Bundy has posted a 7.98 ERA in 17 innings pitched.

The highest paid players are definitely the bottom feeders of the club right now. It must be nice to have guaranteed contracts so high that the club can neither trade nor cut the lowest performers. 

The one encouraging statistic is stealing. The Orioles have 35 attempts for better than one attempt per game. They had 103 stolen base attempts during all of the 2018 campaign for less than one attempt per game.

Well, opening day is next Thursday in New York City. As I predicted, the Orioles will either arrive on Baltimore for the home opener on April 4th at 0-6 or the best could be 2-4.

Let the season begin!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bright Spots in a Dreary World

Tete-a-tete Daffodils
Ellicott City, MD
March 20, 2019
Happy first full day of Spring! The world is about to undergo a transformation.

The dreary colors of the Winter are about to give way to rebirth and the colors of life. 

Chris and I were out last evening celebrating the arrival of Spring and we came across this small group of Tete-a-tete Daffodils in a garden. We had just ushered in Spring's official arrival at a local wine bar when we came across these small, bright flowers. They were celebrating in their own manner the arrival of the season of rebirth.

There are many things happening right now that celebrate the season's arrival--baseball has begun, daylight saving time has arrived, temperatures are warmer--although still cooler than we desire. There are still many milestones to come such as MLB Opening Day which is next week and pool opening day which is now only 47 short days away. 

It is time to enjoy the transformation of the world as the sun's return warms the earth and the colors of springtime arrive.

Enjoy the day despite the rain!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jeep Mudding

Jeep on the Street
Elkridge, MD
March 18, 2019
While out walking the other day, I spied an older Jeep that looked as if it had been involved in a lot of fun over the weekend.

Yes, it is covered in mud! I remember a few years ago Jeremy and Patrick took their Jeeps, which were new at the time to a Jeep weekend near Ocean City. We had a blast and their Jeeps looked very similar to the one on the street the other day after the weekend of riding through mud pits and traversing an obstacle course. 

Unlike my neighbor, however, we took those Jeeps to a car wash to remove the layers of mud. My neighbor washed his Jeep in his driveway yesterday. I am convinced the mud that came off the Jeep will be slowly going making its way down the street and into the storm sewer system that runs near my backyard for a very long time. 

There is something freeing about getting out and doing some mudding!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring - Leaf Buds
Elkridge, MD
March 18, 2019
After working yesterday, Chris greeted me with the offer to go for a walk with the dogs.

It was a much cooler day, but the sun was shining and the sky was blue. We were treated to a police helicopter circling the neighborhood for most of the walk. We have no idea what was happening, but the helicopter orbited above us for some 20 minutes before flying off. We never heard sirens or any corresponding commotion so we continued our walk with the dogs.

The nice thing about the day was that the signs of Spring were everywhere. The trees are budding, the daffodils are about to bloom and there may even be a hint of color on the forsythia. 

Spring begins at 5:58 PM EDT tomorrow!!!!! 

Today is the last full day of Winter. We will finally be able to throw off the shackles of the dark season and enjoy life outside--of which we have already had a taste.

We actually crossed over 12 hours per day of sunshine on St Patrick's Day. Bring on the season!

Cue the sunshine and flowers. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Musings - March 18, 2019

1. It is now one week since Daylight Saving Time began. I think I have fully recovered from the loss of the hour of sleep. I hope that everyone else has similarly recovered. There were some pretty groggy people last Monday.

Golf Carts at the Ready
Crofton country Club
March 17, 2019
2. What a fantastic weekend. I played golf for the first time in Maryland this year. It was 18 holes in Crofton and the exciting part is that I made a pretty neat birdie on a 30 yard chip shot during the round! I don't get that many birdies so I got pretty excited. OK, so that was the highlight of an otherwise average round, but I got to play!

3. The 78 degree temperatures of Friday really spoiled me for the weekend when the temperatures just crested 50. I am longing for the return of warmer weather. It is coming. I can feel it.

3rd Fairway
Crofton Country Club
March 17, 2019
4. The baseball team I coach posted six hours of practice last week. I don't think that happened at all during last year's season due to the rains. Here's hoping for another good week of practice this week.

5. Who knew that you can get sunburned during March in Baltimore? Well, you can!

6. Traffic is an amazing thing, a trip that takes 20 minutes early on a Sunday morning can take 35 minutes or more on a Friday afternoon.

7. My chainsaw is enjoying the Springtime weather. It is sawing as much wood as I can feed it. 

8. The blue skies and sun are encouraging me to be outside more and more. It is awesome to be in the sun after such a gloomy stretch of weather.  Next, cue the warmer temperatures.

9. Today in History. Nearly 300 students in Texas are killed by an explosion of natural gas at their school on this day in 1937. The Consolidated School of New London, Texas, sat in the middle of a large oil and natural gas field. The area was dominated by 10,000 oil derricks, 11 of which stood right on school grounds. The school was newly built in the 1930s for close to $1 million and, from its inception, bought natural gas from Union Gas to supply its energy needs. The school’s natural gas bill averaged about $300 a month. Eventually, officials at Consolidated School were persuaded to save money by tapping into the wet-gas lines operated by Parade Oil Company that ran near the school. Wet gas is a type of waste gas that is less stable and has more impurities than typical natural gas. At the time, it was not completely uncommon for consumers living near oil fields to use this gas.


Trade Fight With China Enters Overtime, With Tariffs a Costly Sticking Point - The New York Times

No sign of imminent North Korea missile launch: South Korea defence chief - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

I believe we can embark on a new age of reform in this country and an era of national renewal. An era that will reorder the relationship between citizen and government, that will make government again responsive to people, that will revitalize the values of family, work, and neighborhood and that will restore our private and independent social institutions. These institutions always have served as both buffer and bridge between the individual and the state and these institutions, not government, are the real sources of our economic and social progress as a people.

  -- Election Eve Address A Vision for America, November 3, 1980

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 17, 2019

And the Streak is Broken

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May all of your days be green and warm!

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad. 
But never forget to remember 
The things that made you glad

It was much colder yesterday, but despite the weather, which saw temperatures about 25 degrees below Friday, the day was spent mostly outside.

There were many lawn chores to accomplish, gardens to clear, rubbish to remove, and yes, even the tractor made its first appearance on the yard for 2019! I used it to help remove the winter debris and get the yard greening up a bit as warmer temperatures continue to be expected for the remainder of the month. The yard really looked good after the small sticks and leaves were removed. 

At the Batting Cage
GORC Wildcats (Haslup)
March 15, 2019
I also was able to do some car maintenance and changed the cabin air filter in our new (used) 2006 Camry. It looked as if it had not been changed in many years. The new filter will definitely contribute to a cleaner in car air environment.

And then, of course, there was baseball practice. Another almost three hours of fun in the sun. Despite the colder weather, the sun shone brightly and I got a bit of a sunburn, believe it or not, in March! The boys on team Wildcats worked hard and we are getting them ready to begin the spring campaign, which could be in as early as two weeks!

As the day came to an end, the temperatures dropped into the 40's and the wind picked up. We decided to forego sitting by the fire pit and remain in the warmth of our home to watch the sunset. That meant that our streak of consecutive days celebrating around the fire pit was broken. And so the day ended.

It was a full Saturday of activity! And now, onto Sunday! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Portending Summer

Jackson at Baseball Practice
Odenton, MD
March 15, 2019
As I walked though the workplace yesterday morning, I noticed something different, most everyone seemed a bit more enthused about the approaching weekend. Of course it probably helped that I wore an extremely bright Aloha shirt to help get into the weekend mindset, but I am convinced that the positive energy and mood due to more than my shirt. I believe that it may have been the favorable weather forecast coupled with the great week that was rapidly moving behind us.
Chris at Jeremy's Fire Pit
Elkridge, MD
March 15, 2019

Yesterday the temperature soared to about 78 degrees. Although rain had been predicted for the afternoon, none arrived until almost 9 PM. It was a great evening. I coached Jackson's baseball team practice until about 8:00 PM. It was glorious afternoon and the boys turned in a great practice. 

And then a magical thing happened. When I arrived home, I suggested that we enjoy head into the yard to enjoy the fire pit and the warm temperatures.  Chris and I decided that it was a bit late to start a fire, but Jeremy must have been reading my mind and invited us over to enjoy some fire pit time with him. So, we drove to Jeremy's and made it six days in a row around a fire pit. Although the rains arrived shortly after we settled in, we did enjoy some quality time with Jeremy. 

Friday portended the arrival of summer. Cue the sun and heat! Pool opening is a mere 52 days away!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 15, 2019

Five Times in a Week

Fire Pit Warming-up for a Pi Day Celebration
Elkridge, MD
March 14, 2019
It is hard to believe, but the weather has been fantastic now for a week and Chris and I have managed to enjoy our fire pits now for five nights in a row. Even more, we have enjoyed fabulous late-Winter weather that is allowing us outside after being cooped up for most of the winter.
The Wood Pile
March 14, 2019

The best weather of the week was last evening and the fire pit was warming our life until well after dark. The wood pile remains huge, waiting toe be converted into fire pit sized fuel. 

The day was spectacular, in fact, it was a Jaguar day and I drove Cat to work and enjoyed the ride home with the convertible top down enjoying the warm weather and sunshine on my face. It was the first top-down day of 2019 as the temperatures crested 70 degrees for the first time this year, I think!

It was a great celebration for Pi Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Four? Four in a row?

Chris at the Fire Pit
Elkridge, MD
March 13, 2019
Chris and I continued our pre-Spring streak of nights around a fire pit although the sky was not nearly as blue, actually it was cloud covered. The temperature was a bit warmer than the night before which contributed to the ambiance of the evening.

Yes, it is now four nights in a row! A truly amazing statistic given the weather of the past months. To have found four evenings in a row when we could enjoy the fire pit seems amazing? And, truth be told, we are expecting to make it five in a row tonight.

The lawn certainly has that Springtime look to it--mottled green with leaves and debris. It is only now drying enough to think of getting the tractor out on it to begin the post-Winter recovery process. We have been focusing our efforts thus far on reducing the piles of limbs from the trees we had felled during the latter part of last year. The clean-up process is providing a lot of very burnable fuel for the fire pit.

I didn't say it was warm outside, just that the hot fire in the pit made the evening enjoyable. And, as an added benefit, we made it an early evening so I still got to watch the later edition of Jeopardy!

Maybe, just maybe Spring is getting closer! Let's keep the streak going!


Happy Pi Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Three in a Row

It has been a great week thus far.

For three nights in a row, Chris and I have enjoyed happy hour around a fire pit. We have had a "three-peat."

Notice that I did not write, "the" fire pit. Last evening we sat around the propane-fired pit on the pool deck dreaming of summer, pool, fun, and of course warmer temperatures. 

It was cooler than the previous two nights, but the sky remained crystal blue and the Sun is beginning to grace the Earth with its warming rays more regularly. Hopefully, today will bring more of the same, but even a bit warmer.

Yesterday also marked the official beginning of Spring Training for the GORC Wildcat team that Mike and I are coaching. Even though the temperatures were in the 40's, we conducted our inaugural practice and got to put eyes on the boys on our team on the baseball field.

The field was nicely graded and it was a perfect evening under the lights getting back into the swing of my favorite summertime sport. We have to get used to 70 foot bases, however. It is a longer throw for the boys.

Fire pits, baseball, Happy Hour, blue skies. What could be better? Oh yea, palm trees on . . . 

This champagne shore watchin' over me
It's a sweet sweet life livin' by the salty sea
                            -- Lyrics from Knee Deep by Zach Brown Band

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Last Light of a Really Good Day

Tops of the Trees in the Setting Sunlight
Elkridge, MD
March 11, 2019
Last evening Chris and I sat outside, again for the second night in a row. around the fire pit and watched the evening fall. It was warmer, in the 50's and for a change the skies cleared and blue was the color of the evening. 

It was a nice evening. I was able to get my chainsaw out and begin transforming the wood pile from downed trees into pieces of wood suitable for burning. We had about 5 dead ash trees felled before winter because we were concerned that they might fall on their own and do some damage. Now I get to cut them into logs suitable for burning in a fireplace or our outdoor fire pit. After cutting for a while with Chris stacking the logs, we stopped and started a nice fire around which to enjoy a bottle of wine. Then we ordered Chinese actually enjoyed our first meal of the year outside. Yes, it was cool--in the 50's, but very enjoyable. It actually wasn't out first meal outside as we had eaten lunches and dinners outside when we were in Florida during January--but it was the first of the year for Baltimore. It was quite an evening, we went outside to begin cutting wood about 4PM and by the time we finished dinner and talking and let the fire die, it was dark and after 8PM. 

Yesterday was also my first post prostate cancer treatment follow-up with the radiation oncologist. It was time to get the results from the tests that I had done last week. And the results are: everything looks good. It was good to see the treatment team again, we have formed a unique bond, and they were very encouraged by my results which seem to indicate a successful treatment. I get to visit with them every six months for the next five years before they will be able to certify me as cancer free. I have been participating in a study for prostate cancer patients and follow-up and I was told yesterday that I will be getting paid! Who knew! I had thought I was just a volunteer for the study. The pay is not enough to live on or anything like that, but it will buy lunch!

It was a great way to start the middle week of March!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday Musings - March 11, 2019

Maryland Home and Garden Show
Springtime Arrives
March 10, 2019
1. My, how quickly the month is passing. We are already into the middle part of the month. It is exciting and frustrating.
Our Feet
Around the Fire Pit
March 10, 2019

2. Daylight Saving Time began yesterday and it was truly an event. Chris and I were able to sit outside by the fire pit during the evening and enjoy the warmer March temperatures. It did not get dark until after 7PM. Yay.

3. Chris and I went to the Maryland Home and Garden Show yesterday and had a fantastic time. It should be renamed the Home and Wine Tasting Show. There were at least five wineries and one distillery represented. We had a great time and were able to get there early and enjoy the vendors before they got too tired.

4. I am looking forward to a week without too much rain. For a change. I am excited about getting into the yard to begin the Spring clean-up.

5. As the weather warms, so does the excitement of Springtime. Baseball season is underway and that means practice, practice, and repeat!

6. Maybe the last of the snow has visited the Baltimore region for this winter! I hope so.

7. Is there golf in my future? Time will tell!

8. Today in History. On this day during 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease program, which provides money and materials for allies in the war, goes into effect. The Lend-Lease program was devised by Roosevelt as a means of aiding Great Britain in its war effort against the Germans, by giving the chief executive the power to “sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of” any military resources the president deemed ultimately in the interest of the defense of the United States. The reasoning was that if a neighbor was successful in defending his home, the security of your home would be enhanced. It also served to bolster British morale by giving them the sense that they were no longer alone in their struggle against Hitler.


How ISIS Is Rising in the Philippines as It Dwindles in the Middle East - The New York Times

U.S.-backed Syrian force attacks Islamic State enclave - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans."

Source: Reagan's First Inaugural Address.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Now Arriving - DST

Look how late it is already today, and yet the day is just beginning--ah, the joys of Daylight Saving Time (DST). I only just got up with the sun, OK, there is no sun only gray overcast, yet the morning is already slipping away. 

I am encouraged to hear that DST may become the permanent law of the land. An article in The Mercury News, a San Francisco Bay area newspaper, suggests that California may adopt DST permanently and that the entire nation may also decide not to "Fall back." The chief complaint that I have heard about permanent DST is that morning will not dawn until after 9:30 AM for some cities in the U.S. A case in point, however, is Anchorage, Alaska, where sunrise in mid-December is 10:15 AM, and they do not enjoy DST anyway. It seems that Anchorage can deal with it without too many problems.

The day promises to be one of outdoors activity! There are leaves to blow and downed trees to cut, and lawns to fertilize. It is springtime, well almost. And of course there is the home and garden show to attend and dream about what could be!

I continue to find it a bit funny that I fertilize the lawn to grow grass that I then must mow. And that I continue to fertilize the lawn to grow the grass that continues to need mowing. It is a vicious cycle. Who thought of that anyway? But then, who doesn't love the smell of a freshly mowed lawn?

Well, I guess anyone who is not allergic!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Dog and Her Boys

Lily and Jax
March 8, 2019
Lily, the newest canine member of our larger family, apparently has a knack for making sick children feel better.
Lily and Ethan
March 8, 2019

Yesterday was a sick day for two of my grandsons--Jax and Ethan. Chris spent her day nursing them back to health. But, she had help from Lily, their faithful dog,  who comforted each of the sick boys as they napped on the sofa.

It was a touching scene--a a dog and her boy, sleeping together on the sofa together as the boys tried to get better. 

What a great dog Lily has become. She is attentive and loving. She takes great care of her boys! After all, what more can we expect from a dog?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Dark Season Ends

I feel almost as how I imagine the druids felt when the vernal equinox occurred. The dark season is over and cue the sunlight.

Daylight Saving Time (DST), which begins Sunday morning, is the beginning of the return of the light,

Today the Baltimore region will experience 11 hours, 36 minutes and 58 seconds of daylight. The amount of daylight is increasing by more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds per day. We actually cross over the 12 hours per day of daylight on March 17th--it should be an enjoyable St Patrick's Day celebration.

The redistribution of available daylight from morning to evening changes everything! I know that personally, I will feel more invigorated during the evening and will begin to look for life outdoors to begin again. I am already thinking of getting the yard into shape for summer activities.

March is full of celebrations and events:

March 6  -  Ash Wednesday
March 10 - DST begins
March 11 - Johnny Appleseed Day
March 14 - Pi Day
March 17 - St Patrick's Day
March 20 - Vernal Equinox (Spring begins)
March 28 - MLB Opening Day

All of these events and commemorations point to the rebirth associated with Springtime--even Pi Day! Enjoy a pie for me!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Losing Daylight

From Route 100
March and 6, 2019
Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins during the wee hours on Sunday morning while I am sleeping. That event changes the day and the night.

I snapped this image of the sunrise yesterday morning on my way to work. The sun was beginning to rise and flood the world with spectacular colors and light. Day was dawning. 

It loved looking at the clouds and the colors of the sunrise. It was great to be driving to work in sunlight, rather than under the cover of darkness and gloom. 

And then I remembered Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday. Beginning on Monday morning, my daily trek will again occur during the hours of darkness.

But for a couple days, at least, I have been enjoying the light of the morning. It will return again in a month or so, I just need to wait for it.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Jax Celebrates

Jax with his Birthday Cookie
March 5, 2019
Jax celebrated his birthday yesterday. Coincidentally, he also had the day off from school due to parent-teacher conferences.

Jax and Ethan
March 5 ,2019
The day turned into a great celebration for him, lasted the entire day. Chris was able to enjoy the festivities while I was at work. It is rare to get such an opportunity and I am glad that they all were able to celebrate together. 

The party last evening was the frosting on the cake, err cookie! It was a warm family commemoration amid the cold and definitely not spring-like weather. This morning it is a balmy 18 degrees. And it is not expected to become much warmer for a few days.

Happy Birthday Jax! Baseball season is ready to get underway.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Pelicans Posing

Pelicans on the ‎⁨Loxahatchee River⁩
Jupiter, Florida
January 21, 2019
One evening during January, while Chris and I were in Florida, we walked to the end of a dock near a pub that we frequent and enjoyed the pelicans posing for some pictures.
Pelican on the ‎⁨Loxahatchee River⁩
Jupiter, Florida
January 21, 2019

It was funny, really. The pelicans supposed that we had fish or something to feed them and all we had were our cameras to capture the moment. 

There were about six of them that settled beneath the pier and looked at us longingly. The spot where we were standing is used by fishermen to clean their catch as they return from a day on the ocean. The pelicans do enjoy the handouts. 

Chris and I enjoy the pelicans as they fly in formation along the shore, we have labeled them as "Pelicans on Patrol." Every so often, one of them breaks formation and dives into the ocean to catch a meal. 

While the weather was very cool when we were visiting Florida during January, it did not dampen our spirits too much. And the pelicans certainly were entertaining. They certainly were more interesting than trying to watch a movie on TV.  I do wish I was there right now and not suffering with the 20 degree temperature that I woke to this morning. At least there is no snow on the ground!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 4, 2019

Monday Musings - March 4, 2019

1. It is the first Monday of March and the weather forecast for the weeks appears more suited for January. The nightly lows are going be in the teens for the next few days.

2. I am waiting for Spring. Maybe there will be warmth and flowers soon. I see leaf buds on the trees.

3. Although a big snow event was predicted for the overnight hours, I awoke this morning to no snow after a nearly day long rain event.

Danby, NY
March 1, 2019
4. Home ownership is great, except when repairs are needed. For instance yesterday, one of the toilet seats needed replacing. Let me assure you that I do not enjoy playing with toilets!

5. During our quick trip to Upstate New York, we had the opportunity to experience snow and cold. Personally, you can keep that weather. There was not one palm tree in sight.

6. I am frustrated with my Sunday newspaper delivery. It is supposed to be on my driveway by 8 AM and it frequently, as happened yesterday, does not arrive until after 10AM. By then, I am no longer interested in reading as the day is well underway.

7. Ithaca, NY, is a strange place with respect to roads. There is one road that I have used since I was living there to come down the South Hill and for some unexplainable reason the city has closed one of the more important streets connected to it. Go figure. It does have a very difficult about 150 degree turn at the bottom, but people have been making that turn for decades, until recently when they closed off the street. Perhaps modern drivers are not as adept as more mature vehicle operators. My school bus used to make that turn.

8. Today in HistoryOn March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his famous inaugural address, delivered outside the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal”–an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although it was a rainy day in Washington, and gusts of rain blew over Roosevelt as he spoke, he delivered a speech that radiated optimism and competence, and a broad majority of Americans united behind their new president and his radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression.


After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"Our policy of peace through strength has been vindicated wherever it's been tried…the future for world peace is bright if we Americans continue to stand firm, stand tall, and stand for freedom."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Color of Winter

South of Williamsport, PA
Headed North on Route 15
March 1, 2019
Chris and I celebrated the arrival of the month of March by making a quick trip to Central New York to return Mom and Dad. It was quick because we found a break in the oppressive weekend storms and were able to make a dash north on Friday returning yesterday afternoon.

No, It's Not a Black and White Image
The Doan Homestead
Image from Radio Flyer
March 1, 2019
Fortunately, the roads were dry and we only experienced some light snow in the Pennsylvania mountains that created nothing more than a bit of an annoyance.

I flew Radio Flyer, my drone, and obtained some images of my parent's house surrounded by snow. It was fun to fly above the snow, but it was cold so the flight was a short 5 minutes achieving a maximum altitude of 200 feet--to get well above the trees and electric wires.

Birdseye View from Above the Back Yard
The Doan Homestead
Image from Radio Flyer
March 1, 2019
The thing that struck me about the images was the lack of color in the scenes. If you look closely at the image on the left, you will find me in an orange shirt near the lower left part of the image and there is also a black Highlander in the drive with the rear hatch up. Yet the scene seems to be overwhelmed by the contrast of black on white. 

The the lack of color defines the color of the winter, as this scene confirms. I wish there was green or blue in the scene, but winter drains the color from the world. 

Springtime is only 17 days away. I am looking forward to the explosion of color and life that accompanies its arrival.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

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