Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday musing - May 20, 2019

1. For those of us trying to hide from the passage of time, it isn't working. Today is the third Monday of May and we are rapidly closing out the fifth month of the year. 

2. The weekend weather was fabulous. Chris and I worked hard around the house and then, in a moment of great inspiration, cooled off in the pool yesterday. It was our first foray into the pool for the year and the water was great. 

Pool Timer
May 18, 2019
3. The number of small jobs which need accomplishing seems to increase dramatically every day. This weekend I replaced the timer for the pool pump, I rebuilt the pump, I fixed a ground fault in an outlet, and I cut down a tree. 

4. Memorial Day weekend is cruising towards us! It is the first holiday since February!

5. Gas prices are finally falling a bit after rising! I bet they will jack the prices up for next weekend.

6. What are your summer plans? Vacation? Work? It seems that summer is finally upon us! My favorite month of the year is not far off. Bring on July!

7. The Orioles managed to lose 10-0 to the Indians yesterday. Nuff said!

8. It is graduation season. Congrats to all those who have completed their studies this season be it high school or college!

9. Today in History. On this day in 1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nevada, tailor Jacob Davis are given a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: blue jeans.


Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts - The New York Times

Why Working Till Whenever Is a Risky Retirement Strategy - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we're too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.
  -- Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Bone Crushing Defeat

Yesterday was Saturday, and Saturday means baseball. It was a beautiful day for baseball with clear skies, no rain, no wind. Temperatures were in the 80's. 

The GORC U12 Haslup Wildcats played the other GORC U12 team in the Anne Arundel County League.

In short, we the game resulted in a loss 13-8 and the record fell to 4-4-1. It was a depressing loss because our boys are a really good team, but yesterday their lack of energy made simple plays seem difficult. Of course, it is hard to catch up when the team spots the other team fours runs and doesn't begin scoring until the third inning. 

There were highlights! Brian, the catcher, went 3-3 with a double and a triple and 3 RBIs. Cole, a utility player, was 1-1 with two walks and a homer!

Pitching Box Score
May 18, 2019  GORC U12 Haslup Wildcats vs GORC U12 Dispenza

The pitchers did better as a group, getting the walks down to 8 and striking out 9. They also played their position well recording outs at first and at the plate.

It was a difficult loss to take, but it will be growing experience filled with teaching moments.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Breaking the Streak

My Green Lawn
Elkridge, MD
May 16, 2017
While the lawn appreciates the rain and it has become lush and green, I am not a fan of the continual precipitation that the region has been receiving.

It had been fifteen consecutive Fridays in a row with measurable precipitation in the Baltimore region dating back to January 25th--until yesterday dawned. And the streak is broken by sunshine and warm temperatures! Things are actually going to begin drying out, finally. 

The Pool
Elkridge, MD
May 16, 2019
And then there is the pool! The pool has finally achieved clear status and is prepared to host swimmers--well, when I get the temperature above 55 degrees!

I am feeling there onset of summer-like weather! And it is awesome!

Sitting outside with friends last evening I was even attacked by flying insects--and bitten. But, it means that the weather is finally turning warm and dry and that outdoors activities can begin! Cue the sun, the blue skies, and the fun!

It is time to party--OK, well not too much because I have a lot of outdoors projects to accomplish now that the rain has stopped.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 17, 2019

Watching and Waiting

Staring out the Bedroom Window
May 16, 2019
Last evening I arrived home before Chris and conducted my usual activities. I let the dogs out and gave them treats before heading to the bedroom to change. As I was changing from work clothes into leisure clothes, I turned and noticed Finnegan perched upon a pillow looking intently out the window.

I wondered what had captured his interest. 

I looked out the window and saw nothing of great interest and then I realized what had captured his attention. Chris was away from the house and her faithful dog was staring out the window in anticipation of her imminent return. 

She did not disappoint him as she arrived a few short minutes later. It was then that Finnegan began whining and barking began as he prepared to greet her.

A dedicated dog and a faithful friend!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bright Orb in the Sky

The bright orb in the sky returned yesterday. Finally. It was a day with no rain, or little rain and I was able to enjoy a brilliant blue sky as I walked into work. IT was cold, 43 degrees, as I went to work, but the bright sun made up for the unseasonably cold weather.

The bright day raised my spirits and ended with a glorious sunset which I could not photograph because I was driving--but it was beautifully stunning. 

Not everyone is happy with the sunshine. 


Some people like the dark gloom, but I prefer sunlight. I was able to complete mowing the lawn which Chris had started. The tractor and mower deck worked like a champ. The new blades made the lawn look fantastic. 

I look forward to more good weather today. It is supposed to be full of more sunshine! And warmer temperatures. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Victory Slips Away

Martin at First Base Against the Seahawks
May 14, 2019
Baseball is a tough sport. It is also a team sport and while it may appear that one player made the difference, in truth, that one player was able to make the difference because the other members of the team did their job to allow that one player to be in the right place at the right time. 

Wildcats vs Seahawks
May 14, 2019
Last night, victory slipped from the grasp of the GORC U12 Haslup Wildcats against the South River Seahawks.  The disappointing finish was a team effort caused by little things during the entire game. 

 The game was not a loss, and thankfully a great play at the plate preserved a tie as the game was slipping away as quickly as the daylight was fading during the home half of the 6th inning.

Victory was lost because of the missed offensive opportunities. These included base runners who were slow to take advantage of defensive misplays and missed signs. But offensively the team had nine hits including one double. There was massive shot off the bat that was miraculously caught deep in right field or else additional runs would have scored. Defensively, with the exception of surrendering 12 walks, the team was solid and there were some great plays including two double plays. The team only surrendered one hit to the other team.

The computer generated game recap can be found on Game Changer

Baseball is a tough game and our guys are learning that they are baseball players and not playing baseball. We will work on the small things that could have helped to preserve the victory tonight in practice!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rainy Dog Day Afternoon

Mother's Day was a rainy washout. 

We sat around the afternoon wishing that the rain would stop--it never did. 

There were four adults and four dogs, along with two cats in hiding, looking for activity. We did play a game, but that only lasted so long. 

As it turned out, Rex, Patrick's dog, provided some much needed comic relief as Chris, Tina, and Patrick played monkey in the middle. 

Rex was a good sport about it. I think he enjoyed the attention. He seems to have boundless energy. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Musings - May 13, 2019

1. It is Monday again, the second Monday of May and it has been raining nearly non-stop in the Baltimore region for the past 36 hours!

2. Our Mother's Day celebration spanned two days, culminating yesterday on the actual day. Chris was able to visit with all of our children and two of three grandchildren.

Finnegan Eating Corn-on-the-Cob
May 12, 2019
3. Dreaming of being in Florida has become a family pastime.  Much of there family is planning getaways to the condo and I will be posting an availability calendar to assist them with finding available dates. 

4. Amazon promised a delivery yesterday and it did not arrive. I am wondering why?

5. My pool is open and the water looks inviting, it is just a bit cold as the temperature this morning is about 47 degrees! It is May--it is not supposed to be this cold in the morning. And raining.

Flamingo at the Baltimore Zoo
Taken by Chris
April 15, 2019
6. Finnegan has developed a taste for corn-on-the-cob. He really got into eating it yesterday.

7. I remain fascinated by Flamingos. Chris finally shared some of the images she captured at the Baltimore Zoo during 

8. I have noticed that as traffic on the highway gets slower, the driving gets worse.

9. Today in HistoryOn May 13, 1846, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly votes in favor of President James K. Polk’s request to declare war on Mexico in a dispute over Texas. Under the threat of war, the United States had refrained from annexing Texas after the latter won independence from Mexico in 1836. But in 1844, President John Tyler restarted negotiations with the Republic of Texas, culminating with a Treaty of Annexation. The treaty was defeated by a wide margin in the Senate because it would upset the slave state/free state balance between North and South and risked war with Mexico, which had broken off relations with the United States. But shortly before leaving office and with the support of President-elect Polk, Tyler managed to get the joint resolution passed on March 1, 1845.Texas was admitted to the union on December 29. While Mexico didn’t follow through with its threat to declare war, relations between the two nations remained tense over border disputes, and in July 1845, President Polk ordered troops into disputed lands that lay between the Neuces and Rio Grande rivers. In November, Polk sent the diplomat John Slidell to Mexico to seek boundary adjustments in return for the U.S. government’s settlement of the claims of U.S. citizens againstMexico and also to make an offer to purchase California and New Mexico. After the mission failed, the U.S. army under Gen. Zachary Taylor advanced to the mouth of the Rio Grande, the river that the state of Texas claimed as its southern boundary.

What's in the News

Trump’s go-it-alone approach on trade, immigration poses economic risks - The Washington Post

Saudi Arabia says oil tankers hit off UAE coast, Iran calls for probe - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will. 
  -- Ronald Reagan

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Morther's Day - 2019

Happy Mother's Day!

Although the day dawned gray and rainy, it is still Mother's Day and time to pause and recognize the sacrifices that our Mothers have made to make us healthy and well-adjusted adults. In my case it definitely was not a part-time job, but a full-time endeavor.

Mom with Nicole, Patrick and Jeremy
This year I want to highlight my Mother and all that she is and means to her family and to me. She is a stalwart prayer warrior and a compassionate supporter of her children and her grandchildren. She is always available to listen and give reasoned and wise advice to help us face the problems of the day.

Here is to my Mom! 

Enjoy your day because you are special and deserve it!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 11, 2019

15 in a Row and Counting!

I just need to document this weather fact for posterity.

It rained yesterday--Friday, May 10th.

While rain is not an unusual event in and of itself, it is part of a chain of events that is unusual and requires documentation. 

It has now rained in the Baltimore region fifteen Fridays in a row! It certainly appears that were are on the way to see another wet Springtime and Summer--much like last year.

Here are the headlines from local TV channel 2 WMAR:

HERE WE GO AGAIN-Going For 15 Fridays With Rain

Rain chances increase by Friday and the weekend...

The article goes on to write that its is will be 15 Fridays with more than just a trace of rain! Has the rainy great Northwest moved to the mid-Atlantic? I hope not.

Tie result of the rainy weekends has been my golf game remains in my bag in the garage. I have not played golf in over a month.

The good news is that the long range forecast suggests that next Friday, May 17th will be mostly sunny with no rain in the forecast, yet! I'll believe it when I see it!

Where did I leave my umbrella?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 10, 2019

Orioles Friday

It is time to look in on the progress of the Orioles season and see what the team is up to this week.

I have not actually been to an Orioles game in person this season yet, although I am planning on attending a game on May 23rd. It is an afternoon game against the Yankees--a team whose name I usually do not mention, but this season it does not matter, I am not expecting more than a whimper from what they are calling the Baby Orioles.

They have been spanked pretty soundly lately. 

The Orioles are 3-4 for the month of May--which is respectable. They started the month by splitting a double header against the White Sox, then they split a rain shortened series against the Rays, 1-1, and lost a series again the Rex Sox 1-2. 

The Orioles are the 28th best team in baseball at 13-24, .351. If they remain on this pace they will end the season at 57-105, which is better than last year's finish, but still with 105 losses which, by the way, is the number of losses I predicted before the season began. I should be a baseball writer.

Chris Davis has raised his batting average from .000 to .176. He had a hot streak but has significantly cooled in recent days. He has been hitting .294 since ending his hitless streak and had managed 3 homers.

The week ahead should be tough. The Angels (17-20) are coming to town for the weekend and then the Orioles go on the road to the Yankees (22-15) for three games, followed by four games in Cleveland against the Indians (20-16). 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Eyes in the Sky

The Edge of the Clouds
May 8, 2019
Windmills on a Ridge
May 8, 2019
I had the opportunity to fly to Cincinnati yesterday. I was crammed into a small airplane and forced to sit in a window seat. Fortunately the flight was short. 

Baltimore was covered in clouds, but about halfway to my destination, the clouds parted and I was able to do some airborne sightseeing. 

I found the edge of the cloud bank that had been covering Baltimore, although I have no idea where it was, but my day in Cincinnati was beautiful and bright. Baltimore remained cloud covered all day and was similarly cloud-covered when I returned.

I enjoyed doing sightseeing from the air in an airplane with minimal air conditioning which was very stuffy and plain hot! It kept my mind off my discomfort. Delta says that they are going to ask me for my opinion of their service. You might imagine how I will be responding.

Cincinnati, Ohio
May 8, 2019
Flying over downtown Cincinnati, I was able to see the stadiums along the Ohio River which host sporting events that I enjoy watching.

I continue to prefer aisle seats rather than the window. I felt confined in the window seat and the heat inside the aircraft did not help. But my camera worked great and I took advantage of having the window next to me.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Season Continues

Officially, the score of last evening's game between the GORC 12U Haslup Wildcats and the Crofton - Coach Mitchell was 1-0, by forfeit. Sadly, the Crofton boys were short one player and the umpires enforced the rules that they had to have a complete roster of 9  to begin the game. When Crofton's 9th player did not arrive within 15 minutes of the officially designated start time, the umpires declared the forfeit, took their money, and departed.

But, that is when the game began. The coaches decided to scrimmage.  Since we were all dressed and ready to play, why not actually play some baseball. The teams played a four inning scrimmage which saw the Wildcats leading 17-9 when we were finally forced from the field due to darkness. It was some of the best practice that the team has had and everyone was loose and the boys really started hitting the ball. 

It turned into a long evening, but everyone had fun. Perhaps the best play of the night was made by Crofton as they picked off Jax on 3rd base. It was a great play. I was coaching 3rd and I didn't even see it coming. We both learned something from the play.

When darkness fell about 8:15 PM and we could no longer see the ball, the scrimmage was ended. Sadly, this was the only scheduled meeting between the teams and we do not get to play a real game against them on their home field.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Duck in the Street

Duck on the Street
Annapolis, MD
May 4, 2019
Saturday evening we enjoyed dinner at a local pub in Annapolis. We sat outside at the tables as the inside was crowded with people watching the unfolding Kentucky Derby drama. The evening was nice in terms of temperature and we were able to watch ducks mooch for food along the street. 

There was one duck that was very adept at getting people to throw food towards it. It was very personable and there was a small boy that was totally fascinated by the duck and his parents provided the duck with numbers french fries. Not a very good diet for a duck, but then french fries are not a good diet for people either. 

But, the boy enjoyed the duck and the duck received a reward for its street antics.

It was both amusing and entertaining. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Musings - May 6, 2019

1. Welcome to the first Monday in May. 

2. What a weekend, I have a broken mower deck on my lawn tractor, I had a dead battery in a vehicle, and I enjoyed not having to be outside in the rain yesterday.

Lilac Bush
Elkridge, MD
May 3, 2019
3. The pool is clearing up nicely. Now if the temperatures would just warm up, we can enjoy swimming.

4. Our lilac bush is finally blooming and filling the air with its sweet fragrance. Our bush is a late bloomer and many other lilacs have already bloomed.

Gray Tree Frog
Elkridge, MD
May 4, 2019
5. I found a gray tree frog on the deck on Saturday. I relocated it from the deck to a safer location, although being a tree frog I should not have worried that it would fall off the deck. 

6. It is very frustrating to be in the middle of mowing the lawn and have a critical spring break on the mower deck! The lawn is half mowed awaiting the spring to get the mower deck working again.

7. I have noticed that the mapping programs I use to go places that i am unfamiliar with sometimes route me in what seems to be a circuitous manner. I wonder why? 

8. It rained all day yesterday. I am happy that Chris and I had planned indoors activities. Sadly, however, it was another weekend without swinging my gold clubs as the small, white and frustrating ball.

9. Today in History. On this date in 1994, In a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.


After Intense Fighting in Gaza, Israel and Palestinians Observe Ceasefire - The New York Times

Two U.S. warships sail in disputed South China Sea - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: ``We the People.'' ``We the People'' tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us. ``We the People'' are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ``We the People'' tell the government what it is allowed to do. ``We the People'' are free.  Farewell Address to the Nation, January 11, 1989

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bats Awaken

The win streak is now three. After starting the season 0-3, the GORC 12U Haslup (Wildcats) are now 3-3 after a hard fought 16-11 win over Crofton - Coach Plummer. 

The box score only partially reflects the hard fought victory. The six runs scored during the third and fourth innings are significant because that is the maximum number of runs allowed to be counted during an inning, until the unlimited sixth inning. It means the team scored six (or more) runs before getting three outs. In fact, the Wildcats scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning due to a massive three-run homer, but only six could be scored for the game. 

Jax Warming-up for the Fifth Inning
May 4, 2019
The team started by giving Crofton the lead at during the first inning and that held until the bottom of the third when the Wildcats took the lead for the first time, 10-7. Crofton regained the lead during the top half of the fourth, 11-10, but that lead was short lived as the Wildcats exploded for eight runs during the bottom half of the fourth and that is when Brian hit his massive three-run homer.  

Jax came in to secure the win by pitching the top half of the fifth inning. He faced 5 batters, walked 2, struck out 2 and allowed no runs. 

The game was called because of the two-hour time limit with the home team Wildcats winning after the top of the fifth inning. 

It was a hard fought complete team victory. The boys are beginning to gel as a team and trust their instincts while making some great plays.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Extrovert or Introvert?

I conducted an interesting experiment yesterday as I walked into the place where I work at the height of the morning arrival hour. 

We have always joked that most of the people who work there are introverts and are look down at their feet as they walk. 

The extroverts, allegedly, look at other people's shoes. Meaning that they are also introverts.

Yesterday, I arrived at work with one shoe untied. Instead of tying the shoe, I decided to see how many introverts and extroverts were around me. As I walked to my office, I watched the people. I discovered that the extroverts were not looking down at the floor and had their gaze up looking into my eyes or down the hallways and did not notice my shoelace. 

The introverts noticed my untied shoe and looked at their own feet wondering whether their shoes were similarly untied. 

There was one confused introvert who saw my shoe, looked at me and then gently advised me that my shoe was untied.

Of all of the people I passed, only one brave soul was able to let me know my shoe was untied.

Suspicions confirmed. Most of the people working with me are introverts.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Thunder Booms--The Movie Plays

The region experienced its first really warm and humid day of the year. The temperatures were in the upper 80's--my car thermometer indicated 90 degrees, but it had been sitting in the sun.

Along with the hot, humid temperatures came the afternoon thunderstorms. They were full of rain, but little wind. It is afternoon during late Spring--well maybe it is mid-Spring. 

The rain cleansed the earth. I love the smell of the outdoors after a cleansing rain. The smell of the earth, the mulch, and the clean air. It was not crisp, clean air as it was warm air. The rain was even warm as it splashed again my face as I was running to the theater. 

Chris and I took the afternoon and evening to finally attend a showing of Avengers: Endgame. We bought the tickets on Saturday and saw the movie last evening. It is the movie everyone is seeing but no one wants to talk about. No one wants to spoil the ending. Chris made me watch Avengers: Infinity War before going see the current movie. It was a good choice and I heartily recommend seeing the movies in order. The current movie picks up where Infinity War left off and if you have not seen the first, you will be lost during the Endgame. 

I will not write of the movie, except to say that it is definitely worth seeing at least once! Yes, it is a long movie, but that is what a tub of popcorn is for!

Recommendation: See Avengers: Endgame. It really is a good as everyone says, no kidding.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sliding Through the Months

May arrived yesterday, barely noticed during the flurry of activity that has become my daily life. 

The days are slipping by at an incredible pace and the arrival of May meant that 2019 is already 1/3 complete. My pool is only just now open, but at least I do not need to worry about opening it this weekend as I had originally planned many months ago during the deepest part of the Winter.

May Day was the nearly world-wide holiday for workers celebrated yesterday. Most of North America does not celebrate the day, but in the rest of the world it is quite the Spring holiday. May Day and International Workers Day, although both celebrated on May 1st are not the same holiday!

While the rest of the world was celebrating the arrival of May, we here in the U.S. were working, barely taking notice. 

In celebration of May Day, I was on a baseball field last evening with most of my team, working out getting ready for Saturday's game--which stands a good chance of being rained out given the arrival of thunderstorms during the next couple of days. 

But, at least May has arrived! The days will push past 14 hours of sunlight on the 6th and I may even be able to get in some twilight golfing--when it is not raining.

Happy May! May the skies be clear and your days be long.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Offense and Defense Equals a Win

The team took to the field for our first away game of the season last night. The weather was warm and it seemed to warm up the bats and the inspiration the team as the GORC 12U Haslup cruised to a five inning win over the Anne Arundel County Harundale Rebels Recreational,17-5.

Box Score from the Game

Looking into the GORC Dugout
Corkran Middle School
Glen Burnie, MD
April 30, 2019
The game was another complete team win which saw GORC throw out four runners at the plate and turned in an improbable double play that started with a ball hit deep to Michael in center field. The hitter tried to stretch the hit into a double and play continued as Michael got the ball to Sawyer, the shortstop, covering second base, who tagged the hitter out trying to advance and then threw a strike to Preston, the catcher, who tagged out the runner attempting to score. Score the play 8-6-2, as I recall it. There were many other great plays by the defense during the night, one if which was throwing the batter out who tried to advance to second base after getting a walk. Great defense is just as important as a solid offense and the team had both last night turning in 9 hits and 9 walks.

The game saw Jax's first hit of the season, a double, in a night which saw him go 1 hit in 2 at bats but score 3 runs because he was also hit by a pitch and drew a walk. Jax had a solid pitching outing as well giving up 2 runs on 1 hit with 4 strikeouts, but 7 walks during 3 innings of work. The big player of the night was Sawyer, the shortstop, who hit the team's first homer of the season and went 2 for 3 at the plate with a walk, but more importantly had 5 RBIs. 

The win felt good for the boys and the game was called after 5 innings due to impending darkness.

Tonight is practice and we have a few more things to work on to make the team even better. The written recap of the game can be found at GameChanger

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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