Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Best Happy Hour

Happy Hour
Intracoastal Waterway, Jupiter, Florida
July 16, 2019
People who know me, understand that I love celebrating Happy Hour and especially enjoying the time with friends. 

The other evening, we observed a great happy hour in Florida with friends that was one of the most memorable in a long time. 

Happy Hour Along the Intracoastal
July 16, 2019
Happy Hour lasted about three hours because the water was flat, the day was warm, and the company was inspiring. That was what made it such a memorable Happy Hour. Coming at the end of a busy day which saw a lot of work accomplished to complete the new Key West room of the condo and so it was nice to relax and enjoy the beautiful ending to the day from the shores of a quiet and picturesque spit of sand along the intracoastal.

We were in sight of the drawbridge connecting to Jupiter Island and there were schools of fish of all sizes in the channel. We did some snorkeling, but the current was swift, I thought it was like doing a drift dive in the Gulf Stream.

It is a good memory from a great time with friends. But now, I'm back in Maryland and headed to a golf tournament tomorrow.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, Maryland

Friday, July 19, 2019

Project of the Day

The Sitting Room
July 18, 2019
Today marks the end of our all-to-short trip to Florida. It was supposed to be a mid-summer vacation and while we enjoyed being away from the heat of the mid-Atlantic region by walking the beach, snorkeling, and visiting new places for happy hour; we did a lot more work on our Florida home than either of us imagined. 

Fran Adding a Junction Box in the Master Bath
Note the White rectangle Where the Old Light unit Resided
July 15, 2019
The big objective for the trip was to receive the chairs for the sitting room and which would complete placing furniture in all of the rooms of the house. We successfully accomplished that objective and have created a very nice sitting room off the kitchen as a place to enjoy morning coffee and to write my blog. The chairs arrived yesterday, as promised by the shipping company, and we were ready to position and place them into service. 

The Master Bath is now the Key West Room
July 18, 2019
But there was so much more we accomplished during the trip. A new light was planned for the master bathroom--and we had purchased the light during our last visit to the house. The problem was that the footprint of the new light unit was significantly different from the existing one and that meant the area behind it would need to be painted to match wall. Well, as it turned out, that became a project that transformed the master bath into the Key West Room. 

Chris Installing the Blades on the Ceiling Fan
July 18, 2019
But wait, there's more. Through a series of discussions it was determined that there needed to be a filing fan in the living room to replace a fairly unbecoming ceiling light. Guess what? Yup, a new ceiling fan was installed and the light unit form the living room in the new sitting room. Chris was right there in them mix helping to get the ceiling fan installed and operational. 

To get the projects accomplished there were the obligatory shopping trips which also included finding more wall art and items to soften the look of the house. Chris tells me we are nearly there! Yay! There are only a couple of projects outstanding life under-counter lighting and lighting for the wall unit. These projects will have to wait for an other trip.

There is so much to do no matter which house I am living in at the moment. Projects seem to be a way of life.

But they keep me busy!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Cup of Coffee

Why does it take longer to drink a cup of coffee than it does to drink a glass of wine?
Fin began Paw Prints in the Sand
Carlin Park Beach
July 17, 2019

My first, and only, cup of coffee of the day lasts over an hour. Sometimes, longer.

My first, of two or three, glasses of wine lasts at most 30 minutes. Why is that?

I am sitting this morning looking at a cup of coffee that I brewed an hour ago--it is cooler now, but I like it that way, and the cup is just under one-half full. I guess it is like walking on a beach with Finnegan, it just takes time. 

Well, since it is my only cup of the day, I guess I should take some time to enjoy it. 

Maybe I should head to the beach now for a quiet walk with the surf and leave the remainder of my coffee for my return?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Racing to an Accident

America is racing full-speed down a road that narrows until a fatal accident occurs. The person at the steering wheel is navigating a course that appeals to the wrong America.

I read a scary CNN article yesterday about the existence of two Americas: 

There's a sobering truth to Trump's racist tweets that we don't like to admit

It is a thought provoking article and makes a good case for the current state of affairs in America.

The article, in part, states:

But Trump's recent tweets could show that he understands America better than his critics realize. 

These two Americas have long co-existed.

One is the country represented by the Statue of Liberty, and its invitation to poor and tired immigrants "yearning to breathe free."

The other is the one that virtually wiped out Native Americans, enslaved Africans, excluded Chinese immigrants in the late 19th century and put Japanese Americans in concentration camps.

Yesterday, the House passed Resolution 489Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

I read the resolution and was pleased to see all of the references to diversity made by the great leaders of America including Franklin, Kennedy and Reagan. 

The Resolution contains the following: Whereas President Ronald Reagan in his last speech as President conveyed “An observation about a country which I love”;

The resolution references and quotes from the speech which were made during the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, I have excerpted portions here:

Yes, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors. It is that lady who gives us our great and special place in the world. For it's the great life force of each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America's triumph shall continue unsurpassed into the next century and beyond. Other countries may seek to compete with us; but in one vital area, as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close. 

This, I believe, is one of the most important sources of America's greatness. We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people -- our strength -- from every country and every corner of the world. And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation. While other countries cling to the stale past, here in America we breathe life into dreams. We create the future, and the world follows us into tomorrow. Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we're a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.

The Resolution appeals to the America that is represented by the Statue of Liberty. I am appalled that more Republicans did not cross party lines, only four did, and support the resolution. I wonder why so many seemingly intelligent people continue to follow the path leading to destruction.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

50 Years Ago - Apollo 11

I remember the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to land men on the moon vividly to this very day, even though I was only 13 years old. I was excited about the greatest adventure in the history of humankind. For the first time, humans were planning to set foot on something other than Earth.

Today, we begin a period of remembering what happened 50 years ago. At 9:32 AM EDT, July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched and the journey began. 

While it seems like ancient history to some, to many others of us the launch, the risk, the journey to the Moon by the brave trio of Neil Armstrong, "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins; was as if we were making the trip along side of them.

The hopes and prayers of all Americans traveled together with the three astronauts. 

Take some time this week to pause and reflect about one of the greatest achievements in human history, and something that has been replicated by no other country on the planet. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Musings - July 15, 2019

1. The mid-point of July is upon us and, sadly, the summer is speeding by and an ever increasing rate, it seems. Don't forget to enjoy the best month of the year!

Flip-flops on the Beach
Home Sound National Wildlife Refuge Beach
July 14, 2019
2. Getting away is a definite requirement for the summer. A mid-summer break from the routine to recharge and relax. Except, sometimes I think I am working harder now.

3. Sitting on the beach yesterday, I was napping and enjoying the soothing sounds of the waves hitting the shore. I also spent a lot of time in the water enjoying the undulations of the waves. It seemed that my flip-flops were calling to me to walk to down into the ocean.

Moon Over Our House in Tequesta
July 14, 2019
4. Walking the beach in Jupiter yesterday morning, Chris and I notices that numbers, and I mean a lot, of turtle had come ashore overnight to make nests and lay eggs. We wondered it the bright moon was partially responsible. Last evening, I managed a moderately good image of the moon over our house.

5. The Orioles began the post-All Star game campaign by losing 2 of 3 to the Rays and nearly having a perfect game pitched against them yesterday. Things are not looking any better for the second half of the season. They remain on track to lose 114 games this season. 

6. I wish we could find the way back to a "kinder, gentler nation."

7. It is amazing how hot there sand can get on the beach as it bakes all day. 

8. Today in History. On this day in 2006, the San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr—later changed to Twitter—its short messaging service (SMS) for groups, to the public. Born as a side project apart from Odeo’s main podcasting platform, the free application allowed users to share short status updates with groups of friends by sending one text message to a single number (“40404”). Over the next few years, as Twttr became Twitter, the simple “microblogging” service would explode in popularity, becoming one of the world’s leading social networking platforms.


Trump Fans the Flames of a Racial Fire - The New York Times

China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings - The New York Times

Hong Kong leader says protesters in latest clashes can be called 'rioters' - Reuters

Britain sees 'small window' to save nuclear deal, Iran presses Europe to act - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The problems we're overcoming are not the heritage of one person, party, or even one generation. It's just the tendency of government to grow, for practices and programs to become the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this Earth. [Laughter] And there's always that well-intentioned chorus of voices saying, ``With a little more power and a little more money, we could do so much for the people.'' For a time we forgot the American dream isn't one of making government bigger; it's keeping faith with the mighty spirit of free people under God.

-- Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, January 25, 1984

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Walk on the Beach

Happy Bastille Day! Just saying. It is my second favorite foreign holiday. 

Chris and Finnegan at Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, Florida
July 13, 2019
We began the day with a walk on the beach. Chris and I were excited about the beach and feeling again the sand under our toes and hearing the rhythmic sound of the weaves hitting the beach. 

Tacky or Elegant?
You Make the Call
Day one in Florida was spent shopping for items to complete the house. We ran into a quandary in that we found an interesting coffee table and end tables, but were concerned that they might be more tacky than elegant. Nonetheless, they were very interesting and we spent a great amount of time talking before deciding against purchasing them. Even though they were on a fantastic sale! We resisted the urge.

We actually shopped for many hours--driving about 40 minutes from our home to find the special places for the treasures we were seeking. But in the end, nothing made the grade! 

For Day 2, I think we will perform a repeat walk on the beach.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sunset Above the Clouds

Sunset Above the Clouds
Southwest Flight 2418
July 12, 2019
Last evening, Chris and I returned home to Florida. Having homes in two states means that we can wake in our own bed in Maryland in the morning, work through the day, head off the to airport and fly for just over two hours to Florida and then go home and sleep in our own bed! It was great to step through the door to the condo and be home, even though we were almost 900 miles from where we woke in the morning.

Flight 2418
July 12. 2019
During the flight we were treated to a display of color as the day ended and the sunset appeared. The reflection of the setting sun off the clouds was spectacular. I occupied a rare, for me, window seat. I usually prefer aisle seats. The scene outside the window was beautiful and I captured a couple of images to remind me of the splendor of the end-of-day display.

The day dawned here bright, cloud-covered, and humid--a near carbon copy of weather in Maryland. The big difference is that we will be heading to the beach in a few minutes for our morning walk along the shore. 

It is nice to get away from it all by going home and to be treated to such beauty along the way.

And now, it is off the the beach.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Friday, July 12, 2019


Flamingos are back! 

Flamingo Sofa Pillow
I am seeing flamingos adorning all sorts of items these days as the lawn objects form the 60's make a resurgence into the mainstream again. I remember, from when I was a boy, that we had a pair of lawn flamingos--they were tacky, but it seemed many people added flamingos to their gardens. 

Flamingos are making a resurgence and just yesterday, I received a gift of a sofa pillow adorned with flamingos. This is not a solitary flamingo item, however, because out Florida house has a while room dedicated to flamingos! It also had a room dedicated to pelicans and another dedicated to turtles!

I love flamingos! They just scream the Caribbean to me and make me smile when I see them. I remember going the salt flats in Curaco and seeing the flocks of flamingos--they made me smile even then.  

And now, I smile whenever I see flamingos--I could go a bit overboard, but Chris keeps my irrational flamingo desire in check, mostly.

Think pink!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Money on the Road

Money Along Atlanta highway
From The New York Times
Money was just laying there along the side of a road near Atlanta yesterday according to a report I saw on the news last night and read about in The New York Times this morning. 

The article in the Times was titled, An Armored Truck Spilled Thousands of Dollars on an Atlanta Highway. What Would You Do?

According to the reporting, about $175,000 fell along I-285, the beltway encircling Atlanta from the back of an armored truck. Drivers stopped and scooped up money and fast as they could, BUT, it is actually theft to keep any money retrieved from along the roadway and the windfall should be returned.

While the skies may have been raining $50 bills, it was not a windfall for those who gathered them from the roadway. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mid-Season Break

Baseball is taking a time-out for the All Star game which was again won by the American League!

Bottom Five Teams in Baseball
July 10, 2019

The Orioles are the worst team in baseball. They were the first team to amass over 60 losses and are on track to lose 113 games. The Orioles are 31.5 games out of first place in their division and 23.5 games out of the Wild Card spot in the league. With some luck, perhaps the Orioles can improve and become the 29th best team in all of baseball!

No Orioles player actually played in the All Star game on Tuesday night--the only Orioles player, John Means a starting pitcher, was held in reserve. 

Well, now that the mid-season break is over, we can resume watching the wheels come of the Orioles. Maybe I will go to a game later in the season. I have attended only one game thus far--and it, predictably, was a loss. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Fledgling

Fledgling Cardinal on the Pool Fence
Elkridge, MD
July 8, 2019
After another long day at work, Chris and I decided to relax in the pool last evening. Shortly after we began to chat and float in the pool, I noticed a female Cardinal frantically flying around the fence near the pool. I remarked that the bird seemed stressed about something, and then I noticed something moving in the grasses along the pool--yes, it was a fledgling. The cardinal was protecting and caring for the chick which was attempting to fly, walk, and untangle itself from the grasses. 

The male cardinal also appeared and both birds cared for the fledgling by periodically feeding it and trying to get it to imitate their flight patterns. The small bird, for its part, did attempt short flights and made good progress, It rested on the fence for a long time before jumping/flying down and shuffling off into the wooded area. 

All-in-all the entire event took about an hour and we were transfixed watching the small cardinal begin the process of caring for itself and learning to fly. 

Oh the things we can see if we just take the time to watch.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Musings - July 8, 2019

1. It is the second Monday in July and the month is already beginning to speed towards its conclusion. 

2. In an amazing stretch of baseball, the Orioles have improved their record to 27-62 .303 and have lowered their anticipated losses to 113 for the season.

June 7, 2019
3. Hanging out in the pool for the afternoon is one of the best ways to enjoy a hot, July afternoon.

4. Finnegan knows how to relax on a hot afternoon by sleeping on his back on a cushion by the pool.

5. Congratulations to the Women's National Soccer Team for bringing home Gold! As a side note, the men failed to defeat Mexico for their gold medal.

6. Rain. Everyday there has been rain! 

7. Quandary:  There is a nail in the tire of my truck. My tire is not losing air. Do I remove the nail and potentially cause a leak or do I leave it in the tire until it becomes a problem?

8. Today in History. On this day in 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrates turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C. The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris. By 52 B.C., Julius Caesar and the Romans had taken over the area, which eventually became Christianized and known as Lutetia, Latin for “midwater dwelling.” The settlement later spread to both the left and right banks of the Seine and the name Lutetia was replaced with “Paris.” In 987 A.D., Paris became the capital of France. As the city grew, the Left Bank earned a reputation as the intellectual district while the Right Bank became known for business.


Iran Announces New Breach of Nuclear Deal Limits and Threatens Further Violations - The New York Times

Hong Kong protesters march again, reaching out to Chinese visitors - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Call it mysticism if you will, I have always believed there was some divine providence that placed this great land here between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world, who had a special love for freedom and a special courage that enabled them to leave their own land, leave their friends and their countrymen, and come to this new and strange land to build a New World of peace and freedom and hope. Lincoln spoke about hope as he left the hometown he would never see again to take up the duties of the Presidency and bring America through a terrible Civil War. At each stop on his long train ride to Washington, the news grew worse: The Nation was dividing; his own life was in peril. On he pushed, undaunted. In Philadelphia he spoke in Independence Hall, where 85 years earlier the Declaration of Independence had been signed. He noted that much more had been achieved there than just independence from Great Britain. It was, he said, ``hope to the world, future for all time.''
--Remarks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York, New York, July 3, 1986

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Just add sand, water, and palm trees

Getting ready for upcoming vacations can sometimes be a full-time job. 

Ethan in the Pool
Elkridge, MD
July 6. 2019
Yesterday, Chris and I took Ethan out to acquire a well fitting mask and snorkel for his upcoming vacation. He went with us on our cruise last summer and could not find a correctly fitting mast and that really was a problem during our snorkeling adventures. So, Chris made the promise to get him correctly fitting equipment for his vacation this year.

And we made good on the promise! After he was correctly fitted as the local dive shop, he bought the equipment home to try it out. 

The equipment worked and he looked like a creature rising from the blue lagoon as he checked it out.

Ethan is ready for a snorkeling adventure on a far away Caribbean island--just add sand, water, and palm trees!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Waiting at the Door

Finnegan, Makayla, and Chewbacca Waiting
Elkridge, MD
July 4, 2019 
Dogs wait patiently. No matter when I go outside or for what reason, it seems that my dogs are always waiting to welcome my return. 

This weekend we have a third dog, we are watching Chewbacca for Patrick and Tina. This image was taken on Independence Day just after 10 PM after the fireworks had stopped and as I was cleaning the yard and preparing to go to bed. The three of them waited patiently for my return. Perhaps they knew that it was bedtime?

It had been a long day for the three of them. There were five other dogs that celebrated Independence Day with them. Now as the day is ending it was just the three of them and me and Chris. 

Dogs are an essential part of life, in my opinion. They are always there and at the end of a hard day I have to admit, I appreciate the enthusiastic greeting that they provide to me when I arrive home. 

And, they wait at the door. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 5, 2019

Whose America is This?

This will likely be unpopular, but I'm going to come right out and say it--I am appalled at the conditions in the concentration camps being run by the U.S. government along the southern border. 

Image from The Atlantic Monthly article
I chose my words carefully. The camps where the immigrants are begin held are nothing short of concentration camps and that insensitive statement that the conditions there are better than where they came from not only is untrue but also attempts to rationalize that we have deprived them of their freedoms and are not providing them with the basic necessities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is the bedrock of our America!

After spending time in these camps, how can we expect these people to have a positive image of the United States? 

An article in The Atlantic Monthly: A Crime by Any Name, spells out the conditions and make a poignant reference. From the article:

Detainees described overcrowding so severe that “it was difficult to move in any direction without jostling and being jostled.” The water provided them was foul, “of a dark color, and an ordinary glass would collect a thick sediment.” The “authorities never removed any filth.” A detainee wrote that the “only shelter from the sun and rain and night dews, was what we could make by stretching over us our coats or scraps of blanket.” As for the food, “Our ration was in quality a starving one, it being either too foul to be touched or too raw to be digested.”
Such were the conditions of the Confederate prisoner-of-war camp at Andersonville, Georgia, where, as the historian James McPherson wrote, 13,000 of the 45,000 men imprisoned “died of disease, exposure, or malnutrition.” The images of the captive, emaciated Union troops are shocking, evoking a form of suffering 21st-century viewers will likely associate with the Holocaust. The images so traumatized the Northern public that after the war, the warden of the prison, Henry Wirz, became one of the only people tried for war crimes. The Swiss-born Wirz was an easy scapegoat for Northern anger, which spared most of the former Confederacy’s military and political leadership.

We can try to turn our backs on the situation and we can try to call the detainees criminals--but convicted felons in U.S. prisons do not live in these conditions.

There is a crisis on the border--it is a crisis of our own doing and now we have to deal with it. But calling it a crisis strips the humanity out of the equation. This is not My America! My America does not have concentration camps where people are caged like so many animals and where children are stripped away from their parents. 

It is time to stop the abuse and fix the problem--and a border wall is not the answer.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th

Happy Independence Day!

Along Maryland Route 100
July 4, 2019
It is the 4th of July and we are celebrating the birth of the greatest nation on Earth. I went out and played racquetball early this morning and caught the sunrise along the road. 

As the day dawned I remembered the many 4th's that I have experienced and even been apart form my family in service to this nation. I also remembered two years ago when I was on a cruise during the holiday--and I really enjoyed the celebration. 

Whatever you do today, take time to celebrate and make a promise to make the future better than the past.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Before the Storm

The Pool after the Initial Winds
Elkridge, MD
July 2, 2019
Thunderstorms ravaged the area last evening. Chris and I spent time on our covered deck watching the torrents of rain fall from the wind lashed sky. 

As the winds whipped up, I was discouraged by the numbers of leaves that fell into my pool from the trees. All of the leaves and debris needed to be removed and during a break in the action, I cleared the pool in preparation for additional and later storms during the evening. All-in-all, the storms did not trash the pool in the manner that the could have, but still it seemed that every loose leaf found it way into the pool or onto the pool deck. 

Finally, however, the rains came and the thunder and lightening began in earnest. Chris and I sat on the covered porch with the dogs and one cat and watched the storm. It was impressive to see the sheets of rain falling from the sky. 

I was actually happy for the rain as the ground was getting dry and the soaking will make the fireworks on the 4th of July safer. Our neighborhood lights up on on Independence Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Golf Monday

8th Tee Box Looking to the Flag
Carroll Park Golf Course
Baltimore, MD
July 1, 2019
Chris and I did something different last evening to mark the start of July. We took advantage of the great weather and played a 9-hole round of golf. Together!

Chris Working with her Driver
Carroll Park Golf Course
July 1, 2019
Yesterday was supposed to be the best day of the week, weather-wise. It was to be the coolest, in the high 80's, and no rain. And it was!

We had a good time together and we enjoyed playing with two other golfers in what turned out to be an overly extended round due to the slow pace of play by groups in front of us. 

Chris was hitting the ball with more authority and I had a very successful round, except for one pesky hole. We were using the round as a tune-up for the upcoming Troy Whittemore Classic which we will be playing in during the latter part of July. We will need a few more "tune-up" before the tournament. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 1, 2019

Monday Musings - July 1, 2019

1. The second half of 2019 arrived this morning as the calendar changed over to July. 

2. I mowed the lawn yesterday. It is not growing as fast as it once was, but it is still growing. I enjoy the green.

Sky over Elkridge
Elkridge, MD
June 30, 2019
3. I once saw a painting in a museum that was blue. Only Blue.  The entire canvass was a single shade of blue. I did not understand the painting at the time. I had an idea yesterday. I looked at the sky and took a picture, it is blue. I now understand.

4. The sun was hot and the pool was a grand place to enjoy yesterday.

5. Ohio drivers near Cincinnati are worse than Maryland drivers. In Maryland, drivers at least give you a warning before they change lanes with a small turn of the wheel to indicate they are coming over. In Ohio, they just come over into the lane, hard! Neither group understands what the lever on the left side fo the steering wheel is for or that it is connected to turning signals.

6. Independence Day arrives this week. Thomas Jefferson wrote about Independence Day on July 4, 1809: "The fourth of July, the epoch of American independence, is a day when the heart of every American must glow with pride and gratitude. No village, however sequestered, no citizen, however obscure, forgets the celebration of the anniversary of his country's liberty! Through all the land, from the shores of the Atlantic to our mountain-tops, the sounds of gratulation are heard; the roar of cannon, and the peal of bells, announce the auspicious morn, and people of every rank hasten with their festive offerings round the altar of liberty." Source:Margaret Bayard Smith, A Winter in Washington or Memoirs of the Seymour Family(New York: Bliss and E. White, 1824), 3:215.

7. There is something especially enjoyable about taking a nap in the pool on a floatie on a hot sunny afternoon. 

8. History Today. At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful. In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.


Fresh protests erupt as Hong Kong braces for annual rally to mark handover - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

People everywhere hunger for peace and a better life. The tide of the future is a freedom tide, and our struggle for democracy cannot and will not be denied. This nation champions peace that enshrines liberty, democratic rights, and dignity for every individual. America's new strength, confidence, and purpose are carrying hope and opportunity far from our shores. A world economic recovery is underway. It began here.
  -- Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union January 25, 1984

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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