Saturday, August 17, 2019

Finn vs Dolphin

Small dogs can be very territorial. The other evening as Chris and I were sitting around the pool enjoying Happy Hour and chatting about the happenings of the day, Finnegan began barking incessantly at the automated pool cleaner as it started cleaning the stairs. 

Our pool cleaner is a Dolphin pool cleaner, hence we call it the dolphin. So it was funny to watch Finnegan bark at the pool cleaner which, undeterred, went about its business. 

This, however, went on for far too long!

So in the cage match between Finn and the Dolphin, the Dolphin was the victor. We had to put Finn inside.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 16, 2019

Sixteen in a Row - and Counting

Thankfully, the Orioles do not face the Yankees again during this season. The Yankees are probably unhappy about that since they have owned the Orioles since the first series of the season that the Orioles won 2-1. 

Since then it has been all Yankees--sixteen straight wins. The season series between the teams ended 17-2. The Orioles only wins being during the first series of the season. 

The Yankees set a new all-time season record for homers against one team. The old record was 48 held by the 1956 Yankees against the Kansas City Royals. The new record is 61 held by the 2019 New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles. Ugh.

But at least the Orioles have no more games against the Yankees during 2019. Unfortunately, the 2020 Orioles season opener is against Yankees on March 26th in Baltimore! Hopefully they will not make it 17 in a row.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 15, 2019

That's Not a Sale Price

Weird things some times happen in stores when it comes to pricing items for sale.

Chris had told me about a sale that wasn't the other day in our local Target store. The posted sale price for an item was higher than the regular price and no one seemed to notice or care.  

Last evening we happened to be in the vicinity of that Target store and she reminded me that I wanted a picture of the "not" sale and so we stopped went into the store to see if the item was still advertised as she had seen it the day before. I fully expected that they would have corrected the pricing mistake, but no! There it was, still on the counter. And here is the proof.  

We looked at the labels and the sale price for some time and could not reconcile it except that the sale price was 52 cents higher than the regular price for a 32 ounce container of Chobani Greek yogurt. And I have the video proof. I'm not sure how this is a sale, but at Target, it seems that the regardless of the original marked price the item is "on-sale."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Doctor's Visit

I had a doctors appointment yesterday down in the metropolis of Baltimore. 

It was a 35 minute drive that took closer to 45 because of traffic and road construction. I arrived at my appointment the obligatory 15 minutes early to complete paperwork, except then they told me that I had already completed all of the extra nonsensical forms that such places require. So I sat for 15 minutes waiting for my appointment time to arrive.

And then I sat for 15 more minutes. I was busy on my phone so I hardly noticed the time.

And then I sat for 15 more minutes. I was beginning to be a bit frustrated because I had now been sitting in the waiting room for 45 minutes. 

And then I waited about 5 more minutes before being called to the back to have my vitals taken. After that I was then shown into the exam room. To wait.

And then I sat there for 15 more minutes. 

And then then, finally, the nurse practitioner arrived to begin the process of my visit. 

All-in-all I waited a lot, but it was worth it. I was pleased that I had one of the most thorough appointments that I have ever had and that we came up with a good plan.

But why all of the waiting? I don't think I'll take the last appointment of the day again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Summer Around the Pool

Pool in the Pre-Dawn Light
Elkridge, MD
August 13, 2019
This summer has been the summer of the pool! The weather has been fantastic and I have been able to enjoy my pool almost every day. Last year it was cold and rainy most of the summer and I felt at the end of the season that the pool had been underused. Not so this year.

The only downside to owning a pool is that they require constant care. I believe that owning a swimming pool is similar to owning a boat. They are a constant source of expense! But they are both a source or relaxation and enjoyment.

I spent quality time with my pool nearly every day tending to its needs. This week I and doing some late-summer preventive maintenance to ensure that the algae does not get out of control. The plaster on my pool is old and in need of replacing. It is full of places for algae to gain a foothold if I am not diligent--and so I ham hopeful that my late season work will help ensure that the final month of pool season is fun and algae free.

But I truly do enjoy my pool and being in my backyard, I can enjoy it more often than a boat--although I can't travel as far in it as I can in a boat. But it does take me away from the trials of the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 12, 2019

Monday Musings - August 12, 2019

Elkridge, MD
August 10, 2019
1. It is the second Monday of August. The Dog Days ended yesterday and now the slide into September and Autumn has begun.

Louis Napping
Elkridge, MD
August 11, 2019
2. This dragonfly decided to land on a hose extension I was carrying on Saturday. It landed not once, but three times as I walked across the yard. 

3. I spent a few hours in the pool yesterday fixing the light in the deep end. It is not a lot of fun to try to hang in the water and use tools. 

4. Cat napping. I caught this image of Louis napping in a chair out by the pool. Louis loves to go outside and sleep. He spends the day outside and comes in for the evening. 

5. The Orioles had a miserable week of baseball--while they managed a rare come-from-behind victory in the 9th inning over the Houston Astros yesterday, that was the only win of the week which included a 23-2 blow-out on Saturday.  During the week, the O's went 1-5 and were outscored 65-24 by the Yankees and the Astros. Their record has fallen to 39-79 .333 and worse, they are 18-43 at home. They are now on pace to lose 108 games this season.

Leaves on the Lawn
Elkridge, MD
August 10, 2019
6. The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees around my house. It almost looks as if Autumn is arriving early. It is too early for so many leaves to be on the ground.

7. Pre-season NFL family team results: 

  Ravens defeated Jaguars 29-0
  Steelers defeated Buccaneers 30-28
  Redskins lost to Browns 10-30
  Cowboys lost to 49ers 9-17

8. Autumn is too close. I am beginning to report NFL scores. The end of the summer is approaching too rapidly. 

9. Today in History. On this day in 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovers three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turn out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.
Amazingly, Sue’s skeleton was over 90 percent complete, and the bones were extremely well-preserved. Hendrickson’s employer, the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, paid $5,000 to the land owner, Maurice Williams, for the right to excavate the dinosaur skeleton, which was cleaned and transported to the company headquarters in Hill City. The institute’s president, Peter Larson, announced plans to build a non-profit museum to display Sue along with other fossils of the Cretaceous period.


Colonel Killed in Vietnam War Finally Came Home. His Son Flew the Plane. - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience,"

October 21, 1984: In the second presidential debate with candidate Walter Mondale

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A Night Out

From our Table at Yellowfin Steak and Fish House
Edgewater, Maryland
August 10, 2019
Since I was traveling on Friday, Chris and I celebrated our anniversary with a nice dinner last evening. We went to Yellowfin Steak and Fish House in Edgewater, Maryland and enjoyed a beautiful dinner looking out on the water and the setting sun. 

Yellowfin Tuna in a Beautiful Presentation
August 10, 2019
The evening was devoted to us and reminiscing about the years that we have spent together. I think it is healthy for couples to take a timeout and consider how they have arrived at the point in their lives where they are. And we did that last evening surrounded by a fantastic view across the water. 

I like Yellowfin because it is not stuffy formal, but people generally put on their church clothes to come to dinner. The valet parking does make it easier because parking is a premium in the area and I did not have to worry about finding a space for the car. We drove Cat, the convertible, to the restaurant and it was a fantastic evening for a ride with the top down! Sometimes it is too hot or humid to enjoy a convertible, but last evening it was perfect.

It was an evening for just the two of us and we were given a corner table in the restaurant so we felt we were in a more private place as we enjoyed the dinner and devoted ourselves to conversation. I have to admit--neither of us looked at our cell phones once during the dinner. 

Once the dining was complete, we returned home for a special dessert and a nice dessert wine and to enjoy more time together as darkness fell to end the day. 

It was a special evening. A time of remembrance and planning for the future.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Out the Hotel Window - Construction Site Huntsville

Pre-Sunrise View of Huntsville from Hotel Window
August 9, 2019
After I decided not to take the image of the construction site out the hotel window, I looked out the window yesterday morning during the dawn of the day and noticed that the scene was complex and interesting to observe. 

The lights of the site were still illuminated and the light of the scene was building. I also caught the fo on the hill in the background. It was an interesting view just on the cusp of day scene. The day was a busy day with meetings followed by travel which saw me arriving home right at midnight to begin today as home and put the travel behind me.

And now for the weekend! Bring it on. Today has dawned clear, bright, and cool. Cool being 63 degrees! I can tell that mid-August has arrived and with it, tomorrow, the Dog Days come to an end. 

It is almost as if Autumn is struggling to begin a month early.

And all of this from an image I snapped yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 9, 2019

Out the Hotel Window - August in Huntsville

Huntsville from the Hotel
August 8, 2019
I am traveling and this morning I awakened in Huntsville, Alabama.

The hotel is a relatively new structure and very modern. I have a corner room, which is different and have views of the parking lot, as shown, and a construction site--which was too mundane to photograph. 

My room, while nice, lacks some warmth and creature comforts like coffee cups. It has a coffee machine--but no cups. That is frustrating because I will have to walk down to the lobby to retrieve my morning coffee.

Charlotte Airport E Terminal
August 8, 2019
The city of Huntsville is as I remember it and the walk to and from dinner last evening was enjoyable because it allowed me to stretch my legs after being crammed into small airline seats for much of the day. 

I did get to experience the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport yesterday. It remains one of the worst airports that I traverse. I snapped an image of the area where I waited for my connecting flight, which of course was delayed. Each of the monitors in the scene represents a flight that is scheduled to depart within minutes of each other. The people are attempting to get on one of those flights, hopefully, the correct flight. Some of the gates have letters associated with their names, for instance there was gate E33A, E33B, and (you guessed it) E33C. At least the gate people had enough sense not to try to talk over each other when announcing which of the nine boarding groups for each flight was allowed to board at that moment. 

To say that confusion was the word of the day is an understatement. I was very glad to get to my hotel and head out to find dinner. 

-- Bob Doan, writing from Huntsville, Alabama

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Frustration at the Yards

Sixteen in a row.

That is how many home games in a row the Orioles have lost to the Yankees. 

Camden Yards could be called Yankee Stadium south. The Orioles have now lost sixteen home games in a row to the Yankees. 

That is terrible. It is unfathomable, well unless the team is one of the worst teams in the history of baseball--which the Orioles are. 

The Orioles are now 2-5 for the month of August. After coming off a 12-12 July with the hopes of the franchise lookin up--the Yankees came to town and demonstrated with big bats why they are one of the best teams in all of baseball. The Orioles were outscored  32-12.  Last event's 14-2 blowout was embarrassing and demoralizing. 

Well, at least pre-season football returns tonight. Maybe I can get my mind off the train wreck that is the Orioles.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Show

Chris sat out on the deck last evening as a thunder storm passed through the area. Fortunately, the center of the storm did not pass over us and we were spared the deuce and winds that others in the area had to deal with.

We both love a good storm and the lightening makes the sky come alive. 

Sadly, last evening I had some work to do on my laptop and rain, thunder and lightening do not mix with electronics. So I was inside and missed the height of the storm. 

Overall, it was a quiet evening at home. When I first arrived home, the weather was still very nice and I was able to enjoy time in the pool for a while. Chris and I actually enjoyed happy hour in the pool as we discussed the happenings of the day. Then the weather turned a bit wild. 

But the light show in the sky was something to see.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Changing Society

We are pausing this week to remember those who lost their lives in the twin tragedies of El Paso and Dayton.

The violence of our society continues to astound and amaze all of us. That someone would walk into a store and shoot and kill 22 people mystifies me. And then that someone would kill 9 people outside of a night club, including his sister that same evening is equally unfathomable.

When did society lose its moral rudder? And with it our sense of decency and of right and wrong? 

How can we continue to allow this carnage to continue? While there are many thoughts and ideas out there, the fundamental problem is not with guns--but with people. We have changed as a society. We are no longer kinder and gentler. Many among us are feeling threatened and some of the people who feel threatened are lashing out irrationally. 

Our society needs to change and return to a more gentler and respectful time. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday Musings - August 5, 2019

1. August has arrived and is already slipping away. It is the fifth day of the month and the first. Monday. In four all too short weeks, it will be Labor Day.

2. What could be better than visiting wineries and enjoying great wines with friends on a Sunday afternoon?

Butterflies on Flowers
Hiddencroft Vineyards
Lovettsville, VA
August 4, 2019 
3. Yesterday, while visiting a winery in Virginia, I happened upon a flower garden that was supporting a large number of butterflies. It was fun watching the butterflies flitter around the flowers. They seemed completely disinterested in my presence so close to them.

4. Spending time with friends and enjoying wine seem to go hand-in-hand. What a great way to enjoy life!

5. The Orioles have managed to split the first four games of August and are not 38-73, .342. Even more astounding, they are 6-4 for their last 10 games! They are on place to finish 56-106. 

6. The NFL football pre-season is underway and since the Orioles are a bust for the second year in a row, I am guessing that I will soon be watching the Ravens. 

7. The days are getting noticeably shorter. Dawn is later and sunset is earlier. Summer is too quickly beginning to slip into Autumn.

8. Today in History. On August 5, 1962, movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”


Iran Says It Has Seized Another Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf - The New York Times

S. Korea to reconsider military info-sharing deal with Japan: Cheong Wa Dae - Yonhap News Agency

Turkey to launch offensive in Kurdish-controlled area in northern Syria: Erdogan - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Indeed, we gave birth to an entirely new concept in mans relation to man. We created government as our servant, beholden to us and possessing no powers except those voluntarily granted to it by us. Now a self-anointed elite in our nations capital would have us believe we are incapable of guiding our own destiny. They practice government by mystery, telling us its too complex for our understanding. Believing this, they assume we might panic if we were to be told the truth about our problems.

Why should we become frightened? No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than the living Americans the Americans living in this land today. There isnt any problem we cant solve if government will give us the facts. Tell us what needs to be done. Then, get out of the way and let us have at it.

 -- To Restore America, Ronald Reagan's Campaign Address, March 31, 1976

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Welcoming Rain

It rained overnight. 

The Crepe Myrtle
August 3, 2019
That in itself is not a monumental occurrence, however, it has been a few weeks since we had measurable rain and things are getting very dry. It is hard to say if we received measurable rain, but at least there was evidence of rain this morning. 

The crepe myrtle at the corner of the pool near the covered porch is in full bloom adding its splash of color to the scene. This is the time of year that crepe myrtles take over the landscape and provide color to the scene. The crepe myrtles are everywhere along the streets and the yards. 

This first Sunday of August continues the heat of the summer and that is what I love. 

Enjoy the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Patterns in the Night

Light on the Table
August 2, 2019
Last evening was Friday--and that meant happy hour with friends. Although it rained earlier in the day, the evening was clear and dry. I was very Ince to sit on the deck of one friend to talk, enjoy some fine wine, and eat a fantastic meal highlighted by ribs. 

The conversation, as usual, was lively and wide ranging. As the evening deepened into darkness we lit candles around the table to continue talking. One of the candles provided an especially interesting pattern of light. I decided to capture the candle lighting the darkness. With the lighting of the candles, though, the evening together began to end and it was all too soon time to leave.

Another great evening with friends came to an end as the candle burned, but the memories continue.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 2, 2019

August Arrives

Well, it has arrived. The last full month of summer has dawned and portends the rapid darkening of the days and loss of daylight. 

I am hard pressed to find much good about August. 

For instance, after posting their first non-losing month since August 2017, the Orioles got thumped by the Toronto Bluejays 11-2 last evening. 

The Sycamore trees near my pool think that it is September and are dropping their leaves. Into my pool!

The lawn is getting that brown summer look to it. I still have to mow, but I create. huge cloud of dust because we actually need rain!

The first Friday in August has arrived and with it the first weekend. At least we will be able to enjoy the weather and the pool. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Orioles Update - July

What an amazing month! 

Did I just say that about the Orioles? Perhaps. It was the first non-losing month since 2017. The Orioles finished July with a 12-12 record. Notice I carefully did not say a winning month, but they at least stopped the string of losing months. 

The Orioles, as of this morning, stand at 36-71 .336. An amazing turn around. They are no longer the worst team in baseball. At this rate, the Orioles could end the season at 55-107 .339.  A great improvement and back to near the 105 losses that I predicted at the beginning of the season. Of course the bottom could drop out of the season. 

Since the All Star Break the Orioles have managed to win or split four of six series!

This is not the Orioles team that began the season. They are beginning to play interesting baseball. On Tuesday, for instance, they managed to come from behind, scoring 5 runs in the 7th and 8th innings to win the game. 

Maybe they could salvage a winning month during August!

As they say in baseball, there is always next year.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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