Saturday, September 14, 2019

Maui on my Mind

Out the Hawaiian Airlines Window
on Approach to Maui
September 13, 2019
I arrived in Maui last evening for the second part of my 10 day business trip. I worked a full day and did not arrive at the hotel until about 8 PM. It was a long day and I would like to say that I took some great pictures, but I didn't. 

Tiki Torches
Maui, Hawaii
September 13, 2019
I suffered through some terrible traffic yesterday morning in Honolulu! Worse than Baltimore. One night cycled four times before I was able to get through it. It made me late for the first meeting of the day and shortened the discussion, but no permanent damage was one. 

The torches which were lighted at the hotel were a nice touch. As Chris and I arrived last evening, it was a bit late to do any exploring.

Tomorrow, we explore and learn of the beauty and secrets of this island paradise.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Maui

Friday, September 13, 2019


Sunset and Sailboat
Waikiki, Hawaii
September 12, 2019
As the Colors Fade
Waikiki, Beach, Hawaii
September 12, 2019
On two successive nights I have had the opportunity to view Waikiki as the sun set. On both nights it was stunning. the view, the colors in the sky, and the people. 

Last evening the colors were stunning and rapidly changing. In about a 15 minute span, the colors turned from orange to magenta. The water turned purple in the weaning light of day as night began to fall. 

I took the second shot from my table in a restaurant where I stopped for dinner. I was mesmerized by the colors and how quickly they would change.

Autumn is settling in already despite the increased temperatures of late.

-- Bob Doan, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Out the Hotel Window - Waikiki

Out the Hotel Window - Waikiki
September 11, 2019

The beach calls and I am in a hotel with a beach view. Of course, my room does not have a beach view, I have a city view--but I am in Hawaii.
Out the Window Near the Elevator
September 11, 2019

The traveling during the day was fine, but long. Getting to the hotel in afternoon traffic was like trying to navigate the Baltimore beltway at rush hour. But the sky is beautiful, as are the mountains. The scene is just, well, Hawaii.

I took an image from the windows near the elevators and I could see the ocean. It is not too far off and I fact I walked the beach last evening, just because. It was a nice walk after dinner. The beach was still very much alive after sunset--surfers were catching waves and the catamaran sunset cruises were moving ashore to discharge their passengers. It was a great scene and I am happy to be here.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Into the Wild Blue - Again

And so . . . , that is a strange way to begin a blog.  But it is the way that I feel right now as I am sitting on an American Airlines flight headed to Phoenix. The jet is soaring at 34,000 feet, winging me over the U.S. and all of the window shades are drawn.  I feel as if I am in a cigar and I cannot tell that I am flying. There are no outside clues to our movement or progress except for an occasional bump from some unsettled air. 

I brought my old iPad along to watch movies on the flight only to learn that the movie app used by American is not compatible with my ancient iPad Series 2 which told me that there were no software updates for it. I only use the iPad anymore when I fly preferring instead to use my laptop for most things. Perhaps I need to reexamine this approach to managing my electronics stable. 

At least I was able to work on my morning blog entry to document my journey. 

Phoenix is just a stop-over on my way to Hawaii. Sitting on this flight now for over three hours I am reminded of why I love the Caribbean--I get all the benefits of Hawaii for a 3 hour flying day instead of the scheduled 12 hours of flight time I will log today. And the water is warmer in the Caribbean. When was the last time you heard someone complain about going to Hawaii?

-- Bob Doan, airborne somewhere over the Central U.S. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

After the Wedding

Bowling at the After Party@ Pinstripes
Bethesda, MD
September 6/7, 2019
The wedding Chris and I attended over the weekend was well planned and had a full evening of activity incorporated into the festivities. 

Canopy Hotel
Bethesda, MD
September 8, 2019

There was the wedding ceremony followed by dinner and dancing. But, after the reception came the after party--bowling. I have not had the opportunity to bowl in a very long time. It showed in my score. It is frustrating not to be able to do something that was once easy and enjoyable. But it was an enjoyable after party and I did have some residual pain the next day. 

The hotel had an interesting feature that I discovered during breakfast--a wine cart! What an interesting item for a dining room. It was the one feature of the hotel that I appreciated, but did not get to enjoy.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Musings - September 9, 2019

1. It is the second Monday of September and the weather has been idyllic this past weekend.

GORC Wildcats - Haslup
South River, MD
September 8, 2019
2. The GORC Wildcats - Haslup Fall Ball Edition played their first game yesterday. It was a well played game, but the Wildcats came out on the losing end 5-2. 

3. The first weekend of the NFL saw the family teams split wins and losses:
     Ravens defeat Dolphins 59-10
     Cowboys defeat Giants 35-17
     Steelers lose to Patriots 33-3
     Redskins lose to Eagles 32-27

4. Traffic lights have it in for me. I have determined that there must be a device secretly implanted in my vehicles that advises the traffic lights to turn red when I am approaching. When Chris drives, she gets green lights. When I drive--I see red. 

5. There seems to be a lot of garbage along the roads. Are people using the roadsides for trash dumps?

6. This Day in History. The King of Rock and Roll teams up with TV’s reigning variety program, as Elvis Presley appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for the first time.
After earning big ratings for “The Steve Allen Show,” the Dorsey Brothers “Stage Show” and “The Milton Berle Show,” Sullivan finally reneged on his Presley ban, signing the controversial singing star to an unprecedented $50,000 contract for three appearances.


Corpses Strewn, People Missing a Week After Dorian Hit the Bahamas - The New York Times

Hyundai Glovis car carrier listing off coast of U.S. state of Georgia - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

There was a reason for my seeking people who didnt want government careers. Dr. Parkinson summed it all up in his book on bureaucracy. He said, Government hires a rat-catcher and the first thing you know, hes become a rodent control officer. In those entire eight years, most of us never lost that feeling that we were there representing the people against what Cicero once called the arrogance of officialdom. We had a kind of watchword we used on each other. When we begin thinking of government as we instead of they, weve been here too long. Well, I believe that attitude would be beneficial in Washington.

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, September 8, 2019

It Is Closed

The Water Being Lowered in Advance of Winter
Elkridge, MD
September 7, 2019
Despite the incredibly busy day devoted to the wedding and  a baseball practice, Chris and I managed to get the pool mostly closed. I say mostly because there are a few small items remaining, like talking to motor off the pump and storing it for the winter and getting antifreeze into some of the lines. 
The Pool is Closed and Covered!
Elkridge, MD
September 7, 2019

The pool, which was adorned for a rehearsal night dinner just two nights ago is now covered and ready for a long winter slumber.  The water was crystal clear, the sanitizer balance was perfect--it was sad to close the pool yesterday, but given the upcoming plans we needed to get it done. 

Reflecting on the now ended 2019 pool season, it was one of the best seasons I can remember. I felt as if the weather was perfect for enjoying pool activities and we enjoyed a lot of time in the pool. There is something very special about napping on a floatie in the pool enjoying the gentle seating and drifting. But that is now just another great memory. 

And now onto another busy day in a series of busy days. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Out the Hotel Window - Bethesda, Maryland

Out the Hotel Window
Bethesda, MD
September 6, 2019
Out the Hotel Window in the Morning
Bethesda, MD
September 7, 2019
Last evening Chris and I stayed in a hotel in Bethesda, MD. The view out the hotel window was very interesting and dynamic. We were on the 10th floor! What a view. 

In the center of the frame is a beach--well that is at least what it calls itself. And the crane was very prominent as well. It dominated the view and highlighted and the parking garage under construction. 

I took another picture this morning of the view in the dawn light. The crystal blue sky was fabulous and foretold a spectacular day. 

I enjoyed the complex view of the city from the vantage point high above the street. The day turned into a busy and satisfying day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Rehearsal Dinner

Ready for Dinner as Darkness Falls
Elkridge, MD
September 5, 2019
Chris and the View from the Other Side
Rehearsal Dinner
Elkridge, MD
September 5, 2019
We hosted a Rehearsal Dinner last evening for a Corey and Julianne. They are a great couple and it was fun to make the pool area and the whole house look like a nice dinner venue. Yes, those are Tiki Torches above the fence line.

It took quite a bit of work, especially by Chris and some of our friends, but the place was rocking when the guests arrived and the only thing missing were waiters bringing drinks around on trays. 

The weather was perfect as the 90 degree heat broke earlier in the day and we were left with very comfortable temperatures. Even the mosquitoes took the night off and allowed our guests to enjoy the fun. OK, I may have fogged the grasses before everyone arrived to assist in keeping them down. 

Congratulations to a great couple!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Another Thursday Orioles Update

The 2019 MLB season is thankfully drawing to a close for the hapless Orioles. They have had moments of excitement, but mostly have performed dismally. 

The Orioles still are the 29th best team in baseball with a record of 46-93 .331. They are on track to lose 108 games at this point. I had predicted they would lose 105 at the beginning of the season. 

For the month of August the Orioles were 9-19 including both a 6 and a 7 game losing streak. It was dismal. The only bright  spot was a three game winning streak. The fortunes of baseball have not changed with the new month as the team has started 1-3, while showing some incredible ineptitude on the base paths. 

The Orioles are doing some very creative marketing to get people into the stadium. I saw one ad which offered $30 for access to all of September's games! Wow. 

Well, I still don't want to go. This is not the Orioles team that I wanted to see. It is the nadir of the franchise. 

Well, and I love this classic baseball phrase, there is always next season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

As the Hurricane Roars

We have learned a lot about hurricanes.

They are incredibly destructive--I was appalled at the widespread destruction in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian finally departed. Dorian is not taking aim at another part of the the U. S. Atlantic Coast, and for the moment people in South Florida are beginning to feel relief even while many others are just beginning to feel the wrath of the storm. 

But wait! Even though the hurricane season has been relatively quiet thus far, there are new disturbances in the forecast. That's right, Fernand is in the Gulf of Mexico and Gabriella is forming off Africa. There are more storms in the forecast as this season hopefully can come quickly to an end. While neither of these two new storms are forecast to threaten the U.S., it just shows how quickly a quiet season can become active. 

My prayers are with the people of the Bahamas and for those along the U.S. coast how are still facing Dorian's rain, winds, and storm surge. I do not have a report from my Florida condo yet, however, at last report there was only about 2 inches of rain and some high wind gusts. I'm believing things should be mostly OK. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Last Monday

Last Monday of the Pool Season
Elkridge, MD
September 2, 2019
I took a sad image on my cell phone yesterday. 

It was of my pool. The last Monday of the open season. By this time next week the pool will bee buttoned up for the winter and the next 8 months!

Eight months!

I only used the pool for four months this year. 

But it was a great four months. This summer was the best summer in a long time for the pool and I was able to use and enjoy it frequently. 

Why am I closing it early? Well, because I am going to be doing some traveling and won't be around to haul the leaves out of the pool daily and I can tell you that nothing messes up pool chemistry faster than a bunch of leaves laying on the bottom. 

Thanks for the great 2019 memories and until next season. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Musings - September 2, 2019

Howard County Crews Fixing Water Break
Elkridge, MD
September 1, 2019
1. Happy Labor Day! By definition it is the first Monday in September. Enjoy the holiday if you do not have to work. I do not have to work!

2. August us behind us and now we are already two days into September. Time is flying past, undaunted.

3. We enjoyed having the family over for a Labor Day feast yesterday. It was complicated by the lack of water as a valve broke and it took a few hours for the county to repair it. It was repaired, coincidentally, just as we needed water to boil the corn-on-the-cob.

White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Elkridge, MD
September 1, 2019
4. While cleaning up around the pool we discovered the most interesting caterpillar that I have seen in a long time. It looked like an alien from another planet. It turns out to be a White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar. It was fun to watch for a while. I looked it up to see if it was an invasive species that needed to be eradicated. We let this caterpillar go on its way.

Jupiter Inlet Webcam
6:59 AM September 2, 2019

5. I am watching Hurricane Dorian very closely and there are hurricane warnings posted for my community in Florida. Hopefully the storm will be gentle as it cruises by off-shore.  

6. The news seems to get worse and worse every day. 

7. Today in History. On September 2, 1969, America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.


Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions Are United in Fear - The New York Times

Hong Kong Students Begin School Year With Gas Masks, Class Boycotts and Protests - The New York Times

Italy’s Politics Go to the Beach - The New York Times

China, U.S. kick off new round of tariffs in trade war - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It's fitting that on Labor Day, we meet beside the harbors, the waters I should say of New York harbor, with the eyes of Miss Liberty on our gathering and in the words of the poet whose lines are inscribed at her feet, "On the air bridged harbor that twin cities frame."

Through this "Golden Door," under the gaze of that "Mother of Exiles," has come millions of men and women, who first set foot on American soil right there, on Ellis Island, so close to the Statue of Liberty.
Address at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New JerseySeptember 1980

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Grandson Day

Ethan at the Maryland State Fair
Timonium, Maryland
August 31, 2019
To note the passing of the month of August, the transition into September, and the last weekend before the start of another school year Chris and I hosted our grandsons for the day and an overnight.

Chris with the Boys Ready for the Farris Wheel
Chris, Ethan, Jax, Lucas
Timonium, Maryland
August 31, 2019
It began about noon with a surprise trip to the Maryland State Fair. I have to admit, I have not been to the state fair in a number of years. Sadly, it has not changed much except that the prices seem to have tripled. Rides are $5-6 each. Games are $2-5 and everyone seems to be trying to part a fool from his/her money. 

The boys enjoyed a number of rides and we made the obligatory walk through the livestock barns to get back in touch with farming. The boys all commented that they did not realize that cows were so big! I just had to smile at that. It was refreshing to see the kids with their prize livestock. Many of them were nervous in preparation for going into the judging ring. What a different life they lead from that of my grandsons'. 

Jax Headed into the Pool
Elkridge, MD
August 31, 2019
The day at the fair culminated with all of us becoming Scat Masters in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources exhibit. Who knew I'd be able to distinguish different kinds of wildlife poop correctly? I did have trouble with the coyote poop, having never seen it in the wild. From there it was back home to enjoy the pool for some refreshing activity. The pool was cool, clean and ready for action. 

Jax and Ethan at the Fire Pit
Elkridge, MD
August 31, 2019
It was an enjoyable early evening which saw pizza and wings get devoured in near record time. 

And then it was time for S'mores around the fire pit. 

The S'mores were enjoyed as the fire raged and then it was time for the scary stories. We told tales of the hereafter and unknown for a while and everyone contributed. The fire grew dim, the mosquitoes arrived, and soon it was time for bed. Exhausted, the boys quickly went to sleep, hopefully dreaming of the great ending to the month of August and the preparations for the start of the school year ahead. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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