Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Palms at Night


Lights Wrapped Palms for Christmas
Jupiter, Florida
November 12, 2019
Chris and I went to dinner last evening in an upscale part of Jupiter. We went to a nice Italian restaurant that we have visited before, but we were treated to the Christmas decorations already in place in the area. 

While the actual Christmas Trees and associated decorations were not illuminates, they were decorated, the Palms along the streets were decked to in full lights. I love light wrapped Palm trees. They make me smile! In fact, we may go back again just to enjoy the ambiance of the area at night. I have to admit, even though I am fully committed to not overlooking Thanksgiving in the rush to get into the Christmas Season, seeing the Palm trees wrapped with lights did make me begin to look forward to the holiday season. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sunset and Palms


Palm Trees in the Sunset
Jupiter sound, Jupiter, Florida
November 10, 2019
Since returning to standard time, sunset and Happy Hour coincide. This has provided the opportunity get some great images of the sunset behind palm trees. There is something relaxing about enjoying downtime and watching the sun set with palm trees in the foreground. It is a one of the best ways to end the day. 

Crab
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Preserve
Hope Sound, Florida
November 11, 2019
But do not get me wrong--there is more to the day than the ending. Yesterday, for instance, Chris and I were on the beach at Hobe Sound and spent time watching a very aggressive crab. The crab came out of the water and claimed a portion of the beach as its own! The crab let me get pretty close and get a few nice images of it. It definitely did not retreat, but raised its claws and made quite a spectacle of itself. The funniest part, however, was that it would occasionally fall over from being so demonstrative. Like some people I know. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Musings - November 11, 2019





1. It is Monday, November 11th. It is Veterans Day! Thank-you to all who have served and who are serving to protect this great nation. And thank-you to the spouses and families of Veterans who stand beside them every day supporting them in their service to this nation. 

Vanishing Footprints
Jupiter Island Beach
November 10, 2019
2. Walking beach is a great way to start the day--especially in November.

3. Isn't it amazing how the ocean washes evidence of human civilization away? Look at how the tide has washed away the footprints Chris and I left in the sand mere moments before.

Coral Cove Park
Jupiter Island, Florida
November 10, 2019
4. The ocean was especially violent yesterday. The waves were crashing onto the rocks with unusual force spraying the surrounding area. 

5. What do you get when you find a Costco next to a Lowes? Answer: An empty wallet!

6. I enjoy watching the birds alone the beach. They are very busy and almost do not notice my intrusion into their space. 

7. Today is a good day to take a moment and think about the blessings that we, as Americans, have. Let us then resolve to take action to make our town, county, state, and country a better place to live. Each of us holds the key to making our community a better place to live by getting involved. 

8Today in History. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside CompiĆ©gne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.



Headlines

Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester Amid Clashes - The New York Times

Amid China’s Debt, a Hospital Is Asking Nurses for Loans - The New York Times

U.S. aviation authority downgrades Malaysia's air safety rating: sources - Reuters

'Leave now': Australians urged to evacuate as 'catastrophic' fires loom - Reuters


Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

A year ago, Americans' faith in their governmental process was steadily declining. Six out of 10 Americans were saying they were pessimistic about their future. A new kind of defeatism was heard. Some said our domestic problems were uncontrollable, that we had to learn to live with this seemingly endless cycle of high inflation and high unemployment.
There were also pessimistic predictions about the relationship between our administration and this Congress. It was said we could never work together. Well, those predictions were wrong. The record is clear, and I believe that history will remember this as an era of American renewal, remember this administration as an administration of change, and remember this Congress as a Congress of destiny.
Together, we not only cut the increase in government spending nearly in half, we brought about the largest tax reductions and the most sweeping changes in our tax structure since the beginning of this century. And because we indexed future taxes to the rate of inflation, we took away government's built-in profit on inflation and its hidden incentive to grow larger at the expense of American workers.
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress Reporting on the State of the Union, January 26, 1982


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rain, Cold, and Projects


Newly Illuminated Display Case in the Living Room
Tequesta, Florida
November, 9, 2019
The pace of projects around the house lessened, time coincident with rainy and colder weather that kept us indoors for most of the day. Chris and I did not make it to the beach due to the rain and cold. Let me define cold--low 70's.

Display Case
Tequesta, Florida
November, 9, 2019
We did manage one project as the puck lights arrived from Amazon enabling us to illuminate the display stands that we have. The project was fairly simple, but of course there were problems to over one. For instance, the cords were not long enough to complete the project in the manner that I had originally intended and so there has to be some improvisation. And then there was the matter of getting the appropriate black tape--black electrical tape just would not do the trick of holding and hiding the wires. 

Aside from that and a trip to Wal-mart to get essential household and kitchen items that we did not realize we needed until we actually tried living here, it was a sedate day. We did check out one thrift shop, but did not find any "must have" items.

In the end, it was a relaxing day. But also productive.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Mindlessly Watching Coconuts


Sailboat off Jupiter Island Beach
November 7, 2019
Until yesterday, Chris and I had were visiting the beach twice per day. Once in the morning for a walk and then again in the afternoon just to sit and watch the waves roll up onto the beach. Yesterday, however, we devoted ourselves to completing projects around the house--fixing leaky bolts on a toilet, hanging new blinds, putting a new sweep on the main door, and hanging a coat rack. Because of the projects, we decided not to hit the beach during the afternoon and went, instead, to the condo association pool. It was nice to get into the pool and cool off after a day of work. 


Coconut in the Surf
Jupiter Island, Jupiter, FL
November 7, 2019
When we are at the beach we find an assortment of things to watch. Sailboats often transitive horizon, but the other day it was a coconut that caught our attention. The coconut was playing in the surf; washing up onto the beach and rolling back into the waves. The coconut made its way along the beach and then came back. The pattern was repeated a few times as it seemed that the combination of the wind and the tide were keeping the coconut confined to one stretch of beach. After a while, another coconut arrived and played in the surf with the first one. But, for some reason, that coconut continued down the beach and out of sight while the first coconut remained. Maybe the chemistry was not quite right between them?

Mindlessly watching coconuts in the surf releases the stress-causing thoughts that fill my everyday life. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, November 8, 2019

Crowds


Osprey
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019
The beaches were crowded yesterday. Not with people, but with birds. 

A Flock  of Sanderlings (Sandpipers) on the Beach
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019

Chris and I walked the beach in the morning and later during the day went to enjoy the warm sun and relish in the waves crashing on the beach. It is November and we are enjoying time on the beach. And unlike some northern beaches, we are not wearing coats--we are actually more concerned about getting sunburned!

As we stroll the as yet uncrowded beaches, we are able to observe the wildlife. Soon, with the return of the snowbirds, these beaches will see a lot more people. During the afternoon yesterday as we sat on the Jupiter Island Beach, the birds seemed unconcerned by our presence and began to come within a few short feet of where we were. 

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 7, 2019
Some of the birds are migrating and they are fun to watch. The semipalmated sandpipers were especially friendly even though we were not feeding them. 

Beach Trash
Carlin Park, Jupiter, Florida
November 7, 2019
Chris and I are not just visitors to the beach, but we are committed to trying to clean-up one small piece of the environment. Yesterday, we collected a lot of trash. I am wondering if it is trash from the Bahamas still washing up on the shore after the devastating hurricane earlier this year. We were amazed at the amount of trash washing up on the beach and all of it is a danger to the marine wildlife. Taking it out of the environment is something small that we can so. And yes, we have found a use for the plastic grocery bags. They make a great place to put the trash we are picking up and then depositing all of it in the appropriate receptacle. 

And off to start another day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Escape


Rising Sun Over the Chesapeake
From a Southwest Airlines Jet
November 6, 2019
Chris and I departed yesterday on a pre-dawn flight to escape the impending cold of Maryland and enjoy a last gasp of summer in Florida. We arrived at our Tequesta home before 10AM. Yesterday was a very special travel day--When was the last time you were on a flight and only had 25 passengers in a jet designed for 147? For Chris and I it was yesterday flying from Baltimore to Palm Beach International. When we boarded the aircraft the crew told us to take a row!

Pelicans in Formation
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter Florida
November 6, 2019
Arriving home in Tequesta was a great experience. Although we had to encourage a few renegade geckos to change residences, the house was in great shape. Getting the car started was a problem, but a new battery, delivered and installed by AAA, solved that problem. Once we finally arrived at the beach for a relaxing afternoon, the stress of the past few weeks and of the early travel day drained away and we were greeted by our beach friends--the pelicans and the ospreys. 

Beach Sand Ridge
Jupiter Island Beach, Jupiter, FL
November 6, 2019
As we expected, the geography of the beach has changed a bit as a result of the hurricane near miss and recent storms. The beach is smaller, but still not crowded. There is a ridge of sand from where the ocean has begun to reclaim the shore. The water was green and rough. It was also warm! While I did not go swimming because of the pounding surf and high waves, I was able to wade in the water and enjoy the ocean at my feet. 

Looking East from Jupiter Island
November 6, 2019
I took some nice images of the beach and the ocean. The rough waves made for good subject material. I enjoyed the pounding surf, but the erosion suffered by the beach has been extensive. Chris and I saw many different treasures along the shoreline--including a wide variety of sponges which have been ripped from their moorings. For some reason, none of the sponges seemed picture-worthy and so there are no images to share. 

We are excited about being in Florida for the next two weeks. I had to chuckle when the weathermen were enthused about the prospect of cooler temperatures arriving during the next few days. What is wrong with mid-80's? I enjoyed the warm day on the beach. At least the cooler temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 70's. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Turkeys Arriving

Turkey Flag in Front of the House
Elkridge, MD
November 3, 2019
The house is decorated for the turkey season. November is a brief pause before the insanity of the Christmas season gets into full swing. However, Chris has already begun planning for the holiday and I must confess that there are gifts already waiting for Christmas Day.

We have a collection of turkeys that have now replaced the Halloween decorations. Turkeys are much more festive and less scary than Halloween goblins. Although, if you have ever been chased by a turkey I'm sure that you might disagree with that thought.

Chris and I are on a flight to our Florida home this morning. As the cold November weather begins to deep into the region for the weekend, we are escaping to our own piece of paradise.

But when we return, it will be almost time to celebrate the holiday by eating a turkey. And the one on the banner gracing the entrance to our home will be laughing g all the way to the container where it will wait in darkness for next season.

— Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Light Art


Interactive Light Art in the Daylight
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
Walking around the Inner Harbor Saturday evening, Chris and I discovered art with lights. They were very creative scenes that employed lights. We had a lot of fun watching them and interacting with them.

Interactive Light Art at night
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
One of the art works involved pedaling bikes to activate portions of the art. It was fun to both interact with the art and the other people. 

The art really changed character as the evening fell. 


And then there were pieces that were larger and we were able to walk into an enjoy. I videoed the following one as Chris walked into it.




It was a fun evening and we had a number of unique experiences. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Musings - November 4, 2019




1. Here we go--the next to last month of the year is here. Welcome November, it is too cold all ready.

2. The GORC Wildcats 12U season ended yesterday with a disappointing doubleheader loss. Well, at least we know what we have to work on during the off-season to get ready for the Spring campaign.

Chris in Front of a Lighted Art
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
3. Welcome Standard Time. I am sure I prefer Daylight Saving Time. It got dark just after 5 PM last evening.

4. Chris and I spent Saturday evening at Baltimore's Inner Harbor enjoying the atmosphere and watching the sunset. After dark, the place came alive with light and color. It was a very enjoyable evening. 

5. Family NFL Results. The next time the league needs to pin a loss on the Patriots, just call on the Ravens, just saying!

   Ravens soundly defeated the Patriots 37-20
   Steelers squeaked by the Colts  26-24 (on a missed field goal)
   Redskins lost to the Bills 9-24
   Cowboys play tonight against the Giants

Baltimore Across the Harbor
November 2, 2019
6. As Chris and I were walking along the waterfront of Baltimore's inner Harbor Saturday evening watching the day fade into darkness, we observed the beauty of the Baltimore Skyline with the lights of the buildings being illuminated and reflecting in the almost still waters of the harbor. It was a scene for a picture, and so, of course, I took one.

Ferris Wheel
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
8. Do you remember what a Ferris wheel looks like at night? It reminds me of Volunteer Firemen Carnivals from when I was young. The excitement of the nights and the lights and the sounds. 

8. Today in History. A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on November 4, 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.
The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies, as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO).



Headlines

A Million D.U.I. Cases a Year, but Breath Analysis Often Fails Test - The New York Times

Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming - The New York Times

Scores injured in chaotic weekend of Hong Kong protests - Reuters

North Korea, U.S. could resume talks in mid-November: South Korean MP - Reuters





Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

May I congratulate all of you who are Members of this historic 100th Congress of the United States of America. In this 200th anniversary year of our Constitution, you and I stand on the shoulders of giants -- men whose words and deeds put wind in the sails of freedom. However, we must always remember that our Constitution is to be celebrated not for being old, but for being young -- young with the same energy, spirit, and promise that filled each eventful day in Philadelphia's statehouse. We will be guided tonight by their acts, and we will be guided forever by their words.

Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union, January 27, 1987


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Santa Maria


2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
It was sitting the Baltimore Harbor last night and I recognized her as soon as I saw her tied to the pier. 


2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
It was the full scale 2018 replica of the Santa Maria, Columbus's flagship of the squadron that with the Nina, Pinta are famous for carrying the discoverer to the "New World."

Discovering history through the replicas is a fantastic thing. The Santa Maria is only about 161 feet in length. That is roughly one tenth the length of Oasis of the Seas at 1186 feet. Oasis is a ship that Chris and I have had the pleasure of sailing upon a couple of years ago. The crew of the Santa Maria was estimated to be between 35-45 men. Who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a small wooden ship. 


Looking Down on the Main Deck
2018 Replica of the Santa Maria
Baltimore Inner Harbor
November 2, 2019
She is beautiful, however, The woodwork is amazing and the ship appears sturdy. It, of course, is a floating museum. It is important to understand the conditions that the crew faced on a daily basis. It was not a lot of fun to be a seaman during the late 1400's. Life was tough and perils were found everywhere.

Yet, the small ships and crews found their way around the world. 

I enjoyed coming aboard and exploring the portions of the ship that were open to the public. I was amused that the ship was sporting extensive Halloween decorations, some of which are evident in the images that took. 

It was an enjoyable time delving into history. And after visiting the ship, Chris and I proceeded to enjoy the festivities adorning the Baltimore Inner Harbor for the remainder of the evening.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 2, 2019

First Frost


Frost on the Windshield
Elkridge, MD
November 2, 2019
One of the sure signs of Autumn is the arrival of the first frost. 


Frost on Chris's Car Roof
Elkridge, MD
November 2, 2019
This morning, the first frost of the season graced the area and signaled the official end to the growing season. Chris and I moved the palms and hibiscus into the pool house for protection before going out for Happy Hour at a friend's house last evening.  They were too full of water form the rains to bring inside the house yet--but as soon as they are dry, they will come inside for the winter.

Frost is a sure sign that winter is not far off. 

And it is cold this morning. As you might expect with frost. But the dawn is breaking with a clear sky and the autumn colors on the trees are even more vibrant as the leaves prepare to take their final dance with the wind and fall to the ground. 

The falling leaves mean that I get to rake the lawn again! Yay!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, November 1, 2019

Day of the Turkey


Welcome November! 

And what does the arrival of November mean? It coincides with the arrival of the Day of the Turkey season. In the vernacular it is known as Thanksgiving! The Thanksgiving season has arrived. 

The Thanksgiving season is short, only four weeks, and it is often lost in the anticipation of Christmas. It is sad that the stores are already pushing Christmas--everyone is going to be burned out before December even arrives. 

Halloween passed quietly last evening. The torrential rains held off and we were able to give out most of our candy. It was fun as we were at home for the first time in about 14 years to enjoy the costumed kids in our own neighborhood. 

But now, bring on the Turkeys!!!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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