Saturday, November 30, 2019

Rewriting History on Black Friday


It was Black Friday for hordes of shoppers across the country, but for a small group of dedicated players it was the day for the annual Axis and Allies event where the fate of the world once again hung in the balance. 

Axis and Allies - The Game Begins
Somewhere in Odenton, MD
Black Friday
November 29, 2019
The five players were transported back in time to early 1942 where World War 2 began anew about 9:30 AM around the dining room table. War came quickly to Eastern Europe and in the Pacific with the Germans and Japanese being there aggressors. With the Italians controlling the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, the Axis began making substantial gains across Europe. The destruction of the U.S. Pacific Fleet gave Japan freedom of the seas, but that was only temporary until the U.S. could rebuild its fleet and begin to slowly strangle the Empire of the Rising Sun. In the west, however, the U.K. was neutralized and the Soviet Union was quickly forced from the game as the Axis powers solidified their gains. The continuing war in the Pacific meant that the U.S. was unable to mobilize forces against the Nazis who controlled all of Europe with the exception of the U.K. 

The game began to tip precipitously for the Axis as Japan continued to hang-on forcing the U.S. to divert naval forces to the Pacific. Italy and Germany consolidated gains across Europe and Asia and soon London was lost. Following the loss of London, a massive German naval assault was made upon Ottawa and then Washington. Both capitals were lost. In the Pacific Theater, one of the highlights of the game was a naval battle fought between U.S. and German aircraft carriers off the coast of China which saw the U.S Pacific Fleet head to the bottom of the South China Sea, freeing Japan from the naval blockade and stranglehold and cementing the domination of the world by the Axis.

Sadly for the free peoples of the world, after 12 hours of conflict, history was rewritten and the game ended with the Allies being defeated.  Germany, played by Jeremy, ended as the strongest power on the planet. Mike fought valiantly at the U.K. Only Australia and countries of Southern Africa and South America remained unscathed by the conflict. 

Congrats to my other fellow players, first time player Jax as the Soviet Union,  and second time player Ethan as the United States. We were all winners because we spent a great day together joking, talking and planning world domination. Oh yea, I played a less than effective Japan--just in case you cared.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Friday, November 29, 2019

Facades and Family


Holidays are times for families to get together. I had a fantastic time yesterday with our family--and it was our complete family, all eleven of us plus a few welcome additions, as we gathered for the Thanksgiving celebration and meal. 

Yesterday, however, I noticed that some seem to put their "game-face" on when they get around family. I wonder if it is because they don't want to be there because something happening behind the scenes that they don't want the others to know about, or worse, that they do not feel supported by the family.

Families should be a safe environment where members can be themselves and relate what is occurring in their lives without fear of retribution or retaliation. Life can be hard. When there are too many unspoken grievances bubbling beneath the seemingly placid facade, the family needs to examine its collective self. Family members must feel safe being themselves and leave the game-face at home. They should depend upon the collective strength of the family support them when needed and then to support others when required.  And the entire family should celebrate successes of each member when they occur.

Families are forever we need to live like it.  


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019


Well, it has arrived. The holiday to officially begin the holiday season dawned, or will dawn in a few minutes, and with it the parades, festive gatherings, football games, and the activities of our nation turn from divisiveness to family and friends. 

We need it! The news lately has become a repetitious drone of embarrassment. What have we become as a nation? Have we lost our moral rudder?

Our nation which used to be known for consistency with friend and foe alike has become like a rudderless ship adrift on the ocean. Friends are wary and foes openly defy us as they brazenly meddle in our internal affairs. We have become myopically inward-focused while the external world continues to churn. 

On this holiday, however, there are patriots among us who are not mired in the politics of the moment. The women and men of our military are standing guard across the world, but do not forget that with them there are also many civilians of the Department of Defense serving in foreign countries and working in operations centers here at home and around and who, instead of being at home with their families, are sacrificing their time and talent to secure and preserve freedom.

God bless you all!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Sun is a Late Riser


Sunrise Behind the Trees
Laurel, MD
November 26, 2019
Yesterday morning while walking to my truck in the parking lot of the club where I played racquetball in Laurel, I noticed that it still was not light out and that the sun was only beginning to brighten the skyline behind the trees. The streetlights were still illuminated. Sunrise was still more than 20 minutes away and while it was good that the sun was rising, I realized that for the next few weeks, until January 8th, it will continue to rise later in the morning.  

Here are the sad statistics.

Sunrise today was at 7:02 AM. By the end of 31st of December, sunrise in Baltimore will occur at 7:25 AM. I was amazed to find that even after the solstice on December 21st, when sunrise occurs at 7:22 AM, it will continue to occur later in the morning. It will be at its latest from January 1-7, 2020, when sunrise is at 7:26 AM. I guess the Sun prefers to sleep in during early January. I know that seems counterintuitive given that the daylight is actually lengthening during that period. The actual change in daylight from December 22 until January 7 is 11 minutes 51 seconds and it is all in later sunset times. 

And now for the real depressing thought, sunrise will not occur at 7:02 AM again until February 12, 2020. It truly is the season of darkness.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Darkness Falls


Sunrise today is at 7:02 AM.

I get to work at about 6:50 AM after playing racquetball beginning at 5:30 AM. 

Sunset will be at 4:48 PM. I will be lucky to be home by 4 PM so that I can experience 48 minutes of sunlight. 

It is the dark season. 

I am learning to live in the darkness, although I crave the light. There are only about 28 days left while the sun continues to reduce its daily presence. The solstice is coming and soon the light will begin to return.

The season of the darkness will be ending soon!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Musings - November 25, 2019



1. It is the last Monday of November. Thanksgiving is Thursday and Christmas is a mere 30 days away. The year is rapidly drawing to a close. 

2. One of the most sensitive subjects in America right now is the impeachment proceedings--everyone seems to have an opinion, but most people are too polite to share theirs openly. 

3. Have the news media gone too far? Are they forgetting to cover the news? There are many things happening in the world right now that out Americans are blind to because the media is not covering them. 

Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter, Florida
November 18, 2019
4. Last week I was waking up in Tequesta enjoying the warmth of 70's. This morning it is 34 degrees as I wake up. On the last evening I was there, I did manage a nice image of the Jupiter Lighthouse  against the sunset-filled sky. 

5. Chris and I managed to escape for a few hours yesterday and visit a couple Maryland wineries. It brightened the entire weekend. 

6. The shortness of the days is becoming very evident. Darkness falls so early that there is little to do other than to watch the television. 

7. Family NFL Report
    
    Ravens play tonight in LA vs the Rams
    Redskins defeated Lions 19-16
    Cowboys lost to Patriots 9-13
    Steelers defeated Bengals  16-10


8. Today in History. “The Mousetrap,” a murder-mystery written by the novelist and playwright Agatha Christie, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. The crowd-pleasing whodunit would go on to become the longest continuously running play in history, with more than 10 million people to date attending its more than 20,000 performances in London’s West End. When “The Mousetrap” premiered in 1952, Winston Churchill was British prime minister, Joseph Stalin was Soviet ruler, and Harry Truman was president. Christie, already a hugely successful English mystery novelist, originally wrote the drama for Queen Mary, wife of the late King George V. Initially called “Three Blind Mice,” it debuted as a 30-minute radio play on the queen’s 80th birthday in 1947. Christie later extended the play and renamed it “The Mousetrap”—a reference to the play-within-a-play performed in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”



Headlines

Hong Kong Democracy Backers Win Big as Voters Flock to Polls - The New York Times

Voters in Romania Reject Years of Scandals and Chaos - The New York Times

Australia probes 'deeply disturbing' allegations of Chinese political interference - Reuters

Iran says pro-government rally to show who 'real' Iranians are - Reuters

Turkey to test Russian S-400 systems despite U.S. pressure: media - Reuters



Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

“Although we are a pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths. We can be united in gratitude for our nation’s peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.” (1983)


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Cats and Dogs Living Together


Louis with Francis
Elkridge, MD
November 22, 2019
Riordin with Francis
Elkridge, MD
November 22, 2019
Friday evening Chris and I hosted Happy Hour for our friends. It was a great event, but we also, apparently hosted Happy Hour for the cats and dogs that share our lives. They also enjoyed the activity and at one point stole the show.


The cats became the hit of the party, near the end of the evening, as we allowed them to leave the area where we had them confined. I thought the look that Louis gave was a priceless "I'm not happy and I'm going to do something drastic" look. Riordin, on the other-hand  was not amused that he had to share shoulder-time with Louis. 


Finnegan Sitting on Makayla
Elkridge, MD
November 23, 2019
The dogs were just dogs. They seemed unaffected by the activity and were content to themselves. They did sit next to me during the mean, but otherwise, they were content. I did not get a picture of them during the evening, but I took one yesterday that represented their approach to activity in the house. 

I think dogs have a more global view of the activity than do the cats. The cats get involved in the moment and the dogs roll over and say to themselves, "Oh yea, people." Yawn. "Maybe I can get a treat."

Dogs: totally incorrigible. 
Cats: spastic.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 23, 2019

What a Week (Potentially a Bit Controversial)



Waking to a temperature of 30 degrees this morning and with frost on the newly mown grass, I was reminded that I started the week waking to temperatures in the 70's with palm trees dancing in the breeze.

It is a cold the morning, much like the political climate in our country right now. 

I cannot understand why our political leaders are abrogating their responsibilities to govern in a bipartisan manner and allowing our global adversaries the opportunity to make huge gains while we are myopically focused upon domestic bickering. 

Here's Bob's view of the impeachment proceedings. I got asked this question this week about how I felt about the proceedings and after I formulated my answer and teased it out a bit, I felt that I wanted to share it with others to provide my perspective on the issues.

The proceedings are legal under the Constitution.

There is too much fluff being entered into the discussion by the defense. It does not matter what the Democratic Party did, or this or that candidate did, or what the Republican Party did. The ONLY thing germane to the conversation is what the president did!

That the President did something illegal has not been disputed by the Republican defense. 

The big question: Is what the President did worthy of impeachment and subsequent removal from office? And that is the true substance of the whole issue. 

Here is my analysis.

Given the current make up of the Senate, I believe this question will be answered only through the extremely partisan process that we have witnessed thus far. If the impeachment goes to the Senate for a trial, I predict the final vote will be 53-47 against conviction and removal. That allows for two Democrats and two Republicans each to switch sides. When it is boiled down, despite what the Constitution says, the standard for removal of a president from office is such that the crimes have to be egregious enough for the President's own party to vote for conviction and removal. In this case that means that at least 20 (more likely 22 or 23) Republican senators must vote for removal in order to obtain the 67 votes necessary to sustain a conviction. At this point it is clear that the party of the president continues to staunchly support the president. Hence, there will be no conviction. Going back to the Constitution, that, by extension, also means that the crimes are not egregious enough to warrant removal.

Bob's opinion--the Congress needs to get back to work and govern the nation and start passing a budget and fixing our looming economic disaster.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, November 22, 2019

Final Mowing of the Season


Last evening I mowed the lawn!
Ornamental Bush
Elkridge, MD
November 21, 2019

Freshly Mowed Lawn
Elkridge, MD
November 21, 2019
For real on the 21st of November the lawn needed to be mowed to prepare it for winter. The grass had grown and in fact the lawn looks better right now than it looked all summer. The lawn is green--it is just crazy that I had to mow the lawn during November. But, even though it was cold, I had fun realizing that this will likely be the last mowing of 2019. 

After the mowing was complete and the tractor placed in the shed, I took a picture of the lawn and one of the ornamental bushes. The bush takes on the fire red color of the season. We are lucky in that we have not had any snow. The temperatures are cold, but snow, thus far, has not made its way into the region. 

Autumn is sliding into winter. The nights are getting longer and colder. The green lawn reminds me that spring and summer are coming again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Drawbridges


Drawbridge Over Lake Worth
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
In reviewing my photos from the visit to Florida, I happened upon one that I took from the Flagler Museum of a Palm Beach drawbridge. While not a particularly interesting image by itself, as I reflected upon the subject and the region I realized drawbridges define coastal South Florida. 

I remember that as a kid I was fascinated by drawbridges. Ithaca did not and does not have any. Seeing one for the first time, I think I was in college, was a fascinating experience, it was almost like the first time I happened upon an escalator, I just wanted to stop and watch the precision of the huge machinery lifting the road to allow maritime traffic to pass underneath. 

Floating Drawbridge
Willemstad, Curacao
July 29, 2015
The area where I reside in Florida when I escape to the south is replete with drawbridges. Sometimes, I believe they have it in for me and seem to open at the most inopportune times. There is one particular drawbridge that I traverse multiple times per day and I clearly remember one day that it was open fully fifty percent of the time I attempted to pass. And as you are likely aware, drawbridge openings are not a short affair. It takes a good 5-10 minutes for the entire cycle to complete. 

One of the most fascinating drawbridges that I have seen was in Willemstad, Curacao. That bridge opened by sliding away in the water. It was a floating drawbridge.  Against the colorful town, it was a sight to see and enjoy. 

I will have to become used to the open and closing of drawbridges as I spend more time in South Florida as they are a way of life for the coastal communities. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Palm and the Cactus


My Palm Tree
Tequesta, Florida
November 19, 2019
Waking yesterday morning in Florida and being treated to a clear blue sky and warm sunshine was a perfect send-off and ending for my two weeks away from the north. I felt compelled to take a picture of my palm tree--the one that I park the car next to  in my drive when I am there. It is not a huge palm tree, as palm trees go, but I must be mindful of it as I back the car into the drive. I additionally use the palm to position the car so that I do not back into the garage door. 

Thanksgiving Cactus
Elkridge, MD
November 19, 2019
After an uneventful plane ride to Baltimore, Chris and I entered our home and were treated to our Thanksgiving Cactus in full bloom for the upcoming holiday. We knew that the cactus would likely bloom during our time away, but thought that it would be complete by the time we returned. We were happy that was not the case. It was a joy to round the corner into the family room and see the cactus brightening the space with its blooms. 

The house is decorated for Thanksgiving, however, we will likely begin the Christmasification process this weekend. It is the season! I usually install the exterior Christmas lights on Veterans Day, however, this year I was enjoying the sun and warmth of Florida on that holiday. So now the work begins. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
   (I do not know why I prefer to write out Florida, but abbreviate Maryland as MD)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Last Sunset

Sunset to the South Over the Beach
Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 18, 2019

Sunset to the East Over the Atlantic Ocean
Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 18, 2019
Last evening Chris and I continued our ritual of saying good-bye to the ocean. This is something that we do at the end of every trip as a way of recognizing the end of the vacation and fixing in our minds that last image of the ocean waves crashing on the beach. Last evening the surf was definitely strong and the ocean was angry. We have observed a lot of beach erosion during our visit. All of the beaches we visited have shown signs of erosion from the pounding of the surf. 

Jupiter Lighthouse Looking to the West
Intra-coastal Waterway
Jupiter Island Florida
November, 18 2019
Sunset to the West
Intra-coastal Waterway
Jupiter Island Florida
November, 18 2019 
But the real joy of last evening, as we visiting the ocean for one last time, was the spectacular sunset. It was one of those rare sunsets that fully encompassed the sky. We looked to the east across the ocean and we could see the reflections of the sunset in the clouds and looking to the south along the beach the sunset was also stunning. When we walked across Jupiter Island to stand on the Intra-coastal Waterway and face fully to the west, however, the sunset was awe-inspiring. It was a sunset to remember and I am very glad that I captured the memory of it in more than a few images. 

It will be a some months before I return to stand in the places where I stood last evening, but the memory of the last sunset will be with me for a while. The sunset was a true example of "raining fire in the sky" that John Denver sings of in his song Rocky Mountain High.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Musings - November 18, 2019




1. The month is zipping by at a rapid pace. It is already the last half of November. Thanksgiving is next week and I see signs of the Christmas season in almost every store.

2. It is hard to believe that my two week respite from the Northeast ends tomorrow. I will leave the palm trees behind and board a flight to face the worst that winter can toss at me.

Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 16, 2019
3. On Saturday, despite the cooler temperatures, Chris and I went to the beach on Jupiter Island. The sun was warm and we were treated to Caribbean Sea colors as the ocean was relatively calm and the sky was blue.

4. Family NFL Results and probability of making the playoffs:

  Ravens (97%) defeat Texans 41-7
  Cowboys (61%) defeat Lions 35-27
  Steelers (34%) lose to Browns 7-21
  Redskins (<1 17-34="" font="" jets="" lose="" to="">

Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter, Florida
November 16, 2019
5. The iconic Jupiter Lighthouse has been dark during the time we have been in the area due to maintenance. I was able to manage yet a slightly different image of it the other day as it was illuminated by the sun with the back from of the dark clouds. 

6. As we close up our condo, in preparation for the winter, we are leaving lot of memories and work behind. I think we have nearly made the place into our home and there are only minor projects remaining to fill our time during the next visit. I am already planning my first visit of 2020.

7. It was instructive to see how the 18 degree drop in temperature caused the true Floridians to seek heavy jackets, while those form more northern climates continues to wear shorts. I did, however, change into jeans when the temperatures dipped below 60 degrees.

8. Is there such a thing as Christmas season burnout? With the jump form Halloween to Christmas, skipping Thanksgiving, I worry that by the time Christmas actually arrives, people will be burned out.

9. Today in History. On November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at gunpoint. The final death toll at Jonestown that day was 909; a third of those who perished were children.


Headlines

Congress Expects to Pass Another Stopgap Spending Bill to Keep Agencies Open Through Dec. 20 - Government Executive

Hong Kong Protesters Trapped at Campus - The New York Times

Republicans Shift Defense of Trump While He Attacks Another Witness - The New York Times

North Korea says will not offer anything to Trump without receiving in return: KCNA - Reuters

Russia starts process of returning captured naval ships to Ukraine: TASS - Reuters



Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Next, the budget process is a sorry spectacle. The missing of deadlines and the nightmare of monstrous continuing resolutions packing hundreds of billions of dollars of spending into one bill must be stopped. We ask the Congress once again: Give us the same tool that 43 Governors have -- a line-item veto so we can carve out the boondoggles and pork, those items that would never survive on their own. I will send the Congress broad recommendations on the budget, but first I'd like to see yours. Let's go to work and get this done together.

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



-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Palm Trees, No Drama


Palm Tree with Moon in Front of my Condo
Tequesta, Florida
November 16, 2019
There is something about palm trees that help me to lose the drama in my life. Some days life is full of just too much drama and getting rid of it helps to preserve my sanity. Whenever I see a palm tree, I automatically exhale and the stress and drama in my life vanish.

Palms Behind my Condo
Tequesta, Florida
November 16, 2019

I guess palm trees are one of the reasons that I love Florida so much. I know that when the plane touches down on the runway when I am arriving that the first object that my eyes search for are the palm trees. When I finally see the palms, I know that I have arrived in Florida. I am blessed in that I can see palm trees from both the front and back of my condo! There is a palm tree right next to my driveway that I have to avoid every time I park my car. I love that palm tree because it is reminds me that I am in Florida. 

Palm trees are signs that my life has become a drama free zone! 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Beaches and Birds


I have discovered that Florida weather forecasters are as inconsistent  as Maryland forecasters. 

Yesterday was supposed to be rainy 70 percent of the day with the bulk of the rain in the morning and. early afternoon. It turned out that the rain was spotty, hit or miss and a very low percentage. Turns out, it was a great day, until late in the afternoon. There were clouds on the skyline which provided for some additional beauty to the beach. 

Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019


A Squadron of Pelicans in Formation
Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019
The beach was wide, long and clean. And, did I mention, there was almost no one there? The weather report kept most of the beach-goers away and so we had the wide expanse of sand from horizon to horizon to ourselves. 

Seagull on the Beach
Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, Florida
November 15, 2019
Well, we didn't exactly have the entire beach to ourselves, we had a few birds, many birds actually, to enjoy. They filled the beach as they were scavenging for food. The pelicans over the water were especially fun to watch as they flew their seemingly precise formations across the fairly calm waters less than a wingspan above the ocean.  

The birds provided ample entertainment, as did the waves which I ventured out into for the first time during the trip. They were crashing hard on the beach and I did a bit of body surfing. It was tiring because the waves were big--over 6 feet in some cases. 

It was a great day and since the temperatures are cooling into the 70's, its was likely the last opportunity to actually get into the water for the year. 

Another idyllic day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Friday, November 15, 2019

Too Much Plastic


Plastic Ware on the Beach
Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, Florida
November 14, 2019
I am in shock, frankly. After walking the beaches faithfully for the past 9 days, I am shocked at the amount of plastic that is washing up on the beaches! It is stunning and I had no idea, until this trip, how much plastic waste is washing up on the beaches. We are awash in plastic. 

Chris and I have been walking the beaches, picking up trash and doing our small part to clean the environment. It has become clear that as a society and on a global scale we need to reduce or eliminate the use of one-time use plastic for utensils and bags. I am appalled at the volume of plastic utensils that adorn the beaches. And the bags--from small bags to grocery bags are everywhere. Sadly, many of the bags are small clear plastic bags that may have been used for fishing associated items. Why would fishermen pollute the environment by throwing the bags into the water where the turtles and other animals can then confuse them as jellyfish; eat them and die? 

We need to take action to reduce plastic in the environment. I have not been a supporter of taxes on plastic bags, until now. I believe we need to stop the use of plastic straws and utensils as well. If we do not, we will strangle the planet in plastic.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Return to the Flagler Museum


Christmas Tree in the Main Room
Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
I do enjoy good museums and the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach is a good museum. It provides a detailed look into the Gilded Age and how the very upper crust of American Society lived. 

Christmas Tree in the Drawing Room
Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, Florida
November 13, 2019
Unlike when Chris and I visited during out last trip here, the museum is now decorated for Christmas. That surprised me a bit when I first entered, but then upon reflecting a bit, it made sense. The decorations were not lighted--that happens after Thanksgiving. 

It was nice to tour the museum again after seeing it only a few months earlier. I was able to go deeper into some of the exhibits and gain a better appreciation for Henry Flagler and how he created modern Florida in his vision. The key was building a railroad to connect the villages of St Augustine, Palm Beach, and Miami. He then built the Overseas Railroad to connect Key West to the mainland. It was an extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. 

As it rained during most of the day which precluded going to the beach, visiting the museum was a great way to spend time and gain a better appreciation of history as well. 

I recommend visiting the Flagler Museum. It is a must do when in the West Palm Beach/Palm Beach area.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


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


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