Monday, September 27, 2021

Monday Musings - September 27, 2021

 



1. It is all but over--September, that is. This is the last Monday of the month and October is in the wings ready to take the stage. Scary thought--there are but 13 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. Family NFL results

   Ravens (2-1) defeat Lions (0-3), 19-17

   Steelers (1-2) lose to Bengals (2-1), 10-24

   Washington (1-2) lose to Bills (2-1), 21-43

   Cowboys (1-1) play Eagles (1-1) Monday night

3. Has anyone else noticed how fast and aggressive some drivers are on the highways?

Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline
New York Harbor
September 25, 2021
4. The Statue of Liberty and the skyline of Southern Manhattan. I thought it made a great image. We were on the ferry circling around to dock and disembark during the mid-morning hours of a beautiful Autumn day.

5. During our visit to NYC, we discovered people in Times Square and on 5th and 6th Avenues--but elsewhere things were very sparse.

6. How does my dog seem to know what time it is? Every morning at the same time she lets me know she is hungry and has needs to be done outside. And my dog cannot read a clock.

7. I love it when the house is quiet. Sometimes I can even hear the water filling the ice machine in the refrigerator.

8. Today in History. On September 27, 1779, the Continental Congress appoints John Adams to travel to France as minister plenipotentiary in charge of negotiating treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.

Adams had traveled to Paris in 1778 to negotiate an alliance with France, but had been unceremoniously dismissed when Congress chose Benjamin Franklin as sole commissioner. Soon after returning to Massachusetts in mid-1779, Adams was elected as a delegate to the state convention to draw up a new constitution; he was involved in these duties when he learned of his new diplomatic commission. Accompanied by his young sons John Quincy and Charles, Adams sailed for Europe that November aboard the French ship Sensible, which sprang a leak early in the voyage and missed its original destination (Brest), instead landing at El Ferrol, in northwestern Spain. After an arduous journey by mule train across the Pyrenees and into France, Adams and his group reached Paris in early February 1780.




Fed Could Be Forced to Revisit Emergency Playbook - The Wall Street Journal

Killings of Islamic State Militants Highlight Power Struggle With Taliban - The Wall Street Journal

A Changed Germany Sees the End of an Era as Merkel Nears the ExitA Changed Germany Sees the End of an Era as Merkel Nears the Exit - The New York Times

This Lab Charges $380 for a Covid Test. Is That What Congress Had in Mind?This Lab Charges $380 for a Covid Test. Is That What Congress Had in Mind? - The New York Times

Companies are hoarding personal data about you. Here’s how to get them to delete it. - The Washington Post

Thousands flee raging California Fawn fire as woman arrested with lighter in her pocket - The Washington Post

Iran fails to fully honour agreement on monitoring equipment, IAEA says - Reuters

Evergrande's EV unit terminates plans to issue RMB shares - Reuters



-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, September 26, 2021

NYC and Back in 18 Hours

Looking South
 102 Floor Observation Deck
Empire State Building, New York
September 25, 2021

Lucas with Shuttle Enterprise
intrepid Air and Space Museum
New York City, NY
September 25, 2021
Amazingly, hit took just 18 hours. From home to NYC to home with a lot of fun activity in between the day flowed continuously.
 

But we were exhausted when I finally pulled the car into the drive at 11:30 pm after a day in the city. 


The itinerary was pretty straight forward: Statue of Liberty, Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the Lego Store, and close the day at sunset atop the Empire State Building. 

The significant deviation was a stop in Rockefeller Center at City Winery for a Happy Hour Cabernet Sauvignon. Luke had a Sprite. And there was the obligatory street vendor hot dog which we squeezed in for lunch. 

Things got off to a later than scheduled start, but Chris and I made a pact that we were not in a hurry and so we would not dwell upon the small things. Traffic to NYC was light and we made great time, right up until we were changing roads to go to the New Jersey site for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But, we made the 9:30 ferry, so all was good. We skipped the Ellis Island stop, opting for just visiting the Stature of Liberty and we able to spent a lot of time wandering around the Statue and visiting the museum. We stopped for some drinks and then it was back to the car for the trip into NYC.

Statue of Liberty with Autumn Leaves
Liberty Island
September, 25, 2021
Can I just say that driving in NYC is not for the timid? We were mired in difficult traffic from the moment we exited the Holland Tunnel. But, Chris and I teamed to navigate the car through the traffic and successfully made our second stop at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. I had scoped out parking and was about to park just across the street from the museum--where we left the car for the remainder of the day. Parking in New York is not much more expensive than parking in downtown Baltimore, BTW. And the price is far more expensive than it should be.

Luke and Chris Fighting King Kong
Empire State Building
NYC, NY
September 25, 2021
The Intrepid Museum is one of my favorite places. I never seem to be able to spend enough time there and the exhibits are continually updated. It is simple amazing to stand on and inside of this warship which helped to defeat the Japanese and took significant damage during Kamikaze attacks. The Growler submarine is also a very interesting and well preserved exhibit from the Cold War and must not be missed. There is a definite difference in the use of weapons from the Cold War to now. The Growler served from 1958-1964 when it was retired. By contrast, B-52s built during the early 1960's are still flying. 

After the museum it was time to transition into the city than never sleeps. We walked five blocks to Time Square. Lucas was amazed and we walked through the middle of the Hell's Kitchen eating area and then past part of the theater district. Time Square, unlike the museum area, was alive and full of people. We subsequently walked to Rockefeller Center and visited the Lego Store and enjoyed some wine before heading to the Empire State Building.

Because we did not spend the night in the city, I decided that we needed to visit the 102nd Floor Observation Deck. Frankly, it is really expensive--I could have rented a hotel room for the cost to get three people up to that point--but do you know why it is so expensive? Well, because it is worth it. It had been decades since I last visited the high point on the Empire State Building and to say the view is breathtaking is an understatement. The Observation Deck is build so that there is nothing between the observer and the world outside the deck except for a piece of glass. It is breathtaking, really!

As sunset descended, it was time to begin the journey home. We were exhausted and a cab ride from the Empire State Building to the car was a must. It was also a thrill ride! Our taxi driver knew to the millimeter where his fender was in relation to other vehicles. As I tipped the driver we laughed about the excitement of the ride. I am glad that I was in the backseat.

The drive home was mostly uneventful. The New Jersey Turnpike might better be renamed the New Jersey Racetrack--but it was all good and we made it home; ending the adventure.

Memories were made.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Stunning Day

 


Standing on Liberty Island on a fantastic late-September day. The view is spectacular and the weather idyllic. 

It is hard to believe we finally made it. We originally planned to visit during late-August, but there was this hurricane. And then we tried for a Saturday in early-September--but it was the 20th Anniversary of 9/11--so we wisely took a pass. But today, we are here! Enjoying light crowds and the most beautiful Autumn Saturday that could be imagined. 

A day full of fun and showing the city to Lucas lies ahead. 


— Bob Doan, Liberty Island, NY Harbor

Friday, September 24, 2021

Another September Budget Crisis


 Well, it is late-September and our Congress is demonstrating clearly that it matters not which party is in the seat, they cannot or will not do their constitutionally appointed task of funding the government with a budget.

It has become an annual rite: the budget crisis and of course it is almost always tied to raising the debt ceiling. 

What is sad is that the Republicans seem to have amnesia that when they held the reigns, the deficit increased over $7 trillion! Yup, it's true. And now they are quibbling and threatening to shut the government down. And of course the Democrats are no better--they can't even find consensus among themselves.

The problem for "we the people" is that our retirement accounts are based upon the good faith and credit of the United States and when Congress plays politics they threaten our livelihood and future. It has become an important game for small-minded people to try an grind their individual axes.

Just pass a budget and get on with it.

We cannot move forward if we keep looking back.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Friday Eve Arrives Again




 The first full day of Autumn has arrived and it coincides with my weekly Friday Eve celebration. 

Looking at the autumnal leaves which have been blown from the trees by the storms which have been passing through the region, I am very happy that I had closed the pool so that I do not have to clear the mess. The arrival of Autumn makes me wish that I could have a lanai over my pool, like as in Florida. That would allow me to keep the pool open longer--but, the leaves are a great deterrent to a longer pool season.

Even in Texas, as I was there this past weekend, the municipal pools close during the early portion of September. And now, September is drawing to a close and October is just a week away. The months are accelerating their pace it seems. 

I realized how quickly the summer passed yesterday when my allergist asked me how my golf game was going. We always speak about golf as it is more interesting than my allergies. I responded to him that I had not been playing much because I have been so busy with baseball and travel. And it is true. My recent handicap revision based upon a couple of "not my best rounds" due to lack of consistent play increased two points. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Autumn


 Today is the day that Autumn officially begins. Much like Summer, the beginning of Autumn is generally more associated with a holiday than the actual calendar. Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning to the Summer season and Labor Day, it seems, marks the end of Summer and therefore the beginning of Autumn. 

No matter. It is here now. 

Let the fun and the falling leaves begin.

Let the darkness grow as the days grow ever shorter.

The cooler days and cold nights are not far off. 

Autumn begins at 3:21 PM EDT. Summer has been lingering, but it is not time to send it off and say good-bye to the fun we had.  

Football has arrived and it is time for baseball to begin to end. 

For the Orioles, the season cannot end enough. The Orioles have 48 wins with 11 games remaining--can they make 50? Inquiring minds want to know. And then, the season will mercifully be over.

Autumn is certainly arriving. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Troubling Tuesday


 Well, another Tuesday has dawned. Actually, it is almost dawn.

The days are getting shorter and the work loads are getting bigger it seems.

I never seem to know how to deal with Tuesday. There is always so much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished. 

Today I have a medical appointment, a follow-up, so nothing major is expected to occur. 

And then there is baseball practice this evening with the undefeated Severn Seminoles 14U who swept another doubleheader this weekend. 

It should be a long and tiring day which means that when it is all over, I should sleep well and welcome in Hump Day tomorrow. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Musings - September 20, 2021


 


1. It is the third Monday of September. The month is flying away. There are 14 Mondays remaining in 2021.

2. Chris and I returned home safely after visiting my parents in Houston. Thanks to Pennie and Scott for hosting us and thanks to Mom and Dad--just for being you.

3. Family NFL Results:

    Ravens (1-1) defeat Chiefs (1-1), 36-35

    Cowboys (1-1) defeat Chargers (1-1), 20-17

    Football Team (1-1) defeat Giants (0-2), 

    Steelers (1-1) lost to Raiders (2-0), 26-17

Fire Pit Evening
Fulshear, TX
September 18, 2021

4. One good thing about flying later in the day. Last evening I watched the entire NFL football game between the Ravens and the Chiefs. I almost never get to see a complete football game on Sunday evenings. 

5. What is better than sitting around a fire pit on a nice evening with family? Nothing.

6. During our flight last evening, the crew came on the address system multiple times reminding people about the federal mandate to wear masks correctly. Apparently, there were some passengers who did not care to follow the rules. I was very encouraged as I walked off the plane and into the jetway to see more than a few police and federal officers waiting and talking to the crew. Someone was going to have a bad evening. 

7. I noticed the sky while I was in Texas. I always see the sky, but where we were in Texas with the flat land and low trees I noticed it was a 360 degree sky. A big sky. All around. And it was magnificent.

8. Today in HistoryOn September 20, 1973, in a highly publicized “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men’s player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn’t handle the pressure of the game and that even at his age he could beat any female player. The match was a huge media event, witnessed in person by over 30,000 spectators at the Houston Astrodome and by another 50 million TV viewers worldwide. King made a Cleopatra-style entrance on a gold litter carried by men dressed as ancient slaves, while Riggs arrived in a rickshaw pulled by female models. Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell called the match, in which King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. King’s achievement not only helped legitimize women’s professional tennis and female athletes, but it was seen as a victory for women’s rights in general.




Russian Election Shows Declining Support for Putin’s Party - The New York Times

A Hard-Line Conservative Hopes to Be Japan’s First Female Leader - The New York Times

Global Stocks, U.S. Futures Fall on China Property Fears - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Spat With France Shows Challenge of Keeping Allies Unified - The Wall Street Journal

World leaders face furious push to act quickly on climate change - The Washington Post

‘The pay is absolute crap’: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy - The Washington Post

N.Korea derides South's submarine-launched missile as clumsy, rudimentary - Reuters

Saudi retains top spot in oil supplies to China with volumes up 53% y/y - Reuters




-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Party Hardy

The scene of the Party
Fulshear, TX
September 19, 2021
The scene is empty and quiet now. Yesterday it hosted a large family party. Mom and Dad were on hand to supervise, but the stars of the show were the kids. Evenly split: three boys and three girls. The pool was the centerpiece of the festivities early and the hot tub took over late as the adults enjoyed themselves and unwound after a hectic day.

Family gatherings are fun as everyone knows each other and relationships pick up where they left off. Yesterday was special in that regard as Chris and I were part of the fun reconnecting with the Houston clan and some newly arrived residents from the frozen wastelands of Central New York. 

The noise was at times deafening, but it was joyous noise. There was the obligatory broken glass to make the gathering perfect. Someone always seems to drop and break a glass at family gatherings. Pennie put together a spectacular feast and the beverages were flowing freely. But, no one over imbibed. 

Great parties are great fun. They also take a lot of work. Thanks to Pennie and Scott it was a rousing success.


— Bob Doan, Fulshear, TX

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Visit

Mom and Dad in the Room
Katy, TX
September 17, 2021

The visit with Mom and Dad began yesterday. It was good to see them and reconnect. The place where they are living is nice and they are comfortable. Mom’s condition is such that she can no longer go out shopping or to eat a meal and so everything revolves around meal times. I spent a lot of time troubleshooting Dad’s computer issues.

We had a good visit and will be springing them from the facility for a bit today to enjoy time with extended family. A big picnic and maybe some pool time to help enjoy the afternoon. 

Last evening we enjoyed time around the fire pit after dinner and returning from the visit. The moon was bright and was accompanied by Jupiter and Saturn in the early evening sky. It was a great ending to a busy day.


— Bob Doan, Fulshear, TX



Friday, September 17, 2021

Back to Texas

Storm Clouds at BWI
September 16, 2021

Travel has resumed. Last evening after a challenging day at work, Chris and I flew to the Houston  area to visit Mom and Dad.  

The word of the afternoon was thunderstorms. Our flight was delayed boarding due to the storms. But, we got off and winged our way to Texas aboard a Southwest Airlines flight. The flight was relatively smooth and we arrived a bit late, but we arrived. Some flights had been canceled, but ours fortunately was not. 

Chris and I are here to visit with my parents and also attempt to decompress a bit after a really pressure-packed week. The flight experience was fairly normal except of course the requirement to be fully masked. I found that by the end of the flight the straps on my mask were hurting my ears.  But, I fully support masking requirements and, here it comes, mandatory vaccination. But those are thoughts for another blog. I am not sure I would feel comfortable trapped in an airplane with 120 of my new best friends without a facial covering mandate. 

For now, I’ll going to have some breakfast and prepare to visit with mom and dad. Travel is behind me and the morning is beautiful here. 


— Bob Doan, writing from Fulshear, Texas



Thursday, September 16, 2021

On to Infinity . . .


 Four Americans are circling the globe this morning as the first totally civilian crew to pilot a space mission. Inspiration4 launched form Cape Canaveral last evening in spectacular form placing the four onto orbit where they will remain, if all goes as planned, they will be in space for the next three days before deorbiting back to Earth ending with a water-landing off the Florida coast. 

It is all pretty exciting and a very extreme fund-raising campaign for St Jude Children's Research Hospital. The hope is to raise $200 million--which is as lofty a goal.

That a commercial company, SpaceX, has people in space, on-orbit where they will be for the next three days is almost mind boggling, but I believe that the commercialization of space and space travel is critical to achieving the dream of becoming a space-faring civilization. 

For now, here is hoping that everything goes as planned and that the mission is a success both in terms of the actual flight and subsequent recovery as well as in its fund-raising goals. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Closed Until May

 

Pool Cover Installed 2021
Elkridge, MD
September 14, 2021
As the leaves began to fall in earnest yesterday, the cover was installed on the pool to begin its winter hibernation.

Always a sad day, the cover went on fairly easily and I am hoping to see sparkling pool water when I open it during late April 2022.

The good news is that the pump is no longer running for hours each day and that saves electricity and I am not adding chlorine and chemicals to keep the water balanced--but that is all part of the joy of owning a pool. I am very hopeful that the new cover will keep the algae at bay and that opening in the Spring will be easier than it has ever been. 

There remain a few smaller projects, such as disconnecting the motor from the pump and filling some of the lines with anti-freeze, but together that is less than half an hour and can be done as I have time. Getting to cover on before the leaves fall is the most important part of the project. 

It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 90s and I dearly wanted to be swimming in rather than closing the pool, but the season is over. Now I can sit and watch the wind blow leaves onto the cover and not feel compelled to skim them from the pool.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Season's End

Pool Drained fir Winter
Elkridge, MD
September 13, 2021


 The process of closing the pool began yesterday. 

The winterizing chemicals are in, the pipes are blown out with compressed air and the final preparations for the cover are being made.

The cover--yes the new cover. Well, I did made a small mistake. There were some holes in the seal around the coping that I filled. I thought the urethane-based sealant would set in an hour--but it takes overnight and so we had to delay installing the cover. 

But we did everything necessary to install the pool cover and that should take less than an hour today. Then it is done and the leaves of autumn will not vex us as they fall increasingly into the pool. 

Of course, pool closing day is one of the saddest days of the year, but given that I had a fairly difficult Monday it was good to be distracted with the activity as I came hope from work. I still need to disconnect the motor on the pump and fill the lines with two gallons of anti-freeze, but that will come as time allows. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD



Monday, September 13, 2021

Monday Musings - September 13, 2021



1. Welcome to mid-September, It is the second Monday of the month. There are 15 Mondays remaining in 2021. Wow, the year is drawing to a close too quickly.

2. By this time next week, I expect my pool to be closed for the winter. Sadly, the closure of the pool along with the passing weeks on the calendar make clear the Summer is fading.

3. The NFL Season has returned. Family football scores:

   Dallas lost to Tampa, 29-31.

   Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo, 23-16.

   Washington lost to Los Angeles C, 20-16

   Ravens face Las Vegas tonight.


8 Chains North Vineyard
Waterford, VA
September 12, 2021

4. Chris and I spent an enjoyable day visiting our favorite Maryland vineyard and stopping of at a new favorite Virginia vineyard. It was a great day to be out and enjoying the beauty of the late-Summer. It was a great day to be out and about.

5. 44 runs allowed in three games! That is the what the Orioles have allowed during their past three games against the Blue Jays. That is two days worth of baseball. They allowed 11 runs in each game of a doubleheader on Saturday--and were leading late in both games before losing. They followed that by allowing 22 runs on Sunday. Can we put a fork in the Orioles season yet? There are 19 more opportunities for defeat remaining in the season.

6. Mandatory vaccinations are not unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled on that matter in 1905 in Jacobson v Massachusetts. So lets get vaccinated and defeat COVID.

7. With the recent 9/11 remembrance, I was reminded that after the attack after that September day Americans joined together to wage war on the attackers. I am saddened that now, when we are under attack from a virus, we cannot join together to win that war. 

8. Today in History. September 13, 1993. After decades of bloody animosity, representatives of Israel and Palestinemeet on the South Lawn of the White House and sign a framework for peace. The “Declaration of Principles” was the first agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians towards ending their conflict and sharing the holy land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea that they both claim as their homeland.




Restaurants Close Dining Rooms Again as Delta-Driven Infections Spread - The Wall Street Journal

Covid-19 Could Become Like Flu if More People Get Vaccinated - The Wall Street Journal

G.O.P. Seethes at Biden Mandate, Even in States Requiring Other Vaccines - The New York Times

False Election Claims in California Reveal a New Normal for G.O.P. - The New York Times

West Virginia spike shows challenges facing states with low vaccination rates - The Washington Post

Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die of covid-19, CDC finds - The Washington Post

N.Korea tests first 'strategic' cruise missile with possible nuclear capability - Reuters

Russia planning to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan -RIA cites foreign ministry - Reuters



-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Successful Opening Day

Jax and I on the Field Game 1
Severn, MD
September 11, 2021
Photo by Nicole Haslup

Baseball opening days are full of hope and promise.

Yesterday was opening day for the Severn Seminoles 14U in Chesapeake Baseball Association (CBA) play. It was an opening doubleheader for Fall Ball, which is the developmental part of the season leading to the real season in the Spring--but it is still baseball and the games matter to the coaches and players. Scores and records are kept.

Opening Day was a perfect baseball day with temperatures in the 80s and a partly cloudy sky. The field was a bit of a mess, but we worked hard to get it ready for the games. Yes, games. The team had a doubleheader against Southern Maryland Sliders 14U. 

This opening day doubleheader was the tale of two games.



The first game of the doubleheader was full seven inning affair that the Seminoles won with a walk-off run in the bottom of the 7th, 4-3. It was an exciting game which saw the Seminoles overcome a 3 run deficit to win the game in a somewhat dramatic fashion. 



The second game was completely different with the Seminoles winning via the Mercy Rule in the 5th inning, 17-2. The bats showed up for the second game and the Seminole pitchers were able to control the other team. As well, there were some dazzling defensive plays that prevented the Sliders from getting anything going on the base paths. 

It was a great start to the Fall season. I hope the boys and coaches can keep it going.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Chlorinator's Revenge

 

Parts to Fix my Chlorinator
You may remember that last week I wrote about nearly assassinating the pool chlorinator when I could not get it to open and then close properly after filling it with chlorine tablets. Chris saved it from certain destruction.

The chlorinator got its revenge this week as the input fitting decided to break off while I was conducting routine maintenance and replacing the O-ring to make it all work better. Ugh!

An emergency troubleshooting event was required to allow the filter to continue working while replacement parts were procured. Of course the breakage occurred at 6:45 PM and the pool store, some 20 minutes away, closed at 7 PM. 

So Chris went off to the pool store yesterday and purchased the replacement parts and I installed them, successfully, last evening and all is good. The chlorinator seems to be working as designed.

To think, all of this and I will be closing the pool this coming week for the season. The summer fun in and around the pool has run its course.

But, the chlorinator just needed to get its revenge for its near demise last week.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, September 10, 2021

Facelift modernization

The New Look
Elkridge, MD 
September 10, 2021
A project which has been in progress for almost three long months was finally completed in our kitchen. 

We had the cabinets updated and I am amazed at how it changes the entire look of the kitchen--making it both brighter and more modern. I know I was amazed at how much brighter everything seems, and it is more modern--which is funny because I remember when I was a kid and my parents remodeled their kitchen to put in white oak cabinets--they were beautiful as are these remastered cabinets. 

Christmas Eve 2020
Elkridge, MD
The old brown look is definitely dated. I have included an image from Christmas Eve 2020 for comparison.

Chris is busy preparing Christmas Eve brunch ini this image and the dark cabinets can be seen. 

We are much brighter and that is important in a room which is very dark to begin with. 

Change is good, sometimes. It was just the nearly three months without doors and drawers that was a problem.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Not in Last?


In an amazing feat of baseball, the hapless Orioles have been victorious in 4 of their past 5 games!

That includes taking a series from the Yankees in New York for the first time since early 2019 and now winning 2 of 3 from the Royals at home in OPACY. Tonight they go for the four game series win, but can do no worse than a split if they lose. 

Maybe September will new kind to the Orioles. They are 4-3 so far during the month. A 50 win season is definitely almost possible as they stand 45-93 and are no longer the worst team in Baseball. That honor has shifted back to Arizona who are 45-95. 

The baseball season is rapidly drawing to an end and the big question for Orioles fans is: when will rebuilding be complete? 

Soon, I hope. 

I am looking forward to driving to Sarasota for some Spring Training games in February and March and hoping to see a team ready for major league competition rather than trying out for a spot in the College World Series. 

Finishing 42 games out of first has become nauseating and does not encourage me to go to the park--although I did enjoy my visit to the Nationals last Friday. I miss competitive baseball. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Note - OPACY: Orioles Park at Camden Yards

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

9/11 - 20 years Later

It is of course Saturday: the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. 

We are hearing stories of the survivors from ground zero and from the school children that were with President Bush as he received the news. But, I know that each of us have a memory, a story about that day when the world actually did stand still as we pored over the rubble and nationally collected ourselves. 

It is the stories of every American, no matter where they were nor what they did that day which are now part of our national fabric. The fear, the disorientation, the anger--those memories unite us because everyone over the age of about 25 definitely have memories of that day. 

I sat alone in a far away land watching NBC News in total disbelief worried about my family in Maryland. I felt helpless and small, safe in the truest sense of the middle of no where. My memories are very different that those of people who were living in the Beltway area and the rest of America on that day. I am told there was an eerie sense of quiet as all the air traffic quickly was grounded. My story included taking of of the first United Airlines flights from LA to Baltimore after that day and the security that was present everywhere. 

Chris and I had planned to journey to New York City this weekend, but we had not realized that it was the 20th annual remembrance of the day and have decided to avoid the crowds and the city and rescheduled our trip for another time. 

WE should each write our stories of that day down especially now with the end of Afghanistan so they are not forgotten. 

Remember! Do not let history be rewritten.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

At Summer's Passing


The sounds of the summer are passing. 

Yesterday I enjoyed them for, likely, the last time this year. We gathered the entire family for the first time since Easter to celebrate the summer-ending Labor Day holiday. 

I made a mental note of the sound of my grandsons playing in the pool.

The sound of bean bags thumping on the Cornhole Game in the yard.

The sound of dogs playing/fighting in the afternoon.

The sounds of a family gathered talking, laughing, relaxing on a warm still-summer's afternoon. 

And those were the sounds of a holiday being enjoyed by my family in our yard. I wish I could have recorded the scene. And we forgot to take a family picture--I even charged up my drone to record the scene--but forgot to get it out because I was enjoying myself too much. 

Maybe next time.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, September 6, 2021

Monday Musings - Labor Day 2021

 



1. Welcome the first Monday in September. The 9th month of the year has arrived with more moderate temperatures. There are 16 Mondays and 116 days remaining in 2021!

2. Happy Labor Day! We celebrate the people who made ur country and the end of the Summer season. 

3. I will be closing my pool this week or next officially ending my summer around the house and transitioning into the Autumn season.

4. Summer is definitely ending. I spied the constellation Orion in the morning sky--a sure sign that the days are getting shorter and that the dark season is not far away.

5. Holiday Mondays are enjoyable. I am sure soon that I will not be able to distinguish a holiday from a normal day.

6. I am looking longingly at my pool knowing that moon the new cover will be installed and it will be seven months until it is open for swimming and fun again.

7. The Orioles amazed me by winning their first series in New York since 2019 yesterday. They took 2 of 3 from the Yankees, possibly dashing the Yankees hopes for winning the division. The Orioles now have 43 wins and need just 4 more to tie the worst ever Orioles team for fewest number of wins in a season.

8. Today in HistoryOn September 6, 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields.





Social Security Costs Expected to Exceed Total Income in 2021 as Covid-19 Takes Financial Toll - The Wall Street Journal

Business Travel Rebound Stifled by Covid Resurgence - The Wall Street Journal

Americans Stretch Across Political Divides to Welcome Afghan RefugeesAmericans Stretch Across Political Divides to Welcome Afghan Refugees - The New York Times

They Put Everything Into Their Homes. Not One Was Spared in the Flood.They Put Everything Into Their Homes. Not One Was Spared in the Flood. - The New York Times

The New Orleans power failure has disproportionally affected older residents, who are trapped in their homes. - The New York Times

Taliban claims victory over last pocket of resistance in Afghanistan - The Washington Post

Millions in U.S. lose jobless benefits as federal aid expires - The Washington Post

9/11 was a test. The books of the last two decades show how America failed. - The Washington Post

Sydney COVID cases seen topping 2,000 a day; Australia ramps up vaccinations - Reuters

Saudi Arabia slashes crude prices to Asia; US, Europe prices steady - Reuters



Presidential Labor Day Proclamation

After more than a year in which essential workers made extraordinary sacrifices and carried our Nation on their backs, this Labor Day we see more clearly than ever that we must build an economy that responds to the needs and aspirations of working people — an economy that deals everyone in and brings everyone along.  The pandemic has also exacerbated and revealed for all to see the places where our Nation has fallen short of its promise to deliver equal opportunity to workers of color and their communities.  To help address that long-standing challenge, my Administration is pursuing a comprehensive approach to advancing equity, as illustrated in the Executive Order I signed on my first day in office entitled Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities.


A Proclamation on Labor Day, 2021 - SEPTEMBER 03, 2021•


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Seminoles on the Warpath


 Playing in the heat of a late-Summer afternoon, the Severn Seminoles 14U baseball team displayed grit and enthusiasm while coming from behind to overcome a determined Severna Park Hornets 14U team. 

It was the last pre-Fall Ball Season scrimmage, but the boys demonstrated solid fundamental baseball. The pitching staff did an admirable job getting out of jams as there were multiple times the Hornets had bases loaded and one or less outs. As the two teams combined for 22 walks and 2 hit batsmen, the game was slow and plodding. 

That the team scored in each inning was a great achievement. It showed that they are unselfish and willing to work together to score runs. And in the field, as well--the boys followed-up plays and looked for the continuation to get additional outs defensively. 

The season starts next week and the hope is that the team will continue to build off the success seen so far. 

I am very happy to be back on the dusty diamond.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Baseball--In the Park!

National's Stadium
Mets vs Nationals
Washington, D.C.
September 3, 2021

 I went to a Major League Baseball (MLB) game in person last night. 

It was my first in-person professional baseball game since Spring Training in Florida during February 2020. And it was my first regular season MLB game since some time during 2019. 

It was great to be out at the ball park with the crowd. We had great, no we had awesome seats four rows from the field behind home plate. I took the image in this article from my seat while sitting. We heard the crack of the bat, the whump of the ball bouncing off the plate, the sound of a 101 mph fastball smacking into the catcher's mitt, and we saw an incredible play at the plate which resulted in the Mets catcher leaving the game.

We were part of the action. I noticed how loud it is with all the other fans above and around us. 

The game went into the 10th inning, which was incredibly exciting as the Nationals scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game. Sadly, however, the home team gave up four unanswered runs in the top of the 10th and the Mets ended the evening with a 6-2 victory. 

The only downside was that we did not make it back home until after midnight. Even though the Nationals, like the Orioles, are cellar dwellers, it was fun to watch competitive baseball. Did I mention that Jeremy, our son, scored premium seats that included food, drink, and parking? That also added to the great experience. 

Baseball in person! Wow!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Friday, September 3, 2021

When Simple Things Get Messed Up

The Chlorinator of my Nightmares
Elkridge, MD
September 2, 2021
Doing the weekly chemical check on the pool which includes filling the chlorinator and adding the appropriate cocktail of chemicals for the weekly shock to keep the algae at bay is not a particularly difficult task. I have been doing it for decades and have it down to about a 20 minute process which keeps my pool crystal clear and ready for use.

Until yesterday! Ugh.

The chlorinator would not open. I had to disassemble it and pry the top off to get chlorine into the chamber. And then it would not close. By the time it was done, I had managed to develop leaks around both the incoming and outgoing hoses. 

My 20 minute maintenance turned into an hour of pure frustration. Chris had to intervene to prevent me from assassinating the chlorinator. And of course it did not help that I had a longer than normal day at work.

I even changed the O ring--but all of mine are previously used and did not seem to work. I need to get this thing working smoothly again because fighting with a balky chlorinator every week is not my idea of fun! Of course, I can ignore the problem and close the pool and push the problem into next May--but that only kicks the can down the road and will provide additional frustration when opening the pool. 

Thank goodness a three-day holiday weekend is on the horizon. 

I fixed the leaky lines and did, in the end, get chlorine tablets loaded. I ended with it fully functional, at least for another week.

I get frustrated when simple things become problems.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Return to School


 Here in Maryland there is a very staggered start to the annual return to the classroom.

Howard County, for example, has been in class since Monday yet neighboring Anne Arundel County does not return until Wednesday after Labor Day.

I have noticed a significant increase in traffic and I have had to adjust my morning departure to miss the school bus that pays my street at about the same time that I leave. I did not adjust on Monday and lost 8 minutes behind the bus. I am amazed at how slow the kids are.

I guess I would be slow as well. 

The return to the classroom is a big event every year and this year is no exception with the discussions about whether to mask, or not. 

We need to protect our kids and each other as much as possibly and so I still do not understand the opposition to wearing facial coverings--it is the right thing to do to protect others. 

Well, happy school days!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Pummeling the Earth with Rain

 

Hurricane Ida Cell Dumping
Elkridge, MD
September, 1 ,2021

As the new month dawned, I was awakened to the sound of thunder and flashes of lightening along with the rain banging against my window this morning.

The fury of the remnants of Hurricane Ida were upon us and the house was standing up to ferocity. 

Makayla had to go out and so I was forced to open the door and experience the cool, damp air and peer into the pounding rain. There was a small river running down the drive, as it always does when it rains here. 

We have another day of this weather. We did need the rain, but it is too bad the storm could not be sent to California to quench the fires there. 

Thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone in the path of this storm and especially those without power suffering in the heat of Louisiana.


-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

In the Path of Ida

 


It seems the region is going to get a drenching from Hurricane Ida. 

We will have less damaging wind that New Orleans, but the 4-6 inches of possible rain will present huge problems for the area. 

It looks as if the rains will begin overnight tonight and continue into Thursday. 

And it will not be just a little rain, but significant rain. Oh yes, and tornadoes and thunderstorms. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Louisiana who are dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane that has interrupted their lives and livelihood while causing extensive damage, destruction, and death.

The storm is coming, it is best to get prepared. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

 

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