Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Preparing for Independence

Independence Day Flamingo
Elkridge, MD
June 20, 2021

 I expect that this year's Independence Day celebration may be the biggest since the end of World War 2.


Because we will be celebrating independence doom COVID-19. 

The vaccines are working--the data is in and the rest of the world is striving to be where we have come as a society. Freedom from the prevalent threat of COVID-19. We are no longer viewing our neighbors suspiciously as potential carriers of the 21st Century plague.   

Break out the pools and queue the get togethers. Sadly, some municipalities canceled their fireworks displays not believing that the country would be ready to resume life in the post-COVID period. 

Break out the travel plans--we are free to move about the country and soon, Europe as well as the Caribbean. 

Caution is the word--be smart, but be free.

Happy Independence Day! Coming to a backyard near you in less than two weeks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Musings - June 21, 2021


1. It is the third Monday of June. Wow. The month is flying by. 

2. Summer is here. It started last evening. Enjoy there first full day of Summer and plan your get away.

3. I had an enjoyable Father's Day. Low key, but very enjoyable. Thanks to all who participated. And as an added benefit, the cicadas were gone and so it was enjoyable to be outside.

Pool Cover Last Hurrah
Beallsville, MD
June 19, 2021
4. I was advised over the weekend that my pool cover had come to the end of its useful life. That was a shock. I knew it needed repair, but when faced with the facts, I could not escape the realization that the cover needed to be replaced. Not an expected summertime expense.

5. For the first time in many years I do not have any summertime travel plans.

6. As a sign of the post-Covid experience, yesterday marked the first time that I shopped in a grocery store without first donning my facial covering. It was about a 60-40 mix of people with the majority still covered. I had a facial covering in my pocket, but wanted to see how it felt not to wear the mask. It felt unsettling. We are not fully back to pre-Covid normal yet.

7. Today in History. June 21, 1788. New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.

By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederationwere apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.

How Five Hong Kong Protesters Escaped by Speedboat and Found Freedom in the U.S. - The Wall Street Journal

New York Faces Lasting Economic Toll Even as Pandemic PassesNew York Faces Lasting Economic Toll Even as Pandemic Passes - The New York Times

Tucker Carlson Calls Journalists ‘Animals.’ He’s Also Their Best Source.Tucker Carlson Calls Journalists ‘Animals.’ He’s Also Their Best Source. - The New York Times

Unmasking the far right: An extremist paid a price when his identity was exposed online after a violent clash in Washington - The Washington Post

Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapon is ‘paramount priority,’ national security adviser says - The Washington Post

American Airlines Cuts Flights to Avoid Potential Strains - The Wall Street Journal

Olympics Tokyo organisers to cap spectators at 10,000 per venue - Reuters

Bitcoin slumps in wake of China crackdown - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

In the early days of our Republic, Americans watched Yankee Clippers glide across the many oceans of the world, manned by proud and energetic individuals breaking records for time and distance, showing our flag, and opening up new vistas of commerce and communications. Well, today, I think you have helped recreate the anticipation and excitement felt in those homeports as those gallant ships were spotted on the horizon heading in after a long voyage.

Today we celebrate the 206th anniversary of our independence. Through our history, we've never shrunk before a challenge. The conquest of new frontiers for the betterment of our homes and families is a crucial part of our national character, something which you so ably represent today. The space program in general and the shuttle program in particular have gone a long way to help our country recapture its spirit of vitality and confidence. The pioneer spirit still flourishes in America. In the future, as in the past, our freedom, independence, and national well-being will be tied to new achievements, new discoveries, and pushing back new frontiers.

The fourth landing of the Columbia is the historical equivalent to the driving of the golden spike which completed the first transcontinental railroad. It marks our entrance into a new era. The test flights are over. The groundwork has been laid. And now we will move forward to capitalize on the tremendous potential offered by the ultimate frontier of space. Beginning with the next flight, the Columbia and her sister ships will be fully operational, ready to provide economical and routine access to space for scientific exploration, commercial ventures, and for tasks related to the national security.

Simultaneously, we must look aggressively to the future by demonstrating the potential of the shuttle and establishing a more permanent presence in space.

Remarks at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on Completion of the Fourth Mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia - July 4, 1982

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day

 Happy Father's Day to all the fathers. 

It is a commitment that can be one of the most rewarding things in life as we guide our children to adulthood and independence. And then watch them guide their children through the same process.

My how the world has changed since I was a kid or even the a new father.

That is progress I guess.

Not every day is idyllic--there are highs and lows, but that is life.

But no matter--Happy Father's Day to my Dad and every other guy out there who knows how to appreciate the first time the baby slept through the night, or was finally house broken and all of the other firsts that go with growing up. 

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Saturday, June 19, 2021

I Heard the Birds


I heard the birds yesterday afternoon as I was working in the yard. 

While I know that seems to be a less than exciting moment, it is the first time in over a month that the birds could be heard over the mating sounds of the cicadas. 

The cicadas are gone. 

They are not flying around, they are not singing, there are only dead bodies strewn around the yard. 

I did not hit any of the cicadas as I drove my truck yesterday.

It is a bit sad. I had come to really appreciate the bugs as they ended their lives in a huge orgy. 

But it was nice to be outside and have it relatively quiet. I am impressed with there number of holes in the ground. I may not have to pay for aeration this autumn. 

And so the Brood X cicadas are just a memory for the next 17 years!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 18, 2021

New Holiday - Juneteenth


Happy Juneteenth!


Yup, a new Federal Holiday and an actual increase in the number of Federal Holidays from 10 to 11. While this is the first new Federal Holiday since 1983, in 1983 they combined Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday to free up a holiday and declared Martin Luther King Day. So there wasn't a net gain of holidays. 

This time, it appears there is a net gain of one to 11. 

Wow--things move fast, except when they don't. I was amazed at the bipartisan support for the holiday. No dissenting votes in the Senate and only 14 in the House.

I wish we could see more of that bipartisan approach to governing.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Masks, Vaccines, and the Mood


I'm feeling a change in the country.

A renewed sense of positivity! 

As the COVID-19 infection numbers drop and we begin to resume our lives which were put on hold for about 16 months--things are moving forward. Finally. 

I will not miss wearing a facial covering, I have to admit. I had to wear one in the allergist's office yesterday and I had forgotten how freeing it is not to wear one. I am lucky in that I do not have to wear one at work anymore. I am hoping to see less and less of the signs above. 

The vaccine seems to be working in reducing the rate and severity of infection.

I only wonder how long it will be effective?

But as the mood improves and the country gets back on its feet, I think we will finally be able to leave the darkness of the pandemic and move forward. 

All of this is a good thing.

When will the wineries open for tastings like BC (before covid)?

That is one question I still have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Summer Flowers

Hydrangea in Front of the House
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021
 The hydrangea at the from of our house is magnificent. 

It is not my doing, but Chris's. She manages the hydrangeas--there are two.

I call them the "Hydrangeas that Ate Elkridge" because they are so large and full of blossoms. Things actually get lost beneath the leaves and I am sure there is a whole colony of rabbits living in there somewhere. 

Chris was worried that it would not bloom this year because she cut it back, but I think it got mad and bloomed even more than in previous years. 

I like taking a moment to enjoy the season. My favorite month of the year is almost here--July: the first full month of summer.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Riordin Asleep after Puking
Elkridge, MD
June 15, 2021


They are becoming the bane of my existence. 

Why is it that we encourage cats to relieve themselves in the house, in a box with clay pellets, and then we have to scoop the smelly stuff up and put it away?

Dogs are definitely not encouraged to relieve themselves in the house.

And cats puke!


I stepped in some this morning before I turned the lights on. 

Ugh--there is nothing more disgusting than stepping into a cold puddle of cat puke being only partially awake  with my bare feet.

We definitely need to do something about thew puking. It has become worse lately.

Don't get me wrong--I love my cats, well, one of them at least. That is why I continue to allow them to cohabitate. The other cat is trying to kill me. He walks in front of me every chance he gets and tries to trip me.

I guess I need to research why cats puke and see if I can mitigate the problem. I have changed foods to some that are better for digestion--didn't work.

I do like the purr that they make when we sleep together, so I guess I will continue to clean the messes and spend money to see if there is a solution.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Musings - June 14, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of June. The month is about half over. There are 28 Mondays remaining in the year 2021.

2. It is Flag Day. A special day to celebrate the banner under which we unite.

3. I had a wild, busy weekend, but got very sitting accomplished in the way of projects around the house. I had a lot of fun, however and was happy to help out family members with the use of my truck.

Cicada Swimming in my Pool
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021
4. Cicadas are not good swimmers. They seem to congregate I my pool, but it is fatal to them. I have rescued as many as I can from the clear water. 

5. It is sad to lose both games of a doubleheader to two different teams by lopsided scores. 

6. The Orioles continue to have a firm grip as the 29th best team in MLB. They are currently on a 4-game losing streak, which I hope does not grow into another 14-game losing streak. 

7. Cicadas are difficult to remove from windshields and other car surfaces.

8. I love summer-like days. I forgot to use sunscreen yesterday and am enjoying the effects of the sun on my arms, legs, and face.

9. Today in History. June 14, 1777. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprovethis legend.

Israel Gets New Government to End Netanyahu’s Rule - The Wall Street Journal

How Japan’s Big Bet on Hydrogen Could Revolutionize the Energy Market - The Wall Street Journal

Chip Shortage Brings Frustration but More Business to Middlemen - The Wall Street Journal

Apple Is Said to Have Turned Over Data on Trump’s White House Counsel - The New York Times

Judge Dismisses Houston Hospital Workers’ Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandate - The New York Times

Attacking Russia appears to be a line ransomware hackers are loath to cross - The Washington Post

A packed funeral, a rollicking bullfight and a message for Kenya’s police: ‘Corona can’t stop culture’ - The Washington Post

China Taiwan says will be ‘force for good’ after unprecedented G7 support - Reuters

Asia Pacific'Divine Vessel' to mark China's first human spaceflight since 2016 - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our national flag. Ever since, the American flag has embodied the continuity of our original ideals and principles.

The stars in varying constellations and the stripes of alternating red and white have accompanied Americans from the Marne to the Moon. The flag was flying when the British surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown, when Admiral Peary reached the North Pole, and when our soldiers battled at Iwo Jima. Recently, we saw the American flag proudly on the side of the Space Shuttle Columbia as she circled the Earth.

Yet the flag flies not only over the great events our history but also over the more personal moments of American life. Who cannot recall the vivid images of children at parades waving small flags in patriotic delight, of immigrants solemnly reciting the oath of allegiance before a flag in a judge's chambers, or of a grieving military widow clutching the folded Stars and Stripes?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday 9AM

It is 9 AM Sunday morning as I write this and it has already been a busy day.

I was up before the sun and on the racquetball court at 6 AM to get in the games that I had delayed playing since the rains on Friday and Saturday morning.

And then for fun, I started learning Pickleball--and played three games, if you can call them games, of this new sport.

From there I zipped off to Jeremy to assist with picking up a sofa--which tool until 8:50 AM. Boom!

And now I am home for breakfast and a shower before heading off to a baseball doubleheader.

A busy summer Sunday. What could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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