Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Fly Day to Houston

Terminal C
Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
February 7, 2023

 It had been exactly a month since departing on our last trip, which was a voyage aboard the Wonder of the Seas. Yesterday, we climbed aboard a United Airlines direct flight from Palm Beach to Houston to visit family.

We had made the journey from Palm Beach to Houston previously, aboard a Southwest flight, but that was not a direct flight. I had some miles saved on United and was able to get a roundtrip for two. The difference in flight time was about three hours, each way. The direct flight was three hours versus the change planes with a ground stop in Jackson, MS, which was about six hours of travel with most of it trapped inside of an airplane. 

That written, it was great to have most of the day at home and journey out in the afternoon. I was amazed when I deplaned in Houston. Wow! I have not seen an airport so grand as Houston. The terminal was something right out of a space-age movie. Not at all like the terminals I have been frequenting on my other flights. I was very impressed and I am looking forward to exploring it further when we return home on Saturday.

For now, Chris and I are in Weston Lakes, Texas. It used to be considered Fulshear, but they decided they wanted to be their own city, and so they are. 

More fun to come, I am sure. I have already been invited to baseball practice with my seven year old grandnephew this afternoon!

-- Bob Doan, Weston Lakes, TX

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Drive Sane!

 Tuesday shows up like a faithful friend every week and I usually have no idea what to do with the day. 

It is funny, even before I retired I lamented Tuesday and its place in the week. What a terrible location, stuck between Monday and Hump Day. 

Today, however, the situation on the highways is on my mind. Jason sent me a graphic a while ago and I saved it until today to share. It is Tuesday and I had nothing else to write about.

Driving has become a free-for-all situation. Drivers pass on the right instead of the left. People drive in the wrong lane. This graphic shows how it should be. In reality, I find that the NASCAR drivers in training who are traveling likely 25-40 miles over the speed limit are passing on the right and driving through with multiple lane shifts. It can be frightening for a momentarily distracted driver to look up and see a car passing through where their bumper was mere moments ago. 

We all need to take a breath and drive sane!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, February 6, 2023

Monday Musings - February 6, 2023


1. Greetings February. This is the first Monday of the month and 46 Mondays remain in the year. 

Finnegan on the Beach
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 3, 2023
2. Finnegan has been enjoying our morning beach walks. Well, with the exception of the past two days. We received a lot of rain yesterday, but today looks to be bright and sunny. I may even be able to get in a bike ride. 

3. After two days of terrible weather and a lot of rain, the skies cleared yesterday afternoon and we regained our South Florida winter weather. That meant we were able to sit outside at a restaurant with friends for Happy Hour and dinner.

4. This is SUPER week. The Super Bowl between Kansas City and Philadelphia will be played Sunday. Later next week, on about the 15th, pitchers and catchers report to Baseball Spring Training camps. Yay, baseball is returning. I have high hopes for the Orioles!! I will be attending some Spring Training games here in Jupiter and likely in Sarasota as well as Bradenton!

5. Balloon-gate is underway. The shoot-down of the suspected Chinese balloon off the coast yesterday has touched off a new red of fingerprinting between the Congress and the administration. Sadly, the only ones who suffer are the American people because, as the subtitle for the X-files goes, "the truth is out there."  

6. Today in HistoryOn February 6, 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the older of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at age 27.

King George VI, the second son of King George V, ascended to the throne in 1936 after his older brother, King Edward VIII, voluntarily abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. During World War II, George worked to rally the spirits of the British people by touring war zones, making a series of morale-boosting radio broadcasts (for which he overcame a speech impediment) and shunning the safety of the countryside to remain with his wife in bomb-damaged Buckingham Palace. The king's health deteriorated in 1949, but he continued to perform state duties until his death in 1952.

More than 1,500 dead in Turkey and Syria after powerful earthquake - CNN

Chinese spy balloons under Trump not discovered until after Biden took office - CNN

U.S. farmers plan to go 'heavy on corn' in 2023 - Reuters

Ukraine's defence ministry in turmoil at key point in war - Reuters

Ukraine Warns Russia Is Planning Major Offensive as Kyiv Shakes Up Military Leadership - The Wall Street Journal

Child Care Hasn’t Recovered From Covid, Keeping Many Parents at Home - The Wall Street Journal

Can’t replace your gas stove? Here’s what you can do to protect your health. - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Weather, Festivals, and Bikes


The windy weather kept me from riding my bike yesterday. It was a good thing since I decided to investigate the weird breaking sound I heard during my ride on Thursday and discovered two broken spokes on my back tire. I guess I should not be jumping off curbs, especially high curbs. I took the wheel to the bike shop and the broken spokes were replaced and the wheel straightened for $40--a good investment. Too bad that it is raining today and I won't be riding.

During the afternoon, Chris and I went to the Jupiter Jubilee. It was a good diversion and the price was right--free! We ran into a problem with the transport service from the parking lot to the jubilee--they would not allow Finnegan to ride the bus with us. So we walked the six or so blocks to the Jubilee and had a great time enjoying the sights and sounds. We had planned on getting lunch at the food trucks, but once we were at the jubilee, and having had food truck for for dinner on Friday evening, we passed on the food and enjoyed a wonderful time just being out of the house on a gloomy and windy day. 

This is one of the best times of the year in South Florida. There are festivals and activities almost every weekend. Even when the weather is less than perfect and the beach is not a good option, there is something to enjoy.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Swinging into Saturday

Egret in the Surf
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter ,FL
February 3, 2023

 The great weather I have been enjoying disappeared last evening when a cold front blew through and was replaced by heavy clouds, colder temperatures, and threatening rainstorms. Sadly, that means today will likely be an indoors day. 

But, Friday was not a loss. The day began bright and beautiful with another walk along the beach. We saw an egret fishing in the surf of the flat ocean. I was able to get an image of the bird silhouetted with sunlight reflecting off the ocean. It was a very different aspect from the day before. 

I wasted most of the rest of my day waiting for a wine delivery. I cannot begin to express my frustration with UPS at this point. They provided a four-hour delivery window right in the middle of the day and then delivered the wine two hours after the window. Once the expected case was delivered, it became clear that something was not right. Six bottles were missing and those delivered were not wrapped in the winery packaging. Suspicion? Six bottles were stolen, the remaining six were rewrapped into another box and the label from the original box was cut off and pasted onto the new box. I have photographic evidence! I called the winery and they are taking the issue to UPS and sending me replacements.

Trucks and Tunes
Constitution Park, Tequesta, FL
February 3, 2023
With the passing of  the cold front, Chris and I almost decided not to attend Trucks and Tunes in Tequesta. We were late because of the delayed wine delivery and the ensuing conversation with the winery, which is in Oregon, so the time difference actually worked in our favor. But, we bundled up in warm clothes and decided to head over. We discovered that, like us, many people decided to wait and see about the weather. It turned out to be a great evening and by the time we departed, the place was full of others enjoying the live band and food trucks.

It was a fun evening and we were glad that we braved the cooler temperatures to attend the event.

What a crazy Friday.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, February 3, 2023

Welcome Friday--Enjoy the Ride

Yes, it is Friday again. Another week is slipping into history.

Egret on the Beach
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 2, 2023
For those of you who live in the frozen northern region of the country, Nicole sent the graphic yesterday. It is only funny if you realize the Punxsutawney Phil made the prediction for six more weeks of winter yesterday. So maybe there is hope after all!

For our part here in South Florida we walked the beach in the morning, it was another idyllic beginning to the day. That was followed with a 15 mile bike ride and a busy afternoon around the house. I guess I needed the recuperation after Wednesday's construction project. Fortunately, the bike ride was uneventful, but enjoyable.

I am in awe of the stunning colors of the morning as we walk the beach. The blue skies of the past few days have been very enjoyable, made more so by the cloudy overcast days of last week. 

Looking North at 9 AM
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter, FL
February 2, 2023

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Instructions are Misleading


Happy Groundhog Day!

The groundhog saw its shadow and the forecast is for six more weeks of Winter! I can handle that living here in South Florida.

Happy Hour on the Beach
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 1, 2023
And so there we were, sitting on our favorite beach at the end of a busy day. During the day, I had helped Fran erect a pergola in his lanai. The instructions that came with the kit indicated that the project should take about 45 minutes. Ha!

We began constructing the pergola about 9:30 AM. It was finally erected, with additional help from a neighbor and Mary, about 2:00 PM--but it still was not completely done. Screws need to be driven into the concrete and additional screws need to be installed in the beams. OK, why the difference in time? Well, this pergola is double size from the instructions, it is constructed with very heavy pressure treated lumber, and there was cutting involved. It is fairly clear that there instructions were written for a pergola using pre-cut not pressure-treated lumber, like the 8 foot 4 X 4s that come direct from Home Depot or Lowe's and the pergola would be a single span of 8' square.

Looking East Over the Ocean at Sunset
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 1, 2023
We survived without major injury although at times I was concerned about the sanity of what we were doing. 

And so to celebrate victory over the instructions and inanimate objects, we decided to wash away the sweat, frustration, and problem solving of the day by enjoying dinner and Happy Hour on the beach--beginning at 4:00 PM with sunset being at 6:02 PM. It was again an awesome way to end the day.

I do so enjoy sunset Happy Hours on the beach.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In the Morning, On the Beach

Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, FL
January 31, 2023

 Given the combination of calm winds and mild temperatures, Chris and I went to the beach for our morning walk yesterday. 

Admittedly, it has been a while since we went for a morning beach walk, but we were not disappointed. The day was a classic January South Florida day with blue skies, light winds off the ocean, and medium surf. It was a fantastic way to begin the last day of January 2023 and it reminded us both why we are living here. 

Pelicans on Patrol
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter, FL
January 31, 2023
While we were walking a squadron of pelicans flew over. We almost always stop to admire them. They fly in formation I imagine that they always seem to be enjoying the air currents as they fly above or skim over the ocean's surface.

After the walk, we managed a short 11-mile ride on our bikes. Chris is really coming along in her stamina and endurance. The ride yesterday took me over 1024 miles ridden since September 3rd and I rode over 250 miles during January. I think I am getting my money's worth out of my bike.

The first month of 2023 is now history and now we are queued up for February. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Lurking in the Water


Looking South from Loxahatchee River Bridge
Tequesta, FL
January 30, 2023

The South Florida idyllic January weather returned yesterday and Chris and I made the most of the opportunity to get outside and enjoy life. After a series of days with high winds, clouds, and occasional rain the blue skies and calm winds were welcome. 

We biked our base circuit, just over 15 miles, to enjoy the day and the weather. The water on the Loxahatchee River was very still and provided an amazing reflection of the shore and sky as we rode across the bridge in Tequesta about 9 AM. 

Portuguese Man O War
Loxahatchee River
January 30, 2023
It being Monday, later during the day we met friends at our favorite watering hole for a few adult beverages. The beauty of the day continued as we watched the sunset explode over the Jupiter Lighthouse. But my eye was attracted to something sinister floating in the Loxahatchee River. Something that I find all too often on the beach, but rarely in the river. It was a larger than normally seen Portuguese Man O War floating just in the river near where we were sitting.

The Portuguese Man O War is the bane of swimmers and snorkelers as well as beach goers. Their tentacles deliver a nasty sting than can ruin a beautiful beach day. Most of the ones washed up on the beach are small with a sail of up to 3 inches, but this one had a sail of about 10 inches, meaning its tentacles had to be at least that long under the water.

It is sad that the seemingly placid sight of a Portuguese Man O War floating on the river can have nasty consequences.

But such was the day. And the evening was perfect ending with friends at the Square Grouper.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, January 30, 2023

Monday Musings - January 30, 2023


1. It is the last Monday of January, meaning the "new" year is 1/12 complete. My, time flies!

2. The Super Bowl teams are set. The Eagles will face the Chiefs. The best game of the weekend was between the Chiefs and the Bengals with the winning score leaving only 3 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately, the Eagles game was a blow-out because the 49ers quarterback got injured. The NFL season ends in two weeks. And then it will be time for baseball!

3. I submit for your consideration another graphic provided by Jason. The graphic provides a comparison of something as basic as salt and how one's latitude can change it use. I like the bottom portion especially.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Flamingo Gardens, Davie, FL
January 28, 2023
4. Reflecting back on the recent visit to Flamingo Gardens, I was able to get many great bird pictures. One that I particularly enjoy is the Black-crowned night heron. There are so many different birds on display, but the Gardens has a large collection of these unique herons.

5. It was cold towards the end of last week. I was dismayed that I had to wear jeans and a long sleeved shirt when going outside on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, the 80s are returning today.

6Today in HistoryMohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist on January 30, 1948.

Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence. Gandhi was an unremarkable student but in 1888 was given an opportunity to study law in England. In 1891, he returned to India, but failing to find regular legal work he accepted in 1893 a one-year contract in South Africa.

Russia's deputy foreign minister blames the US for no negotiations with Kyiv after NATO allies agreed to send tanks to Ukraine - CNN

Experts explain what Memphis got right in the days since Tyre Nichols' death - CNN

Union members are poised to reject Disney World contract offer - CNN

Exclusive: Pro-Kremlin activists in Germany gave money for Russian army gear - Reuters

Toyota defends title as world's top-selling automaker in 2022 - Reuters

Suicide bombing at mosque in Pakistan kills 32, targeted police - Reuters

Zelensky Urges Faster Weapons Deliveries Amid Russian Push - The Wall Street journal

Blinken Heads to Israel Amid Tensions Over Violence With Palestinians - The Wall Street journal

Along front-line river, this deadly road shows toll of Russia’s war - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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