Thursday, July 18, 2024

Boating the St Lucie River


Railroad Bridge Raising
St Lucie River near Stuart, FL
July 17, 2024

Heading out from Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno yesterday provided another fantastic day on the boat. While the weather continued to be almost uninhabitable, our high temperature go 90 degrees was well below that of places in Maryland which saw 98 degrees.

We had a nice breeze and of course we generated our own breeze as we pushed the speed up towards 30 mph once we were on the St Lucie River and out of Manatee Pocket where the marina is situated.  The plan was to explore the North Fork of the St Lucie River and then head to Stuart for lunch and some light shopping, but the railroad bridge across the river was down for an extended period when we arrived and so we backtracked to Stuart for shopping and lunch. 

Manatee Pocket, Port Salerno, FL
July 17, 2024
After lunch we headed up the river, passing under a couple of highway bridges and the raising railroad bridge. We enjoyed time on the river and headed north to look for manatees, but sadly saw none.

Returning down the river and heading for the marina, once we reentered Manatee Pocket we spied some dolphins working the area. As the marina was busy when we called in and were advised to take it slow to give them time to clear out a few boats, we stopped for a while and watched the dolphins. We were not the only boat which was enjoying watching the dolphins work the waters. 

It was an enjoyable day on the water and I am happy to report that our first attempt at mooring with just Chris and I aboard the boat was a success! Previously we had either others onboard to help or someone on the dock to manage the lines while I remained at the helm for the entire process, but yesterday we managed the mooring process and it went very well as we tied-up in Stuart. There is something cool about arriving at a place, be it a restaurant or a city, in a boat.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL   

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Smarter not Better

Chris on the 11th Green
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
July 16, 2024
Chris and I headed out onto the golf course yesterday for our Tuesday round. Given the oppressive heat, we decided to ride rather than walk the course. That was a really good idea as we enjoyed the round much more and I was still fresh enough to par the 18th hole. 

It was amazing how much better we felt as we completed the round having ridden in a cart. I much prefer walking, but we have to account for the conditions. We need to be smarter, even though we are not getting any better.

Playing a round also got us outside to confront the weather. We have felt trapped in our house by the oppressive heat, but then, when I compare our high of 89 degrees yesterday with that of Elkridge with its 101 degrees, I am reminded that often it is cooler in Florida during the summer than in Maryland. 

It is the Dog Days!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Fl

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Welcome to the Dog Days

 The Dog Days are upon our and the crazy, almost unbelievable happenings of the past four days attest to the fact that we are in the midst of the toughest days of the calendar. 

Saturday there was an assignation attempt on a former president. No matter our politics, that is unacceptable. As I wrote yesterday, elections should be resolved not by a bullet, but through the ballot box. 

Yesterday the Republican candidate for president, who survived the assignation attempt on Saturday,  announced his running mate: J.D. Vance from Ohio. Wow, talk about picking someone with no experience and who is full of repressive ideas. He was a Marine, yes, but a very junior enlisted Marine meaning he has little experience leading and a lot of experience being told what to do. 

And now, the sideshow called the Republican National Convention has started. 

Can you believe that the theme of the convention is "Make America Wealthy Again?" Really? That is what they want? Not world peace, security for Americans and all people, contain despotism, or even something as basic as confirming the basic rights of people everywhere? No, they want total and wanton greed. Funny thing is, like so many twisted concepts coming from the Republicans, most Americans are doing better today than they were four years ago when their candidate was President! Problem is that the top 1 percent may not be gouging the middle class enough to satisfy themselves. 

And then there is Project 2025--not yet the official platform of the Republicans, but surely being touted as the roadmap for the next conservative president. I am wading my way through the document trying to confirm whether what I am hearing about the plan are true. I have stumbled on the first big truth in that while touting freedom for Americans, the plan clearly wants to limit freedoms and access for many by eliminating Executive Order 14020 which provides for the establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council (GPC). While Project 2025 purports to support family values, the GPC is charged for ensuring the family is supported, among many other important social issues. 

Everyone should read, or try to read Project 2025 to see what are the true intentions of the Republicans. 

Yes, it is the Dog Days--and it is going to be a long hot summer.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, July 15, 2024

Monday Musings - July 15, 2024


1. Already, the third Monday of July has arrived. It is going to be a hot and wild summer it seems. There are 24 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. It was a very sobering weekend, given what happened in Butler, PA with the attempted assignation. I was distressed at the misinformation and fake news that followed the attempt. Why must people continue to twist events for their own benefit and intentionally mislead others. It is a dangerous world in so many ways. Elections should be resolved at the voting box and not by an assassin's bullet.

Monkeys at the Zoo
Palm Beach Zoo, West Palm Beach, FL
July 13, 2024

3. The monkeys at the zoo the other day seemed to have the right idea. Just go out and play! They were having a great time hanging around and swinging. 

4. Project 2025 has been the topic of much discussion. I have been attempting to read it to better understand the position of the conservative movement and to have some ground truth (if there is such a thing anymore) when I read assessments of the plan. I have posted a link for everyone to access the massive document and see for themselves. My initial assessment is that if you are a white, evangelical Christian with no disabilities and who believes that everyone must be like you--this is the plan for you. 

5. With the start of the Republican National Convention today, we need to listed closely to what is being advocated and not just what is being said. I am seeing phrases like protecting freedom being coupled with plans that actually take freedoms away from groups people. 

6. Today in HistoryOn July 15, 2006, the San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr—later changed to Twitter—its short messaging service (SMS) for groups, to the public. 

Born as a side project apart from Odeo’s main podcasting platform, the free application allowed users to share short status updates with groups of friends by sending one text message to a single number (“40404”). Over the next few years, as Twttr became Twitter, the simple “microblogging” service would explode in popularity, becoming one of the world’s leading social networking platforms.

RNC to kick off just days after Trump assassination attempt - CNN

After assassination attempt on Trump, Biden’s political challenge changes in an instant - CNN

We built our world for a climate that no longer exists - CNN

China's economy falters, raises pressure for more stimulus - Reuters

China new home prices fall at fastest pace in 9 years, more support needed - Reuters

Israel launches new Gaza strikes after weekend attack kills scores in safe zone - Reuters

Ukraine's mobilisation campaign picks up despite faltering enthusiasm - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, July 14, 2024

It's Happening at the Zoo


Sloth and Baby
Palm Beach Zoo, West Palm Beach, FL
July 13, 2024

Zoo Day!

Yup, Chris and I went to the Palm Beach Zoo yesterday, just because.

I felt a bit funny as we entered as we were the only ones without kids in tow. It almost made me feel conspicuous, but in some ways that was a good thing because we engaged in conversations with the zoo staff and did not have kids trying to get on to see the animals. 

Flamboyance of Flamingos
Palm Beach Zoo, West Palm Beach, FL
July 13, 2024

This zoo is very different from most. It has a lot of shade which is nice for the animals. It also has a lot of screens to protect the animals, but which makes taking images tough. The shade made the visit pleasant as we were out of the sun. 

There is a wide variety of animals to enjoy and there are also a number of interactive programs, which are best reserved in advance. We know that now. 

The zoo is not huge, but that made it a pleasant day looking at the animals because as we all know--it's all happening at the zoo!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Happy Hour on the ICW

TIKI 52 Looking to the ICW
Tequesta, FL
July 12, 2024

 The weather was actually pleasant and Chris and I headed off to our newest favorite watering hole to enjoy the evening and Happy Hour. Tiki 52 was just beginning to get busy as we arrived to enjoy a few apps and adult beverages. 

The sky actually had some blue patches, which was a change since we have had a lot of Saharan dust during the past few days. I do not know which is worse, the Saharan dust we are experiencing here or the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that the Northeast experienced last year. At least the Saharan dust does not have a noticeable smell. It does, however, cause similar respiratory distress for some people.

We had such a great time with Happy Hour that we ordered dinner and continued to enjoy the evening. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, July 12, 2024

Frustrating Repair

Yeedi Uncovered
Tequesta, FL
July 11, 2024

 I had a frustrating repair experience yesterday. 

Our robot vacuum, a Yeedi, needs a new battery. I, thinking I could find one online, ordered a battery which was advertised to fit all Yeedi models. Guess what? It didn't fit mine!


Well, I got the vacuum apart and took out the battery figuring I could easily order the correct one. 

Not so fast!

It is not easy. This battery is very specific and confusing. It is a three-wire model and most of the batteries with this model number are five wire variants. I did find the correct one, but it needs to be shipped from China. So I contacted Yeedi USA. 

Pelicans on a Channel Marker
Manatee Pocket, FL
July 10, 2024
That was a disaster. They informed me they do not carry internal repair parts for the vacuums. Their answer was for my to buy a refurbished machine or a new one and they gave me a couple for 15 percent off a new $500 machine.


It only needs a $40 battery. 

Fortunately the vacuum still works with reduced capacity. Last night the battery ran out of power after 40 minutes, the machine got lost and failed to return to the docking station for a recharge to complete the cleaning process. And so I have time to order the battery from China and receive it in late-August or September.

Sometimes I feel like a couple of pelicans on a channel marker hoping good things come my way. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Fl

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A Cloudy Day can be a Great Beach Day

Chris at the Helm
July 10, 2024

The skies were gray yesterday, both from clouds and the Saharan dust. Normally, a day like that would not be a good day for boating or beach activity. But yesterday, the clouds and sand kept the sun from baking the beach and those of us outside. It was nice, almost cool.

I noted that the water temperature in the ICW was over 89 degrees. The ocean felt cooler, maybe 85 degrees. All still too warm. 

From the Beach
Jupiter Island, Stuart, FL
July 10, 2024

We went to my favorite Jupiter Island Beach, which is best accessed by boat from Peck Lake in the ICW. The beach had only a few other people on it, all arriving by boat. It is possible to walk along the ocean from other parts of Jupiter Island, but it is a long walk and then one had to walk back. 

The gray skies helped to moderate the incredible heat and stress temperatures of over 105 degrees that had been the norm for the past few days. The day was comfortable until early afternoon when the sun finally broke through to bake the earth. By then, we were already back at the marina and headed home to our air conditioned condo. 

A cloudy day can be a great beach day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

On the Course

Chris Finish the 11th Green
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
July 9, 2024

 Chris and I headed off to the golf course yesterday. It was hot! The stress index was over 100 degrees by the time we finished our round--and we walked. Chris remarked that next time we are going to rent a golf cart because of the heat. I like having my clubs with me when I make a shot, so we will see how it goes. 

It was good to be on the course as we prepare for the upcoming August tournament. I have a lot of work to do between now and tournament time to recover some of my usually pathetic game. 

Black Snake
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
July 10, 2024

Although the sky looks pretty gray in the image, there are actually clear patches. The sky is not blue because of dust from the Sahara. It is filtering the sun somewhat, but making the usually vibrant blue sky more gray. And it is holding the heat in. 

In the heat of the day, and we were arriving at the 11th Tee, we spied a small black snake. It was on alert, it seemed, holdings head up in the air as it hunted. It seemed unconcerned about our arrival and slithered off a short while later.

We went on our way and teed off. 

I guess we had a close encounter. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The Buzzing Sound You Hear

Bees in the Box
Tequesta, FL
July 8, 2024

 Sometimes the buzzing sound that we hear is not all I our heads. 

During our walk yesterday, Chris and I discovered a bee hive discreetly hidden in an in ground junction box. There were a lot of bees and apparently this has become a large hive. 

Bees are becoming an important commodity and we both wondered what would happen when, at some future point, someone decided they needed to get into that junction box. Hopefully, they will call for a bee keeper to remove the bees rather than just killing them. 

I spent some time trying to determine that these are honeybees and not Yellowjackets. Although they are nesting in a ground location, based on their wing structure and coloring, I believe they are honeybees. But, I am no expert. I did note that I was not attacked while taking the image. Important note--Yellowjackets are not bees!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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