Monday, March 1, 2021

Monday Musings - March 1, 2021


1. Unbelievably, it is the first Monday in March. There are five Mondays this month and we are 1/6 (16.7%) through the year. 

2. Spring may actually arriving here early despite the prediction by the Pennsylvania rodent at the beginning of last month.

3. The rains of the past two days have cleared the landscape of snow and are beginning to transform the scenery from brown and gray to green. 

4. Rainy weekends are good for recharging. But it has rained for over 24 hours straight. That is a bit much.

5. The Orioles played and lost their first Spring Training game 4-6 to the Pirates. It was good to have baseball back.

6. I am guessing that I am now fully COVID vaccinated since my second inoculation was over a week ago. How will that change my daily activities and masking? It won't, but I feel better about the situation. 

7. Today in History. On March 1, 1932, in a crime that captured the attention of the entire nation, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, is kidnapped from the family’s new mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey. Lindbergh, who became an international celebrity when he flew the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, and his wife Anne discovered a ransom note demanding $50,000 in their son’s empty room. The kidnapper used a ladder to climb up to the open second-floor window and left muddy footprints in the room.

Vaccines Yield Breakthroughs in Long-Term Fight Against Disease - The Wall Street Journal

N.Y. Gov. Cuomo Apologizes Over Some Interactions With Staffers - The Wall Street Journal

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Supplies Will Be Limited at First, Officials Warn - The New York Times

Trump’s Republican Hit List at CPAC Is a Warning Shot to His Party - The New York Times

The power is back, but millions of Texans wonder what it will take to fully recover — and who will help them - The Washington Post

Supreme Court to again consider protections for minority voters - The Washington Post

Asian stocks rally, battered bond market tries to steady - Reuters

Oil prices climb after progress on huge U.S. stimulus bill - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Now we know that deficits are a cause for worry. But there's a difference of opinion as to whether taxes should be increased, spending cut, or some of both. Fear is expressed that government borrowing to fund the deficit could inhibit the economic recovery by taking capital needed for business and industrial expansion. Well, I think that debate is missing an important point. Whether government borrows or increases taxes, it will be taking the same amount of money from the private sector, and, either way, that's too much. Simple fairness dictates that government must not raise taxes on families struggling to pay their bills. The root of the problem is that government's share is more than we can afford if we're to have a sound economy.

We must bring down the deficits to ensure continued. economic growth. In the budget that I will submit on February 1st, I will recommend measures that will reduce the deficit over the next 5 years. Many of these will be unfinished business from last year's budget.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Aaron and the Golden Calf - Updated

It being Sunday, a particular history lesson from the Bible struck me this morning. It is in Exodus 32.

It is about how the people of Israel, after being led from slavery in Egypt while they were on their journey to the promised land, in the absence of Moses while he was atop the mountain communing with God and getting the commandments, grew fearful and needed something to worship. The made their own god from gold. The golden calf and they worshipped it. 

God wanted to destroy the people for their sin and lack of faith--but Moses interceded for them. Many still died atoning for the sin, but the people continued and remembered the valuable lesson.

Why did this particular history lesson come to mind this morning?

A similar thing in happening in America right now. A golden calf has been constructed and people are worshipping it. One of our political parties, of which I used to be a member, has abrogated its history of service to the Republic and has become a cult devoted to a man. 

And now, the modern day equivalent of the golden calf has been made in order to worship the man. And he has a golden scepter in his hand with a star on it. I can only imagine what this means, but the President of the United States does not rule with a scepter in his hand, only kings and despots need a scepter to affirm their leadership status. 

The history lesson ends as follows:

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. (Exodus 32:35)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 27, 2021

It's Melting


The Last Snow in My Yard
Elkridge, MD
February 27, 2021
It is melting--the snow, I mean.

Much like the Wicked Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz, the rain is rapidly melting the snow. 

I am not a huge fan of rain on the weekends, but in this case--I'm good with it because it is hastening the demise of the white scourge. 

I am happy to see it all go--and even though this winter had more snow than the last three combined, it was still a relatively light winter. The snow thrower only had to really work for one storm.

I am fully prepared for warmer temperatures and longer days. 

Baseball is back and so it is only fitting that the snow melt and warmer weather arrives. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 26, 2021

Racing for the Weekend


Well, it is Friday again and one business day stands between me and the weekend. 

I look forward to Friday evenings and celebrating the weekend's start with friends. 

With the great weather of the past few days, I'm believing that golf season is not far away. As soon as I am able I need to get out there and start swinging my clubs. I am looking forward to hitting the little white ball around the course again and into ponds, trees, and out of bounds. Occasionally, I even hit important things like fairways and greens. 

Elkridge 10 Day Weather Forecast

Looking out 10 days, it seems that Spring has truly arrived. Every day, with two exceptions is showing high temperatures in the 50's or above! 

For now, it is time to get in gear for the weekend and to dream of the arrival of the month of March with the promise of warmer temperatures and the Springtime.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Taste of Springtime

Yesterday was a day designed to incite a severe case of Spring fever. It was a glorious day. The official temperature in Baltimore was a balmy 63 degrees. This was the first 60 degree day in the region since mid-December.

It was awesome and a great harbinger of better days to come. 

There was something great about coming out of the workplace at the end of the day and being greeted by a warmer breeze. There was a coolness to it--but not the frigid cold slap in the face that I have been experiencing. 

Chris and I enjoyed the evening, watching the sunset from our back porch with a glass of wine. It is something that we have not done since Winter began. But, the warmer days are coming. 

I hope we see warmer temperatures again soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Summer is Coming

Yesterday, my first wine shipment of summertime wines arrived. I ordered it from one of my favorite Virginia wineries when they announced it was available.  

It is the 2020 Crose from King Family Vineyards and it is a true  summertime wine. It is to be enjoyed on a hot summer's day around the pool or watching a polo match at the winery. 

It is exciting to think about summer coming and realize that in just 24 short days Spring officially begins! And the season of the darkness will be ended and life can begin again for another cycle. 

It is then that I will begin thinking about opening the pool and ensuring that the lawn tractor, instead of the snow thrower, is full of gas and ready for operation. 

The signs are pointing to the end of a too long winter.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tuesday, Again

I can always feel it when the week gets off to a fast start and suddenly, for no apparent reason, it is suddenly Tuesday. 

And it is Tuesday.

I struggle with Tuesday. It is the one day of the week that just does not seem to have a unique identity.

Monday is the beginning of the week. I had a boss whose favorite day of the week was Monday. It made the day fun.

Wednesday is Hump Day--the mid-point of the week.

Thursday is Friday-eve

Friday is the end of the workweek and signifies the beginning of the weekend by sponsoring Happy Hour. 

Leaving only Tuesday without an identity. 

It must be terrible to be a day of the week and not have an identity. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musings - February 22, 2021

1. Welcome to the last Monday of February. Hopefully the weather will begin to moderate and get warmer from this point forward. 

2. Daylight Saving Time will return on March 14th. I can almost feel the warmer weather.

3. Chris and I have received our second COVID vaccine! We are happy to join the growing number of Americans, now up to 18.9 million, who are fully vaccinated and committed to eradicating the coronavirus as a threat to our society by developing herd immunity.

4. I have just finished a week of "taking it easy" after undergoing a surgical procedure--I am looking forward to getting back to work and resuming life while I finish healing. Hopefully, I will be fully healed and ready to get on the racquetball court and golf course as the weather improves. 

5. Roses really brighten the day. The ones I purchased for Chris to celebrate Valentines Day are still making the room bright. 

6. I am ready to start traveling again. I realized that except for Florida and a quick trip to New York, I have not traveled anywhere in over as year! I need to add more images to my Out the Hotel Window series.

7. Today in History. February 22, 1980-- The Miracle on Ice. In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.

Boeing Tells Airlines to Ground Some 777s After Engine Failure - The Wall Street Journal

China Deploys Covid-19 Vaccine to Build Influence, With U.S. on Sidelines - The Wall Street Journal

How Texas’ Drive for Energy Independence Set It Up for Disaster - The New York Times

A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000 - The New York Times

Impeachment is over. But other efforts to reckon with Trump’s post-election chaos have just begun. - The Washington Post

In a gray, empty Paris, this corner shop’s colorful posters transport you wherever you want to go - The Washington Post

Strike grips Myanmar, anti-coup protesters defy junta's lethal warning - Reuters

Boeing 747 cargo plane drops engine parts in Netherlands, investigation launched - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

But let us turn briefly to the international arena. America's leadership in the world came to us because of our own strength and because of the values which guide us as a society: free elections, a free press, freedom of religious choice, free trade unions, and above all, freedom for the individual and rejection of the arbitrary power of the state. These values are the bedrock of our strength. They unite us in a stewardship of peace and freedom with our allies and friends in NATO , in Asia, in Latin America, and elsewhere. They are also the values which in the recent past some among us had begun to doubt and view with a cynical eye.

Ronald Reagan's Second State of the Union Speech, January 25, 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Cold and Palm Trees

According to a Wall Street Journal article this morning, a disaster was averted yesterday.

United Flight Lands in Denver Following Engine Failure Shortly After Takeoff

USA Today Photo of Flight 328 Debris
The flight was bound for Honolulu leaving from Denver and suffered a catastrophic engine failure that saw parts of the engine fall into neighborhoods about 20 miles away from the airport. A testament to solid engineering and great training, the pilots returned the giant Boeing 777-200 to the airport and there were no reported injuries. 

I could envision myself on that flight intent upon escaping the cold for the palm trees of Hawaii. What a crushing thing to have happen, and yet, I would feel fantastic that nothing truly catastrophic occurred. 

The headline of the WSJ understated the magnitude of the failure. The engine did not just fail--it catastrophically failed. There are images of engine parts in people's yards. There are also some incredible videos of the failure.

Thankfully, it was not the disaster that it could have been. 

See, there is good news out there.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 20, 2021


When can I get vaccinated? 

That seems to be the question on the minds of many Americans. Chris and I were diligently searching before we scored the vaccine a couple weeks ago and the sense of relief that we have felt since receiving our first injection has been very real. Of course we were both lucky to be in one of the groups for which vaccines were being made available. 

I understand that there are some categories of people who cannot for valid medical reasons get the vaccine. I understand that and I feel it is everyone else's responsibility to get vaccinated to protect them and develop "herd immunity."

Americans, we have done this before--

I remember the Swine Flu vaccination program of 1976 which saw us getting vaccinated in parking lots around the country. Many of the concerns related to the current COVID-19 vaccination program are an outgrowth of that experience, but while the Swine Flu of 1976 really didn't materialize, I think it is clear that the COVID-19 is real and vaccination offers the only real hope of defeating it and its mutant strains.

I hope everyone can get vaccinated soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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