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

Friday, February 19, 2021

Back to Mars

Perseverance on Mars
Artist Conception of the Landing
Perseverance has landed!

Despite COVID-19 the largest spaceship ever to land on Mars completed its complicated landing yesterday in dramatic fashion as the United States once again exhibited its technological dominance in the exploration of the Solar System. 

Launched last year on July 30th at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spacecraft landed on Mars yesterday after a descent which is what they call "seven minutes of terror." It became the 8th craft to successfully land on the surface of Mars and the fifth U.S. rover. 

And, as they say in the gymnastics world, it stuck the landing!

Some excitement amid the deep winter storms and pandemic!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 18, 2021

As the Days Go On


Sometimes it seems that the days just drag on from one to another in an endless procession.

The COVID pandemic has highlighted how we are a social a people and we are each experiencing how much has been ripped from us as we ensure personal distancing and limit contact with other humans. 

And then there are the winter storms racing through the region. The 5-8 inches of expected snow for today has resolved to sleet and freezing rain again with little accumulation. 

Just another day in Maryland.

The storms are raging across the country and it will be a good day to just remain in the house and watch the precipitation fall from the sky. But, that also limits human contact. 

And so the days continue until summer when, hopefully, we will again be able to go to baseball games and theaters. We will no longer be cautious around others. 

That is the dream.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Texas Tragedy


The Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn’t see the need to prepare for cold weather

After reading the above article in The Washington Post, I believe that the reason millions of Texans have no electricity to heat their homes during this unprecedented cold snap is simply corporate greed. 

It is a tragedy.

And it could have been prevented. 

Sadly, even in the middle of another crisis where people are dying the urge to obfuscate the truth took over. The Washington Post article reports:

Fossil fuel groups and their Republican allies blamed the power failures on frozen wind turbines and warned against the supposed dangers of alternative power sources. Some turbines did in fact freeze — though Greenland and other northern outposts are able to keep theirs going through the winter.

But wind accounts for just 10 percent of the power in Texas generated during the winter. And the loss of power to the grid caused by shutdowns of thermal power plants, primarily those relying on natural gas, dwarfed the dent caused by frozen wind turbines, by a factor of five or six.

As the cold hit, demand for electricity soared past the mark that ERCOT had figured would be the maximum needed. But at a moment when the world is awash in surplus natural gas, much of it from Texas wells, the state’s power-generating operators were unable to turn that gas into electricity to meet that demand.

In the single-digit temperatures, pipelines froze up because there was some moisture in the gas. Pumps slowed. Diesel engines to power the pumps refused to start. One power plant after another went offline. Even a reactor at one of the state’s two nuclear plants went dark, hobbled by frozen equipment.

In short, nobody prepared for the weather even though the forecasters were "right-on."

Earlier in the article, The Washington Post sums up the problem that occurred in Texas:

What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans. It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.

And millions are without power to heat their homes and prepare food while the politicians try to deflect blame.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories