Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Special Birthday


Ethan Blowing out the Candles
Odenton, MD
April 13, 2021

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

It happened yesterday, my oldest grandson turned the magical age of 16! 

Wow, do I feel old. 

We celebrated Ethan 's birthday last evening and of course we spent some time reminiscing about the actual day of his arrival on the planet. But mostly, it was a celebration of a great kid who has brought incredible amounts of joy into the family. 

I remember that it was during the last 17-year cicada, Brood X, uprising when Chris and I learned that we were to be grandparents. We noted, that it would be on his or her 16th birthday that the noisy bugs would return. A special celebration, indeed. And the bugs will be arriving soon.

We enjoyed a great evening and a special once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Volcano on St. Vincent

Navin Pato Patterson: Plumes of ash billow from the La Soufrière volcano
 on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which started erupting on 9th April.

 There is a volcano erupting in on the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent.

I have been there. I have not been to that particular volcano, but I have been to St Vincent as part of a sailing cruise. During that same vacation I also visited a volcano on St Lucia. I wonder of that volcano will become more active. I remember the sulfur smell of the volcano right there in the middle of the island of St. Lucia. 

St. Vincent, as I remember, was more remote and poor. We sailed along the west coast of the island and on there return from sailing south of St Vincent, we anchored at Cumberland Bay for the night.

The eruption of the volcano is having dire consequences for the island. According to a report from the United Nations:

Volcanic eruption leaves ‘entire population’ of Saint Vincent without clean water

There is little romantic about a volcano erupting and destroying lives and property. 

The people there are going to need assistance.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Musing - April 12, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of April and the 15th Monday of the year. There are 37 Mondays remaining in 2021. 

2. In a normal year, Tax Day would be in three days, but as it is not a normal year, we have until May 17th to file our taxes. Yay! I get to keep some of my money for a bit longer. 

3. Sitting on the back defect watching the Spring storms cruise through the region was the extent of my entertainment for last evening. 

AL East Standings
Games through April 11, 2021

4. How about the Orioles? They came home from starting the season on the road and immediately lost three games. They are now in last place in the AL East. Wait, they are also tied for second in the AL East. How weird is that? 

5. Chris and I sat outside last evening before the thunderstorms arrived and watched the birds flying around and the rabbits playing. Its was great entertainment. We saw one rabbit that must have some domesticated rabbit in its ancestry. It had white markings in its fur.

6. We still have some Easter candy hiding in the house. 

7. I remain fascinated at the transformation of the forested areas from gray bare trees to green foliage. I do so enjoy the springtime.

8. The pool will be opened in three weeks!

9. Today in History. April 12, 1861The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

Online Schools Are Here to Stay, Even After the Pandemic - The New York Times

Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage - the New York Times

Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters to become the first Japanese man with a major title - The Washington Post

As variants surge, a patchwork of surveillance efforts has ramped up to detect them - The New York Times

The Other Reason the Labor Force Is Shrunken: Fear of Covid-19 - The Wall Street Journal

Why China Is Jumping Into Digital Currency - The Wall Street Journal

China considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines to boost protection rate - Reuters

Asia off to cautious start ahead of earnings, U.S. data - The Wall Street Journal

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

We know that the secret of America's success has been our drive to excel, a spirit born and nutured by our families. With their dreams and hard work, they've built our nation, made her great, and kept her good. Everything we've accomplished began in those bedrock values parents have sought to impart throughout our history -- values of faith in God, honesty, caring for others, personal responsibility, thrift, and initiative.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Springtime Afternoon

Turtles in the Sun
Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia, MD
April 10, 2021

 Although yesterday began with rain and fog, by mid-afternoon it was very pleasant and Chris and I were able to take an enjoyable walk around Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia. 

The lake, as I have written before, provides a scenic mile and a quarter walk which is far nicer than the uncountable number of walks we take through our neighborhood. For instance, the most abundant form of wildlife yesterday were the turtles congregating on branches near the shore enjoying the afternoon sun.

Yesterday we were able to enjoy the springtime as we once again strolled along the lakeshore. Given the morning's rain and fog, I was surprised by the number of people strolling or biking along the trails. There was one group of youthful bikers who were intent on demonstrating their ability to ride on one wheel and I have to admit I enjoyed watching their unbridled exuberance. And, fortunately, they were mindful of the walkers on the trail. 

It is springtime and I am enjoying being outside more and more as the weather permits. Today it will rain and, hopefully, that will enable me to watch the concluding round of the Master's since I will not be able to exercise my feeble golf skills on a course near me. 

Everything contributes to make springtime and enjoyable season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Looking through the Forest

Redbud Tree in Bloom
Elkridge, MD
April 9, 2021

 It is a sure sign that Spring has arrived. 

Our redbud tree is blooming and I can no longer see through the forest that borders my house. The leaves have begun to fill the blank spaces on the branches and are blotting out the warehouses across the stream and up the hill. 

The green is returning more and more each day. It is being encouraged by the gentle rains that have been falling combined with the milder temperatures. 

Spring is one of the best seasons in Maryland. There is an abundance of flowering trees and shrubs that become a feast for the eye. And with each new day, the canopy of leaves grows deeper and more complete. 

The weekend has arrived and despite the rains, I will be sure to fully enjoy the opportunities that lie before me. I feel a trip to the local landfill is in my future to remove some of the junk which accumulated over the winter. And then there is watching the Master's!

A great April weekend is at hand.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Return of the Rain

 After a great weather week, the rains have returned this morning. 

The rain is welcome as Chris and I planted annuals around the house yesterday. Knowing that the rains were coming, we did not water them immediately. More importantly, the temperatures will be remaining mild which should encourage some of the grass seed we have spread to germinate and grow. 

10 Day Forecast Elkridge, MD

The 10 Day Elkridge, MD, forecast looks really nice, until it begins to cool late next week. 

I know I continue to enjoy the warmer temperatures and clear skies. Seeing the sun brightens my day. 

And the good weather also means that I cam play racquetball at the outdoors courts. Or, as the case was yesterday, make a less than effective attempt to play racquetball. 

Even with the rain, I am still riding my studio cycle in great places around the world. Recently I have ridden in Norway and Kyoto, Japan. 

There has been so much to do lately, I am happy that I am still riding and enjoying the world from my basement.

Even during the rains, I remain busy. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Look--Up in the Sky!

Five Contrails
Severn, MD
April 7, 2021

 A couple days ago I wrote about the blue, clear sky. Last evening at a baseball game for the Severn Seminoles, I experienced the blue clear sky under the lights as twilight deepened. I looked up and saw a reassuring sight--five contrails headed into the distance. 

Travel is definitely resuming as out society and economy struggles to overcome the pandemic. I was out at game, under the lights, trying to resume life. The major remembrance of the pandemic was that I had to wear facial covering even though I was both outside and practicing good physical distancing. 

I do not remember the last time that I saw five contrails lined up together. I do know that lately, air travel has been increasing. The steady stream of arriving and departing flights to or from BWI has become evident from my house. 

MLB AL East Standing
Through Games of April 7, 2021

And in other cool news. The MLB season is one week old today. Most teams have played six games. AMAZINGLY, guess which team is alone atop the AL East? And the Orioles have still not played a game at OPACY. Opening Day at home is today and sadly, I will not be attending. 

It is Friday Eve and I am looking forward to a good day. I will keep my eye on the sky and watch some baseball as well. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Easter Egg Hunt 2021

 After a year hiatus for the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual family Easter Egg Hunt resumed this year on a sunny and bright Easter afternoon. Most of the adults in the family are fully vaccinated and so we took advantage of the opportunity to get together and celebrate. And celebrate we did as there were 10 people, 7 dogs, and 2 cats involved in the holiday. Amazingly, no one and no animals were lost during the day's festivities.

The Easter Egg Hunt is a big event in our family--everyone participates. To prepare for this year's edition, Chris and I hid 125 Easter eggs around the house. I am happy to report that 124 were discovered. We still do not know where the one remaining egg is hiding.

I was able to fly Radio Flyer, my DJI Spark drone, to document the event. For the first time this year we began the festivities on the pool deck rather than in the front yard. That made it even more interesting as everyone streamed through the starting gate and out into the field of play. 

It was great fun and I have already forgotten which team actually found the most eggs, but everyone was a winner. And the best part was that dinner followed the hunt!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Out of the Blue Clear Sky

New Leaves on a Blue Sky
ELkridge, MD
Easter Sunday 2021

 The leaves are coming on the trees. 

That is an exciting development. As I looked into the blue clear sky on Easter Sunday, I was encouraged by the leaves growing on the trees. I began to imagine summer.

The sky was clear, and blue. 

When I have a moment to look into the sky and find it is so stunningly clear I, for some reason, think of an old George Strait song, Out of the Blue Clear Sky

I think I like the song because most people say clear blue--but the song reverses the words to be Blue Clear Sky. 

Blue sky days are the best. As I took a moment in preparation for the annual Easter egg Hunt, it was nice to look up and see blue and leaves. I do so enjoy it when the leaves return. And this year, my house is no longer surrounded by day ash trees--they were cut down last year for safety reasons. 

Coming out of my blue clear sky, then, are the leaves which will provide shade this summer. And I welcome them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday Musings - April 5, 2021

1. It is the first Monday of April, it is the 14th Monday of 2021. Yay. There are 38 Mondays remaining in 2021.

2. Happy Easter! It was the first post COVID-19 holiday.

3. I do not understand people who are not going to get vaccinated. Do they not realize that hey could be the demise of the entire human race by allowing to virus to mutate in them? Come on. Protect your neighbor. Get vaccinated. Stop planning to be one of the herd.

Lilly on the Pool Cover
ELkridge, MD
April 4, 2021
4. Guess which MLB team is 3-0 to start the season? The Orioles! today they go to New York and take on the Yankees. Hopefully, the success will continue against their biggest rivals.

5. One of the family dogs enjoys walking on the cover to enjoy the pool before it officially opens. She just cannot wait for the start of pool season. 

6. It was good to feel comfortable enough to return to church for Easter service. The church practiced excellent physical distancing. It is a bit hard to sing with a facial covering, however. 

7. On Saturday morning, instead of golfing, I played racquetball at an outdoor court with a fully vaccinated friend! It was good to be back on the court. My shoulder, however, still hurts! It has been a while since I have swung my racquet. BTW, it was 28 degrees when we started playing.

8. Today in History. April 5, 1994. Modern rock icon Kurt Cobain dies by suicide on April 5, 1994. His body was discovered inside his home in Seattle, Washington, three days later by Gary Smith, an electrician, who was installing a security system in the suburban house. Despite indications that Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, killed himself, some skeptics questioned the circumstances of his death and pinned responsibility on his wife, Courtney Love.

Cobain’s downward spiral began taking shape in Italy the previous month. He went into a coma and nearly died after mixing champagne and the drug Rohypnol. The public was led to believe that the coma was induced by an accidental heroin overdose, since Cobain had a well-known problem with the drug.

Myanmar protesters make Easter eggs a symbol of defiance - Reuters

Oil prices slip after OPEC+ agree to ease output cuts - Reuters

Vaccinations Hit Record High While Experts Debate Fourth Wave - The New York Times

Swelling Anti-Asian Violence: Who Is Being Attacked Where - The New York Times

After a year awaring the pandemic, a church comes together for Easter tradition - The Washington Post

Fauci pushes back on GOP criticisms, calling claims ‘bizarre’ - The Washington Post

Labor board finds Amazon illegally fired activist workers: NYT - Reuters

Tropical cyclone kills at least 97 in Indonesia, East Timor - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

America does well to hold a national week of observance to remind citizens that the need for immunization does not stop with childhood. Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to kill grown-ups in our Nation; as many as 70,000 adults die each year because they do not take advantage of vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B, tetanus, and other preventable infectious diseases. Even among people at greatest risk for complications -- the elderly and the chronically ill -- fewer than one in five routinely receive annual influenza vaccination and fewer than one in 10 have been vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. 

Immunization with safe and effective vaccines can greatly reduce the tragic loss of life and reduce the massive costs associated with health care. The Surgeon General of the United States has repeatedly urged adults to use appropriate preventive health-care practices, including vaccination for diseases preventable through immunization. We can all do our share in making sure we ourselves and members of our families know about and receive immunization, and that our neighbors and communities have the same opportunity.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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