Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Musings - October 31, 2011

1. Just for the record--Happy Halloween and it is 28 degrees outside my house this morning as I write this. Whatever you are planning for today and tonight--be safe and warm.

2. The Boys of Summer concluded play last week with a thrilling World Series which saw the St Louis Cardinals defeat the Texas Rangers four games to three. I was lucky enough to have seen both teams play the Orioles this past season. Unfortunately, the Orioles lost.

3. The current cold snap caught me by surprise, I thought it was still autumn, but it appears winter is eager to get control of the weather.

4. I am convinced that the weekend would last longer if it was three vice two days long, or, alternatively, would I just be more tired when I went back to work?

5. I saw a good movie this weekend, Real Steel. It is much better that the trailers because it is a story about people, not robots.

6. I notice more and more than time passes so swiftly when I am doing things that I enjoy, and yet is drags along at a snail's pace when I am watching the clock waiting for an eventto end.

7. I wish I could find joy in everything that I do--but some things just aren't fun!

8. “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Weekend

Those who know me know that I am not a huge fan of Halloween. This year, because Halloween is on a Monday, it seems that the celebration has become a weekend-long event. Even I was at a local mall yesterday, escaping the rain and the cold, to watch the young children in their costumes dragging their parents behins as they paraded around to the various shops and stores to partake in the annual tradition of Trick or Treating. In a safe and warm environment.

I posted some images of our youngest grandchild, Lucas, dressed in his lion costume and apparently oblivious to everythiing happening around him but having a great time out with his mom and dad and two of his grandparents. I had fun watching him as we wound our way around the mall with the hundreds of other young Trick or Treaters.

So I found a few hours of enjoyment on an otherwise washout of a day.

And I saw lots of families together enjoying the season. The costumes ranged from cartoon characters to animals--and there really were no ghosts or goblins or any of the darkness associated with the annual celebration.

I guess I just need to lighten up bit and enjoy the family oriented activity. I had a good time wandering aroud visiting the shops and chatting with the family.

Being together as families, that is the most important part of the activity.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

At the mall

So what are you doing on a rainy/snowy Saturday.

Trick or treating at the mall

Lucas on his first stop on a rainy day

October Snow

I heard it said on the news--"We'll have more on our October snow in a minute." So nonchalant. Almost with a hint of joy in the announcer's voice as she was discussing the Nor'easter forming off the Hatteras coast.

The weekend is going to be another washout, or maybe whiteout would be a better phrase.

No blue skies in sight as the gray, wet morning dawns.

And the snow forecast is not trivial for our area--2-5 inches. Of snow! In October.

It is clear that autumn has lost its grip even before the trees have finished disrobing. It should make for some really interesting pictures though. Snow on the golden and red leaves.

For now though, rain and 35 degrees cold. The remaining leaves are falling off the trees as fast as they can to cover the ground with their protective blanket from the oncoming assault.

And so, I will be hunkering down again. Maybe some crown moulding work in the kitchen to fill my time. And some images of snow on the pumpkins--a juxtaposition of seasons.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was lounging on a beach in 80 degree October sunshine--and now there is no sunshine, only gray impending snow showers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hunker Down

Cold weather and rain or snow. Last evening we hunkered down for the first time of the coming season.

Suffering from developing a head cold, I had to bring in the plants to save them from the expected frost and it was raining. In the process I scared the ferral cat which has taken up residence in our pool area--probably because Chris is feeding it daily. Chris has named the cat "Hope" while I have named it "No Way."

We sat around continuing to learn the wonders of the Apple iCloud and watching some of the funniest TV of the week--specifically Big Bang Theory.

But Friday is upon us and with it the promise of the weekend.

There are sure to be many more nights where we just hunker down and enjoy the light and life of the house to offset the cold and dark of the late-autumn and winter evenings.

The dog kept walking to the windows and looking out into the dark--I am sure she too was wondering why we were all just hunkering down, it ws so unlike us.

But we needed the evening.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What if?

The sky was always blue--would I appreciate it?

The days were always warm, would I long for the cold.

The rains would never turn to snow, would I wonder if there was something more?

My car would always be driven as a convertible--would I dream of rain?

My children were always funny, would I want it any other way?

The wine would always flow--would I long for beer?

The days were always perfect--would I continue to appreciate them?

Yes, I believe I would because the days are perfect, the wine flows, my children are funny, and I even appreciate snow in small quantities.

But I do love blue skies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Brilliance

It was stunning last evening as I was driving home from work. The cloudless sky was a brilliant blue and the autumn leaves on the trees were bathed in a golden sunlight that highlighted them in a way that made them almost shimmer of gold.

The road was strategically placed between the trees which were in full color along both sides with the blue sky straight ahead. It was a thing of beauty to remember.

I considered grabbing my phone and trying to capture an image while I was driving in traffic at a relatively high speed. I decided not to risk a serious accident and determined to etch the scene into my memory for later enjoyment.

Ah--but it was beautiful. The last gasp of autumn before the trees become barren and the grip of cold, unpleasant weather moves across the land. I heard that Denver is supposed to get almost a foot of snow as the seasons begin their irreversable change from autumn to winter. Ugh! Too much, too fast. I am very glad that I am here and not there.

I have noticed and enjoyed the brilliant, blue sky more since the weeks we recently suffered through of gloomy grayness. I love it when that orb in the sky, we call it the sun, makes a significant appearance and warms the land.

I truly appreciate the sun and its liffe-giving light contrasted against the cold darkness of the season ahead. Can it still be six months until the pool is open again?

There is so much to do between now and then. Life. Darkness. Cold. Snow. Rain.

But yesterday God gave me a memory for those times--the sight of the autumn robed trees bathed in the golden warm rays of the sun highlighted against the crystal blue sky.

- Bob Doan Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Too Funny

One of my favorite sayings is from the first Star Wars movie when Obi Wan Kenobi is talking to the storm troopers and says "These are not the droids you are looking for. " This image just made me laugh.

Clearly, this storm trooper has had a bad day!

Hopefully, mine will be better.

I found this somewhere on the net or in Facebook--so thanks to whomever it was who posted it first. Let me know who you are and I'll be sure to give you credit.

- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings - October 24, 2011

1. The pool has been closed a month already. Six more long, cold, dark months until we open it for the 2012 season.

2. Kids seem to transition very quickly from well to sick.

3. It is a good time to celebrate democracy with the demise of Qaddafi. The newly freed prople of Libya have a lot to celebrate and must be careful to avoid the forces of chaos and darkness.

4. Autumn trees are in full color and too soon will be bare waiting for the dark days.

5. Cats and dogs. They keep our house from being devoid of life when we come home.

6. Sunday: church, football, family and yesterday a stroll through a corn maze. We didn't even have to call 911 for help getting out.

7. "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our chidren." Native American proverb. I read over the weekend that global warming is rising almost out of control and the temperature in some places may increase by 2 degrees during a lifetime.

8. It is amazing how quickly the leaves have departed the limbs of the trees--almost as if they have an important event to attend.

9. Garbage. Have you ever considered garbage and how we never consider it until we have to clean it up our of our own yard?

- Bob Doan, Elkridge MD

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Around the Fire

A bottle of wine and some dinner around a cackling fire in the fire pit as the sun set and the temperatures began to descend was how we spent the evening. It was great to be outside, free of nuisance mosquitoes and enjoying the clear soon to be crisp air.

Grasses around the Pool
We chatted about the passing season and noticed how the trees were shedding their leaves in ever increasing numbers.

The grasses around the pool have donned beautiful blooms which give them a completeness they lacked all season. I was going to cut them down for the season yesterday, but gave them a break so I could enjoy their autumn beauty just a bit more.

It was cold overnight--our first night down in the 30's. October truly is slipping into November and I will appreciate each nice day more and more. I know the heavy clouds that pass by more and more are trying to bring snow instead of rain.
Pumpkins on the Porch

So I want to hold onto summer--just for a moment more before realizing that the pool has been closed already a month.

Yet--we did make a creative Halloween pumpkin stack to celebrate the season.

But it is still autumn, lol.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October Night

Low clouds moved fast across the face of the half full moon
stars as beacons pierced the voids of dark black sky
leaves rained down as October slides into November
wind collecting them into ever increasing piles leaving
bare branches to cast eerie shapes across the lawn.

Calling out in the moonlight, a lonely fox makes her presence known
the slumbering house is awakend by the barking of the dog inside
seeking to answer the fox's quest for companionship
stirring, unkept faces push their noses onto the window pains
trying to understand the commotion and reason they no longer sleep.

From the shadows she yells out again--the dog in the house responds
the moon breaks out for a moment, illuminating the fox in the driveway
baring her teeth as if smiling at the commotion she is causing
they briefly reflect the pale light as it flickers behind another cloud
she stands, glances at the house and moves off into the night's shadows

Casting uneven light across the "middle of the night" scene, the moon flickers
noses move from the windows and disappear into the dark house
quiet now the dog has ceased its barking and moves away from the door
returning to a warm bed, turning around before resuming slumber
the night is again quiet

Leaves contine to pile into mounds in the yard
the fox stalks a rabbit, unaware of the impending doom
life is everywhere, despite the dark and quiet
and the moon continues to bathe the scene in its light
while the newly bare trees reach longingly to the sky.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Down Day

I'm taking today off.

A respite from the frenetic pace of life.

I slept in late--OK until 7 AM, when normally I would already be at work.

A three-day weekend of my own creation.

What a concept. A Bob Holiday!

And so, armed with my coffee and with my faithful dog at my side I am facing the world as the sun peals away the veil of darkness looking at the leaves which are falling to the ground in ever increasing numbers. Unlike snowflakes, though, there are only a finite number of leaves.

Soon the bare branches of the trees will be reaching skyward--straining to leave the bounds of earth, but still firmly rooted into place.

But, it is Friday. And I am at home. For a bit at least. To celebrate life and pretend, vor one day at least, that I am independently wealthy.

Maybe I should play the lottery?

No--the odds are not good enough.

So I will just enjoy the day and try to not consider the condition of my in box when I return to work on Monday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NPDH - A Periodic Update

Learning to live with the constant headache of NDPH is an interesting and sometimes frustrating approach to life.

I thought things were getting into a good place for the past couple of weeks as the headaches were manageable and, more often than not, I could imagine being almost headche free.

The other day though, for an unknown reson, the hedache decided to really start banging and the intensity has turned up to the levels I had seen when they began. At times, I could not even think.

Fortunately, I was saved a bit by an evening racquetball match which helped me to get ahead of the pain for the evening.

I don't know if it is aggravated by the weather or what--but this week has been bad.

I am beginning to really scrutinize what I am eating, or snacking on, to see if there is a relationship. My acivities are also beginning to shed some light on the aggravators as well. For instance, last evening, while driving in the torrential downpour, it was bad.

Fortunately wine, in small doses, still works to turn the intensity down and dinner really helped.

This morning things seem back to the levels I am more accustomed to--but there is a long day ahead. I will see how it goes.

- Elkridge, Maryland

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Administrivia Prevails

It is amazing how administrivia increases exponentially when things get tight and people begin to lose perspective.

I am finding more and more that people are resorting to focusing on small items and procedures at the expense of finding the big picture in things.

It is frustrating--our world collapses and the most important things are whether forms are completed at the expense of the ideas they contain.

Look at the government, for instance.

Congress has enacted thousands of onerous reporting requirements which are, I believe, almost singleandedly dragging the economy into the abyss.

State governments, likewise, in looking for increased revenues are finding new and creative means to apply taxes and fees. In Maryland, for instance, the state is considering raising the gas tax from 23 cents to 38 cents per gallon. A 15 cent per gallon increase. Really? And the consumers continue to bear the brunt of economic downturn and then the state wants to make it all the worse. While 15 cents per gallon may seem small, it adds up fairly quickly.

Instead of finding new and creative revenue means, the state needs to exammine the administrative burden it is placing on people and companies and begin to shed some of those revenue costing measures. Streamline. Don't reduce basic services, but remove the administrivia. I read that there is a 25 step process to gain road access for a construction project. Really? 25 steps? We are beginning to drown in administrative burden and it is causing productivity to fail.

I have already written of fee increases by banks and other industries.

Taken together--the increases, devoted to administrivia, begin to add up to a significant bill.

We need to rid ourselves of the small death by a thousand cuts approach to fees and taxes. Excise administrivia from society to improve our quality of life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

T-shirts filling up the dresser drawer

I have t-shirts from all over the world. From the places I've been and the attractions I have seen.

I am wearing a t-shirt from Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. I went there a couple of years ago on a Fast Cat from Key West. I never wear these t-shirts I buy out in public. I don't even know why I buy them.

But I do.

I have some cool t-shirts from diving the Vandenberg off Key West, from visiting Keswick Winery and so many other places I can hardly remember.

The bottom line--I don't wear them except around the house or to work on cars.

They make great rags, but I still don't know why I but them. It seems important at the time.

Well--they also make great souvineers, I guess.

I suppose I am just not a t-shirt kinda guy, although I still buy them and store them in my dresser drawer.

The funniest one advertises the Hotel Alcratraz--from when I was last in San Francisco--whenever that was.

So I have a few t-shirts. I donate the older ones every so often so at least they find a new life after spending time with me.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Musings - October 17, 2011

1. Apple products can be very fickle. It took the better part of yesterday to be able to update Chris' iPad due to a myriad of problems and old software.

2. The Presidential Olympics are underway. The who is in the lead now seems to be more exciting for the news media than what is happening across the globe with economies and other crises.

3. Give a shout out to Jeremy and Chris for their birthdays.

4. Congrats to the Texas Rangers and the St Louis Cardinals for making the World Series a mid-America game rather than an East or West Coast game. It is weird not having a coastal team in the Series this year. With the exception of both 2005 and 2006, there has been a coastal team in the Series every year since 1987.

5. So does anyone know what the number for 9-9-9 is? I am fascinated by the simplicity of the tax plan proposed by Herman Cain, but I also know than nothing simple ever passes Congress where the special interest groups are likely to shred it to pieces. Look at health care--something conceptually simple became so complex no one really even knew what was being enacted until after it was law. Think there is a problem in there somewhere?

6. It was another mixed weekend around the house for the four football teams which are the favorites. The teams from the NFC East both lost while the teams from the AFC North both won.

7. How do you know when the party is over?  When the guests are gone and the house is restored to its previous splendor.

8. Did you ever wonder how the dishes get from dishwasher and into the cupboard? Or how does the roll of toilet paper get full again? Or the toothpaste tube refreshed and full? If you wonder these things you are the problem.

9. I had to rake leaves already this weekend. How can autumn be so anxious to depart?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Superpops - Review

The symphony meets a rock band and everyone wins. That is how I will remember this evening of music titled "The Music of Elton John And More." It was presented as part of the Superpops BSO Series, and it was, in a word, fabulous.

Saturday evening, October 15th, we trundled off to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore for an evening of music. The orchestra was under the direction of David Amado from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and the five person rock band was led by Michael Cavanaugh. The blending of these two seemingly dissimilar musical groups was accomplished in a masterful manner--although I felt the orchestra could have been given a larger part in some places.

The evening progressed through a series of old favorite rock songs anchored by some Elton John classics. Each song highlighted the talents of the band and the orchestrate to collaborate and present a delightful musical tribute to the songwriter.

I especially enjoyed the orchestra-led piece, "Riffer Madness" which took us on a tour of the great rock band riffs of all time. And I also really enjoyed the rendition of Billy Joel's "Piano Man." Don't get me wrong, the Elton John hits were great too, and I came to hear those, but these two among the many songs of the evening really stood out.

The songs highlighted Cavanaugh's many musical talents as a pianist, vocalist, guitar player and all around talented musician. He led the evening and the audience through the songs while keeping everything moving and exciting with each new twist. Not content to merely cover the old songs, he also provided appropriate interpretation to some of them which made the old songs--some from the 50's like Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" seem alive and new.

Cavanaugh's band was similarly musically talented with Johnny Fedevich on drums; Jamie Hosmer on keyboard, back-up vocals, and second or third guitar; Giovanno Mastro on lead guitar and back-up vocals; and Billy Venditti on bass and back-up vocals. Their ability to work together on stage and create music sandwiched between a potentially overpowering symphony orchestra and a demanding audience is not to be over looked. They each were provided the opportunity to display their multiple talents in appropriate places.

Sadly, the evening was not without some technical glitches and there was a hot line somewhere that periodically provided an annoying buzzing sound in the speakers which never seemed to be found or fixed. Also, the Meyerhoff is a traffic and parking mess during performances. I continue to be amazed that the city has not found a way to redesign the traffic patterns to encourage rapid ingress and then egress after the performances.

But despite these annoyances it was a great performance and blending of the BSO and the band. What made the evening even more enjoyable was Cavanaugh's persistent efforts to get the audience participating in the execution of the songs. As those in attendance warmed up to the idea of singing along in specific places, the music began to be created not just from the stage, but in the hearts of those in attendance.

A great evening of music that left my heart singing and gave me a few more tracks to find on iTunes and add to my collection.

- Posted from Elkridge, Maryland

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Image of the Weekend from Assateague

As the enjoyment and warmth of last weekend's trip to the beach fades into a nice memory, I was reminded that I had not yet shared the best image of the weekend.

Chris, in one of those incredibly lucky and creative moments came across a monarch butterfly on a yellow flowering plant against the white of the sand.

The butterfly posed for her and even changed positions so she could get a better shot of it.

And so, here it is--one of those we happened to be in the right place at the right time and with camera in hand images.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 14, 2011


Yes. Friday.

An amazing day filled with the hope of the weekend.

Can it get better?


A celebration of freedom from the trials of the work week.

A time to enjoy friends and family.

Do not lose the promise of Friday.

Find the day and enjoy it for what it is. The last day of the workweek and the beginning f the weekend.

Carpe diem.

Imagine that we could call in sick today. Everyone.

Yeah, not happening.

Twas a thought though.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On the Beach, again

On the beach this weekend, Chris took a really creative image of a fence in the sand.

It was very stark, but very much like one of those images that are published in beach magazines.

What a beautiful day. What an awesome blue sky.

Could it have been a better weekend? Especially during October?

And then the geese flying south brought me a shot of reality. I actually took this one.

No, this is not Key West. It is Virginia--and I am only dreaming that I am living in the land of endless summer, I am really still in Maryland, not that that is bad, it just isn't perfect, yet.

The geese call to me as they escape the cold of the north for the warmth of more southern climates.

I dream of being a snow bird.


But last weekend I was imitating a lizard in the sun. And what could be wrong about that?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Banks, Taxes, and Gouging Consumers

It seems that it is rampant everywhere. Governments at all levels, banks, and companies are keen to increase revenue and profits all at the expense of consumers and tax payers.

Think about it. I read that the recession is over but incomes are still declining. Yet company profits remain climbing.

Governments are increasing revenue through new taxes and fees. Remember the big discussion a few years ago about whether fees are really hidden taxes? If the government is taking it out of my pocket--it is a tax.

The most recent example is a proposal right here in Howard County, Maryland that would have the police finding cars with one, yes, one parking ticket and having it towed. It is merely a plan to increase fine revenue--but really, isn't there something more important that our police force should be doing than trying to increase fine revenue?

Banks, like Bank of America are increasing fees to improve profits. Who is supposed to pay these fees if we are suffering from reduced income? Of course the response is and should be--close any accounts at the bank in protest and go to a bank which is not increasing fees.

We need a paradigm change in government, banking, and corporate companies. The gross profit margins of the past need to be forgotten and a new moderate approach taken.

All of this comes down to the consumer--if we consumers and tax payers continue to have less income then the economy is not going to recover. Additionally, in protest, we are going to have to close accounts, support businesses which are consumer friendly, and maybe even, move to less taxing places to live.

We must be in some downward spiral into economic chaos.

To quote a movie title from a few years ago--somethings gotta give.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Images from Assateague

We had a great weekend and as with all of our vacations, we remember the highlights via camera.

We actually imaged an endangered species this weekend--the Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel. Who knew they were endangered--they are squirrels after all. He was very photogenic--and we actually saw two of them--but we didn't realize they were endangered until we saw the second one.

We also experienced the not so great part of nature and imaged a snake

taking a frog out for lunch. Actually the frog was lunch. To say it was really neat would minimize the feelings of the frog as it was dinner--but that after all is nature and the circle of life.

The birds and the scenery we saw during the weekend were fantastic. As was the beach.

It is reassuring to know that the beach and the wild beauty are so close to the congestion that we live and drive in every day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Musings - October 10, 2011

1. Happy Columbus Day (celebrated). That's why there won't be any mail in the box this afternoon.

2. There is something really neat about watching the sunrise and also enjoying the sunset that same day. It is circle. Of course it would better sitting on the beach for both--but one out of two isn't bad.

3. Baseball is fickle--the two teams with the best regular season records in baseball--the Phillies and the Yankees, are not in the final four vying for a World Series berth.

4. Lying on a beach in Maryland on October 9th and getting a sunburn. It was a fabulous weekend and reminded me that there are some really great beaches within three hours of the house.

5. I have to apologize to October for my previous remarks--this past weekend was fabulous.

6. With beach you get sand.

7. I read that even though the recession is officially over, workers incomes continue to drop. So how can the recession be over if the job market hasn't recovered?

8. As an addendum to the above--if banks and companies continue to raise charges for services and our income is dropping, who do they expect to pay for the services? Maybe banks and companies need to reevaluate their profit expectations.

9. "Enjoy your life today because yesterday had gone and tomorrow may never come." -
-- Alan Coren

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunrise over Assateague

In a moment of rare cogent thought, we decided to go out and watch the sun rise this morning. I say rare cogent because we actually had the thought in enough time to proceed to our destination in an orderly fashion without rushing. AND with a cup of coffee on our fingers for good measure.

We walked out onto the 1000 foot pier arriving about 10 mints before the big event. We were able to watch the world wake from its slumber and the darkness of the night I've way to light.

I always say that nothing good happens during the middle of then night and so greeting the rising sun is a way to break the hold of night upon the world and bring into the light that which we have tried to hide in the darkness.

It was fun to watch the birds waking as the sun began to rise. I recalled this past summer when we enjoyed so many beautiful sunsets while in St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. I think I more prefer the sunrise and the promise of the new day to the sunset and the impending day's end.

So here is a shout out to Chris for getting us moving before the sunrise to be in position to document the dawn of the day and reflect on life and the times we share.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Assateague Way,Berlin,United States

Saturday, October 8, 2011

At the beach

October? Beach? Yeah!

Slipping Out of Town

We slipped out of town last evening for a weekend get-away to the Atlantic shore of Maryland. Aside from being trapped in traffic around Annapolis for over an hour, the trip was easy and we drove most of the way with the top down on Cat, until it got colder than we could stand. It was a bit funny though since my feet were cooking as the heat blew out of the vent and my arms were getting colder in the breeze.

The horrific traffic right at the beginning almost ruined the trip--but we were able to remain civil knowing that it would end at the Severn River Bridge--and so it did. I wonder where it all goes after the bridge.

So we have made our way to a weekend hide-away to enjoy life and reconnect after the frantic pace of the past few weeks.

'Twas a spur of the moment decision--and there is so much happening this weekend right near us.

I wanted to bring Makayla, but is it probably better that she is enjoying a play weekend with cousin Chewie.

OK--so it's 44 degrees outside right now---not really beach weather. But it is supposed to warm up to 75--soon I hope.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cats, why?

The other day I was relaxing in my chair and suddenly had this 10 pound furry animal sharing my space. Yes, it was Riordan--the cat who came home.

Riordan seems to enjoy making himself very at home in our laps. I wish I could be that comfortable in my bed, let alone in someone's lap.

Well, after all, he is the cat that came back and so I guess he gets to choose when and where he can recline. Even in my arms, usually while I am researching something on my iPad.

Cats. Why does it have to be cats?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Look, up in the sky--it's BLUE!

An amazing thing happened yesterday. The sky was the clearest blue that I have observed in almost a month.

No clouds and bright sunshine highlighted the approaching autumn colors in the trees.

No clouds--that was the cool thing. It has been so gray and depressing.

It was so refreshing to see the blue.

I wanted to play hooky from work.

And lay in the sun and imagine that I was on a warm beach somewhere.

But I didn't and stayed at work even though the sky was so clear and blue and inviting.

I hope we have a few more days like that, soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In Need of a Messiah?

I read an interesting article the other day in Newsweek Magazine titled, "Wanted: A New Messiah" that postulated that Americans are searching for a messiah and the next presidential election (2012) is when many expect to find one.

It is sad that we are looking to politicians to be our messiah--when we already have one.

I believe that it shows how desperate we are as a people and a nation. We are expecting our leaders to deliver us from the evil that surrounds us. And we don't even realize that the evil that we are mired in is of our own doing.

Have your heard about the banks raising fees and charging consumers more tot use debit cards? Greed, pure and simple. They can couch it in terms of profit margins and return on investment, but at the bottom is greed, no doubt about it.and it is a reflection of our own greed being reflected in the policies of the banks.

And we continue to fight a losing war against drugs. People are looking to escape from their condition and the drugs and thugs are profiting--committing murder in the open in Mexico. Yet, if we were to stop needing to use drugs to escape, then there would not be a market for the dealers to exploit.

Yes--we need a messiah. Someone to lead us to the promised land. But is is not Governor Christie of New Jersey.

People need hope!

The need to look elsewhere that politicians--like at the real Messiah who came to give us life, and freedom from the penalty for sin.

We who know this need to help those who are searching just a bit more. And don't thump them with a bible, give them hope and teach them grace. The Messiah is searching for them. That is where we can help.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Arrives

Cold rain slapped hard on my face
punctuating the 40 degree bone chilling cold
that greeted me at the door as I
stepped outside to start the day.

October arrived cold and raw
driven rain greeting me on my stoop
dark mornings as the sun lags
by rising later for each new day.

The goblins are waiting for their night
by then darkness will fall
before I get home from work
and the moon will master the evening light

Cold and wet, even my dog resists
it just isn't fun to be in the still green grass
watching the trees don their autumn garb
and then lose it to the ground.

The pool is closed and quiet now
slumbering in advance of the coming snows
waiting for the sunlight to reign again
and shake off the approaching darkness

October, arrived with no applause
and grasped the remnants of summer fun
shaking off the light and plunging
day into ever increasing darkness.

Cold hard rains that too soon turn to snow
and become drifts obscuring the yard
with ice and cold and darkness.
October please, do not long tarry.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings - October 3, 2011

1. Baseball is on to the playoffs. It always amazes me that after playing 162 games, teams can end the season with such similar records.

2. It was cold here to start October. It seemed as if the weather was watching the calendar, too.

3. I ran across an interesting quote: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

4. Important safety tip for Maryland driving--apparently as of 1 October, we can no longer even look at our cell phones while we are operating a vehicle--but we can continue to stuff ourselves with a Big Mac and fries. Maryland obviously wants us all to be heavier so the state can spend more on health care.

5. The inspection of the Washington Monument in the aftermath of the earthquake is continuing. I read there are some large cracks in the top. I saw an image of men suspended from safety gear round the secured to the top of the monument. I wonder who went out first without ropes to put the safety ropes around the top?

6. This week the next best sport regular season begins--NHL Hockey. Lets go Pens!

7. Wouldn't it be cool if Congress was run like a major sports team. After a dismal season they could be dismissed and replaced. Oh yeah--they can! It is called an election.

8. Happy new fiscal year (which started Saturday). Maybe we can get a budget soon.

9. The house is quiet now--the games are completed. But yesterday, with the addition of Patrick's big TV the place looked like a sports bar with three different games playing and the Red Zone channel monitoring the progress.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ugly Bug of the Day

As I was out on the back porch yesterday, I spied what is perhaps the ugliest bug that I have ever run across.

Hopefully it dines on stink bugs!

Anyone know whatitiz?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:6155 Rainbow Drive, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Moneyball - Movie Review

Every so often, and it seems to be happening less and less, I view a movie where I really connect with the story and the actors make the characters believable. money ball is one of those rare movies where it all comes together, a compelling true story and good character development.

The movie is based on the book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The story is about the Oakland A's major league baseball team during the end of the 2001 season and through the 2002 baseball season through the perspective of the General Manager, Billy Beane, a former baseball prodigy who never made it in the big leagues. After losing the three stars of the team on whose backs they rode the wave to the 2001 playoffs, the team needs to find an innovative way to replace the talent without increasing the bottom line which is the lowest payroll in baseball. The philosophical change, which eventually revolutionizes baseball, is not an easy sell to the staff.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane and does a great job building a character that has many competing facets including a daughter with his divorced wife and the demons of his failures as a player. Jonah Hill, who I have never seen in a serious movie before, plays Peter Brand the knowledgeable statical genius who assists Billy in implementing the plan. His character is far less complex, but he provides the counterpoint for the story line.

The movie comes to a predictable conclusion, since it is a true story and I knew the ending. There are a few factual errors, but the movie and the story are very compelling. It is not just a baseball story--it is a story of people and relationships and the reaction to fundamental change is any endeavor.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. It is a great and touching story. And mostly true. Billy Beane is still the general manager for the Oakland A's.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
My Zimbio
Top Stories