Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Musings - February 29, 2016

1. Happy Leap Day! It is February 29th!

Snow Along the Fence of my Yard
2. Small patches of snow remain around my yard from the last big snow. I hope they are gone soon.

3. Daylight saving time returns in two short weeks! 

Wine and Munchies on a Saturday
Fauquier county Wine Tasting & Competition
4. One great was to spend an afternoon is with friends judging wines at a competition. We had a great time at this year's Fauquier County Wine Tasting and Competition

5. I discovered that Virginia has ceased production of its annual wine trail map and that it is only available via the web. While I laud their use of electronics, I have been at more than one Virginia winery without internet service which will make it hard to get to another winery.

6. I saw this sign at a local Middle School yesterday. It embodies the idea of "closed more often to serve you better."

7. The youth basketball season ended yesterday for Ethan and Jackson. I witnessed two close and exciting games. One saw the what would have been the winning basket hit the rim and fall away after the buzzer sounded and the other saw a flurry of shots all miss which cemented a win after five scoreless minutes in the final period.

February 28, 2016
Enjoying the Afternoon as it Passes into Evening
8.  I have been attending many youth games this past year but it wasn't until the Dad that coaches Jackson's basketball team looked at me in the hallway yesterday and said, "it's baseball season now, over to you," that it really struck me that I am not just an observer but an active participant in teaching sports to young and active people. 

9. Golf season is getting close, I was hitting balls yesterday and feeling good about my swing. 

10. Sipping wine around the fire table at the end of a beautiful day which saw the convertible being driven with the top down. What a great way for February to meld into March.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Democratic Primary Reflections

I watched the results from South Carolina's primary pour in last evening and I was struck by the lopsided results.

What bothers me is the emphasis on monitoring the results across ethnicities. I have been concerned all along about the way particular candidates seem to be targeting specific ethnic groups. 
CNN reporting in an article titled Hillary Clinton crushes Bernie Sanders in South Carolina: 5 takeaways this morning provided some initial analysis of Clinton's recent Nevada and South Carolina victories. Some excerpts:

Clinton's firewall of minority support held, helping her seal a close contest in Nevada and then turn South Carolina into her first dominant win of the 2016 race.

South Carolina's electorate climbed from 55% African-American in 2008 to 62% in 2016. And the vast majority of those voters -- 84% -- backed Clinton, according to exit polls.

This type of campaigning is also happening in the Republican primaries, however, with five candidates still in the race it does not seem as evident.

It seems that the campaign is becoming a race for race.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A New Strategic Bomber for the Air Force

The Air Force has been discussing a new long range bomber for a few year now. They finally released a concept diagram of the bomber and it is diagrammed in a CNN article.  I have to say, it looks a lot like something that we already have. 

B-52G Taking Off
Supposedly, this bomber will finally be a replacement for the venerable and old B-52. The new bomber has been dubbed B-21. I wish I could understand the Air Force numbering system. There is a B-1, a B-2, a B-52, and the new bomber is B-21? Why not B-3? Or B-53? I know, it probably means that it is the bomber for the 21st century and if history is any guide, it will probably be flying into the 22nd century.

B-2 Bomber
According to another article, the Air Force wants to have 100 of the B-21's flying by the mid-2020's to replace the B-1B's and B-52H's. Good luck with that. Note, the B-52H is the only version of the B-52 remaining in operations, but I am kind of partial to the B-52G since those were the versions of the bomber being flown by the bombardment wing to which I was assigned as a young lieutenant in the Air Force.

Well, I guess we do need a new design for the 21st century. Oops, I though I wrote new design? The new bomber looks a lot like an old bomber. I wonder why?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 26, 2016

Another Debate--More of the Same

The debate season remains in full swing, and they all seem to be the same. Last evening the Republicans held another in an unnumbered series of debates. 

The back biting continues.

Who of these people really deserves our votes to be president?

Someone needs to propose a plan. 

How come it seems that thing new ever comes out of these debates. I wonder if any of the candidates actually debated during school?

These debates are more like an afternoon fights behind the high school stadium between bullies--no rules and no intelligence required.

I was disappointed last evening to hear the reality TV programming continue. As I read the news assessments of who won, I remain disappointed that the winner was decided by assessing which candidate was able to tear apart the other candidates and not based upon which candidate laid out the best vision for the country.

I suppose the debates will continue, they do provide some sideshow comedic relief on an otherwise dark and gloomy night.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Dark and Stormy night

"It was a dark and stormy night . . . " I seem to remember Snoopy starting many stories with this phrase and never finishing it.

Last evening was truly dark and stormy. We were out in the worst of it driving home from a local restaurant. 

How do you know it is raining hard?

1. The rain comes down in torrents. (I never really knew what a torrent was until last evening)

2. The rain looks like it is running uphill.

3. The tail lights of the car in front are almost visible. 

4. The lines on the road are invisible.

5. The person in the passenger seat asks if the headlights are on.

I receive emergency notices from the county and my phone was blowing-up last night. Between the tornado watch, thunderstorm warning, and flood warnings it was difficult to concentrate on dinner. Even though I had the sound turned off, the phone was still vibrating in my pocket every few seconds as the storm raged around us while we were in the restaurant. 

Where does the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night . . . " come from? 

According to Wikipedia, the phrase comes from the original opening sentence of the novel Paul Clifford:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Last night, the opening sentence was all too true, except I was in Elkridge and the flame of the lamps was in fact the glow of the headlights.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Under the Snow

Flowers Growing Under the Snow
As the snow melted, there they were. Hidden in a place that earlier in the week covered by a foot of snow, the green plants of springtime were waiting for the sun.

And there they were right there hidden in plain sight, waiting for me to discover them. 

They had grown under the expanse of snow, protected form the frigid cold waiting for the warmer weather, much like me.

Springtime is beginning to push winter out of the way making ready for the green again. I love the green of spring. Green is the color that goes away during the dark season. I love the green. 

I have an urge to get onto a golf course, why? Because it is green.

I want to mow my lawn, why? Because it is green!

My lawn is brown, but it too, has been growing under the snow and the warm temperatures and rain will soon return it to green--the color of life and shamrocks! Did I mention that St Patrick's Day is coming? Even sooner, I will be heading to Sarasota for palm trees and Spring Training.

There is hope for Spring because some plants were growing under the snow.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Toilet Bowl of Life

Sometimes life takes a turn and I wind up deep in the toilet. And I do not mean figuratively, either. 

I came home last evening to a slow toilet. You know there is something drastically wrong when the water doesn't rush out of the bowl. Yet, The water was moving, slowly!

Stand by for potential catastrophe. Fortunately, there were no solids in the bowl to deal with, yet.

The Offending Toilet Bowl Freshner
After significant plunging and buckets of water to increase the pressure no appreciable change was noted. It then became clear to me what I was dealing with. This was not the usual blockage caused by too much paper--no, it was something different and as I scanned the rim of the bowl I realized what it was--the bowl freshener!

Well, this would be easy then, all I needed was my snake--except my snake had been liberated for a good cause! Ugh! No good deed goes unpunished.

And of course, I had a racquetball match looming! I declared to the family that the toilet was closed for repairs and raced to Lowe's for a new snake, or as they call it an auger.  Before returning home I had a racquetball match to play which turned into a quick losing effort.

Once I returned back home, the process seemed fairly straightforward--in my mind. Sometimes things do not execute on paper the way I draw them up in my mind. But, I was successful after a few minutes in dislodging the object and restoring full flush functionality!

Sometimes those toilet bowl freshness are more work than they are worth!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Musings - February 22, 2016

1. Today is National Margarita day. Have one for me!

2. MLB Spring Training is underway. Hooray for Springtime.

3. Sunday's can be the busiest day of the weeks. Yesterday was filled with two basketball games and an acting performance by the grandsons.

4. It came to me why I have developed a love of golf. I can watch my heroes play AND since I also play the game it is possible for me to play on some of the courses the they do. That doesn't happen in many other sports.

5. The political races are narrowing. That may not be a good thing. The leading candidates are too similar.

6. The Daytona 500 was run yesterday. I had no clue!

7. Would it upset the balance of nature if we just eradicated mosquitoes? They seem to transmit disease and little else beneficial.

8. After a taste of warmer weather this weekend, I am ready for Springtime!!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Longer Days

Friday at Dawn in Columbia, MD
I noticed it the Friday morning while leaving the fitness club after a racquetball match to start the day. It was light outside at 6:45 AM. This represents a significant change from just a few short weeks ago. 

Friday the sunrise was building in the east and the dawn was in full glorious array. Although I have to drive into the dawn and rising sun, I am not complaining because I am happy to get to work in light instead of darkness.  

Coupled with the beginning of Spring Training, the dark season is beginning to fade. The daylight up to 10 hours and 58 minutes per day, which is already 1 and 1/2 hours longer than on December's  Winter Solstice.

Of course, with the longer days comes more activity! And that is awesome. Yesterday was warm and I enjoyed doing some work outside the house. Although the lawn was soggy, it felt good to be beginning to live outside again! I am hopeful that there will be no more snow this season and we can soon slide into the early Springtime predicted by Punxsutawney Phil!

For now, I will enjoy the day at hand and revel in the lengthening days.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Did They Really Say That?

The temperature outside my front door this morning is already higher than the highest temperature yesterday! The rising temperatures are mirroring those in the political contests around the country.

I have heard some incredible statements uttered by people about the presidential race during the past couple of days. 

Here is some things that resonated with me:


"I can be more politically correct than anybody you've ever interviewed," Trump said. He added: "I can do whatever I want. ...I deal with society. Society loves me."

"Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal"(My Thoughts? A candidate should not be advocating boycotting any company, especially on which may be in conflict with his own business interests)


"We've got to slow down," Kasich told Cooper. "You've got to celebrate other people's wins, and sometimes you've got to sit with them and cry."


"I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president," Obama said at a news conference in California after a meeting with southeast Asian leaders. "And the reason is that I have a lot of faith in the American people. Being president is a serious job. It's not hosting a talk show, or a reality show."

The Pope

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel," the Pope told journalists who asked his opinion on Trump's proposals to halt illegal immigration.  (Note: This is a lot different than the way the TV sound bytes are characterizing it)


Dr. Ben Carson says Democrats are “always going to bring up the race issue anytime they don’t get their way like little children having a temper tantrum.”

Bill Clinton:

"Let me just say this," Clinton said, "that campaign has been remarkably fact free and a lot of the numbers don't add up." (Note: He was talking about the Sanders campaign)

My thoughts? This is all beginning to sound like a bad reality TV show. And guess which candidate starred in his own reality TV show? Oh yes, that would be Trump.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 19, 2016

Spring Training -- Orioles

It is the time of the year when the winter seems to be fading fast into a bad memory. Pitchers and catchers have reported to the MLB Spring Training camps and another season for the Boys of Summer is getting underway.

Yes, it is America's pastime. 

It is the harbinger of springtimes arrival and the resumption of the classic rivalries that will keep me interested from now until October. 

All of the teams start with the same record and have a chance to win their division, a championship, and the World Series. 

The saga that is 162 games long begins in less than two short months. Even the pundits are fun to read--although the Orioles are not forecast to do very well. The O's are picked by USA Today to finish last in the American League East. 

Orioles 2016 Spring Training Schedule
But it doesn't matter because that is why they play the games. Anything can happen. The O's are forecast to finish only 10 games out of first place--there are a lot of games between April and October!

In a few short weeks, I will be traveling to Sarasota and giving my own assessment of the team. Soon after that, nearly every evening I will be following the exploits of the Orioles as they progress through the season. It is a time of optimism, despite the pundits' predictions. 

I am excited about hearing some of my favorite words again: "Play ball!"

Let's Go O's!!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yay for Apple

It is amazing how a seemingly small thing can be so important. I am happy, today, that I own and operate Apple technology.

I applaud Apple Inc for standing up to the government's attempt to unlock and thereby discard our 4th Amendment right to privacy. I know there are many who think that in this particular instance Apple should concede--but where could it stop. I believe Apple, Inc, adequately stated their position in their February 16, 2016 letter to customers

Constitutional rights to privacy and protection are just that--rights. That the government could force a private company to develop software to assist the government in breaking into technology created by that same company and thereby access people's private records is ridiculous. The government already has agencies devoted to doing just that--for instance the FBI, itself.

This action threatens privacy on a global scale. And it threatens the economic viability of American companies in the larger worldwide market if they can be forced to turn over specialized software to overcome the security of devices, consumers worldwide will quickly begin buying from companies which cannot so easily be compromised.

In the past, to ensure privacy consumers could burn or shred documents to ensure they would not fall into the hands of unscrupulous people. There were not multiple copies of everything traveling around in cyberspace. Today, however, nothing ever really disappears in the world of the internet and the cloud. The only way to protect privacy and secure our lives from the forces of those who would steal our identities is through unbreakable encryption. As more and more companies and banks push us, the consumers, towards electronic receipt of financial documents, this problem becomes greater. More of our most important documents will be stored in cyberspace.

How quickly the computer breaches of the Office of Personnel Management which affected millions of Americans have been forgotten. Even our government has shown that it cannot protect our privacy.

It is too easy for people to think they have nothing to hide, when in fact there are criminal forces who would quickly exploit our naivety for their financial gain. Of course we have privacy to protect. If the U.S. government can overcome technology to access data are we ignorant enough to believe that criminals and even other countries cannot?

This is a new world of cyber security. We all must be extra vigilant to protect ourselves. Apple must not be forced to give up our individual security no matter the price.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Difference is in the Day

Yesterday morning the world was frozen. The snow that had fallen since Sunday evening and all through Monday was covered with ice and the falling rain was freezing at it hit the ground. It was a mess. The temperatures crawled past 30 degrees and began their slow climb ultimately into the 40s as the morning wore on. 

No Snow in the Yard
The rain picked up intensity and the ice turned slippery making driving almost impossible. The schools closed, businesses delayed opening, accidents were everywhere. Fortunately, I too was delayed in having make my daily trek to the office. Travel was very difficult. But the temperature kept climbing as the rain fell harder. By 9 AM it was already 40 degrees! That was up from 8 degrees on Sunday morning.

As I made my way to work, suffering in snarled traffic which doubled my commuting time, the rain fell harder. I even took my umbrella with me. When I went into my building the weather was terrible.

Driveway Devoid of Snow
But then, a few hours later when I left work to head home it was completely different. All traces of the inches of snow and monsoon-like rains had disappeared. The sky was a brilliant blue and clear. The early evening was, in a word, idyllic. I was amazed at the difference of just a few hours. 

As I drove home in the brilliant sunshine, I marveled at the change in the world from just a few short hours earlier. The day had transitioned form dreary to bright and with it my mood had changed as well. 

The only snow that remained were the piles created during the blizzard of a few weeks ago. Every trace of the past few days' storm had vanished. I forgot to take a picture, but even in the images I shot this morning, it is clear that the snows of winter are receding.

Maybe, just maybe, springtime is on the horizon and the groundhog's prediction of an early spring will come true!

All happening in just a day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My Take: Vying for Equal Time

Over the course of the past couple of entries, my cat Riordin has been pictured in a variety of positions, which have been trying to stay warm or to find warmth. 

Louis Getting Equal Time
In the interest of fairness, I decided to show Louis sitting in my chair. He has a knack for getting into my chair just after I get up, for instance to go get another cup of coffee. When I return, he gives me that big, blue-eyed looks as if to say, "you wanted to come back?"

I have noticed that the whole idea of vying for equal time also applies to the presidential candidates. Those who are lower in the polls try to do or say spectacular things to get air time and help get their message out.

Frankly, I'm tired of the sensationalism. It is becoming a joke to find out which candidates traded insults during the past 24 hours. The most recent Republican debate was an example of this trend at its worst. Candidates traded barbs and insults rather than discussing meaningful concepts and ideas like foreign policy. I'm not kidding, the country needs a coherent plan to correct 7 years of ineffective and inconsistent foreign policy. On the other side, one of the democratic candidates was personally responsible for the chameleon-like foreign policy we have been suffering through.

I really don't want to watch many more of the debates if they are going to continue to be like a bad reality TV show. Wait! One of the candidates starred in his own reality TV show, no wonder why the debates are beginning to take on that type of character.

My Take

"We the people" need to demand better from our candidates because that is where the problem lies. We are not making our voices heard and we are accepting the lowest level of campaigning as those behind in the polls vie for equal time.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Musings - February 15, 2015

1. The discussion about replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should not occur until after he is laid to rest. The difficult political posturing are premature.

Riordin Looking to Keep Warm
2. How cold is it? It was so cold that our cat Riordin was in my chair praying for warmth and fire. It was cute to see.
Valentines Day Dinner

3. I am enjoying the idea of a quiet Valentine's Day dinner at home more and more. For the fourth year in a row, and extra special bottle of wine and a dinner prepared in love graced our table. Can't beat that.

4. I can tell that the sports seasons are in the in-between mode, the lead sports story in the New York Times was about the judge at the Westminster Dog Show

5. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this week! Baseball is almost here. Let's Go O's.

6. The spring Training trip to Sarasota is all set. Golf and baseball, here I come!

7. It is President's Day! And it is snowing, again. And cold. And too miserable to go outside.

8. Why is it that 8 of the 10 holidays are crammed into the 6 months from September to February? The next Federal holiday is over 2 months away at the end of May! Ugh!

9. Here is a scary thought: nearly 20 percent of all of the cars on the road are under some kind of recall. I think our Toyota has three recalls. Maybe we should get them fixed.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Frozen Dawn

Dawn, February 14, 2016
I know, I must not have much to write about since I am going discussing another sunrise.  Well, at least it is not a tequila sunrise!

I despise the cold. But sometimes I find something unique hidden away associated with it. This morning, it is the sun coming up against the frozen blue sky. The naked trees are reflecting the light in the 8 degree morning. Yes, it is cold. There is still snow on the ground from the storms of a few weeks ago.

Riordin on the Register
It is so cold that Riordin is sitting on the register trying to keep warm as he looks outside even though it is toasty in the house.

I could write about the Republican debate. Nothing specific was discussed and then mudslinging began. I'm not sure how invoking problems of previous Presidents helps someone's own campaign. I noticed that one candidate in particular doesn't know how to play well in the sandbox. He believes that he can interject whenever the spirit moves him. Overall though, there was nothing different as the frozen dawn deepens.

In my region, it is going be cold and then there is going to be some winter weather. Be careful. I probably should have accepted Chris'  offer to escape to Key West for the weekend.

It is Valentine's Day! And so, I hope you have a happy one.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Take: Cardboard Tasting Produce

Dinner Last Evening
My friends and I enjoyed a lovely dinner last evening and composed of some great wines and fine food. One of the highlights of the evening was a tray of strawberries and pineapple to dip into a chocolate fondue.

It was then that I noticed that the strawberries looked awesome. They were a shot of summer during the dark, cold days of the winter. They even had a light fragrance of strawberry and while I thoroughly enjoyed them I noticed that they lacked flavor. Of course, they were out of season, what did I expect?

And then I thought about it, many of the fruits and vegetables I eat lack pizazz! I have gotten used to produce that looks good bit I have to imagine the taste rather than savor it. What is happening? I found the answer. Less that flavorful fruit is an intentional byproduct of American farming techniques. 

I discovered and article titled, Why Fruits and Vegetables Taste Better in Europe. In the article is a story about a man who created a tomato, named the Garden Gem, that is one of the most flavorful in the world, but it is not grown commercially because it would require more labor to pick than the larger more taste-deprived varieties. Similarly, the article points out that American consumers want bigger, which is not necessarily better.

The article carries the following statement,

"If you ask the question, 'Why are the chocolates better in Belgium and Switzerland?' it's because locals demand it that way," Schatzker added. "They don't tolerate or want lower quality. And they get upset when people try to pass off inferior quality food as being good."

Interesting thought, Why do our vegetables and fruit taste like cardboard? Because we, as consumers, do not demand higher quality. Wow! Fascinating thought. Producers are selling us exactly what we are demanding. It seems we are not demanding quality. 

Perhaps it is time to demand quality and be prepared to pay for it! 

My Take: I long for fruit that tastes as good as it looks and vegetables that likewise are as good as they appear!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 12, 2016

My Take: Economic Ambivalence

Dow Jones 2016
The stock market is in free fall these days. Every night when I turn in at the end of the day, my net worth is less than it was the night before. 

The Dow and the markets were down again yesterday. By my very loose calculations, the market has been down about 10 percent since December.

None of the presidential candidates are talking about it. They are bashing each other, but no one is worries that the retirement funds that Americans depend upon for their futures are in an virtual free fall. 

Elon Musk
I read that one of the "uber" rich, Elon Musk, has lost $3 billion in value with the declining market. 

The numbers are staggering and affect all diligent Americans who have been saving for retirement, or even for a rainy day. This kind of ambivalence being cast on the issue is why it is almost better to do nothing to plan for the future and to prepare to throw oneself upon the welfare of the government and other citizens.

Yet, the presidential candidates say nothing.

And then I heard an interesting statement: "The falling price of oil is bad." I remember when I heard that the rising price of oil was bad.

Pick one!

My Take: The economy is in a shambles and the emperor has no clothes. Let's hope the candidates stop sniping and start talking about real issues, soon, or no one will be able to afford to vote for them. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Too Cold

Wouldn't you know it?

The weather for the upcoming President's Day, three-day, weekend is forecasting temperatures to be below freezing. Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing again until Tuesday and not before then! That is five days of frigid weather.

Bring on the ice skating.


I am so frustrated by the cold that I went outside last evening and hit a golf balls in the yard until my hands got numb. It wasn't very many.

The cold weather is just cruel! The snow has mostly melted and it is time to get on with spring.

By the way, I learned that the coldest day on record for Baltimore was February 10, 1899. The low was -7 and the high was 3 degrees. Brrrr!

At least we won't be getting that cold.

I hope.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Circus and the Orator

New Hampshire has voted and placed its unique style and mark upon the presidential olympics.

What did I see? The circus of Trump continues to attract. Scary. I do not see any depth in his proposals. He seems to be running on the ideas of candidate bashing and being the biggest bully on the block. Were he a kid in a public school today, he would be expelled for being a bully. I think the electorate is watching too many "reality" TV shows. And remember, Trump starred in one. 

I was encouraged that the trio of governors began to show some signs of life in the campaign. Someone needs to serve as an alternate to the circus.

On the other side of the campaign, it appears that the Hillary train was derailed by the orator. I listened to Sanders victory speech last evening, almost 45 minutes of it. I was struck by his oratory. He speaks in complete sentences and thoughts, unlike many candidates who speak in sound-bites. 

And now, on to South Carolina where the real campaigning will begin. I am sure Trump will declare victory, it is hard to declare a mandate with  thirty-something percent of the votes cast. The only victory of the night belonged to Sanders. 

Is November getting close, yet?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Super Bowl 50, Lessons

I enjoyed the Super Bowl played between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. I had hoped the Broncos would win the game, mostly because I have twice lived in the Denver area and have suffered, as a Broncos fan, through losses in previous Super Bowls.

Craig Morton
Denver Quarterback 1977 Super Bowl
I Cheered for the Broncos and the Orange Crush defense during their 1978, Super Bowl XII loss (27-10) to the Dallas Cowboys. I also remember the ugly loss to the San Francisco 49ers (55-10) in the 1990 Super Bowl XXIV.  The result of this game remains the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history.

Over time, and upon finding a home in the Baltimore region, I have become a Ravens fan; but I have a fond place in my heart for the Broncos.  It was not surprising, therefore, that I wanted the Broncos to win the Super Bowl.

That written, going into the game, I felt the Panthers were the more complete team with more capable players at critical positions. 

Officially, my position on the game was that I was cheering for the Broncos, but felt that the Panthers would win.

What are the lessons I take away from this game?

Peyton Manning
Denver Quarterback 2016 Super Bowl
1. No matter how it looks on paper, the intangibles affect the outcome and that is why we play the games.

2. Defense wins championships!

3. Experience matters.

4. Maturity is an important intangible.

5. The sheriff was better than superman.

6. Defensive games can be boring, but represent the essence of football.

Some of these are applicable in life as well as in the sports arena!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Musings - February 8, 2015

1. The second week of February 2016 is underway!

2. There is another snowstorm taking aim at the Baltimore-Washington region. 

Broncos, 24 - Panthers, 10
3. Super Bowl 50 was won by the Broncos, 24-10! Defense was the name of the game, but Peyton Manning managed to lead the Broncos to a victory and his second Super Bowl win! Congrats to Denver and all of their fiercely loyal fans.

4. I did not find many of the Super bowl commercials to be especially super this year.

5. The Washington Post rated the Super Bowl commercials. I did enjoy Avocados in Space and the one about the "Weiner dogs" for Heinz ketchup. 

6. Now that the NFL season is over it is time to get ready for, yes, wait for it . . . BASEBALL! Spring Training is almost here!

7. I appreciate the respite from the presidential olympics--but it is back onto the campaign trail today with New Hampshire looming big tomorrow.

Great Wall of China
8. I was encouraged by the performance of the band of governors during the Republican debate a few days ago. Perhaps they can bring moderation and common sense to the campaign.

9. As an American, I do not want to fund the Western Hemisphere's version of the Great Wall of China to be installed on the border of Mexico and the United States.  It is too easy for a wall to change from keeping people out to keeping people in.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Squirrel Thievery

Squirrel at the Feeder
They are creative thieves--squirrels. 

Chris bought a unique bird feeder to provide peanuts for her favorite bird--the bluejay. 

The squirrels figured out how to get the peanuts out of the feeder.

It is amazing how quickly they can get the nuts out of the feeder and create a huge mess on the deal. I am really looking forward to cleaning it all up when the weather gets warmer. 

Well, at least we are helping the critters enjoy a beautiful day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
My Zimbio
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