Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stop Running--Start Working

45th President of the United States
Donald J. Trump
Tonight is the President's first address to Congress. 

I have a sense that the honeymoon is over and the country needs to start moving forward, collectively.

I am disappointed that the opposition party seems to have adopted a platform of obstructionism rather than bipartisanism. Stalling everything for two years is not the correct approach. Sometime soon, the government needs to get out of its own way and start moving the country forward. 

The Capitol
The Washington Post has an interesting political cartoon regarding the speech tonight. 

I have heard people express displeasure about the President--but he is OUR President. Is there anyone who rationally wants the president to fail? Consider, for a moment, the consequences. Failure is not desirable on any level.

A deeper and more thoughtful editorial, titled Does Trump know he's president?, looked deeper at the President's first month plus in office. The editorial covers a number of issues that the President should be addressing, but ends with the following observation: 

You might think the president would be fully engaged in some of these issues, but you’d be wrong. Instead, he has been waging a ridiculous war against the media. His cries of “fake news” may play well with the base, but he’s not running for president at the moment. He’s supposed to be doing the job.

President Reagan, in his January 25, 1988 State of the Union Address made the following observation about the state of the country and the government:

In the spirit of Jefferson, let us affirm that in this Chamber tonight there are no Republicans, no Democrats—just Americans. Yes, we will have our differences, but let us always remember what unites us far outweighs whatever divides us. Those who sent us here to serve them—the millions of Americans watching and listening tonight-expect this of us. Let's prove to them and to ourselves that democracy works . . .  

Good advice. Congress, take note, too!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday Musings - February 27, 2017

1. February ends tomorrow, amazingly. The year will be 17 percent complete. March is looking like it will come in like a lion!

2. Heads-up! Daylight Saving Time begins in less than 2 weeks on March 12th at 2:00 AM!

3. The Orioles are 2-1 in Spring Training games!

4. The Oscars were last night. Were there any real surprises, except the drama of announcing the wrong winning picture?

5. Heard in a restaurant:"You shall be punished because I ordered wrong."

6. Is the Bill of Rights under attack by some in Washington? Sadly, time will tell.


7. Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal - The Denver Post

8. This watch company is the perfect example of why Trump's "made in America" initiative is easier said than done - Business Insider

9. Trump to Ask for Sharp Increases in Military Spending, Officials Say - The New York Times

10. Trump’s Cabinet has to work as a cleanup crew - The Washington Post

Quote of the Week

"I have to believe that the future does look bright for our nation and for the world. So, keep your dreams; don't give 'em up." - Ronald Reagan
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Regional Editors and Broadcasters, February 10, 1986

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Summer-like Weather Ends

Green Hellebore
February 25, 2017
Daffodils in Bloom
February 25, 2017
Walking outside yesterday in my shirt, without a coat, while many parts of the country were besieged with a massive winter storm, I had to remind myself that it was February. The temperature at the time was 73 degrees. It was cooler than the high 70's of the previous three days, but still some 40 degrees above normal. I enjoyed having temperatures in the high 70's for five of the past eight days.

The springtime flowers are in bloom and many of the trees are budding. Everything is poised for the arrival of Spring, except for the calendar.

I knew that it could not last, this morning it was 40 degrees cooler at my house. The national weather map for this morning shows how cold it is across the nation.

But it was a great run and there are only a few days of cold (cooler) weather forecast ahead. I see 75 forecast for the Wednesday high. 

And add to that, Daylight Savings Time is only two weeks away!

Orioles Opening Day is 37 days away on April 3.
Pool opening day is 70 days away on May 6.

Excitement abounds.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 25, 2017

1st Amendment Under Fire

I am amazed that the mainstream news media is under attack. It is a clear effort to deflect the spotlight from the circus which has become the White House and focus it on the news media.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that some major news outlets were uninvited from a press briefing in the article CNN, New York Times, other media barred from White House briefing. While this is not, in and of itself, a violation of the 1st Amendment it does represent a threat to free access of media to the President and the Executive Branch of the government. 

The First Amendment is clear.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Fortunately, legal opinion in the subsequent years has determined that the amendment applies to the entire government. 

So, the question is did excluding news outlets from a White House briefing cross the line and represent an abridgment of the freedom of the press or freedom of speech?

Based upon my reading of a Legal Information Institute, probably not. But it certainly is a poor practice.

The President evidently does not like some elements of the press, especially those who report contrary to his wishes. Limiting press access is dangerous and borders on violating the First Amendment--not because he limits their access, but because he limits their access based upon what they write and therefore violates the free speech aspect of the first amendment.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 24, 2017

Baseball is Back

The Orioles first spring Training game is today against the Detroit Tigers.

Baseball is back!

It has been a few months since their last pitch and the Orioles are mostly the same team that was eliminated from the playoffs during the Wild Card round. 

Hope springs eternal during Spring Training. All of the teams begin the same way--winless. Players are watched and graded and teams are formed for the 162 game campaign.

I am excited. I love baseball. I love watching baseball. I used to enjoy playing baseball.

The boys of summer are back!!

The Orioles conduct Spring Training in Sarasota, Florida, which I have come to enjoy. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make my annual Spring Training trip this year. 

Baseball at Camden Yards will have to suffice.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Solar System Far, Far Away

NASA's announcement yesterday about the seven Earth-size planets arrayed in the Trappist-1 solar system have renewed the excitement about discovering or uncovering life outside of our own Earth.

I admit it is exciting. The Trappist-1 system seems so close and yet it is so far away. The system is 40 light years away--that is 40 continuous years of traveling at the speed of light just to get there. As a species, we have not yet devised any vehicle that can travel anything nearly that fast. 

The fastest space probe to date is the Juno probe, which upon arriving at Jupiter was cruising at about 165,000 miles per hour. At that speed it would take about 162 thousand years to get there. Even using the expected velocity of Space Probe Plus, due to launch in 2018, of 450,000 mph, it would still take 59 thousand years to get there. That is a very long time!

I can hear Buzz Lightyear shouting, "To infinity . . . and beyond!"

We still need to take better care of our own home. Global warming is a fact; not a theory.

It was nice to have something different headline the news yesterday.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sunset over Annapolis

Upon arriving back in Maryland Monday afternoon, Chris and I were invited to Restaurant Week in Annapolis.

Yellowfin Restaurant
February 20, 2017
We had just completed a long day of driving, but the idea of heading out to a nice restaurant for a special dinner on the water could not be passed up. 

And it was fantastic. The sunset over the water was very special and our table by the window overlooking the water was even better. It was hard to believe that it was February. 

The sky was alive with color and it continued for a long time during our dinner. The scene went with our meal perfectly and the lingering sunset led into a lingering relaxed meal. 

It has already been a busy week and it is only hump day!

Have a great Wednesday and enjoy your evening meal, whenever or wherever you are.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Springtime in Ithaca

Taughannock Falls
Trumansburg, NY
February, 19, 2017
Buttermilk Falls
Ithaca, NY
February 19, 2017
Granted it is only February, but the temperatures this pst weekend made it seem as if Spring had arrived. The snow was melting and the creeks and rivers were filled with the runoff. That meant that the waterfalls that the area is blessed with would be scenic beauties--and they were.

Chris and I visited two of the falls: Buttermilk and Taughannock. They were fantastic and Buttermilk was especially inspiring set against the blue sky. 

The ice is still evident around the basin at Taughannock. 

It was a beautiful Spring day (during February) and I am glad we were able to enjoy it and some of the natural beauty of the Central New York region.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Musings - February 20, 2017

Blue Sky over Buttermilk Falls
Ithaca, NY
1. Happy Presidents' Day. Go celebrate somewhere.

2. Blue. Despite all of the brown vegetation and white snow, a blue sky can make me smile.

3. Baseball season is underway. Spring Training games begin this week.

4. Why does driving long distances not excite me the way it used to?

5. There is something about ice on a lake that just says: cold.

6. I enjoyed watching the Genesis Golf Tournament on TV this weekend. There definitely was a lot of green all around the course.

7. Does anyone have a copy of the Bill of Rights? I think some in the White House need a review of the First Amendment.

8. I shoveled about three shovels full of snow and ice this weekend. That is my total shoveling effort for the season so far. Will I be lucky?

9. I have reservations for my next beach vacation. It is coming not soon enough.

10. As I am driving through the Pennsylvania countryside I am imagining trees with green leaves and lush fields.

-- Bob Doan, somewhere on Route 15 in Pennsylvania

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Brown or White

Snow in Danby, NY
Well, I'm back in Upstate NY where not only is brown a prevalent color, but this cold white stuff is almost equally ubiquitous.

Admittedly, and unbelievably, I prefer brown to white. The snow is cold. And wet. Against the blue sky of yesterday when the temperatures were in the low 50's, the white snow was definitely out of place.

But it melts. Hopefully the green will return here soon. I can feel the winter's ending coming with the arrival of March. Warmer temperatures are on tap for the week ahead.

Very soon it will be springtime.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Ithaca, NY

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Brown, why does it have to be Brown?

Brown Fields in Central Pennsylvania
February 18, 2017
I am tired of winter's brown garb. It is boring. Brown is everywhere and I keep trying to imagine green fields.

But the brown is ubiquitous.

I believe that spring is close. The temperatures are rising. I have dusted off my golf clubs and hit a bucket into my new net yesterday.

The groundhog was apparently wrong. Thankfully. We might escape winter's grasp without and more major weather events.

I can dream.

The green is coming. And I will soon be on the greens.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 17, 2017

Presidents' Day Weekend

It is time to celebrate the men (so far, yes, they are all men) who have served our country by being elected President!

Portrait of George Washington in the White House
So is it President's Day, celebrating only George Washington, or is it Presidents' Day celebrating all of them?

Turns out that depending upon the state, both may be correct.

Of course, two of the greatest have birthdays during this time of year--Washington and Lincoln. But of the now 45 Presidents, which one or ones are your favorites and why? Did you ever wonder?

Ronald and Nancy Reagan
Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Some interesting facts about the Presidents can be found at the website containing Fun Facts about the Presidents

Presidential Facts:

Four presidents were born during February including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Harrison and Ronald Reagan.

I cannot find any portrait of George Washington smiling. He is always so serious.

Calvin Coolidge was the only President born on the 4th of July. 

Three Presidents have died on the 4th of July: Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe. Adams and Jefferson both died in 1826 while Monroe lived until 1831. 

Truly great Presidents give us words of wisdom to live by. George Washington set the tone with his Farewell Address, which to this day is read on his birthday in the Senate. 

Ronald Reagan made the following observation:

"We live in perilous times, my fellow Americans, but also times of great hope and opportunity. The future is up to us."
Radio Address to the Nation on Drug Abuse and Aid to the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance, February 6, 1988

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Late for Summer

Here I am, in the deep mid-winter, just past Ground Hog Day, and I found out that I am already behind in planning my summer vacation! Ugh!

Some people I know are already planning 2018! I guess they are true planners. Ready for almost anything. I don't even have a date set to open my pool this year and they are planning a vacation for next year.

I have trouble getting excited about vacation planning in the middle of the winter. I have planned a Spring-break get away, but the thought of trying to find a warm sandy beach with palm trees somewhere in the Caribbean was almost paralyzing. 

Some Beach, Somewhere
As I got into the process I was appalled by the costs! The price of escapism is truly rising at an astronomic rate.

Ideally, I would find a quiet Caribbean island somewhere and stay there for three weeks. Not gonna happen. So then a land/sea vacation was considered. Probably, that is the final solution. Some time on the water sitting on the balcony outside my stateroom on some cruise ship and then a week or more on a sunny (Florida) beach. 

So much for a Caribbean get away. But a get away is still a distinct possibility.

Here's hoping for a frozen drink in my hand under a palm tree on a sunny and warm beach somewhere. Soon!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

After the Valentine, Eat the Strawberries!

Valentine's Day Happy Hour
It was another year with a different twist for Valentine's Day. I had a racquetball match after work and didn't get home until later, but Chris took care of the preparations and we had a marvelous Happy Hour followed by a great surf (salmon) and turf (steak) dinner at home.

Chris and I have become fans of Valentine's Dinner at home. 

The Happy Hour was especially nice because of the fresh chocolate covered strawberries that I had delivered for Chris along with some roses. The strawberries were, and still are, fantastic.

The Happy Hour wine was an Americana Vineyards Riesling and the dinner wine was a 2006 Lindaflor Malbec from Argentina. While the wine notes indicate that the wine can be cellared for 20+ years, I think 11 was enough. It was the kind of wine that would make a dinner out in a restaurant cost as much as a car payment. 

It is fun to cook a special diner and then to enjoy it at home without the crush of trying to eat out with all of the other revelers. 

Truth-be-told, we actually enjoyed our Valentine's dinner out on Monday night in a nearly empty restaurant with friends. Call it the Valentine's Eve celebration!

I hope you enjoyed your own special Valentine's celebration wherever or whatever it was.

And we still have strawberries!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who Said That?

Trying to quote famous people can become difficult especially when the words being quoted were never uttered by the person to which they are being credited.

It has happened twice in recent memory, most recently to the Republican National Committee when trying to quote Lincoln on his birthday. The New York Times reports that Republicans Tweet, Then Delete, a Fake Lincoln Quote. I actually found an image online with their particular quote written across an image of Lincoln, so it is an easy trap to fall into.

Previously there was a quote about the liberal democrats that was erroneously attributed to Patton. 

It is important to check sources when making attribution. It is easy to say, "Oh yea, (insert famous person here) definitely said that" because it sounds like something we wish they would have said. 

I think we are beginning to understand the pervasiveness of fake news in our society. It has always been there, it is just now being uncovered for what it really is--an attempt to deceive the masses. Just because something is written or on the internet does not make it true.  

Ronald Reagan kept notecards in his office with quotes by famous people on them. He used them as sources for his speeches and in dealing with the trials of daily life. 

In the book published with the quotes he kept on his notecards, there are many quotes that Reagan attributed to Lincoln, one of them is: "A man may be loyal to his government and still opposed to the particular principles and practices of the administration in power."

I think this is an especially important thought in these trying times.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Musings - February 13, 2017

Spring Flowers Peaking up
1. Unbelievably, it is the second Monday of February 2017. It is already 44 days into the new year! I guess it isn't so new anymore.

2. Why does the new administration in Washington seem to enjoy watching everything play out on the news media. Wouldn't it be nice to have a quiet news day?

Louis on the Dining Room Table
3. Two dogs were talking one day about their poop. One dog says to the other, "our poop must be really valuable, my owner keeps picking it up and putting it into little bags."

4. Spring flowers are poking up through the ground in my garden. The sprigs of green are reassuring. Spring is coming.

5. Sometimes I think that cats just want to take over the world. Like Louis sitting on the dining room table the other evening. 

6. Support for First Amendment rights is growing among high school students according to an article published in the New York Times

7. It was a great weekend without NFL football. I guess I am getting over my Super Bowl hang-over.


8. Turmoil at the National Security Council, From the Top Down - New York Times

9. Domino's shares fall on wage fraud allegations - Sydney Morning Herald

10. North Korea missile test prompts UN Security Council meeting today - CBC News

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Best Way to Shop

Saturday, almost by definition due to our work schedule, is a shopping day. 

Lucas Enjoying Furniture Shopping
Yesterday was no different except that we had a grandson with us, Lucas. And it was a different kind of shopping as we were looking for furniture. Lucas was a trooper. We visited a couple of furniture stores and also stopped into the largest Lowe's in the region to look for carpets.
Lucas on the Shag

Lucas enjoyed looking at the furniture--we were specifically looking for chairs to make changes in the living room. Turns out, we opted to change the carpet for about a third of the price. 

Lucas was priceless. We found a wide variety of chairs and I noticed that the 60's are returning to the styles being offered, like the shaggy lounge Lucas is enjoying with a bag of popcorn. 

It was a fun portion of the day and because he was such a trooper, we treated him to Chick-fil-A for lunch.

Later during the day, we actually found a carpet for the room and just kept our chairs.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dawn through the Windshield

Day Breaks February 10, 2017
Yesterday morning as I made my way to work, the scene of the breaking dawn outside my windshield was spectacular.

I am a dawn person. I love sitting on a beach watching the sunrise over the ocean. When on a long trip that begins during the wee hours of the morning, I love being behind the wheel as dawn breaks across the the landscape and the darkness gives way to the light.

Yesterday was no exception. I had just finished playing a disappointing match of racquetball at the club and was on my way to work when the sight of the breaking dawn met my eyes. It was fabulous. The reflection of the red colors from the still-below-the-horizon sun off the clouds was stunning. I just had to record the moment and I did. I was able to snap a quick image to help etch the scene in my mind. The headlights of the oncoming cars can be see stretched out as if running from the breaking light. 

Sadly, there is a streak on my windshield that mars the image--but it was a spur of the moment shot.

And now, that day has passed and another dawn has arrived.

But, I have the memory and the image to help me remember.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Separate Judiciary

The United States is blessed with a separate judiciary which can control the rash and sometimes unfathomable actions, when compared to the Constitution, of the other branches of the government. 

According to Washington Post reporting, Federal appeals court maintains suspension of Trump’s immigration order. Depending upon your personal point of view, that is a victory or a defeat. But whether victory or defeat, that is not the real and most important issue.

Here's the important part, every decision made by the Congress or the President is subject to review for Constitutionality if questions arise. 

Just because the President signs an Executive Order or Congress passes legislation is not the end of the story. There is the provision for review and reversal or placing a policy on hold until a more complete and informed decision can be made.

That is the beauty and resilience of our government. One party or one man cannot implement ill-advised or even illegal laws.

Congrats 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals--you have provided renewed confidence in the value of a separate judiciary.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Moon, Eclipse, Comet

Friday could be a big night!

There will be a full moon, a partial lunar eclipse AND the possibility of seeing a pale green comet all in one night. And that is Friday.

Check out the article form the Washington Post which describes the astronomic events which may soon occur. 

Where to find the comet
The mid-eclipse is about 7:44 PM EST. It is not a total eclipse. 

But wait, there's more!

From the Washington Post article:

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdus√°kov√° (don’t ask us how to pronounce all those names) makes its closest approach to Earth at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. The greenish comet will be visible by telescope and binoculars, but not to the naked eye.

We need to hope for clear skies!!!!

It could be a wild evening. If these were ancient times all of the signs in the sky would foretell something significant to happen. But, we educated people know that this is not how things work.

I'm pretty sure.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Better Weather, Until Not

I know I keep writing about the weather, but yesterday was a record setting day for the region. The high topped out at 72 degrees, breaking to old record set in 1965 by 2 degrees!

Forecast for the Baltimore Region
Yes, it is still February. It is a lot better to write about the weather than the political mood in the nation right now. At least the weather can't be taken to court to try for a reversal.

A change in the weather is coming--tonight. The temperature will fall from the low 60's today into the 20's by early Friday morning. Ugh! With snow and a wintery mix. 

The trend is down for the temperatures. Sadly. 

But Spring is coming, I can feel it. 

Orioles pitchers and catchers report on Monday and we can shake off the lingering NFL-season hang-over and get on with baseball, finally.

Hope always springs eternal when Spring Training begins. 

After this short spate of warm April-like weather, I know that Spring is not far off.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

First Outdoor Happy Hour of the Year

Forsythia in February
It is February, I had to remind myself of that simple fact because yesterday was an incredibly mild and enjoyable day. I scheduled a day off for myself to recoup from the Super Bowl and I was able to take full advantage of the great day. The high topped out at 62 degrees! It was fabulous. 

February Happy Hour
While walking Makayla last evening, I  noticed some forsythia that had become confused about the month being February and not March. They were in bloom already in anticipation of the early Spring that Punxsutawney Phil did NOT forecast

Chris and I were able to enjoy happy hour on the back deck with the fire table providing the required amount of additional warmth as we watched the sun slip down behind the horizon. The sky was clear and one star appeared early and I watched a number of contrails pass across in front of its light, blown by the stratospheric winds. 

It was hard to believe that it is currently mid-Winter. But, I am enjoying the respite from the cold. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Musings - February 6, 2017

1. It is the first Monday of February. Amazingly, the year is quickly slipping by.

2. I think I am already late planning my summer vacation. Ugh! It's still Winter.

3. Still shaking off the Super Bowl this morning? Orioles pitchers and catchers report in 7 days!

4. I have to admit, the Super Bowl was super. Although I wanted the Falcons to win, the historic 25 point comeback and subsequent overtime victory for the Patriots was truly special.

5. I discovered that Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" is not the patriotic song that everyone thinks. Check out the fifth and sixth stanzas in the lyrics and note that in the fifth stanza the word "sign" has been changed from the original "wall." Foreshadowing?

6. The Washington legislative battle of the week is shaping up to be the travel ban. A true story in the laws of our Republic and the independent judiciary!


7. Iran's missile test 'not a message' to Trump - Reuters

8. The five best Super Bowl commercials - Washington Post

9. Trump and Staff Rethink Tactics After Stumbles - New York Times

Final Thought

10. Why do I feel like I played in the Super Bowl? 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday has become, perhaps, the biggest Sunday of the entire year. Even bigger than Easter Sunday because it is a uniquely American national celebration and not a religious observance. 

Almost everyone is talking about the game and the day. Even though my favorite team is not playing, I will be watching the game  rooting for one of the teams. In addition, i will be treated to some of the best television commercials produced throughout the year to promote their products. 

Super Bowl Questerbacks
Tom Brady vs Matt Ryan
Tomorrow, the discussions will center upon the game and its outcome and also about which commercial was best. Some of the commercials are already available for review online at varying sites. I found a bunch of them at a site titled 2017 Super Bowl Commercials We Cant's Wait to See and more of them at Watch all of the 2017 Super Bowl commercials so far. It is almost like unwrapping a Christmas Gift early. I saw the one about "Avocados from Mexico"--I wonder if they will be able to get over the wall?

I wish that I was in Houston, not for the game but for the warmth! Projected high in Houston today is 76 degrees as compared to 47 degrees for Baltimore. 

Now about the game, I am cheering for the Falcons who have never won a Super Bowl. They are playing a team which has a documented history of pushing the limits of the rules to obtain an advantage over their opponents. Even though Madden predicts a Patriots victory of 27-24,  I also believe the game will be close but the final score will be 31-28 Falcons! (Sorry, Tim!)

Most important, however, it is not which team wins or loses, but the reason to gather with family and friends and just be together.

No matter for which team you are cheering, have a Super Sunday!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Toughest Division in Baseball

It is time to get excited about baseball.  The pre-season rankings are coming out and getting the fan base ready for the coming season. 

The American League East is ranked as the toughest division in all of baseball, and while the Orioles are not favored to win the division, they are contenders. I found it satisfying that the pre-season pundits at Sports on Earth made the following statement:

The other 'pen in that argument belongs to Baltimore, where closer Zach Britton is coming off one of the best seasons for a reliever ever. While projection models are never kind to the O's, the O's are also never kind to projection models in return, and they're still going to hit all of the homers. 

Orioles fans have felt that the pundits undervalue the team for a long time. The models always project the Orioles to have a losing season and finish last, but in fact last year they tied for second place and lost the wild card game. 

As the season prepares to get underway, hope springs for a division title and a World Series Championship. 

Let's Go O's!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tilting at Windmills

Racing headlong into the weekend this Friday morning, I feel as if I have been tilting at windmills all week.

The week has been very busy and I have been hobbled by a head cold that makes each task I attend to a giant problem, much like a windmill. 

Perhaps, I have been "tilting at windmills" this week while attending to the most basic actions. 

For instance, yesterday my computer decided not to operate. A download had been pushed overnight and when I opened the cover in the morning it rebooted--but the process got hung. Panic! I read a lot in the morning. I composed myself and grabbed Chris' laptop to read and complete my blog. I was prepared to don my best programming and computer repair skills and charge headlong into the morass of Apple software coding to solve the problem. However, during the day I was able to find a simple reboot code that solved the problem in about 10 minutes. Success! Windmill gone. But then, it never really existed.

I need to stop charging at windmills and handle the small problems more efficiently. Hopefully, with the arrival of the weekend, the cold will subside and the windmills will disappear!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day 2017

Punxsutawney Phil
It has arrived yet again, that most American of celebrations--Groundhog Day.

It kind of snuck up on us and hopefully the groundhogs will not see their shadows and we will have an abbreviated winter--or so the legend goes.

I am rooting for you, Punxsutawney Phil!

Is it possible that a groundhog can predict the weather as well as the professionally paid weather forecasters can. At least once per year I can actually figure out how to spell the groundhog's name.

Enjoy the celebration and here's hoping for an early Spring. The northern part of the country desperately needs for winter to release its grip and lets get on to baseball season.

Groundhog day reminds me of upcoming events:

Feb 13 - Orioles pitchers and catchers report (11 Days)
March 20 - Spring begins (46 days)
April 3 - Orioles Opening Day (60 days)
May 7 - Pool Opening Day (94 days)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Arrives

Amazingly, the first month of 2017 is in the books. January has departed and we are now at the doorstep of February.

January was an interesting, to say the least, month.

We welcomed a new President with pomp and circumstance and he has not disappointed either his fans or critics. It is becoming "must see TV" when the national news is shown to see what the new President did today. 

Weather-wise, for Baltimore, January was a mild month, thankfully, and my electric bill really appreciated that. New Year's Day saw above average temperatures of 54/35 degrees (High/Low) and January 31st was similar with 52/24 degrees. The local average for January 31st is 42/25 degrees. There were only three days during January when the high was below freezing, but there was one day when the high topped at 70 degrees and two other days with highs in the 60's. 

Since the Winter Solstice, when there was 9h23m59s of daylight, the days have increased to 10h14m9s. On February 28th there will be 11h17m48s of daylight. Total daylight increases by more than an hour during the month! I have been enjoying that it is still light at 5:30PM!

Upcoming in February:

2 - Ground Hog Day (see the movie)
5 - Super Bowl (yawn!)
13 - Orioles Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training
14 - Valentines Day (don't forget)
18 - National Drink Wine Day
20 - President's Day
24 - First Orioles Spring Training game

Let's play ball and have a great month!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
My Zimbio
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