Tuesday, July 31, 2018

1964 the Tribute

Concert at Big Cork Vineyards
Rohrersville, MD
July 28, 2018
Chris and I had the opportunity to enjoy some authentic Beatle's music Saturday night at our favorite Maryland vineyard, Big Cork Vineyards as we attended a concert by 1964 the Tribute

It was a beautiful Maryland evening with moderate temperatures, low humidity, and almost no bugs. The wines were flowing freely and the venue was spectacular--especially the view of the mountains across the valley which made perfect backdrop for the concert.

It was a perfect blending for the evening. Wine, either, and music.

We had seen the band on two other occasions, a few years ago, but this performance on the lawn was definitely memorable. And enjoyable.

The concert was the reason we went "west" and spent the weekend in the area, but it was a lot of fun and was definitely worth the effort. 

The band sang most of the classic Beatles songs from their early years after landing in America. The show was full of humor and the performers aptly reproduced the spirit of a real Beatles show although, bring much younger during 1964, I never actually attended a Beatles concert in person.

We had fun and we would definitely do it again. Thank you Big Cork for staging the event!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Musings - July 30, 2018

Church in Harper's Ferry from the Railroad Bridge
July 29, 2018
1. The last Monday of my favorite month of the year has arrived. August is waiting in the wings for a grand entrance on Wednesday.
Fence Lining the Sunken Road
Antietam Battlefield
July 28, 2018

2. Chris and I spent a weekend immersed in history. We walked the Antietam Battlefield as well as wandering around Harper's Ferry.

3. I am glad the rains stopped for the weekend. We enjoyed a concert by 1964 the Tribute at Big Cork Vineyard on Saturday night. What a great idea, hold a concert on the grounds of a vineyard with a generous supply of great wine available!

4. The rains are expected to return this week. Sadly. I was enjoying the sunny skies.

5. Our dogs and cats are tired of Chris and I taking off for the weekend. I think they will be happy when remain are home for a while. 

1964 The Tribute
Big Cork Vineyards
July 28, 2018
Truck Loaded with Bushes Ready for Recycling
July 30, 2018
6. Despite the travel, Chris and I managed to remove three unsightly large bushes from the side of the house. Their time had come and it is now time to refresh the appearance.

7. On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry Truman was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card.

8. Joke for the Week: Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil? Because it’s pointless.

9. The Orioles just won three games in a row all by scoring 10 runs or more and, weirdly, they had 15 hits in each of the three games. That has to be some kind of record. The three successive wins have lowered their projected season losses to 113! They are over .300 in winning percentage for the first time in a long time and are making a push to get out of last place in MLB.


G.O.P. Faces Another Midterm Threat as Trump Plays the Shutdown Card - The New York Times

Air marshals have conducted secret in-flight monitoring of U.S. passengers for years - The Washington Post

'Happy with tariffs': Steel industry emerges as trade war winner - CNN

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"But if we remember that freedom rests, and always will, on the individual -- on individual integrity, on individual effort, on individual courage, and in an individual faith in God -- then we will have met the challenge of our generation and brought our great nation safely through our turning point in history."
Address Before a Joint Session of the Iowa State Legislature in Des Moines, February 9, 1982

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Civil War History

Burnside Bridge
Antietam Battlefield
July 28, 2018
The Antietam battlefield is close to where we live and on Saturday it was the destination of choice.

It is important to immerse in history and honor the past. Burnside Bridge was the scene of fighting and I was amazed to learn that the tree at the end of the bridge was there during the battle. It was a fascinating piece of history.

Returning to the battlefield is sobering. Recounting the struggles that happened during that fateful day during September 1862 remind me of the past from which our nation is forged. The 23,000 casualties are mind numbing.

And now the landscape is bucolic and peaceful. Only hints of the horrors of that day remain.

An important piece of American history that needs to be remembered.

— Bob Doan, writing from Harpers Ferry, WV

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Twilight Flight

Looking up the Street at Sunset
July 27, 2018
Looking to the Sunset
July 2Nd 7, 2018
The weather cleared enough last evening for a quick Radio Flyer flight as the sun was setting.

I enjoyed the colors of the sunset and was anxious to get my drone airborne before they faded away.

I intended to fly to the end of the street and take a few shots looking over I-95, but due to the rain, the trees were impeding the quality of the signal between Radio Flyer and my controller. I kept losing contact at the target location and so I brought it back where I had full control and took some evening images.

I especially like the one where the golden colors of the sun are reflecting off the houses along my street.

It was a relatively short flight all-in-all, but I enjoyed the final results. It was a nice way to watch the end of the week fade over the horizon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 27, 2018

Made it to Friday

Moon from Elkridge
July 26, 2018
The rain is back this morning, but I made it to another Friday.

That is a cause for celebration--even with the ever pervasive rain. I had hoped the day would be clear and sunny!

Chris and I have another busy weekend planned and hopefully the rains will hold off.

July 26, 2018
Last evening as Chris and I were walking the dogs, we noticed that the Moon was especially beautiful.

I now realize that photographing the Moon is difficult. The camera never really captures what the eye sees, especially with a dog pulling n the leash as the hand attempts to snap and image.

But I tried.

The good news is that the skies at the time were mostly clear and it was not raining for the first time in about five days. It had dried out enough for me to cut the lawn and begin to get it back into shape.

I was beginning to feel like I was living in a rainforest.

All of that written, and even with the rain, it is still Friday and we are on the cusp of the weekend!

Why does Friday seem to make is all better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Rain--Build an Ark

Sun over Cayuga Lake near Ithaca, NY Looking East
From Radio Flyer
July 21, 2018
The rains continued pounding the region last evening and rained out the Orioles baseball game that I had tickets for but decided not to attend because of the storms. Unfortunately, they rescheduled the game during the Troy Whittemore Annual Golf Tournament in August and so I have another group of tickets to exchange. 

Oh, boy!

It has been a tough season. Last evening was the third rain out from my 13 game package.

The rains, which hopefully are ending today, have been wrecking havoc on the area with flooded homes, roads, bridges, and downed trees abounding.

I was beginning to think about ordering some gopher wood, but since no one seems to know what gopher wood actually is, it is hard to order some to construct an ark.

I don't have the time anyway. And who wants to clean up once all of the animals show up?

I am hopeful that the rains will end today and some drying will occur. My lawn looks like a jungle and needs to be mowed! The pool is in good shape, but requires constant attention to ensure the skimmers are clear. Radio Flyer, my drone, has been in its storage case since the weekend. I am itching to get it out and do some flying.

Maybe the sun will shine today, somewhere near where I live!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dismantling the Team

The Orioles continue to dismantle the team by trading off the best players to in the hopes of creating a winning future.

Last evening my favorite player, Zach Britton, was traded to the Yankees. I cannot believe that the Orioles would do business with the Yankees who are in their own division, but it happened. Maybe he will be back?

Last week the Orioles traded Manny Machado to the Dodgers. 

Who is next? I expect Adam Jones, center field; Brad Brach, reliever; and Mychal Givens, reliever; will also soon depart the sinking Orioles ship.

The Orioles did manage a win over the Red Sox last evening. I know that for many people, their favorite team is whomever is playing the Red Sox and so I am glad the O's could finally manage a win. They are now 29-73, .284 and have fully descended into last place in the major leagues.

The Orioles, with the win last evening, remain on pace to lose 116 games!

I wish there was a way to get a refund for my season tickets. Since the team did not show up for the season, why should I have to pay to watch them play?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Spur of the Moment

Chris with the Sign in the Theater
July 23, 2018
The rains have returned to the region and are drowning out any idea of outdoor activities.

I had experienced a long day at work, getting home much later than normal, and after a fantastic dinner that Chris had prepared I knew that it was going to be another evening in the house. I surprised Chris and suggested that we go to a movie.

She was elated and we headed off to see Mama Mia!: Here we go again!

It was not so much which movie as it was any movie. And I stumbled onto a great deal. Monday was senior night at the movies. For $16.75, we both attended the movie. That is not each, but both!

Parking was easy, traffic was light, the theater was empty, and the rains did not bother us while we were watching the movie. It was a win all the way around.

Yes, I like Mama Mia! and I enjoyed the movie. Will it win an academy award? Probably not, but it was fun and took my mind off the ever pervasive rain for a couple of hours.

We are going to remember senior night at the movies. Both of us attended the showing for the price of one regular adult ticket!

On to Tuesday, and more rain!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday Musings - July 23, 2018

View from Four Friends Vineyard
Williamsport, PA
July 22, 2018
1. The month is cruising along. This is the fourth of five July Mondays this year. 

2. Chris and I took a relaxed approach to the drive from Upstate NY back to home yesterday. We stopped at a winery which had a magnificent view and we also stopped to enjoy lunch rather than eat while driving. It took longer but we enjoyed the drive a bit more

Mom and I on the Back Deck
From Radio Flyer
July 21, 2018
3. Although we frequently make the trip along U.S. Route 15 south of Williamsport, we had not stopped at one particular vineyard advertised from the road. Yesterday we changed that and stopped at Four Friends Vineyard. It was a nice respite from the drive and we enjoyed a stunning view along with some very drinkable wines.

July 21, 2018
4. I enjoyed flying Radio Flyer over the weekend and took some very nice images. I am hoping to begin to take some flights into the gorges of Ithaca next time I visit. 

5. If the contractors are replacing Federal employees, is the size of the Federal Government really shrinking?

6. I was able to snap a quick image of a Bluebird on a weather vane on Saturday. I am glad it posed for a brief second.

7. On this day in 1976, members of the American Legion arrive in Philadelphia to celebrate the bicentennial of U.S. independence. Soon after, many began suffering from a mysterious form of pneumonia. Their ailment would come to be known as Legionnaires’ disease.

8. It looks as if it is going to be a rainy week out there. Total rainfall totals are expected to be 6-12 inches. Ugh!


Trump Threatens Iran on Twitter, Warning of Dire ‘Consequences’ - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"For all Americans, we want to open more and more paths of opportunity in education and expanding scientific literacy and fostering new technologies and, through new technology, new jobs for the future; and building a fair, free, and growing world economy that gives hope and opportunity to all Americans, all mankind."
Remarks at a White House Meeting With Members of the Council for a Black Economic Agenda, February 24, 1987

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Beautiful Day

I spent most of yesterday at my parents in Danby, NY.

Radio Flyer spent a few minutes touring the area and I snapped this image looking North. Cayuga Lake is just visible on the horizon and the blue sky was welcome.

It was another great July day. This July has seen one great day after another. Although today has seen some much needed rain, the days remain the stuff that great memories are made from.

I was happy to help mom and Dad with a few chores around their house yesterday. It is too bad that the drive to see them eats up the better part of the day.

I am going to be very unhappy when July slips away next week. It has been a month to remember.

— Bob Doan, writing from Williamsport, PA

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Danby Sunset

It was a beautiful sunset last evening. It was a work of art to be admired as the colors deepened.

I enjoy the blending of the ending of the day colors.

I just stood there and admired the work.

I will keep a piece of this sunset in my mind for a long time.

— Bob Doan, writing from Danby, NY

Friday, July 20, 2018

I'm Heading to Work, Why?

I had a moment yesterday.

The Sky from the Instrument Console in Cat
July 19, 2018
I was in Cat, my Jaguar convertible, with the top down heading to work on I-95 after playing racquetball at the club. It was early, about 7:01 AM, and the day was beautiful. The sky was crystal clear, the humidity was low, the temperatures were cool. It was going to be an idyllic July day.

And I was heading to work and spend the day in a building with no windows!

Traffic was slow and so I snapped a selfie of the sky and the top of my windshield so that I could remember the day and the moment.

In Bob's perfect world I would be on a beach somewhere enjoying the sounds of the ocean lapping against the sand and watching the pelicans formation fly along the beach in search of breakfast. It is July and that is what I normally do for most of the month of July--but not, sadly, this year. We are waiting to vacation until late-August.

Why do I feel that I am missing valuable beach time?

I'm not really missing any beach time, but the blue sky was calling to me yesterday as the traffic was creeping along I-95.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Broken Glass

Broken Sliding Door Glass
Sometimes I wonder what happens around the house while I am away at work.
Broken Sliding Door Glass form the Outside

Last evening, I came home after a challenging day to face broken sliding door glass!

Yup, Broken, completely. 

Chris was home most of the day.

She was watching two of the grandsons and a friend. 

How do these things happen? Inquiring minds want to know.

Victims of circumstance? The inner pane is intact and the outer pane is totally fractured but not, as of yet, displaced. Chris taped it to provide some additional support until the broken glass can be repaired or the door itself replaced.

Ugh! Summer fun?

I think not.

Now I am looking for a glass replacement/repair establishment. If it is not one thing, it is another.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pick Up Stix

I remember playing a game, during my youth, called Pick up Stix

Yes, the name was intriguingly misspelled! 

I remember that, although I wasn't sure until I found the image on the internet to confirm it. 

I remember the cardboard tube that held the sticks used in the game and how the challenge was finding and retrieving sticks that had been put down in a bundle without moving any other stick.

It was a simple game in theory, but hard to complete.

Spaghetti on the Floor
Last evening, I had the opportunity to play the game for real. Chris and I were making a new dish with pasta and I was in charge of cooking the spaghetti. I had no problem getting the water boiling, but during the intervening time before adding the spaghetti I was helping Chris prepare the remainder of the dish. 

I forgot that the box of spaghetti was already open and picked up the closed end to open it, whereupon all of the spaghetti fell out and onto the floor.

The scene was funny in its simplicity and mess on the floor. 

Chris was not amused, but, hey, it happens. Fortunately we had an unopened box of spaghetti in the pantry and so there was no need for an emergency run to the store for more.

I find it is almost more fun to laugh at myself than to laugh with someone else. 

And I was immediately reminded of the game Pick up Stix. 

In the end, the pasta dish was awesome, even after the short delay to clean the kitchen floor.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Break

It is mid-July and we have arrived at MLB's All-Star Break!

The big game is tonight and it likely will be the last game that Manny Machado plays wearing Orioles colors. A trade to Philadelphia seems almost certain within the next few hours.

The Orioles have managed to crawl out of the cellar. They are no longer the worst team in baseball, by virtue of their recent 4-4 homestead they have become the second worst team in baseball by .005 percentage points. 

It is possible, but not likely, that the  Orioles (28-69, .289) will win 30 games before accumulating 70 losses. They remain on track to lose 115 games this season and it will likely get worse as the fire sale gets underway. 

The Orioles are chasing the 1962 Mets (40-120, .250) for the most losses in baseball's modern era (since 1900). The worst team of all time are the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134, .130). I think that record is safe.

It is sad that this season, which began with so much promise and a win has devolved into wondering if the O's will set a modern era record for the most losses and trying to divine which three or four starters may return next season. 

I'm not sure I want to learn the names of another all new lineup. The abysmally poor season has sapped my interest in baseball.

Can I get a refund on my partial-plan season tickets?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Musings - July 16, 2018

Geese on Hole 1 at Eisenhower
July 15, 2018
1. Unbelievably, July is half over already. It seems like the month started just yesterday.
Radio Flyer over Piney Orchard
July 14, 2018

2. Yesterday was a beautiful golf morning. I played my best round of the year. I also enjoyed the wildlife on the golf course as well.

3. I flew Radio Flyer in Nicole's neighborhood on Friday and obtained some very nice images of the houses. I enjoy flying in different neighborhoods, but I am mapping out a more complicated path for Radio Flyer in my own area.

4. Found an interesting lizard Odenton the other day. It apparently is an Eastern Fence Lizard--I was impressed, I had not seen a real lizard in the area before.

5. Congrats to the French for winning the World Cup! And on the day after Bastille Day! What a great French weekend. Vive la France and drink some French wine to celebrate.

Eastern Fence Lizard
July 14, 2018
Finnegan with a Flower
6. In other sports news, the Orioles, mystically, took a series from the Texas Rangers over the weekend winning two of the three games. That lowered their expected losses for the season from 117 to 115!

7. It is time for baseball's All Star break! At least the O's won't lose the next three days.

8. Sometimes animals do the cutest things. Finnegan and Makayla sat in a flower bed the other evening. It created some unique images.

9. Planning a cruise with 8 other people is a lot like herding cats.

10. On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. (from History.com)

11. When all is lost, ask the I.R.S. - they'll find something. Douglas Horton 


Just Sitting Down With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead - The New York Times

France caps a frenetic and fabulous World Cup by blazing past Croatia for the title - The Washington Post

China's economy slows just as the trade fight begins - CNN

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"There can be no freedom without order, and there is no order without virtue...Yet how often this simple truth, the importance of this belief in basic values, is overlooked in a society of high technology and mass communication and bewildering, everyday events."
Remarks at the Centennial Meeting of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in Hartford, Connecticut, August 3, 1982

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Another Perfect Pool Day

Lucas Backstroke
July 14, 2018
The weather continues to be unbelievably awesome and each new day brings another pool opportunity. 

Yesterday revolved around pool time.

Lucas Freestyle
July 14, 2018
In the morning it was off to another swim meet with Lucas swimming. It was fun to watch his competitive spirit in the pool. He swims freestyle and backstroke. He also swam as the anchor for the relay team.

It was an early and fun morning.

The afternoon revolved around lounging on a floatie in the pool enjoying the relatively low humidity and the sunshine.

It was a perfect July Saturday. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Waiting for the Sunrise

Sunlight in the Tree Tops
July 14, 2018
I took some time this morning to wait and watch the day break over the land. It was dawn of my second favorite foreign holiday--Bastille Day!

I was quiet and I was trying to sleep on the couch because I just could not stay in bed any longer--but, I was still tired and sleepy.

Evening Beginning to Fall
Annapolis, MD
July 13, 2018
I enjoy the early morning summertime sunrises. We have had a string of great weather days that almost make up for the foul weather experienced earlier this year.

The sky was clear as light began to creep over the trees in my backyard. 

And then, suddenly, it was daylight and the sound of departing aircraft from BWI filled the air as the day began in earnest.

So I made a cup of coffee and thought about last evening as, from the streets of Annapolis with friends, I watched the day pass. 

Annapolis Harbor
July 13, 2018
It was a quite a week and, frankly, I was happy that it was over. It was appropriate that the workweek ended with a Friday the 13th! It was almost as if the week had been scripted like that from the beginning of the year.

But this morning's dawn holds the promise of a new day and a weekend full of activity with family and friends.

Saturday has dawned and it is time to get moving and greet the day head-on.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 13, 2018

At Least

I learned a new combination of words yesterday that have a complicated and far more difficult connotation than I realized.

"At least . . . "

The words have two definitions, one is clearly mathematical and the other is for use in a life setting:

if nothing else (used to add a positive comment about a generally negative situation).

"the options aren't complete, but at least they're a start"

At lease can be used by well-meaning people who just do not understand a situation to try to make people feel better. But it falls well short. 


My cat ran away.
At least you have two dogs.

My car is broken.
At least you can have it fixed.

My roof is leaking.
At least you have a house.

I have (insert some disease or sickness)
At least it is treatable.

I saw a short video by Dr Brene Brown in a leadership class yesterday about the difference between empathy and sympathy and the use of the words "at least" really resonated with me. If you have a few minutes, watch the whole video, but if you are in a hurry, fast forward to 1:55.

I realized that using the words "at least" minimize the problem and the feelings of the person with the problem. They do not help and they may harm. 

The image I added to the blog highlights the problem. When I fail, I don't want to be reminded that I tried, and failed. I want someone to understand where I am. Maybe just a hug and a reassurance that I am not alone. 

I read another blog on the sympathy and empathy. I found it short and interesting.

What’s The Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy, And Why Has Sympathy Got Such A Bad Name?

I am going to try not to use the words "at least" except when referring to mathematical situations in the future. I realize that "at least" does not convey my true intent when someone brings a problem or concern to my attention.

At least it is Friday.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Summer Lillies in the Garden
It is truly summertime!

The weather has been fantastic with clear skies and warm but not oppressive temperatures and humidity lately. I am sure that the hot weather will soon return, but for now I revel in the cool, 70 degree, mornings and warmer afternoons.
Patrick's Puppy Rex (or is it Pudge?)
 Taking and Afternoon Nap

I have been enjoying driving Cat, my Jaguar, now that it has returned from being repaired. I may actually have to work some to get 5,000 miles on it this year. At least it is giving my truck a respite from the daily traffic grind, or the rhythm of the cars.

The summer flowers are abounding in the gardens and even dogs find a reason to nap in the afternoon on the back deck while the world continues around them.

I am also enjoying the abundance of fireflies that are sparkling in the trees during the early evening hours.

It is the best time of the year! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Flying and Family

The Cul de Sac at the End of Rainbow
July 10, 2018
I took Radio Flyer out for a quick afternoon flight yesterday. It was nothing special, but I am continuing to work on my map navigation skills. I flew my drone away from me over the trees and up the street and brought it back using the map for navigation and also putting it into the sport mode where it flies very fast. 

Chris and Finnegan on the Driveway
As I was ending my flight, I spied Chris and Finnegan returning from a walk. My battery was getting too low to actually fly close to them, but I did snap a quick image for posterity as I was landing. 

It is not a spectacular image. I had actually flown along the street earlier in an attempt to find them on the walk, but apparently the trees obscured them.

Later that same evening, Chris and I joined with Jeremy, Julie, Patrick, and Tina at Jeremy's house for an impromptu gathering. There were also some dogs involved as well. It was fun to meet together on a Tuesday evening and share the news of the day. What else are we going to do on a beautiful summer evening? 

I was honored by the love shown by my entire family, even those who were not available for the impromptu gathering. 

And now it is Wednesday. Another day full of challenges and opportunities!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rhythm of the Cars

I-95 at MD-175 Looking South
July 9, 2018 about 5:25 PM
Last evening, while driving home it occurred to me that I am a victim of the rhythm of the cars. I was driving on a bridge over Interstate 95 and I saw traffic totally jammed in both directions. At the time, I was crawling along in the ram to enter the I-95 traffic, but was at a complete stop.

I snapped a quick image from the overpass to remind myself of the insane nature of the 5PM traffic on one of the busiest stretches of highway in the nation. 

And I am subjected to the traffic every day.

Even though I do not always travel on I-95, the traffic spills over onto other highways. I take the Parkway (MD-295) most days and I listen to the traffic report to determine the confusion into which I will be subjecting myself as I sojourn from home to work or work to home.

I am no longer surprised to see traffic at a total stop at the end of the on-ramp.

It is the rhythm of the traffic.

I do notice that traffic is not snarled when I head out at 5:30 AM to play golf on a Sunday morning. It is a very pleasant drive on an early Sunday morning without the traffic clogging the highways. 

I am truly part of the rhythm of the highway.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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