Friday, August 31, 2018

Beach Day

Puerto Casa Maya Beach
August 31, 2018
Sitting again on a beach in Mexico sipping a cold local beer with our cruise ship safely tied up in the distance.

What could be better?

The ocean is beautiful. The beach serene. And best of all, it was a short taxi ride on our own and not an Uber expensive ship organized tour.

It is the best thing to do in Casa Maya. Getting out of the port complex was, well, complex. They seem to have everything planned to thwart people from just going out and getting an inexpensive taxi ride to the beach. We are at Playa El Fuerte beach. A short $2 taxi ride from the port.

Beach admission was $5 for a chair for the day and there is beverage service to the chair.

What could be better?

The Kenny Chesney song keeps scrolling over and over in my head. "So I'll just sit right here and have another beer in Mexico, and let the warm breeze melt my blues away."

Blues? What blues? My Caribbean vacation's end is closer than it's beginning. Too soon, I'll be back in the grind of daily life and this week will be just another in a string of great memories.

— Bob Doan, writing from Casa Maya, Mexico

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stay right here and have another

Beach in Cozumel
August 29, 2018
As the song says. It is a great day in Mexico. Cozumel to be exact. We are on the beach enjoying g the incredibly warm waters and an idyllic day.

It is good to be off the ship for a bit. I went diving in the Bahamas on Monday and yesterday was a sea day. I love sea days.

The diving was great. It was good to suck some compressed air and I did enjoy seeing a black tipped reef shark. As I procrastinated about checking out my gear, I was unable to take any pictures because the charger for my underwater camera came up missing.

But no matter. I have the image in my head.

All is going well so far.

— Bob Doan, writing from Cozumel, Mexico

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Out the Hotel Window - Ft Lauderdale, August 26, 2018

Out My Hotel Window
Ft Lauderdale
August 26, 2018
And the vacation is underway.

Outside my hotel window this morning there are palm trees and bright skies. The start of the day is also my second day of vacation. 

Allure of the Seas in Port Everglades
August 26, 2018
Today's big event is boarding the Allure of the Seas and setting sail for the Caribbean. Yup, you guessed it, Bob is sailing away on another Caribbean vacation! Someday soon I hope to be on permanent vacation.

The second verse of Zac Brown Band's "Knee Deep," one of my current favorite songs, comes to mind:

Wrote a note, said "Be back in a minute"
Bought a boat and I sailed off in it
Don't think anybody's gonna miss me anyway
Mind on a permanent vacation
The ocean is my only medication
Wishin' my condition ain't ever gonna go away

Palm Trees
Just Because they Are
August 25, 2018
And speaking of ships or boats, airship came into port overnight. Allure of the Seas is tied up waiting for our imminent arrival. I was able to get an image of it from our hotel. Not out my window, because I am on the wrong side, but it is that close!

How close is it? 

Close enough that I had trouble getting it all into one image! It is that big!

So the morning will be devoted to getting aboard the ship after saying good-bye to my hotel room and beginning a great vacation.

Important blog note--I did NOT purchase internet connection for this trip and so blog updates will be sparse, if any at all, until I am back in port at the conclusion of the cruise.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Ft Lauderdale, FL

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Consider the Moon

Moon over the Neighborhood
From Radio Flyer
August 24, 2018
The moon made an impressive appearance last evening.

The moon was evident during our late evening dog walk and then later rising over the trees around the house.

The sight was more impressive because the sky was clear and the temperatures cool, almost autumnal.
Moon Over Elkridge
Duckett's Lane
August 24, 2018

Too autumnal!

August is rapidly giving way to September and with it, the arrival of Autumn. Even though the next season is still almost a month away, the shortening of the days and the cooler temperatures are already heralding the its arrival. 

Moon Over Duckett's Lane Elementary School
August 24, 2018
But last evening it was the moon that was on display. 

I was able to get Radio Flyer up for a quick flight to capture the fading colors of the sunset after we walked the dogs. 

It was a beautiful evening for flying and capturing the scene developing above us. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 24, 2018

Orioles Update - August 24, 2018

It is time to review the Orioles week and hope that the season ends soon.

It was not a good week for the O's. They own the worst record in baseball, albeit only by a half-game. Looking at it as if the glass were half-full, the Orioles are the 30th best team in MLB.

They are currently 37-90, .291 and have lost four in a row and are 2-8 for their last 10 games. They have been shut out 12 times this season and the prospect for scoring runs is dim with Mark Turbo moving to the DL and Danny Valencia being released. 

Doing the math, the Orioles are on pace to lose 115 games, but that number has been growing weekly and so losing 120 is not out of the question.

The 2019 schedule was released this week and the Orioles home opener is one of the last in baseball and after they have already played 6 games on the road. To imagine that there may not be a lot of excitement is an understatement, especially considering that they play the Yankees. 

Some observations:

The Orioles were swept in Toronto and have not won a game in Canada all season. They are 0-10 in Canada for 2018.

The battle for last place in baseball gets real starting on August 31st as the O's travel to Kansas City. The likelihood of getting swept is high since the O's are 16-50 on the road this season. 

The O's are 5-15, .250, thus far in August. With 8 games remaining the possibility of going 6-22, .214 for the month is very real.

Baltimore and Kansas City are the only two teams which have been mathematically eliminated from post-season play already. They other 28 teams all still have a mathematic shot at playing in October. 

There are only 35 games left in the season! That mean that the worst they could finish is 37-125, .228. By comparison the 1962 Mets were 40-120, .250.

Looking ahead: The Orioles are home for 7 games against the Yankees (4) and Toronto (3). Statistically the Orioles should win two from the Yankees and eek out one win against Toronto for a 3-4 moderately respectable home stand.

My view of the season is very different now from what I had hoped in April when the season began. I wrote, after the first game, "I love Opening Day. The magic seems to happen. For one day I can say that the Orioles are atop the American League East! Yes it is only one game and they are tied with the Yankees and the Rays--but at least for one day, they are in first."

The magic went out of the balloon pretty quickly after that, but for one game, at least, there was joy in Baltimore.

Wait till next season, we will get them then! Really? I'm thinking, not. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 23, 2018

No Shoes Nation Party

Kenny Chesney
Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 22, 2018
The No Shoes Nation got together last evening for a fantastic performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion as, for the last time, Old Dominion opened for Kenny Chesney.

It was a great concert. When the music finally ended about 10:30 PM the crowd was almost as exhausted as the performers, having been on our feet for the entire Kenny Chesney performance which lasted about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Old Dominion
August 22, 2018
Old Dominion led off the party with a fantastic opening set. It, reportedly, was the last time the band would open for Kenny, as their three year relationship comes to an end one concert shy of the end of the tour. They were a solid opening act and will be headlining soon on their own tour, I am sure. 

The music was exciting, the atmosphere of the pavilion unrestrained, and neither performance disappointed. 

This was my second Kenny Chesney concert. I remember that he was not the huge hit that he is now when I attended my first Chesney show on the lawn at Merriweather. Last night, the entire venue was crammed with fans and everyone was on their best behavior. Fortunately, the weather was excellent and that made the event all the more enjoyable. The show was a sell-out and Chris and I were lucky to have seats in the pavilion. even though we stood for the most of the night, at least we had our space. 

It was a great evening for the No Shoes Nation and I am glad that I was there.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Weather, News, Plans, and Sunsets

The rains returned with a vengeance last evening. The lightening show associated with the rains was somewhat muted, but the sound of the rain hitting the house was noticeable over the television at mored than one point during the movie Chris and I elected to watch. We were lucky to complete our evening dog-walk as the rain began falling.

I guess the rain was good because some of our plants were getting a bit dry from successive days without rain. 

The blue skies are expected to return today, the gray overcast of the past days was draining and made me want to head off on a Caribbean vacation even sooner. Tonight, however, is a special event as we attend the Kenny Chesney concert at Merriweather Pavilion. Here's hoping that expected good weather holds for the outdoor concert.

The news was no help in distracting attention from last evening's storms, either. What a terrible news night. The President was implicated in a felony, there were the usual murders in Baltimore, the story of the murdered family in Colorado took a sick twist, and a missing girl was found dead in Iowa.

We definitely need a change in the news media. I need to find a good news station!

Chris is at the doorstep of retirement becoming a reality. Howard County teachers return to the classroom in force today as the pre-schoolyear activities and training ramp up. It is hard to believe that the summer has already begun to wind down.

Because of the gloom last evening, I went through some of Radio Flyer's recent video and found one of a beautiful evening with a spectacular sunset to remind myself how a day is supposed to end. I love sunsets almost as much as sunrises. 

Making the video made me feel better and look forward to today's improved weather outlook.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Preparation is Key

Palm Tree on the Beach
Jupiter, Florida
April 9, 2018
Vacation looms and proper preparation is the key to success. 

I am becoming very excited about being away for a Caribbean vacation to decompress.  Life has been a bit crazy during the past couple of weeks. 

My beach time low-level light is fully illuminated. I need sand, sun, surf, and palm trees. 

Looking Along my Favorite Sandy Beach
Jupiter, Florida
April 6, 2018
Although we are not departing for a few days, preparation is the key to a successful vacation adventure. This one is timed to allow Chris to be on vacation when she otherwise would be going back to work for another school year. 

The clothes and other essential travel items such as masks and snorkels are being carefully laid out on the guest bed as we begin the extensive packing process. 

The countdown clock is running down and excitement grows with each passing tick. I have not set for on a beach since traveling to Florida during early April. 

This vacation is shorter than many we have planned. We usually head off for two weeks, but for some unexplained reason we are only away for a just over week this time. I feel an autumn get away in the planning process. Now that Chris has retired we are not limited to school vacations and holidays for travel!

Turn out the lights, the party is starting!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Musings - August 20, 2018

Finn in his Football Jersey
Ready for the Season
1. August is slipping by gain. The days are already shortening perceptibly.

2. Why is going to the ice cream store for a hot fudge sundae after dinner such a treat? It almost seems sinful.

3. Chris and I were sitting around last evening and the subject of our old animal friends came up. I teared up thinking about our old companions: Hans, Meghan, and Zach.

Crepe Myrtle on a Summer Day
August 19, 2018
4. Summer is ending. The teachers are heading back to school. Chris is happily retired and is not suffering from the end-of-the-summer stress.

5. Finn tried on his football jersey the other day, just to be ready for the NFL season kickoff. 

6. House project abound. Yesterday's project: stain the ceiling of the porch!

7. I finally and successfully acquired the correct blade for my chainsaw. That was a lot harder than it had to be.

8. The crepe myrtles are in bloom. Radio Flyer was up yesterday getting a different view of the magnificent crepe myrtle next to my pool.

9. Radio Flyer was busy during its flights yesterday finding things around the neighborhood. 

10. The Orioles had a particularly bad week. They are 2-8 for their last 10 game posting a 37-87, .298 record 50.5 games out of first place and looking at losing 114 games this season. The highlight was a complete game, 100 pitch win by Alex Cobb on Saturday. 

11. Today in History. On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.


Greece’s Bailout Is Ending. The Pain Is Far From Over. - The New York Times

Trump rewrites history as Russia probe pressure mounts - CNN

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cicada Squealing

Cicada in the Tree
The sound was deafening. 

I love the sounds and smells of summer. In the afternoon and evenings the cicadas buzz as the temperatures crawl above 80 degrees. It is one of the sounds of summer that I enjoy. They sound like so many buzz-saws in the trees. 

The other evening, Chris and I were walking the dogs and I heard a cicada singing seemingly right above my head. I stopped, saying to myself, "I should be able to see this one." And I found it sitting on a branch, just above the sidewalk. 

Next came the challenge of getting an image of the bug! It was exciting to see one alive, I usually find them dead in the pool skimmers. 

The cicada continued singing all during the imaging opportunity, oblivious to what was happening on the ground below it. 

I successfully snapped the image and then got away from the almost 100 decibel noise that was making my ears hurt.

The bug continued singing as Chris and I continued our walk.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hibiscus Morning

Hibiscus Around the Pool
Last winter was tough on some of the plants that I bring inside to escape the freezing temperatures.
Hibiscus Blossom Gracing my Pool

While the palms did fantastic, the flowering hibiscus lost most of its leaves and went into a hibernation type mode. It has taken all year for it to finally develop leaves and look healthy. This week, my patience was rewarded with flowers. Beautiful hibiscus gracing my pool environment and reminding me of tropical climates. 

The arrival of the blossoms and the multitude of buds makes the wait worthwhile. I hope to do better this coming winter. This hibiscus has been through a few winters in my basement, but this past one was the worst.

While it is late-August and the hibiscus is only now blooming, I will enjoy its tropical flowers for the rest of the season. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 17, 2018

Misleading the World with a Broken Moral Compass

Religion is back in the news--and not in a good way. 

Vatican Calls Abuses by Pennsylvania Priests ‘Criminal and Morally Reprehensible’ - The New York Times

Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania, Report Says - The New York Times

The abuse of children trusted to the care of religious leaders has been occurring for decades and it has been systematically covered up by the leadership.

One friend wrote on Facebook about the situation stating that his 90-year old mother called to ask if he had been molested as a boy. He reports that she was relieved when he was able to tell her, "No."

The abuses are not something that happened in some distant and barely recognizable far-off "there." It happened, and is likely happening, here in our towns and cities where the church is supposed to be the beacon of morality and the dispenser of hope. 

Instead, thousands are experiencing degradation and living with the brokenness and despair that results from abuse at the hands of trusted religious leaders.

This is not the first time this pattern of abuse has surfaced in the Catholic Church. 

Sadly, it likely will not be the last. 

The Catholic Church is at the center of the current abuse allegations; however, abuse of children by religious leaders has not been confined to its sanctuaries. There have been stories of abuse in other religions and denominations as well. The Catholic Church seems to have adopted a culture amongst it leaders of covering up abuses in a widespread and systematic manner rather than ferreting them out and providing help to the abused and subsequently removing the abuser from contact with children.

It must change!

I should have changed decades ago when the abuses began to be revealed.

My friend makes some insightful comments for overcoming the systemic problems of the church. He writes: "There are solutions that could help. Allow married priests, admit women priests, and conduct an independent investigation of all priests - starting with the Cardinals and working down to the parish level. Any priest that molested someone would be immediately defrocked. Any priest that knew of the abuse would also suffer the same fate. It is long time past to clean up the church."

I am reminded about the difference between religion and Christ-following. Religion is man's search for God and holiness. Christ-following recognizes that God came and stood in the mud and muck next us and then cleaned us up and brought us up to His level.

Religion is fundamentally flawed because it is created by people.

My friend closed his observations about the abuses in Pennsylvania by writing: "We do not want Mothers calling their children asking them if they had been abused by someone from the Church."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sunrise, Sunset, Repeat

Patuxent Greens Before Sunrise
August 15, 2018
In a rare twist, I managed to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset yesterday.

I decided to take some morning time and play golf with two guys from work. We had a 6:15 AM Tee-tim, but were actually able to tee-off at 6 AM. There was no one else on the course and sunrise was not until 6:19 AM. It was very dark when we hit the first golf balls of the day off the tees at Patuxent Greens Golf Club.

Across the Tees
Patuxent Greens
August 15, 2018
I thoroughly enjoy watching the day start from the manicured fairways and greens of a golf course. Yesterday was no different, with the exception that the heavy rains of the past few weeks have not been kind to Patuxent Greens. The fairways and some greens definitely were showing signs of damage. 

And then there was the sunset. I watched the sun pass below the horizon from the comfort of my backyard. Although I cannot actually see the horizon from my backyard, I watched the sun-light move up to the top of the trees and then the colors of the sunset appear.

As Chris and I were sitting there and the twilight deepened, the bats began to fly overhead dancing in the sky performing their unchoreographed ballet in the air. We love watching them twist and turn while hanging in the evening sky as they chase after the bugs and mosquitoes.

And thus the day ended as it began, I was admiring the sky and the sun and the joys of being able to appreciate the rays of the sun as they grace the Earth and bring joy into my heart.

I'd love to do it again, today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Golf on the Weekends--Tiger's return

I was reflecting upon the weekend. 

Golf in the rain. The PGA Championship that Tiger nearly won.

Golf is a great game!

Plugged Ball
August 11, 2018
During the wet course round on Saturday we experienced a lot plugged balls. None of the drives had much of a roll out. That makes the game a bit longer. Those roll-out yards are really nice and help to get the ball closer to the hole.

I heard on a sports talk show that Tiger's return will bolster the game of golf.

That is exciting.

Golf is a lot more exciting than watching the Orioles lose another game, although the Orioles actually won last night and ended a five game losing streak. 

Tiger's return is exciting the fans of the sport and he matches up well against the young guns who have been ruling since he went down with injuries. The drama of the weekend sport is really amping up.

At least it is more fun than watching the political news of the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain into the Pool
August 13, 2018
Rain Falling
August 13, 2018
It descended on the area again last evening. A torrential rainstorm that was relatively brief, less than 30 minutes, but ferocious. 

The lawn still needs to be mowed!

The pool was a mess. 

The rain drenched everything. The rain also filled the pool above the skimmers and I had to bring the level down after the storms subsided.  

It was quite a storm. I believe we received almost two inches of rain during the downpour.

And then there were blue skies with white puffy clouds.

Wow. what a difference a few minutes make. 

I am hoping for a better day today. Sunshine and dry weather so that I can get the outside chores accomplished.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Musings - August 13, 2018

Blackened Tenderloin
1. August is nearing the mid-point. Time is zipping by faster than I could believe possible. 
Deer on the Course
August 11, 2018

2. It is very hard to compose a blog on my phone. I miss a lot of typos. I need to do better when I am traveling without my laptop.

3. Autumn colors are beginning to creep into the bushes of Upstate New York. I saw many sumac trees which have already begun to don their autumn finery while traveling this weekend. Rumor has it that it may be an early Autumn.

4. People drive very differently depending upon the location. Maybe it is just that Maryland drivers are an impatient lot and like to get to their destinations quickly. I thought everyone knew to add 10 to the speed limit sign.

Looking Across the Farmlands of Central New York
From the Camera Aboard Radio Flyer
August 11, 2018
5. I like returning home after a weekend away. Home is where I can just relax and be myself. 
Our Hole at the
5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic
August 11, 2018

6. Owning a home is like buying a hobby. There are always so many projects that need attention. I guess that is why we have houses, to do projects.

7. Why does it seem as if the rain is falling every day, again? Oh yeah, because it is!

8. I was able to get Radio Flyer airborne a couple of times this weekend. I had wanted to fly into the gorges around Ithaca, but we ran out of time. The scenery looking over the farmland just west of Cayuga Lake was beautiful, however. Radio Flyer has completed 86 flights for a totaling just over 12 hours of flight time.

9. The Orioles were swept by the Red Sox this weekend and have lost 5 in a row. They are 35-84, .294 and are on track to lose 114 games this season. That is an increase of two additional losses since I last computed the dismal number. They have returned to being the 30th best team in MLB.

10. On this Day. Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.


Rally by White Nationalists Was Over Almost Before It Began - The New York Times

World stocks hit one-month low as Turkish rout spreads - Reuters


“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Golf in the Rain

Mike, Jeremy, Me
August 11, 2018
It was a rainy start to the 5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic, but we got the tournament played after a two-and-a-half hour rain delay.

We started and played the first five holes in a rainstorm, but that actually was good because our team was five under after seven holes and definitely in contention.

The team, consisting of me, Jeremy, Mike, and Andy played well together.  Generally, someone made a critical stroke when other shots went astray. Andy's chip in for birdie was an especially nice shot.

We actually won the Skins with a birdie on 18 and donated our winnings back to the scholarship fund.

The day actually finally cleared off and turned into a beautiful golf day. While we didn't win the tournament, we had a lot of fun and helped to contribute money for Troy's scholarship fund.

— Bob Doan, Writing from Danby, NY

Saturday, August 11, 2018

California Fire Reflection

Last evening's spectacular sunset over Central New York was aided by the California fires. It is being reported that smoke from the fires in the upper atmosphere contributed to the color and depth of the sunset.

It is very strange that the results of such widespread destruction could be part of something so beautiful. I was lucky to have Radio Flyer ready to fly and image the incredible colors.

Radio Flyer just hovered and took images as the sunset deepened. Sometimes I refer to sunsets as fire in the sky, yesterday it was truer than I knew.

The colors were spectacular and I was glad to have seen the sunset and enjoyed its beauty.

— Bob Doan, writing from Danby, NY

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why I Play

The weekend in upon us again!

Chris and I are headed off to Upstate NY later today for the 5th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic. This is an annual tournament done to bolster the scholarship fund established in memory of our nephew. 

I enjoy playing the tournament and contributing to the scholarship fund. Chris and I are sponsoring a hole again this year as well. 

It is always nice to reconnect with family and friends who come out to support the tournament as well as remembering Troy and his quick wit and love for golf. It is because of Troy that I took up the game of golf and discovered something that I had been missing for most of my life. 

My first true golf experience was participating in the 1st Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Classic. I played with borrowed clubs and shoes. It was a frustrating experience, but my teammates were very forgiving and supportive and I realized that golf is a great sport that combines a lot of mental thought along with physical performance; hence it is a complete game. 

Not only that, every time I play a round of golf I think of Troy and give thanks that he gave me his favorite sport to enjoy.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orioles Thursday - August 9th

Baseball remains my favorite professional sport, despite the failure of the Orioles this season.

I admit, golf is moving up the ladder since I also get to play golf and appreciate the sport from a participant standpoint.

But, it is Thursday and time to check in on the Orioles as the season is beginning slide into the final stages. 

Last evening the Orioles pulled off a late-inning rally to win 5-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays. It is something that they have not done a lot of this season. 

The Orioles (35-79, .307) are now tied with Kansas City as the 29th best team in MLB. Please remember that there are only 30 MLB teams. they have been playing .500 baseball for the past few weeks and have lowered they expected total losses for the season to 112!

Update on some of the Orioles players who are now wearing different uniforms:

Manny Machado is only hitting .274 in 18 games for the Dodgers. He was hitting .315 with the Orioles.

Jonathan Schoop in 6 games with the Brewers is hitting .120. He was hitting .261 with the Orioles.

Maybe the Orioles picked a good time to make some significant roster changes?

As football season ramps up, Baltimore will turn purple and begin following the Ravens. I, however, will continue watching the Orioles and hoping that it gets better next season. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Storm Clean-up

Pool Debris
August 7, 2018
I am amazed that a short-duration storm can cause me to spend hours doing clean-up.

Pool Debris 2
August 7, 2018
It happened last evening. A fast moving thunderstorm zipped through with some powerful winds and I spent most of the rest of the evening cleaning up--especially restoring the pool to its pre-storm luster.

This morning, I am happy to report, the pool is crystal clear. But, it took work. The trees around the pool were severely shaken by the winds and gave up their leaves and debris in copious quantities. 

Perhaps I was a bit misguided a few years ago when I planted a crepe myrtle tree near the pool fence, it spews blossoms into the pool continuously during August. I do enjoy the bright late-summer color that it provides, however. 

That written, the storm is over and the clean-up completed, I have another day and I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the promises that it brings. 

I just wish I could have a lanai over the pool like the homeowners in Florida. It would make life so much easier.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Are You Embarrassed?

I have been avoiding politically charged blogs for a while now, but can hold it back no longer.

I am embarrassed.

I am an American and I am a patriot. I have devoted my adult life to supporting and defending our country.

I feel that I am experiencing the decline and fall of the Roman Empire all over again. We have an executive branch which daily provides mixed messages tinged with only a hint of the truth, a Congress that is more concerned with partisan politics than seeing the elephant in the room and governing our great nation, and a Supreme Court which is divided and has apparently lost its moral rudder.

This headline caught my eye yesterday: We've never had a president 'incapable of telling the truth,' says former Bill Clinton press secretary - The Week

The United States has gone from being the undisputed leader for other nations to emulate and a force for justice and democracy in the world to the laughing stock of the world as we become so inwardly focused that we cannot or will not see the myriad threat confronting our borders--and they are not immigrants from the south.

Tariffs are for trade war losers.

Walls are for the fearful.

Scapegoats mask failure.

Lies are for the deceitful.

My country right or wrong--I have great hopes for the mid-term elections.The majority of voters in our country need to unite and clearly express their frustration at the way our country has changed during there past one-and-a-half years! Yes, it has only been that long. We are just past the halfway point.

The time to begin change and restore our country is now! Find and support candidates who are devoted to leading our country from a bipartisan perspective.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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