Friday, November 30, 2018

91.67 Percent

Some of you probably recognize the percentage in the title. It is more common than you think.

I wonder why we always default to 95 or 98 percent for things. Do we really know what is 95 percent of something? Or even 98 percent?

In trying to assess the completeness of the basement remodel project I struggles with a percentage. Should I do it by dollars spent? Or the time taken to perform the activities far divided by the total time I expect remaining?

Ugh, no. 

I am just estimating, and probably poorly at that.

Today marks the 91.87 percent completion for the year 2018. Being that it is the last day of December, the year is 11/12ths complete.

It makes me sad. 

While 2018 has not been one of my better years, it has been a solid year. I have great memories of the family cruise aboard Allure of the Seas and I have great memories of spending time with friends and traveling to Florida. There was a great Kenny Chesney concert as well. I will spend time giving over my blogs pulling together the memories of the year that is nearly complete.

Today also marks the 86.36 percent completion of my prostate cancer treatments. By the end of the day I will have completed 38 of the 44 schedules sessions, leaving 6 to go! My how the time has flown. It really has.

Today also is the last day of Movember. That does not mean that I will stop advocating for men's health issues--that is a full time project. But, I will likely shave my mustache over the weekend.

Maybe I'll take an image of it before I do!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Power of Two Words

Dow Jones, YTD as of November 28, 2018
There is an interesting article in the morning's New York Times that highlights the importance of two words. In this case the context is the economy and the world we live in.

The articles is titled:

Two Words From Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Sent Markets Soaring

The two words were: "just below."

From the article the description of the effect of the two words:

The chairman, Jerome H. Powell, said the Fed’s benchmark interest rate was “just below” the neutral level, meaning the central bank was close to the point where it would not be tapping on the brakes or pressing on the gas. Only last month, Mr. Powell had said it was “a long way” from neutral, leaving investors worried that the rate increases would crimp growth.
The small change sent stocks soaring 2.3 percent, erasing the losses from a rocky November. To investors, the new wording meant that the Fed might leave rates closer to their current level, keeping in place the steady fuel that low rates have provided to a 10-year-long bull market.
For those who have retirement accounts invested in the market, all of their savings, so to speak, those two words hopefully marked the end of a disastrous couple of months that has seen overall values drop by over 9 percent since early October wiping out any gains made this year.

In looking at the Dow Jones chart, it has clearly been a roller coaster ride this year. I remember that earlier in the year the president was taking credit for the economy and the stock market. That talk of economic success stopped after the market declined significantly in February. Since then, the trade war, tariffs, rising Fed interest rates, tech stock weakness, the threat of an impending government shut down have all battered investment accounts. 

I'm not saying that declines are over, but I hope we can level out the wild roller coaster ride that has been 2018.

And all because of two words!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Rolling into Mid-Week

Wednesday has arrived. 

Wednesdays will forever be special and known as hump-day, the spot in the workweek where we transition to the weekend being not that far off. I begin to look at the weekend weather on Wednesdays. I hope for good weather, but lately have been disappointed. This weekend looks to be a mix, rainy Saturday followed by a very enjoyable Sunday. Maybe even some golf?

I suppose that someday, when I retire, Wednesdays will not be as special for me, but I sincerely hope that does not happen.

Amid unboxing the Christmas decorations last evening for another season, we also continued with a couple of the smaller projects for the basement remodel. It is something that will happen each day until the project is complete--or nearly mostly complete. Last evening I was finally able to install the toe kick on there cabinets and put a cover over the hole in the ceiling where the ceiling fan was removed.

I expect Saturday to be the last nearly full day of activity. I am looking forward to getting the project completed. I have a couple of lighting projects to complete and then we will be at the 98 percent completion point. I am not sure the project will ever be done. We are currently decorating the rooms, but for the Christmas season. After Christmas we get to decorate all over again.

I am excited about the prospects of getting our free time back. Although, there are many other projects to fill and free time.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Welcome Christmas Shopping Season

Was I ready for the Christmas Shopping Season to start? Definitely not! I'm still lamenting the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

This, however, is the longest official shopping season we can have. Thanksgiving was the earliest that it can be, November 22, meaning shoppers get a few precious extra days to surf the net and buy those perfect gifts for relatives and friends.

White House Christmas Tree
I am still trapped by the basement remodel and have not even begun to think of shopping and the holidays. Last evening I started on the final projects. I demoed the bathroom light and the ceiling fan in the main basement. I then installed a new ceiling fan, in a different location. We are still cleaning up the ceiling around the old fan's location in preparation for painting and covering it. The important aspect of the new fan is, no light unit. The ceiling in the basement is just low enough that a light unit becomes a hazard to taller people.

I do enjoy the sight of the Christmas trees in the malls and the stores. Well, I haven't actually been to a mall since the trees were installed. I need to get over to the Columbia Mall so that I can take my annual image of the poinsettia tree. I always find the tree to be stunning.

Well, there are some 28 shopping days remaining until the big day! 

Keep smiling! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Musings - November 26, 2018

1. It is the last Monday of November. December is lurking at the end of the week.

The Christmas Effect
November 26, 2018
2. It truly is the Christmas season. Chris and I took some time off from the basement remodel project to begin to Christmasfy the house. 

3. The remodel project continues. I finished the molding on the stairwell and we bought some of the final touches for the project, a new ceiling fan and some lights. There always seems to be something more to do. 

4. Family NFL Results:

   Ravens (6-5) defeat Raiders 34-17
   Steelers (7-3-1) lose to Broncos 17-24
   Cowboys (6-5) defeat Redskins 31-23
   Redskins (6-5) lose to Cowboys 23-31 

5. The turkeys are departing the house in favor of Santas, Christmas Trees, and creches. 

6. I am excited because I have completed 33 treatments and have 11 remaining! I am 75 percent complete and December 10th, the date of my final treatment, is drawing closer.

7. I have over 200 channels of cable TV, why can't I find anything to watch?

8. I was disturbed that when asked what he wanted to give thanks for during a press gaggle Thursday, Trump responded, "for having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it."

9. I reported, yesterday, that the washing machine was making a disturbing noise. Fortunately, it turned out to be a relatively minor fix and the washer is functional again! Yay. Who really wants to buy a new washer at Christmas and after remodeling a basement?

10. Yesterday's 63 degree temperatures provided a respite form the cold and rain. I especially enjoyed them because Chris and I were finally able to get the pool deck ready for the impending winter.

11.Today in History. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.


The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard? - The New York Times

Migrants in Tijuana Run to U.S. Border, but Fall Back in Face of Tear Gas - The New York Times

Russia seizes Ukrainian ships near annexed Crimea after firing on them - Reuters

Presidential Quote for the Week

I am taking a break from quoting Ronald Reagan this week because I ran across this utterance from President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 55 years ago on November 22, which was Thursday last week, the day we celebrated Thanksgiving.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.
         President John F. Kennedy, April 27, 1961

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, Md

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Remodel: Stairs Completed

Stairs with Carpet Removed
November 24, 2018
Saturday was devoted to completing the remodel of the stairs as part of the basement project.

I mean, how hard could stairs be? 

Hard. Turns out that the demolition was easy, but we took our time. It was relatively easy to remove the old carpet. Next came removal of the pad and tack strips. It took some time to get the tack strips removed and the stairs smoothed. Chris then took care of painting the risers after we filled the nail holes to make them look good, 

Painted Risers and First Two Treads Fitted
November 24, 2018
Then came the reconstruction. As it turned out, we needed to borrow both a table saw and a sliding compound miter. I have a very nice compound miter, but the blade was not big enough to complete the cut on the treads and so I needed to use a sliding compound miter.

I was nervous. The treads were not inexpensive and they took about three weeks to actually arrive once I ordered them. I needed to be precise and smooth performing two actions: cutting to length on the sliding miter and ripping the extra width on the table saw. I also had to make small adjustments for each stair to customize the fit. I remembered that it is easier to trim off than to add back what has already been cut.
Completed Stairs
November 24, 2018

After each of the treads had been cut and placed, then came the glue to hold the treads in place. That part went very well and that part of the project was complete. 

The stairs were the last major part of the remodel. All that remains are smaller touches like replacing a ceiling fan, installing some light units and getting the cabinet toe kick in place. Then there is the decorating which will likely never actually be complete. 

What's next? Did I mention that the washing machine started making a terrible noise yesterday? Today I will be elbow deep in the washer, again!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 24, 2018

From the Battle Room

It was a long Black Friday as WW2 was reenacted beginning during the Spring of 1942. We have a number of different versions of Axis & Allies and it is always a surprise which version we are going to play.

The Axis definitely had the advantage with Russia on the ropes and the US struggling to get into the fight.

The Board When We Broke to Watch the Golf Match
But with each passing round the Allies began to gain ground and when the game was paused so that we could watch Tiger and Phil, the situation on the ground was beginning to turn in favor of the Allies. The US was about to eradicate the Japanese navy and Russia was clinging to the faint hope of rescue by the UK.

It was a classic Black Friday game. This year, for the first time, Ethan joined and wound up playing Japan. I was saddled again with Russia--a tough way to start since Russia is in the middle of the action. The Caucuses and Karelia saw most of the action on the Eastern Front.

The winner?

Well the game isn't over. It will have to be continued later. We stopped after about 6 hours of solid play. We took pictures of the board so that we could set everything up and finish the struggle.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday

It is the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday.

In our family the women go shopping and the men reenact World War 2 by playing Axis and Allies. It is a great time because we are together and surrounded by all of the food and trappings form the day before. It is leftover heaven.

While people brave the frigid temperatures to descend upon the stores to scarf-up the deals, the guys will enjoy the warmth of reliving and replaying history.

The holiday tradition continues again for a second day.

I wonder what shopping I will miss?

I wonder if it is important?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving: Presidential Reflections

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Today, I want to remind us of our Thanksgiving heritage by restating quotes from our President's about Thanksgiving. These are from The Christian Post and is titled 7 Great Presidential Quotes on Thanksgiving. It was published today, amazingly enough!

Below are seven great spiritual quotes from American presidents about one of America's most observed holidays:
1.Calvin Coolidge 1925:
 "As we have grown and prospered in material things, so also should we progress in moral and spiritual things. We are a God-fearing people who should set ourselves against evil and strive for righteousness in living, and observing the Golden Rule we should from our abundance help and serve those less fortunately placed. We should bow in gratitude to God for His many favors."
 2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1942:
 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord." Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words, for the days are with us again when, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon Almighty God.
The final months of this year, now almost spent, find our Republic and the Nations joined with it waging a battle on many fronts for the preservation of liberty.
In giving thanks for the greatest harvest in the history of our Nation, we who plant and reap can well resolve that in the year to come we will do all in our power to pass that milestone; for by our labors in the fields we can share some part of the sacrifice with our brothers and sons who wear the uniform of the United States.
It is fitting that we recall now the reverent words of George Washington, "Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy Protection," and that every American in his own way lift his voice to heaven."
3. Grover Cleveland 1885:
"And let us by no means forget while we give thanks and enjoy the comforts which have crowned our lives that truly grateful hearts are inclined to deeds of charity, and that a kind and thoughtful remembrance of the poor will double the pleasures of our condition and render our praise and thanksgiving more acceptable in the sight of the Lord."
4. Ronald Reagan 1981:
"In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks."
5. Bill Clinton 1999:
"As we acknowledge the past, we do so knowing that the individual blessings for which we give thanks may have changed, but our gratitude to God and our commitment to our fellow Americans remain constant."
6. Abraham Lincoln 1863:
"They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."
7. Richard Nixon: 1972:
 "From Moses at the Red Sea to Jesus preparing to feed the multitudes, the Scriptures summon us to words and deeds of gratitude, even before divine blessings are fully perceived. From Washington kneeling at Valley Forge to the prayer of an astronaut circling the moon, our own history repeats that summons and proves its practicality."
President Trump added his words to the line of Presidents commemorating this day with his Presidential Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day 2018

An excerpt:

This Thanksgiving, as we gather in places of worship and around tables surrounded by loved ones, in humble gratitude for the bountiful gifts we have received, let us keep in close memory our fellow Americans who have faced hardship and tragedy this year. In the spirit of generosity and compassion, let us joyfully reach out in word and deed, and share our time and resources throughout our communities. Let us also find ways to give to the less fortunate whether it be in the form of sharing a hearty meal, extending a helping hand, or providing words of encouragement. 
  -- President Trump's Presidential Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day 2018, November 20, 2018

Have a very happy Thanksgiving and remember the blessings that have been secured for us by those who have proceeded us. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I enjoy Thanksgiving because it provides a time for me to reflect upon the blessings that I have received. 

There are so many things that I am thankful for because I am richly blessed, but I want to take note of a few.

As many of you know, the last half of 2018 has been challenging for me personally as I was diagnosed with prostate cancer--but, I am thankful that everything is working out and that my treatments are progressing and are nearly complete. I am also thankful for the support of my family and friends and coworkers who have shown great compassion towards me as I have been being diagnosed and then my daily treatments. 

I am thankful that Mom and Dad dropped in for a short visit and there is the promise of a return visit when they escape the warmth of Houston (why would anyone go north during the winter?).

I am thankful for my family. All of them. My wife, my children, their spouses (or engaged), my grandchildren, my Mom and Dad, sisters and brother and their families. We are dysfunctional at times, but we are still a family.

I am thankful for the fun cruise this summer. 

I have met a lot of people this year and many of them have enriched my life just by knowing them and talking to them. I chatted with a man yesterday while we were both waiting for treatment. He was three days into his second round of treatment and he related that he is an Agent Orange victim and that he will likely be treated for the rest of his life. Yet, his attitude was positive and he was just happy the be alive and able to be treated.

I am thankful that I live in the greatest country in the world. Yes, we have our warts, but we are still the best place to live.

I am thankful for the readers of my blog and I hope each of them has a blessed holiday season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ready for the Holidays

The Christmas Lights Go Up
November 19, 2018
Two days in a row now, I have not worked on the basement remodel project. It has been a nice respite, but I need to get back at it soon. The stair treads are arriving today or tomorrow and they are the last major part of the project. 

Last evening Chris and I began two Christmasfy the house. We started outside because the weather was warmer than it is going to be during the next week.While I usually put the outside lights up on Veterans Day, I was busy with the remodel and could not get out to get them up. And I think it rained all day anyway.

Yesterday, as soon as I arrived home after work, Chris and I began to get the lights up. It is a lot easier when it is warmer outside.

We do not turn the lights on until the day after Thanksgiving, but at least they will be ready. I still need to hang the wreath, but at least most of the lights are in place. 

Turkey in Front of the Fireplace

Happy Holidays? 

The Christmas season is upon us.

Wait, Happy Thanksgiving! My turkey still occupies its proud place in front of the fireplace.

Merry Christmas.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Musings - November 19, 2018

1. It is the third Monday in November. We have cruised into the last half of November and we celebrate Thanksgiving this week.

The Bar
November 18, 2018
2. Home improvement projects drag on for a long time after the enthusiasm is gone. I just want to be complete, but it seems everyday I discover something else that needs to be done.

3. Enjoying a nice November, late-Autumn, day means working outside raking leaves and getting the grounds ready for Winter.

4. Family NFL Results

    Ravens (5-5) defeated Bengals 24-21
    Cowboys (5-5) defeated Falcons 22-19
    Steelers (7-2-1) defeated Jaguars 20-16
    Redskins (6-4) lost to Texans 21-23

5. I have to report that the traffic experience in the region during last week's weather event was as difficult as expected from Maryland drivers. 

6. For those keeping up with my treatment progress, they added one in yesterday (yes, Sunday) to compensate for being off on Black Friday. I now have 30 completed and 14 remaining! Completion date is now December 10th!

7. It is amazing how pets are adaptable. Whenever we bring new animals into the house for a brief time, they all seem to adapt and get along. We enjoyed Jeremy's two dogs Saturday evening for a few hours.

8. We have had three days without rain! What a miracle. I need to drain water from the pool.

9. Next up? Christmas lights. I usually get them up on Veterans Day, but it was raining and I was heavily engaged in the basement remodel project.

10. Today in History. On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincolndelivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

Yemen’s Houthis halt missile attacks on Saudi coalition - Reuters

Trump’s attack on retired admiral who led bin Laden raid escalates a war of words - The Washington Post

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness, and freedom.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Remodel Project: An Update

I haven't written about the remodel project in a few days, but it continues as our basement is transformed.

Cabinets and Counter
November 18, 2018
The results are finally beginning to be seen. Yesterday was spent finally installing the cabinets and counter. What a process that was. We bought cabinets that measures 48 inches. And we bought a premed countertop that measured 48 inches. Silly me. Of course a 48 inch countertop is not big enough for base cabinets of the same size. So, we had to return the 48 inch top and buy a 60 inch top for $40 more and cut 10 inches off it. Ugh, what a waste, but now it all goes together.

The Room
November 18, 2018
I had never cut laminate before and I received some good help at Lowe's. I also got a nice new circular saw. The job went very well. We still have to install an as yet unpurchased toe kick under the cabinets.

We originally were going to install a wall cabinet above the counter, but it arrived damaged and had to be returned. We have since decided to enjoy the space and add some lights instead.

The room is coming together and we have three areas for conversation and enjoyment. There is the bar, the wine barrel table, and the sofa area for watching television. We tried it out with friends on Friday night, and it worked pretty well. 

Chris and I are enjoying the remodeled space.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Post-Election Headache

I have enjoyed watching television again without being assaulted by political ads bashing candidates. By the time election day arrived I was becoming numb to the ads.

I feel a great sense of relief that it is all over.

I'm not sure how the results are going to play out in results. I fear that we are looking at two years of governmental gridlock. I'm guessing that there will be at least one government shutdown as the two parties struggle for control.

I remember seeing similar scenes in other countries while I was growing up. I never believed that it would happen here. 

Sadly, I fear that the rollercoaster ride is just beginning.

It has started with the discussions and posturing about who will be the next Speaker of the House. I am concerned even about this since the party of the incoming majority cannot seem to agree on where to start with this issue.

Personally, I would like to see a clean start and a bipartisan approach, alas, that is not likely to happen.

While at least I don't have to suffer through political campaign ads, I have to keep seeing it all play out in the news.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, November 16, 2018

The First Snow

The Yard
November 15, 2018
Looking up the Street about 5 PM
November 15, 2018
Yesterday brought the first snow of the season to the area. 

The region shuddered. Schools were closed. Businesses delayed. Drivers gripped their steering wheels in death grips as they navigated the streets.

I, thankfully, was spared the worst of the event because I was at work and only had to deal with some slushy parking lots and wet streets when I departed for the end of the day.

I watched the traffic patterns as I departed for the day and was able to avoid the worst of the traffic. 

Sadly, the snow had helped remove the remaining leaves from the trees and the landscape has not almost completely adopted its winter season look. Trees without leaves now are generally the standard when looking across the landscape.

Weather Forecast for Elkridge, MD

Despite my wishes to the contrary, we have moved into the last half of November, or Movember for some of us. The first snow is out of the way and the good news that there is that there is no rain in the forecast for the next 8 days--until next weekend, of course. I am very excited. Perhaps the lawn will dry enough so that I can do some leaf removal and cut more wood to get ready for the winter.

We have not has a stretch that long without precipitation in a while. I have a lot of outside things to accomplish as the basement remodel has moved into the frustrating final stages. I am beginning to understand why some people never finish projects, the final few items can be appallingly hard. I am currently struggling with the cabinets--which are disappointingly poorly constructed. But that is a tale for another day.

Bring on the sunshine!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Odds and Ends Thursday

What's Wrong in this Image
It is Thursday! The threat of a winter storm has moved into the area and the rush hour should be a mess a bit later in the morning.

It is always an event in this area when bad weather arrives. 

So I have a few updates and some questions this morning. 

The first question is what is wrong in the image to the left?

This is how I found my gate after others had been kind enough to lock up after themselves. The problem? How does leaving the key in the lock really secure the gate?

Not sure.

Cabinets in Place
November 14, 2018
By way of update for the remodel project in the basement, the cabinets arrived last evening. Chris and I picked them up at Lowes and began the process of installation. They look good in the location we chose for them. 

We have a cabinet to install above them. I actually will install the cabinets tonight. Yes, I will install the wall cabinet before the base cabinet. We are still unsure about installing a sink, but will retain the option for the future. 

So, what about the electric wire? It will be used to power under cabinet lights. 

It is exciting that the project is nearing completion, but, there are still so many things remaining before we can consider the project complete.  

Mom and Lucas
November 12, 2018
Finally, I have a nice image of Mom with Lucas. Lucas had the opportunity to play with his great-grandmother while they were here for a short visit. 

It was fun to watch them together. Lucas does not get many opportunities to enjoy the company of Mom, nor she, him. 

It was a short, but meaningful visit! And we christened the remodeled basement, even though it was not yet complete.

An assortment of thoughts for the Thursday morning.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why I'm Growing a Mustache

I am growing a mustache. 

More than a few people have noticed the addition to my lip as it is finally, after two weeks, beginning to become visible to the casual observer.

Why, some ask? I have never before seriously grown facial hair.

Well, it is Movember

What is Movember? It is a month devoted to highlighting men's health issues. Everyone knows that October is breast cancer awareness month, it is hopes that November will become synonymous with men's health issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. 

These are tough issues for men to discuss, but men's very lives depend upon bringing these issues into the open.

Men die, on average, six years sooner than women. 

The Movember Foundation is dedicated to highlighting men's issues. The Movember Foundation is the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. They have one goal: to stop men dying too young.

One visible way that men show support for men's health issues if to grow a mustache, or moustache, during November. And provide other support to the foundation to fund men's health awareness.

Grow a Mo, save a Bro!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Veterans Day 2018 - A Special Tribute

Veterans Day fell on  Sunday this year meaning that the holiday covered two days. That was a good thing.

While it is unfortunate that the children in most Maryland schools have to attend classes on Veterans Day, because of that I attended one of the most touching and memorable Veterans Day celebrations I can remember. The event was held yesterday at Waugh Chapel Elementary School in Odenton. 

I was invited is because my grandson Jackson is in the fifth grade there. Even better, he had a speaking part in the Veterans Day assembly.  I was honored to attend, but I have to admit I was not entirely sure what I was going to find once the assembly began.

The school body assembled in the gym for the Veterans Day celebration. There were readings and poems, and songs along with a keynote address from a Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer. But, there was also unbridled patriotism and, I believe, a genuine effort to honor the veterans, the moms, dads, and grandparents who were in attendance.

The assembly began by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and then singing the Star Spangled Banner. The readings were short, as they should be to maintain the attention of the school children. Jackson did a spectacular job reading his poem and I was able to capture it on video. I was genuinely touched as the entire student body sang God Bless the USA. They sang with enthusiasm and I felt proud to be there in attendance to see and hear them. I admit, I enjoyed listening to them sing so much that I did not record the moment. It is, however, etched in my memory--the Waugh Chapel Elementary student body singing in unison and the growing enthusiasm as the song continued. 

It was a most special Veterans Day and it made me proud to stand up as an American and as an American veteran!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Musings - November 12, 2018

1. It is the second Monday in November. I get a day off to observe Veterans Day. 
The Finished Basement Bathroom

Riordin in Finnegan's Bed
2. The basement project is nearing completion. The bar is supposed to arrive today. 

3. Chris returned from Ithaca with Mom and Dad. While she and Finnegan were away Riordin appropriated the dog bed and his own. While the dog was away the cat played.

4. Family Weekend NFL Results

    Steelers (6-2-1) defeated Panthers 52-21
    Redskins (6-3) defeated  Buccaneers 16-3
    Cowboys (4-5) defeated Eagles 27-20
    Ravens (4-5) were on a bye

5. Writing of sports, one wonders why the Orioles have not hired a general manager and a manager.

6. Take a minute to thank a Vet today. 

7. For those counting with me, 24 down and 20 to go! December 11th is getting closer.

8.  Today in History. On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.


In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception - The New York Times

In China, Desperate Patients Smuggle Drugs. Or Make Their Own. - The New York Times

Iran military says it is ready to protect oil tankers against threats - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. 
  --First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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