Thursday, January 31, 2019

How Cold is it?

Too cold!

I awoke this morning to a thermometer reading 4 degrees. Last least we are on the positive side of the scale.

I am almost afraid to go outside, except that I already had the dogs out to do their business. 

I checked some temperatures around the country this morning via the magic of Alexa and discovered where the heart of the polar vortex is positioned.

Chicago, IL: -17
Fargo, ND: -24
Pittsburgh, PA: -5
Ithaca, NY: -7
Houston, TX: 52
Jupiter, FL: 63

I wonder where I'd rather be? Yes, Florida!

We will survive the cold and the upside is that it should help to reduce the insect population for next summer!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

And it is Over

I crawled onto a Southwest flight in West Palm Beach yesterday afternoon with Chris and Finnegan and returned to Maryland.

Blue Skies Over the Condo in Tequesta
January 29, 2019

We boarded the jet under crystal blue skies with temperatures near the 70's and a warm sun invigorating the world and my mood. It was the best weather day of the entire vacation--truly. We are missing really good weather by one week it seems. The rain and cold of the past week is transforming into 70's and 80's and sun for the week ahead in the Palm Beach area or, as it is called by the locals, the Treasure Coast.

I was greeted by snow, ice, and cold upon arrival in Baltimore. Ugh. It is 15 degrees this morning. Back to the cold, hard reality of life.

A View from Tequesta, Florida
Radio Flyer
January 29, 2019
The time away was awesome and Fran and Mary were great hosts. Chris and I played three rounds of golf! That was fantastic. Even though the weather was not beach-worthy, it was golf-worthy. Sadly, my short game still sucks. So does my putting and my driving, lol. I am glad that golf clubs fly free on Southwest.

It was a great trip, all in all, it is always good to get away and now that Chris is retired, we are free to move about the country when school is in session. On the down side, it is only January and I have already consumed six of my precious leave days for the year! Hmmmm. The image I took from above the place where we were staying in Tequesta of Jupiter Island in the distance with the ocean on the horizon  will remind me of the beautiful weather until Chris and I return. Sooner than later, I hope.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Angry Ocean

Atlantic Ocean crashing on Jupiter Island
from Radio Flyer
January 28, 2019
For those of you wondering whether I had moved to Florida on a permanent basis, do not fear. Today is a travel day and Chris, Finnegan, and I are returning to the frozen northland.
Birdseye View of the Ocean Crashing on the Rocks
Jupiter Island
from Radio Flyer
January 29, 2019

And the weather apparently is preparing for our return as well  by providing record setting cold and snow. Thanks! 

Yesterday the weather cleared and I was able to get Radio Flyer, my trusty drone, into the skies to get some images of the angry Atlantic Ocean as it crashed onto the rocks that adorn the beach of Jupiter Island. i made three flights off the beach and attempted to capture the power of the waves as they crashed on the rocks. Given the amount of sea foam, however, the white of the waves in the rocks gets lost, sadly.  

I put together a compilation of the short videos that I shot yesterday of the ocean from Radio Flyer.

In looking at the weather report for the next week in Florida, it is clear that Chris and I chose the wrong week to be here. The weather next week is going to be fantastic! Well, for February!

Well--here's hoping for on-time flights and a good travel day.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday Musings - January 28, 2019

1. Amazingly, the last Monday of January is upon us and the first month of the year will soon be in the books. 

Picture of Magazine in a Rack
2. It has been great being in Florida, the weather has not been idyllic, but is warm and not snowing--for which I am grateful. I am not excited about returning to winter in Baltimore.

Flamingo Room
Stuart, Florida
3. There are some weird magazines out there. The one about Gardens and Gun seems really extreme.

4. We went shopping in Stuart, Florida at some boutiques and ran across a very interesting room. I can definitely say, I would consider a toned down version of a Flamingo room for our house.

5. Despite the less than optimal weather, it has been a great time away with friends in Florida.   Hopefully, today we will be able to get outside again and enjoy not being in the middle of winter in the north.

6. The government has reopened! Yay! The Congress and the President should strive to keep it open and functioning.

7. I have witnessed some really crazy driving while I have been enjoying Florida. And I though Maryland drivers were bad.

8. Next Sunday is the Super Bowl! I'm not sure how much of it I will watch,

9. The fate of winter will be decided on Saturday as Punxsutawney Phil provides his Ground Hog day prediction for the arrival of Spring.

Challenger Tragedy
January 28, 1986
10. Today in History. At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a competition that earned her a place among the seven-member crew of the Challenger. She underwent months of shuttle training but then, beginning January 23, was forced to wait six long days as the Challenger‘s launch countdown was repeatedly delayed because of weather and technical problems. Finally, on January 28, the shuttle lifted off.

Seventy-three seconds later, hundreds on the ground, including Christa’s family, stared in disbelief as the shuttle broke up in a forking plume of smoke and fire. Millions more watched the wrenching tragedy unfold on live television. There were no survivors.


Your 2019 Tax Refund Might Be Higher, Lower or Later Than Usual - The New York Times

‘It feels like we are still hostages’: Federal contractors who lost health insurance during shutdown remain in limbo - The Washington Post

As West turns on him, Venezuela's Maduro flexes military muscle - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week 

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Going to the Birds

Snowy Egret on Car
Tequesta Trace, Tequesta, Florida
January 26, 2019
I will refrain from making obvious statements about leadership, but I am extremely happy that the government is reopened. Hopefully, they can figure out how to get back pay to those affected outside of the normal pay period process which would make them wait about two weeks more! 
Little Blue Heron Silhouetted
Intercostal Waterway, Jupiter Island, Florida
January 25, 2019

The rain is falling, or rather it is hitting the Earth in sheets of water much like Noah must have experienced. 

Yesterday, however, before the rain, we were able to get out for a walk and I came across this bird sitting on a car. The bird seemed as if it owned the car. It did not fly away as I tried to get better images of it, but it jumped onto the hood of the car, making it difficult for my attempts to capture the bird on the car. 

On Friday evening, during our brief but cool happy hour, the little blue heron was back again and I was able to get a nice image of the bird silhouetted against the water. 

Despite the less than ideal weather, this January trip to Florida has been great. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time in Florida in the future.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, January 26, 2019

What do you do on a Friday Evening in Florida?

Friends on the Intercostal Waterway Beach
Jupiter Island, Florida
January 25, 2019
Palm Trees at the Beach
January 25, 2019
What do you do on a Friday evening in Florida when it has been cool all day?

Go the the beach for Happy Hour, of course!

Yes, we had to wear jackets because the temperature was in the low 60s. And there was no thought of going in the water because the water was about 10 degrees warmer than the air and we would have developed hypothermia. But, sitting in the beach with friends enjoying the sun and waning rays of the afternoon sun is the perfect exclamation point to a great day. The beach was definitely not crowded as we were about the only crazies who ventured out--but it was worth the trip. 

Tequesta Trace from Above
Radio Flyer
January 25, 2019
The images were taken with my drone, Radio Flyer. It has become the ultimate selfie machine. 

Earlier in the day, as I was flying around the neighborhood where we are staying, I managed to get a really interesting Birdseye view image of the street. I am barely visible in the image, but I thought the patterns of the homes and the palms made an interesting visual.

I made a movie of the morning flight coming into the neighborhood. 

Friday was a great day and we started the evening with Happy Hour on the beach.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Friday, January 25, 2019

Thursday Sunset

Thursday Sunset
Jupiter River Walk, Jupiter, Florida
January 24, 2019
Although I love sunrises, I also appreciate a good sunset.

Yesterday, after the storms cleared, provide a stunning sunset and I was fortunate to be in a place to enjoy the waning rays of the sun as it slipped below the horizon. 

Someone's Home on the Water?
The reflection from the clouds onto the water made the scene one to remember. The evening was warm and calm. Chris and I, along with Fran and Mary, had just enjoyed happy hour at a local establishment and caught the scene as we walked along the water to the parked car. It was one of those evenings that I return to Florida every chance that I get to enjoy. 

As we walked, we passed a large yacht. I have no thoughts about ever owning one, but yet, I do dream of being on the water enjoying the day. However, I enjoy sleeping on land. It made a nice image against the backdrop of the sunset. 

For those who wonder, Radio Flyer is here in Florida with me, but the winds have been too high to allow me to fly. I am hopeful of getting my drone airborne today for a flight or two as the winds have calmed.

I am ready for another day in Florida and happy that I am still out of the cold in the north.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Lighthouse

Jupiter Lighthouse
January 21, 2019
The lighthouse dominates the relatively flat landscape of Jupiter, Florida. It is the iconic symbol of the region and I always take a few images of it whenever I visit. 

I love the the lighthouse especially near sunset as the low, golden rays of the sun illuminate the red structure.

I have also been excited by the sky and the clouds as I have been vacationing this week. 

Chris and I actually got in 9 holes of golf yesterday. It was fun to be on the course, but the 40 mph gusts of wind certainly made the outing an adventure. A true adventure. Some of my best shots wound up getting carried into the bunkers by the wind. But, it was fun that my first golf outing of 2019 was with Chris in Florida!

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wind, surf, and birds

Little Blue Heron
Intercostal Waterway, Jupiter Island, Florida
January 22, 2019
Square Grouper, Jupiter, Florida
January 21, 2019
What a boring title for the blog this morning. I couldn't think of a better one, so I am going to go with it, for now.

While the weather has been breezy and cool, Chris and Have been throughly enjoying our mid-January (now possibly late-January) get away from the cold vacation.

I wish I could report that we have been playing golf every day, we haven't. Or that we have been on the beach all day every day, we haven't; but we are enjoying Florida as a place the snow hasn't covered. This morning's temperature was 72 degrees, but yet, because of the strong winds, it felt cool as we walked Finnegan around the neighborhood. 

But, we have been enjoying the birds of the shore along the beaches and waterways. 

Jupiter Island, Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 2019
Atlantic Ocean from Jupiter Island
January 22, 2019
The ocean has been very rough, it has an awesome beauty about it as the waves crash onto the beach. It is the Atlantic Ocean after all. 

The skies and the surf are beautiful.

They provide a rugged view of the solitary beach.

I am already beginning to feel the stress of the impending end of the vacation, although I am not sure what there is to do that I have not done? I have had my toes in the ocean and felt the warm sun on my face. I have been walking, despite the plantar fasciitis that I am struggling with in my right foot. 

We will see what today will bring to our South Florida adventure.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

At the Beach

Finnegan and Chris
Juno Dog Beach
January 21, 2019
Me on Juno Dog Beach
Jupiter, Florida
January 21, 2019
It was a beautiful mid-January day near the ocean. While for much of the country that would mean a frigid experience, it was only a breezy and cool day in south Florida. 

I spent part of January 21st on the beach enjoying the sun and the surf. Granted, we did not spend the entire day on the beach as we often do during the summer, but we were on the beach and it was fantastic. The sun was shining, the sky was blue with broken clouds and the ocean was rough and beautiful. As an added benefit, even though it was a holiday, the beach was not crowded. 

We decided to go to the Juno Dog Beach so that Finnegan could have his first encounter with the ocean. It went very well. He loved the beach and sniffed at all of the piles of sea weed that were drying in the sun. He was timid around the water rolling up onto the sand, but overall it was a positive experience.

More importantly, however, I was on the beach. Granted, I did not have a cold drink in my hand, it was after all a bit too cool for that, but I was not standing in snow or suffering through single digit temperatures. 

It was all-in-all a great day. Today's high in Jupiter is expected to be about 76 degrees. Tomorrow's high is expected to be 79 degrees! Bring on the heat, too soon I will be back in the cold.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Musings - January 21, 2019

1. It is the third Monday of January and the month is really flying by as is the new year.

Palm Trees in Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 201 9
2. I was appalled at the poor refereeing during the NFL Championship games yesterday. There were too many missed or inappropriately made calls which, in my mind, changed the course of both games. It almost seemed as if the fix was in. The NFL must do something to reduce the impact that referees have on the game in critical situations.

Jupiter Sound, Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 2019
3. Today we remember the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated during 1968.  Despite all of the efforts in our country since then to ensure civil rights for everyone, I have come to believe that America is more divided now than at any time in its past and we still are unwilling to ensure equal rights for everyone.

4.  Arriving in Florida was provided a great respite form the cold of Baltimore. Yesterday's activities included walking outside without a coat, sitting at a restaurant alongside the intercostal having a relaxing drink, and seeing a movie before watching the NFL championship games. It was a great way to start a get-away-from-winter vacation.
Blue Pointe Bar and Grille
Jupiter Sound, Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 2019

5. The cold weather followed us from Baltimore. It was 45 degrees here this morning as I walked Finnegan! But the sun was shining and we are hopeful of getting about 70 degrees today.

6. Flying was not as bad as I expected. The TSA agents were great and we appreciated that they were still on duty even though they are not getting paid, allowing us to head off on our mid-winter vacation.

7. I do enjoy seeing bright sunshine and clear blue skies in the morning. What is that bright orb in the sky?

8. Today in History. On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.


Moscow Skyscraper Talks Continued Through ‘the Day I Won,’ Trump Is Said to Acknowledge - The New York Times

Iran satellite launch fails after U.S. warning - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders. – Ronald Reagan

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Out of the Cold

Finnegan Saying Good-bye to Baltimore
January 19, 2019
OK, I just have to say it, I love Florida!

There, I got it out of my system. 

Finnegan in his Travel Kennel
January 19, 2019
Chris and I and Finnegan departed the snow-covered and cold Baltimore area yesterday for Florida. Yes, we are getting out of the region just before the next big storm.  

Finnegan was the hit of the day with so many people enjoying his antics as he was waiting to fly wearing his Aloha shirt. He was an extremely good dog in the airport and on the plane. 

We were a bit concerned about lines at the airport and arrived earlier than usual, but there were no lines because we took an afternoon flight. Since we made it through the check-in process so smoothly, we were able to spend some time at my favorite airport wine bar, Vino Volo. Nothing better than relaxing once on the other side of security with a glass of wine and a cheese plate. Perhaps the most impressive thing was that Vino Volo asked us if we wished to make a donation which would got to provide meals to the TSA and other airport federal workers who were not getting paid. We readily agreed. 

Even though our flight was delayed about 40 minutes, it was a good travel day. And I am in Florida. I walked Finnegan this morning without a coat! It was 70 degrees and felt fantastic. 

Good morning from Florida! Yes, it is raining, but it is a warm rain!

-- Bob Doan, writing from Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Another Weekend, Another Holiday

Here I am again at the start of another three-day weekend. The string of holidays that began with Veterans Day in November is quickly coming to an end. 

Monday's celebration of  Martin Luther King means that it will be a month until the next holiday--President's Day on February 18th. And then the holiday drought begins and lasts until Memorial Day at the end of May. 

I wonder if we have it wrong and we should have all of these holidays placed during the summer months instead of the late-Autumn and Winter months? It certainly is hard to hit the golf course when the temperatures are in the low teens as they are expected for Monday's holiday. 

But wait! I am, hopefully, not going to be here to enjoy the frigid arctic blast. I am hopeful of being under a palm tree in Florida!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, January 18, 2019

Continuing Abomination

Many federal workers have become pawns in a struggle that has not apparent end and in which neither side desires an end apparently. 

To make it worse, it seems that ur leaders have lost sight of the human toll being caused by their inability to govern the nation. 

A New York Times article, Washington as Unruly Sandbox: Squabbles, Antics and Tantrums, lays out some of what is happening in Washington. 

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Washington these days resembles nothing so much as an unruly sandbox. As the shutdown drags on, septuagenarian politicians are squabbling like 7-year-olds, House freshmen staged a boisterous protest march to the empty office of the Senate majority leader and the president’s lawyer went spectacularly off the rails in a television interview. There did not seem to be an adult in sight.

and then, later in the article
For the president, the most comforting moment of this turbulent week may have come on Monday, when he welcomed the Clemson University football team, winners of the college football championship, to the White House for a meal of burgers and fish sandwiches from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.

The image of fast food under the twinkling candelabra of the State Dining Room — which Mr. Trump said was a necessity, given the lack of White House staff because of the shutdown — gave rise to a thousand snarky tweets and jokes on late-night television.

“I thought it was a joke,” said one Clemson athlete, overheard in a video shared on Twitter.

It is, in my humble opinion, appalling.

Someone needs to find some middle ground and get the government moving again. If this is and example of the Art of the Deal, it isn't working.

Let's get people paid and back to work and then let the kids in the sandbox start throwing sand.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Winter Maintenance

Lowering the Pool Water Level
January 14, 2019
One of the aspects of pools that is often not considered by prospective owners is maintenance. 

Most people understand that maintenance is required during the summertime when the pool is open and in use. Maintenance can consume a significant amount of time and money for the chemicals to keep the pool clear and bright.

Pool maintenance continues during the summer whether the pool is being heavily used or not. As was the case last year, the rains limited the use of my pool, but they actually increased the maintenance requirements.

Well, pool maintenance does not stop during the winter. My pool has a mesh cover and that means that water continues to enter the pool with every rain and snow storm. We realized, after the most recent snowstorm that the rains since October when we closed the pool has caused the water level to rise too much. We try to keep the water level below the ceramic tile border during the winter to prevent freeze damage to the tiles.

On Monday, after the storm, I had to clear a corner off the pool to open it up to get my auxiliary pump  active and lower the pool about four inches. The whole process took over an hour, but I was successful in lowering the water level about three inches below the tiles. When we close the pool, I usually lower the water about a foot below the tiles, it is amazing to see how much rain we had during the Autumn and early Winter.

I just wish I lived somewhere that we could actually use the pool during the winter. I wonder if I could put a big cover over it like the local YMCA does to their outdoor pool?

A pool owner's job is never done!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Viewing the Snow from Above

Looking Up the Driveway
January 14, 2019
Radio Flyer made its first flight of 2019 on Monday afternoon. It was a short 4 minute flight with a maximum altitude of 79 feet. 
Looking at the House Covered by Snow
January 14, 2019

The purpose of the flight was to document the snow fall around the house and to get my drone out for its first flight of the year.

While the flight was a short flight, I chose to fly near sunset so that I could get some nice images of the area. 

I liked the way that the relatively light snow was hanging on the juniper trees. They had that wintery, fluffy, snow-covered look like so many of the trees in my Snow Village scene. It was nice that the wind had not blown the snow off the branches yet and that the snow was not so heavy that the branches broke under the weight.
Above the Neighborhood
January 14, 2019

Sunset in January
January 14, 2019
I did get one really nice image of the sunset with an airplane in the distance. I happened to be looking in the right direction as the aircraft was climbing out of Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). We were pretty lucky during the storm in that since the worst of it occurred during the night, not too may flights were canceled. That is always good for the air travelers. 

I need to get Radio Flyer off the ground a bit more, I miss flying.

The images captured are a good reminder of the day and the storm.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Just Add Keeshond

Makayla in the Snow
I am not a big fan of snow, everyone who knows me is aware of this fact.

Makayla Makes a Snow Angel
Yesterday, during the snow day, I was reminded that one member of my family loves the snow. 

Makayla loves snow. When we were shoveling on Sunday, she was content to lay in a snow pile and watch the activity, but yesterday her love of snow came out. She loves to dig and burrow into the snow. She did this on many occasions during the day. 

It was fun to watch her. And the amazing thing is that because she has two coats, the snow did not melt on her, it just shook off. She loves to make Keeshond snow angels. 

We took an enjoyable walk during the early evening as the sun was setting. Makayla stopped a number of times along the route to leave her unique mark in the snow. I am glad that someone in my family loves snow. 

When the yard is covered with snow and looks pristine, just add Keeshond to give it that used look. But I need to be prepared to laugh a lot.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Musings - January 14, 2019

1. It is the second Monday of January and winter arrived with cold and snow. It had to happen, I guess.

Tufted Titmouse
January 13. 2018
2. Shoveling snow is not a fun task, but it goes a lot easier when there are many hands doing the job.

3. The birds really appreciated the birdseed that Chris put out for them in the snow. Here is a Tufted Titmouse enjoying the feast. I found the heavy snow on the junipers to be a pretty background.

4. Just when we thought the snow was over, it started again and the roads were very slippery last evening.

5. The thought of heading to Florida for some warmth is going to keep me going through the week ahead.

6. I played laser tag for the first time ever yesterday at Lucas' Birthday Party. I had a great time. I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I had fun.

7. Seven inches of snow! That is how much the storm dropped on my house during the past two days. I shoveled twice. The last time, about 9PM last evening, was just as the storm was abating and the driveway is clear this morning. 

8. The NFL playoffs got interesting. During the Wildcard Weekend, three of the four visiting teams won. During the Divisional Playoff Weekend, all of the home teams won. How interesting.

9. Today in History. The theologian, musician, philosopher and Nobel Prize-winning physician Albert Schweitzer is born on this day in 1875 in Upper-Alsace, Germany (now Haut-Rhin, France).


Miami Airport to Close Terminal as Gov Shutdown Continues - The New York Times

Life, Death and Insulin - The Washington Post

Sears bankruptcy raises old questions about cost of going broke - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
 -- Letter to the American People about being Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, November, 5, 1994

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Winter Arrives

Shoppers at Wegman's Preparing for the Storm
January 12, 2019
The Baltimore-Washington region has been dodging the storms of Winter for some time now, but the area is finally taking a direct hit.

There are 5 or more inches of snow on the ground with more falling. 

Evening January 12, 2019
As the Storm Begins

I wish I was in Florida right now watching this on the news rather than living it in person. Experiencing snowstorms virtually is much preferred to actually living through them.

Think about it--I have to spend hours shoveling the driveway and in the end all of the snow will melt away. It is wasted energy. But if I don't shovel the snow will melt to ice before it finally goes away. 

Finnegan in the Snow
Chris and I prepared for the storm yesterday, as did thousands of our new best friends from around the region, by hitting the stores and stocking up on supplies. We shopped at Wegman's for food. Although the real reason we went to Wegman's was to get guacamole for the football games, we came out other essential storm supplies. Sadly, the Cowboy's did not take the game seriously, although the Chief's won their game earlier in the day.
Snow on the Deck Before Dawn
January 13, 2019

The snow fell overnight and it fell in a great amount. As I write this it is still snowing and I am beginning to think about breakfast and heading out to shovel.

While we were preparing for the storm we were dreaming of being somewhere warm. I believe that every snowstorm cements our decision to head south as soon as I retire. I can scarcely believe that I am thinking doubt retirement, but it seems that as more and more of the people that I know retire, it becomes more real for me.

Well, as with every snowstorm in the region, most everything is closed. Chris and I have to attend a birthday party for our youngest grandson later in the day that I expect will occur, but other than that, we are not likely to venture out until much later in the day. It is not that we are afraid to drive in the snow, no, we are afraid of the other crazy drivers on the road who either are paralyzed by the driving conditions or ho think that because they have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that they can drive as if the roads were clear.

And now that it is dawn, I can clearly see that the snow continues to fall stacking up into piles on the ground.

It is time to get moving and clear the mess.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Sunrise There's a Fire in the Sky

Sunrise from LifeTime Fitness, Columbia, MD
January 11, 2019
Yesterday morning, I was leaving the club where I play, or rather I attempt to play, racquetball about 6:40 AM. I was treated to a stunning sunrise building on the horizon. I caused me to grab my cell phone and snap an image. Later as I was driving to work the sunrise became even more stunning, but as I was driving I could not get an image of it to share. 

I was excited, and I know most people do not get too excited about such things. But I was excited about the sunrise at 6:40 AM because t means the dark season is departing and the daylight is returning. We have gained 13 more minutes of daylight since the solstice. The amount if daylight is rapidly increasing, during the next seven days we will gain another ten minutes of daylight. Yay! I note that in Jupiter, Florida, they have already an hour more of daylight per day than Baltimore does! Something about a change in latitude.

And of course, the mixture of the warmth of Florida coupled with the sunrise reminded me of the song Knee Deep by the Zac Brown Band. The refrain contain the magical sunrise words:

Wishin' I was
Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair
The only worry in the world
Is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

A warm thought for a cold, January Baltimore morning where 3-5 inches of snow is expected. I might change the words of the song some:

Hating that I'm
Knee deep in the snow out here
Got the gray sky wind and it don't seem fair
The only worry that I have
Will I freeze right in this spot
Sunrise, and it weren't even seen
But snow keeps falling
And so not to to be mean
But I think I'm gonna need a change of scenery

or something

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
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