Thursday, February 28, 2019

Happy Hour on Steroids

Nicole, Mom, Patrick, Jeremy
Elkridge, MD
February 27, 2019
Dad, Jeremy, Patrick, Nicole
Elkridge, MD
February 27, 2019
When is a good time for a celebration? 

Whenever there is a reason, of course!

Happy Hour is a daily celebration that Chris and I enjoy and last evening it became a very special celebration as the family gathered to enjoy the presence of Mom and Dad as they are journeying back to Central New York after wintering in Houston. 

The gathering of the entire family, less one, resulted in an exciting early evening. It is always good when the family celebrates--and it was a celebration. 

Luke, Jax, Dad, E
Elkridge, MD
February 27, 2019
There was a lot of noise as the grandsons took control of the situation. Sadly, there were too many cars in the drive to allow them to play basketball and so they were pretty much confined to the house. It would have been good to get them outside for a bit, even though it was cold. 

I was especially happy that everyone made it over so we could party together. We have not been gathering as a big family as often as we used to and we need to rekindle the close relationships.

The party ended early out of necessity as there is school today and the boys had to do homework and get to bed. 

Thanks everyone for carving out some time to gather together and celebrate. It was a Happy Hour to remember!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Return

My parents arrived safely from Houston last evening. I appreciated tracking the flight on Flight Tracker. That helped because they arrived almost a half-hour early due to what I'm guessing was a strong tailwind. Their scheduled speed was 525 mph and they were actually traveling about 620 mph. We are so very lucky that Southwest airlines flies direct from Houston! It makes the journey that much easier.

Dinner with Mom and Dad, and Chris in the Middle
Elkridge, MD
February, 26, 2019
Chris and I have been looking forward to their return for a couple of weeks as it marks the beginning of the next phase in their journey. It is hard to believe that they were last here during mid-November as they first traversed to Houston to enjoy the bulk of the Winter. 

And now onto Spring, well, except for the wintry-mix of weather we are expecting later this week to potentially block Mom and Dad's triumphant return to Central New York! The family has been working hard to facilitate their return. We are planning to head out on Friday afternoon to drive them home.

But that is later in the week. For the remainder of this week we are planning on having our local family visit to spend time with Mom and Dad while they are here. I know that there are enough things to be accomplished during their relatively brief visit.

Every visit, no matter how brief is special!

And then back into the fray of daily living.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Seconds of Life

As the last Tuesday of February 2019 rolls into view, I was reminded of the passing of the calendar and how it marks not only the aging of the year, but of our lives as well.

When I was a newborn, one day doubled my lifespan, then two more days again doubled my life, then four more days and then one week, and then one month. Now, I measure my age in years, maybe decades. Thinking of doubling my age from now is out of the question. But with each doubling of my age, I was supposed to become smarter and more importantly wiser.

Yet, even as the thought of measuring my age in days has passed, each day is important and not to be missed.

There is an interesting commercial on television right now that suggests that the average adult spends 1/3 of their life asleep. I ran across some other interesting facts about living at My Age Calculator.

  • The average human heart beat rate is 80 per minute, so when you're 25, you had about 1,051,896,000 heart beats.
  • Your eye blinking rate is about 10 blinks per minute, so for one year you make about 5,259,500 blinks.
  • If you're a 30-year-old, you lived 10957 days, 262974 hours, or 75,778,440 minutes.
  • We live our 1 million minutes of life when we're only 1.9 years old. 
  • Average time spent sleeping is estimated to total about 6 hours 40 minutes a night, so we usually spend sleeping about 22 years, or 192848 hours of our life.
  • Average time spent watching commercials is estimated to total 2 years, or 17531.6 hours
  • Average time we spend eating is about 67 minutes a day, which is about 3.66 years or 32083 hours of our life.
  • Average time spend in traffic about 38 hours a year, making it total 3 months of our life.

So as we roll through life, we need to remember how each of the seconds we spend doing, or not doing, something add up.

A second lost is never found! A variation of Ben Franklin's saying, "Lost time is never found again."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday Musings - February 25, 2019

1. Unbelievably, today is the last Monday in February. This time next week it will be March!

2. Being sick sucks. Giving it to your spouse sucks more because the house continues to be sick and miserable for additional days.

3. The sin of sexual abuse by priests has been hanging over the Catholic church for too long. Something must be done, maybe the Pope is ready to take accountable action, finally.

4. The 2020 Presidential Olympics are underway already. It is going to be another long election season with likely little being accomplished in Washington to move our country forward.

The Neighborhood at Sunset
February 24, 2019
From Radio Flyer
5. We are going to hear a lot about it, so here is the definition of Democratic Socialism, which is very different from pure Socialism. "Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy." - Wikipedia

6. Radio Flyer took to the air last evening and captured the late winter view of the neighborhood at sunset after a weekend of gray skies and rain.

7. Why do I enjoy spaghetti westerns so much? This weekend I watched parts of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" as well as"The Alamo," "Guns of the Magnificent Seven" and "The Magnificent Seven Ride." I do so enjoy the Magnificent Seven music.

8. Chris and I walked our yard yesterday and viewed the ravages of the winter and the rains. We have a lot of work to do to bring the lawn around for the year ahead. 

9. History Today. On February 25, 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocks the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout. The dreaded Liston, who had twice demolished former champ Floyd Patterson in one round, was an 8-to-1 favorite. However, Clay predicted victory, boasting that he would “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and knock out Liston in the eighth round. 

Today a Bonus History:

10. History Today for Yesterday. On February 24,1836, in San AntonioTexas, Colonel William Travis issues a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.


Pope Francis Ends Landmark Sex Abuse Meeting With Strong Words, but Few Actions - The New York Times

Two bodies recovered after Amazon cargo plane crashes into Texas bay - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

  • I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.
    — Quote by Ronald Reagan during his Address to the Nation on National Security (March 23, 1983)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Maybe the Snow has Passed?

Remaining Snow Pile
Elkridge, MD
February, 23, 2019
Sunday has arrived and I am standing at the threshold of a new week. I am resolved that this week will be better than last week. I am feeling much better and am ready to face the challenges of the week from somewhere other than my sofa.

Yesterday, I stood on the doorstep and looked into the yard, now mostly clear of snow, and wondered whether we have seen the last significant snowfall of the season?

I hope so. 

I doubt it.

Last week's fast moving storm dumped five inches of snow on us which were mostly gone by the end of the next day. Only the places where snow was piled remain as a fading monument to the weather event.

I always hope, at this time of year, that the most recent storm will be the last.  

But, I am sure that more snow will come before Winter releases its grip on the region. I only hope that next weekend will be snow-free as Chris and I sojourn north to return Mom and Dad to the frozen land of upstate New York.

The month of March is clearly in view and with it the promise of Spring. Cue the flowers and warmer temperatures.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Living in the Happy Place

Chris with Finn and Makayla
February 23, 2019
Breakfast is a special time as the family gathers to enjoy the meal. I caught it this morning as Chris was finishing her pancakes with the dogs in rapt attendance watching her every move. Of course, it does not help that we both transgress by giving them morsels from our plates which help to make mealtime a family affair. 

My Happy Place
Jupiter Island Beach
January 22, 2019

In an amazing turn around, I feel better this morning. After doing nothing but sleeping and watching golf nearly non-stop for two days, the cold that I have been afflicted with is finally starting to break. 

Perhaps it is because I saw a doctor yesterday and scared the cold away! Regardless, remembering that I had been in my happy place just a month ago, and that I had a picture of it to enjoy, helped me to get over the cold. It still hurts when I cough! And I cough too often.

But then, I remember my happy place and I reestablish my calm.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Fly? Really?

Fly on a Sprite Can
Elkridge, MD
February 21, 2019
During the middle part of my sick day yesterday, the weather cleared and the temperatures warmed. Chris and I went outside to sit in the warm sunshine with the intention of increasing our Vitamin D production and help me get over this rotten cold which seems to have settled in my chest. 

As we were sitting outside, on a late-February day enjoying the near 60 degree temperatures in bright sunshine, I noticed a fly had landed on the lip of my Sprite can. I was amazed that the fly was there since the day before had been snowy and cold. How could an insect survive such conditions. But there it was. Enjoying the sunshine and the sugar on the lip of my can. Fortunately, I was done drinking from the can and, for some inexplicable reason, I let the fly enjoy being on the can until I was ready to go inside and resume coughing and sniffling.

The respite in the sunshine was enjoyable. It seems that the Sun has become a stranger lately. The warmth provided by the bright orb in the sky only infrequently makes an appearance.

Maybe springtime is not that far away.

Here's hoping for warm days and bright sunshine wherever  you are.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Cardinal in the Snow

Cardinal in the Snow
Elkridge, MD
February 20, 2019
I am sitting at home today, suffering with a mid-winter cold that has me coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. That is one reason my blog is published later than normal. It is not the most pleasant way to spend the day, but in consideration of my co-workers I chose to try to recover at home rather than at my desk at work.

It was a good choice, I am sure. And so I am wrapped up in a blanket, sitting in my recliner watching the most repetitive news programs the world has ever seen. I, until recently, was unaware how news networks recycle news. I have been seeing news clips from two days ago and last night's reports recycled as fresh news for the morning shows. I know there is more news out there. I usually can find it by going to many different papers.

But that written, the local news of yesterday's snow was extensive in its coverage of the storm. I remembered back to when I was a kid, the snows came and we had no idea when it would end. Today, however, we have minute-by-minute coverage of the progress of the snow, then rain, then sleet, then freezing rain as it moved from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Yesterday, at the height of the storm, a cardinal perched on the back deck and posed for me. The resulting image captured the falling snow and its accumulation on the deck rail surrounding the bright red cardinal. It was my image of the day and memory of the storm.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Storm of the Century?

The Storm Begins
February 20, 2019
Actually it is just the storm of this week. We are planning to receive the complete winter mix--snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain during the next few hours. The storm will be effectively shutting down the entire region for the day by making travel treacherous. Travel is complicated by the number of drivers in the region who become paralyzed when they are confronted by a bit of snow and slush.
Squirrel on the Back Deck
February 20, 2019

I slept in this morning and when I awoke the snow had not yet started. But it has since begun in earnest. We are expecting 2-5 inches. That is down from 3-6 inches that called for last evening. Chris and I will be heading out in the middle of the storm to retrieve a friend from the airport who is flying into the middle of the storm. 

Condo in Florida with Palm Tree
Tequesta, Florida
January 29, 2019
As I sit here the snow has begun to come down harder. It is covering the surfaces and the ground. 

I wish I was sitting under a palm tree somewhere in the south, like Florida as I was less than a month ago.

I guess I just need to be where I am and be sure to enjoy the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Three-day Weekend Reflections

When Monday falls on Tuesday, as it does after a three-day holiday weekend, it becomes almost impossible to catchup or even appreciate the correct day of the week. 

The Monday/Tuesday cross-over after a three-day weekend is one of the most difficult to handle. It seems as if everything that was routine for a Monday happens on Tuesday with everything that is normally scheduled for that day as well. 

The pain of holidays.

My friends and family who are retired do not seem to experience the same interaction between a holiday Monday and a mid-week Tuesday. 

On the other hand, do not misunderstand--I love three-day weekends and it would be great if we could adopt a four-day workweek to allow for more time off. 

And so--it is off to work I go this morning to face the challenges of Tuesday with a touch of Monday thrown in! Sadly, there is not another holiday until the end of May! Well, that certainly takes away the Monday on Tuesday dilemma.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday Musings - February 18, 2019

1. Happy Presidents' Day. Well, OK, it is really Happy George Washington's Birthday, the official name for the holiday.

2. Did you notice that the car ads on TV tell us that we can save more on a new car purchase than we used to spend on buying the car? I remember when a Volkswagen Bug was $1995.

3. Today is the last in a string of holidays which began six months ago during September with Labor Day. During that span we have enjoyed eight of the ten Federal holidays. There are only two holidays to enjoy during the next six months: Memorial Day and Independence Day. 

4. The return of the rain and cold forced us inside for most of the yesterday

5. Feeding the birds is a never ending process. It is fun to see them congregate on the back deck to enjoy the peanuts and birdseed. Sadly, the squirrels seem to enjoy the feast more than the birds. 

6. It is vacation planning season. Where are you heading this summer? 

7. Today in HistoryOn this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous–and famously controversial–novel The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnTwain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck’s story as a kind of sequel to his earlier book, the new novel was far more serious, focusing on the institution of slavery and other aspects of life in the antebellum South.


Chinese and Iranian Hackers Renew Their Attacks on U.S. Companies - The New York Times

For Wall Street Banks in London, It’s Moving Time - The New York Times

In Indian-controlled Kashmir, unprecedented attack puts focus on ‘homegrown’ militants - The Washington Post

Trump policies unite allies against him at European security forum - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week 

Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace.      

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Out On the Wine Trail

Big Cork Tasting Room
February 16, 2019
Yesterday was a day to get get back out onto the Wine Trail. Chris and I joined with friends and drove about an hour west of where we live to the wine region of Maryland and Northern Virginia. The specific places we went were very close to the Antietam battlefield. We have been to the battlefield on a couple of occasions, but yesterday was devoted to wine and wine tasting. 

James Britton on the Guitar
Big Cork Winery
February, 16, 2019
We visited Big Cork Winery. We enjoy visiting Big Cork and we had a wine shipment to pick up. As members of the wine club we get to visit and pick-up our periodic shipment then enjoy tasting the wines and, like yesterday, listen to some live music. James Britton was playing the guitar. We bought a bottle of wine to enjoy with the lunch we had packed. We enjoyed live music as we drank wine and ate lunch. What could be better?

From there, we visited two other wineries, both in Loudoun County, Virginia, that we had not yet visited. The first was Doukenie Winery. We had a very enjoyable visit there tasting some very nice wines. Scrolling through the list of the recent Virginia's Governor's Cup Gold Medal winners we found one of Doukenie's wines listed there which we were able to sample. The winery is situated on a beautiful lake and even though it was February, the scene was pleasant. I  enjoyed the conversation around the fire pit after the tasting. 
Doukenie Winery
February 16, 2019

The final winery of the day before returning home was Two Twisted Posts. Another very enjoyable stop where we enjoyed the tasting room and the pourer at least as much as the wines. And we enjoyed the wines, bringing a few home to add to our collection. As the sun began to set over the vineyards it was time to make our way back home. Fortunately the drive home was made short due to the conversation among the four of us in the vehicle. It is amazing how quickly time passes when we are engaged in discourse.

During the day, I was reminded that winemaking is an art form. The winemaker is presented with the raw materials--grapes, which are different each year because of the weather and the season. The challenge is to turn the raw material into great drinking wines. Yet, it is not a mechanical endeavor because the process requires talent and artistry to create the perfect drinking wine.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Around the Fire Pit -- in February?

Chris by the Fire
February 15, 2019
The middle of February arrived yesterday with mild weather--at least for the day. 
Me by the Fire
February 15, 2019

It was another much needed mid-winter break and we did not miss the opportunity to enjoy both the day and the evening. With temperatures nearing 70 degrees during the day, Chris surprised me by cleaning my truck--outside and inside! What a nice gift and I really appreciated her selfless efforts to improve the environment inside of my truck. 

I was able to get Cat, my Jaguar, out of the garage and drove it to work to get the fluids moving and the battery recharged.

But, the great ending to the day occurred after we returned home from Happy Hour with our friends. Chris and I decided that it was warm enough, with the temperatures still holding in the low 50's, to head into the yard to the fire pit and enjoy the end of the day around a warm fire talking and planning for the future.

As the evening progressed, it got colder and I put on a warmer coat, but it was the first fire of 2019 and amazingly it happened during February! 

I am happy that we were able to take advantage of the respite from rain and cold to enjoy being outside. Here's hoping for many more evenings outside during the year ahead.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 15, 2019

My Valentine

Mid-winter holidays and celebrations are a lot of fun. They help to cast off the darkness of the season and bring some light into life.

Chris Checking out the Menu
February 14, 2019
Last evening, Chris and I did something we have not done in a few years to celebrate Valentines Day: we went out to dinner. 

I know that does not seem dramatic, but for the past few years I have treated Chris to a romantic dinner at home to celebrate the day.

This year, we rode off together for an early meal at a local Mexican establishment and dined on fajitas and chimichangas along with a margarita to mark the day. It certainly was not the planked salmon and the expensive wine of past years, but we were out together. And it is important to get out of the house during the dark days. Also, in past years Chris had worked late doing parent-teacher conferences and so I had time to prepare the meal in advance of her arrival at home. This year, since she is retired, there were no conferences to attend.

Chris was dressed in a festive manner and I wore a red shirt to mark the day. I was encouraged by the number of couples and families who were similarly enjoying the evening. We went early to avoid the crowds and I have to admit it was weird to get home after dinner and still watch Jeopardy. Wow, am I getting old or what? The world revolves around Jeopardy during the winter. The only thing that we didn't get was the early-bird discount! 

It was a great evening and a romantic way to mark the celebration.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

It is a great celebration for lovers and would be lovers!

I remember being in grade school and doing the obligatory Valentine exchange. I wold come home with a folder full of Valentines from my classmates, and I likewise would give a Valentine to each of my classmates. It was fun to go home and open each of the Valentines and realize that there were only so many different little Valentines in the packages--I would get multiple copies of the same greeting. I wonder if kids still do that in class today?

I'm not sure I understood the reason behind Valentines Day, but it was fun to give and get a folder full of Valentines. 

Here is a fun fact--there were multiple Christian martyrs that were named Valentinus! Wow, who knew?

Here is a paragraph Wikipedia about the day:

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[1] is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Have a great day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Big, Beautiful Wall

Hopefully the agreement to fully fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year will be inked today. 

The stumbling point continues to be the wall. The President emphatically states that the wall will be big and beautiful!

A ‘big, beautiful wall?’ Yeah, right . . . - The Miami Herald

It will be immovable. 

It will be a monument to 19th century thinking transformed into reality during the 21st Century. 

We there people will be spending our national treasure on a wall rather than actually doing some good in the world and even in our own country. 

The wall will not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, nor heal the sick. 

The wall will not protect us from attack, deter aggression, nor stem the flow of drugs coming over the border through established ports of entry such as the recent largest drug bust in history.

An interesting article in the New York Times provides perspective of the magnitude of the wall project.

The Border Wall: WhatHas Trump Built So Far? - The New York Times

It appears that if the President wants a wall, he is going get a wall. I would rather build missile defense, or bolster the armed forces with the money--but the wall will certainly provide a fitting and historic commentary on the presidency.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ice on the Orioles Season

We have been enjoying some really difficult weather lately. It was what they call a wintry-mix. In reality it was freezing rain.

The freezing rain was interesting. It covered the bare branches of the trees creating a surreal scene, but it also created some dangerous driving conditions.

I would have liked to get some pictures of the ice covered trees, however, since I was driving in some really heavy traffic it would have been far too dangerous. 

February, all-in-all has been relatively mild and as we roll into mid-month, I note that MLB Spring Training is underway. Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota today! While the arrival of Spring Training is usually exciting, my enthusiasm is tempered with the knowledge that the Orioles do not look any better than the last year's team which secured 15th place on the all-time list of the worst major league teams during the modern era. The ice that we have been experiencing has extended apparently to Sarasota and the team which begins training there.

Last year's Orioles lost 115 games. I believe it is possible that this year's team could lose more! 120 losses is a definite possibility. The team has, so far, done nothing in the off season to improve the overall quality of the team. I am so underwhelmed at the Orioles that I have decided not to renew my season tickets for this year. It will be the first time in about 15 years that I will not have season tickets to see the Orioles.

I may not go attend Opening Day on April 4th. Fans vote with their feet and my feet are planning to stay away until the team decides to get serious about improving. Mediocrity is not a reason to go to the ballpark.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Musings - February 11, 2019

1. It is the second Monday of February. That is awesome. Spring begins in 37 days on March 20th!

2. It is tax season and the initial indications are that last year's tax cuts aren't showing up in the returns.

3. Cold weather is part of February in the Northeast. Knowing this, I'd rather winter somewhere further south.

4. Believe it or not, the youth basketball season is already ending. That means baseball season is warming up in the bullpen. Sadly, Jax's team lost a tough playoff game yesterday. Ethan's team had a bye and competes in their first playoff game next week.

5. I woke up this morning to an ice storm. 

6. This weekend was the first weekend since August where there was no NFL on TV. It felt good.

7. Is it me, or are other drivers on the highways getting worse? They don't signal intentions and then make sudden lane changes. Wow!
Daffodils in the Garden
February 10, 2019

8. It is now two months since I completed treatments for prostate cancer! In another month I get tested for my first results! I cannot believe how time has flown. Keep supporting everyone who is battling cancer! No one fights alone!

9. And despite the cold weather guess what I found growing in the garden yesterday? The harbinger of Springtime--daffodils! OK, maybe they are pushing the envelope a bit.

10. Today in History. Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa, where he became a leader of Johannesburg’s youth wing of the ANC. In 1952, he became deputy national president of the ANC, advocating nonviolent resistance to apartheid–South Africa’s institutionalized system of white supremacy and racial segregation. However, after the massacre of peaceful black demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, Nelson helped organize a paramilitary branch of the ANC to engage in guerrilla warfare against the white minority government.


Talks Over Border Security Break Down, Imperiling Effort to Prevent Shutdown - The New York Times

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: "We the People."

"We the People" tell the Government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver - the Government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the People" tell the Government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free.
  -- Reagan's Farewell Address to American People, January 11, 1989

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Thinking of Florida

Jupiter Island, Florida
 Intercostal Side
From Radio Flyer
January 25, 2019
Suffering through the cold of the past couple days, I have been thinking of being in a warmer place--Florida.

The Shops of Jupiter,
Jupiter, Florida
January 20, 2019
I was just there during late January and even though I complained that it was too cool, I dearly would love to have awakened there this morning with the temperature outside my door touching on 16 degrees!

Despite the bright sky, it is too cold. Much too cold. Yes, I know that it is February, but still, I enjoyed the taste of Spring last week and fervently wish that it would return. I know that Spring is officially 38 days away, but I have grown weary of winter: the cold, the rain, and the "wintery mix."

While I was in Florida a few weeks ago I was able to play three rounds of golf despite not being able to spend much time on the beach. I would not even think of touching my clubs right now here in Maryland. Well, I did consider it on Friday, but I was too busy at work.

Look at it this way--a cold day in Florida is a lot warmer than a cold day in Maryland. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Virginia is for Messes

The government of Virginia is in a mess.

The allegations become uglier with each passing day. 

It is an ethically and morally charged issue that dates back decades--and there is the fundamental problem. 

I think society is getting too sensitive about things that happened 40 years ago!

Is it possible that we are losing perspective and taking actions out of context? Are we engaging in what is called: revisionist history?

Do not misunderstand me--I am not condoning the activities of the leaders in question, I am just urging that actions be viewed in context with the norms of society at the time. Society changes over time and what is acceptable, likewise, changes. 

As an example of changing societal context, think about the Bugs Bunny cartoons or the Three Stooges. When I was young, Bugs Bunny was a very violent cartoon. They were funny but were filled with violence and biting, insulting comments which were, at the time, acceptable. Since then, the cartoons have edited for the current generation to remove the violence and the now unacceptable comments. This is an example of how what is societally acceptable changes over time. What was acceptable is not now accepted. It is the same with the Three Stooges--their humor was funny then, but now it is not accepted. In fact, I do not find the Three Stooges funny anymore and do not watch their antics.

I have to believe we are forgetting that what is acceptable to society changes over time and as we become enlightened we forget that applying the mores of today to the past confuses the issues. We need to ask ourselves, are the actions by someone in the past outside of the norms for the period of time? 

Put another way, for the time and the place, was the action egregious? 

Just a thought. Ultimately, it is for each of us to decide.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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