Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve
End of a year and the beginning of a new decade

The day for which we have been working towards since when the year began has arrived. 

I am amazed at how quickly the end of the year, well even the end of the decade,  seems to have arrived. It seems like just yesterday . . . 

It is an old phrase that we always use when the passage of time seems to have happened so quickly. 

As the new year and the new decade approaches (will it be the roaring 20's?), my hope is that your memories of 2019 are more good than bad. That you were fulfilled in some way during the year and that your hope for the year ahead is positive. 

Happy New Year!

May God bless you and your family and friends.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday Musings - December 30, 2019

1. Welcome to the last Monday of 2019 and the next to last day. The year ends tomorrow night, which appropriately is know as New Year's Eve.

2. It was a great weekend with the weather being mild, although rainy yesterday. I got to play golf to celebrate the end of the year.

Axis and Allies 1942
December 27, 2019
Elkridge, MD
3. The guys in the family reenacted WW2 on Friday.  It was a "do over" from Black 
Friday. In the end, the Axis again scored a "probable" victory. We classify it as probable because we only played for 5 instead of 12 hours and had to make an assessment when time expired. 

4. Family NFL results for the last week of the regular season. There were only two games as the family teams played each other.

  Ravens defeat Steelers 28-10. Ravens are the #1 seed in the AFC. The Steelers miss the playoffs because the Titans defeated the Texans.

  Cowboys defeat Redskins 47-16. Cowboys miss playoffs because the Eagles defeated the Giants. 

5. In the in-between Christmas and New Year's period, it is hard to keep focused on the task at hand and not what the New Year's Eve plans are. 

6. In just less than two months, I will be in Sarasota attending some Baltimore Orioles Spring Training games. And playing golf.

7. Rainy days are dark and dreary. Yesterday was an example.

8. I have completed watching the first season of The Mandalorian. It was excellent and I was shocked that it had only 8 episodes. Here is a shout-out for Baby Yoda!

9. Today in History, 1922. In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.
During the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent three-year Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin dominated the soviet forces, a coalition of workers’ and soldiers’ committees that called for the establishment of a socialist state in the former Russian Empire. In the USSR, all levels of government were controlled by the Communist Party, and the party’s politburo, with its increasingly powerful general secretary, effectively ruled the country. Soviet industry was owned and managed by the state, and agricultural land was divided into state-run collective farms.


California Is Booming. Why Are So Many Residents Unhappy? - The New York Times

U.S. Attacks Iranian-Backed Forces in Iraq and SyriaU.S. Attacks Iranian-Backed Forces in Iraq and Syria - The New York Times

For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal, Urging Suicide Is a Tactic - The New York Times

North Korea's Kim urges 'positive and offensive' security measures at key party meeting - Reuters

Evacuation order in Australia's south-east as bushfires rage and temperatures soar - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

This year, the future of the nation and the world is particularly on our minds. We are thinking of our nation because, in the year ahead, we Americans will choose our next President. Every adult citizen has a role to play in the making of this decision. We will listen to what the candidates say. We will debate their views and our own. And in November, we will vote. I'll still be President next January, but soon after that, the man or woman leading our country will be the one the American people pick this coming November. 
 - Transcripts of New Year's Greetings From Reagan and Gorbachev on TV published in The New York Times, January 2, 1988

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Last Sunday 2019

The last Sunday of 2019 is here and the new year is only a short few days away. While the news media and many people are looking to the past to characterize 2019, I am looking forward--bring on 2020 and let's get the party started. 

2nd Tee Box
Timbers at Troy
Elkridge, MD
December 28, 2019
Yesterday, while much of the country was suffering through bad weather, it was a great day here. The sun was shining and the temperature made it into the 60's--even though officially at the airport the high was 57 degrees. AND I was able to get in 9 holes of golf during the afternoon. It was definitely winter conditions, but the course was well maintained and it was great to be out in the sunshine. I played in my shirt sleeves with my push cart and walked the course. I thoroughly enjoyed that for those in golf carts it was cart path only, whereas I was able to walk right up to my ball with my clubs and enjoy the day. I think I am beginning to really enjoy walking the course with my push cart a lot more.

Today, Chris and I expect to get more outdoors work accomplished. She did a lot while I went off and played yesterday, but there is always more that needs to be done. 

I note that it is also the last Sunday of the NFL season. Next week the playoffs begin and I am happy to say that the Ravens will not be playing next weekend because they have a bye! That is really cool as it has not happened before that the Ravens get to sit out the Wild Card Weekend of playoffs. 

Enjoy your day! Prepare for the new year.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Titanic Mystery Murder

Last evening, Chris and I enjoyed one of our Christmas gifts by attending a Titanic-themed Mystery-Murder event in Baltimore. The hardest part of the evening was actually finding the theater as it is inside of the Lord Baltimore Hotel, but nothing in the directions suggests thsat it is nested in the hotel. After successfully locating the theater we were ready for an enjoyable evening. The murder-mystery was designed for audience participation, but it also began very late--at 8:30PM. I was surprised how deserted the area of Baltimore was at 8PM on a Friday evening. I had expected traffic and vibrant activity, but there was none. That turned out to be a blessing because I drove around the block about three times before we were able to ascertain that the theater was inside of the hotel.

The event began with the explanation of the mystery at hand. A mystery in that five Titanic survivors died within two days of each other in Baltimore. Four men and one woman were involved and through the evening clues were given to help the audience solve the crime. Along the way there were some magic tricks which related to solving the crime. The tricks were very interesting and did add to the ambiance of the show. The show lasted just about two hours and the audience detectives solved the crime--the answer which I will not reveal. It was a good detective experience in putting clues together. The time passed quickly and there evening was soon over. One of the upsides--we were lucky in finding inexpensive parking in Baltimore. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 27, 2019

Axis and Allies Redux

Today is the day that the world gets to see if it can survive World War 2 all over again.

Axis and Allies Board, Ready for Battle
November 29, 2019
The results after Thanksgiving were not so good--the Axis won a convincing victory after the Allied fleet was sunk in the South China Sea in an engagement with the German fleet. 

Today, a rematch is planned. The family will gather and see how history is changed or not.

Will the war end as history records or will there be a new reality? Time will tell.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Joy Remains

Jax at Christmas 2019
December 25, 2019
Odenton, MD
The celebration may be over, but the joy remains. 

The day has passed, but a new one is dawning outside of my window.

Memories of the day will be kept forever in my mind. The family, the food, the gathering, the conversation, the game we played and the presents exchanged. 

Christmas is not over, because it is a season and we are children of Christmas! The joy of the season lives within us and we are fulfilled when we share the joy. Christmas is not about the gifts, or the food, or the activity--it is about people and and how we each touch each other.

We improve the world, one person at a time when we share our inner joy with others that we meet and know just by doing our everyday tasks.

Merry Christmas, may your joy fill others with hope.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019
Elkridge, MD
It is hard to believe that the last Christmas of the 2010's is here. 

I am sitting my chair, alone in the room with the Christmas tree lit reveling in the quiet of the house. All I hear is the sound of the furnace pumping out warm air and the cat munching on the tree. It is artificial and the imitation needles he consumes means he is going to be puking later. Merry Christmas, here is a pike of puke to clean! Cats!

Chris is asleep. She will be down in a few minutes and we will share that special morning time together before the start of the day. The day is devoted to family. The gathering of the clan, so to speak. 

And now, the day begins. 

May your Christmas wishes all come true and may peace find its way into our tortured world.

A prayer of thanks for the first Christmas gift of our Savior and we are off.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve 2019

It has arrived--the day before the day!

I remember that when I was a kid, Christmas Eve was the longest day of the year. It would drag on forever and I would look forward to church and the candle light service because I knew that after church it was time for bed and then the BIG day would arrive. 

In retrospect, Christmas Eve is an important day. It is the epitome of preparation. 

Today we will gather the family for a brunch to start what has become a two-day holiday. And this year, thanks to an Executive Order for the President, federal workers have an official two-day holiday, so I did not have to take leave, as I usually do, to enjoy the holiday. 

And so, on the Christmas Eve, let me offer a prayer to all. It is not of my own writing, but I found it on Crosswalk and it spoke to me. 

Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our Christmas stockings. Crazy weather disasters strike at unsuspecting areas, ravaging peaceful homes and interrupting the lives of unsuspecting residents. Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus.
Lord, we still carol the wonderful message, huddled beneath winter caps on snow-covered porches, or from churches, led by enthusiastic musicians or choir members. Yet we confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true?
In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again. This Christmas, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. Forgive us for forgetting—that Your love never changes, never fades, and that You never abandon the purpose for which You came: to save us from our sinful condition, and to give us life eternal, the joy of relationship with a holy God. Your birth—and Your death—sealed Your promise to us forever. Amen.
-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday Musings - December 23, 2019

1. The year is drawing to a close. This is the next-to-last Monday of the year. There are two short days until Christmas and only 8 days remaining in 2019.

2. Winter began on Saturday night Eastern Standard Time. I almost did not notice it.

From Saturday Night Live
December 22, 2019
3. I do not usually watch Saturday Night Live because it is on too late and often I do not appreciate the humor. This Saturday, however, we recorded the show to review later and on Sunday we watched the show because it had Eddie Murphy as the host. It was very funny. One of the funnest parts was the comparison of Mitch McConnell to a Star Wars character. It made me laugh. 

4. Family NFL Results. There is one week remaining in the NFL season.
    Steelers lost to Jets 10-16 (Playoff hopes on life support)
    Cowboys lose to Eagles 9-17 (Playoff hopes on life-support)
    Redskins lose to Giants 35-41
    Ravens defeat Browns 31-15 (Earned 1st seed in AFC)

5. The packages are bought and everything is ready for the holiday! Really? No, but it is great to think about.

6. Dual youth basketball games highlighted my Sunday. The boys split with one win and one loss, but both had great performances.

7. The temperatures are going to be in the 50's for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Yay! I wonder if there is any way I'll play golf. Who am I kidding?

8. Today in History. On December 23, 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France.  He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices; however, during his lifetime, he was a poster boy for tortured starving artists and sold only one painting.


Three Big Child Predator Sites Were Closed.  - The New York Times

In France, Holiday Skating Rinks Are an Unlikely Climate Battleground - The New York Times

'Bull's-eye' landing for Boeing's Starliner - Reuters

Hong Kong braces for protests over Christmas holidays - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Christmas is also a time to remember the treasures of our own history. We remember one Christmas in particular, 1776, our first year as a nation. The Revolutionary War had been going badly. But George Washington’s faith, courage, and leadership would turn the tide of history our way. On Christmas night he led a band of ragged soldiers across the Delaware River through driving snow to a victory that saved the cause of independence. It’s said that their route of march was stained by bloody footprints, but their spirit never faltered and their will could not be crushed. The image of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow is one of the most famous in American history. He personified a people who knew it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness; they must also seek help from God, their Father and Preserver.

Ronald Reagan Christmas Address 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Star Wars - The Rise of Skywalker, Review

In short, if you have seen, or in some cases suffered through, the other 8 Star Wars movies you MUST see the latest installment, which is also touted as the last installment of this fantastic series that began during 1977. 

Think about it--42 years of Star Wars--and the official end has been announced. 

Rotten Tomatoes critiqued the film: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.

Let me say that while I can see some truth in the critics assessment, the film completes the story in a creative and consistent manner. I found the movie filled with action, although the "flight" scenes seem to be almost continual, they did not drag and added to the story. There are surprises and tears. Laughter and groans. I experienced a wide range of emotions as I watched the heroes of my adult life conclude their saga. I have learned about good and evil and the force form these cinematic heroes. They have been consistent if not at times unwilling heroes through these 42 years.  

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. It is worth the time investment. The is the triumphant completion to the saga that redefined science fiction moviemaking and has crossed generations of moviegoers. It remains as relevant today as it was in the 70's.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Uncouth--A Cogent Response

The White House
December 9, 2016
I am shocked at the reaction to statements made recently by the President. Mostly shocked that so many people are defending the wanton thuggishness that was on display in Michigan the other night. Have we degraded ourselves as a society to the point that we want our President to act like a fighter in a cage match?

We know what was said about former Congressman Dingell from Michigan. According to one news source Those remarks suggested John Dingell, who passed away in February, may be watching from hell, not heaven. It was an offhand comment--the kind, unfortunately that our president is famous for making. But it is precisely these comments that reveal the nature of the man inside of the facade that is our President. 

And these are not isolated incidents.

The man who most represents America to the rest of the world is uncouth! 

The vilification of the Democrats as the source of every problem in America is getting tiring to hear. It is an old tune and is striking similar to similar themes which have been used throughout history.

Finally, however, a cogent voice from America's mid-section was heard yesterday as Christianity Today, a magazine founded by Billy Graham, laid out that the immorality of the president is inconsistent with governing this nation. They wrote:

But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.
And after reviewing similar words written about President Clinton in 1998, they continued to provide this assessment,
Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.
To whom are we loyal?
-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bankrupting the Economy and the Environment

I fear for our nation, our society, and the world. 

While listening to the impeachment proceedings I was constantly reminded about the great economy that we are experiencing. One of the great successes ascribed to the current administration is the roaring economy. An economy which is on fire and growing. 

Here is the scary truth--the economy is not on fire--it is being bought and paid for with the national debt. The national debt was $19.573 trillion when the current administration took over. It is estimated to be  $24.057 trillion at the end of 2020. In four years the national debt has risen $5 trillion!!! That is a 23 percent increase in the national debt which will stand at 106% of out total GDP. (source: National Debt by Year Compared to GDP and Major Events)

Where do we think this will end? The bills are going to become due someday. We are mortgaging the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren for transient prosperity right now. They will have to pay the bills. 

The second aspect of the current administration that is frightening is the wanton disregard for environmental issues. A opinion piece in the New York Times titled Trump and His Party of Pollution, provides some hard thoughts on the subject. These are even scarier than the economy because it is likely that we could damage the Earth in such a manner that it will be rendered unable to support human life. The United States used to be one of the world leaders in protecting the planer all the way from the snail darter to the whales. The weird part is the the reduction of pollution controls is not saving us money! It is actually, according to the article, costing us $89 billion per year. 

The United States must be the leader and advocate for the planet! Abrogating that responsibility is leaving our grandchildren with a problem that they may not be able to solve. When the oceans die and the ice caps melt--the world will become a very hostile place to try to eke out an existence. 

The Economy and Environment--lost in the facade of a boom economy. What will our grandchildren think?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Jesus Christ Superstar

Chris and I attended a Broadway Across America show of Jesus Christ Superstar last evening which provided an interesting juxtaposition of the Christmas and Easter seasons. The Rock Opera, as Jesus Christ Superstar is correctly known as, provides an intimate look into the final days of Jesus's life while of course now we are in the midst of the Christmas season celebrating his birth. 

The traveling Broadway show was nothing short of fantastic. It is the 50th Anniversary of the show and it is touring the country. Last week they were in Omaha, Nebraska. The cast and crew did a great job updating the music. The set was unique. The show reminded me of my youth as the music was first released when I was in high school. The show provided a nice trip down memory lane. 

The Hippodrome, however, while a beautiful theater is uncomfortable. The seats are too close and it is worse than an airline seat in terms of leg room. Last evening I could not see the entire stage because of people sitting in front of me. We were in Center stage seats in the balcony. I do not recommend the Hippodrome as as venue to see shows.

But it was overall a good evening and at least parking  was convenient.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Holiday Concert, Part 2

Ethan on the Risers
Arundel High School
Odenton, MD
December 17, 2019
Music runs in our family. 

Last evening, Chris and I attended our second Holiday Concert in two weeks. This one was held at Arundel high School and was principally a choir concert. There was a short interlude with a guitar ensemble which was very nice. 

The high school choral concert did not disappoint and Chris and I recalled our years in high school when we both sang in the concert choir.

But, last evening it was about Ethan, who is a true bass and sang some excellent holiday music. 

The music was a pleasant mix of songs for the season and the two choirs also reorganized by gender and performed as all female and all male choruses. 

It was enjoyable evening, even with the rain! Which has not stopped for two days. I am not really complaining because it could have been snow.

Well--on to the holidays!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Winter is Afoot

Snow Falling on the Drive
Elkridge, MD
December 16, 2019
And there it was yesterday morning as let Makayla out for her morning stroll in the yard. 

Snow. Falling from the sky and covering the ground. 

Real snow this time. More than the trace we received last week. It caused a small disaster as schools closed, but the real problem was that it rained all of the day. Nonstop. 

It always amazes me that life seems to stop in Maryland when the snow falls. Schools were canceled or delayed over much of the state. 

It can only mean that Winter is afoot.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday Musings - December 16, 2019

1. December is more than half over--and there are only 9 days until Christmas. Stand-by for panic to ensue!

2. Yesterday it was over 50 degrees and I was able to work outside without a coat. It was glorious. A last gasp of Autumn before the real Winter arrives here.

3. Family NFL Weekend Results. There are just two weeks remaining in the NFL season.
    Ravens defeat Jets 42-21 (Thursday)
    Cowboys defeat Rams 44-21
    Steelers lose to Bills 10-17
    Redskins lose to Eagles 27-37

4. Is anyone feeling panic that the Christmas Season is slipping away?

5. I noted that the NFL is posting a trifecta of games on Saturday to fill the void created by the conclusion of the College football season.

6. There was a hint of snow for this morning and the region braced for the worst. There were 96 weather related delays. Outside of my window there was nothing. 

7. I have noted that while most MLB teams are adding talent to their rosters, the Orioles continue to be conducting a fire sale. It looks as if we are facing another 100 loss season.

8. Today in History: 1773. In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor.
The midnight raid, popularly known as the “Boston Tea Party,” was in protest of the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny.


U.S. Secretly Expelled Chinese Officials After Breach of Military Base - The New York Times

U.N. Climate Talks End With Big Polluters Blocking Stronger Action - The New York Times

Denmark Raises Antibiotic-Free Pigs. Why Can’t the U.S.? - The New York Times

Hong Kong mall protests flare with leader Lam in Beijing - Reuters

Dozens injured as activists clash with Delhi police in citizenship law protests - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

But restoring the American dream requires more than restoring a sound, productive economy, vitally important as that is. It requires a return to spiritual and moral values, values so deeply held by those who came here to build a new life. We need to restore those values in our daily life, in our neighborhoods and in our governments dealings with the other nations of the world.

Labor Day Speech at Liberty State ParkJersey CityNew Jersey, September 1, 1980

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Fox in the Yard

The House as Winter Arrives from Radio Flyer
Elkridge, MD
December 15, 2019
I finally got Radio Flyer up into the skies yesterday. I had not flown my trusty drone since recording the aftermath of the August storms.  But yesterday seemed to be a nice day for a few quick flights and I was able, after troubleshooting some software issues, to get airborne--although I kept the altitude below the tree tops. The image of the house is from my first flight.

Fox in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
December 14, 2019
On my second flight, I decided to check out the yard, my highest altitude for that flight was 10 feet and I zipped Radio Flyer around the yard. I was surprised when I scared a fox that was lurking in the grasses around the pool. It was a big fox with a beautiful coat. It stopped and watched the drone hover while I took pictures. 

I had noticed fewer rabbits in the area lately--the fox is the likely reason. Chris and I are going to be more careful about letting Finnegan outside. We will have to clear the area before allowing him to run free. With the arrival of the fox, the yard is getting a bit dangerous. We have a big hawk and now a fox. All we need now to really increase the danger level is a bear or cougar!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Weekends Before Christmas

It is amazing how busy the weekends before Christmas can be. This weekend is the next to last one. 

Chris and I have been incredibly busy--last weekend we sojourned to Upstate New York--and so everything we would have done then, must be done this weekend along with everything we were to do this weekend--and it just all rolls together. This past week we were out doing something fun every night. 

Maybe that is why they call it the Holiday Season? Because if it wasn't the holidays we would all collapse exhausted. 

Happy Holidays!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 13, 2019

'Tis the Season

Jax and French Horn After the Show
Arundel Middle School
Odenton, MD
December 12, 2019
It is Holiday concert time at the schools. That time of year when the bands and the choruses show off their musical talents by performing in front of adoring parents, grandparents, and assorted other relatives. 

Last evening I attended the Holiday Band Concert at Arundel Middle School. Jax plays the French Horn in the Sixth Grade Band. The concert was in the same gym where I spend many Sunday afternoons watching Jax and Ethan play basketball and so it was familiar surroundings for some holiday cheer. 

The kids were excited and all played their best, I am sure. The music was mostly recognizable as the budding musicians plied their newly practiced talents in front of the adoring relatives. 

the concert was short, which was good because the volume of people in the gym was beginning to overwhelm the air conditioning and the humidity and temperature were rising to an uncomfortable level as we departed the venue. 

Good job Jax--you are one talented kid--French hornist, baseball pitcher/infielder, and math whiz!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 12, 2019

How to Drive in Snow

This was sent by a friend to brighten my day. 

Palm Tree with Moon in Front of my House
Tequesta, FL
November 16, 2019

I think it contains sage winter driving advice. Of course, this is only valid for the Northern Hemisphere, but that is where I live so it works fine. 

The best way to safely drive in snow is to get away from the region! The problem with driving in snow is not me, it is everyone else on the road. 

So when the snow falls, consider following the enclosed advice--it will be worth it, AND as an added benefit you will gain some much needed Vitamin D while working on your tan.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

First Snow

Light Snow on the Toyota
Elkridge, MD
December 11, 2019
Dusting of Snow on the Lawn
Elkridge, MD
December 11, 2019
It happened overnight. 

The first snow of the season arrived. Fortunately it was a minor snow event which only places a light coating of snow on the colder, exposed surfaces. But, the snow does signal that Winter is here, although the official arrival is not until Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:19 PM EST. Interesting, that mean that Winter actually begins on December 22nd in Europe and the rest of the world. 

While we experienced our first snow in Elkridge overnight, I already had a snow experience while I was visiting family in Central New York over the weekend. There was significantly more snow there than just a dusting!

Not surprisingly, there are 8 school systems that have implemented delayed opening for the morning, although I am guessing the snow is worse in the northern areas.  

But, regardless--Winter is here!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Different Anniversary

It has been one year since I rang the bell three times signifying the end of my prostate cancer treatments. 

I documented the end of my cancer treatment in my blog titled I Rang the Bell. Over the past year I have thought less and less about cancer every day. I wear a blue bracelet to remind me of what is behind me and to force me to look ahead to the future. 

I remember the celebration we held to mark the bell ringing. Many of my family and friends were there and I felt their love and support. I continue to feel their love and support.

At the conclusion of this first year post-treatment, all of the signs are positive. In some ways, my quality of life now is better than it was before the treatment! And for that I am very happy.

And now, year two begins!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday Musings - December 9, 2019

1. It is the 49th Monday of 2019 and the year is coming to a rapid close. Christmas is just over two weeks away and the New Year just a week behind that.

2. Traveling by car for a weekend trip to Upstate NY saw me spend 15 hours driving during a 50 hour period! Wow!

3. Family NFL Report;

    Ravens defeat Bills 24-17
    Steelers defeat Cardinals 23-17
    Cowboys lose to Bears 24-31
    Redskins lose to Packers 15-20

Deer in the Field
Near Hunt, NY
December, 7, 2019
4. I was amazed at the number of deer that could gather in one place. I saw 15 deer together. It was a sight to see all of them together in the field. I also noticed how dark their coloring had become, helping them to blend into the forest better. 

5. I have had my mandatory initial exposure to snow for this winter. I hope that is all of the snow I have to experience.

6. I suppose that rain is more desirable than snow!

7. It was interesting viewing the exterior Christmas decorations while driving through Central and Western New York. I felt that few homes were decorated for the holidays than in the past.

8. Today in History. On December 9, 1992, 1,800 United States Marines arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country.
Following centuries of colonial rule by countries including Portugal, Britain and Italy, Mogadishu became the capital of an independent Somalia in 1960. Less than 10 years later, a military group led by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre seized power and declared Somalia a socialist state. A drought in the mid-1970s combined with an unsuccessful rebellion by ethnic Somalis in a neighboring province of Ethiopia to deprive many of food and shelter. By 1981, close to 2 million of the country’s inhabitants were homeless. Though a peace accord was signed with Ethiopia in 1988, fighting increased between rival clans within Somalia, and in January 1991 Barre was forced to flee the capital. Over the next 23 months, Somalia’s civil war killed some 50,000 people; another 300,000 died of starvation as United Nations peacekeeping forces struggled in vain to restore order and provide relief amid the chaos of war.


With the White House absent, the impeachment process has devolved into a partisan brawl. - The New York Times

North Korea Turns Up Pressure on the United States for Concessions - The New York Times

Protesters Killed and Cleric’s House Bombed in Deepening Iraqi Chaos - The New York Times

Hong Kong sees biggest protests since democrats' election boost - Reuters

Thousands form human chain in Brussels in climate change demo - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Right now we need both realism and idealism. Millions of our neighbors are without work. It is up to us to see they aren't without hope. This is a task for all of us. And may I say, Americans have rallied to this cause, proving once again that we are the most generous people on Earth.

Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, January 25, 1983 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories