Saturday, May 15, 2021

Deep in the Heart of Texas

 It is amazing how places can be portrayed on the news differently than they seem in person. Texas apparently is one of those places.

Chris and I arrived yesterday morning at Houston Hobby Airport after a direct flight from Baltimore. It was a smooth flight and the crowds at the airport were much the same as Baltimore—too many people crammed into an airport where the foodservice facilities were not yet operating at full capacity, meaning long lines for almost everything. But everyone was properly masked and attempting to maintain good physical distancing.

Mom and Dad and Me
Cinco Ranch, TX
May 14, 2021

Of course, the real purpose of the trip is to visit with Mom and Dad. I have not seen them since June of last year. Here is an image taken yesterday at their residence. They are looking good. And I didn’t look too bad either, having just flown in from Baltimore. It was great to see them and we spent the evening with them and the rest of our Texas family. 

Another day waits. And the excitement that goes with it. I’m looking forward to catching up and enjoying the day.


— Bob Doan, writing from Fulshear, Texas

Friday, May 14, 2021

Get America Moving Again

 


I truly do not know if the end of COVID-19 is in sight, but the announcement yesterday from the CDC surely makes me think we are finally making progress.

Fully Vaccinated Can Go Maskless in Most Settings, CDC Says

Maybe progress is finally being made in the fight and the end of the pandemic may be in sight. 

There are still pandemic-mongerers out there as well as those who deny its existence--but, with vaccinations underway the results seem to be as advertised. 

As we begin to approach herd immunity--the county is opening for business. Those who are not getting vaccinated as slowing the process down. Sadly, many of those who are not contributing to fight the COVID-19 by getting vaccinated will be among the first to enjoy the benefits.

Well, as I travel this weekend I am thankful for the vaccine and those who like me have taken it so that we can Get America Moving Again in a rational and reasoned manner.!

I wonder what life is like in Texas. I guess I will find out later today.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Where Are They?

 They were supposed to be here by now.

Who?

The 17-year Cicada Brood X. Originally scheduled to emerge about a week ago, the cold weather has apparently delayed the arrival of trillions of the noisy cicadas. 

So, are the Brood X cicadas coming or not? Below normal temps pushed the emergence back

Cicada Larvae Holes
ELkridge, MD
May 12, 2021

The Cincinnati Enquirer, in the above article, suggests that the colder than normal weather we have been experiencing has delayed their much expected arrival. 

That is a good thing, right? 

Not really. 

Chris and I walked the yard last evening and finally identified hundreds of small holes--sure signs that the emergence is about to happen. The holes, I am told, appear a few days before the cicadas emerge to perform their 17 year mating cycle.

No, the sky is not falling, but we may go deaf before it is over. 

Some reports are suggesting that the cicadas may be with us through Independence Day. I remember the last emergence--it was something to behold and also something to forget. 

They will be here soon, Be afraid, be very afraid!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It is Fragile


Photo:FRANCOIS PICARD/AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

We do not realize it on a daily basis, but our cyber infrastructure is fragile and potentially full of holes.

The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline highlights the point. But that is not the first. Baltimore City suffered under a ransomware attack for months and have potentially lost millions of dollars. 

Theoretically, hackers could turn off home appliances and some automobiles. Think of what we have connected to the internet. Our watches, even, which allow us to know the time. It is proverbial train-wreck waiting to happen. Wait, it already has. 

The things we depend upon are connected to a fragile network which is being exploited and can be shut-off during times of crisis. 

I'm not writing this to scare, but rather to prepare for the inevitable: Life without the internet. It will happen at some point unless we become smarter about how we connect to and employ the internet. 

It is fragile!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mid-May Cool Down

 It seems as if the region is experiencing a mid-may cool down. 

I have turned the heat back on in the house. 

Morning temperatures are in the mid-40's and the afternoons are not making it to even 70 degrees. 

This is not May weather. 



We will not see a 70 degree afternoon until Thursday. And then it is forecast to make it to only 70 degrees.  

When will it finally become warm?

I am looking forward to heading off to Houston this weekend to enjoy some warm temperatures. And of course I did get a few days in Florida with 80 degree temperatures last month. 

The heat and humidity will be here soon enough, I am sure. And I know that many people will complain--but, really? It is no fun to swim in a pool when the air temperature in below 80! I hope it warms up for Memorial Day!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Musings - May 10, 2021

 



1. It is the second Monday of May--but the weather makes it feel more like March. There are three Mondays remaining in the month.


2. The temperatures have been in the 40's overnight. The arrival of Brood X of the 17 year Cicadas has apparently been delayed due to the cold temperatures.

3. There is a chlorine shortage for residential pools developing. Chris and I were able to secure enough chlorine tablets for the entire pool season. 

4. Dogs get on a very regular schedule. I no longer need an alarm clock in the morning. Makayla wakes me so she can go out and get fed.

5. The light is returning in the morning. By 6 AM it is light enough to see. I believe that I will be playing racquetball in the mornings again, soon. 

6. Today in History. On May 10, 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial last spike into a rail line that connects their railroads. This made transcontinental railroad travel possible for the first time in U.S. history. No longer would western-bound travelers need to take the long and dangerous journey by wagon train.



‘Why Do We Deserve to Die?’ Kabul’s Hazaras Bury Their Daughters.‘Why Do We Deserve to Die?’ Kabul’s Hazaras Bury Their Daughters. - The New York Times


Consumers Feel the Pinch as Prices Rise - The Wall Street Journal










Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The economic challenges faced in the southern half of this hemisphere appear as monumental as those in the political arena. Yet there's reason for hope. For the three decades after the Second World War, substantial economic progress was made in Latin America. Growth rates, in fact, matched those in the industrialized democracies and improved the standard of living of a significant proportion of the population. At the same time, however, a rapid increase in the population strained resources and left many in dire poverty. The leap in energy prices and the onset of global recession in 1979 was felt the world over. Few places experienced more pain than Latin America and the Caribbean.

While coping with worldwide economic currents must be the primary responsibility of each country, we're doing what we can to help. We increased by over 50 percent the level of bilateral economic assistance over the previous administration. We've continued to support contributions to the World Bank, the Inter-American Bank, and IMF programs, all of which are vital to Latin America. Discreetly, with much care and consideration for political, social, as well as economic consequences, we worked with leaders in government and the private sector to encourage the refinancing of international debts. And your cooperation has been indispensable in this effort.


Remarks at a Meeting of the Council of the Americas, May 8, 1984


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day 2021

 

Mom and Chris
‎⁨Letchworth State Park⁩,  ⁨NY
June 26, 2020

Happy Mother's Day

To all of the Moms out there--this is your day. Enjoy it.

To my Mom--I'll see you next week for the first time in almost a year.

To my wife--Happy Mother's Day.

What a different time we find ourselves in this year. Last year we were reeling from the coronavirus and everything was shutting down. 

Mom and Me
Hunt, NY
February 14, 2020
Chris and I made a trip to New York in June, but that was the last time I visited with her. After that trip, things got really bad and travel quarantines were imposed which effectively cut off travel. We are only just now beginning to move about the country now that we are vaccinated.

I am looking forward to heading off to Houston next weekend to visit Mom and enjoy some warm temperatures. Ugh, it was 45 degrees here this morning. 

Happy Mother's Day 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bursting with Blooms

Lilac in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
May 8, 2021

The lilac bush just off the end of our porch is bursting with blooms. Not only does the bush provide something beautiful to look at, but the fragrance from the blossoms greets me each time I enter of depart the front door. 

This may truly be the best time of the year. 

Enjoying the spring flowers and smells is very exciting. 

At the end of a long day at work, it is great to arrive home to the multi-sensory impact of the lilac bush.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Sky is Falling

People watch a Long March 5B rocket, carrying China's Tianhe space station core module,
as it lifts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan province on April 29, 2021.
Credit: 
Getty Images

 It promises to be a spectacular show somewhere in the world as an expended Chinese rocket body makes an uncontrolled reentry to the planet form space this weekend. 

It has raised a lot of attention here in there U.S. and I have read storied in almost every major news paper including The New York Times and The Washington Post. 

This morning, however, I am going once again to Scientific American for their view on the problem. 





Falling Uncontrolled from Space, Giant Chinese Rocket Highlights Risk of Orbital Debris

First though, this is not as new problem. As Scientific American points out debris has been falling from space for years. And some of it is big and actually does make it to the surface of the planet. The problem is described below from the article:

“It really isn’t about this one rocket body … because every rocket body in Earth orbit is uncontrolled,” explains T.S. Kelso of CelesTrak, an analytical group that keeps an eye on Earth-orbiting objects.

The true magnitude of the problem can be identified by a quick check on CelesTrak.

“It shows there are 2,033 rocket bodies in Earth orbit … at least those that we have orbital data for, as there may be more classified ones. Of course, every one of them is uncontrolled. Of the 2,033, 546 belong to the U.S. and only 169 belong to China.

“Maybe we all need to be more responsible and not leave uncontrolled rocket bodies in orbit,” Kelso told Inside Outer Space.

But the U.S. isn’t even the worst offender in terms of orbiting booster debris. That would be Russia, with 1,035 rocket bodies.

“There are another 66 rocket bodies in Earth orbit that we have no data for, because they are classified,” Kelso noted. That is, there are no “where are they?” orbit elements available. “Most we have no idea what orbit they are in, so they could re-enter or just run into something else in orbit, pretty much without any warning.”

One of those is from a 1967 launch, and eight are from launches in the 1970s, Kelso added.


For the most part, we, living on the planet have been lucky. Most of the rocket bodies that make it back crash harmlessly in the ocean. Every so often, big pieces, like this one, generate some concern and then after nothing bad happens we quickly forget about the problem. That needs to change and all of the space-faring nations of the planet need to work together to remedy the growing space junk situation.

A good site to track the progress of the Chinese rocket deorbit is Space.com. It could be a spectacular show somewhere on the Earth.

The sky really is falling, Chicken Little.

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Orioles Write History

 

John Means Throwing Complete Game No Hitter
Seattle, WA
May 5, 2021

It happened yesterday in Seattle--John Means threw the first no hitter of the 21st Century for the Orioles. 

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first non-perfect no-no in Major League history that didn't include a walk, a hit by pitch or an error. This marked the first career complete game for Means, who tied a career high with 12 strikeouts. (MLB.COM)

What kept the game from being a perfect game was a batter reaching base on a dropped third strike who was subsequently thrown out attempting to steal second. 

There have been 10 no hitters in Orioles history--6 since moving to Baltimore for the 1954 season. There is even a no hitter in Orioles history where the two pitchers combined for a loss. The last no hitter was thrown during the 1991 season.

Last evening, the Orioles won over Seattle, 6-0.

The Orioles are sitting one game under .500 and 3 games out of first place!

Congratulations to John Means on the game of his life!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Cinco de Mayo


 It has arrived again. My favorite foreign holiday. OK, maybe it is a foreign inspired holiday. 

I have written about the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo in previous blogs. 

This year, I offer the deeper view of why Cinco de Mayo should be celebrated more widely in the U.S. It is a History.com article titled, How Cinco de Mayo Helped Prevent a Confederate Victory in the Civil War. It makes good reading and helps to demonstrate the global interconnectedness that we live every day--even back in the mid-1800's. It is impossible in the modern world to become isolationist.

Following on from yesterday, which was May the 4th Be With You, today is also Revenge of the 5th, or Star Wars Day 2. 

And so there is a lot to celebrate and enjoy as this Month of May begins. Coming up there are celebrations for Victory in Europe Day on the 8th and 9th, and then don't forget Mother's Day on Sunday the 9th. 

In my mind--everyone loves a celebration!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Just in Time, Isn't

New Ford F-150 pickup trucks were unableto be sold because of the global
 shortage of semiconductor chips
PHOTO: JIM WEST/ZUMA PRESS
From the Wall Street Journal



Tuesday taunts me.

As I wake in the morning, Tuesday says to me, I am not Monday and I am not Wednesday--what are you going to do today? 

I struggle with that. 

This Tuesday is seems that the auto industry is struggling with something that the U.S. military did away with a decade ago--Just in time logistics. 

According to an article in this morning's The Wall Street Journal titled, 

It doesn't work during wartime because there are too many things that need to be controlled for it to work. 

COVID-19 has exposed the weakness in the system and that in resulting in production problems for manufacturers. From the article:

The hyperefficient auto supply chain symbolized by the words “just in time” is undergoing its biggest transformation in more than half a century, accelerated by the troubles car makers have suffered during the pandemic. After sudden swings in demand, freak weather and a series of accidents, they are reassessing their basic assumption that they could always get the parts they needed when they needed them.

“The just-in-time model is designed for supply-chain efficiencies and economies of scale,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan Motor Co.’s chief operating officer. “The repercussions of an unprecedented crisis like Covid highlight the fragility of our supply-chain model.”

It is fascinating to watch manufacturing giants relearn what they thought they knew as the global economy becomes more entwined. 

The manufacturers are moving to a hybrid system where the most critical parts are stockpiled. Toyota, according to the article, is stockpiling a 4 month supply of some of its critical parts. 

"Just in time" is used by other corporations as well and the pandemic coupled with the Texas weather event is forcing a rethinking of how supplies should be stockpiled. 

Maybe "just in time" is finally becoming "in the right amount." Just a thought.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday Musings - May 3, 2021

 


1. The first Monday of May has arrived. Wow. The year is 1/3 complete. There are five Mondays in May culminating with Memorial Day on May 31st. 

2. Friends and family make the weekend enjoyable. Chris and I enjoyed a great weekend.

3. The pool is open! The temperature went from 55 degrees to 64 degrees in one day. 

AL East Standings as of Games through May 2, 2021
4. My New York Times Sunday paper was delivered without a front section yesterday. How does that happened. It worked out though because I called the circulation desk and they gave me 50 percent off for the next 24 weeks. That works out to less than the listed price on the paper. Plus I still get full-time digital access.

5. With the loss yesterday, the Orioles manages to find sole possession of the cellar of the AL East. The good news is that they are only 2 games below .500 and they did win the series on Oakland, even with the loss. 

6. The weather has been great. I am guessing that we will get a bit of rain this week, but we need it. The pool is open, however, bring on the 80's and 90's.

7. Today in History. On May 3, 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Machiavelli entered the political service of his native Florence by the time he was 29. As defense secretary, he distinguished himself by executing policies that strengthened Florence politically. He soon found himself assigned diplomatic missions for his principality, through which he met such luminaries as Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and perhaps most importantly for Machiavelli, a prince of the Papal States named Cesare Borgia. The shrewd and cunning Borgia later inspired the title character in Machiavelli’s famous and influential political treatise The Prince (1532).




Biden’s Proposals Aim to Give Sturdier Support to the Middle Class - The New York Times

At Least 4 Die After Human-Smuggling Boat Hits Reef Near San Diego - The New York Times

Police officers’  hesitancy to get coronavirus vaccine poses  safety risks - The Washington Post

How the global chip shortage might affect people who just want to wash their dogs - The Washington Post

Record Lumber Prices Lift Sawmills as Homeowners, Do-it-Yourselfers Pay - The Wall Street Journal

Biden, Republicans Set Talks Over Competing Infrastructure Plans - The Wall Street Journal

India’s COVID-19 cases near 20 million, peak seen nearingIndia - Reuters

EuropeGerman police make arrests over massive child pornography website - Reuters



Ronald Reagan quote for the Week



We went to China to advance the prospects for stability and peace throughout the world. And we went to illustrate, by our presence, our sincere desire for good relations. We went to meet again with the Chinese and review our concerns and our differences. And we went to China to further define our own two countries' relationship -- and, by defining it, advance it.

And I feel that we have progress to report. I had long and thoughtful meetings with the Chinese leadership, comprehensive meetings. We each listened carefully to what the other had to say. We discussed and agreed to cooperate more closely in the areas of trade, investment, technology, and exchanges of scientific and managerial expertise. We concluded an important agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We agreed that in this imperfect world, peace in its most perfect form cannot always be reached -- but it must always be our goal. And we, the people of China and the United States, must make our best efforts to bring greater harmony between our two countries.

It's a good thing for the world when those who are not allies remain open to each other. And it's good to remember that competitors sometimes have mutual interests, and those interests can make them friends.

Remarks Upon Returning From China, May 1, 1984


-- Bob Doan Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Beating the Flu


 I read an article in scientific American this morning that made an interesting point.

The public health measures that were implemented to stop coronavirus work really well on the flu.

That is actually the subtitle of the article:



Flu Has Disappeared Worldwide during the COVID Pandemic


And it makes sense. The flu spreads through person-to-person contact and through unclean hygiene. 

Here is the dramatic part. During the most recent flu season, the U.S. saw only about 600 deaths attributed to the flu when the previous two seasons saw 22,000 and 34,000 respectively. Wow.

Of course people were dying from COVID-19, but the double-whammy everyone was expecting apparently did not materialize. Thankfully. 

I'm not going to call it a silver lining in a dark cloud. But, it is something to be thankful for.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Pool Opening Day

 

The Cover is just off the pool
Elkridge, MD
May 1, 2021

The day has finally arrived and the weather is great.

The pool is opened.

Yay.

I had a bit of help and I am still getting it in shape for actual use, but the pool cover is off and stored and the pump is running. It is an exciting day. 

I realizes that this is my 21st pool opening day since we have lived in our house. It truly is exciting and with the exception of the very first year, I have opened it without professional help every year. 

It really looks very good. It is much greener in the picture than in real life. And the deep end is totally clear--all the way to the bottom!

I sense a great season of pool activity about to start.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 30, 2021

A Hero Passes

Michael Collins
Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot
1930-2021

 Wednesday, April 28th in Naples, Florida, a legend of the space program passed away. 

Michael Collins was the Command Module pilot for Apollo 11, the first mission to land humans on the Moon. He never placed a foot on the surface of the Moon, but he was definitely an integral part of the mission which occurred 52 years ago.

Of the three astronauts on that mission, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, it was Collins that I always admired most. I never felt that he was slighted in any way by not getting to walk on the Moon--he did his job and the mission was a success because of his contribution. He was an example for me demonstrating that success requires contributions form many people and while not everyone can be the center of attention; everyone has a role in achieving mission success.

Michael Collins wrote a book about the space program called Carrying the Fire. It was a revealing inside look at  what the astronauts experienced. I have read that book more than once because it was exciting to relive the experience of going to the moon but also learning about what it meant to be an astronaut in the 1960's. Amazingly, the first edition of the book which was published in 1974 is for sale on Amazon for $473!

In his obituary in The Guardian, Collins is quoted as saying: 

In 2019, on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, he said: “I may, in normal times, go a month or two without thinking about it. But when I do, it comes back with a great deal of clarity, more than I would have guessed.”

I, too, remember that great achievement of Apollo 11 and the ". . . one giant leap for mankind" that he helped make happen.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The President Speaks

 Doug Mills/The New York Times

 I thought President Biden gave a great speech last evening that laid out a plan for the future of America. Let me start there. 

It has been 100 days since Joe Biden was inaugurated. America is a very different place that it was four years ago, but there is hope for the future. 

I reviewed the transcript this morning and continued to be impressed with the attempt at inclusiveness. I was impressed that there were cogent sentences that laid out complex policies without vilifying any particular group. There were invitations to join together and a call for working together restart America. The president laid out a Jobs Plan and called for the Congress to jointly approve the plan to move America forward. 

The president said:

We all know life can knock us down. But in America, we never, ever, ever stay down. Americans always get up. Today, that’s what we’re doing. America is rising anew. Choosing hope over fear, truth over lies and light over darkness. After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for a takeoff, in my view. We’re working again, dreaming again, discovering again and leading the world again. We have shown each other and the world that there’s no quit in America. None.  (from NY Times)

The president is calling for government to rescue Americans caught in the middle of an economic downturn and COVID-19. how can anyone be against that? Wait, this is still America and people are allowed to dissent.

And how to bring about renewal? I found the following to be especially exciting:

Look, think about it. There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason. None. No reason. So folks, there’s no reason why Americans — American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries. There is no reason. We have the capacity. They’re best-trained people in the world. The American Jobs Plan is going to create millions of good-paying jobs, jobs Americans can raise a family on. As my dad would then say, with a little breathing room. And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American. Buy American.

As the president pointed out, this is nothing new and it was not invented by his predecessor. The president went on to say:

And I might note parenthetically, that does not violate any trade agreement. It’s been the law since the ’30s, buy American. American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products, made in America, to create American jobs. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and it will be in this administration.

I was encouraged by what I heard. Sadly, the opposite side has not proposed solutions, only objections. My view is if you want to object that's fine, but what are you proposing instead? 

The president noted:

I have never been more confident or optimistic about America. Not because I am president. Because of what’s happening with the American people. We’ve stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy, pandemic and pain, and “We the people” did not flinch.

I hope the momentum of the first 100 days can continue and that more and more the opposition will decide that there is merit in the ideas. At least there is a plan to discuss and determine the future for America. I still cannot fathom how we can decide against helping Americans in need.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

As the Sun Rises

Sunrise through the Trees from my Drive
Elkridge, MD
April 22, 2021

 There is something inherently cool about waking up in my Florida condo, flying out and being at work by 11:30 AM that same day. That is, of course compared to a 15 hour drive. I did that on Monday and yesterday I retrieved Chris from the airport officially ending our Florida get away to reset the condo for our eventual full-time occupancy.

Thursday morning, as I was preparing to drive off to work and before I flew out for Florida, I noticed something as I was about to get into the car. It was the sunrise through the trees. But not just a sunrise as the trees have filled with leaves. 

They begin so slowly, the leaves, and then they are suddenly there providing shade and transforming the landscape from the bleak winter hues into the lush green. The canopy has returned.

I am glad that in the most of my busyness that I was able to pause for a moment and enjoy the sunrise through the trees. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

COVID-19, The World Comes Together


 I am impressed at how much of the world is coming together to fight the COVID-19 virus and infection. 

The tragic scenes from India are motivating countries to work together, again, to defeat the virus. 

The headline in The Wall Street Journal this morning encouraged me:

U.S. to Share AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Doses With World

Why would the U.S. sit on 60 million doses that have not been approved for use in this country? Get them out to a place being ravaged by the coronavirus. 

It still amazes me that so many people in this country are unwilling to get vaccinated while in the rest of the world where the vaccine is in short supply the population is being ravaged. The rationalizations just do not add up. People are dying to get help in India and in the U.S. we have become numb to the daily death toll and spread of the infection. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Musings - April 26, 2021

 


1. Welcome back to Monday. This is the fourth and last Monday of April 2021. The year is rapidly approaching 1/3 complete. 

2. Has anyone noticed that Mondays return too quickly?

Pelicans on Patrol
Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, Florida
April 25, 2021
3. I love watching the pelicans fly across the ocean as I walk along the beach. They seem so busy and focused. Chris and I always announce them by saying, "Pelicans on patrol."

4. The beaches were very busy yesterday. The temperatures approached 90 and the winds were calm. The ocean was almost flat and it was incredibly clear. 


5. The Orioles have managed to find the bottom of the AL East. They share the worst record in the division with the Yankees. 

6. Jax's baseball team had a difficult tournament this weekend. It was a learning experience. 

7. Today is a travel day. And a work day. And a collapse into bed at the end of a busy day day. 

8. Today in History. On April 26, 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. 




West Looks Past Covid-19 and Sees Economic Rebound - The Wall Street Journal

Fire in Iraq Hospital Treating Covid-19 Patients Kills 82 People -The Wall Street Journal

DC cops wreck their police vehicles while drag racing on duty: report - The New York Post

Close encounter: SpaceX craft almost nicked by UFO after launch in orbit - The New York Post

CEO of vaccine maker sold $10 million in stock before company ruined Johnson & Johnson doses - The Washington Post

India sets another daily covid case record; U.S. pledges help - The Washington Post

Israel examining heart inflammation cases in people who received Pfizer COVID shot - Reuters

European Union will let vaccinated Americans visit this summer - official - Reuters




Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

All Americans long for a safer world in which individual rights are respected and precious values flourish. But we're also realistic. We know we live in a troubled world and that we have global responsibilities. Our industries depend on energy and minerals from distant lands. Our prosperity requires a sound financial system and markets open to our goods. And our security is linked with the security of our allies and trading partners.


Radio Address to the Nation on United States Foreign Policy - April 7, 1984


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Happy Hour Saturday

 Florida is definitely different. 

Happy Hour
Jupiter Beach, FL
April 24, 2021

Chris and I wanted to visit one of our two favorite outside watering holes last evening and drove to find the first packed with people, not practicing social distancing or wearing face protection, and with loud music. 

We left and went to the other. 

We paid $5 to park with the promise of getting that about off our check at the end. 

It, too, was closely packed with little observation of social distancing or facial protection. And too loud music which made people shout to talk which added to the volume level.

We did not stay and chalked up the $5 to a life experience. After a short conversation we decided to spend Happy Hour at our favorite place--the beach. We packed up some munchies and beverages and headed to the surf and sand. There were a few others on the beac h, but it was far from crowded--it was in reality, empty except for two other groups on a mile long stretch of sand. 

We enjoyed the surf, which was rough and the birds and the conversation. We listened to our own music and just enjoyed the sights for a couple hours.

Next time we go searching for a place to enjoy Happy Hour, we will remember the beach.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Was it Really Friday

Finnegan at Blowing Rocks
Jupiter Island, Florida
April 23, 2021

 Yesterday was one of those strange days when it seemed as if it were already Saturday, but it was not.

I really do not want to rush my quick vacation too much, but it was a busy Friday--starting with the Space launch from the beach before dawn and ending after dark with friends in chatting in the kitchen. Wow. 

And in between I accomplished a lot of stuff.

All told, I made three trips to the beach never actually getting into the ocean or intracoastal during any of them. Finnegan posed on the Blowing Rocks for a quick picture during our morning beach walk. I am amazed how well he blended with the rocks!

And of course there were projects around the condo. Many projects. But we are just doing the things that need to be done after other people have been living in our space.

I am hoping for another great day, and I realize that it truly is Saturday! All day. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, April 23, 2021

And Away it Goes--SpaceX Launch

SpaceX Crew Dragon Mission 2
Jupiter, FL
April 23, 2021

For those of you wondering, I am no longer in Maryland. I am spending the weekend at my Florida condo.

This morning, Chris and I went to the beach before dawn to watch the SpaceX Crew Dragon Mission 2 launch. 

I have to admit, we were unsure exactly what we would see and I was concerned about the clouds to the north, but in the end it was fabulous! The clouds, while they obscured some of the fly-out, but they also made a beautiful canvass of the launch in the sky. 

Crew Dragon Mission 2 with
First Stage Burning for Landing Behind
Jupiter, FL
April 23, 2021

Thanks for the guys at work for helping my look in the right part of the sky.

I took some video--but was having problems with the camera on my phone and so I need to do some editing to make a decent movie. The fly out was spectacular, as you can see. We actually saw the first stage burning to land on the drone ship, but that is in the video and so the image I have here is a screen capture of lesser quality.

It was a beautiful launch and a beautiful morning. Launches during hours of darkness are the most spectacular!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Florida

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day


 Happy Earth Day!

It is good to make a minute and celebrate the planet that isa home to our species and all of the other species. There, so far, is not other. We need to take care of this one. 

We can live and respect our planet. 

It is short-sighted to trash our planet and environment today and expect succeeding generations to clean our mess. 


From the Earth Day website:

Since 1970, A Legacy of Environmental Action

The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life, giving birth to a broad new movement to protect the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event each year.

Earth Day 1970 led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.


Remember, the mess we make today someone else is going to have to clean tomorrow.

Celebrate Earth Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
My Zimbio
Top Stories