Friday, December 31, 2021

Headlong Journey


Palm Tree in the Morning Light
Tequesta, Florida
December 31, 2021
Yesterday began as unnumbered days before had begun: I woke up, wrote my blog, went to work and that is where it all changed. When I departed my place of employment for the past decades, I was no longer employed anymore; I had been promoted to a new status: retired.

The good-byes were hard and at times awkward, but sincere. I felt kind of like I did when my family dropped me off at college and we said our good-byes and they drove away. I will miss everyone and the relationships that have developed as we worked together. I do not want to lose touch, but I know that life gets in the way of good intentions too many times.

It was very weird driving away from the facility for the very last time, but I had so much to do to be on an evening flight to my Florida home that it kept me fairly occupied for the afternoon.

Note to self--no more late flights. We were delayed over an hour taking off because of baggage handling. Baltimore remains the worst airport that I traverse for baggage. I cannot fully understand how other airports can get bags off aircraft efficiently, but Baltimore cannot seem to manage the effort. 

It was exciting when the Lyft dropped us off in front of our condo and we walked through the door. I was home, again and beginning a new chapter of my life. 

I think I will go walk on the beach.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, December 30, 2021

It has Arrived

The last work day of the year has arrived! Tomorrow is a Holiday Observed, because New Year's Day is a Saturday, and is technically not a work day. 

I have been anxiously anticipating today with excitement, but now with some trepidation, as it the day is my last workday as I head off into retirement and away from the daily grind.

Being unemployed, or in my case retired, is a strange and very different concept for me. I have been fortunate to have been actively employed my entire adult life with the exception of Columbus Day weekend 1998. I had left my contractor job the Friday prior and did not start my government job until the Tuesday after the holiday. So I was unemployed for a weekend and a holiday. That is until Saturday, January 1st, when I will be officially retired at the stroke of midnight concurrent with the start of the new year. 

The off ramp, therefore, is in sight and the new highway is just ahead. Today is, hopefully, my last in a series of lasts and tomorrow begins my first in a series of new firsts and adventures.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Sliding through the last Week

Amazingly, Hump Day has arrived for both the last week of the year and the last week of my full-time employment. 

I am so busy getting ready for the end of the year and the beginning of the new year that I almost did not notice that Hump Day had arrived. 

It is amazing that, as my headlong rush towards retirement continues, the days do not seem to be getting longer, but rather each day is racing past so quickly that I barely can keep up. There is so much to do and the world keeps turning with new excitement at every turn. 

I had begun counting down the hours, but gave up because the hours were spinning past too fast. 

The year is coming to a conclusion. The book of 2021 will soon be complete and it will be another in a long series of years that I have enjoyed. I am staring the COVID monster straight in the eye preparing to go on a cruise with parts of my family. Other parts of the family are slogging through the COVID wastelands of Disney trying to enjoy total escapism while keeping a wary eye on infection rates. 

And so the year draws to a close. Hour by hour. 

Hold fast to the memories before they slip away and are too soon gone. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ending as it Began

 The year, is ending the way it began with the news being about COVID. 

It seems that the country continues to blame the government when the citizens are unwilling to do what they are asked to do to stem the infection. It is kinda f like the experts are saying do this--and the uninformed are saying No, we don't want to and then complaining that COVID is running out of control. 

That, friends is a no win situation. Until people do what they are asked to do there is no reason to blame the government for not having a plan. There is a plan--follow it and get vaccinated. 

And the continued stream of misinformation is actually killing people. 

For instance, I came across this insightful article about interpreting death rates.

How do death rates from COVID-19 differ between people who are vaccinated and those who are not?

From the article comes this example:

Why we need to compare the rates of death between vaccinated and unvaccinated

During a pandemic, you might see headlines like “Half of those who died from the virus were vaccinated”.

It would be wrong to draw any conclusions about whether the vaccines are protecting people from the virus based on this headline. The headline is not providing enough information to draw any conclusions.

Let’s think through an example to see this.

Imagine we live in a place with a population of 60 people.

Then we learn that 10 people died. And we learn that 50% of them were vaccinated.

The newspaper may run the headline “Half of those who died from the virus were vaccinated”. But this headline does not tell us anything about whether the vaccine is protecting people or not.

To be able to say anything, we also need to know about those who did not die: how many people in this population were vaccinated? And how many were not vaccinated?
Base rate fallacy explanation 03

Now we have all the information we need and can calculate the death rates:

  • of 10 unvaccinated people, 5 died → the death rate among the unvaccinated is 50%
  • of 50 vaccinated people, 5 died → the death rate among the vaccinated is 10%

We therefore see that the death rate among the vaccinated is 5-times lower than among the unvaccinated.

In the example, we invented numbers to make it simple to calculate the death rates. But the same logic applies also in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Comparisons of the absolute numbers, as some headlines do, is making a mistake that’s known in statistics as a ‘base rate fallacy’: it ignores the fact that one group is much larger than the other. It is important to avoid this mistake, especially now, as in more and more countries the number of people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 is much larger than the number of people who are unvaccinated (see our vaccination data). 

This example was illustrating how to think about these statistics in a hypothetical case. Below, you can find the real data for the situation in the COVID-19 pandemic now.

As can be seen, many people misinterpret the data. 

Here is the current chart (as current as I can find) for the United States:

The death rates among unvaccinated is much higher than fully vaccinated and digging further into the data it can be assessed that many of the fully vaccinated deaths have underlying complications, as in the case of Colin Powell.

So--the plan is get vaccinated, if you choose not to get vaccinated don't try to say the government doesn't have a plan. Your exercise of your rights is killing people and maybe yourself. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 27, 2021

Monday Musings - December 27, 2021


1. It is the last Monday of December AND of 2021. There are no Mondays remaining in the year and next Monday will be the first Monday of 2022. 

Wine Bottle Lock Puzzle
2. I received a special wine bottle lock for Christmas and I used it to lock up one of Chris's favorite bottles. She has to unlock it before she can drink it. It is making her crazy!  

3. Family Weekend Sports Report


   Ravens (8-7) lose to Bengals (9-6), 21-41

   Steelers (7-7-1) lose to Chiefs (11-4), 36-10

   Cowboys (11-4) defeat Washington (6-9), 56-14

Premier League

   Arsenal (11-2-6) defeats Norwich City (2-4-12), 5-0

4. 60 Minutes ran an interesting article about how climate change affects wine grape growing. One expert suggested that he could trace climate change by how wine regions are changing.

5. This is a week that I am normally on vacation burning up use-or-lose leave, but this year I am saving every hour for a retirement gift to myself.

6. If everything works out, next week's blog will be written from a cabin on a cruise ship docked in the Bahamas. My first Monday as a retired person and I will be out of the country! Let's get the new year started with a trip. I have been waiting almost all year for this to happen.

7. Today in History. December 27, 1932. At the height of the Great Depression, thousands turn out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall, a magnificent Art Deco theater in New York City. Radio City Music Hall was designed as a palace for the people, a place of beauty where ordinary people could see high-quality entertainment. Since its 1932 opening, more than 300 million people have gone to Radio City to enjoy movies, stage shows, concerts and special events.

Radio City Music Hall was the brainchild of the billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who decided to make the theater the cornerstone of the Rockefeller Complex he was building in a formerly derelict neighborhood in midtown Manhattan. The theater was built in partnership with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and designed by Donald Deskey. The result was an Art Deco masterpiece of elegance and grace constructed out of a diverse variety of materials, including aluminum, gold foil, marble, permatex, glass, and cork. Geometric ornamentation is found throughout the theater, as is Deskey’s central theme of the “Progress of Man.” The famous Great Stage, measuring 60 feet wide and 100 feet long, resembles a setting sun. Its sophisticated system of hydraulic-powered elevators allowed spectacular effects in staging, and many of its original mechanisms are still in use today.

Omicron Pushes Daily Covid-19 Cases Higher, Disrupts Holiday Travel - The Wall Street Journal

Early Holiday Shopping Helps Offset Omicron Damper - The Wall Street Journal

Developer of Manhattan Supertall Condo Says It’s ‘Without a Doubt, Safe,’ Countering $125 Million Lawsuit From Condo Board - The Wall Street Journal

Desmond Tutu, Whose Voice Helped Slay Apartheid, Dies at 90 - The New York Times

Pandemic and foul weather complicate travel as people try to head home - The Washington Post

Thousands who ‘followed the rules’ are about to get covid. They shouldn’t be ashamed. - The Washington Post

Fenway Bowl canceled after Virginia withdraws amid coronavirus concerns - The Washington Post

Swiss to allow simple legal gender transition from Jan. 1 - Reuters

Wall Street grapples with return-to-office conundrum as Omicron explodes - Reuters

Be Safe and get Vaccinated!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 26, 2021

To the Beach and Beyond


Image of a Card I Received
While the day has passed, Christmas, the season is not over. I know it seems like we are in the great post-holiday let down, but take heart--the season continues. 

Today is celebrated as Boxing Day in many countries and is also known as St. Stephen's Day (or the Feast of Stephen). And so the celebration of the season continues. At least we know what day Good King Wenceslas went out.

Our family will continue the season by celebrating Christmas 2021, the Redo, on January 16th! Due to the quarantine of multiple family members we will attempt to gather for a big holiday meal and complete gift exchanging on that date.

Until then, I guess I will be another bird on the beach, hopefully. 

I am looking forward to 80 degree temperatures and beaches. I am hopeful of being on a beach to celebrate the New Year.

The season will continue as long as we choose to continue to revel in the joy.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas 2021

Christmas Morning at Home
Elkridge, MD
December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas 2021

What a year! It began with an insurrection and ended with the resurgence of the pandemic in the form of the Omicron Variant. In between there were trials and murders and unrest making it a turbulent world. It can sometimes be hard to find peace amongst all of the upheaval and unrest.

But this morning when I walked downstairs after waking, Chris had the room set like a Norman Rockwell scene. A classic Christmas with the tree alight and a fire in the fireplace.  It was a great start to the morning with a cup of coffee and, well, yes another mimosa. 

I received a surprise gift of an Apple Watch--a retirement gift since I cannot wear it into where I work. But, I only have about 28 hours of actual work time left before I'm retired, officially. Mentally I think I may have checked out last week after my retirement ceremony. 

I pray that each of you are having a good holiday. It can be a very difficult time of the year for a multitude of reasons. Some of my family members are quarantined and we have been working to celebrate the season with each of them. 

May the blessings of the season be with each of you and may you most importantly find peace and hope--because that is the true message of the season: 

There is Hope!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021


Another pandemic Christmas has arrived and just when we thought we had this virus under control, it twists and reminds us that we do not.

I confess, it is easy to get depressed about what we may not be doing and why we may not be seeing as the magical morning arrives, but I think we need to look at the situation through another lens. 

COVID has worked its way into parts of the family, but we are smart enough to change our plans and recognize the potential threat while still maintaining the contact. I think we will be reading The Polar Express tonight via Zoom rather than gathered together around a Christmas tree. 

We have so much to be thankful for and so many plans and expectations. We must be careful not to lose the holiday perseverating about what we are not doing. Sure, there will not be a big extravagant brunch today nor a huge meal and gift exchange tomorrow. And I will miss them. But, I make the best French Toast in the world and I have a lot of bubbly ready for mimosas and so brunch will still be served--just on a smaller scale.


Merry Christmas--find a reason to be happy and share the spirit, even if your plans have changed.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Trash Truck, School Bus, and a Crazy Wednesday


It was the Wednesday before Christmas and the ice on my windshield caused me to run the truck for a few minutes before heading out. As it turned out I let the truck idle about one minute too long. 

Driving up the street I encountered a trash truck--stopped in the middle of the street with vehicles on both sides of the street and no way to get past. I had to wait, a bit impatiently I might add because I knew that the school bus was due to slide up the cross street and begin its daily rounds of picking up students. When that happens, it adds about 10 minutes to my commute and I was already borderline later than I wanted to be for the day.

Once the trash truck cleared the street and traffic began to move I saw the school bus--right on time, slide through and block the intersection. 

Normally, I would be fuming and working on giving myself an ulcer or a stroke, but yesterday I took the approach, oh well there is precious little I can do about it and tried too find something interesting to listen to on the radio. 

Maybe I was calmer because it was three days before Christmas, or that my retirement ceremony was the day before and I am in the role of "playing out the string."

Well, it was a good day and I'm glad that I was able to contain the eruption which usually occurs and not let it ruin the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Ceremony


The Banner Chris Put Up for Me
Elkridge, MD
December 21, 2021
What an emotional day. 

My official retirement ceremony was conducted yesterday. And for the afternoon we met at a local establishment for the "after party."

My emotions during the ceremony were barely under control. I was honored, humbled, and awed. 

It seems almost as if I just arrived at the organization yesterday, yet I have been fortunate to work for the same group for more than two decades--my second career, but my true calling. Due to COVID, I could not invite everyone that I desired to my actual ceremony and I do not have pictures to share--but, and I have been to many retirement ceremonies and I have been part of conducting more than a few, everyone made mine special and it is a send off that I will not forget and one that I deeply appreciate. 

Left to my own devices, I probably would have just slipped quietly out the door on my last day (which is still to come) without much fanfare. A simple good-bye while forcing the tears back is what I think I would have done--but, yesterday drove home something that I have always known--retirement ceremonies are as much for those who remain behind and for those being honored. And I have to admit, spending time recounting the impact of what our team has done made me proud to have been part of it. Not in terms of activities, but in terms of people and lives and creating a work family.

It was pure coincidence that Winter began one minute before the start of the ceremony. 

And then there was the after party where more of my friends and coworkers (past and present) attended and we talked of old times and the future. I am glad I limited the party to a few hours or I likely would still be there not wanting it to end. 

Thank you to all who helped make the day special.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


 I got out Saturday for a bit to play some racquetball at the outdoor courts. 

I don't usually write of my exploits on the racquetball court but it had been a couple months since I last played and I have not been golfing either. My game was rough--but it always is rough anymore, I do not play enough since I only play outdoor courts and between the darkness, weather, and schedules finding a time to play has become increasingly difficult. 

It was a cool day and I believe I managed to acquire a head cold from the play--but, most importantly I had fun smacking the ball around the court. The courses at Atholton have been refurbished and it was nice to actually be able to see the ball in the corners. 

The first two games were, in a word, miserable. I lost the two games by a score of 30-8. If you know anything about racquetball you know that games are usually played to 15, so do the math, I sucked. There was one stretch across the two games where I gave up 16 straight points!

The last two games were better. We split--the games and the points. The combined score for the two games was 29-29.

A solid ending for my last racquetball outing of 2021.

One wonders what 2022 will bring?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday Musings - December 20, 2021

1. It is the third Monday of December and one Monday remains in the month and the year.

2. It is Christmas week and the final preparations are being made. Be careful not to make your holiday a super-spreader event.

3. Family Sports Report


    Ravens (8-6) lost to Packers (11-3), 30-31

    Cowboys 10-4 defeated Giants (4-10), 21-6

    Steelers (7-6-1) defeat Titans (9-5), 19-13

    Washington (6-7) play Eagles (6-7) Tuesday


    Penguins (16-8-5) defeat Devils (10-14-5), 3-2

    Premier League

    Arsenal (10-2-6) defeats Leeds (3-7-8), 4-1

4. Omicron is the word of the day and it appears intent on driving us back to draconian measures.

5. For those interested, my Mom's obituary was published in the Ithaca Journal yesterday. 

6. Is the race over yet? 

7. Today in History. On December 20, 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presleyreceives his draft notice for the United States Army.

With a suggestive style—one writer called him “Elvis the Pelvis”—a hit movie, Love Me Tender, and a string of gold records including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” Presley had become a national icon, and the world’s first bona fide rock-and-roll star, by the end of 1956. As the Beatles’ John Lennon once famously remarked: “Before Elvis, there was nothing.” The following year, at the peak of his career, Presley received his draft notice for a two-year stint in the army. Fans sent tens of thousands of letters to the army asking for him to be spared, but Elvis would have none of it. He received one deferment–during which he finished working on his movie King Creole–before being sworn in as an army private in Memphis on March 24, 1958.

Stock Futures, Oil Prices Fall on Omicron Curbs - The Wall Street Journal

Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting at Furious Rate, New Study Shows - The Wall Street Journal

Europe Keeps Its Ski Slopes Open Despite Omicron - The Wall Street Journal

Britain is weighing another round of restrictions as Omicron surges amid political turmoil. - The New York Times

Billions in Amtrak Funding Could Modernize Aging Rail System - The New York Times

Moderna says booster dose appears protective against Omicron - Reuters

Europe weighs Christmas curbs as Omicron sweeps continent - Reuters

China says Taiwan is a 'wanderer' that will eventually come home - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 19, 2021


Baltimore Inner Harbor
December 18, 2021

 If I am voluntarily visiting a Christkindlmarkt, it must be Christmas.

Baltimore has a small, but nice, market right on the Inner Harbor that Chris and I enjoyed yesterday. 

It was the first time we had been in Baltimore in quite a while. With the Orioles tanking through the summer, there really had not been any reason to head down to Baltimore where parking is almost as expensive as it in in New York City. 

We wandered around the market, enjoyed some gluhwein and a pretzel, picked up some candles for our pyramids, and spent too much on parking. Finnegan accompanied us and, with the exception of a nasty corgi, he had a good time as well. 

Arriving before 11 AM there were no crowds and not all of the shops were open, but by about noon the place was fully bustling as can be seen from the image. It was good to be outside doing something different and celebrating the season. Inside of the tent, admission required, was a nicely stocked Kathe Wohlfahrt store with classic German Christmas decorations and pyramids from Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We remembered visiting the store in Rothenburg on two occasions while we were stationed in Germany. 

It was fun to do something different on a gray almost-Winter day. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Friday--the Last

 Yesterday was a significant day. It was the last Friday that I will be working. The next two Fridays are holidays "observed"--and so the 17th was the last time I will enjoy announcing to my coworkers that it is Friday. 

As a solace, I still retain two opportunities to announce Happy Friday Eve--for the two Thursdays remaining in the month. And I know there are coworkers, and former coworkers, who cringe every Thursday when I attempt to get into the weekend mindset a day early.

Well, it's over now. There are just 8 work days remaining in my career and two of those are likely going to be abbreviated while another one or two will be filled with retirement celebrations. 

People ask me if I'm excited. 


Do I have some nervousness? Yes.

Chris and I have been planning my retirement for two years, so we are executing a plan that we have developed and refined for a while now. It is not like it is a knee-jerk retirement.

The last Friday at work is over and the future is in front of me!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 17, 2021

Thankfully there is YouTube

Error on the Microwave

The dreaded words were heard uttered last evening: "Bob, the microwave is broken."

Looking up from my computer while seated in my chair I cringed. Ugh. Another broken appliance. Merry Christmas, I thought.

And the troubleshooting began. I tried all of the usual tricks and I even cycled the power to no avail. 

It was a strange fault, when the start button was activated the microwave provided a fault saying "open/close door then press start." Which did not start the microwave. And I admit, I may have tried it multiple times. There is something weird about doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. 

My initial diagnosis? A bad circuit board.

But wait--let's check the internet.

And I am thankful that I did. I found a YouTube video talking through fixing the exact error code I was getting on my exact microwave! Hope was rising. The video was only 2m30s long meaning it was likely a simple fix. I watched the video and could not believe what it was telling me:

The diagnosis: dirty door sensor. The remedy? Damp paper towel cleaning.

Could it really be that simple? 

Turns out it was. 

Crisis averted and the microwave has returned to its previously consistent performance.

Thanks YouTube! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Temporary Goodbye


Outside the Hotel
Orlando, FL
December 16, 2021

I am departing Florida this morning. It always makes me sad to leave the Sunshine State and head back north, but on the other hand it is good to go home.

It was another short trip, although longer than my previous 38-hour whirlwind. I am heartened that I will return before the end of the month. And then a cruise to start the new year 


I love the sun in the palms this morning outside of the hotel. And the blue sky. 

I’m in the airport now sitting here staring out the window at the jets, the palms, a water feature, blue sky, and warm sun knowing that I am headed back to cold temperatures and gray. But the sunshine will be in my heart. 

—Bob Doan, Orlando International Airport, Florida

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Out the Hotel Window - Orlando


Out the Hotel Window
Orlando, Florida
December 14, 2021

I was assigned to the worst room with a view in the hotel. It is right above the lobby looking out over the portico. The view is, well, terrible.

I am staying at one of my preferred hotels, one that includes breakfast. The room is very nice and spacious but the view is, well, less than enjoyable.  

Orlando Airport
December 14, 2021
It really is not an issue, this time because this is a work-associated trip and I will not be in the room very long. In fact I expect to depart today before sunrise and return after dark. At least I can see the sky.

The view from one of the Orlando Airport Hotel rooms would have been much better--at least they had a Christmas Tree to enjoy in the middle of all of the airport activity.

A quick story. As we were landing yesterday the cabin crew on the Southwest flight made the announcement: "Look out the right side of the aircraft, you can look out the left side too, you will see palm trees and green grass and no snow. Welcome to Florida." They made me smile. Their rendition of "Southwest the Friendly Airline" sung to the tune of "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" so entertained me that I forgot to record it for posterity.

At least the view from the jet and the entertainment was better than the view out my hotel window.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Take Heart, the Finish Line is in Sight

Well, as Tuesday rolls around I am becoming more concerned about the Christmas gifts remaining to be procured. 

Frankly, I am out of ideas.

I admit, I'm a bit distracted with what has transpired during the past few days--but the headlong rush to Christmas has not slowed. The finish line is there, a short 11 days away. But of course everything needs to be done 2 days prior because of our family's traditions which also encompass the entirety of Christmas Eve.

I can feel Chris's stress as well as she deals with the multitude of tasks: meals, gifts, logistics, schedules, impending travel. I am luckier as I get to deal with all of those things and work. 

Thank goodness for my bike--I have committed to getting up early to workout not only for conditioning but for stress relief. 

Here is to everyone similarly afflicted by "this most wonderful time of the year." 

Take heart, the finish line is in sight!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, December 13, 2021

Monday Musings - December 13, 2021


1. Welcome to Monday all over again. Today begins the last full workweek of the year. There are two Mondays remaining in 2021. 

2. Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and sympathy over the passing of my Mom. Your thoughts and prayers have really helped as I remember my Mom,  the great woman of faith and tower of strength.

Patrick and Chris at the Cowboys-Washington Game
FEDEX Field, Landover, MD
December 12, 2021
3. Family NFL Results. It was a rough week, only one of the family teams managed a victory.

    Ravens (8-5) lose to Browns (7-6) 22-24

    Steelers (6-6-1) lose to Vikings (6-7) 28-36

    Cowboys (9-4) defeat Washington (6-7) 27-20

4. Two of our family were able to enjoy the Cowboys vs Washington Football Team game from the stadium yesterday. We did identify them on TV in their end zone seats. It was fun to know that members of the family were at the game cheering for the visitors while the remainder of us were gathered together rooting for the home team.

5. The darkness continues to expand its grip on the region, but in just two short weeks the Solstice will occur and light will begin returning.

6. Today in History. Vice President Al Gore concedes defeat to George W. Bush in his bid for the presidency, following weeks of legal battles over the recounting of votes in Florida, on December 13, 2000.

In a televised speech from his ceremonial office next to the White House, Gore said that while he was deeply disappointed and sharply disagreed with the Supreme Court verdict that ended his campaign, ”partisan rancor must now be put aside.”

“I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College” he said. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”

 The U.S. Needs a Hypersonic Capability Now - The Wall Street Journal

The evidence so far indicates that Omicron spreads faster than other variants. Here’s what we know. - The New York Times

Chris Wallace Leaves Fox News as Right-Wing Hosts Hold Sway - The New York Times

Meadows Was Deeply Involved in Fighting Election Outcome, Jan. 6 Panel Says - The New York Times

Omicron could become dominant variant by next week in some European countries, officials predict - The Washington Post

Vaccine holdouts in U.S. military active-duty ranks approach 40,000 - The Washington Post

'Phenomenal' Omicron spread accounts for 40% of London infections - Reuters

Two cargo ships collide in Baltic fog, rescue underway - Reuters

Starbucks shuts two China outlets after reports they used expired ingredients - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Memories of Mom

August 16, 2013
It is with sadness that I share news of the passing of my Mom, Sidney J. Doan. 

Sadness because the world has lost one of the most faith-filled, genuine women to be found almost anywhere and because her passing leaves a hole in the hearts of all who knew her and especially her family and my Dad, her husband of 67 years. She was my Mom.

But there is joy in her passing because she is now free from the most terrible disease I can think of, Alzheimer's, which robbed her of her memories and stole her quality of life leaving her a mere specter of her former vibrant, independent self. The disease took Mom from our family before her time. But she is now free, having changed her address to an eternal one this morning.

She was the last of her generation, all of her siblings have passed on before her. She was unique and one of a kind. She had to be strong and able to win a battle of wills because she was my Mom and I was not the easiest kid to parent. She set clear goals for me and my siblings when we were young and I can say we each achieved the goals she set out for us. She helped navigate our family through the obstacles that life threw in front of us with a sense of drive and determination that rubbed off on me. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Race is On


Start your engines and get dust off the keys on the computer and get the shopping finished. It is two weeks until Christmas. 

I guess that it is time to get serious about Christmas because the race has already begun and I am still at the starting line.

Santa is going to come, of that I am sure. But it may be a photo finish. 

I hope you are ahead of me. I guess that I am not really still at the starting line, I have gifts for my parents which have already arrived at their destination and are ready for the BIG day. And, I have one for Chris which should be delivered today. I also have some ideas--which need to translate into physical gifts. 

Who said that it is the most wonderful time of the year? I find it stressful. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday Comes Again

 What is not to love about the beginning of the weekend. 

And it is going to be a busy weekend, just two weekends before Christmas. There is a lot to do and some fun to enjoy along the way.

I am looking forward to attending the Capitals-Penguins hockey game this evening. I have not been to a hockey game is a few years--since the Capitals raised their seat prices to keep Penguins fans from attending. I remember one game a few years ago when there seemed to be more Penguins fans in the Capitals arena than there were hometown fans. I am sure to be in a minority tonight, but the change to see again some of the greatest NHL players of all time will be fantastic. 

And then there is a birthday celebration tomorrow in Annapolis at an Escape Room followed by some time wandering through a German-style Christmas Market which should be fun. And wet, it may rain. I remember fondly the Christkindle Marts in Germany we used to enjoy during the season. 

As Christmas rolls closer I am on the lookout for that special gift for someone special. 

BTW, important safety tip: Two weeks from today is Christmas Eve! Be ready!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Shopping Panic Grows


I don't know if anyone else is having "shoppers block" this year, but I definitely am. I cannot think of the perfect gift for the people on my shopping list. I actually think that is happening to a lot of other people due to the number of gift cards that are being purchased. 

I troll Amazon looking for ideas and draw a blank. I have not really had time to hit the shopping mall--except once and then Chris and I arrived after 7pm and most of the stores were closed. Who does that during the Christmas shopping season? It was very strange to walk around a shopping mall during what used to be prime shopping hours and have it mostly deserted. Only the anchor stores and the Apple Store were open. No wonder people are shopping on line. We had been to dinner at a restaurant on the mall's periphery and decided to knock-out some shopping afterwards only to be thwarted. 

So I am stymied. I have some ideas, but I am failing at execution. 

And this morning I realized that there are only two Fridays remaining until Christmas! It is really hard when Christmas is at the beginning of a weekend! I lost a weekend's worth of shopping opportunity. I feel as if there should be 15 shopping days until Christmas, but with shipping times there are really only about 6. Ugh!

OK, it is officially time to panic!!!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Out with a Bang

Fireworks with a Bang
Elkridge, MD
July 4, 2021
The year is sliding inevitably towards its end and I am beginning to review the things that I have been involved with this past year. 

It was a fairly sedate year without major travel, just a few trips to Jupiter and two trips to Houston. I am planning on changing that for 2022 starting by the year off with a Caribbean cruise, if the COVID protocols allow. 

As I looked through the pictures that I took during 2021 I noticed a few things. I did not play enough golf. I lost two points on my handicap as a result and I need to remedy that. I saw a really cool space launch from the beach in Jupiter. I took too many pictures of my newly mowed lawn. I enjoyed coaching baseball again this Autumn. I miss the cicadas only because they were impossible to control and it made me laugh about how many people complained about them even knowing they would soon be gone for another 17 years. 

I began clearing my office, seriously, yesterday. I brought the first box of treasures home and it is all really beginning to sink in--when the year ends my daily life will change dramatically and I get to reinvent myself, again.

I think I am going to buy a real bicycle and ride outside, rather than just on my NordicTrack bike. So I need a lot of riding gear for Christmas--and a bike, of course. 

Waking up that first Monday in January as a retired person on a cruise ship at Coco Cay will be awesome as well. I likely won't even think about being at work. Not!

It will be weird! And different. At least I'm going to figure out how to go out with a bang.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Eighty Years


Sailors, planes and a huge ball of fire and smoke atwreckage-strewn Naval Air Station, Hawaii, following 
one of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A date that will live in infamy forever.

 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Eighty years ago today the Japanese Empire conducted a largely successful surprise attack upon the the U.S. forces stationed in Hawaii that brought the United States fully into World War II.

2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded during this surprise attack which began before 8 AM Hawaii time on a Sunday morning. 

Pause today and think about how lives were transformed in just a few minutes as the idyllic tropical islands were transformed and thrust onto the frontline of the world at war. 

The attack on Pearl Harbor remains an event that must never be forgotten, not so much for who conducted the attack, but more because of how and why it happened.

Take a moment today and read or reread an account of the attack in memory of those who served and lost their lives, whose world was turned upside down within a few moments on what served as a gateway for the U.S. to fully engage and enter World War II. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories