Sunday, February 28, 2021

Aaron and the Golden Calf - Updated

It being Sunday, a particular history lesson from the Bible struck me this morning. It is in Exodus 32.

It is about how the people of Israel, after being led from slavery in Egypt while they were on their journey to the promised land, in the absence of Moses while he was atop the mountain communing with God and getting the commandments, grew fearful and needed something to worship. The made their own god from gold. The golden calf and they worshipped it. 

God wanted to destroy the people for their sin and lack of faith--but Moses interceded for them. Many still died atoning for the sin, but the people continued and remembered the valuable lesson.

Why did this particular history lesson come to mind this morning?

A similar thing in happening in America right now. A golden calf has been constructed and people are worshipping it. One of our political parties, of which I used to be a member, has abrogated its history of service to the Republic and has become a cult devoted to a man. 

And now, the modern day equivalent of the golden calf has been made in order to worship the man. And he has a golden scepter in his hand with a star on it. I can only imagine what this means, but the President of the United States does not rule with a scepter in his hand, only kings and despots need a scepter to affirm their leadership status. 

The history lesson ends as follows:

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. (Exodus 32:35)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 27, 2021

It's Melting


The Last Snow in My Yard
Elkridge, MD
February 27, 2021
It is melting--the snow, I mean.

Much like the Wicked Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz, the rain is rapidly melting the snow. 

I am not a huge fan of rain on the weekends, but in this case--I'm good with it because it is hastening the demise of the white scourge. 

I am happy to see it all go--and even though this winter had more snow than the last three combined, it was still a relatively light winter. The snow thrower only had to really work for one storm.

I am fully prepared for warmer temperatures and longer days. 

Baseball is back and so it is only fitting that the snow melt and warmer weather arrives. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 26, 2021

Racing for the Weekend


Well, it is Friday again and one business day stands between me and the weekend. 

I look forward to Friday evenings and celebrating the weekend's start with friends. 

With the great weather of the past few days, I'm believing that golf season is not far away. As soon as I am able I need to get out there and start swinging my clubs. I am looking forward to hitting the little white ball around the course again and into ponds, trees, and out of bounds. Occasionally, I even hit important things like fairways and greens. 

Elkridge 10 Day Weather Forecast

Looking out 10 days, it seems that Spring has truly arrived. Every day, with two exceptions is showing high temperatures in the 50's or above! 

For now, it is time to get in gear for the weekend and to dream of the arrival of the month of March with the promise of warmer temperatures and the Springtime.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Taste of Springtime

Yesterday was a day designed to incite a severe case of Spring fever. It was a glorious day. The official temperature in Baltimore was a balmy 63 degrees. This was the first 60 degree day in the region since mid-December.

It was awesome and a great harbinger of better days to come. 

There was something great about coming out of the workplace at the end of the day and being greeted by a warmer breeze. There was a coolness to it--but not the frigid cold slap in the face that I have been experiencing. 

Chris and I enjoyed the evening, watching the sunset from our back porch with a glass of wine. It is something that we have not done since Winter began. But, the warmer days are coming. 

I hope we see warmer temperatures again soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Summer is Coming

Yesterday, my first wine shipment of summertime wines arrived. I ordered it from one of my favorite Virginia wineries when they announced it was available.  

It is the 2020 Crose from King Family Vineyards and it is a true  summertime wine. It is to be enjoyed on a hot summer's day around the pool or watching a polo match at the winery. 

It is exciting to think about summer coming and realize that in just 24 short days Spring officially begins! And the season of the darkness will be ended and life can begin again for another cycle. 

It is then that I will begin thinking about opening the pool and ensuring that the lawn tractor, instead of the snow thrower, is full of gas and ready for operation. 

The signs are pointing to the end of a too long winter.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tuesday, Again

I can always feel it when the week gets off to a fast start and suddenly, for no apparent reason, it is suddenly Tuesday. 

And it is Tuesday.

I struggle with Tuesday. It is the one day of the week that just does not seem to have a unique identity.

Monday is the beginning of the week. I had a boss whose favorite day of the week was Monday. It made the day fun.

Wednesday is Hump Day--the mid-point of the week.

Thursday is Friday-eve

Friday is the end of the workweek and signifies the beginning of the weekend by sponsoring Happy Hour. 

Leaving only Tuesday without an identity. 

It must be terrible to be a day of the week and not have an identity. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musings - February 22, 2021

1. Welcome to the last Monday of February. Hopefully the weather will begin to moderate and get warmer from this point forward. 

2. Daylight Saving Time will return on March 14th. I can almost feel the warmer weather.

3. Chris and I have received our second COVID vaccine! We are happy to join the growing number of Americans, now up to 18.9 million, who are fully vaccinated and committed to eradicating the coronavirus as a threat to our society by developing herd immunity.

4. I have just finished a week of "taking it easy" after undergoing a surgical procedure--I am looking forward to getting back to work and resuming life while I finish healing. Hopefully, I will be fully healed and ready to get on the racquetball court and golf course as the weather improves. 

5. Roses really brighten the day. The ones I purchased for Chris to celebrate Valentines Day are still making the room bright. 

6. I am ready to start traveling again. I realized that except for Florida and a quick trip to New York, I have not traveled anywhere in over as year! I need to add more images to my Out the Hotel Window series.

7. Today in History. February 22, 1980-- The Miracle on Ice. In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.

Boeing Tells Airlines to Ground Some 777s After Engine Failure - The Wall Street Journal

China Deploys Covid-19 Vaccine to Build Influence, With U.S. on Sidelines - The Wall Street Journal

How Texas’ Drive for Energy Independence Set It Up for Disaster - The New York Times

A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000 - The New York Times

Impeachment is over. But other efforts to reckon with Trump’s post-election chaos have just begun. - The Washington Post

In a gray, empty Paris, this corner shop’s colorful posters transport you wherever you want to go - The Washington Post

Strike grips Myanmar, anti-coup protesters defy junta's lethal warning - Reuters

Boeing 747 cargo plane drops engine parts in Netherlands, investigation launched - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

But let us turn briefly to the international arena. America's leadership in the world came to us because of our own strength and because of the values which guide us as a society: free elections, a free press, freedom of religious choice, free trade unions, and above all, freedom for the individual and rejection of the arbitrary power of the state. These values are the bedrock of our strength. They unite us in a stewardship of peace and freedom with our allies and friends in NATO , in Asia, in Latin America, and elsewhere. They are also the values which in the recent past some among us had begun to doubt and view with a cynical eye.

Ronald Reagan's Second State of the Union Speech, January 25, 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Cold and Palm Trees

According to a Wall Street Journal article this morning, a disaster was averted yesterday.

United Flight Lands in Denver Following Engine Failure Shortly After Takeoff

USA Today Photo of Flight 328 Debris
The flight was bound for Honolulu leaving from Denver and suffered a catastrophic engine failure that saw parts of the engine fall into neighborhoods about 20 miles away from the airport. A testament to solid engineering and great training, the pilots returned the giant Boeing 777-200 to the airport and there were no reported injuries. 

I could envision myself on that flight intent upon escaping the cold for the palm trees of Hawaii. What a crushing thing to have happen, and yet, I would feel fantastic that nothing truly catastrophic occurred. 

The headline of the WSJ understated the magnitude of the failure. The engine did not just fail--it catastrophically failed. There are images of engine parts in people's yards. There are also some incredible videos of the failure.

Thankfully, it was not the disaster that it could have been. 

See, there is good news out there.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 20, 2021


When can I get vaccinated? 

That seems to be the question on the minds of many Americans. Chris and I were diligently searching before we scored the vaccine a couple weeks ago and the sense of relief that we have felt since receiving our first injection has been very real. Of course we were both lucky to be in one of the groups for which vaccines were being made available. 

I understand that there are some categories of people who cannot for valid medical reasons get the vaccine. I understand that and I feel it is everyone else's responsibility to get vaccinated to protect them and develop "herd immunity."

Americans, we have done this before--

I remember the Swine Flu vaccination program of 1976 which saw us getting vaccinated in parking lots around the country. Many of the concerns related to the current COVID-19 vaccination program are an outgrowth of that experience, but while the Swine Flu of 1976 really didn't materialize, I think it is clear that the COVID-19 is real and vaccination offers the only real hope of defeating it and its mutant strains.

I hope everyone can get vaccinated soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 19, 2021

Back to Mars

Perseverance on Mars
Artist Conception of the Landing
Perseverance has landed!

Despite COVID-19 the largest spaceship ever to land on Mars completed its complicated landing yesterday in dramatic fashion as the United States once again exhibited its technological dominance in the exploration of the Solar System. 

Launched last year on July 30th at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spacecraft landed on Mars yesterday after a descent which is what they call "seven minutes of terror." It became the 8th craft to successfully land on the surface of Mars and the fifth U.S. rover. 

And, as they say in the gymnastics world, it stuck the landing!

Some excitement amid the deep winter storms and pandemic!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 18, 2021

As the Days Go On


Sometimes it seems that the days just drag on from one to another in an endless procession.

The COVID pandemic has highlighted how we are a social a people and we are each experiencing how much has been ripped from us as we ensure personal distancing and limit contact with other humans. 

And then there are the winter storms racing through the region. The 5-8 inches of expected snow for today has resolved to sleet and freezing rain again with little accumulation. 

Just another day in Maryland.

The storms are raging across the country and it will be a good day to just remain in the house and watch the precipitation fall from the sky. But, that also limits human contact. 

And so the days continue until summer when, hopefully, we will again be able to go to baseball games and theaters. We will no longer be cautious around others. 

That is the dream.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Texas Tragedy


The Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn’t see the need to prepare for cold weather

After reading the above article in The Washington Post, I believe that the reason millions of Texans have no electricity to heat their homes during this unprecedented cold snap is simply corporate greed. 

It is a tragedy.

And it could have been prevented. 

Sadly, even in the middle of another crisis where people are dying the urge to obfuscate the truth took over. The Washington Post article reports:

Fossil fuel groups and their Republican allies blamed the power failures on frozen wind turbines and warned against the supposed dangers of alternative power sources. Some turbines did in fact freeze — though Greenland and other northern outposts are able to keep theirs going through the winter.

But wind accounts for just 10 percent of the power in Texas generated during the winter. And the loss of power to the grid caused by shutdowns of thermal power plants, primarily those relying on natural gas, dwarfed the dent caused by frozen wind turbines, by a factor of five or six.

As the cold hit, demand for electricity soared past the mark that ERCOT had figured would be the maximum needed. But at a moment when the world is awash in surplus natural gas, much of it from Texas wells, the state’s power-generating operators were unable to turn that gas into electricity to meet that demand.

In the single-digit temperatures, pipelines froze up because there was some moisture in the gas. Pumps slowed. Diesel engines to power the pumps refused to start. One power plant after another went offline. Even a reactor at one of the state’s two nuclear plants went dark, hobbled by frozen equipment.

In short, nobody prepared for the weather even though the forecasters were "right-on."

Earlier in the article, The Washington Post sums up the problem that occurred in Texas:

What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans. It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.

And millions are without power to heat their homes and prepare food while the politicians try to deflect blame.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Scene of the Snow
from the New York Times
Fighting against the storms has become the way of life for February. January was mild by comparison, but this month the recurring feature of the weather reports are the continuous storms sweeping across the country. 

The weather has been horrific in some places. Snow in Houston? Sub-zero temperatures in Texas. Snarled traffic and huge accidents fill the evening news. It almost makes the winter here in Maryland seem sublime. What is a quarter inch of ice compared to all of that being reported from around the country? 

It is a weather tragedy. And there is more on the way. It is going to be a rough stretch. Look at how much of the country is getting snow and ice.

Maybe keeping us all inside will help lower the COVID infections? 

Get ready, because here it comes.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 15, 2021

Monday Musings - February 15, 2021


1. The third Monday of February is upon us. It is also February 15th--there are two months until Tax Day! I can't believe the annual reckoning with the government is at hand.

2.  It is President's Day and a time to celebrate the leaders of our Republic. And it is nice to have another three-day weekend. 

3. I watched the ice storm this weekend as a spectator. The news reports of the tragic accidents across the country are a reminder that travel during such a storm is extremely dangerous. 

4. I am hoping that winter will end soon. 

5. I watched hockey and golf on TV yesterday since there was no football or baseball. 

6. Today marks the 8th holiday in the past 6 months. There are only 2 holidays remaining to celebrate during the next 6 months. 

7. Today in History. "Remember the Maine!A massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard.

One of the first American battleships, the Maine weighed more than 6,000 tons and was built at a cost of more than $2 million. Ostensibly on a friendly visit, the Maine had been sent to Cuba to protect the interests of Americans there after a rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Havana in January.

GameStop Investors Who Bet Big—and Lost Big - The Wall Street Journal

Green Hydrogen Plant in Saudi Desert Aims to Reshape Energy Grid - The Wall Street Journal

As Impeachment Trial Ends, Biden Takes Center Stage With Stimulus Bill - The New York Times

In a Game of Cat and Mouse, Iran Eyes New Targets in AfricaIn a Game of Cat and Mouse, Iran Eyes New Targets in Africa - The New York Times

Biden is winning Republican support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Just not in Washington. - The Washington Post

Mardi Gras is canceled, so residents are making their homes into floats: ‘New Orleans doesn’t know how to do anything halfway’ - The Washington Post

Myanmar protesters undaunted amid crackdown - Reuters

India to ship COVID-19 vaccines to Canada as diplomatic tension eases - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

One out of every five jobs in our country depends on trade. So, I will propose a broader strategy in the field of international trade— one that increases the openness of our trading system and is fairer to America's farmers and workers in the world marketplace. We must have adequate export financing to sell American products overseas. I will ask for new negotiating authority to remove barriers and to get more of our products into foreign markets. We must strengthen the organization of our trade agencies and make changes in our domestic laws and international trade policy to promote free trade and the increased flow of American goods, services, and investments.

Ronald Reagan's Second State of the Union Speech January 25, 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Time to Look Forward, Finally

I am happy that the final clean-up from the previous administration's mess is completed with the end of the impeachment trial yesterday. Although the final verdict was never in doubt, there was drama and the American public was able to gauge just how dangerous was that insurrection which the former president incited. 

Now, almost four weeks after the inauguration, is the time for the Congress to finally get on with the business of running the country and working with the Biden administration. 

I am encouraged as this week begins. The numbers of new COVID infections and hospitalizations are finally trending down. Vaccinations are increasing, I will be able to receive my second vaccination next Sunday and then be fully vaccinated waiting only for whatever boosters are developed to defeat the mutant strains. 

And it is Valentine's Day, always a day to look forward. I hope everyone can find their Valentine and enjoy the day. Let's look forward as a nation and work to create the society and the world in which we all want to live. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Tariffs are Taxes

Tariffs are not just annoying.

Image from Wall Street Journal
I know that many people thought that tariffs on goods from foreign suppliers would be lifted when the new administration took office, but the reverse is actually true. 

The tariffs have remained. The tariffs have even remained on European products like wine and cheese. 

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Tariffs on Wine, Food From Europe to Stay for Now, U.S. Says

Decision came despite intense lobbying by the U.S. restaurant and beverage industries that are already reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic

I am not a fan of tariffs as they are obstructions to trade. And worse, the food and wine tariffs for European products are in response to disagreements over aircraft industry subsidies. 

The real problem with the wine tariffs, according to the WSJ article, is as follows:

Wine represents the largest source of profit for many restaurants, he said, and more than 80% of the burden of the tariffs are absorbed by the U.S. businesses and consumers, rather than by European wine producers.

And that is the larger problem with tariffs--it is the American consumer that pays the bulk of the cost.

Tariffs are a hidden tax. The former administration ignored that fact by constantly asserting that the foreign countries were paying into the treasury and the current administration is the facade to help pay off the deficits run-up by the former administration.

--Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 12, 2021

President's Day

This weekend is President's Day weekend!

It is the weekend we celebrate the President's of the United States. 

Think about it--45 men have held the job of President of these United States. There have been great and not so great presidents. 

But one thing I am sure of--no one wants a president to fail. I may disagree with them over so many indues, but I never want a president to be a failure. And most have been successful. 

Here are some motivational quotes from successful Presidents:

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” – George Washington

“I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.” – Woodrow Wilson

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” – John F. Kennedy

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The quotes and images are from: 
10 presidential quotes in honor of Presidents’ Day

I found the Lincoln quote to be especially timely.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Highlighting the Bushes

Bushes Highlighted with Snow
Elkridge, MD
February 11, 2021
We received about two inches of snow overnight. 

I despise snow.

But, as soon as it is light out I will crank up the snow thrower and clear the drive so that the rain can freeze into ice. 

I know that doesn't sound like a good plan, but it is better than letting the rain freeze the snow and then it will take longer for the snow/ice to go away. 

But this morning the trees and bushes are highlighted with snow--which always makes them seem just a little bit more interesting, like a painting. 

It makes the cold seem just a bit more tolerable, well that is until I get out there and have to move it out of the drive.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Baseball is Almost Back!

The winter of my discontent is nearly over. It appears that baseball will be back on time. 

Spring training in Sarasota for the Orioles is about to begin. Pitchers and catchers report on February 16th. But even better, the one player that the Orioles missed last year has already reported to camp-- Trey Mancini! Recovering from colon cancer, Trey appears ready to hit the field and be the team leader.

Covid has changed baseball. Doubleheaders will now be seven inning games and extra innings will start with a runner on second. I fear that the era 19 inning games is over. Baseball has become to commercialized to allow giving away free games as extra inning affairs.

Here is the big news: Opening Day is April 1st. Pushing back the start of the season has been dropped.

Take me out to the ball park--I hope.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Super Bowl LV Review

From start to finish the BIG game fell short of expectations. 

It was not the most super of Super Bowls. 

The expected matchup between the quarterbacks did not materialize. I was expecting an offensive led game, but instead it was a one-sided affair. 

Of course, part of my disappointment has to do with the Chiefs losing 31-9 to the Bucs. But, it goes much further than that. There was no drama. Kansas City was never in the game. The offense never got into a rhythm and the defense made stupid penalties at critical times.

The highlight of the game was the flyover of bombers: B-1B, B-2, and B-52. Now that really excited me to see the the backbone and workhorses of the Air Force's power projection force on display. 

The halftime show left me wondering--what was that? I have an idea for next year's halftime show--get the best rated college marching band and have them do a classic show to restore the roots of football to the big game.

That may be the problem. The Super Bowl has strayed too far from the roots of the game. It has become primetime entertainment rather than a sporting event.

Even the commercials left me wondering--why? 

Well, there is next year, right? Maybe things will change.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, February 8, 2021

Monday Musings - February 8, 2021


1. Well, here it is--the second Monday of February 2021. It is the Monday after the Super Bowl. There are 46 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. The tax man cometh! April 15th is just two short months away and I get to pay for all of the stimulus checks that others received.

3. The Super Bowl, wasn't. Kansas City failed to board the jet and didn't show up to play their game.  They demonstrated a lack of defense, and the offensive line failed to protect Mahomes. Tom Brady won a record 5th MVP and the Bucs beat the Chiefs 31-9. 

4. The predicted snow for the weekend thankfully failed to materialize. I have come to expect the forecasts to be wrong. That is a dangerous situation.

5. The week ahead could be a bit tumultuous with the Impeachment Trial in the Senate to provide comedic relief. It is a classic case of trying to close the barn door after the horses have escaped. Yet, inciting an insurrection is not a protected act under the Constitution.

6. Today in History. On February 8, 1943, Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal, leaving the island in Allied possession after a prolonged campaign. The American victory paved the way for other Allied wins in the Solomon Islands.

Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomons, a group of 992 islands and atolls, 347 of which are inhabited, in the South Pacific Ocean. The Solomons, which are located northeast of Australia and have 87 Indigenous languages, were introduced to Europe in 1568 by the Spanish navigator Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra (1541-95). In 1893, the British annexed Guadalcanal, along with the other central and southern Solomons. The Germans took control of the northern Solomons in 1885, but transferred these islands, except for Bougainville and Buka (which eventually went to the Australians) to the British in 1900.

SoftBank Turns $11 Billion Profit, Helped by DoorDash - The Wall Street Journal

Rollout of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Halted in South Africa - The Wall Street Journal

Impeachment Case Aims to Marshal Outrage of Capitol Attack - The New York Times

France’s Latest Covid Measure: Letting Workers Eat at Their Desks - The New York Times

Biden says Trump administration’s handling of pandemic was ‘more dire than we thought’ - The Washington Post

Four skiers killed in Utah, bringing U.S. avalanche death toll to 21 this season - The Washington Post

Monks and nurses join nationwide protests against Myanmar coup - Reuters

Transports of delight: Chinese get a taste of home for Lunar New Year - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

  • “As the years pass, if you have let yourselves absorb the spirit and tradition of this place, you’ll find the 4 years you’ve spent here living in your memory as a rich and important part of your life. Oh, you’ll have some regrets along with the happy memories. I let football and other extracurricular activities eat into my study time with the result that my grade average was closer to the C level required for eligibility than it was to straight A’s. And even now I wonder what I might have accomplished if I’d studied harder.” (May 9, 1982)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 7, 2021


Ugh. I hate it when I wake up at 4 AM and can't get back to sleep.

I want to sleep, but I just can't. I lay there--trying to calm my mind. Sometimes it works. 

This morning it did not.

I cannot believe all of the crazy things I can think about during the early hours of the morning. Most of them nonsense. 

Did it snow? Will it snow? Why do I care?

I went downstairs and laid on the couch to try to sleep a bit more. It was met with mixed success.

Someday I need to learn to sleep in.

It will be a busy day. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, February 6, 2021



In a manner that none expected to happen, it is Super Bowl Weekend. It is different, there are few, if any, fans at the site of the big game. but, the game will go on despite coronavirus. And it will occur on the date planned many months ago. 

That the game is going to happen on time is testament to the American spirit. Through a season fraught with rescheduled games and m missing players--the NFL player on and provided quality entertainment for a country suffering the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic of any country in the entire world.

This morning there is news of an automobile crash with injuries to children involving the linebackers coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, who is the son of head coach Andy Reid and will miss the game.

But--the game will go on.

And what a contest it will be pitting the greatest of all time (GOAT) quarterback against the clear rival to that title. That would be Tom Brady (GOAT) versus Patrick Mahomes (GOAT wannabe).

I am excited for this game because I am expecting an offensive show and a high scoring game. Both quarterbacks should be able to pick apart the opposing defense with ease. It will be a matter of which offensive line gives their "gunslinger" enough time to find receivers down field. 

I am a Kansas City fan from my youth. I remember years ago as Chris and I were driving through Kansas City while traveling that I made us exit the interstate so that I could see the famous Arrowhead Stadium. So, it should be no surprise that I am again cheering for the Chiefs to win and become repeat champions. 

Bob's prediction: Chiefs 37 and Buccaneers 34. I will even go further and predict that the Bucs will miss the tying field goal (from 47 yards) on the last play of the game. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional handicapper.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, February 5, 2021

It Won't Go Away

The election just won't go away. 

It seems that people are actually going to be held accountable for the misleading and false statements they made or repeated in the absence of evidence. 

This morning in The Wall Street Journal I found this headline:

Smartmatic Sues Fox News Over Election Claims

In reading the article I am at the same time gratified and concerned. Here is a quote from the article:

The suit, filed Thursday in a New York court, focuses on a series of statements made about Smartmatic on Fox News by lawyers who supported former President Donald Trump’s claims that the election was rigged, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. The lawsuit also mentions remarks made about Smartmatic by Fox News Media anchors including Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo.

Smartmatic’s complaint claims that the segments on Fox News contained numerous errors involving the reliability of its technology, and that Fox News knew its statements about Smartmatic were untruthful.

While I am happy that people are being held accountable for their words and the damage it has subsequently done to companies and people, I am concerned that a news organization is at the center of the complaint. News organizations are supposed to report news--both sides and allow the viewers to make decisions. Perhaps this suit would suggest that Fox News is not a news organization, but rather a mouthpiece for right-wing disinformation?

And then there is the impeachment trial coming next week. Will anything good come of it? We all knew when the House of Representatives voted to impeach the then president a second time that the Senate would likely not vote to convict. And apparently even before the trial begins it appears there are not nearly enough votes to potentially convict. I am saddened that so many senators have so short a memory. 

But we, who are doing the best to make it in our day-to-day lives need to move on. We cannot continue to look behind us or we will not see the obstacles yet to come. 

I wish our Congress would stop looking in the rearview mirror and start supporting our president in planning to meet the future.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD  

Thursday, February 4, 2021

My Dog's Life

Makayla in the Snow
Elkridge, MD
February 2, 2021
I love my dog, Makayla.

She is at the same time a companion and a pest. The have developed an understanding and when she needs something she makes her requirements known. I am generally able to distinguish between wanting more food, needing to got outside, and just wanting another treat. 

She has a good life. 

Makayla Rolling in the Snow
Elkridge, MD
February 2, 2021
She also likes snow!

 She likes the snow a lot. On Tuesday morning she went outside and laid in the snow and just rolled around. I could tell that the old girl, she is 12 years old now, really enjoyed being outside in the snow. She rolled and rolled in the cold white precipitation.

Makayla keeps me grounded and she can be a pain, but when she reminds me of the simple pleasures that life can bring, I remember why I have a dog. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Finger of God

Finger of God
Patagonia, Argentina
My video biking trainer pointed out the Finger of God as I continued my biking workout through Patagonia yesterday. I tried to find the exact spot on a map, but could not. The rocks do look like the Finger of God pointing up to the sky. I'm glad that it was the index finger and not some other digit. I think the trainer said that we were riding the Road of Enchantment. 

I had an enjoyable and tough ride along a river while the snow was melting outside of my house. Another day of total escapism. I was lucky because I was delayed in going to work and I was able to ride before leaving the house. I almost didn't know what to do with myself when I got home in the afternoon because I and already done my ride for the day. 

It was better than the news of increasing mutant strains of COVID and a skyrocketing death count. 

I am becoming more burned out by the news. I think it is the mid-Winter burn-out while waiting for the promise of Springtime to get outside again and enjoy the world. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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