Friday, April 30, 2021

A Hero Passes

Michael Collins
Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot

 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

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Time for Hope

 The verdict is in; the jury has spoken: Guilty on all counts.

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin
I have a complex and possibly surprising reaction which may be unpopular with some.

I believe that the verdict is, at the same time, just and sad. 

The verdict cannot resurrect George Floyd and allow him to continue his life and it will not replace him to his family and friends.

The verdict has destroyed the life of a police officer who, when he began that day, had no idea his response to that incident would become a catalyst for change in America.

The verdict is also commentary on the sad state of police training in the United States. We have seen evidence of this time after time in the news. I am sure that Derek Chauvin believes in his heart that he is a good police officer. And that, friends, is the problem. It highlights the ineffective training in many police departments. Police are servants of the people charged with enforcing the law. But, like all public servants, including the military and civilian employees of federal, state, and local governments; they are and must be held to a higher standard. 

So for the complex part of my thought--the defense, in my opinion, tried to equate Derek Chauvin to how a normal human adult would respond in a particular situation with the training that he had at there time. 

But Derek Chauvin was not a normal rational adult, he was a police officer. The standard of conduct to which he is held is higher than that of a normal, rational adult. 

I have been held to a similar higher standard all of my adult life as both a military officer and now a federal civilian. I understand the burden, but it has become part of my life and self.

Derek Chauvin had a responsibility to separate emotion, frustration, and anger from his professional actions. It is hard! But because he was a police officer and not a just a normal American adult, he was necessarily held to a higher standard. 

Is Derek Chauvin a bad man or a bad police officer? I believe NOT. I believe the system failed him. The system failed George Floyd, and the system also failed America. 

Now is NOT the time to defund the police, but rather to closely examine their budgets and ensure that the officers we rely upon for protection and law enforcement get funding for the training they need to protect both themselves and the public. 

Now is also NOT the time to celebrate the conviction of a man, but rather to grieve the death of another man that brought us to this place. Thomas Jefferson wrote, The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Sadly, perhaps this is one of those times. Heroes come from unlikely places. We must move forward with the memory of this day fresh in our minds and dedicate ourselves to correcting the racial inequities which exist across out country.

Now is the time to work for measurable change. The vision of a truly inclusive America, the bright city on the hill shining for the world, still exists and we must dedicate ourselves to making it a reality.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday Again

 It has been a very busy couple of days. 

Jax at the Plate
Severn, MD
April 18, 2021
Of course, with Chris enjoying beach time in Florida there is more to accomplish around the house--but I seem to have something scheduled for every day and evening.

Last evening, for instance, I enjoyed a great massage to soothe the muscles I abused on Saturday. 

During the afternoon after work, I rode my studio cycle through Switzerland on a 44 minute, 10 mile, uphill ride. Ugh! And this was after working full day. 

Sunday's game with the Severn Seminoles was exciting. Jax had a productive day and it was nice to sit in the warm sun and to enjoy some baseball. 

Important note: Chris is not just enjoying beach time, she has been working hard at planned projects and repairs in our Florida condo. 

Tonight looks to be busy again! At least the time passes quickly.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday Musing - April 19, 2021


1. It is the third Monday in April. Yay. It is also the 16th Monday of 2021 and there are only 36 Monday's remaining. That is important to some of us.

2. I watched the Severn Seminoles win a game is grand fashion yesterday by invoking the Mercy Rule! Jax had a great game. Maybe some video tomorrow.

AL East Standings As of Games Through April 18, 2021
3. OK, I guess I have to acknowledge the Orioles at this point. While I think they are doing terrible, they actually are playing some exciting baseball. They need to learn timely hitting.

4, You know what is weird? My favorite President is a Republican, but I have crossed over to the other side because of the tainted and divisive policies of the previous president, whose name will remain unmentioned.

5. Busy weekends pass to quickly, while weekends without a lot of activity seem to drag. 

6. I wish I was fishing today.

7. Is today really Monday, or is it a figment of my imagination?

8. If I could be anywhere right now, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be where I am.

9. Today in History. April 19, 1775, At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, a shot was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

Landmen Who Once Staked Claims for Oil and Gas Now Hunt Wind and Sun - The Wall Street Journal

Stock Rally Broadens in Encouraging Sign for Bull Market - The Wall Street Journal

As Police Reform Laws Sweep the U.S., Some Ask: Are They Enough? - The New York Times

3 People a Day Have Died in U.S. Police Encounters During Chauvin Trial - The New York Times

Ross DouthatRon DeSantis Is the Republican Autopsy - The New York Times

Minneapolis braces for unrest as Chauvin trial enters final phase - The Washington Post

‘Ripe for fraud’: Coronavirus vaccination cards give rise to burgeoning scams - The Washington Post

Investor group calls for banks to set tougher climate targetsEnvironment  - Reuters

UKQueen Elizabeth stands alone as Philip is laid to rest; William and Harry talk - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It is also appropriate that this journey should begin on Easter Sunday -- a day of peace proclaimed, a day of triumph over evil and suffering. In a short time, we will be worshiping at St. Andrew's Cathedral, and I can assure you that our prayers this afternoon will not just be for the success of this mission, but for an enduring peace among the peoples of all nations.

On this Easter, in the year of our Lord 1984, I ask for the prayers of all Americans and the peoples of the world for peace among men and peace among nations. Let the nations and the peoples of the world renounce war, and let us pledge ourselves to its permanent abolition. Let us forsake its anguish and agony and live in love with one another.

Like all Americans, the people of these islands cherish peace. Unlike most of their countrymen, the people of Hawaii have known firsthand the destruction wrought by nations that take up arms against each other. As we passed over Pearl Harbor this afternoon, I don't have to tell you of our silence as we reflected on the Arizona Memorial beneath us. The building that is now the Pacific Air Force's headquarters is still pockmarked with bullets from that fateful Sunday almost 43 years ago. And 32 years later, it was here to this airport that our first prisoners of war returned from an awful captivity in North Vietnam.

The American people have never sought war nor the test of arms. And yet in my lifetime I have seen four such wars -- none of them because the United States was too strong or too ready. The United States is resolved to avoid war, pursue peace, and to do so by remaining strong and remaining ready.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Day at the Course

From the Tee Box at Hole 4
Timbers at Troy
Elkridge, MD
April 17, 2021

 The important thing is that I survived 5 hours of sports activity.

I played racquetball in the morning for an hour followed by just over four hours of golf at Timbers.

I had an OK golf outing, considering that it was only the second golf outing this year. 

It was a beautiful day, just a bit on the too cool side to be called a perfect day, but when out golfing almost any day is a perfect day. My game was ragged--which was to be expected, but there were a few pars and at least one good look at making a birdie--which I missed but was left with an easy tap-in. On the down side, I totally collapsed on the second hardest hole on the course (12) after missing a par put and making a bogey on the hardest hole (9). Ugh. That is golf!

It was a great sports day. Today, sadly, I must devote mostly to business, although I am going to a Severn Seminoles 13U baseball game in a few minutes. 

I do enjoy weekends!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sports Saturday at Hand

Cheery Window Box for a Bright Saturday
Elkridge, MD
April 17, 2021

 A busy sports Saturday is what I am in the middle of enjoying. 

This morning at 7 AM, as dawn was breaking, I was on the outdoor racquetball court. It was about 43 degrees, but the play soon got me very warm. It really is a great way to start the day. I actually held my own on the court, which made me happy. 

Following racquetball I have a Tee time for just before noon at Timbers. It will be only my second golf outing of the year and I am using a new driver--which I am still a bit unsure of. I may take my old one in case I lose confidence in the new one. 

I should be exhausted about the time evening arrives. I am thinking a nice late-afternoon nap will do the trick.

I have to enjoy life today because tomorrow I begin one of the tasks I dread the most: TAXES!! Ugh. Settling-up with the governments is a tortuous task that never comes out in my favor at the end. 

Play today and work tomorrow.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 16, 2021

Discovering History in my House

Junghans Ships Clock
M/V Usarmao on Reverse

 I have clocks. Many sizes and kinds from small alarm clocks to towering grandfather clocks. And wall clocks. While stationed in Germany with the Air Force, Chris and I began collecting clocks and I learned how to repair them. So we would buy non-functional clocks and I would make them run again. At one point I though it would be a good second career, but that urge has passed. 

One of the clocks in my collection is a ships clock made by Junghans--a solid German clockmaker to this very day. The clock measured about 7 inches across the case. Oh yes, the clock works.

I never though too much about the clock or if it had ever been on a particular vessel until the other day when Patrick and I were talking. He asked if I knew what ship the clock may have been associated with. I remembered there was some almost unintelligible writing on the back of the clock and we turned it over to find M/V Usarmao written on the back. I remember looking at the back when I bought the clock and Have to admit I was not familiar with the designation M/V (not being a sailor) and thought it was someone's signature or the name of the owner. 

SS Usarmao
In Dar es Salaam
Date unknown
Now, however, many decades later I recognize the M/V as either Motor Vessel or Merchant Vessel. So, of course, we immediately checked the internet and discovered that the M/V Usarmao has a history as a passenger and cargo ship and was last operated by the German Navy before being scuttled in 1944. The ship was built in 1920. The website has some interesting history of the vessel and the location of the wreck.

The website reports:

Passenger ship requisitioned by the German Navy to base crews and supplies. 12/09/1940: Sunk by Allied aerial bombing in the port of Bordeaux. Then handed afloat. 25/08/1944: Scuttled by her crew in Lagrange, Gironde (France) Read more at wrecksite:

Fascinating. I have this piece of history connected to a ship that was part of WWII action.

OK, now for the disclaimer. 

I have no idea if the clock is genuinely from the M/V Usarmao. All I know is that the name, for some reason, is written on the back of the clock. I do not remember where Chris and I purchased the clock, it was likely from a flea market in Germany. No mention at the time of purchase connected the clock to a ship. Although my German is pretty poor and even if the seller mentioned the history of the clock, I did not understand it. 

So, I will live with the illusion that the clock is in fact from the ship. There is a serial number on the clock which may provide a definitive clue, should I wish to pursue it. 

History in my house! Wow!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 15, 2021

My Truck

My 2016 Ram 1500
Elkridge, MD
April 28, 2020

 My truck is not just a vehicle, it is an essential part of the family. It had been used to haul uncountable numbers of things around town, to Delaware and back,  and down the East Coast.

When last I saw my truck, it was attached to a U-Haul trailer and ready to roll this morning to Florida with an initial load household items for a friend who is moving. Chris is lucky enough to accompany him on the trek and will visit out condo while she is there. I am expecting to take a long weekend and also check on the condo now that the seasonal renters have departed. 

And so, my truck is on I-95 somewhere, as I write this, likely almost to North Carolina where the sunrise will soon splash its light on the travelers as dawn breaks. 

I wish I were making the trip and I wish it were my household goods in the trailer. But, the bed of the truck has items for our condo as we begin the process of relocating from Maryland to Florida. It is a process which will likely not be complete for over a year--but I am sure that my trusty truck will make a few more journey's down I-95 before we are through.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Special Birthday


Ethan Blowing out the Candles
Odenton, MD
April 13, 2021

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

It happened yesterday, my oldest grandson turned the magical age of 16! 

Wow, do I feel old. 

We celebrated Ethan 's birthday last evening and of course we spent some time reminiscing about the actual day of his arrival on the planet. But mostly, it was a celebration of a great kid who has brought incredible amounts of joy into the family. 

I remember that it was during the last 17-year cicada, Brood X, uprising when Chris and I learned that we were to be grandparents. We noted, that it would be on his or her 16th birthday that the noisy bugs would return. A special celebration, indeed. And the bugs will be arriving soon.

We enjoyed a great evening and a special once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Volcano on St. Vincent

Navin Pato Patterson: Plumes of ash billow from the La Soufrière volcano
 on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which started erupting on 9th April.

 There is a volcano erupting in on the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent.

I have been there. I have not been to that particular volcano, but I have been to St Vincent as part of a sailing cruise. During that same vacation I also visited a volcano on St Lucia. I wonder of that volcano will become more active. I remember the sulfur smell of the volcano right there in the middle of the island of St. Lucia. 

St. Vincent, as I remember, was more remote and poor. We sailed along the west coast of the island and on there return from sailing south of St Vincent, we anchored at Cumberland Bay for the night.

The eruption of the volcano is having dire consequences for the island. According to a report from the United Nations:

Volcanic eruption leaves ‘entire population’ of Saint Vincent without clean water

There is little romantic about a volcano erupting and destroying lives and property. 

The people there are going to need assistance.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Musing - April 12, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of April and the 15th Monday of the year. There are 37 Mondays remaining in 2021. 

2. In a normal year, Tax Day would be in three days, but as it is not a normal year, we have until May 17th to file our taxes. Yay! I get to keep some of my money for a bit longer. 

3. Sitting on the back defect watching the Spring storms cruise through the region was the extent of my entertainment for last evening. 

AL East Standings
Games through April 11, 2021

4. How about the Orioles? They came home from starting the season on the road and immediately lost three games. They are now in last place in the AL East. Wait, they are also tied for second in the AL East. How weird is that? 

5. Chris and I sat outside last evening before the thunderstorms arrived and watched the birds flying around and the rabbits playing. Its was great entertainment. We saw one rabbit that must have some domesticated rabbit in its ancestry. It had white markings in its fur.

6. We still have some Easter candy hiding in the house. 

7. I remain fascinated at the transformation of the forested areas from gray bare trees to green foliage. I do so enjoy the springtime.

8. The pool will be opened in three weeks!

9. Today in History. April 12, 1861The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

Online Schools Are Here to Stay, Even After the Pandemic - The New York Times

Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage - the New York Times

Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters to become the first Japanese man with a major title - The Washington Post

As variants surge, a patchwork of surveillance efforts has ramped up to detect them - The New York Times

The Other Reason the Labor Force Is Shrunken: Fear of Covid-19 - The Wall Street Journal

Why China Is Jumping Into Digital Currency - The Wall Street Journal

China considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines to boost protection rate - Reuters

Asia off to cautious start ahead of earnings, U.S. data - The Wall Street Journal

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

We know that the secret of America's success has been our drive to excel, a spirit born and nutured by our families. With their dreams and hard work, they've built our nation, made her great, and kept her good. Everything we've accomplished began in those bedrock values parents have sought to impart throughout our history -- values of faith in God, honesty, caring for others, personal responsibility, thrift, and initiative.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Springtime Afternoon

Turtles in the Sun
Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia, MD
April 10, 2021

 Although yesterday began with rain and fog, by mid-afternoon it was very pleasant and Chris and I were able to take an enjoyable walk around Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia. 

The lake, as I have written before, provides a scenic mile and a quarter walk which is far nicer than the uncountable number of walks we take through our neighborhood. For instance, the most abundant form of wildlife yesterday were the turtles congregating on branches near the shore enjoying the afternoon sun.

Yesterday we were able to enjoy the springtime as we once again strolled along the lakeshore. Given the morning's rain and fog, I was surprised by the number of people strolling or biking along the trails. There was one group of youthful bikers who were intent on demonstrating their ability to ride on one wheel and I have to admit I enjoyed watching their unbridled exuberance. And, fortunately, they were mindful of the walkers on the trail. 

It is springtime and I am enjoying being outside more and more as the weather permits. Today it will rain and, hopefully, that will enable me to watch the concluding round of the Master's since I will not be able to exercise my feeble golf skills on a course near me. 

Everything contributes to make springtime and enjoyable season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Looking through the Forest

Redbud Tree in Bloom
Elkridge, MD
April 9, 2021

 It is a sure sign that Spring has arrived. 

Our redbud tree is blooming and I can no longer see through the forest that borders my house. The leaves have begun to fill the blank spaces on the branches and are blotting out the warehouses across the stream and up the hill. 

The green is returning more and more each day. It is being encouraged by the gentle rains that have been falling combined with the milder temperatures. 

Spring is one of the best seasons in Maryland. There is an abundance of flowering trees and shrubs that become a feast for the eye. And with each new day, the canopy of leaves grows deeper and more complete. 

The weekend has arrived and despite the rains, I will be sure to fully enjoy the opportunities that lie before me. I feel a trip to the local landfill is in my future to remove some of the junk which accumulated over the winter. And then there is watching the Master's!

A great April weekend is at hand.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Return of the Rain

 After a great weather week, the rains have returned this morning. 

The rain is welcome as Chris and I planted annuals around the house yesterday. Knowing that the rains were coming, we did not water them immediately. More importantly, the temperatures will be remaining mild which should encourage some of the grass seed we have spread to germinate and grow. 

10 Day Forecast Elkridge, MD

The 10 Day Elkridge, MD, forecast looks really nice, until it begins to cool late next week. 

I know I continue to enjoy the warmer temperatures and clear skies. Seeing the sun brightens my day. 

And the good weather also means that I cam play racquetball at the outdoors courts. Or, as the case was yesterday, make a less than effective attempt to play racquetball. 

Even with the rain, I am still riding my studio cycle in great places around the world. Recently I have ridden in Norway and Kyoto, Japan. 

There has been so much to do lately, I am happy that I am still riding and enjoying the world from my basement.

Even during the rains, I remain busy. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Look--Up in the Sky!

Five Contrails
Severn, MD
April 7, 2021

 A couple days ago I wrote about the blue, clear sky. Last evening at a baseball game for the Severn Seminoles, I experienced the blue clear sky under the lights as twilight deepened. I looked up and saw a reassuring sight--five contrails headed into the distance. 

Travel is definitely resuming as out society and economy struggles to overcome the pandemic. I was out at game, under the lights, trying to resume life. The major remembrance of the pandemic was that I had to wear facial covering even though I was both outside and practicing good physical distancing. 

I do not remember the last time that I saw five contrails lined up together. I do know that lately, air travel has been increasing. The steady stream of arriving and departing flights to or from BWI has become evident from my house. 

MLB AL East Standing
Through Games of April 7, 2021

And in other cool news. The MLB season is one week old today. Most teams have played six games. AMAZINGLY, guess which team is alone atop the AL East? And the Orioles have still not played a game at OPACY. Opening Day at home is today and sadly, I will not be attending. 

It is Friday Eve and I am looking forward to a good day. I will keep my eye on the sky and watch some baseball as well. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Easter Egg Hunt 2021

 After a year hiatus for the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual family Easter Egg Hunt resumed this year on a sunny and bright Easter afternoon. Most of the adults in the family are fully vaccinated and so we took advantage of the opportunity to get together and celebrate. And celebrate we did as there were 10 people, 7 dogs, and 2 cats involved in the holiday. Amazingly, no one and no animals were lost during the day's festivities.

The Easter Egg Hunt is a big event in our family--everyone participates. To prepare for this year's edition, Chris and I hid 125 Easter eggs around the house. I am happy to report that 124 were discovered. We still do not know where the one remaining egg is hiding.

I was able to fly Radio Flyer, my DJI Spark drone, to document the event. For the first time this year we began the festivities on the pool deck rather than in the front yard. That made it even more interesting as everyone streamed through the starting gate and out into the field of play. 

It was great fun and I have already forgotten which team actually found the most eggs, but everyone was a winner. And the best part was that dinner followed the hunt!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories