Monday, May 31, 2021

Monday Musings - May 31, 2021


1. It is the fifth Monday of May. The last Monday of the month. June begins tomorrow. There are 30 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. It is Memorial Day. Time to remember and celebrate those who gave their all in service to this great Republic.

3. The rain and cold have given way to a bright, sunny morning. 

Cicada on the Wall
Elkridge, MD
May 28, 2021
4. The Orioles have secured the bottom position in baseball. They are currently on a 13 game losing streak. I really don't know what else to write. If this is rebuilding, I think the materials being used in the construction precess are flawed.

5. It was quiet yesterday as the rain and cold made the cicadas take a day off from their breeding. 

6. I am enjoying a quiet Memorial Day. No big family gathering and definitely no time in the pool. Hopefully the cicadas will be quiet enough to allow outdoors activity. 

7. Our friends are selling their townhome, and it became clear that home inspectors must be held accountable for wild and woefully inaccurate statements based upon nothing more than uninformed conjecture made during the reports to prospective sellers. Suffice it to say, I spend part of yesterday holding a ladder while a particularly damaging part of their home report was proven to be untrue.. 

8. Today in HistoryBeginning on the night of May 31, 1921, thousands of white citizens in Tulsa, Oklahoma descended on the city’s predominantly Black Greenwood District, burning homes and businesses to the ground and killing hundreds of people. Long mischaracterized as a race riot, rather than mass murder, the Tulsa Race Massacre stands as one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the nation’s history.

China to Ease Limit on Births to Tackle Aging Population - The Wall Street Journal

Tulsa Race Massacre Sidelined Legacy of Black Wealth in Greenwood - The Wall Street Journal

Israel Moves Toward Coalition Deal That Could Sideline NetanyahuI - The New York Times

As U.S. Air Travel Surges, So Do Mask Disputes - The New York Times

A ski company built a power plant fueled by methane. It’s a success, but can it be replicated? - The Washington Post

Memorial Day weekend brings big travel uptick  - The Washington Post

Intel reiterates chip supply shortages could last several years - Reuters

N.Korea slams end to U.S. guidelines limiting S.Korea missile range - Reuters

A Proclamation: Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2021

{Note: It is Memorial Day and I though I would change it up a bit and instead of quoting Ronald Reagan, I would present President Biden's Memorial Day Proclamation.] 

On Memorial Day, we honor and reflect upon the courage, integrity, and selfless dedication of the members of our Armed Forces who have made the greatest sacrifice in service to our Nation.  Whether in the waters of the Pacific, on the beachheads of Europe, in the deserts of the Middle East, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, American service members have given their lives to uphold our Constitution and to defend the safety and freedoms of our citizens.  These patriots embody the best of the American spirit. They put themselves on the line for our shared values — for duty, honor, country — and they paid the ultimate price.  Our Nation can never fully repay the debt we owe to our fallen heroes and their families.

Jill and I know what it means to have a child serving in a war zone — the ever-present concern for your loved one and their fellow service members.  Today and every day, we ask God to protect our troops.  We also recognize the tremendous loss endured by America’s Gold Star families — the families of military members who died in conflict.  We have a sacred obligation as a Nation to support those families and to always honor the memories of their loved ones. 

That is the vow we make each year on Memorial Day.  Our Nation will never forget the courage and patriotism demonstrated by the countless women and men who laid down their lives so that we may continue to pursue a more perfect Union and to protect the unalienable rights Americans hold dear.  They came from every part of the country, of every background and belief, united by a shared belief in our uniquely American creed — that all people are created equal.  We will honor their legacy by continuing our work to live up to that commitment and to advance the values they lived and died to defend.  We will continue to fight for equity and inclusion in our country and institutions, and ensure every qualified American who is willing to serve our country — regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or background — has a fair and equal opportunity to do so. 

We will continue to honor our fallen service members through the actions of a new generation who volunteer to serve in uniform, who anchor our military to our democratic values, and who stand ready to deter aggression from our enemies and, if required, fight and defend our Nation.  Today — as we keep true to the memory of our fallen heroes — we will endeavor to meet their legacy and once more lead the world through the power of our example and not just the example of our power.

As our Nation’s service members continue to risk their lives to protect our homeland and thwart our enemies, we must not lose sight of our desire for enduring peace.  Every day, countless Americans pray and work for peace so that we may one day live in a world where American patriots need not make the ultimate sacrifice, and where all people live in freedom and prosperity.  As a Nation, we are grateful to the brave members of our Armed Services — both past and present — who have forged the legacy for that possibility.

In honor and recognition of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer and reflection.  The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer and reflection.  I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.  I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.  I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Rainy Saturday

Another cold, dreary day
Elkridge, MD
May 30, 2021

A cold rain fell most of yesterday.

It put a damper on outdoors activities. It was so very cold for late May. It is too cold for the holiday weekend which marks the unofficial beginning of summer!

The cicadas were, however, quiet. I am sure that if they could think they would be wondering why they waited 17 years for this cold, wet weather. It certainly does put a damper on breeding season.

The dogs didn't want to go outside.

I didn't want to go outside, for that matter. I was fortunate to have been able to mow the lawn Friday before the rains arrived and the temperature dropped. 

It was a bleak and dreary day. 

Today is beginning much the same as yesterday. The pool sits empty, the water warmer than the air which is too cold to swim. I am glad that I have not yet fired up the heater to bring the water to full swimming comfort. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Cicada, part 2


Cicada Brood X Hiding in Hyacinth
Elkridge, MD
May 28, 2021

Since they only visit every 17 years and there is a high probability that I will not be living in the region for their next visit, I am truly fascinated by the bugs.

It is amazing how much I have forgotten of their last visit. I had forgotten that they are everywhere, and I mean everywhere. As I mowed the lawn before the cold and rain arrived yesterday, I noticed the bugs and their discarded shells covering almost everything. I found the cicadas hiding in flowers and the grasses surrounding my pool. 

I even found them crawling up the outside wall of my house in great numbers!

And so it continues and then, it will be gone and we will have to be content with memories form the visit of the cicadas.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 28, 2021

Cicadas Everywhere


Cicada Brood X Nymph Shells
Elkridge, MD
May 27, 2021

In an effort to document the Brood X arrival, and subsequent departure, I have decided to provide periodic updates for those who are not enjoying (I use the term facetiously) the arrival of the bugs. 

They are loud and they are nearly everywhere. I do not rememberer the piles of empty nymph shells lying at the bottom of the trees from 17 years ago--but even after the ferocious rains of the night before, there are piles of the shells at the bases of trees in the neighborhood. 

Brood X Cicada
Elkridge, MD
May 27, 2021

I confess, however, the bugs are not a large as I remember. Maybe they are still young and will continue to grow during their short 2-4 weeks above ground eating and breeding.

But they are definitely here and I am not too sure why I was so excited about their impending arrival. 

It is an infestation of biblical proportions. The Egyptians had nothing on this!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 27, 2021


Lightning Lit Storrmy Night Sky
Elkridge, MD
May 26, 2021

 The storms blew through last evening providing a spectacular display of lightning. It was fun to watch. Our dogs and cats also joined us for the shows, compliments of nature. I learned, however, that it is very hard to actually get an image of lightning. 

I tried.

My camera has a night mode that meant it wanted to make the scene bright--but I wanted it dark. 

I missed the actual lightning bolts streaking across the sky.

I need to do some research about how best to capture lightning on camera.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 26, 2021



Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter, Florida
October 6, 2020
It is one of those mornings.

My laptop is restarting and I am not getting anything accomplished. 

I love my Apple Mac, but some mornings when it loads new software it is just painful. I am on my iPad trying to recollect my thoughts to no avail. 

I was supposed to play racquetball this morning, but I had to call it off because I was up late last evening. 

And it is a gloomy day outside. 

So I went to my happy place for respite. 

Enjoy the view.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Sunday Morning at the Ballpark

Jax Swings and Misses
Pasadena, MD
May 23, 2021
 Well, it wasn't really a ballpark, it was a field with fences and dugouts behind a middle school in Pasadena, MD. That is where Chris and I found ourselves in the heat of Sunday morning watching baseball with other parents and relatives. And that is probably the truest form of baseball--a rough field, two teams, boys living a dream that may not be their own, and dedicated fans.

As Chris and I walked across the dry grass of the adjoining playgrounds to the baseball field, I though about the many other players and parents across the country who are doing the same thing this morning, other mornings, and evenings to enjoy the game of baseball. And I do enjoy baseball. The boys are getting to the age where the game is much more than try to hit the ball and hope something good happens. There are plays and calls and strategy. And often just plain old good hustle will turn into a great play. It is fun and frustrating because we want the boys to play like professional baseball players and sometimes forget that they are still boys who are learning. 

But it was on this Sunday morning that I realized how special it was to be able to enjoy the game of baseball as it was being being played on a hot, dusty field full of hopes and dreams.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday Musings - May 24, 2021


1. It is the fourth Monday of May 2021. There is one Monday remaining in the month and that will be celebrated as Memorial Day. There are 31 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. Hot weather has been awesome the past few days. Too bad today is supposed to be 20 degrees cooler. 

Finnegan Changing Floaties in the Pool
Elkridge, MD
May 23, 2021
3. Next Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of the summer season. Gas prices are up but the country is reopening.

4. We hosted our first pool party of the season yesterday and had a great time. It was good to have the family together to celebrate the heat in the refreshing atmosphere of our pool. Finnegan demonstrated his ability to change floaties in the middle of the pool without concern.

Cicadas Brood X in the Garden
Elkridge, MD
May 22, 2021
5. Brood X has arrived. Brood X has arrived. The Cicadas, Brood X have arrived and they are both everywhere and noisy. Very noisy. At least they are quiet at night.

6. The Orioles have managed to take the escalator straight to the bottom of the standings. They are 12 games below .500 and 11 games out of first in the division. They are tied with the Twins for the worst record in baseball.

7. The NHL playoffs have become interesting. Two teams are now out of there playoffs: the St Louis Blues and the Washington Capitals. The Penguins continue to play and are tied 2-2 in their series with the Islanders. 

8. Today in History. May 24, 1883. After 14 years, the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River opens, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out to witness the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Designed by the late John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.

Belarus Forces Down Airliner Carrying Dissident and Seizes Him - The New York Times

U.S. Virus Cases and Deaths Drop to Levels Not Seen Since Last Summer - The New York Times

Lawmakers worry the toxic mood on Capitol Hill will follow them home - The Washington Post

Fear of the ‘next round’: Why many Israelis who live near Gaza oppose the cease-fire - The Washington Post

Phil Mickelson Wins the PGA Championship - The Wall Street Journal

Cable-Car Crash Kills 14 In Italy - The Wall Street Journal

Healthcare & PharmaceuticalsWuhan lab staff sought hospital care before COVID-19 outbreak disclosed - Reuters

Asia PacificU.S. waiting to see if North Korea wants to engage in diplomacy - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America.

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.

I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.

This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: "Let us now praise famous men . . . All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.'' As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.

Message on the Observance of Memorial Day - May 26, 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lighting the. Night

Chris and I completed a lighting project yesterday for the pool area of the house. 

New Lighting
ELkridge, MD
May 2, 2021
Previously, we had rope lights on the fences, but over the years some portions of the strands had gone dark. It didn't look good and so we took them down earlier this year.

But, of course, we needed to replace them with something and so we decided to place lights on the deck itself. Amazingly the lights come in packages measuring 48 feet and the area we needed to cover was 47 feet, which meant that there was a foot at the end for the cord to come down. I admit, I never usually get that lucky. 

We installed the lights yesterday, after the heat of the day had passed, and I snapped this image last evening with the screened porch lights also illuminated. It does brighten the areas. And, as an added benefit, it also attracts Brood X cicadas and mosquitoes. 

We are hopeful that it will add fun to an already enjoyable area.

BTW, the pool is open and I actually swam in it yesterday! Yes! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 22, 2021



It is happening right before our eyes--the country is reopening. 


I can tell because the morning and afternoon traffic jams are becoming routine again on I-95 and Route 100. What took 10 minutes to travel just a short two months ago at 4:30 PM now takes 20 minutes. 

As I wrote yesterday, Chris and I enjoyed dinner at a restaurant where no one was facially covered and there was no requirement to wear a facial covering to enter. 

People are getting vaccinated and that shows a definite impact because the infection rates are dropping--just as predicted. 

Outstanding questions:

When I will actually attend a movie in a theater?

Will I feel safe on a cruise?

When will the mask mandate be dropped in airports and aircraft?

Can I trust people to be honest about their vaccination status?

When will I attend a concert in a building? (I am going to an outdoor concert Friday night)

When will I play racquetball on an indoors court?

When will wineries reopen for tastings like they were before Covid?

When will Southwest Airlines begin serving more than four Beverages on a flight? (They don't even serve coffee)

When will Orioles Park have a full-capacity sellout?

At least the reopening is coming and happening. It has been a very long almost year-and-a-half. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 21, 2021

Escaping the Week


The Pointe Crab House Docks
Magothy River, Arnold, MD
May 20, 2021

Yes, Friday has arrived again. I am happy for that. 

Chris and I, however, decided to begin the weekend a day early by heading out for dinner last evening to a place I cannot remember visiting since the COVID epidemic began. We headed off to The Pointe Crab House in Arnold, MD. 

We enjoy The Pointe because it is situated on the Magothy River and provides a unique and enjoyable dining experience. I especially like the boat-up to the restaurant docks which provide a constant source of amusement and awe.

It was great to get out and we were in a facial-covering free environment for the first time in well over a year. It was freeing. The restaurant is open air and the light breeze and strong sun made the experience even more enjoyable. 

It is good to get out, midweek, to escape the house and to enjoy the great weather which has moved into the area.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Cicadas Arriving

Brood X, 17 Year Cicada Nymph Shell
Elkridge, MD
May 19, 2021

They are arriving.

I found solid evidence that the Brood X, 17-year cicadas are beginning to arrive in my yard yesterday. The shells of many nymphs were found across the yard and on the house. 

They are beginning to emerge and that means that soon we will hear the noisy bugs as they begin to bate and then die.  

It is an exciting time as we greet these underground dwellers upon their emergence. I am going to hate them before they finally go away, but to have experienced one of the really fascinating and rare occurrences in nature for a second time is something that I will remember. It is not as rare as say, Halley's Comet--but, it will definitely be memorable as these big bugs begin to sing. 

With the warmer weather they will are finally emerging.

Be afraid, be very afraid!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

As the Weather Turns

 And it is here!

Elkridge, MD Forecast
May 19, 2021

The warm weather is finally arriving. The temperatures have turned over the past few days and we are now looking at highs in the 80s and 90s with lows in mostly in the 60s. 

The pool should begin heating up to swimming temperature as the outside temperatures also heat up to support swimming. No one wants to swim when the outdoors temperatures are in the 60s and low 70s. 

Sunday should be especially nice with temperatures in the 90s! It may be the first 90 degree day of the year!

Things are looking very good for Memorial Weekend! The unofficial start of the summer season.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

It is Electrifying


Owning a home means dealing with crisis. And things generally break when it is most inconvenient to repair them causing an elevated sense of crisis. 

That happened on Friday. Just before Chris and I were to head off to the airport for our weekend in Houston, for some inexplicable reason the electricity in the master bedroom stopped working. It was weird. The circuit breaker did not pop, it was just part of the circuit stopped working--of course that included the closet and the main part of the bedroom. Fortunately, the TV still functioned, turns out it is on a different circuit. 

I spent a few minutes trying to troubleshoot the problem and almost made us late for our flight. It was the first time is a very long time that I arrived at the gate and the boarding process was underway and actually past our position in line. 

Upon returning home Sunday night, I was able to get a better handle on the problem and determine that it was a neutral wire problem. I spent about an hour working the problem, to no avail. But the effort got my mind turning on how that circuit runs through the house and where the problem might lie. 

I was fortunate to remember that, strangely, one particular outlet in another bedroom was on the circuit. Yesterday afternoon I began my troubleshooting with that outlet, which was, as best as I could figure, the first plug on the circuit. Turns out I was correct and also, lucky! After confirming the outlet was, in fact, part of the circuit and was also working I began my investigation. I found three wires in the outlet box and one loose neutral wire. I reconnected the loose wire, whereupon, electricity was restored to the bedroom. 

You cannot imagine my excitement. While it was not the first place I had looked, it certainly was not the last possible place I could have been searching to find the issue. 

Problem solved. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 17, 2021

Monday Musings - May 17, 2021


1. It is the third Monday of May. There are two Mondays remaining in the Month of May and then June arrives. There are 32 Mondays remaining in the year 2021.

2. It is US Tax Day! Enough said.

3. Chris and I made it home last evening without incident. I really like getting onto an airplane at the location form which I am leaving and then getting off at my destination without changing planes in between. 

4. How about those Orioles? They spotted the Yankees four runs in the top of the first inning and then won the game 10-6! oK, let me enjoy a small victory for a team that is 6 games under .500 and 7 games out of first place.

5. The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway. Unfortunately, the Penguins could not hold onto a win and lost game 1 against the Islanders in overtime. 

6. Saw the sign to the left hanging in my sister's home. Definitely true!

7. Houston Hobby Airport is a very nice place to begin or end a trip. I had not been there is a few years and the construction has made it a very appealing airport. 

8. The country must be opening again. In the span of just a short month I have traveled to both Florida and Texas!

9. Today in History. May 17, 1954. In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

Israel Rules Out an Immediate Cease-Fire With the Palestinians - The Wall Street Journal

Firms Ponder Speeding Up Plans for Return to Offices - The Wall Street Journal

A Desperate India Falls Prey to Covid Scammers - The New York Times

Train in Iowa Hauling Hazardous Materials Derails and Catches Fire - The New York Times

Black, Brown and extremist: Across the far-right spectrum, people of color are playing a more visible role - The Washington Post

What you need to know about Monday’s tax deadline - The Washington Post

United Kingdom: Free at last to hug and party: UK reopens for business - Reuters

Europe: 'I'm finally here': Greece formally opens to touristsMay 15, 2021 - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

"There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.” 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Butterflies are Free


Butterfly on Hand
Fulshear, TX
May 14, 2021

The other evening, sitting around the pool and enjoying the Texas warmth, a butterfly visited. The insect was fascinated by my sister Pennie’s hand. 

It was fun to watch the butterfly wander around then fly away only to return. And this happened multiple times during a 15 or so minute period.   

I was amazed that the insect kept returning to her hand and did not seem to be concerned. It was a good way to begin the weekend trip to see mom and dad. 

Yesterday we spent almost the entire day with them. There were a few too exciting moments, but we lived through them.  It can be like that when four generations of family get together.

— Bob Doan, writing from Fulshear, Texas 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Deep in the Heart of Texas

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

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

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

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

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

— Bob Doan, writing from Fulshear, Texas

Friday, May 14, 2021

Get America Moving Again


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

Fully Vaccinated Can Go Maskless in Most Settings, CDC Says

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

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

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

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

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Where Are They?

 They were supposed to be here by now.


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

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

Cicada Larvae Holes
ELkridge, MD
May 12, 2021

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

That is a good thing, right? 

Not really. 

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

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

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

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It is Fragile


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

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

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

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

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

It is fragile!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mid-May Cool Down

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

I have turned the heat back on in the house. 

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

This is not May weather. 

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

When will it finally become warm?

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

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Musings - May 10, 2021


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

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

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

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day 2021


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

Happy Mother's Day

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

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

To my wife--Happy Mother's Day.

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

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

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

Happy Mother's Day 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bursting with Blooms

Lilac in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
May 8, 2021

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

This may truly be the best time of the year. 

Enjoying the spring flowers and smells is very exciting. 

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

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Sky is Falling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sky really is falling, Chicken Little.

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD
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