Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Same Dog, Different Day

Lily Joining the Fun
Elkridge, MD
June 29, 2021
Ethan Airborne with Lily Watching
Elkridge, MD
June 29, 2021

Yesterday I posted an image from April of Lily running on the pool cover. Today, the same dog is shown racing around the pool on a hot summer day playing with her humans!

It is the perfect pool scene: boys, dog, water, and more importantly--fun!

What better activity to enjoy on a sweltering summer day? And the advantage that a home pool has over a public pool? The dog! 

The entire family gets to play together. 

Of course, another floatie was destroyed during the fun, but after all, that is what they are made for. 

I only wish that I had been there to enjoy the pandemonium and the fun, but alas, I was stuck at work. I did enjoy the pool after coming home, but by then the fun was long over.

Summertime is here and tomorrow my favorite month of the year arrives!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

As the Heat Returns

Lily on the Pool
Elkridge, MD
April 4. 2021

After the cold spell which saw temperatures were in the low 50's and even high 40's overnight, the hot summer 90 degree plus weather has returned. And I am cheering! The pool is back up to the optimal summertime swimming temperature and it feels awesome to fall into the warm waters.

If I cannot be at the beach to enjoy a hot summer day, I want to be able to enjoy my pool. Napping on a floatie with a cold drink in my hand on a summer afternoon is almost the best that it can be.

The pool is clear and the water is balanced. Perfection for the short four month period every year when we actually can enjoy the pool. Until the pool was opened and the water warmed the only ones who really enjoyed it were the dogs, like Lily did during April earlier this year. A few nice days here or there do not offset the expense of keeping the pool clean and balanced. 

I think we opened the pool the latest ever this year. Truly. But, the weather since has meant that we made a good decision--between the continual rains and the too cold temperatures it has not been a lot of fun to be in the pool.

But that has changed, with the arrival of hot summer days. 

Here comes the sun, heat, and humidity! Everything for which a summertime in Maryland is know. 

And the pool water is beckoning. 

Why am I working when the pool is calling? Remind me again?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Musings - June 28, 2021

 1. Wow. It is the fourth and final Monday of June. There are 26 Mondays remaining in the year.  Next week it will be July and we will be celebrating the start of the second half of the year.

Crowd at Big Cork Concert
Rohrersville, MD
June 26, 2021

2. Chris and I went to an actual concert Saturday night on the lawn at a winery. The weather was great and the crowd was definitely not concerned about COVID.

3. I have noticed that many drivers are speeding along the roads at scary speeds and creating unsafe situations. 

4. Yesterday I moved a sofa and a mattress--what a great way to begin a hot June Sunday. Not!

5. There is something relaxing about lounging in the pool on a floatie on a hot afternoon.

6. What are decisions related to relocating so difficult? It seemed like a no brainer just a few months ago and now doubts are increasing about the planned residence change to Florida.

7. I am very happy that my condo in Florida is not in a high rise building. Chris and I had looked at some like that, but decided against them.

8. Today in History. Sometime after midnight on June 28, 1969, in what is now regarded by many as history’s first major protest on behalf of equal rights for LGBTQ people, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn—a popular gay club located on New York City's Christopher Street—turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against the authorities.

Although the police were legally justified in raiding the club, which was serving liquor without a license among other violations, New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, many of which had already been closed. 

Soon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The protest spilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until the deployment of New York’s riot police sometime after 4 a.m. 

Unemployment Rolls Shrink Faster in States Cutting Aid - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Airstrikes Hit Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria and Iraq - The Wall Street Journal

Possible Failure Point Emerges in Florida Building Collapse - The New York Times

Infrastructure Deal Is Back on Track After Biden’s Assurances - The New York Times

Records crushed in Pacific Northwest amid historic heat wave - The Washington Post

Trump Organization attorneys given Monday deadline to persuade prosecutors not to file charges against it - The Washington Post

North Korea sees 'propaganda value' in slimmer Kim, analysts sayAsia Pacific - Reuters

Analysis: Shut off from the world, Australia fosters red-hot growth at home - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 marked both the beginning of a new nation and the start of a great epoch in the history of political affairs. That day in Philadelphia, a Republic was born based on the idea of liberty for all. The Fourth of July is America's birthday celebration, but it is also a day of importance for anyone who believes in freedom.

The Declaration of Independence opened government to the people as never before. Each individual was acknowledged as possessing certain inalienable rights. And these rights in turn enabled our people to take part in their political system. Here was a true revolution, embodying the idea that government required the consent of those it governed. Overnight, Americans were acknowledged as citizens of a free land where they had once been only colonial subjects of a distant monarch.

To this day, this eloquent document detailing the rights of man and the concept of individual liberty is as moving as it is timely. It continues to hold profound meaning for us. We should remember the words of John Adams when he wrote of its signing to his wife Abigail as, ``the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.''

This Independence Day, 1985, let us be guided by the wisdom of that great American statesman and of all our Founding Fathers. As we commemorate 209 years of liberty today, let us pray for God's blessing and His help in safeguarding the precious legacy of the Declaration of Independence.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, June 27, 2021

1964 The Tribute

1964 The Tribute
Big Cork Winery
Rohrersville, MD
June 26, 2021

On a beautiful summer evening, perched on a grapevine covered hillside as the sun was setting down the valley, Chris and I attended a no kidding real concert last evening in Rohrersville, Maryland to enjoy the music of 1964 The Tribute. The band plays primarily the music of The Beatles and dresses the part. The advertise themselves as providing a Beatles concert experience as it was 50 years ago.

1964 The Tribute
Big Cork Winery
Rohrersville, MD
June 26, 2021

Of course the concert was hosted by our favorite winery, Big Cork Vineyards and we were seated on the lawn with hundreds of other people who appreciated the music of the Beatles. It was a fun and fast moving evening. 

The band covers not only the music of the Beatles, but added in some other period songs as well. The band attempts to be authentic in the way they speak and the musician playing there part of Paul McCartney even plays the bass guitar left handed. We were seated along the area where the band entered and departed the stage. It was fun to see the performers up close. 

By way of a review--the band did an authentic job of trying to represent the Beatles during their early years. The first set was well put together with a nice mix of songs. The second set dragged in the middle as if the band was trying to save energy for the final songs and the encore. Covering a Buck Owens song, Act Naturally, in the middle of the second set did not fit the mood of the evening. If the band wanted to pay homage to an American song writer/songer something by Johnny Cash from the period might have played better. The finale and encore were worth the wait, however, as the crowd did finally enthusiastically dance as the band played it final music of the evening.

It was a great evening and we enjoyed the well-balanced wines of Big Cork along with the music. The staff at the venue was superior. The only comment on the venue would be that pop-up dining canopy's should be at the back of the seating area. In the middle, as many of them were, caused for obstructed viewing of the band and the show. I was told that people started arriving for the show early in the day! 

Great weather, great music, the best wine in Maryland--what could make for a better evening?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Weekend Rolling In

Rainy Saturday Morning
Elkridge, MD
June 26, 2021

 Sometimes it is hard to believe that the weekend, which I anticipate all week, has arrived. 

I wish that I could sleep in, but the animals in the house are trained to be up and around by about 5:00--and so my idea of sleeping-in consists of maybe an additional 30 minutes until Makayla starts whining to go out. As she did today.

It rained overnight and in fact it is raining now as I write this, which really puts a damper on the day's activities. But the rains contribute to the lush, green Summer that I am experiencing. 

I had planned on taking some refuge to the landfill, and it should dry enough to do that later. Tomorrow I get to play mover again as I have a sofa and love seat to move and a mattress to acquire. I hope it is not raining.

I do so enjoy Saturday and Sunday mornings, however, because I really do not have anywhere that I need to be and I can digest a couple of newspapers, electronically, and catch-up on the news of the week. The rain is good for that as well, it keeps me inside.

Enjoy the day. It is the best one that we have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 25, 2021

Strawberry Moon

 The moon was full and bright last evening. It was a Strawberry Moon and it was also a super moon. I have read that it is the last super moon of the year--and it was super. 

The moon was so large last evening that it lit the landscape like a cloudy day. 

The Strawberry Moon is the first full moon of Summer.  

Summer truly has arrived and I am ready for it in so many different ways. It has been cool, but I am sure that the temperatures will begin to rise as the Dog Days arrive next month.

Fun days are ahead!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Hibiscus Morning

Hibiscus Around the Pool
Elkridge, MD
June 20, 2021

 The flowers of summer make for great pictures. Chris bought this hibiscus and it is strategically stationed around the pool. The flowers are huge and magnificent. 

The other morning the bloom really spoke to me.

I do enjoy the summer flowers for their variety and color. This one with its multiple colors is just stunning. 

We were talking about how to winter this plant when we are likely not going to be in Maryland for most of the winter.  It certainly cannot make it on its own. Chris suggested transporting it to Florida, but riding in the bed of the truck on a 15 hour drive during January is probably not a good idea.

So many questions, for another time. 

For now, I will enjoy this beautiful blossom and the others that have opened since I took the image. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Atop the Bubble

 It has happened before. 

A headline from The Wall Street Journal this morning proclaims

U.S. Existing-Home Prices Hit a Record in May, Rising 24%

The bubble of home prices.

Yes, it is a great time to sell, but only if you have to or you have a place already established to move into because it is not a great time to buy a home. 

It creates a conundrum for those of us on the bubble. 

To sell or not to sell? That is the question for which Chris and I have spent much time discussing. 

When will the bubble burst?

When will the supply of homes meet demand?

When will interest rates climb and push prospective buyers out of the market?

When will inflation rob us of the opportunity?

What is the break even point of selling early but having to rent until we fully transition?

And then remember--with the higher prices come higher assessments and the TAX MAN cometh!


I wish the whole problem matched the timing of our plan more. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Preparing for Independence

Independence Day Flamingo
Elkridge, MD
June 20, 2021

 I expect that this year's Independence Day celebration may be the biggest since the end of World War 2.


Because we will be celebrating independence doom COVID-19. 

The vaccines are working--the data is in and the rest of the world is striving to be where we have come as a society. Freedom from the prevalent threat of COVID-19. We are no longer viewing our neighbors suspiciously as potential carriers of the 21st Century plague.   

Break out the pools and queue the get togethers. Sadly, some municipalities canceled their fireworks displays not believing that the country would be ready to resume life in the post-COVID period. 

Break out the travel plans--we are free to move about the country and soon, Europe as well as the Caribbean. 

Caution is the word--be smart, but be free.

Happy Independence Day! Coming to a backyard near you in less than two weeks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Musings - June 21, 2021


1. It is the third Monday of June. Wow. The month is flying by. 

2. Summer is here. It started last evening. Enjoy there first full day of Summer and plan your get away.

3. I had an enjoyable Father's Day. Low key, but very enjoyable. Thanks to all who participated. And as an added benefit, the cicadas were gone and so it was enjoyable to be outside.

Pool Cover Last Hurrah
Beallsville, MD
June 19, 2021
4. I was advised over the weekend that my pool cover had come to the end of its useful life. That was a shock. I knew it needed repair, but when faced with the facts, I could not escape the realization that the cover needed to be replaced. Not an expected summertime expense.

5. For the first time in many years I do not have any summertime travel plans.

6. As a sign of the post-Covid experience, yesterday marked the first time that I shopped in a grocery store without first donning my facial covering. It was about a 60-40 mix of people with the majority still covered. I had a facial covering in my pocket, but wanted to see how it felt not to wear the mask. It felt unsettling. We are not fully back to pre-Covid normal yet.

7. Today in History. June 21, 1788. New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.

By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederationwere apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.

How Five Hong Kong Protesters Escaped by Speedboat and Found Freedom in the U.S. - The Wall Street Journal

New York Faces Lasting Economic Toll Even as Pandemic PassesNew York Faces Lasting Economic Toll Even as Pandemic Passes - The New York Times

Tucker Carlson Calls Journalists ‘Animals.’ He’s Also Their Best Source.Tucker Carlson Calls Journalists ‘Animals.’ He’s Also Their Best Source. - The New York Times

Unmasking the far right: An extremist paid a price when his identity was exposed online after a violent clash in Washington - The Washington Post

Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapon is ‘paramount priority,’ national security adviser says - The Washington Post

American Airlines Cuts Flights to Avoid Potential Strains - The Wall Street Journal

Olympics Tokyo organisers to cap spectators at 10,000 per venue - Reuters

Bitcoin slumps in wake of China crackdown - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

In the early days of our Republic, Americans watched Yankee Clippers glide across the many oceans of the world, manned by proud and energetic individuals breaking records for time and distance, showing our flag, and opening up new vistas of commerce and communications. Well, today, I think you have helped recreate the anticipation and excitement felt in those homeports as those gallant ships were spotted on the horizon heading in after a long voyage.

Today we celebrate the 206th anniversary of our independence. Through our history, we've never shrunk before a challenge. The conquest of new frontiers for the betterment of our homes and families is a crucial part of our national character, something which you so ably represent today. The space program in general and the shuttle program in particular have gone a long way to help our country recapture its spirit of vitality and confidence. The pioneer spirit still flourishes in America. In the future, as in the past, our freedom, independence, and national well-being will be tied to new achievements, new discoveries, and pushing back new frontiers.

The fourth landing of the Columbia is the historical equivalent to the driving of the golden spike which completed the first transcontinental railroad. It marks our entrance into a new era. The test flights are over. The groundwork has been laid. And now we will move forward to capitalize on the tremendous potential offered by the ultimate frontier of space. Beginning with the next flight, the Columbia and her sister ships will be fully operational, ready to provide economical and routine access to space for scientific exploration, commercial ventures, and for tasks related to the national security.

Simultaneously, we must look aggressively to the future by demonstrating the potential of the shuttle and establishing a more permanent presence in space.

Remarks at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on Completion of the Fourth Mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia - July 4, 1982

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day

 Happy Father's Day to all the fathers. 

It is a commitment that can be one of the most rewarding things in life as we guide our children to adulthood and independence. And then watch them guide their children through the same process.

My how the world has changed since I was a kid or even the a new father.

That is progress I guess.

Not every day is idyllic--there are highs and lows, but that is life.

But no matter--Happy Father's Day to my Dad and every other guy out there who knows how to appreciate the first time the baby slept through the night, or was finally house broken and all of the other firsts that go with growing up. 

-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Saturday, June 19, 2021

I Heard the Birds


I heard the birds yesterday afternoon as I was working in the yard. 

While I know that seems to be a less than exciting moment, it is the first time in over a month that the birds could be heard over the mating sounds of the cicadas. 

The cicadas are gone. 

They are not flying around, they are not singing, there are only dead bodies strewn around the yard. 

I did not hit any of the cicadas as I drove my truck yesterday.

It is a bit sad. I had come to really appreciate the bugs as they ended their lives in a huge orgy. 

But it was nice to be outside and have it relatively quiet. I am impressed with there number of holes in the ground. I may not have to pay for aeration this autumn. 

And so the Brood X cicadas are just a memory for the next 17 years!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 18, 2021

New Holiday - Juneteenth


Happy Juneteenth!


Yup, a new Federal Holiday and an actual increase in the number of Federal Holidays from 10 to 11. While this is the first new Federal Holiday since 1983, in 1983 they combined Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday to free up a holiday and declared Martin Luther King Day. So there wasn't a net gain of holidays. 

This time, it appears there is a net gain of one to 11. 

Wow--things move fast, except when they don't. I was amazed at the bipartisan support for the holiday. No dissenting votes in the Senate and only 14 in the House.

I wish we could see more of that bipartisan approach to governing.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Masks, Vaccines, and the Mood


I'm feeling a change in the country.

A renewed sense of positivity! 

As the COVID-19 infection numbers drop and we begin to resume our lives which were put on hold for about 16 months--things are moving forward. Finally. 

I will not miss wearing a facial covering, I have to admit. I had to wear one in the allergist's office yesterday and I had forgotten how freeing it is not to wear one. I am lucky in that I do not have to wear one at work anymore. I am hoping to see less and less of the signs above. 

The vaccine seems to be working in reducing the rate and severity of infection.

I only wonder how long it will be effective?

But as the mood improves and the country gets back on its feet, I think we will finally be able to leave the darkness of the pandemic and move forward. 

All of this is a good thing.

When will the wineries open for tastings like BC (before covid)?

That is one question I still have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Summer Flowers

Hydrangea in Front of the House
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021
 The hydrangea at the from of our house is magnificent. 

It is not my doing, but Chris's. She manages the hydrangeas--there are two.

I call them the "Hydrangeas that Ate Elkridge" because they are so large and full of blossoms. Things actually get lost beneath the leaves and I am sure there is a whole colony of rabbits living in there somewhere. 

Chris was worried that it would not bloom this year because she cut it back, but I think it got mad and bloomed even more than in previous years. 

I like taking a moment to enjoy the season. My favorite month of the year is almost here--July: the first full month of summer.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Riordin Asleep after Puking
Elkridge, MD
June 15, 2021


They are becoming the bane of my existence. 

Why is it that we encourage cats to relieve themselves in the house, in a box with clay pellets, and then we have to scoop the smelly stuff up and put it away?

Dogs are definitely not encouraged to relieve themselves in the house.

And cats puke!


I stepped in some this morning before I turned the lights on. 

Ugh--there is nothing more disgusting than stepping into a cold puddle of cat puke being only partially awake  with my bare feet.

We definitely need to do something about thew puking. It has become worse lately.

Don't get me wrong--I love my cats, well, one of them at least. That is why I continue to allow them to cohabitate. The other cat is trying to kill me. He walks in front of me every chance he gets and tries to trip me.

I guess I need to research why cats puke and see if I can mitigate the problem. I have changed foods to some that are better for digestion--didn't work.

I do like the purr that they make when we sleep together, so I guess I will continue to clean the messes and spend money to see if there is a solution.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Musings - June 14, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of June. The month is about half over. There are 28 Mondays remaining in the year 2021.

2. It is Flag Day. A special day to celebrate the banner under which we unite.

3. I had a wild, busy weekend, but got very sitting accomplished in the way of projects around the house. I had a lot of fun, however and was happy to help out family members with the use of my truck.

Cicada Swimming in my Pool
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021
4. Cicadas are not good swimmers. They seem to congregate I my pool, but it is fatal to them. I have rescued as many as I can from the clear water. 

5. It is sad to lose both games of a doubleheader to two different teams by lopsided scores. 

6. The Orioles continue to have a firm grip as the 29th best team in MLB. They are currently on a 4-game losing streak, which I hope does not grow into another 14-game losing streak. 

7. Cicadas are difficult to remove from windshields and other car surfaces.

8. I love summer-like days. I forgot to use sunscreen yesterday and am enjoying the effects of the sun on my arms, legs, and face.

9. Today in History. June 14, 1777. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprovethis legend.

Israel Gets New Government to End Netanyahu’s Rule - The Wall Street Journal

How Japan’s Big Bet on Hydrogen Could Revolutionize the Energy Market - The Wall Street Journal

Chip Shortage Brings Frustration but More Business to Middlemen - The Wall Street Journal

Apple Is Said to Have Turned Over Data on Trump’s White House Counsel - The New York Times

Judge Dismisses Houston Hospital Workers’ Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandate - The New York Times

Attacking Russia appears to be a line ransomware hackers are loath to cross - The Washington Post

A packed funeral, a rollicking bullfight and a message for Kenya’s police: ‘Corona can’t stop culture’ - The Washington Post

China Taiwan says will be ‘force for good’ after unprecedented G7 support - Reuters

Asia Pacific'Divine Vessel' to mark China's first human spaceflight since 2016 - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our national flag. Ever since, the American flag has embodied the continuity of our original ideals and principles.

The stars in varying constellations and the stripes of alternating red and white have accompanied Americans from the Marne to the Moon. The flag was flying when the British surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown, when Admiral Peary reached the North Pole, and when our soldiers battled at Iwo Jima. Recently, we saw the American flag proudly on the side of the Space Shuttle Columbia as she circled the Earth.

Yet the flag flies not only over the great events our history but also over the more personal moments of American life. Who cannot recall the vivid images of children at parades waving small flags in patriotic delight, of immigrants solemnly reciting the oath of allegiance before a flag in a judge's chambers, or of a grieving military widow clutching the folded Stars and Stripes?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday 9AM

It is 9 AM Sunday morning as I write this and it has already been a busy day.

I was up before the sun and on the racquetball court at 6 AM to get in the games that I had delayed playing since the rains on Friday and Saturday morning.

And then for fun, I started learning Pickleball--and played three games, if you can call them games, of this new sport.

From there I zipped off to Jeremy to assist with picking up a sofa--which tool until 8:50 AM. Boom!

And now I am home for breakfast and a shower before heading off to a baseball doubleheader.

A busy summer Sunday. What could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Rain has Stopped


After the Rains
Elkridge, MD
June 12, 2021

After two days of almost continuous rain, it has stopped. 

Maybe the world will dry a bit today. 

The pool is full and the ground is soggy. I'm glad that I did not plan on golfing today. It should be a soggy round and likely cart path only for the golf carts. 

The temperatures have cooled considerably from the six straight days of 90 degree temperatures. Today will be in the mid-70s--which means my pool will be cooling from the nice 82 degrees it had obtained. 

Well--at least the rain will be diminished for the weekend. 

Today is a lot different from last Saturday when I was on a golf course by this time enjoying the heat and the sun!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, June 11, 2021

Let's Just Move the Moon


Our elected officials never cease to amaze me. 

It was reported yesterday that Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert asked the Park Service to change to orbit of the moon to help fight climate change. 

I can't make this up--here is the video from a reputable source:


Well, the good news is that Republicans are at least admitting that climate change is real! 

That is something to celebrate--they are beginning to accept scientific fact. 

They are also apparently admitting that the Earth is not flat. 

For those who do not want to view the video, the conversation, as reported in The Guardian went something like this:

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity, and so … is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit, or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?” Gohmert asked. “Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate.”

Eberlien said she would have to “follow up with you on that one, Mr Gohmert.”

“Well, if you figure out a way that you in the Forest Service can make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert added.

Something to ponder on this Friday.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, June 10, 2021

At the Ice Cream Stand


Cindy's Soft Serve
Elkridge, MD
June 9, 2021

At the end of a long mid-week day last evening Chris surprised me and suggested a visit to our local soft serve ice cream stand. 

It is always a treat to head off to Cindy's because it is a place where Elkridge gathers on hot summer evenings. And despite the fact that it is not yet officially summer, people were gathered there last evening.

The conversations in line are always interesting.

Last evening it was about the bugs, the Brood X cicadas which are everywhere and are being very loud. As we were in live we enjoyed a few of the bugs landing on people and flying through the line. These bugs are generally more accepted than mosquitoes. The cicadas land on people, but do not bite. They are just annoying.

Apparently some people tolerate the bugs better than others. One landed on Chris and a woman in line advised her of the intruder. I calmly picked the bug off her shirt and set it free into a nearby tree.

I do love these bugs. 

I like the clicking sound they make when I pick them up.

Their only defense mechanism is their overwhelming numbers. It seems everything eats them. We even saw a woman harvesting them from a tree as we returned home. I am not interested in eating one. 

Another great evening in Elkridge.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Beware the Wine Tasting


The View from an Unnamed Winery
Northern Loudoun County, Virgnia
June 6, 2021

We experienced a COVID-19 modified wine tasting at a prestigious Northern Loudoun County, Virginia, winery the other day.

The facility was beautiful and reservations were highly encouraged for the Sunday tastings. I had made a reservation and the checking in process went smoothly. We were given a nice souvenir glass, which I think we left at the table and went off to the covered porch for a nice tasting. There was pleasant music and everything seemed very nice. 

Then the tasting. 

There were two tastings--the first, for $22 was for six of their normal wines, and the second for $18 was for three of their award winning wines. We did both--starting with the normal tasting. The wines were poured into plastic cups and I have to admit they were very small pours. We then took the tray with the cups and information about the wines to our seats to conduct the tasting on our own.

Here comes the problem. It was a near 90 degree day. Meaning it was hot. With the small pours and all six wines already poured the samples quickly warmed to a temperature which was not suitable for the tasting. We tasted two whites, one rose, and three reds during the first tasting. I have to admit, none of the wines, except for the Meritage tasted well. 

Believe it or not, I then went and bought the second tasting which was the real reason we visited the winery. Same problem. Three wines, all red with price points above $50 per bottle were too warm and were not enjoyable. 

I dearly wanted to buy something and find a drinkable wine, but because of the environmental conditions of the day, there was no way the wines would hold up. 

Note: tasting flights of wines outside on a hot day is not a good way to enjoy the fruits of the winemakers labors.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Cicada in the House

It was very creepy last evening as I was shutting down the house for nighttime. 

I turned the lights off in the living room and then heard the distinct buzzing of a Brood X Cicada somewhere in the room. And then I felt it fly past my ear making the awful sound that they make. 

It took collaboration with Riordin, our cat, to find the bug and corral it and then grab it gently by the wings to move it outside. 

Yes, I relocated it and did not flush it like I do the numerous stinkbugs which invade our dwelling. 

I am very respectful of the bugs. They are, after all, 17 years old and I believe have a right to ensure the continuation of their species. Enough of them are being splattered on windshields that I wonder if it will hinder the continuance of their kind at some date in the future. I remember the stories of the passenger pigeon which used to darken the skies, but went extinct in 1914. Perhaps it takes billions of cicadas to ensure the continuation of the species. 

I for one am happy that they are providing free aeration of the soil.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 7, 2021

Monday Musings - June 7, 2021


1. It is the first Monday of the month of June 2021. The month is off to a fast start. There are 29 Mondays remaining in the year!

2. Summer officially begins on June 20, which is now less than two weeks away. Prepare for the solstice! Although the day of the solstice is supposed to be the longest day of the year, this year, the 20th and the 21st are within 1 second of each other.

3. Look at the Orioles! After suffering through a 14 game losing streak, they have won 4 of the last 5 games! Amazing! They no longer have the worst record in baseball, that honor belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks, at least for this week.

Barrel Room at Big Cork Winery
Rohersville, MD
June 6, 2021
4. What to do on a hot pre-Summer Sunday afternoon? Head to the mountains of Maryland and Northern Virginia to taste wine! That made for a great Sunday afternoon. Good food, friends, and of course wine was the star of the show.

5. It is clear that traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels! the roads are jammed again at rush hour. 

6. With the long days for the remainder of the month, I wonder what fun evening activities that we will find in which to engage.

7. Chris and I have been watching a series on Netflix and came to its end. I researched the series and determined that there will be no further seasons to enjoy. It is sad when a good series ends, kid of like ending a book. 

8. Today in History. On June 7, 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan missionary, leads the first successful ascent of Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley), the highest point on the American continent at 20,320 feet.

Stuck, an accomplished amateur mountaineer, was born in London in 1863. After moving to the United States, in 1905 he became archdeacon of the Episcopal Church in Yukon, Alaska. Stuck traveled Alaska’s difficult terrain to preach to villagers and establish schools.

In March 1913, the adventure-seeking Stuck set out from Fairbanks for Denali with three companions, Harry Karstens, co-leader of the expedition, Walter Harper, whose mother was a Native American, and Robert Tatum, a theology student. Their arduous journey was made more challenging by difficult weather and a fire at one of their camps, which destroyed food and supplies. However, the group persevered and on June 7, Harper, followed by the rest of the party, was the first person to set foot on Denali's south peak, considered the mountain’s true summit. (In 1910, a group of climbers had reached the lower north peak.)

Google Settles Antitrust Case Over Online Ad-Practices - The Wall Street Journal
China’s Tech Clampdown Is Spreading - The Wall Street Journal
Severed head, body parts and kidnappings on Mexico midterm election day - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter--and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life. 

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