Saturday, July 31, 2021

Saturday Golf

Clifton Park Golf Course 1st Tee Box
Baltimore, MD
July 31, 2021
I love watching the sun come up on the golf course and having a 6:20 AM Tee Time will ensure that happens. 

This morning Jeremy and I played Clifton Park in Baltimore. It was my first time on the course and I was very impressed. City courses do not have a good reputation, but the greens were in perfect shape and the course was overall excellent shape. Wow. 

Clifton Park 18th Tee Box
Baltimore, MD
July 31, 2021
The course has some beautiful views and tricky holes. There is not water, thankfully, but I still managed to mishit and lose a few balls. It has been almost two months since I played last.

The weather was pleasantly cool and not as humid as it has been lately. 

The last hole of the round was especially memorable because Jeremy made his first ever Eagle putt and it was a par 5. He knocked his best drive of the day and followed that with an incredible shot that went over the group playing in front of us who were hidden in a low spot looking for their balls. When they saw us looking they told us about a ball that just appeared on the green. Wow! And he made the pressure packed shot. I videoed the shot for posterity. 

It was a great morning on the course and a great way to begin the day. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 30, 2021

Racing through the Area


Rain Crashing into the Pool and Yard
Elkridge, MD
July 29, 2021

Severe thunderstorms and tornados raced through the region yesterday afternoon about rush hour. 

Fortunately, I was home and did not have to stress in the traffic and weather--but, the storms were impressive. Chris and I sat on the porch with a glass wine and enjoyed the sound and light show provided by nature. At one point it was 360 degrees and some of the thunder was almost instantaneous with the lightning. We kept a watchful eye on the tornado warning to ensure that it was not in our neighborhood.

The rain was a hard as I can remember as it poured firm the sky onto the hot, parched lawn. It ran down the driveway like a river. 

It was exciting to watch, but fortunately we did not suffer any damage--just a few leaves into the pool which I was easily able to clean.

If it good to be reminded of the power of nature. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Backward into the Abyss

 New recommendations from federal health officials this week on when vaccinated Americans should don face masks came with a startling bolt of news: People who have had their shots and become infected with the delta variant of the coronavirus can harbor large amounts of virus just like unvaccinated people. That means they could become spreaders of the disease and should return to wearing masks indoors in certain situations, including when vulnerable people are present. (The Washington Post)

We are taking a huge step backwards with respect to mask wearing--even vaccinated people now need to wear masks again indoors. And I have been advised this means where I work. 

Haven't we been here before?

Yes, but the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths are forcing us to repeat history after a sweet and too short break. Life is not getting back to normal. There are too many unvaccinated people and they are getting everyone infected.

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to wear my colorful masks again, watch my investments shrink, insurance rates rise while taxes increase to cover medical expenses. And to think, we have to go through this again because as a society could not achieve herd immunity.

It happened just as they said it would, but I am sure the non-believers are going to remain non-believers and continue to place themselves and their families and neighbors at risk. 

At least the roads should be free of traffic as everything shuts down again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Rolling Tides of Flowers

Black-eyes Susans 2
Elkridge, MD
July 27, 2021
Black-eyed Susans
Elkridge, MD
July 27, 2021
Lining my neighbor's stairs are waving mounds of Black-eyed Susan flowers. They are in full summertime bloom and are just magnificent to look at and to enjoy. 

And there are so many of them that they almost resemble ca field of Black-eyed Susans. They are so very enjoyable to look at. It makes me smile when I see them.

As my favorite month of the year draws to a close, I am daily reminded why I love July. The flowers and the abundant life. August, sadly, begins the slide into Autumn and the dark months. Even though we are in the middle of the Dog Days, I can daily feel the summer slipping away and the beginning signs of Autumn appearing. 

Enjoy the day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Looking Up?


It is Tuesday--a day that I still cannot figure out how to get excited about. 

Some call it the most productive day of the week, I just try to get through it. 

There are 22 Tuesdays remaining in the year 2021. That means that there are only 22 more times, after today, that I will have to figure out how to get motivated for work. Now that is encouraging. 

But, there days has arrived and I will get on my way and enjoy doing the things that fill up a productive day.

Tuesday is also a special day of the week--I get to put the trash out! Oh boy!

A hot 95 degree day is expected and so, like yesterday, I expect to get into my truck this afternoon and have the temperature gauge read 108 degrees again from baking in the hot sun all afternoon!

Just another Tuesday!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Musings - July 26, 2021


1. It is the fourth Monday of July. My favorite month of the year is almost over.

2. How about them Orioles? They are 6-3 since the All Star break. Is there hope? They swept the Nationals!

3. Traffic! Traffic! It is back to normal which means too many cars to fit on the roads. 

4. Message to the Masses: Get Vaccinated.

5. There is nothing better than spending time with family on the weekends.

6. Are you watching the Olympics? I am. It is something different than the usual junk on TV. 

7. Who are Americans? My answer--all of us!

8. Today in History. On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system.

‘We’re Stuck’: Local Officials Fight Misinformation to Combat Variants‘We’re Stuck’: Local Officials Fight Misinformation to Combat Variants = The New York Times

Analysis: Variant Keeps Spreading, but Vaccine Refusal Is the Real Threat - The New York Times

Global Investors Are Buying American - The Wall Street Journal

The Delta Variant Upends the World’s Pandemic Response - The Wall Street Journal

First came the ransomware attacks, now come the lawsuits - The Washington Post

You got a coronavirus vaccine. But you still became infected. How did that happen? - The Washington Post

Tunisian president ousts government in move critics call a coup - Reuters

Man accused of attempted assassination of Mali president dies in custody - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It does my spirit good to be among thousands of Americans from our heartland, people with faith in God, the United States, and themselves. And despite the doom-criers that are abroad in the land, I believe that most of America shares your faith. But there hasn't been enough recognition of the part that you play in the lives of all of us. Not too long ago a new, young Congressman from the heart of our biggest city was placed on the agricultural committee of the House -- not exactly a case of a round peg in a round hole. And his first contribution to the committee was a pronouncement that government should confiscate all food and divide it equally among all the people, because food was a natural resource belonging to everyone.

Remarks at the Annual Convention of the National Corn Growers Association in Des Moines, Iowa - August 2, 1982

_-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Enjoying my Favorite Month

Deer in the Yard
Elkridge, MD
July 24, 2021

 It was a normal July Saturday around the house. I worked the pool and ensured it was ready for another week of hard use. We ran some errands and have a few projects to complete today. 

One moment which provided some enjoyment was the deer that passed through the yard. They must have known that they were the objects of interest because they paused at the edge of the yard and posed for my picture. I was even able to frame the animal with our Rose of Sharon bush before it decided to seek the relative safety of the forested area we adjoin.

A quick moment in a busy day that also saw an enjoyable lunch along the banks of the Magothy River. I guess that is why July is my favorite month of the year.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Shiraz and Key Lime Pie


Key Lime Pie and Australian Shiraz
A couple weeks ago, while dining at a friend's for Happy Hour I experienced something unexpected. I enjoyed wine, as we usually do, but as we moved onto dessert we put together Key Lime Pie and a very special bottle of Australian Shiraz--Mollydooker The Boxer, 2016. 

I initially thought that this experiment was doomed for failure. How possibly could a fully bodied Australian red wine possible work with one of my favorite desserts: Key Lime Pie. 

But work it did. 

The pie and wine went together exceptionally well and it wasn't to just my opinion, but the opinion of everyone at Happy Hour. The deep rich flavors of the Shiraz blended perfectly with the sweetness of the Key Lime Pie and made a very pleasant and enticing dessert combination. 

I am going to save this combination for the future.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 23, 2021


Three Rabbits Posing
Elkridge, MD
July 22, 2021

 The yard is besieged by rabbits.

I walked outside last evening and there were no less than five rabbits in my yard. I was able to get a few of them into an image before they ran off.

There are three rabbits in this image. There were two others elsewhere in the yard, but I couldn't fit them all into one shot. 

We have too many rabbits, perhaps the fox needs to start hunting.

The rabbits are doing a great job of fertilizing the yard, unfortunately my dogs like the rabbit droppings. Ugh.

Summertime, but this is the most rabbits we have ever experienced. 

Maybe it will change, soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Stopping Traffic

Geese in the Road
Hanover, MD
July 21, 2021
The Parkway, my main route to work, was jammed yesterday. Fortunately, I can bail and take an alternate route to get to my place of employment--and so I did. 

I was excited that I made the traffic light, which is incredibly long at the first intersection after departing the Parkway--and the next intersection is a right turn and so not usually any delay there, but shortly I came across a definite stoppage of traffic--geese crossing the roadway in Hanover, MD.

It is clear why I enjoy taking this alternate route to work, as there is no traffic in sight. There was a car stopped next to me as we both waited for the family of geese to cross the roadway. They were taking their time and despite that I was in my usual hurry to get to work, I actually enjoyed the stoppage to watch these birds cross the roadway oblivious to the danger that was paused waiting for them to complete their journey.

I made it to work, but I was glad that I had enjoyed a brush with nature to start my day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

To Space and Back

Blue Origin Liftoff
July 20, 2021
It is the stuff that from which dreams are made--walking up the gantry, launching in a rocket, flying into space and then returning safely to Earth.

Yesterday four humans did just that--to space and back in 10 short minutes. 

Jeff Bezos and three others went into space--the final frontier, in a rocket that he had built and tested--the Blue Origin. It was like a scene from an old Evel Knievel stunt where he flies his motorcycle over ten semi-trailer trucks. 

Except, this worked. 

And now space tourism begins--the opportunity to launch into space and become an astronaut. 

I watched hoping and praying that it would work. We need a hero right now. With all that is happening in the country and the world mired in a pandemic that will not quit--we needed some good news. And we received it. Space has become closer.

I remember watching with held breath 52 years ago yesterday as Neil Armstrong jumped off the Lunar Lander onto the surface of the Moon. It seemed that the promise of space and space travel had arrived. But, in reality, it had not. Getting into space requires extraordinary effort and since the end of the Apollo Program in 1972, no human has stepped foot on the dusty Moon. 

Maybe again someday soon. 

Maybe as of yesterday the dream is again alive and, hopefully, it will not be overtaken by world events.

Maybe, just maybe we can join with Buzz Lightyear and truly believe in "to infinity and beyond."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Orioles Update After the All-Star Game


Is there hope in the land of the Bird?

It seems so, the Orioles have managed to win 3 of 4 baseball games since the All Star Break. Last night they beat the Rays 6-1 and now have managed a rare three-game winning streak. 

The starting pitching has shown up to play and the rest of the team has calmed down a bit after having a four-day break for the All Star Game. 

The stars of the team, as if a team residing at the bottom of the league had any stars, are producing hits and runs and even the much maligned Matt Harvey pitched six solid innings on Sunday.

There may be hope that the team can finish solid and provide some positives for next season. I am tired of looking to next season for the Os to do something other than play the part of doormat for the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox.

But maybe--just maybe. They did beat the Rays last night. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Musings - July 19, 2021


1. July has truly arrived and is now beginning the third week with the third Monday of the month. The Dog Days are upon us.

2. The heat broke a bit yesterday. It felt good to fall into the pool after riding my NordicTrack through St. Augustine, Florida. The air was cooler than the water.

Rex at Pool's Edge
Elkridge, MD
July 18, 2021
3. The end of dog watching week arrived. Over the course of the week we were responsible for eight dogs! And now there are two.

4. Summertime is truly here. It has been incredibly hot outside, but the afternoon rains are keeping most everything green as July begins slipping into August.

5. Chris and I were encouraged to see two bats dancing in the sky last evening.

6. I am amazed at how busy my schedule for the week is shaping up. Tonight I have a 90 minute massage planned to erase the tension of last week.

7. The Orioles actually won a series besting the Royals! They are still the worst team in the American League. With 70 games remaining this season it is possible that they will end the season with 50 wins. Far below my pre-season prediction.

8. Today in History. Although there is some debate about the exact date, on what was likely July 19, 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles east of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been “dead” for nearly 2,000 years.

England Enters ‘Freedom Day’ With Prime Minister in IsolationEngland Enters ‘Freedom Day’ With Prime Minister in Isolation - The New York Times

Scorched, Parched and Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine CountryScorched, Parched and Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine Country - The New York Times

Days Before the Olympics, More Athletes Test Positive for Covid-19 - The Wall Street Journal

Hubble Space Telescope Is Back in Action After NASA Fixes Odd Glitch - The Wall Street Journal

Unruly airplane passengers are straining the system for keeping peace in the sky - The Washington Post

Disease experts see summer of covid freedom as premature - The Washington Post

Israeli firm's spyware used to target journalists' cell phones - Reuters

Russia says it successfully tested hypersonic missile praised by Putin - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

I think we can all agree that today our bipartisan coalition is becoming a strong and vibrant one. But I think we can also agree that we'll need this strength and vibrancy, because the challenges we must face together are by no means over. The struggle against government's irresistible urge to grow and grow is a continuing one. The fight to control the Federal budget is just beginning. But on this front, I think we can be very clear: There will be no falling back, no call for retreat.

We've stood together. We've fought together for what we believed was right. I know that we'll do so again. But today I wanted you to know how grateful I am to you and how grateful the American people are for your selflessness and your statesmanship.

Remarks at a Meeting With Congressional Leaders Following Passage of Federal Budget Reconciliation and Tax Reduction Legislation
- August 5, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Checking Out the New Cover


New Loop Loc Pool Cover Installed
Elkridge, MD
July 17, 2021

It is the middle of the summer and the dog days and to the question is, why am I putting the cover onto a perfectly good pool in bright sun and 92 degree temperatures?

Because I'm crazy?

No, because the replacement pool cover arrived during the week and it needed to be checked and installed to make closing the pool during September easier. It looks great and went on very nicely. Installing the tension springs was not as lot of fun in the bright sun and heat, but the promise of jumping into the pool after the project was finished kept me going. 

It was hot, did I mention that?

New new cover looks great and it will also help too reduce the algae growth in the pool that I face at the start of the season. The old cover had lost almost all of its UV filtering capacity and the final problem was that some of the panels started ripping out. 

This new Loop Loc Safety Dense Mesh Pool Cover will provide many years of service and hopefully will make pool opening easier in the springtime while also providing a safe protective cover for the pool during the off season. 

The cover is off now and I am trying to find a better storage situation. The company recommends hanging it, but it is pretty heavy. I have a few ideas, however. Another day, another project.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 17, 2021

I Had a Hosta

Hosta Converted to Rabbit Food
Elkridge, MD
July 17, 2021

Chris and I have a shade garden. It is nestled under the trees near the driveway. 

The other morning I noticed that my prized and beautiful hostas had become nothing more than rabbit food. It used to have big and beautiful leaves that were fun to look at and enjoy. It covered a very wide area of the garden right on the edge. 

It is gone now, having been repurposed as nothing more than wild rabbit food. As have most of the hostas in the garden. 

Chris had placed some netting over the hostas to protect them from the rabbits, but a couple weeks ago a good sized rat snake became entangled in the mesh and died--so since we prefer to snakes over rodents, we removed the netting and effectively sacrificed the hostas to protect other beneficial snakes. 

It is a balance. We enjoyed the hostas for a while and now the rabbits have also enjoyed the hostas. We noticed a fox in the yard yesterday which will likely be enjoying the rabbits thereby allowing the hostas to grow new leaves for us to enjoy them again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 16, 2021

On the Edge of the Abyss--A Rant

 Well it is happening.

As a country are taking strides backwards into the abyss of COVID-19. 

It fascinates and upsets me that so many in the country did not see this coming or if they did, they did not heed the warnings. But, the warnings were true despite all of the posturing on one of the news networks--if we do not get vaccinated we cannot get rid of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 is real. People need to get vaccinated or they may get sick and potentially die. 

I think it is clear that more Americans have been vaccinated than have been afflicted with COVID-19 and that the consequences of getting vaccinated are that the COVID-19 infection rate is near zero and those who get sick form the vaccine are also very low as compared to the virus. The anecdotal stories to the contrary do not compare well against reality.

But no! For some strange reason people continue to avoid the vaccine opting instead to become a burden on society when they get sick from the new mutation of COVID-19. 

Loa Angeles County is mandating facial coverings indoors again. 

Let me be clear: I do not like wearing a face mask!

Please--get vaccinated if you can so that we can all help protect those who for valid medical reasons cannot be vaccinated.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dogs and Water Creatures

Fascinated by a Leaf
Elkridge, MD
July 13, 2021

 The dogs are fascinated with water creatures, even if the water creature is a leaf.

It happened again the other evening--a leaf floated across the pool and the pack of dogs became agitated and barked at the leaf in an effort to convince it not to come closer.

They are funny to watch. I do worry about the noise when four of them start barking in unison. I am not used to having barking dogs in my yard and I do not want to disturb the neighbors. 

I must be leading a very boring life if this is the most exciting thing that I write about. But, it is something different breaking up the evenings. 

I could write about the clock we bought from Amazon that quit working because the hands got tangled up. The clock also has a humidity and temperature dial. The temperature hand was too far form the face and the hour hand collided with it. I was going to return it to Amazon, but I decided to return it on July 12th and the last day to return it was July 9th. So I fixed it in about five minutes. 

The dogs were far more interesting.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


 Last evening was the first in about two weeks that evening thunderstorms did mot move through the area. 

The days have been hot and sultry. Uncomfortable.

I note that during most summers past, I have spend a couple weeks of July in Florida. I remember the reason. The average daily highs in Jupiter for the pas week have been in the 80's while here in the Baltimore region they have been in the 90's. Yes, it is cooler in Florida! What a concept. 

And there is a nice ocean breeze along Florida's Atlantic coast. 

10 Day Forecast for Elkridge, Maryland

10 Day Forecast for Jupiter, Florida

I'm guessing I'd rather be in Florida for the summer.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Orioles Mid-Season Update


I have to admit that at one point I was thinking of a weekly Orioles update, but as the season progressed it became clear that there was nearly nothing to update. The Orioles are without a doubt the second worst team in baseball. That means that of 30 terms they are number 29! Ugh. 

There is not a lot of excitement. The big question is how badly will they lose tonight?

Standings as of July 12 ,2021

The excitement of the season so far have been the no hitter by John Means and Trey Mancini's making it to the finals in last night's Home Run Derby. Aside from these two highs, everything else has been pretty low.

To recap: the Orioles have catchers who should not be in the Majors, the relief pitching is uneven, the offense cannot produce runs against the best pitchers in baseball, and base running has been awful. 

So at the All Star Break, it can hopefully only get better.

I hope that some of the young stars of the future begin to arrive from the minor leagues to restart a sense of baseball to the team. 

I really need something to cheer for!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 12, 2021

Monday Musings - July 12, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of July 2021. There are two Mondays remaining this month.

Florence and Lily Relax
Elkridge, MD
July 11, 2021
2. I cannot believe that I occasionally still write 2020 when I mean 2021. I did it yesterday in the caption of an image I posted in my blog. I went back and corrected it, but I think the wrong date still shows up in Facebook.

3. Lily and Florence were relaxing on a hot July afternoon. I was likewise chilling in the shade after doing some projects and being up on the roof of the pool house. Having a pressure washer means having annually do some deep cleaning, which is best done under a hot sun!

4. There are a couple of scary headlines this morning.

5. Welcome to the Dog Days. This year they run from July 3 - August 11. And this week is going to be a hot one here in the mid-Atlantic region.

6. I do love hot summer days. What could be better?

7. Today in History. July 12, 1984. Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announces that he has chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Ferraro, a daughter of Italian immigrants, had previously gained recognition as a vocal advocate of women’s rights in Congress. Ferraro became the first female vice presidential candidate to represent a major political party. 

Cuba sees biggest protests for decades as pandemic adds to woes - Reuters

Taliban surround central Afghan city of Ghazni  - Reuters

Italy erupts in celebration after Euro soccer triumph - Reuters

TikTok Owner Shelved IPO Plans After China Warning - The Wall Street Journal

Branson’s Virgin Galactic Flight Opens Door to Space Tourism - The Wall Street Journal

More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future - The New York Times

Despite Outbreaks Among Unvaccinated, Fox News Hosts Smear Shots - The New York Times

Top U.S. commander to step down in  symbolic end to Afghan war - The Washington Post

This Christian movement wants a nation under God’s authority and is central to Trump’s GOP - The Washington Post

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

It's clear that achieving economic recovery now poses one of the greatest challenges to the free world, and it's this challenge that shall lie at the heart of our summit in Ottawa. We must discuss not just our problems there but our own national policies to cope with them and what we must do together to restore general prosperity.

I also hope from this summit will come a new sense of confidence and community among the industrial nations that economic recovery can be achieved. And I hope, further, that in our meetings, our countries will reaffirm our fundamental partnership with each other. For many years we've shared democratic political institutions, market economic systems, and a belief and faith in human dignity and freedom. By meeting at this summit, we will express our quiet determination to defend those institutions against any threat.

Finally, let me say I look forward to the summit for personal reasons. I believe it's important to the vitality of our foreign policy that I have the opportunity to renew friendships with world leaders who've already visited here in Washington and also have an opportunity to forge new relationships with those who've recently been elected to office.

Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada Following Their Meeting - July 10, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Pack is Formed

Lily and Arthur with the Leaf
Elkridge, Md
July 10, 2021

 I think five dogs composes a pack. 

If so, then we have a pack for the next week. Adding our daughter's three dogs to our own two makes a five dog pack. 

Life gets complicated when there are that many dogs and three of them do not feel constrained to remain in the yard. 

Last evening the dogs found some entertainment by watching a leaf dance in the current of the pool. They were completely into the leaf and could not fully grasp its motion. At one point they tried to attack the leaf, thinking it was an intruder. The leaf ignored them and continued its motion in the current created by the pool jet.

This infuriated the dogs as they could not understand how the leaf could continue to ignore them.

All told, this was at least a 15 minute adventure and allowed Chris and I to have some enjoyment at the dogs' expense. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 10, 2021

As the Weekend Arrives

 It was a different Friday evening. 

Usually our group of friends gets together on Friday evenings to enjoy some food and great wine while retelling the stories of the week. But last evening, no one was available and so Chris and I spent a Friday evening together enjoying the pool and watching some television. 

I did enjoy seeing the Friday version of Jeopardy and the last conducted by guest host Sanjay Gupta. 

We watched an old Jeff Dunham comedy show from 2007. Wow, we have changed so much in the 14 years since. Chris and I felt that there was way too much socially insensitive comedy in his routine then. And Achmed the Terrorist must go. His time is long past. 

I missed being with the group to discuss the week in news, sports, weather, and juicy gossip.

But even so, enjoying the pool and just hanging out together was enjoyable.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 9, 2021

Saying Good-bye


America is saying good-bye to the longest war that it has ever waged: Afghanistan. 

I admit I have mixed emotions about the end of the war and the way it is ending, but I do believe that the time has come to allow the Afghans to either stand or fall on their own. 

I find the Republican resistance to the withdrawal interesting, since it was the former president who first announced the withdrawal during October 2020:

Trump's Afghanistan withdrawal announcement takes US officials by surprise

President Biden is following through on something his predecessor proposed and should, therefore, have bipartisan support. 

The sad state of politics in America is clear in this episode. The two parties have fallen into camps of progressives and obstructionists and this issue highlights the irrational approach to government both parties exhibit. 

I am looking forward to September 1, 2021 as being the first day in a very long time that America has not been at war. 

I do have to take issue with the notion that Afghanistan is the longest war that the U.S. has fought. Too many people forget the Cold War (1945-1991) which we waged longer. And don't tell me that no one died during the Cold War. There are many civilians and military personnel who died waging the Cold War. 

I long for peace. I hope that the church bells ring as the last American military forces depart Afghanistan and Americans begin the search for our collective post-9/11 Era identity and place in the world--that is the truer struggle. Afghanistan is the last active reminder of the America which began to take shape after 9/11/2001.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Hanging in the Morning Sky

Moon over Ducketts Lane Elementary
Elkridge, MD
July 7, 2021
Yesterday I headed out early, just before dawn, to play racquetball. As I was driving past the local elementary school, I saw the crescent moon hanging in the predawn sky. The scene yelled "it is summertime to me."

The color of the predawn sky had the summer hues and the silhouetted school building, clearly empty with few lights illuminating the halls similarly supported the conclusion that this was a hot, sultry summer morning. And it was!

I am playing racquetball at an outdoor court and we try to begin our match as soon as we believe we can see the ball well enough not to be a danger to ourselves. 

This evening, we are expecting the remnants of Hurricane Elsa to pass through the area and treat us to more rain and thunderstorms! Rain and thunder seem to be an every evening event right now. 

They just serve to make the morning sky more interesting.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Sleepy Cat

Riordin on the Sofa
Elkridge, MD
July 4, 2021

Riordin never ceases to amaze. 

The other morning he was sleeping on the sofa with his head on a pillow.

He looked cute. 

And comfortable. 

Too comfortable! I cannot get that comfortable on that sofa. I wondered how he managed to do it. It is, however, his normal sleeping location every morning although he has never before rested his head on the pillow. 

Why do I have cats? They puke and use a litter box which stinks up the place. At least doge reliever themselves outside--and I then pick up their feces in a bag to prevent flies. 

As I took this image, he looked at me and then went back to sleep.

I wish I could have done the same.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Summertime Fun

Diving In
Elkridge, MD
July 4, 2021

 I just had to do it. Chris even asked me why?

Because, I responded, it is the 4th of July and I have to be in the pool because it is the real summer holiday. 

But the day was cool--upper 70's and the pool had lost some heat due to the overnight loss in the 50s--yes, 58 degrees. It really takes a few degrees out of the pool.

And so, I stood on the diving board and prepared myself for a frigid experience and dove in. All-in-all it was not so bad. It was refreshing, but not cold and I actually stayed in the pool for a while. The air was cool and I felt the evaporation when I finally got out, but I felt better for being in the pool on a great Independence Day. 

Sometimes you just gotta do what you just need to do! And do it head first.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, July 5, 2021

Monday Musings - July 5, 2021


1. It is the first Monday in July. Amazingly, my favorite month of the year has arrived. 

Fireworks from Neighborhood Block Party
Elkridge, MD
July 4, 2021

2. It was a fantastic 4th of July. The neighborhood got together for a great block party. It was the first year in many that we did not have our own backyard display.

3. The pool has cooled some, but it was still refreshing and enjoyable and I took some time to definitely enjoy it during the day.

4. It is vacation season and the world is beginning to open. I hear that the National Parks are jammed.

5. I wish I could spend some time on a beach today--but soon enough.

6. I enjoy taking pictures of fireworks!

7. And so the week begins. At least I have a day off today. I am playing racquetball this morning. 

8. Today in History. On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Réard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Réard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

Champlain Towers Demolished as Storm Approaches Miami - The Wall Street Journal

Retail Investors Power the Trading Wave With Record Cash Inflows - The Wall Street Journal

Engineers who have examined the wreckage have been struck by a possible flaw in the building’s construction. - The New York Times

Vaccination Is the ‘Most Patriotic Thing,’ Biden Says on Independence DayVaccination Is the ‘Most Patriotic Thing,’ Biden Says on Independence Day - The New York Times

Thousands in D.C. celebrate a nearly normal Independence Day - The Washington Post

Iran, facing another virus surge, reimposes restrictions and focuses on homegrown vaccines - The Washington Post

Hackers demand $70 mln to restore data held by companies hit in cyberattack - Reuters

Tropical storm Elsa likely to pass near Florida Keys on Tuesday - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

All through our history, our presidents and leaders have spoken of national unity and warned us that the real obstacle to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only permanent danger to the hope that is America, comes from within. It’s easy enough to dismiss this as a kind of familiar exhortation. Yet the truth is that even two of our greatest Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once learned this lesson late in life. They’d worked so closely together in Philadelphia for independence. But once that was gained and a government was formed, something called partisan politics began to get in the way. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson defeated Adams for the presidency in 1800. And the night before Jefferson’s inauguration, Adams slipped away to Boston, disappointed, brokenhearted, and bitter.

For years their estrangement lasted. But then when both had retired, Jefferson at 68 to Monticello and Adams at 76 to Quincy, they began through their letters to speak again to each other. Letters that discussed almost every conceivable subject: gardening, horseback riding, even sneezing as a cure for hiccups; but other subjects as well: the loss of loved ones, the mystery of grief and sorrow, the importance of religion, and of course the last thoughts, the final hopes of two old men, two great patriarchs, for the country that they had helped to found and loved so deeply. “It carries me back,”’ Jefferson wrote about correspondence with his cosigner of the Declaration of Independence:

July 4, 1986, Independence Day Speech Aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in New York Harbor

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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