Tuesday, August 31, 2021

In the Path of Ida


It seems the region is going to get a drenching from Hurricane Ida. 

We will have less damaging wind that New Orleans, but the 4-6 inches of possible rain will present huge problems for the area. 

It looks as if the rains will begin overnight tonight and continue into Thursday. 

And it will not be just a little rain, but significant rain. Oh yes, and tornadoes and thunderstorms. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Louisiana who are dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane that has interrupted their lives and livelihood while causing extensive damage, destruction, and death.

The storm is coming, it is best to get prepared. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Monday, August 30, 2021

Monday Musings - August 30, 2021


1. August is passing. This is the final Monday of the month and there are 17 Mondays remaining in the year.

Wooly Worm
Elkridge, MD
 August 28, 2021
2. I happened upon two more woolly worms Saturday. They, like the previous one I found, were totally black which is a prediction of an unusually hard Winter. 

3. The Orioles have managed to start another winless streak. After finally winning two games, they have gone 0-3. The prospects for a dismal ending to an unremarkable season are growing.

4. The summer is lingering. The heat and humidity are keeping the area hot and steamy. I have enjoyed being outside in the pool.

5. The lawn has begin to go into its Autumn look. There are leaves falling form the trees which make the season seem much later than it really is. 

6. I have suspended quoting Ronald Reagan every Monday.

7. Darkness is descending upon the land. The length of the days have grown unreasonably short already and we are only just two months into the descent into the dark season. It is total darkness outside at 6:05 AM. Just four short weeks ago I had a Tee time and was playing golf at this hour. And a month ago I was able to start playing racquetball at 5:35 AM on an outdoor court.

8Today in History. On August 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.


United Jets With Engines in Denver Incident May Not Fly Until Next Year - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Targets Suspected Suicide Bombers in Kabul Drone Strike - The Wall Street Journal

North Korea Appears to Have Restarted Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Again Records a Daily Average of 100,000 Covid Hospitalizations - The New York Times

Charles M. Blow: Ron DeSantis, How Many Covid Deaths Are Enough? - The New York Times

New Zealand's Auckland stays in lockdown, officials report Pfizer-linked death - Reuters

China August factory activity seen growing at slightly slower pace - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Rise and Shine Golf

Clifton Park Golf Course 18th Tee
Baltimore, MD
August 29, 2021

 I was told by Jeremy, my oldest son,
 that as his alarm went off this morning he wondered, why he set an alarm for Sunday? 

Then he realized: Golf!

I picked him up at 6:30 am and we headed off to the golf course for a round. We had a single golfer, Dave, added to our twosome and the three of us spent the next three and a half hours enjoying the successes and perils of Clifton Park Golf Course. 

The day started out cloudy and drab but by the 17th hole the sky had cleared and the sun began shining brightly, with is great because the view from the 18th Tee is stunning.

To be honest, Jeremy and I both started out poorly. It almost looked as if we had never played the game before. But, we were hitting much better by the time we reached the back nine. I was four strokes better on the back nine than the front nine. I still wasted too many strokes all over the course. At times I felt as if I were in a pitched battle against my clubs and they were resisting my attempt to get solid contact on the little white ball. 

Dave made the comment that golf spelled backwards is flog and that is what golfers do to themselves after poor shots. I flogged myself quite a bit today, but in the midst of it all I managed to sink two long putts--over 30 feet each. In fact, I had a great putting day averaging 1.67 putts per hole! It was the entire rest of my game that was a shambles. 

And that is why I love golf. To borrow a quote from Forrest Gump, changed slightly, Golf is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 28, 2021

1st Outing, 1st Win


I stepped back onto a baseball field as a coach for the first time since Covid-19 this morning in Severn. I am helping with the Severn Seminoles 14U team. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the thrill of coaching in a game helping to mould young ball players. 

As can be seen from the partial box score to the left, the Seminoles were successful in their first outing. It was a great first outing and the boys actually had fun and enjoyed the game even in the oppressive heat of the morning. 

It was a bit weird playing a baseball game when there were football games happening on a nearby field--but that is what Fall Ball is all about. Keeping the baseball skills sharp while developing into well rounded baseball players. 

The box score is really very good. Everyone contributed and since it is Fall Ball we used 5 pitchers to give the most opportunities to everyone to get back onto the mound and deliver a pitch for the team. 

The game ended due to the time constraint--but the two teams were fairly evenly matched. 

Most importantly, we all had fun coaching or playing a game that we love.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 27, 2021

Two in a Row


AL East Standings as of Games Through August 26, 2021

For 19 straight games the Orioles found creative ways to lose baseball games, and now they actually have a two game winning streak.

The Orioles wine for the second time in as many tries yesterday. It was the longest winning streak of the month! During August, the Orioles have managed to amass the worst record in baseball. They are the 30th best team in the league--there is no number 31. 

But the team enters a stretch of 10 games against divisional opponents starting tonight. They could start another 10 game or longer losing streak--but, time will tell. 

A disappointing season continues. But, the Orioles need to get to 47 wins to avoid taking over the 15th position on the all time worst teams in the modern baseball era. With 36 games remaining, I wonder if that is possible?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Damaged Butterfly

Juvenal's Duskywing
Elkridge, MD
August 24, 2021

I found a sad butterfly in the yard the other day. 

It was damaged and struggling in the grass. I really didn't realize how damaged this creature was until I looked up in the guides to identify it. 

I believe it to be a Juvenal's Duskywing--but there are important parts missing along the bottom of the wings. Look at how ragged it is. I am open to a better identification if someone has one. 

I helped the butterfly out of the tall grass and into the air. It managed to fly away before I could place it on a nearby bush. 

This butterfly reminded me of a lot of people that I know--damaged. We all have scars and damage that we contend with daily. The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting how damaged we are as a society right now. The "Me First" movement has gone a bit too far and people are forgetting that through our own personal sacrifice and giving we make everyone stronger.

I hope the damaged butterfly survives, just as I hope we as a society can survive.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Standing on 38

The Orioles streak continues--19 in a row!

Amazingly, that is how many consecutive games the Orioles have found a way to lose. 

And it has not been pretty. 

In fact, I has been downright disappointing.

The Orioles have had 38 wins since I can remember. All hopes for a 60 win season are gone--there are only 38 games remaining in this disappointing season. Given the current stretch even making it to 50 wins would be an accomplishment.

In fact, it is possible that the 2021 Orioles could finish with less wins than the 2018 Orioles who managed 47. They might take over 15th on the all time list of worst MLB teams in the modern era.

For a rebuilding year, I had much higher hopes. 

I am sure the Orioles also had hoped for a better outcome.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Bees in the Trees

Wasp Hive in a Crab Apple Tree
Elkridge, MD
August 22, 2021
Bees and wasps are in the late stages of gathering and preparing for the upcoming winter season. Chris and I noticed a large hive the other day while on our walk. The wasps were very busy streaming in and out at an incredible pace. 

We were walking along Ducketts Lane, a very busy area near the Elementary School when we saw the busy hive. Fortunately, even though the hive was directly above the street the wasps were so busy that they did not bother us as we stood directly under it and admitted its size and the steady stream of insects that were flying in an out. 

I wonder how many, or if any, children have been stung?

It is truly interesting what we can find if we keep our eyes open during walks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday Musings - August 23, 2021


1. OK, at some point I thought today was the 24th. It isn't. It is the fourth of five Mondays in August, the 23rd. There are 18 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. 18 is an interesting number. It is the number of consecutive losses recorded by the Orioles during their current losing streak. The Orioles are not the worst team in the Major Leagues. If this were Premier League Soccer, they would be relegated to the Minor Leagues next year. The Orioles have almost no hope of winning even 50 games this season. It this is the definition of rebuilding, I worry about the definition of deconstruction.

Chris looking at Sunflowers
Fulton, MD
August 22, 2021
3. Yesterday, Chris and I drove out to Fulton, MD, to look at a field of sunflowers. That may seem crazy to some, but since we both grew up in relatively rural Central New York getting back to a farm and seeing fields grounds us both.

4. Chris and I contracted with a company to upgrade our kitchen cabinets. They took the doors off the cabinets and took them away for processing. That was well over a month ago. The project is moving forward at tectonic-pace. I am not sure when we will have a complete kitchen again.

5. It has been a rainy and warm summer. At least the grass has not gotten brown. Wait, that means that I still have to mow every week, Ugh!

6. The journey into the future is fraught with missteps, the successful will find a way to continue moving forward despite the forces that would keep us looking backwards.

7. Today in History. August 23, 1927. Despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their innocence, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for murder.

On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, was shot and killed along with his guard. The murderers, who were described as two Italian men, escaped with more than $15,000. After going to a garage to claim a car that police said was connected with the crime, Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the crime. Although both men carried guns and made false statements upon their arrest, neither had a previous criminal record. On July 14, 1921, they were convicted and sentenced to die.

Pentagon Orders Airlines to Help Fly Afghan Evacuees From Foreign Bases - The Wall Street Journal

Taliban Seek Allies as Clashes Erupt in Northern Afghanistan - The Wall Street Journal

Henri, Now a Tropical Depression, Batters Northeast With Record Rain - The New York Times

The U.S. Is Getting a Crash Course in Scientific Uncertainty - The New York Times

Third Pfizer dose significantly lowers risk of infection in seniors, Israeli data shows - The Washington Post

Monoclonal antibodies are free and effective against covid-19, but few people are getting them - The Washington Post

Firefight involving Western forces at Kabul airport, Afghan guard killed - Reuters

UK's Johnson to push Biden for Afghan deadline extension - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

On October 19, 1781, the British forces under Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, to General Washington and our French allies. That surrender signified the practical end of the struggle by our forefathers for liberty and independence. The impossible dream of those patriots was about to be transformed into the reality of a bright new Nation.

As the King's troops came slowly down the road to the surrender field, legend has it that they struck up the tune, ``The World Turned Upside Down.'' And, indeed, the old order was to be turned upside down, for the creative powers of democracy were about to be released on an unsuspecting world.

This year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the surrender. October 19, 1781, was a major date in the development of America and her freedoms; and today, two centuries later, it remains an important reminder of our identity as a nation. The anniversary is also an appropriate time to recall the assistance France gave to America's revolutionary struggle. We, as Americans, are the product of many victories, many sacrifices, and many hopes. The campaign at Yorktown is a historic example.

Proclamation 4857 -- Yorktown Bicentennial - September 14, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Golf and Baseball


Plugged Drive 4th Hole
Timbers at Troy
Elkridge, MD
August 21, 2021

It was a sports-themed Saturday. I started the day on a soggy golf course and ended it around my pool hosting a baseball team party. 

The golf course was very wet. I was unlucky enough to hit a drive off one tee that plugged upon ground impact. That really hurts because there are no additional yards from the roll out and I need every yard that I can get. It was however funny to watch the ball hit the course and not move almost like someone grabbed it. 

The afternoon and early evening were filled with the Severn Seminoles 14U Baseball Team doing a team building event in the pool and one the yard in preparation for the upcoming Autumn season. The boys were full of energy and did some great bonding which we hope will carry onto the field as the team faces some of the best teams in the region.  The first scrimmage is Saturday and the team will compete in at least four tournaments. 

What a great and full day.

— Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 


Saturday, August 21, 2021

And Back to Saturday

Otium Cellars
Purcellville, VA
August 14, 2021

The week passed fairly quickly. I am amazed at how quickly it did pass. 

It is Saturday, again. Yay.

I am heading out for an a more reasonably Tee time this morning and to start the day on a likely soggy golf course.

Hey, a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day in the office? Right? Well, except on a Saturday when I would be at home anyway. 

Last Saturday began in a hotel room in Leesburg followed by a great day of wine tasting. 

Today promises to be even better with golf and a huge pool party for the Severn Seminoles 14U baseball team.

I hope the rain holds off.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 20, 2021

The Worst Sound


There are some sounds that mean bad things are happening. Other sounds are just hard to listen to. But sounds like the following are associated with messes or problems.

Glass breaking comes to mind. 

The sound of an engine turning over that will not start or the sound of the clicking that means the battery is too dead to turn over. 

A child's scream in pain.

But, I think I have determined the sound that evokes the most visceral response in me. It is the sound of a cat puking--repeatedly. 

I have a cat sitting in the kitchen right now puking. I want to do something violent to make the puking stop, but I am restraining myself from grabbing the cat and ushering it outside into the torrential rainstorm. 

The sound woke Chris up and she came downstairs to investigate. 

But it was just the cat. And I cleaned the messes up and sterilized the spots on the floor.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Rain, rain, tornados

 The remains of Tropical Storm Fred passed through the region yesterday and provided more rain than we really needed. I wish there were some way to move these storms across the nation to areas suffering drought.

There are three storms active in the hemisphere right now. Grace being the only one to have achieved hurricane status. 

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred are making a mess out of the Northeast, Henri is going to turn north and has caused us to reschedule our weekend trip to NYC as it will be making the weather there bad all weekend, and then there is Grace which looks to be a very mean storm headed for Central Mexico. It is not a good time to be on a cruise ship off the Yucatán. 

So our celebratory trip to NYC will now occur on Patriots Day--a good day to visit the city.

With all of the weather here, I wish I was in Florida!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wines of Virginia

Tarting Room Casanel Vineyards
Leesburg, VA
August 13, 2021
Chris and I headed off to the Leesburg, VA, area this past weekend to sample wines from wineries and vineyards that we had not yet had the opportunity to visit.

Let me begin by writing that there are more wineries and vineyards in this region of Virginia than can possibly be sampled in a single weekend or for that matter likely in a month. Trying to keep the weekend sane and to truly experience the wines and ambiance of the vineyards we limited ourselves to three tastings per day. So for the weekend we visited six wineries or vineyards. We had alternates selected to account for unforeseen circumstances and, in fact, the first stop was at a winery we had previously visited, but forgotten, and so we went to our second planned stop instead and added the alternate to become the third stop of the day.

The six wineries or vineyards were chosen based upon a review of their websites and the types of wine offered. Two were chosen because they offered varietals not normally experienced in Virginia. One offered both a Tempranillo and an Albariño, while another offered a Vermentino. We were not disappointed at either vineyard, although truth be told, the Tempranillo was made with grapes sourced from Washington State. My understanding is that Tempranillo does not grow well in Virginia.

So the scorecard for the weekend was six stops at wineries or vineyards. Of there six, four were definite keepers, one is on the must revisit after COVID list, and one was truly disappointing despite having a magnificent facility and a seemingly diverse and exciting wine list. That said, we purchased wines from all six wineries and vineyards and joined the wine club at one of them. Yes, I came home with bottles of all three of the wines that most interested me and many more. 

So the top four, in no particular order:

Casanel Vineyards

Stone Tower Estate Winery

8 Chains North

Walsh Family Wine

Important safety tip: Check the websites at any winery/vineyard you intend to visit to determine how or if they are conducting tastings during COVID and whether reservations are required.

Important Safety Tip #2: Drink and drive responsibly. It is OK and desired for you to spit after tasting to avoid alcohol loading.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

And the Winter Forecast is in!


Woolly Worm
Elkridge, MD
August 16, 2021
I happened upon a forecast for the upcoming winter yesterday. A woolly worm was inside of my shed door and provided the unexpected and disturbing prediction: a long and difficult winter.

The woolly worm was completely black. Tradition says that the amount of black supposedly means how hard the winter will be--and an all black woolly worm cannot be a good thing. It means a long and hard winter. 

Maybe it is a good thing that I am planning on being in Florida for the bulk of the winter season.

Hopefully the forecast will change as the season gets closer. I am hoping to see a woolly worm with at least some brown on it. It is said that the woolly worms found during September are the true weather forecasters, but that month is only two weeks away--so this one could be the "real thing."

Note to self--get prepared.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday Musings - August 16, 2021


1. We are past the midpoint of August and this is the third Monday of the Month. There are just 15 days remaining in the eighth month of the year. 

2. Creative and insightful is becoming too hard to find.

3. In a show of unprecedented bipartisanship last week the Senate passed the infrastructure bill. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is yet hope for the Republic.

4. My optimism for the Orioles season has evaporated this past week. The Orioles are on an 11 game losing streak and with just 46 games remaining in the season will have a hard time winning 12 to achieve 50 wins. Why would I pay money to watch this team lose baseball games? It is very possible the team could finish with a worse record than the 2018 Orioles who managed only 47 wins. I thought we were rebuilding.

5. Afghanistan is a mess--which is what was predicted. Actually it was a mess before the withdrawal began. The U.S. is abysmal at building nation-states that can survive adversity.

6. For those who doubt the infectiousness of the COVID-19 Delta Variant, check out the last headline from Reuters below. Children hospitalized with COVID-19 hosts record numbers in the U.S.

7. There are 137 days remaining in 2021.

8. Since the solstice, we have lost 1 hour 14 minutes and 32 seconds of daylight per day, already!

9. Today in History. While salmon fishing near the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory on August 16, 1896, George Carmack reportedly spots nuggets of gold in a creek bed. His lucky discovery sparks the last great gold rush in the American West.

Hoping to cash in on reported gold strikes in Alaska, Carmack had traveled there from California in 1881. After running into a dead end, he headed north into the isolated Yukon Territory, just across the Canadian border. In 1896, another prospector, Robert Henderson, told Carmack of finding gold in a tributary of the Klondike River. Carmack headed to the region with two Native American companions, known as Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie. On August 16, while camping near Rabbit Creek, Carmack reportedly spotted a nugget of gold jutting out from the creek bank. His two companions later agreed that Skookum Jim–Carmack’s brother-in-law—actually made the discovery.


You’ve Never Heard of the Biggest Digital Media Company in AmericaYou’ve Never Heard of the Biggest Digital Media Company in America - The New York Times

Pentagon to deploy another 1,000 troops to help with chaotic withdrawal - The Washington Post

As DeSantis consolidates power in Fla., local officials rebuke his leadership style - The Washington Post

Haiti Earthquake Death Toll Rises to Over 1,200 - The Wall Street Journal

The Delta Variant Is Already Leaving Its Mark on Business - The Wall Street Journal

Roadblocks erected in Sydney as Australia battles Delta outbreak - Reuters

U.S.Children hospitalized with COVID-19 in U.S. hits record number - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The true test of civilization, it's been said, is not the census or the size of cities or the crops, but the kind of people the country turns out. And ours is a country that was born of heroes. And now in the first decade of our third century, tried by all the challenges those years could hold, our moral fiber is stronger still.

Remarks on Presenting the Young American Medals for Bravery and Service - September 11, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 15, 2021


 Sundays dawn full of promise. Although they seem to dawn too early these days as the animals of the house cannot distinguish between week days and weekends so they arise at their usual 0500 time. 

Today has actually been very busy cataloging the new wines we acquired, picking up trash from the yard as a result of the storm we missed Friday night. And I even was happy to attend the last try-out and first practice of the Severn Seminoles. I noted that my contact lenses affect how I catch a baseball--when I shift from distance vision to near vision the ball shifts. It was weird until I finally figured it out. 

And there was even a little time spent in the pool enjoying a very typical mid-August afternoon. 

I do so enjoy relaxing days and it is even better when projects get accomplished while relaxing. 

I have been so very enjoying an unscheduled three-day weekend. Two days in Leesburg, VA, sampling wine. 

And so the weekend ends and another week begins. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Out the Hotel Window - Leesburg, VA

Out the Hotel in Leesburg, VA
August 14, 2021

 We are on the road again. It has been well over a year since I last spent a night in a hotel, but last night Chris and I spent the nightie Leesburg, Va. We are in Virginia for an overnight to sample wines from an area of Loudoun County.  There are many nice wineries in the county and we have been remiss in not visiting this area.

The three wineries we visited yesterday were unique and each offered their own unique interpretations. We enjoyed a new white wine based upon an Italian varietal. We enjoyed chatting with the wine makers and owners as we visited the wineries.

The day was hot and humid but the wines were enjoyable. I did chat with one owner who was serving wines in flights outside about how the heat changes the wines before they can be sampled and enjoyed. He agreed, but he is also a small vineyard with only about 10 acres under vine on an old dairy farm and does not seem to have the staff to support personal tastings.  As we were the only ones there, we did, however, receive personal tasting.

And all of this is out the hotel window. More tastings today. 

— Bob Doan, writing from Leesburg, VA

Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday Freedom

 I am taking a mid-August holiday of my own design. 

Since I am not taking my usual two- or three-week summertime vacation, Chris and I decided to create a special mid-August day to travel around the area and enjoy some activities not on a weekend. 

The weather seems to be cooperating, it is going to be hot! Hot! Hot!

But, I believe we are prepared for the heat. 

It will be a great day, of that I am sure. 

And it will also be a great day because I am out of the office!

Party on!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pandemic Crimes

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
I wonder if the Governors of Texas and Florida should be charged with crimes for failing to rationally address the pandemic?

I know this seems extreme, but it is clear that these individuals are placing themselves, their aspirations, and their beliefs above the common good and concern for the populace.

Infections due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 are running rampant in their states and not only sickening, but killing people including children.   

Local communities should be able to respond to the pandemic as they desire. Having governors force policies which are potentially harmful to the populace is not responsible. Case in point--DeSantis ordering that school districts may not mandate that children wear facial coverings while in schools and then threatening to withhold the pay of administrators who seek to do otherwise. If he is unwilling to mandate facial covering wearing for the entire state, then he should not impede or threaten communities seeking to protect their children.

I know some see these governors as heroes, but the pandemic is raging and their time to act has passed, and now they should also pass.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Note: the blog was updated on 13 August to correct a factual error regarding Governor DeSantis's executive order.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021


Northern Red-bellied Cooter
Elkridge, MD
August 9, 2021
Moving like a herd of turtles. 

Sometimes it feels like that when I try to get things organized and moving towards a goal or destination. 

The other day, however, I was able to witness for myself how slowly turtles move. There was one in our yard and the dogs, we had five at the time as we were still dog-sitting, were very interested in what I believe is a Northern Red-bellied Cooter that happened to be in the yard at the same time as we were walking them. 

The turtle was brave as the dogs attempted to sniff the now not moving animal. Chris and I were successful in ensuring that the turtle was not touched nor otherwise disturbed except for dogs being in close proximity. 

The turtle, unfazed, later resumed its trek towards the stream--at a turtle's pace.

A close encounter with nature that is not ordinary.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Dinner on the Water

Out the Chart House Window
Annapolis, MD
August 9, 2021
Chris and I celebrated our anniversary last evening by enjoying dinner along the Annapolis waterfront. 

The weather was a bit rugged and the scenes were illuminated frequently by lighting.  

I was surprised that the trip to Annapolis went so smoothly. Often the traffic is crushing and that keeps me from heading to the city to enjoy the fine dining and walk around the town. 

Chart House, Annapolis, MD
August 9, 2021
We enjoyed dinner at the Chart House, which is right on the water. The view is exceptional. The food was perfect and we were able to select a very nice Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley to enjoy with the meal. 

I remember, in olden times that we used to be able to recount all of the places where we had celebrated our anniversary. That ship has sailed--we got to about five and decided to change the topic.

All-in-all, it was a perfect celebration of the almost five decades we have been together!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 9, 2021

Monday Musings - August 9, 2021


1. It is the second Monday of August. My, where has the time gone. The month is passing like a whirlwind.

2. Did you ever notice that when someone says, "Money isn't the issue," it is almost always about the money?

Baltimore Skyline
Clifton Park Golf Course, Baltimore, MD
August 7, 2021
3. Baltimore from Clifton Park Golf Course on an early sunny Saturday morning looks welcoming. It was a nice morning for golf.

4. Spending a quiet Sunday afternoon in the pool, chatting and planning our future was a great way to enjoy the heat. 

5. The Orioles have dropped five in a row, losing a series to the Yankees 1-2, and getting swept by the Rays 3-0. They have again secured last place in the American League after a promising start to the post-All Star Break portion of the season. There are 52 games remaining in the season and the Orioles still have a change to record 60 wins, but based on their current record they will end 58-104.

6. Weekend traffic has become worse than weekday rush hour traffic. It seems that everyone who is not working is trying to go to the same places at the same time.

7. The truth of climate change is becoming apparent and it is a lot worst than we thought. We can deny it all that we want to, but it is happening just the same.

8. Get vaccinated. Wear a mask in crowds. Be safe. 

9. Today in History. In accordance with his statement of resignation the previous evening, Richard M. Nixon officially ends his term as the 37th president of the United States at noon on August 9, 1974. Before departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn, he smiled farewell and enigmatically raised his arms in a victory or peace salute. The helicopter door was then closed, and the Nixon family began their journey home to San Clemente, California. Richard Nixon was the first U.S. president to resign from office.

Companies Scrap Plans for Fall as Virus Cases Rise - The Wall Street Journal

Some Climate-Change Effects May Be Irreversible, U.N. Panel Report Says - The Wall Street Journal

Judge Sides With Norwegian Cruise Line in Suit Over Vaccination Proof in Florida - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Response Sends Clear Message to Afghanistan: You’re on Your Own - The New York Times

‘This Is Really Scary’: Kids Struggle With Long Covid - The New York Times

‘Goldilocks virus’: Delta vanquishes all variant rivals as scientists race to understand its tricks - The Washington Post

Florida church reeling after six members die within 10 days amid spike in cases - The Washington Post

Australia expands COVID lockdown over concern virus has spread from Sydney - Reuters

To save the planet, focus on cutting methane - U.N. climate report - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week 

I welcome this chance to further strengthen the unbreakable ties between the United States and Israel and to assure you of our commitment to Israel's security and well-being.

Israel and America may be thousands of miles apart, but we are philosophical neighbors sharing a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law. What we hold in common are the bonds of trust and friendship, qualities that in our eyes make Israel a great nation. No people have fought longer, struggled harder, or sacrificed more than yours in order to survive, to grow, and to live in freedom.

The United States and Israel share similar beginnings as nations of immigrants, yearning to live in freedom and to fulfill the dreams of our forefathers. We have both sought to establish societies of law, to live in peace, and to develop the full potential of our lands. We share a devotion to democratic institutions, responsible to the wills of our citizens. Our peoples embrace common ideals of self-improvement through hard work and individual initiative. Together, we seek peace for all people. In partnership, we're determined to defend liberty and safeguard the security of our citizens. We know Israelis live in constant peril. But Israel will have our help. She will remain strong and secure, and her special character of spirit, genius, and faith will prevail.

The prophet Ezekiel spoke of a new age -- when land that was desolate has become like the Garden of Eden and waste and ruined cities are now inhabited. We saw how miraculously you transformed and made the desert bloom. We see how, despite dangers every day, your families continue working together to build a better place to live and to prosper in peace and freedom.

Our dream, our challenge, and, yes, our mission, is to make the golden age of peace, prosperity, and brotherhood a living reality in all countries of the Middle East. Let us remember that whether we be Christian or Jew or Moslem, we are all children of Abraham; we are all children of the same God.

 - Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for Prime Minister Menahem Begin of Israel, September 9, 1981

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 8, 2021

List of Firsts

It is Sunday morning and while I wrote earlier this week about the "Lasts" that I am beginning to experience, I was gently chided by a friend to think about the "Firsts" that I will soon begin to experience. 

The thought of experiencing firsts made me smile because it has been quite a while since I have thought about experiencing firsts. 

I actually experienced a first, and I wrote about it--the first time I attended a concert along the banks of Lake Kittamaqundi. And I had fun. 

I am looking forward to the first workday morning when I awake, am not on leave and don't have to drag myself to work! But, there are still many lasts to experience along the way.

I would say that I will experience my first retirement--but that isn't true. I have retired once already. 

Next weekend, I already know that there are a few firsts planned--of course it will be associated with enjoying new wineries. 

Remember the "Lasts" and celebrate the "Firsts."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Two Weeks in a Row


Chris on the 1st Tee
Clifton Park, Baltimore, MD
August 7, 2021

An amazing thing happened this morning--I played golf!!

It was truly amazing considering that before last week my previous outing was June 5th, but now I have managed to risk life and limb on a course two weeks in a row!

And as an added benefit, Chris joined Jeremy and me for the outing. We had the second tee time of the day at  6:10 am and finished 18 holes in 3 hours 12 minutes! We would have been faster but the group in front of us kept us from making it a sub 3-hour round.

Although I did not log the improvement that I expected, I was two strokes overall better this morning than last week. 

It was great to be on the course before the sun crawled up into the sky and we were headed home about 9:30 with the rest of the day in front of us. 

A bad day on the golf course is better than a good day in the office!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 6, 2021

Lily Checks out the Pool Cleaner

I was going to title this "Dog and Dolphin," but most people would not realize that the brand of pool cleaner in the video is a Dolphin. The Dolphin does its job totally unaware of the dog checking it out. 

Before I could get the video running, Lily, the dog, was barking at the Dolphin--but then, apparently, she realized that it was not a threat. 

Dogs are funny and they provide entertainment when I am not picking up piles of poo that seem as big as cow plops. 

The dog sitting continues--for a few more days.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 5, 2021

String of "The Last . . . "

I remember as our children were growing that Chris and I at times approached a set of situations and dubbed them, "the last . . . "

I had one of those moments yesterday. It has been quite a while since I felt one, but yesterday as I was attending a virtual conference I realized that I was beginning to experience one of "the last."

I am excited about the upcoming life change which coincides with the New Year. Chris and I have a cruise planned, if Covid allows, right out of the gate. 

I recognize now that there is going to be no shortage of last this or last that as I transition into retirement almost 45 years of going to work every day and doing something that I enjoy immensely. 

So, I will take each day and enjoy it, as I have the days before, but each day draws the end of the year closer and my time shorter. 

But, life on the other side looks equally as exciting and bright--I mean, I really want to lower my golf handicap, and soon I will be able to do just that. 

There just will be too many, "the last . . . "

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Hump

For those of us still employed and working a regular 40 hour schedule, today is Hump Day. 

It is funny how much the days of the week pass when I put them into perspective. Somehow, though, Hump Day, getting over the hump of the week and sliding into the weekend is the most powerful image and the most helpful at dealing with the routine stuff.

I guess this year the passing of days and weeks is a bit more noticeable and necessary. Watching the weeks pass in an endless stream holds the promise of significant change whereby I will no longer need to monitor the passing of the days or weeks, but should be able to enjoy each day on its own irrespective of its placement win the week.

I want to work on my golf handicap!

Happy Hump Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD  

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