Saturday, May 21, 2022

Doubleheader Saturday

 

Sumner arrived almost exactly a month early yesterday. 

I looked at my watch just after 3 PM yesterday and the reported temperature in Elkridge was 90 degrees! I was outside and loving it! Officially, the actual high was only 89 degrees, but the heat of the day was sufficient to raise the pool water temperature 5 degrees. It is now 70 degrees and should climb even more today. I am seeing projection for the expected high of between 93-95 degrees!

My plan for the day? Coaching a baseball doubleheader! Yup! In the heat. We will be monitoring the boys carefully and are planning to bring home two wins! I am more excited about playing in the heat than I was about playing baseball in 30 degree temperatures. The ball should be flying today because our boys can really hit. 

And the good thing? After the game I can come home and fall into my pool to refresh from the heat and dust! Maybe that is the part that excites me most. 

BTW, the official first day of Summer is June 21st, but with Memorial Day next weekend and the heat continuing today and tomorrow before a respite it feels like my favorite month of the year: July!

Play Ball!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 20, 2022

Repairs

I like to repair things. Fortunately, I usually understand when something is beyond my ability as was the case with an outdoors faucet repair.

Hole in the Wall
Elkridge, MD
May 20, 2022
Hooking up the water for the pool house and the house after the winter, the main outdoors faucet was not functioning properly. It was not leaking when off, but when I turned the water on the faucet leaked along the stem and out the handle. This is a fairly simple fix that I have done before on other outdoor faucets--but, this one was different. It was a ProFlo faucet and although I followed the YouTube instructions, the leak would not stop. Unlike non-frost free faucets, I could not take the innards out to repair it.

New Faucet
Elkridge, MD
May 20, 2022
This very faucet had been replaced about 5 or 6 years ago. I was disappointed that the ProFlo faucet did not last, but I was also aware that this repair required a professional because I had watched the previous repair. In the end the repair required soldering, pipe cutting, and about three hours of work by a professional plumber to replace the faucet.

All is good now, well, except for the hole in my wall that I need to fix. I have purchased a cover that will hide the hole nicely and when painted will be almost invisible. There actually was a smaller existing hole and cover, but I decided that since, for the second time, the hole needed to be enlarged to effect the repair that I would just put a larger cover on the problem instead of repairing the bottom portion of the hole to fit the existing cover which only provided access to the turn-off valve.. 

Not that I'm just covering over the problem, the problem was resolved.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Finally Out on my Bike

I finally got out on my bike again. I have not been riding too much since returning to Maryland due to the weather and life's busy schedule. Similarly, I have not one yet managed to visit a golf course to embarrass myself with how miserable my game has become. 

My ride was Monday as the weather was nice. I rode out in advance of expected storms, which did not happen--much like many of the dire weather forecasts that we have had in the area. I knew the expected storms were over an hour away and I was planning a 40 minute ride. 

In the end it was just over 8 miles and 39 minutes. The problem with this area is the hills. Riding the hills is tough. My app recorded over 500 feet of elevation change. While coasting and riding down the hills is exhilarating. going up can be a slog. I did manage to exceed 29 mph on the downslopes twice during the ride, but slowed to only 6 mph nearing the tops of some of the hills. The ride has almost no flat riding. I miss Florida for that. It seems almost everywhere I ride in Florida is relatively flat, with the exception of crossing the drawbridges which more resembles the hills here in Maryland. 

Hopefully, I will get out again soon. The weather is going to be in the 90s for the next three days. Yay! But, there is rain in the forecast.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Preparing for the Summer

 

Freshly Open Pool after Initial Vacuum
Elkridge, MD
May 17, 2022
Happy Hump Day!

In what should be the last pool opening in Elkridge, Chris and I enjoyed 80 degree temperatures and Pool Opening Day 2022 was one of the smoothest in recent memory. 

The day began with a trip to our local pool store to purchase chemicals and supplies. OMG, what a shock! Literally, chlorine is $4 a pound--up from $2.25 just a year ago. And when buying 50 pounds that makes a difference. All of the other chemicals and additives likewise have experienced a radical price increase. 

Under the cover, the pool was clear with only some debris that had blown into the water to remove. The algae bloom that we suffered with during the past few years was not present and only 12 pounds of chlorine shock seem to have brought everything into near balance. I still need to adjust the alkalinity and hardness a bit--but chemical wise, the pool is swimmable. Yes I am still doing the obligatory after the winter cleaning and need to brush the sides and vacuum again, but wow--the new pool cover I bought last season really seemed to do the job. 

Gray Tree Frog
Elkridge, MD
May 17, 2022
Adding to the excitement of pool opening day was the visitor we had watching the activity: a gray tree frog. The frog perched on one of the galvanized fence pipes and spent the day in the sun. 

The frog remained all day and even after we concluded about 4PM to get ready for a baseball game. The frog did not seem to mind having us around and even posed for a picture. I hope to see it again today.

With the pool open and nearly swimmable all we really need are a few more days of warm/hot weather. It was the forecast 91 degrees for Saturday which spurred me into action. I did not want to miss that opportunity to get the pool up and operating in advance of the Memorial Day Weekend in two short weeks.  


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Scams and Sellers

It is no secret that Chris and I are downsizing and selling many of our possessions in advance of our permanent relocation to Florida. I have principally been using Facebook Marketplace and have generally been successful. 

Yesterday I experienced something new and sinister. Scammers! Two very different scams, one that I successfully defended against and one which I didn't understand and got scammed--but was able to quickly repair the damage with no loss of money.

Very quickly after I posted and antique on line for sale I received two quick offers. Of course I was ecstatic and that clouded my view. I have a bias that scams involve money, but I learned yesterday that there are other valuable things, like my phone number, that scammers desire to control.  

Both scams were running simultaneously using Facebook Messenger. The first scammer told me that they needed to verify that I was real and that sent me a verification code to send back to them. I totally missed that it was a Google verification code and it allowed them to disconnect my phone from my account and gave them control, briefly. The scam continued as we conversed about payment and they reported they could not verify my phone and did I have another number. At that point I began to suspect something and did not give them another number. The email from Google confirmed the scam by indicating my phone was no longer in my account. I quickly followed the instructions to regain control of my phone in my Google account and closed the scam. I reported it to the FTC and to Facebook.

While this was going on I was also managing another scam. The person was allegedly sending me payment for the item using Zelle. I checked out Zelle, which I did not have, and uploaded the app on my phone. I think this is where I was able to determine quickly that I was the victim of a scam. The scammer sent me an email, using an address that looked like it was coming form Zellepay, but upon inspection was from a gmail account, saying they had sent me the money. The scammer was trying to convince me that the money had been sent to my account, but that it was being held up because I needed to upgrade my account to a business account by having them send more money to the account, which I would then refund to them. Problem is, my Zelle account app showed nothing of this and did not register that any money had been sent. I had Chris call Zelle while I was online with the scammer to confirm the scam. Amazingly, the scammer contacted me via Messenger audio and was trying to convince me that it was all legit. I finally had to block the Messenger account. I reported a phishing attempt to Gmail. 

The old adage about "Buyer beware" is now definitely "Buyer and Seller Beware."

Scammers are out there, lurking to get something for nothing.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday Musings - May 16, 2022

 


1. Happy Monday and greetings. Welcome to the third Monday of May! There are two Mondays remaining in May and 32 remaining in the year. 

2. Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins for another great season which ended last night with a game 7 overtime loss to the New York Rangers. The loss eliminates the Penguins from this year's Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins held a commanding 3-1 lead in the series before getting swept the last three games to lose to the Rangers.

3. Rain! Yup, it is in the forecast for today. I wish we could readdress the rain and send it to the dry and parched regions of the country. 

4. Inflation. OK, so I am neither an economist nor a financial wizard, but I am concerned that the Federal Reserve (FED) is approaching the inflation crisis using outdated formulae. The current inflation crisis, unlike those of the past, is being fueled principally by outside forces: COVID, China lockdowns, Ukraine, and supply line disruptions. Our dependence upon the global economy, which is normally good, is underpinning the inflationary cycle. My view: instead of tightening the money supply to reduce demand, the Fed should provide inexpensive money to assist industry to research to overcome the problems. This should lead to greater U.S. economic independence and resilence. 

5. The Severn Seminoles 14U Baseball Team played a tournament in Delaware this weekend and posted a 1-1 record. Unfortunately the tournament was cut short by rain which thwarted their quest to win the Championship.

6. Don't miss the headlines that I have curated this morning. See below. 

7. Today in History. On May 16, 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its first awards, at a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

The brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, head of the powerful MGM film studio, the Academy was organized in May 1927 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the film industry. Its first president and the host of the May 1929 ceremony was the actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Unlike today, the winners of the first Oscars—as the coveted gold-plated statuettes later became known—were announced before the awards ceremony itself.



Ukrainian forces reach border near Kharkiv: 'We made it!' - CNN

China's harsh lockdowns could exacerbate population crisis - CNN

Kim Jong Un mobilizes North Korea's military in response to Covid-19 outbreak - CNN

McDonald’s to Exit From Russia After Three Decades - The Wall Street Journal

Buffalo Shooting Suspect Wrote in School About Wanting to Carry Out an Attack - The Wall Street Journal

America Leans on Aging Power Plants to Keep the Lights On - The Wall Street Journal

Ruling parties in Sweden, Finland back NATO membership in historic shifts - The Washington Post

Russian oligarchs loved luxe Sardinia. Now they’re frozen out of paradise. - The Washington Post

Suspected gunman allegedly inspired by racist theory underpinning global carnage - The Washington Post

Russia will not 'simply put up with' NATO's Nordic expansion - Reuters

Analysis: Neutral Switzerland leans closer to NATO in response to Russia - Reuters

China's economy skids as lockdowns hit factories, retailers - Reuters



-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Around the Firepit

Chris Around the Fire
Elkridge, MD
May 11, 2022

Between the rainstorms of the past week, Chris and I found time and a dry spell to enjoy time around the fire pit. I believe it was our second fire of 2022 as we were lucky enough to have one during January.

I was surprised that the wood we used was dry and made such a fantastic fire, but we sat and enjoyed the crackling of the fire for some time. 

Unlike many other fire pit evenings, we did not remain out until after dark, but rather went inside to enjoy dinner. It was Wednesday and the middle of a very busy week. But we enjoyed the respite from the bad weather. It was at least warm!

Sadly, we will miss the joys of the fire pit during the time we spend in Florida. Our condo association and the Tequesta Fire Department do not allow open flames in our community. Not that there is really anywhere for a fire pit in the condo area. And no, no open flames are allowed on the beaches, either. The light from the fire is a detriment to the turtles when they are laying eggs and then to the hatchlings as they race to the sea. 

We will, however, survive and leave the joy of fire pits to our visits back to Maryland.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 14, 2022

I Have to Brag

Ethan
Odenton, MD
May 13, 2022
I'm writing a brag blog today.

I have the best looking grandson in the world!

Last evening was prom night and my grandson was lucky enough to attend the event. He is a junior and his date is a senior. Chris and I were lucky enough to attend the pre-prom picture sessions. Yes, plural! We did three sessions as it turned out. One at home and two at the local community center which has some very nice bridges crossing a small brook which provide for very scenic settings. 

Chris and I with Ethan
Odenton, MD
May 13, 2022
The couple coordinated his vest with her dress and they were stunning together. The picture taking went a bit long, but I have it on good authority that the couple made it to dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the prom arriving safely back at their homes, compliments of her parents, during the wee hours of the morning. 

Chris and I had our picture taken with Ethan, on more than one occasion, and he made the scene look good.

I remember high school and prom. I have to admit, I did not look nearly so good, but Chris, I remember, was stunning in a very pink gown. Maybe that is why I grew to love flamingos!

But wait, last evening was about Ethan enjoying his post-COVID high school experience and I am very happy that life is resuming and those major milestones of life, which so many kids missed, have returned. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Smell of Springtime

Spring 2022 Lilac 
Elkridge, MD
May 12, 2022
The lilac bush next to my porch is in full bloom. It is a late bloomer due to our location at the bottom of the street where it stays a bit colder longer. But when it blooms, it is fabulous.

And the bush is in full bloom. I enjoy walking out the front door into the air filled with the aroma I most associate with Spring. During a brief break in the clouds yesterday, I was able to get a good image of the flowers which are producing the sweet aroma. Set against the newly mown lawn they are the image of Springtime enjoyment for me.

Growing up in Upstate New York there was a large lilac bush right outside on my second story bedroom window. It was one of those huge, unkept bushes which get larger until they begin to take over the yard. I remember enjoying the sweet smell of the lilacs during the Spring and then remembering that sweet fragrance as I mowed around the bush during the remainder of the growing season until the winter. I lamented that the two weeks or so of enjoyment were so short in comparison to the remainder of the year. I believe that in why I have grown to enjoy Crepe Myrtle. Although Crepe Myrtle does not have the fragrance of lilac, its flowers remind me of lilac flowers and their fragrance. Of course, I say that now until I have to skim the Crepe Myrtle flowers out of the pool once they bloom.

Springtime! Something new to enjoy every day!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Fighting for a Spot

When the sun comes out everyone, it seems, becomes excited. 

Louis, Finnegan, Riordin in a Sunbeam
Elkridge, MD
May 10, 2022
It happened the other day when the sun created a warm ray shining through the window onto the floor. Two cats and one dog found a way to share the space and soak up some warmth. Louis, who is back visiting, Finnegan and Riordin all managed to find space--and they were close to each other. 

For a while, all was calm in the house as the three slept together. Sadly, the sunbeam soon moved away and the three animals scattered.

I wish the sun would shine more often. Since the afternoon yesterday the skies have been overcast again and are expected to remain gray until next week. Rain and thunderstorms are the forecast for tomorrow making Happy Hour a potential washout. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Three Game Winning Streak?


 This is just shocking and exciting. 

American League East Standings
May 11, 2022

The Orioles just won their first game of a road trip against the Cardinals with a rookie pitcher on the mound that threw 11 strikeouts and completed 7 innings. 

That win gives them three wins in a row. 

The win also propelled them into 10th among the 15 American League teams. They are also in 4th place in the AL East with Boston below them. 

Just a note--they are also now tied for 19th among the 30 MLB teams.

This is so different!

I have become accustomed to the team being 28th, 29th, or 30th among the MLB teams and at the bottom of the division. 

This is exciting and different; I am happy that I have already been able to attend two games this season. My game attendance record if 1-1.

Let's Go O's!


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Was that number really 70?

 

Springtime Flowers Alongside the House
Elkridge, MD
May 10, 2022
Officially, at BWI airport the temperature yesterday never reached 70. But at my house it did! Yay!

I never believed that I would be excited about temperatures in the 70s, but I changed out of my jeans and put on shorts to celebrate the more moderate and seasonal temperatures. 

I was almost giddy with excitement as Chris and I took Finnegan for a walk. It was actually warm. The sun felt good, almost like Florida, on my exposed skin.

The warm afternoon temperature also encouraged the lilac bush alongside the house to burst into bloom and its sweet fragrance filled the afternoon air on my porch. The image actually shows the bleeding hearts, lily of the valley, and the lilac bush all in bloom--although, in different stages of blooming. 

Hopefully, the days ahead will be warmer and Spring can finally take hold.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, May 9, 2022

Monday Musings - May 9, 2022

 


1. Amazingly, its is already the second Monday of May. There are 33 Mondays remaining in the year!

2. I am hopeful that warmer weather arrives soon. Morning temperatures of 45 degrees and afternoons of 53, as yesterday was, are too cold to motivate me to open the pool and enjoy outdoors activities like baseball. 

Fly on the Deck
Elkridge, MD
May 8, 2022
3. Even though the weather has been cold, the flies have arrived to begin the Spring season. I imaged this on on my deck yesterday. It was cold enough that it didn't to move very quickly. Flies, why did it have to be flies?

4. It was a somber Russian Victory Day celebration according to the news reporting.

5. A busy week begins. At least the morning is bright and clear, unlike the past few days. Its is cold, 45 degrees when I awakened, but supposed to at least climb into the 60s. 

6. Today in HistoryOn May 9, 1960, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the world’s first commercially produced birth-control pill—Enovid-10, made by the G.D. Searle Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Development of “the pill,” as it became popularly known, was initially commissioned by birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger and funded by heiress Katherine McCormick. Sanger, who opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States in 1916, hoped to encourage the development of a more practical and effective alternative to contraceptives that were in use at the time.



Putin tries to defend Ukraine war in Victory Day speech - CNN

What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for decades-old abortion bans - CNN

Ukrainians report fierce fighting as Russia marks Soviet WW2 victory - Reuters

China's two biggest cities tighten COVID curbs - Reuters

Alabama ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth takes effect - Reuters

'We will win': Ukraine defiant on anniversary of World War Two victory - Reuters

Ukraine is rebuilding cities as fast as Russia destroyed them - The Washington Post

Mississippi governor doesn’t rule out banning contraception if Roe falls - The Washington Post

IRS Pays Billions in Interest on Delayed Tax Returns - The Wall Street Journal

Truckers Want More Trucks Than Industry Can Build at the Moment - The Wall Street Journal



-- Bob Doan, ELkridge, MD

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day 2022

 

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.

With the passing of Mom this past December, the day is a bit different. Chris and I did not buy a Mother's Day gift for her for the first time, ever. I know my entire family is grappling with reality of life without her, but there is joy. The Celebration of Life that was held for her during late-April provided an inspiration of a life well lived and she was a model for us all. She was special because her inclusive definition of family was evident in everything she did. She truly believed that we all are brothers and sisters and integral parts of a larger family. She lived her faith everyday and was a genuine believer.

So, for my family and friends here is the video that was used at Mom's Celebration of Life as a way to remember a great Mom to everyone Mother's Day. 






Happy Mother's Day Mom. We miss you.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 7, 2022

And the Rain Came

Morning Weather Radar
May 7, 2022
It has rained for over 24 hours.

It will rain for about 24 more hours.

Everything is soaked and soggy. I am happy that Chris encouraged me to mow the lawn before the rain else it would be turning into a jungle. 

The rains beginning on Wednesday have washed out three scheduled Severn 14U Baseball games. They are going to be very hard to make-up. 

I was going to open the pool this weekend. Not now.

I wanted to play golf. Not now. 

Yesterday the small stream leading to the larger creek needed to be cleared of leaf dams so the water would not overflow into my yard. In my raincoat with the rain falling steadily, I cleared the leaf dams and lowered the bottom of the stream so that the rain water could flow unrestricted to its destination. It was a wet, but successful project. 



And with more rain on the way, I will likely clear another closet of accumulated treasures today and dream of a place where the sun shines and the temperatures are in the 80s. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD



Friday, May 6, 2022

We Did What?

 

Cinco de Mayo Lunch
May 5, 2022
ELkridge, MD
Chris and I have been in packing mode for much of the past two weeks. We are aggressively downsizing and determining which possessions will move to Florida and which will be disposed through sale or donation. I have to admit--the sale is not going well. I have only actually sold a few items--but there is time. Of the items planned for Florida, we are packing those which we can live without between now and arrival in Florida. That includes three sets of dishes!

Yesterday afternoon, however, it happened. We ran out of packing material. That really put a damper on the process. More will be arriving today when the Amazon truck shows up in front of the house, but we will have to focus on aspects of downsizing which do not require packing--like reducing my closet. I am still carrying my full wardrobe from when I was having to go to work everyday. I am hoping that I can significantly reduce my holdings to something more manageable. Goodwill will definitely be receiving sport coats and dress shirts and pants this afternoon!

Despite the downsizing effort, there was time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. As I expected to be playing a baseball game during the evening meal time, we celebrated at lunchtime with some margaritas and chips! I make a great margarita!

After all of that, the baseball game turned into practice on the outfield grass because the infield was mud!

What a day! Did I mention I was able to mow the lawn?

We did what yesterday? I wonder what today will bring?


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Cinco de Mayo 2022

 


Happy Cinco de Mayo 2022!

Let the festivities begin as my favorite foreign holiday arrives. 

Cinco de Mayo is actually a holiday in Mexico--but it is more widely celebrated here in the U.S. 

Many people wonder why I enjoy the holiday. Well, it is one of those holidays, complete with a celebration, which although considered minor by many has incredible significance to the American experience. 

Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated during September, and it also is NOT a Mexican Federal Holiday. The Battle of Puebla where out-manned and out-gunned Mexican forces defeated a larger French force (sounds a bit like Ukraine and Russia), was also not a turning point in the War, which the French ultimately won. The Battle of Puebla, however, may have helped prevent the Confederacy from winning the American Civil War. 

An excerpt from a History.Com article, titled How Cinco de Mayo Helped Prevent a Confederate Victory in the Civil War, provides the historical perspective. 

Some contend that the year-long delay of the French invasion gave Abraham Lincoln’s generals just enough time to win decisive Union victories before Napoleon could provide upgraded artillery and munitions to the Confederacy. 

“By the time the French occupy Mexico City in June of 1863, the battle of Vicksburg was already underway," says Eric Rojo, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and commander-in-chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, an organization composed of descendants of Union officers in the Civil War. Rojo points out that the Battle of Gettysburg was about to begin and that Union victories were "signaling the beginning of the end" for the Confederacy. “Even if French were able to set their supply lines by mid-1863, it would have made very little difference in the outcome of the Civil War.”

So I celebrate today not only for the fun and revelry, but for the true historical significance of the Battle of Puebla and in memory to the brave Mexicans who played a role in preserving the Union and these United States.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May the 4th Be With You

 

Happy Star Wars Day.

May the 4th be with you!

Today reminds me of the ultimate fantasy and how I felt after seeing the original movie, now the 4th in the services, waaaay back in 1977. 

It really was that long ago! 45 years.

The movie was not originally expected to do well in the box office, but it spawned an entire series of movies, television shows, and books with which a generation has grown-up. 

The movies and stories have become the ultimate escapism into a universe where it always seems that evil is about to extinguish the light of good--but then at the last moment the Force flexes to subdue the forces of darkness--the Dark Side. 

If only it were more true. Sadly, the forces of evil and anarchy seem to in control in the world these days. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Painting, Ugh!

 

White Crown Molding
Elkridge, MD
May 3, 2022
There are two home projects that I do not enjoy:

Plumbing and Painting.

Plumbing while not particularly difficult always seems to cause me to contort into uncomfortable positions to make a connection. I have learned over the years to connect as much plumbing before installing sinks, but when making repairs or sweating copper to solve a leak sometimes being a contortionist is the only way to get the job done.

Red Crown Molding
Elkridge, MD
October 11, 2015
Painting is another area that I do not enjoy because it requires a specific kind of patience that I just do not possess. Take yesterday, for instance. I spent most of the day painting crown molding in the dining room. It required three coats of paint to cover my beloved red crown molding and make it a more traditional white. When I installed the crown molding and chair rail in the dining room, I painted the crown molding red to match the wall below the chair rail. I thought it added character to the room. Chris did not agree, but allowed the red to remain--until yesterday. As we prepare to sell the homestead it was determined that the red must go! As a result, I spent the day on a ladder applying three coats of paint to cover the red.

Note to self: red is hard to paint over.

The red is now gone and the room has become boringly acceptable to the masses. 

I dearly hope there are no more painting projects in my future.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Monday, May 2, 2022

Monday Musings - May 2, 2022

 


1. Happy May! It is the first Monday of May 2022 and not much has changed since April. There are 34 Mondays remaining in the year! 

Along the Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
April 8. 2022
2. My new baseball glove will likely be ready for action tomorrow. I have been conditioning it and keeping it wrapped around a baseball to speed the process of making it ready for action. 

3. Rain can be incredibly inconvenient. Yesterday's rain was sufficient to inundate the baseball field and cause a scheduled doubleheader to be postponed. Just what we need, more games to reschedule. 

4. Longing for the Loxahatchee. Reviewing my photos from April, I discovered this image taken along the banks of the Loxahatchee River in Tequesta during a bike ride. I took an 8 mile bike ride yesterday around Elkridge that had 554 feet of elevation change compared with the 15 mile ride in Tequesta on April 8th which recorded 26 feet of elevation change. Guess which one I was breathing hard after completing?

5. I love bright sun and blue skies, I just wish the afternoon highs were in the 80s and that the rain would not occur on days with scheduled baseball games.

6. How about them O's! The took a series from the Red Sox by winning yesterday 9-5. They are tied for 24th place among all the teams in baseball with an 8-14 record. 

7. Today in History. The modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news on May 2, 1933. The newspaper Inverness Courier relates an account of a local couple who claim to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” The story of the “monster” (a moniker chosen by the Courier editor) becomes a media phenomenon, with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a 20,000 pound sterling reward for capture of the beast.



Hundreds trapped at Mariupol steel plant as Russian shelling resumes - CNN

US should prepare for Southern summer surge of Covid, Birx says - CNN

Israel demands apology after Lavrov says Hitler had Jewish roots - Reuters

Poland ready to help Germany stop using Russian oil, says minister - Reuters

Ukraine formally closes seaports captured by Russia - Reuters

How the ‘jack-in-the-box’ flaw dooms some Russian tanks - The Washington Post

Big majority of Americans back sanctions on Russia, aid to Ukraine, poll finds - The Washington Post

Ukraine Says It Sank Two Russian Naval Vessels - The Wall Street Journal

Disney’s Clash With Florida Has CEOs on Alert - The Wall Street Journal



-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Different Ending

 

The View from Suite 72
20 minutes before first pitch
OPACY, Baltimore, MD
April 30, 2022
I attended the Red Sox vs Orioles baseball game last evening at Orioles Park at Camden Yards (OPACY). I was lucky to have been invited into a suite complete with food and beverage.

What did I discover? 

The Orioles have unfortunately become a second rate baseball/entertainment organization.

On the field the Orioles have the lowest payroll in MLB. I looked it up. Their 2022 total payroll is listed as $46.5 million. Last evening the Orioles played the Red Sox who have a total payroll listed as $202 million. The league average is somewhere about $147 million. Is it any wonder that the Orioles have a losing record?

It is now easy to see why the stadium which can hold about 46,000 only had just short of 20,000 in attendance last evening. In the past, Red Sox games were almost guaranteed sell outs, although the fortunes of that team are low right now and not many Red Sox fans are traveling from Boston. I did not see the usual squadron of busses parked along the stadium roads as I walked to the game.

But wait, there is more. I had been invited to a suite to enjoy the game. The Orioles somehow managed to fumble the reservation for the suite and the food and beverage was not provided until the person who made the reservation provided the confirmation email to the concessions manager and then it took 45 minutes to stock the area. Once stocked, there was only beer and soft drink for beverages and the entree consisted of hot dogs or pulled pork. Compared with my experience at Nationals Park last season, the Orioles are way behind in providing an exceptional fan experience. National Park provided London Broil, plus numerous other entrees, a salad bar, dessert bar and a full open bar. 

On to the game.

Amazingly, the Orioles won the game 2-1. It was a 10th inning, walk-off error by the Red Sox that allowed the Orioles to scrap out a victory. The Red Sox scored in the first inning and the Orioles did not manage the tying run until the 8th inning. 

The 10th inning is when the game became interesting. The Orioles managed not to surrender a run to the visitors during the top of the inning. The Red Sox, for their part tried an interesting approach by intentionally walking the lead-off batter which put runners on 1st and 2nd. Remember, in MLB extra innings now begin with a runner on 2nd. This set up a double play possibility. But, the Orioles bunted in an attempt to move the runners over, but the Red Sox committed an error trying to get the lead runner at 3rd. The pitcher, who fielded the bunt, overthrew the 3rd baseman and the baserunner who had started at 2nd base, scored! 

A walk-off error. Orioles Win! Orioles Win!

That was a different ending, for sure.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 30, 2022

It Just Exploded

 

My Irreparably Damaged Baseball Glove
April 29, 2022
The unthinkable happened at baseball practice on Thursday night. My 50 year old baseball glove literally exploded while I was warming up a pitcher preparing to conduct batting practice.

OK, maybe exploded is a bit dramatic, but as the image shows there was major damage as well as more to laces which are on the backside of the glove. 

I considered repairing the glove with new laces and during the inspection I found the damage even more extensive than I had at first believed. As can be seen from the image, I had fairly extensive repairs done last season with darker lacing along the top. But, as also can be seen, I have not properly cared for my glove over these past five decades and the time it has spent in a hot vehicle has taken a toll on the laces. Looking over the glove, I could see that the laces were worn and broken in many other places.

Bottom line--it was time to purchase a new baseball glove, which I did yesterday. Who knew that some gloves are $400? OMG! As I am not actively playing, but rather coaching I decided on a glove far less costly. The new glove is being conditioned and hopefully I will be able to at least bend it by Sunday when the team plays a doubleheader.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 29, 2022

Cold--Really?

 

Two nights of  freeze warnings during late-April! The daily highs have been barely 60 degrees. 

This does not seem like late April! I usually am seriously thinking of opening my pool by this time of year, but now I am waiting for temperatures at least in the high 70s. 


Cold. 

Too cold! 

There is at least a forecast of 80 degrees for Wednesday next week--but then the highs are expected to be back into the 60s.

Not a good week to open the pool, yet. 

It has not been particularly good weather for baseball, either.

I'm hoping that warmer weather will soon appear and finally send the remnants of Winter into the distant past. 


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Tough Loss

 

On a cool evening in Clinton, Maryland, the 14U Severn Seminoles baseball team played to a hard fought loss. The game ended on a bases loaded steal of home base with a 3-2 count on the batter and two outs. 



Jax on the Mound
Clinton, MD
April 27, 2022


The loss stung--but, the team played well and overcome adversity all night. Although Severn scored first, the home team came back with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Although the second inning saw the side retired in order, Severn scored a run in each of the next four innings to take a tenuous 5-4 lead when the home team came to bat with time running out. With their backs against the wall, the home team, the 14U Full Count Rockers got the job dome by getting the tying run across the plate and then loading up the bases; setting up the final desperation play to win the game. It was a great call during a at a critical point in the game.

Jax had a good night at the plate going 1-3 with an RBI single and a deep fly ball to center field which was caught. He also was strong on the mound pitching 3 innings and allowing 1 earned run. He threw 67 pitches, while facing 18 batters and striking out 4 and walking 4.

Severn was aggressive at the plate and the hit of the night, by Eric, was a monster double to deep center field which on some fields would have been a home run. The team also turned two double plays--including on unassisted by Jacob, the first baseman.

Too bad the well-played game resulted in a loss because thew boys definitely played like winners. 

Baseball is back and so am I.


-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD



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