Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Musings - February 28, 2022


1. The last Monday of February has arrived. There are 43 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. We live in scary times. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is bringing up a lot of old Cold War fears, especially Russia's nuclear forces alert decision. From the looks of the current situation, Putin did not expect the Ukrainian people to so stoutly defend their homeland. Apparently he thought it would be more like the Syrian operation where the general populace just flees and it is a military force on military force operation. 

3. As a tag along, the news reported that North Korea fired another missile the other morning. 

4. Apparently greed has destroyed the start of the MLB season. Well, the two sides have until today's end to come to an agreement--but it is not looking good for baseball to begin on time. I found it interesting that the article referenced below is from Jupiter, Florida, but the image attached to it is of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida, where the Baltimore Orioles conduct Spring Training games. Go O's--well, maybe.

The Mess Hanging a TV
Tequesta, FL
February 27, 2022
5. I am working to hang a television on a wall in one of the bedrooms. What a catastrophe. The condo has metal studs which means that just screwing a lag bolt into the the wall is not enough. Ask me, I tried and the TV, which is a heavier 2007 model started pulling the bolt out of the wall and nearly fell. I then did some research and learned about elephant anchors. They work really well. It only took three trips to Ace Hardware and Home Depot to secure everything that I need. Now I am trying to run cable and get the thing working. I did confirm the TV works, but I need to call the cable provider to get the box activated. I think we may just going to hook up a Roku and call it a day. Notice, I put a towel on the bed to protect the comforter! My next task? Taxes!

6. I had the opportunity to drive across Florida from the East to the West Coast for the annual Spring Training golf and baseball trip. Well, as we know, there was no baseball. I was amazed at Florida's flatness and diversity. It has a real beauty. The only problem is that the road I drove for most of the three-and-a-half hour trip is a two lane highway and slow vehicles become effective blockers.

7. I have owned my bicycle for exactly a month tomorrow. Amazingly as I tallied up the miles I discovered that I have ridden 142.3 miles and with today's planned at least 8 mile excursion I will log 150 miles in one month. Wow! During that time I have experienced two flat tires and only one near death experience which left a bald spot on my tire from maximum braking. I have also had not-so-pleasant exchanges with three people: two pedestrians and one driver. I have also crossed one drawbridge, both ways. Not bad for the first month. 

8. Today in History. On February 28, 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. The molecular biologists were aided significantly by the work of another DNA researcher, Rosalind Franklin, although she is not included in the announcement, nor did she share the subsequent Nobel Prize award for it.

Though DNA—short for deoxyribonucleic acid—was discovered in 1869, its crucial role in determining genetic inheritance wasn’t demonstrated until 1943. In the early 1950s, Watson and Crick were only two of many scientists working on figuring out the structure of DNA. California chemist Linus Pauling suggested an incorrect model at the beginning of 1953, prompting Watson and Crick to try and beat Pauling at his own game.  

North Korea fires 'possible ballistic missile,' Japan says - CNN

AP NewsMLB: It's deadline day to save opening day, 162-game season - AP News

Russian forces facing fierce resistance; talks begin on Belarus border - The Washington Post

Putin puts nuclear forces on alert as Ukrainian civilian deaths mount - The Washington Post

Humanity has a ‘rapidly closing window’ to avoid a deadly future, U.N. climate report says - The Washington Post

Wall Street set to slide as Russia sanctions hit world markets - Reuters

N.Korea says it conducted test for developing reconnaissance satellite, article with video - Reuters

U.S. Shale Producers Sing the Same Tune 3 min read - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Course Birds

Sandhill Crane
Bent Tree Golf Course, Sarasota, FL
February 25, 2022
Florida's golf course fauna is significantly different from the northeast. In addition to the occasional alligator lurking in the water hazards or crossing the fairway, there are birds. In the northeast the largest birds that must be contended with are usually Canadian Geese. Anyone who has had the opportunity to interact with a Canadian Goose knows that they can be very aggressive--sometimes it is best to let them just have the golf ball. In Florida, we often see Sandhill Cranes which are both larger and louder, but more sedate.

Sandhill Cranes
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Bradenton, FL
February 24, 2022

Sandhill Cranes are large birds that are definitely not afraid of golfers and they are considered a threatened species by the State of Florida. They sometimes block shots and often get between the golfer and the ball. I have not noticed them to be as aggressive as geese, but they are big enough to definitely defend themselves. 

Sandhill Cranes are loud. They do not honk like geese, but that make a sound that reminds me of what a pterodactyl might sound like had I been around during the Jurassic Period to hear them. Fortunately, I was not as I am sure that I would have quickly become a morsel for either a pterodactyl or dinosaur. 

And all of this from a golf course? Who says golf is not an imaginative game. I have linked 21st Century golf to the Jurassic period in just a few paragraphs.  

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Spring Training Trip

Looking Down at the 16th Green
Bent Tree Country Club, Sarasota, FL
February 25, 2022
 As most know, nearly every year for at least the past ten years I have made a trip to Sarasota, Florida, home of the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training, to play golf, watch baseball and enjoy some evening activities. This year, obviously, due to greed, the Spring Training Baseball part of the trip did not happen--but the golf and evening activities did. 

I drove across Florida to Sarasota on Thursday morning to play golf and have some fun with some refugees from Maryland. Funny, it took me longer to drive across Florida form Jupiter to Sarasota than it did for them to fly from Baltimore to Sarasota. 

I was able to play two rounds of awful golf--but I loved it. I had forgotten how tough the second day in a row playing 18 holes on a long course can be. But, I had fun!! And I had even more fun because I was playing with Jeremy both days. 

It was sad that there was no baseball to watch, but playing golf still makes the trip worthwhile. I did not stay for the entire four days due to requirements back in Tequesta--but I enjoyed my two days and one night.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Got them Both

The ending to my bike ride yesterday pointed out how different riding in Florida can be from riding in the North.

It was a great ride with Chris. We talked much of the way and enjoyed being out in the mid-morning sunshine and breezes. It was the end of the ride, however, which taught me a valuable lesson. 

As we ended the ride at our condo entrance, workers were trimming the palms. I did not think much of it and rode my bike through a small collection of debris. A terrible mistake. It turns out that the small thorns on some of the palms can penetrate bike tires.

Both my front and back tire were flattened, although only the front was obvious when I went out to buy tubes.

I bought two tubes, just in case and when I returned home the back tire was flat. 

I managed to get them both.

Two for two!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Golf, Finally


Chris Waiting at the 3rd Tee
Jupiter Dunes Golf Course, Jupiter, FL
February 22, 2022
It has been exactly a month since Chris and I made our escape back to Florida. It is hard to believe, but it was Sunday, January 23rd when we motored out of Elkridge along I-95 headed for our current location in Tequesta. 

Wow--believe it or not, it seems like a lot longer ago. It has been a busy month of activity. I have not yet been retired two months and I feel as if I cannot fit another activity into our daily schedule.

Yesterday, for instance, I determined that Chris and I needed to get out onto a golf course. We had not made it out for a round since arriving. There have been a few weather issues, but mostly it has been hard to find the time. Yesterday, I took a different approach--I traded our daily bike ride for golf!

We went to a small local Par 3 golf course to shake the cobwebs off our game. Don't misunderstand--this course is tough and really works the short game strategy. The greens are small and most are elevated so that you have to be precise. Even when putting--too strong a putt and you are off the green due to the rolling nature of the landscape. Since I had not swung a club since October 22nd--the day of my retirement golf tournament, it was a way to get back into the "swing."

View of the 5th Hole from the Tee
Jupiter Dunes Golf Club, Jupiter, FL
February 22, 2022
I sucked. I could hit left or right of my target but not where I was aiming. Once, though, I terribly miss-hit the ball, but it went straight at the pin and hit the flag, instead of flying over the green, dropping about 6 feet from the hole resulting in a good putt and an undeserved par. 

Golf is one of those games. Celebrate the good shots and forget the bad. Don't focus on the last shot--work on the current shot.

The weather yesterday was perfect. Broken skies and 80 degrees. That is what Florida is all about--year round golf.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Pelicans Gathering for Dinner

Pelicans Gathered for Food
Jupiter, FL
February 21, 2022
Pelicans are fun to watch. Chris and I love to watch them fly along the beach either above us or skimming the waves in search of their next meal. We often see them diving into the surf to consume some unsuspecting fish.

Our favorite phrase when a squadron of pelicans fly overhead is "Pelicans on patrol" because they fly in formation.

Last evening as Chris and I enjoyed Happy Hour, also known as Must Drink Monday, at one of our favorite local establishments along the banks of the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, we saw a gathering--a very large gathering of pelicans waiting for dinner near a dock where the day's catch was being cleaned. 

Look closely at the image and the piece of fish that the pelicans are vying to consume is visible just below midway between the back of the watercraft and the upraised pelican beaks. 

The pelicans were entertaining and I was enjoying a heaping pile of nachos at the time so I was eating along with the pelicans--although not, obviously, the same dish. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Musings - February 21, 2022

1. Welcome to the third Monday of February 2022. I don't think I am still fully into the 2022 thing and keep trying at odd times to write 2021. I guess I just cannot get over the mess that was 2021. There are 44 Mondays remaining 2022.

2. Crazy busy/enjoyable weekend. We took advantage of the superior weather and went to ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival--a huge art festival on Saturday and then went to the Jupiter Seafood Festival yesterday. Awesomeness. Both events were extremely managed in terms of parking, exhibitors, and admissions. 

3. Happy Presidents' Day. If you want to have a little mind-bending activity, read the article I highlighted below about Washington having two birthdays. 

4. The Olympics are over. I enjoy the competition and highlighting of sports events that I do not normally view, like curling. Sadly, the US Team which won gold in the previous Winter Games finished 4th this year. Check out the article referenced below about what the extreme cold can do to cross-country skiers. Whoa!

5. Enjoy the Federal Holiday. From what I've been reading, it was a busy weekend on the world stage. 

6. Well, it happened. Major League Baseball officially delayed the start of Spring Training. Opening Day for the regular season is in jeopardy. Greed is a terrible thing.

7. This just in---The Queen of England has COVID. See the article referenced below.

8. Today in History. February 21, 1965: In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. He was 39. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, Malcolm was the son of James Earl Little, a Baptist preacher who advocated the Black nationalist ideals of Marcus Garvey. Threats from the Ku Klux Klan forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan, where his father continued to preach his controversial sermons despite continuing threats. In 1931, Malcolm’s father was murdered by the white supremacist Black Legion, and Michigan authorities refused to prosecute those responsible. In 1937, Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers. By the time he reached high school age, he had dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he became increasingly involved in criminal activities. (Click on the link to read the remainder of the article)

Watch: Russia Test-Launches Ballistic and Cruise Missiles - The Wall Street Journal

Biden Agrees to Meet Putin Provided Russia Pulls Back - The Wall Street Journal

Frackers Push Into Once-Dead Shale Patches as Oil Nears $100 a Barrel - The Wall Street Journal

EV Batteries Hinder Efforts to Fight Fire on Ship - The Wall Street Journal

The hate-crimes trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers highlights everyday racism — and casual gun culture in Georgia community - The Washington Post

Nearly half of Washingtonians don’t like Commanders name, Post poll finds - The Washington Post

Why George Washington has two birthdays — and neither falls on Presidents’ Day - The Washington Post

Kremlin says no concrete plans for summit with Biden over Ukraine, article with video - Reuters

Cross-country skiing-Finn Remi suffers frozen penis in mass start race, article with image - Reuters

'God Save The Queen': messages pour in after Elizabeth catches COVID, article with gallery - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Riding the Streets


Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
February 19, 2020
Bicycling through the streets and areas around where we live, Chris and I have discovered a number of interesting and expensive communities. We have also seen some very bucolic settings. 

Yesterday, as we crossed the Loxahatchee River in Tequesta the scene was stunning with the light and the nearly crystal blue sky. The river is wide at this point and the houses along the river sell for millions of dollars--most come equipped with docks. The river connects with the ocean and therefore provides one of the best places to live. 

I only wish I could afford a riverfront property. But, we completed a 9 mile ride and had a great time continuing to explore our new area.

It is fun to find new places and I have found that passing through the same area on different days I always seem to find something new. As I become more familiar with an area the details begin to come through.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Starting a Three-day Weekend

Blowing Rocks
Jupiter Island, FL
February 18, 2022
I realized that yesterday was the Friday prior to the beginning of a three-day weekend. That is what explained the incredible amounts of traffic we faced doing our normal shopping activities. I hope everyone had a happy Friday. 

From my point of view, it was another day in an unnumbered series of days. But a special day nonetheless.

The day did, however, begin with a beach walk. We have not gone to the beach during the morning lately due to the weather conditions. Yesterday, however, with the mild winds and near warm temperatures was the perfect morning for a beach walk with Finnegan. And we did. And we enjoyed it although the sand was unusually soft and it was a trudge to complete even a mile along the beach. It was a good workout. AS if that were not enough I followed the beach walk with a bike ride--perhaps pushing it just a bit too much. 

During the beach walk, I found Blowing Rocks to be especially picturesque. I love it when the waves crash on the rocks and I must have well over a hundred images of the rocks with the ocean spraying upon them. I guess that I am looking or the image which captures best what I see as the power of the ocean meets the immovable rocks on the beach. The image from yesterday is very close to that image in my mind.

The Presidents' Day weekend holds many exciting things in store. Last evening we went to a play, "I Hate Hamlet." It was a professional production and, frankly, I like Hamlet more than I liked the play. The acting was good, but I found the script to be trite and contrived. Today and tomorrow we will be experiencing an Art Festival and a Seafood Festival. 

We will be busy--but hopefully there will still be beach time and a bike ride. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, February 18, 2022

Rainbow Afternoon

Rainbow over the Atlantic
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 17, 2022
Yesterday's return to the beach for Happy Hour was highlighted by a rainbow.

It has been almost a week since the weather was suitable for enjoying some beach time. Between cooler temperatures, rain, and high winds it has just not been suitable for walking or being on the beach. The winds whip the sand into the air and it becomes a stinging sand-blaster when trying to enjoy beach time.

Chris on the Beach for Happy Hour
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 17, 2022
Yesterday, the winds were still present, but the rains helped to keep the sand from becoming airborne. The bright rainbow that greeted me on the beach was perfect. I could see all the way from infrared to ultra violet--or so it seemed. The rainstorm we saw off the beach never came ashore and happy hour was preserved. 

It was a good way to end the day. I had done a few projects and we had had some deep discussions about future plans. It is an amazing time trying to balance all of the things hanging out there. Spending time on the beach and our daily dog walks help us to connect and attempt to be consistent with our plan for the future. 

The rainbow offshore was just the icing on the afternoon's cake. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, February 17, 2022

My Stupid Cat


Finding Water in the Wrong Place

I caught the Riordin, my cat, doing something disgusting the other day. 

He was drinking from the toilet!

For real.

Apparently he was not happy with the water situation in the house. Frankly, I do not understand his desire for toilet water. Chris and I maintain fresh water for the animals in a central location and change it daily. We also provide Riordin with his own bowl of water that the dogs cannot access. We are beginning to understand that Riordin does not like to share and believes he is special!

I was amazed at how he perched himself on the seat to access the water in the bowl. 

Sadly, this is not the only time I have surprised Riordin in the toilet. This was the time I had my phone with me to catch him in the act. We are trying to keep the seat tops down, but sometimes, OK most times, I forget. 

Thank goodness cats, unlike dogs, do not greet people by licking faces.

Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


 Although so far this week it has been both too cold and windy to spend time on the beach, that will change beginning today as temperatures approach and move into the 80s for the remainder of the week. 

OK Sign over the Atlantic
Jupiter Island, FL
February 3, 2022
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the weather especially since I am not experiencing either sub-freezing temperatures or snow! But, I have been driven from the beach. 

One of the things I do while on the beach is admire the clouds and search for patterns in them. Sometimes I am just fascinated by the complex nature of the clouds. 

The cloud I have pictures looks, to me, like a hand making the OK sign. And that is what that day was--a fantastic OK.

Most days are like that--OK. I have experienced many of them since I retired. I am amazed at both how busy I am and how I still never seem to get everything accomplished. Of course there are some projects, like the taxes and brushing Makayla, that I continue to put off just because they are detest-detestable. Makayla appreciates not being brushed as often as she needs.

But overall, life is OK. I find enjoyment in the clouds and the beach and the projects that continue to arise. I am beginning to move the televisions from cabinet top to wall mounts--that also includes rerouting electric and cords through the walls. It should make for an interesting time. 

I guess I'm settling into the pace of retirement, although I know that when I return to Maryland during April that catching up on the house, grounds, and pool will make life a bit more complicated. For now, I'm enjoying condo life in Florida. 

And looking at the clouds.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Fighting the Wind


Chris and I have been trying to bike almost every day after walking Finnegan. It really is quite something, we walk Finnegan on a 1.5 mile route as a warm-up and then hop onto our bicycles for a ride. By the time we are done we have spent about 1.5 hours exercising between the walk and the multiple-mile ride. That is something that I never had time to do before I retired and especially during the winter when the darkness arrives early. 
Crossing the Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
February 11, 2022

We are located near a large State Park and on the edge of some natural areas that provide some scenic beauty as we ride. Crossing the Loxahatchee River the other morning provided a stunning scene, which I dutifully recorded. The wide river and cloud-filled sky were a beautiful sight. 

Yesterday, however, was a very different story. We fought high winds--in excess of 20 mph, on our ride. It was excruciating in places. We chose a shorter 6 mile out and back ride to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, rather than a longer circuit. The way out it was all against the wind and mostly uphill--OK, as uphill as it can be in South Florida. Believe me, even in South Florida where the terrain is fairly flat any uphill into a stiff wind is an experience. The ride out I averaged about 9 mph. Riding back with the downhill and the wind at my back I averaged almost 20 mpg and at times my GPS recorded that I was flying in excess of 24 mph. 

At least coming back was fun! Fighting the wind on the way out reminded me that I still need to work harder to get into good riding shape.

Fighting the wind is not fun.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, February 14, 2022

Monday Musings - February 14, 2022


1. Happy Valentines Day! Did you forget? I hope not.

2. It is the second Monday of February 2022. There are 2 Mondays remaining in February and 45 remaining in the year. Who knew a year could slip by so quickly.

3. Super Bowl 56 was a solid game. The officials stayed out of the contest until the very end, but yet there will some egregious calls that may have changed the outcome of the game. I agree that Cooper Kupp was the Super Bowl MVP. Although my prediction of the score and eventual victor of the game was wrong, it was a solid Super Bowl. I like defensive football and the idea of a dramatic drive to win the game when the chips were down is always exciting. 

Sailboat on the Atlantic
Jupiter Island, Florida
February 12, 2022
4. Saturday, when the temperature eased over the 80 degree mark, Chris and I had a beach afternoon. The ocean was relatively calm and there were many boats out enjoying the afternoon. This one sailboat caught my attention against the blue ocean and sky. It was very picturesque and I enjoyed watching it pass across my field of view.

5. Last evening, Chris and I watched the Super Bowl outside on a lanai. It is February and we had a party outside, around a pool--which was open and potentially ready for swimming. It was a great experience, but we missed our family in Maryland. 

6. Today in History. On February 14, around the year 270 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, is said to have been executed.

Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Key U.S.-Canada border crossing reopens, protests continue in Ottawa - The Washington Post

European, U.S. leaders race to defuse Ukraine crisis amid warnings of imminent Russia attack - The Washington Post

Vaccine mandate protests reach Europe and beyond - The Washington Post

Stock Futures, Bond Yields Drop on Fear of War in Ukraine - The Wall Street Journal

Soaring Inflation Means Britons Face Biggest Fall in Real Incomes in 30 Years - The Wall Street Journal

Wild Horses Are Removed From Government Land as Drought Shrinks Food Supply - The Wall Street Journal

Ukraine hints at concessions to Russia as Scholz heads to region, article with gallery - Reuters

Hong Kong "overwhelmed" as COVID infections hit record - Reuters

Iran foreign ministry spokesman says prisoner swap with U.S. on agenda, article with image - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Super Sunday

The day has finally arrived. It is Super Bowl Sunday and the stage is set for another day of partying and even the promise of some football thrown in between the commercials. 

Who to cheer for? The Rams, or the Bengals? 

The Bengals are the underdogs, currently by about 4 points. BUT, the Bengals hail from the AFC North Division--home to the Steelers and my favorite team the Ravens. Therefore, I will be cheering on the Bengals--a team which beat both the Ravens and Steelers in each of their meetings this year--home and away. 

I am truly hoping for good football to close out the season. The ending was very disappointing for the Ravens as Lamar was injured and the team lost its final six games to finish outside of the playoffs. 

The day will be filled with anticipation and maybe a bit too much food and drink. 

I know that here in Florida the police have promised extra patrols looking for impaired drivers starting about the time the game ends. They will be looking for party revelers who over indulged--and I don't think they will be helping them to get home.

Be save and don't over do it if you are planning on watching the game and partying. 

I am a terrible sports predictor--however, here it goes.

My prediction Bengals 31 - Rams 27.

May the best team win and the referees stay out of the headlines.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Friends at the Door


Finnegan, Makayla, Riordin at the Door
Tequesta, FL
February 11, 2022
Chris and I enjoyed a quiet Happy Hour on the patio last evening. We talked and sipped wine, but at some point I looked over and noticed that we had excluded the rest of the family from our end of the day celebration. All three of our faithful family members were at the door looking at us as if to say, "Did you forget to invite us?"

Of course we had not forgotten them, we had intentionally excluded them. Sometimes it is nice to sit alone and talk without worrying about one of them wandering off and of course the dogs like to enjoy our Happy Hour munchies. 

We decided that we would end our alone time and go inside rather than. inviting the entire family outside. It was a beautiful evening, however. It was also the end of another great day which included a walk, bike ride, and brunch with friends. 

While our friends at the door were cute to look at, we did not make them wait long before we joined them inside for an evening together. It was a very different Friday evening and one of the few that we spent at home alone with just our family.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, February 11, 2022

Back to the Beach

Kitesurfing on the Atlantic
Carlin Park, Jupiter, FL
February 10, 2022
The weather turned warmer and Chris and I were able to return to the beach for Happy Hour yesterday. It was still a bit cool, as in the low 70s, but sitting on the beach watching the ocean and the activity was an enjoyable way to get out of the condo for a bit and enjoy life outdoors.

We have been watching way too much of the Olympics and shows on Netflix and it was nice to get back to the beach and then off to dinner with friends at a Greek fusion restaurant. Watching a kitesurfer on the ocean provided some entertainment as did the multiple probable spinner sharks which were jumping from time to time. 

We have become experts at packing what we need for the beach in about 15 minutes. The beach chairs permanently reside in the car and are ready for any spur-of-the-moment expedition to the beach. 

The morning activity included a dog walk and a bike ride. We are thoroughly enjoying the outdoors activity and seem to enjoy it more after a stormy day which keeps us inside. I have to admit, we have mostly lost pale look of snowbirds wintering from the north. 

I wonder what adventure will find its way to me today.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, February 10, 2022

It was a Cool and Rainy Day

Egret on the Hedge
Tequesta, FL
February 9, 2022
After more than a week of blue skies and warm sun we suffered through a cool, overcast, and rainy day yesterday. It reminded me of the weather back in Maryland where it just would not end so that outdoors life could continue. It worked out, however, because I had scheduled Comcast to come and figure out what was wrong with the connection to one of my TVs and it also turned into a good time to go to Costco for supplies. So Chris and I turned a gloomy day into a productive one. 

Because of the rain we only walked a limited distance, until Finnegan did his business and I did not ride my bike and as the gloomy day became a day-off from exercise. 

But what did I learn?

Well, first off I learned that newer TVs with real HD require more bandwidth than older less capable ones. All that was wrong with my cable connection was the actual cable jumper. The tech replaced the jumper and everything worked. He wondered why Comcast even gives the jumper that I had out because it is so bad. Oh well, no wonder all of my troubleshooting was for naught.

I also learned that the cable outlet in one of the bedrooms that has a transformer attached to it is running a splitter somewhere in the house and to add a television I need a power pass through splitter--who knew? Well, I do now and at least I asked the question before I  bought the wrong connector.

And then there was the afternoon trip to Costco. Note to self--Wednesday afternoon is not a good day to attempt Costco! The place was packed. Chris and I made a successful run, but it really was difficult to check-out. It is amazing how differently Costco lays out their stores. 

To make it all better, however, an egret was standing on our bushes when we returned form shopping. I guess hunting was not good in the normal areas and it decided that since we could not go to the beach, it would bring the beach to us. 

BTW, Happy Friday-eve!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Price Gouging

It is a jungle our in marketplace America right now. 

For those who haven't yet figured it out, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging and it is affecting everything--and I mean everything. 

2022 Hyundai Tuscon
One article in this mornings Wall Street Journal really brought that home. The article was about GM and FORD warning dealers to stop overcharging for vehicles. The article confirmed that there are people, even in a pandemic when everyone is suffering, who want to take an unreasonable advantage and try to make a profit. 

I believe the problem is more widespread than the auto industry. It is possible that the inflation problem we are seeing across the board in all areas of consumer products from food, to durable goods, to automobiles. Unscrupulous businesses are preying on consumers in the middle of a pandemic where everyone is hurting in one way or another. 

I am being very wary of purchasing big items right now in the hopes that as we either defeat COVID or learn to live with it, life and pricing will return to normal and the price gouging will cease.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Biking in February

Saturday's Bike Trip
Tequesta, Jupiter, FL
February 4, 2022
I bought a bike last week. It is a Cannondale Quick CX4. This is the first time that I have actually owned a bicycle since I was in college. I did have the use of a bike a few years ago, but it was not mine. One of the things that I was determined to do upon moving to Florida was begin cycling regularly. I like cycling a lot more than walking, but even so Chris and I continue walking about 1.5 miles every day with Finnegan.

Since owing the bike, now exactly one week, I have cycled on six occasions and have logged a few miles while increasing my fitness level. I started slowly and am increasing the distance biked each day--well, with the exception of Saturday when I went out on a 16 mile, over 1-hour tour with a friend. I had a lot of fun and fortunately, I had been riding every day prior and I remember to wear my padded bike shorts.

I do like that my watch records the route traveled on my phone so that I can review it and possibly use portions of it in other adventures. In fact, I have been using some of this trip to ride with Chris as she, likewise, increases her distance and biking fitness. I was surprised when I returned home that I had actually ridden over 16 miles. Although I was tired, I has stayed hydrated and I did not feel as exhausted as I felt that I should. The only thing I forgot was to apply sunscreen and my arms got a bit, very lightly, burned. Well, at least that is helping me to lose the Northern paleness. 

Who would have thought that biking in February could be so enjoyable?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Musings - February 7, 2022


1. Greetings. It is the first Monday of February! There are 3 Mondays remaining in the month and 46 remaining in the year. 

Finnegan Protesting
Tequesta, FL
February 4, 2022
Riordin in a Box
Tequesta, FL
February 4, 2022
2. How do we keep our cat, Riordin, happy? We put a box on the floor and he makes it his own personal space. He has been using the box now for three days. I would like to recycle it, but I believe it has been somewhat permanently repurposed. He is laying in the box as I write this morning.

3. Chris and I took Finnegan for a morning walk the other day. Since we were going biking we decided to stop short and return home. Finnegan had other ideas. He protested the truncated walk by doing the downward dog and stopping. He would not be moved--well, he only weighs six pounds and so he was moved and like a petulant puppy did return home with us in the end. But it was a funny moment where it was clear that Finnegan realized his morning walk was being shortened.

4. The Olympics are a bit of a disappointment. The U.S. is without a gold medal so far and has garnered only three silver medals. The Russian Olympic Committee has six total medals--twice the U.S. count. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that the U.S. team has won medals, but I think everyone expected more.

5. I am continually amazed at the impatience of drivers in South Florida. I do not understand why some people think it is OK to travel excessively fast on residential streets. Here in our small community we have had to erect a speed limit sign to slow drivers down. It is for 12 MPH. Hoping to see results soon.

6. Today in HistoryOn February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York’s Kennedy Airport—and “Beatlemania” arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”—dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts—were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.

Two days later, Paul McCartney, age 21, Ringo Starr, 23, John Lennon, 23, and George Harrison, 20, made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a popular television variety show. Although it was difficult to hear the performance over the screams of teenage girls in the studio audience, an estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch. Sullivan immediately booked the Beatles for two more appearances that month. The group made their first public concert appearance in the United States on February 11 at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., and 20,000 fans attended. The next day, they gave two back-to-back performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and police were forced to close off the streets around the venerable music hall because of fan hysteria. On February 22, the Beatles returned to England.

Frontier Group, Spirit Airlines Merge in $6.6 Billion Deal - The Wall Street Journal

Climate-Change Concerns Revive Interest in Carbon Capture Despite Checkered History - The Wall Street Journal

Tens of Thousands Still in Dark in Tennessee After Winter Storm - The Wall Street Journal

National Archives had to retrieve White House records from Mar-a-Lago - The Washington Post

In Ukraine’s capital, residents grapple with the threat of war - The Washington Post

Covid isn’t gone. Americans are moving on anyway. - The Washington Post

CDC study shows N95, KN95 masks give best protection against covid - The Washington Post

Exclusive: U.S. calls for 'concrete action' from China on trade deal, article with gallery - Reuters

China locks down city on Vietnam border as COVID cases rise - Reuters

After two years of closed borders, Australia welcomes the world back - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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