Thursday, March 31, 2022

Near Flat Water


Flat Water at Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, FL
March 29, 2022
On the final day of the Happy Hour group's Florida escape we were greeted at the beach by near flat water. It is something that has been very rare of late.

While huge waves crashing onto the beach is impressive, I do enjoy it when I walk onto the beach and there are almost no waves because that means that it is a day for playing in the water. And I did. The water temperature was 77 degrees and the air was about 80 degrees. A perfect day for playing in the sand and surf.

It was also a sad day as two members of our group returned to Maryland. The day culminated a great week of fun and activity as well as some rest and an escape from the cold weather. 

Well, at least I remain in Florida! Although my return to Maryland for the remainder of the Spring and early Summer is growing closer. 

For now, the memory of flat water and a great day with friends will remain.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Uneasy Truce


Finnegan and Marley at the Table
Tequesta, FL
March 29, 2022
An amazing thing happened last evening.

We were at a friend's house for Happy Hour and dinner. They like it when we bring Finnegan along for the evening and so he has spent many evenings at their house. 

They have a cat named Marley. Marley and Finnegan have developed an uneasy truce. Finnegan avoids Marley and Marley hisses at Finnegan. Finnegan would like to play with Marley, but Marley does not particularly appreciate Finnegan invading her domain.

Last evening they both jumped into empty chairs at the table hoping to gain access to the happy hour apps and then they saw each other. It was a difficult moment for both of them. They each wanted to flee, but they also wanted to be at the table. Finnegan looked away and Marley hissed. But they remained in the chairs. 

It was a funny moment, worth remembering.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

From Flowers to Ocean

Happy Hour Group
Flamingo Gardens, Ft Lauderdale, FL
March 26, 2022
The escapades of the Happy Hour group's Florida escape continue. It was a near perfect weekend which included Flamingo Gardens, beach time, and great dinners. 

My return to Flamingo Gardens with the group made for a great Saturday activity. While it is my third trip to the Gardens in three months, I enjoy every visit as much as the first--and I always learn something new. One of the highlights of this visit was seeing the Florida Panther, we actually saw it this time rather than trying to imagine we saw it, attack and play with an unlucky iguana in its enclosure. I also continue to learn more and more about the diverse plants and trees that are housed at the gardens. Of course the peafowl were one of the highlights as it is mating season and the peacocks are on full display.

Sunday was fabulous as we went to the beach. 

Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge
Hobe Sound, FL
March 27, 2022

We had the beach pretty much to ourselves. It was very windy, but we found refuge in the dunes and enjoyed a few hours in the sun and water. The ocean was rough, but the colors were stunning. The group is having a great time and enjoyed another outstanding dinner at a local restaurant last evening after touring Stuart, FL, and enjoying lunch at the Stuart Boathouse along the banks of the St. Lucie River. For the afternoon it was a quick trip to the beach to enjoy the sounds of the ocean crashing in the afternoon. 

It has been a great visit, but sadly, we say good-bye to two members of the group this afternoon. But, who know what excitement the day will bring.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, March 28, 2022

Monday Musings - March 28, 2022

 1. Welcome to the last Monday of March. The year has 39 Mondays remaining. Federal income tax deadline is next month.

2. Taxes! Don't forget to do your taxes!

Orchid at Flamingo Gardens
Ft Lauderdale, FL
March 26, 2022
3. On a return trip to Flamingo Gardens, the Happy Hour group was able to enjoy an extensive Orchid display. Fun fact that we learned: Orchids comprise about 10 percent of all plant species on the planet. Also, orchids are the world's largest plant family. We also spied many other flowers, trees, plants, and animals. It was another great day and even though it was my third trip to the "gardens," I found many new things to enjoy.

4. I guess I am a foreign relations neophyte because I applaud the President for stating the obvious during his speech Saturday in Poland: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Those words do not suggest that the U.S. is supporting or actively planning regime change in Russia, but I question the motives of anyone who disagrees with the President's sentiment. I reference an article in my Headlines section which explores the impact of those words, but in my mind they are not too far removed from President Reagan's proclamation: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Those words foretold the end of the Soviet Union and the President's words on Saturday are looking for the end of tyranny and an inhumane war against the peace-loving people of Ukraine. 

5. Apparently a second coronavirus booster will be authorized for those of us over 50 years of age! I will be one of the first in that line. I have been enjoying the relative freedom from masks and COVID-19 fear these past months here in Florida.

6. Today's weather:

    Tequesta, FL - High 80, Low 56

    Hilton Head Island, SC - High 73, Low 51

    Elkridge, MD -  High 37, Low 20

    Ithaca, NY - High 20, Low 15

7. Today in History. At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.

Ukraine Seeks to Exploit Shift in Russia’s Military Strategy - The Wall Street Journal

Biden’s Remark on Putin Stirs Anxiety Among Western Allies - The Wall Street Journal

How Russia’s Central Bank Engineered the Ruble’s Rebound - The Wall Street Journal

Russian troops’ tendency to talk on unsecured lines is proving costly in Ukraine - The Washington Post

The factors that could alter Putin’s course in the war - The Washington Post

FDA expected to authorize second coronavirus booster for those 50 and older - The Washington Post

Ukraine insists on territorial integrity as talks to resume - Reuters

China's Shanghai launches two-phase lockdown as COVID surges - Reuters

North Macedonia declares five Russian diplomats personas non grata - Reuters

Analysts investigate possibility of North Korea missile test 'deception' - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Serving at the Pleasure of the President

I read an article yesterday about two Trump appointees who do not understand how government works. Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker were appointed to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. This week, President Biden asked them to resign because they are candidates for federal office in their home states. 

The referenced article is from CNN. 

Biden requests Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker resign from presidential council or be terminated

Both refused the President's request.

Wow. Clearly both men do not understand that Presidential appointees serve at the pleasure of the President! They are not elected officials. According to the article, President Biden has a stated policy that individuals running for federal office cannot serve on Presidential committees and councils. 

Both Oz and Walker made statements which misconstrued the truth suggesting that political motives were at work. What is scary is that both are candidates for the Senate and do not understand the basics of being an unelected person on a Presidential commission or council. Just what we need, more senators who do not understand how government works and who are intent on pushing their own narrow definition of what America should be.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Return to the Ball Park


Roger Dean Stadium
Nationals vs Cardinals
Jupiter, FL
March 25, 2022

I took the opportunity to celebrate the end of the MLB Lock-out by attending a Spring Training game yesterday. It was a beautiful day for baseball and I went to Roger Dean Stadium right here in Jupiter, Florida. Well, the stadium is really in Abacoa with a Jupiter mailing address. 

Although the thermometer said 73 degrees, sitting in the sun it felt more like 80. It was, therefore, a beautiful baseball day. The interesting thing about the game was that both teams were dressed in red jerseys and that made it a bit difficult to track who was on base and where they were. The players were a sea of red everywhere. The difference was the pants: white for the Cardinals or gray for the Nationals.

The game was close--5-4 with the Cardinals winning, but the real winner was me. I attended the game with three friends and we enjoyed a baseball game in warm temperatures. The stadium was not full and amazingly, the parking was free in a downtown Abacoa parking garage. The parking was even better because the car was out of the sun and not roaring hot when I returned after the game. 

Baseball and sun. Wow!

Another great Florida day.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 25, 2022

Happy Hour Group Re-joins

Happy Hour Group on the Beach
Intracoastal Waterway, Jupiter Island, FL
March 24, 2022
Yesterday, for the first time in months, our entire seven person Happy Hour group of friends assembled. The Maryland members have escaped the cold early-Spring weather and joined the Florida detachment for a few days of fun in the warm sun. And rain! 

Gathering along the banks of the Intracoastal waterway yesterday, because the wind was too strong coming off the ocean, we enjoyed warm 80 degree temperatures and light breezes, being protected in the mangroves. While we were there the weather cooperated. But, a short half-hour after we departed a strong rainstorm engulfed the area. We were happy to be back at home and out of the rain! That, after all, is Florida. It rains. And the sun comes out. Then, it rains some more.

The water temperature was enjoyable and I even went out and fully immersed myself. It was fun to be in the water. Truth be told, earlier in the month I went out into the waters of the Atlantic on a calm day. 

Nine-armed Sea Star
Intracoastal Waterway, Jupiter Island, FL
March 24, 2022
Yesterday was also the first time in a long that we found life in the waters of the intracoastal. A nine-armed sea star happened through while we were wading knee-deep in the water. We paused for a moment and examined the lonely sea star marveling at its nine arms. They really move fairly quickly and it was gone out of view shortly after being replaced on the silty bottom. 

The the day concluded with a splendid dinner and sharing a special wine, from a jeroboam, that was being saved for a just an occasion like we were enjoying.  

March is truly a great month to enjoy Florida.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 24, 2022


Scene from the US 1 Drawbridge
Jupiter, FL
March 22, 2022

 One of the things that I have had to get used, living in a coastal community, is drawbridges! They seem to raise at the most inopportune times. 

I got caught at one the other day. The warning lights came on and the gates lowered before I could begin to cross. I, as a result, had the opportunity to enjoy the scene from my truck as the boat requiring the drawbridge opening, which is the one in the river in the image, went from full stop to slow and then through the opening. 

It seemed as if it took an eternity for the drawbridge to finally close and the road reopen.

Unexpected waiting feels like an eternity. Yet the other day while in line to check out of a store, a woman in front of me who had a lot of merchandise told me that if I was in a hurry I could go in front of her. I replied without thinking, "no it's OK, I'm retired and I have no place I need to be." 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Hump Day Again

Jupiter Lighthouse from Square Grouper
Jupiter, FL
March 21, 2022
I realized that it is Hump Day! Some of the day designations that I used to employ have become lost as every day is becoming like the day before. I am having the time of my life enjoying the new schedule and not being tied to a job. 

I am free! I worked over 40 years to get to this point and I want to tell everyone that so far, retirement is everything I dreamed it would be. 

Monday is a designated go out for Happy Hour evening. Our favorite watering hole is the Square Grouper across the Loxahatchee River from the famous Jupiter Lighthouse. We enjoyed another spectacular evening on Monday.

And now its is already mid-week and Hump Day. My how time flies!

Enjoy the day.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Image of the Week


Sawfish Bay Park Dock
Jupiter, FL
March 20, 2022
(Image by Chris)
Chris and I take a lot of images during the course of a week. Most remain on our phones or computers and are rarely viewed again. Fortunately, with automatic tagging we know where and when the image was taken, but when I review through old images sometimes the reason the image was collected becomes forgotten. 

We are always searching for the best image of something, which is why I may take another image every time I visit--like of the ocean. It is different every day and I appreciate that difference. 

Chris took this image on Sunday, while we were at Sawfish Bay Park, of the dock--but it is so much more. It captures the mood, the day, the waters of the Loxahatchee River and the sky. I like the way the dock brings the viewer into the picture. 

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon complete with memories of pelicans, a turtle, herons, and boating activity in the river. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, March 21, 2022

Monday Musings - March 21, 2022


1. This is the third Monday of March 2022 and the first full day of Springtime! There are 40 Mondays remaining in the year. Use them wisely, the best part of the year is beginning. 

Green Turtle
Sawfish Bay Park, Jupiter, FL
March 20, 2022
(Photo by Chris)
2. Last evening, Chris and I went to a different place to enjoy Happy Hour. We sat on a nice park bench and watched the birds come and go over Sawfish Bay Park in Jupiter. It was very enjoyable and far away from the Sunday afternoon crowds at the other beaches--not that there are too many people, but the ocean side was too cool and everyone was enjoying the first day of Spring at the intracoastal waterway beaches. While there we watched a small green turtle feasting upon the remains of a kingfish and Chris got some really nice images. 

3. Read the following from the Washington Post item about John Bolton referenced below: Former national security adviser John Bolton told The Washington Post Friday that he thinks former president Donald Trump would have pulled the United States out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had he been reelected in 2020. My thoughts: had the U.S. pulled out of NATO would Putin have been able to invade Ukraine sooner while the countryside was suitable for armored warfare?  Would the Ukrainians have been able to get an unlimited supply of Javelin missiles to thwart the Russian armored advances? Did Trump promise Putin Ukraine? Inquiring minds want to know.

4. Fun fact--the President does not set oil prices--the world market does. Check out Oil Pricing for more info. 

5. I realized yesterday that my return to Maryland is only a few weeks away. I am looking forward to summer in Maryland and personal family interactions through the summer.  

6. Today in History. March 21, 1965. In the name of African American voting rights, 3,200 civil rights demonstrators in Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr., begin a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, the state’s capital. Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march, which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Zelensky tells CNN he's open to negotiations with Putin, but if they fail it 'would mean that this is a third world war' - CNN

Airliner carrying 132 people crashes in southern China, state media says - CNN

Bolton says Trump might have pulled the U.S. out of NATO if he had been reelected - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Spring Arriving!

Happy first day of Spring!

At 11:33 AM EDT we will finally say good-bye to Winter and look forward to longer days and warmer temperatures. 

I have been enjoying the warmer temperatures here as we hit 85 degrees yesterday with beautiful blue skies and gentle breezes. Today is supposed to be cooler, only 80 degrees. But I am looking forward to another great day. 

Yesterday was a typical Saturday. The usual dog walk, a 13-mile bike ride, watched a movie, grocery store, Happy Hour on the beach, and dinner to close out a great day. 

Happy Hour was interesting as Chris and I watched, and then got involved with, three dogs playing. It was great fun, but the dogs. like petulant children, did not want to leave when the families determined it was time to depart. 

Dogs and Chris on the Beach
Jupiter Island, FL
March 19, 2022
Dogs can be like children and these dogs were a lot of fun. They even invaded our small encampment and spread cheer and sand to us. 

The dogs were everywhere and in the water. I am glad that I did not have to clean them when they returned home. 

They were fun and it was all in good fun even as we watched the owners of the dogs get frustrated. Wet ave b been there. I know Chris felt differently, but I was glad that Finnegan did not accompany us for Happy Hour. 

I am enjoying the thought of Spring beginning and the daylight exceeding the darkness for the next 6 months.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

And the Sky Cleared

Blowing Rocks
Jupiter Island Beach, FL
March 18, 2022
I felt bad for my sister and her husband as I was enjoying clear skies and warm breezes on the beach last evening. Yes, the cold winds they had experienced had disappeared and been replaced by warm breezes. The beach was busy, with maybe four other groups, but they provided activity to watch and enjoy. During their too-short visit with us the weather had turned cool, the skies rainy and gray, and wind was fierce. 

All of that changed yesterday. 

The skies cleared and the winds calmed. Even the ocean waves were calm and suitable for swimming. I also notes far fewer Portuguese Man O' War on the beach as well--possibly due to the calmer winds and waves. 

Chris and I had enjoyed a great day with a 9-mile bike ride through a local state park followed by some afternoon shopping. I am getting very good at installing and deinstalling the bike rack on the truck. Given the current price of gas, the truck only gets driven when we are going biking somewhere. 

Another great day enjoying the Florida sun and sand!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, March 18, 2022

Quandary on the Beach


Portuguese Man O' War on the Beach
Jupiter Island, FL
March 15, 2022

I found myself in a quandary the other day while I was walking the Jupiter Island beach. Many Portuguese Man O' War were strewn across the beach where they had washed up with the tide. My natural instinct is to help animals in trouble, but in the case of the Portuguese Man O' War, I found myself standing there wondering if they even knew they were dead. Or even more difficult--how could I tell if they were alive? Fortunately they are not sentient. 

But while I had the urge to try to re-float the animals in the ocean, the big question in my mind became: why? If they were not dead it would only prolong the inevitable because they will only wash back up onto the beach to bake in the sun AND they are a hazard to humans. Their long tentacles provide very painful stings. 

So I looked at them on the beach and chalked their demise up to natural selection. For some reason these Portuguese Man O' War washed up on the beach and their genes were being removed from the gene pool. 

After a few moments, I went back to enjoying my beach walk while avoiding the tentacles of the Portuguese Man O' War washed up on the beach and baking in the sun. It is that time of year. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Orchids and Birds

Orchids for Beauty of Orchids Display
Flamingo Gardens, Ft Lauderdale, FL
March 14, 2022
Chris and I made a return trip to Flamingo Gardens the other day. I had been looking forward to the return for a while as there is always something new to see at the Gardens. I was not disappointed. Flamingo Gardens was preparing for their Beauty of Orchids celebration which begins March 19th and runs through May 8th. We were lucky enough to see the gardens getting prepped for the orchids and I am excited that I will have the opportunity to return next week to see the full effect. There were orchids being placed everywhere and it was fun to see the preparations. The last time we were at the Gardens, Christmas displays were being removed and so it was a different view of the Gardens. 

But, birds. There were still birds to see. At one point it was a bit creepy as we walked through the raptor area because there were multitudes of black vultures sitting on the tree branches looking down at us--oh yes, and pooping! We wondered which of us was not going to make it out alive--but we both did survive. 

But the birds and the requisite flamingos are the real stars of Flamingo Gardens. The peafowl were especially enjoyable as the males were strutting their plumage and the females were taking an interest. 

Not-Trapped Goose
Flamingo Gardens, Ft Lauderdale, FL
March 14, 2022
Flamingos are my personal favorites, but there was this one crazy goose that kept honking and sticking its head out between the rails as if it was trying to get out of jail. 

It was an enjoyable day with the birds, the orchids, and the plants. Definitely worth the drive and I am already looking forward to my return visit. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Boy, Beach, Sand


At a Gulf Coast Beach
March 13, 2022
It is Spring Break for many school districts across the country. Some of them are in Texas and I received an interesting image of one of my grand-nephews enjoying his first moments on a Florida beach after driving all day from near Houston. 

This is a great image. I love the sunset in the background and the flat water of the Gulf of Mexico. And the small boy playing in the sand. 

But here is what is really funny--the small boy is wearing pants with snowmen on them! Playing in the sand on a warm beach during Spring Break with snowmen!

But, more importantly, this image just reminds me about everything great about being at the beach: water, sunsets/sunrises, playing in the sand, and beach activities!

Happy Spring Break! Keep those toes in the water!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 15, 2022



Riordin in a Bag
Tequesta, FL
March 14, 2022
Curiosity killed the cat, or so the phrase goes.

We witnessed how something like that could occur last evening as Chris and I along with family and friends were playing cards and enjoying munchies and wine. Riordin decided to explore an empty bag of chips. Yes, he was on the counter while we were at the table. 

Riordin is an inquisitive cat. A bit too inquisitive. As I have documented previously, he likes to explore boxes and bags looking for strategically important locations where he can curl-up and nap. So it is important to note that he was not interested in the contents of the bag, but rather was looking for a secluded place to enjoy. It did not work quite the way he imagined as the bag was not large enough for him and he was having difficulty getting it off his head. 

I removed the bag from Riordin's head and all was well.

If you are interested in the history of the phrase: Curiosity killed the cat, click the link at the b beginning of the blog.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday Musings - March 14, 2022


1. Welcome to the second Monday of March 2022. The Ides of March are tomorrow. There are 41 Mondays remaining in 2022. 

Juno Beach Fishing Pier
Juno Beach, FL
March 13, 2022
2. I attended an artist show in Juno Beach yesterday. I am becoming familiar with many of the exhibitors. What did I do? I took a picture of the Juno Beach Fishing Pier, the ocean, and the sky to record the day. Although the day started cold, it quickly became a very nice day for outdoors activities including Happy hour on the beach! With long sleeved shirts and sweaters, of course. 

3. With gas prices zooming into the stratosphere, I am carefully evaluating every trip in the car. I am very happy that I do not have a daily commute anymore. 

4. A cool day meant the beach was nearly ours alone last evening. Yes, it was cool, but watching the waves crash on the beach was a great was to enjoy the added hour of sunlight at the end of the day. 

5. I biked just shy of 60 miles last week. It was a good week, but I also had another flat tire. Thankfully, I ordered six inner tubes so it was just a small delay to change out the tube and get back onto the road.

6. Today in History. On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered human understanding of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

After a childhood in Germany and Italy, Einstein studied physics and mathematics at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a Swiss citizen and in 1905 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich while working at the Swiss patent office in Bern. That year, which historians of Einstein’s career call the annus mirabilis—the “miracle year”—he published five theoretical papers that were to have a profound effect on the development of modern physics.

Russia requested military assistance from China, US officials say - CNN

Oil Falls, Stock Futures Rise as Investors Track Ukraine Negotiations - The Wall Street Journal

China Is Selling Thailand a Submarine. Problem Is, No Engines - The Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia Puts 81 People to Death in Its Largest Execution Ever - The Wall Street Journal

Kyiv under fire as fresh talks begin - The Washington Post

U.S. journalist killed in Ukraine was known for ‘innate humanity and empathy’ - The Washington Post

Bipartisan lawmakers ramp up calls on Biden to give Ukraine weapons, fighter jets - The Washington Post

Russian attacks in western Ukraine prompt more people to flee - Reuters

Russia warns it may be forced to pay foreign currency debt in roubles due to sanctions - Reuters

Iran says U.S. has to make decision on reviving nuclear deal - Reuters

South Korea sees imminent prospect of North ICBM test - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, March 13, 2022

A Change in Latitude

One Side of the Palm is Wet
After the Storm
Tequesta, FL
March 12, 2022
I awoke this morning to a 48 degree temperature. It seemed that overnight I was transported to a more northern latitude.

The cooler temperatures were a result of the weather system which came through last evening. The temperature dropped about 18 degrees and we suffered with high winds and driving rain. The weather system delayed the arrival of my sister and her husband by over two hours as Palm Beach International was actually closed due to the high winds. 

The high today is expected to be only about 70 degrees.  Too cold. Yes--70 degrees is cold! I will wear jeans and a long sleeved shirt for the first time in weeks. 

I want my 85 degree temperatures to return! 

I have outdoors activities planned and need the warmth.  

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 12, 2022

And the Rains Came


Water Pooling off my Patio in the Rain
Tequesta, FL
March 11, 2022
Closing out a beautiful Friday, the rains came about 4 PM yesterday. 

It was not just a little rain, but a "gullywasher" followed by some steady rain. I think the water management system at my condo has some issues as the rainwater pooled significantly in my backyard until it percolated through the sand and down into the aquifer. 

The rain was a wet ending to an otherwise excellent day with a very warm high of 84 degrees and some humidity. Chris and I took a pleasant 9 mile bike ride during the morning and then worked around the condo for the remainder of the day. There were two trips to Ace Hardware to secure items to assist in projects that were underway. The biggest project is that all of the televisions in the house are now hanging on the walls!

We are preparing for visitors--our second group of the year will be arriving later this afternoon and we are very excited. Unfortunately, tomorrow the forecast is for cold (70 degree) temperatures and some rain, but we have plans. Although it may not be a beach day we will have fun! 

For now, I will enjoy another great day and not worry too much about the bomb cyclone ravaging the East Coast!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, March 11, 2022

Hiding in Plain Sight


Hiding in Plain Sight
Tequesta, FL
March 10, 2022
OK, sometimes I think I am living on the edge of Jurassic Park. Lizards are everywhere when the temperatures crawl into the mid-80s as they did yesterday. They can be very startling as they zip across in front of me while I am walking or biking. For some reason they feel the race across the sidewalk when I approach. 

I have seen colorful lizards during my biking outings, but generally there are two types of lizards that zip about: the six-lined race runner and geckos. During one of my bike outings, I did see a small iguana and one very colorful lizard that scurried into the underbrush before I cold get a good look at it. I'm not sure what the lizard in the photo is, but it was outdoors on the still warm exterior of the house last evening, hiding in plain sight. As close as I can determine it may have been a Tropical House Gecko.

I don't mind the lizards too much. We do not allow them inside the house, but occasionally one gets into the garage which can be disconcerting. Unlike other areas of Florida, I have not seen any iguanas in our immediate area so we do not fear falling iguanas during periods of cold weather. 

Thankfully, unlike Jurassic Park, the lizards of Florida are not trying to make a snack out of people. Just be ready for them to show up--anywhere.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Another Hump Day Passes

Friday-eve Dawns
Tequesta, FL
March 10, 2022
Hump Day has come and gone for another week and I scarcely noticed it. Chris and I enjoyed a beautiful bike ride through a State Park and then accomplished errands during the afternoon. Following all of that, we spent a quiet evening alone with the animals. The exciting part of the bike ride was that during the ride we saw four tortoises and a black racer snake and a kestrel, ignoring of course the multitudes of small lizards that scurry in front of the bike tires. We just have to believe that the lizards are faster than we are or we would be stopping every few feet to let them pass. 

And now it is Friday-eve, but my excitement for the day is waning a bit because it is becoming just another day. Today's big event should include a trip to Costco for supplies that we require in large quantities. I do enjoy shopping in Florida because the stores, like Costco, sell wine. Most of America outside of Maryland knows Costco sells wine and that the Kirkland label is generally very drinkable wine at a solid price-point.

Well the weekend is coming--I realize that weekends during the in-season mean that the beaches are full and the traffic is heavy. 

I like mid-week activities.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Along the Water

Along the Intracoastal Waterway
Jupiter Island, FL
March 8, 2022

Happy Hour has moved forward one hour. 

It used to be that Happy Hour began promptly at 5 PM. It seems, however, that with the winter and the desire to be on a beach somewhere to enjoy the day's end, that the earlier sunset times, now about 5:45 PM pushed Happy Hour forward to 4 PM.  

The new earlier Happy hour has remained the new, beach time Happy Hour, which is not a bad thing. I'm not sure what will happen on Sunday as sunset times become 7:30 PM due to daylight saving time. Sitting along the ocean or the intracoastal provides a relaxing ending to the day's activities. We often meet friends and connect about projects and the pace of retired life in Florida.

Last evening as we reclined under the shade of the mangroves, we were able to enjoy the activity on the water. There were boats of all kinds and personal watercraft zipping around. One of the most interesting was the boat puling a large tube where the intent seemed to be to determine who could remain on the tube the longest whilst the boat accelerated at great speed. It reminded me of my many failed mechanical bull riding attempts. 

And it all happens along the water.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Reward at the Halfway Point


Sunday morning's bike ride of just short of 20 miles had a reward at the mid-point. The reward, at the very southern tip of Singer Island, was a stunning view of the wild Atlantic Ocean across the shipping channel leading into West Palm Beach.
The View from Southern Tip of Singer Island
Palm Beach Shores, FL
March 6, 2022

The ride was enjoyable beginning near Juno Beach just north of the famous pier. The ride down A1A and then US 1 to Singer Island was not as scary as it might have been, being that it was Sunday morning. Biking along US 1 is always exciting, even with the bike lane, because the lane is too narrow. There is something disconcerting about a large semi-truck passing within a few feet of my handlebars, just saying. 

Once my riding partner and I turned onto Jack Nicklaus Drive leading onto Singer Island proper, the traffic lightened and the bike path widened. I actually did pause in front of Jack Nicklaus' mailbox and looked at his house. From there is was a really scenic ride though John D. MacArthur Beach State Park along the banks of Lake Worth. After leaving the park it was into the resort end of Singer Island. The resorts vary from towering buildings to two story retro sites that can appeal to every taste. The stop for the quick break and image was in the middle of a Marriott complex. 

The ride back to where the car was parked seemed faster and looking at the splits, it was--likely due to the quartering tailwind. Traffic had increased since our earlier departure, but it was still tolerable. 

The 1 hour 36 minute ride was the longest of my adult life. The only time I remember riding longer was one weekend when I was a freshman in college, two friends and I rode from the University of Miami across southern Florida through the Everglades to near Naples and slept for a bit before riding back arriving late Sunday night. We were a bit crazy back then. That we actually survived, since we had only small generator lights on our bikes and were riding through the wilds of Florida during the night, is far more impressive now that I understand the perils than back when we did it. Of course, almost 50 years ago, there were a lot more "wild" and a bit less traffic than now. To this day, I don't remember if it was 90 miles round trip or 90 miles each way--but 90 miles definitely sticks in my mind. Funny, I would never do something like that now without a GPS--but back then all we had was a roadmap.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, March 7, 2022

Monday Musings - March 7, 2022


1. Welcome to March 2022. Today is the first Monday of the month. There are 42 Mondays remaining in the year. Spring officially begins in 13 days!

Marley and the Turtle
Tequesta, FL
March 6, 2022
2. The cat and the turtle. Marley is a cat and she is the clear queen of her home. A new item, a wooden turtle, was introduced into her domain the the other day and it apparently has created some conflict. Marley was noticed trying to decide if the turtle was friend or foe last evening. The turtle, of course being wooden, did not back down from Marley's advance causing her to retreat. 

3. After biking over 30 miles during the past two days, I am going to take a break today. Yesterday's ride, just short of 20 miles, took me to the southern tip of Singer Island where I could look out across the shipping channel and to the Atlantic Ocean with its roiling waves. It looked to be a rough day to be out on the ocean. While facing a left-quartering headwind for most of the ride down Singer Island, it became a right quartering tailwind for the ride back ad resulted I a much more enjoyable and faster return trip. 

4. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is abhorrent. I am amazed at the number of people who have suddenly become foreign policy experts or military experts without any experience in either. Many of these same people were rendering unfounded and incorrect COVID medical opinions just two weeks ago. The situation revolving around Ukraine is very complicated and a mis-step could have dire consequences for the planet. I am watching the Biden administration navigate a complex world situation. This is a war and all of the instruments of national power are being employed as effectively as perhaps has ever been done by the U.S. Remember, war is hell and making this worse, the survival of the Russian Federation is in play making the end game and exit strategy even more complicated and dangerous.

5. Chris returns from her trip to Maryland today. Yay! Finnegan is more than ready to welcome her home.

6. Today in History. On March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, a 600-person civil rights demonstration ends in violence when marchers are attacked and beaten by white state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. The day's events became known as "Bloody Sunday."

The demonstrators—led by civil rights activists John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference—were commemorating the recent fatal shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old church deacon, by state trooper James Bonard Fowler. The group planned to march the 54 miles from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. Just as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside Selma, they were ordered to disperse. Moments later, police assaulted them with tear gas, bullwhips and billy clubs. Lewis, then 25, was one of 17 marchers hospitalized; dozens more were treated for injuries. 

Russia detains at least 4,640 people on Sunday during protests, says independent monitoring group - CNN

300 Shots Fired, 280 Russian Tanks Gone: US Missiles In Ukrainian Hands - NDTV

Republicans weigh approach for Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination fight - CNN

Biden Caught Between Inflation and Calls to Ban Russian Oil - The Wall Street Journal

Global Markets Fall After Oil Hits $130 a Barrel - The Wall Street Journal

After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Moldova worries it might be next - The Washington Post

In rare trip to Venezuela, U.S. officials discuss that nation’s oil exports amid a proposal to ban Russian fuel - The Washington Post

Ukraine decries 'immoral' stunt after Moscow says it will let civilians flee — to Russia - Reuters

Russian no show at U.N. court hearings on Ukrainian war - Reuters

'Putin will not stop in Ukraine', Lithuanian president warns Blinken - Reuters

Note: the "n" key on my keyboard is malfunctioning. If there are too many or missing n's, please excuse the inattention of the editor.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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