Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Under the Cover of Darkness

Empty and Dark
Elkridge, MD
August 30, 2022

 Chris and I departed our house in Elkridge for likely the last time early this morning. The world was dark as we drove the streets that had been our local neighborhood for more than two decades. The good-byes had been tearful, but we know not permanent. It is sad that sometimes we don't appreciate the people we know until it is time to say good-bye.

The last item that I sold was my tractor and I have to admit that more than a few tears fell as I mowed the lawn for the last time and remembered everything we had done during the past 22 summers. Wow. And it really does seem like just yesterday that we moved into the house that became a fantastic home which is again a house waiting for a family to make it a home.

We are on our way home. Where we are headed is no longer our beach house, but it is our home. Chris and I have spent much of the day talking about transforming our Florida townhouse from a vacation place to our home. We have many plans and ideas. 

We should arrive in Tequesta tomorrow during the bright part of the day to start our lives there. I expect to be on the beach tomorrow night celebrating a new beginning.

-- Bob Doan, Yemassee, SC

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Clock Delivery


Our Ithaca Grandfather Clock's New Home
Odenton, MD
August 29, 2022

Yesterday marked another point along the journey of relocation. For the first time in over 30 years there are no grandfather clocks in our house. I awoke this morning and the reassuring chimes to which I have become accustomed were not heard as our three (yes, three) grandfather clocks have been re-homed. 

It was no small task and I can report that two of them are happily ticking in their new homes, while the other seems a bit off. I will have to make a quick call on it this afternoon to see if I can straighten out the problem, which likely involves the escapement. This clock did have a bit of a problem in during transit and actually required a more extensive set-up than expected. It is also on a carpet which has a lot of pile and so that may be causing some issues because the clock rocks a bit when the pendulum sways.

We have a busy day planned completing the final tasks before departure. Although our drive-away date is not cast in stone, we have a hotel reservation about halfway because we are caravanning with two vehicles and three furry friends. It should be a challenging two days on the road. But the driving will be easier. We are planning to get over halfway the first day leaving a shorter drive the second.

At least the clocks are in their new homes.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 29, 2022

Monday Musings - August 29, 2022


1. Monday has arrived again. This is the final of five August Mondays. It has been a long, hot month. There are 18 Mondays remaining in the year.

Closing the Pool for the Last Time
Elkridge, MD
August 27, 2022

2. Things are winding down at our Elkridge house. It is hard to believe we have only a few days remaining here. The pool is closed, which was a sad day's work--but, it is for the best as there will be no one to manage it until the buyers become the owners. I will mow the lawn one last time today. And we will begin removing all of the remaining non-essential items tomorrow. 

The Brothers Working Together
August 28, 2022
ELkridge, MD

3. Brakes again. Ugh. Actually changing a bad brake line that presented a large number of challenges. The brothers got it done. It was fun supervising and watching the brothers work together. I did get my hands dirty as we tackled some of the tricky and potentially disastrous problems the brake line presented. We got it done, even in the heat of the day.

4. The United States is preparing to send humans back to the moon, Hopefully the Artemis 1 rehearsal mission goes well today. To infinity and beyond! I am amazed at how many countries are in a space race to the moon. NASA, South Korea, India and China are currently exploring the Moon and its environs.

5. Because some important people cannot keep their ideas secret, the future pain of fighting inflation has become real pain due to stock market speculation.

6. Today in HistoryHurricane Katrina makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29, 2005. Despite being only the third most powerful storm of the 2005 hurricane season, Katrina was among the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. In the wake of the storm, there were over 50 failures of the levees and flood walls around New Orleans and its suburbs. The levee and flood wall failures caused widespread flooding.

After briefly coming ashore in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before slamming into the Gulf Coast on August 29. In addition to bringing devastation to the New Orleans area, the hurricane caused damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.

NASA to Launch Artemis I Moon Mission - The Wall Street Journal

Stock Futures Point to Further Losses on Rate Concerns - The Wall Street Journal

U.N. Inspectors Head to Ukraine Nuclear Plant as Safety Fears Grow - The Wall Street Journal

The unexpected impact of Western sanctions on Russia - CNN

Pakistan pleads for international help as parts of country 'resemble a small ocean' - CNN

Mississippi residents are once again fleeing rising river waters - CNN

Analysis: Pain of breaking inflation will reverberate around the globe - Reuters

Dollar hits 20-year high as markets hunker down for higher rates for longer - Reuters

Taiwan says 12 Chinese fighters crossed Taiwan Strait median line - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Moving - Watching the Action

Riordin in the Empty Cupboard
Elkridge, MD
August 27, 2022

 Pets are very sensitive to the activities around the house. They get anxious when they see suitcases coming out of closets and being filled with clothes. They are even more anxious now, I believe, trying to understand why the house is empty and all of the places and things they were accustomed to are now gone.

The house is very empty, it echos.

Yet, there is a lot of activity and people coming and going. The activity and people also indicate to the furry friends that we live with that something is happening out of the ordinary. That has made the three of them, Riordin, Finnegan, and Makayla anxious. 

Riordin took the opportunity the climb into an empty cupboard yesterday and keep tabs on the activity. Riordin is generally not far from me. Like now, as I write this, he curled up right next to me on the futon. One of the last remaining pieces of furniture in the house. He will likely freak out on Tuesday as the futon departs along with the last remaining coffee table, end tables, and lamps which have been designated for disposal. At that point the living room will be empty.

The time remaining in the house is growing short, but the transition from a home to  house is effectively complete. 

And the pets are just hoping they don't get left behind. They stay close and remind us of their presence continuously. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Cat's last Ride

 It was a sobering move-related day, yesterday. I drove my Jaguar, Cat, for the last time as I delivered her to the new owner in Stafford, VA. 

Before the Last Drive
Elkridge, MD
August 26, 2022

It was a beautiful almost two-hour ride along I-95 with the top down and the wind in my hair before the heat of the day arrived. Chris followed along behind to bring me home. I relished the ride knowing that my days as a Jaguar and a convertible owner were ending. I have owned the car for 12 years and selling it was hard, but necessary. Where we are moving allows only two vehicles and we still need to shed the Camry, that we purchased as our Florida car fur use when we were using the Townhouse as a vacation home, to get to the two car limit. 

My time as a Jaguar owner has drawn to a close. I have owned two of the cars, a 1987 XJ-6 Vanden Plas known as Kitty, and Cat, the 2005 XK8 Convertible. After my final drive, Cat had driven just over 67,000 miles. I forgot to actually look at the odometer, but it rolled over 67,000 near the end of the trip. 

Good-bye Cat. I have many fond memories.

The one thing that makes me smile, however, is remembering a question that was asked of me during an oil change. The attendant asked me if the windshield wipers were OK. I responded, I don't know, I never drive it in the rain.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Picnic 2022

 Taking a break from the packing and moving action, I attended my former organization's annual picnic yesterday. The picnic has always been a great place to catch up with the retired crowd, of which I am now one, and talk to those still on the front lines of defending freedom. 

The Scratch
Elkridge, MD
August 25, 2022

It was a much needed break. The morning had consisted of the appraiser wandering through the house and a couple of guys that were here to haul away some of the larger pieces of furniture that we have and did not want to risk our backs getting out of the house. Unfortunately, they left a huge scratch on the floor that I now need to figure out how to repair. 

And so, it is with this background having come from Lowes where I attempted to buy materials to repair the scratch that I arrived at the picnic. My worries of the world and moving soon evaporated as I was engulfed by old and new friends and coworkers. Wow, it was so good to see everyone and to catch-up on life and what has been happening back at the workplace with the projects that we started and the directions that we intended to move the organization. There were some who could not attend and they were missed, but that is how life happens. 

It was a great afternoon that I did not want to end, but all good things end. I hope that I am around for next year's edition of the picnic and that we can stay better in touch in the meantime.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 25, 2022

And it is Gone


PODS Headed to Florida
Elkridge, MD
August 24, 2022 

The PODS departed yesterday. 

Tear were shed as the reality of the downsizing and move became a reality. Our stuff will arrive in Florida the day after our planned arrival.

It was fun to watch the PODZILLA maneuver to load the container onto the truck. And then it was trucking our of the driveway and the nearly all consuming work of the past weeks was effectively completed. All that remains in the house will either travel with us, get distributed to family members, become a donation, or find its way to the landfill/recycling center. I have already made two trips to the landfill this week and I expect at least one more. I made arrangements with Howard County to pick up our mattress and box springs from the curb the day we depart. It will be weird to sleep on the bed and then drag it to the street just before we head up the driveway for the last time. 

I hope I did a good job packing and securing. I think I used about 16 tie down straps and bungees to secure everything.

I got great news yesterday. I sold the Jaguar. I will drive it to its new owner tomorrow. So things are drawing to a conclusion.

In the it is hard to believe it happened this way category, the title company emailed forms to complete,  wet sign and PDF back to them. Suddenly this becomes a problem because my printer is in the PODS on its way to Florida. Nice one.

The house appraisal is today and that is the final piece of the house sale puzzle. I expect by this time am retired and we really do not have a hard must arrive by time--so the departure date is still fuzzy, although since it will be a two-day trip, I will need a hotel reservation because we will be traveling with furry friends.

Enough rambling. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Downsizing--Cat in a Bag

Riordin in the Wrapping Materials
Elkridge, MD
August 23, 2022

 Packing reached a fevered pitch yesterday. The PODS departs this morning for Florida and hopefully we are less than a week behind in making the trek south. The PODS is packed, although not fully, because we are not taking any furniture, save some lamps and a couple small tables. The PODS is full of mostly possessions and treasures intended to replace like possessions already in place in Florida. I expect that I will be actively on Facebook Marketplace once I arrive. 

As we were packing and wrapping the last of the items, Riordin, our cat, decided to crawl into a bag of wrapping material and cocoon himself inside. He wound up napping there most of the afternoon. He loves to nap in warm places and so this was not too out of the ordinary for him. We kept a close watch on him to ensure that is head remained outside of the plastic bag.

At least he found a place to hide out during the flurry of activity. 

Smart cat!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

P.S. Within a week, I expect that I my daily posts will be from Tequesta! Time in Maryland is drawing short. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Caught in the Act

Makayla Caught in the Act
Elkridge, MD
August 22, 2022

 Keeshonden (the plural form of Keeshond) are known for being intelligent and devious. Makayla is no exception. She loves to clean-up Finnegan's left-overs, even though she knows she is not supposed to indulge. 

Yesterday, she got caught. Makayla has begun crawling into Finnegan cage to gain access to the left-overs, which sometimes are an entire meal. I usually do not notice it until she has to turn around in the confined space and the commotion alerts me to the crime.  Sadly, I pay the price for her indulgence in the form of, well to be polite, less than formed stools. I hate it when they are messy.

But, back to the story. 

I caught her coming out of Finnegan's cage after licking up the left-overs. She had that deer-in-the-headlights look on her face when she saw me. She fully knew that I was not happy, but she also knew she had won the battle of wills. She will do it again, of that I am sure. Finnegan's food is tempting. It is the cookie jar of dog food for her. And I will catch her with her paws in the cookie jar.

BTW, for those of you who know Makayla, she received a hair cut for the summer. That has made her much more mobile and devious!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Musings - August 22, 2022


1. August seems to be dragging on as this is the fourth of five Mondays. There are just 19 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. School starts next Monday for most of the Maryland districts in my area. A sure sign that Summer is over and we are careening towards the dark days.

Main Water Shutoff
Elkridge, MD
August 22, 2022

3. People continue to ask; when are we heading to Florida. With the sale of our bedroom furniture today, we may be heading to Florida sooner than later and possibly as early as next week.

4. The home inspection report is in and I have determined that the process is a scam. The report is full of errors regarding the house. One of the biggest recommendations to the buyers was that the gutters should be cleaned--we have a LeafFilter system on our gutters. The inspector never even went onto the roof to see that. I also enjoyed the item where they could not find the main water cutoff and recommended that a licensed plumber be retained to install one. OMG--it is right there! Big blue handle. 

5. Does anyone really care about why Tom Brady was missing training camp?

6. The Orioles continue to play exciting baseball even though they have slipped to 2.5 games out of a Wild Card position. They remain 5 games over .500 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. There are a number of important series coming up, for instance today they begin a series against the White Sox who are one game behind them for a Wild Card position.

7. Today in History. On August 22, 1950, officials of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accept Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York, making her the first African American player to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition.

Growing up in Harlem, the young Gibson was a natural athlete. She started playing tennis at the age of 14 and the very next year won her first tournament, the New York State girls’ championship, sponsored by the American Tennis Association (ATA), which was organized in 1916 by Black players as an alternative to the exclusively white USLTA. After prominent doctors and tennis enthusiasts Hubert Eaton and R. Walter Johnson took Gibson under their wing, she won her first of what would be 10 straight ATA championships in 1947.

Jan. 6 panel ups pressure for testimony that may rock Pence's 2024 hopes - CNN

Teachers at Ohio's largest school district vote to strike just before start of school year - CNN

Tom Brady to return to practice Monday following personal leave - CNN

Stock Futures Fall in Broad Market Decline - The Wall Street Journal

Chinese Banks Cut Rates to Spur Economic Growth - The Wall Street Journal

Liz Cheney Says New Political Group Will Target Trump Allies - The Wall Street Journal

New breed of video sites thrive on misinformation and hate - Reuters

Turkey doubles Russian oil imports, filling EU void - Reuters

Russia fires rockets at areas near nuclear plant, Kyiv bans Independence Day rallies - Reuters

In upstate N.Y., a test for Democrats running on abortion to stop GOP wave - The Washington Post

Alaska’s snow crabs have disappeared. Where they went is a mystery. - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Moving--Kick it into Gear

 Moving has become serious now. We effectively have a table with chairs, a small futon sofa, and the bedroom set remaining in the house along with items that are destined for family members and donations. The PODS departs Wednesday and I have lost the better part of the past two days taking a much needed time-out to enjoy family.

Mostly Empty Living Room in the Morning Light
Elkridge, MD
August 21, 2022

Well, there may have been the issue of the sump pump that needed attention as well. But, I actually watched some of the Little League World Series and enjoyed it, despite everything that I need to do, because I miss baseball. 

Today it is back to the grind. I have three days to finish loading the half-full PODS. I had to unpack some of the items yesterday to find something we needed for a project. I hate it when we accidentally pack something and then need it. Ugh. Now I have to repack that part of the PODS and continue with the overall packing. I am looking forward to the PODS departure because I am fairly certain we will begin our journey south soon thereafter.

A hard deadline is a true motivator.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Home Inspection Blues

 As part of the sale of our house, we suffered through a home inspection yesterday. The appointment was scheduled for 2PM, but was changed to 12:45PM at 12:40PM. Great. We had the animals running loose in the house as we were sitting down to eat at a local establishment. It worked out, but was just a bit of added stress.

The Venerable Old Pump
Elkridge, MD
August 20, 2022

It is all part of the home sale process in America today. 

Do we know what they found? Well, no, except that the sump pump started smoking when it was checked. I wonder how long it has been non-functional? So, at least I was glad to know the sump pump needed replacing after 32 years. It was built during March 1990.

A new pump and check valve was installed today and I am really very happy that the non-functioning pump was discovered as I never really think about the sump pump. It just always did its job when it was needed. 

Well, at least the new owners will not have to worry about it for a few years.

I wonder what other repairs I will be negotiating about. I can't think of anything--the pool is in fantastic shape and the house is likewise in great repair. At least I think it is.

Moving is such fun.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 19, 2022

After the Storms

Odenton, MD
August 17, 2022

 Rainbows provide transient beauty after storms. I look for rainbows all of the time and I love it when, after or during storms, I find the rainbow.

The other day, I found what appeared to be a rainbow hiding in a small break in the clouds. It was very interesting to watch and imagine how it had formed. I can see the rays of light streaming through the clouds. 

I had just finished mowing the lawn when the thunder started and the first raindrops lashed at my face. I was glad to have put everything away before the deluge arrived. It was a short but powerful downpour. As it passed, there was the small rainbow in the sky. 

I marveled at how it was just a small portion of what could have been a much larger rainbow, but I was smart enough to enjoy the diffracted light for the brief time that it appeared. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Downsizing--When Treasures Become Cast-offs

 They are gone.

On the Auction House Table
Hunt Valley, MD
August 17, 2022

30+ years of clock collecting and repairing is over. The clocks, save for the few we gave away and the two we retained, have been placed out for auction. 

I took my treasures to two auction houses yesterday, a high end house cherry picked the collection and then a more moderate house took the remainder. I have been pretty successful in selling the best of the collection on Marketplace and of course the real gems are staying in the family. 

The Other Part of the Table
Hunt Valley, MD
August 17, 2022

Downsizing sucks! But, in fact. most of the clocks have been sitting in bins for the past few years as we transitioned from decorating with clocks and timepieces to a more modern approach. As it turned out I took only 17 clocks to auction. We determined another 6 were not worthy of being sold and they will be relegated to the landfill. They were in various states of disrepair and were project clocks that I never got around to repairing.

The house is becoming very empty. I was in the car talking to Chris on the phone yesterday and I could hear the echo. We are selling the last remaining table and chairs on Sunday leaving only our bedroom as the last remaining room with furniture. We are going to be sitting on plastic Adirondack chairs until we leave. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rex--Soccer Star


Last Saturday, between our own packing and PODS loading and then heading over to help Patrick and Jen unpack their newly moved-in house, Chris and I were fortunate to take Rex, their American Bull Terrier, for a couple of walks to get him out of the house and away from the action. (I think I did OK with this long, but not run-on sentence).

Their new community at Tanyard Shores has a dog park. What a great idea! Building communities with dog parks. 

When we arrived at the park, it was clear that Rex had been there before. He immediately sought and found the purple ball and then the game was on. 

As can be seen, Rex has pretty good face-work with the ball. 

The only problem is that the ball is rough and it caused him to bleed a bit around his nose. I laughed at his antics until Chris and I realized that he was hurting himself and we had to separate the enthusiastic dog from the ball. That was an event, but we managed. 

It was a much needed "break in the action" for the three of us.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Rocket Sled Ride Through the Week

 My rocket sled ride through another week continues. 

Tuesday has arrived and it is chock full of previously unplanned activities. 

In the best news department we received and accepted an offer for the house yesterday! This happened less than a week after we terminated the previous contract to allow us to get back onto the market.

There is so much still to do and with the new contract the closing has slipped into mid-September. The new closing date presents a host of new problems--like when to close the pool and how to keep the house prepared if we decide to depart before settlement. I wonder if it is OK to close a pool before Labor Day? I can get the lawn mowed in the intervening weeks, but I worry about the pool if I close it too early. And I will still be paying for electricity and internet during that time so I will be able to monitor the place, much like my Florida home. 

But how do I turn in the cable boxes and modem if I am not there? I worry about dumb stuff like that.

The PODS is half packed--well it is half-full but mostly we are packed. We are getting down to the remnants, like golf clubs and push carts--stuff like that. I'm not thinking that I will be playing golf before I leave and I need the space in the truck to haul those "critical for living" items to Florida with us. Those are the items we need to survive after the PODS has departed and before we actually leave for Florida.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, August 15, 2022

Monday Musings - August 15, 2022


1. Welcome to the Ides of August. It is the third Monday of the month and there are 20 Mondays remaining in the year. I hope your vacation plans are complete!

2. Moving is tough--whether across the street or across the country. There is so much to do and my back has about been burned out between moving my stuff and helping Patrick and Jen.

3. Our house is becoming empty. There is nothing sadder than a now empty house that has been full of activity for the past almost 22 years. 

4. They are found! I lost the keys to our PODS, well misplaced them. It would have been helpful if I had actually remembered which shorts I was wearing, because when, in the middle of the night, I remembered I found the keys.

5. Espionage and treason are criminal, right? Even when a former president commits the crimes?

6. Why do a minority of people living in America believe they have there right and the mandate to determine how the rest of us should conduct our lives? 

7. Today in HistoryOn August 15, 1969, the Woodstock music festival opens on a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel.

Promoters John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield and Michael Lang originally envisioned the festival as a way to raise funds to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat near the town of Woodstock, New York. The longtime artists’ colony was already a home base for Bob Dylan and other musicians. Despite their relative inexperience, the young promoters managed to sign a roster of top acts, including the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many more. 

Republicans pressure Garland over search of Trump home - CNN

Florida students return to schools reshaped by Gov. DeSantis' anti-'woke' education agenda - CNN

A disastrous megaflood is coming to California, experts say, and it could be the most expensive natural disaster in history - CNN

Caste in California: Tech giants confront ancient Indian hierarchy - Reuters

Iran says Salman Rushdie and his supporters are to blame for attack on him - Reuters

China to lift Aug fuel exports but 2022 shipments to drop to 7-year lows, article with image - Reuters

Michigan plot to breach voting machines points to a national pattern - The Washington Post

At least six explosions rocked Crimea air base over course of an hour - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, August 14, 2022


 Well, not so fast. 

Arthur and Makayla Mooching Breakfasr
Odenton, MD
April 14, 2022

It has been a busy Sunday following a busier Saturday. 

We had another open house today. It seemed to be well attended and we are hopeful of an offer soon. I think we have had 15 or so people view the house since it has been back on the market. 

It takes Chris and I a lot of time to get the house "show" ready. We turn all of the lights and fans as well as make sure the house looks like a Better Homes & Garden showplace. That is a bit tougher now that most of the furniture is gone--but, we try to make the place look as presentable as possible.

Chris and I are finding refuge at Nicole and Mike's place while they are away. We are watching their dogs and it is easier to watch them there than at ourt house. We are still, however, making the 20 minute drive about 4 times per day. My cat, Riordin, is in charge of security at our house while we are away. We only take him out of the house when there is a showing. 

We are busy packing, cleaning, and then packing more. The PODS remains and we are slowly filling it with belongings and treasures headed for Florida. 

The biggest question remaining is, when will be make the 15 hour trek south. 

And there is not a clear answer, but the departure is slipping later in August and possible even into September.

Fun days. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 13, 2022

A Beautiful Night for Baseball

Padres vs Nationals
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
August 12, 2022


The sky was stunningly clear and the temperatures moderate after stifling heat and humidity. Jeremy secured some prime seats at Nationals Park for the game between the visiting San Diego Padres and the local Washington Nationals. 

It was not so much about the game, I spent much of the evening watching the Orioles scores as they defeated Tampa Bay to move into third place in the division and actually take sole posession of the third Wild Card spot. Of course there is a lot of baseball remaining, but that the Orioles are third in the toughest division in baseball is no small feat.

But, back to the game. I was able to see some of the Padres superstars--Manny Machado--a former Oriole, and Juan Soto, a former Nationals. The Nationals were never really in the game once the scoring began and the Padres piled on the runs, winning 10-5, but three of the Nationals runs were gratuitious in the bottom of the 9th inning. 

The game was fun to watch, but there was a problem with the scoreboard and we did not have live pitch counts or scores after about the 6th inning. Fortunately, we were able to keep up with the game on our cells.

I thank Julie because she accepted the task of driving in the ferocious traffic; allowing me to enjoy the game more because I could just be a passenger.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 12, 2022

Projects in the New House

Under-Cabinet Lights
Glen Burnie, MD
August 11, 2022
I was able to take a break from downsizing and packing yesterday to help Patrick install under-cabinet lights for his countertops.

It was a lot of fun to work with him again and he is very creative. The lights are multi-color LEDs and they are synchronized with his over-counter lights above the island. From his phome hae can change the colors with one command. 

We had a good plan for the installation, but as with any plan thery are designed to be changed and rarely survive first contact with the enemy. So we made a few modifications on-the-fly.

In the end, the project looked fantastic and the kitchen can adapt to whatever color scheme they desire.

New houses are so much fun because they are a blank canvass waiting for projects to personalize them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hanging Around


European Garden Spider
Elkridge, MD
August 10, 2022

Walking through the garden yesterday morning, I came across a brave spider dangling from a tree branch trying to build what might have been the biggest web ever constructed. 

I stood for a few minutes watching the industrious spider. I learned something, this spider was able to wind-up its silk for apparent reuse. I didn't know that was possible.

This morning, I returned to where the spider was working and it was still there. A large web has, in fact, been constructed. 

I guess hunting is good and the hunter is not being hunted. I actually like spiders and appreciate the work they do to reduce the insect population. I don't appreciate their herbs in my face or hair, but that is a relatively minor issue. 

I wish I could just hang around, but there are too many things to do.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Day, a Dinner, and Memories


Anniversary Dinner
Edgewater, MD
August 9, 2022
Yesterday we celebrated our wedding anniversary. For those of you counting, it marked 47 years of marriage--to the same person!

What did we do to mark the day? We loaded the PODS during the morning--well, we got started. There is still a lot more to load into the PODS and fortunately there remains a lot of room. I am not sure where it is all going to go in Florida--but I'm sure we will find places for most of it. 

Out the Window
Yellowfin Steak & Fish House
Edgewater, MD
August 9, 2022
To celebrate the day we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the water, Yellowfin Steak & Fish House in Edgewater, Maryland. We like the restaurant because the sun sets over the water and the window seats provide an awesome view. It is one of those classic Maryland scenes of flat water, boats, and sky.

A quick review of the dinner at Yellowfin. Chris had  kabobs--the meat was overcooked and the veggies were inconsistent--but flavorful. I had the tuna which is supposed to be seared and raw in the middle--it apparently sat too long and became cooked throughout. So, the entrees, while delightful visually, were not as enjoyable to eat--although they were tasteful. I noted that the restaurant has a limited menu for people with shrimp allergies. I tried to order two different scallop dishes, but for some reason shrimp was somewhere in each of the offerings; hence, I went to my go to--tuna. 

Now dessert was a different story. The Key Lime Key Lime Pie was awesome! And they added a few blueberries on top which really complimented the tastes. The wine I picked, a Pinot Noir, also went very well with the Key Lime pie.

It was a beautiful evening to pause and reflect in the middle of a tumultuous period in our lives.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled lives until this time next year.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Downsizing Transition to Moving

PODS-zilla Placing the Pod
Elkridge, MD
August 8, 2022

 The PODS arrived yesterday. 

It was quite an event and I was really impressed with the driver and his ability to get the PODS into the spot that I wanted. 

The PODS is in place and ready to be loaded. Now the real fun begins! Loading. But we need to be careful not to leave too much stuff behind because I only have the pick-up to get the remaining belongings to Florida. I am sure I will be getting 10 pounds of treasures into a 5 pound bag at that time. 

Of course, the expected 105 degree feels like temperature for the afternoon means that we will take it easy and since I have the PODS for the next week, we can stay inside for the afternoon, or in the pool.

In other news, we terminated the contract for sale of our house due to non-performance and are putting it back on the market. Hopefully, we will get another contract soon--but, we are planning on heading to Florida before the end of the month as planned. 

Remember, however, plans are made to be changed.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 8, 2022

Monday Musings - August 8, 2022


1. The second Monday of August has arrived. It is hard to believe that it has already arrived and that there are just 21 Mondays remaining in the year.

2. Moving became very real this past week. We watched many of our furniture departed on trailers and in trucks over the weekend. No amount of money can replace the sense of loss that we are feeling, despite the excitement of the future in Florida.

The Morning After the Storm
August 5, 2022
Elkridge, MD

3. Thursday and Friday evenings represented the worst two-day storm stretch of the summer. I had to spend quite a bit of time cleaning leaves and debris from the pool after the storms and ensuring the chemical mix was correct. I was glad that we got a break Saturday and Sunday. 

4. With most of the weekend consumed by the Estate Sale, we did not get out to so much. Friday night, however, during Happy Hour we experienced a thunder storm at a restaurant where there was one crack of thunder which was very close to our building. It was one of those see the flash, hear the crack lightning strikes.

5. I noticed this morning that sunrise is happening after 6 AM. Yesterday was the first day since May 5th that we has less than 14 hours of sunlight. The daily sunlight maxed out at 14 hours 56 minutes from June 18-24. 

6. For those of us in Maryland, it appears that Route 100 has become the Maryland State raceway. I amazed at how fast some drivers are speeding and weaving in and out of traffic.

7. Selling autos privately is fraught with danger. I have been contacted by no less than 20 scammers. The answer seems to be When I tell them that the financial transaction will be handled by, they leave me alone.

8. Today in History. In an evening televised address on August 8, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House

“By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”

Senate Passes Climate, Healthcare and Tax Bill - The Wall Street Journal

Russia Provokes High Anxiety in a Strategic Sliver of Europe - The Wall Street Journal

China’s Military Exercises Showcase Modern Fighting Force Preparing for Possible War - The Wall Street Journal

More than 6,300 US flights delayed on Sunday - CNN

More human remains discovered in Lake Mead's receding waters - CNN

The market read the Federal Reserve all wrong - CNN

China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan - Reuters

Oil bounces as China, U.S. data ease recession concerns - Reuters

Hong Kong eases COVID quarantine rules for incoming travellers - Reuters

The Webb telescope is astonishing. But the universe is even more so. - The Washington Post

Rocket attacks at Zaporizhzhia power plant raise fears of ‘nuclear catastrophe’ - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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