Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sitting by the River


Pelican at The Square Grouper
Jupiter, FL
April 28, 2023
Chris and I met friends at The Square Grouper Friday evening for Happy Hour. We have not been frequenting the Grouper much lately because their prices are too high and they do not have Happy Hour pricing. 

The treat of the evening was the large pelican preening just outside the fence. Once finished with preening, took a nap remaining in the same spot the entire time we were at the Grouper. The pelican did not seem to mind as I walked up to take an image, even though we were only about 8 or so feet apart. It seemed to understand that I could not cross the fence. 

We enjoyed another beautiful South Florida evening even knowing that thunderstorms were coming, but they would arrive later. Sitting by the Loxahatchee River looking at the Jupiter Lighthouse is always enjoyable. We left the Grouper before the evening storms arrived.

We are in the South Florida cycle of beautiful days and stormy evenings. Last evening's storm was a real "gully-washer." It rained so hard that water began collecting on our patio. Chris and I sat outside watching the rain and the lightening while enjoying some adult beverages as I began grilling dinner. The screen we installed to protect the patio area from bugs provides some protection from the rain. We even enjoyed seeing some light hail land in the yard. 

And the weekend is only half over! We still have all day today! I wonder what trouble will come our way?

As an aside, we continue to monitor the recovery of my Dad after surgery to restore blood flow to his right leg. My sister in Houston is on point and doing a great job making decisions and keeping the family informed of his progress and the series of smaller surgeries to complete the process. Chris and I have talked to Dad and he seems in good spirits. We will likely be heading to Houston during late-June as he is completing rehab to provide assistance.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Election Thoughts to Consider

Our Republic is facing dangerous challenges.  In advance of election season, which arguably is underway, I decided to ask my favorite AI engine a question. 

I asked:

What are the signs of an authoritarian leader? 

The response, According to ChatGPT, an AI language model trained by OpenAI:

There are several signs of an authoritarian leader. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Control of the media: Authoritarian leaders often try to control the media by restricting access to information, censoring news outlets, and promoting propaganda.

2. Personalization of power: Authoritarian leaders tend to concentrate power in their own hands and often surround themselves with loyalists who do their bidding without question.

3. Suppression of dissent: Authoritarian leaders often use tactics such as imprisonment, torture, and extrajudicial killings to suppress dissent and opposition.

4. Disregard for human rights: Authoritarian leaders tend to disregard human rights and civil liberties, often violating them in the name of national security or political stability.

5. Cult of personality: Authoritarian leaders often promote a cult of personality around themselves, encouraging the public to view them as the only solution to the country's problems.

6. Centralization of power: Authoritarian leaders tend to centralize power, often at the expense of local governments and institutions.

7. Lack of transparency: Authoritarian leaders often lack transparency in their decision-making processes and often make decisions behind closed doors.

These are just a few of the signs of an authoritarian leader, and not all authoritarian leaders exhibit all of these traits. However, if you see several of these signs in a political leader, it may be cause for concern. 

(OpenAI, 2023)

I was satisfied with the response. AI is generating a great deal of press and concern, but there are valid purposes for using AI. We must not be afraid of the technology, but we must understand the downside. Anything, it appears, can be used for both good and evil. 

As for the election, it is going to be a long election season. I have already been assaulted by deceptive advertisements that were bending the facts and distorting the truth. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Friday, April 28, 2023

If it is "Friday-eve", we must be golfing

Turtle on the 7th Hole
Jupiter Dunes Golf Course
April 28, 2023

 Thursday has become our golf outing day. 

Chris and I headed off to the local course for a round yesterday morning. We were lucky to get out early, while the temperature was in the 70s, because by the time we finished, it was well into the 80s and we could feel the heat. It was also lunchtime. 

Chris had a good game, but I turned in another less than desirable performance. My putter let me down. I missed a lot of very makable putts. That is how it goes some days.

Turtles across from the 16th Tee Box
Jupiter Dunes Golf Course
April 27, 2023
Yesterday must have been turtle day on the golf course. That was likely due to the bright sun and warm temperatures. It seemed as if the turtles were everywhere. The most turtle were seen just past the Tee-box on the 16th hole. Most of the turtles sought cover after I managed to hit my ball just over their heads onto the fairway. It was not a "worm burner" but it was almost a turtle decapitator. Fortunately, no animals were harmed during the round of golf.

Chris and I walk this course when we play. By the time we ended the round we were tired, hungry (it was noon), hot, and of course sweaty. But, we felt good!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Between the Storms


Looking over the Atlantic
Jupiter Island, FL
April 26, 2023
I made it out for a bike ride yesterday. I rode my base 15.5 mile circuit around Tequesta and Jupiter. The weather was beautiful in the morning, but it soon clouded over.

Chris and I managed a quick trip to the beach for a walk with Finnegan as the day wore on, but even as we walked along the beach the storms were gathering from the south and west. Looking over the ocean, everything seemed fine--but back along the land the gathering storms caused us to cut short our sojourn. 

Looking West from the Beach
Jupiter Island, FL
April 26, 2023
We made it home before the afternoon rains began. We enjoyed sitting on the patio listening to the thunder and watching the torrents of rain pelt the trees and ground. We still need rain, but I am sure that these recent storms have to be easing the region from drought conditions into a more normal rain pattern. I know that these afternoon thunderstorms are a pattern that seems normal for this time of year in South Florida.

More of the same is expected for today.

In the image looking west, the sargassum gathering on the beach can be clearly seen. It is not nearly as deep as some predicted, but the smell of the decaying sea grasses is somewhat off-putting. The dune rises about 10 feet from the base of the high tide line (the darker area) to the mangroves. It is a steep wall of sand and I still wonder if the sea turtles will be able to lay eggs this year. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Rain, Rain,

Rains in Tequesta
Tequesta, FL
October 2022

 It has rained off and on for the past three days. 

That means that my bike has been unused in the garage since I my last ride Sunday morning. 

I have been sitting around the house. Ugh!

The rains at time have been torrential. Fortunately, the storms were not as bad as last October when streets and roads were closed due to the rains. It was a mess during that storm. The storms during the past two days were more restrained. They, however, delivered much needed rain. While the much of South Florida remains in drought conditions, our area has transitioned into abnormally dry from severe drought and that does not include the rains of the past three days. 

But, it is bright and sunny this morning and I am hoping to get out and put some miles on my bike tires this morning.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Repeat Maryland State Champions!


Stock Market Game State Championship Investment Team 2023
Arundel High School
Odenton, MD

Today is a total brag blog!

I am so very excited that two of my grandsons, Ethan and Jax Haslup) are part of a Maryland State Champion Squad for the second year in a row!

No, it is not a sports team, is it the Stock Market Game Team. Ethan was on the team last year and is repeating as a champion. Jax joined the team this year, as he is a freshman.

From the high school's Instagram posting:

For the second year in a row, “Team Om & the Ethans” have won the Maryland yearlong championship for the Stock Market Game by beating 750 teams this year πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

This is an incredibly difficult feat along with the fact that even with a relatively flat stock market this past year, this team more than DOUBLED their initial $100,000 to end the game with a portfolio value of $219,200. Even more impressive, they beat the second place team by an astounding $62,000 πŸ˜±πŸ“ˆπŸ’ͺπŸ’°

Congratulations to Om Desai, Ethan Nauroth, Ethan Haslup, Ethan Howe, Afolami Elabanjo, Caden Houck, & Jax Haslup πŸ’š


I want these guys to manage my investment accounts!

Winning one state championship is a grand achievement and resume worthy, but winning two in a row is phenomenal! 

Congratulations to the whole team! You have established a record that may never be equalled.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday Musings - April 24, 2023


1. The last Monday of April 2023 has arrived. Next Monday will be May Day. There are 35 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. How about them Orioles? Tied for the second best record in the American League at 14-7 and on a 6-game winning streak! What a win yesterday--another late inning comeback by walk-off in the 10th inning. And I noted there were 36,000 fans at OPACY and the visiting team was not one of the AL East thugs!

Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, FL
April 23, 2023

3. For the second evening in a row, Chris and I went out to the beach to enjoy the end of the day. It was magnificent. The sky was blue and the water even bluer. The beach was crowded, for Jupiter, but not nearly as crowded as Ocean City during the summer. The osprey's were actively fishing and are always fun to watch.

Moon and Venus over Tequesta
Tequesta, FL
April 23, 2023
4. I hope that you saw the Moon and Venus last evening in the Western Sky. They were a stunning pair hanging over the palm trees and houses. I find that taking images of the Moon as some of the toughest that I attempt. I can never seem to get the Moon and it never seems as big in the image as it does in real life. But, I keep trying.

5. I am concerned about the debt crisis. It appears that too many members of Congress feel that they can hold the country hostage for their own personal gain. Funny part is, while they want to hold the President responsible, the Congress passes the budget and obligates the funding. So they are really holding themselves hostage. 

6. Today in History. On April 24, 1916, on Easter Monday in Dublin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital’s General Post Office. 

Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic.

Chinese ambassador sparks outrage in Europe over comments - CNN

McCarthy’s authority is on the line as debt crisis mounts - CNN

US diplomatic personnel evacuated from Sudan - CNN

Argentina's lithium pipeline promises 'white gold' boom as Chile tightens control - Reuters

China says it respects sovereignty of ex-Soviet states after EU uproar - Reuters

Strikes ground flights at German airports, railway walkouts to follow - Reuters

How to Spot Greenwashing—When Companies Aren’t as Green as They Claim - The Wall Street Journal

Weapons Makers Can’t Hire Enough Workers as Ukraine War Drives Demand - The Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan has become a terrorism staging ground again, leak reveals - The Washington Post

Wagner Group surges in Africa as U.S. influence fades, leak reveals - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Super Saturday

Clouds from the North Fork Loxahatchee River Bridge
Tequesta, FL
April 22, 2023

Saturday arrived and I admit that it felt like a weekday. I have trouble distinguishing weekdays from weekends anymore. I placed a call to an insurance company and was surprised when they advised me to call back during normal weekday business hours. 

I began the day by enjoying a pleasant almost 22 mile bike ride through Tequesta and Jupiter. As I stopped on the Loxahatchee River North Fork Bridge in Tequesta, I took an image of the scene looking North. The reflections of the clouds on the water caught my eye, like an impressionist era painting. 

Perhaps I was more attuned to the view as it was Earth Day. It was also at about the 20 mile mark of my ride and I was a bit tired. April has been a light riding month. The almost two weeks spent in Maryland with no biking has reduced my miles ridden. When Chris and I return to Maryland next month we are taking our bikes with us. I have a number of trails that I want to ride. 

Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter Island, FL
April 22, 2023
For the evening, Chris and I went to the beach for a walk. We were not sure what we would find with the sargassum, but the beach was not badly covered. We found optimist fishermen and boys enjoying the cool afternoon breeze while wondering why they were not catching any fish. We noticed significant beach erosion and there is an 8 foot wall at the base of the dunes. Fortunately the stairs come down to the current beach level. We both wondered how the sea turtles were going to find a suitable location to lay eggs. 

We enjoyed the walk on the beach, with Finnegan, as a way to close out the day. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Day of the Truck

Earth Day Sunrise this Morning from my Patio 
Tequesta, FL
April 22, 2023

Happy Earth Day! 

I had a fortunate event happen two weeks ago as Chris and I were returning from Universal Studios. It may not seem fortunate, but given future plans the timing it could not have been better. When I got out of my truck after arriving home I smelled radiator fluid. Being that it was after 10 PM and we had enjoyed a very long day, I made a mental note to check the truck in the morning. And I did. 

Upon inspecting the truck, I determined that the water pump had failed or was failing. Normally a failed water pump becomes a catastrophic event along side of a busy interstate highway, but in this case I believe the pump was in the process of failing and we made it home. The engine did not overheat and I had no indication from the instruments in the truck that a failure was underway. 

As we were leaving for Maryland to celebrate Easter a few days later, I made an appointment at the local repair shop after our return. My truck was returned to me yesterday. As it turned out, the entire cooling system was contaminated. The water pump failed, the radiator was failing, the thermostat needed replacing as did the housing. As the mechanic noted, he had expected, given the age and mileage on my truck, that the repair would be a fairly simple water pump replacement. It was not! The good news is that my truck is ready for the upcoming trip north and that is the really fortunate part of the story. I would hate to break down along I-95 in Georgia or South Carolina in the middle of the night. 

We discussed the contamination and have no idea about the source. I suggested that it might be windshield washer fluid accidentally placed in the wrong reservoir by an attendant at the oil change store we use, but the mechanic said that that is a windshield washer fluid is water based product and not likely to cause the contamination he saw. He suggested that someone may have put a stop leak product into the system, but I know that I did not do this. Had there been a leak, I would have taken the truck for repair. I was not surprised when he mentioned the contamination because when I was inspecting the fluid that was pooled on the ground I noted it was not a clear and consistent color. 

I will take the truck for a test drive of at least an hour to ensure everything is ready, but I am thankful that it all played out as it did.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, April 21, 2023

Birds of the Day--Golfing

Blue Heron at Jupiter Dunes
Jupiter, FL
April 20, 2022

Yesterday was a golfing day for Chris and me. We try to play golf on Thursdays and having that plan seems to be working as we are golfing more than not. 

Florida golf courses generally have a lot of water. The water creates hazards from which it is unlikely that the errant golf ball will be recovered. I know this because my golf balls seem to have a built in homing device to find water. 

Blue Heron Takes Off with Turtle Watching
Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, FL
April 20, 2023

The enjoyable thing about the water, however, is the wildlife. Yesterday, for instance, I saw many turtles both in the water and on the shore, a couple very interesting herons, thousands of tadpoles, and even a fish that jumped completely out of the water. The wildlife mercifully distracted me from one of my most miserable rounds of golf in a long time.

I managed a unique image yesterday on the 6th hole, after my ball had rolled down the side of the raised green and into the water. I was setting up for an image of a blue heron with a turtle just off shore. And then, just as I snapped the image, the heron took flight. The turtle remained visible, near the top of the image on the left.

It was a beautiful morning for golf and I was happy to be on the course playing and able to enjoy the wildlife. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

A Road Less Traveled

A Less Traveled Road with Finnegan
Odenton, MD
April 18, 2023

 Walking the dogs, Finnegan and Lily, became a daily affair while Chris and I were visiting in Maryland. It worked out great because there is the perfect walking path, an old unused road. I have walked this road for many years, but it was only until this visit to Maryland that I noticed that the lane markings and the road edge markings were still visible in places. The road runs parallel to Strawberry Lake Way off Waugh Chapel Road. I am not sure of the name for the original roadway, but I'm guessing it was not Strawberry Lake Way, that seems to coincide with the construction of the multiple communities in the area.

As Chris and I walked yesterday along US-1 in Tequesta, were very aware of the quiet and beautiful setting for the road in Odenton. The noise of the US-1 morning traffic was deafening and we both noted that walking in Odenton was much more enjoyable than Tequesta.  But, then, we were not at the beach which does beat Odenton for peace and beauty. 

I guess we need to head to the beach more often!.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Documenting the Springtime

The Forest in Spring
Odenton, MD
April 6, 2023

 I took an image of trees yesterday. It was of the same group of trees that I imaged upon arriving in Maryland on April 6th. 

Yesterday's image clearly shows the progression of Spring in 12 days. I was amazed when I compared the two images. The trees filled out during the interval between the images. Of course, I didn't remember which orientation I took the original image in and so one is vertical and the other is horizontal. 

As the Spring Progresses
Odenton, MD
April 18, 2023
I was there to experience Springtime 2023. Now I am back in Florida and enjoying summertime. 

While it is very good to be back in Florida, I missed riding my bike and sitting under the palms, I also miss the Spring as the season deepens. 

While Chris and I were in Maryland we enjoyed six junior varsity baseball games, dinners with our family, Happy Hour with friends, and just being around hanging out. 

We will return next month and we are planning a full schedule to include visits to Maryland and Virginia wineries and the good news is that we will have a vehicle to transport the wine back to our residence in Florida.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Following Along with Spring

Dogwood Bloom
Odenton, MD
April 17, 2023

 Although yesterday was much cooler than the previous days, it remained a spectacular Spring day. 

There were two dog walking events, one which was 2 miles in length, to enjoy the day. Along the way I noticed the dogwoods were in full bloom in the Maryland forest. I managed an image of one of the blooms hanging onto a low branch of one of the trees. 

Chris and I took the dogs along part of the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail. I love walking off the streets and more into the foliage. Activity was everywhere especially squirrels. We saw one busy chipmunk along the walk. I had forgotten how well their coloring blends into the dry leaves. 

Today is a travel day. We return to Tequesta and say good-bye to Spring. It will be good to be home for a few weeks before we return.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, April 17, 2023

Monday Musings - April 17, 2023


1. Welcome to the 3rd Monday of April. The month has churned past middle and is now waning. There are 36 Mondays remaining in 2023. 

2. Tax Day is tomorrow! Hopefully everyone has their taxes completed or an extension filed. 

Ethan's Brunch
Odenton, MD
April 16, 2023
3. Ethan's birthday celebration continued and concluded yesterday with a brunch and was later celebrated with another Orioles comeback win, this time in Chicago against the White Sox, 8-4. 

4. All five teams of the American League East are at .500 or better. That is pretty much where the division ended the season last year. The Orioles are in fourth place just a game behind the two teams tied for second place. 

Chris and the Dogs
Odenton, MD
April 16, 2023
5. Our time in Maryland is drawing to a close. We will be returning to Florida, and the much needed rain, tomorrow. I am sure that Riordin, our cat, will be happy to welcome us home. 

6. Chris seems to attract dogs when she eats. Here she is last evening attempting to eat dinner in piece. She has three dogs monitoring her every mouthful.

7. Today in History. With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth on April 17, 1970.

On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light and water had been disrupted. 

Teen shot by homeowner after going to the wrong house, police say - CNN

Slovakia sends 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine - CNN

Clarence Thomas to amend financial disclosure forms to reflect sale to GOP megadonor - CNN

Putin critic jailed in treason case for 25 years, article with image - Reuters

Fox defamation trial delayed, network pursues settlement talks - Reuters

Elon Musk's SpaceX set for debut flight of Starship rocket system to space - Reuters

Supreme Court considers Christian mail carrier's refusal to work Sundays - Reuters

U.S., Allies Aim to Reduce Economic Ties With China - The Wall Street Journal

ChatGPT and Advanced AI Face New Regulatory Push in Europe - The Wall Street Journal

Fiscal crisis nears as McCarthy takes debt ceiling plan to Wall Street - The Washington Post

Discord leak suggests China doesn’t need TikTok to find U.S. secrets - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, April 16, 2023

I Love a Parade


GORC Spring Sports Parade
Odenton, MD
April 15, 2023

Before the drenching afternoon thunderstorms arrived yesterday to cancel most of the scheduled games, there was a parade to celebrate the beginning of the youth sports season in Odenton. The Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council's (GORC) Annual Spring Sports Parade kicked off at 9 AM with police, a firetruck, and most importantly hundreds of youth sports enthusiasts. The day was gray and overcast, but spirits were high as this annual celebration of Springtime resumed after a three-year hiatus.

While all of the spring sports: baseball, soccer, flag football, lacrosse, and softball were represented, baseball was king with the most teams and most youth participating in the parade. In the image, the firetruck is at the head of the parade with the teams arrayed behind. On the left, in green, are the players of the Arundel High School baseball teams (Varsity and JV). As each of the GORC baseball teams passed by, two members of the Arundel High School Teams were added to the team for the parade. Most all of the Arundel High School baseball players began by learning the game on a GORC field and likely participated in this very parade when they were younger.

Jax (on the left in green) with the Pirates
Odenton, MD
April 15, 2023
Jax marched in the parade. He was inserted into one of the teams. He marched with one of the Pirates teams and it was a step back into time because for a couple years he was on a Pirates team learning the fundamentals of baseball. 

Having the high schoolers march with the younger players reminds them of their baseball beginnings. After the parade concluded in the sports complex, the high schoolers were given an hour to be on their own fields for practice. And it was not a short practice, running from 10:30 AM until 1:30 PM. Wow. 

And so with a bit of fanfare, a fire truck, and the expected Maryland Springtime thunderstorms the youth sports season got underway!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Pollen and Baseball

Pollen on the Pond
Odenton, MD
April 14, 2023

 I was shocked yesterday as I looked at the pond near Nicole's home and noticed the thick layer of pollen floating on the water. It is no wonder my allergies are running rampant. The incredible amount of pollen in the air is a good reason to stay inside, but the problem is that the weather has been so idyllic that I want to be outside. Thankfully, Claritin keeps my allergies in check so that I can be outside. 

Jackson gets a Hit
Glen Burnie, MD
April 14, 2023
I was outside in the pollen attending the Arundel Junior Varsity Baseball Team's game in Glen Burnie last evening. It was the third game of the week, but fortunately the weather has made attending the games very pleasant. 

Last evening's game was a rout, sadly, as Arundel pounded the undermanned Glen Burnie team, 25-1. I felt very bad for the Glen Burnie team as they were clearly outmatched. Even though the game ended after 5 innings due to the mercy rule, it still took well over 2 hours to complete. I was impressed with the Arundel coaches who recognized during the 5th inning with the game in hand that Glen Burnie was out of pitchers. With the bases loaded, as they had been for most of the top of the 5th inning, and a 24-run lead they allowed Glen Burnie to get an easy third out to end the inning and the bleeding. I actually heard the Glen Burnie manager yell "Thank you" after the play. Long before that, during the inning, Arundel had stopped aggressively running the bases to keep from running up the score. Glen Burnie was retired quickly in the bottom of the inning to end the game. It was demoralizing for the Glen Burnie players who only had 11 players compared to Arundel's 19. Not a deep bench.

The entire Maryland family, along with a family from Ithaca attended the game and were treated to Jax getting a hit and playing in the field. I am getting a bit better with my camera and recorded the hit. It was good that everyone made it to the game. Since we have moved to Florida, we have had fewer opportunities to gather together to celebrate. 

After the game many of us gathered at Nicole's and enjoyed pizza while watching, of course, the Orioles once again come from behind in the late innings to win a baseball game. The Orioles are tied for third place in the AL East with the Yankees. The are also tied for 5th place in the American League with the Yankees and the Guardians.

And what is on tap for today? 

Baseball! Outdoors! Pollen! And Happy Hour with friends.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, April 14, 2023

Turning 18

Me, Ethan, Chris
Odenton, MD
April 13, 2023

 It is a momentous day; turning 18. 

We celebrated Ethan yesterday as he crossed over to adulthood. 

It was quite a day. 

Ethan's favorite football team, Washington, announced that a deal to sell the team had been reached. 

WASHINGTON -- Dan Snyder has reached a preliminary nonexclusive deal to sell his Washington NFL franchise to a group led by Josh Harris, who also co-owns teams in the NBA and NHL, for a record $6.05 billion, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday. (ABC13)

But wait--there is more.

Ethan was given tickets to the afternoon Orioles game against the Athletics. It was game 4 of a 4-game series and the Orioles needed the win to secure the series 3-1.

It was a rough day on the mound for the Orioles starting pitcher. After 5 innings the game was tied 7-7 and the relievers for both teams were called in to settle the batters. No runs were scored by either team until the bottom of the 9th when, with the score still tied, the Orioles' first batter of the inning walked to the plate. It was, of course Adley Rutschman, the Orioles catcher. Adley is Ethan's favorite Orioles player. Adley was hitless for the day (0-4) and in danger of ending his consecutive games with a hit streak at 6. Orioles Magic was back in the park at that moment. Adley hit the second pitch over the fence for a walk-off homer to end the game, 8-7. Ethan was seated 7 rows from the field right next to the Orioles dugout and felt that he was part of all of the action.

But wait, there's more! How could a birthday be complete without a massive dinner to cap the momentous day? And there was. A visit to Fogo de Chao, the Brazilian Steakhouse, was in store for the evening. And the meal was grand; of course there was far more food than can comfortably be consumed. But it was perfect for celebrating an 18th Birthday.

Wow! Happy Birthday Ethan. What a day.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Springtime Projects and an Update


Electric Mower
Odenton, MD
April 11, 2023
I live in a condo community and so I do not have yard work. I must travel to have the opportunity to get out into the yard with a mower and create the dust and pollen to which I am allergic. The other day I mowed the lawn at Nicole's townhome. It is much smaller than the lawn I used to mow on my tractor and I used a self-propelled electric mower. I was good to be in the yard doing work. I did need to boost my allergy medicine afterwards--I am very allergic to Maryland. Funny, I don't need allergy medicine in Florida. 

I actually enjoyed getting out in the yard and doing one of the first mowings of the season. Chris and I used to compete to do the first mowing at our house in Elkridge. 

As an aside and a follow-on to yesterday's blog about the Arundel Junior Varsity Baseball Team, Chris and I attended a home game last evening. The Arundel team spotted the visitors 10 runs in the top of the 1st inning, but over the course of the remaining innings of the game outscored the visitors 14-2. Final score: 14-12 Arundel! Jackson did not get into the game, but it was thrilling to see the boys claw back into the game by tying tie the score at 11-11 in the 4th inning and then press on to win. It was a long almost three-hour game, but it was full of action and drama.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Baseball Afternoon

Jax on the Mound
Southern High School
Harwood, MD
April 11, 2023

 One thing that both Chris and I are experiencing during our visit to Maryland is junior varsity high school baseball. And it is great to be at the games we otherwise would be tracking on GameChanger. 

Yesterday we traveled to Southern High School for an afternoon game. The weather had warmed since the weekend and was absolutely perfect for baseball. 

We had comfortable seats, in the shade, for the game. I have to admit, I was thankful that I brought a sweatshirt to ward away the cold which began to sink-in about mid-way through the contest. 

Jax was not in the game as a position player, he often plays an outfield position. As the game wore on, into the third inning, the score began to get more lopsided and we were hoping that the contest would end after the fifth inning by mercy rule--a ten-run advantage for the Arundel Wildcats. 

Then, to begin the bottom of the 4th inning, who should appear from the dugout and stride to the mound? Jax! We were very excited to see him pitch in person. He had only posted one other appearance this year--two solid innings of work combining for a shutout. Today, however, was another day and we held our breath as he took the mound. 

When the game was over, Jax had posted two solid innings of work. Two hits, one unearned run and two strikeouts. He threw 27 pitches to 8 batters, 20 of which were for strikes. He also demonstrated a great pick-off move which caught the runner leading too far off first base leading to a rundown which ended when the runner was tagged out. He held the more than 10 run lead and the game was mercifully over 2 hours and 15 minutes after it had started.

Since we have been in Maryland we have seen Jax play right field, pinch run, and now pitch! Oh yes, and bat!

Today, we will be attending a home game!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Birthday Burger for Lily

Lily Waiting for Birthday Hamburger
Odenton, MD
April 8, 2023

 Celebrating dog birthdays is something our family enjoys. We do not celebrate them with the same level of excitement that people receive, but they are special moments for the furry four-footed members of the family.

The other day Lily, Nicole and Mike's dog, celebrated her 5th birthday! The special event was planned for lunch time. We were having burgers and one had Lily's name on it. It was better than a birthday cake and in an effort to keep the event sane, the burger was quartered and given to her in pieces. I have the video below, but it is important that fingers were definitely at risk as the birthday burger was provided to the dog of honor!

Lily is a great dog. She is a rescue and a foster fail. She is devoted to the family and a steady, if not loud and excitable force in the house. No one would ever consider entering this abode uninvited once they hear Lily on the other side of the door--and they would be wise to heed her bark!

Sadly, I forgot to turn my phone to horizontal. Ugh. I hate it when that happens.

Everyone survived without permanent injury.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, April 10, 2023

Monday Musings - April 10, 2023


1. Welcome to Easter Monday 2023. It is the second Monday of April and there are 37 Mondays remaining in the year. 

Creatively Hidden Easter Eggs
Glenelg, MD
April 9, 2023
2. Chris and I celebrated Easter and enjoyed multiple egg hunts and meals. Brunch was highlighted by many children racing across a vast yard to snatch as many easter eggs as possibly. Most of the eggs were hidden in plain sight, but even so required some manual dexterity to retrieve. The weather, although cold in the morning, was made enjoyable by the crystal blue skies and warm sun! 

3. The colder weather of Maryland makes wardrobe choices a bit tougher than the normal tee-shirt, sandals, and shorts that I normally wear back home in Tequesta.

4. The Orioles are off to a slow start for the season. They are 4-5, having dropped series to division rivals Boston and New York while winning the series from Texas. They have to do better against the division teams. 

Flamingo Gardens, Davie, FL
February 27, 2023
5. Chris and I will be enjoying Maryland for another week! I am enjoying the Springtime, but the cold is disheartening! There is a lot of junior varsity high school baseball in our future, however.

6. Fun Fact. Flamingoes are only pink because of chemicals called carotenoids in the algae and fish (which also eat the algae) they eat; their feathers are grayish-white when they're born. (Parade Fun Facts)

7. Today in History. On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54.

In 1863, Bergh had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there that he was horrified to witness work horses beaten by their peasant drivers. En route back to America, a June 1865 visit to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London awakened his determination to secure a charter not only to incorporate the ASPCA but to exercise the power to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.

Offices are half-empty. That could be a risk for banks - CNN

Highly classified Pentagon documents were leaked online, leaving US officials rattled - CNN

Fox News reaches settlement with Venezuelan businessman in election defamation case - CNN

Ukraine says Russian forces using 'scorched earth' tactics in battle for Bakhmut - Reuters

China ends Taiwan drills after practising blockades, precision strikes - Reuters

China hands lengthy jail terms to two lawyers in rights crackdown - Reuters

Auditors Didn’t Flag Risks Building Up in Banks - The Wall Street Journal

Tennessee’s Political Divisions Deepen Between State and Its Cities - The Wall Street Journal

Research with exotic viruses risks a deadly outbreak, scientists warn - The Washington Post

‘Not going to be bullied’: Why Ron DeSantis went after Trump, then retreated - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

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