Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Embracing Midweek Serenity: Finding Balance in the Bustle

Welcome to Wednesday. Today let's explore ways to navigate the middle of the week and find moments of serenity amidst the daily hustle. Let's embrace the midweek blues and transform them into a positive, balanced experience. So, let's dive in!

  1. Start Your Day Mindfully: Wednesday mornings can often feel like a blur as we rush to tackle our to-do lists. Instead, prioritize starting the day with mindfulness. Dedicate a few minutes to meditate, journal, or simply sit in silence and set positive intentions for the day ahead. By cultivating a calm mindset, we can approach the challenges of the week with greater clarity and peace.

  2. Find Your Midweek Motivation: Midweek slumps can sometimes zap our motivation, making it harder to stay focused and productive. Combat this by identifying your sources of inspiration. Whether it's listening to uplifting podcasts, reading motivational quotes, or connecting with like-minded individuals, seek out the fuel that ignites your passion and reminds you why you started this journey in the first place.

  3. Take Active Breaks: We all know the feeling of hitting a productivity wall in the middle of the day. Instead of pushing through without a break, give yourself permission to pause and recharge. Step away from your desk and engage in a physical activity that rejuvenates you, such as taking a walk, practicing yoga, or enjoying a quick workout. These moments of movement will boost your energy levels and provide a fresh perspective when you return to your tasks.

  4. Express Gratitude: Amidst the busyness, it's essential to pause and acknowledge the things we are grateful for. Use Wednesdays as an opportunity to reflect on the blessings in your life. Consider starting a gratitude journal, where you can jot down three things you're grateful for each Wednesday. This practice will shift your mindset towards appreciation and positivity, helping you maintain a balanced outlook.

  5. Connect and Collaborate: Wednesday is the perfect day to reach out and connect with others. Initiate conversations with colleagues, friends, or even strangers who share similar interests or aspirations. Engaging in meaningful conversations and collaboration not only provides fresh perspectives but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and support. Remember, we're all in this journey together!

  6. Embrace Mini Self-Care Rituals: A midweek self-care routine can work wonders in maintaining equilibrium. Incorporate small self-care rituals into your Wednesday schedule, such as enjoying a bubble bath, indulging in a favorite treat, reading a book, or engaging in a creative hobby. These moments of self-nurturing will help recharge your spirit and infuse your day with a sense of tranquility.

Wednesdays are not just about getting through the week; they're about finding joy and balance along the way. By implementing these practices, we can transform midweek blues into opportunities for growth, connection, and self-care.

Wishing you all a fulfilling Wednesday! Stay balanced embrace the journey.

Oh yeah, Happy Hump Day!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Note: written with the help of ChatGPT, an AI language model trained by OpenAI

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

What did you do?


Geese on the 17th Fairway
Timbers at Troy, Elkridge, MD
May 29, 2023
Memorial Day 2023 has come and gone. It used to be that the next holiday up was Independence Day, but now there is Juneteenth!

Yes, another holiday. Wait, everyday is a holiday for me!

I did enjoy a long round of golf yesterday. And I mean long. Holidays make for full courses and long rounds. We played Timbers at Troy yesterday, or rather it played me! We spend 4 hours 51 minutes whacking at the little white ball and pushing it around the course. 

Timbers at Troy
Elkridge, MD
May 29, 2023

I had looked at the weather earlier in the week and decided on a mid-morning tee time. The problem is that a mid-morning tee time runs over lunch and one can get hungry and thirsty. Fortunately, I picked a good time because the rain started as Chris and I were driving away from the course.

As we played the course we were treated to wildlife and sweet smells. The honeysuckle remains in bloom and provides a sweet fragrance across parts of the course. We were also treated to an over anxious Marshall who encouraged us to speed up play while we were on the third hole, which upset me since we had been waiting for the group in front of us at the previous two holes and continued to wait at nearly every successive hole. We may have appeared slow, but we remained in contact with the foursome in front for the whole round. It is all part of golfing on a holiday, I guess.

It is amazing how an almost five-hour round of golf can eat up a day!

But, it was a great holiday spent with Chris and Jeremy.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, May 29, 2023

Monday Musings - May 29, 2023


Memorial Day 

1. Remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion for this country. Thank a vet or active duty service member for their service.

Virginia Mountains
Afton, VA
May 25, 2023
2. It is the last Monday, of 5, in May 2023. It is also Memorial Day. There are 30 Mondays remaining in the year.

3. I realized that as a retired person I really don't take vacations anymore. I am on vacation every day. When I leave home I am simply traveling as part of my retirement, like a business trip. 

4. The weather in Maryland has been unseasonably cold since our arrival here. Today we are attempting golf with forecasts for continued cool temperatures and a threat of rain.

5. It is a Monday holiday. I made have erred in getting a tee time. The course likely will be extremely crowded resulting in a 5-hour round of golf.

6. Today in HistoryAt 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on the summit after spending a fitful night at 27,900 feet. News of their achievement broke around the world on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, and Britons hailed it as a good omen for their country’s future.

Mount Everest sits on the crest of the Great Himalayas in Asia, lying on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Called Chomo-Lungma, or “Mother Goddess of the Land,” by the Tibetans, the English named the mountain after Sir George Everest, a 19th-century British surveyor of South Asia. The summit of Everest reaches two-thirds of the way through the air of the earth’s atmosphere—at about the cruising altitude of jet airliners—and oxygen levels there are very low, temperatures are extremely cold, and weather is unpredictable and dangerous.

4 great white sharks detected in waters off New York and New Jersey - CNN

Police: 7 children found in home with padlocked fridge, caged rats, never attended school and lacked basic knowledge - CNN

Iran will face consequences after Kyiv was targeted with Iranian drones, Ukrainian official warns - CNN

Biden says final US debt ceiling deal ready to move to Congress for vote - Reuters

North Korea to hold key ruling party meeting in early June - Reuters

Nigeria's Tinubu gets his turn as president, familiar problems await - Reuters

Explosions rock Kyiv as Russia launches new attack - Air Force - Reuters

Japan puts missile defences on alert as North Korea warns of satellite launch - Reuters

Disney’s Orlando Campus Cancellation Is a Blow to Neighboring Projects - The Wall Street Journal

Texas Republicans pass bills changing election policies for large Democratic county - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Free Fallin

Free Fallin
Big Cork Vineyards
Rhorersville, MD
May 28, 2023

 Saturday was concert night. Last evening we went with friends to Big Cork Vineyards for the Summer Concert Series. The featured band was Free Fallin, a Tom Petty tribute band. It was a beautiful evening for an outdoors concert. As the concert progressed, the sky began to become a visual experience of its own. Combined with the music of Tom Petty, the evening became a visual and auditory experience to enjoy.

The band hails from Minnesota and has been together for 17 years playing Tom Petty music. I have to admit, I am not a huge Tom Petty musical fan, however, the music on the lawn of the winery last evening was enjoyable and during the second set the band played the greatest hits of Tom Petty. I admit, I knew the tunes, but not all of the words so I used my phone to access the lyrics so that I could sing along.

The band has an authentic Tom Petty sound and look. They connected very well with the assembled masses on the lawn. Big Cork is a beautiful venue for concerts and, being a vineyard, the wine flows freely. There were food trucks for those who desired some food and I enjoyed the ice cream truck which I sampled during the intermission.

It was a great evening with friends in the Maryland Mountains under a stunning late-Spring sky. It was also the perfect way to begin a holiday weekend.

I recommend the band and the music. If they play at a venue near you, go see them if you like even one Tom Petty song! You will come away appreciating the music even more. It was a great evening.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Debt and Rights

Flamingos stand in a pond in Navi Mumbai, India,
on Sunday, May 22.
Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images
Like a bunch of flamingos.

That is what I feel our Congressional leadership is like, sometimes.

The debt crisis has been looming for months and they find out they may have five more days and they immediately plan to take five more days.

And what has the Democratic-controlled Senate been doing the past few weeks? They should have passed a debt ceiling bill and be negotiating with the House. Seriously, things apparently have become broken.

And the whole process is being held hostage by a few outliers.

I feel that the majority of the Congress just want to raise the debt ceiling and get on with business. Yes, the looming budget battle is going to be wild, but allowing a small minority to hold the whole country hostage and threaten not only our economy but the world's? Really?

Sadly that is where we are headed. In Florida, for instance, one parent can decide which books the majority of children cannot be exposed to in schools, whether the majority agrees or not. My view, if parents object to a book, then don't let their kids read the books. The idea that librarians can be held liable for obscene material in the collection, as a law in Arkansas is proposing, is preposterous. The definition of obscene is fairly amorphous and apparently changes with the wind. There is classical literature and art which certain people would feel is obscene. Look at the statues in Europe where portions have been broken off because someone felt it was obscene.

We have lost societal compass that made us what we are: an inclusive society that embraces individual freedoms and rights even if we, ourselves, don't agree with the practice of those rights. I believe that one can be Pro Life and yet support abortion rights. It is not that hard. There is no inherent right allowing someone to abridge the rights of others just because of a disagreement and especially when that disagreement is based upon a supposedly religious difference.

America is great because it is diverse and embraces differences. Wait, that, apparently is the liberal lie.

Well, I'm still waiting for Congress to raise the debt ceiling--a fairly simple task. I am not convinced they are capable of more complex problem solving.

Finally, I would never call members of congress flamingos, I like flamingos too much.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, May 26, 2023

Virginia Wineries

King Family Vineyards
Crozet, VA
May 25, 2023

 During the past two days, Chris and I have managed to visit 8 Virginia Wineries in the Charlottesville region. 

We have been treated to stunning vistas, varied wines, and great conversations with the friends who are accompanying us on our trek. 

One thing we are definitely enjoying are the varied wines. It is surprising that we have not purchased more than we have, but I think the idea of transporting them to Florida and hoping they arrive in good condition is a bit off-putting. 

View at Mount Ida Farm and Vineyard
Charlottesville, VA
May 24, 2023
We especially enjoyed returning to King Family Vineyards, where we are members. I believe the consensus of the group was that the wines were tasting best at King. I also purchased the most wine at that vineyards.

We enjoyed the stunning views from Mount Ida Farm and Vineyard and also from Hazy Mountain Vineyards and Brewery. These vineyards are designed for stunning views and hosting weddings. Their wines are coming along. But, I will say that the pizza at Hazy Mountain is excellent!

We have had some great fun and great food. 

I highly recommend Duner's out outside of Charlottesville for dinner! Excellent service, great menu, and a just a really nice place to enjoy conversation and dinner. 

And our visit is not yet over. 

-- Bob Doan, Earlysville, VA

Thursday, May 25, 2023

National Wine Day


Chris and I are out celebrating National Wine Day by visiting Virginia Wineries. We are at our second stop of the day, Hazy Mountain Vineyards. We are atop a mountain with a 360 degree view of mountains. 

We were at King Family in Crozet, VA, earlier. 

Drink wine and have a dog to live longer. 

— Bob Doan, Afton, VA

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Geese on the Move

Geese and Dog
Purcellville, VA
May 21, 2023

Goose and Gosling
Odenton, MD
May 23, 2023

Chris and I continue to enjoy the geese in Nicole and Mike's side yard pond. The goslings are growing so quickly. It is instructive to watch the adults protect and herd their brood from place to place. The goslings line up generally between the adults and move together. 

On Sunday, while we were at Maggie Malick Wine Cellars, we observed adult geese protecting their goslings from the occasional dog that wanted to play in their pond. One of the geese, we believed it was the gander, moved between the dog and the goslings to divert the dog. One enterprising dog actually swam around threw pond twice with the gander always just out of reach before the dogs owner finally managed to get the dog under control. 

We never feared for the geese, although we wondered if at some point the dog would come under direct attack from the gander.

And so goes nature. Oh yes, we do have to avoid stepping in goose poop!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Return to the BWI Loop

 Patrick and I enjoyed a "boys night out" last evening and started by riding the BWI Loop again.

We worked hard, lowering our actual workout time from 55 minutes to 48 minutes to complete the 10.6 mile loop around the airport. That raised our average speed from 11.6 to 13.2 mph. 

That was a fun way to begin an evening together that then moved to his basement where we talked for a couple hours and enjoyed some adult beverages together. 

I am beginning to appreciate my Bikemap App more since its recent upgrade. The mapping is better and the stats are easier to access and are more complete. One of the upgrades added 10ths of a mile for distances over 10 miles. In the previous version once I pedaled over 10 miles, the app only showed miles and not miles and tenths. The app recorded the tenths, but did not display them. I generally ride using Bikemap and the Apple fitness bike app together. It has happened that one of them failed during the ride, like because I forgot to charge my watch or I hit a button and killed the Bikemap, and so I get a record of the ride regardless of my inattention to detail.

Before riding yesterday, I had to work on my rear brake. For some reason one of the disc pads had become loose and I was not getting braking power on the rear. That is a bad and dangerous thing since using the front brake only on hills could be hazardous. I stopped by a bike shop, but they could not see my bike until the 31st. So I did "Bob doing Bob things" and took a look at the brake myself. With the help of the internet, I was able to adjust the brake and fixed the issue in about 10 minutes--the hardest part being finding the correct sized Allen wrench.

Another day dawns.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday Musings - May 22, 2023


1. Monday Musings is back after a week off due to travel! Say "good morning" to the fourth Monday of May. There are 31 Mondays remaining in the year.

2. Chris and I had a sad experience at a Loudoun County, Virginia, winery yesterday. It was their last day. Everything was discounted and while a great celebration was underway, there was a sense of sadness. The winery, Maggie Malick Wine Caves near Purcellville, has been sold and the new owners want to make the house into a B&B, close the winery and possibly build a microbrewery on the property. At least that was the plan as reported to us by one of the employees.

3. It has been relatively cool in the region since our arrival one week ago. Some weather reporters advise that it is running about 10 degrees below normal! Morning temps in the 50s are a shock to my Florida lifestyle! I had to wear jeans instead of shorts yesterday. I still wore my sandals, without socks, however.

4. The biking has been fun. The honeysuckle blossoms are providing a sweet smell across the Mid-Atlantic forests right now. Riding is multiple sensory treat.

5. Today in History. On May 22, 1843, the first major wagon train to the northwest departs from Elm Grove, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail.

Although U.S. sovereignty over the Oregon Territory was not clearly established until 1846, American fur trappers and missionary groups had been living in the region for decades, to say nothing of the Native Americans who had settled the land centuries earlier. Dozens of books and lectures proclaimed Oregon’s agricultural potential, piquing the interest of white American farmers. The first overland immigrants to Oregon, intending primarily to farm, came in 1841 when a small band of 70 pioneers left Independence, Missouri. They followed a route blazed by fur traders, which took them west along the Platte River through the Rocky Mountains via the easy South Pass in Wyoming and then northwest to the Columbia River. In the years to come, pioneers came to call the route the Oregon Trail.

China reacts to Zelensky's participation in G7 - CNN

US economy heads closer to the brink as Biden and McCarthy meet today on debt limit - CNN

‘Uncle Roger’ jokes about China, and censors don’t see the funny side - CNN

Ukraine says it advances on Bakhmut's flanks to entrap Russians - Reuters

Meta hit with record $1.3 bln fine over data transfers - Reuters

Beijing rebukes Japan, Britain over 'anti-China' G7 summit - Reuters

Could Biden use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling? - Reuters

As Preteens Ignore Social-Media Limits, Governments Push for Better Checks - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Expanding the Route


I managed a late morning bike ride yesterday, seeking to increase my distance by about 5 miles from the previous ride. I added a loop through Odenton which was almost exactly 5 miles and totaled 14.01 miles for the ride. 
14 Mile Ride
Odenton, MD
May 20, 2023

What really amazed me, however, when I checked the stats for the ride was the elevation change. That is something I do not get a lot of in Florida. On this 14 mile ride I enjoyed 570 feet of descent and 560 feet of ascent while achieving a max elevation above sea level of 224 feet. I was pretty much climbing or coasting for the entire route. 
By comparison on a recent 22 mile ride in Florida, I experienced 71 feet of descent and 73 feet of ascent achieving a max elevation of 30 feet above sea level. So biking in Maryland is a very different type of riding from Florida.

Crossing the Patuxent River
Odenton, MD
May 20, 2021

I enjoyed the long gradual descent of the WB&A railroad bed. It is also not too severe to return. The mapping program recorded it fairly well. It looks to be over a 100 foot elevation change.

As I crossed over the Patuxent River, I noted some people down one the banks with a fire and playing in the water. I was able to get the smoke in the image, but the people had moved out of sight by the time I stopped my bike and managed to get my phone off its handlebar mount to take the image. This area is one of the most scenic along the path.

It was a great day and a great ride. OK, it was a bit cool.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Debt Crisis or Not?


The U.S. is about to melt down and a small group of Republicans in Congress are playing their fiddles like Nero as Rome burned.* 

Meanwhile, the headline in the Washington Post read: “World watches in disbelief and horror as U.S. nears possible default.” The story by Rachel Siegel and Jeff Stein revealed that at the meeting of the G7 leaders in Hiroshima, Japan, this week, the finance ministers for the G7—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union—have been pulling U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen aside to ask her what is going to happen.

“Around the world,” Siegel and Stein write, “experts have been watching in disbelief as the U.S. flirts with its first default, fearful of the potential international economic ramifications—and astonished by the global superpower’s brush with self-sabotage.” (Letters from an American)

This is not a trivial matter. Failure to service the debt will destroy the U.S. as a world leader and potentially throw economies around the world into chaos. The crisis is already damaging the faith of borrowers around the world and could have very long reaching consequences which will affect every American in the future. 

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is the trump card in this instance. A discussion in an NPR piece explains how this may be accomplished, but it is widely believed that the amendment gives the President the authority to protect the good faith and credit of the U.S. The article is at: Democrats urge Biden to use his constitutional right to raise the debt limit. 

From the referenced article:

TINA SMITH: Well, first, I think that if anyone can find a reasonable agreement to get us out of this mess, it's President Biden. And it's - the Republicans should take the threat of default off the table immediately. I think that what Secretary Yellen is saying is that the Biden administration and the president are negotiating in good faith to try to find a path forward. But if the choice we have is between default, which would be disastrous, and the president using the clause in the 14th Amendment, which says that the validity of public debt shall not be questioned, we believe strongly - I believe strongly - that he should use that 14th Amendment authority to avoid the disaster of default.

The downside of employing such a unilateral action would be the alienation of the Republicans. Oh wait, some of them are already alienated and working to dismantle our country. On the other hand, I cannot see any upside to default.

OK, raise the debt limit and let's move on. 

The fallout for such a unilateral action will occur at the end of September when a new budget will need to be passed. I'm feeling a prolonged government shutdown coming as a small group of anarchists continue to have a stranglehold on the Republican Party. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

* Note: There is no historical evidence to support the assertion that Nero either started the fire or played his fiddle as Rome burned.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Another Day, Another Trail

WB&A Trail Ride with Closed Area Marked
Odenton, MD
May 18, 2023

 I took off to explore another biking trail yesterday. It is part of the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis (WB&A or WBA) trail network. The trail runs very close to where we are staying and looking at my biking app, which has the trail clearly marked, I was expecting a nice long ride. 

View from the End Point of my Ride
WB&A Trail
May 18, 2023

The trail, which mostly follows and old rail line, does not have severe hills but generally gradual and long grades. I picked up the trail up where it crosses Waugh Chapel Road in Odenton and followed it south, towards Annapolis. I had an enjoyable ride for about 4.5 miles until I came, abruptly, to an area where the trail is closed for both rerouting away from the railed and construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Patuxent River. I was bummed because the trail goes on for a great distance beyond the closed area, but I could not figure a route around the closed section.

In the end, I posted an easy 9-mile ride. It was an out and back ride, rather than the loop rides that I enjoy doing. The scenery along the way varied from forest and open fields to housing communities. At one point, I was perched on a small hill overlooking what seemed like rolling fields of houses. It made me sad to think about how the area used to be used for farming, but now was filled with houses placed too close together. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Riding the Loop

BWI from the Overlook
Baltimore, MD
May 17, 2023
The BWI Loop Ride
Baltimore, MD
May 17, 2023

We did it!

Last evening, accompanied by Patrick and Jen, Chris and I rode the BWI Loop. It was not a long ride, compared to many we have done, but the nearly 11 miles of Maryland hills made it challenging. Even more exciting was the ride through wooded areas and then to the overlook where the entirety of Baltimore-Washington International Airport was observed. 

We had a lot of fun, even with the hills. At one point I was going 25 mph down a long slope. I would have gone faster but I came upon some people walking and needed to slow to avoid them. 

Chris and I will definitely do the loop again, in fact we are already planning it with Patrick and Jen for next week. But, there are some other trails in the area that I want to explore. 

Looking forward to more fun on the trails.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Geese in the Grass

Goose Family on an Outing
Odenton, MD
May 16, 2023

 One of the advantages of being back in Maryland for the late-Spring, is the ability to enjoy the animals as they tend their youngsters. Near us is a rainwater runoff pond which has a lot of duckweed and is the daily feeding location for two pairs of Canada Geese and their goslings.  There are eight goslings between the two groups. Three older ones and five younger. The geese are not nesting around the pond, they actually nest in another pond and walk through the forest every day. They spend the day feeding at the pond near us. 

I check on the two families throughout the day, counting the goslings. Sometimes they come outside the fence surrounding the pond, as they did yesterday. There are actually four geese in the image. The two parents are close together. 

We are careful not to disturb the families. The pond also hosts other visitors, one of which is a large groundhog. It is humorous to see him running up the hill when people approach. He gets to the top and then looks back to see if he is being chased, which he is not. 

Today, we are planing our first bike ride. We will be joining Patrick and Jen and friends for a ride around the BWI Loop. Surprisingly, I never ride the loop last summer as I was too busy downsizing our house and selling it. 

So we have another busy day planned and are already enjoying our time in Maryland.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Drive

Chris and Finnegan Driving
South Carolina
May 15, 2023

 Chris and I completed another successful trip from South Florida to Maryland yesterday. 

I decided not to try and publish Monday Musings because I had a car strapped to my bottom for roughly 16 hours. 

The trip began at 11:58 PM on Mother's Day and ended at about 3:40 PM yesterday when we made our first stop to drop off Riordin, our cat, who is bunking with Jeremy while we are here in Maryland. I will endeavor to visit him almost every day. It took him almost two weeks to get back to normal after he stayed alone with only daily visits from a friend while we were last in Maryland. 

Both Finnegan and Riordin were great travelers on the trip. Riordin only asked to be out of his carrier on one occasion, to relieve himself, and then was happy to curl up inside of his safe place for the remainder of the trip. 

We made only four stops during the trip. Two were for gas (my truck has great range), one was for lunch, and the other was at a rest area for a break. We stocked the car with snacks and beverages to assist in minimizing stops. I figure the four stops totaled about an hour and we lost another hour from Northern Virginia around D.C. and on I-95 to Elkridge. Even in the early afternoon, traffic was snarled.

Well, the trip is done and we can begin the business of being here in Maryland to visit family, friends, wineries, attend graduations, baseball and whatever else comes our way. We are here until mid-June when we will make the trip south. We are considering a two-day return trip and if so, I want to stop near Exit 102 in Georgia for the night to visit the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Mother's Day 2023

 Happy Mother's Day!


Columbia, MD
August 16, 2013
Being a mother is a special calling. Mother's are special people and not everyone is called to be a mother--and that is OK. Those who accept the calling to be a Mom know the joys and the pains of raising children and worrying about them day and night--even after they have left the nest. 

What I have learned is that after a while the roles become reversed. We begin to worry about our Mom and become concerned about the trials she is facing and how her life is progressing. We see the terrible disease she is fighting and the care she is receiving for that destructive ailment. We have to do hard things like move her from her home to a place where she can receive proper care. And then, in the middle of a dark night, she was gone.

It has been a year-and-a-half since my mom transitioned to her heavenly address. She is missed every day. She is remembered. She even is part of fairly one-sided conversations. But she is alive in my heart and the hearts of my family.

Here is to you Mom--Happy Mother's Day. You have more than earned the recognition for a job well done.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Golfing, Biking, Boating or going to Costco?

I am reminded of a cartoon, Pinky and the Brain,  in which two nefarious characters ask, "What are we going to do tomorrow night?" And the answer, "The same thing we do every night, plan to take over the world."

Storm Clouds over Jupiter Dunes Hole 7
Jupiter, FL
May 12, 2023
That is similar to the situation Chris and I face nearly every day. We ask the question, "What are we going to do today?" But unlike Pinky and the Brain, we are then confronted a multiple choice answer:

"The same thing we do every day, decide between golfing, biking, boating, or going to Costco."

Yesterday was a golf day. It turned out to be a good choice given the early morning weather. Although it did not look like rain when we began the round, we were treated to a passing shower while we were playing the 5th and 6th holes. By the time we moved to the 7th Tee box, the showers had passed and the sun had almost completely dried the course. The greens were a bit slower, but not too bad. 

Chris had a good round and I had one of my better rounds. I even made a rare (for me) birdie on the last hole. It was hot by the time we departed the course at noon. I was very happy we made it out before the heat of the day set in. Of course, passing shower resulted in a significant humidity increase. 

Today the question remains outstanding, but the answer is trending towards biking. 

Time will tell.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, May 12, 2023

Vet Fun


Riordin in the Cupboard
Elkridge, MD
August 27, 2022
It is, of course, an oxymoron. There is no way that going to a vet can be fun. In fact, it was almost catastrophe. 

Riordin, our cat, has been coughing and Chris and I were concerned that he might have a respiratory infection. He had been to the vet a month ago and had a non-specific infection, for which he was prescribed antibiotics. He had a cough then and it seemed to get better, but now it had become more annoying.

Riordin in Xray
West Palm Beach, FL
May 11, 2023
During the trip to the vet, Riordin became carsick and puked all over his cat carrier. To make it worse, I had to stop quickly and his carrier rolled off the seat onto the floor and of course the poor cat was now covered in regurgitated ick. Upon arriving at the vet, Chris and I were able to clean him and the carrier. He was not a pretty sight, but cleaned up nicely and dried before we were called into the examination room. We left him out of the carrier and I held him so that he could dry out.

The exam went well, Riordin is a pretty chill cat. Blood was drawn, X-ray taken, and a shot given. Riordin handled it all pretty well. The final verdict? He may have allergies or asthma. There is no infection (blood work) and no mass in his lungs indicating either pneumonia or cancer (X-ray). We were relieved, and also relieved of just over $300, to get that information. When we return from Maryland we are considering having him tested for allergies. We are pretty sure he has allergies since he used to sneeze a lot, but is coughing and we are considering testing and immunotherapy treatment. 

Well, at least we know he is fit to travel. We obtained a mild sedative to take the edge off while he is in his carrier in the car during the upcoming trip. AND, I will secure the carrier so it will not roll off the seat again.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, May 11, 2023

It Was Efficient


I guess you can sum up last night's Republican Town Hall as the President did: "Do you want four more years of that?"

Has anyone else noticed the huge difference between the leadership style of the current vs the former president?

The former, as was showcased during last night's Town Hall, enjoyed finger-pointing, blame, distraction, and lies.

I look to the stability of the cabinet and advisors to the President to understand how well things are going. A comparison between Trump and Biden, done by the Brookings Institute reveals the following:

              Cabinet Positions        A-Team Turn Over

Trump              14                            92%

Biden                 1                            47%

Trump Administration Analysis

Biden Administration Analysis

And then, so many supporters of the former President point to the border crisis as being a Biden failure, but yet for placing such emphasis on the border security, Trump did not increase the number of border patrol agents during his term and there was actually a net reduction, although small. (Statista)

Now, he [Trump] is advocating budget reductions which will further reduce border patrol agents. As the President noted: . . . the enormous costs of the cuts the Republicans insist they require before they will permit a raising of the debt ceiling, including, Biden emphasized, 30,000 federal law enforcement officers: “11,000 FBI agents, 2,000 Border agents, DEA agents, and so on.” (Letters from an American)

So much for border security.

The party of Lincoln has become the party of chaos!

Do we really need four more years of that nonsense?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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