Friday, June 30, 2023

Firing up the 4th

 Bring on the 4th!

For those still working it is a perfectly made 4-day weekend possibility. Yay!

But, more importantly, let's celebrate. Safely.

We have a lot to celebrate. We are still America!

I am hoping to find fireworks somewhere around here to enjoy while dodging thunderstorms. 

If traveling--be safe and avoid the airports. I hear that the crush of travelers is going to make air travel a nightmare.

If driving, enjoy sharing the highways with 43 million of your new best friends.

Happy Independence Day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Beating the Heat on the Water

Trusty Boat Sea Bean
Jupiter Island, FL
June 28, 2023

 Chris and I have discovered a sure-fire way to beat the oppressive heat: boating!

And we are not the only South Floridians with that idea! Yesterday was a great boating day. We explored parts of the Saint Lucie River as far north as Stuart. After the exploration we headed south to the narrowest part of Jupiter Island along the shores of Peck Lake and enjoyed some of the afternoon both in the ocean and along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

Boys Beating the Heat
Peck Lake, FL
June 28, 2023
We reserved a Cobia 220 dual console boat named Sea Bean for our excursion yesterday. Sea Bean is a great boat and I have already made additional reservations to motor in it again. The boat is one of the nicest handling boats that I have enjoyed since joining the boat club.  

While we were lounging along the shores of Peck Lake, a large group of boys arrived in a boat and on jet skis. They were most interested in jumping into the water from the tower that is just a few yards offshore. They were fun to watch. We remarked, how lucky these boys were to live in Florida and have access to a boat and know where to go to have fun.

The skies were mostly clear and the day was just that much more enjoyable being on the water with a constant breeze. 

And that is how to beat the unrelenting heat!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, June 28, 2023


 When is hot too hot?

Chris and I discovered too hot yesterday during our shortened 13 mile ride. We started out planning for a 17 mile ride, but as the heat grew more oppressive we shortened it to 13 miles by cutting out a portion of our route. It is not just the thermometer temperature, but the stress index as well that affected us.

We both survived, but decided that we need to begin our rides earlier, like in the 7 AM hour rather than at about 9:40 AM.

Today, we are planning to be smarter. We are headed out onto the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) boating again. Being on the water with a breeze should make the day less oppressive. I still require four boating trips before I can apply to take the open ocean safety course and be allowed out on the Mighty Atlantic. Then I will be truly dangerous.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Jiffy Lube--Get a Second Opinion

Looking North 
North Fork Loxahatchee River, Tequesta, FL
June 26, 2023

 Yesterday was a classic South Florida day. 

Highs in the high 80s with blue skies and puffy clouds. 

I got out for a morning bike ride and took an image of the sky and clouds reflecting on the North Fork of the Loxahatchee River. It was a beautiful scene as I neared the end of my 17-mile ride. 

The day began, however, as I took my truck to the repair shop. Two weeks ago, during its oil change at the local Jiffy Lube establishment, I was informed that the PCV valve needed replacing. They offered to do it for about $400 and seemed quite put-off when I passed on their offer to take my truck to my repair shop.

About mid-day the repair shop called with the news. My PCV valve was operating just as it should. No repair was needed. And furthermore, they did not even charge me for the checking into the possible problem--which blew me away. I am used to paying for at least an hour of labor for things like that. But, my repair shop is very special and it is run by a great guy. Funny, he is so great I almost want to take my vehicles to him more often so I can chat with him. Weird!

So, word to the wise--if Jiffy Lube suggests a repair, get a second opinion!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, June 26, 2023

Monday Musings - June 26, 2023


1. Don't look now, but Summer started last week and today is the last Monday of June. The year is half over and there remain only 26 Mondays until New Year! 

Finnegan on the pillows
Tequesta, FL
June 24, 2023
2. Finnegan is a funny little dog. He has assumed the role of Alpha Dog in the house, which is easy since he is the only dog. He is faithful to Chris and when she departs he waits patiently for her return. Lately, he has begun sleeping on the pillows on the sofa. He has dog beds, but, apparently, the sofa pillows are more to his liking. 

3. My truck will make its second trip to the repair shop within two months today. During early April, the truck needed a new radiator and water pump. Today, the expectation is for a new positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve that was recommended by Jiffy Lube during my overly expensive oil two weeks ago. I am taking the truck to my mechanic for the possible repair. Hopefully it all comes out well. 

4. Can you believe Russia? What a mess. Maybe Putin should get out of Ukraine and clean up his own house.

5. The loss of the submersible mission to the Titanic was tragic.

6. Hey, how about those Orioles? They have the second best record in the American League and the third best record in all of baseball. The All Star Break is almost here--here's hoping the second half of the season is as successful as the first.

7. Today in HistoryOn this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.

When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin’s government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.

Wagner chief remains under investigation for inciting rebellion, state news says - CNN

Airport worker dies after being ‘ingested’ into plane engine in Texas - CNN

Russia’s Vladimir Putin faced the gravest threat to his authority in decades when forces marched toward Moscow - CNN

North Korea holds rallies denouncing US, warns of nuclear war - Reuters

Rouble pares losses after slumping to 15-month low following aborted mutiny - Reuters

Renewables growth did not dent fossil fuel dominance in 2022, report says - Reuters

Traders Bet Bull Market Is Just Getting Started - The Wall Street Journal

Flight Cancellations, Delays Mount as Thunderstorms Hit East Coast - The Wall Street Journal

Wagner Mutiny Revives U.S. Fears Over Control of Russia’s Nuclear Weapons - The Wall Street Journal

Covid isn’t over, but even the most cautious Americans are moving on - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Manatees in the Water


Chris in the Intracoastal
Jupiter Island, FL
June 24, 2023
Chris and I managed to escape the heat yesterday. In fact, the day presented some uniqueness that we will remember for quite a while. 

We began the day with a bike ride. Not just our usual bike route around Tequesta, but Chris decided she was ready to tackle the drawbridge and wanted to ride along Beach Road on Jupiter Island. And so we took an easy 12 mile ride across the drawbridge and onto Beach Road riding partway up the island. As we rode by some of our favorite beach locations on the intracoastal waterway (ICW), Chris decided that she wanted to come to the beach. 

The weather has not been suitable for beach activity, but yesterday, during the morning hours, the beach was calling! So we shortened our ride, went home, changed from biking gear to swim gear, grabbed our chairs and headed back to the ICW. It was a beautiful time and even though the area was crowded with other Floridians trying to escape from the oppressive heat and humidity, we found an excellent place to enjoy the water.

The highlight of the day, however, came shortly after we arrived and were out in the water near the boating channel. Two manatees, presumably a mother and her calf, came along feasting on the sea grass growing on the bottom of the ICW. They were close enough to shore that many people, including ourselves, paddled out to the relatively shallow water where they were feasting to marvel at the gentle giants. We were able to just make out their forms while they were underwater, but they often pushed their heads out to get air and we could see them clearly. It was an event and the manatees were unconcerned by our presence. Amazingly, no one actually did anything stupid, like trying to touch or disturb them. Even a dog riding on a paddle board was mesmerized by the giant creatures lurking beneath the water's surface.

Although we live in South Florida, manatee encounters are very rare. Both Chris and I enjoyed watching them. Sadly, the water was too deep for me to get my iPhone out to get an image of them, but I will remember our manatee encounter for a long time.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Costco Frustration

 Sometimes it is very frustrating to shop at Costco.

Take yesterday, for example. 

Costco is a 30 minute drive and so Chris and I wait until we require a significant amount of supplies before sojourning down the interstate into the northern reaches of West Palm Beach, the high traffic area, to visit Costco. The store has to be one of the larger Costco warehouses in the entire network. Friday's are not a particularly good day to visit the store due to the volume of shoppers, but we arrived there early yesterday. 

The problem with the Costco we visit is that they are often out of stock on two of the main reasons we shop there: Kirkland Sparkling Mineral Water and Vitamin Water. We are then forced to buy name brand products for more cost and usually less volume. 

It happened again yesterday. It is hard to understand how a Costco could be out of a Kirkland product--but it happens at this store about 50 percent of the time. Yes, I like Pellegrino, I just don't like to pay for it. And at $1 a bottle, the name brand vitamin water, which I like to drink after biking, is a bit pricey. 

Of course, we save a lot on the other things we buy, but the primary reason we head to Costco is the vitamin water and the sparkling water. So, for the next couple of weeks we will be having name brand items in the house. That is just the way it is. 

While I was frustrated that Costco was out of their own brand of items, I did, however, manage to buy a couple dozen of their golf balls while I was there. I would rather lose a $1 golf ball than a $4 ball.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 23, 2023

On the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

On the ICW
Jupiter Island, FL
June c22, 2023

 Yesterday was a boating day. 

The thunderstorms held off long enough for Chris and I and two friends to get in a great boating day on the ICW. We actually enjoyed hot sun while sitting on an ocean beach accessible only by boat from the ICW. We motored past some the high end homes on Jupiter Island and we enjoyed looking longingly at the private gold course situated along the ICW upon which we will never swing a club. 

It is fun looking at how the uber-rich live. Some of them have very big boats! Wait, they are so big they might be ships.

It was a great day and it felt good to be back on the water. There are many more places that we are planning to explore including the St Lucie River and the ICW towards Ft Pearce. After four more trips, I can apply for training to allow me to go out on the open Atlantic Ocean! I am looking forward to doing that. 

There is just something great about being out on the water in a boat. We had a 21 foot Hurricane yesterday. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Golfing in the Heat


Chris on the 12th Tee
Jupiter Dunes, FL
June 22, 2023
Chris and I could not resist yesterday. We had to get out and hit the golf course yesterday.

We managed to get out early, but it was still very hot and humid. By the time our round was over it was 87 degrees and the humidity was over 90 percent. Did I mention that we walk when we play this course? 

The course is undergoing summer upgrading. I know that sounds funny to golfers up north, but here in South Florida Summer is the low season and courses do their improvements. About half the course was undergoing Tee-box or green improvements. I had an unusually good round, for me. I mean really. I was just 15 over par, which is 3 strokes better than my bogie golf goal. The heat began to get to me at the end and I gave up a few strokes on the last couple holes. Chris also had a very good round. 

We were tired, hot, and more than ready to be done when I finally sank my putt on the 18th. But, we had finished the round and enjoyed our time together.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

For the Birds

Two Canada Geese Families
Odenton, MD
June 10, 2023
 Watching the geese became a daily pastime while we were in Maryland. There was a small catch pond next-door to Nicole's, where we were staying, and two goose families would walk over the small hill and spend part of the day swimming and eating in the relatively protected, fenced pond. 

What was interesting was that there were two goose families with between them 8 goslings. One family had 5 and the other 3 goslings. The goslings were hatched about a week or two apart, meaning one family was developing ahead of the other. But, they all got along and worked together as a small flock.

During the month we were in Maryland, Chris and I watched the geese and marveled at how the goslings so quickly developed from small, almost helpless creatures into beautiful Canadian Geese. We worried about the transient foxes that we occasionally saw at the pond. One day we saw a bunch of feathers and worried that one of the goslings had met an untimely end, but upon further examination I determined that there were not enough feathers. Later that same day we were happy to see the full compliment of both families. 

Since we departed, a week ago, it has been reported that the maturing goslings and their families no longer come to the pond for daily feedings. They are likely now part of a larger flock that will fly around Maryland, but never leave. Perhaps next year there will be additional families in the grouping. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Dog in a Blanket

Finnegan in Bed
Tequesta, FL
June 18, 2023

 Finnegan is a strange little dog. 

He loves to meet people and is a regular at the senior living facility next door. He is also good with the other dogs we meet during our daily walks. 

In addition to walking and meeting other dogs and people, Finnegan likes to sleep under the bedcovers and under a blanket on Chris's lap.

The other day, as a joke, I wrapped Finn in a blanket that was on the bed. He stayed there. All the while that Chris and I were doing some work in the closet, he just stayed under the blanket and slept. 

His biggest problem is that he is a picky eater. Chris is always trying to find a food that he will eat. When she is successful, he enjoys that food for a week or so and then goes back onto his permanent hunger strike. 

He is a strange little dog. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, June 19, 2023

Monday Musings - June 19, 2023


1. It is the 3rd Monday of June. We are nearing the halfway point of the year. There are just 27 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. The Solstice (which for the Northern Hemisphere is the Summer version) occurs Wednesday, June 21 at 10:57 AM. Enjoy the light. It has taken 6 months to get here from the last Solstice.

Skies over Tequesta
Bridge over the Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
June 18, 2023
3. Welcome to the Juneteenth Holiday. It is the 11th holiday designated by the Congress and this year marks the third celebration of the day as a Federal Holiday. I find it interesting that there are 11 Federal Holidays, but yet 3 months do not have a holiday: March, April, and August. January and November each have 2 holidays.

4. I managed a short bike ride yesterday, just over 12 miles. I took an image which recorded the state of the morning skies over Tequesta and South Florida. And that state is dark and brooding. Rain and thunder were on the horizon headed East. Ultimately, during the afternoon the skies cleared and the sun returned, but we have more days with similar conditions coming.

5. I think I am going to stop using Jiffy Lube for oil changes. It seems every time I go there they are trying to hit me up for hundreds of dollars in additional services. This last time they showed me something they said needed to be done and I have decided to take my truck to my regular mechanic to check it out. I still paid almost $200 for an oil change. What happened to roll-in and roll-out no hassle $30 oil changes? I guess they went the way of the dodo.

6. Today in HistoryIn what is now known as Juneteenth, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrive in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War is over and slavery in the United States is abolished. 

A mix of June and 19th, Juneteenth has become a day to commemorate the end of slavery in America. Despite the fact that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, a lack of Union troops in the rebel state of Texas made the order difficult to enforce. 

Some historians blame the lapse in time on poor communication in that era, while others believe Texan slave-owners purposely withheld the information.

Ukraine’s Offensive Is a Battle of Readiness - The Wall Street Journal

US and China take a potentially crucial step - CNN

Hundreds of thousands are without power as the South swelters under record-breaking temperatures - CNN

A 33-year-old man fell 4,000 feet to his death from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, authorities say - CNN

North Korea says botched satellite launch was 'gravest failure' - Reuters

Paris air show returns with jets and missiles in demand - Reuters

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus harbors essential elements for life - Reuters

600-pound marlin almost won a crew $3.5 million — then it was disqualified - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Sitting out the Heat

Weather Radar from Channel 5 at 7:15 AM
June 18, 2023

 Chris and I sat out the heat yesterday.

There was an obligatory trip to the grocery store for supplies, but aside from that, we avoided direct exposure to the 105 degree stress index day. 

It was weird. 

The sky looked as if it were going to storm all day and it did storm during the afternoon. Today looks like more of the same. The weather radar from 7:15 AM shows storms to the south and coming from the west. We are likely to get storms all the day. I am glad that I do not have any outdoors activities planned.

Definitely not a good boating day, and I may not be able to get in a bike ride even though the heat indices are getting into a more normal range. 

It can be frustrating, but no more so than dealing with the poor air quality of the northeast caused by the Canadian wildfires. 

Have a Happy Sunday. 

And BTW, Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there. Don't forget Dad! 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, June 17, 2023

South Florida in June

It is the stormy, wet time of year here in South Florida. 

The afternoon/evening thunderstorms are just a part of life and we are used to having them roll through. A particularly fierce storm with driving rain came through last evening as Chris and I were watching TV. We didn't even acknowledge it until be both heard the thunder. Looking outside, the driving rain and wind reminded me of the glancing blow we took from a hurricane, with the key difference being it only lasted a few minutes. 

We have also been experiencing somewhat unbearable heat. The stress index has been over 100 degrees every day this week limiting outdoors activity. That written, I did manage an almost 17 mile bike ride yesterday, but I was very hot when I returned home. I actually enjoyed the ride, but the stiff west wind make it a challenge in some areas. I added in a one-mile loop in the middle of the ride. I am thinking that this will become my new base ride. I look at the elevation data form the ride and it seems almost humorous when compared to the rides I made in Maryland. I mean, how can 51 ft descent and 41 ft descent compare to the last ride I took in Maryland with 407 ft ascent and 411 ft descent? Very different riding.

I just saw this afternoon's stress index forecast: 105-108 degrees! 

Hot! Thank goodness for air conditioning.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, June 16, 2023

After Sitting a Month -- A New Tool

My Compressor
Tequesta, FL
June 16, 2023

 Chris and I experienced one of those car care moments when we returned to Tequesta after being away for almost a month. The tires on our Toyota Highlander were soft. We noticed the softness when we moved it from the parking space and were preparing to go shopping. The screech and rub on the pavement was too obvious. 

Well, I got out the hand tire pump that I use for bikes and proceeded to pump the tires to proper inflation. It took a while because the tires were all equally at 20 psi and I needed to get them to 35 psi. 

Do you know how many pumps it takes to put 15 psi into an automobile tire? 

I counted: about 120!

The inflation process took a while and in the heat I began sweating profusely. 

I was smart, however, and asked Chris to help inflate the third of the four tires. After her experience she suggested we get a real compressor! 

I was ecstatic! I have wanted one for a while, but could not figure out how to justify the purchase. Later, that same afternoon, we were at Home Depot and I came home with a new portable, battery powered compressor with a short hose. I already had the inflation kit, which I saved from the compressor I had in Elkridge. 

I am so happy. Being batter powered, I can take it almost anywhere even across the street to pump up the tires on the truck! 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, June 15, 2023

After the Storms

New Outlet Installed and Ready for the Cover
Tequesta, FL
June 15, 2023

 We had some exciting storms last evening. Not so much rain, but the lightning was fabulous! It was one of those storms that was right atop us and as soon as the flash occurred, the thunder arrived. Chris and I really appreciate a good storm. 

There were, however, consequences. 

The outlet on the patio which controls the electric screen stopped working. I was able to determine that two things were at play. The outlet was bad and it was not getting electricity. After a two hour search and phoning a friend, we finally determined which GFI in the house controlled the outlet. It was not an easy search. Turns out the GFI that controls the patio outlet is all the way across the house at the front of the garage! Who knew?

But, with perseverance the job was completed and we are back in business. I was lucky to actually have had another outlet in my tool box, which made the repair faster. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Aliens? Possibly?


Are we alone in the universe?

Recent discussions about UAP's (unidentified aerial phenomenon) leave open the possibility that we (humankind) are not the only intelligent life forms in the universe. I use the term "intelligent" loosely given all of the dumb things we do to each other and our planet. 

Although when directly asked, a NASA spokesperson responded: “One of Nasa’s key priorities is the search for life elsewhere in the universe, but so far, NASA has not found any credible evidence of extraterrestrial life and there is no evidence that UAPs are extraterrestrial. However, Nasa is exploring the solar system and beyond to help us answer fundamental questions, including whether we are alone in the universe.” (The Guardian)

I suppose we may never really know if we are alone--but the possibilities are there, as of late, that we are not. 

Happy Flag Day!

Happy Hump Day!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Indicting a Criminal

 Chris and I spent a large portion yesterday's 15 hour drive from Odenton to Tequesta listening to news channels and staying on top of world developments including the criminal activities of our former president. 

Some of what I heard, the untruths and misleading statements from the mouths of congressional republicans, yesterday really upset me. 

Congressman Jim Jordan was heard to quote a law about Presidents being able to do essentially anything they want with classified documents. The chief problem with this argument is that while Trump was president when he slinked out of Washington to Florida with the documents, as soon as Biden was sworn in he no longer could hide behind that law and was duty-bound to return the documents, classified or not, to the archives. He chose not to return the documents and tried to hide them in an illegal effort to retain them.

But, here is the real funny part, if the republicans want to use that law, then they need to stop railing against Biden and other presidents for their mishandling of classified documents. They can't have it both ways.

The real part of the indictment, as I understand it all, is not that Trump had the documents but that he failed to return them when requested and subsequently allowed persons not authorized to access them. 

Let's get real about treating Trump like any other person in a similar situation. I hesitate to remind, but ANG Airman Jack Texeria did essentially the same thing that Trump did. Where is he today? According to NBC, Jack Texeria in being held in jail pending trial. What is Trump expected to do today? Leave Florida and go back to New Jersey for a campaign rally. 

If Trump were being treated like any other person where would he be after being indicted? He would be in jail.

The republicans are using smoke and mirrors to attempt to exonerate a criminal. Plan and simple.

And let me add fuel to the fire. Why has no other former president been indicted on Federal charges? Because Trump is the only one of who has demonstrated total disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution.

This is not a politically-motivated witch hunt, he is not a martyr, he is a criminal and must, finally, be held accountable for his actions.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Note: Edits made at 0911 on 13 June re the documents transport to Florida

Monday, June 12, 2023

Traveler Update I-95

 Travelers on I-95 in North Carolina are in for a treat this summer. Compliments of the infrastructure bill, there are miles upon miles of road construction to enjoy. 

Construction on I-95 in South Carolina
June 12, 2023

The exciting part is that there are barriers on both sides of the travel lanes which are anything but flat. The fun begins north of Exit 52. 

Chris and I just experienced the road construction and marveled at the massive rebuilding of America underway. The end result is going to be great. 

Today is a travel day as we return home. As a result, there will be no Monday Musings. 

— Bob Doan, I-95 near mm42 South Carolina

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Saturday Golf

Looking from the 2nd Tee
Bay Hills Golf Club 
Arnold, MD
June 10, 2023

 The air quality improved significantly and was just into the moderate range as Jeremy and I teed-off at Bay Hills Golf Club on Saturday morning. 

It was good to be back on a course with a club in my hand. It had been a few years since I last played this course and I had forgotten how much I actually enjoy playing there. It is fair and hard. And being a lefty many of the holes are designed to drive righties crazy--and I love those holes. The work well with my slice.

A Pond Along the course
Bay Hills Golf Club
Arnold, MD
June 10, 2023
Because I don't play a lot, I had two "blow-up" holes that added seven strokes to my score above par. But, on the bright side, I held it together and aside from those two holes played a solid bogey round which saw me sink about a 60 foot putt. It was a really great putt and a solid recovery. I had overshot the flag, which was forward, because I was aiming for the center of the green and managed a great iron shot off that went a bit further than I expected.

Plugged Tee Shot
18th Hole Bay Hills
Arnold, MD
June 10, 2023
I always enjoy getting out with Jeremy to play golf. It gives us time to be together. Yesterday was special because, unlike most courses, Bay Hills did not put other golfers with us--so we were able to golf as a twosome. That meant that we also golfed fast and were always waiting for the foursome in front of us. 

One final note on the day. There was some frustration. The 18th hole is par three and must carry a large pond that goes almost to the edge of the green. I his a great shot that looked as if it had cleared the pond and was going to land on the green. Unfortunately, just as I hit the shot the breeze picked up coming directly at us and my ball landed too close to the pond's edge. It plugged into the grass. 

Well, that's golf! I had to laugh. Both Jeremy and I wondered what happened to the ball as it landed, because the resting place was shielded from the tee box. There was no splash, so I was confident of finding the ball. Playing it as it lied, however, was not an option. As I understand new rule 16.3, I was allowed relief because the ball was in the grassy area and not the mud shore of the pond. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Party


The Decorations
Odenton, MD
June 9, 2023

Graduating from high school is a big event. 

In a lot of ways, like most significant celebrations, the weeks or months of planning resolve into a few hours of excitement that are all too quickly over. I even got to reprise my skills in making a balloon arch.

It was much like that last evening as we gathered with family and friends to celebrate Ethan's graduation and put a dot on the exclamation point.

There were games, noise, conversation, and food. Lot's of food.

And then, too quickly, it was over and now life takes over and a sense of normalcy will grip us all.

Congrats again to Ethan and to all of the family and friends who have supported his academic and athletic endeavors. It truly takes a village!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, June 9, 2023

Church at the end of the Road

Church at the end of the road
Odenton, MD
June 7, 2023

 I managed a bike ride the other day, before the air quality became dangerous to outdoors activity. I am expanding my network of roads and trails; exploring some of them to the end.

That is exactly what I found the other day as I rode down a dead-end road. I had checked the road out on my bike map and noted that a small church sat where the road ended. As I biked from the main road down this small paved road past the houses, I wondered how many other bikers had, like me, biked to the end of the road? It is mostly downhill, towards the river, and I began to wonder if I was going enjoy biking my way back to the main road. 

The church was how I imagined it to be: a small, active, country chapel, complete with a graveyard in back. The road ended abruptly at a pile of road fill preventing continuing onto the old roadbed which apparently was abandoned decades ago given the amount of debris.

I enjoyed biking around in front of the church and I believe that given its remote location I was probably being imaged as I rode my bike past the front doors being careful not to touch or disturb anything.  

The ride back up did not seem nearly as long as the ride down the hill to the church and it was not nearly as steep as I had feared. In just a few minutes, I was back on the main road and the trail after enjoying a short detour.

BTW, the air quality today is 70, down from 271 yesterday.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Don't Breathe Outside

 The wildfires in Canada seem to be of biblical proportions not only in the number of square miles burned (over 12,400), but in terms of the millions of people affected. 

I was advised of a website that I can discover the local air quality. It is Allowing the site to access your current location provides the display seen at the right. I encourage everyone who is affected by poor air quality to access the website.

I canceled my planned bike ride for today. I rode yesterday and it was likely a mistake, but the air quality is much worse today. 

Yesterday as I drove to a doctor's appointment, I was amazed at how the haze from the fires obscured the landscape. 

I had this thought: When I look at the cloudless sky where did the blue go? 

Be careful out there. 

Don't breathe deeply.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Graduation Day

Ethan in the Procession
Maryland Live
Hanover, MD
June 6, 2023

 The day began early and lasted until late. 

It was a day of pomp and circumstance. Hundreds of newly minted graduates marching together for the last time as they completed the Maryland mandated curriculum and accepted their diplomas. 

I think I enjoyed the ceremony mostly because it went quickly and smoothly in a fantastic facility. I had not been in the massively large room at Maryland Live and was very impressed with the size of the room and the video support that the ceremony received. 

But wait, the day was all about the graduates, their families, and their friends. As it should be.

It was fun.

Me, Ethan, Chris
Odenton, MD
June 6, 2023
It was fun to watch my oldest grandchild walk across the stage and transform, in that moment, from student to graduate. Now I believe that we never should stop being students--there is always more to learn, but celebration of completing of 13 years of COVID interrupted learning was a momentous occasion.

A moment to celebrate and remember.

The ceremony provided many meaningful moments, but I found two statements especially meaningful.

First was a from East of Eden, by John Steinbeck:

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for this is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

And the second was the charge given to the graduates from their principal:

"Go do something you are proud of." 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Baseball Banquet and the Week Begins


Jackson and His Coach
Waugh Chapel, MD
June 5, 2023

Last evening I was honored to attend the Baseball Banquet for Jackson. He was a contributing member of the Arundel High School JV Baseball team and last evening was the recognition for the entire program, varsity and junior varsity.

He was recognized not only for his contributions to the team, but also as a scholar athlete.

It was a fun evening watching the team accept awards and accolades, from freshmen to departing seniors.  

This banquet kicked off a week of celebration. 

This morning we are off to Ethan's graduation. And the activities associated with graduating high school have already begun in earnest. 

But, last evening was devoted to Jax and baseball, and rightfully so!.

BTW, Happy D-Day!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, June 5, 2023

Monday Musings - June 5, 2023


1. And here we go. Welcome to the first Monday of June 2023. Time is flying as the year nears its midpoint. There are only 29 Mondays remaining the the year. 

Biking Odenton and Piney Orchard
Odenton, MD
June 4, 2023

2. How about them Orioles? They shook off the injury bug and won another series on the road becoming the first MLB team to post 20 road wins yesterday as they defeated the San Francisco Giants and won that series. Let's Go O's!

3. Tomorrow is the anniversary of D-Day. The political career of Florida governor Ron DeSantis is the epitome of Orbán’s “Christian democracy” come to the United States. DeSantis has imitated Orbán’s politics, striking at the principles of liberal democracy with attacks on LGBTQ Americans, abortion rights, academic freedom, and the ability of businesses to react to market forces rather than religious imperatives. Last week he told an audience that “the woke mind virus represents a war on the truth so we will wage a war on the woke. We will fight the woke in education, we will fight the woke in the corporations, we will fight the woke in the halls of congress. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. We will make woke ideology leave it to the dustbin of history; it’s gone.” (Letters from an American) I find it sad that DeSantis stole from Churchill to make his speech.

4. Woke. Definition: aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice). Why would anyone be anti-woke? Are we trying to turn the clock back to the 19th Century?

5. I managed a 10.64 mile bike ride yesterday. The temperature was a bit cool, but enjoyable. I added a new loop to my route and found another bike trail to explore the next time I head out for a ride.

6. Today in HistoryShortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He was pronounced dead a day later, on June 6, 1968.

The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former U.S. Attorney General, stepped into this breach and experienced a groundswell of support.

Oil Prices Jump After Saudi Output Cut - The Wall Street Journal

China Faces Uphill Battle as It Tries to Instill ‘Pro-Birth’ Culture - The Wall Street Journal

The network of sympathizers is carrying out acts of sabotage, and Ukraine has begun providing them with material to stage attacks - CNN

Federal investigators probing what led to fatal crash of unresponsive plane intercepted by US fighter jets near DC - CNN

A Florida woman’s car caught fire with her children inside while she allegedly shoplifted in a mall - CNN

Wagner chief says Russia lost ground around Bakhmut - Reuters

Chinese state media dismiss U.S. diplomat's Beijing visit - Reuters

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

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