Thursday, August 31, 2023

Ketchikan and Rain

From Quantum of the Seas
Ketchikan, Alaska
August 30, 2023

 We ported in Ketchikan, Alaska, yesterday under gloomy and rainy skies. The rain and gloom continued all day, but it did not dampen our spirits as we enjoyed out first shore day of the cruise. 

One exciting event occurred as we were approaching Ketchikan--a seaplane took off right alongside of the ship and right past my stateroom. I was a bit slow getting the video going because I spent time getting Chris outside to see it, but the effect is still there. It seemed very close. 

We took a tour that included a bus ride, a short boat trip, and a walking tour of the temperate rainforest also with a seafood feast. It was a four-hour excursion and one of the highlights was seeing eagles and then a very busy sea lion. We took the Exclusive Alaskan Lodge Adventure and Seafest. A comment about the excursion. We had fun, do not get me wrong, but they need to rewrite the tour description to more closely match the actual day. The boat, for example, is ill-equipped for a cold and rainy day. They provided squeegees to let us keep the condensation off the windows so we could see the wildlife and scenery. And the safest in a family-style dining room is actually on a porch exposed to the cold. 

I did, however, see eagles pretty close up and I enjoyed the stroll through the Tongass National Forest which is a temperate rainforest. 

Eagle in the River
Ketchikan, Alaska
August 30, 2023
Returning to Ketchikan, we enjoyed strolling around the town and seeing the salmon run in the creek. We were amazed at the number of salmon swimming upstream and also saw a harbor seal working the schools of salmon for lunch.

We were fairly tired once we returned to the ship.

Today we explore Sitka! I hope the excursion today is a bit better. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas nearing Sitka, Alaska

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sea Day

North Pacific Ocean Looking East towards Canada
Quantum of the Seas
August 29, 2023

 The overcast skies followed us most of the night and during the early portion of the day as our good ship, Quantum of the Seas, plied the waters heading north. The sun did break free at one point to illuminate the beautiful North Pacific Ocean, yes we were in the one point of the journey where we were in-between Puget Sound and Alaska's Inside Passage. 

We arrive this morning in Ketchikan, Alaska and the weather forecast is for rain, overcast skies, and a high of 58 degrees! And we have outdoors activities planned!

Sequins & Feathers Show
Quantum of the Seas
August 29, 2023
Our Sea Day was busy. We enjoyed a welcome reception for Royal Caribbean top tier travelers--yes, we have finally arrived in the top tiers (although at the bottom). There was also a moving salute to veterans. The afternoon saw us enjoy the hot tub for a while to melt away the aches and pains from the just a bit too hard bed.

For our evening entertainment, after dinner, we attended the show Sequins & Feathers. It was 45 minutes of bright colors, dancing, and live music including singing. It was fun to watch and was the almost perfect exclamation point for a fun and enjoyable day. 

We are looking forward to getting feet on the ground in Alaska. Although I have been fortunate to visit Alaska on a number of occasions, this will be Chris's inaugural visit to the great northern state. As I have not visited any of the places on our itinerary, I am also very excited about being in the region. 

And our ship sails on. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas off the coast of Alaska

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Seattle in the Rear View

Seattle off the Stern
Quantum of the Seas
August 28, 2023

 We are at sea headed for an exciting Alaskan adventure! 

Boarding the ship, Quantum of the Seas went as smoothly as can be expected. Really, much better than some boardings. We were enjoying our first adult beverage of the day onboard by 11:30 AM. 

Quantum of the Seas
Pier 91, Seattle, WA
August 28, 2023
Puget Sound was very calm and the seas, so far, have been flat. We are racing towards our first destination with an arrival expected tomorrow in Ketchikan, Alaska. 

Last evening as we were enjoying the atmosphere of the ship in one of the night spots onboard, they played the classic song, North to Alaska, by Johnny Horton. I was amazed how many people knew the lyrics and sang along. We had a great time becoming accustomed to the ship and the people aboard. 

Sea day today and dress-up night tonight preparing us for shore activity tomorrow. I will be wearing jeans today for the first time ever on a cruise ship as this is my first cruise not in the Caribbean!

-- Bob Doan, Pacific Ocean aboard Quantum of the Seas

Monday, August 28, 2023

Chihuly--Color, Light, Unbridled Imagination

Exhibit in Chihuly Garden and Glass
Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023

One of the places we visited during our time near the Space Needle was Chihuly Garden and Glass. We were smart and purchased a combo ticket which saved some money. The other thing we did was purchase parking in advance--that saved a fortune as well.

Part of the Persian Ceiling
Chihuly, Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023
Chihuly Garden and Glass is one place that received high recommendations from everyone who has been there. And they were right! It is a spectacular display of color and light. Walking through the indoor portion of the exhibits, I was amazed at the complexity of the glass and the high colors. The use of mirrors to assist in appreciating the art was well done.

We learned that the displays are cleaned daily with special cloths to ensure they remain as vibrant as the artist's mind envisioned them. Some of the exhibits reminded me of illustrations in a Dr Seuss story. 

Chris and I
Chihuly, Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023
The outdoor portion, the garden, was equally as amazing as the indoor exhibits. Being at the base of the Space Needle provided an opportunity for some amazing settings and images, but the glass of Chihuly actually needed no assistance in being the center attraction. 

After touring the exhibits and displays, Chris and I went inside and watched a series of short vids about Chihuly and how the creations are made. They are worth the time to watch all of them to gain a fuller appreciation for the artist and his work. 

The Chihuly Garden and Glass is a must see while in Seattle! It came highly recommended and for good reasons--it is worth the visit.

-- Bob Doan, Kent, WA

Sunday, August 27, 2023

From Atop the Space Needle

Space Needle
Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023
 It's historic--built during 1961.

And tall--605 feet in the air.

And cool. 

And the view from the top is breathtaking--really!

Chris and I visited Seattle proper yesterday and enjoyed two of the biggest attractions there: the Chihuly Glass Museum and Garden and of course the towering Space Needle. 

Chris and I at the Top
Space Needle, Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023

As the image to the right shows, it was a beautiful day for wandering around the city. 

Once we arrived at the top of the saucer, we had a great time accustoming to the view, which provided far more downward vision that, for instance, being atop the Empire State Building. I have to admit, it took a while to feel comfortable. And then there are the glass panels in the floor on the second level which allow for viewing straight down below as that floor actually moves, slowly, around the central core. 

I ultimately discovered that I really enjoyed being so high and in the open. I king of remember feeling similar standing atop the Eiffel Tower--but that was a few decades ago.

Straight Down through the Floor
Space Needle, Seattle, WA
August 26, 2023
The Space Needle caters to adults with the inclusion of bars at the top make the experience more enjoyable and, perhaps, to help calm the nerves of some of the guests. 

I fully enjoyed an IPA while viewing life outside of and down below the needle. 

I must confess that as we departed the upper floor for the lower which revolves, I did have some trepidation about stepping onto the see through glass floor. Fortunately, there are also panels which do not provide the "see through" experience. 

After a few minutes I was able to both walk onto the glass flooring and look down! I do not think I am yet ready for the glass bridge at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon!

What a glorious day and so much fun. The only negative was the line we waited in at the bottom even though we had timed entry admission. The entry process could and should be managed better. I actually overheard attendants say that they would not turn away anyone arriving in the wrong time slot because the line was so long. That discussion seemed to accept the fact that the process is poorly managed and it occurred after a patron pointed out that there were people in line over an hour early for their timed entries while those with current timed entries were still a long way from the entry. 

-- Bob Doan, Kent, Washington

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Going up the Mountain

At the Sunset Turnoff
Mt Rainier National Park
August 25, 2023

 We enjoyed a mountain top experience. 

We set our sights on Mt Rainier yesterday and checked another national park off the list. Although the day started rainy, and we departed Kent, WA, under stormy skies, by the time we arrived at the mountain the day was breaking into full sunshine. I am glad that I can read a weather radar. 

Looking Down the Valley
Mt Rainier National Park
August 25, 2023
We had a great time exploring the national park. There was so much natural beauty to see that we ended the day on overload. Well, that's not true--we reveled in every new vista. And images--we took so many images and yesterday was only day one of our almost two-week trip. 

But then who is complaining? Certainly not me. If every day of our trip is as inspiring and beautiful as yesterday, well, then we will have enjoyed the perfect vacation. Wait--is it still a vacation when we are retired? What would we be vacationing from? Hmmmm.

Tree Snot
Mt Rainier National Park
August 25, 2023
And in the funny item of the day, I discovered tree snot! Yup. 

What, you ask, is tree snot? I am not sure. It was just hanging there on a tree branch. Fortunately, it was not dripping.

From the Today I Learned (TIL) department. The tallest trees in the forest are Douglas fir. The same trees that many people decorate for Christmas. And not only that, I also learned that the only trees that grow taller are the giant sequoias. Really cool! And they are tall!

-- Bob Doan, Kent, WA

Friday, August 25, 2023

Chasing the Sunset

Chasing the Sunset
AS 517 Over the US
August 24, 2024

 Chris and I took an afternoon/evening flight from Ft Lauderdale to Seattle last evening. 

It was a scheduled over 6-hour flight that thankfully lasted only about 5h30m and it was on Alaska Airlines--with whom I have flown before. The flight was great and I have to say that the passengers on Alaska Airlines seem to have a better understanding of the rules and methodology for loading and unloading an aircraft than those on Southwest. Things went smoothly. 

Sunset Over America
AS 517
August 24, 2023
It was a great flight and for the last part of the trip we were chasing the sunset. The scene outside the aircraft was changing colors and beauty. I had to capture some of the scenes. It has been quite a while since I have enjoyed watching a sunset from an aircraft.

And not for the not so good part. SeaTac, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is a mess! Especially trying to retrieve luggage and get a rental car. I have never, and I mean never, been confronted with so much chaos and inefficiency. The actual rental car pick-up was good, once we got there--but still a confusing process with poorly designed instructions. It worked out because I got upgraded for free when I stopped at the kiosk for help.

And so the adventure begins!

-- Bob Doan, Kent, WA

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Riordin Update

 Amazingly, the cat who once came back after being lost for six days, came back once again.

Riordin in the Pelican Room
Tequesta, FL
August 13, 2023
Riordin spent the night at the St Francis Animal Clinic. The vet called yesterday and told us that he had recovered from the massive asthma attack and was eating and drinking and doing the functions that eating and drinking cause. He was perky and ready to come home.

I was in shock. But he was great yesterday after we arrived home with him. He ate like he was starving--which he was and he drank lots of water to rehydrate. He is on a new steroid treatment and we no longer have to give him the albuterol treatments in the torture chamber. I call it a torture chamber but in reality he actually has adopted it as one of his favorite places to hang-out and sleep.

It was nice to have my cat back at a near normal level. I am worried, however, because during the night he began to have some difficulty breathing again, but that has settled and we will see how he does after his morning dose of steroids. 

It is good to have Riordin back home!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Long Road


Tequesta, FL
August 22, 2023

Welcome to Hump Day!

Oh wait, that's right, I'm retired and I don't really celebrate hump days any more. Sadly. I always kind of enjoyed helping coworkers over the hump of the week. 

My mid-week is going to be filled with preparations for travel. The reservations have been made and we even selected the food we wanted on the plane. It has been a while since I flew on Alaska Airlines and they allow food to be ordered and paid for in advance. Since it is a six-hour flight right through the dinner hour, we need food. 

I will also be determining the future of Riordin. He spent the night in the animal hospital and is not doing well. They are trying a "Hail Mary" treatment for his asthma to bring him around, but I was told the chances were slim. He lost about 15 percent of his body weight while we were in New York last week and has stopped eating and drinking.

It could be a sad day by the time it ends. 

But, when I looked into his eyes yesterday before deciding upon the treatment option, I saw he still had fight in them. 

Regardless, tomorrow will begin a new adventure!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Getting Back


Getting back into the swing of life after being away takes time and effort. 

After the unpacking and the wash are done, then there is time for life to resume.

In our case it also means packing for the next adventure. We leave Thursday for Seattle and an Alaskan cruise. Turns out the weather will be very different between Seattle and the Alaskan coastal cities. 

Hopefully, we will have a great time. We have been planning this trip since Christmas--and it is finally upon us!


I wonder what important thing I will forget?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, August 21, 2023

Monday Musings - August 21, 2023


1. Wow, it is Monday all over again. It is the third Monday of August and there are only 18 Mondays remaining in the year. 

AL East Standings
Games through August 20, 2023

2. How about them Os? A great west coast road trip just ended which saw them go 6-3 culminating with a stunning sweep of the As. The Orioles are now 30 games above .500. They are playing solid baseball as a team and are hopefully preparing to close out the season. It will be a fight the remainder of the way as Tampa remains just 3 games behind. I do notice that the Yankees have apparently stopped playing baseball. 

Jeremy, Me, Mike
Elm Tree Golf Course, Cortland, NY
August 19, 2023

3. It was fun to be back on the golf course Saturday with my favorite golfing buddies Jeremy and Mike. We haven't been playing together much the past couple years and being together, even on different teams, was fun.

4. I find it amazing that North Korea attacks the water every time they want to protest something that the U.S. is doing in the region. 

5. Chris and I had a fantastic travel experience during our most recent journey. Both flights were early departing and arriving. Additionally, we had no ground delays and the return flight to PBI yesterday was pleasantly no full so that we had a seat between us. It was a big change from our previous flights which were delayed and over-full. 

6. Is anyone else concerned that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution may play a huge role in the upcoming presidential elections? 

7. Today in History. August 21, 1959. The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting (Native spelling: Hawai‘i) into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands’ sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters occupied the islands and brought about massive changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

Hilary moves through Southwest with 'historic amount of rainfall'  - CNN

Trump’s expected Georgia surrender and debate no-show shatter campaign conventionality - CNN

Electric cars are breaking sales records, but here’s why they’re not replacing gas cars anytime soon - CNN

Russia says F-16s will escalate Ukraine war - Reuters

North Korea's Kim directs cruise missile test as South Korea, US begin drills - Reuters

Iranian delegation arrives in Moscow to discuss ground forces cooperation -TASS - Reuters

Rates in China Cut Again, but by Less Than Expected - The Wall Street Journal

Florida Teachers Are on Edge Over History and Gender-Identity Policies - The Wall Street Journal

How Ukraine is exploiting Biden’s cluster bomb gamble - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, August 20, 2023

8th Annual

Chris at the Hole we Sponsor
Elm Tree Golf Course, Cortland, NY
August 19, 2023

 Yesterday, Chris and I played in the 8th Annual Troy Whittemore Classic golf tournament. The tournament is conducted in memory of my nephew, Troy Whittemore, who was taken from us at age 23 by cancer and the proceeds are used to fund a scholarship awarded to high school seniors usually from Ithaca High School.

The Sponsor Sign
8th Annual Troy Whittemore Classic
Chris and I had a good time at the tournament and it was a solid way to end a very emotional week in Ithaca remembering Chris's sister Jodie, with a memorial service on Friday and the tournament on Saturday.

We sponsor a hole at the tournament. This was the first year that Chris actually played. The family had two teams in the tournament with 5 first time players between the two teams of 4. Needless to say, but we did not win or even come close. I was lucky enough to land a drive on a par 3 green on one of the contests. Only 5 players of the 92 in the tournament actually landed their ball on that green--so I was pretty excited to be in the 50-50 par 3 raffle--but did not win the over $300 prize.

We are safely back home in Florida enjoying the warmth. It was cool to cold in Central New York!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, August 18, 2023

The Ski Slope

Greek Peak
Cortland, NY
August 17, 2023

 The Maryland part of our family arrived yesterday and we gathered at a house near the major ski area in the region: Greek Peak. I must say, I prefer ski slopes in the summer because there is no snow and less crowds. Of course, I don't ski and therefore I really do not appreciate ski slopes and mountains. But they are beautiful in the summer. 

The location is a bit remote. It is a 15 minute drive to the nearest significant village with services, like gas and groceries. The scenery is great to look at and it is quiet, although it rained last evening and everything is very wet this morning so I am not sitting outside enjoying the dawn. But at least it is not raining. We will be golfing tomorrow in the annual tournament for our nephew, Troy. Today is a memorial service for Chris's sister, Jodie. I wish were were gathering for more celebratory reasons.

-- Bob Doan, Cortland, NY

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Enjoying the Natural Beauty

Taughannock Falls
Ulysses, NY
August 16, 2023

 Ithaca has a slogan:

Ithaca is Gorges!

And it is! There are numerous gorges with waterfalls in the immediate area and they are fun to explore. 

Yesterday we managed to visit one of the the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi: Taughannock Falls. The water makes an impressive 215 foot drop to the pool below nestled deep within a gorge. It is one of the signature waterfalls of the region. It may not be as spectacular as some of the waterfalls along the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon, but Taughannock is definitely in the league of awe-inspiring waterfalls. 

Sailboat on Cayuga Lake
Ithaca, NY
August 16, 2023
And of course there are the lakes, the Finger Lakes, to enjoy in the area. We are closest to Cayuga Lake, the second largest of the Finger Lakes. Ithaca sits at the southern end of the lake and the beautiful summer days have been making me dream of boating. Last evening we were are dinner and had a view of the lake and the boats. I enjoyed watching the lake activity while I was also reveling in the pleasant weather which allowed us to dine outside. 

The day was the last relaxed day as activity ramps to a fever pitch today and through Sunday when Chris and I make our return to Florida. I am glad that we were able to enjoy the scenery and local natural beauty. 

-- Bob Doan, Ithaca, NY

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Escape to the Wineries


Wine Tasting
Sheldrake Point Winery, Ovid, NY
August 15, 2023

We did it!

Yesterday, Chris, Nicole, and I managed to escape for a few hours and visit the three closest wineries. It was a grand afternoon.

One of the wineries, the closest, we had never visited and we had a very good time. It was fun to talk with the owner, founder, and winemaker all in the form of the same person. She has established a well designed small farm winery. The winery, Bet the Farm Winery, is a fun and enjoyable place to visit. The wines are solid offerings and the 2021 Lemburger stood out as a solid New York red wine. 

As it turned out, the other two wineries we visited are both for sale. They are also repeat favorites and we have been members of both at some point in the past. 

Sheldrake Point Winery and Americana Winery are both for sale, but their wines were tasting very well. I had the Riesling flight at Sheldrake Point and they were all very nice. The tasting was fun and enjoyable. It is always better to visit mid-week.

Americana was tasting well also. Their wines continue to run the gamut including a number of blueberry wines, but the redesigned tasting allows for sampling the wines paired with munchies and fudge. 

The wine tasting success of the day, however, goes to Bet the Farm. It was a traditional wine tasting at the bar and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the owner/winemaker about the wines and her interpretation of the grapes. I had fun.

I still do not appreciate tasting wines in flights alone at a small table with no interaction with the staff.

OK, do not fret. I am not considering buying a winery. A wise person once noted, How do you make a small fortune? Start with a large one and open a winery.

-- Bob Doan, Ithaca, NY

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

August Summer Day

Summertime Flowers
Ithaca, NY
August 14, 2023

 I am enjoying a cool mid-Summer in Ithaca. And when I say cool, I mean cool. Having escaped from the low-90s of Florida. I am enjoying the high-70s of Upstate New York. Twenty degrees makes a huge difference. 

The skies were as overcast yesterday as I remember. Today will being rain most of the day. Yup, it is summertime in Ithaca, NY.

I have to admit, it is a radical change from Florida where the daytime temperatures are hitting 95 degrees and the heat index is reaching up to 110 degrees. It makes being outside almost unbearable. But, mid-70s is cold.

Well, if I think this is bad, in about two weeks Chris and I will be in Alaska where the daytime highs are in the 60's. 

I guess I can consider this a respite from a hot summer!

-- Bob Doan, Ithaca, NY

Monday, August 14, 2023

Monday Musings - August 14, 2023


1. Welcome to the second Monday of August! There are but two remaining Mondays in the month and just 19  Mondays remaining in the year!

2. What a travel day it was. Our flight from Palm Beach International to Baltimore was short and efficient. Although the place was packed, we departed early and arrived very early. We did not have to wait on the tarmac for a gate and the entire boarding and deplaning process was very smooth. The only problem? Retrieving checked baggage in Baltimore continues to be a very negative experience. The drive from Baltimore to Ithaca was smooth and enjoyable.  

AL East Standing
As of games through August 13, 2023

3. Orioles Baseball! Listening to the game yesterday during the drive, it was a game where each run and every play was important. The Orioles prevailed during the 10th inning after the relief corps almost let another one get away with a blown save in the 9th inning. But two runs, compliments of a Cedric Mullins homer, in the 10th sealed the win. Not to mention a spectacular home run robbing play by the same Cedric Mullins in the 9th inning.

4. Driving through the area from Baltimore to the Southern Tier of New York, I was reminded of how pretty and inviting the hills are when they are robed in the green of the trees. It was a great ride and seeing the Finger Lakes again brought me back to my childhood home.

5. Today in History. A major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada on August 14, 2003. Beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Although power companies were able to resume some service in as little as two hours, power remained off in other places for more than a day. The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports. In New York City, it took more than two hours for passengers to be evacuated from stalled subway trains. Small business owners were affected when they lost expensive refrigerated stock. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas. There were even some reports of people being stranded mid-ride on amusement park roller coasters. At the New York Stock Exchange and bond market, though, trading was able to continue thanks to backup generators.

Dozens of news organizations condemn police raid on Kansas newspaper - CNN

Lawsuit alleges electric power lines blown over during high winds led to wildfire spread - CNN

Another criminal indictment would further divert an unparalleled election season from the campaign trail into multiple courtrooms - CNN

Russian rouble tumbles, Kremlin blames loose monetary policy - Reuters

Russia's Far East suffers flooding in Khanun's wake, over 2,500 people evacuated - Reuters

Taiwan will not back down to threats, Taiwan VP says on US trip - Reuters

China’s Worsening Economy Is Hurting Corporate America - The Wall Street Journal

Made a Nice Profit Selling Your House? Beware What Happens Next - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Ithaca, NY

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Travel Day Again

Christmas Morning Travel
Elkridge, MD
December 25, 2022

 It is a travel day, again. 

Fortunately this morning we will not be on the highway to start the day, but rather end the day. 

We have a late morning flight followed by a five-hour drive should get us back to Ithaca. 

It is going to be a very tough week which will culminate in the 8th Annual Troy Whittemore Golf Tournament in Cortland, NY, before we begin our journey home.

We travel a lot, but it seems to be less and less on vacations. We do have an upcoming cruise--but this coming week stands squarely in front of the cruise. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, August 12, 2023

The Stool

Teak Shower Stool Refinished
Tequesta, FL
August 12, 2023

 Chris and I have a stool in our shower. 

It came with the house, but it has been a nice addition to the shower, not that we use it it as stool, but rather more as a gathering place for all of the shower-related items we use on a regular basis. 

The problem was that the finish on the chair was deteriorating. Badly. It was making the floor tile discolored.

Chris wanted to dispose of the chair, but after looking at the problem I determined that with a light sanding and the application of a new finish it could be salvaged. And, frankly, I didn't know where we were going to be able to store all of the stuff we use in the shower. So I had a project and over the past two days, I refinished the stool and it is happily reinstalled in our shower. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, August 11, 2023

Friday - Riordin Update

Riordin Relaxing
Tequesta, FL
August 11, 2023

 And so the weekend is almost here. 


The week has passed so quickly.

Chris and I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon at the vet's office trying to get Riordin's asthma under control. We have been giving him daily albuterol treatments, but he didn't seem to be getting the asthma under control. The vet reassured us that the treatments are working and that his lungs are clear, but asthma is going to be the new way of life for Riordin. The vet gave him a steroid shot and a B-12 shot, which really seemed to have helped. 

We had noticed that Riordin was beginning, again, to become a solitary cat. He normally likes to be around. The shots seem to have helped, as he was more normal last evening. Fortunately, he continues to eat well. We have a lot of travel coming in the next weeks. We will be gone three of the next four weeks. I am hopeful that the people we have watching him will be able to keep the treatments going. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Around the Island

St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant
From Atlantic Ocean
August 9, 2023

 One way to escape the oppressive heat is to be on the water where there is a breeze and, if underway, the breeze can be very strong.

Yesterday's adventure on the water included motoring around Hutchinson Island. We motored out to the ocean and headed north. It was my first time one the ocean since receiving my offshore certification. Fortunately, the day was calm, calmer than the forecast. I had hoped that we might see dolphins or turtles in the water--but sadly it was not to be. 

The trip from St Lucie Inlet to the Ft Pearce Inlet on the ocean was uneventful. We stopped to enjoy the view of the nuclear power plant. It is along a lonely stretch of road, but it can be seen from both the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) sides of the island. 

Entering the ICW through the Ft Pearce Inlet, the water got a bit rough as there were storm clouds in sight. Chris was concerned about the possibility of getting caught in a storm, but we had little we could do about it. In the end we did not blunder into a storm and as we motored south towards our home marina, the weather cleared and we stopped at a small uninhabited island for lunch and some relaxing downtime. 

Small Island, Indian River, FL
August 9, 2023

Anchoring just offshore we decided to enjoy lunch and rehydrate. We heard a low screech and saw an osprey sitting on a dead tree surveying its domain. I decided to get an image of the bird as it remained there for most of the time we were anchored.

We managed to be in the area as the tide changed and I learned a valuable lesson about ensuring the anchors are set well. The stern anchor, which was keeping us off the beach, gave way and I wound up pushing the boat off the sand into deep enough water to start the engine and allow the propeller to get enough water to get us away form the island. It was a good learning experience. 

All during the day, we enjoyed being outdoors because of the breeze and shade on the boat. The heat index hit 115 degrees yesterday, it was reported, but we were still able to enjoy being outside and not cooped up in air conditioned comfort. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The River


Crab in the River
North Fork, Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
August 8, 2023
I managed a 16.5 mile ride yesterday, before the heat became too oppressive. It was nothing special, except for my stop on the bridge in Tequesta which passes over the North Fork of the Loxahatchee River.
Looking South over
North Fork of Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
August 8, 2023

The river was flat and inviting. I looked down into the water and found that despite the heat above, the river was full of life. I normally see needlefish and other small baitfish, but yesterday there was a fairly good-sized crab working the shallows.

There were also some larger fish in the area which I enjoyed watching. 

I make the stop on the bridge a regular water break. I love to watch the different characters that the river shows. And, just a few weeks ago, Chris and I were boating right at the entrance to the North Fork. We would have motored up the river, however, we were concerned about the dark clouds gathering between where we were in the river and our marina about an hour-and-a-half away.  

There is always something to enjoy about the river. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Beating the Heat

 The excessive heat has returned. 

Yesterday we capped out at 93 degrees, but the heat index was about 106 degrees.

Reports from the beach indicate that the sand is too hot!

Excessive heat warning! And they mean excessive!

Starting the day at 81 means nothing cooled overnight.

So today is gonna be a hot one!

I need to get out on my bike early and we are probably not gonna play golf. Chris wilts in the heat. 

Happy Tuesday!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, August 7, 2023

Monday Musings - August 7, 2023


1. The first Monday of August is here. My favorite month of the year (July) has passed and now we are running headlong toward the end of the year. There are just 20 Mondays remaining in 2023.

AL East Standings
Games through August 6, 2023

2. The Orioles continue their fantastic season. The weekend sweep of the Mets, my favorite team as I was growing up, provided the O's with a 3 game lead in the AL East and gave them their 70th win of the season. 

3. I am still reeling from the loss to Sweden by the Women's National Team. Hopefully, they will emerge stronger from the ashes of disappointment.

4. Update on Riordin. He is doing better. He receives daily albuterol treatments and has more good than bad moments. 

5. The weather in South Florida continues to be HOT! The stress index hits 105-110 nearly every day. But, I am getting in my morning bike rides. I managed just over 20 miles yesterday.

6. Today in History. On August 7, 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. 

The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit.”

Trump seeks to destroy credibility of his election subversion trial - CNN

Woman detained in connection to plot to assassinate Zelensky, Ukraine security service says - CNN

International backlash grows after Chinese vessel fires water cannon on Philippine boats - CNN

Exclusive: North Korean hackers breached top Russian missile maker - Reuters

Ukraine says U.S and German air defence systems 'highly effective' - Reuters

us-scientists-repeat-fusion-power-breakthrough - Reuters

Russia and China Sent Large Naval Patrol Near Alaska - The Wall Street Journal

The Two-Year Slide That Ended U.S. Women’s Soccer Dynasty - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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