Thursday, November 30, 2023

'Tis the Season

The Dining Room Ready for the Season
Tequesta, FL
November 30, 2023

 The turkeys and all remembrances of the harvest season are gone and we are full bore into Christmas. 

The tree is up and much of the house has been Christmasfied! Yup. The season has changed and with it not only the decorations but all of the art in out house. We have a complete set of holiday art that replaces our birds and beach-themed wall hangings. We do have some seasonal birds, mostly geese in the snow.

But, we are not done!

We are only half complete and today is Snow Village day. I will install the Snow Village pieces that we retained during the downsizing of last year into the display case and potentially elsewhere as deemed appropriate. 

It is, after all, the holiday season.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Surviving Air Travel

BWI Terminal C
Baltimore, MD
November 28, 2023

 We came, we saw, we made it home. 

It was not very bad for a post holiday travel. The airport was not empty, but it was not crowded either. The jet owe flew home was full--but then they are always full it seems. 

The Southwest desk was pleasantly empty, but processing for the flight still took a lot of time because we travel with a service animal. Thankfully, we arrived early for our flight.

It was cold in Baltimore as we departed and we looked forward to warm South Florida temperatures. It was in the 70s when we arrived at West Palm Beach. Yay. And palm trees!

I do have some feedback for Southwest, however. Loading and unloading the passengers on the aircraft has become a nightmare. There are multitudes of wheel chair and pre-board passengers. The problem is that they are slow, which is why they need pre boarding--but then they sit in the very front of the aircraft. That makes getting out of the plane an equally slow process. Perhaps the wheelchair and pre-board passengers could be seated in the rear of the aircraft. I know it seems harsh, but putting the them in the rear would allow for boarding of other passengers while they are getting seated. There are also two restrooms at the rear--a convenience issue for many. Having them in the rear would allow for faster unloading of passengers and then allow the wheelchair passengers to receive debarkation assistance without slowing the entire process. 

One other comment from yesterday's flight. The captain had the seatbelt sign on for nearly the entire flight and at least the last 1h30m. The captain and first officer were both able to use the restroom facility--but passengers were not supposed to leave their seats to do likewise. Maybe a bit more consideration for the self-loading cargo.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tuesday Travel

 Chris and I are at the end of our Thanksgiving visit to Maryland. 

It is sad to be leaving family and friends, but more moderate temperatures await us in Florida. And we will be there for three warmer weeks until returning for the final push to Christmas. 

I had planned this trip to occur just before and just after the traditional travel dates for the holiday so hopefully the airport will not be a disaster. 

We are supposed to fly when we return, but I am beginning to think about driving since we will need to rent a car when we return. I would not attempt a straight through event, but even adding in hotels I think it will be less expensive for us to drive. It is definitely a point of discussion. 

Well, here is for good flying from Southwest!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, November 27, 2023

Monday Musings - November 27, 2023


1. And it has arrived--the last Monday of November leaving just four Mondays remaining in the year. Christmas is exactly four weeks away!

Nicole's Christmas Tree Arriving
Odenton, MD
November 26, 2023

2. Family NFL Report. The family teams did as good as possible during the long series of games beginning on Thursday. They went 3-1, but two of the teams were playing each other.

Cowboys (8-3) shot-up Commanders (4-8), 45-10

Steelers (7-4) outlasted Bengals (5-6), 16-10

Ravens (9-3) held-off Chargers (4-7), 20-10

Dolphins (8-3) swam past Jets (4-7), 34-13

3. Christmas trees are abounding. Yesterday, Nicole's Christmas tree arrived and was decorated. It was a family event and nearly everyone participated. The Christmas season is off and running. 

4. It is amazing how time flies at the holidays. Fast! Tomorrow is a travel day back to Florida for three weeks of warmth and then we return for Christmas and New Years! Wow!

5. Today in HistoryOn November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of “Deus vult!” or “God wills it!”

Born Odo of Lagery, Urban was a protege of the great reformer Pope Gregory VII. Like Gregory, he made internal reform his main focus, railing against simony (the selling of church offices) and other clerical abuses prevalent during the Middle Ages. Urban showed himself to be an adept and powerful cleric, and when he was elected pope in 1088, he applied his statecraft to weakening support for his rivals, notably Clement III.

A US Navy ship responded to a distress call from a commercial tanker. Then ballistic missiles were fired toward it - CNN

15-year-old Pennsylvania boy faces first-degree murder charge in shooting of a homeless man - CNN

4-year-old Israeli American released from captivity as an orphan - CNN

Human Rights Watch says rocket misfire likely cause of deadly Gaza hospital blast - Reuters

March against antisemitism draws 50,000 in London - Reuters

Three dead as storm hits Crimea and Russia's Black Sea coast - Reuters

Negotiators Work to Extend Israel-Hamas Truce - The Wall Street Journal

Investors See Interest-Rate Cuts Coming Soon - The Wall Street Journal

Her last puppy died in the D.C. day care flood. Her new one just got stolen. - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, November 26, 2023

That's What Saturdays are for


I did nothing of value yesterday. 

Amazing. I only left the house once and that was to take Chris to the store to get carrots for the fantastic turkey soup she made. 

What did I do?

I watched college football games. Yes, I was happy that Michigan won. It was one of the best played games that I h ave watched this season. Two very good teams in a pitched battle against each other. That game was always hanging in the balance.

And after that, I enjoyed a couple campy Christmas movies. 

It was a lazy day. I'm guessing that everyone needs a lazy day on occasion, especially at the start of the Christmas crush!

Today will be much busier, of that I am sure. 

Here's hoping that you get to enjoy a lazy day, soon!

--  Bob Doan. Odenton, MD

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Black Friday Tales

 I apparently have survived Black Friday. 

Axis and Allies as the game begins
Odenton, MD
November 24, 2023
First, from the Axis and Allies front, you should begin learning either German of Japanese. My partner and I failed to save the world. We played the allies. It was a difficult day for us as Russia fell quickly and the UK and USA could not coordinate their activities. At one point the Japanese briefly held San Francisco--and if you know anything about the game there is no way that should happen. Thank goodness it was but a game and not reality.

The leftovers were great! Especially the Apple pie, which I did not get a chance to sample on Thanksgiving.

Happy Hour at or son's house was fun. We watched the last quarter of the NFL Black Friday game where the Dolphins crushed the Jets and then sang along to an impromptu Garth Brooks concert that was live from his new bar in Nashville. We are huge Garth fans.

I confess, I did not purchase anything either online or from a brick and mortar store yesterday. Does that put me in the minority of Americans?

And now the weekend is upon us. I am feeling like Christmas decorations will soon be retrieved from the storage room.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, November 24, 2023

Black Friday 2023


Shoppers, start your computers or engines. The time has arrived to break open the piggy bank and hit the stores, be they online or brick and mortar. 

Today is also the day we gather to play Axis and Allies. It is a day when most of the leftovers are consumed along with some adult beverages. Today's field of players is smaller than in past years, but it should be a lot of fun. The women will shop and the guys will play games. That seems to be exactly how it is supposed to be. 

It is great that we have traditions associated with the holiday. I know that many of us look forward to the game, although we rarely finish the contest because it takes over an hour per turn. But it is fun!

I hope that whatever your holiday traditions may be that you enjoy them and are with friends and family.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wherever you may be, take a moment to reflect upon the blessings you have received this year. I know, it may be hard in the face of tragedy and loss, but there are blessings to remember. 

I hope that you can gather with family and friends to celebrate and reflect. 

Here are my football predictions for the day:

Lions over Packers by 7

Cowboys over Commanders by 10

Seahawks over 49ers by 2

If my record holds, I will be 0-3

Happy Thanksgiving!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Holiday in the Rain

Ready for Christmas
Turf Valley Town Square, MD
November 21, 2023

 I experienced the rain yesterday. It arrived right on schedule and remained through the entire day making driving a lot of fun, especially last night coming back from Ellicott City. 

Chris and I enjoyed Happy Hour with friends and outside the restaurant was their Christmas fireplace and chairs. The only problem was that they were wet. Very wet. A nostalgic scene drowned by the rain. This morning seems nicer, no rain but cold.

Thanksgiving is upon us. 

I wish you and your family the joys of being together and giving thanks for blessings. I know many of us carry hurt and pain, but focus on the living and those we are with while remembering those who have gone on ahead of us and be thankful for the time they were with us.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Preparing for the Rain

Weather Radar 7:35 AM
November 21, 2023

 Apparently, the region is going to received a drought-ending rain soaking during the next two days. I admit I was amazed at the low water level in the storm water collection pond. I remember earlier in the year watching families of Canada Geese in the water, and the water level was much higher.

The rain has not yet arrived, but it is clear from the current weather radar that it will arrive soon. And be everywhere.

I really did not realize the this area was experiencing dry and near drought conditions. Being so close to the Chesapeake I wonder how that could happen. Upon further reading however, I discovered that the smoke from the Canadian fires, which are still not extinguished, affected the rain quantities. Some of the fires are expected to burn through the winter and continue to be a problem next year. 

Well, as for today, I guess I will be confined mostly inside. 

That is not a bad thing, it just is.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, November 20, 2023

Monday Musings - November 20, 2023

1. Welcome to the third Monday of November. There are just five Mondays remaining in 2023! That is truly a scary thought. I am definitely not ready for Christmas, or Thanksgiving for that matter.

2. Family NFL Report. It was another mixed results week with the family teams going 2-2 again.

Commanders (4-7) lost to Giants (3-8), 19-31

Cowboys (7-3) handled Giants (1-9), 33-10

Steelers (6-4) came up short against Browns (7-3), 10-13

Ravens (8-3) smoked Bengals (5-5), 34-20

Dolphins (7-3) got past Raiders (5-6), 20-13

Out the Back Window
Tanyard Shores, Glen Burnie, MD
November 20, 2023

3. This morning I woke up in Glen Burnie after a day of football and celebrating with family. We had a great time. I looked out the back window just as the sun was rising on the construction of the over-55 homes. It was an interesting scene against the colorful sky. 

4. Spin management. I think that the spin management SpaceX is doing over their recent rocket failure is amazing. I don't think they actually have admitted it failed--it just came up a bit short on the flight's objectives, but we still learned a lot. Yup, about how to fail and not admit it.

5. This is news, why? One headline (copied below) from the The Wall Street Journal this morning is about Travis and Taylor. This headline appeared top be above the fold. Why?

6. Today in HistoryTwenty-four high-ranking Nazis go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during World War II beginning on November 20, 1945.

The Nuremberg trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace, to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member, presided over the proceedings, which lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.

On October 1, 1946, 12 architects of Nazi policy were sentenced to death. Seven others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life, and three were acquitted. Of the original 24 defendants, one, Robert Ley, committed suicide while in prison, and another, Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, was deemed mentally and physically incompetent to stand trial. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Heinrich Himmler, leader of the Gestapo; Alfred Jodl, head of the German armed forces staff; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior.

On October 16, 1946, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged. Goering, who at sentencing was called the “leading war aggressor and creator of the oppressive program against the Jews,” committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia (but is now believed to have died in May 1945). Trials of lesser German and Axis war criminals continued in Germany into the 1950s and resulted in the conviction of 5,025 other defendants and the execution of 806.

IDF takes CNN to tunnel shaft near Gaza hospital. Here’s what we saw - CNN

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has died - CNN

SpaceX loses megarocket in second test flight - CNN

Nasdaq leads Wall St higher as Microsoft hits record high - Reuters

Trump gag order appeal faces skeptical reception in US court - Reuters

US defense chief Austin visits Kyiv as questions swirl over aid to Ukraine - Reuters

Travis Kelce Opens Up About Taylor Swift and What Comes Next - The Wall Street Journal

The Era of Total U.S. Submarine Dominance Over China Is Ending - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Walk in the Leaves

Old Roadbed
Odenton, MD
November 18, 2023

 We do it almost daily, walk the dogs. Well, in Florida we only have one dog now--but Finn gets walked every day and sometimes multiple times per day. While we are visiting, we have the added fun of walking Lily, one of Nicole's dog. That means that we each get to walk a dog!

Trees along the walk
Odenton, MD
November 18, 2023
We generally walk the same route. The dogs know the route and so they also enjoy walking. Yesterday, however, the route was very different than when we last walked it during June. Autumn happened. And while peak is well behind us, Chris and I still marveled at the colors of the leaves having just arrived from nearly perpetual green Florida. It was also chilly. No, it was cold! I had two shirts and a coat on and was still cold. I am not fully prepared for a cold wind to slap my face, I am more used to hot and humid breezes.

We enjoyed the walk and the bright autumnal scenery. It was a change from Florida and added some spice to our lives. 

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Where Am I, Today?

Where Am I?
Odenton, MD
November 18, 2023
 I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away!

The holiday season has just about arrived! Well, given the level of decorating that I have already witnessed, it has arrived. I do so enjoy the palm trees wrapped in lights! 

Finn Trying to Sleep on the Plane
Somewhere Over the East Coast
November 17, 2023
Yesterday, however, Chris and I along with Finn departed the warmth of South Florida and journeyed north to Maryland for Thanksgiving. We were treated to a nice flight along the Chesapeake and beautiful scenery just before landing. The rusts of the final autumn colors greeted us. Of course, there was not a palm tree in sight! 

Regarding the holiday travel--we were lucky. I think we beat the big rush, although the plane was completely full. We did not experience any unusual delays. Southwest, however, does need to figure out how to get everyone seated before the door close time. People were still getting onboard at the designated time to pull away from the terminal. 

But we are here, complete with rental car--and I will not even begin to write about that broken process. 

So bring on the turkeys!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, November 17, 2023

Neil Diamond Tribute Band


David Jericko as Neil Diamond
Lyric, Stuart, FL
November 16, 2023

It was concert night. We went to a see a Neil Diamond tribute band performance at the Lyric in Stuart, FL.

It was a windy and stormy evening, but that did not take any energy away from the crowd or the band. 

The band, Solitary Man: A Tribute to Neil Diamond, provided a solid two hour show, with a break, and played Neil Diamond hits all night. 

The Lyric is an intimate venue and the band filled the house with Neil Diamond tunes all night. David Jericko does a good job as Neil Diamond, and I have seen Neil in concert multiple times. The band encouraged the audience to participate and sing along although some of the concert-goers perhaps got into the night a bit too much, which is not a bad thing; just distracting. 

I was touched by couple of the songs, one in particular, America. I was torn singing these great lyrics about how America is the shining star for immigrants, yet against the current political backdrop that is no longer true. The lyrics say:


To a new and a shiny place

Make our bed and we'll say our grace

Freedom's light burning warm

Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world

Somehow, I don't believe we are the shiny place that welcomes immigrants trying to escape from a dismal life anymore. 

But, all of that aside, the band was great and I took a video of them doing the song Desiree to remember them by.

It was a great night and I recommend seeing this tribute band if you like Neil Diamond's music.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Wind and Rain

Storm through the Screen
Tequesta, FL
November 15, 2023

 The news media is calling our overnight local weather "like a nor'easter."

The winds were hitting tropical storm strength last night and the rain pummeled the earth. Yesterday, we were mostly trapped inside to avoid the wind and rain. 

Debris from the Storm
Tequesta, FL
November 16, 2023
Last evening, I took an image of the senior living facility through rain droplets clinging to our patio screen. It shows what we were dealing with all day. This morning, I imaged our sidewalk and the debris from the overnight windstorm. Fortunately we still have a blower and as soon as the winds die and the place dries out we will blow off the sidewalk.

We are headed to a concert in a theater tonight and I have dinner reservations at one of our favorite restaurants in Stuart. I originally booked them for outdoors on their beautiful deck overlooking the St Lucie River, but due to the expected winds and rain I have moved the reservation to an indoors table. 

The storm is supposed to end today and Friday should be nice weather, which is good because we will be departing the relative warmth of Florida for the colder and more autumnal Maryland. 

Well, at least the holiday has not been blown away!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Down the Path

Along the Path 
Riverbend Park, Jupiter, FL
November 10, 2023

I have walked a few paths during the past week as Chris and I have been out exploring and finding new things to see and do. 

The well marked dirt-packed paths of Riverbend Park were fun to walk and I am excited about getting back there soon to check out the large park on my bike. The stunning Florida wild landscape along the river is a thing of beauty. It allows me to escape the business of the urbanized areas in which I live and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Path through the Mangroves
Juno Beach, FL
November 12, 2023
Even on Sunday, as we were walking along busy Ocean Blvd, I spied a quiet and secluded path through the mangroves to the ocean. I had to walk down it to see the ocean. Although the color at the at the end of the path is white in the image, it was really a blue ocean. Down the step and onto the beach and then to be potentially immersed in the then calm waters of the Atlantic. It was a calming mental image.

Escaping the craziness. Down a path into a different world for a few minutes or hours of peace.

Find a path.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Moving the Season Along

Sunrise Through the Screen
Tequesta, FL
November 14, 2023
Tuesday has arrived. I realized that I only have three more days to awaken in my own bed before heading north for the Thanksgiving holiday. I think Chris and I will pack our turkey decorations up before we leave so that we have a clean slate for Christmas when we return. It is hard to believe that Christmas in upon us and I need to begin thinking about putting up the Christmas tree. 

Riordin in a Christmas Wreath
Elkridge, MD
November 30, 2019
It will be strange not having Riordin around to bat at the balls on the tree or to push the Polar Express off its tracks this Christmas. He really loved Christmas and I think it was one of his favorite times of the year. I can still see him sleeping in the decorations and getting into the empty boxes. He loved boxes and checking out the decorations. At least I don't have to worry about how many stinkbugs have managed to find their way into the decorations this year. Those dirty bugs seemed to find a way to get into everything.

But, next up is Turkey Day! And I am excited about seeing family and friends. And eating turkey, playing Axis and Allies, and watching football, did I mention football?

I hope that the government does not shut down and really make a disaster out of the holidays. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, November 13, 2023

Monday Musings - November 13, 2023


1. The three-day weekend is over and the slide into Thanksgiving is beginning. This is the second Monday of November and there are just two Mondays remaining in the month. There are only six Mondays remaining in the year. In seven short weeks 2023 will be in the history books. 

2. Programming note: Six weeks from today in Christmas!

Juno Beach Artisan Festival
Juno Beach, FL
November 12, 2023
3. The weather has been hot lately, mid-80s. We went to an artisan festival yesterday along the ocean in Juno Beach and it was almost too hot, without a breeze, to even want to buy anything. Looking at the image, the ocean is on the other side of the foliage to the right. 

4. Family NFL Report. It was a mixed day for the family teams which went 2-2. The Dolphins did not play and my TV only showed either Jacksonville or Tampa at 1PM, ugh!

Commanders (4-6) lost to Seahawks (6-3), 26-29

Cowboys (6-3) mangled Giants (2-8), 49-17

Steelers (6-3) survived Packers (3-6), 23-19

Ravens (7-3) snatched defeat from the Browns (6-3), 31-33

Dolphins (6-3) on a bye

Atlantic Ocean
Juno Beach, FL
November 12, 2023
5. Is anyone else concerned that Ukraine has dropped off the media reporting and the Putin may be using this as cover for a major offensive?

6. The ocean was beautiful yesterday. The sun was hot and the wind refreshing. I was not able to actually enjoy being on the beach or in the water, but I was refreshed just by looking out on the vastness of the ocean.

7. Today in History. November 13, 1982. Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with the names of the 57,939 Americans who died in the conflict, arranged in order of death, not rank, as was common in other memorials.

The designer of the memorial was Maya Lin, a Yale University architecture student who entered a nationwide competition to create a design for the monument. Lin, born in Ohio in 1959, was the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Many veterans’ groups were opposed to Lin’s winning design, which lacked a standard memorial’s heroic statues and stirring words. However, a remarkable shift in public opinion occurred in the months after the memorial’s dedication. Veterans and families of the dead walked the black reflective wall, seeking the names of their loved ones killed in the conflict. Once the name was located, visitors often made an etching or left a private offering, from notes and flowers to dog tags and cans of beer.

Johnson pleads for a break from GOP hardliners - CNN

US hit targets affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria after attacks on forces - CNN

Israeli tanks at gates of main Gaza hospital where patients trapped in 'circle of death' - Reuters

Zelenskiy tells Ukrainians to prepare for Russian winter onslaught - Reuters

Russian state media withdraw alerts on troop 'regrouping' in southern Ukraine - Reuters

China’s Spending on Green Energy Is Causing a Global Glut - The Wall Street Journal

Israel Warns of Wider War as It Presses On in Gaza - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. strikes kill Iranian proxies in Syria, officials say, a significant escalation - The Washington Post

Sen. Tim Scott suspends 2024 GOP presidential bid - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Stuart Airshow 2023

C-17 and KC-125 in Pre-contact Position
Stuart, FL
November 11, 2023

 Chris and I headed off to Stuart, Florida, yesterday to enjoy the Veterans Day Airshow. 

We had not visited the airshow before, but after our day we will definitely be attending next year. In short, it was fantastic. 

Cannons on AC-130J
Stuart, FL
November 11, 2023
There were static aircraft displays, food, events, and a true airshow with both civilian and military performers. We were treated to a tour of an AC-130J Gunship, this was the Nightstalker. While walking up to the plane I thought it was a C-130, until I walked around to the other side and saw the cannons! Wow. I really enjoyed walking through this aircraft with Chris.

The day was sunny and hot. We were well prepared with sunscreen, well until we lent our can to another couple and they emptied it. We did avoid getting burned, however.

I created a short movie of some of the airshow flying highlights. I was fascinated by the Heritage Flight and the civilian acrobatic demonstrations. 

Chris with a Top Gun Statue
Stuart, FL
November 11, 2023
The airshow was well organized. Parking was free and we were lucky enough to be very close to the entrance. The displays were easy to access, but some had long lines. The seating areas for the airshow demonstrations were great and we could hear the announcers very clearly, as will be evidenced in the video. I thought the admission was fair and reasonable. 

Areas for improvement:  There are not enough food vendors. The lines were extremely long and slow moving. On a hot day, water should be free! We brought our own. Exiting the parking lot needs work. The single lane to exit is a huge bottleneck. 

All-in-all we had a great day and enjoyed the airshow. It is definitely on our calendar for next year!

P.S. Did I mention that we had fun?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Happy Veterans Day

 Thank you for your service! 

I say this to every veteran who, like myself, have devoted a portion of their adult lives to this great nation. I say it even to those with whom I do not agree, like my Congressman who truly is a war hero. 

A Pond on an Warm Afternoon
Riverbend Park, Jupiter, FL
November 10, 2023
I enjoyed a great Friday. That I rode 16.5 miles is almost an afterthought. That is just over 35 miles in the past two days. The highlight of the day was heading out to Riverbend Park and beginning to explore some new space. The park was the scene of battles during the Seminole Wars and I am only beginning to discover the history of the war. The park has many trails and we will be returning without our bikes very soon to explore them.

400 pound Swordfish
Blowing Rocks Marina, Tequesta, FL
November 10, 2023
For the evening, Chris and I went to one of our new favorite watering holes for Happy Hour. We were enjoying our conversation and libations when a fishing boat arrived at the marina with its catch of the day, two swordfish. One was 400 pounds and the other was 134 pounds. While I did not want to watch as the fish were weighed, I was drawn to the magnificent animal suspended by its tail. Just a few hours earlier the apex predator had been one of the kings of the ocean and now it was about to become dinner. I was told that it took over two hours to land the fish. The orange sky reflecting the rays of the setting sun made a unique backdrop for the image. The smaller swordfish is laying on the ground just under the hanging fish. 

It was another beautiful Florida day! November is one of the best months of the year here. But, traffic is increasing as the snowbirds complete their autumnal migration. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, November 10, 2023

Veterans' Weekend

 Welcome to Veterans Day observed!

We get to celebrate for at least two days, with today being the Federal Holiday and tomorrow being the actual Veteran's Day or, in Europe, Armistice Day. 

Thank a veteran for their service to this great nation.

It is going to be a bit confusing out there today and tomorrow with different things closed on the two days due to the observed vs. actual nature of the holiday. 

To all of my friends in the military or Federal Service--enjoy the three-day weekend, if you actually can get off. You all deserve it. 

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” - Ronald Reagan


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Plying the Inland Waters

Finn Keeping Lookout
ICW, Jupiter, FL
November 8, 2023

 Yesterday's weather was not perfect for boating, but it was very nice. 

I write that it was not perfect because we motored into a pop-up rainstorm that vexed us for about an hour in the Loxahatchee River where we got trapped when the railroad drawbridge went down for what seemed like and eternity--at least 45 minutes. I could see that the weather was clear north of us in the ICW, but could not get there, or at least I thought we were trapped in the river. With the bridge not budging, and at Chris's insistence, I decided to attempt to cross under the tracks at an alternate location and found that I had about a foot of clearance, meaning that I am no longer trapped by the railroad drawbridge when entering or leaving the Loxahatchee River from the ICW! Yay. 

Chris and Finn on a Beach Along the ICW
Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023
Motoring back through Jupiter amid the US-1 bridge construction is always fun because I get a view that cannot be replicated from land. We are about a year away from having one lane of the bridge complete each way! It has been a long time since the bridge was closed and torn down,  but there are still months/years to go before the project is complete. 

We proceeded north in the ICW, past the Jupiter Inlet,  until we found some boat-only access beaches. I have to admit the one that I wanted to visit already had two boats with at least three dogs enjoying the day of broken clouds and occasional sunshine. But I knew that there was another stretch of accessible beaches just a bit further north. The beaches are nice because the water stays deep until just about a boat's length from the shore which makes for an easy landing. 

Small 5-armed Starfish
ICW, Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023
The exciting part of yesterday's beach day was finding two different species of star fish. We found one moderately large 9-armed starfish and 2 very small 5-armed starfish.
9-armed Starfish 
ICW, Tequesta, FL
November 8, 2023

They were fun to discover right at the edge of the water. 

As we sat along the ICW, enjoying the day and chatting, both Chris and I noticed something. When there were no boats passing and when the waves from the boats stopped lashing the shore, it became very quiet. There was no wind, and no waves and it was so very quiet and peaceful. We have grown so accustomed to waves crashing on beaches that this newly discovered quiet was something which caused us to stop talking and sit quietly to enjoy. 

Finnegan enjoyed exploring the beach. The beach was perfect to allow him off leash because he does not like getting into the water and the beach was protected at both ends by mangroves which pushed into the water. We could walk around the mangroves by going into the water, but we had to carry Finn. He was, therefore, contained. 

It turned into a very nice boating day, even with the earlier rainstorm. It was good to be out on the water again. And Finn kept a great lookout from the bow.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


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