Sunday, December 31, 2023

The Last Day


 The final day of 2023 has arrived. 

Despite predictions to the contrary, it appears we will actually make it to the arrival of 2024, which should be quite a tumultuous year. 

The new year is a Leap Year and that means it is one-day longer than 2023. 

Unlike the past two years, I will be ringing-in the new year in Maryland and not Florida. It has been just two years since I retired and I am still enjoying life without the necessity of setting an alarm clock.

This week, the flexibility of my retired life was recognized as Chris and I made the decision to extend our time in Maryland by a few days. In the world before retirement that would have been a difficult, if not impossible, ask. I would have been driven, literally, to get back to work.

Chris and the Boat
Sandbar in St Lucie River
August 2, 2023
I reviewed my image archives searching for the image which best characterizes the year, but it is tough with so many memories. I think this one, of Chris next to our boat, Sea Bean, anchored on a sandbar really captures the character of the year. We joined a boat club during the year and I have found great enjoyment learning to handle a boat and exploring the Intracoastal Waterway between Ft. Pierce and Lake Worth. I am looking forward to getting back onto the water when we return to Florida. And that is the beauty Florida life--year round outdoors summertime activity!

So on this final day of 2023, I remember those who have passed this year, and for whom I shed many tears, and the new friends we have made. I also remember the travel and fun that we have enjoyed, as well as the roughly 1967 miles I rode on my bike!

Here's a toast to the past and hope for the future.


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Authentic Mexican - El Cabrito, Pasadena

El Cabrito Mexican Grill Dinner
Pasadena, MD
December 29, 2023

 Dinner last evening was at an authentic Mexican restaurant. Definitely not americanized and even the menu was in Spanish!

It has been a long time since I escaped the fusion of American and Mexican food--Tex-Mex or Southwestern--whatever it is called. 

We visited the El Cabrito Mexican Grill in Pasadena, MD, and enjoyed a filling and tasteful dinner. I samples a taco and a burrito. OMG--in the end I had one taco, half of the burrito and was full! But the flavors were perfectly balanced and enjoyable as were the variety of sauces they provided for dipping. 

We had a great time, maybe more-so because they do not serve alcohol!

There are not many places where 3 people can eat their fill of dinner for less than $40. And I brought half a burrito home for lunch today!


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, December 29, 2023

A Visit with Louis

 

Louis
Laurel, MD
December 28, 2023

There is something almost magical about the week between Christmas and New Years. Many people take vacation to be with family and friends. And that is what we are doing. We are away from home, it is hard to call it a vacation since we both Chris and I are retired, but we are enjoying time with family and friends and, as it turns out, a former member of the family. 

Louis
Laurel, MD
December 28, 2023

Louis is a ragdoll cat that we got when he was a kitten. He spent many years with us and grew into a large cat who was part of the pack with Makayla, Riordin, and Finnegan--who was the late-comer. He is a soft spoken cat, but has one really great trait--he is not bothered by dogs. When family or friends would bring their dogs to visit Riordin would run away and hide, but Louis would just stay his ground and almost invite the dogs to bother him. It was interesting to watch the dogs sniff at Louis and he would stare at them with his blue eyes, taunting them. 

Through a series of events a couple years ago, we adopted out Louis to a friend as a companion. Last evening we visited that friend for dinner and were reunited with Louis, who in his usual cat-like manner totally ignored us even when we picked him up to say hello. We had always believed that Louis wanted to be an "only" cat and since his departure on the few times we have visited him we continue to be convinced that he is happier without another cat or dog to share life with.

Louis continues to enjoy life alone, but as always in the middle of what is happening. And yes, he always seems to have a scowl on his face.


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Raw Day for Recovery

Northern Cardinal
Odenton, MD
December 28, 2023

 It rained.

It was cold.

I was not a good day to be outside. 

We have been enjoying a fun bird feeder. It is the Bird Buddy Smart Bird Feeder and comes equipped with a wifi camera and an AI program to identify the birds at the feeder. 

We have been enjoying the feeder and the visits from the birds--even on a rainy and raw day. Sadly, we cannot feed the birds in Florida due to the infestation of Palm Rats which are very destructive.

The Bird Buddy images and video can be shared and Chris and I have been added to this camera so we can enjoy the activity. 

The Bird Buddy provides images and videos of the visitors depending upon the length of their visit. Looking at the images and videos was something to do while also watching a few series on TV.

Today, hopefully, the weather will be better. 

Wait, did I mention that we went to trivia night at the local brewery and our team came in second? If only we had done better on the music round.


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Day After

What did you do the day after Christmas?

Darn, I missed a holiday celebration. Of course, yesterday was Boxing Day--but we tend not to celebrate that here in the U.S.

It was also the 32nd anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union (USSR), but that is not a holiday and their ghost is currently at war in Ukraine. 

I had a pleasantly quiet day highlighted by watching the movie Oppenheimer, I saw it in the theaters but it is now available on streaming services. It was a lazy day recovering from the adrenalin-filled rush of the holiday. 

Sadly, then I had to hear of and read a diatribe from a disgraced former president which was included in a perverted seasonal greeting on his website, which read:

“Merry Christmas to all, including Crooked Joe Biden’s ONLY HOPE, Deranged Jack Smith,” Trump wrote in the post. He has often called Smith “deranged” and has repeatedly accused the special counsel of working to further what he characterizes as President Biden’s “political agenda.” 

“Included also are World Leaders, both good and bad, but none of which are as evil and ‘sick’ as the THUGS we have inside our Country who, with their Open Borders, INFLATION, Afghanistan Surrender, Green New Scam, High Taxes, No Energy Independence, Woke Military, Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Iran, All Electric Car Lunacy, and so much more, are looking to destroy our once great USA. MAY THEY ROT IN HELL. AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Trump continued. (The Hill)

I really do not need to read or hear this noise from a disgraced former president. He constantly touts how he is being persecuted, but no other former president (possibly no other person) has ever committed the widespread fraud and treasonous activities of this one man. I know he has freedom of speech, but I need freedom from him.

So I slipped back into the spirit of the season and blocked out the nonsense with friends and a bottle of wine.


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

And it is a wrap

The Complete Family
Odenton, MD
December 25, 2023

 At the end of the Christmas day, during the Ravens' football game, I realized that I was exhausted. Looking back now, I can understand why. 

It was a Christmas of memories.

There were gifts and food and fun and family. 

The Roast
Odenton, MD
December 25, 2023
One highlight was that we gathered our complete family for the first time in a couple years to enjoy the holiday. 

The weather was mild and I managed to throw a football around for a while with Ethan and Jax. I am feeling the effects of that activity in my arm this morning. It has been a while since I threw a football or any ball for that matter. 

Did I mention the meat? The rib roast was cooked to perfection and was a fantastic centerpiece for the celebratory Christmas meal. 

And so Christmas is a wrap--well almost a wrap. Chris and I have a few gifts to exchange when we return home to Florida. I left most of hers under the tree there so we could enjoy Christmas one final time before returning all of the decorations to the containers and storing them for another year. 

Onto the New Year!


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas Eve Scenes 2023

 Merry Christmas!


Santa at Mosaic
Elkridge, MD
December 24, 2023
Well the day has arrived, breakfast is being cooked and I escaped for a few moments to record a greeting and show two scenes from yesterday's celebrations.

First, we caught Santa on the roof! Yup, there he was as we were exiting church services at Mosaic ringing a bell and sending wishes to all of the gathered masses. I was a bit surprised that we caught him in the act of delivering presents when he should have been across the world where it was already dark--but, he paid a special visit to us. 

Charcuterie Tray
Glen Burnie, MD
December 24, 2023
The second image of the day is the charcuterie tray that Julie made for our celebrations during the football games last night, which was lost by the Cowboys.

The tray was a thing of beauty and I almost did not eat to break it up by consuming the delectable meats and cheeses spread for our enjoyment. 

It was a great Christmas Eve and now the big day is underway. 


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve 2023


 And we are off. 

I am enjoying the calm before the storm as the day starts. Christmas Eve brunch will be upon me in a few short minutes as our family gathers to usher in the celebrations. I look forward to seeing them all and getting the day off to a great start. 

I wish all the best to you and yours during this season. 

Keep hold of the magic--it resides in our hearts. 

May the days ahead find you well and content. 


-- Bob Doan, Glen Burnie, MD


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Cookie Baking Day 2023

Chris and Luke Cookie Baking Day
Odenton, MD
December 22, 2023

 One of the family Christmas traditions is to conduct a cookie baking day just before the main event. Cookies are a staple of Christmas and although we do not make the classic frosted sugar cookies anymore, the variety of cookies that come out of the kitchen in a relatively short period of time are truly mouthwatering. 

And of course, I have a strict limit on the number of cookies that I am allowed to consume. Well, that is if anyone is watching. 

Yesterday, in the kitchen there was a very special cool--our youngest grandson, Luke, joined in on the fun with Grandma and Aunt Ginger. I was able to steer clear of the kitchen and only enjoy the fruits of their labors. 

They had a lot of fun for a couple hours and I had some time to myself--to wrap gifts!

It is hard to believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow and that is like the start of a great race. We have nearly every hour of the next two days closely planned and coordinated across numerous family units to get everything accomplished--and, of course, to enjoy the holiday.

Merry Christmas to all! 

I think all of the presents are purchased.

Publishing note: I do not expect to publish a Monday Musings on Christmas Day. 


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Friday, December 22, 2023

Bits, Pieces and Freedoms under Fire

 It was reported on multiple news outlets that Rudy Giuliani has filed for bankruptcy. Is anyone surprised? His liabilities are estimated at between $100 to $500 million on assets of between $1 to $10 million. (CBS News)

My how the mighty has fallen from the hero mayor on 9-11 to ruin. I guess that is what hanging out with a certain former president can do to someone's character and fortunes. 


For those of us who are watching the right wing of the Republican Party and their apparent love affair with Viktor Orban, check this out: 

The US state department has warned that a new law in Hungary “can be used to intimidate and punish” Hungarians who do not agree with the government, adding to concerns from Hungarian journalists and activists who have expressed worries the law is aimed at silencing critical voices.

Hungary’s parliament approved legislation last week that creates a sovereignty protection office with broad powers to investigate Hungarians active in public life. 

While Hungary’s government argues that law is needed to improve accountability and transparency, media outlets and civil society groups say it is designed to undermine independent voices in an environment where critics are already under pressure.

Last week, 10 independent Hungarian media outlets said the law was “capable of severely restricting the freedom of the press”(The Guardian)

I guess freedom of speech is becoming a target? 

And finally this morning, 

I read an interesting piece yesterday: The Supreme Court Must Unanimously Strike Down Trump's Ballot Removal. Of course this refers to the Colorado ballot. I know that may seem counterintuitive to many, coming for me, but upon reading the piece in Slate, I have to agree with the headline of the article. It should be noted that I am not a constitutional scholar, but I highly recommend reading the article because the author makes a number of cogent points. Lawrence Lessing make a chilling point in closing the opinion piece:

No doubt, and again, electing Trump would be the worst political decision of the nation since the Civil War. But excluding him, wrongfully, by a close vote of the Supreme Court could well trigger the next Civil War. We must defeat him politically—not through clever lawyer interpretations of ambiguous constitutional texts.

Although he has never admitted defeat, it should be noted that he lost the popular vote in both of his presidential runs. 


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Up in the Sky


I have been watching quite a few Christmas movies this season. Some are very sappy and others recount the story of Santa and Christmas. I like those the best, however, my all-time favorite Christmas movie is, It's a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart. This year, for the first time, I came across the colorized version of the movie. I enjoyed watching it in color and it added a new  dimension to this, released in 1946, classic.

In many of the movies, holding onto the magic that is Christmas, as we were kids growing, up is a central theme. I think we miss the magic!

With so much going on in the country and the world, we need some magic, and Christmas is a natural time for that sentiment.

My daughter has this sign in her kitchen for the season. It really struck me because every year I still tune into the NORAD Santa Tracker to follow the jolly ole fellow as he circumnavigates the world.

Somehow, even though the image to the left is funny, I don't think a KC-10 would be offloading the right kind of fuel for the reindeer or Santa, unless they purge the tanks and deliver hot chocolate!

But it made me smile and think about the magic.

And with just four days to go--I appreciated the magic.

P.S. Happy first day of Winter, arriving 10:27 PM EST. The dark season is ending!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Arriving under Cloudy Skies


 It was strange in that during our two-day drive from Florida to Maryland the only time we traveled under clouds was once we approached D.C. 

I wonder if that means something? Everywhere else was crystal blue skies. I hope the weather is as good as that when we make the trip home next year.

It is, however, cold here this morning. I am showing a nippy 24 degrees. That is a temperature I will not see in Tequesta, nor would I want to see it.

But, we arrived well and only had minor traffic-related delays around the D.C. beltway and on the B-W Parkway. 

This morning the cold had brought clear skies. I am looking forward to the day.

Bring on the holidays. 


-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Out the Hotel Window - Fayetteville, NC

 

Out the Hotel Window
Fayetteville, NC
December 189, 2023

And here we are. 

Nine hours closer to our Maryland destination, but stopped for the night in Fayetteville, NC. 

I wish hotels would think about the view out the windows. Looking over the vast expanse of the conference center is just not that exciting. It did, however, remind me of the beautiful travel day that we had. We traveled in daylight for the entire time and it was a great trip. I admit I was tired as we neared Fayetteville--but, it was nice to stop and not have to press on through exhaustion to our destination.

We enjoyed a nice walk with Finnegan. We stopped in the Cracker Barrel Store near the hotel just to look at the wares, but decided that we did not want to take dinner there. I guess we are not Cracker Barrel people.We returned to the hotel where we settled in the hotel bar for apps and wine which became dinner. We met a few other travelers in the bar and enjoyed conversing with them.

I was surprised that there were not more travelers on the roads. Maybe that is why we got such a good rate for the room. 

Tomorrow, God willing, we arrive Maryland and start finalizing Christmas preps. 


-- Bob Doan, Fayetteville, NC

Monday, December 18, 2023

Monday Musings - December 18, 2023

 


1. Welcome to the penultimate Monday of both December and the year 2023. Christmas is just one week from today. 

2. Family NFL Report.  The family teams worked hard this week, but came up mostly losers with one win and three losses. 

Cowboys (10-4) shot-up by Bills (8-6), 10-31

Commanders (4-10) impaled by Rams (7-7), 20-28

Steelers (7-7) blown-out by by Colts (8-6), 13-30

Ravens (11-3)  smash Jaguars (9-6), 23-7  

Dolphins (10-4) blanked Jets (5-9), 30-0

3.  A trip of 1,000 miles begins with a full tank of gas. 

4. Who are they laughing at? “It shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Trump quoted Putin saying in the speech. Trump added: “They’re all laughing at us.” (Washington Post)

5. Today in HistoryOn December 18, 1620, the English ship Mayflower arrives at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepare to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. On September 6, 1620, 102 passengers–dubbed Pilgrims by William Bradford, a passenger who would become the first governor of Plymouth Colony—crowded on the Mayflower to begin the long, hard journey to a new life in the New World.

 


Israel opens aid crossing to Gaza while stepping up bombardment - Reuters

Zelenskiy describes immediate goals for work on EU accession - Reuters

Turkey calls on U.S. to use influence to halt Israeli attacks on Gaza -Turkish source - Reuters

New hard-right leader is making enemies in GOP Show all - CNN

 Israel’s military claims to have found biggest Hamas tunnel - CNN

Guilty verdict for paramedics charged in man’s death could have ‘chilling effect’ on EMTs - CNN


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Kaleidoscope of Colors

Pattern of the Christmas 
Lights through the Screen
Tequesta, FL
December 16, 2023

Rain and wind. . . 

That describes yesterday's weather. Well, add in some gray skies. I haven't seen the sun in over three days. It is very gloomy. 

Chris and I put the covers over our patio furniture for protection. The rain fell so hard and the tropical storm strength winds blew the raindrops into our patio screen. We could not see through the screen, but our Christmas lights shone in a creative pattern for us to enjoy. 

At least we found something interesting despite the poor weather. 

A short while later, there was so much rain that the GFI circuit activated. Too much water at near the outdoors plug I suspect. 

Christmas is just over a week away!

Tomorrow is the first of two travel days. We will be following the storm up the coast. 


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Saturday, December 16, 2023

A Watchful Eye

Finn on the Bed
Tequesta, FL
December 13, 2023
Finn, sometimes, just keeps an eye on the activity occurring around him. I think he just likes to keep track of our activity to assess whether he is about to be left alone on the house or not.

Often, he perches on the back of the sofa. That allows him the ability to monitor activity across the entire first floor as well as the entry and, if the shades are open, the approach to the house.

Generally, there is some amount of activity for him to monitor. Usually, however, he decides that he needs to be part of what is happening and then he gets underfoot. 

All-in-all, he is great company around the house. And I know he is looking forward to our upcoming roadtrip! How do I know? He keeps positioning himself atop the items we are preparing to pack.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Friday, December 15, 2023

Christmas Shopping

 

Central Area
Gardens Mall, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
December 14, 2023

Chris and I did something really different yesterday. We went Christmas shopping at the local mall. I have to admit, I have not been in a mall to shop for Christmas in a long while. Not long enough, however.

It was weird. 

Actually we went to check out a Christmas gift for me--I actually needed hands-on to ensure that I both liked the item and to get the correct size and examine some of the other options. Since it is a Christmas gift and I'm not supposed to know about it, I won't write anymore than to indicate that I am very excited about receiving this gift.

Not everything can be done on-line. Sadly.

I was amazed at the mall and its festive decorations. Fortunately, most other holiday shoppers were at home, at work, at school, or on-line and so the mall was not too busy.

But the decorations were stunning. I felt sorry for Santa who was sitting alone in the middle of all that opulence. I did not even see an eager elf assistant when we walked by. 

I also didn't hear a cheery Ho-Ho-Ho!

And I survived Christmas shopping at the mall!


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Ineffective and Dangerous

 

Have you written to your congressional representative to express your ire at the lack of activity on meaningful critical issues?

I have!

Not that it helped. 

It is frightening that while important bills pertaining to the economy and supporting our allies are languishing that the Republican-controlled House decided to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Biden. I guess they are too busy taking direction from a twice-impeached, sex offender, criminal, megalomaniac former president who has also committed treason and incited an insurrection?

One writer puts it this way:

In a day that was chock full of political stories in which Republicans were launching attacks on Democrats, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) made a key point. “We have not passed an emergency supplemental, a Farm Bill, or regular Appropriations,” he said. “The story is not what they are doing. The story is what they are not doing.”  

Schatz was referring to specific, vital measures that are not getting through Congress: the outstanding funding bill for aid to Ukraine and Israel, border security, and humanitarian aid for Gaza; the Farm Bill, which governs the nation’s agricultural and food assistance programs and needs to be renewed every five years; and the regular appropriations bills that Congress must pass and that House extremists tossed out former speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over because they wanted deep cuts that he had agreed with President Joe Biden not to make.  (Letters from an American) (Highlighting mine)


I did not receive a reply from my Republican representative. I did not expect one. 

We are living with what we elected. Make a note to change that.

Oh yes, with so many important issues waiting for action what are our representatives doing? They are going on vacation! Nice optic.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Relative Calm


 I know that I am enjoying the relative calm before the storm. 

A few deep breaths and some relaxation because the holiday rush begins in earnest next Monday as we depart for Maryland and the frozen northlands. 

My drive weather forecaster is showing about a 40 percent chance of rain for almost the entire trip. Those would be the lime green dots on the map at the right. Hopefully the weather will improve between now and then. We are planning a stopover in Fayetteville, NC, which will be followed by a short jaunt the next day to being us into Odenton and miss D.C. rush hour traffic. 

The app I am using, and have used very successfully in the past, is Drive Weather. I use it to avoid snow, ice, and torrential rains. 

Once we arrive back in Maryland it will be great to be with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. There is so much that will need to be done to finalize the preps--but that, after all, is what the season is about. 

So I'm taking a pause, well also because we are getting thunderstorms today, and getting ready for the fun to begin. 


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

It's Relative

 


Cold is a relative thing. 

It seemed cold here yesterday with a morning temperature of 63 degrees as I headed out for my ride. I thought that I had properly prepared for the cold by wearing a long sleeve shirt, rather than my usual short sleeve riding shirts. 

I even waited to start later than normal, hoping that the temperature would improve.

It didn't. 

With the cold wind, I knew the ride was doomed right from the start. I could not keep my core warm and so, after about two miles of being cold I decided to head home. The 4.1 miles yesterday was my shortest ride in a very long time, but, on the good side of the ledger, the ride put me across 100 miles for the month. 

I never even crossed my favorite bridge in Tequesta. 

I am going to have to dress warmer for these low 60- and high 50-degree days. I remember last year it didn't seem so bad, but cold is relative. Given the wind and the humidity 60s cam feel refreshing or frigid. 

Next week when we are in Maryland, I will be longing for 60-degree days.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta ,FL

Monday, December 11, 2023

Monday Musings - December 11, 2023

 


1. Welcome to the second Monday of December. Scary thought--there are two Mondays remaining in the year AND Christmas is exactly two weeks away. 

2. Family NFL Report. It was a winning week for the family teams which posted a 2-1 record. Two of the family teams are sporting 10-3 records and sit atop their divisions!

Cowboys (10-3) soundly defeated Eagles (10-3), 33-13

Commanders (4-9) were on a BYE

Steelers (7-6) could not overcome Patriots (3-10), 18-21

Ravens (10-3) ran past Rams (6-7), 37-31

3. I do not understand why Congress is not ensuring that Ukraine has the money and equipment they need to fight the war. Ukraine is not asking Americans to shed blood for them--I think the following quote from our heroic President says it all: “History’s going to judge harshly those who turn their back on freedom’s cause,” Biden said earlier this month. “We can’t let Putin win.”

4. There is no place for hate. 

5. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. 

6. Today in History. December 11, 1936. After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII becomes the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He chose to abdicate after the British government, public, and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorcĂ©e Wallis Warfield Simpson. On the evening of December 11, he gave a radio address in which he explained, “I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.” On December 12, his younger brother, the duke of York, was proclaimed King George VI.



Israeli military says 100 soldiers in total have been killed in Gaza - CNN

News of Zelensky’s visit to Washington got pushback from some Republicans in Congress - CNN

The Math for Buying a Home No Longer Works - The Wall Street Journal

Alarm Grows Over Weakened Militaries and Empty Arsenals in Europe - The Wall Street Journal

Your Cash Is Earning 5% Interest. Is Now the Time to Move It? - The Wall Street Journal

Gazans say hunger is growing, fuelling fears of exodus into Egypt - Reuters

EU set for summit showdown over Ukraine accession talks as Hungary stands firm - Reuters

Ukraine prepares for a long war. Will the West stay the course? - Reuters

The officials weren’t wrong as the Chiefs raged, but does anyone want this? - The Washington Post



--  Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Christmas in the Village

With the Tequesta Christmas Tree
Tequesta, FL
December 9, 2023

 The Village of Tequesta, our hometown, sponsored a Christmas with Santa event last evening. We decided to head over about 6:30 PM, after dinner, to enjoy the festivities. 

The event was well attended with throngs of children enjoying the carousel and other activities. The lines for some of the free activities were very long. But the nice warm evening and the smell of funnel cake made the event a lot of fun, if only for about a half hour. 

It was free fun and the event was only for Tequesta residents--we were asked our address as we entered the area. 

Santa, of course, was there seated in the pavilion and being visited by throngs of adoring children. It was a fun evening and we retired to the house, with friends, to continue the evening over a bottle, or two, of wine.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL 

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Open to Opportunities

Rainy Skies over Tequesta
Tequesta, FL
December 9, 2023

 The rain that is falling this morning definitely put a damper on my plans. 

I had panned a 15-mile ride through a local park. But not in the rain. Biking in the rain is just, in a word, miserable!

Last evening, Chris and I enjoyed happy hour at Cooper's Hawk and met a really nice couple that bought our dinner! Wow! When was the last time that happened? We engaged in very wide-ranging discussions about almost everything--including sports, kids, religion and politics. It was great because there were just some places where we agreed to disagree, but did it in a respectful and friendly manner. That is how it is supposed to be. We wound up spending the entire evening with them after meeting them at the tasting bar about 4 PM. 

It is funny how things happen if we are just open to the opportunities.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, December 8, 2023

December Friday--A Rising Darkness

The end of the workweek brings respite for many.

I think I need a rest as well. It has been a busy week between biking and boating. I have ridden over 44 miles already this week--I had a light ride of only 12 miles on Tuesday and boating on Wednesday meant no ride. 

The weather at least will turn warmer for the weekend here. 

I ran across the following statement during my morning reading and thought I would pass it along for thoughts:

Ultimately, the struggle between fascism and democracy was the question of equality. Were all men really created equal as the Declaration of Independence said, or were some born to lead the rest, whom they held subservient to their will? (Letters from an American)

I was appalled the other morning to see that a former president admitted that he would be a dictator--even if only for one day. That totally ignores the Constitution. Also, hearing his henchmen openly say that they would go after the news media and journalists who didn't to report things the way they wanted is a direct violation off the 1st Amendment. 

There is darkness rising in America.


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Thursday, December 7, 2023

It's Cold--but on the Boat

Jupiter Lighthouse
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023
It is Pearl Harbor Day.

Yesterday was a cold morning, but it was a boating day. Due to the expected cold temperatures, I delayed our usual 9 AM pick-up until 10 AM. Still, the temperature was in the low 60s and we were wearing coats as we motored out of the marina. 

US-1, Federal Highway Bridge Construction
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023

Despite the temperature and the wind, it was a beautiful day with a near crystal sky above and blue water beneath us as we headed south in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The Jupiter Lighthouse was radiant in the sunlight as we motored by on our way south, ultimately to Lake Worth.

Along the way we enjoyed looking at the boats, houses, mansions, and Christmas decorations. It would be awesome to motor the ICW at night to enjoy the lights, but my boat club does not allow nighttime boating. 

I also had the chance to check out the US-1 Federal Highway bridge construction. The work is moving along and the plan is for one lane to be open each way by next November! I certainly hope so. 

Seasons 52
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
December 6, 2023

We stopped for lunch at Seasons 52. It was my first time teeing up at a dock other than one owned by the club. We did really well getting the boat to the dock and tied up even with the stiff wind and strong current. It was a great lunch sitting outside under cover and out of the wind but watching the boat bob in the water.  

Looking to the Jupiter Inlet
ICW, Jupiter, FL
December 6, 2023
All too soon, we were off again and headed for our home marina.

I wish the good times could never end, but I am sure I would not appreciate them as much in that case. After motoring for about 45 minutes we were in the familiar waters of the ICW in Jupiter and after passing by the US-1 bridge construction we had an unobstructed view of the Jupiter Inlet and the ocean beyond. The water was very blue due to the clear sky and the rising tide which was bringing relatively clear seawater into the ICW.  We made a left turn shortly after I took this image to continue along the ICW and a short ride later and we were safely back in the marina and heading out for the remainder of our day. 

I have to admit, the wind was strong making the day seem a lot colder motoring north rather than south. Going south we had the wind to our backs and we were traveling about a fast as the wind--so it felt like there was no wind and we enjoyed the bright sunshine. But once we started back north--we felt the 60 degree wind its speed doubled by our motion across the water. 

Another great day on the water!


-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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