Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Constitutional Crisis

 The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, is violating the U.S. Constitution and Texas Constitution by attempting to thwart the Federal efforts to remove barbed wire he directed to be installed at the border with Mexico after a recent Supreme Court Ruling. 

Sadly, a number of other Republican governors are supporting the Texas governor against the ruling of the Supreme Court. 

This is bad!

Where are we as a nation and a society headed if the rule of law is disregarded in America?

An opinion piece in The Washington Post describes the dangerous situation:

In a jaw-dropping statement last week, Abbott echoed the secessionist rhetoric of the Confederacy. He claimed that the federal government“has broken the compact between the United States and the States” and that, therefore, Texas has “the right of self-defense.”

But no state has the right to defy the Supreme Court. Abbott’s unhinged declaration came two days after the court issued a 5-4 decision in the Biden administration’s favor. By law, that ended the months-long standoff between the governor and the president.

Incredibly, however, 25 other Republican governors issued a statement Thursday endorsing not just usurpation of presidential power, but also defiance of the nation’s ultimate authority on the Constitution and our laws. “We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas,” the GOP governors proclaimed.

Article 1, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution is quoted below:

Sec. 1. FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE. Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self‑government, unimpaired to all the States. (Feb. 15, 1876.)

I am concerned that the Republican Party is laying the foundation for disregarding the constitutional authority of the Supreme Court. The only way to thwart that is to begin removing, through impeachment, those officials who have taken an oath to support and then choose not to support The Constitution.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

NFL Conspiracy--The Fix is In?

 I have lost respect for NFL officiating as a result of the Chiefs vs Ravens AFC Championship Game Sunday. 

I question whether the NFL, by assignment of referees,  tried to engineer a Super Bowl match-up between the 49ers, with their West Coast market; and the Chiefs,  who are seeing increased the merchandise sales due to the Kelce-Swift connection? 

Fact: the Ravens lost and left at least 14 points on the field as a result of two ugly second-half end zone turn-overs, I got that, but . . . 

. . . were the odds manipulated before the game was played by the NFL when they assigned Shawn Smith as the referee for the game?

When fans have serious doubts about the fairness of the games based upon statistics and a review of the actual plays it means that perhaps, just perhaps, the NFL needs oversight!

Right out of the gate as the game began, I wondered why the Ravens went away from their season-long game-winning strategy of running the ball. I believe that change may have been a result of the referee assigned to the game who has a documented tendency to call more false starts on the home team than the visitors. False starts, I believe, tend to happen more on running plays because the offensive line is being asked to pull and block and may tend to jump the snap early. 

Sharp Football Analysis provides the following insights about Referee Shawn Smith, assigned to work the Chief-Ravens game:

He ranks #1 out of 24 referees in road team win percentage since 2018.

Home teams have won only 40.8% of games in the last three years with Smith as referee.

Across the NFL in the last three seasons, home teams have covered 49.4% of spreads. Under Smith, home teams are only 17-29-3 against the spread (37.0%) in the last three years.

This is the second-lowest mark among 19 referees.

Leaguewide over the last three seasons, in games Smith did not officiate, the following false start penalties were flagged:

  • 843 false start penalties on the home team
  • 882 false start penalties on the road team

That’s 4.6% more false start penalties on the road team.

Note: All penalty stats per TruMedia

But in the last three years, Smith has called:

  • 62 false starts against home teams
  • 46 false starts against road teams

Bucking the average of 4.6% more on the road team, Smith has called 34.8% more false starts on the home teams.

But a couple of penalty types stand out [2023 season]:

  • False start: 22 home, 13 road (69% more on the home team) whereas the NFL average this year was 7.6% more on the road team.
  • Holding: 17 home, 10 road (70% more on the home team) whereas the NFL average this year was 17.2% more on the home team.

In total this year, Smith called 924 yards in penalties on home teams and 709 penalty yards on road teams.

That’s 215 more yards on home teams or 30% more yards on home teams than road teams.

Across the NFL in games he didn’t officiate, there were 12,113 penalty yards on home teams and 12,636 penalty yards on road teams, or 4.3% more yards on road teams than home teams.

This penalty disparity in favor of the road team for Smith games is part of the reason home teams went a dreadful 3-11-2 against the spread (21.4%) and won just 3 of 16 games he called.

In the playoffs, is it really Shawn Smith’s crew?

This is a big question that is frequently asked about refs and the playoffs.

Sure, these Smith penalty stats and the strong results for road teams are eye opening, but is it really his crew calling the AFC Championship?

I asked our ref expert Joe Gibbs. His response:

Largely, yes. 

They will swap out a couple of officials, but usually, most of the crew is the same crew the head referee worked with during the season. 

These are just a some of the more salient statistics about the referee assigned to the Chiefs-Ravens game there are many more listed in the article I cited. And all of the statistics heavily favor the road team.

The proclivity to favor the road teams beg for an answer from the NFL, why was this referee working a Championship Game?

But wait--it is almost as bad, in reverse, for the referee assigned to the 49ers-Lions game!

The short summary from Sharp Football Analysis reads:

Making things more interesting is the other ref who was assigned to the NFC Championship Game, Clete Blakeman.

Blakeman is the exact opposite of Smith.

Home teams with Blakeman are 31-19 (62.0%) the last three seasons, the #3 highest win rate in that span.

And home teams under Blakeman have covered the spread in 57.1% of games, the #2 highest rate.

So, out of eight possible referees the NFL could have assigned to Championship games this weekend, the NFL selected the most road-friendly ref available (Smith) and put him on the Chiefs’ road game.

The NFL had the most home-friendly ref available but selected him to work the 49ers home game instead.

Was the fix in? Were the Ravens and the Lions afforded impartial and unbiased officiating?

Sporting News called it a "Taylor's Swift Conspiracy Theory." asked if the "Taylor Swift fix is in?"

The Kansas City Star even postulated that the Chiefs may have had the advantage going into the game because of the referee.

And I believe the "fix" goes deeper. Gene Steratore, a former NFL official who provides CBS with expert analysis of questionable officiating calls, is not unbiased. He clearly demonstrated a bias for the NFL and the officiating crews while botching the no pass interference call in the end zone on the Ravens drive. He said the possible interference happened after the interception--a replay clearly shows that the Chiefs neutralized the received before the ball arrived. Steratore remarked:

“There is some contact with the receiver, but in my opinion, I think this contact is occurring after the interception has taken place,” Steratore said on the broadcast. “You see the bump right there, it is a little early, but now you got a play that’s behind the receiver, the ball behind him and that reception taking place. I think it’s a good no-call for pass interference.”  (New England Sports Network)

If there was contact with the receiver, as he says, then where was the illegal holding call--which is a five yard penalty and first down?

I know many will say that I am a grieving Ravens fan--and I am. I own that, but I should not have this many questions about officiating in any football game. As I wrote earlier, the Ravens lost, nothing will change that; but was it fair and square?

The NFL has a serious problem. I suspect they will sweep it away and ignore it? The question remains, with all of the money at stake, who exactly is watching for the fox in the henhouse?

Possibly lost in the noise is that this casts doubt on whether the correct teams are really playing in the Super Bowl, or were they picked in advance because of $$$$?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL




Monday, January 29, 2024

Monday Musings - January 29, 2024


1. The fifth Monday of January has arrived. There are 48 Mondays remaining in 2024. My, time is surely flying past. 

Gopher Tortoise in a Hole
Cove Road, Port Salerno, FL
January 28, 2024
2. The Super Bowl teams are set and I am sorry that the Ravens came up short. They played hard, but could not overcome critical errors. In the game between the 49ers and the Chiefs, I will be cheering for the Chiefs, the favorite team of my youth.

3. Chris and I relished in the warm weather yesterday and completed a 12.5 mile bike ride through some local parks. Along the way we spied 10 gopher tortoises--a personal record for both of us ,.I am guessing the tortoises were eating up before the cold weather that arrived this morning. 

4. My only comment on the AFC Championship Game loss suffered by the Ravens is that I still find the NFL officiating to be inconsistent and a joke. Nuff said! OK, maybe I have a second comment--the NFL managed to get the dream matchup between the big market 49ers and the reigning champions. Coincidence? I think not.

5. Explain something to me--Why are Republicans, who have been clamoring for stronger border controls now putting personal pettiness ahead of real paths forward and not getting behind the bipartisan border control bill being hammered out in the Senate? Oh wait--then it won't be an election year issue. News Flash--that will backfire.

6. Today in HistoryOn January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.

The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area’s Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game’s greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

'We shall respond,' Biden says after US troops killed in Middle East - CNN

Japan’s ‘Moon Sniper’ robot explorer resumes operations on lunar surface - CNN

Ukraine says it uncovers mass fraud in weapons procurement - Reuters

Hungary making talks on EU aid for Ukraine 'more complicated' - senior EU official - Reuters

Danish frigate departs for the Red Sea to assist US-led operation - Reuters

For Retailers, Business Is Back and Landlords Say No More Rent Discounts - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Look at What I Saw

Cow by the River
Jupiter, FL
January 26, 2024
Friday was a diverse day. I completed a 21.64 mile bike ride covering areas that I don't normally ride while enjoying a beautiful morning. For the afternoon, Chris and I headed off to the South Florida Fair, which I have already written about.

But it was during the morning ride that I discovered a something new and one very depressing. First, I saw a never seen before animal during my ride. It was a cow! I do not typically ride along pasture lands, except this one piece of field has been undergoing a transformation over the past months and I now understand what for--a cow! Yup. On one side of the road is a branch of the Loxahatchee River and on the other is a small pasture complete with cow! It was very different. Of course I had to take an image with my Smart Glasses. 

Newly Cleared Land
Tequesta, FL
January 26, 2024
One very depressing aspect of my ride was when I passed a field which was formerly very wild. It used to contain grasses and trees. Unfortunately, a developed decided to plant houses and the plot has been cleared displacing the gopher tortoises and other wildlife which previously resided there. I enjoyed riding this infrequently traveled road which is near the center of Tequesta. Sadly, now it is becoming a development. I wish there were a way to protect wild lands from indiscriminate development. The roughly one acre lots go for $3.5 million! Yup--prime real estate. I wonder how much the houses will cost?

There is nothing exciting, for me, about looking at cleared and formerly wild land.

That was near the end of my ride. I will not ride down this street much anymore because I used to enjoy looking for the tortoises--which have been displaced.

Overall, though, it was a great Friday. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, January 27, 2024

South Florida Fair 2024


Giant Ferris wheel
South Florida Fair 2024
West Palm Beach, FL
January 27, 2024
What to do on a beautiful South Florida day? Well, go to the South Florida Fair, of course!

Chris and I were given tickets to the fair and given that the weather was perfect, there was no way we could not decide to attend the fair. It was a short 30 mile drive away in Central Palm Beach Country and I have to admit it is one of the largest fairs that I have ever attended. 

We enjoyed ourselves riding the giant ferris wheel and watching the pig races. We also ate some food and listened to live country music at the main stage. 

Parking was easy and well marked and the entry security screening process was smooth--it was much better than the last NFL game I attended. 

The midway is huge--I mean really big and it goes on forever. My most recent fair experience was the Maryland State Fair--and this midway is easily three times larger and with more rides, food, and activities. 

This being our first time visiting the fair, we were very impressed with the overall size and layout. The fair covers a large area, but it seemed easy to walk from area to area. The livestock barns were small and did not allow access to all of the animals. I especially love the cow barns and it was not as well organized, nor as large, as the Maryland State Fair. But our overall experience was very positive. 

One of the events we experienced was the pig races. They were cute and funny. It was fun to be part of the experience. I tried to capture some of the fun on the short video which combines our ferris wheel ride and the pig races. 

I recommend the fair and we plan to visit it again, next year.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL



Friday, January 26, 2024

80s and Bike

 I have been keenly watching the national weather forecast. I have noted that there is only one place in the country that has warm temperatures, in the 80s and that is South Florida!


Chris and I enjoyed sitting outside on our patio last evening as the sun set. I remembered the incredibly hot and humid days we suffered through during September and October. Last evening was perfect. It has been windy--but that is not hard to handle when the temperatures are warm. 

We rode over 16 miles together yesterday, even in the wind. It was nice not to sweat profusely and to enjoy the ride around Tequesta. I decided not to ride Beach Road on Jupiter island because the wind was coming from the south and the ride back would have been entirely directly into the wind--a very exhausting endeavor.  

We are lucky that more of the same is on tap for today. We will remain warm until Monday, when our temperatures again drop and become cold. 

I think we will go to the South Florida Fair today or tomorrow. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Making it to Costco

Costco Gas Pump
West Palm Beach, FL
January 24, 2024

 Chris and I finally made it to Costco yesterday. We had been scheduling and rescheduling for two days.

It was no small feat, as it turns out. But, in the end I believe that it was worth the effort. 

The West Palm Beach (WPB) Costco is HUGE! And the parking is chaotic at best. The good news was that the lines for the gas pumps were not long yesterday. That was a miracle, but I guess going about 10:30 AM on a Wednesday morning has something to do with that. I was happy that gas was $2.899. Shouldn't we call that $2.90? But, no, we call it $2.89. Why are gas pumps allowed to dispense gas in tenth of a cent measures anyway?  

Walking into the WPB Costco can be exciting and I have often needed to dodge cars and crazy pedestrians pushing overloaded shopping carts. What the video below shows is a relatively calm Costco morning. There are multitudes of shopping carts available in front of the store and no lines waiting for entry. It was almost pleasant.

Sometimes I get very nervous about Costco shopping and checkout--but even though this Costco is huge, things seem to move much smoother than the stores in Maryland. We have never been stuck in a long line to checkout, even on the busiest days (which we try hard to avoid).

Costco can be friend or foe depending upon the day.

But, Chris and I survived to shop another day.  

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Vet Day

Out the Windshield
Palm Beach Lakes, FL
January 23, 2024
Yesterday was tooth cleaning day for Finnegan. Our vet is about a 30-45 minute drive away, depending upon traffic, trains, and the draconian traffic lights which often seem as if they are doing everything possible to impede the flow of traffic.

The bridge in the image is one of my favorites along our route of travel. I like that it is lined with palms and had that classic Florida "look" to it.

We took Finn to the vet at 9AM and were scheduled to retrieve him between 2:30 and 3:30 PM. Along the route is our only Costco--and we planned to stop there three different times during the day. We never actually made to Costco and that stop is on tap for today's activity. We missed Costco because, first it wasn't open yet on our return trip from the Vet. Then we left too late to do Costco and pick Finn up. Finally, Finn was still pretty drugged when we passed by on our afternoon trip home from the vet and we chose not to subject him to the excitement and chaos of Costco in the afternoon. 

Finn recovered through the evening and by this morning was back to his old annoying self. Ge was funny to watch walk while still under the influence of the anesthesia, his back paws and front paws had a difficult time coordinating the direction he wanted to walk. It was almost like a halloween horse costume with two people inside trying to coordinate from and back. 

I laughed. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta. FL

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Onto the Championship

One of my Ravens Hats
Tequesta, FL
January 22, 2024
 The end of the NFL season is upon us. There are just three games remaining--the Conference Championships and then the Super Bowl on February 11th. 

I am excited that the Ravens have made it to the Conference Championship game for the fifth time in their history. They have two Super Bowl victories to go with their two Conference Championships. 

While there was a rumor that I had changed allegiances this year and become a Dolphins fan--that is just not true. I do enjoy watching the Dolphins--but when the Dolphins played the Ravens there was no doubt for which team I was rooting!

Sunday will be a wild time in Baltimore with the AFC Championship game being hosted at M&T Bank Stadium. I was there for the last regular season game in the cold rain! The Ravens lost, but did not play many of the starters choosing to rest them for the playoffs!

And so, on Sunday I will be in from of my television cheering on the Ravens as the Chiefs come to town to do battle. 

Go Ravens!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, January 22, 2024

Monday Musings - January 22, 2024


1. 2024 is chugging along. We are experiencing cold January weather and it is the 4th Monday of the month. There are 49 Mondays remaining in the new year. 

Flowers on the Patio
Tequesta, FL
January 21, 2024
2. The NFL playoffs are down to four teams. Two family teams remain in the Super Bowl hunt and one of them will represent the AFC in the big game on February 11th. They are the Ravens and the Chiefs who play next Sunday at 3 PM EST in Baltimore. 

3. A bit of Springtime color is gracing our patio in the form of daffodils and hyacinths! The hyacinths smell very nice.

4. The cold here is nothing like the cold elsewhere in the country--but, it still seems cold here. 

5. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision. By a 7–2 vote, the Supreme Court found that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed the right of privacy under its “concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action.” This right to privacy, the court said, guarantees a pregnant woman the right to obtain an abortion without restriction in the first trimester of a pregnancy. After that point, the state can regulate abortion, it said, “except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

On June 24, 2022, by a vote of 6 to 3, in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationdecision, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Five of the justices said: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” 

For the first time in American history, rather than expanding the nation’s recognition of constitutional rights, the Supreme Court took away the recognition of a constitutional right that had been honored for almost 50 years. Republican-dominated states immediately either passed antiabortion legislation or let stand the antiabortion measures already on the books that had been overruled by Roe v. Wade (Letters from an American)

6. Today in History. In a Sacramento, California, courtroom on January 22, 1998, Theodore J. Kaczynski pleads guilty to all federal charges against him, acknowledging his responsibility for a 17-year campaign of package bombings attributed to the “Unabomber.” 

Born in 1942, Kaczynski attended Harvard University and received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He worked as an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but abruptly quit in 1969. In the early 1970s, Kaczynski began living as a recluse in western Montana, in a 10-by-12 foot cabin without heat, electricity or running water. From this isolated location, he began the bombing campaign that would kill three people and injure more than 20 others.

Iowa revealed how ineffective DeSantis' campaign had been all along - CNN

Boeing faces new safety alert over earlier generation of 737s - CNN

Relatives of Gaza hostages storm Israeli parliament panel as protests mount - Reuters

Ukraine war drives shift in Russian nuclear thinking - study - Reuters

US Navy declares two SEALs missing in Gulf of Aden as deceased - Reuters

Eight dead and dozens missing in China landslide - BBC

Ukraine’s $30 Billion Problem: How to Keep Fighting Without Foreign Aid - The Wall Street Journal

What the IRS Knows About Your Online Sales This Year - The Wall Street Journal

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, January 21, 2024

As the Day Evolved


Chris and Fin Coming Home
Tequesta, FL
January 20, 2024
It was NFL Playoff Saturday and so I knew where I would be from about 4 PM until I retired for the evening--in front of the TV watching the games.
Ibis in a Yard
Tequesta, FL
January 20, 2024

Fortunately, the outcome was to my liking as the Ravens dismantled the Texans to move onto the Conference Championship, one win away from the Super Bowl.

It was cold yesterday, not as cold as the 54 degrees this morning, but it hovered around the 60 degree mark when I rolled out my bike and started a 16-mile ride. I was lucky in that after attending the Ravens game a couple weeks ago in the cold and rain that I bought heated vests for both Chris and myself. Yup, heated vests in Florida! Mine came in very handy during my ride yesterday. There are cold days during January and February. So I was toasty warm during my ride. 

The real great part of the day is how the it evolved and the sky cleared during the afternoon. I have two images from the day, the first from my ride as I spied a flock of Ibis in a yard and the second as Chris and Finnegan were coming home from a walk. Note the sky! The change from overcast to crystal blue was dramatic. I wanted to be outside, although the 64 degree temperature put a damper on my enthusiasm. 

I love the blue sky! Sadly, we are back to clouds this morning, but hopefully the skies will clear as the day progresses.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Bringing it Home

Heading Home Along Old Dixie Highway
Tequesta, FL
January 19, 2024

 I headed out on my bike yesterday for a ride. Sadly, the weather had other ideas and about 3 miles into the ride, I was greeted by rain. I don't mind a mist, or a light rain, but when I can see my shirt getting wet, or in this case a fleece since it was cold, and drops forming on my glasses it is time to head home.

That is what I did. 

I knew when I departed that the skies looks threatening, but often here in South Florida they look mean but there is no rain. Well, I got fooled yesterday. It was very cool and apparently the rain needed to fall from the sky onto my ride. 

I was trying to get a ride in before the activity of the day got happening, but I only made a total of 6.7 miles and 33 minutes. At least I got a ride in, it was just too short. 

In other news, the 3D printer is still not functional. I was able to level the table, finally, but then upon further inspection I noticed that extruder had a broken lever. So I ordered a new extruder which should be here today. It was made from plastic anyway and so I am a bit excited about installing the metal extruder that will be arriving as it should be more durable. 

Today is colder than yesterday, but for the first day in a row there is not rain in the forecast. Yay. I even witnessed a beautiful sunrise to celebrate the start of the day although the skies remain mostly overcast.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, January 19, 2024

Dreary Day Project

 Some days are just, dreary. 

Ender-3 V2 3D Printer
Tequesta, FL
January 18, 2024
That was yesterday--well, until the end of the day. As evening fell the skies cleared and the stars came out. Sadly, it cleared too late for us to see the space launch. That would have been exciting. 

I didn't ride my bike yesterday because it always looked as if it were going to rain. 

I spent most of the day trying to resurrect a 3D printer I was given. I made a lot of progress, but the inability to level to level the table was a show-stopper. I will be going to Ace Hardware today to get a couple items that will enable me to level the table and then, hopefully, fire up the printer and make things. I spent a lot of time cleaning and adjusting the printer. At one point I thought I had leveled the table, but with one of the adjusting wheels missing I was only deluding myself.

By the end of today, however, I hopefully will have a fully functional battle station, err printer. 

Chris is not amused that the printer is on the kitchen counter. I probably can only keep it there through today and then I need to find a more permanent place to set it up. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Riding the Tequesta Circuit


Chris in the Lead
Turtle Creek, Tequesta, FL
January 17, 2024
Despite the afternoon rain and early morning cold, I have managed 30 miles on my bike during the past two days. On Tuesday, I completed my standard 16 mile circuit around Tequesta. Yesterday, even though it was cold, Chris and I rode the reverse routs and made it over 14 miles. I took a few miles off because of the high winds and cold. 

Chris and I were appropriately dressed for yesterday's cold, 60 degree temperatures. It would like to say it was refreshing, but no, it was just cold!

We have solved the communication problem by riding with our cells connected on a call. It means that we are in constant communication and can tell each other abut safety issues--such as a vehicle passing or whether it is clear around a blind corner. When I ride alone, I listen to music. My new Smart Glasses mean that I do not have to have AirPods in my ear--which is good because with AirPods only one can be in place leaving the other ear open for traffic sounds. 

I managed to put together a short video from my Tuesday ride. I finally was able to successfully employ my Smart Glasses and get the videos. They are very easy to use. The first part of the video is a fun intersection in the Country Club road area. There might be a Stop Sign--oops! But I cleared the traffic. The second part of the video is crossing the SE County Line Road Bridge. It came out really cool! I was amazed at how smooth everything appears. I guess my head works as a good gyroscope to stabilize the camera in the glasses. 

I have been enjoying the rides. Today may be a washout. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Weather and the Beach

Jupiter Island Beach
Jupiter island, FL
January 16, 2024
With afternoon storms forecast, yesterday was a day for morning outdoors activity--and I took advantage of the opportunity by completing a 16+ mile ride around Tequesta. It felt good to be getting my legs under me again, although I could tell they are still getting back into riding shape after the over one month hiatus. 

Along the Dune
Jupiter Island, FL
January 16, 2024
Chris and I later headed off to the beach for a walk and to enjoy some time together in our favorite environment. As we crossed the top of the stairs over the dune, we were greeted with a beautiful blue sky and multicolored ocean scene across a wide beach. I confess, it has been some time since we visited this beach, we have been going to Carlin Park--but, I was unprepared for what we saw. While everything looks idyllic, in truth an incredible amount of sand (beach) has been washed into the ocean. I took an image from the base of the dune--as near as I can estimate about 10 feet of sand has been carried off and the beach which last year went from halfway up the dune and sloped to the ocean is now gone and has a slight slope from the base of the dune to the ocean.

Further down the beach, where the new Seaglass condo building has been constructed, the stairs from the building to the beach no longer actually make it to the beach. They end about 5 feet above the beach. The beach erosion is significant. To make it worse, I am pretty sure all of the sand has ended up just off shore and destroyed the fragile ecosystem. It is a lot of sand!

The beach was, however, very enjoyable in the wind  80 degree temperatures. I highly recommend it for everyone fighting snow and cold!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Over the Bridge with the Smart Glasses

View from Bridge over SE County Line Road
Martin County
January 15, 2024

 Chris and I made it out for our second ride of the year yesterday. We increased our mileage to over 15 miles now that we are getting back into the groove. I received Ray Ban Smart Glasses for Christmas and have been experimenting with them while on the rides. 

There is one bridge that I cross on nearly every ride. It is on SE County Line Road in Martin County. Chris and I ride this bridge and depending upon the particular route we choose we can cross it in either direction, but usually it is on the homeward leg of a long ride. There is a significant hill across the bridge which is the biggest hill on our rides. I like crossing this bridge because it is in a wild area and very open. I have not, until yesterday, taken an image off the bridge because it has a narrow wood sidewalk and is not a good place to stop and sightsee. 

Apple Map of the SE Country Line Road Bridge
Martin County
January 15, 2024
I decided to use my Smart Glasses yesterday to get an image as I was riding across the span. It worked. I took an image while riding on my bike all without crashing. On the satellite image to the left, I took the image from just before the middle of the bridge while riding from left to right.

I had tried taking a couple videos yesterday as well, but due to operator error they did not complete. I held the button too long. 

I am hopeful of getting becoming proficient at the Smart Glasses. I did maintain communication with Chris throughout the ride yesterday using the feature that connects to my phone!

The joys of technology. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, January 15, 2024

Monday Musings - January 15, 2024


1. Welcome to the third Monday of January 2024! There are just 50 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. The football playoffs are underway. Four family teams made the playoffs: Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs, and Steelers. Through today two teams have played and one will play today. The Ravens, with the best record in the NFL this year, drew a first week bye. Through this morning the family teams are 1-1 and the Steelers play tonight.

Tequesta, FL
January 14, 2024
3. Finnegan was sick earlier this week. I think he got some "people" food which did not agree with him. But yesterday he was fully recovered and posed in a chair for me. What a great image!

4. Well, the Dallas Cowboys failed to win a playoff game again this season. There is something critically wrong with the team and I believe it may be the head coach. I am guessing there will be a major shake-up in the Cowboys organization very soon. The owner did not look very happy sitting in his box at the game. Congrats to the Green Bay Packers who actually played a solid football game. The packers even added some drama by allowing the Cowboys to have the slimmest possibility of making it a game, until there wasn't.

5. The first test of the election season is upon us. Iowa has been in the news far too long and I will be happy to have the caucuses behind us beginning tomorrow. I'm not sure it matters too much; one candidate has been getting unreasonable press coverage due to his multiple indictments and court appearances. His presence is stifling on the national stage. 

Today in History. On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of a Baptist minister. King received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 helped organize the first major protest of the African American civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and the movement gained momentum.

A powerful orator, King appealed to Christian and American ideals and won growing support from the federal government and Northern whites. In 1963, Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph led the massive March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; the event’s grand finale was King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Two hundred and fifty thousand people gathered outside the Lincoln Memorial to hear the stirring speech. 

Trump attacks Haley, begs supporters to brave Iowa weather Show all - CNN

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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