Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter 2024

 Happy Easter!

It is hard to believe that today is the last day of March and Easter.

We have been experiencing fabulous weather. Cool and dry. It has made being outside a wonderful experience.

We said good-bye to Luke and the dogs yesterday. The house was eerily quiet last evening. I think Finnegan enjoyed being an "only dog" again. I read that they arrived safely back in Maryland during the wee hours of the morning. I'm glad they made it back safely.  

May you find peace and comfort this holiday. 

He is Risen!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 30, 2024


Crossing the Loxahatchee River
Tequesta, FL
March 29, 2024
I had a no kidding bike tire blow-out during my ride yesterday.

It was, as you might expect, very sudden. I was closing in on 15 miles of my planned 16.5 mile ride when suddenly I hear a pop and felt a rush of air on my leg. Not a good situation. I brought my bike to a stop and confirmed what I suspected, my real tire blew out. 

I was concerned that the blow-out was the result of a fully inflated tire combined with the extra weight I have been training with and the heat of the day. Instead of fixing the tire alongside the road and using my expendable supplies, I called Chris to come rescue me with my truck. I took the additional training weight off the bike. The weight consisted of a ten pound weight in the bike bag over the rear tire and, for the first time, I was riding with a camelback water supply. 

Once home, and after cooling down and attending to some other matters, I began the process of determining the cause of the blow-out. I pumped some air into the tire to determine the source of the leak and it immediately became apparent that I had ridden over something that punctured the tire and tube. I never saw it--it had two blade like puncture marks right in the middle of the tread. I noted that the tire was thin from the riding I have been doing and decided to replace the tire while I had everything apart. 

The whole repair process, including going to the bike store, took about an hour and the bike is ready for todays' ride--if I do one. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, March 29, 2024

Cyber Truck On the Road

Tesla Cyber-Truck
I-95 South of Ft Lauderdale
March 27, 2024
Photo by Lucas

 I spied my first Tesla cyber-truck.

It was on I-95 south of Ft Lauderdale the other day coming back from our air boating excursion. 

OK--while it may have looked neat during its introduction a few years ago, it is very different on the road and not at all like a DeLorean. 

Tesla Cyber-Truck
I-95 South of Ft Lauderdale
March 27, 2024
Photo by Lucas

In fact, it does not look too much like a truck.

It cannot be comfortable inside. At least it does not look comfortable. 

I feel pretty sure that this vehicle will go the way of the Dodo and DeLorean.

I wonder if it was driving in the hands free mode, I know that I was at the time. Luke had a better view of it out his window and so I asked him to take the pictures. 

Well, now I have seen it in person.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Airboating the Everglades

Gator in the 'Glades
Everglades National Park, FL
March 27, 2024

 It sounds like we are sitting atop a large engine as the airboat fires up in preparation to set off. 

Yesterday, Chris, Luke, and I set off to the Everglades for some fun and an airboat ride. Typically, when Chris and I head off to airboat we do not see any gators in the wild. Yesterday, however, we saw six! And I also found out why. Don't go airboating in the Everglades to look for gators in July--it is too hot and they are not active. March and April, it seems, are when they are active. 

The Gator and Luke
Everglades Safari Park, Miami, FL
March 27, 2024
It was the first long trip for Chris's new car and I computed the distances pretty carefully to determine that we could get there and back without needing a charge. Of course, never having done a trip like this before I was unsure whether the distance estimate for the battery was accurate. Turns out it was close. I did lose a few miles range each way on the highway--but, I subsequently determined that I should have switched the car into a more efficient mode which might have solved that issue. Lesson learned! We drove 220 miles and ended with 42 miles range. We started with about 280 miles of expected range. All-in-all great first trip.

I took a short video of the airboat experience and the noise from the twin engines. Thankfully they issued us ear plugs for some protection. According to the app on my iPhone, the airboat engines were producing 102-109 decibels of deafening sound.

Luke and Chris with the Airboat at Speed
Everglades National Park, FL
March 27, 2024
While at the park, Luke came face-to-snout with a gator. It was pretty funny and I enjoyed taking the picture. This was the first time we visited Everglades Safari Park during Spring Break. The place was packed, but they handled the crowds efficiently. I like this location because the boats actually go into the National Park. I recommend buying the tickets on-line. It smoothed the check-in process and I was able to remember my National Park Pass and save $7 on each ticket. 

After the airboat experience, we wandered around the preserve and looked a gators and crocodiles, yes they have crocs! We enjoyed a beautiful day in the mid-80s with partly cloudy skies and cooling breezes. It was perfect. And there were no mosquitoes or other biting insects to spoil our outing. 

It is a bit of a drive from Tequesta, almost exactly two-hours each way, but definitely worth the experience. 

I noted that the cars in the parking lot were mostly out of state. I think there was only one other car with Florida plates. 

Florida in the Springtime--what could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Back to the Water

Setting Out on a Sunny Day
Tequesta, FL
March 26, 2024

 It was a boating day, albeit short.

The winds were stiff and the water a choppy when we departed the dock about 1 PM and so we turned an expected long boating day into a short tour. It did not even make the "three-hour tour" of Gilligan's Island fame.

We had fun showing Luke around and especially passing under the US 1 bridge construction. The project seems to be on time as the first road beams were installed from the south abutment before the end of March which is right on schedule. 

The wind was definitely strong and there was a chop. We decided against some beach time, opting instead to return home and enjoy the remainder afternoon. 

I do note that the post-boating docking went very well in a stiff wind and current. The dockhand indicated that we did the best of anyone all day.

Did I say, I had fun? I almost always enjoy myself when we are on the water. I also enjoy going to beaches that are inaccessible from land. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Driving Miss Daisy

 It was the stuff of movies. 

Chris and Luke on the Paddle Board
Jupiter Island, FL
March 25, 2024
Learning to use a paddle board is not an easy task. It is much like riding a bike, I believe. It takes some time and coordination to learn and then it almost becomes second nature. I, at least, hope that is true. 

Yesterday the task was learn to use a paddle board. 

Luke Standing on a Paddle Board
Jupiter Island, FL
March 25, 2024
We had fun. It took quite a while to get the paddle board inflated and even then, I didn't inflate it quite enough. Close--but an expert told me it needed even more air. I thought my pressure gauge was incorrect, but he said he thought his was incorrect the first time as well, but the boards really need to be very stiff.

We had fun and I have another paddle board that we will inflate and get out in the near future. Yes, I did make it out on the board, I was not brave enough to try standing, but that will come, I think. 

Luke did manage to stand on another paddle board. A really nice paddler boarder stopped and gave us some important tips.  

Chris did not want to try the board on her own and Luke took her for a ride, kind of like Driving Miss Daisy. She enjoyed the experience.

Closing out the day we raced back to the beach after dinner to see the space launch. There were a lot of clouds, but we did get to see it as it climbed out and the second stage ignited over the ocean. It happened as dusk was falling and the sight of the SLV heading off into space was, as always, magnificent. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday Musings - March 25, 2024


1. This is the fourth and final Monday of March. The year is approaching 1/4 complete and there are just 40 Mondays remaining in the year. 

Paddleboard in the Garage
Tequesta, FL
March 24, 2024

2. We were going to try a paddleboard yesterday, but the weather changed. We were given two paddleboards, some inflation required, and were going to go with Luke to try one out on the intracoastal. Alas, by the time I got it inflated, a storm came through with rain and wind, we even had the beach bag and drink bag loaded in the truck. So the paddle board is inflated in the garage waiting to today! We only inflated one--my compressor is suited for a bike tire but not a large paddle board and so it took a long time to inflate.

3. Yesterday, I spent the morning driving to and from an airport and a cruise port. I started the morning, well before dawn, driving friends to Palm Beach International (PBI) so they could head to Maryland for Spring Break with their granddaughters. A few hours after returning from PBI, I drove to Port Everglades in Ft Lauderdale to deliver Jeremy and Julie for their cruise. I really enjoyed both trips and I am happy to help out because when Chris and I travel we almost never have to pay to leave a vehicle or for an  Uber/Lyft. 

4. I almost missed that yesterday was Palm Sunday and this is Holy Week culminating next Sunday with Easter.

5. It is Spring Break in the north. The Florida kids are back to school tomorrow. Enjoy the sun!

6. Today in HistoryFour years after the United States won its independence from Great Britain, 55 state delegates, including George Washington, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, convene in Philadelphia to compose a new U.S. constitution on May 25, 1787.

The Articles of Confederation, ratified several months before the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781, provided for a loose confederation of U.S. states, which were sovereign in most of their affairs. On paper, Congress—the central authority—had the power to govern foreign affairs, conduct war, and regulate currency, but in practice these powers were sharply limited because Congress was given no authority to enforce its requests to the states for money or troops. By 1786, it was apparent that the Union would soon break up if the Articles of Confederation were not amended or replaced. Five states met in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss the issue, and all the states were invited to send delegates to a new constitutional convention to be held in Philadelphia.

 Fire extinguished on Carnival Freedom cruise ship after witnesses reported possible lightning strike - CNN

FAA says future United projects ‘may be delayed’ due to increased oversight - CNN

Military draft bill creates rift in Israeli government - Reuters

Google, Apple breakups on the agenda as regulators target tech - Reuters

America's lithium laws fail to keep pace with rapid development - Reuters

Oil rises as heightened geopolitical risks exacerbate supply concerns - Reuters

Repeated Raids in Gaza Raise Prospect of Endless War - The Wall Street Journal

Weakened House GOP majority reckons with Johnson’s leadership - The Washington Post

What’s the best way to put on a duvet cover?  - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Attack of the Biting Midges

 It was likely the worst beach experience that I have ever, and that includes a lot of beach experiences, had. 

It was a sad ending to a great day. 

View of the Atlantic
Carlin Park Beach, Jupiter, FL
March 23, 2024
We began the day with a trip to the Elliott Museum in Stuart, FL, to see the King Tut replicas, the antique car collection and the baseball memorabilia. We also learned about the Ashley Gang who were early 1900s South Florida moonshiners and, during prohibition, rum-runners.
King Lucas
Elliott Museum, Stuart, FL
March 23, 2024

Then lunch at a small cafe with a view of the Atlantic.

For the late-afternoon, Chris and I along with Jeremy and Luke, headed off to the beach to enjoy the day which had cleared and was bright and sunny. What we did not consider, as we headed out, was that a significant rainstorm passed through the Jupiter/Tequesta area while we were in Stuart. That meant the area became a breeding ground for biting midges, also known as "no-see-ums." And we started scratching almost as soon as we settled onto the beach. It took us some time to realize that all of us were scratching and then Jeremy actually saw the no-see-ums on his shirt which helped us all understand that we were under attack. 

I thought we had bug spray in the beach bag, but alas it had been removed. After a while longer hoping the assault would cease, we decided to head home. We brushed each other off a well as possible at the car to preclude the bugs from finding a new home. Once we arrived at the house we visited the community pool to help get the bugs off our clothes and out of our hair. Then it was showers for all!

I am hopeful of never experiencing another biting midges attack again.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 23, 2024

They Arrived

 It was a busy evening. 

Jeremy and Teddy
Tequesta, FL
March 22, 2024
Jeremy and Luke along with Teddy and Gloria arrived about 4:45 PM and the electricians arrived about 6 PM to install the circuit for the charger. 

And so the evening began and continued until after 11 PM. 

There was a trip, during a vicious thunderstorm to the airport to retrieve Julie, but I stayed home and helped the electricians finish up with the circuit installation. Fortunately they had departed by the time Chris, Jeremy, and Julie got home from the airport. The installation project was more complex than I imagined, but the electricians worked hard for over four hours and completed the project shortly after 10 PM.

The car charged swiftly overnight and is now at 90 percent--which is, as I have been reading, the optimal charge, unless departing on a long trip. 

It was a fun, busy, and late evening.

Our boating plans for today changed due to expected rain, high winds and rough seas. Now we will likely be headed to the Elliott Museum in Stuart to revisit the King Tut exhibit and enjoy the remainder of the treasures there including the antique vehicles.

Note: I have a Keeshond in the house again! Well, only for a week.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, March 22, 2024

Can You Believe It?

 It is Friday, again!

My Electrical Panel
Tequesta, FL
March 18, 2024

The end of the week just kind of sneaked up on me and suddenly everything I had been putting off is suddenly due. 

I know, what could I possibly have to get done by the weekend? Well, I have to completely reconfigure my garage to support the installation of the car charger, for one. At least there is space in my electrical box and apparently sufficient service to the condo to support the 40 amp car charger. 

And, I am behind in getting reservations for the sights we want to see on our upcoming European cruise and vacation. The cruise is locked in, but I need to get other sights reserved in both Rome and Venice since we are doing additional days there. I hope we can get our clothes cleaned somewhere. 

The electricians will be here about 5:30 pm so I have some time. But, Jeremy, Julie (later arriving at PBI), Luke and two dogs should also be arriving about that time as well. It might be a real circus around here. 

Happy Friday to all and may your end of week Happy Hour be especially enjoyable.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Tortoise by the Road

Gopher Tortioise
Tequesta, FL
March 17, 2024

 As I ride my routes on my bike, I look for wildlife. I always see a lot of squirrels and rabbits, but I especially enjoy seeing the tortoises. They are like small armored vehicles sitting by the site of the road and generally they do not get too excited by my presence. 

I enjoy counting the sightings on my rides, but all too often the count is zero. On St Patricks Day, I counted four tortoises during the ride. One might have been counter twice. The one in the image was the most fully exposed and it even earned a turn-around to go back for another look and a picture. 

Watching for the wildlife gives my mind something to do on the rides, actually seeing wildlife makes the rides even more enjoyable. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Preparing for the Big Ride

Rear Bag on my Bile
Tequesta, FL
March 14, 2024

Preparing for the upcoming three-night, 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage bike ride is no small undertaking.

It turns out there is a lot more to it than just hopping on my bike and heading off. I am outfitting my bike to carry clothes and water for the trip as well as learning to ride with additional weight aboard. 

I discovered during my ride the other day that water is something that I need to push. I did 26 miles and was dehydrated at the end of the ride. That distance is less than our daily plan and so I purchased a camelback to help ensure that I drink sufficiently during long rides. 

The bag over my back wheels has panniers which unfold to allow me to carry more stuff, but that comes with a price--weight! I am also putting back on my front wheel. 

Fortunately, the ride is not until mid-June. By then, hopefully, I will be in better shape and fully familiar with the handling characteristics of my fully loaded bike. One thing I have already learned is that I need to lift my leg higher to mount my bile to clear the bag on the back. That gets tougher when I get tired. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Garage Work and Dinner

 Monday sure seemed to arrive quickly. 

Blackened Ahi Tuna
Cooper's Hawk, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
March 18, 2024

I decided to take a day off from riding after the 26-mile ride on Sunday. I also had an electrician arriving to survey putting an outlet in my garage to support charging our new car. I actually spent most of the day receiving bids to install the outlet. The bids were wide ranging and the high and low bids were separated by $1,000. Amazing. 

I am also trying to reconfigure my garage to get the new car inside when we head out on trips. That will be difficult since the garage is just wide enough and long enough for the car to fit. Ugh! But, I used to get a car in the garage in the old days. 

Last evening we headed off to dinner at Cooper's Hawk. I had a reward to redeem and wine to retrieve. I ordered the Blackened Ahi Tuna and it arrived to my table with some of the nicest presentation that I have enjoyed in a long time. I very much enjoyed the entree. It was as good as it looks!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Monday, March 18, 2024

Monday Musings - March 18, 2024


1. We survived another week! We are now at the third Monday of March! The remain 41 Mondays in the year. 

2. We enjoyed a wild St Patrick's Day celebration at the local, within walking distance, Irish restaurant. It was fun to see everyone wearing green and enjoying the Irish music. A good time was had by all. I have to admit, we were asleep by the time the party was scheduled to end at 10 PM.
Carola and Chris at the St Patricks Day Party
Tequesta, FL
March 17, 2024

3. I set a new personal record for a single session bike ride yesterday of 25.96 miles! It took over two hours, but it was extremely valuable for me to assess my level of readiness for the June planned three-day, 150 mile ride from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. I also realized that I need to consume more water during long rides and have purchased a camelback to assist with that endeavor. 

4. Today in History. On March 18, 1852, in New York City, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business, today one of the world's largest banks. 

The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank—buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California’s growing economy.

Intense diplomacy as US-Israel relations take an extraordinary turn - CNN

Machete-wielding militias battle gangs in Port-au-Prince as Haiti’s elites vie for power - CNN

China's military, state media slam U.S. after Reuters report on SpaceX spy satellites - Reuters

Putin wins Russia election in landslide with no serious competition - Reuters

No one should 'go to jail for smoking weed,' says VP Harris - Reuters

China Turns On the Charm for Foreigners but Its Allure Has Faded - The Wall Street Journal

Pakistan Carries Out Airstrikes Inside Afghanistan - The Wall Street Journal

As Electric-Vehicle Shoppers Hesitate, Hybrid Sales Surge - The Wall Street Journal

Border security deadlock heightens risk of government shutdown - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Another Great Saturday

Last Quarter Mile
Village Blvd, Tequesta, FL
March 16, 2024

Happy St Patrick's Day

 I began yesterday with a 15.5 mile bike ride. But, this ride was different from all the others. I am beginning training for riding the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) from Downtown Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, a 149 mile ride. Yesterday I rode for the first time with a bag on the newly installed rack on the back of my bike with 8 pounds of additional weight. It really changed my ride. I rode the 1h 12m ride without stopping. Usually I stop once or twice, but yesterday I forced myself to drink water without stopping. 

Map of the GAP
I could not believe how adding 8 pounds affected everything from my breathing and heart rate to my mental state. I'm really not looking forward to lugging about 40 pounds of clothes and water along the trail. But I know that I need to train to be ready for the three day ride. Patrick and Jen have a good plan and I am encouraged because this will be Patrick's fifth time to ride the GAP. Jeremy and I will be the newbies on the trail.

Upon returning home, the remainder of the day was devoted to getting our new Mustang Mach-E set-up. There is a lot to new cars. Although, fundamentally it is a car and the basics apply: get in car, foot on brake, start car, put in gear and drive. There are a lot of things to assist us as drivers. This car even has Alexa and is a WiFi hot spot!

So much to do and so little time.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Motoring the Intracoastal (ICW)

On the ICW Near Hobe Sound
March 15, 2024

 Taking advantage of the incredibly great weather, yesterday was a day for motoring the ICW with friends. 

During the morning hours the water was calm, but by afternoon there was a moderate chop on the St Lucie River which made the ride back to the marina a bit sporty. Fortunately, I was able to get in behind a much larger boat and enjoy the relatively calm waters in its wake. 

Chris and Carola
Jupiter Island, Stuart, FL
March 15, 2024
I took our friends on a tour of the ICW from the St Lucie River Inlet down to Jupiter Sound to look at both the natural beauty and the expensive homesteads along the waterway. After motoring for about an hour or so, we headed to my formerly favorite beach, anchoring our trusty boat along the eastern shore of Peck Lake and walking about 100 yards to the ocean on the Atlantic side of Jupiter Island. I say formerly because the beach is usually deserted, but yesterday it was actually crowded. The beach is best accessed by boat and while we were one of three boats anchored on the ICW side of the island when we arrived, by the time we departed a few hours later there must have been easily 12 boats anchored on the beach--and the ones next to me were closer than cars in a parking lot. It was a mess and I was fortunate to have some experienced help to get away from the island without incident.

Michael Preparing the Lines
Manatee Pocket, FL
March 15, 2024
As it was a beautiful day, I decided to head up the St Lucie River with a tour to the north. The wind came up as we motored north and the water developed a moderate chop, which with the wind caused some spray occasionally across the boa. The situation became worse as I headed south into the wind. This is where I was lucky to fall in behind the larger boat as we headed back to the marina.

The waters smoothed as we entered Manatee Pocket where the marina is located. About 6 hours after we set out, we returned to the dock and unloaded after a really great day on the water. Michael and Carola were a great help. 

I had been excited about taking out one of the newest boats in the fleet, Capt Crunch. I had been looking forward to motoring about in the boat since it arrived, but was a bit disappointed. The boat did not have the electronic throttle to which I have become accustomed and the throttle assembly was loose, meaning I had to keep a hand on the throttle while we were on plane and cruising. That can be really hard when crossing a wake and in the moderate chop we experienced on the St Lucie River. It is possible that we were the first members to take the boat out, which was cool. 

All-in-all, another great day on the water. Warm temperatures moderated by a pleasantly cool breeze made for a very enjoyable day.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Friday, March 15, 2024

It's Red and New

Beware the Ides of March! 

Chris and Rosie
Tequesta, FL
March 14, 2024
Buying a new car was not something we envisioned until about a week ago. Actually, it was exactly a week ago and we had our wonderfully change meeting with Patrick and Jen while beginning to enjoy Happy Hour at the Crooked Crab with Mike and Nicole. It was there we were introduced to the Mustang Mach-E. And it was not exactly love at first sight, but pretty darn close.

Mustang Mach-E
On the Road
March 14, 2024
I have been enamored with the idea of an EV for a while now and after seeing the Mach-E and doing some time. I was in love with the idea of the Tesla when they burst onto the scene. But, the time now seemed right with the incentives being offered. We do a lot of short trips, driving around the area and we think an EV will be perfect. 

It was sad to part with the Highlander, which we have had for 11 years and almost 160,000 miles. We have had some great times and traveled the East Coast extensively. It was nice to part on a high note.

Chris has named the new car Rosie, after the bomber Rosie the Riveter portrayed on Masters of the Air. 

We had an OK shopping experience. It got off to a rough start with our sales person because the first and second cars he wanted to show us were not in the correct place. Another one was dead. But, we finally fond one that worked and took a short test drive. We had already driven Jen's Mach-E and so I was able to show the salesman some of the features he could not find. 

The really only downside to thew buying experience was that we drove off the lot with only a 20 percent charge on the batteries. That is not a lot, but we are doing a very slow Level 1 charge right now at home. We tried going to a charging station, but it did not work. Ugh!

New cars--they all provide opportunities to discover new things. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Beach Calls

Carlin Park Beach
Jupiter, FL
March 13, 2024
With relatively blue skies and temperatures touching on 80 degrees, yesterday was a definite beach Happy Hour day!

And we did. 

It was good to reconnect with friends while enjoying the afternoon listening to the waves hit the beach. It is nice now with Daylight Saving Time that we have more time on the beach in the evening. And the ocean was relatively calm yesterday. It was even too calm for the surfers. There was one brave soul trying to catch a wave and he had a few nice short runs, but in the end the ocean kept getting calmer and he stopped trying. 

As it had been a couple weeks since we last enjoyed Happy Hour on the beach, due to weather and travel, yesterday's visit was even better. We chatted with a nice beach walker and even shared some wine with him. We enjoyed our time and departed before sunset. 

I'd like to do it all over again tonight--but, alas we likely will not be able to make it happen.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

And We're Home


It has been a wild two weeks with travel on three successive Tuesdays. We arrived home yesterday afternoon happy to be under blue skies and upper 70 degree temperatures. It was a beautiful evening and I changed out of my jeans and into shorts almost as soon as we arrived home. 
Snow Shower
Middletown, MD
March 10, 2024

During our visit north Chris and I were treated to a snow shower while visiting a meadery in Middletown, MD. That checks the "must see snow" box for 2024. So at least that is out of the way. 

The trip home yesterday was pleasantly uneventful and I played with the flight tracker app that Southwest provides. It is kinda cool, but not as interactive as the one that United provides. 

It is good to be home and I'm hoping to get out for a bike ride today and later Happy Hour on the beach. We have some appointments tomorrow and then cruise into Friday with some time on the water in a boat. I have reserved the newest boat in the fleet and am pretty excited about heading out on a warm and sunny day.

Thanks to everyone who made our trips to Houston and then Maryland a great adventure despite the weather. It was good to see you all.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

And the Truth is . . . Out There

We are seeing and hearing much disinformation and outright lies being foisted on the American people. It is hard to separate fact from fiction. What is the worse, however, is when fiction is intentionally presented to foster fear and anger thereby affecting policies and elections. Worse yet is when the disinformation is provided by someone who is selling themselves as an upstanding, mother-next-door woman. Shame on her!

Below is the case in point from Senator Katie Britt's (R-AL) Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union address. 

The Republicans’ rebuttal to the State of the Union on Thursday stayed in the news throughout the weekend. On Friday, independent journalist Jonathan Katz figured out that a key story in it was false. Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) described a twelve-year-old child sex trafficked by Mexican cartel members, implying that the young girl was trafficked because of President Joe Biden’s border policies.

Katz tracked down the facts. Britt was describing the life of Karla Jacinto, who was indeed trafficked as a child, but not in the present and not in the U.S. and not by cartels. She was trafficked from 2004 to 2008—during the George W. Bush administration—in Mexico, at the hands of a pimp who entrapped vulnerable girls. Jacinto has become an advocate for child victims and has told her story before Congress, and she met Britt at an event for government officials and anti-trafficking advocates.  (Letters from an American)

It is hard to separate truth from fiction anymore. Especially what is coming from the mouths of Republicans. Alternatively, the fact check of the President's address was favorable. There were rounding of numbers and small exaggerations, but nothing of the magnitude of creating a totally fictitious story that bears l only a passing resemblance to reality. 

And then I ask myself, why are Republicans afraid that Americans will vote? The party is trying to limit voter access.

Don't look now, the freedoms you may be losing are your own!

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Monday, March 11, 2024

Monday Musings - March 11, 2024


1.  The second Monday of March has arrived. The Ides of March are lurking for on Friday. I hope you survived the transition to Daylight Saving Time! There are 42 Mondays remaining in the year. 

Chris, Sue, George, and Me
Big Cork Vineyards, Rohersville, MD
March 10, 2024
2. A visit to Big Cork Vineyards is enjoyable event. We attended our Case Club pick-up event yesterday with friends and enjoyed a beautiful, but cold and windy, afternoon of food and wine. We enjoyed great wines and were some of the first to taste a new wine which is based on an Italian grape. It was the initial harvest of this limited production wine. Vermentino is a bright white wine with almost no color.

3. Fact of the DayThe Washington Post Fact Checker found that in the four years of his presidency, Trump offered a total of 30,573 untruths — an average of roughly 21 erroneous claims a day. (The Washington Post)

4. The cold Maryland pre-Spring has not deterred Chris and me from seeing friends and family. We return to the expected 80-degree days of Florida tomorrow. 

5. Spring begins in 8 short days!

6. Why does a former president believe that he can meet with a head-of-state, in the U.S. who does not visit the President? The former president met with Viktor Orban on Friday and laid out a plan to end the Russia-Ukraine war. (Reuters) He will starve Ukraine for weapons allowing Russia to overrun the country.  This would likely create a situation in Ukraine akin to the 1932-1933 starvation by Stalin that killed between 3.5 and 7 million Ukrainians. If the U.S. does not get aid to Ukraine now, we will have the blood of democracy seeking patriots on our hands.

7. Today in HistoryOn March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan causes massive devastation, and the ensuing tsunami decimates the Tōhoku region of northeastern Honshu. On top of the already-horrific destruction and loss of life, the natural disaster also gives rise to a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The Fukushima disaster is considered the second-worst nuclear disaster in history, forcing the relocation of over 100,000 people.

During the emergency, each of the three operational nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant shut down successfully, but the backup power and cooling systems failed. As a result, residual heat caused fuel rods in all three reactors to partially melt down. As crews searched the rubble for survivors and the nation reeled from the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, the nuclear disaster unfolded over the course of several days. The facilities where Reactors 1 and 3 were located exploded on March 12 and 14, respectively, prompting the government to evacuate everyone within a 20km radius. Another explosion in the building housing Reactor 2 on March 15 released even more radiation, and thousands of people left their homes as workers used helicopters, water cannons and seawater pumps to try to cool the overheating facility.

Russia's war machine is out-producing US and Europe for Ukraine - CNN

Former advisers sound the alarm that Trump praises despots in private and on the campaign trail - CNN

Russian student jailed after naming Wi-Fi router with pro-Ukraine slogan - CNN

Next Autopilot trial to test Tesla's blame-the-driver defense - Reuters

Israel checking reports that Hamas' military No 2 killed in Gaza strike - Reuters

Why Is My Electric Vehicle Dead? Check the 12-Volt Battery - The Wall Street Journal

How Big Pharma is fighting Biden’s program to lower seniors’ drug costs - The Washington Post

Trump’s freewheeling speeches offer a dark vision of a second term - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Sunday, March 10, 2024

The Path


Our Walking Path
Odenton, MD
March 6, 2024

Walking the dogs allows me the opportunity to view the changing Maryland seasons, get some exercise and converse with Chris. The dogs become almost a secondary aspect of the entire event. 

When we visit Odenton, we walk an old roadway which is closed to traffic, but has become almost as we were passing through a forest with the exception of the new roadway on one side and townhomes on the other. 

November Path
Odenton, MD
November 18, 2023
I would like to say that it is a relaxing walk, but the dogs provide some continual level of excitement, especially when we pass other dogs. It can get very exciting and sometimes a bit physical. Finnegan is well behaved and just wants to meet and greet the other members of his species, Lily, our daughter's dog, takes a more offensive view and sees the others dogs as a potential threat and gets into defensive mode. She is a very strong dog as well as she also has a mind of her own. I sometimes have to fight for control. We have found it easier to terminate the walk early or to slow our walk so as not limit contact between the dogs.

One of the things I enjoy noticing during the walks is the passing of the seasons. For instance, four days ago the trees along the path were fairly barren and from the winter. But, back in November, the path was filled with late-autumn color and leaves were everywhere. Visiting every few months helps me better identify the changes caused by the seasons. I believe I see the changes better than when I lived here and was exposed to the gradual change every day. 

The walk. And yes, I was reminded of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken. Although there are not two diverging roads here, there are two very different, yet the same roads.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories