Tulips and the Great Eclipse of 2024
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
1w ago
Nothing could have eclipsed my pleasure of seeing Donna enraptured by acres of beautiful tulips of every color. Well, actually…. On the day of the much-hyped eclipse, Donna and I took a day trip out to Nokesville, Virginia to visit Burnside Farms to pick tulips. Getting there from our home in Maryland requires driving through dreaded, crowded, heavily trafficked Northern Virginia. Shockingly, we made the 50-mile trek to Nokesville in an hour and a quarter, with no real slow-ups. And once we got off I-66, the landscape quickly morphed to suburban, then bucolic, with fields dotted with sheep an ..read more
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Spring Training 2024
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
1M ago
Ten years ago, my daughter Eileen and I went to Spring Training to catch a couple Grapefruit League games in Florida. This spring, Donna and I headed south to Sarasota to see the Orioles, who have returned to postseason relevance after a four-year rebuild that saw them lose 100 or more games for three straight years. During the rebuild, under the direction of General Manager Mike Elias, they traded away their veteran players for prospects. In addition, those eye-poppingly bad seasons netted them high draft positions, and with a new focus on analytics and new approaches to drafting and player ..read more
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Ringing In 2024 With a Good Book
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
3M ago
Happy New Year! I hope your 2024 is filled with joy and peace.  If spending less screen time is on your list of resolutions for 2024, getting into a good book or two is a great way to bypass your phone, computer and TV (Kindle doesn’t count in my, er, book). Here’s a rundown of what I’ve read recently; let me know what you’re reading! Fiction  The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, James McBride — A remarkably powerful story about redemption and the power of love that takes place in the Chicken Hill section of Pottstown, Pa. in the 1920s. Yes, I’ll admit it — these eyes got a little mi ..read more
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Africa Part 2: Traveling Back in Time
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
6M ago
Our journey to Africa spanned 10,000 miles and with a long layover, about 24 hours each way. It also seemed to take us back in time – like the Way Back Machine in the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of my youth. The parts of Africa we saw – aside from Arusha, Tanzania’s third-largest city into which we flew – are like a place time forgot. There are, of course, some paved main roads, vans and trucks, and we often had access to the Internet, even in very remote areas. But so much seems nearly untouched by modern influence: The vast expanses of ancient trees, unmolested game animals and birds ..read more
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Afri-freaking-ca!
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
7M ago
Donna and I recently took the trip of a lifetime, a safari in Tanzania on Africa’s central east coast. We visited Tarangire National Park, with multiple herds of elephants; Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which features the renowned Ngorongoro crater; and Serengeti National Park. Serengeti, like Ngorongoro, is a UNESCO World Heritage site; it is home to some 1.5 million migratory wildebeest, 400,000 zebra, 3,000 lions, and many other herbivores and predators. We arrived in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport after a 10,000-mile, 26-hour journey, and were greeted by our remarkable guide ..read more
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Getting Lost in a Good Book (or 21)
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
8M ago
I’ve always been a reader, from my childhood on, and the allure of getting lost in a good book has never released its grip on me. Since my retirement in June 2022, I’ve been reading a lot. Here are some of my favorite books from the past year; let me know your thoughts about these or others! Fiction 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez – Márquez’s fantastical epic about the Colombian Buendia family is one of the greatest books I’ve read. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier – Outstanding literary novel about a wounded Civil War soldier’s desertion and return to home. Beautifully written pr ..read more
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Southern Maryland: religious freedom, rebellion, tobacco -- and zinnias!
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
9M ago
Over the years, Donna and I have explored most of Maryland’s regions: The mountainous west and north, the beaches to the east, and the areas around the dominant Chesapeake Bay, which cleaves the state in the middle. But we had never ventured to southern Maryland, so we recently took a day trip to St. Mary’s County, at the southern tip of the state's western shore, to visit Goldpetal Farms there and experience this rural area rich in Maryland’s history.  The farm is in the village of Chaptico, at the mouth of Chaptico Bay, near the confluence of the Wicomico and Potomac rivers. It’s abo ..read more
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OBX
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
10M ago
In recent years we’ve rented houses on New Jersey’s Long Beach Island for a week and hosted our kids and their families. This year, we decided to try something new: Donna and I rented a house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for a week to kick off summer with our children and their families. It was one of the best family vacations we’ve had. The weather was fantastic the entire week. The ocean water was so warm that even Donna got in. The beach was composed of soft, powdery sand and the waves were mostly calm. Skittish ghost crabs, with their pincers up and their eyes atop periscope-like stalk ..read more
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The White House
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
1y ago
It was a beautiful spring day, but hazy. We learned that the haze was due, of all things, to a wildfire 2,500 miles away in Alberta, Canada. We left the house at 9:00am, after the tail-end of rush hour, headed for a day of sightseeing in in Washington, D.C. The trek was painless and took just an hour, in stark contrast to thousands of arduous, stressful commutes to and from the nation’s capital I had made over the years. I spent many years of my working life in journalism, publishing, and corporate communications in and around Washington. I used to cover Congress and my News Galleries pass a ..read more
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Cape May, New Jersey: Ginger Bread, Boats, Dining, and Fun with Friends
What's in Dave's Head
by Dave Douglass
1y ago
Donna’s brother Larry and his wife Patricia recently invited us to spend a couple days with them in Cape May, New Jersey. Of course we quickly accepted.  Cape May is one of those places Donna and I had never been to but had for years talked about visiting someday, and taking the ferry that crosses Delaware Bay between Lewes, Delaware and the Victorian beach resort town at the southernmost tip of the Garden State. After all, the town bills itself as the country’s oldest seaside resort, dating back to pre-Revolutionary times, and its historic district is a National Historic Landmark for it ..read more
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