My dad in emergency surgery

My 85 year-old dad fell down taking the recycling out into the garage last night, got up, went into the house and for hours carried on and didn’t even realize he fell. Later in the evening, my mom noticed a scratch on his arm and he complained that his head hurt so my mom called 911 and they took him to the hospital. He may have a concussion. That’s how I understand the facts, at least.

This morning, he had surgery to remove a hematoma on his brain — we were initially told it was a blood clot — and the surgery was quick and apparently went well. He’s not out of the woods yet, but I’m optimistic. Unfortunately, my mom can’t even visit him in the hospital yet because of Covid.

I love you Dad, I hope you can read this soon!

Gale Sayers died

Gale Sayers died today, sadly from dementia caused by football. He was a great football player and I’m a football fan but he played before my time. I knew of him as one of the first famous football players, the way baseball fans know of Babe Ruth. But he’s relevant to us because Gay was named after him! At least, that’s what we have believed for the last 15 years. We were wrong.

All her life, Gay had believed that she was named after “an Irish guy named Galen who survived cancer” because her mom read about the guy and was inspired by the story of beating cancer. “Galen” made sense because Gay’s full name is “Gay Lynn”, so her mom cleverly changed it to two words. But Gay never knew who this Irish guy was.

Several years ago, she was curious to find out and asked her mom. Long story short, we figured out that the story her mom read about was Brian’s Song, a movie based on Gale Sayers’ autobiography I Am Third which includes his relationship wtih his teammate, Brian Piccolo, who did get cancer but unfortunately didn’t survive it. Somehow, Gay’s mom confused the two people and named her daughter after Gale Sayers, which is pretty cool! That’s what we have believed since 2005. But it gets more clear…

In the book, Gale Sayers told the story of how he and his wife could not get pregnant for three years, started to adopt a girl, then became pregnant before the adoption process was complete. Gay was also adopted, so this makes much more sense that her mom would relate to the story! They named their daughter Gale Lynne. So she probably wasn’t named after Brian Piccolo or Gale Sayers after all, but Gale Sayers’ first daughter!

Excerpt from Gale Sayers’ book, I Am Third

I love how Gale Sayers really stuck to his G name scheme as Gay is very proud of her initials ‘GG’. He later had sons named “Gaylon”, “Gary” and “Guy”. Incidentally, Gay is often called “Gary” (but never “Guy”, mysteriously) by people who can’t accept that someone is named “Gay”.

Another fact that makes us feel that we are very close to the true story of Gay’s name: Brian Piccolo’s wife is named Joy, which is the name Gay’s mom always said she’d pick if she had another daughter.

As for me, I was named after a friend of my brother’s at the time I was born because it started with a T and my parents wanted all three of their kids to be Ts. At least that’s what I have believed my entire life…

2020 Tour de France is over

Tadej Pogacar (centre), Primoz Roglic (left) and Richie Porte (right) celebrate on the podium after the end of the 2020 Tour de France
Photo from BBC Sport

Tadej Pogacar won the yellow jersey yesterday in the time trial, something I’ve never seen. He also won the King of the Mountains jersey yesterday making him the youngest rider to ever win that. And he already had the white jersey. So he won three of the four jerseys, which has never happened. And at 21, he’s the youngest winner since 1904 to win. He is also the first Slovenian to win and his fellow Slovenian, Primoz Roglic, who I expected to win, took second place.

Last year’s winner, Egan Bernal, abandoned the race after a few days of poor performance. After 103 years, he’s only the fourth person to abandon the year after winning (one guy did it twice!). And Peter Sagan didn’t win the green jersey for the first time in eight years, in fact he was out-sprinted in every sprint he contested!

I’m looking forward to next year’s and I hope it is in July.

1400

I did my 1,400th Peloton ride today with my favorite instructor, Jenn Sherman, and for the first time I made a video of my “shout-out”.

She says “Let’s do it the right way…” because before the ride started she practically talked to me about my 1400th ride and said she’d do the shout-out during the ride too. She has a good memory, it’s as if she knows me. Incidentally, she is the very first instructor they hired at Peloton.

First Boat

I finally finished placing my order this morning for a boat, our first, a Cranchi E26 Rider!

The colors we chose are Blu Amalfi (love that name!) with Silvertex Cream upholstery, so it’ll look similar to this Classic version:

We could have gotten the above boat right away from a Cranchi dealer in Wisconsin but it’s the Classic version and not the Rider version, and it sold while we were deciding on the Classic vs Rider anyway. Unfortunately, there are no others available anywhere in the world so it has to be built and the earliest manufacturing time slot we could get has it scheduled to be finished on March 31, 2021. Then it takes 30 days to ship it from their Piantedo shipyard in Italy to Seattle. May 1, 2021 is the expected delivery date. This gives me time to find moorage in Seattle, which is currently hard to get but will hopefully open up during the fall and winter season.

It should be a lot of fun as a day boat on Lake Washington and is small and light enough that it can be put on a trailer and we can tow it with the Disco to other lakes too.


I thought picking a boat would be complicated, but after 12+ years of researching and looking at powerboats on and off I learned it’s pretty simple because all boats, assuming they’ve been maintained well, are perfectly fine, meaning they float, i.e., no boat manufacturer is arguing their boats sink less than other boats and the hulls are so good these days that they should all last a long time, assuming it hasn’t been damaged. And assuming that you’re comparing similar types of boats in the same price range, they have similar features and capabilities. The engine is important, of course, but the engines are made by a handful of companies and they can generally be replaced if they fail — you can’t do that with a car. Simply put, it comes down to your personal preferences for the brand of the boat.

My favorite brands have long been Azimut, Pershing and Cranchi. Riva is really nice too but very expensive. All Italian too — the Italians sure know how to make stylish boats! But they all make yachts, which is too much for my first boat. But recently, Cranchi started making a 30-foot boat, the Endurance 30, and an even smaller 26-foot boat, the E26. A small Cranchi? That feels perfect to me.

I originally thought the Endurance 30 would be good for us and got so far as to spec it out with a Cranchi dealer, but it’s too big to be put on a trailer and towed elsewhere, so it’d live either in Lake Washington or Puget Sound. It’d be unnecessarily big for Lake Washington and it’s probably too small for weekend or week-long trips in Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands or further north into Canada. It’s bigger so it has two berths on it, but we don’t intend to sleep on it and a family of five would need even more berths anyway.

The E26 is smaller so it can be put on a trailer and it still has a bathroom on it, which is a requirement. It comes in two versions: Classic and Rider. The Classic has a berth on it but it’s too small to realistically be used, especially for a family of five. The Rider trades that out for bow seating, but still has a (small) bathroom. The Rider is intended as a water sports boat, which is what we want to use it for and has an outboard engine which provides more deck space. The Classic has a nice aft sun deck on top of where the engine is, but the Rider’s aft seating can be converted to sun deck seating (the bow seating can as well) and sits lower which feels safer while motoring. Although the hulls are identical, I prefer the look of the Classic and I prefer its inboard engine. But the Rider is more practical.

Lake Pend Oreille

We rented a house on Lake Pend Oreille (“Ponderay”) for four five days to have some time with Gay’s dad and aunts, but the aunts couldn’t make it. We stopped in Spokane to pick up Gay’s dad — she drove his truck to the house near Sandpoint, ID — and we arrived at the house at 6:30pm, early enough for the kids to play in the water. Hudson brought his fishing pole and immediately went to the end of the dock to fish, and got up early Sunday morning to start fishing.

On Sunday, Gay’s mom and stepdad, Jim, brother and wife, Trina and his kids, Danica and Dalton, came over from Spokane for the day, which included lunch and dinner and playing in the water.

The house

When Gay was little, she and her dad boated on this lake often. So we rented a boat for a couple days too. It was supposed to be delivered Monday (Labor Day) but a significant windstorm with 60mph winds hit Idaho and knocked out power to thousands, including us, and the water was so rough that it made it impossible to deliver the boat. But the boat, a 23-foot Monterey 238SS, was delivered on Tuesday conveniently to the dock at the house.

I couldn’t get Bob to drive the boat, but all the kids wanted to drive it. Havana and Hudson took us all the way from Sandpoint to Hope. And they loved learning how the techniques to “make fast” a line to a cleat so they were quick to attach the fenders and then jump off the boat to help me dock by tying it to cleats on the dock.

The boat made it possible to get out farther so Hudson could fish. Eva then learned to fish and I took them both out in the evening and early morning, before online school, to go fishing. Hudson caught one fish and got it on the boat for a photo but it was too heavy for the line and it escaped back into the water.

After their morning online school each day, we took the boat out for the afternoon for tubing and swimming around the bays near the house and could not tire the kids out. After dinners, Hudson and I watched the Tour de France on my iPad until bedtime. We originally planned to leave Thursday but we were having so much fun and the house was available for an extra day so we extended the trip for one more day, with the boat too.

Bob, Barley & Eva

Barley really loved the boat, he wanted to get on it and didn’t want to get off. That surprised me. He normally hates not having all four feet firmly on the ground but didn’t seem to mind the rocking of the boat at all, he could even fall asleep while we were cruising at 30mph.

Havana at the helm
Hudson at the helm

Laughing Dog Brewing is just minutes from the house in Ponderay. Gay and I used to drink their then-flagship IPA because it had a picture of a dog on the label that looked exactly like Illy and we’d never been to the brewery so we couldn’t resist stopping in.

Laughing Dog Brewing
Havana feeding a goose from a kayak at sunset
Eva, Havana, Hudson & Gay on the “inner tube”

We got home to a very smoky Seattle thanks to the forest fires in California, Oregon and Washington. Air Quality Index is over 200, “Very Unhealthy”, and is expected to be that high until at least Monday. We should have stayed in Idaho through the weekend!

Sep 13 Update: eastern Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho had twice as high AQI numbers since we returned. It’s good we left when we did!

Being ground zero for Covid-19, the CHOP debacle and now this, 2020 has not been very good to Seattle.

I90 near North Bend

Tour de France 2020: Covid edition

I’m finally watching this year’s Tour de France, delayed almost two months because of Covid. My favorite chair, coffee, a good book, Barley snoring on the couch, Le Tour on TV — summer is now normal again for me. It sure sounds better on the Beosound Stage soundbar too.

It’s been canceled before, due to the two World Wars, but this is the first time it’s ever been delayed. And given that they are required to remove entire teams if two riders test positive for Covid, I wonder if it’ll even finish in Paris, which it has always done.

It’ll be interesting to watch. All the spectators are required to wear masks and so far they’re certainly better about it than the freedumb-minded Americans who refuse. Cars aren’t allowed on the route either so unless spectators walk up the mountains, there won’t be any fans in the mountain stages at all crowding the road, which would be very odd to see.

A Norwegian, Alexander Kristoff, won the first stage, only the 5th Norwegian to win a Tour stage.

Last year’s Tour de France.