Cape Cod Vacation 7

August 29, 2016

Another Cape Cod vacation is in the books. You can pretty much go back and read a post from earlier years, it’s basically the same. The spot is gorgeous and we have a blast every year.

Describing the beach we stay on (Skaket Beach in Orleans MA) is hard. Other than being extremely kid friendly, it’s the tides that are exceptional. These pictures are from the same spot on our deck.

At low tide you can literally walk a mile straight out.


At high tide, not so much.


It’s basically two different beaches. High tide is a great swimming beach and low tide is great for crabbing/clamming/walking.

There’s a section that looks like a stream at low tide where some trees were deliberately planted in a row and some wise guy put signs on the trees:


It’s West facing, so people come to the beach at sunset to take pictures (and always applaud with the sun goes down).


Our girls catch crabs. They named the horseshoe crab Kyle:


And these are some of Kyle’s friends:

The nearby Cape Code Rail Trail is ideal for biking:


And we always play some mini-golf:


This guy builds a big sand castle on a low tide day. By late afternoon the high tide wipes it out…


Our dog can’t come because we rent the place, but the neighbor’s dog loves Danielle:


On a particularly windy day, this sail surfer entertained us with some serious air time (40 second mark).

Just another amazing vacation…



Old Guy Wins Gold

August 13, 2016

Anthony Ervin did it (read prior post for context). I watched it with my daughter, we were very excited. He looks pretty much the same as he did when he was teaching her swimming seven years ago. What a remarkable story.

My Daughter’s Swim Teacher Wins Gold

August 12, 2016

In an obscure bit of life trivia, my oldest daughter briefly took swim lessons from Anthony Ervin. Anthony Ervin won the gold medal in the 50m freestyle in the 2000 Olympics.

Over the next decade, Ervin sold his gold medal, donated the money to charity, then took off on a spiritual quest. He dabbled in everything from Zen Buddhism to the hard-partying lifestyle of playing in rock bands. Instead of a pool, he sank into depression, which, at its deepest, led to a suicide attempt and a death-defying motorcycle accident. Nearing age 30, he desperately needed a shot at redemption.

“For me, getting the tattoos was a way of reclaiming my own skin, and regaining control of myself,” Ervin said.

Armed with elaborate new ink, he went back to school and started coaching at a swim camp for kids. Those kids helped him remember what he loved about swimming in the first place.

My daughter was 6 at the time, so as a teacher he was overkill, but he was nice and good with the kids.

His story is fascinating.

I remember reading in 2012 that he was trying a comeback. He made the Olympic team but didn’t win a medal. I didn’t realize he’s back again in Rio. And he won a gold medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay. That’s a 16 year gap between gold medals. And he qualified for the final in the 50m freestyle.

He’ll be the old guy at 35. He’s certainly not favored, though he was tied for second in the semi-final heats. I’ll be rooting for him.


August 11, 2016

Would have been one of Gruber’s best headlines, if it weren’t for the typo. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.


Whack-a-mole all the way down.

The URL is still amusing:

Go Fiji!

August 11, 2016

I was heading home from work and stopped off at a local bar/restaurant to get some pizza for dinner. I sat at the bar and knew the bartender. NBC had switched from the Olympics to local news so he was trying to find Olympics somewhere else. I suggested NBCSN which he found.

The rugby gold medal game. I’ve never really watched rugby. They were presumably playing the national anthems (the sound was off) and I clearly saw the UK flag and the other flag was one of those obvious ex-colonies because it had the UK flag in the corner. So I’m trying to guess, Australia? Scotland?

No, Fiji.

Fiji? Seriously? Tiny island nation? They have to be the Cinderella story so I’m clearly rooting for them. But as they pan across both teams, it’s clear that Team Fiji looks like LeBron James’ cousins. Not that tall, but totally built. And they just looked fast.

Looks were not deceiving, they were all fast, they were all powerhouses and they could all throw/catch the ball. I’ve never watched an actual rugby match before. It was a ton of fun to watch.

Fiji romped. They’d pass the ball side to side a few times, someone huge and fast would see a bit of an opening and charge through. One Brit would try to tackle him and fail. A second Brit would join him and at that point the Fiji dude would pass it to his now wide open teammate who would sprint for a touchdown.

Do they call it a touchdown? No clue. It’s actually worth 5 points and the “extra point” is worth 2. That’s as much of the rules as I figured out. It was still big fun. The non stop action of soccer but with the scoring of basketball.

This picture sums up the rout:


Or maybe this one:

Bigger faster dudes from Fiji leaving the Brits in the dust. It was huge fun to watch.

Drone Racing

August 10, 2016

I’ve mentioned Governors Island before (four years ago, actually). It was once a Coast Guard installation and later the NYFD used the abandoned buildings for fire training. Bloomberg cleaned it up and turned it into a tourist destination.

I took Victoria over on the ferry last Sunday. Her usual favorites are mini golf:


and walking the goats:


This time, near the farm we saw drone racing. Turns out it was the national drone racing championships.

We didn’t stay long, there were goats to walk, but damn those things were fast. You will have to click to enlarge and then you’ll barely see one in the upper right:


Please Don’t

August 4, 2016

From The Verge, words I never thought I’d read or write:

please don’t fly a drone while wearing a virtual reality headset and sitting on the edge of a cliff

It’s simple, people: you could fall very easily