Archive for April, 2023

My first kayak

I ordered my 380x from Sea Eagle directly, instead from Amazon. My friend told me to take photos when I unfold – it’s useful when you fold back.

Here are some sites I checked before buying – not so much to get more info but to validate my selection – I like the look of this one, practically didn’t really consider others. What Agassi’s 1989 motto? Image is everything -:)

  1. SI’s top 6
  2. Forbes
  3. NY Mag
  4. Top 10 
  5. top 6 

Leave a Comment

Maple Leafs vs Lightning @ Amalie

The third game of Atlantic Division of NHL playoff at Amalie Arena.

~ 2-2 after 1st period
~ 2-3 after 2nd period
~ 3-3 after 3rd period
~ 4-3 at OT

Last month, Leafs beat Wild soundly at FLA Live arena, and we were rooting for the Canadians. Today we’re all for the home team.

A view of the Garrison Channel.

Leave a Comment

Manatees: kayak w/ Capt. Yak

Captain Yak
2902 Miriam St S
Gulfport, FL

A nice day out there on the Boca Ciega Bay, which is connected to the Gulf of Mexico on the west-central coast of Florida. We paddled through rough water, calm water, mangroves, osprey and manatees.

According to dolphin research center, manatees are about 4-4.5 feet (1.2-1.4 m) long when they are born and average 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg). Full-grown manatees weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds (360-545 kg) and reach 10 feet (3.0 m) in length.

… some photos


We got to the base at 10 and left at 10:30, have the only bathroom break at 11:30 at Clam Bayou and done by 12:51. It’s $30 pp for 4 hours. We didn’t till 2pm.

Leave a Comment

Sarasota Open 2023

This is the second Sarasota Open, a part of ATP Challengers Tour held at Payne Park, April 9-16, 2023; with $128,000 prize money.

The box office, bathroom – definitely better than porta potty, and the center court: the poles are eyesore. 

The Open itself, goes back to 2008, had been held at various locations:

  • Longboat Key Club 2009-14 
  • Lakewood Ranch 2015-6 
  • United Tennis Center 2008, 2017
  • Laurel Oak Country Club 2018-9 
  • not held in 2020-1

This year, the title sponsor is Elizabeth Moore, a prominent local philanthropist with passion for tennis. The ticket prices increase as the tourney gets deeper, and are groups into a few categories. Re-entry is allowed.

  • $237 Fifth Third Bank Row
  • $159 5/3 Bank Champagne Table
  • $159 VIP Champagne Table
  • $169 Club Reserved
  • $64 Reserved
  • $54 general admission

Because of rain delay from previous day – Wednesday, we watched more matches than we anticipated. Court 5 is their center court, named after Nick Bollettieri (1931-2022). One side is general admission and the other side is the lounge with tables and chairs. Both sides have tent. The poles that support the tent are unsightly, unnecessary evil I guess. Court 7 and 8 are used as well, and we sit right there with the line person – perks of the small and intimate tournaments.

The center court has an announcer or commentator


The matches

  1. Zhang Zhizhen (🇨🇳 1996-) def Alex Rybakov (🇺🇸 1997-) delay; to Q
  2. Tristan Boyer (🇺🇸 1997-) def Jack Sock (🇺🇸 1992-) delay;
  3. Enzo Couacaud (🇫🇷 1995-) def Zhang
  4. Daniel Elahi Galán/Galan (1996-) won T Boyer retired
  5. Genaro Alberto Olivieri def Bjorn Fratangelo (🇺🇸 1993-)
  6. Gullermo Duran & Guido Andreozzi def Robert Galloway (🇺🇸 1992-) & Miguel Angel Reyes-Vareia

Zhang Zhizhen def Alex Rybakov 6-4, 7-6, delay match from Wednesday. Zhang advanced to the quarter final

Tristan Boyer  def Jack Sock, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, also a delay match from yesterday.

Enzo Couacaud (🇫🇷 1995-) def Zhang, 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday, April 13

Daniel Elahi Galán/Galan won Tristan Boyer 6-4, 3-0. Galán/Galan is the defending champ. Boyer beat out Jack Sock from previous day’s match and this is his second match of the day.

Genaro Alberto Olivieri def Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 3-6, 6-7. Fratangelo behaved pretty badly at the end, smashing his racket to the ground many times … oh well.

Gullermo Duran & Guido Andreozzi def Robert Galloway & Miguel Angel Reyes-Vareia 7-6, 5-7, 1-6. The last few points Galloway played, played badly and at the conclusion of the match, he throw his racket. A female fan or staff retrieved it from the next court.

Leave a Comment

Duckies in the pool

Lately, a pair of ducks have been making out in our swimming pool.

“Honey, let’s go for a swim in a resort.” ha ha ha

Not sure the chemicals are good for them. They poop a lot on the deck, which is terrible.

After I finished my 30 laps, they’re still there, enjoying their sun bathing time.

Leave a Comment

Point, bid & response

Bidding opens a bridge game, and points determine how you bid, or not.

There are total 40 points in a deck: A K Q J, the high card point HCP.

  • Ace = 4 points
  • King = 3
  • Queen = 2
  • Jack = 1
  • long suit:
    1.  = 5-card suit
    2. = 6-card suit
    3. = 7-card suit
  • short suit:
    1. = doubleton
    2. = singleton
    3. = void

Just so you know, the maximum points a hand can have – mathematically proven ha ha ha, is 37 HCP bec each hand has only 13 cards.

♠️ A K Q J
♥️ A K Q
♦️ A K Q
♣️ A K Q

The very basic rule for bidding in each level:

  1. 12-13 HCP to open bid in ♠️♥️♦️♣️, 16-17 to 1NT
    • ♦️/♣️ = 3 in the suit
    • ♠️/♥️ = 5 in the suit
  2. see ⇓ conventions; 21 HCP NT; 22 in ♠️♥️♦️♣️
  3. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (5-9 HCP) 7-card suit
  4. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (6-10 HCP) 8-card suit

 Some conventions

  • 2♣️ bid is artificial = 22 HCP or 9+ tricks
  • 2♦️♠️♥️ bid is weak 2 bid: 5-10 HCP and 6-card suit


Responses to partner’s 1NT opening bid: (Responses to a 2NT opening bid are the same, except 2NT 3C is Stayman)

  • Pass: Normal if game is out of reach, unless 2D 2H or 2S is a safer contract.
  • 2C is Stayman, promising some 4+ card major and asking partner to bid her 4-card major (2H or 2S) if she has one, otherwise to bid 2D. You can subsequently shift to a major to show a 5-card suit and invite game.
  • 2D, 2H, or 2S is a sign-off; partner must pass.
  • 2NT is invitational to 3NT; partner will raise if at the high end of her 16-18.
  • 3-of-a-suit is forcing. Partner will raise with 3+ card support, and otherwise bid 3NT.
  • 3NT or 4H or 4S is a sign-off in game.
  • 4C is Gerber, asking for aces. Partner responds 4D with 0 or 4 aces, 4H with 1, 4S with 2, 4NT with 3.
  • 4NT is invitational to 6NT (This is quantitative, not Blackwood.)

Responses to partner’s 1-of-a-suit bid

  • Pass with 0-5 points.
  • 1H → 2H = 6-10 points and support in the suit (8+ cards between you)
  • 1H → 3H = force a game, 13 points and support.
  • 1H →  4H = is a sign-off, indicating a weak hand but with many trumps.
  • 1H →  1S = 6-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing, i.e. don’t let the bidding stop there.
  • 1H →  2C = 10-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing (except by passed hand).
  • 1H → 2S = 19+ points. Forcing to game, and slam is likely.
  • 1H → 1NT =: 6-9 points, no fit in partner’s suit, no other suit that can be bid at one level. Not necessarily balanced.
  • 1H → 2NT = 13-15 points and a balanced hand, and usually no 4+ card major suits.
  • 1H → 3NT = 16-18 points and a balanced hand.

Leave a Comment

My first grand slam

Played my first grand slam, mostly on my partner’s strength – forgot to take a pic of her hand – unfortunately we didn’t bid for it [大哭]: result of my not wanting to learn the bidding conversions. 
For this hand, my partner opened with 1N; I responded 2H; she jumped to 4H.

~ played my 2nd grand slam 2N  

… my first slams, and the second  

Leave a Comment