I have mentioned this to a few people in private messages and of course among the VMB moderators, but I thought I should explain to all the VMBers why I've been "here, but not here" for the last couple weeks. On November 5th, I was running some errands with my husband and we had just one more to do. I told him that we were going to go to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner and I was planning to spend the rest of the weekend on the couch with some knitting and the Tivo. Life apparently had other plans. My mom called and said something about paramedics and my dad and I was on my way back to the house to pack some clothes and catch the next ferry to head to Idaho. I was so frantic to get on the road, that I threw my wet laundry into a garbage bag and threw it in the trunk. Mom and I got some laughs at the fact that I managed to pack about 20 pairs of socks and probably another 20 shirts and sweaters, but only one pair of pants. I was somewhere around Yakima when they took him off the ventilator and didn't arrive at their home until after 11pm. The next several days were a whirlwind of making arrangements, figuring out what he would have wanted us to do and trying to support my poor mother, who finds herself alone for the first time after 53 years of marriage. The whole time I was also trying to keep my sister updated as she's on vacation in Japan. My dad was amazing. I know that almost every daughter thinks that about their dad, but mine really was. He was born in the family's small rental house in rural Kansas during the dust bowl. Somehow he managed to get himself through school on sports and academic scholarships. He played basketball with Wilt Chamberlain at Kansas Univ. and met my mom at Univ. of Utah. He went on to graduate from Stanford University with his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics, while working at Lockheed, taking care of his wife and his baby daughter, me. In his business, he worked with NASA and many companies, marketing his systems for earthquake, rail/automobile, and space systems analysis. He even traveled several times to China in the 1980's as a Distinguished Visitor, teaching analysis and data acquisition theories. If you're a golfer, you may know my dad. Even if you don't know his name, you know his work. He was on the Executive Committee of the USGA for over a decade, a member of the Royal & Ancients in Scotland, and president of a couple other California golf clubs. His mark is all over the golf community as he served on the Implements and Ball Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Handicap Procedures Committee, among others. He also produced the math behind the Equitable Stroke Control System, the SLOPE system, and the GHIN (Handicapping) system. As VP of Handicap Services for EzLinks Golf, he created the EHIN Handicapping system. He's also the one who made the rule that Rules Officials at the USGA had to pass a Rules Test. And he brought the R&A and USGA rules into parity. He was Rules Official at over 30 US Opens, Senior Opens and several Masters Championships. Golf was truly his passion. But mostly he was a good husband and a doting father to my sister and I. Despite his modest upbringing, he always made sure we had everything we could want, including birthday trips to Disneyland and Christmas in Hawaii. He traveled a lot for business, but never forgot about us at home. He would always find ways to remind us that even if he was on the other side of the globe, he was thinking about us. One of my favorite stories about him involves a chance meeting with the lead guitarist for REO Speedwagon at a hotel front desk. He said, "I think my daughter has your picture on her bedroom wall." They talked about me wanting to take guitar lessons and Gary Richrath gave him a guitar pick to give to me. Being a typical teenager, I told my friends how "totally embarrassing" my dad was, but I carried that pick in my wallet until I was 20 and still have it in a box of memories at home. I got to spend some time with him on my way to Las Vegas this past September. As usual, he just shook his head about my enthusiasm for the casinos and shared my disdain for the dwindling VP pay tables and new table game rules. I had asked him a few times before why he didn't like to gamble and his answer was always "I was a math major." I always loved listening to his stories about visiting Vegas in the late 50's/early 60's when he was a student at University of Utah and he and his friends would drive out for the weekend to grab some surf & turf and a show. He was truly one of the good guys. I will miss his logic and pragmatism when I had a seemingly unsolvable problem in my life and especially his wickedly dry sense of humor. I've got a crazy calendar through the end of the year and will be going back and forth between here and Idaho to do the memorial and funeral service, plus helping my mom through the holidays and then I hope things will settle back into some kind of normalcy. As if that's even possible.