Ben Lobaugh Online

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail

Today I saved a kid’s life- and prevented a mother’s heartache

Today I saved a kids life- and prevented a mother’s heartache

There he was, and 8-10 year old boy running down the street, with a big happy grin on his face. I would not have thought twice, but there were no parents or families around, and he was flapping his arms like a baby bird struggling to take flight. 

The Silver BMW behind him drove slowly with its hazards flashing. As I drove nearer the boy I could tell something was not right with him. I rolled down the driver side window as I drew near the BMW. “Is that your kid?” I asked. “No,” was the response. “Do you know who he is.” Another negative. I continued to drive away but something did not feel right. 

As I watched the boy in the rear view mirror, three other cars stopped near him but no one made a move to get him as a parent would. At the nearest driveway I turned around and raced back to the other cars. “Anyone know who that kid is.” A chorus of “no” echoed back. “Anyone try talking to him?” The guy in the black smart car responded, “I tried, but he ran away.” “I am calling the cops,” was my response. They could help find the kids parents, I thought. 

As the other cars dispersed, I dialed 911. 

“Hello, what is your name and what around you calling about tonight.”

“Hi, my name is Ben, I am on 127th SW and 8th. There is a kid, maybe 10 years old, possibly autistic running down the middle of the street towards a busy street. He is wearing a grey shirt, shorts, and sandals.”

“We will send someone right over!”

As I continued to follow the kid, wondering if someone would call the cops on me, I noticed he was not stopping. If he kept going he would go right out into the middle of a very busy four lane street! I knew I had to act. I pulled the car passed him, threw the gear into park, and hopped out to intercept the kids. 

Knowing he might be autistic, I was concerned he would throw a fit, or start screaming, or something if I approached him. As he came near he ran right into my hand. While in the car I had tried to talk to him with no response. I was not sure if he was deaf or not, but I asked where his parents were. No response. I repeated the question a couple times and he then repeated it back to me.  Nope, not deaf, just has communication issues. I asked other questions, “what is your address,” “what is your phone number,” etc. in each case after repeating the question he would say the question back to me. 

I had been moving around the street, preventing him from going forward the entire time. He was endeavoring to continue down the road. Eventually he got close to the car and grabbed ahold of the back door handle and said “car.” He repeated this a couple times and I asked, “do you want to get in the car? Go ahead.” With that he leapt inside and immediately put on the seatbelt. Hoping to avoid anyone calling the cops on me, thinking I was stealing a kid, I stayed outside the car and called 911 back to update them on the situation. The policeman showed up a few minutes later with the mother, who he picked up roaming the street looking for the kid. 

She was understandably grateful and thanked me profusely. 

I may have saved this kid’s life! What if nobody else had come for him and he wandered into the busy street? I had a vivid mental image of him being hit by a motorist, surprised by his sudden appearance on a busy street. 

My daddy instincts are kicking in. In a couple short weeks I will welcome my daughter into this crazy world. As I was driving to meet some friends all I could picture in my head was, “what if that was my little girl? What if she was lost? How would I find her?” I am unashamed to admit that I was shaking and a few tears may have escaped my eyeballs. 

In this case the mom was in the shower and the kid managed to get out of the house. What would have happened had I not been there? I do not know, but I do know I am glad I was there and I fervently pray that when my little girl needs help there will be other good humans around to protect her. 

Let’s promise each other today that we will look out for the vulnerable children amongst us always. 

The Jeep gets a new radiator


Black Hummer

Just kidding. Though I was tempted to trade the Jeep!

My 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been over heating lately. There has been a coolant leak since I owned it, and some leak stop severely gummed up the fins in the radiator. The warm weather brought the issue to stark light.

Spent 7 hours today swapping it for a brand new radiator. Way too long! This Jeep has the 4.7 V8 in it. Lots of power and fun, but the engine compartment is also more cramped. The fan has 4 bolts and one of them was difficult to get as it was behind the steering pump. We decided to pull the hoses off the fan and pull it out as a single unit. BAD IDEA. If you do it figure out how to get the fan bolts out and you will save a ton of time.

Anyways….. we got it done. The Jeep is holding temp rock solid now. And no more leaking!!!

March 2019 desk

March 2019 Desk

My office space is in transition. Currently working from the back dining room. This room is multipurpose, meaning each morning I set up my equipment and after work it gets taken down. We also use this room for dining, music, workshop.

On my desk:

  • 2018 MacBook Pro
  • 30” super high res Dell monitor
  • 2018 iPad
  • iPhone 6
  • empty 🙁 coffee mug

March 2019 desk

Chimney safety updates

I grew up with a wood stove for heat. I love fireplaces! This house has two!

The upstairs fireplace is an open face monster. Way different than a wood stove. The first I fired it I walked outside to check the chimney. Lots of sparks were flying out the top. Not desiring to burn down my neighborhood, the fire was put out and I called the great folks at Pristinr Sweeps to come take a look.

Aaron, the owner, glanced into the fireplace and let out a gasp as hit eyes travelled up the rear, to the chimney opening. He said it was one of the dirtiest chimneys he had seen! Aaron set to work and spent a lot of time cleaning. Then went onto the roof to inspect the brick and masonry. The damper was rusted out, and there was no cap on top to arrest sparks. The previous owner had a cap built to cover the three flues, however those can be problematic as smoke builds up in them. If one chimney is exhausting and the other is cold it is possible to have a down draft and suck all that back into the house. I had a new damper and cap for the upper fireplace flue installed.

The second fireplace is downstairs and has a wood stove insert in it. Aaron took one look at it and said he would not be able to work on it as the insert was not legal. Further inspection revealed it was incorrectly installed and did not have proper ventilation or exhaust. Whoah, there were no plans to use it, but I sure am glad I had it looked at and learned that!

I am happily sitting in the living room, enjoying the smell and crackle on a satisfying fire.

reminder, have your chimney inspected yearly. Junk can build up inside and cause a chimney fire. That will ruin your day pretty quick!


2018 Year in Review

2018 was a big year for me! Another amazing year of growth. 

I am going to go into detail in a bit on my vision, but first I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about focus. I had a lot of irons in the fire in 2018. Any one of them would have been gangbusters if it had taken off, however, with so many things going at once I want not able to give proper attention to any of it. I have always been a guy who shoulders a lot of responsibility. I loved everything I did in 2018, but looking into 2019 I am going to be trimming the fat- once again.

Let’s go over some of the major highlights before diving into the vision update.

These are in no particular order.

San Juan Sailing Trip

Alix and I went on our first extended cruising trip together. We toured the beautiful San Juan Islands for a blissful two full weeks! I had never been to the San Juans and Alix had only been a couple of places. The island chain is stunningly gorgeous. There were boaters all over, but we kept our marina stays to a minimum and were able to avoid most of them. 

Winds were flukey, as they tend to be around islands. We kept the engine running most of the time, motorsailer often (where you use the motor to generate apparent wind for the sails), and sailed disappointingly little. The massive forest fires in Vancouver, Canada had smoke settled over the whole region, so thick that it was like brown fog everywhere, but we did not let that slow us down! We hiked, swam, lounged, and read lots. Even met up with fellow Shilshole Bay Yacht Club (SBYC) members Larry and Sharon for a great dinner aboard their boat Antares in Deer Harbor.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. Alix is already scheming on how we can stretch it to three weeks in 2019!

Baby on the way!

Alix had been feeling odd for a few days after returning from our sailing trip. We found out she was pregnant! We are expecting our first child, a little girl, in April of 2019. Don’t worry! We are not going to let a baby slow our sailing down any. We have been getting lots of good advice from friends who live aboard sailboats with babies, SBYC members, and the Giffords from Sailing Totem. They are from the Pacific Northwest and spoke to our club after returning from a ten-year circumnavigation (sailing all the way around the world!). They wrote the book on Voyaging with Kids.

Real Estate Investment (REI) purchase

I picked up a house hack. A house hack is a house that is purchased and you can live in part of it while renting the other to pay the mortgage. We snagged a large two story house. The lower unit needs a full renovation, and the upper is livable but does need some big renovation to make it modern. We are living in one currently, while building out the other. The goal is to have most of the renovation in both units done before the baby arrives.

By the way, I picked up this property without a dollar coming out of my own pocket. Read how I did it in here .

Business partnership fell apart

I partnered with a good friend on a business venture that started in 2017. It was exciting and had huge promise. I was all in on it. When we started the business it was with a grand dream. We worked hard and pushed the company to grow. There were three employees hired in the first quarter of the year. Unfortunately, my partner and I had different ideas about the company we wanted. Neither idea was wrong, but they were mutually exclusive of each other. So we called it quits. He took the company to the other side of the state with his family, renamed it, and is doing well for himself. I am glad to see that. My hope and prayer is that the company supports him and his family well in the years to come.

Won first in class for sailboat racing!

I am very proud of this! My first full season as the owner, captain, skipper of a racing sailboat. Granted, Billabong’s “racing” design is from the 1980s and does not compete with modern races boats, but she does great against similar boats in her class. We had a bumpy start in the first of three series; in the second series we moved up in rank, and would have been first if not for a modern racer in our class; during the third series, we dominated! It was like the turbo button had been hit. The crew was perfectly in sync and everything we did went off flawlessly. It was thrilling.

Over the winter we decided to step it up a notch and enter the spinnaker class. Billabong is not rigged well for spinnaker, and we have not flown it before during a race. The other spinnaker boats have been racing with spinnakers for years and are really dialed in. We did a great job and really made them work for their wins.

Read 89 books

I saw a stat somewhere that the average person reads only a handful of books after graduating from college. That is not my style- I love reading! Last year I read something like 42 books. I wanted to push myself and see if I could read 80 books in 2018. I killed it at 89, and that was easy. I read primarily business, personal growth, coaching, and real estate investing books. I gained a lot of knowledge from books this year, but I also found that while 80 books was easy to hit, I have not retained all the knowledge. I kept going from book to book without a pause to really absorb the knowledge and let it sink in. 

I am tracking the books I read on GoodReads. Become my GoodReads friend.

Footloose boat fundraiser

Footloose Sailing Association, a non-profit that gets sailors with disabilities out on the water, has a few old boats that are showing their age. I am currently Vice President of Footloose and I put forth a vision to get the two Columbia 21s replaced. We were able to raise enough money to purchase a new boat! Footloose has been in operation for 28 years and I want to ensure we are positioned for another 28 years of operation. This new boat puts us well on our way.

Ok, you still with me? I know this is long, and really only good friends and family will read the whole thing, but I do not care. These year-end posts are mostly for myself, to look back to my life with. If you have read so far props to you! I hope I am providing inspiration.

Update on the vision statement

Vision: Become a topnotch, well respected communicator and coach

To date I have completed/am currently doing:

Speaking Engagements 4
Masterminds 7
Coaching Over 90 hours!

Over the year I gained respect and trust as a coach and a team trainer. There were some great events and fantastic coaching sessions. 

Look for a change here in 2019!

Vision: Let my money make me money, not me making money

This is my fun vision! Building businesses is exciting. This year I lost one business :(. That loss was humbling and has helped inspire me to drive harder into the future with businesses and partnerships.

The percentage of income did not reach as high in the “from business” category as I had hoped, but it was a year of great learning and 2019 is poised to be a business growth year.

In planning/exploratory phase 2
Pre-launch 1
Self-sustaining 2
Flops 1

Vision: Build an ever improving relationship with my wife that others coming behind can model after

Woowee! The relationship with my wife helps drive every other area of life. When our relationship is good I am motivated and take on the world. When it is not going well I lay around without energy to do anything. The impact she has on me is astonishing. 

This has been a huge year for Alix as well. Everything listed above, in addition to several of her own ventures, including running her own business and starting her teaching career.

With all the change it would seem that our relationship would be suffering from chaos, but quite the opposite has happened. I feel closer to my wife than any other time. We are more in sync and operate better as partners and a team. 2019 is set to be a great year for our relationship. The addition of a new member of the family is going to be an interesting one too!

Vision: Live a slow paced life

If you read all of the above, you are probably scratching your head, wondering how in the world this vision fits in. I have always been a busy person, very busy. Everything you read above did not hit my capacity. 2018 was a busy year, but there was also a lot of open space. By honing my focus I was able to accomplish more in a smaller amount of time. Heck, I read 89 books! That should prove successfully slowing down life right there 🙂

Will my vision be changing?

The beauty of having a vision instead of yearly goals is that allows me to drive forward toward something in freedom. Goals lock you in place, visions provide openness and flexibility. Goals change often, visions can last a lifetime. The beauty of vision is that as you walk down the road you learn more and the vision becomes more and more refined.

Will my vision be changing in 2019? A little. At its core, it will remain the same, but with the addition of a child life is going to look a lot different and my vision will change to support that.

Stay tuned for a post on my 2019 vision soon!

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