What’s in a name, you ask?


You may be wondering, “Joe, why did you name your wheelchair Lively?  What possible significance could it have?  Why didn’t you call her a real girls name?  Why is your wheelchair a girl?  Why am I asking these questions?”  Well, Reader-land, I’ll tell you.


After making such a huge STINK about names, why did I choose this?  Now you get to learn a little more about me, whether you wanted to or not.

To start with, a name has to fit, and it can’t be just given.  Sorry, Gwyneth Paltrow,

Ren? Magritte, The Son of Man, 1964, Restored by Shimon D. Yanowitz, 2009  øðä îàâøéè, áðå ùì àãí, 1964, øñèåøöéä ò"é ùîòåï éðåáéõ, 2009
The Son of Man (1964) by René Magritte

but Apple isn’t a great name!  Either you REALLY like Steve Jobs, or…  I’m actually not even sure.  Mel and I spent months over our babies names to make sure, and we are sure they fit.  The same here.


Secondly, I am a romantic.  I’m an historian by training and interest, and modern names kinda stink.  Ferrari 488; Mercedes-modelsBenz SLK, what does that even mean?  Jaguar XJS.  Nissan Rogue.  Honda Civic.  The Tesla, the most advanced car, is a Model X/3/S.  Cmon!  That is just lacking imagination!  The Expedition.  Heck, the most creative names out there are on Rolls-Royce, like the Phantom and the Silver Shadow.  Even Formula 1 teams use chassis numbers, so the Williams will be the FW-42, although I think they should name it after a legendary driver, Piers Courage.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test One - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain
The Williams FW-41

So, I didn’t think that modern naming convention would work.  It’s just weak sauce.

Your car is bad, and you should feel bad!

The USS Name Here?  Too Roman in their thinking, not poetic enough, frankly, and I tend towards more the Greek, a lot more poetic!  US naming convention is too pedantic.


So, growing up, my Dad introduced me to this author named Rafael Sabatini, and he wrote swashbuckling novels like Captain Blood, and Scaramouche, and The Sea Hawk, showing boys about how to be brave, bold, gallant, and chivalrous.

These books fueled a love of ships of fighting sail.  Think about the glorious time when balls of iron were launched from cannons, then the ships came together and it was settled man to man!  Wooden ships with names like Agammemnon, Victory, Surprise, Orion, Bonhomme Richard, Temeraire, names that stir a man’s heart to say, “I am quite warm, love for my country keeps me warm.”Maritime Artist & Art

Why do we have so many pirate movies? Names like Queen Anne’s Revenge, Reader-land!  This is why!

Ok, fast forward to my college classes on Napoleon, and his wars.  (Side note here, did you know that for all the horrible things he did, Napoleon died with two priests by his bedside, and is reported to have converted at the end?  Yeah, this is why you shouldn’t wish someone was in hell, if we make it to heaven we will be surprised who is there!)  Anyway, of course I wanted to write my paper on his naval battles, but the English really spanked his bottom, so there was only the Nile and Trafalgar.  Enter Patrick O’Brian!

I think Celeste introduced me to him, but he wrote the best, most detailed, most realistic historical fiction about life in the British Navy that there ever was.  Twenty some books, I’ve read them all, starting in college through marriage, etc.  You’ve probably heard of a single movie they made from two of his books, Master and Commander, with Russell Crowe doing a brilliant job!

To go through the novels, you begin to understand how a ship can be a she, how every noise and creak and groan is a conversation, how your steadfast companion, day in and day out, is also your first and only defense against the sea, and like a wife, mother, and lover, cares for you every day.  Hate her, and she’ll reject you, often violently.   Love and care for her (as all Christian men are called to do, see St. Paul), and you will be blessed.  This is why a ship is more than just conveyance, and why there is this maybe weird relationship.  Think I’m being too romantic?  Too bad, it’s my EV! WLively

Well, in these novels a ship enters in, very early on, and it becomes oft referenced in the later books as a happy memory.  The ship’s name? HMS Lively. Temeraire

“No wonder they called her a crack frigate: her sailing qualities were quite out of the ordinary, and the smooth quiet discipline of her people was beyond anything he had seen.”

That, to me and to Jack, who built her, is a fitting name for a Crack EV, finest in the world.  One of a kind, with quirks that are all her own, swift, sure, and sprightly.  She is a feat of engineering, yes.  But she is filled with heart, with passion, with the stuff dreams are made of and that the world tells you can’t be done!  THAT is why! img_3722.jpg

I leave you with a quote from a movie that I think I first saw at Dr Hahn’s house, and which still gives me goosebumps.

2 thoughts on “What’s in a name, you ask?”

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