Head of the Charles

Since its origin in 1965, the Head Of The Charles Regatta has welcomed the world’s best crew teams to the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day rowing competition attracting over 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators. Kyle and I were among the later group this morning enjoying the racing and a spectacular autumn day.  Kyle wondered if boats often collided.  I told him it was rare and not 10 minutes later we witnesses a three way crash. Two racing fours collided side-to-side and were then carried by the current into the reverse direction “lane” where they were T-boned at high speed by a double traveling in the opposite direction. It is very fortunate that no one was seriously injured although the double rowers seemed none too happy with their short swim in the frigid Charles.

The geese pictured below managed to just dodge the advancing shell but one was not so lucky with respect to the sweeping oar.

Copenhagen Wheel

As the resident biking expert in the family, I asked Jeanine to test out a product called the Copenhagen Wheel.  It is a retrofittable rear wheel that turns an ordinary bicycle into an electric motor assisted speedster instilling in the rider a feeling of super human strength and endurance .  Her smile reveals the verdict and validated my decision to join the company that literally reinvented the wheel. Superpedestrian is a startup, founded in 2012 by one of the wheel’s co-inventors, with a mission to transform urban mobility. Over the last 18 months I have been heavily recruited for various head of engineering roles both here and on the west coast. Most were interesting, all were lucrative, but none till now stirred my passions enough to coax me out of retirement. The superpedestrian mission, its technology and design sensibility, the culture and team of exceptional individuals all spoke to me on a very profound level. My first day in the office will be a week from Monday.  Although I have failed at my first attempt to retire, I feel I made great use of my time off.  I enjoyed travel adventures in a dozen countries, visited more than half the US states, and built a tiny house with Maya. 

Nearly Road Kill

I had to swerve violently to avoid running over this snake in the road today. Confident I had missed it, I circled back for a photo (taken with my telephoto lens). I have no idea what kind it is but thought it wise to keep my distance despite its relatively small size (about 2.5 feet long). If anyone knows what species this is, please drop me a note and I will update the post. My current best guess is a Northern Water Snake.

Notching

Every year at this time I try and venture into the White Mountains of New Hampshire in search of fall color. Weather and foliage reports suggested that today would be optimal. I travelled north to Franconia Notch and then east through Crawford Notch to Jackson. I returned by way of Conway and and Kancamagus Highway covering a total of nearly 350 miles. The foliage this year was somewhat muted but more expansive than in past years. I enjoyed the drive as much of the photography and may even make a return visit later this week.

2 x 3mm Stones

Women who have passed kidney stones compare the pain to that of child birth. Early this morning after an entirely sleepless night my pain increased to 11 on a scale of 10 and it was time for a visit to the ER. There I received a very effective pain blocker and underwent a CAT scan to confirm that I was passing two 3mm kidney stones.  I was discharged by noon and felt good enough to walk home from the hospital. During my recovery, I enjoyed watching a video from Maya showing her hopper in action. Note the clever time delayed trigger.  Link to Video

Pumpkin Time

I had hoped to head up to New Hampshire for some fall foliage photography today. My soccer match was cancelled due to forfeit by our opponent leaving me a rare unscheduled autumn Sunday. Unfortunately, skies were overcast and I opted to do some much needed shopping instead.  By late afternoon, the sun was peaking through the clouds occasionally and I managed to get some nice pumpkin photos at one of our local farm stands. Later I took Jeanine out for diner and the latest Kingsman movie. We both agreed that it would have been better if I had taken Kyle instead.  Better yet would have been waiting to catch it on TV.

Hopper Project

During day two of Olin’s Family Weekend Maya had to work on her hopper project and we were all happy to watch as she built mechanisms from parts that were laser cut over night. The project is due on Monday so she needed to work on it while we were visiting.  Later we joined some of her friends and their parents for dinner at a Japanese restaurant before saying goodbye to our baby who we will see next at Thanksgiving.

Family Weekend

Jeanine, Kyle and I had a chance to visit Maya during Family Weekend at Olin College. We are already fairly familiar with the tiny campus and therefore most interested in seeing Maya’s first project, a biologically inspired hoping mechanism (below is one of her initial design drawings). Maya seems very happy and thoroughly engaged in academic life as well as the social scene. We attended her ultimate frisbee practice to cap off the day.

Campaign Photos

Jeanine asked me to take some photographs for Open Table’s next fundraising newsletter which I was happy to help her with. Pictured above is the food pantry at their new Maynard facility. Below is from dinner service in Concord shot from the top of a 12ft ladder.

Stihl the Best

I can’t think of a tool I have owned that has given me more pleasure and care free use than my Stihl chainsaw.  I have owned it for more than 25 years and it has never let me down. It saw most of its use taking down and sectioning huge dead beech trees when we lived on a 5 acre forested lot in Indiana.  It also opened up the magnificent view of the field we enjoy today on our Concord property.  It has seen little use in the last 5 years, however, and therefore will get posted to Craig’s List where I hope it will find a happy new home.

The Esplanade

I had an opportunity to stroll along the Charles River Esplanade this afternoon between consulting gigs in the city. I am trying to walk as much as possible to help stretch out my injured hamstring. With normal strides I am already pain free which bodes well for a quick recovery.

Tool Transition

When DeWALT upgraded their cordless tool line from 18V NiCad to 20V Li-Ion battery technology, I sold off all my old tools and replaced them with their newer equivalents. Today, I completed my second transition to tools with brushless motors, DeWALT’s latest cordless technology by selling off my last two saws that use motors with brushes. I managed to recover 80% of my acquisition cost which makes the transition much more affordable. I have also started to invest in some of DeWALT’s 60V tools including an air compressor and track saw. Generally speaking, I am on a path to replace all my corded and stationary power tools with cordless ones. I am waiting impatiently for the introduction of a cordless router and orbital sander which I can’t believe have not been released yet.

Soccer Fight

I have played soccer in Massachusetts for as long as we have lived here, some 14 years now; first on the over-40 Concord team, then the over-50 Concord team and now on the Lexington over-56 team. In all that time, I have never witnessed a fight between players that resulted in injury.  Most are merely shoving matches with lots of trash talk. When the final whistle blew this morning in our tied game against Peabody, an opponent who felt he had been fouled by one of our players stuck him in the face resulting in a cut that required 10 stitches to close.  Our guy fought back to defend himself and both were issued red cards. I suggested we photograph the injury so that assault charges could be substantiated and to seek to have the offending player permanently banned from the league.  I watched the whole fight transpire from the sidelines where I spent the second half of the game benched with a strained hamstring.

Island Hopping

Scattered clouds and a visible full moon in the morning gave way to overcast skies with little in the way of sunshine. Never the less, we enjoyed exploring the area. We started with a 6 mile bike ride along the Androscoggin River and then a visit to an artisan craft show in Brunswick which yielded a beautiful set of silver earrings for Jeanine. After a wonderful lunch at the Frontier we explored Orr’s Island and Bailey Island where we made a short hike to the Giant Staircase (pictured below).  We decided to cancel reservations for a sunset sailboat cruise when thick fog began to form and it started to rain.

Harpswell

Twenty seven years ago today, Jeanine and I were married on an equally beautiful autumn day.  Jeanine collected me at the airport this morning and we drove to a quaint bed and breakfast at Lookout Point in Harpswell, Maine. We spent the day touring the area by car and on foot winding up on the tip of Basin Point, at the water’s edge of Pott’s Harbor for dinner at the Dolphin Marina and Restaurant with an exceptional view of Casco Bay and its many islands.

This website is dedicated to sharing, with family and friends, the day-to-day adventures of the Calabria family.