Occasionaly, while driving into work, I will attempt to set a new gas mileage record. This involves very smooth acceleration and minimal braking, conservation of momentum, timing the traffic lights, and drafting large trucks. Today I achieved my all time record of 36.5 mpg. The rest of my work day was equally efficient. Heard from Jeanine who sent e-mail via a friend with a Blackberry. Her ATM card does not work in Tanzania and she is runing out of cash. I offred to fly over with funds, but I am sure she will work something out. 

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My mom is an amazing woman. Most people would describe her as an artist (sculpture, painting) and dancer. I think she would have made a great engineer (she used to help me rebuild car engines in my youth)and there is little doubt this is where I inherited many of my talents. Never one to be idle, she is making seat cushions for our sun porch chairs. Jeanine picked the fabric before she left and I know she is going to love the results when she returns from Tanzania. 

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Today, Jeanine and Nicolai departed for a ten day visit to Tanzania. Nico is returning to participate in the distribution of the wheelchairs he funded by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The current fund raising total stands at $66,000 (and growing) which translates to 1500 wheelchairs. Whenever Jeanine leaves me to care for the kids she always prepares a list of things I need to do and a detailed schedule of activities. Maya takes great pleasure in reading the list aloud to my parents who have come to ensure that I keep the children alive while Jeanine is away. Why this needed to be done while standing on the kitchen island remains a mystery to me. 

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The only photos I took today were at work. I have a presentation next week for many of our broadcast customers and I will be giving a one hour presentation on product quality. This is an air flow chamber we use to measure the amount of air that flows through our products. The more air, the cooler they run and the longer they last. 

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I mocked up a cover for Choices Magazine before submitting to the photo editor. They were delighted with the result and I am fairly sure they will go to publication with this photo. 

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Today, family night took the form of making the holiday card photo. This year what is normally a challenge akin to herding cats was further exacerbated by the desire to include Nala in the photo. After many failed attempts involving the use of cheese to coax her into the frame (invariable with butt to camera) I took matters into my own hands. Within 10 seconds of initiating the camera’s timer, I had to remove my hat (it was freezing cold outside), run down from the deck, catch the dog, get into the frame, and smile. Although Nala still refused to face camera, the rest of the family found these antics so hysterical that we decided to use this version for our holiday card. 

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I have more than a dozen cover photo shot candidates for Nicolai but this is probably my favorite. 

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This weekend, I need to shoot a cover photo of Nico for a magazine called Choices. He will be featured in the February or March issue of this scholastic publication. The book was prepared to send a professional photographer up from New York City to take the photograph. Jeanine convinced them that I could do it and I will be spending a good part of Sunday attempting to make a compelling image. I shot this one in the Quinn’s backyard while Nico was resting from his soccer exploits. It is just a warm up but I am starting to get excited about the possibilities. 

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The kids played this card game which involved slapping the deck to win the cards below. Amazingly, no dislocated fingers or contusions resulted. 

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Today we spent most of the day at the Quinn’s house and were introduced to their new puppy, Harpo. Nala did not take as quickly to her new cousin and required a slow introduction to prevent confusing the little Daschund for a bite size snack. 

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Nico was kind enough to get a photo of me with my dad. I do not have many of these and cherish each one. 

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Rachel and Alissa pose for me. Although I have a version of them both smiling nicely, I like this one the best. 

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