This afternoon my soccer team’s undefeated season came to an end in the Divisional finals. In the opening minute I beat my defender down the right side and lofted a 30 yard shot over the goalie who I caught too far out. The ball struck the upright and for the difference of a quarter of an inch bounced out instead of in. Nicolai photographed the game and took several nice photos including this one where I am intercepting a pass.

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Kyle’s girlfriend, Chloe, joined us for dinner this evening. Despite her beauty, she is very camera shy and I have to sneak up on her for a photo.

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The second bridge did not fare so well as they tried to match the weight. In addition to the fun had by all, I was very pleased with the work that was accomplished and feel we made excellent progress on a number of very challenging topics.

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Not content to settle for a tie, both teams insisted on testing the bridges to detrmine a winner even though both withstood 8 pounds from yesterday. We added soda cans and water bottles to bring the total for this bridge to something like 18 pounds and still not failure.

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Our twelve hour workday ended at Legal Seafood where we enjoyed a nice dinner and an opportunity to get to know eachother better.

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In the afternoon we tackled the challenge of organizing over 150 suggestions from members of my staff into themes and then distilling from those the highest priority items we need to address.

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Today was the first of a two day offsite (actually held onsite to save money) meeting for the leadership team in my organization. We started the day with a Building Bridges competition. Both bridges, constructed entirely from newspaper and tape, survived load testing with the weight I had brought to work. Tomorrow we will find more weights and determine which bridge is stronger.

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I left the house extra early this morning so I could take Marie and the kids to the airport for their return flight to Minneapolis. Although it has only been a couple of months since we’ve seen Rose and Sophia they are both at that age where they are growing and changing so quickly it is hard to believe. Nephews Mario and Rory are on the French Riviera with Marie’s sister.

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Jeanine has become quite attached to Togo, the duckling we are caring for. I must admit there is something very satsifying about having this little guy follow you around everywhere you walk. Whenever s/he (we don’t know) is out of the pen you must shuffle your feet for it is certain she will be underfoot and at risk of being squashed. Between baby Rose and the baby duck I thought Jeanine might warm up to the idea of another baby. Nothing doing, we are going to have to settle on three plus the idiot dog who is barking at deer in the backyard as I type.

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Kyle interacting with his cousin Rose. Kyle has a wonderful way with babies and it did not take long for her to warm up to him.

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It has been nice catching up with my dad. He is looking rather good considering some of the recent health scares. Here he describes his walk around the neighborhood this morning. Each day he has gotten stronger and been more aggressive with his pace.

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Sophia and Uncle Carl have been enjoying numerous games over the last hour. Here she shows me how her toys go together.

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This morning my soccer team played our semi-final play-off match and we came away with a 2-0 victory and a berth in the finals next weekend. My injured thigh had healed sufficiently to not incumber my play. Missing several practices while it got better did take its toll on my stamina. Never the less, I did assist on both goals and had a respectable game with most of my family looking on. One nice diving header towards the end even earned praise from Kyle and Nico (the ultimate reward). Pictured here is the squad. I handed off my camera for the shot and unfortuantely we did not get everyone in the photo. Our goalie was missing so we will have to take another next week, hopefully with a trophy in hand.

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Today was a family work day. Everyone got their assignments from Jeanine. My list included repairing some broken shutters, adding two outdoor watering spigots, repairing the severed electric boundary wire for the invisible fence, completing the new gas grill assembly, and rebuilding a portion of our stone wall (and I got off easy). Later in the day my sister-in-law, Marie, and daughters Sophia and Rose arrived for a weekend visit. Baby Rose greets baby Togo.

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Apparently we are duck sitting this weekend. Pictured here is Togo who was hatched from an abandoned egg and has imprinted on humans. S/he follows Maya around where ever she goes. I’ll be interested to see what Nala thinks of this whole situation by the end of the weekend.

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I returned home this evening to find my mom and Jeanine busy at work in the various gardens around the yard.

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