Jeanine’s dear friend Aliza (center) celebrates her 50th birthday with a potluck dinner. Jeanine prepared an almond espresso chocolate cake which was simply out of this world (we got to sample the left overs).

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I changed up my commute this evening and took Memorial Drive which follows the Charles River. While stopped in traffic I grabbed a quick shot of two women crew teams training on the water. Telephoto compression makes it appear that they are very close and that the river is very narrow. Just the opposite is true.

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Although we get four distinct seasons here in New England, spring is by far the shortest. In a matter of a few weeks we enjoy an explosion of color before everything turns green. This scene is of the horse farm that is across the street from our house.

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My favorite piece of art was without a doubt Renoir’s, Dance at Bougival. The woman in the painting reminds me of a young Jeanine.

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Strategically placed throughout the museum were some 50 magnificent floral arrangements created by local designers to complement their surroundings.

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With Jeanine and the kids returning from Minnesota this evening I elected to stay in Boston until their 10pm flight arrived. The Museum of Fine Arts was celebrating Arts in Bloom with a special evening open house and I am really glad I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the museum for the first time.

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Last week we both scored goals for our teams. This week we both left our games with injuries. Late in his match, Kyle went down after being kicked in the shin. He blocked a hard shot on goal but got tagged by the shooters foot on the follow through. He wears flimsy light weight shin pads believing he has better touch with them. I may have to enforce his use of a more protective guard in the future.

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It’s been a while since we have had a good snake sighting. I am pretty sure this little fellow is harmless but I kept a safe distance just in case. I saw him on the way to Kyle’s soccer game. Three shrieking girls made for a pretty good homing beacon.

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There are some days when you are better off simply staying in bed. My left foot is still bruised from last week’s game and despite the discoloration I felt it was not going to affect my play. Ten minutes into the game, I managed to roll my left ankle. I decide to play through the pain but ten minutes later was taken out entirely with an injury to my right knee (on a late tackle which earned the other team a yellow card). Left toes, left ankle, right knee. It is starting to get easier to list the part that aren’t injured. With a little luck and rigorous PT I might be back for next week’s game. More than likely I am going to miss a few while I mend. We lost 3-1 and every goal of the game was scored off a penalty call which should give you some idea of the quality of officiating (or lack thereof).

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Kyle and I both had a great time and significantly improved our driving skills. The course is not inexpensive but I can honestly say it was worth every penny and was another shared adventure Kyle and I will look back on with fond memories. For the record, which would otherwise be distorted over time, the father performed all events at full speed and did not take out a single cone all day. The son did a very admirable job for a newly minted driver but racked up a small family of dead cones.

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Kyle almost lifts his left rear tire on this manuever. After accelerating to 50mph our instructor hits, at the last possible moment, one of two buttons on a box in his lap which illuminates one of two lights above the dash indicating when we may initiate braking and to which side of the obstacle we must steer. This is about as realistic a collision avoidance scenario as I can imagine and I can tell you that it produces an adrenaline rush similar to a high speed near miss.

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After a pit stop at home for lunch, Kyle and I completed his indoctrination into the world of driving by attending a 5 hour skid course. To qualify as an instructor for this program you must be a licensed race car driver. Much of our time was spent in car where we practiced emergency braking, high speed slaloms, and collision avoidance. To give you a sense of the intensity of the driving, tires on the cars are replaced every six days.

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Kyle passed his driving test this morning and is now a licensed driver in the state of Massachusetts. This is a bitter sweet milestone for his parents. On the one hand we are very proud of him and feel he has learned to be a good driver. On the other, we know this brings him one step closer to leaving the nest and we enjoy having him in our nest.

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Several months ago I was asked to serve as a mentor in the MIT Gordon Engineering Leadership Program which seeks to help develop the next generation of technical leaders. Meet Nora, the student I have been partnered with. We meet every couple of weeks for an hour or so to discuss the challenges of leadership, her aspirations and goals, and the obstacles in the way. Usually we meet indoors at Starbucks. The weather this evening, however, was so nice that we decided to chat outside.

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Late this afternoon Kyle had a tournament match. His ankle is feeling much stronger and it was apparent from the level of intensity of his play. Here he wins a nice header but is ultimately called for jumping over his opponent. Despite missing just about every other call in the match I have to agree that the ref got this one right. Regrettably, after a 1-1 tie in regulation time, the boys came up one goal short in the overtime period despite playing an extremely strong game.

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Kyle joined me for lunch today and we did a campus tour of MIT which is about a ten minute walk from my office. Despite his initial trepidation, I think Kyle really had a good time and especially enjoyed learning of the “hacks” perpetrated by MIT students. Perhaps the most notable was the dismantling and reassembly of a MIT police cruiser on the top of the dome pictured here.

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