It has been some time since I have posted a photo of Kyle. Although he is running, lifting and most recently swimming, he has not fully recovered from his snow boarding injury and is not quite ready to play soccer full bore. His recent tour of colleges is a painful reminder that he will be leaving us next year and I must admit that I am already starting to dread that day. Meanwhile, Nicolai is off to the woods somewhere in Hew Hampshire with his church youth group on a vision quest. He is reaching the end of a year long Coming of Age program during which he explores his spirituality and develops a personal credo which he will share in front of the entire congregation in two weeks time.

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The women of Mattison Dr. gathered at our home before leaving for Ladies Night Out. I have become good at being a little pushy when in pursuit of a photographic opportunity that will not soon present itself again.

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On Wednesday mornings at iRobot we have a brief stand up meeting for the whole division called a huddle. It is a time we use to give brief presentations and introduce new employees. Today we honored Oscar, our VP of Operations, who last week became a US citizen. Born is Colombia, he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and has been instrumental in the recent success of the company.

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As I left work today I caught the tail end of a lovely sunset. I am averaging about 12 hours a day still and making good progress. The first 100 days are always the most insane in any new job and I feel like I have really good traction now and am making good progress towards my goals.

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Maya will graduate from the Willard School this year and each student is encouraged to submit a personal page that they create for inclusion in the yearbook. Maya spent hours going through 1000s of photos selecting those which she wanted to include in a photo collage. She chose images representing her family, friends, pets, and favorite activities including dance, soccer and music. Our little girl is growing up so fast and projects like this only serve to remind me how precious these years are.

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Playing with only one sub, Nico’s team gave up an early 1-0 lead as Dorchester’s 6 man bench made the difference later in the game scoring three unanswered goals. My game this morning resulted in a 2-2 tie against Wayland. I made a nice run in the final minutes beating four defenders but my shot was just high and wide. I did deliver a nice cross in the first half which set up our opening goal.

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I may have to add bronco riding to the list of Nicolai’s activities I published yesterday for I don’t believe jumping onto your opponent’s shoulder is a sanctioned part of playing soccer. I wish I could have nailed the focus but am glad to have the shot. Nicolai is now playing with the Concord Carlisle Division 1 Travel team and he remains very competitive on the field.

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Although he progressed very quickly, his experience included all the normal consequences of learning to ride a bike. By practicing on the grass we minimized the potential for injuries and his cat like reflexes saved him from the rest. I was very proud of Kyle who encouraged Nicolai all the way and repaired the bike as was often necessary after a crash.

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Ice skating, mountain climbing, wrestling, dancing, kayaking, gymnastics, rollerblading, skiing, rock climbing, playing soccer, volleyball, basketball and tennis are among the activities Nicolai has mastered. Today he added riding a bike to the list. He will probably graduate directly to driving a car but I am glad he had the courage to conquer the one skill that remained on the list of challenges he has not overcome. It took him all of about ten minutes to get the hang of it. In order to become fully proficient he will need either a clip in shoe or a toe clip.

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Jeanine and Kyle have been on a college visit road tour all week and returned late last night. Their five state journey took them to Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

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This evening we were treated to dinner by SideStix founder, Sarah Doherty (center). Her company makes a new generation of sport crutches which Beverly (left) and Nicolai helped to field test. It is not everyday that you see three people with a missing right leg. More rare is that two of them are the only people to ever climb Mount Kilimanjaro on crutches.

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Nicolai using a heads up display navigates a PackBot equipped with a vision head. He also submitted a robot design (one of the activities during the day) which has serious potential as a product. The idea is so good I am not at liberty to disclose it.

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Today was Bring Your Daughter or Son to Work Day at iRobot. Nico and Maya joined me for what was a very enjoyable morning. Maya operates a PackBot on a simulated ordinance disposal mission. Both got to meet the company’s founder and CEO who gave them a personal tour of our robot museum.

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Maya and Nicolai collaborated on making additions to the tree house today. Their tree perch now features a split level hinged door with handles and curtains in the windows. I have yet to verify claims that my shop has not been restored to pre-project condition and that all tools have been returned undamaged. If true, I will be as pleased with their responsible behavior as with their construction efforts. The fact that all their digits appear in tact suggests they observed my ban on their use of the table saw but leaves me wondering how they cut the plywood to such close tolerances. I am looking forward to a closer inspection of their project in the morning.

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Meet my colleagues at iRobot. We met offsite for a Quarterly Business Review which started at 7:30 in the morning and wrapped up with a very nice team dinner at l’Andana’s Grill in Burlington at about 9:30 making for a very long day. The President and General Manager of the Home Robots Division and my new boss is Jeff Beck, front row-third from the left.

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Jeanine and Kyle departed this morning on an extended college visit road trip which will take them through Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. They elected to take my car because of the built in navigation system leaving me with the Smart Car, the smart child and her older brother. This not-so-smart parent allowed the pictured child to drive the pictured car around the neighborhood (twice) before usurping control and heading out to the ice cream store for a little treat. Only lack of sufficient height prevents Maya from driving without me.

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