A large group from work gathered at the Beacon Grille to bid farewell to a 14 year veteran of iRobot who played a significant role in many of the company’s most successful products. An extremely bright, high energy and charismatic character with a flare for creative use of language, Chris is leaving us to take up a VP of Engineering role at a smaller local company and will be missed. As a member of my team he was the consummate professional and a pleasure to work with.
A rather one sided indoor soccer game this evening for Maya whose team won by a ten point margin. Team development always reaches a point where the players discover the power of passing and movement off the ball. Once they reach this point it is possible to dominate opponents who have not. Maya plays mostly in defensive roles but enjoyed scoring a goal while assigned to a striker position.
I did not get a chance to post this photo of Nico and his friends from the weekend and thought I’d start the week with it. Relatively warm weather inspired the boys to take Nala out on the large field behind our house and to play a little Frisbee. It has been a long, cold and snowy winter leaving us all with a desire to be outside as the weather improves.
Temperatures were in the mid 30s today and I spent the morning on the soccer pitch in a scrimmage match against Nashoba (one division up from Concord). My team was in fine form and we secured an 8-1 win. I had three assists and a nice goal despite my very poor state of conditioning. I can already feel my chronic patelar tendinitis starting to act up so it remains to be seen how long my season will last. The fine weather inspired a little nature photography today.
Each year the high school holds a fund raiser featuring a professional hypnotist who brings a group of roughly twenty seniors to the stage and proceeds to hypnotize them. The ensuing antics left Jeanine and I sore from laughter. I must confess an initial degree of skepticism. After watching the enitre show, however, I found myself a believer. It was an entirely entertaining evening and capped a lovely day with Jeanine who I joined in a Zoomba (dance exercise) class earlier in the day.
Maya left for a New Hampshire ski weekend today, the guest of a friend from her soccer team. Jeanine and I were joined by the boys for dinner out at Not Your Average Joes. Kyle and Nico are rarely available on a Friday night and we distinctly enjoyed their company and adult oriented conversation. We are all starting to bemoan the approaching departure of Kyle for college even though it is still many months away. His interests are clearly leaning to business with a keen interest in psychology.
Team members had an opportunity to grade performance of the product development leadership team in addressing challenges they identified when I first arrived. Shown here is one sheet of seven representing the issues and the grades received (Green=Good Progress, Yellow=Neutral, Red=Needs Improvement). We paused for a nice lunch and enjoyed a cocktail hour at the end of the day.
Today my team and I went offsite for an all day departmental meeting. Yesterday was my one year anniversary with iRobot and I chose the meeting date with this in mind. We spent about a third of our time reviewing what has been accomplished in the last year and the remainder looking forward to our plans for the coming year. My direct reports each had an opportunity to present their organizations, accomplishments and objectives. All did so wonderfully and I was very pleased with the outcome. Of this group of 51 only 6 had the same boss and same title as they did one year ago which indicates the magnitude of organizational restructuring that has taken place. Over the same period of time our stock price has increased from $14 to $30.
Jeanine was recently elected to the Board of our Homeowner’s Association and hosted a meeting this evening for the august body. I interloped momentarily to capture this photo and spent the remainder of the evening driving Maya to/from piano lessons and trying to help Kyle prepare for a physics test. I am not sure I was very helpful. Even though I could solve all the problems, my methods were different from those taught in class and I think he was more interested in learning/using the teacher’s method.
A year ago Nicolai attended a wrestling clinic given by Anthony Robles of Arizona State. This weekend Anthony won the NCAA National Wrestling Championship at his weight class of 125 pounds demonstrating what can be achieved through hard work and a determination to defy the limitations others would impose on you. Anthony is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and we are thrilled for his success and for Nico’s opportunity to meet and train with him.
I spent the entire day outdoors doing yard clean up and exterior repairs. The family helped for the better part of the morning collecting downed limbs which we burned off in a massive bonfire (with appropriate permit from the Concord Fire Department). In the afternoon I felled four trees that had been killed by vines, creating fuel for an even larger fire. As the sun set I prepared to photograph the super perigee moon. Only once every 18 years does the moon reach it closest distance to earth and appears 15-30% larger than normal.
Today started with a visit to the dentist for purposes other than routine cleaning. Of my last 12 fillings (the cost of a poor brushing regime as a teenager – are you paying attention children) I had 6 done without and 6 with Novacane. Today I tried a new type of Novacane that wears off almost instantly (delivered via the syringe pictured here) and think this is probably the best compromise. When I arrived at work my day was immediately brightened when I received news that a local engineering legend had decided to accept an offer to join my team. He starts on Monday and I am really looking forward to the collaboration.
With spring like temperatures, the Concord River has swollen to near flood stage due to all of the snow melt. Frequent visitors to this blog will recognize this view. Enough snow remained on the ground to prevent me from finding a more original angle without falling into the river which I decided would not be a worthwhile risk (could it be that I AM gaining wisdom with age?)