While climbing in Peru my trekking watch finally bit the dust and I just replaced it with a new one. The watch includes all the standard timing functions (stop watch, alarm clock, dual time zone, count down timer), a compass, altimeter, thermometer, and barometer which is shown here indicating a massive pressure drop signaling approaching severe weather. My favorite feature is a built in sunrise/sunset calculator which is very handy for photography.
Kyle and I returned to Concord last night leaving the rest of the family to enjoy the full Ferry Beach weekend. Kyle had work obligations and I had an important soccer match for which my team was short handed. To make matters worse, our goalie suffered a very severe dislocation of his thumb during warm ups and had to be rushed to the hospital. Another player was disabled during the first half with a torn calf muscle and is lost for the remainder of the season. Despite a lack of subs and the warm weather, we were able to secure a narrow 1-0 win over Lexington and in doing so secured a first place finish in our league with two games still remaining in the season. This also means we will be promoted to Division 3 in the fall. I spent the remainder of the day making good progress on the media center I am building completing all of the veneer work (spalted beech) and face frames.
With little time for photography I am including photos from yesterday of my own children.
Ferry Beach offers our family an escape from our daily routines and an opportunity to socialize with new and old friends while participating in loosely organized activities including kayaking, birdwatching, volleyball, biking, sand castle building, beach combing, and a talent show to name a few. In years past I have taken candid portraits of all of the children and shared them with their families. This year I was greeted with many compliments and heart felt thanks for my prior work and needed little more encouragement to extend the tradition. A candid portrait seeks to capture a spontaneous moment that offers a glimpse into the spirit of a person. I do not claim to have achieved this goal but I believe my efforts are getting better. Here are some of my favorites. the complete set can be seen by following the Ferry Beach Portraits 2011 link to the right.
After work Kyle and I drove to Maine where we caught up with Jeanine, Maya and Nico who had driven up earlier in the day. Each year we make the journey to Ferry Beach (near Saco, ME) where we join members of the Concord and Lexington Unitarian Universalist churches for a family weekend retreat. We arrived just in time for a late dinner and were joined by Maya Rose Pedula (pictured here with our very own Maya Rose Calabria in front of an alfresco painting adjacent to the restaurant) and her mom. In addition to daughters who share the same first and middle names, the Pedula’s have three children identical in ages to ours and an Italian father.
This morning before work, Jeanine and I went for a short walk. She has been wanting to show me a local rookery where over 30 Blue Heron have made their nests. Swarming mosquitoes prevented any real photography but I plan to return with a long lens and proper repellent in the very near future. I am constantly amazed by the proximity of such wonderful animal habitats and am thrilled to have another photo destination to add to my list.
When I returned from work this evening I found Maya and Nico playing a little Frisbee. More often than not they will choose to hang out with their respective friends but occasionally, perhaps when other options are exhausted, they will play with each other and they invariably have a lot of fun doing so.
It has been 6 weeks since I joined a group of my colleagues at work on a voluntary weight loss plan. My start weight was 186 and my goal was 166. Today, after a 6am soccer scrimmage I weighed in below my target for the first time. Losing 3 pounds per week has taken its toll on my muscle mass so now I will shift to strength training with a slight increase to my calorie intake. It is amazing how much speed I have gained on the soccer pitch by shedding 12% of my weight.
Each year the Boston Globe ranks the top 100 public companies in New England in terms of business achievement. iRobot moved from 45th position last year to 4th place. From the Globe: The companies on the 2011 list deliver something much more important than glitz. As a group, they matter because they are leading the state out of a painful recession and slowly putting the Massachusetts economy back on its feet. They are selling more, earning more, and becoming more powerful engines for economic revival in a time of need.
My last woodworking project was a kayak and before that the finishing of our basement. This weekend I started a furniture project when all attempts to find an entertainment center of the proper size and proportions failed. The unit will be composed of four sections, a console, two flanking bookshelves and a bridge. I am on pace to complete construction of the carcasses by this evening. Next weekend I will start on trim and veneer work (assuming we can decide on a wood species by then). This morning my soccer team played Wayland and came away with a 2-1 win. I played very well in my leaner form factor and just missed two headers. Jeanine and Kyle are taking advantage of the weather to work outside.
Our friend Doug Yoder celebrated his 50th birthday this evening with a culinary gala at his home. Guests were treated to passed hors d’oeuvres (Maya was one of the passers) followed by a sit down dinner and dessert. The food was out of this world and it was fun catching up with friends I have not seen in some time.
After our Harbor cruise yesterday, as I was waiting to board the bus back to iRobot, about a dozen race cars accompanied by police escorts zoomed through the streets of Boston. Not your every day scene. After work I headed to REI for the start of their big annual sale where I took advantage of the savings to upgrade my tent and sleeping pad which will yield a most welcome 2 pound weight reduction in my overnight pack weight.
In celebration of production start on two major iRobot products, contributing members of our product development and marketing teams were treated to a cruise of Boston Harbor and an exquisite lunch served on board. Despite a forecast for continued rain, the weather cooperated and we got to enjoy the views without getting wet although the grey skies did little to enhance the quality of the photographs.
After work the family was joined for dinner by Nora, who is about to complete her Master’s Degree at MIT. I have been her Gordon Leadership Program Mentor for the past two years and she will be leaving for Seattle to join Microsoft as a Program Manager when she completes her thesis. It was great having the opportunity to introduce her to the entire family and the kids really enjoyed meeting her. I hope to remain in touch and am expecting great things in her future.
While I was in Peru, Nicolai attended the Sophomore Semi (semi-formal ball at the high school) with his friend Chloe and we just received this photo of them together at her house. I hate missing an opportunity to photograph the kids when they are all dressed up and I am simply going to have to wait until the junior prom for my next chance.
My Audi was in for its first scheduled service today. While waiting, it was hard not to admire the R8s on the showroom floor. While I appreciate the beauty and awesome engineering, I no longer find myself coveting such cars. Now that I can afford one my priorities have shifted to a car that can carry the whole family, a couple of kayaks, and never be stranded in the snow. The thought of a second car just for tooling around is simply too wasteful to consider.
Sporting the alpaca sweater I purchased for him while in Peru, Kyle does internet research on a company which has a very similar business model to Yard Dogs. He is trying to decide if it makes sense to expand his general landscaping business to include lawn mowing. Doing so would mean buying mowers for each of his crews. I enjoy discussing the various options with Kyle and watching the mind of a true businessman at work. There is little doubt in my mind that his career is destined to follow a very entrepreneurial path.