Wellesley Scrimmage

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CCHS faced Wellesley today in their second preseason scrimmage coming away with a 1-0 win. Normally, I shoot action photos but could not resist this amalgamation of pony tails and Maya’s cuteness.  Her chest trap, captured below, was perfectly executed bringing the ball to her feet where she laid off a nice cross.

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During warm-ups, I caught this mid-air image after a blistering shot on goal. A full set of photos from the match can be found here.

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Jeanine and I leave tomorrow for New York state where we plan to visit the Finger Lakes region and Niagara Falls over the long weekend. I will post again when we return on Monday.  Maya will spend the weekend with her soccer team at a bonding retreat in Vermont while John holds down the fort.

Brown University

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Maya and I visited Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island today, a mere 70 minute drive from Concord.  The school seems like an excellent fit for Maya and it is sure to be on her short list for applications.  A friend of hers, Sammy, from Farm & Wilderness Camp was also touring the campus with her father.  The two previously toured Yale together by arrangement.  This meeting was totally serendipitous and made the experience that much more enjoyable. The gate pictured below is opened exactly twice a year (center section). It opens inwards to welcome freshman and outwards as seniors depart graduation. It is said to be bad luck to traverse the gate more than twice in your life.

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Maya, at my insistence, poses with an outdoor sculpture of dancers. Might this be the first picture of her on the grounds of the campus where she will spend four years of her life?

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No.  I took several pictures of her earlier in the day and one with Sammy.  This one, however, spoke best to the mood of the day.

Lexington Scrimmage

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Maya saw her first action of the fall soccer season in a scrimmage this afternoon.  She will be playing varsity this year but will need to work hard to get game minutes given the quality of the team.  Her first touch is as good as anyone’s on the squad, her vision and playmaking is unmatched and she has a powerful left foot. Her endurance, however, is not where it needs to be to compete at this level.  Hard work during practice over the next few weeks will no doubt rectify that deficiency.

A complete set of match photos including more of Maya and the entire team can be found here.

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Last Flower

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Whether it is the approach of fall or the severe drought we have been suffering, pictured above is the last flower in our our garden. If you look closely you will also observe a rather cute spider.

My fall soccer season opened this morning against Belmont, a team which often gives us problems. Today, however, we came away with a decisive 3-1 victory and at times showed great form. I played for about 45 minutes which was more than enough on this very warm day and almost scored on a header.

Catamount Center

Catamount Center Map

The Teaching and Research in Environmental Education (TREE) Semester is a 16-week, residential semester program that mirrors a traditional study abroad experience. Colorado College undergraduate students live and learn in community at the scenic Catamount Center in the montane forest outside Woodland Park, Colorado. Nicolai begins his teaching assignment there next week and he shared this map of the campus with us. He will learn about his students’ development through almost 100 hours of experiential teaching and research.

Hornet’s Nest

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Jeanine spotted this rather large hornet’s nest attached to the gutter above our front door.  It is possible tomorrow’s blog entry will feature a picture of me on a ladder wearing a funny outfit or possibly an image of me laying on the ground in agony. Safe to say that Jeanine is not going to embrace a live and let live philosophy with respect to these little fellows.  UPDATE:  After considerable research we have decided to leave the nest undisturbed.  The hornets will abandon the nest over the winter and since they pose no immediate risk to family or guests we will make no attempt to extricate them.

Canon 5DM4


Canon announce their new 5D Mark IV camera today and I have decided to add it to my kit. Fortunately, I was able to return my recently acquired Canon 5DS (replacement for one of my cameras stolen in Costa Rica) for full credit towards the new model which has exactly the same price point.  Even though the 5DS is a 50 MPixel body compared to 30 MPixel 5DM4, the later has better dynamic range, better low light performance, a more balanced feature set and is a better fit with my needs. I hope to have the new camera by mid September.

Unsafe Storage

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Nicolai arrived in Colorado Springs today only to discover that all his stored belongings and academic research materials were discarded by the landlord of the home where they were being stored.  He lost all his clothes, furnishings, books, and his research journals (needed for his final project). He had stored these items in a garage being rented by four fellow students along with all of their similar belongings.  The landlord mistakenly assumed that all of these items were left behind by the former renters and called a service to have them removed so the place would be ready for the new tenants.  We are still waiting to learn if some of the items can be recovered and what restitution the landlord intends to make.  In the meantime, Jeanine prepared a care package with some essentials and I mailed it to Nico this afternoon.

Crane Beach

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Crane Beach is arguably the most pristine on the North Shore.  Although crowded, the beach extends for miles and it is possible to find unoccupied sections. Today, the family minus Nico (who is en route to Colorado) enjoyed perfect weather for an afternoon outing to the Atlantic Ocean.

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When swimmers emerged rapidly and began pointing to the waters just offshore I immediately grabbed my camera.  I observed a fin surfacing from and disappearing into the shallow waters.  The movement of the fin did not seem particularly natural and I was left to wonder if it was not some kind of hoax.  That said, I watched for a good while and could detect no evidence of anything but the obvious that would explain what I saw.  The water temperature alone was enough to limit my entry into the water to ankle depth. The shark sighting only served to reinforce that limit.

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Back to School

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Nicolai left this morning for Colorado College where he is set to begin his junior year. Posing here with his recently acquired Mazda which he purchased by himself and with his own funds.  It has been great having him back for the summer and we will miss having him around.  I am already starting to plan a road trip to the Western states and will be sure to connect with him.  There is a chance that Kyle will join me for part of that adventure and it would be nice for the three of us to do some camping.

EF1 Tornado

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At about 3:20 AM this morning Concord was hit by an EF1 tornado (100mph winds).  Damage was extensive but limited to a 400 yard wide by half mile long swath centered on Revolutionary Ridge just above the Wayside on Lexington Road.  Thankfully no one was injured despite significant property damage.  Crews were on the scene working to clear roads and restore services to those impacted by the tornado.  Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito toured the area and received briefings from Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and Town Manager Chris Whelan.  I happened to be touring at the same time and listened in on the conversation while taking photos of the entourage. Damages are expected to exceed $1M.

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Mark Himelfarb

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1957 – 2016

Today I learned that a former iRobot colleague was killed while on a lunch hour bicycle ride last week.  Mark was a senior electrical engineer who I will remember as being exceptionally friendly and good hearted as well as extremely competent in his field.  I found this photo of him, taken during an engineering team building event, in my archives and presented it to his widow with two dozen others I had taken of him over the years.  It is impossible to make sense of such a tragic loss or to comprehend the impact to his family.  The only solace I can find is in the knowledge that he died doing something he loved.  Yet another somber reminder to enjoy life to the fullest everyday. Mark was born one year before me.

Olympics Ending

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For the first time in my life, I had a chance to watch a great deal of the Olympic Games coverage and really enjoyed the experience.  I especially liked the fact that I could watch the entirety of the freestyle wrestling (both men and women) competition, something that I was never able to do in the past.  Family favorites included soccer, volleyball (indoor and beach), gymnastics, swimming and track and field. The whole family gathered to watch many of the final events and it was wonderful sharing this time together.  With the competition coming to a close today, however,  it was time to turn off the TV and get back to work on some household projects.  As part of our ongoing downsizing effort, I decided to sell a bunch of photo gear that is not getting much use and posted listings for several items including those shown here.

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Twenty Four

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Kyle turned 24 earlier this month but we celebrated as a family today.  It is the first time we have had all three kids (plus Johnny) under our roof at the same time in quite a while.  We are very proud of Kyle who is our first bird to leave the nest.  He is working for a financial startup in Menlo Park, CA where he shares an apartment with two roommates and owns his own car.  Since graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in Finance and a minor in Computer Science he has completed his Series 7 and Series 24 financial certifications and is now working independently towards a CFA credential. Naturally, Jeanine prepared a small feast for the occasion including a very yummy cake that did not last very long.

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Poster Day

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Maya wrapped up her 6 week internship at the Brookhaven National Labs today.  Students are required to prepare a poster describing the work they completed over the summer and to present to colleagues, peers, and visiting family members.  Kyle and Nico traveled to Long Island to support their sister and I flew in from Minnesota last night.

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I believe Maya found the internship to be extremely worthwhile but was also thrilled to be heading back home and familiar surroundings. Click on the poster below to learn more about the quark gluon plasma that was the subject of Maya’s work.

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In The News

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This week’s Concord Journal featured stories about three Calabria’s.  Nico was covered for his soccer exploits in Costa Rica and Jeanine for her new position as Executive Director of Open Table.  I was included in a story about my soccer team’s visit to Iceland.

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