Beauty on the beach. (click photo for enlargement and check eye lashes)

Maya ran with the big girls this year. She has become entirely independent and loved every second of camp.

Each year the OneStep camp (for children who are battling cancer) has several participants in a swim across the lake (1.6 miles one way) and some who go over and back. This year one of the boys was blind, in past years a girl with one leg and a boy with one arm made the crossing. It is without doubt one of the most inspirational events I have ever witnessed and I do so religiously each year. I wait on the dock as long as they are in the water (3 hours this year), I contemplate their courage and spirit, I cheer for them and congratulate them when they emerge victorious. Nicolai joins me each year and I cherish this time together with him.

Chess made its debut at Bayside this year and both Kyle and Nicolai revived their passion for the game spending hours playing one on one or bughouse. It must be reported that for the first time in several years I was able to defeat Nico in a head to head match. My superior wisdom was also responsible for declining all rematch challenges. I also took on Kyle in what turned into a 3 hour epic battle ending in the early morning hours. I played the best game of my life and gained an early and well earned advantage. I made no mistakes throughout the entire game and yet Kyle was able to work his way back into the match and eventually defeat me with a brilliant sequence. In this case I lacked the wisdom to send him to bed at midnight while I was still winning.

Nicolai passed his swimming test with ease this year and helped several first timers pass theirs by swimming beside them to provide encouragement. Nicolai also organized the first ever volleyball matches at Bayside which were well attended. Nicolai has become passionate about the sport and has developed excellent passing, spiking, and serving technique. Once again his ability defies the imagination.

Semi-responsible parent that I am, I dispatched a rescue vessel to ascertain their whereabouts and to return their bodies. Oddly, when the rescue mission returned with sailboat in tow, Kyle was partnered with Jesse. Apparently they had transferred Michael to another Bayside boat stranded down wind (for four hours) in the hope he might be able to help them return to the dock. Shown here is the second boat with Anna and Zach paddling to shore after being rescued by a passing motor boat. All five kids seemed quite pleased with their sailing adventure until they learned that being stranded down wind did not stop the meter on their $20 per hour rental.

Moving up from the toe, I ask you to compare this version of Kyle to the previous photo from two years ago. Everyone could not believe the changes and it is quite clear that Kyle has become a young man. Consistent with his increased maturity and graduation from sailing camp 3 years ago, Kyle was allowed to rent a sailboat and take it out with his friend Michael. I watched for several minutes to ascertain that they knew what they were doing. Hoist the sail, trim the sail, go very fast, tack, go fast, capsize, right the boat, repeat. Seemed about par for the course. I returned to the dock two hours later to learn that they were an hour over due on their one hour rental.

It took only minutes before the first injury. Kyle cut his toe on a zebra mussel. Although he is generally camera shy, Kyle was delighted that I wished to photograph his damaged toe. One year Kyle was stung multiple times (the exact number remains the subject of some debate and appears to increase with each telling of the story) by a swarm of bees while building a fort in the woods and had to be rushed to the hospital. I was quite pleased that this years medical event occurred early and only required a band-aid to remedy.

The next stop was Bayside camp in Lake Geneva, WI. This makes our seventh return in eight years. This UU family camp has become part of our family’s summer tradition. We give up comfortable beds, functional climate control, well balanced meals, daily attention to hygiene, and media exposure of any type in exchange for time spent alone, time spent with each other and time spent with our growing community of Bayside friends.

I was able to regain custody using the oldest trick in the book. Bradley is quite strong, is heavier than he looks, smells very sweet, can down a bottle of milk in 2.5 minutes, and took several unassisted steps between Jeanine and I. Before leaving Lauren and Bob’s they received a call from Gabriel who had made his way into Spain on his summer adventure in Europe.

I surrendered the child briefly to allow Jeanine to play with him.

I have returned from vacation with a trove of photos to share. Jeanine and the kids will arrive in 2 days. First stop was Lauren’s house where I got to meet my great nephew Bradley for the first time.

I leave to rejoin the family in Indianapolis today and then we are off to Bayside camp on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. The boy in this photo (taken at Bayside two years ago) is no more. He has become a young man and I am eager to see him after 3 weeks of being apart. Unless I can locate internet access at the camp, this will be my last post for about 10 days.

Today was employee appreciation day at Avid. Among the festivities was a tug of war competition between departments. Pictured here is the team from my department which defeated 8 other team for the championship and bragging rights.

Engineering development work is characterized by slow steady progress made one day at a time. Today, however, a very significant milestone was reached on a project which has been my baby since I arrived at Avid two years ago. We successfully tested a 100 client installation run from the 64 terabyte storage system shown here (stores 512,000,000,000,000 bits of information). This system can serve up more than 500 channels of high definition video in real time. It’s performance is unmatched in the world today. In my line of work you will be lucky to get ten days like this one over the course of your entire career. I’m going to stop for ice cream on the way home tonight.

This website is dedicated to sharing, with family and friends, the day-to-day adventures of the Calabria family.