Author! Author!

Peggy and I had the pleasure of attending Chloe's class's "Author Party" this afternoon. It was the culmination – and celebration – of several weeks of work for Chloe, in which she researched, wrote about and drew pictures of walking sticks, and compiled it all together in a low-tech bound book. The class was broken into small groups, allowing each student to read their book in turn to their small group of student and parent listeners.

Chloe did a great job reporting on the focus areas of the research... life cycle, appearance, needs, adaptations and "wow facts." And, looking at the book after her turn, Peggy and I noticed Chloe's spelling is progressing nicely as well.

The tour to promote and support the book begins next month, and includes a stop on Oprah.


Let "The Summer of Peggy" Begin

Today was Peggy's last day of work at United BioSource Corp.

It had become clear to her over the last several months that it wasn't a good fit for her professionally, and that the only practical option for her was to submit her resignation and look for greener and happier pastures elsewhere. A lot of stock options and other incentives were there for the taking if she stayed, but other factors like day-to-day happiness and work/life balance won the day.

She doesn't have anything lined up right now, but the word has been spreading that Peggy is available and she's been getting calls and e-mails on a pretty regular basis from different companies, recruiters and former colleagues. Her not having a job lined up right away would be a scary thing in these economic times, but due to a clause in her initial contract with UBC, they have to pay her to "sit silently on the sidelines" for the next 3 months!

So, she'll have off for the next several months, and fully expects to have another job lined up by mid-June, and will get back to work in late-July.


A Fun Saturday

Part I - Chloe and her Fire Pickle sisters had another go at it again on the soccer pitch this morning, and lo and behold, had another good outing. Chloe's games-with-a-goal streak skyrocketed to 2, and she's already talking about taking it to 3 next weekend. (We'll have to see if there is a game, of course, as this is Colorado and it is April... snow and/or rain could impact things.)

Part II - I kicked off another racing season today by lining up for a local time trial (TT). It was my first time racing on my new TT bike, and only my 6th time actually riding it. As the course is basically a rectangle, the west-to-east winds made things interesting... going north or south involved some leaning, heading east (with the wind and slightly downhill) produced speeds in the 40-45 mph range, meaning heading west (into the wind and slightly uphill) was an absolute slog.

Going into it I had no idea what to expect in terms of placing... I knew I just didn't want to finish last. About halfway into the 16.5 mile course, I passed the guy who started 20 seconds before me, so I knew I would not suffer that fate. It took me just under 41 minutes to finish the course (averaged about 24 mph), which was good enough for 18th place out of 38 contestants.


It IS still Winter...

... so, I guess we shouldn't have been surprised to have found this outside this morning.


A Post of Posts

I know it's been a while since I put anything up here, so rather than go back and create separate posts for events in the past, I'm using this post to highlight some of the recent goings on.

- I know writing about money is not the best way to lead off, but I wanted to make sure if one thing got read on this post, this item would. Next month, Chloe and I are participating in a fundraising event to benefit a local charity that provides services to families in medical crisis. (You may recall I did this last year, too, whereby I had my head shaved.) Chloe obviously won't be getting her head shaved (I will, though), but is looking to get it cut pretty short (for her) and, remembering this event from last year, wanted to tie her haircut to fundraising for this nonprofit. So, if you are so inclined to help her fundraising efforts, please visit https://shop.therewithcare.org/donate.asp to begin the donation process.

NOTE: On the final "check out" page (where billing information is entered), there's a section to personalize the transaction. To make sure your donation is attributed to Chloe, choose "On Behalf of" for the "Dedication" field, and enter "Chloe Schrammel - Give Hair with Care" for the "Name of person being honored" field.

And on behalf of Chloe, thanks your consideration and support.

- Chloe's Spring Soccer season kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and to date she and her teammates have played 3 games. The most notable change this season -- other than Chloe's marked improvement in skills due to her European training [hah!] -- is the renaming of the team. The now-former moniker of "Banana Bees" was in use for several seasons and there was a groundswell of support in the ranks to change it. So, after a round or two of voting, the girls voted to call themselves the "Fire Pickles."
Name change aside, Chloe's been playing well thus far and, to borrow an ice hockey phrase, put the biscuit in the basket at last week's game. She and her teammates have been lucky this spring season as all games thus far have been played in decent weather. In previous years, it was common for games to be either postponed due to snow or played in pretty cold conditions. With April upon us, everyone is hoping we've dodged that bullet and play the remainder of the season in decent weather. But, with Colorado weather being what it is, one can never fully tell.

- Chamberlain recently celebrated the completion of his 12th year on this earth. And by celebrated, I mean ate a huge chew stick and dined on a fair amount of cooked ground beef. And then proceeded to have an upset stomach for the next 36 hours. That short period of nastiness aside, he's in good health and trotting along just fine.

- Peg's work situation is about to change. It's been a struggle for a long time for her to come to some understanding with some powers-that-be about what precisely her role is, how much autonomy she has over the practice area she was hired to lead, and how much trust and respect she has from some supervisors. Long story short, some in organization treated her as if she had little autonomy, leaving her feeling disrespected and not trusted. It became a pretty big quality of life issue and as we're prone to say "Life's too short..." and she gave notice.
Not surprisingly, though -- especially to yours truly -- she's been approached by 2 companies already about possible senior management positions with them. And the kicker is she hasn't begun in earnest a search for a new job... these were unsolicited inquiries.

- As for me, well, I'm about to kick off yet another bike racing season this weekend with a time trial, so I get to use my new "horse." I'm also still dealing with some post-UK-bike-accident residuals. I unfortunately had to enlist the help of a lawyer to file a claim for damages resulting from my bike crash last September. Plus, the chap who knocked me over is being charged with "driving without due care" and I've been given notice that I might be asked to appear in court. Ugh. As much as I am a fan of justice, I must admit I am doing my best to not have to go... I have a feeling I'd spend more time waiting in line at airport security than I would in the witness stand.

That's it for now... I hope you enjoyed this quick recap.