In an exciting personal achievement, I was awarded an Oregon Stater Award for Early Career Excellence. The Oregon Stater Awards have been around since 1998 and there have been about 400 awarded. This includes Civil, Constructuion, Environmental, Mechanical, Nuclear, and Industrial Engineering. Approximately a third of those are in the category of "Early Career", which is loosely defined as someone with less than 20 years. The other categories are more than 20 years, and Hall of Famer. Basically, there's one Civil in each category, so the University is selecting from about 1,400 engineers that could be awarded every year. So, it is quite an honor for me. The visit to OSU included a tour of the new Kearney Hall, which was beautifully remodeled with donations from alumni like me. It was a great dinner and the family joined me for a wonderful celebration at the Alumni Center. The kids needed a little time at Avery Park after I toured the "new" building, so we met downtown and then headed back to the Alumni Center for the dinner that night. Here's what mom wrote to the family, excerpted from the program:
The Oregon State University College of Engineering introduced the Oregon Stater Awards in 1998 to honor outstanding Oregon Staters for their contributions to the engineering profession and OSU. Each year, on the Friday of National Engineers Week, the College inducts new Oregon Stater Awardees. Peter was inducted on February 20th, 2009 to the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers for Civil and Construction Engineering. Peter's citation read:
"After receiving a bachelor's degree in civil engineering at OSU, Peter Koonce attended graduate school at Texas A&M. He has worked with the Texas Transportation Institute and is currently an associate engineer at Kittelson and Associates. Considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on bus and light rail transit signal priority, he has worked on transportation projects in areas such as Denver, South Florida, Baltimore, Portland, and Eugene. He has national visibility and credentials as a leader in transportation engineering and continues to develop the profession by providing training materials for various educational programs. Peter works with the OSU CE transportation faculty assisting in student field trips to Portland and continuing education programs offered on campus."
This weekend is one of those that I can reflect back on and say with a certainty that there are several things that I enjoy doing. Today, I mixed in a little work with calling about donations for the Llewellyn School Auction. I visited the local bike shop, the library, the cleaners, and several local businesses in between to ask whether they would support the school.
I enjoy volunteering especially when it is for a good cause. It is also fun when I can use some of my strengths to improve what's been done in the past. I got off to a slow start on this task of connecting with folks that have made donations in the past. There were 11 people on the list and I knew some of the businesses, but for some of them asking for donations seemed a bit superficial to me because they aren't ones that I personally frequent. I guess at the core of my motivation is working with those that have similar values (it happens in my work too) to achieve a goal. Businesses that I frequent are those that should donate to my causes, since I help make them successful, or at least I do my part.
Since that start, I have identified a list of about 15 more that I am in the process of contacting. They're folks that I patronize on a regular basis or people that I know personally. The response has been really great. Some of the local folks include Garden State, the food cart at the end of our street, which I was suspect about a cart two blocks from our house, which doesn't quite get enough foot traffic in my estimation, but he does really good, because it is soooo tasty! Staccato Gelato also donated as did Peet's Coffee, so I am feeling pretty good about my these guys too.
Well, I had better get to bed, the Sunday is full of helping get people registered at the Worst Day of the Year Ride, which is a benefit for the Community Cycling Center. I have to leave home by 6 AM to get there, a little earlier than a work day!
Abby proclaimed that the Groundhog was wrong from day one and I am beginning to believe her. It was a glorious day in Sellwood. Mid fifties, sunny as Portland gets and no wind.
Jim Phillips, one of my Facebook Friends said it best when he typed: days like today remind him why we love living in the Northwest.
Abby and Mia had a full day, we had Natalie over for a quick art project. They started out making hearts, and then Natalie wanted poofy hearts, so I cut one out and used the cut out to make a three dimensional creation that was actually somewhat poofy. We got a little crazy with the glitter and that made quite a mess in the dining room. All in all, it was a good project that ended up being hung in the trees.
Neighbor Mike and I plotted for the coming summer, thinking through the planting season, he wants to do raised beds on their side yard and I still haven't decided how to make use of the full composter. I still need to get another one so we can continue the fun, as the first one is nearly full of good stuff that's not quite ready for prime time.
I still view this blog as as journal of sort and have to wonder if someone is really reading this and if so, why would they really care about these sorts of things in my life. I guess as a journal I enjoy documenting things in my life, mainly for me, so if you're still reading this please get a life and stop reading this tiresome posting.
There was some construction going on three houses down, which was nice to see. The house sold four months ago and the scuttlebut was that the folks that bought it weren't the ones that were living there. I met the owner today and they have gutted the garage and done a major facelift to follow up on the roof replacement that they did shortly after buying the place. The couple that owns that is also buying the property to the east and is going to live in that house and rent? the one next door, which is sort of an interesting concept. They bought the lot that is one and a half lots wide, so they actually have the ability to put another house in between, which wouldn't look all that bad. At least we're not in flag lot land.
I sneaked in a bike ride today, which had to be done with the weather. It was a really nice ride and one that I actually did without stopping and getting distracted. It was just under and hour and my average speed was 14 mph, not bad for February and with some decent hills (up to Woodstock).
Back to the girls' day.... Abby had a play date with Annija and I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that Amelia had the play date too. Annija is very sweet and she seems to enjoy Amelia as much as Abby's company. The play date sort of exploded when Natalie came over and the Ron & Cathy's grandkids all joined us (Aiden, Austin, and Alissa). It was quite a specactle... six kids that started with A! They had umbrellas out on the lawn making forts and playing various fun games. I did some weeded and enjoyed the sun.