Slush Fun

Kaye Borchers:
“Nothing says ‘important meeting’ like a blue slushy.”

We don’t blame you, Matt, for sipping on that cup of vibrant raspberry goodness regardless of your meeting’s significance. Indeed, when there’s an “Alligator Ice” machine running just outside your office door, it would be a crime to NOT have a slushy at all times.

Matt’s cheery, bright beverage reminds us that in our sometimes hectic Choice One days, there is always room for a little blue (or green?) sugar. Whether it’s a slushy, cartwheels down the hallway, or stilt-walking with clients, we at Choice One recommend taking time to have a little fun. And based on our sweet treats, acrobatics, and amazing feats of height and balance, we might further implicate that Jeff Puthoff is part circus clown.

So thanks, Matt, for showing us how a simple slushy amid busy times can (literally) brighten our days. One piece of advice, though: next time, make sure it’s a green slushy. Else you owe us lunch.

On Cloud Wine

Joan Schroeder (Tony’s wife):
“Good thing they didn’t have a ‘Tony’s Green’ or we would have to buy all of Choice One one of those!”

Tony and his wife Joan have hit the pavement on two wheels again and are currently bicycling around the Finger Lakes of New York*. When they discovered that a winery shared Tony’s name, they stopped. Joan commented, “Their bottles say ‘Anthony’ and ‘Tony’ on them. We bought a Tony’s Red, a Tony’s White, and a Tony’s Blush.” But sadly, as stated, there was no Tony’s Green.

If we were going to develop a line of wines to represent civil engineers, we could certainly have more fun NOT naming them after Tony. Perhaps our hypothetical Choice One Winery could produce varieties such as Rip-Rap Red, Butterfly Valve Bubbly, Sediment Control Shiraz, Meter Pit Merlot, and, of course, Pino Green-gio. We could brew beer, too! Who wouldn’t want an Aggregate Base Ale, Intermediate Course IPA, or Mast Arm Malt? (We could serve them all at our pub-style restaurant called Choice One’s Clearing and Grub!)

It’s probably best that there was no Tony’s Green wine for purchase (and also best that our design skills are less corny than our beverage naming skills). If Tony had to tote 40 bottles of wine on his bicycle, there would be no end to his “wining,” especially when encountering any of those pesky headwinds he has been known to complain about. Plus, if we keep picking on him when he’s not here, we can produce a different kind of “Tony’s Blush” or, eventually, some “Tony’s Red.” (We’ll assume “Tony’s White” is only produced when he falls down and gives himself a concussion playing volleyball.)

*Check out Tony and Joan’s adventures on their blog!

Fork in the Road

Kaye Borchers:
“Craig, you better reschedule your family vacation. Else you’re going to miss registering for OTEC at the first moment possible.”

25-year traffic engineering veteran Craig Eley has been faced with an incredibly anxiety-ridden decision: go camping in Michigan with his family OR register (yes, just register) on the very first day possible for ODOT’s annual Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference. Indeed, in Craig’s Squaresville world of traffic engineering, this is actually a difficult decision.

Really, it’s a good thing we have enthusiastic traffic engineers like Craig. With all of the technical workings and acronyms surrounding traffic engineering, it would be easy to get a little lost without their educational directional signage. For instance, Craig makes sure we know that RRFB stands for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon, not Bacon. (Bummer, that.) But most importantly, because he is the most “senior” of our traffic engineers, Craig gets to have final say in the traffic engineers’ quarrels about the minutiae of traffic engineering. (Craig, we know you’ll side with Matt since he now grades the company meeting quizzes and you’re a brown-noser!)

Don’t worry, Craig, if you elect to go on vacation, someone here at Choice One will make sure you’re registered ASAP. We would NEVER play a cruel joke and tell you you’re registered when you’re not. (Then, when you show up to the conference in October, they won’t let you in and you’ll get really upset and you’ll be put on some kind of “banned from OTEC for life” list. Because something like that TOTALLY exists.) Seriously, we’d never do that… Or would we?

Choose wisely, Craig. Choose very, very wisely.

Scent Sense

Brian Schmidt:
“I make a lot of engineering decisions in the course of a day. This is not one of them.”

For a water distribution engineer like Brian Schmidt, weighing options like ductile iron pipe and PVC pipe comes easily. But bathroom fragrances? Not so much.

While perfumes like “Moonlight Path” and “Love Spell” don’t make much sense to Brian, we could imagine some Choice One colognes that might:

  • “Soothing Survey Truck” – A luxurious blend of wooden stakes, mud, and fluorescent marking paint, with hints of Mt. Dew and rubber boots. Bottled onsite in our unique, high-visibility safety green bottle.
  • “Break Room Bouquet” – Choice One lunchtime inspired, this exotic fusion blends reheated pizza and burnt fish sticks with undertones of Arby’s Sauce and Cool Ranch Doritos. Limited edition.
  • “Eau de Engineer” – Carefully developed over many years in the Choice One labs, our signature fragrance blends blue ink, printer toner, and doughnuts with elements of keyboard crumbs and strong coffee. Available in two varieties: “Pocketless Green,” for men, and “Practicality Purple,” for women.

Perhaps if this whole engineering thing doesn’t work out, we can start selling these scents at local department stores. (Just imagine surveyors Jeff North and Eric Kuck politely offering shoppers a spritz of “Spicy Summer Surveyor.”). Until then, Brian, stick to the easy engineering decisions you understand, like gravity versus forcemain and Burger King versus Chipotle.

Window Pain

Tyler Thobe:
“Oh my gosh! There’s a window in Matt’s office?”

He’s been walking past the president’s office for five years, but it took until this week for engineer Tyler Thobe to notice the window Matt is awkwardly peering in above. Thankfully, Tyler is attentive when it comes to storm water design, not to mention when breakfast cereal is in his immediate vicinity.

To prove to Tyler that the window has always existed, we present the following evidence.

  • Flat Tony posed in front of the window while Real Tony was out riding a bike for “vacation.”
  • The Ghost of Choice One is aware of that window, and we’re pretty sure she can’t even see through her sheet.
  • Nick “Goldilocks” Sanders has enjoyed a just right bowl of porridge in front of that window.

We could bore Tyler with more photographic proof of the window, but at this point, we’ll spare him a little embarrassment. Plus, we’ll cut him a break: in truth, the blinds are always closed to keep pesky, unwanted people like Matt from staring in.

Feeling Stilted

Cara Tilford, Sugarcreek Township:
“Did you send the tallest Choice One employee you have?”

He may be trying to disguise himself with those sunglasses, but we see right through that masquerade—that’s surveyor Ryan Francis. On stilts. Because… why not?

Ryan is a helpful guy, and while being helpful dropping off a few things to our friends at Sugarcreek Township on his way to perform a survey nearby, Cara coerced… ok, “encouraged” him to try out a set of [green!] stilts. Indeed! Just see how stylish and graceful he looks!

Contrary to Cara’s comment, Ryan is NOT the tallest Choice One employee. That title currently belongs to Nick Sanders, who has handily out-heighted all of us since he first started cranking out storm water pollution prevention plans with Choice One years ago.

Regardless, Ryan is owed a big “thank you” for helping out with the delivery (and for being a good sport). But the biggest “thank you” of all goes to Cara, for not only getting Ryan on stilts and in sunglasses, but for deftly snapping and sending the photo, too!

Licensed

Nick Selhorst:
“Michael found out he passed his P.E. on Friday morning so he hung up his “certificate” in Loveland.”

It may seem like just a sheet of paper, but to an engineer like Michael, passing the Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and achieving licensure is a big deal. That piece of thicker-than-average paper means he has spent years preparing for a career in a glamorous field such as pavement analysis, water distribution modeling, or sewage pumping.

Obtaining a Professional Engineer’s license is a lengthy process. First, one spends five-ish years as an undergrad studying engineering. Indeed, some poor saps around here even suffered through this at the University of Dayton or the University of Toledo. Then one must spend four years under the tutelage of other Professional Engineers. Just imagine–four painful years under the scrutiny of uber-nerds like Matt, Tony, and Jeff Puthoff! Then, finally, one must pass an eight-hour P.E. test (and to get an engineer to think about engineering for ONLY eight hours at a time is a real feat…)

We could joke that we at Choice One also have a few other P.E.s besides our engineers around here (like Pizza Estimator Matt, Penny Economist Allen Bertke, or Pocket Eliminator Brittany). But we know it takes hard work to become a real licensed Professional Engineer. So here’s to Michael and all of the other P.E.s. Without you we’d still have gravel roads, no water pressure, and, yep… outhouses.

What’s in a Name?

Angela Polechek-Damron, Village of Ada:
“You guys should start naming all Choice One babies after communities you’ve helped design over the years!”

If you follow Choice One on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that there has been quite a rash of Choice One babies born in the past few weeks. When Portland engineer Ryan Lefeld and his wife Diana named their little girl Adalynn (above, left*), our friend Angela from the Village of Ada speculated that Adalynn was named after her employer. (Also pictured above are Michael and Andrea Seeger’s son Carter, middle, and Mitch and Kate Thobe’s son Drew, right*.)

Just think if these little ones follow in the footsteps of their daddies! By the time Drew Thobe is a traffic engineer like Mitch, cars might be flying. When Carter Seeger is designing site plans like Michael, he might be designing sites on Mars. And when little Adalynn is designing sanitary sewer like her daddy, Ryan… well… at that point sewage will probably still run downhill just like it does today.

While Ryan hasn’t officially confirmed whether or not [potential] future civil engineer Adalynn was really named after the Village of Ada, we can confirm that apparently the trend of naming all Choice One kids after communities hasn’t caught on quite yet**. Fear not! There are four more Choice One babies due between now and October (including twins!), so there is plenty of time for a Van Wert Heitbrink, a Wapakoneta Hoying, and twins Lebanon and South Lebanon Kuck.

*By the way, Adalynn and Drew, you owe the company lunch since you’re wearing the old logo.
**We can add to this list Ellianna Marie–daughter of Loveland engineer Brian Schmidt and his wife Marielle–born just this week! …Wait, was she named after the Village of Anna?!

Say Cheese!

Nick Sanders:
“I also got up early to do my hair. 10 seconds early, to be exact.”

This week we’re taking a few new company photos. Some of us (ok, maybe just the ladies), have been discussing the extra time devoted to pre-photo hairstyling to make sure this most important picture looks amazing. Engineer Nick Sanders also thought some extra primping time was appropriate. As you can see those extra 10 seconds really paid off. Look at that ‘do!

These photos are being taken for our soon-to-be redesigned website. We’re infusing a little Choice One-ality into our individual shots, and Nick is featured with his favorite t-shirt—if you know Nick, you know that 14 of his greatest joys are his grandkids (indeed, if you’ll recall, number 13 was born during a Choice One company meeting). And if you know the rest of us, you can probably guess what will be featured in each photo… Farmer Jeff Puthoff with a John Deere hat (so predictable). Fast-food connoisseur Brian Schmidt with his elegant, sophisticated Burger King crown (naturally). And Mitch Thobe with his beloved, nerdy traffic counter, or his Cleveland Browns jersey (we don’t know which is more depressing).

Our other photo personalities might not be so obvious, so we’ll keep you guessing–hopefully you’ll visit the new site when it’s launched in the coming months to find out. While you might wonder if Kaye will be holding a ping-pong paddle or if Caray will be featured with two sets of jumper cables, you can bet there will be some amazing hair and smiles AND amazing Choice One fun to discover.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!

Don Harrod, Village of Minster:
“Hurry up! I don’t know how much longer I can fly!”

Evidenced by his billowing green cape, Don Harrod (Village of Minster Administrator) is indeed a superhero. However, maybe his super power is something other than flying. It probably didn’t help that photographer Joan Schroeder may have “encouraged” Don to hold his flying pose far longer than was necessary to snap a few photos. Don happened to win the Charity Cup raffle’s Grand Prize–a personal drone–so we hope the drone is able to fly a little longer than Don himself…

This past Wednesday was Choice One’s annual Charity Cup, during which our clients and friends helped us raise funds for a couple of great organizations. We invited guests to enjoy a night of food, drinks, and a few competitive rounds of comic book Superhero Bucket Ball. Over the course of the night, we saw a few Supermen, a few Wonder Women, and LOTS of Jokers!

Words don’t quite do our appreciation justice, but since that’s all we have, THANK YOU to all you for your amazing generosity and a really fun night. Because of your donations, we were able to collect $6,560 for two great causes. We can again sponsor the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association’s family day at Young’s Jersey Dairy, and we are able to send three veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C.!

Despite Mr. Harrod’s “heroic” efforts, it was the City of Vandalia taking home the first place trophy. Congrats to Vandalia’s Rob Cron, Ted Baker, and Chad Baughman! Watch for more Charity Cup photos, videos, and updates on Choice One’s Facebook and Twitter.