Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“We are on a strict diet of corn husks only.”

– Dane Nagel, Village of Versailles


…and judging by the Municipal Cup Cornhole Championship Versailles won in 2011, a “corn husk only” diet is an effective way to prepare for the Cornhole Tournament.

March 27 will mark the 7th Choice One Engineering Cornhole Challenge. Over the years, the tournament has evolved a little bit (remember when you just threw the corn-bag like a normal person instead of spinning in a circle with your eyes closed and flinging a flying monkey?), but this year will mark the best changes yet.

  1. First, the location is changing. Since we were running out of room at the Sidney American Legion, the event will be held this year at Shelby Oaks Golf Course just outside of Sidney. We’re hoping that this move to a golf facility will subversively quiet the whiners who have been relentlessly pestering us about a return to the Choice One Golf Outing days of old.
  2. Second, this year the event will benefit a really great Shelby County charity called Sluggers Little League. This program offers children between the ages of 5-18 with a mental and/or physical disability a chance to play Little League baseball. There is no fee for the players; the only prerequisite is that the players come with a desire to play baseball and have fun. Raffle tickets and donations collected at the Cornhole Tournament will be matched by Choice One and donated to this worthwhile cause.
  3. Finally, those stylish green jackets pictured above on those fetching young gentlemen will no longer be awarded to the winning team. Instead, Choice One Engineering will make a $300 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice in the winning team’s municipality.

Change can be difficult (see note above about the whining golfers…). We suggest, however, that a change worth implementing is promptly switching to a diet of corn husks only.

“Can you send more nutritious snacks down for Bosses’ Day next time? Because I just sat down in my chair and my button popped off my pants. Good thing Matt had a safety pin.”

– Brian Schmidt

Sometimes dessert is just too hard to pass up. For Brian Schmidt, that “sometimes” equals “always.” And when cheesecake looks like the one above, can you blame him?

Indulging once in a while isn’t a bad thing. At Choice One, we indulge A LOT: we indulge Tony when we listen politely to his continuous soccer talk, we indulge Jeff Puthoff and his incessant farmer complaints (“It’s too wet. It’s too dry. It’s too hot. It’s too cold.”), and we indulge Brian Goubeaux and his whining about the lack of Texas Cinnamon Rolls in The Canteen.

Be it a sugary treat or a leant ear, the occasional indulgence can satisfy a sweet tooth or a chatty coworker. Even if that means Kaye has to make a special trip to Sam’s Club. In the cold. And snow.

(You’re welcome for your breakfast this morning, Brian.)

“Did you just quote Naughty By Nature?”

– Jeff Puthoff

Being that they are an early 1990s rap group, and being that Jeff Puthoff isn’t much of a hip-hop kind of guy, you might be surprised to find out that Jeff knows who Naughty By Nature is. However, as told by his spectacular mullet, Jeff was pretty hip in 1993.

There’s a lot we can learn from our past. When we complete projects at Choice One, we like to reflect on what went well and what could have been better so that we might learn from ourselves and our experiences. For instance, if traffic engineering was involved, one could learn that Matt and Mitch probably had a lengthy, heated discussion about optimal signal timing. Clients who work with Andy quickly learn that his favorite lunch meetings happen at the China Garden (and he’s not shy about multiple trips to the buffet). And any project engineer working with Brian Barhorst would quickly learn that whatever Brian needed, he expected it yesterday.

We can certinaly learn a lot from our past experiences. If we can learn anything from Jeff’s past, it might be that some hairstyles should STAY in the past. Keep that in mind Jeff. Please.

“Megan doesn’t care about fashion, she cares about function.”

– Jeff Puthoff

Yes, those are plastic shopping bags on Megan’s feet. And yes, she put those on her feet voluntarily (to keep her feet dry in the rain). And yes, she crossed a public street to reach Choice One. And yes, we laughed at her when she walked in.

Practical? Yes. Pretty? Um, not to everyone… (Sorry, Megan.)

To some, pretty is more important than practical. But around here, practicality generally outweighs beauty, as our clients are often in the business of saving dollars for themselves or their taxpayers. For instance:

  • Tony facilitates the creation of simple zoning codes for municipalities and townships. Usable, functional zoning codes are easy to understand for residents, officials, and potential developers, making a municipality/township attractive to settle and invest in.
  • Jeff Kunk buys everyone pizza when only five or six people are in the office, therefore spending less to buy “the whole company” lunch.
  • Jeff Puthoff wears cowboy boots to save time–he doesn’t have to match his socks or tie his shoes (we’re not sure he knows how to tie shoelaces anyhow).

In closing, Jeff Kunk will only buy “the whole company” lunch once every 18 years, and fancy shoes probably wouldn’t help Jeff Puthoff be less awkward, but when it comes to being practical designers and engineers, the Choice One crew does pretty well. And, in terms of practicality, shopping bags will keep Megan’s feet dry. But we’re still going to laugh at her.

Tony: “A ‘blip’? Are you sure it’s not a ‘blimp’? You know, like the Goodyear Blimp.”

Kaye: “It’s definitely not a ‘blimp.’ What if it was the Hindenburg and came crashing down?”

Tony: “Well, that’s why you want to watch out if it’s a blimp!”


The context of the conversation above is not important. Well it might be important, but it involves Tony’s poor spelling skills again, and we hate to embarrass him too much–we do quite a bit of that already (and as you can see above he doesn’t need much help from us). What’s important is that if there’s a blimp in the air, it’s apparently a risky situation.

At Choice One, we don’t typically take a “the sky (or the blimp) is falling” attitude; we’re more the down-to-earth type. Still, it’s good to be prepared in case a fiery crash is likely. In Kaye’s case it might be looking a little more carefully before making a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic in Ada with the brand new company car. In Nick Selhorst’s case it might mean making sure the lid is screwed on tight on your travel mug. In Ryan Francis’s case it might mean replacing the cap on the fluorescent marking paint before tossing it into the backseat of the truck.

Regardless of the bits of preparation we do, sometimes a blimp-full of crap happens. If we can laugh at it a little, perhaps we can turn the “blimp” into just a “blip.”

“Kaye, get back here, we’ve got a Mindset for you.”
– Various

Dear family and friends,

Happy holidays! As the year ends, we just wanted to send a letter telling you all how things have been going in the Choice One household this year. We’ve certainly been busy, as evidenced by all the the gag gifts we happily shared (pictured above).

One of our newest additions to the family, Nick Selhorst, has almost graduated to a big boy cup. He still tends to spill a lot, though, so we bought him some sippy cups with handles and lids. Our other new addition Megan is still adjusting to our noisy office atmosphere. After some difficulty hearing clients on the phone when the copier is running, Santa bought her some noise-cancelling ear muffs. That way she’ll know it’s Tony from “Maineville” and not Tony from “Mango.”

Jeff Puthoff is really growing up, too. Although he still wears slip-on boots so that no one has to tie his shoelaces for him, he has almost mastered the zipper on his coat. Tony is really getting older, too. Whenever you turn on an LMFAO hip-hop song he toddles around dancing spontaneously. As cute as that is, though, stay out of his way when he throws a tantrum, especially when his coffee machine overflows or a utility truck drives through his soccer field.

Sweet little Mitch is growing up, too. In fact, we caught him repeatedly copying the big kids’ use of foul language (specifically “bullsh#t”) when he and Matt argue about traffic engineering and the best way to do things.

Dan and Ross, a couple of our field survey guys, are getting so big and strong. They actually pulled a door handle right off one of the pick-up trucks the other day! If only they were strong enough to pull Allen’s pocketbook open… we hear he’s REALLY been saving his pennies, so far as putting a padlock on his (rather dusty) wallet!

Well, that’s all the updates we have for you this year. Hope everyone has had a nice holiday. Here’s to an enjoyable 2013!

Yours truly,

Choice One Engineering

P.S. Choice One Engineering will be closed January 1, 2013.