Sunday, September 25, 2005

A new low

I'm not very proud of it, but it is so low that it is actually funny. It's lower than the 46% final exam in Econ 420 Mathematical Economics. It's lower than the 42% midterm in Chem 315 Organic Chem. It's even lower than 33% on the Calculus 201 Midterm I wrote while drunk.
What is the new low? It is my latest Intro to Spanish spelling test based on words learned in the book Silvestre y la Piedrecita Magica. We are supposed to memorize a set of words the teacher highlights. She tests us by reading out words in English and we are supposed to spell them in Spanish. Latest test: 1 out of 19 correct. That is a staggering 5% and I don't think I can get any lower than that.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Plant Progress Sept. 16

Plant Progress
Status Date: 16th Sep 2005.

Project Controls: The naming of the plant has been sub-contracted to a local naming company….thus far the quality of names have been an issue…. if required we will poke the sub-contractor with a sharp stick to get some action.

Statements by Discipline:
Civil & Design Eng. – The 100% Dead Bug Estimate showed that we are behind schedule ….the plant doesn’t have enough leaves.
Structural – We should check the plant Guru on FOL (Foliage Online).
Architecture – I will talk tenderly to the plant and ask it to grow more leaves.
Process – The soil is too wet; I believe the plant is being over-watered.
Mechanical Services – Who can we blame?
PD-Piping – Investigating claims on over-watering of the plant - will disclose the results soon.
Mechanical Eng. – Why doesn’t the plant pot have a saucer?
Material Handling – I need to work overtime this week because my spouse scratched my Jetta.
Electrical Eng. – My foot hurts.
Instrumentation Eng – The 100% Dead Bug Estimate makes an excellent footrest.
Accounting - Aieee!!…We’re over budget …we may have to employ Enron accounting principles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Billable Chicken Hours

Antonio asked me to look in the Site Contract to see if Chickens are chargeable to the owner. Wow, that's a new one. I wonder how much a chicken makes an hour and what the multiplier is. They're probably working in the Project Controls department.
I asked him if the chickens were ex-patriates or if they were South American chickens because we make a lot more money with the ex-pats. He told me that the chickens were not actually going to be working on site. Construction Manager Rick thought it would be a nice idea to give a hundred chickens away to the local villagers as presents. I can just see Rick driving his inconspicuous Ford Expedition filled with live chickens and handing them out to Peruvian villagers. I don't argue with Rick anymore. Anyway, I think they are billable to the client.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yeast Infection

“Yeast infection? You’re kidding me!!”
“No, I’m serious” replied the Pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart.
“Well I don’t want a Yeast Infection!”

It started when some of my medical friends pushed me hard to see a specialist about my pneumonia. I am still unable to run because of my chest congestion and have given up any hope of a marathon this winter. I think my friends just want me to get “scoped”, but I’m not afraid of that and I went to see the Doctor at the walk in clinic. The Doctor put me on yet another course of antibiotics, plus Advair, which is a corticosteroid plus a bronchodilator. If this doesn’t clear it up then I go for X-rays next week and then maybe be referred to a Pulmonologist/Respirologist.
Back to the Yeast Infection. One of the side affects of Advair is: Yeast Infection!
I can’t wait to go back to the pharmacy and buy some Monistat.
"Is that for your girlfriend?"
"Uh, no, it’s for me."

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Just some random thoughts on the guys I work with. These observations may not be representative of all engineers. Just some empirical data collected over the last year.

Engineers can't count. I'm sure that they can integrate and differentiate, but I know they can't count. Maybe it's too mundane for them, or maybe there is no ISO standard for counting so they each make up their own system. Example: tell them that they have an extra work item and they have 40 more hours to update 4 drawings but they need to tell me the hour breakdown for each drawing. When I add up the hours they allocated to each of the 4 drawings it is 60 hours. Ugh. 40 is not 60. Please try to add those numbers up again.

Engineers are messy. I thought they learned discipline and structure at university but they remind me of racoons living under a house. Their desks are stacked with piles of paper from 6 months ago. And under their desk is backup from projects 5 years ago that they "might need to reference". Just junk it!

Engineers have no fashion sense. I'm sure everybody knows this and there is no need to dwell on it. The odd thing is the Structural department and their pink shirts. Why? It may be a downtown Vancouver thing.

Engineers and Personal Hygiene: is hair combing not required? It's like a bunch of Einsteins running around.

Engineers Thought Process: Ask an Engineer a question about A and you will get an answer about X, which leads into Y and then goes all the way out to Z.
You will never get a direct clear answer about your question.

Engineers and Humour. I'll give them that. They can be very witty.

Engineers are pack animals (when they are not staring at their P.C.'s). They reside in little groups; you don't see M.B.A's or Accountants moving in packs. Other natural science types such as Physisists and Mathematicians are pack animals too. This behaviour formed during their University years.

Engineers don't like plants. Look at their desks: piles of papers, pictures of their spouses and kids, but no plants.

In this office there are only young and old Engineers. I see very few middle level Engineers. There is no doubt that the young ones will mature into old ones.

The old Engineers have expensive hobbies like boats, or collecting antique cameras. The young Engineers like outdoor activities like Mountain Biking.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Plant Progress
Status Date: 27th May 2005.

Statements by Discipline:
Civil & Design Eng. – Bamboo trellis design …yaaay!
Structural – Morale is high, and my wife is happy.
Architecture – The design is a winner.
Process – I’m not a vegetarian, but plants need Miracle grow.
Mechanical Services – May the force be with you!
PD-Piping – IFA for watering personnel – on hold for schedule.
Mechanical Eng. – Broke one was a mistake.
Material Handling – Mech. Eng broke the vine, it was just a wee little baby, and we mourn the loss.
Electrical Eng. – Lighting a tad much, what is the RAS for the Miracle grow.
Instrumentation Eng – Camera for bi-weekly progress sorted.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Marshmallow Gun

Sean built a Marshmallow gun out of PVC pipe.
Here are the plans

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Plant Project - Subcontracting Out

We can't think of an appropriate name for the Plant, so I have to Subcontract out that part of the project. Please send in suggested names through the comments field.
The only conditions are no obscenities, no really long names but short hyphenated names such as bing-bing are OK. Callie has already suggested Kermit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sean's Baby Project

Baby Progress
Status Date: 7th September 2005.

Historical Enlightenment:
Clients decided house was still too large and not chaotic enough.
Baby Project was awarded.

Project Status:
Preliminary design and contruction completed.
(1) Boy, 7 lbs 13 oz ( 3553 grams )
Final designation awaiting committee approval.

20 year phase of growth and developement initiating ( 18 years minimum,
25 maximum )

Statements by Discipline:
Civil & Design Eng. – Your DNA, my DNA, mix well and it'll sort itself out
Structural – Bassinet & crib reused from previous project (2000)
Architecture – Current with standard human design features. 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 ears, etc... influences of styling from 1963 and 1964 models
Process – If you don't know by now...
PD-Piping – fueling systems by Mom
Environmental - waste systems by Dad
Material Handling – diapers by Pampers
Electrical Eng. – Night lights by Winnie the Pooh

Golden Retreiver

I attempted to rescue Bogey last year from a divorce situation when I heard a rumour that the woman was going to put the dog down out of spite. (an unfounded rumour I later found out). Of course I was just separated and fairly unsettled and living in an apartment that does not allow animals. It turns out that I had met the husband years ago at a pub night event in Vancouver and he remembered me and asked me to take the dog. I wanted to take him, but I couldn't. Fortunately my friend Cindy really wanted a dog, but had never owned one before and was very skeptical that she could take care of a big dog. Once I introduced Cindy to the lovable Bogey it was a done deal. They are best friends and she walks him for two hours almost every night. I went to the beach with them and threw the played ball with Bogey for at least an hour. Sometimes Bogey gets carried away and will swim out into the boat lanes, in which case Cindy will shriek until some kindly gentleman swims out to retreive the retreiver.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Plant Progress - the Beginning

Plant Progress
Status Date: 13th May 2005.

Historical Enlightenment:
Client decided his office space was too gray.
Plant Project was awarded.

Statements by Discipline:
Civil & Design Eng. – A plant with lots of vines would be cool, we’ll design something.
Structural – Guess we need something steady to put in on.
Architecture – No problem I’ll help make it stylish.
Process – Got milk?
Mechanical Services – Who’s in charge here, anyway?
PD-Piping – It will need water, we will deliver.
Mechanical Eng. – If you have a free shelf then I’m not going to do anything.
Material Handling – Tell me how heavy it is and I’ll tell you who to call to carry it.
Electrical Eng. – Yah, you’ll need light and lots of it. I’m on it.
Instrumentation Eng – What’s my budget?