Monday, February 25, 2008

Engineering Quote

I was studying for quals and saw this quote at the beginning of a chapter.

"The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his short-comings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned."
-Herbert Hoover
Get !@#$ done. Make it work. Build real things. Paper studies are only useful if they are used to guide the building of something that can be tested.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2008 Taxes

Well, I did fairly well this year. I owed the federal government 13$ over what I pre-paid. If I can keep it +-20$ every year I will be very happy.

No refund for me, I can save my own money, thank you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boat: Tested w/video

Sara and I went to Andrew H.'s place to test out the boat. Charles met us there and helped with holding it while I got in. The actual test was fairly uneventful, except my awkward first attempt and Sara getting a bit wet when she got in. Enjoy the pics and videos, we plan on using the boat this spring and summer.

Who wants a ride?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boat: Finished and ready for test

Sara and I finished painting the boat last night. Some places need a little bit of touch up, the paint came off of the PL construction adhesive when it had been taped over.

Other that that, I am thinking of a test on Saturday because the weather will mostly cooperate.

Let's see if this baby floats!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Boat: Taped

The boat now has the masking tape applied before the next coat of paint. It is really close to being done.

We are unveiling the name of the boat here, enjoy! It will be painted on the bottom and sides with blue, so it will basically be opposite colored from what you see there.

Oh yeah. and I had some extra help with this. Nic came over and helped Sara and I get it taped up and ready to go.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Retraining a workforce

Charles and I were talking about problems in Michigan related to retraining people. As jobs are moved around you end up having to close factories or relocate offices. When this occurs you get a significant number of unemployed in one area. It spills over into other industries that depend on the income from the fired workers.

As globalization continues, we are going to see more and more people needing to be flexible on their career. Even without globalization, we would see the same closings and relocations between the states.

The problem becomes that the workers need to find new jobs. Often they can not do the existing job that they have training for. They may need to move. They may need new training. I feel that many of the government programs are misplaced. You can foster an environment where you create jobs. This can not be accomplished by an edict from the government. You also need to empower the people to find new jobs. When a car factory that makes sheet metal side panels shuts down in a town, the replacement jobs are not likely to be sheet metal work.

What we need is a trampoline. (and here)

How do we make the trampoline?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Boat Paint-ed: Yellow

The boat has the yellow coat painted on.

Tomorrow or so we will mask off certain parts and finish up the painting in blue. Then we are off to test the boat.

Does anyone know of a good way to add a music to a video (avi)?

Also, who wants to see the launch? I think I have a fairly complete list, but everyone is welcome. The real question is if it should be on the weekend or after work one day. It might depend on the available lighting.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Interesting headline from fark.

"Exxon Mobil pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people. The tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3% of adjusted gross income; the tax rate for Exxon was 41%."

Link to Article

I find it interesting that everyone seems to hate the fat-cats, but look at the impact of one company.


Many of my friends started getting this flu. I am one of them.

It goes like this:

  • Meet infected person
  • Two days later you wake up with a sore throat
  • That night, you get a 102+ fever
  • Repeat the next night
  • Watch the people you had met start with a sore throat in the morning
  • who knows what is next because I am only on day 5

Monday, February 04, 2008

Boat: Primer-ed

The boat now has two coats of primer.

All that is left is to design the paint scheme and paint the boat. We have secured a testing facility and envision a test after school/work one day so that people can see it. There should be a youtube video soon of the test.

Does anyone know where to buy those foam noodles in the winter?