Friday, May 09, 2008

Am I Totally Wrong?

To Put Grecian Formula on my body hair?

OH know what I'm talkin' about ladies and gentlemen...that hair that started out living up there on top of my 6 foot plus frame... and now resides in other lower level places (other than on my face and on top of my knotty head...)

Can you say RHETORICAL Question?

(Regardless of your position on the matter,now I dare you to try to put THAT mental picture out of your shuddering head this evening (whether you actually know me or not...)

Haaaah...Got 'Cha...

PS: I really didn't do it...I just thought of it for a while and wrote about it because I'm desperate for Blog content.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

'Nother Day...

...'Nother Dollar

If you don't count entertaining guests, I'm happy to report that I did virtually nothing after 5 PM yesterday for the first time in a month.

Wooo Hoooooooooooo...

What I did was that I managed to get finished with a quickie project at my day job by 4 PM and was home a few minutes later, then after another round of hanging artwork for Pat and Ski I spent a few hours co-hosting our first Open House party.

I think a good time was had by all, and when I laid my head on my pillow a little after ten, the next thing I knew it was nearly daylight and the computer and the spreadsheets were sitting here alone, feeling neglected.

So sue me...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Is THAT...What I Used To Do For A Living?




They're basically all the same in my book.

Each one inevitably leads to the other.

Think about that bit of keen insight while I get back to work this morning.

(...and BTW, I know that you are happy I pointed that out... you're welcome.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Calculating My Existence

Anyone Have A Slide Rule???

It looks like I'm going to pay dearly for taking most of the past eight or so years off.

Who's idea is it to have to do everything on a deadline anyway?

My whole existence is now a series of white knuckle professional milestones, with my evening leisure time consisting of rearranging furniture and hanging art on my walls (our friend the interior decorater flew into town yesterday and I was forbidden to hang anything until she arrived), a little sleep, then my evening stack consulting job kicks in about 3 AM.

Time to head out to the day job now...hope y'all have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Twelve Years Ago

A Loss That Still Hurts Every Day...

Twelve years ago this morning I was sitting in my boat on a lake in South Carolina preparing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Then I received a call on my cell phone that changed my life forever.

My Father had passed away earlier that morning.

I parked my boat on it's trailer, drove it back to my friend's house to collect my belongings, and then began an eleven hour saga back through Atlanta to check on my cats, then on to southern Alabama.

That seemed like the longest drive I've ever taken, even though I've covered greater distances in a single day before and since.

Needless to say I don't celebrate on May 5th any longer.

My father was an exceptional man.

Husband and parent first.

A complete Gentleman.


A gifted test pilot and electrical engineer.

What else could you ask for, except his presence today?

Miss you Dad...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Meteor Shower Tonight

Take A Bath With Me In The Cosmic Glow...

Being an Astronomy nerd, I elect to get E-mail notifications of things going on in the sky from a website called The really send out some interesting stuff and if you're inclined to wander outside in the middle of the night and take a look at what they're talking about I think that you'll rarely be disappointed.

Tonight we'll see the peak of the "ETA AQUARID METEOR SHOWER", an event caused by the Earth passing through the dust trail left by Halley's Comet each year.

They claim that if you will look to the eastern sky before twilight sunrise on Monday and Tuesday morning you can expect to see as many as 70 meteors per hour (a little over 1 per minute for the Florida grads.)

Grab a coat and a lawn chair and meet me outside about 4:30 AM, if you will...


Worship My Pants...

Dang I'm Tired...This working for a living is harder than I thought.

Add to the new day job the tasks of finally finishing removing my life and possessions from boxes and having to spend the evenings and weekend trying to explain my stack calculations to some old Geezer an insultingconsulting engineer with an apparent agenda counter to my best interests, and you can understand why I'm tired.

I just spent three hours writing an Excel spreadsheet to do something called a Wind Gust Response Factor calculation to prove that some numbers I routinely use are correct. I lost all of my stack design software in the house fire a few years ago and I've been slowly re-writing each section as each job requires the data.

Any way, having run a few thousand gust factor calculations over the past 25 years, I've basically settled on numbers between 1.0 and 1.5 for most of my designs, and I let my big right toe my gut tell me what to use on each project.

On the current new design on the Mississippi coast I used a 150 mile wind velocity with a 1.5 gust factor.

Massive bitching and complaining ensued, because our customer failed to tell me that their customer--a petroleum company--had their own standards and required a 183 MPH design wind loading with a .85 gust factor.

Problem is, the 0.85 number is for short fat stiff structures like buildings, and I have a tall flexible structure with a frequency of around 1 Hertz, but I could see an inquisition coming featuring highly educated people whose experience with stacks consisting of designing two or three and having stood by a smokestack once in a paper mill.

I, on the other hand, have designed and built (and in some cases installed) over 400 stacks in my career and by default have a pretty good idea what is going on with tall thin tubes standing around with smoke coming out of their tops.

So any way, I just finished the spreadsheet and ran some test numbers to check the accuracy, then I plugged in my stack design and guess what???

The actual gust factor is 1.472!!

For those of you that went to Georgia or LSU, 1.472 easily rounds up to my original number of 1.5.

It's time for a celebratory cocktail, I think...