19 April 2007

So cold

In the engineering program at my old university, there is a mandatory course on engineering drawing. Of course there's a CAD component, but mainly it teaches 3-D visualizing, and mostly we drew stuff by hand. Not only that, but they taught us how to draw straight lines freehand; no rulers were allowed. At the time, I was so good that I was accused of using a straight edge when really I hadn't.

Of course, none of that is doable when it's 3 degrees Celsius with powerful gusting winds, you're up 80 ft in the air on a steel tower, your hands are frozen, and, not only is your paper blowing all over the place, but your paper is soaked all the way through because it's snowing. In the middle of April.

On Monday, me and our company's senior steel engineer went to this aggregate processing plant (aggregate in this case meaning the sand and gravel that help make up concrete), an example of which is shown to the right (but this is not the one we went to). Of course, we weren't expecting the weather to be that bad. Also making matters worse, I wasn't exactly told where we were going and was under the impression that we were going to someplace indoors, rather than 80 ft up in the air on an exposed tower.

So after almost getting hypothermia and being left with near illegible notes, it is now Thursday and the weather is great. It's warm (relatively), sunny, and not very windy. The lesson here? No more outdoor site visits with that steel engineer.

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At April 20, 2007 8:35 a.m., Blogger Carlo said...

Nice. I couldn't draw a map of lines to get myself out of a paper bag. Oh, and the only outdoors I get to see is through the window of the lab.

It's strange that at one time one needed to be a very qualified artist in order to practice most sciences (except maybe the strict physical sciences Chem and Phys). Nowadays, PCs and cameras allow me to hide my artistic deficiencies...

At April 22, 2007 8:29 a.m., Anonymous Sarge said...

Hard to believe that last week was so cold, we had snow, freezing rain, sleet, and people generally went to ground and didn't move. Friday my wife and I went to give a presentation at a school on the other side of one of our mountains, it was beautiful, warm, and you could see spring was here. There were still some patches of snow to be seen. Wife said the sun doesn't shine there. I filed it away for future reference: next time someone tells me to put something where the sun doesn't shine, I'll know where to go.

When my wife was in college she made extra money drawing weather maps as there was no machinery which could do so at the time.

I tell you, Carlo, sometimes I wonder about "qualified" artists. I played at a gallery openning, was sitting close to a painting that people "in the know" were just gasping about. It was so original, fresh, a bold concept. They'd never seen anything like it. Hmmm. I, strangly enough, HAD seen it before. This daring creation, a stark, white background, red disc the size of a basketball...Gee! It was the Japanese flag! Japan's got to be slopping over with them.


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