If great responsibility comes with great power, what are you supposed to do with a great sense of humor?
Well, the wait is over. My last blog was posted around the time I took my Structural Engineer licensing exam, so I guess it's appropriate that this is my next post.
First, thanks to the well-wishers. I knew as I was taking the test that I had some people thinking about me, which is just one of the many great things about CBR.
And secondly, I didn't pass. I honestly didn't expect to. I wasn't prepared for it. Which isn't to say I didn't prepare for it, I just wasted a lot of time trying to find a good place to study and didn't find it until about 3 weeks before the exam. It is suggested that a candidate spend 14 weeks or 300 hours studying. Obviously, there are barely 300 hours left in 3 weeks after you take out work and the occasional trip to the loo, so I didn't quite put as much time into it as I needed.- read more
If my calculations are correct (and I really hope they are today), when this posts, I'll be sitting in a small room at Bismarck State College with around 30 other professionals taking an exam to earn my Structural Engineer license.
I earned my Professional Engineer license back in 2004 while I still worked in Kansas. I spent more than 200 hours studying that time, starting about over 2 months before the test and covering all the areas of Civil Engineering: environmental, transportation, geotechnical, water resources, and structures. I was earning my master's degree at the time, and I counted my time in class as study time. I had also taught half of my company's PE structures review for 3 years by then. The NCEES doesn't give a score for the test, just pass/fail, so I don't know how well I did, but the 8 hour, 80 question test took me roughly 5 hours. I felt good going in, and better coming out, but the test only had a 65% pass rate at the time, so I didn't do too much premature celebrating. I was pleasantly but mildly surprised when I got the results saying I passed, just in time for Christmas.
4 years later...
I had always planned on taking the SE exam within a year or two of earning my master's degree, so when my boss told me I should take it this fall (earned my MCE from KU in 2006), I didn't have to be signed up kicking and screaming. But then the late summer/early fall got away from me. We were involved in 3 weddings since the end of August, and we've both been busy with work and parent stuff. I tried studying at home. Didn't work. I tried studying at work. Didn't work. I finally got desperate and crashed the MSUM library to study, and wow, what a difference that made. I got maybe 40 hours of studying done there versus 30 at home. I could get more done in a 3 hour session than I could in a weekend at home. But I still didn't get to cover all the topics I needed to for this exam.
This weekend was the 20th Annual Midwest Comic Book Association FallCon! I wasn't sure if I should go, since it was going to cost a bunch in gas just to get there, and I should be studying for my licensing exam on the 24, but Adam Hughes was going to be there, and it only comes around once a year, so I went.
As the title of the blog suggests, I'm not going to say much about the event. I didn't take any pictures, unfortunately, but I got some good books, including the first Dark Tower HC to donate for the 2009 auction, a bunch of Neverwhere, and lots of random stuff not on my want list (which I completely fubared before I left home). AH! signed my Catwoman 51 and Rapture & Richochet (aka flip-side of Savage Dragon #4) for Bazooka Joe. I had Avengers 500-502 in my hand, but I put them down and forgot to pick them back up before I left. Oh well.
As a saving grace for the expense of the weekend, I was able to buy gas for $2.999 on the way home. They're practically giving it away now! :roll: I also spent 5 hours studying for my exam, so that's something.- read more
There are seven books coming out this week, which is really exciting, but I find myself thinking "what would I do if the world ends Wednesday?"
I don't really believe that the world is going to end when they flip the switch on the Hadron Collider in Geneva, but still, the possibility is there, isn't it? The scientists in charge are trying to discover the secrets that make up the fabric of the universe, creating forces not seen since released the Big Bang (or whatever theology you rationalize).
Besides being bummed that I didn't get to see my Power Girl bust from this year's auction, or have a chance to do more professionally, I'd be most upset that I'll probably be at work, away from my girls when we all blinked out of existence. They're both at such a wonderful age, one is really starting to talk, and the other just started Kindergarten. They've got a lot of living to do yet!- read more
Like just about everyone else in the US now, I have to tighten my belt and wait for my expenses to drop or my salary to rise in order to maintain my current lifestyle. Although beer dropped $2.50 a case, I only save that once every two weeks, so I still can't go overboard on my hobby spending.
The problem is, there are a lot of books out this week that I'd like to get. Cutting back actually hasn't been hard lately, partly because I've done a decent job of ignoring regular spandex books by the big 2 (or 5 depending on who you count), and also ignoring the acclaimed "off brand" books. So here's my list of what I will get and what I won't. I'd really like to hear your cries of "why are you buying that " and "how could you even think of not picking that up! It's only money!"
- read more
Last week I blogged a little about my professional life. This week, I'd like to share some pictures and words about the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, MN. I was able to visit the construction site while in the Cities for a class, and I followed on the Saturday morning sidewalk tour. I have Carl Something (not his real last name) from New York to thank for the shutterbuggery.
Also, if you're bored, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a really awesome webcam. It's not "live", but it is real-time, so you can update it every few seconds and watch the little worker bees change position. For your own health and safety, don't call them "little worker bees" to their face. You can find the cam here: http://www.startribune.com/local/18346174.html?location_refer=Special%20Projects
Hey all, since I can't seem to organize the comic book related blog entries I've got floating in my head, I thought I'd give you a brief glimpse into what I do, which is bridge engineering. In my last job, I was kind of specialized in design for 4 years, then construction inspection for 3. In my new job, I've done everything but forensic engineering (think: why did that bridge fall down?), and I enjoy all of it. Yesterday, I got to get up at 3am to inspect a deck pour.
The bridge is about 130' long and 60' wide, including a 14' wide pedestrian walkway. Here are some pics.
- read more
n Tuesday, I got my haircut for the first time in about 6 weeks. I'm usually a 4-weeker, so this cut felt particularly fantastic. The back of my neck looked the bearded lady had firmly planted herself back there. The lady that cuts my hair is one of those fantastic haircutters (men don't have hairdressers, do they?) who you can spin a great conversation out of kinda mundane things, like what my kids were having for supper that night, which last night was ramen noodles and cheez whiz toast.
Now, maybe I didn't say "toast", or maybe she didn't like cheez whiz, because she kinda crinkled up her nose when I said that. Not at the ramen noodles (a $0.14 5 minute meal in a bag!), but at cheez whiz?!? What's wrong with cheez whiz? So what if it's the same day-glo orange as Mac & Cheese powder, and barely resembles cheez? So what if we use it to get the dog to take it's medicine? It's good on any kind of bread, including cinnamon bread, or so I've heard, but will never myself try. Is there any cheez whiz love out there?
Um, so, kind of a cheezy first "real" post, but here we are. Thanks to evlthecat for the idear. For the record, the cheese in my other first post was in reference to the character Cheese from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. I love a few select episodes of the show (Squeeze the Day is sublime), but if you can find "Cheese a Go-Go", while mildly annoying, it's kinda catchy.
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