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Monthly Archives: February 2011

The sailboat restoration is moving right along.  For those who might be interested, you can see the fruits of almost five months of refurbishing HERE.

Still a lot of work to do, but the end is in sight.


My husband and I are engineers, though of different disciplines, a fact that sometimes drives us both crazy due to the fact that neither of us can BS the other…it’s a never ending ME -vs.- IE- running-battle-debate-discussion kind of thing.  His background is roughly 75% design, 25% practical…where mine is almost 100% practical.  In other words, I know way more about construction and logistics than he ever will, where when it comes to design he has forgotten more than I ever knew in the first place.

My career has in many ways been as an interpreter by being the laison in relating to the construction personnel what the design engineers have in mind.  It is often said that just because the engineers can design and draw something doesn’t in the least mean that the construction group can understand and build it…and that is where I come in.  Very sophisticated modeling software has greatly helped design engineers in constructibility.  Nonetheless, sometimes they struggle.  My career, almost by definition, requires me to ask for explanations.  My guy just loves it when I do not understand something and ask him to explain.  He does so in a most amusing way that I just love.  Regardless of what he is explaining to me, when he is through and unconsciously I think,  there is an unspoken but implied phrase that he leaves out…and that is “…you stupid bitch.” A few very simple examples:

“Well, this is square and this is round and when you combine them you get the answer…” [unspoken] you stupid bitch.

“You will get a curve once you add the guides…” [unspoken] you stupid bitch.

Of course, he never actually says “…you stupid bitch.” He knows as well as I do that almost every time I ask for an explanation it’s not because I don’t understand the issue, it’s simply because I don’t understand him.  So, when he explains, the dangling implication is that I should understand him, regardless of how confusing he might be in expressing himself.  He ends his explanations a lot of times in such a way that I should have understood the first time, and sometimes I should have.  It’s become a running joke with us over the years and we laugh a lot about it.  He’ll explain something I ask about and when he finishes I’ll laugh and say to him, “you know the only thing you left out on the end, don’t you?” He’ll laugh, and I’ll say, “…you stupid bitch.” It’s very funny to me, probably more so than it is to him.

But one thing neither of us debate and that is well engineered anythings.  We both have a huge appreciation for well engineered things whether it be a barbecue pit  or a complicated piece of equipment.  We both appreciate just how difficult it can be to engineer something right.  I have some good friends that live in Alexandria, Virginia who recently sent me the video below.  They fall under the very difficult engineering classification of mechanisms.  Perhaps you have seen the clip…if not, enjoy Theo Jansen’s strandbeests.