Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “July, 2017”

Engineering 411

I do not know if any of my loyal readers are graduates of M.I.T. or any other fine engineering school.  (I myself am largely self-taught as a mechanical engineer, yet I do not denigrate the path of those who felt the need for mentoring).   If you are an engineer, you might learn something from me today.  If you are merely a member of the general public, you still might learn something, provided the subject is not way over your head.

First, some family history:  my maternal grandfather on my mother’s side was a civil engineer who worked for Union Pacific Railroad (as distinguished from a locomotive engineer who operates trains and probably has much more fun).    Like me, he did not go to engineering school, nor to college of any sort, going directly to work after graduating from high school.   One day at church, a man who knew my grampa at U.P., came up to me and asked whether I knew that the man who replaced my grampa had a Ph.D.

So, apparently I have engineering genes so strong that actual coursework is unnecessary.  And that brings me to the topic of the day.  I put together TWO home projects in ONE week.

My ever confident wife, Miss Sugar, purchased two items which each came in a box clearly labeled “Assembly Required.”

One of the projects was a fire pit from Home Depot.  It is no longer in the box.  It is actually assembled.  You should have seen me.  Anyway, we have had four successful fires.  Grampa would be proud.

The other project was a bird bath.  There were six, waddayacallem, yea, bolts, and just as many, you know what I mean, nuts.  I won’t explain the entire process.  All you need to know is that the finished product is already in use.  Charlie Sheen and I call that WINNING!

If you, loyal readers, ever have any home improvement projects, now or in the future, simply call my toll free number for expert assistance over the phone.

I will let you know when the number is working.  I have delegated that to Miss Sugar.

Gender Inequality and Numerology

During my childhood, I did not realize how unfair it was of God, I suppose, to allow unequal gender distribution in our family.  I felt secure and loved for several decades, but now I wonder whether I have been a victim in some manner, so I am writing this to see if there is some organization for people like me and, more importantly, if there is a compensation fund or government program to make it up to me.

Now that I have your attention, as well as anticipated sympathy, I will explain the situation.  It is really a mere census report rather than a sociological, psychological, or biological study.  I leave interpretation to the experts.

Do I still have your attention?

Bated breath?

Okay, here goes:  My paternal (i.e. father’s} parents had grandchildren of the following, i.e., hereinafter,  birth order and gender identification designations:

One granddaughter, Ten consecutive grandsons, and then my sister, who we shall label as the Second granddaughter and, simultaneously, Twelfth grand child.

Let’s focus on me, me, me for awhile.  Let us consider my particular location in the family tree of the family previously referred to herein-above-described as the  paternal side of my family as referenced in the paragraph preceding the paragraph immediately prior to this very paragraph.

I was the tenth of ten grandsons.

I feel special.

I was also the eleventh of twelve grandchildren.  It was a coincidence that no one noticed until it dawned on me as a write this, but get ready for a sleepless night:  I was assigned and wore jersey number 11 on a Y.M.C.A. basketball team.  How did Coach Lawrence know?

Think about it.  There are things we can never fully understand.



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