KTE Conference

I know I’m a nerd.  It comes with the territory of being an engineer.  But I’m a cool nerd, dangit!

This week was the 97th Annual Kansas Transportation Engineering Conference.  I was really excited to go.  It in Manhattan, KS, home to my alma mater, Kansas State University and therefore the coolest town on earth.  It is also home to one of my good friends.  I love getting together with her and chatting, which we don’t get to do so often now that kids and life have taken over.  Also, it is my old stomping grounds.  I love walking around campus and seeing how much has changed in the almost 13 years since I’ve left.  It’s amazing what has changed and what has not.

Anyway, the conference is a chance to catch up with old friends, some of which I haven’t seen since college, and hear some really interesting presentations about some really interesting topics.  This year’s conference topic selection was stellar!  It really was good.  I didn’t fall asleep once!

One of the best presentations was about Colorado Department of Transportation’s response to the catastrophic floods of September, 2013.  Check out the youtube video for some crazy photos, videos, and stories.



I love being busy.  I DO!  But today is a bit ridiculous.  I had 4 things on my schedule for this evening.  I can reasonably attend 2.  I am going to.  One is a commitment that I have to go to, the other one is to watch the Shockers play in the Sweet 16.  GO SHOCKS!  Anyway… thank goodness for grandma on nights like tonight.  We owe her so much for carting the kids around when our busy lives take over.

Oh, and I have to miss the annual dinner in Abilene tonight.  BIG SAD FACE.  I love the fried chicken.  Probably better for my diet anyway.

I ready to relax and have fun this weekend, that is for sure!

Math Homework

I went to school to become an engineer.  I’ve taken some pretty high level math classes in college, Calculus 1-3, Differential Equations, etc.  I never, EVER thought I would be stumped by my first grader’s math homework.  But, it happened last night.

I read the homework.  It said things like “near doubles” and I don’t even know what all.  I flipped the page over, thinking there might be instructions on the back. Nope.  Seriously, I consider myself a smart person.  I COULD NOT FIGURE THIS STUFF OUT.

I had to email the teacher this morning and tell her my daughters’s homework was not finished because we could not figure it out.  I asked her to send directions home with it next time.



I have to deal with the public.  It is part of my job.  Usually, it is okay.  Yesterday, it bugged the heck out of me!

I had a lady call me, and she was really pissed off about the road that she uses everyday being closed for 5 months while they completely reconstruct it.  5 months is not a very long time for a road to be closed, considering it will be COMPLETELY NEW when it is finished.  This lady was mad.  I tried really hard to be nice and explain how much safer, faster, cheaper it is to close the road during construction.  I told her she may be inconvenienced for a few months, but she should be happy when it is finished.  Her response? “Honestly, it’s just a road to me.  I could care less.”  That is like me saying your child is just a snot nosed brat to me, and I don’t like them.  I may be thinking it (more often than not) but I would never say that out loud!  This road is my baby!  I have worked hard to make as good as it can be, and you could care less!  OHHH!!

I ended the conversation with, “Have a nice day.”  Aren’t I sweet?

My rant is finished.


I’m writing this on my Kindle Fire HDX. This is one of the best gifts Hubs has ever given me. I use it each and every day!

That is all for now.

Infrastructure: THE MOVIE

It’s not every day that we get a good laugh out of engineering.  Let’s face it, we’re not the most glamorous people out there.  John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight” tackled the tough question of infrastructure funding.  He is funny. And unfortunately, he’s right.  Unless something catastrophic happens (such as bridge collapse, comet hitting the earth, etc.) we engineers don’t get the propos that we deserve.

Watch his 21 minute tirade below.  Especially stay tuned for the trailer of “Infrastructure: THE MOVIE”.

I’m OLD!

Holy crap, when did this happen?  When did I go from the young, hip (well, moderately cool) person to this old lady?

Here’s the background: last week was “Engineer for a Day” day.  I volunteered to host.  I’ve been here 6 months, yeah, I can handle this… So we get paired up with a young lady who is interested in Civil Engineering!  Whoot!!  That doesn’t happen every day!  She’s a senior at one of the Wichita high schools.

So the day arrives, and the young lady is very nice, knowledgeable, asking lots of questions about Civil Engineering.  Me and a co-worker take her to lunch, and somehow got to talking about Marching Band in college.  Yep.  I was a band nerd in college.  But it was COOL!  I got to go to all the football games for free.  I got awesome seats, right on the 50 yard line.  I got to go to the bowl games for free!  Seriously!!  It was awesome!  Co-worker asked me what years I was in the band, and I reply, 1997-99, and young engineer says, “Oh, I was born in 1997.”  I had to pick my jaw up off the table!!  I was like, “SHUT UP!”  I suddenly realized that this young person was closer in age to my kids than she was to me.  And that she had never lived without the internet.  Or cordless phones.  She probably didn’t know what a cassette tape was.  OMG!  I AM OLD!!

Okay, so I’m nowhere near retirement age, but that small comment made me feel like I needed to get out the walker, get some hearing aids, and go get a room at the old folks home.  Wow.  Reality check.

And that is how to ruin someone’s day!