Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 09:07 p.m.
A conversation from 4 AM last Friday:
Me: You know, no one cares about infrastructure until something goes wrong. No one pays any attention to civil engineers, until one of the vital things they take for granted fails. ASCE puts out an infrastructure report every year and no one gives a crap until a bunch of people bite it.
Todd: Maybe that's the problem. We're too civil. We should be the American Society of Motherf**king Engineers.
Me: Then we could answer all questions with, "because I'm a motherf**king engineer."
It might be ugly, but hey, it works
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 03:19 p.m.
We still don't have a new graywater line. The reasons for this are many, but the good news is that the existing line is grudgingly allowing a bit more water through these days. Not enough to run a load without it horking a gallon or two all over the laundry room floor, but enough that if one were to, say, build some sort of contraption to catch the excess, laundry can be done on a nearly normal schedule.
Seeing as we're both engineers AND we live in Alabama, this is the end result:
Which is the most redneck part?
a) the cardboard box holding up the bucket
b) the trashbag and duct tape splash guard
c) the string holding the entire contraption in place
Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 01:24 p.m.
So Karl Rove has gone to work for Fox News. They're not even bothering to pretend anymore, are they?
Also, I am so glad this bullshit is finally over. Here's what happened: a sitting Alabama senator (Bishop) punched another senator (Barron), because that senator insulted his mommy by calling him a "son of a bitch." (Yes, it really was that retarded.) Afterwards Bishop went on to say, "I'm not going to apologize for striking him — only in the chamber that is owned by the state of Alabama, 'cause if I had been smart, I'd have turned and walked off — and I'd caught him in the parking lot and kicked his butt good." (Seriously, that's what he actually said.)
As if that wasn't batshit crazy enough, last week Bishop suddenly decided he'd sue the Senate for taking disciplinary action against him. Then Friday he just as suddenly decided to put on his big boy pants, accept that adults aren't allowed to brawl like a bunch of school children, and get back to the business of being a senator. You know, since there's a whole budget crisis looming and all.
Off with her head!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 03:11 p.m.
This news story caught my interest this morning:
"A DeKalb County mother could face the death penalty in the killing of her 5-week-old son after a DeKalb County grand jury recently returned an indictment for capital murder." - DeKalb County Times Journal
Huh. You know, with Troy King around, I can't say I'd be terribly surprised if they DID actually push for the death penalty in this case. I mean, Troy would execute shoplifters by firing squad given the chance.
I have to say, I'm not a fan of the death penalty. Mostly, I think support for it stems from a sense of revenge, not justice. (I'm sympathetic, by the way, to the desire for revenge. I just think it's a lousy basis for a legal system and one of the more deplorable human instincts.) But supposing we go with the "protecting society" viewpoint, the only danger this woman poses is to her own offspring. So instead of all the crap about the death penalty or life in prison, it really seems as if they ought to just sterilize her and let her go.
Ah, I kid. Forced sterilization, much like forced childbearing, is a terrible policy. But I do honestly believe that she should have a choice between prison or a LONG period of probation involving a mandatory Depo shot every three months and parenting classes once the probation period is over. What she did was awful and she's unfit to be a mother, sure, but it makes more sense to address the actual problem and to take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again than it does to just punish her for the sake of punishment.
Over the barrel
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 04:45 p.m.
Surprisingly, Friday's class was not nearly as awful as I expected. We even managed to have some fun at the end, when we split into groups for the final exercise. The instructor was as unsubtly sexist as I remember, but I hard a really difficult time caring this time around.
Today we finally got the actual quotes on the new graywater line install at the house. Mr. Rooter was a pants-crapping, jaw-dropping $2,800. Ikard Septic was a less pants-crapping $1,500. They're installing the exact same thing, so we're not sure where the other $1,300 comes in, unless it's a We're-Trying-To-Be-Funny Surcharge. We also tried to argue with the county about their requirements, because both quotes involve a newer technology that has the same infiltration and storage in a much smaller area, but they weren't interested in logic. As a result, this Saturday our yard will be torn apart to install 930 gallons worth of rather expensive storage capacity. Talk about overkill. On the upside, even if the soil barely percs in the new location, I reckon we'll be just fine.
(Of course, if they kill my maple tree in the process, there will be blood.)
Another month down
Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - 01:06 p.m.
Man, has it been a crazy couple of weeks. I've been stressed out and busy as hell (I still am), and boy am I glad January's over. Normally, February is a lousy month for me, the month where nothing good and usually something bad happens, and this year holds more potential than ever before for it to totally kick my ass. But right now, things are good.
Did I say things were good? Well they are, but despite that, I'm suddenly overcome with a desire to whine about how this Friday we have to go through the eight-hour update for our HAZWOPER certifications and my office kind of got the shaft. See, even though Huntsville has the majority of people going, the class is being held in Chattanooga starting at 8:30 eastern time. Therefore, the Huntsville group has to meet at 5 AM and drive up there, losing an hour in the process, while the members of the much-smaller Chattanooga group conveniently leave their homes fifteen minutes later than normal and saunter in well-rested, fed, and happy. And last year, the organizers decided at the last minute they "didn't feel like bringing breakfast" like they'd said they would, so all the Huntsville folks, who had skipped breakfast to be one time, went hungry. Also, the lunch food sucked and it was generally a miserable experience. Now we get to do it all over again. Wah, poor me.
In other news, I was going to post something about why I voted for Barack Obama today (despite my lack of a penis, which, according to most of my coworkers, should have automatically caused my vote to go for Hillary), but Practically Harmless said it so much better.