I'd like to think my car is fun. Fun to drive and fun also because of all of its "quirks". It's like a person, getting older and getting more and more little issues. Just that the pharmaceutical companies haven't found a way to capitalize on auto-aging (yet). How about a list for fun.

  • On cold mornings the heater doesn't work, even after 20 minutes on the freeway. And I'm not talking that cold.
  • On hot afternoons, or during periods of idling, the car tries to overheat.
  • The passenger side window motor is going out.
  • The passenger side window seal is falling off.
  • It takes a while to start in the cold or when the tank is low.
  • Sometimes the engine won't turn over at all and the key needs to be taken out completely then re-inserted and it will start.
  • The car randomly locks itself, sometimes locking people inside.

Too bad there's no overcompensated industry benefitting from all these little ailments. Instead there's only me to appreciate them. As I get a little older, and get called "ma'am" more often, my car gets a little older too.


Start Counting

How many times a day I want to crawl under my desk and curl into the fetal position. I'm sure this can be directly correlated to exactly how much respect I'm getting any particular week. The number's been going up a lot lately, to the point where I have to resist the urge multiple times an hour. That can't be a good sign. Or maybe I should just give in.


Thanks For Nothing

Dear You,
You know who you are. You are, I am fairly certain, about to hold me back yet again doing what you think is in my "best interests" but of course implicitly stating you think I don't know what's best for myself. The fact that I know you at all should have helped me. But it hasn't. It's always hurt me. If you didn't know who I am I would be free to go on the path that I think is best and I have seen many people have the freedom to do so. But here I am with you holding me back. You think this is best for me, that these people will be good mentors for me. They are not. They don't care. And if you lecture them on my development they are just going to resent me even more. I am so ready for a change and obviously someone else agrees my skills could be of use and that there would be development for me elsewhere. But once again you're going to hold me back aren't you. I'm dreading the phonecall. Not from you of course, but your name will be mentioned. And we will all have to abide by your decision. Thanks for all your "help".


Thanks for the inspiration!

So one of my professors sends an email out to everyone in several different classes urging us to pay attention in class or we're "in the wrong major" and as motivation links to a popular consumer product.
Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm all for paying attention in class. But I think linking to some consumer product that was likely made by a talented inventor is not necessarily what most people go into engineering for. If you already have those skills, you don't need the motivation. And if you don't have spontaneous million-dollar-idea skills, the things that might thrill you are things like this or this or this or this.
Maybe that's the problem with science and engineering. People get the idea there's some sort of quick fix out there, that you can develop oxyclean and become a millionaire. They miss how cool developing something is, even a small subsystem of an overall more impressive project. And that's what the engineers my university educates will likely be doing. So why do professors continue to mislead? Either I hear about that, or they talk about the workplace like it's some kind of '90s style "no bad idea" laid back atmosphere when in reality it's a lot more paperwork and drudgery, but the payoff comes in the thousands of unique and considerable pieces of hardware being developed for all sorts of purposes. I think they miss their target, as well as fail to prepare students, when they present the world in this way.


The Engineer's Apprentice

So I was listening to some classical music on the radio the other day, and they played Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. You know, the one from Fantasia. The one with all the centaurs. (on a side note, apparently the original had some racist elements to it, search youtube for the "uncut" version and you'll see, I don't believe I ever saw the uncut).

To get back to my point...I was thinking what we need is a Fantasia for Science. The same way that colorful little centaurs or dancing mushrooms or dinosaurs made classical music accessible to children for decades to come, we need a similarly splendid "digestible by the masses" scientific cornucopia of media. I don't know what that would be, just something to sink your teeth into.