Thursday, February 3, 2011


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Calculus is all fun & good (OK, so that's probably a stretch), but almost everything I need to know I learned in trigonometry. And in kindergarten. Slope, grading, gutter spread, free-body diagrams--it's all about the triangles.

Gimme my triangles!.....please?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today, I drove a 68.5-ft semi.  A 'WB-62 Interstate Semitrailer' to be exact.  I did pretty good, too -- only jumped 2 curbs, nicked a hydrant, and took out a few parked cars.

I know what you're thinking: I'm female. An ASIAN female.  I know, totally rocked it!

Good thing it was all in Autoturn.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Meet Pooh.
Pooh is very orange, slightly misshapen, friendly, and happy.

Meet Eeyore.
This is Eeyore on DAY 1.
Eeyore is happy!

This is Eeyore after too much DAY 3/4 & DAY 11, and before margarita o'oclock.
Eeyore is NOT happy!

This is Pooh after bumping into Eeyore -- Poor Pooh!


Thursday, April 29, 2010


I'd probably veto Julie Andrews (and anything with 'adagio' in it), but music is a definite godsend at the ol' 9-to-5.  Come to think of it, the essential CAD monkey soundtrack would sound suspiciously like 'Xtreme Cardio Mix' and/or 'The Best of Dancehall Anthems'.  I'd even reserve some iPod space for Top 40s--anything to rev the heart rate & stave off droopy eyelids.  Believe you me: there's nothing like powering through street profiles to some Gaga or MJ.

Tap your feet, get some headbob going, maybe even throw in a mini headbang or some baby air-guitar.  But I'd draw the line at belting it all out karaoke/Idol style--save it for the shower.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


One of the best things since sliced bread has gotta be the mute button on phones, closely followed by the headset.  Whenever I'm stuck on an inane 15-oh-i-mean-120-minute conference call that has wayyy too many cooks in the kitchen with big heads & no brain, I no longer need to fumble around for a rusty fork to stab myself with...nope, I just push that lovely little button, and poof!  Let the f-bombs fly.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Year of the Goat might not be for another 5 years, but the bearded little furballs always have a steady presence in the Bay Area.  There's the annual Goat Festival at the Ferry Building (though that's more a celebration of consuming things made out of goats), there's Goat Hill Pizza (again, not so much about the animal than about delicious food only sort of connected to goats), Goat Rock Beach (of Goonies fame!!--lots of big rocks, but no goats), and most importantly....goat rentals (finally, some goats)!!

And why would you ever want to rent goats...? (hey now, there are children here!)  You wouldn't know it from watching them frolicking and eating all day long, but turns out all that frolicking and eating does a doozy on pesky weeds and unsightly overgrown vegetation.  You got it--goats are the new "it" item in green technology for land management.  No need for invasive machinery, chemical pesticides, waterway pollution, or excessive soil disturbance...just feed some goats!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Manning's equation (man′·niŋz ē kwāz̸hən)
noun, etymology: (Old Norse) Menning- able; (Latin)
æquatio- an equalizing, equal distribution.

1.  The secret ingredient in Dos XX--it is the most interesting equation in the world.
2.  F = ma.
3.  An empirical equation that applies to uniform flow in open channels and is a function of the channel velocity, flow area, and channel slope.
4.  The basis behind Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
And the answer is.....?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Search for "treatment" and Google autosuggest offers these helpful options:
  • treatment for chlamydia
  • treatment for ringworm
  • treatment for hemorrhoids
  • treatment for shingles
  • treatment for depression 
(Hmm, apparently little Jack & Jill are doing more than just tumbling down hills...?)
In the civil engineering world, treatment doesn't so much apply to human/pet health as it does to water health. Ewwwh, you mean like, the stuff in toilets--sewage?!? Well, yes and no. Wastewater treatment certainly can be the center of some people's professions, but luckily not mine. We're talking stormwater treatment, as in for the wet stuff that falls from the sky, onto roofs, roadways, into gutters, and (hopefully) back into some aquifer or natural water body at some point. That's right, runoff. Depending on where you are, different agencies require different things for treating runoff--How much? Biological uptake or mechanical? Flow or volume based? Which design storm? And the list keeps going...

It might not give you a wicked rash, cause blinding pain, or make you embarrassingly contagious, but stormwater treatment can be some pretty complicated, serious, and even scary stuff. Don't believe me? Just Google it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Boys n girls--we're gonna play a little game of 'what does that even mean?!?' whoohoo.
rip rap (rĭp'răp')
noun, etymology: (Amer. Eng.) echoic reduplication of 'rap'.

1.  A grossly neglected 80s musical movement that (in fact!) first married Auto-Tune technology with hip hop.
2.  The sound made by a forehead striking a hard surface or conveniently placed keyboard, most often during a moment of boredom or unawakeness.
3.  A layer of loosely assembled stones, chunks of concrete, or similar material placed on embankment slopes, bridge abutments, streambeds, pipe outfalls, or shorelines, to prevent erosion and scour.
4.  Something wicked this way comes.
Take your pick, but if it's any help, I'm pretty sure my my entire workday was full of it.  My money's on #1--total shoe-in.  If you're still clueless (I know, they all sound so good!), try this or this.  Happy reading!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Yes, the economy is in crisis.  Yes, jobs are scarce.  Yes, the gainfully employed should feel lucky to still have a paycheck.  But NO ONE feels fortunate when that *%$@ing alarm goes off on Monday morning.  A case of the Mondays?...You better believe it!

This is why the Big Man invented bagels (and cream cheese--more specifically, blueberry bagels with plain cream cheese, toasted for 1.167 minutes).  Like many a savvy business owner, my office has homed in on the power of this roll-with-a-hole and each week, craftily lures the reluctantly employed out from our snug beds with 4 dozen bagels and a buffet of flavored creaminess.  Throw in a batch of *freshly* brewed murky water, and before you know it, you've got yourself a CAD workforce to be reckoned with.

But that only covers Monday--not totally sure yet, but I could be coming down with a case of the Tuesdays...


Work has been busy the past few days; lots of deadlines, submittals, coordination--you know, just your usual design development fun.  This often involves a flurry of emails and phone tag with architects (my fave!) and a little dance I like to call the Cad Monkey Shuffle.  It's taken me about four years to master, but luckily, you can just follow the steps below.  If your architect is really good, it should only take 8 hrs to finish.  My most recent dance lesson took about 12 hours to come full circle, but no worries, the Cad Monkey Shuffle will always get you back to where you started, sometimes even more than once (also my fave!).  Apparently, architects are big fans of repetition, which you'll discover around the same time you start asking yourself, "isn't this the same design we had 4 months ago?" you think you can dance?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Today is a great and important day.  Some non-Irish dude was born hundreds of years ago, got captured and enslaved by the Irish, and then became Ireland's patron saint after 'freeing' its people from their pagan ways.

And because of this, we now gorge ourselves on green fermented barley water, we dress and accessorize to show our unwavering solidarity with Libya for 24 hours, and we put up creepy-cute decals of little leprechauns & their pots of gold.  I mean, what else would we do to commemorate that non-Irish dude?
More importantly, this is the one day that Green Food Coloring gets to shine in all its glory.  It was a Green Food Coloring cookie that picked me up from my 10:30 sugar crash.  It was Green Food Coloring that saved the day again for the post-lunch lull, this time in the form of luscious buttercream frosting & green velvet goodness.  The thing about Green Food Coloring is that it knows it only has this one day to rock, and it's in no hurry to leave.  Case in point, my green teeth and my even greener tongue, not to mention my matching sugary emerald green lip gloss.  Not sure if it was the green sprinkly cookies, the green grape juice, or the doubly green cupcakes, but my entire insides were now a vivid shade of Green Food Coloring.

Let it be known: just say 'no' to Green Food Coloring until after all your consultant and team meetings are over.  Green power, green roofs, Greenbuild...all good.  Green mouth area?  Not so good.  Hey, don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It could be a fetish, and it's definitely backwards and colonial: I'm a huge fan of the Imperial measurement system!!  I think in in, ft & mi--NOT cm, m, or km.  True, I might remember learning something in first grade about a centimeter being about the width of a pinky finger, but ask me my height in meters, and you'll be lucky if I don't get the shakes & break out in a teary, sweaty mess. 

Thank the sweet lord Caltrans agrees with me, or is at least lazy.  I was reminded today of how much I do NOT miss Caltrans' ill-conceived attempt to convert to metric when I had to scale some quantities off an old plan set.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for going halfway and quitting.  Thank you for giving me back my cherished feet--I'll never let them go again.  (Now if only Caltrans would get rid of Microstation, too.)

Ugh...0.3048m?  What the hell is that?!?  Measuring according to the king's foot size?  Now that's money.