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Engineers--Gotta Love 'Em!

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>From a non-engineering perspective (or 'engineer' only through continued association and injection), reading the postings on this list over the past year reinforces the 'need' to be open minded and appreciative of all in this world; especially "engineers".

In my opinion, engineers are a community apart from the rest of us 'main stream' types:  frustrated teachers and philosophers who need to be heard and understood; but due to their uniqueness, are unable to quite make that connection with others outside their ken.  This viewpoint has not been arrived at frivolously nor is it intended to put any negative spin or judgment on the engineering professions or its members:  merely an interested observation and attempt to show appreciation for all of you who have been vocal on this list and afforded many learning opportunities and insights into the 'magic' of what you all know and do....

Case in point #1:
the recent postings regarding the "new millennium":
While i agree with the 'scientific' counting methods (the trimillennium begins with 2001); the offerings and attempts at understanding, from the historical explanations to the personal perspectives have given much food for thoughts and added to my fund of trivial knowledge.

Case in point #2:
Single wall construction
Although my live-in, personal engineering consultant is unable to explain at my level of understanding why it is called 'single wall construction', the ensuing 'lesson' on foundations, piers, slabs, pads, uplifts, downloads, bearings, etc., is a source of continuous amazement to me:  how can your brains store so much and actually understand it?  On paper, i can *see* what Richard is explaining:  the 'magic' is that you all can do it and make it work!

Case in point #3:
Computer stuff
The discussions, information and associated web links have saved our machine several times (thank you!) and have also directed me into new channels of learning and understanding regarding these 'magic boxes'....

Case in point #4:
Engineering 'humor'
Although (it seems to me) engineers exhibit a sort of self deprecating sense of humor (put yourselves down before any one else can do it!); the inadvertent and sometimes deliberate puns, double entendres, and plays on words have tickled me and provided gentle amusement with occasional great guffaws..

Case in point #5:
Legislative process
The information and observations offered regarding the code processes, organization and decision making of the professional organization(s); insights and comments regarding the government, its representatives, and its contributors have helped to shape and direct my understanding of 'what's going on' not only in relation to engineering issues, but also in a global context.

Case in point #6:
Outside interests
The variety of information and ideas unrelated to engineering topics (most especially suggested reading:  books, articles, quotations) have opened up new areas of interest to me.....i will be reading well into the trimillenium and enjoying every word!

There are many more specific threads i could mention:  the gist of this posting is to thank you all and wish you a Happy New Year with many more to come!

audra ranous