Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...
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- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: Any Young Engineers Out There?
- From: "Jordan Truesdell, PE" <seaint1(--nospam--at)truesdellengineering.com>
- Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 13:10:34 -0500
Oh, believe me, whenever I have someone walk in my door to get an engineered plan for a log home, that's exactly the response I get. Same with 10' basement walls. And the guy who wanted to put up a 16' tall garage with 12' of backfill on one side, and then chaffed at my $600 fee because it only cost him $300 for his drafter friend to do the plan and elevations in his spare time, completely ignoring the mechanics of structures.
No, it's not necessarily just the publications, but the fees for "membership" that include things like multiple copies of the internal magazine, or just that they fund a magazine at all. Or that the funds go to lobbying, marketing, and other various pieces. Personally, I think the AISC offers some of the best products for my membership dollar - like the design guides on line, which is why I'm still a member. In fact, I've not renewed most of my memberships - they're just not providing me "value".
What do I do now that I don't' get the "discount" price? I skip revisions, instead. For me, ASCE went from 95 to 02, and its likely that I won't update 'til 08 (will there be an '08, or are we into 6 year updates now?). ACI-318? The copy on my shelf is 95, and is getting updated this year. Masonry? 99 to 05. How does buying a non-member book at $200 every six years help them more than me buying a $140 "member priced" book every 3 years. I don't really know, but I don't have the budget for retail-priced books every cycle. Maybe when I can spread the cost over three or four engineers, but not when its just me, and half my time is spent in admin or drafting.
Heck, books have gotten so expensive that Virginia Tech has stopped having their students buy the books, and instead sells their internal notes for classes - usually for about $20. Okay, I don't know that cost is the reason, but when I peruse the shelves of the VT bookstore, I'm finding more and more classes have no textbook or supplemental books. I believe that neither undergrad steel class has a text this year, and I know that the geotech retaining wall & foundations didn't have a textbook - just a 3 ring binder for $17 from the department.
I suspect you could liken it to your prescription meds. It wouldn't seem quite so bad if all that money was going for research, but since drug companies spend more on marketing than on research, it's a little hard to swallow the non-negotiated prices they charge. It seems like there's a lot of waste in the price of those products. BTW - have you looked into the HDHP/HSA plans? If you're paying for meds out of pocket anyway, and you don't have too many office visits, it'll probably lower your monthly premium a good bit, and the leftover you can put away tax free (to use toward the medical stuff, anyway).
Jordan Scott Maxwell wrote:
And I sure that some "joe-smoe" homeowner is rubbed raw by that fact that he had to shell out hundreds if not thousands of dollars to you just to have his/her house built. And it is "required" by law. Not to mention the fact that some moron builder likely was telling the home owner that engineering fees are just a "tax" on their home and you are really needed to do the engineering and that what he/she wanted to do was just fine cause he/she has been "building them that way for years". Just cause you don't like the cost of something doesn't mean that it is not an appropriate, warranted cost.
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