Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Miniature Earth

Appreciate what you have. If you can read this you are lucky :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I had a couple of bracing issues to deal with today. The first one actually started last week. The building was quoted with two heavy windposts, but these failed because of the eave heights. The building is 100' wide, with a low eave of 25' and a high eave of 28'. The quick fix was to go to tiered bracing with windposts below and rods above. The windpost was designed to go to 21'. The building was designed and detailed. I was checking the detailing and I saw that the detailer missed the bracing strut at the top of the windposts. In hindsight I should have made it more clear, but in anycase the detailer was concerned with clearance requirements of the overhead door in that bay. We checked with the builder and they wanted to put in high lift doors, there was no such mention in the order, and custom windposts were not in the quote. The builder had not set the anchors yet so I was able to design custom windposts which are deeper than the standard ones. They were 20'deep, with 9X.375 flanges, and .140 web.

The other bracing issue came up late in the day, again after detailing was completed. The endwall frames were designed to carry mezzanine loads, and was braced with rods below the mezzanine only. I modelled the frame with rods to the rafters, then simply designed the rods for it's new geometry and added it's reactions to the frame. I thought it was done. Wrong! How does the lateral loads from the roof get down to the bracing? I checked the frame without any bracing and it was failing due to p-delta. Fortunately, the frame program was overly conservative with it's p-delta calculations. The p-delta loads from the mezzanine are added to the top of the frame. To compensate, we assume that the p-delta loads from the mezzanine will go straight into the bracing. To be more precise, that is the mezzanine loads which are carried by the columns attached to the brace rods. To model this in FFAD I remove the mezzanine loads from this column, beef up some flanges, and the frame works! Thanks mister sealing engineer.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bad Start

I woke up today a bit of a mess. I thought I had messed up the design bay of a job which has already completed detailing and I was in the process of checking. My mind was so preoccupied that I left home without my bag. It was Sherry who noticed when I dropped her off at Sheila's house. I had to go home and pick up my bag, and was 15mins late. I promptly checked the job and I didn't miss it. I was good to go.

There is still an outstanding issue of the bracing, it would have to move to the next bay down, but I am not sure this has been communicated to the builder, and I did not verify/check if it would work without this bracing, but it is not a difficult task to move it over, so I let it slide.

The rest of the day was focused on quality control issues. In the morning we had an engineering council webcast meeting. Issues covered included the preliminary tryout of the new detailing system (x-steel), building expansion issues, and bevel washer bracing issues. In the afternoon, Steve called a general assembly about quality control, citing a Marlyn job and the Dawson Creek job. Thankfully I was not involved in either one.

In these meetings I could not help but to feel a bit overwhelmed. The mistakes I make can have grave consequences, and I can't seem to resolve these feelings, that I am destined to fail. As much as I tell myself that these feelings can only negatively affect my work. As I see it now, my only choice is to soldier on, and hope that with time I can grow into these shoes which seem so large and heavy. In the meantime, I pray that I will continue to have this opportunity to learn and grow, without the grave consequences which weigh heavy on my mind.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Started an new project at work. It is an 80X276x24 double slope building, with a partial mezzanine. The building is in the Guelph Ontario area, design snow is 36.8, and wind q30 is 6.7, bays are 24', modular frames at 40'. The mezzanine is a precast hollow core, spanning between block walls inside the building. Butler is to supply beams parallel to the span of the floor.

Work flowed well today, however I feel that I spent way too much time, on the secondaries, which include a few mill c-girts. The coldform cees were failing in deflection. I also had to check the typical girts because there are windows so I needed to design the girts for L/240 for q10. I have designed 2 of the 3 frames, not including the expandable endwall post frame.

Outstanding design issues that come to mind is the last frame, and the tiered bracing, which will take the mezzanine seismic loads, as well as capacity for a 300' long building, eg. a 24' addition.

Overhead doors line the sidewalls, so the girts were only c8X60's. The endwalls are free from ohd, 27,26,27 sections, required zee 8X.082 and zee 8x.060 continuous girts, governed by deflection.

The purlins are zee 9.5x0.082 end bays, and 9.5X.077 for interiors.

A couple of detailing issues with respect to the church job in Barrie. The soffit at the front endwall was adjusted by Shawn, since the soffit can not reach the ridge of the adjacent building.

There are no outstanding issues bothering at this time.

Jessies first meeting with her teacher

I didn't make it to this meeting but this is what I remember from Sherry's account. Both Jessie and Sherry walked all the way. It took them about 20-25 minutes to get there, they were able to cut accross the park, aparrently there is a walkway/path. The meeting was quick about 15 minutes, where Sherry had to fill out some forms, and the teacher instructed Jessie to do a bunch of stuff, which she apparently completed with ease. At which point she was allowed to explore the classroom. Jessie's next visit is September 14, 2006. I'll be taking her, it will last 2.5hrs, and she will be with a small subset of the class. I can not wait.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Crazy idea for keeping track of your crazy ideas.

Ever had an idea or thought, but did not have a pen or paper around to jot it down. Ever remember something had to be done, but you were stuck in traffic? Ever get an idea for a blog, but did not have access to a computer? I have, and I think I have a simple solution. Consider the following situation,

Your driving to work and remember to buy milk on the way home. You pick up your phone, dial a number, and say "Todo, Pick up milk". A computer records the message, translates it to text and puts into an online application, where you you can see all your messages as you have categorized them.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Mac Media Center - Plugin proposition PVB/PVA

There is a new project being developed called Mac Media Center. It's basically Windows Media Center on the mac. The timing for such a project is perfect. The mac mini will definately reach critical mass, and this could be it's killer app.

The timing is also good because it provides me with a platform for my PVB/PVA idea. I have copied this directly from my post on the MMC forums.


/Plugin Development
PVB = Personal Video Broadcaster
PVA = Personal Video Aggregator

I have been cooking this idea for a while. I'll outline it here, and hopefully get some yays or nays. If there is enough interest I'll create a separate project and develop this side by side with MMC.

Here is the gist of it. I apologize if it's a little incoherent such is the nature of infant ideas.

PVB - MMC will have the ability to shuffle your videos ala iTunes, or iPod Shuffle. So you can basically turn it on and if you don't like what it's showing you, click on next, and it randomly shows you something else. Meanwhile it's smart enough to keep track of what you like and don't like, depending on what you
actually watch. All this is captured in meta-data.

PVA - This is the exciting part. Think technorati,, and flickr but with video. Let me expand. The idea is that the meta-data drives the content. I like to watch the show Lost, so I give it a high rating. While PVA is running it is looking for other stuff to download based on metadata stored in the lost episodes. So we need to be able to tag these files, (it's beyond the scope of this project to determine how these get tagged, but let's just assume they are). Let say that Lost is tagged with island and hawaii. The aggregator will look at the library of our peers and look for items also tagged with island and hawaii. Some algorithm (to be developed) will determine what to download and broadcast to me.

What is revolutionary here is that it does the downloading for you based on what you already watch with little or no input from you. It's just like broadcasted television, where you just turn it on and watch, except everything available is something that your probablly interested in.

In short thats the plan. There are obvious legal ramifications but that will just add to the buzz that will surely surround this project. And buzz is what you want specially if it will be using swarm sharring/bittorrent to share files! So these issues can be dealt with later.

The end game will be a legal solution, where the files will be encrypted on your harddrive and will automatically get removed after some fixed amount of time. So in effect, it will be a subscription based model, not unlike napster.

Any takers?

Is a picture of you on

There is a company hooked up with the yellow pages and taking pictures of every single block in ten major cities. You may have already been 'shot'.

Mappr! Where It's At.

Another reason to use Mappr determines the location of your picture using your tags then displays them on a map. Its hard to explain just check it out.Mappr! Where It's At.

Tags could be the next big thing.

will be the next big thing they will effectively change the way we compute, collate, and collaborate. It is hitting the web in a big way and I'm sure that Bill and Steve are already working on building this into a future OS. Until then it will creep up on us slowly but you can already feel it, it's the winds of change.

Tags have been around for a while in the form of metadata. It's been used to describe websites, music, photos, and videos. Metadata was usually added by the author of the web page, mp3, jpg, or other digital media. The change or the tipping point is that tagging is becoming easier and it's becoming interactive. I think the evolution started with the blog. It was basically a means of tagging the interesting websites/pages you come across with a little blurb. took this idea further and allowed you to tag other peoples websites with a couple of clicks. has given bloggers a means to easily tag their posts. Page and Brin have tagging built into their gmail application. Tags are the next step in the information revolution.

To realize the full potential of tagging it needs to become central to the operating system. It needs to be part of every file, every document. Our current file system is outdated, and is needlessly linked to the old, physical filing cabinet. Where a file could only have one location, one category. Instead of filing a piece of digital information under a single category in rigid hierarchy, we need to just tag it. A file can and should have multiple tags. We should be able to type in apple and see all our tagged pictures, videos, bookmarks, or emails. Wouldn't it be nice to see a popular tag page of all your stuff like this. Why didn't someone think of this before?

Imagine how this could improve productivity. Consider a typical day in the life of an office worker. You are working away on project "A" when your boss sends you an email asking about the status of project "B". You haven't touched project "B" since last week, and you really don't know where it's at. No problem you open up your tag search tool and type in project "B", up comes all the emails, files, and voice messages related to the project. In two seconds you have everything there is about project "B". Why didin't someone thing of this before? With such a system in place there's an endless number of applications which can be born of it. For instance, you can have a true digital assistant, 'DA'. In the morning you tell your digital assistant that you will be working on project "A" for the next two hours don't bother me with anything else. When your boss asks for the status of project "B" your 'DA' filters it out. This frees your mind to concentrate only at the task at hand. The next time you consult your 'DA' you will see that their are new items to be addressed with respect to project "B".

With any new technology there will always be hurdles to jump over, questions to answer. Tags are no exception. I really don't want to go into detail at this point but if your interested there is a very good writeup here.

Tags itself will evolve to meet its own challenges, but it needs to be simple and organic. They need to evolve into their own categories when called upon. This is good for brainstorming and horizontal thinking. It should mimic the way our own minds gather and classify the objects that clutter our life. If you ever watch a child grow, you will know exactly what I mean. Can you imagine walking in the shoes of a two year old? Everything is new and your brain is just starting to classify everything. It is not just the tagging of each object, it is the linking between the tags. The first time I fall down or feel pain, my parents may have said are you ok? Are you hurt? At that point I will tag the physical pain with the word 'hurt'. The first time I touch a hot cup of coffee, my parents may have said be careful that's hot you'll hurt yourself. So I tag the coffee cup with the word hot and hurt. At this point I will associate or link everything that is hot with pain. I may think everything that is hot will cause pain. So if my parents say lets go to the beach it's hot outside, and I have categorized beach with good or fun, it can be seen that the link between hot and hurt may need to change and adjust. It needs to be organic, like our own neural networks.

Regardless of it's form, tags will change the way we interface with our digital lives. It will make us more productive, more creative, and it will be one of those things where we wonder what took us so long to get to here.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mike posted a newly released photo of the 2006 Subaru Forester.

I tend to agree with Mike it looks more upmarket, I'm glad they have kept it's boxy genes. Hopefully the price will stay the same.