Big Box Space

Reminds me of the forts I made as a kid.  I once made a hut in my parent's basement out of an abandoned refrigerator box, moved in a sleeping bag and a lamp, and used it as my bedroom until my parents finally "repo-ed" the box and threw it out.

Wright Engineers has provided structural engineering for millions of square feet of industrial big box buildings (and not once was an abandoned refrigerator box specified on the plans - though this one came close).

For another big box cartoon, click here.

Duck Penetration

Those dang duck penetrations always seem to show up in the wrong places!

I'm an outdoorsman and occasional hunter, though most of the time all I take home are memories.

This guy reminds me of a pretend hunter I used to know who bags "trophies" at canned hunts where tame animals are grazing on hay less than a stone's throw away.  Once as he described a recent buffalo hunt, I imagined him spotting the giant beast far off in the distance and then stalking and finally crawling through the brush to within shooting distance.  Then I saw the video - the mighty hunter rode out on a wagon towed behind a tractor to a group of tame buffalo grazing like cows and picked off his quarry from about 20 feet.

He's a good reason why the sign at the entrance of Bass Pro stores says "Welcome hunters, fishermen, and other liars".

For more cartoons with ducks, click here.

I Said GLU-lam!

George Bernard Shaw famously said, "The single best problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

I've worn out countless red pens marking up engineers' memos so they actually say what the engineer thinks it says.  It's like there's a crystal clear picture of exactly what the engineer's thinking in an imaginary bubble floating over his head as he writes.  Unfortunately, that picture can get lost in translation and there may be an entirely different picture in the imaginary bubble floating over the head of the person reading it.  When this happens, you get situations like these (click here).

One helpful rule of communication I learned at home as a kid:  "Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

Computer Modeling

There are a lot of good reasons why we humble engineers aren't necessarily known for our charisma or our good looks, but we do have a lot of modeling experience.  Every day we make computer models of buildings, and we place these models under high wind and earthquake forces so that when the building is built and an actual earthquake or wind storm hits, the building will stay safely standing.

Some engineers also go on a lot of model walks.

And you could say that this guy's a model engineer - three pencils at the ready in his chest pocket, thick glasses to see every detail, a physique made for long hours sitting behind a desk, and his left hand in his pocket is probably holding a calculator.  

June 2016 Wright News

Try Plotting at a Smaller Scale

If only it was this easy!  It reminds me of the carpenter who cut twice and it was still too short.

...and the related story my dad used to tell of the new guy on the construction crew who cuts the board too short so his boss sends him to the superintendent to ask for a "board stretcher".

...or the electrician who instructs his apprentice to "wipe up the voltage drops".

...or the engineer who's told his design is an ID 10 T solution.

...or the new attorney who's sent to fetch a stack of "verbal agreement forms".

May 2016 Wright News

I Need Expert Advice

Like the old saying goes, you don't have to be crazy to be in this industry, but it helps.
I feel like I can relate to this guy - especially when I'm in Lowes or Home Depot (my favorite stores) browsing for seemingly unrelated parts for some creative new home improvement project (one of my favorite things to do).   Once, and only once, I made the mistake of trying to explain to a helpful Lowes employee what I was doing.  "So you're gonna take this electrical conduit and pound the ends flat and bolt it to this thing and use it as a what?" The more I tried to explain, the more perplexed he became.  It didn't take me long to realize that whenever anyone asks me if I need help, the best course of action is to quickly say, "Nope, I'm good thanks", and then go back to talking to myself.
For another cartoon relating to the mental health of design professionals, click here.