Dec 1, 2022

Santa and His Elves

This Santa act said they were high class, but that was just a lie.  I imagine the kids were all shook up.

Merry Christmas.

Nov 1, 2022

In The 70s

Some people wear weather-inappropriate clothes, but this guy has taken it to a whole new level.

Reminds me of me in junior high--always out of sync with the current fashion.  When bell bottoms were cool, all I had were straight leg Toughskins jeans from Sears.  The next year I showed up to school with bell bottoms only to discover everyone was now wearing baggies.  One summer, my mom made me a super awesome disco shirt that I couldn't wait to wear the first day of school, only to show up and find all the cool guys wearing "Disco Sucks" t-shirts.  I never wore that shirt again.  Tragedy.
 

Oct 1, 2022

Thermostat Wars


What are the chances everyone in the office can agree on the temperature?  For some, it's never warm enough; others prefer near-arctic conditions.  This inevitably leads to a cycle of thermostat battles with the cold-blooded cranking it up followed by the warm-bodied turning it down followed by...   It's easy to see why some have resorted to installing fake thermostats that aren't connected to anything so the self-appointed "rulers of the ambient temperature" can fiddle with the useless buttons to their heart's content.

 

Sep 1, 2022

Eye Trouble


I've been known to occasionally develop a case of severe eye trouble at the office.  Symptoms are usually brought on by a beautiful fall day or a Friday before a long weekend.  I'm not a doctor, but my advice is to leave the office immediately at the first sign of symptoms as this type of eye trouble is particularly contagious and can be easily spread to your co-workers.

Soon after Wright Engineers was founded nearly 25 years ago, chronic Friday afternoon eye trouble among my staff and me "forced" us to close the office at noon on Fridays--a healthy practice we've happily kept up ever since.

Aug 1, 2022

Internet's Down at Home


I know lots of people work from home and many of them feel they're more productive.  I wonder just how productive some people really are, though.  Whenever I've tried working from home I seemed to be constantly interrupted with things like, "Honey, since you're right here, can you just [insert any number of domestic tasks here]..." or, "Daddy, daddy, daddy, there's a bean stuck in my nose!"

It's clear this guy's been working from home for  along time.


Jul 1, 2022

Still on Mute


 

"You're on mute!" --the most common phrase spoken in every online meeting.  Followed by the next most common phrase: "Can you hear me now?"

Wouldn't be a problem if everyone was a mime.

(Note: No mimes were harmed in the making of this cartoon.)

Jun 1, 2022

Last Words

This cartoon may be a little morbidly funny, but jobsite safety is no laughing matter.  

And guessing about what "should hold it" is risky.  In my younger construction worker days, I knew an older worker who swore that 3" grabber screws could support anything.  "They'll hold the world!" he'd say. That seemed reasonable to me then.

As structural engineers, lives depend on our making certain everything we design will definitely "hold it," and we take that responsibility very seriously.


May 1, 2022

SUPPLY CHAIN





Feels like the supply chain is taking a lot of blame these days, and why not?  It's kinda nice to have something to blame for just about everything.

Can't get computer chips?  Supply chain.  

Costs going through the roof?  Supply chain.

Too hot outside?  Supply chain.

Reminds me of the story of the new superintendent.  On his first day at the jobsite, the outgoing superintendent handed him two letters as he was leaving the trailer and said, "If this project begins to go south, open the first letter.  If that doesn't fix the problem, open the second letter."  After a while, things were going badly for the new super so he opened the first letter.  Inside it read, "Blame your predecessor."  He did that, and things seemed to improve for a while.  But eventually the problems became even worse than before so he opened the second letter.  It read, "Prepare two letters."

Apr 1, 2022

Dumb Question


Maybe there really is no such thing as a dumb question, but sometimes I wonder.

I know, I know--the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.  And if you don't ask, how will you ever know?  But some questions may be better left un-asked.  After all, as the proverb says, "Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise." 

And as my dad used to tell me, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."  

Wisdom.

 

Mar 1, 2022

Corrections Officer

 

Some people swear that the hardest part of a construction project is getting the building permit.  Maybe it's because of guys like Bob?

All joking aside, it's been my experience over a long engineering career that most plans examiners are sharp, honest, hard-working folks who are just doing their best in a very important, often thankless job.  Here's to them.

Feb 1, 2022

Restored to Factory Settings


Talk about recharging your batteries!   Wouldn't this be nice: put on a few pounds...notice some wrinkles...lose a little hair...catch a virus.  No problem.  Just restore to factory settings.  No longer will youth have to be wasted just on the young.

I drew the cartoon below exactly 22 years ago for our February, 2000 news.  Back then, my wife used to joke that when I turned 40 she'd trade me in for two 20s.  Fortunately, she's since changed her mind, but this factory settings reset would probably interest her.



Jan 3, 2022

The Shredder!


I have a soft spot in my heart for absent-minded people since I'm one of them.  I'd like to blame it on my age, but I've been like this my whole life.

Many is the time I've popped up from my desk and strode across the office only to stand there trying to remember why it was I came. I know if I don't write it down it won't happen.  Sometimes I'll say, "Hey Siri, email me," and when she says, "What's the subject of the email?" I've already forgotten.

Reminds me of a conversation between two absent-minded engineers:

"My memory is so bad!" says the first one. 

"How bad is it?" says the other.  

"How bad is what?"

Dec 1, 2021

Nothing Would Make You Happier

I can relate to this guy.

My wife is the Santa in our house.  She buys dozens and dozens of thoughtful, carefully selected, and beautifully wrapped presents and personalized messages for dozens of people every Christmas.  

I only have to buy for her.  You'd think it would be easy.  

I know a guy who bought his wife a new hunting rifle.  She didn't hunt so she gave it back to him.  Genius move on his part!

Nov 1, 2021

Gonna Have to Send You Home


You can't be too careful these days, what with this dangerous pandemic and all.  Maybe pop-up COVID indicators could be an alternative to vaccines or wearing those #@&! masks?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oct 1, 2021

Five-Year Plan

Seems like we're running short on just about everything these days...and if you can get it, it's taking longer to arrive. I know--there are supply chain issues and labor shortages and high demand and all, but this is starting to get old.  At least there's no shortage of hand sani or toilet paper now, so I guess that's a start. 

Sep 1, 2021

The Price of Lumber These Days


You think money grows on trees?!  I must've heard that a million times from my parents growing up.  With the cost of lumber today, makes me wonder if wood still grows on trees!  

Aug 1, 2021

Are These Free-Range?



Is it just me, or is all this food labeling getting out of control?  

I know, some people have genuine allergy issues and need to make life-and-death decisions, but do we really need a box of cashews to say, "May Contain Nuts"?  Or a carton of orange juice to say "Gluten Free"?  Or "No Cholesterol" on a bag of carrots?  Is it ok to snack on gummy bears when you're dieting because they're "100% Fat Free"?  And wouldn't it be a shorter list to label what is NOT known to the State of California to cause cancer?



Jul 1, 2021

Doctor's Orders




I'm no dietician, but it seems like this guy's on the right track.  According to the CDC, only 10% of us eat enough vegetables in our diet, so it makes sense to get 'em where you can.  I'm also a firm believer in eating cinnamon bears for my health because, as everyone knows, bears are full of protein.

Reminds me of the guy who said to himself, "Max, today's the day you start eating healthy...Thank heaven my name's not Max!"

Jun 3, 2021

Don't Be Mad, But...


Reminds me of when I was a kid.  If my parents discovered something broken or missing around the house, they'd sometimes line up my brothers and me against the wall and say, "Who did this?  Just tell the truth and we won't be mad!" -- which, as I recall, was often followed by a spanking if I fessed up.

In contrast to my sometimes less-than-honest youthful mischief, good, honest people make honest mistakes.  If they fear retribution, it will breed a culture that discourages risk-taking, stifles innovation, and causes people to hide their mistakes rather than learn from them.  Wise leaders create an environment of trust so that creative people won't be afraid to take risks or think outside the box.
  
Making (and learning from) mistakes is necessary for growth.  Adapting the famous quote from Danish mathematician and inventor Piet Hein: The secret to excellence?  Well it's plain and simple to express: err and err and err again but less and less and less!

May 1, 2021

Not Working From Home...


Many who work from home report working longer hours than they would if they were in the office.  Other workers can't seem to unplug, and they often bring work home.  With the 24-7 connection enabled by technology, the line between work time and personal time is easily blurred.  Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a constant challenge, and what works for one person may be completely wrong for another.  

Reminds me of two engineers talking over the cubicle wall.  One says to the other, "I just read that, on average, architects are working a 60-hour week!"  The other engineer looks up and says, "Those lazy bums!  What are they doing with the rest of their time?"