Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Live in Iowa: Week 32

I am so fortunate! On the whole 2011 has been a phenomenal year for me. I have expanded my capabilities and accomplishments in just about every area that I work on, with the exception being climbing. I'm doing it, life that is. I'm engineering and saving the company money by making things lighter and I am making things stronger by identifying weak areas. On Tuesday this week I realized at the end of the day that I ran about six different FEA iterations trying to improve this one area. I realized that in the past running six different concepts would be impossible. The resources to build a machine, gage it, test it, and evaluate the data takes at least weeks and often months. Additionally it costs a lot of money. I was able to do six iterations in one day. That's not even impressive, it's just that I happened to count instead of trying a dozen or more iterations as I have in the past.

I "worked" 44 hours this week including two hours on Sunday and 16 hours on Thursday and Friday of paid holiday. I have been wanting to come in on the weekend for a while but with marathon training and cross country meets I have been otherwise occupied. I again worked on the Disk Saw Felling Head all week. It is such an interesting piece of equipment. The thing that it reminds me of the most is thrust vectoring on jets. Although, it's probably more like landing gear. Regardless, it's a complex dynamic system.

I ran a measly 53 miles including a terrible 6k tempo. The worst I have had in at least eight months. I think there is a plethora of things that have happened to cause me a running setback. I had an amazing month of training in October. It was great. Then my grandma died. Then I had a few little lower leg pains. Put them together and I think you get some terrible running. I feel this is the way that I am being told to take it easy. My life goes in cycles. Things go well, I want more, then I crash, I recover and reevaluate my life, then I repeat the process again. I think that these setbacks will help me be more rested and ready for my marathon. Regardless of the outcome of the race I know that my trip to California will be good.

The UD kids had the week off of school so I did not coach. Do kids go to school at all any more? A week off here a month off there. I'll go be a teacher just for the four months off every year.

What else? Does the world repeat 80 year economic cycles? I am just struck by the similarities between the 1930s and now. On the one hand, we can not find finite element structural analysis engineers and there are help wanted signs all over Dubuque, but unemployment is still high. I don't know what is going to happen. It is certainly interesting.

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