Wednesday, January 29, 2020

One Minute to Midnight (2019)

Good short film, for which I am titled "Executive Producer".  Although the title is only earned by my literal contribution to the Kickstarter project, I actually did help out with getting film details on IMDb, so...I guess I did some executive-producery stuff afterall. For the scope of the project and its literal shoestring budget, it turned out to be a surprizingly good short film.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Gender inequality isn't the overarching issue often assumed within the Engineering field

As much as I appreciate the sentiment of this somewhat older  Letter to the Editor that still makes its rounds on the Internet, there's a lot of creative license here. As I read it, I said repeatedly to myself, "yes, I have experienced that." Yes, boys experience these things as well, right along with girls. The experience may not be about the same specific things, but feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection affect almost everyone in school while growing up.

Regardless of gender, each of us has to learn for ourselves how to be true to ourselves and explore our interests regardless of what others may feel. For me, I indeed pursued a career that my childhood friends specifically told me not to.

For me as a child, I got into trouble when I got dirty.

For me as a child, I never saw "bossy" used differently between girls and boys. I was called bossy. You are called bossy because you imposing your leadership upon others without mandate. Basically, you are called bossy because you aren't good at leadership, not because you are demonstrating leadership skill.  Kids shouldn't be expected to be good at leadership, so teach them. They need guidance on how to lead effectively.

For me as a child, I lived in constant fear of rejection for my interests, because kids and adults alike are just that judgemental.

For me as a child, I was indeed bombarded with images and slogans based on how I should appear and present myself. For every Barbie, there was a He-man. For every June Cleaver there is a James Bond.

For me, I grew up in a time when a boy would be singled out for acting too feminine.

For me as a child, I saw plenty of boys overlooked by teachers for a whole bunch of different reasons. I saw the impact of that neglect on those boys in my classes.  

For me, I was never a part of any popular clique, so the "boys club mentality" puzzled me.  This not a gender thing.  Clique-forming is tool which is natural to being human.  Cliques frequently form around common interests and personality compatibility.  Sometimes cliques are all-male or all-female, and sometimes they are not.  Sometimes multiple cliques overlap with each other.  Again, I'm not a fan of the behavior, but it's part of who we are as a species.

While it's true I'll never personally deal with being "diversity hire" (though I can legally declare myself as an ethnicity that would be surprizing to most observers), I've have never seen a woman hired or not hired for a job in Engineering because she's a woman.

The words in the letter are so far removed from my experience that it feels like it was written in a different world than the one we actually live in.

For the issue of gender inequality to be addressed seriously, we have engage in serious discussions about it, while avoiding ideas based on rhetoric. Why are girls discouraged away from Math or Science?  How frequently is that happening these days (and where)? Why are boys discouraged from being Nurses? Why are children in poor families overlooked and disregarded completely, regardless to subject matter or their gender? Why do people think the Engineering field rejects or otherwise poorly treats women in the field, when the opposite is true more often than not? 

The world isn't perfect.  There is sexism.  Society (from a North American perspective) has many tools to address sexism when it does appear.  It's out there, but it's not a dominant factor; being experienced far less in the modern world than in the world of our grandparents.

On the topic of Engineering, we should be mindful when encouraging anyone (boy or girl) to enter the field.  A high number of Engineering graduates end up never getting a job in Engineering or leaving the field early in their career.  Many end up in Sales (perhaps their degree helps, but wasn't actually necessary), business management (where an MBA may be more important), Quality (again where their degree helps but wasn't a requirement), Technical Writing, Marketing, and even full time blogging/vlogging. 

When you encourage someone to pursue Engineering, don't try to push it on them because you think it's right for them.  Let them find their own path.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Australian bush fire crisis isn't over by a long ways

As a reminder, the fire crisis in Australia isn't over by a long ways. (

Two organizations to which I've donated are Wires ( for the animals and St. Vincent de Paul Society ( to help humans victims. It's my understanding that both organizations are applying donations directly to current relief efforts (if you choose the correct link on their websites).

There are also suggestions to donate to Red Cross and other similar organizations. This is also important because they respond to disasters. However, please realize that such donations are typically applied to their general fund and may or may not be applied to current relief operations. If you wish to donate to these, please do so at regular intervals as a separate donation to allow those organizations to continue to respond to future disasters.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

It's almost a secret, but not really...riders are rated too on Uber and Lyft. Lyft just told me my rating...

I'm not sure the extent to which people know that they too are rated when they take a ride on Uber or Lyft.  I've known it, but others seem suprized when they hear mention of this fact.  This is likely due to the fact that the average user doesn't have access to that rating.  Well, today, Lyft just notified me of my rating!

At least, this is for my trips in 2019.  Lyft also let me know that I rode almost 800 miles with them this year.  Wow.  

Friday, January 10, 2020

Space Sauna out in the Black (Elite Dangerous)

After exploring for weeks, it was time to take a break. I found a deep canyon on this heavily scared moon with a great view at a geological site to enjoy a space sauna. Kick up your heels (of the space legs you do not yet have) and relax under the gas giant in nature's steam.

Attention! - May 2018

This alert happened several times during my stay at this location.  Not really sure what was going on.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Ritz Carlton Maui - April 2018

Maui Snorkelling - Kapalua Bay - April 2018

Please forgive the potato quality of this video which was apparently caused by overcompressing by upload and subsequent download to/from Instagram.  This video was taken with my phone using an underwater case, and not an underwater camera.  The original video has much better quality, of course.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Today I spotted a Bird Watcher that spotted something bald

On my regular commute to work through Broomfield this morning, I spotted a warmly dressed man who faced the wrong way on the wrong side of a bus stop shelter. I then spotted that he was looking through a photo camera with a rather large zoom lens.  He appeared to be looking North at something above the horizon, but not in the sky.  Something about all this said "bird watcher!" to me.

Example of Bald Eagle
(Illustrative proposes only)
I'm driving my car in moving traffic, so I wasn't inclined to just start looking intently off into the distance in a direction that was not the road in front of me.  As quickly as I could, I followed his view line and saw the tops of trees in an open space, about 40 yards from the road.  Yup.  Bird watcher.  I look back to the road ahead.  Then, as quickly as I could, I looked at the tree tops to scan for a perched bird shape.  Yup, something large.  ::Look at the road::  I glanced back at that shape.  Bald Eagle!  I double-take to make sure.  Yup!  I briefly consider the notion of stopping my car on the side of the road to get my own rough phone camera shot, but there was no good spot to conveniently stop, and the traffic was moving rather fast.  So, I caught a couple more glimpses of this critter before continuing my day.

I haven't see a Bald Eagle in this area for several years.  It was nice to see one again, minding its own business; not minding the humans.  Hey, Bald Eagle, please eat as many of the prairie dogs and rabbits as you like!  There's too many for the coyotes and foxes around here.

Monterey Peninsula - November 2017