Fast-Paced First Week

I can hardly believe that five whole days have gone by since I started my new job. I have to say that I’m feeling a great deal more optimistic since my last post, too.

My Office View

Looking out the window at my new office onto the snow from the last two days in Richmond.

I can hardly believe that five whole days have gone by since I started my new job. I think that even after psyching my self up for a month, I wasn’t prepared for the quick pace of work here. I got on a project first thing on Monday morning, and I’ve been busy with it pretty much the entire time since (well, at work anyway). I have to say that I’m feeling a great deal more optimistic since my last post, too. It’s not that I thought I’d made a mistake, it was just that sinking feeling of realizing just how much I was stepping backward, in a career sense.

My boss and I did get to make a site visit downtown Richmond on Tuesday, though. It was about 20º F, in the sun with 15-20 mph winds. I have a whole new level of respect for those construction guys out grouting lintel seats and hanging structural steel. Insane. We’ve had snow the last couple of days here in Richmond, so I doubt they’ve had much of a chance to continue. This photo is looking out my new office window. I took it around lunch on Friday. I realize it’s not a spectacular view, but since I couldn’t see any daylight from the desk at my old job, I feel as though I’ve moved up in the world.

I’ve spent the week learning all about RAM International‘s Structural System design software package. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed thus far. I’ve used a number of software solutions for structural analysis and design, and RAM has lived up to its billing as a one of the best. It is very much geared to the building industry, and therefore can tailor its solutions accordingly. I miss some of the open ended-ness of some of the other packages I’ve used (STAAD, GTSTRUDL) or even the more straight forward frame input of other building design software (RISA 3D). However, you trade all that for the speed and complete-ness that RAM offers. Sure, I can’t custom edit elements to create out-of-plan beams, for example. What I can do, though, is enter in and design an entire two-story school building in a manner of hours. Pretty slick.

The other task this week was learning a little more about building construction. Fortunately, the education system for the structures portion of civil engineering is catered to the building industry. I got to spend the last 3 years learning a good bit about bridge design (albeit, only steel bridges). Now, I get to actually use some of the things I learned in school towards design. Now, if only I could start using LRFD steel design.

Just as an aside, I’m using a new utility for WordPress called FlickIt. It simply adds a quicktag to your editor allowing to easily insert a hyperlinked Flickr image. It’s not perfect, but works does exactly what it claims to and is free (after they got into a little trouble with the company that owns Flickr for charging). Anyway, I mention it because I know a lot of my friends use both WordPress and Flickr and might want an easier way of getting them to play together.

7 thoughts on “Fast-Paced First Week”

  1. …and then just set the background centered, correct? I think I got it.
    Now, if I could just get the padding to work for the Search & Archives section up above, I’d be in like Flynn. Any ideas there? Seriously, the padding doesn’t do anything. It’s set to 20px top, and you see the result. I’m stumped.

  2. Oh, I must have deleted it from the style sheet as it wasn’t appearing to do anything. I put it back: 20px padding on top and 5px padding on the left. Still nothing in FireFox, Opera, or IE. As far as the comments go, I’m not too concerned with it. In 100 years when school children read my writings, they might find our candid bantor about web design illuminating.

  3. Okay. Here’s the deal. (Sorry it took a while to get back to you.) Yes, you defined #search as having padding-top: 20px, but it gets redefined later on when you say #menu ul li { padding: 0; }. Therefore, you either have to make your earlier declaration more specific (e.g. #menu #search { padding… }) or you need to move the #search, #archives, and #calendar declarations to the end of the file.

  4. Hmm… putting those classes at the end of the style sheet didn’t seem to do anything for them. I’ll try to use the specific approach. Yes, that seems to work. However, it appears my SEARCH button is missing. I’ll have to look into that for minute. Nevermind. I just need to recalculate the vertical absolute position for those respective classes now.
    How do you like the background, though? I think if you measured the width of the main sections, you’d find they were 790px, which is probably a little too wide, but I’m not too concerned with that as yet.

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