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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