Episode-2048- Expert Council Q&A for 7-21-17 — 10 Comments

  1. Haven’t listened yet but saw Jack’s segment topic. I went to public school and consider myself to be “socially awkward.” In the personality tests I regularly score a 0 on the social scale, which seems odd to me since I’m not a hermit – I just like a large amount of time to myself. I think socially awkward is the luck of genes and who your parents are. At the same time being a home schooled kid means you should be able to interact with a greater variety of ages rather than just a single age like you do in school.

    • ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn

      So if you spend most of your time with adults vs. children?

      Further if you are surrounded by both adults and children with out the forced interactions with people that basically hate each other that is government school?

      With all due respect to Rohn I find the number 5 to be some random number he pulled from his ass to make a point, the underlying point is,

      You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with.

      Look at the people surrounding the well immersed home schooled child vs. the people surrounding the average government schooled child and draw your own conclusions.

      To your OP, yea I do think some of social awkwardness is genetic. I myself am an aspie (mildly autistic and high functioning) and it took a LOT OF WORK to train myself to not be socially awkward.

      Spending a lot of my teens with adults hunting and fishing helped, my time in the Army definitely helped, 13 years of being bored to tears in a government institution they call public school, most certainly did not!

  2. In response to the question about Engineers:

    What you do day to day as an engineer, or what you do as someone with an engineering degree, greatly depends on what you decide to do with it. You can be an Engineer and spend your time in the shop, on the line, or literally in the trenches applying your education to what you’re doing on a daily basis. Or you can spend your time in an office working on the computer. You can be a Project Manager in an office wearing a tie or in the field wearing Carhartt’s and not “design” a thing. Or you could be the guy in the field who has to redesign everything on the fly, under lots of pressure while the project is losing big money, because someone messed something up and you have to clean up the mess. Just like everything its best to have an idea of what you want and work towards it making adjustments as go and learn more.

    Steven and Jack are spot on when it comes to practical experience. If you understand how things work, or can figure out how they work, you will stand out from the crowd. I’m convinced I got my first professional position because I was willing to do the dirty work before moving into the office. And while I was out getting dirty I learned a lot about how things really work and that knowledge has helped me greatly on the design end of things.

    I started my education at a community college with an amazing science, math, and engineering program then transferred to a very good engineering school where I earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in Mechanical engineering and another in Civil Engineering and am a licensed Civil Engineer. If you can start out in a Community College, and the school is worth spending your time at, do it! The CC I attended already had an agreement with the University I went to so when I transferred I transferred in as if I had attended the first 2 years at the University.

    I disagree with Steven about graduate school but if you’re going to do it I believe the way he described would be the best way. That being said getting your Phd is not for everyone. It wasn’t for me so my attitude may be a little tainted.

    I don’t exactly know what an Agricultural Engineer is, but from what I can find it covers a lot of traditional disciplines such as Civil, Mechanical, Structural, and I suppose even Electrical. If you wanted to get into the Agricultural Engineering field I would suggest figuring out which part of it interests you and get a degree in that traditional discipline. If you like the machinery part of it get a degree in mechanical engineering focused on machine design, not manufacturing, HVAC, or Industrial piping. And intern at a place that does Agricultural Engineering so you can say you’re a Mechanical with Ag Engineering experience or focused on Ag Engineering. Having the straight up Mechanical degree will allow you to more easily switch between industries if you have to or want to. Also understand that you may live where Mechanical Engineering jobs are but they might not be what you’re interested in. Where I live there are almost zero Mechanical Engineering jobs in a manufacturing setting but there are tons of HVAC and Industrial Mechanical jobs

    There are alternatives! Check out TSP episode 1992. Jack interviewed a guest who was/is an Aero-space Technician. I don’t remember all the details but I believe his guest discussed what you needed to do to become an Aero-Space Technician. I do remember thinking that if I would have known about that opportunity I may have taken that path. I do know that in some fields Technicians get to have most of the hands-on fun and are just as valuable as the “Engineer”.

    When you go to college for Engineering you are really being taught a way to think and problem solve. The classes you take are like tools in your toolbox. You will learn how to do most of what you do on the job using your education as a foundation to build your skill sets on.

  3. Jack, Musician joke, What do you call a Rock Band guitarist or singer without a girlfriend?
    Homeless 🙂 Thanks for all that you and the TSP community do and strive to do.

  4. On the engineer question, I agree with Brian (ha!) above.

    I know engineers who never leave their office, some spend their time in the lab and others spend all their time in the field working with trades. You might want to look into field engineering jobs in whatever discipline you choose if you want to be cut loose from the desk.

    I’m an veteran electrical engineer having spent 22 years in industrial automation (designing and commissioning, aka the field). If you have any questions, please contact me at the link and I’ll be happy to answer your questions my engineering school and career path.

  5. In response to Michael Jordan’s question :
    The caller stated that it had been 5 days since the swarm. You have nothing to worry about! Prior to the swarm, the workers starve the queen, to make her light enough to fly. She stops laying, or laying very little. Since drone brood takes longer to hatch, what you are seeing is the worker brood has mostly hatched already, and the new queen isn’t laying yet.

    My rule of thumb is to allow 2 weeks after a swarm for the new queen to mate and settle in, before I start to worry. If after 2 weeks you only still see drone brood, you need to start worrying about no queen, or unmated queen issues. They can be real tough, but if you see multiple eggs per cell, usually on the side walls of the cell, you have laying workers. If you see 1 egg in each cell but no worker brood, your queen is sterile. Take the whole hive, put it 100 yards away from where is was, put a new empty hive with a queen in a cage where the hive used to be, then open the hive you moved up and shake out every bee onto the ground. Every last one.

    Most of the workers will fly to the old hive, but the queen or laying worker are too fat to fly. The workers will free the new queen in a couple of days. Wait a week and take a peek to see how they’re doing. I apologize for my auto correct, I typed this on my phone while mowing the lawn lol

  6. There is actually good evidence that animal protein causes kidney stones (and below the videos you can read the studies under “Sources Cited”)
    In this video ( Dr. Greger discussed population based studies, admittedly low quality, but also a mechanistic study, supporting evidence giving a mechanism to the mere association of population studies.

    The second video ( discusses an interventional trial ( show that kidney stones risk rates can be dropped by reducing animal protein. There are about 17 studies in these 2 videos providing evidence for the animal protein being a significant risk factor for kidney stones.

    So we do have evidence of association, evidence of mechanism, and evidence that intervention changes outcomes.

  7. Just weighing in on engineering as a career choice. My take away plan on working harder than almost everyone around you. That said if you have the “nack” it can be rewarding.
    I can tell you from experience that I have followed the advice Steve gave you (without knowing it). I received an associated degree in manufacturing and had my company pay for my Mechanical engineering degree. The only downside to this plan is that I kept hitting ceilings until I reached my degree levels. So, My brother who is also an engineer went straight through college and started as an engineer right out of the gate. I spend almost 10 years working my way through the as a technician prior to being an engineer. Please don’t get me wrong I use this hard earned knowledge daily as an engineer. I literally stated as a co-op sweeping floors to having management responsibility for multiple companies in a multi billion dolor corporation.

    I am now a Sr. Engineering manager. I hire engineers for a living now, and of course still work as an engineer. I add to the list have a focus on project management and dealing with ambiguity. I like the advice to demonstrate you can do something, do be blunt I will fire some one who can’t and it happens. I hired an engineer based on being in the top 10% of his class. The guy didn’t know what a pliers was much less what it is used for and lasted about a month.

    I also to comment on specialty: You can pick a discipline and become the expert and I know lot of successful engineers that choice that path. I did not an am a generalist with a specialty in regulatory and risk management. I have to be able to review work from electrical, software, mechanical, textile, systems engineering every day. The nice thing is while formally trained as a mechanical engineer I get to work on many other discipline. So really if you have aptitude you should be able to find a good fit for you.

    On a personal note Steve did actually help me with my senior design project a couple years ago as I finished collage. All I can say is listen to what he has to say and rest assured his heart is in the right place. A heartfelt thank you from this up through the ranks engineer. I will echo Steve’s offer, If I can help please let me know.