Letters to my younger self

3023105-archive_blur_calligraphy_close-up_education_handwriting_handwritten_letter_old_old-lettersI am finding as I grow older, I am saddened by my arrogance and pride as a youth. Yes, confidence is one thing, but ignoring those that have experience in a given forum is foolish, no? For those that don’t know, I have two young daughters who will be a freshman and junior in high school. I am often met with brashness and usually some sort of eye-roll from them whenever I offer some direction. Who am I kidding, it’s usually directives like the trash needs to go out and has yet to be collected.  🙂

I mention that example not because it reminded me of my own youth, but because I often thought my way was far better than everyone else’s. Which, I suppose is ok if it really was better. But, typically it truly doesn’t matter. Did I mention I’m an engineer? There has to be order and precision to the chaos. Doing things twice seems wasteful to me. Maybe though, there is a lesson in the double or even triple effort to accomplish something? Read more of this post

3rd Annual Synergis Student Competitions are Open!

Synergis is having its 3rd Annual Student Competition with Architecture and Mechanical categories! The architecture theme this year is adaptive reuse of an existing main street shop into a children’s museum. The mechanical category is based on the Pennsylvania F1 competition. We are only judging entries submitted to us and will focus on design from creative and functional aspects.

The competition is currently open to anyone in K-12th grade.  So pass this along to kids or your friend’s kids to enter! Prizes include cash awards and acknowledgement at Synergis University 2013 next June.

I’m hoping to get them to introduce a Civil Engineering category next year as well as add an age group for university students! What do you think?

Here are some entries from last year to peak your interest…

Keeping those Skills Sharp

Shaan Hurley reminds us today that Autodesk is still in the business of fostering a strong design community. And in this case, they are providing students, faculty, veterans and un-employed professionals access to their design software for a THREE year period at ZERO cost. The only functional difference is that all plots get a “for educational purposes” type of watermark. All other commands and functions work exactly the same.

I’ve had the opportunity to use this olive branch a couple of times during this tough economic period.  It certainly allowed me to see what’s in the new versions and also give me a sense of confidence when going into interviews and networking opportunities.


Head on over to Shaan’s blog for his notes on the topic!

Life imitating art

Just a quick note about life imitating science fiction movies.  It seems that some bad guys in another country way back in like 2007, spread some mal-ware to redirect urls to their servers in order to collect user information.

Well, the FBI have corrected the situation, but are warning people that they may still be infected.

Once the FBI got around to fixing the problem in 2011, it realized it couldn’t simply shut down the rogue servers because infected computers would be left without a functioning DNS, leaving them virtually Internet-less. So it set up temporary servers to give malware-infected Internet users time to fix their computers.

And time runs out on Monday, July 9.

To verify the health of your computer, go to this address:


This site will verify if your computer is looking up websites properly.

IF IT IS NOT, then you need to clean your machine. Below are recommendations for various Malware Removal Tools:

• Microsoft’s Security Scanner, http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

• MalwareBytes’ Anti-Malware, http://www.malwarebytes.org

The FBI’s document that explains how to detect and fix the DNS Changer issues:

• http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/november/malware_110911/DNS-changer-malware.pdf.

Read more: DNS Changer Malware: 300,000 People Worldwide Will Lose Internet Monday – and They Don’t Even Know It – ABC News http://abcn.ws/N5pe7T

Wrap Up Synergis University 2012

Last Wednesday, May 30th, was my first experience with Synergis University.  I am now employed by Synergis and this event is their effort to provide a close to home, low cost alternative to Autodesk University.  For a measly $75 (on subscription with Synergis, otherwise the cost jumped to a whopping $175), you got the whole day of classes as well as breakfast and lunch.  As many of you know, the cost of AU is about ~$1500 not to mention what you might loose at various establishments around Vegas… In this case for SU, the venue was the Sands Hotel and Casino in Bethlehem, PA. So even if you still needed your fix for risk and chance, that was covered!

About the sessions… There was a mixture of Autodesk and Synergis folks there to provide the technical support for the attendees.  Lynn Allen started the day with a session entitled, “The Future of Design.”  Sadly, I did not get a chance to attend her session. I heard that she talked about clouds and suites…  After that, there were five basic tracks to follow; either AutoCAD, Manufacturing, Building, Data Management (Synergis not only supports Vault but has their own custom solution called Adept), or Civil Engineering. Read more of this post

NIMBY = Public Eminent Domain?

Soooo, here’s the story about my little old township. Over the past decade, many things have changed; population growth, infrastructure, residential developments, everything relating to a booming area. With this growth, the Township administration appears to have been a bit overwhelmed in this period. Bygones…

Picture of land under scrutiny. What’s missing is all the development happening outside the frame of the picture.

The problem now is that people are angry that a landowner/developer has decided to “destroy” this western edge of the valley. And it seems that they won’t be happy until said owner abandons all hope of building anything on his own property.  So these NIMBY folks seem to be employing a form of Neighbor Eminent Domain.  Is this any more appropriate than local governments using said instrument to “improve” certain districts?

Read more of this post

Year End 2011 News


So this isn’t brand new news. My company, KlingStubbins has been acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group (as of November 1, 2011) and will be aligned with their Global Buildings North America division.  I’m not sure what impact the merger will have on my content, but I will continue to write as much as I can.  It’s been tough to get anything posted. So I’m simply jotting this down while I can.

Here’s the press release
You can call us “KlingStubbins Inc. a Jacobs Company”

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012.


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