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travel

Walkin' (well drivin') da Earth...

Well, this was a hectic week.

I hadn't posted much because I had a lot on my mind and a lot to sort out personally, and I had a major-ish work related thing to deal with. Amazingly I think I finally got a lot accomplished.

Sunday I drove to Austin so that I could take the journeyman plumbing license exam on Monday. I've waffled about doing it for several years now, but I finally decided that even if I never really need to rely on it, if I'm in the construction industry, getting multiple licenses and registrations for various elements would be a Good Thing (tm). Eventually having a plumbing license, a professional engineer license, having a degree from MIT, having a masters and possibly a PhD should give me a useful edge over a lot of people whose experience is a) purely academic or b) purely practical. From a business perspective, it's one thing to say I know how to wire a house (which I do), but it carries a lot more weight if I can say that I'm a licensed A,B,C, and D. By the same token I'm more likely to be taken more seriously by engineers and white collar folks if I have academic degrees but it's easier to be respected by people on jobsites if they know (by the implication of having things like a plumbing license) that I've put in time working out in the field actually building things and not just at a desk crunching numbers*.

The test took up almost all of Monday.

Monday late afternoon/evening I drove up to Dallas to visit with s a bit. That was a very good visit. We had a lot of fun (I got to see my first NFL game, wow) and we sorted out some relationship stuff that had been on both our minds with some good, positive conversations. I stuck around until Wednesday afternoon and then drove back to EP and arrived around 10pm. The drive was a bit of a killer (I drove 1,495.8 miles between Sunday and Wednesday, all in Texas ;), but I mostly enjoyed it. Betty is a lot of fun to drive.

I spent today starting to deal with random (annoying) work stuff again and I got my results from the test.

I passed. It wasn't a spectacular performance, but I passed. The test was a lot different than any I had ever taken before. It's 3 parts, 1 written section with a bunch of multiple choice questions, 1 practical section with hands on shop work (e.g. soldering copper pipe, cutting cast iron pipe, measuring etc...), and 1 practical section where I had to design a working drain-waste-vent system for a scale model house and "rough" it in. I did ok on the questions and the scale model sections but the shop work almost did me in. It didn't help that one of the guys running the exam was a bit of jerk and even though he never did anything to outright screw anyone over (that I saw) he managed to be as unhelpful as possible while giving instructions and answering questions etc... He totally chewed me out right before I started the shop work section and that really threw me off at first. I recovered and managed to pull myself together and do ok on things, but it was tough.

I was surprised that my test results almost beat me home, but it was a nice thing to find in my mailbox when I came home this afternoon (especially after dealing with stupid work stuff). It was also nice being able to tell my dad that I passed the test today since his birthday is tomorrow and I suspect he'll be bragging about it to everyone for a while. I'm the only one of his kids to even try and get it and I passed the test on my first try so he was quite proud. In fact he had one of his rare sentimental moments when I told him about it so I was glad I was able to give him that. I think he really enjoyed finally having one of his kids "follow in his footsteps" by getting their license.

So yeah, that's my week so far and I'm actually rather glad that tomorrow is Friday ;).

I have some random photos to post in a bit, but I wanted to actually do a bona fide post since I'd been putting it off for a while.



* - One handy trick I've learned over the years is to wear my brass rat to meetings with owners and engineers but to leave it at home when I have to deal with contractors and subs at jobsites.
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Heh will do. I had thought about bugging folks I know in Austin and Dallas but the trip was kind of a seat of the pants kind of thing. Originally I had thought about going to Dallas for the weekend and going to Austin for the test and then either home or back to Dallas, but commitments on both our parts kind of made that non-practical.

Heck, I didn't find out about the tickets to the game until Saturday and I had to juggle things around a bit. Originally I was thinking of staying in Austin Monday night because the test can run until 5, but with the tickets waiting for me I hurried up to finish the test as quickly as possible and then boogied on to Dallas.

And who knows, I might be moving out East before too long :-p