Saturday, July 1, 2017

From the Overnight Mail

Got the following from a friend via e-mail. As I got nothing, I figured I'd share this with y'all. I mean, I am an engineer. Sort of. (Back in the day I actually had a pocket protector and a slide rule. No, really.)

Understanding Engineers #1

Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, "Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway."

Understanding Engineers #2

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Understanding Engineers #3

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!"

The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept golf!"

The priest said, "Here comes the greens-keeper. Let's have a word with him." He said, "Hello George, What's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The greens-keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime!."

The group fell silent for a moment. The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything she can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"

Understanding Engineers #4

What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?

Mechanical engineers build weapons. Civil engineers build targets.

Understanding Engineers #5

The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?"

The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"

The graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"

The graduate with an arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Understanding Engineers #6

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing who must have designed the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections."

The last one said, "No, actually it had to have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

Understanding Engineers #7

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

Understanding Engineers #8

An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn back into a beautiful princess and stay with you for one week."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want."

Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog - now that's cool."

Two Engineers

Two engineers were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking at its top. A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.

"We're supposed to find the height of this flagpole," said one, "but we don't have a ladder."

The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a couple of bolts, and laid the pole down on the ground. Then she took a tape measure from her pocketbook, took a measurement, and announced, "Twenty one feet, six inches," and walked away.

One engineer shook his head and laughed, "A lot of good that does us. We ask for the height and she gives us the length!"

Both engineers have since quit their engineering jobs and are currently serving in the United States congress.

Tip of the hat to Patsy for the material.

Like I said, I'm an engineer now, but I used to work on these, designed by engineers!

Those were the days...


  1. Good way to start the day off with a few chuckles....

  2. Yep, I have met a few of those engineers.
    I have a question about the F-4 photo. I am pretty sure that the word "SCAT," painted just above the nose gear stands neither for animal poop, nor is shorthand for "Get outta here!"
    What does it stand for?

    1. "Scat" was the nickname of Robin Olds' roommate at West Point whose eyesight deteriorated to the point where he couldn't continue in pilot training, so the General named all the aircraft he flew after that roommate. The first Scat was a P-38, the last was that Phantom in the photo, SCAT XXVII.

    2. For those interested, here is General Olds book---

      Sarge, would you care to speculate on what the "un-official" total is for the number of missions and red stars for General Olds in Vietnam?

    3. And THAT is a superb book.

      I wouldn't speculate but I'd put money on the General downing at least enough to make him a jet ace. The man was a leader, guiding more junior pilots to a kill so they would have the necessary experience to survive.

      As to number of missions? More than the Air Staff knew about, that's for sure.

    4. The book is now ordered, thank you Sarge for the information, and thank you RTH447 for the information about the book.

    5. I believe you will enjoy it John. I did.

  3. Great stuff!
    My Dad was an engineer. When asked what he did he always answered, "I are an engineer."

  4. So did any of your birds have red stars on them!!!??!?!??!?! Like that gorgeous beast in the picture?? WOW!

    1. Yup, there were two I worked on which had red stars painted on the left vari-ramp: 7463 an F-4D which had six stars on the side (flown by Steve Ritchie/Chuck DeBellevue) and there was also an F-4C (which might have been SCAT XXVII depicted above, I don't remember the tail number) which did had two red stars. In my day there was no nose art on any of the jets, the shoe clerks saw to that.

    2. I can remember the day the shoe clerks communicated their wisdom. I had a beauty of an F-102 with my name and the name of the crew chief on the canopy bow. One day there, the next day gone. I have never seen an order carried out so quickly.
      On the Phantom, before they got lizarded we were known to put names, etc on the centerline tank. Curiously, as I recall, it was only at our ORI in Mar of '65 that we got to fly our same airplane all of the time. MacNamara's "tail number scheduling" had a lot to do with it I think. BTW, it didn't work in combat when someone got shot down, the tail number kept coming up, so they always knew when the spare was going to fly. More useless phantom trivia.

    3. Ah, but Phantom trivia is always welcome here.

  5. Back in the day knew a retired Boeing engineer. Started on the B-47 and ended his career on the 777. George had a sly sense of humor. Wore a slide rule in holster on his belt until he retired. Used it to freak out the new engineers. Hit all the cliches. Wore stripes and checks together all the time. He could have written the material in your post. One of the funniest men I've ever known.

    1. Though I've never me him, I like him. Sounds like my type of guy!

    2. Dear Old Dad (BSEE) always went to work at Bell Labs with his trusty "guessing stick", pocket protector, and short sleeve white shirt and tie. Just like all the other Labs guys. Seeing scenes of NASA and Mission Control back in the day reminds me of that time.

    3. Heh, guessing stick. My own Dad was a pretty good hand with a slide rule. Always amazed me!

  6. In my 50th year as one of those "useless" items in an aircraft (...or so think many people in management...). A Pilot. Also known as a "tool Disbursing agent" to mechanics twisted into contortions in impossible to reach places trying to fix SOMEthing designed by an "engineer"! Purpose of my rant: No "engineer" should be allowed to work on ANY design project leading to the building of ANY whole aircraft OR subsystem of ANY aircraft until, and unless, they have worked for a MINIMUM of 5 years out in the environment that said aircraft will be operated!!! 50 years of experience operating all sorts of aircraft has convinced me that "engineers" follow some sort of rule that insists that the most important , and likely to fail items are ALWAYS, by DESIGN, installed behind , underneath, or inside something that will NEVER need to be removed for ANY reason (but somehow has a high likelihood of being installed backwards)......

    1. Ah yes, I couldn't agree more. One thing I've noticed since becoming an engineer is that first we divide up into groups. Now even though those groups depend heavily on each other, the key thing is to never communicate between groups. At least that's the way it feels.

      Back in '05 I had the opportunity to take a bunch of engineers to tour an actual man o' war (my daughter's destroyer). Some of them understood immediately why it was a good idea to actually see the thing that they designed and built systems for.

      Some still don't get it.



  7. The golfer joke is being added to my best jokes collection now. Thanks Sarge (but really Patsy).

    1. That golfer joke is indeed a good one. I was a golf course superintendent for a long time and the irrigation system often is set to run overnight. It sometimes needs to be cycled during the day so we can actually see if the sprinkler heads are functioning properly which can occasionally cause golfers to encounter them (however briefly we can manage it). The usual refrain would be "Why do you have to run the sprinklers when I'M here?" The other alternative would sometimes be to run the system during a rainy day when there was no play. Of course that often raised it's own set of questions about our sanity when viewed from the comfort of the clubhouse grill room.

    2. So that's why they didn't golf at night!

  8. I still have at least one "slip stick". The correct answer to #2 is "a 50% redundancy of glass".

  9. Don't know how I missed this post yesterday; it's a good'un.

    Paul L. Quandt

  10. A pair of well-endowed female engineers walk into a bar graph...


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