December 22, 2009 – Earlier this month we got a call from an international oil field services company asking us to bid on a virtual photographic tour of their new offshore workboat. This is no ordinary ship. It is the world’s largest coiled tubing vessel, and is truly spectacular in both the size and the technology it employs to service deepwater oil wells. The virtual tour sample they sent us showed a traditional 360 degree panoramic photography, best known as a “QuickTime VR Tour”.
These panoramic tours have been typically used by real estate agents to provide prospective homeowners with a better understanding of a property. I have never been a big fan of this type of photography, because the quality of the images are usually poor, and it seems more of a gimmick than a truly immersive experience. Some tours may require a plug-in be downloaded, which can reduce the size of the viewing audience as many people just won't (or can't due to company policies) do it. I decided to use this bid opportunity to see if anything new was happening with panoramic photography. I was blown away by what I found.
December 10, 2009 – At 1:35 this afternoon the truck from Geotech Engineering and Testing arrived at our property, and by 1:45pm the crew of two field operators had their rig set up and prepared to drill the first of two holes into the earth for our soil survey .
This blog entry will give you a little information about a soil survey. Just about every structure requires an understanding of subsurface features unique to the area. The geotechnical consulting engineer determines the characteristics and behavior of subsurface soils, then interprets this data and makes recommendations on soils parameters which may be used for design or remedial purposes.To make our decision we called three soil survey companies.
Their bids consisted of the following:
Geotechnical engineering services which included - A. Mobilization and demobilization, B. Field exploration, including Two (2) borings to a depth of 20 feet, C. Laboratory testing, and D. Engineering analysis and report.
Drilled footing, strip footing and floating slab recommendations
December 08, 2009 – For most of us, the economy has been a real challenge over the past year, but for recently minted college grads, it has been particularly hard to transition from school to the world of full time work. I know this because it hits close to home. Our daughter Ali, graduated Louisiana State University (LSU) in August, and is one of those folks trying to kick start her career land her first meaningful job. She came home for Thanksgiving and we worked on her resume and cover letter and talked about moving from Baton Rouge to a city like Dallas where the job prospects would be better for someone with a BS in Psychology.
I wanted to give her the best advice I could. I found no shortage of online resources including articles, podcasts, videos and other reference items offering tips and techniques for the job seeker. But I wanted to give her more than that – I wanted to help her realize her passion, figure out a strategy, and come up with a game plan to make it happen. That is something you can’t find on any web site I’ve ever been to. While it is natural for a parent to want to provide “all the answers”, the journey she is about to embark upon is personal, and everyone is different. What I was hoping to do was to provide her with some tools she could use to draw a road map that is uniquely her own.