You can take an engineer on vacation, but…

You can take an engineer on vacation, but… he’s still an engineer.  Sandwiched around the Boston PROFINET one-day training class, I took some vacation time in New York City, Boston, and northern Arizona. 

In NYC, even an engineer will first see the symbolism of freedom…
Statue of Liberty
…then be disappointed that the museum gift shop does not have a book showing how it was made.  (Fortunately, the National Park Service provides some information online.)

Other engineering stops included the Empire State Building and the Subway (originally intended to run through tunnels that were pneumatic tubes).  There were certainly engineering aspects to the construction at the World Trade Center site, but I could not focus on them.  A visit across the street to St. Paul’s Chapel helped.  It hosted a post-inauguration speech from George Washington and an 8-month volunteer effort in support of post-9/11 work.

In Boston, I paid more attention to history (and driving in the breakdown lane).  Engineering experiences were centered on the PROFINET class (as opposed to, say, the Big Dig.)

You might think of northern Arizona as devoid of engineering marvels, but you’d be wrong.  Of course, there’s plenty of natural scenery: canyons and rivers and monuments, like Monument Valley.
Monument Valley
But there are also bridges and dams and power plants and observatories.  We had good looks at the bridge and dam, but our scheduled tour of the dam was scrubbed due to wind and lightening.  <Rats!>

At the Lowell Observatory Planet X was discovered and named Pluto before being demoted to “dwarf planet.”  Pluto was discovered using an astrograph (as opposed to a telescope).   I enjoyed that and the early computing equipment in the museum.  Visit my photo gallery for views of those.

Next post will be back on topic.  (After I get through my 400 emails and 300 RSS feeds.)