Posts – Page 2

Review: One Hour Investor

This post is a review of One Hour Investor by Vishal Reddy and published by TCK Publishing.

Disclosure: I was sent an electronic review copy of the book.

I was initially put off by the way the book was being markted. "Become an investment genius in just one hour!" - I ...

What is a Control Loop?

The way we manage to get our factories to make the things we want them to is by getting liquids to flow various pipes at the right speeds, by making sure they are at the correct temperature. We need to ensure tanks don’t overflow and the pressure inside is ...

Wanted: Venue in Glasgow

I need a new venue to host a Disastrous Dinner in Glasgow.

We held a talk last March in the Griffin, but we must have gotten lucky last time. The room is used for pre-theater dining so we can’t get the venue till after 8pm (at which time the ...

5 Year Steps

10 years ago I joined the workforce as the world was still processing the financial crisis. There were many predictions back then about how much things were going to change. But in truth, it had been virtually business as usual.

5 years ago Scotland voted to remain part of the ...

Initially Useful

My parents have been away on holiday and while they were out, a parcel was delivered for my dad. I had been warned that this might happen and was asked to collect it from the delivery office. I agreed, that would be no problem. Until I had the delivery note ...

The Curse of the Intermittent Fault

At the end of last year, I made a temporary change on the control system. A temperature transmitter, which is used to control the temperature of gas leaving a cooler, kept seeing sudden drops in temperature. The control system would see these drops and would respond quickly to them and ...

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Both boys seem to enjoy singing Jingle bells just now, despite the time of year...

Jingle all the way

They were singing it constantly while they sat in the bike trailer as I cycled home this evening...

Oh what fun it is to ride on a ...

33 Seconds Can Make a Big Difference

I completed my second parkrun yesterday and it felt like a completely different event.

The first time, I felt like I was always beside others. Either I was on someone's shoulder or someone else was right behind me. The furthest we spread out was no more than 5 meters ...

What is Partial Pressure?

In the first of my simple Saturday posts, I will cover the term partial pressure. This term is critical to much of chemical engineering and I was very familiar with it during my time at university. But once I graduated and worked in a sugar factory, I didn't use ...

Staying in a Professional Lane

When looking back at my career so far, one thing has jumped out at me: I am rubbish at staying in a professional lane. I haven’t picked one professional niche and stuck with it.

I started out working in operations at a food factory. I spent a small amount ...

Halfway There

All my employer pensions make the assumption that I will retire at 65. I have realised that if I were to retire at 65, I have just passed the halfway point between my birth and my retirement date.

It is kind of scary when I think about how much the ...

Comparing Yourself To Others

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, I have been thinking more about how we compare ourselves with others. While I was a student (both at highschool and at university) I was regularly referred to as a “fitness freak”. I liked to run and did so regularly.

The thing is, if ...

Are You Digitally Skilled?

When listening to a recent podcast, the guest being interviewed mentioned that he got to a stage in his career and noticed that he had stopped developing his skillset. He made an effort to start learning again, and in particular developing his "digital skillset". He now considers himself digitally competent ...

Staring into the Crystal Ball

Tonight I met up with our treasurer to put together a budget for the next year. This should include a rough plan for all the events in 2020. Considering I thought we were doing well when I managed to organise an event more than two months in advance, the idea ...

New Ratesetter Returns

Ratesetter1 have recently come out with three new products, replacing their "rolling market" product. The new products will take effect from the 3rd of October.

The rolling market product has been renamed "Access" and effectively remains unchanged, though it looks like they are trying to stabilise the returns at ...

Simple Saturdays: Introduction

I dislike the amount of jargon we tend to use in our daily work lives. We use acronyms like CCR (central control room) rather than just saying "control room". We refer to equipment tags like P101 rather than simply describing the equipment like "feed pump". It is not as if ...

An Uncomfortable Encounter

On my way home tonight I was involved in a road rage incident. Annoyingly I don't have video of the first part of the encounter, I had forgotten to turn the recorder on until after the first horn blasts.

Some driver decided that he needed to be ahead of ...

Uncertainties

Spreadsheets are awesome at letting you play with numbers. Put all sorts of values in and get back a number that is supposed to tell you the answer.

I recently had a play with a sheet that made a projection. Lots of different values were required. Lots of different equations ...

Hosting Quick Meetings

Early in my career, I had a duty to occasionally host a daily meeting. I was always worried that I would make a mess of it, that the meeting would drag on, that we wouldn't get round to covering all the necessary items. It turned out that it wasn ...

The Dreaded Task

I have recently signed up to a website for an organisation's alumni. After proving my identity and successfully logging in, I am faced with one of life's dreaded tasks:

Filling out my profile, including a short bio.

Does anyone actually enjoy or at least not hate filling these ...

Looking on the Bright Side

Today, rather than cycling 10 minutes down the hill to the refinery, I drove 45 minutes to another site to attend a trial at a suppliers factory.

When I arrived, I was informed that the test had been cancelled. Everyone else on the team was informed, I just got missed ...

Entering the World of Work

Ten years ago I started my first "proper" job. My first job after graduating, in the world of chemical engineering. I, along with about 20 other recent graduates, arrived at a conference center in the middle of the countryside near Peterborough to start working for British Sugar.

When I first ...

The Other Central Park

One of the TV shows that the kids like to watch visits landmarks around the world. One of the episodes was based on Central Park, in New York.

"We've been there" I said, "do you remember?"

Of course I knew he wouldn't remember, he was just under a ...

Following Your Own Rules

Usually, I prefer to commute by bike. On days that the boys are in nursery, I will cycle for about half an hour after work to get to the nursery, then cycle for another half hour home towing a trailer carrying the kids.

Usually I don't mind the weather ...

The Yellow Balloon

My eldest son went on a trip at nursery. The kids were invited to the birthday party of a lady at a local care home. The resident was turning 102 and so they had cake and balloons to celebrate. At the end of the party, the balloons were given to ...

Advertising on a FIRE Blog

I have mentioned before that I have started to enjoy reading various FIRE1 blogs around the internet. One of the things that has amused me is the advertising on their blogs.

Generally you want to earn as much as possible, spend as little as possible, and invest the difference ...

Autumn Scottish IChemE Events

This is a quick note detailing of some events coming up over the next few months.

Committee meeting: Next week

On Tuesday evening (4th of September) we will be holding our committee meeting of the Autumn in Glasgow. This is when we organise future activities and events.

If you would ...

Starting and Finishing the Same Day

When asked how my day went, I did the usual and started describing some of the activities I worked on. On of the jobs I did today was essentially devised this morning.

We had known that there was a problem for a few weeks now. I came into work to ...

What Do you Think About When Running?

I was asked this question and thought that it could be fun to relive yesterday's run.

Pre run lineup

Where should I start? I think I will be in the first half of the finishers. Maybe the first third? I don't know. Maybe I won't actually be ...

My First Parkrun

Today I took part in my first parkrun. I have been aware that there is a local weekly event for over seven years and yet I have never made it along until today.

Considering it was probably just under 10 years ago that I did my last race, I was ...

Rebuilding Good Habits

I have let myself go.

Well at least all the good habits I had built up. Over the last year, I have slowly eroded my evening routine to an absolute minimum, and sometimes failed to even do that.

Missing the odd night doesn't matter that much. It doesn't ...

Complicated but Clear

I had to describe the details of a project that I have been working on for the last year. It is quite a large project that touches on lots of different systems. I needed to explain all the systems that are affected in the clearest way possible.

I spent a ...

Managerless Meetings

Last week my wife mentioned that she had had a day full of meetings at work. But unlike normal, all the management team were off at a different set of meetings. As a result, the meetings actually ran smoothly and painlessly.

Today I had a similar meeting. All the managers ...

Practice and the Real Thing

One of the practices of the Stoic philosophy is negative visualization. The idea is to think through a possible unpleasant situation while everything is still fine. Thinking the situation through in great detail and in particular, what you would do, allows you to be prepared. While we hope for the ...

Customer Acceptance

Sign directing 'To Customer Acceptance Centre'
Acceptance Centre
Sign directing 'To Customer Acceptance Centre'
Acceptance Centre
Close

I know what it actually means, but when I read this sign, I had a vision of the company lining up all their customers and deciding which of us they were going to accept and offer a service to.

Rose Tinted Hindsight

A couple of years ago, we found a pizza restaurant in the next town over and really liked the food there. We went quite regularly considering the journey to get there, and spent a fair amount eating out as a result.

This was one of the reasons that lead us ...

Addictively Checking

It doesn't sound like fun when you really think about it. Loading up a webpage to see that it says the exact same thing as the last time you looked at it. But that is what I find myself doing. It is what many folk end up doing.

Sure ...

Cold Mornings

The mornings are cold
So I cycle with my coat
And melt going home

Where are the Members of the IChemE Scottish Members Group?

The Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has two local members groups in Scotland, Aberdeen Members Group, which covers Aberdeen itself and the north of the country and the Scottish Members Group which covers everywhere else.

Historically that has meant that the Scottish Members Group has ended up being primarily focused ...

Empty House

The kids are in bed.

My wife has gone out for the evening.

I have the house to myself, what should I do?

So much choice. So much freedom. So many options.

Of course what I actually do is spend an hour tidying the house and then write some code ...

Two Hours: 4 Characters

Productivity can be difficult to measure at the best of times. Even more so when you are programing. This afternoon, I wanted to add a feature to a webapp I had been working on. The first step was to import some data. How hard could it be?

I wrote what ...

A Frustrating Phrase

Once you have been doing a job for a while, you end up seeing some problems that have been fixed before. In most cases this is a good thing because it makes it easy to fix it the subsequent times. But occasionally a long period of time has passed between ...

Clearly I am Doing This Wrong

I was recently shared a blog post by someone who was celebrating a streak of posting every day for 11 years. This is an impressive feat. My own attempt at posting daily has had several occasions where I have failed (six days so far this year). How does he think ...

Being Irritated with Good Weather

As mentioned in yesterday's post, we cancelled the party that we had planned for today. The reason that we had cancelled was because one of the kids had been ill yesterday, nothing to do with the weather. Our parties are rain or shine. We have gotten a good run ...

Waste of a Tidy House

This weekend, to celebrate my wife's birthday, we invited lots of friends and family over for a pizza party. To get ready for this, we both took the week off of work and have been using the days that the boys are in nursery to prepare toppings and clean ...

Onion Hack

Much of today was spent preparing food. I started with slicing several red onions, but after starting the first one, my eyes were already in pain. I hadn't even finished the first one and wasn't sure how I could continue to finish that on let alone do four ...

Thoughts on FIRE

Last year I attended a pensions workshop at work. After this, I have spent more time reading up about pensions and other financial matters. You don't need to do much reading before you come across the FIRE movement.

FIRE

FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. Essentially, people live ...

Trial and Error Cooking

Earlier this year, I attempted to make some pies. The first batch had a good pastry, but the filling was a bit dry. Since then I have had about three other attempts at improving the recipe, making small tweaks each time. I can now say that I have managed to ...

An Unusual Day

Today was a day without kids. Well we still had them around at breakfast time but as is normal for a Monday morning my wife took them to nursery. What was not normal was us not going on to work.

Instead we have taken the week of work to prepare ...

Thunderstorms

The best thing about thunderstorms is watching the really heavy rain from the comfort of your home. Watching the water bounce off the ground and the street turn into a river while I am inside and dry.

That is until I notice that our pizza oven is still outside and ...