Direction of Flow

The Three Rules of Plumbing

  1. Sh!t flows downhill
  2. Never chew your fingernails
  3. Payday’s on Friday

Direction of Flow

I’m not a Sanitary Engineer, like my Grandfather joked that he was, and I’m not a Hydrology Engineer, like my SIL [Anne’s acronym], Jay, but I do believe that this sewer grate violates the first rule of plumbing. Maybe it doesn’t really matter, because you can see the river while standing on it. However, my wife, the former Environmental Engineer, might object having this sewer’s flow passing directly into the Mississippi. I’m guessing that her objection would broadly fall under the second rule of plumbing? Anyway, on Saturday, Anne kicked this decision over to her sister, my SIL. So Jay, which way is the correct direction of flow?

Like his father before him, my father is an engineer. My Dad graduated from Annapolis. He rebuilt aircraft carriers. He left military service with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He followed that up with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. His study culminated in the patenting of a medical device, the third rule of plumbing realized.

Like my father before me, I am a Jedi engineer. I am a third generation engineer. I started out as a Computer Scientist, albeit in the school of engineering. I tried to become an Automotive Engineer, but found that line of work was not for me. I’ve ended up an Electrical Engineer, which in some engineering schools is a close cousin to Computer Science. I’ve always found this transition strange, but it works. 

One of my sons is an artist and one of my sons is an engineer. I feel like the father of renaissance men. Dave, is the fourth generation engineer in the family, another Biomedical Engineer. I hope that he doesn’t feel that the weight of history, or the first rule of plumbing weighs too heavily upon him. I know that I chew my fingernails way too much. All this engineer crap is in honor of National Engineers Week. So honor your own favorite engineer, turn on a light, turn on a faucet, turn on your iPhone, start your car, feel free to fly about the country, say thanks for your very life, say thanks to an engineer. We earn it every Friday.

This final item is offered up by way of a postscript. Today, Dave flies to San Diego to attend a research conference. Purdue is covering his expenses. He plans on having lunch with his Rochester advisor.

2 thoughts on “Direction of Flow

  1. Saturday? What did I miss.
    I think you must be at the top of a hill.
    Or there is a flow splitter within the storm drain.
    Or – somebody wasn’t paying attention when they put the grates on.
    In our area they often have a salmon on the grate, to remind you that what goes into the storm drain ends up with the fish.

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