The Snickers Challenge of Theoretical Tonnage

Monday, Joe told me that they use an equation to calculate the theoretical tonnage of a loaded truck used to pave a certain amount of the road. He then challenged me to find the coefficient constant in that equation by taking the measurements of all the other unknowns and solving for it. He also upped the challenge by saying if I got within five numbers of the actual answer, I would win two whole snickers bars. Now, if you thought I wasn’t taking the challenge seriously  before, this was what I needed. TOTALLY GAME TO BRING IT, I was prepared to measure everything at least four times for the most accurate of averages (just kidding haha too lazy).

But then it rained. And poured. And we got soaked through. And the paving had to be cancelled.


With the same challenge and the mindset to win all the chocolate, I was dropped off at the paver by Joe with my (ahem his) trusty tiny wheel, map, and field book in hand. Let the calculations begin.

This is the part where I talk about maths (in brackets). Just a heads up.

(The equation is
Theoretical Tonnage = [((Length*width)/9)*(MAGICAL CONSTANT*depth)]/2000
where Length is the length the paver paves with the theoretical tonnage of the truck
width is the width of the road being paved
Magical constant speaks for itself hello
depth is the depth of the road that is being paved
9 and 2000 are used to convert because square yards and pounds.

Now, I assumed 14 feet as the width because it was half the road at a time and my total road width for one street was 28.4 feet. The depth was assumed to be 2 inches (that’s how much they were supposed to grind off). The theoretical tonnage, which is obviously what we actually try to solve for, was supplied to me by the ever to helpful truck tickets with the exact loads and other details on it.

SO now I have
20*2000 = ((Length*14)/9)*(MAGICAL CONSTANT*2) where you just need the length.

To find the length, I used Joe’s wheel and followed along two truck loads completely to get some values around 120.4 and 113.8 ft but then something totally weird happened with the third reading because they were ending the road, and I just got confused what to tape and not, so I scraped that reading and took a fourth one to replace it with, which turned out to be somewhere around 118.blah. I averaged these lengths to actually get 117.5 ft. Now I have a length to work with~)

Plug and chug, and bombdiggity bam bam, you end up with 109.4 as your MAGICAL CONSTANT value. Yes, the caps is very important.

Now, I really doubted myself all of sudden coming out with such a strange constant because most constants are either some degree of 2 (2^2, 2^8, etc.), include a pi or just seem to not make any sense like damn gravitational constant G or electric constant…

Anyhoo, I showed Joe my work and eeeyyyy I was close! The actual constant’s value was 112 (for this kind of surface and leveling binder)! SO I WON MY TWO SNICKERS BARS YUUUUS!!

Joe then taught me how to calculate yield percentages with this information and even though I mixed up the actual and predicted values in my calculation, I understood it and left knowing more about paving.

I came to the office feeling very victorious and found Dobson at his desk. When he found out what I’d been doing this morning, he began to pop quiz me and I think I did pretty well. He then told me about poly binder* and its differences from HMA (hot mix asphalt pavement) and I learned even MORE about pavement xD

*(It’s much finer and identical to sand. Because it’s so much smaller, it’s packed more densely than HMA aggregate is so hence a smaller constant.)

With my sudden abundance of pavement knowledge and utter boredom after managing to finish a suuuper simple warm up code I started yesterday to get force myself to remember syntax, I decided to start a new code. And what better program to code than to code one that uses this equation and at least the mathematically applicable concepts of this knowhow?

However, simple calculations were too easy a code for my taste so I made it a little more interesting using functions and trying to figure out where the heck I’d stored the syntax required for a function to call a function in the depths of Brian.

When I finally figured the code out, I was apparently too expressive with my triumph and Dobson asked what reason I had to be punching the air… Can’t a girl just be pumped at her desk? xD

Sooo I kind of told him about my being a CS minor and coding for fun and since I’d just told him all that, I decided to gush about this new code I’d just figured out. I was pretty proud cuz it wasn’t just some useless gibberish to entertain others and myself, but actually useful should we need it.

And it’s not like my coding is a secret, but I did want to keep it under wraps because of how I fail at all other things computer related and I can’t give tech support to save my life. My tech curse is a true struggle, okay. So I didn’t want to give the impression that I’m actually a computer person because HAH, isn’t that a laugh?

But yeah, that was that for today :3 Let’s see what happens tomorrow~ Will I win more chocolate? ONLY TIME WILL TELL ❤

the magical as hell snowman


The Story of A Construction Vest

I got my vest delivered to the office that Dave ordered, but nobody ever asked for my size. And that lead to quite some problems. But amusing ones. So here we go~

I rip open the box, and after shunning the disgusting hard hat into the corner under Kelly’s desk so it can never see the light of day again (there was hair in it!! Ewww), I pulled out the absolutely GORGEOUS neon yellow reflective construction crew type vest *O* I was entranced. It’s color was so beauuutifully florescent and I couldn’t wait to get it on. Which I did once Dobsin came to collect me that very day I got it.

I tore it out of it’s packaging and pulled it on. To my dismay, the size ordered was a medium, but either in men’s sizing or unisex, but either way, it definitely looked two sized too large on me. Dobsin started laughing when he saw me in it. He commented how I was basically swimming in it. Ignoring the disappointing size, I just focused on the authority it gave me on site. I was SUPPOSED to be there. And no one could question it as I blinded everyone I walked past. That cheered me up about it not fitting.

Anyhoo, it not fitting wasn’t too big a concern for me, Dobsin did say it was possible to order a new smaller one and just get the company to expense it. However, I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary business, ya know? But a few days later, as Dobsin and I were in the field at Nelson again, it got pretty windy. And that’s when having a vest that fits would be ideal.

Did it catch the wind and make me feel like I was going to be blown away? Sort of. Will I admit that? Never. Did it make me look like that was true? Oh, definitely. That vest of mine would make a great parachute for me if I did end up getting blown away.

But additionally, there was another problem I hadn’t even realized…Having boobs and wearing a huge vest. Still not clear yet? Well, the wind blows that vest around in all sorts of crazy directions. But the vest is zippered on and even though it wants to fly away, it can’t, so it tries to get caught onto anything. And that’s when boobs become a problem.

The stupid vest would slide off one shoulder and force the deep v-neckline to become a boob sling on either boob depending which way the wind blew! And it was mortifying as I kept tugging and tugging at the stupid thing to keep it in place. But once we started taking shots and got into it, I couldn’t really use my hands to fix the vest and had to stand around with one boob jutting out from between the folds of my vest that were wings of an untamed creature at this point.

Dobsin was courteous enough to look away and I needed that. But I did ask then how to go about ordering a new, smaller vest. And he agreed it was absolutely necessary.

A few days later, and I actually reminded Dobsin to order it for me. It arrived on my desk Monday and I opened it up…only to discover it looked faaaar to large to be a size small. But that’s what the tag said. I stared at it suspiciously and then came to the realization that…maybe it was bigger than the vest I already had? So I pull out my medium sized vest and match the two up- LO AND BEHOLD, the new (imposter size small) vest was actually LARGER than my current one!! I died of laughter at that xD For a very good, long while.

It was an enjoyable look of disbelief I got to enjoy when I told Dobsin of how the new vest was actually bigger than my current one. So I’m stuck with the one I have now 😛 And hey, it could be worse. It could be windy. But it’s not. Haha, I just hope it stays that way! iA!


Prologue: Internship Start(ed)!

Approximately a week or two after I got my license, my engineering internship began over the summer. And it has been wonderful ever since. Well, now it has. There were a few ups and downs the first week!

I came in and I actually had pretty boring, uneventful first day. I went up to the Rosemont office to get orientated, even though everything to do with that building was basically irrelevant to me. Anyhoo, I show up at my actual office down on under around eleven or so am. I was told to read the Enterprise contract by Dave the Supervisor and got to it. But that document was a thuuuudaaaaa. It was sooo insanely huge. It took me a full four hours to get through most of it. ME. Ugh it’s a little embarrassing, but its definitely less interesting than most books I read, and suuuuper dry. I got let out early too at three, and that’s when I sat around for an hour waiting for my ride xD

DAY TWO however was a whole other story…

See, Supervisor Dave gave me his key to the office because he hadn’t had one made for me yet, and as he gave it to me, he said it was okay because I’d be in the office before him. He was right about that, but that sentence implied he was going to come to the office eventually, now didn’t it? DIDN’T IT?!

So as one could guess, I was just sat at my desk/taking advantage of the other intern, Brady, being away from the desk he was hogging which actually belonged to Scott (Phew. Confusing, yeah?) and having read through the given contract a second time, I sat around waiting for Dave to come to the office.

(I arrived at 8 am and expected someone to show up a little later, say around 9.)

9 am: No one. Oh well, maybe they start even later, like 10.

10 am: Still nobody. *Shrugs* Guess people are running late, or went on site first? Oh damn, but the silence is really getting to me. I guess I’ll pace around a bit.

11 am: Uh….why is it still just me?! Okay, wait, calm down. I know the silence is DEAFENING at this point, but calm down. Forget the silence for a second. Ugh, but now you’ve noticed your gut being ripped to shreds inside of you. If only I could curl up on the floor…No, can you imagine how awkward that would be if someone walked in? Focuuuus. People. Co workers that aren’t here. Maybe they had a meeting in Rosemont. Yeah. If they’re on their way back from that, they wouldn’t make it to the office anytime before noon. It’s all good.

12 pm: Maybe the meeting ran late. But someone SHOULD be here by now….Um, distress texting time. (As I crouch behind Brady’s desk because DAMN these cramps.)

After talking to Fatima, and mutually deciding I had been abandoned in the deserted office, I called Ammi and came up with a plan. I waited until 12:30 to text Dave the Supervisor of my uncomfortableness with being left alone and how I planned to leave if no one came in and if there was nothing for me to do.

No response. For a long time. I texted Ammi to come get me. Especially with all my texting and phone usage waiting for someone to come in, I had basically drained the battery. Of course, I was overconfident in my phone’s battery life and hadn’t packed my charger with me. (I’m a commuter. Have I learned nothing?!)

1 pm: I am furiously pacing back and forth through the office only to run into Brady walking in to use the bathroom and grab some gatorade. Anyhoo, I introduce myself and I kind of explain my predicament. He advises I leave and that it’d be no big deal. (He also mentioned how Dave doesn’t come  in on Tuesdays usually and I’m just- I don’t even know -.-” )

I still hung around, but I didn’t get a response from Dave until Ammi was here and I was packing up to leave. He said it was fine and apologized for there being no one.

The next morning, day three, I regretfully come in because I’m dreading being reprimanded for leaving early and maybe being thought of as a sissy and a little kid for being left alone…

But to my surprise, Dave was incredibly sorry and apologizing loads because appaaaaarently there’d been a huge misunderstanding between all the workers where everyone thought someone else was in the office with me. When in actuality there was no one xD

Day three wasn’t much of office work since Dave has been suuuper busy with some crazy projects recently, so I was allowed to go with Dobsin as he “took shots” which was engineer talk for taking height measurements at different points (based off of plans to correlate with elevations as I later learned and got to learn about). We were out in the field and it was super interesting- especially compared to how boring the office had been recently!

So I hung out with Dobsin the rest of that week and we get along pretty well. It was loads of fun and I learned quite a bit about it. However, come week two, I got dragged into helping Joe out, the other engineer who had Brady as his trusty sidekick on this year’s MFT project. That’s when I got acquainted with using the (measuring) wheel xD

But yeah, I’ve been floating between these two projects and still left to my own devices in to office a bunch. I think this is my third or so week right now…? Yeah, that sounds about right.

And now that the prologue has been completed, I can actually share some stories from work! ^_^ (Seeing as I’m not falling asleep for once!)