Practical but current

Practical but current

Rick Yelton

Im happy that my daughter is now in high school. Every year at this time in the past the middle school my kids attended sponsored a Rube Goldberg design contest. Goldberg was a famous newspaper cartoonist who drew sketches of outlandish machines designed to accomplish simple tasks.

Everyone in my extend family expected a blue-ribbon performance from my offspring. After all, wasn’t their father a famous engineer? The sad fact of life is that after my first child’s submission, nay other kids never asked me to help them.

They claimed I wasn’t good at coming up with out-landish ideas. I took that as a compliment. In fact, more than once I expressed my concern about an educational system that encouraged kids school contests can encourage a student’s interest in science. But I worry that Goldberg’s drawings contribute to society’s common misconception about engineers. We rarely want to make things more difficult than they require.

Good engineers are very practical. In fact, we can be so practical that we become conservative just to ensure that nothing goes wrong. It’s not that we are reluctant to adopt new ideas. We just want to make sure that new ideas don’t detract from what we know works, or cause more work for someone else. It’s this attitude that often interferes with the acceptance of new ideas.

Contractors, on the other hand, need to be practical in selecting items that promote efficiency in the field in order to survive. Successful masonry contractors thrive on bringing innovation and change to the into make something more difficult than it needed to be.

I understand that middle school contest can encourage a student’s interest in science. But I worry that Goldberg’s drawings contribute to society’s common misconception about engineers. We rarely want to make things more difficult than they require.

Good engineers are very practical. In fact, we can be so practical that we become conservative just to ensure that nothing goes wrong. It’s not that we are reluctant to adopt new ideas don’t detract from what we know works, or cause more work for someone else. It’s this attitude that often interferes with the acceptance of new ideas.

Contractors, on the other hand, need to be practical in selecting items that promote efficiency in the field in order to survive. Successful masonry contractors thrive on bringing innovation and change to the industry. I haven’t yet met a mason who at some point in his/her career hasn’t taught an engineer something practical.

I was thinking about how engineers often build walls between innovation and implementation while preparing this World of Masonry show issue. I continue to be amazed by the number of new products and innovations introduced each year. Many appear to he truly innovative. But I’m sure that somewhere among the 1500 exhibitors in Orlando will be a few Rube Goldberg-like designs.

Engineers must become aware of the products that will help contractors be more efficient. Therefore, I am offering to help you alert the engineers in our industry of the best new products that manufacturers have introduced in the past year. Here’s what you can do to make the contractor’s voice heard.

I encourage you to participate in our Most Innovative Products award program beginning on page 55. Cast votes online (www.worldofmasonry.com) or in person at the World of Masonry, and help select this year’s best industry innovations.

Or tell me in person about the best ideas that you discovered while walking through the exhibition. I’ll make the effort worthwhile by treating you to breakfast at the World of Masonry. This way I can learn what you found to be exciting at the show. I’ve booked a room in the convention center on Thursday, Feb. 19. Don’t expect anything elegant, just practical. But there will be enough time for me to learn about your impressions of the show and how we can continue to make MASONRY CONSTRUCTION mole practical for your success.

If you can’t make it to the show, l still want to learn from your jobsite experiences. Invite me to your jobsite. It’s a great way for me to learn about products that have made a practical impact on the job.

Now’s the time to ask. I’m in the middle of planning my travel schedule for the rest of the year. E-mail or fax me your idea, and I’ll try to come to you (and bring doughnuts for your crew). And who knows, your crew might even end tip in our magazine.

Just fill out the short form below and drop it off at the Hanley Wood booth in the central lobby of the Orlando Convention Center, or fax 630.543.3112 or e-mail ryelton@hanleywood.com.

With your help that we can bring more practicality to our industry fast.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Hanley-Wood, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group