“OMG I became THAT Person”: The quirkiness of Engineers

This blog started when I became the person I once laughed at and swore I’d never be. Before getting into that, realize that this blog is for us engineers as well as others who see the quirkiness of engineers. “The Big Bang Theory” capitalizes on this form of humor so it is somewhat trendy.

I became THAT person this weekend when I was viewing the many thermocouples I had placed throughout my vehicle, trying to see how to cool it better for the summer. Suddenly I was laughing at myself for the nerdiness of it all. At one time, I went over to a friend’s house that was a fellow engineer. I saw a thermocouple wire protruding from his freezer to a hand-held meter on top of the refrigerator.

At the time I thought, “You’d never catch me doing that.”

Now here I am being THAT person.

Of course we all end up doing things later in life we swore that we’d never do when we were younger. I believe all of this starts when we have our first child and catch ourselves saying that phrase which our parents used in our youth. We swore we’d never say it from that time on.

I recently had seen a cartoon that brought this idea forward even further. Although I thought I had saved the cartoon, I searched in vain and couldn’t find it. I wanted so badly to share it with this blog text. The cartoon was simple, an old man in plaid shorts and dress socks was looking at a woman as he was standing at the front door about to leave.

Editor’s note: I found the card! That guy looks like me.

(Image courtesy of

(Image courtesy of

The woman was pointing a pistol at the old man and saying, “Remember when you said if I ever saw you dressed like that I was to shoot you?”

I have often repeated this to my children that when I start to slip mentally into THAT person, it’s over for dad. Take me out behind the barn and, well, let’s just say your dad isn’t the dad you once knew. Please have sympathy. This is why I hike in cougar country without a weapon. Suffice it to say I’d rather leave mother earth dancing with ‘super kitty’ than in an old folks’ home wearing ‘Depends’ with a bunch of people caring for me who really don’t care about me. Besides, a ‘super kitty’ video might finally get me that viral YouTube ranking none of my other efforts seem to bring.

Back to my thermal couples and this weekend. Here I am driving down one of the most scenic routes in Colorado and totally enthralled in my temperature readings. I was oblivious to the scenic canyons, rushing stream, and new leaves that told the story of Springtime as I descended elevation and the leaves became denser from the winter twigs still hanging on higher up. I was also oblivious of the potential weekend peril of bike riders who demand I share the road with my vehicle for which I pay road taxes; yet they didn’t pay any road tax for their slower, obtrusive vehicle. Also, we get straddlers at all of the trail heads in Colorado as there is never enough parking for their vehicles so they straddle the line and are parked halfway into the road. Far be it for them to park three hundred more feet up the road where it’s wider. After all, they came to hike; however, why have to walk another three hundred feet to their car? I fail to see the logic.

So here I am, risking a dangerous collision with a biker or hiker while ignoring the scenic beauty of Colorado, all so I can watch temperature gauges that aren’t moving. Was I in awe of what I saw? Absolutely as some of the readings were downright scary. I was so much in awe that I took photos and videos as well. Seriously, I have a life yet on this day, telling me to get one was appropriate.

So, the moral of the story is, I became THAT person beyond my prior desires not to. I went way beyond nerdy to a point of obsession.

In the words of the immortal Al Bundy, “Somebody please shoot me.”

Comments welcome, especially if you know someone who tucks their fore-fingers into their waistband like Al Bundy did. Don’t become THAT person.

5 comments on ““OMG I became THAT Person”: The quirkiness of Engineers

  1. Victor Lorenzo
    May 24, 2017

    Welcome to the Club!!!!!!!  LOL

    …and enjoy “thermocoupling”. ;D

  2. David Ashton
    May 24, 2017

    Scott…to 99% of the population you may be nerdy putting thermocouples in your vehicle, but to the other 1% (most of whom hang out here) you're perfectly normal.  And we are the only ones who matter!  I've pretty much always been this way, but more so as I get older: the only opinions that matter are from those you admire and respect.  If one of them castigates you for putting thermocouples in your vehicle, then maybe think about it, but ignore the rest.  Or, as my wife puts it, “Why do you have to get old to say what you want to say?” (Or do what you want to do?)

  3. Effective-Technical-Writing dot com
    June 27, 2017

    Sticking pinky in the corner of my mouth, “I'm the boss, need the info.”


    This experiment was very enlightening……especially with the results my son repeated in Arizona on a hot, 120 degree day.  Houston, we have a problem.

  4. Effective-Technical-Writing dot com
    June 27, 2017

    It's a club of the curious for sure.  Nowadays meters and cameras are so cheap, one can easily be distracted from real work…..and perhaps stumble across that unaddressed market however I doubt it.

    As a patent researcher, I often hear, “I've never seen one”.    And then I present a dozen within five minutes.  

  5. UdyRegan
    October 11, 2018

    We all have our quirks man! Different strokes for different folks after all! We are all born with different levels of expertise in different areas and hey, if knowing the temperature and cooling down your semiconductors and whatever other components you have lying around the house rocks your socks, don't knock it til you tried it. You just might become a convert when you see the results for it!

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