If You Want To Become A Better Writer, First Become A Better Listener

Six years ago, when I started Opinionbypen, I had a goal to become a better writer. Somehow I assumed that the constant practice provided by weekly posts would miraculously improve my writing. That’s certainly not the first thing I’ve ever been wrong about. Think...

Dessert Selection, A Description of One Engineer’s Decision Process

My wife constantly tells me that nobody but an engineer thinks the way I do. I say she’s exaggerating but in an attempt to keep peace in the family I’ve agreed to a test. I'll write about an ordinary decision process and leave it up to my readers. The Decision In Fort...

An AI Assistant Comparison, Alexa, Google and Folgers?

Once they hit the market, it was a given that sooner or later I would acquire one of the AI assistants on the market. The only thing holding me back was bandwidth and cost. When Google dropped the price on their mini and Amazon dropped the price on their Dot. I was...

From the Doghouse

A look at dogs having fun

Poser Gallery

My gallery of pictures I’ve created in Poser

My Stories

Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories I’ve written

Dear Engineer Who Ignores  My Words 

Apparently I made a number of people unhappy with my post on why engineers are ignoring you. As an occasional contributor to this blog, Zee demanded equal time on this subject. Since one of my goals for this blog is to get people to think, allowing a view from the...

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Random Posts

  • The Importance Of Good Grammar, A Mathematic LookThe Importance Of Good Grammar, A Mathematic Look
    Every once in a while I have to let my inner engineer interact with the real world. I apologize to you now but this post is the result of one of those times. About a year ago I wrote a post bemoaning the confusing rules of writing. It’s my nature to look at a system […]
  • What To Buy for the Engineer in Your Life?What To Buy for the Engineer in Your Life?
    Every year around this time my wife agonizes on what to get me for Christmas. This year I decided to help her by writing what to buy for the engineer in your life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hard to shop for but my wife and I live in two different worlds. Her world […]
  • Making Decisions Based On Website DataMaking Decisions Based On Website Data
    If there’s an engineer in your life, you know how utterly fascinated we are by data. We use data to make purchases, to troubleshoot and to make important decisions. In How to Argue with an Engineer, I told you how engineers use data to support our arguments. It should come as no surprise to you that […]

Random Posts

  • Married To An Engineer, A Matter of ConventionMarried To An Engineer, A Matter of Convention
    My wife always groans when we’re watching a movie and the climatic point is the hero trying to defuse a bomb. She knows that in about 2.3 microseconds I’m going to make some derogatory comment about bombers always using the same wiring convention. As I always explain to her, unless you’re wiring them for the […]
  • Risk Reward Analysis And How to Influence Your Engineer’s DecisionRisk Reward Analysis And How to Influence Your Engineer’s Decision
    Every decision an engineer makes goes through a risk reward analysis, each and every one. It’s not a complicated process, it doesn’t involve calculus but it’s not always obvious. Let me give you an example. Recently my two year old Samsung dryer decided to stop working. Power would come on but the drum wasn’t turning. […]
  • Data Mining For Personality CluesData Mining For Personality Clues
    I find understanding people every bit as difficult as trying to crack an encrypted file. I spend a lot more time at trying to understand people because I believe communication requires mutual understanding. While taking Udacity’s Cryptography course I learned about the use of side channels to help in decrypting messages. A side channel was […]

Random Posts

  • I’m Stuck But I Have A Bold And Cunning PlanI’m Stuck But I Have A Bold And Cunning Plan
    Have you ever started something but try as you might you can’t finish it? It doesn’t matter if it’s a book that you hope will get better, a movie that always puts you to sleep or the first blog post of a new year, we all been in that position. Come to think of it, […]
  • Cloud Encryption, Prudent or Paranoia?Cloud Encryption, Prudent or Paranoia?
    On a typical day I’ll use Dropbox three or four times. It provides an almost seamless method of sharing files between my smartphone, either of my tablets (iPad and Android) and my PC. I also use Dropbox to share pictures and files with my Wife and Mother-in-law. As far as a cloud application goes, it […]
  • Married To An Engineer – Part 2Married To An Engineer – Part 2
    It’s happened again this year, once again I’ve forgotten my anniversary. Every year that it happens, I swear it won’t happen again. I’ve set alarms on watches, PDAs and smartphones. I went so far as to enlist my Mother-In-Law’s help but every once in a while all those mechanisms fail simultaneously and I’m left red […]


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From the Doghouse -It’s all about them

A look at dogs having fun!

Short Stories

With posts like these, ever wonder what kind of fiction I would write?

Random Posts

  • Tis The Season For 3D PrintingTis The Season For 3D Printing
    June 2014, that’s the date I got my UP! Mini printer and wrote my first post on 3D printing. That was my introduction to 3D printers and while I intend to get another, I wanted to first review my reasons for getting that initial printer.  I tend to review my goals and my achievements for all …
  • A Question About Poor Customer ServiceA Question About Poor Customer Service
    I often try to get you to comment on my blogs but today is a little different. I’m going to describe an issue I had with customer service about a year ago and I really want your opinion. Am I being petty? What have you done in a similar situation? …
  • First ImpressionsFirst Impressions
    When something irritates me, I tend to remember it a long time. Many, many years ago I applied for a summer job at Six Flags Over Texas. After filling out the resume and waiting for the interview I was told that they would not even interview me until I cut …
  • What Idiot Designed This? In Defense Of EngineersWhat Idiot Designed This? In Defense Of Engineers
    Ever try to fix something and ask yourself, “what idiot designed this?” It’s certainly happened to me often enough. Yeah, a few of those times it was one of my own designs but we’re not going to discuss those today. Before I get too far into this post let me …
  • School Funding, Some Skin in the GameSchool Funding, Some Skin in the Game
    Saturdays are often lively at my local feed store. People go to buy feed but they also enjoy sharing their opinions on politics, drought, school funding and other elements of life in Texas. It would be unfair to describe me as out of my element in a North Texas feed …

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