By Andy Sciarabba, P.E.
In late 2013, Mark Zweig asked me to write a few “fresh, fun, and different” articles for the then titled CE News magazine and in February 2014 the Diversions column was born. Nothing technical, just off-the-cuff writing with some distant, hopefully jocular, connection to engineering. So, I combined my love of coffee with my overly sarcastic humor and published my first article: Where Have Your Beans Been? (http://www.cenews.com/magazine-article-cenews.com-1-2014-where_have_your_beans_been_-9614.html).
I was initially drawn to CE News because it kept its articles short, relevant, and just technical enough to keep me interested. You see, I tend to read really fast, and I have a vertically challenged attention span. Even the name of the magazine was “pint-sized.” I loved it!
Maybe you have been a fan of the magazine for as long as I have, and hopefully you have read a few of my articles. Maybe this is your first. Maybe your last. Either way, I hope my musings have provided you with (or will bring you) a bit of a respite. A little break from the day-to-day routine — a chortle or an embarrassingly gut-wrenching laugh. I always strive for the latter, and if I have even remotely succeeded, I apologize if you were in an overly public place.
Get to the point man! Okay…
I have enjoyed my many hours in local bistros, surrounded by like-minded folk, working, writing, surfing, and downing gallons of coffee, but it’s time to put away the pencil (more like, unplug the laptop) and move on to other endeavors.
Although me and the Diversions column will fade off into the sunset (or, more appropriately, stroll away on some back-country lake road, trail, or track), my writing will continue in the form of a book. A book about my five-year journey to hike around the 11 Finger Lakes of Central New York. I have an outline, lots of ideas (hopefully some good ones), and, loosely, a title — “Eleven by Fifty.” With any luck I’ll have the book published by early 2020. Until then, you can get a snippet of the beginning of my journey by reading my May 2015 article, Restoring Faith (see link below).
Having readers like you who appreciate creative writing just as much as (if not more than) the technical stuff has kept me motivated over the years. Sitting down to write these articles has truly been my diversion.
So, my fellow Engineericans, after five years and 29 articles, I leave you with some of my favorite articles. My Greatest Hits. My Best-of’s. My very own Top 10 List.
Okay, if you are paying attention there are really 13 — a baker’s dozen, if you will. And I hope you will!
Feb. 17, 2014 — A Beautiful Mind? (www.cenews.com/article/9638/a-beautiful-mind)
July 14, 2014 — Request For Proposal (www.cenews.com/article/9829/diversions-request-for-proposal)
Aug. 28, 2014 — Siserily Cool and Asom (http://cenews.com/article/9882/diversions-siserily-cool-asom)
Jan. 15, 2015 — Find Your Center (http://cenews.com/article/9978/diversions-find-your-center)
March 17, 2015 — Your Server Won’t Be With You Shortly (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-your-server-wont-be-with-you-shortly)
May 7, 2015 — Restoring Faith (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-restoring-faith)
Sept. 14, 2015 — Never Let Em See You Sweat (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-never-let-em-see-you-sweat)
May 2, 2016 — The Road Less Traveled (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-the-road-less-traveled)
Nov. 1, 2016 — What I Drink (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-what-i-drink)
May 10, 2017 — Better, Smarter, Faster (http://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-better-smarter-faster)
Oct. 3, 2017 — Nothing Personal, Just Business (https://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-nothing-personal-just-business)
May 1, 2018 — Plant-Based Life Form (https://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/diversions-plant-based-life-form)
Oct. 1, 2018 — Identity Crisis (https://dev-csmagazine.pantheonsite.io/article/identity-crisis)
Andy Sciarabba, P.E., is a principal with T.G. Miller, P.C., Engineers and Surveyors in Ithaca, N.Y. T.G. Miller, P.C. (www.tgmillerpc.com) is a consulting civil engineering and surveying firm that serves municipal, commercial, institutional, and private clients throughout central New York. He would like to know how you like “Diversions;” Please send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.