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I love your blog!

Alicja from Poland


I work in Human Resources for an engineering firm, and trust me having a PE is a very good thing. For one thing PE's earn more money, and they are much more sought after when you are hiring. Good luck to him!


I drop in to you almost every day. Very much I like your photographs, you have wonderful family. My English isn't good- sorry.


Best Regards
Alicja from Poland


I'm inviting to me :)




That is the most hysterical thing I ever heard. I guess they have to be prepared for ANYTHING. :-) Good Luck to him.


I have to say I work with some people that would follow that list.


Hilarious! Engineers are a breed of their own, I guess. Good luck to Josh :)

Our son is a chemical engineer and he wrote the test a year or two ago and I think he's really proud to be able to put that "P. Eng" behind his name - and sign off on his own projects. Needless to say - we are so, so proud of him! We know how hard he had to work during university, those 5 years and then for the exam. He's one of several partners in a company now - an opportunity that came partly as a result of having those letters.

Have fun celebrating after he passes!!


hilarious. Good luck Josh.


I just hope you'll be going with Josh to the test so that you can be his helpmate. You know, in case he has to park two blocks from the exam site. Because, really, with the light, comfortable sweater he'll be wearing, he might get overheated lugging his wire coat hanger, seat cushion, and unobtrusive, quiet snacks to the exam site. So he'll need you to pick up the slack with the loose slippers and ear plugs. I mean, really, didn't this come up in your wedding vows?!?

Amanda Hensley

My husband is also working to get his PE, although he is still in the 5 yr apprenticeship phase. Good luck to Josh Downs!

cori barney

I laughed and Laughed! Did an engineer write the book? They think of EVERYTHING don't they?

Helen Tilbury

LOL!!! What are they like???!!!


a couple of summers ago, we took a family vacation and my sister-in-law was studying for this exam...they don't make that stuff up. my sibling and I had many a great laughs over beer, the bonfire and that book! It is amazing to think that an engineer can get out of bed and dress themselves with the stuff that's on that list!
Good luck to Josh and the Beavers!


Good luck to Josh. It does make me Josh that annal? Love your blog.


LOL, oh..WOW!! Good luck Josh!

glee stormont

Wait, What?! (I got that expression from MY kids.) This goes back to the portrait post, but i was afraid you wouldn't read it since i'm behind in reading your blog. You signed up for a Zumba class a few WEEKS ago!!! C'mon girl, spill, where is the post on that???? I just learned about zumba and am wanting to try it, how is it?? (though i do think i might have to agree w/ Ross on the shimmy thing, sorry!)

Melanie C.

Oh my gosh, Karen...thanks for the laugh this morning! Those lists are hilarious. Good luck to Josh and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


I'm not a PE but I am an ME. I totally love the list! But I would think most engineers would have already thought through most of those things (maybe not the star trek convention next door LOL!!!)


Good luck Josh! I, too, studied for the PE exam, but didn't take it...went into labor instead. Labor was not on the "preparation list".


Oooh, I took that test 16 years ago! (And I passed the first time!) Good Luck to Josh!


My favorite is "imagine someone stealing your calculator at lunch." With how many calculators and spare parts they tell you to take you would think that would be the last thing someone needed to steal. Although, maybe it would be taken by one of the "trekkies" at the Star Trek convention next door.


We have a Pro Eng in our house too. My Husband, Dave, started University just after our eldest was born and graduated just after our 3rd was born. He too worked on getting his 'professional' status and we were glad when it was all complete. It's like they join an elite group of Engineers becuase not many go on to get it and then not many keep it going, here in Australia they have to continue study/work etc to keep it, assuming its the same for you. Love the manual, Dave didn't have anything like that, and I hope Josh goes well with the exam and you have a Pro Eng soon ;)


Too funny! My husband is an engineer too and has his PE. I remember when he was studying for that test. I picked up a book to look at it and quickly put it back down. Like trying to read Chinese :) I always tease him and call him an enginerd ;)


Thank you Karren, I'm shamed with your words on my blog. Yes, my blog this is my artwork. I sometimes sell here: , but if you would like I will make something specially for you, from the pure sympathy for you :) It will be for me great pleasure :) Think about it. I am going to bed, because at us 10 pm :)

Goodnight, oh I'm sorry ;-) good day Karren




And they didn't tell him what colour underwear he should put on, how remiss of them ;-)
Hope he does well and can a)celebrate b)ask his boss for a raise c)sorry can't remember c...
Way too funny

teresa b

aawwwhhh Man.. do I know all about this exam.. and I'm not even an Engineer!! How about he has to take a class on your Anniversary to prep for the exam... and then when the exam finally comes around.. (being twice a year.. April and October in So Cal..) you finally close the deal on your house and have to move in the same weekend of the exam ( and his birthday)!!! My poor husband...still waiting for the results..

Good luck Josh Downs!!! oh oh oh Annnnddd!! you have to wait FOREVER to find out if he passes or not!! I hope he get's a thin envelope and not a thick one!!


That is hilarious! Goodluck on your test, Josh! I never took my PE exam and it was one of those things that I wished I did.


I was gonna say you sure he's not studying for professional boy scout? ha.

My dad is a Professional Engineer with a cool stamp and P.E. at the end of his name. He was NEVER out of a job (but he says that's because he's an Aggie...) He made great money while he worked and has an awesome retirement too (more than I make working!!!)

Good Luck to Josh Downs--it really is worth the money and effort!

Terri Porter

This sounds like my son preparing for his LSAT (law school admissions test). He thought he was prepared for anything and then, during the test, there was some construction going on next door that was making a horrible (and distracting) racket. Luckily, he focused and did very well and got into the school of his choice (#7 in the country), so I guess the distraction didn't hurt him too much. Best of luck to Josh on his test!

Vicki Aday

Oh my gosh, if I wasn't reading this at work right now, I would be rolling on the floor hysterically laughing. That is crazy! Thanks for the great chuckle.


Ha ha - thanks for the laugh! I love your blog. I am a PE, and I have to admit I did the milk crate bookshelf AND the dolley!!! It worked, though.... My husband was very happy that I passed and we didn't have to go through the studying part again.

A Facebook User

I have been stalking your blog for a while, but finally had to post: I worked with Michael Lindeburg for 11 years on that very book (several editions ago, of course)! I might even still be in the older acknowledgments (Jessica Whitney Holden?) if he still has the older ones in there... I always thought that list was too funny, and he means every word of it--he is a boy scout at heart--LOL! It's cute; he really wants "his students" to be prepared for every potential problem...


Is that for real...come on all MacGyver ever needed was a roll of duct tape, some bailing wire, a spare wooden match and maybe some chewed gum to get himself out of a fix.
Who ever thought that Engineers don't have a sense of humor obviously have not read that book.

Good luck Josh!


Awe. It is a good list to live by ;) My hubs and I are both civil engineers. I haven't taken my test, but the Hubs has... and trust me, you NEED to be prepared for it. Heaven forbid something happen to you that day where you couldn't take/finish it. UGH. There is a TON of studing for that darn thing! Endless hours upon hours. I guess it is a list that only an engineer can appreciate... heehee! We are both having another good laugh at the list though. Thanks for sharing. LOVE IT! :) AND BEST OF LUCK JOSH! Hope you have a special night planned after his test!

Michelle OKeefe

where can I get a copy of that book?

I want to see a photo of the guy doing all this/ wearing all of this stuff - especially the car keys on a string around the neck - going to the exam - oh and with the furnitrue dolly, too.

You have the best blog Karen !

Mary Ann

I just called my hubby in from the other room to read that to. He had to read the last little bit on his own though because my eyes were full of tears from laughing so hard.

Good luck on the test Josh Downs!


Good luck to Josh with his PE exam! My husband, A professional Engineer, who works as a Civil Engineer, took the exam about 2 1/2 years ago and I still remember the prep for that and how nerve racking the waiting was. And then how scared I was for him when the envelope arrived and how we literally jumped up and down in the kitchen when we both found the sentence on the letter that said, "Congratulations!"

Susan Helms

Will he get a pinky ring????? :)


ha ha...yes us engineers are fond of list making.

Good luck on the exam. Mine was not that tough but I took it 15 years ago so what do I remember!


LMAO!! My brother-in-lay is an engineer and this is just TOO funny!


Dear Karren please give me your e-mail address. It will be easier for us to talk. Also you can write to me:


DawnS funny! They forgot to include a roll of toilet paper (but maybe that's what the papertowels or tissues are for). My hubby is a twin and when people ask if he and his brother are anything alike my husband always says " brother is an engineer". Now I understand why he says that!

Hope you & your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

deAnne Wakefield

Is that how PE's get so anal?!? Do they teach them to be that way? Haha!

I love your blog entries, Karen! They always crack me up! When can you do our family photos, missy?!?


Just think, after he passes, he'll be prepared for anything life hands him!


I know the author of that book well (in fact, the author and I are the same person), and I know that he had a great time writing that section of advice. As comical as it all seems (now, in retrospect), every tidbit came from some unfortunate soul who, during the past 30 years, was victimized by the events of the day.

All in all, pretty funny stuff, even for me to read.

p.s. - People always ask, what is the wire coat hanger for? And, why "wire"? Well, have you ever tried to open your locked car from the outside with a plastic coat hanger?


...and that's why they make the BIG bucks!!!!

Great post!

Happy Thanksgiving from Grants Pass!!!

Ps. I loved the last few posts. Especially the Santa story! Classic!


Good luck to Josh! I work with an engineer who passed his PE the second time he took it. It's a hard test, but who but another engineer could write out all those crazy instructions?
Thanks to your photography class, his studying and work as an engineer is well documented.
Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family.


Omgosh - no wonder engineers have such a geeky reputation! LOL

Leanne Willey

Oh dear... I'm an Engineering Physics student and I'm starting to wonder what I've gotten myself in to. :P

Christy Bridwell



the list is definitely hilarious, and you typing all that to tell us about it is hilarious too. I love the blog, keep writing and taking beautiful pictures of your beautiful family.


Hi Karen,

We would like to extend our appreciation and support for Josh. While attempting to cram for exams like the 8 hour PE, examinees are very distracted. We also get thousands of questions from examinees preparing for the exams. Thus the list for the preparing for your exam section in PPI's ME PE Reference Manual was developed. Mr Lindeburg, the author wanted to include everything to help you pass your exam. It has helped many PE's and we hope will continue to do so for many years.

Please send me your shipping address so we can send a little gift that will help Josh with exam day and preparation. And you can tell him to thank you and your blog, as well as PPI, for the extra help and support.

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I am a chemical engineer and having a PE can make all the difference in getting a job or least where I live. I was also in your class at Memory Mania in November. I was so excited when I saw the note about it from Tammy. I couldn't wait to sign up. I have enjoyed playing with my camera so much more since the class. Plus, the pictures I take have improved so much! Thank you for making the trip down here. I am finally into the "creative zone" of my camera! Have a Merry Christmas!

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Some unseen fingers, like an idle breeze, are playing upon my heart the music of the ripples. Do you understand?

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