Register for St. Louis CAD Camp Now, Save on AU costs!

Alright, Gateway AUG members, and any other CAD Geeks in the area looking for some good training and networking:
Registration is open and courses are listed for the St. Louis AUGI CAD Camp!

And, as you can see, AUGI and Autodesk are working together to again offer the $150 discount to Autodesk University if you attend a CAD Camp.
While at CAD Camp this year, you will be given a card with a passcode on it to enter in when you register for AU.

So, who is going to be St. Louis's best drafter? Long-time Gateway AUG member, Mark Mosby took the honor last year and showed us all up! You'll notice other Gateway AUG members up there, too.

By the way, remember that AUGI members get to start registering for AU a week before the rest of the CAD world, so, remember your login details.

AND! AUGI and Autodesk are again working together to do a repeat of last year's special program... user groups who send at least three members to AU will get one free pass to give away. When you register for AU, put in "Gateway AUG" as your user group and send me an email letting me know you've done it, once I've sent off those three names to our contact, I will be given a special code and do an email drawing like we did last year.

Tim Roberts of KPFF Consulting
won the free conference pass last in last year's drawing, and Marianna Tripp and Mike Kindle won consolation prizes.

Please, members, look for my mailing sometime this fall, once I've gotten those three registrations confirmed. If you're not getting mail from me, add mstone@gatewayaug.com (alias for mstonegatewayaug@yahoo.com) to your 'safe list' or update your email address with me.

I hope to see many of you at CAD Camp and AU.


AU Courses / Design Tool / St. Louis CAD Camp

Looks like Joseph Wurcher has his blog up and is telling us what we've got in store course-wise for this year's AU. I'm particularly interested in the 13 Facilities Management classes and the 23 MEP design classes. Oh, if only I could attend them all. Looking back, you can see which courses had the highest rated speakers last year. Very cool. Thanks to Shaan Hurley for keeping us up to date. We've also got a peek at Autodesk Project Showroom from his site. Check out the sample project here. 'DWF-guy' Scott Sheppard now blogs over on 'It's Alive at the Labs!' For those who aren't familiar with the newish Autodesk Labs, it's a place for Autodesk's test projects to be played around with by... us! So, go take a peek at the newest geek-pleaser. Don't forget, there's also a discussion group for the labs, to chat over what you've seen. Oh, and a reminder to the St. Louis folks. Don't forget the upcoming CAD Camp on September 18th. We're also planning a user group meeting the evening beforehand, a joint session with GAUG and SLAMSUG (the local mechanical users group headed up by Mark Roberts, who previously served on the board of the Gateway AUG). Looks like the location will be the Orlando Gardens Banquet Center, not SLU as reported on the Autodesk website. Looks like the fee for the one day training is $149 for AUGI members and non-members $159 and students $89 (with valid student ID). You'll have five classes throughout the day, lunch is provided. I don't know about you, but, I need to get off my tushie and request some class fees the day off work (registration is NOT open yet, and classes are NOT posted yet, but, still, make your request now, so you are prepared).


Melanie Simpson

Alright, Scott and Robin have started a little Simpson's love and created their virtual Springfield selves (and Scott also did one for Shaan).

You can go to the Simpson's movie website and create your own.

And my DH says that his personal heroes are Homer Simpson and Al Bundy, so, of course, I've got to jump in on the action here.


Where have I been? Wandering, of course.

I just wanted to give a rundown of what I've been doing and what I will be doing in the near future so the curious faithful readers (yes, both of you) can have some insight.

It all started last fall. I was working on the Salary Survey, which takes up more than enough of my time anyway, when I had the opportunity to work for one of my personal heroes in writing a little for her book. This was intimidating. This was also A LOT of work. I didn't know that writing could be so hard. Deadlines and 'voice' and explanations of new topics that hadn't been covered before. It was a lot of work, but, it was well worth it and I'm so thankful for the experience. And, no, I won't get any royalties, so feel free to purchase this wonderful AutoCAD reference, without fear of lining my pockets. ;)

1. I had an action-packed week at AU with AUGI and the FM team
2. finished up the CAD/Design Salary Survey, which was published in the January/February 2007 issue of AUGIWorld Magazine as well as preparing additional documents with more information, for download from the survey channel
3. finished my part on the autocad and autocad lt 2008 bible
4. then I had my spring quarterly Gateway AUG meeting next, for which I was presenting both segments (AutoCAD 2008 features, as well as general CAD tips and tricks for any version)
5. and started planning the following meeting for the summer quarter with Rudy and Tomislav, which was about BIM
6. sat on another industry advisory board meeting to discuss the state and needs of the local design community
7. wrote an AUGI HotNews article: TIPniques: Dashboard Customization
8. started doing a 'Technical Edit' on the 2008 version of the 'Applying AutoCAD' text. I also ended up editing and writing exam questions to match, I finished up my work in this book very recently.
9.10. prepared for and attended our company's annual Planning, Design and Educational conference with corporate, which is always two days just PACKED full of learning and new appreciation for the expertise of my coworkers, and a chance to connect with those from other facilities and hear about their triumphs and frustrations. Not only was I an attendee, but, I also handled all of the a/v needs (one cool part was that I could control the lighting in the room with a remote control... if someone started to ramble before a break, I'd turn the lights back on as a big hint to wrap it up. ;) )
11. lost a family member very close to me. :-(
12. wrote an AUGI HotNews article: TIPniques: Using Referenced Files
13. was mentioned in CADalyst magazine by my new friend, Kenneth Wong.
14.15. finally ordered and installed FMDesktop for a pilot project. it's an attempt to gain more widespread support by showing off the software. I have wanted to do some CAFM at my Facility for awhile now, obviously, and took every FMDesktop class at AU last year and learned from the BEST (not only the best, but, also the creator, Bob, whom I had met at previous AU's when he was still hawking his wares on the exhibit hall floor with the rest of the 3rd party software guys ;) ).
16. ordered and installed AutoCAD Architecture to assist in space preparation (ie, prevent me from having to polyline every single area. SpaceAutoGenerate works a little differently in AutoCAD Architecture 2008 than it did back in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007. I'll try to make a post outlining the new steps (it's controlled via the properties palette now, rather than a dialog). Thanks to Jimmy for pointing me in the right direction.
17. bought a house
18. started working with a 'Women in Design' initiative with a nearby college. their administration is attempting to recruit more talented young women for their design curriculum. We've just been emailing so far, but, will have our first sit-down planning session this Friday. I'm very excited about meeting more talented local ladies in various disciplines, and I'm thrilled to see the instructors taking initiative on this. I've asked for a writeup to give an outline/details/goals, etc to share here, I'll post it as soon as I receive something.
19. began planning the fall quarterly meeting of the Gateway Autodesk User Group. It will be a joint meeting with SLAMSUG the evening before the St. Louis AUGI CAD Camp. Clear your calendars and be ready to come and learn and have fun at both events!
20. moved from my role as Forums Co-Manager of the AutoCAD Community, to the duty of Community Chair.
21. wrote an AUGI HotNews article: TIPniques: AutoCAD 2008 Odds and Ends
22. had my blazer in the garage because some dingbat t-boned us
23. had my blazer in the garage again because of... what the heck is dex-cool anyway?
24. started talks with corporate about the future of BIM deliverables (who cares about architectural models? I'm only interested if we've got MEPFP's to go inside of them), and we've got some meetings coming up about it. It's nice to not be the only one paying attention to this and to hear other people finally starting to talk about it. (You might remember me mentioning two past Planning and Educational conferences where I've mentioned it in my own presentations.)


So, yep, the Wanderer is wandering again. It seems like just yesterday, but, I know it was really a few years ago, that I posted to you that I was in the middle of, yet another, move.
We're fleeing (sort of) the bright lights of the city and the conveniences inherent therein to the cozier feel of the suburbs.
The much longer commute will stink to high heavens, without a doubt, but, our little angel will be starting school in 2008, and we want to make sure he's got closer to the best of what this region has to offer in public schools.

So, I'm busy packing up now. We've ordered most of the necessities and will be moving in a couple of week's time.

25. Oh, and as if it weren't enough to be moving houses, my office will also be moving.
So.. yeah, NOT a big deal... for the rest of the Engineering dept. Offices all under 150 sq ft.
Desks, computers, file cabinets.

Now, me, on the other hand. My office space is one thing. BUT, I also have a blueprint room, an O&M manual room and a copy room that need to fit in somewhere. ~sigh~ So... 2,340sq ft of stuff for me to move... and I don't think we'll be able to put it on the same floor that we'll be moving to. I'm already 3 floors up from my copy/blueprint rooms, and it's a pain... if I have to do that in a larger, busier building than the teeny, quiet one we're in now? Lord, help me!
So, we'll be vacating our current spaces by the end of the year. ~taking a deep breath~ eep.

We're also planning on a little jaunt across the puddle to visit family and friends in England and Ireland not long after that. My Mom's big 5-0 this year demands a decent celebration, too. ;) Next thing I know it will be time to run the Annual Salary Survey again.

Anywho, wish me luck!

Look forward to future postings from me on the Women in Design Interview Series I've been conducting. I've got a Civil Engineer in the wings and I'm not afraid to introduce her! And I hope to see you locals at upcoming meetings of GAUG.


Video: Autodesk University 2006

I know it's well past, but, I finally got around to throwing together a little video from AU2006. Skip over the first third if you don't want to see our side trip to the Grand Canyon. ;)

And, no, there is no soundtrack on this bad boy. I don't have much by ways of a music library on this computer yet. Enjoy!