A little over 30 years ago I made a mistake. At the time I was a busy undergraduate student in mechanical engineering in California. Some students put together an official weekend trip for ME students to the Hoover Dam that included a special tour of the dam geared towards engineers and engineering students. I remember having tons of homework to do and decided not to go on the weekend trip. That was a mistake and I have regretted it ever since.
One outcome of that mistake is that I have rarely, if ever, missed another chance to go on a technical tour. Another outcome is that I have been trying to fit in a Hoover Dam visit ever since. I have been to or through Las Vegas (about 45 minutes from Hoover Dam) probably 30 times since then. But I could never find that half-day I needed to visit the dam with the other priorities I was trying to balance (usually involving my family that included four children). Until a couple of weeks ago.
Another twist for me involves the professor who taught me Statics (the study of stationary structures like dams). I was incredibly fortunate to take a Statics class when I was 19 years old from Howard Eberhart. He was an outstanding teacher and memorable character. Professor Eberhart towered over most of us students at 6' 4" (1.93 m) in height. I will never forget his steely blue eyes, bald head, and deep, gravelly voice proclaiming (for the hundredth time), "It is all...simple...statics!".