As far as song titles go, you can't get much more generic than "We Belong Together." In fact, a quick search of www.allmusic.com reveals at least 50 recording artists who have released a song with that title, and I'd bet almost all of those are separate compositions. Personally, I prefer Rickie Lee Jones' version, but if you take the title and apply a typical late-winter head cold, then you get where we're headed this month: the new ES Blog at http://blog.esmagazine.com.

IT'S PART WATER COOLER AND PART FREE SEMINAR

So some of you may ask, what's a blog? The term is short for "Web blog." It's an online journal, usually involving regular and fairly brief entries. Individuals use them for everything from bad poetry to political rants and everything in between. You'll be happy to know that we plan to steer clear of both poetry and politics, unless we come up with a great haiku about chiller plants (Hmm ...).

We do plan to mix a couple of regular blog-only departments with occasional entries from some of our regular contributors. For example, Howard McKew, P.E. is launching a regular series there about working within the LEED® process. He'll take advantage of the medium by providing some downloadable spreadsheets, matrices, etc., along with his posts, so you can apply them as tools in your own work. In the name of conservation, we're recycling the "Sustainable & Attainable" name of the previous column by Kevin Dickens, P.E., who might also drop by the blog with some unrelated thoughts of his own from time to time.

More columnists, advisors, and engineers from around the industry may do likewise. A blog is perfect for a quick opinion or anecdote that doesn't warrant a full column. The neat thing about the blog is that is allows room for reader comments about a particular entry. Thus, after an initial 20-second registration process, you can provide your feedback instantly, and authors or readers can respond to your comments, and so on. You can see how a blog lends itself to exchanging ideas - or more dynamically, the evolution of a given idea - in a much more fluid way than a print magazine or even a regular website can.

ENGINEER SNAPSHOTS

Along those lines, the ES blog is also a natural place for our relatively new "Engineer Snapshot" feature, which will migrate over from our traditional website. To further emphasize the interactive possibilities, I want to open up the quick, semi-casual Q&A to all of our readers. It's ten questions, mixing professional opinions and experiences with a "day in the life" glimpse of your daily routine:

  • So, what was for lunch?

  • When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • What's playing in your car stereo?

  • What's the most memorable piece of engineering advice you ever received?

  • What habit could the design and/or facility maintenance community change or adopt right now that would make a real difference in the final product?

  • Project or assignment you were particularly proud of, and why?

  • The most important development in HVAC over the last ten years?

  • The most important development in HVAC over the next ten years?

  • You can have one dinner with any four people, living or dead. Whom do you invite?

  • Parting tips for a new engineer?

Here's your official invitation to participate in this monthly feature. Consider your answers to the above questions; replies have ranged from a few words to a paragraph. E-mail them to me at beverlyr@bnpmedia.com, along with a brief professional bio, and a photo if you like.

Swing by and take a look when you have a second. We'll add elements as it goes on, but the ES Blog will provide a variety of interesting opinions and headlines, updated several times a month.

CLARIFICATION AND ANTICIPATION

Last month, I had Tim Coyle's metering insights on (half of) my mind and typed "Current Affairs" in reference to Lindsay Audin's excellent "think twice before that retrofit" warning in his column, which is of course titled "Energy Wiz."

One other blog note: look for reports from our first-ever ES Building Automation Conference on March 8-9, and more in the April print issue. Remaining spots are disappearing as of press time, and it's shaping up to be a stellar event. Hope to see you there.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

APRIL 2006

For more events and details, visit ESOnline at www.esmagazine.com.

10-12
Total Facility Management Show
Group C Comunications
Chicago.
For info, visit www.tfjshow.com.

24-27
NFPA Life Safety Code® Essentials Seminar

National Fire Protection Association
Atlantic City, NJ.
For info, call 1-800-344-3555.