AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast

Season 3 Recap

February 28, 2023 AASHTO resource Season 3 Episode 42
Season 3 Recap
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
More Info
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
Season 3 Recap
Feb 28, 2023 Season 3 Episode 42
AASHTO resource

In our last episode this season, we take a look back over some of our favorite moments and share a little bit about what to expect in season 4. Will it include more Shakespeare references? Listen to find out!  Season 4 starts in May 2023. Email podcast@aashtoresource.org to let us know where you listen from and to suggest a topic for an upcoming episode.

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Show Notes Transcript

In our last episode this season, we take a look back over some of our favorite moments and share a little bit about what to expect in season 4. Will it include more Shakespeare references? Listen to find out!  Season 4 starts in May 2023. Email podcast@aashtoresource.org to let us know where you listen from and to suggest a topic for an upcoming episode.

Related information:


AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript

Season 3, Episode 42: Season 3 Recap

Recorded: February 9, 2023

Released: February 28, 2023 

Hosts: Brian Jonson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager; Kim Swanson, Communications Manager, AASHTO re:source 

Note: Please reference AASHTO re:source and AASHTO Accreditation Program policies and procedures online for official guidance on this, and other topics. 

Transcription is auto-generated. 

[Theme music fades in.] 

00:00:02 ANNOUNCER: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A. We're taking time to discuss construction materials, testing, and inspection with people in the know from exploring testing problems and solutions to laboratory best practices and quality management, we're covering topics important to you. Now here our host, Brian Johnson.

00:00:21 BRIAN: Welcome AASHTO resource Q&A. I'm Brian Johnson. 

00:00:25 KIM: And I'm Kim Swanson and we have finished up season three of the podcast. How are you feeling about that, Brian? 

00:00:34 BRIAN: I feel great about it. I continue to love doing the podcast. I'm learning more about how to do this and about myself in the process. I'd like to talk a little bit about that, if I may. 

00:00:46 KIM: All right. Share your thoughts. 

00:00:47 BRIAN: So, one thing you may have noticed is I never know how to come into the episode, the inflection of my name is always weird when I hear it. So, I could say I'm Brian Johnson or I'm Brian Johnson or I'm Brian Johnson?, I don't usually ask a question about it because I know who I am, but it never seems right to me anytime I say it and I always feel weird, so I that's something in the in the offseason that I'll be thinking about while we prepare for the next season. 

00:01:15 KIM: I have noticed that you, you come in hot when, uh, when you start talking again, which I think is funny as I'm editing. 

00:01:23 BRIAN: Yeah, it's true. I do come in hot. 

00:01:24 KIM: Yeah, you do. 

00:01:25 BRIAN: So, like, I'll get excited about something and I and my voice has a lot of energy and volume in the beginning. And then it just tapers off. And eventually by the end of the episode, I'm having a normal conversation. But it takes a little time to get there. 

00:01:41 KIM: You also whisper sometimes, so that's always fun for the editing process as well, where I'm like, are you talking? But I know I'm going to try to get better at not stacking the questions I ask. I feel like I repeat my questions a lot. Now the listeners may not know this because. I edit out the horrible ways that I asked the question, so I'm going to try to make my job easier and ask good questions the first time. So that's what I'm going to try to work on. On the offseason, as you put it. Another thing that I noticed is we have been getting better at times. Someone say consistently, but we've been getting better about planning our recordings. And actually writing down questions and planning out who's going to ask this, who's going to ask that? We tried that recently. And I think the outcome was excellent. So if you have listened to the Hawaii dot interview with Ed Sniffin on resilience, that is a good example of 1 where we did. 

00:02:44 BRIAN: We had plenty of time to think about. What we wanted to ask. And we traded off questions so that it wasn't just like a response to whatever the guest said, and it was structured in a way so that we could have a good, nice. Tight conversation and not veer off in too many tangents. That being said, it's funny I'm saying it that way because like. I'm giving you a tangent to talk about tangent. The tangents are sometimes where the good stuff lives, so like there are times where the tangent is the best part of the episode, right? So I don't want to completely discount that. 

00:03:22 KIM: The tangents I have started to incorporate and you'll probably see more in future seasons. We started from the cutting room floor episodes. And so we have started sharing some of the tangents that were perhaps topic adjacent to let the main point of the the topic. 

00:03:37 BRIAN: That's gone. 

00:03:39 KIM: The topic adjacent topics so. I think we will be continuing that trend because I, you know, as far as a content point of view. I think there's good stuff in those tangents. I think you're right. So listeners can expect more Of that. What was Your favorite episode of the season three? 

00:03:54 BRIAN: Well, I just talked about the one with the whole idea team and I think that's my favorite. I had been looking forward to that conversation for quite a while. Well, I read an article about what Hawaii dot was doing to plan for more resilient transportation system or network in Hawaii, and I was so captivated by their efforts and what they were thinking about and the kind of resources. They offered to people for free just on the website where they can find all this information. We have links to it on our website. Under that episode. I was so interested that I just really wanted to learn more. I mean, I just genuinely had questions and interest in it and it made it really exciting and fun for me as a person who was conducting the interview that I just really enjoyed it and and Ed couldn't have been a better guest, just fantastic communicator, really engaging. 

00:04:53 BRIAN: And I think the outcome. And of course, Kim did a great job with it as well. I don't want to miss out on saying that, not just from editing. But as a Co host and helping put it together, I can't say enough good things, but I think that's our best. Work to date and if you haven't heard it, I would encourage you. To go back and listen. 

00:05:11 KIM: To that one, yeah, that is season three episode 39, and that was released on February 7th. 

00:05:17 BRIAN: Now, how about you? I don't want to hog all the answers. What was your favorite episode this season? 

00:05:23 KIM: I really also like the Hawaii DOT, but I think I really liked the giving. I really enjoy putting that together. 'm hearing from people and the favorite things episode. I think the compilation kind of ones are some of my favorite episodes. And I will say though, so far our most popular episode of season three. Now this information again is kind of done in February and this season started in May. So like some episodes had a lot longer to get more downloads and whatnot. But as of right now, our most popular episode in season three with season three episode 11 updates to the 42nd edition of the actual material standards. So that is their most popular episode for season 3. Surprise me, I didn't think that was going to. Be it, but as of now. 

00:06:11 BRIAN: That does surprise me as well. 

00:06:13 KIM: Yes, but that is seven months old, right? So it has had seven months to get that many downloads, but then the next popular. One is one that I think might be on my top five of my favorite ones this season is about the ultra-high performance concrete in the future of bridge construction. So that one. I thought was really great. As well. And that's our second most popular one so far of season 3. 

00:06:36 BRIAN: That was another one I would rank highly with the YDOT one so. 

00:06:41 BRIAN: Dr. Atorod Azizinamini from Florida International University, was another just fantastic guest, able to articulate all of the issues that come up and why they do what they do and why it's important and why you should care about it. That that kind. Of stuff. I think some people think is a lot easier to do. Than it is .But to concisely layout those things in an interview, granted, it's a long form interview, so we have plenty of time to to get that stuff out there and to edit it. I thought he was just a great guest and the topic is very interesting, so if you haven't heard that one, check it out. 

00:07:21 KIM: Other ones that I've really liked this season are the for the PSP insights where we talk about some of the data that John Mulsky and his team are seeing when he's analyzing the results of the most recent proficiency. Sample rounds, so I've enjoyed those and learned learned a lot about. Those in one episode I learned about your horrible. Driving skills as well, so I thought that was. That was pretty interesting. 

00:07:44 BRIAN: You know, it's funny you should mention that because every day when I drive home and I come to that stop sign, I think about that conversation. And I have gotten better about my driving in that in that area. And I do think that it really applies to that. One stop sign because I'm I'm just vexed by the positioning of everything in that intersection. But yeah, you know, having that discussion really helped me think about it. And and make better decisions. I I was. Just thinking about that the other day actually like when you articulate and discuss things that you're thinking about or or you type things that you're thinking about, it really helps you make sense. Of whatever that issue is. So and this was in the context of venting about things. So if you're not familiar with venting is just complaining. It's essentially it's a nice way to say you're complaining about something or someone or some situation, but there is a value to venting. 

00:08:47 BRIAN: Because of the reasons that I just stated getting it out there it like expunges it from. Your thoughts, like the the worry changes to like something that you've gotten out of your system. And then if you're talking to somebody, they can also help you understand. It makes sense of whatever that issue is. So like if you have a good sounding board and you're worried about something, the best thing to do is use that sounding board so that you can make sense of it. How's this for a tangent? 

00:09:18 KIM: That is a good tangent. 

00:09:18 BRIAN: Pretty far off. 

00:09:19 KIM: Yeah, it is. I wouldn't even say this is topic adjacent. But I'll let you go with. 

00:09:24 BRIAN: It's on it topic unrelated it is like. 

00:09:25 KIM: Let you go let you go with it. 

00:09:28 BRIAN: It's something I enjoy about the podcast, actually, because like there, there are times like, especially the FAQ episodes. My favorite ones are when we're talking about things that are current challenges or current questions that we're dealing with, and I may have had some thoughts. But when I actually say them out loud, then I feel a little better about it, you know, and you can kind of help me. Makes sense of it and and if listeners hear something that doesn't make sense to them, they can let me know about it. That still hasn't happened yet. But I don't think it's because they agree with what I'm saying. I think it's just because they haven't sent me an e-mail about it or called me about it. 

00:10:04 KIM: Yeah, I will say sometimes when you are in that venting mode and the FAQ episode sometimes that it that content doesn't make it to the listener into the final episode as well. So yeah, that's. 

00:10:14 BRIAN: I've noticed that I've noticed that there are things that you cut that I am like, oh, I'm just kind of hoping that would be in there. But more often than not. It goes the other way where I'm like, I'm sure she's going to. Cut this and then I and then I. I listen to it. Later I'm like. She left it in there. I can't believe she left it in there, but. Yes, in the in. 

00:10:33 KIM: The episode that I actually I enjoyed this part in cutting room floor episode season three episode 40, so a recent episode questions from a dot you actually talked about that. With the guests about how I have left things in and you get mad at me about it. And that just makes me laugh. Because I'm editing it just so you know. Because there's actually been a quite a few times this season in particular that I haven't been able to participate in the recording of the episode. So I'm hearing it for the first time as I'm editing it, so I enjoy some of those asides that you have. And yeah, I do purposely leave some things in just for my pure entertainment of it. 

00:11:16 BRIAN: And it and it, it's fun. You know, it's like I I joke about it with you that ultimately I. I don't really care because that it is something I said, right? So why not? 

00:11:25 KIM: Well, and also you can say no, take that out and I would so it's fine if you really cared about it then I would take it out. 

00:11:29 BRIAN: Yeah. Yeah, that's. 

00:11:32 KIM: But yes, it is fun for me. As even if. I wasn't part of the recording to edit some. Of these things, but anything else? About season three, before we take a look at. But season going to 4 is going to hold? 

00:11:41 BRIAN: So, when I look back at season three, I just see so many episodes. I like, you know, I told you what my favorite is, but there's plenty of others that I I really like, too. 

00:11:51 KIM: No, I'm just seeing one that I forgot we did and I don't know how we forgot, but soft skills, authentic networking. I really like that and I think maybe we'll do some more of those kind of soft skill type ones in future seasons, but that was with Evan Rothblatt and that was season three, episode 18. And that was a really good one that was kind of outside of our wheelhouse. That was whole episode was a kind of topic adjacent, I would say, but I thought that was a really good episode and enjoyed that one. 

00:12:20 BRIAN: I have gotten positive feedback when we go outside of our lane, as some people say, I think people do like just hearing. And other thoughts about kind of general issues because maybe they don't really have somebody to talk about that stuff with and it's kind of nice for them to hear. That conversation. So I would like to have more of those kind of conversations in in episodes in season four. I also love my favorites are ones. With external guests, though, like, that's where I learned the. Most and it's fun for me and I feel like I really work on my skills when I've got a guest because I want to value their time and I want to put them in the best light possible by asking them good questions. But when it's just me and Kim, I don't care. As much was just inferring that. 

00:13:14 KIM: I was like what you're saying that you? 

00:13:14 BRIAN: I I did I disrespect Kim so. 

00:13:15 KIM: Care. Yeah, I was. Like I respect my guest time and I'm like, well, my time apparently means nothing so. Thanks for that, Brian. 

00:13:22 BRIAN: Yeah, yeah. No, it's not. Well, you know what I'm saying though, it's like it's, it's like, it's hard to get guests to volunteer. 

00:13:26 KIM: I do, but it was funny. 

00:13:30 BRIAN: Their time. So it's like we need to be really good about our time management skills in those interviews compared to when we're doing internal ones because we can always move it around whenever we want. If it's internal like Kim could just say now, like, hey, I got to go and then we'll just pick it up later. 

00:13:42 KIM: Gotta yeah. 

00:13:45 BRIAN: It's not a big deal, but you can't do that to an external guest cause it really shows that you don't respect their time. 

00:13:51 KIM: I knew exactly what you're talking about, but it just sounded funny to me. Before I move on to what to expect in season 4A standout as just again looking at the list we've had over 40 episodes this season. And one of the ones that stood out to me, I remembered it was an FAQ what's in a name and looking at some of the analytics behind it, we had surprising number of people from the United Kingdom listened to that episode. And I do remember when that happened where, like, is it the vague reference to Shakespeare? In the title that. That's why people in London were listening to it. Or if it was because they were very interested in that topic. So I just I there's those little. Back end things that I find interesting, that our listeners would know nothing about, but like that that stand out to me throughout the season. 

00:14:39 BRIAN: That was kind of a funny situation and I think season four should be an entire Macbeth corollary. Well, every episode will be some relation to a scene in Macbeth, and the title will be. 

00:14:53 KIM: Oh man, I think I'm going to have. 

00:14:54 BRIAN: Related to that it it would take a lot of effort to do it. 

00:14:56 KIM: To reread. Yeah, I'm going. To have to reread Macbeth on that one then. 

00:15:00 BRIAN: Dark season. 

00:15:01 KIM: Yeah, I'm going to say maybe don't look. Forward to that if. In season four, I'm just saying don't get your hopes up. I don't know. But if we get an outpouring of support for that idea at podcast@aashtoresource.org then maybe we will make that happen, but you have to let us know. Some interesting facts that the listeners might want to know about or might not this podcast is also popular. Apparently in the Ukraine and Germany and Canada and France, also India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. There's some of our top performers for other countries in South Africa. In Nigeria I. Mean like we we are global but. The Ukraine surprised me. I'm not going to lie. 

00:15:48 BRIAN: Well, we definitely have a Ukrainian engineer who follows us on Twitter and and and likes and retweets, and I'm wondering if it's the same person and and if you are that person and you listen to this, please reach out to us and let us know, like why you listen. I'd love to hear any of the people outside of the US. That are not our, you know. Aren't accredited by us. I'd love to hear from you about what you like about. This and what you'd like to hear more about. 

00:16:16 KIM: Yeah, we have a lot of countries as I'm now scrolling through the list here, we have a lot of we've downloads from a lot of different countries. 

00:16:24 BRIAN: I remember there was a time where we had a listener from Kenya that actually did e-mail about questions related to ASHTONE standards. So for those. Of you who hear this and have heard this from other people who are like they're not real people, they're just people who have VPN's. Don't get excited. I know that at least one. Person did. Actually, I would say too, because the Ukrainian engineer, it definitely is a real person based on the interactions that I've seen on Twitter with that person, that it's not just a bot or or a VPN. 

00:17:00 KIM: Not all of them, anyway. 

00:17:01 BRIAN: Not all of them. 

00:17:01 KIM: There's some real people. 

00:17:01 BRIAN: Some might be. I'm not going to say that they're all legit and they might. Some of them might be that way. It would be awesome if we could hear from somebody in in that situation just to hear, just like, even if you don't like something, I'd be interested in hearing it. 

00:17:16 KIM: Yeah, please e-mail us at podcast@aashtoresource.org and just say, hey, I'm actually listening from this country. We would love to hear it and with no obligation after the fact. Don't worry, we're not going to make you be a guest on our show or anything you can be, but we won't. Make you don't. Worry quickly going domestically, our second most popular city is Nashville, TN. 

00:17:37 BRIAN: I am not surprised by that actually, because we have some friends there at the Tennessee DOT. 

00:17:39 KIM: OK, OK. All right. 

00:17:43 BRIAN: That our big AASHTO fans and we are big Tennessee DOT fans as well. Some people I I really enjoy talking to at various meetings and and just anytime really that I can talk to them. They're great people that we work with, so I'm hoping that that's who that is. It's just some of my friends at the Tennessee DOT. Saying hi to us. 

00:18:04 KIM: And then we have Seattle, WA, Chicago, Austin. Bakersfield, CA I mean we we hit the the gamut there around that. So thank you to all of our listeners now what can our listeners expect from season 4? 

00:18:19 BRIAN: Season four? Well, we have some episodes in the can, as they say that we have already recorded and we're very excited about. But they are episodes that require review and approval from the guests, so if we can get those reviewed and approved, those would be what we lead off on. But it's a multi episode series. On a very specific project that's been going on and I know this is a vague teaser, but I I'm hoping everything goes well with that and we get it out. And I think people will really be into that. 

00:18:50 KIM: Yeah, I'm excited about that. So we are taking a hiatus between seasons here. We're not just diving into season 4. So this recap is coming out in end of February, early March of 2023 and we will be picking back up starting season four in May of 2023. So you do. Get a break. You do get a break from us and we get a break from. Putting these out every week, we will be using that break wisely, but we have the technical exchange coming up during that time as well as part of the reason for the break. So we can focus on getting good content. For that, but if you have you. The listener have a suggestion for an episode that you want to hear in season four. Please e-mail us and we will be happy to. Kind of work on that because we do want to make this useful for. So whether you want more? Soft skills topics let us know if you want more technical ones. If you want another one. Those top nonconformities for a specific test let us know. We'll be happy to get that out to you and record it. So again, we especially want this next season to be listener driven, right? So let us know what you want to hear and we will do our best to make that happen. 

00:20:03 BRIAN: yeah. Otherwise, what? You're going to get? Like Macbeth next season, if I don't hear from you. 

00:20:08 KIM: Please listeners, let us know so we don't have to do this. Any other thoughts of you what you want us to do, Brian? In season 4. 

00:20:17 BRIAN: Just more guests. Just what you said. More guests, more, more interesting topics. I also want to make sure that listeners have something they're interested in. 

00:20:25 KIM: We'd love to get more emails coming into podcasts@astroresource.org, but again, if you have a specific test or a question, if you want more of or less of, or if you really want the Macbeth themed. Episode we can make it happen. 

00:20:39 BRIAN: Of all of the episodes that we do, probably my least favorite ones to record are the most common non conformity ones. But because I just to me they they're kind of boring. It's always the same conversation. Here's things that go wrong. Here's what you do to correct it, but I know some of our listeners do like those, but they're not my favorite ones to record. So if you do like those, you're gonna have to let us know about it. Because if I have to like make a decision to have an external guest or do a common non conformities one, I'm going with the external guest, or the OR the FAQ, and maybe we'll pepper in some of those non conformities in the FAQ, but doing a whole episode on one test nonconformities probably my least favorite ones to do as the host. 

00:21:24 KIM: I think they are very beneficial even though that is the same repetitive content, I think they're beneficial. So you may, you will see, we'll see who wins this battle. Stay tuned in season four to see if we have more of them or less of them and who out willed the other one between myself and Brian. I'm sure we'll probably have another update on the IIJA. I do like our episodes with Jung Lee when we talk about the transportation policy issues. So you can, I'm guessing, suspect that later in November. 

00:21:57 BRIAN: And I'd like to educate people on more of what Ashton does. So we we could always look into a couple other programs that Ashton has so people understand it's more than just laboratory accreditation. 

00:22:08 KIM: Yeah, I think so. We've had some good traction with the publications episode that we did recently or semi recently. So yeah, you can maybe expect another look at another department or program within AASHTO. Anything else for the good of season? Three, as we wrap this up. 

00:22:26 BRIAN: I don't think so. I think that was plenty and I hope you stuck around for the end and keep listening and give us some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.

[Theme music fades in.]   

00:22:33 ANNOUNCER: Thanks for listening to AASHTO re: source Q & A. If you'd like to be a guest or just submit a question, send us an email at podcast@aashtoresource.org or call Brian at 240-436-4820. For other news and related content, check out AASHTO re:source's Twitter feed or go to ashtoresource.org.