Thursday, December 13, 2012

What and how to measure

I have noticed that within our profession there are two distinct schools of thought.  The first being steeped in the science and exactitude of measurement.  The second being steeped in the the tradition and art of evidence evaluation.

The science of measurement is and has always been the single greatest hurdle to the practice of surveying.  It seems that no matter how good the device or magnificent the technology; the measurement is never good enough.  I have met collegues whom have spent the entirety of thier career chasing measurements and publishing thier results.  Redundant observations, adjustments, significant digits, least squares analysis, on and on the science goes.  Yet for all this science; the end result can be EXACTLY wrong.

Now I am diligent in my efforts to observes data either with GPS or Terrestrail observation.  However admittedly I rarely adjust anything.  I report what I observe.  I have a system of checks that keeps me out of trouble where blunders are concerned; however I have not bothered myself with adjustments.  When I am in the field I rarely use a predetermined search area calculated from a deed.  When I have done this I have found that it causes me to focus on the wrong information without opening my eyes to ALL the evidence.  So as a matter of practice I will go to the site; locate the evidence of occupation and search for monuments based on other records of survey.  Then when I get back to the office I plot out the evidence and then plot the deed and compare the two.

Boundary determination is an art.  I have said over and over.  You have to be able to see it, touch it, smell it. How many times have you seen a cluster of survey markers (pins and caps) around a corner.  Many an expert measurer has determined their mathematical solution and have place thier mark on the earth.  Yet how many times does it occur that admidst this cluster of markers not a single one of them can be called the monument marking the property corner?  Why is it so difficult to accept a previously set monument?  COGO-COMMANDOS.........

Unskilled para-professionals that have supervisory RLS's that don't take the time to take these guys to field and "raise" them properly.  There is a subdivision up here in the Metro Round Valley area that has what I call the Maricopa County virus.  The developer hired a PE/RLS to develop a subdivision.  The exterior of the development was surveyed in 2001 by a RLS up here.  The PE/RLS resurveyed it and platted a subdivision in 2003.  In 2005, the cogo commandos show up to set the subdivision pins marking all the lots; by the way same PE/RLS. 

Last week I am asked to survey an adjoining property to the subdivision and what do I find.....I find aluminum cap monuments set by the 2001 survey.  Then 0.65 feet away are rebar and plastic caps bearing the number of the PE/RLS.  The subdivision plat showed these exterior corners as found and accepted monuments.  All I can say is REALLY!!!???!!!

It is obvious that the field crew data collector jockies were just stakinbg out points and setting pins.  But where is the alleged professional in responsible charge?  He obviously wasn't bothering himself with training his survey crew.  You know, going outside is hot/cold, there are bugs, you get sweaty, and the stickers tear holes in your slacks. 

Well if the boss won't educate them; somebody needs to.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking Forward

Last Saturday on the 10th I was honored to have been elected the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors association.  I have always felt that a professional should always give back to the profession they work in.  As a means of educating and serving the profession; to keep it moving forward.

As hard times have enveloped our state and thus all but shut down our profession.  Now is the time that service is needed most.  APLS is going to be getting proactive on several issues; it would be nice if our membership would use this down time to get engaged.  The internet, email, the cell phone, a simple letter; whatever.  Let the Chapter directors know how you feel about whatever it is that needs to be addressed.

I am looking forward to serving APLS for the next 2 years.  Here is my vision:

1.  I would like to see Continuing Education adopted by the BTR
2.  I would like to see the Minimum Standards updated and adopted by the BTR
3.  I would like to see the State Specific exam re-opened and updated
4. I would like to see the reqiurements for licensure be updated to include the following structure:
     A. a 4-year degree and 4 years of experience
     B. 36 hrs of surveying classes and 10 years of experience
     C. 15 years of experience in responsible charge.

If one of those gets done I will be happy.  As far as Item #4 is concerned; I honestly beleive that because of the way our para-professionals are being trained a blanket 4-5 years of experience is not sufficient.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 29, 2012


On the 23rd of October I went to a meeting at the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration.  During the course of this meeting one of the issues discussed was "street monuments" being reset by non-surveyors.  This is a HUGE issue for every surveyor practicing in Arizona.  These street monuments are primarily used to control the location of private property. 

Therefore it is completely within the perveiw of the Registered Land Surveyor to reset them and file either a monument record or a Record of Survey.  However, some feel that this is a function of construction and not surveying.  Simply put this stance is wrong.  It also came out that there was some question as to wether or not these monuments need a RLS number on them.  Well the short answer there is, yes they do.

To my knowledge there is ONLY one government agency within the United States that doesn't need a state issued license to practice surveying (specific to boundary surveying)  it is the US Deptpartment of Interior, Brach of Cadastral Survey.  Therefore it is safe to assume that unless the BLM is setting street monuments anywhere in Arizona; those monuments need a RLS number on them.  The Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Adminstrative Code are very clear on this.

Anyone whom has endeavored to practice in this state has come across controlling monuments that fall in the street.  Cities and Counties have been engaged for years in street improvement projects everywhere.  Yet few if any, of the various agencies involved in this activity have paid much attention to the issue of destroying survey monumentation and replacing it.  Many that have in more recent history are not paying attention to the legal ramifications of "non-restrants" putting these monuments back.  

This is one issue that APLS needs to take on.  However I don't think our releif is with the BTR.  The BTR is not a policing agency for other goverment agencies.  They regulate the practice of the professions they encompass.  So where does the releif come from?  It comes from educating the agencies guilty of the activity.  APLS must be in a position to send a letter of concern to every agency that is either destroying the monumentation or replacing it with non-registrants.  I beleive that educating these agnecies through their prospective legal councils is the key.  The White Mountain Chapter of APLS did this with a Town up here and it worked.  I beleive this is the key, not the BTR. So every Chapter of APLS needs to be vigilent for this.

So I propose APLS needs to draft a letter to every jurisdiction we know is in violation; addressed to either the County Attorney or the City Attorney (which ever) and the politicians that govern these agencies; addressing our concerns and attempt to educate.  The White Mountain Chapter did it and other chapters can also.  The bonus here is that APLS is the fall guy.  No particular surveyor is on the hook (except maybe the chapter president or the chairman of the board); so the politics of the situation should not get in the way. However as an organization APLS needs to be proactive and take this on.  Before we task the offenders with responsibility we, APLS, need to assume a leadership role in bringing the law and rules forward in an attempt to educate them.  If at that point we get ignored; then we take it to the next level and file complaints to the legal authorities governing and overseeing these activities individually.  But I would prefer that the attorneys advising these agencies would take our letter(s) to heart and advise those agencies to correct the behavior. 

But again let me be clear; I don't think this is the job of the BTR.  They police our activities.  We need to let the Arizona Revised Statutes do the talking for us; not be a road block.  Just a thought. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now What!?

So we had an interesting day in the field today.  Had to use an instrument and actually traverse.  It was fun.  It gave us a chance to get some old juices flowing.  During the course of our survey we were retracing an old un recorded survey from 1946.  Those boys did some good work given the broken terrain and dense cover.  They set 1 inch pipes at the monuments and we found most of them.  A good day in anybodies book.  BUT; within a foot of these pipes we found rebar and caps.  No record of survey and they hadn't been there long enough to be exempt from the recording statute.  So we head back to the office and look the guy up and give him a call.

Well he didn't know why it wasn't recorded and had no intention since the engineering firm he worked for was no longer in business.  Then he goes on to say just pull them out.  Well that didn;t sit well.  A fence had been built to them so they have been relied on dispite the erronoeus location.  So now what?

At first thought one might get mad and take to the BTR.  A second thought is to show the erronoeous pins and thier relation to the original monuments or the reset points based thereon.  Is it just me or isn't there some level of responsibility that goes along with seeting a monument if you fin out it it is wrong?  Or can we just walk away and never look back.  I know how I feel about it.  What does the bloggoshere think?

On another note.  A long time compadre of dad and mine is retiring and having a get together in Tucson.  I can't make it.  So I just want to say "Via con Dios" to Haze..  He is one of the people who tought me how to have fun while surveying and I look back foundly and the times we worked together.  He was really patient with the snot nosed kid who was following him around.  The two fondest memories were freezing our asses off Nutrioso, and distance meter lense cap fiasco at the airport in Springerville.  Good times; and worth laughing about now.  For the moment I will keep them just for me and those involved.

And to the rest of my comrades in the south land "Viva LA SALSA"......  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gila County Again....

So there I was basking in the glory of victory thinking I had slain the dragon.  OH NOOOOOOOO.  I went to a meeting last Tuesday with one of my Gila County clients who informed me that he had received a phone call from "someone" at Gila County informing him that my plat was in error and I refused to fix it; and they thought he should know. 

So here I am at a cross roads...  I can either go ballistic and unleash the dogs of war.  Making Gila County my personal vendetta forever.  Or I can chuckle at the petty attempt by this egg sucking goverment employee to get me in trouble.

(pregnant pause for effect)

I chuckled with my client as we both discussed how laim Gila County was for making the call.  I am exploring what recourse I have against this individual.  As I beleive HE is a registrant and if so, I will make him a personal interest.  I do beleive ethical boundaries have been crossed.  Working for the county may protect him from being stupid but it does not absolve him of responsibility for it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Be Firm and Positive

OK so my dealings with the "Peoples Republic of Gila County" has ended on a somewhat positive note.  It appears the plat I sent with the attached letter made an impression as it was recorded the day it was received.  Here is what I did:

1. I sent it, certified mail return receipt requested.  That way I could prove when they received it.
2. I included my check and a letter citing the Arizona Revised Statutes 11-471, 11-477, 11-481.

So I got my point across.  However I want to point something out that we all need to keep in mind.  At no time; even in the height of my anger did I loose my cool and become loud or abusive.  Nor did I use profanity.  We need to keep in mind we are professionals and when should never treat colleagues, clients, government employees or anyone else that may or may noy qualifiy to be a human beings; poorly or with bad manners intentionally.  The only reason I got them to listen to me is because I never got abussive with gesture or language.  This is important.

The County Recorder and Community Development Department are our friends.  Yes they can go astray sometimes but we need a good working relationship with them.  Just as they need us.  I am still pursuing the issue but on much easier terms.  I drove my point home and it stuck.  Now I will set out to make sure other surveyors don't have to do the same.

Viva la SALSA

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gila County Part 3

Sorry for the late update.  Tuesday was a really productive day in my opinion; in dealing with the folks in Gila County Government.  first I want to acknowledge that these are well intentioned and conscientious folks.  It is the methodology that is flawed.

I had an in depth conversation with the Director of Community Development for Gila County and he basically spelled it out.  They want to review every type of survey as a means keeping up with whats going on in Gila County.  I can't argue with that.  What we discussed was simple.  He was in no position to "review" Records of Survey and hinder the recording process.  He agreed in part but was infattic about keeping the process in place.  I suggested that if he reviewed the surveys before they were recorded and sent them back to have "issues" addressed that he was opening himself and the county up to legal action.  He disagreed.  But I think his department is complicit in the blatant violation of ARS 11-477(read it, its juicy).  So as the conversation went on he advised me that the land surveyor(s) in his department review surveys to protect the public.  I responded by saying, in my opinion these individuals may be breaching their ethical responsibility since they have no right to review a Record of Survey BEFORE it is a matter of public record. That made the man think. 

Then I went on to say that I emphatically refused to submit myself to having any of my surveys reviewed.  He came back with my clients won't be issued any permits from the county unless they are reviewed.  To which I replied give me that in writing.  So then I brought up having plats sent out to the communities in Gila County for Review.  He did agree that perhaps this was far reaching but contended that the towns also had the right to stay informed.  I can't argue with that except to say AFTER recordation yes; BEFORE recordation no. 

So basically; here is where I am at.  If the bureaucrats of Gila County continue to obstruct my lawful recordation of Records of Survey then I will have no choice but to seek legal action to stop it. 

At this point APLS needs to get involved with the counties and work to educate them.  I am working on Gila County; So split up and move forward.  My brother's in arms (SALSA) have been working with Pima County.  Regionaly we need to keep the awareness in the fore front.  Otherwise the governing jurisdictions will run over the top of us.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Land Surveying; the Push-Over Profession

The title alone will make some people angry.  Well maybe it should.  I have never been one to be afraid of insighting anger when I have a point to make.  Spirited debate used to be a corner stone of our profession.  That was how we used to address differences of opinion. 

So why are we the push over profession?  Simple, we are cowards in the face of government agencies who assert bureaucratic policies that are not based in law, ordinance, or statute.  We also display timidity in the face rule changes or policies that have a direct effect on us with out our conscent.

A specific example is Gila County.  The recorder's office has a policy that when they receive a record of survey they immediately transfer it down to community development for reveiw and acceptance.  Before we go any further; I am not talking about MINOR LAND SPLITS, LOT LINE ADJUSTMENTS, or SUBDIVISIONS these all have to be reveiwed.  I am talking about a RECORD OF SURVEY.  If the survey falls within the jurisdiction of a municipality then the plat has to submitted to the municipalty's community development department for reveiw and acceptance before the recorder will record it.

THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW.  If the recorder's office receives a document or plat that meets the statutory requirements they have to accept it for recordation.  If they divert the plat to another agency for reveiw; this action alone is in violation of ARS 11-460.  By refusing to accept the document they have done a couple of things.  First, they have obstructed the lawfaul recordation as mandated by the rules and regulations governing the practice of land Surveying.  Second, they have obsolved the surveyor of any responsibility of having to record.

Gila County has been doing this for 20 years.  I don't normally work down there so I had no idea this was going on.  But I know there are at least 12-20 land surveyors who routinely work down there.  Yesterday in a phone conversation with the Town of Payson; I was told I was the first person to ever raise an issue with this practice of reveiwing records of survey.  This floored me.  Why in the world would the surveyor's in Gila County sit back and submit themselves to this over reaching bureaucratic nonsense?  Is this happening anywhere else?  Why hasn't APLS been involved to stop this? 

Look, we have got to get mad.  We have got to get engaged.  We have got to take control of our profession.  Things like the example above should not be allowed to happen.  I can understand why these type of policies are in place.  But these policies don't cure the disease they intended to.  It merely punishes those whom follow the rules.  What these agencies need to do is go after registrants who perpetuate the acts that create these policies.  Not create a broad brush policy that assumes every survey is guilty of some malfeasance.

And where was APLS?  Has APLS gone to the annual Recorder's meeting requested to be on the agenda and discussed any of this stuff with the county recorders?  Why are sticking our heads in the sand? 

Gila County and thier prejudicial treatment of the surveying community has got to stop.  They don't have deeds reveiwed before they are accepted only surveys.  Surveys don't convey title, they don't created parcels; they merely depict existing conditions so why is it necessary to reveiw them?  Oh and the best part; this is what set me off; the town of payson had specific preferences that they wanted to see added to my record of survey.  OH HELL NO.

I am going to fight this with every essence of my being.  You all can jump in any time.  However I fear that most will meekly cheer from the cheap seats.

And For My Commrads in Traverse in the South; VIVA LA SALSA!!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Over Reaching Bureaucrats

THIS IS A RANT.........

By what divine authority does A County Recorder think they have the right to receive a Record of Survey and not record it?  Yes, the plat meets all of the requirements of ARS 11-481.  So why won't they record it; well it HAS to be reviewed by Community Development.  So today Community Development calls me today to inform me that since my survey falls within the corporate limits of A City; the survey has to be reveiwed by them first.  WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to be absolutely clear.  The county recorder; any county recorder  is by statute required to accept any document for recording:

11-461Recording instruments; keeping records; identification; location; social security numbers; definition
A. The recorder shall have custody of and shall keep all records, maps and papers deposited in the recorder's office.
B. The recorder shall record separately, in typewriting, in a legible hand or by use of photostatic or photographic machines or by a system of microphotography, all instruments or writings required or authorized by law to be recorded. In a like manner, the recorder shall record any other instrument offered for recording provided the instruments meet the requirements of section 11-480.

11-480Requirements for form of instruments
A. Only an instrument which upon presentation to a county recorder for recordation fails to meet any of the following conditions may be rejected for recordation at the time of presentation for recordation:
1. Each instrument shall have a caption briefly stating the nature of the instrument, such as warranty deed, release of mortgage and like captions. The county recorder shall have no obligation to index any instrument under any subject index category maintained by the county recorder unless that category is included in the caption to the instrument.
2. Each instrument shall be an original or a copy of the original and shall be sufficiently legible for the recorder to make certified copies from the photographic or micrographic record.
3. Each instrument shall have original signatures except when otherwise provided by law.
4. Each instrument dated and executed on or after January 1, 1991, shall be no larger than eight and one-half inches in width and no longer than fourteen inches and shall have a print size no smaller than ten point type.
B. Each instrument dated and executed on or after January 1, 1991, shall have at least a one-half inch margin across the top, bottom and the left and right sides from the top to the bottom. Any markings, entries or text which are within the one-half inch margin shall be deemed not to impart the notice otherwise imparted by recordation unless such markings, entries or text appear in the reproduction produced under the direction and control of the county recorder. Failure to meet the one-half inch margin requirement of this subsection may affect notice imparted by the document but shall not constitute grounds for rejection for recordation pursuant to subsection A.
C. The first page shall have a top margin of at least two inches which shall be reserved for recording information. The left three and one-half inches of the top margin of the first page or sheet may be used by the public to show the name of the person requesting recording and the name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording. If the first page of the instrument does not comply with the top margin requirements, a separate sheet that meets the requirements and that reflects the title of the document as required by subsection A, paragraph 1 shall be attached to the front of the document by the party requesting recording.
D. Any instrument presented to a county recorder for recordation which modifies in any way the provisions of a previously recorded document must state the date of recordation and the docket and page of the document being modified.
E. Any instrument accepted for recordation is not subject to a later claim of invalidity for failure to comply with the requirements of this section.

11-481Title and size prerequisites for recording maps and plats; recording fee; exception
A. All maps or plats presented for recording shall have a title that at least indicates the type of map or plat, the name of the subdivision or a description of the location of the area by section, township and range, the name of the owner of record of the area being surveyed and a place for the recorder's information and seal block on the sheet.
B. Any map or plat offered for recording that exceeds a size of eight and one-half by fourteen inches shall be the original map legibly drawn on polyester or a copy reproduced on polyester by a photographic silver imaging process or other method that assures archival quality and is subject to the following restrictions:
1. A map or plat of a subdivision shall be on a sheet or sheets measuring twenty-four by thirty-six inches, including a left margin of two inches and be drawn to an accurate scale in at least eleven point type.
2. All other maps or plats shall be on a sheet or sheets measuring eighteen by twenty-four inches or twenty-four by thirty-six inches, including a left margin of two inches and drawn to an accurate scale in at least eleven point type.
C. The fee for recording any map or plat sheet exceeding eight and one-half by fourteen inches shall be twenty dollars and shall be exclusive of the fees for recording any documents to which the map or plat is attached or by which it is accompanied.
D. The fee for recording any map or plat sheet exceeding eight and one-half by fourteen inches when recorded at the request of the United States, this state or a political subdivision of this state is ten dollars and is exclusive of the fees for recording any documents to which the map or plat is attached or by which it is accompanied.
E. The requirements of this section do not apply to any map required to be recorded by the director of water resources under title 45, chapter 2.


When asked for an explanation the recorder's office was they wanted to stop illegal land splits.  OK; surveys don't create land splits; recording DEEDS does.  So are these people also having deeds reviewed to insure that a deeds isn't splitting land illegally?  NO.....

This policy by government agencies are prejudicial and cause an undo expense on our clients and ourselves.  Enforcement on the Surveying community is not the answer to this problem.  This has got to stop.  Yesterday....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guns Guns Guns

You might say that one of the endearing things about the extreme eastern side of Arizona is it is far removed from everything.  Not isolated; but removed.  People stay to themselves and that makes it easy to hide in the wide open.  Western Catron County in New Mexico is the same way.  So you might say there is a geographic corridor that the remoteness lends itself to a variety of activities.

In one instance I had a nervous encounter with an unlicensed pharmacist who became very nervous at my presence and was holding a mini-14.  Luckily for me I made light of the situation and got him talking so he wouldn't shoot me.

In  another instance I came across an elderly lady who was convinced I was a spy from the government and held me in place by having me look down the bore of a .44 caliber hand cannon she was to weak to pull the hammer back on.  I got her talking to and she finally got tired holding the pistol.

And finally, I found out early that when a bullet goes by it does not make the same sound they do in the movies.  And when they hit stuff; it merely sounds like a smack or thud.  As an added bonus when the shooter is a long way off shooting at your truck you hear the smack of the bullet on the body of truck before you hear the report of the rifle.

I have been fortunate and have always came out on the better end of these deals but now that I am no longer ten feet tall and bullet proof; I am beginning to wonder if my luck will run out.  After the pharmacist in New Mexico; I decided to get my concealed carry permit.  Not because I like carrying a gun but because most people outside the military service go all their lives without being drawn on or shot at.  I have been shot at; and drawn on twice and in all cases I was there with my rod in my hand.

This last case with the pharmacist also made me think that he was really gonna do me in until I convinced him I was "cool" and didn't "see" a thing.  His nervousness made me nervous.  He also made me think about how many times he had put me in the cross hairs before I approached the mobile home.  I don't feel comfortable being confronted with my own mortality.

Its different when you go into a place and pick a fight and the fight escalates.  You went looking for trouble and you found it.  When I am out surveying I  am not looking for trouble.  I approach land owners to let them know what I am doing and why I am there.  I don't approach them to have them get twitchy and shoot at me.

So now I have a dilemma; I have been exposed to gun play have been able to calm things down and walk out of it.  If I start packing; I can't help but wonder; will that make things better or worse?  In the situations I have been in; the guy shooting at the truck was so far off we just hid till he stopped.  The pharmacist; was the one that made me wish I was carrying.  He was stoned, paranoid, and nervous; that bothered me.  I don't know when I will meet another shade tree pharmacist but I don't want to be the last man standing when the music stops.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I regret having to post this but........

I noticed something about myself the other day and when it hit I was struck with a sense of disdain.  Here is what happened.  There I was in the hinterlands miles from cellular service on an ATV with my GPS and running wild.  At a particular time of day up here all of the satellites gather together in a tight cluster and chat or something.  Anyway when this happens the GPS goes south and you have to wait it out. So there I am in the wide open waiting for the GPS to settle down so I can gather a shot.

That's when it hit me; If I was traversing with an instrument I would have done and gone.  Sometimes I wonder if all of these little gizmo's and tech-toys are actually making us work harder.  I started thinking about traversing and GPS.  When I was traversing I'd carry a few nails and a range pole with a prism.  GPS, I carry spare batteries, nails, a tape, a bipod, and ax just to guarantee a shot.  Now if your thinking why  the hell are packing all that crap along.  Well as soon as I leave the truck get to my search area; if I left any one of those things behind, that's the one I need.  So the superstitious side of me says better to pack it and not need it than need it and not have it.  By the way for those who are saying just go back to truck; well some days that commute is 1/2 mile horizontally and vertically so for me not an option.  

We used to survey differently also; traversing was along the line your were surveying because that was the shortest route; Toady we hit each end and hardly "walk the line"; be honest.  Also then we didn't limit our abilities based upon the equipment.  Today we do.  Then we cut through brush and traverse into a monument.  Today we get creative to try to use GPS.  Like the other day I saw a guy with a GPS unit on top of a 25' fiberglass leveling rod taking a shot on a property corner to get over the trees.  the base of rod was on the rebar.  The gps head was somewhere over the street.

Sometimes I get nostalgic and wish for the old days of traversing.  Then when I resurvey a section in hours instead of days; I wake up.  I guess my boredom is my own worst enemy.......  

Monday, August 20, 2012


First I want to discuss the Witness Corner Post.  I know what the manual says and for the government boys on government land that is fine.  HOWEVER, the manual does not stricly apply to lands in private ownership so I reserve the right to disagree about not re-establishing a witness corner and then re-establishing the true point. (see previous post).  I did not specify private versus government land; but since land surveyors under state authority have no jurisdiction on wholly government land I assumed it was inferred.

Let me explain the my stance on witness corners....

First - the original surveyor set a witness corner because the true point could not be set for whatever reason. So the true point NEVER existed in FACT.  it was merely a calculated position.
Second - to properly follow the footsteps of the original surveyor you would have to determine the position of the witness corner and then determine to true point.  Why?  because that is what the original survey did and that is what the land owners would have had to do.
Third - this is especially true if the line(s) have "heavy" bearings (or diverge from cardinal by a significant sum) then the proportioning with out the WC will vary drastically from the proportioning with the WC.

Therefore I would not completely disregard the WC if it was missing unless I had a good reason to do so.

Moving on.....

Out on a job the other day I had the opportunity to find an original corner tree.  it had been cut down but the blazes had been pitched over and preserved in the sand.  The tree was established in 1875.  It was witnessed by a dependent resurvey in 1937 and had bearing trees created in 1972.  There is a lot going on here.  It was a neat find and I have been dying to talk about it.

Anyway back to work...

And for the boys in the south...... VIVA LA SALSA.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Would You Do???

Here is a real life scenario in the world of PLSS.  Here are the facts:

1. You are retracing the line between Sections 18 and 13.
2. The original survey from 1888 shows lotting but it is for the shortage in departure.
3. The original notes say either side of the section, north and south, ready 40's and 80's
4.  There is a W.C. at the corner of Sections 13,18,19 and 24.  It is 5 chains south of the section corner (on line) because of a wash
5.  Your retracement doesn't find the WC. you find the section corner south and the next section corner north.


How do you re-establish the corner of Sections 13,18,19, and 24?

Hint - only deal with the knowns given.  Don't bog yourself down with questions not mentioned above.....

I am hoping we can talk about this..

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Point of Commencement - When to Ignore it...

Every metes and bounds legal description has either a point of commencement or a point of beginning.  In my little part of the world the point of commencement is usually a section corner, 1/4 corner, sixteenth corner.  I am sure most of readers of this blog have seen them.

Well the other day I was working on survey here in the metro Springerville area and it was a good survey day.  GPS was working fine.  My preliminary research was panning out.  It was a good field day.  Typically I gather field data and process it in CAD.  Then I will run in the legal description based upon the control and start to evaluate the record versus the gathered data.  In so doing I have noticed a curious oddity.

On this particular survey the occupation seem the fit the description really well.  All of the occupation appeared harmonious and my contact with the adjoining land owners did not reveal any concerns.  All was well in the neighborhood.  Plus it looked good on paper also.  So I began to enter the deed based on my observed control; in this case a section corner.  The pedigree on this section goes back to the GLO 1875 survey so there is no doubt as to it's location.  Anyway, the deed commences at the section corner and runs west along the section to a point then north to the POB.  Then it runs around the property with only bearing and distance; no descriptive calls at all.  Then it closes back and the math works.

Then it happens.... As I am looking at the boundary by occupation compared to the deed boundary there is a 27 foot ambiguity in departure.  So first I look for fat-finger busts - nope.  Then transposed deed calls - nope the deeds calls generally work with the adjoining deeds.  So then I grip the deed boundary (in CAD) and slide it to the observed boundary and it fit; except for the call to the section corner.  So rather that stake the deed and create havoc.  I ignored the call to the section corner and followed the rest of the deed.

Moral of the story.... Sometimes it is necessary to ignore parts of the legal description to protect the intent of the deed.  My 2 cents anyway.

And to my compadres in the south VIVA LA SALSA!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Mayor has Left the Building

It is official.  I am now the former Mayor of Springerville Arizona.  24 months in city government and never been elected.....or on a ballot.

Here's what happened.  I had been working working with the town's community development coordinator on several issues.  One day she asks me if I would be willing to fill a vacancy on the planning and zoning commission.  At first I thought; NO.  Then I thought about it and decided that an informed opinion may be what the commission needed.  P&Z was fun.  6 months in, find out that a city council member is resigning so he can run for Mayor.  The current Mayor asks me if I would be willing to fill the vacancy on the city council.  So I go from Commissioner Muth to Councilman Muth.  So after a month the newly elected Mayor asks me if I would be his Vice Mayor.  So I accept.  Then after 3 months the Mayor resigns and ta da; I am the Mayor.

Some Highlights during my political career -
June 2010 - Plane crashes into the High School Killing all on board
June 2011 - The Wallow fire
August 2011 - The flooding caused by the fire.
Personally met with: Govenor Brewer, Senator Kyle, Senator McCain; Representative Flake, Representative Gosar - Because of the fire.

Between town stuff and surveying I am a tired boy......

Be safe this Memorial Day. And to my Compadres in the South - Viva La SALSA....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How Do We......

Here is a fundamental question that I have been going back and forth with in my head.  How do we improve the profession of Surveying without undo regulation?  It has been my observation that most of the surveyors I know are working at a pretty high standard that they have set for themselves.  This self imposed regulation is above the state required minimum; and the public benefits.  Yet there exists amongst us a group of practitioners that exist to get by with the minimum allowable.  We know who they are; we know where they are; we know what they do; we know they get away with it.  How do we fix it? or Do we fix it?

I am an advocate of MANDATORY continuing education.  That is no secret.  I personally believe that education is the key to raising the level of practice.  It isn't about APLS having a monoploy on seminars or the like.  The internet killed that idea.  Education is the key.  I honestly believe that most of the substandard practitioners out there do so because that is how they were trained.  I have seen examples of these ill-trained technicians get licensed and start to educate themselves and turn out to be good surveyors. I believe that once a person learns what they should be doing they quickly adjust what they are doing.  As far as the mandatory part.  Well quite simply some people have to be told they have to before they will.  Anyone that has children or had children knows exactly what I am talking about.

So now we face a question in Arizona...Do we change the minimum standards?  To be honest I am perched firmly on the fence.  On the one hand hand I agree that the current standards need to clarify some grey areas.  On the other hand I don't want the standards to micro-manage my practice.  There needs to be flexibility to make professional judgement.  If we kill professional judgement by over standardizing then we are a trade and not a profession.  I have loosely been apart of reviewing the draft of the new standards and can live with most of what is in there.  However I do not like the fact that the reason this is even coming up is because of people gaming the system.  Then again this isn't about what I like or dislike; it's about improving the profession.  So my internal boxing match shall continue.

Let me go back to professional judgement.  I think professional judgement is, at the end of the day, the final word.  Standards can be written but judgement is the key. Judgement is the why we do what we do.  Standards dictate how.  Standards cannot regulate judgement.  Nor can they fix faulty judgement.  Education is the key to bringing a positive change to faulty judgement.  In my ever so humble opinion.

Where does APLS fit in?  Well friends and neighbors I am here to tell you.  First and foremost; there is no reason that anyone should be excluded from APLS.  If you feel the dues are to high then let's address it.  If the Board of Directors needs fixed; let's address it.  If APLS has problems then the members need to fix it.  If the Board of Directors is made up of representatives from each chapter then there should be no disconnect between the chapters and the Board of Directors.  UNLESS of course directors tell one story at the chapter meeting and then tell a different story at the Board of Directors meeting.  We need a clear and honest picture of who we are; where we are going; and how we are going to get there.

So here is my vision:
1.  Mandatory Continuing Education will/can raise the level of professional judgement through education.
2.  The Minimum Standards do need to be updated at some level.
3.  The requirements for licensure in Arizona are no longer sufficient to define minimum competency.
4.  More interaction with the Board of Technical Registration to address violations and enforcement.

And to my Compadres' in the south.... Viva La SALSA!!!!!!      

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

At the Conference

Well I did just as I said I would.  I did not camp out in the Boundary portion of the seminars.  I branched out and attended mostly GIS stuff.  I will confess it was eye opening to see what is available.  Jack Avis opened my eyes the most and for that I am thankful.  I remember Jack from the early days of APLS before he went to Texas.  He was the most beneficial.

The Bylaws of APLS have changed and the Board of Directors is now mandated to become smaller.  This in my opinion is a good thing.  I never really understood why we sent 2 people from every chapter to the Director's meeting anyway.  My father was the President APLS when the senatorial system went into effect.  The bylaws also NOW allow electronic meetings.  Now this was forward thinking 10 years ago.  Old dogs die slow.  The rest is pretty much the same.

This next part is targeted specifically at the surveying community in the Metro Phoenix area.  Why is there only one chapter of APLS down there?  Up here it is understandable a few surveyors in a large area means travel to the meetings.  However down there; most of the in-state RLS's reside in the metro area.  So why hasn't the East Valley formed up, West Valley, North Valley or the like.  I would venture to guess that the surveyors in Payson and Globe would rather drive to Mesa than Show Low.

And where are the guys from Yuma?  why do we never see them.  Is it because of California being on the other side of the river?

Finally why is APLS turning people off?  I understand that not everyone will be like minded.  If it is stagnation at the chapter level then we need to get new chapters started that clear the baffles.  APLS should be bringing people in not turning them away.

Also heard rumblings about the licensing fee should be raised.  I agree with this.  What I pay for 3 years in Arizona isn't 1/3 of the annual fee I pay in Texas.  "That which we obtain to cheaply, We esteem to lightly..."  If Arizona BTR does raise the fees then APLS needs to drop theirs.  Just saying...

To the esteemed gentlemen I spent most of my free time cussing and discussing with (and you know who you are) I truly enjoyed the discussions.  I especially like it when the conversations get real.  I had fun and wish I could see you guys more often.  Viva La SALSA..........

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going at it Alone

When my career started as I have stated earlier I was a cheap means of help for my father.  Then I grew to love what I was doing.  After college I had somehow been convinced that the best place for me was a secure work environment that could offer benefits like vacation and sick leave; health insurance; and the like.  I was so convinced that the thought of going home and working with my father was out of the question.

So for about 15 years, I worked in the sweat shop environment of the large Surveying/Engineering company.  I learned the the hard way about office politics.  I suffered greatly for telling the boss the truth instead of what they wanted to hear.  The removal from a project because myself and the earthwork superintendent could not see eye to eye.  But the worst thing of all.  The single worst event that burnt me was when I had attained the position of project manager.  I was on top of the world.  In my early 30's supervising 5 survey crews; I was on top of the world.  Then it happened......

You know that statement we put on our plats that says "this plat and the survey on which it is based was done under my direct supervision........" Well guess what.  I found out that it is IMPOSSIBLE to directly supervise 5 crews every day.  It is also impossible to directly supervise drafting personnel also.  Here is what lead me to believe this..

I had a party chief that resented the hell out me.  He wanted to be the P.M. but had no education and no licensure.  He was a good hand but had serious passive aggressive tendencies.  So I had to watch him like a hawk; and I did.  However that prevented me from giving the other crews the supervision they needed.  Dennis Mouland in a seminar years ago stated that "we all have skeletons in our closet; we just hope they never surface". To make it simple I started to discover that some of the work performed under my "direct"supervision wasn't being performed the way I had directed it; if at all.  Then I began to feel like the world was on top of me.  Mistakes were being made by the crews; I took the responsibility as their supervisor; the upper management needed a whipping boy so there you go.  The management loved the income the crews generated; but hated the costs associated with "fixing" mistakes.  I made them fix the mistakes I found; the boss hated that; but hey, it was my license on the line.

One day sitting at my desk; my phone rings.  It's dad.  He never calls me at work.  He is getting out and want to know if I want the business.  So with Johnny Paycheck ringing in my ears I pack up the family and headed home.

Instantly I am a solo-surveyor.  This is how it was meant to be.  I can testify in court about work I certified because I did it.  I can give clients details about their property because I have been there.  I can stand nose to nose with a dirt contractor because I did the staking.  I can answer the hard questions because I did the research.  I don't know of many other professions that let employees do their work for them.  Can you imagine a Doctor sitting in his office supervising a surgery with a cell phone.  A lawyer supervising his clients trial from his office.  An accountant supervising your tax preparation and business accounting from another city.

In our rush to become recognized as professionals we headed straight for the office.  But this business is a dirty, gritty, hands on, blood, sweat, and tears profession.  How can we exercise professional judgement based on data we are being fed.  Instead of data we have gathered.  I believe that in order to do our jobs correctly we as professionals have to have boots on the ground and eyes in the field.  Of course in my case; my rod man is an RLS and has 45 years of experience.  


Friday, April 13, 2012

Continuing Education

As our profession moves forward; it appears that the State of Arizona is embracing the question of Mandatory Continuing Education.  When this question is first asked it brings some pretty fierce opposition from some.  I suppose the idea of making professional development mandatory is not an idea that many are willing to embrace warmly.  However the idea of professional development is nothing new to the practicing surveyor.  For most it is already happening.  So the real question is whether or not it should be MANDATORY.

This is where we as a profession have got to get a grasp on the fact that we do not live in bubble.  We do not live in a shelter of comfort.  Our standard of practice has to evolve to meet the challenges brought on by outside forces.  The principles we use to practice do not change.  But the standard of practice does change and must change with the technology and methodology.  Therefore professional development is a must.  Most of us already do it.  But unfortunately some do not.

Creating a system of measuring professional development is challenge.  Evaluating professional development is also a challenging proposition.  However the BTR is the avenue to address both of these.  The concerns that have been brought to me are:
     1.  How do measure if anything is learned?  Answer:  Over time the level of proficency should increase.
     2.  What course work will be acceptable? Answer:  Any facet of education that promotes educational development that promotes the surveying profession.
     3.  How will the professional development be credited?  Answer:  It is a self reporting system upon renewal of licensure.
     4.  How will the professional development be auditted?  Answer:  Randomly and if a complaint is filed.

This system is the least intrusive and places the most responsibility on the practicing surveyor.  Making this system mandatory validates the efforts of those whom are doing it already.  And brings online those who do not.  As a part of this system a regular review of the standards and statutes will be also mandatory.  The APLS website (  I encourage everyone to review this proposal to the BTR.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Professional

I have always looked at other Land Surveyors as colleagues.  The reason for this is I believe that in a utopic world all Land Surveyors should have an open dialog with each other.  If a colleague can complete a project at a fee lower than mine so be it.  To me this is not competition.  Now of course this is based on the assumption that all Land Surveyors are playing by the same rules.  If they are not; then action must be taken.  The minimum standards are the benchmark.  So the standard of practice starts there.

So when it comes to participating in a professional association I have generally experienced a positive membership. As colleagues we should participate in an association as a means of giving information from and getting information to other Land Surveyors.  The association can be a great way to do this.  

The word professional implies that the person who bares this title has; education in a specialized field, standards, and ethics.  I have  met a few people in my travels that were self proclaimed professionals that lacked one, two or all three of these traits.  If we are to proclaim ourselves as professionals then we have got to take responsibility for our actions both in and out of surveying.  If we consider ourselves as professionals then we have the responsibility to be a professional 24-7.  Not just at association meetings.  As professionals we should not be cutting each other off at the knees and trying to put the other RLS out of business.  

When I became a father I figured out early that my children were watching and learning from me even when I wasn't trying to teach them.  They observe my every move and take note how I react in different situations.  I am of the opinion that the general public observes the Land Surveying Profession the same way.  So they observe our antics both good and bad and formulate opinions.  Yet we as a profession have a tendency to go the extra mile showing  the public how good we can be at poaching each other.  

In closing I want to say; we cannot improve, we cannot move forward; we cannot grow without opening the door to the closet that holds the dark secrets we harbor and shed light on them.

Monday, April 9, 2012


When I was in college; I chose to become a member of fraternity.  It was not an Animal House type fraternity; but none the less a fraternity.  Anyway with every new semester came a new pledges.  It was the regular members job to haze the pledges to see if they had what it took to belong.  Then law and order came.  Hazing was made illegal and the schools cracked down hard.  Basically killing the initiation process altogether.

This profession has a time honored hazing system. Or at least it did.  In the days before GPS the survey crew consisted of 2-3 crew members.  A party-chief, an instrument person, and a rodman.  Generally the rodman was charged with showing up to work 30-45 minutes early to make sure the truck had all the supplies for the survey day.  Then every night he was charged with gassing up the truck and taking out all the trash, washing the windshield etc.  Then of course the rodman was charged with sharpening tools, oiling equipment, basically all the chores no else wanted.

Then as time passed they worked there way to party chief.  This was the time honored tradition and a good way to determine if someone had what it took to become a surveyor.  Very few entrants whom started as rodman made it to party chief or even RLS.  Those who made it were proud.  They had attained something.  They had endured the brow-beating and hazing and they were now in a position to dish it out.  

I am of the opinion that this system has led to our own demise.  First, today's youth are convinced that they need to go to college to attain the american dream.  Well, friends you are not going to get a college graduate with a surveying degree to submit themselves to this type of treatment.  Second, today's younger people have spent most of their adolesense posting their lives on myspace, youtube, and facebook.  So they can't be shamed into submission.  Third and perhaps the biggest; technology has completely changed the dymanic of the Land Survey Business.  We don't really have crews anymore.  The data collector handles most of the calculation so many crews lack the same level of expertise they had 25 years ago.

Yet with all of this we the surveying community has this idea that admittance is by invitation only.  Then we sit back and wonder why no one wants to join our profession?  Why join it and deal with this type on mentality? I can see why the younger, educated land surveyors steer clear.  Why deal with the nonsense when you don't have to.

Only we can change it.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

More About Conferences

I generally try to attend the APLS annual conference.  They are a good chance to pick up some refresher courses and get in touch with other Land Surveyors.  I enjoy them.  The courses generally provide information that I had over looked or not considered and at times can be eye opening.  As I get older in this profession though I have noticed that some of the courses are the same from year to year.  I try not to repeat them but often times find myself sitting in just for comfort.  This has to stop.  The old stand by classes can be entertaining but I find myself hearing the same ole same ole.  This is my fault for not getting outside my comfort sone and I guess we all do it from time to time.

This year I am going to try to broaden my horizons and attend courses that I ordinarily wouldn't bother with.  I encourage other to do the same if you find yourself in the same position I am.  APLS has for the most part been pretty good at putting together a conference that has much to offer.  It is me who doesn't take advantage of it.  At times I have been critical of the conference courses because I have not seen course work I am comfortable with.  Again my fault.  So this year I am going about things differently.

What I really enjoy is seeing friends from around the state that I normally don't see.  The conference gives us a chance to sit down over a beer and catch up.  Sometimes I find myself relating more to the guys I have met by hanging around my father.  I love to sit at the table with him and some of the older gentlemen and listen to the tales that always come up.  This is an excellent opportunity for the young Land Surveyors to learn some tricks, learn some history, and learn some procedural stuff that isn't taught in the class room.  These often times turn into round table discussions that can get heated.  Those are the best.  Not because I enjoy conflict but because I enjoy listening to the different approaches to solving a problem.  Normally dad will bring up an issue that starts the sparks and then the lesson starts.  I am going to be dismayed when these guys hang it up and enjoy full retirement.  Mainly because so much knowledge will be lost and not shared.  It is unusual to see me sitting with them and getting in fray to the casual observer. However many of these guys watched me grow up in this profession and they let me participate.  Anyone is welcome to sit and listen; but I caution participation unless you sit down with your "A" game.  Otherwise these guys can get rough.  The group I am talking about are gentlemen whom some have referred to as "ass in the grass" surveyors.  They can be  intolerant, brash, and down right abusive when they want to.  But man the education; the pain is well worth it. Having dealt with it most of my career I am numb; but some take offense.  They don't want to talk about accuracy vs. precision.  They don't want to talk about the latest survey toys.  Generally they want to talk about analysis, procedure and often times issues with the PLSS.  These are the best conversations to listen to.  So I encourage the conferences because I liken them to the rendezvous the mountain men used to gather for.  Where tricks and information is shared and the real lessons can be learned.

On the Lighter Side

OK so my first 2 posts were a little heavy and preachy.. It was that kind of day.  Today I will be enjoying a relatively quiet morning in the office doing the usual office chores until this chill is out of the air.  Then I will head to field.

I spent the first 5 years of my career working for my father.  For those of you who through the years ever got to know him will understand why I call those years "Basic Training".  Not only because of what I learned but HOW I learned it.  Those of you who picked this profession up outside of the family business will never understand.  Lets just say that the patience and tolerance level for new hires outside of the family is much greater than the other.  Working for my father was to say the least an education way beyond text books.  Don't take this to me that their is any deep seated resentment or a forth coming Dr. Phil moment.  I am just saying I had a lot of growing up to do in a short amount of time.

Being a party-chief while attending high school was great.  It meant 2 things.  First I always had cash, which went  along way.  Second it meant I had keys to survey rig.  Third I learned to enjoy both without abusing either.   I enjoyed it.  I also enjoyed being a teenager going to Conferences with my father and meeting other surveyors and hanging out with other party chiefs who didn't mind having a kid around.  My favorite was a Conference in Tucson; we found a longerie show in the hotel.  Lets just say that when I got back to school, I never looked at high school girls the same.  So the basic training was tough but not without reward.

The next 15 years I spent seeking employment, education and knowledge outside the family.  I had fun, learned a lot about how other practitioners work, and achieved status in the Engineering Office environment.  This is where I figured out that supervising surveying is not the same as actually surveying.  The air conditioned  sanitized environment of the office is no replacement to the fresh smell of the morning or the rush of a good hike.  Let alone the excitement of finding an original monument.  So I got to thinking.....

One day I am sitting in the office and the phone rings.  Its the old-man.  He says "I am getting tired, you can have the business, or I'm selling it."  Needless to say; I was homeward bound.  My wife was key to helping me take stock in the situation.  I was 35, with a wife, a one-year old child, and a new born baby.  I was packing them up to run my own business.  Leaving the security of a management job for the independence of self-employment under these conditions says that I either had balls that clank or shit for brains.  You be the judge.  Going 7 years, and loving it.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where are we Professionally Part 2

So here I am taking a break from the typical spring wind that graces the White Mountains and trying to get my office work caught up.  I created this blog as a means of trying to get my point across without blasting emails.  Chat rooms can be fun but something always gets lost in the conversation.

Today's response has been generally positive and I am relieved by that.  There has been an under lying theme to the multiple conversations I have had today.  THE BTR.

This is strictly my point of view and I am not speaking on behalf of any organization or group.  Ladies and Gentleman of the surveying profession I submit that we as a collective body need to get our act together.  The BTR is an agency that regulates our profession.  They do it by getting input from the surveying community.  We as a surveying community have to come together and set forth the course of our future.  The BTR will only act on issues that we as a profession bring to their attention.  If we think the test is to easy; we need to say so.  If we think enforcement is lacking; we need to say so.

We as professionals have got to take charge.  We have to assume the leadership role and not be intimidated by the BTR process.  They are very receptive to the input from the professions but they have to be willing to participate.  Moreover it helps when the message is clear.  Our profession should provide a unified front in one direction or the other on whatever issue you choose.  Undermining each other and public displays of contrition only give the appearance of folly.  

I would also like to submit that before we set out to present the BTR with a laundry list of problems we had better be prepared with solutions..

Where are we Professionally.

When I started surveying in eastern Arizona 30 years ago; the primary reason was to provide cheap labor for my father.  This is not an unfamiliar beginning for many practicing land surveyors.  I have met quite a few surveyors who all started in a way similar to mine.  The biggest difference between surveyors who "grew up" surveying versus the surveyors who got started as a summer job in college or graduated high school and stumbled into it is this:  the passion..... I have observed that the passionate surveyor puts time into the profession outside of the 9-5 mentality.  I attribute this to my experience working evenings, weekends and holidays for my father.  I learned early "do the work 'til the work is done".  At this point your probably asking yourself where I am going with this.

Our profession has organizations that represent the surveying profession at the national level and the state level.  These organizations are populated with professional land surveyors whom all desire to make our profession better.  However our profession is not a easy one to break into and it requires a great amount of individualism and independence.  These attributes are not consistent with group think and rule making.  So it is no surprise that many of these organizations go ignored by the surveyor.  Fierce independence is not a bad character attribute to have.  However as the profession evolves and the tools become more technical, changes are inevitable.  As professionals we have a duty to stay abreast of these changes and apply them to our practice as our judgement dictates.  As professionals we cannot draw a line in the sand and say "I'm done, and not going any further"  because if you reach that point; I submit you may cause more harm than good.  Not in the sense that your practice will deteriorate but in the sense that the application of rules and regulations will change but the static practitioner will not adjust.  Although there is a large segment of our profession that believes that tools do not dictate practice; I couldn't disagree more.  GPS, LiDAR, and Data Collector have blown the lid off of the way we practice.  At this point technology has made the art and science of measurement to easy.  Technology has simplified the process to the point that the next generation of land surveyor will not know what it is to "run line" because they are point to point locators.  Thus ignoring a millineum of surveying principles.

This is why we need to make sure our standard of practice evolves with the existing conditions.  This is why our testing for licensure has to evolve to existing conditions.  And finally continuing education.  Those whom have drawn a line in the sand, I say this; If you don't wish to participate because you are in or approaching the twilight of your career; then don't.  But do not let your "been there, done that" position get in the way of those whom are trying educate and train the next generation.