Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Letters to the Power Plant #29 — Dell’s Directions to Reunion Ranch for All-Hands Meeting

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the twenty ninth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

4/11/2002

Hey Guys,

This is just a quick note:  Do you remember that I said that in Texas, they like to have a number for all the roads.  Here are the directions to Reunion Ranch from where I work:  Take I-35 north, then turn Left on 29, then right on 183 then right on 3405, then left on 255.    —  See!!!  What did I tell you?  If you want to see for yourself, you can go to http://www.reunionranch1.com .

Just another note:  I-35 is an Interstate Highway (as you already know).  29 and 183 are Highways (HWY).  3405 is a FM (Farm to Market) road, and 255 is a CR (Country Road).

Texas Trivia.  Isn’t it fun?

Kev

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

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Letters to the Power Plant #28 — Evolution in Texas

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the twenty eighth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

04/11/02 – Evolution in Texas

My Sooner Friends,

Do you remember a long time ago, how there was this discussion about whether they should be teaching evolution in the schools?  You know.  There was an argument about whether God created the world in seven 24 hours days, or he made our world in some long drawn out process that took Billions of years to get to this point — since God created Time, and is not bound by it.  —  Anyway.  I have found “Evolution in Texas”!!

This is not the same kind of evolution, but it may be something that happened in England many years ago.  —  I’m sure you all remember the guy from Texas last year that would race up Highway 177 every morning on his way to work in Ponca City, and race back to Stillwater every evening.  —  You know, the guy that drove on the wrong side of the road most of the time because he was passing cars so fast.  —  Well.  I think this guy was involved in this evolutionary process that is happening to the Texans around here.

You see, there is a big traffic problem in Texas.  19 million people are all trying to get somewhere else as quickly as they can, so they can get done doing what they need to do, so that they can get back to where they were when they left.  And they are doing this everyday.  —  As you may have noticed with this green car from Texas that was zipping down Highway 177 every morning and evening, when he was driving in the other lane he was going just about twice as fast as when he was in the normal lane.

I think the Texans have noticed this on a grand scale.  There seems to have been an evolutionary thought process that has taken place, where Texans realize that if they drive in the wrong lane, they can go twice as fast.  —  Now, at first, what they had been doing, was driving down two lane roads in the wrong lane, and whenever they met an on-coming car they would both swerve back over into their own lanes just before colliding with each other and slow back down to about 30 miles an hour above the posted speed limit.  Then as soon as they passed each other, they would swerve back into the wrong lanes again and speed up.

This process of driving in the wrong lane at ridiculously high speeds has begun to evolve into one where the drivers don’t pull back into their own lanes when they meet oncoming cars.  If the oncoming car is in the wrong lane, they just stay there, and the two cars pass each other on the wrong side.  This way, neither car has to move over into their own lane and slow down.  —  I can see where this is going.

Eventually everyone will be driving on the wrong side of the road going twice as fast as before, and then (supposedly), the traffic problem in Texas will have been solved.  —  It seems to make sense to them.  — So I suspect that in a few years, Texas will be just like England, where everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road, and that will be the right side ( I mean the left side will be the right side — Well.  You know what I mean).  — I think that the traffic problems in England are not as bad as in Texas, and now I think I know why.  — We are just driving on the wrong side of the road!!!!!

I say this is an Evolutionary process, and if you remember what Darwin taught, it had to do with the “Survival of the Fittest.”  That means that whoever was best equipped would survive, because they would eat up or kill the weaker or slower animals.  — Well.  The evolution of driving in Texas has the same effect.

Those drivers that don’t use the right signals to the other drivers about their intentions of staying in the wrong lane as they pass each other, or those drivers that move over into the right lane at the last minutes and have a head-on collision with the person in the wrong lane, will eventually all be killed off, and then, only those people who are with the program will be driving.

So if Texas keeps evolving the way they are now, I suppose that in a short time Texas will have solved their traffic problems by having everyone driving on the wrong side of the street at twice the speed.

I hope all is going well with you guys.  Tomorrow is our All-Hands meeting at the Amusement Park,  I’ll let you know how it goes.  According to the Agenda, all the managers have to take their turn at the “Dunk Tank.”  —  That should be fun to watch.

I’ll talk to you soon,

Your Friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #27 — Another Friday at Dell

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the twenty seventh letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

04/05/02 – Another Friday at Dell

Dear Friends from Sooner,

Here it is, another Friday afternoon in Dellsville.  Not much has been happening today.  Next Friday we are spending the whole day at a place called “Reunion Ranch”  There is a poster just outside my cubicle about the place with a Reunion Ranch balloon stuck to it.

Some guy dressed up like a cowboy came around yesterday and pasted the balloon on the poster, and said, “Howdy!!  Are you going to the party next Friday?  I told him I was planning on it.  Then he said, “Well, Pardner, I’ll be a lookin’ for ya.”  Then he sauntered off, with his spurs a clankin’ and his chaps a-swayin’.

The poster says that they have all sorts of fun stuff to do there.  They have canoeing, and a beach, and a bunch of games, like Horseshoes, and softball, and basketball, and Indian Tepees, and Pony rides, and miniature golf and wagon rides, and trolley rides, and an obstacle course (this whole thing sounds like an obstacle course if you ask me), and a whole bunch of other things too numerous to mention.

We are supposed to spend the whole day there, just playin’ around and eatin’ BBQ.  They told us not to eat dinner the night before, because they want us good an hungry, so we can really enjoy ourselves.

Anyway,  like I said, not much has been happening today.  I have been doing bug fixes on a program that I helped modify, and now our customers are testing it out.  When they find a problem with the program, they write us a detailed description of the problem, and we go through the program code, and find out why it’s doing what it’s doing, and then fix it, and then test it again to make sure it works.

Anyway, like I said, not much has been happening today.  I have been writing a screenplay for the commercial that our team is making for the “Team Commercial” contest for next week.  —  All the teams are in a contest about who can make the best 30 second commercial about their team.

I wrote the thing, and we have been gathering up props to film it.  Then we’ll edit it on the computer.  The whole thing has to be on the computer when we submit it.  —  We have to drive around town and film stuff for our commercial.

It’s due next Wednesday, so we really only have next Monday to finish filming it, then edit it on Tuesday, so we can turn it in on Wednesday.  The big prize for the winning team is a two foot tall stuffed Mr. Potato Head that the team can display in their area of cubicles!!!  —  And of course the prestige of winning the contest.

I’m afraid that since my cubicle isn’t too decorated, that if our team wins, they will vote that I keep the Mr. Potato Head in my cubicle for the next year until the next contest comes around.  —  We are competing with over 35 other teams, so the likelihood of that happening is quite slim.

Anyway, Like I said, not much has been happening today.  I also finished planning for my next project which is starting on Monday.  It’s a project where I have to upgrade a bunch of software that is really shaky.  Whenever anyone does anything with this software it quits working.

So our team decided that they would let me do the upgrade for it, because no one else had time to try to upgrade it, only to have it fail, and then have our business partners all upset because the application doesn’t work anymore.  So, I start that on Monday.

Like I said, Not much has been happening today.  This is the first time I’ve had to sit down and write a letter to you guys all week.  My manager just popped in his head around my cubicle and looked at his watch, like I was crazy for still being here, (since this is Friday afternoon, and it is just about 5 o’clock).

I get the hint.  —  A couple of weeks ago, (the Friday before last), he invited our team out for a beer at a Mexican Cantina.  We sat around and ate nachos and drank beer and I listened to all the “Old Timers” tell stories about the “Old days” when things were very different at Dell  — Like 9 years ago when Dell was still a young company.  After a while I thought my wife and children would be wondering where I was, so I went home.

Anyway.  That’s what’s been happening here.  How are things up there?  It’s good to hear from you guys.  I hope everything is going well with everyone.

I’ll write soon,

Your Friend and Dellite from Austin,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #26 — Spring time at Dell

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the twenty sixth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

03/27/02 – Spring time at Dell

Dear Sooner Friends,

The other day I had to go over to the manufacturing plant to show someone a program I had written.  While I was there, I was able to look out across the manufacturing floor and watch them building servers.  It was quite an experience.  It reminds me of what I used to think of when I thought of Santa Claus and his elves making Christmas presents for all the Children in the world.  —  This was one of the many manufacturing plants, churning out servers as fast as they could.

Tomorrow we are having a get-together with a couple of other teams for lunch.  We are supposed to play Pictionary, and get prizes and eat ice cream.  Then on Friday, we are supposed to take the day off and go to a team builder.  We are going to go Bowling, then lunch, then go to a movie.  We are going to wait until Friday morning to decide what movie we want to go to.  —  So you see, the rest of this week sounds like it could really be hectic.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. —  You know.  It’s like the Friday night before a Christmas weekend, when a big freeze happens and the unit trips for some unknown reason, and you end up spending your whole Christmas holiday trying to get the unit back on.  You know.  The same thing that happens at Thanksgiving, and Easter, and …..

Oh, and this week is probably going to be twice as disastrous.  Not only are we having an all-day team builder on Friday, but this is also Easter weekend!!!  —  I wonder if Dell is anything like OG&E.  I have spent the last three Easters at OG&E working on Easter day.

I’ll keep you posted and let you know if all of the sudden one of my programs goes hay-wire and causes the manufacturing floor to come to a grinding halt, so that I have to come out and work in the cold and the rain, and the coal dust and the fly ash with my fingers freezing as I try to tape up a piece of program with cold stiff electric tape in order to get the program back online as quickly as possible so that we can start making computers again.

Anyway.  I’ve never played Pictionary, so that will be a new experience.  It has been years since I bowled, so that will be an embarrassing experience.  I hope I bowl better than I play horseshoes.  One time I was playing horseshoes with Diana Brien, and her family, and I believe, that once I threw a horseshoe so wildly that it actually ended up behind me!!  —  I wonder if she remembers that.

I hope I can do better with bowling.  — I’ll let you know.  —  At least if I get it in the gutter, I know I won’t hurt anyone sitting behind me.  —  And to think we were talking about going Golfing instead!!  That would have been a hoot.  I probably would end up breaking someone’s window in their house with a wild golf ball —  Or maybe even the club.

Well,  I’ll let you know how it goes.  How is overhaul going?  Are you about to wrap things up?

Your Friendly Dell Representative.

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527