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 thirty first letter I wrote.
04/26/2002 – Latin at Dell
Dear Friends up North,
I hope everything is going well with you guys this week. The weather has been great the past few days. It has cooled down and the grass in my yard has actually turned green (just in time to keep the Home Owners Association from coming by and slapping me with a fine for having yellow grass). — Yes. Green lawns are important in my new neighborhood.
When I lived out in the country and I didn’t mow the grass, the neighbor would come over and knock on my door. And as you might suspect, he would ask me the obvious question that I’m sure many of you have experienced, or you yourself asked your neighbors when their grass got a little too high. He would say, “Mind if I let my cows loose on your yard?”
Of course I always refused, since I didn’t want his cows leaving big presents all over the yard, so I would say, “Naw, (My neighbors seemed to like it when I spoke their language), but you could mow it and bail it iffen you want, and I won’t even charge ya fer it.” — Well. That worked in Oklahoma, but it doesn’t work in Texas. At least not with my neighbors.
‘Round here (That’s in ‘Round’ Rock), people don’t seem to see the benefit in having tall grass. When people get a knock on their door around here because their grass is tall enough to be waving in the breeze, it’s not to see if they can let their poodles loose in your yard to leave little presents for you, it’s to tell you that if you don’t mow it soon, you will be in trouble with the “Home Owner’s Association” or otherwise known as the H – O – A !!!!
Of course, I have found mowing the grass in my neighborhood to be quite a different experience than I’m used to. For one thing, you have to schedule the time you mow the yard with your neighbors, so that you aren’t mowing the grass at the same time as your next-door-neighbors. This isn’t a requirement or anything, but if you mow your grass at the same time as your neighbors you run the risk of bumping your lawnmowers into each other as you attempt to turn the sharp corner at the edge of your lawn. Did I mention that the yards here seem to be rather small.
I think I can mow my entire lawn three times with one tank of gas. — That’s probably a pint of gas. — And that’s not because I have a super efficient lawn mower. — Sure I have to mow my grass often, but when it only takes about 10 minutes, what’s the big deal? I could just get the weed-eater out and stand in the middle of the yard and spin around a couple of times and “voila”.
Did I mention that “Voila” means “There it is”? — Oh yeah, I did. I also told you that “Voici” means “Here it is.” And in Latin, “Veni, Vidi Vici”, means, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” — You actually use Latin a lot, but you might not realize it.
For instance, “Vidi” from the phrase above is the root for the word “Video” You see how Vidi, means “I saw” and Video is something you watch? “Veni” is the root for “Adventure” which literally translated would mean “To go … ture (sure)”. “Vici” is the root for “Vicinity”, which in Latin means, “I conquered you, you Nity” (or something like that). You see how much you can learn in just one e-mail. All this wealth of information.
Working at Dell, I have had to change a phrase I used to use. I have told some of you that I can speak every language in the world except Greek. — Of course, all those languages in the world that I don’t know IS Greek to me. (I actually told that to my mom once, and she didn’t believe me, so she started naming off different languages like Russian, and Chinese, and Turkish, and each time I would say, “That’s Greek to me.” — She must have named 10 or more countries before she finally gave up without ever figuring out the joke). Well, since I’ve been working at Dell, I think I can understand every language in the world except “Geek”. Some of the Geek dialects take a little getting used to.
I have finally figured out how to decorate my cubicle. As you may remember, I never put my hardhat stickers on my hardhat (You know. That safety concern about safety stickers hiding cracks in your hat). Well. I did save most of them. So I have started putting Hardhat stickers up along the inside of my cubicle, as I find them at home.
I put up my 20 year and my 15 year safety stickers, and a couple of big round safety stickers. The Red one that says, “Anger is one Letter away from Danger” — Which always made me think that “Cain is only one letter away from Crain”, and the one with the blue arrow pointing down that says, “Safety Starts with Me”. — I have noticed a lack in hardhat stickers around here. I wonder. What’s up with that?
You know, now that I’ve mentioned it. I haven’t seen anyone around here wearing a hardhat. I wonder if I need to be wearing my hardhat? No one else seems to. I’ll leave mine at home tomorrow and see what happens.
Like I said at the start of this letter, “I hope everything is going well with you guys.” Keep in touch.
Hmm. Haven’t heard from Gene Day lately. What’s up with that?
Your Friend from Round Rock,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile
Programmer Analyst II
Dell Computer Corporation