Monthly Archives: April, 2021

Letters to the Power Plant #42 — Moving Around 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 forty second letter I wrote.

07/12/02 – Moving around Dell

Hello friends from even more North than last week,

Yes.  This week I have moved to a new building.  —  It is only temporary, but for now, I must brave the morning traffic on I-35 for at least 4 or 5 miles in order to go to work in another Dell Shangri La.  —  My partner Marvin and I have moved down south about 5 miles to another building for a few weeks in order to be close to the DBAs.  (That stands for DataBase Administrators).  That way when we have questions and stuff, they will be real close to come to our assistance.

So I have moved into a new guest cubicle in this other building.  —  It is a little like OG&E when you have to go to another plant to work, except that it’s not so far, and I still get to go home at night, and I don’t get a per-deum.

One thing I do get to do, is I get to work with a whole lot of new people that I didn’t know until this week.  —  Also, like OG&E, when you go to work at other plants, you realize that it’s like a whole other company at those other places.  —  At Dell, it’s kind of like that.

Except at Dell, it’s like a whole other “Country”.  —  For instance, the people that are in the cubicles around me, have last names like this (and I’m not making these up):  Danda, Srivangipuram, Jasti, Satish, Raaman, Shao, Challagolla, Singh, Kasaram, Liu, Khanjee, Pothukuchy, Pokkula, Kunala, Srimattirumalala, and Ahmed.

Their first names are a lot easier to remember than their last names.  They go like this:  Azeem, Radha, Murthy, Venu, Sohan, Jichuan, Srinivasa, 2 guys named Ravi, Ragini, Liming, Devika, Mahesh, Kotamraju, Nanda and Venkat.

I get the impression that a certain group of people with long names like to be DBAs, or at least, Data Warehouse Developers. —  And this is just the two rows of cubicles where I am.  — It’s worth the extra 10 minute drive to work in the morning, just to learn all those extra names.

I have spent the week programming away.  We were planning on going to see Men In Black 2 this week as a team builder, but we decided against that.  So instead we will probably be going out on a lake in our manager’s boat in a month or so after the flood waters subside.

Some members of our team felt that going to see a movie isn’t really an optimum Team-building experience because you just sit there in the dark watching a movie and eating popcorn and drinking cokes, and you don’t really interact with each other.  —  At least on a boat, we can play tricks on each other, and push each other in the water, and ski, and detach the rope, and all sorts of optimum team-building activities like that.

Besides, when everyone is wearing a swimming suit, you kind of naturally get in the team-building spirit anyway.  —  And I know you are all wondering, so I’ll tell you right now.  —  Yes.  I will put my laptop in a plastic bag to keep it dry.  — Of course.

I hope all of you had a wonderful week,

I’ll write later,

Your Friend,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #41 — July 4th 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 forty first letter I wrote.

07/05/02 – July 4th at Dell

Dear Friends from Sooner Plant,

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written, and I know everyone is wondering what happened to me. (as if anyone REALLY cares).  Well.  Last week I was in training all week.

No.  It wasn’t SQL training.  I have had enough of that.  I started my project this Monday using all my extensive SQL knowledge.  —  Last week I took a course called “Mastering MFC development using Visual C++”. (I know this sounds like a lot of fun, and all of you wish you could have attended.  But just in case you are wondering — MFC stands for Microsoft Foundation Classes).

It was an all week course, and was very intense.  I studied so hard for that class that I forgot all the SQL stuff I have been learning the last month.  Then this Monday when I came to work, I had to start forgetting what I learned last week, so I could start remembering what I learned during the last month, so I could do my job.

Everything turned out ok, after I sat and stared blindly at the computer screen for 3 or 4 hours, and then it all came back to me and left me at the same time.  Anyway, besides those first 3 or 4 hours, the rest of the week has been pretty good.

Of course, this has been a holiday week, and as you will notice by the date on this letter, I came to work on the day after July 4th.  I had vacation, I just didn’t want to use it for this week.  —  Anyway.  Today has been pretty quiet since most people are gone today.

My manager came by a little while ago (around 2:00), and told me I should go home for the day.  So I thought this would be the perfect time to write to you guys.  —  That is, after I finished my all important “Weekly Status Report” where I fill in all the important things I did this week.

For instance, I put in there that on Monday morning, I sat in front of my computer for 3 or 4 hours and forgot everything I learned from the previous week while I remembered everything I had learned from the previous month, so I could perform my present job.  (I think in computer terms that would be called “simultaneous uploading and downloading”, though I have heard “downloading” used for doing other things, that don’t usually take place in one’s cubicle — maybe a stall, but not a cubicle).

I should have known 2 weeks ago when the weather man said that we had a deficit of 11 inches of rain for the year.  —  I should have taken that as my cue to prepare for the onslaught that was about to occur.  —  Do you think I did?  —  No.

I didn’t even remember to wash my car before it all came down.  —  This morning on the way to work the weather man said that we now have a surplus of 4 inches of rain for the year.  —  Hmmm.  That means that we’ve had somewhere around 15 inches of rain in the past 2 weeks.

Of course, I think that’s only how much they could measure after their rain gauge overflowed into the street causing the storm drains to flood. —  You know, you would think they would get a larger rain gauge.

Anyway.  Needless to say, We have survived another drencher.  I think I’m getting used to eating seafood, (or at least drinking seawater).  I think the water from the ocean was evaporating so fast, and raining on Austin so quickly, that it was like one giant wave coming from the ocean.  —  That would explain all the fish lying all over the place.

Well, since we couldn’t go outside to have our Fourth of July team builder because of all the rain, we just had it in a large conference room at the other end of the building where I work.  —  We did all sorts of team-building activities that have been carefully researched and crafted to optimize our team-building experience.

First we ate lunch. (That’s always a good team-building activity).  Then we broke up into teams, and then we put a bunch of chairs into circles and turned on some music and played Musical Chairs!!!  —  Boy.  I could feel those team-spirit vibes just oozing from the boom-box as we all marched around in a big circle waiting patiently for the music to stop.

In case you don’t remember how to play musical chairs…. When the music stops everyone is supposed to sit down in a chair, only there is one less chair than there are people.  The person that is unable to find an empty chair, or is not big enough or aggressive enough to push someone else out of their chair, has to leave the game.  Then one chair is removed and the game continues until only the biggest meanest brutiest person is left sitting in the last chair.

Then you go play something else.  —  In this case, there was a ping-pong tournament, and a game of Pictionary.–  Both highly effective “Team-building” activities.  —  I know.  I can see all those wheels spinning in your heads now, picturing how great your next Men’s Club lunch could be, if only you guys could play Musical Chairs too.

Note to reader:  To learn more about Power Plant Men’s Club events, read this post:  Power Plant Men’s Club Prizes and a Story of Luck.

Believe me.  It’s more team-building than a person needs in one day.  —  Personally, I have found that sitting at Men’s Club eating Barbecue and asking the guy next to you to pass the napkins has always been a great team-building experience.  —  Oh.  We did have Barbecue too.  —  And smoked chicken.  —  Both great team-building lunch items.  They are good for conversation starters.  (But of course, all of you know that already).

Well, I had better go.  It is good to hear from you guys.  I hope everything is going well.  I hope Conoco stays online (for your sake).

Note to reader:  To see why Power Plant Men would be concerned about Conoco read this post:  What Coal-Fired Power Plant Electricians Are Doing at an Oil Refinery.

Your Friend from down in Austin,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #40 — Back from Vacation 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 fortieth letter I wrote.

06/17/02 – Back from vacation at Dell

Hello Sooner Friends,

I have returned from vacation.  I had a fun and interesting time.  And as usual, while I was away, the typical things happened when a person misses an all-important meeting.  It seems that our Vice President had heard that I was the “PowerPoint King”, and so he has volunteered my services at the “AISD”.

Down here in Texas, they have these things called ISD’s.  That stands for “Independent School Districts”.  It’s more important what ISD you live in, than what town you live in for obvious reasons.  For instance, if you live in the Round Rock ISD, That means that you are a “Dragon”.  If you live in the AISD (That’s Austin ISD), then you are some other kind of mean or noble creature that does not refer to American Indians, Endangered Species, or Sissies.

Anyway.  My VP volunteered my services to the Austin ISD, so that I can teach all the High School and Middle School Children the fine art of “PowerPoint”.  —  I said, “Ok, but do you really want ME teaching them PowerPoint?”  If I teach the children PowerPoint, the teachers might make a rule against using PowerPoint at all commencement Speeches.  (Did you notice that Steven, the Dell Dude guy was using PowerPoint at HIS commencement address?).

Note to reader:  To learn more about my use of PowerPoint, you can read the following two posts:  (Can you do that?  Use two colons in a row?):

Power Plant Men Learn to Cope with Boring and Power Plant Final Presentation

Actually, I think I’m going to be teaching them more than PowerPoint.  I’m going to be teaching them the “Art of saying what you want without being kicked off the stage, at least until the end.”

No.  I mean.  I’ll be teaching them the other Microsoft Office products as well.  Like Access, which is a Database program, and Excel, and Outlook and Word, and of course “Solitaire”.  Especially in the more unfortunate schools where Solitaire has accidentally been left off of their school computers.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about Solitaire being taken off of the computers, see the post Hitting the Power Plant HR Cardboard Ceiling.

I will show all the wonderful children the fine art of recovering valuable information that up to this point has been unavailable to them, such as the database where their grades are kept.  I will show them where they can change the school districts Lunch menu, so they will be able to schedule which days they would prefer hamburgers, or a steak dinner, etc.

I’m supposed to go to a meeting on Friday about this.  It seems that I have been put on what’s called the “Core Team”.  So I figure we will get to pick and choose what we want, (unless of course, I miss that meeting, in which case I will be given all the stuff that no one else wants — or be elected “Leader”  —  So I’ll be sure to be there).

At least it’s nice to know that my Vice President has faith in my abilities.  I guess he’s gotten over the program I wrote that started snoring when someone stopped using it for 5 minutes.  He’s actually a great guy.

Of course, this forgiving and forgetting thing is throwing me for a loop.  Where did that come from?  It must be a new thing that was only invented last year.  Up until last August I never knew Management could forgive or forget something, (unless it was your overtime pay).

Hmmmmm.  I wonder if I can do that?  I’ll give it a try some time.  —  I wonder what Jim Arnold would say if I went up to him and told him I forgave him for all the rotten and terrible things he did to me and my friends, and then I gave him a big kiss right on the smackeroo?  —  Oh.  Excuse me.  That last thought was just a little too much.  I apologize if I caused anyone to loose their lunch ( I know I almost did).  It was purely unintentional.  (I’m sure).

Before I end this letter, I would like to publicly apologize to Byron Hoeltzel for misspelling his last name.  — I spelled it “Hoetzel” in my last letter (but corrected when I posted it online).  Silly me.  I should know better, after all.  I’ve seen my name spelled every which way.  —  Some of them I wouldn’t even repeat in public.

I’ll talk to you guys later….

Your friendly Dell programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazillllle


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #39 — Vacation 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 thirty ninth letter I wrote.

06/11/02 – Vacation at Dell

Dear Soonerites, and others,

Finally.  I have a short week this week.  I have three days of vacation.  I’ll be gone from Wednesday until next Monday.  I have already turned in my Weekly Status Report, and I only have one more meeting to go to in about an hour, and then I’m gone.

Whew.  I will finally get away from this grueling work.  Boy.  A vacation at last!  I haven’t had a real vacation since 1997 before I started going to school.  As you remember, I used all my vacation to go to class.

Of course, as you can imagine, they really frown on people taking vacation around here.  When I’m gone, who is going to do all the Fun Committee activities for all the meetings?  —  Well.  I have passed that torch onto the other new hires, so I am no longer needed.  Also, there are all those mini-team-building activities that go on continually that require my attendance.  —  Well.  Too bad.  I’m just going to have to miss those this week.

I’m going to New Orleans.  I’m just going to lay around in the sun and drink beer.  — Wait a minute.   This is starting to sound like work!  That’s what I had to do last week!  Ok.  I’ll just lay around at the pool and think about all those fun times I had at Sooner Plant.  —  Oh wait, I did that too at my Manager’s house.

I also played pool (you know pool.  It’s a lot like Snooker, only easier).  I had to use our Manager’s pool cues since I didn’t have one of my own.  —  Yes.  Walt Oswalt never game ME a pool cue.

Note to reader:  To read about Walt Oswalt and pool cues, please see the post:  A Window into the Power Plant Man Bedroom.

So I told my whole team that I knew Walt Oswalt and Bud Schoonover.  They chuckled a little at a couple of stories I told about Bud.  I told them I needed more time to tell them about Walt.

Then I told them I knew Jim Arnold, and they all fell on their knees and bowed down and said, “We’re not Worthy”  —  At least, I think that was what they were doing.  Either that or they had had too much to drink, and they were loosing their cookies all over the Castle-like patio stones that decorated our Manager’s backyard.

I told our team about some of those “infractions” that I had done while I was working at Sooner.  I explained to them that I liked programming things, and they wouldn’t let me do any of that at Sooner Plant, so I had to think of SOMETHING to program.  But I assured them that now that I’m in I/T (That’s Information Technology), I don’t have to mess around, because I get to do that every day anyway —  program, I mean. (smile).

Well.  I’ve been learning everything anyone ever wanted to know about Databases, but were afraid to ask.  I have been learning SQL Server SQL, Oracle PL/SQL, Teradata SQL and ANSI SQL all at the same time.  —  Sounds like a bunch of Squealing pigs. SQL SQL SQL SQL.  Or a shopping cart with a squeaky wheel at Wal-Mart.

Anyway.  I won’t be writing at the end of this week, so I thought I would write today, just to let you guys know that I had been thinking of you.  —  Oh.  Talking about Wal-Mart, and thinking of you.  I had a dream the other night that I was in Wal-Mart and I saw Byron Hoeltzel there, and I said, “Hi Rudy.  Um, er.  I’m sorry I called you Rudy.  Isn’t it funny how quickly a person can forget a name?  I know you’re not Rudy.  I just can’t remember your name.  You’re…….”  Then I woke up in a cold sweat.  Funny how dreams are.  Calling “Byron”, “Rudy”.  I know better than that.  Geez.

Talk to all of you next week.

Your Friend from Down here at Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #38 — Team Builder 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 thirty eighth letter I wrote.

06/07/02 – Team builder at Dell

Dear Friends at Sooner, and Toby (not at Sooner) and the I & C escapees,

I hope all is going well with everyone this week.  I have been in Training most of the week.  This afternoon we are taking off a half day to do a “Team-builder”.  Our team is going to our manager’s house to “Team-build” in the back yard by her pool.

We are supposed to drink beer and do some other sorts of team building activities.  This sounds like fun, but when you read between the lines, this could be a nerve racking, hair-raising experience.

First of all.  We have to drive clear across Austin to the “Wealthier” part of town.  Then when it is over, I have to drive all the way back to “my” side of town.  — That in itself is a test of stress endurance and disaster planning.

A person attempting this feat will want to take the route that takes them past the most hospitals, and down the highways that have the most tow trucks stationed along the route.  That way, if the stress causes the driver to go into cardiac arrest, the tow truck will be close by, and the ambulance won’t have too far to travel.

This makes me think of the “Green Acres” song.  “Green Acres is the place to be.  Farm living is the life for me.  Land spreadin’ out so far and wide.  Forget Manhattan, just give me that countryside.”

Anyway.  Sorry for the transgression.  The second hair-raising, nerve tingling activity that we will have to perform during our team building activity is that our Manager has given us a questionnaire to fill out.  I have watched our team members merrily typing out the answers to their questionnaires on their computers, humming along as they gleefully typed their answers.  —  I, on the other hand, have struggled and stressed over exactly how to answer these devious, dubious and probing questions.

You see, there are questions like:  What is an Interesting event in your life?  — What can I say to that?  For 18 years I was an electrician at Sooner Plant.  I have had so many Interesting, life changing events during that time, how can I just choose one?

My first thoughts were, “How about the time that Richard Moravek and I got shocked in the elevator?  Or the time I got shocked in the T/R cabinet?  Or the time I got shocked looking for a ground?  Or when I was shocked by the vacuum line under the precipitator hoppers?”  All those were interesting events.

Note to Reader:  For more information about Richard Moravek, or being shocked, see this post:  Prolonged Power Plant Pause Before the Panic.

Then I thought, “hmmmm”, it was pretty interesting when I told Jim Arnold that  ‘He may be stupid, but I’m not.’ and it was pretty interesting when I asked Jasper Christensen if the Outlet side of the Hot end of the Air preheater could be hotter than the gases that were exiting the air heater, and he said he couldn’t say that.”  That was pretty interesting.

It was also interesting when I printed out a questionnaire on every printer in the company (including all the billing and check writing printers) and when James Harlow (the company president) called Ron Kilman to ask him who Kevin Breazile was and why did he do that, Ron Kilman didn’t know what to say. — That was pretty interesting.  — Especially after a beet-red-faced Tom Gibson told me never to do that again.  Then there was……..  well, you can see my dilemma.  So many interesting events.

Note to Reader:  To read more about printing out a questionnaire on all of the printers in the company read this post:  Power Plant Customer Service Team Gone Wild.

Then there is the question:  “Most serious infraction of the rules.”  First I thought, “Me?  Infraction of rules?  Never!!!!”  Then I remembered,  “Oh yeah”.  I suppose there was the “Birthday Phantom”.  That was kind of an infraction since the I/T department downtown spent weeks doing nothing but trying to track that down.

Note to Reader:  To read more about the Birthday Phantom see this post:  Power Plant Birthday Phantom.

Then there was the time when I changed the SAP logo to be a whirlpool instead of a ripple and it was sucking some unfortunate Business Support Supervisor down into it.  —  Some (who lack a little bit of a sense of humor) might think that was an infraction.

Note to Reader:  To read more about the Supervisor being sucked down into a whirlpool, see this post:  Hitting the Power Plant HR Cardboard Ceiling.

Then, of course, there was the above mentioned Printer thing.  —  I knew something was going to happen when the mail room upstairs was stacked full of replies to my questionnaire, and some of the responses were less than cordial.  — I think Jim Harlow thought that was an infraction.

Then there was the time I messed up the precipitator when I wasn’t even at the plant, but Jim Arnold needed someone to blame.  Bill Green still thinks that was an infraction.

What does my manager want?!?!?  — A novel?  She needs to ask more specific questions than this.  Something like:  “What was your most serious infraction the first week of April in 1999?”  —  At least that would narrow it down!!!!

Then there is the “Trick” question.  It is:  “What is your biggest pet peeve about Management at Dell?”  I know what I’m supposed to say to that question.  The obvious answer is:  “Management at Dell is so nice they make me want to Puke!!!  Where is all the slave driving?  Where is all the ‘Because I told you so’s?’ How can anyone manage if they aren’t going to tell you how to do every little detail of your job?”

Then there is the question:  “Interesting people you know”  I wrote down Bud Schoonover and Walt Oswalt.  Need I say more?

Note to Reader:  To read more about Bud Schoonover see this post:  Carpooling with Bud Schoonover.  To read more about Walt Oswalt, see this post:  A Window into the Power Plant Man Bedroom.

I miss all of you.  I wish I could be there, but for now, I have to go drink some beer by the pool.

Talk to you later,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #37 — A Bit of Dell Trivia

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 seventh letter I wrote.

06/03/02 – a bit of Dell Trivia

Hey Sooner Friends from Up North,

I was just reading about Databases, (because my new project requires me to learn this), and I thought I would send you a quick note to show you something I just read:

If I have 64 database tables that I want to join (That’s relational database lingo for those of you who don’t know), then the number of possible ways to join those tables is just about the same number of grains of sand it would take to fill up the entire universe with sand.  —  Yes.  It would take: 1.2 x 10 ^124 grains of sand to fill the entire universe with sand.  When you write that number out it looks like this:




Isn’t that something?

I thought you would want to know.



Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527


Letters to the Power Plant Men #36 — Sunburned 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 thirty sixth letter I wrote.

05/23/02 – Sunburned at Dell

Dear friends at Sooner,

This has been quite a week.  I’m glad I have a long weekend to recuperate.  I have had to use my brain, and my back this week to accomplish all the activities I had to perform.  —  I’ll give you a run down of what my week has been like.

I know this won’t sound like much to the Sooner Plant Super Heroes who climb boiler walls like Spiderman, and Leap steam leaks with a single bound like Superman or rip your shirts open at the seams like the Incredible Hulk when Jim Arnold asks you to do impossible tasks, but for your average geeky computer programmer like me — this has been quite a week.

First, if you will recall.  I had a meeting on Monday in “The Board Room.”  —  That meant that I had to drive diagonally across the City of Austin during Going-To-Work traffic.  Which meant, I had to spent half of the weekend before, playing bumper cars at the carnival just to get back into practice.

Well, when I arrived at “The Board Room”, there was this big long wooden table that looked just like one you would see in a movie where all the old guys are sitting around looking at an even older guy at the end of the table telling them what to do. —  Only, there weren’t any “really” old guys there — except maybe me.

There were people from Japan, and Europe, and Malaysia, and ….  Oh yeah, from America.  We sat around for 4 hours and while all the other guys were discussing this and that (which I can’t say), I had my laptop out on the table, and I kept typing away, like I was keeping notes.

We can do that because we have mobile cards in our laptops that allow us to stay connected to the network even though we have to take our laptop with us, like for instance….. to the restroom.  —-  Anyway.  While I was in the meeting I did write a quick e-mail to Ray Eberle.

Then when the meeting was over I had to drive diagonally back across the City of Austin to Round Rock during Going-To-Lunch Traffic, which, even though it isn’t as crowded, the people that drive during Going-To-Lunch time seem to be a little more agitated than the Going-To-Work crowd.  —  Anyway.  By the time I was safely back in my cubicle, I was totally exhausted from driving to-and-fro, and sitting in the 4 hour meeting trying to look totally interested and busy at the same time.

The next day (Tuesday) was our I/T All-Hands day.  We broke up into teams with people we didn’t know and did a “Team-Building” thing.  Each team had to build a raft, and then we had a raft race.

In order to build the raft your team had to go solve certain puzzles and do activities at different places in order to get the parts to build a raft.  It was a lot of fun, and by the end of the day I was totally soaked, from the part where our raft fell to pieces when we were halfway across the pond on our second trip.  — It was rather fun.  — Nevertheless.

I wasn’t wearing my hardhat because I didn’t think I needed it.  Now I realize why I should have worn it.  —  It seems that over the years while I have been wearing my hardhat, the hair on my head has been quietly getting thinner and thinner.  —  I think this is the first time I have ever gotten a sunburn on the top of my head.  —  You know.  The part where the hair is supposed to protect it.

When I had finally limped home, I went in the house and put a bunch of Aloe Vera lotion in my hair to soothe the sunburn.  —  I wish Gene Day had warned me about these hazards!!

Well, Wednesday was a fairly quiet day.  I spent most of the day in my cubicle studying for my next project which is still in the planning stage, and moaning from my aches and pains, only when I had to move, which was about every 5 or 10 minutes to keep my legs from falling asleep.  So I sounded like this all day:  “Oooohhhhh, typetypetypetypetypeclicktypeclickclicktypetypeOooooohhhtypetypetypeclickdoubleclicktypetypeclicktypeOooooohhhhh.”

Then Today, we had another All-Hands meeting, with a much smaller group.  It was my Manager’s Manager, so we had only about 40 people there.  We had to play a game called “Jeopardy”, except that all the questions were about Dell.  Our team won one game and lost the final round.  Anyway, my brain is still sore from playing that, because we had to actually “Think”.

I was given an award for my “Outstanding Contributions to the Customer Recovery Team.”  They said that my Business partners said that I had helped them out so much that they wanted to give me something.  — I was pretty shocked, then I remembered that I had fixed all their computers, so now they think I am some great guy.

That’s kind of what I did at Sooner.  —  Of course, I never remember getting a $100 dollars just for doing something extra.  It seems I do remember being told that I was an Electrician, and it’s not an Electricians job to fix peoples’ computers.  — Anyway.  That made me feel good to actually get paid something extra just for “helpin’ the team.”

My last thought as I left the meeting was,  “What?  No Hardhat Sticker?”  —  You know.  No sticker saying that I was a “Boiler Rat”, or one that said that “I survived Sooner 2 in 2002?”  — Bummer.  Just a lousy Hundred Bucks?!!!! (I’m just kidding of course — I have to throw in that line for the DellSecure Program, so it knows that I’m “just kidding”).

I hope all is going well with you guys.  I hear that, at least in OG&E downtown, the Quality process is picking up again.  Is this true?

It’s been good to hear from you guys, keep in touch.

Your friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #35 — Not Boring 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 thirty fifth letter I wrote.

05/17/02 – Not boring at Dell

Dear Friends,

Since I have been told that my last letter to you was “extremely” boring, I thought I would make it up to you by writing another letter that is only partially boring, thus letting you face the weekend with a chipper attitude that will make your weekend fly by so fast that before you can turn around you will find yourself back at work ready to make the Equipment Support Supervisor a “Hand”.

The first item of interest is that big empty space on the other side of this floor.  You know.  That space that was about the same size as the maintenance shop, only empty and carpeted.  —  Well.  This week it is still carpeted, but it isn’t empty.  They have been putting up cubicles all week.

200 new employees will be moving in that room.  So…. We all know what that means.  —  Yes.  No more laptops in the bathroom stalls.  —  That’s right.  The bathroom will be twice as busy as it is now, so the bathroom stalls will be premium real estate.

We won’t be able to afford the luxury of writing e-mails while contemplating the meaning of the universe anymore.  So as I look  around at these four stall walls and realize that “Change Happens” (It says something else on one of the stall walls, but it sounds kinda similar), I know that change is good.

Yes.  Just think of all those new faces I will be seeing every day.  In the mornings I will pull into my parking space just ahead of someone else who will be waving wildly at me greeting me with all sorts of wild angry expressions, (which I know will just be some people’s way of saying how much they care).

You know the expressions.  Yes you do.  —  You’ve seen them many times.  The Equipment Support Supervisor and Business Support Supervisor really do care you know.  That’s why they makes those wild angry expressions.  Didn’t you know that?.

Yes.  As it is now, if you don’t show up by 7:45, the parking spaces around the building gets sparse.  Just think what it will be like when 200 more people are working in this building.  Luckily we have the “Dell Shuttle”.  You can park way off over the hill and have the Dell Shuttle come by and pick you up every 12 minutes.  —  I prefer to arrive a little early, so I am able to find a parking space close to the door.

Well.  I have an interesting meeting next Monday.  I’m not sure what it’s totally about.  I know what we are supposed to be doing, but I’m not sure why we are doing it in the room where we are going to be doing it.  From what I understand, this meeting will be in the “Board Room”.  —  Yeah, like in the “Board of Directors” room.

I know that they are interested in what we are about to do, but I didn’t think they would be interested in what “we” are doing.  —  We shall see.  The room where this meeting is being held is not on the Round Rock Campus.  It’s in a special building that is located just down the road from Michael’s house.

I’ve seen Michael’s house from the Highway.  His house is literally about the same size as the town of Morrison. —  Just to give you an idea.  Remember that Michael is worth about $11 Billion. —  Do you remember my last e-mail when I was talking to you about all those numbers?  Well that is the same as saying 11 GigaDollars!!!!  —  I know these numbers are boring to some people, so I won’t dwell on them.

Actually, since I am risking another Extremely Boring e-mail, I will end this letter now in order to avoid the dreaded “BOORRING” notice I have received from one concerned citizen of Sooner.

I hope all is going well with all of you,

Your Friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #34 — Big Drives

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 fourth letter I wrote. (Boy Times have changed!)

05/17/2002 – Big Drives


Do you remember the 20 MB hard drive I had on my first 8088 computer?  Then 200 MBs, Then 2 GBs (Gigabytes), Then 20 GB?  At home I have an 80 GB hard drive.  Well.  Anyway.  At Dell and Wal-Mart, and probably at OG&E, they are using drives that are Terabytes large.

Now.  To understand a Terabyte, it is 1000 Gigabytes.  A Megabyte is one million.  A Gigabyte is one Billion.  A Terabyte is one Trillion!!!  —  We have terabyte drives that store our databases.  We are moving over to a new database that will have a Petabyte (PB) of memory.

You can see where this is going.  1000 Terabytes!!!!  To put this into perspective.  That is 1,000,000 Gigabytes!!!!  No let’s go one step further, That is 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) Megabytes.  No, let’s call it what it is:  one Quadrillion bytes.  Or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of information!!!!!!

Now I will say what I heard my dad say the first time he brought home a box of 10 low density 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, before there were hard drives.  “There are 360 thousand bytes (360 KB) on this disk!  Do you know how long it will take me to fill up just one of these?  I can put a whole book on just one of these disks, and I have 10 disks in this box!!!!  I will never use these up!!!”

Certainly, we will never use up a Pedabyte of space…….certainly not…….

I started writing this to just Charles Foster, but then I thought the rest of you might be interested in this exercise in Mathematics.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about Charles Foster, read this post:  Personal Power Plant Hero — Charles Foster

Your pal at Dell,



Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #33 — Merry Christmas Power Plant Man — From 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 thirty third letter I wrote.

I have posted this poem in a blog post each year, and it was the first Power Plant man Post I posted when I began this blog on January 2, 2012.

Here is a link to the my latest version of the Power Plant Man Christmas poem:

05/13/02 – Merry Christmas Power Plant Man – From Dell

Dear OG&E Friends,

I know some of you have read this, and some of you haven’t.  I know it’s not the season, but I thought I would send this.  This is a poem I wrote to my brother a few years ago after he sent me a similar poem about a Marine.  Immediately when I read it, I realized that Power Plant Men were obviously in the same category as a Marine that offers his life for his country.  So I sat down at the computer and wrote this poem:

Merry Christmas Power Plant Men

Twas the night before Christmas, as I flew through the snow,

To a house full of kids, wife, dog and Jay Leno.

I came down the chimney with presents to share,

And to see what kind of he-man actually lived there.

I looked all about, and oh what a sight!

Four kids in their beds, without much of a fight!

A dirty pair of jeans, and a shirt full of holes,

Boots full of coal dust, worn shoestrings and soles.

A hardhat was hung by the chimney to dry,

With safety stickers, scratches, and earplugs nearby.

I felt that something was stirring in my chest,

And I knew that this man was different from the rest.

I had heard about men like this from watching Roseanne,

But now I was in the house of a Power Plant Man!

I looked down the hallway and what should I see,

A tool bag hanging behind the Christmas tree.

As I approached it to look at his side cutters,

I heard a strange sound, like a motor that sputters.

There on the recliner laid back as far as it can,

Lay the worn body of the Power Plant Man!

The hole in his sock showed a big toe that was callous,

From trudging all day through his Power Plant Palace.

His face was unshaven, his clothes were a mess,

He needed a shower, of that I confess.

I knew through the nation all people could stay,

Warm in their beds, until the next day.

From the power that hummed at the speed of light,

And silently flowed through the houses at night.

Day after day, and year after year,

Blizzards and storms with nothing to fear.

As the Power Plant Man lay on his chair fast asleep,

I thought about others like him that work just to keep,

Our world safe from the cold and the heat and the night,

By keeping us warm, or cool and in light.

I looked in my bag for a gift I could give,

To the Power Plant Man who helps others to live.

I found that nothing seemed quite enough,

For the Power Plant Man had all “The Right Stuff”.

As I looked through my bag for the perfect choice,

I suddenly heard a muffled cigarette voice.

The Power Plant Man had stirred with a shock,

And all that he said was, “just leave me some socks.”

Then he rolled on his side, and scratched his behind,

And a tear swelled in my eye that left me half blind,

And I knew that the Power Plant Man was selfless inside.

He lived to serve others with courage and with pride.

I pulled out some socks and put them under the tree,

Then I walked nimbly back to go up the chimney.

Before I rose to return to my sled,

I picked up his hardhat and placed it on my head.

It was then that I realized the soot on my brow,

Had come from his hardhat I put on just now.

I often get soot on my clothes and my face,

But tonight I had been blessed by the man in this place.

So as I flew through the night to finish my plan,

I took with me some of the soot from that Power Plant Man!

Kevin Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527