(Last update: 0930 11/05/00)
Well, the rain continued on and off throughout the day; and the weather people cannot figure out whether or not the weather from yesterday will be a bellwether for today's weather <g> (there's an old back channel story there).to The Gas Company...
Let's see... Whatever shall I do with myself today? Perhaps order a widget or two? Confirm the utility changeover for the places we'll be responsible for in another day or two? Ah! For your reading pleasure with your second cup of coffee, a story on me from last week:
I'd called a week or two ago to start service on the utilities to the new office. A call to Pacific Gas and Electric came up a null set when they couldn't find the service address in their database. Okay; I'll send Frank, the new Ops Director, by the place and have him get me the meter number. He calls and asks, "Hey, do the initials SCE mean anything?" Sure, evidently this office is just across the border or some such and Southern California Edison has the show in Hanford. NP, that's just another phone number to call and I'll handle it.
Last week, Frank knows I'm hammered, so he calls me and gets the number for SCE and says he'll handle the switchover of the other posts. "Great! What brand of beer would you like?" He calls back an hour later laughing his head off and says, "Hey Daniel, you won't believe this one: the community eight miles down the road is PG&E territory!" Sheesh. Okay, I've got that one. So I call the nice lady; it's Friday and it's late; and I'm mentally done in for the week. We get things done and I'm about to hang up when she says, "Do you know if you have gas heating or appliances there?" I dunno. ...and who cares anyway? It's called Pacific Gas and Electric for a reason. Right???? Wrong... In that area of that county, PG&E only provides electricity. So she graciously gives me the number for the gas company. ...and I ask, "So what's the name of the outfit, SCE?" "No sir, it's the gas company." "Which gas company?" "The gas company." "No, no, no; the name of the firm supplying gas to that building..." "Yes sir, that's correct, the gas company..."
Unfortunately, even though I live in the realm of the absurd, it never occurred to me the gas company servicing major portions of southern California is called The Gas Company... Really. You know, like TPC, The Phone Company, in The President's Analyst (James Coburn, 1967). We had a good laugh over it; but then I had to make the call:
Good morning; I think we'll start the day off with a consumer alert... First Dell and now Compaq are recalling notebook batteries. Hit one of those links if you have a Latitude, Inspiron, or Armada E500 or V300 notebook. You may be affected. They won't necessarily come looking for you, so check the sites and see if your battery is on the hot list.
The end of the beginning...
By this time, the Kings County operation will have started. That puts me out of 'planning mode' for the moment and into 'reactive mode' again. That's mostly what purchasing does anyway, react to customer demands. Some places say they plan and order from inventory flow, but that's still reactive work...
What Janeen and I like to do is to plan. Look at the use rates and the seasonal changes and adjust our orders accordingly. F'rinstance, in November, our crews use about 75 percent less diazepam than any other month of the year. The data from the last two years is striking. I'm looking forward to this November's data. More to the point, we have the holiday season coming up; that means we'll be bumping our orders up. Not particularly due to use rates, although certain types of medical aid calls definitely increase between the holidays; rather, because the shipping firms get overloaded and the concept of Just In Time goes out the window for the simple reason that your supply chain is bogged down. ...and not just the last link in the chain, the guy supplying your distributor is likely caught up in the same molasses spill. That's why I laughed last year when they asked me if I was going to bulk up stock for Y2K. "No need folks; we always bump up stock starting in November."
But for the next few days, it's reaction time. Frank, the new Ops Director, will find he needs something that is unique to his operation and we'll go get it. ...or we'll discover his use rate on an item or two doesn't parallel the use rate here. Hopefully, if our planning worked, there'll be a buffer there to draw from. If not, Airborne Express makes a few more bucks from us.
Frank did have one thing he didn't know about until late yesterday evening; I called him and mentioned one particular box with special markings I'd had transshipped to his attention. The inner pack said, "Do not open until after midnight." Inside was another box labeled "Kings County Emergency Kit." The contents:
I figure that ought to just about cover things for the next few days<g>.
- one roll of duct tape
- one tube of super glue
- one stick of deodorant
- one bottle of hand soap
So far, I'm out from behind the lectern for two weeks. Lee is scheduled for the next two, and I'll have the three after that. ...and even that's not so bad since Thanksgiving will break those up. ...but if I end up teaching, I have a lecture on mass casualty I can bring to the table. Enough for now; I'll check in on the alternate site later...
On the work front, things continue apace. Janeen's busting her tail making sure the details are tidied up down south, and I'm still trying to find my desk beneath the fallout from the paperwork blizzard.
I found this article the other day over on Weblogs. It deals with the concept of 100Mbps broadband into your home. But, when I looked a little closer, the author's concept of "last yard" sounded familiar. Oh yeah, Brian's been doing this for quite some time. So has Tom. ...and Bob. ...and Dan the First. ...and, well, many of us. Hanging a server close by to handle downloads and mail? That's not a new concept over here<g>. But the author makes some good points, especially in the area of broadcast. Then again, he has some expertise there; his name is Adam Curry. If that sounds familiar, look back through the maze of memory to your MTV days. That Adam Curry. It seems he moved onward and upward when he and MTV had their falling out a few years back.
...off to bed early last night to try to kick this thing.
Good morning. Here's how life can be funny: last week when I taught, the boys' soccer games were at 1000 and 1100; This week, when I'm off and could perhaps sleep in, the games are at 0800 and 0830. ...and I'm not a morning person. Not even. Then again, I'd be up anyway...More in a bit...
1630 +/- Ya' know, I wondered what the heck Dan was up to when he mentioned the local election going on in the next town. Then I realized he was likely trolling through the local paper looking for ammunition to feed the Rainbows before today's game. I'd been laying low this year; last year I sent him an inflammatory link from the local paper and it seems he forwarded it on to the team to fire them up. It worked; they won and forced a three way tie in the league. This year, the 'Bows haven't done as well; but I wasn't going to throw fuel on the flames.
Then, last night, I found out the game is here! I hadn't even checked the schedule, other than to see if it was on TV. It was; and since we hardly ever have broadcasts of games locally, I didn't look further. Hey, I could have gone! ...but then, I would have missed my nap.
Three minutes into the game:
Hawai'i 14; FSU 0...
The game ended up 45-27, with Fresno State on the winning side of the ledger. Sorry Dan; better luck next year. I managed to watch most of the game; it was a fitting cap to a well-earned day of relaxation and fatherhood. Since I couldn't take a snapshot of myself laying around, I took one of my RunTunTun; he captured the spirit of my day.
We started the day off with overlapping soccer games, then out to breakfast. We came back home to open presents and then Daniel was off to a friend's birthday party while Shelley and Bradley shopped and I took a nap. Dinner was a slab of lemon meringue pie (Shelley took exception to me calling it a 'slice') and the evening wound down to a post or two... All in all a very nice day to do quite a lot of nothing.
It made for a fitting way to start my second half-century on the planet...
0930 +/- If your page counts go up a tad today, gang, it may be because Dave Winer linked to us over on Scripting News. And in a shameless link-back, his site is where I found an article from O'Reilly that may hold some interest to the gang: How would you like it if you published a book from your web postings and then found you had to take your site down? ...for copyright violation. I didn't think so.
...and while I'm on the shameless self-promotion bandwagon, over in the land of ETP and Weblogs, Al Hawkins and I have a continuing conversation bouncing from his site (11/02/00, the story of Mrs. B. thru current) to mine and back again (11/03/00 thru current) on the present state of the health care system. Jim, feel free to jump in if you have the time.
Later... I'm off to a birthday gig.
Thanks for Visiting
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