Sunday, July 16, 2017

Well, That Was Fun

   Not.  It was supposed to be a simple exercise, in at nine in the morning (with donuts), out by one in the afternoon (with deli sandwiches), while electricians did all the heavy lifting and us fine young gentlemen and lady of Engineering airily shifted power connections from UPS power to non-UPS power and back again, casual as afternoon tea in the garden.

     Instead, the plug-moving proved to be disruptive, operators groused about engineers crawling around making monitors blink and requiring them to shut down their various computers and then log back on; the UPS techs had software trouble,  the electricians hit unexpected wire-pulling snags -- we're talking mostly three-phase, 208 Volt, 200 Amp service, a quintuplet* of big, fat wires to each of the UPS breaker panels, of which there are several -- and as we shut equipment down, rack by rack, breaker by breaker, just about every new shut-down revealed unexpected failures and previously-unknown interconnections.

     Powering back up, we found a couple of critical devices that faulted on rebooting or simply conked out, power supplies now inert lumps.  One gadget, a peer and I restored by stealing power supplies from a similar (but non-critical) device; another can't-run-without-it was already replaced by its backup for the power changes, which is now working without a net.  At one point, a staffer's family member called in to report an overlooked outrage that had gone on for two hours, unnoticed because we have no way to monitor the ultimate output.

     Got home, exhausted, about 7:30 p.m. and Tam bought me dinner at Open Society Public House,† a delayed birthday gift and a huge relief, a lovely meat of filet mignon cooked to perfection with first-class mashed potatoes and sauteed stringbeans that opened with shishito peppers in a marvelous sauce and ended with berry-topped vanilla-orange custard.  I even enjoyed a mixed drink, a mint-lemon upgrade from the "7&7" or "CC&7" of my decades-younger days.

     --Got home, got settled and went to bed, exhausted, wrung out from the day, dizzy, maybe still feeling that single drink with a decent meal.  My phone made the sound indicating a text.  I ignored it.  It made the sound again, so I picked it up and looked:

     -Has [baby brother] texted you? 
     -Did you hear from [baby brother]?  Call me.

     They were from my sister.  As I read those, a long text popped up from her: my Mom is showing no improvement and they're having trouble keeping her blood oxygenation up without a full-coverage mask. She'd been on a CPAP machine to sleep for the last two nights and supposedly, my brother was going to do a mass text, which I had not received.

     Maybe my phone was overloaded or too shielded at work.  It happens.  I called, we spoke (she spoke.  I listened.  One does not often manage to slip in a word edgewise with my sister).

     Anyway, I'm going to go see Mom today.  Your good thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.
* Five wires for three-phase power?  Sure.  It's 208 Y, not Δ, so three hot wires and the neutral (and 120V wall-socket juice from each hot to the neutral), plus a ground.  I didn't look but we usually specify a full-sized ground wire, just in case; the electrical code in most places allows it to be smaller but that's not a clever idea for a facility like the place I work.

 † Not the George Soros organization, the gastropub/coffeehouse.  In terms of the speed and quality of the service, as well as the outstanding food, it is as close to the Platonic ideal of dining out as you can get.  They don't faff about: as soon as you are seated and settled -- but not before! -- wait staff arrives with menus and waits for your beverage order.  From then on, staff and items arrive at the right time and dishes taken away once you are done with them, all as smoothly and unobtrusively as sleight-of-hand.  It is not inexpensive -- but you get every cent of what you pay for, and then some.


RandyGC said...

Continued good wishes for your Mom (and for you)

Countglockula said...

More good thoughts, prayers and smoke for Mom, you, and the rest of your family.


B said...

Good thoughts for you and your mom.

If you are in a place where there is no phone service (either due to shielding or just too far away from a tower, or because of too much RF interference) then that text stays waiting until you phone checks in to the network again.

So if there was no text from yer brother, then he didn't send it addressed to you.

Anonymous said...

"just about every new shut-down revealed unexpected failures and previously-unknown interconnections."

I'm shocked - shocked! - to discover that management pushes for time over maintaining the documentation on the facility. Well, not all that shocked.

As others have said, good thoughts for your mom and your family. Have been where you are now and it isn't an easy time.