greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

You said to wait until businesses got up and running.....

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), January 06, 2000


Cherri, business won't even be able to get up and running if the FAA doesn't fix the major computer failures in VA holding up all southern flights on the East Coast. Of course, it couldn't be an embedded chip, could it?

-- d (dd@sover.net), January 06, 2000.

Cherri; I think we are now moving out of your area of expertise...

-- Michael Erskine (Osiris@urbanna.net), January 06, 2000.

My Dear Mistress Cherri,

And a very good morning to you. I can only surmize (from your open and disjointed question); ( a result of not having your second infusion of caffine this morning?). That you where refering to our present; or possibly near / mid term condition as to computer malfunctions. And of course the embedded systems. situation.

Mistress Cherri, dear lady...You know as well as , that the scope of the Y2K question is no longer a debatable question. You know, as well as I and other far more knowledgeable people. That for four days now, our IT systems( mainframe, PCs etc), which share information. Have been connecting with and passing information between each other. And you know, as well As I. That some of that information is contaminated!

As for power generation and distribution? Yes! We have power, but we also have reports of there being "spikes". And these "spikes" did not occur on the roll over, but days later. I wonder how many televisions, refrigators, computers(personal) have gotten fried? The spikes will continue. And in general terms, those "spikes" are called "dirty power".

We have FAA, running true to form,computers down somewhere in their radar coverage system every day this week.And, as always the Powers that be are saying.."We don't know what the problem is; but she ain't Y2K boys and girls"!

We have as many as four oil refineries down because of a glitch (remember now Y2K is no longer PC). I know of one pipe line which is moving a significantly less amount of oil today...

So yes...You might say business is up and running? But at what increasing cost of lost productivity. And the key word here is increasing. And the impeedence of profitability to businesses will continue to become even greater.

It does not take a corporate tycoon, to realize that once cost effectiveness is reduced beyond a certain level. Then that business(s) or enterprise(s) ceases to exhist. Date feilds which are not correct, have to be checked..And once you are required to check, manually, every invoice, bill of lading. You have terminally slowed our JIT system of movement.

I have more than once stated that there would be another 12 months of Y2K. The embedded systems are a part of that prediction. But dear lady, I am not myoptic, I included corrupted data exchanges between comuters and main frames also in that prediction.

And dear lady, from the unexpectedly high level (for me) of occurances that we are having in only the fourth business day since the rollover week-end. I am truely afaird that Mr. infomagic has made a conservative estimate of the end game senerio.

At what point will infomagic's "Charlott's Web" reach it's breaking point? This is now the only pertanent question to ponder. For it is certain that the die is cast! The "WEB" is going to break! Will the breaking of the "web" cause the stock market crash! Or will the stock market cause the "web" to break?

It is rather like the Shakespearan quote; " To be or not to be! That is the question..."!

I think that in closing this post I will make a personal observation or two.

Firstly; The end senerio of Y2K and it's devolving nature. Reads and has read to me, much like the plot of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"( incidently, I met the grand lady at one of her book signings many years ago). By this I mean only the "slowing down of the economy that Y2K is having and will have on the JIT system". How far will it go? I truely hope not as far as it can go...For Y2K is nothing more than a "trigger" for all the rest that happens. Case in point, the two hours during roll over that our defensives where totally blind; vis a ve, our survalence satellite systems. At what point does our luck run out? At what level of cascading cross defaults will some one think that now is the time to hit us?

My other thought is that I have never ever been privileded before to see such a collection of knowledge and intellect gathered any where, as I have seen on this forum. But then,in sadness, I remember the childish and moronic behavior that I also witnessed here.

Mistress Cherri. In every thing and in every one there is a value! A value that is unique to that peronality. When running work, I seldom was forced to terminate a person for lack of production. I simply determined what it was that that person was good at! What it was that he / she "loved" about their profession. If it was the "big" pipe! Then I made sure that they went into a pipe crew etc. Me? I have always loved the assembling togeather of people, materials for a purpose. And to correlate those people and the materials into a power generation complex, mine smelter, even a shopping mall etc.

But to be able to do that Job....I had to have hands on knowledge of IT engineering( start-up engineer), pipe fitters( mechanical engineering), iron workers( structural engineering), design engineers( the blue prints for the job), electrical engineers( electricans- my vocation).....And at odd times, the patience of a Buddist Monk....When trying to deal with stubborn people.

I must have did something right! For I have been all over the world, helping to build things...(Chuckle)! I must truely be getting old. For it is unike me to talk about myself..

But in closing dear Lady...I do hope and pray that you have your retirement out of the stock market, and some little food put by. Because you will need it, may hap sooner than late...But you will need it!


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), January 06, 2000.


How about this bit of Shakespeare:

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Or if you prefer Abe Lincoln:

You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you cant fool all of the people all of the time.

Some of us, dear Shakey, do actually work in Power Plants, on the Grid, know something about embedded systems and have pretty good memories for peoples stories.

Power Plants dont hire shirt tale electrician. You have to be certified to work on high voltage systems. And they dont hand people their notices as they walk out the gate if they screw up. The union would never allow it.

Youve been trying to convince people on this forum for quite a while that you have some deep and broad knowledge of power plants and the national grid. Unfortunately, for you, some of us actually do and can see through you like smoke in the wind.

If you really did you would never talk so much about spikes knowing how rare they are. Its the faults that get you. Or all of your silliness about computers sharing contaminated data and that will shortly show up. Any day now, real soon. Uh, you keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Oh and for your info. An occasional spikes isnt called dirty power. That usually refers to power with high harmonic content and non-sinusoidal waveforms. But you didnt really know that, did you?

Why dont you go back into the bunker and seal it up after you. Those of us who really do the work will keep the lights on. And you can keep hoping infomagic will be right. If not today then surely tomorrow, or the next day or next year or maybe in 2010. Or whenever.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), January 06, 2000.

Engineer - just a note of thanks. You and I offered differing advice on a few occasions, you generally saying that things would be ok, me generally telling people to err on the side of prudence. Looks like your opinion was pretty much borne out - thanks for all your comments.

My area of expertise is big mainframe databases, where problems would not yet have surfaced even if big problems exist. We will know lots more a few weeks from now.

But I sure am glad the lights stayed on!

-- bw (home@puget.sound), January 06, 2000.


thanks for the thanks. :)

Won't say there will never be any problems noway, nohow, nowhere. But there is a difference between real life and doomsday. Puget Sound is in an earthquake area. As far as I can tell there were problems before Y2K and there will be problems after Y2K.

Somehow I think if you encounter any problems with your main frames you and others will put the hours, and effort into fixing them. You'll do the job of work. After all isn't that what you did before? Life goes on, same as it always was.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), January 06, 2000.


>Power Plants dont hire shirt tale electrician. You have to be certified to work on high voltage systems. And they dont hand people their notices as they walk out the gate if they screw up. The union would never allow it.<

You are partially wrong on this one, Sir.

You are correct in stating that the electricians must be certified for high voltage work, but dead a$$ wrong otherwise.

Quite a lot of the new unit construction is done by people working for, or as, an Independent contractor, and it is increasingly becoming more non-union, to a far greater extent than it used to be. Non-Union workers have no job protection whatsoever. The construction crew works for the Independent, and the Independent in turn works with and through the office of the Field Engineer of the owner or parent company of the unit under construction. It has been this way for 15 years that I know of for a fact certain, and I would suspect for even longer than that.

Since 1976 for sure and for certain, and by my own personal knowledge, CONSTRUCTION electricians have beeen generically known as "shirt tail" electricians, and they do for a fact get handed their pink slips at the gate, or are even escorted to the gate and off of the plant property, on a lot of occasions. I've worked hand in glove with a lot them on several occasions, and I've seen far too many get the boot in just that way.

You must be a company employed engineer in a union plant. You quite obviously aren't a Construction Engineer, or even a Field engineer. Stick with your own day job, Sir.

Ms. Cherri,

Don't you think that maybe you should hang loose for a few more days/weeks and let some more of the data be collected before you start pouncing on the people and beating up on them?

I know that you were taught better than that.

I'll grant you that you know far more about "embeds" than I would ever care to know, and I will even acknowledge you as an expert on such affairs, but I still think that you are getting a bit impatient and are far too eager to declare yourself the victor in the "Great y2k War" that you help to perpetuate.

Your turn to crow will probably come around, and for what it's worth (zip?) I tend to agree with you on the overall issue, but I think that you should squawk standby for awhile yet.

My viewpoint only Ma'am.


-- sweetolebob (buffgun@hotmail.com), January 06, 2000.

Firstly sweetolbob..Thank you sir for your words..

Now sir Engieeer! It is plain and simple that you sir have main lined on "one" steam machine! You sure as the devil do not have a working knowledge about the construction end of it child! Now if you want? This old "Tramp" electrican will and can sit down and tell you about how life is for the construction hands!

From Sterns and Rodgers to Bechtel Corp. to Ling Engineering...Son! I have worked for them all! Helping to errect their steam machines, smelters, oil refineries. Unlike you child! I did not stay on one job site kissing up to every supervisior in an effort to keep my job! Son! When it didn't go my way I "pulled the pin" and went to where I could find a job that did...And "white line fever" is common mong tramp electricans sonny!

And incidently...There are only two good jobs in the world! The one I came from, and the one I just heard about over across the country. The one I got right att the moment is a $%%^@@@@$^!!! And so is the Boss! (unless it is me running the job! The he's a prince).

Now Boy! I am a member in good standing in The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611. (which is in Albq, N, Mexico.) And kid! My ticket is now 35 years old! And probably older than you have lived young one.

Young man, before you shoot your mouth off next time. You might ought to ask POLITELY about where a person got his experience..And you might pleasently be surprised in learning that you will receive a polite, civil answear answear.

Now back to a gentleman...sweetoldbob. I wonder if we didn't hit a few jobs togeather? Are you union also? It don't make much differece about the union part..We are all brothers (LOL! Yes! I have been heavily into organizing for the past few years)...sweetolbob!

Can you believe that we are leaving this old world in the capable (?) hands of young fellers like the engineer? Man it makes me tremble! I bet he can't figure out the radis of a bend with out a calculator in his hand! And shore as the Lord grows little green apples! If I would have had him working under me; I would have had to Smoke him for non production before the week was out it makes for a light "drag up check" But what the hay! I have had a couple of "one man" lay offs myself LOL . And a couple of light paychecks to. Usually because I thought that I was smarter than the foreskin..Chuckle! Then I got older and wiser (got to be a foreskin, then said yes to an overseas gig)...( which looked good on my papers LOL)

OH well! The good jobs are about all gone now, though I understand that there is a power house going to be built below Dallas! may be I'll make it my last Harrah! If we all can get past July 1st with out havng everything coming unwound in our faces.


-- Shakey (in_a_bunke@forty.feet), January 06, 2000.


Well it is the next day here in the forum...And engineer's "silent" reply is growing almost as deafening as our Dear Mistress Cherri's.

I would think that she would cease sending out boys to do men's work! For it also appears that all Mistress Cherri wanted was to draw this poor old man's ire. And that; just long enough for engineer to jump in and beat his chest about how knowledgeable he is.

Oh well, Mistress Cherri. We'll see each other again on another thread possibly. I do so hope that you kept your food stash back for yet a little while.

With the sudden spate of oil refinery fires, we may just be a little short on "go juice" if we loose a few more of them to; "I don't know what caused it...But she ain't Y2K!" And heaven perish the thought of some grung old electricans putting in their own date counter chips where they where needed...LOL! You crack me up! Dear Lady!

An old Shirt Tailed Electrican (holding every certification required for Westinghouse and General Electric turbines installations{goodjobs those-with lots of buffet eats,yum!}..And contractig licences for three states (used to be a lot more, but the cost of keeping them current was killling me.)

HINT: A superentdent with a state contractor's licence for that state, has an easy time of finding a contractor wantig his services... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Shakey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), January 07, 2000.

Shakey, you're a hoot and I sure have enjoyed having you on the forum. I'd throw somebody out, if we were short of room in the lifeboat and YOU wanted in!

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), January 07, 2000.

Shakey, why on earth don't you join us in chat sometimes? Bok's place is at


The password is newt.

If there are trolls in the room, hang around and a regular will be in before long to guide you to FRLchat.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), January 07, 2000.



Sorry for the delayed answer. I seldom look at a thread more than once every few days, so I almost missed your post. No slight intended to you.

No, I doubt that you and I have crossed paths as I have only worked at one plant since I retired from the Air Force in 1976, so, unless you were in southern Louisiana doing one of our contract installations for us we probably haven't met in person.

I missed the layoff by 2 slots or I would have been a travelling "tramp" too. I was looking at going to Arizona to finish the nuke, at Palo Verde(?),if I had been laid off. I'll always wonder... What if?

The "don't kiss and tell" paper is good until death plus 10 years, so I can't tell you the name of the company where I worked. A biggie though.

During my watch we had 7 major projects, including a two turbine hydrogen fired powerhouse installation, so it could be possible that we have crossed paths I suppose. FB&D did the install, I think. I worked with the Instrument and Electrician hands from GEM, IMC, FB&D and Bechtel over the years though, plus the local ICs of course.

Brother-in-law and 2 nephews are IBEW, and one is up in Aurora Il right now. Old story - can't get a union job here, must travel.

I am a union hand, IAM Local 470, for 24 years now. I was an Instrument Technician when I worked, but I'm now disability retired, over the hill gang.

How's those "Electrician's knees" doing?

You mustn't be so harsh on "The Engineer" though, Sir. He probably means well. I think that Ms. Cherri does too.

You know that some engineers are just naturally anal-retentive and get their knickers in a twist if all of the pencils aren't exactly lined up in a neat little row.

We always referred to them as "fish tank" engineers, because they thought that the little pond that they swam around in was the Pacific Ocean. The diploma doesn't confer "smarts" as you well know.

That job South of Dallas wouldn't be over in Louisiana would it? Some contractor has the job for a new CO-GEN unit in Lake Charles. A PPG/ENTERGY co-gen, natural gas twin turbine. I believe that it's calling for around 250 or so men, all crafts, and running for 16 - 18 months. Just curious.

Take care, and always remember - don't pee on the hot feeds, Sir.


-- sweetolebob (buffgun@hotmail.com), January 07, 2000.


Tis thread will probably scroll off before you read it again..But if it doen't, another way to get even with an obnoxious welder, is to wiss on his work! The day before he goes to welding it up LOL...

P.S. There's gotta be a way to swap e-addys with you. I'll figure something out


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), January 08, 2000.

Shakey and old bob.

Don't try and kid a kidder. I'm 51 years old and I've been in the business for 26+ years. So I'm older then your ticket. I've worked in Construction, Maint. and Design. I've been a Field Engineer, Maint. Eng. and Design Eng.

I've taken a blank piece of paper and designed subs from scratch.

I've worked in 500 Kv subs as well as hole in the walls. And yes steam plants too. I've put in every breaker you can think of as well as some I'm sure you never heard of. SF6, Air-blast, and oil. Ditto Transformers. GE. W., English Electric, Japanese and Italian Banks. I worked on stuff older then I am as well as brand new state of the art systems. I've been out in a yard when it's -10 F and I've climbed on banks when it was so hot if you didn't wear a glove you'd burn your hand. My hard hat has the wear and tear to prove it.

I spent a number of years in Field construction and I know there are some good electricians out there. I've worked with some of the best. Guys who really knew their stuff. They taught me a lot when I was a "young pup". I also know there are some who are just wire benders and blow hards. Guys who have wired transfomers with all the links in place. Guy's who have wired CT's with two grounds. And of course both of you know what that means.

I also know that on a Union Job if the forman tried to fire a guy for a trip out the IBEW would be all over his case. And rightly so. You can't work on hot stuff in the real world and never trip anything out. Been there Done that.

I know the difference between guys who really know their stuff and guys' playing to the crowd. Worked with both.

-- The Egnineer (The Engineer@tech.com), January 08, 2000.

The Engineer,

>I also know that on a Union Job if the forman tried to fire a guy for a trip out the IBEW would be all over his case. And rightly so. You can't work on hot stuff in the real world and never trip anything out. Been there Done that.<

This is the God's own truth if ever I saw it, and he who hasn't tripped a few isn't working very much. I only tripped one powerhouse, and that just one time, that was when I was checking a "Critical Meter". I wonder why they are called that?

But then again, I was an Instrument Tech, not a true spark chaser like you guys. Give me the old 4-20 madc/24v DC, or 3-15 psi control loop stuff anyday. Instrument roaches were limited to 120vac and under where I put in my years.

That screeching sound of silence does humble you quite rapidly though doesn't it?.

Do reactors count? I got 3 of them, and one pipeline MOV in my years. Far more Instrument loops than anyone could ever count though. Some were my fault, some were the operators fault. Same results either way.

I spoke of the non-union dudes, which don't get that protection. I've seen several of the poor dudes get the boot in just that way though. Sorry for the confusion, Sir.

I can't believe that you have been in the field for so long and haven't heard the term "shirt tail" electrician though. I thought everybody knew them. Oh well, goes to show you that you learn something new every day, and I've now learned this.

Welcome though. What breed of engineer are you in real life?



-- sweetolebob (buffgun@hotmail.com), January 08, 2000.

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