Dean on December 9th, 2014

theplanThis morning I was catching up with my friend, David.  He’s had a rough week.  We were just sitting down for breakfast when I got the text that the generator had started at ACST.  “This is not good…”, I said.  I texted with a few folks only to find out that our building (one of the five in Florence) was the only building without power.  This means that it isn’t our utility company.  I can’t blame it on them or someone taking out a power pole while texting and driving.  So, it’s pretty obvious that it is internal to the building and it’s the entire building.   So I leave David and head on to work.   Fast Forward……

The main building breaker is tripped –  In 1879, Thomas Edison submitted a patent for this device.  Today, it worked.

Our ATS, Automatic Transfer Switch, (patented in 2000) sensed the failed breaker and signaled the generator to start.  It worked.

Our ATS has a 5 second delay to ensure an actual power outage.  So, during that 5 seconds, our UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), patented in 1964, held the computers and servers up in our data center until the generator could start – It worked.

All of that occurred and THEN our monitoring system (APC and PRTG) sensed the start of the generator and texted the team.   –  It worked.

Almost one hour later, the situation has been isolated and is in discovery mode to determine if a repair is in order.

Bottom line, the plan worked.   Lots of time, energy, money, etc goes into making our customers happy.  In this case, they didn’t even know we had an issue.  It took smart people (some that filed patents years and years ago) to make this work.


By the way, we used the time wisely… we trained on how all the breakers are connected.  We trained on how to check the elevator to ensure no one was stuck.  We trained on the ATS. That makes me happy.

Dean on December 2nd, 2014

christmas shoes

Moms are on my mind.

This morning, I was on the way to drop Breanna off at school. On a normal Tuesday, I would leave there and have breakfast with one of my dear friends.  He had texted me earlier in the morning to give me an update on his mom.  Most of my friends know that she’s dying. (This is sudden news and unexpected).  She’s in a hospice house….with pain medication….but the end is near.  Since I can relate to the path he is currently travelling (See my January 2014 posts), I have tried to share with him how important those moments are.  As I drove down Southborough Road in Florence, the song “Christmas Shoes” came on the radio.  You’ve heard it… You know it.

It’s a story of a kid and his mom… She’s dying and he wants her to look her best “If momma meets Jesus tonight”.  Wow.

As I listened to that song, I thought about how just 2 short weeks ago, David’s focus was on his Dad.   In 2000, all the focus was on my mom.  December 7, 2000, my dad entered the hospital.  16 days later he died and we rushed to bury him on Christmas Eve so we didn’t have to go through Christmas dealing with a funeral.  Life isn’t fair.  We both worried and focused on the sick parent, not the healthier of the two.

I also received a text from a dear friend whose wife will deliver a child today that has been given no “Hope” of survival.   She’s a mom of 4 beautiful girls and they will hold out faith for a miracle this season also.   Please pray for them.

I struggled to mutter a single word of the song but I could hear Breanna singing.  The song reached the lyrics that say, “Then he turned and he looked at me and he said  ‘Mama made Christmas good at our house'”.  At that moment, all I could think about it my wife, Terri.   She always makes sure Christmas is good at our house.  She works tirelessly and single-handed-ly to decorate our house.  She loves it.  She’s great at it.  We enjoy it.  Honestly, my job is to get it all out, and then put it all back in the attic.  She does the work.  (Ask me sometime about how many trees “we” decorate.)

So, this season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, keep in mind, there are those that have lost their mom this year, those that are losing their moms, and those that still have moms decorating and preparing to make “Christmas good at our house”.   Nobody loves you like Mom.

Moms you have big shoes to fill… you are the glimpse of heaven that so many people need to see during this Christmas season.  The lyrics say “I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love as he thanked me and ran out.  I knew that God had sent me that little boy to remind me what Christmas is all about.”

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:2-3