December 31, 2003

AJ Modem power problem

With everyone that matter having upped and retired, leaving us kids to carry one as well as we can, I started the day pretending to be Don Borne, Data Repair. Fortunately, in his haste to depart, he left THE BOOK -- his binder with all of his notes.

The trouble ticket said to replace the power supply on an AJ modem. Arriving at the scene I found:

The problem was that the power cord is simply a push on, and was not fully pushed on and was making and breaking it's power connection. It had been pushed on all the way, but someone had bumped the arrangement, maybe moved the moden foreward, and partially pulled the cord out. The solution?
Checked behind the case where the power attaches -- all clear. Place a small screw into the modem case, just up and left of the power attachment. Run a small wrap-tie around the screw and power cord, holding it snug. The cord cannot come out without first cutting the wrap-tie.

Posted by at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2003

Split in twain

Check the post of December 11th....

I work for SBC West, formerly SBC Pacific Bell, formerly Pacific Bell, formerly Pacific Telephone & Telegraph. Have done so over 33 years. My present crew is Harbor OCS, which I joined in '88.

SBC made an offer that was difficult to refuse, and half the crew is leaving:

Don Brown . . . . . Don Borne

Joe Baca . . . . . Pete Talaro

Posted by at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2003

Fading Away

Walking through the parking lot I noticed the sun hitting an SBC van and showing what was underneath the new white paint. If you look just right, and maybe up the contrast on the photo a whole bunch, you can see that "Pacific Bell, a Pacific Telesis Company" has been painted over in hopes that the Pacific Bell name and logo will fade away into oblivion.

Those of us who were a part of the Nationwide Bell System are fading away.

Posted by at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2003

Women can't parallel park?

The punchline goes something along the lines of "women need men because women cannot parallel park."

Eldest daughter came home late last night. I had parked the Camaro a bit forward so that the trash cans would not be blocked. Wendy parked in her usual spot. Which left Helena a smaller than normal parking space in front of the house. Her car is unwashed, the bumpers have a layer of dirt that is still undisturbed after she managed to place in dead center and perfectly parallel and with that cranked front tire touching the curb.

Heads up men -- she don't need you to parallel park!

Posted by at 10:10 AM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2003

More Yellow Pages

Part way through cutover

click for HUGE imageclick for HUGE image
The above images were taken after work started on the cutover are are not represenative of outside vendor work.

SBC -- Pacific Bell OCS

click for HUGE image
Hector Hernandez - Kenny Toms - Lynette Weiss
All Photos this page (c)2003 Hector Hernandez.

Or in the words of our Fearless Leader:

"Just want to 'toot' the OCS & SBCSI DataComm Implementation teams horn. Attached are some before and after pictures of a Yellow Page location that OCS and SBCSI retrofitted to SBC Wiring Standards.

This job demonstrates why we are clearly the vendor of choice within the business, as the before pictures demonstrates the quality of work of a 3rd party vendor.

Who would you want to maintain your expensive LAN/WAN Network?"

Posted by at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2003


The news is all over the Internet -- SBC Communications is cutting about 2% of its workforce. One job in 50. They hope to accomplish the job cuts through attrition and early retirement. Forbes has us listed under the Layoff watch. HA!

My workgroup consists of eight technicians, average seniority is just under 40 years. Five have put in for the separation benefits. They have been putting off retirement until the company came up with a decent offer. The cutback announcement is 'Good News' -- it is what they have been waiting years for.

Posted by at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2003

New TV!

Our old TV is a 27" RCA. It retailed for $600, we got it or $400, quite a few years ago. Been to the shop once, for a power problem. Channel selector is broke, but we can change channels with the remote.
Sam's Club has a 32" Sylvania for $278. I measured the height and width and it will fit in the entertainment unit, replacing the 27". Wendy has a job so our disposable income is up... she bought one. The 27" gets handed down to the girls, mainly for hooking to the Game Cube and the Playstation. Got a TV stand for it, added casters to make it a roll-about cart. Unbox the 32", Wendy and I struggle it into the entertainment unit. It fits just fine horizonally and vertically.

The DEPTH of a TV set increases with the size of the picture tube. The new set is a few inches deeper than the old.

A 32" cathode ray vacuum tube has a 25" x 20" face. 500 square inches of surface holding back air pressure of 15 pounds per square inch. There is 7,500 pounds of pressure on the face of a 32" tube. To withstand that pressure the glass is rather thick. And heavy. The center of gravity of this TV set is about 3 inches back from the face of the tube. Due to the depth of the set, the face of the tube hung about two inches over t he front edge of the shelf, precariously balanced. Not as pictured, but further foreward.
I could have taken everything off the six foot high by eight foot wide entertainment unit, disconnect the earthquake bracing, move the unit three inches form the wall, extend and reattach the bracing, and put everything back. I would have been done sometime past New Year's.
Or I could simply return the TV set and get something smaller. But we wanted bigger.

So, instead, I made it so I could slide the tv set back three inches. I measured and marked the wall that was obstructing the back of the set that enclosed the back end of the picture tube. Hammer and screwdriver to pound a square hole in the wall. (Luckily I happened between the joists, so I did not need to chisel out two inches from the three and a half inch depth of a joist. Which I would have as that joist is non-bearing wall and what load it does bear is vertical.)

The back of the TV in the upper picture is sitting about three inches into the wall.

Posted by at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2003

Slipped belt

Thursday (doing a little catch-up here) rolling home from work, got a call from Wendy about Helena. Seems Helena's car broke/threw the big serpentine belt and she had lost her power steering and generator. I was more worried about overheating as she limped home, but later found that I was needlessly worries since the cross-mounted engine has a waterpump not driven by a belt and the radiator fans are electric.

Get home, pop the hood on the Escort, figure which side of the engine is the front and discover a large rather dead rat. Gingerly pick up and drop into the trash. Go wash hands. Get the hose and hose down the front of the engine. check the now cleaned area and find that the belt is simply off the pulleys. I'm assuming that the rat's tail had gotten caught between the belt and something and forced the belt to slip sideways -- the Escort has an automatic belt tensioner that will allow this. Had to dig out the Chilton's to find that you use a 3/8" ratchet driver or similar to move the tensioner. Grabbed my 3/8" torque wrench (longer handle, cushion grip), moved the tensioner to full back, and wiggled the belt back into position. No problem.

Seems that with food and water lying around, rats are a problem at dog kennels. They like hopping up on car engines to get warm.

Posted by at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2003

Worst Father Ever

My youngest is 15 years old today. She seems depressed and there is nothing I can do about it. I try to do things for her and she backs away telling me not to bother. As if anything a youngest daughter could ask would be a bother. Might not be able to do what she wants, but I would like to. *sigh*. If I could only remember everything she expects me to.....

Posted by at 05:34 PM | Comments (1)

December 03, 2003


Monday I had an order for my favorite LAN Implementor, Lillian, over at the Torrance-13 office. (She is being kicked out of her present office at Torrance-ER, and I steered her to a recently vacated office.)

I just glanced at order, assumed it was for her LAN connection. Wrong, it was dial tone. No problem, except for some reason the machine gave it a due date of December 31st, 2036. Which still would not be a problem except the machine sends the connection orders to the Switch and the Frame based upon the due date. I called the number and got intercept. Not built.

So I had the due date changed to today. This morning I called the number and got a ring/no answer -- which is what I would expect since I hadn't installed a phone for anyone to answer. MLT had an error of some sort.

Go to TRNCCA13, plug my splicer tone into the phone jack, find and cross connect to the basement MDF, cross connect to the house cable pictured above, walk the 800 feet to the TRNCCA11 Central Office. Call the frame. "Mike, OCS, could you let me in?" "How do I know it's you?" "I'm wearing my hat!" Wand the CO end of the cable, verify that my tone is there. Ask the attendent to run my jumper just as I get a page. Call the boss, he needs me Friday for some project planning, hang up. Frame is complete. Go back to Lillian's new office. Remove tone, plug in telephone.

No dial tone.

What? Call the number -- intercept? That wasn't there this morning! MLT says it found intercept. Hmmmm..... OK, I can deal with this. Call the RCMAC and give the guy my order number. He tells the machine to give me my dial tone. Check, yep, it's there. He says there's a problem with the second line -- no assignments.

huh? second line? {look closely at order} Oh, yeah. two lines, order writer did not get assignments for the second line. Since I just glanced at the end of the order for the assignments I had assumed just the one line going in. *SIGH* So I call the MLAC to get assignments, then call the RCMAC back to get the switch built, then call the frame to run her jumper. Meanwhile run my own jumpers. Second dial tone OK! Call the customer, Lillian, leave a message on voicemail that her new office is ready, communicationswise.
Head back to the barn, stopping to get an burger on the way.....

Posted by at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)


The search engines have found me. One of the web pages I have done for a client has existed for a couple of years and is not indexed. Admittedly there is not much there, but it is a page and it should be listed:


Addenum, 2011 . . . SBC no longer provides the pages they promised me. DUH! Why would I expect a corporation keep their promises -- they do not care about people, only money.

Posted by at 06:41 AM | Comments (1)