Plutranomides Unbound

Journal Entry, 16 April 2003:
La-da-daa-da-dah! (As Generation Landslide would say)
Today at work Andy F is away as is Mags, Kevin H has got the key and combination for Andy’s office.
Finished reading ‘Behind the Scenes at…’ Utterly wonderful.

Phil Hendry rang: they need someone to go up Blackpool Tower (who says fairies can’t fly?) cos Ken Roberts has had complaints about paint flaking off intermittently.
As soon as I heard this I coated a few panels with the appropriate primer. And when I got home I found a message from Aquatec Paints asking if I was still looking for a job.

Went to cybercafé: sent message to Anthony Kershaw at Aquatec Coatings.
Sent my fantasy escapade of climbing Blackpool Tower in a Wonder Woman costume while a trio of drag queens standing in an open-top stretch limo perform ‘Ain’t no Mountain…’

24 April 2003: Went up Blackpool Tower.
Problem really is topcoat/primer intercoat adhesion (or lack of).
I reckon that the primer has no driers and is therefore still permeable to chlorinated paraffin which oozes in and leaves the topcoat brittle. And brittle it was!

25 April 2003: Compiled a beautiful report about our trip to Blackpool – analysed the numerous defects in existing formulations and why they would give rise to our problems.
My suggestions were ignored by Rob who dismissed them as irrelevant. He says it is just water getting into the coating.
(Notes: the coating system consisted of a red oxide topcoat (chlorinated rubber paint) applied over a red oxide primer (air drying alkyd), which meant it was impossible to clearly identify the regions that had not been overcoated)

One: the air-dry alkyd system was badly formulated, having no driers present and using a very high loading of red oxide pigment. If the appropriate level of driers was added, the resin would crosslink and thus not absorb any plasticiser material from the topcoat.

Two: the primer is actually prepared by high-speed mixing, but this is done at quite a low pigment: binder ratio, which means that the dispersion will not be very stable. We could try using the beadmill – or a lower resin content – to improve dispersion. I actually put a half-litre sample in a ball mill and improved the appearance of the material.

Three: the chlorinated rubber topcoat has a very high loading of pigment which may serve to adsorb the plasticiser or increase the permeability of the coating to moisture. Since the CR is applied over a red oxide primer, it doesn’t need to have great colour strength of its own.

Four: the level of plasticiser in the CR topcoat is very low. We could increase the level of chlorinated paraffin, or could try using a mixture of epoxidised soya oil with the CP.

30 July 2002: Ordered some galvanised panels from Chemetall, gave the requisition form to Andrea but when I rang Khaled a few hours later he hadn’t heard anything about an order.
Steve M asked me if I had the Coatings Division Products CD, and when I said no, I hadn’t (it was on his desk) he said he would get Sean to make a copy for me.
‘But why?’ said I, ‘I don’t have access to a computer.’

The Meaning of ‘Is’

A dozen windows grow blank
As they file into the theatre
Where the music that crumples
And glitters is that of fear.

You were somebody big in the seventies
You were everybody else in the eighties
And now that the years have taken their seats
The curtain rises again on an empty page.

But in the windows will I see
The person you were later to become?
I wait to find another self
Who like the leaves is waiting in the wings. 

23 Jan 2003: It’s about twenty-to-one in the morning and I’ve had four bottles (or is it three?) of Budweiser.
At work, Lucchini have sent us a huge test specification full of equipment we haven’t got such as Persoz Hardness pendulum, Hydraulic Adhesion unit from Elcometer (if we’re going to check the curved axle sections then we need curved dollies) and a freezer at minus twenty deg C.

Started reading ‘Pillars of the Earth’. Non-stop action.
At bus stop got chatting to some homeless type dropout young guy with a small black dog. And I started to wonder how much we really need: even the homeless pauper must be able to love.
FTSE has fallen for ten days in a row.

11 Dec 1987: Today have got second interview at Alcad, 9.00 a.m.

Job rejections to date: Redland Technology, Freeman Chemicals, Courtaulds, Bonar and Flotex, Cassella Cyanamid, Holden Surface Coatings, BASF, Kodak, BP Composites, Pyrene, Tufnol, Mullard Mitcham, Brymor, Fisons Pharma, BCL Ltd, Albright and Wilson, Ferodo, Delta Metal Products, Autotype, Henkel, British Alcan, Reckitt and Colman, Ferranti, Metal Box, Postans Ltd, Carrs Paints, Regent Labs, Lever Brothers, Bostock Hill and Rigby, May and Baker, F Ball and Co, Halesowen College, Bassetlaw Health Authority, University of Bath, Supra Chems, Alcad Ltd, Century Oils, Resolution Chems, CP Pharmaceuticals, Tate and Lyle, Carello Lighting, Thames Water, Fosroc, Firth Furnishing, Himont-Cole, Shirley Institute, Cuprinol, Aston University, Polymer Labs, Blythe Colours, J Whelan & Sons, Trace Labs, ECLP, Morton Thiokol, NRA, Crown Berger, Railko, Kent Industrial Measurements, Harco, Diversey, UCB.

9 April 1991: Last Thursday went to Kodak for interview – completed another personal profile analysis sheet which gave results almost the same as the previous one.
18 April 2001: Yesterday rode up to Wigton for interview at UCB. Stayed at Royal Oak Hotel. Interview started with a psychometric test sheet, just like the one they did to me last time ten years ago.
25 April 2001: Rejection letter from UCB together with personality profile analysis – which reads exactly like the one I had ten years ago.

8 May 2001: Left here at 7 a.m., walked into town, got train to Derby, had brekky, got train to Spondon, went to Acordis. Sat through company H and S propaganda video. I was then met by Brian McGarey, had to change into safety shoes and remove tie.
Taken round factory, pilot plant lab etc. Back in the office, chatting about the job and I said I’d be happy to do the job and had the ability etc.

Mentioned something about three months, and he said: “I don’t know where you got that idea from, because it’s only for one month.” So I whipped out my letters from the Jobcentre confirming that they couldn’t pay my train fare cos it was only for three months.
Furious bad mood; I told him that I didn’t think it would be practical for me to take a job that lasted only four weeks.

29 Feb 1987: Went to work today (Volunteer at Balsall Heath Elderly Day Care Centre), saw Mrs Jones and fixed lightbulb and towel rack. The government is to spend £14.5m on research into an AIDS vaccine.
On Wogan: Chad Varah, Kenny Everett and a female deacon-to-be. While at work I read a bit of ‘Mrs Harris Goes to New York’. Last night went to Jester and got smashed on Diamond White. Tonight on Radio 3: Panufnik 9th Symphony. Well I never – Elgar was a chemist!

Have just watched the video for ‘The Great Pretender’ by Freddie Mercury, the most extravagant orgy of self-admiration likely to appear all year. Completely bereft of restraint in any form. I imagined an encounter between la Mercury and a journalist, at which Freda exclaims “What! You mean they let other people watch my video?”

31 Jan 1987: The perfect way to start the day – a rejection letter from Cassella, who say they will keep my CV for future reference. Extremely nice notepaper; they must be worth working for. First-class post, too; it’s almost as nice as being offered a job.


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