Journal Entry, 29 Jul 08: Yesterday had another session with DT and George. Following DT’s instructions, we had purchased a large sheet of aluminium and cut it up into coupons for weathering exposure.
When I showed these to DT he said wearily ‘Oh, they’ll do, I suppose.’ Then he said he would look at purchasing real chromated Q-Panels, for us to test all our high-performance pigments at FS, 1/3 and 1/50 reductions.
And all this vast sprawling tedious project has come about because one of Kevin’s customers asked for 1000 hours QUV testing on two specific products.
Bought a new Yale lock for the front door. Again.
In the news: Weston Super Mare pier destroyed by fire. Lots of suicide bombers in Iraq.
Went to cinema to see ‘Donkey Punch’, the film that puts the vile into violence. Sex, drugs, gore and a trashy plot – wafer-thin caricatures and a puerile script. And the actual perversion itself is nothing special.
31 July 08: And at work, a breakthrough – I used Solsperse in a red 112 grind, and the subsequent tint panels turned out to be the same colour as standard, instead of being horribly strong (which is the problem we have with red 170 development grades)
Bruce took my pink panels to show Bob Christie and asked me about how much Solsperse had been used. But why not just invite me to join the meeting? [Note: Bob Christie was our academic consultant who would come along to R and D progress meetings. Of course, as a humble Tech Service bod, I don’t get invited to meet the professor or attend the meeting.]
Journal entry, 2 Sep 92: Last night had a quiet evening in, not much sleep. Then today went to work with my new haircut; a number 2. The entire factory floor was buzzing with comment – we had a fire alarm at 10.00 and Trevor didn’t even recognise me.
Then just before breakfast one of the blokes (Brent) came up to the lab and asked me who I was trying to look like. After some trivial conversation about Alien 3 he then began asking me (anxiously dithering) if…well….you know what I’m going to say…and some of the lads on the works are talking about you…
Well, as far as I know I didn’t say yes and I didn’t say no. [I actually said ‘Yes, I know what you’re trying to ask me, and no, I’m not going to tell you’]
In the QC lab Porky pointed at my skinhead cut and said ‘Did they give you a pair of knickers to wear on your head?’
Me: ‘No, why?’ PP: ‘Because you look like a right cunt.’ And so on, thick and fast.
16 May 08: Listening to the track ‘Home’ by Rod Argent; it reminds me of a West End musical showtune. Perhaps he should have placed it at the end of side two…
The world has gone mad – cyclone in Burma and earthquake in China. Burmese authorities rejecting offer of aid from the UN. Steadily rising death tolls.
Started reading ‘Cleopatra’, a history by Lucy Hughes-Hallett. She mentions Berlioz’ “throbbingly lush setting” of Vieillard’s poem on Le Mort de Cleopatre. And, let’s face it, we all need a bit of throbbing lushness from time to time.
18 May 08: You couldn’t make it up!
Following the filmed disclosure that Max Moseley (head of F1 motor-racing) was involved in a 5-hour long Nazi sex orgy, it turns out that a member of MI5 has been made to resign cos one of the participants was his wife. [Note: it wasn’t a Nazi event, an allegation for which News of the World had to pay handsomely after the court case]
10 Sept 03: Crack Baby Crack!
Mt Fleming always props his office door open with a tin of paint. When leaving, he kicks the tin away and lets the door fall shut with a slam. Consequently there is a large crack in the plaster around the door frame.
And attached to the same wall is our phone junction box. Is this why our digital phone line failed?
Inconsistent colours – we make several different grades of paint all in a range of colours. Signal Red is produced in about five systems, each one using a different blend of pigments.
Our aluminium paint contains 16 percent metal flake pigment, while the Eckhart handbook recommends between 2 and 4 percent. [Note: I did point this out to the boss, after I had noticed Andy shovelling the metal paste into a vat of white spirit under high-speed stir. But we’ve always done it this way, said both of them]
And I rejected a batch of golden yellow paint for shade, so Kev ended up putting in about 30 litres of stainer. This addition was not recorded on the works order form, even though it now contains lead chromate and will have a significantly higher SG than previously approved batches.
31 Oct 03: Black Hares!
Well, two days ago Iain Duncan Smith failed to get his vote of confidence as leader of the Tory party and promptly resigned.
Now all the papers are full of Michael Howard as new party leader, and various senior party members have agrees not to stand for election.
An election with only one candidate is the sort of thing we associate with Saddam Hussein or Robert Mugabe.
Many years ago I bought a record of Schubert Nine – one of the ancient reissued recordings made by Szell – and I hated it. Boring boring boring! But in time it grew on me, and now I love the idea of those strict rhythms.
Library book: ‘The Lure’ By Bill Napier. Entertaining rhapsody on the concept of DNA.
At work – I was checking the QC properties of a batch of choke paint, and the additions had all been ticked, including the cobalt drier. However, the gel time was very long. And it only came back into spec when we had added the same amount of cobalt as originally listed. Odd, that…
Some hopeless formulations in the SCD files: we are currently making a couple of two-pack epoxy products, both made using high-speed dispersion as the main mixing process. One contains Alum paste pigment, which is destroyed by HSD; the other contains carbon black, which can’t be effectively dispersed by HSD.
And on Monday we have the ISO 9000 audit.
27 April 03: Last night watched ‘Mothman Prophecies’ on video; today went to cinema for ‘Welcome to Collinwood’. Yesterday Bury: bought a snazzy C&A shirt and a copy of Achilles. Mail: TV Licensing (again!).
Today in HMV discovered that a load of Grateful Dead albums have been reissued in high-definition CD with bonus tracks.
Drew a picture of my sitting room and fantasised about faxing it back in time to me at the age of eighteen to say what lay in store. And now I should draw another of where I want to be in five years’ time.