Fred and Homer


Fred Flintstone is really Homer Simpson’s Dad…

Journal Entry, 30 Jan 2004: At work we’ve got half-a-dozen pallets of Uretech stuff – all the out-of-date material – brought into the paint shop.
All these various (black, white, grey) batches are being cut open and scraped into a couple of huge pans ready to be mixed and decanted and relabelled.
And rumour has it that all the Epoxylite stuff is to be moved down into the paint shop.

Reading ‘The Confessor’ by Jack Curtis and drinking Californian red and eating cappuccino truffles dipped in whipped cream.

9 Feb 2004: Today at work – five batches of choke paint to QC. Totally dull.

Also spotted a pallet with three bags of Lubestine extender pigment on it (which I think is a 50:50 blend of talc and dolomite). So why not use up some of my 975 kg spare dolomite wot I sent out a memo regarding?

[Note: upstairs in the paint dept was a pallet containing 39 bags of dolomite powder. This lot had been there for years before I arrived, presumably brought in for use in a new production line. Lots of dust settled on top. I sent a memo asking of we could work it off in something but had no reply]

24 Mar 2004: A few years ago the Stereophonics released a version of ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ which is very lyrical and gets played on a regular basis all over the radio, not to mention pounding from Andy’s office on auto-repeat for hours on end.

This song open ‘Ever seen a blind man cross the road…’ and it was only today that I heard this line and realised that, yes, I regularly see some middle-aged bloke holding a white stick (with red bands on it) striding purposefully across the A56 at quarter-to-eight every morning.

1 Apr 2004: A few weeks ago we had a new Eiger Torrance mixer installed at work. Me, to A Foll: ‘Yes, but is it Art?’
And this thing has a capacity of 2500 litres so would be ideal for many of our jobs. However, according to Andy it is meant exclusively for Uretech HFS base, while Paul W says it is meant for Epoxylite potting compounds.


If I were a ghost, who would I haunt?
Would I drift through languid spirals
Trapped for all time in my black vinyl vaults
Or perhaps in a page from the Waverley set.

Would I hang round, unseen in the Rembrandt Hotel
Some people have made a career out of that;
To recall how an amateur singer gave forth
Gray’s ‘Babylon’ on the night we first met.

Or the muted whisper of second-hand shirts
With nothing subdued in their hue or design
I bought them and wore them and washed them again
But, like everything else, they’re not mine.

Like a ghost I remain on the platform, about
To embark on a journey I’m going to dread
The train pulls away and I’m left all alone
With lurking confusion ahead…

12 Aug 1998: Today had lunch with Chris Steel. Steve Moor complained bitterly about everything. David Lawson (Production Manager) was sacked today. Still no call from Kev. Still no new pay structure at work – as promised by Mike H.

17 Aug 98: Today between 2-00 and 2-30 I rode to Sainsbury’s at Kingsway and came off the bike when I hit a large diesel spill on the entrance to the car park. Minor injury to hip; both left-hand indicators damaged. Immediately went to service station, asked them to put sand down to prevent further accidents.

13 Sep 1998: Scarborough MAG National AGC. Friday night we met up at Heather’s and set off (me, Heather, Paul, Liz and Janice) for the Old Schoolhouse at Low Marshes. Got to campsite fairly late, putting tent up in dark, neglected to put block of wood under side stand and it toppled over into the mud.
Went and had burgers and cider and danced and drank. Staggered back to bed. Woke up 8.00, paracetamol and coffee.
Rain, rain, set off for Spa Centre at Scarborough, got there late and missed opening address. Lot of morning given over to Chairman’s proposal regarding patch clubs. Magna Carta cancellation.

At lunch we wandered round, had fish and chips on the beach and some of Michael Winner’s favourite ice-cream. Back to campsite – bagels, olives, Danish blue, red wine, Scotch eggs. I went bed about 10.00, music (Spice Girls) carried on til 4.00 in morning.

14 Sep 1998: Today started moving into new lab – looks like set of a sci-fi movie with extraction hoses, steel worktops etc.
Unventilated locker room – rancid feet.
On Friday little Rob had a seizure and fell down stairs at work. Might have to lose driving licence on medical grounds.

17 Sep 1998: At work, people in canteen discussing a paedophile – a female scout mistress who has been shagging a 14-year old boy. Everyone seems to think this is great and she shouldn’t be treated as a criminal.

Fred and Homer

The Dome is just a fatal flaw
And stares out of a coma at the moon
I think it was your shirt I saw dancing
In its metal cave, identical to mine.

We need a temple made of squares
That greets tomorrow like an angry fist
Bold Crimson! Our new capital declares
That God itself is now a Futurist.

The Windows of Perception

Seeing a you that exceeds your own reality;
More vividly condensed upon the silicate
Your hair is fields, the face a city
Where the humble die while trying to be great.

Posing as your wife, I hover there
In the background, holding the boys, smiling the names
Keen to please a master forever unaware
Of my devotion to the church of dying flames.

25 Mar 2002: Consignia (wot used to be called The Post Office) has decided to get rid of 15000 workers to save money. Losing over a million a day. Three thousand PO branches to close.
Royal Naval dockyards going to close and shed jobs.
At work: memo from Steve M, he and Phil went to visit Air Prods who are totally happy with their current supplier so we have no chance of getting contract.

Last night’s Oscars Ceremony – Best Actor and Actress awards both went to Persons of Color (Halle Berry and Denzel Washington).
Railtrack shareholders to be bailed out with 300 million of taxpayers’ money.

e-mails: Cleo (former schoolmate) sent me a joke about some Irish chap diagnosed with cancer who tells all his friends at their farewell drink that he has AIDS – in order to stop anybody else going to bed with his wife.

Overlapping Symphony 

It’s Friday night in Birmingham; the
Late bus home describes an arc
I recall the roundabout, my own
Reflected face and swarms of city lights
Swept back from half-black windows, and
Disappearing to the street below – ‘There’s so
Much more to life than I’ll ever know.’

Against hard wind I ride a motorbike
Here on a bleak forgotten road; it’s hours
Since I’ve seen another car or heard the engine notes
From empty lorries full of moving noise.
Colliding protons find themselves already in tomorrow
‘The only thing I ever got from you was sorrow.’

There’s one last journey left for me to make
And one more treasure left for me to steal
But until then I dream of darkened streets where
My young self had yet to realise
The everyone today is chasing fame, and
Through it all, the Song Remains The Same.’

Conversation with Rob P, 26 Jun 2002:
‘Tim, are you going to Surfex?’
‘No, not as far as I know.’
‘Why not?’
‘Well, no-one has said anything about it to me.’

[Notes: in June 2002, a major sporting event called the Fifa World Cup was taking place, with the matches being broadcast on television – whatever that is. My work colleagues were all keen footie fans, and had carefully worked out when the matches featuring the England team were due to be shown, depending on the results from the preceding rounds.
The boss had instructed all the lab staff to attend the Surfex trade show, but they were not happy about this since it meant they would not be able to huddle round a portable TV and watch the England games.
So they identified the day when England would definitely not be playing, and arranged to go en masse, carefully keeping quiet about it when I was in the canteen…]

18 Sep 2002: At work we had a Tech Sales Meeting – I had been given a product costing by Andrea which was miles out. It turned out that she had divided by the SG instead of multiplying.
Phil H made some comment about waterborne drum paints being poor quality, not up to scratch. ‘Excuse ME!’ I cried.

11 Dec 2002: At work, everyone in the company pension scheme has been called to a meeting on Friday.
Last night we went to see The Funky Bananas – terrific! Gerry Rafferty, Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Focus.
Rang Industrial Copolymers Limited and faxed Siber and Eastman to ask about CPO primers.
[Note: ICL offered to test some materials for me if I sent them substrate polymer. So I did, pointing out that it was PP and needed to be primed with CPO before bonding. So they just used a 2-pack epoxy on its own instead and obtained pitiful results]



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