Wednesday 29 September 2010

Red Ed - a chemical analysis...

Red Ediesel fuel is only slightly different chemically from regular automotive diesel fuel, but there can be a significant difference in cost. The cheaper Red Ediesel fuel could conceivably work in place of the more expensive automotive diesel fuel, but that would defeat the purpose of a fuel tax. In order to ensure that home heating oil, which is minimally taxed, is not used as diesel fuel, which can be heavily taxed, revenue agents require home heating oil to receive a special red dye. This liquid red dye can be detected in even the smallest samples taken for examination.

Using Red Ediesel for reasons other than home heating is generally considered a criminal act, since the buyer did not pay the proper tax for regular diesel fuel. If there is reasonable cause to inspect a vehicle's fuel tank or storage tank, inspectors can quickly and conclusively identify the presence of red diesel and take appropriate action against the offender. Without the creation of red diesel, it would take a trained chemist to differentiate between home heating oil and automotive diesel fuel.

Different countries use different solvent dyes to create their Red E-diesel, but the purpose is generally the same. The dye has no negative effects on the fuel itself, but it does allow revenue agents to determine at a glance if a violation has occurred.

Hat tip:

Saturday 25 September 2010

Leicester story...

There have only been a few times in my short life when Leicester has been a place I really thought about. This is definitely not knocking the place, quite the opposite actually, but when you've spent your formative years in the South, and a few in South Wales, it seems that anywhere further North will crop up one day, but it's not actually pencilled in the diary yet...

1) My flatmate went there in 1969 for an appointment to sell plywood cases to a funeral business.
2) I met Peter Wheeler at a rugby club dinner in 1988.
3) I also have a good business chum who was a stalwart of the 'Tigers'.
4) I was at school with a chum named Taylor, and he came from Leicester.

Er... that's about it - until last week.

As the three people who read this know, I'm an inveterate recaller of useless things, rather like all the characters in 'Last of the summer wine' but not actually finishing up in the river with shrieks and hoots of laughter as the music squeaks and bangs onto the next programme.

Since the nineteen sixties, I've had a song in my ol' grey head which I've never been able to find again. The bass line - even now, was repetitive, and bound to stick in the mind, as it has done for all those years. I still find my self humming it!

I was convinced Youtube would come up trumps, but nooooo. Even Itunes - your kidding aren't you... (you couldn't even get 'The Wall', by Pink Floyd until only recently), said 'no cigar'. And Google failed me for ages, until that is, I spelt the name of the band differently. You see, the song was a 'Fab Forty' hit on Radio London, and Tony Blackburn, Dave Cash, John Peel et al, were knocking these songs out with a lot of fun. 'Big L' really was required listening back then, unless you wanted to listen to David Jacobs and Pete Murray...

'And I cry', by 'The Four Sights', (I was searching for 'The Forsytes') as I've just been finding out, was actually up there with the rest of the big names back then, and the song was very popular on the pirate stations, as well as, presumably, in the clubs and pubs of Leicester! The band members were obviously well-established accomplished musicians and it was a good sound, and, although one member seems to have departed this mortal coil, the others should well be hale and hearty, although, like me, in their sixth decade and feeling the aches and pains more than somewhat.

The big search found this man - Lyn Nuttall, from Queensland, Australia, who has a website which seems to cover just about every piece of music ever performed! All I did was vaguely mention to him that I'd found a picture of a demo disc of the song, and he came back immediately with so much information, that it took me an hour to figure it all out! Thank you so much 'Young Man', your archive is incredible!

I won't steal Lyn's thunder from his side of the story, (he knows an awful lot more detail), but in the link here, you'll see so much about the band members, and a lot more besides!

What is so good, is that if you click on the MP3 link, you'll understand why Scrobs is wandering about with a huge smile on his face...

Hat Tip - Mr Nuttall, Australian Extraordinaire! and also, if he has a few minutes to flick back a couple of posts to the Rock Robin post, I hope he'll see how much this all means to a greyish guy in Kent, wondering what to search for next...

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Sounds about right to me...

Let's put the Seniors in jail (if they want to go that is), and the criminals in a nursing home, (whether they want to go or not).

This way the Seniors would have access to showers, hobbies and walks, they'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs, etc. They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly if they fell over or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them, and a guard/orderly would check on them every half hour or so and bring their meals and snacks to their cell/room.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose. They would have access to a library, excercise room, spiritual help if they want it, a swimming pool and enlightening education. They'd be given free simple, comfortable clothes, and legal aid would be free, on request. Private, secure rooms would be designed for all, with an exercise outdoor yard and gardens - including a kitchen garden for those who still yearn for the good life...

Each senior could have a computer, TV, Radio, and daily phone calls. There would be a board of directors, to hear complaints, and the guards/nurses would have a code of conduct, that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals on the other hand, would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised, and unwanted. They'd have their lights turned off at 8pm, and a bath once a week. They'd live in a tiny room for the rest of their lives, and have no hope of ever getting out.

And they'd have to pay £5,000.00 per month for the privilege.

Saturday 18 September 2010


While casually strolling around the verdant shores of our favourite place last week, we followed the gravel path across the end on Marshal’s Lake, close to where the old oak tree came down in the recent high winds, and crossed the bridge.

The footbridge is a fairly modern timber structure, and we usually spot various fish cavorting around in the lake, so much so that the three largest subjects all have names now - Finley, Finwe, and Fingle.

The first photo shows just Finwe and Fingle, with all their resplendent colours, reaching up to take the morsel of bread from Mrs. S, who had prepared a whole bag for the very purpose. They often grunt with delight and slurp a fair bit, especially if there is a bit of garlic butter around!

The second picture is of Finley, who is a right show-off, and can do circles at the drop of a hat! He continually splashes the water with his huge tail, reputedly the biggest thrasher in the locality, and the apple of every angler’s eye! He is about three feet long, and has huge metallic spines arrayed along his back, culminating in a glittering razor sharp dorsal fin about ten inches high. He has a Doctorate in applied ballistics.

This third shot shows Fingle escaping the clutches of Finwe, and if you look closely, you can make out the irridescent green and purple colours on his back! He really is a splendid fish, about 72” long, and with barbs the size of industrial files! He can swim the length of the lake in about seven seconds, which equates to a measured mile at about 77 mph, and the bow wave he creates has been known to sink a small craft containing several Norwegian children with their interpreter. He has also caused an old lady to have a fainting fit right where we were standing! There is a plaque to commemorate the bravery of her colleague, a certain Gilbert Mollusc, who administered first aid in the form of a back-hander and a short-arm kidney punch, which soon stopped the bloody racket when she’d woken up…

The next shot is a wanton display of arrogant fish sexuality. Fingle has always had designs on Finwe, who, at seven feet long, can handle most advances with aplomb. Fingle, weighing in at seventeen stone, once appeared as a centerfold in ‘Male Scale’, a local anglers’ fantasy compendium, as the ugliest and dirtiest fighter in Kent! Finwe has a cousin who works in the aquarium in Ann Summers, and knows a thing or two about pestering fish! She’s just about to give him both barrels of a 12-Bore Over & Under Purdey Game Gun, concealed under her scrackle fin, (itself a formidable addition to her armoury, especially when she’s been on the Glenbastard 25 year old)! She has loaded the gun and is just about to aim at his grundular orifice!

This shot is of Finley again, in the process of donning the uniform of a German Naval Commander after a hard night in the fillet pots of Tunbridge Wells, and plucking up a pair of Minox HG 8x56 BR binoculars from his cabin trunk to scan the lake. He is the senior officer at the atomic submarine pens at the northern end of the lake, and has a reputation in the eyes of the stronger females in the district, namely ‘Titanic’ Turbotess, and ‘Great Eastern’ Skatess. Both of these – er – ladies are of easy virtue, and well known to anyone blessed with a torpedo that big! He also drives an early Mercedes, once owned by the German Chancellor! If you look closely, you can just see the duelling scars near his bulbulent nolstrellides!

The final picture shows the three fish, devouring the remains of a Friesian cow, (Mildred), which fell in yesterday, after an altercation with the local hooligan ‘Carp’ gang! They actually crossed three main roads and a cornfield (by tractor of course), to reach the unfortunate animal, but Finwe is a dab hand at the skillet, and serves up most bovine dishes with a rich gravy and three sorts of vegetables in season! She often shops at Sainsbury’s for delicacies to help Fingle in his aspirations to own a BMW 7 series and have an Iphone for each barb! He also wants to appear on the X Factor, but needs more practice some say! Finley has just opened an account at Coutts, and has three Isas.

You can tell from this that we don't stay long on the bridge, it tends to wobble when the last of the crumbs are eaten, and we continue on our stroll with JRT running in circles, happily yapping at anyone who will listen.

Life can be perfect in its own way can't it!

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Soldier's shillings...

A chum sent me this today, and having just heard that if you signed up for active service in the TA, and went over there and got killed, your family's pension entitlement would be peanuts compared to that allowed to a regular, I think this displays a similar blind uncaring organisation which needs to be taken down a few pegs.

Imagine the outcry if MPs started their non-jobs on the same basis; they'd be squealing all the way to Brussels, whimpering 'sorry...'.

The link's at the bottom.

Early Day Motion [EDM 1053]
Rank and Pension of Soldiers Killed on Active Service

‘That this House, convinced that the courage and devotion to duty of members of the British Armed Forces who are killed while on active service for their country should be recognised and rewarded in every possible way, particularly by the pensions and help given to the families they leave behind , recommends that the Ministry of Defence’s rule providing that pensions on promotion are payable only after the role for the new rank has been held for a year should be revoked for those killed in the service of their country so that their families are paid the rate appropriate to the rank held at the time of death; and considers that the family of Sergeant Matthew Telford of Grimsby, promoted to the rank in June 2009 but killed by an assassin in Afghanistan in November of that year, along with Guardsman Jimmy Major of Cleethorpes and three other soldiers, should be paid the full pension appropriate to the rank he was proud to honour at the time of his death’.

Thursday 9 September 2010


Declan Kelly was the worst when he did the business slot on the Beeb at breakfast time. Now Sinome has started doing it!

Why on earth do announcers, journalists, presenters and commentators have to deliver their reports like a machine gun?

Good announcers can nearly get away with it, by putting in some inflection to each 'glot', but the worst offenders are almost unintelligible, with long periods between each syllable, some so long that I forget what they were saying half-way through the word they're stuttering! On one occasion, I went out, poured a G and T, savaged a packet of crisps and watched 'Ben Hur', (including the longer version of the chariot race) in the time it took some squeaking little sports boy to grottal a word which had nearly six syllables!

And while we're at it, 'The Turrets' now operates the 'Three yoblings and you're switched off' rule, to any one who says 'You know'. So that kicks any football-related television, (reporters, and definitely players and 'managers'). That way, we also manage to keep pretty well clear of most pop music and film presenters, so life isn't all bad is it!

'Nah meen'...?


My business partner has pointed out the true description of 'Glottal stops', and over a lengthy call (Skype thank goodness), he explained the way they work. I have to confess that I thought that the delivery of rapid fire syllables, with equal time spaces between each one were the main example, but now hold my hand up and surrender to more knowledgeable beings!

He also pointed out a hilarious example of this recent trend towards upward inflection at the end of a sentence, which also drives me mad. He called it the 'Moronic Interrogative', and from now on, our meanderings over Skype will never be quite the same...