And Now In The Petrol Row/Not Row


For my other stories on the ongoing petrol strike/not strike no-fuel situation:

Filled Up

When we were in the process of filling up, I saw a police car in the queue to, I assume, get petrol.  At the time, I remember thinking how odd that is.  I assumed emergency services (police, fire, ambulances, etc…) would have their own supply depot somewhere.  I put it out of my mind…until today.

Today, there is a story in the Telegraph that says 999 (the UK version of 911) vehicles are having difficulties filling up their tanks due to shortages, closed stations, and sale limits.  WOW!  I’m really shocked now that the emergency services don’t have their own depot for fueling.

[Update 2012-03-31 08:19:50] Here’s a good summary of the events so far.

[Update 2012-04-19 09:36:06There was an agreement; however, the union has rejected it.  No strike news yet.

Image from carlos62 via flickr

For the life of me…

Question mark in Esbjerg

…I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to follow this online debate.  I cannot figure out how to read more than one small snippet of what each person wrote.  

And I really want to follow it because I think Bruce Schneier has a good handle on security and the TSA is worthless (I mean the pilot can fly the plane into the ground or go nuts like the EgyptAir 990 pilot or the JetBlue guy…what good does making them take off their shoes and belt do???)

[Update 2012-03-30 18:17:22]  I think I’ve figured it out.  You click the timeline on the top then scroll down.  Where it says skip to… click what you want to read.  The moderator goes first, Pro, then Con.  The paragraphs are numbered per day…not per person/position/day.  That only took forever.

Image from alexanderdrachmann via flickr

Old Pictures

I was looking through our pictures today and saw this one had a hit on it.


Just in case you need help, it says mine field do not enter.  I took the picture when we went to Mostar 2 years ago (you can read more about our trip here and here).  There was a bunker on a hill above the city that the Croats used to shell Mostar (either that or it was the other way around).  If you want to see pictures of the bunker, look at the set on flickr here.  If you want to learn more about the shelling of Mostar, watch these videos on youtube (but take them with a grain of salt.  I haven’t watched all of them…and if I had, I wasn’t there.  I don’t know how one sided they are.)

Siege of Mostar, pt 1
Siege of Mostar, pt 2
Siege of Mostar, pt 3
Siege of Mostar, pt 4 

Isaac and Ice Cream

Isaac with ice cream

Lydia never could have ice cream (she’s allergic to milk and eggs) but Isaac can.  Cyndi surprised me at lunch today when we went to Subway.  Afterwards, I asked if she wanted ice cream so we got Isaac a bit too.  Here he is enjoying his.

Umbrella Man

Umbrella man road works sign

Does the sign above look like a man shaking out a wet umbrella?  I hadn’t seen it before someone pointed it out; however, now, that is all I see.  Supposedly, the humps were added a few years ago to make it look less like that and more like what it is supposed to mean:  road works ahead.

Filled up

Vintage petrol pump, Main Street USA, Disneyland Paris

I blogged yesterday about the petrol lorry driver strike potential petrol lorry driver strike and decided to take precautions.  I bought a few cans and filled up my tank yesterday.  I plan to keep the tank full for the next month (they have 28 days to actually go on strike) by topping off every few days.  I really resent the idea portrayed in the media that I was “panic” buying fuel.  I did no such thing….I saw a situation and took adequate (really less than adequate as I would prefer to have about 30 gal of diesel held back) measures to prepare.  This is no different than keeping a weeks worth of food in your house.

Why do I feel accused of panic buying?  Well, look at the survey on this page.  Look at the question:

Do you intend to panic buy fuel

Then look at the answers.  There’s only three:

Yes, I don’t want to be left stranded
No, it is irresponsible and would make matters worse
I will wait until a strike gets closer until I refuel

Umm…where’s the no but I am getting fuel anyway.  Why isn’t what I did panic buying?  Well, I didn’t run out in a rush, for one thing.  I didn’t punch anyone or ram anyone’s car.  I found an open station–I drove by 4 that were either totally out or out of diesel–and bought my fuel.  Paid.  Left.

In my mind, I’m doing the responsible thing to take care of myself and family.  The government wishes everyone would do the equivalent of “herd into the Superdome” and wait out the storm by the leave of the government.  No thank you.

[Update 2012-03-31 08:16:36] Now there are calls for rationing so 999 drivers and emergency services can get the fuel the need.

[Update 2012-04-19 09:36:06There was an agreement; however, the union has rejected it.  No strike news yet.

Image from tim walker via flickr

Grits for Breakfast

GritsI really like grits with over-easy eggs for breakfast.  Not every morning, mind you.  But I do like grits.  When Cyndi and I came back to England, we didn’t bring any (who knows why) and we haven’t found a replacement here for them.  However, my parents just sent us a box and included a box of grits in the mix.  So, that’s what I had for breakfast this morning….grits and two over-easy eggs.

Image from touring_fisherman via flickr


A blue lock for George

Technology is great.  It let’s us talk to people faster and easier than we could even 10 years ago.  Computers are more powerful than ever, and we can get online from just about anywhere.  But sometimes there are things that just make me go “ARG!”  This is one of them.

We have some HP z210 workstations at work.  We also favor McAfee Endpoint Encryption for full disk encryption (in case of theft, etc…).  Well, in the case of the z210s, they have a brand-spankin-new UEFI bios-like bios.  They shipped with version 1.09.  The current version is now 1.35.  The only problem???  If the bios is upgraded….even a minor step…the computer will refuse to boot.  Thankfully, HP worked with us and told us how we can roll these computers back, but then we have to ensure they never get upgraded.  Again.

Oh, and did I mention that the computer may not want to boot even after you roll it back?  Yep.  We haven’t figured out why, but in 1/2 the cases we’ve had, the computer refused to boot.  This means you’ve got to take great pains in the rollback process.


Image from darwin bell via flickr


Tesco DG02UYR

Well, the petrol lorry drivers (the guys who deliver petrol….tanker truck drivers) voted yesterday to go on strike.  No one is sure when it will happen; however, everyone expects it to happen around the Easter holiday (that happens to be a 4 day weekend here).  I think the best quote ever came from this page on the Telegraph’s website (if it isn’t at the top of the page, scroll down to the 11:50 entry):

More advice from the Government on the UK fuel strike – they don’t want to cause panic, but Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has advised motorists to keep a jerry can of fuel in their garage, and the Prime Minister has suggested topping up your tank when you have the chance.  Mr Maude doesn’t want to see anyone “rushing around in a mad dash” – only mild, restrained panic please.

I find that hillarious.  no need for mad dashes….just semi-hurried dashes.  As No. 10 has advised people to make plans…..  How are people supposed to take it?

Oh, before anyone asks, we are taking precautions.  They don’t have many 20l jerrycans here so I bought a few 5l ones.  10l of fuel won’t get us far but will get us to the hospital or airport in an emergency.  We also plan to keep our tank topped up (daily if needed).

[Update 2012-03-30 06:53:35]  Am I “panic buying” fuel?  Where is the “I’m being a responsible citizen/resident” option?

[Update 2012-03-31 08:16:36Now there are calls for rationing so 999 drivers and emergency services can get the fuel the need.

[Update 2012-04-19 09:36:06] There was an agreement; however, the union has rejected it.  No strike news yet.

Image from didbygraham via flickr

Hosepipe Ban

July 30 - Hosepipe Ban

Here in Merry Olde England (see how I worked that in) we are under a drought.  At the time of year when we should have  loads of water, a hosepipe ban (water hose ban…but basically water restrictions) are being implemented.  We’ve had record low rainfall for the past 2 years and we are feeling the effects.  Right now, the restrictions are mostly voluntary (except for banning the use of hoses outside) but if it continues, the water companies may be forced to implement mandatory measures for homes and businesses.

[Update 2012-06-13 12:14:16] This has turned into the wettest drought I have ever seen.

Image from rob gallop via flickr