Handling a service-station refuelling fire

petrol pump

A good friend of mine who works for a major fuel company in NZ emailed a serious and responsible guideline to me this morning to encourage safe responses to refuelling fire incidents in petrol stations. Following is my edited version which you are unlikely to see posted up at your local outlet…

Static-related incidents while fuelling our passenger vehicles are rare but possible. BUT what should you do in the unlikely event of a flash fire at the refuelling nozzle?

  1. SCREAM – its very important that station forecourt staff are alerted to the emergency as soon as possible, scream like a girl !!!
  2. RUN LIKE HELL – leave the nozzle in the car, your crap car needs replacing and in a few minutes will be a smouldering heap of plastic and metal, and if some anal superhero fool pulls an extinguisher out of their boot and saves your car you may get a few litres of free fuel in all the confusion. Dont worry about being run-over by another vehicle as a broken leg will mend in a couple of months whereas 3rd degree burns are with you for life
  3. GO BACK AND SAVE YOUR FAMILY – your initial instinct and indeed the proper reaction is to run like hell (see step 2) and this is important as if you cant protect yourself you cannot then go back and save your family. Save them now!
  4. NOW READ THE MANUAL – after following steps 1 through 3 above, please now consult the service station manual (or email sent by a petrol company employee friend) issued to detail just how you should react to this situation. by the time you’ve read or recalled the contents of the manual your car will be a wreck but this will give you time to get your story right for the insurance agents and ACC officer

A new machineā€¦ Almost

core2 duo
Last week I received the final pieces of hardware I’d ordered to rebuild my home machine and give its performance a kick in the arse to drag it screaming into the 21st century. Being the luddite that I am I’ve always been on the trailing edge as far as home computing power is concerned, priding myself on my ability to “get by on less”.

This time however I thought I’d splash out an get some half-decent shit, spoil myself you might say.

So it was that on Saturday morning I powered off my home PC and began to dismantle it, keeping calm by sipping on a nice glass of Austrian weissbier.

Things went well, the old kit came out, and the new stuff began to go back in without too much fuss. Apart from that is, the shock of some new interfaces and devices:

o SATA drive and its signal/power cables (I thought IDE was modern)
o Micro-ATX m/b (how can they squeeze so much on so little)
o 3GB Core2 Duo CPU (is that a fan or an air-conditioning unit)
o 512MB PCIex16 Video card (what the hell is a GPU, some sort of typo?)
o 2GB 800MHz Ram (I used to think a 100MHz FSB was cool)

The new stuff meant for the first time in a long time I actually read-the-fucking-manual, just in case I screwed things up and pissed off the domestic accountant by retreating from the office with a handfull of smoking silicon and plastic.

As I mentioned, things were goin swimmingly, plugged in the peripherals, powered the box up, BIOS config appeared, looking good so far, a couple of tweaks, pop in the WindowsXP install CD and restart. Installer pops up, copies files to disk, and asks for the verification number.

I was rather apprehensive at this point as the install CD was from “a reliable source”.. and that source had written the key on the CD for me from memory. This had me worried at the time, I mean who remembers a sequence of 5 random 4-char hex characters reliably from memory.

Anyway, as luck wouldnt have it, the key was wrong and I was left swearing and cursing with a newly formatted drive and a thousand dollars of hardware I couldnt put to any use. I couldn’t even install Linux coz I’d misplaced my Ubuntu CD, and theres no way Id be putting all that old stuff back in the box. So that it was it then.

Given that this was a long weekend, and that I’d started on Saturday morning, I was facing a weekend without my beloved machine, and the corresponding lack of access to flight-simulator, and the Internet.

Oh well. Where is that Book?

Vee Eights!!! Vee Eights!!! Vee Eights!!!

V8 supercars

Well its all over, the V8 supercars event has been and gone from Hamilton, and thank God coz I really dont think all this drinking during the day for three days malarky is sustainable for old folks like me any more.

What a bloody awesome event!!!

I took Friday off, and being the late starter that I am made my way round to Vike’s by about 11am. He had a pre-poured Rum-n-coke waiting patiently for me, we gargled a couple of those and hit the pavement for the short walk across the bridge to Frankton. Friday was practice day, no racing, but you wouldnt have known it based on the noise on the track and the number of punters in the stands.

Saturday and Sunday were race days, and apart from the well advertised big boy V8 Supercars class there was also a bunch of other awesome support events. NZ V8s, Porsches, Minis, Toyota single seaters, and in between loads of petrol-head targetted entertainment like drag-cars, stunt motorbikes and of course lycra clad grid girls and dancers.

Kym was keen on the GT3 Porches (fast, sexy, expensive to crash) coz Mitre10 Mega sponsors young Daniel Gaunt who did well finishing in the top 10 in all three races over the weekend with a respectable 3rd-overall for the event.

I was keener on the Grid-girls. I forgot to take my binoculars on Saturday but put them to good use on Sunday as far as critiquing the outfits and haircuts the girls were presenting. Vike, Woodster and I took a number of glancing blows from Kym when caught out being less than subtle. Apparently grunting and poking each other in the ribs and pointing with one hand while holding binos with the other is not acceptable adult behavior.

When it was all over on Sunday night I actually felt kinda bummed out, like when you leave a multi-day music festival, or head home from a great holiday or someit. But the thing that picked me up again was planning how to tackle the event next year when it rolls back into town. One dilemma is deciding whether or not to tear yourself away from the track action to check out the stalls, demos and stuff outside the racing itself. No regrets how time was split this year, but may check out more of the off-track action next year.