Z is free, but absurdly expensive

Oh dear. Planning time for the event to come in four weeks and one day. At least I haven’t done anything foolish like buying presents or writing cards, but the Carol Service preparations are under way.

In the post today I received an interesting padded envelope from the company that insures the church which, amongst other useful information, included a small phial of liquid which is meant for security-marking valuable items. It is visible under UV light, but the interesting thing to me, who did not know such a thing was possible, is that it is postcode specific. So one only needs to dot it on one’s valuables and their provenance can instantly be proved – assuming the item is recovered at all, of course. But isn’t it clever? I’m not sure, since it referred to ‘your’ – ie my – postcode, whether this is un petit cadeau for me, or whether I should dance merrily round the church, dotting it on useful items. Since the church is always unlocked, most things are put away, but the fine eagle lectern and such things are not movable, of course.

It’s all meetings for the rest of the week, which is a bit of a bugger. Sometimes, I think I should have got a proper job years ago. In fact, I’m a bit late. We talked about it when I was rising 40 and decided to carry on as we were. I regretted that decision later, but by then circumstances didn’t allow – whatever the status quo was, it had to stay. Anyway, I value my time too highly. I’ll give it, but it’s ludicrously expensive to buy.

12 comments on “Z is free, but absurdly expensive

  1. Dave

    Working in insurance, as I used to, I had a UV pen once – with which one was supposed to write one’s postcode on objects – so that when recovered the police would (within a few houses anyway) know from where it was stolen. Are you sure this isn’t the same thing? Can scientists really be so clever as to invent a liquid that knows from where it comes?

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  2. Z

    Dearest Dave, I may be scatty but I am specific. “Your own forensic code registered to your address” … “the smallest trace of SmartWater will provide a sample for forensic examination. So a small dab is sufficient”…”DON’T try to write with the solution” it says.

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  3. AFC 30K

    Did you not know about smart water before??

    I thought everyone knew.

    As for time, it is getting more valuable by the minute with me. I bumped in to a chap I worked with 15 years ago when back up north. He said that since he retired he just had no spare time.

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  4. The Boy

    TO make it a bit more tedious I’d keep track of which pieces you dab and where you dab them, do dab in at least two locations for the larger items. That sort of log makes the job for the police just a bit easier. Also, if they can steal a 2 ton bronze statue, I’m sure the lovely eagle lecturn is not safe either.

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  5. Z

    I’m easily cast into wonderment, AFC, and this impressed me mightily. Indeed, Boy, I have photographic records of everything and adding that information would be useful. When the church was unlocked, we had a few break-ins which were a great nuisance because of the damage caused. In any case, the church is not its possessions and it’s more important to us to be freely open and take a measure of risk.

    If I had one job, my life would be easy, but all the things I’m involved with have to be juggled.

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  6. Dave

    Ah. It seems it doesn’t really know your own postcode. Each bottle is unique, so as long as you keep the bottle, or register your sample, then the police can read the micro-particles in it, and can then match it to any items they have recovered.

    I just didn’t see how they could make a product specific to each of the millions of postcodes in this country alone.

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  7. Z

    My time will be at your disposal, dear bum.

    Dave, I suspect you are teasing me again. Indeed, they have a central registration scheme, obviously.

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  8. Dandelion

    Yeah, dave is not right. If it says it’s “registered to your address”, then it must be. It must be already registered. Therefore, even if it doesn’t know whose postcode it’s registered to, the insurance company does.

    If each bottle is unique, then of course they can make one for every postcode!

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  9. Dave

    Where we got off on the wrong foot was when you said in your original post that the liquid was postcode specific. That led me to think (the fault of my imagination, not your writing)that each drop of liquid had, somewhere locked away inside it, a code which said ‘NR5 7QQ’ or whatever. That would have been really clever.

    In fact all they do is make the contents of each bottle different, and then list the address to which each bottle belongs.

    So it’s not as clever and amazing as my mind led me to believe (although, of course, making the content of each bottle unique is quite clever).

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  10. Z

    How nice you are, Dave, as well as charmingly imaginative. However,
    “your own forensic code registered to your address” is rather closer to “postcode specific” than “a liquid that knows from where it comes”. And it’s certainly not the same as a UV pen with which one writes ones own postcode, which was what you suggested I should have said in the first place.

    I use ‘nice’ correctly, of course.

    Reply

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