Friday, May 12, 2006

OK, oil 'er up

I was informed by many folks of the article in the San Jose Mercury News today about a Veggie Oil story.

I read it and found it somewhat confusing. I really had a problem with one line that said..."All she needed was a biodiesel conversion kit she had installed for about $700."

See, there is no such thing as an onboard biodiesel conversion kit, unless of course you make a large trailer to drag along with you.

Sheesh, more wrong information provided by the "NEWS".

Anyway, I emailed the author of the story, Mike Cassidy and let him know that he got his facts wrong.

Well, to make a long story short, he ended up changing the on-line copy to this...

"All she needed was a veggie-oil conversion kit she had installed for about $700."

Yeah, progress!

So, in conclusion, it is not a "Conspiracy of Disinformation" at all, but just that a reporter got confused by all the jargon.

Good job Mike! We all appreciate the effort in trying to get it right, because you gotta spread the news about the veggie oil.

Don't believe that he changed the story because of me? Well, here is a transcipt from the email string...


Sorry the story wasn't clear to you.
Good point on the "biodiesel conversion'' line. I was trying to carefully
distinguish among biodiesel, vegetable oil and waste oil throughout the
piece, but took my eye off the ball on that particular phrase.
She has one tank. I can understand why that's an important detail to you.
I'm not so sure it's important to the majority of readers.
I think I deserve at least a C, but I'm biased.

Mike Cassidy
San Jose Mercury News

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2006 9:11 AM
Subject: OK, OIL 'ER UP- comments


I just read your article on "OK, OIL 'ER UP".

It seems that you got your facts wrong. I think you need to do some more

See, I too drive a veggie benz over the hill from Santa Cruz to SJ everyday.

The problem that most reporters have (I have yet to see any of the media get
it right) is that they mix the terms "biodiesel" and "Vegetable Oil". These
are two completely different things. You mixed up the terms yourself in the

" All she needed was a biodiesel conversion kit she had installed for about

What is should have said was... "All she needed was a veggie oil conversion
kit she had installed for about $700." Or "Waste Vegetable Oil" or
"Vegetable Oil" or "WVO". ANYTHING is better than using the term
"biodiesel" when mentioning the conversion kit. This just confuses people.
I know, because I talk to folks all the time about my veggie car and the
general public never has the correct facts.

Also, you did not mention if she had a "one tank" or "two tank" conversion.
I am guessing that she had a two tank conversion, since you keep mentioning
biodiesel and WVO. However, I will never know since you did not bother to
give out the correct facts.

But hey, I give you an "A" for effort, but a "D" for execution.

Also, I thank you, because now I have something to blog about. It will go
nicely with my post about "Darly Hannah, disinformation agent"


Anyway, just thought I would let you know my thoughts on the matter.

Thanks for your time.


P.S. While I was writing this email, I got a call from a friend (hybrid
driver) who just read the article and was complaining to me about how it was
not very clear to him either.

*I also got this reply from Mike*

...we've corrected the column on the Web. If you link to it from your blog,
you might want to note that.

Mike Cassidy
San Jose Mercury News


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At 10:45 PM, Blogger William said...


I like the last video blog. It's pretty cool - and with cool music to boot.

To the batmobile.

Late - hope your trip is cool


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