Speechless. Absolutely speechless.

I’ve been on this planet for 33 years. Technically, I’ve been alive longer than Jesus. It is not until this moment I have witnessed stupidity like this. I’m not talking “sticking-a fork-into-a-plug-socket” stupid, after all, we’ve all been curious after licking the connections on a 9v battery. I’m taking this to a whole new level of stupid. This is a good one.

I’m talking pens here. Yeah, stay with me as this will be worth it. What is your first memory of holding a pen? Was it drawing shapes on the covers of your dad’s favourite and now priceless records? Do you remember drawing nonsensical circular scribblings on your birth certificate, because it happened to have been left in the reach of little hands? ? Do you lie awake at night, pining for the smell of old fashioned permanent markers before they took all of the chemicals out? Do you still think back to the days, in infants, when Peter Thompson fell out with you, because he wanted to use the green crayon you were using, and instead of lending him it, you were greedy and kept it all to yourself?

Is the answer no, to all of the above? Well, then. You’re completely and utterly normal! It’s drummed into us at an early age, so it becomes almost like instinct, that a 6-inch plastic instrument with a point on the end, will leave some mark on the paper that the pointed end makes contact with. We are all to young to remember it.

Imagine my surprise, when in Asda tonight, I found some markers. You know, normal markers. A bit like sharpies in their design. Perfectly acceptable for writing “PORNO” on the last DVD you’ve just burned. Nothing special. Except these markers had directions for use.

“Select a pen and remove the cap to reveal the point. Touch the pen to the writing surface and move along the material to leave an ink mark as desired”. I absolutely shit you not. That is the directions on them.

Right now, when it comes to typing the blog, I am at a standstill. where do I go with this? Octopuses tentacles full of writing material are flailing in every direction. Do I take the piss? Do I question why these directions were needed?

All I can think of is that these pens were designed and made by humans. Those directions of use were typed up by a human. Somewhere down the chain, there must be a whiteboard, or a document saying “These are going to manufacture. These directions of use must be on them”. Nowhere, during that process, did someone think “Aren’t we over-simplifying things here?” For instance, the guy, at the keyboard of the printer… maybe they got paid for filling both sides of the pen up with text?

I’ll never know. It’s hurting what’s left of my brain thinking about it.

Four pound? Profound!

I’m, once again, going to dedicate this post to streetlighting and yet another musical purchase I’ve made, but hell, when I’m finished with that, and if I can be bothered, I’ll extend it to include some normal life stuff.

So, yesterday (Saturday), I was in York. I was dismayed to find that this fine example of a GEC z5590 burning SON has been replaced…

Trip to York, 24th July 2010. Stunningly warm day! A GEC Z5590 has picked up a little bit of a mowhawk! This would have been mercury originally, but like all of the ones around it, now running a dayburning SON lamp.
Trip to York, 24th July 2010. Stunningly warm day!
A GEC Z5590 has picked up a little bit of a mowhawk!
This would have been mercury originally, but like all of the ones around it, now running a dayburning SON lamp.

It was a fine example, drilled for a photocell, and everything. Ironically, it’s been replaced with a dayburning heritage lantern, with LED arrays as its light output. Shame.

I’m actually posting that news as an experiment to see who actually reads this page. I wonder how many people from work actually know I have a streetlight interest? I’ll hazard a guess at not many of them.

So, er, anyway. Onto the music. I’ve been a fan of Jan Hammer for many years, since I first heard “Crockett’s Theme”. I didn’t know anything about it at the time, and certainly didn’t know it was from Jan Hammer.Anyway, yesterday, I picked up one of his CDs. A CD I probably paid over the odds for, but I’d say it’s worth it, seeing as I’ve been after one of the tracks since I was 11 years old, and that track is “Payback”, the last track on the CD. I’ve never saw a copy of it on CD before, nor have I ever held one in my hand, and never actually owned it!

My love affair for that particular song started in 1991. I had, as I’ve done every year, recorded the grand national, but this year recorded some of the buildup too. The BBC used this particular track to show highlights of the previous two days racing. I’d recorded it, and instantly loved it. Obviously, back then, there was no way of being able to quickly identify a piece of music., and so it sat, rotting (literally) on the tape for years, eventually getting forgotten about.

One night, while flicking through the satellite channels, Miami Vice was starting, and would you believe it? The tune just happened to be featured in it. Naturally, armed with this information, I was able to narrow down my search somewhat, and eventually came across an MP3 of it.

Seems to be a regular story. I hear a song, ignore it for years, hear it in a place I wasn’t expecting, eventually track down on MP3, followed by a CD copy the song.

That, I thought, was the end of it. I had some time to kill while some files copied. I thought I’d listen to the entire CD. that is genuinely a rare occurrence. I normally buy a CD, listen to one track and ignore the rest. This one was Jan Hammer, so I knew, somewhere, there’d be a hidden pot of gold. And I wasn’t wrong.

I seem to have one of those things where my long-term memory is extremely strong. whether it’s a gift, or a curse, I haven’t decided, as it always seems I’m living in the past, but this CD played, and track 8 sparked my attention. It was a track called “The Runner”. Braincells flew into rewind mode. I knew it from an advert, going back as far as the 80s. It instantly reminded me of warm summer evenings, but I had a feeling I’d be the only one who recalled said advert. Off I go to Youtube, and typed in its name.

First result, third comment down…

“Anyone remember this music used in an advert for milk in the 80’s?”

The reply to that comment…

“Yes, they featured Bob Geldof in the late 1980s (about 1987/88). There are a couple of those adverts here on Youtube. Incidentally it was those adverts that brought me here. :-)”

Good lord. A buried memory from more than three quarters of my life ago, resolved in about two minutes. That was four pounds well spent. And now, a slew of youtube videos, that will undoubtedly die over time, and I won’t be bothered to fix them, but hey, they work now at the time of typing!

Here’s “Payback”, the track I bought the CD for…

And here’s “The Runner”….

And here’s advert 1, featuring the music.

Advert 2, the more memorable of the adverts, but with less music…