Saturday, 23 June 2012

Why Has My Blog Page Changed? It's IT

So, yesterday I had a blog page that had the same design as my web page, mainly because it was designed by the same brilliant woman, Tracey Tucker. Today it looks totally different. No colour, very bland and difficult to move around, let alone find control icons.

I've been in the IT industry for 35 years or more and I can't work out what I've done, or why my blog suddenly looks like it does. I'm not even sure how I'm going to publish this post, let alone share it with Facebook and Twitter. So, we'll see what happens at the end. Gosh, the suspense!

I saw a program on TV today that said that many people will not use a pen in their entire lives. Forms are now filled in online, emails are sent instead of letters and texts instead of phone calls. Yet one of my treasured possessions is a Parker Duofold fountain pen, backed up by an ever faithful Mont Blanc ballpoint. Actually I have two, because I misplaced the first which was a Christmas present from my wife and thinking I'd lost it I bought a replacement from a Heathrow Airport duty free shop. Some months later I happened to walk past my wife as she fiddled in her open bureau and there was my missing Mont Blanc. She's found it on a windowsill and locked it away for safe keeping!

The pen, of course, is symbolic in many cultures. When I was working for an IT company some years ago I concluded a large software deal with a Japanese hardware manufacturer. Although the negotiations were concluded to mutual agreement, it only remained for the document signing ceremony to take place. My MD wanted to be the man to sign on our behalf, which as the Japanese MD was signing for their side was only fair...I suppose. We met up with due pomp and circumstance and the two MD's sat opposite each other with the contract and a duplicate on the table between them. My MD took out his much-loved fountain pan (a Mont Blanc and very expensive) and signed his copies. He then offered the Japanese MD the pen with a flourish so he could sign in turn. The Japanese MD took the pen with a delighted smile, counter-signed the documents, then placing the top oonto the pen carefully placed it in the inside pocket of his immaculate suit.
My MD's mouth dropped open and other mouthing non-words he pointed at the hidden pen with a look of panic. The Japanese MD thanked him profusely and congratulated my MD on knowing that in Japan it's the custom for the second signatory to keep the ceremonial pen as a memento.. We left the office with the contract, but without the pen which had been a wedding anniversary present from my MD's wife.

I actually had coffee with the Japanese MD the next day and wife a cheeky smile he asked me to return the pen with the suggestion that next time my MD use a Bic.

Maybe the program was right then that pens are more trouble than they're worth, even though without them many of the greatest books would never have been written and the sword would be always considered mightier than something that didn't exist. None of which gets me to publishing this blog, which without IT I would have to write out by pen on individual sheets of paper and mail out. So let's hrow caution to the wind and PUBLISH AND BE DAMNED.

Meanwhile Tracey...HELP!

Blog on, dudes!

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