Pen Review – The Sharpie Pen

Posted in Pens and Pencils! on April 19, 2010 by doseofsalt

Now I want to preface this with the fact that when I saw this I thought…hang on, doesn’t Sharpie already have a felt tip pen like end on one of their products?  I’m pretty sure they do, but I guess they’ve never marketed it directly as a pen.

Anyway, here we are with what is being pushed as “The First Sharpie Pen!”.  And that’s what it is, a Sharpie branded felt tip fineliner type pen.  The illustrator in me is jumping for joy!

Who doesn’t love a good Sharpie? Most of them are pretty rad and useful in so many situations.  I do like the standard round tip marker myself, but have dabbled in thicker and thinner versions as well as the Sharpie hi-lighter which is absolutely brilliant and lasts for AGES.

So when I saw the Sharpie Pen on the shelf I had to grab myself one (or a pack of two) to check them out.  As you’d expect, you wouldn’t really sketch much with a felt tip pen, or at least I don’t as I can’t get the same sort of tactile response from them to get the dynamic shading that I do with it, but for illustration type work the fine line felt tip pen is something that I usually have on hand in abundance!

Straight up it’s a pretty comfortable pen to use.  It’s barrel is slightly wider than your average biro but not as wide as a regular sharpie marker.  The barrel comes to a pretty abrupt end as it tapers off down to the metal end that actually holds the felt tip in place.  I think it could have done with a bit more of a smooth taper to the end, but that obviously wouldn’t allow for their use of that cursed in-line lid design they’ve gone for.  The width of the lid is the same as the barrel so when you put the lid on, it’s one continuous surface top to bottom.  The same goes for when you put the lid on the end cap while working.  Usually this can be an epic deal breaker for me, or lead to great frustration however it fits on the end cap quite tightly and doesn’t rattle around at all when in use.   Whew.

As a wrting pen it does quite well, but I don’t ever really use a felt tip for writing unless I’m labelling a drawing or doing hand written comic text.  As an illustration tool though I found it to have it’s ups and downs.  The nib seems to be able to take a bit of a beating as I can be quite heavy handed when I illustrate.  I have snapped many a good felt tip off at the base, but the Sharpie Pen seemed to handle ok.

It gives a nice consistant line on the page and using varying amounts of pressure allows for nice cross hatching of various widths.  I did however feel that it could have gone on darker.  I found the lines that it would put down would often need going over a couple of times to be as striking as I’d like.  The drawing I’ve included with this review was done start to finish with the Sharpie Pen.

One point of marketing that they’ve included on the packaging is that it won’t bleed through paper.  I’m not sure if they achieve this by thinning the ink or not letting as much as usual saturate the paper, which could be the cause of my disappointment in the blackness of the line.  Regardless of that, it did actually perform quite well and didn’t bleed through the page of the visual diary I used.  You can see the drawing through the paper and I don’t know if you’d really want to use the other side of the page but it hasn’t bled through which I guess is the point.

All in all the Sharpie Pen is a pretty strong performer.  It’s comfortable enough to use and as a writing tool would work really well.  As an illustration tool however its performance on laying down nice solid black lines lets it down for me.  It won’t be replacing my Artlines anytime soon though.


Pen Review – Pilot B2P (Bottle to Pen)

Posted in Pens and Pencils! on April 18, 2010 by doseofsalt

The second in my road tested “eco” pens running on the premise of being manufactured from recycled materials is this offering from Pilot.  The B2P is advertised as being made from 89% recycled materials (apparently not including ink, cartridges or refills) which going by the packaging and design, and name obviously, is recycled water bottles.  Pretty cool idea and it leads to them being able to really go all out on designing the look of the pen.

This one fell directly into my shopping basket because it just looks awesome.  The blister packaging has the pen sitting suspended inside a larger capsule that is shaped like a water bottle complete with the swirly indented lines around it.  Think Mount Franklin water bottles.

The pen maintains this design with it’s smooth plastic body having the same wavy lines carved into the barrel to mimic the bottles from whence they come.  It’s made of really cool looking transparent blue hard plastic, giving it that watery kind of look.  It is a retractable style pen and has a nice sturdy clicking mechanism.

That’s unfortunately about where the greatness of this pen ends.  As far as performance on paper it is just such a huge letdown.  It’s a gel ink type pen which can usually go either way.  They are usually either really excellent pens, especially for writing, or they’re just horrible.  This one falls on the horrible side of that equation.  I haven’t even done an example sketch for this pen as it was too frustrating even to write with.  The ink comes out nice and black, but as soon as you change direction in your lines or do anything too swirly it just cuts out and you’re left with gaps in your lines.  It’s probably a little too inky for sketching also.  At a push, if it didn’t have the crappy ink cut out problem it might be OK for doing some bold illustration type lines, but unfortunately it doesn’t flow nearly well enough.

Good on Pilot though for entering the whole eco-pen race.  If they’d instead made it just a really nice regular ballpoint pen it’d probably be a decent pen to use for a variety of applications as it is pretty comfortable to hold.  A rubbery grip would make it a bit nicer though.  All of that is moot though because what it puts on the paper is actually quite horrid.  I’ve included a picture of some of my scribbles I did with it.  No sketch.

Pen Review – Uniball Power Tank Eco

Posted in Pens and Pencils! on April 18, 2010 by doseofsalt

One thing that I noticed to be quite an “in thing” that a variety of pen makers are doing is an eco or recycled range.  This struck me as pretty cool so I bought a handful of these today to check out.  I will say right off the bat I’m not expecting a whole lot from them.  For some reason when I think of something being recycled I think of it being a bit rough around the edges.  Maybe I’m just thinking of toilet paper.

Anyway,  the first pen I’ve had a look at in the recycled range is the Uniball Power Tank Eco.  It’s a retractable style pen which I quite like.  I lose my lid on the end preference, but generally speaking any sort of retractable pen has enough metal and workings in it that it gets enough weight to balance out nicely.  Another thing that I’d like to point out that some people might not care about, but I certainly do, is that the actual clicking mechanism feels and sounds really solid.  When you depress the button you’re rewarded with a very hefty CLICK CLICK.  The Power Tank Eco isn’t overly weighty but feels nice in hand.  It has a hard plastic barrel that is green (obviously) with a brown pocket clip and a rubbery brown grip.  The packaging explains what the pen is recycled from, and it’s actually pretty cool.

The barrel is made from recycled PCs and the rubber grip is made of scrap sawdust from pencil manufacturing and resin.  And this is where one of my favourite parts of this pen comes along…IT SMELLS LIKE SAWDUST!  Seriously, when I smell this pen, I’m instantly transported back in time to the Whyalla High tech block and woodwork class.  Mr P is standing there holding some piece of busted drilling equipment and telling everyone that it was “BLOODY DANNY DIAZ!” who wrecked it in that awesome high pitched voice he got when he was angry.

It smells awesome.  The grip has these sort of teardrop cutout parts in them that exposes some of the shiny plastic underneath.  I’m not a huge fan of these as it adds a bit of unevenness to the grip that can be a bit distracting when working with it.  I tend to change my grip pretty regularly when I’m drawing and like to have a consistent feel under my fingers.  The hard inserts throw this off somewhat but not really enough for me to throw the pen away because it draws quite well.

It’s has a pretty smooth rolling ball and glides pretty effortlessly on the page.  A lot of the times this can be a let down with sketching because you lose some of the dynamic range you can exert when the pen works as soon as it hits the paper, but it’s not too bad.  It has a pressurised ink chamber, so can write upside down and apparently in the extreme cold.  I probably won’t ever need to test that out, but who doesn’t want a pen that can write upside down?

So this one gets points for a couple of things.  It’s a nice smooth flowing pen that sketches well and writes really nicely.  It’s made from recycled stuff, so it should be good for the planet, and it smells like an awesome old woodworking school building.  The sketch here was done with the Uniball Power Tank Eco.

Pen Review – Staedtler Triplus Ball 0.45mm

Posted in Pens and Pencils! on April 17, 2010 by doseofsalt

Let it be known that I often choose the type of pen I want to try out primarily by how rad it looks.  Aesthetics mean a lot to me when it comes to pens.

When I saw the Staedtler Triplus pens on the shelf, the first thing that I thought was that they reminded me of oldschool industrial looking pens from when I was a kid…the kind my dad or grandparents would steal from BHP.  They felt weighty in the packaging and they look like quite long pens.  Weight and length is very important for me when it comes to using a pen for drawing.  It’s all about balance.

The Staedtler Triplus come in a package of three pens, including black, blue and red ink.  If they sold them separately I would obviously have just gone for black, but I take what I can get.

On opening the packaging the first thing I noticed is that they have a lid that fits to the pen inline with the shape of the pen barrel.  It doesn’t fit over the pen barrel like many lids do and when you put the lid on the end of the pen it’s the same, it clips onto the small metal end plug again keeping inline with the width of the barrel.  I’ll start with this because it’s one of the first things I noticed about the pen.

When I draw using a biro I vary my stroke speed between very slow and very fast depending on what I’m actually drawing.  I generally only sketch with biros as I can get a lot of the same sketchy characteristics that you’d get with a pencil due to my technique, without having to worry about anything smudging.  I like the permanency of it as when I sketch I have an unwritten rule that I don’t correct anything, just incorporate it.  Any mistake is just an opportunity to go somewhere else with an idea.  So I discovered that when I start doing more shading type work and move the pen vigorously the lid rattles around on the end plug.  I found it quite distracting actually and really prefer pen lids that I can jam down hard over the barrel so it stays nice and firmly in place.  Sure it adds a little bulk to the pen but despite my stationary lust for great form, I still need it to function well.

In terms of barrel shape, it has as its name suggests a triangular shaped barrel.  This is supposed to be for comfort but to be honest any thin barreled pen feels the same in my hand after I’ve been drawing with it non-stop for 45 minutes.  The pen does have quite a bit of weight to it, which gives it a nice balance when you’re using it.

In use the pen is quite nice.  I’ve used cheap nasty biros with a smoother on paper feel and it does feel quite scratchy on the page,  but this sort of tactile feeling is often quite good when sketching.  It makes you feel more in contact with the page if you can feel the pen scraping at it a bit.  I think that’s why I find it hard to just sketch with my Intuos 4 graphics tablet.  As much as it has a nice matte surface and a variety of nibs to use to help mimic natural mediums, it’s just not the same as digging a pen into a piece of paper!

All in all, this is a pretty nice pen.  The only let down I really had with it was the lid not fitting securely enough to the end when the pen is in use and having a bit of a rattle.  It may seem strange and you may say “well just use it without the lid on the end,” but I find it really strange to use a pen without the lid on the back end of it.  It’s that whole balance thing again.  It just feels so much more comfortable and balanced to have that little bit of extra weight and length at the back end of the pen when I’m sketching.

The sketch included in this entry was done with the Staedtler Triplus Ball 0.45mm

Am I getting old or are people just cunts?

Posted in General, Music on April 17, 2010 by doseofsalt


Allow me to lay out my frustrations of a couple of incidents that happened to me over the last week.

I don’t know if anyone else finds this at gigs like I do, but no matter where I stand at a show, I seem to ALWAYS be blocking some sort of main thoroughfare that just happens to materialize right where I decided to plant my feet.  There could have been no one anywhere near the spot until the moment I decide to stand there, but once that happens it’s instantly transformed into the exact place person A needs to travel through to reach destination C having left origin B.  It could be a convoluted wacky route to the toilets, or the apparently new trendy journey to get to the bar by taking the least shortest path to get there.  I don’t know what it is, but people just start bumping into me or trying to squeeze between me and whatever I happen to have decided to stand near; and I take up a fair whack of real estate.

So here comes example one.  I went along to The Zoo to see the absolutely amazing Justin Townes Earle.  He’s an American singer/songwriter and son of Steve “you can smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road” Earle.  The guy is a fantastic showman and writes some truly brilliant songs.  He was supported by The Wilson PickersAndrew Morris and fellow American, Jason Isbell.  The show is kicking along nicely and Morris has finished his cool set.  He was joined by fellow Pickers Ben Salter and Danny Widdicombe which was a nice surprise.  Jason Isbell blew the stage to pieces with his awesome music and absolutely insane guitar playing.  Justin Townes Earle was who I was here to see though, and great opener acts were just icing on a cake I already knew was going to be fantastic.

I decided that the best place for me to plant myself was off to the left side of the stage, right against the wall out of the way and took up this spot and got myself in a cool zone to soak up some good old country tunes.  Not five seconds after getting myself situated do people start cramming themselves between me and the small group of people I’m going to immediately name The Hillbilly Fucktards who had decided to move into the three metres of space I had in front of me.  But they decided to do this in the 70 odd centimetres of space that was directly in front of me…leaving them the full other 2.3 metres that they could have inhabited terra nullius…a veritable no mans land.

The Hillbilly Fucktards were clearly already full steam ahead on their journey to alcohol poisoning at this stage and were being jovial with each other and leaning against each other for balance or comfort or both while they loudly talked about some sort of bullshit I didn’t give a fuck about.  Their long and malleable appendages which were capped with full glasses and bottles of their chosen poison flailed around in the air, punctuating whatever drunken point they were making, or illustrating some detail of a story that was probably a lie.  I am thankful that none of the contents of these glasses and bottles ended up being spilled all over me, though it was close.

Within no time The Hillbilly Fucktards’ drinks ran empty and they all teetered off to the bar to refuel before continuing on their mission to be the drunkest cunts in the venue.  As they left I thought to myself “now salty, here’s the perfect opportunity for you to move forward here and occupy the space they were just in…so they can’t come back to it…you, sir, are a GENIUS!”.  So I slide myself along the wall and comfortably take up the space in which The Hillbilly Fucktards had vacated.  They booze, they loose.  Or so I thought.  The triumphant group returned from their bar mission and seemed to just reform in the exact same spot they had, which now included me.  I was like an adopted member of their group it seemed and nobody seemed to care.

FUCK THAT.  I cared.  So I slowly slid my way back to where I was before.  If they hadn’t noticed I was there, they noticed I had gone as they fluidly filled in the space I had left and planted themselves squarely back right in front of me, again leaving their claimed 2.3 metre buffer zone.  Now when it comes to times like this, I’m a real stubborn cunt.  There’s no way I’m moving.  Fuck those guys, I was here first and I want to enjoy the show.  I don’t drink anymore, so I’m stone cold sober and wanting to marvel at the display of musicianship and lyricism that is taking place in front of me on stage.  So I’m standing my ground and going down with the ship if it kills me…or I have to kill them.  Either way I’m watching this fucking show and The Hillbilly Fucktards aren’t going to ruin it for me.

Now it could have been my persistence and the epic negative vibes that I was mentally blasting at these idiots, or it could have been the fact that the journey to the bar so they could SINK PISS MATE was too far, but they decided to pull up camp and relocate to somewhere else and I didn’t give a fuck where, they were gone.  Peace at least.  I could stand with my three metres of nice space in front of me and let Mr Townes Earle take me away to a better place on the wings of his music.  Sure, I was still the footpath to the toilet and the bar for every moron that couldn’t walk anywhere else in the entire venue to get to those places, but generally if I ignore it, those fucks become easy to ignore.

You’d think that this was the happy ending and soon I’d be riding a wave of country music gold and wishing I was in Nashville with a geetar slung over my back and a huge cowboy hat.  But you’d be wrong.  No sooner had The Hillbilly Fucktards decided to vacate their land, along come who I’d like to call Pretentious Wanker and Dumbshit Mate.  I don’t know what it is, but by standing within the one metre radius around my body, people must just begin absorbing my aura of fucking awesomeness or something, because that’s exactly where Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate decided to stand.  I was so close to them if I had stuck my head forward as far as it could go without even moving my body I’d have been right between their faces.  Now the epic invasion of personal space I can sort of deal with.  The dodging half drunk wobbling fuckheads standing using each other as ballast I could mostly handle.  But Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate weren’t happy to just stand there and watch Mr Townes Earle play some great songs…they also decided that RIGHT NOW was the best time EVER to start having a conversation about something.  Again, no idea what they were talking about, I couldn’t give a fuck.  But by this stage the music on stage was quite loud and they clearly couldn’t hear each other.  “They probably realised this and just stopped talking and watched the show” I hear you all assuming.  Not quite.

Pretentious Wanker proceeded to lean towards Dumbshit Mate and scream what he wanted to tell hm directly at his ear.  Dumbshit mate then returned the favour.  They did this over and over, their conversation seeming never to end.  I was reaching my boiling point.  Everything within me wanted to crane my neck forward that little bit and at the absolute top of my lungs just yell “SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!”.  I cooled down and they stopped for a short while, then obviously realised they had something else they had to talk about and started again.  The same epic rage started building in me again as I started picturing scenarios in my head of what would happen if I had just let rip at these cunts and told them to shut up.  In any event it never ended well so I calmed myself again.  My fiance decided that she wanted to go and sit down at the back of the room and I come to the realisation that I was fighting a battle I just couldn’t win.  So with a heavy heart I joined her and we sat at the back of the room, where there was noone else anywhere nearby and sat and watched the rest of the show.  It wast really great.

So tell me.  Should I just stop going to shows?  Has deciding not to drink anymore ruined the gig going experience for me?  I’d hate to think that to enjoy a show like I used to I’d have to have had a few drinks or be off my face.  I know that I’ve probably been both Pretentious Wanker, Dumbshit Mate and any number of species of Hillbilly Fucktard at sometime drunk at a gig…but surely deciding not to be any of these things anymore shouldn’t destroy the pleasure of going to see live music should it?

OK so incident B happened a few days later whilst spending some quality retail therapy time at Chermside shopping centre.   I was in that fabulous glass fronted wonderland that is the Apple store.  I had seen a couple of iPhone cases that I really wanted to find and have a look at, so figured that the Apple store would be as good a place as any to start looking.  Plus I’ve only been in there twice before so I figured any excuse would do.  They basically have a wall of iPhone cases in the store against the right wall at the back of the shop.  The area was mostly deserted when I walked in so I went and planted myself in front of the case wall and started looking at some of them.  Now as mentioned previously, I take up a sizable piece of the floor when I’m standing on it.  I’m not a small person and I’m very hard to miss.  So I don’t understand how when I’m standing right in front of a wall of products, clearly looking at them, people feel that they should come and stand in front of me to look at the same things I am.  I don’t mind if you reach in front of me and grab something to have a look at…with a “‘scuse me” thrown in is always nice but not a deal breaker.  But why would you feel it was ok to lean right in front of me, or even squeeze between me and the wall of products to look at something, and just stay there blocking everything I’m trying to look at?  I’m not invisible and you are not a fucking window.

A mother and daughter clearly thought I was as they decided that they’d basically push in front of me to grab a couple of things from the shelf and have a conversation about them…call a staff member over and continue talking to them while I’m still trying to look at shit, now on tip-toes trying to look past them.  I decide to take a step to the side and look at whatever is in front of me then.  It was nothing too interesting, so I decided to be just as much of a fuck and reached into the even smaller space now between them and the wall and grab some stuff to look at, making it clear that I was basically shoving them out of the way.  And they moved.  Good.  Get the fuck out of my way.

I then thought I needed to take this mission closer to the ground, so I squatted down to look at the merchandise that had been placed closer to the centre of the Earth.  iPhone cases worthy of this antideluvian shepherd.  So I’m squatting down looking at some stuff when a customer I’ve decided to call Shitcunt comes and stands looking at some of the stuff that’s above me.  Which I’m fine with.  I’m not looking at that stuff!  Look away my friend!  Oh wait…what are you doing?  Why have you decided to look at the stuff above me, but by standing right over the top of me so close that if I were to stand up I’d be placing myself squarely inside your chest cavity, or at best in your armpit.  I was trapped!  Like a moth in a bath!  I could feel my bezerker rage building up inside of me again and decided it was time for action.  I figured I’d just stand up; through Shitcunt if I had to.  This is pretty much what happened.  I stood directly up and bashed Shitcunt aside.  He took a stumbling step away from me, looked at me in what seemed like absolute shock and exclaimed “OH! SORRY MATE!” like he hadn’t even seen me there.  I didn’t acknowledge his apology nor his existence, I just kept looking for the Holy Grail of iPhone cases that I was pretty sure I’d find.  Anyway what does Shitcunt decide to do?  Exactly the same as the mother/daughter pair had done, who I realise now I forgot to name.  Let’s name them after the fact, The Dumbsluts.  So here’s Shitcunt leaning in front of me, not to just grab something to look at, but to study intently at the sake of my being able to actually see anything.

Well my loyal readers, that was me done.  I exclaimed “FUCK THIS!” and made a retreat from the Apple store, once again defeated.

So my question is this…are people just cunts?  Or now that I’m in my 30s am I just getting older and losing patience with pretty much everything, most of all people?

Review: Rick Wakeman – Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974)

Posted in Music on December 25, 2009 by doseofsalt
Rick Wakeman – Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974)
Review taken from –
Progressive rock legend, Rick Wakeman is a name synonymous with prog, capes and synthesizers. Having recorded a nearly countless number of solo albums and probably most known for his stint in the seminal prog rock band YES, Wakeman is a master musician, composer and loves a good curry. I’ve known the music of YES for quite a while being that nearly all modern prog bands sight them as an influence at some point so just like Rush and Genesis, they’re one of those bands you just come across. Until recently however I had only heard a slight sprinkling of his solo work, and have an unplayed vinyl of Myths and Legends of King Arthur sitting in a cupboard with no record player to spin it on.

So I got my hands on some of his music. In what seemed like the same sort of musical awakening I had when I first got into progressive music, my world was thrown upside down as this music was coming from my speakers and going into my ears for my brain to process…and it was just an absolute joy to listen to. I had found something new in something old that has left me astounded and feeling a fresh wave of progressive appreciation.

So here comes the part where I review Wakeman’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Much like his first solo outing “The Six Wives of Henry VIII”, “Journey…” is an exploration in musical space blending classical composition and instrumentation with electronic instruments and synthesizers, most notably and very much synonymous with Wakeman, the Minimoog. The main difference between his first album and this one however is the inclusion of narration and vocals which gives a lot of clarity to the concept.

Based on the Jules Verne story of the same name, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” musically chronicles the adventure of a group of people following in the trail of an adventurer from the past as they decend deep into the Earth to find the wild, fantastic and wonderful sights of this “world within a world”.

The album was recorded live in 1974 at the Royal Festival Hall in London and features the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir and it is every bit as impressive as that sounds. Wakeman’s orchestrations are just spectacular and he incorporates the traditional orchestra with the electronic sizzling of the Moogs and other synths so well, it feels like they’ve always gone hand in hand. Recorded only 3 years after he joined YES, and at only 24 years old it shows the definite hallmarks of a musical genius both in pure skill and the ability to write and compose for such a variety of musicians and working with traditional and contemporary instruments to make them work so well together.

Lead vocals are handled well by Gary Pickford-Hopkin and Ashley Holt, both of who are old school British prog singers but who I’m not familiar with at all. In front of such an epic backing band of prog keyboard legend, rock band, orchestra AND choir they do a fantastic job. The narration was handled by late British actor/director David Hemmings.

With only two tracks to it, coming from a world of vinyl and side A and B, it’s definitely a “sit down and get taken away” listening experience that clocks in at smack on 40 minutes.

For some people this review will be really old news, but for some people who might be interested in discovering some classic prog for the first time, or who like me have been aware of Wakeman’s solo work but never delved into it, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” would be a great place to start. It’s every bit as bombastic and epic as Wakeman is when he graces the stage, cape flowing and surrounded by the tools of his trade.

A sequel album was released in 1999 which features narration by Patrick Stewart and includes vocal performances by Ozzy Osbourne, Bonnie Tyler, Justin Haward and more.

– Andrew Saltmarsh

The Stupid Pants Affair

Posted in General with tags , , on December 15, 2009 by doseofsalt

Ok so the only reason I figured I’d post this is because it’s really really stupid.

You see I was in need of a new pair of pants. The pairs I had were equally as shabby and old and starting to fall apart. So I trucked my way to ye olde pants shoppe to make said purchase of pants.

I was however not ONLY looking for pants, I was also on the lookout for some shorts of two varieties! On the suggestion of my doctor I’m going to start swimming for fitness to help build some core strength and help lose some weight, so one variety of shorts I was after were the board variety. The other shorts I was after were just regular shorts which are basically short cut off versions of the pants I had come to get.

The pants I have bought a zillion times so I just grabbed my size down and put them in the counter. The two types of shorts I figured I’d best try on being a place where size can vary a lot depending on brand.

They fit fine so I paid and left the store.

Cut to a few days later and I’ve been wearing shorts the whole time. It SUCKS walking to the bus and work wearing a black tshirt and full length black pants in this heat so shorts it’s been. Come Monday I was driving in to work so I donned the new pants and headed down to the car.

I got in and started the car, backed out if the garage, got out of the car and closed the garge door. When I got back to the car to get in I had a lightbulb moment and realized I was wearing these pants for the first time…best check that I have my wallet. So I pat the area of my leg where my wallet always sits nice and secure in its cargo pocket. No wallet. FUCK.

Get into the car and pull it into a visitors park and dash back upstairs to get my wallet out of my shorts.

Find them in the floordrobe and get my wallet out if the pocket that the shorts and pants share due to their configuration and reach down to open the familiar velcro flap that secures said pocket closed and prevents my wallet and all it contains (mostly dust and old receipts) from spilling out all over the place should I chose to do a handstand or cartwheel.

My fingers grasp for the fabric protuberance but for some strange reason glide unimpinged up the fabric. “Must have missed it” I tell myself. “Try again”. Same result. My fingers just coast across my pants leg like some barren arctic tundra devoid of any outcropping of rock, trees, snow or indeed velcro fabric pocket closing flaps.

By this stage I’m well and truly in a state of confusion and bewilderment. What is this strange new leg region topography and how did I find myself here deep in it’s embrace, four days in with no sign of life or pockets (aside from the default 3 that most pants come equipped with) and no glimmer of cargo on the horizon?!

My gaze makes its way southbound to reconnoiter the region below the pants/shirt divide.

It seems that my initial survey of the region was made far too hastily as on this second trip it was quite clear that there was indeed no goldmine of pockets to be found. She wasn’t even giving me any flake.

So that is the story of how your humble narrator came to accidently buy the wrong pants.