Monday, March 31, 2014

Head clearing time.

I needed a to-do list.  Fast.  Like heading out of the country for a week this afternoon fast. Like heading out of the country for a week and I haven't packed yet fast.  Part of me (the evil, short sighted slacker who refused to even unpack my bag from my flight last week ) wanted to just grab a dull pencil and a coffee stained post-it note to cleanse the brain.   But the pen lover in me won out and I decided to take an upgrade.  I didn't grab the nicest pen in the world,  but I grabbed one that I knew would be there for me. A work horse. A very inexpensive Sheaffer School pen.  One day I will photograph all of my Sheaffers together for a family shot because they probably are used for about 75% of my writing time.  This one needs a good cleaning and a shine and I always loved this shade of blue. Dirty or not.

Sure I needed to throw in a cartridge and get it flowing but taking the 60 seconds to do that was well worth it. Add in a simple notebook and start the download from the brain to the paper.

My to-do lists range from the desperately needed for organizing- to me just wanting to write something with a new pen.   In this case it was everything that I wanted to take care of on the long leg of my flights. 

1. Avoid crazy dude from my last trip that just wanted a first class drinking buddy.
2. Reach for and physically  touch my passport 37 times.
3. Learn how to ask for a bathroom in German and check the local laws on public intoxication.

Today it was more about still wanting to enjoy the process of writing regardless of timing or schedules.  It was about knowing what I needed to accomplish but not allowing laziness to get in the way of appreciating a nice pen or nice paper.  I highly recommend it 

Gut stifte. (is that correct?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

JetPens Rocks: The Ohto Graphic Liner

Here are three cheers for JetPens!  They knew I was inconsistent with my posts. (This is all in the past, settle in,  this is going to be a bumpy ride.)   Yet, they still offer to send out a few pens for me blog about. So blog about them I will and when I got this a while ago, I was very happy.
Drafting pen, drawing pen, Liner... whatever you call it,  I have about 40 drafting pens in a cup that I use a lot.  Even some that I need to refill every single time that I want to use them.  Not this baby, it is ready to go out of the envelope and nicely done. Here's a not too light plastic barrel full of water and fade proof black ink.  Perfect for doodles or line work or Zentangles (did that word come and go or are people still using that word?)  Zentangles..it sounds so mysterious. 
The 02 is roughly about a .5 in my book and that is almost the perfect width my needs. They make a pile of other sizes- but I bet if I tried them all, this is the size I would go back to for writing and for drawing.
Here's what I like and what surprised me when I pulled off the cap...a needle point!  Excellent when you really need to see what you are doing.  I read a few reviews where people have had this pen leaks on planes...I am not sure what that is about... I have had this on 4 flights without any issues in the past 2 months. Click on the picture, take a look. It's nice.
Ohto: Has been making ballpoints since 1949.  That's 65 years of Japanese pen manufacturing.   I will appreciate that every single day. These guys invented the ceramic ball back in 1981.  Amazeballs. (Get it?)
So...I doodle, if you have read my blog in the past you know this. They generally got tossed in the trash afterward and it's just a thing I do on calls and during breaks around the house.   I have been doing more serious artwork that I might share on here later..I do love the way this ink flows and even on normal copy paper is just clean and precise.  That's what this pen is good for.
JetPens sells these cheap here:  Clicky clicky... They run about $2.50 a piece depending.  Worth it completely if this sort of pen is your thing.  They are in stock and ready for delivery.
I like this pen.  It's different in that fact that I don't see too many of them (and yes, I stalk peoples pens in meetings)  In fact, I should be on some stalker list that you can go on and see who are the crazy pen stalkers in your neighborhood.  And don't think I am not judging you.  I am completely am. Show up in my meeting with a chewed up pen from a trade show and there is no way that I can take you seriously.  For my co-workers ..I kid. (not really.)

Good Pen.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Where did I get this?

I really do hate the fact that I own a few pens that I have no idea where I got them from. I am not sure if that stems from the fact that I own a shit ton of pens or, if as I get older the brain stops remembering things in a crispy manner. The good news is- I am fairly certain I didn't steal this pen (especially if you are missing one of these.)  Here's the truth, as I write this,  I know little or nothing about this pen, other than it smells like the worst possible smelling pen that you can imagine.
 Here's what I know without Googling...
1. It's a demonstrator (ish)
2. Brown and gold, already not my favorite...
3. The smells... stanky, stanky, stanky.  I have finished up a 2.5 hour squash session with a fresher smelling...well you get the picture.
Let the Googling begin...well it says "Romus Majestic" on the side of the pen. Let's start there....there's a couple FPN reviews....so it looks like it might be from India...and chances are I got it off of eBay.  Awesome.  I haven't honestly used this pen much,  inked up a few times,  but not my ideal daily carrier. (or is it?)
Here it is in all of its glory.  I am checking back on my eBay history as I speak....after spending 45 minutes on Reddit, I am back...Cool,  it seems like I bought this for a whopping $4.00.  That's crazy. 4 bucks! Sweet.  That's a cup of coffee.  I have said it before,  I will take ANY $4.00 fountain pen.
 If you own more than a couple hundred fountain pens... you understand what happens...you carefully ink and clean and organize and then you have 6 inked pens that you haven't used in 2 years.  OUCH. Welcome to the club. Case in point.  Agree to disagree. (I am aware this makes no sense to you.)
I don't hate the way this writes. I have been spoiled by a ton of EF point fountains lately so this is a little thick for my taste, but it's not horrible.  Nice filling mechanism,  writes very smoothly on the nib, lightweight pen.   But back to the smell.  I even rinsed this out a few times... the smell remains... somewhere between a small mammal in heat and a probably what Andy Dufresne smelled like near the end of the Shawshank Redemption tunnel escape scene.
Here's something that I wasn't expecting.  Flex. Click on this picture, make it bigger,  see the line widths. For this,  I will put up with the smell.
 Let me summarize for those of you that just skip to the bottom.
+ Demonstrator
+ Flex
+ $4.00
- The smells.

Worth it. Every penny.
Have a great day.

Good Pens.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why is this pen making me so giddy?

Stay tuned,  post to follow.  But it is incredible.  Bonus points to anyone who can guess what it is before I get the post written.

Good Pen!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Uni Jetstream 4&1 ( and cupcakes!)

I had been a consistent believer in the fact that multi-pens were not for me.  My rationale has always been that they generally do a lot of things mediocre and can't do anything well.  And I have been through a ton of multi-pens.  But- if there is one thing that can I do is to keep an open mind and accept possibility of change. That's exactly what happened in this case. Jetpens was awesome enough to send me this little Swiss army knife of pens to try out.
To be clear and fair...I spent about a week with this thing on my desk... and guess what?  I kept reaching for it.  If it were just a pen that gave me the options for 3 or 4 mediocre ballpoints with bad ink...I would be very "meh" about this.  However,  the good folks at Uni decided to add a .5 pencil and give it solid writing ballpoints.. Which was for me... a game changer. Or mind changer...
I know that manufacturers need to make the bodies of multi-pens slightly larger to accommodate all of the ink tubes inside and generally this bulk equals a flimsy body.  Not in this case at all.  I appreciate the size and the weight of this one.  It's solid. No rattles.
I really like how the pencil mechanism is built into the clip.  I know it sounds trivial but sometimes you have to look at a multi and turn it upside down or shake it or squint to see which actual color you are trying to get. But I could find the pencil portion of this without looking and the ink color markers are clear.  There's also a REALLY satisfying clunk when you change colors.
I don't have anything serious to write here other than the fact that no cupcakes were hurt or destroyed in the process of this photo shoot. If they had icing on them it would have been a completely different story...however these were some of my favorite props to date.
Here's the other thing,  0.5 mm everywhere.   Thank you again.  I will take that option everyday.  I just naturally prefer a smaller point. So.. what is right here?:  Nice feel, nice 0.5 tip, perfect addition of a pencil and I am sort of giddy over this one.   What's wrong?  Nothing that I can come up with.  The only thing that is really wrong is that this thing changed my mind on how I look at multi-pens.  Like I needed another genre of pens to take my money.
  
The oil based ink is light and water resistant and really does flow nicely across the paper.  
The clip had a little sticker on it letting me know that there was indeed a 0.5 pencil in here.  Need to advance the lead?  Just press down on the clip a little more.  Easy.  These come in a ton of flavor and styles,  and if you are interested,  head over to Jetpens and take a look.  It could change your mind also,  unless you already like multi's then well,  have a cupcake and enjoy.


Monday, September 9, 2013

My weekend was a little chalky.

First things first,  I am not a fanboy..of anything.  I have never bought a comic book and I have never seen a full Star Wars episode. (That's the truth.)  But sometimes when the artistic mood hits me,  the outcome is varied...and peculiar... and coming off of the chalkboard menu from the other weekend I had an itch that needed to be scratched.  I do like the Homeland series and when I saw the trailer for season 3 it got the juices flowing.
18 x 24 chalk and blackboard only. My basement looks like Scarface's desk and my back is destroyed.  I might start cranking some of these out.  $3.00 in blackboard spray, a $6.00 piece of plywood and I stole the chalk from my kids.  There you have it, 

I should have a proper pen post up on Wednesday.

Cheers, thanks for looking.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Emergency $20: Ohto F-Spirit Fountain Pen.


I was once told by a very wise man that there are a few items that I (as a man) will need to have.
#1. An AMEX card
#2 A Tuxedo (owned not rented)

Solid advice. There might have been a third item,  but I took care of 1 and 2 so the 3rd was probably a Mercedes or something that I blocked out.  However,  I added to the list: I almost always carry an emergency $20 bill on me or in my car. It rarely gets used,  it is more of a safety blanket.  I will drive around looking for an ATM rather than break into the emergency Mr. Andrew Jackson. I found myself last week stumbling out of my hotel in San Francisco for a cup of coffee and BOOM,  I was standing right next to Maido.  Which is one of my favorite brick and mortar pen stores.  (Ok,  so I might have booked my hotel close to them on purpose, but anyhoo.)
I had some non-emergency money on me and  picked up some of the usual suspects,  then I took a look over at the disposable fountain pens that were above the really expensive fountain pen case and this hit me like a Venti Red Eye (black please)

Somehow, and I would need to check the security camera to be sure,  the 4 year old emergency $20 was on the counter and this pen was in my hand  and I muttered something about a national crisis. 

You see,  I sort of have a soft spot in my heart for sub $20 fountain pens.  I have been burned on this before. It's true,  an overly wet fake Hero can put a bad taste in your mouth.  But in this case... I regret nothing!
 Black and Silver with a fine point. (they make a gold version also)  It is just a classic in my opinion.
 I mean really...It should have a bad clip,  a steel tip or something.  But it doesn't.  It has a sweet little ball clip and that right there is iridium my friends.
The cap pops on with a satisfying pop and to be honest...if you handed me this pen  and asked how much I would pay for it... I would have said over $20...easy.
I don't always spend less than $20  on a fountain pen,  but when I do, I get giddy like a little girl with a new pony.
Oh, hey,  standard International short refills makes this easy.  It holds an extra cartridge in the back of the pen, but I noticed that it tends to rattle and that bugs me, so I don't keep it in there.
There is a  little bleeding on the Moleskine here so ignore that...If you don't find yourself slightly hungover and stumbling through the streets of San Fran...my good friends over at Jetpens sell this.  What's awesome?  You will still have a little change left over after you bust through your emergency $20.  It's only $16.50 here.

Who is this pen good for? (other than me?)  Anyone.  From the newest of fp newbs up through the crazy fountain pen junkies,  they can all find a place for this in their collection.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Seth






Sunday, September 1, 2013