Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rotring Fountain Pen Reflecting

The last post of 2008 is of my beloved Rotring Fountain Pen. This one is always inked with black ink and never too far out of reach. There's a great combination of weight, a smooth fine nib and ruggedness that keeps me using this pen daily.

This year went by fast. Like NASCAR fast, like marbles rolling in a Teflon pan fast, like two cups of coffee and a bran muffin fast. As I write this, I have 24.5 hours to reflect on 2008. that's it... then it is gone.

Jim Bishop wrote that " Nothing is as far as a minute ago. "

That's why we use pens to document, it's why we remember... and take a moment to never forget a certain look that someone makes, or a laugh or a glimpse of what we have to appreciate.

While a pen and paper are certainly basic things, my current stack of electronics are not so simple. To answer the questions early...yes there are four devices (some redundant.) No,
I don't carry a fanny pack. Yes, being behind me when I go through airport security is a nightmare. The irony is I would fight you for my 100 year old pens as much as my 32 GB itouch.

So the plan for 2009 is to: simplify, to breathe, to slow down, and to document. (FYI---All that goes out the window as soon as my Blackberry Storm arrives.)

Have a very safe New Year and thanks for reading and for all the support I have received so far.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Uni-ball Jet Stream RT 1.0

I hooked up with Uni-ball and Sharpie and they were gracious enough to send a few pens out for reviews and I have to say this pen definitely surprised me with how well it writes from the start.. The grip runs the whole way through the body and the pen feels a little thicker than usual which is very welcome to me.

Nice fat Bold 1.0 point. I probably would not have grabbed this off of the shelf if I had not had the chance to write with it first. I tended to stay away from the 1.0, but this pen changed my mind a on that. It works pretty well on my 3x5 cards and writes smoothly on a small cheap sketchbook I use.

I am staying with the flying theme today (Jet Stream, get it?) Click for a better view. It's very true.

In other news, last night was a marathon fountain pen restoring session. Wow, that makes me sound very boring. I wish I could match some of the older ink colors I find cemented inside of these 50+ year old pens for my own. Last night was an older Parker with an insane aqua-blue that I need to go find a match for.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

A Christmas Pen and another Triad

This is why I love vintage fountain pens, a gift from my brother. Yeah, it's sort of dirty and I haven't done anything other that put a little polish on the nib for the pictures, oh...the sac sounds like a baby rattle when you shake it, but I know there is still life in this thing.

Mark my words, once this pen is restored, I will track down the Keener family and return this pen back to it original owner keep this for my own and forget all about the inscription.

It's a "Penman" pen, I have no idea how to date this one, It has a nice feel to it and looks like it should be an easy restore. (There's even a little "Jewel" on the cap.) I will clean it up and post pictures another day. Good Pen.

I am also about to bust into another couple gifts. I am pretty sure these were NOT $2.39 each. I can't wait to get into that Private Reserve Copper burst. I have the perfect Copper Esterbrook for that. If I can get around to shooting it this week, you should see a special edition "What did she bring me" and "Guest pen cup #2": all in one post. More to follow.

Thanks again for all the great comments and emails. Good stuff.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

J. Herbin major score

For some reason, my local art store was selling these inks for $2.39 each. Don't bother tracking these down, I bought all they had. I am not sure why they were on sale but I will take it. They are not usually colors I would buy, but for that price, it's worth it to see if I can fall in love with a new color. Good Ink.

Sorry for the light post today, still gathering my wits from Christmas celebration, but I will be back on Monday with a major addition to the pen collection. More to follow.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sanford Uni-ball Gel Impact and go C's

I remember buying this pen thinking I never will use a 1.0 point gel pen, (a smarter man might have refused to buy it,) but I picked it anyway and I do use it. This is a pen that has gone through many iterations by Uni-ball, checkers, windows, you name it. This faux carbon fiber look is not too bad on this model. There are very few Uni-balls that I don't like to write with and if I need a fat blue gel, this is the one I reach for.

Go Celtics, as I write it's 85-70 and they are about to get their 19th straight win. Go C's. The good news is this is record setting, the bad news's almost impossible to get reasonable tickets. It's winter in New England and I cound not find my basketball, so this is the best I could do.

Neatorama recently had a link today to a ton of Military truisms that rocked. This one was my favorite. No post tomorrow, but back on Friday! Have a safe Holiday everyone.
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Sheaffer's Cartridge Fountain Pen (Old School)

As always, click for better views.

Of all the emails and comments I have gotten so far, It seems like there has been a ton of people with a positive history of this type of Sheaffer pen. Some people call them School pens, but there's an argument that the name only applies to a small group of these pens made in the 90's. Regardless, I am still going with a school theme today.

I have a handful in all shapes and colors and usually keep too many of them inked at one time. Nice steel nibs that keep going regardless of the ink or paper.They travel well, and most of them put down a nice thin to medium line. Good Pens and you will see more on here soon.

I usually buy these when I see them for sale. Very low cost, low maintenance and sometimes it's just better to leave the 1961 Ferrari in the garage and take Cameron's car out. Oh and I don't have a Ferrari so don't break into my garage. (I also don't own a garage.)
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Wood Pens and a little Holiday Cheer

Every now and then I go through my pens and wonder where in the hell some of them came from. One of these is a pen, the other a mechanical pencil, and they are not a matching pair. The pencil has my old company name on it, and the pen for some reason has "Potter County" on it. Go figure.

I just will never use these. Just so you know.... I refuse to watch any more Incredible Hulk movies, I don't think shoveling snow 7 times this weekend was fun and I don't write with these pens. Why I have them is the real mystery. I didn't even bother writing with this for a test page. It's just not worth it. Not a Good Pen.

And in a rare Martha Stewart moment, I added a new ornament to the tree this year.
Easy, just an old Fountain Pen, a piece of Ribbon and a Sharpie to write the year on and we have a new re-used ornament that probably will last another 50 years.

If you are still struggling to give those last few gifts this year PLEASE consider pens and a nice notebook. The reviews on the other blogs are coming in hot and heavy and there's plenty of great stuff to choose from this year. Cheers.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Parker 51 Special (Christmas Card Time)

You would think having to pick out a pen to write 85 Christmas card envelopes would be a huge dilemma for me, but not so much, It was either this or my Waterman 92 with a flex nib, but for the amount of writing I had to do...this was my "go to" pen when it came down to it . The Parker 51 "Special". The ink was the only real question mark and I ended up going with Noodler's Polar Black. I still have the inky fingers to prove it. (No pictures though.)

It's rare that I ink a pen, write with it, then clean it and put it back, but for some reason I did that tonight. I will use it soon, but not until something special pops up. I am way over my limit of inked pens and this one should be clean, or in use. I need to put that list together somewhere, but this pen is in my top 5 for writers. The nib is a perfect Fine. It's easy to fill and has not let me down.

It looks as though I will be trading my pen for a shovel this weekend. Lovely. Everybody stay safe and warm.
I will be back with another pen on Monday.

I am on twitter if anyone else does that sort of thing. Feel free to follow.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sanford Uni-ball Micro (You are to blame)

Every now and then science makes a great discovery, something that ties together a string of unanswered questions, or explains the unexplainable. Like cracking the Genetic code in the 60's or the Neutron in 1935 or Silly Putty in 1943. I believe that this pen is what sent me over the edge into pen lunacy. I remember always having these pens handy and it was probably the only pen I wrote with for a long time.

At the time they seemed like the perfect pen to me; lightweight, thin, great colors and with a smooth line that was consistent. I am not sure if my tastes refined, or if I over-used this pen but the tide turned and sadly, I barely write with these pens anymore.

It is important to remember where your roots are and where things start from. Writing with this pen I was still impressed with how classic and smooth this pen writes. I am not sure if it will go back into use, but it's nice to know that I have these if needed again. Good pen.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Classic Sheaffer Snorkel Fountain Pen and a winner!

It's ok to love a pen, it's just not ok to LOVE a pen. I love this pen. From the clip, to the nib, to the little white dot on the cap that makes me happy every time I see it. The Sheaffer Snorkel. Pure joy.

Some say this pen has the most complex filling system ever made. You turn a knob on the back of the pen and out of the nib pops a fill it up, then twist it again to hide the snorkel. The idea being you do not get the nib all inked up when you refill. Brilliant!

All that is great and I appreciate the engineering...but I could write with it all day and that is what is important to me. It just goes, and looks good doing it. If I could only use 5 pens for the rest of my life, this would be number 2. I will create that list in another post sometime.

Now to the Giveaway!

The magic number of pens on my desk was 59! It was listed as Price as Right Rules so it looks like KH is the winner of the giveaway from Monday and the officesupplygeek wins the prize for bringing the funny. Shoot me your details in an email and I will send the pens out. Thanks for the guesses everyone.

Here's how I keep my rotation:

I keep a small pile of "handy pens" right on my desk, I keep Pilots G2's (and variations) along with Sarasa's in the long black holder and a happy mix in the silver cup. I had a few on the other side of the desk that are not in the photo... blow up the picture and check, but trust me, there was 59 there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Uni-Ball Signo 207 takes a bath

There's a huge sticker on the front of the package that says "Helps prevent check fraud." Sanford uses a special ink formula that traps the ink into the paper fiber to prevent washing your info off of your checks.

So being the curious fellow that I am, I wrote down a quote and did my best to get rid of it.

Click for better views....I did not feel like having a bunch of guys in suits knocking on my door so I didn't do any online research on how to commit check fraud. I did do a 6 hour soak and then sprayed on some Spray and Wash and gave it a little scrubbing. The first picture is just after the soak.

It reminds me of the Office Space quote: "I can't believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We're looking up "money laundering" in the dictionary." Good Stuff.

This was after the scrubbing. Bottom line, it held up very well. In the past I would sign my checks with a fountain pen, but... no more, this is my new pen of choice when it comes time to give that little punk up the street a check for mowing my lawn. (I never trusted him anyway.)

It's a Good Pen. It's a .7 and writes like it,  puts down a nice fat line of ink.  There's one more day to get your guess in on winning a free pen. Just check yesterdays post, and the winner will be announced tomorrow.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

What did she bring me...Episode #2 and a Giveaway

This is episode #2 of just asking my wife to just "pick up a pen for me." No questions asked, no guidance and then I review it.
Yesterday I found a 3 pack of Pilot Precise V5 "Begreen" pens sitting on my desk with a receipt for about $3.49 from Target. It's my second green pen, I also reviewed the V Corn here. Sweet!

Other than having a massive green logo on the side, I really like this pen. Don't worry, the other side is solid black. The packaging says "xfine 0.5" but it really feels like a .4 or even a 3.5. Much finer than I expected. I am very pleasantly surprised at the thin lines this was putting down. The packaging says that the pens is 89.2% made from recycled content and refills are available.  I really like it.  It's going into the rotation.

In the spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle....and since there were 3 in the pack...I have a small and very unofficial giveaway. (Meaning, don't sue me, I am making this up as I go along.)  I just counted all the pens on my desk and emailed that number to my buddy Matt. The rules are simple, leave a comment on this post with how many pens you think I had on my desk. To the person who guesses the closest, I will fire off one of these pens to you.

The Fine Print:

The Price is Right Rules are in place...closest without going over. One entry per person and Matt is sworn to secrecy (you can try, but no amount of torture will break him) and he is also exempt from the giveaway. Feel free to bring the funny for a chance at another pen and all this ends on Wednesday at 8:00 AM Eastern*. Good luck!

*update,  I will name the winner(s) in my Wednesday morning post. 
** update #2:  "On my desk" includes pens in cups as well as just sitting on my desk.  Adjust your guess if needed
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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Pilot Precise Deluxe

This mornings post is another classic that I feel like I have burned through about a thousand of, but they seem like they are getting harder and harder to find. Luckily, I have a few tucked away. (Of course I do.) The Pilot Pen site only shows this one available in red now, there's a few on Ebay, but I am wondering if they were discontinued.

Wait, it that a tooth mark? Impossible...I DO NOT chew my pens. I wouldn't chew on my enemies pens let alone put teeth marks on MY pens. I just know if I started chewing on the cheap pens, one day I would look down to find out I was gnawing on one of my Holy Grails.
I do love the nice lines this pen puts down and the ink supply on this pen is ridiculous.. It's not really an extra fine, but I have no issues with the line width and that funky little grip bubble works for me.

Yesterday I received a care package from Sharpie and Uni-ball with some incredible pens that I cannot wait to review. Good Pens. Have a great weekend.

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Moonman AKA The Camry

OK,  Camry MIGHT be a little bit of a stretch comparison.   Low cost and will run forever.  The Moonman M2 is a super fun Chines...