Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh, Final note for the Year..(non-pen related)

I posted this on Twitter and Facebook and had a few people request the link again so here it is in case you need a good end of year tax donation. I am riding my bike in a single day 100 mile ride next Spring raising money for the American Diabetes Association with the Tour de Cure in CT.

I gathered a few good friends of mine that I raced with in the past and convinced them to pedal for 6 or more hours straight. If you feel inclined, here is my donation page , you can search for Seth Goodling (my name) and here is a link to the Tour De Cure page if you need a little more info. Or direct link here

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it.


Top 10 of 2010 #3 Waterman 92

There's a couple reasons why this is so high up on my list. #1 is that I rescued this pen from an antique store where it was sitting there with a ridiculously low price tag on it. The sac was as dry as they come but the nib was something beautiful. A quick shine and it was a thing of beauty once again. #2. It makes me want to use it. Nope not for a journal or a calendar, but to just flow and create. looks pretty sweet.

This is all you need to see. The 92 stamped on the butt. In 1892 Sad Sam Jones, the Major league pitcher was born. In 1992 I was living in Japan surfing my way through the islands. That was a good year. This is a good pen.

I will never need therapy. All I need to do is find a nice clean sheet of good paper, some nice ink and I can doodle my troubles away. Unless I ever lose this pen, then I will need therapy. is New Years eve and it has been a fun year. I had a new baby, I took a few months off, I picked up some good pens...and I am glad to see that after a break you guys came back. 2010 should be a blast.

I know I still owe you #2 and #1 there will be out shortly. Have a great night, stay safe and see you Jan 1.


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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 of 2009. # 5 and #4

#5 is simply...Pens in wrappers.....Sing along... These are a few of my favorite things.

A pen in a wrapper means something special to me. It's not a fancy box or a felt bag---but it means "pen goodness". It's rare that I find a pen wrapped in cellophane that isn't a favorite or in my rotation. You find these buried in the best part of the Japanese stationary stores and chances are I have worn a hole in the carpet from standing there staring at the various ink color and other selections. (Tester pens almost made this list as well.) These pens are made to be ripped from their plastic and used as soon as possible.

#4 The Pilot Hi-Tec -C 03 in black

I love thin-lined paper and a fat honking medium point anything will not cut it for me there. I need a pen that if I am not careful will poke through the paper like a needle. This will poke nicely.

It's thin, but it's not delicate. One of my reviews is here if you are interested. I need to have this pen close to me when I am working, I am one of those people who writes in my books (they are my books, leave me alone) and these are perfect for a quick note on the edge to remind me or to highlight something.

Yes, that is a normal sized dime. Click for a better view, this is how I like it to use it. Small and Neat. Tidy.

It's just right for me and I thought about moving this up 1 notch, but if I am going to have to write a ton of stuff, this might not be the first one I would grab. But it has it's purpose and it is a staple pen of mine.

3, 2, and 1 are coming right up!


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10 of 2009. # 6 Pilot G-3 Gel .38

These might all start to blend together for me. From 6 on down it will be tough, but I am getting them to you before the end of the year, so hold on to your hats and get your fingers inky.

I have reviewed these once or twice and it truly is the one pen that I don't mind pulling a cap off of. I can clicky-clicky with the best of them, but for this kind of writing perfection, I would drop down and do 20 push-ups every time I had to write if needed. Wow, not going to do that anytime soon, but feel free to if you dumped a little extra gravy on your Christmas mashed potatoes. Gravy Free in 2010 is the new anthem.

Yee-Haw. There's a pretty nice shade of blue that is also available in this pen, but I tend to use the black the most. The pen actually feels like it weighs a little more than it should, which to me.. is a good thing. By the way, the same rule applies to a watermelon, they are 98% water so when you pick them up, they should feel heavier than they look. That way you know they are ripe.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday and I am looking forward to an outstanding 2010 and getting back to proper reviews.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 10 of 2009. # 7 Tombow 4B

I imagine the gasps...and the coffee getting spit coffee all over your desks...a Pencil? Der..of course a pencil. Man cannot live on ink alone. There has to be a delicate balance. Days where you do not feel like spilling a bottle of ink on your carpet or getting blue fingers. These times call for a pencil..but a really good pencil.

As always, click for better photos. I have always been a fan of these pencils. I keep trying to like cheaper ones, but they end up failing for me. So, I spend the money on a 12 pack of these and try to not plow through them too fast. Not easy, they sharpen to a pin point and hold it pretty well.

I still need to find a REALLY good sharpener. I know they are out there, I just haven't upgraded yet. The eraser is an upgrade and if my list went to 11 this eraser would be on it. I do draw a little with these, but I use them more for notes than anything. Sharpening a few of these to start the day is a great tradition. It just gets you in the correct frame of mind. Sort of like wet-shaving (don't get me started.)

It does make sense that because I love my Japanese pens so much that I would also hold these pencils in high regard. It's not worth doing a writing sample... I think everyone knows how a pencil properly sharpened will write.

So I should have #6 tomorrow, take Christmas off and finish out the year with the rest of the list. Have a great day everyone and keep those pencils sharpened!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 10 of 2009. #8 Pentel Sign Pen

In terms of pure numbers, for me...this pen was probably the one that was bought and used the most this year. I would wager that I went through about 15 of these so far. Not because I lost them, or gave them away, but because I use them. Heavy. You can read my old reviews here and here if you haven't yet.

I am a list maker and I like the titles of my lists to be BOLD. That's where the sign pen comes in. I also have a heavy addiction to Post-its and these are perfect for making a quick note, sticking it up on the board and then knowing what I was supposed to remember.

The tips of these get better and better with every use. Out of the box they are long and sharp- but as you write with them, they just seem to wear perfectly. Never mushy, never dull. Creating a perfect point that stays there until the well runs dry.

I am not sure why this one is number 8. It seemed fair to put it there.. I use it a ton, but I don't really "write" with it or use it in my journals-- but it does get heavy use and I would have a hard time trying to replace it.

It's a good pen. The Christmas shopping is done, I did manage to buy 1 pen for a friend. That number is way down from last year. As a pen lover, it is really hard to give pens as gifts. You just never know what people will like, but I think I nailed it. I will give the details after the Holidays.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Number 9. The Parker 51

Choosing # 9 was not an easy decision. It wasn't my most used pen this year, but this 51 did see some heavy use. You can do a search for numerous Good Pen reviews on these, but it's true: the 51 is a classic all around. The only reason it dropped down to #9 is because there are so many pens that I need with me at all times and truthfully, I don't drag this one out to the grocery store when I need to check Desenex Antifungal Athlete's Foot Spray Powder I mean...milk off of the list.

But when it comes time to sit down and enjoy writing- this one is my ideal pen. Sure, the paper/ink combo has to be pretty good, but I don't even mind a little bleeding with this baby.

Here's the business end. I have mentioned a few times...but, I need to say it again...George S. Parker- Thank you. Thank you sir for this pen.

Get it? There's a nine in this quote. This 51 is loaded with Sailor Black right now and it's a good ink for me. Some may want the carpet to match the drapes and try to put some sort of Blue/black ink in this one, but for now, I like the black.

Is anyone else putting their top 10 together? I would love to see what I am missing. Feel free to comment and have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 10 of 2009. #10

In the 6th grade I had to quit learning the Saxophone for a number of sax was on back order- so I was late in learning the notes... I had a cold- so I couldn't really play that well oh..and my rhythm sucked. Looking back, I really just wanted to go ride my bike. (Some things never change.) That was a pretty hard decision to tell my instructor that I no longer was able to continue taking lessons. Now, I am kinda glad I didn't toil away precious hours drooling into a piece of brass.

That was a long introduction into another difficult decision...picking my top ten pens/writing instruments/related pen thingy of 2009. The next 10 posts will be a rating in order of the stuff I have used the most this year. Simple right?

My best Casey Casem voice ..."Coming in at # 10, the Zebra Sarasa Clip .04 in Blue-Black." (OK, back to the normal voice now) If this pen were an alarm clock, it would gently wake you up with cute little whispers, put some almond butter on a piece of toast and make you a perfect double espresso. It's that good. My original review is here if you are curious.

As always, click for better pictures...Seen here on a nice Rhodia 5x5, you can get an idea of how fine that .4 is. It's just a little insane how good this ink/roller combination is. The kicker is, you can get it from Jetpens for less than that double espresso would actually cost you. Buy one here if you are interested.

I have given these pens away to people and said "trust me, you will love this pen" and I don't have a negative thing to say about it. I have bought these 10 and 20 at a time and have never regretted it once. It's a good pen and an early prediction is that this one will be in my top 10 for a long time. Oh, and it's good to be back, thanks for all the comments and emails everyone.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guest Pen Cup #5

I have always said that I can tell everything I need to know about a person with one look in his or her pen cup. (If I never said that before, I am saying it now.) I was going to photograph a pen for the blog when I walked by my wife's desk and wondered what she had in there. It's her desk, I never use it, so any of my pens would have arrived in her cup by theft.

So, let's break it down, 2 pair of scissors, a .7 G2 (meh), 3 sharpies, 4-5 cheap mechanical pencils (one missing a cap) a clicky permanent marker, a wet erase marker and...what the hell? of my Hi-Tech-C's... just so you know- that one is now safely back in MY pen cup. You can pass me a kid with a diaper that has passed maximum load capacity and I will gladly share the responsibilities...but come on....a High Tech-C? That just hurts.

I have passed 100 or more pens to my wife saying "try this pen, I think you will like it" which really is code for "I hate this pen, you can have it." but I am not sure where those pens actually go. It could have been worse, I could have found a couple 51's and a Flex nib crinkled up in the bottom. For that I am thankful.

Christmas is coming up, it might be time to upgrade her pen cup. Maybe...
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fountain Pen Tree Ornament

I once worked at a job, where a guy just dissapeared. Poof, went all Keyser Soze. A few months later he showed up at his desk one morning like nothing had ever happened. He fully expected to have his job back and was anxious to get to work. It's a true story and kinda what I just did this morning. I am sure there are a few people looking at their Reader scratching their heads and saying "Huh." Consider me back at me desk ready to work.

Last night was tree trimming night here in the Good Pens Household and I was reminded that the simplist things are sometimes the best. So if you are feeling inspired, grab and old pen, hang a string on it and throw it up on the tree. . My son pulled this pen out of the box and said "a pen!" Why...yes it is, the pen is back on the tree.

If you are curious what I have been up to...take a look at Just a little photo journey of the last few months of growing this family. It's absolutely non-pen related, just as an FYI.

Oh, and as LL Cool J said "Don't call it a comeback!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

My 200th pen post (wow)

I really miss the process, a good friend emailed me last night hoping that the updates were coming along smoothly...they are, but working on your current house while building a new one did not work for me. I was hoping to start some new pens on the new site, but here we are today with a fresh post. The only markings on this pen are on the cap, it says "Japan Marksman" and it is a cartridge filler. It's thin, like really thin, almost too thin for my hands.

The sun was shining in my kitchen window so I actually got to shoot with sunlight. Interesting. This pen has a bit of a "cheap look" to the metal. For how thin it does have a bit of weight to it. You can see the threads by the nib, so it is a screw cap. I can only imagine that this came in a set, or with a just has kinda that feel to it.

I just dipped it here, so it was not the smoothest writing ever, but it is true, Sara, Sam ,Brad, Jason, Mike, (and many others) you guys
have been great and I appreciate all your help and links and conversations. I am looking forward to another 200.

Have a great weekend.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sharpie Mini

Everything lately for me has been about simplicity. How can I get the most effect for the least amount of input. It's not that I am not willing to put in the extra time for's that a 2 year old + a one month old= I am not sure really what is simple (or where me pants area) anymore. One bright shining star lately has been the Sharpie Micro. I have been on a labeling run lately and between this and my Brother ptouch, everything has a place and an owner.

I don't imagine I will ever hang a chain on the nifty cap loop, but its nice to know if I have this pen when I am 80 and feel the need to wear it around my neck to permanently mark down on my wall the number of grapes I had that day, it will be there. (wow...there was a little flash into the future I did not want to see.) For this pen...there's really no need to do a writing test. If you are unsure how a sharpie writes you should immediatly go eat about 42 grapes.

Have a great day.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Coolest thing I have seen in a while

I really hope every one gets to take a peek at Cheeming Boey's amazing flickr set. This is the kind of stuff that amazes and inspires me. I love finding the coolest art in the oddest places. I could stare at these all day long and this is one of my favorites. The even sweeter thing is...these are for sale. Incredible stuff. Enjoy.

Update...and I already asked what kind of pens are used for this. Update number 2: A simple Sharpie is used.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Not Dead Yet

Thanks for all the emails asking where I am, no I am not curled up in a bottle of Private Reserve American blue... truth is.. I am working on a new and updated and cool (and dare I say better) Good Pens that I hope to launch in the next few weeks. I will keep you updated and thanks for your support. Seth
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

#2 in 2 weeks...Broken Preppy

Crack..."Man down, Man Down!...Medic! Mediiiiic!" Ok, maybe it was not that dramatic... but yes, I have had 2 broken pens in two weeks. My beloved eyedropper Preppy sadly is no more.

There was a note left on my desk: It went a like this:

"Dear Seth, you have asked too much of me for too long. I am a cartridge filled pen that lives on the edge of being a disposable, but you made me into something I cannot stand up to with your crazy silicon grease and your syringes. I am not a Parker 51 or Waterman designed to live through the stress and through years of punishment, I am a little Japanese flower that must be treated carefully. Sadly, I can put up with you no longer and I am leaving you. My ink is on your hands (literally, insert Nelson from The Simpsons saying "Ha Ha" here) Signed: Preppy

After the autopsy, I found a little crack through the body that was enough to allow air in and out. I have not thought about bringing this one back yet. I have another body that fits from a sign pen, but I like that sign pen. Good bye Preppy. Stay tuned as I sort this one out. will be missed.
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Pen Lust

How does it happen? One minute I log on to check the weather and the next minute- I am on Ebay searching for a quick way to drain my bank account. Then it happens. Lust: I will skip the first 6 definitions to keep this PG-13 but #7 applies here: 7. to have a yearning or desire; have a strong or excessive craving (often fol. by for or after).

Strong excessive craving definitely applies here. The object of my lust? This little beast. (link to Ebay) I know it's not perfect, but I almost have to have it. I usually have about 30 items that I am in need of, so I do need to pick my battles, but sometimes they just call your name.

Again, I probably will let this one pass because it will go for far more than it's worth, but for love it. Then again...we might be fighting for it in 5 days and 12 hours.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Colibri and Gift pens

As always, click for better views....I am a huge fan of gifting pens. (I am also a fan of receiving gifted pens.) If you divide things evenly and say that there are 2 groups 1. Pen Lovers and 2. People that use pens because they have to...then it gets very interesting when group 1. buys for Group 2. or vice-versa. I think about that scene in the 2000 classic Meet the Parents where Ben Stiller's character gives a rare Jerusalem tulip to Robert De Niro's character and he has no idea what he was just given. Things could get awkward quickly. Suddenly a Parker 51 gets thrown in the back of drawer never to be seen again.

Engraving the initials on a pen is a nice touch. The odd thing is, I have more pens with OTHER peoples initials on them than with my own. Anytime I can use 3 little initials to let the world know that the pen I am loaning them is not theirs...I am happy. This pen (for a company that makes lighters) actually has a nice balance to it and is nice to write with. I have always loved black pens and I have a pile of refills for this one and it usually travels with me.

I hold on to the pens that I love to write with, but my friends know I can deliver a steady stream of pens to them from the ones that did not make the cut. They might appreciate a fat goopy .9 that I would never use. Technically I guess that is not gifting...but it's the thought that counts rights? Next time I will put a bow on it.
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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...