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Wednesday, 14 December 2022


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"To fight back, I tried a trick in high school..."

I did the same thing, but with sunglasses. I could go through a half a dozen cheap sunglasses (no affiliation to ZZ Top) in a summer. Finally I paid over a hundred buck for a nice Ray Ban pair and had them for decades. Expensive forces care and can be cost effective over time.

I agree that if you look on a pen as being disposible you're more likely to lose it than if you see it as an important tool. As a lefty, I also appreciate the fact that ballpoint pens are generally less susceptible to smearing. This is important when your writing hand is behind rather than ahead of what you're writing. That said, I prefer the stronger line and bolder contrast of a rollerball. For overall quality, comfort, low-smear, and water resistance (important when signing checks), I find the uni-ball AIR hard to beat. The minimum quantity is a 3-pack, but I have a set of blue and black and haven't lost one yet.

I like Pilot pens in general. Recently I've really enjoyed using a Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen. Not messy, mostly smooth with just a hint of scratch, and it seems to improve my not very good handwriting. Under $20 at Amazon, yet you can still get all pen geek with it, buy a refillable cartridge, and use exotic inks (see jetpens.com if that interests you).

Henry Moore drew sheep with a ballpoint pen and made a wonderful sketchbook as a present to his daughter (you can buy the book now, it's inexpensive and it's lovely).

"Where do they disappear to?"

Same place as the socks go from your washer & dryer.

Those cheap Bic pens have at least one use besides writing. If you need to unlock an old PC case, but don't have the key [https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/7xQAAOSwH-BfmKAL/s-l1600.jpg], just remove the plug at the end of the Bic and push it into the lock on the computer case. Twist and open.

The uni-ball Jetstream RT (as Jim mentioned) is a nice pen with a ballpoint, rather than the more fragile "micro-tip" like the Pilot Precise V5 that I use at work.

[Pilot fountain pens link that isn't Amazon (no offense) and is a brick and mortar with a better selection: https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/all-fountain-pens?brand=Pilot&nib_size=Nib+Size%3AFine&price=10%3A25]

Hey, why not one for each day of the week? [https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/namiki-100th-anniversary-fountain-pens/products/namiki-seven-gods-set-of-7#] I doubt you'll misplace or lose one of those!

I bought some newer Sheaffers a few years ago. Sagaris in wine with chrome and one in black with gold "furniture". Classic styling and despite being made in a low wage country, they have flawless chrome on the caps and ends of the barrels. Sadly out of production now.

I'm a big fan of the Fisher Space Pen. Dead reliable and easy to hold. Eclipse is the model.

It's something that has always amazed and bewildered me. I don't recall ever throwing out a ballpoint pen - yet I don't possess any! Same with coathangers.. where are they all????

I've found my house absorbs a box of pens fairly easily, but the second box gives it some trouble; old ones start turning up nearly as fast as new one disappear. We call it "saturating the environment".

I was a fountain pen guy starting around 3rd grade, and also spent some time using a technical pen as my main writing implement in college (really black ink!). Still have several fountain pens, that worked last time I tried.

But I've been absorbed by modern gel roller pens, especially in wide widths. The Pilot G2 or the Uni-Ball Impact line are my favorites most of the time. They also have really black ink, and also really red ink in that model, and even pretty good green. This does mean that, in most notebooks, I can only use one side of the sheets, but that's more convenient anyway (the wide, dense black lines show through ordinary paper a bit).

(I use cheap ballpoints for saturating the environment with pens, but carry or keep the good ones in places I use pens frequently.)

I've done the same experiment, and the results were the same. I still have the pen!

.7 mm mechanical pencils are what I use unless I have to write a check (remember them?) or contract or legal whatever in pen. But I use a pencil for everything.

My daily sticks:


Super cheapies, but wasteful:


And Mike, I once owned a fancy $125 pencil that someone gave me as a gift after I finished my 4-year math studies at university. I have no clue what happened to it. It was pretty to look at, balanced between the fingers, with good weight, but not much to my liking as it would only hold .5 mm lead.

My approach to the need for readily available writing utensils has always been to buy golf pencils in boxes of 320 and leave a handful wherever I might need one. They still go somewhere, don't know where.

A bit of useless, rather obscure now trivia is that one of the original best known PDA’s, Palm Pilot, had to drop the name “pilot” due to objections from the Pilot Pen company - it had to re-branded under just the name “Palm”...

I've used the same Dr. Grip Gel pen (now known as Dr. Grip Limited) for something like twenty years now. (It never leaves my desk is one reason for its longevity. I prefer to take something slimmer when leaving the house.) It uses the same inexpensive archival gel ink refills as the popular Pilot G2 pens.

Here's a nice guide to the current Dr. Grip variants, including pencils and multipens: https://www.jetpens.com/blog/Pilot-Dr.-Grip-A-Comprehensive-Guide/pt/713

btw, Jetpens.com is an addiction for many pen lovers (and an essential stop for anyone shopping for gifts for one).

Speaking of the Pilot G2 refills, they conform to a long-established international standard and thus fit a wide variety of pen bodies, including many premium and vintage pens. Here's a non-exhaustive list: https://pickypens.com/pilot-g2-refill-compatible-pens/

Less time spent writing now but when I do .... then the Waterman Carene with a Medium nib ... is my idea of heaven ... makes writing a joy.

Another recommendation for the Pilot Metropolitan. I am very much not a fountain pen kind of guy but now I have two of these--one orange and one purple (the pen, not the ink). It's like shooting film again...

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