Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parker Jotter Mechanical Pencil

Every now and then, for no particular reason, when I buy pens (or pencils)  I will put a 2 in that order box or grab a second before I head to the checkout. Sometimes it's a mistake and sometimes it pays off.  One of my favorite "2" purchases ever was a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon this Parker (and its mate.) It's so good that I am glad that I have a backup of this one. I have been known to lose pens and having an extra tucked away in good hands is comforting.
This is the the Parker Jotter Mechanical Pencil and it is kinda perfect for me- and this is coming from someone who generally prefers pens to pencils most of the time.  The size of the pencil is just right and even though I prefer a .4 pencil,  this .5 with good lead does the job. The click mechanics are smooth and it fits well in my hand.
Of course there's an eraser although I keep a few stand alone erasers on my desk to keep from wearing this down. (yep, Anal Andy.)  As of right now,  this is the only pencil in my computer bag and it's really all I need. The Parker name to me means quality and knowing that this pencil has the potential to last for 50 or 100 years is pretty incredible if it's anything like the Parker Fountains that I have.
Here's the deal.  I have some really nice mechanicals...and I mean fancy expensive mechanical pencils that do not travel with me and are sort of unused. It's a shame but I don't really have a specific need for them unless I am doing art or doodling at home. I should use pencils more,  but you know.. it's not called Good Pencils. Keeping one in my travel bag is common though and this one is it.
For those of you that are's a Pomelo, an Asian Grapefruit. I don't really like them that much.  They are sort of a lot of work and the payoff for flavor isn't that great.  I think it's funny that Wiki even says in Assam they use it as a soccer ball.  (That tells you all you need to know about the flavor.) And to be honest I have no idea where Assam is but I feel connected with them. I would get more use out of this as a soccer ball also.
Click for better views.  It is sort of silly to do a writing test with a pencil,  but here you are. I doubt that Gilbert Parker has any relations to the Parker Pen Family but it works for the quote. If I need a pencil,  this is the one that I am reaching for and I couldn't be happier with it.

Having a backup of your favorite pens is a good thing and one that can payoff in the end.  Enjoy the weekend.  Also...the Pen Addict just put up his Ink Links here if you haven't seen it yet.

 Come back tomorrow for a fun contest- I just need to come up with the prize and I can post it.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Uni Pin 0.05.. like write on rice

Every now and then, I like a thin line. Not literally...I mean the way a pen writes. Imagine the thinnest pen you like... then cut that in half...then do it two or three more times. That's how I like to write sometimes.  This is another find from Copenhagen that I bought multiples of.  I didn't even need to write a test to know this was a good one.  Welcome to the Uni Pin Fine Line Water and Fade Proof 0.05
Yes,  that is a piece of rice. (like "write" on rice... hello...I am doing this word magic for you.) I love the fact that if I would hand this pen to most people they would:  A.  Smudge the point into a clump right away.   B.  Play pin the tail on the donkey with the paper. C. Stab me in the eye with it because I am freaking that they would do A. or B or all of the above. 

0.05...those are some magical numbers.  that little 0 in front of the 5 and after the . makes a world of difference. and Pigmented ink!  What's that you ask?  Well I stole this info from the internets:

Pigmented ink particles tend to settle into the tiny fibers that make up the paper. As the ink drys, the pigment particles get stuck in the fibers. Thus, the pigmented inks are more water resistant than the dye-based inks. Only about 5 to 10 percent of the ink will re-flow if the paper is hit by water.  
Yeah,  I don't know what that means either.  But I do know that I don't think there's "too thin" when it comes to pens.  I have picked up some inking pens before and thought "whoa, little thin there"  but in the end,  I am sure I would take a chance on it.  I would much rather take my time with a .05 than with a .7 globbing it's way through the paper. 
This pen is exactly what you expect,  nice and light, perfect ink and even a  little window to see what color ink you are rocking. I could see this for my sketchbook rather than for my journal. I think it was only a couple bucks and I will never pass that up for this type of pen. 
As always, click for a larger and better views and sorry, I didn't feel like breaking out the tripod to shoot these. Not my best photography tonight.  I love this proverb.  It was tough finding a thin quote without offending anyone. It's true though...there's no use quietly breaking the rules. 
I have received tons of mail about the Pilot Explorers.  Thanks everyone.  Glad to know I wasn't a man on an island with this one.  Just to clarify though... I am not the Johnny Appleseed of the Explorers and I am not giving them away to people.  I gave one away to the correct guess on what I found and I probably will fire one off to Brad at Pen Addict just because,  but other than that...make me a deal and we can make a trade.   I didn't find a creative place to get these through customs for nothing. (that's another joke people... or is it?)

Enjoy your day.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pilot Explorers... Found!

Ok, so here's the backstory.  After a night of staying out too late with a group of Russians drinking in Copenhagen. (Did I mention that I was in Copenhagen?) I woke up and stumbled into a coffee shop that was a few blocks from my hotel, it had been my regular spot all week because the espresso was REALLY (Joe and the Juice) good and they were the only place in Copenhagen not playing Adele non-stop (not that there's anything wrong with that.) After hitting my targeted heart rate, I had a few hours to kill so I took a walk.  A little while later I found a stationary store, within 30 seconds I was in there.

In the store...there was one nice fat wall of pens...ok, this could be good. So here's my entire thought process as I go through the display.

Hmmmm...I love pens...
Cool...Pilot G2's...crap only .7's biggie
Fat rollerballs...&
Fat rollerballs...
.005...nice. (review coming soon on this one)
Those Russians made my head hurt...
Fat rollerball...
Ooh, a different label on the Sign pens..
Fat rollerball...
Did I remember to put pants on this morning?
Oh, there are a couple of boxes of Pilot Explorers...
Yawn..fat rollerball...
Blah, blah, (loud screeching noise) Pilot Explorers...WHAT THE BLOODY HELL?

It's true.  No, it wasn't a cigar box full of fountain pens at an auction but it was something I havent seen in a very long time. I looked over my shoulder all nervous-like,  grabbed one and did a few test circles on the scratch paper and without even looking at the price tag (it was in Danish Kroners anyway, like I was going to be able to do any math this morning.) I fillled my sweaty little fists and headed for the checkout.

I tried to ask the owner of the store if they actually still made these and he looked at me like I had a third eye (I actually might have one that morning and if I did, it would have also been very bloodshot.)  That was a bad I asked a better one. 

"Can I call you (fine sir) to order more of these from the U.S.?

His response was "yes, but it vill be very expenshive." (that's my Danish accent)  and I did confirm that he ordered these straight from Pilot and not some guy in a third world country reading my blog that decided to craft these out of old tires and a Bic rollerball In his basement based on my demands (I am so vain.)

But to be sure let's get all scientific and see if these are legit.  (I am not really going to get scientific, those brain cells were left in a tiny glass of some unknown black liquor earlier this week.)  They match up exactly to the older Explorers that I had stashed.
 I am pretty crafty but I have no idea how to open this beast up without breaking it so we cant see the guts. 

So...if these are legit and they are being manufactured. I will be putting in a call to Pilot US this week to see what we can do.  In fact,  I will start now with an open letter to Pilot,

To whom it may concern...

You make these awesome pens...people want them in the US of A.   Fact: As far as I know you don't ship them to the US.  Can we fix that?

Kindest regards, sincerely and nothing but love,


Or... Maybe Brad from the Pen Addict and Jetpens can use his high powered position to see if we can get these back in the US.  (Brad?)

Here's the truth... It's not really for me, its for you.  Back in the day I might have worn these pens out,  but now-honestly..even the EF's write a tad too fat for me.   I will use some of these but not really for my daily arsenal.

So, let's go sign a petition or you can go all radical and feel free to occupy my comment section until this gets resolved or shoot me an email and we can discuss the ones in my hot little hand.

(Tak) Danish for thanks.