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 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.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chalk Menu

Just a quick glance at what I have been up to tonight.  "Create a quick menu" she said... I am over two hours in so far with a couple more courses to go.. Pen people do tend to be a little nutty.   I will hopefully post completed pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sailor DE!

I am not even going back to look at the date of the last post.. Typical us up and then let us down.  Yep, guilty. So, if you are reading this and you are happy- you need to thank Robert. Robert (only using first names here, people) was kind enough to shoot me a quick email and just kindly ask "Hey,  where are you?" Within 30 seconds of reading that email I had a plan- of sorts.
I reached over here. (see above)  Closed my eyes and grabbed a pen. My mind was set,  even if it was already reviewed, I was going to blog. I grabbed  the camera, searched the whole house for my tripod (never found it) , cranked up The Eels and grabbed a Lagunitas Maximas tro start the process. (And I did miss the process)  Oh yeah, it's on. One or two of you might stop to ask where I have been. Funny you should ask.  I have become slightly obsessed with Squash. Like.. sit in a dark room at night watching Squash videos learning strategy obsessed. I traveled through most of the US, started cranking out a ton of art that is  mostly just  for me and my friends. I did  put up an Etsy store (I know, I know...but everyone knows I am a dude right?) and have been building up some ideas and some of those will start popping up here. (Linocuts are coming)  Enough about me,  here's what I grabbed. (wait, was that still about me?)
Ready for the embarrassing part?  This pen was hard to Google and  I couldn't remember where I had bought it and the Sailor website wasn't helping me. (That also might be because I haven't had any dinner and the Lagunitas is starting to kick in.  "Blog Drunk.. Edit Never" might be my new motto! I finally found it on the Jetpens website but I am not sure I bought it there. It's possible, but I didn't think I would spend $16.50 on this when I am normally an XXF fountain pen guy. Regardless...I have it and there is a really good reason why this is still inked up. It is like butter.
And it's cool, that's why,  long, green and different.  The nib has a 55 degree angle that  looks like someone dropped a rounded nib on the floor and ruined it. The best part is still to come though...
 (looks scary right?  click on the picture for a better view) Officially it is the 
Sailor DE Brush Stroke Style Calligraphy Fountain Pen - Bamboo Green - Nib Angle 55 Degrees (whew.)
IT IS SMOOOOTH!   Writing with this reminds me of a worn down and well loved Sign Pen.  It's ridiculously smooth even on the cheapest of paper. It makes you feel like a cartoonist, or a graffiti artist or a rock star. I might not have used this for a month or two, but when I fired it up for the shoot... it flowed like a beast and I love it.  I wish I had more reasons to use it.
 But sadly I do not have enough reasons to use it.  
 If nothing else,  this thing served a purpose to get me back in the game. Next week I am visiting on of my favorite towns and in that town is a tiny little pen shop that seems to be able to leave me without any money in my pocket and I plan on going out to stock up on goodies for the blog.  So, keep an eye out, I might be changing the drapes a little bit and cleaning up the site but for n ]ow, you can thank Robert.  (and I will as well.)

Good Pens

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Muji to Go

Seriously. Do yourself a favor. Next time you are passing through Terminal 5 in JFK, swing by "Muji to Go" and pick up a few good pens.  I don't want to say that I have purposefully flown through New York just to go pen I won't actually say that.  However,  I have suddenly found myself in Terminal 5 with a itch and a twenty in my hand. Usually later...the flight attendants are wondering why I have a silly smile on my face while crazily switching pens back and forth in my journal. This is the Gel-Ink Ballpoint in 0.38. and you can buy them online for $1.25.  That hurts to say. It's not fair.  Good Pens like this at this price point make me want to buy handfuls of them. (I have.)
There's the goodness above. 0.38 might be my happy place when it comes to pen widths.  Pens that help my handwriting better are always welcomed and this one is just right for me. There are other flavors if that's not your bag,  but the skinny ones work for me.
 It's a really lightweight pen- but not so much that it bothers me to write with all day.  If you are saying to yourself that you do not want a pen that has a cap but you like the idea of this pen...fear not- they make a clicky version that I will post about later.
 Here's a link to get some of these: if you aren't lucky enough to get to NYC.   I doubt you will be disappointed.  I think that I have seen You've Got Mail...but I don't remember the line.  Good one though.
So,  if you have been on the blog lately.  You will notice I have been making some small tweaks.  I got rid of all the pay to click ads (Amazon and Google).  They were just distracting and I was always donating the proceeds anyway. I added a Paypal donate button in case anyone wants to keep the lights on for me.

Back to shoveling.  Elmo was a little nuts.