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Friday, 30 June 2006



I'm looking forward to learning the outcome of this more than Icelandic Epic Quest.

And again, have a great Canada Day long weekend.


Birds of a feather, my dear online associate.

I linked to said KITH skit not two weeks ago. I'm personally a big fan of the Parker Jotter. The Classic Cross pen is a good one too, but not good when I have dry hands: the chrome finish is too slippery. All-in-all, though, a good pen.

I'd like to get one of those Fisher Space Pens. It sounds like it's the solution to avoiding both the "Is that a pen in your pocket...?" look and the nerdy "You should really use a pocket protector with that" look.

I made a concerted effort a couple of years ago to cut down on the experimentation. Disappointment in the product generally led to a voilent, inky death for whatever writing instrument it was that did not meet my approval. It was also a costly "hobby" for a university student. (Of course, I didn't drink at that time, so it worked out in my financial favour anyway).

My obsession with pens was such that on our honeymoon stay in a hotel in Ottawa, I would take and hide the "complementary" pen each day in anticipation of seeing a replacement after housekeeping had come by. This went on for about a week.

I try to adhere to the Judeo-Christian ethic of "Thou shalt not steal", but each time I come across an unattended housekeeping cart, with its inevitable stash of hotel pens, it's all I can do to keep from pocketing a handful, especially when they're Bics.

Anyway, I'm writing a whole post here myself. My apologies.


Certainly no need to apologise, Marc. Kindred spirits of this sort must express these things. Let it out!

Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming

As a man-ape, my personal approach to tool use has always been to eschew the quest for the ideal implement in favour of finding ways to cope with the spectrum of non-ideal tools which include but may not be limited to non-use, adapted use, or reasonable approximation use.

(This isn't advice. I'm just relating how it went down for me -- that is, being left-handed in a world of mass-produced disposable styli optimized for Them.)

In practical terms this means I don't often write by hand, and when I do it's often only in my own notebook in a scrawl that would give many deep encryption schemes a run for their money. In this way I take notes at meetings that are legible only to me (and possibly a handful of highly trained gryphological ninjas).

I can write legibly if I need to, but it's more like drawing letters than writing them. It's slow, and the outside edge of my hand gets all blue or black. I might as well be using a telegraph -- so much care and patience are required. Avoided where possible.

While I prefer pens that are liquid smooth without being goopy or have a satisfying scratchiness (while produing unbroken lines), I've managed to minimize writing in my life to the point where I'll make due with whatever I can find -- stick with a blackened end, a Bic, whatever. The whole thing is so delightful primal -- scratching shapes into stuff -- that I can't be bothered to be hoping for a slick instrument.

Incoherently yours (writing half a sentence per lap of carrying crying baby around living room),

Cheeseburger Brown


I remember loving the Zebra J-Roller - i think it's called something different now, but a version of it (i hope) is out there somewhere - check it out!


We suspect our Ben might be a lefty, so I'm anxious to keep up with your findings.

I'm with CBB, not in being left-handed, but in avoiding writing with my hand at all. It comes out looking like first grader unknowingly drinking spiked milk taught me how to write.


My favorite pen is a uniball onyx. I think it's the cheapest uniball but the micro is super-fine and writes like a dream. I'm a righty though.

The whole handwriting thing is very odd these days. I wish I knew something about how penmanship is being taught because I swear I can estimate someone's age by the style of their penmanship.

There seem to be big disastrous gaps in legibility at certain periods of time. Grown executives writing like 11-year-olds—that type of thing. Then there are periods where everyone's handwriting looks basically the same, and very legible.

Someone could do a nice doctoral thesis on that.


I used the Parker T-Ball Jotter for over 30 years. The only downside was losing them. Something I did about once a month.

These days, I am happy with the cheap, disposable SE Hybrid Gel Roller K 105-C 5mm gell stick pen. All the money goes into producing a massively fine detailed "point" ie. gel ink delivery system. Narrow enough to not feel like I'm painting with a broad stroke, but doesn't grab or pick at the rough texture of the cheap paper I use.
And it comes in a variety of ink colors, including purple, my wife's favorite! Who could ask for anything more?

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