Friday, June 13, 2008

Weapon of choice...


No, not THAT kind of weapon - I'm talking about my choice of pen.

Let me be upfront here - I am a pen snob. I detest using anything with a plastic barrel that came four-to-a-pack. I like pens that have weight, pens that have a certain heft in the hand, pens that feel like you are holding a precision tool as opposed to a hunk of cheap plastic with a pressurized barrel of ink.

That being said - on with the show...

My trusted companions - LAMY pens.

I really like LAMY pens. Their Bauhaus-style really appeals to my sense of form vs. function and they are always my first-line choice when it comes to everyday writing. I have a LAMY tri-pen in brushed aluminum - pen, pencil, data-tipper (for my PDA phone) and this is my daily driver. I have those super-cool pen clips that attach to the spine of my moleskines and my LAMY is always found there. Admittedly, I rarely use the pencil an secretly wish that I could replace it with another ink cartridge but, alas! it is not possible. Good diameter for my thick fingers, good heft, spins well. I also have a LAMY duo in the same style that I have as a backup that resides in my messenger bag. Another cool LAMY that I have is this ultra-thin pen that I used for a data-tipper for a while but now has a highlighter cartridge - great for making correction notes on my documentation. The original idea was that it would fit in your planner, like Franklin-Covey or Filofax bjut who uses that anymore? ;)

I have a LAMY 2000 fountain pen that is broken (I somehow bent the clip mechanism in the cap) and I still have to take that in to be repaired. It's an older pen - from the 70's - and I really like the feel of the nib. Being relatively fine, I can use this for daily writing. Reminder to myself - send it in!

The Aristocrats - my Pelikans

I just got a gorgeous set of Pelikan Series 150 pens for my birthday from my friend Karsten (whom I've told before not to get me such expensive and extravagant gifts but he never listens to me...) The fountain pen is my "signature pen" as the nib is of medium thickness and I can fill it with blue-black ink (ONLY Pelikan ink!!!) I have started using the ballpoint as one of my "daily drivers" but I'm not sure I like the way the ink flows. I will look into replacement cartridges.
There's also a Souverän mechanical pencil that is very luxurious but works better than anything I have ever used before. These are the pens that I have that really make me look like I'm someone important

The tools - my Rotrings

I have a Rotring multi-pen that was made for Levenger that feels like a screwdriver in my hand. It was my workhorse for the longest time but I have since phased it out for the LAMYs. I still love this pen even though it's hard to find ink cartridges that fit. I also have numerous Rotring mechanical pencils that I just don't use.

The Pocket Rocket - Diplomat Space Pen (usta be Fisher)

These things are SO cool. Without the pocket clip, this is the perfect size and form for a jeans pocket pen. I have several - sadly my Millennium Edition one broke and I can't find my flat black one. The ink is really great. The form makes it so that you always have a pen with you. My tip - by the chrome one as the finish doesn't chip off (like the black does as it comes in contact with my keys and/or pocket change.)

Mind you, these are just the pens that I tote around with me at work. I haven't gotten to all the Watermans, Crosses, etc. that I have displayed at home!!!

Now, I know that a lot of individuals who are big in to Moleskines like I am swear on the Gel-ink ens. I've tried them to see what the hype was all about.
The cheap-ass feel of the pen itself causes me to forget about all of the advantages gained by using the Gel ink. For me, a worthy pen is one that I would go back to the meeting room for if I forgot it. One that I make sure I remind my colleagues to give back once they are done using it.

One of the simple pleasures of life is manually refilling one of my fountain pens. Get a decent fountain pen and try it - I know you will understand my fascination.

I bid you Peace,


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where was I?

Well, here we go again....

As always, I seem to have this growing desire to blog which lasts for a few entries and then peters out. It's been almost a year this time. Many changes in my life since the last update - both good and bad - which just goes to show that no matter how hard you try to keep things static, life will always throw you a curve ball...

Since it's summer I want to mention that I have the ol' grill out again. Much tastiness coming off the coals as of late. With the EM going on (That's the European Soccer Championship for you North Americans) there's been plenty of smoke and fire from the Weber. For those of you who are grill-challenged or are so sick of bratwurst and pork steaks, try ordering this fine book from Steven Raichlen "How to Grill". Seriously great recipes there that go from the embarrassingly simple to the fairly complex. I know the most of you are saying "But, I already know how to grill!" - let me assure you, you probably don't. I have gone from a Hot Dog Charring Chump to Regional Grill Hero since purchasing these tomes. Well worth the price.

Summer is also the time for ice cream.

I know, ice cream is fattening, high in cholesterol, causes colon cancer, etc but there is nothing better in the world than walking down to my local ice cream parlor and having one of dozens of ice creations with good company. The one close to my house is a family run organization - all Italians who know what ice cream should taste like (They did invent it, after all). They do nothing else: no food, no drinks, no bar, just ice cream. They are neither cheap nor well known for their prompt service but it's ll worth it in the end. This is the kind of place you need to find - no chain stores, no bar and grill - just ice cream, preferably someone local.

Take your girlfriend to the ice cream shop on a sunny day. Buy her whatever she wants. Be a hero in her eyes for the rest of the day. ;)

I bid you Peace,