All posts for the month November, 2011


I’ve been having some health issues over the last month or more and I just noticed how much medication all of this has involved.  As I’ve said before, I don’t want this blog to degenerate into a “Tom’s Health” commentary so I won’t add more details but I think this picture says it all.


All my friends know I am an office supply junkie.  I have shelves of special paper, file folders, sheet protectors — you name it.  One of my worst faults is writing instruments.  Pens, pencils, markers, highlighters and such.

I have a few favorites, each for a special purpose and I would like to recommend some of them to others who share my same vice.

On the left is a beautiful, hand crafted fountain pen made for me by a friend and master woodworker.  This is a wonderful pen for journaling and for when you just want the silky smooth feeling of putting ink on paper.  There is also a certain nostalgia in using what many consider an ‘Old Fashioned’ pen such as this.

Next on the left is my work-horse, the Pilot G-2 gel pen.  This is my choice for general writing and I have many around the house.  They come in various sizes but I favor the 0.5 mm tip. They write smoothly but on some paper can have a problem with smudging.  One problem is that when I loan one to someone it tends to not return home.

Third from the left is the Uni Ball Vision Exact, essentially a very fine point pen, almost like a Rapidograph technical pen.  If you need precision writing or drawing this is a good choice.  I like it because it works well with templates and lettering guides and because it does not smudge as much with glossy, non-porous paper.

Next is the trusty Pentel automatic pencil.  This has been my standard lead pencil for years and I use it for general notes and always when copying Morse code over ham radio.  No worry about broken or worn down points and it glides smoothly over most paper.  Again I use the fine point but also have a couple of the larger (0.7mm) size which have  different feel but work just as well.

Finally, for completeness, is the classic yellow #2 wooden pencil.  I don’t use them a lot but love the aroma of the cedar when you sharpen one.