My Shift From Analog to Digitalag棋牌厅

[Insert some diatribe about how I’ve been gone so long and I’ll try to be better about making blog posts] The title of this post really explains what I’ve been doing these past three months. For those that are new or haven’t followed, I am in graduate school to obtain my MSW and eventually become a therapist. This has been a challenging summer and my program is designed to be quite difficult— I completed 10 courses in the past three months. It was hell for sure, but I’ve made it through my first summer and have a lot to talk about. I started this journey excited (and still am) and glad to be back to being a student. Not gonna lie— if I could be a student forever I’d do it— there’s something about learning that is so rewarding. I started this semester like I’ve started my undergrad semesters by purchasing waaayyy too many school supplies and figuring out the best way to take note, read papers, and organize my stuff. I purchased a laser printer and a file organization system that I’ve used in the past, researched for hours on what is the best laser printer paper, and finally purchased enough pens and highlighters to open my own store.

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Probably went a bit overboard here…

I was determined to engage with the material in a tactile way with the presumption that I would feel 更多 engaged and retain 更多 资讯rmation. You see, we are in the middle of a pandemic and unfortunately (but really fortunately) my program has been online. Four days a week, six hours a day, I found myself on Zoom and Moodle (for any of you that are familiar with Moodle— UGH) for just as long. I was assigned to 阅读 关于 500 页面 a week and while the writing was not intense, we did have to write two 10ish 页面 papers for each class (plus forum posts and responses). I learned very quickly that, while well intentioned, I was not going to come close to 阅读ing everything and that I was spending a tremendous amount of time pulling out my 阅读ings, annotating, AND taking notes. Against everything I said I would never do, I made the decision to purchase and iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil.

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I mean— what would you choose?

Now the first time I used the iPad and the Apple Pencil, I was underwhelmed. It felt so unnatural and odd. I missed the scratchy feeling of writing on paper and there were a million things to learn since I was completely new to the Apple ecosystem since I also purchased a MacBook Pro at the same time as I did the iPad. My muscle memory of using Android and Windows-based systems was hard to adjust (and still is!). Two things shifted my perception AND transformed the way I engaged with my iPad. First, I purchased a “paper like” screen protector that provided that tactile feedback I so desired. I also found an amazing note-taking app called GoodNotes that allowed me to import PDFs, scan documents, and create notebooks. I was able to create a notebook for each class and keep everything together for each class. I could then export my notes to print or share with classmates. What used to take me several minutes (organizing papers/notes) took mere seconds. Instead of carrying a 10-pound, six inch binder with me, I could just grab my iPad and go. I’m still learning all the fun things I can do with my iPad, but I feel this has been one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while re: productivity.

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The two most expensive pencils I own…

I find myself missing my analog tools and do not use them as much as I used to. What I have found is that I am much 更多 intentional 关于 how I use my tools. When I do use a new pencil or crack open a new notebook, I feel a sense of joy that I haven’t really felt in a long time. I also purchase less and use 更多— I now ask myself if I REALLY NEED new pencils or notebooks before buying. I want to get back to reviewing stationery 产品介绍s and will always love analog ways of communicating. In the past, I’ve had a difficult time bringing together the dichotomy of the analog and digital world into a 更多 realistic whole. I now realize that both of these mediums can exist in the same universe and even side-by-side and I can finally feel as though I am not betraying my true passion that is the love of stationery.

Updated Blackwing Two-Step Long Point Sharpenerag棋牌厅

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I have long been a fan of both the Masterpiece and the Pollux when it comes to sharpeners. So much so that I haven’t really used any other sharpeners for over a year. When I first heard that there was going to be a revision to the two-stage sharpener from Blackwing, I was not overly impressed or excited. Don’t get me wrong— I love using Blackwings, but could their long point, two-stage sharpener really be as good as the Masterpiece? Could their improvement on the two stage sharpener really fix the issues with their original release? Well, there was only one way to find out: buy one. I have spent a considerable amount of time with this sharpener and have a lot to say. Let’s dig into the review!

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The original version of the two-stage long point sharpener was functional, but had many flaws. The plastic flip lid would break off after using it for a while (mine broke 关于 two months into owning it), it didn’t hold much in the way of pencil shavings, and it’s largish oval shape made it just too big to want to really carry with you. Well, with this iteration they seem to have fixed a lot of those issues. First, I want to talk 关于 the complete redesign, packaging included. Many folks really don’t care for the new graphics and boxes Blackwing 产品介绍s are using, but I kind of like how they have created a consistency in branding. I REALLY miss the trees and do not care for plain, utilitarian feel of the new barrel imprints on the pencils. What I DO love is the packaging and on both sharpeners they delivered. The two-step is in a just-big-enough box and you can tell that thought was put into the graphic design of the package. On the long end is the outline of the new profile of the sharpener and on the shorter end there are simple instructions.

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The sharpener itself is great— I really like the rubberized finish and the smaller form factor and even though it is smaller, it holds 更多 shavings which is great. I was able to do three complete sharpenings before I had to empty the shavings compared to the one or two I would get with the original design. The plastic hinge seems a lot sturdier, but I’m still skeptical and wish they were able to figure out a better hinge system. The learning curve is minimal and one thing you just have to make sure of is to have a light hand on stage two so you don’t snap off the exposed graphite. The point that this sharpener produces is functional and longer than your average pencil point, but it is by no means a long point (see comparison of this sharpener and the Pollux below).

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The two-step sharpener comes in three colors: gray, white, and black— each matching your favorite Blackwing. Neatly tucked into the sharpener are two replacement blades which is a nice touch and definitely appreciated. For $9.95 this sharpener is beyond reasonable and a good first jump into the “nicer” category of pencil sharpeners. Even if the hinge winds up breaking after a few months, ten bucks is still not bad for the consistent performance this sharpener puts out. You can pick one up here.

Field Notes D&D 5e Character Notebooksag棋牌厅

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Over the years, I have used many different mediums to record my Dungeons and Dragons adventures. My setup has been usually the same: a sturdy two-pocket folder, a graph notebook, and a good selection of pencils. The folder was the main part of my kit: it housed my character sheet, adventure notes, and any DM handouts for the adventure. Over time, my play style evolved, but my basic kit never changed. Until now. Enter: Field Notes 5E Character Journal. Never in a million years did I think that Field Notes would put out a notebook I only dreamed of. In fact, I used to talk to my good pal Less over at Comfortable Shoes Studio about making one of her No-Brand Notebooks into a D&D companion book. That never came to fruition (she makes some bad-ass notebooks anyway and you should go buy them), but here we are. I purchased these books without hesitation and have a lot to say about them. Let’s get started:

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The first thing you notice about these character journals is the bright red cover that perfectly matches the iconic red used on 5E D&D products. The cover is sturdy enough and is more than enough to protect the inner pages. As soon as you open up the journal the inside covers reveal not only the usual “this notebook belongs to…” but has a bunch of D&D relevant information. Stuff like area of effect, object armor class, alignment, ability scores and modifiers, and step by step combat instructions. Field Notes collaborated with Chicago Board Game Cafe and it shows. All of these little details provide a quick reference for both new and seasoned players. The inner pages have a not-too-intrusive light tan/brown print and are well laid out. On pages for session notes and longer, more descriptive info there is dot grid formatting. I love this choice as it is the most versatile for page layouts: you can write text, but also draw diagrams and maps if needed. This brings me into the next part of the review: functionality.

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When I got over my initial excitement of these journals, I had the realization that there could be a problem re: functionality. One thing I like 关于 D&D (and other TTRPGs) is that you can usually have all your character’s 资讯 on one 单一 sheet of paper. Could this book deliver that? Would I be flipping around to find relevant data? Would this just become a huge hindrance to the enjoyment of my game? Well, sorta. I am not going to go through each and every section of the book. There is an index in the front cover that I’ve posted a picture of to help out. Instead I am going to 简单 talk 关于 my likes and dislikes with this format.

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The journal starts out with a 页面 that is called “character elements”— these are the descriptors for your character: appearance, class, alignment, race, name, and a place to sketch your character. On the following 6 页面, there is space to expand upon some of these 详细 with room to write 关于 your backstory, personality traits, flaws, bonds, and ideals. I really like this. On the standard D&D 5E character sheet, there is very little room to write this stuff (especially flaws/bonds/ideals) so I wind up not including that. With this journal I see myself 更多 motivated to flesh out my character’s 详细 which would lead to a 更多 immersive adventure. On 页面 eight and nine there is a “class table” sp阅读 that goes up to 20th level. I really like that for each level it gives you the proficiency bonus— that’s always something I find myself checking after leveling.

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Finally, on 页面 10 and 11 are the meat and potatoes of any character sheet: stats, attacks, and spellcasting. The layout of this two 页面 sp阅读 really impressed me as there are large boxes to put your stat numbers and ample room for adding weapons and modifiers (this was always a point of frustration on character sheets and they give you a TINY space to fill in all of your weapon 资讯). Based on the story this journal is trying to get you to tell 关于 your character, it makes sense that the stats are on 页面 10, but I found that since it is a place you pretty much have to constantly have at the 阅读y it would have come sooner in the book. It’s nothing that can’t be remedied by a paper or binder clip. There is a nice spellcasting table on 页面 12 and on 页面 19 there is a handy money conversion chart which is a nice touch. The rest of the journal is mainly for session and campaign notes with a nice session log at the end. This layout works if you keep in mind that this 产品介绍 is offering a “character journal” and not a direct character sheet replacement. These are for folks that want a living document to go along with their character they have in an ongoing campaign.

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I really think Field Notes hit it out of the park with this one. There were very few flaws in the overall layout and design of these journals. I could tell that careful thought had been put into the making of these books and that nothing was left out. It’s hard to make a product like this that pleases everybody, but I think that they come close here. It would have been really cool if they made class-specific journals with layouts customized for each role, but my guess is they were taking a risk with these first. There are many more D&D players that the world thinks (last count was close to 14 million), so perhaps a good response from these character journals could lead to further collaborations. There was definitely a huge gap in the market for a well-made, well laid out option for a D&D character journal, but Field Notes and the Chicago Board Game Cafe filled a huge chunk of it with these. You can pick them up here for $16.95 for a two-pack. Well worth it in my opinion.

New Offerings from Musgrave: Tennessee Red and Harvest Professionalag棋牌厅

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One of the highlights of 2019 is Musgrave’s release of some new products. Never in a million years did I think Musgrave would come up with new items and redesign their website and packaging. Musgrave was the butt of many jokes regarding their website and logos. It was all in good fun, but boy was it bad. At the end of this year they offered three new pencils, a new cedar pencil box, and updated packaging. I will review each one, but let me just say that every single thing is amazing! Before I get into the product reviews, let’s start at the beginning. About a year ago, Musgrave hired marketing director Nicole Delger, and since then Musgrave has been on point. They have become more accessible on their social media accounts, redesigned their entire website and shop, and— like mentioned earlier— released new products. It has been fascinating to watch a 100 year old company adapt and change and I’m so glad I’m a part of a community that embraces change. As you can see, their new logo and website design is crisp, clean, and modern:

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The moment I set my eyes on this pencil, I loved it. I have a thing for a sharp hex and also enjoy natural pencils— the Tennessee Red merges these two ideas into one. There has been a great amount of thought that went into the design and creation of these pencils: from the selection of cedar to the iconography imprinted on the barrel, the Tennessee Red delivers. Let’s start with the wood. Musgrave is using Tennessee Red cedar slats to make this pencil, but they do not specify that source. This concerns me as there have been issues with quality control on these pencils and while those concerns have been addressed publicly, no source has been revealed. Regardless of some of the QC complaints, these pencils have one of the most fragrant-smelling wood I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Sharpening them can be a task with some sharpeners (lookin’ at you Masterpiece), but I have a simple solution that has worked for me. Get the pencil started using a Classroom Friendly sharpener or any other hand crank option. From there, I have found success with the little plastic sharpeners that come with Nataraj pencils and the Pollux. The sharper the blade the better. I am not sure why I struggled so with my Masterpiece, but the core kept breaking on me or the wood was catching so much that I could barely turn the pencil. This could be due to a number of things: the density of the type of wood used and/or the manufacturing process. Out of my dozen that I ordered, only one core was terribly off-centered and one pencil had a visible split in the end. Most of the others seemed okay, but I do worry 关于 splitting as there are visible seams where the two slats were glued together in the process. I cannot say for certain that this will happen, but as I use these pencils 更多 and 更多, I’ll find out. Writing with the Tennessee Red is enjoyable and the graphite is the perfect balance between smooth and hard while laying down medium-dark lines.

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The fit and finish of the Tennessee Red is wonderful. I really love the variations in the wood color and the vintage look of the red foil stamping. The font choice for Tennessee Red reminds me of the fonts we used to see in the 50s and 60s and the new “M” logo gives off super strong Eberhard Faber vibes of that time period. The three star circle emblem is a nod to the Tennessee flag which I thought was a nice touch. The ferrule and eraser are good choices for this pencil. The gold ferrule and white eraser really make the red cedar pop. I am also happy to report that these erasers are great— for many years I made fun of Musgrave’s erasers as they were completely useless and their only use was to provide a counterweight to balance the pencil in my hand. The packaging Musgrave decided to go with is unique as it is a half-box with a slipcover (I’ve included pictures because that’s a complicated description). The design is simple and effective and the little blurb on the back 关于 Musgrave ties it all together. Their choice of red is spot on and really complements the design of the pencil. All in all, the Tennessee Red, even with its flaws, is worth picking up. They are $9.00 a dozen.

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Harvest 320 Professional澳门影院棋牌

At first glance, the Harvest 320 Professional really doesn’t look much different than the original Harvest 320. In fact, visually, the only thing different is the ferrule— there is no black stripe on the Professional. Where it does differ is in the wood and graphite (and really, that’s where it should matter anyway). The Harvest 320 Professional uses California Cedar and, according to Musgrave, an updated core. After using both the original and the new version, I will say that the Professional writes a lot smoother than the original. I’m not sure if it is due to the feedback I receive when writing with the pencil or if it is actually a smoother core, but the writing experience with the Professional is much 更多 enjoyable. I especially enjoy how fragrant the cedar smell is. The eraser on the Professional is good and erases marks completely. This eraser is definitely an upgrade from the original Harvest. While the Harvest Professional is an upgrade from the original Harvest, there are some faults (albeit minor).

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First, the Harvest Professional has a similar issue as the Tennessee Reds— there is some separation where the two slats have been glued together. I have yet to have a problem with a pencil splitting on me, but I worry that it will happen as some of my Harvests have a pretty defined seam running up the center. Second, and this is entirely aesthetically speaking, they could have freshened up the imprint on the pencil. Visually speaking, besides the black stripe on the ferrule, there is nothing that separates this pencil from the original Harvest. I would have liked to see a redesign, maybe with the word “professional” somewhere. Again, this is minor, but not insignificant. The packaging on the Harvest is wonderful and I really like the gold debossed logo on the front of the slip cover. The box portion of the packaging is a tiny bit flimsy, but then again, I’m spoiled by the sturdiness of the Blackwing boxes. Just like the Tennessee Red, I’d say this is a definite purchase. At $9.00 a dozen, the price is reasonable and the improvements are exactly what this pencil needed.

*For those wondering, the top image is of the Musgrave cedar box. It can be purchased here for $25.00.

Baron Fig NYC Limited Edition Vanguard Notebookag棋牌厅

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On my desk today is the three-pack of the new Baron Fig LE Vanguard: NYC edition. These books are beautiful! I have a special connection to the NYC metro area, so I could be biased, but the artwork and fine attention to detail are really what won me over on this edition. Let’s first talk about the technical stuff: these are softcover, threadbound, Vanguard “Flagship” size (5.4”x7.7”) notebooks. This edition uses the same 90gsm paper as the regular Vanguard and is 72 pages of (my favorite) dot grid goodness. As usual, the paper is wonderful to write on and especially shines when writing with Baron Fig’s own Squire pen. I love using my tried and true favorite: the Neon Casemate as the experience offers the right amount of smoothness and feedback I find enjoyable.

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Aesthetically speaking, these notebooks are a dream. For those that have even casually followed me on Instagram or read this blog, you know that I thoroughly enjoy bright, fun colors. The artwork by artist Josh Cochran is fabulous and the almost-but-not-really pastel yellows, blues, and pinks go well with the artist’s bold line drawings. The scenes are mundane, yet playful and at times whimsical and embody a true New York experience. I especially love the notebook that depicts a scene of three people on a subway car so close, yet so far away in their preferred choice of distraction. There are tiny little details that make me happy as well. For example, on the inside of the back cover, there are little drawings that are cute and unexpected. Everything about these books make me happy and searching for more of this artist’s work.

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Overall, these are a must buy for many folks. If you have a connection to the tri-state area, these books will definitely inspire pangs of nostalgia. For those that like bold art and strong, yet soft colors, you will be inspired and satisfied with this edition. Finally, for those that love all things limited edition— these books won’t last long, so you should pick them up. Since Baron Fig is based in NYC, I predict that many local folks will buy these much quicker than other editions. Long story short, for $16, these notebooks are a steal. Buy them. You can get them here.

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**I have been provided these notebooks for review purposes. Free stuff never influences my opinion of a 产品介绍 and doing so would be gross.**

Läufer Color Plast Eraserag棋牌厅

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This week, I take a look at a new eraser by Läufer— the Color Plast. Läufer is a German company that is well-known for their erasers. In 2004 they merged with German stationery company Gutenberg. According to an unconfirmed report by Matthias from Bleistift, they are perhaps a part of Société Bic, the company that owns the BIC brand. The Color Plast is a plastic eraser (as if the name didn’t give that away) that comes in two varieties: blue/red or orange/yellow. Each eraser comes with a thick paper sleeve that has information on the side that it erases 4B to 9H and colored pencils— this intrigued me since it is very hard to find an eraser that can effectively erase colored pencils. Let’s see how it preformed:

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For all types of graphite, this eraser performed phenomenally. The only place where it didn’t do that great was erasing some writings I had in a notebook, but that is probably because I press pretty hard when writing. Erasing with the Color Plast is a pleasure and takes very little pressure to make marks disappear. It is on the dustier side, but not as dusty as say a Pink Pearl. The dust it leaves behind is large and clumpy so it is easy to brush away. As far as erasing colored pencil— it does an adequate job. I found that the nicer the colored pencil, the harder it was to completely erase. I suspect this has something to do with the fillers/binders in colored pencil lead— something I am pretty clueless 关于. Perhaps a regular colored pencil user could offer 更多 insight on this.

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Aesthetically speaking, I like these a lot. The colors are super bright and the paper sleeve is designed in such a way that, while in German, is easy to read. I especially like the little icons for the pencils it can erase. It’s a nice touch. One thing I was surprised at was that the colors were not a gradient— I suspected when I removed the sleeve that it would fade from one color to the next— this was not the case. The colors instead are just one half of each color. Not a deal breaker obviously, but also not what I was suspecting. At $2.00 each, these erasers are not unreasonably priced— an eraser this size can last me well over a year, so it’s a good investment. You can pick them up at CW Pencils while they last.

Pilot Better Retractable Penag棋牌厅

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While 商城ping at Bob Slate in Cambridge, MA 关于 a month ago, I came across a pen that I have not used in 关于 two decades: The Pilot Better Retractable Pen. I have fond memories of using this pen in grade school as it check all the boxes I required: click pen, sharp hex barrel, smooth ink, and a good grip surface. I immediately bought one in each color (blue, black, red). I was pretty skeptical 关于 how these would perform against today’s offerings, but I was pleasantly surprised. Let’s break it down into two categories: aesthetics/build and performance.

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Aesthetics/Build Quality: I love the look of this pen. I always will. There is something so elegant yet simplistic about the Better Retractable. The barrel of this pen is a lot thinner than one may be used to when it comes to pens— think pencil barrel thinness. This diameter is great for me as I have very small hands and like to press hard when writing. I also like the translucent, hard plastic and ribbed grip area on the barrel. As tight as my grip is and as sweaty as my hand gets, there is little to no slippage during a marathon writing session. The pen has a metal tip and clip which are nice touches. The clip while VERY durable is problematic at times. I like to clip my pens in my notebooks after use and the edges of the clip on this pen are so sharp that it rips the paper almost every time I use it. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is something to consider.

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Performance: This pen writes super SMOOTH. On top of its velvety smoothness, it is consistent— it doesn’t clog up or leave blobs of ink when writing. The tungsten carbide ball point does not catch on the paper no matter how hard or at what angle I press. The pen is quite rugged and the hard translucent plastic really holds up. I also like the tactile feel to this pen— most pens have a rubberized grip that eventually gets dirty or wears away— the Pilot Better Retractable does not have this and instead has decided to go with a simple, raised plastic grip that is part of the barrel itself. This lack of extra rubber or grip makes the pen very lightweight which helps me with hand fatigue since I am a tight gripper.

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Overall, these pens are at the very top of my favorites list. Super cheap (so you don’t feel bad when someone inevitably steals one from you), durable, and obtainable. You can find these pens at your local Stapes/office supply store or you can order them here on Amazon for around $12 a dozen.

Baron Fig Limited Edition Squire: The Editorag棋牌厅

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It’s not very often that I am blessed with a limited edition product that resonates so deeply with me, but I think I have finally found one that has— the latest Baron Fig limited edition Squire. When I first heard that it was called The Editor I didn’t even have to know what it looked like— I just knew that I needed it. My job is exactly that— I work in a college writing center and edit student papers. Recently, I have been looking for the “perfect” pen for marking up student papers and here comes the Editor. The pen is great as it performs like all other Squires, but it is the theme that really makes this pen stand out. The pen is a nice deep red color. As my stationery pal Less put it, “it’s like a dried blood color and the ink is a nice contrast of a fresh blood color.” Less is right— the ink refill is the PERFECT color red for editing. Aside from the great ink, the aesthetic of the pen is great.

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Engraved in a crisp, bright white on the barrel of the pen are the different symbols used by editors. The tube the pen comes in has a key for those not familiar with what all the symbols mean— I even learned about some stuff I was unaware of myself. I really like this pen as it fulfills two purposes: first, the joy of a limited edition and two, it has actual utility by reminding the user of editing markup language. It makes me think of those multiplication table pencils I used in grade school. I’d say out of all the limited edition pens Baron Fig have released in the past few years, this is easily in my top 3 (the Experiment and the Mysterium are the other two). I’d jump on this one quick because it’s a limited edition that plays right into a lot of what members of the stationery community are involved in: teaching, writing, editing, academia, or really any other venture that involves words. You can find the Editor here for $60 US (and save $10!) while they last!

***I was provided this pen free of charge for the purposes of a review. Free stuff in no way influences how I review or feel 关于 a 产品介绍. That would be gross.***

Kum No. 410 Magnesium Pencil Sharpenerag棋牌厅

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It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a pencil sharpener. The reason for this is because I mainly use the Pollux sharpener for my everyday needs. Well, when I was in Cambridge last week with Johnny and Less, I came across the most fabulously beautiful (to me) Kum 2-hole wedge sharpeners. They are essentially the silver 410 sharpener, but are coated with magnificent neon-bright colors. These sharpeners were made for me. They had several colors, but I picked up the yellow (of course) and the magenta ones for review. I expect no performance difference in these sharpeners compared to the standard 2-hole wedge, but since I have never reviewed the original, here we go:

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At first glance these sharpeners are striking. As an individual that truly loves and enjoys bright colors, these deliver. I get a very mid-90s vibe from these things— you know that move from pure neon to neonish bright colors— that’s what these remind me of. The finish on these two sharpeners are different and I’m not sure why. On the yellow sharpener it is 更多 of a matte finish whereas the magenta sharpener has several layers of what appears to be a clear coat. Not sure why this is— perhaps it’s just a variance in 产品介绍ion? Either way, I find it interesting. It’s really hard to capture on camera, but the yellow one has sharper 详细 than the magenta. This difference in no way impacts the performance of the sharpeners— I just thought it was an interesting observation. Also, because of the extra clear coating, the magenta version is a bit heavier.

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Performance wise, these sharpeners do a good job at sharpening. The point I can get from these is a lot shorter than what I’m used to as I exclusively use long point sharpeners, but I can’t fault the sharpener for that as it’s not a long point sharpener. The larger hole accommodates larger pencils up to 10.2 mm in diameter. What I most love about this sharpener (besides the color) is that it is so lightweight that pocket carry is comfortable as most folks won’t be able to tell it’s there. While I do enjoy this sharpener, I will always prefer a long point and would most likely use the Kum No. 400 which is the single-hole long point sharpener or the super affordable Apsara long point which are $5.25 for a box of 20 (!!). While I don’t rank this sharpener as high as I would others (I’d probably give it a 6 out of 10), at around $2, you really can’t go wrong picking one up. I use it more for larger barreled pencils as I have yet to find a sharpener that can give me as good a point as this does for them. Until they invent a Pollux for large pencils, this will be my go-to for that task. Sadly, after an hour of googling, I have not been able to find the 2-hole magnesium in colors so I cannot provide a link. They are not even listed on Kum’s website as an option. I guess if you want them you can go to Bob Slate in Cambridge, MA. I paid $3.50 for each of them. If I happen to find an online source, I will be sure to update this post accordingly.

Blackwing X TWA Hotel Pencilag棋牌厅

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This week, I bring you a collaboration none of us saw coming: TWA and Blackwing Pencils. If you think about it, they did exist in the same sphere— both prominent artifacts of the 1950s era. Trans World Airlines (TWA) was formed in the 30s and finally took the name TWA in the 50s. As the decades passed, TWA was known for being an industry leader in innovation: In the 1960s, they introduced in-flight movies and were one of the first airlines to use Doppler radar. The 60s also saw the birth of a brand-new terminal at John F. Kennedy International airport in NYC. TWA was innovative in the sense that they had a keen eye for design and concept— they, along with Delta, were one of the first airlines to introduce the spoke-hub system (this is where airlines had a central hub location and routes were organized in “spokes” around a central hub) which boosted efficiency and allowed for fewer routes and is something every airline does today. In addition to having a handle on productivity, their design of the terminal at JFK was revolutionary and boasted closed-circuit TV, interior passenger jetways, a PA system, baggage carousels, an electric arrival and departure flip-board system, and a robust selection of dining (Dunlap, 1994). All of the things travelers take for granted started with the TWA Flight Center.

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More recently, starting in 2016, the TWA Flight Center, dormant since 2001, began its journey to restoration. New York City-based Morse developers collaborated with MCR, a large hotel development company, to re-create the feeling of the early 60s excitement felt in the terminal. They have dubbed their creation TWA Hotel, a 512-room hotel with 45 event rooms and five hospitality suites that host up to 1,600 people. Each of the 512 hotel rooms are furnished with mid-century modern furniture. From retro-fitted rotary phones, walnut martini bars, tambour walls to walls adorned with vintage TWA advertisements, each stay takes one back to what I could consider the Golden Age of commercial airlines. Some rooms have a runway view where you can see planes take off and land (this makes me SUPER excited as I am an airplane enthusiast). In order to negate the LOUD jet engine sounds, all rooms have a 7 pane, 4.5 inch glass window. I WILL be staying here sometime soon. Anyhow, I digress. On to the pencils. In each hotel room there are Musgrave pencils— I just wanted to mention that as they have a pretty cool write-up on their website about them— perhaps a review is in order. We are really here to talk about the TWA Hotel X Blackwing pencil, so let’s go:

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First off, pictures do not do this pencil justice. The red is SUPER red, and SUPER glossy and overall fabulous. As someone that is not a fan of red anything, this pencil wins me over. To compliment the nice, bright red, there are two white stripes stamped on one side and Blackwing X TWA HOTEL on the other. I’m a little underwhelmed with the lack of iconography here. I know one side of a pencil is small, but I wish they were able to use the original TWA logo on one of the sides. I’m sure there was good reason to use the design they chose, but it’s kind of meh. The ferrule is a shiny silver with a bright white eraser to go with the print on the barrel. This pencil’s core is “balanced” which means it has a Pearl core. A few things that I wish they did with this pencil— first, the design I griped about earlier— something a bit more flashy would have been cool. Also, I was almost expecting a little paper inside the box with TWA history/facts kind of like how Blackwing does with the limited editions. I am sure it would have increased the price of these, but it would have been a nice touch. Especially since a lot of folks that buy things from a TWA Hotel gift shop will probably be enthusiasts of the brand. Overall, I’d only recommend these pencils if you are a collector. There is nothing different about these other than the finish. They also retail for $29.95— two more dollars than the volumes editions. If you are interested, they can be purchased here.