All Jammed Up?
Please enjoy your stay at my humble blog. Please feel free to leave a comment about any article that you read. Also please notice that there are four reactions at the bottom of each article. If you find any article funny, interesting, cool or helpful please so indicate. Thank you for visiting my blog.
The Old Geezer
I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.
I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.
I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.
So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.
The Old Geezer.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Anyway... The 4 gel pens I used for this test were the four that I had on hand: The Mistubishi uni-ball Signo 207 Micro (top); the Pilot G-2 Extra Fine 05(second from top); the Pilot Precise V5 RT (third from top) and the Pilot V Ball RT Extra Fine (bottom). The V5 has a needle point with the other 3 having conical points. All the pens are supposed to be 0.5mm pens. But since different manufacturers label their pen nibs differently it's hard to tell just what size the balls in the points really are. The Signo 207 Micro is touted as having a 0.5mm ball but that it writes a 0.38mm line. I have read that to determine the size of line a particular size ball should make is to divide the diameter of the ball by 2. If that is the case then all four pens should make a 0.25mm line! But we already know that's not true in this case just by looking at the pic, not all the pens produced the same size lines. More on that later.
The paper that I used was common notebook paper 0.003" (0.076mm) thick. There was 1/4 of a loose leaf package under the top page. I wrote the first half of the holoalphabetic sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", followed by a short line then a dot. The dot was where I held the pen in place for 10 seconds with moderate pressure. After the ink had dried for a minute I used a drop of water on the end of my finger and placed it on the line. I did not attempt to smudge the line, I simply let the water do it's thing. After the water had dried up I began to examine the results of my test.
Though my aging eyes are just that, aging, I do wear corrective lenses (called glasses) and when I have to see something up close I add on a pair of reading glasses. with the reading glasses on I made the following observations: The finest line width was the Pilot G-2, followed by the Signo 207, then the Pilot V Ball and finally the Pilot Precise V5. I must say that I was a little surprised by the results that I got. I expected that the 207 would have produced the finest line not the G-2. And I expected the V5 to have produced a finer line than the V Ball. So much for preconceptions. The 207 has the lightest ink of the four with the Pilots all having the same shade. This was no surprise at all as I had noticed this before.
The results of the dot test was that all four pens bled through the first layer of paper onto the next. The G-2's bleed through was barely noticeable though while the 207's was a bit more so though their respective spots on the top sheet were about the same size. The V Ball's was 3 times that of the G-2 and the V5's 4 times as great. Both of the latter bled through to the third page. While the ink in the 207 is pigmented (meaning it penetrates the papers fibers instead of staining them) I was only able to find out that the Pilot's ink was "water resistant and smudge proof". Which brings us to the third part of the test, the water drop test.
With a single drop of water placed on each of the 4 lines the results are obvious. The Signo ink was the only one not to bleed through the paper and feather out. This leads me to believe that the Pilot ink is dye ink, not pigmented. Though all four pens passed the smudge teat, a test that I performed by drawing a line with one pen at a time then immediately rubbing my finger across it. The result was unanimous: all 4 inks did bot smudge. I half expected the Pilot inks to smudge in I did not think that they dried as quickly as the Signo ink. Again, so much for preconceptions.
The V5 wrote the smoothest of all four, not surprising as it was the broadest, with the other three tying for 2nd place. All four have thin rubber grip sleeves over the plastic barrels which offers a non-slip grip without being squishy, which is something I like in a rubber grip, firmness. All four pens are about the same length, the differences being to small to mention. All are attractive pens: the Signo with its stylish chrome and black pocket clip and chrome end cap; the G-2 with it's clear and black body; TheV5 with it's silver, chrome and black body and the V Ball with it's chrome, white and black body would all make stylish accessories on a desk top.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
74) You love the smell of ink in the morning.
75) You refill your non-refillable ink pens.
76) People know what you've been doing when they see all the different colored inks on your fingers.
77) When you buy a new pen you savor the moment... for several hours.
78) When you meet new people, and they pull out photos of their kids, you pull out photos of your favorite pens.
79) When people scoff and call you a 'penaholic' you take it as a compliment.
80) You keep your 'traveling pens' in a pocket protector and you use it. You double up when your shirt has two breast pockets.
81) You belong to every Pen Society on the Net.
82) You subscribe to every pen magazine available.
83) Every time you hear the mail truck stop at your house you rush out to see if the latest issue one of your pen magazines has arrived. You are chest fallen when it' not there.
84) You know that one day you will have bought at least one of every pen out there and you live in fear of the day there are no more new pens to buy.
85) When pens go on sale at the local department or pen store you go buy some, even thought you have some already, because it's such a good deal.
86) You give away some of your excess pens just so you can go buy more.
87) You give away your excess pens so you'll have room to store the new pens you just bought.
88) You search the Net for just the right pen display box/case to store your 'babies'.
89) You think that making an executive decision is deciding which pen to use.
90) You know that you have an addition to pens and or pencils and you just don't care.
91) When someone jokingly says that there is a cure for your addiction you get paranoid.
92) You begin to think of the people behind the store counter as your 'supplier'.
93) When you go to a doctor's/lawyer's/dentist's office and they have 'give-away' pens you can't just take one.
94) You think that one of those pens on a loop of cord is actually a necklace, and you wear it as such.
95) In case of fire you have a contingency plan: Each family member is assigned a different lot of pens to save.
96) You don't like a particular pens color/shape/nib/etc., but you buy it anyway because it's part of the set.
97) All the neighborhood kids know you as the 'Pen Man/Lady".
98) You think that a personal sacrifice is giving up one of your pen shopping days to spend time with the family.
99) You don't mind walking the dog because the walk takes you buy your favorite office supply store.
100) A day without a new pen is like a day without sunshine.
010) When you lose a favorite pen you cry... and cry... and cry...
102) The only thing that can console you when you lose a favorite pen is to buy two more of the same pen.
103) You have a night light in the room where you store your pens so your 'babies' wont get scared at night when you're not there.
104) You now realize that your obsession/addiction is boarding on mania and you still don't care.
105) Your significant other wants you to see a psychiatrist about your "problem' and you think they're crazy.
Monday, November 24, 2008
47) You check out a few pen shops every week, even though you've been to them one week or a few days ago.
48) You plot which non-stationery shop to visit, just in case it sells that elusive 'perfect pen'.
49) You squirm and feel generally disgusted when you use a pen that falls below your 'standards.'
50) You compulsively search the net for more blogs on pens. You mentally will the usual bloggers to post new articles.
51) You use a search engine or comparison shopping website to read reviews about pens.
52) You poke around the house for 'unowned' pens to adopt, even though you would never dream of taking other people's things.
53) You think the greatest love is shown by giving or receiving a pen or voucher for stationery shop.
54) You spend hours testing pens at the shop and are surprised by how fast and pleasantly the time has passed.
55) You pick up every abandoned pen you find, no matter how many you have or how crappy it is.
56) You save used up pens for spare parts to make repairs on your working pens "just in case." Of course, you rarely have to do this, since you take such good care of your pens anyway.
57) You have so many pens that you shouldn't buy anymore for yourself , so you buy pens for your friends ! You spend hours thinking about which pen is best for each person.
58) When your pen (or your friend's!) stops working you drop whatever you're doing to spend the next ten minutes using every trick you know to fix it.
59) You get a job at a doctor's office just for the pens.
60) You can name every major pen manufacturer by heart.
61) You notice when people in your classes use different pens than usual.
62) When you go on a journey, you agonize over how many pens to bring, and then which ones. Not being able to bring liquid ink pens on planes breaks your heart.
63) When you reread something you wrote a year or two (or more!) ago, you know exactly which make of pen you used.
64) You keep the shell of the empty non-refillable pen because it was your favorite.
65) You keep an old worn out empty pen in a special case in a place of reverence because it was your first.
66) You keep looking for that perfect pen or pencil.
67) You take a day off of work to go to a job fair so you can collect all the different companies cheepie freebie logo pens.
68) You take apart your pens to reassemble into the perfect franken-pen with best tip, ink, grip, weight and barrel.
69) You contemplate working in a stationery shop so that you can play with pens all day.
70) You spend hours testing which pen to use for exams. You end up bringing too many because they're all quite good or your mood might dictate which to use.
71) You loan only the more 'inferior' pens in your possession in case your friend or colleague 'soils' or loses them.
72) You can't go to the department store without wandering by the pens and pencils.
73) You can't even go to the dollar store without wandering by the pens and pencils.
Thanks to holgalee and Metternich from the JetPens Fourm for most of these.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Pigmented ink doesn’t stain the color of the paper; it changes the paper itself. By weaving their way into the paper fibers, pigment globules embed themselves into the heart of the paper, making it impenetrable to many washing and bleaching techniques. Pigmented inks have vibrant colors and excellent fade and water resistance without sacrificing performance. Using pens with pigmented inks is one more step to help protect your identity.
The ink is closest to a solid. Think molasses. Ballpoints represent the old standard choice for consistent, dependable writing. SMOOTH and sure-footed.
The ink is thicker at rest and more fluid-like when agitated. Think ketchup. Gels offer consumers a smooth writing experience like a roller with the durability of a ballpoint. SMOOTHER.
The ink is most like a fluid. Think water. Rollers are for consumers who demand the smoothest writing experience. The SMOOTHEST.
From the Mitisubishi uni website.
24) You take family vacations to places that have a pen store that you have yet to visit.*
25) Your swimming pool is filled with Light Blue ink instead of water.
26) You wear the ink stain on your shirt pocket as a badge of honor.
27) You are on a first name basis with every employee in every pen and stationary store in a 100-mile radius of your house.
28) The mail person wants to know if you own stock in JetPens.
29) You have the local stationary and office supply stores phone numbers on speed dial.
30) Your wedding registry was at JetPens.
31) You have a photo of your favorite pen on your desk instead of your family.
32) Your idea of a good time is watching ink dry.
33) When you prick your finger you bleed red ink.
34) You can tell what pen someone is using from across the room.
35) Your Flickr Photostream consists entirely of pics of your favorite pens and pencils.
36) Your Facebook photos consist entirely of pics of your favorite pens and pencils.
37) You talk the receptionist at the doctors/dentists office out of their pen because you don’t have one with that particular drug manufacturer’s logo.
38) Your ‘ship came in’ but you missed it because you were at your favorite pen store.
39) You think that the perfect wedding gift is a matching pen and pencil set.
40) You have separate ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ pens.
41) You have more pens than your children have toys.
42) The dog chewed up your favorite pen, you buried it in a pencil box in the back yard, held a wake and mourned for 7 days.
43) For last Halloween you dressed your children as your favorite pens and it brought tears to your eyes.
44) All the Christmas ornaments on your Christmas tree are all your empty non-refillable pens.
45) When someone invites you to a ‘bring your own’ party you show up with all your favorite pens.
46) The shipper at JetPens knows your address by heart.
* Thanks, Seth
Thursday, November 20, 2008
In many African countries, the cost of uniforms and school supplies can be huge obstacles to overcome for children who dream of attending school. For families with an average income of $2/ day, pens that dry quickly under the intense sun can be costly purchases. Now you can help put a pen in a child's hand!
(Photo courtesy of JetPens.com)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
01) Would rather buy a new pen than eat out.
02) Check the JetPens Forum before breakfast.
03) Surf the web for more pen blogs because you've read all the others.
04) Wish that the smell of a stationary store came as a perfume or cologne.
05) Have Pen and Stationary magazines in your bathroom as reading material.
06) Check JetPens.com for the New Arrivals before breakfast.
07) Can name all the colors that your favorite pen comes in, in order of manufacturer.
08) Have one of every color of every pen in every size that JetPens sells and you feel you don't have enough.
09) Have one of every color of every pen in every size that JetPens sells and you use a dime store pen to write with in order to preserve your collection.
10) Have one of every color of every pen in every size that JetPens sells and you 'pen test' them monthly just to see all the pretty colors.
11) Find yourself writing to people that you don't know because you've written to all your friends and family so much that they keep sending back your letters marked 'RETURN TO SENDER'.
12) Name your favorite pens.
13) Keep all your pens in special cases/pouches so that they don't touch one another.
14) Use your pens in rotation so you'll not use one up sooner than the others.
15) Have at least 2 refills for all your refillable pens on hand at all times so that you'll never have an empty pen.
16) Won't let anyone else use your pens, including your significant other.
17) Think that 'child proofing' your home means locking up all your precious pens.
18) Have a blog about pens (and pencils).
19) Spend your lunch money on a new pen, and are happy about it.
20) Take your date to a Pen Show.
21) Eat, drink and sleep pens all day and think that 24 hours a day is not enough time.
22) Name your children after pen companies.
23) Think that Mitsubishi only makes pens.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The bit I tested was one with a 0.18mm point in Light Blue though the bit is also made in 0.28mm and .7mm (according the manufacturer). I did not attempt to write on a grain of rice but I was able to write so small that I had to use a magnifying glass to do so. As mentioned above I found that the bit wrote smoother than the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.25mm as well as a few others despite its ultra fine point. The ink seems to flow smoothly once the initial stuttering of getting a new pen to write, common with many pens. After that each time that I put it to use it preformed admirably. No matter how slow or how fast that I wrote the bit seemed to keep pace. I print when I write so to test the bit's flow during cursive writing I signed my name with it several times. I write my signature quite quickly and the bit did not skip a beat. The Light Blue ink is a lovely color and not at all hard to read in such fine lines.
When I first heard of the Mitsubishi uni-ball Signo bit I was ecstatic. I wanted one as I am a fine point freak. I was sure that it was going to be a very scratchy pen and persnickety as well. It is neither. I am a semi-heavy handed writer but I strive to be as light a handed writer as possible and I can easily control the pressure that I apply to a pen. However the bit wrote well even when I applied heavy pressure, though it did feel 'scratchier' the heavier I pressed. You might think that with such a pen there would be limited uses. I don't feel that this is true. Anything you can do with any other similar pens you can do with the bit. With a black bit I once wrote 11 pages of data on notebook paper and the bit did just fine.
Over all I am impressed with the bit. It was an unexpected pleasure to write with. While personally I prefer to do my daily writing with a 0.38mm pen I have read where others have used the bit on a daily basis to take notes in school on 3' x 5" cards. If you have need of a pen that will write extremely fine of if you just like to write in fine lines then the bit is for you.
The bit comes in 14 beautiful colors which includes Black, Blue, Blue-Black, Emerald Green, Fuchsia, Light Blue, Light Purple, Lime Green, Mandarin Orange, Orange, Pink, Purple, Green and Sky Blue. All of these are available from our friends at JetPens.com who were kind enough to supply the Light Blue bit for this review.
(Photo courtesy of JetPens.com)
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am a diabetic and I check my blood sugar daily. I've been doing it for years without giving much thought to the lancets over the years. Then recently after checking my blood sugar I looked at the lancet and wondered just what the wire inside looked like. So I grabbed my round nosed pliers and my linesman pliers and removed the wire from one of the lancets. It took a good tug but it was worth the effort. The 30 gauge wire was about 3/4" long with an "s" bend at the end of the wire that was in the plastic body. I cut the "s" part of the wire off, filed it down to remove the burrs and using the linesman pliers I pushed the pointed end of the wire back into the pill shaped removable button part of the lancet. What I ended up with was a near perfect stand alone clean out rod.
So far the 2 best brand of lancets for this are the Reli On brand and the Bayer brand. The Reli On has the "s" shaped end which has to be remove. The Bayer does not. It is a straight rod. The removable button that serves as a handle is larger on the Bayer so it makes the best clean out rod.
Disclaimer: DO NOT USE A USED LANCET FOR A CLEAN OUT ROD. Used lancets as well as used insulin needles should ALWAYS be disposed of in a Sharps Box. ALWAYS obtain a new, unused lancet for conversion into a clean out rod. An unused lancet will have the pill shaped tab SECURELY ATTACHED to the body of the lancet and will offer resistance when removed.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Update 11/15/2008. I contacted Alvin & Company and the rep wrote back that this had never happened before. He suggested that I contact the seller and ask for corrective action. I did so now I am waiting to hear back from them. I'll post an update when I know more.
It's unusual to find gel pens in 0.5mm nib widths, especially in a department store. Most commonly these are found in 0.7mm and broader. I prefer the narrower width, which is why I bought them. The pens are truly smooth writing, as smooth as more expensive pens like Pilot and uni-ball gel pens. The large diameter of the pens make them comfortable to write with, even for those who have small hands. For the price, under $3.00 for the set, the Inc. Magna Tank Gel Pens are a very good buy.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The very act of writing, as with a pen or pencil upon paper, is almost therapeutic. It most certainly is extremely enjoyable act. It can be very soothing at times, almost like a cool breeze on a warm day. It is an operation that can be preformed almost anywhere and at almost anytime. All one needs is a suitable writing instrument and a suitable surface to write upon. A suitable instrument may be a ballpoint pen, a gel or liquid ink pen or a familiar mechanical or drafting pencil. It may even be a favorite fountain pen or a reliable old number two pencil. A suitable surface could be the pages of a diary, a journal, a notebook, loose-leaf paper or fine stationary.
The act of writing itself can be as simple as making a grocery list, taking notes or as complex as writing a letter or the great American novel and anything in between. The act doesn’t even need a purpose to be enjoyable. And the place one chooses to write doesn’t seem to matter much either. It can be as formal a place as a fine roll-top desk or as informal as an old fashioned lap desk. I’ve spent many an hour in my recliner, with the TV on, writing whatever comes into my head. It’s the act of writing itself that is enjoyable, not the words that are written. Don’t get me wrong, having a purpose when writing can be quite enjoyable but I’ve always found it secondary to the very act itself.
Purpose can be, however, as simple a reason as to gain practice. Even when doodling or aimlessly writing I always try and write as elegantly as I possibly can. I’m always trying to either simplify or farcify a letter or a word or even a phrase. I’ve purposefully changed my signature (the only thing I write cursively) several times over the years, not necessarily to simplify it but to beautify it. I’ve also changed the way I form certain letters, giving them more flourish in an effort to give my printing more character. I’ve done the same to the loops of my lower case g’s, y’s and q’s for the very same purpose, then changed them back again.
Part of the reason for “My Obsession” is that I am constantly searching for the perfect writing instrument, if there is one. I’m always trying to see which pen or pencil will make my hand writing look it’s best. I tend to write small, hence my obsession with small diameter nibs/leads. And it appears that I am not the only one with the emergence of all the sub 0.5mm pens in recent years. However smaller is not always better. I’ve been writing with a 0.3mm pencil for years but only recently was I introduced to sub 0.5mm pens. While I prefer to do my writing with an automatic (drafting) pencil I’ve been trying to get used to writing with a pen, for some obvious reasons. But 0.7mm and above pens are just too big. And many 0.5mm pens write larger than advertised. But with the advent of the sub 0.5mm pen I’ve come to find that I write best (with a pen) that is between 0.4mm and 0.3mm. Anything else is too small for daily use.
But when it comes down to it I write best with an automatic pencil either a 0.5mm or, preferred, a 0.3mm pencil. It just seems that things flow better for me when I use a pencil. Besides, pens are good, but I make to many mistakes so pencils are better. Feeling that should I make a mistake in speller or grammar that I can make a correction without having to rewrite the entire page puts me at ease. I enjoy the act of writing better when I use a nice, well-balanced automatic pencil. After all, isn’t enjoying the act of writing what its all about?