A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: Sanford Sharpie Stainless Steel Fine-Point Permanent Marker

(UPDATE: Welcome, Pen Addict readers, and my thanks to him for the link!)

I don't know anyone who hasn't used a Sharpie marker at least once. Evidence of the ubiquitous marker with gray plastic body and black cap peppers my neighborhood every weekend when the garage sale signs go up.

 So, I'm in Office Depot the other day looking to see if there's anything new in the pen section, and I see a promotion for the Sanford Sharpie Stainless Steel Fine Point Permanent Marker. Stainless Steel. Cool! Refillable. Double cool! So I picked up one and a refill and and tried it out as soon as I got home.

I'll sum it up with a word I used earlier: cool.

I won't bother showing you how it writes, because you all know how a Sharpie writes. But some other aspects of the marker are worth noting.

First, obviously, is the stainless steel finish. If it weren't for the "Sharpie" lettering on the barrel, one could be forgiven for mistaking it for a pricey stainless finish pen:

Stainless Steel Sharpie Refillable Permanent Marker

Even once it is exposed as a utilitarian marker, with the cap posted, it looks quite striking with the black section and tip contrasting against the stainless finish of the barrel and cap:

Stainless Steel Sharpie Refillable Permanent Marker: Cap Posted

One might even say it looks sharp.

To get a feel for the size of the Sharpie, I took a picture of it next to a Lamy AL-Star, which I figure nearly every pen aficionado has had at one time or another:

Stainless Steel Sharpie Refillable Permanent Marker nest to Lamy AL-Star

That curvature in the AL-Star is neither your imagination nor a result of carrying the pen around in my pocket. Despite the macro setting on my camera, I got distortion from the close-up view. Hey, I wonder if that's how they came up with the pricey Waterman Sérénité?

Refilling the pen once the ink is exhausted couldn't be much easier, and there is no mess involved at all. Unlike the Platinum Preppy refillable highlighter, for example, in which the user inserts a new ink cartridge for use with the same tip, the refill for the Sharpie is a single unit housing the ink supply and a new tip. Simply unscrew the old one and screw in the new.

Stainless Steel Sharpie Refillable Permanent Marker: Disassembed

I bought this marker even though I don't very often have a need for one. This is just a cool thing to carry around, and I'll have plenty of room for it in the new pencil case I'm waiting to get from Jet Pens. The pen case is part of my new-found fastidiousness, which I reserve for my pens and paper. As long as its not just a phase, I can count on being able to locate this marker, and even the refill, when I need it. No more looking through junk drawers for 10 minutes trying to find one that's not dried out!

The Sanford Sharpie Stainless Steel Fine-Point Permanent Marker is available at Office Depot online for $6.29, and the refills are $1.99. I can't remember what I paid in the store, but I'm pretty sure the promotional price was a little less for the pen, about the same for the refill.

Overall, I'm very glad I purchased this!



My recently acquired passion for pen and paper may have just landed me in hot water.

I've always been messy. A slob, some would say.

And then I got interested in pens and paper. That's one area of my life where I am not messy. I'm fastidious, even. I mentioned this rather amazing development while commenting in a post at A Penchant for Paper nearly three months ago, when blogger Heather asked in the title of her post, What Do Our Pens Tell Us About Ourselves?

Well, my wife has been noticing how I keep my pens so orderly. How I tenderly insert my pens into their pen roll, then carefully roll them up and tie the ribbon. How I carefully order my ink bottles and wipe them off when they get dusty. How thoroughly I flush my pens and lay them out carefully to dry.

She also notices that I manage to do these things just moments after leaving my shoes under the coffee table, dirty socks on the floor next to the bed, and an empty dish on the table next to the sofa after ice cream. And she figures if I can be so neat about my pens and inks, why can't I be that neat about everything?

The simple answer, of course, is that we fuss over what we care about. But she has a point. I wish she didn't!

Like I said. Busted.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monsters! Monsters, I say!

What possible motive could someone have for hacking the Fountain Pen Network? What malice! Fortunately, it looks like FPN is back up and running.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Multitasking, Shmultitasking!

I feel bad for multitaskers. Really, I do. I've been there. Tried to be one, anyway. Still there, sometimes. Closing the laptop just as I take a cell call and my desktop computer chimes to announce another email.

I just don't think its very effective. Sure, there might be some small sliver of the population that operates most effectively by using every tech gadget known to man, but I think that technology overuse probably makes most people irritable at best and anti-social at worst.

At the New York Times article "Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price," which reports on the consequences of overuse of technology, the picture of the husband and wife at the breakfast table, each absorbed in their own iPad, reminds me of the time I took a group picture of 5 or 6 family members on Christmas Day. Well, kind of a group picture. They were all sitting next to each other, several on the couch, one on each side in a flanking chair. But each barely noticed the others were there, for each person was staring intensely at the tiny screen of the handheld game he or she had pulled out of his or her stocking a few hours ago.

It was a posed shot, but we only got the idea because we came damn close to it without trying.


Just like the Carnival in Rio, only better!

Ok, it's nothing at all like the carnival in Rio. And I don't know if it's better, because I've never been to Rio. But it's pretty darn cool all on its own. And, while Rio is probably a once-in a lifetime trip for a lot of folks, you can go back to this carnival every month at a new place and always find something different.

It's the 11th Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper, hosted this month by Tiger Pens Blog.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Noodler's fans, take note! (And everyone else, for that matter.)

Noodler's fountain pens! That's right, I said pens, not ink. Jet Pens announced a couple of weeks ago that they will soon be carrying a "new line of specialty fountain pens" from Noodler's. No specifics about prices, but Jet Pens says these piston-fillers "will be one of the most affordable available!" Follow the link to see more pictures of the new pens.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Paper is the Killer App"

That's how the The Productive Luddite, a new site (still in beta), summarizes its productivity philosophy. If the name and summary aren't hints enough that the site is dedicated to productivity with paper rather than digital technology, there's the name of The Productive Luddite's blog: Paper Makes Me Happy.

Still in beta, the site's product catalog appears nearly empty, but its organization and the first few blog entries show a lot of promise. I know I'll be checking back.

One last thing: I would not have found TPL if I had not been checking out the referral sources in my Sitemeter stats. An unhealthy obsession with my traffic pays off more than occasionally with the discovery of new sites because they have linked to me.