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The new Kuru Toga Advance

There’s a new Kuru Toga in town, the Kuru Toga Advance

It seems to be a better version of the Pipe Slide model

Read more about it on Reddit.


3M’s Post-it Label Roll (again)

3M Label Roll, Field Notes and Rustico (Image from the previous Labelling Notebooks blog post)

I just have to mention 3M’s Post-it label roll again.

It’s not cheap. When I bought mine it was £4 (~$4.85; €4.50 now, but back then ~$6.30; €5.60), but it’s just so useful. You can also get it in different colours by now.

As mentioned previously I use it to label Field Notes and other notebooks, but by now I use it to label about anything that needs labelling.

Here’s my stereo getting labelled.

I love stationery products that turn out to be more versatile and useful than originally expected.

 


Visiting an Arabic Calligraphy Workshop 4

A few weeks ago I went to a calligraphy workshop. My first ever. I found out about it when one of my students, who knows I like stationery, told me that a calligraphy workshop will be held on the premises of my employer (a university).

The student told me that the workshop was organised by the students’ Islamic Society, so I assumed it would be Arabic calligraphy, but wasn’t sure and couldn’t find out more online.

Well, I went there and it was Arabic calligraphy after all. As I don’t know anything about Arabic script I thought this would be an opportunity to learn more about it. When I asked I was told that the workshop is suitable for someone who doesn’t know Arabic.

I paid my £3 fee, but it all turned out a bit different than expected. I expected to use tools somehow similar to a dip pen and parchment, but instead, we wrote with colour markers on easel pads. I am still not sure how Arabic calligraphy works. Someone wrote with a board marker on a white board and we copied that sentence again and again. The idea was that you vary the look of the letters (if that’s the right word, are they called letters?) to look good ..but as I don’t even know how the letters are supposed to look like I wasn’t sure how they can be changed or varied while still staying recognisable to someone who can read Arabic.

No idea whether this looks good or not.

It was an interesting experience, but it would be nice to make these events more inclusive by making them less of a ‘you copy down what’s on the board’ exercise and giving some explanations about the writing system.

I wonder whether there’ll also be Western calligraphy workshops in the future.

 

 


Edible pencils

Seen in a local corner shop.


Strawberry pencils! A common type of sweets in the UK, named so because of its shape.

I’ve never tried them.


500 14

This is Bleistift’s blog post number 500.

As usual with an anniversary blog post you’ll get some behind the scenes infos today.

Ranking

Well, 500 posts might sound a lot, but general stationery blogs produce a much higher number of blog posts and even when looking at pencil only blogs this number is not that high either (..plus more than 20 of my blog posts are about fountain pens, so they don’t  really count).

  • Lexikaliker is the #1 pencil blog (that’s a B outside the USA) with more than 1370 blog posts
  • Followed by the #2 (that’s HB), Pencil Talk with more than 620 blog posts.
  • Next, we got #2½ (that’s F), it’s Pencil Revolution with more than 560 blog posts.
  • #3 (H) is Dave’s Mechanical Pencils with more than 530 blog posts.
  • ..and #4 (2H) is Contrapuntalism. Already past the 420 mark, he’s getting close to 500. This is kind of unfair to Sean as he has distributed his pencil posts over different blogs (Blackwing Pages, Pencils and Music) so should actually rank much higher, but I’m not sure where exactly.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

A recent surprise

Recently Bleistift had the highest number of visitor’s on one single day in it’s more than seven years of existence. This was down to the well-appointed desk linking to my blog in a blog post collecting links. As my blog post was only one of more than twenty posts linked to I wonder how many visitors the well-appointed desk has. Is it even more than the Pen Addict’s a million a month?

Even a tweet/link from the official Terry Pratchett / Discworld Twitter account a few days earlier didn’t bring that many visitors.

The previous record for most visitors on one day was from 2015 when the Pen Addict podcast linked to Bleistift.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

Change in attitude

That brings to a recent change in my attitude. I used to think it would be nice if a large number of people read Bleistift’s blog posts (thinking it makes the time spend on writing them more worthwhile).  The number of blog posts on my to do list is huge, so huge that I don’t think I can ever write them all up, so in the past, I would pick blog posts from the to-do list that I think are of more interest to a wider audience.

After repeatedly coming across what happens to the makers of big stationery blogs (being verbally attacked and other things) I now think that it’s good Bleistift’s readership is fairly small. This changed attitude will probably result in me picking whichever blog post I want to write instead of trying to write up the ones interesting to a wider audience. This shift might also bring about some other changes, e.g. there might be more fountain pen blog posts. I have tried to keep the number of those down. Having stayed under 5% (p ≤ 0.05   8^D)  fountain pen posts on this blog this was successful, but in the future, this might change.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

Bleistifts new domain: http://bleistift.blog

Bleistift is the German word for pencil. It means ‘lead pen’, which is a name used for pencils in other languages as well, e.g. in Chinese (铅笔). So far bleistift was on a subdomain of a domain I bought in the 1990s. I should have bought my surname as a domain back then, but at the time I didn’t think the web would take off the way it did. I thought it will stay something geeky, like modems and BBS before the web.

Anyway, most (nearly all) stationery blogs, except some hosted on wordpress.com have their own domain, so I thought bleistift should have its own domain and I bought bleistift.blog. I actually pre-ordered pencil.blog in 2013, but I guess before the new .blog domains were released they run the domain names through a dictionary and didn’t release .blog domains representing common words, so I didn’t get my pre-ordered pencil.blog domain. It is now being sold by for a premium. I do actually prefer bleistift.blog, but pencil.blog would have been easier to spell for non-german speakers.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

A new SSL certificate and advertising

Some other recent changes you might have noticed is that addition of advertising to the blog. The idea was to use the advertising to pay for the new SSL certificate, which would have cost around £8, but a few things have changed now, partly because of the new domain. I won’t bore you with the details as explaining this would be boring to you and long wielded.

I also thought I could leave the advertising to pay for a month of Grammarly to go through the blog and fix all spelling mistakes etc, but the advertising I see here on bleistift is often quite odd and not topic related, so I will probably take the advertising down in a few days ..but out of interest I would like to know what kind of advertising you see on this blog, if you don’t mind telling me please write it in the comments.