We have a new tea towel in use in our home. Not any tea towel …a stationery-themed one 8^)
In June 2019 I was lucky enough to have met the Pencil Talk Editor in person when he was in the UK and we had a nice stroll through the park. At the time he just visited the British Library’s Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition a few days earlier. Among other nice gifts he also brought me a tea towel from this exhibition. It’s really nice and felt too nice to use, so it was in storage for a while but we started using it now.
It looks great. I like that it doesn’t only feature pensbut all sorts of working tools.
It also does a good job at drying plates and cutlery 🙂
If they have been left unused for a while it is not uncommon for gel pens / gel refills to stop working properly.
Unfortunately, this means that the more pens you have in your rotation / are using at the same time, the more likely you are not using them enough. That’s just what happened to me.
In the case of my Holbein x Rotring multipen the Zebra refill was only two years old. The blue refill is perfectly fine. Being blue meant it got used regularly, but the red refill didn’t get used quite as much, so stopped working. I have replaced it now with a red Lamy refill. The new red colour is grey-ish as is common for ballpoint refills, but it shouldn’t dry out as fast as the vibrant red Zebra JSB refill.
The Gelion refill was older. I actually made a video at the time that shows how to use this refill in a Cara d’Ache 849 …but as the refill was idle for too long it also stopped working.
The final gel-like pen that stopped working recently was Stabilo’s pointVisco. It did survive very long though: I think I got my first pointVisco in 2008, but as I had a set of mixed colours, some of them just weren’t used as much, so stopped working.
There are some common tricks to try to revive gel pens and refills, e.g. putting them in hot water. I tried these trick, but was unsuccessful and have decided to say goodbye to these two refills and the pen.
The famous illustrator Raymond Briggs has died. In the UK he is most famous for The Snowman, but I assume that in many other countries When the wind blows is more famous. Both stories were made into movies which seem to have surpassed the original stories’ popularity.
There’s only one Ramyond Briggs related blog post: The 2013 blog post The Snowman and The Snowdog presents some information about the sequel to The Snowman film.
If you read Bleistift blog regularly you might have noticed that I really like the Pentel Orenz. I think it’s the best sliding sleeve pencil since Staedtler’s Microfix.
The sliding sleeve works well and the pencil’s design is great, too, but unfortunately there is one weakness in the design that caused one of my Orenz mechanical pencils an issue: The metal clip is very close to the push button and there is only a very narrow strip of plastic to hold it in place. This narrow strip of plastic is will have to bear the brunt of any outward pressure the springiness of the clip cannot handle.
If you regularly clip the pencil onto slightly thicker pockets (or notebooks etc) the plastic will weaken over time and will eventually break off. In my case I regularly carry the Orenz in a pen pocket on my jacket. The pen pocket is not that thick, but apparently thick enough to cause this issue.
If you are squeamish please look away, the following photos, showing pencil mutilations, are not a sight for the faint hearted.
When the plastic from my Orenz broke off I didn’t initially notice as I was in a meeting. I just noticed that, when holding the pencil, the clip seems to be very loose.
Some closer inspection revealed the true horror and damage, though.
Here is a comparison how this looks like on an undamaged Orenz.
Christmas, as well as the New Year, are coming closer. It will be nice to have a few quiet days with less work, and no doubt many Bleistift readers will want to catch up with everyone’s favourite stationery podcast over the holidays.
It’s hard to believe that the Pen Addict podcast will be ten years old in 2022.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rate of episode length increase wasn’t sustained over time. Below is the latest version of the diagram showing the episode length over time.
Each dot represents an episode. Early episodes are on the left, recent episodes are on the right. Short episodes are at the bottom, long episodes are at the top.
I marked the outliers on the image below. At the top right, in red, we got the longest ever episode, episode 450, clocking in at 133 minutes. At the bottom left we got episode 33, one of the few episodes with an episode number that is greater than its length in minutes (episode 46 is another one of those).
Please have a look at the Pen Addict Podcast page on stationery.wiki. You can easily sort all episodes, e.g. by length, by clicking on the little arrows in the header row and explore all episodes. We’d also be happy if you contribute to the other stationery knowledge recorded there. It’s a resource available to everyone.
You will have also noticed the more horizontal lines in the diagram. The black line is a straight linear regression line. The blue curve is a LOESS (local regression) curve, which is a bit more ‘flexible’ than the straight line.
In the image below you can see that in the first years (marked as ‘a’), until about 2015, we had a strong increase in episode lengths, mainly caused by the fact that early episodes were rather short. From then on, until about 2018 (marked as ‘b’) we had a very slow increase in episode lengths and since then (marked as ‘c’) we have a slow decrease in episode lengths. In the last few weeks he had an average length of about one hour per episode. The LOESS curve is moving (roughly) from 65 minutes per episode to 60 minutes per episode.