Hobonichi Techo 2024

Arrived today: my Hoboichi Techo for 2024.

I used to order my Techos from the Hobonichi store in Japan, but now that I live in Germany and only need the notebook itself, it turned out much cheaper to order it from PenStore.nl. Of course you don’t get the gimmicks that come with the Techo: a 3-colour uni Jetstream pen and this year also a little bag, but postage from Japan would have been about as much as the Techo itself.

It’s nice to be able to easily order from continental Europe again. Since Brexit I missed out on a few nice stationery items that were either too expensive to get into the UK or were not available in the UK.

I wonder what other stores I’ll discover that I missed out on so far. Unfortunately it’s now more expensive to order from nice UK shops like The Pen Company, Pen Heaven, Write Here and CultPens. Some of them pay duties and taxes for you, for others you have to pay via the delivery company, so you don’t know in advance how much it will cost…

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Staedtler’s new Mars 502 Lead Pointer Tub box

I’m not sure why, but the most popular video on the Bleistift YouTube channel is a video explaining how to use Staedtler’s lead pointer.

How to use a lead pointer tub might not be that obvious. That must certainly a factor contributing to the video’s popularity, but it still doesn’t explain why the video remains popular to this day.

Many of the comments show that buyers of the lead pointer often don’t know how to use it properly and that they wish they had known about the video earlier.

Three years ago, one of the comments (see above) posted under the video said that Staedtler should point to this video. Well, a few days ago a follow up comment was posted (see below). It came from Bleistift viewer Björn who found the video because Staedtler is now printing a QR point on the lead pointer box, pointing to the Bleistift video explaining how to use the lead pointer!

What a surprise that was!! Björn also sent some photos of the new box with the QR code.

Thank you Björn for letting me know and thank you Staedtler for linking to the video.

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Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator

My wife made me aware of an interesting book that will be published next month: Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator. The author, Keith Houston, author of “Shady Characters”, has been mentioned on Bleistift before.

You can find out more about the book in this article by the economist: How the pocket calculator paved the way for the digital age.

A random photo of one of my calculators

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Pelikan Hub Bremen

After recently moving from the UK to Germany, this year I was involved in the Pelikan Hub Bremen, rather than the Preston Hub that used to be my home hub.

The Pelikan Hub took place in a Greek restaurant in the North of Bremen. The location was chosen as it was close to public transport and also offered a big car park.

Some numbers linked this Hub: Unfortunately, three of the participants who signed up didn’t take part. There were also another three people who didn’t sign up but wanted to come along. In the end, however, they couldn’t make it. That left us with five participants which means that this was probably one of the smallest Hubs…

Despite the small number of participants I enjoyed the Hub very much. I wonder how long other Hubs went on for. This one lasted around four hours.

Thanks to Pelikan the participants got bottles of the ink of the year, nice notebooks and postcards.

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