Thursday, November 6, 2008

Waterproof tests

(click on the image to be taken to Flickr and and see the additional photos)

I tested a general sample of my inks for their water resistance. Samples were taken from Noodler's Private reserve, and Platinum Preppy.

Methods: The paper used was a page out of a Moleskine Volant. Samples were written in and the page was left out overnight (about 9 hours) before test. The water test included holding the page under a heavy run of water for about 30 seconds on each side of the page. To dry the page was put between two paper towels and a lightweight box was placed on top to aid in absorption.

Judging factors: The results were observed carefully for clarity of stroke, retention of original color, and leftover 'halos' of ink around the letters. The paper towels used to dry the page were also examined for ink transfer. Each ink was given a score with 5 indicating the the ink performed perfectly, and 1 indicating that the words were illegible after test.

Regular Noodler's results:

(click the picture to open up the large version)

Squeteague: Not advertised as waterproof, but very resistant. Some halo, but the letters are still clear and dark. Very little color change. Score: 3.5/5 A full point was taken off for the halo, and half a point for the color loss. Ink soaked through completely to the other side.

Summer Tanager: I have an error with the sample used for this ink, in that some old green ink is mixed in. However, nearly the only ink left in this test is that odd brown mix. Looking closely, it seems that the actual Summer Tanager diffused away. Even with the odd mixture, the water nearly washed everything away. A score is difficult to determine given the sample error. A best estimate for this score would be between 1 and 2 out of 5.

Ottoman Azure: Same performance as the Squeteague. Score 3.5/5

Bulletproof Noodler's:

Bulletproof Black: Sample looks like water never touched it. Stroke details of flow and variance are still perfectly intact. No evidence of haloing or color degradation. Score: 5/5, this ink performs as advertised. The ink did not bleed through the page. Perfect for addressing envelopes.

Baystate Blue: This ink is not named as bulletproof, but it is advertised to be. There is some evident, but minimal, haloing. This sample may be confounded by my use of a 2mm dip pen to apply it to the page. All other inks were applied inside regular fine point fountain pens. The excess ink did wash away when left under tap, yet the ink did bleed through the page slightly more after water exposure. Again, this may be due to the application process within this test. Unlike the Bulletproof Black, the individual strokes were blended together and stroke detail was lost. Score: 4.5 Half a point was taken off for the loss of stroke detail and light haloing. Letters were still clear and the color intact.

Now, the others:

Private Reserve Blue Suede: The color has been retained on the page, yet the strokes are so haloed that the letters are illegible. Score: 1/5 This is unusable under wet conditions. There is no clear stroke intact in any of the sample, and the ink bled further onto the other side of the page. I can also say that any amount of moisture will cause this ink to smear, even if days old on the page. This ink also soaked onto the paper towels, even on the reverse side of the page. This indicates that if you use this ink in a notebook and it is soaked through, it will be destroyed.

Platinum Preppy Green: This is the stock color that comes with their green fountain pens. Whereas the Blue Suede haloed to illegibility, this ink faded out. The haloing and color fade make this ink as unusable as the Blue Suede. Bled through to the other side. Score: 1.5 In my experience with other Platinum Preppy colors I am comfortable extending this score to their entire line, with a +/-.5 confidence interval.

Verdict: Noodler's Bulletbproof inks perform as described, and the Bulletproof Black performs so well that there is no visible evidence that the sample had even been soaked completely through in water. 100% of stroke detail was retained, and there was absolutely no bleedthrough after exposure. Baystate Blue came in second, while the Squeteague and Ottoman Azure haloed but retained clarity. The Summer Tanager disappeared, while the Private Reserve created a huge mess.

Limitations: The test performed for this review was only holding the page under water. This means that excess ink was washed away instead of smearing and drying on the page. Droplet testing will be a future examination. However, even with the ink washing away, the Private Reserve Blue Suede was very disappointing. Under droplet testing I would not be surprised to find some minimal smearing the the Bulletproof Black.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jetpens has noodlers!




//passes out//

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quickspot: quirktm

What: quirktm
Huh: A pencil that you can wrap around your finger.
Wait, what: You can mount a pencil to your hand to be an old school cyborg geek.
Seriously: Yup.

Everyone has had those experiences where you just really need a third hand to hold a pencil for jotting down notes while you're working on a project. This is a great solution for those times.

The quirktm is not meant for flat out writing or journaling, but instead is meant to be worn while working on something so that your pencil doesn't float around or you can skip the step of picking it up. From crafts to the laboratory, nearly everyone can think of a situation in their life where this would improve their efficiency.

I tried it out, and it really works. There is no sharpening either, just plug in a new point.

This is an offshoot of the ComfortStulus for the Nintendo DS, and I think it's a great idea. What do you guys think? Would you use it? I'm going to use it while sewing.

Quickspot: Faber-Castell Art Grip color pencil

What: Faber-Castell Art Grip colored pencil-yellow

This pencil is advertised to have one of the best grips around. I was a little unsure because it just looks like paint on the barrel, but once I started messing with it, I was impressed. The dots provide traction to your fingers, and the overall spread offers a grip for any position.

The color was smooth and easily blended when I did a gradient, and it seemed like the Habana paper wanted to 'suck' the color right up. I had to write the review in a darker color because, well, the pencil is yellow.

Overall, I'm no artist but I loved testing out this pencil.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Review: Uniball Signo DX .28 Mandarin Orange and Lime Green

What: Uniball Signo DX .28
Huh: Dang good pen.

I don't need to tell you how amazing the Signo DX line is from Uni-ball. The non-artists among us have long searched for a pen they can write with for hours at a time with, that would put down a fine line, and not muck up their paper. Pens for art are too fragile, and often the thin tips were not designed to be written with for longer than a few sentences. We thought our calls were answered with the Sliccis, but not perfectly for some. The amazing nib and look wasn't quite matched by the ergonomics. Thus, the world still searched for answers.

The Signo DX .28 will give you a steady, fine line while being able to move smoothly over your paper at natural writing angles. This was a pen crafted for the written word. The wonderful folks at JetPens sent me two of the new color line up to test out and spread the word.

There are 6 happy new shades to compliment the standard 10 colors. I picked out the Mandarin Orange and Lime Green to see some contrast in the line.

I was very impressed by each. The colors were a bright and fun take on the standard colors, while still maintaining legibility. These are not flourescent colors that are harsh on the eyes and impossible to read.

I loved both colors, and plan to pick up the rest of the set. If I had to pick between the two, which would be very hard, I would say that the mandarin orange is easier to read on a plain white page than the lime green.

Overall, great new colors to compliment an outstanding existing line-up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review: Quo Vadis "My Weekends" notebook

What: The "My Weekends" notebook in the Memoriae line by Quo Vadis

The Quo Vadis Memoriae line of notebooks are perfect for keeping track of important events, fun times, places to go, and people. The Memoriae notebooks come in a 12 incarnations, and even sport their own website for sharing your entries with others.

The lovely folks at Quo Vadis sent me one of the "My Weekends" notebooks to sample, which was perfect! I'm in a long distance relationship, so my weekends are really important to me. After using it for the past few weeks, I can say that I will continue to use it until it is filled.

The main chunk of the notebook has blanks for writing about your weekend activities. I love that the blanks are open to interpretation. Since there are no labels, you can easily customize your own entry system. I'm still playing with my own system, but I'm enjoying the flexibility.

The back section offers a place to index important places, or locations. Again, the formatting is flexible so you can come up with whatever labeling system you wish. Here is an example of how I've done mine.

The last bit of the notebook is a place for you to write in lists of people, places, events, etc.

Offers structured formatting that can be customized to fit whatever you can think of.
Great paper, no feathering with my fountain pen.
Great size. Just larger than a small size Moleskine, so it fits perfectly in my purse.
Lots of options as far as what notebook you get. With 12 different themed journals, you're sure to find something that fits well with your life.

A little difficult to find right now. Check out this post to see find out how to get one.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Best mail day ever

I love getting the mail. Don't you? It's exciting to see treasures from the outside world. This perspective may be a little skewed because I'm living at home taking care of a family member, but I'm serious. Getting the mail is the highlight of my day.


This has got to be the best mail day ever! First, I get my September issue of the Pencil of the Month Club, and I also get an amazing new notebook sample from Exaclair (readas: Quo Vadis)!

I'm working on reviews of them all, in the meantime, check out my photostream on Flickr to see the newest pics.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pen and Notebook world tour!

What are your favorite places to find pens and notebooks?

I'm sure that everyone here has been, if not shopped at, Jetpens or The Daily Planner. Shopping online is nice for for obvious reasons, but there is nothing like going into a shop and actually looking around.

Some of my favorite discoveries have been from just poking around places like Greer, Paper Source, and particularly Paper Boy.

I'm currently planning a trip to Pendemonium in the next few weeks, and it got me thinking. What would be the pen and notebook world tour look like?

What are your favorite places? Shoot me links, link me pics, and let's create a comprehensive list of the best pen and notebook stores around the country.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Review: Quo Vadis Habana

Notebook: Habana (5 stars, your pens are going to waste if they aren't being used in this notebook)
Manufacturer: Quo Vadis
Where: The Daily Planner
WTF: A soft cover, yet hard backed, ruled journal with amazing paper.
The Habana Review Set on Flickr
A full list of features can be found on the Quo Vadis webpage

In short? If you own any fine tipped pen (.4 or less) the paper in this notebook will make them feel like whole new pens. Any disgruntlement you've had with the .18 Signos will be resolved.

I've been a fan of notebooks and fine tipped pens for a long time, but the two have never quite met eye to eye before. The fine tipped pens, particularly the .18 Signo Bits, bite into paper and make writing difficult. However, the paper in the Habana makes me want to buy the multi-pack of .18s. I wrote an entire page with a .18 pen and it was smooth the entire way. I honestly wouldn't feel a difference between the .18 and the .38 Signo Bits. I felt that I could really write for the first time with that pen.

The Frixion are also another Habana win. The Moleskine paper buckles and shreds under the Frixion eraser, but the Habana paper showed no sign of it.

The paper was also very resistant to bleed through, and worked like magic with my fountain pens. As seen here, I drew three slow strokes each on the Moleskine and Habana. (Click on the picture to see it bigger on Flickr). The thicker and smoother paper of the Habana didn't allow the ink to feather and there was absolutely NO bleed through like you can see here in my moleskine.

The cover material is soft, but reinforced. This combination produces a cover that avoids floppyness (a major negative of the giant softcover moleskine), yet still feels supple. The cover moves freely with the spine when opened, and the notebook easily stays open on its own. The pages feel smooth and solid. The ruling is up to debate, and is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like the title area on the top and bottom, and I'm undecided about the wide ruling. The only thing missing is the ability to fold the cover backwards, but that feature is in no way a priority.

The Habana just feels better to use than any of my Moleskines. Using one is a very enjoyable tactile experience from cover to cover. You will love to use it, and you will find all of your pens will feel better to use. I've used Quo Vadis planners before, and this paper quality is something you can find in all their products. Check out their HUGE selection of planners here. I'm serious, no matter what niche type of planner you need, they have it. If they don't? Let them know at the Quo Vadis Blog.

You NEED this notebook if... own pens that are .4 or below

Buy if... enjoy the feel of fine paper want a notebook that makes you feel good when you pull it out of your bag need strong paper for erasing, or heavy inks

Don't buy if... have a strange complex about title spaces enjoy the cold feeling of Moleskine hard covers

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Review: rEDCLOUDY Pencil Case

Case: rREDCLOUDY Envelope Pencil Case (5 stars! I adore it! Recommended without any hesitation!)
Where: JetPens
WTF: This is a pencil case styled to look like an envelope with a long strap to secure it closed. Comes in additional colors.
Compare to: I haven't seen anything else like it.

In the world of pencil cases there are the ones that hold everything you own, travel cases, and then the cases that put a smile on your face. This case is unique and wonderful, and has managed to blend all that with something completely functional and simple.

The premise is simple: Take an envelope, make it out of a wonderful material, and figure out a way to keep it closed that is a fluid system, slick, and doesn't ruin the aesthetic.

Their solution: high quality synthetic leather, lined with fun fabric, constructed to perfection, and a simple cloth strap to keep it closed. I was skeptical at first when I saw this closure, but I sprung for it when I had a giftcard to experiment with. The result: SO WORTH IT.

As you can see, it can hold quite a lot of pens. This is the comfortable amount, but you can easily double it (seen below) and still have it close. This feat can only be accomplished by the wonderful strap closure system.

About the strap: it is about two feet long and made of soft fabric. You simply wrap it around the case, and slip the end under the previous wraps. It holds, it works, and it is not cumbersome. This isn't a system that is meant to be used for changing pens every two seconds, or when you're in line at the store. Wrapping and unwrapping it is an experience to be savored, and I actually found it to be a calming part of my morning routine at work.

This is a case that I happily keep on my desk, and something that I use to keep my good pens in. Your Sliccis belong in this case! It is not only beautiful and functional, but it is built to take a beating. It has been thrashed around on the subway, stuffed in purses, dropped, and stepped on. Believe it or not, it doesn't show a thing. The size is also perfect. At the same time, this case can easily be used as a clutch for a night out. I would not change one thing on it.

The cost is a bit higher than other cases, but you will get nothing but quality in this case. This line is in a class of its own.

Buy if... want an elegant pencil case that will beautifully frame your pens. need a pencil case that is worthy of being seen in public. want a simple solution for carrying pens in a bag or purse. like flexibility in your pencil cases. need a gift for someone who has it all.

Don't buy if... plan to be opening/closing it a lot during a short period of time (e.g. for art), although you can just leave it open. only want pure utility cases. think rectangles are way too 80's. can only process things with zippers.

Review: Yen Plus-V01I02

Title: Yen +(plus) August 2008
Publisher: Yen Press
WTF?: A new monthly manga anthology
Compare to: Shounen Jump, Shojo Beat

September's month's Yen+ came out a little early! Packed between the full color covers of Nightschool and Nabari no Ou are the same 10 titles from the last issue, a full preview of another series, and a fun interview of the artist behind Nightschool.

I was pleased to find some great progression by the slower moving titles, and fun preview of Moon Boy. So, let's look at the new standings!

Titles that continue strong:

Soul Eater: Still in the Prologue stage, but feels just like what we usually see in initial chapters. This month features the introduction of Black Star and Tsubaki and a little more of the canon in the Soul Eater world. Still funny, still catches my eye. A solid title.

Nabari no Ou: A little more plot shows up, with some more action. We're just getting into the minds of the characters here, and it's picking up speed.

The only redeemer:

Nightschool: This series has me into it now. The end of the first chapter found me neutral but hopeful, and the second chapter met those expectations. The last four pages have made me a fan, and I and truly looking forward to reading more. This month's issue also features the first few pages in full color, and a fun bio and interview of the author, Svetlana Chmakova.

None of the other titles had a second chapter that impressed me as much as Nightschool's. I'll rank them next in an obvious order.

And the rest:

1. Jack Frost: This chapter hinted at enough of the canon and plot that I'm starting to get really intrigued. I predict that this title may move up with Nightschool in the coming month.

2. Pig Bride: There's now at least one character that I want to follow. I'm interested enough to stick with it. Funny so far, and it still catches my eye. I think I'm hating the first character less. Give this title a second chance if you were put off by the first.

3. Sarasah: And we finally have a plot...which looks cool towards the end. I think I may be able to roll with this, although I think end up disliking the main character.

4. Maximum Ride: Still just not quite my thing, but beautifully put together and I think I may be able to get into it. The build up is slow, but I believe the next chapter will be the decider.

5. Bamboo Blade: I believe I said this had promise. Now I'm just bored. Seriously bored. I don't get who the main character is, I don't know who to be rooting for, and so far it hasn't gotten anywhere. Okay okay, I think there's the beginning of something towards the end. I'm open to moving this up, but still bored.

6. Sumomo Momomo: I'm still very negative about this series, but a plot nugget was dropped that may redeem it.


One Fine Day: Maybe it'll pick far I'm just not seeing it. I'm still kind of neutral on it, which is why it's not in the other groups.

Higurashi: I hate mysteries. I hate harems. I flipped through this chapter and I'm not seeing anything I like so far. I'll flip through it again next month and reevaluate.

The preview title:

Moon Boy: Kind of a chaotic preview, but I'm seeing hints of something I could like. I hope we see more! Hopefully I can find a volume or two to flip through in the bookstore.

Overall comments:

...solid second issue, if you liked the first this will not dissapoint.
...the team at Yen Press put a lot of love into this project, and it shows.
...some titles are picking up, others are hinting at it, and all look promising. Obviously they have to be if they were put in.
...Yen Press took a gamble with a broad genre load, and I think they've found something in it.
...I had my first WTF moment (picture is a little NSFW for fanservice/panties) with One Fine Day and Jack Frost being back to back. Not a wise choice this month.

Lamy Fountain Pen

I put in an order for an extra-fine Lamy Safari and a new Coleto pen body at JetPens today. I hope they get here soon!

Do you guys have any review requests?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Habana is here!

Thanks to the amazing team over at the Quo Vadis Blog, I have my very own Habana notebook!

It's big, it's orange, and so far the paper is making me want to trash my Moleskines.

So, my lovely readers, what would you like to see me do to this notebook for your reading pleasure? The early tests are looking great, and I hope to have my review up in a day or two.

Give me some suggestions!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review: Hi-Tec-C Coleto

I think I may have too many pens.

Which are my favorites? Hmm, possibly the Coletos. Although the Sliccis are a given.

What do you want me to review next?

In the meantime, a Coleto review.

Pen: Hi-Tec-C Coleto (4 stars for being a great pen, but not enough ink for an every day pen)
WTF?: This is a pen system: you buy color cartridges and throw them into a pen body you buy separately. You can customize your own multipen combo, and carry the extra colors around to save space.
Compare to: Any other multi pen, and the regular Hi-Tec-C line

Here we can clearly see the Coletos teasing us with their many colors. A flowing rainbow greats the user at first spread, with much more to come.

Moving downward, we have a good shot of their inks. As you can see, some of these pens have been used more than others. Naughty, naughty pens. They need to learn how to share. Are you done with the teasing? Let us move on.

The Coletos are now in full presentation of their features. Plastic ends showcase their natural colors, for easy comparison before use. In the middle, a conservative reservoir of ink is ready and willing to be spread over your favorite paper. At the other end, well constructed tips sit and wait to be pressed against a receptive surface.

All, in all, the Coletos are possibly the supreme example of multi pen technology. Featuring the Hi-Tec-C tips that act like the gateway drug of pens (everyone ends up with Sliccis in the end), and users have a choice in tip sizes. The major problem, which I'm certain cannot be avoided, is that these pens run out FAST. Seriously. Writing one page in a large sized Moleskine uses nearly a 1/2 inch of ink. Therefore, Coletos should be restricted in use. The other problem I have is with the bodies of these pens. The engineering is amazing, but there are so many little parts to play with! I make so much noise with this pen when I use it...

So, at $2 a cartridge, these pens are an okay value. You can get a 10 cartridge set for $15, which is a better value. The Coletos are certainly a staple for any decent pen collection, but not good for writing manuscripts or class notes due to how fast the ink is used. I use these for studying my notes, proofreading, and underlining books when I read. The pen body is super comfortable, but you will only get maybe 10-15 pages of writing in a large size Moleskine per cartridge.

Buy if... like the idea of being able to carry many pens with very little space. like the Hi-Tec-C tips. need the flexibility of carrying many colors. need a great pen for writing short notes or stickie notes.

Don't buy if... want to use for extended writing periods. hate the Hi-Tec-C tips. are a chronic fidgeter, or chew on your pens (could also be a Buy if...)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Review: Yen Plus-V01I01

Title: Yen +(plus) August 2008 (4 stars, a good buy!)
Publisher: Yen Press
WTF?: A new monthly manga anthology
Compare to: Shounen Jump, Shoujo Beat

On a routine trip to the bookstore I spotted a new contender in the anime magazine lineup: Yen Plus, a new monthly manga anthology from Yen Press. Yen Plus promises to feature new titles and artists to gain a fan base before releasing a full graphic novel, as well as English and Korean authors.

The structure of Yen Plus is a creative solution to the problem of reading traditions of English (l->r), Korean (l->r), and Japanese(l<-r). A nice info page explaining the problem greets the reader where the two sides meet in the middle. Overall, the advantage of Yen Plus is the broad representation of genres. There will be titles you love, some that you may find fun to read, and others that you read because you paid for it. This may be a big turn-off to some, but chances are they wouldn't even consider buying an anthology to begin with. I doubt there are any two people who could agree on the perfect 10 manga line up. On the plus, it really forces you to expand what you would normally read through. I honestly would never have given some of these titles a second thought had I seen the in a store.

I also really enjoy the little details. Instead of replacing the SFX, they put the romaji and translations next to it. I LOVE THIS, and I don't need to explain why. The whole thing feels well put together. Still, of course, a first issue, but it shows a lot of promise to come.

Why did I pick this up? Soul Eater. "Did you really pay $8.99 for 40ish pages of [Soul Eater] manga?" Ummm....ya. Kind of.

I went ahead and picked it up because I knew I liked Soul Eater, and I had seen a little bit of Nabari no Ō and enjoyed it. The other titles? Looked good. Other major plus: Since it is the first ever issue, I can start all the titles fresh. No catching up required.

My hesitation for Shounen Jump/Shoujo Beat is that I only ever want to read one or two titles per issue, and some of them are so far into serialization that I wouldn't understand any of the content. My reactions to Shounen Jump titles range from "Not. A. Freaking. Chance." to "seriously?". Now, I don't mind this, because I am in fact not a shounen, but Shoujo Beat can be just as disappointing.

I bet you're sick of reading this, so I'll just get into the reviews. I'm going to look at them from the perspective that I have: never read most before, and no idea where these things are going. I won't provide summaries, because you can easily wiki those or check the official sites.

Titles I love:

Soul Eater: I love this series for many reasons. Having read Soul Eater scanlations and seeing the anime subs, I can't wait to see more and I am happy to purchase an official copy. Since the first volume isn't schedule to come out until OVER A YEAR FROM NOW WTFBBQ!!!!, I'm settling with this. //grumble// I love this first chapter because it establishes all the key relationships immediately. The fanservice is...not as bad as others, and can be overlooked.

Nabari no Ou: Seems to deviate a little from the anime, but still really caught my eye. I've only seen a few eps, but I really like what I see so far. Again, it establishes a basic plot and the key relationships right away so I'm left intrigued but not hanging.

Titles that make me curious:

Bamboo Blade
: The opening is a little slower than I hoped, and the establishing plot events a little too improbable. However, I'm looking forward to see where it goes.

Nightschool: This initial chapter didn't establish enough to my taste, but something about it has caught my eye. This is a title I'm going to watch for next issue. I'll know more next month, I think. I can say is that I want to like it and I have high hopes.

Pig Bride: This one is rolling in the weird end. I think I hate the main male character, but we'll see. This is one of those "Make it work" titles: My opinion could really go either way depending on how they handle the next chapter...

Sarasah: One of my biggest pet peeve's with anime are the girls who are obsessed with a boy who doesn't return their affection, and go a little nutty about it. Can't stand it. In any way. This first chapter made me think "" until the last page. Now I want to read the next chapter like I look forward to the newest update to FailBlog.

Jack Frost: Meet main character. See her head get cut off. Now have wonderful commentary from the head through the rest of the chapter! Okay, you got my attention. Now blow me away next month.

The ones I'll read only because I paid for the thing:

Maximum Ride: I think I'm supposed to recognize this story. I do recognize James Patterson's name...but that's about it. Like Nightschool, I was left was left interested, but in this case unexcited. Everything about it is beautiful, and the full color spread was a great touch. So far, I think the story is just not quite the kind that gets my juices flowing.

Higurashi When They Cry: This chapter read like the opening 5 minutes of a boring detective game. Really really not what interests me. Then again, I have no interest in mysteries or suspense. I'll flip through it next month.

Sumomo, Momomo
: No. Just stop there, oh god it's still going, please...ya. I'm so done with this. Basically the chapter goes: "Oh my! I'm a female so I'm not powerful enough to protect my people. The only solution is to have (married, of course) sex with the most powerful man I can find!". Pig Bride left me cold towards the main character, but this one just pissed me off. I'll give it a second chance but I hold out no hope for liking it.

One Fine Day: I'm not negative towards this one, it was kind of funny, but it left me thinking "Why is this here....?" Animals? Cute. Cookies? Nummy. The art? Hilarious and wonderful. Cats, dogs, and mice having escapades in the city? I can roll with it. Plot? //crickets// Ummmmm, I'll look at it next week...but this may be a title I just skim.

Buy if... don't quite fit into SJ/SB well. want to start into an anthology from the beginning. enjoy a wide variety of stories. want to support a new choice on the market. want to read original English and Korean titles. love Soul Eater and can't wait until next October.

Don't buy if... are INCREDIBLY picky about what manga you read. don't like to experiment.
...SJ/SB are the most amazingest things ever created. will only drop money on Naruto.

I give it 4 stars because I'm not in love with two of their choices for this series. I plan to buy a full subscription to this title. At $50 for a year subscription, which is $4~ for each 400+page volume, I'm absolutely in.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The things we carry with us

Think back to when you first moved out of your family's home. How many of your family traditions did you carry with you?

What specifically made me interested in this is my tendency to watch the news that my family always did. They always watched the Today Show in the morning as everyone got ready, the NBC nightly news after work, and CBS Sunday Morning. Now that I'm working a 9-5 and I'm actually up early enough to watch morning programming, I found myself searching through the tivo for NBC.


Because it felt like home.

What made you feel like home when you first moved out?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review: Pentel Slicci 03

Pentel Slicci 03 (4 stars)
Compare to: Hi-Tec-C, Signo Bit .18/.28/.38.

The Pentel Slicci is a pen that generates a lot of buzz. Some declare it to be the best pen ever made, while others say that the body is too small to be useful.

Personally? I agree with both sides. The body is quite thin compared to others, which makes extended writing uncomfortable. On the other hand, it writes better than any other pen I've used. In the meantime, other users have found ways to work around the problem.

Nearly every other small diameter pens, specifically the Hi-Tec-C .03, eats into the paper terribly and screws with your writing pace. The Slicci shows no signs of this, unless you hold it at a strange angle. Don't get me wrong, the Slicci will still leave quite an indentation on your paper, but will not dig giant holes as you write. I don't think I'll be using this pen for class notes, but it is perfect for writing in cards and personal notes.

The colors are vibrant and stand out on the page, and there are plenty to choose from. The body design may be too thin for some, but visually stands out against all the other pens out there. These are pens that I would bring to a job interview, or some place important where I may need to write things.

Don't use this pen: for taking really quick class notes.
Use this pen: on your fine stationery, specifically on thick cardstock.


Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present to you.....THE GIANT MOLESKINE!

Measuring in at a glorious 7.5x9.75, this beast is the king of the moleskine world. It is pictured dwarfing a small 'pocket' sized moleskine weekly planner, an iPod nano, and a Piticolon pen.

When I first saw the giant moleskine in Paper Boy I didn't recognize as a true moleskine. But indeed , my friends, it is.

Running it through the standard test of using every pen I own on it, I can say that it is a standard moleskine, only GIANT.

Currently my bias is that I have never seen another moleskine like this in any store, therefore I love it. Do I need any other reason?

There is nothing much more to say about these notebooks. They are traditional softcover moleskines, available in the beige (pictured) or black, with the usual plain (pictured), ruled, or squared pages. The paper is the same as any other, and is a joy to rub your hands on (ya, I'm just that weird).

Some may say they are too big, some may say they are just right. I say keep 'em coming.

Review: Paper Boy

Paper Boy (5 stars)
1351 West Belont
Chicago, IL 60657

Paper Boy's website says "we just sell paper" and that is no lie. Every corner, nook, and cranny is covered in paper of some sort. Every time I go in I uncover something new and amazing.

Paper Boy is the type of store that will make you inventory every item stocked to keep in mind for every project to come. Believe me: they will be the first on your shopping list for journaling, invitations, cards, and gifts. I used to think I knew what to look for in a paper store, but after visiting I realized that my standards were sorely lacking. The main criteria? Stocking the giant Moleskine. Let me repeat that: THE GIANT MOLESKINE.

Paper Boy features a full selection of notebooks, address books, cards, and cute stationary. Now, I've been in a lot of stationary stores, and I've seen a lot of the boring light pastel sheets of plain and lifeless note paper. Ya ya, good for formal occasions, but what about the younger crowd? In stock is a large collection of some of the cutest and quirkiest stationary and note paper you can imagine; most of which will make you want to start writing notes just so you have an excuse to use it. There is also one of the largest postcard sections I've ever seen.

Unfortunately their pen selection is very limited, but I was so enthralled with the paper that I didn't even notice.

Scattered about the gluttony of paper are super fun and funky gifts. The best part? CHEAP! This is the place where you go for that friend who has everything. Go in with a strange request: come out with a unique and special gift.

Paper Boy is a must visit in Chicago.

Material Goods

Do we realize just how much we buy in a day? I tend to put receipts in my pockets and car which always ends up causing a pile-up of paper. Every now and again I wade through the wads of paper to see my consumer trail.

How many times have you fished out a receipt only to find that you have no recollection of that purchase? Sometimes it can be scary to look back at the things that we buy. Take a look into a cluttered room. At some point, someone bought each and every item that surrounds you. Do you remember it? Can you trace the lifetime of that product?

These life stories can be quite funny when you take a look at second or third hand items. I love picking up an old book and thinking about the hands that touched it before mine.

The Pen Hunter

We all hunt something. Love, cars, jobs, etc. I hunt pens. Okay, okay. I'm not that serious. I do, however, have a small obsession with office supplies.