August 5, 2012
What: A ridiculous amount of pens (and a token mechanical pencil).
When: Purchased and collected during the last few weeks.
Why: LOL, this might take some time to explain.
The seed of this irrational interest in pens can be traced to a discussion I had with a friend regarding EDC (Every Day Carry) items. He mentioned that he always carries a writing instrument on his person, you know, "just in case." His weapon of choice these days is the Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencil. He showed it to me, and I was immediately sucked in. Long story short, I bought one for use at the office to replace the disposable, and pretty much worthless, mechanical pencil that I had been using. Long story long, this got me thinking about "upgrading" the standard issue pens that my office provides (Uni-Ball Micro Rollerball pens). I had long grown tired of their inconsistent performance, random wet/dry ink scenarios, and ink blobs on my papers, but never thought twice about them. I decided to take the red pill so to speak, and took a trip to Staples to check out their pen selection.
How: Until a few weeks ago I was totally and utterly clueless about pen ink and pen technology. For example, I thought that "gel" in the context of a pen meant that the pen had a squishy jelly-like finger grip on the barrel. Seriously. Staples set me straight. I now realize that "gel" is a type of ink, along the lines of ballpoint ink versus liquid rollerball ink versus gel ink versus fountain pen ink. Anyhow, I picked up a small assortment of pens at Staples, including some ballpoints, some gels, and some "hybrid" ink pens (Uni-Ball Jetstream pens). After test driving this first batch, I entered the deep dark world of Internet pen blogs/forums (see, e.g., The Pen Addict) to read reviews in an attempt to find the best pen for daily use at the office. Down the slippery slope we go to discover more and more blogs (Office Supply Geek) and even some e-commerce sites that are DEVOTED to pens (JetPens and Tokyo Pen Shop), and here we are. The aforementioned sites are full of descriptions, pictures, and reviews of various pens, pencils, and writing instruments. I don't intend to do the same, but might provide some thoughts and comments soon, because I'm still in the process of testing pens, finding new ones to buy, etc. I haven't even started down the fountain pen path, which I know will just consume my life eventually.