OpenFiction [Blog]

We interrupt this broadcast…

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on July 4, 2005

…for a little self-indulgant naval-gazing (even more so than the rest of the blog). Really something nobody but perhaps my younger brother would care about, but I recently discovered the pen to end all pens. For a long time, I used Parker Vector rollerballs for my writing. They’re great pens, about $5 a piece and $3 per refill. They are weighty and solid for a plastic pen and the rollerball is smooth and quick. Staples and the like stopped carrying the Vector about two years ago, and I thought perhaps they had stopped making them altogehter. I switched to Pilot ExecuGels, which are almost as good, except the rollerball was slower, the cartridges don’t last as long, and the barrel had the annoying habit of cracking when the pen was tightened too far. Predictably, office supply stores stopped carrying the pen shortly after I made the switch. When the stores did, I looked on the web to see if I could find them elsewhere (I couldn’t), but didn’t think to go back and look for Vectors.

With my stock of ExecuGels diminshing, I told my wife I wanted decent pens for father’s day, and began an hour-long search on the web through overpriced pens of no interest to me, until I discovered my own personal writing instrument holy grail: turns out that Parker makes a stainless steel version of the vector. I was only able to order them through a supplier in India (who doesn’t use SSL, so it was like tossing my credit card number into the wind), and they were about $15 a pop, which means I have to work hard not to lose them. But they should be nearly indistructable otherwise. With OCW’s connections in India, too, I think I can find them for closer to $5 each. Having the right pen is a small thing, but makes a big difference in the actual writing, and there are surprizingly few decent pens at any price out there. So a big thanks to the family for a father’s day present I’ll appreciate for a long time.

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