Friday, February 13, 2009

Take the Pencil Challenge

20090213 pencilcast

  • No, I'm not at the Doubletree, but the paper was the right size for a handwritten blog entry
  • Specifically, how many wood-case pencils can you find in your immediate area. I have exactly one (red) and raided the supply room looking for the lone example used to write this. Lots of plastic mechanicals around, though. No fair going through schoolchildren's backpacks.
  • Somehow my handwriting always looks far worse to me after a few minutes. It's like the awfulness has to settle in. And it slants like I'm a lefty, but I'm not. Now you know why I type for a living. Phew.


speculator said...

How many pencils? Many. Very very many. Glad to see some graphite respect out there!

Merci beaucoup!

Monda said...

I found two, but they were both nubs in need of sharpening with flat erasers. Long ago I equated pencils with math and pens with words. Can't even bear the wooden touch of them now.

I've a teaching compadre who swears by yellow Ticonderogas and refuses to use anything else. Those things always make me feel like I'm about to flunk and algebra test.

Elizabeth H. said...

I like your handwriting! Your descenders, especially.

I have exactly one wood pencil in the house...and it's one I found in a parking lot. It would have been crushed by the next car to come by, so I picked it up. Yeah...I rescue pencils.

Most of my earliest journals were done in pencil. It's actually held up better than many inks / markers / whatever I used back then. My one beef with pencil is that it's subdued and a little harder to read than, say, black ink on white paper.

speculator said...

A hearty recommendation for these:

If you are (re)discovering writing in pencil, these will not disappoint- writing a good velvety black line.
As well, I recommend a good sharpener (like a Staedtler), so you can get the most out of those good pencils.

(always living La Vie Graphite)

Strikethru said...

I am all about the Rhodia pencils. They are nice. I have been using one for my Spanish homework, aand it's getting worn down. Like you, before recently I hadn't used a woodcase pencil since taking the GRE in 1997.

Elizabeth, what is a descender??

Mike Speegle said...

Six inches from my mouse hand is a cup full of at least 25 Dixon Ticonderogas, and what looks like six soft-coated Tri-conderogas. Love 'em. They sit right next to an elderly no-name sharpener that my wife let me screw right into her nice new desk. That' love, friends.

Anonymous said...

Alright, looking around room.

Do colored pencils count? I've got a bag full of them and a large box under the bed. When very sharp, they work great coupled with an index card in the shower--I always get brilliant ideas while in the shower, great ways to open stories, etc, but never remember them after, so this is how I solved the problem. The index card holds up to getting wet and a dark crayola colored pencil writes great!

On to desk. Three in the box on my desk, ten+ in one drawer, ten+ in another drawer. Not counting art pencils.

I think I'm addicted to writing utensils. The number of pens doubles or tripled the number of pencils, and I'm trying to cut back. Dang... {looks down at two cups at side of bed, one stuffed full of sharpies, and the other with various pens sticking out of it. Next to them, a typewriter case. Another case next to the desk, typer on the desk. Damn.} And that's just in one room.

Pencils are happy, especially a nice black one on a moleskine page. Then you get into art pencils and {sighs} very happy.


Elizabeth H. said...

I was taught to call the part of a letter that dangles below the baseline--like the tails on letters p, y and g--a descender. In looking it up, it appears that term is mostly only used of type, not hand-writing. Still, it's a descriptive word that works, in my opinion.

Taking notes on all these pencil brands! Since I don't really own any pencils and I can get a whole sampler for less than a fancy notebook, I may suspend my writing-products moratorium in order to pick up a few....

mpclemens said...

I blame my swoopy descenders and crossed z's and 7's to a young life frittered away in mathematics scholarship. With already-dodgy handwriting, I had to learn to make letters distinct enough from numbers so I wouldn't be transform a "y" into a "4" midway through.

I'm surprised at the real lack of wooden pencils in our office. Like typewriters, perhaps we took them for granted for so long that when they started to fade away, nobody noticed. I've still got some green ledger sheet paper I liberated from the bottom of a supply drawer, from our pre-spreadsheet days (aka the Dark Times.)

The almost immediate flattening of the point in this blog entry reminded me why I switched to the packet full of plastic Bic mechanicals for post-secondary education. That blunt point really annoyed me.