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  Monday  November 28  2005    10: 58 AM

portable analog storage device

It's been over a year since I've had a notebook. I had a sketch book that I used to keep photography notes in until I carried it with me on my trip to NYC and DC last year. I filled it up with my experiences during the trip, (I still need to finish that web site.) I haven't had a notebook since. Until now.

My Moleskine classic pocket plain notebook arrived from Ninth Wave Designs' eBay store. But first about the pencils. Until now I've used a Pilot G2 07 pen. Great pens. But I've been wanting to try out pencils. I was in OfficeMax recently and looked over all the pencils and bought some Mirado Black Warrior HB pencils. (That's the black one in the picture. Duh!) The big problem was sharpening them. I have a desk mounted pencil sharpener but the pencil is not always near the sharpener when it needs to be sharpened. I've become a regular at the Pencil Revolution blog and I noted that people seem to use the little handheld blade pencil sharpeners. I thought I would give one a try so at my last trip to OfficeMax (I admit I'm an OfficeMax junkie.) I looked for one. The only one they had was the orange Boston in the picture. What a revelation! It sharpens so much better then the desk mounted one. And you always have it with you to touch up the tip of the pencil. This isn't quite what I was looking for but I'm glad it was the only one they had. It fits nicely in the hand and has a container for the shavings. The lid rotates to cover the hole to keep your pocket nice and clean. Now I have an always sharpened pencil.

In my internet wanderings I had come across a pencil that has a cult following as the finest pencil ever made: the Blackwing 602. Alas, the are no longer made. Late to the party again! But the Blackwing users have been on the search for a replacement and one has been found: the California Republic Palomino: HB & 2B. Now I had been eyeing these pencils since I had read the review at Pencil Revolution.The Black Mirado Warrior sharpened nice and held a point well but did not lay down a really black line. The Palomino promised to do so I ordered six from the Pencil World Creativity Store. What a wonderful pencil it is. Both the Palomino and the Black Warrior are HBs. It's plain that not all HB pencils are the same. That was a surprise to me. I spent many years as a drafter. I tooking drafting in high school and we used pencils. When I started drafting at Boeing I used mechanical pencils and plastic lead on mylar and then ink on mylar before going to computers in the early 80s. All the HBs seemed to be the same back in the good old days. The Palomino lays down a much darker line but is obviously a softer lead and requires more sharpening. It is a joy to write with. It doesn't come with an eraser so I went to my local supermarket and bought some Foohy erasers. I passed on the scented ones. They work great. Now I'm ready to write and this brings us back to that notebook to write in.

The Moleskine notebooks come in a variety of sizes and styles. This is the smallest and it does actually fit in my shirt pocket, which means I have it with me all the time. It has a ribbon placeholder.

And an an expandable accordion pocket inside the back cover as well as an elastic that keeps the notebook closed. Now I have something to keep all my notes and jottings together. How did I survive without it?

I should mention one more thing. It was a blog that turned me on to pencils and the Palomino. It was also a blog that turned me on to the Moleskine notebooks: moleskinerie. Be careful of going to those blogs. You may become infected.