Friday, July 15, 2011

Blog Holiday

Hello Folks

Well I write this with some trepidation, but my muse has deserted me. Gone. It happened around the time of my 5th Birthday celebrations. Suddenly it sort of hit me...5 years of nearly twice weekly blogging...I just sort of felt like I'd reached the finish line of the marathon, the race was over, I was drained. I have struggled on since then, but as is usual around this time of year I am soon going on vacation and would have put the blog on hold for a while anyway, so I think it's time to come clean and try taking an honest break from blogging for a while in the hope that a little RnR will recharge my batteries and that I'll be back as good as new in a couple of months or so. My interest in MP's is unaffected, just my ability to convert that into blogging.

I have got a couple of articles half started, so if a burst of enthusiasm strikes I may finish something and publish it, but in general don't expect to see anything new on this blog for the next 6 - 8 weeks or so. In a few days I will turn commenting off.

Thanks for reading this blog, and I hope you will continue to do so when I return.

Ka kite ano, and I'll see you in a while!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Mitsubishi Novelty Pencils

Germ sent me these ages ago. A bunch of NOS "novelty message" mechanical pencils made by Mutsubishi Pencil, i.e. Uni.

As mechanical pencils they are just lightweight aluminium bodied push top ratchet basic models. Their only branding is the Mitsubishi diamond logo on the body, and on the price sticker. 500 Yen.

There is some corrosion to the chrome plating on some of the pocket clips and tips, so I would guess they are about 15+ years old.

Each has a different message or pattern printed on it in English. They are those sort of messages which don't really sound right to native English speakers. I always assume these sort of things are verbatim translations of the original idea or thought in Japanese, and it just gets lost in translation.

Fantastic Sharp - Pretty flowers are perfumed in your room.
LOVELINESS - She's kind of a friend of mine.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pantone Pencil and Notepad

I seem to be tripping across more and more Pantone stationery these days. It’s certainly not commonplace, but it’s not exactly uncommon either. Do you ever see any Pantone products in your part of the world? Early this year I was in an upmarket booksellers store and they had a rather large selection of good quality writing instruments and stationery including a lot of Pantone products. In one of those bizarre coincidences, the very next day the postie delivered a present from my friend Kent in Korea…Ta-dah!!
Pantone Universe mechanical pencil and notepad
I quite like the marketing ploy of numbering the products with their Pantone colour number. In this case the yellow mechanical pencil and notepad are colour 13-1746 “Maize”. For a proper colour swatch (well as accurate as your screen can display it) you can go here.
Not the greatest of colour matches between pencil and notepad
The mechanical pencil is nothing flash. In fact it surprises me Pantone haven’t gone for something of better design and quality. I’m not saying it’s a bad pencil, just to me it doesn’t fit with the price point and the market niche they appear to be aiming at. For the record it is a push top ratchet 0.5mm mechanical pencil with retractable sliding sleeve conical tip. The sticker on it states “Made in Japan”.

I might not be that impressed with the pencil, but I am impressed with the notepad. It is A6 sized with 100 sheets of lined paper. The Pantone Universe branding is rather subtly marked onto the cover by a difference in the gloss level. Nice.

That paper is smooth, your pencil really seems to glide across it, yet it grabs hold of graphite. Frankly, it’s the sort of paper that makes me think I should pay more attention to the quality of paper that I use. If a pencil writing experience consists of three elements – pencil, lead and paper - then I admit it’s a bit incongruous how I generally ignore the paper. My three legged-stool must be on a terrible lean! (Erasers are of course a fourth element).

I also like how the cover folds right back, and how the pages easily tear out.

Apparently "Maize" evokes feelings and thoughts like ‘radiant’, ‘inviting’ and ‘wisdom’. 

Anyway, if you see some Pantone stationery, take a few minutes and check it out.