Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Pen

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So i read a review and knew that this pen was small.. how small?  I believe its slightly below 5 inches in length from tip to tip.  Its slightly longer than the kaweco sport and the tasche ohto needlepoint pens. The pen is very small, I had seen on a review that the pen was tiny but I never realized how teeny tiny this pen is.  The pen is also uber skinny-- its not labeled as a slim knock pen for nuthin, honey!  

The pen is made of plastic with a rubberized grip on the bottom -- i believe the pen's plastic and grip coordinate with the color ink you have.  The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim knock pen is very comfortable in my hands, though my hands are definitely on the smaller end of things -- see the below picture. The pen would be dwarfed by male hands, i bet.  The clip does sometimes interfere with how I hold the pen, so I've had to change how/where i've had to hold the pen sometimes to feel comfortable holding the pen.  

I got this pen in the blue-black color because for some reason I love blue-black inks, plus this allows it to be work safe and for me to be able to use it on a regular basis.  The gel ink writes nicely, like all other Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens that I've tried.  There have been no issues with skipping or blotting of ink with this pen thus far, though I just got this pen this week from Jetpens so maybe in the next couple of weeks I'll get a blip or slip but i doubt it.  

I really like this pen, its small enough to throw into a teeny tiny purse, or in a smaller pocket.  The only pitfall i see is that for some people, this pen is may not going to work for them because the pen may not fit in their hands.  


Where to Purchase?

Other Reviews

Daily Arsenal 05.29.2012

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Uniball Vision RT review

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This pen is a liquid roller ink like the Uniball Vision pens. The pen is not one of my favorite pens because of the pen barrel.  Is the pen barrel that important?  Well, to me the pen barrel is quite important, because I'm an aesthetic type person--I dont like boring looking pens.  There is a rubber grip, but its very dissimilar to all the other grips that I've encountered.  Its a hard rubber grip -- harder than the jetstream grips that I am so very use to.  As you can see by the 2nd picture there is a textured grip area but it feels less substantial than some of the other rubber grips that I'm use to.  I typically use the Dr Grip like pens so your experience may vary.  There is a semi-translucent barrel (you can see the ink cartridge on that 3rd picture).    Now since I have a blue pen, I cant quite tell, but potentially if you had a different colored (lighter colored) ink you would be able to see the ink level?  In addition, once you use up more of the pen i suppose you would be able to see the ink level but as i've only used this pen for this writing test, i cant tell.

The pen is obviously a retractable pen, and you can either use the push button at the top or click on the back of the clip to cause the pen to retract.  Nice--- unless you like to fiddle with the clips on your pens and then potentially you could accidentally retract your pen when you didnt want to.  Not a problem here.  I suppose it has a blue push button on top since its a blue pen, and for the red pen you would get a red push button, black a black one, etc similar to the signio 207 push buttons.

The blue pen is a nice navy blue hue, but since its a liquid roller the line is much thicker than some of my similar tipped gel pens (the pen is labeled 0.7mm).  For some reason you can't really find pens that are 0.3, or 0.4mm in the US.  The "EF" pens that you normally find in a big box store (Staples, etc) is 0.5, sad when you are use to pens that range from 0.28 to 0.4mm.  This is also a pen found in the US market so it lays down a pretty thick line in general.  

I also have a pretty tight grip on my pens, so after writing with the pen for a few minutes writing the review on a rhodia pad (see below) I ended up with slight cramping in my index finger -- and thus realizing that the pen is not for me.  Since I will have no use for this pen, I am giving it away once this review is posted.  

The pen was purchased at Staples, but I assume you can find it at any big box retailer for pretty reasonable price.  If you want a pen that is reliable, and lays a pretty even line and able to lend out to someone without being afraid of it being damaged this would be a pen to get.

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So -- in light of the fact that i only had 4 entries.. I'm just going to get 3 other Vision RT's and ship them out to the 4 of you :)  Since I only have 1 currently and I've got to go purchase the other 3 -- slight delay in shipping the pen out to you 4.. but I need mailing addresses for the 3 (I have Sara's)  of you.  Please email me at chunsan_at_gmail_dot_com 


Other Reviews

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cupcake Friday!


Sprinkles Cupcakes - Chocolate Peanut butter Fudge & Chocolate Fudge

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crumpled Gnome Winnings


Back in April Crumpled Gnomes had a giveaway for some whitelines paper and a 2 pack of G2 pens.  Surprisingly I won, and i just got the package today.. here are some pictures of the package... Review to come later.

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Daily Arsenal 05.24.2012

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Pilot  Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock, coffee :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Daily Arsenal 05.22.2012

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MJ's sick and this is her messy thank you note writing coffee table...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dinner 05.17.2012

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"5 guys tonight "

Notebook Giveaway from Notebook Stories

Notebook stories just reviewed yet another awesome notebook and is giving people chances at winning one.  Trek here for her review and giveaway!

Daily Arsenal 05.17.2012

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"@gourmetpens what have you done? Daily arsenal " 

Jetstream 0.7mm and Pilot Hi-Tec-C from Gourmet Pen as a gift for winning her giveaway.. my watch and rings as well but they just happen to be on my desk.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Daily Arsenal 05.15.2012

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"Daily arsenal"

Email printout of what I need to get done
Pentel RSVP RT in purple
Grande cup o Coffee from Daily Grind in the LE Starbucks cold stainless steel cup

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vacation.. ending

Almost back .. We had a great vacation sadly reality is coming rather rapidly... We had lots of fun people watching, walking around the ship.. going to beaches.  Sadly, though, the vacation is about to end.  Below is a picture of me on the boogie board flow rider that was at the back of the ship on our first day there.. what fun!

Multi Pen that i own review



First of all, sorry for the formatting--- trying to get this post scheduled prior to me leaving for the honeymoon and i cant get the pictures to line up properly :(

Currently, I only own ballpoint multipens, potentially a coleto in the future but for now all of these are ball point pens.

Originally this was titled, Dr. Grip multi review; however, i decided since i was doing writing samples from the all, perhaps i would change it to a multi-pen pen review.  I love Dr Grip pens, mostly because of the ergo grips that they offer.  So i can usually be counted to have multiple Dr. Grip products. But, browsing on Jetpens in the last couple of years has made it hard for me to resist random ergo gripped products. I saw my original Dr. Grip pen multi in HK, and couldnt resist. I ended up paying about 10-11 USD for the pen, and wished that i opted to get the stylus tip. I cant find that particular tip here in the States, but know that it exists.  The pen is i believe aluminium, and pretty heavy.  The weight distribution is towards the bottom, and held in the hand it is very comfortable.  As with most multigrip pens the pen does make a clicking noise as i write, but I wouldn't say it is very distracting.

Then the boy took my pen for a test run, and I didnt get my pen back... so I had to find an alternative... to Jetpens i went!  I found the Dr Grip 4+1 multis and found a cheaper option than the one i originally had.  Well, if this worked I could get the boy one and steal my pen back AND get a new pen..what's to lose here?  So i got the 4+1 light for almost half the price in a pretty baby blue and neon green- neon green for the boy and baby blue for me.   The pen is made of a sturdy plastic with again the distinctive Dr. Grip ergo grip.  The pen, because it is made of plastic is rather light.  Every time i pick up this pen, I have to readjust myself to the fact that this pen is uber light.   It writes well, doesnt have the clicking sound i hear with the more expensive Dr Grip multi, but has the same writing style.  The inks are vibrant and clear to read, so is the pencil.

For both the Dr. grips, the eraser is hidden under the cap, you just pull the cap off and there's a small eraser that you can use.

 I love my original Dr. Grip Multipen but then browsing on jetpens.... I saw the zebra clip pen. It was touted similar to the Dr. Grip pen, ergo grip, same 4 colors, with the 0.5mm pencil and eraser at the top of the pen but with the added benefit of the spring loaded clip which would allow for one to clip a thick stack of papers together. Well, that is interesting... i take notebooks to meetings, lots of pads-- well that would be nice to have.  The zebra pens are i believe a pearlized finish plastic pen.  Slightly lighter than the more expensive Dr. Grip pen. So i got one... the problem was however, the boy accidentally dropped it one day on a tiled floor maybe a foot up.. probably less, and the clip broke.  Well, i was heartbroken, the perfect pen, broken in 1 months time.  The boy was sad, because I was sad and offered to superglue the clip back on.   Yes, superglue did work, but now i could no longer use the clip because I was afraid it would snap off--it was just glued on.  So i bought a 2nd zebra clip, which i keep far away from the boy these days.  You can see in the below photo the clip in action, clipped on my checkbook cover.   It does clip a pretty full Rhodia 13 pad.  I didnt take a picture of it but did just try it.  The pencil works just fine -- similar to the Dr. Grip pens. The eraser is there underneath that silver colored cap.

zebra clip

I use each of the pens regularly, but recently since i've gotten into fountain pens, the pens are languishing until I need to grab something fast for a paper I'm reading, or to hilight protocols that I am working on.    Overall the metal looking pens are the ones i use more often, so the expensive Dr grip pen and the Zebra clip pens.  Those pens are also more professional looking so taking them to meetings is a better option than the cheaper (plastic) looking Dr. Grip pen.  I tend to have one of the plastic ones in bags that i take to the labs more often than the metal ones.   The metal ones do go to professional meetings with me to take notes, hilight talks, etc.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kaweco Sport Review... sorta

I bought this kaweco about a year ago, installed a black cartridge, and then promptly lost it for a couple of months, found it, wrote with it for a couple of days and then misplaced it about 4 months ago.  Remarkably the cartridge has not dried out, and the pen writes as if i just installed a fresh cartridge in it.  Nice, eh?

I bought this pen when i was planning on getting back into fountain pens after a couple years away from drooling over my dad's waterman.  Had no clue what I was looking for, just knew that i wanted an EF nib.  Did not know anything about German vs Japanese nibs and their widths.

I also ended up getting the clip for an extra $4.00, thinking that this would allow me to not lose the pen.  The pen is very small, tucks away in a pocket or small pocket of ones' purse.. hence the losing the pen often.  Just now as I am writing this review, i have lost the pen again.. and cannot figure out where i placed it.  I thought i put it on the boy's desk, but now after going back to look for it, I cant find it.

This pen wrote like a dream the day i took it out of the box that i got from Jetpens.   I pulled the pen out of the box, popped in the cartridge that came with the pen and off I went, writing away.  The unfortunate thing is that the pen uses a proprietary cartridge, so you need to use kaweco ink (or want to clean and refill the ink cartridges).   The nib was like butter, no skips no bumps.  I only used it with work copy paper, i believe it had minimal bleedthrough.

Now if i could only find the pen again....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plumix Review

I was lamenting that other people were finding Pilot Plumix's at Target for discount on twitter one day and how it was not fair because I was unable to find a fountain pen yet alone a plumix at any sort of Target store.  And lo and behold, I got a DM that asked me if I really wanted one and that someone would pick one up for me.  I jumped at the chance--Thanks!  As you can see below, it came in a nicely bubble packed envelope with a nice little note.

package! ta da! open envelope pen with note

I immediately wanted to take it out and write with it but promised myself that I wouldn't take it out until I got pictures -- and that once it came out of the package and I was ready to use it, I would do an impromptu review of it while i was experimenting with it.

I was talking to a couple of friends on twitter and discovered that this was a italic stub nib, not quite what I expected but hey, I don't have very many stub nibs so sure why not? After about 5 mins of trying to get the nib to draw up ink, i put the pen aside (after all I was at work attempting to get work done..)  I'll leave it for another time i thought-- and then promptly forgot about it for a day. But once i got the ink to write it worked just fine for me, though I know Shangching had issues with the Pilot ink cartridge that is enclosed with the package.  She switched out the ink with a J. Herbin ink and suddenly the pen was once again usable. 

The plumix pen comes in 3 different colors:
  • clear
  • light blue
  • purple

My twitter friend sent me the purple one.  I like the blue one too but I'll probably buy that next go around.  The pen is towed as a beginners fountain pen and can be found relatively cheap (as you can see below by Jetpens and Goulet Pens' pricing).  If you are use to heavy fountain pens, then this is not the pen for you.  The pen is made of plastic and thus rather light and has an ergo grip.  The grip is definitely not squishy but made of hard plastic.  There are indents where I suppose one should put fingers for the ergo grip to function as Pilot intended. I love the ergo grip, but that is also where instinctively I would place my fingers, however I'm not sure everyone feels the same way.   The plastic of the pen is very smooth, other than the ridge-like section at the back of the pen.  The cap is a screw on cap -- dont make the mistake I did by attempting to pry off the cap oops!  I assumed the thread i saw was for me to unscrew the nib unit from the pen.  Well once I figured out that to uncap the pen I needed to unscrew it all was well.

The plumix writes wet, but that may just be because its a broader tip than what I am use to.  I am not quite use to the italic nib, but it is a remarkable change from what I am use to writing with, in a good way.  I notice that when i write the letters/numbers that are circular (like 0's, 8's) they have a nice shape to them -- product of the italic nib, I'm sure.   Since I dont have any writing samples, currently, I'll make sure I update this or do another post with my writing.  For some reason, I think my writing looks nicer with the italic nib rather than a regular nib.. maybe its all in my mind?

To date, i believe, this is the first fountain pen i go to on a regular basis for random scribbles throughout my day.  For some reason for the past week, i gravitate towards this cheap (comparatively in price) italic nibbed pen for everyday use at work.

Where to buy

Jet Pens $7.25/each
Goulet Pens  $9.00/each

Other Reviews

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

timbuk2 scrunchie bag review


The scrunchie tote was on sale at Timbuk2 last summer and since I was eyeing it I decided that I would buy it. The bag is the 2011 model, but I don't think Timbuk2 made any changes other than add a couple color updates. I got it on sale plus I had donated an old Timbuk2 bag back for recycling so I ended up with a pretty nice bag for about half(?) off? I cant find my receipt anymore so not quite sure. I figured, hey my Nike bag that I use to carry my dragon boat gear is getting old, I should update the bag and grab this one and I ended up with the grey one with the red piping. The bag is billed as a medium sized bag and is made of ballistic nylon which is water resistant, its bottom is made of TPU so it keeps the bag dry if you happen to place it in a slightly wet spot. It also has a patterned interior -- which you can see on that 3rd picture, which also makes the bag quite cute.

There is a small pocket on the outside that Timbuk2 describes as a slash pocket (you can see that in the middle picture on top)  The little tab towards the left is where the zipper pull is. It is big enough for my ipod touch and couple of other small things like my headphones, my square attachment for my cell phone. I've also attempted to stash my car keys in there while i'm in a rush. The main compartment of the bag is pretty big (the dimensions of the bag is: 16"x10"x9"), but for some reason is not enough for ALL of my dragon boat and gym gear that i use for dragon boating. Currently in my Scrunchie bag I'm attempting to hold the following:
  •  LL Bean Small Toiletry kit
  • Garmin HRM
  • Garmin 410 
  • Pair of shoes (running or paddling)
  •  headphones (i usually have a pair or 2 in there)
  • ipod either nano or touch or sometimes i use my phone
  • gym clothes to change into:
    • shorts
    • long sleeved shirt
    • short sleeved shirt or tank
    • rash guard
    • paddling jacket
    • sweaty band for my hair
    • sometimes a pair of running socks
  • clothes to change into after gym/paddling which currently consists of:
    • warm up pants
    • long sleeved shirt
    • tank/short sleeved shirt
    • undergarments and socks (i usually keep these in a laundry bag)
    • flip flops 
The pile of things that came out of the scrunchie bag post practice-- after laundry has been taken out

    What ends up happening is usually the shoes just get left out and i take them in separately.  OK so perhaps I am trying to put too many things into my gym bag, but in my ideal gym bag I would be able to hold all of the above because I typically have all that when i go to paddle.  The Rash guard and the paddling jacket will come out eventually so will the long sleeved items, once the weather gets better but for now I need all of that in there. I also have a separate bag for running, and volleyball as they have different things in it. 

    The bag has a velcro pocket that runs along the back of the bag (if you have the small stash pocket facing forward)  See below left most photo.  Its rather large and is currently where i stash my HRM strap and my ipod(s).  Inside the main compartment, there is a smaller zip pocket (if you are familiar with their messenger bags -- similar to the inside storage pocket.  Like all other timbuk2 bags, there is a pocket that has the red key tether for easier locating of the keys in one of the inside zippered pockets. It will comfortably hold a yoga mat (per product specifications) I've never tried this out as I don't own a yoga mat, nor do I take yoga class.

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    Where to buy:
    Timbuk2 $69.00 or $89.00 depending on color scheme
    eBags $89.00
    Google Search various $

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Iced Gems Review

    You may have seen cupcakes on this blog, they are all from the iced gems truck.  I am getting married, well by the time this posts, will have gotten married, and since people do cakes and I wanted to do cupcakes..and since I was very familiar with the cupcake truck, this was an easy peasy (See, Aziziah? I'm picking up on your terminology..)  decision to make.  They do have your standard chocolate, red velvet, carrot, vanilla cupcakes, but what I want are the funky flavors!  But really, who goes to a cupcake place and gets normal cupcakes?  Boring! 

    Their store is on Reisterstown Rd,  MD.  Unfortunately they do NOT send cupcakes like Georgetown Cupcakes via the mail.  They are very easy to get a hold of;  they don't really respond via twitter but definitely when you call they do pick up.  They are open from  Tues-Saturday, and they have a food truck that will go out on special runs.  Like this weekend on the day of my wedding they are doing 2 other events + my wedding (eeks! that is a LOT of cupcakes).  They are very reasonably priced for a cupcake store ($3/cupcake, or if you buy a dozen $27/dzn shaving off $9).  I was quoted 27$/dzn cupcakes for the wedding, but apparently when you buy 17 dozen, yep that is 17 dozen or 204 cupcakes, you are given a further discount of $25.47/dozen, so that's even better than $2.75/cupcake! They also have a pay ahead card, where you pay up front for 1 dozen cupcakes and you basically bring the card into the store, or to their truck to redeem your cupcakes. 

    I've had several of their flavors and have always liked them.  There are a couple that i stray away from just because they are not my thing.  (Anything with coconut i've not tried).  Some of the flavors are quite fun -- french toast with bacon for instance, or the snickers (chocolate cupcake with peanuts in the batter some caramel sauce in the cavity of the cupcake with chocolate frosting and a half of a snack sized snickers bar on the frosting).  The cake is always moist and not dry.  The frosting is almost always butter cream, but sometimes they have different ones (like the strawberry cheesecake has a cream cheese frosting, so does the red velvet).  I find the cookie monster cupcake has too much frosting, but that may just be me.  The staff is friendly, and courteous and always ready to help.

    When I went to the store to see if they would do my wedding, I was offered cupcakes to taste for the wedding.. it extended to any time i stopped by.  Because cake tasting is part of picking your cakes, right? and since I was going with cupcakes, i might as well taste any of them that i want at the wedding.  Since the store is out of the way i've not really been able to take them up on their offer, but hey perhaps people that are closer to the actual store can do this.  They are also fairly responsive over email, i requested some changes to my cupcake lineup (with 17 dozen cupcakes, and me ordering 1 flavor/dozen...) they were fast in responding to my requests for changes.

    In fact, its 10pm now, and I'm getting responses from the owner still when i ask questions.. what other place do you get stellar customer service like that?  (Course I'm asking about a mis count of cupcakes..)

     Overall, the experience has been great with them and I would totally get cupcakes from them again...

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Tipsy Grape Review

    Etched wine glasses
    We wanted to get some personalized wine glasses for the wedding.  I was planning a DIY glass etching session.  After a couple of failed attempts, the cream didn't etch as deep as I wanted, the fiance decided that it would be best left to the pros.. *poo*  He looked around, tried to find somewhere that would do sand blasted etching and found Tipsy Grape.

    They will do customized etching for a fee.  Now if you are looking to get a few done this may be rather expensive.  We decided to do a dozen of the double happiness ones, and 44ish of the "Fu" to make it a bit more economical than the $24 for a pair of the double happiness and $12/glass of the "Fu" character.  We had also decided to intersperse these with regular wine glasses with candles so that it would make it more personalized, but we realize that if we got the normal wine glasses/shot glasses/what have you, people would just have them sit on a dusty shelf and they would just be unused.  This way each person that was at our wedding would get a wine glass, different sizes perhaps but at least a usable wine glass.  Hence the small number of etched ones vs non-etched.  We also had discussed giving some of the etched ones to family members (specifically the double happiness ones)  since we were getting a dozen anyway.

    They will send you a proof -- free of charge (nice since you are doing customization work and perhaps things that you wanted may not look good together).  The customer service was superb -- they called when they realized that the "Fu" symbol was upside down. They .. called NOT emailed, not well they must have had it this way for a reason.. CALLED us to confirm that we knew and wanted to make sure that we were aware that the symbol was indeed upside down-- sadly I had told the boy that I wanted the symbol upside down and did not explain why so I had to google it for him and he sent it off to Tipsy Grape as a generalized FYI.  When the shipment showed up at the house via FedEx and 4 out of the 4 cases of classes showed up cracked and we called them to let them know, they immediately were apologetic.  They also knew that the glasses were for an event and were very concerned that they would not get to MD in time.  In fact, we got the shipment a week later (on a Saturday, folks--FedEx Saturday Delivery)   We were very happy with their services and if we ever need glass etching again, we will totally look them up.  In fact, we will recommend people to them if we have friends looking to do something similar!

    Thanks again Tipsy Grape for your Great customer service team, top to bottom! 

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