Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Where is Derrick and Life changes..

For those of you who are wondering "Where is Waldo?" wonder no more.  I'm still here.  Kind of.

There are moments in life that are, well, life altering.  One of those happened to me in late August this year.  For me, and the family a personal tragedy.  Life will never be the same because of the actions of one person.

I have written to a few of you as a vent and appreciate the welcoming ear and understanding you have provided.  There are some I desperately want to write to and explain but feel I might upset or anger them and don't know how to handle the situation.

Basically this is what happened in a nutshell and why I've been a bit absent from the scene as it were.

Drunk driving (not me - I DO NOT DRINK).  It involved a hit and run and an attempt at picking up Kaylee at school in that state.

There are many things I can tolerate from others Alcoholism and involvement of Kaylee is NOT one of them.  To boot, this person went drinking and driving on the day of their court date.  Again drinking to the point of blackout and cannot remember doing it.

To those of you who know me through my words and to those of you who may be reading my words for the very first time.  PLEASE.. don't drink and drive.  Don't drink around children.  If you need help get it.  Talk to SOMEONE!  Anyone!  If someone says you need help, GET IT!  You may be in denial but the people around see the things you don't and what you do to those around you.

If you're depressed, GET HELP!  If you are unhappy, find out what it is and fix it.  Remember that when someone asks if you want to talk about it, they obviously see there is a problem even when you think you are hiding it.  We see it.  We can't help you if you don't want the help.  Eventually these things will catch up to you and destroy all of what you have built and cherished around you.

If you receive a letter from me and I happen to bring any of this up.  Please remember that I mean no disrespect to you and am just looking for a vent/sympathetic ear and is appreciated more than you know.

Thanks for reading.  Not gone.  Just slowing up a bit for life's adjustments..

D

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lamy Safari Starter set Giveaway (Pen Chalet)

The folks over at The Pen Chalet are having a giveaway of a Lamy setup.

From their site "Enter to Win a Lamy Safari, a Bottle of Lamy Ink, & a Lamy LZ24 Converter from Pen Chalet! This is the perfect starter kit or just fun to have if you are a fountain pen addict. The Lamy Safari is a great fountain pen and who wouldn’t want to win one right?"



So if you would like a chance to win a fairly nice setup go check em out.  I have (crossed fingers)..

DD

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's that time of year again (or REALLY close to it)

It's that time of year when those of us who have them, start preparing our spawn for back to school.

This year the Dodson household has decided to up our game a little bit and dive into the fray with a bit of a bonus for a few kids we know as well as some school teacher that could use a little help in the supply dept.

Here is request to all of my readers and to other writing blogs.  DONATE to your local elementary school!

I found excellent deals at our local Staples that I could not find anywhere else.  We have decided to outfit 1 classroom with 30 students. 

Here was the shopping list we went a little bit overboard with, but will give you an idea of how cheap you can do this for.

ALL items can be purchased up to 30 packs of each item before the prices go up.  Want to save ANOTHER 25%  buy a cheap backpack.  This worked well for us as we setup 2 kids with backpacks as well and knocked even more off the final tab.

Glue sticks - 4 pack - $1.25  8 packs = $10
Crayola Crayons 24 - $0.50   30 packs = $15
Pencils - 12/pk  $0.68  10 packs = $6.80  (4 pencils per student)
Comp notebooks (wide ruled)  $0.50
Crayola markers
wood rulers $0.25

Binder paper (120 sheets-wide ruled) $0.82
One subject notebooks - $0.17

Now I don't know about you folks, but I have stock piled up on a lot of this stuff just for Kaylee to have on hand for the year.  Great for summer tear through art/drawing projects (she has burned through 2 notebooks since last week).  For a notebook costing us 17 cents - GO FOR IT.

Here is the link to the "less list" STAPLES CHEAP SCHOOL SUPPLIES

So there you have it folks.  Please support your teachers.  Support your schools.  Support the kids who's families don't have it as good off as you might have it now. 

I our case I worked a concert at work that gave us some overtime dollars.  We put it out for this project.  Please pass this on.  The student that has the basics to learn will thank you.

D

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Pilot Knight fountain Pen

Well, this is a first for me.  I was sent a pen from The Pen Chalet and asked to do a review.

First things first.  The pen was sent to me free of charge and no monies changed hands.  Now the person who sent me the pen (Ron) said he has perused my little hole in the internet a few times and wondered if I would have a go at the pen.  Sure..  Who doesn't like playing with some new toys.

So with that here we go.

The packaging is inviting.  This is a (retail) $48 pen  currently priced at $24.  For a $48 pen I expect a certain level of packaging care.  I don't expect a "shove it in a box" $20 pen.  The box is a faux leather (pleather??) spring hinge.



Guessing they use this for the pen/pencil sets as well as there are 3 placement spots.

 
On lifting the tray you will find the care instructions and a cartridge.  This pen also used a "squeeze" type converter.  Think inner tube with a metal bracket.


Still working on the photo thing.. 

The nib I found interesting.  This is the first Japanese pen I have ever had and was warned from other that the nibs ran finer than other makers.  They were right. And in a happy way for me.  I like fine -> Extra fine nibs.  What was sent to me was a "medium" nib, but to me this would have been a fine in a Kaweco.






My meager attempt at a writing sample.  These are using the same ink.  The Kaweco is using a cart and the Pilot is using the bottle version.  Notice the line is almost identical.


I will say this.  The Pilot flows REALLY NICE.  No skip, hop or jump right out of the box.  The weight of the pen is pretty close to my TWSBI pens with a cap posted though I don't really write with the cap on the TWSBI.  The Pilot Knight feels nice in my hand and really comfy without the cap.

The pen build quality is something I would figure from Pilot.  Although i have never used anything other than the ballpoints.  Check out the spring on the cap.  You can see the hinging and it is nice and tight.  This thing is not going to fly out of your pocket.



In comparison to some of my regular use pens..




I would have no problem hauling this thing around along with my Retrakt from Karas.

Bottom line, would I buy this?  Yup.  For $24 bucks you can't go wrong.  I would and will probably be ordering one from The Pen Chalet to throw in my laptop bag for an everyday carry.  It's built like a tank.  The cap has a great "Snap" to it.  Won't worry about dent scratch and it's right in line with the Kaweco pricing with in my opinion a better nib with a converter included.

On a side note The Pen Chalet is doing an ink giveaway for some Sailor Jentle Ink.

So there ya have it folks.  My first pen review.  I am going to be doing a review on a few notebooks that were sent to me in the next few weeks and will be giving a few away.  Stay tuned.

D

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's only a flesh wound..

No, I'm not dead yet.  Just REALLY busy.

A few of you know I was involved in a fender bender last year when someone texting decided that was more important than stopping and tagged me in the rear at 35 mph.  Her car didn't fair well.  My truck was for the most part untouched as she caught my trailer hitch and scooped up under me.  ME though not so good.  This is some of the reason for the lack of both posting and sadly writing.  I have been unable to sit and write for more than 10 min at a time before my neck pain becomes just unbearable.

Two weeks ago I received some injections in my neck.  I figure 60% of the problem has been dealt with.  Follow up with the doc tomorrow where we will figure out the other 40%.

The rest of this lack of  writing comes down to WORK.. It is concert season and that is keeping me hopping.  Being the IT manager, I get hauled in many directions.  We just upgraded/replaced our aged automation system at work and now I am repurposing the old servers and workstations that made up the old system to good use throughout the building.  This is making some people VERY happy.

This is giving me a chance to build a replacement server at home as well.  Anyone else want to learn Server 2012 with me :)

So bear with folks.. I'm not going anywhere.  Just a slight pause for life.  Get some kinks worked out and get the wheels turning a bit more..

Thanks for the patience.

D

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kickstarter - A Memory Between Us - A postcard kit when you travel

Found this today while hunting Kickstarter.



A Memory Between Us.  A postcard kit when you travel.

This is just a neat idea and right up our alley..  The package is nicely put together.




Here are a few samples of the cards..

What is A Memory Between Us?

This postcard kit contains two sets of postcards, each of which is composed of 12 postcards with diverse prompts and designs. One set is for you to fill out and the other one is for your travel companion to do the same. The postcards in the two sets have the same template but by recording and capturing what each saw and felt separately, different content is generated, creating a unique opportunity to share both people’s thoughts and perspectives with each other.
In addition, using the advantage of postcards, you can capture what you feel, see, eat, and hear and send them via mail to friends or family. The prompts on each postcard are evocative enough to stir the imagination, but leave plenty of free space for your own interpretation.

If you have a chance - Check it out.  There are 9 more funding days left!!


Derrick


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The new Phone Book is Here.. The New Phone...

Guess what showed up today!!


I really like the paper inside of them.  The America the Beautiful run they did last year was one of my favorites for the paper quality and they brought it back for the Shelterwood edition.

The feel of the covers is what I expected.  You are holding a piece of veneer in your hand.  After the bonding with the kraft under layer they are nice and sturdy.  With what I'm calling the "White Wash"
paint job on the front and the SMELL of the wood..  Yup I'm all good with this set. 

Remember, EVERY book is unique.  The "burling" and grain on each book is a one off. I have made sure I will not run out of these for a long time to come.  Now I just have to keep Martha from chewing on these.  Nothing like a retriever and wood to go after.  




So how do I give some of these out..  I'm in a few swaps on Swap-Bot for the Un-Journaling swaps every month, so these will be used for those.

Hmmm... Going to have to thunk a bit on this one.  Suggestions from the audience.  You know how this usually goes, so you guys come up with some ideas.

Derrick