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.


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.