A lot of people already know this, but “they pay people to live in Alaska”. I use quotation marks, because that’s a really bad way to explain it. What actually happens is that the State invests a portion of its oil royalties in a sovereign wealth fund composed of stocks, real estate, etc. The annual earnings of the fund can be reinvested, appropriated to finance the State budget, and disbursed as a dividend. Anyone who has been a resident of Alaska for a year or more with the intention of staying indefinitely can apply in the spring to get the year’s dividend, which is paid out in October.

Anyway, what that means for you is that I have slightly more disposable income than usual this month, and the first wave of my writing-supply spurge is flowing in!

I haven’t reviewed a pencil from India in a minute, so I’m glad that my box of Doms X1 pencils came in. Actually, another one arrived a few days ago…not sure why I ordered two. Oh well! Also I snagged the Maped Black Peps, as you can see, which is a pencil that’s just been kind of hanging around in my Amazon wishlist for a while. The price dropped like ridiculously low, so I bit. And, that Tops composition book…let’s just say I have a little composition book post in the works. Maybe even a series of posts.

I’ve got a lot more stuff coming, so stay tuned for more reviews and general pencilly goodness.

A (Mus)grave Situation

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been trying to review some pretty hard pencils, which means I can’t grind through them as quickly. Really, though, the big problem — er, “problem” — is that it’s been nothing but sunshine and 70+ degrees Fahrenheit lately (it’s supposed to top 80F by the end of this week, which is kind of a big deal in Anchorage) and I’ve had some extra time with all of my joint-custody kiddos. So I’ve been spending a substantial amount of time off the computer, and out in the sunshine playing or doing projects!

But the I didn’t choose the pencil life, the pencil life chose me. On that note, I got a little delivery yesterday, all the way from Tennessee! I placed an order with the Musgrave Pencil Company and was pleased to receive a dozen each of the Ceres and News pencils (plus a little sampler pack they threw in). Check it out:

I haven’t sharpened any up for a review yet, so I know nothing about the innards of their products, but I have to say that the service from Musgrave is impressive. If I may, please allow me to rant about that for a moment…

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There ain’t no party like a pencil party cause a pencil party don’t stop

I picked up some more future review material. Hope you don’t mind if I give you a little preview of what’s coming down the pipe.

The Chung Hwa 6151 and the Deli S905 are Chinese pencils made for domestic (to them) consumption. I reviewed the Chung Hwa 101 2B a while back and it left a positive impact on me, so I thought I’d give its more prolific stablemate (the 6151) a try. I have yet to review or even try any Deli products (except for their hand-crank sharpener, which I haven’t reviewed, but may do a write-up on since it’s great and I use it on the daily) but they are all over AliExpress and have a ton of different product lines. My impression is that they are popular in China, so I thought I’d better see what that’s all about.

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New writing instruments of the Asian persuasion

The postman has been nice to me. Last week he delivered some weird Japanese pencils I ordered off of Amazon, and some weird Chinese pencils I ordered off of AliExpress. I also realized that I haven’t written up a review of one of my favorite pencils — the Tombow 8900 — of which I’ve got a handful just kind of laying around. And then I took my kids to Blaine’s Art Supply this weekend and you bet your ass I can’t walk out of that place without buying something, so I grabbed some Tombow Mono pencils to add to my workload. I guess if you like Asian pencils, the coming weeks will be full of fun reads around here. Of course I still have a bunch from my Thailand trip, and some miscellaneous buys.

I’m afraid that if I don’t pace myself I’ll run out of pencils to blog about eventually, but with the backlog I’ve got to review and more coming in so often, I doubt that will happen any time soon.