“Oh, no, I spilled shavings!”

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Thus shouted my daughter this morning, while she over-did-it with the sharpener I brought her from my way home via the art shop a few days ago, a gummy-bear KUM unit. Kids make messes. Yesterday, it was a broken glass at our local Sardigna joint from the three-year-old and a small bucket of vomit all over the front of me while in line at the post office to mail off some pencil goodies. Today, there were pencil shavings all over the living room floor at HQ, along with the aroma of coffee and cedar in the air on a fall-like day.
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Life is good at HQ. Very good.

And, just because I like this passage, from Thoreau’s Journal, 13-Aug-1854:

First marked dog day; sultry and with misty clouds. For ten days or so we have had comparatively cool, fall-like weather. I remember only with a pang the past spring and summer thus far. I have not been an early riser. Society seems to have invaded and overrun me. I have drank tea and coffee and made myself cheap and vulgar. My days have been all noontides, without sacred mornings and evenings. I desire to rise early henceforth, to associate with those whose influence is elevating, to have such dreams and waking thoughts that my diet may not be indifferent to me.

Hipsters and Pencils.

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I certainly don’t mean to open a Hipster Shooting Gallery, firing at hipsters or other people. Nor — given the fact that hipsters seem to adopt things I like (beards, rye whiskey, bikes, etc.) and the subsequent fact that I probably look like an older and wider hipster — do I necessarily exclude myself from the School of the Hip. Even if I’d rather be counted out.

But I have noticed something that I’m sure many Comrades have noticed. There’s this whole “artisanal” and “craft” and “small-batch” movement going on. There’s no question. But I’ve noticed that pencils are fitting into this in bigger and bigger ways. Pencils are showing up more and more in advertising for products and services aimed at the hip crowd. I read somewhere (I forget where) that a lot of the low-fi stationery trends are “hipsterish” and that brands like Field Notes have been extra successful as a result.* To be sure, the shops that seem to cater to hipsters around my house all have a decent stationery section.

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If paper is cool, certainly no ordinary writing implements will do. No Bics or gel pens. Wood and graphite and the accoutrements/accouterments thereof all the way! Take this ad (above) from a local watering hole in Baltimore. There are myriad examples I will let Comrades find on their own, for enjoyment and/or scoffing and/or edification.

I live in a pretty hip spot, and there are benefits (good coffee shops, stores with stationery) and obnoxiousness (kids telling you about the neighborhood in which you grew up like their discovered it). I’m waiting to hear someone in expensively battered boots wax philosophical about the benefits of using a “simple” pencil’s eraser as a smartphone stylus in our of our hipper coffeeshops.

I’ve been known to employ Blackwing erasers on my non-smart-but-touch-screen-phone. But never in public.

*[I might point out that Field Notes have also been successful because of their level of service.]

Charlotte, TMI, Pencils, Field Notes, Cafe.

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(Please excuse the phone photo.)
I hope she never catches wind of this post. But, growing up in the home in which we live, my daughter (who turns three in April) has a serious affection for all things stationery. And this has been very useful, over the past few months, for potty training bribes. Here she is, with a Field Notes (before she “earned” the matching yellow pencil) and the Blackwing stub I had in my pocket as we enjoyed the sun on the back deck of one of our favorite local coffeeshops.

We’re Moving (Physically).


Our web address will remain the same, of course. But our Offices are moving into a more permanent home in [historic and hip] Hampden this weekend. If you have our old address or simply would like to have our mailing address, please drop us a line.

(We don’t anticipate an absence from posting.)