A Halloween Sharpener.

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Let’s play “Find the Halloween pencil sharpener!”

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Jetpens sent over a package to HQ today which included this cool little ghost sharpener. To be honest, I’ve eyed this up for years, though I assumed it was smaller in person. It’s actually got a nice reservoir for shavings, and it’s easy to open.

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Inside is a KUM “Narrow Wedge” in black plastic. Both the wedge itself and the blade are replaceable, meaning this this spooky little fellow could grace your Halloween pencil adventures for years to come.

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The point is your standard KUM-Wedged (let’s make that a new verb for the lexicon) business end. The point is a little short, but not overly so.

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This is also the first pencil sharpener I own that glows in the dark. They must have improved this substance since I was a kid in the 80s because it definitely glows more brightly than the toys I had.*

*Or is it the CFL bulbs we didn’t have back then?

Cleaning Electric Train Tracks with an Eraser.

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From Comrade Dan, in the Medfield Outpost:

“Another use for the mighty pencil: To clean the track on the Christmas train garden, I use a pencil eraser and rubbing alcohol. Works like a charm.”

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I have to remember this when I pull out the train which will circle our tree.

Glass Pencil Dispenser.

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During a posting dryspell, in July 2011, we made a trip to Boston (our home from 2001-2003) for a week’s fun. A shop I really like in Cambridge and Boston, Black Ink, featured some interesting pencil gear. They had both flavors of Blackwing in a pot at the counter, for sale as singles. They had the green sharpener we love so much. And they had a steel and glass pencil dispenser full of General’s Test-Scoring pencils. We were packing lightly and had already gone on a bit of a spree at the Shop at Walden Pond (Charlotte’s first visit and all) and at various bookstores. So I thought I’d get them next time.
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With moving this summer and the new baby on the way, we haven’t been back to Boston since, and I sort of forgot a bout them. Then, my Valentine’s Day gifts this year included the very cool dispenser and even better: a dozen General’s Test Scoring pencils. (Also another pack of Red Blooded Field Notes.)
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You pull up the top, which reminds me of a French press, and the pencils come up. The jar is starting to smell like pencils a little. I’ve switched the pencils it came with for some more…colorful pencils. I was worried it would topple easily, but it’s pretty stable. I keep it on a bookshelf in my dining room, filled and ready for dispensing pencils. It’s become one of those things I like to show off when someone who appreciates pencils and “useful things” comes over. To be sure, an old can would do the same thing, almost. But I’m still pretty enamored of this little dispenser.

I’m pretty sure this is the same dispenser, and one of the customer images features some neat-looking Write Dudes natural pencils I’d love get my hands on. The included pencils are also available via General’s ($18/3 dozen) and the Museum of Useful Things ($7.50/1 dozen). I’ll write a review of them, too, after some more testing. I’m really enjoying them.

September 2010 Pencil Wallpaper.


September is here already!  While you’re (hopefully) enjoying the smell of cedar during a restful long weekend (especially our comrades in the United States, where Monday is Labor Day) we thought you might enjoy a desktop wallpaper for the month, featuring an image of a Palomino from the original review.

Happy Labor Day to America’s working men and women!  And to all workers the world over!

Download the full-sized image here, or click the image above.