Category Archives: random odd thoughts

For Once, a Post About Something Other Than Cake

How important is presentation? I don’t mean for a job interview, or for improving quarterly sales, or whatnot. I mean on a day-to-day basis, is it important for your stuff to look good? Typically I think it doesn’t. We want nice stuff, don’t get me wrong. And certainly people buy things because they look shiny on the shelf. But it’s true that some things that look good on the shelf in the store don’t work out so well in real life. I’ve seen a lot of funny looking MP3 players that are very eye-catching in the store, shaped like cubes and trapezoids and all manner of odd geometric shapes, but in truth the iPod works as well or better than any other shape.

Yet lately I’ve been thinking that there are some times when presentation matters, and in the stupidest possible ways. For example, my fountain pens. I like writing with my fountain pens. I just do. It makes no sense. I own a digipad, a sort of electronic writing tablet that can record everything I write and later transfer it as an image to my computer so I can run handwriting recognition and get typed notes from handwritten copy. Pretty neat, eh? Well, it is pretty neat. But the thing is, I have to use their special pen (which writes like any normal ball point pen) to interface with the tablet. And even though I use my digipad because it’s so much more efficient, I sometimes feel bad because it means I’m not writing with my fountain pens.

Another example is the cups I use. I used to use my Clarion coffee mug almost exclusively. It reminds me of good times and friends I haven’t talked to in a while. The mug has good memories for me. Yet a couple of months ago I bought some nice tulip glasses, and I use them for everything except hot drinks like coffee (you really need something with a handle for those). So, I’m drinking all of my water and milk out of tulip glasses. I couldn’t even explain why, except that there’s something about a tulip glass that makes the drinks more appetizing.

I know, it makes no sense. Who thinks of milk and water as appetizing? Apparently I do, if it’s in the right glass. Truly, it is odd. But when I get a nice glass full of ice and fill it up with water, I think, “Yeah. That looks about right.” And then I drink it.

I Hate Decisions

I couldn’t decide what to hate today, so I decided (and I will be very sad if you couldn’t figure this out for yourself) on everything.

I figure, by hating everything I’ll pretty much have gotten whatever it was that I was going to hate. Kind of a bigger-hammer approach, but it’s effective.


I lost my pen today. This makes me a bitter, bitter man indeed. I’ve never really talked about my pens on this blog before, but I’m a huge pen snob. The pen I just lost was a Waterman Hemisphere in stainless steel, ball point. It was the best ball point pen I’ve ever owned. Super smooth, and reliable under almost all conditions. It was everything you’d want from a ball point pen.

Now I have to admit that I can’t really justify the expense of getting another precision writing instrument. The Hemisphere was a bit of an indulgence, and a Christmas present for myself (yes, I owned it less than half a year). Having come to that conclusion, I probably need to buy a pack of disposables.

What do you all recommend for pens? Bics? Office Max? Uniball? Or maybe it doesn’t even matter. I’ll just find a blunt nail and dip it in ink.

Penguins? *Yawn*

Am I the only Pittsburgher who doesn’t give a flying fart about the Pens?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I care much for any team, or any sport for that matter. With each passing year I find it harder to get excited about watching people get paid too much to play games. I’d rather participate a sport myself (like ultimate) or watch amateur and unpopular, low-paying professional sports (like track and cross-country). The only popular professional sport I care much about any more is football, and even that’s losing my interest. Maybe I need to start watching soccer.

Anyone else feel like I do? Bueller?