What I learned this week, May 7, 2021

Pomodoro
My Pomodoro timer, Moleskine, and Ivory Pilot Prera fountain pen.

For decades now, I have refused to use ballpoint pens except in rare cases (multiple carbons… that’s about it). I do always have ink on my fingers, but I’ll never go back.

How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

I wouldn’t have noticed the difference if it weren’t for my affection for unusual pens, which brought me to my first good fountain pen. A lifetime writing with the ballpoint and minor variations on the concept (gel pens, rollerballs) left me unprepared for how completely different a fountain pen would feel. Its thin ink immediately leaves a mark on paper with even the slightest, pressure-free touch to the surface. My writing suddenly grew extra lines, appearing between what used to be separate pen strokes. My hand, trained by the ballpoint, expected that lessening the pressure from the pen was enough to stop writing, but I found I had to lift it clear off the paper entirely. Once I started to adjust to this change, however, it felt like a godsend; a less-firm press on the page also meant less strain on my hand.

Sheaffer Snorkel snorkel extended – waiting for new ink

I Need to Explain to You Just How Dire America’s Pokémon Card Crisis Is

When they were little guys, back in the day, my kids were among the first Pokemon fans. Whenever they had a few bucks they would have us take them to a little tobacco shop near our house in Mesquite and buy packs of cards.

Lee actually had an original Charizard – but he ruined it by dragging it across a concrete floor – scratching it irrevocably.

According to this article – that thing might be worth 300 grand now.


Lignite Mining Mural Fair Park Dallas, Texas

Whatever happened to Six Sigma?

A large part of my working life – almost half a century – has been tied up with Six Sigma.


Your cotton tote is pretty much the worst replacement for a plastic bag

Once I was asked to write an article on how you should use a ceramic coffee cup instead of a Styrofoam one. The research I did was really eye-opening. By most measures the Styrofoam cup is the most environmentally friendly option. For example, think about how much energy is used to make a ceramic cup – that clay is heated to thousands of degrees – the cup is actually semi-melted a couple times. And as far as reuse – think about how much water and/or energy is used to wash the thing.

It’s not as simple as you think.


Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market Waco, Texas

No Fate but What We Make

Interesting and thoughtful.


33 Smart Habits That Will Train Other People to Treat You With Respect

Most of these are small, subtle changes in behavior, but they can have a big impact on how much other people respect you.


from Sightings, by Mai-Thu Perret, 2016, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Why Some People Get Burned Out and Others Don’t

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