Well, time for another random post… As I was twittering the other day (or would that be tweeting? I never have quite figured out all the noun and verb forms of “twitter”) I noticed that some people were posting some of the stuff they carry around with them everyday under the tag of #dailyarsenal, hence the name of this post… I quickly discovered, not to my surprise, that all of the things I carry will most definitely not fit into a 140 character space, much less 10 of them, so I decided to do a blog about what I carry and then tweet the link instead…

#1. Wenger Swiss Gear Synergy Backpack

Wegner Swiss Gear Synergy Backpack

I’m not sure why, but I have always been drawn to backpacks… Perhaps because you can basically carry a mobile office on your back? I’ve been a fan of the Swiss Gear line since about 8th grade, when I received my first one… I didn’t purchase my second one until my senior year, and even then, it wasn’t because the first one wore out or fell apart, but because I got a bigger laptop… I purchased my third one (the Synergy I have now) when I started college two years ago simply due to the fact that college books are a little heavier and thicker than high school books, and I needed a bit more room… The Synergy fits most 15.4″ screen laptops, has a mp3 player pocket and a headphone port, shock absorbing shoulder straps, and airflow back and strap padding (which makes it extremely comfortable to carry and allows air to reach your back, even when loaded down with 80 lbs of stuff)…

#2. Dell Studio 15 Laptop + Charger

Dell Studio ColorsI always carry my laptop with me… No exceptions… Ever… Ok, glad we got that covered. Luckily, the Synergy backpack contains a space made just for my wonderful companion. I got the royal blue one (2 o’clock in the picture) and upgraded it to 4 GB of RAM, a 1 GB graphics card, 500 GB hard drive, and 9-cell battery. So, whether I’m plugged in at home playing LOtRO or in the car with the family on vacation playing Age of Empires III on the highest graphics settings, this nice lil’ laptop has the power to do it (and runs for almost 4 hours on the highest settings on battery power… Yep, be jealous…).

#3. Nomadic PN-02 Side Pocket Pencil Case

Nomadic PN-02 Side Pocket Pencil Case – Navy

See review for more info…

#4. University of Charleston Padfolio with a Pad of Doane Paper

Doane Paper

#5. Western Digital Blue 320 GB Passport Hard Drive

Western Digital Blue 320 GB HD

For all those files that you just don’t want to clog up your laptop hard drive with, but couldn’t go a day without (I use mine to store music, movies, book manuscripts, books, etc…). Very handy…

#6. Kikkerland Writersblok Medium Ruled Notebook

Writersblok Ruled Notebook#7. Yasutomo Niji Roll

Yasutomo Niji RollGot two of these on sale from Blick Art Supplies… They have 36 slots that easily hold pencils and occasionally pens. Currently the one I carry has my Staedtler Tri-Line Plus markers, Pilot VBalls,a couple pencils, and my Bic Cristals in it…

#8. Pens, Pencils, Etc.

Currently, I’m carrying the following:

  • Pentel Energel Alloy RT Gel Pen (Black)
  • Pentel Energel 0.7mm Gel Pens (Black, Blue, Red, and Green)
  • Pentel Energel 0.5mm Gel Pen (Black)
  • Uni-Ball Signo bit 0.38 mm and 0.7mm Gel Pens (Black)
  • Pilot Frixion 0.7mm Erasable Gel Pens (Black, Blue, and Red)
  • Uni Fanthom 0.7mm Erasable Gel Pen (Orange)
  • Pentel Hybrid Technica 0.3mm and 0.4mm Gel Pens (Black)
  • Morning Glory Mach Pen II 0.7mm Rollerball (Blue)
  • Pentel Jolt 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil

Welp, that should just about do it… Technically, I carry some other stuff too, but none of it’s really important enough to mention… Now you know that I’m an pen-obsessive, laptop-backpack totin’ nut from the middle of nowhere… Feel free to comment about your #dailyarsenal!


Uni-ball Style Fit Single Color Bodies + Gel Refills


Pen(s) #33.
Uni-Ball Style Fit Single Color Bodies + Gel Refills

While I was looking around JetPens the other day, trying to find a couple items to get me over the $25 hump (free shipping after $25), I spotted that Uni-Ball had made a line of multi-pens, the Style Fit series. Even more to my surprise and utter joy, they offered refills in gel ink! And not only in gel ink, but in XX-Fine points! I started to order one of the multi-pens, but then I noticed that they also offered a single body as well (and at only $.75, I could get three of them for less than the price of one multi, although the multi is on my list of items to get next time, as well as more refills).

Having added three of the single body styles to my cart, – a black one, blue one, and white one- I quickly started looking for ink cartridges. I quickly picked out a black gel refill in 0.28mm point size, a blue gel refill in 0.38mm point size, and a brown-black gel refill in 0.5mm point size. JetPens offers 0.28mm, 0.38mm, and 0.5mm gel refills, 0.7mm and 1.0mm ballpoint refills, as well as a 0.5mm mechanical pencil component. After assembling the pens, then came the true test.

The pens are very slim (perhaps even slimmer than a Pentel Slicci, and are slightly reminiscent of how a chopstick feels in your hand. There’s no type of clip or anything (a slight downside, but not one I would quibble over) and the overall design is sleek! While some complain that they are actually too small, I enjoy the simplistic and tiny design and find that they are not all that uncomfortable to write with. There’s really no grip, per se, but this is one pen that I actually didn’t have any trouble hanging on to. My fingers don’t have the tendency to slide down the tip and there’s even a small bump  near where the pen screws together that my finger comes to rest on (although I believe it’s actually to help you unscrew the pen).

How does it write? Well, each of the cartridges is different. The 0.28mm black gel is actually almost too fine for my taste. There’s a lot of scratchiness when you write, from where the pen tip actually gets stuck in the paper fibers, but it still lays down ink in a nice, thin visible line. The 0.38mm blue gel is better in this regard and writes very smoothly and lays down a nice readable ink line as well. The 0.5mm brown-black gel really shines, partially because of it’s color (who doesn’t love brown pens) and also for smoothness. This refill just seems to glide over the paper, laying down beautiful dark brown ink with absolutely no scratchiness or catching. The 0.5mm tips will definitely be my refill of choice next time I order…

Top: Black 0.28mm, Middle: Blue 0.38mm, Bottom: Brown-Black 0.5mm

Another neat feature is that the clear barrel allows you to easily see what ink color you’re using as well as the point size (which is nicely printed in silver on the barrel of the refill).

So, how to rate these…

Pen Body: 5 out of 5 stars!
Black 0.28mm Gel Refill: 4 out of 5 stars…
Blue 0.38mm Gel Refill: 4.5 out of 5 stars…
Brown-Black 0.5mm Gel Refill: 5 out of 5 stars!

Another winner from JetPens.com!

REMINDER!!! Don’t forget to enter our Piccadilly Large Hardcover Ruled Notebook Giveaway! It ends tonight (05-29-10) at 11:59 PM EST!!!

Mitsubishi Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 Gel Pen – Bordeaux Black

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Pen #32.
Mitsuibishi Uni-Ball Signo DX – Bordeaux Black

Well, a new JetPens.com order means new pen reviews, so…

I’m not really 100% sure why I grabbed this Uni-Ball Signo DX in Bordeaux Black, to be totally honest. There were a lot of other colors, but I guess it must have been the name. I’d never heard of it before, and while it’s not exactly a color I would normally use, the rich burgandy (closest color I can compare it to) ink is eye-catching. I’m currently on a fine-tipped gel pen kick, which explains the 0.38mm tip size, and I must admit that this is one of the smoothest gel pens that small that I have ever used. While most fine-tip (0.4 and under) gels scratch a bit or seem to want to be held at a certain angle (vertical, usually) to the paper, this Signo DX did excellent at my comfortable writing angle. While minimalistic, this pen is also relatively comfortable to write with. I’m very seriously considering adding some more of these to my next order, just to have around…

5 out of 5 stars!

Uniball Signo “bit” 0.38mm Gel Pen

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Pen #23.
Uniball Signo bit 0.38mm Gel Pen

Claiming to be some of the world’s finest writing pens, the Uniball Signo “bit” series seems to truly live up to the claim (with the smallest tipsize being 0.18mm, small enough to write on a grain of rice!). I had used the standard 0.7mm size of this pen before, so when I saw that JetPens had the finer points, I knew I just had to give one a try. The pen is pretty comfortable to write with, and has a combination grip of gnurled plastic and rubber. The Signo “bits” are also refillable. One thing that I dislike about this pen is that you have to write while holding the pen relatively vertical, else all that happens is that you scratch the paper with the side of the metal needlepoint (due to the ball being so tiny). Others who have purchased these also mention that the tips break/bend easily, but I have yet to see either occur. Once again, an excellent pick from JetPens.com.

5 out of 5 stars!

Pilot G-2 0.38mm Gel Ink Pen


Pen #1.
Pilot G-2 0.38

Well, the first pen up for review is the Pilot G-2 Gel Ink Pen, which I purchased at Office Max. Being a love of “fine-line” writing instruments, the 0.38mm Extra Fine looked to be right up my alley. After trying this pen for several days, I will admit that the line is very fine, perhaps even too fine, as the ink seems to skip a little if you write too fast. The rubber grip on the barrel makes the G-2 comfortable to write with for extended periods. All-in-all, I’d give the Pilot G-2 four out of five stars (with a loss of one star due to the skipping).

* By the way, for those of you who are curious, I am left handed, which will explain any smudges/weird letter slants.

Now, as for the paper I used while writing the review, it is a paper style designed by Chad Doane of Doane Paper. His revolutionary idea of combining lined paper with graph paper caught my attention one day as I was perusing The Pen Addict (another “pen blog” and also part of the inspiration for this blog). Available on Doane’s site is a free printable version of his paper, as well as a store where you can purchase notepads, legal pads, and journals.

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