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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 12 Feb 2014

'How to Sharpen Pencils': the documentary

All about the point:

HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS from Pricefilms on Vimeo.

Sun, 01 Sep 2013

I love Pencil Revolution

I love Pencil Revolution. That is all.

Thu, 18 Oct 2012

The Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 pencil

I lucked into a couple of these Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 pencils. They're "artists' pencils," I presume. No eraser on the end.

One is an HB, which is equivalent to the standard No. 2 pencil lead. The other is a 2B.

They are made in Germany.

Construction is flawless. The wood is of high quality.

The leads are smooth and long-lasting. I can't complain.

  • Read much more about the Staedtler Mars Lumograph at Pencil Revolution, Pencil Talk and PenciLog

  • Apologies for the photograph. Again, it's a cell-phone image. I worked on it a bit in the GIMP to bump up brightness and contrast, and I used unsharp mask to sharpen it.

Mon, 15 Oct 2012

Pencils -- it's a thing

Pencils are a thing. I started using pencils -- mechanical and wooden -- more and more over the past year.

I have lost most of my mechanical pencils. They seem to walk away. While I just bought a load of cheap Bics, I've been increasingly drawn to the traditional wooden pencil (ring the bell, take a drink, do what you would do whenever a bad pencil pun appears in an article about same).

Pens have lost their usefulness for me in my so-called work (writing, making and modifying lists, taking notes, etc). The ink bleeds, I make too many mistakes that need to be crossed out. With a well-sharpened pencil, my writing is clear. It's clean. I can erase. On paper, pencil marks don't smudge in the same way as those made with ballpoint (or gel) ink.

Overall, writing with a pencil is an enjoyable experience. That's the main thing.

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