Saturday, July 16, 2011

You can't get there from here

Yep, they're pencils. They still make them, though they aren't as good as they used to be. Industry is all for cutting corners to save a couple sheckles. While creating a new generation of crap pencils is problematic for pencil users, it isn't the biggest problem...

The worst part is trying to find a way to sharpen them. Sure, you can buy the small crappy plastic sharpeners that do peel away the wood, but if they actually bring the lead to a decent point without tearing the graphite out of the wood, it's a miracle.

Time was every classroom in America had a sturdy reliable metal hand-cranked sharpener. They brought the pencil to a point sharp enough to readily stick into the ceiling tiles. You couldn't walk into a classroom that didn't have at least one pencil sticking out of the ceiling. But the main point (no pun intended) is That sharpeners worked and pencils penciled properly.

I still use pencils because they have the original delete function built right in -- a pink eraser on the top that could, with care, undo any mistake made with the other end. You just had to use the eraser judiciously to avoid creating a large hole in the paper. Ironically, I use a ball point to do crosswords because I am tough old bastard.

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At 12:29 AM, Blogger dianne said...

You are brave man doing the crosswords with a ball point pen, no room for error there.
You are right about pencils, some of them are fairly inferior these days, the lead always seems to break before you get that fine point. I can still remember the great pencils we had in primary school, they were made from cedar and had such a lovely fragrance. I have a small metal pencil sharpener, I find that it is better than plastic. :)

xoxoxo ♡

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Aunty Belle said...

I think if I rummage around I might find an ole metal sharpener. I luv the smell of sharpened pencils--childhood comes flooding back.

What does ya' write, Phosgene Kid?

At 7:47 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Di:The only sharpeners that seem to do the job for me are the old school metal crank models.

AB: I write a little fiction, hate letters to the skunk I voted for, and sketch a bit.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger caramaena said...

Oh the trouble I have with crappy pencils and sharpeners that aren't much better!

My son's coloured pencils are the worst - the sharpeners take chunks out of the wood and rarely go near the actual lead.


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