13 August 2008

Honor and Remember Flag

Well, it appears that some radicals are championing another worthless and time-wasting cause. They are attempting to get a flag (above), called the Honor and Remember Flag, officially recognized by Congress. The flag will honor fallen servicemen and servicewomen. Unfortunately, the concept itself is very un-American. For generations, patriotic Americans have stuck to the American flag as a symbol of national unity and remembrance of the past. The flag itself has its roots in the Second Continental Congress, meaning that the design precedes even the Constitution. The flag's thirteen stripes recognize the thirteen colonies that are the roots of the United States, but the stripes abstractly recognize all that has come to form our current union. Fallen soldiers have fought on behalf of this flag for generations, and todays soldiers proudly display it on their right soldier. Should the fallen soldiers of the United States not be honored by the flag that they fell upholding?
In addition to the flawed ideology behind this project, the Honor and Remember Flag itself could use some aesthetic improvements. The predominantly red background and large yellow star are reminiscent of one flat that many American servicemen fought to obliterate.

In conclusion, Americans of all walks of life and duties have lived under Old Glory. The flag is a symbol of everything American, and is proudly displayed on uniforms, on buildings, on Olympic uniforms, on space ships, on cars and on coffins. No group should try to create a fallacious facade for fallen warriors, no group should steal time from Congress that could be used to save the lives of current American soldiers, and no group should try to deface the glorious symbol of the United States of America.

06 August 2008

"Blog Posts Poke Holes in ‘Taste Test’ by Microsoft"

In a New York Times article entitled, "Blog Posts Poke Holes in 'Taste Test' by Microsoft", the author discusses a test by Microsoft where consumers who hadn't upgraded to Windows Vista were shown the Vista operating system under a new name and given the chance to test it. When it was revealed that the operating system was actually Vista, people suddenly fell in love with it based on ten minutes of usage. 
Many have already criticized this test. I find it reminiscent of the "New Coke" that was a miserable failure. Coca-Cola tried to reformulate their Coke recipe to beat Pepsi in blind taste tests, but the new recipe was rejected by consumers because it wasn't as appealing to drink more than a few sips of. This Vista test acts in a similar way- consumers will like the eye-candy of the operating system when they have no pre-existing prejudices against it, but once they have to live with it and find their own drivers and the like, then they will become dissatisfied with the operating system.

16 July 2008

A Worthy Tribute for our President

Here is an interesting article I came across on the BBC entitled "Group seeks Bush sewage 'tribute' ":

"A citizens group in San Francisco wants to pay an ironic tribute to President George W Bush when he leaves office - by naming a sewage plant after him."

While some presidents have a grandiloquent monument or statue erected in their honor, some in San Francisco believe that the only worthy tribute for a president of the caliber of George W. Bush is a sewage plant.

03 July 2008

Chicago Pen Store

I just returned from a trip that ended in Chicago. Before leaving, I looked up pen stores in the area.

I left with two goals: 1. Find and buy a Pelikan m200 2. Buy a green ink

Well, I stopped at two pen stores in Chicago, and here are my thoughts:

Gilbertson Clyborn, inc.: This was the first pen store I visited in Chicago. It is very close to Michigan Avenue. The shop is kind of small and undecorated, and just didn't seem to have the right atmosphere. It seemed almost isolated, even though it was a block from the magnificent mile. The shop manager, Daniel P. Collins, was kind. He carried a reasonable variety of pens, including Mont Blanc pens. Unfortunately, he did not have the model of Pelikan pen that I wanted. He did, however, stock Private Reserve inks, so I purchased a bottle of PR Avocado ink. Overall, the store had pens, but it didn't have the character I would hope for from a pen store. If you have limited time in Chicago and will be by the Magnificent Mile, it may be worth stopping by.

Century Pens: This store is located in the center of the Bank of America Center by the Sears Tower. Three of the walls of the shop are glass, making for an open atmosphere. Upon walking in, you are greeted by a compassionate owner, Ed Hamilton. He carries a wide variety of pens, ". . . from $3 to $8000." Of note, he does not carry Mont Blanc pens, even though he says that the official salesman has tried to get him to stock the pens many times. He and I exchanged jokes about "precious resin." The store had a great atmosphere- it did have pens, but it also had collectibles and items that the shopkeeper obviously prided himself on that made a home-like atmosphere. He carried only basic inks- specifically Waterman inks- because he said he couldn't handle the breadth of inks provided by a brand like Noodler's. The shop seemed to do business with a wide variety of people, including lawyers and doctors. I was very surprised when the owner handed me a custom-printed advertising blotter with his store's info printed on one side. He said that he is trying to revive the tradition of handing out advertising blotters. 
In terms of my goals, number two had been accomplished at Gilbertson Clyborn. Century Pens also carried Pelikans, but was sold out of the m200. I must have seemed a little disappointed that he didn't have the pen I yearned, for the owner brought me over to a different display and showed me the Pilot Vanishing-Point pens. I had read about these pens and their cult-like following, but had never touched one before. In short, I was enamored with the pen and, even though it was twice what I had intended to spend, I bought one with a big smile on my face. 

Overall, I left Chicago satisfied with my new pen and ink. In fact, I could not even wait to get back to the hotel to ink the pen. I filled it with the green ink at my favorite pizza place, Gino's, while waiting for my deep-dish pizza to bake, and started writing in my Moleskine reporter notebook that I keep in my pocket. On future trips to Chicago, I plan on returning to Century Pens. Thanks Ed for your altruism and great advice!

Century Pen's website:

21 May 2008

Corporate Propaganda At Work

BBC 20 May 2008: "Smoothies 'can damage your teeth' "

I am confounded. One of the top five most emailed stories on the BBC's website is a story about fruit smoothies being dangerous because they contain sugar and acid that corrode teeth. Last I checked, people sucking down liquid sugar drinks like Coke or Pepsi that have enough carbon dioxide dissolved in them to be about as acidic as a lemon was a greater problem. Fruits are a healthy part of a diet, and teeth are made to be functional, not ornamental. This article is only discouraging consumption of healthier beverages when average people chug down sodas to no end. The article's sources are scientists making unsubstantiated and subjective assertions. Research or esteemed scientific journals, such as Nature, are not quoted to describe the effects of smoothies upon teeth. This article is propaganda that is discouraging our ailing world from consuming a healthy diet.

04 May 2008

Review of Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen

First Impressions (8)
The Lamy Al-Star is a readily available fountain pen built for the masses. Wow. I have seen this pen in many places, from airports to college book stores, and its pragmatism still amazes me. The pen is a good looking pen, but is obviously no conformist pen when spotted from afar. My one biggest complaint is that the nib, the defining feature of the pen, is a matte black color, as if Lamy were trying to conceal it. It is a pen, and design should pride itself on the writing feature of the pen.

Appearance (7)
My particular Lamy Al-Star has an aluminum body. It looks magnificent when first purchased, but it scratches fairly easily, and the gloss of it makes scratches appear fairly clearly (even small ones!). As mentioned earlier, I hate the color of the nib. It should just be left as good old steel- Iron and Carbon (and maybe a little chromium)- No pigments!

Design/Size/Weight (7)
The pen writes fairly well, and is a good value for the money. Unfortunately, it does not cooperate with all inks. Baystate Blue has been known to kill the nibs on these pens (however, there have been only isolated incidents with only this specific kind of ink). The clip on the pen is functional in design, but bends easily, become loose easily, and, in the case of colored clips, the uncolored/untreated part of the clip eventually becomes visible as the nib loosens, looking unprofessional. The cap is a clip-on type, and I have had the cap come off in my pocket before. If a permanent ink were in the pen, I would have stained many pairs of pants.

Nib (8)
The nib is functional. Unfortunately, it is not secured as well other pens, and, for the third time, its black coloring make it seem like the pen's aesthetic focus is not on the writing experience. It is not hooded, and has a centered breathing whole. Nib creep is significant.

Filling System (7)
Lamy cartridges are as readily available as the pens, and contain mediocre inks in a basic array of colors. A converter is available, but must be purchased separately. Filling requires total submersion of the nib, which can cause staining problems with the plastic-bodied models of this pen. In addition, this submersion while filling is also an inconvenience when attempting to keep the nib clean.

Cost and Value (9)
The Al-Star is a sturdy consumer/student level pen that is flexible in its abilities and uses. It carries a lifetime warranty in the United States, so the pen can be considered somewhat of an investment that will last until death (or loss of the pen).

Conclusion (8)
A widely-available beginners pen that can also function as an expendable workhorse pen for those with more collections. It functions well, but there are still some imperfections.

23 April 2008

Review of Noodler's Baystate Blue Ink

(Click on the image to see the review in full size.)

-P. I. Lumen

10 April 2008

Crime and Punishment: The Great Gatsby versus The Scarlet Letter

The legal systems of modern America have achieved similar goals through different governments. Early American colonies, such as the one that formed the setting of The Scarlet Letter, were often based on theocratic governments.  As history progressed the time period that formed the setting of The Great Gatsby, the Constitution became the "supreme law of the land." These two legal systems recognized different crimes, but the basic concept of punishment was the same, being that guilty people can achieve absolution through punishment. With regard to both character's respective moral and legal settings, Hester Prynne consciously committed a crime that deserved significant punishment, while Daisy Buchanan did not intentionally commit a crime and therefore deserves little punishment.

            Hester Prynne took initiative in her actions in a way that punishment could properly correct. Hester consciously committed a crime for which she knew the punishment. Hester cheated on her husband, for which there was irrefutable evidence of a baby. The crime of adultery was punishable by being stoned to death, and Hester was completely aware of this punishment while committing her crime. Regardless of modern views of Hester's actions, Hester chose to live in the theocratic society of Boston and therefore was aware of the legal boundaries and the subsequent penalties for violating them. Because she consciously committed her crime, the most appropriate punishment for Hester would be one that changes the mind, and Hester's scarlet letter clearly modified her behavior for her edification. The novel clearly demonstrates that Hester's mindset was modified by her punishment to create respect for the law, proving that her seemingly harsh punishment was completely appropriate and applicable for the crime. For her actions, Hester Prynne received an appropriately harsh punishment.

            Daisy Buchanan's crimes could have been explained as an accident for which Daisy was not at fault, absolving her of any punishment. Daisy's crime of hit-and-run manslaughter may have been committed unintentionally. Because of the "innocent until proven guilty" law system in place at the time of Daisy's crime, a judge would have needed irrefutable evidence that Daisy was guilty in order to convict her of crimes and sentence her to punishment. Because logical explanations in Daisy's defense exist for all of her actions, the legal system at the time would not have sufficient evidence to charge Daisy of severe crimes, but some minor penalties would still remain. In chapter seven, the novel stated that Daisy attempted to avoid hitting Myrtle Wilson, but was forced back into her lane by oncoming traffic. Daisy's initial reaction to an obstruction in the road was to avoid it, which clearly would have shown a judge that she did not intend to hit Myrtle Wilson. Upon hitting Myrtle, it is completely plausible that Daisy could have gone into shock, which would have been a real medical condition that would have affected Daisy's ability to respond to her accident. Gatsby took control of the vehicle and situation after striking Myrtle, so was consequently Gatsby who would have ultimately decided to flee the scene of the crime, not Daisy. After recovering from her shock, it is also plausible that, as a woman in society, Daisy would not have had the authority to question Gatsby's decision to flee the scene. When looking at the overall picture of the crime, there is sufficient evidence that Daisy may not have inescapably guilty of many her alleged crimes, thereby showing that she wouldn't have deserved punishment. Though Daisy would have killed Myrtle Wilson, she did not intend for the crime to occur, and would therefore not benefit from a harsh punishment such as a prison sentence. Because there is no proof that Daisy attempted to hit Myrtle or that Daisy intended to flee the scene of the crime, behavior-correcting punishment would not have been effective for her actions, meaning that little or no punishment was due.

            When comparing the crimes of Hester Prynne and Daisy Buchanan, it is clear that Hester intentionally broke the law, while Daisy did not intentionally commit any crime; therefore Hester deserves significantly more punishment than Daisy. All people are fallible, and not all crimes warrant significant punishment. Those who unintentionally break the law, such as Daisy, would not be improved morally by punishment. Those who intentionally break the law, such as Hester, are prime candidates for punishment because their behavior could be refined. When assessing an appropriate punishment, guilt should not be a factor so much as what the punishment could accomplish. 

03 April 2008

A Response to: "Lawyers Fight DNA Samples Gained on Sly"

The article at hand discusses the legality of obtaining DNA of crime suspects via what they leave behind in public, such as cigarette butts or drink bottles. View the original article by clicking the title of this entry.
- - - - -

What is the purpose of a court trial? The purpose is to find out whether or not someone is guilty of committing a crime, and to subsequently condemn the guilty. The article at hand discusses a method for obtaining possible evidence against a person via their DNA. When two DNA samples match, that match holds a remarkable amount of accuracy when used as evidence in a court trial. Identifying people based on DNA analysis makes fingerprint analysis-based testimonies look like bombast  (for more detail on this, see http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/3010536.html). With DNA's high level of accuracy, a DNA match in a crime is essentially treated as adamant proof of guilt, provided that there is no other explanation for the DNA's presence at the crime scene. 
The fourth amendment, regarding unwarranted searches and seizures, was created to stopthe  abuse of people in regards to their property or their privacy by the government. Obtaining DNA is a one-time action that is simple and objective, and can clearly exonerate  or condemn a person. This essentially makes DNA the "Holy Grail" in many court cases, leading to a simple guilty or not guilty ruling. 

Why not use DNA evidence at all possible times, then? DNA evidence is being fought because our judicial system is not based solely on the premise of guilty or not guilty. Rather than objectively analyzing the evidence and determining a person's guilt, modern courts involve grandiloquent lawyers lecturing juries about subjective evidence. People with better lawyers generally have a better chance of winning trials. This is not fair and equal, and makes the court more of a broadway performance than a judgement of guilt. If the police have the power to obtain DNA evidence in an unhindered manner, the court becomes a more objective arena, and the guilty can no longer swindle their innocence.

If DNA evidence from suspects can freely be obtained, then the guilty can provide nothing to defend themselves against their inevitable sentencing. Because of this, police should be allowed to freely obtain DNA evidence. DNA is objective, and is used to identify whether a suspect is guilty or not. The innocent should have nothing to hide, and the guilty should face their fate. 

02 April 2008

Tesla- The Unknown Man Who Began the Modernization of America

Nikola Tesla invented many things essential to day-to-day modern living, including AC electricity, the fluorescent light bulb, the odometer, the hydroelectric generator and the radio. Unfortunately, the only modern ties of these inventions to Tesla are in the Patent Office because Tesla never viewed his inventions as profitable. Tesla was a revolutionary thinker, but he was unsociable and lacked the ability to complete or make profit off of most of his inventions.

Nikola Tesla grew up in a household defined by the death of Tesla's brother. In his autobiography, Tesla wrote, "In the first place I had a brother who was gifted to an extraordinary degree'…'His premature death left my parents disconsolate." (Tesla 28). Upon this tragic death, Tesla became socially withdrawn, as he would remain the rest of his life. Tesla then had no one to feel inferior toward in his family, and even a feeling that he must help his parents by compensating for the lost talent in his family. "Anything I did that was creditable merely caused my parents to feel their loss more keenly. So I grew up with little confidence in myself." (Tesla 28). At that age Tesla learned to expect no gratification or rewards for his work, which became a major problem for him when he began to enter the business world. This also taught Tesla to be independent of bosses, encouraging him to be self-sustaining. This was the beginning of a life of isolation and mental instability for Nikola Tesla.

Though Tesla did not have the backing of his parents for a career in engineering, Tesla obviously had the skills to make him an impeccable inventor. "I longed to be an engineer but my father was unflexible." (Tesla 29). Tesla not only could not make his parents proud, but they openly disapproved of his plans in life, encouraging Tesla to continue his isolation both socially and emotionally. It is curious to point out that if Tesla had listened to his father the world would be drastically different today.  Tesla also wrote, "In my boyhood I suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of objects…" (Tesla 31). "Then I observed to my delight that I could visualize with the greatest facility." (Tesla 33). Being able to control these visions meant that Tesla had gained the ability to construct plans for inventions in his mind without the need to record them until a patent was needed. This ability left no need for Tesla to work on his ideas with other engineers, even making sharing his ideas with others a nuisance. Tesla had the determination to become an inventor and the skills needed to make him thrive.           

Nikola Tesla became famous in the media during his "Battle of the Currents" with Thomas Edison, but he was very socially withdrawn in his private life. "Tesla was a great showman and a favorite of newspaper reporters who sought sensational copy" (Carlson 80). Tesla could entertain a crowd of reporters, but he never socialized privately with anyone outside of work. Tesla was forced to grow up with a fa├žade of happiness due to his parents' troubles, which he then used in the media to display confidence while speaking, even though he was often in financial trouble. "I counted the steps in my walks and calculated the cubical contents of my soup plates, coffee cups, and pieces of food- otherwise my meal was unenjoyable." (Tesla 37). Though whether Tesla had obsessive compulsive disorder was not recorded, the afflictions he had kept him away from other people. Tesla was a savant with amazing mind power, resulting in him viewing the world around him uniquely. It is curious that Tesla could conquer the visions he experienced as a child and overcame many addictions to drugs, but he was never able to overcome seemingly simple afflictions like doing actions in triplets.

Nikola Tesla was extremely smart, but he did not stand up for himself and he was a poor business man. "The manager [of the Edison Electric Light Company] had promised me fifty thousand dollars on the completion of this task but it turned out to be a practical joke. This gave me a painful shock and I resigned my position!" (Tesla 72). This was one of Tesla's first experiences in the business world, and Tesla's overwhelming trust and lack of assertiveness made him easy prey for businessman. This event demolished Tesla's trust in others, so he then began to work alone as an independent business. "Tesla had a profound idealism that only occasionally reached practical reality." (Carlson 80). Tesla had many incomplete ideas, some of which were considered neurotic exclamations to get media attention, but some of Tesla's ideas are being validated by scientists today. That may mean that, given more time and money, Tesla may have been able to prove these ideas that existed only in his head. Tesla's major flaw was that he would only prove the concept, he would never perfect a design or make money off of it, leaving Tesla to die with empty pockets and others obtaining fame from Tesla's work.

"Otis Pond, an engineer then working for Tesla, said, 'Looks as if Marconi got the jump on you.' Tesla replied, 'Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents.' " (PBS)

This quote is indicative of Tesla's mindset as an inventor, not a businessman. Tesla left his inventions to others, and, though he hinted at having invented the technology before Marconi, Tesla never did anything about the patent infringement. Most people today know nothing of Tesla because he created ideas and left the work of creating revolutionary products to others. Unfortunately, Marconi made millions of dollars off of Tesla's invention until Marconi lost his patent on the radio in the 1943 Supreme Court Case Marconi Wireless T. Company vs. the United States months after Tesla's death. Marconi began the lawsuit by suing the government for infringing on his patents; Tesla was uninvolved. If Tesla had focused on quality rather than quantity, he may have been remembered today as a wealthy man who modernized America, rather than the unknown man whose ideas began the modernization of America.


Works Cited

Carlson, W. Bernard. "Inventor of Dreams." Scientific American Mar. 2005: 79-85.

Tesla, Nikola. My Inventions. 1919. Ed. Ben Johnston. Austin: Hart Brothers, 1982. 28, 29, 31, 36, 72.

"Who Invented Radio?" PBS. 19 Oct. 2006 <http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_whoradio.html>. 

31 March 2008

Mythbusters: A formerly great show.

Mythbusters used to be an entertaining and even educational show, but it has lost its roots and it has ventured outside the realm of "myths" and meanwhile has seemed to forget that those performing the tests are stunt men, not reputed scientists.

Mythbusters used to pride itself on testing myths, but seems to have abandoned this base in favor of moving to such subjects as oddities. It seems more and more that the testing of their purported myths has become second priority to simply using the most explosives possible. Rather than thoroughly testing each myth, they focus on a climactic single test that does not sufficiently measure different variables. They present their work as science, yet they have no grasp of the concept of analytical thinking. I believe that the turning point for Mythbusters was when they tested one of the inventions of Nikola Tesla. I believe that they referred to the device they aimed to replicate as the "earthquake machine", and they concluded that it was not possible. Little did the viewing audience know, Tesla was a prophetic savant whose inventions changed the world. He invented things such as AC electricity, the radio (the 1943 US Supreme Court case Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company v. the United States overturned Marconi's patents on the radio in favor of Tesla's), X-Ray, robotics and neon lights. Tesla has an international airport named after him and to this day holds the record for the largest man-made lightening bolt, but somehow two stuntmen feel that they can overturn his legacy with incomplete and imprecise tests. While using recycled junk they have laying around their shop, they present their findings as if they were found using scientific and precise instruments. They falsely assume that if they can not replicate a circumstance with their imprecise machinery that it is completely and utterly impossible.

Overall, Mythbusters should go back to the realm of "myths" and avoid tarnishing the esteemed reputation of the real scientific community.

-P. I. Lumen

15 March 2008

Grammar Still Matters!

The English language has been viciously abused in the United States. This is prevalent in innumerable areas in our lives and cultures. The adverb has been utterly forgotten, Technology has encouraged laziness and insolence, and our upcoming generation has no stimulation to improve their vacuous ways.

A friend once told me "I'm not doing good in Spanish class". I replied, "Maybe you should focus on learning English first." The adverb is an important part of the English language, but it is utterly forgotten in our modern world. An adverb is a word which modifies an adjective, a verb or another adverb. As an example, dogs run quickly. Dogs do not run fast. Also, I am not doing good, I am doing well. It is a relatively simple concept, but numerous Americans have ignored the existence of this vast set of words. When a teacher says, "Do good on this test!" I cringe in pain, hoping that he or she can successfully teach complex subjects when not even able to practice basic grammar.  It seems as if a whole sect of our language has experienced somewhat of a genocide and has completely disappeared. Perhaps this is a plan Al-Qaeda, or perhaps this is a part of the legacy of George W. Bush. Regardless of the cause, we as Americans must fervently break from the norm and revive the usage of these essential words. The next time someone asks you, "How are you doing?", dare to be different and reply "Well"; prove that you are not a Joe Schmoe. All are fallible in terms of grammar, but we must not be ignorant. 

I cringe when I receive a message online that reads something like, "r u gonna? okayy. omg! ur pic suks! jk jk, lol." Has the person who sent the message failed to pass the first grade? Did their computer throw up in their message? Are my eyes going bad? No. Actually, the person is just lazy and impudent. When confronted with this type of message, I usually conclude that the person doesn't value me enough to waste time typing out whole words and complete thoughts. As a result, I don't bother to waste time responding. This is just casual messaging, but what happens when these types of people who lack the basic and essential ability to communicate enter the business world? In an age with intrinsic spell check programs on computers, people have no excuse to communicate so poorly. It is debilitating to me when I see advertisements for businesses that have obvious errors in spelling or grammar. It befuddles me that people have begun to use abbreviations such as "lol" in daily verbal conversation. These communication problems will only get worse, as our "future leaders", the teenagers, religiously use websites such as Facebook or Myspace on which a complete and proper sentence seems sinful. Languages were developed to allow effective communication, and we must unequivocally aim to communicate effectively with them.

In conclusion, I hope that you reserve "@" for your email address, that you pay attention to spell check, and that you dare to conduct yourself differently.

-P. I. Lumen

11 March 2008


What a fun word.
In fact, one of my favorite words.
When I first heard the word, I thought someone was inventing it to fit the mood of their speech. Brouhaha is in the dictionary, but some classify it as an onomatopoeia, so I guess that my initial reaction to the word must not have been too far off. 
My friends and I all have a mild infatuation with the word, compliments of our History teacher, so now we play somewhat of a "Where's Waldo?" game with the word. I was ecstatic after seeing the word used in Time Magazine last week. I paraded the issue, showing it off to my quirky friends as if it were some kind of trophy, all because of one single word. The article, being from Time, wasn't the best, but that single word made it phenomenal.
If you have any other favorite words, feel free to post them for the edification of all.

-P. I. Lumen

19 February 2008


Hello World.
No, it's not a program, it's a salutation. 
Now time to think of something to write about. . . Wow, that was easy. Time for the hard part. Picking which of these many subjects to write about. 

10 January 2008

About Me

I am P. I. Lumen.

I am an eccentric intellectual.

What does that mean?

It means that I am a quirky individual, and it means that I value intelligence. 

A little about me:
I am a rather eclectic person. I love studying world cultures, and have a particular affinity for the Spanish language and its accompanying culture and music. Traveling is one of my favorite activities. Vienna is my favorite city, with Chicago in a close second place. I listen to many different types of music, and approach new music with an open mind. Technology fascinates me. I enjoy the outdoors and camping. When not writing on my computer, I can be found writing with my collection of fountain pens.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
-Arnold H. Glasow

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
-Robert Frost

Only the educated are free.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a dmn fool about it.
-W. C. Fields