Essays
And Yarns

A Brief History of the Pencil

March 24 2017

As told by a Pencil Aficionando – 99U

Caroline Weaver, the owner of CW Pencil Enterprise, a specialty pencil shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, has managed to make the dream of obsessives come true: What if this thing I love, this strange small thing, could be my job? For Caroline Weaver, the humble pencil has provided not only a business—celebrating its two-year anniversary this March—but a book as well, a history of the pencil entitled The Pencil Perfect.

Source: A Brief History of the Pencil, as told by a Pencil Aficionando – 99U

Drawing Lesson No. 6

March 22 2017

It’s been awhile since we shared some little tips and exercises regarding drawing. Here is a simple task. Decide on a subject to draw with a single uninterrupted line. It is helpful to work out the details in pencil first, and when you are satisfied the design is sound, commit the drawing to ink. You can trace the pencil sketch using a light box to illuminate from below placing a few sheets of paper between the draft and the paper used for the ink drawing diffusing the brightness of the lights.

Now I know some of you may be asking, ‘What about the bunnies eye? The eye is separate from the rest of the drawing? What’s the deal with that?’

I have heard it said that ‘There is no such thing as a dumb question.’

There you have it, Drawing Lesson No. 6.

Robot Assistant

February 2 2017

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard all the warnings about robots taking over everywhere. We are told that at every turn, automatons and mechanical contrivances are about to reshape the worker’s landscape and threaten our very ability to make a living. As near as I can figure the prediction goes something like this:

  1. Manufacturing is taken over by robots
  2. Service is accomplished by robots
  3. Domestic chores are relegated to robots
  4. Military defense and warfare will be conducted by robots
  5. The world is run by robots

Regardless of what the future may hold concerning the soon replacement of people’s endeavors with artificial replicants, here is a possible happy alternative:

Hire a robot.

Find a suitable stand-in for yourself of a synthetic variety and send them out each day to work. You may have to compensate them in some fashion – a case of CRC-QD Contact Cleaner, six-packs of WD-40, a lifetime subscription to ‘Nuts and Volts‘ magazine, perhaps even some form of pay or commission on the income produced by their labors. But at the very least your days will be freed up considerably for relaxation and fun.

And while awaiting the Singularity which by all accounts should be here soon, we at ELVIS SWIFT Dry Goods & Supply are trying to get ahead of this and actively looking for a robot assistant.

We’ll keep you posted.