"Triple Aught Design Cult"

A couple days ago I was browsing through the search queries that have lead people to this blog and came across one that was a bit odd; "Triple Aught Design Cult," it read, and I was momentarily perplexed.

I got to thinking and I've ultimately decided that, yes, there is indeed a cult of Triple Aught Design.

A cult is defined broadly as a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.  Typically, cults consist of a statistically significant minority and are often regarded by others as strange and or sinister.

Let's break that down, shall we?

Certainly, there are a group of people out there who prefer Triple Aught Design's gear over that of others.  There are even some who go out of their way to collect TAD's products, spending quite a bit of money in the process.  Religious veneration and devotion?  Sure, I guess you could call it that.  There is definitely a conscientious following among individuals who strongly value TAD's design, manufacturing, and quality.  So, in that regard, I guess strong supporters of Triple Aught Design could be considered a bit cult-like.

Is this group of consumers considered strange by a large majority?  Perhaps.  I, myself, have encountered a couple raised eyebrows when I wax poetic about my Lightspeed or Ranger Hoodie LT.  They'll ask, "you paid how much for that," and will always be surprised and often perplexed by my response.  There are some who understand the rationale underlying the purchase of quality gear and others who would rather save some money.  Either way, most people I've come across find that spending over $200.00 on a backpack is a bit strange.

In the end, there are a lot of cult-like followers of high-end companies.  Triple Aught Design is no exception.  It's just something that happens when a company takes great care to produce excellent products.


Elegant Solutions - Wallet Space Pen

I've carried two pens on my person for a while now, a fountain pen and, as a go-anywhere, do-anything backup, a Fisher Bullet Space Pen.

In recent history alone I misplaced the Space Pen at least twice.  That is, until I started to carry it differently.

Being a pen that I didn't use frequently there was no reason to keep it incredibly accessible.  So, I thought, why not tuck it away in my wallet.  Most bi-fold wallets I've encountered have a perfect place just at the fold.  To allow for expansion and the like the wallet is typically designed with a hinge of sorts consisting of a bit more material; the perfect place to stash a small pen.

If a full-sized Bullet Space Pen is still too much, there's always this option, a great way to have the dependability of a pressurized pen without the bulk.  Of course, there's always the cap issue; something I'll start thinking about.  I will share any brilliant ideas here, of course.

Needless to say, where ever I go I now have a pen.  I haven't misplaced it recently, either!


I'm hoping to have a series of "elegant solutions," this, of course, being the first.


10/15/12 Pocket Dump

Nope, I don't just rant about stuff on the Intertubes.  I actually practice what I preach.

  • Wallet w/ Fisher Bullet Space Pen;
  • Field Notes Red;
  • LAMY Safari Fountain Pen - EF nib;
  • Nitecore EX11.2 w/ mini lanyard;
  • Spyderco Para-Military2;
  • Leatherman Charge TTi w/ lanyard;
  • Keys w/ SOG V-cutter and SOG bottle opener / screwdriver;
  • Victorinox Summit XLT Chrono.

With jackets slowly finding their way into daily use carrying stuff gets pleasantly easier; hence, the Leatherman.  Usually I wouldn't carry both a dedicated folder and a multitool but having at least twice the number of pockets at any given time makes carrying an extra item just that much easier.


Battery Holders

I should probably preface this by noting that I don't carry batteries on my person.  If I did, it would only be one extra cr123a, probably in one of those storage capsules.

In any event, I do carry spare batteries in my bag.  Rather than letting them bounce around, I carry them in a battery case.  It's convenient, keeps batteries from rattling around, and offers easy access to the batteries themselves.  I purchased orange for high-visibility.

Keeping spare batteries in my bag is one of my few habits that fall closer to the "two is one, one is none" philosophy.  Batteries are often finicky and fail far easier than other gear.  As such, having a couple spares around increases the longevity and usefulness of my lights.  While I'm going to have a hard time catastrophically damaging one of my knives, a flashlight can quickly become useless absent replacement batteries.

I should also note that I've tried to buy and carry lights that use the same type of batteries.  This means I can carry spares for all my lights without being forced to inventory a number of different battery types, saving time, space, and frustration.

For the few dollars I've spent these little cases have made a world of difference.


LAMY Safari Fountain Pen EF Nib Review

I picked up another LAMY Safari fountain pen this past summer.  I've owned a Safari with a F nib for quite some time and, liking the line but wanting something a bit more precise, thought that picking up an EF nibbed version would be an excellent choice.

Materials:  1

LAMY's Safari line is manufactured from plastic.  It's a particularly robust plastic that doesn't have the "cheapness" feel of other inexpensive pens on the market.  I haven't experienced any cracking or other such damage in the years that I've owned Safaris.  It's nothing too exciting but it's functional as all get out.

Fit:  2

The Safari line is impeccably constructed.  There are no unwanted wiggles, rattles (it's a fountain pen, there usually aren't any rattles as there usually aren't any internal moving parts to rattle about), or other such undesirables.

The barrel screws down onto the grip section smoothly and tightens down to align the nib with the two facets of the barrel.  The "LAMY" logo on the top of the barrel can either find itself facing upward or downward but the shape of the pen remains the same consistently.

Mechanism:  2

The pen utilizes a capped design, as do most fountain pens.  Unlike most, however, the cap snaps on well and posts tight when open.

Line:  2

Initially, I owned a F nib Safari and found that it wasn't nearly as fine as I would have wanted.  The EF nib on this particular model is more to my liking.

I have been using Noodler's "Bad Belted Kingfisher."  It's just the right kind of blue...

The nib lays down an impeccably smooth line of a consistent thickness and color.

Writing Comfort:  1

There's technically a "right way" to hold fountain pens which LAMY has embraced in the design of their Safari series of pens.  Featuring two flattened grip areas ever so slightly flanking the top of the grip, the Safari promotes "proper" technique, allowing one to properly align the pen within one's fingers.

I do like this grip design, but occasionally, when feeling lazy or otherwise attempting to write with a different pen orientation, I find the grip to be unforgiving.  The crisp edges, while comfortable when writing "correctly," can be quite uncomfortable even when ever so slightly misaligned.

Design Concept:  2

The Safari series is a rather well-received line primarily because of LAMY's impeccable attention to its design.  It's easy to say that the LAMY Safari line is iconic in the world of writing instruments.

Its clean and thoughtful lines are exactly what I look for in a pen.

Markings and Insignia:  2

LAMY has their logo molded into the top of the barrel.  It pops just enough to be noticed but not enough to be gaudy.  The nib sports LAMY's logo, too, and also features the size (EF, in this case).  On the very top of the pen LAMY notes their German origins.

It's a very clean pen without any superfluous text or logos.

Carry Method:  2

The Safari uses a large pocket clip that mounts to the pen very high on the cap.  This allows it to sit low in the pocket, a feature that I prefer.

Carry Durability:  1

The clip works well.  However, it does lose tension over time and if consistently clipped to thicker fabrics (jeans, for example) will begin to show signs that the mount is being over-stressed.

I haven't experienced a failure of the pocket clip in any of the Safaris I own, but they do appear to wear faster than other designs on the market (the rOtring 600 series, for example).

Carry Comfort:  1

The body and cap of the pen are relatively wide making the Safari feel rather large when clipped in a front pocket.  It is, however, exceptionally lightweight.  Its volume is really the only thing that makes it noticeable when carried.

Total:  16/20

The LAMY Safari is a great pen for the money.  The EF nib performs as expected and will meet the needs of most writers without fuss.  It's an excellent pen for both those new to fountain pens and long-time veterans.