Big and Small
I received a gift card from Kiersten's parents for my birthday which I merrily used to purchase a cornucopia of art supplies. Today the instant message chirp sounded from my phone letting me know that Amazon had delivered my package. Somehow the Fedex guy is part ninja and always stealthily advances to my front porch to deposit a box while I'm home without me noticing, and 4 seconds later the only trace of his passage is the text message Amazon sends my iPhone confirming delivery. I passed through the series of gates that form the baby airlock to the front porch, gleefully scooped up the plain brown box, rushed to the kitchen island to tear it open, and begin unloading my loot. Snuggled in amidst packages of replacement Xacto blades was the centerpiece of the order, my new electric pencil sharpener. I have to admit that finding a worthwhile pencil sharpener is a real quest for a colored pencil artist. Colored pencils require a constant super sharp point to function properly, and the wax binder tends to gunk up all the blades and gears of most very quickly. I had an Xacto model that I loved which lasted years, and when it retired I was pleased to find the exact same model in my local hardware store. Now that the replacement needs replacing, I've eyed up something a little more heavy duty.
As I unpacked the new Swingline model and set it beside my old Xacto model, I couldn't help but think it was the pencil sharpener version of the Crocodile Dundee "That's not a knife" scene. I'll show you what I mean:
That is one big pencil sharpener. You carry it with two hands like you would a vase. It has its own pencil holding pouch in the back, you know, in case it gets hungry because you're taking too long between sharpenings. The red disc rotates pencil size openings so I can finally fit my Caran d'ache Luminance pencils in without feeling like I'm driving a tent stake into the ground. Time will tell how it fares against the wax binder buildup test.
Setting aside the sharpener for a moment, I moved to the other end of the size spectrum. I wrote a post a while ago about my conversion to a Macbook Air as my main computer, and some of the challenges of its lean 128 GB solid state drive. It's amazing how quickly photos and videos start filling that up. Equally amazing is how small and cheap flash drives have become. In my box of art goodies was a 32 GB low profile flash drive which snapped into the USB port of my Air, instantly increasing my storage space by 25%. My reaction to seeing it was similar to my pencil sharpener, just opposite in scale, because the entire thing balanced on my fingertip. When plugged in, only the black part sticks out, and you barely notice it's there. Pretty neat!