Category: The Written Word

Aug 22

Our favorite pen remains the UGLEE Pen, which has just come out in yellow with an even more comfortable grip.

mag-neck-pen.pngBut not all of us have our hands free.

So for those of us who use a walker or carry a cane there’s the Mag-Neck Pen which uses standard Parker pen refills.

The Mag-Neck Pen hangs from a cable lanyard and the cap of the pen attaches magnetically for easy access to the pen.


Aug 6

Marty’s favorite pen has been a Viagra promotion pen she lifted from a hospital desk last winter. It writes nice. It looks nice. It says Viagra down the whole length of one side.

Marty thought she couldn’t like a pen more until this week when the mailman brought us the UGLEE Pen - ‘UG’ standing for Ultimate Grip and ‘Lee’ for the physician who spent eight years obsessing over the pen’s design.


Most pens must be gripped a specific way, with a specific amount of tension, which eventually makes your hand feel crampy. (In Marty’s case, she holds a pen too tightly, which means cramps after about five minutes.)

Not so with the UGLEE Pen - which is quite homely. With the UGLEE Pen, you pick it up and it sort of sticks to your fingers without being sticky. It’s very comfortable and we’ll be buying more.

Dr. Lee, who has a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from including this one, which explains the thinking behind his pen and how it works.

He’s also handsome, which always helps, and so we have a crush on Dr. Lee, though he’s already told us via e-mail that he has a wonderful wife and his only mistress - now and forever amen - is his pen - remnants and prototypes of which litter his garage.

Eds. Note: Marty only lifts “free” pens. She cannot recollect every knowingly stealing a pen somebody bought, though being a Pen Klepto of long standing it’s entirely possible she has and just can’t remember.

Aug 1

We got one of these Passwords Pads when we tired of putting important information on slips of paper that couldn’t be found when needed.

passwords.pngWe were pretty good about recording passwords, but would forget to record an Internet account’s secret question and answer, start and expiration date, or user name and e-mail address.

The pad helps us feel less overwhelmed by the volume of information we need to remember for accounts or subscriber services we have through the Internet. And there’s ample space for writing - so you don’t have to write teeny.

The 60-page Password Pad - with space for four accounts on each page - is big enough that we split one between us.

Jul 25

Marty fell in love with pencils when her mother, a school principal, let Marty mount a heavy, solid-metal, hand-crank pencil sharpener to the window sill above her childhood desk in her bedroom.

That smooth little machine turned Marty into a sharpening fool. And to this day, palo-2.pngMarty cannot abide a dull point in pencils or people.

As an adult, Marty found electric and battery-operated sharpeners too zippy and their dentist-drill noise annoying.

Today, she favors hand-held pencil sharpeners by sweet two-hole sharpener, shown above, that first sharpens the wood and then sharpens the graphite to a perfect point.

As for pencil bias, Marty for years used thick-bodied, old-fashioned, soft-lead, architect’s wood drafting pencils by Dixon Ticonderoga and Sanford - especially the Sanford Draughting 02237 (should any of you ever fall on a stash and feel like sharing).

When those began to vanish from the market, Marty found elegant Paper Notes in a Digital World, the blog of a pencil perfectionist who found he preferred writing on paper to writing on a keyboard. (He had good things to say. We miss his posts.)palomino.png

The Palomino line, seen here to the right, was created by pencil purist Duraflame log and now is the world’s leading maker of pencil slats. In Marty’s opinion, only someone integrated in the tactile nature of science and art could create a pencil as satisfying as the Palomino.

Now, sometimes, you just need to get down to fun and that is when you reach in your desk drawer and pull out a Smencil.

No. 2 graphite Smencil’s are gourmet-scented in Bubble Gum, Cherry, Chocolate, Cotton Candy, Grape, Orange, Root Beer, Tropical Blast, Very Berry, and Watermelon. Made from recycled newspaper, they come individually wrapped and will be a far greater hit with children than a Palomino - unless of course its the kind Roy rode.

Eds. Note: Cait notes that pencils have always been popular with ladies who manicure and now must be considered an essential Gimpliment in a world increasingly driven by the technological push of tiny buttons.

The reliable pencil, Cait says, is the perfect tool if your hand dexterity is wanting and you need to phone someone, text message or slide that slightly out-of-reach piece of paper closer to you.

Jul 20


The Thumb Thing purports to reduce hand strain and fatigue while freeing your other hand for taking notes, quaffing a beverage or petting your pooch.

The Thumb Thing bills itself as good for rail and bus commuters, especially if they have to read standing up. When the reader is finished, the Thumb Thing fits in the top of the book as a place marker. It comes in four sizes.

We haven’t tried the Thumb Thing yet, but here’s what’s bugging us: the thumb in the photo is straight up and down in the center of the book. Try that position at home, and Thumb Thing or not, it puts your wrist, hand and thumb in an uncomfortable-to-hold-for-long position. People just don’t hold books that way.

Eds. Note: In our heart of hearts, we’re wishing, hoping and praying for a Seth Godin.

Well, actually, Marty is wishing and hoping and praying. Cait is just wishing and hoping.

Sep 22

Along with canes, chop sticks and Mr. 7 hands, self-adhesive address labels are one of those versatile Gimpliments that end up in many more places than just the corner of an envelope.

Cait affixes them to nearly everything but her husband, who knows where he belongs. Cait’s got them on her canes, cell phone, iPod, cameras, books, CD and DVD cases and she keeps them in her wallet to paste on forms when she’s out and about.

Cheap at about $7 for a roll of 300, they’re an impromptu gift for someone who is moving and they’re a perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays. Consider them essential for someone with vision or dexterity issues who has difficulty writing.

We favor the simplest ones - Current Labels.

Sep 6

We’re always on the hunt for a comfy pen and have found one in the Ergo-Sof PenAgain by Pacific Writing Instruments.

Ergo-Sof PenAgainThe Ergo-Sof is counter-intuitive - the more you relax your hand, the easier it is to write, which takes some getting used to. Because the PenAgain adapts to the contour of the hand, the weight of the hand exerts enough pressure to guide the pen - eliminating the need to grip it.

The Ergo-Sof, which can be used left-handed or right-handed, eases Cait’s hand pain and work’s wonders for Marty’s sloppy penmanship. The drawback, we’ve found, is that you must be sitting upright, directly over it, to use it, which limits its versatility. For example, you can’t recline and write, as Cait likes to do on her sofa.

The Ergo-Sof includes two refills, comes in a highlighter, and sells online at Office Depot, and

Jul 20

Have a friend in recovery? A relative losing their hair to cancer treatment? A coworker diagnosed with diabetes?

If you’ve looked, you know there are too few cards out there that say anything appropriate for the situation. “Caring Path” cards are helping change that.

Caring Path cards deal with Gimpiness of all sorts in a direct, caring and often off-beat way. Cait sent one to her mother when she was finishing up radiation treatments. The card stock was of high quality and the message unique.

Don’t be put off by the slightly sappy web site. There’s good stuff in there like the Take a look.

Take a look. We will be ordering more.