Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's Call It Retro

I remember flipping through the Sharper Image catalog decades ago and running across the Space Pen.  It was a miracle of modern technology.  The dawn of a pen revolution.  A must-have for the man who has everything but the ability to write while he's upside down.

The Space Pen was conveniently invented around the time NASA started catapulting people toward the moon.  One of the problems NASA ran into was that you can't write with ball point pens in a zero gravity situation.  So along came this super duper high tech most amazing thing you ever saw Space Pen that writes right side up, upside down, on the moon, underwater probably, wherever!  The only thing standing in the way of universal supremacy had been taken care of.  Ta DAH!  problem solved.  Go forth and conquer.  etc.

The Russians faced the same problem but it was the Cold War and we weren't sharing information so they had to figure this out on their own.  Did the Soviets come up with a holy cow over the top you're never going to believe this revolutionary pen?  Nope.  Those vodka swilling communists used a pencil instead.

I have always loved that story. 

I was reminded of it especially yesterday when dealing with my mailing label techo-crisis. Because in order to make that label business happen I needed a lot of super duper high tech equipment including but not limited to at least these many things:

Computer, printer, ink, labels.  Not pictured: Word 2010 & aspirin.

I fretted and worked and stressed and gave myself a headache trying to work the whole thing out. I'm a pretty smart person.  Glass is half full most of the time.  I thought: There HAS to be a WAY! 

And there was a way!  There so totally was.  You know what that way involved?
Plain old regular pen

Now, according to Wikipedia the Soviets ended up using the Space Pens eventually too because pencils are sort of flammable or something but you get my point, right?  Don't kill the myth for me, okay?

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