Pursuing a Parker pen

Vector XL ball point in Tranquil Indigo and Sonnet fountain in Laque Black with silver trim.

Vector XL ball point in Tranquil Indigo and Sonnet fountain in Laque Black with silver trim.

It all started when I tried to buy a new Parker ball point pen…

I consider Parker pens to be one of the best pens available. I have a number of reasons why I prefer Parker to other brands. First, Parker started in Janesville, Wisconsin and still runs its US customer and warranty services there.┬áSecond, I received my first Jotter as a gift from a family friend when I was still in high school, and I really admired the click-style at the time. Third, every Parker pen I’ve owned has always worked extremely and reliably well. Fourth, I’ve always had outstanding customer service with Parker’s warranty department when I have had a problem (I’ve only had to send a pen to them once and request a replacement ball point cartridge twice). Finally, Parker has always designed reliable, excellent pens. I have plenty of reasons to admire Parker.

I’ve used the Parker Jotter for as long as I can probably remember. My dad had a couple years ago that he rarely used, so I used them and really admired them. I received my first “very own” Jotter pen and pencil set when I was in high school. I especially liked the distinctive Parker Arrow and the solid click of the ball point pen. Although I couldn’t really afford (or justify purchasing) higher-end Parker ball point pens during my youth, I found the Jotter to be the most versatile pen. I even had a Parker Jotter fountain pen for a while. After graduating from college and starting off in my career, I continued to use Parker Jotter ball point pens. I would eventually discover something new from Parker…

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Our engagement

As you have probably read, Kristen and I started dating a year ago. Since then, we’ve been really happy together.

So this past weekend, I proposed to her. It was something I planned two months ago. I had already told her that I was interested in being with her long term. But I wanted to make our one-year dating anniversary special. So we planned on going out of town that Saturday. But Friday night, March 9, was our anniversary.

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Opposing voter photo ID in state constitution

I’m not a big fan of government spending, especially when the ends do not necessarily justify the means. For example, there is a major push in Wisconsin to adopt a constitutional amendment that would require all voters to present a photo ID when they vote. Today, the technology is pretty common. But that could change within a couple of years.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin explain in their press release that states that require a photo ID do not necessarily curb the problem of voter fraud. Furthermore, by requiring a photo ID at the polls, certain groups of people are less likely to vote. Although that is a cultural phenomenon, it is also a means of excluding people from a democratic process. It undermines exactly what our founding fathers fought for.

Thus, I oppose photo ID at the polls.

League of Women Voters of Wisconsin press release: Oppose Constitution Amendment for Photo ID

Majority of state residents favor smoking ban

I was surprised to read that a recent survey showed that two-thirds of a sample of 500 Wisconsin residents are in favor of a smoking ban in all public indoor places. The survey was conducted by two organizations that are politically polarized (the Republican-leaning Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic-leaning Mellman Group). What doesn’t surprise me is that this survey was backed by anti-smoking groups. But it shows that there are less political boundaries between smokers and non-smokers… this is not a partisan issue.

Over the past two years, I’ve changed my opinion on this issue. In the beginning, I always believed that a business should be allowed to make its own decisions about whether or not it allows smoking.┬áToday, I believe that business owners have an obligation to protect their employees from the dangers of second-hand smoke. There are other laws in place that protect people from environmental hazards in the workplace. In many cases, those hazards are usually not as dangerous as cigarette smoke (considering all of the chemicals added to almost all brands of cigarettes today).

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