May 15, 2022

56 Going to the Mountain

56 Going to the Mountain

In today’s episode, we will be talking about strange things afoot in the ink world and apparently all things Mont Blanc.


John- New Super Orange Mark One from Studio Neat

Postal Bulletin

Katharine Graham (1917–2001)

United States Postal Service

300th Anniversary Station (Barrington, not the USPS)

Happy Birthday, Barrington!

Noodler’s Anti-Semitic Antics

Controversial earlier this year 

This week’s label issue, not noticed since about ‘18-’19 

Noodler’s Statment 

Goulet Statement 

Anderson Pens and Atlas Stationers are also dropping Noodler’s 

New Ink names

Keeping Oregon Strange(r)

Letter writing is getting expensive in the UK.

Can writing a letter help you get the winning bid for a house?  It can again now.

The Mont Blanc monolith has been spotted in Germany

And Mont Blanc in Kenya (130,000 KES = 1,119.53 USD)

NERD Alert! It’s a Jony Ives article and his favorite tools


56 Going to the mountain

John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 56 of the stationary orbit, where we are all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host, John Weston. I'm joined by our cohost Evan Harris and today's episode. We'll be talking about strange things, a foot in the ink world, and apparently all things Mont Blanc. So good morning.

Good day. Good evening, Evan delete as necessary.

Evan: good evening. How are you? 

John: Doing well doing even better. And this is going to be one of those wonderful radio moments. I got my, super orange mark one from studio. Neat. And it is super orange. They didn't name it super orange, but they should have.

Evan: And it needs to either be super orange or Pen Addict and with that. 

John: Yeah, it is a superb. And , the refill that they have in that I think it's a P 2, 1 8, 6 from Schmidt, but it's branded for studio. Neat. [00:01:00] It's a black refill. Normally I really dislike black refills. I love this black refill that came with this mark one, it writes beautifully and the black is almost at the level of like sailor nano black.

It is super black.

Evan: Oh, that's really. 

John: That's my acquisition for the last two weeks.

Evan: Yeah, I don't have any yet. And my wallet's hoping I don't have any more soon. 

John: yeah, you're still in building phase for the much larger damage. 

Evan: Yes. 

John: And I believe that later on down the line, we will be talking about the Pen brand that will be rendering such damage

Evan: yes, at least one of them. There's definitely going to be some from that pen. 

John: Nice. Let's get into the postal bulletin. They have been busy here lately and they are going to be releasing a new stamp for Catherine Graham, who was the owner of [00:02:00] the Washington post and was very influential in American politics for a very long time.

Evan: That's right. She was. In was a movie that was the best picture nominee in 20 18 about the Washington post publishing, the Watergate papers and she was the main. As it was historically, and a very notable American, and this is the 17th stamping, the distinguished American series, which honors pioneers in the publishing business . 

John: And definitely she was the one that stood behind. The reporters that were behind Watergate. And that was definitely not a small act of bravery given the kind of pressures that I'm sure she was under, but she was also a bit of a Renegade when it came to that. She wasn't playing by the old boys network rules.


Evan: No, not at all. She very much deserves this stamp and it'll be a [00:03:00] very neat one to see. It's just a portrait of her in one. 

John: yep. And out of the black and white, postmarks the one that jumped out at me and admittedly, I. I made a bad assumption at first. And there's one in there for a us postal service, 300th anniversary. And my brain immediately said, wait a minute, the post office is turning 300. I didn't know this. So I immediately started researching it and it turns out now the postal service was.

Founded before 1776 before we were even a country, but the small town of Barrington New Hampshire was founded in , 17 22. So therefore it is the 300th anniversary for Barrington New Hampshire. So happy birthday, Barrington.

Evan: That's right. There are a lot of interesting things that are close to that age in the pre independence time though, you can definitely trace the post [00:04:00] office older than. 1776 to at least 1775 is the year. It was technically founded as the USP S was reorganized and founded in 1971. So the USPS has only just over 50 years old, but the post office in America does date back to the colonial. 

John: Yep. And as I found out, there were a few little historic tidbits about the post office that I found while I was doing my re. As you alluded to before the us postal services only a little bit over 50 years old now. And that was because the New York postal workers struck against the original post office and the entire postal service had to be reorganized under Nixon's administration and they actually lost power.

They lost a cabinet level post. Where they were a cabinet level post under the original post office. And then they were reorganized under the us postal service, which is no longer a cabinet.

Evan: [00:05:00] No. The USPS is an independent wholly-owned company that is owned by the. 

John: Yep. And then the other one is getting to pre independence times a Ben Franklin, as a lot of folks know. The first postmaster general of the United States. He was also the postmaster general from 1737. And he actually ends, I think it was 1753 visited every post office in the fledgling United States.

Evan: Yes, but there were only what, 50 to 70 at the time. 

John: That sounds correct. Yeah.

Evan: There were not that many. Though they talked to chase only about some of this history in the. Official USPS podcast, mailing it's. And they had a very interesting conversation on postal history recently talking about the uniforms of the post office. 

John: really. 

Evan: Yeah. 

John: I definitely know that when I [00:06:00] was growing up, the us postal service outfit was Very standardized and here recently, it seems like that standard has it's still there, but it seems like it's flexible more, much more flexible than it used to be.

Evan: It is much more flexible as long as you are. I think the biggest thing remaining is still wearing the proper colors of the post office and identification as necessary. The one thing I learned actually from a while ago from the USP. Subreddits is that kilts are allowed, 

John: right on. Yeah. And actually and even better is I know for a fact, after having browsed hours and hours of looking at kilt websites, there is a USP S official tartan.

Evan: th there, there is a USPS tart in that is not allowed for the uniforms. It has to be in postal gray, which is the. The pants and shorts normally are their official supplier doesn't make it, but [00:07:00] somebody managed to get approved fabric and make it. And fabric approved both by color and safety standards, reasonable things to to mandate. And it is apparently allowed 

John: any chance you have a link to that kilt.

Evan: If I can find it from the subreddit, from like a year and a half ago, I will send it to you to put in the show. 

John: okay. Awesome. That'll be fun. And then the last one I wanted to hit on for the us postal service, the postal bulletin is on their pictorial postmarks for the color one, they do have the color pictorial. The one that I think is really honestly, a better postmark for this particular stamp for the Katherine Graham stamp is the black and white first day of issue that looks like a newspaper banner head

Evan: Yeah, I really liked this one as well. It is really cool. The color postmark is basically a copy of the stamp, but yeah, the black and white one is amazing. Though inversely the color. I really liked the color one for the mighty [00:08:00] Mississippi stamp, which we mentioned the stamp. Last time we did not mentioned the postmarks the color one is blue and green and a minimalist drawing of a paddle boat. 

John: yep. And one of the river 

Evan: the black and white. Yeah, the black and white is just a bridge. 

John: So the next thing that we're going to get into, and there's some controversy here and we wanted to get into the controversy without being too controversial ourselves. But we've been following some of the antics around noodlers and some of the anti-Semitic claims that have been leveled against Nathan Tardiff and his brand noodlers.

And. I'm going to start the conversation off by saying that I'm hi, my name is John. I'm a recovering libertarian, and I understand the fervor that Nathan tardive has in terms of his anti federal [00:09:00] reserve stance on things where I really fell through the cracks on this is not understanding. Some of the imagery that was involved in this.

And I'd want to have Evan go through this and talk about some of the history and why this really is a controversy other than just throwing it out there and saying we think he's antisemitic and I want to get a feeling for the history of this and why this is such an issue.

Evan: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. So for anyone who doesn't know, I'm Jewish. I have a decent idea of what's going on. And if we don't tend to talk religion on this podcast or politics relate though, we talked politics were unrelated to the postal service. This is a podcast about stationery and letter writing. Not surprising there but this is important to the community, I think.

And so I'm definitely going to talk about some of these things, both through a historical perspective and the Jewish lens. Noodlers has been controversial for a lot of things. A lot of people disagree with Nathan's politics. I [00:10:00] certainly don't agree with everything he says, that's fine.

Everyone does have a right to free speech in America. It's his right to say what he wants is protected by the first amendment as is my right to criticize it. That is how free speech works. It's not a one-way street. But so there have always been things that have been controversial with his inks, both his labeling his statements and performance.

 That last one is the biggest reason I haven't used his inks in quite a while. But a lot of this started when he released a ink for the Philly pen show called Volcker green, for anyone who doesn't know Volcker was a former chair of the federal reserve.

It is one that he is. The chair of the fed that Nathan Tardiff likes and the label has Paul Volcker with a halo over his head that on its own is not a problem. But it also has Ben Bernanki and another chair of the fed, both of whom are Jewish with horns over their head. And a lot of people might think, oh, comic horns is a [00:11:00] fairly standard way to show someone's evil.

The issue with that is it has a. Along seated history in using to show antisemitism this originates, as far as I know, with early mistranslations in Roman, both pagan, Roman and Christian. Texts from Hebrew. Part of the Bible where Moses is descending Mount Sinai and the Hebrew properly translated would say he had rays of light coming out of his head.

Basically he was backlight but some of the early Greek translations translated as he had horns coming out of his head. And so at this point, nearly 2000 years ago, with the stereotype of Jews having horns, I have personally been asked where my horns are. So it is a long standing anti-Semitic stereotype. When this ink was released in January, a lot of people, myself included called out and said, Hey, this ink utilizes anti-Semitic imagery.

We did not [00:12:00] say that he was at an anti-Semite. But that this ink label used harmful anti-Semitic imagery in it and perpetrating these stereotypes and imagery is offensive and potentially harmful. Earlier this week more labels were shown this was really pulled up by Reddit.

The Bernanki series. As as we've mentioned, the noodlers inks or Nathan Tartuffe of noodlers is very interested in the federal reserve, both positive and negative. And the Bernanki series is fast drying yanks, because he believed that Ben Bernanki was printing too much money. Not a economist. I really, I pay attention to a lot of politics and a lot of economics, I don't have an opinion on Burnanki's term is federal reserve chair.

John: If he thinks Bernacchi was printing money too fast, he's absolutely got to be having kittens about what happened with the COVID relief. 

Evan: I'm sure. 

John: [00:13:00] He just hasn't figured out who to attack yet.

Evan: Precisely. But so the Bernanki series is his fast drawing series and not all of the series has been picked up by all ink retaillers. And so because of that, I didn't see the label, what the label was. There's an image of a helicopter dropping cash, a reference to helicopter money theory. So most retailers who did carry it just showed that side of the label. The other side of the label for Bernanki red is an image of Ben Bernanki with devil horns and a hammer and sickle on his forehead, this perpetrates another harmful anti-Semitic stereotype.

This time that originates with the czarist propaganda, the protocols of the elders of Zion, saying Jews are trying to create a one world government which gets used both by anti-capitalists to say we're the ultra capitalists and by capitalists to say that we are the communists and we're trying to create a one world government.

So both of those images are harmful and this is [00:14:00] the recent bringing up of, Hey, look at this image has been sitting there for several years and I had not seen it otherwise. I would have brought it up sooner as an issue. And I'm glad somebody finally has, just because it's existed for several years, doesn't mean it's not wrong. And there has been a lot of pushback on it, which when in the initial stuff in January Nathan, tardive made several videos about how, oh, no, he's not. anti-Semitic again, none of the initial comments where he was anti-Semitic it was this imagery is and a lot of retailers when they saw the Volker ink immediately said, Hey, this is a. Including a luxury brains of America who have been nothing but incredible and transparency through all of this as have several retailers and I'll get to it. We'll get to them in a few minutes are not a few minutes fully. I'm not trying to be that long-winded. But I'll get to them. And so there has been a lot of pushback on Reddit from this and on the on various other pens.

Social media sites. This has created several [00:15:00] brands, including Anderson pens and Atlas stationers to completely drop noodlers. Goulet has also issued a statement and the Goulets have also been incredibly transparent and great through all of this. I will say, cause I've talked on some of the platforms with them as well.

They are pausing all sale of noodlers products And thoroughly reviewing which inks they will carry. Should they choose to return to carrying his inks 

John: I'll give them one thing that instead of taking the drop dead stance of that's it, we're just going to drop noodlers to give them credit. They actually do have on here that they're continuing a dialogue with noodlers. And I think that this is an important part of this, that as much as I understand that, What Nathan was doing was potentially harmful to the Jewish community because he was using anti-Semitic imagery.

That if you don't continue to have a dialogue about this, if you don't continue talking about it, this kind of stuff [00:16:00] ends up being shoved into a back corner. And that's where it festers and becomes worse.

Evan: Oh, absolutely. And I will say a little bit more on Some of that shortly. We will link both to do lay statement and noodlers has released a statement basically saying that there will be a lot of inks that are going to be renamed and some that will be Discontinued as well as he has made a donation of $3,600 to the ADL, the Anti-Defamation league for anybody who doesn't know in Judaism.

18 is a very important number. There's something called Gematria, which basically a is one, B is two C is three separate the Hebrew alphabet. And so Chaim is the word for life. And Chaim has value of 18. So the multiples of 18 are very important to the Jewish community. So this. I believe,

John: Some understanding.

Evan: some understanding or at least listening to the community. 

John: Very good.

Evan: so in Judaism, asking for forgiveness. Isn't enough. In Judaism we have a [00:17:00] concept called Teshuva sin isn't really the correct term for Judaism about colloquially it's close enough. When you sin or offend somebody else, , you have to work to earn your repentance. That's what Teshuva would be from them. Am I going to start buying noodlers or recommending them again? No, also partially because of the performance issues I've mentioned, but noodlers has done a ton for the fountain pen community. And I view this as an incredible first step and hope that what he's done the last few days are not the only steps towards being better.

But just the first ones And I will keep paying attention to what he's doing and hope that this is a real change, whether it, even if it is just for his business purposes, that I don't know what goes on in his mind. I can't pretend to know. I care about his actions and the images he uses.

Not what the specifics of what goes on in his mind. So that's the, hopefully not too [00:18:00] long-winded background. 

John: Yeah. And I think that this is an important conversation to be had because. When good people do nothing, that's when evil happens. It's not necessarily the evil triumphs is just evil is allowed to creep in and it does so in very innocuous ways. And occasionally you get people that are too enthusiastic about one thing and forget about the other thing.

And this can happen from both sides. 

So just 

Evan: And I know that discourse and creeping in is definitely happened a lot over the last few years. And So I know, especially I try to call things out. When I see them. And of course, antisemitism is what I'm most attuned to being Jewish and having experienced luckily, nothing major, but lots of small parts of antisemitism.

And I do my best to call that out and [00:19:00] call out other forms of hatred and discrimination and not let it creep in. 

I'm not perfect,

but the goal is always to be. 

John: yeah, and one thing I wanted to point out is that while we don't get into politics or religion very much on this podcast, this is one the exceptions to that. You do have a podcast. Called Shebrews Hebrews. And you get into a lot of the Judaic tradition behind food and brewing and fermenting, and a large part of that because I've listened to quite a few of the episodes.

The reoccurring theme is that most of the large feast traditions in Judaism are because of. Various times where like massive numbers of Jews were killed in the past. And there's now these celebrations for the survivors saying, congratulations, we [00:20:00] made it through this huge atrocity.

Evan: We it is a running joke in many Jewish circles that a lot of our holidays are. They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat Hanukkah is the most famous, probably with Jewish holidays though. It is a minor Jewish holiday. It is commemorating a survival of Judaism.

Again. The Hellenistic regime that was controlling the region at the time, which again, this is 2,500 years ago. So 

things have changed Things have changed quite a lot, but a lot of our holidays are like that. We also have four new years. So, . 

, that that's the, That's the most common type of holiday. 

John: So I think the big thing, two big things that I want to take away from this are that for any of you that are out there that feel like the world is against you and that. You just can't seem to win. Just please try to have a little bit of compassion towards your Jewish neighbors [00:21:00] and friends, because they have got an entire 2,500 year history of the world being against them and things, not going their way.

And they've managed to survive that and have thrived regardless. So please have some compassion towards that. Also, please have some compassion towards yourself and your other fellow human beings. All of us make mistakes. All of us need to be given the chance to redeem ourselves. But as Evan said, forgiveness, doesn't come free.

Forgiveness has to be earned.

Evan: Yeah, exactly. It is. No one is perfect. And everyone is born with the potential to become a Tzadik which is a belief in Judaism, Tzadik being righteous. One. Nobody's perfect. But everyone is born with the ability to be better and everyone should all should be trying to be better be kind to others.

The rest of it is commentary. 

John: okay. Actually you [00:22:00] just brought up one, the phrase Tzadik is that also the basis for Hasidic Judaism?

Evan: No different roots in a Hebrew Tzadik would be righteous. One I'm blinking out on the exact root in Hasid. But Hasid I think the best translation would be celebratory Judaism because the early Hasid were very. Focused on these big celebrations and Judaism through not just prayer, but 

John: Celebration.

Evan: prayer with dancing sometimes.

Oh, it was a lot was actually an early Hasidic tenant. So it's a different root in Hebrew to my knowledge. 

John: Yeah. So the last thing I wanted to touch on before we move on from the noodlers drama is he actually has a post here and this was posted. Five hours ago from noodlers ink and he promised that he would be renaming a few of his inks and it [00:23:00] turns out he is renaming quite a few of his inks. 

Evan: Yeah. So he's renaming quite a few. I think honestly, all of these are for the better, not just because they are removing things that are actually are potentially offensive, but most of them are more descriptive of the ink, which is good. And there are all sorts of arguments about renaming stuff, but if you're taking it from a name that is, or as potentially offensive and making a name that is more descriptive of the thing. I always find that good. Removing things like native American names renaming the Bernanki series to the brevity series taking an ex feather ink didn't have the X feather, but now does in its name. And similar all of which I think are good names. As I said, I think they're mostly better.

I've been told that there are several inks that are still being reconsidered. And because there are, there's at least one ink on here that I would have liked to have seen on here that I 


John: The one that stood out for me on this and[00:24:00] I could be attributing something here to Nathan's mentality. The. Might not be there and this might be overstepping where he's at. But I think that it is notable that he discontinued his 1984, ink

Evan: to my knowledge, that was a special edition, but I do find that notable and no one, I know whose opinion I respect has an issue with the the book 1984, or there are debates about how it should be read and how it impacts our society, which are debates that are. Valid and reasonable to have. That's fine.

But there are plenty of people who trying to figure out what else to say on that without doing too much. But I do find it notable that ink is being discontinued. If it was a regular ink not a special edition. 

John: Yeah, I think that to me, it's one of those that I think that everyone would agree that 1984 [00:25:00] is George Orwell's statement on political correctness and thought control through the use of words in particular. And I think that for Nathan to have been pinched in such a way that he's. Going through and renaming an entire line of inks for him to remove 1984 from that line of inks.

 If it's not a specific action or a determined action, it is definitely a Freudian.

Evan: Yes. And as I've said before, I can't pretend to actually know what goes on in his head or what his thoughts are, and he's free to have. The thoughts he does want I find it interesting and as I also said, I hope these are the first steps in being better.

I hope these are not the last ones. And so whether he, for whatever reason, he thinks to discontinue that one, it is on the list as this continued. [00:26:00] And I continue to. Pay attention and hope that's. He is better with his naming and imagery. 

John: correct. And and just to put it back in there that noodlers will not be. Rejoining my ink collection. And it will not be entirely because of this particular controversy. It will be much more on the idea that the one ink that is not on the list, which is Bay state blue is also known as the most dangerously staining ink on the market for your fountain pens.

And that will be why Noodlers will not be rejoining my ink collection

Evan: yeah, I still have some bottles. And as I said, noodlers has in all, honestly done a ton for the fountain pen community. I've been in the fountain pens for almost nine years. Now, next month will be nine years. at the time in America, you could not get. A vast variety of ink itself from noodlers and he has done a ton for that part of the community and helping [00:27:00] get people into the community.

Nowadays there are a lot more inks available. I think part of that is because people are trying to compete against them, which is a free markets and there are other brands whose ink performance, I do prefer, and now you can get that variety of ink if he had not been on the market, I don't think fountain pens would be as popular as they are now, as, I don't think I'm going to be buying any new noodlers for awhile. Mostly because of those performance issues and the fact you can get tons of interesting inks with tons of amazing properties from other companies, but I still have a few bottles and I don't think I'll be throwing them out. 

John: That's fair enough. I think that's a good way to look at it. And I think at this point, we're going to go ahead and move ourselves along. I feel like we need to be talking about stranger things and Oregon is going to help me out here with their dear stranger camp. 

Evan: that's right, Oregon. Always one to one of the quirkier states. 

John: yeah it's definitely one of those the entire state [00:28:00] of Oregon tries to place itself into a category that normally only cities like Boulder and Austin manage and the entire state of Oregon tries to keep itself weird. So the dear stranger campaign is definitely running.

Evan: absolutely. Slightly tangential. Did you ever see the Oregon healthcare exchange advertise? It is incredibly quirky. I will see if I can find a video of it. I saw it from John Oliver. It is incredibly quirky. It very much fits in the Oregon as a state is trying to keep up with Boulder and Austin. 

John: Oh boy. Yeah. Next one on the list. The there's a article in here from the times out of great Britain and an article asking the basic question of could a 95 Pence stamp kill off letter writing. So we're talking about. Almost a full pound British, which should be, I think it's $2.20 

Evan: No, [00:29:00] the pound is very weak right now. it 

as of recording, it is a dollar and 15 cents. 

John: okay, so if they do manage to get up to a full pound That means that they are still going to be well, no, I take that back. It would be probably less than mailing something within Singapore, but to mail something internationally out of Singapore, dollar 50.

Evan: Yeah.

W that's it's a dollar 30 in America, though. Getting it out of the country, significantly larger than getting it out of Singapore. 

John: Yeah.

Evan: But we talked about it's in a episode quite a while ago. If I recall about some of the international prices, when we, when America had the most recent first, last stamp upgrade and in some countries

it is pretty expensive to send a letter. It can be, I think Italy costs nearly $3 

John: same for Spain. 

Evan: Yeah.

But I do not have that chart [00:30:00] up nor do I know if it has been updated. 

John: Yeah I do recall that conversation because we were actually talking about the international postal union is the group that sets that pricing. So yeah, definitely some history there. And I personally don't think that even if you ended up with the price of a stamp, getting to a full pound, that it could completely kill off letter writing it.

Quell some folks enthusiasm towards, especially like postcards, but I don't think letter writing is ever going to go away fully.

Evan: In America, we have a separate post card rate, but that is not true everywhere. I don't know if it's true in Singapore and international postcards you pay full price. But if there is a separate, cheaper postcard rate that would save postcards. Next time I travel abroad, I'm going to try and buy stamps in advance of traveling.

So I just need to find a post. 

John: yeah, the Singaporeans do have a postcard [00:31:00] rate for theirs, but I believe it's 80 cents. Yeah, it is. It's 80 cents for postcards and then a dollar 50 for full letters. And which means I need to stop using the pigeon letter locks to send off my. International missives, because I need to be getting the full dollar 50 worth of value out of it.

And sending pigeon letter locks is basically sending something that's almost the same size as a postcard, if not a little bit smaller.

Evan: Yeah, you can get more info on it than a postcard unless you print very small and use a magnifying. 

John: Yup. So we're going to go back to Oregon and they have a. News article out of there. This is something that I've, I had heard a little bit before I left the U S because of how on fire the housing market had gotten. But in terms of going beyond just trying to outbid your competition in trying to buy a [00:32:00] home, apparently some folks have resorted to.

Quote, unquote love letters to the sellers of the homes, talking about their hopes and dreams for buying the property and why they wanted to buy the property. And Oregon actually instituted a piece of legislation, banning the use of those love letters in real estate transactions. And that has now been overturned by a federal judge.

So please start picking up your pen and paper and get those misses out.

Evan: Yeah. So the reason that it was that the ban was instituted was that in again, America there are multiple. Protected classes on which you cannot discriminate in housing, including selling a home. And so they thought behind the band was that these letters could divulge information that would say that you're in a protected class, including religion, race, disability, and multiple others.

I know veteran status is one [00:33:00] of them. There are a lot and all of them in my opinion are reasonable. So that would divulge that information. And so they. banned it so that you would not be discriminated against. It was overruled effectively on the basis that if you're divulging it, you are doing so voluntarily. And that you're voluntarily providing information that you did not have to. And so that is the reason, the reasoning for the over. 

John: . And it's definitely one of those things where I can understand. Both sides of the argument, because they are trying to protect people from in this particular case, trying to protect them from themselves because there is a long history in the United States of areas being segregated simply by.

Banking rules and trying to keep loans away from, especially from the black populations in a lot of the cities where there, they would not give a loan, they wouldn't even show [00:34:00] houses in certain neighborhoods. If you were black,

Evan: Absolutely the process for anyone who doesn't know was called red lining. And I highly suggest you look into it. The community that was the most effected was the black and African-American community in, but it was not exclusive to them. At various times there were lots of groups, Asians. Latinos immigrants of any kind where technically it's loaded in early red lining laws Jews were very much included in some of those early ones as well and separately Hebrews, which I just find ironic. So he, it just sounds weird that Jews and Hebrews separately included in red lining. 

John: Yeah. And I think that one of the things that actually helped break open the red lining is the entire information revolution that we've been living through the. Previously bankers and real estate agents had a monopoly on information, and that is no longer the case. And it makes it [00:35:00] much harder for them to propagate that kind of a system

Evan: Absolutely red lining has been illegal technically for decades now, but there are all sorts of ways that the effects are still propagated. 

John: Yep. And it is through the control of information. So thank you to the. For that one to get into something that is definitely a real estate level, but more on their own building. Modern block is opening a Montblanc house in Hamburg, Germany. And this building is incredible. I love the photography that is in this article from a haut time, and this is from their news and travel section.

The especially scroll down to the bottom of it, where they have the nighttime shot of the building with the Montblanc mountain scape lit up. It is just a, it's a beautiful building. It's a beautiful article. [00:36:00] And this is definitely on brand for Mont Blanc and their stylist styling of their pens and their brand.

Evan: Absolutely. I really like this, and this is the brand we mentioned earlier that eventually we'll be taking a lot of my money. 

John: Yeah,

Evan: Probably not just for the pens a Mont Blanc is just some interesting stuff. Mont Blancs owned by the Richmond group, which is owns mostly watch brands. Montblanc is the biggest one.

And for a while, they were trying to become a whole lifestyle brand though. I do have some cuff links for my sister's wedding from Mont Blanc. They're very nice cufflinks thanks to my parents. But this building is incredible. I think I was talking with a coworker yesterday and we both think that Montblanc is trying to focus back on pens and watches and slowly roll back the rest of the lifestyle 

Which is where they're very strong because they're part of the Richmond group.

Their watches are designed for Mont Blanc, but they use a lot of parts that are similar with some very nice brands that people might be might recognize for non watch people. I'm sure you know of [00:37:00] Cartier? For watch people, or , for any F1 fans? IWC is part of the same group. They're a Mercedes sponsor for watch people along the Ensono judge go to the court a ton of them. 

John: Yeah. And then for anyone that is into winter sports, the, you cannot escape tag Hoyer.

Evan: Oh, never. But tagged wire is not part of the Richard. 

John: Okay.

Evan: I love tag lawyer who also sponsor red bull the red bull who owns tat I'm flicking out. I like tags. 

John: so the Montblanc house is just the tip of the iceberg for the rest of the show, which is going to be all Mont Blanc all the time. The next article comes out of Kenya and one of the public figures there, Nelson Havi. Has been featured in an article and they're talking about his 130,000 pounds kenyan Sterling.

 And it is a Montblanc [00:38:00] JFK John F. Kennedy special edition fountain pen that he has been using to sign documents and they have quite a few.

Evan: Sorry. So the tenure. 

John: Oh, thanks. You Kenyan shilling. There you go. And yeah, that's right. Cause I put it in the show 

Evan: Yeah, 

John: and yeah, it's definitely a striking pen. I've I'm a huge JFK fan and I love the JFK blue ink that they had for awhile. It's been discontinued, but that's a beautiful.

Evan: well, It'll be re it will be brought back as another Montblanc for sure. Yeah, 130,000 Kenyan . Shilling is in fact about the Right. price for this it's $1,100. So that, that the price is accurate. It's just in other currencies. That makes it seem like a lot, but it is, it's not a little, it's a lot of money.

Don't get me wrong.

John: Yeah. And definitely in a country like Kenya, so the next public figure that we have, [00:39:00] and this is also Montblanc, or actually, no, it's not Montblanc related. This is a gets over into Montegrappa and this comes from Jony Ives the apple designer, former apple designer, and he has 12 of his favorite tools of the trade listed.

And I actually have two different articles for this one's from macrumors and then the other one is from trend fool. And for both websites I included the trend. Article, because it actually has the picture that Johnny Ives had for his items. 

Evan: do you want the original article that it came from? 

John: sure. 

Evan: It Was in the financial times. He took over there. How I, or how to spend it.

And it is paywall, but there is a small bit of it. We can link in the show notes and it,

was talked about on the Pen Addict

episode this week. 

John: Ah, I missed that one.

Evan: But there's a bunch of really neat stuff. Of course. Mike and Brad went into some detail, [00:40:00] but we want to go over it too. 

John: Yeah, specifically I had three items that were on the list. The first one was something that I had actually just been introduced to here, not that long ago. And it's the, a bone folder that he had. And then there a link in here to H Weber and sons limited out of the UK, but there are plenty of bone folders that you can find on the American market.

And these are something that I picked up as part of the envelope creation hobby that I'd gotten into, just because you do need something like this to help crease and. Set some of the folds in the envelopes. And I'm guessing that Mr. Ives was also likewise using this for some form of paper creasing or origami that he was trying to develop.

Evan: Yeah. [00:41:00] Those bone folders are also used for a leather working. He does list it as a paper folder. Unsurprisingly, sir, Johnny Ives has very expensive taste. Aside from the bone folders the ma he has a measuring tape, always useful tool. This is from Hermes. 

John: Yes. And it is $530. And the comments for, I think for both of these articles, the comments sections are worth reading through just because of the just massive level of snark and some of these comments section.

Evan: Yeah. On surprised. Apple's chief designer for a long time, including effectively the entire revival of apple. He has rightfully, I would say made a good amount of money. Some of these are just stilt, hilarious S including that Hermes pocket measuring tape. 

John: Yeah. The comment that I think I saw in there that was my favorite was the that a measuring tape under $500 just cannot possibly be accurate [00:42:00] enough.

Evan: I do not think Ms is providing NIST traceability, but I would love to know if they do. We talked about that a little bit recently. 

John: Yes we have. And then the the big one out of the list is the Monte Grappa. And it turns out that the macrumors list didn't list the model. And I found it elsewhere. It is the Monte grappa for tuna that is pictured in the article. And that one is a pure ivory color.

Evan: All right. So there w I blanking out on exactly what it was, but there was a lot of speculation in the pen addict about exactly which model this was, and it is some very limited, special edition. 

John: Yep. And then the last on my list for items that I thought were just super cool, just because I've done drafting and I've had to use protractors and I have never seen anything like this Mitutoyo, the [00:43:00] universal protractor. These are just beautiful mindblowing, but also incredibly expensive.

Evan: Yeah. , these are high precision machined and very well done. So it makes sense of for the price, but they're expensive. 

John: oh yeah. So where to go, sir? Johnny Ives, you are. Perpetuating the level of FOMO once again, and giving us all places to spend money that we may or may not have. So thank you for that. And that's going to do it for this episode of Stationery orbit. Thank you all for tuning in, and we'll see you in two weeks.

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