Spoke Roady Gecko Pen Assessment

The Spoke Design Roady Gecko pen a few week in the past, and I’ve been utilizing it always since then. The Roady is an EDC pocket pen made from machined aluminum that’s constructed across the Uni-ball Jetstream SXR-600 refill. In contrast to its predecessor, the superb Signo DX suitable Spoke Pen, the Roady is able to accepting all kinds of Parker model refills, together with the Fisher Area Pen refill, a lot beloved in EDC circles.

I don’t normally go for flashy pens, however one thing concerning the design of the Roady and the color choices provided made me seize the Gecko. This charmingly named colourway has a lime inexperienced cap, an orange barrel and finial, and rainbow colored grip and clip. The result’s even higher in particular person than it’s in pictures – a pen that makes you smile and is certain to attract consideration to itself.

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Capped the Spoke Roady is tiny, and ought to suit comfortably in your pockets, when you’ve got some.

There are just a few different colourways with comparable rainbow patterns on their grip and clip. The result’s beautiful, and I’m glad that Spoke Design haven’t provided these solely as restricted version pens, or charged an extra markup for them. That’s commendable and spectacular, notably in immediately’s machined pen market.

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Rainbow clip.

Attempting to jot down with the Spoke Roady unposted is asking for bother, because it’s verging on golf pencil brief in its physique size. This can be a pen clearly designed with posting in thoughts.

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Too brief for consolation unposted.

When posted the Spoke Roady turns into a viable EDC pen, though it’s nonetheless on the brief aspect. Because of this it’s nice for brief notes on the go, which is what it’s meant for, and never the perfect for lengthy word taking classes. The Roady posts utilizing magnets, making a satisfying click on when posted. It’s not as nice a fidget toy because the Spoke Pen is, not that this could ever dissuade you from buying it.

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Capped and prepared for work.

For some motive the refill got here shipped in a separate sleeve and never contained in the pen. This can be a peculiar selection because the refill got here in a Uni-ball refill bag, however with the spring and o-ring already put in, and for some motive a little bit of tubing meant for use as a spacer of some variety? It’s probably not clear. Additionally, when you get a cool sticker and usually good packaging with the Roady, you don’t get an evidence of any variety with the pen. That’s a disgrace as a result of it assumes that everybody will know methods to deal with the refill in the case of altering the pen’s refill. It seems like a missed alternative for Spoke.

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The refill, Jetstream SXR-600

Right here’s the Spoke Roady subsequent to the Spoke Pen. When you can solely afford one pen and also you’re out and about loads and like wild colors, then I’d advocate getting the Roady. In any other case, get the Spoke pen, particularly should you like writing in effective strains. Each are good pens, simply every one is suited to a unique use case.

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Roady on the left, Spoke Pen on the suitable.

Writing pattern on Rhodia paper. The Jetstream SXR-600 in 0.7 is a wonderful refill selection within the Parker refill class, and the Parker model refill itself is a good selection for an EDC kind of pen.

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The Roady is a good little pen to have helpful, and it’s fairly priced for a machined pen. I received’t be stunned if I find yourself shopping for one and even two extra.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

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