Quote: The Message in Your Misfortunes

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

- Jonathan Haidt and Gregory Lukianoff

Quote: Action and Suffering

“Action and suffering, which together make up our lives, are a whole; they are one. A child suffers its begetting, it suffers its birth, its weaning; it suffers here and suffers there until in the end it suffers death. But all the good in a man, for which he is praised or loved, is merely good suffering, the right kind, the living kind of suffering, a suffering to the full. The ability to suffer well is more than half of life— indeed, it is all life.”

- Hermann Hesse

Review: Prometheus Writes Alpha Executive Pen

I have carried and used the Prometheus Writes Ti Alpha Executive Pen for nearly six years. It happened to go missing last October, and what I thought was lost, I found nearly nine months later hanging from a thread of an old summer jacket. Boy, was I delighted. The Alpha Executive Pen was designed by California-based designer and fabricator, Jason Hui of Prometheus Lights. Like Jason, as a consumer, I have always had a desire to buy things that I know I can depend on and that I know will last. Buy once, cry once. However, even more so, I appreciate a product where it is self evident that the designer truly cares about his craft.

Jason Hui has extensive knowledge and experience in design strategy, product development, and industrial technology. Although, he is better known for his innovative work in the flashlight market, the Alpha Executive pen is a prime example of his capabilities.

This particular pen is crafted from Grade 2 Titanium and is designed to accept Mont Blanc Fineliner and Rollerball refills only. Some have reservations about this, as these refills are expensive, and don’t last as long as some other popular refills. However, as someone who is constantly writing and jotting things down, the Mont Blanc refills are just a joy to use. The Rollerball refill is as smooth as silk, and will provide crisp dark lines.

The Fineliner, provides a distinctive writing experience. It features a felt tip, which can recede if too much pressure is applied, therefore, protecting the tip from being damaged.

The body of the pen is essentially three pieces not including the screw and clip. There are no springs or other internal components as the Mont Blanc refill screws directly into the housing. Given the pen is made from Titanium, it can and will soak up damage. The tumbled finish easily hides any scratches received. I have carried my pen daily since 2013. It has shared pocket space with keys, knives, and flashlights. As you can see from the photos, the pen is still in pristine condition.

As my pen is the Kickstarter version, Jason has made a few minor changes to the design since 2013. The current iteration is crafted from Grade 5 Titanium, which is stronger and more abrasion resistant than the Grade 2. The Kickstarter version is completely sterile and features no maker’s mark whatsoever. The current iteration will feature a maker's mark on the brass screw which holds the clip in place. Other than that, the design is the exactly same. In addition to Titanium, the pen can also be machined from Aluminum, Brass, or Copper.

Now, I’ll be honest, these pens are not cheap. I purchased mine through the Kickstarter campaign for $120. In six years the price for the Titanium Alpha has risen to $250. However, the copper, brass, and aluminum pens are cheaper (and in that order). These pens are machined in Jason’s shop and, therefore, are made right here in the USA. So, expect to pay a premium. This is by far the best pen I’ve ever owned. The weight, balance, and the use of Mont Blanc refills provide an extremely gratifying writing experience. If you’re looking for a new option for daily carry, I strongly recommend you hop on over to www.darksucks.com and pick one up.