I was having dinner at the home of some friends the other night and found the need to jot something down. My friend Pete (or maybe it was his wife Sue) handed me a pencil that was perfectly sharpened and a joy with which to write. It got me thinking about the pencils to which I am addicted — the Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602s. Soft and smooth! Here I go again, the perfect tool for the job. Sadly, the Blackwings were taken out of production back in 1998. They have recently been re-introduced to somewhat mixed reviews. I know, I know…a lot of time and breath expended on what is, after all, just a pencil. But just consider the product tag line printed on the originals: Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed. How could anyone resist that?