Monthly Archives: January 2009

Nerd service: Turn a fisher bullet pen into a gel pen

I am posting this as a geek/nerd service to people everywhere (ok maybe there are 2 other people out there) who are seeking a solution to a specific problem:

How do you convert a bullet fisher space pen to a gel ink pen?

Firstly: why, you ask? Well… I’ll tell you. The bullet pen is perhaps one of the most unobtrusive, easy to carry, rugged, and accident-proof pens you can throw in your pocket. As a disciple of GTD and ubiquitous capture and blah blah in “2006-Merlin’s” name we trust*, I like to have a pen on my person as much as possible.

Yet, as a lefty, the OG space pen ink just doesn’t work for me. It tends to vomit out a big glob on the first contact with an index card and then smears as I write in my hideous lefty-claw-hook fashion.

Gel pens like the Pilot G2 have about the best ink I have experienced for a lefty. Unfortunately G2 refills will not fit into a bullet pen.

Enter the Zebra G301. Ugly pens but great refills. Simply cut them down to size and stuff them into your bullet and voila! you have a Gel bullet. You don’t even have to get the length perfect as they will bend a little in the barrel if necessary (see pic.)

Rorschach_s House O_ Spyders - Blade collector, high-tech servant.jpg

So there you have it. Take Zebra G-301 refills, cut ’em down, cram unartfully into your bullet pen, and you have a great solution for a lefty, or anyone who doesn’t like the space pen ink.


*PS I like the new Merlin too, he’s just not as manic about fostering niche pen dialogue.

ADDENDUM: I have gotten a few emails and comments from folks who don’t like the bullet pen. I agree. The bullet pen is my “backup when I have no pen”, my “jeans or shorts pocket pen,” my “in the car cup holder pen.”

When I am on the clock and conducting business, and have the luxury of a shirt pocket or suit pocket for a full-size pen, I always carry one of my favorite pieces below. (I am trying to find a way to get a gel refill in these guys too!) Presently I use the MB fine-liner refills, which are great but they run out of ink too quickly and are very expensive.


Some more GIEZ shots

Perhaps it has to do with having an engineering background, but there’s something cool about an all analog watch that has a slew of digital features. On my last trip to Japan I picked up a GIEZ. It syncs with the atomic clocks in Colorado and Japan, has a full stopwatch, world time (dual time zones), an alarm, and the best feature of all, it runs on solar power. This is the kind of watch that you MUST read the manual to master, but some of us engineers like to read manuals.

GIEZ close



Macworld + CES loadout


Lets see, this is my 19th CES in a row (!!) and 2nd Macworld (and likely last).

Not a heavily tactical environment but I will choose 2 favorites for this trip. The new Dragonfly and the Riseman.

(and good shoes)