Saturday, November 26, 2011

Marina Bay Sands - Singapore

Another one of our recent trip to Singapore, was in time to see the opening of the Marina Bay Sands area. My favourite component of the urban design in this area is the double helix DNA bridge (pedestrian) that connects to the main part of the city and the Singapore Flyer. Going to the top of the tower and looking back down is also exciting witnessing the botanical garden under construction and the rest of the CBD areas. 

Trip to Kuala Terengganu

Sometime ago in June, we went to Kuala Terengganu to visit our beloved Aunty. Here are some pictures to share of this peaceful and beautiful town...

Pelikan Blue O Blue M800 - Medium nib - Review

This is my first Pelikan and my entry to the wonderful flock. I was torn between a M1000 and M800 but after trying out both of them, I’ve decided to go for this one as I feel the size is more suitable for me. As this is my first Pelikan, you can imagine the feeling of opening a new door to another great FP manufacturer and discovering the great writing feel and quality. I’m certain my Pelikan collection will not stop here.

Appearance and Design 9/10
The Blue O Blue Special edition is the reason why I picked this up in the first place. After comparing it with the standard M800 and even M1000, I’ve decided to add a small premium for the added aesthetic. The gold trim goes very well with the blue acrylic pattern and one can’t help but rotate and appreciate how the pattern goes around the pen. I was a bit concern about the new solid gold cap tip over the traditional ones, but have now started to grow into it and I think it goes with the overall design very well. It’s not as loud as I would have thought and I must say very well made. My only wish is that the piston knob could have used the similar material, which may have taken it to another level. Overall a very beautiful pen, and has much more depth than the standard black or green strip pattern.

Construction and Quality 8/10
The quality is superb and very well made. No loose joints and solidly built. Brass component does adds a bit of weight to pen but that’s fine by me. I’ve no issues with heavier pens and weight does always gives assurance of quality built. One can’t go wrong with this!
When observe carefully, the surface of the pen is not entirely smooth as there are very small dents and bumps on it due to the manufacturing process of the acrylic to get the effect that it possess. This not really an issue as those texture can’t be felt at all, only visible under a reading light.

Weight and Dimension 8.5/10
I don’t usually post the cap when writing with FP (few episodes of cap plunging to the ground made my heart sank). M800 or 805s are good enough to be used without having the cap posted. The balance is great + the weight makes consistent writing a lot easier and over a longer period of time. I think I’ll continue to focus on the 800 series for my next purchase. I’ve tested this against other series, and M800 sits comfortably in my hands.  

Nib Performance 9/10
I love this nib! It’s a regular M nib but has its own quality to it. I was lucky to be able to test all the nibs on the spot before purchasing. I was rather disturbed at how many of the nibs has inconsistent writing quality, some were sketchy, some had flow problems, but when Pelikan got it right, it just feels great. I guess I was lucky enough to come across a vendor that is patient enough to entertain my fussiness but it does saves me the trouble of sending it off to a nibmiester and waiting for its return. The M nib I got has a slight oblique quality to it which I like, and the flow is generous and wet. Currently the more frequent ink goes into it is Sailor Jentle black, which is a great combination. The paper which I frequently use is Clairefontaine smooth paper, and I’ve encountered almost zero skipping, which happens more frequent with MB nibs that suffers a lot of ‘baby-bottom’ syndrome on these papers.
I do notice that there are several reviews and complaints about how some Pelikan does not write well out of the box, and after the experience I had when purchasing this, I have learnt what that means when trying them out. I’ll make a point to purchase the next one only if I am able to test them. I suppose buying from a nibmiester for example and have your nib done up before receiving it, is a sure way to get a trouble free nib.

nib comparison with 146

Filling System and Maintenance 8.5/10
Interchangeable nibs, easy cleaning, and smoother piston operations than most pens, makes Pelikan a winner and this BoB is no exception. Though there are no ink window here but when having a light behind it, one can actually see the ink level through the translucent surface of the acrylic.  

Cost and Value 8/10
Priced slightly higher than the 1000, it’s a small premium for a great pen with a special twist. As far as functionality goes, it’s almost flawless. The added aesthetic of the Blue O Blue just made the special piece even more outstanding.

Final Score 8.5/10
I’m glad I’ve chosen this piece to join the flock and I know it’s going to be a hard piece to beat or match. I love the writing experience of this pen and will certainly be aiming for different nib size in the future.
The Blue O Blue instantly goes into my regular rotation and has been for the past 3 months of usage and I’d imagine that it will stay that way for a long time.

 comparison with MB149 (top), MB146(middle) and the BoB (bottom)

Comparison with 146P 

Fully recommended and thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ski Dubai - Dubai

An interesting place, to have a snow dome in the desert sure does deserve some attention and this is one of the must see destination when our nephew come over here to visit us. We had great fun here in the snow farm, a bit of snowy activities and a ride on the cable seats all the way to the top of the dome and back. Here are some pics of that day!