I love me a sturdy pencil sharpener, a strong reliable stapler, sharp Fiskar scissors, a sleek tape dispenser. The first, most basic business contact organizer - the Rolodex. The almost biting sharpness of a German stainless steel compass. Lead holders, leads of all grades, 10 different colors, lead pointers. Those infuriating Rapid-o-graphs. Graph paper, rolls of canary or buff, vellum, mylar. Erasers for 20 different applications. An electric eraser. An. Electric. Eraser.
The list goes on. But I loved all those gadgets. The directness of them. No translations through 1s and 0s. No moving a mouse that moves a cursor that shows a line. No Cntrl or Alt anything. You drew directly. Felt the weight of each piece in your hands, the edges against your fingers. Heard it slide across your table. The leads were sharpened, then flattened to a sharp angle on a sandpaper pad so the vertical lines of each letter would be sharp as a knife slice; the horizontals sturdy like concrete slabs. Our lettering was a source of pride.
Of course now, the main tactile experience of the architect is a mouse. Squeak.
I recently acquired this pencil sharpener. I'm sure it wouldn't fit into anybody's briefcase. It was made to sit, like furniture, on your desk next to your drafting table in your office. I couldn't confirm that it worked, but I knew it would. They were built to last. The motor sounds like a large ride-on mower. Probably has the same horse power.
Just today, I found this stapler, another piece of furniture that knew nothing of branch offices or mergers or international travel. It probably weighs 3 pounds. And yes, it works. Of course.
When I saw these old friends at a rummage sale and thrift store, respectively, it was like reminiscing about an old love.
I think I need a drink.