Rich Dale here.  I’ve been waiting all year for this — today, March 30th, National Pencil Day!

OK, I haven’t really been waiting all year.  But I do have some opinions about pencils.

So a few months ago, I had a milestone birthday party, so afterwards I had the task of writing thank-you notes to everyone who had given me stuff.  And the way I see it, when you’re making out a card, it would be so easy to screw something up — then you have to throw the whole thing away!  So yeah, I wrote ’em in pencil.  And a friend of mine made fun of me for that!  Why?!  Nothing beats being able to erase what you just did and save the card!  OK, maybe next time I’ll use one of those erasable pens.  Then no-one will be the wiser.

Of course, not all pencils are created equal.  There are the regular wooden ones that you have to sharpen.  And if you use those, just shell out the 20 bucks and get an electric sharpener.  It’s worth it.

Of course, you never have to sharpen mechanical pencils, though they don’t have quite as sharp a point.  It’s like the difference between a straight razor and an electric razor.  To me, it’s worth it not to get as close a shave and avoid cutting myself to shreds.

But there are 2 kinds of mechanical pencils.  There’s the more traditional kind where you press the top to advance more lead.  What I don’t like about those is that of course the eraser is on the top, so whenever you erase something, if you’re not careful, you end up with 6 inches of lead sticking out!

My choice is the one on top in the picture — the Papermate Sharpwriter.  (And no-one paid me a dime to say that.)  That one, you turn the point to advance more lead, so you can erase like a madman and never disturb your perfect point!

Anyway, that’s more than you ever wanted to know about me or about pencils.  Happy National Pencil Day!  Tomorrow is National Crayon Day.  I’ll steer clear of that one.  What the heck do I know about crayons?