My Analog Room

Over the years I have fallen deeper into this hobby which has resulted in a common collection of pens, inks, pencils, note cards, letter paper and so on. I haven’t amassed a huge collection so I have been able to contain it to a bookshelf in my home office. Though my recent acquisition of paper products has outpaced my use of said paper products so everything gets rearranged to make it fit after I try it out.

I find myself putting off writing letters and not enjoying my pens because of the time it takes to find what I want and the subsequent put away afterwards. I have longed for a good solution and after some mental stalling and fear of just doing it I think I have made some progress. Recently we freed up a room in our house that was starting to collect more random household goods than we wanted. I decided to transition the room to the Analog Room. Not a man cave, but a place for anyone to experience an occasional refuge from email, screens and technology.

The center piece for me will always be the electro-mechanical pinball machine that is very similar to the one I had as a child. I still love a good game of pin without having to maintain a pocket full of quarters.

The first purchase was a writing desk, just for writing, no stapler, tape dispenser, pictures or doodads, just a blank desktop. I wanted small and preferred a roll top variety not for the nostalgia as much as for dust control. Shopping the online classifieds, prices ranged widely and I think some of the sellers’ believed theirs was used by Thomas Jefferson when he penned the Declaration of Independence. I found a reproduction that fit the budget to a point that if this hair brain idea doesn’t work out I’m not out much coin. A short drive, exchange of cash and a cleanup from some domestic animal that shed blankets full of hair in one of the drawers and we got it inside our new room setup. It has a few age bruises but if I ever have to sell it I will go with words like patina and character.

Writing Desk

Immediate Needs

  • Lighting
  • Chair, do I go vintage or comfort?
  • Ceiling fan with electrical, it gets quite warm in there
  • Cellular signal and wi-fi jamming device (ok kidding)

Coming Soon

  • JCPenney table radio that works great with the old tune dial
  • Old citizens band radio desktop microphone that my dad used
  • Typewriter, though floor space may limit what I can do for a stand
  • Flip card rolodex for addresses, or maybe a Col-r-ring?
  • Hardbound dictionary

Cute Creative Stuff

  • A shelf or basket at the door for any visitors’ devices
  • A sign claiming the room as an analog only zone


I’m enjoying the setup so far though with a delay from our friend Irma the storm. I have written the first letter from the new desk to my lovely wife who has been extremely supportive, yes I mail letters to my wife who lives in the same household. I look forward to some Pinterest cruising for analog ideas and inspiration and I’m hoping I can get a few pictures through the window for social media as I progress because remember devices will not be allowed in the room 🙂 .

So do you have an analog space or have any ideas for mine?

Remember: Write something nice……

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The weight of analog

Inside Lands End BagAnalog vs. Digital, the debate has been going on since the dawn of portable electronics and will probably last for eternity. In the last 25 years or so digital has really stepped up their game due in no small part to advancements in technology. ie. cheap processors, cheaper screens, cheap memory and the list goes on that makes our latest electronic devices more powerful and talented than ever before. As a reader of this blog I suspect you still enjoy some aspects of the analog world. Analog is far from extinct and some would argue its back on the rise. I have no plans to give it up even though I suspect I have more than the average number of connected devices in my home and probably in my possession at any time. Que the watch, ipad, work laptop, personal mac book, kindle, android smart phone, iphone and a very underutilized fitness tracker.

A key drawback in the analog way of life is the wait. Wait to get something you wrote to someone else. You can digitize and upload your scribbles, wait for that letter to arrive, wait for the ink to dry from that broad wet nib. Analog typically takes longer than digital. I think one area when a pen and notepad is the hare instead of the tortoise is I can write down a quick phone number or web address much quicker than I can find my electronic device, power it up, find the right app then record said information by tiny keyboard pecks. YMMV.

I have gotten used to the traditional waits of analog and plan my communications transfers according. This morning I realized my struggle lately is the WEIGHT of analog. Here is a picture of my typical daily load out:

Everything in the Bag

My analog deployment is by no means a model of efficiency but as I have evolved and started various writing projects most of them just don’t fit well together so I end up with a lot of stuff. I have seen a lot of bag dumps on social media and I don’t think I’m too far out in left field so maybe it’s the bag area where I need to explore.

Here is my EDC bag of choice, boringly simple:

Lands End BagI have tried many other bag and cases but keep coming back to this simplicity and ruggedness. I have lost track as to how old it is but it’s been my off and on daily carry (more on) for 10+ years. I have a whole plastic storage tub in the garage of replacement candidates that I have tried over the years and retired them like new when I go back to old faithful.

Coming into work today I realized how heavy this thing really is. I tried the shoulder strap approach and that helps. Fortunately I have short walks from house to car and car to office.

What are your daily carry challenges of all things Analog?

Remember: Write something nice……

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