Highlight Of Solid Sound

The Solid Sound Festival was lots of fun! Thanks to Wilco and John Hodgman for having me along.

One of the highlights was meeting a real-life falconer and his falcon!

Photo by Morgan Murphy

I asked the bird’s name and the falconer said something really tough: “He doesn’t have a name because he is not a pet.”

Solid Sound

Solid Sound is a Wilco-related music fest in North Adams, MA this weekend. The comedy portion will be hosted by J. Hodgman and me (David). Guests include Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, and Wyatt Cenac. You’re all invited! More info at the link …


It’s time for another night of LOLLYGAGGIN’ WITH DAVID REES.

We’ve booked tons of funny comedians for your entertainment. I hope I’ll see you there!

Thank-You Cards From Kids RE: Pencils

As promised, here are some of the nice thank-you cards I got from the class of 3rd and 4th graders I sharpened pencils for.

When I got these cards in the mail I was in a bad mood and they lifted my spirits. So many drawings of pencils!

One of the cards says: “Thank you for the artisanally sharpened pencils David Rees. They look very phenomenal. They were so sharp. I was so flabbergasted when I saw them. They were amazing. I was astonished.” I’m putting that blurb on the cover of my pencil-sharpening book!

Biggest Pencil Job To Date / Cleaning The El Casco

I recently filled my biggest single pencil-sharpening order to date: 25 pencils for a class of third and fourth graders preparing to take the New York state exams.

I decided to use my El Casco M-430 sharpener for the job, as it produces an extremely long point and flat tip ideal for consistent, long-term filling-in of standardized test bubbles.

Here are the pencils with plastic sheaths attached to prevent breakage in transit.

Here are the bagged shavings. As some of my customers know, the El Casco really pulverizes the wood. This looks more like a bag of cremated mice than a bag of pencil shavings. I would not try crossing an international border with this bag.

After the job, I decided a thorough cleaning of the El Casco was in order.

Fortunately, the sharpener comes with a helpful parts manual. (Remember, El Cascos are hand-assembled in Spain.)

Some of the equipment needed for cleaning — a more detailed account will be included in my book HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS, available Spring 2012.

The grinding mechanism is cleaned and ready for more action.

TOMORROW: Some of the nice thank-you notes I received from the kids!

SUMMER MADNESS SALE: Artisanally sharpened pencils now available for $15 at www.artisanalpencilsharpening.com!

I Am Sharpening Pencils At A Horror Convention In New Jersey This Weekend.

I have five questions for you:

1. Are you a fan of scary movies?
2. Do you love horror?
3. Have you always wanted Martin Landau’s autograph, or the autograph of the guy with all the pins in his face from HELLRAISER?
4. Would you like to see a live re-enactment of DAWN OF THE DEAD?

And most importantly …

5. Have you always wished you could buy an artisanally sharpened pencil without having to pay shipping and handling fees?

If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then I STRONGLY suggest you attend SATURDAY NIGHTMARES, a horror convention in East Rutherford, NJ this weekend.

Specifically, I invite you to attend on Saturday, June 4. Because that is the day I will be sharpening pencils on site!

I have sharpened pencils on a cruise ship. I have sharpened pencils in a Jamaican waterfall. I have sharpened pencils in the home of wealthy strangers. But never before have I sharpened pencils at a horror convention.

Please come; here is the information!
Saturday Nightmares
Saturday, June 4
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel
2 Meadowlands Plaza
East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073