Home > Friends, Rogers, Video, Wilson Stories > close call: nearly an accessory to manslaughter

close call: nearly an accessory to manslaughter

actual image of the journal has been withheld to protect the innocent

actual image of the journal has been withheld to protect the innocent

Who would have ever imagined that receiving a one of a kind birthday gift would put me but a breath away from being an accessory to manslaughter?

Who could have ever guessed that one of the three greatest gifts that I have received during my adult life could have turned deadly?

Not I. I never could have imagined.

And, had the thought crossed my mind, while I probably would have kept my mouth shut until I received my gift, I most certainly would not have passed the website on to my beloved friends and family.

Ok, I will quit being coy.

As most of you probably know, I love journals and journaling. This love for a good journal began in earnest when my mom bought me this beautifully ornate celtic journal cover my freshman year in college.

I know this sounds like an over-exaggeration, but it really did change my life. I really learned how to pray with focus and passion on the pages that filled that journal.

If I have not gotten through to you yet, let me be clear: I absolutely love journals.

As my journalling became more and more the bread and butter of my personal devotion time to the Lord, I quickly filled up insert after insert in the celtic journal cover. I love that celtic journal cover.

It was at some point in the year after I graduated from college that I made a discovery.

I stumbled across a beautiful company called Moleskine. This company, I discovered, makes the journal to end all journals. They have a rich history that goes back to Leonardo da Vince and Ernest Hemmingway, they have more shapes, styles, paper types, etc than you can number – they even make day/week/month planners.

It is the perfect combination of compactness and quality heft – and it partners perfectly with my thinline Bible that I prefer to carry with me.

There was, however, one thing lacking with the Moleskine brand.

That one thing? They only come in black. They only came in black.

I discovered this website, engraveyourbook.com (link below),

They will custom engrave, laser etch, any image, into the cover of the Moleskine style of your choosing.

But I had a problem. I had purchased two new journals the last time I ran out because they were cheap at this store that I found … and when I discovered the website I was only through the first half of the first journal!

(Key the heroic trumpet blast)

From out of nowhere, my great friend Brandon came to the rescue! He is an incredible photographer who works his magic in and around Louisville, KY (hit him up at BBRogers.com), and his photography skills are surpassed only by his love for Jesus and his virtually unsurpassable friend-skills.

In one of the single-most impressive birthday moves, Brandon sent me one of the best birthday surprises I can recall – a custom, laver engraved, one-of-a-kind, BBRogers “Silo” series Moleskine journal!

Little did we know that the birthday glory could have been a birthday tragedy.

Watch this video and see if you can see the silent assassin:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Did you see it! Did you see the smoke rising from the laser of death!

Beware the laser of death, for as I discovered today (to my absolute shock and horror), according to the engraveyourbook.com website:

Engraved Moleskine Update!


Unfortunately, I am no longer engraving directly onto Moleskine notebooks because the cover material (PVC) is dangerous to engrave. Although the final product is safe, burning PVC with a laser off-gasses toxic gases such as chlorine and phosgene gas : (

I’ll be offering a far superior, reusable, safe and natural alternative in late September. I’d like to thank everyone for their support! Your patience will be rewarded. Feel free to enter your email address to receive updates.

Did you read that?!?

“Highly toxic gases … phosgene(!) … chlorine gas (!!)” – unbelievable.  

What would have happened if the fine folks at engraveyourbook.com had leaned a little too close to admire the brilliant photography?

They would have been toast! Scary.

I can only think of two things to say: 1) Brandon we were that far from having a man’s blood on our hands and 2) I hope they figure our this poison gas thing soon …. I’m running out of pages!!!

  1. Joe
    October 9, 2008 at 2:03 am

    In response to this dramatic post – I just wanted to assure you that engraving your book did not kill me – haha wow…the title is great! “close call: nearly an accessory to manslaughter” The toxins released were properly filtered, but I put my operation on hold the moment I discovered the PVC issue because I want to develop a sustainable business (the hydrochloric acid produced when engraving the books actually corrodes the expensive laser machine over time : (
    I’m just about to launch a replacement which is reusable, biodegradable, and looks much better engraved.

    Thanks for your concern over my health – i’m feeling great! cyclocross season in Portland Oregon just started and my first race was a blast!



  2. Brandon
    October 10, 2008 at 3:07 am


    I gotta hand it to you. Your compassion for people has always inspired me. I’m so thankful Jesus has done such a work in your heart. Your first thought when you found out about toxic gases: “I hope the guy is ok.” My first thought: “Crap. Now where am I going to get Moleskines engraved?”

    Dadgum this consumer culture that I have sinfully followed. And dadgum my selfishness.

    As for the rest of the series, we’ll have to find a way to get that going. Whether it be moleskines or not. And we’ll have to have them mailed to you with more frequency since you write like a madman.

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