I had always said that I'd never actually buy a mousepad unless it lit up or something, and even when those came out, I didn't get one. My first mouse pad I got when I lived with Bruce back in 1988 when I got my AtariST system. He gave me a blue one, even though I got a gray one with the Atari logo on it free with the system. The blue pad lasted until I stopped using the ST around 1993 or something, and it's probably still around somewhere in my den. When I got my first Windows system in 1996, I used a black one I found in an abandoned desk at work.
In 1998, when the movie "Dark City" was being promoted, Bruce got a metric ton of Dark City mousepads for Evecon or Castlecon (whatever con was 6 months before the movie release). I ended up with a lot of them, so I gave them out at work, and kept a few for myself. Funny, I never actually got to see the movie (I heard it was obscure, but pretty good), but I have had the mousepad through all my job changes and moves. When I moved to this new company, it made me feel a little better I had a reminder of my good old days in International Wardialing, when I first used it.
It wasn't a good mousepad, really. It was slick vinyl circle with a cheap foam backing. It was a little too small, and sometimes it didn't work so nice with optical mice until I scuffed it a little, but I never wanted to actually stoop and buy a new one.
Until AMA. When I got stuck to someone who was desperately trying to sell them. I heard from some merchant friends that AMA wasn't exactly covering cost for them, and the independent and obscure art sellers were doing the worst. So, because I was a little goofy on stress, lack of food, and low blood sugar, I got a punk rock girl mousepad from dougsmithart.com.
Man, the girl behind the table was really trying to sell me a mousepad. I told her that most of what they had would get me in trouble at work. I am not into getting scantily clad or partially naked anime women as a desktop background, or even art to hang on the wall (I have Nybor stuff, and that's strong enough for me), so a mousepad where my hand would be grazing some fake boobies seems a little creepy. So then she jumped to a mousepad with a modestly dressed punk rock girl on it.
So now I own a mousepad and the memory of a smile from a very grateful artist's female assistant. And the funny part is, my optical mouse works a LOT better.