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Archive for September 13th, 2010


Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2010

I find myself suddenly under a press of clients’ pens.  The crisis was formed by the early arrival of a trio of very cranky Sheaffers of three different eras (the oldest is a Snorkel), which were posted from Newfoundland on Thursday and somehow arrived on Friday, despite the client being told that they should make it by Tuesday.  I will make a brief aside on the subject of Canada Post, who are shaking a long-standing faith that items may only creep through their conveyors– this makes the third item arriving with unexpected speed in one week, the other two being a pen sent to a customer in Calgary and a letter arriving from a new correspondent in Austria.  If they’re not careful, I will start to expect this sort of effort from them.

Finding myself with a sudden drift of pens around my ankles (figuratively only– they all recline in safety and comfort), I declared that this weekend now just past must see an great effort applied to clear things away.  I’ve been extemporizing on one great lot as I still haven’t received the piston material mentioned in my surprisingly uncontroversial last entry, but it occurred to me that holding off on resacking several pens as a very few of their companions are awaiting piston work is both foolish and a bowing to laziness.  Resolution strong in me, and household tasks being addressed sufficiently on Saturday, Sunday was going to be the day of pens.

Now, one of the reasons that my pen enterprise hasn’t supplanted The Regular Job as primary income, and my hoped-for craft bindery languishes under growing tents of cobwebs is the Tiny Tyrant.  I prefer to work when he’s asleep, because he’s inherently distracting– one cannot say without seeing him whether some sounds he makes are from delight at a toy or TV show, or because he’s just lost a limb.  Also, my own notions of household equity demand that I not crouch in hiding while my wife sees to his needs… just as she does every weekday when I’m off at The Regular Job.  Happily, my son takes after his mother in being a late to bed, late to rise sort, while I am a morning person (more or less– I don’t get cooking until I’ve been up for an hour or two, but I don’t mind getting up at 6:00am).

My son is, however, of an age to which “predictable” is not an applicable word.  5:00 Sunday morning, he’s up and running, the happiest kid on Earth.  Since my wife came to bed only about three hours earlier, I insisted she stay abed while I took the duty.  About two hours later, he realized his mistake, and howled to be taken back to bed.  Good news, yes?  I only lost an hour of sleep, and really no time at all on task.  Proceed with the plan!

Here’s a thing about sleep: your mechanism for determining “enough sleep” is not governed by a clock.  It rather keeps track of how many REM cycles you get through without interruption, and these cycles, with some variation, are about three hours long.  Eight hours of sleep is not quite enough, really, which is why so many people feel very draggy even after what is thought a good night’s sleep.  Wake someone for five minutes every hour each night, and you’ll have a gibbering, and likely homicidal, lunatic on your hands by the end of a week, even if you’ve let them lay about for twelve hours each night.

I got one cycle that night, with the second truncated.  I was not a particularly happy camper, and a somewhat incoherent one.

All the same, I did manage to get more or less to where I wanted to get with the pens, as I was left unmolested for more than four hours.  All but one wanting a new sac got one (the next thing I do after this is put in an order for more sacs).  The Newfoundland lot got a preliminary passing-over, and should get a proper sorting out in the next couple of evenings.  I finally set myself up a graphing spread-sheet of my in-hand sacs, Vacumatic diaphragms and Sheaffer seals so I can order restocks with rather less guess work.

And I very nearly left my hand in the toaster while making lunch.  Industrious!

Today’s Pen:  Sheaffer Valiant (early Touchdown version)
Today’s Ink:  Noodler’s Walnut

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