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Archive for September 20th, 2010

Low Power: Expect Interruptions in Service

Posted by Dirck on 20 September, 2010

I got just over four hours of sleep last night.  I may share a birthday with Winston Churchill, but I do not have his capacity to ignore the demands of Hypnos (I believe I speculated earlier that that worthy fellow replaced sleep with gin, a trick I’ve not learned).

Unlike most of my recent sleeplessness, this instance is not the product of my son’s irregular nocturnal schedule.  I simple awoke for no observable reason almost exactly half-way through my usual slumber, muzzy but unable to return to Slumberland.  I suspect that there is some effect from worries which I am having over the state of a client’s pen.  The pen in question, which is a somewhat grander, more gold-laden version of this one, has a converter stuck firmly in the section.  The converter is one of the older press-bar types with a metal body, and it is unclear whether the sticking is caused by old ink or corrosion. Because it’s a metal converter, I really can’t just heave the whole thing in the ultrasonic cleaner and let it be mumbled upon until something gives– getting moisture up inside it is not something it is likely to thank me for.  There is also the question of how much time in an ultrasonic bath an inlaid point will face before it jumps ship, which means an effective destruction of the pen.

 It is also very thin metal, with a big cut-out in one side to allow access to the press-bar, which means that there’s little to grab for tugging upon, and the vector of tugging has to remain very clearly along the centre-line of the whole assembly.  Torsion or lateral strain will deform the housing all too easily.

I actually sent a letter to the client this morning explaining that I am approaching a point at which I will have to consider the converter a lost cause if there’s to be a functional pen in the end.  A couple of minutes with a carefully positioned pair of pliers should see the little bugger out of there.  This will see a dramatic reduction in the charge for the service, alas, as it goes firmly against the “do no harm” principle I follow– converters may be an optional part of a pen, but they still cost money to replace.  I have a couple of more avenues I want to investigate before giving up full preservation.

“Want to investigate,” in the future, because I was not able to put this sleepless period this morning to good use.  I am probably not suffering pangs due to my apprehended failure with this pen, as I’m not the only one who rose unseemly early today.  It’s not his doing that I’m a semi-vegetable now, but my son did wake up at about the same time as I did.  Perhaps the Reticulans were a little ham-fisted slipping us back into bed.  In any event, rather than semi-productive efforts, the bleariest time of the day was spent making sure the lad didn’t make too much noise nor try to turn one of the cats inside out (he appears to be moving from physics to biology, although flinging things to observe their behaviour is still on the menu).  There’s few things as vexing as losing the use of lost sleep.

Not an interesting entry?  It was written almost entirely without the use of the frontal cortex– how interesting could it be?  It is, however, rather more interesting than tomorrow’s, as The Regular Job is sending me away to some kind of training seminar for the day.  If tomorrow morning follows a more natural pace, I’ll try to at least let the world know what the day’s pen and ink are.

Today’s Pen (assuming I’m not dreaming it):  Parker Vacumatic
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 black (because I was well away from the house before I realized that I’d forgotten to fill the pen, and that’s what’s on my desk)

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