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Archive for September, 2011

Friday Fun

Posted by Dirck on 30 September, 2011

An unusually short window, so how about another film?  Not in the least pen-related, but it may brighten a day all the same.

My son found this, and it strikes me as interesting that a Soviet-made film would encourage such a leisurely approach to life.

Today’s pen, pausing frequently to enjoy life’s pleasures: Parker Moderne
Today’s ink, enhancing the world’s beauty: Diamine Majestic Blue


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Lights Gone Out

Posted by Dirck on 29 September, 2011

In addition to wishing some words banished from the language, the Great Work is threatening to lay me out under an nice thick clinical depression.  This is hardly from a new discovery, but a result of concentration.  I’m considering at some length the histories of all the pen-makers I’ve sampled the works of, and it distills into a rather grim song:

Once mighty, now fallen.
Once mighty, now fallen.
Once mighty, now fallen.
Once mighty, now fallen.
Once mighty, now reduced.

If it weren’t for occasional holdouts and boisterous new emergences, and the occasional smile from my son, I’d probably give up the effort and spend my days hiding under a desk and listening to my toe-nails growing.  My increasing return to this blog is an indication of my growing inability to face that music.

It’s almost done, though.  Nearly there.

Today’s pen, the work of a damaged survivor: Parker 45 Flighter
Today’s ink, from a hold-out more intact than many: Pelikan 4001 violet

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Should I Be Seeing This?

Posted by Dirck on 28 September, 2011

I mentioned a while ago that I have a nice-looking and totally non-functional silver Eversharp pencil.  Well, I’ve been letting it soak in a light oil (the worst outcome of which, I’m told, is the dissolution of the leads and a subsequent toil of cleaning graphite/clay goo out of the interstices), and it loosened things up.  A great deal of twisting, crown in one direction, barrel t’other, and there was movement!  Moments later, I had this:


Here’s why I avoided biology classes in school.  I find the skinning of things alarming.  Happily, with a writing implement, there’s not much in the way of grue.  What the oil soak accomplished was to release the nose cone, which has a major role in keeping the insides inside.  The crown remains firmly mated to the inner portion, and soaking proceeds anew.  I’ll also mention that the clip looks rather sprung because it’s normally held in place by the inner tube.

Today’s pen: Parker Moderne
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue

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Collateral Damage

Posted by Dirck on 27 September, 2011

In the Great Work, I’ve been reviewing my heap’o’pens as mentioned earlier.  I begin to have tingles in an uncomfortable area; the notion that I have not only more pens than I need but more pens than is… not “sensible”… perhaps what I want to say is “defensible”.  I love my pens, in a way appropriate to a pen-human interaction, but there is such a thing as too much.  It’s a similar concept to that of having too many pets; above a certain threshhold, there’s just too many to give sufficient attention to.

This is another of my foolish resolution entries; I’m culling the herd… eventually.  Once the new site is up and running (and you may be able to see its top-masts on the horizon even now), I’ll be setting up a slightly better commercial mode than I’ve had to date, and a vast swarm of decent pens excess to my own capacities to see used properly will be offered to the world.

Irony would have one person buy them all, of course.  I hope not.  I’d rather be Johnny Appleseed than the Comstock lode.

Today’s pen, probably a keeper: Parker 45 Flighter
Today’s ink, distributed with some freedom: Pelikan 4001 violet

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Posted by Dirck on 26 September, 2011

It is, after more rational consideration, not the answer.  It provides at best a short-term solution, and tends to generate fresh and larger problems.

However…. I set my alarm Saturday night to get me up at my regular working week hour to provide a nice long window to work on a pen too long left sitting, as my usual rising during the week is some hours ahead of the rest of the family when they follow their normal course. At 4:30am, I was awakened by my son, alternately boucing on the bed and delivering kisses to whatever part of the parental faces came in sight; there are worse ways to be hauled up out of slumber’s well, but that’s not an hour that any way really looks good.  As the morning person in the family, I got up to make sure he’d do himself no injury, and brooded upon the cost of and potential distributors of chloroform.

A short-term solution, and the gratification it would provide is vastly outweighted by the long-term problems (brain-damaged son, frisky cell-mates, pens sold off to pay lawyer’s fees).  It’s probably just as well it’s not easily gotten.

Today’s still-drowsy pen: Parker Moderne
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 23 September, 2011

Friday calls for brevity: Facebook AND WordPress amend the layout yet again this week.  Can we not leave “functional” alone?

A facebook (and actual) friend points out that their point is to make you hang out and subliminally absorb ads at greater length, and a bang-up job this latest effort has accomplished.  I don’t see a similar motivation for WordPress to move things around in the top bar.

Also:  Get off my lawn, you kids!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant (fat TD)
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 22 September, 2011

I’m taking brief advantage of my public pulpit here to point some attention at a good cause.  A friend of a friend of an acquaintence (and I am indeed counting on my fingers at this point) works with feral cats, and over the past weekend suffered an electrical fire in the garage she kept all the her cat-wrangling equipment.  The garage was mostly destroyed, along with the contents; those contents included, alas, a few cats that were in for recovery from de-gendering.

The friend of the acquaintance has a fund-raising enterprise on Etsy, which I want to direct people’s attention to.  So, if you want to support people who try to reduce suffering amongst feral cats and get some rather cute little folk-art for around the house, check out Marjoram’s Colony.

Today’s pen: Eversharp Skyline
Today’s ink: Lamy blue-black

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Regretful Smurf

Posted by Dirck on 21 September, 2011

That’s me.  At least, I’m feeling about three inches tall and somewhat blue.  That, folks, is the power of reflecting upon one’s actions; I suspect the persistently cheerful have little in the way of retrospection.

What I’m in a self-directed snit about is a something I wrote a couple of days ago, in what was meant to be in a spirit of playful fun, but which in this tone-of-voice-free environment comes across as, at least potentially, dismissive.  Have a look:

2 Responses to “Banner Day!”

  1. 16 September, 2011 at 10:27 am  Hey!! The Pennant is a big deal! Enjoy it and look for my name :-)

See?  What I’d meant as a mere counterfeit of childish excitement takes on a tinge of “who cares about you?” even to me, with full knowledge of my internal state at the time.  Thus, Regretful Smurf.

In as much as such things can be put right, let me say that I have actually used my hard-won power of literacy, and applied myself to the text of the magazine.  I have made note of those both mentioned and contributing, as is only correct, and I am a better person (or at least a better pen-scholar) for it.  And I add somewhat to my current assumed title by being unsure which of the not very numerous Julies matches the author of the blog (rather more entertaining than my own) linked to above, but I am in varying degrees impressed by all of them.  And, despite the overhanging cloud of comprehended error, I did enjoy it.

Having publicly admitted the burden of my ill-considered actions, I’m sure I’ll get over the diminishing and cyanotic effects presently.  Learn from my mistake, folks– the brain is there to be used with some regularity.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant (fat TD)
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire

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Change of Attitude

Posted by Dirck on 20 September, 2011

I got a little auction lot of writing implements yesterday.  The prize, a Parker “51”, was as recoverable as the slightly blurry pictures had made it out to be, and I discovered with some glee that there was a slightly exotic Esterbrook included which I’d not noticed.  For less that  $20, a darn good haul.

There were also several mechanical pencils, including three Eversharps from before 1930; the ornate, nail-shaped things that Victorians would recognize as pencils.  Two are working freely.  One is jammed.

…and I’m desperate to discover how to set it right!  This is a new thing, since I’ve previously been no more than cordial with pencils; I feel some small joy if one appears as a pen’s consort, but the absence or malfunction doesn’t worry me too much.  Didn’t worry me too much.  I wonder if this is a sensation specific to this one pencil, which is quite a confection of silver plate and chevronnel chasing, or if it marks a hitherto unnoticed revolution in my view of things?

For financial reasons, I really hope it’s the former.

Today’s unaccompanied pen: Eversharp Skyline (I was in a mood for a flex pen, and this is my most limber)
Today’s ink: Lamy blue-black (also part of the mood)

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Taking the 5th?

Posted by Dirck on 19 September, 2011

Apparently, at the start of next month, Parker is unveiling the 5th mode of writing!

Those of us with a classical education will at this moment picture Bugs Bunny in Vaudeville dress, looking out into an auditorium bereft of all but a few noisy crickets.

I’m working at formulating the other four modes.  I assume stylus and malleable surface are not in the running, nor brushes.  Let’s see… pencil, fountain pen, roller-type pen, and felt.  Why not?  It seems, though, that this 5th mode is an adaptation of the fibre-tipped pen that is rigged to look like a fountain pen.  There are some good pictures here, with commentary auf Deutsch.

It is currently getting derision heaped upon it at the Fountain Pen Network, in part because it’s a silly notion being introduced in a rather expensive pen (the Ingenuity, which we’re told will retail for about $160) and in part because the refills are monstrously expensive– about $8.  That’s as much as a cheap bottle of ink, and I rather doubt one will get the same mileage out of it.

My own tinfoil-hatted take on this is that it’s part of some kind of plot on the part of Parker’s owners, Newell-Rubbermaid, to cripple the company and reduce it to a figure of fun as an opening move in the dissolution of the marque.  Utter, rampaging paranoid lunacy, but there is an element of that in my makeup.  So, conspiracy fans, remember that you heard it here first.

I certainly will not be taking the 5th, based on what I have thus far discovered it.  Perhaps if a jabbering supermodel/actress drops through the roof of my car and presses one upon me, I’ll try it, but I’m certainly not going to spend money on it.

Today’s perfectly useful 2nd mode: Sheaffer Valiant (fat TD)
Today’s relatively inexpensive ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire

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