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Archive for September, 2011


Posted by Dirck on 16 September, 2011

Progress in the Great Work has a variety of prices.  Scanty blog entries are one.  Another is that I am grown heartily sick of typing “cartridge”, and find I’m in much the same mood about “triumph”.

Today’s pen: Parker 65
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Bleu Myosotis

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Banner Day!

Posted by Dirck on 15 September, 2011

I’m going to break into my combative struggle to make sense of a certain pen maker’s catalogue over at the Great Work to announce that I am now, officially, a pen geek.

“That,” I hear the world at large say, “is hardly news.”

Well, yes, the great mound of fountain pens in the house and the hundreds of man-hours applied to their study does seem indicative of the title, but now I have proof beyond doubt.  In my mailbox last night, there lay a… copy of “Pennant” magazine!

“Big deal.”

Ok, fine.  But consider for a moment; a physical, paper magazine which is an organ of an association of people dedicated to the study of writing instruments.  That, folks, is the indisputable mark of someone who is just a little too interested in their hobby.  It’s a good thing I’m already married.  I am now able to occupy my time in doctor’s offices and air terminals, reading some even more devoted stylologist’s examination of the minutiae of the field.  I am marked, as clearly as by any heraldry, as one of those sort of people. All I need now is a plume (de ma tante) for my helm, and no windmill is safe.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown

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Posted by Dirck on 14 September, 2011

I read this morning on a blog of someone whose thoughts I appreciate that they’re off for a bit due to a fatal illness in the family.  Up to the point where my response became verbal, it was entirely appropriate empathy, but the words that formed in my head indicate that I need to consider some professional help.

“I hope it’s nothing serious.”

Really?  I hope if I ever actually blurt something like that out, I get an appropriate beating.  I’ll certainly have earned one.

Today’s pen, ideally less asinine than its user: Parker 65
Today’s ink, not used without careful deliberation: Herbin’s Bleu Myosotis

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Object(ive)s may be closer than they appear….

Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2011

I’ve just been reviewing the degree of completion on the Great Work, and I’ve discovered a negligence in my last estimate of completion.  I’ve forgotten about several hand-drawn pictures that I want to include in the text at various points.  It is the work of moments to scan and emplace them, of course.

…once they’re drawn.  Oh, nuts.  Back to work, then.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown (yes, it makes me snicker too)

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Stress Test

Posted by Dirck on 12 September, 2011

I don’t generally believe in the notion of testing to destruction where lives are not at stake.  This is especially true when it’s me doing the testing (too much work) and my stuff that gets tested (MY STUFF!).  It was with a certain amount of fascinated horror, as when watching a traffic accident unfold, that I read of another pen-fancier’s examination of just how much abuse a Lamy 2000 can resist.  Yesterday, however, I was in a funny mood and willing to play foolish games involving physics and my personal possessions; are we all not, occasionally, the little kid with aspirations to Dr. Frankenstein’s insights into the nature of creation?

It promised to be the last really warm day for the immediately foreseeable future, and there was going to be about a two hour patch when I had to be out and about, leaving my car parked out in the sun while I went about my important recreations.  You know what pens like about as well as family pets?  Now, I’m not ever going to leave a family pet in a closed car on a hot day, because I know exactly what will happen to them, as well as what will happen to my conscience and the potential legal ramifications.  A pen, however, as a thing rather than a being, would only slightly agitate my conscience and draw no legal injunctions in event of its utter destruction, and in the case of the pen in mind utter destruction was unlikely.

How, I wondered, would the TWSBI Diamond, the new darling of the pen world, take a long sit in a hot car?  It has an uncommon number of seals in the cap to prevent leaking in an aircraft, which is just a result of differential pressures.  Heating of the ink chamber (still four-fifths full of ink in the new 540 I used for the test) should produce a similar effect.  I left the pen out of direct sunlight as a sop to my conscience; polycarbonate does not enjoy prolonged UV exposure.

One hundred minutes in a closed car later, I retrieved the pen from its resting place, and applied a critical eye to it.

Nothing. Unless one considers a little bit of water, evaporated from the ink and condenscensed on the walls of the inner cap, there was absolutely no evidence that the pen had been left in a place one should not leave a pen.  The ink stayed in the reservoir, forebearing to surge out and take revenge.  I might as well have let the pen at home.

Now that you know, there’s an item of foolishness you need not try for yourself.  Thus do I convince myself my childish behaviour is a public service.

Today’s pen, more deferentially treated: Parker 65
Today’s ink, unboiled: Herbin’s Bleu Myosotis

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Picture that….

Posted by Dirck on 9 September, 2011

I have only just applied links to the Tuesday and Thursday entries.  Why the delay?  Well, since I’m running up new pictures for the Great Work, and since I intend once the Great Work is concluded to go back through this affair and relay the links to pen pages (a Lesser Work, if you will), I’m unwilling to simply link to the old pages anymore.  It makes extra work, and leads people to looking at some staggeringly sub-par pictures.  By applying the new pictures, I feel I have an out on remaking links.

{edit from 2012; since future-me has now gone through and updated all the links to attach to the right pages on the new site, this entry is even more pointless than it was when it was originally entered}

Today’s pen: Pilot Elite
Today’s ink: Wancher Matcha (the green one)

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Don’t Stop the Presses

Posted by Dirck on 8 September, 2011

I have, through distraction, been rather disappointing in my performance here of late.  All I can say to that is, I believe it will be worth it in the end.

On that note, I am going to do that most weasly of blog acts and provide a link to something that is more interesting than me.  A local artist’s colony has lately held a fundraiser for the installation and/or restoration of an old letterpress recovered from a languishing disused basement.  Disappointment with me is reflexive in this case, as I had meant to go to the event, but it appears that my absence signified little beyond missing an interesting frolic.

The reason this is news I care about is two-fold.  Fold one is an abstract delight in another archaic means of making marks of paper being functional once more.  Fold two is that a repressed bookbinder might view such a creature as a source of interesting things to bind….

Today’s pen:  Sheaffer Vigilant (picture to appear as soon as I actually take one.  What an oversight!)
Today’s ink: Wancher Asuka

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All Resources Allocated

Posted by Dirck on 7 September, 2011

I’m at the moment so taken up with what I’m currently in the midst of on The Great Work that I can hardly make any unrelated words move around in my head.  So I’ll stick with that this afternoon.

Today’s pen: Pilot Elite
Today’s ink: Wancher Matcha (the green one)

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Mr. Lucky

Posted by Dirck on 6 September, 2011

While engaged in The Great Work, I’ve had reason to have more than a usual quantity of my pens out at once.  I don’t have a lot of the sort of pristine marvels that the Collectors of the world would pursue, but when they’re all laid out for observation, I can’t help but think of how lucky I’ve been in my pursuit of pens.  There have been very few irredeemable wrecks, and while I could attribute this to the inherent durability of pens I’m more inclined to bow to the kindness of fate.

…which is all very mystical, I know.  Sometimes reason doesn’t seem entirely satisfactory, and those times are frequently connected to spending far too many contiguous hours on a single project.  Project?  Yes, must return to the project.  The project commands!

Today’s pen:  Sheaffer Vigilant (which I may believe is speaking to me in a high piping voice if I don’t get some more sleep)
Today’s ink: Wancher Asuka (the brown one)

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Labour-ious Humour

Posted by Dirck on 5 September, 2011

A merry Labour Day to all.  I am lounging about in pyjamas, engaged in The Great Work of the new website, but in checking the statistics on the current one, I find I have had in the past little while a visitor from Bad Homburg.  I know enough German to be disappointed in myself for chuckling at the intersection of a foreign place name and my own liking for both hats and Terry Pratchett books.  I thought I’d share the laugh and court some censure on this non-working day.

Today’s pen: TWSBI 540 (yes, again)
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 blue-black (still 87% full)

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