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What’s That First Step?

Posted by Dirck on 27 August, 2013

Standing at the front of the well-attended auditorium, I take a deep breath and say the nearly-ritual opening line.  “Hello, everyone.  I have a thinking problem.”  Polite supportive applause from those who know how it is.

Like Ray Milland, my problem came to light over a weekend.  Last weekend, in fact.  Unlike Ray Milland’s case, the problem was not underlined by an inability to pawn a typewriter for the price of one more ounce of sweet, sweet hooch, although there was a keyboard involved.  I got an e-mail from a very nice person.

This very nice person is a pen enthusiast living along the west coast of North America– there are a few of them out that way, I understand– and we’ve brushed past each other in one forum or another for some time.  This communication was via the anti-spam doodad on my site, and concerned the site.  I had, to my eternal shame, mis-identified a pen.  Because this person is a nice person, the message was not simply “Hey, that’s not a TRZ.”  The explanation of how she could tell it wasn’t a TRZ was included, in which it was revealed to have been a collaborative effort with another pen enthusiast living somewhat further south along that same coast.  A persuasive explanation, indeed, and one I could not answer.

The thinking problem?  An utter lack of citation, which I adopted as a conscious policy.   I decided at the start of my relight that I wasn’t going to litter the site with cites, you see, as some of the information I was importing from the site’s original site was thoroughly uncited and I had no vision of how to go back and fill in the blanks.  Too much effort, no formal peer review, no publisher to please apart from my own index finger.  No citation.  So, when some of the more flawed material on that page had a light shone on it, I couldn’t even say, “But that guy over there said!”

I’m a bad scholar.  But, I’m not a bad scholar with dug-in heels.  The page in question no longer erroneously speaks of the Sheaffer TRZ, but more correctly describes its successor, the Fashion.  I find that the old data, which I have squirrelled away in a private location against the day when I actually have a TRZ in hand and can with a clear conscience say somewhat unsupported stuff about it once again, has eluded the nets of the ‘Nets.  The Wayback Machine’s last visit to my door was long before I threw up the wrong material, so in as much as some of it is right, none of it is (I think) in the public eye any longer.  One aspect of vanity laments, while another dances a little jig of relieved celebration.

I want to mention another note I received on the same day.  Another nice person, a pen enthusiast from Australia– there are a few of them out that way, I understand– had a tentative identification to offer for one of my mystery pens.  While I had to decline it (this pen’s name is legion, and I was moved to update the page with a little more on that topic as well as filling in the dimensions), the exchange offered the interesting possibility, even likelihood,  that the nice person in question is the very same nice person who saved me from that white Pelikan a week earlier.  If that isn’t an award-winningly globe-spanning example of “small world, ain’t it?” I don’t know what is.

Today’s pen: Parker 65
Today’s ink: Quink Black

4 Responses to “What’s That First Step?”

  1. Claire said

    One man’s dross is another woman’s fame. 😉

    Love your work!

  2. Claire said

    Indeed!

  3. […] much the same result), I’m not going to comment at length on the article, but in light of my recent admission of density and a frequent failure to recall whether I’ve previously touched on a topic in this blog, I […]

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