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The Year in Rear View

Posted by Dirck on 8 January, 2014

Last year I went to a little bit of trouble and put together a couple of year-end lists.  This year… well, apart from engaging in a “make your own foie gras in your spare time” experiment (complete with abdominal discomfort!) I didn’t really think about the prospect until the last moment.  Rather than attempt another best/worst evaluation, which really requires me to have my notebooks at hand to at least remember what pens are the pens of 2013, I present…

Lessons I Learned Last Year Which I Found Somewhat Valuable:

A little something in some of the engraving, but generally clean and functional.

A little something in some of the engraving, but generally clean and functional.

That's as clean as ammonia, naptha and jeweler's rouge managed

That’s as clean as ultrasonics, ammonia, naptha and jeweler’s rouge managed

1)  The first lesson is a late one.  Supply delays were added to my own previous inertia, so it was not until the very end of the year that I discovered what many people have known for ages– Rapido-Eze is a marvellous goop!  The pen I lamented and raged about back in November is on its way home, indeed may well be there as I write, its barrel a reasonably clear medium amber and its point mostly free of blue.  I’ve included before and after pictures of the latter, which give a vague sense of the power of a mysterious set of chemicals to get… substances… off of a pen.  Now that I have a bottle to wave around, the local arts supply store that carries Rotring products is in for some extremely incoherent demands when my stocks run low.

2)    The Parker 75 Ciselé might be my favouritest pen even.  I went on at some length about this previously, but the fascination commented on in that earlier post remains.  Just about every round of pen selection includes a certain amount of “Look, you just used it.  Leave it lie for a while.”  Even today, when the selection effort included an ulterior motive (to be commented on in a near-future entry).

3) I have very nearly lost the power to write with a regular Bic.  A little while ago, while I was still technically convalescent from my big wrist spraining adventure, I was by my supervisor’s desk at The Regular Job with that day’s pen left back at my own, and I needed to take down a secret account number… or something like that.  Rather than walk all that way to collect my pen, I merely asked to borrow one of hers.  Agony and illegibility were all that resulted.  Now that I’m entirely over the sprain (99.8%, at least), I still find getting a Bic to do anything but make horrid noises on paper is a problem.

4) I have gained the power to sell my pens without going blind or mad.  More mad, I should say.  This is comforting, as it starts to appear they’re what will pass for a retirement fund.

5) Entirely off subject, but of joy to me and hopefully delight to my son, I find that there’s a shop manual for the Flying Scotsman, which is a steam locomotive rather than an obscure superhero.  I’ve got one on order against his birthday, and perhaps one day we’ll use it to build one of our own.

There’s more of course, but that’s all the lunch break allows.

Today’s pen: Parker 180
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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