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Archive for June, 2016

Summer Heat and Warm Thoughts

Posted by Dirck on 17 June, 2016

I’m about to embark on my summer vacation, which takes me away from the Regular Job entirely and the internet to as great a degree as I can manage (because it turns from a welcome distraction into a vexatious distraction).  I’ll be using the time in the following ways:

  1. Throwing out stuff I should have thrown out when clearing out the parents’ house instead of letting Nostalgia shove me around;
  2. Throwing out stuff so my son won’t have to do item (1) in 35 years;
  3. Committing small acts of home repair as a proof of good intention to the house;
  4. Small acts of sympathetic magic in hopes of convincing wealth to shower upon my household (already begun, as you may note from the roster of “Rich Man’s Pens” that are showing up in my rotation);
  5. Getting my son as much locomotive time as possible in celebration of his birthday– there’s a steam engine and an archaic diesel within reach;
  6. Submitting more stories to more markets;
  7. Please, please, please some writing, because the boy’s at school still for almost the whole period that I’m not and I should have time even with the previous chores standing in my way.

I may also, if something particularly interesting lurches up in front of me, stick my head in here, but don’t count on any more than a large and oddly formatted progress report in early July.

And now, because it’s Friday, let’s have some films.  First, something sizzling hot pen action!

Seriously, folks– don’t get your old pens near an ignition source.

To balance all that horror, here’s something I’d actually like to be present for:

…and may one day, should my efforts at conjuring bear fruit.  Have a nice solstice, everyone, and I’ll see you next month.

Today’s pen: Parker 75

Today’s ink: Lamy Black (more old cartridge tidying underway, see point (2) above as well as last week’s complaint)


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Posted by Dirck on 16 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 13 June
  • 14 June
  • 15 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More first draft… well, not action.  Gentle escalation.
  • Ah, it’s getting silly now.  Yay!
  • I think I am near the end; three more days, perhaps.
  • Six manuscript pages, which is resisting somewhat today.
  • Seven pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Four pages.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 30 min.

An apology to those who have been offended by the appearance of ads here in the past week.  I find that simple ad blocking is no longer a stand-alone option, and that WordPress insists upon a $99/year premium account to achieve the same goal.  That’s an increase of 3.3 times to the cost of the joy of not stuffing ads in the face of my visitors– the only other benefit to me is 13G of media storage rather than 3G, and since I’m currently using a whopping four percent of that free storage, it’s a dubious benefit indeed.  It’s also not a quantity of money I can hand over without a qualm– it’s about the distance into overdraft I got before each payday, as our household is one of those in which (food)+(utilities)+(mortgage)=(all incoming cash), less a madcap subscription to Netflix to keep us from going completely mad for want of entertainment.

Basically, I can’t afford to not let WordPress annoy you with ads any more.  Sorry, everyone.  We are all firmly in the grip of the Great Grimpen Mire of capitalism.

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Motor Control

Posted by Dirck on 10 June, 2016

I am once again remembering that, at one time, the central focus, the pivot, the omphalos of this blog was fountain pens and the praise thereof.  This week’s film is the result.

If you’re even a little like me, you’re now all a-quiver to get your hands on a Pilot Parallel set.  Remember, it’s not just the tools that count– innate powers and long-practiced skill also come into play.

Today’s not-very-calligraphic pen: Parker Frontier
Today’s none-the-less-decorative ink: Pelikan Violet

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Posted by Dirck on 9 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 6 June
  • 7 June
  • 8 June
  • 9 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • For what will end up as a lightly comedic story, I’m happy to take my time on it.
  • I don’t think I’m even half-done, yet.
  • Nope.  Although the real action has now begun.
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Six pages.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

* given that recent scare with the Quink, I’m doing something about these not-very-old Sheaffer cartridges.  You may see a lamentable number of references to this in the next several weeks.

** OK, this has been going for long enough.  I’m retiring it, even if the cartridge isn’t quite empty.

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Nothing’s Perfect

Posted by Dirck on 6 June, 2016

I mentioned a few entries back that I had indulged myself in the use of my Parker 75.  Over the weekend, after intermittent use, I decided it was time to clear out the pen and put it back in storage.  This proved to be a more thorough cleaning than I’d expected.

I had loaded it with a somewhat elderly cartridge from a packet unearthed during the re-housing of my parents last year, probably of mid-1980s manufacture.  The ink had lost some of its moisture over the years, but I have replenished it with water after the piercing, as one can.  I was not, alas, sufficiently attentive when I did that, or I could have saved myself some hassle.

Plastics can go brittle as they age.  In the case of this particular cartridge, the mouth of the cartridge had done just that, and rather than deforming slightly to provide a good seal with the piercing fang, it had cracked in admitting that fang to provide a perfectly miserable seal.  A good deal of the ink ended up inside the barrel of the pen, having travelled between section and cartridge via the same capillary action that is usually a welcome element in the function of a fountain pen.

A warning, then– you may decline to examine the mouth of a gift horse, but do look closely at the mouth of an elderly cartridge.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

Oh, also– I have a new little story up at my other establishment.

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Raving Looney

Posted by Dirck on 3 June, 2016

Time for a dose of barking mad.  His soundtrack is rather raucous, too, so you might want to turn things down a bit before you hit ‘play’.

The friend who first pointed this guy out also pointed out that he never wears a helmet.  You might also notice the bit where he nearly chops his own arm off in this video.

Today’s Pen: Waterman Master
Today’s ink: Waterman Florida Blue (and if you’ve been paying attention, this combo has been on the go for ages— the Waterman long cartridge has a ton of ink in it!)

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Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 30 May
  • 31 May
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More of that (easier without the migraine).
  • I think this is going to stretch out some, to be honest.  It’s still in the “hinting at the problem” stage.
  • Yep.  A leisurely development on this one.
  • Four manuscript pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

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