What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Archive for March, 2017

Generational Divide

Posted by Dirck on 24 March, 2017

A pair of films today, and once again I’m looking toward Japan for my film content.  Both of these tell the same story, but were made about sixty years apart.  The new one is more accessible to we who speak no Japanese, but I’m putting the old one in the place of prominence not only because it came first; it’s more technically interesting (compare to similarly-aged stuff from the US), it’s not (redundantly) dubbed, and it’s less (obviously)  skewed to a young audience.

Apart from the radically different standards of care (one gets a much stronger sense of “product” off the newer production), I find my self pondering why the switch from tengu to oni as the agents of the supernatural.  Is it that Japanese kids of the 1980s wouldn’t recognize the former, or that it was thought the latter would be more likely to mess up a guy’s face simply because he isn’t a particularly good dancer?

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant TM
Today’s ink:
Jentle blue-black 

 

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 23 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages†

†I took Monday off work so my wife and I could have a nice St. Valentine’s Day lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants.  If the lateness of that observation troubles you (external forces at work; if we could have swung it, it would have been on or near the right date), then take it was our celebration of the arrival of the vernal equinox.  The part of the day I would have been writing in was otherwise engaged.

Also, today’s output was seven pages, despite yesterday afternoon’s tacit admission by the provincial government that they have indeed mismanaged the economy into a dark, glowing sulfurous hole, and thus will be eliminating as much as they can in the new budget of things that make life here tolerable (seriously; 100% reduction of funding for urban libraries).  That I didn’t just spend my whole lunch hour shrieking obscenities in the direction of the Legislature is a testament to my work ethic.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stereotyping

Posted by Dirck on 17 March, 2017

Well, yes, it is St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t it, when all of us with a sense of Irish culture want to hide in the basement and slowly absorb the contents of a bottle of Bushmills to keep the pangs of despair at bay.  We know, in our hearts, that the cultural misappropriation machine that passes for culture in North America is causing the scene below to occur in a thousand thousand bars, and never a thought given to the Fianna or Cú Chulainn or the serious unwisdom of invoking a descendant of the Tuatha Dé Danann to flog cereal with little coloured marshmallows in it.

On a side note, I’ve seen Memphis Belle at least five times in my life, and as good as it is, I think it’s caused me to exceed my lifetime exposure allowance to that song.  My liver hurts, and not from the whiskey.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 16 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • First draft surges onward: 29 manuscript pages!

†Why yes, I do have two pens with the same ink on the go, which is outside my usual practice.  I put the TM in battery last week for an evening’s writing workshop, and I’ve decided to write it empty rather than flush it.  This also puts more Sheaffers into rotation at once than is usual, but as I’ve no one in a position to chastise me effectively for policy breaches who isn’t me, I don’t think I’ll get in much trouble out of it.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

And We Watched Uphill! In Blizzards!

Posted by Dirck on 10 March, 2017

This is an excursion into the very depths of my childhood; my grandparents had a TV very much like the one seen here, and since my parents’ funds didn’t stretch to colour television until the early 1970s, we trooped over there to watch the successes of the Apollo program which constitute some of my earliest memories.

I wasn’t allowed to work the remote, except as a special treat, when I would get to turn the set on or off.  From as much as ten feet away.  Magic indeed!

Although… I also had to sit at least that far from it, for fear of the radiation.

Today’s modern marvel: Pilot Vanishing Point
Today’s lifelike colour: Pelikan Violet

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 9 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  Finished up the second draft of “Lots of Land and The Open Sky Above” at a little over 4700 words… and I’m contemplating a title change… which puts me back onto the novel: only 12 pages done, but they’ve got some momentum to them.  The break was useful to the novel as well as the shortie.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Acknowledgements

Posted by Dirck on 8 March, 2017

I have mentioned time and again that this pile of words was born out of a need to distract myself from the perils of eBay.  Since I began it, all those years ago, that need has slipped under the waves– I have found other and more useful distractions in the shape of fiction writing, and have become increasingly alarmed at the ratio of income to demands for payment in my household.  Sometimes, however, a peek into the den of temptation is required, and therein lies today’s story.

In December, I was contacted by a fellow that needed some point-work done on a Parker 75 and a Montblanc 149.  The former has some resistance to dismantling in its fabric, but I know its ways and can overcome it.  The latter, though… to get that apart needs special tools.  However, as coincidence would have it, I had just been reading on the forums about a place for those of us not anointed with the white bird splat of approval to get functional tools.  Where?  An eBay storefront belonging to someone with machining skills.

Here was the impetus as well as the opportunity to order the tool, or rather tools, because they vary with era, and a wrench capable of drawing out the piston mechanism as well.  So I said yes to the fellow with the pens and placed the order on eBay.

…and as of yesterday, I was thinking that I would have to send an apology to the pen-owner for my inability to deal with his pen, as the tools were clearly never going to appear.  “I will,” the inner voice said, “hold off until Friday to send this note.”  Patience and timidity combine, then, to make way for joy– the package with the tools in it arrived today.  It is postmarked for December, so it was definitely sent briskly; apparently this global shipping crisis is affecting the mails as well.  Or, possibly, Canada Customs are giving a parcel of mysteriously-shaped bits of metal a long hard think before passing it through.

The joy is tinted, though, because the window for providing eBay feedback is closed.  So, let me share with you the note I dashed off to the vendor:

I mean it, too, and am making good here on the promise.  They’re as professional a set of tools as you could hope to find, and I’m delirious with glee at the prospect of unsanctioned rummaging in the guts of Montblanc pens.

While I’m at this, I think I should also do my small part to boost the Google results of Custom Pen Parts, since I’m very nearly as happy with the small purchase I recently made from them– my Pelikan 140 is back in circulation thanks to a part they provided, and their PFM fore-seals are really hard to tell from the factory originals.  I don’t doubt the rest of their catalogue is as satisfactory.  I mentioned this a little while ago, but I don’t think I mentioned it vigorously enough.

Are these, a cynic will wonder, paid endorsements?  Not at all.  Any money connected to this contented burbling has moved away from me; I feel I’m repaid in quality goods, but the fact that I’m saying it out loud is perfectly non-commercial.  I’m not uninterested, but I am the dictionary definition of disinterested… except to the extent that it serves my own interests to see their enterprises flourish.  Quality tools and parts for elderly pens?  YES, PLEASE!

Today’s elderly pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph
Today’s quality modern insert: Herbin Lie de Thé

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Disputable Premise

Posted by Dirck on 3 March, 2017

This is a charming little film, and although it rests on a shaky foundation, I thought the tone of it is just what the current age calls for.

I know at least four households that defy the notion of cats and dogs not living together well.  And that’s not counting The Simpsons.

An aside– I published a little something on my fiction front just now, for those who care about such things.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 2 March, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  9 pages done on this Victorian project, which then got about 2000 words of typed second draft which is totally different from the first and now revels in the title “Lots of Land and The Open Sky Above.”

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »