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Archive for October, 2017

Imitations of Mortality

Posted by Dirck on 27 October, 2017

It’s practically here!  The most funnest day of the year!

If, like me, you’re not interested in going out to a bar and watching people in Sexy (Insert Profession) costumes destructively testing their livers, may I suggest a movie?  Here’s a couple.  The first is short and… kinda splattery.

The other is just the thing to fill an evening.  I’ll be wearing a costume labelled “Sexy 1950s British Television Licence Payer (xxxl)” while I hunker down for this one:

If you have access to the all-colour Hammer version and somehow haven’t seen it, you really should set aside a couple of hours.

Today’s slightly thematic, in terms of name and vintage, pen: Mabie, Todd & Co Blackbird
Today’s potentially mood-setting ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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Posted by Dirck on 26 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,111 words typed

A small item of note this week:

Yes, that cat is startled that I’ve passed the hundred-page mark in my efforts, as am I.  I’m also fairly pleased that this falls at the point I’m at in the story, because it means that I am very likely to end up with a longer word-count than the first-draft projections indicated.  And that means that I won’t be devastated when I am told by an editor that great dripping chunks of it have to go, because even with necessary surgical reduction it won’t be reduced to something too small for a publisher to consider.  I hope.

Also, about that cat– the image is a tiny segment of a seasonal desktop wallpaper offered by the artistic genius whose serialized works appear here.  She offered it to her Patreon supporters, so if you want to see the whole wonderful thing you’ll have to consider supporting an artist.

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A Bowling Ball Named Homer

Posted by Dirck on 25 October, 2017

A quick story about today’s pen:

A recent windfall put me in a position to buy a new pen… and by windfall, I mean I had $50 I could part with without feeling I was stealing food out of my son’s mouth.  The very day this happened, Goulet Pens announced a restocking of the this-year-only colour of the TWSBI Classic.

A cheap pen of which I don’t have one.

However, my wife’s birthday is impending (it is, in fact, the very next Saturday we encounter).  And she rather likes the colour chosen as the one specific to this year.

And suddenly I feel like Homer Simpson, proudly producing for Marge a bowling ball with his name on it.  So she would always remember who gave it to her.  You may not recall it; it’s from the first season.

There are a couple of important differences between me and Homer, aside from skin tone and lifetime radiation exposure.  I learn from the bad example of others, and I learn from my own mistakes.  I also pay attention to stuff my wife says.  Something which has come up more than once in the nearly-twenty years that we have been a couple is that she does not like surprises.  Even when the outcome is good (“Here’s a cheque for twenty million dollars!”) she is put out of countenance by the unexpected.  She admits that this is a bit of a failing, a want of flexibility in the face of an inherently unpredictable world… but it’s certainly a foible I can make adjustments for.

So, when the pen arrived a few weeks ago, I showed it to her, explained that I thought she might like it and that it was hers if she wanted it, only if she actually wanted it, and that she could ponder the matter until her birthday.

She declined, preferring to stick to her swarm of NoNonsenses.  So I now have a new bowling ball pen, although I have also made clear that she can have it back at a word.  I’m trying not to get too attached to it on account of this; how can she resist the retro yumminess of this?

Say hello to little Homer.

This does not mean, by the way, that she gets nothing for her birthday. While I still have a lot of credit to ride on thanks to one surprise she has enjoyed, I’m not riding on that– I listen to stuff she says, and have bought a couple of things based upon this skill.  And I’m not going to say here what they are.  It would ruin the surprise.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

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Forgotten Thing!

Posted by Dirck on 20 October, 2017

I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, so I forgot to mention it here!  Let me show you the notice from my site:

If you’re at all like me, that picture of a link to Paper Umbrella which remains unclickable will be driving you nuts.  That link is this one.

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The Only Good Thing About Autumn

Posted by Dirck on 20 October, 2017

The days grow short and cold, the nights grow long and colder.  The trees disrobe and the birds flee.  The promise of the great destroying season is in the air.  Heating bills wax fat and ridiculous.  Autumn is, in the vestments of gold and scarlet it creeps in on, the herald of an profoundly uncomfortable portion of the year, and I cannot welcome it.

Except for one saving grace.  For all that is wrong with it, autumn carries in its gaunt belly the darkly radiant egg of Hallowe’en.

Just imagine what I’ll be like next week.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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Posted by Dirck on 19 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,901 words typed

Hey, that’s a more productive week!  Since we’re getting close to the anniversary of this project, now is as good a time as any to announce:  This project will absolutely be finished long after we pass that anniversary.  Earlier optimism on this point was unfounded, and now that I’ve got a strong sense of my weekly output… February *mbbl*th is the likely completion date.  Not what I’d hoped, but given the tiny slice of time I can apply to the matter, I’m actually feeling pretty good about that.

Speaking of feeling pretty good, and to wrap up a slightly loose end from last week.  Doctor seen, x-rays taken, and the verdict is– if the knee is sore, put on a brace for a while, and take a mild anti-inflammatory (which most popular over-the-counter pain relief is).  No other treatment needed.  I may yet dance!

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Rugged Individualism

Posted by Dirck on 13 October, 2017

Today’s film is the result of a comment on yesterday’s post causing my poor old clogged synapses to fire; I remembered a thing from the past!  Hooray!  And it’s a funny thing, which is even better.  But before I get stuck in– I was indeed sent along for an x-ray yesterday, to make sure there’s nothing unexpected in the arrangement of my soft-tissue damage that might put a stick in the spokes of physiotherapy.  As it happened, I came home five dollars poorer, but picking up some cat food and a chocolate bar on the way home can hardly be laid at the door of the Canadian healthcare system.

Now, for those who want some less whimsy and more history on our MAD COMMIE WAYS:

Today’s pen, in the clutches of a raving socialist: Parker 50
Today’s ink, not yet fashioned into a polemic regarding inadequate distribution of wealth: Skrip Black

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Posted by Dirck on 12 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 793 words typed

That’s a pretty weak showing for the week. Let me explain, and perhaps even justify.  Monday was Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North, and that meant I was paddling about the house doing important house stuff prior to heading to my in-laws’ place for the traditional attempt to eat enough to last out the whole winter.  And that meant no writing.

But wait!  There’s more!  Today, indeed even as this entry is being posted by cool and unsympathetic electronic hands, I am off to see my doctor.  You may remember that in December and then again in April I mentioned having wrenched the crap out of my knee.  Up until the last week of September, I would have told you that I was pretty much recovered from this.  Mid-way through that week, for absolutely no reason I could notice, the knee was all inflamed and painful again; no new acrobatics, no attempted heroics, not even inclement weather.  That became the point at which I allowed common sense to overcome self-destructive idiotic laziness; I made an appointment to have it looked at.

Given the intermittent use of Canada’s handling of health-care in the debate over how things might be re-arranged in the US, I’m going to talk about this astonishing delay for a moment. I will admit that the distance between making the appointment and its arrival is somewhat inconvenient, although the leg is back to being merely somewhat sore.  However, I don’t want anyone to point at this and shout, “There!  See the horrible toll TEH SOCIALIZISMS takes on those poor benighted fools in Canada!” Here’s my take on this delay–

First of all, my doctor is quite good, popular and getting to be of an age where he wants to work less than five days a week; this makes for a full calendar.  Given that the most recent injury was five months ago, I can hardly call this an emergency, and even if I did call it an emergency, it’s not an Emergency Room emergency.  I could have, if moved by relentless agony, have sat for a couple of hours in any one of a number of open clinics around the city, and have my problem seen to by a competent if unfamiliar doctor (and thus left the emergency room less burdened by dummies like me and able to concentrate on people in authentic serious emergency trouble).  The delay is the price I pay for insisting on seeing the doctor I have chosen… which we can do here in Canada, honest.

Importantly, whether I wait several hours in an ER (because triage would put me waaaaay down the list of people needing attention), a couple of hours at a clinic, or a couple of weeks while the line of many satisfied patients my doctor enjoys cycles through to me, I am not paying for it.  Yes, I am paying for it through taxes, and that’s fine with me, because I’d be paying taxes anyway, and at about the same rate if I lived in neighbouring North Dakota, the same way I’m paying for police and fire departments and all that other stuff that people forget about when they complain about taxes.  However, my experience today will include no billing– I enter, I am probed, I get medical advice on my physical state, I leave and that’s that.  If I am sent for x-rays, same deal, but with extra radiation.  If the doctor tells me to come back in a month to see how I’m getting on, then it’s the same deal again.  If I have to start a long series of treatments because he notices I have a powerful and long-simmering case of The Spon Plague, then it’s still the same deal.  Watch as carefully as you like, as no time will my wallet leave my pocket.

I think that’s a pretty good deal, and certainly worth the .  I don’t know why people in the US resist it so fiercely (other than that they’ve been convinced by the people who make money off their system that it’s the only way to roll).

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Happy Birthday, Dear Spheroid

Posted by Dirck on 6 October, 2017

I’m a couple of days late on this, I know, but this week marks the sixtieth anniversary of the proof that “What goes up must come down” has a caveat which reads “…unless you can throw really, really hard.”

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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Posted by Dirck on 5 October, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2,977 words typed

I applied a little thought (uh-oh) to the pace of work, and it appears I’m not going to have something to dangle in front of publishers and/or agents until late January at earliest.

Sigh.

But, as the movie said, if you rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles.

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