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Archive for September, 2018

The Curse of George Bailey

Posted by Dirck on 25 September, 2018

Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday. All will be explained presently.

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 24 September
  • 25 September
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • This thing you’re reading now.
  • 702 typed words.
  • Also roughly 700 words.

Before I explain, I will mention that the Pelikan Hub was a gas, for those who dig on fountain pens, and I strongly plan to attend next year; this means I will also be yelling at people from this pulpit and others to sign up in about ten months. I now have a lot of Pelikans with ink in them, but happily I really like Pelikans.

Now, on with the heart of the matter. On 9 September, while having the regular Sunday dinner with my parents, they asked if I would like to accompany my father to a reunion of his siblings; my mother usually rides shotgun for him, but some minor side-effects of the aging process disincline her to face the demands of travel.

I was slightly hesitant because apart from The Regular Job’s current state…

Yes, I do indeed like this GIF, and will use it too much. It’s evocative.

…I’m the only driver in the house; my wife doesn’t, by choice, and my son is still too young to be legally allowed in the front seat. But wife agreed, having her parents and my mother to rely on for transport and food deliveries, so I explained the situation to my masters at Regular Job, and was granted the necessary week’s leave.

Part of the reason I got asked to attend is because my brother has been to… a couple… of these family get-togethers in the current millenium, while I have not done such a thing since 1996. Why? Because there’s always some damn thing that crops up to prevent me going. It’s usually been work related (not so much a tyrannical denial as fearing starvation for lack of pay upon return), but not always. I have said aloud that I feel somewhat like George Bailey, the put-upon protagonist of It’s a Wonderful Life, who is forever being thwarted in his plans to have travel anywhere for any reason.

In so much as this thought even occurred to me at the time, I put it aside on the grounds that it’s not really a vacation. I saw my role as assistant and chauffeur as well as companion, and that’s sort of like work.

Apparently this view was not shared by the mysterious powers that run the universe.

I got home from work on 10 September to find that my wife was in gasping agony, she thought from an unusually pernicious cramp in her leg. This persisted the way a cramp does not, for days, and she got off to the doctor to get some insight. Consultation, x-rays, and eventually we get the news– through arthritic changes, my wife no longer has any cartilage in her knee, and her hip is looking rather suspect too. We await contact from the rheumatologist her doctor is calling in to advise (while not as bad as US politicians make out, there are some delays in the functioning of Canadian health-care; since I pay naught for it but a small yearly income tax, this inconvenience is balanced out).

So now I’m pinched between duties. I may be departing for thriving, populous Ontario tomorrow morning at about 5:00am, if my wife feels she will be able to look after our son and cats without my assistance in the evenings, and I will spend the following week in mild fit of worry.  The alternative is a week of sick guilt while my father is on his tod in a distant province full of traffic and maple trees, plus the lasting sensation of having caused the waste of money in the form of unused air fare. Unless my father decides he’s not going for want of a companion, in which case the guilt will derive more from knowing that he’s one of the youngest of his siblings, and he may be missing a last encounter with at least one of them.

We do not have any bridges I can offer to pitch myself off of, hopeful of inducing a cherubim in a hobo disguise to intervene.  Even if we did, Clarence’s assistance was more in the line of a feverish acid trip than a proper miracle, and to be honest a miraculous cure of my wife’s ailment is exactly what’s needed.

In any event, I’m incommunicado for the next week; either very far away and busy, or using that time off of work to attend to my wife as fully as I wish I had been doing the past two weeks. I’ll let you know how it came out at the regular progress report time in the first week of October.

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Ready for the BIG DAY

Posted by Dirck on 21 September, 2018

Here we are, the day at last.  As I write this, it’s a little over five hours to the local Pelikan Hub 2018.  First, I answer yesterday’s question about what I might take along:

Old and new, top-end and popular, all bundled into one conveyance.

I started to do this in chronological order, but then forgot a couple and decided to just press on rather than start again. That M30 sure stands out, eh?

Pelikan heavy, of course, but not 100% birds.  I might even grab a couple of others in the brief window between work and hub, just for giggles.

For today’s film, I thought I might find something whimsical involving the actual bird. The very first one that came up in the search involved a pelican in a park in Germany devouring a pigeon. This sounds amusing in the abstract, but… not what I want here. So, we revert to pens; here’s someone who isn’t me showing off a duplicate of one of the pens I’m taking along tonight.

…and now I’m worried someone will try to test the limits of my pen’s flex. I hope I’m not the final panel in an Alex Norris cartoon later tonight.

Today’s pen, which has never eaten a pigeon: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s ink: Pelikan Black

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Posted by Dirck on 20 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 17 September
  • 18 September
  • 19 September
  • 20 September
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • 2815 typed words

Those who were paying attention for about four hours yesterday will have seen a gestational version of this post– apparently somebody hit POST rather than SAVE yesterday. I will put this down to mental exhaustion– the rowers are all present on their benches now, but the guy in the jerkin keeps banging away on his drum.

Tonight is going to be full of powerful mental activity: choosing and inking pens for tomorrow’s Pelikan Hub! The New Classic is definitely coming along. I think one of the P1s will, too, and some of the less-known (at least around here) cheap moderns– I know the local hubmaster is bringing a plentiful selection of Souveräns for other attendees to ogle, and my thing has always been breadth of collection rather than depth.  Still, I’ll likely bring my own M600 along, because it would be mean to not take it to a party meant for it.

I may also bring some not-Pelikans, too, just to keep accusations of favouritism down a little.

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Feeling Very Confined

Posted by Dirck on 14 September, 2018

I’m alone at The Regular Job today, which is a constraint on my spirit. A compression, even.   And since this…

…gives a sense of the work-load but suggests there’s others helping, I’m going to go with an educational film this week, about working in confinement.

 

Back to work, then. Row, row, row…

Today’s frantic pen: Pilot L-150MS
Today’s hectic ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 10 September
  • 11 September
  • 12 September
  • 13 September
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • Second draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • 16 manuscript pages.
  • 784 typed words

 

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The Game’s Afoot!

Posted by Dirck on 7 September, 2018

There was a bit of a discussion lately among my Facebook associates about the relative merits of various Sherlocks Holmes. My opinion on this topic has not changed much since I laid it out here five years ago (almost to the day, good heavens). The practical consequence is that my Youtube sidebar is now crammed with things Granada TV will probably be issuing copyright complaints about. But until that happens, here’s what happens to be first in that line-up.

The best episode? Perhaps not. But it’s got the best Holmes in it, so it’s good enough.

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

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Posted by Dirck on 6 September, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 3 September
  • 4 September
  • 5 September
  • 6 September
  • Third Draft of “A Legion of Candles.”
  • Third Draft of “The Third Frame.”
  • First draft of “Kick a Cat…”
  • The grinding, faceting and polishing of a gem of deathless prose!
  • Um… ditto.
  • 13 manuscript pages.

I hope you all enjoyed Labour Day. I marked it by labouring to keep the Lego glaciers of my son’s making from engulfing the living room, which kept me from the Choose Your Own project.

If you missed it in the sidebar– there’s a new story on the writing site, the genesis of which I explain in this post.

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