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Archive for October, 2019

Confounding Expectations!

Posted by Dirck on 31 October, 2019

In an attempt to create the bloggish equivalent of a jump-scare… I’m doing the films TODAY!

I’ll give you a moment to calm your pattering heart.

It’s Hallowe’en, after all, and I have no inclination to see what sort of online video content I can get that’s thematic with All Saints’ Day. So, because it’s the most funnest day of the year, a bonanza of distractions. Yes, distractions, to keep you from noticing what’s creeping up behind you even now.

No, you’re sophisticated. You don’t need to look. You know I’m just playing a little trick. Anyway, here’s some fun stuff:

Before I go, I will suggest that those who haven’t yet go and look at the final entry in my Inktober effort (which I’m sure graphic artists will forgive my little appropriation of their month). It’s a jim-dandy!

Today’s pen (my one nod to costume, as my son is not a Hallow-weenie): Rotring Core
Today’s ink (really, disappointingly, non-thematic): Waterman Florida Blue


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There Was a Hill…

Posted by Dirck on 25 October, 2019

My enjoyment of creepy stuff goes far back into my childhood, and part of it was exposure to Vincent Price. Without anyone prompting me to do so, I picked up an LP of Price reading stories on a trip to the library, and I’ve always remembered it.

Guess what I just found:

What really stuck through the years was the opening line of the penultimate track, “Gobbleknowll”. Listening to it again… man, my parents were not vetting my selections at the library very well. I was no more than seven when I listened to that thing.

It may explain a little about how I am now.

Today’s pen: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s ink: Diamine Bilberry

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Posted by Dirck on 24 October, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 21 October
  • 22 October
  • 23 October
  • 24 October
  • Buffer REGAINED at the expense of very tired fignres… nifegrs… f i n g e r s.


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Penultimate Effort

Posted by Dirck on 22 October, 2019

So, I mentioned that I was giving up on repairs, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have some repairs to deal with. One of the items still in the queue was this poor creature, of which I took a couple of horrifying pictures against the possibility I might actually do something to help.

Oh, lord, what happened to you? Were you frightened by Winston Churchill on V-E Day?

What I was trying to capture was the way one shoulder was all hunched up, like an over the top actor doing Richard III

Seriously, when the problem was described to me, my first response was, “Well, I may be able to scare up a replacement,” because it sounded exactly as bad as it was.

I got down to that end of the repair line on the weekend, and everything I said earlier about the effect of fixing pens for people swung into full effect. Disenchantment. Constant self-monitoring to not cut corners or hurry recklessly so that it would just be done already.

Fortunately, years of trying to be aware of my internal state have paid off. Corners remain square. Sufficient time was devoted to the task, despite the usual contrariness of inanimate objects….

Actually, let me emphasize that last point. When getting tines that are radically out of sorts back into the right shape, there is a lot of back and forth in the final stages, at least in my experience, between “Good in an up/down relation, but splayed right at the end so there’s risk of breaking the weld on the tipping” and “correct taper on slit, but one tine is way too high.” This little monster had plenty of that style of grief to hand out, and yet, I persevered.

Yes, it really is the same item as the previous pictures. I’m as surprised as anyone.

You can just make out a remaining wow in the tine, which is much more evident when in the same room with the thing.

Since I’m not doing this anymore, this is not me trying to prove that I’m the guy you should look to for all your fountain pen de-mangling needs. I’m just… quietly bragging. I’m also pleased on behalf of the owner, because what spares I’ve got are nothing like as flexible as this pen. It’s a delight.

However, I will end on this– I indicate that there are imperfections there, however unwilling the camera is to reveal them. The fact of them leads me to mention that however impressive that stuff above might be, this guy is, according to all reports I’ve heard, much better at this than me. So, if you need a pen de-mangled, there’s still a Canadian option.

Today’s pen: Lamy 27
Today’s ink: Lamy black


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The Light Grows Dim

Posted by Dirck on 18 October, 2019

That’s a rather grim title.

Well, of course, because Hallowe’en is slowly winding us in its coils, preparing to give us all a big thematic hug! HOORAH!

It is, too, the time of year when a lot of creatures start looking for places to stay warm, so be careful what you turn over when you’re out raking the leaves…

In fact, I try to leave the leaves alone entirely. It’s how you get a bonanza of ladybugs in the spring!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Sovereign II
Today’s ink: Montblanc Royal Blue

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Does It Spark Joy?

Posted by Dirck on 17 October, 2019

I haven’t watched any of Kondo’s series, or read any of her books, but the phrase is in the air enough that I’ve heard it.

It’s evocative, is it not? Joy, that elusive essence, that pure distillate of happiness, of which we could all use more.

It’s a phrase which has been floating around in my head for… a while now. I’ve been measuring a thing in my life, trying to find if it does indeed spark joy, and despite almost desperate digging after it, the spark has indeed fled.

Pen repair no longer sparks joy. It did, without question, but for the past few months what I’ve been feeling is less the heady sense of wholesome resurrection and more the crushing burden of responsibility for the joy of others. Recently I put a new sac into a 1940s Waterman Nurse’s Pen (which was basically a white version of the Starlet, itself a short variant of the Stalwart), which returned it to service for the original owner, who had gotten it when graduating nursing college. That one had the hoped-for spark, but it mainly served to underline the contrast with a lot of other work I’ve done lately.

Don’t get me wrong, especially if you’re someone I’ve done work for in the past year. I am happy to have helped, I am sensible of the authentic gratitude that has come my way, but… let me repeat the key phrase: crushing burden of responsibility. It was always there, but it has come to eclipse a lot of the other emotional elements in my business.

So, since I am entirely my own boss in this, I’m getting out of that business. I suspect this won’t be a permanent departure, but until I can consider the notion of fixing someone else’s pens and not have a twinge of authentic dread, not unlike the sense most of us get one waking and discovering it’s Monday again, I’m out.

What that means here is… probably not much, given what the content has been of late. I may even find, with the removal of the damp blanket of dread, that I have more pen things to discourse about. I’m not promising anything, especially while I’m pursuing this month of entries on the fiction front, but it’s certainly possible.

The pens, after all, are still sparking joy.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 October, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 14 October
  • 15 October
  • 16 October
  • 17 October
  • Gobbling down turkey.
  • Stuff over on the other site, in pursuit of #inktober.
  • Buffer lost due to thanksgiving weekend.

An announcement follows this message. I thought I should give it its own space, as it’s kind of momentous (for me; no cancer cures or spotting of onrushing comets).

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Hey, Wait! It’s October!

Posted by Dirck on 11 October, 2019

That means I should be putting up the rubber bats and artificial spiders! This is good news for the real bats and spiders, who can honestly do with a vacation.

Since last week’s film (a colourized, dubbed Metropolis) got a totally predictable copyright strike, I’m putting up something this week which is nothing like it: it’s new, it’s entirely original content by the person posting it, it’s meant to be in colour, it comes with it’s own voice track, and… well, there’s some saltiness in that talking. But that’s fine. He’s talking about that most noble of things– horror films.

There. Never let it be said that art-theory presentations need to be dry or unentertaining.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

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Posted by Dirck on 10 October, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 7 October
  • 8 October
  • 9 October
  • 10 October
  • I’ve got a comfortable buffer, hoorah.


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Of Two Minds

Posted by Dirck on 4 October, 2019

I’ve just remembered that it’s Buster Keaton’s birthday. Since I recently stole a movie to do with him, let’s have a look at something that’s contemporary with him… although ferociously updated.

Being a traditionalist in the film department, I have some (several) reservations about this, although I certainly appreciate the effort that’s gone into it.

Today’s pen, serving the head and the hand both: Pelikan 120 (a German with which I Express myself, ho ho)
Today’s ink, chosen by the heart: Herbin Lie de Thé

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