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Archive for April, 2021

Baby’s First Media!

Posted by Dirck on 30 April, 2021

For this week’s Friday Film, I’m presenting some stuff I made myself!

Relax. They’re short.

The first is, as it says on the tin, just me messing around in the Vimeo toybox. I have my son’s permission to use his image, by the way. I cannot say the same for J.G. Diefenbaker, but as he’s a public figure and dead, I don’t care. For all I know, the thing he’s signing is the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, one of several things I don’t like him for.

The other thing is a Public Service piece, showing how to work the mechanism on the Wing Sung 618, and it will appear soon (ideally by next Monday, if I don’t get dazzled by other things that want attention) on a page for that pen on my site, along with some extra explanatory text.

Once you know the trick, it’s very nearly a really good filler. If I can figure a good way of fixing the ring in place, it will be a really good filler.

Today’s pen: Sailor Pocket Pen
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black


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Posted by Dirck on 29 April, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 April
  • 27 April
  • 28 April
  • 29 April
  • “Willful Murder” (working title).
  • Something I’ll present tomorrow
  • 4 manuscript pages (again?!).
  • Simultaneously more and less effort that you’d think.
  • TWSBI Blue
  • Monteverde Malibu Blue†
  • Diamine Honey Burst†
  • Diamine Writer’s Blood†

† So, clearly I didn’t get any updates on the site on the weekend. I got distracted by the possibilities of…

OK, it’s a little circuitous. My wife acts, and since the provincial government chased film production out of the province a few years ago, she’s been concentrating on the stage. This outlet to her creativity was somewhat stifled by the current plague, since live theatre is exactly the sort of thing the phrase “super-spreader” was invented for.

The theatre has decided to push on with the new season, though, and my wife has been cast in a leading role. How this? They’re presenting Sorry, Wrong Number in its original format– a radio play. I will, of course, offer a link when the play goes public; the “no public gatherings” command has been turned into a disadvantage, as local theatre goes online and global.

I’ve been on the fence about getting a (somewhat) decent microphone, and this has pushed me over the edge. Our Yeti Snowball arrived this week… but that’s just the catalyst. Since I’m having trouble wringing words out of my head, I’m spreading out into other media.

…and I’ll roll some of that out tomorrow.

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Who Needs a Hug?

Posted by Dirck on 23 April, 2021

No big messages today. Just something to assist in relaxing* at the end of a trying week.

*Experience may improve with beer, liquor or some surprisingly (yet not shockingly) expensive chocolate which is perfectly legal in Canada.

Today’s pen: Parker 65
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 22 April, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 April
  • 20 April
  • 21 April
  • 22 April
  • “Willful Murder” (working title)
  • 4 manuscript pages (like pulling teeth, it is!).

† I am going to try to get a load of updates to the site complete this weekend, because this is getting silly and I really want everyone to see what Writer’s Blood looks like– it’s an amazing dark burgundy. I say “try” because a large chunk of my Saturday is taken up with a meeting of the Sask Writers Guild board meeting.

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Life as a Terrifying Chimera

Posted by Dirck on 16 April, 2021

I am told, by very silly people, that the mRNA vaccines against the current plague will REWRITE MY GENETIC CODE, TURNING ME INTO AN INHUMAN MONSTER!!1!

I guess it’s a good thing I’m done making children, then, because mRNA was stuffed into my left arm yesterday. Now I are monster, blarg, gr.

No, wait. That’s not how this stuff works. Here’s how this stuff works:

None of this addresses the MIND-CONTROLLING MICROCHIPS!!!1!1 which are also a concern of extremely silly people, but that’s because it’s an extremely silly concern. I’m honestly more concerned that the phrase “about fifty years ago” applies to events within my lifetime rather than the setting of Back to The Future.

Today’s pen: PenBBS 500 (in lieu of a page, a picture of the item resting on a beloved item of outerwear)
Today’s ink: TWSBI Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 16 April, 2021



  hours  minutes  seconds


Partial Immunity Fully Achieved

…which is a confusing way of putting it, but I’m sure you follow, given all the helpful explanations in the news.

This means that I can also start this countdown:

That’s right! The waiting period was cut in half, thanks to Canada’s non-private medical system and position of privilege in the world economy. Thus, I am now waiting



  hours  minutes  seconds


2nd Dose in Arm

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Posted by Dirck on 15 April, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 April
  • 13 April
  • 14 April
  • 15 April
  • “Willful Murder” (working title)
  • More of that faffing I mentioned last week.
  • 4 manuscript pages.
  • See below.

When vanity-googling some year back, I discovered that I had an entry in the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base. After being momentarily surprised that there was such a creature, I allowed myself a warm glow of imagined immortality– evidence of my presence which offered to outlast me (modern post-humanist thinking in the utopian spectrum notwithstanding).

Later, I found it had been updated to show my appearance on Pseudopod.

Later still… nothing. No updates. Because it relies on public effort, and is (or was) a little mysterious in how to do entries.

Last week, the ISFDB came up in online conversation, and I decided it was time to take the bull by the figurative horns (unless you are an agile Minoan, avoid doing this literally), and discovered that either it has become easier to add entries since I last looked at it, or I’m substantially more smartlier. Now not quite all of my published work is documented there. Along with a bunch of other folks, because it’s magazines and anthologies. Have a look, if you like, but be warned– there’s a picture of some kind of skunk-ape on the page. Very alarming.

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Going for a Spin

Posted by Dirck on 9 April, 2021

Here’s a frustratingly suggestive technology. Although it’s mainly a “how to fabricate an aluminum cone” video.

Frustratingly suggestive? Sure– consider the possible uses (an air conditioning compressor that runs on heat!?) and then look around the web for physicists explaining why it won’t quite work.

Today’s pen: Parker 65
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 8 April, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 5 April
  • 6 April
  • 7 April
  • 8 April
  • “Willful Murder” (working title)
  • Yesterday’s goof.
  • Some faffing of a writerly sort.
  • 4 manuscript pages.
  • Pen Content?!
  • Expanding my online presence slightly, in a way which will only slowly become evident.


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Regarding Fuel Economy

Posted by Dirck on 7 April, 2021

When I took up the pen for today, I had to think hard about when it entered rotation.

…and I couldn’t remember without looking. The answer is the second week of January. This is a ridiculous length of time for a pen to be in the flight-line. Even more ridiculous is this:

It’s not half-full– the angle of the photo somewhat exaggerates the amount of ink left. It’s roughly one-third full, after three months of use. The Pelikan M600 that joined the in-use bunch in March only just made it through last night’s journal entry.

Why the difference? Well, the most obvious one is that the Pelikan carries just over half as much ink as the 487. The less obvious, looking at the pictures, is that the 487 has a fine point which is only just wet enough for enjoyable use while the M600 has a big fat wet point which claims to be medium but refuses to step onto a scale.

Basically, I’m comparing a Mercedes 600SEL to a Prius with drop-tanks. Of course it’s taking longer to empty.

The “this thing is still in use” sensation started a couple of weeks ago, to be honest, and I’ve been suppressing it by looking at the vast amount of ink still in place. Today, though, I started thinking about pen hygiene. Sure, it’s possible to use a pen for years without changing to another (part of the glory of fountain pens, that) but you should give them a cleaning every third or fourth fill– which is to say, roughly every month or so.

So far, this is only a theoretical issue. There’s no beard of fungus clinging to the feed. The ink remains a liquid rather than a gel that never quite dries (this is a big hint, by the way; if you’re smearing the page an hour after writing, clean that pen!). However, I think I’ll probably send the pen to the showers this weekend, before the theoretical turns vexingly practical.

I may also tip the ink out of that Moonman sooner rather than later. It’s an equally parsimonious point and a bigger reservoir.

Today’s extreme-endurance pen: PenBBS 487
Today’s huge column of ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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