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Archive for the ‘General Blather’ Category

Sharing Traditions

Posted by Dirck on 17 December, 2021

A title with a double meaning. Over on my other front, I’m sharing “Wilden Klausen” which is about seasonal traditions and their underpinnings.

Here, I’m sharing what is a bit of a trans-Canadian tradition. One of the few things that is shared by all parts of Canada is CBC Radio service. Not everyone listens to it, but it’s there. Those of us who do listen to it have a yuletide tradition– listening to the sonorous Alan Maitland reading Frederick Forsyth’s attempt at the traditional English seasonal ghost story.

I’m taking next week off, so I may not look in here on Christmas Eve. In anticipation of that, I’ll wish you one and all a comfortable Christmas, Xmas, Yuletide &ct. (but not Festivus– take your pole elsewhere!) with people that bring you joy and without people that bring you COVID.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Saratoga TM Snorkel
Today’s ink: Skrip Jet Black

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Yes, I AM a Grammar Nerd.

Posted by Dirck on 3 December, 2021

Today’s pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink: Edelstein Olivine

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Kickstarting Jollity

Posted by Dirck on 26 November, 2021

First, and as threatened yesterday, I have tossed a story onto the public stage which was hitherto held within the papery confines of a published anthology. If you’d rather read about space werewolves, just nip over to The Moon Forest over on my writing outlet (and if you’d like to see it in its native ecosystem, with other scifi-flavoured boogens, you can still get the book). The first of my seasonal gifts to the world!

And having spent most of my lunch break getting that lined up, there’s just time to offer a music video. It’s in a very old style, but to keep from overwhelming anyone with a yuletidal wave, it’s not a carol.

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 618
Today’s ink: Namiki Blue

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Dr. Manhattan’s Other Job

Posted by Dirck on 19 November, 2021

Hey, said YouTube to me recently. You want to see someone that fixes old luxury items?

“That’s not me fixing a pen… right?” I became nervous that I was creating content somnambulistically.

Oh, no. You’re nothing like this ambitious.

I mean, I’d like to do that, but the stuff I do that strikes me as fiddly and wee is the upper end of the fiddly-wee spectrum in that video. Also, how the dickens does one remember which bit goes where?

Today’s pen: Retro 51 Tornado
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

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Gravitar Writ Large

Posted by Dirck on 12 November, 2021

When I was a kid, the “Space Race” was just winding down. I was thus pretty thoroughly steeped in a kid’s notions of what it would take to be an astronaut– the Rotor, the Zipper, and the Tilt-A-Whirl were all, in my mind at the time, the same as the training centrifuge that almost killed James Bond when he was Roger Moore.

Which means that this development seems to me to close a circle metaphorically as well as being an enclosed circle.

On a side note, while I’m not a huge fan of a lot of recent neologisms, “yeet” amuses me deeply.

Today’s pen: Faber-Castell e-motion
Today’s ink: Herbin Éclat de Saphir

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Hooray for the Day!

Posted by Dirck on 5 November, 2021

First Friday in November means Fountain Pen Day! As is my tradition on this festive day, I’m just going to throw up some chances to ogle pens.

I cannot say I recommend the last video as a model for good handwriting technique, but if he’s happy I’m not going to say he needs to amend his ways. I’m no paragon of all virtues.

Today’s pen: Pelikan 140 (because I always try to use a favourite on FPD)
Today’s ink: Pelikan Blue-black (because it has been a loooooong time since I put this ink in this pen, and I quite like it, too)

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Pipes Rattling

Posted by Dirck on 29 October, 2021

Well, I was indeed away last week, and without a hint of communication. The otherworldly horror of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Annual General Meeting was just too much to deal with.

I think I make up for it with this lucky find from TV history, though. It’s a sort of successor to Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast.

Speaking of Welles… why don’t we toss that in from the same source?

Also, as a final treat, I’ve just posted something over on my other site, a free goodie for the season called The Centennial Legacy. Happy Hallowe’en to all, and make sure to touch each of your children with an iron nail when they come back with their loot, just to make sure they are who they claim to be.

Today’s pen: Faber-Castell e-motion (an eerie cylinder of bone-white material, etched with an eldritch pattern)
Today’s ink: Herbin Éclat de Saphir (the colour of the water around the upper edge of a ‘blue hole’, into which divers may vanish without trace)

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Did You Hear Something?

Posted by Dirck on 15 October, 2021

Today’s spookytacular video is a compilation of what is very probably pareidolias, clever fakes, and de-humanizings of homeless people with untreated mental diseases, but may include some authentic Things What Science Hain’t Grappled With Properly. There’s also some pleasant shudders generated, which is the point.

I hope that you, as I did, took an unpleasant shudder from the examples of commodification of some homeless people for the algorithms of YouTube. That’s not entertainment.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Herbin Lis de Thé

PS– I’m taking next week off work, so I don’t guarantee I’ll look in here. But I intend to.

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You Can See It Coming…

Posted by Dirck on 8 October, 2021

It is often said that there are only {a relatively small whole number} of stories in the world, and that complete originality is not possible.

This comes into horror entertainment with extra force, since there is so often a cycle of fashionable frights (see 1980s Slashers for a fine illustration) that can quickly descend in to tropes and formulae.

The answer to objects based on this observation is this: we take pleasure from the skill of the execution.

Also, as Alasdair Stuart often reminds us in the outros over at Pseudopod, horror is watching something approach.

Today’s familiar pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s ink, not quite what was expected from the context: Edelstein Olivine

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Posted by Dirck on 1 October, 2021

Yes, I am trying to distract myself from:

  1. Noticing the passing of summer;
  2. Thinking too hard about my province’s Florida-inspired, Texas-spiced COVID response;
  3. The start of my roof.

I have a call out for estimates on the latter, and I’m sure it will be terrifying.

So, let’s start off with some mild chills:

For those with more time to spare and a willingness to wait through a slow build-up, here’s one of my favourite Clark Ashton Smith stories, produced by the wonderful voice of Ian Gordon:

Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert de Gris

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