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And Now For Something Only Slightly Different…

Posted by Dirck on 21 July, 2017

I’m not posting a film here this week because, after a couple of weeks of utter silence, I want to put the final nail in the edifice of boredom I’ve been erecting here.  Yes, it’s pictures of the vacation.  Those who are still coming here for the pens will want to stick around for a little bit of flesh-creeping horror, too.

This year’s vacation was an unusual extravaganza, funded by a long-service award handed out by Regular Job (I complain, but I know I could be in a much worse place).  The same sort of thing ran to a trip to Disney World the last time I got one, but politics and inflation took that destination off the menu.  What we did, then, was travel to exotic… Edmonton, Alberta.

OK, it’s not much more than my own home town writ large, but it has a couple of things which rendered it attractive.  There are the Alberta Railway Museum and Edmonton Radial Railway Society to pander to my son’s love of such things, which persists undiminished, and in the same vein there is Fort Edmonton Park, in which previous centuries’ modes of transit run all day long and you can ride them for free after entering the park. Another feature of the park is a hotel which costs no more than any other decent hotel in the city, and booking a room includes park admission.  Thus, we essentially spent our vacation in a very comfortable bit of 1922 (with free wifi, even if there isn’t a TV in the room).

My wife and I got, perhaps, less out of it than the lad.  What we got, though, was freedom from housework, the spectacle of a very happy son, and a trip to Stylus (where a Pilot Elite 95S was almost able to convince me that the profligate spending of a vacation could be expanded to encompass its cost; alas, reason prevailed); so, relaxation, happiness and a couple of bottles of ink.  That’s pretty good, really.

Here’s a quick tour of the trip, with a hair-raising conclusion:

The start of the trip, in which I attempt to bring a degree of civilization to the modern air-travel experience. It worked pretty well, too.

 

A brief spatiotemporal anomaly saw us taking in the sights of Melbourne in 1958. This only lasted about a half-hour (subjectively).

Our hotel. Since I wasn’t paying, so we got the extravagant top corner suite.

 

He For Whom All Was Done, surveying the view out the window, because…

 

…the view out it regularly included a trolley.

 

There’s part of the reason for the trip.

 

And here’s the PRIMARY reason for the trip. Son also enjoyed the Ferris wheel, and was less disappointed by the ride operator’s refusal to let him toot the whistle.

 

This sort of reaction was gratifyingly frequent. Son loves his rail-borne transportation systems.

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is not an advert one would have seen in a trolley in 1922.

 

Son contemplating the departed spirits of those who travelled across our vast nation in a sleeper Pullman, at the Railway Museum.

 

A little way down the street from our hotel was the Capitol theatre. The building was shared by a jeweler’s, who bafflingly carried no pens whatsoever.

 

Not shown within; the shop-girls who cannot possibly be paid enough to dish out ice cream to hordes of tourists in a building which was, the day we visited, the same temperature as a healthy human liver.

 

Next to the confectionery… say, I got my first fountain pen in a drug store. Let’s have a look in there!

 

AH-HAH! There’s stationery in the drug store!

 

A close-up of the packaging, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

 

There you go, pen-lovers. Your quiver of dismay.

Dismay? Well, apart from the missing lever in one of those pens and the amazing degree of tarnish on the pencil at the right, they’re all just sitting there in the light of day, slowly discolouring and not getting used for their true purpose. Sic transit gloria mundi, alas!

To end on a high note, I think I should plug Fort Edmonton again.  It’s delightful, one of the better living history parks I’ve been in; my wife said of the people who populate it in period outfits, “It’s like Disney World niceness, with a frosting of Canadian polite.”  I can hardly improve on that.

Todays pen: Parker Senior Duofold
Today’s ink: Waterman blue (vintage, but a little newer than that seen above)

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Posted by Dirck on 20 July, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 15 manuscript pages.

Yes, that is a crappy output. Not only did I not manage to get the binder open once during the vacation, I returned to find a more than usually tall pile of Regular Job awaiting my return (more than is usual for post-vacation, that is), and I forgot about a first-aid re-certification course that ate the whole of this week’s Wednesday.

On the up side, the course reminded me of all sorts of quotidian, mundane horrors to leaven my writing with.  Brr.

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Pro Amor Patriae

Posted by Dirck on 30 June, 2017

Oh, I’ll bet I’ve spelled that wrong; I’ll be writing ROMANI ITE DOMUM all over the forum for the rest of the day, now.

In any event, tomorrow is the sesquicentennial of Canada as an independent country (as recognized by European nations).  We do this on the first of the July not to sneak in before the US’s national celebration, but because having a summer celebration is much better than one in winter, and because it one is free to choose, why not the first of the month?  It makes for a tidy calendar.

Today’s films, therefore, are little bits of national history programming which we occasionally get to enjoy rather than adverts on TV.  There’s plenty of them, and I’ve chosen ones that I think give a pretty good sense of the sort of interior mixture of pride and regret that a lot of Canadians are steeping in currently.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Chelpark Black
(Not Canadian?  Oh, dear, me– we’re a mosaic of many cultures here.  They’re in Canada, so they’re as Canadian as I am)

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Posted by Dirck on 29 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages (thin air up here.  Thin indeed).

The annual summer silence is about to descend on this enterprise, as my two weeks away† from The Regular Job begin on Monday.  Of course, the way things have been running lately, the interruption will be almost imperceptible.  As it ever the case, I’ll hope to get some writing done around the expectations of family and fabric of the house without expecting to.  This will make for a good deal more physical work than last year, carting the giant heap of paper home and then shifting it out of the way while doing whatever it is that gets in the way of writing is; we remember that another translation of codex is “lump of wood.”

We will try to overlook a more colloquial use of the word by native Latin speakers; blockhead.  I’m sure I shall feel like one in a fortnight when I’ve failed to advance the work beyond its current state, however much I hope to.

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Meditation Time

Posted by Dirck on 23 June, 2017

Here’s a chap messing around with a pen.  I occasionally do stuff like this… in one corner of a page, for about two minutes.  I don’t devote quite the level of resources to it that he does, either; nice paper, boutique ink.  Very inexpensive pen, though, which is worth pondering.

The trick will be to not see any of that stuff when you close your eyes to go to sleep tonight.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

 

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Posted by Dirck on 22 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages.

This week was a bit of a struggle, and not for want of inspiration or direction.  I knew exactly what the scene at hand was to be, but I was doing something terrible to the protagonist.  I’ve done plenty of terrible to other characters, mind you, and the protagonist has been dealing with the fall-out from it, and even witnessing some of it, but that’s all comfortably fictitious supernatural terribleness.  This week the terrible was of a true-to-life nature, the sort of thing that happens all the damn time in the news and which makes us all shake our heads and wonder at the base nature of humanity.

What made this hard is that it wasn’t something that was done to the protagonist; it was something he did.  Given who I modeled him on, and who the inspiration for his victim is, it was a steep bit of the path to the summit.  All the more so because I can imagine the sort of assumptions that will get made post-publication; if the author wrote this, then doesn’t it stand to reason he thought thus?

No.  No it doesn’t.  That’s why the slow progress.  I was axle-deep in cognitive dissonance.

Also, you’ll note there that I flatter myself with the notion that there’s going to be publication. Vanity still has a seat at my table.

OH!  I forgot, in all that– srtuggle or no, I’m out of the red at last:

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Blast… er… Subtle Menaces From The Past!

Posted by Dirck on 16 June, 2017

If you’re like me, you shouldn’t be out wandering around without a minder appreciate a carefully constructed fictional reality.  There are few more careful craftsmen of such things than the HPLHS, and this little gem is one of theirs:

If that didn’t make enough sense, or is only ringing a small and distant bell, here’s the inspiration.

Today’s pen: The Nameless One (based on past entries, it moves me toward films like that)
Today’s ink: Waterman blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

No profound thoughts this week; I do find myself having to tamp down impatience to be bloody well done this first draft, and not just because I’d like to get onto the back-up-able phase and silence worries about fire, flood and nesting rodents.  The calendar pages are flying off the wall!  Other stories want writing!

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Electro-Quick Car-o-matic!

Posted by Dirck on 9 June, 2017

A possible side-light to my (apparently) retrograde political notions is an interest in non-combustion vehicles.  Had I but the money for a PV roof, a Power Wall™, and an electric car, I’d be revelling in the quiet joy of driving about town on the back of harnessed lightning.

But I wouldn’t expect to go quite this fast:

Today’s pen: Faber-Castell e-motion
Today’s ink: Herbin Pousièrre de Lune

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Posted by Dirck on 8 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 26 manuscript pages.

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