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Posts Tagged ‘Baoer’

New Year’s Dissolutions

Posted by Dirck on 8 January, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 4 January
  • 5 January
  • 6 January
  • 7 January
  • 8 January
  • Worrying 
  • Probably more than I need to

I am NOT getting enough sleep. I know this because I decided to pack it in at 10:30 New Year’s Eve, having had roughly 15ml of whisky, and rose at 9:00 the next morning. And then the same for the next two nights. Part of it is the effect of the season on melatonin production, I’m sure, but explaining it doesn’t fix it.

There’s also the regime change happening in the wild and lawless country across our southern border. If you’re reading this in the distant future, run a search for 6 January US Capitol Siege. I don’t imagine you’ll have to specify a year. Between that ongoing blitheration and my province’s thumbless handling of COVID, in both the pre-vaccine and vaccine-newly-made phases, it’s not surprising the slumber is shallow and evasive.

I’ve been mentioning over previous entries that I’m having a bit of trouble with the fiction output, and that’s almost certainly down to all of the above. Apart from going to bed shortly after 8:00 as a new habit (and, ideally, politics at all levels having a sudden, lasting undumbening), I don’t really have a good solution.

My not very good solution is to give next week’s writing periods over to updating my site, as I’ve got some new pens that should be given their place of prominence. My previous approach to updates no longer applies, as the idle time offered by The Regular Job has dwindled to nearly nothing, so this seems a good solution. It’s also going to involve scraping words out of my head, without having to (entirely) invent the world they describe, and hopefully that will prime my pump.

I should, since a year ago I was rattling on about depression, mention that the sleepiness is no more than than. The magic brain pills continue to do their work, and while I may do so with a yawn, I am taking joy from the world. I’m fairly anxious to share last Monday’s pen with the world, because its filling mechanism is ridiculous. I have a pen on the way that entirely ate the payment I got for “Palmer’s Folly” because until I’m getting more than a couple of piece published a year, that money is to allow frivolity in my life.

And that’s it for this week. Nothing spooled up in the film department, but I’m sure my pursuit of frivolity on a tight budget will return that feature to our programming line-up soon.


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Posted by Dirck on 31 December, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 21 December
  • 22 December
  • 23 – 28 December
  • 29 – 31 December
  • Wrestling with submissions.
  • Getting the decks cleared for…
  • Time off at Christmas!
  • Getting Regular Job crap done before the end of the year! 
  • Another one!
  • Sufficient.
  • Authentic de-stressing.†
  • Re-stressing.

† I probably should have posted something during the time away, but the very concepts of time and duty lost all meaning in a bubble-fied nuclear family-only Christmas. The effect on my inward state was such that to apologize for the lapse would be to seem ungrateful.

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(Fruits of) Labour Day

Posted by Dirck on 1 September, 2014

A very unusual entry on a day off (merry “We Can’t Celebrate May Day At The Same Time As The Soviets” Day), because I realize I neglected entirely to put a link to “Gone to See the Cat” when I thrust it into visibility at the site holding the contest.  Here is where it lies, and I encourage you to look at the other entries as well, if for no other reason than to see how nearly adequate my own work is by comparison.

Today’s pen: Baoer 388
Today’s ink: Diamine Prussian Blue

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

As Sung by Annie Lennox

Posted by Dirck on 8 January, 2013

Oh, don’t I wish it!  Since I’m not quite free of yesterday’s funk (although it is lifting), and still somewhat enmeshed in the tendrils of hindsight, I thought I would follow my big Top Five from last week with another, equally baseless and non-applicable-to-anyone-but-me list in a bluer tone.  Here follows, good readers,…

My Five Foremost Regrets in Terms of Pen Purchases in the Previous Year!

Well, look who’s back.

Starting gently, we have an unexpected entrant from that previous list.  The Faber-Castell LOOM is a nice pen, but the amount of use to which it has been put since I got it suggests that the odd proportions and funny colour scheme are producing subconscious barriers to its inclusion in my regular line-up.  I regret that I’m not using it more, and also that I’m so weak in the face of fashion.

What is hard to make out in this picture is that the point decoration can be interpreted as an insolent grin.

The problems I have with the Baoer 388 all orbit around its majestic Parkeresque cap.  It’s a devil to get off, but for all that clinging it also doesn’t seal particularly well.  Since I got it with an eye to having it as an on-call pen with a little more eye appeal than, lets say a Lamy Safari or even a TWSBI (which, while I appreciate the transparent look, is not necessary good in all circumstances), this inability to hold a charge is a serious drawback.  I’d regret it more if it hadn’t been so very inexpensive.

I can feel myself drifting off into a coma even now.

Elevated expectations and a little more need for point adjustment than I was quite prepared for are probably the source of my problems with the Eversharp Symphony I got almost a year ago.  Since it was an NOS item, I can’t shift any blame to a previous user’s foolish indiscretions.  I can’t really define my problems with it, either, to say, “This pen is displeasing because of X and Y.”  All I have is… meh.  Feh.  Eh.  My crank, so free in its action where pens are concerned, remains unturned.  I should mention at this point that elevated expectations almost saw the TWSBI Mini onto this list, but it managed to come closer to meeting them.  My baseline of expectation in modern pens is somewhat lower.

I know a few people for whom this comes as no surprise.

Yes, yes, I was told.  While my example of the Cross Aventura has yet to develop any of the less charming flaws I’ve been told I may expect, it’s not really growing on me as I’d hoped it might.  Too expensive for what it is, a cloud of anticipated failure floating about it… it’s doomed to disappoint, now, and in being so doomed it achieves.  That brings us to my greatest regret of the previous year, and I suggest that your all hold onto your hats, wigs or ears, as is appropriate.

All together now: WHAAAAAA????

How the dickens does this lovely Sheaffer Statesman TM become my biggest disappointment in a year that included pens mailed by careless Frenchmen and taunting repair jobs?  I like the filler, I like the performance of those big two-tone Sheaffer points, I like the size of the Thin Model pens… so what’s the problem?  Was is cursed with lesson-teaching, wish-granting powers by a fakir?  Are there hard-to-see poison spines?

No.  The problem with this pen is not within it, but what it lies within.  Cast your minds back to October, when I mentioned this pen’s arrival.  No, that’s unfair; let me do the casting for you:

Man, that’s some fancy digs.

Now, where the problem lies is not my prejudice towards the ballpoint that lurks in this splendid casket with the pen.  The casket itself is the issue.  It’s very nice.  It’s in good shape.  I’ve put it well out of harm’s way, and because of this, I forget this pen exists when pen-choosing time rolls up.  The regret lies solely in the fact that I’ve had this pen for many weeks and have yet to use it, because I’m too thick to remember that I want to use it.  This can be remedied, of course, and probably will be in the very near future, but at the moment this negligence stands out amongst the more active regrets of the past year.  Unwilling self-denial!  What could be more regretted in this age of rapid gratification?

Today’s pen, not altogether free of regrets: Hero 100
Today’s ink, utterly blameless: Herbin’s Bleu Myosotis

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Leave Those Kids Alone

Posted by Dirck on 19 October, 2012

My Friday abdication of responsibility is some extra reading.  Before you all start moaning, let me say that it’s not only an entertaining exhibition in the use of one of English’s most-used and most-exported words (so, don’t read it near the young’uns nor the boss), it’s a fine example of the way I think most people should feel when the notion of bullying bobs pass their field of vision, never mind the actual practice.  So, go forth and read.  You’ll be a better person.

Today’s pen: Baoer 388
Today’s ink: Diamine China Blue

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

300 (Warning: Contains No Gerard Butler)

Posted by Dirck on 17 October, 2012

I find my Regular Job work station still somewhat reminiscent of Horsell Common after the departure of the Martians, so I’m writing from home.  At home, I’ve got… a new pen!

This is, I suspect, not as shocking a piece of news as the exclamation point urges.  However, it is an oddity in that it is in face a new pen, in the common meaning of the word.  I ordered it based on three foundations: someone’s praise in a pen forum confirming a lingering inclination, a clearance discount associated with discontinuation, and the impending (now accomplished) discontinuation of another discount at Goulet pens.  There was also the scent of victory over a grasping credit card company in the air, so I felt some mis-placed lightness of heart.

The pen, which I’m even now building a page for on my site, is a Sheaffer 300, one of several multiples of a hundred which Sheaffer introduced at the end of the last decade.  It is, sort of, a replacement for their Javelin, although in a somewhat grander tone and moving slightly up the ladder of cost.  It is also quite a handsome brute:

Not that pictures ever do a shiny pen justice. Especially when I’m the one taking them.

It is, frankly, about as nice in the looks department as the much more expensive Legacies, at least when the cap is on.  It’s not terrible with the cap off, as I’ll reveal momentarily, but the inlaid point is hard to compete with.  It is also a rather better pen than the preceding Javelin, in terms of fit, finish and detail.  The way the cap interacts with the pen is high in the points of improvement; while it is just a deformable plastic mechanism that holds the cap down, it’s smoother in operation than the Javelin, and the flush fit of the cap at the joint means less peril to the finish (a point over which I specifically cast aspersions on the Javelin).  Also, note the little raised ring on the tail of the pen.  When one does this…

In all honesty, the section, functional as it is, is a little bit of a let-down, looks-wise.

…it locks into the same mechanism.  The cap is not reliant on friction to stay in place, which is a point that threatens the finish of both Javelin and Legacy (and, moving onto another recent acquisition, just doesn’t work with the Agio).  It seems that Sheaffer has finally, after trouble dating back to the Balance, worked out how to post a cap well.  If only posting that heavy cap didn’t through the… well, the balance off so badly, it would be a nearly perfect pen.

At this point, I would like you to form a picture of noted scholar, writer, and occasional comedian Terry Jones dressed as an early medieval woman; “Oh, there you go, bringing weight into it again!”  Yes, I know, I’m a bit of a broken record on the subject, but it is the one fly in this otherwise delightful ointment.  When capped, it’s merely a somewhat heavy, yet quite elegant, accessory.  Posted, it’s a rather cumbrous and top-heavy pen, as the cap is a large part of the pens weight and most of its weight is at the top.  It’s fine to write with unposted, but when such a good effort has been put into making it possible to stow the cap on the end of the pen, it’s a shame that doing so makes writing less fun.

Still, it’s a pen I like a lot, and I’m sorry to see it being withdrawn.  The silver lining there, for those who don’t yet have one, is they’re going for cheap on the clearance sales.  For those of us who have one, and take an interest in the fates of Sheaffer, there is some extra hope that the interesting successor pens to this one will also be good pens.

Before I wrap up, I want to heap yet more web-based laurels on Goulet Pens.  After the rather dodgy packing practices of various second-hand pen-sellers, it’s nice to finally get something from a source that takes as much interest in getting the pen somewhere safely as I do myself.  The way they send out the orders renders it as liable to transit damage as if it were a block of granite with an address label glued to it.

Today’s pen: Baoer 388
Today’s ink: Diamine China Blue

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Lessons of the Past

Posted by Dirck on 15 October, 2012

The past few days, that is.  I will start nonchronologically with yesterday’s big discovery; the working of a plunging router in a manner considered to be most safe for eyes and calculated to leave all thumbs attached is, in an 80 minute session, remarkably tiring.  It’s a good thing I didn’t quite finish building that ladder, as I was in no shape for prancing about on a roof when I left off.

Moving on, I find that Irony moves to make me feel like an idiot once again.  It has been just over a fortnight since I declared a cooling towards the tribe of Esterbrook, and then I found this little confection:

If I was to get an “icicle”, I’m glad it was in a colour that made sense for the nickname

…which arrived with, including the one in the chamber, eight spare points, two of which had decent tipping and one of which is a rather early (yet wonderfully intact) example of the 2442 stub point which does indeed rather rise above the common miseries of the Esterbrook points that were putting me off.  I don’t know that I’m turned around in my opinion of Esterbrooks in general, which I think may still be distilled down to “interesting bodies, neat arrangement, crap points,” apart from inserting mostly after the second comma, but with this sort of windfall I would be foolish to not think there was some sort of message from unseen powers and one disregards those at some peril.

An opinion which has been quite rehabilitated is one I recently expressed.  Opinion?  Stance, rather, in that I declared I was off buying pens from the entire nation of France.  Two pens have turned me around on this, although I can’t really say how.  This…

Oddly, one never finds the D&D manual asking one to roll a twenty-sided pen (p20).

…and an older item I’ve not yet gotten a picture of have got me turned around.  The Facette shown above in particular is responsible for my reaction, as it was extremely well-packaged and has none of the damage from either transit nor its previous life that got me so stirred up in the past.  The other, older, and (as with so many Watermans) currently unnameable “New Look” model isn’t quite so blameless, but it’s so interesting and in such generally good shape that I can overcome the not-yet-fully rooted chauvinism I was unenthusiastically cultivating.  There is, however, some question about my turn around, as both pens contain a frustration.  Actually, the “New Look” fails to contain the frustration, as it is meant to mount the then-popular glass cartridge, of which I’ve got none, while the Facette has an example of a cartridge which stands between the “original” C/F cartridge and the modern international pattern.  I shall have to be very careful with it.

Finally, there is this rather good example of some rather odd Italian pens:

It must be a good one, because it has a body impression; many try to conceal their origins.

It is, as the person who sent it to me wrote, a really good example of the broad sweep of Italian pens which are usually accused of being knock-offs of the Parker “51” but which may well be (given the ubiquity of ink windows amongst them) knock-offs of the Aurora 88… which is still not a good practice, but at least it’s being kept within borders.  Apart from it being a rather good example &ct bringing me the strange stylophile’s delight, it is the reason for its appearance that renders it a lesson.  It is, I am told by the accompanying note, sent by way of thanks for the entertainment I’ve brought into the donor’s life through my efforts here.  I am moved, indeed nearly dumbfounded, to receive such regards, and I’m sure the donor will take in the spirit intended the next sentence.

I learn from this, of course, that people will find the strangest things entertaining.

Today’s pen: Baoer 388
Today’s ink: Diamine China Blue

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