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Posts Tagged ‘Diamine’

What’s All the Hub-bub About the Hub, Bub?

Posted by Dirck on 16 July, 2018

Hey, I’m back!  And I’m making noise now rather than on Thursday because Thursday is only three days before the end of the extended deadline for Pelikan Hub sign-up! Pelikan, perhaps concerned with the small turn-out in Bremen, announced that they were keeping registrations open until the 22nd, so if you haven’t and you want to, go sign up! I notice that it still says the 16th on the site, but press on.

While i’m here making noise, I’ll mention what I got up to on the vacation apart from lavishing time and attention on my son. First, I had a chance to work on a Waterman sleeve-filler:

It’s not… necessarily… the oldest pen I’ve worked on, but it is definitely in the running, and it’s the first time I was in the same room as this mechanism.

Also, if you cast your minds back to the winter of 2014-15, you’ll remember that I was scraping away at a choose-your-own-cosmic-horror game. I have been working on a lot of other stuff since, mainly because it’s something I can’t work at anywhere except home, and home is full of other demands upon my time.  Well, I managed to get about 8,000 words of second draft bashed out on it in two sessions last week.  This means, judging by the stacks of paper in the done and waiting piles, that I’m about 30% finished that project. I’m thinking of giving up on sleep recovery on the weekends for a while, in hopes of actually getting it into a beta-reader shape at least. It has sat fallow long enough.

I also cleaned out a pen with a mold problem so bad that air couldn’t pass through the feed.  Ug. This pen, I hasten to point out, is not mine, but lest that sound judgemental I will also point out that ink contamination may come into all our lives, regardless of how cleanly our habits.

Today’s hygienic pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s (as yet) unsullied ink: Diamine Marine Blue

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The End of an Era

Posted by Dirck on 4 June, 2018

I have mixed feelings as I type this entry.  Beginnings imply endings, of course, but after go on for so long, with seemingly endless resources… well, it’s a bit of a shock to find that the end has indeed come. Come it has, though, and it is my duty to mark the date.

I must now bid farewell to the bottle of ink which has supplied my desk pens since November of 2014.  Yes, the same one which I made such a fuss over when it reached its third anniversary in service. It kept on for another half of a year… and a week besides!… before running out.  Part of this longevity should be attributed to its companion since that anniversary, the Sheaffer 121SKD which was the only desk pen I had capable of filling from such a shallow pool. Not only does that have a fine point, but Snorkels have a deserved reputation for good miles per gallon.

When at last the probe on the pen made the gurgle of air ingestion on Friday, it was the announcement of the end of a long run indeed.  I can’t say I will mourn the bottle’s passing– it was, after all, an inanimate object– but I do honor it for its staying power.  I can only hope its successor, Diamine Midnight II, who was installed in office this morning, will follow the sterling example which has been set.

The final drops of the last bottle went home with me, along with the pen they reside in.  I’m going to use them for household writing duties so long as they last, which may be a week or more.  That pen was on station for more two full tours, since I like to swap out at the change of the seasons, and it has earned a rest.

The veteran I have brought in to replace it is going to be a bit of a test for D.M. Secundus; the point of my Touchdown 92SD,  is a good deal more profligate with ink than the Snorkel.  A bit of Falstaff & Hal action, I suppose, to initiate the new era, although I don’t think my Falstaff will end in quite the sort of way the literary version did.

In related news– I refilled the Wing Sung 3008 that I’m using for first drafts.  This is the fourth filling, and the pen still hasn’t fallen to bits! Amazing!

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Herbin Perle Noire

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Another Delivery Story

Posted by Dirck on 3 May, 2018

But first, the usual business of a Thursday:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 April
  • 1 May
  • 2 May
  • 3 May
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • Second draft of same.
  • 3 manuscripts pages.
  • 2,386 typed words.

Now, let’s see what I got in the mail two days after The Wettest Pelikan:

Does that say “Lamy” under all that tape?

Say, that is exciting!  After eventually figuring out where the flap of the box was through the very thorough layers of tape, I slowly got to the core, the meaty filling.

Why… it is a Lamy!  The box didn’t lie!  Aside: this sort of pen tube might have made a difference to that Pelikan’s packaging.

Yes, indeed, a not-at-all-shiny new Lamy 2000!  Oh, boy!

“Um… don’t you already have one on those?”

Yes. I do.  Or rather, I did.  A very strange fate overtook that pen.  The threads which extend off the front of the barrel to hold the section (picture here, if you need it) broke.  A crack had opened up, following the cut of the threads, which allowed seepage out of the holes the cap-holding ears.  I didn’t realize this was the cause of the problem until I had opened the pen several times to stare at the washer in a state of confusion and then tighten the section back in place… which finally snapped the terminal third of the threads right off.

I claim to repair fountain pens.  But I also, frequently, claim to understand my own limitations.  Seamlessly reuniting broken pieces of machined Makrolon™ is outside my skill-set.  So I sent the pen off to Lamy (which I was able to through their local retailers, since I’m lucky enough to have one of those in my city).  After a rather long wait, I got the expected message back from Lamy’s Canadian distributors:

  • This is not fixable;
  • This is not under warranty.

I had a look in my records last night.  I got my original 2000 in 2011 and thus it is certainly out of warranty, so I have no problem with that… although I do find myself wondering about the genesis of the original crack.  The 2000 has a reputation for durability.  The location of the break is such that I’d think it would only develop if I left the section slightly undone and then really leaned on it sideways.  All academic, though.

Also in the message from Lamy was an offer to get a replacement at… I want to say probably less than wholesale cost, although I don’t know that.  Cheap, in any event. Not trivially cheap, alas, so I had to ponder it a couple of days.  A cheap Lamy 2000 is still not a purchase I have the resources to make with an untroubled spirit.

In the end, the fact that the original was bought as a somewhat self-directed anniversary gift shoved me into buying the replacement.  I am sadly given to romantic foolishness.  Also, I sold a story, remember, and there was some residue left from that to cushion the expense.  Payment was sent to them and pen was sent to me.  Then, it was only a matter of cleaning it so I can put it into rotation in time for the upcoming anniversary, seven years later.

“Wait… clean it?”

Ah, yes.  As I mentioned in the terrible tale of Tuesday, there’s always some in ink ’em.

About half full, in fact. It’s kindly intended, I’m sure, but… well, there’s a lot of crannies inside this thing’s cap.  Aside: Like our new tea towel?  The camera sure does!

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Posted by Dirck on 26 April, 2018

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 23 April
  • 24 April
  • 25 April
  • 26 April
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • 29 manuscripts pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 19 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 April
  • 17 April
  • 18 April
  • 19 April
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • Lucky Day,” a draft-and-a-half flash.
  • 26 manuscripts pages (four of which didn’t work at all).
  • 999 typed words.

Just a little note on the pens to finish off– I found myself wondering why the Parker doesn’t get into the cycle more often when I filled it on Monday morning.  Two hours later I was reminded.  There’s a factory-original vent hole in the cap at exactly the level of the point, ensuring without fail that it will dry out before next use.  Someone at Parker UK in the mid-1960s really dropped the ball.

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Oh, Damn It.

Posted by Dirck on 17 April, 2018

The question frequently comes up on forums– “Will the security people at the airport get bent out of shape about the fountain pens I carry?”  The answer has, hitherto, been a resounding no, because (a) no one who doesn’t use them ever notices a fountain pen, and (b) they are less suited to poking a hole in a person than a ballpoint, with the pokey bit being also very bendy.

And then this nonsense happens:

Picture of several Air China planes at a terminal, under headline AIR CHINA PLANE DIVERTS AFTER FOUNTAIN PEN HOSTAGE DRAMA

Shown in picture: Absolutely no fountain pens. Not one. Because they’re boringly innocuous.

Now, if you read the whole story, you’ll find that nobody was hurt, and that one could as probably make the headline read YET ANOTHER ENTITLED GUY IN AIRLINE FIRST CLASS FALLS TO STRESS, but then we lose the exoticism of pointing to a fountain pen as a deadly weapon (which did not actually do anyone any harm).  Why couldn’t he have used a plastic airline fork, or his tie?  At least it didn’t happen with a US carrier or in US airspace, so it may not enter the script of modern security theatre.

Of course… I probably shouldn’t be making noise about it, should I?

Today’s entirely harmless pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s non-toxic ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

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A Little Jaunt on a Sailboat

Posted by Dirck on 13 April, 2018

Today’s film is just what I say– a romantic little getaway in a canvas-powered craft.

By “romantic,” I mean “none for me, thanks.”  Just try to picture the mindset of people who would get into one of those things without any clear sense of in which precise direction or how far away the next land was.  Nuts.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 12 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • 5 April
  • Second draft of “The Monster in the Cabin,” which is, despite appearances, a much better title.
  • Bag of Bones,” which is a result of a Steal-a-Title Challenge I decided I should get in on.
    • 3,627 words typed.
    • 1,040 words.

I will admit that I’ve actually spent some moments giggling and clapping at the scale of the latest story– not only being able to get to “show it to the readers” stage so quickly that I can actually remember what the weather was like when I began, but being able to hold the whole of the narrative in my head easily.  All the more giddy to find I had sufficient think-tokens left in my reserves to work on a second story at the same time!

Something else I got around to setting myself up with this:
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
I’m not going to give it any more time on this branch of my online existence than this mention, but over at the writing preserve, it’s now an inescapable fixture in the sidebar.  I do not expect it will make me a rich person.

…but I will hope, every so slightly.

The sharp-eyed will notice that I’ve done away with the “Duration” column of the chart.  I know none of you care how long I’ve been at the task on a given day, and I’m finally convinced my own inward monitor that however long it it, it’s long enough.

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Posted by Dirck on 5 April, 2018

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • 5 April
  • First draft of “Destroying the Abomination” (very much a working title).
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.

Yes, it’s the return of the previous version of the progress report form.

I… don’t hear anyone cheering.  Fair enough.  I had meant to do something of more interest this week, but I’ve honestly had hardly a moment free at home, and I need several moments to get some necessary pictures out of my camera.  The coming weekend should offer a span of minutes I can grasp, although I fear my wife’s play director may insist upon more rehearsals at inconvenient times.

I was able, last Saturday, to take this happy snap:

This close, and no closer. So far. This too is progress….

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Posted by Dirck on 22 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •    3,416 words typed.

My effort to get some work done on weekends was done in by attending a writing workshop.  Still, that’s a pretty good week, and I think it’s rather more words than are left in the first draft.  If I didn’t have a couple of {INSERT SCENE HERE} markers lurking about midway through the current draft, I would be entirely certain of having it settled by this time next week.  That marker is, by the way, how I dodge any hint of writer’s block; put the foot down on the gas and shout “I’ll deal with it later!”

It’s still looking pretty likely.  Then, I think before I give it a final skim for utter illegibilities prior to unleashing it upon my well-loved beta readers, I’m going to put in a couple of weeks of down time, leaving it to rest like a steak fresh off the fire.  I may even talk about some pens, despite the mad clamour of short stories that desire my attention.

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