What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Fuliwen’

Posted by Dirck on 11 June, 2020


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 8 June
  • 9 June
  • 10 June
  • 11 June
  • First draft of “Memorial Garden”
  • 2 pages.†

†Two pages? Two?! In a whole week? Well, not really. That’s two pages today, while the rest of the week was spent trying to build up enthusiasm for any of the stories in the idea hopper.

I’m not particularly happy with that. I am absolutely putting it down to work stress; the volume of work has somehow kept rising throughout the COVID period. There’s supposed to be a slack tide in the middle of the month, damn it!

I was also dilatory on my Magic Brain Pills a couple of weeks back, and have perceived maybe not the black dog itself but certainly the smell of its cold, damp fur. A better effort at periodic swallowing since should see the chemistry back where I’d like it.

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Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2020


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • 3 June
  • 4 June
  • Third draft of “I Will Not Leave You Comfortless”†
  • Submissions.
  • The extended whine below.
  • Three very awkward sentences shown the error of their ways, and some other polishing.
  • The barrel of the launcher grows perilously hot.
  • Yes, I’ve got something to whine about.

‡ A note not about the ink, but about the absence of a link to a profile. My new computer arrived!


I still can’t update the site effectively!

Ya… wait, what?

It’s the sort of thing that will rise up like a patch of cursed bog to confront you when you don’t replace your computer for a decade or so. That program you like? The one that you’re very familiar with?

Yes, that’s right. It’s not compatible with the new OS. One of the reasons for that is, as you’ll discover when you go looking, that the company behind the program stopped offering software at some point in the past three years or so, and now make sensor hardware.

This is deeply inconvenient when the program is question is the one that you… or rather I, have been processing all my images through. Cleaning them up, Trying, despite appearances, to get them to be consistent in tone and brightness. Editing out moles and other blemishes on the otherwise smooth skin of my models.

Which means that I have to both find a replacement and figure out it works before I can add yet more images to my image-rich site. And also resist the urge to play World of Warships, which is something the new computer can offer, unlike the previous one. I’m leaning towards something in the GIMP direction, and not just because that’s an unkind nickname I hung on my brother when I was about eight.

† This is a much more satisfactory title than “Ancestral Curse”. Trust me.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 May, 2020


Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 25 May
  • 26 May
  • 27 May
  • 28 May
  • A new problem†
  • Shaving “Wilden Klausen” to fit a publication it’s thematically perfect for.
  • Getting “Wilden Klausen” off on its way.
  • Catching up on correspondence
  • More than I’d like
  • 131 words removed and a pint of sweat.
  • Bon voyage, monster-filled figment of my imagination!
  • Half of it.

† As we gear up at The Regular Job for post-COVID operations, there’s been some shuffling, and one of the effects this has upon me is taking both barrels in the face of this question: “You don’t mind covering the front desk over lunch, do you?”

It’s not a big deal, but the Selfish Artist trope who is among the multitudes which I contain is grumbling. I still have, technically, the full length of my lunch break, it just doesn’t start until 12:45. However, acting upon that seriously truncates the afternoon. I think I may have mentioned that I am extremely busy with Real Job lately?

This is likely to become less of a problem as we get back to more usual staffing levels (like many, I desperately hope that COVID marks the turn of an epoch, and the world will not simply return to status quo ante, but at a personal level… more people on-site to help with the lifting at Regular Job, please). It’s also not what I’m used to, and that is frequently enough to make a thing onerous.

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Posted by Dirck on 19 February, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 16 February
  • 17 February
  • 18 February
  • 19 February
  • Finally catching up with letters, it being a day off (merry InCoWriMo, everyone!)
  • Choose Your Own Unspeakable Doom…
  • …oom…
  • …ooooom.  Also, a migraine.  I’m a trouper.
  • All of them
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Ten pages.
  • Five pages
  • All damn day
  • 35 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.

Also, merry Sheep/Ram to everyone who attends to that particular calendar.

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Posted by Dirck on 12 February, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 9 February
  • 10 February
  • 11 February
  • 12 February
  • Choose Your Own Unspeakable Doom
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • Five pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Seven pages
  • 55 min.
  • 25 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 5 March, 2013

A sign of how distracted I was yesterday: I completely forgot that I’d already come up with a topic for the entry, and that it was one that was very easily addressed.  While my son’s bout involved a great deal of unfortunately literal debriefing, I owe a retrospective glance at the just-concluded International Correspondence Writing Month.

Well, I did manage to get to the bottom of it, and it was, despite the big stumble in the middle, not too terribly difficult.  The interesting thing is that not more than a half-dozen of the recipients were regular correspondents, and of those only one was done out of the natural sequence of exchange, as I didn’t want to get all clingy not to throw out the correct pacing of to and fro.  Happily, a number of my regular correspondents sent something either just before or during the month, so I could plump up the numbers without being very desperate.  Also helpful was the InCoWriMo site, with its list of willing victims recipients of unheralded mail, and which I’ll touch on again presently.

What truly surprised me about the writing side of the enterprise was the relative ease and speed of dashing off a brief note.  My regular correspondents will be surprised to learn that I suffer through drafting letters almost to the same degree as Gilbert Norrell, for fear of getting well down one of my common over-inflated and slightly baroque sentence only to find that by the time I’ve landed at the terminal punctuation that I’ve got a mismatch in the quantity of subjects and objects, or a change of tense, or perhaps a misgendered pronoun (guess how long this sentence took to work up…).  I couldn’t really do that with all the InCoWriMo items, and since many of them were a single page I took the plunge and just wrote out of my head– not unlike what I do here, but without the option of a backspace key.  Very little scratching out of foolishness, mainly correct spelling, and a letter down and folded in under an hour!  Astonishing.

Less surprising was the fact that I got so little inbound mail during the event.  I did not, as an exchange in the comments a couple of entries ago points out, join the brave band of folks who offered their addresses up on the aforementioned list.  Being the age I am, I have a long established habit of not admitting who I actually am to the internet, and despite it being about as safe as getting mail at all, I balked like a big coward.  Those who wonder at this bit of information, by the way, in conjunction with the address of my web site; my brother made a point of registering all the family as domain names during one of those phases when there was a lot of domain camping, and I’m not one to look a fait accompli in the mouth.  I was, in fact, rather surprised to get a couple of letters from non-regular correspondents in the course of the thing, who had scraped up my address from entirely legitimate sources; that “non-” is going rapidly by the board.

At the risk of becoming overwhelmed with regular correspondents, I think I shall participate again next year.  Not only does it support the international postal system in a trying time, its not that big a hassle and if my own reaction to the unexpected apparitions is anything to go by it brings delight to those on the low end of the slide that starts at the yawning trap of the big red post box.  Also, you get a non-cropped one of these if you ask nicely:


Splendid, is it not?  Well worth the price of admission.

The following chart is going to take a little looking back at my records; don’t take it as definitive until at least the 8th:

InCoWriMo I: Things I think are worth counting
  •  Pens Used:
    • Fuliwen 2024
    • Italix Parson’s Essential
    • Kaweco Sport
    • Lamy 2000
    • Parker 45
    • Parker “51”
    • Parker Duofold
    • Pelikan M600
    • Sheaffer Balance
    • Stipula Passaporto
    • TWSBI Vac 700
    • Waterman 52
  • Inks Used:
    • Diamine Steel Blue
    • de Atramentis Elderberry
    • Herbin Lis de Thé
    • Herbin Orange Indien
    • Kaweco blue-black
    • Mont Blanc Royal Blue
    • Noodler’s La Couleur Royale
    • Organics Studio Cobalt
    • Pelikan black
    • Pelikan blue-black
    • Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue
    • Sailor Jentle blue-black
    • Skrip blue-black
  • Letters Sent:
    • 2 Journals
    • 3 Multi-page
    • 24 Single Page
  • Letters Got:
    • 5 Multi-page
  • Countries Contacted:
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Canada (it’s big– I can count it, even if I’m in it)
    • Great Britain
    • Norway
    • The Netherlands
    • United States

Today’s pen: Parker “51” Fantasy Demo (yes, I did put it on the page)
Today’s ink: Pelikan black (for fear of staining)

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Going with the Flow

Posted by Dirck on 5 July, 2012

I do not, as a rule, read Popular Science.  It’s not a strict rule, nor an actual aversion, but a mere admission that (Things I Want to Read)/(Available Time in a Day) doesn’t really leave room for it.  The magazine in my life is Discover, and I can’t wedge another in.  However, recently I found myself in the position of having to make a small purchase while carrying no cash, and I really hate using my debit card below a certain threshhold.  A glimpse at the magazine rack revealed no new edition of Discover, so I nabbed the Popular Science with the intriguing headline “Invent Your Own Anything”.

As interesting as that article is, I was even more struck by this item about almost-literally kitchen-sink molecular biology.  Three paragraphs in the middle of the article caused a particular resonance in me, to the point that I almost had some sort of optimistic insight into modern western society.  The first thing is the description of how modern communication technology allows the home tinkerer both to discover what the pioneers in the field did to overcome the lack of existing infrastructure (“How can I make an infindibulator for less than $100?”) and to discuss with fellow seekers the viability of some of those approaches (“Is anyone else worried about the smell their infindibulator gives off?”).  This is very familiar to those of us on the fountain pen forums; cures for skipping pens, re-working of tools never meant to touch a pen, explanations of unexpected smells, a collectivity of wisdom that helps people avoid repeating well-worn mistakes.  The foundation of the renaissance I keep insisting fountain pens are enjoying lies in this ability to plug into a group-mind, which is rather nicer than the sort of group-mind developments science fiction has suggested in the past.

The other thing, which really has my resonant frequency, is the too-brief examination of “flow”.  For us fountain pen folks, flow has a pretty specific meaning, and this is not at all what the article is interested in.  It is rather an idea that when one is engaged in a pursuit one enjoys, a particular sort of timelessness overtakes, and hours may pass unheeded and the only thing in the world is the doing of the task at hand.  It is, I think, affiliated to the notion that the internal state of the person can make any human activity an art (which is very well expressed in Understanding Comics with the example of an artful automobile assembly-line bolt-tightener)  The article denies that this is “a kind of secular nirvana”, but it is a very good example of the power of a joyful meditation, even if that’s not what you think you’re doing.  I’ve touched on the notion in a long-past entry, but it’s nice to see it articulated well and in a popular medium.  It is certainly a sensation I try to grab at every opportunity, and I somewhat regret that so many past instances of it came not through productive effort but in playing Resident Evil 2.

The optimism I mentioned above comes in because there’s a clarification of human motives which are entirely disconnected from the bleak notions of capitalism, and are only slightly reflected in the bleak notions of Skinnerian psychology.  Given a thing to do which is interesting, people (or at least some people) will do it merely because it is interesting.  The focus of the article is trying to make fluorescent yoghurt not because there’s a pot of gold if she success but because it will be neat to have done it and because the attempt is fun.  That we do things because they feel good is no revelation, but that things that feel good in this particular way is sufficient motivation to see them done is, to me, extremely encouraging.

I may have to review my stance on Popular Science.  Apart from the unexpected engagement this article provided, I deeply appreciate a magazine that will let “eros” and “agape” pass without feeling an editorial need to clarify what they mean. 

Today’s pen: Fuliwen 2024
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Violette Pensée

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Curing the Red Admiral

Posted by Dirck on 3 July, 2012

More of my vacation activities, and once again the story is somewhat at my own expense.  But we’ll get to that presently.

Well… no, there it this lesser failing which I’ll start off with; I am almost incapable of remembering to take a “before” picture when it would best serve.  The pen in question is the one I used yesterday, a Sheaffer Admiral, and my efforts on it were largely motivated by the thought that I certainly couldn’t do any more damage to it.  However, because of this sad lapse in my make-up, you will have to accept that this pen…

Please note the slight want of shine on that cap band. Point and laugh, in fact. I deserve it for not showing what it was when I started.

…was a week ago a hideously deformed specimen with a terrible case of what appeared to be psoriasis on its band.  This is not bragging; if I had taken that pre-procedure picture, then I might be tooting my own horn, but as it is it can be no more than an urging to not despair of a pen with cosmetic issues.

The inside of the pen was somewhat less terrible than the out, although it was pretty well down the path of corruption peculiar to the metal-laden innards of the Snorkel breed.  A good deal of de-scaling was called for, and pretty much everything I mention in my Snorkel-fixing tutorial needed to be done.  When all was done and back together, I gave it a water-test to check that all the seals were fine, then loaded it with ink.

…and it didn’t work particularly well.  This is a dreadful discovery in a Snorkel, since one of the central points of the pen’s claim to complexity is the somewhat obscure path by which the ink gets from inside to point.  I had not forgotten to give the important initial dunk to the point which wets the exterior feed.  The little slit in the upper surface of the snorkel itself was in the correct alignment, putting it handy to a similar slit inside the exterior feed.  Touching a tissue to the end of the snorkel drew out ink.  It took… rather more pondering than I’m happy to admit to work out the problem, and I will share it so you can avoid doing the same thing.

Summer slackness is the problem once again.  I left out a step I normally do out of hand, because I didn’t want to creep out of the cool of the basement and was thus willing to allow myself to forget it.  I didn’t clean out the inside of the snorkel!  Ink could get out through the air channel, but the ink channel was, I reasoned, clogged.  Happily, I was able to suspend the snorkel/reservoir unit in my ultrasonic cleaner without getting any of the cleaning fluid into the sac protector, and after a few cycles there was some interesting yellowish stuff coming out of the ink channels of the slit.  Once that was cleared out, a re-inking proved that the clog was gone.

Just like yesterday, we find a lazy fellow making extra work for himself.  Were I under this Admiral’s control rather than vice versa, I would no doubt be flogged around the fleet for gross dereliction.  As things are, though, my reward for eventually working out where I’d gone astray was not a raw back but a happy heart, as I’ve got (another!) rather nice pen to enjoy.

Today’s pen: Fuliwen 2024
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Violette Pensée

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Brain Activation

Posted by Dirck on 17 June, 2011

For the Monty Python fan, the line “My brain hurts!” will resonate (I prefer the Gilliam or Chapman delivery).  I have put a lot of effort in the past 48 hours into describing the proper revitalization process for a Sheaffer Snorkel, and to that  is added guilt over some correspondence that remains undone.  Guilt being an irrational thing, the fact that the specific time demands of typing the Snorkel exercise can be hidden in a post-free work day while longhanding the correspondence cannot does not actually help.

A facebook associate put me onto a slightly interesting article about how handwriting (as opposed to typing) is good for the brain.  I take some issue with this line from it:

After four weeks of training, the kids who practiced writing showed brain activation similar to an adult’s, said James, the study’s lead researcher.

The issue stems from the intimation that kids don’t use their brains as much as adults.  From observation of my son, and the speed with which he defeats things meant to keep him out of danger, I know that’s not the case, and I suspect the researchers don’t actually mean it that way.  I also note that the poor kid in the picture attached to the article has not been shown how to hold a writing tool well– a candidate for sore joints in years to come.

Today’s pen:  Fuliwen leather-clad pen
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue

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Blockade Runner

Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2011

Well, the mail strike I was lamenting a couple of weeks ago has gone from tolerable and intermittent to full-scale.  The apparent trigger for this was that the rotation of strikes finally fell upon Toronto, a city whose citizens will readily tell anyone who asks is the most important in Canada; the union was content to leave things at “inconvenient”, but management has locked the doors.

While our intolerable government is apt to legislate them back to work presently (with the morale effects that implies), for the moment this leave the mail in limbo.  For me, this means an unknown number of letters stuck out there, as well as a couple of Sheaffers (1950ish and 1935ish), and a Mabie Todd Blackbird, all of which will be wearing on my imagination until they arrive.

Strangely, though, I am not anxious about a lot of five Japanese “long-shorts” that were sent from Japan not quite two weeks ago.  They appeared yesterday, which is amazing on two fronts.  First– trans-Pacific mail in under two weeks?!  Second– the rotating strikes which were in place until today meant that there was to have been delivery only Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Yesterday was none of these.  Eerie powers of the Japanese Postal Service is the only possible explanation.

Today’s pen:  Fuliwen leather-clad pen
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue

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