What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘Hero’

Posted by Dirck on 1 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 28 September
  • 29 September
  • 30 September
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic” (definitely a working title)
  • See previous
  • …and still a better title eludes me…
  • …as does real concentration.
  • Ten manuscript pages.
  • Five pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Four measly pages
  • 55 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 24 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 21 September
  • 22 September
  • 23 September
  • 24 September
  • A free lunch (yet I grumble)
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • So near the end….
  • Not a metaphoric sausage
  • 1,036 words typed.
  • 978 words.
  • 1,041 words.
  • 65 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 15 September
  • 16 September
  • 17 September
  • Second draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • The same.
  • …and again.
  • 1,366 words typed.
  • 384 words.
  • 1,008 words.
  • 50 min.
  • 15 min.
  • 35 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2014

Good heavens, a week of nothing at all but writing?  How inward I have turned!  I’ll add one small item of possible use/interest, without climbing entirely out of this artistic hole I’ve dug for myself: my brother has recently showed me Trello, a sort of cloud-based electronic wall for post-it notes.  I’ve been toying with it over the past week, and I think it might be useful to certain sets of mind for working up longer writing projects… but I’m enough of a dinosaur to not trust clouds, believing in my simplicity that having something stowed on a disc in my own basement is less likely to vanish.

I also tapped my son daily with a horseshoe until he was four, keeping an eye out for changelings.

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 8 December
  • 9 December
  • 10 December
  • 11 December
  • Second draft of “The Dutch Walk”
  • The same
  • Still “The Dutch Walk”
  • Second draft concludes
  • 661 words
  • 1247 words (!)
  • 564 words
  • …at 3,994 words
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 45 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 December, 2014

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 December
  • 2 December
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
  • Fourth draft of “The Blue Room”
  • Finished that, on to the third of “The Healing Power of Crystals”
  • Third draft of “The Healing Power of Crystals”
  • Second draft of “The Dutch Walk”
  • Some.  A few.  You know.
  • The finished item is now 5,050 words.
  • Many drops of blood appeared on the forehead
  • 536 words
  • 35 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 30 min.

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Battle of the Flexes

Posted by Dirck on 1 October, 2013

Perhaps a mere skirmish, but after last weeks pallid offerings and yesterday’s unexplained absence (one shouldn’t be surprised by the appearance of stomach flu after attending a one-year-old’s birthday party, but one may still resent it), I thought I’d actually talk about the relative merits of a couple of pens.  Flex pens, too, and yet pens with even I can honestly afford.

Let’s have a look at them:

The Noodler’s Ahab, of long acquaintance.

The FPR Dilli, just signed on.

The FPR Dilli, just signed on.

Both are (if we accept rumours) from India, the Dilli being the in-house pen of Fountain Pen Revolution, a company which I have an unaccountable affection for.  A little while ago they were offering the Dilli at an even lower than the usual low price, and by way of quieting the pen-monkey on my back I ordered one.  It is an interesting comparison with the Noodler pen, which is not only of the same national origin but also seeks to occupy the “almost everyone can afford this” zone of the pen-pricing spectrum.

In looking at ways in which the Ahab is superior to the Dilli, one comes quickly to ink capacity.  As can be seen through the barrel, the Dilli has a piston for filling, and it’s a strangely large one.  Unlike most modern piston fillers, in which about half the barrel is occupied by mechanism, this pen loses something nearing three-quarters of its interior space to the works.  Leaving aside the eyedropper conversion on the Ahab, which challenges some ink bottles for total capacity, the Ahab has about a 250% greater volume of ink available to it.  The only real balance to this comparison is that the Dilli is a true piston filler, and doesn’t require quite as much dismantling to run through a filling cycle.

Functionally, they should be much alike, as both achieve flex through a slit which extends right down to the section, and indeed in the grossest estimation, this is the case; those who have dabbled in the authentic flexibility of vintage gold points and dip pens won’t really call it any more than a semi-flex, but it’s there for a little effort.  However, I give the Dilli higher points for its ability to get ink onto the page than the Ahab.  The FPR pen’s feed is a more modern item, with plenty of vanes for buffering, while the Ahab’s is a pretty simple old-style hard-rubber stick with a V-shaped channel cut in it.  One of the primary complaints about the Ahab, when people are complaining, is that it takes a lot of messing about with the relative and absolute positions of the feed and the point, sometimes with alterations to the channel, to get it to work properly.  The Dilli, in my single experience of it, writes as well as a much-messed Ahab right out of the… well, not box, as it comes wrapped in an instruction sheet and no more, but ab initio at all events.

I also find the Dilli a more comfortable pen to write with, as it’s at a more human scale than the vast Ahab.  This is a highly subjective matter, of course, as is one’s response to the Ahab’s smell– it puts me somewhat in mind of Silly Putty, and that makes me not mind it.  The Dilli is apparently not made of a vegetable-based material, and lacks any noticeable smell.

The one other thing I want to mention before getting back to the pile of Regular Job that accreted yesterday is the solidness of the Dilli.  This is not the usual distinction between cheap plastic and good, as I would be making in a comparison of Parker “51” and Hero 616, but rather a design matter.  The section of the Dilli is not a separate part, as far as I can discover, but is of a piece with the barrel.  I hear that the filling mechanism is glued in place, too, and it is no small matter to get the point and feed out.  This means that any maintenance on the Dilli is going to be tricky, while the Ahab reduces to its component parts with very little effort.  It is apt to appeal to the DIY enthusiast rather more than the Dilli.

Both, in the end, will show feed starvation if put to writing at full possible flex for too long at a stretch, and both will thus frustrate the user somewhat.  With that caveat in mind, I think I recommend the Dilli more readily than the Ahab for those wanting to put a to in the waters of flex-writing, as it goes somewhat longed between frustrations.  But it’s the Ahab that I’m going to be trying that plastic nib trick with when I finally have a moment.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M30
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

At Least Two Rs

Posted by Dirck on 25 September, 2013

The headache-producer yesterday grows into a time-eater today.  I’m going to abandon my post here in favour of being able to get away promptly at day’s end to vote in an important referendum (being opposed to the thing in question, I am of course supporting the “Yes” position).  I’ll leave you to ponder this entirely silent film showing a bit of disposable bottle retasked as a pen.

As a supporter of recycling, I’m not sure where I stand.  I love the idea of reuse of refuse, but I worry about extracting the material from the recycling stream.  One bottle should see a mess of writing done, though….

Today’s pen: Hero 100
Today’s ink: Herbin Lis de Thé

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Crass Commerciality

Posted by Dirck on 18 September, 2013

Roll up, roll up!  Kindly ignore the “Ad-Free” sign to the left, as this entry is in essence one big fat ad, although it’s one of my own making.  This is the first of what may grow to as many as three installments in my current attempt to spread the love of pens while and at the same time reducing the indebtedness that counts as being middle class these days.

What’s in it for you?  Well, until this coming Tuesday, these items are only available to readers here, and there’s a $10 discount on shipping (which I’ll go into below).  Come the 24th, these things go onto Etsy, and a slightly wider slice of humanity gets a run at them.  If there’s any left.  To get at them, go to the official spam-guardian of my site and send me a message that way; first come, first grab, as is ever the way.

Now, if we’re all sitting comfortably, let’s start the show.  Most of the pictures below will grow if clicked upon.

Sheaffer Balance Miss Universe, Golden Pearl:

and isn’t she a beauty?

Ambered, but only to the actual colour of amber.  Yes, there is a little staining in there too.

Ambered, but only to the actual colour of amber. Yes, there is a little staining in there too.

The full disclosure shot-- there is a plating failure on the clip, but the base appears to be silver.

The full disclosure shot– there is plating failure on the clip.

Sheaffer 0339wsMiss Universe is the ladies’ version of the Craftsman, so it’s a slender as well as a short pen.  User-grade, and pretty much everything I have is, with a silicon sac installed so the colour will remain as it currently is – $45

Sheaffer Balance Junior, Marine Green CLAIMED:

Not the utter clarity it would have had new, but the green fits with the general scheme.

Not the utter clarity it would have had new, but the green fits with the general scheme.

Sheaffer 0316cbr

A spot of brassing on the clip, but NOT a crack– that’s a cat hair (hopefully not included)

Sheaffer 0316ws

Sheaffer Junior, which is the same size as Miss Universe but with lesser trim and a more easily-damaged point.  In this case, the frequently questionable nickel (I think) plating pretty firmly in place, bar that one dot on the end of the clip.  If I were charging for the amount of effort it took to get the section out to replace the sac (which is now silicone), only Trumps and Buffets need apply, but since I’m not silly that way… – $45

Sheaffer Vigilant:

There is a cap, I promise.

There is a cap, I promise.

See? And it’s a jim-dandy!

The two-tone masking isn't perfect...

The two-tone masking isn’t perfect…

...and there's nothing to be done for this strange alignment failure of the blind cap.

…and there’s nothing to be done for this strange alignment failure of the blind cap.

Sheaffer 225wsOne of my early survivors of the surgery to restore vacuum filling, this Vigilant is, apart from the pre-operative oddity with its blind cap, a rather nice example of the military-clip Balance.  The cap hardware shows no brassing, the flow is good, and the filler with its new piston rubber and o-ring based replacement for the packing takes in an unreasonable amount of ink. – $65

Parker 45, Made in Argentina:

Steel point.  Don't let me tell you it isn't.

Steel point. Don’t let me tell you it isn’t.

A double-jewel 45? How odd!

Parker 0429wsArgentine Parker 45, which apart from some variations in trim is the same as anywhere else’s Parker 45.  Those differences are the treatment of the tail and a clip as one would usually find on a 61.  With a date-code of U, it could be from 1989 or 1999; either way, thay chalk-mark has been there quite a while.  Will you be the one to rub it off? – $32

Waterman Harmonie:

You'd never think it once had a dreadful disalignment, would you?

You’d never think it once had a dreadful dis-alignment, would you?

Waterman 0388def

There is, however, a break in the finish under the clip’s foot.

Waterman 0458wsThis Waterman Harmonie is one of my shelter-rescues; taken in from the hard streets of eBay with a crippling tine deformity, it is now able to go into the world a functional pen.  In setting the point right, I also had the feed out, and I’ve used it exactly once since then – $40

Mabie, Todd & Co. Swallow:

Capped, to show the interesting posting fixture

Capped, to show the interesting posting fixture

Good ol' IPG.  At least it's a decent one.

Good ol’ IPG. At least it’s a decent one.

M-T 0312ws

Swallow it is, although the claim to MabieToddship is a little tenuous, as it’s from the slightly mysterious modern re-animation of the company’s name.  While it’s a good writer and has a roller-clip that’s easy on the pocket, I find that it’s just too darned heavy for me to use with any real delight.  I admit that my disinclination to heaviness is not universal, and hope this otherwise nice pen finds a place it will be appreciated – $35

Parker 21, Mk. II CLAIMED:

Parker 0283dis

The sac is darkened…

...and there's a little scuff under the foot of the clip.

…and there’s a little scuff under the foot of the clip.

Parker 0283wsUnlike many Parker “21”s, this one is not cracked.  That’s always a bit of an open question, of course, so I don’t use this one for fear of amending that status.  If you are less fretful than I, you can revel in the pleasant writing powers of this pen, and I’ve priced it to reflect the potential for it not lasting too long – $15

Sheaffer Award CLAIMED:

Sheaffer 0439

Capped to show the slightly horrid but very effective late-model cap station on the tail.

The well-known and time-tested Sheaffer steel point, plus a squishy grip.

The well-known and time-tested Sheaffer steel point, plus a squishy grip.

Sheaffer 0439ws

The Sheaffer Award is an odd duck to me; I like it, and I’m only selling one of the two I have, but I would never hold it up as a paragon of beauty.  I would hold it up as a reliable pen, and with this finish a reasonably sturdy one as well – $20

Sheaffer Viewpoint CLAIMED:

Sheaffer Vwpt

Sheaffer ViewwsBI came into this Viewpoint as part of a lot of pens, and it’s definitely surplus to needs; I’ve got a full set of No Nonsense calligraphy points and my wife only uses the fine italic points for her writing while this thing mounts a bold.  I’m very unsure of its origin– the point suggests late Chinese manufacture, but the feed is the No Nonsense style rather than the much smaller type I’m used to seeing on Viewpoints of any age – $8

And How’s THIS for a bargain?

The industrious person who takes the “21”, the Award and the Viewpoint as a clump will get three pens for $37!  I must be slightly unbalanced!

On Shipping:

Remembering that I’m taking $10 off; these are the UNDISCOUNTED prices– inside Canada, Expresspost is $15, which is insured and tracked.  To the US, Tracked Packet (which has $100 insurance built in) is $17;  if you’re buying a whole lotta pens and want more insurance, we’d have to take a step up to Expedited Parcel which is $22 plus $2 for every hundred in insurance above $100.  Outside of Canada, we start to run into problems; untracked Small Packet Air are (using the UK as an example, but it’s not much more to Australia) $10, but you’re taking the risk on your own head because all I can produce is a receipt saying I paid for SOMETHING to be sent SOMEWHERE.  To get tracking and insurance, there’s International Parcel-Surface for $40 or Tracked Packet for $47, with the same $2 increments for extra insurance; more certain, but certainly expensive.

Also, because I’m dribbling this out in installments, I won’t insist on immediate payment.  If you want something here, and have some notion you might like something in a subsequent dose (I expect to have two more entries like this), I will hold for you until all is revealed.  However, that request to hold should be understood as a binding commitment, so don’t ask me to hold something you maybe possibly want unless something better appears.

And that’s it for today.

Today’s not-currently-for-sale pen: Hero 100
Today’s ink: Herbin Lis de Thé

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Jacob Three-Three and the Hooded Fangs

Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2013

If this notion had come upon me yesterday, I would have said something about being pounced upon while in a weakened condition.  As it happens, I’ve been laying the groundwork for this entry since last week, so having fallen prey to my conscience I can only concede that it has been sharpening its teeth and visiting the gym.

The attack happened shortly after I selected today’s pen to come into service.  Since I’m strangely obsessed with pens given to quiet reflection, the attack took the form of thinking about the various other pens this exemplar for the ages gave rise to.  From there, and here’s where the teeth and claws come into play, I went on to think of stuff I’ve said about those followers.  Let me give a couple of examples.  Of the “51” Special, for example, I have written:

Having tried both gold and Octanium points, I would say there is no functional difference between them in this pen.

And on the Hero 100:

It is very hard to tell the difference between using the example I own and one of the Parkers [I also tarring the 61 with the brush of comparison at the time].

I’ve said similar things in various fora regarding the powers of the Super 21, since it has the same stuff under the hood as the “51” Special.  Phrases like “identical performance” and “absolute functional similarity” get thrown about.

Now, conscience, having firmly clamped me in its jaws, whispered to me (it being a great ventriloquist), “Have you ever, in all honesty, tried them in direct and conscious comparison?  Is it not the case that you rely more on memory of one while using another?”

Well… damn it.  I can’t really swear that the latter wasn’t the case.  And so, rather than remain the chew-toy of conscience, I did the direct and conscious comparison, at the risk of having a week or two of rather bland and repetitive line-up shots.  Here they are, my test cases:

Marginal differences in appearance, but I imagine you’d be able to pick out the one that made off with your purse if pressed.  Those marginal differences translate, in use, into even more marginal differences in grip– I’ve mentioned before that I don’t insist on a pen conforming to my way of holding it, but such adjustments as I make from one to the other here are below the threshold of quantification so far as my tools of measurement go, and are very near the threshold of perception itself.

This means that such differences as are felt in their writing performance are not in me, but in the pens.  I sat down with them all beside me, and used them in rapid succession, in a variety of juxapositions.  You know what?

I was right!  In your face, conscience!  Had I been blind-folded and handed the pens to doodle with, I would not have been able to tell which was the almighty “51”, which its little brother, and which the alien pretender.  In fact, and I almost guarantee being put to the question by writing this aloud, the Hero is a little smoother than the “51”.

Do not, though, take that as a blanket statement– I will never endorse the proposition “Hero 100s are smoother pens than Parker “51”s”, because that green fellow is not the smoothest “51” I’ve got.  What we can take from this experience is that my statement of functional identicality is correct from one model to another, but breaks down when one starts considering the individual characteristics of a given pen.  Variation occurs within the tribes of “51”, “51” Special, Super “21”, Hero 100… and frankly any model of pen you care to name.  However, when one meets with a good example of, let us say, a hooded pen with a collector and a squeeze-filler, one is going to be hard pressed to tell from the way it puts ink onto a page just where it was made.

Speaking of conscience– the big sale starts with tomorrow’s entry, I have neither forgotten nor backed away from the commitment.  I’m busy dusting things and hanging posters even now, and all will be in readiness (assuming the Inquisition doesn’t push over too many items of furniture looking for the heretic).

Today’s pen: Parker “51″
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

p.s. – apologies for the “identicality” neologism.  “Identity” would have been correct, but lacked music.

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Postal Snits-tem

Posted by Dirck on 13 September, 2013

Rather sad item on the news last night, which once again posits DOOOOOM for the national postal system.  The various solutions for the problem all appear to boil down to “fling a bunch of letter-carriers out of their jobs,” and that doesn’t really seem like a solution as much as a putting the problem on someone else’s doorstep.  The mystery of how all post offices are always busy (without, I hasten to point out, evident malingering behind the counter) yet unprofitable is also unaddressed, and I fight an urge to point at the nation’s current political masters as the obvious source of woe, because I can’t quite connect the dots.

To avoid falling to despair, today’s film is a looking back to a brighter time for the posts, courtesy of the U.S. Postal System:

Ah, the undeniable yet ininspiring educational narrator of yesteryear!  For those who missed it when I linked to it a LONG time ago, let me repeat my words on an earlier British version of the same thing:

I find it a worthwhile study in effort for the benefit of others, as well as a touching reminder of the Great Regional Accents of the British Isles.  Night Mail is divided into three portions, I assume because of the short attention span of YouTube itself.  It’s worth looking at the credits, as I think followers of the arts will recognize a couple of names.

Today’s pen: Hero 100
Today’s ink: Herbin Lis de Thé

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