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Posts Tagged ‘Italix’

Early Janus

Posted by Dirck on 23 October, 2015

Usually at this time of year, I’m all about looking forward to Hallowe’en, and putting creepy stuff out to enhance the seasonal mood.  Stuff like this fun little loop:


But this year, I’m not only dealing with my son’s strange reaction to this most festive of times, but with my own non-Hallowe’en euphoria at the politics of the national.  In Canada, we are going from a sour-pussed racist on the national seat of power to this chap:

So the actual and true film for this Friday is a blend of jolly horror and innocent merriment.

Today’s pen: Italix Parson’s Essential
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen


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Posted by Dirck on 15 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 13 October
  • 14 October
  • 15 October
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic”.
  • Pressing on with the first draft.
  • Entering what looks like the final lap.
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Five pages.
  • Nine pages.
  • 40 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.

Because I live in Canada, I was observing Thanksgiving last Monday, and trying to get a clear notion in my head whether our version of it is as bound up in pretending at cordial relations with First Nations in the early part of the colonization effort as in the US (I can’t think of an equivalent to the legends of the Plymouth Colony’s “first Thanksgiving”) or if it’s always just been a semi-pagan harvest thing like Lammas or the Dark Morris that happened to get some turkey-eating involved due to proximity to the US and the fact that birds are no respecters of national borders.

No conclusions reached– there’s religion, politics and attempted genocide(s) involved, so it’s hard to get a clear view of the history.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 5 October
  • 6 October
  • 7 October
  • 8 October
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic”
  • “Aliasing Harmonic” and the latest story release on the fiction side.
  • Man, am I going to have to rework this thing hard.
  • A break for non-fiction over on my fiction site.
  • 35 min.
  • 15 min. (there’s a surprising number of steps in a release).
  • 30 min.
  • 45 min.

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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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Light Speed (Slower than the Eye)

Posted by Dirck on 25 September, 2015

The only thing this week’s lifted film has to offer is REALLY COOL SCIENCE!

I’m a fan of abstract knowledge, so I’m glad we now know how to do this against a day when we might need to know how to do this.

Today’s geologically slow pen: Italix Parson’s Essential
Today’s ink, hopeful for peaceful uses: Diamine Evergreen

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The Loooooong Holiday Weekend

Posted by Dirck on 24 December, 2014

But first, to please the Watching Conscience:

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 22 December
  • 23 December
  • Christmas shopping
  • First draft of “The Yellow Oracle.”
  • Sufficient
  • Seven manuscript pages
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.

…and that’s the last of that you’ll see until the new year.  I’m taking some time off from The Regular Job, and while I entertain notions of getting as much writing done at home as I do here, they’re only slightly less unrealistic than the notions I have of establishing a resort on the Moon.  There is, after all, a six-year-old who is extremely demonstrative of affection, very anxious to share cool stuff, and by noon Thursday in a frenzy of Christmas-induced glee.  There is already much whispering to parents and pointing suggestively at a drawer we don’t know he’s hidden a gift to his Mom in.

Plus I’m the behindest I’ve ever managed on correspondence.

In any event, since doing anything with this is pretty much a work-day event, and the next work-day is 5 January, it’s apt to be very quiet here until then.  I hope you’re all keeping on the right side of too much fat, calories, alcohol and other seasonal indulgences (“right side” being highly subjective, of course).  As the clock ticks down to the recurrent rehabilitation of Alistair Sim, I thought the thing to throw up on the Lifted Video Service would be the thing I’ve been using to drown out the Country and/or Western station that’s being allowed to make noise elsewhere in the office.  It’s made the day go much more easily for me.

For those who find Baroque warbling a rather more egg than their nog can support, there is also a reading of Dickens’s famous seasonal work by a chap whose name you may recognize (although it may be having a little bandwidth trouble).  Merry, Jolly, Happy, Cheerful or Reflective Roughly-Solstice Event to all, and we’ll see you all in the painfully science-fictioney year of 2015.

Today’s pen: Italix Parson’s Essential (Parsons figuring in a seasonal lyric)
Today’s ink: Noodler’s Walnut (being as close to roasted chestnuts as I could manage, given my allergies)

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Posted by Dirck on 17 December, 2013

A little story about the unexpected, with a happy ending.

Once upon a time… well, actually, it was last month.  In any event, I had a pen sent me by a client which had taken a terrible injury from something it drank.  Not only was the diaphragm turned to a mass of corruption, but the metal components of the filler had been slightly compromised and no longer moved past each other properly.  A little bit of gentle scaling after a complete dismantling, and it was back to work.  Reintegration and return followed.

And then came a note from the client.  “I don’t remember the filler shaft spinning freely,” he said.  Nor did I, and I asked him to send it back.  Spin it did, and on once again dismantling the filler I found this:

Graphic content may not be suitable for all viewers.

Graphic content may not be suitable for all viewers.

Look carefully at the tops of the slots in the upped part of this component.  They’ve gone topless.  This is a problem in a lock-down filler– there’s a little crossbar that bridges those slots which acts as the holder for the stem when it locks and as the thing the stem’s spring presses against to run it up.  The slot should not be open-ended.

The exact mechanism of the damage eludes me.  Obviously, 75 years or so of fatigue has a role, as does the assault of the ink on the part.  It was also travelling from me to him in some rather cold weather, so that may have added to the brittleness already inherent.  The corrosion which caused the stem to bind as it passed through that collar may also have worked to induce some preliminary cracks.  I’m trying to think of a blow to the parcel that would have been transmitted to that part of the pen which wouldn’t have done other injuries to it and the two it was travelling with, but nothing occurs.  As I said to the client, it would have been nice if the thing had shown the courtesy of failing during the first trip to me rather than on the way home.

The solution, since I have none of this part in spares, was to make a ribbon of metal to go in place of the cross-bar.  Wrapping around the top of the collar, it catches under the shelf at the top, and is held in place nicely by the threaded over-collar that fixes the assembly in the pen.  It’s not elegant, but it’s also not visible and it works.  In the absence of spares and a machining shop, it’s the best I had, and the client (with some understandable reservations in the area of long-term service) seems happy enough with the solution.

I had over the past weekend a pen of the same specs from another client, the diaphragm of which had also gone off, but which had not introduced ink to the metal bits.  It very nearly fell apart in my hands when told it was getting new rubber, presented no resistance to reassembly, and is on its way home even now via Canada Post’s oppressed workers.  I’m confident that it isn’t going to pull the same trick in transit, and a brief superstitious dread of Vacumatic filler’s I’d begun to foster has vanished.

Well… mostly vanished.  The spectre will be entirely dissipated when I’ve head that pen is home and doing its job.  For the moment, it and Hubris are hanging around behind a corner of my subconscious, having a smoke.

Today’s pen: Italix Parson’s Essential
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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They Swarm and Multiply

Posted by Dirck on 10 December, 2013

Grannies sending stuff to distant places in the mail, that is.   I am all in favour of anything that that puts money in the pockets of Canada Post, but it does lead to a painfully long wait to get a pen on its way home.

…and rather short lunchtime writing windows.

Today’s pen (which I start to think is connected with these stub entries): Italix Parson’s Essential
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 4 December, 2013

There’s an open call for some thematic weird fiction I stumbled across, and I find I’m distracted by it.  I’m going to use my time today to see about congealing some of the mists of a possible story that are swirling about the inside of my head… using a pen and a sheet or two of paper!

Today’s pen (not really ideal for the task, with its medium italic point): Italix Parson’s Essential

Today’s ink (also not superb for first-drafting): Herbin Vert Empire

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Anyone Got Tweezers?

Posted by Dirck on 14 May, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I was listing to the non-visual version of FP Television and heard a remarkable thing.  It has become a splinter in my imagination, and I’m having trouble dislodging it, even as it festers.

One of the hosts noted that Eric, the one who doesn’t have to trudge through snow in the winter, is engaged in selling an uncommon number of his pens.  After a bit of chasing around, he declared that he’s decided to knock down the numbers of his collection.

To twelve.


I’ve previously monkeyed around with the notion of what life with a limited number of pens is like; as I mentioned during the big experiment with that idea that there have been times in my life when “collection” didn’t exist, and reference to “my pens” could be limited to three– the cheap one, the good one, and the Osmiroid which didn’t really get used that much.  However, as also came up during that week of constraint, I’ve since then come to enjoy a very broad range of pens.  Dropping back to a field of twelve is hard to conceive of.  Even… shall I say thirty as a nice arbitrary number… would leave me hard pressed to hang onto a sufficiency of true gems and still retain some lesser pens that have meaning beyond their value (like the Parson’s Essential, which is about the most valuable pen in the house… to me).

But when I look at some of the stuff Eric had up for sale… well, I understand dropping away some duplicates, but there’s some astonishing treats for the senses in that group.  I know from nice things he’s said about reasonable pens that he’s not entirely jaded, but if some of that stuff is in the “dump” pile, what radiant glories must the “keep” heap offer?  That rhetorical question is one I use to keep from coming at the matter from a different angle, of course, because the actual splinter is this; if he can do this in the face of those particular losses, how am I so weak in my clinging to lesser pens?

Have I said it before?  I’ve got a lot of pens.  A figurative ton of ’em (literally, still well under a hundredweight).  Some don’t get used.  Currently up for sale… five.  One of which I slightly regret, although with the current state of the household finances I really should be striving to sell off a bunch of surplus.  One can’t eat pens, and while one can heat a house with them, it’s inefficient and wasteful.

“Heating season’s over anyway,” whispers a voice in my left ear.  That’s not really the issue.  In point of fact, the main reason I’m not flogging more pens is that I forget to do the necessary photography and keyboard poking when I’ve got some free time, because other things are clamoring for my time.  There is a secondary issue in that a lot of the pens I’ve got I have because they were in horrible shape when I got them, and while I’ve restored them to function they’re not collector-grade in the looks department, and I hesistate to put them out into the world; we all know that even if one says in a listing “Item sold as is, note missing thrust-coupler and large scratch on the whey-gate” there’s plenty of people that will start to grouse about being ripped off.  After my little Russian interlude, I find I hesitate to deal with such things.

I’m sure eventually the splinter will work its way clear.  It’s just a matter of bearing down firmly and ignoring the dickens out of it.  I’ll worry about possible infection later.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

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