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Posts Tagged ‘Montblanc’

The Clothes Make the Ma…AAAAH!

Posted by Dirck on 30 July, 2021

I have recently begun (because I am still a bit of a Luddite and chronically underfunded) the process of moving the vast crowd of films my wife and I own onto an external hard-drive thousands of times more capacious than the brain of Johnny Mnemonic, so that we may watch them on the big TV in the living room without having to walk to shelf to DVD player and back to chair like we’re cavemen. Oh, no, we’re joining the world of… the current decade, more or less, using the home computer to send files to a phone which then transmits them to a doodad plugged into our television. SIMPLE!

This pursuit has given a couple of subsidiary enjoyments. The most frequent is the feeling of virtuous rectitude each time I get to the message from my DVD-to-file software telling me I have to affirm that the file is only for non-commercial home use, because that’s exactly what I’m at.

The other is being reminded of the existence of some of the stuff in our collection. Some, like Fiend Without a Face, are extremely subjective sources of enjoyment. Others are generally held up as classics by people qualified to make that kind of pronouncement.

For example, one is always well repaid for a re-watching of Alien.

Today’s pen: Montblanc 32
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Posted by Dirck on 22 July, 2021

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 July
  • 20 July
  • 21 July
  • 22 July
  • Second draft of “Anne’s Big Day”.
  • 590 typed words.

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Second Childhood

Posted by Dirck on 11 December, 2020

A little change today– no movie, just me letting some associations run wild and free.

You could, if you wished, view this as a far-too-late-to-be-useful gift suggestion for the person on your Christmas list who is very hard to get a gift for. And it’s not even a pen.

My birthday has just passed, and as often happens to people of my culture, I got some gifts connected to the event. One of them fulfilled an ambition I’ve had since I was about 17, although it has only lately slipped out of the realm of utter fantasy. Check this out.

I promise that at no point during my drive to work did I shout “Fox 2! Weapon away!”

Yes, I have a heads-up display in my minivan. Whole unlapped Venn circles of humanity are now shaking their heads in despair.

And that’s fine. Let ’em. I’m a big boy, the boss of me, and doing no one any harm with it. In fact, quite the opposite on the last point, as I now appreciate how much contact with the traffic around me I was losing every time I darted a glance at my speed. I honestly don’t know why this sort of thing isn’t a government-enforced standard equipment in all new vehicles. It can’t be cost (yes, I know how much a birthday gift cost– big boy, me).

I can’t quite justify the altimeter display on the left in the same breath, but I swapped it for a heading indicator since the picture was taken.

Anyway, that’s me done showing off my new toy. This weekend should be merry– we’re putting up the the festive green object covered in lights tonight, and on Saturday I’m getting a late start on this year’s batch of Eggnog. Late? As you’ll see in the recipe, for it to be safe to drink on Christmas morn, I should have got it done a couple of weeks ago.

Oh, well. We may not be going around to the grandparentseses this year, but that’s no reason to not flirt with a food-borne disease!

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 14 September
  • 15 September
  • 16 September
  • 17 September
  • First draft of “Hobb’s Landing”.
  • 739 words typed.

The progress is still painfully slow, but I am nearing the end… of the first draft. I’ve just realized I need to get some themes better inflated now that I’m approaching the endpoint, so the second draft isn’t going to be quick and easy, either. Probably. I’m bracing for it.

And while I complain about the speed of production, the fact that this first draft is going straight into a machine provides me with a small comfort– it’s now twenty pages long, which by my standards is a fairly lengthy number.

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Again, Farewell

Posted by Dirck on 10 September, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 7 September
  • 8 September
  • 9 September
  • 10 September
  • Submissions
  • Mild public lamentations (below)
  • Extra work for several editors.
  • Probably not as much as appropriate.

The Long Weekend was indeed very long for us. We got to watch a well-loved family member slowly expire. In the current climate of pandemic, our loss is bearable and small, but we feel it.

Hercule Grey, 2004 – 2020. The late Doctor Awkward Puss.

He was in his seventeenth year, so his passing was not entirely shocking. It was, in a way, a good death, because it was timely. We’ve lost too many to sudden tumors that manifested when they were relatively young. Old Doc just sort of stopped, like a clock that wound down, at an age where such a thing might be expected.

There was a small element of relief in it, too. For the past couple of years, he’d been a scrawny old man– my wife described him as “a furry bag of feathers”, and while he got plenty of rewarding cuddles from the newer members of the flock, he (and we adult humans) were perpetually concerned that the boisterous play of the young ones might do him an injury.

We have some pictures of him taken in what turned out to be the last two weeks of his life, which I will not be sharing. I have never forgiven the tabloid industry as a whole for the cadaverous LAST PICTURES OF DAVID NIVEN! which hung off the ends of grocery story tills, and I’m not going to share similarly gaunt images of one who should be remembered by the world at large in a different light. I will remember him in his appropriately sleek form, before his powers waned.

One of the last good pictures of Hercule, in which he is supported by Bram and Kees. Bram may be even more affected by his death than my wife.

A couple of post-scripts:

  • the name:
    • Hercule not after Poirot, but after Cyrano de Bergerac. As a kitten, he had a rather pronounced beak
    • Grey slightly after the fiendish probe-jabbers from Zeta Reticulum with their similarly-shaped eyes, but more so because my wife found his nature and presentation put her in mind of Joel Grey.
  • I am of course aware that this post (planned for this slot since Sunday) is going up on the same day as the announcement of the death of Diana Rigg. I could wish it were otherwise, but I’m sticking to the plan because I need to release the pressure. I will remember her mainly from her time in The Avengers, not because I insist a woman must be young and beautiful to be worth imagining, but because I watched The Avengers a whole lot during the first decade of my life. Emma Peel, competent and formidable, is firmly encoded in my core recollections.

 

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Posted by Dirck on 3 September, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 31 August
  • 1 September
  • 2 September
  • 3 September
  • First draft of “Hobb’s Landing”.
  • 827 words typed.

I should probably also mention that there was no writing at all yesterday, as my wife was in the hospital to have a hernia de-herniated. She is fine, and as I like to point out when this sort of thing happens, the entire cost of the day was the gas burnt in a total of less than twenty minutes driving.

Well, OK, there was the pain-killer prescription, but between work insurance and the province’s Hey You Don’t Make So Much Let’s Help You Out drug benefit, a week’s worth of Tylenol 3 cost $7.96.

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Salty Viking Talk

Posted by Dirck on 28 August, 2020

As one who is wrestling to absorb a foreign language, a frustration I sometimes feel is the lack of ways to express anger in other than my own language. Since I live in Canada, I have access to Tabernac! from the other side of the country, but I’ve never used it unironically (and I suspect it’s probably somewhat toothless in Quebec these days, too). The only good cuss I’ve got in Dutch is mierenneuker, but it’s not a general-use curse unless you deal with accountants a lot.

Having said that… let’s see how burly Norsemen would have shouted invective at each other while they were viking about.

I was once tempted to call someone a fokker, but realized that accusing him of breeding animals would mystify rather than offend.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer “TM” Triumph
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Posted by Dirck on 18 June, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 15 June
  • 16 June
  • 17 June
  • 18 June
  • Bloody nothing on Monday
  • First draft of “Memorial Garden”
  • 10 manuscript pages.

I think henceforth we might take it was given that Monday’s are unproductive, thanks to the thing I mentioned at the end of last month. It wasn’t an issue last week because, as it was a new thing, I forgot about it entirely until the next day. For the foreseeable future, though, Mondays are going to be opposed to writing.

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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!

Yay!

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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