What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Parker VP’

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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Laying In Some Skills

Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2012

Roboto-san has been instructed to post this exactly one hour (local time) after the “predicted” end of the world.  If you’re reading this, please join me in snickering.  If you’re not, then you’re probably just as surprised as me.

This is a follow-up of yesterday’s entry, and I’ve gone to the trouble of looking up the meaning of 万年筆の達人, as much for my own curiosity’s satisfaction as yours. “Master of Fountain Pen” is the translation I’m going with, which is not entirely out of line with yesterday’s guess… or so pride insists.

Today’s amazing demonstration of skills is not the repair of pens, but enhancement. Abalone inlay is something I’m not always a fan of (the relatively random for seen in old Balances is still about my favourite), but it is without a doubt a remarkable art.  This is the sort of thing that gets people like me to somewhat soften their stance regarding the statement, “Sure, it’s a nice pen, but can it really be worth that much?”

Today’s rather more pedestrian pen: Parker VP
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet

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Mannenhitsu-Do..in’ It Right

Posted by Dirck on 20 December, 2012

Since I’m not actually here, I’ve instructed my robotic minion to provide you with this rather amazing (if protracted) video of a living embodiment of mannenhitsu-do’s hidden principles.  The use of a chisel at one point is particularly startling.  Sadly, I read very little more Japanese than the average North American, so I don’t get much more out of the title than “Fountain Pen (Repair?) Man” and nothing at all out of the rest of the text and dialogue.

Part of me wishes I had some of his equipment.  A more realistic part points out that I’d end up turning a lot of gold pen-points into a mere vapour while damaging my eyes with arc flashes .

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Triumph TM
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun

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Indiana Jones and the Counterfeiter of Whimsical Intent

Posted by Dirck on 19 December, 2012

Just because I’m away doesn’t mean I can’t offer some fun.  Someone with a great deal of time and probably money they had no other outlet for sent along a vast artifact to warm the hearts of adventure film fans to the University of Chicago; Abner Ravenwood’s notebook and associated doodads.  Sent?  Or possibly slipped it into the mailbag on campus when no one was looking.  However it came to be there, it’s a charming bit of nonsense and a magnificent gift of fun and low-grade mystery to the world at large.

Today’s pen: Parker VP
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet


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Stone Age Tools

Posted by Dirck on 17 December, 2012

The friend of whom I have often spoken here, she who is responsible for half of the Duofolds I own, has produced another prodigy.  Actually, she’s produced two, as she’s got an absolutely elegant burn on her left hand from a horrifying incident of incautious bacon-cooking.  The good prodigy, however, is a pen related item from a past decade:

Those pictures are strangely familiar to me....

Those pictures are strangely familiar to me….

Not, alas, one of these shoe-boxes full of rare old pens one infrequently hears about, but a reference book printed in 1989.  If I had entered upon my real interest in fountain pens at the same time as I got my first Waterman, rather than loafing along as a simple user for another decade, this is the sort of thing I would have been clinging to for data.

…and, holy cats, am I ever glad the internet has come together!  The contents are, for the most part, a monochrome continuation of the cover; images extracted from period catalogues, arranged with the single lines of data for each pen shown.  That data is the model name, a small coded description of the materials, and the then-current price for a particularly good example, something like: Werther Gladiolus, BCHR, LF, GPT $75.

It’s painful to think how much work this thing must have been to put together, just in terms of gathering the images, let alone arranging the whole thing and getting it printed.  Have I put a lot of work into my site?  Sure.  But if I find I’ve made an error, I can just go in and fix it.  If some item becomes outdated, I can update… and I’ve not made any effort at suggesting authoritative pricing.

Even moreso, though, coming at it from the other side– in a non-digital setting, one might hear of this thing’s existence in a distant and unfashionable town, one might thereafter find a copy, and then… well, it’s a bunch of black and white drawings.  Which is not necessarily complete.  Or, as in the case of mis-using Sheaffer price-codes as model indicators, not necessarily accurate.  I’m previously declined the title of Luddite, but this confirms me in that with a flourish of trumpets.  The power to discover this sort of information, and to correspond directly with those who might have access to primary sources, or even to lay digital hands on those primary sources, is something I embrace with both hands.

I appreciate the gift of this book, for all that it’s not hugely useful to me; the limitations of the physical format and the insistence upon “vintage” pens means that it doesn’t cover anything made after about 1960.  It may help with tentative identifications of some less popular items, after all, and there are plenty of pictures of pens, which will keep me out of trouble.  The light it casts on the hard, hard road of the pen collector in the days before the internet, though, gives me a new appreciation for those who went before me, and renders me deeply grateful for this vast, swirling resource, however full of contradictions and semi-random conjecture it may be.

Speaking of contradictions and semi-random conjecture; I’ve got a pile of new pages on the site.  That’s probably the sort of thing I should make a habit of mentioning here, eh?

Today’s pen: Parker VP
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet

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Posted by Dirck on 8 June, 2012

Slightly thematic Friday Film this week, as I’ve just (through the kindness of a complete stranger) been able to add an interesting image to my page for the Parker 50.  That pen is called “Falcon”, and there’s another Falcon which came up this week through the kindness of an old and now entirely Facebook-based friend.  It’s a Japanese Falcon, rather than an American one:

There are a couple of things you should know before rushing out to get one of these; it has had its flexibility augmented by the talented John Mottishaw, and the person pushing it about has clearly been practicing.

Today’s pen: Parker VP
Today’s ink: Quink Washable Blue

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Eye of the Beholder

Posted by Dirck on 6 June, 2012

Beauty is a deeply subjective thing, is it not?  One person’s “attractive” is another person’s “meh” and a third party’s “Dear God, what is that thing?”  And yet, there are some things that are so broadly appealing that we might almost allow for a notion of universal, objective beauty.  For example…


…the girl herself may not be what sets your particular world alight, but the painting is a pretty good effort.

I’m a little concerned about beauty in modern homes.  Certainly, there’s any amount of Vermeer posters or reproduced statuary available, but the things we use in our daily lives seem to be getting rather too Bauhaus.  Actually, that’s unfair, as Bauhaus is at least a conscious effort at something, and what appears to be drifting away from modern life is the conscious artistic touch.  What got me thinking down this path was a little artifact in my mother-in-law’s basement.  Standing beside some modern sewing machines is something just slightly less ornate than this:

There’s a lot of unproductive baroquerie on that thing, isn’t there?  Once again, subjective, but even someone who decries the style will have to admit it’s more interesting than  a modern sewing machine.  Why’d they bother?  I assume because someone at the time said to themself, “This thing takes up a quantity of real estate in someone’s house; let’s try to make it visually pleasing.”

Compare the major appliances of today with those of the past; refrigerators used to have curves, stoves threatened to take wing, televisions… well, I have to admit I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the cabinet television, but the purely rectangular objects of today, even when filled with an interesting programme, are a little deadly.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the rise of steampunk aesthetics is a backlash against this trend to undecorative devices.

I won’t, by the way, entirely exclude pens from this rant.  There are some pretty bland fountain pens to be had today, but since the point of the modern fountain pen is at least in part to be a form of jewellry, there’s a little more art being thrown at them than other consumer devices get.  Watch this video, and imagine how unlikely a silicone skin would be for an iPhone with similar treatment….

Today’s subtly decorative pen: Parker VP
Today’s slightly pedestrian ink: Quink Washable Blue

Post Scriptus, and non sequitur– I find I’m mentioned on a blog whose authors I am envying deeply, as they’re planning a big trip across the UK.  I can’t help but be charmed by the fact that the mention of my little effort is juxtaposed with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who honoring the writer of Jekyll.  Zowie, there’s some illustrious company!

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Dad gum it!

Posted by Dirck on 4 June, 2012

I’ve got a tiny cut on one of my more frequently-used fingers, and it (along wioth its protecting bandage) is rendering typing deeply tedious.  I’m going to lay off for the moment, as the Regular Job demands use of the injured member.  I ecpect to be baclk in shape tomorrow.

Sic hand syndrome, as you can see….

Today’s pain-free pen: Parker VP
Today’s ink: Quink Washable Blue (vintage, for the Solv-X)

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