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Posts Tagged ‘Private Reserve’

Posted by Dirck on 13 November, 2014

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 11 November
  • 12 November
  • 13 November
  • Quiet reflection, including a little about the corner I’ve painted myself into in “And Then the Screaming Started.”
  • Some bleak staring at the comments on “The Healing Power of Crystals” and then research for settings in “The Dutch Walk.”
  • First draft of “The Dutch Walk”; painting into corners and difficult comments will not be allowed to become writers’ block.
  • Nothing external
  • Much the same (boo!)
  • 10 manuscript pages
  • All day
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 23 October, 2014

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
22 Oct.


23 Oct.

First draft, “The Third Act”


The same, now completed.

14 pages


11 pages

50 min.


About 45 min.

Waterman Crusader


Pelikan M600

Private Reserve Supershow Blue


Herbin Bleu Myosotis

Is this more tolerable, d’you think? As I said on Tuesday, I can’t give up entirely on the idea of external oversight, as tedious as that is for the draftee overseers, but it won’t come up more than once a week.

…and I still get to mention all the week’s pens in public.  The internet is nothing if not the panderer to strange pleasures, and it turns out that’s one of mine.

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Posted by Dirck on 16 October, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “Funeral Notice.”

HOW MUCH: Seven manuscript pages (but VERY high quality).

HOW LONG: About 50 min.

Today’s pen: Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 6 May, 2014

WHAT: First draft of short story  “Yard Light” (working title); “Friendly Island” is giving me some guff, and I’m trying to work out if it is being stately or merely meandering, so in a drawer it goes until I’m feeling better about it.

HOW MUCH: 4 pages of manuscript (in a more sensibly-sized book, and with long breaks working out a location in much more detail than I needed).

HOW LONG: About 45 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 29 April, 2014

WHAT: First draft of short story “Friendly Island” (working title).

HOW MUCH: 8 pages of manuscript.

HOW LONG: About 45 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Hearty Partying in Newhaven

Posted by Dirck on 3 March, 2014

I’ve just sent home a pen from a first-time client, and it had an interesting story to tell.  It was a Parker “51” and the complaint was that it was rather intermittent in its flow and somewhat scratchy.  These are, as the client pointed out, not attributes usually connected with that make, and even less so with the UK-made sub-species.  There’s a few possible causes, all of which are well within my capacities to put right, so I was happy to have a look at it for him.

To assist in following my technicalities (click for bigness)

It didn’t present any gross deformities when it arrived, but when time came to open it up… well, I’ll admit, I was slightly taken aback.  I’d suggested that something that might be behind the problem was a dirty collector.  To avoid ink-cementing, I’d given the pen a darned good cleaning prior to taking it apart, and the collector was rather cleaner than the one in the anatomy photo.  Except for the light purplish material that was stuck between the vanes on the lower third of it.


The same stuff was on the connector, above the o-ring that came into use in models later than my dissection subject, and this put me in the picture.  It was a sealant of some kind, not shellac nor the rosin-based stuff one more usually associates with Sheaffers, but something similar in that it could be painted onto the threads just before final assembly.  Whoever had been applying this stuff was using a broad brush indeed.  Happily, it was softer than Lucite and not too serious about adhering, so a few minutes work with little thin bits of brass saw it cleared away.

There were a few other issues with the pen.  The slit was compressed, also a source of flow woe, and also addressed with little thin bits of brass.  The point and feed were out of line with the collector; there are some who say that the factory-approved alignment of these parts isn’t a big deal, but I like to observe it and it’s easily done.  The worst thing about it was that the slit was cut at a slight angle to the axis of the point; this is a big deal only in as much as it affects the size of the pen’s “sweet spot”, and it renders the point a little more open to deformation, but there’s not much to be done about it.

Looking at the list of problems, my initial thought was “Monday morning production.”  I refine that thought, though.  Not only Monday morning, but one following a rather boisterous weekend.  Crapulence is given form, as it were, and the pen is made to suffer someone else’s hangover for decades.  Poor thing.  Hopefully the veil has parted for it, and it can get on with being a rather good pen without having to squint and mutter.

Today’s pen: Parker 45
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 24 February, 2014

WHAT:  First draft of short story “E.Z. Notes” (working title).

HOW MUCH: Three pages of manuscript, of which two survive a moment of shuddering realization of utter tripe.

HOW LONG: About 40 min.

DONE?: No, although I really should just wrap it the hell up.  The urge to put in curlicues just makes the tripe-detector start honking.

Tday’s pen: Parker 45
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Back to work

Posted by Dirck on 19 February, 2014

WHAT:  First draft of short story “Old 237” (working title), then first draft of short story “E.Z. Notes” (working title).

HOW MUCH: Five pages of manuscript, 3½ being the new project.

HOW LONG: About 40 min.; the new project has rather been yelling at me to get on paper.

DONE?: Some translating of “Old 237” still wants doing, but otherwise it’s ready for the next stage.

Tday’s pen: Parker 45
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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Cautionary Case of the Consarned Converter

Posted by Dirck on 13 January, 2014

Let me tell you about the wisdom of checking facts before acting.

Once again.  It’s sad, isn’t it, how some lessons don’t stick.

Some months ago, while glancing through the pictorial shelves of eBay, I spotted an interesting object– a push-button converter for Pilot pens.  I made a note of it, and after the passage of some time I decided to treat myself.  It looked like having a better capacity than the other Pilot-compatible converters, and as I enjoy pushing my Vanishing Point about, more capacity is an attractive prospect.  It was very much a whim that clicked “Buy It Now”, and no more thought was given that was necessary to engender the smug complacency about sufficient reserves in the Paypal account.

The necessary time passed, and in a box far larger than required appeared the item.  The Pilot CON-70 is a very nifty little object, working on a pump principle not very different from the Vacumatic—  there’s a little rubber bobber transfixed with a very wee breather tube, so when the button is depressed air is easily transported from the closed end of the converter, and when it’s let up, ink can flow past the bobber easily.  Vast capacity, too, as far as converters go– about 1.0 ml.

The capacity I did not discover through filling the Vanishing Point, though.  When pen and device were side by side, I realized two things.  Thing One– a button-actuated converter is not a smart thing to put in a pen which is itself button-actuated.  Each opening and closing of the pen would bring a festive squirt.  That really wasn’t an issue, though, because Thing Two is the entire impossibility of cramming the CON-70 into that pen.  It doesn’t seat in the point unit, and is both too long and too wide to go into the upper barrel.  I had, as I so frequently do on eBay, bought from a low-context picture.  Usually, my assumptions about the item I’m buying (which is a pen or a familiar component) provide the sense of size.  In this case, I was assuming it would be much the same size as other Pilot converters.  This is not the case, as you can see in this updated picture from my site:

#1 is an old long/short’s converter, and is atypical. 2, 3 and 4 are “normal” and 5 is the newcomer.

It’s huge.  Of course it holds a full millilitre of ink.  It also doesn’t fit in any of the Pilot pens I own.  It will mount in the sections of the 78G and the Metropolitan, but there’s no cramming it in the barrel.  Having discovered this, I then go looking to see what the dickens it will fit into.  The answer, found EASILY, is the Justus 95, the Bamboo, the metal Falcon, and some Custom models.  So I’m well set for converters when I scrape together the money to eventually get one of those.  Until then, it’s a reminder every time I open the box I keep all converters in when they’re not on duty– think!

Happily, it was an inexpensive lesson.  Not even one limb lost!

Today’s pen: Parker 180
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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The Year in Rear View

Posted by Dirck on 8 January, 2014

Last year I went to a little bit of trouble and put together a couple of year-end lists.  This year… well, apart from engaging in a “make your own foie gras in your spare time” experiment (complete with abdominal discomfort!) I didn’t really think about the prospect until the last moment.  Rather than attempt another best/worst evaluation, which really requires me to have my notebooks at hand to at least remember what pens are the pens of 2013, I present…

Lessons I Learned Last Year Which I Found Somewhat Valuable:

A little something in some of the engraving, but generally clean and functional.

A little something in some of the engraving, but generally clean and functional.

That's as clean as ammonia, naptha and jeweler's rouge managed

That’s as clean as ultrasonics, ammonia, naptha and jeweler’s rouge managed

1)  The first lesson is a late one.  Supply delays were added to my own previous inertia, so it was not until the very end of the year that I discovered what many people have known for ages– Rapido-Eze is a marvellous goop!  The pen I lamented and raged about back in November is on its way home, indeed may well be there as I write, its barrel a reasonably clear medium amber and its point mostly free of blue.  I’ve included before and after pictures of the latter, which give a vague sense of the power of a mysterious set of chemicals to get… substances… off of a pen.  Now that I have a bottle to wave around, the local arts supply store that carries Rotring products is in for some extremely incoherent demands when my stocks run low.

2)    The Parker 75 Ciselé might be my favouritest pen even.  I went on at some length about this previously, but the fascination commented on in that earlier post remains.  Just about every round of pen selection includes a certain amount of “Look, you just used it.  Leave it lie for a while.”  Even today, when the selection effort included an ulterior motive (to be commented on in a near-future entry).

3) I have very nearly lost the power to write with a regular Bic.  A little while ago, while I was still technically convalescent from my big wrist spraining adventure, I was by my supervisor’s desk at The Regular Job with that day’s pen left back at my own, and I needed to take down a secret account number… or something like that.  Rather than walk all that way to collect my pen, I merely asked to borrow one of hers.  Agony and illegibility were all that resulted.  Now that I’m entirely over the sprain (99.8%, at least), I still find getting a Bic to do anything but make horrid noises on paper is a problem.

4) I have gained the power to sell my pens without going blind or mad.  More mad, I should say.  This is comforting, as it starts to appear they’re what will pass for a retirement fund.

5) Entirely off subject, but of joy to me and hopefully delight to my son, I find that there’s a shop manual for the Flying Scotsman, which is a steam locomotive rather than an obscure superhero.  I’ve got one on order against his birthday, and perhaps one day we’ll use it to build one of our own.

There’s more of course, but that’s all the lunch break allows.

Today’s pen: Parker 180
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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