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Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Craftsman’

Posted by Dirck on 4 February, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 February
  • 2 February
  • 3 February
  • 4 February
  • Second draft of  “Final Resting Place”.
  • Ditto.
  • Second draft concluded.
  • Third draft work on “Harmonic Aliasing”.
  • 60 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.

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Utterly Spoiled Rotten

Posted by Dirck on 3 February, 2016

I was making some notes in anticipation of planning the outline of a long piece of writing (as you can tell, very preliminary stages), and used a pencil with an HB lead.  I found that I was getting a sore hand and arm from the demands of the instrument.

Yes.  I have been so pampered by the use of fountain pens that I now find the pressure requirements of a soft-ish pencil onerous and uncomfortable.  A vast and hairy princess am I, complaining of the lump in my tower of mattresses.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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The Revenge of the Heartless Brute

Posted by Dirck on 29 January, 2016

I see that I didn’t mention here having seen the latest Star Wars film about a month ago.  Old news, of course.  I agree with this guy’s take on it, which I will quote:

Star Wars is that friend of yours who you haven’t seen in a while, who was in a long-term relationship where everything was cool for a while and then things just plain went to hell, and the last time you saw them, they’d kind of hit the bottom. Now you’re seeing them again for the first time in years and before they show up you’re humming a little mantra that goes please please please please don’t let this be awkward and weird like it was the last time we saw each other.

And then they show up! And they look great. They sound great. You talk to them and slip into the groove with them, and they catch you up on what’s been going on in their life, including their new relationship with this fab-sounding person who seems to be doing good things for them. And you suddenly realize that for the first time in years your friend actually seems happy. They’re not exactly their old self again — who ever is, after all those years? — but the things you always loved about them are there once more, and you’re so happy to see them happy again that you almost want to cry.

Yep.  And since I viewed the Ewoks, retrospectively, as a sign of the trouble that was to be visited on that galaxy by its increasingly abusive partner, I take some glee in today’s Found Film:

Take that, you little creeps.

Today’s pen, of a more civilized age: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman (whose point came from a Star Wars nicknamed source)
Today’s ink, neither clumsy nor random: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 5 March, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 2 March
  • 3 March
  • 5 March
  • Choose Your Own Unspeakable Doom.
  • Fidgeting with some mostly-done stuff to send along to an actual writing workshop, for reals with a known local author.
  • Let’s all sing the Doom Song!
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Choices narrowed….
  • Seven pages
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 26 February, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 23 February
  • 24 February
  • 26 February
  • Choose Your Own Unspeakable Doom.
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Nine Pages
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.

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Grey? OK.

Posted by Dirck on 20 February, 2015

This is a big time of year for grey around here.  Weather, streets, faces, and if you live in the wrong neighbourhood, all the damn houses.  There is, however, one grey object that I look forward to at this time of year, and it’s the subject of today’s lifted film.

If you haven’t seen the movie itself, you should.  I believe I’ve previously mentioned that it’s a cure for the sensation that there are 8,000 days between winter solstice and vernal equinox.  This and a dose of Vitamin D– fix ya right up!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman

Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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Not-Very-Old Boy’s Club

Posted by Dirck on 15 August, 2014

I mentioned on Monday that I’m no friend to sexism.  The Friday Film today is a brief look at balancing the gender books in a field that for some reason is frequently seen as the realm of the male.

Two follow-up observations:

  1. What kind of suicidal madman takes on DMing for a pack of kids whose average age is 10?  Fella’s gunnin’ for sainthood!
  2. In my day, we spelled it D&D.  Stand up for the Ampersand!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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A Free Sample

Posted by Dirck on 11 August, 2014

I’ve been rattling on now about all these stories I’ve been working on.  The titles don’t give away much of the sort of thing I’m writing, unlike À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, The Whisperer in the Darkness, or Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster. Well, a small inspiration passed by on the weekend, with the result that I’m going to do some public fictioning with not quiet enough time and nothing like enough editorial oversight.

The inspiration stems from a little thing that Facebook threw at my head.  Let me show it to you, in all of its inflammatory glory.


I think I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of sexism.  Have I?  Well, I’m not.  This thing got me rather stirred up.  I agree with the final sentiment, but little else.  Overall, I rather doubt the absolute unanimity of either gender in approaching the purported task.  The supposed female response is… well, it’s the expected thing, a reflexive demeaning in response to the centuries of denigration a patriarchal power structure has visited on women which doesn’t actually help because it still puts gender politics in confrontational rather than co-operative terms.  That put forward as the male response bugs me because it suggests a lot of layers of brutishness.  The commas are quite unnecessary, and suggest either a pile of dummies who aren’t not no good at grammaticals (sic, sic, sic, of course) or a nest of extremely subtle monsters who understand that by rendering the centre of the phrase parenthetical they can imply the nothingness of women regardless of the presence of a man.  That’s the same sort of negation that I object to in the “female” version.  Bah.  Bah to all of it.

Having gotten stirred up, my response is to mess with the task at hand.  Can I, a male, apply a different set of punctuation to that phrase?  Can I do it in such a way as to not feed into the sad, pointless battle of the sexes?

The answers, as it turns out, are “Yes, with some liberties taken,” and “I believe so, but there’s always someone who can interpret it in a way I hadn’t intended.”  In any event, here’s what grew out of affair:

I had idly watched the little park from my apartment window for some time.  A game of catch just east of the bike path.  A young couple picnicking on the slope to the west, the sincere joy flowing between them more than enough to forgive the hipster look he affected.  Cyclists meandered rather than raced along their little pavement.  Just the scene for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I sat longer than I had meant to, the pleasant scene and the soft breeze seducing me away from the dishes in the sink.  They needed, I rationalized, a good long soak anyway.  I watched the kids at their game, trying to make out any order in the way the ball moved across and about the rough circle of players.  Before anything other than fun became obvious, the formation exploded into a game of tag.  The one with the ball pursued the others into the trees further to the east.

Looking back at the picnickers, I saw another person approaching their blanket, moving down the little hillock.  Tall, but slender and feminine, the newcomer was not really dressed for the park.  Dark clothes with a full skirt, and some kind of ornate hat, the brim of which concealed her face.  Interested, I watched her walk purposefully to the edge of the blanket, where she dropped on one knee with the grace of a dancer and held out between the couple some small object in an upturned hand.  A shadow, thunderstorm dark, fell across all three.

They were surprised by her arrival.  Each looked slowly up the out-thrust arm to the face of the newcomer.  The young lady rose suddenly to her feet, as awkward as the other had been graceful, took a few steps that could not decide between walking and running, and fell onto her side in the grass where she kicked aimlessly.  Her fellow looked back down the arm, absolute amazement on his features.  He sat for a moment, rapt, then dropped straight onto his face, sprawling across the lunch he had been sharing.

The dark figure was motionless throughout, but as the man fell, she looked up slowly, as if somehow aware she was being watched.  At the moment the brim of the hat would have moved enough to reveal its face I stood, the sweat of panic itching along my spine.  I turned to run from the window, a vague notion of calling for help mingling with a more visceral imperative simply to flee that scene.

The dark-clad figure was standing no more than arm’s length from me, looming with a height I had not realized looking from the window.  I looked from the splendor of that terrible face, hidden no longer by the hat, down along the slender arm holding the same offering in a delicate hand it had proffered to the couple.  I saw, and understood the whole of the weak joke whose punchline is humanity, and the nature of this creature which had come disguised as one of us.

A woman… without.  Her!  Man is nothing!

…which is, I admit, not much more original than the supposed female response.  It’s also rather more overt than I’d usually go for this sort of story.  However, it kept me off the street for a while, and it probably gives some hint of the sort of writing I’ve been getting up to.  More of a hint than, say, the frequent references to H.P. Lovecraft I make.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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Puttering, About

Posted by Dirck on 1 August, 2014

I got onto this via an item on Auntie Beeb’s website, and now I’m all full of admiration of craftsmanship which butts right up to the line across which lies art.  Well… I always was, but this showed a manifestation of it I’d not seen.

The Putter from shaun bloodworth on Vimeo.

For those who are inclined and en-moneyed enough to act on the urges the video prompts, here’s the place you’ve just seen the back room of.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman (a pure coincidence; I hadn’t seen the above when I settled on the pen)
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun (because it’s 30° and I’m not too worried about invoking cold weather)

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Take a Letter

Posted by Dirck on 14 November, 2013

I was recently reading an article about the various charms inherent to hand-written correspondences, which is probably not a surprising item of news.  I am, despite the testimony of some of my correspondents (one horribly neglected one, especially), a great fan of this form of interchange, and I’ve gone on at some length in previous entries to encourage others.  One thing, pointed out by the article, never really stuck me.

Letters are a secure mode of transmission.

It’s at once obvious and unexpected.  This whole uproar regarding the Snowden revelations (say, there’s a name for a Robert Ludlum novel) is founded on the discovery that secure communications aren’t, really.  Those communications are electronic, of course, which means that the security comes from encryption rather than inaccessibility; Angela Merkel’s cell phone, for example, is yelling at the top of its electric lungs every time she makes a call, and it’s just the fact that it’s screeching gibberish to most receivers that makes it a secure(ish) mode of talking to some one.

Letters, though… they’re discrete.  Folded up in an envelope and exposed to a limited number of people (writer, a small relay of postal workers, reader), it takes a serious effort to get a look at someone’s letter in transit.  The bonanza of data Snowden has revealed is all the bounty of the NSA pursuing what is possible, and while world leaders are rightly up in arms about having their conversations and emails examined by unexpected auditors you don’t find anyone shouting about “And they read the postcard I sent Aunty Gladys!”

If, therefore, you’re going to get up to no good, whether illegal or merely immoral, you’re probably better off sticking to the mails.  A little bit of care in keeping the letter covert between writing and posting, and you’re golden.  It may go astray, but it is unlikely to get into the wrong hands, as people lurking around the letterbox are obvious.  The person on the other end won’t accidentally forward it with a mere button push (“reply to all” takes a long time with mail).  Deleting an item of physical mail is extremely complete, if you’ve got a match, and if you want to keep it, as I’ve pointed out in the past, it’s proof against hard-drive failures, power surges, and EMP effects.  How much better can you hope for?

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Waterman Washable Blue

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