What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘TWSBI Mini’

Morporkia’s Fork at Half-mast.

Posted by Dirck on 13 March, 2015

I had something else in mind for today, but the news yesterday of the passing of one of the greats of modern English literature demands attention.  Do not, by the way, think that I’m following my usual course of humourous hyperbole when I say that.  Terry Pratchett may have written comedy, but he wrote comedy to cut diamonds and redirect the drift of continents.  If you haven’t read any of his stuff, you really should.  Try Good Omens or Night Watch if you want to get to the good stuff right away.  “Good stuff” being relative, of course.

Today’s main film is of Sir Terry himself, and it seems appropriate now all the mysteries are at last made clear to him.  I suspect that, like many of his characters, he will have found that revelation was a little different than he’d expected, but I’m in no hurry to find out for myself.

Those with more moral fibre than I might want to look at this somewhat more on-point and rather longer film.  You might need some hankies.

Now, just to lighten the mood, here’s a tribute to the great municipal animal of Ankh-Morpork:

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Diamine Denim

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After-Action Report

Posted by Dirck on 9 March, 2015

Saturday was a little less busy than I’d hoped.  Those who missed out, missed cookies.

Made fresh the night before!

Made fresh the night before!

However, it was not without some business, and some items to contemplate.  As with the October version of the clinic, I filled in some time between visitors by messing with the in-store stock.  Based on what is admittedly a small cross-section, I can suggest universal truth:  Italian pens may look better than German ones, but they lag in the ‘being useful’ department.  I found one out of seven Faber-Castells of various model that needed any attention to be decent writers, while three out of three Viscontis needed a good deal of yelling at and physical coercion to do what they ought.

It's that almost invisible silver thing at the bottom of the cap.

It’s that almost invisible silver thing at the bottom of the cap.  Easily overlooked.

The scandal of the day was also one of those Viscontis, which only got the yelling-at portion of the treatment.  A Van Gogh Irises, arrived in the store only the previous day, I was admiring the colours before a close examination of the works… and something struck me as amiss.  Stare. Ponder.  Realization!  “I say… the cap band is missing on this pen.”  I’m going to nip an image off the web so you can see how subtle this flaw is, and how easily it might have gotten out of the factory without someone spotting it.  I was not the only one doing the yelling.

Lamys were also in good form, which is a nice change from last time.  I looked as a Lamy Logo which was there to collect a new cap (something had reduced the original to a mere husk, and I didn’t want to pry) which needed to be made slightly less damp and get a tiny sharp bit seen to.  This counted as the part of the day in which I felt the cleverest, as the whole adjustment took under two minutes and the pen’s owner was, if I may say it, amazed by the amount of difference that short time had made.

I also added a paradox to my collection, as one fellow brought the pens that I was both most pleased to work on and least pleased to have to work on.  The pens were a Dunhill Sidecar and a Montblanc Starwalker, and while the problem (a baby-bottom in both cases which made for hesitation) was both easily dealt with and shouldn’t have been there in the first place, this was not the source of the paradox.  I was very happy to work on those pens, as they were models I had never handled previously.  I was sad in the same measure, because the circumstance of that handling meant I wasn’t going to be able to add them to the site.  I will just mention, therefore, that both are about as nice as you would expect pens of that price to be, discounting tipping problems, although I thought the Dunhill a little heavier than it needed to be.  I really like the shape of the point on the Starwalker, too.

The proprietor of Paper Umbrella tells me that this is routinely a slow time of year, and we both admitted to dropping the promotion ball a little on the whole affair by making not enough noise too late.  We mooted the possibility of another one, so there were no fatal disappointments on either side.  For my part, it was a fine day, with the handling of those two newly-met pens. the confirmation of a prejudice regarding Italian pens, and the collecting of my latest pen.  Oh, yes, there was a new pen! I had mentioned that I had a gift certificate to do something with, and now it’s done… but until I get a page made up for my new treasure on the site, I’ll say no more.

Today’s pen (was in attendance on Saturday): TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Diamine Denim


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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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What’s All the Hubbub, Bub?

Posted by Dirck on 1 May, 2014

Just a brief break from all the tedium mind-blowing action I’ve been presenting here this week.  I want to say a few words about Pelikans.

First– has anyone signed up for the Pelikan Hubs?  I’ve got my name down, but I suspect their requirement for the event to happen in a city of over 200,000 and the rate of fountain pen user/population in this roaring steppe means I’m unlikely to find myself in attendance.  So far, the only Canadian cities showing a glim are Toronto (26 hours of driving) and Montréal (31 driving hours).

I’ve mentioned in the past that if I’m to declare any allegiance at all to a brand, it’s Sheaffer, but for reasons that almost certainly have foundation in past lives, I really, really like Pelikan.  I had never owned one of their pens until… well, within the past five years, certainly, but I’ve spent much of my life pining for a nice stripey broad-billed pen.  While I scratched that primary itch just over a year ago, they continue to fascinate me, in part because I’m trying to fathom why I can remember being interested in the brand rather before I knew about it.  Thus, getting into a room with a load of Pelikans, even if there were other people around, would be a treat.


I don’t know French well enough to know if there’s a second childish double entendre there or not.  I limit my sniggering to English.

…and the frustration attached to that is probably behind the slightly self-destructive shenanigans I’ve been up to while flogging my pens on eBay.  I bought as well as sold.  The balance column is still firmly in the black, but the original point of turning pens into food is somewhat diluted.  Inbound is a P1, the perplexingly-named hooded pen offered in the late 1960s as a belated effort to chase Parker’s lead (why, with its piston, it’s not an M1, I shall have to try and research).  I defend the purchase on the grounds that the pen was cheap.  It was cheap because it’s not working, but it sounds like the sort of not-working that is within my powers.

Just arrived last night is a Signum P530 (since I’ve yet to run up a page for it, or even take a picture, I offer this link to the curious) and a small pile of parts from various forms of Pelikan made between 1960 and 1975.  This I justify thrice-wise.  First, the Signum went relatively cheaply, I suspect because it was coming from Turkey and a lot of eBay folks in North America have a disinclination to buy from exotic lands.  Second, I {clears throat, looks about sheepishly} needed a Signum to examine and thus enhance my site, increasing traffic, and eventually making me able to retire on repair commissions.  Third, and stop that laughing, my examples of those afore-linked various Pelikans have a bit of a deficit in the area of filler mechanisms; the bag of parts does away with this situation for a very reasonable price, as the nice man only charged one dose of shipping.

The little notice seen to the right was enclosed with the whole affair, as my pleasant Turk had indeed not put a declaration sticker on the outside.  I do find myself wondering what the chaps at the customs shed made of this little pile of mysterious bits, and what sort of watch lists I might have added to.  I console myself that there probably aren’t many watch lists I’m not on, thanks to the low-grade radicalism I get up to on Facebook.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 24 April, 2014

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

HOW MUCH: 9 manuscript pages (in the small book).

HOW LONG: About 50 min.; I was looking up some naval terminology which I didn’t want to leave until the second draft, so things went more slowly.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 16 April, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of short story “Wish Away”.

HOW MUCH: 720 words.

HOW LONG: About 45 min. (less words/min than yesterday, but I had to pause an remind myself of the difference between dissociative disorders and visual agnosias).

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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Posted by Dirck on 9 April, 2014

WHAT: Second draft of short story “Common Wall” (working title).  I got to the conclusion of “Ring and Run” during an end-of-day lull yesterday, which finished at 1,550 words.

HOW MUCH: 783 words.

HOW LONG: About 45 min.  I appear to be speeding up.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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Behind the Curtain…

Posted by Dirck on 31 March, 2014

The Regular Job is committing one of its incursions upon my lunch hour freedom. Since I can neither write nor blog effectively, I will insert teasers for soon-to-appear installments, in not necessarily the order of their appearance, while I finish chewing the hasty repast:

  • Yet more bland HOT!! declarations of advancement on the fiction front;
  • A visit to (or rather, of) a tiny little mountain;
  • A consideration of the title character in a movie you may have heard of, and who is now living at my house;
  • Proof that German-speaking people have a sense of humour
  • Absolutely no complaints about the weather (record breaking cold for this time of year is not the same as slightly colder than average a month ago).

All coming soon to a monitor near you!

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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93% Filler

Posted by Dirck on 1 May, 2013

I’m very distracted by a crop of political stuff that I want to treat on a platform better suited to such things, so I’m just going to mention a couple of things I neglected on Monday–

1) I’ve discovered a way of very nearly doing the refinishing on Parker “51” caps without access to a sand- or soda-blasting rig.  This is good, because it covers up the marks left by dent removal.  It’s “very nearly” because it’s not quite the same at the factory finish (for which one would need that blasting apparatus) and because it’s not absolutely successful in the covering of the marks.  It is, however, far easier on the eye than the dents, and indeed less likely to be noticed by the casual observer.  It also doesn’t queer any pitches for future “correct” refinishing, so it’s a win on all fronts.

2) A client has sent me a Pilot eyedropper of dubious age– I suspect pre-WWII, but it may be post-, and given the non-Japanese personalization it’s pretty certain it’s not “during”… well, I suppose with an Italian name, it’s not impossible.  The point, though, is that is has a shut-off valve involved, and that means a shaft passing though the tail, as one finds and frequently yells at in vacuum fillers.  This one is also getting a yelling at; it looks like the outer cover of the tail seal should unscrew, with a slot in it very like in the blind-cap nut of a vacuum pen, but it’s so thoroughly glued in place that appearance isn’t paying off.  Yet, at least.  The tail threads, into which the shaft-carrying blind cap drives, are in horrible shape, and I honestly can’t tell whether the gluing is original or a later user’s efforts to “fix” a leak.  It’s a very nice pen in most other regards, so I hope I can convince it to unclench.

Now… off to blow off some steam about the way my country is being run.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Pelikan Royal Blue

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