What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘Waterman Carène’

Posted by Dirck on 21 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 July
  • 19 July
  • 20 July
  • 21 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • The same, and yes, it is a long one.
  • More of the same.
  • STILL more, although the climax is, at last, upon us.
  • 835 words typed.
  • 888 words (which I think is good news in some numerologies).
  • 821 words.
  • 827 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 60 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 14 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 11 July
  • 12 July
  • 13 July
  • 14 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • The same.
  • …with opposition, alas.
  • Less opposition, but a real “blood on the forehead” session.  First and second drafts diverge.
  • 769 words typed.
  • 984 words.
  • 589 words.
  • 390 words.
  • 55 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 7 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 4 July
  • 5 July
  • 6 July
  • 7 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More “Swimmer’s Build,” which goes slowly because I was too timid with the first draft.
  • Second drafting persists.
  • Radical change of perspective!  And gosh, it was the way to go.
  • 532 words typed.
  • 645 words (see?).
  • 640 words.
  • With chops and changes, it’s about 800 new words.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 60 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 16 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 13 June
  • 14 June
  • 15 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More first draft… well, not action.  Gentle escalation.
  • Ah, it’s getting silly now.  Yay!
  • I think I am near the end; three more days, perhaps.
  • Six manuscript pages, which is resisting somewhat today.
  • Seven pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Four pages.
  • 45 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 30 min.

An apology to those who have been offended by the appearance of ads here in the past week.  I find that simple ad blocking is no longer a stand-alone option, and that WordPress insists upon a $99/year premium account to achieve the same goal.  That’s an increase of 3.3 times to the cost of the joy of not stuffing ads in the face of my visitors– the only other benefit to me is 13G of media storage rather than 3G, and since I’m currently using a whopping four percent of that free storage, it’s a dubious benefit indeed.  It’s also not a quantity of money I can hand over without a qualm– it’s about the distance into overdraft I got before each payday, as our household is one of those in which (food)+(utilities)+(mortgage)=(all incoming cash), less a madcap subscription to Netflix to keep us from going completely mad for want of entertainment.

Basically, I can’t afford to not let WordPress annoy you with ads any more.  Sorry, everyone.  We are all firmly in the grip of the Great Grimpen Mire of capitalism.

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The Desert Island, Part 3

Posted by Dirck on 31 December, 2015

Here we all are, once again staring Futurity in the elusive face, with many of us preparing for parties the purpose of which seems to be to blot out all memory of the past.  What better time to consider the Modern Pens of Desert Island than a day that prepares for a shift in what the word “modern” itself means?

As with yesterday’s list, I am working up in order of increasing attachment.  I also want to give an honourable mention to a pen that very nearly got into the list, and was for a long while getting ready to shove off pens which cost at least six times as much– the Pilot Metropolitan.  I could just as easily make this list one of six rather than five and give it proper recognition, because it really does punch above its weight… but I value symmetry, and if there’s five yesterday, then it’s five official entries today.

Also good for close combat, if cannibals come ashore

I have a slight qualm about the Parker 50 coming to the island, stemming from the reputation of the clip for flimsiness.  Other than that, though, it’s really a splendid pen and one well adapted to life under palm-fronds with it’s stainless-steel everything (except the clip).  It’s possible that if I had a chance to try out a Pilot MYU, I’d swap out this one for it, but perhaps not.  I definitely like the Falcon over Pilot’s even-more-similar Murex.

“Doesn’t that clip bother your fingers?” No.

Next, a pen which surprised me by bubbling along to the top of this list, because I never find myself casting lingering thoughts in its direction (see yesterday’s runner up for that sort of thing).  The VP is a darned good pen, for all I worry about crumbs going in its opening when I carry it around.  Not exciting, but smooth and reliable.  The fact that there’s no cap to drop into the sand on my island and lose forever doesn’t hurt, either; I’m not a constant booster of convenience, but I won’t actively work against it.

…hm? Sorry, didn’t mean to stare.

Can I truly be stranded on this island if I have a Carène?  Perhaps not, if I knew the French words for sail, mast, and compass….  In any event, this is a pen that I was actively trying to convince myself to sell during the really rough financial patch over the summer, because by itself it is actually worth some money and there is evidence on the auction site I decline to name today that people are willing to spend to get a second-hand model.  I couldn’t quite get that battle won– I don’t spend quite as much time in idle contemplation of its beauty as I do with the Parker 75, but I will gaze upon it for the simple satisfaction.  It might have run a little higher on this list if it weren’t quite so given to nib-creep.

Typical. Try to set up a new society, and someone has to insist on being called “Souverän”.

Do I cheat if I bring a pen which I can swap points on?  Possibly.  I can settle on just one if so, and I’d still bring this M600– I do not dream of an M800 or M1000, for I like my pens on the light side and the previous two items in this list carry enough heft for all the others.  This pen is carrying the flag for a lot of other Pelikans, too, because just about all that I own or have worked on made it through to the penultimate cut; I discover I really like this brand.

Who else can claim five decades of looking totally cool?

Another German pen tops to Moderns list, and apparently I and the invisible-handed Marketplace agree on this as a good choice of pen; the Lamy 2000 has, after all, been in production since 1966 with only marginal changes.  Good weight, good size, good writing, good capacity, easy basic maintenance, and as sturdy a pen as I know of– it’s not, depending on your personal preferences, a raving beauty, but it has the sort of rugged handsomeness that a few scars won’t injure.

That’s it for the desert island list.  I hope you all have a fine New Year’s Eve, if it hasn’t already swept over your time zone.  We’ll see you in the next calendar with more nonsense.

Today’s pen: OMAS Arte Italiana (because I’m partying like it’s 1959!)
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé (because it will enforce a little bit of consideration of the past in this reckless amble into the World of Tomorrow)


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Posted by Dirck on 29 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 26 October
  • 27 October
  • 28 October
  • 22 October
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic” (which refuses to find its end).
  • The snarling first draft is at last in its cage.
  • The Regular Job (see below)
  • Second draft of “Two Natural Oddities”
  • Four manuscript pages.
  • Two pages.
  • Loads of stuff other people think is important
  • Not a lot more than yesterday; done at 1470 words
  • 35 min.
  • 35 min.
  • All day long.
  • 25 min.

Honestly, this is a picture of my place of employment yesterday.


I am not in frame, but I’ll bet you can guess roughly where my cubicle is.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 19 October
  • 20 October
  • 21 October
  • 22 October
  • Another fiction roll-out and worrying about the election.
  • Stress-reaction to the results of the election.
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic” despite migraine.
  • Almost the last of that first draft.
  • All day.
  • 45 min.
  • 25min.
  • 35 Min.

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Posted by Dirck on 15 October, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 13 October
  • 14 October
  • 15 October
  • First draft of “Aliasing Harmonic”.
  • Pressing on with the first draft.
  • Entering what looks like the final lap.
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Five pages.
  • Nine pages.
  • 40 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.

Because I live in Canada, I was observing Thanksgiving last Monday, and trying to get a clear notion in my head whether our version of it is as bound up in pretending at cordial relations with First Nations in the early part of the colonization effort as in the US (I can’t think of an equivalent to the legends of the Plymouth Colony’s “first Thanksgiving”) or if it’s always just been a semi-pagan harvest thing like Lammas or the Dark Morris that happened to get some turkey-eating involved due to proximity to the US and the fact that birds are no respecters of national borders.

No conclusions reached– there’s religion, politics and attempted genocide(s) involved, so it’s hard to get a clear view of the history.

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Not a Home Run Every Time

Posted by Dirck on 9 October, 2015

I’m not sure I was shown this as a direct outcome of the thing I posted yesterday at my (mainly) fiction site.  I certainly understand the terror of an unfamiliar shift pattern and controls which respond other than they should, though, so I share this for the Friday Film.  Be warned that there is an undeleted expletive very close to the end.

There you have it, folks.  Not even Germany always gets engineering right, even if it looks really, really cool (from some angles).

Today’s attractive pen: Waterman Carène
Today’s efficient ink: Jentle blue-black

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Choices, Made and Awaiting

Posted by Dirck on 20 January, 2015

This is a slightly scattered entry, as the title suggests.  It has, one might say, tendrils in past, present and future.

Let’s start with something in the present progressive tense:  I am reading.  Those who paid attention to the little thing about books in the right sidebar may have noticed that there’s a rather slow turn-over.  Borges, in fact, I leave on the list only as a means of prodding myself; I need to find a good lump of time to give his work the attention it deserves, and until that comes to me, the book sits quietly on the shelf looking at me with slightly menacing good humour.  Leaving that one out, though, I have been rather low-key on my reading in the past year, with Good Reads revealing that I only sank a dozen books.

I suspect under-reporting on my part.

Still, for someone who likes reading, and who accepts that reading is a necessary fuel, prop and pre-condition to writing, that’s not so good.  The internet has come to the rescue on this.  Here’s the plot for this year, as thrown in my face by Facebook:

2015 Reading Chall

Ambitious, eh?  I’m going to have to do some research on the matter of other writers with the same initials, and thanks to the fruits as yet unsampled of Christmas I now have some good candidates for things I own but have not read.  I also intend to cheat now and again, using one book to satisfy several points occasionally, because I’m well aware that being resolved to read makes no more hours appear in any day.  Cheating aside though, I’m pleased at the prospect of increasing my text intake this year.  I’ll bring in the present perfect tense, although its effect runs back some decades: I have chosen to read.

This brings us to the plain present tense.  I have a gift certificate.  I am, in fact, extremely tense about this, for the most contrary of reasons.  Point of tension number one is the amount of it.  After a late November declaration starting with my parents and taken up on all fronts that there’s not a lot of money in the family’s collective economy for fripperies, it seems that my wife and I were the only ones to stick to the policy.  Part of the unexpected and sadly imbalanced bounty was this certificate, taken out at the only store in town worth looking at for a pen, and with a ridiculous figure written on it.  Its an embarrassment of riches.

This is also, looked at in a different light, the second point of tension.  The store carries Lamy.  The only Lamy I’m currently interested in, the Dialog 3, is also their most expensive in regular trims.  As large as the gift is, it doesn’t cover that pen, nor even put me within sensible reach of it.  What else do they have?  Let me slightly infringe on copyright to show you…


Click to go to the company’s site. See? It’s not copyright issues, it’s free advertising!


There is this Faber-Castell e-motion (this company, who also make the LOOM, need to ponder their capitals a little).  It’s visually interesting… but I cringe at the staining prospects of that wooden barrel.  It’s stylish… but it’s not really in the style that I pursue.  One hears nothing but praise in reviews for Faber-Castell’s pens, even if it is sometimes a little faint, and I know that they’re extremely willing to be put right in case of disaster… but I don’t want to spend a packet on a pen I’m not really in love with, and those previous ellipses indicate that however polyamorous I am in the pen department, I might regret this addition to the harem.


Same deal. Free publicity!

Also in stock is this Monterverde Regatta.  It has, in different tones than the Faber-Castell, the same list of virues, with the possible exception of quite so much crying up by reviewers; I say possible because the name of the pen is less instantly familiar to me than than the other.  It goes so far as to replace the worry about barrel staining with a very intreguing and quite positive magnetic cap-holding system, something I don’t have in any of my current pens and which I admit to admiring.  However, the hesitations appear here, too.  I’m not caught up in the current fascination with visible carbon fibre (I might change my tune if someone would get around to building that space elevator).

Not this time; picture © ME! 2015 (although I don't mind it being used under

Not this time; picture copyright ME! 2015 (although I don’t mind it being used under Creative Commons Attribution).

There’s also the colour scheme.  Thanks to a client, I got to spend some time last weekend with a Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black.  As with the Regatta, it has the full stealth trim, and while I think I would have liked it a lot in about 1985, my tastes have changed.  It’s just a little too much dark for me.  This doesn’t even get into concerns about the effect of wear on the finish.  The body might end up looking rather neat as bits of brass appear through the black, but the point is apt to just look squalid.  That the finish may wear off the point over time I take as almost certain, given the masking on many of my pens from the 1930s through ’50s.  Even the rhodium on today’s pen is letting a little yellow show at the edges, and I baby this thing.

The final point of tension is one of scheduling; the chap at the store more familiar with their suppliers’ catalogues and the ordering there-from keeps not being in the store when I look in.  For some reason, he took time off from a retail enterprise in the wake of Christmas!  Can you fathom it?  This means that the conversion of the certificate into whatever pen I finally settle on (which I hope will not be as protracted an affair as some authors make of it) keeps getting put off– the store carries, but doesn’t currently have in stock, items by Visconti and Diplomat, and with four manufactures to look at, something should appeal to my jaded palate.  This at least should resolve soon; I’m told he’ll almost certainly be in on the day I’m planning to next visit.

Oh, while we’re on the subject of choices in various tenses, I think I’ll make one more choice public in a couple of tenses.  I was not able to finish Atlas Shrugged on my last attempt upon it (page 99 and I flung it down, based entirely on the writing as the philosophy had yet to manifest), and despite it filling the final tick on that chart, I choose to leave it to one side, and I will henceforth avoid it.  I shall persist in not reading it.  I hope to have it said at some distant future date that I went my whole life not having read it.

Today’s pen: Waterman Carène
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Shinryoku

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