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Posts Tagged ‘Waterman Crusader’

Posted by Dirck on 29 October, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 26 October
  • 27 October
  • 28 October
  • 29 October
  • Winter tires.
  • A headache.
  • Other damnable trivia
  • Peril averted!
  • Not quite enough to justify leaving work
  • A veritable mountain.


A very small stone on that mountain was paperwork associated with joining the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.

Which seemed like a brilliant idea right up until the point the voting closed.

No, no, I’m just being dramatic for funnies. It will be an interesting and useful experience, and as far as I can discover not one of my predecessors disappeared mysteriously or met with foul play while serving. It’ll be fine.


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Posted by Dirck on 22 October, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 19 October
  • 20 October
  • 21 October
  • 22 October
  • Not a sausage.
  • As much nothing as one man is capable of.


What’s this? No progress on anything?

No. I’m in a stressed state, as are we all, and I thought I would give my brain a little time off. The little Twitter items are still happening, and being collected at my other establishment, and of course there’s bits of stories developing like yeast colonies all over my brain… at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what they are, and not actual yeast colonies.

†STILL no sample on the site yet, and it may go another week yet.

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Posted by Dirck on 15 October, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 October
  • 13 October
  • 14 October
  • 15 October
  • A nuclear family Thanksgiving
  • Reworking “Disruptions on the Line” for a specific market.
  • Second draft of “Hobb’s Landing”.
  • One tasty Boneless Turkey Breast Roll, plus sides.
  • Done and submitted.
  • Printed, slathered with notes and revisions, awaiting in-machine amendments.

†No sample on the site yet; have I whined about how busy I am?

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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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Analog Digitizing

Posted by Dirck on 29 November, 2012

A recent meditation on the current state of hand-writing (some of which conducted while I reclined in the box of recycling paper in my fever-fugue yesterday) bore some interesting fruit.  One of the points in favour of handwriting, which I go into somewhat last month, is that it puts the reader in almost direct contact with the writer, a brushing of fingertips at one remove, and one of the problems with electronically-moderated communication is that there is insulation preventing such contact.  Even Skype, while one is more or less talking right to the opposite number, is not much different from chatting with a Mi-Go brain-jar.

It was in part the notion of technologies as construed by ages past which knocked my train of thought down a bit of a siding.  What, in the past, was there apart from letters? There were telegrams, of course, which in the absence of very clever composition had all the warmth of a Dalek wearing a clown nose; when the message was REGRET TO INFORM SAM BLOGS KILLED AT FRONT 10/10/18 there was a limit to how clever a compositor wanted to be.  The telegram also had the charm of being rather expensive, since one was paying by the character.

This brought me to a very interesting if short-lived phenomenon.  During the interbellum period, microfilm came into its own.  In this age of terabyte drives, it seems rather quaint, but when all data storage was hitherto done on paper, any sort of compression was seen as a boon.  When the Second World War irrupted the technology was, as most other technology available at the time, pressed into service.  One of the less bellicose ways in which it was used was V-Mail; the name of this service has now been co-opted in some quarters to mean “voice mail’, but in its original incarnation is was a way of shipping mail to the boys at the front without clogging the supply chain with letters.

The way it worked: the letter is written on a specific form, then shrunk down to a mere dot on a strip of film after being read and redacted by military censors who probably had the odd laugh in a working day.  The film, with a mail-bag’s worth of Dear Johns aboard, was shipped to a distribution centre near the action, printed onto a piece of paper (embiggened, if you like), and passed along to the intended chap, whence bucking up occurred.

…or so one assumes.  Given the dire circumstances in which the readers found themselves, contact from home in any format was no doubt very welcome, but one wonders if the distant G.I. while crouching in the shelter of a tree felled by enemy fire would look at the item of V-mail most lately delivered and say , “Gosh, this looks like May’s handwriting, but somehow it doesn’t feel quite right.”  It is, after all, filtered twice through technology, and thus loses that my hand to thine aspect of actual mail.

However, it is a reproduction of the writing itself, rather than the mere impression of words as you are looking at now.  Since I find that I have a readership from which opinion may be solicited, I will attempt to do so now; do you find that you got a better, or at least different, sense of the author of this raving nonsense from having read it as it came from my hand, as one could back on Fountain Pen Day, than from the arrangements of scraped-together pixels that constitute the regular entries?  While not in paper form, the effect is much the same as V-mail; scanning and reconstituting a hand-written page that it may be read at a distance with radically lower shipping costs.  The fact that it’s not a paper reconstitution may be balanced by the fact that it’s in very nearly the original colour and density; V-mail demanded black ink or dark pencil, and the reproductions were rather higher contrast than the originals.  I don’t suggest for a moment the answers will change how I do things here, since I indicated in that previous entry what a trial the other way of doing things is, but I am curious to find what folks think on the topic.

…and I’ll beat you all to it: “Curious?  Downright peculiar!”

Today’s pen: Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Noodler’s Walnut

A reminder to all– the big pen draw is less than twenty-four hours away.  If you’re not in, and you want to be, you’d best get on it!

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The Battle of Bendy End

Posted by Dirck on 27 November, 2012

Say, that would make a good title for a ballad of some sort, wouldn’t it?  Never fear, folks; the poetical urge has fled, and will hopefully remain lodged firmly in the collective bosoms of authentic poets and thirteen year old girls, where it rightfully belongs.

To call what I’m about to describe a battle is to grossly overstate the matter, and frankly to horribly cheapen the very notion of “battle.”  There are no scenes of  grand heroism, no moving tableaux of struggle.  There is, in fact, me sitting in front of my computer, about a week ago.

Right next to “amateur poetics” in the spectrum of Tedious Things to Drive Readers from Your Works is “loving descriptions of a session of Warcraft,” so I want to reassure you that we’re not traipsing down that path.  No, far from the (relative) excitement of Warcraft, the scene we glance at is a quick review of the then-current offerings of eBay.  Among them was a not-overpriced example of the Sheaffer PFM.  “Ooh,’ said past me, “I haven’t got one of those.”

True.  The PFM is, for various reasons, one of the prestige pens for vintage collectors, and when they appear tend to go for rather a lot.  As it happens, at the moment I’ve got a pretty plump PayPal account (thanks, various clients and buyers!), so looking at a PFM was not mere wishful thinking.  A closer look at the listing gave me reason to hope.  The inlaid point, that innovation of the PFM, had a pronounced bend in it.  A big, obvious bend, of the sort that puts may people off, as it draws the thought, “I’d have to pay someone a bunch of extra money to fix that, if I were to win the auction.”

Well… that’s not a thought I’m frequently given to, these days.  Fixing bends in inlaid points is, to a certain extent, all in a day’s work for me.  So, I gave a good hard think about how much I would spend on that particular model if it didn’t need the point repair; if, that is to say, it only needed the usual replacement of rubber components, which I also do for myself, but requires some spares… and frankly, if it’s not mint, why pay mint prices?  Still, the amount I put down as my maximum bid was, for the state of the pen, relatively high.

The auction ground down, and this morning I found… I’d lost.  Not only had someone outbid me by five dollars, but someone else outbid that person.  My dreams of wrestling poor Bendy Endy back into function will forever more be just dreams.  This is not a complaint, which one finds rather a lot of on pen fora, about some stupid jerk who outbid me at the last second, because frankly that was all I wanted to bid and having more time to counter-bid wouldn’t change that.  No, I’m just venting off my confusion about why someone would bid that much more than me.  I have these options:

  • someone has no idea that it is, in fact, broken;
  • someone thinks that, in bidding thus and then paying for the repairs, they are still ahead;
  • someone thinks they can fix that, and have deeper pockets than me and the will to reach down into them.

The first would be sad, and lamentably seems likely.  Another regular topic of discussion on the fora is something along the lines of, “Why are these idiots bidding against each other on a Parkette in increments of $50?” and the answer always seems to come down to enthusiasm untempered by any research at all.  The second is possible, perhaps even reasonable given the cosmetic shape of the pen, and it’s the one I hope for, if only because it gives a boost to the craft I’m trying to make more of a living at.  The third….

Here’s where I have a bit of a split in my own head.  I’m very much in favour of DIY, as proven by the fact that I hand out free advice on the subject.  But if too many people decide it’s something they can do for themselves, them my dream of making it a regular and useful component of the household income vanishes in a puff of fairy-dust and talcum powder.

See?  I don’t need my son’s help not to get a good sleep.  I can mess it up for myself!

Today’s pen (got cheap ‘cuz it was broken): Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Noodler’s Walnut

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Posted by Dirck on 16 December, 2011

Pensive (adj.): descriptive of the sensation one feels when the pen has been in transit for a little too long.

There’s a Waterman I grow concerned over, it having been sent before other things now arrived.  I expect to apply the Seagoon Treatment to this condition; lashings of brandy as the patient calls for them.

Today’s pen in hand: Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2011

Yesterday at the dentist, I was asked to fill in a bit of paperwork.  I hauled out the Pen of the Day and proceeded to do so, while interacting with the receptionist on insurance.

…and then she complimented me on my writing, saying how she wished hers was better.  Very much like heaving an oil lamp into a powder store, of course.  I restrained myself mightily, and what was shaping up to be a five minute monologue on the virtues of the fountain pen became a mere modest declaration that my writing looks as it does thanks to the gentle pressure requirements of my chosen mode of marking.

I admit I am slightly awkward in the social dimension.  However, through decades of making an studied effort, I have become able to pick up on interpersonal cues at least as well as a normally developed nine-year old.  I believe what I received yesterday was a hint of, “Oh, good, an enthusiast in something I really don’t care about.”

This is a troubling development.  If what I think is a mere hint in the direction of the interest is coming across as raving, something is dreadfully wrong with my self-perception.  How, apart from a month or so of desert-island stranding, does one reset that mechanism?  I don’t mind being tedious on the topic of fountain pens in the right context (hey, you came here of your own free will), but I’d like to avoid it when it’s involuntary.

Today’s pen:  Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

Side note– I now have a deal less silver/mercury amalgam in my mouth.  Perhaps I’ll grow stupid more slowly than I’ve been doing!

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