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Posts Tagged ‘Waterman Préface’

Ambiguity Tolerance Test

Posted by Dirck on 22 May, 2015

Today’s entry in Entertainments Absconded With is actually a bit of a test, but you needn’t moan and you can put your pencils down. It’s sort of a test of how your tastes in the eerie run, because you will either love this very gentle little horror film or despise it utterly.

I rather liked it, but I’ll bet that even if you did too we would differ on what we saw.

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet


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Posted by Dirck on 21 May, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 May
  • 19 May
  • 20 May
  • 21 May
  • Honouring Victoria, D.G. Regina, Def. Fid., Imp. Ind, &ct.
  • First draft of “Then Tell, Oh Tell…”
  • More first draft.
  • Fiddling with trivia marginally connected to writing.
  • five gin & tonics.
  • 5 manuscript pages.
  • 4 pages.
  • More than I wanted.
  • All day.
  • 35 min.
  • 30 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 35 min.

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A Bed of My Own Making

Posted by Dirck on 14 May, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 11 May
  • 12 May
  • 14 May
  • 15 May
  • Not-quite-first draft of “Then Tell, Oh Tell…”
  • see below
  • 45 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 50 min.

…and it’s a fine bed of jagged springs and low thread-count sheets; don’t even look at the pillow.  There’s a belated realization that as mere background for the story I want to tell, I have to at least figure out the plot-line for two murder mysteries.  As of the close of that particular business today, I’ve got the more mundane one worked out but the intricate and more honestly fictional one needs more gingerbread and gilding.  This because real murders are, in general, not much more than a momentary rage followed by a panicked, hasty effort at concealment; you don’t get that many H.H. Holmeses, happily.

What I could have done was take of the threads of that previous project, but there’s a couple of recursions in it that are daunting me and I frankly want more of a break than last week afforded.  There are advantages to doing writing uopn which no one has imposed a deadline.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 May, 2015

Well… the disarticulated corpse of Old Man Winter has made a strange and alarming twitch around here, so I guess there’s something marginally thematic to today’s slightly chilling amusement.

Slightly chilling, and rather unexpected.  Damn it, that’s right on point for today’s weather.

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Pelikan violet

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Sold Out

Posted by Dirck on 16 July, 2013

What I’d meant to touch upon yesterday, and would have but for the visit from the Histamine Elf and his pursuing nemesis, the Draught of Groggy, was a purchase I probably shouldn’t have made.  It also wasn’t a purchase I’d intended.

I have to go back a couple of days before the weekend.  My wife was reloading her swarm of Sheaffers– all No Nonsenses and Viewpoints, all fine italic points, all different colours of ink–  and she made a terrible discovery.  Our bottle of Violette Pensée had become infected!  You can tell a bottle of ink is infected, by the way, when the thing you’re using to draw the ink out emerges with a strandy clump depending from it.  My response to this discovery was to ponder briefly how long it had been since the bottle had been bought, becoming somewhat content with the answer memory provided, and declaring we might look in at the local source of semi-boutique inks and get a fresh bottle.

We move to Saturday, then, when we discover that not only does that local source (Paper Umbrella, font of much joy) have Violette Pensée in stock but there is a sale underway in connection with the local incarnation of the Fringe Festival.  15% off, the signs say, of all fine writing instruments… and here we come to the “probably shouldn’t” element of the story.  I was buoyed up by a recent payment from a client, and Temptation said, “Say, you don’t have any Diplomat pens yet, do you?  They carry Diplomats here….”

As it developed, they were out of Diplomats, but for one that was somewhat more expensive that even Temptation could nudge me into, given that it was not of a finish which called out to me.  However, having myself been in the position of small-scale entrepreneur about fifteen years ago, I didn’t want to dangle the possibility of a sale and then snatch it away.  I walked out with a Lamy Studio in matte blue, which my wife described as “sexy”– how could I resist?  A new page, if not a new pen-maker, will appear on the site presently.

The point of this story, though, is not “I got me a new pen!”  While a new pen, as opposed to an old pen newly purchased, is less of a commonplace in my life, it’s not so grand a pen to be worth all this balloon-juice.  My home town, despite the presence of its own Fringe festival and a (technically) international airport, has ever been considered a somewhat provincial place.  A purported economic boom has shown its work mainly in the number and newness of the pick-up trucks on the roads.  I am thus delighted with the implication to be drawn from the frustrating of my initial intention.  They were out of Diplomats, almost, and this reminds me of the regular depletion of the stocks of ink in the same store.  People who are not me(!) are buying fountain pens and their accessories. If there is, in fact, a market for fountain pens in a town which spends a lot more effort shouting about sports than arts, there is reason to hope.

…and thus, while the money probably should have been spent on necessities rather than as it was, I don’t regret it.  Call it fertilizer on the seed-bed of hope for a decent place to live.  Support your local businesses, folks!

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku

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In Tune

Posted by Dirck on 9 April, 2013

Having moved into some of the mysteries of point adjustment, it might be said that I tune pens.  This, I think, would be claiming somewhat more mastery in that department than I quite have in hand.  However, the change in the way I’ve been rotating my pens indicates to my own satisfaction that I am, indeed, in tune with them.

I hadn’t set out to do so, but for the most part, the pens I’ve been using to the shift to having several pens on deck at once and swapping only when they’re dry has seen me using pens that don’t really have any ink supply inidicator.  The Pelikan Future has a hold in the side through which one may peer at the cartridge, but none of the others do.  Somewhat out of character for me, the majority of those in use in this new regime have been cartridge-feeders, but of those only a couple actually have cartridges in them, and the converters in the others are in most cases opaque.

So, really, I don’ t have any way of knowing how much ink is left other than a broad guess at how much I’ve written and the relative rate of use of the pen in question.  When I decided that the time had come to pull four of them from the line-up, it was therefore consciously based as much on a sense of wanting some new variety as an appreciation of the amount of ink remaining in them.

And yet…. Holding the Parker 75 by the opaque old-style squeeze converter over the emptying cup, I gave a squeeze to chase out the remaining ink and got a fine mist.  Effectively empty.  The Vanishing Point, mounting the blank-sided CON-20 converter, produced the same results.  The Statesman’s snorkel blew a bubble, no more.   The Esterbrook icicle (and how, from a sympathetic magic standpoint, I regret having used that one in the past month) brought forth the biggest result, emitting a single complete drop of ink.

I had wanted to use them until they were empty.  When I stopped using them, they were empty.  I haven’t crowed about my mystical powers in quite some time, but crow I do.  I may continue to claim my rank of Boisterous Elephantine Commander of Mannenhitsu-do!

All of which, I think, underlines how desperate things have become here, in the realm of cabin fever.  Oh, for sight of a green-studded bough!

Today’s pen (bearing secret messages from the wainscoting elves!): Waterman Préface
Today’s ink (delicious, nutritious, and an excellent shampoo!): : Herbin Violette Pensée

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Call a Locksmith!

Posted by Dirck on 4 April, 2013

For reasons no doubt deep and technological, I was prevented from getting at this during my lunch break.  Perilous numbers of additions to my eBay watch list are the result, so I fervently wish this will not recur.  I’m weak enough to buy some of that stuff!

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Herbin Violette Pensée

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Something Abhors this Vacuum

Posted by Dirck on 14 March, 2013

I’ve been doing a lot of complaining this week, so I want to preface this entry: what follows is not a complaint, but merely an observation of a phenomenon.  I think if it had happened in a week with less griping, it might have been a complaint, but in the current context it’s not that big a deal.

As part of a slow lead-up to the changing of pace I intend to undertake, I was cleaning out some pens this morning ahead of the mad scuttle to work.  One of these was the TWSBI Vac 700 which I’ve had filled almost as long as I’ve had it– there was a little break while I took this picture:


Most of that time I’ve had it loaded with Mont Blanc Royal Blue.  I bought the ink primarily to get at the bottle, one of those delightful “shoe” style jobs which make filling a pen relatively easy even in the face of low ink levels.  However, it turns out that the colour, at least as it was interpreted prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, is really quite nice, so I’ve been using it rather than following the original plan of tipping it down the sink to make room for a needy Herbin ink.

Cleaning the 700 is, or (if you can stand the clumsy foreshadowing) should be, a straightforward exercise.  Unscrew the knob, pull it back, run it in, ink and water swap places under some pressure, and with one or two repetitions, the pen is clean.

Except… that bit about pulling it back.  It has been rather a while since the last topping up, but I don’t remember the action being quite this stiff.  Push down… and also rather stiff.  So stiff, in fact, that I lose my grip a little; this is something the TSWBI approach to the vacuum filler doesn’t encourage, since a hesitation in the down-stroke tends to release the seal between the Piston Seal and the Shaft.  Sheaffers are more forgiving in this department, but almost no other, so I don’t mind it too much.  A little more fumbling, with seemingly better lubrication, and a dose of water enters.  Push it out, and let’s do that once more for luck.

…and, geez, that really is stiff this time.  A little more effort and the large man imposes his will upon the pen!  The shaft moves freely!

In both directions.  Because, peering through the barrel, the Piston Seal is no longer attached.  That’s, to quote Doctor Horrible, not good.  In the very little time remaining before departure, I whip off the section, and tip out the Piston and Valve Seals.  Intact!  All I care about!  Socks, shoes, hat (in that order, as it’s important) and I’m away.

I have been reflecting upon the matter, though.  I think what happened that the ink, a terrifying old German recipe– it smells like a much older ink than the early 1980s batch I take it for– decided that rather than sitting idly in the barrel in an inefficient manner, it would keep busy by slightly compulsive cleaning.  Over the course of time, it dissolved the silicone grease on big seal and the barrel walls, or at least lifted it away.  The ink itself and the water which entered before the big grab were insufficient to smooth the movement of the seal, and it stuck.

I hope that the specific ink has a primary role to play in this, at least.  While I’m all in favour of object lessons on the topic of regular pen maintenance, I don’t like the notion that carefully lubricated parts going utterly dry over a short time.  A relatively short time.  Say… when did I last fill that thing?

The positive aspect of this event, apart from its acting as a sterling reminder to not just leave pens sitting about inked for weeks on end, is that it given me an excuse to not rush out and instantly buy the latest iteration of the TWSBI Diamond, the 580.  Even though I really would like to.

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Violette Pensée

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Change of Programme

Posted by Dirck on 12 March, 2013

After yesterday’s slightly Luddite spasm, I’m going to be brief and remain on point with pens.  I’m pondering changing my approach to rotation.

Right now, as the persistent reader is well aware, I’m on a two-for-the-week arrangement.  This works well enough, and with the background pens that are also in battery, I’m never at a loss for a pen to take with me.  I also keep my Regular Job records relatively festive, which isn’t particularly important to Them but it keeps me from going completely bonkers in the face of repetitive mental stress.  It is also a much better way of going than the daily change I was putting myself through back when I started this little screed, since I don’t find myself needing to clean a lot of pens all the time.

However… I do find myself chafing a little.  All those pens, and only two each week.  That leads to some sitting very idle indeed, and while I’m sure they’re not given to antics to keep themselves amused (although that John Holland has some rather scandalous stories) there is the concern about not getting the use out of something one would prefer.  I’ve been having thoughts of culling in a serious way, all of which start, “Man, you don’t use half of these things…” and that’s a habit of thought I really want to clamp down on.

I’m thinking, therefore, of shifting gears in honour of the looming appearance of equinoctial long-eared Pope-designate not seeing his shadow while hopping about distributing Ostara treats… or just because it’s time for a change.  Something along the lines of an arbitrary number of pens put in ink, and used in a very loose rotation (never twice back-to-back, but possibly more than once a week if whim strikes), and kept running either through the course of a month, or replaced only as they run out of ink.  The latter approach to replacement is appeals to my lazy portions, since it means only flushing one pen at a time, but my novelty-seeking elements suggest a month is enough to get so very bored with a given roster.

There will be a pause before this new approach is instituted, though, as I want to give some thought to exactly what that arbitrary number should be and what rule I’ll follow.  Any howls of protest or suggestions will be welcomed.

Today’s pen: Waterman Préface
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Violette Pensée

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Brown Study Abolished

Posted by Dirck on 24 May, 2012

I do not, as a general rule, suggest seeking out illness.  However, when acute illness comes, as it does now and again to all of us, it can be useful from the standpoint of a stoic philosopher (which I am almost as thoroughly as I am a Buddhist, which is to say, not quite up to standard).  The trick to being successfully sick is to revel in the contrast of feeling better afterwards. 

I am, I must say, revelling.  But not so as to upset the neighbours to cause my co-workers to stare.  My step is high, my head is clear, innards without grumble, and there’s a private little song in my metaphoric heart.  As an outward expression of this, there is, to the surprise of none, a choice of pen.

The pen is not today’s nor yesterdays, as elegant or whimsical as they respectively are.  The pen is a premature replacement on my standard use desk pen.  In addition to my own unwilling purgation, I used the long Victoria Day weekend to engage in a willful purging of the desk pens.  The Esterbrook has been sitting full of its red ink for rather more than six months, and I thought that something in the line of maintenance was called for.  The brown Sheaffer TD, while not so long on the desk, was through the ultra-fineness of its point given to drying out while under use and thus probably had enough residue in it to call for a flushing.

When the prospect of being able to return to The Regular Job arose, I considered the logistics of returning desk pens to work.  They don’t like travelling, after all; they’re mean to be emplacements rather than mobile units.  Into this consideration of the Sheaffer and its vast pediment (of which I shall have to take a picture, now) crept the notion of, “Well, it’s come home anyway, why not just do the rotation and save an extra trip?”  Thus, I have a different desk pen once more, and one which lends itself to jollity.  This one:

How can I fail to smile, with this in front of me?

That’s right, it’s the pen shaped like a rocket!  It’s not just the mere appearance of the pen that enhances my revelry, but also the way it writes.  It has a slightly flexible point, so I go from the extremely limited expression of the firm accountancy point of the Sheaffer to something that is slightly madcap.  Not absolutely berserk, mind you, but something like wearing rainbow braces under the vest.

The brown pen had little to do with the brown mood (or, alas, the brown flux), but in removing it I have helped to undo the brown study I was briefly in.  Perhaps this supports yoga as well, in connecting contentment with flexibility.

Today’s delightful pen: Waterman Préface (page almost done… enough for public observation, anyway; check in tomorrow)
Today’s amiable ink: Diamine Royal Blue

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