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Posts Tagged ‘Wing Sung’

Posted by Dirck on 15 August, 2019

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 12 August
  • 13 August
  • 14 August
  • 15 August
  • First draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Second draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • A letter to my mayor and city councillor about a really stupid item of policy that is about to become manifest, destroying 200 small local businesses.
  • Third draft of “Beyond the Wall.”
  • Four manuscript pages
  • 417 words
  • Much carefully-worded bile, about three spleens worth.
  • Up to 491 words, which is still fine.

A short story to fill the week, because Pseudopod is running a flash contest which closes at month’s end. The stupidity that comes in the midst of it is the sad sort of little guys vs. corporate greed thing that makes up so much of modern life– you can read about it if you’re inclined.

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Time to Go

Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2018

The latter part of Friday at the doorway to official summer– whose thoughts might not turn to getting away from it all?

My wife and I have different opinions on this. I quite like it for the telling. She is put off by the story. Thus do we prove we are not just one person.

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 601
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 7 June, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 4 June
  • 5 June
  • 6 June
  • 7 June
  • First draft of “Until Regrets Take the Place of Dreams”
  • 27 manuscript pages.

Have you read the entry I made earlier today? You should. It’s far more interesting, and contains time-sensitive material.

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The End of an Era

Posted by Dirck on 4 June, 2018

I have mixed feelings as I type this entry.  Beginnings imply endings, of course, but after go on for so long, with seemingly endless resources… well, it’s a bit of a shock to find that the end has indeed come. Come it has, though, and it is my duty to mark the date.

I must now bid farewell to the bottle of ink which has supplied my desk pens since November of 2014.  Yes, the same one which I made such a fuss over when it reached its third anniversary in service. It kept on for another half of a year… and a week besides!… before running out.  Part of this longevity should be attributed to its companion since that anniversary, the Sheaffer 121SKD which was the only desk pen I had capable of filling from such a shallow pool. Not only does that have a fine point, but Snorkels have a deserved reputation for good miles per gallon.

When at last the probe on the pen made the gurgle of air ingestion on Friday, it was the announcement of the end of a long run indeed.  I can’t say I will mourn the bottle’s passing– it was, after all, an inanimate object– but I do honor it for its staying power.  I can only hope its successor, Diamine Midnight II, who was installed in office this morning, will follow the sterling example which has been set.

The final drops of the last bottle went home with me, along with the pen they reside in.  I’m going to use them for household writing duties so long as they last, which may be a week or more.  That pen was on station for more two full tours, since I like to swap out at the change of the seasons, and it has earned a rest.

The veteran I have brought in to replace it is going to be a bit of a test for D.M. Secundus; the point of my Touchdown 92SD,  is a good deal more profligate with ink than the Snorkel.  A bit of Falstaff & Hal action, I suppose, to initiate the new era, although I don’t think my Falstaff will end in quite the sort of way the literary version did.

In related news– I refilled the Wing Sung 3008 that I’m using for first drafts.  This is the fourth filling, and the pen still hasn’t fallen to bits! Amazing!

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Herbin Perle Noire

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We All Scream…

Posted by Dirck on 1 June, 2018

Summer! At last!  I will not mention the torrential rains we’ve had here over the past couple of days, because some damp is sorely needed and the downpours were accompanied by delightful summer-type thunder and lightning.  Except this morning.  Anyway, today’s video is about something very bound up with summer.

Not ice cream.

Roller coasters. You keep summer in your way, and let me keep it in mine.

I am also moved to show this because I missed even mentioning Vincent Price’s birthday last week.

Truth be told, I go through rather more ice cream than roller coasters, but VINCENT PRICE!

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 601
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Posted by Dirck on 24 May, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 21 May
  • 22 May
  • 23 May
  • 24 May
  • Terrified obeisance to the spectre of Queen Victoria
  • First draft of “No Easy Way Out”
  • Third draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men”
  • Dig Two Graves
  • Second draft of “No Easy Way Out”
  • Lawn mowed (she’s not that bad, really)
  • 2 manuscript pages.
  • That which was needed
  • 1100 words banged out and posted
  • 1983 words typed, and done.

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Posted by Dirck on 17 May, 2018

Before we get to the week’s numbers, I want to mention to for those who are relatively close to me geographically that I will be conducting another of my pen-tuning clinics at Paper Umbrella on Saturday.  Precise details of when and where are in the link.

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 14 May
  • 15 May
  • 16 May
  • 17 May
  • Third draft of “The Monster in the Cabin”
  • First draft of “No Easy Way Out”
  • A genteel sufficiency.
  • 19 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 10 May, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 7 May
  • 8 May
  • 9 May
  • 10 May
  • Second draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men”
  • The entirety of “Seeds of Empire
  • 3,047 typed words.
  • 1,472 typed words.

That’s a pretty productive week in the fiction department. I also got a somewhat gummed up Parker “51” Vacumatic done and on the way home, and a SERIOUSLY gummed up Speedline filler working in a Vac Debutante which the friend who so often gives me pens handed me about a month ago.

What I didn’t do was get a picture of it or the Esterbrook “Transitional J” she also gave me.  Dang.

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Another Delivery Story

Posted by Dirck on 3 May, 2018

But first, the usual business of a Thursday:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 30 April
  • 1 May
  • 2 May
  • 3 May
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • Second draft of same.
  • 3 manuscripts pages.
  • 2,386 typed words.

Now, let’s see what I got in the mail two days after The Wettest Pelikan:

Does that say “Lamy” under all that tape?

Say, that is exciting!  After eventually figuring out where the flap of the box was through the very thorough layers of tape, I slowly got to the core, the meaty filling.

Why… it is a Lamy!  The box didn’t lie!  Aside: this sort of pen tube might have made a difference to that Pelikan’s packaging.

Yes, indeed, a not-at-all-shiny new Lamy 2000!  Oh, boy!

“Um… don’t you already have one on those?”

Yes. I do.  Or rather, I did.  A very strange fate overtook that pen.  The threads which extend off the front of the barrel to hold the section (picture here, if you need it) broke.  A crack had opened up, following the cut of the threads, which allowed seepage out of the holes the cap-holding ears.  I didn’t realize this was the cause of the problem until I had opened the pen several times to stare at the washer in a state of confusion and then tighten the section back in place… which finally snapped the terminal third of the threads right off.

I claim to repair fountain pens.  But I also, frequently, claim to understand my own limitations.  Seamlessly reuniting broken pieces of machined Makrolon™ is outside my skill-set.  So I sent the pen off to Lamy (which I was able to through their local retailers, since I’m lucky enough to have one of those in my city).  After a rather long wait, I got the expected message back from Lamy’s Canadian distributors:

  • This is not fixable;
  • This is not under warranty.

I had a look in my records last night.  I got my original 2000 in 2011 and thus it is certainly out of warranty, so I have no problem with that… although I do find myself wondering about the genesis of the original crack.  The 2000 has a reputation for durability.  The location of the break is such that I’d think it would only develop if I left the section slightly undone and then really leaned on it sideways.  All academic, though.

Also in the message from Lamy was an offer to get a replacement at… I want to say probably less than wholesale cost, although I don’t know that.  Cheap, in any event. Not trivially cheap, alas, so I had to ponder it a couple of days.  A cheap Lamy 2000 is still not a purchase I have the resources to make with an untroubled spirit.

In the end, the fact that the original was bought as a somewhat self-directed anniversary gift shoved me into buying the replacement.  I am sadly given to romantic foolishness.  Also, I sold a story, remember, and there was some residue left from that to cushion the expense.  Payment was sent to them and pen was sent to me.  Then, it was only a matter of cleaning it so I can put it into rotation in time for the upcoming anniversary, seven years later.

“Wait… clean it?”

Ah, yes.  As I mentioned in the terrible tale of Tuesday, there’s always some in ink ’em.

About half full, in fact. It’s kindly intended, I’m sure, but… well, there’s a lot of crannies inside this thing’s cap.  Aside: Like our new tea towel?  The camera sure does!

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Upping Their Game

Posted by Dirck on 10 April, 2018

I have been distracted lately, by both my (over-documented) artistic endeavours and the collapse of my site… in addition to all the other current events stuff people spend much of the day screeching about.  The distraction momentarily cleared recently, and I find that the world as I knew it has changed and one of the bedrock foundations of my understanding has become alarmingly wobbly.

I am shaken to discover that Wing Sung can no longer be discounted with, “Oh, they make the cheapest pens you can imagine.”  At least, not completely.

Two pens of recent development bring this home.  First, there’s this thing:

No, it’s not a TWSBI Diamond.

All right, I guess it is a cheap pen.  In fact, the main expense in getting a Wing Sung 3008 is the cost of postage, and even that seems to be available at a cut rate; some people are getting them for three dollars.  I do go into some detail in my profile of this pen regarding the evident cheapness of the materials, but for all that, it has a functional piston filler and it costs less than a Pilot Varsity.  If it lasts through three fills, it’s well worth the price, and mine is in the middle of its second with no sign of impending failure.

“Well, fine, but that’s just one pen, and it’s still a cheap, rickety piece of plastic.”

True.  But then there’s this other, even more recent development–

Yes, it’s a familiar shape. And yet… it’s not quite what you expect.

A lot of Wing Sung pens can be called a Parker “51” knock-off, but I’m inclined to call the 601 a loving recreation, right down to the Vacumatic filler.  The only things it lacks which the Parker had is a gold point and a network of factory-supplied service centres backing it up.  It also costs more than the 1947 Parker which it closely emulates– about $16.00 rather than $12.50.  However, when you start factoring in seventy years of inflation…

Also, the Wing Sung is very slightly bigger than the Parker. That’s not just perspective at work.

One might say that the Chinese pen is in some ways an improvement upon its predecessor.  There’s an ink window (although, in some body colours, it’s absent– baffling!), and the mechanism is made to be removed with a simple crescent wrench rather than an exotic and specialized tool.

Note also; you can’t just stuff one mechanism in another body. Even if they’re compatible diameters (which I don’t know), a Parker blind cap would have nothing to cling to.

They have even started to improve upon the mechanism itself– I have a variant creeping its way here on the proverbial slow boat from China which sees the diaphragm replaced with the sort of piston-head found in the 3008, which should reduce the rate of filler failure and incidence of serious maintenance.  Since there is not a network of service centres and… well, I don’t know if the (relatively) readily available Parker diaphragms fit the Wing Sung mechanism, a more durable filler seems like a splendid idea.

And all for the cost of burgers and shakes for yourself and a companion.  In Wing Sung terms, sixteen dollars is a massively expensive pen, but on the broad spectrum of genus Fountain Pen it is very cheap indeed.  It’s right in the same neighbourhood as the Pilot Metropolitan, which is my personal go-to as a recommendation when someone expresses an interest in trying a fountain pen but doesn’t want to spend a load of money.  The only disadvantage the Wing Sung has in shoving the Met out of that default position is that it’s not available in so many outlets… at least in North America.  Balancing that is the fact that it has a built-in filler and a huge ink capacity compared to the Metropolitan’s converter, so I’m a little torn.  If the notional someone is expressing interest in vintage Parkers, and has no experience with a hooded point, then I have a pen for them, all right.

What these two new objects from Wing Sung indicate, and I’m not the only one saying this, is a willingness to explore outside the “cheap pen with a press-bar filler” territory they’ve staked out for a long time.  This is excellent news for we fans of fountain pens, and not just because it gives us a couple of new toys to play with at a price most can afford.  If Wing Sung is getting experimental, perhaps their augurers see the continued revivification of the market for this kind of instrument.  That is a thought I will cuddle to my bosom.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini (and looking somewhat nervous of this new competition, too)
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

 

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