What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘winter’

The Cold Depths of Space

Posted by Dirck on 23 March, 2018

Let me start with a still photo.  Outside my window at The Regular Job, right this moment:

Yep.  Three days after the vernal equinox.  That’s Canada for you, I guess (portions of south-west coast subject to exemption).

ANYWAY, let’s use that as a jumping off point.  Snow, wind… these are as nothing to the hostile depths of space, right?

Two final observations:

  1. I am very affected by the end.  I blame a confluence of good acting and a very subtle trick of the writing;
  2. Because I am a Canadian and used to harsh conditions, I was slightly distracted by the fact that he never put on his damn hat.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Skrip Black


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Frosted and Iced

Posted by Dirck on 12 January, 2018

I greatly enjoy the Great British Bake Off, and its Canadian cousin.  I enjoy, now and then, baking a cake.  I shall be doing so this weekend, in fact, for an observation of my father’s birthday.

But I am not a huge fan of frosting or icing.  The former was a menace on Christmas day, during a week in which many places in Canada were being described in the news as colder than Mars.  It’s not quite that cold today… but on Wednesday it was warm. It was, in fact, only freezing, in the strict 0C meaning of the word.

Which meant that the couple of hours of rain which preceded the sudden drop back to normal winter temperatures is still gleaming on every horizontal surface.  We have been glazed.

So today’s film is a philosophical contemplation of what might happen if time stopped.  Because I think it did. Or has.  Or continues to.

Today’s pen: Parker Vacumatic
Today’s ink: Waterman vintage blue

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Pretty Close, Actually

Posted by Dirck on 31 March, 2017

The shapes of the clouds yesterday and the apparent depth of the sky last night inform me that it is, in local terms, no longer winter.  I’ve derided the idea of astronomical/calendar seasons many a time, but this year, this season is pretty darned close.

…but no sign of my tulips.  I suspect the fatty fat fat squirrels of the neighbourhood are behind this.

Today’s pen: OMAS Arte Italiana
Today’s ink: Diamine Amazing Amethyst

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Kill It With Fire!

Posted by Dirck on 13 January, 2017

Alas, not an option for either of my current problems.  Fire applied to the novel will only make more work for me unless it’s part of an admission of abject failure… which frankly on Monday was an enticing path but which I’ve gotten over since.  The novel is less of a problem than a challenge, anyway, and setting fire to a challenge is weak.

The other current problem is winter.  If I had enough fire to deal with it and its week of -30C mornings, I would have entirely different and more pressing problems (and so would you, however far from me you are).  However, after a week of that sort of unpleasantly bracing starts to the day, I am happy to watch some people take chainsaws to winter, or at least some of its manifestations.

Today’s pen: Sailor 102
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Nuit

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Throwback Thursday (Gently)

Posted by Dirck on 31 March, 2016

The throwback is only to last Thursday.  Last week, we got what I could without much fear of contradiction call the only real snowfall of the winter.  Those who attend to the cycling of the equinoxes will probably spot that, technically speaking, spring was already upon us last week.  This illustrates both the contrary nature of weather and how astronomically-determined seasons just don’t mesh with experience here in the broad Canadian prairie.

Anyway, last Thursday, the snow had stopped, and the sun was out by day’s end… and there were some pretty things emerging from the interaction of loads of fresh snow and low-angle sun.  As it takes me this long to drag images out of my good camera and process them, it’s not exactly news, but it is fodder for my own little on-line gallery.  Here, see how pretty Old Man Winter can be when he’s just shuffling out the door–

March Foliage

March Foliage

Snow Lace

Snow Lace


The Darling Buds of March (seriously, Tree– it’s too early; go back to sleep)

Today’s thawed pen: Parker 65
Today’s ink: Waterman washable blue 

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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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Grey? OK.

Posted by Dirck on 20 February, 2015

This is a big time of year for grey around here.  Weather, streets, faces, and if you live in the wrong neighbourhood, all the damn houses.  There is, however, one grey object that I look forward to at this time of year, and it’s the subject of today’s lifted film.

If you haven’t seen the movie itself, you should.  I believe I’ve previously mentioned that it’s a cure for the sensation that there are 8,000 days between winter solstice and vernal equinox.  This and a dose of Vitamin D– fix ya right up!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Craftsman

Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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In Like a…

Posted by Dirck on 28 February, 2014

…lion?  To quite Patrick O’Brian, lions ain’t in it, mate.  We are told that the overnight low upcoming will touch -40 (F or C, as you wish) and adding in the wind-chill will put is in shouting distance of the sensation of -60.  “March comes in like a nation of frost giants riding angry chimerae crammed with liquid nitrogen” may not be traditional nor poetic, but it comes closer to the sense of it.

I was, therefore, going to mount a campaign of sympathetic magic and lift from Youtube some version of Vivaldi’s “Spring”.  There are a couple of problems with that, though.  The goofy objection is I don’t want to jeopardize the return to (nearly) seasonal temperatures we’re promised for next week, as shouting “knock it off” frequently just causes heels to be dug in.  The also-goofy objection is that I don’t really like that particular concerto.  So, here’s something that will at least get some blood moving, and it’s cellos so it’s high-class art.

Have a good weekend, everyone.  Try not to break off any major body parts.

Today’s pen: Pelikan M600
Today’s ink: Diamine Sherwood Green

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Take as Required

Posted by Dirck on 10 January, 2014

A couple of films for Friday, one very short, one very long, and both meant as a counter-agent to all the wintry misery many of us have had this week.

Yep. It’s a magical place.

Today’s Pen: Kaweco Sport (casual day!)
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun (as a means of placating the roaring brute outside)

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The One-Eared Beauty

Posted by Dirck on 6 January, 2014

I was going to do more of a “Hey, I’m back!” entry, but there’s a mort of work here at The Regular Job which needs setting fire to.  I am, therefore, going to make a brief comment about setting fire to things.

Or rather, wanting to set fire to things because it’s very very very cold in much of North America.  What the vast majority of north-central and -eastern bits of the continent are getting right now is what I understand as winter temperatures.  I come not to gloat, but to offer sympathy and advice.  I frequently explain winter here as a natural disaster you know is coming and for which dressing properly is the necessary response.  That second bit comes from experience, of course, and right now there’s a lot of people who have no experience of these temperatures struggling along under them.  Let me give some capsule advice, to spread around to those you know who might need it.

Winter is not your enemy… no, it is, but it’s not at the top of the podium.  Vanity is your enemy.  If you’re going to go out in this stuff, Vanity needs to be nailed firmly to a wall in the back of a closet where no one will find its corpse until spring.  I know that in my long coat, shaggy sweater, outsided ear-flappy hat and all-encompassing scarf I do not look particularly cool, but I accept that as part of feeling warm.  Prior to writing this, I went on my usual 20 minute round-trip walk, and the wind-chill is rather below -45; I was no more than aware that it was cold out, mainly due to the build-up of ice on the scarf.

Layers.  Loads of them.  Co-ordination of colour and style are quite secondary.  That and “this can’t last” will see you through.  If Vanity proved too lively to subdue with simple self-defensive measures, consider this– the difference between frost-bite and freezer-burn is that the latter isn’t attached to your body (until a doctor removes it to prevent gangrene).  Not looking funny for a trip out to the grocery store now can lead to a lifetime of hideous deformity later.  Try that on for size, Vanity.

And lest anyone think I’m smug, I know at the front of my mind how lucky I am to live in a place that gets cold without a lot of snow.  The Maritimes are a place I wouldn’t wish anyone to be just now, even though I know that they’re used to that sort of thing.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Wancher Imari


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