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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: fountain pen, Herbin, ink, Sailor, winter, writing | Leave a Comment »
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–
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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: fountain pen, ink, Parker, Parker 65, photography, Waterman, winter | Leave a Comment »
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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: fountain pen, H.P. Lovecraft, ink, Pelikan, Waterman, Waterman Préface, winter | Leave a Comment »
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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: Balance, fountain pen, Hayao Miyazaki, ink, Sheaffer, Sheaffer Craftsman, winter | Leave a Comment »
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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: Diamine, fountain pen, ink, Patrick O'Brian, Pelikan, Pelikan Souverän, winter | Leave a Comment »
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)
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: Agent Colson, calligraphy, fountain pen, hand writing, ink, Kaweco, Kaweco Sport, Pilot, winter | Leave a Comment »
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
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: fountain pen, ink, TWSBI, TWSBI Vac 700, Wancher, winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Dirck on 6 December, 2013
…and I can never remember how the rest of that song goes.
This weeks Friday Film is a little more amateur than usual, but I offer it to give a vague sense of what today’s weather is like– it’s the first REALLY cold day we’ve had, -31 on the dashboard thermometer when I left the house. I understand it has warmed up slightly since then, but we’re promised a high of -29 tomorrow.
That young lady really should be wearing a hat.
Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink: Chelpark Permanent Black
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: Chelpark, fountain pen, ink, Parker, Parker 75, winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Dirck on 12 April, 2013
I’ve said on occasion that Canadians should make ideal astronauts, as we’re used to bleak crap out the windows and dire consequences being attached to going outside without dressing properly for it. This, and the little… outburst… on Tuesday reminded me of this little John K. classic:
Yep. That little laugh at the end is exactly what’s been in my head for the past two weeks. A friend described yesterday with perfect accuracy as the 101st day of January; today it’s intermingled freezing rain and snow. Say… that button does look jolly!
Today’s pen: Pelikan Future
Today’s ink: Diamine Oxblood
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: Diamine, fountain pen, ink, John Kricfalusi, Pelikan, Pelikan Future, winter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Dirck on 2 April, 2013
There’s been another departure in the pen world, which I’ve just noticed. I refer not to the terrible loss of pen reviewing power reported yesterday, Stephen Brown’s retirement— that is, of course, just a Poisson d’Avril. No, the departure is an entirely serious one, and rather than link to it as the evidence is apt to fade from the web, I’ll take a picture.
I should probably have kept the copyright notice at the bottom. I hope he won’t mind, but just to be clear– images and words in the frame above are © 2013 Tyler Dahl
Tyler was someone I was happy to recommend as an alternative to me, and it was while composing such a recommendation that I discovered this upsetting development. “Do I remember a-right that he handles Sheaffer vac fillers?” I said to myself. “Let me have a look at his site… oh, bloody hell.”
This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened, and as with my previous notice I understand the underlying problem and empathize deeply. A little change in the household economy (in the broad sense of the word), and I could easily find myself in the same situation. Currently, the great impediment to my pen work, apart from The Regular Job, is my son’s jolly insistence on parental attendance and the frazzle this can reduce either of us to when the other isn’t available to pitch in. This is improving with his going to school… but as my wife noted yesterday when I got home, she’s now out of practice for day-long sessions. The miniscule backlog I can currently boast about (things that arrived last Friday won’t be attended to until this coming weekend!) is largely down to him being slightly more than commonly rowdy. What will summer, assuming it eventually turns up, be like?
For the moment, though, I press on. There was a bit, somewhat connected to the lost weekend, when gloom threatened to engulf me. The one bit of pennery I thought I had time for, an attempt to extract a filler from a Vacumatic I’ve had about the place for ages, went… poorly. That got together with the prospect of Winter without end to beat up my reserves of optimist and energy, and I wondered whether it was really worth bothering any more. Manifest melting, slow though it is, has lifted some of the darkness, and a successful resolution to cap problem I mentioned a week ago Monday has gotten me back into the right way of thinking. Pens can be fixed, and I’m capable of fixing them!
Except for those wretched vacuum fillers. They still perplex and confound me.
Today’s pen: Sheaffer Statesman Snorkel
Today’s ink: Skrip Turquoise
Posted in General Blather | Tagged: fountain pen, ink, Regular Job, repair, Sheaffer, Skrip, son, wife, winter | 3 Comments »