Archive for the ‘Miscellanea’ Category

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Two Questions For You

02/04/2019

File this under Ink Trivia.

  1. Which was your first bottled ink?
  2. Would you or have you repurchased it?

Parker Penman Ebony was my first bottled ink. I used it mainly for drawing until some folks at Fountain Pen Network went all “drama queen” about how it was dangerous stuff and any pen that even caught sight of it would die instantly. Thankfully, it had yet to be paired with my newly acquired vintage Parker 51. Being a newbie and trusting “the experts” cured me of ever using Ebony again. Into the trashbin it went.

Years later, I learned that Ebony just needed regular maintenance due to its heavy dye load and I greatly regretted tossing that luscious, dense ink. Discontinued in 2000, these days a bottle goes for upwards of $70 or more on eBay. No replacement bottle in my future, but Platinum Carbon Black is a worthy substitute for drawing.

So that is the tale of my first bottle of ink. What is yours?

Below is an ink comparison made several years ago. None is as rich as Penman Ebony, but I still use Noodler’s Black as an all-purpose ink and Herbin Perle Noire for general writing as well as in finicky pens. The remaining inks are fine but less neutral than the first two. Who knew black came in such variety!

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My Bent Nib Fountain Pen Has Taken A Hike

01/27/2019

Phooey. Apparently one of my bent nib fude* pens has run away from home. Most assuredly this was an unauthorized departure although I suppose it could be in hiding in the jumble that passes for my office. Not that it is likely to find its way to you, but should it make the trek, please tell it to go home. It might not be my ideal mate, but we did have fun together and there could be many more adventures to come. However, it has to return to make that happen.

Duke Guan Yu Calligraphy Fountain Pen

Just in case the truant does not decide to come home, I looked for possible replacements at Amazon and was surprised to find several. The length of the nib tip varies, but there are a few models to consider for less than $30.

  • The Duke 551 Confucius is similar to my Guan Yu model. Both are metal and quite heavy but attractive enough to start conversations while doodling at a local cafe.
  • Sailor offers an inexpensive model with either a high angle or a low angle nib and a long barrel so it can be held like a paintbrush. It does not come with a converter.
  • For a more traditional-looking pen, Sailor offers a Profit with a fude nib. It is a high angle model with no converter.

A long fude tip like mine is better at drawing than writing. The shorter tip is easier to control but produces less dramatic lines. Leigh Reyes wrote about this nib several years ago. Her post would be a great place to start if the fude intrigues you. It certainly enabled me!

*From Wikipedia fude (foo day) means sequences of letters or drawings that you write or draw without removing your pen off the paper.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_counter_word

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Nothing More Need Be Said

11/22/2018

Turkey is not on our menu for Thanksgiving, but a laugh/groan/cringe always is.

Full episode:

Clip:

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Tantrums, Boycotts, And My New Find

03/30/2018

Fed up with the tantrums, calls to boycott, and vast corporations trying to influence your thoughts? Don’t be manipulated. Instead put your purchasing power to best advantage by buying alternate products from smaller vendors and local merchants. While it might be difficult to find replacements for products from companies that have a lock on market shelves, it can be done.

Recently, I discovered Vitacost and have ordered a few times with good success. They offer over 45,000 products most of which fall in the natural and organic categories, but at very favorable prices. This week, I bought a case of canned goods for about half what I have paid at retail stores. My order was over $49 so shipping was free and it arrived in less than 40 hours! There were other discounts that saved an additional $20+. My family is trying several of the CSI and Glonaturals skin care products and so far they have proven effective and economical. Yes, my budget is very happy with this new find.

No benefit accrues to me from writing about Vitacost. But after waking this morning to yet another screamer demanding I participate in a boycott and threatening an “or else”, I couldn’t do it. I had already withdrawn my dollars from supporting those companies and a host of others. I won’t be bullied by either side on national arguments. Period. Free market principles reign and Vitacost will get my support and my money. Amazon still works for me since products from many small companies are available there.

Where do you go to get away from the chain retailers and big box shops?

Fortunately, my fountain pen and watercolor supply needs are filled by companies that have not made it to the list of entities to avoid. Hmmm. Maybe I can take some of the savings from purchases at Vitacost to further bloat my collection of inks and watercolors. Kidding, folks, just kidding. Well, sort of.

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Facebook Proves Analog Is Better

03/28/2018

Using a fountain pen on paper is the perfect antidote to the reach of Facebook’s tentacles. Zuckerberg and his minions have vowed to implement changes that should have happened years ago. If the current promise of reform makes you feel safe from data miners and prying eyes, you might believe in unicorns and fairies as well. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting world, but the one we currently inhabit lacks such elegant creatures and the fantasy that goes with them. Mere mortals, we have the reality of Facebook and its “privacy settings” that are arcane and obscure.

Should you want to lower your Facebook profile, here are some links to info about how to do it.

Now put those fountain pens to best use. Shred what needn’t be preserved and file what must be kept. Unless co-workers, family and friends decide to rifle through your shelves and drawers, your data will be secure though posterity may look askance at your rants and musings. I have put some doozies here and there in my journals. Should anyone ignore my instructions to burn the lot, they will get an earful/eyeful that ought to make them wish they hadn’t delved into my private thoughts. Oh, would I like to be a fly on the wall for that comeuppance!

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More On Pantone’s Color Of The Year

01/10/2018

More commentary and images of Pantone’s Color of the Year at Ultra Violet | 2018.

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Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

12/25/2017

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