Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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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 I had already withdrawn my dollars from supporting those companies and a host of others.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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A Wishlist In Two Minutes

06/18/2017

Do you keep a wishlist? Mine took less than two minutes to compile. No pondering the question. Just a brief, whatever comes to mind list. And darned if it isn’t just right.

Try it the next time you have two minutes to spare. The results might surprise you.

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What Prompts You To Journal?

01/18/2017

What prompts you to write in your journal? Many of us start a new one in January which makes this a good month to examine and strengthen what works.

Fountain pen people may do it just for the joy of using a favorite pen or a pretty new ink. Sometimes it’s the luxurious feel of a perfectly tuned nib sliding across velvety paper. A touch of the hedonist may drive us to such pursuits, but it is good, clean fun.

It doesn’t have to be just words that make it on paper. A doodler can use a glyph or squiggle to fill lines and spaces. Watercolor may come into play, but glued on bits of ephemera count as well. Stickers, tickets and postage stamps can inspire lengthy entries or at least make the pages look satisfyingly full.

But what prompts the writer, the serious writer, to put pen to paper? What inspires that flow of words? An experience of the day, something in the news, an errant thought? Do you have a book of prompts or a theme to explore? Really, how do you do it and what do you do it with?

Writing in my journal can bring out the minimalist in me. I like using a light to medium weight pen with an ink to match the subject or something very neutral that won’t detract. Recently, four pens have graced my long sessions: two Pilot Metropolitan Mediums, a Lamy Studio Fine, and a Platinum Nice Medium. The Lamy is a little heavy for more than four or five pages, but the others are good for miles of adventure. Current inks are Iroshizuku ama-iro, Pilot Blue-Black, J. Herbin Terre de Feu and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu in the second Pilot Metro.

Today my journals include one from Paper for Fountain Pens with Tomoe River Paper, Staples Arc, a new Muji notebook and a (Midori) Traveler’s Notebook, most often a #013.

Any of these tools can prompt me to journal. Four pens, inks and journals would seem like enough variety for an inkophile. Or maybe not. The Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Stipula Verde Muschiato, and the lovely, lovely Platinum #3776 music nib are ready to go. Oh, look at that. Ku-jaku just waved at me with a charming, beauty-queen-riding-in-a-parade gesture. So much for my minimalist rotation. Is this a hopeless addiction or what!

 

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That Platinum Music Nib Gets Noodled

10/27/2016

Sometimes I wonder why we use any pen and ink save the ones that make us the most happy. This duo is not only a joy to use, but the Platinum #3776 music nib has special memories as a gift from Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands. Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan was a lucky acquisition years earlier when I was looking for a saturated and shading brown ink. Kiowa Pecan ended my search. Years later, the duo remains a favorite at the Inkophile digs…

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Ink Links Plus Flower And Bird Photos

04/03/2016

Totally on topic this week…

Outside my kitchen window, a late blooming camellia is attracting a lot of attention especially from the hummingbirds who nest in my yard every year. The hummers were reluctant to pose hence the old photos, but the flowers were less flighty if a bit bouncy riding on the March winds.

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The Need To Ink

11/23/2015

If we can only wield one fountain pen at a time, why do we ink so many? Variety in pen style and nib shape might justify a few, but not the huge number some of us wind up with despite the best of intentions. Is ink the true seductress?

These days, my activities rarely require more than one or two pens for daily writing and seldom more than three for an extended session. Once my choice has been made and the words flow, it’s full steam ahead with whatever is in hand. That hardly explains the number typically inked in the tray on my desk.

Often my fascination with color overrides my common sense and a quick dozen pens get filled before I put on the brakes. Add that to my core rotation and presto there are twenty at the ready. That is far and away too many, but it is incredibly satisfying.

But if I ink only one or two, would the other pens get sad or feel neglected or even jealous? The cacophony coming from the pen drawer would be downright distracting and might drive poor Macy crazy with her canine ear for the tiniest sound. A fly two rooms away makes her head flip around with astonishing speed. She already chatters more than any dog ought to and the jabbering of the pen crew would no doubt set her off all too easily. Now if she would just bark, growl and mutter in vermillion, aubergine and cornflower blue, I would be delighted to encourage her antics. In neutral tones, not so much.

How do you cope with the need to ink and the excess on your desk? Do your pens shout for attention or do you have a complacent crew?

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