The Power of the Pen

userpic=fountain-penSaturday was National Handwriting Day, but I didn’t realize it, so I’m doing it today.  National Handwriting Day falls each year on January 23, the birthday (according to the Gregorian calendar) of the American Revolutionary leader and first signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. To celebrate the occasion, people are sharing images of handwritten notes on social media using the hashtags #HandWritingDay and #NationalHandWritingDay:

Handwriting Day


Saturday News Chum

userpic=observationsIt’s Saturday, and that means it’s time to clean out the accumulated links.  As I’ve got about an hour before I jump into the Fringe, let’s get going:



Saturday Link Clearing: Pens, Knitting, Pas. Playhouse, Vegas, and Power

userpic=fountain-penIt’s Saturday, and you know what that means — time to clear out the saved links for the week. As always, these links are usually discovered through my reading of the papers and by what comes across my RSS feeds (which I’m now reading via Newsblur):

  • Fountain Pens. Those who know me know I do fit the stereotype in some ways and not in others. Yes, I carry a pocket protector. However, I use it to protect my pocket as it is full of fountain pens. Thus, I found this Boing-Boing article about the Namiki Retractible Fountain Pen quite interesting. It would really depend on the quality of the nib. I’ve actually found that Schaeffers — especially the cheap Shaeffers — work the best for me.  Parkers occasionally work, but I’ve never been able to get the fancier pens — especially Cross Fountain Pens — to work well for this left-handed writer.
  • Knitting. Whereas I love fountain pens, my daughter loves to knit. This article made me think of her: a mobile knitting truck that serves as a locally sourced store for lovers of yarn.
  • Theatre. The Pasadena Playhouse has announced their 2013-2014 season, and my response is a big yawn. Perhaps their bankruptcy soured me on them, but I haven’t been that impressed with their season announcements, which usually change by the time the show is presented. They may have the occasionally good show (I’ve heard good things about the Janis Joplin concert currently there, but I’m not into Joplin); however, overall their seasons are predictable. The chestnut. The black show. The new musical. The TBA. The 2013-2014 season is no different. It starts with the musical jukebox tuner “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (Sept. 18 to Oct. 13). That’s followed by a new play, “Stoneface” (Nov. 5 to Dec. 1), with French Stewart portraying silent film star Buster Keaton. “Stoneface” might be interesting. After that is the play for African-American audiences, Weinraub’s “Above the Fold” (Jan 28 to Feb. 23)–a fictional story of a female African American reporter who travels to a Southern university where four white fraternity boys have been accused of raping a young African American woman. Next up is the chestnut, Noël Coward’s “A Song at Twilight” (March 18 to April 13, 2014). Closing the season, as usual, is the “To Be Announced” production (May 27 to June 22, 2014), directed by playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps. One potential show of interest.
  • Las Vegas. Those who know me know that I find Las Vegas History interesting. Here’s an interesting story from the LA Times on a man who is trying to get out of Nevada’s infamous Black Book that bars people from casinos for life. No one has ever done that, except by dying.
  • Los Angeles. Lastly, you all know I love LA. Here’s a fascinating map of power consumption across Los Angeles by neighborhood. We’re in a lower-use neighborhood, except during the hot summer months. Other neighborhoods are much much worse. However, some neighborhoods in LA, for some reason, are simply not mapped.

Music: Zorba (1983 Broadway Revival Cast): “The Crow”


At Last, My Arm Is Complete Again

My pens are much happier. New bottles of ink (Schaeffer Skrip and Parker Quink, as well as a bottle of Waterman Ink that is at home) that isn’t a mix, and isn’t a calligraphy ink pretending to be a fountain pen ink, even though it is too think and has shellac. The old ink has been flushed. The pens at my desk are much, much, happier, and I’m happier as a result.

Although we picked up the ink at The Fountain Pen Store, a good selection can be found at Pendemonium. I have Schaeffer Blue, Parker Red, and (old) Schaeffer Black (refilled from my dad’s quart bottle). Ahhhh. Penderful Happiness.


Fountain Pen Shop and South Pasadena

[One nice thing about semagic: You can write your entries even if LJ is down, and queue them up for later. Live Journal is still down as I write this.]

Even though I’ve been fighting a headache today, we did make it out to The Fountain Pen Shop in Monrovia. The shop is in this little industrial park, with a fountain pen museum in front. Lots of nice pens inside, and the owner is very personable. First, I had him look at the pens I bought for repair: 2 Parker 75s, 1 Parker 25, a Waterman, and two Rotrings. He fixed the cap of one of the Parker 75s on the spot. The other Parker 75 had a bent nib and needed cleaning, so it was left there, along with the Parker 25 and the Waterman, for cleaning. The Rotrings he couldn’t figure out: they seemed to be missing some assemblies, and were only usable as dip pens. So I’ll just use them as that (although I may test filling them with a dropper to see if they leak).

I then showed him my other set of collectables. My Parker 51 has a crack in the case, and can’t be repaired (but the nib is good, so I use it as a dip pen). The two Parker 45s are in prime condition, as are some of the Schaeffers. I’ve got a bunch of old Schaeffers and Parkers. I’ve also got some no-names that vary from good nibs to garbage nibs. We were able to fix the nib on the Esterbrook. Combining these, I’m now overflowing the pen case that ellipticcurve got me. So I’m keeping the nicer pens in that case, with the remainder in an aux case (for now). Pendemonium has some nice storage cases—in particular, a nice nylon 12-pen or 40-pen case—that might be great for the overflow pens I use less frequently. There’s also an interesting Schaeffer pen case here.
[Update: I’m ordering the 40-pen case from Pendemonium.]

After we left the fountain pen store, we drove through Monrovia, Temple City, San Gabriel, and San Marino, ending up in South Pasadena at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy. This is an old-fashioned pharmacy, with a real soda fountain, we had lunch and dessert there. At that point S&F was starting to melt-down from being over tired, so we headed home, driving up Fair Oaks (quite an interesting drive). She fell asleep about five minute from home (naturally), so she went out with gf_guruilla and saxylady to get saxylady a planner, allowing S&F to sleep more. Saxylady had an interesting morning, taking ellipticcurve out to get a new hairdo. Saxylady says it looks spectacular, so I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.

Well, back to saying mi sheberachs for Live Journal!


Cleaning Fountain Pens

Well, not having much else better to do this morning (well, I do have better to do, but the desire not to aggrivate my back is keeping me from doing it), I decided to clean all my fountain pens. So, I figured I’d count them as well. Let’s see (doing his best Count impression from Sesame Street): 1, 2, 3…. 30 Schaeffers, 15 Parkers, 3 Mont Blancs, 2 Rotrings, 2 Watermans, 8 unidentifiable manufacturer or hand-made, 1 Esterbrook, 1 Arnold, and 7 Rapidographs (although I also have some Rapidographs sets buried in the closet).

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