Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 30, 2020

photo of Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard with Montblanc Lavender Purple ink bottle
My favorite pen and ink of the past week

My fountain usage was up a bit this week. If only because I wrote about 10 B5 journal pages this week, compared to last week. The rest of my usage, such as notes, drafts, and so on, was about the same. The Sailor 1911 Ringless was my favorite this week. It was used for more than the occasional doodling. It’s nearly empty and may not survive through today,

When I ordered some additional Life Noble 3 x 5 notebooks last week, I added a couple of items to reach the $50 for free shipping. I included two more Sailor Shikiori ink cartridge packs. I wanted to try more colors, but I screwed up and ordered some more Yodaki. While I hadn’t used the ink at that time, luckily I like the color a lot. But, I’d have preferred more variety. No excuses, not only were the cartridges still on my desk, but I entered them into Fountain Pen Companion so I could have checked there.

There was some good news. I finally caught up and cleaned all my empty pens.

Fountain Pen disaster struck this week. On Thursday, my Sailor KOP Royal Tangerine rolled off my desk, and the tines of the oblique nib are now misaligned. I had soft-capped the pen (no twisting) to free my hands. I never (until now) but down a soft-capped pen, and I forgot. When I went to pick up the pen, I grabbed it by the cap, The body popped out and rolled to the carpeted floor. The pen seemed to land flat on the barrel, and the nib looked OK, but when I went to write, the nib was rough and caught on the paper. It still looked OK to my old eyes, and I hoped I was overly sensitive. Still, I put it back on the case until I got home and could look at it with a loupe. Sure enough, when viewed head-on, the tines were obviously at different levels, which explained the poor performance.

The damage isn’t bad. If this was another pen, I’d probably try doing it myself. But this is an expensive pen. Things could get out of hand quickly, and even if it went well, it might not be as good as new. I may get the courage to try it, but the smart move seems to be sending the pen out for repair by an experienced nibmeister. It’s one of my top nibs (or, it was), so I want it to be perfect. It would be a good excuse to include a couple other pens for grinds. After all, shipping won’t be that much more.

The KOP was almost empty when it threw itself onto the floor. I had been planning to refill it with one of my new Sailor Shikiori ink cartridges. With that option gone, I decided to pull out my Sailor 1911 Sterling to load up the cartridge. I’ve avoided inking up the Sailor 1911 Sterling because I don’t want to polish it up. I decided to skip polishing it for now and keep the patina. A coincidental tweet:
https://twitter.com/TheNibSmith/status/1299051449729638401?s=20

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Kanilea Pen Kona Cherry ran out of Montblanc Bordeaux ink. It was inked up way back on June 19th. I immediately refilled it with Montblanc Bordeaux, my favorite ink.
  2. Sailor KOP Royal Tangerine (OM) was flushed out after the accident. It needs to be repaired before re-inking.

Newly Inked

  1. Kanilea Pen Kona Cherry (EF) was re-inked with Montblanc Bordeaux.

Crónicas Estilográficas: The Father, the Son, and the Anonymous Ghost

Two thumbs up for the Maiora Impronte and Oversize | UK fountain pens

Eye Candy: Dip Nib Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk

Another Pen Pal Match-Up – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Paper So Good It Should Be Illegal? Reviewing the Blackwing “Illegal Pad” — The Gentleman Stationer

DIY: Pen Flush as Stamp Cleaner – The Well-Appointed Desk

P-p-p-pick up a Prefounte? A look at one of Platinum’s budget fountain pens | Slightly unnerved

Notebook Review: Life Stationery Noble Note

photo of the Life Noble Note coverI haven’t done many paper reviews, and it’s nearly three years since I’ve done a notebook specific article. So, it’s either about time, or I have so little experience it’s a waste of time to read it. You’ve been warned.

I’ve liked Life Stationery notebooks and paper since I first used them years ago. If I remember correctly, I came across it at Nanami Paper when buying a Seven Seas Writer. I’ve always had a hard time finding Life stationery from U.S. retailers. While it is more available these days, there are so many Life Stationery products that there’s little product consistency between retailers. Even before COVID, it was always a crapshoot that Life notebooks and paper would be in stock. So when the Andersons mention on their podcast that Life notebooks were back in stock, I went to their site to take a look.

I ended up ordering some stationery (paper & envelopes) along with a couple notebooks. The Noble Note wire-bound notebook was included in that order.

The bright colors caught my eye. For the Noble line of notebooks, plain paper covers are brown, lined paper covers are blue, and graph (aka section) paper is orange. Once the cover caught my eye, the size pulled me in. It was listed as 3 X 5 but, they are actually 3.15″ X 5″. That extra 0.15″ is used by the wire binding. The useable area is 3 X 5. I also like wire-bound notebooks for many uses. They take up less space, but at the expense of making it harder to write on the left side (I’m right-handed.)

Graph ruling is my least favorite type of paper. I find the grid distracting, and it can often interfere with fountain pen ink. Despite that, I picked it in this case because I liked the orange cover best, plus the description and photos indicated the grid was very light. I was not going to use this notebook for extensive writing, so there wasn’t much risk. Between the wire binding, the graph ruling, and the thin paper, I expected to only write on one side of each sheet.

The notebooks have 40 sheets. (Currently, the text on the Anderson Pens listing says 30 pages.) The cover is thick paper, with the Life brand embossed, and a printed decorative border. The specs, product number, and some Japanese text are also on the cover. The metal wire rings are black. Overall, I like the look. The notebook has held up well while traveling in my computer bag.

I really like the 85gsm ivory-colored paper, both in its look and the way it performs. (Some retailers call this cream-colored.) The coating makes it nice and smooth, although not as slick as Rhodia paper. To me, it feels similar to Tomoe River paper and has a similar dry time.

I only had bleed through with a Sharpie. This was total bleed through, with ink soaking through to the next page. The thickest fountain pen I used, with a Sailor Zoom nib, didn’t bleed through at all. Dry time was as expected, which means not fast. I do have to be careful about turning the page. If this was a larger notebook, I’d keep a piece of blotter paper in the notebook. But because this is just for checklists, I don’t bother. I just wait before turning a page.

photo showing bleed-through

Since the paper is thin, there is significant show-through (ghosting). Between this and the grid ruling, I only write on one side of the page. This was as expected.

How I’m Using the Life Noble Note 3 X 5 Notebook

I’ve been using the notebook to keep some checklists. The checklists are either ones that I’ll want to work through multiple times or will take me several days (or weeks) to work through.

Examples include:
* Posts that I still need to write for my newer pen arrivals.
* Movie series that I’m working through in order. For these, I may watch the movies again in the future, so I use the grid boxes to check off when I watched that title. I use the next column for future viewings. I may be optimistic in thinking I’ll be able to find the notebook in the coming years.
* Checklist for a current project where I also need to take short notes. (No photo for this one as the info is confidential). This makes it easier for me to find the checklist and notes as I work on the project over a few days. This is a case where I do use the facing page for notes even though there’s costing. I used a thin Japanese extra-fine nib.

Wrapping Up.

I liked the Life Noble Note so much that I bought two more of the notebooks with graph ruling and another one with blank pages. The wire binding makes them useful to me, as I often like to have the notebook right next to the keyboard. Wirebound notebooks let me fold them over and have my note right against the keyboard. In this case, it also makes an already small notebook take even less desk space.

At $6 each, they aren’t the cheapest option. But, the Noble Notes are durable and have a high-quality fountain pen friendly paper.

A big two thumbs up.

Gallery

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 23, 2020

This week’s favorite pen

My fountain pen usage continued to be low, even though I did manage to empty one fountain pen. My order of ink and pads arrived. The Life notebook pictured above was in that order.

The Penlux Masterpiece Grande was my most used fountain pen this past week. I hesitate to call it the week’s favorite, because I’m really enjoying the zoom nib on the Sailor 1911 Ringless. It’s the one pen I would pick up and use for 5 minutes, just for the fun of it. Part of the attraction is the Montblanc Lavender Purple ink.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Penlux Masterpiece Grande (F) with Rohrer & Klingner went dry on Saturday morning. I liked this pen and ink combination, and while I will clean it out, it will be back soon. It was inked back on June 26th.

Newly Inked

None

Notebook Review: Endless Works Recorder Notebook | Rants of The Archer

Ink Overview: Waterman Inks – The Well-Appointed Desk

“The Muji pens that help me survive quarantine” – Vox

COVID-19’s Impact On Pelikan’s Operations « The Pelikan’s Perch

Vintage Pen News: Replacement Duofold arrow-imprint nibs

Vintage Pen News: Replacement Duofold arrow-imprint nibs

The Anatomy of a Sailor Realo vs an Aurora 88 – Tokyo Station Pens

Crónicas Estilográficas: Platinum 25G

canetas e coisas: PLATINHUM

Pen Review: Cross Peerless 125 Fountain Pen — The Gentleman Stationer

Vote

Everything You Need to Vote – Vote.org

Can I Vote | NASS

How to register to vote – Polygon

Home Page – Vote Save America

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 16, 2020

photo of my favorites Week of Aug 16, 2020
My favorites Week of Aug 16, 2020. Sailor Realo (M/F), Sailor 1911L (zoom) and Keychron K6

It was another week with relatively low fountain pen usage. My keyboard saw much more usage than all my pens combined. A favorite fountain pen was hard to pick this week, so I picked two. The Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard was fun to doodle and play with, thanks to the zoom nib, while the Sailor Realo with its medium/fine nib and Montblanc Encre du Desert ink was my favorite to write with. The medium/fine nib was a joy, and I love the ink color.

Sailor’s new Shikiori ink cartridges became available here in the States. I was really being pulled to order the full pack of 20 inks (60 cartridges), but common sense prevailed. I picked three (Yama-Dori, Yodaki, and Shimoyo). The full pack of 60 would have lasted me years, probably until they evaporated, since they would only fit five of my pens. I added some notebooks to the order, but no pens. Anderson Pens shipped them out the same day (Friday), but if recent USPS experiences continue, I might receive them this coming week.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

None

Newly Inked

None

Composition Book Round Up 2020: Target Part 2 | Comfortable Shoes Studio // Be sure to check other recent posts for more Composition Book reviews. Or, if you want to skip to the end: Composition Book Round Up: Which to Stock Up | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Crónicas Estilográficas: Sailor Mini // I’ve never heard of “long-shorts”, as a style of pen, and was surprised to see the moniker is applied “in the west”
.
Have a Sinister Day! – Penquisition // I’m not a lefty either, but always had some of the same questions raised here.

[PfMP] Parker Inflection | dapprman // I’ve been enjoying Gary’s “Pens from My Past” posts.

Six micro-trends for the rest of 2020 | UK fountain pens

Off-topic: xkcd: COVID Risk Comfort Zone // The third option sounds good to me.

Voting Resources (U.S.) Everything You Need to Vote – Vote.org and Can I Vote | NASS

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 9, 2020

This past week was one of my most unproductive of the entire year. I did my chores, like grocery shopping and house cleaning, but anything requiring thought or concentration was pushed aside. That meant my fountain pens didn’t get much use. I didn’t even journal every day. I missed two days completely, and wrote less than a page for each of the other days. The Benu Briolette was my most used pen, but it didn’t have any competition. I used the Sheaffer Balance II Aspen on Monday, the switched to the Benu on Tuesday. It stayed on my desk for the rest of the week. Seems unfair to call it a favorite, but it was certainly the most used.

I was in a bubble as the storm blew through my area. The lights flickered enough to cause the clock on the stove to start blinking a couple of times (maybe more, but I learned my lesson after setting it the first time and having it reset a few minutes later) and the sous-vide cooker was toggled off mid-way through, but then it finished without incident. I had power the next morning, and everything visible to me looked good. Twigs on the ground, some big enough to scratch car paint I suppose, but not big enough to break anything. My travels the next couple of days had me encountering closed roads and a lot of big trees down within a couple miles, which explained the 60%+ outage rate in the state. So, I did have some luck.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. The Fisher of Pens Hermes suffered a hard start after being unused for a couple of days. I decided to flush the pen since I had used most of the ink. It’s still in the queue for cleaning. I hope to clean and re-ink it in a few days.

Newly Inked

None

Links

Pens in Daily Use August 2020 | dapprman

Tale of a Vandal Ink User: Just a Little Mix-Up | Peaceable Writer

Crónicas Estilográficas: Safari in Japan

Black Lives Matter – Notebook Joy

Mabie Todd Swan 6142 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Scrapbooking Isn’t Just for White People – The New York Times

Crónicas Estilográficas: Pilot Signing

Vintage Pen News: Greek nib breaththrough

When is a Fountain Pen Too Big? Considerations on “Oversized” Pens — The Gentleman Stationer

Cultural Nostalgia: The Italian Connection To The M151 | The Pelikan’s Perch

Off-Topic: Mont Blanc: Glacier in danger of collapse, experts warn – BBC News