Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 17, 2017

Well, the cold weather finally settled in. I think I triggered it by ordering some ink on Tuesday. The local temperature dropped to below freezing by the time the ink shipped and it remained below freezing until after the ink arrived. Despite this the ink arrived in liquid form with unbroken bottles. They are a couple Montblanc Special Edition inks, the Writers Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupery ink and the Great Characters Beatles ink. (Unfortunately I just have the inks, not the pens that share their names.) I’ve yet to open the bottles but samples show a very nice burgundy along with a psychedelic purple.

Another pen was written dry this week, this time it was my Sailor King of Pen with Callifolio Teodora which I liked a lot. The KOP will get one of the new Montblanc inks when I’m ready to fill it. Next on my list to write dry is the Montblanc Ultra Black with my favorite ink.

This leaves five fountain pens still inked up along with my ugly sweater Retro 51 as my pens for the week.


Cleo Skribent Series fountain pen meta-review at United Inkdom. A pen brand I’ve never heard, or at least it didn’t stick in my memory. Possibly because it started it what was East Germany at the time.

Platinum Plasir Fountain Pen Review at The Finer Point. I have the came green version but unlike Jenny I was drawn to the nib matching the pen (although mine seems less luminous and a better match to the pen) but the rest of the review matches my feelings about a pen I rarely use. I should mention that the green has begun to flake off the nib so the silver is visible in places. For awhile it was the spare pen I kept at the office because it never dried out, but now that I work from home it’s rarely used.

Twelve Days of Inkmas at The Well-Appointed Desk. The title gives you the idea. This link is to a review of one of my new inks, the Montblanc Writers Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Be sure to check out the past and future entries.

Franklin Covey Freemont Review at The Pen Haul. News to me that they had a fountain pen. More shocked to learn that Staples sells them.

In the off topic and “you can’t make this sh*t up” categories, the Trump administration has given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a list of seven words that they can’t use in their budget documents. More than a little scary that the top health agency in the country can’t use the words “evidence-based” and “science-based” among others. George Carlin is laughing his a** off.


Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 10, 2018

Another fountain pen was written dry this week. The Pelikan M620 Shanghai, ran out of Omas Green ink on Saturday. It took a mere four months to write the pen dry. I had carried it in my Fodderstack XL which kept it available for use. Nearly all my writing this past week was note taking and list making. So while the Pelikan was used enough to write dry, the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 (Steenrood Vermeer) was easily the pen I used most. It sits on my desk and has a nice extra fine nib which makes it ideal for notes and lists.

The photo below was supposed to be my remaining inked pens, except I forgot about the Lamy Safari Petrol that’s still in my bag.

The pens currently inked and in my daily carry

The pens currently inked and in my daily carry


Edison Pens will be raising prices on January 1st, after 9 years at the current prices.

Carl Fisher (Fisher of Pens) is raising money (on Go Fund Me) to replace/improve his lathe. Discounts on custom pens, or complete pens, are available at the various reward levels.

As the photo above shows, I still use my Foddrstack XL regularly. Ian from Pens! Paper! Pencils! just reviewed it. My review from July 2015 is here.

The Gentleman Stationer’s review of the Waterman Carène reminded me I have one too and it might me time to ink it up. Although I’m more likely to ink up the Edson.

Alt. Haven has photos of the 2017 Singapore Pen Show.

A little music to end the post (via The Loop).

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 3, 2018

Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry BambooI wrote the Pilot Vanishing Point dry early this week. It had the Richard Binder XXXF nib along with a Blue-Black cartridge from Pilot. One thing I like about Vanishing Points is the ease of moving the nibs/ink to a different barrel. That said, the Cherry Bamboo barrel (which isn’t actually bamboo, but is wood) has grown to be my favorite so there wasn’t much (if any) swapping . This is the second time the pen went dry since inked up in June. The first time I simply swapped in a new cartridge. This time I think I’ll give it a bit of a break. But I may miss the ease of use as a shirt pocket carry.

I swapped the Retro 51 Tiki Kona for my Ugly Sweater Retro 51 as my pocket carry (in my Nock Co. Fodderstack XL. I like the extra girth of the Tiki, but the ugly sweater is more in keeping with the season. Paired with my Vanishing Point in the Fodderstack it would rarely get used. But I’ve begun swapping fountain pens in the Fodderstack, so the rollerball may get used more since the fountain pen may not be appropriate for quick notes on the go. Juggling a notebook, pen and pen cap isn’t risk-free.

Since there’s little change in my inked pens I won’t be publishing a “currently inked” post as December begins. Hopefully I swap in som new pens and ink by mid-month.


Cult Pens has brought Pens For Kids back this year.

When Your Grail Pen Is F**king Expensive at the Economical Penman

My Favorite Disposable Pens at My Pen Needs Ink

Ms. Fountain Pen Manners: How to Respond to Someone’s Vile New Pen You Absolutely Hate, And More – at Fountain Pen Follies

Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years – Voyager 1 has been flying for just over 40 years and has gone 13 billion miles. The thrusters are finally beginning to degrade, so 37 years after they were last used the backup thrusters were tested and worked perfectly. The transmission of the results took over 19 1/2 hours to reach earth. Everything about this makes my head hurt trying to grasp it.

This Just In: Nanami Cafe Note – 7mm Rule

Nanami Paper Cafe Note SlipcaseWhile browsing the Nanami Paper website recently, I came across a new notebook from them. They created a mini-me version of my favorite Seven Seas Writer and called it the Cafe Note.

The Cafe Note is a B6 sized notebook (the Seven Seas is A5). There’s a lined 7mm ruled version and a grid ruled version with a 3.7mm grid. I got the ruled version. The B6 pages are 110mm X 176mm (about 4” X 7”). There are 385 pages in each version. By comparison the A5 sized Writer is 148mm X 210mm and has 480 pages.

It’s the same 52gsm white Tomoe River paper as the Writer. The lines are light blue. Like the Seven Seas, the cover is coated paper. I like that the paper is thin, so there’s a lot of it. It’s a little too fountain pen friendly for my tastes making it slow drying. The thin paper can also be subject to show-through. I typically use thin nibs so show-through usually isn’t an issue for me. I like to get the most out of my notebooks and write on both sides of the page. The slow drying bothers me much more as I do get more smudges than I would like. The notebook comes with a sheet of blotter paper so I use that before turning a page.

The paper is thin, so if you have a heavy hand you could leave an imprint of the page below the one you’re writing on. You could always use the included blotter paper under the page you’re writing on. The blotter paper also helps cut down on the show through when it’s under the page I’m writing on.

In addition to the pink blotter paper, cut to the size of the notebook, a cardboard slipcase for protection and storage is included.

While I like the Seven Seas Writer a lot, it’s too big and heavy for a daily carry notebook. At least for me. While the Cafe Note is a much more manageable size and weight. That said, I haven’t given the Note a workout yet so it may not travel as well as I expect it to.

The notebook does a good job of lying flat when opened. I haven’t found a notebook, other than wire bound notebooks, that are truly flat when opened. The Cafe Note is better than most. Once I bend the covers back on themselves to loosen the binding it’s better (so much for pristine notebooks). I do this regularly with the Seven Seas and the binding itself isn’t damaged and I expect the Cafe Note to hold up just as well. In the beginning I put something like my phone under the left side to provide a flat writing surface, but after about 10 pages it’s easier to flatter the notebook.

The Cafe Note is currently in stock a Nanami Paper at $16 each (plus shipping). The ruled version is also listed, but currently unavailable, on Amazon.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log

The week began with the first snow of the season, at least in my part of Connecticut. Just a dusting, but enough to be noticeable and require a few hours of sun to vanish. The week ended with long Thanksgiving weekend, at least here in the U.S., with temperatures up to the mid-50’s on Saturday.

I’ve still got a lot of pens inked as my usage continues to be low. I’m looking to change things up so I’ll probably flush a couple pens and ink up some new ones.

The same inked pens as November began

The same ink as the month began


Cross (and Sheaffer along with it) went from one investment company to another. Not sure much will change other than the coast where the owners live. The only positive comments in the article are quotes from the press release. Their new owners have a portfolio of 11 other brands, none stationery related. Even though the new owners have no overlapping stationery brands there were some employees let go as part of the sale and the new owners used the phrase “Transom and Cross executives developed a comprehensive restructuring plan…” in the article. So if I had to guess, the brands will continue to languish, especially in their fountain pen related product lines.

Liz from Wonder Pens shows us what’s in her pen role.

Down to a one pen rotation at And All Other Tasks.

Off-topic – OK, I’m old but I do remember using CompuServe, although I had moved on before the humiliation of their acquisition by AOL. I didn’t realize any part of them was still around and called “CompuServe” (but owned by Verizon), but as of December 15th the last remnants will leave us.



Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – Nov. 13, 2017

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron - uncappedInk Decluttering

My fountain pen usage ticked up a bit this week. I started journalling again at night. My goal is at least one A5 page every day. I missed two days and only did half a page a third day. But I did manage to do seven pages over the entire week. Not much, but seven pages more than the week before. I always have trouble finding a good time to write. I’ll probably try doing the journalling at lunch rather than at the end of the day when I’m tired, or maybe in a addition to the end of the day.

It’s been awhile, but I finally wrote another pen review (although just a quick look) of the Karas Pen Decograph 1702 Elektron pictured above.

I’ve finished going through my ink drawers and I’m getting rid of ink I haven’t used in awhile and may never use.   Two more medium flat rate boxes are available to U.S. addresses for $30/each. I still have more ink than I’ll ever use (unless I start spilling it) but I think this will end my ink decluttering for now.

I cleaned out my desk this week and was shocked by how much fits in those drawers. I had several packages of wood-cased pencils and partially filled pocket notebooks. Now when I miss my Field Notes subscription (which I didn’t renew) I’ll just think about all those notebooks with one or two pages of writing.

Taking Pens Apart to Clean

The latest Anderson Pens podcast (#249) covered the question about taking pens apart (pull the nib) to clean (at about the 27:30 mark). I couldn’t agree more for all the reasons they mention and I don’t understand what seems to be a growing feeling that pens must be taken apart to clean. I don’t disable my pens to clean for all the reasons they mention. If I have to take apart a pen to clean I consider it my failure (such as being lazy) or a failure of the ink and I should avoid using it.


Marlen Aleph Fountain Pen Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils! – Ian’s review caught my attention because I never heard of the brand. After reading the review I can understand why. The “Con” is a bit of a show-stopper.

Matthew reviews my favorite paper line. Doane Paper is probably my most used paper. The large writing pads are a standard as are the large utility notebook. The large flap jotter is a favorite for a steno sized notebook but it’s been awhile since I used one.

Dr. Deans has a new job (congratulations!) so the Pen Economics blog will be on hiatus. Nows a good time to catch up on his unique point of view.

The Wancher Penfolium 13 Pen Portfolio took inspiration (to put it generously) from the Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope but does have one solid improvement. I love my Penvelopes but this one does address one shortcoming (the rigid pen slots) although I do wonder what that will do to the protection it provides.

A bit off topic but worth reading if you’re a Quicken user. You’ll be paying more if you upgrade this year, although you may not realize it. While the owners are new, this type of deceiving money grab is ingrained in the company’s DNA and why I stopped using this years ago. (FYI – Turbo Tax is owned by the same company, something to consider at tax time.)

Another off-topic link, but one that fascinated me is about the Giant Magellan Telescope. How “Giant”? Hint: The mirrors are made under a football field and each mirror starts with 20 tons of glass and takes about 5 years to make. There will be 7 mirrors when it’s done.