Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 25, 2021

Lamy Aion Dark Green with EF nib
The current favorite

My fountain pen usage was up a little this past week. A couple pens are actually almost empty. I’ve been journalling more consistently, about one A5 page every weekday, and another one for the weekend days. Plus drafts for a couple articles, along with copious notes.

Despite having a new fountain pen for the last week, my Lamy Aion remained the pen I picked up most often. The new F-C Model 20 may have put more ink on paper since I used it for several longer sessions.

Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic (EF) in Gemstone.
The wannabe favorite.

In a switch from past practice which had me using a different fountain pen in my journal each day. My Kanilea Kona Cherry has become my Journal Pen and lives in the journal. It has my favorite ink, Montblanc Bordeaux. This all combines as a great incentive to use the pen and to write in my journal.

I’ve been preparing for another pen sale, probably my last significant one for a while. I’m handling pen selection for this one differently than I have in the past. While targeting pens that have gone two years without use has worked in the past, there are limits to this method. Such as many pens being under 2 years old. I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt and frustration lately about not using my “favorites” or “expensive” pens enough. Two Friday’s ago I spread out all my fountain pens. I did miss a few, and I ignored vintage completely, but it was most of them. Then I started picking my favorites and figuring out how they fit into my typical usage. My informal goal was to reduce my accumulation by 50%.

Pens on review

I’m at the point now where if I pick up a pen to decide whether or not to keep it, I’m going to keep it. When I consider only that one pen I can find plenty of reasons to keep it, and very few reasons to sell it. Case in point: I inked up the Sailor Pro Gear Racing Green to do some writing samples, and to test it for the planned sale. I had already decided that the physical aspect of the pen didn’t suit me. By the time I was done I had talked myself into keeping the pen, ignoring the fact that the thin(ish) and light pen became uncomfortable after 10 or 15 minutes of writing. I really liked the nib and loved the color. But once I saw I had the exact same nib on a Realo, and the same model in a version with metal (making it heavier), it was easier to let go of the Racing Green Pro Gear.

To forestall any questions: While I’ve now selected all the pens for sale, I still need to do the photos and get things organized. These things always take me longer than I expect so I don’t want to give an eta. In the scope of life, selling the pens is a low priority. Plus, as a friend said, I’m putting it off because I really don’t want to sell them.

Housekeeping: I’ve changed this blog to lock comments after a post has been out for 6 months. While 99.9% of spam comments get blocked automatically, there’s hundreds of spam comments every week and it annoys me. I’ll shorten the lockout if the spam comments don’t drop to my satisfaction. The About page has a form that can always be used to contact me if you feel compelled to comment on a locked post.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Hail Mary by Andy Weir. So much better than his previous book; Artemis. A solid 5 out of 5 stars. If you like technology/science heavy Sci-fi you’ll like it. Like the Martian, man vs. science and an environment that wants to kill him, but it’s even better. Even the slightest detail could be a spoiler, so I’ll say no more.
Watched: Leverage:Redemption on IMDBtv. IMDBtv is Amazon’s “other” streaming service and this is their first original. All characters, except Timothy Hutton’s, return. Although, Aldis Hodge (Hardison) is just a recurring character due to a scheduling conflict with his other show. A couple new characters join the mix. Eight episodes are up now, with a total of 16 planned. It’s free, but with commercials in the stream. Maybe because the show was specific for IMDBtv, but the commercial breaks come at appropriate times, and not mid-sentence. Other annoyances remain; lots of repeated commercials which is annoying, and their commercial server sucks, a lot of problems when the commercials played (or didn’t play). The show itself streamed just fine. Recommended.

New Arrivals

  1. Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Gemstone (EF). This just arrived, I’ll have my first impressions up later this week.

Incoming

  1. Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim. It’s backordered and not due until September.

Outgoing

None

Out of Rotation

  1. Sailor King of Pen, Black/Rhodium (M) ran low on Montblanc Psychedelic Purple and I decided to flush it it out. It’s under serious consideration for a sale since I’ve become even less enamored with bright ink on basic medium nibs. I pick the Oblique nib of the Royal Tangerine KOP over this one every time.
  2. Lamy Aion, Red (F) couldn’t hold a candle to its dark green sibling, so it was flushed to be put in the sale queue.
  3. Lamy Safari, USA Independence Day (Needlepoint) will also go on sale (with a different nib) so it was flushed out.

Into Rotation

None

Links

I’m back to limiting myself to one link per site, so be sure to browse around these sites. Several had additional articles I enjoyed and would have been listed if this arbitrary rule didn’t exist.

My Ideal Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

July Greys — Mountain of Ink

What’s in the Bag; Back 2 the Office – The Poor Penman

Trash Print Making: Coffee Bags | Comfortable Shoes Studio

canetas e coisas: OPUS 88

Summer and I’m not dead yet | UK fountain pens

Inviting ink samples to the party — mnmlscholar

Mini Collections, Part II: All the Red Inks — The Gentleman Stationer

Fountain Pen Nib Options For Beginners – How To Choose Your New Nib – Fountain Pen Love

Pen and ink of the Week – July 18, 2021 -Conklin Nozac — Write Experience

Where I Write | From the Pen Cup

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 11, 2021

Photo of my current favorite fountain pen - Lamy Dark Green Aion (XF)
Lamy Dark Green Aion XF Nib uncapped

My fountain pen usage continues to be relatively low, mostly lists and notes. My journaling is also low, although I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing in it every night. So far I’ve succeeded in doing it one night in a row.

The Lamy Aion was easily my favorite pen of the past two weeks. The more I use it, the more I love it. The color has a lot to do with it, green being my favorite. Everything else is just right, the weight, the size, and the nib. The red Aion doesn’t even come close to evoking the same reaction from me. Part of that is the slightly wider fine nib, but it’s mostly the color. I do like the bright red, but it isn’t green. My main complaint is that I feel guilty for liking a sub $100 (sub $75 actually) so much more than other more expensive pens. It gives my Kanilea Kona Cherry a run for the money. Since I use the Aion so much more than the Kona Cherry I’d probably have to place the Aion above the Kona Cherry in my favorites list. Although, my tastes can change on a daily basis.

I’ve decided that to resolve the guilt I need to sell off some of the pricier pens, rather than not using the green Aion as much. So I’ve started going through my pens and trying to put together another batch for sale. My goal is to have a batch ready to go in two weeks. To be honest, I rarely meet these goals. I already reduced my unused pens a lot, so I’m really having to fight myself when deciding on the remaining pens.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. I’m Elmore’d out, so it was a struggle getting through this book. I’ll give 3 out of 5 stars.

It was a struggle to get through that last book, and none of my library holds became available. Rather than pick a book I’m not already eager to read, I took a break from reading and hit up my video library for entertainment.

Watched: I watched the Ocean’s movies, starting with the Rat Pack version from 1960 and moving on to the three Steven Soderbergh directed movies. I’m a sucker for old movies, so the 1960 version is my favorite. While none will ever top my list of favorites, I find them all enjoyable, even after multiple re-watches.

Out of Rotation

  1. The Sheaffer 300 Matted Green (F) ran out of ink. Near the end a not insignificant amount of ink splashed into the inner cap. It’s still sitting in my cleaning queue. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, but I found the pen just a little less enjoyable before. I used the same Sheaffer black ink, but it was just a little bit finickier. I didn’t feel as comfortable in my hand. In it’s defense, I used it more than any other of the pens I inked up in May. It’s the first one of that batch to run dry.

Links

If you’re planning on buying a Nakaya with a music nib from Nibs.com you should listen to the Tokyo Inklings podcast first. Overcast website or app – link jumps to section in podcast. You may want to follow up with nibs.com before placing an order.

Pen and Ink of the Week – July 4, 2021 – Platinum Kanazawa-Haku – The Moon and A Rabbit — Write Experience

Updating my top three pens for 2021 | UK fountain pens

Reddit r/fountainpens // Oddly satisfying. I really like the pen storage trays. (Product on Amazon) If my storage needs weren’t already met these would be under consideration.

Crónicas Estilográficas: Madrid vs. Tokyo (2021) // Pen shows are coming back. I found this comparison between Madrid and Tokyo shows interesting, and not what I would have guessed.

The Miami Pen Show is next weekend (July 16-18).

State of the Art: Return of the Mini Press | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Gourmet Pens: Handwriting with a Sailor Fountain Pen Concord Nib

Profolio Oasis Summit Notebook Review – Fountain Pen Love

canetas e coisas: LAMBITU

Considerations in Choosing a Store-Exclusive Pen — The Gentleman Stationer

England v Italy | dapprman

SGFA Centenary Exhibition Unlocked – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Cross Bailey Light fountain pen: an update. | Fountain pen blog

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 27, 2021

While I’ve had 10 fountain pens inked up all month, I’ve been putting three in my Nock Co. Lookout ever Sunday, and using those three for the week. This week is was the:

Photo of last week's fountain pens
  1. Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  2. Lamy Safari USA (Bacas Needlepoint) with Waterman Intense Black
  3. Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with Lamy Green

I’ve picked these three for the week ahead.

photo of fountain pens for the week ahead
  1. Sheaffer 300 Matte Green (F) with Sheaffer Black – the only one of the ten that’s even close to being written dry this month.
  2. Diplomat Aero Volute (Marc Bacas OF) with Montblanc Spider Grey.
  3. Lamy 2000 (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux – a pen that has yet to click with me, although it’s less than a month old.

My fountain pen usage remains low. It took another hit this week. I’ve been having some trouble writing stuff for another blog. As usual I’ve been writing the drafts longhand. They’ve ended up in the garbage. This week I sat down at the keyboard, ignored what was done before, and banged out a workable first draft. This doesn’t bode well for my fountain pen usage. Hopefully I just needed a change to kickstart my brain, and I’ll be back to pens soon enough.

Housekeeping

I’m going to a summer schedule for the Sunday posts. I plan to alternate between a full Trail Log one week, and just a link post the following week. So next week will be a link post.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

I should probably change the heading for this section. I rarely watch TV/Movies or listen to audiobooks these days.

Read A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. I wanted to get back to history, so searched for a WWII themed book. I came across this one, which is a biography of Virginia Hall. She’s an American, although she started spying for Britain early in the war when America was still neutral. She fought sexism, and a leg amputation due to a hunting accident. I was quickly engrossed in the book. It was as much a thriller as a biography. A solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Read Artemis by Andy Weir. Despite enjoying The Martian, I never read his second book. Now that his third book is out I finally went back to read his second. The main character, Jazz, is female, but has the same personality as Mark from The Martian. He was talking to himself, she’s a wise-ass to everybody on the moon. She quickly becomes annoying. I enjoyed the descriptions of life on the moon, but the story line was convoluted and I found it boring. His research this time seems to have been the economics of a moon-based city, and welding. A lot of welding. 3 out of 5 stars.

Read Swag by Elmore Leonard. A typical Leonard story where the main characters are criminals. It almost goes on for too long – How many different ways are there to describe an armed robbery? But it gets to the ending soon enough. 3 out of 5 stars.

Reading Later by Stephen King. I had technical problems reading this eBook. After failed and frustrating trouble shooting I returned the book and placed another hold. It wasn’t so engrossing that I resisted doing this, even though the estimated wait is 6 weeks.

Reading Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. I’m OD’ing on Elmore Leonard. I wasn’t liking the Leonard books as much as I expected. Good dialog and scene setting, but less than engrossing stories in the last half of the book. So, with this one I finally took a look at what I thought were Leonard novels I enjoyed. My brain was broken. They were by Donald E. Westlake. Published in 1976, this is another crime themed story. In this one the cop just switched from the bomb squad to sex crimes. The criminals are former 60’s radicals and bomb makers. The structure is a bit jarring, at least in the first few chapters. The cop is the subject of a chapter, then the criminals are the subject of the next, and so on, until about chapter 9 where the characters are mixing together. I may read a Elmore Leonard western, but once I finish this one I’m done with his crime stories for a while. I fell asleep reading it yesterday.

Links

Why? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

To grind a nib or not to grind a nib, part one : mnmlscholar

When One Nib is not Enough | The Pen Addict

Monthly Inked // 2021 Work Rotation | Weirdoforest Pens”/

School’s out for summer — so returneth the Nakaya

Gourmet Pens: Flexy Calligraphy Fun with Fountain Pens

Older Japanese Pens – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Consul the Doctor Episode 20 | Hey there! SBREBrown

Pen and Ink of the Week – June 21, 2021 – Franklin-Christoph Model 45L in Antique Glass with Graf Von Faber Castell Deep Sea Green — Write Experience

Why My Platinum Century 3776 Fountain Pens Have Architect Grinds – Chicana Writes

Musgrave Sampler Pack. – PENCIL REVOLUTION!

The TWSBI Eco 2 Years Later – Left Hook Pens

Vintage Find: Telescoping Dip Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk

The Flanders Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

To grind a nib or not to grind a nib, part two — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 13, 2021

Lamy Aion Dark Green, fine nib,uncapped with writing sample

Another week of low fountain pen usage. I’m also low on inspiration for topics to write about, so this is more of a link post than a recap.

My journaling is nearly non-existent. This i mainly because I’ve been reading, rather than journaling, as I finish my morning coffee. It doesn’t help that any evening journaling is always rushed.

It should come as no surprise that the Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with Lamy Green ink was my favorite pen of the week.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald. Last week I mentioned that I read this series as a kid. This example of 1964 pulp fiction did not age well, or maybe I didn’t age well. It was enjoyable enough to finish, but I now understand why there’s not any other books in the series available on Libby, none at my local library, and only a smattering at libraries in the area. I give it a middle of the road three out of 5 stars.
Reading 10 LB. Penalty by Dick Francis. Another author I read a lot of when I was younger. He was an accomplished jockey and almost all his fiction books have a horse racing tie-in, although superficial at times. The main character in this one is a 17 year old kid (as the book begins) who seems a little too knowledgable for his age, which is my main complaint. While attempted murder and arson are serious crimes, the results in the book are relatively inconsequential for the characters. Unlike his typical book, this one takes place over the course of years. I enjoyed the story, but I never worried about who done it?. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Reading A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. I wanted to get back to history, so searched for a WWII themed book. I came across this one, which is a biography of Virginia Hall. She’s an American, although she started spying for Britain early in the war when America was still neutral. She fought sexism, and a leg amputation due to a hunting accident. I was quickly engrossed in the book and put off plans to alternate reading this one and a fiction title. I didn’t know anything about her going in, so it’s as much of a thriller as any work of fiction. There is a bit of a spoiler in the introduction as it’s mentioned she retired from the CIA in the 60’s.

Mid-Year review: Personal Favorites — The Gentleman Stationer

The joys of the returning pen meetup — mnmlscholar

Video-Review: Lamy Imporium – Scrively – note taking & writing

Fountain Pen Review: 2021 Lamy Safari Special Edition Terra Red and Savannah Green | Rants of The Archer

Vintage Pen News: Don’t soak that pen!

Blackbird Fountpen Eyedropper Filler – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Gearing up for a week of reading notes and meetings — mnmlscholar

Macniven & Cameron – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Altura – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Should I feel guilty for emptying a converter of an ink I’ve grown tired of? — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 6, 2021

This week's most used pen.
Most used pen this week.

My fountain pen usage was very low during the past week. It picked up a little near the end of the week. But, at the rate I’m going, I won’t empty any June pens by the end of the month. My most used pen this week was the Sheaffer 300 Matte Green. My favorite pen/ink combo was the Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux.

photo of the Kanilea Kona Chery
My favorite pen and ink of the week.

After a multi-day break in journaling I started again on Wednesday. But the entries are short, barely two pages for the 5 days. But my goal is to pull out the journal and a pen every day. One reason the entries are shorter is that I haven’t been doing the entries in the morning. I’ve been doing them at the end of the day. It’s not uncommon for me to just want to get it over with.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Two weeks, and a holiday weekend, worth of books.

Listening: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I gave up on this book, about 2 hours into the ~6 hour audiobook. I suppose all the depressing medical stories are setting up a reason for checklists that will surface later in the book. He just related one medical checklist to a success. But, I couldn’t take it anymore. I already use checklists, especially for mundane, repetitive tasks since those are what I usually screw-up, or forget where I am in the process. I think that was one point he might eventually try to make. I returned it to the library; early and unfinished. So that’s a rating of zero stars.

Listening: The Now Habit by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. I picked this one up because it was going to be discussed on the Bookworms podcast. My intent was to finish the book before listening to the podcast. I gave up on the book and listened to the podcast. They started off with a lot of the same complaints that I had, but unlike me, they stuck with it. I don’t see it as being very helpful for me and probably won’t finish it before the loan is up.

Read: Memory Man by David Balducci. I enjoyed this one a lot. Not one where I stayed up late to finish reading it. But I filled any spare time I had with the book. I plan to read the additional books in the series, although not immediately. I also consider other books by the author. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reading: Double Booked for Death by Ali Brando. Another mystery. I’m not sure how this made it to my reading list. It’s a cozy mystery, a term I never heard before this book. The amateur sleuth is a woman who inherited a bookstore, with along with a black cat. It took a long time for the body to drop, and by then I was already bored with the characters. Are cozies supposed to take time to develop the atmosphere? The Rayland 3-book set became available, so I put this one aside for that one. Other books I had on hold are also available now, so I doubt I’ll finish this one before I have to return it.

Read: Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens 3-book Collection by Elmore Leonard. The three Leonard stories that had Raylan Givens as a main character. All three pre-dated the Justified TV series. I read them many years ago, possibly before the series was on TV. I still enjoyed them this time. The first two; Pronto & Riding the Rap are based on the same story thread, with many of the same characters so are best read in order. Pronto wasn’t told in the TV series, although the last scene in the book is the inspiration for the opening scene in the TV series.

The last book, Fire in the Hole is a collection of short stories, previously published as When the Woman Come Out to Dance and renamed for a Justified tie-in. It’s a collection of short stories, two of which are long enough to be called novellas. One Novella, Fire in the Hole, is the only Raylan Givens story and formed the basis for the first episode of the TV series. It introduces Boyd and fills in the Raylan/Boyd backstory. It formed the opening episode in the TV series, although with some significant differences.

I enjoy Leonard’s writing and give the first two books 5 out of 5 stars. The collection of short stories was uneven, so I’d only give it 4 out of 5 stars.

ReadingThe Deep Blue Goodbye by John D. MacDonald. Another book I read long ago. The first entry in his Travis McGee series. The story is that each title had a color in it so readers could remember which books they already read, when they were at the airport bookstore buying a book to read on a plane. (No tablets or ebooks in 1964) I’ll open this one up later today. (FYI: The color scheme didn’t work for me. I had to keep a list.)

New Arrivals

  1. Lamy 2000 (OM): inked up with Montblanc Bordeaux.

Out of Rotation

  1. Lamy Safari Green (F) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
  2. Lamy Safari Savannah (M) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
  3. Lamy Safari Terra (OM) w/ Pilot-Blue Black. I was not enjoying this nib/ink combination.
  4. TWSBI GO Smoke (Predator Extreme) w/ Waterman Intense Black. Flushed a bit early since I was cleaning pens and this one had been inked up since November,

Into Rotation

See the June 1st currently inked post for all the details.

canetas e coisas: STIPULA

Summer is a pen full of blues — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Review: Platinum Prefounte – The Well-Appointed Desk

Writing Retreat/Retreating Writing — The Pen Addict

Review: Esterbrook Scribe Nib | Rants of The Archer

The Pens on My Desk | Inkophile

The Big Paper Retesting and Rerating – Fountain Pen Love