My fountain pen usage was finally up a bit this past week. I did the usual journaling, note taking, and list making. But then I added a written draft of my first impressions of the newly arrive Spoke Icon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn that written draft into electronic bits for a post early in the week. I also did a few pages of just random writing as a way to use my pens.
I also broke my standard practice and put aside a couple of pens to be flushed early. The TWSBI Swipe, while a pen that performed well, had become boring, so it was flushed. While not boring, the Kaweco Brass Sport remained unused since it was inked. A Lamy Pico ballpoint had become my jeans pocket carry, so the Kaweco was also put in the cleaning queue.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Reading: Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Short Stories by Elmore Leonard. A collection of western themed short stories.
Spoke Icon (EF) with a British Racing Green barrel, a brass insert, and a grooved brass gripping section. The pen arrived Monday afternoon.
Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie (EF) – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim. Still out on the ship (I’m guessing)
Lamy 2000 Oblique-Medium I really like the looks for the original black Lamy 2000, but even with my favorite nib grind I just can’t get comfortable using the pen.
Out of Rotation
TWSBI Swipe (EF) – It wasn’t empty, but I added a pen, so I wanted to remove one pen. I haven’t been using this one very much these days.
Kaweco Brass Sport (EF) – I’ve barely used this since it was inked up a little over a month ago, so I decided to flush it out. I had stopped carrying it in lieu of the Lamy Pico ballpoint (scandelous!)
Spoke Icon (EF) was inked with Waterman Blue-Black. (A bottle from before the name changes.) I had issues with the included in cartridge, so I picked a always perfectly performing Waterman ink.
I haven’t gotten in a lot of fountain pen usage in the last few weeks. My father passed away, so I was occupied with family and related obligations. Then, last Tuesday I got my Flu and Pfizer booster shots. Like the second Covid shot, the booster had me falling asleep for a little over a 24 hours. I did do a bit of journaling, but not much else.
Pen and Camera Sales
I plan to either start traveling more, or finding a new apartment, early next year. In either case, it will be easier to have less stuff and easier to sell it when I’m not under pressure.
I’m going to start listing most of my pens elsewhere so I can find then new homes in preparation for finding a new home for myself. Take 10% off any price listed on my For Sale page, except for pens priced $20 or less. Discount valid through October 23rd. I also want to reduce my accumulation, so if there’s any pen in my accumulation that’s not already listed for sale and not listed as a Core Pen that interests you, feel free to contact me.
I also plan to put my camera on eBay. If your interested in a Nikon Z50 with a DX16-50 lens and a DX 50-250 lens let me know. They sell for about $900 on eBay (actual sales, not asking price). Since I save eBay fees by selling it here I’ll offer it for $800 (USA only). Photos/more info when you inquire. Less than 450 shutter actuations (which is the reason I’m selling it – I don’t use it enough) Offer valid until I put in on eBay, probably in less than a week.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Read:The Fix by David Baldacci. #3 in his Memory Man series. My favorite in the series so far. I enjoyed the read. A solid 4 out of 5 stars. I admit, there’s not a lot of thought needed for these books, and if I did think too much I might find numerous plot holes, along with the believability of the main character.
Listened:The Hunter by Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) The first in his Parker series, which I found as an audible book. While this is the first in the series, it wasn’t my first Parker novel. If this had been my introduction to the character, I night not of read more of the series. Parker isn’t intended to be a likable character, and it is all bad guys vs. bad guys, but it was a rough introduction to Parker. Still, 4 out of 5 stars, just barely.
Reading:Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Short Stories by Elmore Leonard. A collection of western themed short stories.
Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie (EF) – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim: Hopefully it will be released soon. I don’t have any factual info, but I suspect it’s on a ship parked off the coast.
Spoke Icon (EF) with a British Racing Green barrel and a brass insert and a grooved brass gripping section. On its way to me now. Although now overdue, as it did a couple of laps around Massachusetts and Rhode Island. (I’m in Connecticut.)
Forget the ‘grail’ pen… what’s your ‘exit’ pen? | UK fountain pens // I never bought into the grail philosophy. I don’t have a problem with people using the term, but it’s meaningless to me personally. Likewise, I don’t see an “exit” pen applying to me. I’ve sold off many favorites because it was time to move on. I’ve found that I like change in my pens. I think the closest is my Sheaffer Balance II Aspen, I just love the way it looks and writes. But it’s too fragile to be the one and only.
A quick, and early post this weekend. I’ll be offline from the time I post this, until Tuesday morning. So no responses to comments or emails until Tuesday.
Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie (EF) – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim: Hopefully it will be released soon. I don’t have any factual info, but I suspect it’s floating off the coast.
Spoke Icon (EF) – a British Racing Green barrel, a brass insert, and a grooved gripping section machined out of brass. I’ve avoided Spoke pens because I suspect they will be too thin for my writing comfort. But they had me at green and brass, so I did some more research. I’m hoping the brass will add some weight, which helps me with thinnish pens. I like brass, and get the added benefit of being the heaviest material for the sleeve and section. The gripping section has a bit more girth than the Sailor Pro Gear British Racing Green that I’m selling, but only a little, so it comes down more to the way the pen fits my hand (I’m trying to justify the purchase here). Thanks to the brass, it is considerably heavier than the Pro Gear. It’s even heavier than the Pro Gear Regency Stripe, which I find comfortable enough for an hour or more of writing. I’m optimistic, although this may be a quick catch & release.
Online Survey Software | Qualtrics Survey Solutions // The Pen Addict Slack Survey. Named for where it came about, you don’t need a Slack ID or membership. General pen hobbie survey. I didn’t time myself, but I’d estimate less than ten minutes. Assuming, that it doesn’t lead you down a rabbit hole.
Pen Addict Podcast #482: It’s a Medium Nib, It’s Fine // An interesting discussion about stacked nibs. They sound interesting, but far too expensive for me. Especially since they clearly aren’t a nib for me, and would rarely get used. But I wouldn’t pass up a chance to try one. The podcast still cost me money, it’s where I learned about the new Spoke Icon colors & option.
My fountain pen usage was down this week. While I did journal every day, except one, I only wrote four A5 pages the entire week. Other than that, it was just a few notes and lists.
I’m really enjoying my nib on a stick, the Franklin-Christoph Model 66, which is my current journaling pen. It’s been over 2 1/2 years since I inked it up. I have to wonder why.
The Model 66 certainly put the most ink on paper this past week. The dark green Lamy Aion did nearly all the other writing. I’m getting used to the free-spinning cap, as long as it remains securely in place. Even though I’ve had the pen since April, the spinning became more pronounced recently.
Housekeeping: I’ve removed all the forms from the site. The amount of spam from them became annoying. They all ended in my email, which I couldn’t mark as spam since some of it is legitimate, and all come from the same email address used by the form. So, the forms are gone. I can be contacted at email@example.com, which is also listed wherever the form was.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Read:The Mourner by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake). The fourth installment in the Parker series. An entertaining read. Typical Richard Stark (Westlake). 4 out of 5 stars.
Read:The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell. I was happy to get back to WWII history. I had high expectations since this book had a long waiting list. I was extremely disappointed. There’s not much new info. That’s not because it’s all been told, but because this is just a surface overview. It reads like a high school student’s book report that had to meet a page quota, and the researcher used Cliff (or Monarch) notes. At least it was short. I take it back, I did learn one new thing: the jet stream was discovered (well, not exactly, but close enough) during the bombing of Japan. Basically, a story of true believers who remain believers despite constant failures and evidence against their beliefs. 2 out of 5 stars.
Reading:Zero Day by David Balducci. I’ll be starting this one later today. First in his John Puller series.
Reading Queue:The Last Mile by David Baldacci. The second installment of the memory man series. I picked this one because it was available, and I wanted a quick read. My other holds became available before I started, so I put this aside.
I’ve found I can’t read two books at the same time anymore. I forget a lot of what I read and have to scan the already read pages. Maybe if I read both each day, but that defeats the purpose of reading based on my mood. Having two completely different books (history and fiction) helped a little, but not much.
Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie (EF) – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim: The expected release date is now sometime in October.
I didn’t do much writing this past week. Just the journal entries, about eight A5 pages, and a few assorted lists. I don’t think I did any other sit down at a desk writing. The Lamy 2000 is still hanging in as my journal pen, although the line began to thin out last night. It’s written 22 A5 pages since I filled the pen. It saw little, if any, use outside the journal.
Speaking of the Lamy 2000, I’m finally getting used to using the pen. I adjusted my grip so that it’s firmly on the cap tab that stick out to hold the cap on. It’s a little higher than my original grip. I expected the tabs to be irritating, but so far they haven’t bothered me. They aren’t sharp at all. I was considering sending the pen along to a better home, but it will have another chance with me. The grip adjustment has eliminated my tendency to rotate the nib when writing. Some people mentioned that they line up the clip to provide a visual queue, but I don’t post caps. Even if I did, the nib is right where I’m looking, the cap wouldn’t be.
I never did get around to inking up any pens last Sunday, or at all last week. So I was down to only four inked fountain pens until I inked some up some more yesterday afternoon. The full list is in the Into Rotation section down below. This time I picked the pens I missed most, then gave some consideration to the ink. I may add one or two more early in the week, if I want more variety. But I’ll have nine, assuming the Lamy 2000 goes dry the morning. All signs point to it doing so.
I brought the Kaweco Brass Sport back out for my pocket carry. It’s weird. I’ve recently looked for a fountain pen to take out and about with me, but none of my inked up pens seemed suitable. I have been carrying a ballpoint or rollerball in my shirt pocket, and I tend to avoid having more than one pen in my shirt pocket. I’ve never missed that fountain pen when I was actually out and about, but I want the security blanket of having one. I’ll probably insult it by always reaching for the ballpoint instead. The ballpoint is just easier and quicker.
Of course, I went overboard in tackling that pocket pen problem and inked up a Pilot Vanishing Point. Although it popped into my head as a shirt pocket carry, I used an oblique nib which isn’t suitable for notes on the go, where the notebook or index card is hand held.
I withdrew the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 from my pen sale, although if you want to buy it ($135) let me know. I struggled with the price of it. I think the price is fair, although probably on the high side of fair, for the condition of the pen and how well it writes. But, it’s a basic black pen and recent editions from F-C have had much flashier designs. The Model 65 is available in Classic black and never seems to be sold out when I check their website. It could be they make a lot of them, but if I was forced to guess I’d say it’s less popular. So I pulled it from the sale and will use it as my journaling pen once the Lamy 2000 goes dry. I affectionately refer to it as my nib on a stick.
I pulled out my Sheaffer Custom Legacy for it’s thin Mark Bacas Blade Turk grind (Needlepoint). It’s Custom because the barrel is a Blue Fleck acrylic made by Franklin-Christoph with a Sheaffer cap, nib and section. I was disappointed to see some marring on the gold cap. I’ll have to look closer when I get a chance to see if it can be polished out.
I’m returning the Lamy Aion to the lineup and I noticed that the cap seems to rotate a little more freely than it has in the past. The cap is not even close to falling off, but it did cause me to react when I felt the pen moving. I still love the pen and hope it won’t annoy me now that I’ve noticed it.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Read:The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu: A Hugo award winner translated from Chinese. My western brain had a bit of a problem keeping track of the Chinese names, but that eventually sorted itself out. In the last ew chapters the science (or maybe fake science) got a little dense, and it took some concentration trying to visualize things. But other than that I enjoyed the book and reserved the seconding volume of the trilogy in Libby. Rated 4 out of 5, but a solid 4.
Awhile back I had mad a list of some science fiction recommendations I found online. Most weren’t available in Libby, at least not yet. One that was available was This is How You Lose the Time War. Despite hating time travel type science fiction, it was a short novella so I added it to my list. Since it was short I decided to give it a try. Big mistake. I only made it a couple pages. Between the writing style and topic I figured I’d never make it through the book.
I decided to get back to easy reading and picked two proven authors to alternate my reading during the next week or two.
Reading:The Mourner by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake). The fourth installment in the Parker series.
Reading:The Last Mile by David Baldacci. The second installment of the memory man series.
Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie (EF) – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim: Bad news, the expected release date is now in October.
Not a pen, but a Nock Co. Fodderstack pen case that I had packed away. It was a nice green, and since I had forgotten about it, it was in great shape. I almost didn’t want to sell it. But there was a reason it was forgotten – I prefer and use the XL version.But it served as a reminder that it’s tough to get old – in searching my email for the exact color-way name I learned I had bought a second one. Actually a first one since it was before the one I just sold. I have no memory of it, can’t find it, and can’t think of a reason to buy a second. Maybe it was lost and I got a replacement. More likely, I simply liked the green more and bought it. I bought the XL at the same time. The original probably got misplaced in one of my apartment moves. On the plus side, I did remember the green one after 6 years and had no problem finding it.
Out of Rotation
Diplomat Aero Volute (fine-oblique) with a Montblanc Heritage Spider Metamorphosis Web Grey cartridge. I gave this one a quick flush and refilled it with the same ink.
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 (Extra-Fine) with Montblanc Bordeaux ink. Unlike past fills, I didn’t eyedropper it this time and I’m using a converter. I don’t want all that ink, the pen will last too long. This will be my journaling pen once the Lamy 2000 goes dry.
Lamy Aion Dark Green (Extra-Fine) with a Lamy Green cartridge. Despite the green ink, this will be my daily workhorse.
Pilot Vanishing Point Red Bamboo (medium-oblique) with a Pilot Blue-Black cartridge. I hate that Bamboo was the official name of the pen in my part of the world. It’s not Bamboo, and to make it worse, some vendors played up the bamboo aspect. Why couldn’t they call it Birch Wood like they do in other places? But, I love the look, whatever you choose to call it. I deal with it in my database by listing Birch Wood as the pen material and the color as Red Bamboo.
Diplomat Aero Green (14k Fine) with Waterman Purple. By the time I got to this pen I wanted a sharper color. While I like both green and purple, it seems like a strange combo.
Kaweco Brass Sport (Extra-Fine) with a Kaweco Red cartridge. I figure I’m more likely to use this pen if it’s my only red ink choice, and is always with me.
Sheaffer Custom Legacy (Blade Turn) with Waterman Black.
A weak defense of the Series 3 – All this // I was shocked when the Series 3 survived for another year. Then I remembered that I did go from the Series 0 to the Series 5, with not stops in between. Other than waiting hours (yes, plural) for the updates to happen the watch remained fine for what I used it for. I have the Series 5 now, and don’t plan to upgrade for at least another 2 years. Of course, buying a new Series 3 now probably won’t get you four more years.