Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – September 20, 2020

Photo of the Sailor 1911 Large Realo cappedMy fountain pen usage was off a bit this past week. I did skip one day of journaling and only wrote six A5 pages the entire week. There was the usual collection of lists and notes, but nothing else. While I did try to rotate through my pens, my favorite was the Sailor Realo, on the strength of its medium-fine Sailor nib and Montblanc Encre du Desert ink.

I upgraded to iOS 14 already. That broke the Shortcuts workflows that I use to save & compile these links. There are still annoying quirks, but they mostly work. Going against everything I know about computers they still will occasionally fail, but then work immediately on the next run with the same input. Part of the reason I use the shortcuts is for consistency, in addition to saving time. So this makes me insane. I rewrote the shortcut a bit, and it seems consistent now. I don’t think I’m missing any links, but it had been so reliable in the past that the only audit trail is my memory, which means there is no audit trail. Other technology related to the Trail Post workflow is also biting me in the a**, although it started last week’s post, so isn’t iOS 14 related. Minor stuff, but annoying since I didn’t change anything. I put off troubleshooting, knowing there were be updates with iOS 14, but now it’s time to tackle them.

I’ve been moving back into my office, which has given me new reasons to procrastinate by setting things up and reorganizing. I plan to make it official complete on Monday or Tuesday by filling up my Esterbrook Dip-Less pen and putting it back into use as my office desk pen. I hadn’t moved it home since my workspace is cramped, and there was no doubt I’d knock it off my desk and put a big red stain on my carpet. So, I just cleaned it out and left it there. I already brought the bottle of Sheaffer Red into the office, but there has still been too much moving and shuffling of my desks to fill it up and risk spilling it onto the floor, or worse. Cables seem to have a life of their own, and like to wrap themselves around things when I’m not looking.

Esterbrook Inkwell and Dipless Pen

Esterbrook #407 Inkwell and Dipless Pen

Speaking of Sheaffer Red ink, this week’s Anderson Pens podcast mentioned that Sheaffer (now owned by the same parent company as Cross Pens) would be releasing inks in a new bottle. The new bottle brings back the old inkwell bottle design, although in a 30ml bottle. There are some new ink colors (including shimmer), and no word on whether existing colors, like the Red, will be the same ink formula or a different shade. The current 50ml colors and bottles will stick around. It sounds like the 30ml bottle will be slightly more expensive than competing 30ml ink bottles from others, and possibly more than the $10.50 cost of a Sheaffer 50ml bottle. I won’t mention the price they mentioned since it was speculation, but it was more than $10.50. Although reasonable, considering the unique bottle design. They didn’t say, but I’m assuming the bottle will be glass. Just a general availability date of “later this month, or next.” I’m in.

The Sheaffer inkwell bottle was designed for the snorkel and the inkwell is too shallow for many of my nibs, but still very cool. I do have some concerns about a inkwell in a smaller 30ml bottle.

I made an impulsive pen purchase on Thursday, another Retro 51. I created an In-Stock notification at Anderson Pens when the Marco Polo was announced. I like maps, and I like green. This pen has both. I fully expected it to sell out before I got around to buying it. I also had a couple of small pen supply items in my shopping cart, waiting to reach the free shipping level. I happened to check email shortly after the in-stock notification arrived, so I went out to buy it, fully expecting it to go out of stock before I finished. It didn’t, and I bought it. I checked a few minutes later, and it was sold out, so I won’ bother linking. I do have some buyer’s remorse (even though I’ve yet to get the pen), since I don’t need another Retro 51.

Even though the PA Retro 51 arrived last week, it was from backing Pen Addict Live way back in March, when “live” seemed possible, and I hoped to get to one of the shows they’d be at. Even though I can claim this wasn’t two straight week with a new pen purchase, I felt guilty about the new pen, since it was an impulse purchase. So, I went through and picked some pens to sell. I’m including at least one Retro 51. I still need to test, clean, and price them, so look for them in next week’s Trail Log, maybe two weeks since I want to put them up all at once. I’ll offer them here first, and with a discount for regular readers.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Finished The Bayern Agenda by Dan Moren (Sci-Fi). I’ll stick with Sci-Fi and later today I’ll read Showdown then start on The Aleph Extraction. Showdown is a short novella set between The Bayern Agenda and The Aleph Extraction. Both are part of the same “Galactic Cold War” series by Dan Moren.
Listening: 1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart (audiobook) // I’m a little over 5 hours into the nearly 19 hour book on Audible.
Watching: Ted Lasso (Apple TV) // The only show I watch the day it drops (Friday’s) . I’m also watching Killing Eve. I’m not liking this season nearly as much as the first two. So I don’t feel any compulsion to watch the next episode as each one finished. Other viewing has been mostly old western movies. There’s the usual assortment of repeat TV shows from my library which function mainly as background noise.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

The previously mentioned Retro 51 Marco Polo is due in sometime this week.

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe wasn’t written dry, but I decided to flush it out. The Montblanc Albert Einstein, a grey ink, is just too light for that thin nib. I knew that going it, but ignored my better judgement. It’s also takes more effort to read, especially on ivory colored paper. The ink flows well, but every time I start writing with it my brain thinks it’s running dry. I also have to spend some mental effort to keep from pressing down more. It just isn’t a enjoyable writing experience. Later today I’ll clean the pen, and move the converter with Albert Einstein to my Sailor KOP with a medium nib. I do want to use the Regency Stripe, but will hold off until more pens are written dry.

Newly Inked

None

Links

Inky Ears: Stationery Podcast Roundup – The Well-Appointed Desk

Link Love: Ollie Got Mail! – The Well-Appointed Desk // My reading of the postal rate increase (mentioned in this post) is that those of us who walk into a post office to buy postage will pay the same. I’m not sure where online purchase directly through the USPS website fall. Since online postage is sometimes discounted from OTC prices, they may consider them to be commercial rates. Businesses may rise shipping costs after October 18th, and be sure to verify online purchase, especially if you’re dropping off at the post office anyway. These rates are temporary (so they claim).

canetas e coisas: SAILOR

Review: Myndology Index Card Pad | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Plenty of passion in the Leonardo Furore Grande | UK fountain pens

canetas e coisas: PILOT

A look at the Sailor 1911 standard fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Review: Up&Up Ruled Index Cards | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Nock Co. Waxed Canvas Pen Cases by NockCo — Kickstarter // I don’t need pen cases, so I passed, but I’m a fan of waxed canvas.

Esterbrook Pen Nook v2: new solutions, new problems | UK fountain pens

Black Swan Set – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Pen Review: The Procyon’s Place in the Platinum Line – The Well-Appointed Desk

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – September 13, 2020

Photo of Sailor Realo on Nock Co SeedI didn’t have a clear favorite fountain pen this past week. The Benu Briolette was the most used, but that was because I’m working on a review. As much as I like the pen, I just can’t call it a favorite. Maybe if it had a more exciting ink, it would have crossed over the line and into “favorite” territory. Other fountain pens got their turn for a day, but none made me want them for the following day. That said, the Sailor Realo with its medium/fine nib and Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupery Encre du Désert wasn’t used until Saturday. Still, it was the most enjoyable writing experience.

I sent out my Sailor KOP to have the nib fixed. I also sent along three more pens for nib work. I send them to Mark Bacas. The three fountain pens are: a TWSBI GO with a broad nib to be ground into a Predator Extreme, which is very fine on the normal writing side, and an Architect on the reverse. My Sheaffer Custom Legacy with an extra-fine nib went to get The Turk, which is an XXF. My Diplomat Aero Volute went for a left oblique nib. The eta for doing the work in 7 weeks. I was shocked when USPS delivered the package the day before it estimated delivery.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: The Bayern Agenda by Dan Moren (Sci-Fi) // 20% complete
Listening: 1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart (audiobook) // Only listened to about an hour. I had intended to listen while on my walks, but I found that I prefer not having voices I my head while I’m on my walks these days. Very different than a year ago.
Watching: Ted Lasso (Apple TV) // Th only show I watch the day it drops (Friday’s)

New Arrivals

I picked up the Pen Addict Celebration Retro 51 from the post office on Tuesday.

photo of the Pen Addict Retro 51 Celebtration

Incoming

None

Outgoing

Only temporarily outgoing, but the four pens I mentioned in the top section are currently out.

Written Dry

None

Newly Inked

None

Links

Supporting the USPS | From the Pen Cup

Tag Team: Assorted Brush Pens & Slow-Moving Paper | No Pen Intended

Before It Was Cool To Be Clear: The Origin Of Pelikan’s Demonstrators « The Pelikan’s Perch

The Pen Addict Raffle for St. Jude, featuring an Urushi Lamy Safari! — The Pen Addict

The rules for keeping a journal that improves with age – Recording Thoughts // I have to say, I don’t follow these rules, unless it’s accidental. I have to admit, my only rule is write whatever is on my mind. Sometimes it has a purpose other than an excuse to use my pens, but it isn’t required.

Trench Pens and Ink Pellets – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Clairefontaine Neo Deco A5 Notebook Review — The Pen Addict

How can all these pen companies survive? | UK fountain pens

Other Topics

The Apocalyptic Red Western Skies Caused by Climate Change-Fueled Wildfires

CNN Investigation Finds AmazonBasics Products Dangerous – TidBITS

Publishers Are Taking the Internet to Court | The Nation

 

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – September 6, 2020

Sailor of Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk ink bottle

Sailor KOP (M) and MB Leonardo Red Chalk ink – this week’s favorite

My fountain pen usage remained steady, maybe down a little if I had been precisely keeping track. With my Sailor King of Pen Royal Tangerine sidelined, I switched to using my other KOP and really enjoyed it. It was this weeks favorite, in addition to being the most used fountain pen. It has a medium nib and was filled with Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk. As my fountain pen usage has been driven less and less by work, I find I’m enjoying slightly wider nibs. They aren’t well suited to my standard writing style, but I can adapt (mainly by going slower and writing bigger). They’re better suited to showing off the inks. I’m not about to trade in all my thin nibs for wider ones, but I’ll be less resistant to inking up a wider variety of nibs.

Later today, I’m going to go through all my pens and see if there are candidates for nib grinds. I want to send off my Sailor KOP for repair this week, and I figure I should take advantage of the opportunity. I’m considering getting an architect grind on my TWSBI GO. That would be a $60 grind on a $20 pen, which seems stupid. It’s one of the few broad nibs I have available, and I never use it as-is. The architect grind was all the rage a couple years ago, but I passed on it. From experience, I knew it wouldn’t be for me. But since I’ve been using, and enjoying, the Sailor Zoom nib, I’ve begun to reconsider. The zoom nib was proven unsuitable for me when I had one many years ago. I’ve been enjoying the zoom nib that I currently have. I have different expectations now. It’s not a daily writer and never will be. But I do enjoy using it. I figure the architect grind could be the same. I don’t expect a daily writer, but a different and fun to use nib. If I hate it, I’m only out the cost of the nib grind, and a $20 pen I wasn’t using. As I go through the pens, I’ll look for a pen suitable for a left oblique grind.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: The Bayern Agenda by Dan Moren (Sci-Fi) // A planetary Cold War in the future. While the subtitle says it’s Book 1 in the Galactic Cold War Series, that’s more a publisher requirement. Recommend reading The Caledonian Gambit first, which is the real beginning, but had a different publisher.
Listening: 1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart (audiobook) // 18 hours of Civil War history
Watching: Ted Lasso (Apple TV) // Matches the hype. Borderline corny, but doesn’t cross the line. While not enough to get me to re-up when the trial is over, it’s the only Apple TV show that would make me consider subscribing for a month when I’m able to binge the next season. Other than that, movie nights have been westerns from the 40’s and 50’s.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

It’s not a fountain pen, but the Pen Addict Kickstarter Retro 51 is waiting for me at the post office. It shipped on Monday, but tracking had it sitting in Georgia all week, including Friday night, when I checked. So I wasn’t looking for it and didn’t see the notification that is was at my PO Box until it was too late on Saturday. So I’ll pick it up on Tuesday (Damn Monday holiday!)

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

The Sailor KOP, with its medium nib and Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk ink went dry Saturday night. It lasted just over a month, having been inked on August 2nd. It did’d see heavy use until the other KOP was sidelined.

Newly Inked

None

Links

Pen packaging should be…? | UK fountain pens

Fountain Pen Sketches – Weirdoforest Pens

Tale of a Vandal Pen Collector: Rambling Through Rabbit Holes | Peaceable Writer

Notebook Review: Clairefontaine Flying Spirit A5 Sewn Spine Notebook- White, Lined – The Well-Appointed Desk

Restoration? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

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:

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.

Links

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

 

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 23, 2020

This week’s favorite penMy 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

Links

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

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