Monday, February 7, 2011

ITAM letter haul; and misadventures in fountain pens

Today was the best mail day I've had in a while, ever since we put a sticker up on our mailbox saying no to junk mail. In addition to a couple of J. Herbin inks from France and a new old stock Pelikan M100 from Germany, I found two ITAM letters:

Thank you, dear writers! I just finished putting the finishing touches on one response, which will be mailed tomorrow, and the other will be dispatched shortly as well. I like to be prompt.

Apparently, my all-purpose technician fancies himself something of an artist as well. Yesterday, I had an unfortunate accident with my TWSBI fountain pen - while attempting to remove the cap, which I had posted (it's a tight fit!), I unwittingly twisted open the piston mechanism and spilled some Diamine Syrah ink on myself. Ugh. I was mocked mercilessly, and in between fits of giggles, the 'artist' produced this 'masterpiece' with his trusty Pentel Tradio:



  1. Real Pen Lovers (tm) never post their caps, but keep them clenched in the other hand. The best reason I've heard to date for this practice is to ensure that any pen temporarily loaned comes home again. I think you've just hit on another good reason: inadvertent ink deluge!

    (The Real Pen Lovers say they don't post to avoid brassing of the pen's barrel, but some simply balance better in the hand posted. All the same, I've gotten in the habit, even with the cheapo disposable Pilot Varsity. And this is why I long for a vanishing point pen. All pleasure, no posting.)

  2. Love that pile of mail! Oh hey Zazzle asked me if I had the rights to the images on my stamp and I assured them I had. Thanks again.

  3. The postman needs to ring more than twice! I guess he will find your inflow "unusual", to say the least.

  4. Good to hear is was just regular Diamine ink, not Diamine Registrar's ink, a specially formulated waterproof ink of archival quality, that will not fade away once it dries (don't know if this applies to clothes and human skin, but I can testity its efficiency on paper)!

  5. Mike - I have read both sides of the posting argument, and I still cannot bring myself to not post! An unposted pen looks so... naked. It is a habit I am bringing from my days of Bics and Uniballs, I must admit, but pens look and feel so much better to me when posted. I just have to remember which direction unscrews the piston and then twist the opposite way... Those vanishing points look very nice, but I think I would miss posting!

    Ruy - No waterproof ink in my house yet. I don't mind, except when it comes to addressing envelopes, of course. I might get a dip pen to use for just that; I don't relish filling up a pen with plain old black waterproof or India ink. Too enamored with colors at the moment...

  6. One trick for using non-waterproof inks for addresses: supposedly just rubbing a bit of wax over the writing (like from a white candle) is enough to add a touch of waterproofing without obscuring the ink.

    I only post on small or light pens that feel off-balance otherwise. I don't really have any concern about brassing or wear--my pens are users first and foremost. But the Lamy 2000 and my battered old Parker 51 both feel wrong with the cap posted: top-heavy or something.

    It also gets to be a sort of security blanket thing. If I'm using those pens a lot, I feel as if something is off-kilter if I don't have a cap grasped in my left hand when I go to write.

    Love the cartoon...especially the many spare bottles of ink. ;)

  7. Adwoa - True! Most waterproof ink available atm is either black or blue-black (I think the variety made by Diamine shows as a nice dark blue while still wet, but when dry it gets almost black), unfortunately.

    LFP - Yes, me too, I only post when the pen is either very short (like Sheaffer's tuckaway models, for instance) or when it actually needs to have the cap posted to be used properly(eg the ingenious pocket pens made by Pilot and other Japanese makers in the 70s). Thanks for the nice tip on waterproofing ink! Have you tried it?

  8. hahaha!... and wow, you can sketch! :-D funny thing, i am contemplating getting a fountain pen too!

  9. LFP - That is a nice tip! I shall keep a candle on hand to give it a try; much better than taping scotch over the address!

    I'm trying your advice on unposting - the advantage is also that if I am holding the cap, I will be more likely to replace it when I stop writing, saving me the grief of a dry start later.

    Au Lim - Get one! Fountain pen, converter (if it uses cartridges), bottle of ink, the whole works. It feels very grown-up :)

  10. Is that letter with the trees the monastery paper from Abraham? That stuff is pretty cool.

  11. Indeed it is, Justin! Good eye. I was trying to maintain his anonymity on here, but I guess that and the Maine postcards would have given it away...


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