A Note from Elba

Good heavens, it’s been a more than a year since I posted one of these updates! This is not to say that this site hasn’t seen new material in the intervening time, I’ve just been… delinquent in giving notice.

I blame the lingering tendrils of depression and the universal shadow of COVID.

So, what’s been happening here during the long absence?

Well, there’s new inks from both Namiki and TWSBI— the former new to me, the latter more generally “new”.

In pens, there’s a Flighter-alike addition to my clump of Wing Sung 601s. I finally got a Conklin Crescent Filler… and it’s younger than my own son.  I offer two demonstrations of my inability to track down much in the way of useful information about two new(ish) pen makers from China, PenBBS and Moonman, and some better-informed (by direct experience) pages about the PenBBS 487, which has a very clever filler, and the Moonman M2, which has none at all.

I remain unenthusiastic about pen repair, alas (even my own), so while I’m resuming communication, I am still enduring that self-imposed exile.

Permanent link to this article: http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?p=11300

Strategic Withdrawal, Not Complete Rout

I have, you will find, taken in my pen-repair shingle. I go into the matter more fully in my blog, but since you’re here and not there, I will also reveal what I discovered is the reason for it– I went and grew myself a depression, and it has repaid me for my nurturing in much the same way that the scorpion rewarded the frog for bearing it across the river.

So we’re taking a break from the stress of handling other people’s delicate heirlooms. For a while. I’m sure once all the treatments (yay for Canadian healthcare and a compassionate employer) have had a chance to take effect, I’ll want to get back at reviving those heirlooms… but for now, it’s time to take it easy.

This does not mean I’m giving up here. There is a new page for the cheap yet functional Wing Sung 3013, which is the sort of thing which makes me cry out  “Semper aliquid novi Asiam adferre!”

Well. Maybe I mutter it under my breath. I don’t want to startle the cats.

Permanent link to this article: http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?p=11222

A Couple of Numbers (and some pictures)

Since the last update, there’s only a couple of new pages, but they’re very… um… German? I have what is very nearly a profile page for the Pelikan 400, thanks to having briefly handled a Pelikan 520 , which is a 400 in a very fancy outfit.

Very close in time and space, but rather more of a mid-century modern, I’ve posted a page for the Lamy 27, the ur-Lamy, Romulus and Remus in one being… although, now that I’ve typed that, I think I may be overstating things just a little.

Apart from those two, I’ve got some new (or newly-uncovered, for I have been clearing out old files) photos available for gandering at:

  • A less-grainy American-spec Balance Lady Sheaffer;
  • The “Native American” example of Delta’s cringe-provoking Indigenous Peoples line;
  • An Apollo 11 commemorative Retro 51 Tornado (which keeps the number of standard versions of the pens on that page firmly at zero);
  • A rather nicely-preserved Snorkel Clipper set, which has a little something for you weirdos who want to look at ballpoints.


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Good news, slightly good news, and that other sort.

I went a got a TWSBI Go, so there’s a new page up for that. This is the good news, as is the fact that someone has finally confirmed that the thing I have suspected of being a Waterman Jiffie is, in fact, one of those.

Slightly good news lies in the fact that I was able to briefly handle a TWSBI Diamond 580 AL, so I updated the page with both a picture and somewhat less behind-the-times words mid-page (some of the “slightly” stems from the horror of realizing how elderly that page had become).

The other sort… the world economy, and the way in which the demands of the capitalist system it rests upon force inflation into all things. I have not been required to update the prices of all current-production pens (yet), but I have been shoved by an up-tick in the cost of postage to institute very small increases in cost of repair services. None of us are happy about this, I’m sure.

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A Single Thing for Spring

A very small update, thanks to a donation from a wonderful friend.  I find I am now the owner of a Waterman Number Seven, and thus can run up a reference page for it. This has seen the requisite updates appear in the various galleries, too.

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Just ONE MORE thing…

This official notice of some updates on the site is, in the case of several of them, extremely tardy. I put this down to not only the usual real-life (shudder) demands on my time, but also the way things had been dribbling in at intervals.  So, since the last time I did anything with this, we have:

  • the startling Pelikan th.INK getting a page (includes editorial comment on the name);
  • some updating of prices for all the Pelikans in production after the year 2000;
  • a new face on the Pilot Elite page, which positively flaunts its high gold content point;
  • a new face entirely in the Pilot line-up, the possibly mis-named Short;
  • some additions to the ink samples of Herbin, and a new page of ink samples for the Edelstein sub-brand;
  • TWSBI’s recently-released Precision.

…all of which has lead to inflations of the a couple of Mug Shot  galleries as well as the inks by colour.

I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with a shark I’ve had for some time.  It’s unexpectedly tricky.

Permanent link to this article: http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?p=11006

A Publication Two Years in the Making!

But first, a quick mention of recently added material right here:

  • The Sheaffer Pop has been added to the page for the Sheaffer Award… because there might be some minor differences, but I can’t shake the sense that it is just a renaming;
  • An extremely elderly No. 16 S.F. has been added to the gang of crocks on the Early Watermans page;
  • An entirely new page for the old version of the Pelikan Twist. Like the Pop/Award, you’ll find several other names for essentially the same pen there.

Now, what’s that title all about, then? I’m going to save myself a little typing, and quote material already posted on my writing blog:

Let me tell you a brief true story. In the fall of 2016, I had a story accepted by a long-running publication called AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. This was within a fortnight of “The Third Act” being taken up by Trigger Warning, so as you can imagine I was absolutely overwhelmed by a sense of artistic achievement.

But the world does not like too much joy in it. Thus, some grudge-bearing (I assume) terrestrial tetrapod did the hacking equivalent of putting a shotgun to the back  of the head of AE‘s online facility. The site went down so soon after I sent back the edits that I thought I might have been to blame for it, and they weren’t able to even explain to the world what happened for weeks. That explanation was the beginning of a very long road to getting back online.

The return has been accomplished– a soft launch, at the moment, which I assume means “Sound the trumpets! Release the doves!” major official re-launch is in the near future… but I can’t wait for that because I’ve been waiting almost two years to say aloud that I have had a story published by AE!

Permanent link to this article: http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?p=10907

Apparently the Mountain Will Come to Us

First, to address the previous news item here:

That is sufficient to get the hub happening, and hooray!  However, there is room for more, so if you are going to be within striking distance of here on 21 September and want to attend (and get free Pelikan stuff!), then go to this site and sign up.

To make slightly more sense of the headline, the real meat of this update is a new page on the Montblanc page (yes, Pelikan’s natural enemy, but I run a big tent), as I find myself the owner of a Montblanc 32.  This happens because that model wasn’t (very) expensive when it was new, and isn’t hugely sought after now, so the residue of a fiction sale could secure one for me.  Hooray, again.  This has also seen a small amendment to the mug shots sheet for the appropriate era.

Finally, I have made a small update to the page for the Sheaffer Tuckaway, to reflect an encounter with the Touchdown version of that tiny treat.  It provides, at very least, a direct comparison of the relative efficiencies of two of Sheaffer’s filling systems.

Did I say something about Conway-Stewarts in a recent update.  Um… well, that’s a mountain of research I have yet to successfully shift. Work continues.

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Thumping a Tub for a Pelikan Hub

Pelikan Hubs registrations are open, and I’m giddy about it, because there is a move afoot to have a hub happen right here in my own home town, Regina.  I am, therefore, reproducing almost the entirety of a blog-entry I just posted on the topic, because why should you waste time clicking on this link to read the original when you could be clicking on THIS link to get yourself signed up?  Anyway, here it is:

Pelikan has just started registration for the 2018 version of Pelikan Hubs, which an even more Pelikan-positive person than myself explains in some depth on his own blog. In a nutshell, it’s a sponsored event for pen enthusiasts in a given area to get together and enthuse over pens.  As mentioned on The Pelikan’s Perch, it skews toward one maker’s stuff, because they’re the sponsor, but it’s also allowed to mention and even bring pens of other brands.

Pelikan’s Wand of Official Sanction (artist’s impression)

I am VERY EXCITED because there is a move afoot to bring about a hub right here in Regina; this would fill the yawning gap between the Edmonton and Winnipeg venues.  Paper Umbrella has even expressed a willingness to host the thing, which takes care of a big bunch of the planning chores.  Now, the only thing needed is… people.  There is a minimum number of people signed up for any given hub required by Pelikan before they will wave their Wand of Official Sanction over it and make it a real event, with real Pelikan stuff.

This means people like me, which is to say excited!! and already signed on, need to find others who have within them the potential to also be excited!! and have the willingness to sign on.  So, to those who live in a circle centered on Regina, Saskatchewan with a radius extending slightly past Moose Jaw, who are interested in writing instruments at all– I urge you, I plead, go to this site and let Pelikan know you are indeed one of us before 16 July.  That date is their cut-off; if we are insufficiently numerous at that time, no hub for us.

I suggest that circle because beyond that distance seems an awfully long drive. If you’re somewhat outside the circle and don’t mind the long drive, or have someone to stay with here, by all means, add your weight to our petition.

If you’re very far away from Regina (which is true for a lot of people), then sign up for one that’s more convenient to you.  Or have a go at making one that is more convenient to you.  They sound like a lot of fun!


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Spring Cleaning

I suddenly find I have a lot updates to make.  Until I get a better grip on Conway-Stewarts both old and new, though, let’s be content with the following:

  • In my very own hands, there’s a green shadow-wave sub-deb Vacumatic which allows a small expansion of that brimming page.
  • The same dear friend also gave me an Esterbrook “Transitional” J which I very nearly decided should get its very own page, but in the end just lodged it on the existing page for the J Series.
  • A client sent along a Sheaffer Balance to be refitted for service, and I discover it’s a 5-30 model— not an old example of that particular kind, but old enough to predate the introduction of names to the Balance line.
  • I also found myself looking into the guts of someone else’s Esterbrook Deluxe SM, which is different enough from the J Series to get its own page.


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