Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Will Hoover Replies

In my first post I described how I came up with Greasemonkeyhands for my blog. It was a quote from an article written by Will Hoover in the Honolulu Advertiser...that I have the hands of a grease monkey etc etc. I had e-mailed Will that I was using that article and his quote and he has replied.

"Hey Rodney - I love greasemonkeyhands.blogspot.com! I had to go back and re-read my story just to be sure that line was really in there. But, in reading it over again I remember how the irony of a mechanic with the velvet handwriting of cloistered monk laboring over a sacred script with delicate hands was too good to pass up. So, I'm glad you're still at it!"

Wow cool thanks Will! Uhhhh...that's good isn't it? Being a wanna be writer myself I truly appreciate Will's comments. Will is a seasoned journalist and I know he's written at least one book about guitar picks titled well-Picks! But I am no scholar and had to look up "cloistered" in an online dictionary. Yeah an old Merriam Webster print dictionary would be much more "romantic" but it's a bit hard to carry around!

I think I know what he's talking about.

I always try to add a picture with my posts, but could not think of anything at least a little relevant to shoot. I thought about borrowing my son's Snuggie since it sorta looks like what monks wear...nah!

Besides the leopard skin pattern would kill it!

Thanks again Will and do keep in touch!

And no I don't think I'll change my blog to "Delicatemonkhands"...yet!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Early Gift

Yesterday I recieved an unexpected gift from a co-worker. Hmm nice packaging, I wonder what it is. Well actually he told me it was scented ink he purchased at the Mont Blanc boutique store in the Ala Moana Shopping Center (Honolulu). Now I had that "obligatory" feeling I needed to reciprocate, so I cheated opened it before Christmas to write a thank you note.

Well I sorta knew what it was anyway!

It was a bottle of White Forest scented ink. I already have the rose scented "Love Letter" and spice scented holiday inks from Mont Blanc from a few years ago. Now to use the ink and write a thank you card to my co-worker, but I was also interested to see how the ink wrote being a "sort of" pen person myself. I am not an expert on inks and pens nor is this a pen or ink blog. I'm more of a user than an aficionado, so I'm not going to critique the ink.

I will say that it did feather on bulk ink jet and linen papers, So I used a sheet of Original Crown Mill laid paper and it did write nicely. The color is nice though the the fragrance is rather subtle. I did not read any information about the ink, and I'm guessing it's pine scented. I seriously doubt that the recipient of a note written with the ink will be able to enjoy the fragrance, I think it's meant for the author.

Well enough about reviewing the ink!

I then wrote my thank you note on a Crane Stationery note card, I think the ink is pretty darn nice! I also did a small calligraphy piece with a dip pen and another penman's ink on a sheet of handmade paper for a gift, but I wanted him to see what the ink he purchased looked like on paper.

Ok so I cheated and opened a present early. I hope my sons don't find out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Burning the Midnight Oil

Last night I was up past 1AM trying to finish my Christmas cards. They had to be in the mail today so they will hopefully be delivered at least near Christmas day. It was hard with so many other things to do and also friends dropping by to deliver gifts. I also had a last minute photo editing and printing project that needed to be done and that pushed things even later. Anwyway...

My "tools" for last night; Bill Lilly oblique holder with Gillot 303 nib, ivory and red McCaffrey's Penmans ink, a vintage Faber Castell fountain pen filled with Mont Blanc Bordeaux ink, green cardstock and Papyrus deckle edged stationery. I wanted to use wax seals on the envelopes but it was just too late.

I'm sorry that the lighting in the photos is not that great, but at 1AM I was not about to set up my lighting rig. I have a few more last minute projects for tonight and I hope I'm not up until 1AM again. I'm doing pretty darn good today for having just four hours of sleep, but I'm afraid it is going to "catch up to me" at some point.

That's ok because while everyone is opening presents at my mother-in law's home on Christmas day, I can catch up on my sleep on the recliner then.

It's an annual tradition!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tools of the Trade

No not wrenches, screwdrivers or scan tools, but writing tools. Except for the Sharpies, the pens in the photo are retired now. Yes that's a Mont Blanc ballpoint pen I got in a deal with the then parts manager at the dealership I work at. The green celluloid Visconti is a morph of broken mechanical pencil and ballpoint pen a late friend put together for me. And yes this Grease Monkey used to write with a fountain pen at work.

During the early-mid 90s when I first started using a fountain pen, I brought one to use at work. I was probably the only automotive technician that wrote with a fountain pen. Back then we used to actually write on paper repair orders. So when I had to write my "story" I would do so in script or cursive writing. I think some customers got to see my ROs and gave comments to the service writers.

That pen is a Rotring fountain pen with a steel nib that wrote fairly well. I still have it but rarely use it. It is rather stiff compared to the soft solid gold nibs of vintage fountain pens. There is quite a bit of wear on the Mont Blanc, Visconti and the Rotring from the rigors of use in an automotive repair shop environment. But they do bring back memories.

I use the Sharpies and now a cheap ball point pen. Sadly we now use electronic repair orders or EROs, everything on a computer. And so it is with personal correspondence these days. Texting, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, e-cards. There is a place for those, but I prefer handwritten letters...

A Lost Art!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I Started a Blog...

That reminds me of the Bee Gees song; I Started a Joke, which started the whole world crying...I hope this blog does not make you cry!

I've always had a passion to write. I never found out what I wanted to write, but I wanted to. Not fiction, I would never write a novel. Definitely not poetry or prose, I just don't get it when I read those. I admire song lyrics and composers. Lennon/McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Dennis Kamakahi-all have written songs that were covered by many other artists and touched so many! I play music but I don't think I'm cut out to be a composer.

Ah but journaling has always interested me especially if I can write in a journal with a nice hand. Oh I've tried! I've bought nearly a countless amount of journals, most of which remain blank or only a few entries. I don't know why, I just cannot get my thoughts onto paper. Also I'm afraid they won't "look nice"and I don't want to ruin them, especially the expensive ones...sad yeah?

Now this blog thing comes around and thanks to Twitter, I've been reading other blogs and like what I see. Maybe this is the answer to my quest into journaling, an outlet for me to express what goes through this grease monkey's mind. I hope to blog on pens, papers, art, music, coffee, food, and other general stuff...Hawaii stuff! Also photography, I'd like to include a photo or two with each post...and good photos!

Oh there are things that should not be out there for the "world" to see. Those shall have to be entered into my (what I call) "Old School" blogs...journals and scrapbooks. God knows I have enough of those to last a while!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The hands of a grease monkey!

Hi and welcome to my blog and my first post. This is very new to me and I hope you find it interesting. How did I come up with the name "Greasemonkey hands"?

In November of 1997, Will Hoover in the Honolulu Advertiser wrote an article about handwriting. A good friend told Will that he should contact me along with 2 others for the article. The others were a graphic artist and a teacher who also did calligraphy. When Will called me to set up an interview, he asked where I worked and I told him the name of my dealership. He asked if I sold cars and I said no I'm a mechanic...

You do what???

When Will came to the interview he brought photographer Jeff Widener with him. We talked a bit and it was time for me to do a little writing. I had brought a vintage Waterman fountain pen and some Crane paper with me so I proceeded to write. I said I wanted to wash my hands first because they were well, greasy since it was during the work day. Will said NO!!! He had me lay out some tools and write on my workbench with my greasy hands.

In the article Will wrote that I have "the hands of a grease monkey, the soul of a poet and handwriting that Oscar Wilde might have envied". I liked that!

Well things have changed over the last 12 years...I now wear gloves!