Saturday, October 30, 2010

My First Time and a Pleasant Surprise

This is the first time I have replaced the ink sac on a vintage fountain pen.

So what did you think I was talking about???

I am not a "pen person", I'm a pen fancier and user. I don't know much about the pens I own, most were chosen and all maintained by a late friend. When I needed a pen resacced I would just hand him the pen and he'd fix it for free. Well he's been gone for over 3 years now and all of my lever fill fountain pens do not work and I did not know how to replace the ink sac.

I had to do something so I got advice from some Twitter pen friends and a local pen collector. I bought a bunch of new sacs and some tools and materials I need to resac a pen. So here I go...

I have 2 old fountain pens that I kinda forgot where I got them from. But I believe I found them when my wife's grandparents were moving out of their large home in Nu`uanu into a 2 bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility. I assumed they were inexpensive Sheaffers.

So I took them apart. I didn't take any pictures because I didn't think I was going to blog about this. I did take a picture with my iPhone when I broke the vent tube inside of the old sac.



I removed the left over section of the tube and reinserted the longer broken piece. I don't even know if this pen could write, I was primarily learning to resac a pen.

Anyway I cut off the old sac and cleaned the barrel, applied shellac and installed a new latex sac. It was not as easy as I thought it would be, it took some doing but I got the new sac on. I was going to make a joke about another latex product procedure that this reminded me of but I so won't go there!



When I was polishing the pen I noticed that it was an Eversharp and not a Sheaffer.



I looked at the nib with a loupe and found that the nib is 14k solid gold.



After letting the shellac dry overnight I filled it with Private Reserve Cosmic Cobalt.

And here was my pleasant suprise!

There was nice amount of flex to the nib and it wrote really smooth and soft. It's not a fine nib so it doesn't have the line variations I like, but it's a really nice writer.



This is a nice pen I can use to write, not letter or do "calligraphy". If I can write without worrying about ascenders, descenders, ovals, etc...I hope the words will flow from the writer in me on to the paper!

Being that it was Kung Kung's pen, I think there's a bit of mana with it too!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two of My Favorite Things, Bikes and Pens

I started this blog to write primarily about pens and writing. I got started on Twitter primarily because of bicycling. Lance Armstrong was the very first person I followed. After seeing a blog post by a Twitter friend in Sweden @lady_dandelion "pairing" her yellow Lamy Safari to her yellow bicycle... I thought, I can do that!

But I have a bike with a carbon fiber frame! Well I have a pen with a carbon fiber body, it's a Retro 51 Roller Ball. I prefer fountain pens and bought the pen simply because of the carbon fiber. There are carbon fiber fountain pens but I haven't pursued one yet. My main road bike is a Giant OCR C3.



I have a black and white Scott Speedster road bike. I paired it with my Mont Blanc 149 fountain pen!



I have a yellow Specialized Hardrock mountain bike I keep mainly to ride with my sons. I had a yellow Lamy that I was not using and gave it up for adoption and is now in a good home. But I do have a yellow Aurora fountain pen to pair with the Specialized.







On a side note I got this non stick yellow covered saucepan for cooking hot cereal. A vacation buy from Ross and yes, Rachel Ray!



Ahem...


Check out Lady Dandelion's blog, she takes a lot of nice pictures on her rides. Something I'm too lazy to do!

Oh that Aurora has a steel nib and is filled wth Private Reserve Orange Crush. I bought it because I was told there is a bit of flex in the nib even though it's steel. I got into a Twitter discussion once with someone who said there are no flex steel nibs. There is some flex in this one...

video

Just not as soft and cushy as a nice vintage solid gold nib...much like the soft feathery ride on a carbon fiber road bike!

Garage Sale Finds

Often on my Saturday and Sunday bike rides, I come across garage sales. There are a lot in the Kahala and Hawai`i Kai neighborhoods. I don't stop because I only carry a few dollars with me, and I can't really carry anything home. So it would be hard even to leave a deposit and return with my car.

Last week my wife's co-worker held a garage sale because they were selling their house and moving into a small apartment. Usually with garage sales you have to get there early because the good stuff goes quickly. We were allowed a sneak preview the night before the sale so we ventured into rainy Manoa Valley.

As it was we missed out on a lot of neat Japanese items because an early bird shopper was there before us. But I found some fun things...

I love this used goma (sesame seed) roasting pan, it reminded my of my mother roasting goma on the stove and the wonderful aroma it releases.


50 cents


A wooden Spam musubi maker. For my non-Hawaii friends, google it! Using a wooden tool feels so much better than plastic. I won't use Spam but I will use it to make other musubi...not to be confused with onigiri!


50 cents


I don't know what I'll do with this miniature metal tea pot, but I like it. I'll find a place for it as I set up my studio.


$2.00


I just love this Buddha! I'm not Buddhist, I'm not even sure if it is a Buddha, but it think it will create a nice ambience for when I get back into Japanese brush work. Thinking and hoping for Zen!


$3.00


Then I found this box.



It's a small Japanese calligraphy set. These were given out as gifts by different agencies. This one was from Japan Travel Bureau, I have another one from Japan Airlines.



This kit was almost complete including the instructions, but the extension handle for the brush is missing.


50 cents

Much better than those cheapy ballpoint pens we used to get from pharmaceutical reps!


I found another little box, but this one had a little laquer finished box inside.



It was another Japanese calligraphy set. No instructions but everything intact including a little water container. The ink stick in both kits were unused.


$2.00


That was fun. I don't know what I'm going to do with the calligraphy kits yet, I doubt I will ever use them. But then again...who knows? After the garage sale we went and had dinner at a nearby Thai Restaurant, and yes it was raining in Manoa Valley.

Maybe I should carry more cash and stop by the garage sales on my bike rides!

In a rut in need of motivation!

I'm stuck in a rut hence no posts here for a long time! My problem is sleep deprivation. It's been going on for many years and getting worse. I don't remember how it got started, probably from a bad habit of going to bed late. Add a marriage then 2 kids and more bad habits, it has snowballed to where I don't get anything done, no art, music, letter writing, blog posts yada yada yada! And now it's begining to effect my health.

I've talked to pastors, doctors, life coaches...no one has been able to help. I know it is me who has to make the change but that ain't working. Short of seeing a shrink or hypnotist I don't know how to lick this. So I will be working with a life coach, but this time I'm paying a pretty penny for his services, so there better be results. His background is in psychology so he's sort of a shrink.

I need motivation!

This week was the first time I attened a school conference for my son. I'm usually at work when they are held, but this time I was on vacation. The teacher touched on 4 areas for my son,

1. He needs to work on his "happy voice"...so does daddy!

2. He's moving to "chapter books". The school really pushed reading, and he's on his next step. I like that the teacher recommended books by local authors. I do want to expose my sons to pidgin since they are local boys. Daddy tries but they correct my English, maybe a book will help!

3. Math.

4. Writing. Here is my motivation! The teacher said that he is encouraged to write in his journal, but he's been doing that for a while. What caught my attention was that he is to write a story. They will bind a book and publish his story, how cool is that? I asked if write means hand write, the answer was yes! He will learn italic writing soon then cursive later...more coolness! She said he will have opportunity to use other electronic devices later, but I love that they still teach handwriting in his school!

So my motivation is to learn with him. How to write a story, blog post, letter, etc with structure! Also I'm on Twitter so tweet me some inspriration please.

Sorry to bore you, maybe this should have been an entry into my journal but...I don't have the energy.

Oh, he does like art and they teach a lot of that in school too!

His portrait of me...