Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nor-Cal Mini Type-In

Dedicated followers of the Typosphere know that for a while, I seemed to be the only California-based typecaster out there (or at least the only one willing to blog about it.) Cameron of Living in the Woods joined up this year, and when he said he'd be nearby, we arranged for the First Ever Type-In of the Northern California Branch of the Typosphere. We met today for lunch and typing, and some inspection of a couple of sick machines in Cameron's care: an Olympia SM3 with more than the usual amount of smooshed bushings, and a de-badged Olivetti with a loose top, letting me at last tell a fellow typecaster that he had a few screws loose.

My original meeting place of a coffee shop was passed up for the far larger table space in the adjoining courtyard: the same place where I filmed my one-man Typewriter Day celebration. Whether it was the sight of the mighty spread of machines (five between the two of us) or the the music of the typing as it echoed around the court, we talked with several passers-by about typewriters, the 'sphere, and this crazy thing of blogging on a typewriter and fielded many questions from an over-friendly security guard asking the worth of his old Underwood portable. Sigh. Note to graphic designers: we need to start passing out business cards with the Typosphere URL on it. Seriously.

As always, the live-typing seems incomplete compared to the amount of actual socializing we managed to squeeze into my lunch hour: Cameron did more typing than I did, as I got to look over the problem machines he brought along. I'm rather camera-shy, and didn't want to put Cameron on the spot by taking his picture, so you'll have to settle for my typecast and these photos, and imagine two dashing gentlemen typing away on a pleasant sunny day.

20111013 typecast Tippa Versus Baby Cameron brought a Tippa at my request, and it's a cool little machine. I have a real soft spot for travel-size typewriters, and this one is very full-featured and well built. A little skip-prone with a "soft" left margin, but a fine machine nonetheless. Plus, it came with the manual and a load of accessories, including a ruler with which I demonstrated the magic "Olympia elite" typeface (11 characters per inch.) Gossen means business German Precision Mystery Knob Touch control? I forgot to look this one up. But there's a clever "stencil" knob on the right-hand side. Both are features I haven't seen on a travel machine before. Shield your eyes! Love the plastic eraser shield that was in the case. Just outstanding. Love the Germans No space is wasted: a place to file everything. And leather! Not cheap vinyl. Importer The back of Cameron's sick SM3. I took this to check against my own machines, which are newer. Fallen Olivetti The other patient: a $5 Olivetti with a little rust and a loose top. Four screws will fix the top, cleaning is needed for the guts, and some Liquid Wrench or other penetrating oil is needed to loosen one of the spool nuts. It's just a Valentine, without the $200 plastic trash can attached. Noisemakers My view of the proceedings. Clockwise from lower left: Tippa, Skyriter, Baby, SM3, and Olivetti, hiding under the stack of lids. The Mighty Spread Cameron's view. Note the pile of smooshed bushings to the left of the Olympia. Kids! Always check your rubber. (ahem) Baby and Rhino, With Hands Even the Nano Rhino got into the act, coming out at the promise of a meal. Cameron's joining the Typewriter Brigade for his first ever NaNoWriMo this year. What about you?


Richard P said...

What fun! Tipp-topp getippt, and the Nano Rhino is going to be a helpful mascot at your side next month, I'm sure.

Someone is going to produce those Typosphere business cards lickety-split, just watch.

notagain said...

very cool, I love the mini-type-ins

Ted said...

You mean like this one?

Ryan, Bill and I have been passing these out for a year now :D

Little Flower Petals said...

That little Olivetti looks like a Dora/Lettera 31 like mine. They're not exactly as flashy as some of the better known Olivettis, but mine has pretty much cured me of my Lettera 32 fever, at least for the time being. It's a nice light little thing and types well.

Sounds like a fun time!

ars de carta said...

I don't like you people. Too many typewriters I want.

*goes away to pout about that and being the only *out* typosphere member in the state.*


Cameron said...

Mike, those are fantastic pictures! Haven't looked at mine yet. But I suspect yours blow mine out of the water.

I'm going to try to post about our action-packed day here from my friend's house in Lafayette today, after a trip to the hardware store for new rubber bushings for my SM3.

Great detail on the Tippa & accessories. You make it seem so classy!

Yeah, funny that we never bothered to ask one another if it'd be all right to take pictures of US. I had intended to ask one of the many passerby (so distracting but fun!) to take a shot of the two of us, but obviously we were sidelined...

We'll have to do this again some time. We've both got other typers to share! ;-)

Thanks again for all your help.

P.S. Also thanks to Little Flower Petals for possibly identifying the "mystery Olivetti". Maybe this will turn out to be a good typer for my "on the go" writing excursions.

Cameron said...

Mike, I just looked at my 5 pictures and I did manage to sneak it a couple shots of you, after all! Will post soon.

mpclemens said...

@Ted: Yes, that's the stuff. I keep thinking about those free outfits that will print you 100 business cards. Maybe I;ll just crib your design and have a batch made. I didn't want to seem too nuts and type out the URL for people. :-)

@LFP: That's the one! I knew it was a Lettera of some stripe, and not a 22 or 32. Cameron's even has the lettering on the keys to match a Valentine.

@ars: I feel for you. I was alone for a while to. Maybe get some cards of your own and start pinning them up around writerly places?

@Cameron: photos of me? Horrors. Hopefully not while I was stuffing my face or babbling in a hyper-caffienated state (which was most of the lunch hour.)

I dream lo-tech said...

Looks like a lot of fun, I'm jealous! We missed doing this last summer.

Adwoa said...

What great fun! Glad to see Georg and I aren't the only ones who put on two-person type-ins. Love the Tippa; I have one and this reminds me of all that I find charming about it :)

Art said...

@Mike... might have too... could just be hiding... we're in a starnge state, afterall.