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.
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.)
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.
Love the plastic eraser shield that was in the case. Just outstanding.
No space is wasted: a place to file everything. And leather! Not cheap vinyl.
The back of Cameron's sick SM3. I took this to check against my own machines, which are newer.
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.
My view of the proceedings. Clockwise from lower left: Tippa, Skyriter, Baby, SM3, and Olivetti, hiding under the stack of lids.
Cameron's view. Note the pile of smooshed bushings to the left of the Olympia. Kids! Always check your rubber. (ahem)
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?