Monday, March 28, 2011

We are GO for Stanley!

Well, I wasn't sure that was going to happen, but details have finally come home with my daughter. Flat Stanley is ready for his travels through the typosphere if you, gentle readers, are willing to receive him. It looks like we need to gather at least five names and addresses, and then Stanley will make round trips from here to each destination. From the assignment sheet:
We will ask each host to keep [Stanley] for a short visit and then send him back telling us something about their city and the exciting things Flat Stanley saw or did while he was there. Some Great Flat Stanleys we have heard about have come back dressed in clothing from the area, with souveniers, area-appropriate mementos, travel brochures, photographs, postcards, and more.
Thanks to the kindness of Strikethru, we've got a selection of flat typewriter stamps to choose from, and one may get tucked along in the envelope. More details are coming, but for now, I need the names and addresses of anyone willing to act as a host for Stanley, to be turned in by this Friday. You don't have to post them here if you don't want to, just send them to mpclemens at gmail dot com and we'll take it from there.

Thanks typosphere!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gary is...

Ghost message from Gary
Gary may be a lot of things, but I'll always remember him as the guy that forgot how to put the carbon paper in the typewriter. I found this message peeking out at me this morning from the platen of my Remington Premier, which is currently in rotation on my desk. I was transcribing from one of my notebooks onto a stack of index cards, had the desk lamp to battle the darkness of our Biblical rains, and there on the platen was Gary's self-affirmation, immortalized in ink and rubber. Well done, Gary.
Gary Douglas is a
highly skilled professional
And speaking of affirmations (smooth, that transition), I'm fishing for feedback as I try once again to make some readable sense of my 2009 NaNoWriMo entry. This latest round of motivation came over a weekend dinner with friends, when one of them had the nerve -- the unmitigated nerve! -- to ask if I'd done any writing lately. After I finished mumbling "no" into my napkin and then trying to change the subject, I figured that, once again, I've been neglectful, and unprofessional, and I think a disappointment to even good ol' Gary there. I'm taking this a chapter at a time now, and am slowly posting what I have so far on the Longer Pursuits page. As of this writing, I have all of three pages up, but believe me, it was a rough three. Good Openings, as all advice says, are Really Rather Difficult. Maybe not to Gary, but they are to me, especially when the original and revised openings read like a backstory-dump, which, essentially, they are.

I've made a clean break, and if you have a few minutes, I'd appreciate all feedback. Three pages. That's all. I'm no Gary.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Old Type Forged Anew

20110322 fauxcast
(typos left in for true fake-typecast authenticity)
Eagle-eyed viewers of the Typosphere page may note that the header is now done with one of Richard's fonts (Byron Mark II)

I'd be thrilled to contribute what few typefaces I have to a project like this: I don't know how much trouble it is to convert a scan into a face, but I have some faces -- even mundane ones -- that I'm fond of, like the rounded Roman letters of my SM-9, and the face on my Smith-Corona Sterling that has little half-serifs on its lowercase "n" And of course, I think the letters of the script Lettera are worth preserving... and aligning, which is easy on the digital side.

Richard... Georg... are you up for some scanning?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Amazing Floating Olympia

20110314 typecast pt1
Bushing locations
20110314 typecast pt2
Bushing detail
20110314 typecast pt3

I like to use "Bibb washers" from the plumbing aisle of the hardware store, although these photos show the machine using rubber gaskets from an auto parts store. You have a fair amount of flexibility here: you primarily need to accommodate the screw, and have something thick enough that it will support the weight of the typewriter and hold the workings up above the frame. Most carriage-related ills that I've seen on SM-x machines magically resolve with this fix.

Broken typewriter? Call a plumber
Old washer on the left, replacement on the right.

Time + gravity does this to the original rubber washer: the synthetic replacement should last another 50 years, easy.

Typed on Morticia, the Olympia SM-3
"Morticia", the curbside Olympia SM-3, c. 1956

Monday, March 7, 2011

A New Blog With Which To Waste Your Time

Hello all, just a brief word of shameless self-promotion. After picking up the name and then ignoring it, I'm finally getting off my duff and trying to start dumping a little content into a new blog:

I have no Grand Plans yet, but first order of business is to try and put together a map of where all the fine typecasting folks are located. I think the typosphere community has really boomed as of late, and I'd like to see this evolve into some kind of community blog, for general notes-of-interest -- type-in announcements, for instance, when I forget just which of the many Washington-based bloggers is hosting one, and when and where. As the community grows even bigger, I'm imagining some kind of virtual kiosk that we can all contribute to, beyond our own personal blogs. This is just a silly little side-project, and should in no way be construed as a power-grab, or some kind of mandatory administrative thing with Committees and Dues and Rules.

In other words, one of these:

College Campus Bulletin Board
by Jeffrey Beall

not one of these:

by Frozen Grapes

Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Study in Stripes

20110301 typecast

Typed on the pica Smith-Corona Silent Super:
SC Silent-Super & Strawberries
...which looked like this when we first met. (Just to be clear, this is not the new rescue machine, which will have photos later.)