Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boxing Day is Coming, an UJTU

Those of you waiting on an update from the Clear Out have just a bit longer to wait. I opted to go ahead and order a quantity of shipping boxes for both inner- and outer-layer packing, and even splurged on the double-wall box for the inside. I've read too many horror stories about typewriter shipments gone Horribly Awry to trust to anything less. The good news is that this should actually bring the total ship cost down slightly since I'll just pro-rate across all the machines going out.

Those of you (Joe?) asking for a semi-portable machine may have a little longer since those things are a tad bigger. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to repurpose a computer box from the office.

In the meantime, Fate is greatly amused at my attempts to stop accumulating machines. Aside from the usual plastic wedges, I spotted a familiar-shaped case at Goodwill, though (luckily?) the lock is on and the key is missing. Hmmm... is it worth it? I never thought this hobby would get me seriously thinking about the value of owning a small set of lockpicks on a keyring... and possessing the skills to use them, too. I'm trying to stay true to my new mantra... One machine in, one machine out...

News that the Kremlin is buying typewriters to presumably replace hackable computers is rocketing around my news feed now. I find it interesting that nearly ever news outlet that's carried the story has chosen to illustrate it with a photo of a vintage manual machine, instead of the electric wedges that they will surely be buying. There's a lot of debate on the various Yahoo typewriter lists about the hackability/spyproof nature of an electric machine. Physical access appears to be crucial, although there's talk about reading the electrical signals output by such a machine, too: monitoring the amount of energy needed to rotate a daisy-wheel print element, for example, or the drop in current as the typewriter is being used. It's all very James Bond. I'm sure the modern-day spy would just use a tiny digital camera, but if we're going back to typed documents, we really need a double-agent outfitted with a Minox.

I'm also trying to work through my backlog of fountain pen ink cartridges. If you ever feel like complaining about the cost of inkjet printer supplies -- the consumables cost more per ounce than human blood -- then let me steer you towards your local office supply store. If you can find a package of cartridges, and do a little mental arithmetic, you'll soon realize that those tiny plastic tubes must be filled with unicorn tears. I just got a pair of "Universal" converters for my everyday pen so I can actually start working through the bottles of ink I have stowed around. Any Noodler's users out there? My wife is always asking for gift ideas for me for holidays-and-birthdays, and I'm at the point where something consumable is a lot more desirable than something that will sit around and need dusting (cf. the typewriter clean-out.) Ink is just about perfect,as I take copious notes at work, and like to mark up my rough drafts. Ink recommendations, anyone?


Art said...

Noodler's black is amazing. I can use a broad nib on a moleskine and it doesn't bleed--it behaves well on every paper i've tried it with. It is just yeah brilliant and awesome and i love it. I always have a pen with it.
Also from noodlers.
Black swan australian roses is beautiful and waterproof and very well behaved in everything i've out it in, from ef to b.
I love 54th mass, but it can be a bit temperamental, at least in the few pens i've used it in--a little on the dry side, so you can't leave a pen uncapped and have it start as easily as some other colors.
Those are the three i use most. I also like la couleur royale--a bluey purple, and bad belted kingfisher. I have yet to find a red i absolutely love from them, but thats my next color. Ive been working the purples. :) one that you might like, though, although it is kinda pink, is ottoman rose. It, and shah's rose, are stunning.
My advice with Noodler's is to order the Noodler's sample pack from goulet. It has their most popular colors, and it lets you get to know their inks. Some of them, while awesome, are a bit... special, like the baystate series. They take caution in using. However, in general, they are amazing.

TonysVision said...

I'm a Noodler, too, but my current favorite ink is Diamine's Ancient Copper. Pen-wise, for everyday use, Lamy Safari's have never let me down.

Elizabeth H. said...

I would strongly second the suggestion of getting a bunch o' samples from Goulet Pens before making up your mind. Yes, it's a pain to have to keep cleaning the pens out between samples, and it's not as cost efficient as just buying a bottle and sticking with it...but a) it lets you really see the colors and behaviour of the ink in your pens and on your papers for yourself before you're stuck with a vast quantity, b) it's just FUN to play with lots of different types, and c) you get to support a thoroughly awesome business.

I like a lot of Noodler's inks, though some are, as Art pointed out, a bit on the finicky side. Everyone needs a bottle of the plain black, IMO. I also use Black Swan in Australian Roses heavily. It's like...raspberry swirled with purpley black shadow. I fell in love with it the first time I saw scans, and in person it's even prettier.

I'm also a fan of a lot of Noodler's near-black colors: Walnut, for example, is a brown that's almost black; Air-Corp Blue-Black is an almost black sort of teal (I realllly like ACBB), and Zhivago (another favorite) is almost entirely black, but with a green lurking at the edges, almost hidden in darkness. Way cool. These colors are also pretty water resistant: the colors run if you drop something face down in condensation or spilled coffee, but the black remains behind so you can recopy things. (Don't ask me how I know about these things.)

Art--if you like the purple-pink range, have you had a chance to try Cactus Fruit? It's PURTY.

I've also been impressed with the few Diamine inks I've sampled. Ended up with a bottle of Majestic Blue which is now permanently paired with the Pelikan M200. It has a creamy feel and a beautiful reddish sheen on certain papers. Also particularly liked Oxblood and Syrah. I still want to try more Diamine blues and browns...and that Antique Copper sounds intriguing.

But ya know...if someone else is buying, the Iroshizuku inks are wonderful. Ridiculously pricey, but...mmm. And fun to say. And ooh, that bottle!

(I really did try to keep this semi-brief. Oh well.)