Science Experiment? KGB Assassination Plot? Or Biological Weaponry Waiting to be Deployed?

expired hummus

See anything wrong there?

Luckily, I read the “sell by” date before eating that yesterday. Or even opening it. Because that would have been a shock to the senses. Now, it’s fabulous when fresh, and I highly recommend it, when fresh. But sitting partially used for months and months had undoubtedly turned that delicious food into something better suited for bacterial warfare.

(As if confirmation were needed, I’ve been busy for the last few months.)

Anyway, a little earlier that morning, I had received a phone message from a neighbor’s home security company, about an alarm the company was getting of a burglary in progress at my neighbor’s house.

The security company couldn’t reach my neighbor, so they called me, because I was next on the neighbor’s contact list. (Or possibly because I’m the go-to girl for any emergency in town. I do have many superhero qualities.)  But I missed the call, so the alarm company called the police. And it was just an alarm malfunction, not a burglary.

But when I told my neighbor, both of us were laughing about what the alarm company had expected me to do, if they had reached me. “Ma’am, we’re getting an alarm of a burglary in progress at your neighbor’s. Can you go over there and check it out for us?”

Yeah, um, okay, I guess, but, um, what should I actually … are you sure I am the appropriate … do I need to find a bat or something….. Wait, I know. Let me just grab some dip from the fridge here.

Pen of the Day: Pelikan M600 Ruby Red with Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red

Pelikan M600 Ruby Red fountain pen and Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red ink

Pelikan M600 Ruby Red with fine nib. Winter weather’s here, with days dark and drear. Perhaps a new ink might bring some good cheer.

Outside Fountain Pen Follies world headquarters, cold and snow have arrived. Which of course means it’s time for the long-awaited limerick contest winter ink colors. Time for the jewel tones, the dark and rich hues, the seasonal shades.

My first choice this year is Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red. I originally tried Garnet Red, and wrote a brief review, last winter. Garnet Red on white paper makes me think of red berries silhouetted against snowy ground.

Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red writing sample

Garnet Red is an attractive, business-appropriate maroon or cranberry.  I always love an ink that shades. And Graf von Faber-Castell has a great ink bottle. As a fellow blogger recently pointed out, a bottle of premium ink would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift. Start hinting.

I do like my Pelikan M600 Ruby Red with maroon inks. The pen’s acrylic is a mix of the right kind of dark reds.

Pelikan M600 Ruby Red fountain pen closeup

A Review of the Lamy Lx in Rose Gold

Lamy Lx Rose Gold fountain pen

Lamy Lx Rose Gold with medium nib. Clearly under the influence of too much Thanksgiving pie, as well as the word “sale.” I succumbed to Black Friday frenzy and ended up with a Lamy Lx in Rose Gold with a medium nib. And now it’s here.

I think the Lx is a very nice-looking pen in rose gold. The Lx nib writes noticeably more smoothly than the normal Safari nib. But I don’t like the Lx so-called case. And I think the Lx price is easier to justify if you’re buying it as a gift, or you are a new user, or you have a serious yen for one of the colors.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Cool Pelikan Video 

For fans of How It’s Made, here is a video showing the manufacture of Pelikan fountain pens.

Some things have changed since this was filmed: I think Pelikan no longer makes its own nibs, and I know Souveran cap medallions are metal now. But I am impressed by how careful and labor-intensive the process was, and probably still is.

I found the link on FPN. Many thanks to the poster.

Field Notes Black Ice Edition: A Brief Review

Field Notes Black Ice Edition

The newest Field Notes limited edition is called Black Ice, and it’s neat-looking, though it’s probably not going to be one of my favorite Field Notes ever. And, if you’ll excuse the pun, I think the paper may leave fountain-pen users a little cold. But if there are notebook “gear heads,” I think they’ll like the Black Ice, because it looks really cool.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Fountain Pen Favorites for November 2016

calendar image

November 2016 kicked off with the best World Series in 108 years, for a Cubs fan. And when it came to fountain pens and ink, the rest of the month was pretty darn good, too. Here are my fountain pen highlights.

1. Sheaffer Targa Green Moiré. The grand slam.

2. Some Great Inks. Montblanc Golden Yellow, a new KWZ, Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple, Bung Box Dandyism. Wow. And if the rain ever stops here, I’ll be able to take photos.

3. Columbus, Ohio. I had a great time at the Ohio Pen Show. I’ll list some favorite things. First, being able to consult Richard Binder, Ron Zorn and Dan Smith. Also, Tim Hofmann’s coffee. Hanging out with friends. The pho restaurant. Robert Mason Co. And above all, the nice people of Columbus and Ohio State. Thinking of you today, Columbus.


Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

The Perfect Ink To Accompany Turkey Dinner at Cole Porter’s House: Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple

Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple (Omaezaki)

Okay, mind blown.

Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple. I’ll do a review, I suppose. But part of me thinks that all ink reviews are now superfluous. Let’s pull the plug on all the blogs and forums, and just go home. This probably is the best, most interesting fountain pen ink I’ve ever used. Even though it’s purple. Even though it’s been hyped from here to Japan and back.

Know that I’m not a purple fan. Also, when something has a lot of internet hype, I become super wary. Add in a very high price, and the “it’s only available once every three months” manufacturer-created scarcity, and you are describing an ink pretty much guaranteed to make me roll my eyes so far back in my head I’ll fall over backwards.

Just not for me. In fact, spending more than $40 for a bottle of (purple) Bung Box ink ranks below “root canal” and “sending my ten-year-old daughter on a plane by herself” on the list of Things I’ve Willingly Done.

Except, when I finally reached the bottom of that list, I bought Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple on a whim. And then I actually put the stuff in a pen and wrote with it. And mea culpa. This is a fantastic ink.

Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple (Omaezaki)

It’s divinely odd, and oddly divine. It’s a reddish purple, but it kind of looks burgundy, too, except it’s too purple for that. And it has greenish gold sheen, too.

It’s name is officially Sweet Potato Purple (Omaezaki). I feel like “Omaezaki” should be translated as “dayum.” This ink is that cool, that different, that quirky and wonderful. In fact, if you ever want to convert someone to fountain pen use, put Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple in a pen.

Now, we won’t go nuts or anything. No matter how stunning this ink is, it’s still purple, and it’s still crazy expensive. I have no urge for a “backup bottle.” I am quite certain my one bottle will last me forever. There are, and will continue to be, many other inks that are also awesome, most of which have the advantage of being not-purple. And the further advantage of costing far less than $40 a bottle.

But, still, wow. What an ink.

Bung Box Sweet Potato Purple (Omaezaki)

Oh, I know. “Oy with the poodles already.” Stop with the Sweet Potato Purple.

And I shall. At words poetic I’m so pathetic. It’s just an ink. A silly thing. Like the Tower of Pisa, or the smile of the Mona Lisa, the time of the Derby winner, or a turkey dinner. It’s not like anyone wrote a song about those things that might apply here, too. Just saying.

The “Sorry, We’re Watching the Gilmore Girls Reunion” Music Break

It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US, and Black Friday for shoppers. But my girls and I (and most of my female friends) will be watching the new Gilmore Girls reunion episodes. Thank you Netflix.

(By the way, have you taken the “Which Gilmore Girl are you” quiz? I got Lorelei, which is obvious, if only because I talk all the time and drink a lot of coffee. Also I’m slightly unhinged, but not in a dangerous way. (It’s the coffee that does it.) My younger daughter was delighted to be told she’s Rory, the goody-two-shoes. I personally think she’s also got some Emily mixed in. My older daughter, self-protectively, won’t take the quiz. So we tell her she’s probably Kirk. Heh heh.)

Sadly, it won’t take all day to watch the Gilmore reunion. So up there is something else to enjoy. This is the first single from the upcoming album by the wonderful Mary J. Blige. It’s a song that someone accurately described as the most Mary J. Blige song possible. And truly, it is. It’s so Mary J. Blige, it’s almost meta-Mary J. Blige. And I love it.

Also, I want her lipstick. I really do.