Ink Swabbing


I was looking at my green inks, and I realized I needed to make some ink swabs.  When I was done I had a small pile.  The color of one caught my eye: it looked like a little bit of spring.

It’s 1 degree Fahrenheit as I write this, so spring is a nice thought.

Also, today is “National Clean Off Your Desk Day,” which, uh, isn’t going to happen here.  But I did clean these off, so … half credit!

Two Rivers


When I was sick last week I had time to watch something great.  The show I watched is called River, and was made for BBC One broadcast but is now streaming outside the UK on Netflix.

River runs for six one-hour episodes.  I watched the first two because I couldn’t do anything else — being sick. Then I watched the next four because I couldn’t do anything else — being captivated by the show.

Without giving away too much of the plot, River is a police show, but the hook is that the central character is a detective who sees dead people. So it requires more than a normal suspension of disbelief.  But in other ways, it might be the most realistic, and easiest to believe, show I’ve ever seen.

River stars Stellan Skarsgård, who is remarkable.  So is the entire cast.  So are the visuals — this was beautifully, and carefully, designed and shot.  And the writing.  What a show.  I’ve been thinking about it since I finished it.

I’ve also been thinking about the story A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean.  I recently gave my old copy to my son to read, because he has a friend from Missoula, Montana.  But mostly because the title story has stuck with me in the decades since I first read it, and I thought he’d like it.  He did.


Ink Snippet: Pelikan Edelstein Garnet


Oh January, you are not the easiest month to love, here in the northern hemisphere.  It’s very cold in Chicago in January, and the hours of daylight are short, which makes this month seem extra long.

So how to make January more fun?  How about jewelry?  Because it turns out that January has a nice birth stone, the garnet.  And I happen to have two garnet inks.  The first is Pelikan Edelstein Garnet.

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Pen of the Day: Pelikan M400 White Tortoise


Pelikan M400 White Tortoise with medium nib. This is pen you’ve seen before, but I couldn’t resist.  A friend of mine just ordered one.  And I was looking for a pen for a green ink.

That ink is KWZ Foggy Green, which is an appealing dark green ink without much shading but in a great color.


My favorite part of the pen is the binde, but I’ve photographed that a few times before.  So, uh, here’s the cap band.



Whassup Wednesday


I’m a little under the weather here, so I’m just going to post a few photos of my new favorite ink.  This is KWZ Ink’s Iron Gall Blue #5.  I’ll hope to get a full review up tomorrow.  I love the hue and the shading, and I’m even seeing some sheen potential.

It’s such a lovely, classic color, too, that I’ve been comparing it to a bouquet of other blues.  But Iron Gall Blue #5 stands apart.  It has vivacity but without any stridency or harshness.


Pen of the Day: Pelikan M605 Marine Blue


Pelikan M605 Marine Blue with extra-fine nib. This is a recent Pelikan special edition.  It’s not a demonstrator, but a stunning dark blue translucent plastic.


The trim is plated with palladium, and the nib is rhodanized.  This one has Pelikan’s usual generous extra-fine nib.


The ink is KWZ Iron Gall #5, which has gorgeous deep color, beautiful shading and generous flow.  I’m going to be reviewing it in depth, but I think it’s a wonderful ink.

Monday Morning Coffee


I love coffee (and tea!), and I love a good chat with friends.  With the kids home on winter break, the last two weeks were a wonderful family-centered time. That ended this morning, with the start of school for the kids and work for the adults.  But there are compensations, among which is some adult time with friends. So enjoy a coffee or tea, whether it’s morning or not, along with me.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask how your Christmas and New Year’s were.  Our holidays were lovely, and after a week off, I feel so relaxed.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about a play I saw called Marjorie Prime.  The play itself was interesting and moving.  And the production was perfect. But the sublime acting made the entire experience.  I feel privileged to have seen that kind of talent in a tiny theater with less than 100 seats.  And every time I see theater, I think, “I should see more theater.”

If we were having coffee, and you were a pen person, I’d tell you I’m totally in love with one of the new inks I’m testing now.  I want to give it a more thorough workout before reviewing it, but it looks like a great one.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you we had to get a new clothes washer unexpectedly last week.  Boring.  But this new one has a window so you can see the clothes go round.  I have to admit that there’s some entertainment value in that.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m trying new contacts this week, which are great, except I had to run out to Walgreen’s to get emergency reading glasses.  If you’re under 40, have your fun now.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what we’re all making for dinner tonight.  Having to make real dinners is part of the downside to being back on a normal schedule.  But I’m upping my game starting now.  Winter is a good time to cook.

And then I’d get to hear what’s new with your life.  I hope things are going well.



Inks Chris Bought in 2015


I asked my friend Chris what inks she had purchased in 2015.  I was tickled, and relieved, that not only did she buy the same number of inks as I did, but she enjoyed some of the same brands. Here is her report.

I decided I had plenty of ink when 2015 began. Enough ink to last me another two lifetimes. I made a resolution that I wouldn’t buy more ink until I emptied at least one bottle. That resolution was never going to work. I’ve never completely emptied a bottle of ink in forty years, so why would I think I might do that now?

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