“Always Listen to Your Mother”: I Go to the San Francisco Pen Show

vintage Pelikan fountain pen

That is a pen.

I am starting out with a giant pen — Actual Pen Content — because after my inattention to pens at the DC Show, I vowed to be more on my game at the San Francisco Show.

That sounds so good! So of course it’s totally untrue. I said no such thing. And that pen hasn’t been within 2,000 miles of the San Francisco Pen Show. But it’s a pen.

And I did pick up a smattering of Actual Pen Content from the San Francisco show, which I will put at the very end, for loyal readers or those wasting time at work. Others, feel free to skip ahead.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

33 thoughts on ““Always Listen to Your Mother”: I Go to the San Francisco Pen Show

  1. :: gasp :: The RO ink!
    Also, I love how you describe your pen show adventures! You almost make it sound more fun to do the pen show adjacent things 😂
    I hope I’ll make it to Chicago Pen Show again next year so we can hang out again! I’m sure my teal pen collection will have grown 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, I hope so! And I can give you some of that Oster.

      Your collection is stunning! Did you get the Kumpoo?! When I was using it, I thought of you. It’s been quite the summer for teal: the Ocean, too, though that’s a different feel.


  2. Great show and super nice to have met you and Tim. (Dan, not so much. Just kidding. He’s great. But I’d already met him last year.) Thanks for the kind shout out in the post above. Hope to stay in touch. After all, it’s good to know there are others out there who spurn certain inks for political as well as practical reasons. By the way, next year, you guys are welcome to borrow one of my many coffee making devices for the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this one is at least 50-50, because I’ve heard it twice in the last nine months, but you never know. The European dealers are the only source, because they get it directly from Pelikan. But it could be anything, or nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK. After my first foray with an M400, an M600 seems like a good next step. I’m not a huge fan of the stock colours and the current crop of white limited editions don’t quite do it for me either. I’m also a sucker for orange pens, hence my interest. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right! It’s in almost perfect condition, and has a relatively rare nib. When I saw it at a meetup … 🤩

      But then I have Lamy Safaris, so….


  3. Love reading your posts — the humor and seeing a bit about pens, even.

    Just wanted to say: AEROPRESS. It’s how I’ve made my morning coffee for years now. (I make my brew strong, then add a wee bit of water to it so it doesn’t remove the remaining enamel from my teeth.)

    Annnd bonus: it travels well! (I don’t travel east of the Cascades without it. Or south of Portland. My starting point is Seattle.)

    One day I’ll get to a pen show, Aeropress and all. Meanwhile, I’ll lurk and enjoy them vicariously through your posts. 🙂

    – Ashley
    But you can call me Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      And you are so right about Aeropress, Dave. I should remember that for Ohio. Actually, Tim did bring an Aeropress, along with a hand-crank grinder, for himself. And my actual, real-life son has both of those, too, funnily enough. The Target coffee maker and grinder were to make coffee for all the other people at the show: the 8-12 cup capacity was key. 😀

      Okay, you should totally come to the Chicago Pen Show next May. So much to do and so many people to see, but fewer crowds than DC or (I’ve heard) LA, so you can really chill and talk. Get there early, see all the tables, snag your pick of pens; do some seminars; attend the pizza party Thursday night and the regular Saturday party. Go to our Friday night auction, if you like. Get some nibs ground. Then spend a few days afterwards staying in the city and doing all the amazing tourist things. Great museums, architecture, theater, music and restaurants. Bars that stay open. Cubs and White Sox. Field Notes!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was pleasantly surprised to see my Conway Stewart pen in your report about the San Francisco Pen Show, but I know you’re smitten with it so I knew it would show up somewhere. Because I know that your father’s name is Rich, I’m guessing that you’re using the Dave moniker as a secret shout out to the “real” Dave.

    Sounds like San Francisco was a lot of fun, I can’t wait to hear all the stories.

    Rich / Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan Smith is so nice! So is Tim Hofmann! It has to be said: my husband and I did an amazing job raising those boys…. 😆

      Yes, I’ll be reviewing all three Taccia inks. They are nice! Maybe I should do an initial post about them, before the official review? I usually try to use an ink very thoroughly before writing a review, because when a person buys a bottle of ink, they live with it for a long while, so I think it’s helpful to know more about it. Unfortunately that makes me slow. 😊 And I’m slow anyway with blog matters right now, because of work and life. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Take your time! I love your in-depth reviews of inks. And you’re right, it is good to use an ink (and stationery in general) for a while before reviewing it. Things can change after the first impressions. Like I found that the Lamy Vibrant Pink ink clogged up my pen after a month :/

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ZOMG, I am literally just writing a post about that! I just cleaned out my Al-Star (late, okay) only to discover that this is something of a high maintenance ink. And I was using the converter version. Extremely surprising.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fantastic time you’ve had! I like your little haul, and I admire your restraint. Your blog always shines with your witty humor on top of everything else. Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sounds a great weekend. Sorry that the orange pen went to a different home but you showed admirable restraint and good grace. And we are pen twins again, with the Safari All Black. I put black ink in mine at first but too matchy matchy…far happier now with Lamy blue black.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank goodness.

    Of course, I have been waiting *minutes* on end for this blog post to appear. Everyone always waits and waits and waits for their favorite blogger to weigh in on their most recent pen show experience. All the backstories, all the heretofore unknown details. The witticisms and criticisms. It just *feels* like it is taking forever.

    That’s just on this side of the glass, though: the blogperson has a life, yanno? I’m just glad Your Life allowed you a bit of a break to come out to SF. I know that people were happy to see and meet you, and all signs point to this being an annual event. Which means that people from out here will now need to trek to Chicago to balance the universe in these matters. There could be worse things to do.

    So, thanks for the report. Let’s do it again. Except next time, when you do the report, less pen photos and more photos of pen people in compromising positions and situations. Because.

    Your Brother from Another Mother.

    Liked by 4 people

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