I’m All In on the Pelikan M605 White, Fashionable Accessory, and First of Its Name

Pelikan M605 White

Okay, I pulled the trigger. I preordered this icicle yesterday.

It’s been a will-she-or-won’t-she saga, at least in my head. When I heard the rumors early in the year, I was on the fence. Leaning no. “White? Another pen?” Then after it was announced and photos released, I leaned yes. But I didn’t preorder right away. Because I do nothing right away.

Until my usual drug dealer (sorry, pen dealer)* reminded me yesterday that, uh, you need to order, duh.  So I did so immediately. Because I’m swift when it’s the last minute.

But then after I paid, I had second thoughts. Well, familiar thoughts. Like, “It’s, um, white.” And, “I have no money.” And, “Wait, why am I buying a pen?”

That’s the real issue. I don’t need another pen. I don’t even want another pen. And I don’t have the boredom or craving for excitement that sometimes makes us shop for fun. It’s really the opposite: my life has been so hectic in the important areas that I’m fine with no controversy or change in the pen lineup, thanks. Dead calm, that’s what I’m after.

But while I don’t actively want any pen, I do like this particular pen. I think it’s going to look great. And, true, I’ve never been sure about the white, but I’m starting to cotton to it. I’m starting to see it as nicely wintry. Sure, one could read it as “icy hellscape,” but even that appeals to me right now. We’ve had record heat here this fall, California is on fire, Puerto Rico is under water, and yesterday brought news of not one, but two, “supervolcanoes” getting ready to wipe out all life on the planet. In my own personal Apocalypse Watch slash drinking game, each of those events is worthy of “Drink!” So why not add a melting polar ice cap pen?

Not to mention that this pen totally reminds me of the winter coat that Daenerys put on to go north of the Wall in Game of Thrones.

dany-coat-1.w710.h473

And that was such a cool look, it was fire hot. Sure, the White Walkers and the Night King are sick and scary, and have our guys surrounded. But I’ve got dragons, and Jon Snow is hot, and if I have to fly on a dragon to the frozen north, I am sure going to wear my fashionable coatdress and look my best.

So, I’m on board with the white Pelikan, once more. It’s worthy of both Jon Snow, king in the North, and Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. I am looking forward to it, again.

*I bought mine from the Nibsmith. Not for nothing, my Pusher Man the Nibsmith is offering a discount on all pens and ink of 10% using the code SAVE10 through October 20. That’s if anyone else is similarly gripped by insanity interested in buying Pelikan’s coatdress or any other pen. I point it out here because, when you’ve signed up to bungee jump into the gorge, you want as many friends possible going with you. Yes. This is me, enabling you.

Lamy Safari Your Holiday: Halloween

Lamy Safari Halloween Holiday

I have breaking fountain pen and hockey news: The Chicago Blackhawks beat the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins last night by the score of 10-1, (For those who don’t follow hockey, a team doesn’t often score that many goals, especially against a top opponent. It would be like Barcelona beating Read Madrid 10-1.)

Now, I’m not saying that yesterday’s Chicago Blackhawks Lamy Safari is what spurred on the Best Team Ever last night. All I’m saying is, clearly, it didn’t hurt.

So with Karma on our side, let’s keep going. As much fun as it is to Lamy Safari our favorite sports teams, some people don’t actually like sports. And that’s okay: Lamy Safaris are for everyone. So let’s start a round of Lamy Safari Your Holiday, with Halloween.

First up is the Halloween Candy Lamy Safari. It bears the colors of a piece of candy corn, the ubiquitous symbol of Halloween. But despite the popularity of candy corn, it is a fact universally acknowledged that the best Halloween treat a child can pound the pavements for, and bring home to mom, is a box of Milk Duds. So to inspire the children, I’ve filled the Halloween Candy Lamy Safari with a chocolate brown ink, Waterman Absolute Brown.

Lamy Safari Halloween Holiday Candy Corn

Next is my Wicked Witch Lamy Safari. A black cap and pen body represents the witch’s hat and clothes, while the lime green section calls to mind the face of the Wicked Witch as played by Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz.

Lamy Safari Halloween Holiday Wicked Witch

The Ink is Graf von Faber-Castell Midnight Blue, for added spookiness.

So there you go. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Lamy Safari Your Holiday.

Lamy Safari Your Team: A Totally Made-Up Thing That I Do, As an Adult

Sports Lamy Safaris Cubs Blackhawks Oilers colors

After an almost interminable wait, the NHL started the 2017-2018 regular season last night, though it’s only tonight that the Best Team Ever (the Chicago Blackhawks) will drop the puck. Go Hawks.

Then, tomorrow, the defending World Series Champions of 2016, “Ladies and Gentlemen, your Chicago Cubs,” will kick off their National League Division Series against the Washington Generals. Or is that the Nationals? (Hahaha, sick burn.)

Faithful readers may remember that last year, as the Cubs began the World Series after a record-breaking 108 year drought, we here in the Fountain Pen Follies World Headquarters and Television Control Tower made a Cubs Lamy Safari for good luck. It was constructed from the body and section of a blue Safari and the cap of a white Safari with red clip, and was filled with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage for the green ivy of Wrigley Field.

Now, I am not saying it’s the Chicago Cubs Safari that was responsible for the Cubs improbable seventh game, rain-delayed, extra-innings, curse-breaking victory after 108 years. But it might have been, right? A baseball fan in general, and a Cubs fan in particular, is superstitious. So I’m putting the Cubs Safari back in action today.

Sports Lamy Safaris Chicago Cubs colors

This time, of course, it’s filled with Papier Plume Ivy 108, the Cubs green ink. Go Cubs, Go. And thanks for a great year.

But then, I felt a little bad, because I was leaving out the Best Team Ever (the Chicago Blackhawks). So I pulled out a few more Safaris, in red, black and white, and fashioned a Chicago Blackhawks Safari. It’s filled with Caran d’Ache Infra Red ink.

Sports Lamy Safaris Chicago Blackhawks colors

And then, well, I actually like almost every hockey team, because I’m a mom that way. So why not make one for my second favorite hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers? Parts of a blue, orange and white Safari did the trick. This is filled with KWZ Northern Twilight, in tribute to Canada.

Sports Lamy Safaris Edmonton Oilers colors

All sports teams have home and away sweaters, so I snuck in white on the sections of the Blackhawks and Oilers pens to represent the road jersey.

Sports Lamy Safaris Blackhawks Oilers colors

That photo is a metaphorical representation of both teams rocketing to the top of the standings, where I see them playing in the Western Conference championship. Where the Oilers unfortunately must fall to the Blackhawks, so the mighty Hawks can win the Stanley Cup again. So that’s a shame, but it’s great just to get that far, and maybe next year, Oilers.

And you know what? Anyone can play this! Are you a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, defending champions? Here you go.

Sports Lamy Safaris Penguins Bruins colors

That same yellow and black color works for the Boston Bruins, too.

And what about the enemy of the Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers? I’ve got you covered.

Sports Lamy Safaris Flyers colors

(Obviously, the Flyers ink would be Skrip Red, because of their Broad Street Bullies history.)

The combinations are endless. So I say onto all, try it. It’s fun. Lamy Safari Your Team!

(That Oilers one could double for the Chicago Bears football team, for instance, except, hahaha the Bears don’t deserve a Lamy Safari. Maybe a Bic. That someone stepped on in the hallway.)

I also will just drop here the teensy weensy reminder that, although October is the home of both the baseball playoffs and the start of the hockey season, we’ve heard nary a hint of  #Trophtober. Nor #Hocktober. Because sports have dignity.

Dignity, the watchword of Fountain Pen Follies. Now please excuse me, I need to go play with my Lamy Safaris, yell at the tv screen and pound some nachos.

Department of “No, Just No”

“Inktober.”

Gah. (Not the project, which I’m sure is fun. Just the abysmal name. The hackery, the butchery. The base assault on the language of Shakespeare, Milton and Austen, of Dylan and Ishiguro, too. Of far humbler wordsmiths who still take the time to write and rewrite, to find the perfect word, to hew the soundest sentence.)

Sure, at first I just ignored it. As one does. As when your brother-in-law talks politics at Christmas. But after only a few days, it’s un-ignorable. The merchants have seen this opportunity, and cannily jumped in. Instagram has been infected at levels last seen in the movie Contagion. And October is 31 days long.

So sure it’s going to be hell, but at least it’s an extra long month. Gah.

Pelikan Hubs 2017: Chicago

Pelikan Hubs Chicago banner

Sorry i couldn’t get this up more quickly, but “better late than never” is the motto made for me. So, better late than never, here is my report on the 2017 Pelikan Hub in Chicago, held this past Friday night.

In two words: so fun! For (many) more words, it’s on to the next page.

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Field Notes Dime Novel

Field Notes Dime Novel

The Field Notes Fall 2017 quarterly edition arrived yesterday. It is Dime Novel, a set of two slightly larger notebooks, which is modeled after inexpensive paperback “dime novels” sold between 1860 and 1930. The Field Notes Dime Novel is slightly larger than the usual Field Notes memo book, with 72 blank pages of thicker-than-normal paper. It’s beautifully done.

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Deep Thoughts, of Pelikans, Lamy and Kaweco

Pelikan M605 White

1. To buy or not to buy, that is the question. For the first time in a long time, I am tempted by this new Pelikan, the M605 in white, that’s coming out in mid-October in the US.

I’ve been on the fence a bit. On the positive side, as an M605, it’s my favorite Pelikan size and my favorite rhodium trim. I like the silvery look of the stripes. The pen looks like a cross between a demonstrator and a pinstriped suit.

On the negative side, well, it is a fountain pen, and I have way too many of those already. I’d have to sell something to buy it. And it’s very white. Do I like white pens? I don’t. Though, strictly speaking, the cap and section of this “white” Pelikan are off-white, the same as on the M600 Pink and the M400 White Tortoise. It’s still going to lack any color, which those two pens have.

But I like it when I see the photo. It’s frosty.

Normally, I like to wait to see Pelikans in person before buying, because sometimes the pens look different in person. A number of excellent European stores are offering tempting prices, but without US warranty. And I’d have to buy without seeing it first.

On the other hand, I just found out from Dan Smith, the Nibsmith, that the MSRP in the US will be $475. Which means it will sell for $380 with the standard dealer discount.I think that’s still a bit more than the European price, but it comes with a US warranty. That’s incredibly tempting. Heck, that’s lower than the price of a standard green striped M600. Maybe we should all buy one quickly, before Pelikan changes its mind.

It’s a special edition, too, so not available forever.

Hmmm. Anyone else have any thoughts on this pen? Anyone else tempted?

2. Can you keep a secret? Someone I know is going to become a Kaweco and Lamy pen dealer. And I’m just super excited. Those are the two pen brands that I use all the time. The Lamy Safari is my favorite pen, and has been since it first came out. I love Lamy so much if I were seven years old some other kid would say, “you love Lamy so much why don’t you marry it?!” and everyone including me would laugh. But my laugh would be different; my laugh would be thoughtful. Because I would think it’s a pretty good idea.

Three Months and Counting: An Extended Test of Platinum Classic Line Iron Gall Inks with a Stainless Steel Nib Fountain Pen

Pilot Plumix

Holy hell: it’s been more than three months.

Back on June 9, I filled a clean, empty cartridge with an iron gall ink and fitted that into a clean Pilot Plumix fountain pen. The ink was Platinum Classic Cassis Black, one of Platinum’s new line of colorful iron gall inks for fountain pens. I put it nib upward in the pen cup at Fountain Pen Follies World Headquarters and Laboratory of Fancy Science. The experiment had begun.

I wanted to see how the iron gall ink would react over an extended period in contact with the Pilot’s stainless steel nib. Would the iron gall ink stain, corrode, gunk up or otherwise cause problems? Remember that we don’t worry about using iron gall fountain pen ink in pens with gold nibs, because gold does not react to the iron gall’s acidic element. But is there a problem with the more common, and cheaper, stainless steel nibs?

After a month, on July 11 or so, I thought it was time for an interim look at the Plumix. Click here for the full report, if you like, but the short answer was, all was well. The ink flowed, and the nib and pen were still perfect. I only used the pen once more, on July 22, briefly. Then I put the pen back in the pen cup and ignored it until earlier this week. Now it’s time for a three-month report.

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What I’m Doing on my Summer Vacation

I’ve been taking some time away from the blog. Because it’s summer.  Here are some things I’ve been doing instead.

1. Anything but pens. I haven’t picked up a fountain pen for more than a scribble in weeks. I’m just not feeling it. No inspiration to write. No real interest in pens, either. I’m recharging. I might start a different writing project.

2. Pen Show. Actually, I have been doing pen things, just that they all relate to the Chicago Pen Show. That’s of course the 2018 show, which sadly isn’t until next May. We’ve got some fun things in the works, though. Everyone should come.

3. Gardening. I’ve been gardening a lot. But not genteel or picturesque gardening. Rambo gardening. While redoing one of the borders, I scratched up both arms muscling a Zebra Grass on a day that was so hot I couldn’t wear long sleeves. Teaching me that there is no day in the garden so hot that I shouldn’t wear long sleeves. But that wasn’t the best part of the Zebra Grass Battle. The best part was when I realized one large clump of Zebra Grass was actually too firmly rooted for me to divide it with a spade. Even standing on the top of the blade didn’t provide enough oomph. It was so hot, too. I considered just lying down on the lawn and expiring from weakness, right there. The dogs would have found my remains. And everyone would have felt badly. “Why didn’t we think to bring her an iced tea? Or help out? We’re monsters!” That would have been good.

4. Bunnies. Nothing makes you realize, “I’ve lost the innocent bloom of youth,” like coming to see Mr. McGregor in a completely different way, not as the villain of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, but as the everyman hero. Because no matter how cute bunnies seem when you’re little, when you grow up and begin to till your own small square of earth, you realize rabbits are voracious eaters and rapid breeders, and the enemy of all plant life. If not all life on earth. So every summer, I battle to humanely protect the plants they target. And every summer, I lose. Plus, our younger dog, Gus, is an avid hunter, and not humane, so every year I’m also battling to keep him away from the baby bunnies. This year has been especially grisly on the Gus front. But there’s a little baby bunny out there now, who’s somehow survived. He’s an adorable little sprite who just hopped out and obliviously began munching on our back lawn the other day. Right in front of our french doors. While on the inside, my dogs howl at the tiny, blithe provocateur and hurl themselves murderously against the glass. I know, one way or another, this is going to end badly.

5. Movies. We’ve been watching a lot of movies. There is no hockey in the summer. This is the only bad thing about summer.

6. Books. I’ve been reading actual books. All the way through. Yeah. Next step, world domination.

7. Cursing Photobucket. Without warning, or even after-the-fact notice, @$&*%$# Photobucket cut off all photo-links, unless you want to pay some blackmailishly high annual fee. As a result, many photos on this blog were disappeared, and I have to try to figure out which ones, then try to find them on my computer, then put them back. Great use of anyone’s spare time. Photobucket can be rhymed with some pretty bad words, let me tell you.