Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pencast 1. This is why I transcribe.

(written yesterday)


Today, my mind is in much the same place as it was yesterday. I sit in the golden light of a setting western sun and wonder where exactly that place is. I'd like to visit someday, to see just where it is that my brain hides away when it chooses to run.

The pen I use is one of the most balanced I own, a vintage Sheaffer Touchdown I found in my grandpa's desk when he died. For years, it had sat, forgotten, in a bottom drawer, until I remembered it as I started to indulge my love of retrotech. I'd found it as a kid, written a few words until it stopped working, then lost interest. Finding it again, I began the slow process of discovery.

It had been filled with bright blue ink last, though how many years ago that was was anyone's guess. The Touchdown mechanism was new to me, so I went online, and one night, ventured forth into the shady world of pen dissection to figure out what was wrong.

Turns out the inc sac was gone. Not gone, physically, but rock hard, shattering at my first touch. That rocked me, as did the discovery of the price of replacing it. So, with my usual crazy ingenuity, I came up with my solution.

You know those balloons they sell for the making of balloon animals? Well, it turns out they have a myriad of other uses. They can become a colorful leash for you chinchilla, and emergency pressure bandage, or in my case, the replacement in sac for a vintage pen.

It isn't a perfect solution (it leaks a bit when the pen is stored), but it works for me. And besides, what would writing with a fountain pen be without an inky finger or two?

Writing with it, I wonder about the story there. At times, I have difficulty imagining my grandpa as the fountain pen type, but at the same time, I like to think he used it to write love letters to my grandma or to keep the books for his barber shop. Truth is, we'll never know for sure, but I like to think that the pen has a history worth telling.

Here is the original cast, if you care to try to read once I get the enlarge code figured out. Course, I rewrote bits of it, as is my way.


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