Ink Drop Soup: Pen Chalet Giveaway!

1 04 2014

A giveaway that I don’t have to run??? Yes, awesome, sign me up and sign you up, too. The folks at Pen Chalet are having a gift card giveaway which you can enter here. They’re also offering a 10% discount to us all! :) The coupon code is NOPENINTENDED

 

Good luck!





Ink Drop Soup: The Curious Case of the Moldy Sheaffer

8 03 2014

This story begins the slow summer of my first job, when I and my lab-mates tackled the task of cleaning up the lab and discovered, tucked away abandoned in a drawer, a few old Sheaffers that probably belonged to the previous professor of the lab. The current professor of the lab gave us his blessing to keep them, and thus the unknown Sheaffer entered my personal collection. This was also the summer I discovered JetPens—my memory is shoddy but I suspect the two are causally related.

If this looks like a classy old man pen, that's because that's probably exactly what it was

If this looks like a classy old man pen, that’s because that’s probably exactly what it was

For quite some time, the pen wrote well. We probably used some bottled black Cross ink from the university bookstore in the beginning, up until I found the converter sac had a leak, and I switched to self-contained cartridges. I ran through a pack of lovely turquoise cartridges, and then made the switch to the ill-fated brown.

Here they are, complete with ill fate. Or perhaps that ill-fated feeling was just the hot dogs and potato chips I unwisely had for dinner

Here they are, complete with ill fate. Or perhaps that ill-fated feeling was just the hot dogs and potato chips I unwisely had for dinner

What exactly happened, I don’t know. Perhaps the pen was low on ink, and I was intending to clean it before switching to the next cartridge. All I can say is that I opened the cap and found this:

Cue the terror-violins

Cue the terror-violins

That’s not cotton candy. That is the horror that haunts this earth. That is a waking nightmare beneath a twist cap.

SCREAMING WILL NOT SAVE YOU

SCREAMING WILL NOT SAVE YOU

My reaction beyond a wordless “HUAGHUHHGGH!” was to put the cap back on, mentally brace myself first, and come back to clean the pen once armed with some information.

euhghghhh??

euhghghhh??

Time only made it weirder. The cotton candy transformed into black crusts. The black crusts were probably the last step before the mold gained sentience.

White crusties was a new, but no less concerning color

White crusties was a new, but no less concerning color

With no end of conflicting advice available, I decided on a cleaning regimen: first water, then vinegar diluted in water, then water, then J.B.’s Perfect Pen Flush, then water again. The vinegar, I somewhere read, could turn the nib black if it wasn’t real gold; my nib is still golden, so either it’s real-deal gold or that tidbit of advice was bunk. But in spite of all the cleanings, the pen just wasn’t right. The flow was off—I suspected the feed, in which you could see new white crusties had formed, and got in contact with Sheaffer.

Old feed: misleadingly easy to take apart

Old feed: misleadingly easy to take apart

We were making good progress in resolving the situation (no, I don’t want new cartridges; cartridges caused this problem in the first place; yes, I do want a new feed because your nefarious ink killed this one), and it even seemed like I’d be getting that new feed around the beginning of December. I sent Sheaffer my address and waited patiently, while my contact at Sheaffer presumably embarked on an epic quest to hand-forge my new feed in the mouth of an active volcano, because I didn’t hear from her for about 3 months.

The squeaky bird gets the grease

The squeaky bird gets the grease

I sent follow-up emails to no avail, and had given up all hope of ever hearing back from Sheaffer when I tweeted my disappointment. And almost as soon as I sent the Sheaffer twitter people my contact information, lo and behold the person I’d originally been emailing suddenly emailed me back! She survived the Ordeal of the Mt. Sheaffer Feedforging! I was so worried.

Not exactly the same! But compatible! And the only reason I figured out what this Sheaffer pen actually was? Listed on the part inventory: Connaisseur feed

Not exactly the same! But compatible! And the only reason I figured out what this Sheaffer pen actually was? Listed on the part inventory: Connaisseur feed

And whaddaya know, I got the new feed and the pen works now, the flow back to normal. Granted, I can’t get the nib to go on this new feed as far as it would go on the old feed—probably need special tools, or at the very least the legendary Mjolnir because I swear this new feed was friction fit with the force of the gods and only Norse magic can get this nib to go all the way in. I certainly couldn’t get the feed to come out. I doubt Sheaffer could either, since they sent the whole screw-in grip section with the feed.

You may now cue your favorite mystery music as appropriate

You may now cue your favorite mystery music as appropriate

What was it about those fateful brown cartridges that caused the pen to mold? Why does Sheaffer probably use hard to reach volcano gods to create impossible-to-take-apart feeds and grips? These mysteries may never be solved. What matters is that this old Sheaffer Connaisseur writes once again, and with that I’m willing to conclude the curious case of the moldy Sheaffer.





Grandluxe Dialogue Quotes Soft Notebook Giveaway WINNER

25 02 2014

I wish I could give everyone notebooks. But, I can’t. Here are the numbered entries, and here’s the winner:

A winner is you! Provided that this is you! If it's not you then my apologies!

A winner is you! Provided that this is you! If it’s not you then my apologies!

Congratulations, Rose! Email me as soon as possible (link in the upper right links menu on the webpage) with your contact information so I can mail you this notebook and hopefully it will go on to a better life with you! Everyone else, thank you for entering!





Ink Drop Soup: Is This a Trick Question?

29 01 2014
This post has too many words and not enough pictures. Hopefully this makes up for it.

This post has too many words and not enough pictures. Hopefully this makes up for it.

Some exciting little updates for No Pen Intended (title to this post inspired by the first thing I think whenever someone contacts me asking if I’d like to try one of their products and review it…..um OF COURSE!!!!)

Zait Pens Resident Reviewer – what what??? Yes, the good people at Zait Pens liked my review so much that they want me to review more (all? many?) of their pens, and have named me their Resident Reviewer. There’s even a rare picture of what I look like (if you were looking at me under very specific conditions…)

JetPens Sponsorship - they’re gonna send me things! Things to review! More on this later but get excited for now!

200th Review Giveaway – we’re not there yet (we’re somewhere in the 160s I believe), but once I post my 200th review I will be immediately following it with a giveaway of various pens, pencils, notebooks and such that I have stockpiled over the course of a while. The only rule for objects I’ve collected for the stash is that I had to get them on sale, and believe you me, I got some good stuff on sale. Brace yourselves!

I’m also still working my way through a 9lb box of various notebooks sent by Grandluxe, I’ve got one more Daycraft diary to review,  updates to post on my attempts to learn a thing or two about nib grinding, and plenty of other good stuff in the works! Also, I’m learning to run again. Running is hard. If I were running around to catch a package of Reese’s Cups in the plains, maybe I would be better at this running thing.





Billet Pens and Markers Kickstarter Giveaway WINNER

16 12 2013

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway, and a big big thanks to everyone who went and backed the project!!! YOU ARE ALL SO AWESOME! The Kickstarter was successfully funded! GOLD STARS FOR EVERYONE! Now on to the winner. Here are the numbered entrants, and here is the winner:

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

Congratulations, Tim G! Email me as soon as possible (link in the upper right links menu on the webpage) with your contact information and let me know which pen you want, so we can get this pen to you as soon as possible!

Thanks again to everyone and to Billet Pens!





Ink Drop Soup: Billet Pens Kickstarter Electric Blue Update

10 12 2013
A most glorious color!

A most glorious color!

Just a quick update to the giveaway and Kickstarter for Billet Pens & Markers — there’s now an electric blue option! It’s currently limited to 10 pens and 5 markers, so if you were holding out hoping one would appear, here it is!





Ink Drop Soup: Pen Bros

12 11 2013
20131112-032155.jpg

Brought to you by randomly deciding to organize some of my pens

I just noticed, this Chelpark Emperior and this Rotring Surf could practically be brothers (clones is probably more the word I’m looking for). Anybody know which one of these two came first into this pen world???

P.S. They are totally different under the hood:

20131112-033031.jpg

It’s like when you look at twins. Then you look closer and you’re like OH WHOA OK YEAH you guys are actually two different human beings

But the outside was just too uncanny to go without comment!





Ink Drop Soup: Monsieur Notebook on IndieGoGo

28 08 2013

Exciting notebook news! Monsieur Notebook has started an IndieGoGo campaign today in anticipation of their launching in the US. Backers can get their own artwork laser engraved on some awesome-looking leather notebooks! I’ve heard good things about Monsieur Notebook, so go check it out.

Monsieur Notebook Campaign on IndieGoGo





OfficeMax Private Brand Writing Products GIVEAWAY WINNER!

15 08 2013

Thanks everyone who entered this OfficeMax giveaway! I apologize profusely for posting the results late, but in my shoddy defense I spent most of Tuesday in a vehicle and on about 4 hours of sleep, having only a tenuous grasp on what day it was (an unfortunate side effect of working night shift). Anyway, here are the numbered entrants, and the winner is Heather!

Better late than never. Better not to have been late though. Never going to be better.

Better late than never. Better not to have been late though. Never going to be better.

Congratulations, Heather! Let me tell you about the Kuru Toga, and how I’ve seen it everywhere now from Wal-Mart to JetPens.

Leave a comment on this post so I’ll know you know you’ve won, and send me an email (link in the upper right links menu on the webpage) with your contact information so we can let OfficeMax know where your pens need to go.

 

Thanks again, everyone!





Ink Drop Soup: Pens are for Everyone

14 07 2013

Sometimes, in my pen socialization, I worry that I’m too poor for this hobby. I’m sitting there holding a pen in my hands and I think, “Here lies an entire month’s rent.” A passing concern flits through my mind—what if my pens are too cheap? I’ll be looked down upon as some plebeian poser, unfit to hobnob with people whose pens look like they belong in a castle.

I can't even afford a down payment on a fixer-upper castle

I can’t even afford a down payment on a fixer-upper castle

Well, for anyone else that has ever felt the same, I say: don’t think that way! The thing I love about pens is that they are truly for everyone. People with whom you have nothing else in common can be brought together over pens. Even your enemies, whose opinions you find almost vomitously odious, use pens—and that’s ok! That’s great! The pen stands as a point of shared humanity. As long as your language has a written form, you can use a pen. And if it doesn’t have a written form, you can draw. Pens are all inclusive; it doesn’t matter if it cost three dollars or three times my salary, when at the end of the day both pens write.

 

Shout out to my favorite cheapie pen of all time:

Delicious pens!

<3








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