Monday, March 30, 2015

Because I was curious...

I can't tell what four of the pens that arrived in the lot of seven are.  Two of them have no unique feature, other than a previous owner's name etched and gold leafed into the side of the pen.  One is the yellow hermaphrodite.  The fourth is the little, three and a half inch long pen with the ring on top instead of a clip on the cap.  I think I got a good picture of that one--it's the fourth picture down on the post from last Friday.  It's absolutely adorable, even if the barrel of the pen is bent, and because I couldn't identify it, I wasn't planning on selling it.  I'm still not, since the barrel of the pen is bent, and there's a tiny crack in the pen body at the top of the lever.  But the not knowing was bugging the ever living hell out of me.

I typed the description of one of my pens' unique feature into a search engine--a laurel wreath engraved on a teensy medallion on the end of the lever.  Turns out, that was the identifying feature: the pen is a lady's pendant Eclipse, made between 1928 and 1932.

I found some pictures, and yep: that's my pen. 

Mystery solved.

I'm not dead yet...

...but life is holding the club at the ready to bash me in the head. 

It's been a long weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Got my pens, and found out that one had had the sac replaced, and someone had done it really, really badly: instead of letting the rubber cement dry before putting the pen back together, they ended up gluing the nib section to the  sac to the bar to the pen barrel.  Which cracked when I tried pulling the pen apart with my fingers. 

And it was a rather neat pen, too--the feed is transparent, and the nib looks to be in excellent shape.

I got two unidentified pens that came without a cap, and one extra cap. (And yes, that is my hand.)

 There's a yellow hermaphrodite* pen with a bent nib.  The cap doesn't fit the rest of the pen...which is what bent the nib. 

 I got an unidentified lever pen with a ring on the top of the cap rather than a clip, and a missing nib and broken feed.  The lever has some really pretty engravings, so bent or not, I'm going to replace the nib and feed and ink sac, and keep it.  If I can straighten the barrel, I'll consider selling it.

 I got an Eberhardt Faber Permapoint with some of the cap decorations (a ring at the bottom) missing, a nib bent away from the feed, and no ink sac.

And I got a Parker 21.  Probably a first generation, made in 1948, with a fine nib.  Yes, that's my handwriting. 

Nothing is  particularly worth a lot of money--the Parker is worth the most, and it might cover the cost of this lot  of pens. 

*The pen is both fountain pen and mechanical pencil...which works and has a blue lead in it.


I just checked the tracking on my fountain pens coming in for refurbishing...and they're out for delivery!!!!  I get to dismantle and inspect very old pens today!!!  Looks like I've got one (bent) hard rubber fountain pen (of indeterminate brand until I get a chance to get a REALLY GOOD LOOK at it) that will need a LOT of work, since it's actually missing a nib and feed as well as needing to be heated and straightened...but all of the rest look usable with just a new feed sac.  Which I will need to measure each pen for. 

If it seems like I'm excited, it's because I am.  I like fixing things, and tinkering.  I don't have the tools or capabilities to do that with my guns, but pens?  Pens I can do.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Busting my ass.

I got the pixie situated with a coloring book and Sleeping Beauty this morning...and then went and cleared the stuff out from between the end of the bed and Odysseus's dresser.  Then, I put on the new Tinkerbell movie that the pixie bought with her own money.  And got books shelved.  And put up a new set of plastic shelves on top of the dresser.  Put the pixie down for a nap...and got the sewing table mostly cleared off so that we can put it up on risers, and make it a more comfortable desk for Odysseus to use here at home. 

I still have quite a bit to do back in the master bedroom today.  I should go get back on that before my energy level drops into the negatives. 

I'm hoping the increased peace of mind from not living in the middle of a huge mess helps my writing output. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015



Damn it, I'm WAITING on the rest of my pens, and beginning to be VERY UNHAPPY with the postal service.*

*More so than usual, at least.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


In soaking the nib and feed* to be able to pull them from the section holding them for a good cleaning, I discovered that the feed was broken.  The only thing holding it together was dried ink.

And, given the time period when the pen was manufactured, finding a feed that fits could be a pain in the ass.

Current tally: I need a new feed, and an ink sac.  The presser bar is in sparklingly perfect shape.

*I'm assuming this isn't needed, but just in case: the feed is the plastic thing just behind the metal nib that brings the ink to the pen tip.


My Waltham pen has arrived!  I actually got the nib and feed section pulled out of the body with no problems...and promptly dumped out the ossified and shattered ink sac.  I've got the inside of the pen barrel cleaned, and the nib seems to be in good shape.  I do, however, need to get some clear, non-sudsing ammonia to clean the nib and feed.  I can see dried ink stains, but can't get them cleared out.

Long couple days

So.  Our washer, a 32 year old almond colored Maytag, is dead.  The parts aren't even made anymore.  The repair guy can't work any more miracles.  Doesn't even need it for parts, because all of its generation are dead or dying.  Were it a car, it'd probably have somewhere around a million miles on it.  Or more.  As 'tis, the last time being overloaded was the last time.

Time to get a new washer. 

We already know what we're going to get to replace it.  It's got a feature I can't resist, despite it being a hundred, hundred fifty more than my second choice: a cycle for extra heavily soiled clothes (read: small boy playing outside). 

In the meantime, we'll either be taking all of the clothes to a laundromat to get them all done at once (three baskets full--it might be the best option) or borrowing a friend or family member's machine. 

This happened last week.  Thursday or so.  I noticed it on Friday, and called the repair guy on Saturday.  He promised he'd call and come by yesterday.

And so, Sunday, I cleaned half my house.  The living room and the kitchen--the biggest mess in the house, due to small children helping make the mess.  It took almost all day, and I managed to do most of the work.  With zero energy.  I just...kept moving. 

I paid for it yesterday.  My feet still hurt. 

And today, I get to start on the bedrooms.  Once I get the cat butt off my arm and can get up, at least.  Most of that will be done (today, at least) sitting on the floor.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

random ramblings

The kids have been home all week.  Home and a little bored.  We've gone through several coloring books. The pixie has been using a kindergarten curriculum workbook as a coloring book (completely ignoring all instructions and expecting praise for a job well done).   And the imp has done a good number of worksheets in a grade 1 workbook--which is about where he is in school.  I think he'll probably be well into, if not finished with, the stuff in the book long before the end of the school year, since they have a full quarter left. 

Yeah, and he's been working through the worksheets on his own.  He just needed help with figuring out the word search and the crossword puzzles.  I'm hopeful that, with this latest leap forward in maturity, he'll be ready for first grade by the end of the year.  If he's not, he's not--I don't want to push him past his capacity--but I think he will be.

The pixie is finally recovered from her latest round of nasty.  She's done with her antibiotics for her ear infection, and she's not hacking and stopped up (which I'm not sure if that was a virus or allergies--I'll be starting her on Claritin tabs before school just like I do with the imp).  Last night, she came to me whining that she needed help blowing her nose.  So, I helped her, and she got rid of the last of the problems: a wad of nasty about twice as big as a jellybean.  Since then, she's been fine. 

The cats have had a new version of entertainment, this week.  The birds have well and truly returned, and seem to really love the maple trees out in front of the house.  Shadow really, desperately wants a birdie.  She'll sit on my end table, staring out the window, chin quivering, and tail sweeping everything off the table.  Never makes a sound, though.

Cricket, on the other hand...yeah.  She talks constantly, and when she's in the window, talking, with the same chin quiver as Shadow has, she sounds ridiculous.

Odysseus and I have been on Spring Break this week, too.  We've gotten some things done, but not a whole lot.  Mostly because he managed to overload and overheat our washer in doing laundry.  It never finished a spin cycle, and now, it won't.  I'm not sure if it's dead, or if there's just a belt slipped half off.  We've called the repair guy, and he'll be out sometime Monday to look at it. 

I suppose in the meantime, I'll just focus on the kitchen.

I found out, this week, that I can't really focus on writing a whole lot after the kids go to bed.  I'm usually too fried from watching them--even when they're watching TV, they're often poking at one another to start fights.  I won't have any grading next week, so my office hours should suffice for some writing, at least.

I've not given up, people.  I promise.  It's just taking a lot more time than I'd figured on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Just jumped.

I was given a bit of cash for my birthday, and I had an idea I've been wanting to try for a while.  So, I took my birthday money to Walmart, and bought a prepaid Visa.  And then, I went on ebay and used it to buy a few vintage fountain pens in need of repair. 

I have one that I want for me--it's a lever-filled Waltham, an almost tortoise shell brown/gold marble celluloid pen that was made in the '40s by a company that went under when the owners were nailed for tax evasion and war profiteering.  It probably cost about $0.35 new, and the nib looked in good shape from the pictures.  The sac will need replaced, and I'll have to see about the presser bar (it might be fine, it might be rusted).  The clip is gone, but...I may be able to fix that, too.  It's a lovely pen, from the picture, and has a history I can only wonder at.

It looks, in coloring and pattern, a bit like one I'd put in my Amazon wish list.  That one would have cost $25.  And not had the interesting company history.  This one was actually made in the U.S., and cost $10.

The rest were a lot.  About seven pens in various brands, including at least one Parker. 

That one is going to wait until I'm sure I can do the restoration by practicing on the other pens.  Because I want to make sure I don't screw up on a pen that could bring in a few hundred dollars when I resell it.

I'll post pictures when I get the pens, and when I get them refurbished. 

I'm a little bit excited, here.