I got some really unexpected Christmas gifts this year.
First, another appliance from Odysseus:* a small air fryer, one just big enough to figure out if I'll like a bigger one or not. I have been wanting one for about a year and a half, but...just never got one. Not really in the budget for a casual purchase.
(Now, all I need is a good french fry cutter. I really, really want to try making sweet potato fries.)
Second, I got stuff from my mom and sister. I wasn't expecting anything at all from them. Yes, I gave them a brief list, but also emphasized that I didn't want them to get me anything at all, since they paid the taxes on the place where they're living (21 acres, with two houses, a chicken house, and a large barn adds up) this year. To pay my aunt back for her paying off my mom's pickup.
And what I got from them was really, unexpectedly awesome.
First: I love Parker Quink Blue-Black. And I tried to order some (bottled) from Amazon a couple years ago. I ordered the 57mL bottle, and got (from a seller in India) two 1oz bottles of "Quink Blue" that wasn't: instead of it being like my other bottle of Quink Blue, it was...viscous. And smelled. It smelled like paint and paint thinner. And wasn't returnable.
I rinsed the bottles out and kept them because they were adorable, but I dumped the "ink" out.
My mom and sister got me a bottle of the Parker Quink Blue-Black. It is one of my favorite, favorite blue inks. And now, instead of being down to my last cartridge, I have a whole bottle.
Now, that would have been awesome enough, but that wasn't all they got me. They also got me a set of four Wing Sung 3008 pens.
I've been curious about them for a while: they're inexpensive piston-fill pens that looked like they'd hold a goodly amount of ink. Kinda similar to TWSBI piston pens, but with some distinct differences in the ones I was given. They look a bit like the 580 that I already have, but have a clear plastic feed instead of a black one, have a piston knob that locks, and (unlike TWSBI full-size pens) can be posted.
Downsides, as compared to the TWSBI 580: the grip section doesn't unscrew for filling the pen with a syringe, and there's no inner cap to seal to keep the nib and feed from drying out if they're not used at least a little every day (which even TWSBI's Eco has).
Of course, I cleaned one (with tap water), and inked it up with the Quink. It is an incredibly smooth writer. Very smooth. It's also lighter than the TWSBI 580, but heavier (by a little bit) than the Eco.
I've seen these pens offered on Amazon, with Prime shipping, for under $4/pen (remember: set of four pens). The TWSBI Eco costs about double what the set of Wing Sung pens costs, and the 580 almost double that (it is double if you get the version with the aluminum piston knob and grip). They are a spectacular value. Great pens.
Currently, I have three of the four inked: one with the Quink, one with a shade of bright green (kinda on the yellow end of green, rather than the blue end), and one with purple.
I do like these. I like them a lot. (So does Odysseus, who's used the one I had loaded with blue ink this week at work).
No, I really wouldn't recommend them for someone who just wants to try fountain pens for the first time--mostly because you have to fill from a bottle. You cannot use a cartridge. And bottle filling is messy. But for someone who's used fountain pens long enough to get frustrated with the color choice of easily found cartridges (blue or black? Or blue-black?)? You betcha. These are great pens for anyone with even a little experience using fountain pens.
*Again, gents, do NOT buy your other half any kind of appliance for any holiday or birthday, unless you know for a fact she won't kill you in your sleep for doing so. I am NOT your typical wife.
34 minutes ago