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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Reads 2/24/12

Weekend Reads Edition 9! Wow, almost ten now. I can't hardly believe it's been almost three months since we started the Weekend Reads. Feels like it was just a week ago to me. :)

I've got another podcast for you today, as well as some great questions and answers! A special thanks goes to Maja, who provided me with two delightful questions to address today. Thank you Maja! :)

To the rest of you: make some coffee, find that favorite chair, and enjoy!

Now becoming the new usual start - We'll begin with the Weekend Reads podcast! I'm very excited about this weeks podcast! Last week, the podcast was given a very warm welcome, and I hope this week will be even better.

You'll also notice a fancy new icon for the podcast. The inner graphic-designer still resides in part of me... :)

Remember, I'm counting on you guys to leave me feedback on the podcast this week! I need to know if we've improved, gone backwards, stayed the same - whatever! Just let me know how you like it. :)


Subscribe to the blog if you haven't already! You don't want to miss out on future Weekend Reads now do you? ;)

Like I say in the podcast - I've just submitted this to iTunes! Soon enough you will be able to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, on your iDevice of choice. For now, if any of you are "techies" like me, here's the raw XML/RSS feed if you're interested in subscribing early. It works great on my iPod Touch 4g, but please let me know if you have any problems with it.x

And now, for the Links of the week: top picks from my favorite blogs and forums!

#1: Wow, if anyone can make an ordinary ink look astoundingly incredible it's this guy! Just take a look at this review of Rohrer and Klingner Verdigris. This ink looks like any other ink to me, that is until I saw this review. If only the ink could make my handwriting look like that!

#2: Iroshizuku has some fancy new colors up. :) To be honest though, I'm not altogether enthralled with this new selection of colors. Of course, when you look at the ink bottled up in those gorgeous bottles, it's hard to resist. But on paper, they really don't stand out that much to me. Your thoughts? Are these inks you'd consider purchasing? I'm a big fan of Iroshizuku, but due to their pricing, I have to love one of their inks in order to justify buying it.

#3: FPGeeks hits another home-run with an Awesome Review of the Lamy Safari! I've been considering purchasing a matte black Lamy Safari for a while... Now I'm seriously needing one. :) Man, this matte black addiction is getting bad!

#4: I'll admit it - as a guy, there are few things that strike me as "cute". These however, definitely qualify! Bunny-rabbit index tabs!? :) Never seen em' before, but for just $2.50, I have to get some next time I order from Jet Pens.

That finishes my links of the week for February 24th! Let's move on to (what I hope will be) an extremely fun:

Q&A Time!

Q: What are your favorite NON-fountain pen writing instruments? (if any :)

A: Now that's a tough one! If I were to compare my fountain pen usage to my "other writing instruments" usage, I would say that fountain pens dominate it with about 99.9% of the time! I hardly ever touch a pencil, and I do not own a single ball-point pen. I guess you could say that I am truly devoted to FP's. :)

But, I do have a favorite ballpoint and mechanical pencil. Nothing fancy, and both can be purchased from any store that sells office supplies.

For ballpoints: I love the ever-popular Pilot G2. It's a great pen, it's cheap, and writes oh-so-smoothly.

For a pencil, I am liking my Zebra M-301 0.5mm these days. once again, can be had just about anywhere, it's cheap, it's mostly metal, and it works very well!

But to be honest, I use my pencil very rarely, and I haven't used a ball-point in years! I only use my pencil for doing website/graphic-design mockups and sketches. I never use it for writing...

Q: What technique(s) do you use to remove stubborn fountain pen sections?

A: This is an excellent question. I will try to explain in detail here, and be sure to check out the podcast for even more detail!

The most important technique for removing a stubborn FP section is PATIENCE. Without patience, you are destined to break and/or destroy whatever pen you're working on. I only say this because I've done it myself in my early days of pen repair. hastiness caused me a lot of sad pen-casualties. :(

Now, onto the good stuff. I'll go step by step here:

  1. Soak the pen section in water if you're sure that will not damage it. some hard rubbers and materials will discolor if left in water. Be sure you know hat material you're working with before you get started. When you soak the section in water, make sure the water cover the entire section, and barrel threads. The idea is to get some water down inside where the section and barrel meet, and loosen things up in there.
  2. Next, try gentle dry heat. Buy a heat gun if you don't already have one. A simply $20.00 craft embossing gun will do. That's less expensive than one bottle of Iroshizuku ink, so it's worth your investment. :) Heat the section and barrel threads up till they're warm to the touch, but not burning hot. Then, using padded pliers, grip and pull apart or unscrew - whichever your pen requires. I find the friction fit sections can be the hardest to remove. A gentle, and I stress gentle rocking motion can really help loosen the section. Be careful you don't crack the barrel though! Heat helps soften the plastic so it doesn't crack as easily.
Okay, I did that, now what? My pen still won't come apart...

This is where patience comes in. you keep repeating the above steps until the pen comes apart! It can take days to get a section of sometimes. Requiring dozens of soaking, and 10 or so "heat sessions". I've had quite a few like that. The key here is patience. You must know that the pen will eventually come apart, and that it's just a matter of time. But as soon as you rush things, you're pen is toast...

That's it - it's very simple. Just basic techniques and patience. Try it, but don't give up if it's not working in the first day or two. It can take a long time. Remember, these pens have been sealed up for 60 or more years in some cases! They can be extremely stubborn!

That's it for Q&A Time this week. A bit short? Yes, too short in my opinion. :|

So please, consider taking a minute out of your day to send me some questions for next week. I would not only love to hear from you, but I'd be eternally grateful for the help!

Email me anytime:, or drop me a comment below. Thank you! :)

And lastly, the Blog Forecast, to finish the week off:
  • It's looking like we're going to have a week of ink! I've pretty much got ink reviews for the week. I'm not ready to do my MonteVerde Invincia Stylus review yet, and I've got a bunch of pens inked with new ink right now.
  • We'll be summing up the ONE MONTH Pocket Challenge very soon here! I will provide a detailed post with photos, much like a mini-review. It'll be fun. :)
And that's really it. Just some ink reviews and an update. It'll be a good relaxing week, before I roll out some pen reviews again! I'm hoping to have the new TWSBI Diamind 540 review soon enough.

And that's it for Weekend Reads 2/24/12! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed!

Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of the second Weekend Reads Podcast! I want to hear from you. ;)

Make sure you don't miss out on next weeks reviews: subscribe to the blog! Your subscription not only keeps you up-to-date, but encourages me to keep on-a-bloggin'. ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

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