What’s What 7/31-8/5

Getting some lead out, gellin’, Stationery Store Day, and vacation’s here.

Inked Right Now

  • Montblanc 144R with Montblanc UNICEF

All by its lonesome.All by its lonesome.

That’s it. Just one fountain pen right now. I covered the background on the UNICEF ink before so all I’ll add here is that my love for this ink was 100% confirmed and I’m very happy I bought the bottle.

The Scribo, Esterbrook, Prera, and Decimo were all empty or close to it so I made the break and cleaned them out. The Scribo will soon get filled with another Callifolio sample to continue the exploration of those colors. I think Payne’s Grey is next.

New & Exciting

After posting about rollerball preferences a few weeks ago, a reader wrote me to say I should look at the Monteverde ceramic gel refills to try in my Parker Jotter. Specifically, they said the broad point in blue-black had flow like a fountain pen or liquid rollerball. The refills in question cost $4.50 so I added one to my Vanness order with the Callifolio inks. Popped it in the Jotter and the results are good.

It does feel very much like a liquid rollerball in terms of feel and flow. The paper used above is more absorbent than most fountain-focused papers I use so the ink dried quickly. I tried it on Rhodia next and found the dry time was good there as well. Color me impressed.

Thinking About

This coming Saturday, August 5th, is Stationery Store Day. There’s a day for that? Yes, thanks to Kristina Burkey of Calliope Paperie in Natick, Massachusetts. She started it in 2022 to help highlight and celebrate smaller independent stationery stores. I encourage you to check out the list of participating stores to see if there’s one nearby that you can visit. I will be at Calliope to check out all the festivities and shop their always fantastic greeting card selection. You can also find Stationery Store Day on Instagram where Kristina is currently previewing some of the special items that will be available on Saturday. If you’re a fan of any form of stationery then this is your day. Go celebrate it!

It's an oversized mug, okay?It's an oversized mug, okay?

Earlier today I was trying to make some headway on cleaning/organizing my desk because it’s been a disaster zone for a while. I came to the mug of mechanical pencils and thought Man, when did it get to be that many?” Then I realized that isn’t even all of them. There’s another stash of 8 or 10 somewhere else that I can’t find right now, plus an old Wahl Eversharp that came as part of a set with my Skyline fountain pen. Next came an exasperated sigh.

This is a good chance to prune a part of the overall stationery collection. Looking through the bunch I know there are 6 or 7 that get regular use and would be considered keepers. The rest are all good pencils but they don’t stand out in a particular way to justify sticking around. The fact that these pencils cost much less than fountain pens on average plays a part in their piling up because I don’t look at a $10 Kuru Toga sitting idle the same way as a $100 pen I haven’t used in a year or more. Eventually, though, $10 pencils add up like anything else and you find you’ve put real money into things you’re not getting a return out of through use. The push not to hang on to things I don’t need and don’t use is waxing right now and these are a prime place to start.

Lastly, I’m on vacation for two weeks. It felt like a long time coming, in part because it was a target on my pen buying embargo. I made it from the end of June to now and kept the no new pens promise to myself. I still plan to visit Appelboom Boston in these two weeks. I still have a level of happy anticipation to go there, but not in the same way as before the check yourself” moment a month ago.

Will I buy something at the shop? Yes, I figure I will, but I don’t know what. Part of this comes from the idea that you should support the physical storefronts you care about because if you don’t then they have less chance of surviving. I hold this apart from the excitement of “Let’s get a cool new pen, even though I don’t strictly need it!” That said, how does this idea square with the point above on accumulating things that you don’t necessarily get use out of? The best I can answer is that I’ll try my best to be deliberate and reasonable when deciding what comes home with me. I won’t put advance parameters on what deliberate and reasonable means because I think I’ll know what it is when I get to that point. We’ll see what happens.

Enough introspective logic pretzels for now. Vacation will be over before I know it so I should get back to putting my feet up and watching old movies. I think I’m going with Treasure of the Sierra Madre tonight.


31 July 2023