Monday, March 09, 2015

RIP Waterman fountain pen

You might know the story from here, but if you don't, here's a quick summary. A little over 10 years ago, my wife bought be a nice Waterman fountain pen. It wasn't the most expensive pen, nor was it the cheapest. It was the first "real" fountain pen I bought; prior to this, my father had purchased me a Sheaffer pen from Staples (or equivalent). The funny part of all of this was that the pen happened to be a woman's pen, that is, marketed and created especially for a female market.

While I was marking some papers on Saturday, my pen ran out of ink. As I unscrewed the barrel from the nib section, I saw that the threads in the nib section were "messed up." I must have overtightened it at some point, but I wasn't sure when. Looking more closely, I noticed that the threads section had cracked almost all the way around the pen. I removed the bladder (where the ink is held if one does not want to use a cartridge) and noticed the damage. I screwed the nib section back into the barrel without the bladder, and the whole pen seemed to bend, as the two sections were basically held by a small piece of yet-to-be-cracked plastic. Needless to say, I was not impressed. There is no way to fix such a thing, I don't think. And in case some might think otherwise, Waterman pens come with a 3-year warranty, so that passed around 7 years ago.

Thankfully, I still have my father's Sheaffer, a Parker pen from the late 1950s that I bought as my 5-year gift at Providence (my go-to pen, except that its nib is a bit bigger than I would like), and an old Sheaffer I found at a local crafts store for free. I would love to buy a TWSBI, a Chinese pen that has been lauded by most.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Today is the first day of the rest of your life ...

But, of course, tomorrow is also the first day of the rest of your life. And the day after that, too. Basically, until the day you die, this is the case.

Still, I haven't blogged here for months and months. I was on Sabbatical last fall with big plans to blog and read, but I spent most of my time writing (and going to Walt Disney World). The Bowie book has been sent off to the publishers and it should be published soon-ish (perhaps in the fall, at the latest).

I started reading Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, a Barthes book that I had not yet read. I made it two-thirds of the way through, and then this new semester started. I will get back into it, I promise.

I was looking at the books on my shelf and saw a curious volume called On Racine, by Barthes, that I have never read (I don't even remember ever looking inside of it, but of course, I must have). That should be the next book I read.

As I mentioned, today is the first day of the rest of my life, so I will get on with it.