Unpopular Fountain Pen Opinions

Alright, I’ve got a potentially (probably) divisive post for you today. I’m sharing opinions I have that seem to be unpopular based on what I’ve seen and heard in fountain pen groups and gatherings. Let’s jump in, shall we? I’ll start slow, leaving the doozies until the end.

“Rainbow”/”Iridescent” Finish

It’s been on a lot of pens in the past couple of years, and I think it’s ugly and overpriced. From Visconti’s Rainbow Watermark to TWSBI’s Vac 700r Iris and Conklin’s Duragraph Rainbow, pens at all price points are using the colorful finish.

I don’t know what to call it. It’s not a proper rainbow — the colors aren’t in order and there isn’t a good red or purple. It’s not iridescent — the colors don’t change, or even appear to change, at different angles. Regardless, I bought a seven piece cutlery set with the same finish about 3 years ago for $11 thinking it would be super cool and ended up woefully disappointed. I definitely won’t be investing in a pen with it.

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I Learned to Drive Stick Shift

Some of you may know that I used to be terrified of driving. I didn’t get my license until a couple of months after my 29th birthday. And learning to drive really only diminished my fear, it didn’t eliminate it. In the intervening nearly 4 years, I’ve hardly driven at all. In fact, I didn’t drive on the road at all until December of last year.

That’s because we only have one car, and it has a manual transmission. Jim tried, right after I got my license, to teach me to drive stick. But, he’d driven stick for long long that it was all muscle memory for him. He had trouble explaining to me what to do. And he loves his car so much that it freaked him out when I keep stalling it out.

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Time Travel

I came across a fun writing prompt the other day. The question posed was: If you could travel back to any era, would you and which one?

My immediate thought was, “Yes, of course,” but as I thought about it, I realized there were some qualifiers.

  1. Can I come back?
  2. How long would I have to stay?
  3. Would the visit be observation only, or could I interact with the people?
  4. How well would I be prepared for the era I visited?
  5. Can I visit more than one era?
  6. What social position would I hold during my visit?
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Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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Necronyms

This post is a cross between genealogy research and random thoughts. As I’ve been delving back into my genealogy research, I’ve come across an increasing amount of uses of necronyms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a necronym is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. In this case, I’m referring to naming a child after a dead sibling. Thinking in terms of modern-day expectations, necronyms seem a little insensitive, almost like parents are simply replacing their child. However, I found reference in one of the articles I read to naming conventions and traditions. For example, there were traditions that dictated parents name their eldest son after his paternal grandfather. So if that son were to die, the next son born would be given the same name. 

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Genealogy Terminology

I’ve started working on my ancestry research again. I’m currently researching the Dutch side of my family right now.

It’s been a year or two since I researched that branch. While I remembered some of the terminology used on official documents, I’d forgotten some, too. And, of course, I’ve come across some new terms as well.

Google Translate is great, but it only goes so far. Sometimes, it even gives you translations that are obviously, and hilariously, wrong. For example:

Translation exampleFor the record, the highlighted portions should be “Sheriff &” and “appeared” (as in, appeared before me) respectively.

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Christmas before Halloween

I’m a little late on this post, but the point still stands. It seems to me as though every year, Christmas shows up earlier in stores.

I was really struck by it this year. I went looking for some orange yearn for a crochet project about 2 weeks before Halloween. (Side note, orange yarn is difficult to find. I could hardly believe I couldn’t find orange right before Halloween.) Already, Michael’s was half Christmas.

Springfield Town Center was completely Christmas-ed out the weekend before Halloween. They at least gave Halloween a nod by draping spiderwebs over everything. It still didn’t make it OK in my book.

Halloween and Xmas

I enjoy Christmas. I have no problem with decorations, celebrations, etc. What I dislike, what annoys me, is how Christmas is encroaching on the other holidays. It’s long since obliterated Thanksgiving, but now it’s taking over Halloween, too. What’s next, literal Christmas in July?

I also often hear and read grumblings that Christmas sales are down during the Christmas season (Black Friday – December 24). Perhaps if Christmas sales and shopping opportunities didn’t start in October – I swear I saw stuff in mid-September this year – sales would improve. Just saying.

A Peek into my Brain

My brain bounces around a lot. A side effect of that is ending up with a significant amount of random thoughts floating through my mind. I’d like to share some of them with you.

Most of these posts will be short, probably averaging around 300 words. I expect they will be like journal entries, potentially written in stream-of-consciousness style.

If this sounds like something that will be of interest to you, consider this intro post an easy way to find the future posts. You can view them all here, or you can choose the Random Thoughts option in the category drop down list on the sidebar — to the bottom right on desktop, below on mobile.

You can subscribe to my blog to get every post delivered to you. Also, consider joining my Facebook group or following me on Twitter. I’ll share the posts there as well.

Explaining Pens

“You spent HOW much on a pen?” Every pen person has heard it at least once. It can get a bit annoying to hear, mainly because you can hear the judgement in the tone nine times out of ten. If you aren’t a pen person, you’ve probably though it while reading my blog.

I used to just laugh it off and continue the conversation, but the tiny kernel of hurt remained. It seemed an unfair judgement. After all, I stay within my monthly budget. All my bills get paid. What difference does it make if I buy a semi-expensive pen? Semi-expensive in relation to the full spectrum of available pens, that is.

Granted, if you’re someone who’s spent their entire life using BIC ballpoints, it’s likely the idea of spending even $10 on a pen is too much. But we’re all different. We all have something we splurge on (when we can). The trick is to know what the person you’re talking to splurges on.

For example, I was talking to a friend the other day who was having the typical non-pen person reaction (basically, wow, that’s expensive). Knowing she’s on the girly side, I told her:

“Pens for me are like shoes and bags for other ladies”

It was really interesting to experience her near instant change in attitude with her new understanding.

“ohh got it 😉 they are like the jimmy choos”

I’ve had similar experiences with other friends, too. Once I can give them something to relate to, they understand me better and the judgement ceases.

How do you explain your pen habit/hobby to friends and family? Or if you aren’t a pen person, what’s your main habit/hobby, and how do you explain it to your friends and family? Leave me a comment to let me know. I’m really curious.

Making Your Passion Your Job

“Do what you love and never work a day in your life.” How many times have you heard that? I can’t even begin to count. But, I’ve learned over the years that it’s mostly, if not completely, BS.

I typically try to keep my posts positive, but today I want to provide a cautionary lesson. More and more, recently, I’ve seen examples of people making their passion into their work and finding that those passions fizzle and burn out.

The nice thing about a passion that remains a hobby is that you do it because you want to. And when you don’t want you, you have the freedom to take a break. The moment you turn it into a job, you do it because you have to, and breaks aren’t really an option. Having to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do is a quick way to lose interest.

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