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Month: July 2024

Fountain Pen Alignment

Posted in Fountain Pens

A while back, I came across idipbananasintocoffee‘s Fountain pen alignment chart, I think in a newsletter. It’s a fun idea, and I decided to try my hand at it, but with some adjustments. Most importantly, my chart is based solely on the pen’s appearance. I do not take into account the performance of the pen, as idipbananasintocoffee did.

For those completely unfamiliar with alignment charts, they are 3×3 tables with good, neutral, and evil on one side and lawful, neutral, and chaotic on the other. Good-evil is fairly self explanatory, but the general consensus is that they are levels of empathy. Lawful-chaotic relates to adherence to consistent moral principles. Decisions are according to principles (lawful), need (neutral), or impulse (chaotic).

When You Can’t Get Over It

Posted in Non-Fountain Pens

I thought I’d come to terms with my Caran d’Ache (CdA) 849 Year of the Dragon. But then, Brad, The Pen Addict, reviewed the same pen, and now I have ALL KINDS of additional angry feels. This has effectively ruined the only decent year of the dragon pen release for me.

But, before I get carried away, let me back up for a minute.


Around the middle of last year, I started getting excited for the expected surge of awesome dragon products for the year of the dragon — I was born during the year of the dragon. Unfortunately, as the Lunar New Year products were announced, there was a dearth of dragons, and of products that looked like effort went into the design.

Ink Battle: Diamine and Diamine

Posted in Ink

This ink battle is between Diamine Wistful Watermelon and Diamine Sailors Warning. Both inks are in a TWSBI 580 with a F nib. The paper is Muji loose leaf plain.

Today’s ink battle is another bout of bottle versus sample. It determined if I buy a bottle of Sailors Warning, or relegate the sample to the “for dupes” baskets. I tend to prefer to buy bottles of shimmer ink, since the samples are often light on the shimmer.

For those unfamiliar with these inks, Wistful Watermelon is part of the Cult Pens exclusive Fresh Fruit series and Sailors Warning is one of two colors chosen by members of the fountainpens Subreddit in 2022 or 2023. Sailors Warning has been rebranded as Red Sky with some retailers and has a very interesting shimmer that looks either blue, silver, or pink depending on the light. I’m assuming it’s a multichrome shimmer, but I can’t find anything online to support that. For this battle, I shook the sample, but then let it mostly settle.

Between myself and Jim buying inks, we own far too many. This means I have some inks that are incredibly similar in color. And, because of that, I need to figure out which inks to keep and which to dispose of. Sometimes, I have samples of two or more similar inks that I'm trying to decide which to buy, or if I should buy one ink when I already own a bottle of a similar one.

Enter ink battles. I put the similar inks into pens with the same nibs (two Jowo #6 M, two TWSBI F, etc.), then test them out to see which I like better. Or, I may find out that, when used with the same nib, they’re sufficiently different to keep.

You can assume I have no problems with any ink that appears in an ink battle. I may find, when using the inks side-by-side, that there are performance differences, but the point of the battle is to choose a favorite ink, a "winner". These choices are often subjective, and you may disagree with me.

An ink battle — unlike ink dupes — is between inks I like. I enjoy using them enough to have them in my "for use" ink collection — as opposed to my repository of inks for testing dupes. If an ink performed poorly or caused problems, I wouldn’t keep it. And, if that were the case, an ink battle would be unnecessary.

Reminder: You can find all of the ink battle posts on the tag page.

Review – The Royal Wardrobe

Posted in Book Blogger

The Royal Wardrobe: A Very Fashionable History of the Monarchy

by Rosie Harte

Book Cover: The Royal Wardrobe

Genres: Non Fiction, Fashion, Royalty, United Kingdom
Release Date: June 8, 2023
Pages: 400
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Peek into the wardrobes of history’s most fashionable royals

Why did women wear such heavy and uncomfortable skirts in the Elizabethan era?
What the hell happened to Charles II’s pubic hair wig?
How did Princess Diana’s revenge dress become so iconic?

Fashion for the royal family has long been one of their most powerful weapons. Every item of their clothing is imbued with meaning, history and majesty, telling a complex tale of the individuals who wore them and the houses they represented.

From the draping of a fabric to the arrangements of jewels, the clothing worn by royals is anything but coincidental. King at just nine years old, Edward VI’s clothes were padded to make him seem stronger and more manly; and the ever-conscious Elizabeth II insisted her coronation gown include all the representative flora of the commonwealth nations, and not just that of the United Kingdom. Yet reigning monarchs are not the only ones whose fashion sensibilities could mean make or break for the crown.

Original and enlightening, Rosie Harte’s complete history delicately weaves together the fashion faux pas and Vogue-worthy triumphs that chart the history of our royals from the Tudors to the Victorians right through to King Charles III and our twenty-first-century royal family. Travelling far beyond the bounds of the court, The Royal Wardrobe reveals the economic, social and political consequences of royal apparel, be it breeches, tiara, wig or waistcoat.

Each stitch has a story, you just need to know how to read them

Pen Porn: 2024 Pilot Shareholder Gift

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with high-quality pen porn. 😉

I have a different type of pen porn post for you today: the 2024 Pilot Shareholder 1,000+ shares gift. While there is a fountain pen, and I do have some good photos of it, this time I’m more interested in sharing the packaging, because it’s really nice.

Pilot Custom 74 Brown

Athena: 1 Year Cured

Posted in Cat

Today, Jim and I are celebrating the anniversary of a momentous occasion. One year ago, Athena was declared cured of FIP. Allow me a moment of pure, unadulterated joy that our little goddess is not only still here with us, but going strong. Even just five years ago, there would have been a high chance we wouldn’t be able to say that.

Breaking News!

The U.S. has taken a step forward in FIP treatment. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they have effectively decriminalized vets providing treatment to FIP patients. Stokes Pharmacy started selling a compounded treatment — in this case a pill form — on June 1. While we’re still a ways from the legalized treatment available in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands — I can’t find any other countries listed as having legalized the treatment — it’s definitely a huge improvement. I can only hope that this development will make treatment more accessible, both in availability and price.

Now, back to Athena.