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February 2, 1999
a year ago

The Nibs Are Here!

So. We went to work, first thing I did was spread the questions back to everyone to get feedback, and while I was waiting on everyone, I went and ordered the pen. Simple as cake, just email'ed 'em and fax'ed credit card info and that was that. I just really hope it gets here before we have to leave for Boulder again.

Yeah, we're going to Boulder again, probably sometime beginning of next week, end of this week, possibly to get a house and just be done with that half of it. Folks are already going to come to the house while we're gone and Fezzik is set for the coming trip. Another fast trip. We already have about half a dozen houses we want to see, and it's going to be interesting to see what we really want or can get.

Lunch was a trip to deposit a buncha money from cashing in some long term investments. It's amazing how much money can accumulate when you save about a few hundred away before you ever even really see the money. With the new 401k plans we're getting into we don't need to do that anymore, can just have the company do it for us rather than pulling it out first thing. So we decided to cash out the old way of doing things and put it into the house. We still have the 401k's from Data I/O and Minc, which is rolling forward into the Xilinx stuff, but this was in addition and post-tax money so we don't have to pay taxes on it again. The nice thing is that we may well have enough for a downpayment on a house before ever even selling the house we already have. That would be useful for quick get away.

Now I know why I had to buy the pen. I'm just getting mildly overextended with all the things that need doing, and while it's all possible and I'm just doing things one after another, there's still this feeling of being completely overwhelmed by change. Getting rolled by a wave. Didn't help that this afternoon I was given a problem that only shows up in 600 MHz Pentiums. Whee. Timing problems are weird.

So, I have no idea how often I'm going to be able to get here while I'm off in Boulder. Xilinx seems to have a very solid firewall that might not let me out even if I do get into work to see what's going on, it's likely I won't be able to get access to this site. Which kinda sucks rocks.

I'll see if Ray can't find a way around stuff.

Jittered my way home, and found some dinner at QFC, just bread and stuff to go into a steak sandwich. Then went home, jittery because of all the things that I had to think of for the next day. Just too much stuff for my brain to comprehend it all and get on with life and the like. So I get to the front door and what should greet me there but a box from Pendemonium!!

I wasn't expecting the shipment for another week, as the check had gone into the mail just a few days ago, but I guess with Priority Mail things just go that much faster. I was pretty impressed, all in all, then I was very, very impressed as I opened the box up and started reading the book all about the mechanisms of how pens work and how the ink's surface tension and viscosity affects writing and by the time I looked up it was time to get to the deacons' meeting, and dinner was not even more than stuff on the counter.


John didn't really mind, so I wandered off, wandered back after just warning the deacons that I really wasn't likely to remain around all that long as we might be buying a house next week. Dinner turned out excellently, the bread and cheese and steak and everything turned out really well, and then I just spent a bunch of time packing everything into my briefcase. THEN I was finally free to play with my pens.

There were two quills and, it turned out, eleven gold plated pen nibs that were in lovely shape and really marvelous to use. The quill that I opened disappointed me mildly as the two tips hadn't been cut exactly even, so one was flipping up much sooner than the other, making the slit utterly unusable, unless I turned it all upsidedown for some weird reason. I'm still not sure why I could write with it upsidedown, but not rightside up, and I'm a little afraid to do a little adjusting with an Xacto knife, but I may end up doing that.

The gold plated nibs, on the other hand, did much, much better than I expected. Some of them are clearly the model for modern pens, much firmer, with a very fine point so that they can write entire paragraphs before they have to be re-dipped. I wasn't quite as interested in those as I was interested in the more expressive, flexible tips that dumped much more ink, but were lovely to use and did really amazing things expressing my handwriting. I really loved the thicks and thins and how it changed the entire block look of my handwriting. It also changed how I wrote, as it was always more fun to add a few more words if there was ink left in the pen.

Talk about an odd incentive to Write More.

Anyway, I eventually managed to get through all the nibs, and enjoy them all before I drank a Hansen's DeStress and fell into a well-drugged sleep, only to have to get up at 5:30 the next morning.

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