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May 24, 1999
a year ago

Pen Stuff

More meetings.

John did start the day nicely, though, but getting up first, as usual, and then making mochas for both of us with Hershey's syrup and everything. Yum. I was buzzing through the early morning, though, and we had a few meetings that spawned other meetings and by the time we were through, I was brain dead.

I really, truly, didn't want to cook by the time we were headed home, so we stopped by Taco Mine to confirm that, yes, indeed, they're always closed on Mondays, and then went to the new pizza and sub place. I got spaghetti with meatballs and the noodles were thick and chewy and nice in a tomato sauce that was nice and chunky with real onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Very yummy, and as we ate we watched the Avalanche play the Stars through the first period.

After that we went home and listened on the radio to the battle that was even all the way into the third period. Then, like the previous game, it broke open on a moment of opportunity after it was tied pretty tight. That was cool to listen to eventhough the Aves lost. It still sounded like a very, very toughly played game.

While we listened, I dried out and packed the eyedropper pen that I'd gotten on ebay. It had arrived Friday night, after we'd gone out and everything, and it turned out to have some light toothmarks all over the nib section. It was like someone used their teeth to get the eyedropper section open. Oops. The seller was very nice, today, and offered to take it back as they hadn't noticed the teeth marks. Oops. I felt rather odd about the whole thing, as the darned thing was a hundred years old, had a very nice, flexible nib, but leaked ink pretty badly as well. I like things I can use as well as keep for their age.

So I did send it back, though I could probably have liked it in the long run.

I was tired enough to just grumble at the mothes, tonight, and there were still fewer, though they did still come in.

I also took the four quills that I'd tempered over the weekend and had fun stripping one of them neatly and then started to cut into three of the four. Two of them just shattered like crazy and smashed. Even when I got past the shattered sections, I had real problems with the knife tip technique outlined on the regia site. The knife wouldn't go through until 'enough' force was applied, but with that amount of force, once the material began to split, I'd end up with inch long slits crazing back and forth across the tube. Splits that are between a quarter of an inch to half an inch don't affect the stability of the tips, but when they're an inch long the tips of the tines have no way in heck of meeting.

I have a feeling that leaving them in the sand all day might have made it easy to shatter, but there's more to it. I'm probably going to have to try the soaking and then tempering and *then* cutting. Kathy said that the materials science guy said that adding heat homogenizes most systems, so, if the main reason isn't just to get the water out of the system, then soaking it and then heating it might make sense. If it really is just to get the wet out of the system, it seems weird and wrong.

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