Sooo, Sequestration came…and went. Nothing. The world did not end. Thousands of people did not lose their jobs, and the Government just sent $250,000,000 to Egypt. Enough money to pay for 5,000 jobs at $50,000/year. Huh. Business as usual, I guess.
Ok, I’m a pretty weird character. I geek out on the strangest things. Flashlights. Radios. Ink Pens. Specifically, fountain pens. I know, I’m weird, but they’re so neat! I’ve been fascinated for years, but the most I ever did was buy a Sheaffer school fountain pen at Wal-Mart a couple decades ago for like $6. It’s a cartridge pen (it takes cartridges instead of using ink out of the bottle), and it writes really well…for a $6 pen. That was the first fountain pen I ever bought. I still have it, in fact, and use it regularly. The second thing I bought was a calligraphy set. Don’t remember how much it was, or where I got it, but I guarantee it wasn’t much. I played around with calligraphy a little, but to be honest, my hand isn’t steady enough for that. And any case, I’ve since lost that pen set.
Fast forward a decade and a half. I’m in Office Depot, and see a Yafa fountain pen. I say to myself, “Well, it’s about $13, but that’s cheap for a fountain pen.” It is, indeed, very inexpensive, but here’s the problem with impulse purchases…you have no idea what you’re buying until you get it home. I take it out, and it feels really good in the hand. It’s larger round, pretty hefty, and looks good. But the pen simply doesn’t write well. It takes forever for ink to get from the cartridge to the nib (the tip of the pen), and when it the ink finally does get there, it skips, and has trouble starting. I put the pen in my pencil cup, and basically ignored it.
So a couple weeks ago, I was looking through my pencil cup looking for a working pen, and found the Sheaffer and Yafa pens. So I readied my Google-Fu, and came across John Morgan’s oPENions site. He has a very good beginner’s guide, and a several good reviews on inexpensive yet good writing pens. Using those reviews, I made additional Google Searches, and hit several forums on those pens and others, eventually coming across mention of the Jinhao pens. Inexpensive Chinese-made pens that write fairly well, and are only about $10. So I went to ISellPens.com, and found everything I needed. I bought a Jinhao medium nib pen, which came with a converter for bottle ink, a bottle of black Noodler’s Ink, and a Sheaffer converter (I wanted to try to convert that old school pen to bottle ink). I had the stuff in about four days, and immediately cleaned out the pen for its first inking.
So far, I’ve been very happy with the Jinhao. It’s heavy, and has a large diameter, so it feels very significant in your hand. It writes fairly well, with very little skipping, and starts right away, even after a weekend of non-use. Unfortunately, the Sheaffer converter didn’t work, as the school pen I have is only for cartridges. Still, it can be used for something else. I’m finding that fountain pens are wonderful to make you really WANT to write better. To concentrate not only on what you write, but HOW you write it. Next time I get a few dollars, I’m going to get one of those Lamy Safari pens, and maybe some blue ink. It’s a hobby that can be really expensive, but not necessarily so. And like flashlights and radios, it can be endlessly interesting.
…I still don’t use the Yafa. Bad writing is just bad writing.
Ran across another “Climategate” (silly name) article on the net. This one written by someone who believes in the consensus that global warming is man-made. However, there are some really good points that the author (Megan McArdle) makes in her post.
Basically, these emails point out flaws not necessarily in the conclusion, but that the road to that conclusion was flawed in a way that makes the conclusion untrustworthy.
To convince someone that you are right, you don’t go around beating up anyone who says you’re wrong. You convince them you are right by showing your conclusion, the base facts, and how you used those facts to create your conclusion. Even an idiot like me can see that. Deleting your source data (or losing it), and obscuring how you reached your conclusions would have gotten at most a “C” grade in my high school geometry class. My geometry teacher was all about “show me how you got your answer, not just the answer”. If a high school math teacher doesn’t accept the method, why should we?
As a U.S. taxpayer watching our national debt skyrocket (and my pocketbook shrink), I’m appalled that we’re using these seemingly unsupported answers to force possibly economically devastating laws such as cap-and-trade through congress. Even worse, it seems that we’ve spent millions or billions (I never seem to see the same answer twice) of dollars funding those very same conclusions, and maybe spending billions more in the future.
I don’t know. All I know is that these scientists don’t seem to have a clue, and I’m not sure we can trust any of them anymore.
Oh my, did I get a laugh out of this. I’ve been quietly steaming over the whole “Man-Causing-Global-Warming” thing for a while now anyway, and the released emails and documents from East Anglia have just added fuel to the fire. But this…it takes the cake, eats all of it in front of you, and burps in your face.
I hope I can find some more articles written by this Andrew Thomas. Very funny read…unless you’re French.
Ok, I thought that title up, and then went looking for it, to be sure someone else hadn’t thought of it.
…naturally they did. http://normaluncertainty.blogspot.com/2009/03/sy-why.html. Oh well, guess what, it’s STILL a good title! Claire pretty much makes every point I have about the switch from “SciFi”, to “SyFy”. Still, it bears repeating. Here, let me do it right…
YOU ARE THE SCI-FI CHANNEL! SYFY MAKES NO DANG SENSE! AND YOUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR SHOULD BE SHOT WITH BB’S UNTIL HE/SHE FIGURES OUT WHAT THE WORDS “GOOD PROGRAMMING” MEANS!
I mean, geez, let’s look at what’s been on in the past couple of months. Mostly hack-and-slash horror flicks. I mean, I like a good horror movie as much as the next guy, but “Saw” isn’t even Science Fiction, just Fiction! At least get the genre right! I guess they want to get away from all that SciFi crap. It’s cramping their style. They want to grow as artists, I suppose. Maybe do poetry at the local coffee house. Get a cappuccino and do some beatnik, bohemian crap.
Get this through your thick heads…SciFi MADE you the powerhouse you are today! You don’t go alienating your core demographic and turn your back on what has made you strong in the business, just because you want to play “The Sound of Music” on Friday nights! You start a spin-off company for that!
There have been some dim spots of goodness. SG-U is a surprisingly good show, and the movie Wolvesbayne didn’t suck. But most of those original shows and movies aren’t even “B” movies. Maybe “D” movies…if you’re lucky. I’m not sure SyFy execs would recognize a good script if it rolled itself up and played “The Stars and Stripes Forever” on a banjo. The few glimmers of near-brilliance are immediately replaced with mediocre, or downright horrible programs.
And why am I seeing so many of these horror movies on there, anyway? What happened to the “Science” in Sci-Fi? “Saw” was just one of many. Now, I know they’re doing this “31 days of Halloween” (a blatant ripoff of Fox Family’s old 13 days of Halloween–ABC should sue), but I’ve been seeing nearly nothing but horror on there for several months. Seems “SyFy” execs think that “SyFy” means “horror blood/guts fest”. Nearly 50 years of classic SciFi to air, and they give us “Children of the Corn 23: They’re Back Again and Again”. Do they give us “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, or campy cult classics like “Battle Beyond the Stars”? No, they give us drivel such as “Basilisk”, and “DinoCroc”. Ugh. Do I even see “Lord of the Rings”? Nope, not here. Gotta watch that on TNT. You get to see “Manticore”.
“Why do you keep watching?”, you may ask. Well, it’s kinda like watching an auto accident. It’s horrible, but you can’t quite look away. It’s fascinating in some sick fashion.
So I guess I’ll keep watching the death of a good channel. Unable to look away.