One of the things I like about my current life is that there is generally no reason why I cannot have a nap in the afternoon. On these sunny winter afternoons, the sun shines through the bedroom window onto the bed. The Girl loves to sun herself. After a long walk this morning (and a short night last night), I decided a nap would be good.
So, we snuggled for an hour or so, the warm sun on us both. The simple comforts of the warm sun and my best friend are so rich.
I posted an in-process image on my Instagram account yesterday. That image is of the section of the Estie with a new ink sack attached with some fountain pen shellac and drying.
The backstory (such as it is) is that I pulled my favorite old Esterbrook J-Series fountain pen from storage. I think it was my very first vintage Esterbrook. The cap and the body are slightly mis-matched. That is, the cap color is slightly different than the body color. My expectation is that someone down the line either mixed caps or a restorer pulled a matched up a set to make a whole pen from part-pens.
Regardless, when I received the pen, I renewed the ink sack (my very first Esterbrook restore) and added a brand-new 9556 Master Series nib unit. It’s classified as a fine-firm nib. In my experience, all of the Esterbrook nibs are nails. (Heh…)
When I decided to ink the pen yesterday, I dropped the nib into my bottle of Noodler’s Zhivago, a green-black ink that is bulletproof. The fill lever would not activate. So, I knew the pen needed service. I wicked the ink from the nib and set it aside.
After lunch I pulled out my tools and parts kit and started sorting through those items. It’s been nearly two years since I sorted through my pen kit. That was a kind of trip of itself. I mentally inventoried the parts and tools and found what I needed — a fresh Size 16 ink sack, my X-Acto knife (and blades), and the sack shellac.
I pulled the section from the body, with a little heat to loosen things up. The old sack broke apart in my fingers — ossified. It was, indeed, time for a new ink sack.
Back at my worktable, I removed the remaining parts of the old sack that clung to the section, scraping a little with a fingernail and my X-Acto knife. That done, I fitted and trimmed the new sack, shellaced the section, and attached the new sack. The assembly was then set aside to cure.
After an hour of puttering with other things, the shellac was dry enough to reassemble the pen. I dipped the fresh ink sack into pure talcum powder to lubricate it during operation of the fill mechanism. I lined up the nib unit and fill lever and pressed the section back into the body of the pen.
A function check followed and then the thumbs-up that all was well. I filled the renewed fountain pen with Zhivago and did some test writing. For an inexpensive pen (they cost a couple bucks new with the better nib units — now they’re about twenty bucks on ebay) it writes very well. The nib is wet and smooth.
I remembered why this inexpensive little vintage pen is one of my favorites. Like me, it’s a bit of a mashup of bits and pieces. But it’s functional and reliable.
So I noticed this morning that I have not written in a couple of weeks. That happens when I get busy with other things.
The weather is poor. This morning it is snowing. I think there is almost six inches of new snow on the ground. It rained, spit snow, and showed a little sun yesterday. There was enough sun to encourage me to get out for a bit and walk. But everything is so wet. The ground is saturated and any new rain will be runoff with little abstraction.
I thought the Carson River might make flood stage. I think it came in just a little less, with a peak discharge of about 9,000 cfs on Monday. I have photographs of the river near River Park and near Mexican Dam. I think I will post them and post-date them to their proper dates.
It is the new year. Happy New Year, friends. I pray your celebrations were safe and enjoyable. I know that I saw the new year in via my normal fashion… snoozing with my dog. Heh…
Life is good. I have more to write and more photographs to make and share.
With all of the snow and rain, I really expected there to be a chance for a significant flood on the Carson River. There was plenty of nuisance flooding in Carson City, with crews out dealing with some minor damage to a few facilities.
On Monday, the Girl and I drove out Sierra View, the road on the east side of Carson River. I wanted a look at Mexican Dam. The west side was “closed,” although I saw some hikers out and about on Silver Saddle Ranch. But, being the lawful type that I am, I eschewed parking outside the ranch and walking in because the gate was closed and posted.
Still, the view was pretty good. The discharge when I made the capture was about 9,000 cfs. That’s not a big flood, but is substantially greater than the normal spring runoff.
Before the storms arrived, the Girl and I had a chance to walk one of our favorite Riverview Park loops. I knew that weather was coming and wanted to get a good hike in before it arrived. We also met a prepper along the way and had an interesting conversation. His dog was a hoot — she would bark at overflying geese and aircraft.