Monday OT: March 30 is Pencil Day

March 30 is day 90 of the Gregorian Calendar year,
Prickle-Prickle, Discord 16, 3186 YOLD (Discordian)
And let us not forget 13.0.7.6.16 by the Mayan Long Count

Pencil
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On this day in history:

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.
1822 – The Florida Territory was created in the United States.
1842 – Ether anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation.
1856 – The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War.
1861 – Sir William Crookes announced his discovery of thallium.
1867 – Alaska was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million by US Secretary of State William H. Seward.
1949 – A riot broke out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík when Iceland joined NATO.
2017 – SpaceX conductedthe world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket.

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Born this day in:

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1606 – Vincentio Reinieri, mathematician and astronomer
1632 – John Proctor, farmer hanged for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials
1746 – Francisco Goya, painter and sculptor
1811 – Robert Bunsen, chemist and academic
1820 – Anna Sewell, author
1844 – Paul Verlaine, poet
1853 – Vincent van Gogh, painter and illustrator
1857 – Léon Charles Thévenin, engineer
1863 – Mary Calkins, philosopher and psychologist
1892 – Stefan Banach, mathematician and academic
1894 – Sergey Ilyushin, engineer, founded Ilyushin Aircraft Company 
1902 – Ted Heath, trombonist and composer
1913 – Frankie Laine, singer, and songwriter
1914 – Sonny Boy Williamson I, singer, songwriter, and harmonica player
1930 – Rolf Harris, singer and songwriter
1935 – Karl Berger, pianist and composer
1935 – Gordon Mumma, composer
1941 – Graeme Edge, singer, songwriter, and drummer
1943 – Jay Traynor, pop and doo-wop singer
1945 – Eric Clapton, singer, songwriter, and guitarist
1947 – Terje Venaas, bassist
1948 – Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, rock singer (Black Oak Arkansas)
1949 – Dana Gillespie, singer, songwriter, and actress
1955 – Randy VanWarmer, singer, songwriter, and guitarist
1964 – Tracy Chapman, singer, songwriter, and guitarist

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Deaths

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Died this day in:

1764 – Pietro Locatelli, violinist and composer
1955 – Harl McDonald, pianist, composer, and conductor (
1966 – Maxfield Parrish, painter and illustrator (
1979 – Ray Ventura, pianist and bandleader
1986 – John Ciardi, poet and etymologist
1993 – Richard Diebenkorn, painter
1995 – Rozelle Claxton, pianist (
2004 – Alistair Cooke, journalist and author
2004 – Timi Yuro, singer and songwriter
2005 – Fred Korematsu, political activist, internee, hero, legend,

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Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:
Pencil Day
National Doctors' Day (United States)
Take a Walk in the Park Day
World Bipolar Day

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Music goes here, iirc, well, With apologies Wink

Vincent van Gogh

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Ted Heath

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Frankie Laine

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Sonny Boy Williamson I

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Rolf Harris

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Karl Berger

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Graeme Edge

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Eric Clapton

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Tracy Chapman

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Timi Yuro

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Gratuitous Encryption Zone
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—qvnfbuJ,qanfrugab,zrugenrA....gerfrqrugavqangF,ajbesrfbuj,frv
yrtnfviqrerggnufnxahfsynU,qanzzbpqybpsberrafqan,cvyqryxavejqaN
qnrefabvffncrfbugyyrjebgcyhpffgvgnugyyrG,ftavugffryrsvyrfrugab
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vfrotavugbArenoqanffryqahbo,xpreJynffbybpgnugsB”.lnjnensupgreg
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Image is Pencil

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It's an open thread, so do your thing

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Comments

Lookout's picture

I prefer using a pencil over a pen. Sure is better for mistakes. As a lefty dragging my hand across wet ink while writing was problematic too. Why did they make us use outmoded fountain pens anyway...never have used one since 6th or 7th grade when they required them.

Planting out the flats of young broccoli and lettuce seedlings today. Rain due tonight.

Thanks for the OT. I love Don McLean's Vincent. Here it is set with a visit to Walter Anderson's museum in Ocean Springs, MS

Have a good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
resuscitate some of my fountain pens and start using them again. Early on, I eveolved into something of a scribbler, always in a hurry to get done, or at least further along. Being into math and science helped, I noted that many of my fellow math-physics freaks did likewise. In high school a friend turned me on to fountain pens and gave me one. It slowed down my frenetic pace across or down the page and greatly improved my penmanship. I eventually came to dabble around the edges of calligraphy even. I do also like using pencils but find that as my eyes age I'll soon have to change from 2H to something more like HB, and I really don't want to go there.

Thanks for the video.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

This song is not great, and many may find it pretty icky musically, but my circumstances not only fit the lyrics, but the lyrics describe a lot about my life.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp
(usually,you can "copy embed code" from any you tube and just paste it into an essay or comment and it will work.) Hope you are doing well.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Just thought I would drop these here...

"That's The Way I Remember It"

It's only natural with time
Details can somehow slip your mind
Something so sweet, though incomplete
You fill the spaces in between

It never will be that way again
Maybe it wasn't, way back when
To my heart and soul
This is the way the story has to be told

That's the way, I remember it, I remember it that way
From the day, I was living there, I remember it that way

Some of our stories fade as we grow older
Some get sweeter every time they're told
That's the way, I'll remember you that way

Guess now, if the truth were known
Among diamonds they were stones
To say would be fair, girl
Nothing compares to when I called you all my own

So darling, don't ever you think twice
Those were the best days of my life
When I held you there and I'll tell this story
This way, time and again

That's the way, I remember it, I remember it that way
From the day, I was living there, I remember it that way

Some of our stories fade as we grow older
Some get sweeter every time they're told
That's the way, I'll remember you that way

Oh, that's the way, I remember it, I remember it that way
From the day, I was living there, I remember it that way

Some of our stories fade as we grow older
Some get sweeter every time they're told
That's the way, I'll remember you
That's the way, I'll remember you that way

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@magiamma You just might gain weight listening to some of them!
Lol!

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magiamma's picture

Et al

Going to dig up all my potatoes today and plan to replant in a gopher free zone. I will have to construct something to do so. Wire in the bottom and either more wire with landscape material around the edged to hold the earth in. Or wood. Probably the wire as it is easier and I have them already being used as compost bins at this moment.

Made lasagna noodles yesterday. More today and then lasagna tomorrow. Back to my old homesteading days up in Mt Shasta. Took the woman outta the country but not the country outta the woman. Heh. Good for now. But I am reading a lot about people freaking out. Cass keeps saying it’s gonna get weird after it’s all done. What do you think?

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
and cover with mulch, so maybe you need not dig too deep to plant them. Wire "hardware cloth" on the bottom and up to ground level (if not simply on top of the ground) bordered with something such that they cannot get between it and the cloth. One person I know of simply rolled out the hardware cloth and then set concrete blocks around the perimeter in contact with it. That works if you already have them, but for a good sized bed would cost more than one might wish to spend. I have raised beds made of scrap trex that I got free and recycled, stuff weighs enough to do the job.

Lasagna noodles. Do you have an Atlas or equivalent device with crank driven rollers, or just use ye olde rolling pin? I sometimes make hand cut noodles, either rolled with a rolling pin or the Atlas, but sometimes I use the machine to crank them out. I have an attachment that makes either spaghetti swized ones or something half-way between linguine and fettucine. Now I want to make some, but not on the menu for this week, hmmmm.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
Remember I am a potter. Heh and tee hee. What fun. So much like clay. I thought I had one of those machines but no. Still have my wooden rolling pin from the old days. I have to make more though.

Taters will go in above ground. wire under and outside a bit. Wire circle on top. Like the idea if cinder blocks. Have a few lying around. Then wire circle or whatever as i can shape it to a square if necessary. The big wire circles now are holding compost - which will go back in for the taters. Taters are all over just have to dig and move them.

Have a good one.

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earthling1's picture

@magiamma Morning M
Ancient Amazonian indians put down a bed of broken pottery shards and then soil, presumably as a barrier to moles and gophers. It is thought that the shards cut the paws and resulted in infection and disuaded habitation.
Wire fencing works good though.
Good luck.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1
an in-law who used to have large pieces of broken pottery scattered throughout the plantings and flower beds; it was a pretty cool effect.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@earthling1
Do have some broken bits. Also some of those early folks used biochar mixed with pottery bits iirc. Will sprinkle those around the outer edge of the wire bin - about 3 ft high and 3ft in diameter. Think you just pike straw ir leave over them as the grow up.

Right ?

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Azazello's picture

Tested positive for coronavirus.

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@Azazello

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd
thanks for the information and thanks for reading.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@UntimelyRippd How sad. His song, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” is my favorite from the Vietnam era.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sRCLHBhZPQ4

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@Anya
You Never Even Call Me By My Name with Steve Goodman (David Allen Coe added the final verse when he recorded the hit version). He never got credit or royalties though, because it was a joke song he and Goodman wrote one afternoon, and he was embarrassed about it slagging on country music, so when Steve went to copyright it, Prine said, "No, don't put my name on that!"

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
video. That was noted in the Guardian, which also mentioned that Alan Merrill (wrote I Love Rock and Roll) died on the 29th. You tube just froze up on me, so I can't post it. Maybe later

Thanks for dropping by.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@enhydra lutris

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

CB's picture

I never find any HB. The rest are too hard. The leads break too easily and they are a bitch to sharpen. Finally get a good point. Then one extra turn to perfect it - 'snap'. Gotta start all over again. Second time this happens, I break them in two and drop them in the trash.

I don't remember back in the day, when it was pencil, fountain pen or a piece of coal, that the pencils were so badly manufactured.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@CB
work for me worth shit. I have a vertical throat electric in the shop that does a good job but still requires a delicate touch at the end. I do find that "brand name" ones work better than generic, but can't help but wonder about shipping and handling - not so much at the factory and as the last mile. Toss a case of pencils into the back of a bobtail and you just might introduce a lot of micro-fractures.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@CB
folks still recommend the Mirado Black Warrior, though i will note that there are lot of complaints about lower quality now that production has moved from the US to Mexico.

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd
Palomino Blackwing 602 as comparable to the old & discontinued Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 which was allegedly "the" pencil. Never had one myself.

California Cedar Products introduced the Palomino Blackwing 602, which comes much closer to replicating the look and feel of the Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602. The owner of the company sent me a dozen to try out.

There was a name that popped into my mind from days long gone, but so is that recollection and all I can remember now is Ticonderoga

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
discover that there are entire websites dedicated to the adoration of pencils. The Dixon Ticonderoga and Mirado Black Warrior were the two favorites, but both are now made in Mexico -- for all I know, by the same workers on the same line, (Miracle of Modern Branding) -- and enthusiasts question the quality of both.

The Blackwing, apparently, was the be-all and end-all of pencils, but in a whole different price category.

I don't use pencils -- not even for crosswords and Sudoku -- but I do appreciate the fact that making them was the only marketable skill Henry David Thoreau possessed.

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd
if I was using cheap shit paper, which was quite often) I used pencils because most ballpoints leaked and skipped and ruined your shirts, etc. The friend who gave me the fountain pen was the scion of a family that had the Parker Pen franchise for the whole county and the fountain pen came with a Jotter as a set, at which point I became something of a convert.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
destroyed by labor arbitrage and vulture capitalism. Their original headquarters and one of their two flagship factories was in Janesville. One of Janesville's high schools is still known as "Janesville Parker". Long before I knew about that, growing up far from these parts, Parker ballpoints were my favorites.

I never used "real" fountain pens, though our old-school (ahem) wooden desks had the little hole cut out for the inkwell. I did use the cartridge-style pens, because my mom had a bunch lying around that she never used. When she gave me her old chemistry set (I was 7 or 8, times were different), one of the experiments was making ink. Yes, 8-year-old kid, unsupervised, firing up the little methanol burner and boiling stuff to make ink. She also had syringes (she raised show dogs, and did some of the veterinary type stuff her self), so she gave me a used one, and I used it to refill the little plastic cartridges.

up
4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Granma's picture

@CB

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Mechanical pencils are the only ones I will use - with an extra fine point. I'm a fine or extra fine point person, anyway. I don't like thick writing, lol.

I have my father's old pencil sharpener that he screwed onto his desk (I have the desk, too, but the sharpener is no longer attached to it). It functions just the way CB described, lol.

Stay present and be well, everyone! Pleasantry

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"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
aficionado, and I had a hell of a time finding some medium points for some of my old fountain pens. They old fine points just didn't seem to work well for me anymore. My mechanical pencils are an assortment of 0.5 mm, the 0.3s just didn't work for me. Somewhere I do have an antique staedler-Mars drafting pencil that is a lead holdere for leads that one sharpens with either a tiny sharpener or sandpaper/emery boards, but I havent done anything like that in ages. Doubt I could see the lines today.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lily O Lady's picture

of the two owner/founder. Lee Camp is now a columnist at Consortium News. My Google searches indicate that these might be bad times for alt media. Sorry, no links. I can’t do ‘em on iPad.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lily O Lady

directly to Truthdig without following a link and never as far as I recall, *read* Lee Camp, but do catch him on redacted.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

edg's picture

Q: Where do pencils go on vacation?

A: Pencilvania!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@edg
be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

edg's picture

@enhydra lutris

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magiamma's picture

@edg

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@edg @edg
He just couldn't get the lead out.

Why did the pencil quit the choir?
He insisted on being sharp.

[EDIT to improve the joke]
Why did the scientist throw out his best pencils?
How did the scientist's pencils break their points?
They got into a graph fight.

How many pencils does it take to change a light bulb?
What the fuck are you talking about?

Yes, I made these all up myself.

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

edg's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Where do inkpens go to college? Pen State

Where do protractors go for repair? Tractor Supply Co.

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Azazello's picture

the Ilyushin Design Bureau. No companies in the Soviet Union.
They designed the Il-2 Shturmovik, the single most-produced military aircraft ever. For the longest time there was only one flying example, at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, WA. The Russians recently restored one of their own, Red 19, seen here at the MAKS-2017 Air Show.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

Thanks for the Timi Yuro piece. She was magic in the 60s.
Wish it would stop raining, damn. Cabin fever setting in.
Speaking of fever (don't think I have one), can't find a thermometer anywhere. I have a cheap digital one. But it never varies out of 97°. Had earthling2 give it a go, same thing.
Went online looking for an old fashioned glass/mercury filled one, but they can't ship anything with mercury in it to Washington state. Crap.
Tried to send it to my son in Oregon, but the credit card come up with a Wa. address, crap again.
And they are all in centigrade.
I'm done.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1

It can't need shaking down. The test is to put it in a class of ice or boiling water and see if it moves then.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

travelerxxx's picture

Running SO late today that I'm just now reading this....

Have to comment that I do love me pencils. Seems most folks here are partial to the softer leads, but not me. My favorite is #2 3/4. Yeah, they still make them. In fact, a few years ago, my dear wife got me a gross of them. Yep, 144. Made by the "Blackfeet Indian Writing Company," or so it says on said pencils. My wife hates them with a passion (#2 and softer for her), so I don't have to worry about them disappearing quite so much. Hell, I even like a #3.

I don't have so much trouble breaking the points with this hard lead as I've learned to watch my pressure. Mostly, I don't like having to sharpen pencils constantly, so I developed the habit of constantly rotating the thing. I'm sure every pencil user does this to some degree, but I tried to make somewhat of an art of it way back when I was of tender age. Second nature now.

For sharpening, we use an electric Panasonic "auto-stop" sharpener. Except it doesn't "auto-stop." I have no idea what the "auto-stop" feature would be if it doesn't "stop." Which it doesn't. But, it does one of the best jobs of sharpening I've seen. My all time favorite was a double bladed Boston manual, but my ex-wife has that...

My primary use for a pencil is crunching numbers on paper. I make plenty of mistakes, so the eraser goes well before the thing has a chance to become a stub. I'd use those slip-on eraser thingys, but did I mention that I have 144 of my #2 3/4 pencils? That supply is going to easily outlive me. Especially since they're not affected by the corona virus and I could be...

More than a pencil user, I have been a fountain pen user. When the Sheaffer company came out with cartridge refillable fountain pens back in the 60s (?), I was sold. I'd tried reservoir pens of various types, and although I loved writing with them, they were a PIA to keep filled. I wrote a lot and the cartridge pens were a blessing. I could keep a handful of refill cartridges in my school notebook pouch and I was always ready to go. No mess, either.

My work as an aircraft mechanic meant that I could not use a fountain pen often. We were constantly writing on duplicate or triplicate forms which required the use of a ballpoint pen. I was sold on Papermates, particularly the Profile series with the Lubriglide ink. I was hard on those pens and it got impossible to find new ones. I finally had to give up on them right about the time I retired. Papermate was another victim of globalism ... or rather those of us who like the quality Papermates were.

Recently, I resurrected my last two remaining Parker cartridge fountain pens, as my Sheaffers had all bit the dust. Couldn't get them to flow well, even after cleaning. So, I decided to get a new fountain pen. The old German Kaweco Sport fountain pen - designed in the 1930s - is still being produced and I bought myself one. Twenty-five bucks. Writes like a dream, even with its fine nib. In fact, I like it so well that I might just splurge and get another, although with a much wider nib. Fountain pens have a cool feature of being able to change the line width as you write, depending on pressure and speed. Push down harder and you get bold letters. Hardly press and those lines go thin. Very expressive. Me likes.

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janis b's picture

@travelerxxx

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-mechanical-pencils/

Though, you might not find it as satisfying as developing ‘the habit of constantly rotating the thing.’

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enhydra lutris's picture

@janis b @janis b
lead unit sure sounds tempting, depending upon the grip, even though I have a small stash of 0.5 mm handy for whatever.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

travelerxxx's picture

@janis b

Funny thing is that back when I did a lot of manual drafting work – before the days of computers – I used many mechanical pencils. Rotating pencils was such a habit that I kept rotating the mechanical ones just as often as I did their wooden brethren.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@travelerxxx
make life esier and I have some (Sheaffers) and some convertibles (Parker, Rotring). Once was a time I liked to have multiple colors loaed up and they were definitely the way to go.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

travelerxxx's picture

@enhydra lutris

Once was a time I liked to have multiple colors loaded up....

Not that I go out buying fountain pens all day long, but recently I did pick up a really nice (for the money - not that much) German Lamy in blue Tourmaline. Ink is blue Tourmaline, also. Really cool. Mostly, I like black.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@travelerxxx

I'm a black ink kind of person.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --