The sisters are enjoying their LPs in warm modern comfort. The winter never chills the inside, thanks to Thermo-Pane or something like that.

I wonder if that's a real product. Googling . . . ah! Yes, it's a generic term, it seems. Anyway, I feel about LPs the way I feel about rotary phones. I have the same feelings about fountain pens as I have for streetcars: I see why people love them, I share the feelings, and I understand completely why people dumped them for ballpoints and cars. There’s a certain romance to both, but along came something more convenient and dependable, and that was that.

On my desk sits a nice Pilot fountain men I’ve had for years, and it has done the one thing a pen must do: write instantly. Lately it has become peculiar in its appetites. I’ll put in a new cartridge, and a few days later it seems to have drunk it off entirely without doing much work. It’s getting dry on its own supply, you could say.

Why are fountain pens more satisfying than ballpoints? Is it the feeling of the ink flowing instead of rolling? Is it the slight but smug self-regard you get for being a fountain pen enthusiast, which is one of those passions and hobbies full of minute arcane knowledge and details absolutely no one else cares about? (Watches are the same way. No one cares about your watch. Well, not in the same way as you do.)

I can’t discount the pretentiousness angle, because I uses a fountain pen all through college and beyond, and I know I enjoyed the thought that I might be noticed for being a fountain pen writer. Insufferable, but at least I kept it to myself. The pen was a Shaffer’s People’s Pen - I know I’ve mentioned this before - and it had the double effect of staining my middle finger blue, as well as periodically leaving a blue blot in my back pocket, where it would leak.

Hadn’t thought about that in years. I kept it in my back pocket. That seems unwise. It had the usual fracture point where the top screws on to the barrel, and since it was plastic, you could snap it quite easily. Apparently I didn’t.

Did we all keep our pens in our back pocket? The shirt pocket was out, unless you were in engineering.


The People’s Pen was named because it Empowered the Masses to put Big Bic Up Against the Wall, or something like that. Also known as the Student Pen. I found this picture from an old auction, and yes, that’s what I recall. I remember buying a new one - because I sat on the old one, of course - and discovering the nib wasn’t quite right. Too tight, too scratchy, too loose.

What happened? Why did I abandon this civilized affectation?

I learned to type.

On a manual. And I have the same feelings about manual typewriters as I have for record players.

Hey, it's Friday. You want something DEEP AND IMPORTANT, the great wide interet awaits. Here you can chat about pens and record players, if you wish. Interesting how the latter is always coming back and very popular now but you still haven't seen many stores on the Return of the Receiver Geek and the Speaker Fetishist.


The facade is a bit more detailed than it appears.

A bit more.

The view from a block away, looking at the apartment building across from the RBC.

The weekly sweep:



Gather 'round, kiddies, and let me tell you about teh man who shot himself in the head!

Solution is here.





Just one today. A show called "Behind the Microphone" discusses how best to get a pitch across.

Ooooohhhh boy




Ah, the bygone genre of Stereo Demonstration records.



Not a song you hear played a lot these days.




Tinsel is just cake frosting.

Again, can you guess the sponsor?


That will suffice, I hope. See you Monday. For now, I give you . . . historic bathrooms.



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