It was twenty years ago today

Nothing to do with Sgt. Pepper, but all to do with home coffee roasting. My first home roast was on 7th November 2003. I had given up smoking around 3 1/2 months earlier, and had been retrenched for the second time a month earlier so had some time on my hands to take up something new. My first roast was of a Sumatran Mandheling, 80 grams in a popcorn popper. The roast was too dark because I hadn’t been able to identify the cracks as the beans heat up and make cracking sounds - firstly as the water in the beans heats and expands, and secondly as the coffee oils do likewise.

Fountain Pen +/-

As I wrote the other day, each fountain pen I have was bought for different reasons or for different attributes (beginner, demonstrator, flex nib, long cartridge etc). On top of that, each pen performs differently. What follows are my observations and comments on some of these attributes and performance. Some of these thoughts are personal and subjective whereas others are statements of fact about each pen. 1. Lamy Safari + Relatively cheap + Beginner indentations to assist pen holding + Replacement nibs easy to install, and relatively easy to buy + Smooth and comfortable to use - Somewhat cheap feeling/looking - Proprietary cartridges ^ 2.

Fountain Pens

My first use of a fountain pen (aside from the obligatory use of ‘cartridge pens’ back in primary school in the mid-70s) was around October 2015. At the time I was doing some journaling along with my Bible reading and recognised that my handwriting was pretty ordinary. I did some research1 and came across the idea that writing with a fountain pen can improve one’s handwriting because you generally slow down a little and take more care with the letters being formed.

Christmas presents

Here are a stack of videos and websites that (hopefully) make your Christmas presents easier to use and enjoy: A few links for Jez! Draw Happy for Jez Types of art journals Turning books into art journals A little spooky, but kinda cool, too And info for the rest of the fam: Ink - Written by Hand Ahab colour range Noodler’s Ahab setup for beginners The Disassembly Line - Noodler’s Ahab Noodler’s Ahab review Another review Filling a Noodler’s pen How to adjust a Noodler’s Ahab Flex Pen Adjusting a Noodler’s flex nib Heat setting an ebonite feed How do you like me now?

making coffee - a post in process

This is not some generic post about the theory or philosophy of making a cup of coffee, but a specific point-by-point set of instructions on how to make a cup of coffee (ie. espresso) with frothed milk (a la cappucino, latte or flat white) for one or two people. The equipment in use is a Diadema (Junior Plus) La Valentina levetta heat exchanger coffee machine, and the grinder is a Macap M4 doserless grinder.

Hobby Collection

In my 50+ years I’ve had a range of interests. Some fleeting, some have remained for years, some have come and gone. It used to disturb me a little - why couldn’t I be interested in something and stick with it? Why would my interest wax and wane? These days I don’t worry about it - I just go with the flow and follow what interests me. A number of years ago I came across two descriptions for people like me: “power hobbyist”, and “a collector of hobbies”.

Blackwing Pearl

On a recent visit to Sydney I came across a newsagency that sold items that seemed to be of a higher quality or calibre than your standard, run-of-the-mill stationery items. I found a stand that contained a range of Blackwing Pencils. Blackwing are either iconic or cultic (depending if you like them or not). This particular newsagency had a range of Blackwings including the standard, 602, Pearl and the 725. I opted for a Pearl and set of replacement erasers.