NaBloPoMo #6: My Current Ink Collection

I snapped this pic of my current ink collection a few weeks ago for one of the photography threads on the Fountain Pen Network. Prior to this I had never counted my inks or even put them in one place at the same time. I was surprised to find I have more than I thought! I am kind of boring in that I prefer to use primarily black, blue, and blue-black inks, but I have seen many other colors that I would like to try.

Current inks (1017x616)
Here’s the list:

Front, Center: 
Sheaffer Skrip Black
Middle front, L-R:
Private Reserve Ebony Blue,
Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue,
Private Reserve D.C. Supershow Blue
Private Reserve Dakota Red

Middle, 2nd Row, L-R:
Private Reserve Sonic Blue
Private Reserve Black Cherry
Private Reserve Black Magic Blue

Outer Row, L-R:
Private Reserve Fast Dry Ultra Black
Pelikan Blue Black
Parker Quink Black
Parker Quink Blue Black
Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron
Noodler’s Air Corps Blue Black
Noodler’s Borealis Black
Noodler’s Black
Noodler’s Polar Black
Waterman Black
Waterman Blue
Lamy Blue
Vintage Parker Permanent Blue Black

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NaBloPoMo #5: The Man in the Arena

I ran across the quote below again today and though it would be perfect for NaBloPoMo. President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910. Most people remember it as the “The Man in the Arena” speech, however, because of its most famous passage.

T.R. reminds us that the men (and now, women) who deserve our praise are not those who sit idly by and criticize others, but those who are doing big things and who, even if they fail, are “striving valiantly.” I recommend reading Roosevelt’s entire speech here.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred
by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short
again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but
who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great
devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the
end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Powerful stuff, indeed! Roosevelt’s words are timeless and everyone can benefit from them. If you keep this quotation handy and refer to it often, you will become a better person.

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Bizzare Animal Creatures That Actually Exist

Ran across this today while perusing WordPress. I had no idea some of these bizarre, scary creatures existed. Makes you stop and wonder for a moment how nature could create so many unique animals. There are probably scores more that we have yet to discover!

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NaBloPoMo #3: Kitchen Appliances

Permit me a small rant, if you will. So The Redhead informs me that the coating on both the upper and lower dish racks in our 10-year old dishwasher is wearing off and they have begun to rust. She does some research and informs me that the cost to replace them is over $300, more than the cost of a comparable new dishwasher.  I don’t know what I should be more mad about, that the cost of the parts is outrageously high or that manufacturers force you to buy a new appliance when all you need are a couple of wire racks!

Anyway, we spent the afternoon shopping all the big-box stores but didn’t find anything that met all The Redhead’s requirements. Then we stopped at a locally owned appliance store and found a great dishwasher made in America that has all the features we were looking for. But then she reminds me that the refrigerator and microwave are also 10 years old, and that we have had the refrigerator repaired twice already. I could see the dollar signs twinkling in the salesman’s eyes as our conversation progressed. We’ve got to do our part to stimulate the economy, right?

Ah well, like many things in life, appliances don’t last forever. We supported a local business, bought American-made appliances, and The Redhead is happy…Triple score! I will have more room for beer as well, so that is an added bonus especially with the holidays approaching. Now we wait for delivery. The good news is, the new appliances will match our 5-year old stove!


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NaBloPoMo #2: Sunday Reads

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NaBloPoMo #1: 20 Things I Love

For my first official NaBloPoMo post, here are 20 things I love. The list is not all-inclusive, of course. You are free to draw your own conclusions:

1. My beautiful wife, The Redhead. She is the best thing that ever happened to me.
2. My faith. God has bestowed upon me more joy and blessings than any man could hope for.
3. My family.
4. My friends. You know who you are.
5. Spending a lazy Sunday with The Redhead. ‘Nuff said.
6. Reading a good book. Biographies, history, and current events, but I also dabble in the classics from time to time.
7. Fountain pens. There is nothing like the feel of a smooth nib on good paper. And I write infinitely better with a fountain pen. I always carry one with me.
8. America. Despite all our problems, we are still the greatest political experiment ever undertaken.
9. Making a difference in my community.
10. Music, especially classical music. I love Beethoven, and I love attending St. Louis Symphony concerts! I also like classic rock and big band jazz.
11. Travel and exploring new places. Here, there, and everywhere.
12. Food, especially Italian. And a good steak.
13. Single-malt scotch. The Balvenie is my favorite, but any good brand will do.
14. Old movies. It doesn’t really matter what kind. They are just better than the crap Hollywood is putting out these days.
15. Ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream?
16. Learning new things and new skills.
17. Sleep. I don’t get enough! And coffee, lots of coffee.
18. Beer. I have rarely met a beer I didn’t like.
19. Reading the newspaper daily and keeping up with current events.
20. A big, bold cabernet with a chunk of real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Dee-licious!

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30 Days, 30 Posts: NaBloPoMo is here!

It’s November, and that means it’s NaBloPoMo! A day late and a dollar short, as they say, but I am taking the challenge. As a new blogger, I often struggle with finding interesting things to write about so I don’t post at all. Maybe that’s because I want to post something profound and important. One doesn’t always have to be profound or important, does he? The NaBloPoMo challenge just might help me get into a groove of regular posting. Although I am starting a day late, I’ll be able to get my 30 posts in by Dec 1st. Won’t you join me?

The Blog

There’s a lot of buzz each November around NaNoWriMo — you may notice some of your favorite blogs dedicating themselves to churning out 50,000 words this month.

If 50,000 words seem like 49,000 too many or you’re more interested in blogging than writing a book, NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month — might be your speed: a challenge to post once every day for the entire month of November. No theme, no word count, no rules; just you, your blog, and 30 new posts.


NaBloPoMo started in 2006 in response to NaNoWriMo; not every blogger has the time or inclination to write a book, but the idea of a challenge that forces participants to stretch themselves, grow as bloggers, and be part of a supportive community is undeniably appealing. As founder Eden Kennedy, the power blogger behind, put it:

If there’s one thing creative people…

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