pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
For many years I have been a huge fan of these pens, first tried out when I started having to deal with a lot of carbon forms which my previous favourites (which I've used since I first became aware of them in the late 1980s) didn't handle very well, for obvious reasons. Part of the charm comes from the fact that both items write damn well and keep on writing, even when one has taken pliers to them, pulled the nibs out and refilled them with this several times. 

However, I have always been frustrated by the fact that the only comparable alternative has remained resistant to easy disassembly and refilling. Imagine my horror, therefore, when local (Australian) supplies of the good old VBall 0.5 dried up and its successor proved just as impossible as the Eye to disassemble and reassemble. With this in mind, I snaffled a whole bunch of VBalls that were lying forgotten on the shelf of a small business-supply store in my previous home town; and CultPens.com, the British stationery supply store which is where almost all the above links lead (and which I have found nothing but a pleasure to deal with BTW) continues to stock them; but for how long?

So it was with pleased surprise that I found an allegedly refillable version. And because they were "discontinued", I bought two just in case they should be a resounding success and to keep one in reserve. Whoa, did I ever make a mistake!

They are refillable because you throw away the empty ink tube and you put in a refill. It's just like an ordinary ballpoint pen, as far as I can tell. A pity. I had hoped for something like a fountain pen, but with a ballpoint nib. IOW, a VBall 0.5 that doesn't need pliers to get the fucking thing open. What I got was certainly not what I expected, and it's little wonder that this model is now "discontinued". I suspect a lot of people thought what I did, bought it, found this out to their cost and did not go back. And it doesn't write as well as the VBall at all.

So give it a miss. A cheap pair of pliers, a bottle of ink and a syringe (preferably a narrow one, though not a diabetic syringe as there is no need for a needle), plus a handful of VBalls (or the supposedly "disposable" fountain pens, if you prefer them) will serve you very well indeed, and for quite some time. I've lost or mislaid more of these than I've thrown away. Eventually the nib does wear down and become scratchy - they don't last forever, by any means - but every refill is easily accomplished, and at a trifling cost compared to replacement. The only other disadvantage I have found is that the fountain pen's pocket-clasp, being plastic, eventually gives way and snaps, at which point it becomes a desk or pencil-case proposition, but otherwise they are a beautiful instrument to write with, and I hope Pilot never stop making them.

Declaration of Conflict of Interest: I have not in any way been paid commission or received freebies from Pilot or any other stationery sales, production or wholesaling company, as reward or inducement in advance for this post.
pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
Okay, we all know the trope. The artist - novelist, poet, philosopher, what have you - is (a) incredibly gifted and either (b) incredibly poor or (c) in possession of great amounts of money which he proceeds to pour down upon his doomed liver, breathe into his lungs or squirt into his veins, depending on where exactly in the 19th century he is (he may be desperately poor and destroying his liver, but in that case he's probably drinking mineral turps, not absinthe - or perhaps he's drinking mineral turps after blowing his inheritance on absinthe; whatever).

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, the artist - already weakened by poverty and alcohol (or cocaine or hashish or whatever) is coughing his way to a Romantic Tuberculous Doom up in his garret, pouring out reams of works (usually detailing his slide into dissolution) which will only be used as toilet paper while he yet lives but which future generations will hail as marks of genius instead of the deranged, DT's-driven ramblings of a tuberculous alcoholic.

What better instrument to record your decline with than this?

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pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
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March 2015

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