Matt at Ace Typewriter

Matt at Ace Typewriter is a great guy. We had a nice chat today. His pickup policy, well I don’t think it exists. When his dad ran the shop if you didn’t pick up your repaired typewriter in 30 days he sold it. Matt keeps them around. He pointed out a part of the store where they were put after five years. He says he will get around to selling them someday.

I was in there for two things. A hard lid, or cover, for my Hermes 3000 that came without one. The other item was a platen know for the right … err, left-hand side that came with one that was too wide to fit with the hard lid or cover for my existing 3000. They are close enough in years to fit it. He had one from an earlier year that was a small amount smaller. He will keep an eye out for one, they come through he said. The other item was the left-hand platen knob. He had those, It seems to be one that was 3D printed We put it on. Or rather he put it on. He also adjusted the margin release. That is big for me. I push the end of the line and often am stuck with a character or two Over the Line. The previous two lines were returned right after the bell rang. Bad habit for me to get into. He also lubed a couple of other points. “You have to do that every 10 years or so. Otherwise, the return lever will snap right off.” Yes, yeah right, like I will remember nine and a half years to do that.

So I brought home the typewriter with two platen knobs. Neither of them matches the machine. But I can put on the lid. Yay! for Matt!1

In a way, I was really lucky too. Hanging on the wall was a sign. “Closed today Oct. 29” Ace had been closed the previous day. The day I had planned to go into Ace. I just didn’t. Lucky for me, with them being closed. He also has a pair of Royal typewriters. I had to get out of there before temptation overtook me and I bought one. They will still be there when he calls about the lid.

— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k


Feeling like I belonged in a time past. Except I was there for most of them. The emergence of rock and roll. Computers being born and immersing themselves in our life. Drugs getting illegal (LSD 1968) and popular. The riots of 1968 (Chicago for the Democratic Convention) and a worldwide set of riots I did not know of until later. The invention of “Chicken Nuggets” – rolled in sugar and fried in fat, that was 1982 or so back then. Disco, killing music or so they said. (Pengilly’s was alive them and I understand it is alive now. If I make it to Boise) “Rubber Soul” inspired by Bob Dylan, or so I read. Cities with “tall” buildings being five stories high. And “First Interstate Bank” when they legalized that kinda thing. My longing for those days ranges from early 1960s to mid-1980s. Anything earlier and I don’t remember and well I was just a toddler and don’t recall any of it. After the mid-80s is just too recent. Too recent? Thirty-five years is “too recent” har!

There were some things that I bet people now are feeling the jones for. A minimum wage that could fund time in college. Or beers for 25¢. Or … they were my good times. And I went down a rabbit hole today. Rubber Soul, Revolver, 1969 (CSN), and a typewriter.

I bought a typewriter from my high school English teacher (and debate coach) for $25. I lost it in the late 80s. I was getting into computers. Because I could do it and I needed to have a way of living.  Yes, I was stumbling through life. Well, so much for my typewriting of the time.

I used to watch bats catching bugs around the lights of the stadium’s parking lot. This was on the walk home from the bar with 25¢ beers. I do not recall why I was walking home those nights. It may have been a mile or less, but the memories! This came after “Rumors” a year or two after that time. I was just going through life. Not knowing if I was going to live or not. A couple of years out of being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,

Perhaps I don’t go beyond the early 80s because I passed through the “5 Year” he is still living point. Perhaps. But I have the nostalgia for those days,

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

Sad and Happy Times

I should be happy today. We have passed a big landmark. I have not been a patient in a hospital for a year and a day. Well, yes, I did have many years without being admitted to a hospital. But this retirement just has not been a time span without visiting the hospital. Last year I had a mother of all prior conditions. In 1977 they really didn’t wave a solid grip on treating cancer, Hodgin’s Lymphoma. So they blasted me with Cobalt 60 and poisoned me with, another other things, Mustard Gas. As it turns out the radiation planted the seeds for heart failure and, in my case, a weakening of my lung. 1 woke up one morning puking up blood. Only this was the second time. The decision was made to remove the upper left node of my lungs. 1 was done with that last year on the 25th and then home. That whole thing came after my other adventures. So I am out of the hospital.

You would think that I would be happier. This year makes it less happy. This year has been the pits. I am looking forward to a more normal time.

I must apologize to a writer, a poet, who wrote this. I have missed getting her (I am pretty sure it is a woman’s) name. And going back on Facebook to find a thing you have left is pretty damn hard.

We isolate now
So when we gather again
No one is missing

Hope you are also.

Hey! Out of hospitals for a year! Yay!

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

We Like Crows

On many mornings Jennifer takes some food out to feed the crows. She whistles to them. They flock down and enjoy what she brought. Leftover oatmeal, some chicken scratch, stale hardened bread are all on the menu for them. We both enjoy watching them eat. At times they, or rather one of them, takes some food up to the birdbath and soaks it for some time. On feisty days squirrels will arrive and we will watch them fight for the food. Even more entertainment.

Yesterday we took a walk, and on the way back ran into our neighbor Tom on a bicycle (Trek for the curious) and we stopped to chat with him. A bit of this, a bit of that. It was good to have some interaction. Then we heard a “crack” sound. We looked and saw a walnut in the middle of the street. On the power line above it was a crow. It seemed to be watching the nut. Another crow arrived and was walking around on the lawn nearby. It certainly looked like the crow was preparing something to eat. We were pretty close so the crow did not swoop down to eat the nut.

We talked about crows and how smart they were. Then a crunch. A car had run over the nut and smattered it on the road. We laughed at the crows and their smarts of dropping the nut on the road in a busy part. We kept looking up at the crow and over at the other crow, were we too close for them to come on down for the nut? Well, we had run out of things to say. Tom wheeled away. Jennifer and I started for home A dozen steps I stopped and turned to watch the crows again. “I want to see …” and soon enough the two Crows were pecking at the nut, Yep, a snack was ready to eat.

~~ MichaelRpdx ::osm5

Obsession Progression

I think I need a new obsession. Who am I kidding? Pens, fountain pens are great. But I am adding to it, Yep, another obsession to go with it. Making my handwriting legible. Sure I can, mostly, write things that other people can read. Well, sometimes. Heck, I cannot even read my own handwriting. It should be called my scribble. You would think that after five years plus and around 4,000 pages written I could read it all. Nah. Not a chance.

I did spend a lot of time going as fast as I could. I would spend 40 minutes, an hour each day at it. To what end? Yes, there are benefits. Waking up my brain being a huge one. But still, it would be great to be able to go back over the past. And so I am now working on my script, my handwriting, to make it legible. When I have that done I can work on making it beautiful. I have seen quite a few examples of people’s handwriting. It is gorgeous. I would like to have handwriting like that.

I got out today for my One Daily Walk. Still working up how far I can go. Last year I did a ten miles stroll. I was shooting for a half marathon, a little over 13 miles. I still hold that goal. But the lung surgery (removing the upper left node) put a dent in my aerobic conditioning. So most days I get out and go up the hills here (it used to be easy) and keep going. If it ever gets too bad the city busses can get me home.

Sourdough bread, yeah everyone is doing that now. But hey! I was doing it before others were. In the fan group who were doing it, not the bakers who do it because they prefer the levan that way. There is a loaf to be rising up now. I am hoping for it. I have been waiting for three loaves in a row that I consider good. Seems like I have the third on its way. Then I can start in on experimenting and making stuff that isn’t what I want but it is a learning loaf. That is fun. Fresh bread and home roasted coffee, those things make a day great.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k


I am obsessed. My name is Michael and I am obsessed.

I don’t know when it started. It grew on me. I did not admit to it early in my life. But now, well now, I need to admit it and live up to it.

I find something that is neat, bicycling, Linux 0S for computers, roasting coffee, watercolors, woodworking… the list of things that I have been obsessed goes on and on. I hear about something I read up on it. I buy a thing. Then another. And another. And it goes on. At least with software for Linux it is all free. Want to do video editing? Which one do you want? Download the top three or four and try them out. Yes, that is cheap. Not so with everything. But, you know, I have to have things and try them.

Lately, my obsession is with fountain pens. Why? They do write beautifully. Especially colors! I have a set of cartridges there are six colors there. But the blue is not quite right. So I bought a set of three Japanese, ooohhh Japanese!, a sampler set. And then, as I do I was in a group on the internet, there is always a group on the internet, I heard about a company in Pennsylvania that made inks. Oh so pretty! “Weathered Brick” is a brownish-reddish I am waiting for, along with two other inks. They are only nine-ounce ones. And pens. I am looking at four pens, all different. I “needed” to have the four pens to find out what one is right for me. Well, there is a set coming from China – eight pens for $10. I had to try them. And then today. Yeah, today. I was watching reviews. Wouldn’t you? And there was one on “Five Best Pens for under $5” OK it was put out in January but it was also Australian. Hey, that means 71 cents USD to one AUD. Wow! That means pens for around $3.50. I watched. Hey! There is a pen I ordered today! And those! They are like the TWSBI pens, err sorry, pen I have. I checked eBay and still today you can get a set of four pens for $7.50. Holy cow. I did.

Because I am obsessed. What is a couple of weeks of waiting for a shipment from China Post? I could have bought one for $7.95 … but I am obsessed.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

P.S. – Why have so many inks to choose from and only a pen or two?

Reading Again

Do you recall the library card you had as a kid? If you had one there were columns for date checked out and date returned. Four or six columns per side. One summer I filled up the card. A librarian didn’t believe I was reading the books, until she asked me about the four I was returning, four was the limit for a kid, and I went on and on about them. This was a time I had read all of The Bobbsey Twins (don’t do that now) and the other youth books they had available. So I started in on the adult stuff. I was pre-teen then. But I recall checking out the Gone With The Wind and the Autobiography of Eddie Rickenbacker, a WWI flying ace. Both of those books were 2,000 or so pages long.

A couple of years ago I was in Goodreads, an online book tracking place. Do reviews, track of what you had read, set goals, that kind of stuff. I was into 30 books or so in the summer and revising my goal of books to read. Ahhh! Retirement! All that changed when I had a stroke. Eventually, I was able to read. But not like I used to read. I have slowed down. My stamina is much less than it was. I have been working on it.

This weekend I finished 330 pages of NOIR, from Christopher Moore. It was a bad thing to do to a nice book. When the book started I kept my nose down and continued to read. Until finally, FINALLY, I finished the book. It is the longest thing I have read in two years. Mostly because it is a great book. A noir novel written in the last 10 years? They quit writing noir style novels … a long time ago. OK, it was set in 1947. So that fits. But wow! There are enough metaphors in that book … nah, no slick wordplay from me. Read Moore to enjoy the words. Because they are good.

OK, I am mostly asserting it is a good book without giving any examples. Know that it starts with the protagonist discovering his boss dead on the floor. Then he backs up a week and tells how it happens. Thanks mostly to “toots”, a woman you can see on the cover of the book. It helped me get through my lack of stamina and onward, I hope, to more reading. I have a TBR pile from the library.

—— MichaelRpdzx :: h3k

P.S. The international Hermes 3000 is awaiting some good cleaning. I have a can of PB Blaster. This is a first for me. Wish me luck.

P.P.S I am looking forward to not getting too caught up in Fountain Pens. They arrived. A hat tip to Joe Van Cleve for including Twsbi pens in his video on them, They are great pens. Now to work on my scribble and turning it into writing.

Robert B. Parker

I do not know what I am about to type about. Not a bit. Jennifer says that I have a nice haircut. My fountain pens arrived a day early, it is exciting especially given that they write so well. Perhaps better than I do. Ummm, what should I type about?

“He poured it down the middle as the great gods of hops intended.” That came from Robert B. Parker. I have not read any Parker in years. I may not even have a copy of any of his books. But he stays with me in the form of that quotation. What is it like to be famous for that bit of writing. I supposed it a better than being remembered for the guy who was playing the protagonist (sorry, I don’t recall

his name) this dim wit was all set for another season of playing him when Bam! he is arrested and convicted for cocaine possession. Spent a year or so in jail in the UK and the people that had worked on the series were all elsewhere, certainly not getting their living from the series. Gah, I don’t recall the name of the protagonist, or the name of the actor. Just the writer’s name and the quote. Oh sure, it was set in Boston, he cooked well, had a girlfriend who was a lawyer and a black friend, Hawk? and his distaste for Shoppes. He called them “shop-ees” because it seemed quaint to tourists and he really didn’t care for tourists either. Well, whatever. A toast to Robert B. Parker and the books he wrote and I enjoyed.

Not much today. But something. Again. Another half page.

— MichaelRpdx :: osm5


VOTE and Beer

I have one thing to insist on today: VOTE!

I have. We received the ballots in yesterday’s mail. Filled them out, sealed up the envelopes, dropped them off this morning. We have been waiting for … months? to vote. And now we have. Remember: VOTE!

Oregon votes by mail with lots of ballot drop off locations. It is the local library for us. I guess that for many of you this is not the case. If you are asked, lobby for a system for your state. It is a fantastic way to go about it.

So much for my soapboxing today.

This book, NOIR, is the longest book I have read since I had a stroke. It takes me longer than it used to to read a book. I am plowing through it. Slowly. I did note a bit of irritation with it. Digressions! Long ambling tales!! Unnecessary characters! Wait! Hold on Michael! What is your rush? What do you need the end of the story to come so quickly? This is not a bit of non-fiction that gives several bits of stories to set a stage because you won’t get the point of the story without the examples.
(I am looking at the writer for a news outlet.)
Yes, the book is a fiction to be enjoyed. That is the point of it, isn’t it? If not what is the point. of it?

There is a beer waiting. Well, OK, two beers. Perhaps three of them. The Southwest Gentlemans Association meets on the third Thursday of the month. Not that we have for quite a while. We are doing it tonight  … tonight (wait, is that right? spelling wise?) I went out and bought some beer for tonight. I have known these guys since 1995 or 1996 or some tire back then. It was part of the Oregon Brew Crew. Since then OBC has changed and so have we. So we meet on our own. We are all certified judges and had some great palettes and it seems they have them still. I have fallen away from those refined taste buds. I have also lost 70+ pounds since then. I gave up the constant tasting to keep my palette trained. I am happier with less weight. There is plenty of beer to enjoy. And other things to enjoy also.

— MichaelRpdx :: osm5

Herb Caen Loyal Royal

The “Loyal Royal”, do you know the series of typewriters? They belonged to Herb Caen. He was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. I first encountered him when I went to the San Francisco Art Institute in 1980. Like many, I read his column, even if it was the only thing I read in the newspaper. In a book I am reading I wondered about Herb Caen. Was he really being read in 1947? Oh yes! He had started his column in 1938 and kept it up until he died. Six days a week 1000 words to a column. He was only not writing for four years during the war. Consider that … 1000 words a day … every day … for over 60 years. If you are in San Francisco you can go by the Chronicle’s office and see one on display … maybe more than one. He coined the term beatnik and popularized hippie and … so many bits about San Francisco. Including … ellipses. Look him up on Wikipedia to get a bit of flavor and see one of the Loyal Royals they have on display.

1000 words a day! A day! Six days a week! For 60 years! What a record he holds. I am considering it. So many words, to capture the minds of people. I have not even drunk coffee that consistently for my life. Thinking on what I have done … I have eaten and slept that consistently. I cannot think of anything else I have done so consistently.


It seems my Royal does a double space every once in a while. I will forgive it.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm