Not Dog Days

If you invert the seasons, to switch us from six weeks after the shortest day of the year to the longest day of the year,

now let us pause.

Pause for 24 hours. Consider a day, well no. Not yet. We pause for 24 hours and watch a killer great thing called Lupin. That sets my mind. It has me thinking differently. But, yeah, about the weather. The longest day of the year, if things were reversed. We are getting into the dog days of summer. You know what they are like. Except now, it is winter with the shortest days of the year. And they do not call them the dog days. They do not, As far as I know, have a similar playing with words for these days. The coldest days of the year. But they are here. With the coldest days all around us.

So invert your thinking if that gives you some warmth. You will need it. Sometime. Not all the time, but sometimes. It is on its way.

Now I had something on my mind. What was it?

~~ MichaelRpdx :: rh3k

Normal Covid Days

Type a page daily. Write pages in the morning, Morning Pages. Read something, like Atomic Habits or Ego is the Enemy. Have coffee with my wife. Think about lunch. Take my blood pressure. Roast some coffee. Reflect on the things I have read. Take a walk, or think about doing that in the rain and the cold. Read some more. Watch a video or two on YouTube. Practice Spanish, Latin, and Esperanto. Meditate for at least a few minutes.

On a not normal day, I will go shopping with my masks. I will go to Costco. Or Trader Joe’s, a very rare happening, for the second time today. Monthly I will visit my doctor’s office, have a finger pricked, and find out how my INR is. If it is Sunday, I will go to Safeway and get a copy of the New York Times.

Those are my normal days and my not quite normal days. Those are my Covid days. I am sure I have forgotten some things that I do and do them without thinking about them. Meditation leads to a lot of those things.

Thise are the things that make up my days. Mostly.

—-— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k

Replying to Others

If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler, from Italo Calvino, have I recommended it to you yet? I think Barbara and her 50 pages of novels will enjoy it quite a bit. I recall wanting to throw it across the room. Because, well I cannot tell you why. I do not do spoilers. But, Oh my, what a plot, what a characterization, what a bunch of things I cannot tell you about without spoiling it.

It came to me from a coworker. She said it was her favorite book. But she would say no more about it. So I bought it. So I read it. So I understood why she liked it. I need to reread it.

Rose mentioned a book, a good book On Writing Well that she bought for $4.00. As an eBay add on. Now there are some binding the brain things that she references. But I had to have my own copy. Could I do it for four dollars also? I missed by nine cents. More on this when I have one.

A little Royal, a portable typewriter, taken into a coffee shop. With permission. I just assume that things are going to work out just fine. I plan with optimism and execute with pessimism. Or something like that. But I imagine a coffee shop with piped-in music, a little loud for my tastes. People talking, many with raised voices. How could anyone complain and I think, “they are going to notice my clacking of my typewriter? Or maybe it is the quietness of my hearing without my hearing aids. It is really quiet without them in.

Boxes of books eight for her and an unknown number for him. Those are going to weigh a ton, Empyting a moving truck always goes so much faster than loading it. I am looking forward to the moving process. And I am not even involved in the move. Hooray for them.

We have a bunch of stationary from my in-laws. I have 28 days of things to write to people. I have a couple of people that I am indebted with letters. Sorry readers, I should have sent you a letter earlier as a bit of practice, if nothing else. February is going to be a busy month for writing. Morning Pages, a correspondence, One Typed Page, and tracking it all. Yep, a busy month. With Lent coming up on the 17th. No, I am not Catholic or other religion that practices Lent. Back a few years ago I got involved as a joke. Then it was over and I thought to myself it was a great ritual. And I have given something up each year. Hey, it is only 40 days. Certainly, I can give up anything. Or so it seems.

— MichaelRpdx rkmm 1948

Stamps and Winter

I went out to buy stamps yesterday. $1.20 per stamp. They are forever stamps for international postage. Anywhere in the world for $1.20. What a bargain! I wore a fall weight coat. It can keep you warm in the autumnal weather. It is not intended for cold weather. Weather like winds in the skies with rain falling. Or as I found out, weather like a windy day pushing snow about. It was bracing. It was chilly. It was a wait outside the library for a woman getting books. I felt the cold without getting cold. Are you familiar with the distinction? Feeling the cold all over your skin without getting into your core and making you cold. It felt good to feel the cold without getting cold.

— MichaelRpdx rkmm

Another Quiet De Luxe

That battered Royal Quiet De Luxe, the one I described last night. That neglected machine did live on a happy life, if I can fantasize about the life of being a typewriter. This one, the 1948 Royal Quiet de Luxe had a home in a university. Stanford a pretty nice place if you can get admitted. In the Chemistry Department, this typewriter lived. Yes, a prior owner was a Chemistry Professor at Stanford.

A few years later another Royal Quiet De Luxe was born into life. This one lived, or should I say lives?, a nicer life. Perhaps it was stored in a place where it looks pretty nice. All seems to work. All except for the backplate. That seems to have met up with a pole, or a sharp edge of a desk, or something that has bashed it in. Because of that, it seems few people were interested in it. I saw many of them at prices of $250, $350. Not this one with a dented part. It was going for much less. So I asked for the serial number and found it in 1951. It should arrive in 10 days or so.

Now, what was I saying about desktop typewriters? Did I say something about a collection of typewriters? I am now at three Hermes and three Royals. (I am only counting the live ones.) I am not sure what to do about this. Besides be thankful for my wife. She is OK with my typewriter collection as long as I stay happy with it. So, I am going to stay happy with my typewriters.

— MichaelRpdx rkmm ’48

1946 Quiet De Luxe Royal

In 1938 the Royal company began production of the “quiet” typewriter line of machines. The A model being a first. It would go on to become a first in the “Quiet De Luxe” line of typewriters. Production of the line continued until 1944 when manufacturing was discontinued due to the war. In 1946 it resumed and we had a model, A-1274462, was created.

This typewriter went about its life until it became the property of Phyllis, a friend of my wife. Phyllis dumped the typewriter on us. I do not recall her asking. She was moving and did not want to take it with her.

We left it on the back porch until the fall arrived. I took it down into the basement. Fortunately, the smell had dissipated. That musty smell that can infect the case that it traveled in. I re-discovered the machine today while “cleaning the basement.” Testing shows that one key, the N, is the only one that can or will travel up and kiss the platen.

I do not know if it is worthwhile, well wait, it is not the case of it being worthwhile, it must be worthwhile. They are not making more of these typewriters. I do not know if the years of neglect have rendered it un-fixable. It seems like a fine machine under the hood, But, wow, there does seem like a bunch of stuff to be done to it.

— MichaelRpdx rkmm 1948

PS – Why yes, I am asking for your opinions on this typewriter. And how much I am getting into with undertaking its repair.

Sunday Morning Typewriter Gathering

People online in record numbers, that was the scene today in the world of The Poor Typist’s weekly typers type in? gathering? Whatever it was it was a crowd on the screen and in the audience. I was there in the audience. I was there by a happenstance. I just happened to be on YouTube and saw them gathering. (Which is aided by subscribing to The Poor Typists channel) So I fired it up and enjoyed it plenty.

They talked of many things, like going to Ace Hardware and buying a couple of rubber grommets and using them for feet. Talked of Munk’s cast to make other types of feet that he cast there and has some pretty nice looking things. It is a place to have something to do because there are three and a half hours of conversation going on. Which I did. Perhaps Joe Van Cleave or Dato will chime in on it.

There was talk about the similarity between typewriters and Fountain Pens. Which lead to a mention of “An Ink Guy”, a channel with daily posts that are reviews of inks. Holy Shit, this guy is detailed in his reviews. A chromatography swatch, testing of inks with three different sized nibs, testing of its viscosity and drying time, and samples of the ink being used on different papers, a selection of its complementary color, and final words including “would you buy it.” Obviously, the buying decision is his along, but it ia an honest one. I have seen one with a “no” verdict. But he gives strong supporting reasons for that decision. The complimentary call is for a specific ink. It gives you a nice side by side for them and a link to a sample of the ink to use as a next point of exploration.

It was fun all around and you don’t need to keep it all to typewriters. Three and a half hours – if your Sunday morning is lacking for something to do, drop on in and enjoy yourself,

— MichaelRpdx rkmm 1948


There is a group of people who will be exchanging mail in February. It is the InCoWriMo, aka the International Correspondence Writing Month group. It exists to “Challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.” This has been going on since 2014. (? about seven years now) You can miss a day, just write two the next. You do not need to write to a different person each day. It must be hand-written. Though I expect there are people who will typewrite them. A fun part for me is to write to people I do not know. And for that, they have a web page where people can list their address. As I have done. I also went through all of them and found there are about 90+ people who do not live in the USA. And, there are people in every continent of the world. Of them, 26 indicate they will reply or respond to every letter they receive. There are, as you might expect, several people who are doing this for the first time. Me included. At least one who has been there since the group was started. There is a nurse who will not be doing it again this year because of the Covid weight on her time and energy. Some people are submitting their Instagram addresses as part of their introductions. 28 letters or cards starting in a week or so. I must admit it is a lot of writing to do. Hmmm, kinda like this.

— MichaelRpdx, ih3k

Pens and Paper Costs

So last night I talked about the pricing of pencils and touched on paper, or did I? Ah yes, $1 a pop at the Dollar Tree or $1.67 in batches of 12. Did you realize there is a quality difference in Composition books? It seems there is, go for the ones made in Vietnam. Recommended by Lynda Barry. And me. For your booklet, you get 200 pages or 100 sheets in them. These are a bit smaller than the 8 1/2×11 “standard” sized papers… if you have a standard size for something besides a copier or printer. (You will note that I am totally stepping aside from the A4, A5 etc differences. Which I actually prefer. Just try to buy the stuff.) (And while I am on it … never mind, that is for a different rabbit hole to explore.) I have been buying in fits and starts different sized “sketchbooks” they feature heavier paper, half-sized paper 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 or square 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 but they seemed “expensive” to me. As do Moleskin, Field Note, Rhodia, Midori, … and all of those things. (I have been considering/tempted by a journal book. Not so far yet.) But after years I settled on the Composition books. I use them for all of my “journal” books. Because I never feel like I am wasting the paper when I get a few pages in and quit for whatever time period. After the years of time from 2015 until now I am pretty convinced that I will keep to it. There are years of 23 journals. I do not think I need to worry about the cost of the paper, too much. Becuase, of the time,

I spend about 10 to 20 minutes filling up one sheet in a Morning Pages. With 200 pages, that is 2,000 to 4,000 minutes to fill the book. That is 33 to 66 hours of time. I am spending $1.67 to fill up with my writing? Say a full work week, 40 hours. I am worried about the cost of a paper thing that I am filling up. Ditto for the pencils. I have yet to use a pencil, a “$2.00” that I like to write with. Why do I care that I could get one for 20¢?

Because it is cheaper because it costs less. We are only looking at the one part of the cost of using something, the cost to acquire it. BAH!

I could use an easy to use the eraser for when I am typing along and realize that I need to erase something or cover it up. I have a Paper Mate thing. It works but not really conveniently. That I need to find a replacement for.

I think I am done ranting about spending cash. I have a house full of things I bought, some expensive others not, I never wanted for whatever.

I had available. It is time to think it out a bit. Thank god typewriters are so cheap. Wait, I have a half dozen.

I am not good at selling them. So I won’t.

— MichaelRpdx, rkmm 1948

Nickle Pencils

Five cents for a pencil. Or two bucks. For some people, it is a no brainer. 5¢ each. Why would anyone ask? OK, first of all, the pencils cost a lot more for the cheaper ones. Anywhere from 6.9¢ to 28¢ each. In quantities from 576 to 18 pieces each. Are you planning to use 576 pencils? Most of the other cheap pencils run from 18 to 8 pieces each. If you are lucky and live near an art or stationery store you can buy the expensive ones for one at a time. If not, they run about $24.95 for a box of 12. (odd how everyone seems to have the same price.) Leaving oat a Dollar Tree store pricing of 10 for $1, that is whar pencils cost.

You saw my pencils yesterday. Including the one, I have used the most of yesterday. I have yet to use it up. I think I bought a box of them at least 10 years ago. And I still have all of them, They are scattered around the house. And damn! they write well. So very well. Hold that thought. I have another rabbit hole to go explore.

I have spent five or six years writing Morning Pages. Each morning I get up and write. I have filled 23 composition books with them, the morning thoughts. You can buy them for a buck each if you want to go to the Dollar Tree. Or you can get 12 for $19.99, or $1.67 each. bought a case, need to do so again.

Um, I’m sorry. I just paused for a meeting with a Portland brewing as in homebrewers as in beer. And after the meeting, well I need to finish this tomorrow. Damn, we can talk beers. Indeed. Tomorrow. again. And then I will return to typing about whatever to whoever and just get the words out.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm/48

By the way, it was a great meeting. Once a month.