Monday, January 28, 2019

Sporting Silk

Hermes Rocket at Stag Tobacconist

Post-Script: Of course, I haven't tried every ribbon supplier out there, so there's more exploration to do. One of my YouTube viewers suggested an Etsy supplier of cotton ribbons, which I'll have to try out and review. Another suggested FJA Products, another good supplier.

Blog articles like this one aren't spectacularly informative, but they do represent the ongoing lifestyle of a typewriter aficionado, living with these machines, taking them to the cigar store lounge to write a blog article about taking a typewriter to the cigar store lounge. Self-referential, yes; but I think it's an important aspect of typewriter culture, documenting how we live with, and use, these mechanical wonders, mundane as that might seem.

On a technical note, I like to fold this green engineering paper in half when typing a narrow column for this blog, especially with the Rocket's 13 CPI typeface. So the left edge is creased and the right is open, when threaded through the platen rollers. But the right side must have fed faster than the left, because in the scan you can see the lines of text start out at the top slanted toward the left and end up slanted toward the right at the bottom of the page. Probably some subtle pressure roller issue in the carriage, but nothing that's going to keep me up at night. I should be just left the paper unfolded and used a backing sheet.

In the resulting video, linked below, I have some wonky audio issues, caused partly by a weak battery in my dynamic mic's preamp, which spoiled the video's overall quality, since audio is so important of an aspect to video. I tried to even out the clips' levels, but it's still rather awful. I need to take better care next time.

I have a number of video projects needing to be made, but my time these days has been occupied with edits and rewrites for my Cold Hard Type short story project. I've also been holding off on another typing assignment until the deadline has passed, because I know a number of participants to the series that are also in the midst of writing their Cold Hard Type stories.

Last night I spent hours typing changes to the story on my Royal QDL, while today I once again broke out the Olympia SM3 to type a neat copy incorporating all the changes thus far. While the Royal is a darned good machine, the SM3 is yet a cut above.

I hope to get one more video done this week. Wish me luck, and that the quality will be up to par.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Who's Enabling Whom?

Olympia SM3
Olympia SM3

Post-Script: A big thanks to Ted Munk for identifying it as an SM3. And later I checked the Serial Number Database and found it was made in 1957, the year of my birth.

Which reminds me: do as I say, not as I do. If you have any kind of typewriter collection, you should register them, in serial number and photos if possible, on Ted Munk's site. I've been remiss. Really need to get this done.

Here's Duke City Kitchen's menu.

And here's my vlog-style video on this day of thrift store hunting:

PPS: After typing this two-pager, the backspace decided to start working. Goes to show, these machines thrive on being used.

Now, a preview of an upcoming video: what's the best machine: Olympia SMx, Hermes 3000, Olivetti Lettera 22 or Smith-Corona 5? Hmm...

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Monday, January 14, 2019

ABQwerty Type Writer Society Kick-Off

ABQwerty Type Writer Society Logo
Joe’s Collection

Post-Script: Here's a shot made several weeks ago of the vintage guitar and hi-fi shop next to Rust is Gold Coffee, part of the Albuquerque Arts Collective, who hosted our meeting:


Settling in this evening as the video was uploading, I began perusing the leftover typed sheets that I usually collect from these meetings, and was pleased to find this spontaneous poem:


I assume it was written by Sandra, the lady sitting across the table from me, as I was conversing with the school teacher who acquired one of my machines for his classroom (the Smith-Corona Silent), since it contains references to our conversation. He teaches middle school computer classes, and in our conversation I was trying to make a connection between the broader concept of "mechanical logic" as it applies to manual typewriter mechanisms and the specifics of software-programmed logic. I was, as an example, explaining that each typewriter character key has two "functions" - upper or lower case; or the line spacing selector is an example of 3-state logic. In general, I was using creative analogies to help describe the typewriter as an example of a logical mechanical device, predating electronic programmable computers; an approach he might find useful in his computer classes. I'd like his students to see the typewriter as more than mere historic lineage predating the computer, but a device that exhibits its own sense of pre-wired "logic".

Further down in the poem we see references to my advice on how Sandra could clean her Olympia SM4. I'm going to keep this poem and return it to her at the next meeting. I love spontaneous creativity, since this is one of the primary goals of our society. Well done Sandra!

Typecast via Remington Quiet-Riter.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Grab-&-Go Typing

Rocket Typing at Rust is Gold

Post-Script: This search for the ideal meeting venue is not unique to our fledgling typewriter society. Kevin belongs to a British car club and they, too, struggle with finding the right place for their meetings. I'd like to keep our society dues-free as much as possible, so paying for a meeting place is not the way I want to go. Hopefully our current choice, at Rust is Gold, will be workable for us.

I posted a short video today about the value of books, in particular as they relate to my various arcane interests, and how purchasing used copies of out-of-print editions can be a satisfying way to retain access to these invaluable sources, that are often removed from libraries once they become too worn. I've recently made online purchases of several such special-interest books:

Games Calculators Play, by Wallace Judd

The History of the Abacus, by J.M. Pullan

Narrowcast: Poetry and Audio Research, by Lytle Shaw

Love is Meat, by David W. Pedersen

At the cigar store this week I had a great conversation with a pipe smoker who happened to share an interest in pens, especially fountain pens and mechanical pencils. We had a great time, and it reminded me of the need to take some pens and notebooks with me, to share my interests with fellow aficionados.

Finally, I'd like to mention once again the blog of Austin Kleon. If you are a creative in need of recharging, you need to visit his blog every day. And be sure to follow the many resource links he provides, as you'll soon find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of creative exploration.

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