Some Fountain Pen Flaws People Seem to have Embraced

I’m a fountain pen user; I just really like the experience. But the experience for me is mainly in the writing itself. The smoothness and ease of writing a fountain pen allows is wonderful in my opinion. But I know that it isn’t always the best way to write and has its detractors. There are quite a few problems that prevent the majority of people from using fountain pens, and prevent me from using them for all tasks. I still carry around a ballpoint with me every day for any writing tasks that I need, and I would say I write more with ballpoints than with fountain pens, and more with fountain pens than rollerballs.

So it seems strange to me that many of the things that I consider to be flaws with fountain pens are embraced, even loved, by the current fountain pen community. That’s not to say I think they’re wrong; I just find it odd. The first is not a particularly cared for phenomenon, but one that is tolerated more than I would think it would be, and that is nib creep. Nib creep is when ink escapes from the channel through the nib slit and onto the top of the nib due to flaws in the nib slit and lubricants in the ink. This ink, while it doesn’t really affect the performance of the writing instrument, can be unsightly, but even if people don’t mind the look, it is a sign that there is a flaw in the pen. With less expensive pens it’s understandable, but companies who make more expensive pens should know better.


Another thing is ink shading. I know I’m a bit boring when it comes to ink because I use black inks 85% of the time, but that’s because they provide the most consistent experience available. Many other colors of ink “shade” or become more concentrated in certain parts of the line due to a variety of factors, resulting in some parts of writing being dark and some being light. To me this is obviously an ink flaw that many companies have worked hard to get rid of, both in ballpoints, and in fountain pen companies’ main inks. Many pen companies’ inks, like Parker and Sheaffer, are made it seems specifically to eliminate this (and make them easy to clean up). I’ve never been partial to making my writing harder to read and unprofessional looking (again, my opinion) but many people seem to love it. It adds some amount of expression to writing that shows one is writing with a fountain pen (well, 95% likelihood). And it just happens more with the more colored inks that people like these days which also show some more expression and that they’re more than likely writing with a fountain pen. But I just like writing, and I like to make my writing as easy and consistent as possible, and shading just isn’t my thing.

Another thing I’m not a particular fan of is ink on my fingers. Now, unlike other people, it seems I can refill a pen without getting ink on me the majority of the time. I’m not really sure why that is, probably because I spend too long doing things and really don’t want ink on my fingers to rub off anywhere else. But I do know that fountain pens can be messy. And I do get ink on my hands from time to time. But I can effectively remove it the majority of the time using a variety of ways. And that has been what the majority of people have done for the better part of the fountain pen’s existence. I would certainly call it a flaw and an extra hassle. I’m not particularly a fan of broadcasting that one of my hobbies can make my hands look dirty, or bloody. But some people use it as an indication that they use fountain pens or as a badge to show what their hobby “costs” (That’s a bad way to phrase that, but I can’t think of a better one.)

Now, obviously none of these things are a deal breaker for me, and I’m not trying to insult people who enjoy (or don’t care about) them. But I’m just not quite sure why most people don’t consider these things flaws. As far as I can tell they obviously are. And people have spent lots of time trying to fix these things. But I guess if it can’t be gotten rid of, it might as well be looked at in a different light.

Table Topics Family 5 #9-10


1. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

2. If you had to live with another family for a year which family would you choose?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. I’m not sure, I haven’t really had the opportunity to do something very nice, or if I did I unfortunately didn’t recognize it. Most of the nice things I do do seem about the same, to me it’s really being nice or not being nice, I’m not sure I could possibly quantify “nicest” unless I saved someone’s life or something similar. (That is my cop out answer)

2. Considering I’m about to live on my own, I’d just do that, and still be around my family. (Cheated twice, bad me)

Speak Your Mind 165 #821-825


1. What do you think about back seat driver’s?

2. What do you think is the perfect age in life?

3. Have you ever had stitches?

4. Did you have a special blanket when you were a small child?

5.  What is one thing you do well that helps you get along with your friends?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. I think they should be quiet.

2. I have absolutely no idea, whichever one you like.

3. No, fortunately I have not.

4. No, I’m not sure I had a special anything.

5. I don’t know, I’m still surprised I have friends.

Things that will get You Punched in the Mouth – Fixed Dice

So I was at the dollar store the other day. Inside were these. 20130215-233715.jpg

These are a set of regular dice and a set of dice that only rolls seven or eleven. One of the “fixed” dice has only fives and the other has half sixes and half threes.

20130215-233722.jpg 20130215-233728.jpg 20130215-233734.jpg

Is there actually a human being alive that thinks this won’t get them punched in the mouth immediately? I mean, there is not even a way too cheat someone with these subtly. If someone takes even a close look at the dice it’s very obvious that one has only fives. I guess you’re supposed to play some kind of trick involving the other (regular) dice, but even that seems improbable to pull off with anyone other than a complete idiot.

They’re a great novelty, but they aren’t really very great. I mean, I can roll them on my table and laugh, but I don’t really want to get punched in the mouth. This is possibly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever seen. I have no idea why anyone would make this. I also have no idea why I bought them.

Review – Black Sharpie Pen





I like Sharpies. They’re good makers and some of the most permanent I’ve ever used. They’re useful in tons of situations, from signing to just getting something bold out there. The only problem is sometimes they just aren’t small enough. If somethings need to be both permanent and small you seem to be out of luck. Until you find Sharpie pens, that is.




The body of the pen is similar to most other pens, it is slim and long. It has a label containing all necessary information about the pen and helping decrease the slickness of the body. The cap has the interesting aesthetic of not being larger than the body, making the pen look slightly odd, but this makes no performance difference. Attached to the cap is a flexible clip that does its job nicely and is not prone to breaking. At the bottom of the pen is also a place to slip the cap on so that it does not get lost while one is using the pen.


The line produced by the pen is thin, but still thicker than common cheap ballpoints. It comes out exactly where you put it and in that deep black color one expects from a Sharpie. Pressure makes very little variation, the ink is always black, and only slightly lighter if one tries to achieve that effect. It flows smoothly over most surfaces and sticks everywhere you expect Sharpie to stick. Although it does in the end feel more like a pen than a Sharpie.



I stated in the beginning the main reason one would get this pen. It’s a nice small, permanent, bold pen. It’s serviceable at most pen and Sharpie duties. It would even replace fine-point Sharpies for me. But of course it has the problem of not having a specific use. So it would really be up to you whether or not you have a use for this pen.