Oct. 31, 2021

42. Breathtaking

42. Breathtaking

In today’s episode, we will be catching up with new acquisitions, the latest postal bulletin, and something breaktaking.


John - Schon DSGN PEEK-a-boo, (Bent Tines epsiode with Ian))

Kilk pen and 

OPUS 88 demo with a new Parallel nib

Evan- VHS London Fog

Visconti Travel Filler

Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

Postal Bulletin

Four pictorial postmarks


USPS official podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mailin-it-the-official-usps-podcast/id1587184784 

USPS Daffy Duck trucks


Nock Co. is no more


Cases 50% off - Most of his stock is sold out

https://www.relay.fm/penaddict/484 episode talking about the shut down

NaNoWriMo -30 days 50,0000 words!

Brad Dowdy committed! He’ll be copying a book for it. Goal: using all the things!


Taccia Miyabi Winter's Breath Fountain Pen (Special Edition)[18 pieces]


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/stationeryorbit?fan_landing=true)

john_1_10-30-2021_141444 + 3

[00:00:00] John: Welcome to episode 42 of stationary orbit, where we're all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host John West, and I'm joined by my cohost Evan Harris. In today's episode, we'll be catching up on new acquisitions, the latest pen bulletin and something breathtaking. So I understand that you got your celebration pen in Evan.

[00:00:20] Evan: That's correct. And I mentioned this pending the last few episodes, the first one in looking at it online. And then that I had ordered it and it came in thanks to DHL from Australia. This is a , homo sapiens, London fog. And I put a few photos on my Instagram. It is just a beautiful pen. It writes incredibly well, even though it's a palladium nib.

Not always the case and just in the acrylic, it's got such a depth of the swirls.

[00:00:47] John: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's one of the semi demonstrators that Visconti does and yeah, it's definitely resembles fog. So it's, it is a beautiful pen and so congratulations on getting that one.

[00:00:59] Evan: No, thank you. It [00:01:00] is a wonderful pen because I have it. I've been trying not to buy new pens though. I've been very tempted by one of the ones here.

[00:01:05] John: Yeah, so I could not resist the peek-a-boo pen that Ian Schon just put out last week and I are actually the week before, and I was able to pick that one up. And honestly I don't mean to. Poorly about any of the other Penn Turners that are out there or any of their other pen companies that are out there.

But after getting hold of this peekaboo pen that Ian put together, this is the same general design that he used for the Ultem pens, but he used instead of the ultimate use this peak material and all of these are high performance. Plastics that are used in the medical field, but most importantly, these are all very high performance plastics.

And he has, in my opinion, really taken fountain pen making to a, another level the level of [00:02:00] tolerances, the level of accuracy and precision that he put into this design. In my opinion, really second to none, his engineered materials pens are probably one of the best designed and best executed pens on the market currently.

[00:02:21] Evan: Yeah, he does a lot of really cool stuff. And I've been very tempted multiple times. I'm trying to hold out on buying more pens, at least for a little bit. Otherwise I would have a P I'd have a peek-a-boo or an Ultem. I've I know he was on the Bent Tines was talking about trying to do some work with titanium, but but the finish you wanted, he couldn't get properly done.

So I'm really curious on the specifics of. I just was trying to crystallize titanium, which looks beautiful.

[00:02:47] John: Yeah. Yeah. Ian's interview on the bad times was a lot of fun especially when you realize that as much as. You're an enthusiast about buying the pens, that there are people that are out [00:03:00] there like Ian that are absolutely geeking out about how to make these pens. And he is an exceptional.

[00:03:09] Evan: Absolutely.

[00:03:09] John: And I actually thanks for bringing that up, I'll make sure that we put a link in the show notes out to that Bent Tines episode so that people can go listen to Ian themselves. It's a great interview. He's a really nice guy. Yeah, definitely go out and see.

[00:03:24] Evan: And if he's listening and wants to send me the specifics on the titanium crystallization, he was attempting to do so for someone else to look at it, I'd be happy to try and find out and see if I can do anything. Just I've see what, when it's done properly, what it looks like. And it's incredible.

So one of the pens with it now,

[00:03:42] John: Nice. Yeah, no, that'll be, yeah. That's the beautiful thing about this community is that it is widespread and so many different kinds of people that are in this community that you can do that you can throw out an idea like that, and you might not have the [00:04:00] answer in the other thousand people that are talking to you might not know the answer, but there might be that one person out there that actually knows the answer to what you're asking. So the other things that I've picked up, I was not able to accomplish any actual pen swapping, but I did manage to walk away from the pen swap with two new pens. I picked up one of the Kilk pins from Kirk after he recommended those. And the, he actually allowed me to dip the nib and try it while I was there.

And for a steel nib pen. That thing writes absolutely beautifully and right out of the box, it was exactly what I would have expected for him. Something that Kirk would have recommended. So good job, Kirk. And then I picked up another Opus, 88 demonstrator with a parallel nib. I still haven't remounted the nib into it.

But it's a neat little hack where you you. Opus 88 nib out. You have to pull the O-ring out as well, but [00:05:00] then you can set the, a parallel nib into that same body and they were, they work beautifully with that Japanese eyedropper body style on

[00:05:09] Evan: Oh, yeah.

[00:05:10] John: yeah.

[00:05:12] Evan: I T I keep looking at you having an Opus 80 agents that have tried, as I said, try not to buy more pens quite yet.

[00:05:17] John: Yeah.

[00:05:18] Evan: a really dangerous for my wallet.

[00:05:21] John: Yeah. I'm definitely going to be spending some time over in Singapore allowing my bank account to recover, but I'm letting myself go a little bit on the silly side while I'm stateside, because I don't know how things are going to work shipping wise or customs wise when I get over to Singapore and I'd rather not have any rude little surprise. The other, the next item on our list is the postal bulletin. And there's not really a whole lot in this week's postal bulletin. They've only got four of the new pictorial postmarks, so it's pretty light on that.

[00:05:58] Evan: There is one for the [00:06:00] Halloween station in Massachusetts though. That is a fairly well done, but

[00:06:06] John: Yeah, that one's definitely well down.

[00:06:07] Evan: the rest are standard without tests. They are pictorial postmarks technically, but they're mostly.

[00:06:14] John: Yeah, the I guess the big news out of the postal service right now is that the new. Economic stimulus bill that's going through Congress has a $6 billion in it for the new Oshkosh defense next-generation delivery vehicles, which are basically being called duck trucks because they resemble a Daffy duck.

[00:06:39] Evan: Resembled Daffy duck or something out of the movie cars, just missing the eyes instead of the windshield,

[00:06:46] John: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It definitely looks so. Animated more than it does a, an actual practical design.

[00:06:56] Evan: wholly. It is very practical, which is it's maximizing space, but so it is 6 [00:07:00] billion, which is a lot of money, but that's for 165,000 vehicles, which works out to just over $36,000 a vehicle. And given the expected lifetime of these cars, that in my opinion is a very good investment for the government.

[00:07:15] John: Yeah, I agree, especially, if they get even close to what the long life vehicles dead, the long line vehicles started service in 1986. So some of those are, I think, 35 years old now

[00:07:30] Evan: And they stopped production for quite a while as well.

[00:07:35] John: Yeah. And those had a fuel economy of 8.2 miles per gallon, which even my car with a V8 in it gets better than that.

Nice job on that from the post office and. Yeah, the next item on our show notes is a sad note, but it's a note that's a made its way around the stationary circles a little bit. And I'll let Evan go [00:08:00] with it.

[00:08:01] Evan: that's right. Nock Co one of Brad Dowdy's. Companies is shutting down. He said it may come back in another form, but how it works now at best is running even, and not worth the significant amount of time that he has to take. So it makes sense. And there are a lot of other great case producers out there for various different styles.

I'm personally a big fan of rich Shaw which I know both of us have a bunch of virtual stuff. I have the one knock pro that did. And I look to see if there's anything there's not a ton left on the sale, but you can look at everything. Everything is 50% off. And so there may be some small restocking based on what he found in the warehouse more than he thought he did.

Or more than he thought he had. But there's not much left for Nock Co and we will see if it returns in some

[00:08:44] John: Yeah he talked about shutting down. Nock Co pretty extensively and one of their recent episodes of the pen addict and definitely understand his reasoning behind the whole thing. It's definitely something where you want to do what you're doing well at. [00:09:00] just, hadn't been doing well.

And he's got a lot of other ventures that are doing well and this'll give him the time that he needs to put into those other ventures. So really greatly great job of bringing those products to market because they really did. They started a whole new group of Penn case makers that were getting into using soft fabric cases.

That really was not. A dominant style before not co came on to the scene. So he did kickstart that whole part of using soft sided material pen cases. So he definitely has a legacy there with Nock Co so it'll be it'll be missed. I was glad I got in on that last Kickstarter when it happened.

And I'd imagine that we'll see more Kickstarters down the road once Brad can see clear of his shipping queue for.

[00:09:55] Evan: Yeah, I, so we talked a lot in the, in a recent episode of the pen addict, and he also [00:10:00] talked about it on one of his Twitch streams. If it came back, it would likely be in a Kickstarter starter sort of setup, as opposed to having general stock that would have a design that gets started to chip it.

And not have not trying to have constant stock and the such,

[00:10:16] John: So one thing that I just missed in the show notes is the USP has actually just came out with an official podcast.

[00:10:24] Evan: that's right. I've listened to all of the episodes so far. It is there are four, three episodes in a trailer. It is called mailing it the official podcast, the USP S a lot of the things they've covered are things we've talked about. In the past. But they have access to sit with the official historian and some of the history from within the organization that we don't have.

So it's still really interesting of, there was an entire episode on informed delivery and apparently 25% of American households use it.

[00:10:52] John: Yeah, that's a pretty good market penetration.

[00:10:55] Evan: They were talking about some of the things that informed delivery can also provide to [00:11:00] advertisers. 'cause they can, send us something, know if the person has informed delivery that can also send out a color image or advert to it. And because everybody opens their informed delivery emails more than you would say, click through rates on a banner ad on a website is apparently a very useful thing for advertisers.

I'm mostly, it was just a surprise that 25% of American households have informed delivery because outside of the stationary nerds, I know nobody uses it.

[00:11:27] John: Yeah. It's definitely something that is a lot more dominant in like the Pen Addict slack type of folks. But yeah, I it's a handy thing to have.

[00:11:40] Evan: absolutely.

[00:11:42] John: So are they doing that podcast on a weekly basis?

[00:11:45] Evan: It is biweekly fortnightly

[00:11:51] John: And there they've already got four episodes out.

[00:11:53] Evan: and then four episodes or three episodes in the trailer is that week. Yeah, the ode to the zip [00:12:00] code. America's first communications network and mailed digital mails, digital dimensions, informed delivery.

There were two things left on the show notes. One of which is returning to Brad

[00:12:10] John: Oh, Yes, that's right. Brad has committed to NaNoWriMo, but in a different format than NaNoWriMo, I think had originally intended. But, we're going to take participation where we can get it. And Brad. True to his own style of doing things is going to use NaNoWriMo to all of its best benefits for him.

And he is going to be copying a book. I don't think he's picked out which book he's is going to copy yet, but he is going to use it to work on his handwriting and working on using all of the things, all of his stationery, all of his pens, all of his inks. So best of luck to Brad. 

I have tried NaNoWriMo twice and failed both times getting in. I think it's 1600 plus words. A day [00:13:00] is a real marathon. It is not a sprint and it is very hard. You get behind one or two days and you will not recover.

[00:13:10] Evan: Yeah, no, I, it's not something that I have attempted and probably never will, but best of luck to Brad, a lot of people though, were joking that it would actually be national. Brad actually finishes a letter month.

[00:13:21] John: Oh, no. He didn't go that route. So w we don't have to worry about having any kind of letter watch for.

[00:13:26] Evan: No. No, he did not. But for anyone who doesn't know who he is this is something that's been discussed on both the slack and on his Twitch streams. He's been attempting to write and he started writing a letter several months ago that has half finished and he has not completed any letter.

Since I have several letters that are also several months old, I've made, managed to get some done.

[00:13:45] John: Yeah, that's definitely one of those things for a person living in a glass house. It's not a good idea to start throwing rocks. So I won't make any kind of comment about Brad not finishing a letter.

[00:13:55] Evan: no, no normal life, but it was a joke on some of [00:14:00] the.

[00:14:00] John: Yep. And then the last item on here, and I am very interested to see what your reaction is to this pen. This came through as an email for me last week from Goulet pen company. And this is a Taccia Mayabi winter's breath, fountain pen, special edition. There are eight 18 of these available. In the world right now.

And of course Goulet pen has instantaneously sold out of whatever stock they had of it. But I'll have the link in the show notes for this pen. Evan, what do you think of this?

[00:14:37] Evan: I think it is insanely beautiful. Though, I don't own any mother of Pearl or eggshell pens. This one uses both and it just incredibly beautiful. If I were looking to buy a. There were reluctant to spend that much on pens. I would probably be getting two separate pens and I know what to probably what two I would be getting.

But not that but it is, it looks beautiful.

[00:14:59] John: [00:15:00] Yeah, I look at that pen and. Just to let the other shoe drop on this. The price at Goulet pen companies is $4 short of $2,000, and it's going to cost you a pretty penny for that pen, but that when I saw it, it was just breathtaking. I could not believe the contrasting styles of Urushi that were used in that pen and it is true to its name.

It does look like a winter's breath. It is a really phenomenally beautiful pen, but

[00:15:37] Evan: Th the MSRP on the pen is $5 short of 2,500.

So this pen is, and those price for the amount of work that would have had to go into this pen. Those prices are not crazy as, as weird as it feels to say that, but just because all of the all the mother of Pearl and all of the eggshell would have had to be placed individually in pieces, in the [00:16:00] w in the still wet.

[00:16:01] John: Yeah, it is it's. Yeah, it is a lot of work to create something like.

[00:16:07] Evan: yeah, someday I will have raden I think definitely wanna love to have more Makie

[00:16:14] John: Okay, so that's going to do it for this episode of stationary orbit. Thank you all for tuning in, be proud of your snail mail.