Photo A Day: Week 3 Recap

1/15, iPhone:

1/16, Nikon:

1/17, Nikon:

1/18, Nikon:

1/19, Olympus:

Turbot

1/20, iPhone:

1/21, Olympus:

Oakland Women’s March

Summary:
5/7 non-iPhone pictures
3/7 used my new light box (yay new toys!)
5/7 were taken at home (i should go out more)

Photo A Day: Week 2 Recap

1/8: iphone

1/9: olympus

1/10: olympus

1/11: iphone

1/12: iphone

1/13: iphone

1/14: olympus

Summary: 3/7 non-iPhone pictures (The Olympus is conveniently small and has a very fun and fast prime (f1.7), but the Nikon certainly has superior image quality)

Photo A Day: Week 1 Recap


I started the week lazily — with an iPhone picture. I had tried to take some pictures of these pens with my DSLR, but the iPhone one was the best of the bunch.


A tokidoki unicorn sitting on my patio table. DSLR + prime lens.


A shot from dinner at Kusakabe. I tried using my DSLR here too, but the iPhone seems to outperform in dim light. Oh how technology has changed.


My newest pen arrived on the 3rd, and there’s a picture of it with my Starbucks planner — they match! Taken with my iPhone.


A photo of my team at lunch at Mourad. Turns out when you’ve set yourself a photo challenge, you bring your camera places.


I wasn’t ambitious enough to set myself goals around drawing or calligraphy, but I do still enjoy trying to do both. Taken with my iPhone.


Moogle inspecting the pool. I’m not sure why he does this… but it’s cute and he looks silly, like a monster may jump out to get him at any moment. DSLR + prime.

Summary: 3/7 – DSLR photos

Hello 2017!

Well, I’m a day late on my yearly recap (a yearly tradition as of last year). But, I haven’t updated in months, so a day late is better than never.

To start with, I read much less than last year. I ended up reading just a little over half as much as I did last year…

  1. The Name of the Wind
  2. The Help
  3. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
  4. A Darker Shade of Magic
  5. A Gathering of Shadows
  6. China Rich Girlfriend
  7. Between The World and Me
  8. Buddha Standard Time
  9. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
  10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  11. The Better Angels of Our Nature
  12. After I do
  13. Authority
  14. The Buddha In the Attic
  15. Finding Audrey
  16. On Immunity: An Innoculation
  17. Good to Great
  18. Annihilation
  19. Yes Please
  20. Eat, Pray, Love
  21. The Book of Unknown Americans
  22. The Moor’s Account
  23. Challenger Deep
  24. Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time
  25. Everything I Never Told You
  26. I Don’t Know How She Does It
  27. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
  28. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

But, I did start another blog, but this time with friends — Hand Over That Pen. I really went down the rabbit hole of fountain pens last year, and my “collection” went from about three pens to 15. It’s been quite the adventure (and I’ve met a lot of great people along the way).

I keep forgetting I did this — but it was all-consuming for a few weeks. I renovated

This was my kitchen before: (from the open house pictures)

And now it’s this:

And, lastly, the places I visited: (also a lighter year)

  • Singapore, where I stayed with Tatsie
  • Oklahoma City, OK to Las Vegas, NVon a road trip with Jonny
  • Kona and Honolulu, HI with family
  • Manila, Philippines for Thanksgiving
  • Boston, MA & NYC for work

I’ve set myself some goals for the year (as usual), but also am challenging myself to take a photo every day. I’ll be doing weekly recaps here, and more regular posting on my instagram account, @hellokloh.

Katherine’s 365 Day Photo Challenge Rules:

  • Post photos somewhere at least once a week
  • At least 1/3rd of the photos must not be taken with a smartphone
  • Over the year, take at least ten photos in these categories: macro, wide angle, people, Moogle, black & white and daily life.
  • Stick to the Dogwood 52 week challenge once a week (this is probably the hardest… we’ll see)

The Collection! And a Carrier

  I spent an hour and a half today cutting up a beer box and glueing it back together to make these pen trays. 

The picture above shows my entire collection at this point. The cheaper pens get to bang around together at the bottom of the carrier. 

   Three trays, that hold five pens each. And they stack! 

Red fleece case holds my current EDCs. 

  Then the trays fit into the carrier with some room on the side for a couple vials of ink and some papertowel. Good to be prepared!

   And the carrier itself — black snakeskin, made by hand in the Philippines. The purse was designed by my dad in his past career as a handbag designer. It’s at least twenty years old… But likely older. 

Caddillac Ranch

  
There’s more spraypaint than car — but, everyone visits with a can of their own.  I’m surprised the cars are still standing!

 
It was super windy and (because I made the mistake of wearing a dress) I could feel my legs being pelted with cow-scented sand and dirt. I took a longggg shower when we got to our AirBnB in Santa Fe a few hours later. 

Pokemon Little Tales Fountain Pen

This arrived yesterday — carried back from Japan for me by an awesome friend. She gave me the bag, folder and sticker it came with. Total price was a $38 and some cents. I found out about this pen from a thread on Reddit. It was available online, but currently seems to be sold out, luckily a friend happened to be in Tokyo and picked one up for me.

Here’s the packaging. The plastic box is pretty lightweight and flimsy, but seems to do a decent job protecting the pen, but it has no cushioning. The pen also comes with two black Sailor cartridges.

A close up of the nib. A cute bow, it’s wider than my other sailor nib (comparison below) but also much shorter. The only part of the pen that indicates that it’s made by sailor is the gold ring on the lip of the cap — it says “SAILOR – MADE IN JAPAN”.

A writing sample comparing the pen against a Metro and my Sailor Pro Color 500. It’s wider and wetter then the Pro Color (which I hear is notoriously dry), but pretttty close to the Metro. As reference, the Pokemon pen is inked with the Sailor cartridge it came with, the Metro is Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and the Pro Color with Sailor Tokiwa Matsu.

The pen is pretty close in size to the Pro Color, though the nib is much wider and shorter. I suppose I should have put a Metro in this picture.

Overall — it’s a cute pen (yay Pokemon!) that’s not bad. It writes with a little bit of feedback, but I don’t mind that at all. It’s a wider nib than the Pro Color, and is, unsurprisingly, a little smoother. But it does have the same type of feedback, not the smoothness of the Metro. It feels pretty light and cheap in hand — and I’m not sure how durable the design will be. If it wears off overtime, I wouldn’t be too surprised. I wouldn’t worry about it for daily use though. But I bet it can be removed with a solvent or scratched by keys. Pokemon aside, for $38ish, it’s not bad value, especially if you like nibs with a little feedback — but the Metro is a far more durable and solid pen for less than half the price. I suspect I’m going to enjoy writing with it quite a bit since I like feedback, and for $38, as a Pokemon fan, I think it’s totally worth it.

Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
zest of 2 blood oranges
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice

Preheat the oven to 325°F & line a loaf pan with parchment. (Or grease it)

Beat together the butter, sugar & zest until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the buttermilk and orange juice.

Pour into the pan, bake for about an hour and ten, until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Then let it rest for fifteen minutes, then lift it out of the pan to cool on a rack.

 

Wing Sung 659 Part 2

Now with some pictures taken in daylight, instead of at midnight…

It’s been a little over a week since I inked up my Wing Sung 659, so I thought I’d write up a couple more thoughts.

First, it’s been in my EDC this last week, still inked with Diamine Evergreen and as an eyedropper. I haven’t had many issues with burping, but I live in the Bay Area where the temperatures aren’t extreme and I’ve been remembering to hold the barrel for a moment or two before pointing the pen nib down. So far, it’s held up great. I’ve had a drop of ink or two show up in the cap, but that seems reasonable given that it’s been in a backpack.

Second, the “gold” lines on the cap are starting to wear off (see picture above). I don’t mind, but it’s worth noting. My Pilot 78G, which I’ve had longer, and was purchased used, still has two solid bands.

Third, it’s still very pretty. In the picture below I tried to capture the facets in the barrel. It’s a mediocre picture — but with a colorful ink, it’s a very pretty pen. (At least IMO)

Fourth, I spent some time trying out the extra fine nib. I love fine nibs, but I’m not a big fan of this one. I much prefer the fine. The extra fine, as pictured below, is very fine. The inks I’m using aren’t consistent, but the Wing Sung EF (third line) appears pretty light because Diamine Evergreen does that. The ink in the Penmanship is more opaque. Overall though, it writes a similar line width to the Penmanship, but I much prefer the feeling of the Penmanship. The WS EF is very smooth for an EF nib, and it weirds me out a little — I like the feedback I get with the Penmanship. The Fine though, is a smidge wider than the Metro, closer to the Metro’s Medium than its Fine.

Wing Sung 659!

I stumbled upon the Wing Sung 659 about a week ago on eBay while browsing Chinese pens after an annoying customer call (retail therapy. yeaaaah.). I was surprised to see this pen, since it looks pretty similar to the Pilot 78G, but I figured that for $9 with free shipping it was worth trying. Exactly a week later, it’s here!

It arrived in a box with two nib/feed/collar units (one F and one EF) and a convertor. I love the look of ink sloshing around in demonstrators, so I picked up a tube of silicon grease and inked it as an eyedropper.

It seems to be an exact match with the Pilot 78G — including fitting Pilot nibs. The Fine Wing Sung nib (I haven’t tried the EF yet) is very smooth though — it writes a little wetter (perhaps because it’s eyedroppered) but similarly to my Medium Metro.

Overall, the build quality is good, but I did notice these two little bumps at the end of the section, but a couple swipes with a nail file smoothed things over! Now I don’t really see any remnants of cheaper manufacturing. (To be fair, I’m not looking very hard)

This was my first time “converting” a pen to an eyedropper, so I had a couple burps before realizing I needed to warm up the ink a bit with my hands. Since doing that, no more leaks! It’s definitely a wet writer, and on the wide side for a Fine, but great value (and neat looking) for $9, shipped.

Next up, I want to try the EF nib and fill it with a brighter more visually interesting color… But I’ll save that for another day.