Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Changing of the Guard



Post-Script: I like the slightly weathered look of this machine, especially around the corners of the front frame. I also need to put a coat of car wax on her (yes, she's a she, though I haven't yet named her; "Gina," perhaps?)

The single biggest difference in haptics between this and the Hermes Rocket is the feel of the carriage return lever. On the Rocket, the lever is much shorter and often won't ratchet the line feed mechanism until the carriage is already returned; you get the sense that you could just as easily push the carriage back with its side knob, then turn the line feed index by hand; while on Gina the lever is longer and has a better feel to it. Plus, you can't beat the elegant mechanical design of the Lettera's folding lever, which makes the Rocket's seem primitive in comparison.

I think this is a good example where you can't reliably stereotype technology by country of origin; despite the Swiss reputation for watchmaking, for instance, the Italians did something remarkable with the Letteras, even considering various countries of manufacture over the years.

I've yet to head over to Staples and replenish my supply of green engineer's paper, upon which I normally typecast. Perhaps this afternoon.

Photo via Lumix G5, typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More Than Surface Appearances


(1)Blurb link
(2)My Blurb books
(3)"Implied Presence" link

Post-Script: I wrote this piece this morning while having brunch at The Grove, here in Albuquerque. And no, I didn't see Walt or Lydia.

I had suddenly run out of my usual green engineer's paper, and instead used a sheet of well-aged thrift store typing paper, from an era before the term "back in the day" was even coined. Neither did we say "old school," which is the genuine test of being "old school."

Top image is a cropped screen grab from the Blurb book-creation software. Typecast via SCM Galaxy 12.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Slow Fading Away


(1) High Strange New Mexico link
(2) The Atomic Bomb Movie link
(3) The Atomic Cafe link
(4) Citizen's Band link
(5) The Last Broadcast link
(6) The Blair Witch Project link
(7) Basement Films link
(8) Video Toaster link
(9) JVC HR-S9800U link
(10)Tyco Kid's Cam link
(11)Fisher-Price Pixelvision link
(12)Dogma 95 Manifesto link


Post-Script: What I failed to mention was that, at the height of my experimental video art fetish, I had the opportunity to teach a seminar on DIY video making, sponsored by Basement Films. Below is a photo of the seminar poster, which I have framed and hanging in my Man Cave shed.

It's also worth mentioning that I had the pleasure of watching this poster get created, by a master of the Xerox machine flyer and then Basement Films head honcho, Keif Henley, currently the owner/operator of the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque. We went to a local Kinko's store, where he proceeded to create this composition, face-down on the glass of a copy machine, right then and there in the store. He then had a PMT master made behind the counter, after which numerous copies of the flier were run off.

Photos via Fujifilm X10, typecast via Smith-Corona Galaxy 12.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thoughts on Innovation



Post-Script: One example of this difference between organizations in their approach to creativity is to compare two of the nation's National Laboratories, Los Alamos and Sandia. As I recall reading from histories of the two labs, Los Alamos has traditionally fostered a much more open-minded, academic research environment (which, during the war years and afterwards, was a constant source of friction with those desiring security at all cost), conducive for creative problem-solving on a theoretical level; while Sandia, possessing more of an engineering-oriented mission and interfacing directly with military leadership, has traditionally been more regimented in its thinking. This dichotomy is also seen in the politics of the two labs' staffing, with Los Alamos employees often being perceived as more liberal-minded and Sandia's being more conservative.

Photo via Fujifilm X10; typecast via Smith Corona Galaxy 12.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Open Channels


(1) Link

Post-Script: I realized only after writing this piece that I hadn't yet described the intricacies of getting this Royal ship-shape. Yes, it was already functional, but I went through it again, cleaning, degreasing & re-oiling its mechanism, reconditioning the platen, adjusting the ribbon vibrator, replacing the ribbon and waxing the exterior panels. I also meticulously scrubbed the carrying case inside and out, and put together an instruction manual on its operation and care. As for shipment, I ensured it was secured, well-packed and double-boxed, plus insured for its replacement value, should some mishap have occurred. Not that it's some spectacular or rare specimen - which it's not - but that it represented someone's dream come true.

It's funny, the care we put into these obsolete writing devices. I have two classic rotary dial telephones in my home, neither of which I hold in nearly as high regard as the lowliest typewriter. Perhaps it's because, in the case of telephony, the mobile phone provides an experience better in every way - except where it counts, that is - in actual sound quality. Whereas advances in technology don't seem to be providing a better writing experience, just more gimmicks and distraction.

This reminds me that, as time marches forth, there will be but a finite number of functional manual typewriters in existence, whose numbers are certain to slowly decline through the coming decades even as their utility remains in every way as relevant as the day they were assembled.

Photo via Lumix G5, typecast via Smith Corona Galaxy 12.

Errata: Second to last line should read "...dare I say it..."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sticker Art


Post-Script: Sometimes, in the writing process for this blog, an idea suggests itself, only afterwards a photo being chosen (or purposefully created). At other times, such as today's entry, perusing my recently created images suggests a common theme at work.

It does not seem entirely impossible that some local gallery might find itself in the position of sponsoring a sticker art exhibit, if their owners and sponsors had the foresight and vision for the wider art world, outside the mainstream gallery world view.

Photos via Lumix G5 and Fujifilm X10; typecast via Smith Corona Galaxie 12.

Bonus Images: P1090476a









Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Convert?


Typecast010(1) Link

Post-Script: Of course, it is mere presumption to assume that he will take to fountain pens as I did. I can certainly see the convenience of sticking with one's tried-and-true writing solution, such as his Bic Cristals. And fountain pens do have their finickiness, such as their writing quality being sensitive to both ink and paper selection. But I think the possibility of seeing another Fountain Pen Convert in our midst is worth the risk.

Photo via Fujifilm X10; typecast via SCM Galaxy 12.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Time is Nigh

The Time is Nigh


Post-Script: Photo via Samsung Galaxy 4S, typecast via SCM Galaxy 12

Sunday, November 02, 2014

A Fair Trade



Post-Script: Today's downtown Albuquerque photo stroll was accompanied by my Minolta X700 with Kodak Porta 160 film, and the venerable Panasonic Lumix G5 with 20mm-f/1.7 lens, shooting in square-format. While I don't yet have results from the Minolta, here's a selection of some of my favorites from today's outing.

Oh, I didn't make it to the Marigold Parade, as the weather ended up being soggy. But I warmed up with a bowl of black bean chili at Java Joe's, where the title image was made, and where the piece was penned.

Typecast via SCM Galaxy 12, in the Man Cave, after having returned home with my composition book's fountain pen rough draft.

Bonus Images: P1090386a