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Easily satisfied

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I think that pretty much sums up my mindset to fountain pens. Maybe other stuff too.

Example:
I didn't have any black inks, nor any inks promising any kind of permanence. I decided to address both, with a £9 bottle of Quink Black Permanent, which I received yesterday. I gave my Parker 45 Flighter a short fill with it, and it worked fine. Upon trying it again today, I'm perfectly happy that this does all I need, and I won't be looking for other black inks.

The 45 Flighter may well end up being dedicated to that ink, although I may try my IM Premium with it too. Either way, I'll end up with one pen dedicated to the Quink Black, and one pen left to pair with my demonstrator for all the other bottled inks.

Job done!

Likewise with my cartridge pens, I have two pen choices for blue inks, two for other darker inks, and two for brighter colours. I've been having a flurry of spending recently, as I tried to figure out exactly what I was trying to achieve with my pen array, but have relatively quickly settled into something that I'm happy with.

Again, job done.

I'm not settled with inks yet, or at least, not all of them. Sherwood Green, Chocolate Brown, and Grape, satisfy my choices for green, brown and purple. as mentioned above, the question of black is now resolved too. I haven't settled on a red or blue yet though, and I'm also bouncing around a few lighter colours, such as Blood Orange, Antique Copper, and Burnt Sienna.

I can fully understand how pens become a "collector" hobby for some folks, I went that way with knives and multiple in years past, but discovered I feel happiest when settled into a modest array. Same with soaps, shoes, hats, torches, and razor blades. I overspent a little, while trying to discover my likes and dislikes, but the brakes have been put on those aspects too, now that I have settled upon my own personal balance of diversity and consistency.

I don't think my ink shopping days are over yet. Maybe notepads will be the next flurry of spending (although I do like Clairefontaine, and Rhodia). I do think I am halfway to being settled though, and am happy to have found that feeling with the pens. I'm at a similar semi-settled stage with my ballpoints, pencils, and markers too.

Are you easily satisfied, or always wanting the next new shiny? Maybe easily bored, or intentionally wanting to expand a collection? Also, does whatever summarises your mindset with pens/inks, echo through to other potentially collectable stuff too?
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Its your hobby, you can do it any way you want. I'm glad you've got things figured out (for now). For things like this, I envision a spectrum. If we're talking pens, one end of the spectrum is the guy who only uses pens he nicked from hotels and banks and wouldn't dream of buying a pen new, let alone spending more than a couple bucks (or quid, for the Brits in the crowd) on a writing instrument. On the other end are the high rollers casually dropping mortgage-sized sums for Special Edition Namiki Emperors, Graf von Faber-Castel Pens of the Year, and Montegrappa Chaos pens. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. My wife is perfectly happy with the Pilot G2s she gets in 40-packs at Costco. I'm... a little more discerning.

When I get into a hobby, I usually want to try all the things, but don't have the money for that. So, I go slow. I like getting things used or vintage to try at a steep discount. I don't spend real money until I know its something I'm going to really enjoy. At that point, I'm usually pretty satisfied. But you never know. I thought I was finished experimenting with different razors and after at least three or four years of not buying anything new, I got excited about OCtober and bought another razor just to try out. So I guess my hobbies go in fits and starts, sometimes burning bright with interest (and acquisition) and sometimes burning slowly and steadily in warm contentment.
 
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Its your hobby, you can do it any way you want. I'm glad you've got things figured out (for now). For things like this, I envision a spectrum. If we're talking pens, one end of the spectrum is the guy who only uses pens he nicked from hotels and banks and wouldn't dream of buying a pen new, let alone spending more than a couple bucks (or quid, for the Brits in the crowd) on a writing instrument. On the other end are the high rollers casually dropping mortgage-sized cash for Special Edition Namiki Emperors, Graf von Faber-Castel Pens of the Year, and Montegrappa Chaos pens. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. My wife is perfectly happy with the Pilot G2s she gets in 40-packs at Costco. I'm... a little more discerning.

When I get into a hobby, I usually want to try all the things, but don't have the money for that. So, I go slow. I like getting things used or vintage to try at a steep discount. I don't spend real money until I know its something I'm going to really enjoy. At that point, I'm usually pretty satisfied. But you never know. I thought I was finished experimenting with different razors and after at least three or four years of not buying anything new, I got excited about OCtober and bought another razor just to try out. So I guess my hobbies go in fits and starts, sometimes burning bright with interest (and acquisition) and sometimes burning slowly and steadily in warm contentment.

My spending tends to go in stages.

Grossly simplified:

1) Do I even want a fountain pen at all? Buy one to try it.

2) What pens inks do i actually want? A little bit of measured exploration, to get a feel for the topic.

3) Oh, I really don't like that! Elimination/replacement of things that don't work for me.

4) What's the end goal here? Working towards a point where I can stop spending. (Some folks might not do this stage at all, but I like to get here with the fewest possible mistakes, and without spending more than necessary)

5) Occasional future upgrades. Usually if something expires, or reveals a limitation or weakness that wasn't apparent earlier.

I'm allergic to rabbit holes. They bring me out in tantrums. I don't necessarily want to find just one combo and stick to it, but don't feel satisfied until I identify and get close to a stopping point. If I feel the need to chase again, soon after a purchase, it means I bought the wrong thing. I can only buy the wrong thing a few times, before getting totally disillusioned with the whole concept. There has to be an end point for me to gravitate towards, even if that end point is later refined.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
My spending tends to go in stages.

Grossly simplified:

1) Do I even want a fountain pen at all? Buy one to try it.

2) What pens inks do i actually want? A little bit of measured exploration, to get a feel for the topic.

3) Oh, I really don't like that! Elimination/replacement of things that don't work for me.

4) What's the end goal here? Working towards a point where I can stop spending. (Some folks might not do this stage at all, but I like to get here with the fewest possible mistakes, and without spending more than necessary)

5) Occasional future upgrades. Usually if something expires, or reveals a limitation or weakness that wasn't apparent earlier.

I'm allergic to rabbit holes. They bring me out in tantrums. I don't necessarily want to find just one combo and stick to it, but don't feel satisfied until I identify and get close to a stopping point. If I feel the need to chase again, soon after a purchase, it means I bought the wrong thing. I can only buy the wrong thing a few times, before getting totally disillusioned with the whole concept. There has to be an end point for me to gravitate towards, even if that end point is later refined.
That's a good coherent theory. Let's call it the " AimlessWander Doctrine" (is that more of an American joke? - every president here has a "Doctrine" and if they don't, the talking heads all ask "what's the [fill in president's name] Doctrine?" and then make one up.)

I think where I would differ most is the idea of buying the "wrong" thing. I prefer to think of it as a "different" thing. I generally prefer medium-to-broad nibs for my daily writing, but have plenty of use for fine nibs. I like my stiff nail nibs for some things and my soft, flexy(ish) nibs for others. I like looking in my journal and seeing different writing from different pens in every entry. These things are part of the fun for me. I don't worry too much about rabbit holes, just not spending beyond my means. Fortunately, I don't have a taste for expensive wine or whiskey or sportscars, so if I splurge a little on pens, its no big deal.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I think where I would differ most is the idea of buying the "wrong" thing. I prefer to think of it as a "different" thing.

Veering off pens, and onto shoes for a moment, I recently went through a spending spree. Following some involuntary life changes, I went through a new learning curve.

Many of the shoes I bought were well fitting, comfortable, and looked well enough, but didn't fit my lifestyle as well as I had hoped. Great for going out for a meal in, but wrong if I have to make my way there by train, with a mile to walk to and from each station. It was only in trying those shoes, and understanding why they didn't work for for me, that I started to get a bearing on what I actually needed/wanted.

I had similar discoveries with pens. Choosing between cartridges or bottle filled, dark inks or bright, clear plastic or metal. Some were bad choices, but others were "good but wrong", and led to a clearer perspective of my preferences. The lessons learned meant they weren't money wasted, but they were also not going to be something I would regularly reach for.

I enjoyed the discovery of what I want, and enjoy ticking off the various categories and needs as I satisfy them. But there's always that sense of achievement in satisfying a set goal, which isn't necessarily there in perpetual acquisition.

I think that's why some shoes, pens, inks etc, feel wrong to me, rather than just different. They didn't take me nearer that sense of achievement. Understanding a specific need, and then satisfying it.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Well, when you put in the context of shoes, I certainly see your point. I guess if I had a pen I couldn't stand to use, it would be "wrong" too. I do concede that if a pen doesn't write well, I don't have time for it. Life's too short.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Some examples of "good but wrong" that I have personally found on the pen front...

Red ink. By which I mean bright red. Might be useful for the occasional task, but a pen would dry out before I had finished a cartridge. Antique Copper would serve the same purpose for the occasional highlighting or edit job, but I'm more likely to use it as a regular ink too, and therefore finish the cartridge or fill. I would write a whole page in Antique Copper or Burnt Sienna, but would find a white page written in bright red to be gaudy and might even strain my eyes.

Plastic pens. No matter how well they feel, look, and write... I drop stuff. My neuro challenges make me a bit of a klutz, so anything fragile is a liability (although I do like my demonstrator, but that was under £3, so I just bought spares).

Gold nibs. Additional expense, but no additional benefit for me.

Rollerball pens. They don't store as well as ballpoints, and as I won't use them often enough, are likely to dry up before they are empty. Ballpoint are better suited to my occasional use. Pressurised ballpoint inserts are even better for the sentimental pens that I use even less.

None of these are necessarily bad things, but other choices would suit my needs much better. Maybe that explains what I was angling at, better than shoes :)
 
Gold nibs. Additional expense, but no additional benefit for me.

Gold was the original stainless metal. This was important in the early days of nib pens when inks were highly corrosive and stainless steel wasn’t an option.

Today gold is mainly used for traditional reasons. My pens happen to have gold bibs but stainless nibs work just as well for me.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Gold was the original stainless metal. This was important in the early days of nib pens when inks were highly corrosive and stainless steel wasn’t an option.

Today gold is mainly used for traditional reasons. My pens happen to have gold bibs but stainless nibs work just as well for me.
It has been stated that both steel and gold nibs have the same tipping, so should feel the same on paper. I think there's some truth to that. Its also true that gold nibs are usually softer than steel nibs, but not always (Pelikan, Sailor, etc). I have also heard it suggested that gold nibs often (but not always) write better than steel nibs because they usually get more QC at the factory; for example, gold nibs are more likely to receive hand finishing whereas steel nibs are usually machine finished. Of course, gold nibs are usually more ornate (on modern pens at least), which also adds cost, but not performance. Personally, I evaluate every nib individually for its own character and don't worry about the material. I like the Platinum 3776 nib because it feels awesome to write with, not because its gold. Could Platinum make that nib with steel and retain its unique writing feel? I don't know. Same with the Pelikan M200. Its a great nib if you like nibs on the softer side, regardless than it is made of steel.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
The 45 Flighter may well end up being dedicated to that ink, although I may try my IM Premium with it too.

The Parker Quink Black Permanent works wonderfully in the IM Premium. The 45 that I originally tried, is better suited for filling from 30ml Diamine bottles, particularly when the ink level drops low. So these two will be a permanent pairing from now on, and I'll keep the 45 Flighter free for the miscellaneous bottled inks from Diamine.

IMG_20211014_183853.jpg
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Me too but if your only going to have a few. you might as well have the best.

echo through to other potentially collectable stuff too?

Yup. Less quantity. More quality.

Before I look for quality, I look for suitability. I have bought a few pens, only to find out we weren't going to get along. Plastic body, threaded sections, stepped transitions, triangular grip. Thankfully, being cheap, it didn't matter. I can upgrade later, when I know what works for me and what doesn't.

The other reason I start off aiming low, is oftentimes it's perfectly good enough. There's been plenty of times when buying cheap, taught me what qualities to look for when I upgrade, based on what failed on the cheap one. But sometimes the cheap one doesn't fail. If my <£10 pens are still going strong in 10 to 15 years, that's quality enough for me.
 
I've concluded that somrthings in life cannot be quantified rationally.

It's just the same with razors and shaving as this Forum illustrates,
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I've concluded that somrthings in life cannot be quantified rationally.

It's just the same with razors and shaving as this Forum illustrates,

Absolutely! Or at least, the rationale isn't always universal. You just have to try things out, and see what fits. Quite often it's not what was originally thought, or suggested by someone else.

Where I have ended up with pens, shaving gear, cookware, and many other things, is often not what is commonly recommended. I haven't intentionally gone against the flow, I've just found other solutions - sometimes less popular ones - suit me better.
 
The other reason I start off aiming low, is oftentimes it's perfectly good enough. There's been plenty of times when buying cheap, taught me what qualities to look for when I upgrade, based on what failed on the cheap one. But sometimes the cheap one doesn't fail. If my <£10 pens are still going strong in 10 to 15 years, that's quality enough for me.
I too follow a similar approach in the case of fountain pens and ball pens. I have a Parker SS body Jotter and that is an all-weather pen for me - suits all needs and isn't as costly to hurt me too much if lost.

For Fountain pens, I dwelt in Camlin pens throughout my student life. They were less than 50c per pen and were fragile but good enough to carry multiples. Now I have 3 fountain pens- A Pilot Metropolitan, a Lamy Safari, and a Waterman Perspective.
Of these, the Metropolitan is the most comfortable and coincidentally the cheapest, that's why I don't bother going for expensive is the best thinking in every case.

I do want to get a Lamy 2000 or something similar in Iconic and sturdy nature but that will be a gift to me after achieving something worth commemorating in life.

Since Fountain pens are not going to be my main EDC and are mostly used for writing journals and letters to my family (yes, I do that), I'm interested in getting a variety of inks.

@Mitzie I've concluded that somrthings in life cannot be quantified rationally.
Agreed, and that happens with me more often than I care to observe.
 
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I have one of those stainless bodied Jotters for exactly the same reasoning. plus a couple of other cheap but decent pens that wouldn't break my heart if they got lost. Although most of the time, I will have one of these compact pens on me when I leave the house.

IMG_20210914_144929_edit.jpg IMG_20210914_145113_edit.jpg

Details in this thread...
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I have too many pens inked again. A full demonstrator with a good everyday ink, and the Parker IM still has some of the Quink Black in, despite it only being a short fill. Two pens have the same brown cartridge ink, to compare flows. Three others have different red spectrum inks in to compare, and another has Diamine Midnight in for general use.

Eight pens, and seven different inks. :001_rolle The truth if the matter is that any of these inks and pens, are perfectly fine for me. I only need two or three for some variety and contrast, and my impatience to try mixing and matching, feels a little silly now.

One thing I am very glad of though, is trying this Quink ink so late in the game. I'm so happy with it, that I might not have discovered all these other great ink choices had I used it sooner. I just need to try to be disciplined enough to not attempt to use them all at the same time 🤣
 
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