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  1. Maybe it's my eyes getting a bit more short sighted, I'm starting to struggle with my 10x loupe. I'd like to have a go at nib reshaping in the future, so reckon this is probably the time to step things up a few gears in terms of magnification anyway. Does anyone have any recommendations, regards to generic magnification, or perhaps a specific model? If anyone uses those LED loupes, what's your opinion?
  2. About a year ago I purchased a NOS Pelikan M100. The white version with black hardware. I believe that pen has rather lovingly been dubbed "The Storm Trooper Pen." And rightfully so because it looks just like a Storm Trooper. And thanks to Angry Birds Star Wars Edition, all of you 90's babies will understand what a Storm Trooper looks like. Anyway... I digress. The nib was a Medium and delivered a writing experience not unlike using a small garden hose to try and accurately place water in 2" pots. It just gushed ink and the line was easily half again as wide as Lamy Broad Nibs (garish things, those broad nibs, but my wife loves them so I get to compare). That pen was quickly sold off without another thought. Fast-forward a few months and I stumbled on a rather excellent deal for a Pelikan M215. Pelikan? Metal? Subtle design? Yes please. It came with an F nib. This one wrote slightly finer than the garden hose that was the M100 before it. I knew about 15 seconds in that it was a no-go and sold it off also. At this point, I just figured that Pelikan had merged with Sharpie somewhere down the line and I just wouldn't get anything from them that didn't write at least a 12 or 15mm line (Yes, I'm exaggerating, but the Pelikan nibs were easily several times wider than Japanese counterparts and half again or twice as wide as other German nibs). Fast-forward another few months or so and I picked up a Pelikan M200 with an EF nib. Surely this would be the one, right? Wrong. Again, the nib was a gushing, broad, mushy writer with no character or pizzazz. It was similar in width to a Lamy Medium. Probably the equivalent of a Japanese BBB, if there were such a thing (not the Better Business Bureau... Triple Broad). Humph. Stupid Pelikans. I hummed and hawed over whether or not to shoot it, sell it or stick it in the pen box and save it until the years when my eyesight began to fail me and I was forced to write large, clunky letters and when my children, grandchildren and family members would chalk my closed-up A's, O's and Q's to my shaky, arthritic hands and tuck my correspondences away with a sigh and a gentle, "Bless his heart." As a last-ditch effort to love Pelikans, I reached out to the community here to try and discover why I had gotten three despicable nibs from one of the top pen-makers in the world. I got a response from Linda at Indy-Pen-Dance. To say I'm not affiliated with her and her company wouldn't be entirely true as she did work for me and had a pleasant conversation via email during the process so I sort of feel like we're friends now and I'd recommend her based on that alone. So yeah... While she's not paying me or holding a mushy Pelikan nib to my throat and forcing me to write this, I do feel a little biased towards her because she was so darn nice to me. And oh, what she did to that Pelikan... I sent her my beloved Sailor M1911 (that was hard to do as it was a gift to me and has been inked since I received it several months ago and is almost my favorite pen) so she could see what kind of nibs I actually liked, and she also had me submit writing samples and she took it from there. I didn't have high hopes for the Pelikan. I figured I'd spend the bucks, get it back and still be unhappy and part ways with it at a significant loss. Oh no, no, my friends. For I tell you, that woman did a remarkable job. While it's not quite as fine as my Sailor EF, it's darn close and writes with just a hint of feedback. I can use it on cheap paper and it doesn't flood the page with ink. I have it filled with Lamy Blue-Black, which is a favorite of mine and it has become a twice-a-week carry, at worst. Sometimes, I carry it for several days at a time. Linda is a heck of a nibmeister and she did a killer job on my Pelikan. Enough that I'll be purchasing others and if they turn out to be the equivalent of a can of spray paint, then I'll send them to her and have them made right. If you have a pen that needs some love, don't hesitate to send it her way. I don't know what her turnaround times usually are and I don't really remember how long it took for mine, but I couldn't be happier. Just when I had lost all hope of falling in love with these tiny bird-branded instruments, she saved me. Pelikans are, for me, the perfect pocket pen. Good ink capacity. Good build quality. Piston filling is always a plus. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes at all price points and, with someone like Linda on your side, a Pelikan can be exactly what you want it to be. Anyway... That's my tale of the love and loss associated with Pelikans and the woman that saved the day. Check out their services at http://www.indy-pen-dance.com/.





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