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When People Offer Me a Cheap Ballpoint...


Checklist

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1EkOsY8p_8

 

Apologize for the reference to a terrible movie, but it is a good response to offers of a cheap Bic.  After all, aren't fountain pens "an elegant [tool] for a more civilized age"?

"Nothing is new under the sun!  Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us." Ecclesiastes
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I was actually tickled that a friend gave me (as a joke) a (very) cheap ballpoint he appropriated from the hotel where he was staying. He is aware of my FP obsession. The refill turns out to be quite a pleasant writer as ballpoints go. The pen also is an interesting orange color that is almost a perfect match to the orange of Rhodia writing tablets.

 

Sometimes, when you need to bear down to make copies, or jot quickly, or hand a writing instrument to someone of unknown penmanship skills, a cheap ballpoint can be exactly what is called for.

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Maybe so, but they still are a much less pleasant writing experience; there are usually better ballpoints out there.  We have gotten some promo pens that are just awful, and I avoid using them entirely.  I'm just too cheap to toss them.

"Nothing is new under the sun!  Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us." Ecclesiastes
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Every cheap ballpoint that came into my hands went into a 250 mL glass beaker that sat on the front lab table in my classroom.  Students who needed to "borrow" something to write with used them.  American Science and Surplus used to sell really cheap ballpoints by the pound.  Two pounds would usually get me through roughly one semester.

 

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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  • 1 month later...

I usually carry 1-2 cheap BP in the briefcase and look forward to helping those in 'pen distress'.  :lol:

Engineer :

Someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

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Frequently I receive ball points as gifts - I really enjoy the ones from hotels in Vegas, I laugh my self sillier.  The best marketing pen I ever received was from Lake Las Vegas and it was a Pilot Varsity. I loved it!

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every time I'm someplace where I have to sign in, or fill out a form (like at the dentist's office last week) I just say "Oh, I have a pen!" and pull an FP out of my purse.  

I figure that with COVID still being a thing, it makes THEIR job easier -- one less pen for them to have to decontaminate....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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1 hour ago, inkstainedruth said:

Every time I'm someplace where I have to sign in, or fill out a form (like at the dentist's office last week) I just say "Oh, I have a pen!" and pull an FP out of my purse.  

I figure that with COVID still being a thing, it makes THEIR job easier -- one less pen for them to have to decontaminate....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

And a personal pen for you to decontaminate.  This is why I quit carrying my fountain pens in public after Covid arrived.

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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I don't see as how I'd have to decontaminate *my* pens.  I'm not handing them around for people to use.  In places like doctor's offices, I expect people to be vaccinated and masked up, just like I am.  And in restaurants, they're only out long enough for me to sign the credit card slips, then put back into my purse.  Ditto at the lottery counter at the local grocery store (they do a second chance drawing of losing tickets once a month, for a $25 gift card that can be used in all locations of the chain, and also at their related gas stations/mini-marts).  Plus, a lot of places have installed plexiglass panels between desk personnel/cashiers and the paying customers.  And of course a lot of stores I'm paying with plastic as well, and a lot of times you don't even have to sign the touchscreen.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I thought I remembered hearing a while back that COVID didn't really spread via surfaces.  Sanitizing my pens has never occurred to me, unless the kids get ahold of one...

"Nothing is new under the sun!  Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us." Ecclesiastes
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2 hours ago, Checklist said:

I thought I remembered hearing a while back that COVID didn't really spread via surfaces.  Sanitizing my pens has never occurred to me, unless the kids get ahold of one...

Corona viruses can spread via surfaces although respiratory droplets are a far more important means of transmission.  If the virus gets on your skin after you handle a contaminated object it can be passed to mouth, nose,  or eyes and lead to infection hence the admonition to not touch your face in public.  My wife and I are primary caregivers for her rather frail mother so we take no chances. 

 

There was a thread on FPN back during the beginning of the pandemic about cleaning fountain pens.

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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I admit, I only use my own pens.  Even though the doc's office says they clean the pens, other people still end up touching them.  It's easier to use my own pen.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/27/2022 at 3:33 AM, kestrel said:

And a personal pen for you to decontaminate.  This is why I quit carrying my fountain pens in public after Covid arrived.

 

I use one of my copper or silver pens (I mean the metal, not the colour) in doubtful situations. Copper and silver is self-disinfecting.

You will be forgiven that you cannot, but never more that you do not want to.

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20 hours ago, kestrel said:

Corona viruses can spread via surfaces although respiratory droplets are a far more important means of transmission.  If the virus gets on your skin after you handle a contaminated object it can be passed to mouth, nose,  or eyes and lead to infection hence the admonition to not touch your face in public.  My wife and I are primary caregivers for her rather frail mother so we take no chances. 

As well you should.  We had to drive my late mother-in-law's caregiver back to the Boston area from Harrisburg about a year and an half ago, because we figured it was safer for her than her taking the train to Philly and then up to Boston.

I'm actually more worried about the touch screens with the styluses at the grocery store -- dunno how often *those* get cleaned.  And at the pharmacy counter, you're supposed to type in your DOB on the screen and then sign with your finger....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 1/28/2022 at 1:40 PM, Jan Mathijs Rijck said:

 

I use one of my copper or silver pens (I mean the metal, not the colour) in doubtful situations. Copper and silver is self-disinfecting.

 

Copper and Silver is only anti-bacterial, not anti-microbial , so you still want to regularly wipe your pen down with disinfecting swipe ( preferably non alcohol type ) if you handle them in public or similar

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10 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

 

Copper and Silver is only anti-bacterial, not anti-microbial , so you still want to regularly wipe your pen down with disinfecting swipe ( preferably non alcohol type ) if you handle them in public or similar

 

Copper will also neutralize viruses (you can't really kill something that isn't alive, at least not with out help from a host, but you can give it enough oxidative stress that is breaks down). Google "antimicrobial copper", and you will get lots of hits. Some informative, some not. Silver works well at around 37C and very high relative humidity (one reason it makes a great ingredient wound dressings) but not so much dry at room temperature. That is why so many antimicrobial silver companies came and went quickly. It is a nice application.

 

Probably the reason copper is not so popular is that the mechanism of action is related to ionization at the surface of the alloy. When you have free copper or silver ions in the the presence of oxygen, you get really ugly tarnish. Anti-microbially clean, but optically really gross, and the psychology is strong.

 

But I agree, if you are only handling your pens yourself, it doesn't make a lot of sense to wipe them down. If you are sharing, then sure, disinfect them.

 

Edit: this is a Cross Century (a few hundred custom made as part of a promotion about 10 years ago), with a body made of a 90Cu10Ni alloy (aka "German Silver" used commonly for silver-colored "brass" instruments--the finials are 100%Cu). It will do a 6-log kill/neutralization within about 30 minutes on every microbe so-far tested (which includes about a half dozen popular bacteria and several viruses, including Sars Cov 2.

 

It looks OK, as long as one polishes it regularly (like every couple of days). The tarnish on the logo and the clip is at present pretty obvious. Looks like (bleep) when not polished, but still kills them microbes, dead. 
 

Edit 2: the more geeky folks out there might note that the typical oxidation state for copper is +2, so maybe more accurately the logo should be Cu++. No accounting for taste with people who do branding, sometimes, I guess.

 

century.jpeg.4bb1183255c39fe89a6b592b37b9b536.jpeg

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On 11/26/2021 at 10:20 AM, Checklist said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1EkOsY8p_8

 

Apologize for the reference to a terrible movie, but it is a good response to offers of a cheap Bic.  After all, aren't fountain pens "an elegant [tool] for a more civilized age"?

i love Bic Cristal!

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14 minutes ago, lovemy51 said:

i love Bic Cristal!

 

I just finished reading about the history of Bic Cristal in 'The Missing Ink' by Philip Hensher and was left thinking I should get one. Briefly...

It's all about the greys...

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concerning corona and pens , I carry a small spray like bottle of alcohol with me and i spray my hands and my pen and wipe it down with a cotton hankie (yes some of us are still old school and carry those ) . then i throw the hankie in the wash when i get home along with my clothes . the small spray like bottle came from my insurance agent filled with hand sanitizer so i just refilled with alcohol . 

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