Sunday, February 27, 2011

A sleepy morning sort of poem...

Nice to just daydream for a few extra moments before getting up on a Sunday morning...though the daydreams always seem to get away from me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Mortifyingly Belated Introduction

Olympia SG3 vs SM9
In the spirit of ITAM, I introduce and express my appreciation for my most loyal portable, the 60s Olympia SM-9...which really deserves a name!  Shown here with Bernard, the SG-3 I no longer own.

SM-9 intro

The silver SM-9 should arrive at its new home tomorrow...can one ask for prayers for safe delivery when it comes to typewriters?  Here's hoping it arrives intact and brings joy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cult Au Jus my defense, the story in that last post seemed a lot better at five-thirty or six in the morning than it did a few hours later when it was too late to pretend it never happened.  I'll do the next best thing and move on something equally silly.  I just never learn, do I?

Thursdays are French Dip day at the deli downstairs at work.  And it is a seriously popular choice--sometimes seems like half the building lines up for some.  I usually pack a lunch from home, but every now and again, I have to resort to buying lunch downstairs, and I admit, the French Dip is good...but the nonconformist in me is bothered by following the crowd, even when the crowd *could* be right.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Which I Utterly Fail To Find Typewriters, But Still Have Fun

Nice day yesterday.  It was cold and windy, but beautiful clear weather.  I can deal.  So I set off on a bit of a ramble around Olympia, partly in search of typewriters.

The antique store wasn't open yet, so I stopped into our biggest local bookstore next door for awhile instead: Orca Books.  I picked up a new copy of CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters, as my last copy appears to have gone walkabout.  I probably gave it away to a friend or sibling and then promptly forgot, as I tend to do with favorite book titles.  I also picked up our most recent book club book (The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon), looked at the blank books (oh, the pretty red Moleskines!) but refrained from buying any, and then came across these items, which I couldn't resist, even if the typewriter keys are erroneously lowercase and even if they missed an opportunity to display an Olympia.
By that point, the antique mall next door was open.  It's called Finders Keepers, and it's one of my favorite places in town.

In my experience, there tend to be two different types of antique stores: one type sells primarily very high-end furniture and glassware and paintings--you walk in and the place is nearly bare, and beautifully arranged.  Fun to look, but since I know I'm not likely to make a purchase in a place like that in my lifetime, I feel nervous being in those stores.

The other type of antique store is wonderfully cluttered and jumbled, and they sell all sorts of interesting old everyday things and things in fully-lived condition rather than just the valuable stuff.  There are old tins and kitchenware, vintage clothing, all sorts of bits and pieces and souvenirs, toys, name it.  Finders Keepers is most definitely this last type of antique store.  They sell items on commission for all sorts of different vendors, sectioned off in booths/cubicles throughout the store, and you just never know what you'll come across.

I usually see at least a few typewriters, though I've yet to purchase one here.  Often they've been out of my price range, sometimes I've come across them during a buying moratorium.  I only saw two on Saturday, neither of them quite worthy of taking home.

There was this electric Smith Corona--such a beautiful color!  Too bad it isn't a manual...

And this Underwood, tucked away on a bottom shelf.  It was $40, which I suppose isn't bad for an antique store find, but not exactly in superb condition.  I don't think it was functional.  They do look cool, though, don't they?

I also came across this old pencil sharpener!  In retrospect, I should have moved that tag so the crank was visible.  I'm not sure it actually works.  If I had a place to display such a thing, I would have been very tempted to take it home...but I don't,  so I didn't.

The best thing about this store, though, is the Book Nook.
Lots and lots of mostly old books: classics, poetry, old boys' adventure books, old mysteries, old cookbooks.  Even the oldest and most ornate are generally very reasonably priced.  I bought a copy of Brideshead Revisited, as my last copy, like Screwtape Letters, seems to have gone walkabout.

I did a little wandering around downtown Olympia looking for any other likely spots for typewriters, but the only other antique stores were 1) an antique store of the first sort and 2) a very tiny place that didn't open until one in the afternoon.  What's up with that?

No typewriter content in the next stage: I went to The Tea Lady, which I highly recommend to any visitors to Olympia.  If you like tea, or think you might like some tea, or if you're at all curious about tea is THE tea store to visit.

It's hard to even convey just how much tea they have here.  This is just one corner.

All of those bags and boxes are tea!  They also have a tea bar at the back where you can buy freshly brewed hot or iced tea, or try samples of a few varieties.  And they sell tea pots and mugs and electric kettles and various other kitchen gadgets.  I browsed awhile and then bought the Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice I'd gone in for (it's like atomic fireball candy in tea form, though they'd probably be appalled by my saying so...) and some coconut chocolate black tea (it's good!).

Aaand that's about it.  I went to two Goodwill stores, but didn't see so much as an electric typewriter, and then stopped by a Value Village since it's near the library where I was dropping off books, but they only had a 90s (?) Smith Corona electric, very banged up and dirty.  Still, a good day overall!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Little Flower Petals Tribe of Clickity-Clack

Strikethru has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged the typosphere to show their cards. Wait...that's mixing metaphors, isn't it? I hate it when I do that.

Anyhow, here's my current stable:

Shinied up Olympia SG-1
1. Sebastian, the handsome green Olympia SG-1, which I took to Blue Moon/Ace Typewriter for repair and renewal awhile back. It is the typewriter by which all other typewriters are measured. Coolest feature: that giant paper load lever. It's amazingly handy. If I've been using that typewriter a lot, I do phantom passes for the lever when loading paper into other typewriters.

Stinky the Olympia SM-9
2. Stinky, who you've all come to know rather well. He's actually pretty clean now save for some rusty spots, though still a bit whiffy up close. Although a late model SM-9 and therefore uncool even by stodgy SM-9 standards, he really types nicely.

Olympia SG3 vs SM9
3. I have another SM-9 in a spidery pica typeface, shown here with Bernard, the SG-3 I used to own. I'm just realizing I've never done a full report on this SM-9, though it was one of the first typewriters I ever purchased and, now I think on it, the longest owned of the current lot. It is, like Strikethru's SM-9, a fully refurbished model, which I think inspires a certain amount of guilt in me. It types like new, though, and took on a just a little under half the work-load during my first typed NaNoWriMo. It should be allowed out more.

Olympia SM-9 No. 3
4. Then there is the third SM-9, found recently at a local Goodwill, with an 11-pt. typeface like Stinky's. It's one I often reach for when writing letters, because I know I can depend on it. Solid, stolid and reliable, this one. It is, however, currently in the Most Likely To Be Traded/Sold/Given Away spot. I really don't need *three* SM-9s, especially two with the same typeface, and Stinky is here to stay.

SCM Galaxie Deluxe
5. My homely little Galaxie holds a special place in my heart because of its resemblance to my first-ever typewriter. And despite its decidedly unromantic appearance, it is the poet of the bunch. Until I met this typewriter, I had never composed poetry on anything with a keyboard--it was always done by hand, and then eventually transcribed. But at least once in awhile, the words just come to me when I'm banging away on the Galaxie. It also won me the typing contest at the type-in. For that, I owe it one.

Olivetti Studio temporary photo
6. And finally, there is the newcomer: the Olivetti Underwood Studio 21 that followed me home from the type-in. It has the most beautiful typeface of them all in my opinion, and is quick and quiet.  I'll get real pictures of it one of these days, when it isn't sleeting.

It has 1/4, 1/2, and even an @...but no exclamation point.  Makes me laugh.  And isn't that red heart the prettiest tab key you ever did see?
I Heart Olivetti

I still have three typewriters on my wishlist:
1. An old Hermes 3000 like the one I stupidly stupidly stupidly let go during last year's move. Preferably pica or maybe some sort of techno typeface.
2. A Lettera 32, in the same exact typeface as the Studio 21.
3. And some flavor of Royal, just 'cause the snappy action amuses me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

We're Famous! (More Snohomish Type-in coverage)

There's an article at KIRO News Radio, for starters--I haven't listened to the audio yet, but I will after work today!

We made the Everett Herald as well! I was particularly pleased to see that poor l'il Stinky got his picture in the paper (photo 8, along with my Galaxie).

I'm still coming down from the weekend, and trying to think of excuses to keep up the typing momentum. For one, I'm thinking we should type up some letters of thanks to send to Uppercase Books, no? I really wish I lived closer to them: that is such a neat place to hang out. Old books, new books, internet access, and caffeine. What more could you ask for on a rainy Saturday afternoon?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodwill Fail/Win

Goodwill pencils
Goodwill pencil lot sample

See it? :)

Bit hard to photograph in indoor lighting, but it's what I had. And yes, that blue-green one in the middle is flocked. Wearing blue velvet. Whatever you want to call it. Kinda gives me the heebie-jeebies, to tell the truth.

I'd like to think there's some sort of art project I could make using these things, but I'm not sure. To ponder.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Making a list and checking it twice

With all the typos that mark a true typecast...and then some. ;-)

List for Type-in

NOTE: the "excursion" of course refers to this Saturday's type-in at Uppercase Books.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Typecast Poetry: Finis

Been awhile since I did a poem, hasn't it?


And here are the "before" pictures--I tend to start poems as a bunch of phrases that come to me every which way, starting with one initial phrase (in this case, I've been carrying "Crazy candlelight" around with me for a few months now...just finally started picking at it until it came apart).

Finis notes 1
Finis notes 2

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Seattle Area Lovers of Type: Come One, Come All!

I'm guessing everyone has heard by now, but Justin of has organized a type-in on February 12th at Uppercase Books in Snohomish, WA.  There is a beautiful flyer and everything:

I'm very much hoping to attend, especially since I apparently completely overlooked an earlier type-in in the area.  Snohomish is quite a haul for we'll see.  With the new Android with GPS capability, I'm feeling a lot less scared than I could be, but it's still a lonnnng way over unfamiliar ground.  But hey, it'd build character, right? 

I don't have a sweetheart to write to, but I figure a sister will do. ;)  Or I could always do a live sorta typecast thing.

In any case, it promises to be an exciting event, and I hope lots of folks come out!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Poetical Forecasting

Gotta love it when the human element manages to shine through despite technology.  My Forecastfox Weather extension in Firefox tells me tonight is going to be "Cold with a star-studded sky."

I'm guessing no weather-modeling computer thingamabob spit out that particular line.  Makes me smile.