Another New Acquisition

This is a (as close as I have been able to get, however, all evidence says I am spot on) 1957 Remington Quiet-Rite manual typewriter. The wife and I were at an antique store – Sidebar: western North Carolina is sick with antique shops and swap meets (but more antique shops), if antiquing is your thing, this is your place – and came across this for $42. I didn’t buy it right then but went home with the intent to buy something better later on (see previous post). I was on ebay and discovered that that typewriter usually sells for double that and in worse shape, usually, than the one I had just passed up. So we went back down later in the day and the booth it was in earlier was 50% off everything, so I got it for $21.

It is in decent condition:

The pictures don’t really show the condition of the casing, it is rather discolored and soiled. The type bar, type guide (the under stuff) and the platen, all appear to be in good working order. Nothing is too gummy or too dried. There is some corrosion and some dust and oil build-up as is natural for something this old. But overall it is in remarkably good condition.

The case isn’t. It smells atrocious and is cracked on one side. The case is made of wood with a (what once was) a felt(?) interior, and I think the outside is leather – maybe.

The typewriter itself stinks to high heaven. Someone went straight into a casket smoking at this thing. The quiet type typewriters (Royal had a Quiet Deluxe, Smith-Corona the Silent Super, etc) usually had the body panels and cover (the part over the type keys) lined with felt or some other noise-reducing material on the inside. I think it is this that absorbed most of the smell, and, I think, a little mildew. But it is hard to tell over the smell of cigarette.

The typewriter ribbon is rather dry as I don’t believe this typewriter has seen use since at least the Carter administration. It leaves light character marks on the paper but needs replacing. However, it is one of those old nylon type ribbons used on Remington and Underwood typewriters. So I got myself some black stamp ink and am going to attempt to re-ink the ribbon myself. I have some modern equivalents on the way that a customer on Amazon assures everyone who will listen that they work on her mother’s Remington Quiet-Riter.

I got me some toothbrushes and baking soda for cleaning up the body. I will look into replacing the sound-proofing on the inside later. I got a screwdriver set for intricate work. Got some mineral spirits for breaking up gunk, and some machine oil on the way. A site recommended dryer sheets like Bounce for cleaning up debris and deposits on the inside of the typewriter.

This Saturday my Smith-Corona Electra is supposed to arrive. That should be fun. I already watched a video about its drive belts. I completely forgot those things had little motors in them. I mean I was a little kid the last time I saw one. I worry about the motor though. If that blows, is there an equivalent out there? Or do I have to scrap for parts? Not a commonly asked question as I am on my third Google page with no answers yet.

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New Acquisition

A beauty, no? I got it on ebay for $1.04. This isn’t the actual photo, but a stock image from the net. The ebay photos don’t seem to be jpegs and I haven’t received the item yet. My mother had one of these in the 70’s and I remember they were quite good machines. Maybe not an IBM Selectric level of awesome, but still very good machines.

Last year I had bought a manual Royal Epoch manual typewriter. It seemed to be put out to prove the epoch of the typewriter was dead and you should give up on it. It was pretty crappy, clunk and you needed powerful fingers indeed to get out coherent sentences.

Last Thursday I got off work and went to Staples and purchased one of the last still manufactured electric typewriters, the Royal Scriptor Electric Typewriter. This thing was a hot mess from the start. First the margins couldn’t be set to where the paper was to be inserted, but insisted on starting and inch off paper even though the instructions clearly marked where to insert the paper. Then (and get this) no key hit produced that mark on the paper. You hit ‘Y’ and you would get & or p or ? or anything – M was e or 5 or whatever. Completely scatological. Called Royal and guys says “Yep, defective, return it to store.” Which I did for a refund.

So I await my SC Electra.

I found a Remington Quiet-Riter in good working order at an antique store today, but I am holding out for this baby.

Olivetti was the Lamborghini of typewriters until the retardation of man through computers. I know, I know, I say this from behind a computer screen, and if I didn’t have it you would never read me saying this. I don’t care, I say it anyway.

Regardless, that is a beautiful machine right there. I hope to slowly amass a small fleet of them keeping at least a couple functional for writing until I can’t get away with it anymore. I write a little with a computer, but it simply isn’t the same. I’ve tried for years but I can’t get around it.

I am too Catholic, I require the body as well as the mind. The book, the idea, the spirit is already in my mind. Typing to a computer keyboard is really the experience of it going from spirit to some other spirit. It is like a wish unfulfilled. The thought not made flesh. Yes, you could hit the print button after a session, but it is already too late. None of it is really physical until the printer barfs it out. I seek an immediacy, a physicality like ink from a fountain to a page.

What? Where Have I Been?

I am having a hard time connecting my life to this blog. I go weeks forgetting about it altogether. I think it is a general disconnect from moving shock. After all, outside of family and friends, there was no continuity with my other moves (Arizona to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Washington). This, my blog, would be a continuity.

I am still adjusting to living in North Carolina. It is a bigger cultural change than I have done before.

Although Asheville, NC is really just a small version of Portland Oregon. They have the drum circles, the unbathed hippies, the homeless, the skanky vegan chicks, the hoity-toity eating and reading establishments. And it is so “woke” in its bullshit progressiveness. Indeed I think this place may be more wretched than the posh districts of the Seattle area and Portland. After all, it was not until I moved here that I encountered bumper-stickeres that read “Vaginatarian” That would be someone that EATS PUSSY. The cars are not owned by men.

It is actually just the downtown area that reeks so. I live in the south end of Asheville. More normal. There are a few things I like about the area. The thing I like most is the Basilica of Saint Lawrence Deacon and Martyr.

Current reads are Bishop Barron’s: To Light a Fire on the Earth. Thomas Ligotti’s: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe. G.K. Chesterton’s: Father Brown Crime Stories: 24 Short Mysteries.

And, lastly, Chris Fox’s Six Figure Author. This last one is interesting and worrisome. It is sort of exciting that one could actually write and steer their own career. but if one reads it closely, one gets the feeling you hit this level of sales by being mediocre. The starving artist inside me rages against the indignity of being a barometer for what other people want. It doesn’t seem to be a formula for success.

That depends, though, on how we define success. If it is measured merely by the means of money, then being the middle of any ground will get you there. And then it will get you out of there as the crowd moves on. And what are you stuck with then? Not a work of soul. Then again, the popular entertainment hasn’t moved in over a decade so maybe the same old shit sells as good today as it did a generation ago. Things appear to be in a hold and repeat pattern. Just look at all the remakes or reboots.

Writing

I am pretty much done (for now) with the whole moving drama. Next year comes the house. I expect that to be just as much fun as these last four months have been. Yay!

But I sit here right now with my Word open and the clown story up and am rewriting/editing it. Mainly editing, it was pretty much set to go as far as structure. I am just making the words flow better, and making it more coherent. Some of the story simply didn’t make sense because I wrote it flash-style.

I also dug up my Nano project, The Five Deaths of Horace Gumble, and am giving that a look. That was also a piece of flash writing since I didn’t know I was doing Nano until Halloween night. I am not sure if I can use that piece (50,000 words) as a whole. Flash writing a short story is one thing, carrying it on that long? It was tough.

Since I last posted the original clown story (sorry, I still haven’t given it a name) in 2015 (I think) I’ll repost the original here if anyone cares to enjoy it. Also I’ll leave a chunk of Horace Gumble below it was well (a chunk of Horace Gumble… heh, that’s funny given how many times he get carved up in the story).

CLOWN STORY:

Sad Face stood in the middle of the small room surrounded by his peers. The pasty white of his face was smeared with red and his frown was twice turned down. Sad Face stroked a large orange tabby cat sitting upon his protruding diaphragm. His inquisitors made a circle around him at tables too low and chairs too small. It was a classroom, a colorful children’s classroom of rainbows, alphabets, and of bears, bees, flowers and trees; all cut out of construction paper and adorning the four walls.

Grimrole the Peeker, Curly the Cue, Continue reading “Writing”

Dabbling in Painting

Okay, don’t laugh! Except for practicing mixing colors and brushstrokes, I have tried three “painting” things so far. OTOH, they are obviously inept and show lack of experience. OTOH, I have seen worse things in modern art museums so…

The first was an attempt at a Bob Ross painting. Note, to do a Bob Ross painting (I have subsequently found out) you need the exact tools and you can’t do it on a canvas pad or canvas board but a double primed, stretched canvas. So when it started to turn to mush I went my own way. A happy accident as Mr. Ross would say… or a laughable travesty!

I actually like it!

The next was my attempt of painting a flower from a photo freestyle (no drawing or outlining). Lesson: freestyle is something you do after you have mastered, to some degree, form. Just ask your martial arts instructor.

Also, color and paint mixing is an actual skill and it isn’t easy.

The last that I free-styled, I like also. Difference here was I have some drawing experience in portrait and cartooning. Funny thing is it ended up looking quite a bit like Randy Marsh from South Park!

So, fun. And when I have a house and can afford to splash paint around and make a mess I will do it hobby style and probably stick with landscape. With perhaps a spaceship in the background for my own personal touch – I am sure there are enough people who do Bob Ross paintings with little deviation already.

Current Reading

First, I finished Sophia House. If you haven’t read the excellent Father Elijah then there is no sense in reading this first. Sophia House is a (sort of) prequel to Father Elijah that would not work if read sequentially.

Since this is the day and age where you can find out everything yourself with a click, take my recommendation, read up on it in Amazon, decide for yourself. I thought the payoff way well worth the read. Don’t the long philosophical discussions turn you off, they serve the theme at the end.

Now, onto NOT TO MENTION CAMELS. I have owned this book for four years and, being depressed over missing the third LaffCon, decided to go ahead and jump into what some say is his most bizarre and impenetrable book.

I take that as a challenge, sir. I still can’t say what some of the stuff I’ve read of his is about!

Current Reads

Quick post about current reads.

Prequel to Father Elijah: An Apocalypse that I read last year:

So far at 80% done there is far too much talk and not enough things happening. But I shall wait to the end.

Next is a bit of theology. It is a high school text from the 1930’s, and while simple on that level the questions at the end of each chapter are really antiquated. Meaning, they require that you have digested the material and require you to look further.

And lastly, after I finish up Sophia House, I am getting into this one. I saw it at Mr. K’s Used Books in Asheville last week. I remember it being mentioned by someone somewhere and I had mentally marked it and forgot about it.

Back in the Saddle Again

Peelin’ off my boots and chaps
I’m saddle sore
Four bits gets you time in the racks
I scream for more
Fools’ gold out of their mines
The girls are soaking wet
No tongue’s drier than mine
I’ll come when I get back

We have settled in Asheville for the next year in an apartment. We weren’t ready for the whole house deal yet. It is not something I want to do twice. That means I am connected again, modernly. Meaning, I have a high speed internet connection again.

We are just barely done getting the apartment settled and tidied up. It is a much smaller place than we are used to – one bedroom. This is the first time since I got married that I haven’t had an office of my own. The books have to stay mainly packed and I will have to write on a tiny coffee table in the kitchen, or on my living room recliner.

Good thing I’ve been using a program like Scrivener this whole time as I can’t afford to have paper all over the place…

But I do have the internet back. Tried the unplugging. You can’t go back.

Absence

I’ve been spotty on posting this first month of 2018. I would say I am still reeling from the butt splatter that was Star Wars: The Last Yedi, but I buried that carcass in the backyard and moved on.

This generation cannot write and does not know what a story is. I leave them to their message fiction.

I’ve got several projects in the works  (one really important one) and I am in a reading frenzy at the moment.

I am finishing up Will Durant’s CAESAR AND CHRIST

And Thomas E. Woods HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BUILT WESTERN CIVILIZATION

I am also doing a reading a St. Luke’s gospel with four different commentary books. That’s about a verse a week.

Also following Jhn C. Wright’s LOST ON THE LAST CONTINENT serial from his website.

In the bullpen I have Stanley Jaki’s SCIENCE AND CREATION whose work follows some early 20th century French historian’s work – his name escapes me at the moment.

And followed by A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH TO THE EVE OF THE REFORMATION Volumes 1 – 3 by Philip Hughes (he died before he could go any further – but hey, the reformation, what a cliffhanger!)

And of course when I finish Durant’s Caesar and Christ it is onto his AGE OF FAITH

And through all of that – writing.

And love the dog.

I could comment on current events but… Why?