Author: Pao Alfonso

*Screams silently…*

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I’ve had this pen in my wishlist for two years. I can still remember when I first saw it, it was during a pen meet with one of FPN-P’s nibmeisters, Mr. Pentangeli. It was also around that time when I was only discovering the beauty of vintage pens (especially parkers). It was pen love at first sight. 🙂 It’s a Parker Debutante. From what I understand, it’s a pretty uncommon pen. It’s not a sub-debutante but a debutante, and only a few pop up on the internet. Blue is a rare color for it, and it’s especially rare to find one in good condition.

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I am just to happy to add this little beauty in my collection. I cannot wait to review it. 🙂 It is sooo small. About an inch taller than a Liliput.

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L-R: Parker Vacumatic junior debutante (azure blue), junior (golden brown) , and major (azure blue).

It’s always a thrill to cross something out of your pen wishlist. 🙂 This one’s a keeper.

Review: Jinhao 888 Dragon

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Today’s pen for review is the Jinhao 888 Dragon, which I got the chance to try out a few weeks ago thanks to Everything Calligraphy. These are less detailed than the Jinhao 999 Dragon pen, but it’s still pretty detailed. It is a lot less chunky than the larger 999 pen.

It’s still pretty much an eye-catching, attention grabbing pen because it looks decidedly oriental and like something a kung fu master would sign a check with. The dragon clip is pretty hard to miss.

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I like the color options for this pen, but these two are my favorites–black and pewter. The cap is pretty heavy. Again, I would advise against using it posted because it makes the pen top-heavy. The pen’s barrel is pretty thick, and it has some heft to it. Not an uncomfortable weight, in my opinion. Here’s a closer look at the cap.

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I think the finial’s cute. It reminds me of little gongs. The clip is stiff, I would advise against using it often because the cap might crack. I think it’s more decorative than functional.

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The section is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. It’s pretty comfortable to hold. Here are a few close up shots of the dragon details.

The nib is the standard Jinhao steel nib. It’s good enough for daily use, but of course, expect it to be hard as a nail and might need some tuning to write smoother/wetter. The one I tried wrote sufficiently wet, though with a little hint of tooth. Here’s a writing sample:

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This is how a typical medium Jinhao nib writes. It’s a bit on the wide side and quite a wet writer. It’s a pretty nice, fantasy-inspired pen that won’t break the bank.

Jinhao 888 Dragon is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 155

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Here’s another Jinhao pen review thanks to the people at Everything Calligraphy who let me try them out. It’s the Jinhao 155. These are very simple-looking pens, and it appeals to people who can’t really bring cobra pens to work. These are nice, budget-friendly, conservative-looking pens.

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I like the design of the clip. It’s boxy and straight, very industrial-looking. the section is smooth with a matte finish and made of hard plastic. It’s a nice contrast to the textured body of the chrome-finished pen. The metal parts of the pen give this some heft,  but it’s not an uncomfortable pen to use for long writing. It feels solid, but not overly heavy.

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I like the black one best, but the chrome and gold colored pens are also quite pretty in person. They remind me of vintage pens that have this barley corn finish on them. They’re different if you look closer, though. If I would change anything on it, I’d rather the barley corn-like finish be all over the barrel instead of alternating with a smooth finish. Here’s a couple of close up photos of the barrel.

The nib writes okay, virtually the same as the other steel Jinhao nibs. Here’s a writing sample below.

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It’s a pretty simple, understated pen that is great for everyday writing. The Jinhao 155 is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 500

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This is still part of the pens that Everything Calligraphy was so gracious to let me try a few weeks ago. It’s the Jinhao 500. It looks similar to a certain German brand of pen, doesn’t it? Anyway, this pen comes in a lot of designs.

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The size is slightly larger than a Pelikan M200, but the difference in weight is significant. For it’s size, it’s a weighty pen. The body is made of steel and resin. I like the material of the section, it’s like textured rubber. I wish they would use this section more in their future designs. It makes writing more comfortable and helps you grip the pen more securely while you write.

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The clip is a little stiff, but I like that the design is simple. My two favorite designs are above, the black and checkered pens.

It writes okay, like a standard Jinhao pen would write. The pen I tried wrote a bit broad and wet. The nib could use a bit of tuning to make it smoother.

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As far as budget pens go, this is also pretty nice. The design isn’t too juvenile-looking, so you can pick this if you want to use something that looks a bit conservative for work.

The Jinhao 500 and other Jinhao pens are available at Everything Calligraphy.

The Castle

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It’s that time of the year, again. I’m going to try and read Franz Kafka’s The Castle and will give my best effort to finish it. This book and Golding’s Lord of the Flies are two books that really give me the jitters. It’s hard to explain why. Perhaps The Castle triggers my fear of being stuck in a place where people are unthinking and your appeals for reason are swallowed up by the thick cloud of bureaucracy. It’s like that season of American Horror Story about somebody stuck in an asylum. You went in with a perfect exit plan and then you get stuck and nobody listens to you. Then you get stuck for years when you really only intended to stay a few weeks. *shivers*

Anyway, I haven’t used watercolor on my hobo for a while so I thought I’d have a little fun before going to bed today. ^_^