Petty Joys: A Series | Part Two: If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

Music can change the world because itOne of my grand joys has been using a fountain pen.  When we were kids my parents let us fill our own ink cartridges with syringe and a bottle of Shaeffer peacock blut “Quink”.  I never had a ‘stick’ pen until I went to junior high school and I sharpened my pencils mostly with a pen knife (although I still fancy the smell of graphite and pencil shavings from a traditional, wall mounted sharpener).

I still love the feel of a good fountain pen nib on quality stock.  I still do calligraphy although you would not know it from my remarks on my students’ papers. I would love to own a really good fountain pen, but that is a luxury I have never afforded myself.  In the last five years, Pilot Pens came out with the Varsity Disposable fountain pen.  Normally, I would not be caught dead with a disposable pen.  What’s the point?  Well, the point exactly was the point.  The nibs on these cheap pens (about $2.50 each, American dollars) were so smooth to the touch on paper; plus, they worked on a wide variety of stock.  The downside was that they were disposable.

No problem.  You can pull off the nibs, refill them and then carry on as if new.  I use the needlenose pliers on a Leatherman utility tool to ease it off and then refill them with a quality ink like Noodler’s Eternal Luxury Blue Fountain Pen Ink. (Yes, it really is called ‘eternal’.)  Voila.  I own these pens because I can open them.  I have about twelve of them that I rotate in and out of my morning journal lineup.  I filled up six of them today including one for my wife who was thrilled.  No, really.  I am her go-to guy for pens.

Here is what  you need to do the job.

Here’s the finished work–like magic.  Probably took me thirty minutes of very satisfying work to do this.  I hummed some Warren Zevon the whole time, mostly “Nighttime in the Switching Yard”.


I have six pens anew here.  I could be persuaded to part with a few for those who want to recycle them further.  Just drop me a line at  terryelliott at gmail dot com.  I gotta figure out some kind of origami packaging with bubble pack,  hmmm. Petty joys can sometimes grow large in the considering.  What are your petty joys?

5 thoughts on “Petty Joys: A Series | Part Two: If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

  1. I have a penny whistle that I grab from time to time and just pretend I know some Irish reels and jigs. My dog does not agree with me on this one. But there it is. We know who feeds whom at the end of the day. This dog. Not that dog.

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