Pen Review: Hero 359A

The story I am working on right now is being written using the Hero 359A extra fine nib. I have been pleased with how well this pen writes and behaves. I use it for both work and home writing.

The pen has a white plastic body with a port window so you can check ink levels. It is rounded with one flat side. So it won’t roll as bad. The length is perfect for me, either posted or unposted, since I prefer a longer pen. The Jinhao 992 while a lovely writer is too short for my taste.

The grip is clear and triangular shaped with finger grooves. This grip is very cool because the ink is visable. It did take some getting used to the grip. The cap provides the only pop of color. I have the mint/sea foam green cap. However they come in the green, pink, purple, yellow, and a grey. The colors were designed to be a “Lady” pen vs the bold solid body colors of the 359. The 359 and 359A are homages to the more expensive Lamy Safari. However this pen clearly is branded with the Hero name and logo.

It is my first extra fine nib all the other pens are mediums. And like the Lamy, the nib is triangular and not a standard fountain pen nib. There are several pen reviewers on YouTube that successfully changed the Hero nib with the Lamy nib. I haven’t had any problems with the Hero nib. It writes equally well on quality journal paper as it does on copy paper. The only disappointing thing about this pen is how fine the line is and the color isn’t as bold as the medium. Except that isn’t the pen that is me.

In the course of work and writing on copy paper I don’t need a lot of ink because of bleed through. I have put four or five different inks in the pen and it has sailed with them all. Monteverede California Teal is my standard ink for work and home. The color is good and bright and there is still sheen coming through. Diamine Graphite was a surprise it seemed to change color, less grey more green tone to it. Ku-jaku in the Pilot Ironshonki ink line was gorgeous. The finer line really allowed the color to come through and it was a lot brighter than with the medium nib. Monteverde Rose Noir and Jade Noir were well behaved and lent their colors well to the extra fine line.

All in all I give this pen a glowing review and hearty thumbs up. By the way I had to order a second so I could leave one at work and have one at home. Cheers, james

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Pen Review: FPR Darjeeling

Part of the Facebook pen group means I get different posts for different pens. One post was a survey to name a new pen design last summer. I voted for Darjeeling and low and wow that was the favorite choice. Yay! I should have played the lottery that day. Never mind. Back to the pen, I have been sticking with the Hero brand of pens from China. I have several of the 221, the 901 and 7022. And of all of them only the 7022 wasn’t to my liking. Not that it is a bad pen, just to high maintenance for me. But since I saw the Darjeeling offered by Fountain Pen Revolution they are a Texas based company. I wanted one. I finally lucked up on their deal of the day and picked up a dark green medium nib pen for $9 plus shipping.

After some growing pains and converter hicups I love this pen. It is a wet writter and the nib is very smooth. However it takes a good high quality paper to keep up with this pen.

I use this pen for my journaling which has good paper that doesn’t mind fountain pens. Long story short a worthwhile purchase at $14 plus shipping. And a steal if you luck up and get it as a deal of the day. Customer service was good when I emailed them about the converter and they sent me a new right out.

If you are looking for a new company to try give FPR a try. Cheers, james

Friday Night Fun

Tonight I was left to my own devices, so I took myself for a spin out on the town. I headed for Jacksonville, the home of Camp Lejune Marine Base. Also home to best used bookstore that I know, The Bookend. 

I have been visiting and drooling over the Bookend books for about half of my life. Mr. James is the owner and he is awesome. He knows every book he has in stock and if he doesn’t haven’t it, you probably don’t need it. (That may be a slightly stretching it but not much.) For tonight’s viewing pleasure he had the leather bound editions of the Louis L’Amour westerns released back in the mid-90s, and the more mundane books. He showed me some orginal paperbacks of Kull, Conan, and Soloman Kane. Now if you don’t reconize those names they are all characters written by the late Robert E. Howard. 

Mr. Howard is most famous for Conan and the creation of the whole sword and socery genre. Impressed yet? Kull was Conan’s great 2 or 3 times back grandfather. And then the strangest and leaser known Soloman Kane. A purtain do-gooder/evil banisher, Kane is at war with himself over turning the other check and being the avenging Hand of God. Very interesting fellow. There was a movie done a few years back that didn’t quite do him justice. Anyway that is a discussion for another day. 

Mr. James normally closes up at 7pm and I got there a couple mins before 7 pm. I know what you’re thinking, there isn’t anyway you could have looked books in 5 minutes. Well see it pays to have been an iregular regular of the best used bookstore in Jville. Mr. James stayed open and let me look for about 20 mins beyond his closing. (See told you it is the best.) 

So after making my purchase, I headed on to other locales of interest. Namely Staples to see if they had a fountain pen with my name on it. I looked at the pens and the notebooks and other stuff and wondered how much longer we will be able to shop at a physical store. Compared to the pre-Amazon days, there was very little stuff in there. Most all the desks were gone. I loved going and looking and the desks and trying to pick “the one” that was going to be the home of my writing. (A girl can dream.) Trying out the chairs and looking at the cool stuff we thought would keep us organized and on track. (Still dreaming) I don’t know brick and morter seems to becoming a less sure thing in the future. Also discussion for another day. 

After Staples I took a gander through 2nd & Charles. Count ’em that is two bookstores in less than 1 hour. Do I know how to party or what? I browsed, hunted and meandered through the store until I realized it was almost 9pm. The mall closes at 9pm and I was supposed to be picking up some stuff for Hubby. Oops. 

So I dash out with my new to me books and headed for the mall. I walked in Barnes & Noble just to hear the mall is now closed and the gate will be locked blah blah. Catch that did you, bookstore number three. I pursued and browsed and looked and drooled. I did heed the siren call of a cup of Earl Grey and a blueberry scone. Now if I had properly prepared myself, pen and paper would have joined the party. Alas they remained in the car with my newly aquired books. 

After B&N shut down, I headed over to 5 Guys Burgers. They do a meaty real burger that is so tasty. They too were closing but nice enough to let me order. The food was awesome, thank you again. So I happily drove home to take pups out and wait for Hubby to get a load of his burger. It is huge!

And that, dear friend, is how to party in eastern North Carolina on a Friday night. Cheers, james

Snow Days

Eastern North Carolina got the first snowfall of the winter. Kinda hoping the only snowfall of this winter. Normal winters usually see temps in the 40s maybe the 30s but not in the teens and single digits. This week saw both single digits and a negative windchill. I heard someone say it hasn’t been this cold in over 50 years.

So on  Wednesday afternoon, we received sleet and then it turned into snow. And snowed through the night until Thursday morning was a frosty, glittering winter wonder. My car was enveloped in snow a good 3 to 4 inches thick. I haven’t had to dig a car out of snow since college in Boone. Needless to say I called my boss to explain I was going to be late. Instead she said “stay home, we are having a snow day. We’ll try again tomorrow.” 

A snow day, a free say to goof off and play in the snow, to snooze and do as I please. Yay! I took the dogs out. One was disgusted it was cold and the ground was covered. She has seen snow before and didn’t like when she was a puppy. As an 8 year old grouchy adult, she really doesn’t like it. On the other hand, the 1.5 year old was amazed and had a ball. This is his first time seeing snow. If I could have turned him loose to play I would have. He hasn’t learned to stay in the yard. He wants to travel all over town and that is bad. 

So Thursday came and went in a happy daze of napping, playing, knitting and writting. I finally picked up the reins on this blog since November. (That is another story) I retouched with old blogging friends and made some new ones. Friday morning saw no real improvement to the road and my boss declared us closed on Friday too. So an unexpected treat in the form of snow days for some much needed time off and a reminder to stay in touch with my inner child.

So dear readers and friends, did you have a snow day? Cheers, james

Libby the app

My local library offers a library app called Libby. It is connected to libraries around the US. It is both a reading app and an audiobook app. I use an Android phone so I don’t know if there is an Apple version out there. Download from the Google Play store, find you local library or libraries you have library cards for, add your library card and viola. You may now download library ebooks and audiobooks. I haven’t listened to any audiobooks yet, although the two samples I tried were clear and sounded really good. 

I left a review of The Bone Witch, one of the first books I downloaded. Browsing is very easy, you can search directly or by genre, books and or audiobooks. All in all a great little reading app.

Cheers, james

Fire ‘n Ink 

On the 4th of July Americans celebrate the nation’s birthday. Yet without the power of fire and ink we wouldn’t have become an independent nation. The fires of rebellion began with unfair governing practices and coruption, those fires in turn led to the ink used to pen the Declaration of Independence, which gave birth to the fires of the American Revolution. So fire and ink are powerful in their own rights but together they can forge new beginnings. 

Just a few words to ponder this 4th of July week. Cheers, james

Pen Review: Jinhao 922 in tranclucent green

I purchased a green Jinhao 922 fountain pen off ebay. The pen cost about $1.69 with free shipping. I have heard mixed reviews about these pens however the price was to good not to try one. The nibs can be switched with most #6 nibs. And Goulet Pens now sells their own nibs for the brave tinkerer. I am not there yet. These pens come with a converter, but with some help from Goulet Pens it can be turned into an eyedropper pen. Eyedroppers use the body of the pen for the ink resovior which increases the writing capacity. Although for this particular pen there is a small ball in the end of the pen that needs to be sealed up before filling.

I inked this pen with De Artmentus Aburgine. I am impressed how smoothly and beautifully this pen writes. I bought two of them one for work and one for my journal. I showed my boss and she wanted one after writing with mine. I ordered her pen and it came Friday. I would heartily recomend this pen to anyone looking for a great writing everyday fountain pen. The price is good enough to purchase either in single or in multiples for use and give away pens. The color is a see thru lime green. 

Cheers, james