Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pen Review: Hero 5020

One of These Things is Not Like the Other



So, here's the story about my Hero 5020: I had a $6.46 credit on my PayPal account. This pen was $7.50 on eBay with free shipping. So, I figured, what the heck, and bought it, for $1.04 out of pocket. I'd been wanting to play with a Hero pen for some while anyway.

The pen arrived, and I pulled it out of the padded envelope. Gosh, that looks familiar...



Hero 5020 in rear, Parker Sonnet Cisele in front

I've heard rumors for years that Hero took over the Chinese Parker plant when Parker was forced to walk away from it and leave the country for political reasons. The story is that the plant was tooled up and ready to roll when Hero walked in. I have yet to find any documentation which substantiates this rumor, but it's been out there for quite some time. As with so many other rumors, I wondered at its veracity.

After examining this Hero 5020, I am beginning to believe it's true.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Sunday Post, October 16, 2011

Marooned


Well, not really...but it is a bit of an explanation why it's been kinda quiet around here the last couple weeks.

Joe and I took a ten-day vacation to Maui. We stayed in a rather nice hotel, which charged us (among other things) $25 per day to park the rental car and for "high-speed" Internet access.

The throughput for their "high-speed" access topped out at 9.9kbs, by my calculations. Wow, my modem 20 years ago did better than that. Not to mention the connection dropped about every 90 seconds. Literally.

I quickly gave up on my idea of being a modern-day Hemingway, tapping away at my keyboard in tropical climes, enlightening the world with my musings...such as they are.

All I can say is this: if you get a chance to go to Maui, take it. We've done some traveling, though  not as extensively as some it's true. We have always enjoyed our vacations, but of all the places we've visited, Maui is the only one I'd go back to without a thought. Absolutely beautiful, the people are generally friendly, and it has a small-town feel to it. The microclimates are amazing, ranging widely over a relatively small area. I also learned a fair amount of history - which I didn't expect.

For pens, we took one six-pen case and were each allotted three slots. I took my Ivory Levenger True Writer, the Danitrio Moon Shadow, and a Laban Mentos with a broad nib reground to a stub by Oxonian (this pen hasn't yet been featured here...hmm). Joe took a Rotring 600, a Levenger Sea Glass (he said it suited the beach), and Levenger Kyoto. My kids gave me a lovely journal by Orange Press for my birthday a few weeks ago which was eminently suited for vacation journaling. Rather than worry about bottled ink in the luggage, I bought a sampler of cartridges from Levenger to take with us. I am fairly certain that Private Reserve makes Levenger's ink. I'll have more to say about the Levenger ink in the next couple of weeks; generally speaking it was unobtrusive, and unremarkable, in performance - which was just fine under the circumstances.

Joe comments that he didn't write nearly as much as he usually does because we were so busy doing things. By contrast, I felt I wrote more than usual, since I had so much more time than I generally do. By these statements I think one can tell who is retired in this household, and who is not. Hmm.

We got home late Thursday night, and ever since, I've heard Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole's famous version of "Over the Rainbow" in my head, and I've spent an inordinate amount of time looking at ukuleles online and wishing I had the time to learn how to play one. I may yet buy one, at least to add to the collection of musical instruments laying around the house that I don't have time to play.

I'll leave you with a few snapshots of Maui. I opted not to take my big Nikon with me, only a Panasonic point-and-shoot; I now wish I'd decided differently, but these didn't turn out too badly.

Aloha from Seattle...