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The joys of cleaning fountain pens

Actually, the joys of cleaning the nibs of pens that are cartridge/converter pens. What if you had a cartridge in that pen...for at least a year and let it sit and dry out! EEEEEK! Instead of soaking the nib forever in a cup of water, use a little ear syringe or an ink syringe (whichever works best for the pen you're working with). This is what I learned from Brian Goulet, and I've been working on several pens this evening!

More to do in a couple more days (when I have free counter space for more pens to lie around and dry out!

Religious scariness

I have been doing fine as a Pagan for over 20 years. And I thought that I had finally "gotten over" the fears and awfulness that were a part of my experience of Christianity. That religion may be a comfort to many, but all it did for me was make me fearful, anxious, and upset all the time. I finally left in 1990. I moved through phases of relief, anger, and other emotions; but eventually I thought I had reached a place of "live and let live".

Then two things happened in the last couple weeks. And I hate using this terminology (it seems to be all over the Internet), but I think this one thread I was reading on a tarot forum should have had a "trigger warning". People were being polite and giving various views about whether a Christian could "safely" read the tarot. Then there came the Bible quotes (mostly Old Testament). And somehow I found myself snapped back into thinking, "But what if they're right?" and feeling very afraid. Which is what tormented me for so long, both when I was inside that religion and after I had escaped. It doesn't help that I'm obsessive/compulsive.

The other thing that happened was that we watched the first two episodes of the new series, "The Leftovers". I did find an article online that helped me to understand that "the rapture concept is relatively new. It started with an Anglo-Irish theologian, who in the 1830s invented the concept...before John Nelson Darby imagined this scenario in the clouds, no Christian had ever heard of the rapture." The word "rapture" doesn't even appear in the Bible.

But why am I even concerned about what's in the Bible at ALL?? I had come to understand that the Bible was A holy book, not THE holy book.

So how do I regain my equanimity? How do I put aside what is not part of the belief system I had moved into and felt fairly at ease with? "What if they're right?" That is the awful phrase that can haunt you if you do not have absolute spiritual certainty. But really, NO one can have *spiritual* certainty. Religious certainty, yes. I had that when I was a born-again Christian and was terrified of what would happen to my family and friends if they did not convert. Now I am not certain about much of anything spiritual...except this:

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." -- The Dalai Lama

I need to hold onto that as my lifeline. That is the Golden Rule in a nutshell. And that is really all any of us can actually know for certain.

::deep breath:: Stay away from toxic things. Stay with what is good and kind. If anyone else has some good, peaceful ideas, I am open to them.

(cross-posted from CountryMouse's Refuge)

Rider Waite Smith Tarot Decks

I tweeted last night: "Found out where my old(er) RWS tarot deck went: thot it went 2 Goodwill but was in w/Cat’r’s things. He said I could have it back."


This is more important than it seems, as the newest editions of the Rider-Waite Smith tarot deck have a high gloss finish, and the hand-written words are replaced with computer fonts. I went out of my way to buy a used vintage RWS deck from someone on eBay recently because of this. The older decks were printed in Switzerland, the new ones in Italy. Now I have two older decks! Well, those and the Universal Waite, the Radiant Rider-Waite, the Original Rider Waite Tarot, the Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck. Waiting on Giant Rider-Waite Tarot and a used vintage Pocket Rider-Waite Tarot.

(cross-posted from CountryMouse's Refuge)

Nice grey drizzly shopping trip

I love grey drizzly weather. If I have to go out in summer, I prefer grey cooler days. It was cooler, but really muggy. But still, nice.

Cat'r, B., and I started our trek down to Hyde Park (our old stomping grounds) about 10:30am. First we went to Pier 1 Imports at Rookwood Commons so I could look for odds and ends for my altars. I found some nice things!

Then over to Hyde Park Plaza where Cat'r went to Penzeys Spices and stocked up on things we needed while B. and I went to Michaels for scrapbook stacks, silk flowers, and other things.

After that we all walked to First Wok for lunch. Not very busy, nice and relaxed.

Then back home through somewhat heavier rain. We got home about 2:30pm. We were supposed to get heavy thunderstorms around 4pm or so, but somehow they missed us. Nuts. The lawn would be happier with some rain!

The rest of the day was nice and lazy, with naps for all. :-)

(x-posted from CountryMouse's Refuge)

Oh look what I found

I forgot I even had a journal here! Now I'm thinking about if I should post here AND on my InsaneJournal AND on my LiveJournal! Eeeeek!

(x-posted from my Dreamwidth Journal)

Not so super

I put Aquila Super Nylgut strings on my new Woodi plastic ukulele and Aquila New Nylguts on B.'s Woodi. His is sounding good, mine was sounding muddy. Tonight I broke down and changed mine out for New Nylguts too. Better already, even though the strings are still settling and going out of tune fast.

I saved the Super Nylguts--I might try them on some other ukulele in the future.

(x-posted from CountryMouse's Refuge)
--Red Cowboy Fluke: D'Addario J92 Pro-Arte ukulele concert strings
--Island Design (Floral) Fluke: Hilo Black Nylon concert strings
--Denim Flea: Kala Red concert strings
--Grape soprano Flea: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--Mahogany Eleuke: Worth Brown Low-G soprano/concert strings
--Lanikai banjolele: Aquila soprano strings
--Lanikai LU-21 brown: Aquila soprano strings
--Enterline Cigar Box Ukulele: Aurora Silkgut concert strings in Yellow
--aNueNue U900 bear pineapple soprano: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--Luna Great Wave pineapple soprano: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--Kala Purple Paisley Ukadelic soprano: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--Kala Watermelon: Aurora Silkgut soprano strings in Nitro Lime
--Makala Pearl White Dolphin: Aquila soprano strings
--Makala Pink Burst Dolphin: Aquila soprano strings
--Makala Green Burst Dolphin: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--Makala Blue Metallic Dolphin: Aquila soprano strings
--Hilo Red soprano: Ko'olau Mahana clear nylon soprano strings
--Mahalo Smiley Face soprano: Ko'olau Mahana clear nylon soprano strings
--Mahalo Hearts soprano: Ko'olau Mahana clear nylon soprano strings
--Mahalo Light Blue Fruit: Aurora Silkgut soprano strings in Aqua Blue
--Mahalo Black Les Paul: Hilo Black Nylon soprano strings (I *think*)
--Tom Pocket Ukulele: Aquila Nylgut strings
--Woodi vintage roses plastic ukulele: Aquila New Nylgut soprano strings
--TV Pal plastic ukulele: Martin M600 clear fluorocarbon soprano/concert strings

(x-post from Dec. 16, 2011 post in CountryMouse's Refuge)

What Facebook is, etc.

Yep, I think I've figured out what Facebook is: it's a long-winded Twitter. It's just about as ephemeral as Twitter is (except you can't get out of Facebook no matter what you do). It's not a substitute for blogging or any kind of daybook. It seems to be a way to connect with people you used to know, know now, wish you didn't know, etc. So weird. I like better on Twitter that you just "follow" people--there are no weird attachments of friending people that aren't remotely even your acquaintances. So if you want to stop following someone, it doesn't need to carry any emotional baggage (or shouldn't). But I still like LiveJournal and its clones. It's blogging/diary-like, yet a community too. WITH communities (groups).

(x-posted from Facebook)


We have a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 7am. I do not like "scary weather". I haven't decided whether to just stay up and see what that big line of storms is going to do; or go to bed and be awakened (possibly) by the weather radio going off. :-/

The Tudors

We are watching this series a little after the time it aired via Netflix. I know what happened, but we're almost at the end of Season 2 and it's pretty upsetting. When you think about it, these horrible things--torture, public-spectacle-executions, etc.--really did happen. I wonder how people dealt with the constant life-is-cheap thing...

On the other hand, I'm totally enjoying following the outrageous Tudorlicious @KngHnryVIII on Twitter. And I bought his e-book and read through it in a day or so. No, no affiliation, but I loved it!