Tuesday, October 23, 2012

San Francisco Fountain Pen Show

So, I went to this show, two weekends ago. San Mateo, actually, rather than San Francisco but the gravitational pull in the area of SF is such that the name fits.

This was my first pen show and, perhaps, my impressions are colored by that.

By nature I am somewhat shy — no, honest! Stop laughing you. I mean it. I really am shy. :-)

I often stand on the outside, looking in. This comes to the fore, particularly, when I'm around groups of people who are already tightly knit.

And pen show persons are a rather tightly knit group. That is not a bad thing in and of itself. But it brings all — or a goodly number of — my insecurities to the fore.

I have quite a collection of pens. I know a reasonable amount about them. But I am hardly any kind of expert. And my handwriting needs work.

The Japanese company, Sailor, was represented. You could sit and try different nibs — and Sailor has a large variety of same. I couldn't. Simply couldn't.

I don't really know enough about how different nibs behave to have, as they say in Ireland, made much of a fist of it.

We are masters of our own limitations, as I once mentioned to a friend.

I did, however, encounter a type I abhor. Over the years I've become used to, not yet inured to, the type. He, and so far I've only encountered the male exemplar of the type, attends shows — technology shows being mostly my experience — for the purpose of impressing on all around him his knowledge, his 'in-ness', his being one of those who knows all the...unimportant minutiae.

And this will be done by monopolizing exhibitors, as many as can be fit in whatever time is available, and demonstrating his greater knowledge and understanding of whatever-it-is — greater than that of the exhibitor, and certainly greater than that of those standing around in awe of this paragon of techno-savvy. Or at least those trying, in vain, to get some of the exhibitor's time for actual enlightenment.

Maybe encountering this type in a different setting, something non-technological in a way, was more unsettling than I expected.

But, even in an area in which I can hold my own — software technology — I still abhor the type.

For a better view on the San Francisco Pen Show you might wish to view this — by Lisa Miyako. I got the link from the Fountain Pen Day facebook page.



  1. A self-important bore is the same, no matter the subject. There should be a screening process for them. ;)
    I'm very shy as well - so come across as some sort of aloof security guard holding up the wall...if you can even coerce me into a building of strangers by myself. Hey, at least you went!

    1. Indeed, I did go and am glad I did. Perhaps, after a few (dozen!) more shows I'll have the courage to try out a nib or two.

      At least I got out with (what remains of) my bank balance intact. Thats good, yes? :)

    2. Yes, that's a plus! I could imagine you going wild in there. :)

  2. I know just the type you mean. Those guys are everywhere these days. How awful it must have been to watch him do his thing!

    I'm not surprised you're shy because I am too. No, really, I am. So I know what you mean. But pens are something you love so much! It's a shame you didn't have some fun trying out all those nibs. I hadn't tried any Japanese pens, I would have gone crazy trying every pen I could get my hands on.


    1. "... because I am too" says the young woman who vlogs! *Of course* I believe you, why wouldn't I? :D

      Undoubtedly at some point I will have the fun of trying out nibs. At some point.

    2. Cheeky monkey!

      I only started vlogging because some of my readers badgered me and badgered me about it. I couldn't say no so I eventually took the plunge. Then once I started it became a lot easier.


  3. It's sad that people feel they have to be so much more than those around them. The world is full of egos like that. A pen fair how amazing to go to such a thing, I know nuffin about pens, except for the silver (very ordinary) one I have myself and was inspired by you to buy a pot of ink for. Love writing with it now. ^_^

    You know Kevin I always think those that shout the loudest or behave in a way that they think is superior to anyone else are really very insecure people. Us lot just like being ourselves don't we! ^__^ no need to prove it.

    1. The show was amazing. I did see a number of pens I might like to have owned - but got out with my bank balance (such as it is) intact!

      Regarding insecure people...I just wish they wouldn't should quite so loud. It bothers those of us who came by the insecurities honestly. :D

      And, yes, I've come to a point of accepting (and, on good days, liking) who I am. As ever, though, a work in progress.