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Close Encounters at the Mesa Typewriter Exchange

I was on the phone with the unsinkable Bill Wahl from the Mesa Typewriter Exchange and he told me a story about a celebrity sighting in the store. 

I guess Mr. Brown stopped by last thursday and brought a very nice Olympia that was in the shop. Pretty cool.
You might ask why I called. Well, the 7th Phoenix Type-In is in the works and a date is forthcoming. Regardless, it will probably be later this summer. Keep your ear to the typebars for more information.

James Tate's Final Poem

I just found out from The Paris Review that James Tate's final prose poem was left in his typewriter. It's witty and surreal. Fantastic! This is good, but I'm fond of "Very Late, But Not Too Late."


Fuji, Save FP-100C!

If you are a lover of the analog, this story will darken your heart. Fuji has decided to end production of their last pull-apart film, FP-100C.

If you have a pack film Polaroid, you know how wonderful this film is. I've even used it for a few typewriter-themed posts.

I think Fuji is crazy, but they cite economic reasons. It's a compelling argument, Fuji, but you are the last manufacturer of this technology. Maybe you could raise the price a little. I'd pay. The Impossible Project seems able to keep milking the hipster gravy train*. Do that, but with better film.

I signed the petition. You should too.
https://www.change.org/p/fujifilm-save-fujifilm-fp100c-instant-films recruiter=499196918&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

* I am the Pablo Picasso of mixed metaphors.

Take Dictation, Please

For much of the 20th century dictation was a fairly low-tech affair. Someone would write down what someone said and then type it up on a really nice Royal HH. Well, if we were living in some sort of weird future we might have a machine like this: There have been many typewriter/solenoid mashups that do their best to bring the typewriter and computer together. To my thinking there hasn't been one that makes me smile as much as this one posted to Zip Zaps YouTube channel. The build includes a Pololu Maestro servo controller, some servos, an Arduino, and Windows' voice recognition software. I think it's very nicely done and seeing it in action definitely makes you smile.

The Desert Types: KJZZ Story

Annika Cline of our local NPR station, KJZZ, recorded a very nice piece about typewriting in Arizona. It's a great read that features one of my students getting her very own first typewriter. You can find it at:
http://kjzz.org/content/222013/new-generation-revives-old-typewriters-helps-keep-mesa-repair-shop-open


This story comes on the heels of the publishing of Richard's new book of which there is a hearty mention of First Draft, Phoenix's local typewriter-friendly venue. If you find yourself in need of a digital detox, grab your typewriter and head on over. Order a drink. Have a chat. Write a draft. Enjoy the nice weather and know that typewriting is alive and well in Phoenix.

Jittery Apostrophe

My Smith-Corona Electric has a problem:


My, what a jittery apostrophe. I think it has something to do with the power-roller. What do you think? Have you had this problem?

Heavy or Light: the KMM Mid-Production

A few weeks ago I was in Tempe picking up some supplies from Tempe Camera. Since I was in the general area, I visited Bill at the Mesa Typewriter Exchange for a few hours.

It was nice to talk about the weather, our respective families, Arizona history, and the Royal KMM.

Among the many Royal standards I have in my collection, this is one that has eluded me. I have been waiting for a long time for a nice example but, there just hasn't been one that I wanted. Actually, I take that back. Early in my collecting experience there was a gentleman in Flagstaff that had a KMM that I wanted, but the price was too high and we could never agree, so I let it go. The superstitious part of me thought that maybe I cursed myself.

What's so special about the KMM? Nothing really except that it's crowning feature is honored in the name of my blog!

In reality, it's a fairly common Royal standard. There are people who love them (Richard Polt) and others have generally positive comments abo…