Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Greatest Compliment

In case you are the kind of person who LOVES to use branded merch., take a look at my new Cafe Press shop. You might just find something you like. The link is to the right.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mission Olivetti

The appearance of this Olivetti starts with a con, gambit, flim-flam, rouse, or bamboozle. You may have read the digested version on Ted Munk’s blog, but there is more. Much more.

I arrived at the location where we were to conduct the transaction. In the trunk I had the Orator SC and an FP for the Big Man at MTE. Munk would convey this item through the appropriate channels. He had, for me, the Olivetti 21. The rendezvous was arranged for N 33° 25' 1.9014” and W 111° 56' 20.4769" at 10:00 near the old lecture hall.

As I arrived at the point, the entrance was blocked by Agents working for ASU. With cool calm I told them I was meeting a graduate student to turn in an assignment. The key is to look confident, but not suspicious. For a brief moment I thought my cover was blown, but my associate (an 17 month-old baby) caused a distraction allowing us to be waved through.

We exited our vehicle and casually kept a lookout for Munk. We ID’d him and provided cover. He was able to approach our command vehicle and the transaction was made. With all haste we returned to our command vehicle and left the area.

Mission Olivetti: COMPLETED

I’ve had a few chances to use this typewriter and I have to say that I mostly like it. There are some definite positives. The OU-21 is quiet. It isn’t silent, but it is quiet. During class I asked a few students in various positions around the room to gauge the volume. At six feet most evaluators ranked it as “quiet, not annoying.” The room was fairly quiet so I think that it is a fair assessment. Its size means that it does not move around on my desk (or a student desk). That size can also be a negative. Some of my smaller students find moving it can be a challenge.

For my tastes, the touch is a little stiff. This particular machine may be the origin of this problem. I did adjust the tension under the ribbon cover. That seemed to ease things up, but I am use to the Royal’s action. The spacebar is a hair too thin. I have large thumbs that need a little room. Obviously, in Italy, no one has fat thumbs.

I don't want anyone to think that the negatives outweigh the positives. That's not the case. It's a wonderful machine. I know everyone is looking forward to having it used in the classroom.

This was supposed to be a typecast, but a sleeping baby has made that an impossibility. That's fine. A sleeping baby is better than a crying baby.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Last Chance to Win a Rhodia Journal!

Today is the last day you can "Comment-To-Win" a Rhodia journal. Tomorrow the winners will be announced. Can you stand the excitement? Click on the picture to the right to enter!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fine Purchase

Class has started again, and the kids are typing away. I have some other student typecasts that I never quite got posted. I am going to post them as a static page. They are a hoot to read and I want them to be read.

Fiscal Plan? Fun Payroll? Fire Peons? All business!
The Purchase to which I allude is actually a Royal FP. This massive machine is going to be set up in a corner of the classroom for anyone who would want some time alone with their thoughts. I am slowly working on having every Royal desktop standard in my class. This is a crazy goal, but goals are good to have. I have the HH (more for my use) and now this FP. I love that the desktops are so much cheaper than their portable counterparts. Another benefit is that I have the space and audience to justify their addition to the collection. Desktops have always appealed to me.

Perhaps it is their girth and weight. Perhaps it is the comforting thought that the weight of a desktop could prove an asset were we, for example, invaded by Visigoths from the east. Just take to the top of your crenelated tower and hurl KKMs, FPs, and HHs. Nothing stops a Visigoth like a FP to the head.

Without jest, desktops are wonderful to use. They can be fast (if you're fast), tough, and incredibly dependable. If you have just one standard desktop, make it a Royal.

This specimen is in good shape, however something strange seems to have happened to the escapement in transport to school. I am sure that there was some preexisting condition. I've called our Man in Mesa for a consult and it will be on its way to MTE as soon as possible.

In the interim, please enjoy the pictures. Also don't forget to enter your comment for a chance to win a nice Rhodia stapled journal. In the stores this very journal retails for money. Click on this sentence to be taken to the post.

Look upon my badge, ye mighty, and despair.

A sleeping corporate giant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Local AZ Typewriter Coverage

Bill Walh, Owner, operator, and heir of the Mesa
Typewriter Exchange.
This story about the Mesa (AZ) Typewriter Exchange ran in today's East Valley Tribune. I had the pleasure of visiting Bill's shop last Thursday. Ted was also interviewed for the story. Take a look by clicking this sentence.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crass Commercialism Rises Again

Look to the right. No, not in reality. On the computer screen. See the pages listed under the CTP logo? At the bottom it says "For Sale." The link is nor for sale, but the typewriter described therein is. Take a look. The SC-Silent w/Orator Typeface has found a new home. Keep an eye peeled for other wonderful machines that might be "For Sale."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keep Them Flying

More poster silliness. This one's not so forceful.

UPDATE: Corrected spelling of "aid."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Take Up the Glorious Cause!

Just a little, light-hearted poster. Please, pardon my amateurish computer skills. If you want a high-res PDF, let me know. If there is enough interest I'll put a link to it. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Viral Typosphere

Mike Clemens mentioned this idea and I ran with it. If you see a lonely looking typewriter at an antique mall, Goodwill, or thrift store feed one of these pages into the machine. Then, walk away. Inquisitive people will definitely read the page and this might pique their interest in the Typosphere. Fun idea, huh?

I do not recommend that you bother people or get into trouble over this. The idea is definitely more surreptitious that a poster, card, or website, but it can be a fun little discovery for the person who buys that typewriter you pass up. Feel free to adapt the format to your aesthetic or regional tastes. I have linked two different versions. One is geared for Arizona, the other is more generic.

Click on Arizona
Click on World

N.B. There is no image on the bottom half because the page is meant to be fed into a typewriter.

Monday, March 7, 2011


On a similar note, Mike Clemens has started an interesting blog that will eventually become a directory of the Typosphere. The page is located at:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Phoenix Type-In Remembered

The Phoenix Typewriter Round-Up was a success. All told, 6 typewriter lovers ventured into the heart of Phoenix and enjoyed each other's company. I was excited to see so many typewriters from so many time periods at the event. Everyone had a chance to see and use a typewriter or two that were completely novel.

Particularly, I was taken by the mechanism of the Blickensderfer. Playing with it I was able to see how the designers were able to use a single type element. Looking at pictures does not compare to looking at it closely. The mechanism is simply magical. If you ever have the chance to see one in person you will spend hours being mesmerized by that rotating element. To think that it was designed and made without the aide of computers! It's simply amazing.

Everyone shared how they became interested in typewriters. There was a common thread in all the stories; everyone started with just one special machine that grabbed their imagination.

We had a lively discussion centered around my post-war QDL and the Aristocrat that came with Jim. And Bill shared a story with me on how he came by several machines that have connections to local history. We both shared an interest in tracking down Don Boles' typewriter.

I hadn't the heart to do a door prize drawing, so everyone who came to the event went home with either some carbon paper or a typewriter eraser.

We had no members of the press there. I had gone and invited every reporter, editor, Lit. Professor, coffee house barista, and hipster I could find, but not a nibble. Not the result I had wanted, but press overage was not the reason for this event. We wanted to celebrate the typewriter.

The food at Hula's was very tasty. I had the Spicy Tofu Tacos. Delicious! I do have to say that Hula's staff was very accommodating. They allowed us to have two very long tables which worked perfectly for our needs.

Will there be another Type-In in Phoenix? There seemed to be interest. While I think about how I could make that happen, take a look at some more pictures.

Bill, Marshall, Jim, and Ted's arm.
P.S. Ted Munk was kind enough to bring an Olympia SM-9 for the CTP. His name will be added to our roll of illustrious benefactors.

P.P.S. I should have taken a few more pics. Maybe I'll sneak a few from Ted's blog. He's too interested in typewriters to notice.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Typewriter Round-Up Pics

I will post a narrative soon, but in the meantime enjoy some of these great machines...

I have more pics that I'll share later this evening. It was a really great event.

Today is the Day!

I look forward to meeting everyone at the Typewriter Round-Up (Type-In). I've gone ahead and embedded a map of the location of the event in this blog post. As things develop over the day I'll  continue to post. But, in case you need the address of Hula's here it is:

Hula's Modern Tiki
4700 North Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Remember that Central is now home to the Metro light rail and the road is now divided by tracks. Hula's is on the west side of the street, so it is easiest co come from the north.

View Larger Map

I will also make sure to bring my camera to capture the historic event.

Friday, March 4, 2011


well, with that in mind, I thought it would be smart of me to think about the typewriters I plan on bringing. Obviously, my pride an joy, the Royal Quiet Deluxe should be allowed an outing. Normally it sits on the shelf looking pretty, but tomorrow it'll be hitting the town. The blue Olympia SM3 will be tagging along as well. The color is wonderful and the condition is nice. It will juxtapose perfectly against the black QDL. Finally, after much hemming and hawing, I am going to bring the 1969 Hermes 3000. It is going to serve as the official guest book. This Hermes is not a looker, but it is a good solid performer that has yet to fail me. As people arrive, they can type-in a message. 

Tonight and tomorrow I plan on assembling all the stuff I'll need for the event. I completely forgot the modest door prizes at school. I'll have to make a small trip back to get everything, but that's no biggie. I am getting seriously excited. 

On a wonderful note, Georganne, the proprietress of Frances Vintage (a wonderful boutique in Phoenix) was kind enough to post the flier for the Round-Up on her blog. Take a look. I've been to Frances and it is simply the best place to buy a gift for the significant woman in your life. There are things with frills and adornments!