Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sabrina Sasaki Wins the Door Prize

Originally uploaded by Tim Conklin

VPC Members at their November Meeting

Another picture from our November meeting.
Originally uploaded by Tim Conklin

VPC Members at the November Meeting

Originally uploaded by Tim Conklin

VPC Members Enjoy a Lighter Moment

Here's a picture from our November meeting. We had a great time. You should have been there.
Originally uploaded by Tim Conklin

Thursday, November 13, 2008

VPC Members Attend the Bellingham Meeting of the Seattle Pen Club

Here is a recent picture of some of our members who took a roadtrip to Bellingham. You'll see Bill Kempton, Maja Furlong, Tim Conklin and Dave Moffatt in the photo.

VPC Announces November Meeting

The Vancouver Pen Club announces its November meeting as follows:

Date: Thursday 20 November 2008
Time: 6:00 for "happy hour" (meet & greet) and 6:30 for meeting start
Location: Perks Pens on Cambie @ 42nd across from Oakridge Centre
Theme: Deserted Island Pen/Ink/Paper -- if you were marooned on an island with only one fountain pen, some paper and one bottle of ink, which would you hope to have with you?

Alternatively, bring your look alikes. You know, those "off-brand" pens that were designed to look just like a more famous pen. Probably the most imitated pen is the Parker 51. How many other pen manufacturers tried to copy the design features of that pen? Let's see what you've got.

Hope to see you all next Thursday. -- Tim Conklin

Thursday, October 23, 2008

a tip from the Bellingham trip

I'm sure more will be said about our Bellingham trip to meet members of the Seattle Pen Club, but I just wanted to pass along this tip, given me by Arvin Chaikin. I had a Parker Vector with me, suffering from a tight nib: the ink wouldn't flow evenly, and kept drying. Arvin said try this: using a thumbnail pressed against the nib from the back, flex first one side upwards, then the other side. Push it straight up from the plastic portion of the ink regulator in the direction shown by the arrow - very gently. This increases the gap between the nib and regulator, and also very slightly spreads the two sides of the nib. Just do it a tiny bit, try the pen, and repeat if necessary. Twice was enough on my pen, and now it writes perfectly. Thanks Arvin!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who's Going to Bellingham?

At least two members of the VPC are planning a trip to Bellingham Saturday the 18th of October to attend the Bellingham meeting of the Seattle Pen Club. If you are interested in going down, please contact Tim Conklin at

The meeting will start around 10:00 and will meet at the public market in downtown Bellingham.

VPC Announces October Meeting

Our next meeting will take place as follows:

Date: Thursday 16 October 2008
Time: 6:00 for meet & greet or 6:30 for meeting start
Location: Perks Pens on Cambie Street @ 42nd Ave across from Oakridge Mall
Theme: Non-fp writing instruments -- bring writing instruments that are not fountain pens

Hope to see you there! -- Tim

Just found these photos (taken by Richard) from our October 2008 VPC meeting and thought I'd post them here

(from L to R: Amanda, Brian, Maja, Dave M.)

(from L to R: Tim, Brian, Amanda)

(from L to R: Mike, Graham, Dave M.)

Vancouver Pen Club Meets at Perks on Cambie.

Here's a recent photo from our September meeting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Still Life in a Coffee Shop

Here's a random photo I took way back in November 2005. It shows one of my favourite pens, in fact, it is probably the most reliable and hard-working pens I own. This photo comes from my photo sharing site, and it's the most popular of my photos. I guess people like to look at it. -- Tim Conklin

Sunday, September 7, 2008

VPC Invited to Bellingham for October Meeting of Seattle Pen Club

The VPC has been invited to attend the Bellingham meeting of the Seattle Pen Club October 18th. The meeting will get going around eleven o'clock at a downtown grocery store/coffee shop. Let's discuss this at our September meeting and perhaps we'll be able to organize a fieldtrip down south. Do give this some thought. It would be fun if we could get a group together to attend this Saturday meeting.

VPC Announces September Meeting

The next meeting of the VPC (and the first of the 2008/09 season) will be Thursday 18 September at Perks Pens on Cambie @ 42nd across from Oakridge Centre. If you come at six o'clock, you'll have time to grab something to eat and drink before our official 6:30 start time. We will try to finish up by 8:30.

Because September is back to school month, the theme for this meeting is school pens. Please bring a pen that you think would be an ideal "school pen". Any other pen or recent acquisition you would like to share is, of course, always welcome, as well.

Hope to see you there! -- Tim Conklin, VPC Prez

A Picture from our Last Meeting

From left to right: Richard Clarke, Kirsten O. , Amanda B. , Maja Furlong, Sabrina Sasaki, Tim Conklin. Photo was taken May 15th, 2008 at Perks Pens.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Here I am doing serious research for VPC in Brisbane, Australia. Yes I'm wearing a coat, because it's still winter there in August. I didn't buy much there because it's darned expensive, but it's interesting to see what they have and we don't. See you all at the September meeting and I'll show you what I did get.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VPC to Start New Season in September

Get ready everybody to begin another exciting season of VPC meetings commencing in September. While specific details are still being worked out as of this writing, you can plan on the following schedule: Meetings the third Thursday of every month from September through May with no meeting in December. Meetings will probably start around six or six thirty and we hope to maintain our current venue -- Perks Pens on Cambie (@ 42nd).

Check this space for updates and details. Cheers!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Portland Pen Show July 11-13, 2008

Just a little reminder about the upcoming Portland Pen Show ( This is a wonderful opportunity for both newcomers to the hobby and seasoned experts to mingle, buy, sell and trade writing instruments (both vintage and modern) and attend free educational seminars on everything from pen repairs to calligraphic writing to tips on pen collecting in general.

I plan to travel down on the 10th so I can be there for the Friday bargains (open to dealers and those with a $50 full-weekend pass only). I try to go every year because the show is the closest one to Vancouver... and also because the folks that organize the show do such a darned good job of making sure everyone has an enjoyable time.

The pen show coincides with America's largest antique show (the Palmer/Wirfs antique show, being held on the Portland Expo grounds), so how many more excuses do you need to head down to Portland that weekend??
Hope to see you there! (I'll be the one drooling over the vintage Sheaffer pens for sale ;)

Photos from this year's Portland Pen Show show added:

(Fellow VPC member Mike A. inspecting some pens for sale by Ray Kuncz and his wife Louise on the show's last day)

(A lovely selection of Parker fountain pens for sale by the friendly dealers at

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Don't take this too seriously...

...But am I the only one with a nostalgic affection for the Bic Classic? Humblest of the cheap throwaway ball-points, this pen was introduced in 1950 by Marcel Biche, in France, and remains virtually unchanged since.

The Bic’s runny and uneven ink flow graced many a school notebook of mine in the 1960s. And this is where nostalgia kicks in. As anyone knows, ballpoint tips wear down with use. It’s only in the last stage of the refill’s life that it loses its typical uniform, uninteresting ballpoint line and spreads to a glorious, rich, runny blobbiness.

Call me perverse, but I like that last inch of a Bic the best. So naturally it occurred to me that it should be possible to put a new ink tube on an old tip, and if course it is. It’s easy to pull the Bic refill apart, keep the old worn tip, and slip in just the ink reservoir from a new one. You might have to blow gently down the top of the tube to prevent an air bubble forming as you press the two parts together. Then you have a fresh Bic that will be runny all the way down! It won’t last as long as a new one, but of course Bics are cheap! Only be warned that the tip will break down completely in time, and start to leak horrendously after you’ve used it about five times. Then it’s time to start another one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Namiki Vanishing Point

Here’s a plug for a pen shop I must pass along. I was looking for a Namiki Vanishing Point, and Maja recommended Oscar Braun, who are in the Detroit area of USA. She said their prices and service both are second to none. So I checked them out, and can only agree in both respects. I received my pen promptly, and at a very good price. Their website is:

While not a heavy-duty pen collector, I knew I had to have the VP after seeing another member’s. This pen necessarily has quite a heavy barrel, but I like that, plus I was fascinated by the mechanism, as well as the history of this pen – it being virtually unchanged since its arrival in the mid 1960s.

Here it is stripped down. Really it's just a very thin fountain pen, enclosed in a retractable body. And yes, there's a little hatch that closes behind the nib to prevent it drying out.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Come one, come all! (May 2008 meeting of the VPC)

Date: Thursday May 15th, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm -- "Meet & Greet"; 6:30 pm-- Start of meeting
Place: Perks pen shop, 5844 Cambie St (at 42nd), Vancouver (across from Oakridge Mall...same place as last month's meeting)
Theme: Pens you would never sell ...or the first pen you bought for a future pen collection
If you have a sentimental favourite, or a pen that was the start of a collection (or both), please bring it/them to the meeting, along with any other pen-related items that you'd like to show to the other members...

Thanks in advance to Richard Clarke of Perks ( for volunteering to host the meeting at his fabulous pen store. This might be the last meeting before the VPC summer break so I hope we get a good turnout.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vancouver Pen Club meeting-- Thursday April 17, 2008

Hello fellow fountain pen enthusiasts!

Here are the long-awaited details regarding the next Vancouver Pen Club meeting:

Date: Thursday April 17, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm -- "Meet & Greet"; 6:30 pm-- Start of meeting
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St (at 42nd), Vancouver, BC, Canada
Theme: Newest Acquisitions (ie. anything related to writing instruments---new pens, interesting paper, cool inks, etc.)

We are a very casual club---it doesn't matter if you have one pen... or one hundred pens! As long as you have some enthusiasm for the hobby and a love of writing instruments, that's all that matters.

Our thanks go out to Richard Clarke of Perks, once again, for his gracious hospitality. Our meetings start during the dinner hour, so members are welcome to bring takeout food and drinks into the store. Purchases can be made after the meeting, in case anything you see in the store strikes your fancy (as an aside, Richard's Perks store carries the Noodler's line of fountain pen inks).

Our meetings usually last two to two and a half hours but if you can't quite make it on time, or have to leave early, please come anyway :)

Hope to see a good turnout!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to our club

Welcome to the Vancouver Pen Club. I seem to be first up to sign in officially - or at least the first to figure out the process! We are a pretty informal group of pen collectors and enthusiasts, out here on the West Coast. Anyone interested in coming to our monthly meetings can email me for details, because we'd love to see you there.

Since this is a first, I am attaching a photo taken at the inaugural meeting of the VPC, way back in December 2006.

Thursday, March 20, 2008