Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas to you all out there in the Typosphere!

Here I am, awkwardly holding a late 1930s Remington while the camera counts down to take this out-of-focus picture.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

The Typewriter Collection No 9: Olympia SM2 (Circa 1951) & No 10: Olympia SM3 (Circa 1954)

Man, oh man, I love this brand! When I started getting more seriously interested in typewriters, I decided that I was going to aim for definitive models from the decades of the 1930s through to the '60s. When it came to getting something from the Fifties, I narrowed my choices down to Remington, Royal and Olympia. This was only after I had done a little research on Alan Seaver's , and The Classic Typewriter Page ( ) by Richard Polt, as well as poring through almost every page of Robert Messenger's book, "The Magnificent 5". These three sources of info were enough to tell me which machines were worth going for.

The more I looked at Olympia SM series machines, the more I liked them. I've already written about these two typewriters... I'll try not to be too repetitive.

The scan came out slightly cropped. For those of you interested, what I'd written was; "Man, I hope it turns out better than that!"

The 'De Luxe' engraving originally looked like this;

A couple of runs with some gold acrylic and...

That's better.

Here's how it looked when I first got it.

And once Tom worked his usual magic, it turned out like this;

When I got it, the drawband wasn't where it should have been;

I got a coat-hanger. Then I got my Leatherman Wave.

Then I got lucky.

The case fell apart when I removed the bubble-wrapping;

But some wood glue and some tacks took care of that, although I'm toying with the idea of making a new carry-case for this machine. Even though the furthest that I'll carry it will be from the lounge room to the study. Once I clear my desk.

I've noticed some slight design variations between these two typewriters. Specifically, the carriage return levers.
Here's the circa 1951 SM2's;

Works extremely well. Very intuitive to use. Beats the iPod's user-friendliness by about 55 years. And here's the return lever on the SM3;

Impossible to miss this one, no matter how drunk you get...not that I've tried, mind you.

Either way, these '50s Olympias are a joy to use.

If you're out there taking a stroll through the typosphere and have never tried out one of these, I suggest you get your hands on one. Damn, I thought I wiped that table down!

Thanks for reading, all!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Congrats to NaNoWriMo Participants! I don't know how y'all do it. More power to you!

EDIT, 'cos I had more to add to this post when I re-read it earlier this morning.

Here's page one of the screenplay. However, at sixteen pages, the pre-credits sequence is about twice as long as it should be. Time to cut, cut, cut.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Blogger pictures- Why don't they show up like they used to?

Short and to the point. Not having a dig at Blogger, by the way. I just can't figure out why the change in viewing photos has occurred. Wow, another badly constructed sentence!

Thanks, all.

Monday 21 November 2011

SM3 that needs I took a chance with some tools and...

This circa 1954 Olympia SM3 arrived about a week ago. It was safely packaged, but the box had split slightly and the typewriter itself had seen better days.

This was gonna be a tricky fix for me. However, I remember M. Scott Peck writing in "The Road Less Travelled" about how he had to repair some machine or other and what he did was sit and stare at it for several minutes to get a grasp of what pieces went where, and which section was attached to which other section.  Anyway...

 A few minutes with the Leatherman tool and part of a coat hanger and...

Voila! I had to make sure that the little 'hook' at the end would be small enough to go through here...

Yes, that narrow gap of light in the middle of the frame. Heh, heh!

It would appear that the carriage sits a fraction too low. I bet all it needs is a slight adjustment of some tiny little screw somewhere, I'm not typewriter-repair-savvy enough to attempt to fix this. Besides, aren't there like, about 637 ball bearings on the carriage rail that come spilling out the minute you undo it?

Sunday 20 November 2011

Minor Gripes of the Week- A Mild Rant

It's a mixture of stuff that I've stored away in the garage. Really of no use to anybody but myself.
John Le Carre? Cold War's over, old boy.
35mm Photographer's Handbook? The world's gone digital.
Esquire magazine from 2005? The fashions went out of fashion about 20 minutes after that issue hit the news-stands.
Vanity Fair from 2008? May as well be from 1908.
Screenplay to "Thunderball"? A very poor photocopy that's almost impossible to read.
A book on fountain pens. Fountain pens???In the age of the iPhone?
See? Of no use to anybody.

And in case you're wondering, yes, these figures of Solid Snake are mine. He's the hero of the "Metal Gear Solid" game series on the Playstation. The first game was released in 1999 and it was amazing. Very atmospheric and tension-filled.
By the time the fourth game ("Metal Gear Solid 4-Guns of the Patriots") had been released, I felt as though I had grown older with this guy and it was heart-wrenching to see him go through this mission. I kept reminding myself that it was just a PS3 game, but the writing, the voice acting, and the graphics helped create this incredible world. There were times when the hair would stand up on the back of my neck, there were times when my heart would race, and there were times when I would get choked up. This game was a greater emotional experience than any film made in the first decade of the 21st Century. Seriously.

My wife didn't like the stamp I made. She said it looked like a crucifix. I told her I was aiming for a lower-case 't'. She said it looked very "Se7en". She and I say that when we're out and about and we see something creepy or seedy. That was a great film, btw. Best crime investigation film since "Chinatown".