Monday, July 27, 2020

Rem-Blick bikecast

nrw = new, brainstotm = brainstorm

watchibg = watching, ahe = the, prina = print

Monday, July 20, 2020

Midsummer miscellany

I don't have a well-developed topic for a post, but thought I would publish a few notes on my recent activities.

I continue to bike around Cincinnati in the early morning, before it gets too hot. Here's a view from Mt. Storm Park just after sunrise today. My new bike doesn't currently have the wherewithal to strap a typewriter onto it, but I'll work on that ...

Although Urban Legend Typewriters is officially on hold, some people in need find their way to me. I just finished restoring this Burroughs, which was very dusty and had a couple of mechanical issues. The main problem was that one cam that's crucial to reversing the ribbon was missing, and the other was damaged. Tyler Elliott on Facebook came to my rescue, and sent me the parts. As I've noted before, in general Burroughs are very robust machines—at least on this one, even the paper table is cast, not sheet metal! But their ribbon reverse system is finicky, and if it fails, it will put tension on a plastic (!) gear at the base of the ribbon shaft, which will break and render the typewriter inoperable. Every typewriter has an Achilles' heel, and this is a classic example.

I've also recently cleaned up an Olivetti Studio 45 and this 1929 Underwood no. 5.

This morning I discovered a review on Amazon that gives me hope that sometimes I can manage to be the person and the writer I aspire to be. It was posted years ago, but it's fresh to me and I very much appreciate it.

I received an advance reader's copy of the forthcoming, mostly typewritten novel by Lee Siegel, Typerotica. Eventually I'll publish a book review here.

Cold Hard Type III: Backspaces is proceeding well. I've received typescripts from most contributors and am lightly photoshopping them into publishable form. We may be able to publish around September 1. Here's a sneak peek at the cover, featuring a photo by Fred Durbin.

Finally, after a three months' wait, I received a historic typewriter that was shipped to me from Romania.

This 1932 Urania-Piccola is signed on the back, in a place normally hidden by the folded paper supports, "M. Heidegger." Martin Heidegger is the philosopher to whom I've devoted most of my research for over three decades. He didn't like using a typewriter, but in 1932, his assistant's Torpedo portable was stolen. Evidently Heidegger bought a replacement, and signed it in case of theft. The typewriter was sold by Strangfeld, a dealer in Berlin.

There is much more to say about this machine, and eventually I think I'll write an article about it. [2022 note: I did.]

In order to afford this typewriter, I sold this Sholes Visible which was a duplicate in my collection. It's shown here with the shifting portion of the carriage removed (an easy thing to do—you just unhook it and lift it out).

I guess it's been a pretty eventful midsummer. I won't even get into my professional news (in brief, I'm starting a three-year term as associate dean in the midst of the turmoil of the pandemic).

I hope my readers are doing well and putting in some good, healthy time at their typewriters.