Monthly Archives: March 2016

Jobitaki or Daurian Redstart Eats a Centipede!

Today I was out watering flowers and my fruit trees when my daughter pointed out a bird we had seen the past few days along the stream next to our home. Pulling out my camera I saw it was trying to eat something and realized it was a large mukade-a Japanese centipede! The bird is a male Daurian Redstart or in Japanese jobitaki.

Jobitaki and mukade
Fighting a Mukade
Jobitaki or Daurian Redstart

Can You Identify These Planes?

For all of you airplane aficionados out there, here is a group of pictures taken with my Olympus SP-100EE. The dot sight on this camera lets me zoom out to the max X50 and still keep track with the planes that are flying way overhead. But what are they? And what airlines? These were taken here in Nonoichi Japan on the 18th and 24th of March. Only one is easy-the Japanese self-defence fighter jet, but I don’t know the type or model. So there is your challenge! Leave comments, to keep you writing!


Work Bench-Fixing a TWSBI 580

A couple months back I noticed my TWSBI 580, my most expensive and used fountain pen, was leaking. This would not be a big deal as it could have been due to something coming loose, like a seal or one of the screwed in parts. This happen to be different. At some point I must have dropped the pen which broke the inner base off the piece housing the feed, the part that holds both the nib and transports ink from the tank in the body of the pen. With this brake I figured, depressingly, that I would have to order the part,  e.g. spend money and time to get the pen up and running. One thing that I like about fountain pens besides their functionality for writers, is that often they are fixable compared to pens you would just toss in the trash. They are the bicycles of the writing world to make a comparison.

Nib/Feed housing, silver grip and clear grip parts.

On the far right is the nib/feed housing which is actually broken at the point where the threads are visible on the top. I glued this together using quick dry plastic crazy glue type glue.

Center-housing Left-glue

Once the housing was glued I reinserted everything and after some adjustments the pen worked well again. There is a gap now between the housing and the silver grip end, but there is no leak and the screw on cap is still fine with this arrangment so I don’t mind as long as it works!

Reassembled TSWBI 580

I would like to mentioned the nib I am using on this pen. The original was a silver colored M nib with the TWBI symbol on it, very nice, but it didn’t seem to fit my writing style and used far more ink laying down a line than I wanted. So I swapped it out with a very old nib with a flat italic nib.

Platignum FI nib

So the Fine Italic is a beauty, and smooth as silk! Hey, it’s all about writing!

So keep writing, even if you have to fix your pen to do it!

Bees in March

Was out on a warm day and caught some bees to try and bee line with last week. Ended up catching 3 and found out at least one of them headed from my release point toward the East. More research is needed to find a feral colony, so I am waiting out the cold until they are active once again.


Making E-Book Covers with Canva

Image is everything, or so the saying goes. If you are looking for a place to create blog title images, Facebook headers or even fliers and CD jackets I have got the place for you. is a sight offering easy to use tools for designing a broad array of images for different web based situations. I started using it to design e-book or Kindle book covers for my novels and found their formatting tools, templates and images resources to be exactly what I needed to make eye catching covers, along with the title for this blog today. Here are examples of e-book covers I designed. Some cost $1 to use one of their premium photos, but for the most part I have used free images on their sight and simply modified templates. I would highly recommend their sight. Unfortunately iOS is not the best way to use their sight, but they do have an app I believe.

book covers canva