R.L Allan Bibles: Oh The Choices…….

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Above is a color edited photo of the Allan Longprimer 53br (bottom) and the Allan Brevier Clarendon 6C (top)

I ordered both of these bibles looking for a lifelong investment, but am having terrible trouble deciding between them. I cant really justify keeping both of them (because together they cost more than $300) and besides I like having only one, to keep everything together, and not be wasteful.

Needless to say they are amazing pieces of hand-worked art. Gold Gilt, and Goatskin Leather. They are almost fluid, and you really have to pick one up to understand.

In any case, I have had them for about a week now, and I am still at a loss as to which one to keep. Size vs. Readability….

Such a conundrum to be in…..
-Ezra

5 Day Trip (Packing List)

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This Mind-Map is a list of everything I took with me on a 5 day trip to Portland.
As you can see I went light and minimal.
The one thing I decided to take regardless of need, is my classic Voigtlander Vito II camera. Yes it is 60 years old and l could easily just take photos with my iPhone, but there is something special about that camera. I love it.
I also took along a Weston Master III light meter. Again old: it was made in the late 40s, but in conjunction with the Vito, it is like stepping back in time.

This is the first trip I have made that I have decided to leave my MacBook at home, and take my iPad instead. I debated this decision for a while, but in the end decided that if there was anything I really needed a full fledged computer for, I would just VNC back to my Mac at home. This trip is for pleasure anyway, I am going to try and avoid any ‘real work’ if I can.

-Ezra

Poetic Coffee

Poetic Coffee by Ezra Hilyer
Poetic Coffee, a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

There is something deeply poetic about coffee. The grinder pulverizing the beans, the ritual tamping of the fresh grounds, and that beautiful smell when the first coal-black drops of liquid cascade into the cup.

When the steamer sings its song; and the union of sound, sight, and savor meet in that moment -such is the stuff of perfection.

I remember when my romance with Coffee started; it was on my first visit to Starbucks, in Portland Oregon in 2002. Before this; coffee was something that only came in luke-warm pots, and had to be dosed heavily with sugar, and then mixed with milk.
It was a part of the day, but never the hightlight.

Upon that first visit; I entered a new world. I remember how the entire building was drowning in the heavy scent of the sacred bean, and the sounds of the drinks being prepaired was an alien music.

Throughout the rest of that 2 week visit, I took the chance to return there many times, and it started what has become a lifelong love.

When I returned home, there were no local coffee shops nearby, at the time the nearest Starbucks was over 100 miles away.
So, over the next few years; the only time I would get to visit Portland would be heavily filled with visits to coffee shops. I would wander the city always with a cup in my hand.

Eventually, a small shop opened up in Warren, (20 miles from where I then lived) and I could then expirence good coffe regularly, and would sometimes make the trip into town just for a sip of that heavenly liquid.

I even took my future wife Ami, on our fist date to that small local coffee shop; and not long after that, she started to work as a Barista there. Many of my memories of our dating life are laced with the scent of coffee, and the whirr of the machines.

Last year Ami bought me a Breville Espresso machine for my birthday, and from her expirence as a Barista; she taught me to prepare all of my favorite drinks. The world has come full-circle, now I can re-live those memories, and moments whenever I take the time to start the ritual process, and turn those dark roasted beans into sacred powder.

-Ezra

Walking To Live.

Walking To Live. by Ezra Hilyer
Walking To Live., a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

So what do you do when there is no time in the day left to be human? No second free in the daily routine to simply be a man under the open sky?

You walk. Early in the morning, you walk to work, and when the day is done, and the sun is falling again; you walk home.
It is my reprieve from the demands of the day, and the pressures of life.

I can not adequately explain to you how important it is do take the time away from the city lights, and to walk under the stars like one of their long-lost children.

There are moments that can not be captured by word, or photograph, those moments of beauty that rush upon the senses, and drown out the worries, and cares of this petty existence.
Walking under the dark canopy of night, and likewise; to see the sun rise over the hills -gives a sense of place to life on this earth.

-Ezra

The Amateur Writers Guild

 

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On a whim; I went searching for traces of my old website ‘The Amateur Writers Guild’.

Keep in mind, that is has been about 10 years since I last visited the site, and I assumed that it was long gone. But thanks to the Internet archive site archive.org I was able to go back in time and see some of it as it was in 1999, and 2000 (the height of its popularity) and was even able to find an old logo from that era (not my final revision to be sure) I put it at the top of this post. This was at a special time in the history of the Internet, (when I started the site in 1996) where it seemed that users were starved for content, and there really were not that many sites online. I had tons of interest, and had submissions all the time.

I should have been better at keeping up the site over the years, but after about 3 or 4 years, I let it die, and everyone just faded away. I went to the URL (it was hosted on a free host, as I was a poor kid) and it is still there. There is really nothing other than the entrance page left, but oddly it is at the top of the Google search for the title of the site (even though there are others with the same name) This makes me desire to re-start the venture, ( with a new name perhaps) and get it back on its feet again. I have the experience, and the know-how, I just don’t know if I have the time.. Last: here are a few category buttons from the old site:

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This is VERY Web 1.0!

-Ezra Hilyer

A Light

There is a light in your eyes; I can not explain its source.

Perhaps you can; has there ever been a moment that held you in sway? When you scarce could bear to move lest you break the sweet spell of silence. What ever it was that triggered that spark of thought/feeling I do not know for it will be different to each soul, but it must be there.

Have you ever stopped in sorrow for a sight that passed something that triggered one small buried memory perhaps? Has ever your heart jumped a beat for one second of pure joy? Sometimes upon waking from a sweet dream of peace I ponder what the future may hold.

Can the hope and joy of being content and whole that seems so close within a sleeping dream come into reality? And could the whole of your existence be worth that short sweet moment?

-EJH

New Lamy Safari And New Moleskine

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Last Month, my new Lamy Safari cartridge fountain pen arrived, I chose the medium point, and the color is a very nice dark grey. It came with a cartridge of blue ink ( not my favorite ink color) I will use this one up, and then replace it with black.

This Blue seems quite light. It goes on dark, but by the time it dries, it is very pale, the medium nib is a bit wide for my taste, and if I were to get another, I would certainly go for an ex-fine nib. The pen is larger than I imagined, very ‘industrial’ looking. It is turning out to be a ‘go everywhere pen’ I keep it clipped to the front pocket of my jeans. The clip seems to be the best part about this pen, it is very rugged, I don’t worry that it will break like I do with some of my other pens. It feels good. When I am writing fast (which I often do) I don’t have to give it any thought, it grips well, and stays at a great angle for writing. Overall, I like it. But I am still looking for a nice metal body fountain for my bag.

Perhaps I will go for the Lamy Al-star….

Perhaps.