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Apr. 12th, 2010 @ 09:40 pm Pens...
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
In the past three weeks, I have had no fewer than three pens stop working on me! One of those was a rollerball that had just gotten a new filling (so it should still be full) and a rather pricey fineliner that we bought in Japan, in a tiny stationery-store in Hikone.
Why do my pens keep running out, while they still should be fine, ink-wise? What am I doing wrong? How can I prevent this?

It's seriously driving me crazy. Or maybe that's still the last of the jetlag. Or it's the Monster Cold that I got in the airplane -- sitting in an airtight cannister for ten hours means that contact with everyone else's germs is just about guaranteed. Anyway, it's bothering me.
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WTF!?
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From:nathreee
Date:April 12th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
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Pens with ink fillings react to how they have been lying or how they are being held. For example, if you hold them horizontally writing on a vertical surface, some of them might not work. In the same way, standing them in a cup sometimes disrupts the flow of the ink. And temperature is also a thing. My best pen died on me because I left it in my purse, too close to the heater and the ink just burst out of the filling and glued the insides of my pen together. Maybe the pens reacted to the difference in air pressure on the plane? Maybe it's the difference in temperature? Not sure it could have been prevented... Don't get worked up over it. It's a loss, it's a shame, but certainly not worth spoiling your freshly back from holiday mood.
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From:fub
Date:April 13th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
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This was a pen that I had with me in my hand luggage, so it shouldn't have had any problems with air pressure or something like that.

And sure, if it was one pen, I'd just shrug and take the next one. But this is the third time in as many weeks, and I'm getting tired of investing in new and good pens and having them crap out on me within a week.
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From:nathreee
Date:April 14th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
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There is difference in air pressure even inside the pressurised cabin of the plane. What do you think your ears are doing during the landing? Also, we live around sea level here, whereas you were in the mountains in Japan, that's difference in air pressure too. There's a possibility that there was a difference in the temperature between Japan and the plane, and her and the plane. It tends to get chilly, even in the cabin.
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From:merle_
Date:April 12th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
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sitting in an airtight cannister for ten hours means that contact with everyone else's germs is just about guaranteed

Yes, especially because a lot of those people aren't from your local area so have different strains of illnesses. Even if they are not actively sick (because their bodies fought it off) they could still be carriers, and planes are not the most hygenic of places.

Back when I used to do the annual trip home for Christmas we all planned that we would have the festivities, then lie around feeling ill for several days while drinking soup and recuperating before returning home. We lived all over the country, and between the plane flight and the local exposure, the odds of getting sick were close to 100%.

On the other point, maybe pen manufacturers have started adopting the tactics of ink jet cartridge manufacturers, where it will only work for a certain period of time even if there is ink left...
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From:fub
Date:April 13th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
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where it will only work for a certain period of time even if there is ink left...
One would start to think so... Maybe I should see if there's a solution to reset the chip on the pen, just like with the Epson carts!
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From:crustycurmudgeo
Date:April 12th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
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I think the drop in air pressure on a jet flight and the cold temperature in the cargo bay can also interrupt the ink flow and performance.

Also part of the problem catching colds on flights is the dry air. Long flights don't carry enough humidifying water, or any other fluid.

BTW, how long is a flight from Narita to Amsterdam? From Seoul to Chicago is between nine and twelve hours, depending on winds.
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From:fub
Date:April 13th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
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I think the drop in air pressure on a jet flight and the cold temperature in the cargo bay can also interrupt the ink flow and performance.
This was a pen that I had in my hand luggage. And it worked quite well after we got home, until it crapped out on me.

Long flights don't carry enough humidifying water, or any other fluid.
We were mere steps away from a water tap, and we drank some extra glasses of water. They were pretty good with offering (non-alcoholic) drinks in between meals too -- no complaints there.

how long is a flight from Narita to Amsterdam?
Eleven, officially. We had a tail wind and did it in ten hours. Long enough for me!
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From:loputon
Date:April 13th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
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I've had loads of pens failing after a flight to Belgium and back. I don't take my favourite pens with me anymore nowadays :p
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From:fub
Date:April 13th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
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Even if you had them with you in your hand luggage?

And curiously enough, the pens that were in our checked-in luggage are still fine!
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From:loputon
Date:April 14th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
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Even in hand luggage, yeah.. Guess my pens are too sensitive :p
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