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Deal 1245: Quill

There is no pen like a quill pen. The feel of the freshly trimmed point as it moves across the page is not easily imitated. A quality fountain pen comes close, but has already begun to cross a line by being too easy to handle and needing too little maintenance.

No, I must stick to my guns and insist on nothing but a quill pen.

Typewriters are right out.

They steal all the romance from the written word, and replace it with legibility and speed.

You need not know the goose or swan that provides your quills personally, but it is good to collect them from a healthy bird. Freshly molted feathers are perfect, traditionally one of the three longest feathers from either wing.

Tempered, trimmed, split and cut to a point, you are invested in what you write with a quill.

That personal connection is key.

There is no pen like a quill pen.

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Deal 1240: Blended

All the troubles of the world come from striving towards too much purity. The world would be a much better place if everyone would pay less attention to it.

Alloys are often superior to the pure metals. Steel is stronger than iron. Bronze is stronger than copper. Even those metals that are nominally pure, in real life are usually alloys as well.

Composite materials too are usually stronger than any of their materials individually. A spun thread is far stronger than the raw cotton it is made from. A woven cable is stronger yet. Papier mache, fiberglass, and concrete are all considerably stronger than their ingredients alone.

Embrace the blends. Embrace combinations.

Find strength in the combinations of things.

And always beware those that would tell you otherwise.

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Deal 1183: Fire

I walked away from the party concerned about how I understood reality. I had just seen proof that a kind of comic-book voodoo works. A burn mark on a drawing of a hand traced from the visitor’s hand became a blister on his actual hand, and on the very finger where the paper was burned. He explained it away as simplistic voodoo. We crumpled up the paper after marking the finger. After only a few minutes, his finger healed. The paper was now clean when uncrumpled.

Except when it suddenly went up in flames.

And left me with ashes on my palm.

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Deal 1175: Hot.

The three foot square slab of stainless steel was hot, and stayed hot from opening at dawn until we decided to close sometime after lunch. It was hot and heavy, and was always the perfect temperature for a pancake or fried egg. It was decided not a good place to sit.

Unless you weren’t quite mortal, I suppose.

The kitchen was in a brief lull when she appeared, sitting on the flattop and looking like she belonged there. I just stood there for a moment, staring. I suppose I was waiting for the inevitable scream. It never came.

I gestured with my spatula, but she declined to be turned.

I looked around. My prep cook was in the other room, chasing after something in the walk-in. The wait staff were all out on the floor. In short, I was the only witness to her impossible comfort in the very spot that a full stack of cakes had occupied just moments before her arrival.

This was going to be a very interesting conversation.