Friday, April 24, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 75, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

After being out last week, I've recovered and am answering some great questions! I'm talking about offensively bright blue ink, bringing you back to my college years, and telling my favorite Dad joke. We've got some great new products for you as well! Without further ado, I present the latest Goulet Q&A....

New/Upcoming Products- (2:36)

Pens/Writing- (6:06)
1) Prechaya F.- Facebook- (6:13)
I would like to purchase my first Edison pen but can't decide on which one on the production line to get. I like the size of the vanishing point, metropolitan, and Parker sonnet but hate the feel of the Lamy Al-Star.
  •  Edisons are definitely thicker pens than most
  • you’ll want to stick with thinner pens, like the Beaumont, Premiere, Herald, Pearlette
  • clearly, I favor the Premiere! :) 

2) Gary W. - Facebook- (7:56)
I am curious as to how you would maintain the outside of a fountain pen. For instance, how would you care for and keep clean the rhodium trim, gold trim, acrylic exterior, or the resin exterior?  What polishes or cleaning cloths are safe to use on the exterior of a fountain pen?  How about scratch removal?
  • my favorite is a jeweler’s cloth, works great on plastic and metal
  • anything more aggressive could be bad for the metal
  • some pens can use a polishing compound, though you have to be careful with this 

Ink- (13:35)

3) Brian W.- Facebook- (13:38)
I have noticed several new nicely shading orange inks in the new products recently.  How do they compare with the old standby Noodler's Apache Sunset? (Lamy CopperOrange, Diamine Autumn Oak)
  • Apache Sunset sets a really high bar for shading! Nothing truly lives up to it
  • AS really goes beyond shading and gets into actually changing colors from yellow to orange to red
  • Autumn Oak is really nice, but darker and not as intense shading 
  • Lamy CopperOrange is very cool, and great for a Lamy ink but won’t be around long I think
    • check out Noodler’s Habanero or Diamine Autumn Oak as substitutes

4) Yunus E.- Facebook- (15:59)
I do not know if you already covered but could you tell us which inks require more maintenance, be cleaned more often and would harm to the nib, feed or pen body itself
  • none of these are definitely going to cause harm, unless you neglect your regular maintenance
  • there are no true guarantees, so use careful consideration when using any of these inks in particularly rare or valuable pens
  • any pigmented ink (Platinum Carbon Black, Sailor Nano inks, etc)
  • any iron gall ink (Diamine Registrar’s especially)
  • Noodler’s eternal inks (especially UK and Russian inks, Hunter, Fox, Periwinkle, Luxury Blue)
  • Noodler’s KTC, Whaleman’s Sepia, highlighter inks, Baystates
  • Inks with heavy sheens (J. Herbin 1670 inks), Diamine Majestic Blue
  • Super5 and DA Document inks
  • in general, inks with permanence!

5) @tobydeemer– Twitter (25:02)
Please recommend an offensively bright blue that is also rather wet, and as low maint. as possible. Is there such a thing?
  • J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir
  • would say Noodler’s Baystate Blue, that’s not quite low maintenance (though if you clean with bleach, it’s not too bad)
  • Noodler’s Blue Eel is pretty good too 

Troubleshooting- (27:26)

6) MK B.- Facebook- (27:30)
I have a converter in my Platinum Cool pen. I can't get the plunger to move anymore.  In hopes that it's just  dried out, I'm soaking it in pen cleaner.  Any other suggestions?
  • not super uncommon
  • silicone grease on a toothpick and spread on the walls of the converter
  • converter can be disassembled and greased as well 

7) Po T. - Facebook- (29:27)
How should I handle my preppy so that it does not crack? I handled my preppys with care and I did not dropped it. However, it seems that simply normal cap opening and closing is enough to create cracks on the Cap.
  • it’s been getting a reputation for that, mainly because of some defects that Platinum has addressed
  • I just talked to them about this, they said they started making changes as soon as they were aware of the complaints of the cracks in early 2015
  • they’ve told me the pens coming now should be better
  • If you’ve had a recent crack, contact your retailer (if it’s us, we’ll replace it/credit it for you) 

Business- (32:04)

8) Jysung– YouTube- (32:09)
How much research/preparation do you do for the Q&As? It seems like a lot of content to have to prepare on such a regular basis.
  • more than you might think
  • start out posting asking for questions on Monday (used to be Tuesday) on Twitter, FB (just a few minutes)
  • as questions come in, Madigan and Margaret are combing YouTube, FB, Twitter, and the blog and compiling questions (takes around 2 hours total throughout the week)
  • Margaret and I go through on Wed. afternoon and pick ones that we think will be best for that week, she responds to others that I can’t get to or have already answered (30 min to choose, an hour to respond)
  • Jenni or Madigan will provide input as they’re able about if we’ve answered a question before
  • once selected, it’s time to format them to prepare for typing answers (30 min)
  • Wed. night I answer the questions in bullet form and research as necessary, think through products I need to show (2 hours)
    • this probably takes less time than you think, because I honestly have a giant vault in my brain of random pen knowledge! Researching is fast for me because I know exactly where to look if I don’t know something
  • Thursday morning I finish prepping, Jenni helps me set up lights and camera (30 min)
  • I shoot (1 hour)
  • Jenni edits and uploads to YouTube (1hour, in parts)
  • Thursday afternoon/Fri morning, Jenni, Mike, Madigan, Margaret all work on copy for blog, YouTube, podcast, FB to publish the video (1 hour x 4)
  • When all is said and done, it’s roughly 10-12 hours of total time for our team to produce and publish a single Q&A

9) Tim P.- Facebook- (42:41)
What is the most unusual place that The Goulet Pen Company shipped an order?
Personal- (45:20)

10) Gary W. - Facebook- (45:33)
What was your major in Virginia Tech?
  • applied early decision with Corps of Cadets “checked the box”
  • went in “University Studies”, undecided, but was aiming to be an engineer
  • I went to one class (English) that was for engineers, and the teacher gave us a list of 8 novels we’d be reading that semester, I left that class and knew I wasn’t studious enough to be an engineer!
  • I immediately went to see my counselor, after talking for about 5 minutes it was obvious I am business minded, so I intended to switch
  • couldn’t just ’switch’, had to apply in and take several classes to even be able to apply
  • finally got in as Business Management with minor in Leadership (Corps of Cadets) sophomore year
  • did that successfully, but was really feeling like a cog in the system b/c the classes were so large
  • discovered Residential Property Management, fell in love with the program and switched mid-Junior year
  • had to take summer school to make up for it, and complete my 6-week internship after ‘graduation’ 
  • graduated, got ‘name your price’ offer with commercial real estate firm, turned it down to power wash houses with my dad
  • in my spare time, I started turning pens, which eventually led me here!
  • typical college story, right? ;) 

11) Bill E. - Facebook- (58:55)
I'm about as obsessive about watches as I am fountain pens. So what brand of wrist watches does Brian enjoy wearing???
  • good hustle Bill! you’ve been asking about this for several weeks now
  • I do enjoy a good watch, though I definitely haven’t gotten into it like I have with pens
  • my favorites are automatic watches, the more skeleton the better (it’s like a demonstrator!)
  • I don’t have a particular loyalty to one brand, I go more for a diversity of styles
  • I do really like Bulova, they just feel really good to me, expensive but not insane
  • I have one Movado that Rachel bought me as a 30th b-day gift, that’s what started the watch thing
  • several Skagen’s, nice thin watches
  • several other lower-tier brands like Fossil, Caravelle, Kenneth Cole, more for fashion 

12) Tim D.- Facebook (1:02:00)
Since you did a sideways slide from custom pen making to providing us with great selection and value in pens and paper, do you ever get the urge to either make a total change in direction in your entrepreneurship or widen the scope of your company's vision?
  • the circumstances are completely different now, because my initial “slide” was to get into something sustainable
  • what I’m in now is clearly sustainable, and with 6 years invested and 30 peoples’ families to consider, any move for me would be calculated well in advance (years)
  • I have no plans to change anything anytime soon, though I’m certainly working towards building up leadership and becoming a master delegator to decrease the dependency on me day-to-day 
13) @pen_haul– Twitter- (1:11:12)
What is your favourite dad joke?
  • Rachel HATES it! Whenever we drive by a cemetery I point and say “You see that cemetery over there? People are dying to get in there”
  • technically, that’s a joke I’ve been saying since before I became a dad though :)
  • My dad joke that my son taught me as the first joke he learned (from Thomas the Tank Engine), “What does a snowman eat for breakfast? Snowflakes!"

QOTW: What is your favorite “dad” joke? Cheese it up good! My son is at the age where he laughs at everything and I want to crack him up.

Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it! Be sure to check here if there are any old Q&A's that you missed.

Write On,
Brian Goulet



  1. Really a meta-Dad Joke.

    A proud new father sits down with his dad to have a drink.

    "Well, son, now that you have a son of your own, it's time I gave you something."

    "Dad, you don't mea-"

    "Yes, I do. You've earned it," says the father as he hands over a copy of '1001 Dad Jokes (5th ed.)' to his son.

    "Dad, I don't know what to say. . . I'm honored."

    "Hi, Honored," replies the father, "I'm Dad."

  2. Not sure if you're aware, but at the moment, the YouTube video is listed as "private," so it doesn't show up under the Goulet YouTube page.

  3. Your joke reminds me of this one, which I remember from the TV show 'Lost'...
    Q: What did one snowman say to the other?
    A: Do you smell carrots?

  4. Eva Yaa AsantewaaApril 24, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    Certainly glad to hear you, Rachel and the kids are doing well! Questions: How did you get your cheeerful Q&A theme music, and what are your favorite genres of music?

  5. Why is one line in a V-formation flock of birds always longer than the other line? There are more birds in it.

  6. GREAT QnA this week, nice to see the GPC "motto" on your shelf sans blue figurine, love how passionate you are about doing the weekly QnA despite the time and effort that goes into it, hope it never becomes a chore or too much of a hassle. Have a great vaca with the fam and stay healthy!

  7. Questionz for Q&A ep 77:
    1. What kind of business is GPC? Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC?
    2. Will Noodlers ever make a dry-erase ink, or would it be a fountain pen assassin like india ink?
    3. Will Pilot make a thermosensitive FP ink similar to the ink they make for their Frixion line of rollerballs?

  8. What pen, ink and paper combination will you take to Disneyworld? Why that particular combination?

  9. One of my dad's go to jokes:

    Q: What's a surprise?

    A: A fart with a lump in it.

  10. I'm a mathematician. My dad (an English prof) used to laugh and laugh at this "joke." He's say, speaking of the area of a circle: "pi r squared? No -- pie are round!" and then cackle manically...

  11. After seeing question #4 and hearing that most permanent inks can possibly cause problems in pens if left inside for a long time, why would anyone use a none permanent ink? If I were to write or draw something I would want it to last a lifetime or longer. What advantages would a none permanent ink have over a permanent one?

  12. The only problem commercial inks cause in a fountain pen when left inside for a long time is being more difficult to clean out. It may require a soaking in soapy water or pen flush for a couple of days. Clear pens may be stained by any inks, permanent or not. I have successfully used an inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner to remove dried ink that has been in vintage pens for decades. No harm is done to pens using any modern commercial fountain pen ink, even after letting it dry out. Permanent inks will not damage your pens. I have little experience with iron gall inks.

    I agree with you, I want a lot of my writing to last for a long time. The only advantage a non-permanent ink has is ink colors that may not be available in a permanent ink. Note that just because an ink is labeled "permanent" does not mean that it is. Some inks labeled "permanent" will wash out with water and fade over time. Most of my inks are Noodler's bulletproof inks and Platinum pigmented inks because I do want them to be permanent. I have several non-permanent inks I love because of the color they offer (Diamine Ancient Copper, Iroshizuku Yama-budo, Diamine Oxblood). Many will sacrifice permanency to get a special color of ink.

  13. Cake are squared! Cackle cackle...

  14. at a recent family party, a 6-7 year old was telling this joke:
    kid: daddy, daddy, the squirrels are chasing me!
    dad: why son?
    kid: because they think i'm nuts!

  15. Thanks for the reply. Specialty ink colors do matter to some people. I do prefer permanence over color.

    Now I know how to spell "non-permanent." My mistake.

  16. Ha, I'll have to remember that!

  17. FYI. The audio-only link ends abruptly after the first question.

  18. FYI. The audio-only link ends abruptly after the first question.

  19. Wow. Just wow. That's pretty much the ultimate Dad Joke. :P

  20. You were faster than us! We published this first and then the YouTube video. :)

  21. Hey Eva! Jenni uses a couple of different sites like www.pond5.com and audiojungle.net. We'll have to wait till Brian is back from vacation to see what his favorite music is! :)

  22. Only a professor... Thanks for sharing Ben! :)

  23. So cute! I'm going to pass that one on to my nephew. :)

  24. I'd agree with Tom here- it's mostly a color thing. A lot of artists also use a combination of permanent and non-permanent inks to do ink washes over the permanent ink. :)

  25. Eva Yaa AsantewaaApril 29, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Great ideas in case I ever need royalty free music! I hope the family is having a great vacation. Certainly well deserved!

  26. OK here's the joke the three of us kids told for hours, in the car, on a two day road trip, even after our parents pleaded with us to stop. Instead we whispered it and died laughing. Even now all one of us has to is the first line.

    What is the last thing that went through the fly's mind when he hit the windshield?

    His butt!

  27. I have two more without the cool history.

    What do bird farts smell like?

    Where do bees stop to go to the bathroom?
    At the BP Station.


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