10 years of Moleskine

10 years using Moleskine exactly now. Here my very first Moleskine notebook together with one of the last pages created now. Huge evolution. 

Happy birthday to me!



Homenaje a Reichsstraße.

Todos los lugares tienen un punto "magneto" que te atrapa. Normalmente es una calle o un puente mil veces recorrido. La calle magneto de Donauwörth es Reichsstraße: levemente alterable en el tiempo, acumulador de recuerdos, aviesa, que se va estrechando cuanto más se acerca al Rathaus y generador de identidad al pueblo que la alberga. Aunque se pueda pensar que todas las casas de Baviera son iguales, no es cierto. Cada pueblo se diferencia uno de otro en las sutilezas, sólo accesibles para ojos entrenados.

Podría enumerar cada una de las tiendas que la componen y me equivocaría poco. Tengo una colección de fotografías tomadas exactamente desde el mismo sitio: una alcantarilla al inicio de la calle donde, casualmente, cosa que descubrí un día por sorpresa, se coloca uno de los árboles de Navidad.

Aquí Reichsstraße luciendo algunos trajes:
Reichsstraße al anochecer. No gente.

Reichsstraße de noche.

Reichsstraße en verano.

Reichsstraße con nieve moderada.

Reichsstraße en invierno profundo. -18º en aquellos días. 
Reichsstraße en la celebración bianual de verano.
Reichsstraße en Lichternacht. ¡Con gente!

Reichsstraße con niebla. Estampa habitual.
Reichsstraße descolorida, también bastante habitual.

Reichsstraße preparándose para Navidad.
Reichsstraße en pre-Navidad.
Reichsstraße en Navidad.


Close up

Going close to the detail shows a new perspective. The beauty of ink on paper.

The Poet Photocopy

Encryption experts needed! In an unprecedented gesture of defiance the photocopier located in third floor decided to disobey orders and it transformed cold technical reports into an explosion of creativity that exceeds the capacity of any human for the following reasons: 1. Increased number of characters, then huge number of possibilities. 2. Random nature. A product of a mind can never achieve what is generated in a random field. Here I put the result as a poem compared with a human generated poem (La tempranica, 1900).


About typewriters

The typewriter is an amazing invention. I could stop saying here because it´s more than enough. However I will add some more letters, just to highlight its magic.

Imagine a device which you can use to write, one of the most important things for an human being, in a simple, elegant and fast way. Well, that device is not being produced anymore. Factories are using a huge amount of resources to manufacture weapons, ice cream machines or all imaginable stuff for prepare cakes and even a pool ball which predicts the future. No machines for writing. Of course there are computers and printers, but that´s another story. Also people don´t look very interested on use them nowadays. Fortunately the typewriters were produced and used in mass during the last decades. There were several in each office in the world and in most of the houses. Those machines didn´t disappear from one day to another, there are still in somewhere, maybe inside a drawer, in a penthouse, etc. Due to the lack of interest today and the high number of produced machines the price of a typewriter is almost ridiculous, I could say almost zero (or negative in some cases).

When using a typewriter the fingers touch physically the keys and you produce the letters with your own energy. This is a golden feeling. The speed of writing is directly linked to the speed of thinking, creating an unique dance where ideas are transforming into words with harmony. Sound and smell help to create that great atmosphere. Real letters appear in front of you, with real ink. Ink on paper means it´s forever (or at least one or several lifetimes, depends on you). You get nothing of these when using a computer which creates just fake illusions and temporally ones and zeros somewhere inside a digital support. For touching screens better don´t talk. No batteries, no updates, no unexpected errors, no corrupted files, no hackers and no vanish information. Of course a computer has many other advantages, but far away for the pleasure of writing.

Look the beauty of the mechanism. Simple, design based on endurance, full of quality. Times before programmed obsolescence entered into industrial design.

I used typewriters during my childhood. However I stop using them until quite recently, when I rediscover their potential. Suddenly I saw clear the power of typewriters and I went into them in a flicker. While living in Germany I found the keyword : “Schreibmaschine“. As easy as write that in eBay and hundreds of all machines are shown. Germany has been one of the best producer and there are a lot of top brands. The prices now are worthless. I realized that when I visited a flea market in Munich and a man kept a typewriter between a certain quantity of jewel-rubbish items. I just asked the price for curiosity and he replied “5€”. 5€ even before bargain! He insisted and took it with his hands offering it to me. I had the feeling he just wanted to throw it away or even pay to someone for take it. Well, I didn´t take that, but I started to buy some other models.

Smith Corona from 1936. It came with a church smell. What a design! Classic piano style with round crystal keys. Almost 80 years and it´s like new. I like to play the game to imagine its past or its former owners. I guess it´s not weird this machine were used by nazis in the WWII or maybe later someone wrote a love letter using it.

The case was not in best condition, but with a little of patience I got this amazing result. Magic!

Olympia SM-3

I bought this for 1€ in eBay (plus 5,95€ shipping). ONE EURO! One of the best deals I´ve ever done. Tank design, unbreakable. A similar model is used by Woody Allen, who says he is using the same machine during decades. He mentions some worth words here.

It was just dirty, but after a typewriter jacuzzy and some lubricant its bright came. Full and perfect working.
Being too curious about the mechanism forced me to practice full disassembly part by part. I could say I almost got it. A great learning lesson and enjoyable time.

Then I got this Erika 5, which came with additional gifts. All you see in the photo for 10€.

In that case I used a chemical product from the supermarket to avoid corrosion. Surprisingly that product caused a lot of corrosion suddenly! What a paradox... Don´t see the next photo if you are typewriter sensitive. Disaster. After many hours and days dedicated to clean I managed to reach this result. Thanks, WD-40! See before and after:
I have to say the touch of Erika 5 is superb. Fine design.

Olivetti Lettera 32. Big expectations created by opinions I read about it and a little disappointed when I had it in my hands. Its supposed design was not anything shocked to my eyes and I miss check the typo before buying it, a kindergarden mistake. Techno typography is not my favorite. At least it has Spanish keyboard. However, after start using it I was invaded by its magic. Great fine touch! So fast and a pleasure to use. Now I love it and I guess it could be perfect if the typo is a classic one.
It also had a relaxing bath and it became full cleaning and working.

I decided stop buying more German typewriters since flying with them is difficult. I already flew with four of them, with a peak flight where I carried with me two at the same time (19,5 kg of the total weight).


The perfect studio

Here while work in progress. Now I just need to do it in reality. Some day.


About bookbinding: Additional information about sewing

In a previous post I explained how to do you own notebook. Detail about the way of sewing was missing there and it's shown here:

Bound pages after sewing.
Remember that practicing and singing improve the result.


List of my top 5+ favorite books. Update

There are books and divine books. The ingredients which make a book belong to this list are not only the quality of the text or the theme but also the book itself, its style, shape and manufacturing quality. All of them show feeling to your eyes/brain and also to the touch. 

Here is the updated list for this year:

1. Don Quijote de la Mancha. Not too many things to add in this amazing book. It´s THE BOOK. Cervantes passes through all the key points in human life along the pages. Some people think El Quijote is a boring book and difficult to read, however from my point of view it´s the funniest book and with a huge humor sense. The edition by RAE because of the IV Centenary is a must.
2. I Ching. The book about everything. The Oriental view written down on paper. Mystical and wise.

3. Almanach Hachette. A compilation of information decorated with amazing illustrations made in France. Exquisite pickings from the XIX century. Fine touch.
4. Codex Seraphinianus. A completely new world created by Luigi Serafini´s mind. Superb pencil drawings with endless creativity. Unfortunately this edition doesn´t show the quality his artwork deserves.
5. Completed Illustrated works of Lewis Carroll. Not only tales but also Maths exercises, music scores and more.

Extra I: I should mention one more book even when it´s not a book itself but a mix of photos about Peter Bear´s work complied in a book. Full inspirational and obsessive dedication by this master of notebooking.

Extra II: The Orange Manuscript (El Manuscrito Naranja). How to miss it in this list! A mix of notes, hilarious ideas, sketches, travels, calligraphy and “flights of fancy” by José Naranja. No tech used, all handwritten in pocket notebook. An useful recipe included in the pages.