Memorial Day

The other day, a patron at the library wished me “Happy Memorial Day!” Though I have no doubt his heart was in the right place, that’s not really something we say, is it? It’s not a holiday of celebration. It’s a holiday of remembrance. Countless men and women have served and died in the five branches of the United States military. They stood up to protect our country and our freedom. Many volunteered. Many did not.

I am thankful for their service. But there are no words to express my gratitude for their sacrifice. Having written that, gratitude isn’t the word at all. I am heartbroken. I am angry that their sacrifice was necessary at all.

As a pacifist, I ask myself, “Was their sacrifice necessary?” I hope one day the answer will not be so complicated.

Here I write on the Canon Typestar 10-II. I forgot I turned on the spell check, so it beeped at me when I wrote the word Typestar. You would think they would have added the name of the typewriter to the dictionary! I know many of you typewriter purists will declare this a word processor, not a typewriter. Semantics.

This thermal typer is not without its faults. This is my fifth attempt at writing this post. Previously, there was a bizarre error causing the paper to reverse feed… as I was typing! Being an electronic typewriter, it’s impossible to know what was causing that. Not having the manual doesn’t help, either. My shot-in-the-dark guess is perhaps there is an end-of-page sensor–like on the Brother EP43–that is dirty or defective? I have noticed a steady flow of debris sticking to the back of the paper as it feeds through the typewriter.

Did I mention that this model has two options for inserting the paper? There is the slot at the top, much like a regular typewriter, but there is another at the back. Switching to the one on the back seems to have alleviated most of the reverse feeding issue. There was a slight issue in the paragraph above, “I am thankful for…” I think that had more to do with the paper tension, though.

Illustrating the makeshift paper roll holder and handle-as-paper rest.Speaking of paper tension, I think the random beeping was trying to tell me there was a paper jam. Except there wasn’t. I have the thermal fax paper roll mounted on a dowel which is creatively inserted in two wooden ampersands, the kind you find at a craft store. Ingenious, really. Plus, I don’t have the necessary tools to custom make something. A slightly smaller dowel might help; this 1/2″ one is just a bit too snug. This is easily remedied by making sure to give the roll a little slack now and then.

The last feature I’d like to point out is how the carrying handle doubles as a paper rest, just tall enough to help guide the paper over the roll. This is clearly not an accidental feature, as the handle lightly locks in place at a few different angles. Smart!

Useful features of its predecessors that have been replaced by useless features, such as shading patterns, will keep this from being one of my go-to thermals. The Typestar 4 and 5 are still top dogs.

Author: Gregory

2 thoughts on “Memorial Day

    1. Thanks, Joe! I never would have thought of it if I hadn’t seen your videos about the holders you made. Without the tools, I had to get creative. I suppose I could have made the cardboard and duct tape one like yours.

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