Float Along... Continuous floaty updates (Coverage between Issues 79 & 80)
Latest updates added Sun/October 16, 2016

You are in the right place... Float Along is a bulletin page that will keep you up-to-date between issues of the Float About newsletter. Bookmark this page for updates and time sensitive news. So what happened to the information that was posted here? It was removed Tues/Feb 16, 2016 to be enhanced and edited to become issue #79 of the newsletter, FloatAbout. Information received after issue #79 has posted will be gathered on this page, thus called Float Along. After a few months the information presented here will be edited and enhanced to become issue #80. And so it goes from newsletter to newsletter.

Issue #79 of Float About posted at 10:00pm (EST) Thursday/February 18, 2016... read all about it

Sun/Oct 16, 2016
Work on the June Lottery and Issue #80... came to a halt mid-July. Our temperatures were much higher than predicted so knowing I couldn't ship gave me time to do other things. As you know, I am easily distracted! We did enjoy periods of relief from the heat, but overall it was a sultry summer. Autumn has been lovely so far. We really appreciate the cooler temps and are beginning to see color changes in the trees.

Float About celebrates it's 21st anniversary this month, but with issue #80 running so late, I can't get psyched about it. I do have 200 pens scanned, but I want the next 50 pens that get scanned to be special. Sorry the newsletter and lotery are both so late.

More news will be posted here before the week is over, but I want to share the Alice Underground pen info sooner than later. Dorothy Bater sent the information yesterday.

Alice Underground Pens

The items listed below were submitted throughout the spring and summer months. I have a few more interesting tid bits to add, but Monday we are off to Columbus for a routine medical appointment.

It is with great pleasure... I announce a major floaty milestone for Mr. Zanat.
He is celebrating 30 years of float pen collecting. Congratulations Mahfoud! That is amazing.
Can you remember the exact date, the year or event that sparked your float pen obsession?
I would love to hear it. Please share your personal story.

Mr. Zanat Celebrates 30 Years of Float Pen Collecting

A few weeks back, Miranda ... emailed a link to an eBay listing which offered the item below.
She thought I might be interested. While Tip n Strips are not really my thing, I know others
that treasure them. After forwarding this link to Nils Alisch, he informed me he immediately
purchased the Show-Girls. Pretty cool piece of floaty history. Congrats to you Nils.

Vintage Tip n Strip Display Acquired by Nils Alisch

Sat/April 2, 2016
The February Lottery is over, so remaining Duplicates have been consolidated into one page. Designs that have SOLD have been removed from the list. Important: Refresh or reload your screen when you open webpages. Depending on when you read this, the updated files will be dated Sat/April 2, 2016, or later. This link will take you to the remaining Duplicates from the latest issue, #79. It is followed by inventory from issue #78. Duplicates are now available on a first come - first served basis.

Pens Out and About...
Tues/April 12, 2016
Eldor Gilje, of Norway announced via Facebook, a recent find from the Stavanger Airport.
Eldor has extras on hand for trade or sale. Reach him directly gilje_2@hotmail.com.

Stavanger Airport Pen

Christina Pleva Tompkins has floaty news.... to share. “I wanted to say ‘thanks’ for the information that Marisa Barna shared with fellow collectors about the penguin floaty pen from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh! As a penguin collector, I HAD to get it! I contacted the National Aviary gift shop, and they were extremely helpful and friendly. I was able to purchase the pen have it shipped to me for a minimal fee. They were so pleased to make the sale. In addition, I have some exciting news about Eskesen pens making their way back into the tourist traps in Venice, Italy! For several years now, Chinese pens seem to have dominated the Italian market, but on a recent business trip to Italy, my husband found a new digital Eskesen design!” That is great news. Christina provided the photo below.

Venice, Italy

USPS Postal Rate Increase...
A year passed between issue #79 and #80 so when it came time to ship lottery packages I discovered I was really out of the loop. My eBay buddies had been complaining about the January rate increase. After a visit to the USPS website, I knew why. Domestic rates had a minimal increase while international increases were substantial.

After researching the new USPS International Postal rates it's was apparent their entire pricing platform has changed. Instead of increasing rates for every few ounces, there are BIG jumps between increases.

1-8 ounce package to Europe is $13.50 (holds 1-13 pens)
9-32 ounce package to Europe is $22.50 (holds about 48 pens)
There are no longer any incremental rates in between. Refer to chart.

If you would like to combine orders with collectors in your area, I will be happy to do so. As always, I will pack the pens as safe and light as possible.

The February Lottery opened with 250... duplicate designs and 29 players. The majority of the designs were in quantities of ONE. There were 35-50 really popular designs requested over and over making this a very competitive game.

The 29 wishlists submitted were arranged in order determined by a computerized random list creator, https://www.random.org. Then the actual drawing began. The first pen requested on the first list was moved from inventory to the collector's personal file folder. Then the second list, third.... through the 29th. When all 29 lists were handled, each participant had ONE pen in their file folder. However, even in the first round, it isn't unusual for first choices to be gone. In that case, I refer to the collector's second request. I've never done this before and it's unlikely I will ever do it again, but I've compiled a blow-by-blow history of the first two rounds in the February 2016 Lottery below. It is far too labor intensive to make a habit of doing this. If you can't spot your numbers, just ask, I will be happy to tell you which number represents you in both rounds.

For privacy code names are not included.
The number refers to the order dictated by the randomizer.
This is how the First Round unfolded:
01. Turkey/Blue Voyage/Sailing Ship
02. Italy/Roma/Vatican
03. Adv/DisneyStore/Roma/Mickey & Pizza
04. Adv/Tokyo Tower/Family
05. Adv/Spee/Fox (fountain pen)
06. Adv/Matsuyama Castle/6 Men
07. Art/Vincent Van Gogh/Palette
08. Cartoon/Felix the Cat/Surfs
09. Cartoon/Pink Panther
10. Adv/Universal Studios/Woody Woodpecker
11. Mexico/Puerto Vallarta/Jeep
12. Adv/Matsuyama Castle/6 Men (gone)
....2nd choice: Adv/Muchacha/Hula Dancers
13. Adv/Hee Haw Village/Mule
14. Adv/Esso/Oil Can (pencil)
15. Turkey/Blue Voyage/Sailing Ship (gone)
....2nd choice: Adv/Cassis & Co./Moose
16. Adv/HBO Earth to Moon
17. Adv/Retrobank/Paradise Moon
18. Adv/E Hemingway/Tabby Cat
19. Adv/Carnegie Museum/Dino
20. Cartoon/Disney/Alice in Wonderland
21. Adv/MS King Olav/Ship
22. IT/Positano/Family
23. Portugal Sagres Algarve
24. Adv/Carnegie/Dino (gone)
....2nd choice:Adv/Chattanooga Choo Choo
25. Adv/The Last House/John O'Groats
26. Antigua/Cruise Ship
27. Canada/Prince Ed Island/Ship
28. Adv/Nexo Vodbinderi/Shuttle
29. Sports/Stoke City Football
At the end of Round One, two players were eliminated.

27 people continued to play Round Two:
01. Adv/Chesapeake Bay/Seagulls
02. Adv/Bebe Hollandaise/Can
03. Scotland/Loch Ness/Nessie
04. Ireland/Killarney/Wagon
05. Adv/Disney-Hasbro/Wuzzles
06. Adv/Business POST letter opener
07. Adv/MS Scotia
08. IT/Rome/Vatican (gone)
....2nd choice: DE/First State/Bi-Plane
09. Humor/Junk Food
10. Mexico/Puerto Vallarta (gone)
....2nd choice: Cartoon/Pink Panther (gone)
....3rd choice: Cartoon/Popeye
11. Cartoon/Disney Store/Roma (gone)
Adv/L Pearson Airport/Jet
12. Adv/Le Mans/Racecar
13. Caribbean/Barbados/Golf Cart
14. Adv/Good & Plenty/Wagon
15. Adv/Universal Stu/Woody Woodpecker (gone)
Cartoon/Looney Tunes/Pepe' le Pew
16. 2nd choice: Adv/Muchacha/Hula Dancers (gone)
....3rd choice: Adv/Retrobank/Silver Moon (gone)
....4th choice: Antigua/Cruise Ship(gone)
....5th choice: MX/Puerto Vallarta/Jeep (gone)
....6th choice: Turkey/Blue Voyage/Ship (gone)
Wishlist #16 consisted of six items total. The collector
won their first choice, but then luck abandoned them.
17. Cartoon/Pink Panther (gone)
....3rd choice: Adv/I Have a Dream
18. CA/Catalina Island
19. Cartoon/Betty Boop in Paris
20. Event/Die Mauer/Berlin Wall
21. 2nd choice: Adv/Le Mans/Race Car (gone)
....3rd choice: Adv/Disney-Hasbro Wuzzles (gone)
....4th choice: Cartoon/Casper set of 6 pens
22. Austria/Wien Prater/Mini Train
23. Adv/Vincent Van Gogh/Palette (gone)
....3rd choice: Humor/Set of 4 Nudes
24. Adv/Riverdance/Dancers
25. Adv/Good and Plenty/Wagon (gone)
....3rd choice: Adv/Paul Bunyan and Babe
26. Sports/Stoke City Football (gone)
....3rd choice: Adv/L Pearson Airport (gone)
....4th choice: Adv/Muchacha/Hula Dancers (gone)
....5th choice: Adv/Sydney Aquarium/Shark
27. Cartoon/Casper set of 6
Two more players were eliminated in Round Two.
25 players continued.

As players are eliminated their codes are removed from the list. Code numbers still in play are randomized between every round. It took over 30 rounds to complete the lottery. As in every lottery, there is always one person that gets everything, or almost everything on their list. Sadly there is another collector that gets next to nothing! Luckily most participants fall in the middle. Of the 29, there were only three that didn't win their first choice pen, but they were happy to get their second pick. Overall everyone was pleased with their winnings.

Target date for the next float pen lottery is June.

On the Homefront...
Thurs/April 28, 2016
Just a quick spring update... from sunny Mansfield, Ohio. This time of year it isn't unusual to wake to the sound of lawn mowers or chainsaws. There is always grass to be mowed and vegetation to trim, but this year there is an epidemic movement to cut down trees. It started with the neighbor behind us, then beside us, and sadly that was just the tip of the iceberg.

The pics below reflect the 2015 and 2016 view from our kitchen window and back porch. We were shocked to see the Pines come down, but that wasn't enough. They also removed a Choke Cherry and some berry bushes. Our view has drastically changed. Bill and I are surprised how much we miss the row of plush green Pines. What a waste! We aren't sure why the last Pine was spared, but for that we are grateful.

Pine Trees Down

Hardwoods exchanged for Poles

As if that weren't bad enough... less than a week passed before mass destruction ensued. A few decades ago there were in-depth conversations about burying electric wires and cables underground. Erasing poles and wires from the visual landscape was the ultimate goal for the future. We waited patiently.... nothing happened. We were shocked when a caravan of large white trucks rolled into our neighborhood and chopped down beautiful old growth hardwood trees one house after another. Soon after the massacre they returned to plant giant dark poles beside the older poles and added even more unsightly wires?! Everyone we talk to is dismayed by the transformation. The project is far from finished, but this deep into the project, there's no stopping it now.

What appears to be mulch in the photo is actually shredded tree stumps. The photo represents three front yards, but this goes on for a mile and will continue. As we drive up/down Home Road on a daily basis it is simply depressing to see the devastation. My dear friend, Marilyn, lives in Lima, OH. She tells me the same thing is going on there. Have you had this experience? Please forgive me for ranting, but this qualifies as big news in our area.

My neighbor, Cyndi, is a dear friend and our trusted house and cat sitter. Soon Cyndi and hubby will move to Columbus to be closer to their daughters. Now that they are both retired, it's the logical thing to do. While we are quite happy for their family, we honestly hate to see them go. I miss them already. Have to remind myself Columbus is just 60 miles away. It was mighty considerate of them to choose Columbus. Lots of Ohioans retire to the Carolinas, Tennessee or Florida. Thanks to the Internet we will stay in touch.

On a happier note, temps continue to fluctuate but our days are getting longer. Even on our coolest days we often enjoy sunshine. Many of Bill's flowers are in bloom and he just finished planting buckets of bulbs. Our son, Josh, will take his GRE in May. If all goes well, he will begin his graduate work early in 2017. I've been distracted by the estate sale and the flea market, but soon I will get back to scanning. Hope you are enjoying your spring season. Have a great weekend!

That's all for now! Check back periodically for updates.

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