Float About #76... Dedicated to Eskesen Float Pen Collectors
© Copyright Sat/January 25, 2014

Media Sightings
Do you dream of visiting the Eskesen... floaty pen factory in Denmark? Me too! This may be as close as you or I will ever get. Kim Rasmussen, at E, reports “Eskesen A/S was featured in a TV broadcast made by DR-K, our National TV broadcast company. The program focuses on places of work in Denmark. The program The Work Place - Floating Action Pen first aired on Tuesday, December 24th from 11:10 - 11:15 on Danish TV channel DR-K. You now have the possibility to stream it from the archives at DR. It is not GEO controlled, so it can be watched from abroad. Enjoy!”

Click to see video: (Sorry, video was removed Feb 5, 2014)

Even though most of the dialogue is lost on those that fail to understand Danish, the video is fascinating. It begins with a rotating mixer tossing plastic pellets destined to become the window portion of the pen. It ends with two women quietly filling boxes with male and female tip n strips. The featured employees were beaming with pride and exhibited a sweet sense of humor. That comes with the job! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and believe you will too.

Another TV sighting...
Bones, Episode 11 of Season 9... opens with a scene that prominently features an Eskesen tip n strip! The Spark in the Park, aired the night of Fri/Dec 6th. Cable viewers can catch it On Demand. The episode is also available for online viewing. Special FBI Agent, Seeley Booth, played by actor David Boreanaz, always carries an Eskesen tip n strip. Catch Bones on Friday nights.

Follow-Up to Issue #75
Remember the float pen... wrapping paper from LaFamilia Green, that Marisa Barna reported in the last issue of the newsletter? Debbie Carriere, in Winnipeg, had the pleasure of spending quality time with her niece from Virginia. Debbie's niece mentioned seeing the Green Family paper designs at Paper Source in Virginia. Paper Source stores are scattered across the USA. There might be one close to you! Locations listed here... www.paper-source.com. Thanks ladies!

Yeo's 2013 Travelogue...
Wed/July 17th, Douglas and Pat Yeo... returned from their vacation to the Four Corners region of the Southwest. “It was a great ten day trip encompassing Monument Valley AZ (Navajo Tribal Park), Mesa Verde National Park (CO), the Durango and Silverton Railway (CO) and Petrified Forest National Park (AZ). It was a trip filled with great hikes and enjoying things both natural and man made. Inspiring, inspiring, inspiring.”

“On our first night in Monument Valley - where so many famous westerns with John Wayne were filmed including Stage Coach and Fort Apache - there were a few minutes of light rain that cleared up quickly. We looked up and saw a full rainbow from horizon to horizon. I took out my iPhone and captured this panoramic photo. No more words needed!”

Yeo checked dozens of souvenir shops, but not a float pen in sight. “Our last stop was Holbrook, AZ, after our trip to Petrified Forest National Park. We were captivated by the petrified wood we saw and since the Park has a zero tolerance policy on people picking up pieces of petrified wood and putting it in their pocket (good thing!), we decided to visit Jim Gray's Petrified Wood Co. that was nearby. It turns out that over 90% of the petrified wood in Arizona lies on private land outside the Park, so Jim Gray's store has a massive amount that you can purchase to take home legally.

The store had dinosaur fossils and a huge amount of kitsch. I finally found an Eskesen cardboard display of Route 66 float pens. Hooray! While the $4.95 price tag is a little steep, it was heartening to finally find a shop with a float pen for sale.” The pen features a red Corvette floating in/out of a typical American gas station along Route 66. This is the digital version of the old photoramic design. He assumes they would be willing to ship. Inquire here: www.petrifiedwoodco.com.

Sept. 16th, the Yeo family ... ended their summer vacation at Zion National Park. “It is our favorite place in the world. This trip was made all the more special because our daughters and their husbands.”

“As usual, floaty pens were nowhere to be found except at the great White Mountain Trading Post in Orderville, Utah, at the Junction of US 89 and Utah 9.”

The Trading Post had one Zion National Park design. “I spoke with the owner who told me they had a design made with a bus on it because they get so many tour buses stopping at their Trading Post. They plan to keep them in stock.” The pen Doug found is an Eskesen C-Clip. Caption reads, ‘ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah’. Their phone number is 453/648-2030. Hours daily 7am-6pm.

Oct 14th, Doug sent a message... from the Cleveland Airport. He was scouting for float pens while waiting for a flight home to Phoenix. “I find it curious the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shop at CLE airport didn't have any floaty pens but two Hudson News shops did. Clearly the twist n' click is an official Hall of Fame product. They also had a glitter ‘Cleveland Rocks!’ classic style with a clear window. Pens were $3.99 each. After so many trips that came up dry, it was nice to finally find a small store in a small airport that stocked float pens. ”

After spending a week with the Cleveland Orchestra, Doug admits, “It was really great to play with this fine orchestra. I am hopeful I will be invited back to play again. I had a great time in Cleveland. It was nice to run with the big boys again. It was like falling off a bike!”

Vacation is over and Mr. Yeo is back to teaching music at Arizona State. The Yeo's lived in the Boston area for decades. They are in the midst of their second winter in Phoenix. Doug remarked, “Heat doesn't require a shovel.” Easy living! Thank you Douglas for reporting your finds.

California collector, Carol Santos... announced her intent to sell her float pen collection in issue #75. Carol hoped to sell the collection in it's entirety, but she has since changed her mind. She has been parting with individual designs for the last few months. Carol has invested a great deal of time and energy into creating pen galleries which represent many different categories. A lot of the pens are photoramics, no longer in production, some very hard to find. Visit www.sfphotosafari.com to see what remains. Click on Galleries and scroll down to the gallery titled Float Pens for Sale. There you will find the float pens arranged by category. Pens will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. “I have loved every minute of collecting these pens and it has been great interacting with many fellow collectors along the way.” Our best wishes to Carol. The rest of you... have fun shopping!

Way back in August, Annie Ross forwarded... the Noodle Co. picture and info.

“I just got this Noodles Company pen directly from the company. I sent them an email inquiry and they kindly mailed two pens to me.” I can't promise they will do the same for you, but it's worth a try. The floater is an empty bowl that passes through the Noodle Co. to emerge full of noodles. So cute. Thanks a bunch Annie! Earlier, in Float Along, I had a direct link to the Noodle Co. page, but it is now defunct.

Sept 19th, Victoria B returned from... her second Alaska cruise. ”We spent four nights within Denali National Park, and went out every day with our photo tour group in search of animals and scenery. I missed some great shots because I wasn't quick enough to capture the wildlife, but I was thrilled to see so many animals. I had better success with scenic shots.”

“During my travels, I found four floaty pen designs. The Hudson News Store at the Seattle Airport had both the ‘Seattle, Washington’ pen with the coffee cup floater, and the design with the word ‘Seattle’ floating across the city. The Hudson News Store at the Anchorage Airport sells the ‘Alaska’ pen that featured a cruise ship floating past a mountain, with a bear and some trees in the foreground. All three pens are classic Eskesen digitals. I did not find any Eskesen pens at the Vancouver Airport. Instead they had those thick Vietnamese light-up pens and the Taiwanese keychain pens with beads, glitter, and seemingly random rubber items inside.” (All three of the designs Victoria mentioned are from Topline Products, Inc. Both of the Seattle designs are currently on my Main List.)

“On my last Alaska cruise I found a ship-specific pen and keychain on the MS Ryndam, pictured in FloatAbout #63. On this cruise, aboard the MS Statendam, I found a digital C-Clip and a keychain that had a new design. I suspect the company decided it was cheaper to sell the same pen on all their ships, rather than making different ones. Does anyone know if that's true? I was nonetheless happy to find them, especially since they are Eskies. ”

“The clerk seemed surprised when I told her about my hobby, but I noticed she restocked the display the next day. The pens were by the register, but the keychains were on a spinning rack with other small items. I wonder which sells most often?” Thank you for your floaty report Victoria!

Kevin, a friend and as such also a.... float pen scout, found this Bear Country pen for Debbie Carriere's collection. “The Bear Country USA site is 8 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota on State Highway 16. Their gift shop is near the park exit (i.e. No Entry). Entry fee to the park is $16 per adult or $60 per vehicle. A Google search shows a gate by the exit with ‘No Entry’ signs posted. Not sure if you could gain access to the gift shop without paying the park entry fee.” The pen is a digital Eskie and sells for $3.99 + tax.

Collectors News....
Mr. Zanat notified me... regarding float pens he has for trade/sale. See examples numbered 1-14. These designs were custom made by Zanat to represent groups of collectors or individuals. If you are interested contact Mr. Zanat directly at mahfoudzanat@free.fr. Visit his website... http://simscollection.free.fr

In July, Danish collector, Finn Sørensen... attended the Pen and Pencil Collectors Convention in the USA. Afterwards, he traveled to DC to spend a few days with the Maddox family. Yes, Micale Maddox from Ideal Motion Promotion. Micale and Bary gave Finn a grand tour of the local hot spots and city highlights. Sadly Finn left just before the 4th of July fireworks. Even so, he has no regrets. Finn had a blast in the USA and returned to Denmark with a bounty of float pens.

Nancy Nerenberg of FloatArt... made her way to Cleveland, OH this summer. Nancy plays basketball in a women's league. Still kicking myself for not getting over to see her and catch a game. Nancy and I have met on a couple of occasions in San Francisco. This time she was in my territory, but scheduling prevented a get-together. Next time for sure.

The Strong, is an interactive museum... devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame and so much more. Beverly Broadstone asked if anyone had brought this special addition included in their online collection to my attention? They had not. The classic Statue of Liberty float pen is featured here: http://www.thestrong.org/online-collections/. A toy collection would not be complete without a float pen. Apparently The Strong agrees. We would have missed this one for sure. Thanks so much Beverly!

Beverly and George Broadstone booked tickets... for the Queen Mary's Chill. “They have larger than life frozen sculptures in nine degree temps. I figure that's the closest thing to the Ice Hotel in Sweden we'll ever see, plus they have a frozen penguin sculpture! The tix included admission to the Queen Mary, so it would also be an opportunity to shop for float pens.”

Beverly made an inquiry at the first gift shop she encountered. The clerk mentioned getting a phone call from another customer inquiring about float pens too! The clerk was unable to fulfill the phone order because her store had sold out. She kindly directed Beverly to another shop onboard where Bev was able to purchase a handful of pens. Beverly thought the collector that called-in might be a Float About reader. So, if it was you on the phone... Beverly has a few extra Queen Mary pens for trade! You can reach her here, floatypenguin@earthlink.net.

July 17th, Craig and Terri Wilson... were exploring Portland, Oregon. Craig had yet to find a float pen, but he hadn't given up. These pics were taken a few days before. I don't know where Terri is, but Craig is obvioulsy having a great time. Craig shared, “Aisha Tyler, author, actress, television celebrity, voiceover talent, fierce videogamer and comedienne extraordinaire delights an appreciative crowd with a reading from her new book, ‘Self-inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation.’ Yes, that's our very own Craig with Aisha Tyler at Powell's. For more of Wilson's escapades visit https://www.Facebook.com.

Craig Wilson is ready to.... withdraw his recommendation for Bento. “I just got word that the Bento app for iPad, which I use to catalog my pens, won't work with Apple's latest iOS upgrade (7). Not only that, FileMaker is discontinuing Bento completely as of next year this time -- both the mobile and desktop versions of the app. Their solution? Give them MORE money to migrate the data to FileMaker Pro for desktop systems, and FileMaker Go for mobile devices. And get this: you can't create or modify the data on the mobile device, you can only display what you've done on the desktop, and, unlike Bento, you can't sync the two wirelessly. You have to use a cable! So they want you to pay more for less, with no guarantee they won't leave you high and dry the next time Apple updates its OS. I'm about ready to become a Microsoft Excel believer.”

Craig, you have every right to be upset. Leaving customers high and dry is now a common and accepted business practice. This country is overflowing with abandoned electronics that are rendered useless long before they expire. It's so frustrating. Perhaps the worst part is... what can we do about it?! We are truly at the mercy of the major computer and software corporations.

Before I forget...
Holger Benedikt
needs these
Diddl designs.
If you can you help, contact Holger at holbewe@alltrawell.de.

Pens Past, Present and Future....
Float About has been plagued... by technical difficulties. It began October 11th when my computer wouldn't boot. Everything went downhill from there. Months of images and data lost forever. The new computer will not run or recognize my HP scanner. The wonderful CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 5 photo editing software, purchased in 2013, is incompatible with Windows 8. However, for just $200 a compatible ‘upgrade’ is available! (Yes Craig... I feel your pain!) To date, I can not open or move my saved email files or address book. In my defense, my seasoned computer techs couldn't do it either. After a major meltdown I was seriously thinking about closing Float About forever.

Now for the good news. My old XP laptop will run my scanner. It's slow, but gets the job done. A new address book has been cobbled together from past invoices, a greeting card list and ancient data files. Over 100 email addresses are still missing in action. If you did not receive an email notice of this issue, you are one of the lost souls. Please check-in. My techs installed an app called Dos Box to allow access to our old DOS programs. Since day one, in 1983, all of our custom programming has been generated in DOS, including the pen lists and invoicing system. Functioning in Dos Box is going well, but I am unable to print anything from DOS. Is it really any wonder more and more consumers are migrating to Linux? We have been tempted to switch, now more so than ever before!

Sorry, no lottery... this time. Duplicates will be sold first come - first served. Over the last seven weeks 150 pens were scanned. It was necessary to sell many of the designs in advance to generate immediate revenue. That's why there are so few duplicates. Another lottery is unlikely, at least for awhile. Since we retired from craft shows, pens are my only real income. It's time to find more expedient ways to distribute pens. Maybe smaller batches could be posted on a regular basis instead of months apart. Pen lists could be passed from collector to collector. I'm weighing the options. Your suggestions are welcome. No matter the method of dispersal, pen scanning will resume soon.

Main List Sale!
The annual February... Main List Sale begins now and ends midnight, February 14th, Valentine's Day. $1 will be deducted from the price of any pen, priced $3 or more, featured on the Main List. Main List categories include Advertise through US Locations and everything in between. The sale excludes New Arrivals and Duplicates.

If you submitted something... for inclusion in this newsletter, and it wasn't there... it was likely lost in the crash. If the item is still timely, please resend. It can easily be added to Float Along.

Each year, Sørensen... hosts a Christmas Calendar and participants have a chance to win pens. Congratulations to all! The 2013 prize winners as follows...
Denmark: Kim Svendsen and Michael Kofoed
Norway: John Barmen and Rune Jørgenstuen
Germany: Holger Benedikt and Ingolf Hoffman
Netherlands: Miranda Wittebol and Kees Beijers
Last, but not least... from Canada, Nobuko Ochiai
See pictures of the 2013 winners here: http://www.pencollector.dk/.
While you are there, be sure to explore Finn's website. He has many outstanding pens featured.

Stop the Presses....
Marisa Barna forwarded... three new pen leads! First, a new Star Wars pen! The caption includes, “Star Wars Celebration Europe, Messe Essen, Germany, July 26-28, 2013”. It is a nice digital. $9.99 each plus shipping to the USA for 3 pens was very reasonable at $5.84. Order here: http://www.thinkgeek.com.

The America's National Parks site has a new pen featuring the Civil War. They are on sale for $2.95. US Shipping is around $4-6 depending on quantity. (NOTE: pen sold out.)

The National Corvette Museum has a new design! $3.50 each + s/h. Order here: http://store.corvettemuseum.com. Thanks Marisa! Great finds.

On the Homefront....
We did not make our way.... to the Grand Canyon or anywhere else. Bill experienced heart issues, which have since been resolved. It wasn't a good time to stray far from home. Several collectors shared their tried and true itineraries and must see destinations. I look forward to the day we can put them to good use. We will consider our vacation options this summer, maybe fall. For those that offered tips and ideas... thank you!

Have you been on the road? Find any floaty pens online or in your travels? Please share your info. It's getting so difficult to uncover new designs. Your assistance is always appreciated.

We have had a rough... three months. We lost two of our six cats and Itsy is in trouble. Sylvester developed a mass in his chest and his liver was inflamed. The vet believes it was related to his Leukemia. Sylvie's symptoms came on quickly and three days later, Oct 26th, we did what had to be done. Kitchy's Jan 12th passing was unexpected and quite shocking. We presume it was a massive heart attack. The vet agreed. We continue to nurse our only female feline, Itsy Bitsy. For the moment she is stable. Kobesan, Longjohn and Pancho are doing well, but we all mourn our losses.

Bill and I resumed.... our clay classes January 22nd. Ohio winters are pretty gloomy so we really look forward to any creative outlet. What are you doing to pass the winter months? Cataloging pens? Watching movies? Dealing with the Polar Vortex or enjoying warmer climates? We are here to stay for at least a few months. I anxiously await your wishlists and orders. Desperately need the distraction.

I sincerely hope 2014 has been good to you so far.
Still afloat...

That's all for now. Updates will be added to Float Along.
Check it frequently for incoming news!

Go forward to read Issue #77, it posted Mon/Sept 22, 2014
Back up and read Issue #75, it posted Mon/July 1, 2013

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FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 (11 am - midnight EST)
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