Oh, right.  A journal.  I have one of those, too.  I bought it at Lee Valley in December of 2007.  At the time I was reading the aforementioned history of the HBC and most of the research for those books came from journals that the various traders and factors (heads of trading posts or ‘factories’) kept during their time on the Bay. 

Everyman’s Journal – Lee Valley Tools

Writing in this, typically in the evening, is a real pleasure.  I started out with a Parker Urban rollerball pen that I found in the bargain bin of my local office supply store for $4 (may have been a tester.  These pens usually go for $20).  It laid down a very smooth line but it went through the first cartridge in about a month (more evidence of tester-hood) and then all I could find were ballpoint refills.  Parker’s ballpoints are mediocre at best.  I found I had to press really hard to get a line that didn’t skip and stutter all over the page.  I made do for a while with various less expensive but significantly smoother disposable pens before I picked up my knock-off Hero fountain pen on eBay.

Initially, I was hampered by the thought that the day-to-day events of my life are pretty dull and not really worth chronicalling.  I would be halfway through writing an entry (usually about two pages long) and I would think “I don’t care what happened today, why would anybody care to read this” but I’ve moved past that now.  One of the things I’ve learned of myself is that if I don’t write it down, there’s a good chance I won’t remember it for longer than about a day.  I’ve made note of having people over to visit or funny things that happened that day.  I’m not much on keeping track of all my hopes and fears, though things of that nature will occasionally sneak in.  In the past, any time I’ve tried to keep a regular journal, it’s descended into doodles and scribblings of notes from sermons or meetings.  I’m making a concentrated effort with this one to keep it as a kind of record of things that have gone on in my life.  I hope that eventually, somebody reads it and enjoys learning more about my life than I was perhaps able to tell them.

release me, release me