My New Toy: The Pilot Cavalier

First it was arthritis.  Then it was atrial fibrillation.  Then my leg blew up to the size of a telephone pole (slight exaggeration for effect).  That turned out to be osteoarthritis in my knee and a long set of physio treatments.  Then it became a steady stream of doctor’s appointments.  This torture just would not end, but it has, sort of.

As long as I fill my gut with pills twice a day, my heart is under control, my arthritis is only problem on really “bad” days, and I’m getting used to not walking as far as I’d like and doing so with a limp.  Things are looking up.

It got better when my doctor informed me that I have type 2 diabetes.  I guess that was the dessert after my months of dining on medical treatments.  But you know what?  That’s good news.  For the past half a year I’ve been very fatigued, having less and less energy.  Initially I attributed it to all those doctor visits but eventually concluded that it was just cuz this was what “old” felt like.  It wasn’t an encouraging prognosis.  But, eliminating the cookies (my favorite thing) and adding a couple more pills to my diet and I’ve gotten my energy back.  I call that a win.

So enough about health, let’s talk about my new toy, the Pilot Cavalier fountain pen.  When I got mine I couldn’t find one in North America so I bought through a third-party vendor via Amazon.  But Jet Pens now stocks them in several colours.

I bought this pen because I enjoy quick-sketching with my Kaweco Lilliput but find the screwing and unscrewing its cap to be sort of annoying when I’m wanting to quickly sketch someone in the food court.  One thing I like a lot about the Lilliput, however, is that it’s got a pencil-size diameter and it’s very light.

The Cavalier has both of those attributes associated with a standard length pen.  The cap snaps in place nicely and seals well.  It also posts well, something I have to have in a sketching pen or I’d lose the cap.  Because it’s a Pilot pen, the steel nib provides a smooth feel.

This pen accepts Pilot cartridges but one problem is that the barrel of the pen is just narrow enough that you can’t use Pilot’s CON-50 converter so I have use a syringe to get waterproof ink into empty Pilot cartridges.  It’s said that you can use the CON-20 converter (the rubber bulb-style converter in it but I like syringe filling so I haven’t tried that.  This pen has found a place in my pen quiver, mostly for quick-sketching food court people.  Here’s a sketch I did while test-driving it.  This was also the beginning of a new Stillman & Birn Alpha softcover (5.5×8.5).  I haven’t used this format in quite some time and thought it might be a good idea.

6 thoughts on “My New Toy: The Pilot Cavalier

  1. Good to hear you’re feeling on the upswing, and also great to see you sketching again! And with a new toy, yet! You deserve one. Wow, that blue is gorgeous. I think you’re better off refilling the cartridges. . .the CON-20 has a pretty small capacity.

    – Tina

    • You’re right about the CON-20. Also, you never know how much ink you have. The one problem (feature?) of Pilot cartridges is that they’re very large/long and the ink can get trapped away from the feed. Otherwise, they’re great.

  2. It’s good to hear you are on the mend Larry!

    A new toy always boosts the spirit and the artistic juices begin to flow.


    • The sad thing, Alan is that I bought this pen weeks ago, filled it with ink, scribbled a bit, and it has sat idle since then. Having my energy back makes all the difference in the world, even with new toys 🙂

  3. A new artist’s tool is usually a joy … Yours looks very elegant.

    I’ve told many people that my husband’s diagnosis of type II diabetes was a blessing. We bought three books and immediately improved his diet …. and suddenly he wasn’t so tired. After a year and a half he was able to get off metformin and now we can control it with just diet, exercise and weight control. It really pays off to eat properly. Good luck on your journey!

    • I suppose it’s always best to just avoid being ill but if you are ill, it’s great to know about it 🙂 I’m just thrilled that I have my energy back, even if I now have to fight to get my blood glucose levels under control. Glad it’s worked out for your husband. It gives me hope.

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