Friday, 22 August 2014

Saturday 23/8/14 - Another Quiet Week, Happy Birthday Pussy Galore, Inflated Page-views & This Week's Wristwatches



-Saturday 12.32pm AEST- 


Last weekend
       For Lolly Night, we sat down to watch The Fall (Dir: Tarsem, 2006). I had heard about this film some time ago and kept meaning to see it. The director, Tarsem Singh, was known for making music clips and TV commercials before embarking on this film. Much like Russell Mulcahy, who directed a heap of Duran Duran, Elton John and Bonnie Tyler film-clips before going on to make films such as Razorback (1984), which was like Jaws, except with a wild boar instead of a shark, and Highlander in 1986.


I have found that film directors who cut their teeth on TV commercials and video clips tend to have a very economical way of telling a story and a great visual style. This is because they usually have 30 seconds to four minutes to get a story across. 
The Fall is set in a hospital in Los Angeles sometime in the 1920s and centres on a little girl who is there with her arm in plaster. She strikes up a friendship with a Hollywood stuntman who is bedridden after an on-set injury. To pass the time, he tells her a story about a mythical band of men who are determined to kill the villainous Governor Odious, who has betrayed them all in one way or another. 
Visually, this is a beautiful film, especially when you consider that no CGI effects were used. The most striking fact of all is that this film was shot in 28 countries over a four-year period. I have to say that this film is worth watching just for the opening titles alone. Shot in black and white and played in beautiful slow-motion, it gives the viewer the background story as to how the stuntman got injured.
Here's a link to the title-credits sequence, courtesy of the fantastic website, Art of the Title.com;


Earlier in the day, we all went into the city. The kids are about four weeks away from semester break and my wife and I have informed them that we'll be taking a few outings here and there. Since the Thailand trip two months ago was the big expense, we figure we may as well have a few cheap thrills for a while. 
I wound up finding a new watch store in town and couldn't resist the urge to go in and take a look, especially since this store carried a few brands that you couldn't get in Australia until recently. The store had a display for a brand called Eberhard & Co. I made a beeline for it and noticed a very nice chronograph to the left of the display. It looked much like this;

                                          picture courtesy of www.timeandwatches.com

I took a closer look at this classic mid-Sixties Contograf to find some tiny nicks and scratches here and there on the case. As I was approaching this display, I had already suspected that this watch was a vintage piece, based on its size, and sure enough, it was. 
The saleslady that I spoke to explained to me that the owner of the store had over three hundred watches (and I thought I had it bad) and some of them were displayed throughout the store. A nice idea, to be sure, but it back-fired with me because I found myself liking the vintage watches instead of the new (and displayed to sell) re-editions that were based on some of these vintage models.  
I was wearing the Longines from last week;

 
 
Geez, that's a bad photo. Maybe this one's better?


Monday
       Another day of industry placement. It's going okay. I have two more shifts after this one. Then, I'm gonna keep my ear to the ground regarding actual paid work in a library. I may do some voluntary work at my kid's school library if I can swing it. 


Tuesday
       This arrived.




I'm not entirely certain if I have read the stories in this collection, but I learned earlier this year that a bunch of Hammett's writings were found...I can't recall exactly where, University of Texas, maybe?...a couple of years ago and they were due to be published soon.
I'm currently reading a novel by Dan Fesperman entitled The Double Game. It's very good so far. Sort of a love letter to spy fiction. Very clever. 


I had to go into town. I was meant to go in last Wednesday to see the "Mirror of the World- Books and Beyond" exhibition at the State Library, but I stayed home with my sick daughter instead.
And also, I saw a great trench-coat at a great price on the weekend and I wanted to have a better look at it. My Burberry trench is getting on in years (I bought it in 1987. Read all about it in my 'Man With a Hat' post from early last year) and I've been on a passive hunt for a replacement because there's absolutely no way I'm paying 2014 Burberry trench-coat prices. More importantly, their current range is too damn short. Not a trench-coat. More like a longish jacket. And that won't do.
The weather was a little cool. I grabbed a coat. I planned on travelling light. No bag or satchel.
Just this;

The pencil case was a tad overkill, but I had a pocket in my coat where it wouldn't get in the way. 

It was a nice exhibition, on long-term display. I took a few notes and pictures. 
Here's a copy of Audubon's Birds of America (published 1827-1838). The largest book on display;


And the smallest books were in this set of miniatures, known back then as a midget library. This set, made in circa 1895, contained a Bible, a Qu'ran, French, English and German dictionaries, and a book of poems by Robert Burns. I'm sure they were all abridged versions, heh, heh. I held my pen up against the glass. The books were one the other side, about six inches away.


And this scroll looked amazing. I can't recall what it was. To the left of it was a bound copy of The Qu'ran. Just above that was a tattered leather satchel that was used to house this sacred text. Extraordinary.


Excuse the quality of the photos. They were taken with my phone. If I'd known I could have brought a camera, then I would have. Looks like I'll have to go back and take a longer and more detailed look at all of this. 
And I never get sick of this view;




Even on an overcast day, it lights up quite impressively. Or maybe it's all that knowledge and history in print that gives this domed Reading Room its glow.
Either way, it's always an impressive sight.










When I got home, I switched watches.Time to put on something a little more robust. So on went the Omega Seamaster 300 rebuild;


Wednesday
       I've been keeping an eye on my page-views lately. Reason being that I'm getting way too many hits on that Dry Martini post that I wrote last year. This Blog has reached just over 300,000 views, but I find it not an occasion to celebrate because that number was inflated by the martini post views. Here are the all-time stats. Are there really that many people interested in how I mix a Dry Martini? And I can't find the traffic source. This internet's a tricky, tricky thing;


Friday
       And it was this lady's 89th birthday today;

Happy Birthday, Miss Honor Blackman. She's doing well. It has often been said that if you wanted to explain to somebody what a James Bond film was all about, you would just tell them to watch Goldfinger (Dir: Guy Hamilton, 1964). That's the movie that pretty much explains all of the motifs, tropes and 'ideology' behind the Bond films. Well, at least until Casino Royale in 2006.

I got home from my second-last shift of industry placement. It was getting a little chilly. Time for a thicker layer of clothing.
And a drink.


Man, that Dewar's scotch goes down a little rough.

Today (Saturday)
       Some of you may have noticed that I'm a day late with this post. Ah well, it ain't the end of the world.

Anyway, gang, thanks for reading and have a great weekend. And one more pic of the Seamaster 300. Yes, the picture was taken yesterday, but I'm still wearing it today.


Have a good one, all!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday 15/8/14 - RIP Robin Williams & Lauren Bacall (dammit!), Remembering Ian Fleming, a Very Brittle Cork & This Week's Wristwatches.

- Friday 10:36pm AEST -

Last weekend
       Sat down to watch "Trouble With The Curve" (Dir: Robert Lorenz, 2012), a film about an ageing baseball scout, starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams. I hadn't heard of this film, but then, I blame that on the fact that US Premiere magazine is no longer published and I don't have my finger on the pulse regarding films in production and new releases the way I used to. 


This was a good film and I thought it was one that Eastwood had directed himself until I checked the DVD's case about halfway through. At any rate, this film had the feel of an Eastwood-directed film, especially in terms of theme, its notions of masculinity, and pace. And I must say that, at the age of 84, Mr Eastwood moves like a guy 25 years younger. Long may he reign.

The rest of the cast was great. Amy Adams did a great job of playing Eastwood's estranged daughter and Justin Timberlake turns in a fine performance as a former pitcher searching for purpose. The remaining cast is made up of many great character actors like Ed Lauter, George Wyner, Bob Gunton and Robert Patrick. These guys may not sound like household names, but if you've watched tv or movies in the past 20 or 30 years, you will recognise their faces. All in all, it was a very good film. Highly recommended.

picture courtesy of http://www.impawards.com
/2012/trouble_with_the_curve_ver3.html

Monday
       I had a visit from one of my lecturers at work today. Everything seems to be going along smoothly. I have another five days left in this industry placement gig. Spent the morning doing some indexing of old local newspapers to find mention of this library for historical purposes. Then I hit the non-fiction shelves and put away some books. My Dewey decimal knowledge was a little rusty at first, but I soon settled back into it. 
Got a text message from my wife; "Found a blue and cream Remington Envoy III at op shop. It says 'Sperry Rand' on it. Seems like it works ok. Needs new ribbon, though. Do you want it?"
"How much?", was my reply.
"25", was her response.
I said 'yes'. I already knew what to expect. A plastic, Made in Holland machine with those bucket keytops and that annoying spool-less ribbon system that Remington were known for. Still, I figured I would clean it up as a catch-&-release exercise. Might have to remove the shell and vacuum the dust out of it, though.
Since the weekend, I've been wearing the Sinn 103. Here's an old photo that I took in Mike's lightbox. Mike is the guy who did that Seamaster case restoration that I wrote about some time ago;


Tuesday
      It was awful to hear of the death of Robin Williams. While I can't say I was a huge fan, I must admit that he was always very funny on-screen and a totally unpredictable talk-show guest. So I suppose I must have been a big enough fan of his without really realising it.
He was able to play serious as well as he could play comedy, and whenever he did take on a dramatic role, he did it to say something about human nature. Stop and think about films such as Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King or Good Will Hunting and you begin to see the broader themes that he liked to tackle and just how gifted an actor he was when playing it straight.
Like many gifted comedians, such as Spike Milligan and Jim Carrey, Williams suffered from deep depression throughout much of his adult life. It seems that this is often the price that they pay for being able to make us laugh.
Director Garry Marshall, who first signed Williams on to play his famous TV character Mork in an episode of Happy Days in 1978 said; "Robin could make everyone happy but himself."
It was a shame that Robin Williams had reached the point of despair that he felt only death could alleviate.
Definitely another actor gone too soon.

Later in the day, I remembered that Ian Fleming died on this day in 1964, following a heart attack. That day, August 12th, also happened to be his son Caspar's twelfth birthday. 
While Fleming was indeed a heavy smoker and drinker, I feel that it was the legal trouble that ensued after he published "Thunderball" in 1961 that exacerbated his ill health. Sometime in the 1950s, he met with a film-maker named Kevin McClory with a view to creating a Bond film entitled Longitude 78 West. Along the way, they brought a screenwriter named Jack Whittingham on board. 
Long story short, a script was completed, but never put into production. Fleming later used the screenplay as the basis for his Bond novel Thunderball. McClory and Whittingham then resurfaced with a view to taking Fleming to court over his use of their ideas in his book. Needless to say, it was all a lot more convoluted than my explanation, but this court battle went on for a few more years and I'm certain that it all took a heavy toll on Fleming's health. It was all still unresolved at the time of his death, but from late 1961 onwards, the recto page of all copies of Thunderball stated that the story was "based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the author". 
However, Kevin McClory would not go away quietly. By 1962, producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had secured the rights to make James Bond movies through their production company, EON, and they wasted no time in getting the first Bond film, Dr No, underway. 
When the time came to film "Thunderball" in 1965, they were forced to give McClory, who still owned the rights to the screenplay and story, a Producer's credit on the film. He would also hold the rights to this story for the next decade.
And then, in the late 1970s, McClory announced that he would make a Bond film entitled Warhead, but it wasn't until 1983 that he finally managed to get the film made. By this stage, he had licensed the rights to his story to a producer named Jack Schwartzman. This was big news to Bond fans for one reason only- it would mark the return of Sean Connery to the role of James Bond. The film was called Never Say Never Again and, while it was a better Bond  film than the official EON Productions release of the same year, Octopussy, starring Roger Moore, it was a poorly-made film overall. Yes, it was great to see Connery back as Bond, but the script was lacking, the direction, by Irwin Kirshner, was lacklustre, and the music soundtrack was woeful. It then dawned on me, way back in the Midcity Cinemas in 1983, that there was more to Bond than just Sean Connery.
Still, even now, I prefer it to Octopussy.
McClory tried to remake the film in the late '80s and again around the year 2000, but had no luck. There's more to this whole story. Type 'Kevin McClory' into Wikipedia for more info. It goes on and on. Suffice to say that it is the studios that do all the suing and counter-suing to ensure that the character of James Bond is protected. 
In fact, it is EON Productions who own the rights to the character these days. 
And I have no problem with that whatsoever. 
They seem to be looking after OO7 nicely.

Anyway, I sometimes wonder what would have become of that man Bond, had Fleming lived longer. I can't help but think that he was getting a little tired of OO7 by 1964, based on where he was taking JamesBond, and may have written a book towards the end of the 1960s where Bond was either killed off or retired quietly to a warm little corner of Jamaica.
We'll never know.

Wednesday
       My daughter has had the 'flu for the past few days and she stayed home today. I was due to go the the State Library for class, but decided to stay home with her instead. I can get to the library on the weekend. 
A little later in the morning, I saw mention of Lauren Bacall on Twitter. Oh no! A quick Googling revealed the news that she had died after suffering a massive stroke. She would have turned 90 next month. Now I know that's a good age to get to, but this was still very sad news to me. She was, after all, the widow of one of my favourite actors. Another link to Old Hollywood broken. 

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, folks. They don't breed them like her anymore. Although Jennifer Lawrence comes very, very close. 






















But then, I thought , I hope there is a Heaven up there, because then she and Bogie are together again. 
I guess that's something, right?


The Rat Pack will be having drinks upstairs tonight. And I might just bust open that Single Malt and watch The Big Sleep.
Remember that scene where Marlowe goes into Geiger's  Antiquarian Bookstore? 


 I wanted to aim for some kind of tribute picture;

INT: WARNER BROS. STUDIOS CANTEEN, MAY 1946 -- DAY



That ought to mess with future film historians; "Gee, did they have iPads back in 1946?"

 Later on Wednesday Night...
...my wife sat down to watch "24 Hours in A&E", a documentary series about a day in the life of the Emergency Room of a London hospital.
Meanwhile, I was at the dining table opening up a bottle of Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt, with a view to having a drink in Miss Bacall's honour. I...uh...'liberated' (yeah, that's the word) this bottle from a place I worked at back in 1989.
I removed the heavy foil from around the neck of the bottle and then gave the cork a gentle twist and...


Panic stations, everyone!!!
Oh no, oh no, oh no! No way! Okay, don't panic, teeritz. First things first, get the camera. Then the Waiter's Friend (corkscrew).
It's been about fifteen years since I had to deal with a broken cork. I wonder if I still had the touch?
I eased the worm gently into the brittle cork and began turning it very...very...slowly. I then removed the remaining foil so that I could see if the screw had broken through the bottom of the cork. What I was trying to avoid were any tiny bits of cork falling into this 10 year old whisky. Sure, I've had this bottle for 25 years (good God!), but whisky doesn't keep maturing once it's been removed from the barrel.
Holding onto the corkscrew, I turned the bottle at an angle. Good. The worm wasn't showing through. I tilted the bottle further and, rather than place the fulcrum edge of the corkscrew against the bottleneck's lip, I went all old-school and carefully began pulling the screw away from the bottle. I watched as some section of cork began to give way, beads of sweat forming on my forehead. Nah, not really. Come on, it's just a bottle of Scotch!
And about ten or twelve seconds later;


  But more importantly;

No shards of cork in the bottle. Now I really needed a drink. And I needed another cork. But first, a drink. Make it a double, would ya, Lou?;


By the time this little saga was over, it had gotten a little too late to put on a Bogie & Bacall movie. Damn, I really felt like watching The Big Sleep, too.
Oh well, here's to you, Miss Bacall. Say 'hello' to your (first) husband for me. And tell Sinatra to keep his hands to himself! He had his chance.
And, the same photo, in glorious black and white;


The Glenmorangie went down pretty smoothly, but left a slight trail of fire behind it. I began to worry that it might have spoiled from being cooped up for a quarter century.
But then, I was too busy feeling smug about never having met a cork that I couldn't shift.
One day, I may have to write a post about it.

The Sinn 103 felt like the wrong watch to be wearing today. Time to switch to something with a vintage feel. The Longines Expeditions Polaires (old photo);


Thursday
       Man, I'm still feeling at a loss over Bacall's death. And then I bought the paper and felt a little more miserable;


By my reckoning, the only star left from Hollywood's Golden Era of the 1930s and '40s is Olivia De Havilland. She's now 98 years old. Her sister, actress Joan Fontaine died last year. I can't think of any other major star who's still around. 
Oh, wait a sec, Maureen O'Hara is still with us. She starred in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1939. Now THAT was a banner year for Hollywood. So many classic films made in that year. Whenever I see a succession of disappointing movies, I often say; "Hollywood needs another 1939." 
Too much crap gets made these days, but thankfully, some real gems are still being produced.
I then tackled a little more homework before heading to a class in the afternoon.

 Today
       Another day of industry placement. I thought I'd invert Casual Fridays AND pay tribute to Lauren Bacall by wearing this tie that I got sometime in the Eighties. I still had the Longines on today;


That Bogart tie was only ever worn to a few of parties and nights out, circa 1986-'89. No way would I wear it with an actual suit to work. There were too many movers and shakers out in the '80s wearing those colourful Wile E. Coyote and Superman logo ties.
Awful, just awful. If you're a Bugs Bunny fan, buy a Looney Tunes boxed set, but don't wear your fandom around your neck.

And that's another week gone. Dreadful if you're a fan of Hollywood film. However,
Both Williams and Bacall left behind a great body of work for us to savour.
Gotta be thankful for that.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Friday 8/8/14 - Not Much Happening This Week & This Week's Wristwatches (shocking sentence construction, Teeritz!)

- Friday 11:21pm AEST - 


Last weekend

We watched "Captain Phillips" on DVD for Lolly Night. You may recall that I saw this film at the cinemas a few months ago and had to put up with a twit a few seats away who talked pretty much all throughout the screening;
(Holy cow, did I say I saw it a few months ago. It was last November!)
 
So it was with a little trepidation that I sat down to watch this film again. I must say that it was a better film the second time around. Director Paul Greengrass has a great, documentary-style of filmmaking and the film seemed to move at a faster pace on this second viewing. 

I was still wearing the 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer, but I switched over to the AquaTerra later in the afternoon on Sunday to prepare for the next day of industry placement;


 Monday
       After last week's five-day stretch of industry placement, it was now down to two days a week until I finish the required 100 hours on the job. I discussed the hours with my supervisor and I should be complete by the end of this month. 
I spent the first part of the day leafing through old community newspapers to find any mention of this library. They are planning to put together a book which outlines the history of this particular branch. My supervisor told me that a work-experience kid has already performed this task in the past, but when they had a look at the results, they noticed a few omissions. So, it was a case of these newspapers having to be looked through again, this time with a fine-tooth comb. And that's where I came in. 
Spent the afternoon shelving books. I wanted to get my Dewey Decimal knowledge up to par, since it's been over a year since I studied this aspect of library work. Think I'll have to dig out the notes from that particular subject.
It was a chilly evening in Melbourne later on. Twining's to the rescue!


Have you ever been to Raffles Hotel in Singapore? My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Singapore back in 1996 and we went to The Writer's Bar at Raffles to have a 'Singapore Sling' cocktail, which, as legend has it, was first created here. 
The bartender approached and I said; "Two Singapore Slings, please."
I had a mental picture in my head of him skillfully preparing our drinks and cutting up some elaborate garnish to prop on the edge of the glasses.
My wife said; "Wouldn't it be funny if he brings the drinks over and then says 'That'll be forty dollars', please"?
It was 1996 and forty bucks for two cocktails was unheard of back in Australia. We watched as the bartender shuffled over to the far end of the bar and flipped the switch on a blender.
"Vvvvvvvvvvvvv!!!"
Five whole seconds must have ticked by. He then switched it off, grabbed two long-stemmed, fancy highball glasses, and poured the contents of the blender into them.
'Oh, you're friggin' kidding me', I thought to myself as he slowly cut up two pineapple wedges and slid them onto the edge of the glasses. 
He brought them over, placed them gently down on the coasters and said; "Thirty-eight dollars."
I suppose it makes sense to have an entire jug of this cocktail on standby for tourists who want to try a famous Singapore Sling, but it kind of took the magic away from the experience having sat there watching him 'make' the drinks. 
To make up for this lack-lustre event, I bought myself a mug from the gift shop, and every now and then, I make myself a tea in it and reminisce about the famous Singapore Sling that I had at The Writer's Bar at Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
And then I remember the sound of the blender and I start laughing.

Wednesday and Thursday
       Had classes in the afternoon on both days. I took a couple of pages of notes and was surprised to see the new student next to me sitting there with one sheet of A4 paper folded in quarters and no pen. He must have a phenomenal memory.
 
I wore the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph. The usual car-park at school was full, so I had to park on the street at a meter...$4:80 for two hours. For that money, were they going to wash my car while it was there?;


Today
       Another day of placement done. I was itching to get home. We were going to see "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Dir: James Gunn, 2014) at 6:30. 
I must say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It was non-stop. The humour was well done, the action was clever, and it made you care about the characters, which is the hardest part of an action film storyline. 
I'm really liking the body of work that Marvel Studios are racking up. Each film adds another layer to the cinematic Marvel universe and they cleverly throw in a scene after the end credits that ties in with the next story of whichever character they want to showcase next. If you recall "Iron Man" (Dir: John Favreau, 2008), after the end credits, there was a very quick scene where we see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and he mentions 'the Avengers Initiative'.
Marvel Studios are really taking time and care with these films. 
I picked up a couple of books too. I'm sure these haven't been in print for quite some time;


As it turns out, "Bullitt" was actually published under the title "Mute Witness" and the lead character is referred to as Lieutenant Clancy. Nobody by the name of Frank Bullitt in this story, and I doubt there's a car chase in this book involving a Ford Mustang Fastback either. Doesn't matter. I'm curious to see just how much this book's storyline differs from the movie.

Anyway, that's my uneventful week for you. Sometimes life moves slowly. And that's cool. 
My God, how'd it get so late?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

EveryDay Carry, Part 1: My Search for the Ultimate Keyring Set-Up.

This should be easy.
Or so I thought. I have two car-keys, two small keys for various padlocks, another small key for the garage, and one key for the front door. I decided to get myself some kind of key-fob in leather. It was time to get a little more mature with my keys. 
First off, I wanted something that gave me the option of attaching to a belt loop or just putting in my pocket. 
I should mention that this latest quest was somewhat due to my spending a bit of time looking at a website called everyday-carry.com.
It was there that I saw just how varied people are with what they lug around on a daily basis. Some of them were very minimalist, carrying just their keys, phone and wallet, while others carried a myriad assortment of things ranging from paracord bracelets (I never knew that 30 metres of nylon cord would come in handy) to two or three different folding knives. 
I was a little dismayed at how few of the guys (it's mainly men who visit this site, although I've noticed more women on it lately, more power to you, ladies!) wore wristwatches, preferring to rely on their smartphones for the time. But that's just the watch collector in me.
And quite a few of those who posted photos carried pistols. As Bogart said in The Big Sleep (Dir: Howard Hawks, 1945); "So many guns in this town."
I would like to think that they are all law-abiding responsible gun owners with concealed-carry permits. 

Anyway, first of all, I needed a keyring. Something practical. With a bit of leather. I stumbled across this type on a site called http://www.apolisglobal.com/ , which sells a range of products. As it turned out, they also sell the Fisher AG-7 Space Pen. I had planned on getting one for the good Samaritan who helped my wife out of her car wreck back in June. The version that Apolis Global sells has a light laser engraving along the barrel which reads- APOLIS: GLOBAL CITIZEN TRANSIT ISSUE: SPACE PEN. Bingo, I'll get two of them;


 And I ordered one of the keyrings as well;



Made from a small strip of folded-over leather which measures about 5.5cm, and held together with waxed canvas stitching. A stainless steel ring on one end and an olive drab painted clip on the other. Hopefully, the leather will darken and age nicely before the stitching wears away. Which, if it does, I'll take it along to a shoe repairer and have them re-stitch it together.
Yes, this might just do nicely.

Now, I needed a tool on this keyring. Knife carrying laws in Victoria are extremely stringent, as I noted in this post;
Friday 30/5/14 - Job Offers, Job Interviews, Happy Birthday Ian Fleming & This Week's Wristwatches

To play it safe, I don't carry my Swiss Army knife on my person. Maybe when I'm an old man, I might. Anyway, I thought I could use some kind of tool that would be handy for cutting open boxes and/or tightening loose screws. So, it was straight to eBay to look for something that I saw on everydaycarry.com. It didn't take long to find the Tiremet Titanium EDC tool;


Alright! Just the kind of bottle opener The Punisher would carry. It's a useful little tool. At the business end, you have two different gauged screwdrivers for tiny screws like what you find on spectacle frames and small tech. These drivers are what some folks refer to as 'blade-savers', in that they are also sharp enough for cutting open packages, which will save your pocket knife from having to perform this demeaning chore. A knife collector friend of mine has always said that nothing blunts a knife blade faster than cutting through cardboard. 
This end also tapers down so you can use it as a pry bar to lift up stubborn nails and screws.


In the middle, you have six different metric sizes for undoing bolts. Notice that the bottle-opener also contains one more wrench size, just in case;


The outer edges are indented. I think this is where you could wrap and tie some paracord around the entire tool. Some folks have suggested that you could fit a few small rubber bands around it too and turn it into a pill holder. Yeah, that might work.

It's not an overly large tool, which is just as well, and, being titanium, it's not heavy at all. 



Damn thing is reasonably sharp, though. Might be wise not to reach too quickly into my pocket to fish this thing out.


Attached to the keyring, it's long enough to clip to a belt loop...


 ...and sit in a back pocket without causing any trouble;


And it's easily able to be folded over and put in a pocket. Should be okay in jeans, but I just have to wonder if it might shred a front trouser pocket. I may find out the hard way one day. Either way, it doesn't take up much space in the pocket.

The real test, of course, will be actual usage on a daily basis. The leather of the keyring is quite soft and I imagine it may soften up even more over time. The spring on the clip is quite stiff, but this is probably a better option as opposed to it being too 'springy'.
I've been trying out other everyday carry alternatives and options, but I think I'll leave those for another post. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Friday 1/8/14 - Happy Birthday Mr. Jagger!, Industry Placement Begins & This Week's Wristwatches.

- Friday 8:15pm AEST - 


Last Weekend
       We're all still caught in the various grips of this 'flu. I've coughed a little bit here and there, my wife has achey joints and a higher than normal temperature, and my son has spent the nights coughing in the wee small hours. Is this some particularly nasty and resilient strain of influenza that's going around?
And to top things off, I went to my local DVD library to get a movie for Lolly Nite. This library was reduced in size about a year ago when a supermarket chain commandeered 75% of the place. Well, all that has changed. They were having a Movie Sale. I walked in, took a look at the shelves and turned to the guy behind the counter; "So that's it? No more rentals?"
"Yep, that's right", he responded. 
Could'a killed him. I suspected that his plan all along was to convert the place into a supermarket anyway. But I'm ticked off because I borrowed a movie about three weeks ago and he didn't mention anything about closing down the DVD rentals. 
I don't (and never will) have cable TV. I don't download movies so that I can watch them on my phone or laptop. That's not my idea of how to watch a movie. 

Anyway, Saturday the 26th was also Sir Michael Phillip Jagger's 71st Birthday!
Have a drink, Mick!






















Photo taken 1972 by Jim Marshall.













Of course, it ain't 1972 anymore and this is how he looked on-stage back in March. In all fairness, his partner, L'Wren Scott had died earlier that month. I commend his show-must-go-on sensibility. 
Much has been said about The Rolling Stones in recent years and how they should just retire, etc. 
I hope they go on forever. 
But that's another post. About the Greatest Rock & Roll band in the world.

I wore the Omega Seamaster 300 all weekend;


Monday
       Day one of my 100 hours of Industry Placement. I arrived at a library that is located about half an hour from home. The staff are all pleasant and the patrons are too. I got straight into shelving some Fiction titles to get myself into the swing of things and noticed that not many people approached the Circulation Desk. There are three automated check-out machines in this library and people seem to be comfortable with using these instead of checking books out at the desk. Interesting to know. 

And, after being out of the work-force for so long, it was a relief to dress a little more casually for a job. While I did like wearing a suit in my last job, it could be a hassle some days, especially when somebody would mess with the air conditioning.
Still had the Seamaster 300 on my wrist;
      

Tuesday
       Still finding my way around the library, getting to know where things are displayed. Tidied up the DVD selection in an attempt to bring a little more order to it. Of course, the patrons had other ideas. No matter. It looked tidy for about fifteen minutes. 
Got home that night to find a package had arrived. I switched over to the Omega Seamaster AquaTerra because I needed a watch with a date. I'm required to keep a Logbook of my time on the job and I was already beginning to forget what I did on which days.
The package contained a Franklin Mystery Library hardcover edition of Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler. I already have a couple of copies in paperback, but since I have the Franklin editions of The Maltese Falcon, The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Day of The Jackal, I figured that this copy of the classic Marlowe story would be a welcomed addition to the bookshelf. When I get all my books out of storage, that is. And it was a chilly evening, so it seemed like a good reason for a drink.



Wednesday
       It was a shorter work day because I had to go to Admin to see how this library service operates behind the scenes. By the time I got back to the library, it was 1:30pm. I sat at the Enquiries Desk  and fielded a couple of questions from patrons. One lady was trying to get her fifteen year-old son interested in reading. I suggested the Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, which is aimed at a slightly younger reader, but if this fifteen year-old doesn't read much, then I figured it was better to ease him into the wonderful world of books. The other title I suggested was Gone by Michael Grant. This book revolves around a not-too-distant future world without adults. Isn't that what every teenager craves?



Thursday
       I was shown the library's database and given a walkthrough. While this was going on, a couple of people approached wanting to join the library. So I had a stab at joining them up. One more thing I can cross off the checklist. I had changed over to the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer that morning;


Today
       Spent a bit of time getting returned items out of the 'Returns' bin and scanning them back into the system, ready to be borrowed, placed on hold, or transferred to other libraries if necessary. Earlier, I spent a good hour or so putting items on the 'Holds' shelves in alphabetical order according to patron's surnames. Anyone who is waiting for a particular item will get an automated e-mail or SMS message on their phone to let them know that the item has arrived and is currently awaiting their collection. It all works quite smoothly. 
Shelved some non-fiction books later on. I find this to be a little distracting whenever some book of interest catches my eye. Of course, if I were a member here, then all I'd have to do is borrow the book. Like my wife does at her library. Maybe I'll just wait until I'm actually working in a library in a paid capacity.


Got home about three hours ago and am about to sit down to watch episode one, season one of "Fringe" with the kids. Might just make this a regular Friday night thing. Considering that the commercial stations screen a lot of crap. One station is showing the Steve Carell version of "Get Smart" tomorrow night. They screened it only about two months ago. This is happening quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a pretty funny film. Carell is a joy to watch and I wish they'd make a sequel. But I don't want to watch it after having seen it only two months ago. Although, I'd rather watch this film seven nights in a row than sit through stuff like American Pickers, Pawn Stars or the dreaded "Blokes World" (absolute drivel).
At any rate, my most pressing problem will be to figure out where to hire DVDs from now on. The local Safeway supermarket has a DVD vending machine. 
Man, is this what it's come to?

I got seven more shifts to do at the library, however, they'll be spread over the next three weeks or so. I've opted to go in on Mondays and Fridays in an effort to get through it sooner rather than later. Reason being that whatever I learn will stay fresh in my head for longer. 
The next step will be to offer my services on a voluntary basis to some library closer to home in order to hone my skills while I look for actual employment in a library.
In the meantime, I think we'll all just sit still this weekend and try to get over this 'flu. 
That's the plan, anyway.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!