Friday, 22 July 2016

Friday 22/7/16 - Quick Shout-Out for The BAMF, Where's My Damn Cerificate!, & This Week's Wristwatches.

Let's see how long I last this week. This one is coming to you live from my desk in the study. I finally managed to clear the top of it and got a lamp and the laptop on it. Sure, the electrical cord runs right across the room- until we get another power point fitted closer to the desks- but it seems to be working okay for now. 

I thought I'd tip my hat to a blog that I've been reading for the last few years called BAMF Style. Basically, it's a style/clothing blog where its author, Lucky Strike, takes a character out of a movie and then gives a breakdown of that character's wardrobe. The research is thorough, the pictures are great, the clothing detail is nicely explained. Here's a recent example, which is pretty much a 101 class on Indiana Jones;

His James Bond post was phenomenal. It was Lucky's birthday recently, so I'm raising my glass to him. Cheers, pal.

I started the week with the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer;

I started this Henry Porter book nearly two months ago. Then I got side-tracked reading that book on the making of Casablanca.
Needless to say, I haven't finished either book!
Time to knuckle down and get back into reading. I kept falling down that stupid rabbit hole of uber-crappy TV shows (Pawn Stars, World's Most Dangerous Drivers, etc, etc) and spending too much time on the internet looking at the same old sites. Neither of these pursuits enriches one's life too much. 

Hey, remember how I finished my Library Studies course last August? Well, I still haven't received my Certificate. And that pissed me off no end. 
I called the institute back in November and was told that I would receive it in the mail in the second week of December. Then I forgot all about it in the lead-up to Christmas. 
Then, I tried calling them again a month ago and spoke to somebody who had just started in the job and wasn't sure of who I could speak to. 
So, I waited two more weeks (it was semester break) and then tried calling again. The very helpful lady sent me a form to fill in and also suggested I call the Course Administrator to organise getting my Certificate. 
This Course Administrator was a tricky guy to get hold of. Took me another week to catch him on the phone. Of course, I could have left a a message for him, but I hate leaving messages. 
He said he'd send me yet another form to fill in and e-mail back to him. I've yet to do this, but I'll tackle it over the weekend.
Gotta say I could probably get my hands on the Gettysburg Address easier than I can on this Certificate. As regular readers may know, I'll never actually use this Certificate, since I have no intention of applying for work in the library industry, but I want my piece of paper that states that I actually completed this course. Successfully, I might add!

Midweek, I switched watches;

Yeah, I wore my hat in to work because it was raining when I left the house that morning. Course, the sun came out by 11:00am and I felt just a tad over-dressed when I caught the train home in the afternoon. 
I even wore a tie. My co-workers are sometimes surprised by this, since we work in an office setting and don't deal with outside customers face-to-face. I explained to them that I have quite a few ties and they don't get worn as much as they used to. 
You know that tired old line; Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?
Well, that's a stupid idea. If you're a waiter, you can't turn up to work in a suit.
I dress for myself. Simple as that. 

So yeah, I switched watches. I wore the Omega Railmaster. I friggin' love this watch. Simple, clear layout, right size for my wrist (for this type of watch), and near-perfect timekeeping. This one's a keeper, gang.

And I think that's about it, y'all. Got a few jobs to tackle over the weekend. I would have done them last weekend, but when I got the cordless drill out and spent an hour charging up the battery, I found that it was still dead. I headed out to the nearby hardware store and basically, it works out a helluva lot cheaper to buy a new corded drill than it does to buy a new battery for the cordless one. 
So I snagged a new Bosch impact/hammer drill for eighty bucks. Looks like a cross between my Dad's old power drill from the '70s and some futuristic sci-fi side-arm. Cool. 
Let's see how much damage I can do with it over the weekend. 

Anyway, have yourselves a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Friday 15/7/2016 - Thinning Out The Typewriter Herd & This Week's Wristwatches.

I was planning on putting my 1928 Royal Portable on eBay. My collection has crept back up past a dozen and this one is very rarely used, to be honest. And then I typed on it a little...

And I began to think that maybe I should hold onto it. Truth be told, the platen feels a little too hard, and this thing makes a racket when you type, and the carriage return lever is pretty short, but I have to admit that I really dig the glass-topped keys and the way they feel when you type. 

Not to mention how cool this typewriter looks. The red alligator paint-job makes it look like an old suitcase. Which is a plus in my book. It's a very sturdy typewriter, despite it being 88 years old. The body is still intact and all parts move as they should. Even the bell still has some zest left in it, giving off an audible 'ding!' at the end of each line. 
There is a lot to like about this typewriter, and I can fully understand why so many collectors like them.
However, I don't use this machine much at all and I therefore can't justify holding on to it for this very reason. I've reached a point where my collection can accommodate only one or two typewriters that work better as ornaments than they do as actual typewriters. The 1936 Smith-Corona Standard is one. Can't think of what the other one might be, but I know I have one.
And then I recalled that I also have a circa 1953 Olivetti Studio. This machine also has glass-topped keys that have a similar feel when you type. And the Studio is a beautiful example of post-War Italian industrial design. 

So, I think I may just have to spend a little more time thinking about it. At the moment, I'm leaning towards selling the Royal, but I think I may just hold off for a week or so. 

I was wearing the 44mm Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical;

Switched over to the Longines Polaires early in the week;

And then swapped over to the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean yesterday. While at work this morning I heard the news of the terrible attack at the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice. 
I think I've said something along these lines before, but I strongly believe that we need to really start playing the terrorism game according to their rules. Because their methodology and tactics got way out of hand a long time ago and the world needs to show them that we won't stand for this any longer. And I certainly don't care if my opinion is viewed as not 'correct'.
These are not times for correctness.

Thanks for reading, all.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Friday 8/7/2016 - I'll Think Of a Title Later & This Week's Watches. Oh, And Happy 100th, Miss De Havilland!

Okay, now I'm feeling tired. This laptop's running a tad slower than I'd like. Tidying up the photos for this post has taken ages. We'll see how long I last, folks.
And off we go...

I wore the Submariner last weekend;

I have some film loaded up in the blue Trip 35. The Nikon F seen below;

...needs some new batteries for the fotomic head. Problem is, they no longer make the mercury cells that this thing uses. However, there is an adapter that you can get off eBay which is shaped like the old batteries and, what you do, is pop a couple of standard LR44 cells into them and then load them into the camera. These adapters sell for about $16USD. I just have to get around to buying them. I think I'll probably need three or four sets. That way, I can use them in my three SLRs. 
Admittedly, this isn't very high on my list of priorities, but I mat get them sooner rather than later. You know how life is sometimes. You say you'll get around to buying some cheap little item and you keep putting it off and putting it off, and then when you finally decide to buy it, it's no longer available. 

Switched over to the Sinn 103 chronograph on Monday;

Spent more time than I should have polishing those two 1940s Australian pennies. Although, I must say they came up looking nice and shiny. My wife picked one up and remarked; "This is when coins were coins, and they felt substantial in your hand. You can feel the value of them."
I picked up that hardback copy of The Savage Detectives for three bucks. I hope it's good. When I get around to reading it. 
Midweek, it was time for a switch. I grabbed the Omega Seamaster 300 and put it on a black NATO strap;

Reverend Ted commented on last week's post about my Tower Chieftain. He was wondering if my one still had its nameplate intact on top of the paper rest;

Yes. Yes it does. I'm giving some serious thought to re-painting this one at some point. While I understand that its off-white and grey paint-job is representative for this model, I find it looks a little tired after almost sixty years of existence. 
The more I look at this machine, the more I begin to think how pleasant it would look in a cream and mint-green combo. Might give it a nice mid-Fifties kitchen appliance kind of vibe. Something to think about later in the year when the weather gets warmer. First, though, it'll need some TLC from my typewriter guy, the legendary Tom. 

Got home from work tonight and decided to put on a watch that doesn't get much wear. Whenever I do wear it, however, I love how it looks;

It's the Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical. At 44mm in diameter, it positively slaughters my wrist, but there's just something about this watch that I really like. I may look into getting a different set of hands for it because they've always seemed slightly too small for the dial, but again, that's another frivolity that's low on the list of things to do. 

This guy here is one of my oldest acquaintances. When I was growing up, and my folks had people around to visit, out would come the refreshments and, propped up next to the sugar bowl would be this thing. Instead of pens, it would be filled with a roll of paper serviettes. 
Did I say 'acquaintance'? I meant friend. Funny how little things can cause such wide ripples of nostalgia.

Okay, 9:38pm. I need some tea. I think I'll go rosehip. One more pic of the watch I've been wearing this evening;

I hope y'all have yourselves a safe and pleasant weekend.
Thanks for reading!

Oh, one more thing. I missed this last week, so I'll include it here. A big Happy Birthday to one of the last, if not the last, Keeper of the Old Hollywood Flame. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Olivia De Havilland;

Sure, she may not have had a career like Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn, but she came to prominence in the 1930s, and that's good enough in my book;

This was her in 1936;

Much has been made of her famous feud with her sister, Joan Fontaine, another of Hollywood's Old Guard, who died in December 2013, but I'm not here to talk about that. 

While I'll admit that I've probably only seen a few of her films, I loved her in The Adventures of Robin Hood (Dir: Michael Curtiz, 1938) and The Snake Pit (Dir: Anatole Litvak, 1948), a film set in an insane asylum. I saw it many years ago and found it a little creepy. 

The Studio system is gone, the stars are no longer under contract, the moguls are nowhere near as flamboyant as the Warner brothers or Goldwyns of yesteryear, so I think it's grand that there still exists a link to the bygone era of Hollywood. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 1 July 2016

1/7/2016 - Tiramisu Attempts, The Chieftain III Arrives, & This Week's Wristwatches.

I've been wearing the Omega Seamaster 300 for most of the week. Last weekend, I thought I'd take a crack at making a tiramisu. This has been an ambition of mine for a few years now. 
You need eggs, savoiardi biscuits, cream, two cups of strong coffee, one cup of marsala, and a heap of mascarpone cheese. 
I didn't have a blender or mixer, so I had to whisk the eggs, cream and cheese the old fashioned way, by hand. Took a little longer, but worth the effort.
Once the mix was done, my daughter dipped the savoiardi biscuits in the coffee and marsala before placing them into a rectangular baking dish. Once a layer of biscuits covered the base of the dish, we spooned on a thick layer of the egg/cream/mascarpone mix. 
And so on, and so on, until we reached the very top edge of the dish. 

Then, we covered it with cling wrap and put it in 
the fridge for a few hours. 

Later, I got it out of the fridge and sprinkled some cocoa powder on top of it. Not too much. Just enough to provide a bitter contrast to the sweetness of the filling. 
It tasted fantastic. I'll never have to order it in restaurants ever again!
One flaw- we should have soaked the biscuits in the coffee/marsala mixture a little longer. They still had a slightly hard consistency. This, however, changed over the next two days as the biscuits continued to soften. 

I was still wearing the Seamaster 300. 

Wednesday afternoon, I got home from work to find that this had arrived;

It'll need some TLC, but it's a great typer. The carriage return lever on these, and the later Smith-Corona Skyriters, were a vast improvement. And I love the mid-Century styling of that chromed 'Tower' logo.

Anyway, another week down. Tomorrow is Election Day here in Australia. 
I know somebody, however, who couldn't care less. She's been lying on a cushion all day;

I switched over to the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph when I got home from work. 
Okay, another late one. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Friday 24/6/16 - This Week's Wristwatches.

Started the week with the Omega Railmaster;

Still had it on a couple of days later. It's been a cold, cold week here in Melbourne town. I needed a shot of scotch (or three) to warm up. 
It dawned on me this week that I have yet to receive the results of my Library studies course that I completed last year. A little digging around through some old e-mails and the institution's website reveals that they were meant to send my results to me in the mail by the end of December last year. I got on the phone to the institution today (via their stupid 1300 number) and was informed by the recorded voice on the other end of the line that my call was number 1 in the queue. As I sat on hold for five minutes more, the voice reemerged to tell me that I was number THREE in the queue! My blood began to boil. 
Have y'all noticed how there's very little customer service these days. Everything now has to be done via a very inefficient phone system, designed to wear down our patience in the hopes that we'll give up and hang up. 
However, I'll be calling them again on Monday, to remind them that I have not received my results yet, and also to let them know how poor their phone system is. 
When I called them today, I was (finally!) answered by a polite young lady who told me she was 'just the casual' and didn't know how I could access my results or who I could speak to. She apologised profusely. I said it was okay, even though I had gotten a similar response from somebody else when I called up about my results in November last year. They couldn't help me either. 
I thanked her and hung up. Then I decided to try calling the institute directly. That's when I got the automated voice, along with the shifting around in the queue. 
I'm gonna call them back on Monday. God help them. 

Switched over to the Camy Club-Star midweek;

I'm really liking the fit of the Twist-O-Flex bracelet. Gotta snag a few more of them for other watches, despite the fact that they can wear down the lugs of a watch. I'll just have to be careful. 
I checked the timekeeping on this watch later at work. It's losing a shocking 51 seconds a day! 
Definitely should get it serviced sometime. 

Still, it's a smart looking watch, with its metallic silver dial that gently curves downward toward the outer edge. The contrasting gold-tone hands and markers make for a nice mix of colours. This is a hand-wound watch and it certainly winds smoothly, despite the lousy timekeeping. However, it's good enough for a few days of wearing, where utmost accuracy is not important.
And, at 35mm in diameter, it's a classic size, as far as I'm concerned. 

Got home from work, had dinner, then decided to switch over to something else. So, out came the WatchCo Omega Seamaster 300 on a Tropic rubber strap. It's not exactly Summer, but I thought this watch might make me forget how damn cold it is out there. 
The watch next to it is a fake Zeno 'Explorer' that I bought years ago thinking that it was the real deal. My son has been wearing it for a few years and it finally began playing up. Kept stopping while on the wrist. No way am I gonna spend any time or trouble getting this watch fixed. Time to relegate it to the scrap heap. Looks like the time has come to get him a new watch. In the meantime, he's been wearing one of my Seiko dive watches. I'll have to get a better strap for that one. 

And that's another week done. I hope yours has been a good one, and I hope you all have a pleasant weekend ahead.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Saturday 18/6/16 - Hectic Days, Back to Rick's & This Week's Wristwatches.

I had the Omega Railmaster on last Saturday;

Switched over to the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph later that day;

Work has been a little busy this week and it's moving along okay. Just as well because the household admin has been a little nerve-wracking, to say the least. We are in the process of renewing our passports and it's all proving a little more convoluted than we thought it would be. 
My wife headed into town this morning to deal with some of it. She decided it would be more expedient to take the train into the city rather than drive. I knew she would be in for a surprise when she boarded the train and took a seat. Basically, she was the only person in the carriage who was actually reading. Everybody else on board was absorbed with their smartphones. She told me that even those who weren't actually using their phones were just sitting there, clutching them close to their chests. 
"Apalling, isn't it?", I said after she recounted her experience.

I switched from the Sinn 103 to the Omega Speedmaster Professional early in the week;

I wore it on the Di-Modell Rallye strap, to give it a slightly more vintage vibe. 
I had this watch now since 2007 and it's been a very reliable wristwatch, to say the least. Sure, there are things that it cannot do, like take a dip in a pool- even though I know some owners who have worn this watch underwater- and the Hesalite crystal isn't as resilient as sapphire crystal and will crack if you hit it hard enough. However, this watch's reputation and history speak for themselves and this watch gets a lot of respect among watch collectors. 
Back in the days when I used to sell watches, an elderly couple entered the store and the gentleman began removing his wristwatch as he approached me at the sales counter. He was wanting to have his watch serviced. He held out his watch, and as I reached for it, I could already see that it, like its owner, had lived a life. 
"Oh, wow, this is a nice watch, sir. How long have you had it?", I asked. 
"I bought it in 1969. Since then, I've always gotten it serviced when it needed it, and I've replaced the glass on it four times. It's never let me down, and it's the best watch I've ever owned", he said, while his petite wife stood next to him with a kindly smile on her face. 
I listened as he spoke while I ran a fingernail along the edges of the case, aware that these edges had been worn down by four decades of wear and four decades of experiences. The Hesalite crystal was slightly hazy in parts, but still intact. The dial was still a charcoal shade of black, but the hands and markers had taken on that wonderful patina that occurs over time as the luminous Tritium compound begins to degrade due to regular exposure to UV light. Collectors pay top dollar for this kind of wear. The Tritium, no longer chalk-white, has faded to a pale shade of Swiss-cheese yellow/cream. Modern watches use a compound known as SuperLuminova and no matter how much exposure to light, it will not fade to this same rich hue. 
I took the gentleman's details and booked the watch in for repair. After he and his wife left the store, I picked the watch up and gave it half-a-dozen winds by hand. The crown turned as smooth as butter. This watch, like its owner, had lived a life.

Six months or so later, a younger man came into the store to get his Omega Speedmaster serviced. He handed me the watch. He'd had it for less than ten years and it had seen better days. He went on to tell me that he worked as a builder and wore the watch daily. Not only that, but he was currently working on a building project located 60 kilometres from his home and he RODE A BIKE to work each day! Wearing this watch! The case and bracelet were heavily scratched, the crystal had some large scuffs and scratches across it, and the watch was a little hard to wind. It looked perfect!
I booked this one in for repair and, after the guy left, I had another look at his watch. It had taken a beating, but it was still running. These two tales illustrate two vastly different ways to treat a wristwatch and are testaments to just how rock-solid the Speedmaster Professional is. 

Left work early to get to a dental appointment. I was having a crown fitted. Got home and switched back to the Railmaster;

This book arrived from eBay earlier in the day. It was first published in 1992 under the title Round Up The Usual Suspects, but this here copy is the 2002 edition with a more straightforward title. I had a quick look through it and read the author's preface. This is, from what I can see, an exhaustively researched book. Looking forward to reading it. I also have another book, Casablanca- The Script & Legend, on its way as well. That should take care of any and all Casablanca-related reading material.
Not sure if Reese's Peanut Buttercups and a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon are a good mix, but I didn't experience any stomach upsets.
Speaking of eBay purchases, I waiting on a Tower Chieftain III. I already have a Smith-Corona Skyriter, but if this Tower version ends up being a nicer writer, then the Skyriter will go.
Looking at the Tracking details of the Tower, it's already passed through Kentucky, Ohio, and Arkansas. Bit of luck, I'll have it before month's end. Hopefully, it won't have gotten bounced around too much during its travels.

Another week down. You'll notice that I'm posting on Saturday, despite having written the above typecast on Friday night. I just ran out of steam while I was putting this post together.
These things happen.

Okay, I'm gonna wrap things up now. We have a dinner booking at a Turkish restaurant later this evening. It's a belated celebratory dinner for my wife's birthday of a few weeks ago.

I hope your weekend has gotten off to a nice start, all, and thank-you for reading!

I'll leave you with one more shot of the Railmaster, from the archives;


Friday, 10 June 2016

Friday 10/6/2016 - Too Many Late Nights, Happy Birthday Baby! & This Week's Wristwatches.

(Geez, a few typos there, teeritz!)

Here's the camera that I bought her. We spoke about it later that evening and she said she'd like to learn how to use it to its best extent. I told her I thought it would be a good creative outlet for her, and that was my main reason for buying it to begin with. 
I hope she spends a little time with it. I think she may find it a little daunting at first, but that should pass. 
Happy Birthday, amore!
Next up is a cheapish case for it. Back to eBay I go.
I must say I've liked what Fujifilm have been doing in recent years. I myself have been interested in their X100 series for a while.
Think I'll have to sell some more stuff on eBay. 

Ahh yes, the watch that I switched to. I opted for the Seamaster 300 on a TrueBond nylon strap. very comfy. 
This is such a pleasant watch. It was one of my Grail Watches. Basically, if I've been hankering for a watch longer than five years, it becomes a quest. This Seamaster 300, my Sinn 103 chronograph, and the Rolex Submariner 5513 were my three obsessions. Yep, they took a while, but I got there in the end. 

 I have to say that now that I find myself in a job where I stare at a computer screen for a great part of the day, I'm less inclined to jump on the computer and/or internet when I get home. These Friday posts can feel a little tricky lately, hence the reason why last week's post didn't appear until Sunday. 
These weekly posts may get shorter as the months roll by, but I'll try to put one up every week or two. 

Today's watch was another one that I'll never get rid of. It's a perfect watch for me in many ways.

The 36.2mm Omega Railmaster Co-Axial, seen here with a book that I read about in a short review a year or so ago. It covers Hemingway, Faulkner, Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Carver, among others, and has to do with these writers and their relationship with alcohol. 
I must admit that I haven't been reading as much lately as I used to. I tend to stay up a little too late, flicking between TV stations- that are screening such crap as Tattoo Nightmares, Pawn Stars and other similar 'entertainment' -in the search for something worth watching. I don't want to watch documentaries about some half-forgotten celebrity as they uncover their family history; "Ohh, he stole the goat because his family was starving! And he went to gaol (jail) for fifteen years and never saw his wife and children again!"
I don't want to watch some late night talk show (Hey, Jimmy Fallon, no guest is THAT funny!) that is a reminder that Johnny Carson did indeed leave behind some big shoes to fill, and I don't wanna watch CSI:Whatever, 'cos they just don't make cop shows like they used to. 
So, I'm going to try to get to bed a little earlier for a while and catch up on some reading. Once I'm well and truly settled into the routine of this job, I'm gonna try taking another stab at the writing. 
For the hell of it, if nothing else.  
The best-laid plans...

Anyway, it's now just gone nine-twenty pm and I'm feeling a little tired. We got a long weekend coming up, thanks to the Queen's Birthday Holiday on Monday, and I'm meeting up with a fellow wristwatch nerd sometime tomorrow afternoon. 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!