Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday 21/7/2017 - Busy Times, Old Friends, Cat Stand-offs & This Week's Wristwatches.

I've been busy in recent months since my job went full-time. As such, there have been weeks where I've gotten home from work on a Friday and haven't had the steam to write these weekly posts.
So, I'm not sure if I'll keep it up with writing one of these each week. I've also found that, because these posts are written in one hit, I'm never really satisfied with the finished product, which is essentially a first draft.
Anyway...

Picked up the new car a couple of weekends ago. By new I mean a 2006 model Mazda 3. Sure, it's now a ten year-old car, but I have to say that it drives pretty slick. 
Considering that my previous vehicle was a '93 Toyota, I freely admit that I've never kept abreast of new car technology over the years. My Toyota didn't have airbags or ABS brakes. I must have missed some of the main changes that have occurred in the intervening years. 
Therefore, this new car has required that I re-learn some driving techniques. The power steering is very sensitive and the gears and braking system are considerably more responsive than I'm used to. Still, I've stuck to being a cautious driver while I get the hang of this car over the coming weeks/months. 
It's also pretty tidy for its age. The previous owner really looked after it. Let's see if I can do the same.
                                                                                                 
I wore the Omega Seamaster 300  sometime in the last two weeks.
Don't let that pleasant yellow label fool you, kids. That Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Liqueur packs a slight punch every sip you take.
I've noticed that I'm mainly wearing sports watches lately. Not sure why. Might try a vintage dress piece soon, for a bit of a change.
The weeks have begun to blur a little in recent months. Can't believe we're already in the third week of July. 


And why not throw in another shot of the SM300?

I caught up with an old friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. Having recently set up an Instagram account (again...and I'm not really sure why), I somehow popped up on her Instagram feed. How she figured out Teeritz was me I'll never know.

Must say I find it all a little nefarious the way internet algorithms work. I can only surmise that the world wide web (anybody still call it that?) somehow found a link from my email account, since she's listed in my address book on Hotmail, and linked it to her Instagram feed. Yes, that's right. I said Hotmail. Still use it, still like it. 
The cat situation remains tense. Madame still hisses whenever The Little Guy gets too close to her. She runs off. He thinks it's a game (I assume) and chases after her before she turns and hisses some more. I have to say she's showing this newcomer some absolutely dreadful manners. 
 
I wore the Omega Railmaster at some point;
 
Decided I was overdue for a little bit of Chandler. I'll Be Waiting is perhaps my favourite of his short stories. It concerns a hotel detective named Tony Reseck, who spends the quiet evenings in the lounge down in the hotel lobby listening to classical music on the radio. 
One night, he finds a lady in the lounge, curled up in an armchair listening to jazz on the radio. They get to talking. She's waiting for a guy. A guy who's only just gotten out of prison. She helped put him there. Reseck gets a message from his brother Al, a fella who moves in shady circles. Get the girl out of there. Her ex-boyfriend's coming for her, is the gist of what he says. 
There's a little more to the story, pal, but I ain't here to wreck it for ya. 


As I continue to get ticked off about Photobucket's recent dirty-pool behaviour, I spent a sizeable chunk of my spare time re-doing my watch review photos. I downloaded them off my Photobucket account and saved them to my hard drive. Then I deleted the Photobucket folder. I had already tackled the Omega Railmaster. The Tissot Visodate review was next. As I read through the review, for the first time in a long time, I decided that one or two new pictures were required. So, out came the camera and some props. It's not a perfect photo, but I was aiming to get the logo lit up on the dial, hence that circular reflection in the middle of the watch crystal. 
This review is located here on my blog and also on a wristwatch forum. However, I can't edit the forum review, so I figured I'd just tidy up my own one here. Shame, but that's just how it goes. 
Bit by bit, I'll save any worthwhile pictures, but I have to say that quite a few of my posts on this wristwatch forum are now littered with the Photobucket logo requesting me to upgrade my photo storage plan. Ain't gonna happen, folks. 
Of course, after spending an hour or so taking pictures of the Visodate, I decided to set the time and date on it and wear it for a few days.


I wore it until yesterday. Once I got home from work, I switched over to the Omega Seamaster 300M Professional. This is another watch that I haven't worn for some time. I purchased it in 1999 and only got it serviced for the first time earlier this year. While the overall design of this watch has dated over the years - it was first released in 1993- its strong Bond connection kept sales chugging along nicely over the last couple of decades. 


See that knitted tie? It's silk. Cost my wife a whopping 99 cents from a nearby Op Shop (thrift store). I got home from work one day last week to find it rolled up and sitting on my bedside table. I unrolled it and checked the label - Emporio Armani. Holy mackerel, some guys get rid of some nice stuff. This would have been quite pricey when it was new. And knitted ties never go out of fashion. 

Anyway, I've been hearing the older cat making some low rumbles every time the new kitten streaked past, so I think I'll call it a day here. 
 
Have yourselves a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Friday 7/7/2017 - Kittens of Mass Destruction, New Wheels, Photobucket Can Go To Hell & This Week's Wristwatches.


Last weekend, I wore the Omega Speedmaster Professional.
Geez, this watch looks huge on my wrist these days. Gotta eat a little more protein and get back to the gym. True, you can't fatten your wrists, but I do recall them being a little larger that they are now.

Question: What weighs less than two kilos, moves at the speed of light, and is really breaking my nuts at the moment?

Answer? 

This;

Monday morning, approx. 7:45am
                                                      He hopped up on the kitchen bench-top and knocked over the full jar of ground coffee...before I'd had my first cup of the day. My wife walked in to the kitchen to find coffee and broken glass all over the floor. 

Tuesday night, approx 6:00pm
                                                  My wife made a roast for dinner. Bowie ('cos that's what we've called him) managed to get his greasy paws on to the netting that was used to wrap around the roast and had a large wad of it in his mouth by the time he was discovered. Trying to get the netting out from between his claws was a slightly Herculean task, I'm told. 

Wednesday afternoon
                                   My wife and kids heard a slight clanging sound coming from the kitchen. Upon investigation, they found him with the little steel milk jug over his head, like a knight's helmet. He was stumbling around the kitchen and it was banging against the door. This is a small jug that we use to froth milk for coffees with. The jug was in the sink and had some residue in it and he had knocked it off the bench-top and then licked away at the inside of it. 

Thursday, dinnertime
                                  My wife turned her head away from her dinner plate for a split-second to glance over at the heater. My daughter and I yelled out; "Whoa!" and "Mum!!!"
My wife turned back to look at her plate as Mister leapt up onto the table and began sniffing at the steamed broccoli on her plate. My wife was slightly startled to find him so close to her food. She quickly grabbed him and lifted him up. He dug a claw into the linen place-mat under her plate. As she lifted him further away from the table, the place-mat and plate edged further towards the edge of the table in front of her lap. She stopped lifting him, he held on to the place-mat, while I, my daughter and my wife paused to figure out a way around this pickle without him eating her food or the food ending up in my wife's lap. 

Meanwhile, our other cat is still hissing at him if he goes near her. We've been careful to keep the two of them apart, but it's becoming a logistical headache, making sure one is in another room when the other appears. I will say, though, that Madame is hissing and groaning less and less than she did a week ago, so she just might be getting used to the fact that this new little guy is here to stay.
Or she's leading us on and plans to murder us all in our sleep one night. 
I prefer the first theory.

Wore the Speedmaster to start the week...



And switched over to the Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical midweek. 
This is one piece that doesn't get much time on the wrist.Might have something to do with its 44mm diameter. If I'm thinking that the Speedmaster looks big on my wrist, then this thing is absolutely huge. However, I love it's cartoony look on my wrist. 
The photos I took of this watch when I wrote a review of it here a few years ago are being held hostage at the moment. See below. 
Looks like I'll be taking some new photos and updating that review sometime soon.

If you have a Photobucket account, you may have see this in some of your hosted photo locations on the web;

This blog of mine is now riddled with this graphic. I have about 360 blog posts here, many of them with photos hosted by Photobucket. In order for Photobucket to continue hosting my photos, I would have to upgrade to their P500 package which would cost me just shy of $400 USD a year. 
Not a chance in hell. Yes, I understand that they couldn't supply this free service forever, but I wasn't expecting that they'd hold me to ransom either. 
I don't respond well to blackmail. 
So, it will be a slow process, but I plan on replacing a tonne (or possibly all) of the missing photos on this blog, starting with my wristwatch review pictures first. Meanwhile, I'll remove my pictures from Photobucket and then ask them to close my account. Thanks for the nice service over the years, PB, but you really turned into a jerk towards the end.

It's now 9:00pm Friday night.  I'll be going to get a cheque from the bank tomorrow morning before heading to the Mazda dealership to pick up a 2006 hatchback that I took for a spin earlier this week. It was a sedate little test drive. Tomorrow, I plan to get this car into fifth gear.

Anyway, now it's 10:20pm and I need a cup of tea. Gotta say this computer of mine is really running slow these days. That last Window 10 update, coupled with our new NBN (National Broadband Network) setup has done nothing but slow this thing down. We switched to NBN about two months ago. We've experienced three outages to our internet (and more importantly) our landline phone. So far, this faster internet hasn't set my world on fire. Especially since I have noticed not one lick of difference in our internet speed around here. 

'Night all.
Oh, I wore the Oris Diver SixtyFive to work today;


Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunday 2/7/2017 - Cheese, Keys & This Week's Wristwatches.

Too many late nights begin to catch up on me after a while. Winter is well and truly underway, work is busy and this new cat of ours is keeping us all on our toes.
I had started this post on Friday night, but I ran out of steam early on.
Saturday was busy as I headed out to check out some cars. When I got home and tried to continue this post, the photos wouldn't load up properly. I decided to leave it all alone for the rest of the day.
Anyway, Sunday afternoon rolled around and I got back to it. So here it is.

We had pasta for dinner on Monday night. My wife and I later went for a quick walk while the kids cleared the table. Any unused cutlery was put away, as were the place-mats and a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese was put away in the fridge. 

Lady Teeritz and I got back from our walk a little later and I went to the kitchen to flick the kettle on. I looked down and saw a small shape on the floor under the table. It was about the size of a matchbox. Next to this were some scattered crumbs. I crouched down and saw that it was what was left of the soap-cake sized block of parmesan cheese that had been grated into the bowl before dinner. 
Our new friend had gotten his tiny fangs into it. Ate about two-thirds of it. After we all spent a few minutes of "Oh my God, that little..." and "This little furry creep eats anything!"  and "Where the hell is he?", we went looking for the little so-and-so, and found him huddled under a stool in the study.
My wife brought him into the lounge and parked him next to herself on the couch. Soon, he started shivering a little. 
I called the nearby animal hospital, not really looking forward to having to take him there unless absolutely necessary.
The nurse that I spoke to told me to keep an eye on him over the next few hours and if he got worse overnight, it might be wise to bring him to our vet the next morning. 
He stayed put on the couch and we later gave him some water. Shortly afterwards, we brought him to our daughter's room where he's been living since he got here. Then we opened the front door to let our older cat in. She still hasn't accepted this little guy. 
Early days.

I wore the Oris Diver SixtyFive. Regarding Batman - The Dark Knight Returns, I read this classic graphic novel (I still call 'em comics) back in 1989, prior to seeing the Tim Burton Batman film starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. 
This comic is much closer in feel and mood to the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale vision of Batman. 
In this story, we find Bruce Wayne in his early '50s, having hung up his cowl and cape years ago and now seemingly courting some kind of death wish as he engages in risky pursuits befitting a younger man. The Joker has just been released from Arkham Asylum, rehabilitated, and Superman works for the government. The streets of Gotham City are populated by gangs of vigilantes, neo-Nazi punks and mutant thugs and a thirteen year-old girl swings acrobatically across roof-tops at night in an effort to emulate Batman's off-sider Robin, who died years ago.

Written by Frank Miller, artwork by Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley, this was a seminal work when it was first released in 1986 and it almost single-handedly helped usher in a new breed of comic artists and writers who were intent on proving that comics could be more than just vertical rectangles, and could say more than "POW!" and "Kerrchannggg!!!"

If you ever only read one graphic novel in your lifetime, read this one. 

Tuesday morning, I had another dental appointment to have a new crown done. One more appointment in a month to get it fitted and that will, hopefully, do for the time being. 
I headed off to a late start at work and managed to lock my keys in the car. This was a hassle I didn't need. I was wearing the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean;


I walked in to the office and asked the accountant for his car keys, since he drives an old Mercedes-Benz and it has a similar double-sided key to my car. Took me a few goes, but I got there in the end. 
Basically, the boot (trunk) key of a 1983 Merc will open the driver's door of my 1993 Toyota Corolla hatchback. 
I got a theory that every kind of key has been cut by now, so sooner or later, you're gonna run into a key that's a double of one that you already have. 


Today was a busy one. I had a tonne of stuff to get done. Stayed back late writing an e-mail. Got home and had dinner and a glass of red. I was wearing the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Wore a tie in my never-ending battle against casual Fridays, but by the time I got home, it was time to take it off.

That glass of Cab Sav hit the spot. I was thinking of putting this watch on a leather strap and leaving it on for a couple of years until it falls apart. I have enough watch straps at the moment and I should start using them up.
Although, it's got such an iconic look on its bracelet that I sometimes think I should just leave it be.



Meanwhile, somebody sticks close to us all whenever we walk into the kitchen, and he's gotten very good at recognising the sound of a plastic lid being taken off a container.
Which is when he starts with an incessant and impatient meowing.
It's also pretty difficult to get a sharp photo of him because he rarely sits still.
Remember when we all had that much energy?

For his English Literature studies, my son has just reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and he's seen Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. We sat down last night to watch Coppola's 2001 re-cut version of this 1979 epic. Titled Apocalypse Now - Redux, this print adds 49 minutes to the original release.

Set in the Vietnam War, the story concerns Captain Willard's (Martin Sheen)  mission to travel deep upriver into the jungles of Cambodia to find and 'terminate with extreme prejudice' rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter Kurtz, who has reportedly gone mad. A small gunboat crew is assigned to take him on his journey and there is an increasing uneasiness among them as they are kept in the dark about Willard's true mission.
I haven't seen this film since the late 1980s, so I was curious to see what this extra footage would contain. There is a long scene where Willard and his crew meet a French family who have owned a rubber plantation in Vietnam for generations and, while it is an interesting scene which touches on colonialism and France's place in historic conflicts, I did feel that it was a very long scene that didn't really move the story forward. Still, it's Coppola's film and this is the version that he originally wanted to release back in '79.
The film holds up extremely well after all the years of hype and myth. It's often a good idea to watch a film years later, after all of the hullaballoo that surrounded its original release has died down. You develop a new appreciation for the film. Usually, anyway. It didn't work when I last sat through Tim Burton's Batman.  
That film hasn't aged well at all. 

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sunday 25/6/2017 - This Week's Wristwatches.

Hectic week, all. I'll keep it short.

Wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five earlier in the week. Had it on a NATO strap;


Switched over to the Omega Railmaster on Thursday;


And switched back to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five on Friday. I put the bracelet back on this watch, to give it a little more heft;



This little guy is settling in nicely with all of us...except for our other cat. I think we'll have to slow down the introduction process. Could take a few months rather than a few weeks, with no guarantee of success. We may end up with an uneasy truce rather than a friendship. 
This week, it's been like the Cuban Missile Crisis around here. 
With less missiles.
And more fur. 

And my God, can this guy eat!


Thanks for reading!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Saturday 17/6/2017 - Cars, Cameras, Cats & This Week's Wristwatches.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Work is flat-out busy at the moment. Aside from that, I've been looking at a few cars, a new camera, and we got another cat too.

CAR
              My 1993 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is reaching its end-of-life. Sure, I could spend some money on sprucing it up, but I think it's time to go for something else. I've had this car for the last ten years...okay, I just found my original paperwork. Make that twelve years. 
It has served me well. Obviously, it was never a glam automobile, but I have to say that, in terms of reliability, this car has been bullet-proof. No major dramas, this thing has purred along nicely, requiring nothing more than routine servicing. 
I had owned a couple of late 1970s Volkwagen Golfs (did y'all in The States call them 'Rabbits'?) and they were great cars. My second one was fraught with issues, though, and I stupidly kept taking it back to a Volkswagen mechanic when I would have been better served going to a local guy instead. 
Anyway, the ownership of this second Golf left a sour taste in my mouth and I resolved to go for something Made In Japan because I wanted a car that would be relatively trouble-free.
The Toyota Corolla wound up being just that.  
However, like I said, this car has reached the end of the road. Time to look at something else. Some other brand. Still Japanese, because Made In Japan has always had a certain cachet to it, as far as I'm concerned.
And so, I landed on the Mazda 3 Series. Went to a local used car-yard and took one for a spin. It was a 2006 model, manual, with about 160,000 km's on the clock. It was a nice driver, smooth and with a little bit of zip. My Toyota had gotten a little sluggish in recent years, so it was refreshing to get behind the wheel of something that had some pep. I wasn't crazy about the black paint-job, but I could live with that.
I spoke to the dealer afterwards, telling him that I would arrange to take the car to my mechanic later in the week and, if it got the thumbs-up, I'd take it.
We shook hands.
Somebody else bought the car a few hours later.

Anyway, I'll just keep an eye out for any others that come up for sale. This dealer will let me know if he gets any more of them while I scour a couple of car sales websites.
Something will turn up sooner or later.

CAMERA
                          I've gotten a lot of use out of the Olympus EPL-5 Micro 4/3rds camera that I bought a few years ago. However, my biggest gripe with this camera was the lack of built-in viewfinder. I did end up buying an external viewfinder for it, but this meant that I couldn't slip the leather cover over the camera while the viewfinder was attached.
I began thinking about replacing the EPL-5, and gave some serious consideration to the Fujifilm X100T;

Gotta love the Leica-esque design of these instant classics. Fuji knocked one out of the park with the first iteration of the X 100 was released back in early 2011. 
One thing though- this camera has a fixed lens. I considered that, while I'm no master photographer, I would prefer to have a camera with interchangeable lens capability. So I began to look elsewhere.
(pic courtesy of www.amateurphotographer.co.uk)




The Olympus Pen F takes its name from a 35mm rangefinder camera of the mid 1960s. It was a half-frame camera, which basically used half of each frame in a roll of film for each photo. This meant that a 24 exposure roll of Kodak would yield 48 photos by the time you were done.
Olympus seems to have done well with its EPL series of Micro Four-Thirds digital cameras in recent years. I have high praise for the EPL-5 model that I've had these past few years.
The Pen F model would require me to bone up a little more on digital photography, which is not a bad thing. Now that I've settled into my job, I find myself wanting to learn new things and/or get better at the things I already know. With photography, be it film or digital, I'm still quite an amateur. At least with digital, I can delete a bad photo.
So, I did my research and landed on the Pen F. I wanted it in two-tone;


Photo taken from -->   www.popphoto.com | Hands-on with the Olympus Pen F Camera

However, the store I visited only had it in black. Since their pricing was around $180 less than their closest competitor, I figured I'd go for the black. Now, I already have the 14-42mm lens from the EPL-5, so I just opted for the body only of this camera. My plan is to sell the EPL-5 on eBay, along with the external viewfinder and other accessories. Might re-coup some of what I spent on this new camera.
I've had it for about two weeks now and I haven't messed with it too much as yet. This camera requires a little more fiddling around with settings and other functions, so I think I'll want to load the full instruction manual onto my computer so that I can have a closer read of it.
Next month, I'll get a cheap leather case for it off eBay. I've got a thing about looking after my stuff.

Here's a link to a review of this camera, if you'd like to know more;

ephotozine.com | Olympus Pen F - Full Review

CAT

The kids had been saying for quite a few years now that our cat could do with a companion.
We had been putting this off for a while now - When we get a new house, when we come back from the trip, when we get new jobs, etc, etc.

Well, things had calmed down enough that we though now might be the time. We'd actually been looking for about a year or so, to be honest. I must say some cat breeders are just downright fruity. My wife did 90% of the calling around and she dealt with breeders who placed their phone numbers in sales listings and then would get snappy when she called them. About six weeks ago, she and I visited one breeder who lived about 45 minutes from our house. We had a look at the cat, another Burmese. Some breeders run a tight ship, with the cats sectioned off in a separate part of their home, some run things differently, with cats roaming around the house, with baskets in every corner and a few scratching posts throughout the room. This breeder was the latter type. We chatted about the kitten that she had for sale. It had a slight scratch near its right eye. One of the other cats had gotten a little defensive towards it a few days earlier. I was a little concerned that this might be conjunctivitis, and I didn't like the nutcasey vibe that this breeder was giving off. She told us a little too much about her impending surgical procedure. My wife and I learned later one that a few other people that we knew had dealt with this breeder before. None of them gave her glowing reviews.
Anyway, short answer is that we didn't end up purchasing from her. We wound up getting a new cat from a breeder who was impressed to hear that we'd done our homework regarding how to bring a new kitten into a home that already has an adult cat.
Like Madame Wispola Dusenberg (Wispy or Dussy for short, although she does have about 63 different names, thanks to my kids), this kitten is a Burmese. They are a very personable breed. Very friendly and companionable, not as loud, angular-featured or as slim as a Siamese, but quite exotic nonetheless.
Now, I know that there are cat shelters out there in the world that are filled with strays that need a good home, and we thought about getting a cat from one, but I had always wanted to get a Lilac Burmese. Careful what you wish for, Teeritz. 
My first cat, when I was a kid, was a rescue animal. Madame was a dumped stray, believe it or not, that virtually turned up on our doorstep eight years ago, proving to me once and for all that karma does indeed exist, and works in mysterious ways.
But this time around, I wanted to choose exactly what I wanted, right down to the colour.
We got a male. I'm told it's better to mix the sexes, as this removes some of the territorial battles that might ensue if both cats are of the same sex. It can also bring out the maternal/paternal instinct in the older cat. Not sure if this will happen.
The kitten is four months old, which is fine by us. I'm not sure if any reputable breeders will sell you a kitten that's eight weeks old, like back in the old days.
And he has the energy of a friggin' Duracell bunny. We've had him for eight days and he's a full-time job. It's gotten a little tricky making sure certain doors are closed, so as not to have the two of them run into each other just yet.
Getting them accustomed to each other will be a slow process. It involves getting them used to each other's scent first. This is done by the following method;
I had a few packets of baby socks that I bought last year in order to store my watches in temporarily, to prevent them from scratching each other up.
I took one of these socks and rubbed it along the sides of the kitten's mouth and along his forehead. I did the same with another sock on the older cat. Then, I placed each cat's sock next to the other cat, to get them used to the other's scent. This is meant to be done over the course of a week or so. Then, you place these socks next to their feeding bowls, to get them to associate the scent with something pleasurable, i.e- eating.
After a week, you then begin feeding each cat at the same time on either side of a door, to get them used to each other's scent and any sounds they might make while eating.
A week later, you continue doing this, but you open the door a fraction so that they can glimpse each other. If there's any hostility between them, you revert back to the closed door technique and begin again.
This, I suspect, could take a while. Madame Wispy has had free run of the whole house for years now, and is probably quite territorial.

Mister Bowie- which might end up being his name. Or Fidel-, being a very young kitten, has been overwhelmed by the size of the house when we've let him out of my daughter's room (his temporary digs) and has usually opted to run under the couch.
That's him ----->
He has a powdery look to him, and I think his face and ears will darken as he gets older.
I'm hoping for as smooth a transition as possible and I'll be relieved if they accept each other in due course. Otherwise, the house will be some kind of feline war-zone for years to come.
At any rate, there's no shortage of information on the web about how to introduce two cats to each other. I just hope these two cats have read these articles too. 
So, you can see that I haven't devoted too much time or energy to this blog in recent weeks. Work has been busy as I take on a few more tasks, but I thought I'd do a quick post (yeah, good luck wit dat!) as some kind of update.

Wristwatch-wise, I wore these over the last few weeks;

Started the month of June with the Omega Speedmaster Professional on a ten dollar leather strap. It's a nice look, but I wound up putting the bracelet back on the watch a few days later. 

The Rolex Submariner 5513. I didn't wear this watch, but I did take it in to Rolex for a service quote. They wanted to replace the hands on the watch as part of the work required. I had specifically asked them not to quote for new hands. The existing hands and dial markers have darkened slightly, from bright white when the watch was new in 1982, to a creamy patina. If the hands are replaced, they'll be bright white, killing the entire look of the watch, in my opinion, to say nothing of the drop in value of the watch once the original hands are changed. They told me that they quoted for new hands because the luminous compound on the existing hands is brittle and could flake off and get into the movement of the watch. I told them I'd take my chances. I told them not to change the hands as a professional courtesy, since I'm in the wristwatch after-sales industry too. 
No dice. They wouldn't budge.
No deal, I thought to myself. I understand Rolex's reasons. They are all about making your watch look brand new again, but since it's my watch, I'm more concerned with trying to keep it as original as possible. 
I went back to the service centre and got my watch back while I began formulating Plan B. 
More about that in a later post.


I also wore the Oris Diver SixtyFive, seen here on a blue & cream striped NATO strap which I snagged off eBay for twelve bucks. The cream stripe picks up nicely off the luminous numerals on the dial



Ended the working week with the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer. I'm seriously considering a major restoration of the dial on this watch. Might need to source some new hands for it too. Should look pretty nice once it's done. 

Got home from work and switched over to the Omega Railmaster. Just between you and me, I think my wrists have gotten smaller. I didn't think that was possible, but I've noticed in recent months that many of my watches feel a tad looser on my wrist than they used to. Sure, winter would be one reason for this, since your wrists don't swell up as much from the heat the way they do in summer, but I think that, since my gym membership lapsed early last year, I'm sure I've thinned down a little. Might have to get into some regular exercise routine over the next few months and then re-join the gym come springtime. Sounds like a plan. Of course, I have a few other things to deal with between now and spring. Ah well, better to be busy than not. 

And that's it, gang. Not sure if I'll maintain weekly posts. Life has a way of getting busy. My wife and I are in a de-cluttering stage at the moment. September will make two years since we moved into this house and there are still a few unpacked boxes scattered here and there. Time to clear some stuff. 

Okay, I'm running out of steam, and it's only 4:00pm Saturday. 

Thanks for reading and have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday 26/5/2017 - Bond Fan In Mourning.

At around 10:45pm (AEST) on Tuesday evening, I crawled into bed and did a quick check of the web on my iPod Touch. I tapped the tile for the BBC News app. A few seconds later;
"Oh no! No!...Roger Moore died", I exclaimed. 

Regular readers of this blog may know that I became a Bond fan as a kid in the mid '70s when  I went to see a Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun double-bill on a summer's Sunday afternoon with my dad and my brother. 
I thought this English secret agent was super-cool, with his nifty gadgets (loved his Rolex wristwatch), snappy one-liners and exotic missions. I took it all very seriously.
As I got older, I watched Moore in his earlier roles in the 1960s TV series The Saint and his later show, The Persuaders, which co-starred Tony Curtis. 
And, due to his success as Bond, Moore made a slew of other films throughout the '70s and '80s, such as Gold!, Shout At The Devil, That Lucky Touch, The Wild Geese, Crossplot, Escape To Athena, and The Cannonball Run (in which he played a fellow named Seymour Goldfarb Jr who thinks he's Roger Moore). 

I really liked Moore as Simon Templar, the gentleman adventurer/thief who stole from the rich and got caught up in various adventures. He drove a cool car (a Volvo P1800) and had a sharp hairstyle. He never killed anyone and I don't think he ever kissed anybody either. He was The Saint, after all. 

As I caught up with the Connery Bond films and read the Ian Fleming novels, I soon began to realise that Roger Moore's take on 007 was a lot more light-hearted than the earlier films and the books. But this was the 1970s. The era of the Carry On movies, Dick Emery and Benny Hill. His Bond was the one that the era demanded. 
But I took my Bonds seriously, remember? Sean Connery became the Bond that I liked because his was closer to the books.

However, I will always have a soft-spot for Mr Moore. He was always an amusing talk-show guest. And the last few days have shown a host of celebrities and fellow actors who have had nice things to say about him. 

This story here has gone viral in recent days;


My mother liked him, too. She referred to him as 'the man who throws punches' before she learned his name and pronounced it 'Rodge Maw' in her Italian accented English.

Roger Moore was born in August 1927 and died earlier this week after a short battle with cancer. 

I feel as though a part of my own personal history is gone. Inevitable, I guess. Nobody lives forever, after all, but I feel a certain 'hollowness' this week. A hero of mine has died.

Moore played Bond lighter than I would have liked as I got older, but he kept the Bond film franchise cranking for over a decade. In lesser hands, the franchise might have fizzled out sometime around 1980. Also, I can recall numerous moments from my teen years when I would make a comment with a raised eyebrow and an innocent expression. It would appear that Mr Moore had a greater effect on me than I thought.
Moore was the Bond that I first saw on-screen. The poster for Live And Let Die hangs on my lounge room wall, a perfect example of guns, girls, car chases and Bond's cool demeanour. And, as I mentioned, he was a great talk-show guest, never taking himself or his industry too seriously.

And so, I raise a glass to Roger Moore. 
Thank-you for services rendered, Sir. Your work and your very being has brought me much pleasure. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday 19/5/2017 - Back To The Movies, RIP Chris Cornell (dammit!) & This Week's Wristwatches.


I was still wearing the Tudor hand-wound, on an expanding bracelet, last weekend. I must admit that I do like this look. Reminds me of the men of my Dad's generation. Uncles and family friends that I knew when I was a kid back in the '70s. There's a certain simplicity and ingenuity in the design of these bracelets. Perhaps the most famous brand would be Speidel, but there was a time back in the 1950s and '60s when other brands such as Kingsway and Jacobi-Bender Champion made these.
Once adjusted to your wrist size, they are very comfortable. The Speidel one up above was an absolute dog to adjust, and I think a might have lost some of the microscopic hooks that hold the links together when I last re-sized the bracelet. No matter. I've got two more of them coming from eBay.

Can't remember the last movie I saw at the cinema. Oh, wait a sec, yes I can. It was La La Land, sometime back in February. I had planned to catch a few more movies, but life got in the way.
Went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II last weekend. The cinema that we saw it in was very, very small. Twelve rows, but they still managed to charge us full price for the tickets. The dogs. 
I wore a blast from the past, the Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical;

Is it just me, or do modern movie tickets look crappy to you, too? Thermal-printed tickets mean that, if you wanted to keep it as a memento, you'd wind up with a little blank piece of paper in a few months. 

The film was good. Chris Pratt is carving out a nice career for himself. I read rumours that he could be playing Indiana Jones in a reboot which, personally, I would rather see than Harrison Ford don the fedora again at his age. The last Indy movie, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2008) wasn't bad, but Spielberg and Co really did wait a little too long after Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in 1989. 

Okay, maybe I'm running out of steam this week. Or maybe that third glass of red just kicked in.  

Switched over to the Omega Seamaster 300 mid-week;



Switched back to the Tudor for work today. I dressed a little sharper, in a never-ending battle against Casual Fridays;

Later in the day, I asked the watchmaker about the clicking sound that my watch makes whenever it's wound. I thought there might be a chipped cog somewhere to do with the winding mechanism or crown. He opened up the case-back and had a look inside.  He then told me that he'd take a crack at repairing it early next week. Said he had a bunch of parts for this movement (ETA Cal. 1080) and could get it working smoother. So, there I was, without a watch on my wrist and beginning to feel antsy. 


"Never let them see you bleed...
...Always have an escape route."

-Q (Desmond Llewellyn) The World Is Not Enough (Dir: Michael Apted, 1999) 

However, I learned a long, long time ago to always have an escape route, a Plan B, a back-up plan. Sure, here I am, working for a wristwatch brand, but it's not like I can just grab something out of our stock and just put it on my wrist.

So I made my way to the car-park and grabbed my 'Q Branch' kit out of the glove-box of my car. Aside from the nail clippers, head-ache tablets, USB stick, Burt's Bees lip balm, BIC lighter, sugar sachets, Swiss Card, Band-Aids, etc, etc, there is also a mechanical wristwatch on a Waterborne NATO strap;

This was a moment-of-weakness eBay purchase from a few years ago. It's a Trident (yes, a bullshit brand that some guy came up with), a 1950s Rolex Submariner 'homage'- and I'm being very generous with that term- that is flimsy and cheap-assed in so many ways that I would use up the rest of the internet describing everything that's wrong with it.
But, it does have a Swiss ETA movement in it. And I just needed it to keep ticking for the next two and a half hours or so until I got home.

It would do. Not nicely, but it would do;


I was extremely disheartened to hear of the death of singer/songwriter Chris Cornell yesterday, and it was heartbreaking to learn earlier today that he had taken his own life.
I didn't know much about him beyond his work with Soundgarden and his fantastic title song for Daniel Craig's first Bond film Casino Royale in 2006. It wasn't long after that that I got hold of his album Carry On and developed an appreciation for his razor-sharp voice.
I thought 2016 had been a bastard-coated bastard with bastard creme filling* and I'd hate to think that this year will bring us more misery as the Grim Reaper takes away more talent.

Cornell was only 52 and tributes have flooded the news and social media in the past day or so and, aside from a prolific body of work and a respected place in rock history, he leaves behind a wife and three children.

I'll leave you all with this clip off YouTube, of his acoustic rendition of Prince's song Nothing Compares 2 U. 
It showcases his wonderful voice and further demonstrates just what the world of music has lost this week.

Thanks for reading.



* that term came from a fellow member on a wristwatch forum that I frequent. Funny, funny line.