Thursday 7 November 2013

Friday 8/11/13- Poor-Quality DVDs, Traffic Light Buttons, The Melbourne Cup & This Week's Watches.

Friday, 3:49pm (AEST)

Last Friday night.
We sat down and watched a very, very poor-quality DVD version of "Charade" (Dir: Stanley Donen, 1963), since my eleven year-old daughter is going through her Audrey Hepburn phase.
It's one of the best Hitchcock films that Hitchcock never made.

Picture courtesy of

I had a pristine version of this film recorded off tv on VHS sometime in the late '80s, but that got thrown away ages ago. I bought this DVD a few years ago and the print quality is absolutely dreadful. And so, the hunt begins for a better version of this film.
There's a scene where Cary Grant is chasing after Miss Hepburn and my son remarked; "I wouldn't want him to chase me. He's creepy."
Careful, pal, that's my favourite actor of the old Hollywood era. Well, him and Bogart. I'll have to sit them down to watch "North By Northwest" sometime soon. And maybe even "Only Angels Have Wings", so that they can get an idea of Grant's earlier output. Actually, maybe I'll put on "Houseboat" so that my son can check out Sophia Loren in her prime and see what a real woman is meant to look like. Mind you, it may prove difficult to tear him away from the Playstation, since "Arkham Origins" is occupying his free time. Besides, he's only thirteen and I'm in no hurry to see him grow up faster than he needs to. Every kid needs a childhood. Ten year-old girls don't need to wear make-up or back-stab their friends, and not every boy needs a killer instinct or 'competitive edge'.
I still had on my Omega AquaTerra.

 Don't worry about the date. It's an old photo;

Up onto the roof to sand back the eaves prior to painting. I needed a beater watch that could take some abuse without me shedding tears over it. Time for the Seiko 7002;

Afterwards, feeling a tad nostalgic, and wanting to wear something old-school, I put on the Omega Speedmaster Professional, aka The Moonwatch;

I've said this before on wristwatch forums- The whole moon landing/NASA association of this iconic watch holds no real allure for me. Its design is virtually unchanged since 1963 and this is what appeals to me about this watch. It's a beautiful example of a classic mid-Sixties chronograph that evokes images of E-Type Jaguars with Ann-Margret or Monica Vitti in the passenger seat, oil pipelines, unfiltered cigarettes, Scotch-on-the-rocks, and cool actors like Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Rod Taylor and Paul Newman.
Saturday night is "Lolly Night" at our house. The kids get a bowl of chocolate and/or lollies (candy) and we all sit down to watch a film. It was probably a huge deal for them back in the days when they considered "Toy Story" or "The Lion King" to be dramas, but these days, we wrack our brains some nights trying to think of what film to watch.
Two weeks ago, we watched "A Good Day To Die Hard" which, I'm sorry, is not a John MacLaine story, but a generic Bruce Willis action movie. Hard to see the resemblance to this character and the one he played in "Die Hard" back in 1988.
Last week, we saw "Silver Linings Playbook". I'd already seen it, and I think it's one of the best films of the past decade. Every performance is flawless. My daughter really likes Jennifer Lawrence, thanks to "The Hunger Games", so we thought the kids could do with watching a film where nobody gets shot and nothing blows up.
Anyway, for this Lolly Night, we decided on Jennifer Lopez's one decent film. Directed by Steven Soderbergh in 1998, based on an Elmore Leonard book, and starring George Clooney.
Yep, the kids were going to watch "Out of Sight".
They liked it. Thought it was funny.
We were dangerously low on coffee, so off we went. My daughter decided to tag along. I needed her help with something. Near my son's school is a set of crossing lights. What intrigued me about them was the button console that you have to use.
"Geez, this Teeritz dude needs a life!"
I haven't seen one of these since I don't know when;
It's just one of those things that, as soon as I saw it, it took me back about 30 or 40 years. Doesn't look like much, but it brought such strong memories to the surface. How many times did I run up to one of these as a kid to press the button.
And the little black screen would light up with the words "Call Recorded". As a child, I didn't know what the hell that meant.
And, because I felt bad about holding up traffic for a photo op;
"Just run across to the other side, pixie."
Monday (lunch-time)
I started watching "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (Dir: Anthony Minghella, 1999) on tv last night, but it finished later than I wanted to stay up so I didn't see the rest of it. I saw it at the cinema when it was first released and forgot how good a film it was. Minghella died suddenly in 2008 at the age of 54 and is best remembered for 1996's "The English Patient".
Given that I didn't get to watch the rest of "Ripley", and still smarting from the shocking DVD copy of "Charade" that I have, it was time for a trip to JB HiFi. And, after watching Matt Damon and Jude Law lazing around in Naples wearing cool 1950s threads, I thought I'd switch wristwatches. My 1951 Omega has some issues with it and my 1955 Omega needs some serious work, so I opted for the 1962 Omega Seamaster instead. 'Cos I'm such a Mad Man.
I spent longer at JB HiFi than I'd planned. It's easy to get distracted there since they've always got DVDs and BluRays on sale. I picked up a copy of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" for $6.99 and a (hopefully) better print of "Charade" for ten bucks. Cool. Now, to prevent you all from making the same mistake I made, here's a quick tutorial;
If you're looking to buy this film on DVD, DO NOT PURCHASE THE ONE ON THE LEFT!!!
The artwork on the packaging should have tipped me off, to be honest.
I bought the version on the right today and played the first few minutes of it and was pleased to see Audrey and Cary in crystal-clear W I D E S C R E E N. Lesson learnt.

Felt a little Flemingesque and thought I'd see how much product placement I could throw in. Forgot to include a mention of clothing, along the lines of;
"Teeritz tugged back the cuff of his SuperDry cotton shirt to reveal the Omega Seamaster automatic strapped to his wrist."
Monday evening.
My wife and I took the kids to see "Gravity". Wow! Miss Bullock will score an Oscar nomination for this one. It should also get a technical award for Sound. And Alfonso Cuaron is an extremely sure-footed director. His 2006 film, "Children of Men" virtually restored my faith in movies. Cuaron has a great ability for creating tension on-screen. When I find myself constantly shifting position in my seat at the cinema, I know the film is working.
Tuesday (Melbourne Cup Day)
Yes, it's here already. The race that stops a nation, as they say. We placed our bets at the kitchen table, money changed hands, I wore my lucky hat (turns out it isn't) and headed off to a nearby pub to put money on a few horses.
I wasn't actually gonna need the binoculars. I would be sitting only about eight feet away from the tv to watch the race. But, ya know, atmosphere is everything.  
I had originally intended a $20 each-way bet on Gai Waterhouse's "Fiorente". That's what my gut kept telling me. I figured it was time a horse trained by a lady should win this race. Stupidly, I listened to greed instead and switched over to a horse called "Ethiopia", which was paying something like $46 to win. Idiot, teeritz, idiot.
"Fiorente" won the race by a head. I was happy for Gai Waterhouse. Nice to see a lady win in a male-dominated sport.
My daughter's choice, "Mount Athos" placed third, so she scored back $21.50.
And that's it for another year of betting on the Cup.

Spent the next hour of the afternoon writing a letter on the Smith-Corona Galaxie II. Check your letterbox, Scott.
Only two typos! Man, this machine purrs along nicely.
Still had the vintage Omega Seamaster on.

Sat down that night to watch "The Company You Keep" (Dir: Robert Redford, 2012) on DVD. Certainly a well-made film with a great cast. The movie itself was reminiscent of a lot of 1970s political/paranoia thrillers. Not that Madame cared. I tell you, she could sleep on the bonnet of a moving car. Going off a cliff...on fire.
Wednesday (Mittwoch)
As often happens after a public holiday, I kept thinking today was Thursday, so it was time to put on a watch with DAY and date. It was time for the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph.

Got an e-mail late in the afternoon with the results of those two assignments I did last month. I got 61 out of 62 for the first one and 29 out of 30 for the second one. I think I can live with that. And that's another module out of the way. Seven subjects down, eight to go, assuming I can RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) for modules nine and ten. Those two are Writing Simple Documents and Provide Quality Customer Service. I'm aiming to prove that, through the maintenance of this blog and all of my years in hospitality and retail, I'll be able to skip those two modules because I have 'real-world' experience in those two areas. We'll see what happens.

Thursday (Donnerstag)
There's a sink full of dishes in the kitchen. 'Scuse me.
Okay, still wearing the Sinn 103 today and I had some sanding to do on the garage door. Didn't bother switching over to a 'beater' watch. I figured the Sinn would laugh at paint dust.

You'd think that I was planning to infiltrate Chernobyl, but there was a lot of dust flying around once I got started.
Switched over to something vintage. Dating back to somewhere between 1955 and, say, 1964 is this hand-wound Lanco. Time-keeping on this watch is not 100%, but good enough to wear from time to time. Could probably do with a service, but it'll have to wait. I do like the sub-seconds dial, though. Very old-school.

It's now Friday afternoon where I'm sitting. My son got home from school not long ago and is itching to start playing "Call of Duty: Ghosts", but my daughter just started watching the anime "Princess Mononoke".
Surprisingly, this is not a tense situation. My son is patient (as am I) and I've always found that to be a commendable trait to have, especially as the world moves at an ever increasing pace. I hate it when I'm paying for groceries or fuel, for example,  and the person standing behind me starts putting their purchase onto the counter while I'm receiving change from the salesperson. Never used to happen ten or fifteen years ago. I once saw a bumper sticker that read "I'm not in YOUR hurry". I'm gonna say that to somebody one day. They'll reply either "Oh, sorry" or "Get f***ed".
Should be interesting.
Well, that's another week wrapped up. I hope yours has been swell.
Thanks for reading!


  1. I love old pedestrian crosswalk signals and buttons! Of course, I've never seen ones like those before. Er... I don't know what call recorded is either.

  2. Good grief. That button even took me back! The last one I saw like that was in Essendon in the 90's.

    Also, a agree on the 'good day to die hard' thing. Average pulp. It was like a cartoon character version of 'die hard'. Grown inducing.

    Letterbox? On my way!

    Oh, and Gravity was amazing to see in the cinema (in 3D). I don't think it will work as well on DVD though. But it is probably my favorite film of the year.

  3. I look forward to these posts every week. The 62 Seamaster is gorgeous. Also, The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the better films I've seen in a while. That Jude Law, man...

    We have crosswalk buttons all over the place here, but they don't look half as classy as that one. Something both futuristic and retro about it, like it's from a Sci-Fi story from the 60's.

  4. Another exciting segment of Teeritz making his breakfast! :D