Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday 7/3/14 - So Much Homework, Oscar Night Started Late, The Hunt For a New Smartphone & This Week's Wristwatches.

Friday  8:21pm AEST

Spent the weekend doing...ah, I can't remember. I think it involved giving the guttering an undercoat. I was crouched on the flat tin roof of our house and managed to burn my knees as the temperatures climbed. We're in the last few weeks of summer, even though technically, autumn has begun. Gotta get this house ship-shape since we have plans to move sometime later in the year.

Last Monday
I got a text from my brother the day before, informing me of the details of his father-in-law's funeral service to be held today. I had met the man on a few occasions over the years and always found him to be a decent fellow. 
I got to the cemetery on time and located my brother and his party. He was wearing a suit and tie, as was I...and nobody else. Actually, no, that's not true. There was an elderly gentleman in attendance whom I can only assume was a friend of the deceased and he too had made an effort. I don't know why so many men dress for these kinds of occasions as though they were heading out to a Sunday barbecue. One fellow even left his Oakley sunglasses perched on top of his head while seated in he chapel during the service. 
When I got home, I drank a toast to the late Mr. B. Wearing the Omega Railmaster. Because there's a right way to do some things.

Monday evening
It was Oscar Night. Problem was, the telecast (which was already screened here earlier in the day) would be commencing at 9:40pm. I can recall the days when it would screen at 7:30, but that was when the free-to-air TV stations still  gave a damn. And since when did TV stations get into this sloppy habit of starting programs 40 minutes into the hour? I'm not sure how it works in other countries (do programs start on the hour in the US? Here, they normally go at the half-hour), but it's gotten a little too unpredictable in Australia over the last five or seven years.
As it turned out, the telecast didn't commence until approx 10:10pm. 
Anyway, I liked Ellen De Generes hosting the show. I have to say that she's terribly at-ease and her delivery of her gags was nicely timed. 
And, in case you haven't seen it, here's a link to the selfie she took* with a few actor-types who were nearby;

 Ellen & Co Oscars Twitter Photo

*actually, Bradley Cooper took the photo, so legally, he owns the copyright to it. I didn't paste it here because I'm really busy this week and I can't fit getting sued by a (great) Hollywood actor into my schedule right now. Way to go, Will Tippin! ;-)

At the time of writing, it's been retweeted over 3,319,500 times, and has become a Twitter record. I do like the candid nature of the photo, even though some papers have stated that it was a marketing stunt devised by Samsung, the suppliers of the smartphone used for the picture.

Continued with Assignment 2. Good God, if I never look at another social media site, it'll be too soon. And I still have ten or eleven of them to go. These are the more obscure ones that libraries do not tend to use, as far as I know.

Had classes. At the end of each Social Media class, I feel less inclined to use the internet. The weather got a little chilly towards late afternoon, so out came the Ballantine's. I still had the Railmaster on.

Started thinking that I should upgrade to a new smartphone. I got a Nokia Lumia 800 two years ago and its battery life was dreadful. So much so that I wound up hunting up a new Nokia E63 like the one I used to have before I gave it to my wife to use.
However, I do find the Maps app handy from time to time, so I figured I'd look into what smartphones have to offer these days. Especially better battery life.
iPhones are out. I'm ideologically opposed to having too many Apple products. An iPod Touch and an iPad are plenty for me. So, I've been reading up on Samsung Galaxy 4 Minis and HTC Ones. Still not sure which way to go.
I'm not a huge mobile phone user. I check e-mails throughout the day, may make/receive a call or two every few days and get or send half-a-dozen text messages per week. I don't live my life by these things.
Therefore, I don't need a phone that can do everything, but fly. But a longish stand-by time/battery life is important.
The Lumia 800 let me down way too often around the time that my Mother died two years ago and I was making a lot of calls to my brother and relatives and the phone's battery just couldn't keep up. I've always been a loyal Nokia user, but I think their time has passed, especially since Microsoft hooked up with them.
Anyway, since I have these two major assignments due next Wednesday (12th), I decided to put on a watch with day and date function. Just to keep me to schedule. It was time to put on the Sinn;

Continued with the assignments. My, my, Google+ is confusing to me. I took a break by removing the sliding door of my son's bedroom while my wife painted the door frame. Later in the afternoon, I headed out to take a better look at some smartphones. Thought I'd do some recon before I make the swap, which may end up costing me an extra five or ten bucks a month. I was still wearing the Sinn 103 St Sa;

Had another drink just before dinner. I think summer is well and truly over here in Melbourne. And the good news is that there's been no sign of the snake (Mr Pringles) for over two weeks now, so I think he/she has moved on.

I hope your week has been swell, gang, and to Scott K and the gang, may the Brisbane Type-In be loud and inky.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!


  1. I know they started programs at weird times on the BBC in the past, not sure about if they still do that or not. (In the US) I remember when I watched television when I was younger, shows always started on the hour or half-hour. Sometimes a few minutes off, but never an odd time like that.

    I kind of like the idea of a show starting at 9:40 though. XD

    I wondered how that could have been a selfie. Now I know, haha.

  2. I could fill a blog with the deterioration of the broadcast services here in the USA, but I will spare all the boring grief. Some of the Satellite broadcasters start programs at odd times, but the regular TV stations still on the hour or half hour. I seldom watch TV, wife watches it.

    I was suspicious from the start on Ellen's selfie. First thing I noticed is if it were a selfie she would need a very long arm unless holding the camera very very still on a pole while the self-timer timed out.

    Nice watches.

    Have fun with the social media sites. I think a class that required that would drive me off my rocker. I avoid all of them. However, I see you do have some relaxers (a good Scotch?) at the ready.

  3. @ Nick, these crazy starting times drive me nuts. Programs used to start on the half-hour, but this was before the age of reality TV. Nowadays, something like "Australian Idol" or "MasterChef" is permitted to run ten or fifteen minutes overtime because people lap it up.

    @ Bill, it's the regular TV stations that treat their viewers like crap.
    The scotch is Ballantine's. It does the job quite well. For a lower-tier blended scotch whisky, it has a smoother taste than a few others of similar pricing. I have a bottle of Dewar's 12 year-old (blended) and it tastes like battery acid.

  4. Every time I get onto social media, I feel like I need to stop using the internet. But that's just me.Typosphere blogs excluded of course.

    I'm happy with my iPhone. I have been handed a couple of Androids at work, and I'm inclined to avoid them like the plague. That said, I do use multiple Apple devices, so it does all link together to nicely for me to want to mess with.

    Maybe it is time for a Melbourne Type-in. somewhere. Might have to wait till I get down there.

  5. We all key in on different things. I am with you on the casual dress at funerals. If they can't make an effort at the important occasions, I guess there are no social conventions anymore. It's been ruining the opera for me for years but weddings and funerals are declining too.

    1. Yes, NA, I think the world is ending very, very slowly. I blame the internet.

  6. Hello Teeritz. I am looking for a watch with some very specific needs in mind. I am a professional shooter and gunsmith, and need a watch that can endure a fair amount of abuse, preferably with a recessed crystal since I have smashed dozens of them at the range, relatively cheap to fit my tight budget, and a changeable wristband since I typically like broader leather bands. Anna recommended you since you know a lot about watches, so I wanted to ask you for your thoughts, if you don't mind.

    1. Tricky one, MB. Recoil from a rifle might eventually cause some damage to the inner workings of a mechanical wristwatch movement. Sounds like you do a lot of shooting, so my recommendation would be to go for a quartz (battery) operated watch. Fewer moving parts, less that can go wrong, more accurate than mechanicals.These can be found for much cheaper than an automatic or hand-wound watch, given that you may be working with a tight budget. I would suggest Seiko and Citizen, as they are the best of the reputable Japanese brands on the market. You could probably find a decent watch on a strap for around $100-$150, but I'm thinking that they sell for less than that.
      The one drawback with that price-range will have to do with the crystal. Recessed crystals will be tricky to find, but Seiko, for example, use their own in-house Hardlex crystal technology which is pretty hard to scratch, although not impossible.
      As for breakage, no brand makes glass that can't be broken. Perhaps one way to minimise this is to wear the watch on the inside of the wrist, military-style.
      Regarding changeable straps, as long as the lugs (where the strap attaches to the watch) are of conventional shape, like most watches, you should have no trouble changing straps. I would go for a NATO strap because they are comfortable, cheap, and can be more secure than any other kind of strap. And being nylon, when they get dirty, you just toss them in the washing machine.
      I hope this info helps.

    2. Hey Teeritz, I had posted a response yesterday, but it wouldn't let me for whatever reason. Hopefully it goes through this time.

      Thank you very much for your help. While the brands you suggested didn't carry anything like what I was looking for, the info did help me refine my search quite a bit, and I was able to find a few watches that may better suit my needs.

      I found the Bertucci A-1S watch, which is perfect for my needs. Unfortunately, only the titanium or resin ones were available in black, but they have either an extra 100 in the price point, or break easy, respectively. They do have a tritium model, but those run in excess of 400 USD, which is way out of my budget. I had actually found another that I attempted to link you to yesterday, but I forgot what it was and apparently didn't bookmark it. It was outside of my budget anyways. In any case, the Bertucci has a recessed mineral crystal, quartz, and is fairly water resistant. Hopefully, I won't be cracking the glass on the side of my kalashnikov anytime soon, lol.

      That's actually how I wear my watches, inside the wrist. This is great for timing your shots, and generally protecting the watch as you're romping through the woods, but on the downside, it puts the crystal, or preferably the bezel, right against your rifle in practically any standing firing position short of a slow fire match posture.

      As for the strap, I actually find nylon straps to be uncomfortable, particularly because they're so thin. I like the feel of wide leather straps, and the look. Perhaps it's a hold over from my punk/goth days in school...

    3. as a side note, I discovered that you have to have third party cookies always enabled in order to post comments on blogspot... that's why my previous reply didn't go through...

    4. Blegh, I hate to spam your comments like this, but there were a couple things I left out while distracted by the comments issues...

      Anyways, I was wondering if you knew anything about Bertucci and could give your thoughts on them, if you did, before I went ahead and hit the "Buy" button. Also, I'm on the hunt for a Russian "Slava" automatic skeleton watch to go with my suit. Do you know of any websites where I could find something like that, besides etsy and ebay?

    5. Interesting, MB. I had a feeling you might wear your watch on the inside of the wrist. That's gonna cause some wear and tear on the crystal for sure. I would almost suggest a Hamilton Khaki, but they can be pricey, from memory. Although, you could check out the quartz version.

      Regarding comments, I changed the parameters so that spammers can't get through so easily. It would seem that you need a Google account, at least, in order to comment on my posts. Sounds like you don't have to worry about that.
      Regarding Bertucci watches, never heard of them, but for the price, I don't think you can really go wrong. I just don't know how long they'll last on a shooter's wrist, since they are not overly expensive. In fact, they're pretty cheap compared to the watches I used to sell. You DO get what you pay for. I'm not familiar with the Slava watches. I've always found skeleton watches very hard to read, thus breaking my one Golden Rule about wristwatches- they have to tell the time above all else.
      As for something a little dressier, have a look at the Orient Bambino. A more conventional style and design, but a pretty nice watch for the price. About $200 or less if you hunt around.
      Feel free to contact me via email if you have any further questions, MB. I may have some queries regarding firearms, myself. It always helps with my Bond fan fictions when I get the technical info correct.