Friday, 30 May 2014

Friday 30/5/14 - Job Offers, Job Interviews, Happy Birthday Ian Fleming & This Week's Wristwatches.

-Friday 8:10pm  AEST-

Last Saturday
                       For Lolly Night, we watched "Philomena" (Dir: Stephen Frears, 2013), the story of a woman (wonderful performance by Dame Judi Dench) seeking to find her son, who was given up for adoption when he was two years old. 
She enlists the help of a disgraced journalist (Steve Coogan gives a deft performance) to track down her grown-up son. The film is very nicely done and the two leads play off each other very well under Frears' deft hand. I decided I'd go easy on the sweets tonight and just settled for something small. I was wearing the Omega Speedmaster;

              I've been visiting a website called;

...for the last six months or so. "You're addicted to that site", my wife has said on more than one occasion. I do find it interesting to see what guys (mainly) tend to carry on a daily basis. I was surprised to see how many folks carry a knife. Weapons Laws here in Victoria were amended a few years ago after a spate of knife-related crimes in the city. When I sold watches, I often carried a Swiss Army knife for cutting open boxes and packaging, since our store received deliveries on a daily basis and you could never find a sharp blade in the place. These knives were sometimes given to us by various watch brand sales reps as gifts and would have the brand's logo on them. 
I once asked a policeman what the laws were regarding knife carrying and he basically told me that it was illegal to carry a blade in this state. 
"What about if I only use it for opening boxes or cutting an apple on my lunch break?", I asked him.
"Nope, no knives at all. You will be fined", was his reply. 
I looked up the knife laws earlier this week. A one thousand dollar on-the-spot fine ('cos you know, I always carry a grand as walking-around money) OR you may have to go to court to face a fine of OVER $14,000.oo or one year's imprisonment.
But wait, it get's better.
This penalty is DOUBLED if you happen to be within 20 metres of a pub, club or bar. 
Anyway, I took a pic of what I tend to carry on any given day;

However, disregard the Swiss Army knife. After reading up on those laws above, there's no way I'd carry it with me. I agree with these newer laws. There was a spate of stabbings in the city about five years ago. While the punishment sounds excessive, I would imagine that it would deter somebody from carrying a blade. Certainly worked on me. Shame though, because the Swiss Army knife has saved me some headaches in the past. And I used almost every other function on it besides the blades. 

              Got a call from somebody offering me some work. In a watch store selling vintage pieces. A year ago, I would have jumped at the opportunity. His offer seemed okay, but there were some aspects of it that were less than ideal. I told him I'd have to think about it because things are a little hectic right now and will be for the next month or two. I was still wearing the Moonwatch;

I've been reading a book called "Capital" for the last few months. Ridiculous, I know. I started it, then switched to that book about Glock pistols and their history, then read other stuff before deciding to make an effort to finish it. Written by John Lanchester, it is about a street in an upmarket area of London in 2007 and the residents begin receiving postcards in the mail that simply state; 'We Want What You Have'. The story then flits between the lives of some of the street's residents. I have to say that Lanchester is a great writer in that he perfectly captures little nuances, behaviours and universal truths among the characters of the book. 
And so, it took me a few months to get through the first four hundred pages. Then, on Monday, I sat down for two hours and read about eighty pages, and did the same on Tuesday, and finished it. Great book!
Then I decided to download an e-book. I'd heard about this book about two months ago and was very, very intrigued.

picture courtesy of

Benjamin Black is a pseudonym of Irish author John Banville. I don't know much about him, but my wife (natch) tells me that he's written numerous crime novels. I'll have to look into them. 
I've read the first 90 pages and I'm hooked. So far, I think my pal Marlowe is in good hands. Writing a Chandler/Marlowe story can be tricky because the possibility of falling into pastiche is extremely high. 
However, Black has managed to walk this tightrope with a wonderful assuredness. Some of the lines sound like what Raymond Chandler himself would have written.
I have the two Robert B. Parker Marlowe novels, Poodle Springs and Perchance to Dream, but have yet to read them Hell, I haven't read Chandler's The Big Sleep, for that matter. I'm savouring it. Along with Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. The memory of the film versions of these two books is strong, so maybe that's why I keep putting them off.
Either that or I'm as 'forgetful' as your Aunt Edna after she's 'taken some medicine'. 
From a fifth of Wild Turkey Rye.

Messing with the 'Grainy Film' filter on the digital camera.I've been thinking of getting my 35mm film photos burned to disc. They'll cost me eight bucks each. I think it'll be a slow process. I got a lot of photos.

                I called back the fellow who offered me some work. I thanked him very much, but declined his offer, explaining that if I came to work for him, it would take me further away from working in libraries, which is what all this studying has been about for the last two years. As much as I like wristwatches, I don't really see myself getting back into the industry. Unless it's on my terms. 
Then in the afternoon, I went to class. I sat down with the two ladies I was working with last week and we batted around thoughts and ideas regarding Assignment No.4, which was a group exercise. I don't see us having any real issues with it, to be honest. All good. I had changed the strap on the Omega Speedmaster over to a chocolatey brown variation to give the watch a more vintage look.

And today, May 28th, is also Ian Fleming's birthday. There's no point saying he would have been 106. Not the way he smoked. 
I read a great post by a guy named luckystrike721. 

I've had a link to his blog on mine for ages...

It's a wonderful blog and I like how this guy thinks and how he writes. His posts are about the outfits worn by characters in movies and TV and they're very detailed.
But NOTHING could prepare me for the post he wrote about James Bond, as a way of commemorating  Fleming's birthday;

This post is basically 'Book Bond 101'. He covers everything about 007 of Fleming's novels, from Bond's taste in clothes to his favourite meals to his array of cars and guns. If you've never read a Bond novel, this post will give you a run-down as to what makes Bond tick. 
A brilliant post! 
And he even attached a link to my blog. Which was thoughtful.

              Had a job interview. That's another reason why I didn't take the other guy's offer on Tuesday. This interview was for a casual library assistant's role at the same library service that my wife works for. 
There were almost 400 applicants for this job, so I'm already up against it in that respect because I'm sure that many applicants will already have library experience. 
What I myself can bring to the role is customer service experience, which is something that more and more libraries are looking for as they evolve from places where you can borrow books to 'information hubs' where visitors and users can access all manner of information via the technologies available in The Digital Age. 
I think the interview went well enough, but then they always tend to. It's hard to know if they consider me a suitable applicant for the position. If they're looking for customer service experience, then I'm in with a chance. 
If they're looking for library experience, then that I do not have. Yet. I will be undergoing my 'Industry Placement' towards the end of July, where I'll need to devote 100 hours to working in a library, chosen by my college, on a voluntary basis. This is done in order to gain experience working in a library setting and can sometimes lead to you being offered a position on a permanent basis. That's how my wife got her job. 
But she's just naturally dazzling anyway. 

Anyway, I'll find out next Tuesday or Wednesday if I was successful. Wait and see. That's an attitude that I've adopted over the past decade and it has served me well. It takes a great deal of stress out of the time spent waiting. 
I'd switched over to a more sober wristwatch for the interview, too. Back to the Omega Seamaster AquaTerra that I wore on Monday;

          The plumber that I'd booked on Tuesday arrived early. No problem. He got to work trying to remove the tap (faucet) from the kitchen sink. It's been slowly leaking from its base for about two months. I shudder to think how much water we've wasted.
Anyway, he couldn't remove it "without possibly wrecking it." He loosened some tight taps that we have in the bathroom and managed to put a few deep scratches on the handles. My wife was not impressed when she came home. 
Looks like we'll be calling the other plumber that we couldn't get through to on Tuesday. 

I have decided to go through the huge number of boxes that we have that are filled with books, in an effort to cull a few. I plan on being slightly ruthless. These two were the first to go;

"54"  sounded interesting enough.  Cary Grant is recruited by MI6 to go to Yugoslavia to meet up with Marshall Tito for propaganda purposes against the USSR.
And then I Googled the author's name and found out that Wu Ming is made up of a collective comprising of five different authors.  Okay, that all sounds a little too pretentious, affected and (most dreaded) self-important for my reading tastes.  So it has to go. I paid four bucks for it, so it doesn't hurt to let it go. I also wrapped it in book laminate, so it's actually in better condition now than when I bought it.
As for The Element, I just don't have the time or energy to begin looking for my passion. I know two things for certain;
One, I want a job that allows me to settle into a routine at home.
And two, once this routine is in place, I plan to devote some regular time to doing some actual writing of all those screenplays that I've started in one form or another.
That's my passion.
And, if I find I'm having trouble or doubts with it all, I can always borrow this book from a library.

Looking further through the box, I found this;

It used to be a 'Set of Kent' Mathematical Instruments. I bought it for school back in 1981 (scratched the year on the back of it with the useless compass that it came with) and used it as a pencil case. I can easily recall coming back from PE class to see my friend Phil sitting at my desk. He had this case resting on the edge of my open desk and was repeatedly slamming the desk's lid on it. He was in stitches while he did this. 
"Hey!!!", was as far as I got before I started laughing too. Took me quite some time to unflatten this case. Needless to say, no BIC ballpoint inside it survived this ordeal. 
But I always remember this incident with affection and laughter.

And that's another week done and dusted, thrill-seekers. Started this post at 4:50pm. It's now 8:10 and my pizza's in the oven.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Friday 23/5/14 - More Paint, More Assignments, More Headaches & This Week's Wristwatches.

- Friday 10:41am AEST -

This modded Seiko 7002 has been getting some regular duty over the last few months. Only painted for a short time on Sunday. I really ought to get that paint can opener out of the rain.;

I changed out of my painting duds and got into some more civilised clothing. And back to the watch that I wore earlier, the Omega Seamaster AquaTerra;

And then out came the '56 Smith-Corona Silent Super to hammer out part of the first page of the typecast up above;

The cordless phone let me down on Monday night. Back to some analogue reliability, 1960s-style.

Wednesday's class. Got my result for Assignment No.1- twenty-three and a half out of twenty-five. Nice. We were also given Assignment No.4. This would be a group exercise and is due in two weeks where we'll be presenting our findings to the rest of the class. I teamed up with two ladies who are as interested in passing this subject as I am. As I have stated in the past, there are a few people doing this course that make me wonder why they are here. I noticed in today's class that I haven't seen three students for the past month. Looks like they may have dropped out. 
When I got home, a message on the answering machine  stated that the coffee machine was ready to be collected. Good. I was getting tired of this view:


Don't get me wrong. This caffettiera has served us well over the past week, but it doesn't pack the same punch as espresso. I changed over to the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer. As the weather cools its way towards Winter, I find myself wearing more of my dress pieces rather than sports watches.

My wife and I went to our daughter's school for the Education Week concert. When we got home, around 7:00pm, I began to feel a little cold. About an hour later, my nose felt blocked. Half an hour after that, I had a headache and was sneezing and reaching for the Kleenex. Damn!
Later, I grabbed the Vicks Vaporub, smeared some onto a couple of tissues, wrapped that in a handkerchief and went to bed holding this near my nose. That helped me get to sleep.
I knew a delivery driver who's cold and 'flu remedy was to get the Vaporub and coat the soles of his feet with it before putting on socks and going to bed. He claims his colds only ever lasted a day or two. I haven't tried this method, but I wonder if it would work?

        Dropped the kids off to school and figured I'd go pick up the machine. My head was splitting and the early morning rush-hour traffic had it in for me. 
I got to the repairers just after nine am. The hours of operation sign on the door said they opened at 9:30. Swell. I looked around and saw a pharmacy directly across the road. Further down the street was a newsagent, and a few doors up from that was a cafe. Okay, I could easily burn half an hour, and I could really use a decent cup of coffee. 
I made the mistake earlier this week of getting a coffee from a McDonalds McCafe near our house. My wife had gone there the day before, out of desperation, and she came home with two take-aways vowing to never go back there again. 
"I asked them to make the coffees a little stronger and they said they'd have to charge me for two extra shots of coffee", she told me.
"Ahh yeah, that always confuses them", I replied. 
All they have to do is let the machine run for an extra four or five seconds. That's normally enough to give a coffee a little more bite, but so many places nowadays insist on charging extra for a stronger coffee by adding an extra shot. This is unnecessary. For me, it's got nothing to do with paying an extra 40 cents. It's got to do with the fact that these 'coffee baristas' don't know what they're doing.  
Back in the old days, if you asked for a stronger coffee, the dude (or dudette) behind the machine knew exactly what to do because they understood that running a little more coffee into the cup would alter the strength. 
Today, nobody shows any initiative. 
If it's not in the training manual, then it can't be done. 

Anyway, I went to the pharmacy to get some cold & 'flu tablets. The Chemist asked; "Do you have any photo ID?"
Is it because of "Breaking Bad" that pharmacies now think that every customer wanting headache tablets must be running a meth lab? 
My wife asked our local Chemist about this and was told that many pharmacies were getting the same customers buying aspirin and paracetamol tablets in bulk, up to two hundred tablets a month. This has led to a government initiative that requires photo ID to be presented. Fine by me, I suppose, but I get a little annoyed when I'm asked for ID. 
I paid for my medicine and got out of there. I bought a newspaper and walked into the cafe. Nice and simple decor made up of '50s and '60s laminated tables with matching chairs. The kind of furniture that I grew up with and is now worth quite a bit to collectors. I ordered a caffe latte
"Do you want it strong?", asked the guy behind the machine. 
Oh, thank God!
"Yes, just a touch, thanks", I replied, knowing that this wasn't the kind of place where they'd have to think twice about how to make a stronger coffee.
The guy brought it over to me. He looked familiar.
"Say, did you ever go to ******** in Carlton?", I asked as I reached for the sugar.
"Yes, but that was a long time ago", he replied.
"Yeah, it was back when I still had hair and you had a mustache."
"Oh, gee, that was some time ago. When did you work there?"
"Ninety-three to ninety-eight."
"Wow, you've got a good memory!"

We chatted a little more before he stepped out to take another customer's order and I read through the newspaper. It was a good cup of coffee and I felt my headache slowly recede.

I checked my watch. Nine-forty am. Time to go get the machine. I paid for the coffee, thanked him, and left. A few minutes later, I was talking to the coffee machine repairer. He gave me some info about maintenance and I asked him a few questions. He wiped the machine down with a soft cloth as we chatted. This thing was looking brand new. 
I paid for the repair, took the machine and headed back to my car where I put it on the passenger seat and strapped the seat-belt across it to ensure that it wouldn't bounce around or tip over if I took any sharp corners on the way home.
I was feeling better now than I did twelve hours ago, but decided to take it easy for the rest of the day.

           The kids were looking a little ragged 'round the edges last night, so my wife and I declared that today would be an Emergency Flop Day for them. Basically, they would stay home from school and just take things easy. Sure, they only had to get through one day of school before the weekend, but what the hell.
Anyway, the weather outside looks slightly miserable. It rained overnight and it looks quite cold outside, but I still might rug up and take the kids for a walk sometime today.
Other than that, not much else on the cards for today. I trust you'll all have a decent weekend.
And one more wristwatch change to usher in the weekend;

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Friday 16/5/14 - More Assignments, A Few Headaches & This Week's Wristwatches.

-Friday 4:14pm AEST-

Here's another shot of that Corona Four that arrived last week.

Our lecturer presented us with Assignment No. 3. What the hell?! We're all half-way through Assignment No. 2! And, Assignment No. 3 is due by Friday!!
I'd been wearing the Sinn 103 chronograph since the weekend...

...but decided it was time to switch to something a little dressier. Something a little simpler. Something like the 1962 Omega Seamaster;

Hmm, the smartphone says 4:34, but the watch says 4:33. Mild Luddite that I am, I say the watch is correct. 

                 The coffee machine started playing up on Tuesday. Kept spurting boiling hot water all over the place before producing a 'dirty water' cup of undrinkable coffee. I quickly realised that it's been six months since it was last serviced. Normally, these things require maintenance every year or so, but if it gets used a lot, it needs attending to about every six months. Yes, it was time to get it serviced. So off it went. 

I've had one or two niggling headaches since Tuesday. That, by the way, coincides with when the coffee machine stopped working. If this is a withdrawal symptom, then I ain't impressed. Still, a little detox never hurts. And, I've decided to go easy on my sugar intake if possible. No real reason for it, but it's probably not a bad idea anyway. Considering that everything has sugar in it anyway, these days. While in hell do they put sugar in peanut butter, I wanna know? 
So, I busted out the caffettiera and made some coffee. This style of coffee was what we had in our house when I was a kid. No, no, I didn't drink coffee back then...actually, I did. I recall some breakfasts here and there where my Mum would serve me a small bowl- very European!- of a little bit of coffee and hot milk in it and I would dunk some crusty pasta dura bread in it. 
The caffettiera produces a thinner tasting cup than the coffee machine, but any port in a storm, as they say. Two little shortbread biscuits and balance was restored in the Universe once again. Once I'd completed Assignment No. 3, that is;

I loaded some 36 exposure film into the Olympus OM-2n and switched to the 28mm wide angle lens with the idea of taking some postcardy-style archival snaps of my typewriters and wristwatches. Between these two collections, however, 36 exposures won't be enough, heh, heh.

          My wife had the day off, so we hit a couple of nearby Op Shops. I picked up a copy of "Longitude" by Dava Sobel. This book was a huge non-fiction seller back in the late '90s when I worked at Borders. I think the biggest fiction title at the time was "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. Man, oh man, how many copies of that book flew off the shelves back then!
Anyway, we got home and decided to tackle a little more painting of the gutters and fascia boards. Those of you who read these weekly watch posts of mine will be aware of how big a saga this job has become. Such a time-consuming and fiddly task. So, we agreed to just do an hour's worth of painting while the weather held out. Of course, no way was I going to wear the vintage Omega, so it was time for a timepiece switch;

Being into wristwatches, I'm looking forward to reading this book. It tells of an English watchmaker named  John Harrison, who in know what? Here's the back-cover blurb. Explains it all in a nutshell;

This book was made into a great mini-series back in 2000, but those of you who believe in the power and beauty of the printed word should read the book.

Then we had lunch. I whipped up a salad using diced carrot, celery and some lettuce. I then poured a small can of John West Lemon and Cracked Pepper Salmon into the mix. 
Now, a year ago, I would have called this 'girl food', but lately, I've decided to be a little more selective with the kind of lunches that I have and I've also wanted to put on a few pounds if possible, so I figured I could use the protein (and Omega 3 oils) found in this fish.
I switched back to the Omega in order to bring closure to today's painting;

We got a letter in the mail today from American Express that was addressed to the previous owner of this house. Good God! We've lived here for over fourteen years! So out came the circa 1925 Corona Four (pictured up-top), because it was within easy reach, and I quickly typed up a return-to-sender note;

Methinks that AMEX really needs to update its customer database. Hah! They're gonna think that note was written in 1899!

Okay, it's now 4:14pm and I have to go get some groceries. We're out of olive oil, which is tantamount to treason in an Italian household.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Typewriter Collection No. 16 - Corona Four, circa 1925.


I've been after one of these babies for some time, now. I blame that blue-eyed blonde kid in "Atonement" (Dir: Joe Wright, 2007).
I love the 1920s Art Deco aesthetic of the Corona Four. I love the compact size of them. And, even though these were available in a bunch of colours, I preferred the sleek, black, Model T look of this one. It came up on eBay at a time when I wasn't looking to add to my collection. If anything, I'd been spending more time thinking about what to get rid of rather than what to add. But this one was at a cheaper price than what I'd seen them go for in recent years, so I tapped the "Buy It Now" tab. 

It arrived in its case that was missing its handle. No biggie. I opened it up and saw that the seller had crammed styrofoam packing into the type-basket. Spent some time fishing it out with my Swiss Army knife. Not just for Boy Scouts, folks. 
Fed a sheet of paper into the platen and cranked the knob. Machine made an awful scraping sound as the paper fed its way reluctantly through before appearing over the platen with some dirty black stains across the page. Yeah, I think this thing hadn't been used since that big gorilla took Fay Wray to the top of the Empire State. 
I started taking a closer look at this machine. And this is what I found;

Those little feed rollers were flat along one edge. Probably what was causing the paper to jam up. 'Spoonman' Bowker suggested I hunt around for replacements. Good idea. Made perfect sense. But since when did the words 'teeritz' and 'perfect sense' belong in the same sentence? 
And so, I cleared the dining table and got to work, with the help of Mr. Leatherman and Messrs. Johnson & Johnson. 
Two or so hours later;

 I had to remove the ruler contraption, or whatever it's called;

I figured it could use a clean anyway, and that's where I found another feed roller. This one was thinner than a pencil, but thicker than a toothpick. Oh yeah, and it was flattened along one edge too. That's what was causing the paper jamming. A scrape with a blade, some mild elbow grease with the Leatherman file and it looked about as round as it was ever gonna get. 
A little rub with some fine grit sandpaper and it was now feeding a sheet of paper through the way it did 89 years ago. Or close to it. Good enough for me.

I gave the whole thing a rub-down with some sewing machine oil. This thing now gleamed like a '21 Stutz Bearcat.

 Ribbon vibrator did what it should, after a cleanup;

Although, the ribbon has probably seen better days. Still, has a little life left in it. I think the serial number dates this one back to 1925, when my Dad was just a gleam in his Mother's eye;

Took me a fifth of bourbon to find the ribbon colour selector. The colour on it had faded like Jolson's career. Lucky I had a couple of Magic Markers and a reasonably steady hand...despite all the bourbon.

Here's the mug-shot profile. Definitely sleek.
Types pretty snappy now, but still a little rough, although the rubber feet are that in name only. Makes this a noisy one. Reminds me of the '28 Royal Portable that I got.

But the keyslugs and keytops are pretty clean;

I even gave the case hardware a light going over with the sandpaper. That old paint came away without a fight;

Now all I gotta do is make up a new handle for it. And I'm all out of belts. Actually, I could use a belt right about now. 

And I think this will be the last of the 1920s or 1930s models that I get. I've kinda' gotten used to a smoother typewriter in recent months and this one seems a little rough for long-term writing. Still, I think some new feet and a new ribbon should work wonders on it. And if I ever get some platens wrapped up to send to JJ Short, this one's rubber will get a makeover. 

Still, this Corona Four bleeds an atmosphere that's through the roof. Would make a nice display model.
Next to my Colt .45.
That is, if I had a Colt .45.
Okay, bub, I gotta run. Phone's ringing and I'm expecting a call from Clara Bow. Got a late supper date at a new place, The Stork Club, tonight.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Friday 9/5/14 - Typewriter Arrivals, Trip 35 Re-Skinning & This Week's Wristwatch.

Friday 7:16pm  AEST

Busy week. Also, I'm a little tired, so I'll try to keep this one short. 

Last weekend
               The new skins arrived for my Olympus Trip 35s. I had an hour to kill on Sunday afternoon, so I figured I'd take a crack at re-covering the cameras. This is how they look with their old covering removed;

And this is how the covering looks. It's a faux calf-skin pattern embossed onto vinyl. I already removed one piece;

And here's the piece applied to the camera. The left-hand side still has the factory covering on it;

A little time and a reasonably steady hand is all that's required. I made some minor trimming to one edge of the covering. 

And then, onto the next one, this time in red lizard-skin pattern;

That way, there's no mistaking one camera for the other. I also got some replacement light seals for the back of the camera;

 All up, it cost me approx $25 for the two skins and light seal kit. Not bad at all, considering the kind of prices that repairers were quoting me.
I've loaded a roll of 36 exposure 200ASA colour film into the red one and started taking pics. It'll be interesting to see how they turn out after all the messing around with the focus that I did a few weeks ago. 

Speaking of lens re-focusing, that post wound up on something called where there are a bunch of other Trip 35 related posts by bloggers from around the world. It was here that I took a stroll around and landed on a great photography blog called;

Jak, the guy who runs this site still uses film, so he's a righteous dude in my book, and he has a soft-spot for the Trip 35 camera. Some great photography on his blog. Well worth a look. 

          This finally arrived;

I've wanted a Corona Four for quite some time, but this one is a little rough, to be honest. I love the look of it, but I think it has sat dormant for decades. I fed a sheet of paper into it and then had to wrestle the platen knob to feed it through. And here's why;

See the thin rubber roller in the centre of the frame above? See how it has a flat edge? The paper gets caught against it when you turn the platen. I think this typewriter has sat still so long that the rubber flattened out after being pressed against the platen. Both rollers are like this.
I figure I've got two options- A light and slightly time-consuming rub with some fine-grain sandpaper to remove that 'corner' from the roller...
...or a dismantling of this section and some mad attempt at whittling down some rubber tubing until I've made replacements for them. 
I think the sandpaper option might be the more feasible one. From memory, Nat (from had some good results from replacing these rollers with new rubber, but I'm not sure I'd like to go to that extent just yet. 
Of course, I could send it to JJ Short one day...if I can figure out complete removal of the platen first. 

Also, the back-space keytop and symbol were missing. No problem, I just used one of the spare Royal QDL keytops and made a quick 'practice' key. I think I'll be printing out a jazzier-looking arrow on Word (wingdings) sometime soon. But I doubt I'll be able to match aged ivory patina of the other keys. No biggie. I've got some nice, cream-coloured card stock that I can use.
In the meantime, I'll give the platen a wipe-down with methylated spirits to remove 90 years of ribbon residue.

Based on the serial number (H406122) , I think it dates back to 1925. It definitely types loud and rough, but I'll see if I can get it running a little smoother. 

I have to say it's a beautiful looking typewriter and it would be a shame if I can't get it running as it should. 

In saying that, though, I'm sure a slight cull is in order. I've come to realise in recent months that I enjoy using some typewriters more than others. 

My absolute favourites are (in order of smooth and easy typing);

-the '47 Royal QDL, even with its erratic word-joining idiosyncrasy.
-the '66 Olympia SM9, which runs like it was built only yesterday.
-the '56 Smith-Corona Silent Super, with its nice, snappy typing action.
-the '45 Smith-Corona Sterling, 'cos it's rock-solid and types nicely.
-the '54 Olympia SM3, which slightly nudges out the '51 SM2 (if these were basket-shift, they'd be a lot higher up the list).
-the '55 Remington Quiet-Riter, which has a pleasant, middle-aged-spread typing action.

...My God, I think I only need seven typewriters! So why do I have seventeen? At least five of them are great to look at, such as the 1928 Royal Portable, the 1936 Smith-Corona Standard, the 1938 Remington Remette, and the 1952 Olivetti Studio. I suspect that if I replace the platens on them, they'll type and sound even better than they already do. 

Of the rest, the Olivetti Lettera 32 is not going anywhere, since it was my school typewriter that hammered out numerous assignments, essays and projects back in the early 1980s. And the 1957 Groma Kolibri cost me a pretty penny and I have no plans to get rid of it. 

Which pretty much leaves the Olympia Splendid 99, the Smith-Corona Galaxie II and the early '70s Litton Imperial. These three will probably go. And I may consider moving the SM2 as well, since it doubles-up against the slightly better typing SM3. Not sure about that, however. I think I have too many machines that don't get used.

And if I manage to snag myself a 1950s Smith-Corona Skyriter at some point, then I thin the collection will be complete. Although an early 1950s Royal Quiet De Luxe (Dreyfus design) would do nicely, especially if it types like my 1947 model.

Well, that was therapeutic. Although, I'm still slightly confused about it all.

              I got a text message stating that my Working with Children Check had been approved. Cool. 

       Caught up with a couple of friends today. hadn't seen one of them for about four years. Time rockets along, don't it? It was good to see him and we pencilled in a breakfast for some time in the next month or so. 
Oh yeah, the purpose of this post, I was wearing the Omega Railmaster on a ZRC padded black leather strap.

All week. 

I must have been in a no-nonsense mood this week, since I stuck to one watch. I get like that sometimes. 

I love that photo of French actress Marion Cotillard, taken by the legendary Mario Testino for the July 2010 issue of US Vogue magazine. 

picture taken from

Her look in this photo shoot  (skin tone, hair colour & style, jawline, eye colour) always reminds me of my wife.

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend, all!