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!


  1. I had friends like that! These days, the joys (and cacophony) of the slammed desk lid are only classroom echoes. Schoolkids just seem to have tables and keep their stuff in a locker.

    1. When the classroom gets all politically correct, the end of the world is not far behind.

  2. Good call not getting sucked back into watches as a sales associate. If you were to keep your hand in it I see you more as a shop owner or freelance appraiser. Good luck on getting into libraries. I took a degree in Urban Studies with much the same thought in mind, but it hasn't worked out for me yet - I can't make the psychic break to take no pay on a gamble with an internship, as we call them here.

    1. Tricky, NA. Is there a way to do a part-time internship so that you can still work and earn a salary? And yes, if I go back to anything watch-related, it'll be on my terms. The job I was offered is more suited to somebody wanting to get IN to the industry. But like I said, there were one or two aspects of the offer that were deal breakers for me.

  3. Wow, I'd be in large hairy trouble walking around your burg with the Spyderco Endura I normally carry. But then AZ has had free Open Carry of firearms forever, and permit-less Concealed Carry since a few years ago. A Swiss knife? A cop wouldn't look at you twice for having that in your pocket.

    1. Spyderco make some serious steel. I thought about getting a Benchmade knife at one point, but the laws soon put a stop to that idea. While I think a Swiss Army knife is a very handy item to carry, I just don't wanna risk it.

    2. Ooh, I do have a Benchmade auto, but that blade is far too Fed-unfriendly to carry. You're practically thumbing your nose at the cops if you carry a switchblade. I am far too old to be that unwise. Over a decade and there's not a nick on it. :P

    3. I have a Beretta Cheetah assisted-opener, which lives in a drawer. I actually checked with Customs before I bought it off eBay years ago. They gave me the all-clear back then. Seems a shame for it to just sit there unused, but that's better than embarrassing it by using it as a letter opener. I also got a cheap Sanrenmu off the 'bay not long ago. That one's in my desk and I do use it to open letters.

  4. Mmmmmmm pizza
    Fingers crossed on the result for the interview.
    As always, great post!

    1. Thanks, SK! I hope your life is sailing along smoothly.

  5. Hey Teeritz, I may be employed by a certain organisation and can tell you that common sense applies to these things. If it's left in your pocket and used sensibly then i'd suggest you'll be fine. Swing from the lamp posts with a swiss army knife between you're teeth like Errol Flynn and you might be asking for trouble. Not a 'get out of gaol card' I' afraid, but i like to think that common sense and a bit of police discretion applies to the law. Here's a challenge though. Google swiss army knife mods..... Be the first to modify a swiss knife blade into a spring bar removal tool. (N.B. if you get stopped, tell them you're a 007 nerd with a growing collection of watches and typewriters and they'll probably just tell you to leave it at home next time:)

    1. Are you that Spinal Tap fan who knows a guy that sells guitars? If so, thanks! I may have to check out those knife mods. I was thinking of cutting the main blade right down to an inch in length. Sounds like a lot of work, though.
      Thanks again!