Thursday, 27 August 2015

Friday 28/8/2015 - Studies Are Done!, Happy Birthday Mr Connery!, Waiting for Beds & This Week's Wristwatches.

Right, it's 2:55pm, Friday afternoon where I am. Might as well get started.

Last weekend
                        Went and saw The Man From U.N.C.L.E with my son on Saturday morning. I quite enjoyed it, but will say nothing more until I do another 'Year of Thespianage' post. The one I did on Mission:Impossible- Rogue Nation took me longer than anticipated, and I'm still letting this UNCLE movie filter through my head.

We watched Black Sea (Dir: Kevin Macdonald, 2014) on Saturday night. The story concerns a submarine captain named Robinson, played by Jude Law, who is sacked from his job at a nautical salvage company. He and a few other newly unemployed sub crewmen are offered the job of locating a sunken U-Boat rumoured to contain 40 million dollars in gold. Robinson assembles a crew of a dozen English and Russian men and together they take a decommissioned WWII-era submarine into the Black Sea to find this sunken treasure. All the while, there are tensions brewing between the mixed crew as the sub slithers its way into Russian waters without official consent. On-board is an executive from the salvage company to ensure that all goes according to plan (reminiscent of Paul Reiser's character in Aliens), and a slightly unstable crew member with a growing sense of paranoia. It was a fairly gripping film, with some tense moments. Jude Law turned in a great performance and I've long thought that he is a somewhat underrated actor. This is most noticeable when you see him in something like the recent Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey jr, where he plays the straight-laced Dr. Watson. 
Then, he portrays a crass safe-cracker freshly out of prison and seeking revenge (in Dom Hemingway -Dir: Richard Shepard, 2013), and you realise that he has far more range than you first thought. England produces some very fine actors. Always has.

            I'd been wearing the Sinn 103 chronograph for a few days and decided to switch to one of my beaters because I had some serious lawn mowing to do. So, I grabbed the Seiko SKX031 automatic on a black ZULU strap. And some sunnies. S'cuse the iPad photo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the wristwatch collector's usage of the term 'beater', it basically refers to a watch relegated for tasks where you may scratch or damage a more expensive watch. Back in my watch-selling days, I dealt with two customers who were happy to spend three to four thousand dollars on watches that they planned to wear without regard for potential damage. 
As for me, knowing how long it would take me to save three or four thousand dollars, I prefer to wear a considerably less expensive timepiece if I know there's potential for damage. What's that you say? How about you just don't wear a watch at all if you're doing anything rough, Teeritz?
Now that's preposterous. 
Mowed the front lawn and the two nature strips as well. Trimmed the edges with a pair of garden shears. It all took me a few hours. Swept it all up and placed it in the garden waste bin. My back was aching by the time I was done. But it all looked nice and neat. We're out of this house in about five weeks and I want to make sure it looks spic and span.

              Sat down to tackle my final assignment. I'd been dreading it because I wasn't sure how long it would take to complete and I didn't want to spend too long on it. I needn't have worried. I parked my ass in front of the computer and got to work. About ninety minutes later, it was done.
Next up, Quiz Number 6. That took about ten or fifteen minutes. I then submitted these two tasks online. The assignment would need to be assessed by my tutor, but I got the quiz results back in an instant;

Oh yeah, I was wearing the Rolex Submariner;

And that, thrillseekers, is that! Studies are over! Unless I get an e-mail from my tutor telling me that I've forgotten something, but I'm very certain that I've crossed my t's and dotted my i's. It's all done. Now, to ramp up the job hunt.

              Sean Connery's 85th Birthday (Aug 25th), and I still had on the Rolex Sub. You may have noticed that it's on a leather strap. I was going for this look (right).

Okay, so any Bond/wristwatch fan worth his salt would know that Connery wore a Rolex Submariner model 6538 in Dr No back in 1962. This watch was worn on a croco/alligator strap instead of its iconic steel Oyster bracelet. Perhaps due to being able to fit on Connery's wrist easily without having to remove/add links to a steel bracelet prior to filming. Much easier to just strap the watch on the wrist before Director Terence Young yelled "Action!".

For me, the Submariner on bracelet is so ingrained in my head as the perfect way to wear this watch. However, I have to say that this watch tends to work very well on just about any strap you could put on it. Putting a NATO strap on it changes the look entirely, for example, and gives the watch a nice, vintage 1960s-gas-pipeline-engineer vibe. Same with a leather strap. It gives the classic design of this watch an old-school look.
So, in order to turn my Sub into something closer to the Dr No version, I fished around in my straps box and found something suitable. A few minutes later...

 Later that evening, I got out the bottle of J&B Rare and drank a toast to Mr Connery. Your work has brought me much pleasure, Sir. Thanks for everything.

Yeah, yeah, Connery will never read this blog, but what the hell.

                  Not much to report. Made a few phone calls to arrange things as we wind down our time at this address and prepare to move to the new house over the next couple of weeks. I've been reading The Doomsters, by Ross Macdonald. I'm liking it so far. The protagonist, private detective Lew Archer, has often been considered the later equivalent of Chandler's Philip Marlowe. And whilst reading this book, I picture Paul Newman as Archer, since he played the character in two films, in which the character's name was changed to 'Harper'. Aiming for an atmospheric photo here, complete with an empty cigarette pack and a never-fuelled lighter;

               I had an eleven am appointment with a recruitment agency. This had been arranged for me by Centrelink, the government department responsible for dealing with the unemployed here in Australia. When I signed up with them a couple of months ago, I told them that I didn't want unemployment benefits (welfare payments), I just wanted some assistance with finding work. I figured I may as well have as many irons in the fire as possible.
So, I went along to this recruitment agency thinking that they would give me some strategies for finding work, or have a list of jobs or other avenues for me to pursue. I got there and was told to "just set yourself up on one of the computers and get started, and Betty* will be along shortly."
I logged on to the computer and started looking through, a job-searching website.
Betty came up to me half an hour later. She said that she had arranged another appointment for me sometime in September and gave me the details. And that was it. I stayed another half hour, looking through the jobs website, thinking that this entire 'appointment' had been a waste of time. I could be doing this on my own computer at home. My car was parked in a one-hour spot and, the last time I came to this recruitment agency, I scored myself a $75 parking fine. So, I decided to be a little more cautious today and, since this appointment was, in my opinion, a bust, I figured an hour was enough. I will say, however, that this recruitment agency was helpful in assisting me to update my resume. The original layout was looking a little dated.

           Ten twenty-two am. I'm sitting here writing this in the kitchen of the new house while I await delivery of two new beds for the kids. They'll be dropped off sometime between 10:30am and 1:30pm. There are two large wall units in the lounge room. The previous owners offered them to us and we accepted. They are not perfect pieces of furniture, but they'll do for the time being. I'm going to see just how heavy they are. The lounge room is due to be carpeted next Tuesday, so these units will have to be shifted. Now, as long as I don't break my back, I should be fine.
Damn, it's only been 30 minutes since I got here. The delivery guy could show up in the next fifteen minutes or the next three hours. Not much to do in a house with no 'lectricity.

Thirty minutes later...
                                   These wall units are cumbersome, but they shouldn't be too hard to move. I've had a closer look at some areas of this house. It's going to require some niggling little jobs here and there. The window sills look a little dry. A light sanding and a couple of coats of varnish should sort those out. Place is gonna need a few more power sockets.
Delivery guy not here yet.

Thirty minutes later...
                                  Since I have eight of my typewriters here, I figure it's as good a time as any to sit down and have a dance across the keybanks of a few of them.
The circa 1953 Olivetti Studio is nice to use. The font would be better if it had been 12pt instead of 10, but aside from that, it's a great machine.
The circa 1946 Smith-Corona Sterling is da bomb. Absolutely rock-solid. This one's going nowhere.
The circa 1954 Olympia SM3 is a great testament to German engineering. Smooth carriage return, loud bell, slick typing action. Not crazy about the heaviness of the carriage-shift, but that's a minor quibble. This one's staying.
The circa 1951 Olympia SM2 is just slightly smoother than the SM3.  Carriage-shift feels a fraction lighter to the touch. It's a noticeable difference. I had considered selling this one, since its design pretty much mirrors the SM3's, but I think this one is another keeper. Who'd have thought?
Delivery guy not here yet.

Twenty minutes later...
                                    My wife just sent me a text message. Delivery guy is about thirty minutes away. Where is he? Brazil!!??
Can you tell I'm getting jack of this? Mind you, I've only been here about ninety minutes or so. I'm usually much more patient than this, but jeez, it's cold in here!
Perhaps some more typing might keep the circulation going in my fingers.
The circa 1928 Royal Portable. This one is rough and loud, although the typing action on it is quite snappy! I had considered selling it, but now I'm not so sure. Something to think about.
The 1958 Groma Kolibri is another slightly loud typewriter, but it is nice to use once you get into the swing of it. And it's easily the sleekest typewriter I hav-
-Okay, the delivery guy just turned up!

Fifteen minutes later...
                                 All sorted. I have the parts for two beds, plus one mattress, stacked up in the kitchen. The guy explained how some sections of the bed frames are meant to slot together, but I won't be able to tackle this job until at least a week from now. Hopefully, I'll remember what he said.
How hard can it be?
Okay, my work here is done. I'm heading home to the other house. It's going to be a nice feeling when we get out of there once and for all.

1:18pm- Back home. Starving. Time to rustle me up some grub. Oh yeah, I've been wearing the Sinn 103 chrono since yesterday.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!


*Betty is not her real name.


  1. Put me in a submarine and I think I'd also be "slightly unstable"! Good luck with the job hunt. :)

    1. Thank-you, sir! As other commitments are taken care of, I can devote more time to the search. Now, if only a bunch of employers would play along...

  2. I'd been curious as to whether "Black Sea" was any good. The preview I saw looked good, but it didn't make much of an impact here in the states.

    I've always liked Jude Law, and it baffles me that he has yet to manage to become a star on the level he deserves. My favorite performances of his are probably "A.I." and "I Heart Huckabees." He was pretty funny this summer in "Spy," too, where he sort of played a James Bond type (albeit with a not-entirely-convincing American accent).

    1. Actually, put him in a screwball comedy. That genre's well overdue for a decent comeback. Check Jude Law out in "Dom Hemingway". As far from Dr. Watson as he can get.