Friday, 27 May 2016

Friday 27/5/2016 - Au Revoir, Yvonne, So Long, Darwyn & This Week's Wristwatches.

That's the watch that I wore for almost all of last week.

I didn't post last Friday because I was at a work function. It was actually a nicer experience than I thought it would be. I think I was expecting it to be a drag because it took place right at the end of the working week, when my brain begins to shut down all things related to the job and begins making plans for what I'll do on the weekend. 

Anyway, I met a few watch collectors and saw some very nice watches on their wrists. Highlight for me was a Heuer Bundeswehr chronograph, produced in the 1960s.

I had seriously thought about one of these some time ago, but they were creeping up in price by the time I showed interest in them. Not that anything has changed, mind you. These things have gotten very sought-after in recent years and their current pricing reflects this. 
Heuer was perhaps the most well-known brand that produced these watches, but both Sinn and Breitling were known for producing this style of chronograph for German military issue. 
I was very interested in these watches, but I had had a long crush on the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph and I didn't want to deviate from my original plan of acquiring one.

I was dangerously low on scotch and made a quick detour on the weekend. The store- the largest liquor store chain in town- didn't carry J&B Rare. Those bastards. I didn't relish forking out $40+ bucks for a bottle of Ballantine's, and Johnnie Walker Red Label has never really floated my boat. So, I grabbed a bottle of Teacher's Blended. I've always thought this was a lower-tier scotch. Don't know why, since I don't think I've ever had any.
It's not a bad drop, I must say. I'm no connoisseur, but this stuff ain't bad at all.
At any rate, it's good enough for what I need it for.

Twenty-sixteen continues to kick Pop Culture in the teeth, to put it mildly. The world of graphic novels lost a talented genius on May 14th with the death of artist Darwyn Cooke. He had worked on a comic adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker books, as well as drawing a Catwoman series for DC Comics;

pic taken from;

And his work on the Parker adaptations is exquisite A little bit of white, a lot of black, and a pleasant shade of what I began calling 'American banknote green';

 pic taken from; Stark's Parker in The Hunter, by Darwyn Cooke
I really liked his Mid-Century aesthetic. I only have one of his Parker titles, but I'll be snapping up a few more of them some day.

Madeleine Lebeau, the last surviving cast member of the best film ever made, Casablanca, died in Spain on May 1st, at the age of 92. Sure, that's a good age to get to, but as I've said a few times already this year (after the deaths of Ken Adam, Guy Hamilton and George Martin), it still sucks when they kick the bucket.
Lebeau had a supporting role in the Bergman/Bogart classic, as a jilted lover of Moroccan cafe owner Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart. I've already written about this film...

"Casablanca" and the Other Four Best Movies Ever Made...In My Humble Opinion. I won't go into any great detail here. Suffice it to say that she appears in a short, short scene that perfectly explained to me what it means when somebody says 'just live in the moment' ;

I switched over to the Camy Club-Star, because I wanted to wear something that had an expanding Speidel bracelet.

I wore it for a day or two before switching to the Omega Speedmaster Professional, seen here on a Di-Modell Rallye strap ---->
Gives the watch a very Jacky Ickx vibe. Magnifique!
It was a cold and bitter Wednesday evening here in Melbourne. I was on dinner duty and I needed some wine. Now, I'm no connoisseur (Thank God!), so I generally tend to go for a decently drinkable Cabernet Sauvignon in the fifteen to twenty dollar price range. I've encountered enough snobbery in the wristwatch industry over the years, and the last thing I need is to pal around with wine snobs. Life is too short for that kind of misery.
Dammit, all this talk of wine has me hankering for a glass. 'Scuse me...
Okay, a half-filled Duralex glass and where was I?
Oh, yes, dinner. We would be having spaghetti carbonara. The recipe calls for pancetta, which is a salt-cured Italian bacon. This gives the sauce a little bit of bite. I didn't think we had any in the fridge, so I nipped out to get some bacon rinds instead.
The actual carbonara sauce consists of 4 eggs (I used five), a spoonful of ground black pepper, and half a cup of parmesan cheese.
Now, I've yet to perfect this recipe to my liking, so I added two tablespoons of thickened cream. So far, this sauce has tended to be a little too thin and runny. It should have a thicker consistency so that it actually clings to the pasta.
Basically, you heat up some olive oil in a frypan. Toss in some cloves of garlic, then the bacon. Cook the bacon till it's browned, toss out the garlic.
While this is going on, the pasta should be cooking away in a pot of water. And while that's happening, you should have whisked together the eggs and other ingredients.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it. Then, working quickly, toss the pasta back into the pot and pour in the cooked bacon, then the egg/pepper/parmesan/thickened cream mix. Now, mix it all through thoroughly. The heat of the pasta should scramble or thicken the egg mixture slightly.
This is where my recipe falters, which is why I've added cream. It made a noticeable difference, but the use of bacon didn't provide the same kick that pancetta would have.
Ah well, next time...

                                                                                    pic courtesy of
I read earlier this week that Daniel Craig knocked back an offer of £68 million to do two more Bond films. I think he means it too. 
Tom Hiddleston has been rumoured to be in the running for the role. That would be cool.  

However, until we get official word that Craig has indeed hung up the PPK for good, I don't want to speculate just yet over who will take over the role of OO7, but I do want to say that DC gave the franchise a very necessary shot in the arm and brought Bond smoothly into the 21st Century. 
Although, SPECTRE was touch & go, but I've already reviewed that film and don't really wish to talk about it right now. 
So, Craigers, thanks for keeping the British end   up. Have a nice rest, sir, and good luck with whatever you choose to do next. 

Yesterday, I managed to sharpen this Columbia Copy Pencil down to a barely holdable nub. I'm fifty, by the way!
Still had the Speedy on my wrist. 

And that's it for another week. Something tells me I've forgotten something that I wanted to include here, but I'm too tired right now to spend too much time thinking about it. 

I snagged a 'not-as-described' Olympia SF off eBay recently and I'll be taking it to my typewriter guy Tom early tomorrow morning. Hopefully, he'll be able to get it working as it should. 

That's it, gang. Have yourselves a great weekend, and thanks for reading!


  1. That's a great bit of dialogue from Casablanca! Thanks for your post, rich as ever.

  2. I don't believe I've had that Bleeding Heart before. I switched over to Spanish wines a few years back, mainly because the wine shop guy in my neighborhood stocks two cheap and reliable Tempranillos and Grenaches. Occasionally I'll splurge and pay a few extra bucks for a good Bordeaux or Beaujolais. Back east, where I'm originally from, it's the opposite, probably because that part of the country is primarily French Catholic: the Italian and Spanish wines are overpriced but you can get a surprising amount of Premier Cru Bordeaux for $13. Go figure.

    Love those two Casablanca pics.

    RIP Darwyn Cooke indeed. That guy was great. I didn't like the Before Watchmen titles overall, but his work on Minuteman was typically drop dead gorgeous. I've got the Parker books in queue.

  3. $68 million! No wonder the world's in the mess it's in. A small minority get far paid too much, while the vast majority get paid far too little.