Friday, 24 February 2017

Friday 24/2/17 - A Pencast & This Week's Wristwatches.

Wore the WatchCo Seamaster 300 briefly last weekend. Since adding a half-link to the bracelet, I've gotten a better fit out of it on warm days when my wrist swells up a little. 

I wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five early in the week, before switching over to something a little dressier, the Longines Expeditions Polaires. I was thinking of getting a lizard-skin strap off eBay for this watch, but the watchmaker I work with said that, because it's an exotic skin, it could get stuck in customs for months. 
I may try looking around for a local seller. The hunt begins.

Dear God, that handwriting! I plan to do a little more of it, in an effort to sharpen it up a little. 
My writing was noticeably better when I was studying a couple of years ago and writing down notes by hand. 
Use it or lose it, kids. 
Use it or lose it.

And today, I took a quick slacker break to get a picture of the Oris Diver Sixty-Five, back on my wrist. I decided to wear a tie in to work, in an effort to launch a one-man crusade against Casual Fridays. 

The world is dumbing down and getting lazy. I sit on the train in the morning and look around me to see 90% of my fellow travellers looking down at their precious mobile phones. 
Granted, I check my e-mails and battery saver settings (now THAT'S a pain in the neck!), but you will never find me playing some silly game  or watching an episode of Family Guy on my freakin' phone. 

For somebody who first went to the movies to see What's Up Doc? (Dir: Peter Bogdanovich, 1972), I can think of nothing worse than watching something on a 9cm screen. 
That's how it's dumbing down. 
As for lazy, this is happening because too many men just don't take the trouble to look sharp anymore. I see young guys catching the train and they're wearing trousers and an ill-fitting business shirt. And that's all. No jacket, no tie. 
No style. 
My wife read out a quote to me by actor Michael Wincott. You may know him from Alien: Resurrection and he's done a couple of episodes of Westworld and will soon be seen in the next Scarlett Johansson film Ghost In The Shell, due out later this year. 
Anyway, he once said;

"It's good to dress well. Elegance expresses greater expectations of life. The current culture of slovenliness conveys a spiritual and intellectual surrender." 

How did I manage to remember this quote? I typed it up on a little piece of paper and stuck it on the fridge door. It's faded a little since I typed it. 
Wincott's right. To me, it's not about having to look super-sharp every day. It's just about making an effort, however small. Which is why you'll never see me wearing track pants unless I'm going to the gym. 
Although, on the days when I just can't be bothered, I can be seen going to buy milk or fuel wearing knee-ripped chinos and a t-shirt. That's as low as I'll go. 

So yeah, the world ain't gonna end with a whimper or a bang. It's gonna end slowly, through apathy, bad manners, lousy service and poor grammar, for starters. 

Which is why I wore a crisp shirt and a nice tie to work today. Somebody's gotta fly the flag.
Especially when it's made of cotton and silk. 

Okay, 10:02pm. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday 17/2/17 - Question For UK-based Typewriter Collectors, & This Week's (Dive) Wristwatches.

Ooh, but I'm starting this one late this week. Okay, I'll be brief. There's a fellow watch collector I know who's interested in getting himself a typewriter. I'll call him Horatio. It's as good a name as any. 
I offered Horatio a few suggestions and he seems to have taken a shine on 1950s Smith-Coronas and Olympia SM models. Both of these are rock-solid typers, in my view. 

Now, one thing I couldn't help Horatio with was a) where to perhaps buy one of these in the UK, and b) where to get a typewriter serviced in the UK later on down the track. 
So, I'm asking those of you out there who live in Blighty (or who may not live in Blighty, but may still have an answer) if you know the answers to these questions. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

Meanwhile, Horatio, here are the links to my write-ups on my own stable of these machines;

That should keep you busy for a while, heh, heh.

Wristwatch-wise, I wore the circa 1993, heavily modified Seiko 7002 last weekend while doing some (really bad) wood-work;

Monday, I switched over to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five as I commenced my second week as a full-timer in my job. I must say I'm still getting to bed too late in the evenings and then paying for it the next morning. 
Still, it's early days, and my aim is to settle in to a smoother night-time routine so that I can wake up a little sharper in the mornings. I have to say that my internal alarm clock works very well, as I find myself waking up without an alarm clock at either 6:45 or 7:00am. As a former night-owl who used to work in hospitality, I'm pretty impressed by this. 
At one of the last cafes that I worked at back in the early 1990s- finally got out of the industry in 2001-  a customer told me that she could tell I worked mainly in the evenings because I was so pale and had dark shadows under my eyes. 
It was an interesting time of my life, but I don't miss the hours. 

On Wednesday, I switched over to the recently serviced Omega Seamaster 300m. The timekeeping has been pretty good since I had the work done on this watch. It can feel a little snug on the wrist on warm days, but this is nothing that can't be solved by adding a half-link to the bracelet. 
If I can be bothered doing so. 
The design of this watch has dated somewhat, to be sure, but I admire this watch because it's been in production since 1993. Which is no mean feat. 

Yesterday, I felt like switching to another Omega dive watch, the Seamaster 300. Checking this watch right now.....I find that it has gained about 20 seconds over the last two days, which isn't bad. 

I may look into getting this one serviced sometime this year, but I think I'll have to suss out (check out) a few of the watch repairers that I've met over the years to see who's most likely to do good work without charging me an arm and a leg. 
I realise that watch servicing ain't cheap, but I don't want to pay through the nose.  

Okay, so that's this week done. Man, I'm tired!

Thanks for reading, gang, and have a great weekend!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday 10/2/17 - This Week's Wristwatches (Short Post...Hopefully)

I started full-time hours at my job on Monday, which is great. Of course, this means that I'm now getting home around seven pm, so my free time has shrunk considerably. Welcome back to The Rat Race, Tee. Been a while.
This is no drama. It just means that I'll have to make better use of my time when I'm not at work. So, this blog may take a back-seat for a while, or I may write shorter posts, or I may skip the odd Friday post here and there (tonight was touch & go). 
Anywhere, while I'm here, I best get started. It's already 9:05 pm. 

Started the week wearing the Omega Speedmaster Professional. I've noticed that I tend to wear my sports watches more during the summer months of the year. Usually on a bracelet, since this is the most water-resistant option. Mind you, this Speedmaster is only rated to 50 metres which is considered splash-proof, as far as I'm concerned. Sure, sure, I spoke to plenty of customers over the years who wore their 30 or fifty metre water-resistant watches in all manner of aquatic conditions, but, given what these things cost, I tend to err on the side of caution. I have rinsed this watch under a tap (faucet) on two occasions in the (my God!) ten years that I have had it. 

I was still wearing it on Wednesday. Here it is on a Folio Society edition of Graham Greene's The Quiet American, which I snagged for four bucks from an Op Shop. Somehow, I've managed to pick up five paperback copies of this book over the years, and I haven't read it yet! Now that I have it in hardback, I'll get rid of a couple of the paperbacks.
Also in this picture is an old Rolex catalogue that I got back in 1981 when I seriously began daydreaming about getting a Submariner. 
But that's another story.

Thursday morning, I switched over to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five. Later in the evening, I went along to my optometrist to pick up a pair of old frames that I had fitted with reading lenses. I keep a pair in my bag at work, just in case I need to do some up-close task, but I've recently found that a pair of reading glasses would be handy for when I read in bed. 
So, I dusted off a set of Silhouette frames that I got back around 1990 and had the long-distance lenses swapped out for near-vision ones. 

Now that my hairline is non-existent, compared to how I looked 26 years ago, I wouldn't wear these frames out and about, but they'll be just right for keeping on my bed-side table, ready for use.
I once tried to clean the lenses by using the steam wand of a coffee machine at a cafe where I worked the lunch shift back in '97. I held the frames a little too close to the wand and ended up discolouring them in spots. They've had a whitish tinge in sections now for the last twenty years, but I'm thinking of using a Cape Cod cloth gently on these areas to see if I can bring them back to their black lustre. I really hope I don't mess them up. Considering I just paid to have new lenses fitted. 
I try the old 'test in an inconspicuous area' method first. 

Didn't get as much done at work today as I would have liked. Too many interruptions to my workflow. No matter. Monday will be here before I know it. Still had the Diver Sixty Five on my wrist. 
Gotta make the most of this weekend. I have a few tasks I'd like to tackle. 

Anyway, gang, I hope you all have a safe and pleasant weekend. 

Thanks for reading!

Hmm, 9:35pm. Not bad.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday 3/2/17 & Saturday 4/2/17 - A Million Page-Views, My Job Goes Full-Time & This Week's Wristwatches.

Okay, it's getting late into Friday night and I don't know how long I'll last so here we go.

Saturday morning- Hmm, looks like I didn't last very long at all.  Right, so this blog of mine clocked up a million page-views earlier this week. 


However, I can't say I feel like it's a milestone because much of the traffic on this blog seems to come from Easter Bloc countries. The Teeritz Agenda is HUGE in Moldova, if the monthly stats are to be believed;

The traffic sources tend to come from obscure Russian sites that are to do with roof repairs (I think. My Russian's gotten rusty since The Cold War ended. JK) and there was a period about a year or so ago when I was getting a lot of traffic coming from some sleazy porn sites, which was odd, to say the least. 
Some of the traffic was coming through from some toxic, spam/virus-laden websites which seemed suspicious to me and I didn't click on the links to see what they were, just to be on the safe side. 

So, I have to say that it doesn't feel like I clocked up this milestone number of views based on the quality of my blog posts. In fact, there was a time where my post about the Dry Martini was getting four or five hundred hits a day. Were there really that many people out there wanting to know how I mixed a Martini? I think not. 
And for a long time now, my post for Ken Coghlan, about how to look for a decent wristwatch, has been the second-highest viewed post on this blog;

My true wristwatch-related posts, such as the Tissot and Railmaster reviews, seem to have gotten more genuine hits over the years. I say this because these two watches still generate a lot of interest on the internet and I think people are still chasing info on these particular watches. The How To Buy A Wristwatch posts scored high, probably due to the bland and generic titles of the posts. I would imagine that anybody who Googles the term 'how to buy a wristwatch' will land on my posts. 
Other posts have such obscure titles that it makes me wonder why they get so many hits, but I have to assume that these posts are the one being skated through by folks on their way to Russian roofing companies or porn sites. I don't know how all this internet stuff works, so I just assume that my site is a piggy-back location for nefarious web traffic. From memory, I think a few of you with your own blogs have experienced similar issues. 
My daily page-views usually number anywhere between five hundred to seven hundred, but they've been averaging around 1,200 to 1,500 hits for the past two or three weeks. 
And this is why I didn't pop the champagne when this blog reached a million hits. 
Basically, I think these numbers have been padded out artificially by crap. 
Shame, really, but nothing to sweat over. It's just a little ole' blog after all.

I briefly wore the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer earlier this week. The dial on this watch has some slight discolouration on it. This is something that I may try to correct at some point this year.It will be a fiddly and nerve-wracking process involving distilled water and lemon juice, but I've seen the results on the web and I figure it might be worth the risk. Worst-case scenario, I remove some of the lettering from the dial in the process. If that happens, I'll have to let Omega give the watch a full service and replace the dial. I'll let you all know how it goes.

A friend of mine got himself a 2008 model Porsche 911* recently. I caught up with him this week and he took me for a spin in it. 
"Don't try and impress me", I said as I strapped the seat-belt on, mentally scanning the car's interior to see where the airbags were located (the dashboard, the door). 
We took off sedately enough, but when my buddy got the car into a quiet residential street, he shifted
gears and put his foot down ever-so-slightly. 
I didn't glance at the speedo as I felt my body push noticeably back into my seat, but it felt like we went from 40kph to 80kph in the blink of an eye. 
My head spun slightly and the pressure in my eyeballs lifted a little as I felt the blood drain from my face. Is this what G force acceleration feels like to astronauts, I wondered?
The car slowed down seconds later, but I still felt dizzy for a few moments. As far as European high-performance sports cars go, I have always loved the 911. They look to me like a Volkswagen Beetle that's gone on a crash-diet. The DNA is clearly visible, especially considering that German designer Ferdinand Porsche designed the Beetle (in 1934) and his grandson, Ferdinand Alexander 'Butzi" Porsche designed the 911 in 1959 (as the successor to the gorgeous 356), although the car didn't go into production until 1963;

 <----picture courtesy of

A classic 1952 model Beetle, beautifully restored. There was a time when I was seriously considering one of these. Used to see plenty of them on the road back in the 1980s. Nowadays, they are a rare sight indeed.

picture courtesy of Kastner's>

A 1971 Porsche 911. If I could ever justify spending more than fifteen grand on a car, I'd get something like this. But it would cost me around four times that much. At least.

Wore the freshly-serviced Omega Seamaster 300 Professional later in the week. It seems to be running nicely, although I haven't checked the timekeeping yet. The crown winds as smoothly as butter, making it feel like a new watch again. I'll have to give it a little more time on the wrist, to really put it through its paces.

Finished off the week with the Oris Diver Sixty-Five. I sat down with the General Manager on Friday morning. He has offered me a full-time role. I was doing thirty hours per week, but the workload has increased in recent months. I really like the job, but I was getting irked by the fact that some duties were not getting finished in time. For my liking, anyway. I normally plan a rough outline of my day while I'm on the train heading to work in the mornings, but these plans can often be thrown out of whack by some convoluted e-mail or phone call from a customer. This invariably ends up with my having to chase up a repair that was not part of my day's agenda. No big deal, because it usually just takes up five or ten minutes, but some customers can be a little pedantic, wanting daily updates as to the progress of their repairs, etc, and I just don't work that way. I tell them that their watch is being repaired as per schedule and is well within its repair turn-around time (four to eight weeks). If they begin to get unreasonable, I inform them that it is impossible for me to give them weekly updates due to the volume of repairs that we receive Australia-wide, and that their watch will be attended to in the order in which it was received. First in, first served. 
Because there is such a thing as being fair to everybody. 
Anyway, it's these little changes in plans that can tend to bug me a little, but I'm learning to deal with it better than I used to, having accepted the fact that plans can change in a heartbeat regardless of how carefully arranged the day might be.
The GM has always told me not to worry too much about these things, since all watches will be repaired in due course and that's the nature of the game. 
So, I spoke to the GM and I'll be commencing full-time hours next week. This may mean that these weekly updates may not be as regular as they have been. This blog has always been updated on a weekly basis (most of the time, anyway) and this was mainly due to the free time that I had while I was studying, out of work, or working part-time. 
A great deal of my day is spent in front of a computer and I've found in recent months that I'm less inclined to park myself in front of the laptop when I get home. Hence the reasons why these weekly posts have gotten shorter at times. 
Still, I'll see how I go. Also, I've thought more and more about the content of this blog in recent months and I feel that, if I don't have anything to interesting to report, it's better not to write anything at all some weeks. 
I'll be getting home later in the evenings than I have up till now, so I think I'll be spending some time thinking of how to best utilise my free time. I'd still like to give my writing a serious crack and I definitely need to make time for exercise. More importantly, family time is crucial.
We'll just see how it all goes. We live in interesting times, as the saying goes. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you're having a great weekend!

*Silver Porsche 911 picture courtesy of

Thanks again to wikipedia for the info on Ferdinand Porsche.