Friday 22 June 2018

Friday June 22nd, 2018 - New Data Laws, RIP Miss Gayson, The Guy Who Stayed In With The Cold & Recent Wristwatches.

Okay, so it's Friday night, June 22nd and I'm sick again. Here's a quick timeline;

May 21st - I went to see my doctor to have a 'flu shot. 

May 27th - I caught a morning session of Avengers | Infinity War and noticed half-way through the movie that the cinema had cranked up the air con. I felt quite chilly for the rest of the film.
Later that evening, my throat felt raspy, like a had a spikey golf ball jammed in it. 

May 28th - Blocked nose, chesty cough, feverish. I end up feeling ragged for the next two weeks. 

June 10th - Feeling better. Back to my old self.

June 16th - Throat begins hurting again, and my lower back aches. Uh-oh, is this now  a 'flu? 
We had the air conditioning attended to at the office recently and it now feels a little too warm every day. One co-worker likes it cold, another likes it hot. End result is that the ambient temperature is all over the place. I wear layers, in an attempt to combat the situation and it works well. When I'm not sick. This time, though, my body temp is having a hard time regulating.

June 18th - Went in to work, though I probably should've stayed home. Same with the next day. It's busy at the moment and, corny as it sounds, I want to go in and do the work, even if I feel bad. 

June 19th - Spent the night coughing and coughing. By one am, my wife suggested the old honey & cinnamon mix. I stumbled to the kitchen, poured two spoons of honey into a small glass, and threw in a couple of liberal shakes of ground cinnamon powder. Then put it into the microwave for 10 seconds. 
I then mixed the cinnamon thoroughly through the softened honey until I had a golden syrup. Then I ate it. 
Sure enough, the coughing stopped a few minutes after I got back into bed. I slowed down my breathing and tried to relax. Not easy. 

June 20th - Called in sick. Stayed home. Slept in. Tried to nap on the couch later in the afternoon, but got a little too cold in there. Went to bed that night and coughed until one am. Then lay awake until 5:00am, trying not to cough. 

This morning - Sent a text to my boss, saying I wouldn't be in today. He replied, telling me not to come back to work until Monday. 
We'll see how I'm faring by then. 

By now, you're all probably aware of the New Data Laws being rolled out across Europe. I don't know what it all means, but I've had this message up on my Blogger dashboard for a few weeks;

I have underlined the confusing part of this message. I hit the "Learn more" tab and then tried to view my blog using a European .com (,, etc) at the end of my blog's address, but it keeps reverting back to the Australian '".
So, I'm wondering, if any of you are reading this blog from somewhere in Europe, are you getting the cookies notice somewhere on my blog? Thanks in advance!

The first Bond film, Dr No, was released in 1962. Bond's creator Ian Fleming died two years later. The director, Terence Young, has been gone for almost 25 years. 
However, it always strikes home for me when one of the actors in the early films dies. 
Eunice Gayson died earlier this month at the age of 90. She has the honour of being the First Bond Girl, Sylvia Trench.
She is first seen at the chemin de fer table at a London casino. She stands out because, amid all the men in dinner jackets, she wears a red off-the-shoulder gown.  
Aside from how she looks, she also comes across as very self-assured. Gambling alone, she engages in light reparteé with the unseen stranger across the table, the only worthy opponent in this game, it seems.
The cinematic introduction of James Bond is the stuff of OO7 lore. And, unrealistic spy movies aside, it is considered one of the greatest intros in film history.
But, don't take my word for it (thanks, YouTube!);


The next time we see her, she has managed to get into Bond's flat (probably bribed the doorman) and is attempting to slice golf balls into one of Bond's hats...wearing nothing but a pair of high heels and one of Bond's silk pyjama shirts. Bond arrives at the front door and, hearing sounds coming from inside his digs, draws his pistol and bursts in. To be pleasantly surprised.                        Thinking about her character now, she seems like the right kind of girl for 1960s cinematic Bond. Confident, flirty, and sexy as all get-out. She was intended to be a recurring character in the films, the girl back in England whose plans for intimacy with Bond would always be thwarted by his duty to Queen and Country. She appeared in the next film, From Russia With Love, but was never seen again after that. Shame, really. And so, I raise a glass (of orange juice) to you, Miss Gayson. It was performances by people like you that went a long way towards getting big-screen Bond off the ground.

Wristwatch-wise, these are what I've worn in recent weeks;

The Submariner still gets worn sparingly throughout the week and tends to see a little more daylight on the weekends. I'm careful with this one, given that it offers no water-resistance due to its age, but I'm glad that I've gotten to the point where I don't baby it the way I did when I first got it.                                                                Having wanted one for four decades, I knew there'd be a possibility of my treating it with kid gloves, but that's slowly faded since I got it overhauled last year. 
I ran some film through the Yashica Electro 35 GSN that I got recently;

I took the roll of colour film to my local mall to get it developed at Big W. They're like a Kmart or Target store.  The guy behind the counter told me that it would take around two-and-a-half weeks now because they no longer have the machinery to process film on the premises. Damn! Oh well, what choice did I have?                                The eBay Seller keeps sending me automated messages, asking me to leave feedback. I keep replying that I will do so once I check out the photos that I've taken. Seems fair, don't it? Anyway, he can wait.

I've been home since Wednesday. I've had a few very lousy sleeps. Wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five Movember Edition for most of the week. I spent this morning paying some bills online before parking myself on the couch with a cup of tea and a couple of books. I have about a hundred pages left of Ernst Jünger's account of his experiences as a younger officer in WWI. The book is called Storm of Steel and it's up there with Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Once I finish this book, I can get started on the new Bond book, Forever And A Day. That should tide me over until the next Bond movie, which is still just a glimmer in EON Productions' eye at the moment.I later switched over to the Omega Railmaster, a watch that I haven't worn for some time.                                            It's now about ten past nine pm. I'm gonna have an inhalation made up of boiling water and a teaspoonful of Vicks Vaporub. Hopefully, this'll open up my airways a little. 

Anyway, thanks for reading, and have yourselves a good weekend!

Friday 1 June 2018

Friday 1/6/2018 - Organ Donations, Shots in the Arm, Sons of Asgard Playing for Laughs + Recent Wristwatches.

Here's one more pic of the Laguiole knife, showing the 'Shepherd's cross' inlay of the handle. More about this knife in my previous post. 
I've been wearing the Oris Diver SixtyFive Movember  edition quite a bit over the past month and felt it was time for a switch. 
Have to say that this is a great watch. Oris really nailed it with this vintage-inspired design. Their Diver SixtyFive range has done very well for them over the last three years and I think this design will be a future classic for the brand. 

I'm currently writing a review of my other Diver SixtyFive model, but I've hit a bit of a snag with regard to the little story that I'm writing for it. 

Those of you who've read my other watch reviews may know that I tend to throw in a little story along with the review of the watch. That's just me keeping my hand in the fictional waters. I tend to place the watch in a scenario outside of what many watch reviews place it in. The Diver SixtyFive is a dive watch, but you won't find a face mask or pair of flippers anywhere in my review. I'm trying to show that this watch works just as well on dry land as it does 50 metres below the surface. 
Anyway, the story has hit a snag, but I think I've found a way through it. Just letting it simmer on the back-burner of my mind, to see if any holes appear. 

I didn't learn the whole song, just the first verse. But by the time my wife got home from work a couple of hours later, I'd forgotten how I learned it.
I still think La La Land should have won for Best Picture last year. The Oscar went to Moonlight, after the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway announcement confusion/fiasco. Moonlight was a good film, but in a year which gave the world Donald Trump as President, while taking away Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman and George Michael way before their time, we all needed something a little light, escapist and hopeful, something that harked back to the last flicker of the Hollywood musical. 
Like I said, Moonlight was a good film, but it was a little too 'real life'. 
And real life really sucked in 2016.

I grew up reading The Amazing Spiderman comics in the 1970s. I watched the late-Sixties cartoon series on Saturday mornings. I sat through the dreadful movie in 1977, which starred Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker and became incensed years later when I learned that it was originally a TV show.
Throughout this time, I would occasionally buy a Captain America and The Falcon or Fantastic Four comic, and I was also aware of other Marvel heroes like Iron Man. Thor and The Submariner.
I occasionally bought Spiderman comics in the early to mid 1980s, but by then, Marvel Comics had three or four different Spiderman titles out each month and I couldn't justify the cost of them.
Marvel dipped its toe in the movie waters back in 2000 with the release of X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer. Its $75 million dollar budget was rewarded with a box office gross of just under $300 million. Sequels soon followed.
When I saw the first of the Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies in 2002 (Dir: Sam Raimi), I remember thinking that FINALLY, everybody's favourite web-slinger had been been brought to the screen the way he was meant to. Technological advances in CGI meant that Spidey swinging across the streets of New York looked as real as could be. It would only be a matter of time before we'd see other Marvel hero movies.
So, I've been a fan of the Marvel movie series released over the last ten years. I thought the IronMan films starring Robert Downey jr were great, and I really enjoyed the Captain America films as well. Coupled with The Avengers saga, we end up with a huge cross-referenced story arc beginning with the origin stories of these heroes before involving them in a quest for the Infinity Stones, a collection of crystals that will give unlimited power to their possessor.
Once Spiderman and Iron Man hit the big screen, it would only be a matter of time before other Marvel heroes would follow.
The first Thor film (Dir: Kenneth Branagh, 2011) contained Shakespearean overtones as it told the story of Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, son of Odin the King of Asgard. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has landed on Earth after being banished from Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) for violating a peace treaty.
He lands in New Mexico and is found by a group of scientists led by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). The professor, being Swedish, is well aware of Nordic mythology and it is he who first makes the realisation as to who this stranger with the long blonde hair, huge biceps, and big hammer (with carry strap) really is.
Compared to the other films in the Marvel Studios canon, this one presents us a smaller story as we find Thor having to save this New Mexico township from an attack by a Destroyer, a robotic sentinel sent to Earth by Thor's mischievous half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Anyway, onto this new movie. If the first Thor film gave us a story filled with Norse mythology and the fate of Asgard, this new one, Thor: Ragnarok has an overall sensibility that's closer to the Marvel films Antman and the Guardians of the Galaxy double.
Directed by New Zealander, Taika Waititi, this film has a more comedic tone in terms of dialogue and line delivery. Waititi seemed to me an odd choice when I thought of his 2016 film  Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a quirky (hated term. Used a lot by reviewers when referring to Australian and New Zealand films) movie about a kid who runs away from home and is grudgingly helped by a grizzly old man as they both end up on the run from authorities.
I'm always surprised when I read of a director going from a small-scale, low-budget film to a big Hollywood blockbuster, but Waititi does a wonderful job with this film. Absolutely confident in his approach to a film that's part of a winning franchise.
These movies aren't everybody's cup of tea, I'll be the first to admit. But does that really matter? They're mind candy, meant to take us away from real life for a couple of hours.
However, they are very well done. The effects are flawless, the casting is great, the writing (especially the dialogue) is sharp, and the storylines do touch on greater themes which help elevate these films beyond the likes of the Fast & Furious franchise, for example.  

Wednesday May 30th

"You know that shot you gave me for the 'flu? Well it worked. I've got it."
         - Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Alan Alda)
           "Carry On Hawkeye" , M*A*S*H , Season 2, Episode 11 

I went to see Avengers | Infinity War last Sunday morning (movies are my religion) and noticed about half-way through that they'd turned up the air-conditioning in the cinema. Feeling quite chill, I buttoned up my denim jacket and flipped up the collar. Still felt cold. 

Later that night, my throat began feeling raspy. By this morning, my nose was blocked, I was coughing, and there was a headache on the horizon, which ended up moving in by early afternoon and stayed until about 8 o'clock this evening. 
And remember, I got that 'flu shot a week or so ago? 

The movie was good. Earth's Mightiest Heroes (TM) have their work cut out for them in the next - and probably final - installment in this series. I was told that they filmed two movies back-to-back. I think the next one ain't due out until around this time next year. 
The movie posters in this blog post were taken from I could spend days sifting through that site.

May 28th was a few days ago. Ian Fleming was born on this day back in 1908. My Folio Society copy of From Russia With Love arrived two days later. Here it is with the watches that I've been wearing over the last couple of weeks. Lousy photo, sorry.

Here's another shot of the Submariner, along with a snap of the inspiration. 

Okay, it's 7:24pm Friday night and I think I'm gonna crash soon. I hope you're all well, and that you have a good weekend. 

Thanks for reading!