Sunday 17 February 2019

Sunday, February 17th, 2019 - Forgotten Posts / Record Heatwaves / Back to the Books / Man, What a Voice! & Recent Wristwatches

Hmm, it would appear that I started this typecast post in the last few days of December last year and then never got around to finishing or posting it up.
Ahh well, here it is. I wasn't going to bother, but since I spent the time and energy typing it out, I figured I'd better not waste it. 

I rearranged the shelves in the spare room. This room still has boxes filled with stuff that I haven't unpacked since we moved into this house in September 2015. 
I think I should do something about that. 
Looking at my typewriters, I notice a few that I could probably do without. I have thirteen of them and I think I'm gonna try getting them down to ten or so. 
To be honest, I'm finding it hard to get motivated to write the copy, take photos, etc, for the eBay listings, but in an effort to de-clutter, I'm just gonna have to sit down and get started. I've been saying it for too long - and this blog is littered with statements about de-cluttering- so I think I should just bite the bullet and get it done. 
There. I'll say no more about it. 
Till it's done. 

I wore these two watches for most of the week;

The Submariner was worn early on, but I soon created a list of chores for myself during my time off from work, so I switched over to the Omega Railmaster on a minimal-stitch leather strap.

I have to say that the leather is not very pliable on this strap, which made for a very uncomfortable fit and feel during the warmer days this week. 
I've since put the watch back onto its steel bracelet. I think steel is a better option for Summer, since water and perspiration over the warmer months can tend to wear down a leather strap faster than would happen at any other time of year.


Anyway, it's now Sunday, February 3rd and we've just experienced the hottest January temperatures on record. Yeah. On record.
It's currently 36 degrees C.
The temps have crept up to the high 30s on and off over the past few weeks and we had a four or five day spell where it got to between 38 and 42 degrees Celsius. A quick Fahrenheit conversion turns those numbers into 100.4 and 107.6. Yikes!
Okay, the wife and I just got back from a quick workout at the gym. Since writing the above paragraph about an hour ago, the temperature has climbed up a couple of notches to 38 degrees.
Tomorrow is shaping up to be another hot one.

Monday February 11th, 8:00pm
                                                    Where the hell is this post going!? Let me check the photos that I've taken over the past couple of weeks. That oughta' jog my memory.
Ahh, okay, I remember now.

I had multi-focal lenses fitted to these Tom Ford frames a couple of weeks ago.
I had been on the hunt for a set of frames which had clip-on sun-glass lenses attached. I was aiming for a mid-Century aesthetic along the lines of James Dean's glasses. These Tom Ford frames are a honey-blonde shade. I would have preferred a darker shade of tortoise-shell, but considering this particular style has been discontinued for some time, I figure I was lucky to find these.
In a moment of weakness, I let the girl at the optometrists up-sell me to multi-focal lenses when I had actually planned to just get bi-focals. I just wanted glasses for driving and reading. She convinced me to go for an all-purpose lens that would be better for driving, reading AND being able to see the dashboard clearly.
Stupidly, I let myself get talked into it.
Anyway, fast-forward ten days later and I picked up these specs and wore them over the following week.
I hated 'em. Too much distortion in the periphery of my vision when driving, making it difficult to negotiate my driving in traffic where split-second decisions were concerned. Lane-changing meant taking an extra second or two to judge how close that motorcycle was to my rear right and how close that cyclist was to my rear left. And they were no good for wearing while working at the computer at work, as I found myself tilting my head a little too high to see the screen, since these lenses had three different focal points ground into them.

I went back to the optometrist over this past weekend and asked if I could switch them to basic bi-focals like I had originally planned. I was fully expecting to be further out of pocket. These multi-focals were the priciest lenses I had ever bought. Anti-reflective coating, anti-glare coating, etc had driven the price up on these.
Surprisingly, I was told that there was a warranty on the lenses and they would change them over to bi-focals at no charge and I still had a coupla' hundred bucks credit left over. This meant that I could get another set of frames fitted with reading lenses, to replace my older pair that sit on my bedside table.
Cool. They should be ready sometime next week.

Thinking about it now, I'll probably read another Follett book or two at some point. The bastard. Still, probably a better way to pass the time than Patterson's works.

Okay, wristwatch-wise,  I wore the Omega Railmaster, seen here back on its bracelet. I briefly began reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American, but then decided to hold off a little longer with it. I'm not in the right frame of mind for it just yet. 
Soon though. 

Man, this has turned into a very literary post. Hope you don't mind.

My son showed me some YouTube videos this past weekend featuring an outfit called Postmodern Jukebox. The brainchild of a fella named Scott Bradlee, they basically take modern songs and give 'em an old time spin. I spent an hour or so sifting through them and every singer has an absolutely extraordinary voice. 

A highlight is this pocket Venus named Haley Reinhart, who belts out a fantastic version of Radiohead's early '90s hit Creep. This dame's got a set of pipes on her you wouldn't believe. She's got a great repertoire of chanteuse moves as well, as she flits and flutters her hands as she sings with a husky voice which is at times raspy and at times blows the roof off. And the band is tight! There ain't a bum note in this gig. 
Here's the clip. You be the judge. Then check out her rendition of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun. And then look for Puddles Pity Party and his version of Lorde's Royal.

Warning- It could be addictive. See ya in a coupla' hours.


Postmodern Jukebox seems to have been kicking around for about three or four years, so I have to say I'm late to the party here. 
Either way, looks like I'm gonna be downloading off iTunes soon.

Here's the website, featuring the video clips, tour dates and downloads;

Scott Bradlee's PostModern Jukebox | Home 

I wore the Submariner at some point in the past few weeks;

And here comes another book. I picked up a First Edition Library version of Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me. I had looked at pre-owned First Editions of this book, but their condition was less than stellar, unless I wanted to spend more than I was prepared to. The First Edition Library brought out the complete set of Bond novels in the early 1990s with reproductions of the original cover art. This one, along with From Russia, With Love, has perhaps the most evocative artwork of all the Bond novels which featured paintings by British artist Richard Chopping. 
First published in 1962, this was Fleming's attempt at writing a OO7 story from the Bond Girl's point of view. Hence, it is billed as 'written by Ian Fleming with Vivienne Michel'.

The story concerns a young woman with a past who checks in to a motor inn in Upper New York State. Unbeknownst to her, the place has been taken over by two thugs who are on the run and have holed up there.
That synopsis may be a little sketchy. I'm working off my memory of the book from when I read it back in '81. 
Figured I'd give wikipedia the night off.
It was a strange book in many ways. Fleming writing from a woman's perspective is bound to be skewed and full of his own wish-fulfillment and ideas about how a woman might think. In giving the co-writing credit to the protagonist, it attempts to give the impression that Bond is real. 
Aside from that, this book is 221 pages long and is split into three sections entitled Me, Them and Him. 
Bond himself doesn't appear until around page 135 as he pulls up at the hotel to get a room and soon realises that the two thugs aren't the proprietors of the place. 
Needless to say, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the film of 1977. Fleming was disappointed with the sales of the book and stated that only the title could be used if it were ever to be filmed. 

Around 1990, I bought a copy of a 'lost' Dashiell Hammett novella called Woman In The Dark. This story centres on a woman who arrives at the home of a couple living in an isolated house in the country. She is being pursued by three or four (can't recall exactly) rich men that she was partying with earlier. While she is portrayed as being a little bit of a floozy, these men have misread her signals, thinking that she's more of a good-time gal than she really is. 
As the story progresses and she continues to try and escape and evade these men, she hooks up with an ex-con who's recently gotten out of jail. Together, they try to get away from these men, but they are hampered by the very real likelihood that the police won't believe her version of events compared to whatever the rich guys tell the cops. 
'The strumpet and the convict'  is how she describes herself and this man when he suggests they go to the cops to explain what's going on. He, of course, doesn't want to risk his parole, so it seems that the odds are stacked against them both.
Once again, I'm working off memory here. 

I remember reading this book and thinking of the similarities between this and the Bond novel. Or maybe I'm projecting a little more into it all than there actually was. 
At any rate, I'll need to re-read them both at some point to really be certain. 
Gee, that all went nowhere, didn't it? 

I wore the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph on the 8th, when I cracked the seal on the 'emergency bottle' of Bombay Sapphire. I bought this 500ml bottle in Rome back in September 2016 for about ten or fifteen Euros, which was equivalent to about $21 AUD at the time. Back here in Oz, a 750ml bottle of this stuff was selling for about $40 bucks back then.
Do the math, to account for the 250ml difference and you still feel that we're getting stung here in Australia with liquor prices.  I also bought a bottle of Ballantine's Scotch Whisky for 12 Euro, which I recall worked out to eighteen bucks. Yet here in my burg, it would cost about thirty-five to thirty-eight dollars. 
It's enough to drive you to drink.

Anyway, I spent an hour or so ironing half a dozen shirts and two pairs of chinos last weekend while listening to some wristwatch-related podcasts. By the time I was done, it was well and truly time for a drink. I was wearing the Railmaster.
My kids have been using up the ice without refilling the trays. Drives me nuts. So, I grabbed a small ZipLoc bag, half-filled it with water and put it in the freezer. For emergencies.

My wife came home earlier that day with a little vintage Japanese figurine that she found in a thrift store. "Check it out. She's wearing silk." 
Decked out in geisha-style robes, she holds what looks to me like an olive branch. Her face is made of a tightly woven fabric, possibly mounted onto a hardened base and her expression is (probably) hand-painted. And it looks flawless. Even though there are signs of mold appearing in places.

My wife quickly dubbed her 'Miss Happiness' and I didn't argue. It seemed to fit. We lightly cleaned her, removing the accumulated dust from her hair and making a minor repair to the angled hat on her head before putting her on a cabinet in the lounge room.

Now, as long as the cats stay away from her, she should be fine. Dammit, that iron is in the bottom edge of the frame. I've lost count of how many pictures I've taken over the years where the ironing board is visible in the corner of the room.

I wore the Oris Diver SixtyFive blue/black earlier this week and switched to an old-school piece that I haven't worn for some time. The circa 1962 Omega Seamaster Automatic;

           Spent an hour or two rearranging the lounge room so that I could set up a new phone in a more easily accessible part of the room. Our current phone is plugged in to the modem and it's situated in the far corner of the lounge room behind the corner of the couch.
What this means is that when the phone rings, we have to sprint to the lounge and then navigate our way around the corner of the L-shaped couch. By this time, the answering machine has already kicked in with a pleasant American voice; Hello. No-one is available to take your call. Please leave a message after the tone. Followed by the beep.

I bought a new hands-free phone off eBay, something that still retained a semblance of the shape of an old rotary phone. Sort of.

My son and I then attached the RJ45 cables and worked them along the skirting in an effort to make them as inconspicuous as possible. This involved running some small brass hooks along the skirting and looping the cable through them, then zig-zagging the cable between the brickwork of one wall.

If I had my way, I'd just have an old-fashioned land-line telephone plugged in to the old phone socket. This would be independent of the modem and broadband service. Also, it wouldn't require power from the electrical system. As it stands, this whole analogue exchange is long gone (or well and truly on the way out) and this leaves us at the mercy of Australia's pitiful broadband network.
We were without internet and home telephone for five days last month. Our provider, aside from making it difficult and convoluted to speak to somebody about this and get a straight answer, sent us a portable 4G WiFi modem loaded with 50gb of pre-paid free data.
If it happens again, just plug this modem in to your existing one and you'll be right, they said.
Okay, that was of some consolation...until I read the fine print on the packaging; "50 GB. 28 day expiry. Activate by 31/3/19"
If our modem goes down again after March 31st, this thing will just be a paperweight.

Anyway, this new hands-free phone is up and running and the old hands-free is still in the awkward spot behind the couch for now. 
If I never see another RJ45 cable, it'll be too soon. I was wearing the Oris Diver SixtyFive;

And that's another few weeks done and dusted. Work has been very busy since we re-opened for the year. My wife and I have a short break planned for late next month and I'll say more about that as it draws closer.
All we have to do for now is plow on until then.

I hope you've all been well and that this year has begun nicely for you all.

Thanks for reading!