Where are my manners? Looking back at last week's post and comments, I saw that I didn't reply to comments made by Bill & Ted (yes, that's their real names. Highly respected members of the Typosphere, let me tell ya's).
Geez, I just looked at last week's post and saw that I'd dated it 2017. Okay, that's fixed.
I've typecast this week as well, but, aside from crossing out any errors as I wrote, using a slash, I've also proof-read it and had a Columbia red correction pencil at the ready. Anyway...
I wore the Rolex Submariner earlier in the week. Summer means short sleeves and short sleeves means a higher risk of a wristwatch getting wet or getting knocked against something, so I've tended to wear this one sparingly on warmer days. I think I got the lighting right on this picture. I wore it a little more over this weekend because, well, I didn't buy it to have it spend all its time locked away.
I've written more about this film in the typecast below. There's a different sensibility that one sees in European film that you just don't get from films made in English speaking countries. European movies can take a seemingly mundane situation and infuse it with a depth and perception that we don't often get from English or American made films.
That's certainly not to denigrate the output from Hollywood and the UK. Lord knows I grew up on a self-imposed steady diet of movies from both sides of the pond, but some of the most powerful scenes and some of the best performances I've ever seen were in films from countries that don't speak English. For example, if you've never seen it, check out Cinema Paradiso, (Dir: Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988). Some scenes will have you in tears.
I will definitely have to go through the typewriters one of these days.
I have a Lemair Helvetia somewhere that is a nice typewriter to use, but keeping it would be a little redundant, as I have about four or five ultra-portables already and one of them, the Groma Kolibri, barely gets used as it is. I think I should sit down with that one and give it a thorough going-over.
I also wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five this week;
Actually, I think I spent the weekend alternating between this watch and the Rolex. I stepped out yesterday morning to go buy a couple of pairs of casual pants for work. Nothing flash, just some chinos in a lightweight fabric. Since putting on a few pounds, I've gotten tired of feeling that tightness around the waistband. So, I figured I'd just move up a size for the time being. I've had a 30 inch waist all my life and now, at the age of 52, I'm adding some middle-aged spread.
Over my dead body!
I'm as thin as Jagger all over, but I have a slight paunch. I hate that look. It's sluggy.
Anyway, the labels stated that these were 'ankle-length'. Okay, no biggie. Until I got home and tried them on again. They exposed a little more ankle than I would like. No real problem. I know that ankle-length is 'in' right now. See Thom Browne's outfits, for example. However, I can't wear these pants with the shoes that I have. They make me look like I'm wearing pants that I've out-grown.
So, back to the store I went this morning, and swapped them over for a different cut of chinos that are exactly like the pairs I already have. Just in a 31 inch waist.
That's okay. It's now almost six pm Sunday night, I'm sitting here writing this while a gin & tonic sits within reach (maybe that's what caused the weight gain!) and I'll get dinner started soon. After that, I'll take my son for a half-hour driving lesson and then my wife and I will hop on our bikes and go for a half-hour ride.
I'm gonna try implementing that into the coming weeks on a regular basis. Some new tenants have moved into the offices below mine at work, so I'm about to lose the car parking space that I've been using for the past six or eight months. That means it'll be back to catching a train in to work, which is fine because it means I'll be doing a little more walking than I have in quite some time.
They just don't design movie posters like that anymore. (pic courtesy of www.impawards.com )
I can't say that Alan Ladd was a favourite of mine, even though I liked him in This Gun For Hire and Shane. I don't think I've seen him in much else, to be honest.
Despite what I've read of the plot of this film over the years, I'm looking forward to seeing this one. I have to say I always get a buzz when I finally catch up with some old movie that I've never seen.
The production of this film is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Crime writer (an absolute favourite of mine) Raymond Chandler had been told by studio executives that the ending would need a re-write. However, filming had already begun and the revised finale had not been completed. Chandler, a life-long alcoholic, spoke to Producer John Houseman about the approaching deadline for the re-write. He told Houseman that he could finish the script in the allotted time-frame, but he could not do it sober. And he had a few stipulations also.
So, Chandler resumed drinking heavily while working on the screenplay. Outside his house, two limousines were on standby, to deliver finished pages to the set. Also on call were a doctor and two nurses, who would give Chandler regular glucose injections during this time, as he was drinking heavily, but not eating a thing.
He completed the screenplay by the deadline.
Released in 2011, the gameplay is phenomenal. Sure, it has shootouts and car chases, but this game places more emphasis on story and it requires you to think a little more than most games of its time, as you interview witnesses and suspects and then try to determine if they're lying to you or not. This is brilliantly staged using a new motion capture technique whereby the actors were filmed with an array of cameras that picked up every little nuance in their expressions. Aaron Staton plays Cole Phelps. He starred as Ken Cosgrove in Mad Men throughout its entire run and he's excellent in this game, with his 1940s suits and his Kirk Douglasesque face. Set in 1947, you get a picturesque Post-War L.A., with its wide streets and shady characters. It's a very cinematic game, with the slanted block-letter font for each chapter, reminiscent of classic film noir title design. Coupled with the atmospheric music score, this game beautifully plunges the player into the City of Angels of the late 1940s. The game has been recently re-released for the Playstation 4 console in a new 1080p transfer, which basically means that the graphics should look even better than they did on the original release. Hmmm....
Last year got busy for me in other areas. As such, my blogging took a back-seat to everything else that was going on.
Looking at the stats of this blog since it began, 2017 showed the least amount of posts here.
Here are the stats, along with possible/probable reasons behind the post counts;
2011 - 53 posts. Started this blog in May of that year. Most of my posts were about typewriters and wristwatches.
2012 - 41 posts. Still finding my feet with it. Quit my job and returned to part-time study.
2013 - 71 posts. Studying part-time, more free time on my hands.
2014 - 74 posts. Still studying, looking for work.
2015 - 53 posts. Studies got busier, job-hunt was ramped up once my studies ended in September.
2016 - 46 posts. Landed a part-time job in March. Spent three weeks overseas on holiday in Europe. Noticed that my readership took a sharp drop after that and hasn't been the same since. Was averaging around 500 to 700 page-views a day, but this has since fallen to around 200 since the trip. Oh well, not the end of the world. It's just a blog, after all.
2017 - 34 posts. Job went full-time in March, leaving me less time and energy to devote to regular posts.
So, I spent less time writing blog posts here. There were periods where I didn't write for a couple of weeks at a time, so these results may be slightly skewed. However, I was still able to keep a tally of the watches that got worn throughout the year and here it is.
I have to say that I was a little surprised by the results.
1) ORIS DIVER SIXTYFIVE
The clear winner by a mile. I wore it throughout 22 weeks of the year. For a watch that has a blue and black dial, the D-65 was surprisingly suited to many different strap combinations, making for a versatile wristwatch.
At 40mm in diameter, it is perfectly suited to my 6.5 inch wrist and it's gone a long way towards fully convincing me that 40 mil is the right size for my wrist. I'd always felt that way, but every now and then, the BIG watch craze would cast a few niggling doubts in my mind.
I've been collecting long enough now and I've built up a collection that I'm comfortable with and that works well for me.
The Diver SixtyFive is a clean and simple watch, as far as dive watches go. It wears nicely on the wrist and has enough elements about it that appeal to me. I could say more, but I'm in the process of writing a review about it that will say everything I like and dislike about this watch.
2) OMEGA SEAMASTER 300 (WATCHCo Build)
This watch was worn throughout 11 weeks of the year. I tried it on a few different bracelet and strap combinations. It has, by far, one of the most legible dials in my collection. A fellow collector sold me a Speedmaster bracelet for this watch and it was a near-perfect fit. Works perfectly over the winter months, but when Summer rolls around, my wrist swells slightly and the fit gets a little too snug. All I need is an extra link for this bracelet. I'll get around to it someday.
3a) OMEGA RAILMASTER Co-AXIAL
Worn through ten weeks of the year, this is a favourite. Somewhere on this computer, I have a photo titled "Grab if House On Fire". The picture shows six (or is it seven?) of my watches. Aside from the obvious, such as passports and other legal paperwork, two portable hard-drives, the cats and my wife and kids, I would probably risk life and limb to grab these watches as the flames surround me.
3b) OMEGA SPEEDMASTER PROFESSIONAL
In equal 3rd place, the Speedy got a lot of wrist time last year. Some guy over on an Omega forum stated that he'd never, ever buy one of these because he feels that the moon landing was faked. It sparked a major 'debate'. I got into the discussion saying that the NASA/moon landing association has never had any allure for me regarding this wristwatch. I just like it because it's a classic 1960s chronograph design.
I've periodically switched it over to a leather strap, but it always seems to wind up back on its bracelet. Sure, it's a hand-wound watch, the glass is hesalite and not as tough as sapphire crystal, there's no date on it, and the water-resistance wouldn't be enough to wear it while swimming (in my opinion), but there's so much else that just absolutely perfect about this watch.
In fact, all of the above-mentioned perceived short-comings are what make this watch truly special.
4) OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN 42mm Co-AXIAL
I'm wearing this one now as I write this. Whenever I put this watch on after not having worn it for some time, it always feels like I'm putting it on for the first time.
It was worn throughout nine weeks of the year. If anything, I don't think I wore it enough! It's the go-anywhere/do-anything watch, even though I still tend to treat it carefully enough.
I've had it ten years and I daresay it would probably be due for servicing. If I could bear to be without it for a couple of months.
The one watch that is conspicuously missing is the Rolex Submariner 5513. I finally got around to getting it serviced in November, so it kind'a arrived too late in the year to make the list.
Well, there's always 2018.
The bulk of my other watches all averaged about four weeks of wear throughout last year. I didn't switch up my watches as much as I used to.
Which is a good thing, because it helps me to decide if there are any pieces that I could sell and not miss. At the moment, there are one or two for sure. I'll have to spend a little more time thinking about it, to see if I can move a couple of others without worrying too much.
I've been in a if-it's-not-being-used,-get-rid-of-it state of mind for a few months. I have a few items that haven't seen the light of day for some time. And if that's the case, I probably wouldn't miss them if they were gone.
Which is good.
Now all I have to do is figure out where to begin.
Well, folks, it's been a busy December 'round these here parts, hence the lack of posts.
This year has treated us kindly, with no major highs, but more importantly, no major lows. Highlights include my getting a new Mazda (2006 model) back in July and it has served me well, despite the fact that the air con needs re-gassing and the tyres are a death-trap.
The dealer told me the car had air conditioning and the tyres were new. That's BS on both counts. They tyres may well have been new, but they were manufactured in 2013 and, as you may know, rubber tends to harden over time and road-grip suffers as a result.
I was reminded of this only yesterday when I made a wide right-hand turn (admittedly I was in third gear, perhaps a tad faster than I should have been) and felt the back of the car fish-tail out of control. I took my foot off the accelerator and yanked the wheel first to the left and then quickly to the right before the car regained some grip. Thankfully, no cars were behind me and there was no oncoming traffic.
I booked the car in this morning for a new set of Michelins which will be fitted next Saturday. Now, if I just exercise some cautious driving between now and then, I'll be fine.
The air con is another matter to be attended to in due course. When I tested in prior to buying the car in July, it was a winter's morning and it blew out coll air when I flicked it on. Naturally.
On the first truly warm day in November, I flicked on the air conditioning to be met with a room-temperature blast of warm air in the face.
I'll be writing a stern e-mail to the dealership soon. I'm very happy with the car itself, but I wish the salesman had been a little more honest with his description. Once a used car salesman, always a used car salesman. The weasel.
And I was also glad to have finally gotten the Rolex Submariner serviced/overhauled last month. It had been worn sparingly since I got it back in January 2015 due to the crystal and bezel falling off it.
I'm happy to report that the watchmaker did some sterling work on this thing.
Of course, more important than Mazdas and Rolexes, everybody has been healthy this year. The kids and Lady Teeritz have been well, as has Madame;
June saw the arrival of another cat, whom we called Bowie. Sadly, our older cat doesn't appreciate his very existence and this leads to her hissing at him whenever he goes near her. I had hoped that this would have calmed down by now, but it looks like it may never.
He is cute, though. And he eats anything that isn't nailed down. He also tends to like his breakfast at around six am, which is beginning to get tiresome, to say the least.
Typewriter-wise, I picked up an Everest K2;
It types nicely enough and it's in very good cosmetic condition, but I find that I prefer the typing action of the two Olympia SMs (2 & 3) that I have, so this Everest feels a little redundant. The paint-job's a nice shade of cream, though.
However, I have to be ruthless. With the typewriters, I already have a few that are more for ornamental purposes rather than actual typing, so need to cull a few machines that don't get used. I have an Olympia Splendid 33 that's not as nice to type on as some of my other ultra-portables, so that one, and this Everest will have to go.
When it comes to eBay selling, January is a write-off. Folks are paying off credit card debts that ballooned out of control in the lead-up to Christmas.
Therefore, I'll wait until February before listing them for sale.
And so, that's this year just about done. It's now 12:28pm Saturday. I have a few tasks to complete at some point today. My desk is an absolute mess and I plan to tackle it with a vengeance in preparation for the new year ahead. I want to try and keep a calm and orderly work space and maybe give the screenwriting a good go.
I've been saying that for years, though. Think I'll start with small amounts of discipline here and there and see how I end up.
Thanks for reading, all, and I hope you have yourselves a safe and Happy New Year and that 2018 treats you kindly.
Things are getting busy, folks. This'll probably be a short one.
Work is getting busier with repairs as I book 'em in, the watchmaker plows through them, then I ship 'em out.
My neck and shoulder blade trouble has subsided, thanks to a great physiotherapist that I've been visiting in recent months. Still have some issues with my rotator cuff and sorting this out involves me performing some regular exercise. Needless to say, I haven't been as diligent with this as I should be.
Wore the Omega Speedmaster earlier this week;
Still getting used to these multi-focal glasses. Optometrist told me to wear them for just a couple of hours a day, but my job involves staring at a computer screen for the bulk of the day. Might just need a little longer for them to settle in. Or my eyes to fall out.
Not sure if I've managed to shake off any of this excess weight. Haven't jumped onto a scale for a few weeks. Might do that first thing tomorrow morning.
It's been a week or so of swelteringly high temperatures here in Melbourne. The weather bureau then forecast heavy rains for later in the week. We're talking torrential storms of Biblical proportions. They are predicting 150mm of rain over the next three days. Is that a lot, I dunno.
It's now almost 8:30pm Friday night and, while it did rain steadily throughout the day today, I wouldn't call it a heavy downpour.
Anyway, my fedora's on stand-by. Just in case.
Switched over to the Oris Diver SixtyFive. Still have it on the ZRC leather strap. Wore it in the shower a couple of times to give the strap a good going-over, kind'a like wearing jeans in the bathtub to get them to mould to your body shape.
Not sure if I'll keep it on this strap. I probably should over Summer. Really put it through its paces.
Although I've said this once or twice in the past, I really plan to go through my watch collection and shift a few pieces. I've noticed that there are a handful of watches that have been worn only once or twice in the past year. No point holding on to them. This ain't no time for sentimentality. I have to be practical here.
Same with a few typewriters. Did I mention this already in my last post?
Mr B continues to have us all working at his beck and call. Madame still hisses whenever he's near, although I've been told by my family that these two cats will often approach each other and sniff each other's noses. And then the older cat hisses at him. Something tells me it’s always gonna be this way between these two, but I live in hope.
Work is getting busier as we rush towards the end-of-year holiday season. The watchmaker and I are basically in a 'putting out fires' mode. We work on current repairs, and if we get a call or e-mail about an urgent one, we focus our attention on getting that one done and out the door before moving back to the current repairs.
We've had a few customer call with unrealistic expectations at this time of year. Some folks think that it only takes a few weeks to get their watches repaired. And everybody's wanting their watches fixed in time for the holiday season.
Anyway, I just gotta get through the next four weeks. Then I'll have about ten days to refresh my batteries before getting back into the thick of it in 2018.
Switched over to the Oris Diver SixtyFive. Made damn sure that the Olympus OM2n had some film in it, too. Now, if I can just find the inspiration to take some pictures.
I'm feeling a little too tired these days. That shoulder blade and neck pain that I was experiencing recently has been very well sorted out by my physiotherapist, although I've now got some rotator cuff issues that need to be dealt with. Still, slowly slowly.
Took the steel bracelet off the Oris and put a NATO strap on it instead. I managed to fluke things so that the cream-coloured stripe on the strap matches the colour of the lume on the dial.
Haven't used the Nikon F for quite a few years. Think I'll thrown some film into that one when the OM2 is done with.
Still had the Diver SixtyFive on my wrist. I'll have to get a rubber strap for it at some point, just to make for a comfy fit on warm days. It's been hot and sunny here in Melbourne this week, but the weather took a humid and muggy turn late yesterday. I have to say I don't like humidity. Actually, I don't mind it when I travel to places like Bangkok, but I'm no fan of it here in my home town. I think we're gonna have to look into some kind of roof-mounted air conditioner at some point in the next few years.
Okay, so I just removed the NATO strap and fished this ZRC blue leather strap out of my straps box. If you get into having a few wristwatches, you tend to find that you accumulate quite a few straps along the way. I've used this strap on other watches in the past, most notably the Omega Seamaster Professional 300m, but I always revert back to putting the original bracelets back onto watches.
I think that, as an exercise, I'll leave this strap on this Oris watch for the next month or so and see how it holds up. I'm actually hoping that it begins to deteriorate. I have too many straps, you see.
Yep, let's put this strap through its paces. See how long it lasts. From memory, I think I got it back in 2005/2006.
Yep, I think I'll hammer this one.
Anyway, that's another week down. As I've said, things are busy at the moment. I wrote some postcards to relatives in Italy and I'll be posting them this weekend. Still got one or two more to write.
Thinking of putting some stuff on eBay too. Well, I've been thinking of putting this stuff on eBay for a while now. Might thin out the typewriters. And the old rotary phones. Maybe a camera or two as well.
I'll see if I can get another couple of posts done before the new year. I hope you've all been well.