Saturday, 24 February 2018

Sunday 25th February, 2018 - Will They Ever Be Love Cats?, Straight Down The Line, Walter & This Week's Wristwatches






































Well, it's now a week later and I never quite got around to cleaning that camera lens this morning. Got a few other things done, though. 


Our younger cat Bowie managed to scratch himself across his right whisker earlier this week. We thought that perhaps he'd gotten too close (again) to our older cat Dussy and she'd given him what for.
(It turns out that he probably scratched himself by getting too close to some wire mesh that we had draped over the top of a fish pond that we recently set up. Some ends of the mesh are roughly cut. I'll need to attend to that soon. He's been showing a lot of interest in those two goldfish, if you know what I mean.)
My wife took him to the vet. Looking at the placement of the scratch, the vet didn't think it was done by our other cat. While there, my wife spoke to the vet about the tension between the two cats. The vet gave her some options regarding possible outcomes over the long term. 
Best-case scenario, the older cat learns to tolerate the younger one. Worst-case scenario, the younger cat would need to be re-homed somewhere else. 
As the vet put it, neither cat is truly happy at the moment. And that just isn't fair to either one of them.
Needless to say, we were all a little down by the time they got back from the vet and my wife outlined all of this for us. 

So, we'll be implementing a strategy whereby the older one will get a course of sedatives for a few months, in an effort to get her feeling a little calmer in the house. Meanwhile, we'll set up a couple of Feliway diffusers which emit cat pheromones. This is designed to help the both of them calm down. Then, the older cat is slowly weaned off the sedatives as she (hopefully) calms down to the point where she will tolerate (hated word) the younger cat. 

When we first got Bowie back in June last year, I think we were all so concerned with settling him into the household that we dropped the ball with regard to Dussy. Sure, she was still getting attention from us all, but I think we probably should have kept a closer eye on her during this period. Being an older cat, she's a lot more independent and she comes and goes as she pleases. What I didn't notice was that she was spending longer hours outdoors than she used to. 

It dawned on me after the vet visit just how similar this situation is to having small children. Spend too much time and attention with one, and the other one gets upset. 
Dussy still snarls and hisses when she walks into some rooms of the house and she then makes a beeline for the front door. We've told the kids that we'll all have to devote a little more time and attention to her for a while and make a little more of a fuss of her. 
This should all take around six to eight months or so. Meanwhile, the house operates a little like a game of Tetris, where we have to make certain that rooms are closed off at various times to ensure that the two cats are a little more separated than they have been up to this point. 

We'll be taking Dussy to the vet soon so that their cat expert can have a look at her. Meanwhile, there's a questionnaire to fill out. 
There's a long road ahead, but I'm hoping it leads to calmer waters where these two felines are concerned.

Okay, enough of that. Onto other matters. My son has been interested in watching a few film noir. 

So far, we had watched Crossfire (Dir: Edward Dmytryk, RKO Pictures, 1947) and This Gun For Hire (Dir: Frank Tuttle, Paramount, 1942). This is one of the best movie posters ever made, by the way, and it was this film that marked Alan Ladd's arrival in the Hollywood big leagues, after a string of B Grade movies and bit parts. He continued making films throughout the '40s and '50s, most notable of which was the classic western, Shane (Dir: George Stevens, Paramount, 1953) before appearing in a string of forgettable films for the remainder of that decade. 
Alcoholism and career lows took their toll on Ladd and he was found dead at the age of 50 in January 1964, from an apparent overdose of alcohol and sedatives. 

So, we had already watched these two classic noir dramas. There's no shortage of noir films out there. Hollywood turned out a bunch of them from around 1941 (The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston) until probably 1959 when Orson Welles directed and co-starred in Touch of Evil. There was much to choose from, and I had a healthy stable of DVDs at my disposal for us to work through. 
Then I had an idea.  Seemed like it was time to crank up...


I figured the kid was now ready to tackle the big guns. It was time for him to see that film directed by that little Austrian fella, co-written by that Chandler guy, starring the guy from My Three Sons and that old dame from The Thorn Birds, but when she was a lot younger and a real dish, with Little Caesar co-starring as well, see?

It was time for him to see Double Indemnity. 


Based on the novel by James M. Cain, the story concerns an insurance salesman named Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray), who becomes involved with a married woman named Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck).
The two of them soon hatch a plot to kill her husband and make it look like an accident. That way, she will collect a $100,000 payout on the life insurance policy which has a double indemnity clause, whereby the policy will pay double the normal $50,000 amount if the death is deemed to have occurred by accident.

Edward G. Robinson plays the insurance company's claims adjuster, Barton Keyes, a pug-faced, cigar-chomping fella who doesn't think the accidental nature of the husband's death adds up.
This 1944 film has many tropes of the film noir genre, from the lead character who thinks he's smarter than he really is, to the treacherous woman with her own hidden agenda, to the dogged investigator who's slowly putting the pieces of the story together.

Classic noir cinematography and lighting is made good use of throughout the film (man, I miss having Venetian blinds!);

 (picture taken from telegraph.co.uk | Film Reviews | Double Indemnity

Highballs filled with scotch, plumes of cigarette smoke, flashbacks, and Neff's world-weary voice-over permeate throughout the film. The screenplay was co-written by author Raymond Chandler and director Billy Wilder and the two of them didn't get along throughout the writing process. A shame, because I've sometimes wondered what other movies these two could have written together. Between Chandler's romanticism and Wilder's cynicism, they would have come up with some wonderful scripts, I'm sure. Ahh well...

Wristwatch-wise, I've been wearing something new. Oris had a runaway success with their Diver Sixty-Five model, which was released in 2015. I won't say too much about this range of watches because I'm currently writing a review of my own Diver Sixty-Five and I do enough doubling-up of information on this blog as it is.

Late last year, the brand unveiled their Diver Sixty-Five Movember Edition, in conjunction with the Movember Foundation. 
The Movember Foundation was set up in 2003 by two guys from my home town of Melbourne, in an effort to raise awareness of health issues affecting men.

The Movember Foundation - Australia

Basically, it began as a yearly event (in November) where men were encouraged to simply grow a mustache throughout the month. They would do this and ask for sponsorship or donations from their work colleagues and set up a collection tin for donations for the month, so as to raise funds for men's health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, as well as suicide prevention among males. 

From these humble beginnings, Movember has become a global cause over the years, with many companies coming on board to sponsor events. Now, it takes me ages to grow anything resembling a mustache, so I actually began to grown one back in the second or third week of October. By the end of November, it didn't look half bad. I toyed with the idea of making it a Clark Gable/Ronald Colman style pencil-thin type, but that would have involved a steady hand and more time than I was willing to devote to it. Maybe next time. Besides, I wasn't being sponsored by my workplace or anything. I just thought I'd try growing a mo'.

Anyway, Oris produced a limited production model of the Diver Sixty-Five and it sold out in no time. When I first saw pictures of it, I thought it a very slick wristwatch, but demand was very high for this one, so I missed out on one.

I got lucky a few months later when I saw one available. I didn't waste any time. I snapped it up and then began putting stuff on eBay to pay off my credit card. 

This watch bears the same crown, bezel insert and 40mm case size as my blue/black Diver Sixty-Five, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. 
Whereas the bezel ring of my other watch is coated in black PVD, the Movember model has been left in steel. The dial markers and hands are rose gold plated and the luminova compound is white, as opposed to the cream coloured lume of my other D-65. 
This Movember edition is on a thick brown leather strap, with the Movember logo branded on each end where the strap joins the case lugs, and it also comes with a striped NATO strap as an optional extra, along with a tool for removing the straps. 

I have worn it solid for the last two weeks;

I've always liked the mix of rose gold and black on a watch dial. Not many brands use this colour combination, but the contrast is always appealing in my eyes;


I'm out of these little bottles of San Pellegrino SanBitter. Basically, it's a soft drink, designed to be had with ice and a slice of lemon or lime. At 100ml per bottle, you really only get a couple of mouthfuls, but they do quench a thirst.
Looks like a trip to the local market is due.

Okay, it's somehow gotten to 3:15 pm Sunday afternoon and I haven't had lunch yet.
I hate it when the day slips through my fingers.


So, I'll bid you farewell for another week (or two or three).

Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead, all!

And wish us luck with the cats!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Sunday Feb 11th, 2018 - Happy Birthday Bowie (our cat), Typewriter Conundrums, Bond is Back! (soon), Gotta Read More & This Week's Wristwatches.

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).

So anyway, here goes;

Heh, I think all of these Tower CIII's have that ding on the left side of the ribbon cover. yours matches mine :D

Feh on you at 52 still wearing 30's. be glad you're not vacillating between 38-42 like me :P
Reply
The Tower's a beauty to use, Reverend. It would be one of the last ones I'd get rid of. Those ribbon cover scratches are a badge of honour, from the previous owner, I'm sure.
As for my thickening waistline, I'm sure I have no right to complain. It just came as a shock to me on that fateful Saturday afternoon a few months ago when I tucked in a t-shirt ('cos I was putting a short-sleeved shirt on over it) and saw the soft curvature of my stomach.

I need to follow your lead and unload some of my typewriters. One will probably be my Splendid also. I just do not like its touch. My one recent find though was a Chieftian Attache. Skywriter in a briefcase.
Reply
Yeah, Bill, I seem to have more typewriters than I can use. Therefore, any of them that don't measure up AND aren't nice to look at will just have to go. My Olivetti Studio 42 is nothing earth-shattering as far as its typing goes, but it's a beautiful machine to look at. So that's staying. 
I've seen pics of Chieftain Attaches. Super-cool. Nice score.

There was a comment from an anonymous reader who commented on the Rolex Sub photo that I posted last week;
 https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2D661GXGhzQ/WnanKPeWiTI/AAAAAAAAJoQ/zuNpVuL-vlgcGyN8qmUHSLyo_X1jy3W3wCLcBGAs/s1600/P1301011.JPG 
He (could have been a she, for all I know, but for the sake of laziness, I'm gonna be old-school politically incorrect and just use 'he') asked if the crown was screwed all the way in because he could see some of the threading of the crown tube. 
I recently had this watch overhauled by an ex-Rolex technician who's highly regarded. He did some great work on this watch. 
He mentioned to me that the crown tube was on its last legs and would probably require replacing at its next service - in about three to five years - and he had put a new rubber seal inside the crown. 
Crowns? Crown tubes? What are you talking about, Teeritz? 

Okay, so most dive watches that are rated 200m water-resistant or more will tend to have a winding crown with internal threading and a tube jutting out from the side of the case with threading also. This is so that the crown can be screwed down to ensure water-resistance to the depth stated on the dial. 
Let's look at this diagram, borrowed from www.stsupplyonline.com. 
Figure A shows a standard dive watch crown design. For the purposes of this explanation, disregard Figures B and C.
Figure D and E show a crown tube in which E is the part that is screwed into the watch case and then welded into place on the inside. Figure D is the exposed part of the tube that Figure A would be screwed into. Seated inside the crown is a very tiny rubber 'O' ring (seal or gasket is a term that's also used) that is compressed down when the crown is screwed in all the way, further adding to the water resistance of the watch. 
My watchmaker put a new 'O' ring in the crown and said that it may need some time to 'bed-in'.

When I went to pick up the completed repair, I was a little disheartened to see the crown looking like this. For those of you not up to speed with my Submariner 5513 saga, I had wanted one of these since I was a kid back in the mid-1970s (thank-you for the expensive obsession, Mister Bond!), and I wanted it to be as perfect as I could get it. 
As I drove home with the watch on my wrist, I decided to hunt around for a new crown tube on the web.  That way, I'd have it ready when the time came. I asked the watchmaker as to whether or not he had access to Rolex parts, but he would have to hunt for them the same as I would.  He undoubtedly can get ahold of some parts, but not all of them, pretty much like a lot of independent watchmakers that I've encountered over the years. 
Something was niggling at the back of my mind whenever I looked at the watch, though. When I got home, I fished out the old 1981Rolex catalogue that I had gotten back in yep, 1981 and flicked over to page 20 to find this;


And here's a cropped close-up;

This put my mind a little more at ease, but I thought I'd ask over on a Rolex forum to get the opinions of some experts. One guy replied, saying that the exposed crown tube is not uncommon and the seal needing to bed-in was plausible.
Further searching on the web showed that, while most 5513 models had a crown that screwed in closer to the case, there were a few that showed the crown positioned like mine. 
So that was enough to allay any of my concerns. 
The crown may bed-in slightly, thus closing up the gap a little or it might not. In which case, I went ahead and implemented Plan B.

Rolex are notorious for not distributing parts outside of their Service Network (a very wise policy) and so, it leaves me, and every other person who needs parts, to fend for ourselves on the web. 
As a result, you end up paying more for Rolex parts - especially for the sports models such as this one - when you find them. Some sellers, however, are just downright delusional, or more likely, greedy, and to an obscene degree. 
Thankfully, sort of, I managed to track down a NOS (new old stock - i.e, no longer produced, but never used) crown and tube and I've stashed them away until required. And doubly thankfully, I didn't pay too much for them, considering that some sellers were charging a ridiculous $1,000USD for similar parts. 
Either way, the watch is purring along nicely, and I'll drink to that.


Here's the Lemair-Helvetia;




Today is Sunday where I am and our younger cat Bowie is one year old. When we first got him as a four month-old kitten back in June last year, he spent the first two weeks hiding under our daughter's bed, occasionally snarling at us if we got too close. My daughter soon noticed some pairs of socks had gone missing. It wasn't long before we noticed that he had arranged them under her bed in a half-circle formation, like sand-bags. 
Whenever we'd get close enough to pat him, he would scurry back under the bed to the safety of his sock fort. A few days later, I'd see him run past me with a rolled-up pair of my socks that he'd swiped from the freshly laundered pile that had been brought in off the clothes line. 
As regular readers may be aware, our other cat is nine years old and we had hopes that she would eventually accept this little guy and get along with him. From everything I'd read on the web, it would be a slow process to get an older cat to accept a newcomer, with no guarantee of success. We tried feeding them apart from each other, on either side of a door, so that the older cat could get used to the idea of another cat on her territory. 
That didn't seem to work. Madame was wise to our tricks. She would emit a low growl whenever he was near, hissing sharply if he got too close. It's a little heart-breaking to watch, because we all get the impression that he just wants to be friends with her.
Admittedly, she hisses at him less and less these days, but she still won't let him near her, and she'll still growl if she enters a room where he's just been. I can only imagine that his scent must be all over this house by now. We tried using a diffuser that emits cat pheromones. This is designed to act as a calmant for cats when they are stressed. It didn't work, but I think it was because it was placed in an area that gets a bit of a draught of air and this diminishes the effect of the diffuser.
Next up, scent swapping. This is something that I tried when we first got Bowie the kitten. Problem was that it had to be a constant and regular procedure and the kids ("We should get another cat, we should get another cat.") didn't help with this as much as they should have.
Anyway, it basically involves each cat's scent passed over to the other. Apparently, scent is a major communicator for cats and I've read that their sense of smell is around 14 times sharper than ours.
They have scent glands on the sides of their mouths and also across their temples. The idea is to rub these areas lightly and then stroke the other cat with them, to spread the scent along their fur.
Later, when they're grooming themselves, they are supposed to get a whiff of the other cat's scent intermingled with their own. Bit by bit, this is meant to get them used to each other's scent.

Yesterday, we thought we were witnessing a ground-breaking moment between these two cats. They were in the kitchen, about six feet away from each other. Madam Dussy glanced over at Bowie, who was staring at her intently, and she got up and slowly approached him. He hesitantly edged towards her. They got so close to each other that their noses almost touched. They sniffed each other, paused for a second...and then Madame hissed at the little guy and walked off.
What, does she need glasses? Couldn't she tell it was him? 
So, my aim is to try the scent-swapping process properly over a prolonged period, to see if it will work. Best-case is that they'll become friends. That's what he wants. She's being territorial and/or stubborn. Take your pick.
My wife remarked that "It's like having a friend all your life and then you see them treat somebody really poorly and you realise that they're a bitch."
Yep. 
Cats are creatures of habit. They like routine. Apparently, moving the furniture around can throw them off. So, I can fully understand that Dussy's entire day-to-day lifestyle has been upended to some degree. She doesn't go into the lounge room as much as she used to, she doesn't go out via the cat-flap in the back door, she doesn't use the indoor litter tray anymore. 
As I said, best-case scenario is that they'll become chummy, grooming each other and sleeping huddled together to stay warm. 
Worst-case is that it'll be some uneasy truce between the two of them. 
Wait and see.

In the meantime, Happy 1st Birthday to you, Bowie! You're a mad rascal and we have the scars to prove it.
We'll set you up with a can of tuna with a candle in it later this evening. 
When you wake up.



I've fallen out of the reading habit in recent months. Can't remember the last book I read. I got up to page 226 of an espionage novel called Brandenburg by Henry Porter, which I should point out was a great book, but so far, it has more to do with a defector named Dr. Rudolf Rosenharte than it does about the main character Robert Harland, an MI6 operative who appeared in another of Porter's earlier books. So, I've put that book on the back-burner for the moment.


During our European trip in 2016, we went to Shakespeare & Co, a famous bookstore in Paris. It was there that my son bought a copy of Storm of Steel, a biographical account of World War I as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier, written by Ernst Junger.
Teeritz jr had recently read All Quiet on the Western Front and I think he had a hankering to read more about the war to end all wars. 
He had been badgering me to read the book myself and I kept putting it off. I had started it twice and got fifteen or twenty pages in before stopping. It appears that I'm spending the final part of the evenings winding down by getting on the internet via my iPod Touch rather than curling up with a good book. This is not a good habit to get into. 
I already spend 90% of my day staring at a computer screen at work, so I should probably spend less time reading off glass and more time reading off paper.
So, I started reading this book again about two weeks ago, and again I got fifteen or twenty pages in before stopping. Yesterday, I picked up from where I left off, with a determination to get back in the reading saddle, especially considering that I used to read a lot when I was younger. 
Not only that, but Junger has a beautiful writing style, with some nice turns of phrase. Good writing is something that we can tend to forget about, but there are sharp reminders everywhere these days of bad writing, courtesy of the world wide web. 
I was listening to the news on the radio one day last year and the newsreader was reporting on a murder-suicide that had occurred in the city's outskirts. She uttered the phrase; "Police on the scene are still trying to unpack what went on here."
I was mildly aghast at the use of a slang phrase like that in a news bulletin. Coupled with numerous spelling and grammatical errors that are now found in our daily newspapers, I begin to crave a nicely written sentence. Maybe I'm asking too much.  
There's no shortage of books in my house and I have a bulk of titles that I've bought in recent years, but haven't read. 
My wife always says I'm a slow reader and this is true. Although, compared to her, everybody's a slow reader. 
So, aside from the list of tasks that I'd written for myself to tackle this weekend, I also included "Read for 30 mins", and managed to do so on Saturday afternoon. 
 
Another reason for getting back into reading is that I'd like to re-read the Anthony Horowitz Bond novel Trigger Mortis.
English author John Gardner was commissioned by Glidrose Publications to write an updated Bond novel in 1981. Bond was basically brought into the '80s, literally frozen in time and still in his late 40s, the age that he was in Fleming's last Bond story, The Man With The Golden Gun in 1965. As a teenage Bond fan, I thought Gardner wrote some great stories. Sure, his later ones were a little stale (he wrote sixteen of them) and some of his characterisations and dialogue were a little hammy or corny, but I vastly prefer his output when compared to what followed in the years after his last OO7 story. American author Raymond Benson was tasked with the job sometime in the late 1990s and I can't say his works thrilled me. I have all six of the books that he wrote and have read three of them. Not very memorable. 
After Benson's tenure, not much happened with literary Bond until 2008 when Sebastian Faulks gave us Devil May Care, set in the late 1960s. I thought it was a lacklustre effort in a lot of ways. No tension, no risks for Bond. No thanks. 
I've said this before- there's always a danger in getting a literary author to write crime or thrillers if they haven't done so in the past. I've always gotten the impression that they consider crime writing to be beneath them. Of course, the end result shows just how difficult it is to write a convincing Bond story.
Two-thousand and eleven brought us Jeffrey Deaver's modern re-boot Carte Blanche, which gave us a 21st Century Bond, in his early thirties, being  recruited by some new branch of British Intelligence which operates outside the boundaries. I didn't like this one either. 
Two years later, William Boyd wrote Solo, with Bond back in the late 1960s. Like Faulks' effort, we had a Bond story where nothing seemed at stake.
Finally, in 2015, Anthony Horowitz gave us Trigger Mortis, set in 1959, a few weeks after Bond's Goldfinger mission. Some of Ian Fleming's unfinished work was used in the first chapter and Horowitz wrote the rest. And it is seamless. Horowitz was known for writing numerous episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot and was the creator and principal writer of Foyle's War for television. Aside from this, he also wrote a popular series of young adult fiction about Alex Rider, a teenager who gets caught up in espionage adventures. 
Horowitz knows how to write a Bond story and he wonderfully captured the feel and flavour of a Fleming Bond. 
There was word early last year that Ian Fleming Publications had commissioned him to write another Bond and that it would be released sometime in 2018.



Okay, so the title, while sounding Bondish enough, may border on pastiche, but if this book is anything like Horowitz's previous one, it'll be the last thing to worry about. Again, this book may contain some of Fleming's unused material, but what I'm looking forward to is the basic premise of this story, since it's set before the events of Fleming's first OO7 book Casino Royale and initially centres on how literary Bond got his licence to kill.
Here's the brief excerpt that's been doing the rounds this week;

M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. “We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.”
“It’s Bond, sir,” the Chief of Staff replied.
“James Bond.”


I'm looking forward to this one. But I suppose you already knew that. 

Okay, time to wrap this up. It's gotten longer than I thought it would, and I still want to vacuum and mop the floors.  
What an action-packed life you lead, Teeritz!

Anyway, I wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five all week;


Thanks for reading, and have a great week, all!



Saturday, 3 February 2018

Sunday February 4th - Time to Shift Some Stuff.




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. 
Perhaps that will burn off a few pounds. 
Anyway, gang, one last picture;




























Thanks for reading, and have a good week, all!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Sunday January 28th, 2018 - Trying to Stay Cool, Rambling Away on a Typerwriter.



















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....
This screen-cap below is courtesy of www.nintendoeverything.com.


L.A Noire was developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games in 2011. 













































Tuesday, 16 January 2018

My Most-Worn Watches of 2017

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

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eJ6I8Jxwdic/V20NBzwFDQI/AAAAAAAAIFI/m8h7t8GvUVksigKCYgqdmGjJ0EkSXbCsQCKgB/s1600/Tue.JPG

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. 

Image result for teeritz speedmaster

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. 

Image result for teeritz speedmaster

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.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6L4peWo5wWM/Vlf0-tWRxuI/AAAAAAAAHJY/wV8_4LWPWog/s1600/24th.JPG

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. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 29 December 2017

The Last Friday for 2017

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. 
We'll see. 

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;

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2AAH0XXXt78/WeLdyiX6tiI/AAAAAAAAJWs/7i0I6pz5Bjgd0SCBmgR4qp83MCbU25mNQCLcBGAs/s1600/K2.JPG

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.

Till next time, see ya!



Friday, 1 December 2017

Three Weeks (or Thereabouts) Till Xmas & My Recent Wristwatches

Friday, December 1st

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? 
I may be a little tired. 

Anyway, one more shot of the Oris;


Thanks for reading and have a good weekend, all!