just like…

Dear diablog,

Spiritually I find myself still really at the start of the year and what happened. I really had an excellent evening in the company of Engine Room and diablog’s resident psyche, Dr. J. and others.

The said doc has moved to a new abode which was an excellent location for his guests and which, as a clue, gave great pleasure in the


countdown to midnight.

This post carries the tag ‘watches’ which it is not really about but then why coin a fresh one when faced with a clock tower, and what’s more, one that works!!

Glynsky was not thinking straight when these pics were taken and forgot to photo the face which, though impressive, hid some mechanical jems when the loft was accessed


and one was faced by a real pendulum (also forgot to push ER into the pit!) with operating instructions


and was (honestly) working but I had no means with which to take a movie.

Even better, having scaled the narrow ladder to go up further,…


Continue reading “just like…”

Monday Morning Mania?

Dear Reader,

The following could be a Monday morning in the near future:

Your smartphone alarm wakes you up at 7:00 AM, but since you have no appointments this morning, you hit the snooze button.
Your health-care app deducts 3 points from your credit for not sticking to your “healthy lifestyle routine”. You are still learning to understand their proprietary algorithms.

When you get up a bit later, you skip the required morning exercise. Your smartwatch or wristband transfers the information to the smartphone via bluetooth and it costs you another 3 points. Both incidents are synced with your health insurance company. Using the app is mandatory to qualify for their lower insurance premium. The smartwatch monitors movement/activity, pulse, temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, body fat, and a few other things you are unaware of. Your “estimated remaining lifetime indicator” on your smartwatch goes down by what looks like 40 minutes.

In the bathroom you brush your teeth. The toothbrush is connected to the phone and the app and adds 2 points. You do not receive the full 5 point credit, since you fail to brush your teeth for the required three minutes. Your dental record at the dentist praxis is informed automatically, she will require an earlier check up, if you fail to brush properly too often. The checkups give you credit towards your premium. But the dentist can reverse that, if your dental care is below their standard. And the algorithm for that of course is propriety.

When dressed you enter the kitchen. The milk is past its best by date, so you skip the fruit and fiber breakfast. You lose 2 points of your health-care app for that, and 2 points on your “social and environmental responsibility” app. Wasting food is discouraged that way. The milk container and the refrigerator read and monitor the bar code and QR code on all products. You had a warning message about the best by date on Saturday evening, but you were at a party and forgot to act on it. That is the internet of things. You are able to gain two points for the glass of orange juice though. Having your tea with sugar would cost you 1 point, so you drop it today. The skimmed milk is a given, you opted out of even being able to buy full fat milk as part of the lower insurance premium program. Red meat is off the list as well. When you leave the apartment by 7:45 AM you gain 5 points for taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Your remaining lifetime indicator goes up by a few bars.

Leaving the building, your smartphone starts downloading your business emails. Corporate social responsibility requires your employer to shut off push email from Friday 8:00 PM to Monday morning 8:00 AM. The health and safety department monitors this via an app and charges the company for violations. Participating in the program gives the company a lower tax rate. Every time you overwrite this policy and check for business emails during the off work period, the company deducts 1 cent from your paycheck for every email you download, and 5 cents for every email you answer. You did well this weekend, but now you have dozens of unread emails in your inbox.

One email is a meeting request from a client at 9:30 AM. You confirm the meeting, which gives you two points on your employee scorecard for good customer service. But you cannot take the bus or the subway. Both would have given you credits on your environmental responsibility app, 5 for the bus, 10 for the subway. The walks in between would have added credit to your health app. But you would likely be late for the meeting.

Reading that email on Sunday could have been the better investment, but who knew?

To be punctual – another bonus point on your employee scorecard and a requirement for participating in the company stock bonus program – you pick a car-to-go, which you rent on the spot via your smartphone. Wanting to pick up fresh milk on your way, you ignore the slower electric vehicles and pick a hybrid. That costs you 20 credits on your environmental app though.

When you book the car, your credit card is charged automatically. In the car first a breathalyzer checks for alcohol. You pass the test and can start the car. Your smartphone syncs with the on-board-info-system. It informs you, that your recent driving record is in the yellow zone. Meaning, for accelerating and breaking too often too hard, you were charged 120 points. There is a short message from your car insurance company, that your premium will go up by 20% for the next months. The second message on screen is from the car company. They inform you, that you have been placed on their “less favorite customer” list. Unless your driving improves, you will be charged a premium when renting cars in the future. You get on your way.

Next to the satellite navigation, the heads up display shows a picture of trees. The health of the trees symbolizes, how environmentally correct you are driving. Fuel efficiency is measured and your driving judged according to algorithms. Since it is a proprietary app, you have no way of knowing how. The trees are losing some leaves while you are driving to get to the meeting on time.

You are caught in heavy traffic. Your phone has been beeping with new messages constantly. When you reach for your smartphone to check the emails, the car is turned off automatically and immediately. A traffic violation is reported to the department of motor vehicles (DMV), your car insurance company, and the car rental company. Three messages pop up on your head up display.

The message from the DMV gives you two choices: a penalty of two points on your driving record, or booking into a drivers safety awareness program for $100 next Saturday. You cannot afford the two points, it would raise your car insurance premium. Thus you book the program. Your credit card is charged accordingly, and your smartphone receives the appointment confirmation. A calendar entry is generated automatically. When you confirm the appointment, your calendars are synced, and thus your employer is informed. The corprorate social responsibility app sends the violation to your file with human recourse and they deduct $15 from your paycheck. This is part of the “how is my driving” app, which the company installed a few weeks ago.
The second message is from the insurance company. They increase your premium by 10% for the next month. You lost track by now, how much the premium will be.
The third message is from car-to-go. They inform you, that you will be blocked from renting hybrids for the next three months. Your rental charges for electric vehicles will go up by 15%.

All this leads to you forgetting the milk again. But at least you make it to the meeting on time.


Dear Reader, if you think this is science fiction, I would have to disappoint you. The technology for all this exists, parts are in use already.

Do you want to live in a world like this? I don’t.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

On my watch

Dear Reader,

Since our beloved commentator Smiles educated us about what real men do here, let’s talk about cool again. Already in the early days of diablog we talked about the “King of Cool”. Glynsky thought it was Tony Curtis, and I thought it was Steve McQueen. We were wrong, the original King of Cool was Dean Martin. But all three were real men.

While it is hard to say what makes a real man, one thing does not: wearing jewelry.

In my humble opinion the only jewelry a man is allowed to wear is a watch. Unless you want to look like a rapper, pimp, shmock, etc.

With Steve McQueen I share the appreciation for one particular watch brand: Heuer. I am referring to the old Heuer, not the TAG Heuer of today. Here you can see Steve wearing the legendary Monaco watch:


How did Steve McQueen and Heuer get together? Through racing. Heuer started making watches for race car drivers and pilots, mounted on the dashboard. Its sub-label Autavia is a mix of Automobile and Aviation. There is a brilliant website – onthedash.com – about the old Heuer. Here are dash mounted ones. Which Heuer watches do I like?

Continue reading “On my watch”

keeping watch …

Dear diablog,

Amongst all of Sash Fishers artifacts there is one which I really adore. I can’t find out too much about it but I really think it classy and rather lovely.

This watch is branded ‘G HITOR’ about which I can find nothing. It was certainly made either during or immediately after WW2 (for reasons which will be obvious later) and according to a specialist of my acquaintance, a hotch potch of bits none of which are marked or immediately recognisable.
The hands are steel, the case 9ct gold and it is a chrono – end of. But is it really?
First, the markings on the dial, which look like brown leaves are…

timeless present…

Dear diablog,

It seems ages since any of us recorded anything on a supposed favourite topic – watches. In fact the last mention of them was not a watch but a compass!

So, without further ado, and in the hope it may be of interest to the watch people who read the blog, this was Mme Glynskette’s wedding present to me  – a very long time ago!


This rather handsome (like me at the time!!!) hunter, complete with chain, key and cigar cutter was used quite extensively…

Continue reading “timeless present…”

Smiles’ search engine must be broken

Dear Reader,

Glynsky found a very nice little treasure and Smiles made it my job to do research on this. Even Pete put pressure on me. This is what I wake up to now.

What is this, Guys? Am I everyone’s personal slave now? Can anyone order me around?
Where did I sign up for this? And more importantly, how do I get out of it again?

OK. Let’s get that job done and over with.

Glynsky’s could have made it easier, if he had bothered to make the model name readable or type it.

His piece looks very much like a Taylor Compass, a “Usanite” model, which was used by WWI soldiers and cannot be found in the official Taylor catalog.

If it is from 1916, then it is one of Taylor’s first makes and more than just memorabilia.

Taylor was a U.S. compass manufacturer from Rochester, New York.

Sash probably got it in the UK, because Taylor first cooperated and later merged with the British manufacturer Short & Mason.

How do I know all this?

Continue reading “Smiles’ search engine must be broken”

is this the way to amarillo, another bit of the found archive 22…

Dear diablog,

I guess I will join Sasha (our source for much memorabilia) on this one and become a bit of a tease!
As mentioned before, Engine Room seemed to believe that there was interest in watches so for this post I point you to this:

which was found in the pile of his assorted timepieces, and wonder if you can recognise it for what it is?
You are probably wrong (did I hear stopwatch?) as it is…