03 February 2017

Depeche Mode - Where's the Revolution

Some people wait four years for the Olympics, I wait four years for a new Depeche Mode release.  The initial anticipation is over for Depeche Mode fans, like me, across the universe.  Today, they released the first single from their soon to released album Spirit.  This is the band's first release since the October single release of "Should Be Higher" in October of 2013.

Depeche Mode - Where's the Revolution
I have listened to the new single a few times and while it does have the distinct Depeche Mode sound, it has a little too much of it.  Meaning, it sounds a little over produced to me.  This is the first time the band is working with producer James Ford.  Some of the lyrics tend to be repetitive, a what I call "copy/paste writing", the chorus suffers from this.  There is a lot this copy/paste in recent songs (by other artists) and it looks that Depeche Mode are following that trend.  I am not a fan of that.

Anyway, there are some great parts to this track. The intro is nice, it  sort of brings you back to 90's Mode.  As mentioned, there are a few sections that are over produced, with possibly some auto tuning in use...as well as too many layers of sound, each competing to be heard.  The five minute song could easily be trimmed down to a three and half or four minute track and be much better.

Not to worry.  If we just go by the last few 'first singles' we should be okay as (I feel) they were not strong singles.  Usually the second and third singles are the better ones.  Sometimes, the best song of the album is not released as a single.  We will have to wait until 17 March 2017 for Spirit to be released.  I will have a track by track review then, as I did with Delta Machine.  Stay tuned.

Slight tangent:  For the past few days, I have been looking for a place to purchase the Where's the Revolution single.  You know, the CD single.  I want the 'import' version, but unable to find the CD even as a US.  My usual place does not exist anymore.  The only thing I  can find so far is digital download...and even that is a "get it free when you pre-order the album".  Nothing physical or digital as a single release with remixes and B-sides.

So, if anyone out there knows where I can get the UK (or European) release of the single on CD, let me know.  Thanks.

Update:  The video was released today, 9 February 2017, directed by Anton Cobijn.



This is a much better version of the song. It has been edited down to four minutes by omitting the repetitive copy/paste lyrics.  Funny how I mention chopping it down to about four minutes would be result in a better track.  

02 February 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - February 2017

Short month, but that should not stop these fuckers from meeting their numbers.

2 February 2017
  213-266-9479  Los Angeles, CA - What on Groundhog Day?  How perfect would it be to be trapped in Groundhog Day with endless telemarketer calls...NOT!  Yeah, I am trying to bring the "...NOT" thing back.  Who knows, it could catch on.  Hipsters like that kinda vintage stuff.  Anyway, thanks for calling...NOT!  Fuck you!

  253-588-8137  Tacoma, WA - See that I mean?  That Groundhog Day shit is totally happening.  I am stuck in a loop where my phone is constantly ringing and I never answer it.  Fuck you!

3 February 2017
  747-245-6010  Los Angeles, CA - Well, this is new.  I did not know there was a 747 area code in the Los Angeles area.  But what I do know is this is a telemarketer number.  The bot did its thing and "left a message" saying that I am pre-approved for something.  Look, I know what my credit and reputation is.  No one approves of me...not credit cards, banks, my boss, my parents...no one approves.  I am a disappointment to everyone...but not as disappointing as being a telemarketer. So, fuck you!

6 February 2017
  952-374-1741  Minneapolis, MN - Technically, there was a message left.  But, there was no message, just three seconds of silence.  A search does show that this is a telemarketer number.  Yeah, I knew that.  How many calls from Minnesota do I get anyway?  Well, this is actually the second one.  Last month was the first...and what do you know, it was also from a telemarketer.  Fuck you!

  213-205-2254  United States - Oh, I know this is a telemarketers.  Everyone knows that 213 is in the Los Angeles area.  By now, everyone should know that if the location shows "United States", you have yourself a fucking telemarketer.  Fuck you!

   951-259-1269  Lake Elsinore, CA - Three calls in one day, all from different numbers.  Fuck you!

8 February 2017
  541-899-1906  Jacksonville, OR - The credit card scammers are hit us strong this month.  Just a theory, I am guessing that after the holiday season, there are people in credit card debt.  What better time and opportunity than to cold call someone and pull off a scam?  Fuck you!

  213-266-9501  Los Angeles, CA - I had not even finished typing the above entry and my phone rings, again.  Less than two minutes.  This time with a different number and instead of credit card scam, this is vacation scam.  So, I guess after the holidays, I need another holiday?  Fuck you!

Sad that the only people that call me are telemarketers.
14 February 2017
  213-266-9501  Los Angeles, CA - Could this be a call from a secret admirer, wishing me a Happy Valentine's Day?  Of course not!  Although you could say I have a stalker.  This is a return caller and not the first from this area code and prefix (see image above).  Fuck you!

15 February 2017
  855-653-4481  Unknown - As per usual, I do a search for numbers just to see what they are about and to confirm that they are telemarketers.  Well, it was to my surprise that I found this:
1-855-653-4481 is a deceptive number associated with cyber-criminals that is used to deliver fake alerts and trick them. This is a tech scam virus that throws scary pop-up notifications to urge users calling on the technical assistance number. It claims that your PC is infected with any malware and your private data can be endangered and thus to you need to call on 1-855-653-4481 for immediate assistance. But these services are highly chargeable than worth and most of the time associated with cyber criminals that will attempt to record all your data by remotely accessing your PC. You may be further asked to register for any fake security products. Please do not call on 1-855-653-4481 and quickly follow the removing instructions for 1-855-653-4481 tech scam virus.
Uh...fuck you!

16 February 2017
  360-577-9082  Longview, WA - Longview? Washington?  Hey, remember Green Day's hit album Longview?  That is what I thought of when I saw the call location.  I wonder if they named the album after the city...most likely not!  As far as I know, the guys in Green Day grew up in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area).  How dare you name a city after their album and allow a telemarketing firm to set up in your city.  Fuck you!

21 January 2017

Kozy Soles' McSteeze Slippers

Here is something a little different...another pair of Air MAGs for the collection and for review.  These are slippers by Kozy Soles.

Kozy Soles "McSteeze"
I got the awesomest Christmas gift from my cousin, a pair of Air MAG slippers.  Oops, (most likely) due to legal reasons, Kozy Soles calls these "McSteeze".  Again, these are awesome!

For those of you just joining us, I have done reviews and comparisons on the 2011 Nike Air MAGS with the V2 Knockoffs, Halloween Costumes, and V3 Knockoffs.  Feel free to click those links, you may want to read those to get an idea of the different versions out there.  Although, this review of the McSteeze will be a little different and not as lengthy, for obvious reasons.  I am not even going to physically compare these with the Official Nike Air MAG's.

These images with the white background were 'borrowed' from the Kozy Soles website. The pretty shots with my car, are mine.  Again, as I mentioned in my last Air MAG post, if you need to 'borrow' my images, please give credit.  Bit of a tangent, I happened to stumble on MY IMAGES on someone else's Instagram feed...without giving credit to the source.  Anyway, here we go.

Packaging:

The Kozy Soles come in a mesh bag.  No fancy box, just a bag.


Shoes:

Well, these are slippers.  I guess you can call them knockoff, but are they really?  Actually, really comfortable and...as the name states...cozy slippers.  There are many 'non-screen accurate' areas, but many things Kozy Soles totally nailed!

McSteeze, beauty shot

The outside is constructed from a plush material, giving it a soft feel.  I had stared at the slippers for a long time only to realise that they have no left or right distinction.  Once you wear them for a while, they will 'form' to your feet.  A custom fit...much like power laces.

Speaking of power laces, these obviously do not have power laces.  They do use the same execution as the other Air MAGs, by using four elastic bands across the top of the foot.  They do provide a snug fit.

McSteeze, side

An elastic band is also used for the Achilles pad.  Other versions use a strap with hook and loop closure.  The Achilles pad, like the rest of the slipper, is also made from a plush material.  There is a foam-like form inside the pad to give it structure and very minimal protection.  The elastic strap has the Kozy Soles company logo on it, instead of Nike...no light up.  There are no Nike Swooshes or any reference to Nike, Air MAG, or Back to the Future on these.

There is a good amount of padding on the footbed.  The soles of the slippers have little dots for traction.

McSteeze, top
The collar looks like Yoda's ears (see image above), but when you put them on, they sit pretty close to where they should be.  The triangular hole on the collar is represented by a triangular patch.  Great solution to what would have been a costly and aesthetic problem if it were a real hole.

McSteeze, back
The heel cup displays the Kozy Soles logo instead of the "MAG" logo.  Because there is no left or right, they have heel lights on both the inside and outside of the heel cup.  No, silly.  They do not light up, there are no electronics in these.

The midsole area that normally lights up is also mirrored, so you have the blue half-moon shapes on both sides.  They went to the trouble of creating a separate piece for the midsole, but did not use a different coloured material, or deco, to represent the splatter. This would have also been a nice addition to the heel cup.  But that is really nitpicking on something that is does not claim to be official or screen accurate.

My slippers on top of my car
Conclusion:

What a great pair of slippers!  In its core, these are great slippers.  Throw in the Back to the Future reference and you have a winner.  The folks at Kozy Soles did an amazing job on these.  I have no complaints on these.  In fact, I think these are the best replicas out there, especially when you factoring price and comfort of the slippers.

I did not know these even existed until I unwrapped these.  Had I known, I would have definitely ordered a pair.  I highly recommend these if your feet get cold, or if you are somewhat of a Back to the Future fan.  If you want a pair, head over to the Kozy Soles website and order yours.

New driving shoes!

06 January 2017

Fake Omega Silver Snoopy

If you have read some of my posts before, you know that I am fascinated by the artistry of luxury watches, and I am also fascinated by the craftsmanship of knockoffs and fakes.  Well, lucky me, I have found something that meets both requirements.

We all know that Asia is the headquarters for knockoffs, fakes, and bootlegs.  A friend picked up a fake Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy while on a trip to Asia.  Since this is a Limited Edition watch, few people have seen it live.  Now, I have a real Silver Snoopy Speedmaster, so I know what it looks like.  I was pretty excited to see a knockoff watch, as I am with most knockoff items.

Beauty shot stolen from internet, most likely from Omega
I did not have my watch on me when I took photos of the fake version, but I stole some stock images from the internet for comparison.  Here we go...

Fake Omega - Dial
The first thing I noticed was the huge size of the fake.  At 46 mm, it is 4 mm larger than the 42 mm case of an Omega Speedmaster, almost a 10% size increase.  Because of this, the lug width is 22 mm on the fake, versus the standard Speedmaster 20 mm lug width.  Overall the watch is about 10% larger.   I showed these photos to my 'watch guy' and he mentioned that the 46 mm Speedmaster was from a few years ago, so they must have used that as a base for this.

At $150, you are probably not going to get a mechanical movement.  The fake Snoopy is a quartz movement with chronograph function.  The running seconds is in the 6H subdial, while the chronograph minute counter is in the 9H subdial.  What is interesting is at the 3H subdial, it acts as a running hour counter, or second time zone.  In the image above the main time is 9:21:16, the 3H subdial shows that it is 4:21 somewhere.

Like all Speedmaster Professionals, the running seconds is on the 9H subdial, in this case the one with Snoopy on it.  The chronograph minute counter is the 3H subdial, it counts 30 minutes.  The 6H subdial is the chronograph hour counter.  The real Silver Snoopy has a hand-wound mechanical movement.  There is no second time zone on the Silver Snoopy.

Silver Snoopy caseback
The caseback on the Limited Edition Silver Snoopy is what makes it stand out from other Speedmasters.   It has, well, a Silver Snoopy.  The makers of the fake did not replicate this, at all.   Also missing is the serial number and case material etched on the lug backs.

Fake Omega - Caseback
The logo on the back is supposed to line up with the case.  This caseback is a replica of an older model Speedmaster from the late 90's, according to my watch guy.

Tachymetre and dial detail
Looking at the tachymetre markings, they are different from the modern Speedmaster.  While the fake has a ring with little arrows marking the numbers.  The real watch has dots as indicators, with no ring.

If you look at Speedmasters dials, you will notices that the subdials are recessed and beveled in.  The fake does a pretty good job of replicating this.  One thing they missed is the slight bevel which creates a slight crease about where the index markers end.  I have highlighted with a red dotted line in the image above.

Dial detail
It is hard to tell in my images, but the white of the dial is a bit off.  It is more of 'warm white', a vintage white, like yellowing teeth.  The real Snoopy is pure bright white.

A minor detail, but it looks like the markers on the fake are glued or applied on top of the face.  In the Snoopy, it looks like (at least to me) that the index markers come up from the bottom via holes in the face.  On the real Snoopy, you can see a what looks like a hole around each index.  I could be wrong, but the when comparing the two, this does stand out.

Because of the 10% increase in size of the case, the hands look short.  They did not increase the length of the hands to fit the larger dial.   As if they used hands for a 42 mm watch for a 46 mm watch For example, the chronograph second hand on the real Snoopy goes almost to the edges of the markings.  On the fake, the chronograph second hand is about 1 mm too short.  The hands, in general, are also wider than the real version.

Speedmaster profile
The Speedmaster has a unique profile, with its raised bezel and semi-bubble shaped crystal.  It is what makes a Speedmaster a Speedmaster.

Profile detail
I have marked where the crystal and bezel profile should be.  I am not sure if the fake has a Sapphire crystal like the Silver Snoopy.  The crystal on the fake is more domed shaped than the unique 'semi-bubble' shape that we all know.

Note that the bezel profile is not as deep as a real one.  A real Speedmaster should have about a 45° bevel, it looks like the fake has about a 60° bevel.

Other things that raised a flag is the finish.  There are a couple of rough areas on the case.  These look like casting flaws.  I am pretty sure Omega uses some sort of CNC to mill their cases.  Either way, Omega would finish their cases to perfection.  Also, I noticed what looked like a parting line on the fake case.  I think I captured it in the photo above, it looks like it could be a reflection of the lugs, but I am pretty sure it was a parting line.

Silver Snoopy Award lume
The lume on the Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award is just amazing. In the image (stolen from internet) you can see that Snoopy glows.  Yes, Snoopy glows!  How awesome is that.  The tachymeter scale glows, along with the hour indexes.

Knockoff Omega, lume
The fake Snoopy only has lume on the hands.  I was hoping that at the very least, they may Snoopy glow.

Final note.  The fake came on a bracelet, which looks pretty good.  There are some markings missing but on the wrist, you cannot tell it is an knockoff bracelet.  The real Snoopy comes on a coated nylon fabric strap with leather backing.

Conclusion

I think this knockoff Omega Snoopy is a good 'first pass'.  There are many areas for improvement.  But, if like most, you have not seen a real Snoopy, this watch can fool you.  If you know Speedmasters, this will not likely pass.  Still, I give this a sold B...and for $150 it is a great price for a fashion watch.

04 January 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - January 2017

Who is excited for the first call of the year?  Me...well, not really.

4 January 2017
  559-462-7008 Springville, CA - First call of the year, and since 20 December.  It looks like the telemarketers took a little holiday break. Christmas Miracle is real.  Well, holiday is over, get your asses back to work.  Four days into the new year and they are back in business.  Fuck you!

12 January 2017
  323-922-5767  Los Angeles, CA - Little disappointed that we are twelve days into the year and only receiving my second call.  What, too cold to cold call?  Ha, see what I did there?  Not even funny...and neither is telemarketing.  So, fuck you! 

20 January 2017
   323-844-0822  Los Angeles, CA - Seems like a wrong number, but as in many cases, it most likely is a routed call.  A quick search shows this is currently a 'real' number, and no affiliation to telemarketing...yet.  Still, fuck you!

   323-897-1099  Los Angeles, CA - Hmm...I think we can scratch what I said in the previous post.  I think these are both telemarketer numbers.  For sure this one is, and at the very least the first call of the day was routed.  Maybe I should pick up to be sure...nah!  Fuck you!

21 January 2017
  323-897-1099  Los Angeles, CA - Yep, our first return caller of the year.  On a Saturday morning, no less.  Fuck you!

22 January 2017
   289-938-2199  Burlington, ON - Oh, this is a first, I think.  Not only an out of state number, this is an out of country number.  A call, well text, from Canada.  Kinda excited about it, but scared for our neighbours up north.  Wait, do I get even more screwed with this?  Is it considered long distance?  Then the added texting charge?

Oh, Canada
 Let me break this down.  A text, from another country on a Sunday evening.  What the fuck!  Why are you sending me something at 6PM...wait, 9PM your time...for a 'special' that is one day only.  It basically leaves me lest than three hours to jump on this 'deal'. Oh, I highly doubt that someone is working at 9PM on a Sunday, this is definitely from a fucking bot.

Oh wait, Ray-ban?  First of all, you should probably spell the product you are pushing correctly.  Capital R and B, Ray-Ban.  Well, I guess I could "Tap to Load Preview". What, you think I am stupid?  I am would not tap that ass with your dick.  And really, Ray-Ban's?  It was cool in the eighties when it was still own by the Bausch and Lomb.  But this brand has not been the same since it was sold to Luxottica.  Ugh, do not get me started on the grammar.  Fuck you!

26 January 2017
  612-297-8566  Minneapolis, MN - Been a long time since I got a call from Minnesota, You would have to go back to 2012, five years ago since the last call.  As per usual, I did a search for this number and this is a confirmed telemarketer with their 'scam specialty' in credit card services.  What is interesting is, the complaints that I found were within five minutes of each other, and my call.  So, this is a new one floating around and making its rounds.  Feel free to block...or answer and Rick Roll them. Fuck you!

30 January 2017
  352-527-4981  Beverly Hills, FL - Pretty sure this is a telemarketer.  But, what is more 'impressive' to me is this...there is a Beverly Hills in Florida?  What!  First there is a Hollywood, Florida, then there are those amusement parks like Universal Studios and Disney...now Beverly Hills?  What the fuck?  Florida is officially 'Fake California'.  Kinda awesome that there is a bootleg version of the west coast...where?...on the east coast, of course.  You know me and my love for knockoff...still, fuck you!

22 December 2016

Keyport Slide 3.0 - Kickstarter

Keyport Pivot and Slide 3.0
I have had the Keyport Slide 2.0 since 2013.  In January of this year, the folks at Keyport introduced a Kickstarter campaign for their new Slide 3.0, along with a newly designed Pivot.

Keyport Slide 3.0

So far, I am/was very happy with the Slide 2.0.  Although, there were issues with the construction...mainly material choice...the plastic used could shatter if dropped.  Ask me how I know that one.  The aluminum construction of the Slide 3.0 (will hopefully) solve this minor issue.   You can see one of the chips on my 2.0 in the image below.  Besides, I am not a fan of the pivot system, not just Keyport's Pivot, pivot design systems in general.

The design of the 3.0 is similar to the 2.0.  There are slight changes due the change from plastic to metal.  For one, the 3.0 weighs a little more.  Well, of course it does, it is metal.  I like the added weight.

Slide 3.0 and Slide 2.0
The end cap is a much improved design.  It has a spring loaded latch.  On the 2.0, the end cap is sort of pressed in and locks in with tabs.  Well, if you happen to drop your Keyport 2.0...one of these tabs can break of...then you will have to look for your chassis, end cap, and the little piece of tab.  The fun part is finding a way to re-attach or repair the broken tab.  I tried superglue, solvents, welding the plastic tab back, and hot glue.  They all work for a while, but as soon as you need to remove the end cap for any reason (see photo above), you risk breaking the tab off again.  Oh, and if you happen to drop it again, you could get lucky and just have a chip somewhere....or you could snap the tab off again.  So, you can see how excited I was when a new - metal - version was being released.  Heck, at one point I thought about getting a new Slide 2.0 chassis, but luckily the Kickstarter campaign started.

One 'feature' that 2.0 users will miss when switching to the 3.0 is the little nub on one side of the Keyport chassis.  I use this everyday to feel which distinguish which side is which, especially in the dark.

Slide 2.0 nub vs smooth Slide 3.0
Above image shows nub (circled) that has been very helpful.  I may stick a little nipple on the 3.0 so I will know which side is 'up'.

Since I already had blades and inserts from the 2.0, when I got the new 3.0, I just transferred them over.  I even reused by buttons.  But, there was one insert that did not fit.  The LED light insert is too wide to fit.  I also had the problem of low battery life.

Keyport LED insert
If you have the LED insert and need to change the battery and/or want to fit it in your Slide 3.0, this next section may help.  Be careful and do this at your own risk...there is my disclaimer.

Hoverboard
Tanget:  The LED insert kinda looks like a hoverboard.  And, why is it when I look up "hoverboard" on Google, I get those 'hands-free Segways'.  When I search "hoverboard", I should be bombarded by images from the Back to the Future trilogy, damn it!

Trim line
Since the insert is a little wide, you need to trim one side of the circuit board.  The dotted line above shows where you need to trim to, about 1.5mm.

Be careful to not go too deep. The red arrow shows the line where 'wire' that connects the battery to the switch.  Try not to cut this line.  If you do, that is okay.  You should be able to re-route the wire back to the switch.

Sanding to the line
On my LED insert, there was enough room to sand down and not hit the wire.  Note the holes on the circuit board, you can use these to 'rewire' if you happen to trim too much.

Now, battery removal.  The batteries are spot welded on to the contacts.  This is so the insert can slide in and out easily without catching on the walls of the chassis.  I do not have, or know if there is, an un-spot welder.  So, a solution is the drill out the spot weld.
Spot weld locations
There are eight spot welds.  Luckily, they have a slight dip, like a shallow pilot hole, so the drill bit you use should not travel as easily.  Better to have access to a drill press, but drilling by hand will work.

Battery drilling
As with all tools be careful.  After all, you are drilling into to a battery.  Take it slow.  Once you pass through the spot weld, the contact should pop up, no need to drill any deeper.  I would assume that heat from the drill on the battery is not the best combo.  Speaking of heat on a battery, spot welding a battery sounds stupid dangerous.

Drilled contacts
Once you have drilled through the contacts, the battery will pretty much fall out.  Just need to find the correct replacement.  The batteries that came with the insert were 3V CR1025, I used 1.55V 395.  I will be getting half the voltage of a brand new LED insert, but I was getting close to nothing on my factory batteries.  Good news is, I can switch out batteries anytime.

Tape down contacts to battery
Not only do I not have an un-spot welder, I also do not have a spot welder to weld the contacts back on to the batteries.  But, I have tape.  Find some thin tape, cut it to size and make sure the contacts are contacting the batteries and tape everything down.  Make sure there is tape on the sides...remember it was to wide to fit in the 3.0 slots?...well why would you add more thickness to it?

Slide insert into chassis

With both one edge trimmed to fit, new batteries replaced and taped, you can now slide in the insert into the chassis as you did on the 2.0.

Lights on!
It works!

After doing this, I realized the new design has an option for LED side plate.  It looks like there is an easier way to change batteries.


New LED side plate design

If you want one of these yourself, you can order from Keyport.


04 December 2016

BlazeCut - Automatic Fire Suppression System

You could say that have a car that is famous for catching on fire.  Why, there is even an incident at a local mall, one early October morning in 1985, where a DeLorean left flames in its track as it headed towards a crazed scientist and a teen-aged boy.  Of course, there are rumours that a dog was driving.

But besides that, there have been a handful of reports the past few years of DeLoreans engulfed in flames.  This is mainly due to old, cracking rubber fuel lines in the engine bay.  A few years ago, I had my fuel lines replaced with stainless steel lines.  Most recently, I got a new engine.  While everything is new and should run smooth, I figure it would be best to protect my investment.

Enter the BlazeCut Automatic Fire Suppression System.  The unit is a plastic tube filled with a extinguishing agent.  The system automatically triggers when excessive heat is detected.  Basically, the flames melt the plastic tube and the extinguishing agent is released.

BlazeCut Automatic Fire Suppression System
After seeing some videos of this thing in action, and reading about how many cars have been lost to fire, I purchased a set for my car.

What you get in the box
The system comes with the main unit, some zip ties, and a sticker.  The unit I got is the TV200FA, with 500g of HFC-236fa, tube length of 212 cm.

Installation is relatively simple.  I used the vents as anchor points to zip tie the tube to my engine cover.  The difficult part is fighting the curve of the tube.  It might have been smarter to undo the coiled tube and let it rest for a day or two before installation.

BlazeCut installed on engine cover
 I thought about mounting the tube along the inside of the engine bay.  Well, struggling with the coiled tube was hard enough.  Plus engine bay mounting would require installation of brackets to the walls.  It may also get in the way of the engine if and when maintenance needs to be performed.  The engine cover seems to be the better option for now.  Although, I might shift the 'C' opening towards the front of the car.
View from top, closed engine cover
Some say the vents on the engine cover may let the extinguishing agent escape.  I agree with those that say having this system gives you more time to get to a safe location in the event of a fire.

I hope this is the last time I have to write about fire and engine. 

01 December 2016

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - December 2016

Home stretch, last month of the year.  I feel that there will be a last minute push to meet their numbers

1 December 2016
  505-207-1361  Albuquerque, NM - I believe this is the first call from Albuquerque.  For me, Albuquerque is famous for two things.  1. Bugs Bunny should have made a left turn at Albuquerque.  2. The Sprinfield Isotopes almost moved to Albuquerque.  Yeah, they are both cartoon references...which kinda tells you what kind of a person I am.  So with that, fuck you!

5 December 2016
  850-513-3524  Tallahassee, FL - Believe it or not, this is the first call from Tallahassee.  I would have sworn that there have been some calls before.  There was a time then I was constantly receiving calls from Florida.  At least now, we can chick Tallahassee off the list.  Fuck you!

 10 December 2016
  323-336-6017  Los Angeles, CA - Well hello, robo-telemarketer...and a good Saturday morning to you, too.  No, not in the morning and not on a Saturday.  Fuck you!

  847-24 - Usually, we do not know who is texting from these numbers.  But, with this one, we do. Remember that 650-727-1364 number from San Mateo?  You know, fucking Door Dash and that cunt,  Lori. Well, I blocked that number, so they found another way to harass me by using this 874-24 bullshit.

650-727-1364 mirror
While I am no expert on telemarketers, I am a frequent victim (as we all are) and this is straight up telemarketing.   Fuck you!

20 December 2016
  310-849-8375  United States -  If you do a search for this number, it comes up as a legit number.  But, since the location is "United States", this is a telemarketers.  While it possible that this was a call to a wrong number, the odds are, based on the caller location, that this was a routed call from a telemarketer.  They have been routing calls through 'real' numbers for years.  Fuck you!

27 November 2016

Bruce Lee on Guitar

Bruce Lee DJ
A few years ago I saw this image of Bruce Lee at a turntable.  Being a, shall we say, 'someone who has a slight interest in anything Bruce Lee related', I knew this was photoshopped.  Here is the original image.

Original, non-DJ, image
The 'original' image was known as "Bruce Be Blazin".  In recent years, this images has been photoshopped with Bruce Lee smoking a joint, hence 'blazin', along with other variations.

Bruce Lee Gung Fu Scratch

The most popular shopped image is the Disc Jockey themed one.  There are a few versions of the DJ Bruce.  One was made into a shirt by designer Peter Lee.

Bruce Lee Gung Fu Scratch shirt
I happened to receive a shirt, known as Bruce Lee Gung Fu Scratch, like this from my cousin.  You can get them at Bow & Arrow '78, or at Official Bruce Lee Store.  Yeah, I noticed that the image of Bruce Lee is flipped.

Around the same time, I got another Bruce Lee shirt from another cousin (other cousin's brother). As you can see, I am pretty easy to shop for.  Just get me anything Bruce Lee related.

The shirt is by BAIT and you can order yours and other Bruce Lee items, here.

Bruce Lee shirt by BAIT

To my surprise, I did not recall seeing this image of Bruce Lee, before.  Obviously, the image is from Enter the Dragon, I wanted to find this unique image.  I searched for this 'Bruce Lee rage' image (on and off) for months.  Why the obsession?

I had an idea...a moment if you will...you could say that I had a #BruceLeeMoment.

Inspired by the DJ image, I wanted to take this 'new' image of Bruce and make it look like he was jamming on a guitar.  Look at it. It looks like the poster for the Air Guitar World Championships.

Months later, I stumbled on the original image.  To my surprised the BAIT shirt image was also flipped.  Is there something about flipping Bruce Lee's image when printed on a shirt?

Bruce Lee rage
This works out fine, as I think Bruce Lee would play the guitar right handed as Brandon Lee did as Eric Draven in The Crow.  Anyway, let the photoshopping begin.

Brandon Lee as Eric Draven
Unfortunately, this is a low-res image of Bruce Lee, but it is the only image that I have been able to find.  Long story short, I looked for some images of guitars and this is the result:

Bruce on Guitar
So, if you see this image of 'Bruce shredding a guitar' out there (like on a shirt), you now know the origin of it.

...and of course, I have to put DJ Bruce back there, too.  Maybe I can find other images of Bruce Lee on and photoshop him playing the drums, keyboards, singing...I could have a Bruce Lee band!

Jam session

12 November 2016

Design Concepts for Bremont

It is no secret that I love Bremont watches.  I recently acquired my second Bremont, no doubt a third one will come along.

The other day, some watch design ideas popped into my head.  Bremont began in 2002, so 2017 will be the Fifteenth Anniversary of the brand.  What better way to celebrate than with some new, possibly Limited Edition, designs.

I did some photoshop mock-ups to see if it can work.  I have watermarked my images in case someone 'borrows' them and others may mistaken them for real concepts.  I have no affiliation with Bremont...but, Bremont is free to use these as 'inspiration' for their range of watches.

Here are three quick concepts:

Tachymetre concept
Tachymetre

I also have other watches in my collection, one happens to be an Omega Speedmaster.  One of the features I like about the Speedmaster (and other watches) is the Tachymetre on the bezel.  

Bremont has the Chronograph function on many of their watches since the beginning.  But none have had a Tachymetre.  Honestly, I think very few people use this function, but I like the look of it.  

I used the ALT1-ZT as a base and added the inner rotating bezel of the ALT1-WT.  Colours were changed to add a little flare.  Then, I added the Tachymetre (stolen from a Speedmaster) to the bezel. 

Propeller second hand
Propeller Second Hand

The Bremont logo has a propeller under the word mark.  The propeller is also seen on the crown of most of the Bremont collection.  If you have seen any of their videos, the into shows the propeller rotating to reveal the Bremont logo.

So, I took the propeller and made it the second hand.  One problem...well, two problems.  First, it spans the across the entire dial.  My solution to this is to add markings to one tip similar to markings on real propellers.

The second issue, looking at the propeller orientation, they are turning anti-clockwise.  As you know watches and clocks turn clockwise (unless you have a Goofy watch).  I simply flipped the propeller to allow for clockwise rotation.

In the concept above, I took a SOLO and applied the propeller second hand to it.

And yes, I did try to make the hour and minute hands as propellers, but it simply does not work.  There are two major problems.  The first, the hands are different lengths and off-balanced propeller wings just do not work.  The other issue is, the hands are only opposite of each other eleven times around the face.  Example:  12:32, 2:43, 4:54...etc.


Propeller second hand at 9H
Propeller Second Hand on 9H Subdial

One of the coolest things Bremont has done was to use the small second hand, at the subdials, as a propeller.  This can be seen on some of their Limited Edition pieces such as the EP120 and P-51, using each aircraft's respected propeller design as a second hand.  These pieces also have their propeller designs integrated into rotor, which can be seen through the display caseback.  This treatment can also be seen on some exclusive military edition pieces.

I thought that would be interesting to see with the Bremont logo propeller.  Here I took their latest Limited Edition, the DH-88, and modified the second hand at the 9H position.

That is it for now.  Perhaps more ideas in the future.  It would be pretty neat if Bremont took inspiration from some of my ideas and implemented them into their line.

Nick and Giles, something to think about for your Fifteenth Anniversary.

Update (15 Nov 16):  I shared my concepts with the Alt1tude forum and some suggested a moon phase watch.  Slow day at work...here you go.

Moon Phase Concept
I used another SOLO as a base and 'acquired' the moon phase additions from a Jaeger-LeCoultre.  I moved the Day and Month indicator to the 'traditional' 10H and 2H positions.  The date ring just fit perfectly in the inner bezel.

Putting the moon phase subdial at 6H meant I had to adjust the "Automatic Chronometer" to fit inside.  The "London", normally on the inner bezel or under the 6H marker.  I had to modify the 6H marker so the subdial would fit,  since there was already text in the subdial, I moved "London" to 'bridge' the gap between the day and month indicators, just under the Bremont logo.