Sistem51

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

In honor of their 30th anniversary, Swatch has come out with a new “automatic” watch called the Sistem51. Naturally it is self-winding (i.e. no battery). 90 hour power reserve. Completely machine made. Hermetically sealed. And it only has 51 parts.

51.

And the entire movement is held together by one screw.

1.

This is a mere fraction of the number of pieces used in other automatic watches. The Sistem51 watch movement and assembly process was a synergistic effort in re-engineering from multiple teams.

It is a manufacturing feat of simplistic elegance, and I am smitten.

There are currently four versions:

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They each have sort of a “space/heavens/star” theme on the face and the backs are clear and have different patterns/colors for the movements.

My favorite is the white one:

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I think the white with the hints of color keep the design clean and uncluttered. Sort of “apple-ish” in a way.

Maybe it’s a bit girly– or douchey– to wear a white watch. Like wearing a white belt. And it’ll be damn hard to coordinate with a belt and shoes now that we are past Labor Day. And truth be told, I’ve sort of gotten out of the habit of wearing watches.

But me no carey.

I like it. I covet it. I must have it.

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You MUST pay the rent.

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I can’t pay the rent!
You must pay the rent.
I CAN’T pay the rent!
I’LL pay the rent.
My HERO!
Curses! Foiled again!!

So yeah. I’m growing a bit of a handlebar mustache. For funsies.

Every time I twirl it a bit, or comb my beard, I remember that whole “you must pay the rent” thing. You know, with the comb making a mustache, a hair bow, and a bow tie.

Please tell me you remember this?

Anyhoo, I’ve been beard-experimental as of late. Trying to figure out the best neck line, beard length for my face, customization, etc.

Where I’ve sort of landed is to trim the sides of my beard shorter, but keeping the mustache and chin areas a bit longer. The fuller chin hair disguises my lack of a good chin, and the fuller mustache adds prominence and focus to my mouth.

Where it should be. *wink*

Plus, Minneapolis is the hipster Capitol of America, so this is the place for me to grow handlebars and experiment. And, as it turns out, I am really attracted to the bearded, glasses, tattooed, hipster look in’ guys. (Not the ├╝berskinny ones– the regular ones).

Also, I may have kissed a guy once who had a handlebar stache, and I may have liked it.

Thoughts?

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An Arm and a Leg Later…

I am home.

This (as you read before) was my yearly Cedar Point weekend. And It was awesome. Great times, great friends, great weather, great roller coasters.

But with great fun come great financial responsibilities.

That motherfucker who set fire to the FAA control center in Chicago needs to die IN a fire. He nearly ruined my weekend and ended up costing me a small fortune.

My original flight (as you know) was completely buggered, and the rebooked itinerary wouldn’t have gotten me to Cleveland until much later on Saturday which would have dashed all plans. So I rebooked on delta, paid dearly, and made it to Cedar Point.

Where much merriment was had:

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But as all good things do….

It was lunchtime on Saturday that the first whiff of trouble started. My original flight home from Cleveland was “altered” and I needed to call an agent.

30 minutes later, I was safely on my new United flights. All was good. Then, while waiting in line for the Millenium later that evening, I received a text. My new flight was cancelled.

So (while in line with coasters screaming past) I called a service agent and after much ado and 30 more minutes (mostly on hold) got new flights again.. This time with my connecting flight in Chicago on American Airlines.

And then an hour later I got another text– flight cancelled. Yet AGAIN!! And warning updates about Chicago still being all proper fucked and cancellations galore.

So I got on Delta and booked a return flight home. This one was not nearly as expensive as the flight out, but it wasn’t cheap by any means. But it was direct and avoided the goatfuck that is O’Hare.

So I made it home in good time on Sunday. In one piece and no worse for the wear. I have a gorgeous day here to unwind in, and I had a great weekend of fun and friends.

And in actuality, I had pretty decent luck when it came to finding alternate flights and smooth travel. I mean, what if my first flight was in the air or had made it to Chicago? I’d probably still be there trying to get home.

The only one that truly suffered here was my bank account.

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I. Fucking. Hate. Travel.

Correction: I love destinations, but I detest the rigamarole to get there. I’m super type A with respect to travel, and when things don’t go smoothly or according to plan, my guts end up in knots.

Case in point: my trip today to Cleveland.

This is my yearly pilgrimage to Cedar Point Amusement Park. I meet up with friends for a weekend of fun, frivolity, freand freaking good roller coasters. And as usual, it isn’t easy to get from Minneapolis to Cleveland. Direct flights are limited and expensive. So I saved money and sacrificed my sleep by arranging flights with a connection through Chicago O’hare.

Never a wise idea, but nearly every flight to Cleveland seems to connect through O’hare (Or Detroilet) so it’s unavoidable.

Cue the fire today in Chicago that disabled the FAA control center. Which basically fucked ALL air traffic through Chicago. O’hare AND Midway.

I was actually all boarded and I had banked some karma by giving up my seat so a family could sit together, when the announcement about the fire hit. We then deplaned, and my travel day politely stood up, dropped Trou, bent over and didn’t even get spit for lube.

I immediately scrambled for alternate flights to Cleveland and there was ONE viable option which still got me into town with enough time to get to Cedar Point. So I bit the billet and booked it, rather than wait for Chicago to get sorted. (Thank god I only carried on luggage).

But holy Fuck was it expensive!

But as I sit here waiting to board my direct flight to Cleveburg, I realize I made the right choice. My original flight has now been delayed over 4 hours, and my connection to Cleveland cancelled. The rebooking United proposed got me in at 4 pm… TOMORROW.

What. A. Goatfuck.

And this is why I hate travel.

But the weather in Sandusky is supposed to be almost perfect this weekend– sunny and highs in the low 70’s. And we have fast passes for tomorrow so we can bypass the rabble and ride coasters til we puke.

And this is why I love “destinations”.

Everyone just please keep your fingers crossed that the rest of my travel works out, okay?

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Caption This!

I saw this Grecian Urn at the British Museum, and it made me giggle. It really needs a caption, though. Give me a good one and I’ll post it on my FB page.

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Totally Remiss

While going through my London pictures, I came across this:

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Yes , I met Nikitas (aka Nik The Greek) from my blog roll!

What a nice guy! He took time out of his busy schedule to meet up with Kyle and Me one evening. He chaperoned us to a couple cool bars in the SoHo area and we had a very nice time chatting and learning more about London, etc.

And I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this until now.

Sorry Nik! It was lovely to meet you and thanks again for the beer and the tour!

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Erick Update 3.0

We’ve been chatting more and have face-timed a few more times. And we discussed me visiting sometime later in October.

I hope it works out, because this:

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I mean, right??

He’s stressing right now about all the “what ifs” and “expectations”. I’m of the opinion that it’s better to take the ifs and turn them into “okay, so now what’s”. I think we’re both adult enough to handle the results, whatever they may be.

Plus, I just really want to kiss him again and fall asleep with him as big spoon.

He will be getting busy with school, and I have a crazy work schedule from now to the end of this year, so we have to find a good time that works for both.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

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The new iPhone.

Okay, so I’ve already stayed that I was less than awed by the new iPhones. They look nice and thin, and the screens are bigger. But other than that… Meh.

So I started intensely shopping around.

So far I’ve looked at the Galaxy S5, researched the Note 4 which is coming, looked at the LG G3, and the HTC metal-looking one. Oh, and researched the Sony Xperia one.

And I’m not wowed by them either.

I think my biggest issue is the “feel” of the other phones. Not to out too fine a point on it, they all feel cheap. Well, not the Sony, but the other ones. And I don’t like that.

That’s one of the things that Apple does really well: premium build quality. Overall, Apple products feel solid and well-built, while maintaining an elegance of design. Sure they may have fallen behind in some of the bells and whistles, but in overall quality I think they still outpace the field.

So if I were to switch phones, not only would I be incurring an integration headache with my decidedly Apple-centric life, but I would also sacrifice a sense of quality. And now that the 6 and 6 plus are “Samsung-sized”, the incentive to jump ship just isn’t there to the same degree.

(Caveat: I do like the Sony phones, but ATT doesn’t carry them!)

The long and short of it? I’ll be getting an iPhone. Which model will have to wait until I can get my hands on them in person. I’m leaning toward 6 plus though. I mean, why not explore the far side of size, since my beef with the 5 is the teeny tiny screen.

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Erick Update 2.0

Yeah, not much to report other than we’re pretty much in the death throes. Which pretty much sucks.

The non-stop daily texting and frequent face-timing has significantly tapered off– to almost non-existent. He used to text me daily when he woke up (to which I quite looked forward). Sometimes he would include an oh-so-cute sleepy pic.

Now sometimes days pass with no text at all.

Erick keeps pulling back “to process everything” during which time he basically goes radio silent. He’s done this a few times now, which leaves me wondering “should I text him just to salve my heart and ego or should I respect his need for solitude?”

I know he has a lot on his plate. He is contemplating finding a different job, rents are skyrocketing so money is an issue, he is trying to go back to school, he’s helping multiple friends in various states of drama, and he is looking for love and stability. So not a lot of time left over for a long-distance poor bet such as myself.

He has a full life there and loves living in San Francisco. I have an equally full life here in Minneapolis and have put down roots. And neither of our situations are going to change anytime soon.

But then we do talk or text and I really enjoy it and I think how nice it would be to curl up on my couch and watch a movie together (there are SO many he needs to see so that he gets my random references).

It’s all very confusing and it makes my heart hurt a bit.

And I know it’s just a matter of time now, before the texting and face-timing stops altogether. I suppose it was a nice idea while it lasted.

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IPhone 6. Um… squeeee??

So earlier this week there was evidently some big announcement about a new iPhone. Oh, and an iWatch. Unfortunately I was busy with customers all day and missed most of the announcement. So far, after do stilling all the hype, my big take-away is:

It’s bigger.

Oh, and a bit thinner.

So now, after a couple years of Samsung and other suppliers offering phone displays larger than 4 inches, Apple finally managed to catch up.

The camera is basically the same. The screen resolution appears to be the same. The glass and aluminum design is basically the same. There’s a new processing chip– but why wouldn’t there be after a year plus of development. Who knows about battery life.

Nothing really life altering or even really creating much of a “wow” factor.

I guess there is this “iWallet” or “iPay” feature which will allow phone swipe to pay. Which android phones already had and which sounds like yet one more excellent opportunity for identity theft. It also sounds like it might have a slow start with retailers. Target has already come out saying they aren’t prepared to start accepting this apple payment method.

And where do I shop a lot of the time here in Minneapolis?? Yup– Target.

Yes I’m sure the phone will feel solid and substantial, with excellent build quality. And it will work with the elegant OS and user interface that Apple is known for. But where’s the wow?? Where’s the new??

I guess that’s my problem.

When Apple first introduced the iPhone– it was mind-blowing. Like when they introduced the first Mac or the iPod. Just… Boom. Life-altering. Of course it’s hard to keep inventing tech that is completely earth-shattering, but unfortunately we’ve come to expect it from Apple.

And this latest phone just had sort of a “we’re playing catch-up” vibe to it. I don’t want an Apple version of a Samsung product, I want an Apple product that one or two-ups everyone else.

What’s my incentive to remain with Ape and upgrade to the new tech? Other than the fact that I’m sure my iPhone 5 will start getting all glitchy in the next month or two.

And also because Apple has sucked me into all their other products (iMac, MacBook Air, iPad, iPod, time capsule, airports, etc.) so I need to maintain compatibility.

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