Evening Routine

"Three Amigos" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Three Amigos” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve settled into a nice evening routine, which I am enjoying quite a bit. It’s funny, but the things I used to think of as “chores” are now part of a routine that I don’t give too much thought to, and they don’t really cause any stress.

Each night I will clean the cat litter box, which only takes a minute, but I would visualize how awful a job it is and fill my mind with negative thoughts like, “why am I the one who has to do this?”. 🐱 But these days, I just do it and my mind is thinking about things other than the cat poop. Does that make sense? It’s like I am on auto-pilot and since I don’t think about the chore that I am doing, it doesn’t affect my frame of mind negatively. My body might be scooping poop, but my mind is enjoying talking with my family, thinking about drawing, or listening to the baseball game that’s on the tv in the living room.

Another task that I do almost every night is washing the dishes. This is less of an “auto-pilot activity”, but I look at it as an opportunity to chat with the family in a relaxed environment (just after dinner, everyone is usually in a good mood). Or, if everyone has left the kitchen area, I can catch up on some podcasts. So, it’s a productive time of my day.

The same goes for brushing my teeth in the evening. I admit I used to often skip the nighttime brushing 😇. But for the past couple years this important task also has become an “auto-pilot activity” and I will listen to a podcast while I do it.

So those are my “tasks” that I do every evening. I also have a few other routines that are on the fun side, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Tonight’s photo at the top of this post is of my three watches that I like to wear. My Seiko SKX007 (on the right) is what I wear every day, my Timex weekender is a watch I sometimes wear to bed. It’s so light and the band is so soft that I don’t even realize I am wearing it. But I find the audible ticking noise to be relaxing and helps me sleep. The watch in the center is my Seiko 5 SNK809, which I don’t wear as often, but once in a while, I will throw it on. What’s nice about the automatic watches like the Seikos I own is that they don’t use batteries. Just a few shakes to get them going and then they will power up by just regular body movement. I love that!

Lastly, the photo below is my latest practice sketch. I tried drawing it without referencing the proportions video that I needed to watch for the previous sketch. I guess it turned out OK, but I’m still not very happy with it. It’s a little “off”. Still, it’s good to practice.

"Practice Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Practice Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice Tuesday!

おやすみ

Mechanical

"Nikon F and Seiko SKX007" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO6400
“Nikon F and Seiko SKX007” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。

Today’s photo is of my Nikon F and Seiko SKX007. What they have in common is that they are both purely mechanical devices. They don’t have any electronics or need batteries.

We are so used to relying on a power source to keep our devices running, but there is a charm to precise machines that rely purely on craftsmanship and physical design. The Nikon F has an adjustable shutter speed just like modern digital cameras, but the speed is not controlled by circuitry. It’s all gears and calibrated springs. I think it’s amazing that you can choose between 1/1000 of a second up to 1 second, with half-stops in between.

Similarly, the mechanical watch is fascinating in that it can keep a “power reserve” in the form of a spring, which will power the movement of the watch to an accuracy of +/- just a few seconds per day. I can’t imagine the amount of design it must have taken to invent such an accurate timepiece. It boggles the mind. And did you know that these mechanical watches have precious gems as part of their inner workings? I guess most use synthetic rubies (commonly referred to as jewels in watch specs) at points where durability is most critical. But including gems as part of the mechanical design is pretty damn cool.

Thinking about it, all mechanical clocks are astounding. Clocktowers? Wow!

Anyways, I think that batteryless devices are so cool. It also feels good to use a device that won’t produce toxic waste in the form of spent batteries.

All this talk about non-electric things makes me want to light some candles and read a printed book. 😄

Have a good evening!

おやすみ

Red Thread Watch Band

"Red Thread" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/45 sec, ISO3200
“Red Thread” Cedar Park, 2017

こんにちは

Since getting my Seiko SKX007 a couple months ago, I’ve acquired a small collection of watch straps too. I have some striped bands, but I gravitate back towards the solid colors, namely the plain black or army green. But I had been on the look out for a black strap with thin red stripe, and one finally showed up on Ebay so I ordered it. This strap has become my favorite now!

I wanted this strap for a couple reasons. First, it’s a good combination of the solid and striped bands. I’ve found that some bands, like the “Bond” straps, look great while the watch is on the table, but less-so when on the wrist. The solid colors always look nice on the wrist, but are somewhat plain. This red-striped version is subtle enough as not to be too flashy, but has a little visual interest. A good compromise. The color scheme matches nicely with the watch face too.

The second reason I wanted this design is more fun and esoteric. I was blown away by the movie Your Name (君の名は), and liked the symbolism behind the red braided cord that Mizuha wore. So, thinking about the red stripe in the watch band… I don’t know, I just like the connection (no pun intended) to the movie, even if I am the only one who realizes it. If you don’t know about the long tradition of the red string, you can read more about it in this Wikipedia article. I think it’s a cool and romantic concept.

"Red" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Red” Cedar Park, 2017

The only thing I don’t like about the strap is that although it was listed as 22mm width, it’s more like 20 or 21, so there is a small gap where you can see the watch lug pin. Not a huge deal, but still, a little disappointing.

Anyways, now I am wearing this band most of the time, and occasionally swapping out with the plain black or army green bands. Fun stuff for a watch otaku like me! 😆

またね~

"Red Thread" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Red Thread” Cedar Park, 2017

Watch Update

"Seiko SKX007" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Seiko SKX007” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

The other day, I received a new 22mm zulu-style strap for my Seiko SKX007 watch. It’s the black, green, and red striped design, the same one that I have for my Seiko SNK809 (18mm). I really like the Artstyle straps because they have nice brushed metal hardware, and a good price. As you can see from the photo below, I have purchased a small collection of them!

"Bands" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/30 sec, ISO3200
“Bands” Cedar Park, 2017

However, they are not perfect. I guess they had to cut corners somewhere to get the price so low, and thus the finishing of the nylon and stitching is a little rough. I noticed that it gets a little scratchy sometimes. To fix this, I used a grinding stone (used in ceramics) to smooth out some of the rough cuts, which appear to have been heat-sealed. Basically around all the holes I sanded it down a bit. The nylon stitching also had a some bits which stuck out and would poke my wrist, but the polishing stone took care of that easily as well. You can see in the photo below where I sanded around the holes, buckle, and stitching.

"Band Work" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Band Work” Cedar Park, 2017

After that small amount of work, the bands are very comfortable and just about perfect. 🙂

I hope you had a nice day!

A Treat for My Wrist

"Keeper" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/20 sec, ISO3200
“Keeper” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

It’s the 2nd day of Spring Break for the kiddos, so I worked from home in the afternoon. I think they are old enough to take care of themselves, but I still worry! 😀

New Watch

Well, I kind of knew for a while now that I wanted to get a new watch, and I also had narrowed it down to a certain model. I just had to decide on the size and the color. The watch is a Seiko diver, the SKX. There are different variations: 007 – 42mm with black bezel and face; 009 – 42mm with blue and red “Pepsi” bezel and blue face; 013 – similar to the 007, but a 38mm size.

I went with the SKX007 because I thought the Pepsi blue/red of the 009 wouldn’t look as good with different watch straps, and didn’t go for the 013 because I already have a smaller-sized watch. Plus, I liked the classic black of the 007.

I bought the model with the black rubber strap instead of the metal bracelet to save a few bucks and I knew that I would take off whatever it came with to replace with a zulu strap. In fact, I ordered a black zulu strap with the watch so that I could change it immediately. I read that getting the old watch band off was difficult and by god, it was a pain! Even with a dedicated tool, it was a struggle and my fingers are sore. But in the end, I won and got the rubber strap replaced with the plain black zulu strap. I think it looks great. And so comfortable! This watch/strap combination feels a lot better than even my 37mm Seiko SNK809 with 18mm zulu strap.

One other thing I love is the raised design on the back of the watch. It features a flowing wave 🌊, which is on all the Seiko dive models.

"Wave" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Wave” Cedar Park, 2017

Speaking of dive models, this SNK007 is ISO 6425 compliant, which means it has been tested to meet or exceed some pretty impressive specifications, including depth rating of at least 100 m (this watch is 200 m). So I guess I can be confident taking this watch anywhere. In other words, I don’t have to worry about it. Here’s to a bit more peace of mind!

The SKX007 is the most expensive watch I have ever bought, but that’s not saying much since I am such a cheapskate where watches are concerned. This watch is generally regarded in the watch community as one of the cheapest yet respectable diver watches, but for me, it’s a definite keeper and the highest quality timepiece I own. I am expecting it to be my daily watch for the rest of my life. We’ll see!

I hope you had a nice Tuesday!

おやすみ

バロン

NATO & Zulu Straps

"Instax, NATO, Zulu" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Instax, NATO, Zulu” Cedar Park, 2017

Continuing with my (so far) inexpensive watch obsession, I put my grey and black NATO band onto an old Casio quartz dive-style watch. I used to really like this style of watch face, but now I don’t like the shiny polished metal looks as much. But, it does match the shiny buckles on the strap, so I think it’s a good complement. If you look at my Seiko and its strap buckles, you can see both have a matte finish so it matches nicely. 😊

I also learned that the strap that has the 5 buckles is not a NATO strap, but a “Zulu” strap. The larger, rounded buckles are the difference here. I think I prefer the Zulu strap.

Anyways, my interest in watches continues, and I have made a little Amazon wishlist in case anyone is feeling incredibly generous! 😍 But seriously, I’m keeping my eye on a Seiko 007 model… One day!