Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sunsets: Quezon City cityscape

I have not posted on sunsets for quite some time now. It is definitely one of the things I look forward to catching even just a glimpse of. Each sunset is different from the other and there are many factors affecting these sunset views. There is the irony, of course, that pollution figures into making sunsets beautiful as it contributes to create what can be seen as marvelous colors that make sunsets dramatic.

The top floor of our office provides for a splendid, panoramic view of the sunset as the corridor acts like a balcony and faces west. Here are a couple I've taken recently:

Sunset accented by the haze about the developing Quezon City skyline. Many high rise buildings are currently under construction in the north triangle area of the city and soon this view will be full of buildings. There should be an excellent cityscape here complete with the night lights on clear nights.
Does that look like a mushroom cloud? The cloud formations can also add to the dramas of sunsets.

I have lectures scheduled in the late afternoon and my day teaching is concluded by these sunsets. One often takes these for granted but the sentimental person in me thinks we should be thankful at the end of each day for the blessings we received and the things we were able to accomplish. That, I think, is something to reflect on during the next few days of a long break (Undas) and as we get into the month of November and the latter part of this 2018.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Chocolate review: Anthon Berg Dark Milk Fairtrade Chocolate

Somewhat an unusual term to describe a chocolate is "dark milk". To me, it is either dark chocolate or milk chocolate. White chocolate doesn't count. However, here is a "dark milk" from Anthony Berg. It was the first time I saw this chocolate and purchased a few bars on sale at the NAIA Duty Free Shop to give away to officemates as pasalubong.

Anthon Berg dark milk fairtrade chocolate
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box
The nutrition information is barely readable due to the color scheme of the box
Details on the maker are also barely readable but the ingredients are clear
This chocolate, which claims a minimum of 42% cacao, is surprisingly smooth. We thought perhaps it is due to the milk content that seems to take the bitter out of the chocolate. It is definitely a good buy for those on a budget for good quality chocolate outside the Swiss and Belgian brands and a bit better than the mass production Meijis.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Orient Deluxe 4300 DXO vintage watch

While I have several Seikos and Citizens, I only have one Orient watch. This is an Orient Deluxe 4300 DXO, which is somewhat a rare model for this watch brand.

The case shape is like a UFO's
Baton hands and day and date features for this automatic watch
Side view showing the crown and the quick set button for the day feature
The other side view
Case back showing the Orient emblem and pretty worn out details on the watch
Its a bit difficult to get a photo where the details of the watch features can be readable. Under a good light and with a certain angle, you can read that this watch is shock & waterproof with a stainless steel case. The watch's serial number is also indicated.
Another look at the signed crown and quick set button for the day feature
This is an Orient 4971 movement that runs at 18,000 bph. I haven't seriously timed the watch but it lasts overnight after a day's wearing.
The watch on my wrist after I changed the leather strap recently.

I saw the same model watch that's slightly in better condition selling for 600 US dollars. Of course, that watch is in a better condition. This one's close so it should fetch a good price if and when I decide to let go of this.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Citizen Crystal 7 automatic vintage watch

A reliable though not regularly (neglected?) used watch in my rotation is this classic auto dater from Citizen that has been nicely restored. It is a classic model from the 1960s and much sought after are the models released in Japan for the kanji day feature.

Elegant watch face showing its day and date features. The day feature on the Japan Domestic Model (JDM) is in kanji.
Close-up of the bottom part of the face
Side view showing the crown
Close-up of the signed crown
The other side view
The case back showing it to be waterproof (Parawater is Citizen's innovation) and automatic.  Shown also are the serial numbers. Based on the serial numbers and one reference for Citizen movements, this watch was produced in June 1967 and the 13,151th watch of this model produced.
The obligatory wrist shot
I did some research and downloaded a nice reference for Citizen Watch movements. This watch is likely powered by either a 5201 or 5204 movement at 18,000 bph. First released in 1965, this model sold for either 16,500 JPY or 19,500 JPY (about 71,500 JPY or 84,500 JPY in today's money after factoring for inflation). These were expensive watches back in the day!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mortima Super Datomatic 2-crown vintage divers' watch

An interesting piece in my collection is this diver with two bezels. It is a French brand and somewhat a rare piece. It is not an expensive one but definitely a collectible watch because of its characteristics.

The colors in the second bezel (inside) reminded me of the Philippine flag. The red, white and blue though is more easily representing the French tricolor.
There are two crowns - the one at 2 o'clock is for adjusting the inner bezel and the second at 4 o'clock is for adjusting the time and date.
This is a thick (bulky?) watch. It is also quite hefty.
A close-up of the two crowns and the curve on the case that makes it a comfortable watch to wear.
The case back shows the diver and fish. The lugs on the watch is actually 19mm but the space allows for me to use a 20mm nato strap.
The obligatory wrist shot
The watch movement is a Cattin C66 (CLD) manual wind that runs at 18,000 bph with a reserve of up to 40 hours.
This is actually another dependable watch in my collection. I regularly wind it though I don't use it often. It provides me with a good reference for other watches that I choose to use for the day. I also regard this as a weekend or casual day watch and I'm more likely to use this when at home or when we go out in the weekends.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Chocolate review: Meiji The Chocolate Sunny Milk

The last of the three bars of Meiji's special release is this "Sunny Milk", which is a dark milk chocolate that's supposed to have 54% cacao - 1% lower than Brilliant Milk's 55%.

The purple accent in the packaging makes it distinct from the other chocolate bars from this line by Meiji.
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box - these are basically all in Japanese so the local distributor provided a sticker to at least translate basic information about the chocolate including the nutrition information. The expiration date is quite clear as well as the temperature recommended for this chocolate.
There are three small bars inside the box; each individually wrapped.

We thought that "Sunny Milk" tasted very similarly to Brilliant Milk. These were definitely better chocolates than the regular Meiji Black. If your noticed, the three bars are actually award winning chocolates as indicated in the front of the box. We would definitely agree. The only issue here, I think, is the price vs. quantity of the chocolate. For the same price you can get a bigger bar of a dark chocolate of comparable quality.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Chocolate review: Seattle Chocolate Hiker's Trail Mix

The Clairvoyant brought home a couple of these bars from here trip to Seatlle last summer. She got it at the airport on her way back home. At first, we thought this was just like any souvenir chocolate like those you find in the form of elephants at Suvarnabhumi Airport or those in the shape of the Merlion in Changi Airport. This turned out much better than those.

This is an interesting dark chocolate bar because of the trail mix and truffle.
Details on the chocolate at the back of the wrapper. I don't know know if the wife noticed it but the manufacturer of this chocolate is supposed to be "Women Owned" based on the
Here's the wrapper when spread out. I thought this was one of the good designs I've seen on a chocolate bar's packaging.

The chocolate bar retailed for about 240 pesos at the time (based on the prevailing USD:PHP exchange rate last May) and we both could say this was a good buy. The trail mix part of the choclate proved to be something enjoyable as you have something to chew that makes the tastes linger in your mouth. I would imagine, too, that the chocolate would be a good energy booster for people on the go including hiker's or those who like to walk (e.g., commute). This is definitely another chocolate we'd want to pick up the next time we see it.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Chocolate review: Meiji The Chocolate Brilliant Milk

I wrote about these 'premium' Meiji chocolate bars we picked up at the supermarket. There were three types of chocolates in bars available at the supermarket and I bought one of each.

I find it interesting how they named these chocolates. This one is Brilliant Milk and is described as 'dark milk' meaning it is milk chocolate containing 55% cacao.
Back of the box with all information about the chocolate including a spider graph of its attributes.
There's not really a lot of translation in English so it will take some effort for one to decode the details.
 Close-up of the back of the box
The box has an interesting design including
One of the chocolate bars inside the box. The net weight of the chocolate is 50g so one pack contains a third of 50g; perhaps just enough to satisfy one's craving for chocolate.
As with the previous bar I wrote about, this chocolate is smooth. These are on the expensive side though and I think the quality doesn't make up for the quantity if we're to consider prices. Bitin! One would be better off purchasing a larger bar for the same price range.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Raketa manual wind vintage watch

Russian or more specifically watches from when there was still the Soviet Union or USSR are collectible. I have several of these and made sure these were 'Made in the USSR' rather than 'Made in Russia'. I had featured a couple of these watches, namely the two Vostoks (Amfibia and Komandirskie) I have. Here is a Raketa manual wind that's simple yet very efficient.

Simple dial with baton hands. No complications on this watch.
Side view showing the crown
The other side view
The back had an interesting etching on it
Made in the USSR, this watch is powered by a 2609.HA movement that beats at 18,000 A/h with a power reserve of 45h.
The watch the first time I tried it on with the leather nato strap it came with
I changed the strap on this watch and it instantly made the watch an accessory for casual days. It has a very simple face that makes it easy to match with most nato straps including leather ones.
I have timed this twice. One time the reserve lasted about 42 hours and another about 43 hours. Not at all bad for an old watch.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Citizen "Bullhead" automatic vintage watch

Among my Citizen watches is this much sought after bullhead. It is fondly called that due to the buttons and the crown located at the top of the watch that makes it appear it has horns. I have the popular "panda" look for the dial with the black sub-dials of the chronograph against a white watch face. 

The bullhead got its name from the location of the crown and buttons for the chronograph.
Side view
The other side view
The signed crown (CTZ) and buttons for the chronograph
Case back containing details for this watch model. The numbers can be decoded to show that the watch was manufactured in February 1981.
The lumes are working perfectly
Close-up of the dial showing the day and date features

This watch is powered by Citizen's 8100A movement, which beats at 28,800 A/h with a power reserve of 40h.
Wrist shot for this interesting piece in my collection
This watch keeps very good time and has a decent power reserve that usually lasts about 36 hours when not in use. I must admit it is on the bulky side in as far as watches go and I only use it for casual days.