Saturday, March 9, 2019

Chocolate review: Chocolat Stella Intense Dark Chocolate

Here is a chocolate that we've enjoyed before. I couldn't figure that out at first as the maker changed the box design.

Intense dark chocolate 75% cocoa
Details at the back of the box
Nutrition information
The design changed but the quality didn't. This is still a very good chocolate, which, at 75% cacao, doesn't taste as bitter as that content suggests. It is still smooth and very enjoyable. Definitely a good buy for a dark chocolate.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

On homemade cheese cupcakes

I mentioned to the Clairvoyant that it seems that we won't be enjoying the cheese cupcakes we used to buy from the now defunct Shoppersville. The last bakeshop was now closed and I never thought my purchase of a box of cupcakes and brownies a couple of weeks before was the last time I would be getting these goodies. It looks like they are closed for good. 

And so the wife took some inspiration from that and after getting bit by the proverbial baking bug, decided to make some cheese cupcakes from scratch. It helped that she has a new mixer and got some 'assistance' from our daughter who had prodded her to make some cupcakes so she can take them to school for her baon.

Checking the cupcakes in the oven includes checking the temperature
The cupcakes were baking just right
Cheese cupcakes fresh from the oven
The cupcakes were great and reminded me of those we got at the old Shoppersville. Now, we know we can make these at home at least from time to time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

On the topic of retirement age

There is a new law that lowered the age of optional retirement to 55. This means people have the option to retire early and get the benefits due them. Prior to this, the law only provides for optional retirement at 60 for government employees. The private sector had different policies or rules according to the company. Thus, different companies may offer many versions of early retirement packages not counting rationalization plans and/or redundancies. But while the typical retirement age in the private sector is 60, companies often provide for extensions given the right conditions or situations. My father actually was given a rather generous extension by his company when he was about to retire at the age of 60. Being a senior manager at the manufacturing plant where he worked, he was even given a promotion - becoming plant superintendent until he finally retired at 65. But that is more an exception that the rule for private companies.

There is one senatorial candidate who says he will push for the extension of the compulsory retirement age to 70 years instead of the current 65. I share this view as from experience, there are many including my own parents who were still very strong and productive after 65. They could have contributed more in terms of their capabilities at that age. However, I also think the workload could be lightened in order to also reduce stress levels. Of course, other benefits may also be provided since senior citizens have different needs compared to younger people. I believe their minds (i.e., wisdom) and experiences can be invaluable to companies or organizations. I know a former High School English teacher of mine who is in her 70s who still works as a consultant for a BPO.

There is also the practical and financial aspects to support this proposal. One friend opined that even for people who had good paying jobs, there is much uncertainty as to whether their retirement pay (i.e., ) will be enough for them to have comfortable living for the rest of their lives. Of course, there are those who probably had good investments during their younger days but these are again more the exceptions than the norm for most Filipinos. Most people only rely on their GSIS or SSS pensions but there are many expenses that need to be considered aside from the typical necessities like food and shelter. There are also expenses related to health like medicines, check-ups and medical procedures. And not everyone own their homes or are in perfect health. And so it makes sense to give more options pertaining to retirement.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Junghans vintage watch with Cal. 687 movement

My watch collection includes several German brand watches. I have written about the Glashuttes, the Laco, the Anker and the Pallas. This time, I write about another watch that is also quite collectible - Junghans. This is a 17-jewel manual wind watch I acquired only this year.

This watch has a simple dial - no day or date feature. It says Made in Germany at the bottom of the dial.
Side view showing the crown
The other side view. You can notice that the strap had been 'customized' so it would fit the 17mm lugs for this watch. Cutting off part of the leather can be tricky as the strap might become loose if more material than what was intended were removed.
A very clean case back showing the watch to be of stainless steel, shockproof and water-protected. I assume this Junghans was a model intended for the international market as, unlike the Glashutte watches I previously featured, the features are in English (instead of in German).
Here is a wrist shot of the watch
The watch runs on a Junghans Cal. 687 movement running at 18,000 bph with an original power reserve of 45h. This was a photo I took with the old strap still on the watch.
I have worn the watch several times and it runs very well. Each time, it has functioned for more than 40 hours while gaining only a few second over that period. Not bad for a watch that was probably made between 1963-1969, which makes this 50 or more years old.