Showing posts with label hobbies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hobbies. Show all posts

Friday, December 28, 2018

On my other hobbies and collections

Readers of this blog may have noted that I most often write about two topics: chocolates and watches. I have written many times about me and my wife's love for chocolates and share about the new ones we've eaten here. We love chocolates so much that we have also invested in farming of the main ingredient, which is cacao.

My brother recently gifted me with a Mazinger Z DIY from Bandai. He was in Tokyo recently (his first time to travel to Japan) and did some quick shopping for pasalubong in between his busy schedule there (it was a business trip).

Parts of the model figure of the super robot to be assembled - this was not unlike the Gundam's I've purchased and assembled before.
My other two models are made of die cast metal. I don't recall my reason for not getting a Mazinger Z before during my stays in Japan. Perhaps it was because I was looking to buy a really good model? I was quite meticulous about my Voltes V and was quick to purchase the UFO Grendaizer when a special edition came out just when I was in Tokyo one time.
This was just like putting together a Gundam (I had 2 but both perished in Ondoy's floods in 2009).
Here are the three models now on display in my part of our main shelves in our living room. The models are of the same scale so one can appreciate how large each super robot was compared to the other. Voltes V is the biggest among the three.

I will write about other 'passions' later. That includes other hobbies and collections that I have indulged in before including philately (yes, I used to collect stamps).

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Olma Caravelle Automatic 41 jewels

I got this watch from an online shop selling vintage or old watches. I did a quick research on it and the brand before getting the watch. Olma is an old Swiss watch maker that made nice automatic and hand wind watches. Many articles I've read about Olma state that it was popular in the Philippines during the 1960 and 1970s along with a couple other Swiss watch brands - Titus and Tugaris. This was perhaps due to these brands producing relatively inexpensive but good quality watches. By "relatively inexpensive" here, I am comparing them to the more pricey brands like Rolex, Omega, Longines and Tudor, which were popular but beyond the budgets of most people.

This watch kicked off my current fascination for vintage watches
The face had a mat finish and the brand name and logo seems to have survived the 'ravages' of time or corrosion. The model name is almost gone and you can barely see the 'Swiss Made' inscription at the bottom of the face.
The case shows some polishing (the seller probably did this to make it more attractive to prospective buyers) but the typical wear and tear are evident. The watch crown is somewhat unique.
The back shows an embossed sailing ship - a caravel
The movement
A close-up of the movement before I had the watch serviced. Unfortunately, they finished before I came back for it and had already sealed the watch so I wasn't able to take a photo of the "after".
At the back of the cover are etchings indicating the case to be a super compressor. This is an indicator of high quality found in many top brand Swiss watches.
The watch is currently with my brother. My father tried it on but observed that it stopped many times. The watch is both manual and self (automatic) winding but I guess its movement may already have some problems in the first place. My brother told me he will have it checked with another serviceman. It's not easy to find a good one who is trustworthy with these kinds of watches so hopefully he finds one and is able to have it fixed. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Of collections and model airplanes

I have several hobbies collecting various items of interest to me. When I was much younger I had several collections, too, including stamps (I was pretty much into philately at one time) and coins. My stamp and coin collections started with the stamps and coins Tatay brought from his trips overseas particulary from Japan and Indonesia. He made a lot of friends from different countries and they exchanged greetings on Christmas and New Year for a few years. It was later when he participated in an international training program in Tokyo when suddenly we had mail coming from many countries including Africa, Europe and Asia when I was encouraged by my mother to start a collection. She and a close cousin even bought me albums for where my stamps can be organized.

My coin collection started with Japanese coins but I eventually got more from various countries thanks to an uncle who was a seaman. His pasalubong to me were coins from the countries whose ports their ship called on.

Fast forward to the present and I now have a few active collections including my humble watch collection (mostly Swatches that I use regularly) and model airplanes. The planes aren't the kind you assemble from so many parts but rather the ones airlines and shops typically sell as scale replicas of their own aircraft. I only collect planes from airlines the wife and I have flown on. And so there are not so many of them but they have already occupied a good amount of space on my office shelf.

British Airways model plane being assembled. This was purchased by the wife during her most recent trip.
Qantas and Cathay Pacific model planes mounted, and British Airways model underway. I got the Cathay and Qantas models from a toy fair where one booth was selling models. I was tempted to purchase others but I had to keep by my code about airlines we have flown on.

The challenge for me is to find models of planes I've flown in the past and that includes one of the now defunct Northwest Airlines (acquired and now flying as Delta) and another of Egypt Air. I also don't have JAL and ANA planes. I hope to get one from each airline soon as well as those from Asiana and Korean Air.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Home made apple pie and cookies

Yesterday, I posted on the "baking exercise" at home last Saturday. I was only a fringe participant in that activity, which I would say was "highly anticipated" given that it had to be postponed several times due to various reasons including the inclement weather two weeks ago and our commitment to bringing our dog to the vet every Saturday the past few weeks (Our beloved Lab was very sick but he's better now.). This post is the conclusion to yesterday's as I feature the finished products. I would have had more photo for yesterday's and today's posts but for the hazy photos taken that I thought did not do justice to the apple pie and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies the wife and our good friend had laboured over (baking is not an easy thing).

Home made apple pie fresh from the oven
Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies still on the pan
Home made apple pie and cookies ready for eating
I may be biased but the wife and our friend did very well and came up with really good apple pie. The cookies were okay but we all agreed they could be better the next time around. I was telling them that the cookies were good enough and comparable to what we could buy from the major bakeshop chains but obviously, the perfectionists in us wanted cookies that were "5-star hotel grade." There will be a next time for this.

There's still some cookie dough (ready for the oven) in our freezer and I remember there's also another pack containing a second pie crust dough. I recall that the original plan was to bake two apple pies but after the first one and a few hours work, they had to be satisfied with one big pie. And there were only five cookies so perhaps the leftover dough can still be improved for the next batch of cookies to be better than the first. Anyhow, we are now looking forward to more pies (mango?), cookies and perhaps brownies, cupcakes and more complicated concoctions in the future.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's baking?

The wife and one of her BFFs got together last weekend to do some baking at our home. They had planned this activity a long while ago but the rainy days and other intervening events made them postpone until last Saturday. Their agenda focused on apple pie (which our friend loves and is her specialty) and cookies. Prior to the baking "spree" the wife already bought the ingredients and equipment including measuring cups, mixers, bowls and a rolling pin. Following are a few photos of them mixing all the ingredients for the wife's first foray into baking and the inauguration of our oven. I was only a bystander and took a few photos for posterity so I won't be talking in detail about the process nor the ingredients used.

Mixing ingredients for the crust.
Pie crust being flattened with a rolling pin.
Crust laid out on the pan
The apples are spread unto the crust on the pan.
Ready for the oven!
Next up: the result!

Friday, November 1, 2013

What sabbatical?

Relatives and friends always ask me what I'm doing during my sabbatical and I reply that I'm involved in some projects here and there. Of course, it's not really so much as a here and there as I spent a lot of time at our center instead of away from it. I was very much accessible for relatives, friends and colleagues during the last year. I didn't go out of the country or out of town for long periods of time as I had planned the year before when the Clairvoyant was still working in Singapore and we had our nice little home somewhere in Chuan Park. 

She came back to Manila months before I started my sabbatical and we indulged in other, more important projects. Unfortunately, the most important project of all didn't bear fruit but that is a continuing endeavor and despite all odds, I still believe we'll succeed somehow. The next big project is one that's been delayed but for our limited resources. Despite being professionals we weren't as well compensated as others nor do we come from wealthy families who can help us out with things like putting up a new home. This we resolved to do as we experienced another deluge right after the wife returned home. The importance of this second project was reinforced by another flood a few months ago. Then, of course, there is the prospect of an earthquake sometime in the future...and we wanted to have a safe, secure home where we could also live happily ever after.

I am thankful for the year off teaching and the schedules that go with it as well as admin work at the college, the institute and our center. The flexibility in my schedule, however, allowed me to take on bigger and more relevant projects. These included two local projects with an international agency, one international research with well known institutes, and a few smaller ones with my colleagues at the center. These were all very interesting projects that I chose to take on because they were not just important for me but also were important from a larger perspective, that of the country. At this point in my life and career and during this sabbatical, I felt I had to choose my projects carefully and not just take on anything that comes my way. Of course it helped that I was able to travel abroad and in the Philippines in connection with these projects. The travels afforded me the chance to make some sentimental trips to old haunts and I got to meet new people and strengthen old friendships.

I now look forward to teaching again at the university and perhaps at a more relaxed pace. There will be research, extension and admin work just like before but I will be looking at these challenges and applying my own style of time management so I can enjoy life. It's perhaps my way of getting out of the proverbial rat race.

And definitely, I'm already looking to the next sabbatical...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aircraft models

I like to think of myself as an unconventional collector. This is because I have several collections including stamps, coins, bills, model tanks, comics, toys, and others. My collection of collections now includes a few aircraft models including three commercial airliners and two bombers. The latest addition to my small fleet is an Airbus A380-800 I bought from Singapore Airlines, the first airline to fly the huge jets. This adds to my humble collection of two models - a Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 and a Cebu Pacific Airbus A320. The small collection is symbolic as I have been flying in and out of Singapore to visit the Clairvoyant and our home for a little more than 1.5 years in that city state.

The box with the plastic wrap
Photo of the box with the plastic cover off/removed
Contents - components still in their cases/wraps
Aircraft model parts
Underside of the model with my Swiss knife as a reference
Unmounted model aircraft
Testing the landing gears - they actually work!
Aircraft model mounted for display
Mounted model photographed using my BlackBerry Bold
Our humble collection of aircraft

Monday, June 16, 2008

Voltes V

The last time I was in Japan I made sure I made the rounds of shops specializing in anime figures. Many of these shops are found in the Akihabara Electric Town district easily accessible by surface train (JR) or subway (Ginza Line). The main objective was to canvass prices of figures of anime robots from childhood days. My wife and I specifically wanted to have a scale model Voltes V figure - one that had all the five components: Cruiser, Bomber, Panzer, Frigate and Lander.

After weeks of establishing the fair price for both new and 2nd hand models, we finally settled on a 2nd hand but never opened box. I won't mention the price but we were very satisfied with our acquisition upon returning to the Philippines. We're putting off the display until we get good shelves or a cabinet.

Here's a few photos of Voltes V from the box to the "volted in" stage. And, oh, you can see our dogzilla looking on in one of the photos:

The box containing the goodies;

Components: Cruiser is at top left, Panzer at middle left, Bomber at middle right, Frigate at lower center, and Lander at lower left.

(L) Voltes V brandishing the laser sword; (R) Dogzilla looks while the enemy volts-in

Future acquisitions are now being planned for Mazinger Z, UFO Grendaizer and the Getta robots. Here's looking forward to the next trip to Tokyo.