Friday, January 19, 2018

SIHH Is Not the Only Show in Town

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the SIHH in Geneva, 15-20 January this year, is one of Switzerland's 2 major watch shows, and the more exclusive of the 2 The other major show, Baselworld, happens in March.

However, there is another watch show going on right now in Geneva, which calls itself simply "Geneva Days." This began last year: it seems that LVMH, the company which owns the brands Tag Heuer, Zenith and Hublot, reacts to not being invited to SIHH by pulling a huge yacht up the pier at Geneva while SIHH is going and having their own show on the boat.

I have heard vague reports about one person connected with SIHH complaining about the goings on aboard this boat, saying that is shows that LVMH is violating some spirit of "fair play." I don't know whether such complaints have actually happened, and if so, whether they actually reflect the attitudes of many people at SIHH. I hope not: it's rather silly to be ostentatiously, notoriously snobbish, and complain about fairness at the same time. In any case, I don't think that SIHH has to worry about "Geneva Days" stealing their thunder. I only learned of its existence just now. My first reaction is that it looks like fun, as do LMVH's brands:

I mentioned in an earlier post that, as far as I could tell, a watch show is a lot like an auto show, although of the 2, I've only been to auto shows so far. When I wrote that earlier post, I didn't realize that the Detroit Auto Show is also going on at the same time as SIHH. It started on the 13th and runs until the 28th.

Here's Tag Heuer's official Geneva Days 2018 web page.

And here's the Detroit Auto Show's website. The show is officially called the NAIAS, the North American International Auto Show, but I have a feeling that if you call it the Detroit Auto Show, more people will know what you're talking about.

I wonder how many people find it inconvenient that SIHH and the Detroit Auto Show, or Baselworld and the Leipzig Book Fair, happen at the same time. Detroit is a lot farther away from Geneva than Leipzig is from Basel.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Still Don't Have Much to Say About SIHH 2018

However: Hodinkee has a huge awesome page full of links which say lots and lots about many of the most exciting new watches at SIHH, in Hodinkee's opinion, which is a lot more than Joe Blow's opinion, in my opinion. Seriously: if you like watches but you've never heard of either SIHH or Hodinkee -- it's a website dedicated to watches -- just click on that, and you'll thank me.

Here's a new watch at the SIHH which Hodinkee and a lot of other people (including me) are very impressed by: the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre École:

Dream Log: 17th-21st-Century Action-Adventure Movie

I dreamed I was on the set of an action-adventure movie, with a minor role in the cast but a major role as one of the producers, almost a co-director, having a lot of back-and-forth discussions with the director about how this film was going to look and sound.

Many recent movies have had scripts by Shakespeare in contemporary settings. This movie took its script from some later 17th-century English playwright, from a play with lots of swordfighting. In our movie, as in some of the above-mentioned Shakespeare movies, the swords were replace by guns. The setting was midtown Manhattan, in and among the skyscrapers.

Most of the characters had the hair and clothes of conventional 21st-century businesspeople, but many of the people carrying 21st-century guns -- not all of them -- had an appearance with strong 17th-century touches: very, very long 17th-century hair, knee-high boots, black jackets with a bit of brocade. I played one of the minor gunmen. Although in the actual 17th century the hair-impaired often wore long wigs, I had real hair which reached almost to my waist. Black and curly hair. It wasn't clear whether my hair was naturally black and curly or had been colored and curled for this role.

We didn't look like 17th-century people who had traveled here in a time machine, but like 21st-century people who had made some bold fashion choices. Besides our guns, there were other 21st-century notes to our appearance: belts, watches, gloves, etc, tended to be contemporary. Trousers which didn't balloon up. There weren't many 17th-century moustaches to go with the long hair, nor many 17th-century hats. Men were mostly either clean-shaven or had 21st-century-style trimmed beards. We didn't wear a lot of ruffles. The overall effect was very butch both for male and for female killers who borrowed fashion touches from the 17th century. When we didn't walk, we drove cars rather than riding horses.

The script, however, was pure Baroque, taking delight in long and elaborate sentences. All of the characters were very sophisticated speakers. Long speeches mixing aggression with wit took place in boardrooms, and punctuated gunfights in parking garages and on sidewalks.

Monday, January 15, 2018

SIHH 2018 is underway!

Here is the official website. SIHH -- the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, the International Salon of High Horology in Geneva, is one the 2 biggest watch shows in Switzerland, the other being Baselworld, which will happen in March. SIHH is smaller and snootier. The automobile industry has auto shows, the watch industry has watch shows. As far as I can tell, auto shows and watch shows are very similar, and if you'd been to one, the other would feel quite familiar. But don't quote me, because so far I've only actually been to auto shows.

My Facebook feed is full of reports from SIHH. It's all really overwhelming. I don't know much to tell you about it, because it's too much and I'm very new at this and I don't know how to process and evaluate the information. Also, I'm exhausted from setting up my new computer. The new purchase may prove to have been a total waste, besides being an emotionally shattering and exhausting experience. I wasn't able to import any downloads or bookmarks, as I wanted to, but I do have the same settings, which I didn't want to have anymore and which I don't know how to change. Also, the screen is smaller, which is bad, because I like large type. On the other hand, this new computer is touch-screen. How much difference will that make? I have no idea. I'll keep you posted if there's anything about touch-screen significant enough to mention.

Here is one of the watches unveiled today at SIHH, a piece by Urwerk which I like:

It's called the Black Platinum UR-210 Royal Hawk.

I may have a more detailed report about SIHH tomorrrow -- about SIHH, not from SIHH, like many horological publications -- and then again, I may not.

Horological means having to do with time and timepieces, but I think that these days it's mostly used to refer to watches and not clocks. Don't quote me on that, cause I'm not 100% sure. A few of the fanciest watchmakers also make clocks these days, and there may be some clocks at SIHH and Baselworld 2018. But again: don't quote me on that.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Too Much Coffee Man

I quit drinking coffee-- I don't know how long ago. I'm really bad at remember how long ago things happened. A few months ago. Maybe a year ago. I don't know. I was feeling kind of sick, and I wondered whether I'd feel better if I quit drinking coffee, and I definitely did feel better -- except for missing the taste of the coffee and the rush it gave me.

Anyway, lately -- I don't know how recently exactly -- I'd have one coffee every now and then. And it seemed that if I just had one, and didn't have one every day, I didn't feel sick. A couple of times before today -- I don't know how many times exactly. Maybe 3 -- I had gotten a small mocha from Sweetwater's Cafe, and it was really good. So good that today I felt like experiemting and getting a medium or a large.

So I went to Sweetwater's and ordered a large. Then, while they were making it, I noticed that the menu on the wall didn't say Small, Medium and Large -- it said Single, Double, and Triple.

I asked, Does this mean there's 3 times as much caffeine in there as in a single mocha. They said, Yeah. I said, Wow. I don't drink coffee every day. They said, We can refund your money and start over if you want. I said, No, it's fine. I like new experiences.

So I went to Kroger's, chugging on my triple mocha, to get a piece of school & office supplies which I needed, but, for my 2nd trip to Kroger's in a row, they didn't have it on the shelf. (Kroger's was where I had been getting this item for years.) Even though I was telling myself to be careful and cool it, because the unaccustomed caffeine level might make me inappropriately excitable, I exclaimed, "C'mon, Kroger's, get your shit together!" And I may have said it inappropriately loudly.

Then I thought that the drugstore at the other end of the strip mall might have what I was looking for. Then, on my way to this drugstore, I remembered that there was a huge office-supply store on the way to the drugstore. I drained the dregs of the triple mocha, went into the office-supply store, muttering a bit, trying not to mutter too much or too loudly. I'm not sure how well I succeeded in this attempt to control myself. The caffeine was really affecting me a lot.

Sure enough, they had exactly what I was looking for, and priced lower than Kroger's, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

Alas, however: there seemed to be only one register open, and there was a line. No self-checkout registers whatsoever.

But, aha! In another corner of the giant store, a young woman was standing next to what appeared to be a cash register, and a sign which said "check-out"! I approached and asked whether she could check me out. She gestured toward the other corner of the store, where there was one register open, with a line. I said, "Yeah, but there's a line." She said some things explaining why she wasn't going to check me out, things which I didn't quite hear, we went back and forth about it, several times, finally I turned my back and exclaimed, "Fine!" and took one stride toward the register with the line, when she said something else I didn't quite catch -- she was soft-spoken, and I've listened to a lot of extremely-loud music over the course of decades -- and I turned back, and, to my surprise, she was waiving me in after all. Seemed all I'd had to do to convince her was give up. I thanked her several times during the course of checking out.

I was waiting in a left-turn lane at a stoplight on the way home when a semi pulled up beside me in the adjacent lane, which was a right turn lane, but when the light changed, the semi turned left, cutting me off. I yelled a bit before telling myself 1) that I definitely had much too much caffeine in my system, and 2) that it was entirely possible that the driver of the semi was completely unfamiliar with this area and was not a dick at all, but a good guy doing the best he could. The drive home was less than a mile and a half altogether, but I yelled at several other drivers, and then each time reminded myself that I had way too much caffeine in my system and that it was threatening to turn me into a dangerous maniac.

But I got home okay, and put some of that excess energy to work writing this essay. I hope you enjoyed reading it more than I've enjoyed writing it. This is definitely too much caffeine. It's not pleasant. Well, live and learn. Maybe wait a week or more before having more coffee, and then, maybe a single mocha again. Maybe a year or two would be better than a week.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Computers: Anger, Confusion and Depression

So I thought to myself, "How complicated could it be to import files to Windows 10?" So I did a Google search for that, and got really discouraged really fast. I found a Dummies pages for Importing Files to Windows 10 For Dummies, and it was not as simple as I would've hoped. Am I all ready to do it myself, having read that part of that page? Haha -- no. And near the bottom of that page, it said: "Assuming there have been no complications, you're done," or something like that. And then it went on, talking about if there had been complications during the attempt to import the files, and I didn't even read past that. I was too frightened to keep reading, because I've been overwhelmed by complications I didn't see coming many times in my interactions with IT.

I've bookmarked that page, and I'll try again later to understand what it says. One thing upon which which every source I've seen so far agrees, is that I'll need an external hard drive.

I had sort of been hoping that I could connect the two drives, find a button that said, "Import files from drive A to drive B," and be done with it. Apparently it's not that simple.

But then again: maybe it is that simple. Maybe what is generally thought of as "importing files" is a lot more than what I actually want to do. I want to import some downloads and some bookmarks, and that's about it, I think.

For all I know, though, that is exactly what everybody else means when they're talking about importing files, too.

Assuming that I'm not so lucky that importing downloads and bookmarks is muuuuuch simpler than what people usually mean by "importing files," I might need some cable, too, in addition to the external hard drive. I don't know if I have any ethernet cable lying around here or not.

I could pay somebody else to do this. Apparently, these days, I could pay somebody to do this without even leaving home -- unless some people can but I can't for some reason I don't understand. I don't have a cloud connection. I don't know if I'd have to have one, or if the people importing my files would just use their own cloud connection, or what.

Another possible nightmare -- that is to say: possible as far as I know. It should be clear to some of you that I know just about squat about IT, while others of you no doubt have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about ("What's a 'down...load'?") -- another possible nightmare might be if there's no way to import files without also importing some settings which I made on the old computer, settings which I wanted to undo, but was unable to...

This really sucks. Bill Gates, I know you're combating malaria and AIDS, and that's wonderful, but this issue I'm having with importing files is driving me mad.

I suppose that it's POSSIBLE that if I read that Dummies page one more time, a huge light bulb will turn on over my head, and I'll be able to import download files from as many as 6 or more old hard drives which I haven't thrown away, just like that, as easy as anybody could ever peasy. I'm just having a very hard time imagining that this will not be very painful and expensive and that all sorts of things will go wrong, whether I try to do it myself or pay someone else to do it.

Thomas Middleditch's character on "Silicon Valley" had a big dramatic moment when he told off some very good-looking person and said that no-one would ever be able to understand nerds' pain. I got mad and started yelling at my TV during that speech. Maybe if you nerds made products which everyday people understood how to use, you'd be in much less pain, because everybody would love you.

Is more or less what I angrily yelled at my TV. Maybe if, when someone shared some of their frustration at IT with nerds, and their reaction was something other than to laugh and not help -- maybe that would make both nerds and others happier. Maybe if you were less obsessed with taking revenge on the whole world and more interested in interactions of friendship and trust, your lives would improve in ways which you presently can't imagine.

Guess we'll never know, huh, nerds?

Sorry. That was uncalled-for. I'm just... This issue with importing files is frustrating me.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Trump Insults Immigrants in an Obscene Way in Oval Office Meeting

The Washington Post reports:

Trump attacks protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries in Oval Office meeting

"President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

'Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?' Trump said, according to these people, referring to African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met Wednesday."

Does the fact that he thinks this way about those countries and the people who live there surprise me? No. It was already as clear as could be that he's a despicable bigot. Does the fact that he doesn't know any better than to talk that way in a bipartisan meeting surprise me? Actually, yes. But only a little bit. He's clearly coming unraveled. What really continues to surprise me is the way that top Republican continue to act as if everything is just fine. But the longer they do that, the more we Democrats will gain in November. So, the human being in me is appalled, while at the same time the cold-blooded politician in me is delighted.

And both of me are curious about how Norway will react. (With more or less the same horror as normal decent people everywhere, I should imagine.)