Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Intermezzo #5

The exam candidates are studying at home for the final exams and the 5th grades are on exchange projects all over Europe. It's very quiet at the labs , so I took the advantage to inventorying all gear and chemicals at the labs, which is actually bit a dull and lonely work. To stretch my legs a bit. I had been lying on the floor grabbing all kind of bottles in the cabinet for inflammable organic chemicals so I needed a little bit clean air to remove the smell of esters aromatics out of my airways.
I decided to sent my Men In Yellow Frogman on a small adventure. Just for fun, just for a small intermezzo.
Of course you can't take a decent pic of my Frogman between some easter eggs, or someone wants to try it on...
Well, after some explaining, the easter eggs. Yummie!Taking rest in a chair. It's an exam project and my Frog has whispered in my ear it's very comfortable.Come on Froggie, time to go back to the labs!
I had taken some pics for the forthcoming theater play a week ago and later today. Just playing with photo shop. Two Princes (Spin Doctors)...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

#14 Taxi Driver sets feet in motion

I got a lot of great comments on my article of the Riseman. Of course, thank you very much for your support. If you like my little G-Shock stories, don't hesitate to leave a little feedback in form of a comment. Of course I can't always go on the road for a G-Shock or combine it with music. Friday evening I was thinking which G I would do next. As I had no idea, I just looked in my boxes upstairs and pulled out my Taxi Driver. I couldn't help it, but I immediately thought about this video. It's a sad story about a very special taxi. Maybe I should hunt down such a shirt. It would match my Taxi Driver very nice.

In January 2001 I obtained my first "Taxi Driver", the DW-6900H-9. It was before I discovered international auction websites. I bought mine from the Dutch singer and actress Charlotte Coppola.
I was very happy with my newest acquisition. I couldn't resist to strap it on my 6 month old son Bram and took a photo. It was very tricky, because he couldn't sit right then.
Charlotte melted when she saw this picture. Since we were both musicians at that time (I'm a lazy musician now), we corresponded some around that time.
Not much later I discovered eBay Germany. At that time a real Mecca for G-Shock hunting. You could find this model by dozens and they went often for very cheap prices to a new owner. In no time I had a second.
I was not the only one who liked this watch. My brother Paul was looking at this watch also with very interested eyes. So I gave away my first to my brother, keeping the second for myself.
Later I managed to get a new one and also a new red version (Red Zone) . I think if you look for one good enough, you will still find one for a nice price in Germany, though after 8 years hunting, I notice they become more scarce now. No wonder, it is a 1995 release.
When released, the G-Shock brand was just launched on the European market (October 1994). It seems there was a huge demand yellow watches. Also the DW-6630B-9 has been sold in huge numbers. Casio gave names for the G-Shock models (they actually recently stopped doing this). This one is called Taxi Driver.

I think the guy responsible for giving names to G-Shock models must have been a fan of the TV show Taxi. I was a fan of the show also, and also loved the music ("Angela" by Bob James, features on the album "Touchdown", which is somewhere in my record collection)
It might be possible the DW-6900H was originally only produced for the Japanese market. While overseas models show ILLUMINATOR and WATER-200M-RESIST in the dial, this model shows FOX FIRE and WATER-20 BAR- RESIST.
On the straps there are some tattoo like prints. One is of a spider web, the other a skull and bones on a cross.
The watch was designed for "Slashers", and sometimes also nicknamed Slasher (Japan). With Slasher Casio means board riders, like Snowboarders and skateboarders. "The soul foot in motion"appears to be US slang used by "Slashers. I always thought it was some kind of Engrish for runners.
A nice detail on this watch is the black resin buckle. It's made of a very hard kind of polyurethane. It is very comfortable on the wrist, because it feels warm. The combination with the black strap keeper makes a nice sharp contrast to the "Positive Yellow"straps and bezel.
I noticed there is one drawback with the resin buckle. Once a model with a resin buckle was sent to me in a paper envelope. Though the buckles are very strong and hard, mine didn't survive the stamp machine. When opening the envelope, the buckle crumbled out of the envelope in many pieces.
The DW-6900 is always been my favorite basic model. I still remember when I saw my first DW-6900. It was worn by a barman in Antwerp somewhere Autumn 2000. I had a little talk with that guy and I immediately knew for sure I had to get myself one too.
It doesn't not only look nice, this DW-6900 wears very comfortable. As far as I know all European DW-6900H models released in 1995 have the Japan M stamp. In 2005 there was a re-release of this model, which actually looked exactly the same. Only the back differs. The re-release is made in Malaysia.
One of the coolest things of the DW-6900 in general is the EL Backlight. It is very bright (it probably also consumes quite some battery energy). The face of the DW-6900 is probably best known from the movie Mission Impossible II. Ethan Hunt wears a heavily modded DW-6900, which appears full screen a few times in the movie.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

#13 Alle wollen Oben sein

When you ask me what article I am going to write next, I often don't know until the last days. Actually I am pretty nervous about finishing a second set of 50 G's. After this article I have to write another 37! Not yet a clue what to write next.
Often I got inspiration things that happen, things I see or hear. I was writing about the Gold Defender Frogman (which was linked to the white Tiger from the West), when I was listening to Justice (pronounce it like people in France do).
While I had linked gold already to D V N O. I discovered James Holden ("The Idiots are winning", just bought the CD), which looked great with the head banging hair, while Susan was actually listening to Mickey Moonlight's ever cheerful "Interplanetary Music" on my iPhone.
Writing a 50Gs article takes quite some hours of taking and editing photo's as also have to think a lot about the text. So after listening to The Idiots for the somaniest (sorry spell checker) time, I put 2Raumwohnung (Es wird Morgen) in my CD player. It had been a long time since I had listened to this CD. A strange feeling fell upon me when "Oben" was playing.
While the vast majority of popular music is companied with English lyrics, sometimes singing in your mother language fits much better (if English is not your native language). So do I love the music of Spinvis (pronounced the same in English as in Dutch, it is a word without meaning that could be translated as Spiderfish). As a true magician he conjures enchanting, mysterious and melancholic lyrics out of his high hat.
If everyone would just sing in plain English, how would "Je t'aime...mon non plus" by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg ('69) would have sound? Probably less erotic.

While I was listening to "Oben" I was thinking, this would be a nice bridge to a next article. Oben means above, the lyrics suggest Oben is a good place to be. Everyone want to be above. Be first and you can reach a higher place. You can explain the text probably in many ways, but I thought I should take the most simple one. The longing to be above, and who could be a better partner up there than the Riseman.

The Riseman is of course already featured here on 50 Gs a few times (Remember Vintage's excellent "The Dragon and Serpent" story). There was only one little problem for my story. The Netherlands are as flat as a pancake (excepted from some goosebumps in the south east). Luckily I live near the "Dutch Mountains", the dunes.
I set my Riseman at 0 meters (I live at -0.3 meter NAP, NAP = the Dutch average sea level) and drove off to the highest dunes of Zeeland. When we arrived I noticed a black car. I should have taken my Black Helios Frogman with me.
The slope to the "Zeeuwse Riviera" is well known by mountain bikers. It's a long very steep slope. I have rode a lot to the top and since I have an altimeter on my mountainbike, I know that the top of the second hill is at 55m, so I thought, let's test this Riseman.
Of course you should better test it on a higher mountain, but you must use what you can get. The foot of the dunes are at 5m NAP, as Bram here demonstrates.
There it is, the "pimple" (cyclist slang). Subdued voice: "Look Bram, a deer!" Bram: "WHERE, WHERE, I DON'T SEE IT!" A brown flash hides under the bushes.
The Altimeter is following our path pretty quick.
It's pretty high and I'm afraid "Allen wollen Oben Sein" do not apply to Bram, while the steepest part had to come yet.
This is a very beautiful belvedere to Zoutelande (Salt Land). You can see that behind the dunes the land is below sea level. Oben ist Schön...
"alle wollen oben sein
oben sein heißt super sein
wir haben unten keine zeit

jeder holt den andern ein
darum immer vorne sein
denn oben ist der blick so weit"
"wenn man einmal oben war
ist die welt erstaunlich klar
und die aussichten sind schön

unten ist es auch ok
doch wenn ich ehrlich in mich seh
dann möcht ich immer oben sein"
oben macht frei
oben macht schön
bleib ganz kurz stehen
hast du alles gut gesehen

höher geht`s kaum
die ist dein traum
ewig hier stehen
hast du alles gut gesehen
es wird schon runter gehen"
Finally we reach the highest peak. The Riseman tells us the correct hight. 55m. Exactly the same altitude my bike computer and my GPS show when I am cycling here. I'm afraid it will take a long time, before I will ride here again. My broken elbow is healing very slow and cycling is still painful.
"viele schafe trocknen schon
in zweiter dritter generation
doch auch die erde oben dreht

ich seh viele klammern fest
an jedem der sich klammern läßt
und hoffen nur daß er gut steht"
"mit einem kleinen risko
hilft man auch jemand anderm hoch
und beobachtete genau

wer sich länger oben hält
weiß wie und wo man runterfällt
denn andere fallen sehen macht schlau"
oben macht frei
oben macht schön
bleib ganz kurz stehen
hast du alles gut gesehen"
höher geht`s kaum
die ist dein traum
ewig hier stehen
hast du alles gut gesehen
es wird schon runter gehen"
When I took some photo's and enjoyed the "schöne aussichten" it's time to descent the small pimple. Let's see if the Altimeter works correct the way down.
Well, it seems we are back at 5m in the car. Although the ascent and descent were not world shocking heights, it's pretty nice to see it works.
After driving home the Altimeter shows sea level again when we reach home.

I've got a new lens (Canon 17 - 85 IS USM). Actually not special for EL backlights, but this pic looks pretty clear. Well, I know there has been already written a lot about this popular G-Shock model. Still I hope you enjoyed reading.Inspired by the lyrics of 2Raumwohnung - Oben (© I. Humpe, taken from from the album "Es wird Morgen", 2004)