Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Thu May 26, 2016 1:01 am

Well, have bought and planted about $700 worth of perennials, getting mulch this weekend. Yeah, carefree life in a 55+ community, fat chance. rooms need painting, gutters need cleaning, wife wants hardwood floors(arggh). Working harder than I ever have to support this "cheaper" way of life. Health insurance is way over the top this year and going up next year. Wife can go on Medicare in June, she is dragging her feet. At least the watches keep me calm.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Marty101 » Thu May 26, 2016 10:25 am

Join the club. I keep thinking "This year we finally have enough flowers"-HA!-I have finally accepted the fact that flowers around the house will forever be considered movable and replaceable. After all,my wife just points and says "this one here" and "that one there" and it happens. Couldn't be easier.
Gutters? No more ladders for me beyond how high I'm willing to bounce. $50 gets me two cleanings a year,including the garage. Not bad,huh? :)
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Thu May 26, 2016 9:59 pm

I still like to do my own maintenance though my wife thinks I am nuts. I have to get on the roof to look at the area where I lost a few shingles right where the HVAC folks ran the new vent for the gas furnace. They blew off in the last storm we had, have to see if I can replace them. Well, off to our chapter workshop.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:42 pm

Well, it was a slow summer watch wise, no great purchases, repairs or marts. bought a couple of watches a couple of days ago on a whim from an antique center so paid more than I should but they were just languishing in the case. The veggie garden was a disappointment this year, it was our first trying pot gardening in our new place. The deer and chipmunks ate most of the good stuff. The weeds had a great season though. The development takes care of the lawns and didn't try any weed killer until about a month ago so chick weed and broad leaf were rampant. Thank goodness for the new guy, Joe, who is maintaining the golf course here, he did a complete turn around with the greens and fairways, making sure the flowers were growing in the planters and woods and not on the greens. I am still secretary of Chapter 142, 5 years later, no one wants the job. It took 5 years to get a new president. We meet on Thursday nights for a repair class of sorts and then have bi monthly meetings/marts. Attendance has really fallen off at the marts and there is very little buying or selling except for the silent auction for cheap items. We have gone from a robust group of about 50 to a meager group of about 20 regular members, the rest are fringe members, coming when they get the call, never paying dues. We have a quality speaker this month in David Sperling doing a talk about Burlington County, NJ clocks and are trying to do a joint meeting with the northern chapter 25 but haven't had any solid responses from any of them yet. Chapters 25 and 142 were one group about 30 years ago then split up for some unknown reason. Well, time for lunch, then golf, then take apart one of the watches I bought this week to see why it won't tick for more than a few minutes, not a Waltham but an anonymous Swiss movement from the early 1900's, clean inside and the case looks good. I will update on the watch next week.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Neilywatch » Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:19 pm

Richie -

The answer to the last part regarding the chapters 25 and 142: They didn't split up. Rather the founding president of 142, John Cammarata, had a falling out with the officers of #25 back in 1988, so decided to heck with them, he would start his own chapter. When I first joined 142 in 1992, they had over 200 members. But of course, eBay happened....

I think Ed Eastmond is the last surviving founding member of 142, you should talk to him about those days. IMO, NAWCC's days are numbered - the brass refuse to make any changes to any of the formats, either online or to the marts. So, all the younger people that are interested have joined the internet clubs, instead of NAWCC.
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:40 pm

I agree, Neil, people can't just join a local chapter and hang out, they must join the National first which turns most people off when they see the $90 price tag. Even existing members are balking at the new rate. I am surprised that marts aren't doing well, People on ebay are bidding the prices on average 12 size Walthams way too high, movements $50-60 while you can't get $40 at a mart even in a gold filled case.
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Stephan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:30 pm

The National is killing off the chapters with their stupid rules.
They haven't woken up to the fact that strong vibrant chapters will in turn strengthen them.
They can't see past the dollars

I liken it to a drowning man standing on the shoulders of his mate in order to stay afloat.
It won't work for long.
Learning all the time.
Stephan Gaal

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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:01 pm

Well, headed to the Chapter 2 mart in New Rochelle, NY tomorrow to see if there is any interest in buying or selling watches. Things have been fairly stagnant recently with only the scrappers making any noise. They seem to send out a scout to see what is for sale in the mart room, report back to the guy with the money and then he comes around and tries to play the bundle game and trying to get you to cut your prices drastically. If you go to their tables, there is nothing but junk for sale, I don't think they even save the movements. It has been disheartening lately. My chapter, 142 in central NJ had a mart last month, no sales other than a guy selling bargain clocks for $10 each. We had a good speaker in Dr. David Sperling on tall case clocks from the Flemington, NJ area and the subtle differences between East Jersey, West Jersey and Bucks County, PA clocks. On another note, fall is here with the beautiful leaves which are just about gone already. Golf is almost finished for the year for me. Had to bite the bullet today and get real glasses for reading, have some floaters in the eyes and the beginnings of cataracts but luckily no degeneration or diabetes related ailments. My distance vision is still pretty good and my night driving is still good as well. Have lived in a retirement development for a little over a year now, just can't adjust to the silence around here at night, all meetings are held during the day which I can't attend as I am still working full time so no real chance to get involved in any activities. Kind of wish I never let my wife talk me into it. We are nearer the middle two kids and two grandchildren but don't see them anymore than we did before, actually a little less so. Had to have a transmission put in my '14 Mustang under warranty, "only" took them 3 1/2 weeks to get it in the shop, open it up and get the warranty to pay for it, ridiculous. I work for these automotive warranty companies and hear about the anger from the people who have them over the nitpicking and overly long waits to get anything done, I had to complain to the warranty company and I do work for them. The dealer still did a so-so job and the tech was supposed to be the "good" one. It is out of warranty as of this week so I have to go back to repairing it myself, at least I will get a quality job. Well, enough complaining for now, the wife is out shopping with her daughter, see how broke I am by the end of the day.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Marty101 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:52 pm

Hey Rich. I can't help with those tables selling junk,but I do have good news about your eyes. I had cataract surgery last year. My eyes were borderline but I needed the best vision possible for working. I explained to my doc' about what I do and how I needed to see close-up color changes etc.
If I was borderline I can't imagine really needing the surgery! It was fantastic. Very fast,recovery was nothing,and the difference was unbelievable. Colors came alive,everything looked brand new. A week or so after the surgery, the doc' laser zapped several annoying floaters I had. That was even easier; a couple ray-gun-like zaps and those floaters are gonesville. Don't waste time thinking about this,Rich. Make an appointment and get yourself some new eyes. This tech really works. I've advised anyone who will listen. :D
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:36 pm

Well, time to recap 2016- a cancer scare with my wife, luckily just ovarian cysts, a faint and fall resulting in a severely cut scalp on her part, a readjustment of her medications was needed. Signing her up for social security, still waiting on that. Disc issues with me resulting in an epidural pain block which has worked wonders, After that, a few new babies from Ebay and marts, a clock from a trade for a watch, still serving as secretary of Chapter 142 in central NJ, I am now trying to work on a clock with very limited success due to the cost of the tools to re-bush the plates. Played more golf this year than the last few years. Got a couple of new vests to wear with my watches. Noticed that marts aren't what they used to be, very little buying unless someone gets it cheap, most of the good stuff seems to be staying home lately. No one shows up with movements to sell or even cases, usually just junk. No new buyers so the ordinary stuff just sits around. The whole industry has changed, young people seem to want bling in a watch if they are even interested at all. Our chapter had a little more action thanks to our new president and a great presentation by Dr David Sperling on East Jersey Tall case clocks. Hoping for a little more action this year.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:04 pm

Well, here we are in October. It was a long summer. Our oldest son had a liver transplant in April, he is, thankfully, doing well and driving up here from North Carolina tomorrow. Our second oldest son died of a heart attack in August at 38 leaving behind 2 thirteen year old sons. Our daughter had our 5th grandchild, a daughter, on Sept 23rd. my wife took a fall in the kitchen in July and is suffering from slight memory loss. I tore my right bicep muscle off and also the rotator cuff and subscapular muscle and they don't seem to want to heal. The doc says I am too old to operate on and will lose a lot of range of motion if he patches me up, what good is motion with no strength and constant aching? The rabbits, deer and chipmunks ate most of my tomatoes. the cucumbers just did not flourish. Got 3 peppers, for some reason the critters didn't eat them. The critters ate all of our hostas, lilies and other stuff. It is about 80 today, just a little too warm for October for me. I guess I will play golf. Haven't purchased much watch stuff lately as no one is buying at marts these days. I have so much stuff maybe I should resort to Ebay? Hate to do that but.....Our widowed daughter in law is not talking to our 3rd oldest even though he is the greatest uncle those 13 year olds could possibly have so holidays are going to be stressful at best, if one comes, the other will not. We are hoping the differences will work out. Attendance at our chapter marts is disappointing at best, I waste so much time writing letters, mailing things, etc and get no response or attendance. Anyhow, going to see our granddaughter in Brooklyn tomorrow. Hope everyone is well.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Marty101 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:23 pm

Rich,I can see you have been up against a whole host of challenges. I hope things get better-hang in there.
I can personally sympathize with the heat...this freak high humidity Indian Summer we're having was a curse; it is the only one I haven't enjoyed.
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby richiec » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:12 pm

Thanks, Marty, I worry more about my wife. the new baby was a godsend at this time, gives her new hope.
Richard Cross
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Marty101 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:09 am

I know you have your priorities in order just because you mentioned your wife,Rich.

In times of trouble,my sweetie and I act as one;we get our strength on our knees together as well. And we stand. :)
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
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Re: Rich's Blog, life in the "armpit" of America, New Jersey

New postby Glyn Meredith » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:07 am

Stay strong, Richie. You have come this far under the heavy load of tragedy. Your friends here give you their support and wish you well.
Posted on GH recently? Your posts keep us going.

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