Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Most Satisfactory Sunday

Though I wouldn't say we did anything especially exciting today it has nonetheless been a most satisfactory Sunday.  The morning began rather mournfully, overcast skies with a threat of rain or drizzle. Basically it was a miserable day though nicely lending itself to melancholic Sunday morning music while sipping black coffee and surfing the internet.  This place, like any other on a cloudy day, is just as dull. Oddly I noted that the weather APP on my iPhone predicted a sunny day.  It turned out the prediction was correct.  By early afternoon we were under a dome of cloudless blue and brilliant sunshine. It has however remained somewhat cool because of the high winds out of the west.  We're apparently on the precipice of one of those refreshing, clear days (tomorrow) when the temperature will only reach 68℉ before climbing on Tuesday to 75℉, then up to 80℉ on Wednesday for the remainder of the week.

Before we had the stimulating benefit of the cerulean skies, our sole project of the day was to buy a cushion for one of the dining room chairs.  The dining room table accommodates up to eight people.  Because this spacious 3- bedroom condominium hasn't even one writing desk we've been obliged to commandeer the dining room table as a makeshift boardroom table.  Each of us sits at one end or the other, where we have assembled up our respective computers and (in my case) additional paraphernalia including a tiny remote sound system (to listen to my Sunday morning dirges), fitness watch and video camera (nearby for regular charging) as well as my iPhone.  On the same subject I have stored my iPad and another remote sound system in my bedroom so I have the advantage of streaming music there as well, plus being able to use the iPad for reading my latest out-of-copyright novels while reclining in the equally convenient boudoir chaise.

To get the cushion we had intended to drive to Target on W Intl Speedway Blvd (the main thoroughfare in and out of Daytona Beach to Interstate 95) but mistakenly detoured to Volusia Mall (on the same route) where there is a Sears Roebuck.  We decided the error amounted to a distinction without a difference.  While traipsing through the men's department in Sears en route to household furnishings we paused to check out what was available.  Inevitably there were items on sale. I landed a casual shirt for $9.99.  Normally I would have no interest in saving money per se but increasingly I am coming to the recognition that when it comes to things of a purely functional nature there is little point if any in imagining that quality will eclipse necessity.  And certainly if I were honestly to address the underlying vanity of it all, I am beyond help! If it fits, it works!

Only as recently as this morning this seemingly candid observation had filtered into yet another retail expedition of mine.  Somewhere in the past several days as I bounced around the internet examining things that appeal to me (let us say for the sake of argument, cars and watches), I stumbled upon a pocket watch made by Bulova.  So this morning, after considering several different purchase platforms - that is to say, on-line and bricks-and-mortar retail - I decided upon on-line since everything I was able to dig up about in-store purchases led me to believe the product was not available.  Pocket watches are as you might expect not a hot item. So then the choice came down to where I would order the product on-line.  While the Bulova site was an obvious choice I chose instead to get it through Macy's for the simple reason that the web site made it clear that if there were any problems with the purchase it could be returned to any Macy's store.  And there just happened to be on at Volusia Mall which I mentioned a moment ago.  While I naturally do not expect to have problems I like to know that a resolution can be had in person if necessary.  By contrast I have no idea in the world where Mr. Bulova lives and I'd prefer not to have to wrangle under any circumstances with a faceless person on the telephone.  So I ordered my watch from Macy's on-line.  And within minutes I received an email which confirmed they were in the throes of processing my order.

I can tell you I was feeling more than a little booms-a-daisy!  The subject of time pieces is never lost on me. This particular topic of pocket watches was perhaps closer to home than might be imagined.  Earlier this summer I had unburdened myself of an 18K gold Pochelon et Frères pocket watch and 9K gold chain by giving it to my niece, my father's first (and some would say favourite) grandchild.  The pocket watch had originally belonged to my father's father and had been given to me by my father's mother.  I believe the watch was initially owned by my paternal grandfather's brother.  The watch was by any standard an antique.  But like so many antiques it no longer functioned properly.  As much as I like time pieces and gold I cannot tolerate anything that does not work no matter what the camouflage. Rather than trying to sell the piece to some collector, I thought it was preferable to give it to my niece ("to keep it in the family" as my mother so often pines).  I had already expended over $1,000 on it several years ago - along with another sterling silver railway watch inherited from my father on which I spent over $2,500 - and I had therefore exhausted my interest in doing so again. By comparison the Bulova pocket watch - which suffered the indignity of not having a mechanical movement - was likely far more reliable.  But what compelled me - and I want to be clear that I don't get any thrill out of buying things merely because they're inexpensive and that they work - was that this Hunter-style watch is part of a Classic Collection. It is quite large (case diameter: 50 mm; case thickness: 11.45 mm) and the case, chain and clasps are made of stainless steel (which for me evokes the virtue of economic durability). There is also a 3-hand movement with calendar feature and a tuning fork logo etched on the case.

My euphoria was sustained throughout most of the day, elevated commensurately by the clearing skies. Upon leaving Sears Roebuck we diverted ourselves to a western destination to familiarize ourselves with the local Lincoln dealership.  It was a bucolic drive through remote parts of the area obviously dedicated to the retail automotive industry; viz., BMW, Volvo, Maserati, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, etc. At the Lincoln dealership we lingered only long enough to scope the service centre then left.  We thereafter redirected ourselves homeward but first a stop at Publix to collect necessary provisions.  Our visit there went smoothly as always.  We have been exceedingly pleased with what we have bought there. The stuff is always fresh.

After unloading and stocking our provisions at the condominium I donned my bathing suit and went to the pool where I began with a 15 minute submersion in the hot tub before swimming briefly in the pool.  When I regained the apartment and checked my email I discovered to my surprise and dismay an email from Macy's advising that my order had been cancelled. Without going into a tedious account of what ensued, suffice it to say that I was luckily able to contact their office by telephone (even on a Sunday) and explain why my billing address for my credit card did not match their records.  It turns out that in the process of handling my order they must have confirmed that it was my Canadian address which is aligned with my credit card, not the Florida address which I unwittingly ascribed.  Of course it was necessary to offer a blood sample, mouth swab and other indicia of identity before this portentous commercial activity was reinvigorated but in the end it all succeeded.  This in spite of my earlier trepidation about having to deal with remote, faceless bureaucrats! I received another email from Macy's confirming my new order (along with another charge to my credit card - plus my own verification that the first charge had been reversed).  Using even a US$ credit card did not overcome this technicality; and naturally one has to credit Macy's for doing their homework in spite of the theoretical annoyance for me. Live and learn, n'est-ce pas?

Contemporaneously with all this activity we swung open the balcony doors and have been indulging ourselves in the novelty of cool, fresh air (as much as I wallow with pleasure in the usual balmy, humid atmosphere).  The tops of the palm trees were being tossed about relentlessly.  The waves on the Ocean were white-capped. It is an indisputably windy day but correspondingly revivifying.  And all the moreso now that I have quelled this ephemeral drama. All in all, a most satisfactory Sunday!  I shall now repair to the kitchen to prepare my Cilantro salad and shrimp.

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