This video describes and shows the work that we did in order to lay roof tiles and finish up some other work on a reconstructed wooden scaffold that will serve as the stairwell to the clock tower of the Saxon fortified church in the village of Magarei (Pelișor) in Southern Transilvania, Romania. This was the continuation of a woodworking project that took place this summer. That project/workshop was co-organized by Stiftung Kirchenburgen, the Saxon foundation with whom we’ve partnered for the conservation and restoration efforts there, and it was sponsored in part by the Prince of Wales Foundation and the Order of Romanian Architects.

This part of the work was done by ourselves, Asociatia P.A.T.R.U., our NGO that we set up for the specific purpose of conserving and restoring the parochial house and fortified church in that Saxon village. I invite you to visit our NGO’s website and find out more about the work we’re doing.

Merry Christmas!

Places

Laying the roof on the stair scaffold of the Magarei Kirchenburg

Gallery
A 1970s Tressa Automatic Watch
My Watch Collection

A 1970s Tressa Automatic Watch

This is a 1970s Tressa Automatic wristwatch with an Incabloc 25 jewel movement and date function, serial number 81272. I purchased it in the autumn of 2016 and had it fully serviced by my watchmaker. This watch keeps incredibly accurate time and is very sturdy, in spite of its currently low market price. It has about a 2-day power reserve. The date can also be adjusted separately from the time, once again pretty surprising for a watch of its price. The elastic metal band is also very nice, although it’s a bit tight for my wrist.

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A Guide To A Good Life

Learning English

This is the fifth video in a new series where I talk about the people, experiences and things that have helped me in life. Who knows, perhaps they’ll help you as well! In this one, I talk about how learning English well has shaped my experience as an immigrant to the United States, about how learning English is still very much of relevance in today’s world, and I also offer some comments on the state of immigration in the US and Europe.

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A 1950s MuDu Doublematic Watch
My Watch Collection

A 1950s MuDu Doublematic Watch

This is a 1950-60s (more likely 1950s) MuDu wristwatch with a 25 jewel Doublematic movement. It has a fairly unique metal mesh band that clasps securely around the wrist. It was gold-plated but most of that has worn off. I’ve had it cleaned, serviced and polished and it looks pretty good now. I’ve also had indentations refiled in the crown, because it had become so worn that I couldn’t adjust the time anymore. It works great now. I like MuDu watches, they’re affordable and fun to collect.

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How To

A research-based proposal for greening the world’s deserts

In a TED talk given a few years ago, a scientist named Allan Savory puts forth an interesting proposal for reversing desertification and climate change. After having worked in the field his whole life, the solution he found is an unlikely one: grazing livestock. They are commonly thought to destroy the land and contribute to global warming, but they can in fact, help restore its vegetation and thus begin to reverse global warming, if the grazing process is done correctly. Allan goes into more details in his talk, which I invite you to watch. What he proposes is a low cost solution that involves forming large herds and moving them over the land in a sigmoid pattern so they never overstay in one spot. His methods have successfully worked on multiple continents to reverse desertification and restore grasslands, so they’re proven. And even if his proposal has its detractors, who say the livestock will emit more greenhouse gases, you can’t argue with the results, which are an almost magical revival of plants, trees and water in those places where his methods are put into place.

More details here.

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A 1950s Elton Automatic Watch
My Watch Collection

A 1950s Elton Automatic Watch

This is a 1950s Elton Automatic wristwatch with a 25 jewel Autorotor movement. I purchased it in the winter of 2017. It has a matching metal band and gold plating that has pretty much worn off. It’s a watch that’s been worn a lot, both by its previous owner and by me, because it’s quite comfortable to wear, accurate and fairly shockproof. It was working fine when I got it, but I sent it in anyway for a thorough check and lubrication, plus a replacement of the plexiglass.

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