Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2005 2:40 PM. The previous post in this blog was BREAKING NEWS: b!X is back!. The next post in this blog is Get in the mood. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, November 21, 2005

A tale of two watch repair shops

I'm a cheap watch kind of guy. The batteries in both my cheesy Timexes were gone, and so I headed out to get them replaced. I always go to the Meier & Frank at Lloyd Center for this, and so off I dutifully went.

They've taken all reference to the watch repair operation off the store maps and directories in that place, but I just went to the spot I always go, on the top floor, and it was still there. In charge on this particular day was a young woman who didn't exactly look like a watch repair person. She was working with a wooden mallet on something, and studiously avoiding any eye contact with me or the two other middle-aged white guys who were waiting for her. Not so much as an "I'll be with you in a moment." After at least five minutes of that (tick tock), she finally emerged to hear my request for assistance. She took one look at the first of the watches and informed me that the battery simply could not be replaced, since the back of the watch could not be removed.

Of course, that was totally wrong -- there was a replacement battery number printed right on the back of the watch -- but why argue? I wasn't going to let this person open it, anyway. Out of the mall I strolled.

After brooding about it for a while, I headed over to the Hollywood Fred Meyer jewelry store. There a very watch-repair-looking guy took one look at the timepieces and informed me that a new battery could be installed in each for 10 bucks apiece. Agreed. In 10 minutes it was a done deal. I paid him in cash and was out of there.

Neither of these watches is worth much more than 10 dollars, but I'll be darned if I'm going to throw them away when all they need are batteries. And I'll be darned if I ever set foot in that Meier & Frank watch repair shop again.

Comments (16)

Yeah, I run into that a lot. If the repair person does not look like they were out of high school when the technology was introduced, I go somewhere else. I have some vintage motorcycles and have been told that such models were never made by a few guys behind the counter. Even when the bike is right outside the window.

Jack--FYI, there is also a good watch repair place inside Sorrel's, at 37th and Hawthorne. (I'm not affiliated with the store in any way, shape, or form.) Watches are one of those things that I think we're supposed to throw away now, rather than have repaired. Into that categories you can also put phones, DVD players, shoes, and virtually everything else. My dad's mom, who raised a family in the midst of the Depression, would go bonkers if she could see how wasteful people are. Beyond the money, there's something, I dunno, lame about the mentality that we should just throw something only slightly broken away and buy a new one rather than having it repaired.

I replace the batteries myself. I picked up a set of very small screw drivers years ago for $2 at Walt Pellett's Surplus. Every watch or device I've had has a small slot on the back where a small screw driver can be used to gently pry off the back or slots that allow pushing with a screwdriver blade to screw the back on or off. Batteries can be gently slid out of their compartments or the cap holding the battery in place can be removed by removing the screw holding it in place. Onece removed, I take the spent batteries to Radio Shack or a supermarket and buy the prescribed replacement #s on the backs of the batteries. The stores will dispose of the old batteries.

The key is to avoid forcing anything. If you find yourself stalemated, you can put everything back and then take it to a repair concession in a store.

Kassab's at Clackamas Town Center (although I believe there is also one in Lloyd Center) has provided me excellent watch repair in the past. Once I went in to get a battery replaced, and it ended up being a repair that would cost more than the watch was worth, so they didn't charge me a dime for their time diagnosing, or the new battery that they placed in my watch in the meantime.

You just saved me a trip, thank you! I have a Timex watch that needs a new battery, and usually go to that Meier & Frank as well. Now I know to go elsewhere instead...

The next time you get a watch, though, you might want to check out one of those solar-powered battery watches. I had one (until it broke & I lost it) and it ran wonderfully for years.

I haven't shopped at M&F for years for the very reason you experienced.

In my "still shopped at M&F" days, I went with my sister to the downtown M&F- she wanted to buy a new table. She found one she liked, bought it, and then asked the clerk what she needed to to to have it delivered. The clerk told her to go to the back room and find the box with her table model # on it, then come back and get the clerk.

M&F used to sell tickets to events. Again in my "still shopped at M&F" days, I went to the ticket counter at the downtown store to buy tickets to the PDX airshow. There was a young woman behind the counter. I told her I'd like to buy 2 tickets to the airshow, please. The clerk said she couldn't help me, she didn't know how to run the ticket machine, perhaps I could come back later. I asked if she could find someone who knew how to operate the ticket machine and I wasn't in a hurry I could wait. The clerk said the only person who knew how to run the ticket machine was too busy "in the back". I turned around, looked at the empty aisles on that floor, and asked the clerk, "there is no one here but us. What could she be doing that's more important than serving your only customer?"

I forget what the clerks response was, but as I left, I told her I knew why the store was empty of customers. That was my last attempt to shop at M&F.

Maybe it will get better at the downtown store when there's a taxpayer-subsidized luxury hotel upstairs.

How old is the one on the left? My Timex sports watch has been around for thirteen or fourteen years. I wear it every day. I figure that's at least sixteen watch bands and nine batteries, not to mention all the cracks in the plastic casing from, um, smacking my arm into doorframes on a regular basis (no joke). "Takes a licking, keeps on ticking." Very true.

After a relatively brief time with more expensive watches, I happily returned to the Timex family many years ago. A simple analog face with a mechanical, monthless date window in place of the 3 and I am more than happy. Add a handy Indiglo light for nighttime viewing and I have the perfect watch.

The one on the right's actually older. I've lost track of how old these babies are. They're on at least their third watch band each.

That's really too bad. I had a buddy who worked at the Lloyd Ctr M & F watch repair shop back in the early 90's. He was a young lad who had learned his craft from some ancient watch repair master back east and was quite proud of the fact that watch repair was his trade- not just his job.
I too, took the inexpensive, no frills watch in for repair rather than replacement...

The watch repair shop at Meier and Frank downtown is closing and they are sending cutomers to your
"doesn't look like a watch repair person" girl over at the Lloyd Center. I hope she's prepared for the extreme rush.

Maybe she was just holding down the fort over lunch hour.

There are quite a few jewelry shops downtown that would do the job, aren't there?

I bet it will improve when Macy's takes over. It's sad what has happened to the once regal M&F store.

Folks say watches are throwaway--ok maybe. But what do you do with your one very nice dress watch. I can replace my own batteries on most, but this Citizen has a hellish back cover, I don't want to scratch it, I've had problems putting the back on high quality dress watches before ..

Freddy's here I come.

Try Bi-Mart where their batteries are about $3 and they replace them for you. Or, if you like Wal-Mart, they have batteries for $2.66 and if you are lucky and get one of the "older" assistants, they can replace for you.

I have 2 Swatch watches I bought in 1989. I always take them to jewelry store counter in the Hollywood Fred Meyers. 2 minutes, 6 bucks apiece and I'm on my way! I've also had the crystals on both watches resurfaced, numerous batteries replaced and the wristbands replaced on both.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics