From Jim Skelton’s Facebook page:

“Last week I posted that I would have an announcement coming soon. Well, today is part one of that announcement. I am retiring from TV! This is a decision long in the making, and was not made lightly. I begin a new chapter in my life, filled with opportunity and excitement. My family will be leaving Miami and relocating to Dallas Texas in April. I am currently on my way to the airport to meet my realtor in Dallas to begin the search for our new home.

I will not be on the air this weekend, but will be on the following weekend, and hope to enjoy my last few shows with all of you. To clarify, I am not leaving to go to another network, the next few shows will truly be my last ever on TV. I have enjoyed my 10+ years doing what I love, sharing my passion for watches with all of you. I’m fortunate to have made a connection with so many people, and gotten to know you and your families over the years. You’ve allowed me to do what I love, and invited me into your homes, and you’ll never know how truly grateful I am for that. It’s time now for me to share my other passions with the world, in a totally different venue, but one that everyone will have access to. In the coming weeks I will follow this up with the rest of the details, but I am still ironing everything out at this point. This time around I have the freedom to share everything about my upcoming adventures, without any silly contracts prohibiting me from disclosing details of where I’m going and what I’m doing. Thank You all so much for your support and I look forward to what lies ahead for myself and my family. Stick around, I hope to surprise you”
The much loved, and equally maligned, former host of the distant number three shopping network, ShopNBC, ShopHQ, Evine has called it quits and is leaving DirectTV channel 227 where he barks for SWI. Unlike ShopNBC, where he was fired, we’re not sure if he is the one calling the shots on this move or not. I’ve wondered what his baggage would mean to Clearlake Capital Group, the investment firm that bought SWI back in December of 2012. Without Lior to protect him and corporate wolves focused on profit and flying below the radar, what would happen with Jim? I’ll state that I have zero knowledge of his contract details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Skelton was working for base, plus commission. With watchgeeks.net gone, how was Skelton marketing to anyone? His FB page revealed thousands of fans that always lamented their financial woes whenever he added product placements for his shows. He couldn’t have been selling much.  I’d hardly call his Strider watch collaboration with Android’s Wing Liang a success as the price was halved for a few months and he still hasn’t been able to move the total production of 500 units. My prediction: Jim Skelton makes a move into knives and tries to duplicate the success he had in TV horology with the apparent vacuum left by the exit of the Frost Cutlery guys.
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IN a marketing move that seems to have fallen flat, the Invicta Watch Company created a rig with cameras to be slung under a weather ballon and launched it. The result: they could have achieved the same result at the local, Hollywood Florida Olan Mills.

I’m not sure exactly what the expectation was other than attempting, all be it way too belatedly, to ride the coat tails of the Felix Baumgartner record breaking jump that occurred back in October.

Details are lacking on the Invicta news page which is interesting because one would think Invicta would be milking this for all that it’s worth, I mean as much as sending watches up on a weather ballon can be milked. Of the 36 timepieces sent up, only pictures of three have been released by Eyal Lalo. Might the others be suffering from failing movements? Might hands be falling off on the edge of space as they appear to do here on Earth? Surely if the images and the high speed video that is promised do not show up, the conspiracy theories will follow.

One suspects that these timepieces will probably be sold at a premium with an official certificate of authenticity that they have been on the edge of space, along with t-shirts and other products.

The public is speaking and not very favorably:

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BETTERSKILLS combs the Net for information and does find it in really unusual places. So it was quite a moment when I managed to find this latest revelation of Invicta’s questionable marketing on the propaganda site that the watch company finances, watchgeeks.net.

The latest revelation comes from a WG member who purchased the turquoise watch “a few months ago.” It was presented as having a “genuine turquoise dial.” But yesterday, Michael “Fuckin” Davis was presenting the same watch on ShopNBC and fawning over the dial.

So what the hell is Howlite?

It’s a silicate mineral often used to replicate turquoise. In nature, the mineral color is white or grey with dark stripes and a porous structure that allows it to accept dyes uncommonly well. This leads to some dealers pawning it off as real turquoise, which raises the price considerably with some claiming that even jewelers have difficulty telling the two minerals apart. The Mohs scale rating of Howlite is half that of Turquoise typical hardness of five to six meaning that it can easily crumble and fracture.

SO it was first sold as Turquoise, months later as Howlite and on Amazon as Turquoise: “Textured accents and a bold dial give the Invicta Men’s Collection Stainless Steel Turquoise Stone Dial Watch eye-catching style in an easy-to-read design.” Obviously, the original poster feels cheated, and why wouldn’t he? This isn’t the first time that Invicta has been caught making questionable claims regarding a material or origin of a watch; look at just the scandals this year alone.

As expected, one of the Yellow Shirts jumped into the thread with the now worn out refrain of “There’s just not enough time in a day to be worrying about a thing like that.” and “Buy the watch for cheap, and enjoy how it LOOKS.” Personally, I’ve never understood how anyone could seriously accept this logic. How big of a vapid, mindless moron follower yearning for acceptance do you have to be to get screwed and smile, asking for more?

Would you take that stance with a car? A house?

I bet Invicta Watch Company cannot wait for this year of failure and revelation to end. I can’t wait to see what raspberries are in store for next year!

I love the iPhone.

Probably under my wife and kids, parents aunts and uncles; ahead of Pretty Ricky the family cat, is the warmth iFeel to that device. I still use my original 16 Gig  Gen 1 phone around the house as my primary internet device. Taking it for a ride experientially similar to a cruise in a well-maintained but vigorously driven Galaxie 500. My love affair with the device and interface has never waned and I find it unlike any other thing I’ve ever owned – It completes me.

Yet I am writing this blog on a PC running XP and not an iPad or iMac and quite frankly, when glazed eyed zealots ramble at me, I look down at the ground and speed up my pace. I’m not one of these people who so love Apple to the point of spending several hundred dollars to destroy one on Youtube to make my point as well as become the new Chocolate Rain guy. But after browsing through the Gizmodo blog, I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

To me the real story is how Gizmodo is claiming to have come into possession of this phone. In the piece, How Apple Lost the Next iPhone, Jesus Diaz lays out the story, complete with a posed picture of the supposed loser and a screenshot detail of his Facebook picture and name. Really – you expect me to believe that this guy made repeated calls to and not one help desk no-it-all picked up on his call and procured the phone?

I now see reports that Gizmodo paid between five and ten large? More so they were paid as much by a marketing firm on behalf of Apple to blur the line between fact and fiction and generate hype ahead of the newest handsets launch; creating a buzz that seems authentic and not corporate.

Sorry guys – I’m calling bullshit.