The Post Christmas Hobby Blues

January seemed to fly by.  Before you know it we will be in February.  Yes, we have the spectacular Groundhog Day to look forward to, but …. things seem to be moving too fast.

I realized, perhaps too late, that I had fallen victim to “the post Christmas hobby blues.”  It happens every year, or almost every year.  Christmas brings on many hobby opportunities, some self indulgent hobby spending, and some very ambitious plans for the upcoming year.  January sees all of these things fall by the wayside.

What is it about January?  Is it the worry that I should be in the gym like every other resolution maker (and breaker) or is it the amount of snow I should be shovelling?  Is it sobering reflection on that aforementioned self indulgent spending?  Is it that there won’t be any new nanoblock releases for a few months?  In truth, I am not really sure what it is.  I know it’s real, but I don’t know the cause.

I would love to hear from the rest of the hobby world.  Are any of you experiencing the post Christmas hobby blues?

Thoughts on Sequels (part one)

Life is full of sequels.  From movies to books to video games.  If something is successful, there will probably be another one.  The problem is, is that other one as good as or better than the first one?

Long ago, when the earth was green and life was simple, sequels didn’t really rule.  Sometimes a good movie pairing just meant that there would be another movie starring the same people.  If a sitcom were good, and some guest stars shone brightly, these guest stars would get their own series.  (Things aren’t so different today in this regard…though this doesn’t seem to work for sitcoms anymore.)

This does seem to be the rule with video games.  Some games have three or four sequels, all of them eagerly anticipated.  Some sports games come out yearly, with what appear to be mostly cosmetic changes.  Is our life supposed to feel like a rerun.

I played Socom Fireteam Bravo on my PSP.  I liked it, so I bought Fireteam Bravo 2.  I liked the second one, but I liked the first one more.  The sequel had better graphics and seemed to be smoother, but I still liked the first one more.  If I could find number 3 at a reasonable price, I would probably buy it.  I doubt I would like it more, but I would buy it, and like it….just not as much as the first one.  Maybe it is because I learned on the first one, and as a result, spent much more time on it than I did on the sequel.

This afternoon I bought God of War: Ghost of Sparta.  Having completed Chains of Olympus, am I going to like this sequel less? 

I invite any reader out there to comment below about a video game sequel that was better than the original.  Don’t be shy.

A Day on the Mountain

There is something to be said about spending a day skiing.  There is also something to be said about spending a day anywhere but work.  I guess you could think about that in many ways, and probably suggest warmer alternatives, like spending a day at the beach or something like that.


I like both options, but I live in Canada, and January is simply not beach weather.  If I want to go to the beach, one day off is not going to be sufficient.  I would need to take a week (of course, going to the Rockies to ski would also take a week…..hmmm)

Skiing is a pretty good adrenaline rush.  Careening down hill, sometimes in control, sometimes not, is pretty thrilling.  A double black diamond run can really get the heart pumping.  And the windburn you get on your face roughly approximates a tan.

I can’t lie to my readers (well I could, but what would be the point) I am not a great skier.  I am an intermediate skier with less of a death wish than most people on the mountain.  Sometimes I am cautious, sometimes I am reckless.  I guess it all depends.

I am a skier, not a snowboarder.  That is just a clarification, not a snobby declaration.  Snowboarding looks pretty cool, and I wish I could do it, but I am worried about being too old to learn it.  A good snowboarder seems very graceful, carving turns with ease, riding the mountain like it’s a wave on the ocean.  Of course a bad snowboarder is just one more obstacle in my way, and an unpredictable one at that.

I might whine about having to shovel snow, but without snow there would be no skiing.  And if there were no snow, I couldn’t take a midweek break to go skiing.

2013 The Year of the Nanoblock

Will 2013 be the year of Nanoblocks?  Based on how many people have found my blog because of Nanoblocks, I would have to say  that it is very likely that 2013 will be the breakout year for Nanoblocks.

I really can’t base this idea on my blog alone, because there aren’t so many visitors to it yet–I am not complaining, maybe 2013 will be a breakout year for my blogs to…..

What comes in the package

There is other evidence.  Toys R Us started selling them this year, and anecdotally at least, they seem to be popular sellers.  I asked one of the clerks and he said business has been brisk.  I have seen the stock get low and replenished a couple of times (no I am not spending my hours haunting the local toy store….. hard to believe I know) and it seems like they are telling the truth.  I have also seen more traffic on the internet.  When I first got interested in Nanoblocks there weren’t too many sites, not there are a lot more.  There are also quite a few more YouTube postings about Nanoblocks.  So, the world is poised for a Nanoblock revolution.

the result
As for me, I should update you on my latest kit.  I did the Koala.  As I mentioned when I did the panda kit, I am more interested in the historical buildings than I am in the animals, but until we get more of those (there are more available in Japan, but not here yet…) I will probably do more of the animals.

The Koala was fun to do, and the results are good (I still like the panda more, but maybe it has to do with seeing the real ones at the Washington zoo.).  There are some challenging moments and you will feel a certain sense of accomplishment.  Anybody who has tried Nanoblocks will enjoy it, and at the same time this would be a good kit for new converts.  Considering the price, it is also certainly worth doing.
the leftovers

 Eventually, I will have enough leftovers to make something else.  Any suggestions?