When Things Come Together

I like trains.  I like jigsaw puzzles…..can you see where this is going?  Call it luck, call it weird, call it whatever you want.  While browsing in the supermarket I came upon two puzzles with train themes.  They were on sale too, but that really isn’t the point….. or is it?  No, the point is that I came across these puzzles, bought them, and now I am sharing them on this blog.  That’s it.
unusual packaging
As you can see I am a edges first kind of puzzle builder.  I don’t know why that is.  Everyone who I have ever done a puzzle with has always built them this way.  I have never scene a centre outwards builder.  I am not really even sure that such a person exists.  Maybe edges first just seems like something you do, and nobody questions it.  I guess you would either call it common sense, or logic, or an unwritten rule.  Regardless of what you think, this is the way I do it, and it seems to be working for me.



sort those edges
This puzzle had a few negative points right off the bat with me.  The box didn’t really lend itself to my typical sort and sift method.  Normally I would use the top and the bottom of the box for this.  This particular box was not built for this, and I had to tape up the insert box and use a Rubbermaid container along with it.  The other problems with this puzzle is that too many of the pieces were still together from the initial assembly.  I find that rather frustrating. (I have a friend who considers that cheating–I won’t go so far myself, but I can sympathize with his point).  The pieces also have a lot of cardboard dust attached to them, making it a slightly messy experience.  I guess I can see why it was on sale.  The puzzle also purports to be a “sure-lox” puzzle.  The last puzzle I built fit together so nicely that I could pick it up an wave it like a sheet.  I highly doubt that will be the case this time.  If, however, that turns out to be true, I will make a video of it and put it on YouTube.
Get those edges done first



Hopefully this puzzle will look good when it is finished, but who is to say for sure.  I think the theme is good, so I am looking forward to the result. 


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The Thrill of Victory, the Boredom of Viewership

 

I love motorsports.  I am a big fan of auto racing.  I love the cars, the speed, the technology, the spectacle, the carnage (though I do not want to see anyone get hurt) and the sound.  Generally I prefer touring cars to the open wheel racers that come in the form of Formula One and Indy Cars.  I still like open wheel cars, I just have a preference for touring cars.

This weekend I watched the Izod Indy Car race.  It was the first of the season and a Canadian was the winner.  It took place on a sunny afternoon on an unusually circuit with lots of driving variety.  I should be happy.  I should have enjoyed the whole experience.  Sadly, I did not.  I watched with a lot of disinterest and I am not sure why.
Cogratulations James Hinchcliffe!

I am forced to conclude that the coverage was not good.   I hate to say it, but I think it’s true.  It wasn’t my definition of horrible.   My definition of horrible is the English broadcast of Japanese Touring Car races.  They are horrible because they are out of sync and I know that they are sitting in a studio just trying to keep up with what the editor has done.  They are horrible because they have lost the immediacy of a sporting event.

Today’s broadcast was just lacklustre.  Indy Cars always produce lots of yellow flag situations, and all that brought was more commercials.  NASCAR, which also has its fair share of yellow laps, seems to fill these gaps with some inspired programming.  In today’s race, I didn’t learn anything during these lulls.

I would really like to hear from some people who saw the race and could comment on it as well.  I really wanted to enjoy the race, but something was definitely missing.  Could someone tell me what it was.  Could someone tell me it’s going to get better.  I don’t want to write off an entire season just as it has begun.

New Nanoblocks Now (Please)

 

It has been several months since a new nanoblocks kit has come my way.  Come on world, what are you waiting for?  I want new kits and I want them now.  NOW!  I don’t want to have to wait until some holiday (Christmas is 9 months away), or special occasion.

I can see by using the magical internet that Japan has a whole bunch of new and interesting nanoblock kits, but I have none.  There is really no way for me to categorize that as fair.  No way at all.

Too much in life requires my patience.  I have to wait in lines.  I have to wait for the next movie from Marvel.  I have to wait for my coffee to brew.  I have to wait for the defrost in the car to win the battle against the Great White North’s great white winters.  I have done enough waiting.  Give me nanoblocks or give me……some other hobby to occupy my time (if you thought I was going to say death, you were wrong)

I am waiting world.  Don’t expect me to have much patience.

The Convenience of a Complete Series

I’ve come to a conclusion–not a shocking conclusion as some would call it, but a conclusion nonetheless.  I would rather watch a complete season of a TV series (or the whole series) on DVD or Netflix, rather than watch the standard TV network offering of one show a week for 24 or 26 weeks a year.

Most people would cite the lack of commercials when claiming that this is obvious.  They wouldn’t be wrong….exactly.  I hate commercials just as much as the next guy, and I am aware that they just aren’t there when I am watching a series on DVD.  However, I don’t think that is the main reason.

The main reason, I believe, is a combination of convenience (as I can watch them at my leisure) and confidence that I will see them all.  Those seem like small things, but they aren’t.  They are huge.

I have watched a number of complete series, and a much larger number of TV seasons.  I was lucky that my local library had the first season of Game of Thrones to watch.  I have seen all the seasons of Dexter, Warehouse 13 and Being Erica all on DVD, all in the comfort of my own home. I watched all of Alias, Hogan’s Heroes, Buffy, and The Outer Limits.

I generally prefer the library as I do not want to become a collector.  I have talked to some people and they suggested “acquiring” these things from the internet and storing them on a massive hard drive.  While that would be convenient, I haven’t reached that line yet, so crossing it seems premature.

If I were to become a collector, I am not sure which series I would absolutely have to own.  I have a great love of Science Fiction, but does that mean I should stick to that genre?  There have been so many great SF series over the years (though not as many lately) that I am not even sure where to start.  Most people take a Star Trek series.  It’s a fine choice, but I think of myself as somewhat removed from that.  I would appreciate a vast Dr. Who collection or Red Dwarf more.  I would love a complete Twilight Zone, or Godzilla movie collection.  Maybe I am too esoteric for my own good.

I started this blog trying to extol the virtues of watching an entire season of a series on DVD and ended up talking about collecting science fiction DVD’s.  I guess we’ll call that par for the course.

More or Less Hobby Time

Does the time change affect your hobby time?  We have lost one hour, and gained more daylight.  That obviously means less hobby time today, but overall, does it mean more?  Certainly some hobbies will benefit from more natural light, but so will things like yard work, chores and beer drinking–okay, I made the last one up.  I am pretty sure the amount of daylight has no effect on beer drinking.

The thing that I find funny about the time change is that, most clocks do it automatically now.  We no longer have to “remember” to do it.  I only have to change two or three of the dozens of time display devices (yes, I could have said clocks, but I was trying to convey they idea of modern devices which are clocks, but so much more–now my explanation is as complicated as the things I was trying to describe)

Happy time change.  Hopefully it means more hobby time.

Too Much vs Not Enough

 
 
If I didn’t include the vast amount of “things Japanese” that I am interested in, I would have to say that building things (plastic models, nanoblocks, etc) is my hobby.  I built cars, motorcycles, trucks, military vehicles, planes, ships and even buildings.  I think model kits and the like are just fantastic.
I am wondering, though, what exactly is “enough”.  I have watched some great TV programs (plamo tsukuro–a Japanese model program that you should be able to find on YouTube if they don’t delete it, which is truly fantastic) and been to some shows to see the expert work of some people.  In the show I mentioned they labour for a long time over small details.  They spend vast sums of money on detail parts.  It is truly incredible.  As stated before, I have never completed a model I was truly satisfied with.  I have had one or two really good paint jobs, one or two good ideas, maybe even one or two of my decals has actually gone in the right place….. but never anything approaching expert level.

Is it because I am not enough of a perfectionist?  As already demonstrated, I get bored easily, and quickly change to other hobbies and interests.  I don’t really want to do the same thing for too long a period of time.  I have had a couple of models on my workbench, and I am thinking that I would rather just chuck them out, than complete them (though that won’t happen, they may have to go back in the box for a while).

One of my friends is a perfectionist.  He will spend a lot of time on one model.  He has been working on one warhammer figure for a long time now. (I won’t tell you how long, because in all fairness, I have no idea)  Needless to say, when he gets done, it will be fantastic–show worthy.  When I get done, I am not sure if it is even personal showcase worthy.  Sometimes, I just chalk them up to a “personal experiment.”  Which is probably a euphemism for mistake.

Spending a lot of time and money on a hobby isn’t really bad.  When you figure the dollar value versus the time you spent, there are certainly other interests that cost more.  An hour or two at the pub costs more than a model and paint.  Which one takes more time….well for me, the model will last months.

The question remains.  How far should you take it, and what are you willing to settle for?