Hobby Hacks: Hobby Hack Number One

While I am waiting for my model helicopter parts to dry, I thought I would share something with you.  I have decided to call this a hobby hack.  These are useful tips that one can use while making models or other hobbies.

I can’t remember exactly where I bought these clips, but I am pretty sure it was a dollar store.  I can’t guarantee it was in Canadabecause it might have been from a 100 yen shop in Japan.  Sorry.

I am pretty sure I bought them to clamp something together, or hold something together while the glue was drying.  The funny thing is that I have never used them for that.  I think the clips are a bit too strong and could harm or scratch something (probably not, but you never know).  Instead I found a cool use for them.

They make a great stand for parts sprues while they are drying.  Let’s call this hobby hack number one.

Learning Japanese Part two–Kanji

If you’re going to learn Japanese you should probably know some kanji.  By kanji I mean those Chinese characters which were integrated into Japanese a long long time ago.  You could learn Japanese and not learn them.  They are not vital, unless of course you want to use an ATM, know the price at the cinema, get the half-priced sushi at the supermarket, or at the very least not look like a complete knob because you consistently push when you should pull and pull when you should push trying to get through the door.  Of course most doors in Japanese big cities are automatic, but do you really want to take that chance. 

this means this sushi in on sale for half-price

Understand this?  Then Kanji will be no problem

Friends and family always ask how anyone can memorize all of them.  First of all, we live with lots of symbols in our daily lives.  The instrument panel in any car is a good example of this.  Other examples include road signs, logos, and computer icons.  Once you get over that, it really isn’t much of a stretch beyond that.  If you’re in Japan, they’re everywhere.  Put in a little bit of study and a little bit of intuition and you’ll quickly learn small, large, push, pull, exit, entrance, bank and half priced sushi.

When it comes to studying kanji I think flashcards are best.  You can flip through them on the train, before turning in, and in line to buy half priced sushi.  The other option is to get some inexpensive elementary school books from the 100 yen store.

Where to Put My Stuff?

As an adult with too many hobbies storage becomes a big problem.  Certainly more hobbies means they take up more room.  Actually, rooms would be a better way of expressing it.  I’ve got the requisite hobby room of course.  I’ve got stuff in drawers, in closets and in Rubbermaid containers.  In truth, I probably need two hobby rooms–as well as space for the train–but that’s another story.

Big space really isn’t what I have trouble finding.  As a modeller, train enthusiast, card collector, toy car collector, and many other things, I have a ton of small parts, knick knacks, leftover pieces, and various odds and ends that need a place to go.

The small plastic multi drawer contraption ostensibly for holding screws that I got on sale at Canadian Tire doesn’t really do the job.  The drawers don’t really slide that well and make an excruciating scraping sound when I manage to get them open.  The plastic moulded handles on the drawers also serve to obscure the contents of the drawers.

I bought this one at a Japanese Dollar Store.  (they have them too.  They are called 100 yen stores, and being closer to Asian production centres they seem to have swung better deals having slightly better quality stuff and larger quantities–if you’re curious, just check out YouTube)

It isn’t bad, but the tray dividers don’t fit that snugly and rattle around –and things just don’t stay in place the way I would like it to.

I bought big drawers, but they are really only for big stuff,

For one of my latest hobbies I decided to do some research.  I chose this one from Stanley (through Amazon).  I like the mix and match cups. (I bought two and used most of the smaller cups in this one) Most of my stuff seems to stay put.  It was more expensive than the storage containers that I mentioned above.  It appears to be of a higher quality.  Only time will tell, but hopefully I’ve got a winner.

As storage seems to be a big deal in my hobby life, I was wondering what other people are using.