New Nanoblocks

Just in case you were wondering, I haven’t given up on my hobbies.  I am still pursuing them just as they pursue me.

Case in point are the latest additions to my Nanoblocks collection.  While casually browsing through my local Toys R Us (I don’t know how to make that inverted R–probably copyright anyway) I found these two kits on sale.  Since I was gearing up for the Tour de France (Congratulations Chris Froome) it seemed like fate was telling me to buy them.

I am pretty happy with the purchases, but need to figure out where they are going to go once I build them.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, my display space has been co-opted for another use.

I will post pictures when I get them assembled.

Advertisements

Hello Kitty

tetley 004.JPG

As I reported in my last post, I was given a nanoblock kit that was purchased at Dollarama.  Today was the day I decided to make it.  I undertook this task as I had quite a few free minutes.  It took hardly any time at all.

At 110 pieces, this is among the smallest kits I have built.  A quick perusal of the instructions revealed it to be a rather straightforward build.

tetley 002

Here’s what comes inside the kit

 

I am not a huge Hello Kitty fan, but I like that there are many different things you can build.  The product should appeal to many people and since there are a large number of Hello Kitty fans, it only makes sense.

It seemed to have turned out well and there were quite a few leftover pieces to go into a future build.

tetley 005.JPG

leftovers

As usual….nanoblocks rock!

Subscription Boxes

I haven’t written much about hobbies lately because there really hasn’t been much time to devote to hobbies. That’s probably not one hundred percent true, but that’s how it feels.  It hasn’t stopped me from thinking about my hobbies.

On YouTube, I have seen two things that always struck me as interesting, but not overly applicable to me. The first was a subscription service for Japanese candy.  You pay a fee every month and they send you candy from Japan.  The second was those “lucky bags” in Japan where, depending on the store, you pay a price and get a mystery bag of stuff that is supposed to be worth more than you paid.  This is a once a year deal in Japan, but the idea sounds interesting enough.

Little did I know, this idea has really taken off. There are literally hundreds of mystery box subscriptions in a large number of areas.  There are ones for makeup.  There are ones for health.  There are ones for comic books.  There are ones for young adult books.  There are ones for coffee or beer.  There is even one for bricks–I can’t say Lego because there are a lot of different bricks out there these days.

The price for these boxes seems to start at $20 and climb from there. I have seen ones that were more than $75.  Nonetheless, It would kind of be like Christmas every month.  Some months you’d get the gift from your cool uncle and other months you get the gift from the grumpy family member.  What I mean to say is that some months you would probably be thrilled while other months you might be a tad disappointed.

In some cases, the stuff you would get would probably be things that didn’t sell well, or were over produced. Still, it might be interesting.

Does that mean I am going to subscribe?

So far, the one that I have found to be the most interesting is one that introduces a new hobby to you every month. It seems kind of interesting, but I could imagine that I won’t like every hobby.  I know I love a lot of hobbies….but I know there are ones that are not really interesting.

What I would like to see are subscription boxes in the following areas:

  • Trains.  (Either N scale or HO scale) The subscription service could fill a box with a car or two, a building or two, some scenery stuff, a book, and maybe even some paint, or some 3D printed stuff.  It could also have some stickers, or other railroad material inside.
  • Plastic Models. There are so many plastic models that probably don’t sell that this would be the perfect idea to lighten some inventory loads.  Again, books, paint, accessories, tools, and other goods would all fit in well in this box.
  • mini cars. A service that gives you cars from all over the world.  Sounds awesome to me.
  • Robots. Every month could have accessories and modifications to your previous build.

If anyone subscribes to a hobby based subscription box, I would love to hear from you. I am curious and I want to know more.  Also, any positive or negative feedback about subscription services would be nice.  If I can’t find what I want, I may have to start one up.

After publishing this post

I decided to search if WP to see if there was a topic on his.  I found it under subscription.  I will also look there while waiting for your replies.

Getting Ready for Cooler Weather

trainer

Cycling seems to have taken over most of my hobbies this past summer. While I have done other hobby things, I have put more passion, time and energy into cycling. My strength and stamina are definitely way up. Sadly, my weight has not improved. This is because I have not been able to break up with pizza. Diet is crucial….but that is a blog for another day (and a different site–see here)

Autumn is here and winter is coming. Traditionally, owing to wonderfully frigid temperatures, around here people tend to hibernate more.   For a hobbyist this means getting into indoor pursuits. I can look forward to more time with the models, more time with the trains, more time watching hockey…..

While all of this sounds wonderful, it sounds as if all the gains I made in stamina and energy might go to waste. It is with that in mind that I contemplate spending a big chunk (perhaps the whole chunk) of my hobby budget on a cycling trainer. I am not talking about your average stationary bike. I am talking about using my road bike as my exercise bike for the winter.

The advantages

  • I will use the muscles that I have to use when riding on road courses–unlike a stationary bike, which is great for fitness but isn’t really my bike and won’t work exactly the same muscles.
  • I will better simulate my cycling because I will be wearing my cycling shoes and practice full pedal strokes.
  • The trainer itself will take up much less room that a stationary bike does during the summer when I am not using it. (or using it less)
  • On rainy days, if I elect not go out for a ride, I can still use the trainer.
  • There seem to be quite a few apps that work in conjunction with this–not that I have a smart phone, but ……someday. Either that, or I will set up a tablet.
  • Riding the same saddle all winter should make it less of an adjustment when I get out riding again.

The disadvantages

  • While there are cheaper options the one I have pretty much decided on is a significant amount of money.
  • If I am lazy, it will not have been money well spent. I love going out for the group rides, but I am unsure if I can push myself to workout alone. If I don’t use the machine, it will definitely make me feel guilty as I watch TV and gorge on pizza.
  • I will have to invest in a “training tire” as these machines will definitely put substantial wear on my rear tire.

While nothing has been decided, this is definitely where my head is at right now.  I guess another option is to bike all winter.  This sounds rather hard to me, but one of my favourite bloggers does just that.  If that sounds interesting (or mildly insane), take a look at her blog.

Sharpen the Points

sharpening

That’s right.  It’s time to sharpen the points because summer darts season starts tonight.  For some of you that might not sound so colossal, but it sounds great to me.  I like darts and I like the friendly competition that goes with it.  I like the dim lights of the Legion and the reasonably priced beer that goes with it.

The winter season did not go horribly well for me.  I was firmly at the bottom of the league rankings.  Whenever I won, the people above me did to and I couldn’t move up.  My game was less than stellar until the very last weeks.  Unfortunately, ground lost was hard to make up.darts

This represents a new start.  I haven’t picked up a dart in about a month, so I don’t expect Phil Taylor or Michael Van Gerwin kind of genius.  I’d settle for not getting my ass kicked.

For those of you out there who’ve seen the hard to quantify spectacle on television, my league isn’t like that at all.  No models walk us to the line, no fans watch dressed in costume and 180’s, while not unheard of, are far from the norm.  If you’ve got a spare evening, I would suggest you take it up.

Reboot

The History

A couple of years ago, I started writing a blog on hobbies.  People said it would be fun and it would give me a lot of writing practice.  I searched the internet for places to blog and settled on blogger because it came so highly recommended.  Most people explained that it was easy to use, looked pretty good, and that I had a chance to make some money.  That all sounded attractive to me.

They were quite correct.  Setting up the blog, and others, was quite easy.  I generally liked the look of it and was quite satisfied with the results.  I tried my hand at the money thing in various incarnations but failed to cash in on that.  This was the result of a combination of overzealousness by my students and a lack of page views .  If you don’t attract the people, you probably won’t be the next internet sensation.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on.  What I found was that I liked the writing and I enjoyed the small amount of interaction with readers.  It just didn’t grow at all, and very few people left any comments.  At the time, I figured this was normal, but I wondered why blogging was popular if you didn’t get a lot of comments.

Then a funny thing happened.  I started a blog on WordPress (the free one) because I just wanted to write something different.  While it isn’t a runaway hit (or featured on Freshly Pressed) it did seem to garner more of a following.  I realized that WP did a better job of promoting within itself, and creating a community of bloggers.

So that’s why I am here.  I am hoping for a bigger audience and greater interaction.  Only time will tell, but I am quiet optimistic.

The Name

When I started on Blogger, I called this blog Jack of All Hobbies.  I thought I was being witty.  I figured people would get the allusion to jack of all trades, master of none.  Instead, people just thought my name was Jack (which it isn’t) and I wasn’t smart at all.  I probably should have changed the title, but by then it just seemed like too much work.  As of now, I am trying to decide if I should be “A Man with Too Many Hobbies” or “Too Many Hobbies–So Little Time.”  Please let me know what you think.

The Future

I will continue to write about hobbies and anything that resembles a hobby.  My definition is quite broad, so you never know what I will write about.  Figure that books, things Japanese, food, cycling, and models will all be part of it.  Then again, it could be stamps, cards, exercise or YouTube.  Who really knows.

I will also have to play with the format quite a bit–so expect some changes.  We will see what works and what doesn’t.  Feel free to give your opinion.

A Look Back

I will eventually delete this blog, but if you want to see how it looked, please check here.  If the link is broken, that means I deleted the page.

Yahoo vs YouTube

So I have heard that Yahoo is going to offer a competitor to YouTube.  I am kind of excited about this idea.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love YouTube.  Anyone who has read this blog knows that I watch a lot of JVloggers, and spend more time than I should watching old TV shows and clips online.  I even have some videos on YouTube.  I think I have about ten.  They haven’t gone viral (and I wouldn’t receive any money even if they did) and only one of then has had a really strong number of views–though I am not sure what the attraction is, and nobody has commented on it.

I guess I just want to be there, on the ground floor when it happens.  While it won’t be a new thing (like YouTube was), I would like to say I was there from the beginning.  I want to be one of the originals, even though the idea won’t be that original.

There are problems, however.  What kind of content should I put up?  I am not in Japan, so JVlogging is out.  I live in Canada, and while I love my country, I cannot see any blogging potential there.  I love my hobbies, but since I switch them around so much and am rather lax on completion, I am not sure there is anything there either.  I love to rant (check out my other blog site to see what I mean) but I have a face for radio–and who would want to see a static image of a wall or picture while I rant away?

I am excited and I want to participate, but I don’t know how.

On another note, I still don’t know what they are going to call this thing.  YouTube is a brilliant name.  Yahoo tube sounds derivative.  YahooTV doesn’t sound cool.  They already have Yahoo Screen–so I guess that’s not it.  I suppose, if I were to name it, I would call it OnYahoo.