New Year…… New Plans

 
Today, it looks like I am going to the hobby store.  What kind of danger will I get myself into.  Hmmmm?

I really have to many hobbies, but I am sure there might be a bargain or two.  Will I be able to resist?

Lately, I have been strong, but I feel like I might weaken today.  Why?  I just have that itch to try a new model kit.  It might be an airplane, or it might be ship.  Really, it might be a dream 32 Highboy Roadster or a very detailed 67 Mustang Fastback.  I just don’t know.  If it were summertime, it might be a remote control helicopter or rocket kit.

I do know that they hobby store is a fun place to go.  I’ll be taking a friend, so perhaps he will be the voice of reason.  Or more likely, he’ll fuel the shopping trip.  My biggest goal is not to come back with any magazines.

Updates tomorrow.

Cycling: What I Have Learned So Far

As I push ever farther into the world of cycling I have learned lots of fascinating things.  I have been thinking of getting a new bike, but with winter approaching (add as many Game of Thrones quotes as you want here) I am wondering if I should wait.  As a result of this indecision, I have been doing a lot of research.

Ø      Not far from where I live, there exists a 15 km or so (it is longer, but construction issues for bridges and such has blocked off part of the trail until next year).  I have ridden it a couple of times and it was amazing.  If you want to read about my ride and see some great pictures, please click on the link here: http://todaysperfectmoment.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/august-24-2014-the-nokiidaa-trail/

Ø      There are a huge number of bike shops in my area, and along my commute path, and near my work.  I had no idea cycling was so popular.  When I was young, only children rode bikes.  The upside of this is lots of places to shop.  The downside is that even places which sold reasonable bikes now have some higher end bikes, and prices seem quite high.  I mean, I have seen bikes which cost as much as my car did when I bought it new.

Ø      There are a lot of magazines devoted to the hobby/pursuit.  I have counted about 10, and I am sure there are more.  That’s incredible.  Whoever said the printing medium was done was obviously wrong.  Despite the complaints of these magazines just being glossy catalogues that push expensive and unnecessary products on the gullible, there is some decent writing between the pages.

Ø      There is a crapload of extras for the cycling crowd.  Is all of it necessary?  Of course not.  Is some of it vanity driven?  Absolutely.   Does it affect me….. sadly, I have to answer yes.

Ø      I like riding a bike much more than going to a gym.  Seems pretty obvious, but that is what fuels the decision to buy a nice bike.  Living in a climate which produces bone chilling cold and snow for a large part of the year doesn’t help.

Summing it all up.  I am definitely interested in this hobby.  Where I take it from here, only time will tell.

Me and The Monocle

 
If you have read this blog before, you know that I like books.  There is something about magazines though.  Maybe it’s their ever changing content.  Maybe it’s the ease at which they can be picked up and put down.  Either way, it’s pretty rare that I become a loyal follower of a magazine.  I’ve been a on again off again follower of some magazines.  Model Railroader and Radio Control Car Action certainly fit that bill.  I enjoy what’s inside, but sometimes it seems like I’ve had enough.  I pick up one issue every 3 months or so.  Either something catches my eye or it doesn’t.  I either read it at the library or scan through the issue at the bookstore.

For a magazine to inspire loyalty, it really has to speak to me.  Kansai Time Out was one such magazine.  I loved it, and I still feel bad that it is gone.  It has been replaced by the free Kansai Scene….it’s good, but it isn’t the same. It really isn’t.

There was a time when I really loved Outside magazine.  It was well written, and regardless of the topic, I poured over every word.  One friend described it as the only magazine that could make anything a visit to the fishing hole seem epic.  I have not read it recently, but the last time I was quite sure that the honeymoon was over.

Most recently I have come across a magazine that fascinates me.  It is called the Monocle.  I cannot pinpoint exactly what I like about it.  It’s all about a higher end life that seems so remote from mine. It’s about the environment.  It’s about quality over quantity.  It’s about a lack of clutter and a more minimalist life.  Even as I read what I have written, I am not sure that I have actually hit it.

I’ve read two issues and really enjoyed both of them.  It’s got a lot of pages, so I keep them around on my coffee table to flip through them on Saturday mornings when I am sipping coffee.  It’s still early days, and I don’t know if I will in fact become a loyal follower.  So far I enjoy it, but it will take at least half a year before I know for sure.

Lamenting the Lost

I happened to pass this building today, and felt a little melancholy.  Another hobby business packed up and left.  I don’t know what happened really.  Maybe they moved somewhere else, or maybe the idea just didn’t fly.  A lot of hobby related businesses just don’t succeed and whenever they close, I feel a sling twinge (or pang) of sadness.

While out for a walk I came across this
 
I cannot really say I was part of the solution.  I avoided going into the store because I didn’t really want to start another hobby, and this one seemed really tempting.  Lego and robotics….. Had I gone in, my paycheque might have been a memory.  Despite having some advertising on this sight, I am a long way from having it generate any kind of hobby budget.

We live in a great time for hobbyists, but perhaps not such a great time for people running a large hobby business.  I would guess that running a home hobby business (I imagine somebody making flatcar loads at home, or building train layouts, or designing replica buildings) would be possible.  It would require a great website, a great idea, a spare room or two and probably easy access to a post office.  Running a business with a store location would require the same things, but would also mean renting out a store–and I imagine that it would cost a lot of money.  I am impressed by anyone who does it because it must be hard.  Taking that risk must be pretty scary.

I would hope that Lego had a stake in this enterprise, and therefore nobody lost their shirt trying to run this business.  However, a short portrait in the very local newspaper seems to indicate otherwise.  A brief bit of googling hasn’t brought me any answers.  If you know something about it, please post it here; for my curiosity and others.  I would also appreciate any thoughts on how your local hobby stores are doing.

On a side note, at the bookstore, there still seem to be quite a large number of magazines about hobbies still being published.  Flipping through some of them, I can see that they are making an effort to go digital, but still seem to be publishing.  Feel free to comment on this as well.

A Day Out

the stuff I bought today….though I wasn’t going to buy anything.

Isn’t it amazing that when you go to a hobby shop, and have no intention of buying anything, you always come home with stuff.  I wish I could lie and say the stuff just followed me home, but that just wouldn’t be true.

Today I went to three different hobby shops.  Although I primarily went to look at train stuff, I managed to look at paint, car models, plane models, slot cars, magazines, science fiction models, tools, and lots of equipment.  All in all it was a good day.

If you need a day out, a trip to your local hobby shop would be a great idea.  You could go an just talk to people and share ideas on your hobby.  You don’t have to buy anything.  Really.  You don’t have to buy anything.  Of course, that is what I told myself before I left for the shops today.