A New Hobby Called Darts

 
 
So it is a new year, and for the Jack of all Hobbies that can only mean one thing… (actually it means many things involving resolutions, but I won’t bore you with those)….it is time for a new hobby.

A new hobby you shake your heads ponderously.  Of course, I answer.  I am the jack of all hobbies because I pick up and put down hobbies with ease.  This time the hobby is darts.

It all started innocently enough.  I came across a game of darts on a sports channel (I guess there was no poker to be shown) and was instantly mesmerized by it.  I am not sure if it is the dramatic score calling, the hot women accompanying the often overweight and less than handsome dart players, or just the overall skill that allows them to place those darts so accurately.  Despite what you might think, it is probably the last one.

Whenever the mood for a new hobby hits me, I turn to the internet.  The amazing tool that allows me to share with you my stream of consciousness ramblings allows me to fulfill most of my hobby dreams as well.  I have searched the price of darts and a dartboard as well as several other accessories that I had no idea existed.

The real clincher was the local dart league.  I discovered a weekly league playing at the Legion.  A quick email elicited an invitation.  I showed up and the head of the league unhesitatingly loaned me his rather expensive set of darts to practice with.  He spent time giving me pointers (as did several other people) and then invited me to play in that evenings matches.  I would certainly call that hospitality–and it didn’t hurt that the prices for beer at the Legion were incredibly fair.

When asked what kind of darts I should purchase, the same people said they would supply me with darts for the next couple of weeks so I could try different ones out before I spent my money.  Can’t really beat that for an invitation can you?

So now I’ve got darts on my mind, several new websites in my favourites, and several new items on my Amazon wish list.  This all sounds like it is moving in a positive direction.  All that remains is for me to make it out to dart night again.

Boxing Day Buys

Boxing day and a trip to the hobby store can be a wonderful and terrible combination.  Wonderful in that there are always things to buy and I am usually in a shopping kind of mood.  I have the desire to spend money and even the hobby store seems to be offering a discount.  I should also mention that after all that giving I feel like giving to myself.  Terrible in that the credit card cycle of Christmas is not yet over and adding to that already mountainous bill is probably not a good idea.

There is a TV commercial that made a big impression upon me.  Two women were discussing their significant others.  One said (in a mocking impression of her husband) “Do you really need all those shoes?”  She smiled and answered her own question.  “Need has nothing to do with it.”

I kind of feel like that about hobby things.  If I really analyzed it, I really don’t need anything.  Being somewhat logical, I can rein myself in usually and pass up things because I don’t need them.  Unfortunately, I can’t always stop myself from wanting things.  Maybe it’s part of my collection obsession. 

On my latest trip to the hobby store I came across a some cars that I thought looked really cool.  They don’t fit the theme of my train collection because I am trying to build a vast array of rolling stock that you would see in Canada.  However, I am also swayed by what looks interesting.  Someday, I will put up my train display case….someday.  And if I don’t run these cars all that often, they will still look good in the case.  I am sure anybody who visits my train layout will comment on them.

Of course, some people might comment by asking me, “just how many cars to you need to run this layout?”  I guess those people probably won’t be staying long.

Hi Soft Caramels

Long time readers (I am allowed to say that now, aren’t I? It has almost been a year) will know that I have more than a passing affinity for Japan.  I consider it my second home, and I try hard to maintain my connections to it.  When it comes to hobbies, Japanis Nirvana.  In no other place are you allowed, perhaps encouraged is a better word, to deeply develop your hobbies.

Today’s entry isn’t about hobbies in Japan, but rather just a shot of some caramels that I bought today.  I visited the Japanese grocery store to have some lunch and to see what kind of stuff they had for sale.  I don’t get there as often as I used to, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Today, I picked up some candy.  Today I picked up one of my favourite candies.

When I was a kid Kraft used to sell toffee, or caramels.  I distinctly remember the pink or blue wrappers as well as the clear cellophane ones.  I googled, but couldn’t find the coloured wrapper ones.  Maybe I am imagining it.

Back to the Japanese caramels.  I am not sure why I started buying them in Japan.  Perhaps the name attracted me.  Perhaps I was feeling like a daredevil (in Japan this can lead to wonderfully good surprises–coffee milkshakes, to super epic fails–fish and corn filled buns).  Perhaps I figured there would be chocolate in the box.  Whatever the reason, I have loved them ever since.  I have consumed many boxes of them.  I consumed them in Japan, and since coming back.

They used to have a small picture card inside the box.  I thought those days were gone, but the box that I bought had a picture of a cat from Shimane Prefecture.  Maybe they are reviving the tradition.  One day, like the phone cards, I will scan in my collection of these cards.

If you’re ever in Japan, or in an Asian supermarket, be sure and try them out.  If you are interested in Japanese treats, there are some great blogs.  My favourite is by the same blogger who writes about the “things that she will and won’t miss when leaving Japan.”  You can find a link to it on the right hand side of this blog.

Japan and Things Japanese



 a collection of great Japanese magazines
I don’t want people to think I have an unhealthy obsession with Japan.  However, after looking at my posts, I am forced to conclude that obsession is a pretty good word to describe the relationship between Japanand myself.

Before anyone starts jumping to conclusions, my obsession does not get anywhere near either cosplay or AKB48.  My obsession seems to take other forms…many other forms.



A fantastic (but sadly gone) magazine
Anyone who has been reading this blog had probably already concluded that Japanand things Japanese have a strong place in my life.  A lot of my hobbies and hobby equipment come from Japan.  This includes Tamiya and Fujimi model kits.  It also includes Japanese language learning materials.  On top of that, I love some Japanese sports like Sumo, or the Hanshin Tigers Baseball team.  Don’t forget some of my trains and die-cast miniature cars.



This passion which borders on obsession has always been a big part of my life, and did not end with living there for several years.  It has survived at least five return visits and the whole plethora of experiences that go with them.  Though I don’t live there, I keep several reminders of my time in Japan.



A list of the Sumo rankings
These reminders almost represent an inadvertent collection, but, in fact, aren’t.  They represent a very conscious decision to keep these mementos around.  Some are classy, some are a little tacky, and some are just cardboard boxes that once had candy in them.  It is a collection whose only purpose is to make me smile at some fleeting memories.

I am sure I will continue to amass things from Japan(including the wonderful, wacky and weird) I only hope I can show some restraint.



delicious caramels