Bitten Again

b4b77-tools002

It has been a year since I wrote in this blog.  I haven’t given up my hobbies, I have just been pouring all my blogging energy into my other blog.

I have been bitten by the hobby bug again.  I want to become a Maker.  I am not sure why I put a capital M on that, but being a Maker looks better than being a maker.  I have always wanted to make a clear resin container for the gearshift knob from my first car.  I kept it when we sent the car to the scrap heap.  I had always liked those clear paperweights, but didn’t know what they were called.

So, I searched YouTube and found out that they make them out of epoxy nowadays.  I found a whole bunch of people with incredible shops full of the best and most amazing tools turning out cool projects on a weekly basis.  They’ve got dedicated shops and shops crammed into one and two car garages.  They’ve got it all.

These videos cause a bit of envy, but I also know that the pressure to create, and the pressure to maintain an audience is high.  I also see that companies that do sponsorship for these channels seem to be demanding more explicit advertising.  A quick glimpse of the product is no long enough to warrant the amount of money these companies are spending to provide the tools.

So, I do what I always do.  I have bought a woodworking magazine and watched a bunch more videos.  I would have taken a whole stack of magazines out of the library–but thanks to Covid-19 or the Coronavirus, the library is closed.  I have gone to Amazon and made out a list of books I might buy–then again, I hope that I can just take then out of the library at first.  While some might be worth having, others may not.  Others may not be appropriate for my low skill level.

I don’t have a lot of tools, but I probably have enough to make a box or so some stuff with epoxy.  I am certainly not going to rush out and buy a cabinet saw, a drill press, a router, a jointer, a planer, a spindle sander, and a mitre saw–though of course I want to .

For that matter, I am not really sure what I want to build.  I was thinking of a planter for the back yard.  I wouldn’t mind building a jewelry box for my girlfriend–but that might be a curse because she might be expecting me to fill it also.

I’ve got a band saw–but it would need a new blade.  I’ve got a router table, a jig saw, and a detail sander. I also have a drill.   I am sure I could put something together.

Any advice you could give me about tools, or easy beginner projects would be wonderful.  I would be interested in books or videos–also if you could get me sponsored by a Canadian tool company, that wouldn’t hurt either.   Conversely, if you have a way to discourage me from starting another hobby, that would also be appreciated.

Hobby Progress

I just wanted to update people on my hobby progress.  Quite a long time ago I featured the painting of a train building I was working on.  It is finally finished and I thought you would like to take a look at it.

This was the only the second train building I have made, so it is not perfect, but I am happy with the results, and I will continue to make them, hopefully improving every time.  I haven’t added any roof details, but I purchased the kit, so perhaps sometime later today.

I am not sure this will go on my layout, because I am hoping to build better one–perhaps adding some window details or signs. 

The model featured is Design Preservation Model, Haye’s Hardware.  It was painted with Polly Scale paints, and the roof is done with Woodland Scenics coal.

DONE

 
 
An unfinished jigsaw puzzle just seems to hang over my head.  I usually do them in the guest room so I don’t have to look at them everyday.  In fact, I might even “forget” about it for a while, giving me some respite.

This time I opted for the dining room table, and paid for it.  Every day it nagged me.  Every day it harassed me.  It taunted and tested me.  Today, however, that taunting is over.  It is done, and now there are many more important things to do.  More housework, more studying, and occasionally more procrastination.

Latest Nanoblocks

My most recent Nanoblock adventure involved the Empire state building kit.  It seems like I am pretty addicted to these things.  I have built quite a few of them now and I am hoping they continue to put out new sets regularly.  Of course, if they gain the same kind of fame that Lego has, with their small size they could put out some amazing things.

At first, I wasn’t attracted to this kit.  I had plans to tackle the Big Ben kit or the Itsukushima Shrine kit first.  Unfortunately, those kits have not appeared in Canada yet. I have seen them for sale on the US Amazon site, but being shipped from Japan they have a heavy price tag.  That being said, I am not sure how long I can resist the urge to buy them.

What’s in the box
Having had a bit of time to think about it, I decided to go back and reconsider this kit.  I like architectural models, and the building is quite iconic….. so after a short deliberation I decided that I would build this kit.  I am glad I did, because it turned out quite nicely.

It wasn’t particularly difficult, and actually since most of the floors are identical it got a little monotonous at times.  However, it was good building fun.

If you haven’t tried Nanoblocks, you should give them a try.  The small parts make it challenging sometimes, and the results are usually quite good.  I also suspect that there are going to be some amazing kits released in the near future.

I included this one because I liked the shadow

Two Dreams Unrealized

Get ready to be shocked.  There are two things that I am passively working on.  I say passively because I really want to be able to do them, but am not sure I ever will.  Probably if I put in a large amount of effort or work I could probably gain a respectable amount of skill, but somehow I am not sure that is going to happen.

I want to learn how to juggle and I want to learn how to do yoyo tricks.

I know, not really a spectacular ambition.  Other people are getting their MBA’s  and PhD’s and I want to be a party entertainer.  When I put it like that, it does sound pathetic. really pathetic.  I might as well learn how to make balloon animals. (see tomorrow’s blog–just kidding)

I don’t think it is really about entertaining.  I really can’t imagine performing in front of people.  Don’t get me wrong, once I get over the stage fright, I can perform in front of people.  It is a weird thing, but I can stand up in front of a crowd of strangers and make them laugh easier than I can ask questions to the clerk in a hobby shop.

Rather than be an entertainer, I just want the skill to be able to do those things.  The juggling came from a Japanese TV show called TV Champion.  It is a wonderful show that can make an interesting contest out of anything (juggling, making ramen, building Lego, making models, redecorating, and painting to name a few)  They had a great juggling contest and I was hooked.  Of course, my high school girlfriend was also a professional clown and could juggle–and ride a unicycle–so maybe that was part of it.

The yoyo came from watching my brother do amazing things with the yoyo. and then watching very young people on YouTube do impossible things.

I bought the yoyo and can do some very basic tricks with it (okay, one trick.  Thanks to the ball bearings, I can make it sleep for an incredibly long time)  I got the juggling balls for Christmas and have never managed more than a few revolutions before they come crashing to the ground and I have to gather them up again.  The instruction booklet recommended practicing over a table to make it easier to round up the balls.  It would be good advice if they didn’t roll off the table.

Not having mastered either of these skills I have considered giving these things away in my annual donate to family ritual, but have never managed to do it.  Even now, hunting for the yoyo to take the picture, I was worried that I had given it away.  Like most things, I think someday I will do it.  I just wish I knew when that someday would come.

About Trash Talking in the Digital Age

Perhaps I am old fashioned, but taunting people about their hockey pool picks on facebook, or by email doesn’t seem as much fun.  I know that cyber bullying is a serious problem, but I am not talking about that.  I am talking about razzing your friends, giving them the business, busting someone’s balls… you know what I mean.
If you read my previous post, you’ll know that trash talking and boasting has been the most exciting part of the hockey pool I am involved in.  Game two of the Stanley Cup Finals happened on a Saturday, which meant that I didn’t have a day to bother, pester and annoy my fellow poolies.  I guess I am going to have to join twitter if I want to make this work.