Three

Three.

That’s about all the hobbies one person can handle at any one time. Keeping in mind the formula that says a half hour per day ( 3.5 hrs per week ) you have to figure that the tri-hobbyist will be carving 10.5 hours out of what might be a working or family week. This amounts to 546 hours per year and that’s a lot of time.

Also you have to account for the expenditure. Taking a simply complex hobby as an example – model airplane building – you could figure about $ 20 a week on the average for a steady adult – $ 30 for the wild-eyed enthusiast. $ 1000 to $ 1500 per year plus the storage space needed. Of course there are far dearer hobbies and far deeper purses to support them, but even a small expenditure adds up, year by year.

Multiply that by three hobbies and see where you are. You are carefully hiding the bank statements and credit card demands from the spouse and looking to see if you could sell one of the pets or children to support next year’s hobby conference…that’s where you are. Embezzlers who pilfer company funds to support a gambling habit look good beside you…

When you choose your hobbies ( As opposed to the occasions when they choose you. ) you can either pick ones that seem to flow into each other and combine your efforts or you can go for three disparate things. I cannot say which approach is best. You may get a force-multiplication effect for your money if all three things are related, but then you need to look at it to see if they are indeed three separate things.

If you spend your time and money in three separate directions you’ll necessarily have a  smaller footprint on each strand but it may be a clearer one – and the differences in the activities may refresh you more. We cannot drink one thing for every meal – we must needs rotate between cider, beer, and wine. Which can be a hobby.

Note that the cheapest hobby so far – if you disregard the price of the computer – has been internet writing. So far I have not paid the WordPress people anything – though that may change if I reorganise my columns into one with divisions.

I used to glory in not paying Adobe any more money for the image editing programs but have come to realise that a little yearly expense does bring a world of benefits.

 

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You Get One Hour And That’s All

No, this isn’t a pay-per-view site with kitten videos…

I am at the computer desk for one hour while a coat of spray varnish dries on a model airplane. I’ve learned that it is dangerous to be in the workshop while paint dries as I eventually touch it to see if it is dry and it isn’t. See? Even perfect characters have flaws…

I think the one-hour rule would be good in many aspects of life. Meals, for instance – if you are going to dawdle for several hours either you are going to eat and drink too much or whatever it is you are pushing round the plate is not worth the time. And timing is everything.

Sex? Well, decide that one for yourself, but consult your partner about the issue. 60 minutes for a 63 -minute person is a bad time to quit.

Reading? Well, you might stretch a bit further if it’s a 19th century French novel with heaving bosoms and creaking bedsprings, but technical journals and political columns can definitely be limited to an hour.

Gardening? Oh, that one could definitely stop at an hour. But one always seems to be in the middle of a rose bush with secaturs – bleeding – doesn’t one? In the end you are not so much pruning as cutting yourself free.

Driving? Yes. Stop the car. Get out and either pee, puke, or purchase petrol. Reset the mechanism.

Television? Set aside an hour a day to watch television. Then don’t. Read a book.

Exercise? If you can sprint on a treadmill or do push-ups for a solid hour – and wish to do this –  there is nothing I can say to you that you can hear.

Hobby work? A fair call. I’m waiting out a coat of varnish so that it can be smoother. if I had a spray room with a door sealing it, I could carry on with some other modelling task while I was waiting.

Photography? An hour in a studio with a glamour model is a short time. With a family of unhappy portrait customers it is an eternity.

 

 

 

Profession, Trade, Or Business?

That used to be the big question for people setting out on a career. Then it became a question of semantics as each category tried to define themselves – in most cases they tried to make out that they were better than the other two.

Now the field of definition has widened. Australia’s got more people idle for more reasons and there are new classes of occupation to examine. Consider these views, but remember that the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia is not an equal-opportunity employer…

a. Job – something you do to get eating money.

b. Work – something that you might have to do on the job.

c. Business – a job that involves other people giving you money. Unfortunately they expect something in return.

d. Trade – a business in which you are expected to be skilled at doing something that other people can’t do. You get to wear a uniform, drive a tray-top ute badly, and fail to keep appointments.

e. Profession – a trade that you only get if you put up with the annoyance of education after the age of 18. You’ll get a chance to make lots of money but there will always be some statutory body to take it away from you if you annoy their hierarchy.

f. Occupation – a catch-all phrase for anything from chicken-sexing to being a politician in South Australia.

g. Calling – something you want to do but feel the need to pretend that God wants you to do it as well to make it sound better.

h. Hobby – something you want to do that you don’t get paid for.

i. Avocation -a posh name for a hobby.

j. Pursuit – a hobby that starts to veer onto vaguely criminal lines.

k. Racket  -a fully developed pursuit.

If you are perfectly honest with yourself, you can find exactly where upon this scale of activity your daily routine takes you. If you are prepared to use the adjective ” perfectly ” to qualify the word ” honest “, you may care to start at the bottom and work up…

 

 

The Little World – It’s Only A Hobby – Part Two

” It’s only a hobby ” as a defensive statement can cover a multitude of situations. I’ve heard it in real life ( not on a comedy record ) as a slogan of pride and an excuse for shame. Can’t tell you which was the most disturbing:

a. The person who received a genuine complement on their models – a series of scratch-built boats – and modestly said that it was only a hobby. I was engaged in the same sort of modelling at the time, but without the spectacular success of the other chap. I was a little ( a lot…) jealous of his skills and thought that the answer rang false.

It seemed like a boast that he was better at other things, and that the modelling was some sort of lesser thing. It wasn’t a lesser thing for him, or for the rest of us that were doing it. It was the life and blood of our out-of-work hours. It was our art, and deserved a better reference than that.

b. I also remember a person in the same club who responded to criticism of his cruder models with nearly the same response – that it was only a hobby. Here the clear inference was that it was not an activity that had to be done well – it could be a mere bagatelle and done in a sloppy fashion.

That led to the conclusion that there was no point in him doing it at all. He could go off and do something more important – something that was important enough to do well. But I suspect that anything that he tackled would have had some small taint of the attitude. I wonder if anything was ever satisfying for him?

I wonder if the flaw inherent in both yesterday’s and today’s column is the word ” hobby”. If people substituted other words or phrases; ” activity “, “job “, ” pursuit “, or ” avocation ” for the word ” hobby “, would the uneasiness arise? Could people excuse themselves for anything if they were more serious about it – or more light-hearted.

For my part, I regard my Little World as real. For me it has more actuality than many other places on this planet that are merely internet reports. As creator, I take pride in it, and do not count the costs of the effort made in detailing it. I do count the costs of costs, though, and look at economic ways of having my fun. I try to keep my big spending for things that truly do make a difference.

The Little World – Sad Economic News – The Chinese Are Getting Enough To Eat

dscf2393An article in the latest issue of THE DIECAST MAGAZINE by the chief executive of a die-cast model car maker is disturbing. The chap has laid out the history of die-cast vehicles from the 1980’s to the present day and has accurately traced the rise and fall of the average model car.

He’s pointed out the economic fact that the Chinese model making workers are getting better off nd expecting more pay in the future. The heyday of cheap labour from the PRC is over as the population starts to benefit from their own productivity. The western buyers who got a great model for $ 70 will be paying 4 x that amount in a few years time. It will mean that fewer prototypes are modelled.

There will be museum-quality stuff made always, and the rich can have marvellous new toys, but the small modeller will be left with repaints of previous issues. The collecting hobby may well stagnate.

I’m saddened by this. I’ll cope by changing what I collect and photograph to match what is made, and in some respects this will be a good challenge. I am already making a modern prototype diorama and will look at other slices of auto life in my own country to illustrate. Enough to do for my time, I am sure.

But here’s hoping…not for economic downturn or despair in China…but for renewed interest in reasonable quality scale cars for reasonable prices.

I, for one, am more than happy to sacrifice opening bonnets and boots and sometimes opening doors to allow a particular model to be successful. I have an Australian XP Falcon made like that and it is all I need. I would be happy with plastic resin cars, provided they are models that no-one else does and can be detailed enough. And I would dearly love some of the licensing restrictions to be taken off MOPAR and British cars.

 

Acting And Re-enacting – Part One – The Day Out

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I have recently considered the business of actors and re-enactors – as recently as last week, when I enjoyed a day on the grounds of Government House. In costume. No, I wasn’t playing Queen Victoria – I was just an itinerant photographer. I accompanied 7 others dressed in clothing reminiscent of the period of time in which the building was relevant. The general public was allowed in for free to stroll and gawk in areas normally forbidden them.

Were we re-enactors? Not really. We were visual props, as were several veteran motor cars, a section of the Army pipe band, and a complete Salvation Army band. I ‘ll bet none of us were paid for attendance and I know that at least one of me wasn’t fed or watered either, but I didn’t mind – I gathered $ 100 worth of commercial blog material that will pay off eventually.

Were we actors? Hard to tell – no script, no parts, no direction other than the internal orders of the day within the Great War society. Did we have an audience? Did we entertain them?

More to the point, did they entertain us? I can say yes to this – the crowd had very few wallys in it and the ones that did pipe up were pretty tame. Perhaps the venue dictated the manners. If so, I will be going again next year. I had a lovely time. I thought the hanging went off very well, and even if my shoes were painful at the end of the day it was worth it.

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But there are other questions…and other rules to follow. Follow on …