Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Days

   This week Victoria has been getting a blast of winter weather, the likes of which hasn't been seen since...last winter. It's Canada. It Snows. Even on the West coast. Nevertheless, despite the fact that it's only a few inches of snow and the temperatures are only just a few degrees below freezing, my poor city is crippled by what the rest of Canada would consider just a dusting.
   Although I'm not really that bothered by the snow, (I used to live in Alberta, so I've been through worse) I'm content to spend my snow days inside listening to my favorite music and building a model of a Navy ship.
   Yes, my virtual shipyard is my kitchen table. It really is the only spot in our home I can use for this. I get a lot of natural light from the window, and it's much roomier than the desk in our office/den. The table is also a great working height for me. My lovely wife has no issue with this since I always keep things tidy and have the table cleared off well in advance of any meals. Sandwiched between the two white cloths is a thick layer of newspaper for extra protection. I use water based acrylic paints, and not those smelly enamels. The glue is also non toxic.
   I'm not the only one making the most of my snow days. Even our cat likes playing in the snow!
   If the sun does appear tomorrow, as is forecast, I think I'll go for a walk down to a nearby lake with my camera. I can already think of a few spots that would look spectacular all dressed in white.
Stay warm.

The Wandering Oak

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Time For My Hobbies

   I'm finally getting around to writing my first post of the new year. I know we're already eleven days in, but I've been keeping myself busy and haven't really been able to compose a new blog. So far 2012 has been good to me. It's the time of year when I'm on the Painter's Winter Vacation Program, so I've had a lot more time to get back into some of my other favorite hobbies and activities.
   I've been able to indulge in my nerdy hobby of building model ships, (I currently have a modern US Navy Destroyer on the go, in case you were wondering), and I'm also working towards bettering my own health by getting back into jogging and even working out. For my entire adult life I've always been on the slim side and this year I've resolved to try my best to put a little more meat on my bones.
   At a recent consultation with a trainer I was told that my Body Mass Index is a little low for someone of my age and height, though I am still considered healthy. It's not like you can play the xylophone on my ribs. Ideally I could stand to gain about 15 to 20 pounds and I'd be okay with that. I've never wanted to be one of those huge steroid monkeys you see in magazines with veins popping out everywhere and more muscle definition in their fingers than most people have over their entire bodies. I think that looks kind of gross. I will look into natural supplements though, and if anyone out there has any advice I'd be happy to hear it.
   In other news, I've also been picking up my guitar a little more often these days, though I haven't done any recording or songwriting or anything like that. Lately I've been on a quest to bring the sounds I hear in my head to life, so I've been looking into getting new effects pedals such as a phaser and a tremolo, and perhaps a nice boutique fuzz or overdrive pedal to compliment my amplifier's sweet, tube driven tones. My birthday is just four weeks away. Just saying.
   One challenge I've been facing is organizing my pedals. Like many guitarists, I have a little case that I keep my pedals in that doubles as a board, but over time I've been finding it just isn't working for me. My cat has ripped up the inside lining, and there are no pathways for running power cords and patch cables, so it's looking rather messy these days. To save myself some money I'm trying the D-I-Y approach by building my own custom board out of some scrap wood I've acquired, but that isn't working out as well as I hoped it would. I have the skills, but lack the proper tools and space needed for such a project. I may just have to save up and buy a pre-made one like this model
   I know that it won't be long before I get called back to work and I'll have to put these ideas on hold, but for now it's nice having a little me time. My hobbies keep me out of trouble and I enjoy the unique challenges they present. It's better than wasting my days in front of the TV, or even the computer for that matter.
   Now go outside and play.

The Wandering Oak
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