Friday, December 29, 2006

Commentary - What does your hobby cost?

Many years ago, I got pretty tight with RC boating. What a load of fun that was. RC race boats are loud, fast and exciting, not to mention dangerous, propellers turning 20,000 RPM will cut about anything they touch. Hey Joe Daddy, you lost your brain? This is a train web site, go to the RC Boat forum. OK, OK, I'll get to my point.

Like all hobbies, RC boating can get very expensive, very quickly. I was at the lake, having a great time and a fellow walked up and said "how much do them boats cost, like that red one over there?" "About a thousand to get it into the water", I said. "You gotta be kidding me! Fer that little toy boat? Hell, I only got 9 thousand in my bass boat sitting over there?"

"OK, I said, so, do you drive that new Ford 250 to work too?" "Heck no," he said indignantly, "that truck is special, I only use it for pulling my boat."

You are way ahead of me, you have had a similar experience I am sure. Well, that red-neck did make me do some thinking, later of course, a couple of years later, when I had tired of boats and had already moved on to RC Cars. After a trip to the hobby shop to buy Nitro and a new set of tires for my race car, that 125 bucks kinda got my attention. These were operational costs, you know, something I was going to just wear out quickly and replace again. Fact of the matter was that I could buy or build a full size street rod for about what I was dumping into the RC cars and boats, so that is exactly why I left that hobby.

Model railroading is different, you cannot build a prototype sized railroad for what it costs to build a model railroad. Even a live steam 7 inch gauge will likely run you five figures just for the engine, not counting track and property, and and and.

Someone has decided to label model railroading as the world's greatest hobby. You know, it may just be that. After a year, and I am looking at my self very closely, now, am I still enjoying it as much as I did 9 months ago? Yes and perhaps even more, no, I am sure of it. There is just so much variety, when I get tired of something, I do something else. What has been so perplexing is that some of the areas where I have had the absolute most experience and related skills have been some of the areas most difficult to execute. If you have read my blog entry on frying decoders, you may see what I mean. I have been fixing and repairing computers, and I mean fixing them for 45 years, and yet I have burned up three decoders. Go figure!

I do find myself becoming somewhat more patient, though, especially now that I am doing some scenery work. Paint, glue and plaster has to dry doesn't it?

Have a great day,

Joe Daddy