Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Time Consuming

Life often pulls us in many directions, and often our hobbies are given the scraps of time that remain. If any time is left for those pursuits at all.

For example, I was happy to see that Dennis Daniels's pursuit of modeling the Illinois Central Gulf  has returned from those stretches of time where plans get put on hold. Dennis's great article in Model Railroad Planning 2015 profiling his layout had recently interested my son, and as we sometimes do, we try Googling for videos or a blog on layouts found in the magazines.  As luck would have it, Dennis had just posted his first blog update in well over a year. Hopefully more updates will follow as the ICG comes to life again in his "bonus room" (a Southern term I'm guessing).

I know how time can get away from you like that, so I'm hoping to adopt a tip I've seen a lot in various forms recently.

"Do something every day even if it's only for 15 minutes"

Now obviously that may not be practical every single day ever, but if I can do it more often than not, then that's a step in the right direction. Fifteen minutes may not be enough time to work on certain projects, but it can be enough time to clean up or organize your layout room or workspace. Even spending that time to evaluate progress can be beneficial.

The weather this past weekend helped create way much more than 15 minutes spent on the layout. For part of Saturday and all of Sunday, wave after wave of very heavy rains passed through the area. With that unexpected free time I had a good opportunity to reclaim some shelf space by building 21 Stewart 70 Ton Offset Hopper kits. While the rain fell outside, I spent several hours total to complete them all.

The ideal "Temporary Dining Room Table Workbench". Warning: Do not attempt use for more than three days!

While what I really needed to do was continue building shelving supports along that wall to show some promised layout progress.  I just felt like building some kits, so I was actually doing something for the layout at least! The pile of hopper kits on the shelf wasn't getting any smaller (actually growing) and that space needed to be cleared for the layout to pass through.

To make something a habit you must keep doing it obviously, so what did I do today?

I spent maybe 20 minutes removing part of my Pine Valley Yard mockup to reclaim my real workbench to free up the dining room table and avoid looming trouble. The elevation of the mock up needed to be higher anyways, and building kits at the dining room table puts you just one spilled bottle of glue or paint away from sleeping in the garage!

I think that was time well spent.

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