Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Intermezzo #74: Prelude for 2015.

It's been a year ago I posted my last G-Shock article. I had the idea for a sabbatical year for a long time. For moments in 2013 it was pretty hard to make new 50 Gs articles. Simply because I was running out of Gs. I might have collected over 600 (now nearly 700) G-Shocks in the past 14 years, there are quite some doubles, specially from special models.
Also, writing a good article takes research and time. An average article takes me about 10 hours of writing, editing, taking photos, editing photo's, etc, etc. and that while I have a full 40 hours job, that changed from a pretty relaxing job 10 years ago (on a school with 700 students) to somewhat hectic and very busy now (now nearly 1500 students).
I pretty much enjoyed my Sabbatical year. I didn't had to buy G-Shock models just for my 50 Gs weblog. I only bought about 20 Gs this year. That's about half I usually do. On the other hand, it's getting harder to get nice Gs for a fair price. There are many collectors with deep pockets, who buy up whole stock and sell them for double the price or more. I tried to stay away from this practice as far as I could, but this year I even had to buy watches for inflated prices. Lately I had to buy a "Giveaway" G-Shock, where 1000(!) of them were given away during an event, for $300,-. This watch would be worth $150 max 5 years ago and frankly, I think for such a model, it should be the market price. Living in Europe makes it nowadays near impossible to get the great models. I was pretty sad I couldn't get the hot looking Bape x Coca-Cola model, as it has 2 of my favorite themes on it: Bape and red.
With more free time I enjoyed other things. In February I met a guy at a LEGO exposition who designed a BR 103 TEE locomotive. As a child I always loved the TEE trains and specially the BR 103 series locs and wagons. I bought his building instructions and in about two months I collected all the parts over whole Europe. The best part of the design is that the loc is 8 studs wide, instead of 6, which LEGO usually uses. This gives the train a more natural look. The guy told me it would cost me about €125 - €150 to get all LEGO parts. I can assure you, you may double that. Specially on shipping costs on rare bricks. After I finished the locomotive, I started designing wagons myself. My idea was that a good looking train would have at least 4 wagons. A usual TEE train with a BR 103 loc has probably st leadt 10 wagons. Also here I stumbled upon high costs. By buying from many different sellers, the shipping costs just kept adding up. Until now, 9 months later, I only finished 2 plain wagons. I'm still intended to make a different passenger wagon and a restaurant wagon. Theses wagons look pretty plain, bit there are at least €100 in bricks. With only two finished wagons and two to go, this will be a slow, ongoing project beside my Gs.
With more free time, I had also more time to ride my bicycle. And I took that time. While in the past years I had to be happy to ride 600 to 700 kilometers, I rode about double this year and enjoyed it to the max. We bought another car, and I bought a bicycle carrier. This gave me more freedom to ride everywhere I like. Still I enjoy exploring the islands here around and I find new roads and tracks almost every ride.
I have planned a little ahead. Before 2015 started I have finished roughly writing 8 articles yet and 3 or 4 are ready to publish. I also get help from my good friend Christofono, who will try to write 12 articles. A bit of a relief, only 38 articles on my shoulder. As I plan to visit Japan, this time with my son Bram, again end 2016, I also try to limit my G-Shock buying as much as possible. This also means 2016 will be an obligatory sabbatical. Traveling to Japan for two will be very expensive. Though I look forward to meet my Japanese watch collector friends in Tokyo and Kyoto again.
Well, this was about what I wanted to write in this prologue for the next series of 50 Gs, but maybe you like the expansion of our LEGO Winter Village collection. I made several building movies, so here they are for your amusement. Check them out below:
Cheers to a new year of 50 Gs G-Shock articles. I hope you look as much forward to it as I do. Let's hope we will finish December 2015 again with a set of beautiful articles. I have heard a bit about what's coming up this year and I look forward to some great released. I hereby want to wish my readers a good G-Shocking New Year with lots of joy, new G-Shocks and a good health. Happy New Year!