Hobby Time

T.G.I.F. as they say in some circles, I am ready.  I am sitting here drinking a cup of fresh coffee, sitting in front of my brand new, bought at Walmart, Made in China, wired backwards (off is on and on is off) six dollar fan.  I have this new wrinkle in my life, a huge red mark on my forehead, sort of reminiscent of Mikael Gorbachev as a result of a close encounter with an open bay door on my coach.


(Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991.  He also has a huge red mark on his forehead)

This morning as I read the board I see another welcome to a new guy.  As I sip the brew and wait for the caffeine to kick in, I mull around the word “Hobby” in my mind.  Each week on my webpage, I receive a lot of emails from folks, some are bus folks and the majority of them are not.  I got one this week from a bus nut I feel like sharing.  He is not a newbie by any stretch of the imagination, but he did have some good points.  So here you are, I found it interesting and to the point.

We were talking about bus building, hobbies and vacations.

I’ve been doing this sort of thing for years Don. I find my vacations in moments and generally they are at work or chasing my dog around the back yard. Folks talk about 3 week vacations and such. I haven’t taken 3 weeks total in the last 5 years including sick days and funerals. I’m not complaining at all. I find my moments to enjoy and sometimes they are by working. I guess one reason I enjoy my bus so much is because while I’m working on it I am on vacation. To be honest with you I have spent more time working on it than using it. Not a complaint at all other than the fact I wish I had more time to do more on it. I too have found that vacations and some tourist traps generally leave me as tired or more so than when I left. But pull the bus in the shop and give me a weekend with her and I sure enjoy thinking about the sites I could view through her front window!! I may not get too but I keep the windshield clean just in case!!!

Which brings us here.  From time to time I venture online and I see a hearty welcome to a newcomer or newbie.  It usually consists of several catch phrases, some are “welcome to the hobby, welcome to the madness,” or some other type of expression endeared to the bus community.

I was taught that the meaning the word hobby when used as a noun, was an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.  But building a bus, as such is the case, can often surpass hobby and walk over the line to obsession, which is also a noun, and it means the state of being obsessed with someone or something.

There are people who haunt this medium who have been working on, building on, tearing apart and rearranging these monsters of the American Road for over nine years.  Now which one of the two above listed descriptive would you say applies?  Nine years is a long time in anyone’s book, it is a virtual lifetime for a dog (63 years).

My hobby has forced me to cuss, cry and often, injure myself.

On more than one occasion, I have stabbed myself with razor knifes, cut fingers with 4” grinders, set myself on fire a couple of years ago in my shop (now that was interesting to say the least).  From time to time, I have dropped things (heavy things) on my feet which forced myself to walk with a hitch in my giddy-up for weeks at a time.  I am sure at one time, I have been the talk of the beanery after leaving that morning after breakfast. 

“Jeeze Marge, did you see that poor guy, wonder what happened to him?”

Who hasn’t sit patiently on the top of a an old empty bucket and stared for a considerable amount of time at an object, trying to figure out what it is that needs to be done, in order to make it work?  Who hasn’t had the wife walk, silently into the shop with a cup of coffee and surprised you while talking to yourself, trying to figure out what it is that needs to be figured out?  Who hasn’t missed a birthday party or social event, because you stayed home and worked on the bus?

Obsession?  Recently I posted asking if painting screws came under this heading, I received a myriad of answers, none of them Dr. Phil conclusive.

There are times I feel truly inadequate, a little bit out of sync with the rest of the world.  For instance, I really do not know how to greet someone who is indeed new to this bus-building-rearranging process.  One side of me wants to say, “Hey glad you are on-board” and the the other part of me wants to yell …… “Run Skipper!  Run!  Run as fast as your feet will carry you.”

Taking all of this one step further (as I am often prone to do) we find the word “insane” which is an adjective and it means a person who is in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction.  Which on most days, would just about fit the bill for a great many of us, myself included.

Perhaps this is why a select few, I have noted, always respond with “Welcome to the insanity” when welcoming another poor Mr. Goodwrench Bus Wanna Be bus-nut into the fray.

Now here is the good news … Today is Friday, and it is a good thing, you made it thru your work week of never ending days and America’s Got Talent and now comes the weekend.

Just in time for your hobby.

BCO