Thursday, August 19, 2010

My hobbies and how to share them

Even though I've been extremely busy at the office and, as I mentioned earlier this week, I have plenty of other projects looming, my mind has been wandering. I've thought about creating a bunch of logos and other materials for the random things which wander in and out of my rather strange imagination. I've thought about all of the strange (to other people) hobbies and interests I have which have been cast aside in recent years for whatever reason and how I could resurrect them in an economical and interesting way which I could share with this small but apparently loyal online audience I've built in the past half-decade or so.

See if any of these items catch your interest. I have a vast collection of 1/64 scale farm machinery replicas. Most of these were amassed during the mass production era of the late-80s and early-90s but they've been relegated to an upstairs closet along with a huge stockpile of accessories for them. The Ertl brand is the go-to name for collectors and farm kids (and grown-ups) all across America and that's the dominant brand in my collection. Before they outsourced production to Mexico and eventually China, I visited the small Iowa town of Dyersville (west of Dubuque) where the Ertl brand was born after World War II. Sure, the brand has moved on but the city still has farm collectible (or toys as my old lady calls them) in their blood. I can already feel a photo project coming on for this one.

I've also got an immense sports card collection. It's something that came about in my pre-teen years (it seems to have begun in about 1988 and waned around 1994). I know that this is where hundreds if not thousands of my hard earned dollars went and I EARNED those dollars. They're not just baseball cards, though. The collection, for whatever reason, spans all four major pro sports and I'm fairly confident that I have more than a few Brett Favre cards lying around in those dusty stacks of boxes in my childhood bedroom's closet back on the farm. A few years ago I considered posting the whole lot of them on Craigslist but have since reconsidered. I'm definitely not a hoarder but without knowing what gems are lurking in those boxes, I just can't let them go. With some research and some cold weekends in the coming winter months, I could easily create a website chronicling akward photos of has-beens and never-weres staged by the photographers who roamed the major league circuits working for a pittance.

It's a beginning and I'll admit that the concept I'm thinking of if basically a ripoff of what's been going on for years at and while I like that James Lileks (whose site I've read since my days in Austin at the beginning of this century -- that sounds very impressive) has in the way of everything under one rather massive roof, I also like the corporate philosophy I work under at the office of having a vast network of websites slowly expanding to cover niches as we all see fit. Each one has positives and negatives but if I'm going to take this seriously I need to choose one format and stick with it. I already have MinnPics, this always evolving blog and Minnesota River Valley Photos which is a tiny infant of just a few weeks old. So what's a guy to do? Do I stay the course or begin to move things to a more centralized umbrella site. Hit me up with your suggestions in the comments here or tweet them -- I'm at @sornie79.

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