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Meditation/mindfulness in slot car scratchbuilding


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:34 PM

Odd topic?!

 

How does this relate to "Scratchbuilding Slot Cars?"

 

First, please allow me to explain. . . .

 

 

What is Meditation?

 

It is not about becoming a different or better person.  

 

It is about making yourself to be more aware and acquire a healthy sense of perspective.

 

It is not about turning off your feelings or thoughts, but learning to observe in an non-judgemental perspective.

 

By doing so, may assist a person into having a better understanding of what one is doing.

 

 

What is Mindfulness?

 

It is the ability to be in the "present - in the zone" so to speak, to be fully engaged with whatever you are doing in the moment.

 

OK-Ok, being Asian, a philosophy teacher and vintage car restorer, I get this way at times - part of the culture - hahahha!

 

 

I bring this topic up because my wife made the comment "I see that working on your slot cars is your new method of meditation!" and wanted to share my thoughts after she made mention of this.

 

 

For many many years, I made the effort to "meditate" , but it didn't work for me (probably because in my family culture I was "supposed/had" to do it).

 

When I decided to put in the effort to design and fabricate my own "scratchbuilt" composite chassis, it has helped me become "more relaxed";  more focused (mindful) at being in the moment.

 

I'm sure when you sit at your workbench, understand what I mean when you are in the "zone" - I call it my "ZEN Zone" fabricating chassis/parts.

 

I believe that scratchbuilding has a healthy productive aspect, that of being creative -  stimulates the brain - and that is fact!

 

Being able to bring forth those ideas we have, to reality is gratifying and satisfying.

 

I just want to express that "Scratchbuilding" is "HEALTHY FOR US" and I LIKE IT ! ! ! !

 

It also produces "Smile generating hormones";   Most especially, when we share our projects, and the joy we receive from the positive/supportive feedback.   Seriously!   

 

I also wanted to give "Thanks" to those brethren who offered their supportive comments to my "Odd Job" projects - LOL -  Many Many Thanks!

 

 

Thank you for listening.  Bless you all!

 

Ernie


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Ernie Layacan




#2 Pablo

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

For me, it doesn't even have to be "scratchbuilding" - even assembling a flexi car can be Zen :)


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#3 Geary Carrier

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:37 PM

Ernie,

 

Once you got going you really got going :good:

 

The stone man dances and the wooden woman sings but not necessarily in that order.

 

Keep 'em coming...

 


Yes, to be sure, this is it...


#4 havlicek

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 06:03 AM

Good one Ernie!  While I am pretty sure that all humans (*and as we seem to be finding-out more and more...non-humans too) have a basic need/drive/desire to "create", humans have a weird habit of only elevating some forms of creation to "art" status, while others are relegated to being "hobbies".  The implication is that the former is more serious and objectively important, while the latter is the equivalent of butt-scratching while chewing on a long piece of grass.  :D

Don't get me wrong Ernie, I certainly see the difference between Michelangelo's "Pieta" and a scratchbuilt chassis, but in human terms both represent the same basic thing when you get right down to it.  Sure, Michelangelo was probably going through more when he was up there on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel than a scratchbuilder suffering a few burnt finger tips does...but I mention the extreme differences only to underscore the basic similarities.  I mean, who in their right mind would willingly hold onto hot metal long enough to allow a joint to cool?  ;)

 

For me, it doesn't even have to be "scratchbuilding" - even assembling a flexi car can be Zen :)

Pablo's post is exactly on-point here as well.  There are those who would elevate making a chassis out of brass and wire over carefully assembling a chassis, but those too represent the same basic creative instinct, while admittedly also being "different ways to get there".

Soooo, what I'm getting at is that while these endeavors all DO have a kind of "zen"/contemplative/therapeutic aspect, the REASON they have that effect on us is because we are all pre-wired to do them and "the doing" is fulfilling a basic human creative purpose.

Lastly, of course there's satisfaction in sharing the things we do and the internet has only made that better and easier!  Personally-speaking though, I get the MOST satisfaction (*and sometimes frustration!) when turning-on the power to find out if things actually work!


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#5 Dave Crevie

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:39 AM

I really feel sorry for the Gen Y and Z'ers, who are being raised on computers and smartphones and don't have enough

exposure to the real world. They never experience the euphoria of creating something tangable, that they can hold in their

hands. Something solid. They will grow to adulthood with little to show for their experiences beside some soccer participation

ribbons. As I have been resurrecting the old chassis I built as a kid, I am occasionally amazed that I did that. The solder

joints may look like crap, but the thought that had been put into the designs showed the direction my life would take. How

many AYSO kids will grow up to be pro players?   


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#6 MSwiss

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:23 AM

Dave,
As I mentioned before, you over-exaggerate.

While not the kind of stuff you may be used to, technology has moved forward, and kids still make stuff.

All those hundreds of kits in Hobby Lobby, Micro Center, and Barnes & Noble, would not exist, if there wasn't a market for them?

Why do people pay big money to go to Legoland?

To take off their shoes, step on bricks, and swear? Lol
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#7 havlicek

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 01:20 PM

I think Dave may (*or may not) be over-exaggerating, but if so, not by a whole lot Mike.  Making model cars...planes etc, various assembly-type toys like "Erector Sets", chemistry, electronics "labs" or sets (*like the Gilbert Chemistry set), even the "Susie Homemaker" and "Easy Bake" stuff is pretty much gone.  Yes, there are Legos, as well as other "blocks", but those are largely for the very young and even infants, and kids "outgrow" those pretty young in many cases.  Then again, even the schools have very little (if any) industrial arts classes or facilities, and that's pretty much inarguable for whatever the reasons.

A lot of what I see on the "Hobby Lobby" and similar websites as far as "craft" type stuff is about adult hobbies...knitting and needlepoint, stained glass, whatever.  Not all of it, but a lot of it.

 

 

 

While not the kind of stuff you may be used to, technology has moved forward, and kids still make stuff.

I don't know what "technology has moved forward" really means in light of this subject, but it surely HAS.  Do kids still make stuff?  I sure hope so, but it seem clear to me at least that they do a lot less of it.  I have not really looked at whatever stats there may be out there on all this though.


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#8 MSwiss

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 01:31 PM

I'm in Hobby Lobby, probably at least once a week.

 

There is stuff there called VEX.

 

Fairly complex articulated devices, along with less lethal replicas of "Battlebot's", like you see on TV.

 

It is is not assembled by young children.

 

Neither are $349 Lego Bugatti Chiron's,. like shown below.

 

I won't argue that kids are creating less, from junk picked out of the alley, but they are building and creating things.

 

Lego Chiron.jpg

 

PS-Erector sets pretty much gone? LOL

 

Google "Meccano".

 

Or go here;

 

http://www.meccano.com/products

 

Those cool kits are in the stores I mentioned.


Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
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17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#9 Dave Crevie

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:18 PM

Mike, all you have to do is go to the toy and plastic model show at DuPage. There are at least ten adults for every kid. 

and they are buying toys and models for themselves, not the kids. And I also go to Hobby Lobby. And I see far more 

adults buying models there than kids.

 

My local library has a very well equipped technology center, with 3-D printers, laser cutters, and CNC routers. There

are a lot of kids in there, but they are working on school projects. I don't see many who went there to make stuff for

fun. 

 

And how many kids have come into your shop to buy a retro slot car kit? 



#10 MSwiss

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:38 PM

"Lot of kids in there".

You've proven my point.

Doing it for school work, and not for fun?

That's like saying they have the kids playing football, Friday night, or Saturday afternoon, on the school team, are not having fun.

Kids are still creating.

But they have technology on their side, now.

They're just not getting their fingernails as dirty as you used to.
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#11 Dave Crevie

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:46 PM

I have not proven your point. Those kids are there because they have to be. Not because they chose to be. I

can assure you that given the choice of going to the Makery to complete a required school project or playing

something like Word of Warcraft on their I-pads, 3/4ers of them will play the video game. 



#12 MSwiss

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 03:00 PM

Forced?

Kids are forced to take English, math and history.

Shop classes are usually by choice, and far as which one.

Regardless, you said 1/4 are fine with it.

Growing up, not every kid in my neighborhood was making stuff.

Me hanging out at the slot car raceway, Dremeling on stuff, and soldering up chassis, was pretty unique.

Way, way more kids were interested in sports or music, or nothing(getting in pointless trouble).

I go to Micro Center.

They have $149,$249,$349,$549,$749, and $999 3D printers, to go along with all those Vex, Meccano, Arduino kits.

They also have various robot type kits, when built up, are controlled by one's cell phone.

The key word is kit.

It has to assembled.

Who cares if a cell phone is somehow involved?

Like I said, all this stuff wouldn't exist if there wasn't a market for them.

You can keep arguing.

I have to go back to the raceway and make stuff.

Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#13 havlicek

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:17 PM

 

I'm in Hobby Lobby, probably at least once a week.

 

There is stuff there called VEX.

 

Fairly complex articulated devices, along with less lethal replicas of "Battlebot's", like you see on TV.

 

It is is not assembled by young children.

 

Neither are $349 Lego Bugatti Chiron's,. like shown below.

 

I won't argue that kids are creating less, from junk picked out of the alley, but they are building and creating things.

I won't argue either...especially since you seem to be agreeing with me!?  Anyway, kids may well be building and creating things, but you don't seem to be able to point to what exactly those things are.  I think Dave's point, while *maybe* overstated, is largely true vis-a-vis several decades ago and BTW, no one I know built things out of "junk picked out of the alley", so I don't get that reference either.


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#14 Alchemist

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:23 PM

Gentleman,

 

I can appreciate your perspectives - but this thread is about a calming subject matter  "meditation/mindfulness"  NOT  about anger/madness.  LOL!

 

Let us all take a moment and calmly breath in deeply  - hold it!   Now, exhale slowly through the mouth  - aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 

Do we better now?!   hahahaa

 

Let's make this a light banter please!

 

Thank you all for your participation.

 

I appreciate it.

 

Ernie


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#15 munter

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

A good topic, Ernie.

 

I am at my happiest and usually calmest while I am on the "making something" journey.

 

Regards

John


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Slot cars are my preferred reality


#16 Gor

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 04:00 AM

My first post, think I'm gonna like it here...

 

Here's my attempt to combine meditation, mindfulness, junk picked out of the alley, and making stuff

 

Household detritus

a lot supplies.JPG

 

Not from the alley, but it is junk picked out of a puddle of stagnant water underneath the expressway 

Nov 4_pvc pipe.jpg

 

Coke can. But it was a diet coke. So does that improve, or reduce, my social credit score?

Louver Test 3.jpg

 

Throw in a pot and stir, while meditating mindfully

Oct 8_7.jpg

 

Deep breaths... deep breaths...Om    :dance3:

Matt


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#17 havlicek

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 05:30 AM

Works for me!

PS:  On the Diet Coke question, diet soda is one of the few kinds of soda that probably makes regular soda seem like a healthy alternative beverage by comparison.  OTOH, recycling  a can of any kind is a plus.  That makes it pretty much a wash in terms of social credits, but someone...somewhere...sometime will probably be offended somehow.  :)


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#18 Dave Crevie

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:56 AM

Boy, did we miss something here! That beautiful Grand Prix model with hand punched louvers. Auto Union or Benz? 



#19 Alchemist

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:20 AM

Greetings and welcome Matt!

 

Great first post!

 

Again - welcome!

 

Ernie


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#20 MattD

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:00 PM

Setting at a desk or work bench building, soldering, or painting a slot car is escape from the world  and relaxation.   Lot of other ways to describe it but that's what it is

in simple terms.     

 

Probably a kid playing a video game may be achieving the same results.


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#21 axman

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Ernie for sharing.

When I was in the construction industry as a project manager the stress of having to multifunction on so many different levels really left me scattered when the phones stopped ringing at the end of the day.

When I got home I would find it very hard to be "in the now"  ( mindfulness ? ) with my partner. To make matters worse she hated slotcars so I was expected to have quality time with her by sitting and watching a third re-run of Signfield.. by now I'm stressing even more as I won't have my car ready for my once a week leave pass to go club racing.  

I would wake up in the middle of the night exhausted as my brain by now was ticking away like I was still on the job. I would then sneak downstairs and work on my cars... the result was my mind would then push away all the work noise and then I could go back to bed and actually sleep. I guess I got into my Zen mode.

The happy outcome to this story is I got a new partner .. . and yes, she is hobby orientated so loves that I have my slotcars. She encourages me to go and get my cars ready for the next race, the result is I'm now a much more relaxed person...and my racing has improved... too bad she cant cook as good as the last one...  


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#22 Gor

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:08 PM

Auto Union or Benz? 

 

Thanks Dave. It's neither. It's an ERA of all things, the E Type. But it certainly does have more than a passing resemblance to the Mercedes Benz W154.

 

 

Nice post Ernie, and thanks for the welcome.


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Matt Ryder


#23 Alchemist

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:27 AM

You are very much welcome Matt . . . and "Thank You" for providing the info on that gorgeous vehicle!

 

If I may ask you please, would you happen to have a "Front 3/4" view" picture of it?

 

Thank you.

 

Ernie


Ernie Layacan

#24 Gor

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 08:09 PM

Thanks Ernie. Here's how I imagine the car looked as it headed out to the banking at Brooklands in 1938.

Oct 8_26 - Copy (2).jpg

 


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#25 Alchemist

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 12:13 PM

Matt!

 

Thank you for taking the time to accommodate my request!

 

That's an excellent photo! ! ! 

 

What an inspiration to build a similar type car - so exciting!

 

Thank you again for your time Matt.

 

Ernie


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