learning. how?

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learning. how?

Post  littlebobby on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:30 pm

self taught or trained? You've probably noticed from my dumb arse questions that I'm a novice, and I was wondering how you boffins became boffins?

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:32 pm

By asking dumb arse questions Very Happy

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Re: learning. how?

Post  littlebobby on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:36 pm

Laughing Cool

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:01 pm

I started aged 14, before there were any english language books readily available. Read a few very poor books from the library and got all the wrong advice. Gave up due to frustration of killing things all the time. I kept the four pots that I had bought from a garden centre after they killed their trees. Much later I took up the interest again as I got deeper into gardening and was then bought Dan Bartons book by my wife. Now I have a large library of books, have been a member of a bonsai club for 18 years, have visited Kokofuten in Japan, attended and exhibited at many shows like Fobbs, Best of British, Bukex, attended numerous workshops at Tony Tickles Burrs with a range of european teachers, other workshops and one to ones with Craig Coussins, Harry Tomlinson, Peter Warren.

I have even managed to arrange a week in Majorca when, by sheer coincidence (my wife thinks Wink), Angel Mota had a bonsai show with Kunio Kobayashi headlining.

I have been a member of the IBC from very early on and met up with many IBCers over the years from Billy Rhodes in Florida, to the boozy but dedicated and enthusiastic crowd at Burrs and then Fionnghal more recently. Every meeting is a great chance to swap knowledge and develop the interest as well as a wonderful social event.

The best way to learn quickly is definitely by joining a club. Then read as much as you can. Experiment, be guided by local experts and have fun. If you can get to shows, conventions, workshops and demos, do as many as you can afford/justify with your loved ones.

I'm glad you put boffins, if you'd put master or artist I couldn't have replied.


Last edited by Kev Bailey on Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:21 pm

Kev Bailey wrote: The best way to learn quickly is definitely by joining a club. Then read as much as you can. Experiment, be guided by local experts and have fun. If you can get to shows, conventions, workshops and demos,
Your entire post reads like the story of most of our lives - the good bits and the bad bits. I've always kind of hoped that one of the benefits of this forum is for those of us who have already been round the block to help prevent newbies from wasting too much time at the beginning. We're blessed that the UK is a relatively small place and "doing the rounds" is pretty practicable, not to say highly beneficial. For the 'do as many as you can afford/justify with your loved ones' part of Kev's quote, don't forget to try and persuade TheOneIndoors to take up an equally expensive hobby - that way you get away with murder. Mine just bought a Tiger Moth - to me worth at least two decent bits of yamadori off Mr Tickle! Laughing

Kev Bailey wrote: I'm glad you put boffins, if you'd put master or artist I couldn't have replied.
Ditto. Except possibly substitute/add "anorak". Is there a USA equivalent of anorak as a term?

Kev Bailey wrote: ... and then Ffionghal more recently.
which of us has developed the stutter? I need to be an N on and an F o.. no we'll finish that! Evil or Very Mad Reminds me of a Jeff Dunham and Peanut sketch. If you don't know who they are - well worth checking out on YouTube!

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:41 pm

I am still in the novice stage i feel but i read as much as i can as i do not know any one in my area who is into bonsai. There aren't any clubs in the area also. Over the years i have acquired nearly all my material from unwanted plants in peoples gardens so i could chop away with out worrying about ruining thing. I haven't the money to buy top class material and nor have i access to amazing yamadori so i will never have world class bonsai but i think the main thing is to enjoy what you are doing. Even sticks in pots can give you pleasure. Every mistake means you have learned something.

I did start by doing a horticulture class and general gardening which gives you a start in keeping things alive but over the years most of other styles of gardening have fallen by the wayside and the obsession of bonsai has taken over.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:01 pm

Whereabouts in Wales are you?

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:04 pm

I'm in Hay on Wye.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:06 pm

Pause to consult Google maps Very Happy

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Re: learning. how?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:11 pm

Well, I just happened to live in Japan shortly after the War (WWII), and the old guy in the house just below our had a dozen pine bonsai on tables in his postage-stamp back yard. The old guy spoke no English (and was -- probably understandably in 1954 -- a bit hostile to us anyway, but I enjoyed watching him work on the trees).

I got the Japan Travel Bureau's Tourist Library Vol. 13 book on Bonsai--Miniature Potted Trees by Norio Kobayashi (I still have it!) and have gone on from there. I was 17. In my college years and early peripatetic wanderings as a newspaperman I did no trees, but when I settled down about 40 years ago, I started up again.

I've got about 100 books (most of them pretty bad), and have attended various conventions, taken workshops, etc., have gone back to Japan, and have generally puttered around with trees ever since.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:11 pm

I'm on the welsh side as we are on the border. Very Happy

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:15 pm

You can only be an hour or so away from Gerry (Uro) and the Dragon boys just outside Carmarthen according to my (admittedly dodgy) map-reading skills. It would be well worth your while to pop down to see them one meeting night (or better weekend). They are top guys and very enthusiastic about everything to do with wee trees. Chris might even be able to supply you with some material that is within your budget. You'd be amazed. Altho' I've met a few of the guys individually, I'm hoping to sample my first full meeting in August. I'll be coming over from just outside Bristol on that occasion and it looks about the same distance on the map as from Hay on Wye. So Hey Wye not?

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:24 pm

That does sound possible , where abouts exactly are they. It would be good to talk trees with someone who is actually interested. Is it a nursery they have there.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:34 pm

You'll get all you need to start with on http://www.dragonbonsai.co.uk. There's some contact details there I'm fairly certain. Good luck. Maybe see you there.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Smithy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:38 pm

Thanks for that i just had a quick look and it looks just what i have been looking for and not too far away. I am going to have a proper look through and contact them. Thanks very much for that.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:26 am

[quote="fionnghal"][quote="Kev Bailey"] Is there a USA equivalent of anorak as a term?

Now you have me confused. I thought anorak was the Inuit (and British) term for what we call in US a parka, a lined winter jacket with a hood. What does it have to do with an experienced enthusiast?
Iris

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Re: learning. how?

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:40 am

I think "anorak" as a mild term of derision came from observations of avid trainspotters and birdwatchers. I think perhaps "nerd" would be a close american equivalent?

Sorry Fionnghal, I spelt your name in Welsh Gaelic!

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Re: learning. how?

Post  DaveP on Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:25 pm

Kev's the closest here, but based off Iris' observation. Trainspotters, et al. have typically "nerd-like" hobbies outdoors and the anorak (aka "snorkel parka") has a great many pockets for carrying notebooks, food, etc. and are rather utilitarian for foul-weather pursuits. Tie the two together and you get 'anorak' as a slang for someone obsessed with "nerd-like" pursuits. I suppose that counts a few yamadori collectors. ;-) :: waves to Tony :: ::runs like #(*&#$::

By happenstance, one of our old servers at work was named anorak, so when I was hired one of my first tasks was understanding the reasoning behind the name. (man, I miss my old boss!)

Kindest~
-d

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:51 pm

bonsaisr wrote: Now you have me confused. I thought anorak was the Inuit (and British) term for what we call in US a parka, a lined winter jacket with a hood. What does it have to do with an experienced enthusiast? Iris

Hee hee hee. Sorry Iris. We are truly two ntions separated by one common language. Laughing Enthusiast indeed it is. As Kev suggests it is a mildy derisive name (though usually spoken with affection) for those who take their hobby/sport/art to an infinity way beyond enthusiasm into that zone where every fact, figure, statistic, detail is of paramount importance. Anoraks were the favoured outer gear of plane/train/bird etc. spotters and their ilk, of model railway/aircraft/boat enthusiasts and so the list goes on. Anoraks are the sort of men (usually the case but not exclusively) who if 16 naked curvaceous blonde young ladies turned up outside their house in a car, they'd be out trying to get the engine and chassis number of the car long before they noticed the girls. I suspect my husband is a model aircraft anorak now. Friday nights at our house when he has the rest of the cloakroom round are hilarious as stories are exchanged about the wing nuts on the prop shaft of the semi-hemi-plexifuselage yada yada yada. World crises! Forget 'em, Donald's flaps came off again last Sunday - far more important. In fact, I've come to a decision that to get myself noticed these days, I shall have to get a tee-shirt printed that says "Do my nacelles look big in this?"

So that's cleared that up then! Rolling Eyes The trade off for yourself and Dave P - what is the difference between a nerd and a geek? I've never really known.

Kev Bailey wrote: Sorry Fionnghal, I spelt your name in Welsh Gaelic!
That's alright. We got all the vowels and you guys got all the consonants - and we both deploy them on the basis of why use one when three together will do!

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Re: learning. how?

Post  DaveP on Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:14 pm

fionnghal wrote:The trade off for yourself and Dave P - what is the difference between a nerd and a geek? I've never really known.

The differences are subtle, but important (if you're a geek like me, at least Wink ).

http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/N/nerd.html

http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/geek.html

Nutshell, a geek is more refined form of a nerd. Geeks tend to be more about the process and results while nerds dwell on the minutia involved to no end - although both understand the niggling details equally well. There are more similarities than differences, but believe me when I say you'd rather hang out with a geek than a nerd. Wink

Kindest~
-d

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:25 pm

DaveP wrote: ... if you're a geek like me, at least. ... believe me when I say you'd rather hang out with a geek than a nerd. Wink

Oooooh! That almost counts as an online chat-up line. affraid

I'd better check that my nacelles don't look big in this tee-shirt. Twisted Evil

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Re: learning. how?

Post  DaveP on Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:32 pm

fionnghal wrote:
DaveP wrote: ... if you're a geek like me, at least. ... believe me when I say you'd rather hang out with a geek than a nerd. Wink

Oooooh! That almost counts as an online chat-up line. affraid

I'd better check that my nacelles don't look big in this tee-shirt. Twisted Evil

HAHAHAhahhhaah.. brilliant! I can honestly say that's the first time I've seen (or heard) that reference made! Thanks for the laugh!

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Re: learning. how?

Post  littlebobby on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:25 pm

cyber stalk alert!!! Shocked

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Re: learning. how?

Post  fiona on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:22 pm

littlebobby wrote:cyber stalk alert!!! Shocked
It's a tree forum - there are bound to be stalks. Rolling Eyes
In the old days he'd have had to make a trunk call.

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Re: learning. how?

Post  littlebobby on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:42 pm

fionnghal wrote:
littlebobby wrote:cyber stalk alert!!! Shocked
It's a tree forum - there are bound to be stalks. Rolling Eyes
In the old days he'd have had to make a trunk call.

in what sense? Cool

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