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Your Backup Hobby

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26 Jan 2017 00:06 #243048 by CranBerries
Even though I have been buying all of Barnes' cast off games lately, I haven't been playing much. So my backup hobby has been hitting the surplus book sales at two local libraries. I guess they use an algorithm to cull books that aren't being checked out, so I've been getting stuff that the local residents don't want--a lot of it historical or sociological--for pennies on the dollar, or even free on the last day of the month. My collection of books on British hijinks during the 18th century in the Middle East and Africa has slowly been growing, including a mint copy of Stanley Livingstone's journal, complete with a facsimilie, hand-drawn fold out map. Books on the Iraq war are hitting the surplus shelf right now, even some Pulitzer prize winners. I tell myself that I'm gathering research for a book I know I'll never write, and it satisfies my hoarding impulses much more affordably than gathering board games. Like really, has anyone actually ever played East Front (first edition)? I didn't think so.

What is the sweet, sweet methadone that you stand in line for and hurriedly gulp to keep away the shakes and night terrors?
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26 Jan 2017 01:36 #243049 by Colorcrayons
Replied by Colorcrayons on topic Your Backup Hobby
I used to breed poison dart frogs when I managed a pet shop in Helena Montana.

My GF is obsessed with frogs, so I figured I would surprise her with a large frog vivarium that is nearly automated so she could keep her choice of a dart frog breed. (running total I think is $2k)
But there are several conservation initiatives that I became involved with to prevent the extinction of several frogs breeds, since frogs seem to be the barometer of environmental distress.

So now we keep two severely endangered breeds of dart frogs from Columbia as a stop gap in case of localized extinction, they may be reintroduced. There are only 3 other labs in North America that carry these specific breeds, whose taxonomy is still up for scholarly debate. It took a lot of licensing and nightmarish governmental bureaucracy to get to this point.

She gets her frog fix, and I do my own small part to stall extinction by captive breeding and sending froglets back to Columbia when requested. This backup hobby has turned into a full time job with all the data I need to keep track of, importation of local insect fauna for feed when not supplementing with just melanogaster fruit flies as well as flora when certain species inevitably falter, and vivarium maintenance.
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26 Jan 2017 04:20 #243050 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Your Backup Hobby
Aside from games, the other thing I've always loved to do was walk. Especially hill walking. In the days before kids, our usual weekend would include a ten mile hike in the country, preferably with a pub somewhere en route. My wife has no interest in games, so that was our shared hobby.

There's so much pleasure to be had in a good walk. The satisfaction of gentle but substantial physical exercise. The sense of exploration, of finding new things even on routes you've walked before. The joy of seeing wildlife and astonishing views across villages and countryside. The way it clears your head and the meditative rhythm of the steps helping you ruminate on ideas you've been turning over at the back of your mind.

Sadly, our kids have never seen it the same way. Our youngest, in particular, now hates to walk anywhere even when she can. I think we maybe made it into too much of a shibboleth for her. So it's not something we do often anymore but when there's the chance, it's often top of the agenda. To the absolute horror of my chain-smoking, beer swilling friends, I insisted that we go walking in the Welsh mountains as part of my stag do. In the end, gasping for breath though they were, I think they quite enjoyed it.
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26 Jan 2017 08:30 - 26 Jan 2017 08:33 #243052 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Your Backup Hobby
^my backup hobby is hiking and backpacking, it's my wife's main vice. Since moving to Texas that hobby has really died on the vine. We take trips to new mexico, big bend and elsewhere when we can but there's only so much you can do when your hobby required at least 5 hours drive. We're very hopeful that this move to Arizona will reignite that hobby, there's great hiking very close by. I would welcome making hiking a bigger part of my life because it's very good for me on a physical and emotional level, for the reasons you described, Matt.

My other hobby is reading and, like probably everyone else in the world, I'd really like to replace my evening screen time, esp internet browsing, with more reading.

As a strange side comment, I'd like to take up fly fishing. It sounds peaceful standing in a river by yourself focusing on some mundane task.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2017 08:33 by Gary Sax.
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26 Jan 2017 08:39 #243054 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Your Backup Hobby
Kayaking and mountain biking are side hobbies. Also making my own cordials and such. I do make a mean krupnik and lemoncello. Holding dinner parties is something I enjoy, but do not get to do enough of. Cooking a great meal for friends is very rewarding. My table is always open to you F:ATties.
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26 Jan 2017 09:36 #243055 by Joebot
Replied by Joebot on topic Your Backup Hobby

Gary Sax wrote:
My other hobby is reading and, like probably everyone else in the world, I'd really like to replace my evening screen time, esp internet browsing, with more reading.
.


That was actually my New Year's resolution this year! Instead of plopping down in the recliner and wasting an hour on the iPad, I read a book instead. It's been really nice, and I've been plowing through my "reading shelf." Just finished Bernard Cornwell's "The Last Kingdom," which was awesome.

My other hobby is Legos, and has been for 35 years. I have a room in my basement dedicated to my sprawling Lego city. I also have an incredibly patient and forgiving wife.
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26 Jan 2017 09:37 #243056 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Your Backup Hobby
Working out isn't my backup hobby, it's more of a co-hobby. I got into both hobby gaming (rpgs, wargames, AT-style boardgames, etc) and fitness while in my early teens, and have stuck with both ever since. Although there are times when I am spending a lot more time gaming (especially during conventions), the fitness is a more constant part of my life, with an average of 3 to 4 trips to the gym every week.
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26 Jan 2017 09:42 #243057 by san il defanso
Replied by san il defanso on topic Your Backup Hobby
Stage acting and directing used to be a big hobby for both my wife and I, but it hasn't happened at all since we've had kids, which is almost seven years now.

I do love cooking and baking though. I don't know if I'd call it a hobby exactly, but I love trying new things in the kitchen, including any delicious mistakes that might occur.
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26 Jan 2017 09:46 #243058 by san il defanso
Replied by san il defanso on topic Your Backup Hobby

Joebot wrote:

Gary Sax wrote:
My other hobby is reading and, like probably everyone else in the world, I'd really like to replace my evening screen time, esp internet browsing, with more reading.
.


That was actually my New Year's resolution this year! Instead of plopping down in the recliner and wasting an hour on the iPad, I read a book instead. It's been really nice, and I've been plowing through my "reading shelf." Just finished Bernard Cornwell's "The Last Kingdom," which was awesome..


I'm trying to cut down on evening screen time too, though I'm usually using that time for D&D prep and painting minis. So...not really a different hobby there.
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26 Jan 2017 10:05 #243060 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Your Backup Hobby

san il defanso wrote:
I do love cooking and baking though. I don't know if I'd call it a hobby exactly, but I love trying new things in the kitchen, including any delicious mistakes that might occur.


You are in the GR area, right? Sounds like we might need to setup a dinner party/board game night.

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26 Jan 2017 10:17 - 26 Jan 2017 10:18 #243061 by edulis
Replied by edulis on topic Your Backup Hobby
I used to play a lot of rugby, but age and family life have caught up to me, I still play some pick up soccer which is a weak substitute. I don't have one firm hobby outside of gaming, but bounce around. I read (fiction), collect wild mushrooms, brew beer, cook (esp. East Indian food) and hang-out with my children and wife and participate in whatever they like to do- such as cross country skiing, knitting, local politics, geocaching, building lego.

I've started to get involved wit the local pickleball group... which makes me feel young. When I last played rugby the opposing position was 20 years younger than me, when I play pickleball I tend to be 20 years younger.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2017 10:18 by edulis.
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26 Jan 2017 10:43 #243063 by san il defanso
Replied by san il defanso on topic Your Backup Hobby

the_jake_1973 wrote:

san il defanso wrote:
I do love cooking and baking though. I don't know if I'd call it a hobby exactly, but I love trying new things in the kitchen, including any delicious mistakes that might occur.


You are in the GR area, right? Sounds like we might need to setup a dinner party/board game night.


I'm in Saginaw actually. A little bit of a drive, but definitely something that can be managed easily.
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26 Jan 2017 10:46 - 26 Jan 2017 10:47 #243065 by Black Barney
Replied by Black Barney on topic Your Backup Hobby
vidja games

...actually that's my main hobby. I'm not even sure board games count as my backup hobby. I think Fortress Ameritrash would be a more accurate back-up hobby.

Unless, is dancing a hobby? Or is that a sport? Are sports hobbies?
Last edit: 26 Jan 2017 10:47 by Black Barney.
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26 Jan 2017 10:47 #243066 by Jexik
Replied by Jexik on topic Your Backup Hobby

MattDP wrote: There's so much pleasure to be had in a good walk. The satisfaction of gentle but substantial physical exercise. The sense of exploration, of finding new things even on routes you've walked before. The joy of seeing wildlife and astonishing views across villages and countryside. The way it clears your head and the meditative rhythm of the steps helping you ruminate on ideas you've been turning over at the back of your mind.


We got a dog about three weeks before I got Pokémon GO. So between this 18 month lab mix needing her exercise and me wanting to go explore new local parks, I probably walk a good 90-120 minutes a day, weather withstanding. I find it to be very relaxing. Cold weather kills the battery life on pokemon like no other though! I'm not staring at my phone the whole time- usually I just get it out for about 5 seconds at corners. (It seems like if you go into your Journal that updates your location and distance traveled more efficiently).
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26 Jan 2017 11:12 #243069 by R.P.Kraul
Replied by R.P.Kraul on topic Your Backup Hobby
Last year, I started growing chile peppers hydroponically. I have always been into gardening, but I wanted to try my hand at super hots--particularly ghost peppers, scorpion peppers, and 7 pot peppers. I also grew some habaneros and scotch bonnets. These chiles are tropical--most are native to Central and South America. They don't particularly like cooler climates like mine (Western Pennsylvania), so I turned to hydroponics to reduce the turnaround time (most super hot chiles take about 5 months from seed to yield). I was eating fresh pods last July, which was pretty awesome.

Hydroponics is a lot of work. You have to monitor PH levels and water temperature, and adjust nutrient levels according to the growth stage of your plants. You have to examine the health of your plants and purge pests (some of mine were infested with aphids). It can also be expensive--the nutrients are not cheap. That aside, I wouldn't give it up for anything. This is one hobby I'll stick with for the rest of my life.

New seedlings are already started--I planted the first batch after Christmas. They will grow in a smaller hydroponic setup in my basement. In late April or early May, I'll move them to a larger hydroponic setup outside. Then the fun begins. Keeping water temps 70-78 in hot weather is challenging.

It's a hell of a lot of work, but I get delicious fresh chiles. I slice them on sandwiches, freeze them, dry them for powder, or brew up my own batches of hot sauce.
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