Non Computer Activities

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Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:51 pm

Well folks I took a hard look at my life and found that most of the time I'm stuck staring at some kind of screen, be it FreeBSD's command line or ZOE2 on my PS3! So I'm trying to distance myself from such activities.

Also, just to remind ourselves of the finer things in life, what other non-computer related activities do you guys do? For me, I can only think of piano, photography (film), and maybe sports, because academic prowess these days is also related to computers :(
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:34 pm

Well, I like to compose on the piano too, but if you don't want to stare at a screen or a sheet of paper all day, try something that will improve your health, expand your mind, or expand your skillset.

Learning a martial art is usually a physically demanding and socially rewarding activity. Chances are you'll get fit, learn a skill and meet a bunch of other people in the same boat as you. In a less-organised moment of escapism, I get a small but rewarding kick out of covering large distances entirely under my own propulsion either running or by bike (and it helps offset my love of alcoholic beverages). Also, endorphins are the ultimate pick-me-up and mood lightener.

Only you can really know what you want. If you are spending too much time staring at a screen by yourself, try online dating (YA RLY)

If you have no idea what you want to do with yourself, consider talking to a shrink - you could be depressed (only mildly) without really "feeling" depressed and one of the symptoms/side-effects of this is lack of direction and motivation. I am no psychologist but if I was asking this quesion to the internet, it would probably be because I was a little bit depressed about staring at a screen all day.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and you have a booming social life, but my problem is wanting to do loads of cool things but not having the skills/time/money to do them. I therefore would imagine that the default, happy state is to have ambitions that need fulfilling.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:39 pm

Exercise (used to do martial arts but not recently), electronics hobbyist stuff, woodworking, photography, reading books on paper, working on my cars, occasionally dabble in drawing and painting. Instruments are also good if you've got both the talent and the learning ability. Unfortunately I never developed the piano into anything useful and eventually gave it up.

For me, balance and rotation are good helps. I enjoy computer-related activities during free time, but not exclusively.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:42 pm

The only problem with photography (unless you're going with film) is that it often leads to many more hours spent in front of the screen developing the digital files.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:26 pm

I find my hobbies changing over time, with a few solid ones that never go away.

Like a lot of guys I know, all of the hobbies I'm interested in tend to be very expensive. After a few bouts with serious buyer's remorse for getting into something that was really expensive and finding out I liked the idea of the hobby more than the hobby itself, I'm extremely careful to not get into something that's not going to stick. I think I know myself a lot better now than I used to, so I can be more honest with myself now. As in... "Hey, really, you're not going to get your money's worth out of that."

For me, computing has been a serious hobby since I was about 6 years old and started BASIC programming. My other serious non-computer related hobbies are bicycling (2,000 miles/year or so) and welding (TIG and MIG). I used to have time to maintain another one or two hobbies at any given time, but with family obligations that's not so easy any more. I used to do a lot of woodworking and stained glass, as well, but after a while, you've filled your house with stuff you've made and have no more room to make anything.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:52 pm

Well I rendered a few pounds of lard the other day. Fridge full of tasty homemade lard. Let me assure you the effort is worth it and the crispy leftover bits at the end are phenomenal:

2-3 lbs pig fat

Cut fat into 1/3-1/2" cubes. Place in non-stick pot with half a cup of water. Slowly heat until the pot starts bubbling gently. Stir every 10 minutes. After an hour or so the bubbling will decrease in intensity. At this point, most of the fat has been rendered and the water content in the fat itself is largely gone. The temperature will rise. Lower heat and stir every couple of minutes. At some point the bubbling will completely cease. Keep on eye on the crispy bits - you want them to just golden up without browning too much. Enjoy with friends.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:34 pm

1st: thanks for the recipe Pancake! I'll try it sometime, I have no aversion to fat :)

Chrispy_ wrote:If you have no idea what you want to do with yourself, consider talking to a shrink - you could be depressed (only mildly) without really "feeling" depressed and one of the symptoms/side-effects of this is lack of direction and motivation. I am no psychologist but if I was asking this quesion to the internet, it would probably be because I was a little bit depressed about staring at a screen all day.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and you have a booming social life, but my problem is wanting to do loads of cool things but not having the skills/time/money to do them. I therefore would imagine that the default, happy state is to have ambitions that need fulfilling.


I would say there are times when I'm depressed, but when I make progress in certain areas, I feel good again, so it's probably not a problem as long as I keep making progress. The problem is actually being disciplined enough to sit down and accomplish something.

So I guess people's hobby patterns are the same as mine: some impermanent, some permanent, and some you have to give up on.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:50 pm

Hiking
Weight lifting
And never underestimate the wonder of escapism, in a good book!
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:31 pm

Music for me. I picked up a guitar for the first time in the summer of 2009 and it's become a very trusty companion. I've got a lower-end Yamaha acoustic with a piezo pickup, and a MIM Fender Telecaster that I plug into a Line 6 Spider IV 30W modeling amp. The Yamaha gets 1-2 hours a week and the Telecaster gets the bigger workout, as I play an hour a day except 2 on Tuesdays and Sundays. I'm not much of a lead player but I can play G-D-Em-C with the best of 'em. ;)

I like to read, but anymore I prefer to read on my Nexus 7 with the wifi turned off. Not really away from a screen that way, but generally free of distractions.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:45 pm

reading books, listening to music, lifting weights, doing outdoorsy nature stuff...it all helps :)
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:02 pm

When I'm not in front of my computer I'm usually spending some quality time with the wife and kids. That leaves very little time for my personal hobbies/interests. I usually play magic the gathering with a group of friends once or twice a month, or play golf for some physical activity (swing the sticks around and drink some beers!). Board games are fun, played game of thrones a few times. You'd need a few hours for a game though.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:11 pm

Brewing and consuming good beer has been a passion of mine for over 15 years. I've won ribbons in local competitions, and a bronze medal at the American Homebrewers Association nationals a few years back. Also taught my wife, oldest daughter, and son-in-law how to brew. Been a certified beer judge since around 2000.

I used to do a lot more reading, but seem to have slacked off quite a bit the past few years. Have a hard time just keeping up with my magazines these days, so finding time to read novels and non-fiction is hard to come by.

Also used to be quite heavily into collecting obscure jazz/rock fusion music; I still follow that scene sporadically, but not nearly as avidly as I used to. I'm still the moderator of the (rather dead these days) Fusenet forum on YahooGroups; this forum started out as a privately hosted e-mail listserve way back in the early 1990s, and has lived through multiple changes in name, hosting service, and ownership in the years since then.

Learning how to play and compose music is on my bucket list... just starting to work on those. Can't make up my mind between guitar and keyboards, so I'm gonna work on both!
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:26 pm

Running -- Take an hour each day and run somewhere. If you have paths and such great. In a city, play the street light game: when you approach an intersection, cross whichever way has the light and see where you end up. I like running an hour each day. Doesn't matter speed or distance, my only goal is running for an hour.

Guitar (or any instrument) -- This takes some effort, but it's one of the most personally rewarding skills to have.

Woodworking -- If you have the space and don't mind a steep learning curve, chip carving can be lots of fun.

Papercutting -- You'd be surprised what beautiful art can come out of a piece of paper and an exacto knife.

Gardening -- It may sound simple, but it can get awfully involved once the plants bug (not plant bugs) bite you.

Photography -- This can get expensive, but for a few hundred bucks (or heck, just your cell phone) you can make an art of taking pictures of things (not Instagram garbage, I mean the real art of photography).

Cooking -- With a mission (heart healthy, soy free, low cal, etc.) you can have fun making food that tastes great.

Board games -- From Dixit to Dominion, a few friends and an hour can be a good time.

Alcoholic beverages -- You can make an art out of seeking out and tasting, or even better, actually making fine alcoholic beverages. Take your pick: wine, liquor, or beer.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:50 pm

careful with making alcohol a hobby. it can lead to headaches :wink:
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:05 am

I have two gigs - my own company with some friends, and obviously, Tech Report, and I have more or less the same competences in both. So my head must rest quite a bit from thinking all day.

- Gaming (well, obviously). I tend to not go into multiplayer shooters much these days, I don't feel like dealing with trolls/kids. These days I very much prefer strategy games, I find them less stressful.
- Playing guitar - my neighbors are not fans of this particular activity, since I mostly do metal. \m/ :evil: \m/. I believe they prefer when I play flamenco on the acoustic (with varying degrees of "play")
- Reading - I do this on paper for now, until I can get a Nexus 10 here or I give up and buy from Uncle Cook's. Reading is a particularly relaxing activity for me.
- Rocking out in a club - although this is physically tiresome and expensive if you like your drinks fancy, it's a great way to let off some steam.
- Music concerts/festivals - likewise. I understand the whole "festival" thing doesn't happen often/everywhere in the US, but see what's around you. Even smaller/unknown bands put on a good show.
- Soccer. I suck at it, but that doesn't mean that I don't like the exercise and the trash talk. I'm a fierce defender though, if not very skilled.
- Movies/series.
- Board/tabletop games - almost forgot about these. Great way to watch hours fly by, and again, the trash talk is usually as good or better than the game itself.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:24 am

I shoot things.

There is a lot of peripheral activities that go into the above hobby. I concentrate on building up my accuracy, speed and keeping everything in working order. I also reload and slowly building up my collection of bullpups. The reloading is taking up more of my time, lately, as I'm just getting everything set to the point where I can start saving money (as opposed to spending it!) I don't bother with the history, gunsmithing, fabrication or casting aspects... but it's there if I ever want it.

Also, I own a house. So a good portion of my time is maintenance & upkeep of said house. My current minor woodworking project is a cat tower for my wife's ball of fur & fangs. After that, I have to fix our log splitter and then it's time to replace the sliding glass doors and finish the basement. Followed by wiring the new office... you get the idea.
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Re: Non Computer Activities

Postposted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:43 am

Rock-climbing can be a good release. I recommend gym climbing over actual rocks. You meet more people and spend more time climbing. Harness and shoes are not that expensive and do not take up any room in your home. The key is having a gym close enough to you that you will go to 3 to 6 times a week. Climbing real rocks will require a lot more equipment and run the risk of accidentally getting killed dead.
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