Analog hobbies


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I would imagine most people who frequent forums like this also have hobbies that align with their work. Raspberry Pi projects, making CNC routers, etc. What hobbies do you have that fall outside of tech? For me, I find my analog hobbies to be a nice way to unwind from the stress of work. I enjoy tech projects also, don't get me wrong. But sometimes it is nice to leave it behind to relax in other ways.

    For me it is woodworking, making beer and wine, cooking and baking.

    Woodworking is soothingly analog. After spending the weekday (and frequently the weekends and evenings) working with technology that can fail in mysterious ways that can involve poring over documentation, I find it soothing to work with something that either fits or it doesn't. It either works, or it doesn't. I enjoy making furniture, organization projects (shelves, cabinets, etc), cutting boards, boxes, etc. It is very cathartic to get in to the workshop, especially when I can do so with my 3 year old son and pass along what my father has taught me.

    I have made beer and wine for over a decade now. Another hobby I picked up from my father and another chance to get out in to the workshop with my son. He can't at this age keep his attention on it for the entire time, but that will get better as he gets older. I make lots of different varieties of beer: IPAs and pales, wheat beers of all different varieties, porters and stouts, etc. My favorite though would probably be a good rye IPA. As for wine, my friends and I get a shipment of grapes and we stem, crush and press them and then run it through all of the steps. As a tie-in to the woodworking hobby, I have also built quite the wine cellar in my basement with custom racking.

    My family and I are foodies, so we do a lot of cooking and baking. In the summer, that means a lot of food on the grill, but we also cook nearly everything here from fresh and I enjoy studying different cuisines. I think I just like to learn new things so I will concentrate on one style and master it (master it from an amateur perspective, I am no chef) and then learn something new while keeping it in my bag of tricks. We also bake nearly all of our bread and desserts. That is something else that is fun with a toddler and a great skill for him to know. I do dread the first time he spends the night at a friend's house and they serve him some disgusting tuna noodle casserole though as he has always had "good food". :smile: Cooking is another thing I picked up from my father and am trying to pass on to my son.

    Really, I think I could boil my hobbies down to learning new things and spending time with my family because that is the central theme. I think my next pursuit might be to learn how to fly. I have always loved planes and aviation and now seems like a good time to learn as aircraft prices in this area have really dropped.

    So tell me, what "analog" hobbies do you have?



  • Well, I'm just a volunteer firefighter/EMT.
    That alone takes the all the free time away. But in the case I got any to spare, I like to get my enduro bike and go for a ride.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I race cars.Specifically, I participate in an endurance racing series for $500 cars. Most people are familiar with normal racing, where the big deal is who goes the fastest.

    In this series, they give trophies to those guys, but nobody cares. The big drama and excitement in who does the least badly on a sliding scale adjusted to the hooptiness of their car. Even that would be boring in a normal-length race - we typically do 14+ hours spread over 2 days with an overnight break. When your beat up piece of shit breaks, you have plenty of time to go buy parts, or a donor car on Craigslist, or fabricate a replacement out of shit you scavenge from your fellow racers, or whatever. Since the race is so long, it's a team event - four to six drivers on a team, swap out as necessary (usually when something breaks or when you refuel). Drama, lulz, great way to spend the weekend.

    For a good overview of what the hell this all actually means in terms of flavor, watch these:
    LeMons Wrapup-The Ridge 2014 – 07:42
    — 24hoursoflemons


    LeMons Wrapup-Sonoma Raceway #1 2014 – 07:14
    — 24hoursoflemons


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    That is actually pretty fascinating and it reminds me of an episode of Top Gear where they talked about racing in Europe where there was an absolute price limit of $1500 on the cars and to enforce it any racer could buy any other racer's car for $1500. Keeps people honest, without needing a lot of accountants and it kept the price of racing down.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Technically speaking, the organizer can buy anyone's car for $500.

    Of course, since despite the fact that the cars headline for $500, that's before safety equipment and tires, which add an easy $2000 before you even blink an eye. It's the nuclear "you're a complete and total douchebag" option and has never been exercised as such. He's claimed twice: Once where he was begged to take the car by its owners because it was such a turd, and once where a professional racing team showed up with a hella cheaty motor built with 'laying-around-the-shop' parts. He claimed the motor. They shipped it to him. Both incidents were really 'all in the fun' of things.

    The $500 isn't really a hard cap, there's a lot of subjectiveness in valuating your car, bribery in that respect is encouraged, and things are all enforced via penalty laps. Nonetheless, it all works out, it's all fair, and it's all totally awesome.

    Starting with tools (anywhere from $200 to sky's the limit), a truck ($10k minimum), and a trailer (you can get a nasty one around $500) as the basics, you'd be looking at expenses of about $7000 to bootstrap a team with a full complement of safety equipment, a car, tires, and entry fees for the first race. It ain't cheap, but it's accessible. And more importantly, you can spread the cost around. Or just go solo and pay your way into short-handed teams.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Similar concept then. That is pretty cool, and very accessible. My father was in to racing (he is where I get the whole "having too many hobbies" thing from) and when he did it was not near that cheap to start. It is all in the competition. It does not matter how fast you go really, or even how far, unless you have people to compete against and have camaraderie with.

    I wish they had something that cool here. Around here racing involves money that makes flying for a hobby look cheap in comparison.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @presidentsdaughter said:

    Well, I'm just a volunteer firefighter/EMT.That alone takes the all the free time away. But in the case I got any to spare, I like to get my enduro bike and go for a ride.

    First off, thank you for your work as an EMT/Firefighter. Enduro bicycle or motorcycle?



  • I make Blakeybeer. Gardening too, when the season's right for it. Fresh corn from the garden today.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I am starting to get in to gardening, but not exactly what I would call a hobby. It is more like "the only fucking way to get a decent tomato without driving out to where 'dueling banjos' becomes the theme song".



  • @Intercourse said:

    It is more like "the only fucking way to get a decent tomato without driving out to where 'dueling banjos' becomes the theme song".

    Tru dat.

    Usually when people give me long lectures about how horrible commercial farms are, you can just filter them out because they're morons.

    But there's one exception.

    Tomatoes. You can't find decent tomatoes in a grocery store anywhere.



  • I have baked bread and brewed beer in the past, and in fact was still brewing earlier this year, but lately don't have much chance to do either. I probably will have to give up brewing entirely because of some medicine I'm now on, unfortunately.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    Tomatoes. You can't find decent tomatoes in a grocery store anywhere.

    Even Whole Foods and the like have shitty tomatoes. I could care less about organic. It is just a marketing term that means fuckall and in many cases is worse for you.

    The gardening thing was an organic evolution. I love to cook so I started planting herbs for easy access when cooking through the summer. Then we planted some tomatoes. Now we are to the point that we already plant tomatoes and a bunch of different herbs, so it will really not be any more expense or labor to throw some cucumbers, peppers, etc in to the mix. Next weekend I am running some underground water lines to the gardening area to automate watering.


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    @ScholRLEA said:

    I probably will have to give up brewing entirely because of some medicine I'm now on, unfortunately.

    I empathize. I have friends who have had to do the same thing. Hopefully at some point you can get back to it?



  • I find it helps me head-off idiots who rant and rave about driving 57 miles every weekend to find a farmer's market. "Oh, that's nice. I just have my own corn in my backyard." ZIING. Suck it, hipster douchebag!


  • mod

    I do Steampunk costuming:


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    I find it helps me head-off idiots who rant and rave about driving 57 miles every weekend to find a farmer's market.

    There is a farmer's market right up the road from me, and most of their stuff is from the same suppliers as the local grocery. Same tasteless but shiny tomatoes, same waxed apples. If you look under the table you see the same produce boxes as at the grocery. But put a crappy tomato on a card table behind a minivan and people will line up and talk about how you have to pay more to get good produce.

    Other suppliers there actually do have good stuff. One guy sells big bags of garlic scapes for cheap. He also frequently has morels that are amazing.

    Most of it is crap though.

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I do Steampunk costuming:

    Do you pattern and sew them yourselves? I expected steam punk costumes to have brass gauges on them. :)


  • mod

    @Intercourse said:

    Do you pattern and sew them yourselves?

    To some degree; I don't draft patterns, but I modify patterns sometimes, and I sew. In the photo I posted, I made the skirt from scratch as well as the (barely-visible) bustle, but I bought the corset (corseting is a skill I don't yet have) and shirt.

    This one's all homemade or modified except the kerchief, though I'm not happy with how the shirt came out:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    You can't find decent tomatoes in a grocery store anywhere.

    We occasionally get them here. Awesome when it happens. Usually just the tasteless red bags of water though. (Fucking commercial farmers in a hurry. Let things have some time in the sun to actually ripen for a chance, will ya?)

    Carrots are another vegetable that's better when done at the natural speed. Peas are the opposite though; the big commercial operations produce a superb product there.
    @Intercourse said:

    Now we are to the point that we already plant tomatoes and a bunch of different herbs

    Watch out for mint if you're growing that. It loves to take over.
    @Intercourse said:
    Next weekend I am running some underground water lines to the gardening area to automate watering.

    We usually get the opposite problem: far too much water. We're about as wet as Seattle, except more spread out over the year.



  • I've mentioned this before, but my main analog hobby is martial arts. Great exercise, excellent stress reliever and meet a lot of cool people. About to head out for Hsing-i / Pakua practice.



  • Mentioned before that I'm a guitarist/songwriter, which these days is more of a hobby than the primary occupation it used to be (although I'm hoping to realign the balance a bit soon). That takes up a large portion of my free time.

    I aso like to cook, when I have the opportunity - Chinese is my specialty (note to self: raid sister's library for new recipes). Used to make wine, before I got the wanderlust, and now that I seem to be settled down once more, it may be time to start again (if I can find a good source of grapes).



  • You're welcome.

    Motorcycle:



  • I'm hoping to eventually, yeah. It will probably be quite a while though.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    That said, I'm growing increasingly resentful that I'm expected to have hobbies that align with work. No, fuck you, I'm not going to contribute to opensource projects because it makes me look good. And it's not like I can even do simple cathartic utility programming anymore - the stuff we all did when we were neophytes learning the craft. That music player or simple game or mod or whatever always ends up morphing into an insane enterprisey nightmare. I abandoned my gaming project when I realized its architecture more closely resembled an enterprise system than anything I actually want to work on.

    "Oh, it'd be nice to have an arduino/rpi/whatever to control the garage door opener at the shop". Fine. But around about the time I start thinking about authentication on the web API and what the specs on the PowerEdge to run the RDBMS and application backend should be is when I just give up and decide I don't need a garage door opener anyway.

    I honestly can't even bring myself to upgrade the OS on my garage PC. Fuck, I can't even bring myself to replace the monitor that died of heat stroke.



  • I build old push bikes. I have about 6 old bikes laying about that are in various stages of being ridable. Mostly single speed conversions of old mountain bikes and I have the a fixed gear because all the cool kids do. I wanna get back into riding but I only really enjoy riding the fixed these days or doing a bit of off road or I find it boring as sin.

    I think I will be brewing my own cider next and possibly getting an old Ford Capri and doing something silly like sticking a V8 in it and pimping it up.


  • mod

    @lucas said:

    brewing my own cider

    That reminds me, I keep wanting to brew some mead this year, preferably with local honey purchased before the farmer's market shuts down for the year



  • I don't think I've ever had mead. I've been wanting to make cider for a while, It isn't mega difficult I don't think. I have a small box room I can stick the kit in, might have a look into making mead ... but as I haven't had a good "mead" or any mead I won't have any idea if what I made sucks or not.

    I tend to drink real ale or proper cider (I am from Dorset in the UK).


  • sockdevs

    Badger Brewery for example?



  • Badger is pretty decent. I prefer Ringwood brewery tbh ... though the "old thumper" going down to 4.8% was a disgrace.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Have a keg of mead purloined from my homebrew buddies. Will be taking it to the racetrack soon.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @lucas said:

    I think I will be brewing my own cider next

    That is the best cider recipe I have found. I like the addition of some malts and just a hint of hops to meld the flavors. It is best made from fresh-pressed cider, but can be made from store bought apple juice (without preservatives of course). The store bought results tend to turn sour after 9 months or so.

    @lucas said:

    possibly getting an old Ford Capri and doing something silly like sticking a V8 in it and pimping it up.

    Please tell me it will be one of the early models? :smile:

    Because that would be amazingly cool.



  • I play electric guitar. Through an amplifier. Technology...guess that doesn't count. Neither does modifying amplifiers and stuff.

    I do lots of volunteer work for my church, all live audio and stage setup oriented....crap that's all technology too. Scratch that.

    Been working on a PHP game...oops, more technology.

    Been working on a C# XNA....scratch that.

    Restoring an old Hammond electric organ I got for....dangit more technology.

    Playing video ga....nvm.

    I guess the only non-technology hobby I have is woods riding on my CRF250L. I'm hopelessly attached to tech.

    Is drinking Mountain Dew considered a hobby yet?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    With the exception of the programming projects, I would consider them in scope of the thread. And besides, being off-topic is kind of our thing around here. The only rule of what.tdwtf is that there are no rules. :smile:


  • sockdevs

    @mott555 said:

    Is drinking Mountain Dew considered a hobby yet?

    For some it is a way of life.



  • @lucas said:

    I've been wanting to make cider for a while,

    Gallon jugs of regular apple cider regularly go hard in my refrigerator.


    Filed Under: like the bodies in morbs' refrigerator


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I'm working on getting back into chess. The last time I played seriously was in high school in the 80's. It's amazing how many resources are available for students now as compared to back then, when you were basically limited to whatever you could find at the local bookstores.



  • Something I would consider my analog hobby is taking the car for long "discovery" trips - basically to whatever sights are with in a 150-mile-range from where I live. Anything really from art museums to a zoo to a prehistoric site.

    Might have to cut that short a bit though - as I mentioned before I'm currently building a house (getting it build for me mainly), and I've decided I want to do everything from tiling to putting in the wood flooring myself. Currently I'm getting everything together to finish the bathroom.



  • I'd love to have more analog hobbies, but TRWTF is public transit where I live. (And for those who swear by walking everywhere: have you ever tried to cross a free-flowing Interstate ramp? Been there, done that, do not want any part of it again.)

    My not-quite-tech hobbies though are RPing (although that sometimes drives me crazy), and I also have a variety of transportation-related things to keep me busy when I am out of town.



  • @dkf said:

    Let things have some time in the sun to actually ripen for a chance, will ya?

    Plums. Generally, I don't like plums because the skins and/or the part near to pit are too sour. But the ones on my tree are amazing. Too bad I can't eat all — or even 10% — of what the tree produces.



  • My hobby opportunities have reduced since we had our 2 sons, who are now 2 and 3 years old. They tend to take up a lot of your time and can be pretty exhausting. Saying that, things are getting better in that respect.

    Like a few others I enjoy woodworking. It's mostly DIY stuff like replacing rotten wooden landings on our house but I find it a very satisfying material to work with. In the past I have made a coffee-type table which I decorated with beer labels I'd collected both locally (Australia) and from a trip to USA and Canada. It was really good fun hunting out new beers and then carefully separating the label from the bottle. In the end I had well over a hundred different ones which I'd collected with friends and family. I'd really recommend it as fun project.

    My wife and I also enjoy cooking and have started getting the boys involved which they really enjoy. We have a veggie garden and two chickens which is great for the boys; they get a real kick out of feeding the them and collecting the eggs.

    I cycle to work every day and until recently played 5-a-side soccer once a week. Since stopping playing I've started looking around for a once-a-week social activity I can do with friends. Darts or pool looking favourite at the moment. Every two months 4 - 8 of us gather to play poker and once a year we have a winner-takes-all tournament with a trophy.



  • I used to do Martial Arts (Aikido), but then I moved just far enough away from my Dojo that it became unfeasible to continue, and I haven't found a replacement.

    I guess it counts as analog - I semi-competitively play Netrunner, a collectible card game (but without the random card distribution from say, Magic the Gathering). I say semi, because I enjoy playing it locally in a league environment with a competitive aspect, but I don't push myself to try and reach Nationals or Worlds. I do well in Regionals though.



  • My [s]therapist[/s] life coach suggested I take up an analog hobby - something about it being a bad practice to spend my evenings half-working / half-playing on a laptop screen while half-watching a TV screen.

    So, as of a few months ago, 日本語を勉強します!I got these analog books, and even joined the local Japanese language meetup. It's definitely weird to meet people who aren't techies.

    Maybe one day I'll try a non-sedentary hobby.



  • Ah yes, language learning. I'd post a Japanese reply for you, but I haven't got the appropriate IME on my work computer.

    I've been learning Cantonese lately, which has turned out to be a lot harder than when I learnt Japanese in my late teens, or my smattering of German from early twenties.



  • Cantonese, eh? Interesting choice -- most brave enough to try Chinese go Mandarin.

    I will say, trying to learn these Kanji... I've gained a tremendous appreciation of the Chinese written language. Never quite realized before that it's basically a hieroglyphics system that allows several different languages to communicate with each other.

    So, I take back all poo-pooing of any post-apocalyptical sci-fi that depicted all written communication to be in Chinese.



  • @apapadimoulis said:

    Cantonese, eh? Interesting choice -- most brave enough to try Chinese go Mandarin.

    I did Mandarin briefly when I was at University, but I'm learning Cantonese as my partner is from Hong Kong and that's her family language. I've noticed that the Japanese kun'yomi readings of Kanji come from Cantonese/southern Chinese more often than they do Mandarin/northern Chinese.


  • :belt_onion:

    @tarunik said:

    And for those who swear by walking everywhere: have you ever tried to cross a free-flowing Interstate ramp?

    I was going to say walk/run, but then I saw this. Walking bridges with no walkpaths is suicide, I do not blame you one bit.

    My analog hobby, long distance running. I've had a couple of top 10 finishes in 10 hour to 12 hour events, but I am nowhere near elite at it. Usually finish in the top 25% though. Currently training for a 24 hour race that will happen later this month with a goal of 120+ miles.



  • @darkmatter said:

    I was going to say walk/run, but then I saw this. Walking bridges with no walkpaths is suicide, I do not blame you one bit.

    Not even bridges (that'd be worse than trespassing on a RR bridge, and that's already idiotic enough in my book). I'm talking about uncontrolled ramp/surface street connections (six-ramp and cloverleaf interchanges are the devil for pedestrians).


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