Blog Archives

And now for something completely different..

Got something exciting to share.  Well, it’s not the most earth-shattering news, but I’m excited!  As I mentioned, one of my hobbies is wood-working/furniture building (very amateur).  One of the blogs I follow, The Wood Whisperer, is running a charity project to build a child’s rocking horse and then donate it to a needy hospital/church/family/etc.  For every rocking horse that is donated, TWW will donate $1 to LiveStrong’s fight against cancer.  A number of corporate sponsors and private individuals will be matching TWW’s donation.

Since my workshop is a federal disaster zone right now due to some home remodeling, I cannot make one, but I am pleased to say I am one of the private individual’s making matching contributions.

The owner’s of the design (WOOD Magazine) will be making the plan freely available for a limited time (details to be hashed out).  Starting Sept 26, Marc from the Wood Whisperer is going to run some web-casts on his version of the build (the plans are usually pretty decent, but can all be fine-tuned, so I’d recommend going with what Marc does where there is a conflict).  The project is relatively straight-forward, well within amateur capabilities, and materials shouldn’t be too bad (1 sheet of 4′ x 2′ x 3/4″ wood is my understanding plus misc bits).  More seasoned builders can make their’s fancier.  It should roughly take 2-4 weekends to build depending on skill level.

So if you ever thought you’d like to try your hand at this kind of thing, this is a great project, with a free plan, supporting not one, but two great causes (and you can pick one of them!).  You can then build more for your own friends and family!

Advertisements

Handful of Hobbies

Note:  I totally had a different post planned for today but I chickened out and rescheduled it at the last minute.  You get this instead today.

I recently had to do something I didn’t like and cancel some music lessons I had just started for lack of practice time.  It got me to thinking about my hobbies and time management and fulfillment.

First, something to know about me is, I am someone whose hobbies are mostly about creativity and making things.  Some people are about the journey and not the destination.  Not me, I’m about thumping my chest and grunting like Tim Allen saying ‘Me make this!’ or ‘Me do this!’  If it doesn’t go anywhere I tend to get deeply dissatisfied.  I don’t do things for relaxation per se.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with you if you are the other way either.)

As a side note, this is why I’m not much of a tv or sports fan.  I can’t really impact the outcome (only in the tiniest amount that my viewership and/or purchases would improve team/show revenues), therefore it is not interesting to me unless it’s really out of the ordinary.  (I may be fat, but I don’t watch more than 3-5 hours a week of tv/movies total, so I got something going for me there.)

So what are some of the things I like to do or have done?

  • Amateur Woodworking like this, this this, or this/this.
  • Home construction work – currently finishing my basement with my father
  • Playing Guitar
  • MMO Gaming and RTS Strategy Games (Warcraft/Starcraft on both counts)
  • Cooking
  • Home IT futzing – I have some projects I like to look at from time to time.  Would love to have time to build a junior Watson (from jeopardy) in my basement.
  • Reading – one of the few passive things I do, but I do it competitively, I often have 2-3 books on the go.
  • This blog seems to have become one.
  • DVD chronicles of the child and some stop-motion photography videos of above projects.

Plus being having a job (14 hours a day out of the house), being married and having a kid.

When I first started weight loss about two years ago, it was the first time I had done so with all of the things in the mix.  I was spending 2-3 nights a week gaming with online friends, trying to go to the gym 2-3 days/nights a week, spending 1/2 a weekend day on the basement, taking care of other household chores on the weekend, cooking at least once if not twice on the weekend (usually something semi-complicated), do a little jamming once in a blue moon, oh and try to have an adult relationship with the wife to help her get over being locked in the house with the kid all day every day.

Was pretty much failing on fronts.

Weight wise I came down to 275-280 from somewhere less than 300, who knows since the scale was not great, and plateaued big time.  MMOs and online gaming were pretty lame progress wise, again as it generally needs regular time commitment.  Guitar playing was spastic – months in between a few hours here and there.  Chores and construction were getting done, but not as quickly as they could be (being fat and tired didn’t help).  The wife wasn’t feeling particularly cherished either.  And I wasn’t particularly happy either – overstretched and accomplishing little.

Not consciously at first, I started scaling back.  I dropped out of online MMOs and eventually cancelled the account.  That freed up some conflicts to get serious about gym time (which increased in regularity and session duration due to the new program) and quality family time.  Now it’s more conscious.

Woodworking is on hold til the basement is finished, especially since the shop is jam-packed with storage and construction gear.  IT futzing is on hold too.  Cooking is happening more regularly on the weekends.  The wife and I get more time together.

But recently, I had tried to get more formal on guitar with some lessons but after the 3rd week (out of 3) of not practicing between lessons, I concluded I don’t have the time yet because

Getting healthy and fit is one of my hobbies now.  The most important one.

It’s not going to be the primary hobby forever,  but for now, I need to prioritize.  There are only so many hours in the day.  There are things to get done.  I can get a few things done and get satisfaction, or I can start everything and finish nothing.

Anyway, time to get going.  Things to do.  But not TOO many things..