We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, October 19. 2011
I never have the free time to do all of the things I want to do. All I have is late evenings and weekends, plus stealing a few minutes to try to throw something of interest onto our website.
Besides work and taking care of kids, what productive, fun, or constructive (or unconstructive) things do our readers do?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Here's what I do: A little golf, a little horseback riding with the Mrs., Deacon at church, one committee in our town government, a committee at our golf club, a fund-raising committee for a conservation charity, a little fishing in season, a little shooting, unskilled labor on our place (field-mowing, tree-clearing, log-splitting, fence-repairing, some barn cleaning), spare-moments surfing the net, some book-reading every night, and a fair amount of socializing which I try to limit to two things per week. A quite ordinary American life for a fellow whose kids have flown the nest, I think. A nobody, or an everybody. I am blessed that my spouse, dogs, and friends like me.
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I play American oldtime music whenever I have the opportunity (banjo, fiddle, guitar and harmonica). I'm an avid reader. I'm a very active wilderness camper/hiker/climber/caver and I'm actively involved with any number of wilderness conservancy and preservation efforts. I run my own blog on American acoustic roots music; in fact I think I first surfed into MFADC off a Dylan link. I volunteer one day a week at our local Hunger Network food warehouse. All this is in addition to my day job at the local community college and my household duties.
I do not understand boredom. I don't see how people can possibly be "bored". There is never enough time in a day to do everything I want to do. I don't mean this in some neurotic, thrashing, activity-for-the-sake-of-activity sense either - but, damnit, life is short and I am here to live this life.
DIY work on the house (built a bathroom, a powder room and several other rooms). Home brewing. Reading non-fiction, watching films (or movies when the mind is tired...I consider "Citizen Kane" to be vastly different than "Harry Potter", in terms of film vs. movie). Scuba diving, though it's been about 10 years since we've done that, primarily due to parental limitations. Traveling anywhere. Visiting museums. Walking the dog.
The most fun I have, though I know the boys dislike it, is using everyday events to teach a lesson. I will miss that aspect of having kids around, but I'm sure they can't wait to get away.
At 80, life slows to a crawl (relatively speaking, for a retired air transport pilot). In order of decreasing time invested, I 1) maintain my mini-mini-estate for physical exercise, 2) pick up and restore dead laptops for mental and visual exercise, and for staying dexterous, 3) follow meaningful world developments by watching worthwhile blogs such as Viamedia and Maggies, and 4) nap. (I give the restored laptops to worthy people and places.)
I work most of the time. I surf the net too much. I run the Youth Group at my church, which takes some time -- have to contact the local animal shelter today, as the teens want to organize a drive to raise money for them. And I take my dogs for a run every morning, and say my prayers during that time.
I used to read books, but I find the net has replaced that. My kids have grown up, but I find I need to spend a fair amount of my time on the phone, talking them through things, plus I have my 88 year old mother. I try to go out w/ my husband on Saturday night.
I NEVER have enough time to do everything I want to do.
Oh good lord - I just saw what I wrote - I'm seriosly OCD, ADD or something. Oh well, nothing for it but to publish. :>)
Photography - film and digital. I do my own B&W developing and prints. I have a collection of cameras and lenses going back 40 plus years.
Music - I'm big on music - I love to play and am actually a pretty good guitarist and keyboard player if I do say so myself. I have a collection of stringed instruments including a genuine '66 Strat hard tail in tobacco sunburst finish, '64 Telecaster in candy apple red (very rare) and my pride and joy - a Gretsch Country Gentleman autographed by Chet Atkins himself in person right in front of me. :>)
Oh and a Yamaha synthesizer.
Amateur Radio: Licensed since 1962. Not as active as I once was, but I still listen around quite a bit. Love high speed Morse Code, but that's a dying art form sad to say.
Boats and fishing. I can give you chapter and verse on most small boats built anywhere in the world - small being defined as anything up to and including 40 feet. I've built most of my own rods and for a while built custom rods for recreational bill fishing - did quite well at it too. I also build and tie my own lures although there are some things you just can't build without having a plastics factory handy. Took this hobby and turned it into a reasonably successful charter fishing business which I guess qualifies as avocation.
Sports: Coached Little League baseball, middle school baseball coach (non-paid) and girls soccer and softball. I used to hunt, but I now hunt with a camera instead. I like to walk, can still run two miles (at Marine Corps Standard I'm proud to say) and have been thinking about obtaining a paddle board although I'm not as enthusiastic about that. I enjoy flying (not sure if that's a sport - licensed for fixed wing in 1965). Got a rotary wing license in 2000 just because I was bored.
Volunteering: Well, back in CT, I was very active on the local volunteer fire department and rescue squad, served as Interim First Selectman for three months until we could elect a new one, served on the NE CT EMS council for ten years, E-911 and Emergency Advisory Group for ten years, Woodstock Fair BOD, President of the NE CT Council for The Arts, Planning and Zoning Board member and various other local boards and committee's.
I read when ever I get the chance. Love military science fiction - scifi in general to tell the truth, age of sail novels, biographies, and various and sundry treatise's on mathematics and exotic engineering problems. I tend not to read magazines except for Sport Fishing.
Oh and Maggie's Farm too - this place should properly be placed under the heading of avocation. :>)
I weave. I make stuff. I learn to use natural dyes. I write. I blog. I take pictures. I try to figure out html. I build websites. I learn more html. I help out with a couple of fiber arts festivals. I garden. I read. There's probably a lot more stuff I'll think of as soon as I hit submit.
I suppose if weaver weaves bomber girl should bomb....but amongst my more peaceable activities, outside of work and parenting, I run, I read (fiction and non fiction and finance/economic stuff which falls between the two), I am discovering my new state (maine), I look at the sea, I seek nice reds and hoppy IPAs, hang out with friends and ogle pictures of Airstreams.
I work way to much. When I'm not I like to hunt and shoot and reload my own ammunition. I enjoy hiking with my son and garderning with my wife. Repairs around the house when needed. I also serve on a committee in local government and one at my local gun club. Both can be tiring and yet rewarding depending mostly on the other members.
So little time, so many things to do.
Travel, tennis, shooting, boating, gardening, reading, learning, exercising, volunteering, etc. I don't do enough of any of the things I find important and/or rewarding. I don't even find time to write real though pieces on Maggie's, but then again I ain't much of a thinker - more of a linker.
church stuff, street preaching in bad neighborhoods, run a rehab group for addicts, read like breathing, mostly thrillers. I just started horseback riding, just started raising chickens. I am a carpenter by trade but hope to be a woodworker by hobby. Taking online addiction counseling courses. Loving life with my wife of 30 years (anniversary yesterday). Chillin' with my chilrens (3 here in the desert, one in DC).
I run my business. I exercise. I read every spare moment. I still sort-of raise my children, even though they are all three out of the house. I visit my parents and in-laws frequently. I assist my spouse as a good husband whenever she needs me to stand there quietly and smile at people.
For the first time in life I'm contemplating what comes next, and that takes time and research.
Like many of the other posters here, my kids are both up and out. I loved it when they were here, and I loved it when they where gone (although both were back, and may be back again for a period of time - and that's OK - that's my job - I'm always going to be dad...). Beyond the outdoorsy wilderness stuff, I'm an 18 speed local transportation bicyclist, a pretty fair weekend golfer, and a semi-decent "A" (senior) league racquetball player (Hey - none of these are TEAM sports; what does THAT tell you..?).
I am a college professor. I am a folk musician. I wear my gray, balding hair in a dork knot. And yet, I am pretty much on the quiet side of Libertarian politics - the Marxists get on my nerves in real short order, almost as quickly as the hardcore conservatives. AND I think the Occupy movement is more right than wrong. I think anyone who "works hard and plays by the rules' is not only a fool, but a damn fool.
Mostly, I want to be left alone. Mostly, I want to live in a world where I don't feel that my only purpose on this earth is to shovel money at someone else (and be grateful for the privilege). I think that Debt Capitalism (aka, Slavery) is a great evil and I am absolutely convinced that The Banks and The Corporations are pigs of the worst order.
In case it seems that I am all over the map politically, you are absolutely correct. I am a fallen conservative. I think our "government" is systemically corrupt and indifferent ("the best government that money can buy" - see above - "pigs of the worst order"). I think it is broken to a degree that I wonder if it can ever be fixed. I think that the "competition" between "Democrats" and "Republicans" and "liberals" and "conservatives" is a dumb-show played out for the benefit of television cameras and the "swirling mass of gray and black and white". I think the fix is in. Big time.
I wish I could find a politician or a political philosophy I felt I could trust, but that is becoming more and more a snipe hunt. I think some of the "localists" I have found are probably worth a second read.
you may want to donate to Ron Paul. I do. I'll vote for whoever the Republican nominee is, but I won't contribute any money or time to any of them unless it is Ron Paul.
Being retired, I spend my time surfing (short board), writing (non-fiction), painting (seascapes), working out (swimming and biking) and playing video games (shooters).
I'm a model railroader, sport fisherman, occasional shooter, vegetable gardener, dog owner, home cooker, into canning and preserving, and a volunteer EMT.
All of those I consider to be hobbies.