Author Topic: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?  (Read 12324 times)

rugorak

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So quite simply I am looking for a new hobby. I have no idea what to do. I don't have a ton of spare time, but many evenings after I get home, do the living stuff like cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, etc. I have anywhere from 1-3 hours in total where I have nothing I need to do. It would have a few requirements:
1. I work in IT and need a break from the computer and/or electronics. If I need to occasionally look something up no problem but I don't want to be staring at a screen more than I already do.
2. I live in a small apartment so things that would take up a lot of space or require things like a basement (such as brewing) are out of the question right now. As are things that would make a ton of noise like playing the drums.

In short if people can just put some of their hobbies that fit these requirements it may help me figure out something that I can work on. Hopefully it will help some others too. I did search through the forums and most of the hobbies don't really fit this. They are things that I already do on the weekends such as hike in the non-winter months and ski/snowboard in the winter. But I just don't have anything for during the week. I hope to get a house sometime next year which would open up the options. I just do not quite have enough money for the 20% and need to figure out the where still. Both from exploring some and figuring out some personal stuff.

So share your hobbies that you can pick up for 20-minutes here or an hour there. Maybe there are others out there that would be interested too.

Thanks in advance for sharing!

MrsPotts

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 08:03:21 PM »
There's the whole reading books thing.

I knit, too.  Learning to play guitar. 

How about making jam?  Developing baddass baking skills?  Taking a community drawing/painting/Spanish course?  Photography? 


Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 08:42:40 PM »
Yoga! Can be done at home alone using DVDs from the library or online sources (yoga.com provides a good overview of basic poses). Ticks the boxes for exercise, strength training, mediation, and relaxation.

Noodle

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2014, 06:00:38 PM »
I have gone to this list several times when looking for something to do...not all are recreational, but might get you started...

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/100-things-to-do-during-a-money-free-weekend/

Dicey

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2014, 06:09:24 PM »
Uh, I spend a lot of time here. You'd be surprised how much time it eats up, especially if you're a slow typist ;-). On the plus side, it makes no noise, costs nothing, keeps me from spending money elsewhere, I learn a lot and hopefully provide something useful for someone else on occasion.

bo_knows

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 06:15:11 PM »
This year I got into learning how to speed solve the Rubik's cubes. I have a 2x2 cube and a 3x3 cube (and just bought a 4x4 cube).  For whatever reason, learning how to solve it using the beginners method was fascinating for me... and learning all the short algorithms that let you solve it faster was even more fun for me.  Pretty cheap hobby, and the puzzles aren't exactly large :)   It's good for short bursts of time, and I even keep one in my office.

I'm no world-class cuber, but I can solve a 3x3 consistently under 1min (best is 36 seconds).  To the uninitiated who think that's insanely fast to solve a Rubik's cube, the world record is 5 seconds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v_Km6cv6DU

lizzzi

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 08:09:34 PM »
It seems like reading would be the perfect thing, unless you don't like to.

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 08:19:42 PM »
I bike to the library and read, take out audiobooks for next weeks commute.
I go to the park and play badminton with my wife.
The gym.
Walk around the neighborhood with a friend.
Nowadays it's mostly planning for our business.

steadierfooting

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 08:41:33 PM »
I read.  A lot.  A book or two a week.  it also is a practice in paying attention.  "I will sit here on this couch and not check email or go do laundry or fiddle with this".

Jigsaw puzzles. I like to do big ones (working on a 5000 piece now).  Before kids I did them on a giant piece of cardboard on the kitchen table, then slid it under the couch when not in use.  Now I use my home office and it says up.  I also like to listen to podcasts while working on them. It's probably the most relaxing thing, where I can stay super focused and the hours drift by.

All occasionally dabble with crossword puzzles or logic puzzles.  I have a book with 400 of them, and will work on a puzzle for as much as I can do, then hand it off to my wife, who does as much as she can, and pass it back and forth until it's solved.

The thing I like about these hobbies are the cost per hour for entertainment is insignificant.  I figure it's maybe 1.25 hours per 100 pieces to solve for large puzzles (factoring in sorting and such). That's maybe $.50 an hour of entertainment.  Crossword puzzles at 300 puzzles 2 hours to solve each one, that's .03 an hour in entertainment.  Jigsaw puzzles also hold a decent resale value, BUT they are expensive to ship, so after I'm done this one I'm going to put it on craigslist to see if someone wants to trade.  then I could perpetually keep working on puzzles for just one purchase.

I also try to take online courses via youtube or coursera, but it's tough to do this during the summer, too much going on.  They are all basically free, but involve sitting in front of a computer for a large portion (minus time with a textbook).


enpower

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 09:09:01 PM »
- Reading books
- Researching articles and blogs online
- Hiking
- Triathlon
- Going for walks with my wife
- Having friends over for dinner and/or going to their house for dinner
- Playing cards or board games with family and friends
- Planning investments
- Watching movies at home
- Going on our "date night" with my wife every 6-8 weeks
- Night school classes (I've done cooking and woodwork so far)
- Making breakfasts and lunches for the work week (I cook in bulk 2-3 times per week for 4+ meals)

I'm also looking and doing a graduate diploma to advance my career options starting next year also and dropping back on the triathlon and book reading.

sarah8001

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2014, 04:02:44 AM »
I enjoy craft hobbies. How Mustachian they are is debatable, and some take up more room than others, but they can be a great way to relax. In a small apartment, trying to be super frugal, I would recommend small, hand quilting projects (no sewing machine needed :), embroidery, water colors (you'd be surprised what you can do with a Crayola set), maybe making stuffed animals? You can give away the finished product, or keep, or sell. If you're a guy, you might be interested to know that there are many male quilters out there now, and painting has always been a little more masculine than fabric crafts.
BTW, never pay full price for craft supplies at stores like JoAnns or Michaels. My fave trick? Buy a JoAnn's gift card for 20% off from giftcardgranny.com, then wait for a 25% off your total purchase coupon.

chasesfish

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2014, 05:11:28 AM »
Providing free financial advice on MMM forums

usmarine1975

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2014, 06:49:12 AM »
I found a local recycle bicycle shop in my area.  They take donated bikes and scrap them, fix them, use them for parts, basically recycle them.  They are a non profit and from what it sounds they provide the local City kids that are willing to work on their own bikes with a free bike or the ability to get a free bike.  If a kid comes to the store with his own bike that has a problem they will fix it for free using whatever parts etc... that they are able to recycle.  I am committing to going to it twice a week.  For me it's two fold.  I get to learn more about bicycles and how to maintain them (important as I just started commuting on my bike to work).  And I get to donate to an organization that does a lot of good.  They even go to local events and set up shop at block parties and such fixing bikes.  We have a river in our city and they also sat at either end of the most recent event and stored bikes for free for those that rode to the event.  Pretty awesome.

shotgunwilly

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 07:41:45 AM »
I was working a summer internship out of state and knew no one my age there and I had no TV in my quarters, so I went home after work and taught myself to play guitar.  I started just by youtubing videos and googling chords and tried everyday.  It's hard to start because it will hurt your fingers and get really frustrating when you can't manage a sound, but just stick with it.  That was over 5 years ago and I still play everyday.

BlueHouse

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 09:32:24 AM »
~volunteer for an hour per week at an animal shelter (some places, all you have to do is go in and sit and play with cats)
~learn to play the Harmonica.  You can take it everywhere.
~Crossword +1
~Organize your photos (digital and physical)
~Ancestry
~Master the art of letter writing. 
~Find someone to play a game of distance chess with (you each have to keep your own chessboards set up)
~Watercolor painting (oil and acrylic take too much space and too much trouble to put away/take out) 


rubybeth

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2014, 10:22:08 AM »
As others have suggested, reading books. It really never 'gets old' since I'm always reading something new, totally for free, from the library (where I also work). Adventure, action, mystery, etc. all with no technology and it can be done just about anywhere (a couch! a park! your bathtub!). I also get DVDs from the library, and music.

I also like crossword puzzles and other word games. A crossword book is cheap and can be geared toward your interests.

My husband likes to draw/paint or do yoga/weights at home.

Joggernot

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2014, 10:30:56 AM »
For something creative and can be used to make Christmas and birthday gifts, try wood carving.  Get your wood from the alleys or tree trimmers.  Buy very good knife, small 3/8" gouge, small 1/8" V-tool.  With these you can make a great many things.  Cost of tools is about $80 and will last a very long time (your grandchildren can use them).  Then get a leather strop or make your own from a belt (glue it rough side up to a board).  Get some green strop stuff (polish) for about $6 and you have everything you need.  Spread a sheet inside where you want to work and cleanup is easy.  A balcony or yard is better because you don't have to clean up.  Call it mulch and go inside when done.  Lots of good videos online (Gene Messer, youtube) for beginners and advanced carvers.  Yes, you pay up front, but get back because you don't have to spend money for gifts, house warmings, etc.

Gone Fishing

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2014, 10:35:45 AM »
Pray or meditate.  These things have significant value.

dandarc

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2014, 11:21:09 AM »
I count my change from time to time - have over $1100 in coin in a five gallon jug at home.  Right now, it is good for a week or two of 1-2 hours a night of me time.  I find it relaxing.

Silverwood

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2014, 11:26:13 AM »
I would look at this as a gift. You can try out all of the things suggested. My house takes up a lot of my time. I put in more shrubs and perrienials,  I'm redoing the wood floors,  making the storage more efficient etc. If you.plan on buying next year I would start researching different things to do with that. Woodworking classes would be beneficial.   Plumbing and electrical and landscaping. See if you can take a small motor class. I took a class through lee valley and made my own tool box. While there the lady told me about the two stoke motor class she had taken and now she knows how to fix her lawnmower. I had no idea those things were available. If I had the time I'd love to just job shadow people. It's how I learn best.

Cecil

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2014, 12:20:25 PM »
I've been into speedcubing as well in the past, like bo_knows. Getting under a minute is pretty straightforward if you put the effort in, and you could get there in a few weeks of solid practice.

I play chess. Online correspondence on chess.com makes for easy matching. I have ~10 games on the go at any time, at 3 days per move.

I've gotten into juggling lately. I'm working on a bunch of 3/4 ball tricks and trying to master the 5 ball cascade. With an hour a day of practice, you could learn to juggle 5 balls in a few months. And it's great exercise.


zenyata

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2014, 04:34:06 PM »
I'm going to put in another vote for learning to play guitar.

I have no musical background and probably should take some "foundational" lessons so bad habits don't get too ingrained but I mess around on it for a while most nights.  It is a curious combination of frustration and fascination that just keeps sucking me back in even while I'm shaking my head thinking "I'm NEVER going to figure this out..."

I've been trying it for a couple years and I'm really digging it - the challenge and the fact that it's just a really interesting thing to do that you can pick up for a few minutes or a few hours any time you want.  And... when you finally are able to put some notes together with the right rhythm... you get to say "hey - I'm making MUSIC !"

TrMama

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2014, 04:56:14 PM »
Have a child. That totally solved my "too much free time and energy" problem.

Joggernot

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2014, 05:20:28 PM »
+1
LOL!

mc6

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2014, 06:30:55 AM »
I crochet afghans to give to charity.  Acrylic yarn can be bought cheaply online or with weekly coupons at craft stores. 

Play with pets. 

Nap. 

Walk around your neighborhood. 


Thegoblinchief

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2014, 06:48:40 AM »
Reading ALL the books.

Biking ALL the places.

Once you have a house, growing a garden, preferably a mix of ornamental and edibles.

2ndTimer

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2014, 08:28:48 AM »
Another positive vote for music.  In my case it was the old electronic piano that in-laws gifted me plus a couple of used Music Theory books from a second hand book store to satisfy my inner nerd.

dorothyc

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2014, 09:44:54 AM »
+1 for knitting. Plenty of instruction on the web and Maggie Righetti's book Knitting in Plain English is a good all round instruction, both on forming the stitches and making things the correct size. Sock knitting can be addictive, apparently.

My father enjoys playing the ukulele - smaller to store than a guitar, and a little easier to learn the chords

limeandpepper

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2014, 10:16:24 AM »
- Taking a walk
- Talking to people I like
- Playing piano
- Napping
- Baking or making other foodstuff
- Exercising (e.g. yoga at home)
- Taking photos and post-processing them
- Blogging
- Reading (mostly on the internet, these days, including spending time on forums)
- Watching TV or online videos
- Checking out investments
- Researching interesting things or future pursuits

Ynari

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2014, 11:58:43 AM »
I crochet and listen to audio books, mostly.  Play a video game with the bf now and then.  Read.  Cook.  Stretch/yoga/handstands/exercise.  Or just chill out on the 'net.  (Waste of time, though, generally. I'd like to reduce it...)

Grid

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2014, 12:04:04 PM »
This year I got into learning how to speed solve the Rubik's cubes. I have a 2x2 cube and a 3x3 cube (and just bought a 4x4 cube).  For whatever reason, learning how to solve it using the beginners method was fascinating for me... and learning all the short algorithms that let you solve it faster was even more fun for me.  Pretty cheap hobby, and the puzzles aren't exactly large :)   It's good for short bursts of time, and I even keep one in my office.

I'm no world-class cuber, but I can solve a 3x3 consistently under 1min (best is 36 seconds).  To the uninitiated who think that's insanely fast to solve a Rubik's cube, the world record is 5 seconds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v_Km6cv6DU

That's so cool!  I learned how to solve the 3x3 over my one spring break in college, using the standard first-timer steps, and was very happy to do it in under 5 minutes.  36 seconds is awesome!

Joggernot

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2014, 12:39:28 PM »
I crochet afghans to give to charity.  Acrylic yarn can be bought cheaply online or with weekly coupons at craft stores.
Ask for yarns on Freecycle, a yahoo group, for your area.  We've had several offers of free yarn over the past few months.  Skeins or even short skeins can be used for squares.  Yes, I knit, but I don't crochet.  I'll save that for something to learn later in retirement...:)

RapmasterD

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2014, 03:18:57 PM »
And then there is the thing nobody will say. #inappropriate

Cressida

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2014, 05:39:23 PM »
Jigsaw puzzles also hold a decent resale value, BUT they are expensive to ship, so after I'm done this one I'm going to put it on craigslist to see if someone wants to trade.  then I could perpetually keep working on puzzles for just one purchase.

I like jigsaw puzzles too. What are good ways to sell/trade them?

(I don't mean to hijack the thread. We can take it elsewhere if there are a lot of responses.)

cdttmm

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2014, 06:48:15 PM »
Reading
Running
Yoga
Studying martial arts
Playing with my pets

MBot

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2014, 07:28:03 PM »
Basic leather working. Get some scraps and grommets and snaps, make bracelets and wallets and passport holders etc.

mc6

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2014, 07:45:52 PM »
I crochet afghans to give to charity.  Acrylic yarn can be bought cheaply online or with weekly coupons at craft stores.
Ask for yarns on Freecycle, a yahoo group, for your area.  We've had several offers of free yarn over the past few months.  Skeins or even short skeins can be used for squares.  Yes, I knit, but I don't crochet.  I'll save that for something to learn later in retirement...:)

I get plenty of free yarn at a shop hosting a meetup group for the charity stitchers. 

rugorak

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2014, 11:42:39 AM »
Wow, last time I read this I had 2 responses.

Reading - already do lots of it but on a break from MBA classes so kind of read out so to speak.
Classes - taking a break from classes due to not enough time to dedicate. My free time is sporadic. So classes for fun don't even fit well right now. I have done the free online classes but it still is the total amount of time it takes. Lately I have only had an hour here and there usually during the 9-11 at night range.
Walking/Pets/exercise - have a dog, eats up a fair amount of time in a good way between walks and such.
TV/movies/video games/etc - I only have my computer and already do these. But as I said in my initial post I need a break from the screen.
Baking - already do this a lot. If I don't do it I would never get anything. Almost all of it is with almond flour these days.

Not really into crochet I think. I like the cold so I would have nothing to do with the stuff. Leather working sounds interesting. Allow me something creative that I might actually use. Worth looking into I think.

Music - I have thought about it but not really into guitar like instruments. Although I have long hair and a beard so I probably should look into it more. Maybe something more off the norm. I listen to folk metal so lots of different instruments that could still be metal.

And then there is the thing nobody will say. #inappropriate
I'll say it since even you won't. There is nothing inappropriate about it. Sex. I don't live with my girlfriend so self service would be the only option here as most of my free time are nights I am by myself. :)

Keep up the responses. Hopefully there will be some others who this could help too!

Oh and I am a guy if you couldn't figure out from the beard comment. But I don't think hobbies need to be male or female unless they require the prerequisite anatomy ;)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2014, 01:48:23 PM »
Sex life? What's that?

Beric01

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2014, 09:24:17 PM »
Sex life? What's that?

Yeah, never heard of it myself.

I mainly play PC games/ watch anime in my random spare hours. But that doesn't exactly fit the OP's description.

milesdividendmd

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2014, 10:32:27 PM »
Travel Hacking!  Best hobby ever for a Mustachian.  Bike to the drugstore. Manufacture some spend.  Book a trip.  Invest the savings in your retirement.  Retire even faster.  Rinse, repeat, Travel more.

Win/win/win/win.

As an exampleI write this from a business class lounge in Taiipei where I just took a shower!  Cost to me for business class PDX to Osaka?  70 bucks.

I've written quite a bit about the mechanics of the miles game if you're interested.

Zikoris

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2014, 10:51:16 PM »
I end up baking, probably more than I should. I'm about to take a peach pie out of the oven right now actually.

Astromarine

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2014, 05:28:59 AM »
My main hobby recently has been, frankly, this forum. I have a crapton of videogames that I've never played, and I should start working on my backlog now that I did the mustachian thing and put a complete and indefinite halt on new VG purchases (with ONE exception: Bloodborne. Hells Yeah)

For when I don't want to be in front of the computer, like you, I play card/board games. Yeah, that mostly involves going out to meet friends and planning and such, but I found the perfect thing for me recently: Lord of the Rings the card game. It's one of the best games I've played, and works just as brilliantly solo as with a group. It's a cheap game to just get and try, though if you want all the adventures and expansions... yeah, it's a lot. I managed to get my wife to allow this one-off giant purchase to "catch up" so to speak, as a last hurrah before the Way of the Mustache descends upon us.

Still, if you like boardgames, the main box for this is 30 bucks and it's amazing fun.

Noodle

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Re: What is your hobby for those random spare hours here and there?
« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2014, 07:17:51 AM »
I get a weird satisfaction out of organizing. Taking an inventory of the kitchen and then figuring out how to use the various orphan ingredients is good entertainment for quite awhile. Same with cleaning out odd drawers, closets etc. I live in a tiny apartment and am not much of an acquirer but somehow things accumulate nonetheless.