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Old 07-13-2011, 11:04 AM   #41
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I still have many of the same hobbies - not playing my musical instruments, not learning to golf, not getting all our stuff sold on eBay and Craigslist. The one's I actually do are mostly hiking, kayaking, gardening. I'm in the process of developing a new one - woodworking. That one might become addictive.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #42
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Do you think the class was worth the time and cost? I'm a visual learner (don't tell me, show me); reading instruction manuals is painful. That is why YouTube tutorials is a blessing!
For some people yes, depending on how they learn. DW got a lot more out of the class than I did. She's more of a "don't tell me how to do it, just show me".

For me it was more an exposure to what is possible but then I have to go out and buy the book(s), read and reread, then go practice. I can't remember what various buttons do what unless I also understand what they're doing and why.

The class was at a local community college, I think it was ~$100/seat for four 4-hour classes. About a dozen people in the class. I like those type classes in part because the instructors teach them because they're enthused about what they're doing and want to share it. They're certainly not getting rich from it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:01 PM   #43
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I do not have the time for hobbies. Too much work to do and volunteering activities take the rest of my time.
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I think of volunteering as a hobby.
I agree.

This year I volunteered as a Tax Advisor through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and last year I volunteered as a moderator on this site
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #44
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Yeah, but I'm not sure it counts as volunteering when you get the amazing pay and benefits that come with the moderator position.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:01 PM   #45
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That video is amazing! Especially catching the satellite (I assume that's what it is) at 2:49.
I believe it is a satellite. Airplanes tend to turn and blink.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:07 AM   #46
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I agree.

This year I volunteered as a Tax Advisor through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and last year I volunteered as a moderator on this site
Alan, thanks for the volunteer as moderator. Hope you like this hobby!
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:35 AM   #47
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Hello Bestwifeever - IMO the type of volunteering I support has more to do with a "moral obligation" I feel towards those who need my help. It's difficult to explain.

However, I spend more and more time on this website, which I should consider a hobby. It's becoming addictive. I joined less than a year ago but have much enjoyed the experience so far.

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I think of volunteering as a hobby.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:13 PM   #48
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Hmmm, Alan, do we have a moral obligation to moderate the forum? I'll say yes!

But alas, I am not yet retired, and therefore do not technically have a vote on this thread!
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #49
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I have discovered and fallen in love with 'altered books' which is basically scrapbooking taken to a more 'artsy' level. You can google 'altered books' for more information meanwhile here's a link (showing another person's work) that gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.


http://www.jennysartspace.com/alteredbooks/index.html
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:14 PM   #50
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Altered books look like Joseph Cornell's art boxes. Very nice.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #51
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I have discovered and fallen in love with 'altered books' which is basically scrapbooking taken to a more 'artsy' level. You can google 'altered books' for more information meanwhile here's a link (showing another person's work) that gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.


Jenny's Altered Books
I visited the link, and I can understand why you love it! Things like that appeal to me; taking something ordinary and making it something more than it was.

Thanks for sharing this hobby with us. It's certainly new to me...much like cloud watching was!
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #52
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Do you think the class was worth the time and cost? I'm a visual learner (don't tell me, show me); reading instruction manuals is painful. That is why YouTube tutorials is a blessing!
Check out lynda.com for online tutorials by good teachers. About $25 a month to watch all you can watch. If you only need to learn one program, you could watch them all in 1 or 2 months and then unsubscribe. They also have Excel and Numbers tutorials (which I just started watching as I know all the graphic programs but never learned how to use a spreadsheet).
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #53
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I visited the link, and I can understand why you love it! Things like that appeal to me; taking something ordinary and making it something more than it was.

Thanks for sharing this hobby with us. It's certainly new to me...much like cloud watching was!
I recently got into making handmade books from scratch (rather than altering old books) and these blank journals can make wonderful gifts too. Search your city for a "book arts" group. Check out Amazon.com for books by Alisa Golden, such as "Making Handmade Books", for 100+ ideas for $10.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #54
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Lately, I've been thinking about maybe getting back into amateur radio. I was very active a long time ago, but not in the last 20 years.

I know there are some other hams here. Has anyone returned to the hobby after a long time away?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:00 PM   #55
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I'm an active "ham" and since ER I've branched out into other areas of the hobby. If you let your license expire, you should be able to find a club close by that gives tests. It's only $14-$15 to take. You might want to go to www.qrz.com first and take some practice tests to determine where you might need a little brushing up. Depending on what license you had before, things might have changed a little. There's more digital and no CW requirement now. Good luck !!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:48 PM   #56
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My license is current, since I still occasionally use 2M repeaters. Extra class, so I have no restrictions. It's kind of fun looking at the ads and reviews in QST, but it will be a while before I feel I know enough about the available toys to actually buy a new station. I'm kind of leaning toward the Yaesu FT-450D, as it seems to be a good, general purpose HF rig that doesn't break the bank. Antennas are another matter entirely.

What are your main ham interests now?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #57
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I'm an Extra as well......good thing you retained your license! My main HF rig is a Yaesu 950. I use a home brew off center fed dipole for HF and a Hy-Gain dual band for 2 meter. I'm involved in Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and SkyWarn weather activities. Living in north FL near the GA state line I work in both states for emergencies. Lots of good people in both spheres of amateur radio. I do a little bit of DX also.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #58
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Yes, ARES seems like a very worthwhile activity. I'll probably get involved in that, if nothing else. No hurry, though. I'm thinking next year's Dayton Hamvention might be a good target date for buying a station. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #59
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I sold my only commercial rig (an FT817) a month or two ago and to my surprise, haven't missed it that much. I have 2 kit-built radios - one on 40 and one on 80, and just finished building a simple yet high-performance regen for 40M. To my surprise, I heard FO8RZ in French Polynesia on it the other evening and worked him with 4 watts.

In the near future, I hope to be beta-testing a kit transceiver for a new ham radio kit company and am trying to figure out what (of all the ideas in my head) to build next.

Retirement (or at least in my case, semi-retirement) and home-brew really go well together. I wasn't going to mention this in the forum, as it's not really of interest to most folk, but seeing that you guys brought up the subject of ham radio.....

To my mind, there aren't many things more sublime than the smell of a hot soldering iron, a bunch of parts, a schematic to work from, the radio tuned to 40M in the background, and my kitty to keep me company
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #60
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Here are a few pictures from the early stages of the regen build. It's finished now and the case is completely enclosed. It's stable, covers the entire 40M band, plus a little bit above and below, with a decent tuning rate (courtesy of a 10-turn pot), has low drift, and is quite sensitive. It also has minimal radiation from the antenna (a problem with many simple regen designs).

Apologies for the long ramble, but I'm a bit of a proud father right now!





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