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Old 02-17-2012, 08:04 AM   #21
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Looks like a good size fish in the first pic. What is it and what do you do once you land it?
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #22
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Recently restarted my childhood, kart racing hobby.

Here's me after my first feature win in 1959:
Karting02a.jpg

This was a feature win in 2009:
Alumni Race 1-29-09 002a.jpg

9-17-11 3 Hour Enduro 099a.jpg
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #23
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Mostly the same ones that interested, me when I was working, but now have the time to actually pursue.

Ham radio - much more active now
Travel - spending the Winter in AZ, seeing the West
The Internet
Financial stuff
Walking
Digital photography

And my favorite - absolutely nothing, and, if I don't finish doing nothing today, I can always pick up where I left off the next day
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:08 PM   #24
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Some of the same ones I do today:

Polynesian dance
Tap dance
Geocaching
Swimming
Camping
Reading
Travel

I plan to add:

More travel
Metal detecting
Archeology
Anthropology
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #25
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Hams, how many hours a week you spend on average in front of the transceiver? And tinkering with the soldering iron? Do you do field day type of set ups? DXpeditions?
I'm including this as a core activity in my retirement but I'm afraid I'll get burned out .
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:23 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by toreornot
Hams, how many hours a week you spend on average in front of the transceiver? And tinkering with the soldering iron? Do you do field day type of set ups? DXpeditions?
I'm including this as a core activity in my retirement but I'm afraid I'll get burned out .
My Dad was a Ham for about 40 years, and thoroughly enjoyed his time on the air after he retired! There were about 15-20 guys on 2 meters that he jawed with in a daily basis, that were almost like his extended family. He had the majority of his gear in his Ham shack, and loved spending hours in there visiting around the world.

He had one 2 meter rig set up in the kitchen next to the dinner table, and turned it on around 5:00am as soon as he got up. He'd visit with his friends as they headed to work or to school, and again when they ended their day. The rest of the day the radio would be on, and if he heard anyone on he'd go in and answer their call and visit a while.

My Mom is also a Ham, but hadn't been on the air in several years. As mist of the Hams that were my folks mutual friends passed away, she lost interest in it and we gave all of the gear and antennae to a good friend of my Dad's. He is a rather young guy with mouths to feed and a limited budget, so he was thrilled to get it all. We just gave it all to him, knowing Dad would have wanted it that way.

So here's to wishing you MANY enjoyable hours yakking it up on the air waves! It's a GREAT retirement hobby!!! And a great way to meet new friends!!!
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:54 AM   #27
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Wine, women and song, the rest of my time I spend foolishly.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:36 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by toreornot View Post
Hams, how many hours a week you spend on average in front of the transceiver? And tinkering with the soldering iron? Do you do field day type of set ups? DXpeditions?
I'm including this as a core activity in my retirement but I'm afraid I'll get burned out .
I think that you should do it as often or as infrequently as you like. If you feel yourself losing interest, then give it a break. The wonderful thing about a hobby is that (unlike work) you get to do it on your own terms.

When I stopped work, it was a chance for me to build some gear. I knew I was capable, as I'd done it when I was first licensed, over 30 years ago, but it had been a long time. First off, I built a few mono-band QRP CW transceivers, starting with the Norcal 2N2/40 and was pleasantly surprised to find that a kit I built myself could have such a good receiver. Then I built a Fort Tuthill 80 - an 80M transceiver with a direct conversion receiver, and used it to work the T32C DXpedition team on Christmas Island - that was a thrill! I also built a pre-production version of a 2 watt transceiver for 20M (which should be coming out as a kit later this year.)

Then came the kit I had been building myself up to - the Elecraft K2, which has been everything I had hoped it would be. If you're a CW person (which I am) and even though the design is well over 10 years old, it is still a cracking rig. I knew I was capable of building one, but it felt really good to finally do it - that's the beauty of having time on your hands to do whatever you like.

To answer your question, my K2 goes on when I wake up, and goes off when I go to sleep, so except for when I'm out of the house and when the SO comes over, it's on about 16-17 hours a day. Much of the day it sits listening to the QRP CW calling frequencies - 14060 in the day - and higher bands if they're open, and 7030 in the evening. I do go down to the bottom of the bands when I want to chase DX, but those frequencies are my mainstays.

In my case, if it weren't for CW, I would most likely have lost interest in the hobby by now. Since stopping work, I told myself I wanted to become proficient in code. I learned it at the ago of 14 to get my first ticket, but never used it on the air, with the exception of a handful of QSO's. I'm a bit of a slow learner, but in the last 3 years have gotten to the point where I am comfortable at about 18-20 wpm, though I still can't copy comfortably in my head - that's the next barrier to break through.

Propagation adds a bit of extra mystery to the whole bag too. There was a solar storm yesterday, which wiped out the bands somewhat, though they came back later in the day. I QSO'ed with a station in NM (I'm in CA) and it was a wonder to hear his signals go from 599 to the noise level in about a minute, and then back again.

My activity consists of homebrewing, operating, and blogging about it. I don't participate in any group activities with other hams, such as field day, and I'm not a member of a local club. I'm just way too introverted for that I did have a couple of ham friends some years ago and it would be nice to have one or two again - perhaps that will happen, but it takes me a very long time to find other people, though I do like to "high-five" 'em on the air (i.e. QSO'ing with them.)

So, I've been hamming it up a lot since stopping work, and for me, CW has been the thing that has held my interest. If I feel myself burning out, or the interest waning though, I'll switch the radio off and go do other things.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #29
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I agree with the other ham posters - operate as much or as little as makes you feel good. Build as much or as little as you want until you want to do something else. I spend about 2 hours a day, at most, actively pursuing the hobby. Often the radio will be on in the background while I am doing other things, but I don't count that as there would be something on in the background no matter what. I do try to incorporate ham radio into travel, but modern hotel windows tend to be sealed and it's hard to drop wires out the window. Plus it might make me the target of an anti-terrorist task force .

For me, ham radio is a great retirment hobby.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:33 PM   #30
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Thank you all. I feel more confident that this hobby will bring me long lasting fun in my retirement. It's great to know that with internet and everything there are enthusiasts trying to pull in elusive messages from the ether with a drop of wire from the window sill. And Morse code! I'm also planning to work the code whcih I have never done despite passing the 14wpm test long ago. 73
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:54 PM   #31
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I agree with the other ham posters - operate as much or as little as makes you feel good. Build as much or as little as you want until you want to do something else. I spend about 2 hours a day, at most, actively pursuing the hobby. Often the radio will be on in the background while I am doing other things, but I don't count that as there would be something on in the background no matter what. I do try to incorporate ham radio into travel, but modern hotel windows tend to be sealed and it's hard to drop wires out the window. Plus it might make me the target of an anti-terrorist task force .

For me, ham radio is a great retirment hobby.
Same here. Been a ham for over 40 years and most of the time all I do is listen. The rest of the time I play with antennas and rebuild the occasional boatanchor (new stuff is full of SMD which puts a major cramp in one's enthusiasm for building).

As for astronomy/astrophotography, it sure would be nice if the *&^%$#@ clouds would clear out at night lately around here. My 'scopes are gathering dust
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:39 PM   #32
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Since I stopped showing dogs in the mid 90's my only hobbies have been reading and spending time on the computer. Now that I am retired I do more of both. I keep saying I am going to start walking again and one of these days I might even do it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:39 PM   #33
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Only one person brews? If you don't like beer, you can make wine! Perfect for retirement hobby because it's just a few months to learn, but a lifetime to get it perfected. Back when photography took time, I think it was a better hobby (my dad did it). I was a photographer for the school, but when it went digital, it became 'too easy' hehe.

--Dale--
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:16 AM   #34
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Back when photography took time, I think it was a better hobby (my dad did it). I was a photographer for the school, but when it went digital, it became 'too easy' hehe.

--Dale--
Are you kidding? While simply getting a correct exposure is easier there are scads of other issues to learn: White balance, composition, lighting, framing, and oh, check out the learning curve on Photoshop CS5.

When I first picked up a camera merely getting a correct exposure was a big deal. "Hey, it's just a picture of my left foot, but it's exposed right so that's a great picture!" For the most part those issues are gone although automation doesn't address everything but there is still a lot to learn about it.

Take a look here Galleries | Professional Photographers of America

That kind of photography is not easy.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #35
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Losing money in stocks
Hunting
Fishing
Working in my woodshop
Cocktail hour
Cleaning up 30 year old problems around the house
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #36
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Back when photography took time, I think it was a better hobby (my dad did it). I was a photographer for the school, but when it went digital, it became 'too easy' hehe.
--Dale--
I prefer photography since it went digital. I remember messing around in the darkroom for hours and only coming out with a few average prints. The times I didn't have access to a dedicated darkroom, I had to temporarily convert the bathroom or the attic, which added extra time and work. I just never really got the hang of printing well in a wet darkroom.

Fast forward to today, and the combination of a digital camera and Photoshop give me way more control over my images than traditional photography did. In the mid-2000's, a popular topic in magazines and discussion forums was whether film or digital was "better" i.e. which had the better resolution, color saturation, contrast, sensitivity etc. When it was agreed that digital was as good as, or better than 35mm, the conversation switched to whether digital was as good as medium and large format. I haven't been paying much attention recently, but while large format film may still have advantages over digital, the kind of people who use it don't spend much time arguing over it, they just use what works best for them and get on with it.

When I look over the images I produced with 35mm and compare them with what I've shot in digital, the digital images look so much better. Apart from the technical issues, digital has allowed me to experiment and learn that much faster.

Another advantage that digital has brought is to make photography even more easily available to the masses than the Kodak Instamatic did. I think about the blogs I follow that use a lot of pictures on a regular basis, and think how much less immediate they would feel if the author had to develop and process the film before publishing his blog post.

Oooops, sorry for the ramble. I do understand your feeling that photography was more fun in the old days sengsational, but I beg to differ.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #37
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Are you kidding? While simply getting a correct exposure is easier there are scads of other issues to learn: White balance, composition, lighting, framing, and oh, check out the learning curve on Photoshop CS5.
Digital makes the process quicker, and makes advanced processes easier. One no longer needs a daylight balanced light box, multiple Cibachromes, and a register system to combine multiple layers, for example.

A photographer still must learn the art, as well as the mechanics; the difference between a snapshot, a photograph, and a piece of art; the elements of composition.

PS makes advanced techniques available to a person with a camera, techniques that required specific equipment, but PS doesn't make that person a photographer or an artist. A lot of people look at PS as something to fix bad pictures lol.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #38
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Ain't retired yet, but since we relocated to the area in which I will retire and I have a job with more leisure time possible (a bit, anyway) I have added/restarted some hobbies I expect to do lots of when I get my ticket fully paid for. Took up target shooting for the first time in a couple decades and will start hunting this fall. Planning to get back into freshwater fishing this spring/summer. May restart archery while teaching same to the kids within the next year or so. Already camp, hike, homebrew, cook, read, travel.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #39
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Ain't retired yet, but since we relocated to the area . . .
How are you liking it? I forget where exactly you said you moved to, but I think somewhere in CO, no?

We've traveled through 32 of the 50 states so far, always on the lookout for a more permanent base. CO (somewhere not too far from Denver) is the only one that really looked like a possibility. Plenty of wonderful places in the U.S., but not many that would keep my interest for more than a week or three.

The area has a lot of potential for new hobbies, too. In addition to the ones you mentioned, skiing (snowboarding), rock climbing, kayaking, etc. all while not being too far from good food, good beer, museums, culture and walkable urban areas.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #40
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