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Friday, October 22, 2010

Dedicated to my father

The other day my father came to my new house to visit me for the first time since I moved out about four months ago, and it was a great time. I never knew I would have missed him so much, but I guess I'm a little more mature now so I can admit it.

We were talking about my new blog, my new job and my new home. We then started talking about the past, and it got me thinking about activities that we used to share. Camping, hiking and playing catch to name a few. I never realized that those would count as hobbies. But of course they do! Take an activity that you like to, and do it. That right there is a hobby.

My father is a great man. Honest, strong and intelegent. I can think of no one greater to dedicate my blog to, and no one I would rather have as a dedicated reader, even if he is the only dedicated reader.

We used to go on this wonderful hike when I was a kid. It was in Alaska, where we lived for ten years, just the two of us. At the end of this two mile hike was a beach, not all sand, but not too rocky either. Our goal for the hike was to reach it to this large rock, the only real landmark on the whole beach. When we got there we would play catch with two gloves and a baseball, and just hang out. Sometimes we would take lunch, but most often not. It was great, just time with my father.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crazy Speed Cubing Records!

So speed cubing is Akkersdijk a hobby that some people take very seriously. Feliks Zemdegs, Haris Chan, Erik Akkersdijk are just a few names I know off the top of my head. All three of them can solve a Rubik's Cube in under ten seconds. In face, the official world record is held by Erik, at 7.08!!!!!!!! The fastest someone has been able to solve blindfolded is just over thirty seconds! These guys have put a lot of practice into this, and they deserve some recognition. Check out this link for some interesting Rubik's Cube world records and other cool stuff.

My fastest solves are no where near as fast as Erik Akkersdijk's, at 16.08, but there's always room for improvement.

Here are some links to fast solves caught on video! This one is "The" one, world record solve. An unofficial world record, by one of my first cubing idols This one is to make you feel bad for not being able to solve a cube :D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rubiks Cubes, Speedcubing

Rubik's cubes.

For years now I have had one of these beautiful puzzles on me at all times. I eat with it, sleep with it, heck, I even shower with it sometimes. I have yet to find an activity more addictive and rewarding.

Most people look at this intricate puzzle with disbalief. "I could never solve that," "I can only get two sides," "I'll just peel off the stickers!" And to you people I say, "Grow up."

Tomorrow I will be posting facts, world records and personal records about speed cubing. Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Juggling as a hobby

Juggling is a great hobby for people who like to achieve tough goals. It's fairly easy to learn how to juggle, but difficult to make it look easy. One of the great things about juggling is how cheap it can be to learn, but once you want to go to the next level there is a whole new world of impressive otherworldly equipment you can use to impress your friends and family.

First lets talk about what you can juggle with. I started with golf balls, not realizing how difficult it is to juggle with something so small and light. Later on in my juggling career I made some great balls out of tennis balls I filled with rice and glued shut. I then figured out it makes it even better if you stretch a balloon or two over it for some grip. Eventually your going to want some profetional balls, clubs or rings. For that I will give you the link for a great site I know of , but you can always get what you need locally if you are near a good hobby shop or mall.

To start out with juggling you need some form of instruction. Most people have the wrong ideas about how to juggle, formed from cartoons and other media. One great place to learn how to juggle is on YouTube. is one of the videos I used to learn. Once you think your good you can try to do some tricks, . This site has hundreds of links and tutorials for tricks using three balls and more.

But it doesn't end there! When you have mastered three balls you can step it up and move on to four balls. Eventually five, six or seven! But the point isn't to be the best, it's to have fun.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cheap and Fun Hobbies

Okay, not all of these hobbies are all that cheap, but most of them are. And the ones that aren't cheap have only a one time fee and your off on a new adventure. Here is a list I made with the help of a few friends and my own personal experience.

Juggling, anywhere from $3 to $15. Juggling is a great way to develop hand eye coordination that can considerably enrich the rest of your life. It is easy to learn but challenging to become good. To start juggling just look up a YouTube video or online guide, take what you learned there and practice whenever you have time. You can learn how to juggle with real juggling balls, golf balls, or even a few oranges!

Rubik's Cube, $10. This is easily one of the best hobbies I have ever had, and you can expect me to write on this subject extensively. After your ten dollar purchase there is a whole new world open to you, and if you ever feel like going further into this new world you will find it can be a never ending adventure. Learn how to solve this puppy and you have hours upon hours of fun, and your always getting faster. There are hundreds of different Rubik's cube like puzzles, most of which cost much less than the original cube. Wow your friends and family members by becoming one of the few, the proud, the nerds. 

Doodling, $2-$10 depending on the quality of the sketch book. Doodling is a great way to express yourself without letting anyone know about it. There is no risk of failure, no rules, no limit to your imagination.
Learn a language, Check a book out from a library its free, but buying a book could be rather expensive. There are computer programs, books, CDs, phone Apps, private and public lessons, public college and online options. It's so easy to get your hands on the materials needed there is no reason not to expand your knowledge.
Cook something new, could be a lot cheaper than your current cooking habits. You already have to eat anyway, why not spice it up? Watch the cooking channel, look up some recipes, or talk to your mom. Almost everyone has an old cook book or two, just put them to use. Cook for yourself, your family, or your friends. Its a great way to entertain a boss too, if you want to get ahead at work!
Creative writing, $2 notebook. Ever have a dream that you just didn't want to wake up from? Write it down and keep it going. Ever been to a movie you think you could have written better? Do it. How about a book ending? Fix it! Make up your own stories, there are unlimited possibilities!
Read, free if you utilize the local library systems if available. If your reading this, you know how to read. Everyone has access to books, its just how america works. Schools, libraries, online, anything. You can even listen to books on an mp3 player or in your car. Its so easy to read during your day theres no reason not to.
Ride a bike, $100-$1000 one time purchase. Ride a bike around your town, when your running errands, to work or school. Its a great way to save money and get some exercise too!
Hike, free. Experience nature, take a break, relax a little bit! Get your heart rate up and feel a heightened sense of accomplishment for achieving a new goal. There are a lot of nice hikes or walking trails near me, just use a search engine to find some near you.
Swim, free or about $3 a trip to the pool. Swimming is one of the best ways to get a great full body workout. It's great for your heart, muscles, and lungs. Depending on your climate you can swim at a beach or lake for free, or at your local swimming pool. Just make sure you are safe wherever you are.
Run, free. This activity can be hard on your knees, so if your are a little older you may want to consult your doctor before participating in this activity.
Weight Lift, $5 a trip to the gym or about $30 a month. There are two kinds of weight lifting goals. Strength training and body building. Strength training is lifting in order to become stronger, body building is making your muscles larger and more beautiful. Make sure you do some research before you start any new workout regimen and consult your doctor.
Photography, free after the camera purchase if using a digital camera. Taking pictures is a great way to capture memories, but have you ever taken a picture to share the beauty you see with the rest of the world? You can take photos that focus on what your eyes focus on so you can share with other people what you see. There are many great ways to share your pictures with your friends over the internet, like Facebook and Picasa by Google.
Astronomy, free after the telescope purchase. Astronomy has been used by humans for thousands of years, so there is a lot of reference material. Learning about the stars can be fun and exciting because it is so closely linked to ancient mythology.
Knitting/ Crocheting, $2 needles and very cheap yarn. This is one of those hobbies that you actually make things doing. Make hats, scarves, doilies, or just about anything you have the imagination to create.
Playing music, free after the insterment

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“I’m too busy for a hobby”

Are you too busy to have a hobby?
No you aren’t, you just haven’t found the hobby perfect for you. There are all types of hobbies that can keep you busy, happy and stress free. There are things you can do during the day to take your mind off your nagging boss, sad memories and other stresses in life.
But you may be thinking, “I’m a working adult with three kids, I don’t have time to have a hobby.” That’s just the kind of thinking that adds onto the level of stress you might be living with. Lets break down the day of a hard working single man with a decent job. Post a comment if you think this is unrealistic.
Wake up to your alarm at seven, take a shower and get dressed. Make eggs and leave for work at eight. Hit the Starbucks drive through, and drive for thirty minutes. Head into the office and check your email, inbox and messages. Work until noon, and your off for forty five minutes for lunch. Waiting in line a subway… eating that sandwich and getting back early to surf the web for a few minutes. Work until five and go home, sit on the couch watching television until seven, have dinner and maybe do a load of laundry.
Lets break it down. The first hobby i can think of for a day is of the culinary type. Cook a healthy well rounded breakfast for yourself. I often find it relaxing and fun to express myself through food, and if you usually buy lunch you can save a lot of money if you make it every once in a while. Another great hobby people don’t think about can be expensive, or free. During your daily drive you can listen to an audio book, for fun or education. Used to read a lot of Stephen King? Like educational content? Also, you can check out all kinds of audio books from your local library absolutely free of charge.
When your at work there are things you can do to keep your mind off mindless repetitive work. Ever herd of an iPod? Perhaps iPhone? Pandora? Online Radio? If you are allowed to listen to music at work there are hundreds of options for free, quick and easy music fixes. You can put the CD’s you already own onto your iPod for free, and just about any phone made in the last two years has good music playback options. Another idea is to use the computer screen you stare at all day already. Many sites have free music that you can listen to at any time free of commercials or ads. Some of my favorites are Pandora internet radio, AOL Internet Radio and Slacker Radio. I also find YouTube to be a great option for making playlists of custom mixes and other sound bits you can’t get from the internet radio options.
So we’ve gone through our day up to lunch, and now, if you haven’t made something before hand you should be eating. Lets walk across the street to the subway or coffee shop. There’s always a line to stand in, so I’ll list a few things I do while I wait in line. Ever herd of a Rubik’s Cube? It’s a little plastic puzzle you can twist a few times, it can be really challenging. Since I found out about this beautiful toy I have learned how to solve it in 16 seconds. You can use it to spend time trying to figure it out on your own or you can print out a simple step by step guide on how to solve it and eventually be able to wow all of your friends and co-workers. This is by far my favorite hobby and I have taught many other people how to solve this puzzle with great reception.
So we’ve gone through the work day and you are home now. Perhaps you could get some exercise? I love weight lifting; It clears my mind, gives me reachable short term and long term goals and it is a great way to stay healthy and happy. But a gym can be hard to get to, and rather expensive. Biking is a great option for exercise too, its easy on the joints and it makes hard goals easy. Its a one time purchase, and if you are lucky you can find a great deal on craigslist or at a garage sale. Running is also acceptable and free, but rather hardcore to be considered a hobby.
Ready for bed? I bet after a day of mental and physical stimulation you can sleep rather well now. I know doing all of these things in a day leaves me feeling satisfied and rather happy. Please comment if you have any other ideas for easy cheap hobbies.
A cheap puzzle that will give you hours of fun!
Cooking links:
Puzzle links:
Internet Radio Links:
My favorite, Pandora
Also, check your favorite local radio station’s web site, most of them have an online streaming option.
Weight training: