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What's Your (non-tech) Hobby? 407

Posted by Cliff
from the getting-away-from-computers-and-tech dept.
Slipped_Disk asks: "Being the curious sort, I was wondering what the Slashdot crowd did while you're not reading Slashdot or doing any of the other geeky things we usually do. So tell me, what is your non-techie hobby? I'm defining non-techie as stuff you do when you're not using a computer, so 'I play videogames' doesn't qualify, but 'I build game consoles' does. I'm especially interested in distinctly non-electronic stuff (ie: film photography, building models, training sociopathic attack cats, etc.). I'm looking forward to some interesting topics, here!"
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What's Your (non-tech) Hobby?

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  • by sepluv (641107) <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @06:49AM (#6252058) Homepage
    Aren't you?
  • by jjshoe (410772)
    i like to move along by rollerblading. its easier on my knees then running, and i like it better then biking because my rump doesnt get sore.
    • I tried rollerblading a while ago, but it was hell on my lower back (which became extremely fatigued very quickly). Any tips?
      • So long as it doesn't feel like joints dislocating but like muscles burning you are doing your body some good. Eventually your muscles will be capable of handling it. Don't worry the pain goes away.

        PS: if one day you work out and the next you feel all stiff going for a short ride just to oxygenate your muscles will remove lactic acid from them making the pain go away. Try it.

  • Lego (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GeckoUK (58633) on Friday June 20, 2003 @06:54AM (#6252069)
    Redescovered it as an adult once I started earning enough to afford it. Like all really good toys it is wasted on kids :)

    • Tell me about it. Actually, don't - even now as an adult I don't make enough to afford it (I'm just an impoverished grad student), but I buy the wonderful little bricks anyway. I just can't get enough!

      I desperately wish I knew what became of all my childhood LEGO. I at least remember what became of my Atari VCS, my comics, and my Star Wars action figures, but for the life of me, I have no idea what happened to my bricks. I wish I still had all those '70s and '80s sets I used to have. As it is, the oldest

  • Sweet F A
  • by dago (25724) on Friday June 20, 2003 @06:58AM (#6252083)
    by ski (winter) or by foot (summer)
  • by enigmatichmachine (214829) <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:01AM (#6252088)
    I think the general concensious(sp) is that we like to build things, doesnt matter what we build, be it computers, bikes, space planes, movies, music, etc... slashdotters are people who like to create. in work or outside of it, we make stuff. second to that is learning stuff. amateur astronomers, radio operators, pilots, scientists of various sorts. beyond that? I don't know... shopping would probably be pretty low on the list. I'm trying to think of what my non geek friends do as hobbies. I think its shopping, drinking, and well, a lot of them don't have hobbies, they just work, buy things, and complain about stuff. guess that's why I'm a geek!
    • by evalhalla (581819) * <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:26AM (#6252152) Homepage Journal
      I don't know... shopping would probably be pretty low on the list.I'm trying to think of what my non geek friends do as hobbies. I think its shopping, drinking, and well, a lot of them don't have hobbies,[...]

      I believe you're wrong: I don't think that most geeks don't do what "common people" do, it's more a matter of either having more hobbies or being more devoted to them.

      After all, when I'm not doing something with some computer, listening to music, reading, taking photographies (sorry, gone totally digital after my old film camera broke), building worlds (uhm... that something I do both with a computer and with pen and paper, does it apply?), sewing (guess this applies :) ), roleplay, painting, or whatever else I sometimes do, I also enjoy shopping, as long as it's for something related to one of my hobbies, or drinking and eating with (somehow geeky) friends.

    • I become engrossed in those depending on the season. Socializing with non-geeks can also be interesting but not for long periods of time.

      I play with the cat a lot, and play the piano but those interests are pretty much on and off.

      I think many geeks are into photography for some reason. Photography in itself is very much an artistic endeavor and so is playing the piano or violin (not many geeks here)... nothing to do with computers except many of the techies love to put up good images on their websites and
  • Being handy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zandweter (558774) <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:06AM (#6252096) Homepage Journal
    If i have time available to do something really not it-related... I'm probably creating something with my own hands (whitout my keyboard in between)... just a month ago i build my own computer-closset. 2m*60cm*40cm 2 lower "lockable" compartments with my computers, 3 upper compartments with cd's and computerbooks.
    Only because I moved in with my girl, she can't stand the noise (of course) and we have to split 35m2 so going up was the only sollution.

    A year ago I made my own computer-travel-case to go lan'ing

    Wood rules my friends
  • Wing Chun Kung Fu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Da VinMan (7669) on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:08AM (#6252101)
    Looks like I may post the first real response.

    Anyway, done properly, Wing Chun is very meditative and physically taxing (if you're doing the stance properly). At the same time, itâ(TM)s something anyone on two feet can do. It's an internal martial art like Tai Chi which, but it has some immediate and effective applications. It's nothing like you see in the movies though. It's very subtle and hard to appreciate until you actually feel some of the effects.

    But besides all that, it's what I do to associate with non-geeks. I couldn't stomach the thought of golf, so Wing Chun it was. Ironically about half the folks that attend the classes are in some way into IT, but we don't talk shop much.

    For anyone who is curious and resides around the Minneapolis/St. Paul MN area, send me an email at: VincePlatt AT Yahoo D.O.T com.
  • by mikemacd (84328) on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:14AM (#6252115) Homepage
    I'm involved in a historical recreation group call the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) [].

    I take part in armoured combat, recreate clothing and artefacts of people who could have existed in pre1600 history and attempt to recreate their lifestyle. It's a lot of fun.
    • Same here ... which ends up including subhobbies such as: medieval swordfighting, archery, crossbow making, brewing, cooking, costuming, etc.

      In fact, one sub-hobby (crossbow making) took off and became it's own mini-business ...
  • Biking along Lake Michigan is a blast! Golfing, while boring to the great unwashed, is a challenging and relaxing game (assuming you approach it with the attitude that you're NOT Tiger Woods). Golf is a major thinking man's game, if you're not psychologically there, you're toast. Of course there's coordination involved, but there's also a lot of thinking required.
    • Golf is such an excellent game. The concept is so simple, yet it has so many complexities. The key thing about golf is that I will still be able to play it when I'm 70 years old. Will you mountain bikers and skateboarders be able to say that?
      • I really hope I can ski when I'm 70. I've seen a few skiers that old, but they ski wonderfully... no effort at all. I just have to reach that level before I'm old. I guess the same applies to many radical sports, naturally with the physical effort toned down.
  • Fencing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PurpleFloyd (149812) <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:16AM (#6252119) Homepage
    Foil and sabre fencing, via a Boeing Employees club. I've found that it provides me with not only a good workout, but also trains my reflexes and mind. You have to be able to think very well on your feet, and change your strategy on the fly when what seemed so brilliant 2 seconds ago doesn't work. Just trying to use brute force will fail every time against someone who is quick to think and act. Besides, it's fun to poke and whack people with swords!

    • No offense to the fencers, but studying medieval or Elizabethean fighting is much more fun. And no, I'm not talking SCA here.

      Learn how to swash and buckle! It's fun!
    • Re:Fencing (Score:3, Funny)

      by thelenm (213782)
      Fencing is fun. I actually took a fencing class in college with CmdrTaco (and lots of other people, of course), so I sometimes joke that I know what it's like to stab him in the heart. :-)
  • i've been skateboarding for over 12 years. i was sponsored at one point (which meant that i got free stuff), and i've actually hung out and skated with some of the pros you've seen on tv and in video games. heres some [] pictures [] of me skating. ok, bye.
  • Music (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DukeLinux (644551)
    Of all things, I play the cello...
  • Mountain Biking. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chrestomanci (558400) * <.gro.icnamotserhc. .ta. .divad.> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:22AM (#6252140)

    My first hobby is Cross Country Mountain biking. One of my first uses of the internet was to read about it in rec.bicycles.offroad (A sadly defunct news group thanks to trolling).

    Back when I was a student, I even went to the trouble of leaning a fair bit about engineering and metallurgy. (eg The effect of heat treatments on the crystal structure of aluminium alloys). Now I just ride more instead :-)

    I still involve computers though. I have a GPS mounted on my bike, which I use to record my route. When I get back I download the route to my PC, and then use some perl scripts I wrote to create a highlighted map of my route, which I can print out for later use.

    Do many other slashdoters share my hobby? Back when I was at university, most of my fellow club members where engineering students rather than anything else. (One had even welded his own frame).

    • Yup, I'm into mountain biking as well. I'm also into road biking and inline skating in the summer months. In the winter, I'm often at a local ski area, either skiboarding or snowboarding.

      I've noticed my geek tendencies when out biking and skating, as well. I usually bring a heart rate monitor so I can track whether I'm in an aerobic zone, and I bring the GPS while inline skating. It makes a good speedometer/trip computer. And, I've downloaded trail maps to my Windows box (when it's functioning, that i
  • hmm,.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mog (22706) <> on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:23AM (#6252142)
    rollerblading, playing the sax, playing the guitar, playing the piano, drinking beer, shooting pool, bowling, playing air hockey, reading books, going to movies, .. what ISN'T there to do when I'm not programming or owning some fools in counterstrike?
  • Any other Slashdotters outdoors lovers?

    I love backpacking, cross-country skiing, river and sea kayaking, and anything else that involves me, the world, and my moving through that world under my own power.

    For the usual egocentric geek type, the control freak who likes computers because they obey his every command, the outdoors is really perfect. You can go wherever you want to go -- no WALK/DON'T WALK signals --, there's plenty of techy gear to obsess about if you want to, and yet it's a raw encounter with
    • I'm an outdoors geek too. I'm surprised that I haven't seen many other posts like yours, but on the other hand I'm not Very surprised.

      I like to snowboard and recently have fallen in love with snow blades for their high manuverability and nearly non-existant learning curve (diamond trails on the first day).

      Hiking / camping is another favorite that I don't get to do as often as I'd like, but will be heading out into the wilds again soon enough.

      I'm off for some kayaking as soon as work finishes up for
  • Non-techie stuff I do:

    • Play bass guitar in a band The Faces of Sarah [].
    • Restore cars. Well, one in particular - a 1976 MGB GT.
    • Drink too much []

    That's as well as the usual stuff like travel, reading, clubbing and gig-going that any normal person does. Though I suppose there are plenty of abnormal people among the Slashdot readership ...


  • by BigBir3d (454486)


    lifting weights



    You know, most of the stuff I was interested before 1993.
  • Origami... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmayle (200765) on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:32AM (#6252173) Homepage Journal
    I fold paper (Origami)... There's even a convention [] next weekend in New York (Manhattan)...
  • Come on, if playing videogames doesn't count then watching TV doesn't count eighter. I mean of course you use a computer but not for the sake of using a computer, if you know what I mean. In any case, my hobbies are playing adventure games, reading (the newspaper or books (mostly fantasy although I'm trying to find other interesting genres)) and watching the telly if I'm too lazy to do anything else. O and working was also sort of a hobby for me. Unfortunately I'm jobless at the moment. Dear me, I almost fo
  • Well I guess that disqualifies me and my electric guitar....

    -- iCEBaLM
  • hmm... well, aside from work, and messing around on my computers at home, and exercising (roller blading, tennis, walking), i suppose i'd have to say stained glass. although i don't get to do it all that often.
  • I like to enjoy nature, and I do it in several ways.

    I'm relatively new to the city I live in, so I like to get on my mountain bike and explore the many parks, trails and scenic routes that the city has to offer.

    The beautiful scenery does not end at city limits, so I frequently find myself driving around here and there, discovering (among other things) new wineries in the process (mmmm.... wine...). This means that my car has to be in good shape, so I spend a good amount of time making sure it runs well by
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:44AM (#6252208) Journal
    OK, I realise that to some people that's going to be a revolutionary concept, but I'll wager that a great many of the Slashdot crowd have one too.

    Part of the fun of said relationship is that, sometimes, I find myself doing things that I'd never dreamt of doing. Like visiting a garden centre, spending half the weekend looking for the right pair of shoes, or wondering what's the point of underwear that's so small that you could swallow it without even noticing. But after nine years or so, you tend to develop the ability to either tune out that stuff or - shock, horror - like it. (There's a degree of sadomasochism involved here - relationships aren't for the those with low pain thresholds.)

    On the plus side, I also find myself doing things that lots of you, err, more available guys are always dreaming of doing. Believe me, there are plenty of things in life better than downloading your favourite distro at maximum speed on the day it's released and, for most of them, two's better than one.
  • That's a tough one. Computers are a hobby I turned into a career, so a lot of what I do at home is computer-related (just built a dedicated UT2003 server on an old PII 400mhz...)

    Non-tech would have to be :

    -- Dicker around in the garage (just got a radial arm saw)
    -- Play with my son (ok, not really a hobby but a necessity)
    -- I still build models. I'm working on a B17 for my son's room
    -- A little bit of painting

    Wow. I did't realize my life was that boring without computers. How depressing.
  • well.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by schnits0r (633893)
    I do digital photograph...wait no. Well, I chat on the...No..wait. I read the news on Wired...wait no... um... ~thinks for 6 hours about what he does that does not involve technology~
  • Ultimate Frisbee (Score:2, Informative)

    by Trazk (245266)
    Lots of teams all around the country. Best way to get involved is find a college that offers it as a sport or intramural. There are probably people floating around that want to play if you enquire.

    Not sure what Ultimate Frisbee is? Kinda like a mix between freeze tag and soccer, but with a Frisbee. Want more? Do a google on it.
    • Re:Ultimate Frisbee (Score:2, Informative)

      by Garfunkel (3569)
      Yup. Ultimate for me. Great Excercise. Great community. (check out sometime). is the Ultimate Players Association and has lots of links including info to get you hooked up with local people for pickup games, etc.

      Best and most popular sport most people have never heard of.
  • I'm a writer. You know... stories, articles, poetry... that sort of thing.

    Doesn't actually help to get me away from the computer much, though.

    (ps - if you enjoy writing, or reading for that matter, my favorite writer's site is this one: [] - enjoy)
  • House (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan (79406) on Friday June 20, 2003 @08:16AM (#6252333) Journal
    I recently bought a house, so it seems my non-tech hobby these days is doing home improvements.

    I've been working with a lot of wood lately because we're doing a unique rustic design for our living room, and that's been a lot of fun, so we're going to try building some furniture. I don't know why, but my wife is really interested in doing that. Maybe if we get good we can make some extra money doing it.

    Other than that I've been eating and sleeping, not much time left for other things.

  • Photography! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by herko_cl (533936)
    When I was 16, a friend lent me a good camera to try for a couple of weeks. Until then, I had *no* idea what it was about. Those two weeks were full of lame, unfocused, blurred photos. But I had fallen in love; I still can't explain why very well, but I have been into photography ever since.
    I enjoy the whole process, from composing and shooting, to developing in the darkroom. Sadly, the darkroom takes an enormous amount of time and requires a decent room, which I don't have now. Even so, the thrill of wa
  • It's... Acting! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dannon (142147) on Friday June 20, 2003 @08:26AM (#6252398) Journal
    I am a Master Thespian! (No jokes.)

    Well, more like a permanent apprentice. There's a professional theater group in my area that offers apprenticeship opportunities to non-professionals. Sometimes these apprentices are folks that want to get into the biz. Or, sometimes they're like me, they just want theater as a hobby. I've had chances to develop all sorts of useful skills: Construction, lighting control, sound, wiring, organization, memorization, and of course, public speaking. And it's a great way to meet people, too.
  • Hang gliding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JustAnOtherCodeSerf (181281) on Friday June 20, 2003 @08:32AM (#6252429)
    I'd say I'm one of those nature freak, get the heck away from tech when I'm not at work, types. Flying sites are always out in the middle of nowhere in the most beautiful parts of the country. Imagine the view from the top of a thousand foot mountian, overlooking a lush green valley. Now, imagine the view from three thousand feet above that mountain with a retail hawk off your wingtip (yup, some birds will let us fly with them). Soaring above the earth for hours at a time is true bliss. It's a total zen thing :)

  • Training dogs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blankmange (571591) on Friday June 20, 2003 @08:41AM (#6252486)
    We train dogs here. Black labs mostly, for both obedience trials and agility trials.... the most unlogical thing in the world, from a person's point of view, is a young puppy experiencing her world....
  • I train for Ultra Marathon Cycling [] events, such as the 9 day Race Across America [] going on right this minute.

    The leader [] is already over 1700 miles into the ~3000 mile race and is averaging over 15 miles an hour, with about 3 hours of sleep in the last 5 days. It started Sunday morning.

    When's the last time you traveled 3000 miles under your own power?

    I also build and program microcontrollers - mainly PIC right now, but I just attended an Atmel conference (for the free goodies, of course) and am pla
  • Sailing is #1. Too bad I moved 300 miles from the coast. What was I thinking? Oh yeah... Ph.D.

    Lego, Homebrew, 4wd offroading, movies.

  • Wine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hallow (2706) on Friday June 20, 2003 @08:54AM (#6252577) Homepage
    No, not the software, but actually making my own wine. You can actually make some very nice wines from kits these days - they're much better than they used to be. And if you really get into it, there's plenty of technical details involved.

    Many of my geek friends are also home brewers, and so I will eventually be trying my hand at beer.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      I myself have brewed (so far only one batch - I get hangovers VERY easily and am trying to lose 20 pounds so don't drink very often.) a batch so far.

      The basics are simple, but if you get into it things can become very complex.

      Advanced beer brewing makes an excellent geek hobby, as it mixes biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, and electronics. Electrical + mechanical engineering skills are excellent for controlling and building advanced brewing equipment such as RIMS brewing systems. I will likely not pas
  • Go recreational flying!

    Join a flying club, not a school or some fancy schmancy place but a real honest flying club out of a hanger, or caravan or small club rooms where you can shoot the breeze with like minded individuals, have someone there teach you to fly stick-n-rudder in an ultralight/microlight, or a Cub or something like that, and just generally free your mind of technical crap for an hour or two or three a week.

    There's nothing better than looking down on the world from above, up at the sky from b
  • ...competitive ballroom dancing []? Due to a tradition of recruiting from the computer science department (where there is an ample supply of males), there are actually a fair number of computer types on the team. Of course, we compete against MIT, whose team is just full of that sort...

    Now, I wouldn't advocate taking up ballroom simply because there tends to be a shortage of men, but I will mention that I got to know my fiancée by being on the team with her.

  • For me, it's hockey. I got started in college playing pick-up roller with some friends in my dorm. Lost interest when I moved off campus. Started coaching ice with a buddy of mine at work who had been coaching for 8 years. Loved it, working with the kids was incredibly rewarding. Nevermind that it was a travel team and all the kids were way better skaters than I was, we still got along and had a blast. Watching and coaching convinced me to play, so I joined a couple of leagues in the area.

    First off,
  • My major hobby these days is sitting in a local bar playing NTN (National Trivia Network) [].

    It's fun trying to answer trivia questions covering the gamut from "Which planet has a moon name Nereid?" to "Which sitcom family had a dog named Tiger?". Add in the ability to compete with other bars across North America and it's quite enjoyable.


  • My girlfriend (yeah, someone on Slashdot actually has one =) ) got me into brewing beer. Great hobby. Just this week, we went out and bought 4 Five gallon kegs and a CO2 system. I have a fridge coming this weekend, and BAM, I'm styling.
  • I'm kind of a car geek. I think that cars are just cool machines -- and I love driving them. Particularly when they're light (under 2500 pounds) and tossable (I'm particular to RWD). I've been into autocrossing for the past few years, and am getting into track stuff as well. My next project will be building a cheapo performance rally car...and learning how to drive it. That'll be further down the line once I'm able to better finance it.

    • Many of my geek friends are into cars, including me. It can get very expensive. Once you start squeezing more power out of your motor, you don't want to stop.

      Most people I know have DSM's (Eclipses and Talons). Although, some of them have been buying VW GTI's, and I just bought an S4. German car parts are about 6 times more expensive than parts for the DSM, it's insanity.

      But, there's a lot of theory behind making your turbocharged car go faster, and there is a lot of cool things you can come up with t
      • Re:Car Geek (Score:3, Interesting)

        by j-turkey (187775)

        S4's make me drool.

        I'm actually into racing in the stock classes, so I'm not all that into mods -- I'm more into fixing the driver first (that's the most important part)...although I'll be getting into the NASA time trials [] pretty soon, which is pretty much "run whatcha brung" [] -- so I'll have to start getting set up with a few handling mods as well as some brake work (nothing more than SS lines and racing pads though).

        German car parts are damn expensive -- on my last car (German GT car), I had to do much

  • Paintball (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DetrimentalFiend (233753) * on Friday June 20, 2003 @09:24AM (#6252835)
    So many interesting posts, but I can't believe that no one does paintball! Well, that's my love. I haven't gotten a chance to play in a few weeks, but I usually play whenever I can. If you haven't tried it yet, you really should. It's decent excercise and a blast to play.
  • Flying (Score:5, Interesting)

    by netringer (319831) <maaddr-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Friday June 20, 2003 @09:29AM (#6252879) Journal
    Look at my .sig and guess what I do on sunny weekends.

    You can get up from the Flight Sim and try the real thing. Start at []

    In my case I dreamed about flying all of my life. I decided to give it a go while I was still young enough to enjoy it.

    I had three concerns:
    1) It's very expensive. I can't afford it. (It took a while for me to notice that I could afford it.)
    2) I need to do other things like get a new degree, etc. This will take up a lot of time. (So what? I wasn't making good progress toward that goal anyway.)
    3) If I start, I'll be obsessed by it and I won't do much else. (Again So What? It ain't a drug addiction. It turned out that the obsession wore down, but not much. Like most pilots I think it's so magical I never get tired of talking about it, even if you get tired of hearing about it.)

    Worse than I imagined, I bought a plane. There's where all my money goes.

    There actually is a wave of techies that became pilots about the same time I did. We thought we had money to burn when the stock market was flying high.

    Even now, you can earn a Private Pilot certificate in the US 6 months or so for $5000 or less.

    Join me in the air.
  • Especially stage props, usually ones for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have built many tanks, transducers, elevators and other large props. Each has specific characteristics that I refine in each iteration. I have made tanks (large things that Rocky is "created" in) that are portable and can be easily carried by one person, and large ones that support the weight of someone standing on them and/or can hold a person suspended inside. Stage props have to look right from a restricted range of view, and c
  • I got involved with rugby in college, and have to say its quickly become my favorite sport. A baseball game and a few cold beers on a warm summer day is right up there too though. Rugby is an amazing game that's quickly gaining a foothold in the US. Anybody can play - there are positions for slow(er) moving, big and strong guys called forwards (me) and fast, small guys called backs. You don't really need to be of any particular body type, other than be reasonably fit. There's definately a mentality you need
  • German Board Games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Apreche (239272) on Friday June 20, 2003 @09:55AM (#6253144) Homepage Journal
    Not many people realize the crappiness of american board games. Games like Monopoly and Sorry and other Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers are almost entirely contests of luck. If you are the winner you can't say that you are better than the other players. The majority of your victory was up to dice.

    There are some games that involve skill in america, but they are mostly based on knowledge and not strategy. Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble are two. Even our war games are primarily luck based. Risk has dice, Axis + Allies has dice, even the great Shogun (Samurai Swords) has dice.

    If you head over to you'll see there are a ton of board games that just arne't well known in america, but there are two or three companies who bring them over in English. Games like Settlers of Catan, El Grande, and my favorite Puerto Rico! These games are games of pure strategy, and you need a lot of friends to make them happen, so sorry rest of /..

    The majority of them fall into a few categories. Tile laying, where you lay out cardboard tiles to form different things. Wooden Cube: where you place wooden cubes in different "bins". And bargaining, where you make deals with other players and make deals to achieve victory. Every game is different and contains multiple different aspects of the three categories. I love Puerto Rico so much because it doesn't fall into any of the 3 categories. It is a pure game of best strategy wins.

    So, next time you have 3 to 5 people and nothing to do get yourself a german board game. boardgamegeek will be sure to reccomend a good one. If you have 10 hours you can play Die Macher! the simulation of the german senate. I again highly reccomend Puerto Rico. Also, check out some of the "spiell de jahres"(sp) in german it means game of the year. I think Puerto Rico and Settlers are both past winners. Settlers of Catan is probably the most popular and a good starter game because it does involve a slight random factor.
    • by Godeke (32895) *
      Here here! Puerto Rico rocks, and whole designer game lines are easily available in via game stores (not toy stores) everywhere. My favorite games are where the "randomness" comes from the other players decisions, not cards or dice. Just looking at games with the name Dragon somewhere in it: Silent bidding games like Aladdins Dragons and Fist of the Dragons Stones are a blast. Dragon Delta likewise uses silent choice of move types, which creates a lot of tension.

      That's not to say all American games suck: R

  • I've got my technician license and I mess around on 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands. I'm studying for my general so I can play on the world wide HF bands.

    I grew up somewhere famously flat, so I go alpine hiking/rock climbing when I get the chance - next weekend! near Red Rocks! After Widespread Panic show!!!

    I've owned a Glock 17, Glock 19, Ruger P85(sucks), a Smith and Wesson Model 19, a Smith and Wesson Model 640, and a bunch of long guns. We've got an excellent range here in the city but I real
  • by Tumbleweed (3706)
    What is this ... 'non-tech' you speak of? :)

    Okay, Photography, Movies, Architecture, Travel, learning French, Writing, Capitalizing Letters, Spelling Colour With a U, and Other Assorted Things.

    Oh yeah, and chewing gum. I like gum.
  • How about sailing? My fiance and I race Hobie cat sailboats. It gets us outside, and since we are travelling to regattas, they are like mini vacations every two weeks. Plus, there is a ton of friends to meet up with again.

    In addition it is a very geek friendly sport with a lot of things to tweak and upgrade on the boat to make it go just that much faster.

  • Graveyards. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hucke (55628) * on Friday June 20, 2003 @10:15AM (#6253351) Homepage

    I explore and photograph graveyards. I've been to about 120 in Cook County, Illinois, and perhaps 40 or so elsewhere.

    With the exception of the modern "memorial park" cemeteries, something interesting can be found in nearly any cemetery. Even the smallest is likely to have something - I particularly like discovering hollow monuments made of zinc hidden away in small urban graveyards.

    Of course, there is a geek side to this as well - cameras and lenses are as much a high-tech device as any computer, more in the field of optics than electronics. Primarily, I use Nikon D100 and N90 bodies with a Nikon 28-105mm lens; I have 18-35mm and 70-210mm lenses, and a 35mm shift lens as well.

    Still, the technology is not my primary focus; it is merely a tool to be used in collecting and preserving the images of graveyards before they are gone.

    My book, "Graveyards of Chicago", can be found on Amazon; and my website is []

  • by MrIcee (550834) on Friday June 20, 2003 @10:23AM (#6253441) Homepage
    ...and take it out to see nature.

    Granted, this is Hawaii so there is much nature to see, but nature is everywhere, just get out of your office for awhile.

    Hiking to the lip of 1500 ft waterfalls and looking back over at the tiny little tourists way on the other side... then skinny dipping in the secret pools behind the fall lip.

    Treking out into the Kau desert to find pit craters and volcanic cones.

    Going down to South Point (the southern most point in the US) and swiming at the green sands beach. The sands are green because of an abundance of the semi-precious gemstone peridot.

    Putting on scuba or snorkle gear and going to view the beautiful fish that live around here.

    Simply relaxing in the volcanically heated hot ponds.

    Hiking to the fresh lava flow to watch the lava enter the ocean - with huge billowing steam clouds... or cooking chicken [] in the fresh lava.

    Hiking to the summits of Mauna Kea (where the astronomy domes are) or to the summit of Mauna Loa (which has a crater 12 miles in diameter) - both of which are at 13,800 ft above sea level - meaning little air but plenty fun.

    Just going down to the ocean and sitting and watching the waves, looking for whales, viewing the giant sea turtles and thinking about my day/work/life.

  • No phones, no internet, no electricity, just over forty thousand people in an area the size of Great Britain.

    TwoTomCats []has the details.

  • I've been mountain biking for about a year now, and it's, IMO, a really cool sport/hobby. Allow me to list the benefits:
    • Way to spend ungodly amounts of cash on exotic and geeky parts. (If you are so inclined, you can get started for little.)
    • Tinkering with mechanic parts. Building your own bike is not hard, and very rewarding.
    • You get in shape.
    • You get in high speed, high adrenaline, high risk of pain and humiliation situations.
    • There's a sub-category for everyone, XC (Cross Country), Down Hill, Trials, U
  • ...but I always turn to Google for help doing it!

    When I'm not at the machine, I dig homebrewing beer, mountain biking (moslty singletrack), playing guitar, woodworking (I've even made guitars). My fiancee and I are in the market for our first house, so I'm looking forward to the remodling and stuff that goes with that.

    For every one of my interests have I used the web as a source of information. Guitar tabs, bike specs & trail conditions, homebrewing tips, guitar plans, woodworking plans, etc.
  • I shoot photos for fun,and have been told that I'm quite good at it. I also travel, sail and teach sailing, do things with my girlfriend, ski, bike, run & work out, read, and garden.
  • I play around San Francisco and other places as a club DJ, mixing the latest tunes on old school vinyl and turntables. Forget about mp3's I'm a vinyl fanatic, even when I worked at napster I was still spending thousands of dollars on 12 inch records. I play most club styles, House, breaks, techno, trance, Drum n Bass - whatever they'll let me get away with. This also lead to a radio show - theDMZ - it's supplied to stations as a 2 hour slot (and it's free to non-profit broadcasters)

    I'm playing at the DNA l
  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Friday June 20, 2003 @10:53AM (#6253770)
    is harder than it sounds
  • I can't believe its only been mentioned once so far, and in passing ... or doesn't it qualify as non-techie? ;)

    Role playing (no, not that kind). Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, Mage, MERP, and many friends.

    Its a lot of fun, doesn't (necessarily) involve sunlight, and does involve friends (even some non-techie ones).

  • Homebrew (Score:2, Informative)

    by anderiv (176875)
    I took up zymurgy a few months ago, and it has been one of the most rewarding things that I have done - not just because I get lots of beer to drink, but because I get to experiment with different ingredients each batch on a neverending quest for the perfect beer.

    If you're interested, check out this [] forum if you're interested - there's a wealth of homebrewing wisdom there! The forum is run by my local homebrew store, Northern Brewer []. I'm not affiliated with them aside from being a happy beer-brewing cus
  • I am the Assistant Chief for a 40-member volunteer fire department. I also play music, but I almost consider that tech because of the midi, electronics and such involved.
  • No, I'm not kidding.

    After programming since I was 9, a few years back I decided that it was time for a change. So I chose something I found interesting.

    It's been my main hobby for the past 2 years, and I still have a lifetime to go, but it's great. I've learned to look at things from another perspective, and it may even save me from this economic downturn.

    I plan on becoming an IP lawyer (so when we do get those software patents here in Europe, at least I will be able make some money off them). When I get
  • Well, I write books and screenplays, but I do that on a computer so I don't think that counts. I'm a docent at the new Space Odyssey [] exhibit, but that's all computer-controlled....

    I work out ... no, the treadmill is computer controlled.

    Damn, I dunno: sleep?
  • Good hobby with obvious side benefits.

    Involves chemistry and the challenge of making lots of brewing gadgets.
  • The subject says it all, but I think I'm a fairly good chef (and I don't mean reheating that frozen crap from grocery stores).

    As far as music goes, I play the clarinet, bass clarinet & steel drums (see recent pole).

  • When I am not working on my computer life, I write...Fantasy/Sci-FI
  • Odd mix... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by singularity (2031) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (tramlawon)> on Friday June 20, 2003 @12:27PM (#6254815) Homepage Journal
    I enjoy running (competitive in local 5K and 10K distances).

    I enjoy backpacking (I used to get out about a long weekend every month. My new job hinders that due to scheduling and location). I am trying to figure out how I can take the time to do the Appalacian Trail in one go.

    I have also become interested in saltwater aquariums. I am currently setting up a 75 gallon tank (with 20 gallon sump, for a total water capacity of about 90 gallons) for an octopus. You can follow along some of my progress in my journal.

    I am also trying to get more and more into digital photography.

    I am not sure if "travel" falls into the category of "hobby", but I do an awful lot of it. This summer will find me going to San Francisco, Kentucky, New York City, and St. Thomas, USVI. I usually travel about one weekend a month. This is all pleasure/vacation travelling. I do a lot of it alone.

    Juggling (but I have a degree in mathematics, so that might be a given)

    I suppose that is just a good start of my list.
  • Going to be a licensed, for real (not send-in-your-box-tops) minister, able to marry people by making them jump over brooms... I used to work silver a lot more than i do now, but i still make jewellery. I make strung-bead lace, wirework, and other forms of non-welded work as well. I don't have a lot of energy, for health reasons, but before this latest phase, i did six years of martial arts (hapkido, kenpo and tai chi)...

    i write stories, poetry, and songs (had a band, sang, for said band...) play a reasonably nice guitar at an abysmal skill level, and read when the neuro problems ease up enough to let me. Oh, and i paint, with enthusiasm (and acrylics) if not with talent... I have a lot of houseplants (some of which are in good health) and a cat.

  • Rock Climbing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Godeke (32895) * on Friday June 20, 2003 @12:44PM (#6254975)
    The best thing I ever did was discover the rock climbing gym. Now I got twice a week, have lost 25 pounds in the process and feel great! Normal exercise bored me to death, but there is something about hanging on the wall 20 feet up and puzzling out how to make the next move that is such a cool blend of mental and physical that I'm a total addict now. I have even started outdoor rock climbing on sports routes... very different, very cool.
  • by Telastyn (206146) on Friday June 20, 2003 @01:57PM (#6255702)
    Not terribly unique or interesting, but I recently started playing Ice Hockey. Pretty much because I have wanted to for a while, and never had the motivation or $$$ to do so. I've also played many other sports for years and years, despite the fact that I'm on a computer probably close to 8 hours a day.

    I also [like most geeks] have a passing interest in number theory. I'm currently [when I've the time/when I feel like it (hence a hobby)] poking around a little bit at my own implimentation of the quadratic sieve, seeing if I can make it better. It's on the computer, but technically doesn't have to be.
  • by crazyphilman (609923) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:06PM (#6276851) Journal
    Nah, just kidding...

    Actually, the truth is, and this is going to sound strange for a six foot, 275 pound ex-marine, I like interior decorating, shopping for art and furniture, cooking, reading, and watching anime DVDs. I'm currently setting up my next apartment, and it's going to be a beautiful, serene bastion of order and grace. Everything in it is going to be coordinated; bright, white paint, chrome, white, and "blonde" wood furniture, lots of chrome and lucite... Basically a modern, minimalist environment where chaos is totally banished. I'm going to get home from work, put on a Vanilla candle, put something quiet on the CD-Player, AND FIRE UP UNREAL TOURNAMENT!!! BOO, YA!

    (Ahem. Heheh. Sorry, didn't mean to ruin the mood...)

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.