January 28, 2011

DonB! has many hobbies

As if I needed other things to fill my spare time, I do have a hobby. Actually, I have too many hobbies.

How do I define a "hobby"?  Well, according to Sports & Leisure, it is

A specialized pursuit (as stamp collecting, painting) that is outside one's regular occupation and that one finds particularly interesting as a source of leisure-time relaxation.

All of my hobbies are exactly that: things to do when I want to relax.

Well, what are my hobbies then?  Let me see if I can remember them all...

Stamp Collecting.  But not just any stamps.  I collect postage stamps with themes that relate to my own work interests, such as CIRCUS, JUGGLING, UNICYCLES, STILT WALKING, CLOWNING and MAGIC & MAGICIANS.  I have about 300 various stamps and stamp sets that fit into the above categories.  Ask me to see them sometime.  I'd love to show you.

Cross Necklace making.  About 4 years ago, while working one of the music cruises, I met a comedian, Lanny Moody.  He showed me how he makes cross necklaces and either gives them away as gifts, or sells them to raise money for his ministry work.  With his permission, I began making them, and now have made and sold over 1000 of them in the last 4 years.  If you would like a handmade cross, made by me, please feel free to go HERE and order one.  Or two.  Or more.  Every dollar spent goes right back into our ministry work.

Origami.  I have always been interested in origami, but even more so once I started working the cruise ships.  There are many times each day that a financial tip can be given to someone.  My choice is to either hand them a bill, just as it comes, or to give them one that I have made into something interesting, such as a dog, an elephant, a swan, a Minnesota loon, a shirt & pants set, or about 15 other designs that I have taken the time to learn.

I also have chosen to concentrate on various sorts of origami boxes and containers, of all shapes and sizes. 

Decorative Knotting.  Because of my off-center interest in almost all things math related, knot tying caught my eye about 3 months ago.  I was merely looking for a way to embellish the lanyard part of my cross necklaces, and came across some information on the internet.  Well, now I'm hooked on it.  The things I've made are nothing too special at this point, but it sure has been fun learning it all.

Playing the Cello.  I never really knew what the term "bucket list" meant, until I looked into cello lessons.  The guy that leased me the cello asked if I was learning in order to cross something off of my "bucket list", so I asked him what that meant.  He explained that we all desire to do things during our life, such as sky-diving, swimming with stingrays, bungy jumping, or even just traveling to a particular foreign land.  It is as if we have many things stored up in our "bucket", and hope to accomplish each of them before we die someday.  For me, I have always loved the sound of the cello, and figured, "I'm not getting any younger,", so let me give it a try.

Right here in Mora, we have a new music teacher at the elementary school, and on a whim, we bumped into her in the grocery store and asked her if she had ever taught cello.  She said, "Yes", and we hired her on the spot.  In exchange for giving me lessons for one year, I paid for the rental of her cello.

Am I any good at it?  Not really.  Have I enjoyed the learning process?  Absolutely!  I still love the sound of the cello, but it really does take a lot of practice to bring out the mellow sound it is known for.

Photoshop.  May times I have paid good money for pieces of ministry advertising that wasn't as good as I had hoped for.  Well, having a friend, Romulus Portwood, that worked for Adobe at one time, he was able to hook me up with an older version of Photoshop.  Once again, I am hooked.  The program is capable of doing so many things that I sit down to work on something, and it ends up (usually) looking even better than I had hoped for.  I've done two of my own posters now, as well as postcard design for other performers, as well as some posters for my brother's band, Juan Roberto & the Bubble Bakery Orchestra.  I love the creativity that Photoshop has opened up in me.  I love seeing the final product, and thinking, "Wow, I created that myself."

Bass Guitar.  When my friend, Mike, suggested I learn to play bass guitar so that he could utilize all of his other instruments at church, I figured "why not"?  With some beginning help from him, and a lot of time on my own, I have now been playing with our church's worship team for almost a year.  And I love it!  Am I ready for a concert?  Probably not.  But it sure is fun playing with other musicians at church.

 A Cajon Drum

Percussion.  When I was a kid, I was labeled "hyperactive".  One of the signs that brought that title upon me was how I was always beating on my legs, or my desk at school, imagining I was in some famous band, and of course I was the drummer.  Well, as more and more times I saw that our worship team could use percussion instruments to enhance some of the songs, I decided to give it a try.  

I first played the congas about 8 years ago.  The added shakers and a few other percussive items.  Now, I own a cajon box drum that I am hoping to begin using again at church sometime soon.

I found one in this lion's mouth

Geocaching.  Are you aware, that right now, around the world, there are over 1,000,000 hidden containers, placed in public places, waiting to be found?  Geocaching (GEO-earth, CACHING-container) utilizes a handheld GPS to locate coordinates all over the place, that containers are hidden at.  What kind of containers?  Ranging in size from tiny (pencil eraser-sized) to very large (ammunition cans, garbage cans), each one contains at minimum a logbook for you to sign in on when you have found it.  Some of them contain prizes, or toys, that you are encouraged to exchange for something that you may have brought.  Dale, my son, has found new Hotwheels cars in them before, as well as golf balls, a Caribou Coffee gift card worth $5.00, a coin from Russia, and other weird, sometimes junky things that NOBODY would EVER want.

If you want to look into geocaching, go HERE and take a look at the site.  A basic membership is free, and you could soon be on your way into the woods to look for cammo-covered peanut butter jars filled with prizes.

The fun in geocaching is getting outside, discovering parks and areas that you would never visit otherwise, and ending with the reward of saying that you found "such and such geocache, way out in the middle of nowhere".  Now doesn't that sound like fun?!?!

Close-up magic on the ship

Close-up Magic.  If you were to walk into my office and look at my bookshelves, you would see about 400 books, mostly related to close-up magic.  Coin tricks, card tricks, rope tricks, mind reading tricks, ball tricks, silk tricks, dollar bill tricks, pencil tricks, paper tricks, napkin tricks, and on and on and on.  I hate to even think about how many tricks and routines I've learned over the years that I have forgotten.  I would guess it would number in the 1000s, if not more.  But performing magic tricks, especially when I perform them right up close, with YOU watching like a hawk, is such a fun hobby, I could not imagine me enjoying anything more.  Close-up magic is what started me performing over 30 years ago, and I still love it today.

Well, that's probably enough hobbies for one week.  Who knows what I might add to my list in the future?  Sky diving?  Demolition derby racing?  You never know!


1 comment:

  1. What?! Don, is that ALL that you do in your spare time. hmmmm, sounds like you are getting lazy. :O) BTW, I'd love to see your stamps sometime. When I was a kid I'd collect stamps that came from missionaries overseas.