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Ask HN: What's your hobby?
15 points by selmat 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments
How do you spend a free time? How do you refresh your head?

I play guitar (poorly) and bass guitar (well enough to convince bars to pay my band money).

Several times in my life I've completely burnt out of playing music. The most recent time was about a year after graduating from college. I was tired of going to bars, tired of playing the same songs over and over, and tired of playing music in general.

I quit the band I was in and sold all of my bass gear to buy a Fender Telecaster and an amp to go with it. I thought changing my instrument would be enough to bring the passion back. Unfortunately it wasn't and my Telecaster was largely unplayed.

I tried several synthesizers, a digital piano, busting out my old trumpet, and an acoustic guitar but they all ended up sold on Craigslist or sitting around collecting dust. I was also pretty depressed at this time in my life and I think that's why it felt like I would never enjoy playing music again.

I found other ways to occupy my time. I bought a fancy gaming computer and played a lot of Overwatch. I watched way too much TV and read some really good books. Eventually I lost interest in those things too. I hit a really low point with my depression but bounced back with the help of my wife. Things got better.

I happened to go into a Guitar Center while I was on vacation to look for something to try igniting my musical passions with. I happened to stop and play a bass guitar that had caught my eye.

This was the only love at first sight experience I've had in my life and it was amazing. I only played it for about ten minutes but I couldn't stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.

The next day I went back to Guitar Center and bought the bass along with an amp. That night I texted one of my old band mates and a few weeks later it was just like old times. I started playing the bass guitar everyday again which led to me playing the guitar everyday again which led to me recording myself playing again.

I won't be surprised if I burn out again in the future. I think it's a natural part of life for me. It's comforting to know that however bad it gets music will be there for me when I'm ready for it. That's why it's such a good hobby.

Bass is great to pick up as someone who doesn't know any instruments because it only takes about 5 lessons to feel incredibly comfortable with a lot of basic music. After the first few lessons I've found the problem is now how do I contort my fingers to play certain parts of songs.

I agree. The reason that I started playing it was because my three friends and I all played guitar and wanted to start a band. I was the worst guitar player so played bass.

The only downside to the bass for me is that it's not as fun as other instruments to play by myself. I love playing it in a band but when I'm by myself I'll usually pick up the guitar instead.


Love this sport. Everybody, whatever their level, does the same thing : Fail and try to outdo themselves.

It's difficult to go run with someone better than you, or play football because of the skills gap. I found that with climbing whatever your shape you can have the same kind of fun.

I also love the combination of body shape, technique, and thinking (how can I pass this, what does the route want me to do?). And because everybody is trying its hardest, I like that it creates group interaction on trying to solve a problem.

+1 not sure if it was my uni but almost everyone I climbed with was an Engineer of some sort.

Also my experience! For some reason, most of the climbers (and for that matters, jugglers) I know have some kind of technical / high education related job. Most of the people I climb with are Phd, engineers or something.

Not something I am actively searching for, but a pattern I have found. Having climbed in 4 countries, this pattern seems pretty consistent across Europe, interestingly.

Boardgaming. As a father to 5, I have plenty of willing participants. My long game has finally borne fruit!

Hahaha, this is also my long term plan.

I don't really have any right now. When I get home from work, I just spend the rest of my evening in bed reading stuff on my phone or laptop.

I'm trying to develop enough upper body strength to start bouldering. I have a pullup bar, but it's slow progress.

You develop upper body strength just by doing bouldering. Seriously, don't wait until you think you have enough, just go out and do it. It may feel foolish at first but you will pick up technique which won't happen on a pull up bar or hangboard

Definitely agree. Bouldering is not about upper body strength until you reach a certain level. It's mostly about technique and placement

I have many hobbies!

My primary hobby is working on life simulations and other personal projects. Other hobbies include:

* Taking care of my cats

* Growing plants

* Vermicomposting (this is a newfound hobby)

* Learning new things

* Reading (this is usually an "in-between" hobby - I do it when I have some time on public transport or before bed.

* Walking in nature when I can find time to do it, or just taking a walk through a nice part of the city.

My interest in each of these comes and goes so they tend to rotate. The constants are learning new things (which I do by working on fun life simulation projects) and my cats. I now have worms to take care of too, so vermicomposting has been high up there on the hobby priority list.

I like to learn new things.

I have a (bad?) habit of spending all my energy learning as much as I can about a new topic until I get either bored or distracted, and move on to the next thing. Never fully learning one thing (jack of all trades, master of none).

Some examples in the last year: Etching circuit boards, woodworking, ZBrush, speaker design, reading Cyrillic, photography, Erlang.

This is me in a nutshell too.

This year has been film photography, drone piloting, 3d printing, vector graphics, javascript, speaker building and learning arduino.

As soon as I get hooked I go overboard. Like with film photography I have gone to the extent of buying like 3 different types of cameras,experimenting with as many film types as I can and looking at learning to develop the photos my self in the coming weeks.

Drawing from your last comment: Why do you think you/we do this? What is the emotional need?

I'm not the above poster but I think its an innate tendency to understand how things work, down to the lowest possible level. I find myself doing this when learning a new language, wanting to understand how the internals of something work.

From a psychology perspective (of which I don't know more than psych 101), it also could be about an "alpha-geek" hierarchy. This probably comes from a desire to be the smartest in the room on <<topic>> which often happens in geek circles, right? Don't we often get into the "I started coding at 6", "I used a mainframe", etc. one-upping. Also known as establishing dominance.

Funny and may be sad but I found myself learning more and more about servers, linux, nginx, load balancers etc. in my FREE time. So seems like that is a hobby of mine for now. I do work with my own business where I have to tinker with servers but the more I get into it, the more I enjoy.

I used to work out at the gym, but I got bored of it, and wanted to do something that would give me some kind of 'skill' at the end of it.

So, I looked on Twitter, and found a post about a BJJ class near the office. I had my gym clothes with me, so I popped down for the class after work, and I've been going a few times a week for the past three years.

I can have a terrible day at work, and the second I step on the mat every worry I have tends to melt away, if only for an hour or two. It also gave me a great perspective of being "the newbie" again, something I had missed at work at times.

I don’t do BJJ but know about it. I really think this is a great sport, if your body is able to handle it of course. It is not just physical, there are a lot of movements to learn and I really believe it is a physical chess game.


Yep, probably should've mentioned that above, since it's not a popular enough sport that everyone will know what it is.

* hydroponics. since people always ask: no, not weed. mostly orchids, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. Gonna try hydro chilis in the future, not sure how that'll go.

* concertina and harmonica. maybe i'll pickup the accordion one of these days.

* mountain biking when I have time to do a long drive out of town, maybe once a month? I bike around the city a lot.

* been really into Cities: Skylines lately. Learned a lot about city planning and it's a lot of fun. the modded radio soundtracks and dlc soundtracks help make it kind of relaxing to play

Playing starcraft ladder 1v1. It scratches a true competitive itch, since there's so few things in live that truly start out balanced, and it give you detailed feedback at the end of each match.

Bluegrass (and other styles) mandolin at the moment. It requires no Internet connection, runs for hundreds of years strictly on power supplied by the user's hands, never needs updates (key word being needs), and there's a whole community of fellow users who get together regularly (which, ironically, is why I need an RV full of tech gadgets for festivals).

It's my low-tech break for the day. I keep one in my office for the occasional riff between builds.

Argentine Tango. Despite what you might think, it's a surprisingly technical activity. I meet a surprisingly high number of engineers and PhDs in the tango community. When I'm dancing, it puts me into a state of flow where I'm constantly listening to the music and thinking which movements will fit best. If you're in the SF Bay Area, it's arguably the best city for tango in the US.

My Hobby is flying RC air planes. Once a week I go to the field to fly them, other than that I train using an rc airplane simulator. I highly recommend this field, it is very fun and cheap, today you can buy many models from the Chinese e-commerce websites (banggood, ali-express, etc.)

If we're talking outdoors: swimming, hiking, biking.

If we're talking about an indoor hobby: Programming. My goal is to become a true IndieHacker. I'd love to make a career out of selling the services of my SaaS products.

If we're talking about what I also have to do: make sure wife is decently happy.

I dont have hobbies. I stare at a screen 40 hours a week then go home and sleep a lot.

Reading NHS bureaucratic documents, mostly from NHS Improvement or NHS England.

Biking, woodworking, reading, musical audio synthesis, cooking, hiking, smithing, etc. The most active hobby changes based upon what sort of itch I'm trying to scratch as well as the season.

I like taking pictures and go hiking. I used to play online shooting game but I found that my emotion went even worse, but Japanese RPG is fine for me.

I actually like shooters because of the emotional hit. It's a kind of meditation for me. I do tough things, get shaken, try to emotionally ground myself.

Anything that makes me talk with people outside of tech and makes new friendships. Hiking, bar hopping, Fortnite... you name it.

I like anything involving training. Weirdly enough, I love Marvel movies for the training montages.

Then you gotta love old kung fu films with their training montages!

Which ones are good? I did like Karate Kid and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon but I feel like I missed out on a whole genre.

Traveling, hiking, running, lifting, photography, fixing stuff (car, home improvement)

* Trail Running

* Yoga

* Cooking

* Gardening

* Photography

* Reading

I've found that a lot of my hobbies are inextricably related to one another in some way, like a strange loop :)

Ride my bike, 20 miles or more. Try to do it in an hour.

Running. I'd explain more but I gotta go run.

I have my own podcast - Non English

Read HN, IH.

Learning Chinese and maybe Korean.



Trying new ice cream flavors.

* walking with my son

* riding a bicycle

* camping

Fly fishing

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