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What's your secret vice?

By BehTong in Culture
Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 02:21:36 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

The kuro5hin crowd here is probably among the more intellectual people. I've noticed in my own observation that intellectual people tend to have unusual habits (such as debating on k5 ;-P) or hobbies. I'm just curious as to the kind of unusual hobbies k5'ers may have.

Read on to find one of mine :-)

Tolkien calls it his "secret vice". Apparently, he wrote his books because he wanted to show off the languages that he invented, such as Sindarin, etc.. (And not the other way round.)

Like Tolkien, one of my unusual hobbies is inventing artificial languages -- not for international communication like Esperanto, and not some weird-sounding language like Klingon -- but a language that tries to be naturalistic. A grammar that has exceptions and quirks, like a natural language, with its own idioms, cultural biases, etc.. A lexicon that (eventually) will be rich enough to carry out full conversations with. A writing system that looks like a naturalistic writing. And hopefully, significant bodies of text that go beyond simple sentences, and incorporate large structures like essays, stories, etc..

I'm not alone... there is a mailing list that I encountered not long ago, where I discovered that there are a LOT of people who invent languages just for the fun of it. People from divergent backgrounds, people of all ages. And languages of all stages of development -- some have been around for decades and has a vocabulary rich enough to carry out real conversations easily.

Anyway, I just thought I'd open the floor to other K5'ers here: what other kinds of unusual hobbies do you have? (Esp. the kind that are highly intellectual, such as inventing languages.) What do your friends and others around you think of it?


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Do you invent (non-computer) languages just for the fun of it?
o Yes 23%
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Votes: 111
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What's your secret vice? | 238 comments (237 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Where's the mailing list? (2.66 / 3) (#1)
by chipuni on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:12:57 AM EST

A wonderful, creative article! I'll be chiming in with my hobbies, but...

Where's the mailing list for artificial languages?
Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.
Mailing list (none / 0) (#3)
by BehTong on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:23:46 AM EST

It's the CONLANG mailing list. ("Conlang" is short for "constructed languages". We often verbalize it and say that we're "conlangers" and we "conlang" all day long. :-P) The server seems to be down/busy at the moment, but I think it's also archived at eGroups so you can search for it there.

One thing to keep in mind though, this list encompasses not only artlangs (constructed languages constructed just for fun, or for the "art" of it -- the ones I'm talking about) but also auxlangs (auxilliary languages like Esperanto) and other stuff. Some list members are actually professional linguists.

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

I thought auxlangs were *not* welcome there (none / 0) (#98)
by brion on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:07:05 AM EST

Hence the existence of AUXLANG.

But I could be wrong, as I'm not actually on either list. (There's also a newsgroup, alt.lang.artificial, which nominally covers the territory though traffic there is usually pretty light.)

Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
AUXLANGs (none / 0) (#113)
by BehTong on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:34:00 AM EST

Well, there are still quite a few auxlangers there, and we still welcome them. What we don't tolerate is when people start debating about the relative merits of auxlangs or get into a flamewar about which auxlang is "better" or "easier", etc.. When people start doing that on CONLANG, we just chase them to AUXLANG :-P

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

My secret vice (3.66 / 6) (#2)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:16:28 AM EST

My secret pasttime is going to Church services.

I guess that isn't exactly a secret. Nor is it a vice.

I suppose I'm just queer in the head.


Lee Irenæus Malatesta

Now, now... (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by AmberEyes on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 11:22:59 AM EST

Let's not be bitter about the slice of the K5 community who sees religion as the most evil thing to grace the Earth. ;)

However, you did get this agnostic to chuckle over your post. I share the same pangs as you though, except it's the other way around (religious people telling me I'm going to hell and burn for eternity).

You can't make everyone happy I suppose. ;) Just enjoy it, and don't let dumbasses on here get you down.


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
What me bitter? (3.60 / 5) (#11)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 02:05:28 PM EST

Just because there are people that type such things as:
your daughter is gonna grow up to be a great fuck. just like all the other "religious girls"... ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Why would I be bitter?


Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Golly gumdrops. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by Dlugar on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:01:36 PM EST

I didn't know people could get so worked up about other people's beliefs. What's the problem with continuing your normal religious practices while others are over? In my opinion, [at least if nightly prayer is your custom as it is in my house] changing your ways for the "benefit" of the agnostic kids would be as silly as an agnostic parent say prayers for the "benefit" of the Christian kids who were over.

I hope to teach my kids to respect other people's views. If I send them to a sleepover at a person's house whose religious views differ from mine, I would hope that they would be very respectful whether their hosts were Muslim, Christian, pagan, or atheist.


[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 0) (#143)
by Elendale on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:14:06 PM EST

A preface: my father is a Lutheran pastor. We have a rule like that about prayers at meal time: At our house, this is what we pray- so you will have to live with it. At someone else's house, you will have to live with whatever they do.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
who's the victim? (4.00 / 2) (#45)
by alprazolam on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:33:28 PM EST

lee you're a good guy but let's be real here for a second. who's the minority (at least in the US), christians or atheists? who gets the dirty looks? you expect atheists to be friendly to christians after a lifetime of being demonized?

[ Parent ]
An answer (none / 0) (#85)
by dasunt on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:44:33 PM EST

you expect atheists to be friendly to christians after a lifetime of being demonized?

I must answer no, due to what I've seen of human nature. OTOH, it does not make it right. It falls under the same catagory as "Does white people being racist make it okay for blacks to be racist?"

Another question for you. If some atheists keep telling Christians that religion is a crutch, that there is no logical reason to believe in God, and that they must be simpleminded fools or else they would be atheists, how do you expect Christians to act? (And don't tell me that some atheists don't act this way.)

Stop the hate. Sure, there are some people on each side that will demonize the other, but it isn't an excuse for your poor manners.

Just my $.02

[ Parent ]

well. . . (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:01:30 AM EST

let's be real here for a second. who's the minority (at least in the US), christians or atheists?
On the one hand almost an overwhelming majority of USAians believe in some sort of God. On the otherhand only a minority of USAians bothers to attend some sort of religious service on anything approaching a regular basis. Given crime statistics, divorce statistics, which shows are popular on television, which books sell the best, etc., I'd hesitate to state that the USA is very hostile to freethinkers in general. (Although, I will note that there are certain geographical areas where this does not hold.)
who gets the dirty looks?
Bear in mind who you're asking. I've noticed plenty of dirty looks sent my way. Is that not human nature, though? Don't we all tend to notice the injuries done to us and our own moreso than the injuries done to others and those that don't belong to us?

But since you are asking me, it has been my experience that in the US anyone that attempts to practice any sort of religion on a serious level gets written off as a fanatic by atheists and theists alike.

you expect atheists to be friendly to christians after a lifetime of being demonized?
At least the ones that claim to have reasoned to their position. The ones that simply admit that if God does exist they are royally pissed off at Him, I can understand. (In my experience, this is a very small percentage of atheists, but I'll gladly admit that my view is probably skewed by the company I keep. Most of the athesists I know claim to have come to their conclusion through reasoning.)

What I expect from atheists (and from Christians and Muslims and Jainists and Buddhists and Nativists and Hindis and so and so forth) is for them to give everyone the chance to prove his or her self to be an ass before deciding that he or she is, in fact, an ass.

A friend I had in college --who was the proverbial gay, atheist, pervert-- said something to me that put everything into the proper perspective. To his way of thinking there are so many good reasons to hate people on an individual level that it is a waste of time to hate people because of categorization.

To a certain extent I agree with him. Everyone --no matter what their lifestyle, genetics, biology, philosophy or habits of personal hygene-- deserves the right to be assumed innocent until he or she has proved her or him self to be an ass.

Besides it's not like Christians aren't equal opportunity demonizers. Just ask any Catholic that grew up in the Bible Belt. Jack Chick and Reverend Phelps will gladly admit that they hate the majority of people that call themselves Christians as well as those that those that call themselves atheists.

I won't stoop to saying that the Christians that espouse hate aren't really Christians. (Although in the interest of full disclosure, Ill admit that at one time I would have.) Not being God, I don't know anyone's eternal fate. The fruit a person's life bears can give me some sort of indicator where a particular person might end up, but being limited in understanding and being limited in mercy, I am certainly not God. When all is said and done, I do not know what lies within the heart of anyone. (Even myself!)

As one of the Desert Fathers said, there are three surprises awaiting him in heaven.

  1. Who is there.
  2. Who is not there.
  3. That he made it there.


Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa (none / 0) (#46)
by slaytanic killer on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:40:50 PM EST

I actually remember that one. I was impressed that you didn't... seem... bitter.

You know, you were supposed to cry that he went too far or something. Too bad these razor wits just dissuade people from posting about their personal lives, though perhaps that's the best thing overall.

[ Parent ]
Mine's never finding the time to go (none / 0) (#69)
by ambrosen on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:02:38 PM EST

Like it would be difficult to get out of work at 6.20 and go to vespers, but I always manage to fail. When I was a grad student I'd go 3 or 4 times a week. <sigh> And I could go to matins in the morning, but bed's always more comfortable.

Anyway, congratulations on being received, I was going to send you an email, but I wasn't sure what to say except "Hi, I'm this weird stalker, glad to hear about your chrismation". Were your family received at the same time, as well?

Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]

there is a reason that I use my real email (none / 0) (#163)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:11:11 AM EST

I was going to send you an email, but I wasn't sure what to say except "Hi, I'm this weird stalker, glad to hear about your chrismation".
A guy on an email list I'm on who belongs to a Church (ROCOR) not in communion with the Church I was received into (OCA) drove 250 miles to see me get Chrismated.

What were you saying about stalking?

Were your family received at the same time, as well?
Immediate family, yes. Wife and two daughters. The daughters (ages four and eight) were baptized the day before on the feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.

I know the problem with the comfy bed. Fortunately, our house is a five minute drive or a fifteen minute walk away from the Church building. This makes things much easier than for most of the parishoners who drive twenty to forty minutes (or more!) to get there.

What I can't get over is how much I want to go. Somewhere, sometime, something changed in me. I used to loathe Church services and now I long for them.

As I mentioned, perhaps I'm simply queer in the head. ;)


Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

I enjoy truing bicycle wheels. (3.25 / 4) (#4)
by bikepunk on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 11:05:07 AM EST

Yes, I actually ENJOY the tedious task of truing bicycle wheels (straightening them out by twisting the "spoke nipples"). Most other bicycle mechanics cringe at this task, but I look at it as a more sedating activity. It's like a never ending puzzle, very similar to computer programming actually. When you get one part of the rim in true, another part will move out of true just a little bit. This makes for a very time-consuming and brain-mushing task, just like computers I guess. And all you need is a beat up bike wheel and the appropriate-sized spoke wrench. Doesn't it sound like FUN?

This is also a nice way to calm yourself down after getting mad at a computer/significant other/luser. Maybe wheel truing can replace the yuppie's zen garden someday!

Here are a few good reference sites to learn how to true wheels, if you are so inclined:



And if you want more of a challenge, and (arguably) stronger wheels:


I hope this keeps idle hands busy...
Michigan Independent Media Center
Arrgh. (none / 0) (#56)
by M0dUluS on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:35:40 PM EST

And all you need is a beat up bike wheel and the appropriate-sized spoke wrench

and a truing stand and a lot of patience. It's the one thing that I hate doing. Most other bike maintenance I like, but this.....!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
You don't need a truing stand (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by bikepunk on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:57:34 PM EST

You don't need a fancy truing stand. You can just leave the wheel in the dropouts and use a pencil / brake pad as a gauge. This, along with a dishing tool (which you can make with wood), is all you need, homeslice.
Michigan Independent Media Center
[ Parent ]
I'll try it... (none / 0) (#218)
by M0dUluS on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 12:41:57 PM EST

...it just seems like such a black art. I tried once before and fscked it up so badly that I had to bring it in to a store - the shame!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
That last link. (none / 0) (#67)
by ambrosen on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:57:56 PM EST

That bloody Jobst Brandt. He just has to make it so difficult.

Only built one wheel, myself. Wasn't too bad, but I kept rounding the nipples. The bloke in the bike shop insisted I'd be fine with a European wrench on DT nipples, but I wasn't. Got it trued in the shop 6 months later. Need a new front wheel now, and I might try. Mmm, disk brakes. On the other hand, that might be a good idea for a professional.

The pringled wheels I've trued always pringled again pretty quickly. Is there a way to get a bent rim repaired again or not?

Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]

Un-bending a bent rim (none / 0) (#79)
by bikepunk on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:03:14 PM EST

4 out of the 4 breath-taking-ly amazing mechanics I have met personally all use the same technique for un-bending fubared rims: a well-applied use of the nearest blunt object to the bent area. I, myself, haven't tried this method on any of *my* rims, but it has worked well on some Huffy wheels that I've had to repair :). I'd advise asking a professional to use this brute force technique.
Michigan Independent Media Center
[ Parent ]
It's tasty . . . (4.25 / 12) (#7)
by tmoertel on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 01:05:30 PM EST

My secret vise is espresso. That I drink it isn't much of a secret. Rather, the secret is that espresso -- when properly made -- is an amazing beverage.

Most people that I talk to wrinkle their noses and speak about vile bitterness when I mention the drink, but the few that I have convinced to try The Real Stuff are generally taken aback. They are surprised by the sweetness and creaminess of good espresso. They marvel at the deep, resonant richness.

Then it starts. They begin avoiding sweetened and milky beverages at coffee shops. They start watching baristas pull a few shots before deciding whether the espresso is worthy of ordering. Before you know it, they're regulars on alt.coffee, where they discuss the finer points of pulling ristretti and installing PID temperature controllers in home espresso machines.

That's how it starts.

It never ends.

For the record, I started drinking espresso in 1993. Now I roast and blend my own coffees (makes all the difference in the world, and it's surprisingly easy and affordable), have two home espresso machines, one semi-refurbished commercial machine, a decent grinder, and a lot less counter space.

But it's so worth it.

(A while ago I went off on a minor espresso rant on that other site. If you want to see what happens when you drink espresso and then post about it, you might want to take a look.)

My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]

Details! (none / 0) (#80)
by dennis on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:04:35 PM EST

. Now I roast and blend my own coffees

Where do you get the raw beans? What do you roast them with?

I'd love to do this with regular coffee, too.

[ Parent ]

You got it: The coffee roasting details. (5.00 / 2) (#100)
by tmoertel on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:56:31 AM EST

Where do you get the raw beans? What do you roast them with?
I order my green coffee online from Sweet Maria's, which is popular among the alt.coffee crowd. You can also buy green coffee from most small coffee roasters in your home town. If you have a good roaster locally, get to know him, learn the ways. Also, hang out in alt.coffee on Usenet. It's my primary source of coffee lore. Additionally, Sweet Maria's has an extensive set of documentation on home roasting. You might want to check there first for a quick introduction to the basics.

For roasting equipment, most people use either an old hot-air popcorn popper (yes!) or a home coffee roaster such as those from Hearthware of Alepnrost. (I use the Hearthware Precision roaster.) Roasting takes about 10--15 minutes per batch (around 3 oz to 1/2 lb) and proceeds as follows:

  • Measure green beans and put them in the roaster. Turn the roaster on.
  • As the green beans heat, they give off moisture. This stage smells as if you put lawn grass on your backyard grill. Don't worry, this is normal.
  • Once the moisture is mostly gone, the coffee begins to darken and hits the "first crack." You can actually hear the beans cracking. This is when the real roasting starts. After the first crack, you can stop the roasting process at any time and have finished coffee. The longer you go, the darker the roast.
  • A bit later, the coffee hits the "second crack." Small bits of the beans are often blown from the beans. At this point you have a dark roast and oil begins developing on the exterior of the beans. You can continue roasting, but if you go too much more, you'll have charcoal.
  • After you stop the roast, you have coffee!
(See Sweet Maria's Overview of the Roasting Process for the full details.)

Let the beans cool and place them in an airtight jar for storage, preferably in a cool (not cold) place away from light. Grind it as you need it, just before you brew. You will be amazed at the flavor. There is no comparison between fresh-roasted, fresh-ground coffee and what you find at the stores or even at big specialty coffee chains. (The rule of thumb is that green coffee stays fresh for a couple of years; roasted coffee, for maybe a couple of weeks; and ground coffee for no more than a couple of hours.)

The next morning when you smell the beans, you'll grin from ear to ear.

Give it a try. If want to start small, buy a hot-air popper at a garage sale or flea market for around $5. Pick up a pound of so of green Sumatra Mandheling or Tanzanian Peaberry and roast it in the popper. Once you try your own roast, you'll never go back to the commercial stuff.

My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]

[ Parent ]
mmmm(twitch)mmm ... (none / 0) (#196)
by misterluke on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:10:12 PM EST

I've only just recently been educated about the finer details of good espresso. A friend of mine works at the best place in town for it. They roast their own beans in store, and often throw out a shot or two before they pull one they think is good enough for you.

A good espresso-fanatic story is the time he, I and another friend got a commercial espresso machine working at an outdoor rave with only an extension cord, a rubbermaid bucket for a water reservoir, and an old grow-op pump that gave the machine just enough pressure to barely fill the internal reservoir above minimum. All I can say is hooray for duct tape, hose clamps and guerilla plumbing.

[ Parent ]
Not really weird, butt.... (2.50 / 2) (#8)
by skim123 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 01:13:44 PM EST

I play basketball, it's my main non-computer-related hobby. A lot of fun, great exercise, etc. Maybe I'm a masochist too, because in the past year plus that I've been playing at the public courts with many guys who are bigger, stronger, and much more aggressive than I, I've had two bangups that required stiches, and two more that required trips to the dentist's office, not to mention the turned ankles or deep muscle bruises. But I keep on playing. Too.much.fun.to.stop.it.is.not.an.addiction.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Vintage games (2.50 / 2) (#9)
by MSBob on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 01:34:54 PM EST

I'm a fan of old 8 bit games. Play them all the time and I'm involved in writing a remake of one. Not really original for a computer programmer I suppose but it's great fun and lets me relive some of the fondest memories.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

My own role-playing game ... (3.80 / 5) (#10)
by joegee on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 01:44:00 PM EST

I was disgusted with Traveler, AD&D wore thin, Call of Cthulhu is no longer published, the Trek universe was too limiting, and Champions was too damned arcane. For twenty years I have occasionally spent time putting together a space-opera type role playing game.

I have languages, alphabets, histories, timelines, not to mention the various customs, cultures, and accoutrements of several dozen non-human species. Friends tell me I should publish it, BUT, it's mine ... :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
Worldbuilding! (4.33 / 3) (#17)
by Dialup on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:34:32 PM EST

Sounds like a campaign world, as opposed to a role playing system, though I'm sure there's one to go with it.

I used to game. The crew I hug with was a weird bunch- we liked the AD&D system, but thought the campaign worlds were BS- so we invented our own. We loved the Battletech setup, but puked at FASAs own designs, so we designed our own and stomped all over each other with b-tech rules. We liked the Shadowrun aesthetic, but the system was truly disgusting... being the only one who had read Neuromancer, I saw it as a bad combination of Gibson and Tolkein. I'm surprised Gibson didn't sue FASA the way Harmony Gold did for their first and second edition mecha "designs" (straight out of Robotech).

We were looking for something cyberpunk, without the bs of FASA. Living way the hell out in the country, we'd never heard of Cyberpunk 2020, GURPs, Rifts, etc. We found Champions. Loved the system, but the characters and settings it described struck as the corniest bunch of kookiness we'd ever heard. We were raised on The Crow, not Captain America.

I took the iniative, deep-coring the Champions setting and altering some of the rules. Built my own campaign world from scratch over a period of three months, and continued to flesh it out through my senior year of high school, and all through college. Did a web site and a multimedia CD, some video, and a *lot* of artwork.

In some circles, I am permanently associated with the concept, and have been encouraged by many persons to actually do something productive with it. I have other concerns at the moment, and while I continue to develope the world and the setting for use in a comic or novel, I shelved system development halfway through a "port" to the White Wolf system (I'd figured a method for dynamically allocating power modifiers using WW that had no equivalent in Champions).

I'm out of role playing, though I'm still into world building- my AD&D campaign world was a BIG hit in college, and I may use it again someday, but I've found my life is a lot more fun with dice chuckers phased out of it. World building and artwork is a blast, and I realized that's where my talents lay- I "licensed" a friend to use my champions-based world while I was in school, and the crew had a lot more fun with it under him, which is all well and good.

[ Parent ]
I noticed too ... (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by joegee on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:26:29 PM EST

I had 70 d6 at one time for a Champions brick I loved playing. They haven't been rolled in a LONG time. The Champions system is a system I think one either loves, or hates. I always found it too arcane. :/

As I have gotten into my mid 30's there's something about a bunch of (older) people sitting around rolling dice and saying things like "the polychromatic goo of doom eats your +7 sword of smurf-slaying" that just doesn't quite hold its appeal anymore for me. Maybe by the time my generation hits the nursing homes instead of bridge tournaments we'll be playing AD&D along with our cookies and prune juice. :)

We'll offend all the young caregivers by refusing to listen to the latest neo-thrash urban Swahili opera and insisting we play our antiquated "new wave" music. Little old ladies will have hot pink hair instead of blue hair. We old fogies will bore our grandchildren by saying things like: "so I was cruising along in a bitchin' ride, this like, tubular bimmer ... Could you push my walker a little closer?"

Old habits die hard: I still "out" myself from time to time to various friends, hoping one of them might say "Hey, that sounds like fun. Why don't we get together Thursday evening ..." :)


<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
older role-playing (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by speek on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:42:26 PM EST

Older people's role-playing looks different. Say you're playing D&D - you make a character - why are you rolling 4 dice? "Well, I take the highest 3, right?" *laughter*. You literally might never get to second level, and if you do, it's cause you threw down your swor^H^H^H^Hmakeshift club and tackled that ridiculous knight in full plate mail and sat on him till he yielded And you can just forget about magic items...

Seriously,older people RPG can be a great time.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Oh yes, you're right. (3.50 / 2) (#101)
by Dialup on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:02:56 AM EST

I was the DM for the Champions game. AD&D camps were split between two people. The guy that did weeknights was two years younger than me [KW]., and fridays and saturdays were handled by our high school vice principal. [Mr. H.]

Yes, you read that correctly- the vice principal. Being a true RPG enthusiast was the best way to make the best friend you could have, and nobody knew about it. ;)

KW's games were initially about learning the system, then exploiting the system- I eventually wound up with a level 24 vampiric elven were-tigress that had a two-handed sword of sharpness +4 and a few zillion other features. It got old pretty damned fast- we were constantly looking to top ourselves. And it got ugly- a lot of interpersonal playoffs and a few deuls, etc.

Mr. H's games were traditional to the hilt- very dry dungeon crawls, lots of mystery and as much character develoopment as you felt like packing in- a lot more emphasis on the adventure than the experience. His games were fun, but could be greulling in some situations.

From an ethics standpoint, Mr. H. is Captain America. KW was some weird cross of Wolverine, Sandman, and the Highlander.

Me? I said fuck-all and ran blind. I had a wad of pre-gen villians ready to go, randomly booted a scenario until the game got to the point where we just picked up from the last one, and ran it all right off the cuff, trying as hard as hell to fill the gaps between KW and Mr. H with all of the pure *character* that was missing from both styles.

Depending on who you talked to, it was a success. :) The players that tried to pull shit without realizing that the populace was going to react accordingly were the ones that got pissed.

If anything, this discussion has me thinking about RPG development again... which is a good thing.

[ Parent ]
"Formless" DMing (none / 0) (#141)
by Elendale on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:06:45 PM EST

I've done enough of that...
Back when i was running a D&D campaign (actually, the campaign in which i took the plot for the tactical RPG i'm working on...) i ended up with a lot of weekends where my friends were all "lets go do some gaming" and i had nothing prepared.

On the plus side, in situations when (after trying to get the party to go to some town or other) the jerks all decided to wander off the opposite direction- they got a surprise when i said "ok." :)


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
That's the fun of it. (none / 0) (#238)
by Dialup on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 12:34:43 AM EST

I ran situations like that as a sort of "capture the flag" kind of environment, in which there was either a specific goal as an outgrowth of previous sessions, or a specific sequence of events that were going to happen.  I did some foreshadowing- sometimes the players caught on, sometimes they didn't- and the event went down regardless of wether or not they were there to stop it- basically, I was running two open-ended plots of characters.  One in my head, one In Game.  The result was the occasional random ass-whupping when a character the crew had encountered before - and thought they knew- smacked them around a bit, instead of the other way around.

It wasn't completely formless, which was kind of fortunate, really- the playing group was relatively inexperienced and was used to the "follow the DMs cues" mode of gaming- as a consequence, there wasn't overmuch environmental exploitation or "I'm going this way" sort of things.

Fun stuff, not really for me anymore.... but I still miss it occasionally.

[ Parent ]

Hah! Pansy! (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by Elendale on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:09:58 PM EST

I am building the most epic tactical RPG ever in my spare time.

I have close to ten megs of text file documentation for the rules for this game.

I am under the delusion i will finish this game some day.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
LOL (4.50 / 2) (#26)
by joegee on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:13:42 PM EST

Yes I admit I have nowhere near 10 MEGS of data. I submit to your overwhelming, obsessive dedication. :)))

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
It isn't so much the dedication... (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by Elendale on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:15:30 PM EST

But that i've been working on this thing for nearly four years straight now.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
Even with 20 years ... (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by joegee on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:30:26 PM EST

I don't have 10 megs of data. Four solid years *does* take some level of dedication. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Thats nothing. (none / 0) (#230)
by Hillgiant on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:11:30 PM EST

My cousin and I were on a week long hike through the mountains. We were both heavy into AD&D, Traveler, and CoC. We really wanted to play something, but had no paper and no dice. So, we whipped up a game based on flipping pennies.

"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

CoC... (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by AdamJ on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:19:30 PM EST

Call of Cthulhu is no longer published

Errr, Chaosium is still publishing CoC.


[ Parent ]

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOL :))) (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by joegee on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:28:58 PM EST

The last I followed a CoC link to the Chaosium site a few months ago and it was dead. I assumed the game was gone. Thank you for proving me wrong. :)

If you enjoy CoC, check out http://www.cthulhu.org/. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Actually... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by AdamJ on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:37:57 PM EST

I have no personal interest in Cthulhu, I'm just active as a freelance/semi-employee in the RPG hobby/industry, and I see way too many inaccurate statements being passed around. So when I see one - even if it's not about something I personally care about - I try to correct it if at all possible. :)

[At least you're not a game retailer saying that such-and-such game is out of print or no longer available or hasn't even been printed yet. *sigh* :( ]


[ Parent ]

Cutom RPG systems ... a must have for the junkie (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by Dillenger69 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:22:49 PM EST

I play with a couple of twins that have been developing their own system for years and years. Started out as a big ass binder of rules, races and whatnot. It is now an access DB that is coming along nicely. The best part is that you can play anything you can conceptualize. I've been a gnome that makes magic items who was thrust into a pan-galactic network of worlds, a Stranger from Dark City, a sentient plant ... there are no limits. (I'm 33 and I'm still hooked on pen and paper gaming) I highly suggest that anyone who is seriously into gaming comes up with their own custom rule system. It makes the game move quickly and far more fun.
Alright, who do I complain to? Some guy sold me a ticket for a tour of the "Cave at Emptor," but it turns out there's no such place!
[ Parent ]
Space Opera, huh, sounds neat.. (none / 0) (#95)
by mcherm on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:15:49 AM EST

Hey... you looking for players? You live anywhere near me (Chicago)?

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
Central Ohio (none / 0) (#128)
by joegee on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:51:12 PM EST

Oh MAAAAAN :) You just made my day. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Too far I guess (none / 0) (#233)
by mcherm on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 02:37:57 PM EST

Well, it's probably too long a trip to pop over for a game. Too bad.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
In the garage (4.28 / 7) (#12)
by Neuromancer on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 02:45:22 PM EST

My secret vice is in the garage... hidden away in the cabinet that looks like it's just garbage behind the lathe

UK garage (4.00 / 1) (#115)
by powertiger on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:54:52 AM EST

...and you use this for your clandestine carpentry and other classified constructions yes?

I tried keeping my secret vice in a box in the garage in the same way, but they all got cross, felt overcrowded and tired and stopped solving crimes as well.

[ Parent ]
Classic arcade/consoles (3.00 / 3) (#13)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:14:31 PM EST

One hobby of mine that I haven't been able to devote enough time to lately(for financial and space reasons) is collecting and restoring classic consoles and arcade cabinets...

Cabinetwise, I've only got one at the moment, a dual-headed Cyberball cabinet. When I purchased it, the cab did little more than start up. A friend and I tore it down, rebuilt the joysticks, cleaned out the guts and tweaked the monitors. It still needs a bit of cosmetic work, but it plays well. Eventually I'd like to get ahold of fresh sideart and the tourny board for the machine, but that will have to wait until I'm actually in a place where I can pull it out of storage again.
I'd also like to scratch build a MAME cabinet, but that will also have to wait until I've got the space and funds to start the project(I even wrote a brief K5 article on the subject about a year and a half ago, possibly holding the record for a story with the least comments :] ).

Moving over to the smaller boxes, I've got an Atari 2600, 400, 800, and 130xe, as well as a boxfull of floppies, manuals and various parts/add-ons... I also ended up with a Genesis solely for Herzog Zwei.

I love this stuff. It combines computing with mechanical work (I rebuilt a few cars when I was younger), and the process of putting something together is as fun(if not more) than the actual play once it's done.

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave

Languages.. (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by BigZaphod on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:20:22 PM EST

My hobby/bad-habit tends to revolve around computer languages. I like to think about different ways to do things and different types of syntax. One of these days I might even manage to build an interpreter or compiler or something for one of them! :-)

Also, and it goes along with the language thing, I like to think about and tinker with ideas that make general computer use easier and more powerful.

It is interesting to me that there are so many people interested in this sort of thing. Be it computer languages or human languages. Very curious.

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
same here (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:44:56 PM EST

I've done one compiler by hand, and its not a bad programming project. Even better nowadays, there is bison and lex (?) to automate much of the process.

[ Parent ]
yacc and lex, bison and flex ;) (none / 0) (#54)
by sayke on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:13:46 PM EST

i should probably use those. but man, trying to write my own parser has been an interesting experience...

sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Secret vices? (3.00 / 4) (#15)
by Signal 11 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:24:27 PM EST

Oooh, where to begin?

I dance and play the air guitar in private. Too afraid though to do so publicly or around friends. Now, you might wonder why this is so bad... well, you've never seen me dance.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

I wouldn't worry (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by fluffy grue on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:26:24 PM EST

Certainly can't be worse than a certain someone we know.

I'm surprised that hasn't gotten a "hamsterdance"-esque site made of it yet... or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I would (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by Signal 11 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:44:33 PM EST

Certainly can't be worse than a certain someone we know.


Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

hamsterdanceesque, eh? (none / 0) (#180)
by j1mmy on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:42:47 AM EST

 www.j1mmy.com feel free to steal and use the gif as you see fit. one of my vices happens to be wasting my time making stupid web pages. heh.

[ Parent ]
cooking (3.50 / 4) (#16)
by persimmon on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:33:32 PM EST

Yup. Or it was, before I moved into a dorm room. I had this habit of making dinner out of whatever happened to be in the fridge, which is how my boyfriend ate steamed vegetables with garlic-mango-basil sauce one night.

For a real thrill, try not following the recipe!

It's funny because it's a blancmange!
oy! (3.28 / 7) (#18)
by rebelcool on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:43:00 PM EST

getting on sites like this and posting inane comments :)

Shit, my shoe is untied.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Veil not your vices in virtuous words. (3.60 / 5) (#19)
by Dialup on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:43:14 PM EST

I'm a graphic artist of sorts, with a reasonably fulfilling job doing multimedia and video compositing. I "collect" Macintosh hardware, the occasional comic book, and spend a lot of my free time getting up to speed on the world o' computers, more out of a morbid fascination than anything else.

My "vice", if you could call it that, is my artwork- fueled out of the basic fact that the stuff I'd like to see isn't being done by anyone else. If you think that's an overblown claim, take a look at my "side project" on the web- a tiny outlet for a small fraction of the sort of artwork that I create when left to my own devices:


[the server space isn't mine, it's provided by a friend in exchange for the occaisonal piece of work that isn't seen on the web.]

If that isn't the dictionary definition of "weird", then I haven't been working on it hard enough. ;)

The works of Christopher J. Priest (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by ianpointer on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:52:51 PM EST

Due to the fact I've just ordered 80 or so of his comic books, I think that qualifies as a vice 8-). At this point, I'm contractually obliged to point out that Black Panther is the best comic being writen at the moment by Marvel or DC, and you should buy it. That is all 8-).

Black Panther (none / 0) (#41)
by robwicks on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:23:07 PM EST

I have to agree. The first few issues were hilarious, too. I've never read a comic like it. I hope people catch on to it. Highly recommended.
"Logic . . . merely enables one to be wrong with authority" Doctor Who
[ Parent ]
CW (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by jazzido on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:55:53 PM EST

I'm a radioamateur and I find fascinating to DX in CW (morse code).

"Patriotism is the last resource of scoundrels" (Samuel Johnson)

Vice != hobby (4.00 / 9) (#23)
by perdida on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:58:53 PM EST

well I guess y'all are really perfect, or liars. :)

A vice is a vice, not a hobby. Drinking too much and smoking too much, or bad relationship practices, or sexual peccadilloes, or alienating your friends, or mental laziness, or apathy, or other such unpleasantries are vices.

I have many, many vices. I am not going to post them here because I am embarrassed by them and do not want to share them with others. That is why they are secret vices.

Hobbies? Reading, writing, singing.

The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
Vices (4.50 / 2) (#37)
by BehTong on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:12:33 PM EST

Well, I obviously meant "vices" not in the literal sense, but in the sense Tolkien used the word :-) I.e., as in, hobbies that people would regard as odd or eccentric, but not necessarily unpleasant. Such as collecting insects, or collecting round pebbles, or ... speaking to oneself in an invented language (like I do) :-P

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

Then I have a lot of vices (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by redmist on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:19:22 PM EST

I smoke. I drink. I have disfunctional relationships. I am unable to get motivated for anyone but myself. I do some drugs.
[ Parent ]
What he said, but... (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:28:52 PM EST

Yeah, I answered using his own explanation as a starting point.

As for real vices, shit... I smoke too much, I at times have promiscuous sex, and I've done my share of drugs.

Oh, and if I can't follow my regular morning routine(when waking up at home, that is) my day ends up being all out of whack.

See, that isn't too hard, is it? :]

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

...Oh yeah, and my life stops when Buffy's on. (none / 0) (#48)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:51:13 PM EST

But no more Tuesday night Buffy night! Wah! (Ok, well yeah the show is still gonna be on Tuesday, but I'll miss having the 2 hours of Buffyverse in one shot every week). Angel airing the day before Buffy? That's just gonna be weird.

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Me Too! (none / 0) (#70)
by wiredog on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:06:43 PM EST

Since I'm at an AA meeting on Tuesday night I'll just tape it like I always have. I'm also addicted to Roswell. So what I'll do is tape Angel, Buffy, and Roswell, and watch them on Wednesday or Thursday.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
sounds like a job for tivo.. (none / 0) (#73)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:21:58 PM EST

..or maybe I'll just tape Angel, watch it after Buffy on Tuesday nights, and pretend nothing has changed.

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Cinnamon Rolls (4.00 / 7) (#27)
by K5er 16877 on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:14:34 PM EST

Throughout the week, my mind will often drift off at the whiff of cinnamon or even buttery sugar. Visions of the small bakery quickly fill my consciousness. There, beneath the glass counter, is my addiction.

Every Sunday morning, I wake up at 8:30. I dare not shower nor squander time. I must get ready. I don a quick outfit, rinse my mouth with Listerine and head out. I have but one thing on my mind. Cinnamon rolls. I arrive at the bakery at 8:45. I've been coming here for some time now. I've tried nearly every bakery in a 20 mile radius, and this little shop is by far the best.

I walk in. I'm sure they know I'm coming. Like clockwork, they tray of beautiful pastries comes from the back kitchen. Two cinnamon rolls, to go. $4.50. I give the cashier $5.00 and always leave a tip. At least they'll think I'm a nice psycho.

On my drive home, the square, styrofoam box beackons to me. The small cracks in the seal release the sweet smell of my downfall. I can barely contain myself. But, no, I must wait. I must get home.

After I've parked my car, I briskly walk inside, carefully guarding my prized treat. 15 seconds in the microwave to heaven.

Cinnimon Roll Heaven (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by n8f8 on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:00:32 PM EST

Navy food sucks. Shipboard Navy food is repulsive. There are two main mess decks(reasturants) on an Aircraft Carrier. One is a fast food mess that serves either sliders and rollers (hamburgers or hotdogs) or greasy hash and eggs. The other serves wonderful stuff pulled out of boxes labeled "Grade D Meat...Not for Officer Consumption".

I reported to the ship just as it was departing for a world cruise. Within two weeks I had lost nearly five pounds.

One morning I was passing through the mess deck and I noticed a long line of people waiting in front of a small office with "Bakery" stenciled above the door. I turned to one of the people in line and asked him what the line was for. "Cinnimon Rolls", he said.

For two months I lived off cinnimon rolls. Cinnimon rolls six inches high smothered in buttery-cinnimonny icing. About eight inches in diameter these buns were soft and perfectly cooked all the way through with just a hint of crust on top. God they were awesome.

Unfortunatly after we pulled into the Phillipnes to replenish our supplies the cinnimon buns disappeared. When I poked my head into the bakery a week later to ask what the deal was the baker informed me the cinnimon buns got too expensive. instead we got basketball sized apple looking things that tasted like pears.

I've never had another cinnimon bun comparable to those. The closest I have found are Pillsbury Grands that you bake yourself. I'd sure love to know the secret to those cinnimon buns they baked on the ship.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Cinnabon? (none / 0) (#159)
by irksome on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:45:39 PM EST

I'm not sure if it's close to what you're describing, but the best cinnamon roll I've ever had came from Cinnabon ... you can find a list of locations at their website http://www.cinnabon.com/home.html

I think I am, therefore I'm not.
[ Parent ]
Cinnabon (none / 0) (#192)
by K5er 16877 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:20:03 PM EST

I first discovered Cinnabon in the Las Vegas airport about a year ago. Ummmm... I wish there was one near me. On the cinnamon roll scale of divinity, I'd place it at a 8 (out of 10). My little bakery is a 9. The only problem with Cinnabon is that, and I cringe even as I write this, sometimes the buttery sugar topping overwhelms the gooey cinnamon goodness. My friend was telling me that Cinnabon used to be even better than it is now. That would be a treat.

Everytime I pass a Cinnabon, I can't help but think of Ricky Martin singing "Cinnabon-bon, Cinnabon-bon" (think, "Shake your bon bon...").

[ Parent ]

Grade D (none / 0) (#193)
by K5er 16877 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:22:56 PM EST

I used to work at a summer camp that served the same kind of meat. Our boxes said, "Grade D but edible. For prison and dormitory consumption." If anything will make you vegetarian for a summer, those labels will. It was the "but edible" that got me.

[ Parent ]
Mmmm... Hardees... (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by justindz on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 04:38:46 PM EST

Despite not eating dairy or red meat products, I am still addicted to biscuits and gravy. My local dining hall serves vegetarian gravy, but they don't remove dairy from vegetarian food. I also have biscuits and sausage gravy at Hardee's sometimes, despite that having both dairy and red meat in it.

Is that a suitable vice?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke

Well . . . (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by robwicks on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:18:12 PM EST

strangling animals, golf and masturbating.

Had to get my ode to Python out. Anyway, I'm a computer geek, so I do a lot of messing with the Linux boxes and tweaking Windows at home. I read a lot of science fiction and religious/philosophical literature. I've been dieting, so I walk, and lift weights. I read comics, go to movies, and talk on the phone. I like to monitor the stock market, too.
"Logic . . . merely enables one to be wrong with authority" Doctor Who

My secret vice (3.33 / 9) (#42)
by jeffreyd on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:26:42 PM EST


some secret (none / 0) (#121)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:17:19 PM EST

Some secret. Everybody knows. Even the blind; you can smell a crackhead.

Man, I was out surveying about a month ago, and as I go walking down the street rolling one of those measuring wheels there's this one ratty-looking house with all the fishy looking guys standing around under the tree in the side yard eyeing us as we go by. I go sniff sniff hey!, my eye-man's already all nervous, and I say to him as we go walking past, "Hey man, smell that. You know what that is?" and he says, "No," and I say, "That's crack smoke. They smokin' up crack stones in there, and it ain't even noon yet, for Christ's sake. Jesus I pity those poor bastards, how terrible they're gonna feel around midnight tonight."

Scared him to death! He thought those guys were going to come out in the street and shoot us.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

Vice -vs- eccentric hobby (3.50 / 4) (#44)
by BOredAtWork on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:32:53 PM EST

A vice would be something like chain smoking. Something rather compulsive that has an impact on your quality of life. Everyone has 'em, but you'll not get me to list any here :-).

If you want eccentric hobbies... that's different. Mine include some "standard" ones - reading, writing, acoustic guitar - but also one really wacked out one. Trees. I collect them, and grow them in pots. I tried to get into bonsai, but that takes patience, and I'm a big fan of instant results. Hence, my current hobby - growing big ass trees, with loads of Miracle Grow :-). Right now, I've got a Giant Sequoia (very young, less than 3 feet tall), a Plumeria (Hawaiian - less than a year old, from a cutting, about a foot tall), bamboo (also a cutting, a few months old, a foot high) and a california palm (5 years old, almost 4 feet tall). When I graduate and get my own place, I'll be buying loads of seeds off ebay, and growing nightshade, balsa, sequoia, and just about anything else odd and funky. When they get big enough, I'm gonna plan the ones hearty enough to handle a northeastern USA winter outdoors, and piss off any neighborhood housing groups that might be nearby. I promise, my land will be easily visible, because of the 250 foot sequoias all around :-).

Instant Results = Big Ass Trees? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:40:01 PM EST

Heh, I just found that funny. A few years for a decent bonsai compared to dozens before your tree would be consider "big ass." :]

That's interesting, because I'm into plants(and fish) as well, but neither take up enough of my time to be considered eccentric or vices. Right now I'm mostly growing random plants I find odd.. my favorite is my pregnant onion, which is finally starting to do pretty well(and about as big around as a baseball).. I've also got another weird bulb that grows a long stalk with a flower on the end, no clue what it is. Sometime soon(before I move) I'm gonna walk out in the desert and grab another interesting plant(large white flowers, spiked "fruit") that I've seen growing in the area...

I'm trying to get into bonsai, but you're right, it is damn slow. I've got a young ficus that was given to me that currently stands about 12 inches... it wasn't in very good shape when I got it, so for the past few months I've just been nursing it...

Re trees, that's something I've been wanting to do... I'd like to grow a tree from a seed, and try to keep it all my life... I've got a pot that I've thrown seeds into now and then, but so far I've had no luck.... Wouldn't happen to be able to send me a sequoia seed/ling, would ya? :]

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

They grow FAST, if ya feed 'em (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by BOredAtWork on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:50:19 PM EST

Balsa, bamboo, or sequoia can grow over 10 feet in its first year. Especially with a balanced fertilizer, the right amount of sunlight, and a BIG pot that's deep enough for a tap root to develop. Almost a foot a month seems pretty big-ass to me, considering my 8 foot ceilings right now ;-). It's gonna seriously piss me off if I have to prune back any of 'em before I move out of this apartment.

As for getting your own trees, ebay is great, ebay is good. My sequoia was a gift from my girlfriend, who got it there for $15. Seeds are around $3 for a pack of 5 or 10. You can find damn near anything that's legal to transport across state lines on Ebay. Seeds aren't restricted like live plants are - that's the best part. Check here for more weird stuff than you'll ever have space to grow.

[ Parent ]

Wow! (none / 0) (#75)
by driph on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:28:58 PM EST

Shit, this looks like the start of something bad...

Offhand, I see a lot of ads there mentioning zones(as in "Zone 6-9").. what does that mean?

Did yer sequoia start as a seed, or? How large of a pot do you have for it? I think I might grab some off ebay tonight, looks like someone threw a bunch of sequoia seed auctions up, so I should be able to get a pack for a few bucks...

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

zones==climate zones (none / 0) (#81)
by wiredog on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:07:19 PM EST

Visit the USDA for further info. You are in Zone 11.

Sequoias like cool wet climates. I don't think one would be happy in Vegas. Hot deserts, like the one Las Vegas is in, are ungood for them.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

Heh... (none / 0) (#94)
by BOredAtWork on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 11:40:18 PM EST

Shit, this looks like the start of something bad...

Yup, that's exactly what I said. I'm keeping it real, real limited till I get my own place though. I just don't have space to grow a jungle. Yet...

I don't know for sure how my sequoia was started. My girlfriend bought it as a seedling, and it came in a cheap flexible plastic pot about 4"x4"x12". The roots were pretty packed, so I imagine it was grown there from seed, probably in a big batch. It's very growth heavy on one side, which makes me think it wasn't rotated at all when it was growing - pretty typical of someone farming a large group of saplings. Nothing I haven't corrected with a little bit of light gague wire, though. It's been repotted in a 12"x8" circular pot, and is living happily in the shade on my balcony right now.

As far as zones go, it's basically average temperature and rainfall in a region. You can grow most tropical stuff indoors on a window sill, but have to be careful about when you water them or not. If you're in Vegas (pretty warm, dry, right?), you should be good with a fairly big variety of trees.

[ Parent ]

Got some seeds... (none / 0) (#129)
by driph on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:54:06 PM EST

Well, it's started..:]

Thanks to you, I picked up a packet of sequoia seeds from a Washington seed company that was selling on eBay... We'll see how many of em I can get started.... if I can get enough going, my mom's boyfriend is pretty good with bonsai, so I'll give him one, keep a couple(maybe try a bonsai and let another or two grow naturally) and then give away any others I can get going... the packets are 50 seeds I believe, so if I end up with a 20% germination rate, I'll be happy..

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

Elephant Ear (none / 0) (#83)
by speek on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:35:44 PM EST

You might want to try Elephant Ear - it's a cool ass plant. You plant the bulb (which is the size of a softball), and when it grows, the leaves are as big as elephant ears.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

re: elephant ear (none / 0) (#130)
by driph on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:57:31 PM EST

Those do look neat (here's a pic for anyone wondering)..

Would go along with my odd bulb collection.. maybe I'll pick one up one of these days..

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

I read shit (3.33 / 3) (#47)
by SIGFPE on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:41:45 PM EST

19th Century American philosophy, Ancient Chinese Philosophy, Molecular Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Evolutionary Psychology, 20th Century History, Medieval History, Computing, Graphics, 20th Century Economics, 19th Century Law, 19th Century American Fiction, 17th Century Spanisg Fiction, 13th Century French Literature, 21st Centure Science Fiction - to list the subjects of some recent books.

Can't remember any of it though!

Myself, of course. ;) (3.00 / 5) (#49)
by Bridge Troll on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 05:51:17 PM EST

Though I'm mostly a lurker, I felt compelled to comment on this story, strange as it is, for the chance to narcissisticaly talk about myself. Nyar, I shall now probe the depths of my insanity.

Truly, my greatest vice is definately a case of fatalismo, that great belief of Qu sera, sera. Translated, it roughly means, "Whatever will be, will be." More accurately, however, it reflects, in myself, anyway, an extreme apathy and depression because of an ingrained belief that a being greater than myself controls events. On a concious level, I clearly recognize this as the hogwash that it is, however, subconciously, it tugs at my very being, telling me that every failture and success is the work of some divine being. God, if you will. It tends to create paranoid thoughts in my head, irrational to the extreme. "Did such-and-such happen because I blasphemed earlier?", "Is this life a punishment for sin in some other, earlier life?" Similar things, which make me an unhappy camper for the most part. Don't bother pointing out flaws in my logic, as I said before, it's an irrational belief. ;) As I'm beginning to rant now, I do believe that I'll stop now. *grin*

And besides, pounding your meat with a club is a very satisfying thing to do :) -- Sleepy

It is secret if it's posted on the web? (2.50 / 2) (#50)
by Tatarigami on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:00:32 PM EST

I write anime fan fiction. And if you think that's not a vice, you haven't seen it yet.

But hey, it doesn't hurt anyone -- at least, in any way that can be conclusively linked with me...

juggling astronomer (3.25 / 4) (#51)
by jesterzog on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:01:15 PM EST

It's more of a hobby than a vice, but I'm an amateur astronomer, which fits in well with being nocturnal.

I also juggle. I used to go along to a juggling group but I think I alienated them because I was too weird.

jesterzog Fight the light

!TV (4.28 / 7) (#52)
by libertine on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:05:59 PM EST

My secret vice is that I do not own a television. In the US, that is truly perverse by the culture's standards. My mom #1 (as opposed to Mom #2, yes two mom's, only one is a lesbian, both are my genetic parents, do the math) owned a TV for maybe 2 years. During that time, we watched a lot of PBS nature shows, and then shut it off. I recently owned a very nice TV for watching movies, but I found a second-run movie theater near where I live that serves beer and pizza. I finally sold the TV when we hadn't turned it on for almost a year. Occasionally, I watch the television at the laundromat near my apartment, but I tend to cringe at some of the things I see on broadcast.

Its a pretty rare conversation I have in which someone doesn't express a newscaster's opinion as their own, or talk about some product they saw, or laugh at some truly funny joke for which I have zero frame of reference. This isn't criticism, just an observation. TV is such an ingrained part of US culture that most folks in the states don't even know when they are not relating in TV terms.

Instead, I have lots of hobbies. Hobby-wise, I write short fiction, brush up on my truly atrocious Spanish, Russian and Latin, make art, get pierced, continuously quest for the finest micro-brew, write love letters on behalf of my friends (ala Cyrano deBergerac, except I don't love any of them, and none of the subjects are my cousins), routinely destroy and rebuild every portion of my home network, and read and re-read a lot of 'howtos', such as the Hagakure, Democracy in America, and the Elements of Style (shit, I just read a lot- I have a pile of 14 open books by the bed, 9 more by the computer, and 3 on the couch. I am reading any 5 at any given time). I also cook, since I have previously worked as a chef in the past, and I still come up with new things to try out with food.

Some of my vices are true vices, in the biblical sense. However, the vices wouldn't be secrets anymore if I told you, now would they? Maybe you can pick them out of my .sig?

"Live for lust. Lust for life."

No TV? (4.00 / 4) (#53)
by xmutex on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:08:00 PM EST

So you're like the guy in the Onion article, constantly reminding people he doesn't own a television.

Big deal. Sheesh.

bullet the blue sky

[ Parent ]
heheh. (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by libertine on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:12:36 PM EST

Never read that one. Actually, no, I don't even tell people that I meet that I don't own a TV. I did mention it a few times as a kid, just in passing, but the reactions tended to be slightly derisive. I just mentioned it here because it IS a secret vice, the subject of this forum.

"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (4.33 / 3) (#78)
by dennis on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:01:40 PM EST

Sounds to me like a secret *lack* of a vice.

[ Parent ]
Or according to OMM: (3.66 / 3) (#132)
by crayz on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:17:22 PM EST


"People who don't watch TV love to mention it and never fail to pair that statement with the fact that they read books too. But as long as they're patting themselves on the back for simply not doing something, it seems to me that there are lots of worse things you could be taking credit for not doing. For instance, next time someone decides to lord over you the fact that he doesn't watch TV, go ahead and tell him "Good for you!" Then while everyone around you is reflecting on his massive intellect, up the awful-things-you-don't-do ante by mentioning that you don't rape people and then add that you watch lots of television instead. Not only does that make you a better person - after all what kind of psychotic jerkoff wastes his time not watching TV when he could be busy not commiting violent sex crimes? - but it gives you sort of an air of barely suppressed operatic rage, which makes you more like Batman."

[ Parent ]
Heh... (3.66 / 3) (#63)
by Elendale on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:40:49 PM EST

Often times, people will be talking about things (that were on TV) and then ask me for my opinion. When i mention that i don't watch TV, they get this look of shock and horror on their face. It's really quite amusing, and i've started to insert myself into these conversations just to get that reaction :) The most interesting thing is when they assume that i've seen something specific- even when it is something i would have no interest in even if i did watch TV: such as lame TV shows, or football games. I don't see why people just assume everyone watches the exact same stuff they do.

It also helps when these people are attempting to get my help on something else (tech support, Calc homework, etc) so they have to respect me or i tell them to fuck off :)

-Elendale (not like the `net is much better...)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

[ Parent ]
It gets worse... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by quartz on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:20:14 AM EST

when it's your Sociology professor who assumes everyone has seen a certain thing on TV and starts a classroom discussion on something called "Survivor". He was quite intrigued that his most vocal student just sat through the whole thing looking confused and not uttering a single word. :-P

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
<aol>ME TOO!</aol> (4.50 / 2) (#93)
by %systemroot% on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 11:17:01 PM EST

So how do you know if someone is "expressing a newscaster's opinion as their own" if you didn't see said newscaster on TV?

Tobe, TV-less for nearly three years.

[ Parent ]
Watching no tv is the easy way out. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:29:09 AM EST

It takes some bravery to think that one can wrestle with the output of the medium and extract the beast for which you hunt.

The machine is cunning and the hunt can be tiring. I can see why some don't feel up to it.

[ Parent ]

twenty hours a year (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:05:56 PM EST

Curiosity is all good and well, but it doesn't follow an atomic chemist should take a chunk of plutonium home and put it under his pillow so he can rub up against it all night long. You can get all the TV you need to see from sets you don't own. More than enough. TV is amazingly repetitive - that's how it works, the same message over and over and over until you think you thought it up yourself - and on any given date it projects very, very few messages to fill up a great deal of otherwise dead air time. For one obvious example, think how many hours of your life you spent - even if you don't watch TV at home at all - watching various idiots bloviate at you through a TV camera over a few furtive minutes in Bill Clinton's past sex life!

A guy who watches TV twenty hours a year sees eighty percent of the evanescent pop stars and hears eighty-five percent of their chart-topping pop hits, sees ninety percent of that year's big advertising themes and slogans (hey, whasssup?), hears ninety-five percent of the approved opinions of the news show talking heads upon ninety-eight percent of the truncated and sanitized list of TV-permissible topics for public discussion. And when I, who live on land, go to the beach and see the water, I see the water, whereas the fish in it all their lives don't see the water at all; I wonder if, when they jump up above the waves, they see the air?

Unless you live in a Kaczynski-like retreat off in the far mountains, you'll inevitably see TV all over the place. Go to lunch in a restaurant, visit a friend, walk through a department store, they've even mounted TVs in gas pump islands and over the counters at 7-11s, there's no escape. It's like vitamin D; no need to sell your house and change your career and move to a Florida nudist camp, a half hour a week out in the sun fills all your natural requirements.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

neither do I. (none / 0) (#126)
by dimaq on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:28:32 PM EST

and nor I have a computer at home - get enough at work maybe? *g*

[ Parent ]
!TV makes me just okay... (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by panum on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:45:37 PM EST

I don't have one either. In larvae state, I lived with these people who didn't want one around. I've never found out the real reason of their anexity towards the Idiot Box. It might be some religious matters, but watching TV was not forbidden when visiting pals / relatives. We went to cinema every now and then, just mainstream stuff. After moving to my own apartment, I've discovered I have no need for TV. I rarely even think about one.

For DVDs, I've got my computer and a kick-ass Sony F520 :)


-- I hate people who quote .sigs
[ Parent ]
knife fightning with washable magic markers (4.53 / 13) (#55)
by sayke on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:22:55 PM EST

on thursdays, some people get to gether in an unused conference room of a motel, put on white t-shirts, and try to draw all over each other's vital organs with big washable crayola markers. the objective is to prove that you could have seriously hurt the other guy, without hurting him at all. while no serious damage is done, minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises happen... we walk away looking like we were attacked by jackson pollock. it's fun as shit.

sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */

hmmm... (3.25 / 4) (#57)
by jdtux on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 06:59:37 PM EST

how about cadets? In cadets, I've done sailing, biathlon(skiing and shooting), both of which I love to do(just spent all today out on the water). i guess it's not really that eccentric or anything...

Now... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
by itsbruce on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:09:43 PM EST

I was terribly interested in how that post was going to continue. "What's your secret vice?" "How about cadets?" - great start! But the rest of it was a real let-down :-(

--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]
I wish Tolkien had kept that vice secret (2.00 / 3) (#60)
by itsbruce on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:16:39 PM EST

The Silmarillion is the most boring book I have ever read. I read it all the way through and at the end I was older than when I started it and that's all I could say it.

--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
You've never read ... (none / 0) (#89)
by pyramid termite on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:17:33 PM EST

... Pilgrim's Progress have you? I only made it to about page 50 and I'm a fan of older English literature, too. God, it was boring.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I liked Pilgrim's Progress (none / 0) (#109)
by itsbruce on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:10:08 AM EST

The first book, at least. I found it fascinating. The second book is just a retread of the first - "Pilgrim's Wife and Friends' progress" - and unnecessary.

--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]
Mmmm.... Doughnuts.... (2.66 / 3) (#61)
by quam on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:28:42 PM EST

While my favorite doughnuts are Shipley Do-Nuts, I have grown to accept Krispy Kreme as part of my Sunday ritual because my hometown (Austin, Texas) does not have a Shipley's. Although, I occassionally have a craving for a local doughtnut shop, Mrs. Johnson's. Mmmm.... Doughnuts.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
let's see..... (3.33 / 3) (#64)
by ajdecon on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:46:14 PM EST

how about changing the rules to board games? I'm always changing things around in chess, checkers, monopoly, etc. to see if I can make it more interesting. Tends to make it hard to find people to play with, though....

"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself."
-Richard Feynman
Drinking chess! (4.40 / 5) (#74)
by libertine on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:22:54 PM EST

Now that's a FUN game...need the appropriate amount of pawns (shot glasses), and the bigger pieces can be any mix of lowboy, tallboy, martini, pilsner and any other glass that will fit on the chessboard. Fill one side with dark drinks, the other with light drinks. Play against the stuff you like to drink, and drink whenever you capture your opponent's pieces. The trick is to try and draw out the game long enough to win by forfeiture (no puking or passing out).

I ended up playing this game when I was stuck in a Florida hotel during a hurricane. The hotel had all these granite gaming tables in their bar, but no chess or checker pieces. In order to kill the boredom and a few of our brain cells, we ordered several rounds of drinks. This amused our very cute romanian bartender to no end. By the time we were blitzed, she was helping us make our moves and giving us lots of water just to keep us going. What a bartender!

There is no moral to this story, those were all abused. Drinking rules make games lots of fun! Carpe vino!

"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Re: Drinking chess. (3.00 / 1) (#92)
by claudius on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:55:23 PM EST

Gotta love games where as white you can open with: 1. e3 ... 2. Qf3 ... 3. Qf7 and have a better than even chance of winning.

Drinking chess is best played as blitz, imo.

[ Parent ]

Ahh, a man after me own heart (5.00 / 2) (#86)
by rysc on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:45:43 PM EST

My custom monopoly rules (played out with regularity, thanks to a pair of willing brothers) are of a scary disposition. And have you ever played Battle Pay Day? You take lego characters as tokens, and whenever you alnd on a square with another player a battel commences. You have stats, can buy hirlings, and die rolls alter the outcome. Financial plight and RPG battles rolled into one! Then there was the monopoly variant where the trains worked, office buildings had special rules and building custom bridges to add to board squares is commomn place.

As good as these games are, after a while they do get dull. Making cutsom varients keep them from ever getting boring.
[ Parent ]
Post your game rules (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by pin0cchio on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:55:33 AM EST

You take lego characters as tokens, and whenever you alnd on a square with another player a battel commences. You have stats, can buy hirlings, and die rolls alter the outcome.

Sounds like a Mario Party 3 duel.

Then there was the monopoly variant where the trains worked, office buildings had special rules and building custom bridges to add to board squares is commomn place

Could you please post diffs to the rules so my friend and I can document them and have the same fun you had?

[ Parent ]
"giveaway" checkers (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by bediger on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 04:41:03 PM EST

When I was a child, "giveaway" checkers fascinated me. The pieces move exactly as in regular checkers, only the object differs. The first player to run out out pieces wins. I think that Official Checkers demands that if a player has one or more "jumps" available, the player must take one of the jumps, and that kiddy checkers often doesn't enforce this rule. If you play "giveaway", you must take a jump if you have one available.

This makes for a faster, more aggressive game, and I believe (but I can't prove) that stalemates and ties don't exist. It may also have a solution, but my brother and I never found an advantage to moving either first or second.

-- I am Spartacus.
[ Parent ]
I tried to do the same... (none / 0) (#104)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:22:45 AM EST

... and met with the same resistance.

I did get a couple of good ones though. Not too complecated in the rules. I found that if the rules got to um... numerous, then there was less of a chance of accomplishing whatever goals there were in the game.

A really easy goal, that can often be done is "racing" pieces with a few simple but arbitrary rules of movement. To make combat, have each person race to a "goal area" that is behind their opponent at the start. Even if there are no ways to hurt your enemey, one gets a game of blocking, heading off, and timing.

One reason I like ai programing and learning algorithms, is the chance to have machine slaves that play my games and have no will otherwise.

Now that I think about it, that blocking game I mentioned would be a model for some molecule folding. Except the sizes and movement rules would have to be fine-tuned for various combinations.

[ Parent ]

origami (3.80 / 5) (#65)
by sesquiped on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 07:49:53 PM EST

I'm surprised no one has metioned this yet. It's not really that rare of a hobby (ok, well maybe it is). In case anyone doesn't know, origami is the art of paper folding. It originated in Japan a long long time ago, but stayed pretty simple until relatively recently, when it was introduced to the rest of the world and people all over the place started designing and folding incredibly complex models.

I own a few books and have memorized a bit over half a dozen significant designs. I often start folding when I'm bored, e.g., in class, waiting for food in a restaurant. People are impressed rather easily, I've found. I'm pretty horrible at designing my own stuff, though. I've only managed to design one original piece that I'm proud of, but I keep trying.

The appeal of it, I guess, is that it's quite mathematical (I'm pretty into math), but also has more than enough room for asthetics. It's also one of the most accessible art forms in terms of required equipment: a piece of paper and a flat surface (and if you're good, you can do quite a bit just in the air too).

Other strangenesses include a fondness for raw pasta, collecting elongated coins (the things you get at tourist attractions when you put a penny into a machine and it squashes it), and probably a few more things I can't remember at the moment.

Origami architecture (4.00 / 1) (#114)
by Laston on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:40:00 AM EST

I do a great deal of Origami as well, but lately I've been getting into origamic architecture. I cut designs out of paper, then fold the paper to make fantastic cut-outs. Here is an example of a master at it http://www.geocities.com/marivi_2/
I'm sorry to say she has pop up ads.
I work tech support. Armed with an exacto and a pattern, I kill time between calls. My stuff adorns desks throughout the company.

[ Parent ]
skateboarding (3.50 / 4) (#68)
by eurisko on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:00:47 PM EST

when i was a kid i took up skateboarding, because all of the pictures of professional skaters in the magazines looked so cool. they appeared to defy gravity in many of their tricks. it fascinated me. i soon found that after i lost interest in Taekwondo, after acheiving my 1st degree black belt, i still loved skateboarding, and it kept me active and in shape. these days, while i am only 24 years old (not old by any means, yet), i'm finding that it serves another purpose. to clear and ease my mind. after hours of coding, debating in IRC, and lately watching/reading/discussing the news about the attacks on my country, i find it more necessary than ever to leave my small apartment (without my laptop) and just skate, the way i used to when i was a kid. altho now my focus isn't on landing that one huge trick that would immortalize me in the minds of all my friends, but to just clear my mind and focus on one thing i enjoy so much. when i'm skating i'm not thinking about anything else. and in a strange, or maybe not-so-strange way, an activity that is so physically demanding, somehow rests my mind greatly.

The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

too old to skate (none / 0) (#97)
by f00b4r on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:34:37 AM EST

I too was a skateboarder in my younger years. It used to rule my life.. Then I went to college and I havent skated since.. Now I am at the ripe old age of 21 and would like to skate again but I dont have any skater friends. I guess when you dont know anyone your age that skates anymore that means you are too old to skate? heh

[ Parent ]
From London down to Brighton. (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by ambrosen on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:09:12 PM EST

Pinball. For some reason, I just have to get a fix every so often. It's weird, cause you have to go to a pub to do it, and I don't like going on my own, so my friends occasionally have to put up with me disappearing. Actually, I could do it in my lunch break at the local student union. I think I will. Been a while since my last fix.

I'm not even very good, I just love to lose myself in the game, stuck in the motion of the ball.

Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.

Hey look, a cow! (none / 0) (#213)
by Yer Mom on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 04:48:50 AM EST

Have you tried pinball emulation?

Not as good as the real thing, but damn good fun... and it takes up a lot less space than having the machines in your house :)
Smoke crack. Worship Satan. Admin Unix.
[ Parent ]

Vices? (3.20 / 5) (#72)
by DJBongHit on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:15:43 PM EST

Pfft. I don't have any vices.

*DJBongHit lights another cigarette.


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

My Vices and Hobbies (2.50 / 2) (#76)
by vanbo on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 08:44:08 PM EST

Well as some have stated already, it sounds like Tolkien's vice is more of a hobby. I always though of a vise as something that is more of a bad habit or at least somewhat disruptive to your life.

In that regard I would say my vise is that I lose interest in things quickly. (Some call it ADD but I think that is just a quick way to label people that think differently. Damn it, my head is not broken this is who I AM and I don't care that my inability to stay completely focused seems weird to you.)

However, my vise then does interesting things to my hobbies. For instance today I just stepped on a skateboard for the first time and practiced for around 30-45 minutes (I must say that it looks FAR easier then it is as Iooked like a fool next to the others here in SF.)

All in all my "vise" makes me a much more educated person as I pickup new skills all the time from just moving from one thing to the next. Given this makes me a "Jack of all trades, master of none" at many things, I have found many things are all releated.

For instance, Mountain Biking, skating (skateboard), Martial Arts are work of balance and cordination. Computers, programming, and math are all based of logic, and problem solving theory and application.

I think the thing to remember is the qoute:
"Anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

0-60 in 5 minutes (3.33 / 3) (#82)
by slaytanic killer on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:13:20 PM EST

More like "what I would do with 34 hours a day."

  • Live in bookstores.
    Travel, meet new ones.

  • Rollerblade.
    Have everyone be a fidgety blur.

  • Talk during sex.
    So, tell me about yourself.

  • Movies.
    Especially Spank the Monkey, which I am always about to watch and people recommend, but situations conspire against me.

  • Make fun of people who use perl, explain that weblog admins use it because code obfuscators used to be defective.

    Actually music should be here, but some things are too deep and disturbing to talk about. As opposed to sex.

    Oh, tangential: my dream job would be to go to lectures around the US, get inspired, create something, and start again. A lifetime hobby. This began when I listened to Mandelbrot go on for three days talking about the nature of beauty, markets and his damn habit of making silly fractals that look like things.

  • Best time for a conversation (none / 0) (#160)
    by beynos on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:55:15 PM EST

    Man, talking during sex is the best... Removes all of the taboos, and the subject matter is always very interesting.

    [ Parent ]
    ridiculous hobbies (3.00 / 2) (#87)
    by speek on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 09:48:07 PM EST

    As an aside, my definition of a geek has always been someone who is obsessed with some activity that most people couldn't care less about. That would go for anything, not just computers.

    but anyway, I used to have ridiculous hobbies like making games (my favorite was adapting the world of greyhawk to an Empires In Arms game, complete with cardboard counters, leaders like Iuz, dwarven guards, barbarian horders, etc). Heck, I even had the 28"x52" board I made laminated!

    I've also been a part of the SCA (society for creative anachronism) - basically dressing up in medieval armor and kicking the shit of of each other with rattan sticks. Lot's of fun, but, frankly, too many really weird people, if ya can believe that!

    Nowadays, I'm nuts for my dogs, cats, fish, plants, and cooking weird food. Thai, Indian, etc, usually made up as I go along.

    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

    Sex! Sex and peyote! (2.00 / 3) (#88)
    by dduck on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:06:41 PM EST

    Well, actually not, but I'd like to have that kind of vices. Unfortunately I'm no Zonker Harris :) I'll have to stick with the usual geek vices - poking around old computers, obsolete game consoles, fine wines/spirits/cigars...

    Sex and Peyote (none / 0) (#148)
    by MemeTransport on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:02:13 PM EST

    That would be an interesting vice....
    Kinda icky too, though.

    You are aware that peyote causes extreme vomiting?

    I've never taken it but have spoken with several people who belong to the Native American Church. After vomiting they start to halucinate strongly. In this context the illness is considered part of their purification.

    [ Parent ]

    Breakfast on Sunday ! (3.50 / 4) (#90)
    by camalolo on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:21:23 PM EST

    And that's what I am going to prepare on that beatiful Sunday :

  • Cafe Latte
  • Fried Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Fish Nuggets
  • Toasts with Butter and Jam

  • Now tell me it aint a vice !

    PS : Oh shit I forgot to tell you about... Orange Juice !

    'scuse me, who are Butter and Jam ? (none / 0) (#125)
    by dimaq on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:24:35 PM EST


    [ Parent ]
    My secret vice/hobby (3.00 / 3) (#91)
    by pyramid termite on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 10:50:32 PM EST

    Garage saling, Goodwill shopping and curbside furniture collecting. With the exception of the waterbed, I've actually furnished a 1200 foot manufactured home for less than 100 bucks. When I lived in an apartment someone put a beautiful oak couch by the dumpster - why? He'd just gotten a new one and rather than bothered with selling the damn thing, he just shoved it down there. My "entertainment center" is an old RCA console TV from the early 50's, minus tube - the VCR and tapes go within and the TV sets on top. It's solid mahogany. I was driving around a neighborhood one day and discovered it at the curb waiting for the trash men. I had a hell of a time getting it in my trunk but I HAD to have it. I have 3,000 records, most of which were bought for less than 5 bucks, many for 25 cents - best steals - Johnny Cash's first album on Sun records for 50 cents, good shape, and two albums by the Grateful Dead on the MGM/Sunflower label I found in the cutout rack a long time ago. Best book steals - a copy of Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring, Ace Paperback, and a full Webster's New International Dictionary, India Paper Edition, from the 1920's. I keep telling myself I have to stop, I'm running out of room - I have 1000 science fiction magazines from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's in my shed that I don't even look at and I've bought hundreds of albums in the last year for less than 100 bucks and I don't even have time to listen to the damn things ... I keep telling myself that yes, someday I'll listen to all of Beethoven's symphanies and all his string quartets that I just bought two weeks ago for 5 bucks. Then there's Audiogalaxy and all the crap I download from newsgroups, hell I went to hornet.org before they closed down and downloaded every mod they had, except the ones that were on the Hornet Mod Archive I bought used for 5 bucks - the worst part of all of this is that the hardest thing to find in the junk sale world is a good bookshelf or record cabinet and time to enjoy all the crap I'm accumulated in 25 years of doing this.

    Actually, I'd like to revise my description of my vice/hobby. I'm a hopeless pack rat.

    Did I mention my extensive collection of computer emulators and strategy games; wargames and scenarios ... I don't have time for those either. Too busy working or shopping ...
    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    Add this to you bargain hunting (none / 0) (#158)
    by n8f8 on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:08:32 PM EST

    Storage Space auctions.

    They happen all the time and you can get some real steals. I could have gotten an entire house of antique furniture for $120. one time for $55 I got 2 shotguns, a 1/2" S-K socket set, three paintings and a bunch of power tools. How about a 18th century poster bed for $80.

    Eventually I ran out of room and had to quit. Its very addictive. Like treasure hunting. Most storage spaces have rules that prevent bidders from opening boxes or entering the space prior to bidding. Chances are the poor bastard just couldn't afford the rent.

    Aside from the morbid thought of benefitting from another persons misfortune, its a lot of fun. Estate sales are pretty good too, but you have to get there before they open on the first day.

    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Exercise? (3.00 / 2) (#99)
    by decaf_dude on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:30:46 AM EST

    I'm a gym addict, I can't go on without punishing workouts. I love the rush you get when you have nearly 300 pounds of steel trying to crush your ribcage, that final rep that squeezes out last few bits of strength, when your whole body is screeming in pain and you say "Just one more...", when barbell becomes your whole world and nothing else matters. Not to mention the dizzyness and fainting after a good squat set, or wobbly-knees feeling after dead-lifts.

    Have you ever had to take taxi home because you're unable to push the gear lever or turn the ignition after a grueling forearm workout? Oh, it is a vice, believe you me!


    Exercise (none / 0) (#131)
    by YesNoCancel on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:01:09 PM EST

    Well, in contrast to other vices, exercise does at least keep you fit and healthy. So it actually has some purpose. :)

    [ Parent ]
    Inventing languages (3.75 / 4) (#102)
    by IriseLenoir on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:08:48 AM EST

    That's probably the coolest hobby ever! I started doing that a few years back, but abandonned and haven't thought about it for a while. Now that I'm older and know more about etymology and all, I would love to start over. I already started a bit. I'd be very interested in discussing this with others... where's that mailing list you mentionned? Do you have any ressources on our own language and other people's (such a Tolkien's)? I'm very curious about that.

    You talk to yourself in your language? That's neat! I often do that without realising. I'm a big fan of anciant french and think all Qs, Zs, Rs should be banned. They just sound awful.

    My principal goal would be to form a language in which I could write my poetry. That would sound good when spoken, is somewhat musical, but that no one could understand but me. I would only teach this language to my children. In fact, the name of the language means "to 'my' posterity" 'my' being quoted because it has a very different meaning than in english. Here how it's pronounced: "Y houmm damd"

    But I prefer ideograms to some kind of 'alphabet'... althought I'll probably write a romanisation of it (like pinyin for pu tong gua).

    "liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    Tolkien sites (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by murklamannen on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:34:41 AM EST

    The best site about Tolkiens languages is Ardalambion.
    It has info on all of the Tolkien languages and lots on Sindarin and Quenya, the two most developed languages in Tolkiens world.

    The elfling mailing list is the primary discussion forum among people interested in Tolkiens languages.
    It's very politicial(many flamewars) but i think it's the place where all the really knowledgable people hang out.

    [ Parent ]
    CONLANG list (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by BehTong on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:25:55 AM EST

    The mailing list is at: http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/conlang.html. The list members are very friendly and respectful, and always more than happy to welcome new members and help them out.

    There are many sites that describe a constructed language; do a search for "conlang" or "constructed languages" and you'll probably turn up a lot of them. I forget what's the name of the latest webring of conlang sites; I remember the last one was called the "scattered tongues webring".

    There are also tons of resources out there about linguistics in general, which is very helpful when you want to construct a realistic language. Just ask any listmember :-)

    Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
    [ Parent ]

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#165)
    by IriseLenoir on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:37:20 AM EST

    Thanks a lot to the both of you!

    Now I only need to learn to create computer fonts so I can type my ideograms... "A failure only means that desire wasn't strong enough."
    "liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
    [ Parent ]

    Liars! (4.16 / 6) (#103)
    by twid on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:16:07 AM EST

    100 posts so far from internet geeks and not a single person has admitted that their secret vice is PORN! 8-) - Twid

    You misread the title of the article (4.33 / 3) (#122)
    by DoomHaven on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:41:45 PM EST

    It said "secret vice". I am sure by now that pr0n usage is not secret, and has become so standard that it isn't a vice anymore :)

    My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
    [ Parent ]
    dude porn has it's limits! (4.00 / 1) (#124)
    by dimaq on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:22:43 PM EST

    I for example am pretty much done with porn after leeching and scripting web hoovers for it for a year or two (1st makes it much less interesting, 2nd I ended up using what LiET wrote), even though I don't have a "life" or anything; it becomes boring with time you know...

    besides, my imagination is much better than porn sites :P

    [ Parent ]
    It can't be secret (none / 0) (#236)
    by jabber on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 12:21:02 PM EST

    if everyone does it.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    Starting two projects... (2.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:40:12 AM EST

    ... that I can't finish for every one that I fail or manage to, by miracle, somehow get done enough to stop.

    Oh, and escapism, pure and in several forms. This world sucks, I think I know of some others that would be better. Dreaming can be a vice.

    Someday, some large mind from space is going to come dig up some relics of our long dead selves. Hope they have a good chuckle at how much it could suck to be living stuck in/on a single world. Hope it is my descendant.

    Well... (3.50 / 4) (#107)
    by Stick on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:56:27 AM EST

    I smash boiled eggs off my forehead (and i'm not joking).

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    why? (3.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Psychopath on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 04:22:50 PM EST

    Without the intention to offend you or your "secret vice" I would be curious why you do this..
    Most "secret vices" other persons have mentioned here are something productive.. but your's seems more destructive to me. Please correct me if I am wrong :)
    The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
    [ Parent ]
    The reason is.... (4.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Stick on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:59:09 PM EST

    I do alot of exercise and stuff, which means I watch what i eat, so I end up eating quite alot of egg whites. I hard boil the eggs, and then the slow part is getting the shell off. I've found that by smashing the egg off my forehead it breaks the shell into nice big pieces so its easier to remove. I've tried hitting it off a table but it doesn't have the same effect. You should try it sometime, and compare the differences.

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    [ Parent ]
    ok (4.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Psychopath on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:20:38 PM EST

    ah, I thought you do this more as a hobby.. :)
    In my experience it hurts when I try to smash it on my head. Not that I am not a bit masochistic sometimes, but this.. ;-)
    The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
    [ Parent ]
    It hurts! (none / 0) (#232)
    by Psychopath on Sun Sep 30, 2001 at 05:51:02 PM EST

    Ok, yesterday I tried to smash the egg off my head - but it didn't work. It just hurted. But the egg didn't really smashed, though it already had a crack in its other side.
    Usually I don't have a very soft head..
    But it was a try :P
    The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
    [ Parent ]
    Tumbling: and various extensions of the concept. (2.00 / 2) (#108)
    by agape on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:47:51 AM EST

    I really relate to what Eurisko said about skateboarding and, to a lesser extent what Decaf Dude said about Gym's. I fully respect that bro and find similar things in tumbling. Something physical or intense can demand so much that it really clears your head and perspective. I've had this regularly with many things, initially with hacky-sack (think of freestyle 'footbag' -without the regimentation and 'adds' *shudder*), rockclimbing, capoeira etc... Now sometimes my friends andI will just get together and jump around. Generally its an acrobatic thing (capoeira hangover?) but sometimes its just running around and tiring ourselves out, jump this! Hey can you still dive-roll that gap? ad bruisieum... I find church provides the balance to alot of my life. I love technology in general. I'm in IT and enjoy tinkering around with things, I'm 'graduating' beyond just being a gamer to doing something semi-productive with computers. I'm experimenting with SMS packaging at the moment for example (-& its not working very well!). 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love" -Dont forget your people

    Incredibly difficult bodily contortion (none / 0) (#142)
    by plug on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:07:58 PM EST

    Am I right in thinking that capoeira is the martial art developed by slaves who needed to be be able to use their bodies whilst chained together and needed to disguise their art by making it look like a dance?? Des this not require the *most* flexible body? How did you get into this?

    "In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die of boredom." William S. Burroughs
    [ Parent ]

    well (2.00 / 1) (#111)
    by dakaktus on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:53:09 AM EST

    as for hobbies, i surf a lot (surprised this hasnt come up), also build and fly model planes, although havent done so for about 2 years (started cleaning my engine the other day, omfg its.... eeewww)

    vices, coffee, the occasional illicit substance, laziness and raves. actually i probably have a lot more than that, most people here would too right?

    theres nothing to clear the mind like a 10ft wave/moving house, and you on/next to/in the way of it. its amazing how fucking powerfull waves are.

    humdidum back to reading the web

    stock market (2.00 / 3) (#116)
    by svampa on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:07:12 AM EST

    I play with aprox. 600$ (well, I began with that money)

    I have become a rich man, and I have lost everything, I have raised again, now I have 132,52$ cash, and aprox. 585$ (friday 17:30 pm) in stocks.

    I make simulations, and in my accounts I pretend that I have 600.000.000$.

    By the way. My wife doesn't knows anything about this, it's stupid, but the taste of sin makes the game funnier.

    If you want me to talk about my others vices, I need an annonymous coward account ;-)

    wiggle wiggle (2.00 / 1) (#117)
    by lonesmurf on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:43:11 AM EST

    I don't know how it started, but it has become an obsession with me. I can't sit at a computer with my shoes on. At all. I forget how to type, use a mouse.. duh, file folder, what's that? It's kind of hard to explain when you come into a new company and start sharing a room with some person you don't know at all. "Uhm, ya, so I just wanted to let you know, you know, in case it stinks, I uhm, don't wear shoes when I hack."

    And I have no sense of smell. Heh.


    I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.

    My vices/hobbies (2.00 / 1) (#120)
    by mindstrm on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 12:09:56 PM EST

    My hobbies are not actually intellectual. Now that computing has become more pervaive and ubiquitous in everyday life... it's not the same obscure escape from reality it used to be. Sure.. a video game is fun now and then.

    And, just lately.. my girlfriend finally dragged my fat nerd ass out to the Gym... and I have to say, I go regularly now. I look forward to it.

    In all seriousness.. no matter how wimpy, scrawny, or fat, or just generally out of shape you are... I highly recommend hitting the gym... I'm not a jock... I'm the scrawny kid who got beat up.. but I have to say, I really, really enjoy it now.

    RSI? (none / 0) (#147)
    by greenrd on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:46:31 PM EST

    Hmmm... what about if you have RSI?

    "Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
    [ Parent ]

    Well.. (none / 0) (#228)
    by mindstrm on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 04:03:04 PM EST

    If you seriously have an RSI, then talk to your doctor (which you are doing already, right?)
    If you haven't seen a doctor, don't assume that you know what you have, you are probably wrong...

    Most RSI can be *prevented* by getting some exercise.

    [ Parent ]
    Mmmm..fat nerd ass (4.00 / 1) (#153)
    by persimmon on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:28:33 PM EST

    My favourite kind, and my quirk that people seem to expect least. Yes, even less than speaking Japanese even though I'm Chinese, or randomly going out to weed my herb garden when the living room is littered with computer guts, or going off to poly canyon to pick a bunch of prickly pears. Nothing better than a nice plump boyfriend...
    I think that qualifies as a vice.

    It's funny because it's a blancmange!
    [ Parent ]
    Poly Canyon? (none / 0) (#162)
    by robotic on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:06:54 AM EST

    Are you at Cal Poly? Or is this some other poly canyon?
    If you are at Cal Poly... cool! Email me.... nbmartin <at> calpoly.edu
    Sig: Maybe someday...
    [ Parent ]
    Mmmm..fat nerd ass (none / 0) (#223)
    by Razitshakra on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 09:27:29 AM EST

    I hope to marry a woman like you ...

    Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
    - The Northern Territories
    [ Parent ]
    you are going to kill me but (2.66 / 3) (#123)
    by scofmb on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 01:13:18 PM EST

    the most important hobbie i have is my girlfriend. and far away for her, i have some other hobbies, like reading books(wilde, borges, dovstoyeski), programming (C++/86Asm/etc) and music(The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Soda Stereo, La Ley, Blur). And thats all... study is not a hobbie, is a pain on the ass =P

    I agree (4.00 / 2) (#150)
    by Stick on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:22:32 PM EST

    Your girlfriend is my most important hobby too :P

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    [ Parent ]
    Mountain Dew (3.50 / 2) (#133)
    by czar chasm on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:26:20 PM EST

    Or rather, making structures from them, like my current one, a castle (http://members.home.com/davidleesnot/dew.jpgcastle) for those careful)

    -Czar Chasm
    damn cut and paste typos (none / 0) (#134)
    by czar chasm on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:27:36 PM EST

    http://members.home.com/davidleesnot/dew.jpg is the site for those worrying.
    -Czar Chasm
    [ Parent ]
    Advanced Driving and Racing (3.00 / 2) (#136)
    by zoul on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 04:39:23 PM EST

    Nothing brings a rush like driving at 170mph, pulling into a turn and coming out at 130mph.
    Not the cheapest hobby there is, a weeked of racing can easily cost $1500, but isn't that why we work :)

    Do it on two wheels... (none / 0) (#211)
    by spagthorpe on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:38:39 PM EST

    and I'm with you. A lot cheaper for a weekend as well...if you don't wad it.

    [ Parent ]
    Software projects (2.50 / 4) (#137)
    by Dwonis on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:14:58 PM EST

    I start software projects that I will never finish.

    lol (3.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Stick on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:06:06 PM EST

    You're not the only one.

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    [ Parent ]
    Amen (none / 0) (#207)
    by mikepence on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 05:31:14 PM EST

    I think about starting software projects that I probably will never finish. My latest is a wiki/scoop/discussion board package in Java. I heavily spec what I will never do.

    [ Parent ]
    Good to see someone else... (none / 0) (#210)
    by spagthorpe on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:37:09 PM EST

    ...does the same damn thing. I have a projects directory that now has about 80 cool ideas I started on, but my ADD won't let me come close to finishing.

    Nothing gets me started on another project faster than working on a current one. *sigh*

    [ Parent ]

    more traditional vices (1.57 / 7) (#138)
    by asv108 on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:35:36 PM EST

    Cheap Ice beer and sluts are mine.

    Handball? Puns? Rereading? Frozen dinners? Irony? (2.00 / 1) (#145)
    by brainwane on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:22:11 PM EST

    I'm in a handball class right now and disproportionately enjoying it.

    I make far more puns and allusions per conversational timespan than most people can take. In related news, my bitter-irony quotient seems to have risen in the past few years. I'm less earnest than I used to be.

    Instead of reading new stuff, I tend to reread books and stories that I've already read.

    I sort of like microwave frozen dinners.

    I surf the web too much.

    I get too open too quickly. Intimate conversation can be a vice, too.

    index.html (4.66 / 12) (#146)
    by Artful Dodger on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:23:58 PM EST

    My biggest problem: the fucking Internet.

    My vice, if you want to call it that, is staying up until three AM, reading shit online, even when I have to be to work at seven-thirty.

    God, I hate computers.

    Liquid Glass (3.00 / 2) (#149)
    by MemeTransport on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:16:58 PM EST

    I like to cut up art glass, stick it in a kiln and melt it together, form it into shapes.

    I've always been fascinated by glass and the way light plays off it. Being able to form my own objects is a huge trip for me.

    Besides, waiting for stuff to happen in the kiln makes a perfect moment for some more coffee. I've never tried roasting but I'll definitely be on the look out for an old popcorn popper!

    Juln (none / 0) (#175)
    by juln on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 09:31:18 AM EST

    Cool! i've been a flameworker for a few years and also am into casting with glass. Not much waiting around for the kiln with flameworking... until you are done. Snork on!!

    [ Parent ]
    Triathlons (3.50 / 2) (#151)
    by raygundan on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:36:22 PM EST

    Not really a secret-- but it keeps my behind from becoming a perfect copy of the chair I occupy all day at work. It's a hell of a lot of fun, and easier than most people think.

    Plus, it means I acquire another vice-- bikes! And THERE is something any geek can appreciate, rider or not. A good bike is one of the most refined and optimized pieces of technology around, and they just beg for tinkering and upgrades.

    learning Jiu-Jitsu (2.00 / 1) (#152)
    by FiDooDa on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:26:20 PM EST

    Well, practicing a martial art frees my mind in amazing ways. It also keeps me in great shape and improves self confidence.

    BTW, when i say Jiu-jitsu it's not Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (wich we call here Grappling). I also do some Grappling but less frequently.

    ancient spelling, now it's ju-jutsu (none / 0) (#166)
    by boxed on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 03:23:02 AM EST

    The spelling you used for ju-jutsu is an ancient and nowadays incorrect way to write the japanese words. It has been spelled "ju-jutsu" for decades now but it seems like only the Swedish ju-jutsu community has kept up with the times.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: ancient spelling, now it's ju-jutsu (none / 0) (#178)
    by FiDooDa on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 09:57:25 AM EST

    thank you for the info, but...

    Both my master and Grandmaster spells it Jiu-Jitsu. I probably should of said that we spell it like that in french. I don't know if your information applies to french spelling.

    [ Parent ]

    It's spelled ju-jutsu in japanese (none / 0) (#201)
    by boxed on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 03:18:42 PM EST

    It's a japanese word, don't you think you should use the official japanese spelling? It does not matter that your sensei and his sensei are french, the modern spelling is what it is anyway. Note of course that the japanese signs have not changed of course just the transcription rules. There is much tradition in the spelling of ju-jutsu since the old form has been used for many many years and the new form is just a few decades old.

    [ Parent ]
    Martial arts are fun. (none / 0) (#182)
    by akharon on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 11:24:01 AM EST

    I took hapkeido for a while, really liked it because of the simple physics of it. Pretty simple logic too: break wrists, elbows arms and knees :). I would pick it up again, but they require you to make a commitment to be there every week at the same time, and at this point my schedule can't accomodate that :(.

    [ Parent ]
    Buffy. (3.66 / 3) (#154)
    by Will Sargent on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:42:36 PM EST

    I hate TV. I don't watch TV. It's just this one thing.

    I can stop any time I want. Really.
    I'm pickle. I'm stealing your pregnant.
    Amen Brother! (none / 0) (#199)
    by bADlOGIN on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:49:49 PM EST

    My wife and I have been Buffy Addicts since catching the 1st season back in 1996. Joss Whedon is a brilliant writer. While I'm slightly fearfull of the current state (it's been over 6 seasons now and moving to UPN, the UnProfessional Network???), I'm hopefull that October 2nd will mark more of the Buffy we love and revive the willing suspension of disbelief and fantasy after an all to melancholy summer. I'm also looking forward to FX running it nightly at 7pm starting tonight.

    Sigs are stupid and waste bandwidth.
    [ Parent ]
    number systems! (4.00 / 3) (#155)
    by glenkim on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:48:55 PM EST

    I try to invent a new number system that brings together intuitive thinking and binary numbers (if such a thing exists). Currently, I have a system of counting that uses four fingers as bits, counting up to 16 with one hand. The other hand would be the upper four bits of a byte. I call a 4-bit number a bec (binary decimal). The writing of the system is as follows: 0000: _ 0001: - 0010: / 0100: | 1000: \
    Every number must have an underscore under it (this is so you can tell which side is up by glancing at the number). Slashes are combined to form numbers like 0011, 1010, etc. Slashes are drawn from top to bottom, left to right. Thus, 1111 would be drawn \, |, /, -, _. That ends up looking like an underlined asterisk.

    Breezing. (3.00 / 2) (#156)
    by Ask Dr Smartey Pants on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:54:23 PM EST

    I tend to spend my weekends, if the weathers nice out at a local beachhead flying kites.
    I know it sounds like a kids thing, but if you have ever seen a modern stunt kite, or a power kite you will know what I am talking about.
    If I want a really good workout then there is nothing like having your arse dragged around a field while strapped to a stack of big-arse power kites.
    I also find that free-style trick kiting is a good way to calm me down after a stressfull day or week at the office. Just like the previous comment about bikes, trick kites are amazingly advanced and are begging to be hacked. I own a couple that have some fairly serious materials in order to keep the weight down; carbon-fibre, kevlar, dyneema, the list goes on.

    Oh yeah, I drink a load of espresso, and smoke too many cigarettes (anyone know a good hypnotist?)

    My Secret Vice (3.50 / 2) (#164)
    by Clanwolfer on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:18:38 AM EST

    Okay, I'll admit it. Swing. Yes, swing dancing.

    Every Friday, I join a group of people who go the whole way to recreate the swing craze. We put on the clothes, the shoes, the crazy ties, and swing-dance for a couple of hours. We've even had one or two performances.

    Yes, it's a bit ridiculous, but it's incredibly fun. If you have a group of friends, a Goodwill store nearby, and a few people who can teach the steps, you're set.

    Ignore those who say that the swing craze is over. Yes, the fad brought on by Gap ads is over, but plenty of people still have some interest. Do yourself a favor, and try it.

    Oh, and my other vice is that I let my pun-to-normal conversation ratio exceed 1:1.

    --"I'm simply not going to take it any more."

    swing (none / 0) (#168)
    by Locus27 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:11:39 AM EST

    Swing dancing rocks. Granted, I can't dance for shit. That's why I was always in the band. I might not be able to enjoy taking part, but I sure as hell enjoy watching people swing dance and being part of what gives them the music to dance to.

    "You're one fucked up cookie."
    -Shawn R. Fitzgerald

    [ Parent ]

    Making cool music. (3.00 / 2) (#167)
    by sarin on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 06:58:34 AM EST

    Whenever I have time, mostly in the weekends. Some friends come over and we dive into the little studio to create some wicked sounding techstep drum 'n bass tracks. I used to have a much larger studio, with all kinds of synthesizers and modules. But since I bought my dual pIII I discovered the world of vst instruments, those are virtual instruments, you can download for free, given the right newsgroups ofcourse. (alt.binaries.sounds.utilities) Our group is called Joint Forces, the first part of the name comes from an old hobby of ours. Creating music is really awesome and not that difficult if you have some techical skills. Hours can fly by in what seem to be minutes when you're forming your thoughts into sounds. When you want to do this aswell be sure to buy a good soundcard, I recommend the RME Hammerfall, don't buy a soundblaster.
    - only death fish go with the stream
    hobbies (2.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Locus27 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:23:26 AM EST

    Anyone that's ever read my diaries with anything remotely resembling a passing interest knows i'm heavily into two things. Rock climbing and driving, fast. I've been climbing regularly for almost 8 months now, and I'm proud to say that I'm now a very solid v3/4 climber, with respect to bouldering. As for driving fast and working on my car, most of the work I've done on my car as of late has been of a repairing nature. Had a bank of relays and my thermostat go out recently. Thankfully, cheap and easy repairs. I need to find a mod-friendly garage and get it inspected.

    The other major hobby I have is music. Making music. I don't mean making as in creating something new. Just playing. I picked up a guitar recently because I decided it's time for me to add another instrument to my repitoire (sp). The calluses are devolping nicely.

    "You're one fucked up cookie."
    -Shawn R. Fitzgerald

    Guitar (none / 0) (#183)
    by akharon on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 11:29:43 AM EST

    Maybe you're the opposite of me, but how do you deal with not being able to master the guitar in a day? I'd like to learn it, but I get frustrated because of the time it takes you to even put a semblance of a song together. With computers, you learn something, and can immediately employ it to whatever you want, but with instruments, I just can't do it.

    [ Parent ]
    Three Chords (none / 0) (#188)
    by farmgeek on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:49:35 PM EST

    is about all it takes to be able to play a large variety of recognizable music.

    I tend to use G, C, and D a lot, but that may be because those are the three I first learned, but using those three you can play an amazing number of songs well enough to sing along with (which is why I got the guitar to start with).

    Granted, your changes from chord to chord may be slow, but if you start with slow songs that is not as much of a nuisance.

    As far as that whole kick ass pickin' style...beats me, I've never had the dexterity and hand eye co-ordination to do it. I stand in awe of those who can, but my kids don't seem to mind the fact that my rendition of "The wheels on the bus go round" is not as aesthetically pleasing as Chet Adkin's would have been.

    [ Parent ]
    patience (none / 0) (#190)
    by Locus27 on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:10:20 PM EST

    and determination, and loads of spare time. It took me almost 4 years until I was really good at playing trumpet. After that, transferring to baritone, euphonium, trombone, and tuba wasn't that hard. The worst part was getting aclimated to the immense amount of air you need to use to produce sound in large brass instruments. After that I picked up electric bass, and taught myself. I've been playing bass for 4 or so years now, and I'm pretty decent. I can play just about any song you put in front of me, with a little practice. Bass gives me somewhat of a starting point. Most of guitar playing is learning the chords and commiting them to memory so that it becomes automatic. Muscle memory if you will. For instance, how often do you consciously think about brushing your teeth? You don't. I don't anyway. It's just habit. The hardest part for me right now is getting used to holding down six strings in different places, instead of one or two, like a bass. I know what you mean about frustration though, but mine tends to push me harder, not push me away. *shrug*

    "You're one fucked up cookie."
    -Shawn R. Fitzgerald

    [ Parent ]

    Persistence (none / 0) (#195)
    by Bear Cub on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:57:45 PM EST

    I was a music student (studied the tuba for ~12 years, and was planning to become a professional orchestral tubist), and have recently (~3 years ago) picked up the guitar. So I can say from experience that patience and persistence are your most valuable allies in learning a new instrument. The ability to play an instrument is founded on muscle memory, and that just takes time and repetition. Stick with it, don't let yourself get too frustrated, and in time you'll amaze yourself.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Tom Petty. When asked about his guitar technique, he replied (something like), "I'm finally getting to the point where I'm a very competant rhythm guitarist, and that's cool with me." What I'm trying to say is: Don't push yourself too hard; really mastering any instrument takes a lifetime.

    ------------------------------------- Bear Cub now posts as Christopher.
    [ Parent ]

    Second Hand Bookshops (4.00 / 4) (#170)
    by zakalwe on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:36:54 AM EST

    There's just something about wandering into a second hand bookshop and finding that book you always wanted to read, or a book you dimly remember reading as a kid. These days I've developed a 10 book a week habit, and I'll visit about 6 seperate bookshops at least once a week. My "to read" pile now occupies most of the flat surfaces of my room.

    Besides, there's something deeply relaxing about wandering around surrounded by piles of books. Or maybe that's just me.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#215)
    by judyhell on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 09:24:09 AM EST

    Yes - I would definitely agree. Once I enter a secondhand bookshop I'm incapable of leaving without having bought at least 3 books, and they do tend to start to accumulate. And I agree about spending time in bookshops, too... I remember writing a story about wanting to live in my school library when I was little, and I still sort of feel the same about libraries and secondhand bookshops. I'm happy to spend hours and hours going through the shelves to find that one book that I had been meaning to read but had forgotten about!

    [ Parent ]
    my hobbies are: (2.00 / 1) (#171)
    by ironhide on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:40:40 AM EST

    * investigating and consuming psychotropic substances * reading everything in the field of transpersonal psychology * downloading and archiving of websites

    Clocks (3.66 / 3) (#172)
    by seymourbunzz on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:44:33 AM EST

    I've always been interested in clocks and clock making. To tie that into the whole computer thing, the clocks I've made have been digital. ;-) But right now I'm trying to build an old fashioned clock with weights and a pendulum. No idea how well that will work, but it's a lot of fun. :-)

    Fantasy maps. (3.00 / 2) (#173)
    by static on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 08:14:43 AM EST

    I used to draw fantasy maps and build worlds around what I drew. I even had a small ADND campaign on one of them. If nothing else, they're a great source of passwords! :-)


    kuro5hin (3.25 / 4) (#174)
    by codemonkey_uk on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 09:09:59 AM EST


    My names Thad, and I'm Addicted to Kuro5hin.

    [supportive clapping]
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

    Advice on book addiction vice? (2.00 / 1) (#176)
    by reward on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 09:55:26 AM EST

    I can really relate to those that read crap. I read crap, all the time. For some reason, not having a book in my hand (or reading something snarfed onto my visor) makes me very, very nervous. Non-fiction is my very favourite...Hmm...lessee...social justice, politics, queer theory, feminist theology, hacking, anti-Microsoft diatribes, academic books, cultural theory (my last g/f was a professor), history. Just about anything.

    For some reason, I can't hang out at the library because they revoked my card because I forget to bring things back, so that means $$$$ at whatever bookstore I happen to see. I have trained my friends and my partner to take my wallet whenever I am in a bookstore. Sorta like a chaperone.

    I am dealing with this vice by taking up other vices - the hockey league has just started up, choir has returned to normal rehearsals, have a concert tonight, play Nintendo with the son, play road hockey with the kids on the block.

    So, does anybody have advice on how to break this addiction? The books now take up more than all my bookcases. They have overrun the kitchen. They are stored under the bed. I have boxes in the basement.

    Library (none / 0) (#191)
    by drivers on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:12:51 PM EST

    Donate your books to the library in exchange for getting a library card back. Or, if it's because you owe them money, sell some of the books to a used book store to pay off your library debt. Two problems solved at once.

    [ Parent ]
    Not so secret.... (4.00 / 3) (#177)
    by omerm on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 09:57:00 AM EST

    One of my hobbies is building scale aircraft models. I began model construction about 12 years ago, abandoned it for a long while and returned to the hobby the last year.

    Building an aircraft model involves reading a lot of historical documents on an actual plane, choosing a certain model.

    It takes a few weeks to build a decent model ( my fastest model so far was Heinkell He-111 H6, which was built in 3 days ).

    Too bad I do not have much time/money to invest into my little hobby:)

    Sport (2.00 / 1) (#179)
    by loaf on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:13:41 AM EST

    Anything. But, and here's the kicker, participation not spectating.

    My primary sport is rowing (crew to our American cousins), the ultimate team sport (perhaps even the very example of the socialist ideal made sport, everyone is equal and the weakest link determines the success of the venture). Rowers are also amongst the fittest sportsmen.

    When I'm not tapping at the keyboard I'm training on land or water. It's not that unusual - but it's totally basic. An antithesis for the normal thoughtfulness I hope I exhibit when working!

    Collecting/Learning new things (3.66 / 3) (#181)
    by dbowden on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 11:23:22 AM EST

    Sorry to be so generic, but it's true. My secret vice is that I need to know at least a little bit about _everything_, but knowing about it isn't enough - if it's a physical opject (eg. Bagpipes, unicycle) - I need to have one and be able to use it. My wife sometimes hates me for it.

    I can't list all of the things I've investigated because of this odd obsession, but here's a couple of things I saw other people mention, and some of the ones I indulge in more often:

    • Reading (of course)
    • Origami
    • Sailing (14 ft. Holder)
    • Motorcycling (2x BMW - R65 and K75s)
    • Bicycling (road & off road)
    • Unicycling (Semcycle)
    • Playing musical instruments (clarinet, coronet, flute, saxophone, recorder, indian flute, digeridoo, keyboard, mellophone, french horn,dulcimer)
    • Rebuilding tube amplifiers (10 watt Bogen stereo pair, finished; EICO 15 watt stereo, not yet started)
    • I'm teaching myself to use an abacus to do mathematical operations in hexadecimal. It's actually a pretty good way to learn how computers do math.
    • Being an Electrical Engineer, I also tend to play with electronics a bit more than other things, and I'm currently involved in creation of a holonomic platform for a robot, based on the Motorola 68HC11 controller, which may lead into creation of a BattleBot with some friends (if they ever get off their butts).
    • I know I already mentioned musical instruments, but I've also been learning to play the Bagpipes. You can get a pretty good idea of how Bagpipe playing compares to other musical instruments if you recall that the Scots (I'm learning the Great Highland Bagpipe) are a people who think that finding out who can throw a telephone pole the farthest is a sport.

    Missed one (none / 0) (#184)
    by dbowden on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 11:31:19 AM EST

    Oops - I can't believe I forgot one of the more time consuming "hobbies" I picked up lately. I'm teaching myself metalworking. I just bought a small lathe and bolted an X-Y table onto a cheap drill press to approximate a mill, and I'm learning how to cut interesting things out of steel and aluminum.

    I'm currently working on creating an air powered engine (if I do it right, it should operate from the air pressure in a balloon) that I'm making from bar-stock, and I'm planning to buy some castings so I can make a steam engine. I may end up having to learn to cast metal as well, but that's something to occupy me in the future.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm suprised no one has said firearms yet. (3.00 / 2) (#185)
    by edpowers on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 11:41:42 AM EST

    I like guns, specifically older, legal, military firearms. The hobby isn't too hard to get into provided you have no criminal record or mental problems. You can pick up a Polish m44 carbine in like new condition with bayonet for less than $100. A colt 1911A1 will cost a pretty penny but is quite a classic side arm. The Makarov pistol is relatively cheap and it's an engineering marvel with only 26 parts (the 1911A1 has 40). Not only do I enjoy acquiring and the weapons and using them at the target range, but I also enjoy learning about their design, what the engineers were thinking, what they hoped to accomplish, and how they stacked up to the competition. I also enjoy civilian based arms as well, but I'm more intrigued by the history of military weaponry. I must say that not too long ago antique dueling pistols piqued my interest but they are generally not operational and cost $1000 or more.

    And before anyone flames, please be aware that I aspouse responsible gun ownership. There is a lot of thought and care that goes into the proper storage and handeling of such a powerful device, and society puts alot of trust in you the owner. None of this should be taken lightly. If you are not ready for this responsibility, please do not purchase a firearm.

    For the past year or so... (2.00 / 1) (#186)
    by hading on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:14:47 PM EST

    Bluegrass banjo.

    Smokeless Tobacco.. (2.00 / 1) (#187)
    by ignatiusst on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:36:57 PM EST

    My biggest vice is Skoal Longcut Straight.

    There is nothing in the world that can give you the same sense of peace as a big, fat wad of snuff.

    When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

    scooters! (2.00 / 1) (#189)
    by chopper on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:53:10 PM EST

    man, i love old scooters. vespas, lambrettas (if i could just find one), etc.

    i have two vespas in different stages of repair/restoration. god, they are the single greatest machine ever crafted by man.

    seriously, when i look at a 50's scooter or an old lammy, i start to question my athiesm.

    they're *that* beautiful. and fun to work on, too. its great to be able to take apart, fix and reassemble an entire automotive machine all by yourself. lets you get to know every aspect of the bike.

    man, i have a hard on. gotta go.

    give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

    give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

    My 'vice'. (3.00 / 2) (#194)
    by broody on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:53:30 PM EST

    While I would hesitate to call it a 'vice' my number one hobby is Dagorhir Battlegames. It a hybrid of a LARP and a full contact foam weapon fighting sport based on J.R.R. Tolkien's works and the dark ages. Each participant creates a persona and equipment which enhances the fantasy and historical elements of the game. It's part sport, campout events, part re-enactment, and a dabble of a lot of other things.

    Some things in life are best understood by doing and Dagorhir is one of them. That said, there are some pictures here which capture a good part of the feel of the game. In that world, I am Blngr urs of Gestiguiste. Perhaps I'll see some on you on the field one day...

    ~~ Whatever it takes
    Body Modification (2.00 / 1) (#197)
    by coolvibe on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:36:59 PM EST

    Yups, piercing and tattooing is one of the "unusual" things I indulge in when I'm not futzing about behind my machines or ripping my guitar a new asshole. I myself am tattooed and pierced as well, and I think I'm not done yet. I could use a lot more modifications before I'm really content. I like myself the way I am, but there's always room for improvement :)

    Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!

    A Low Vice (1.50 / 2) (#198)
    by miah on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:45:43 PM EST

    I play bass, not an upright (I can't afford that) but a Fender P-Bass with some upgraded pickups. I've played it for seven years now and can't put it down. There have been stretches of a few months where I haven't played but I always miss it.

    I miss playing in a band I was once in, not for the music, but for the friends I had then. Most of them went on to college and I haven't heard much from them in the last few years.

    I would someday like to find some steady musicians and make some good music with them.

    Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
    My Secret Vices (3.00 / 2) (#200)
    by Robert Uhl on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:55:55 PM EST

    I have several:
    Mediæval Re-enactment
    I'm in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Currently I play a ninth century Saxon by the name of Guthlac, but I also fence, which is a late period activity. Thus I'm working on an Elizabethan persona as well.
    I love to brew beer. My mother bought me my first brewing kit when I was 16, and I've been doing it ever since. It's kind of a family tradition: my old man did, and his grandfather did it as well.
    I love to smoke. Not cigarettes, but pipes. I collect them, and collect tobaccoes. I love the accessories of smoking almost as much as smoking itself: tampers, lighters, pipe racks, tobacco jars, humidors, cigar cutters &c. There's something right about them all.

    There are also the standard vices of reading and computing.

    Hobbies are my vice (2.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Hefty on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 03:36:44 PM EST

    My vice is that I have to many hobbies. A typical months activities are: Going to the race track to race my 95 Mustang. Staying up all night looking through my Orion XT6 Dobsionian. Shooting my Sig Sauer p229 at the gun range. Spending hours on end browsing the internet/playing online games/diddling with visual studio 6 on my p4 system or dual PIII system. At the gym pumping iron. Drinking beer till drunk. Reading technical manuals or history books (I enjoy reading my cars owners manual). Gambling at Shreveport/Bossier city, LA. Finding and listening to music MP3's. Spending time with my girlfriends (as if one wasn't enough headache). Drinking beer till drunk (not while driving or shooting guns).

    Oh and cooking!!! (none / 0) (#203)
    by Hefty on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 03:44:16 PM EST

    I forgot to mention cooking, I cook a full meal almost every night. I usually find a new recipe at least once a week. I think I am going to give beer brewing a try also

    [ Parent ]
    M68020 (2.50 / 2) (#204)
    by Rand Race on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 05:02:01 PM EST

    Yes, it's true. Give me a Motorolla 68020 and I'll never let go of it. I can't even remember why anymore, just gotta have more of that chip. I've got 2 Mac IIs, a Mac LC, a Mac SE II, a Sun 3/50, and an Amiga 2500 AT. I've been trying to pry away a Sony NEWS Station NWS-841 from a local screwdriver shop for years. Now I must find the Computervision Medusastation, my holy grail of 68020 based systems.

    "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

    Poi Spinning (3.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Phil Gregory on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 05:20:07 PM EST

    I like to take kerosene-soaked wicks attached to chains, light them on fire, and spin them around my body. (Can also be done with non-flaming varieties.) It is a lot of fun, takes a bit of skill (though even the simple moves look impressive), and provides some exercise, too. Mostly, it's lots of fun.

    Lots of information is available at the Home of Poi website, and the people with whom I spin are The Baltimore Calefaction Society.

    --Phil (Be sure to check out the pictures and videos.)
    355/113 -- Not the famous irrational number PI, but an incredible simulation!
    Hobbies != Vices (2.50 / 2) (#206)
    by mjs on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 05:29:37 PM EST

    Vices: smoking cigarettes, the occasional beer, 'way too much pizza, not nearly enough exercise, E-bay, taking 'naps' with my wife. :)

    Hobbies: photography, astronomy (including telescope making in the winter when it's too damned cold out,) model rocketry, reading, gardening, bicycling (including rebuilding old junkers,) going to garage/yard/auction sales, web surfing, computers.

    Hobbies and vices (2.50 / 2) (#208)
    by trhurler on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 06:01:39 PM EST

    If k5 is your intellectual circle, you need better friends; there's a distinction between intelligent and intellectual, and all too often the two do not meet in the same person. The results are usually disappointing.

    Hmm... vices? Depends. I don't know whether you'd consider my drinking, colorful language, and so on to be vices or just signs that I'm not some puritan asshole.

    Hobbies? I play chess and several different billiards type games. I'm not great at either, but I'm better than average by a fair margin. I play cards; some games I'm really good at, and others I'm not. I watch movies. I don't do any TV, except for local professional hockey and football(American), which I go somewhere to watch, since I have no reception in my apartment. I read when I have something I want to read. I walk. I play video games. I converse. I watch people.

    I like to drive, but until I buy my car(this spring) of choice, I really don't do that much; worn tires and suspension on an underpowered early 90s sedan aren't exactly inspiring.

    I like most games involving a sense of aim, but that doesn't mean I'm good at them. Some I am, some I'm not.

    I'd like to try my hand at competitive shooting, and I might actually be good at that. I'd also like to get more back into walking long distances and riding bike trails, and I really ought to take up an old friend on his offer of martial arts instruction, if for no other reason than because I'm starting to get fat(a whole added inch and a half on my originally 29 inch waist:) and lazy. Will I do those things? Maybe.

    I'm decidedly not into most "geek hobbies." Frankly, I think most of the people who do those things do them to fit themselves to some image, and I just don't feel the need. This includes anime, LARP, most forms of role playing games, all the various medieval wannabes, and so on. Fine for you, but I'm not interested. Don't ask.

    One friend commented that many of my hobbies are not particularly mentally challenging. My reply to him was this: first of all, the lack of a logical problem to solve is not the lack of a mental challenge - and secondly, sometimes I don't want a mental challenge. Sometimes, I just want to have fun. There seems to be a decided lack of that "fun" element among a lot of the k5 crowd, if their posts here are any indication.

    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    Electric Cars (2.00 / 1) (#209)
    by robotic on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 08:17:48 PM EST

    I spend a lot of my time (and money) with Eelectric cars. I drive one that I built (a converted 1976 VW Rabbit). I'm continuously upgrading and working on it. I go to EV races, I'm active on the EV discussion list, I'm in the EV racing team at my school..... I love to think about, read about, write about, talk about and work on EVs.

    What else?
    I like to build robots, though I haven't been spending a lot of time with that recently. I play alto saxophone, both in school and professionally. I'm in three or four bands. I read far too much, I'm trying to teach myself Cocoa programming on my dual 800mhz G4.
    And somewhere in all that I need to study. Dammit.
    Sig: Maybe someday...
    Motorcycles... (none / 0) (#212)
    by spagthorpe on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:53:33 PM EST

    I have other hobbies, which is what mosts people seem to be listing here, but if you use the definition moral depravity or corruption, a moral fault or failing then it would probably be my obsession with motorcycles. I spend way too much money on them, money that could have bought a good part of a nice house by now. You also get all the cool riding gear to sink your livlihood into, and the ever present emergancy room visits when things don't go well. I am mising one organ, pieces of a few others, and have several bones that aren't shaped right. I have died on the operating table once, and still walk with a limp. I can think of nothing more damaging to myself, in all ways, but something I love too much to give up.

    If you want the other definition, sexual immorality, then it would be trading wild sexual favors with cute redheads.

    kendo & real ale (none / 0) (#214)
    by rleyton on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 06:09:58 AM EST

    I've just started Kendo (third lesson tonight), but I'm thorougly enjoying this sport (so far!). It's the "way of the sword", and requires mental agility, is physical demanding, and is great fun (so far).

    Here's an overview from the British Kendo Association

    Oh, and I'm also a caffeine addict, and love Real ale

    Ooooooooooooooh! What does this button do!? - DeeDee, Dexters Lab.
    My Website

    Too many hobbies for me too... (none / 0) (#216)
    by slambo on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 12:02:45 PM EST

    I'm another of those with too many hobbies...
    • Model Railroading - South Central Wisconsin Division NMRA, Capitol City "N"Gineers NTrak, my own home layout, many more projects....
    • Record Collecting - especially early jazz from 1910-1940 and novelty recordings of any era
    • Humorous Computer Acronym Collecting - The Real Canonical List of Humorous Computer Acronyms
    • Genealogy - Still trying to prove my family's connection to Oliver Wendell Holmes...
    • Linux Programming - Genes
    • Cooking - I'll try any recipe once...
    • Stamp Collecting - Started when I was about 10, haven't stopped yet...
    • A couple more that I can't think of right now

    Sean Lamb
    "A day without laughter is a day wasted." -- Groucho Marx
    Alternative sports and poetry (none / 0) (#217)
    by MDFresh on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 12:21:09 PM EST

    Mainly newschool freestyle skiing. Rollerblading, aggressive scootering, trials mountainbiking, freeride downhill mountainbiking, bouldering, slacklining to name a few...

    The amount of creative line selection that goes into this is unreal. One can never get stuck in a rut, the only limitations is your own fear and creativity. The level of focus whence in the midst of something very technical does not allow you to think about anything else. It's the most clarity I can possibly experience.

    Also I like to make poems that are as weird as possible out of whatever I find on the street and leave them in places that I know others will find them. Cutting ads up and taping the letters back together, writing on random things...

    The world becoms my gallery.

    Tuvan throat singing rules! (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by jugglhed on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 07:53:17 PM EST

    I like Tuvan throat singing. It's fun to do in the car on the hour commute to and from work.

    Is anyone else here into that? I can get cool harmonics, I just can't 'sing' with them very well yet. Any pointers appreciated.

    I also juggle.

    I also sometimes make up characters who write letters to the editor of our small town (Martinsville, IN) newspaper. An example would be a letter written in defense of home-schooling by and individual whose literacy was somewhat dubious. My wife and I sometimes collaborate on these. We've stirred up some interesting arguments, but haven't done much with this hobby for some time.

    Great stuff, that (none / 0) (#221)
    by datian2001 on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 11:26:02 PM EST

    Ever since watching the Cup, I've been keen to get my hands on Tuvan throat singing. Found some on Limewire, but not much. What I do have, I listen to constantly.

    Singing though...can't get that di-tonal thing to work, myself, but it's fun to growl along on the bass.

    [ Parent ]

    Good Throat-Singing (none / 0) (#225)
    by jugglhed on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 12:40:52 PM EST

    I first found out about it from that 'Genghis Blues' movie. The soundtrack to that is good, as well as stuff by 'Huun-Huur Tu' and Shu-de.

    Last weekend I saw a Tuvan Rock Band, Yat-Kha (sp), who were quite good. They mix the traditional stuff with rock and it actually works.

    Happy lime-wiring...

    [ Parent ]
    I'd love to (none / 0) (#237)
    by epepke on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 02:27:32 PM EST

    Any pointers to some reference material to learn how to do it?

    I can merely whistle two notes at a time.

    My "secret" vice is going to orgies.

    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

    [ Parent ]
    Collecting funny sigs (4.00 / 2) (#222)
    by datian2001 on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 11:33:10 PM EST

    Yes, it's true. While all of you are innocently posting I'm harvesting your sigs. Had a whole bunch, too, but they have secreted themselves away on the hard drive somewhere and I have to go on memory now. One of my favorites from Slashdot: "MBAs: can't live with 'em, can't legally torture 'em to death."

    I tried to come up with my own once, but it was a miserable failure. Oh well guess it's not my forte...

    If you can't figure out *my* secret vice (none / 0) (#224)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 11:42:30 AM EST

    ... then you haven't read my user id.

    People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
    Hmm, hobbies... (none / 0) (#226)
    by weirdling on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 12:46:47 PM EST

    I am a gun nut first and foremost. I go shooting at least twice a month, to an outdoor range where my .300 Weatherby is not totally wasted.

    I also read extensively, normally science fiction and cartoons (Dilbert, Asterix & Obelix), and some other titles if they strike me as interesting.

    I study philosophy and psychology for the fun of it. I've been slogging through Jung of late, but will switch to Hume when I'm bored/tired of Jung. I went through a Descarte stage, a Nietsche stage, and even read a bit of Plato.

    These days, arguing against religionists has become a bit of a hobby with me, although that's probably merely because there's so many to choose from in my family. Many of them seem to like to argue about it, too.

    I can't say I'm really big into dating; most women bore me to tears, but I am dating someone right now, although the status of that relationship is heavily in flux, long story, and another reason I don't date much.

    I also program for fun, but I've done less of that since I started programming for a living.

    I'm going to be rebuilding the carbs on my motorcycle and adding an aftermarket exhaust to try to coax a little more power out of it. Then, I'll take apart my car's suspension piece by piece and rebuild it. Then, I'll bolt on a supercharger to my v6 Camaro and go smoke some v8s here in the mile-high city, where they will learn that at altitude, forced-induction engines beat the tar out of normally-aspirated engines any day, all other things being equal...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    Making Furniture (none / 0) (#227)
    by spooge21 on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 01:48:07 PM EST

    I like to go out into my garage and build furniture. My current work in progress is a buffet which is stained with a nice honey pine color and includes lighting fixtures. I still need to make the cabinet doors, but who has time for that especially when I have to take care of my triplets, work on my numerous open source projects, go the gym, go to work, etc...

    re: Not so secret vices (none / 0) (#229)
    by odin on Thu Sep 27, 2001 at 08:28:15 PM EST

    Well, first of all, I am a tremendous caffeine junkie, though I've cut down since I left my last restaurant job a month ago. But I think I drank a 32 oz. cup of diet coke every hour for 8 hours each night. My other vice is that I am a media junkie. In an average day, I'll read two newspapers, plus the NY Times opinion section, and K5. I try to read Time or Newsweek every week. I listen to music constantly, and will listen to the radio despite the fact that I hate almost everything played, because I just might hear something good that just came out. I hate t.v. but where I'm staying right now has cable, so I'll find myself sitting in front of it for hours, and well after I should be getting some sleep. And beyond all this, there's still the stuff I'm reading for classes, and I try to keep have some outside piece of fiction. Also, crosswords: Even if it's a slow newsday and there's no reason to have two papers, it's worth it for the extra crossword puzzles. And games: Board games especially. Scrabble, Backgammon, Checkers (I'm lousy at Chess), card games. I'm wicked competetive, though I've toned it down a lot since I want people to continue to play with me. It's best played in person. On-line games just don't have that comfortable banter. Wish I had something cooler, but despite my high caffeine intake, I'm still pretty much a sedentary kind of guy.

    Hobbies (none / 0) (#231)
    by spammacus on Sun Sep 30, 2001 at 01:53:33 AM EST

    I have many hobbies... I used to play percussion in couple of symphony orchestras. I now play drums is a rock band :). I like singing in choirs (bass), and I am always drawing. Mostly, my hobby is being busy. If there is music involved, that's a plus.
    -- "Asshole, deconstruct thyself." - Mr. Surly
    What's my secret vice?? (none / 0) (#234)
    by sean808080 on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 10:25:10 AM EST

    hmmm....well being a stressed out new yorker i have many:

    ultra dread filled DUB muzik

    sweet ringing acoustic guitars and thrashing electric ones..

    absolut mandarin and tonic water on ice in a frosted glass (summer time)

    gimlets (winter time)

    long drives to secluded reservations in the woods of upstate new york and more recently new jersey

    NEWS---all the time!

    listening to how boring and inarticulate my neighbors are on my radio scanner

    tightly rolled BLUNTS (all the kids are smokin em)

    straight porn (i'm gay..,go figure)

    downloading muzik from bearshare

    chanting: nam-myoho renge kyo or om mani padme hom (especially now for all the lost souls of 9/11)

    dreaming of world peace

    blogging on xanga.com :



    / ) http://www.pobox.com/~shh ( \ / /| weblog: http://www.xanga.com/sean808080 |\ / / | aol IM: sean808080 | \ \ _( (_ | http://sean808080.iuma.com | _) )_ (((\ \>| /->________mai
    I smoke Crack! (4.00 / 1) (#235)
    by jabber on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 12:17:39 PM EST

    And afterwards, I moderate on Slashdot.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

    What's your secret vice? | 238 comments (237 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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