Stuff you do...

Music isn't the only thing I do. I have a plethora of interests, so many in fact that some might say I'm distractible. I'm going to list just a few of my favorite pastimes, then rate myself on how good I am at them. I encourage you to do the same in the comments, and be honest with yourself..

     Reading: I read a lot. If you have a conversation with me, you'll realize that I retain large amounts of useless information from all the reading I do. Does that mean I'm good at reading? I'd like to think so but maybe I'm just good at regurgitating useless information.

     Sailing/Boating/SCUBA diving/aqua type stuff: Any of you who know me know that I'm a bit on the obsessive side about boating and all things water related. I have accumulated...err...collected a number of small vessels and I spend as much time on the water, in the water, and under the water as possible. I blame my upbringing. Giving a kid a marine environment to spend 6 weeks on every summer and then land-locking him for the rest of the year creates such monsters, especially when that kid is given to daydreaming and singing sea chanties. Am I good at it? I'd like to think so. I've always made it back to land, so far anyway, and no one has been seriously injured on my adventures. I still enjoy almost every minute of it, even diving in dark murky water and crawling into tight spots to fix stuff. 

     Bicycling: I love biking, especially mountain biking. The freedom of cruising along a back road with almost zero emissions, at least none from the vehicle, or flying along a single track trail in the woods just can't be beat. It gets even better when your son and your dog join you. To watch the joy of a dog running with his boy on a bike is one of the greatest things any parent can enjoy. Am I good at biking? I guess I'm okay. I don't crash often and I haven't caused property damage to anyone else's property so I'm gonna go with a yes on that one. 

     Fishing/Hunting: Yes, I fish and hunt. I occasionally catch a fish and my shotgun gets a good airing out every once in awhile. I find as I slowly get older that I tend to fish more and hunt less. My success in both categories is about the same as it's always been, except for when I was a kid. One of my cousins and I religiously fished during early morning times when we were kids. We came back with stringers full of pike and bass, fueled up with the hope that next time it would be a muskie on that stringer. I'm pretty sure I used up all my fishing karma by the time I was 11 or 12. That's okay, though. As I tell my son, there's a reason that they call is fishing and not catching. I recently took up recreational lobster fishing. I love it, and I love lobster. While I haven't caught tons of lobsters, I've caught enough and I really enjoy it. I've done recreational scallop diving in the past and I plan to do that again, soon. Scallops are good. 

     Hiking/Camping: I love hiking and camping. As with the aqua stuff and the hunting and fishing stuff, it really comes down to being outside and communing with nature. The views from the top of a mountain peak you just hiked are incredible, the feeling of waking up in a tent is unique, especially after listening to the wild animals wandering around outside you tent, and the open feeling of my soul I get from cooking outside, sleeping outside, and being outside just inspire me and center me. I think a lot about living intentionally. Can you live more intentionally than when you're living out of your backpack, carrying all your supplies, figuring out exactly what you need so that you're not carrying any more weight that what's necessary? Maybe you can and maybe I'll find out how one day but I haven't yet. 

     Fixing Stuff: I love fixing stuff. Engines, motors, bicycles, cars, boats, locked name it, I'm usually willing to tear it apart to see how it works. I'm not always great at getting stuff back together, as the 6 horsepower Evinrude in a box in my shop will attest, but it was fun getting apart. Yeah, I know I said this category was fixing stuff, not just tearing it apart. It's on my list. Get off my back....the sound of an engine firing back to life after you've fixed it is incredible. I used to have a '71 VW Bus and I learned so much about mechanics while I had that. I had to. No one else knew how to work on them. Say what you will about German engineering, as I've heard many a mechanic grumble about German cars and I also owned an '83 Mercedes 300 Turbo Diesel, if you take a deep breath and think of it from a different perspective, the German cars make sense. So did and old Volvo I had and every Subaru I've had (the famous Subaru horizontally opposed boxer engine is basically an old VW air cooled engine that's been water cooled and fuel injected. The water cooling allowed for heat and that, as well as some great AWD capabilities, is why Subaru took over the old hippy market from VW in colder climates, like Maine). It's not just engines and stuff I like fixing, I've also taken doors off hinges, fixed locks and windows, replaced wiring and sockets, and I actually enjoy plumbing. I've done construction and I enjoy it but not as much as just handyman fixing stuff. Am I good at any of this stuff? Depends on the project but I'd like to think that I'm pretty decent at most of, at least decent enough for a part-time, recreational fixit guy. And tools are fun, especially my angle grinder (my favorite power tool).

     Petting my dog: My dog insists that I pet him, almost all the time, so not only has it become a past time, I must be pretty good at it.

     Beer: I do like a frosty beer now and again. 

So what do you enjoy doing? Does it matter if you're good at it or not? Can you think of anything I've left off?