Total Immersion Hobbies before Discovering Ukulele

Wiggy

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
1,278
Points
113
- Recorded Music. Collected over 60+ years. Well over 2000 "choice-picked and clean" 45s. About 1500 LPs I have chosen to keep. CDs that are worth preserving are well beyond the 2000 mark. Priceless. This continues to this day.

- Lionel Trains. On eBay every day and night for about 3 years until I reached diminishing returns. Abruptly stopped, played "sort and toss." Some to the trash, and the rest to Goodwill. I still have the layout and "all the best I could afford" to run on it.

What stopped me was the "next level" which was about 3x-10x the price I was accustomed to spending. I need no more. What I have kept all look and function fine. I still enjoy running them.

- Parallel to all the above was being a DJ from 1978-2020.

After the cost of media, equipment, and vehicles to haul it all in I never made a dime, but damn It was fun.

SARS-CoV-2 ended all that. It ain't coming back.

I have a garage full of powered Yamaha and Electro-Voice tops and subs along with what we now call "vintage" cabinets and amps. Fortunately, I live on 10 acres and can chase the spiders out of the cabinets whenever I want. Also in the garage are 45s, CDs, and LPs. No cars allowed!

Ukuleles (finally):

I find that I spend every moment I can futzing around with 'em. I am at the same "3x-10x" price point. That "next level" is $600 and up but it's unlikely I'll be going there. The ukes I already have sound and play good to me and I still have a lot to learn.

However... I still catch myself ogling and drooling and can't be responsible for what I may do with the next $300 in my pocket.

<edit> Oh, and motorcycles; since I was 15... too long to post.
 
Last edited:

bbkobabe

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
889
Points
93
First: Take a look at my post in the SHAMELESS PROMOTIONS thread... then come back.

We'll wait... you'll see what I'm talking about...

I've gone fully down the hole and into wonderland with bead making!

I've made several thousands of beads from tiny bits of gems and minerals over the course of 20 years... dozens of necklaces and bracelets.

One at a time, they demand total attention... total concentration for those minutes... repeat... hour after hour.

Then: Pre-shape. Drill. Grind and shape. Polish. Sort. String. Market.
IMG_0505.JPG
I'm now into Ukulele well over 1000 hours, playing and instructing, over three years.

The Beads?

Many times that...
 
OP
OP
Wiggy

Wiggy

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
1,278
Points
113
First: Take a look at my post in the SHAMELESS PROMOTIONS thread... then come back.

We'll wait... you'll see what I'm talking about...

I've gone fully down the hole and into wonderland with bead making!

I've made several thousands of beads from tiny bits of gems and minerals over the course of 20 years... dozens of necklaces and bracelets.

One at a time, they demand total attention... total concentration for those minutes... repeat... hour after hour.

Then: Pre-shape. Drill. Grind and shape. Polish. Sort. String. Market.
View attachment 145282
I'm now into Ukulele well over 1000 hours, playing and instructing, over three years.

The Beads?

Many times that...
Sent a PM on my wife's behalf :)
 

LorenFL

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
474
Points
63
My hobbies have always been car and computer related, and when the two can come together, even better!

I was unintentionally introduced to old British sports cars when my Mom traded her 1976 Dodge pickup truck for a 1973 Triumph Spitfire when I was in high school around 1983. Why? Because she'd gotten seriously into selling Avon, and needed a "small car" that got better gas mileage! Prior to that, I knew nothing of sports cars and probably had never even been close to one. I learned to drive stickshift in that car, and after I wrecked it (twice) and the insurance company took it, she told me that she'd planned to give it to me when I graduated high school. Oops.

That planted the seed for me. A few years later, I was in the USAF, and bought another Spitfire. Spend a bunch of time and money over a few years trying to do an engine swap on it. I did succeed in putting a V6 in it, and got to drive it a few times, but it had issues that I never had time to get sorted because I ended up getting divorced and selling it.

A few years later still, I discovered the sport of autocross. That was the start of a "full immersion" hobby. I competed in at least one autocross every month from 1994 until 2020. Drove Mazda Miatas for most of that time. And I also did a lot of track events at various race tracks around the country, and did some amateur wheel-to-wheel racing for a while. COVID was what finally broke me of those habits! I finally sold my latest Miata a few weeks ago. (but, my wife still has one!)

My computer hobby led me to a string of computer jobs. IT, network admin, database admin, programming, web design, graphic design, etc. My autocross hobby crossed with the computer hobby when I started an autocross club with a friend... website, event registration system, results management system, etc.

And all of that led to my current job of being a driving instructor. I own the business with my former autocross club partner, manage the website, the online scheduler, etc, etc.

I bought my first ukulele about 12 years ago and plunked around with it here and there, but would sometimes go for a month or more without touching it. When COVID hit, I started taking it a lot more seriously. I don't know that it's "full immersion", but it's probably as close as I have at present. I do play nearly every day. "Play" being a term that I use lightly! But, I enjoy it, and my wife doesn't complain... so, it must not be too bad.
 

Ziret

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
2,162
Points
113
- Recorded Music. Collected over a 60+ years. Well over 2000 "choice-picked and clean" 45s. About 1500 LPs I have chosen to keep. CDs that are worth preserving are well beyond the 2000 mark. Priceless. This continues to this day.

- Lionel Trains. On eBay every day and night for about 3 years until I reached diminishing returns. Abruptly stopped, played "sort and toss." Some to the trash, and the rest to Goodwill. I still have the layout and "all the best I could afford" to run on it.

What stopped me was the "next level" which was about 3x-10x the price I was accustomed to spending. I need no more. What I have kept all look and function fine. I still enjoy running them.

- Parallel to all the above was being a DJ from 1978-2020.

After the cost of media, equipment, and vehicles to haul it all in I never made a dime, but damn It was fun.

SARs-CoV-2 ended all that. It ain't coming back.

I have a garage full of powered Yamaha and Electro-Voice tops and subs along with what we now call "vintage" cabinets and amps. Fortunately, I live on 10 acres and can chase the spiders out of the cabinets whenver I want. Also in the garage are 45s, CDs, and LPs. No cars allowed!

Ukuleles (finally):

I find that I spend every moment I can futzing around with 'em. I am at the same "3x-10x" price point. That "next level" is $600 and up but it's unlikely I'll be going there. The ukes I already have sound and play good to me and I still have a lot to learn.

However... I still catch myself ogling and drooling and can't be responsible for what I may do with the next $300 in my pocket.

<edit> Oh, and motorcycles; since I was 15... too long to post.
Hahahaha. I remember when I had a $600 price limit. Good luck, Wiggy.
 

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
Started playing guitar in 1965 when I was fifteen and continued until 2013 when I started playing ukulele, and a year later bass uke. Started doing photography in 1970 when I was 19, carried on with that both professionally and casually, and in 2007 became the staff photographer for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic/Big Band of Barristers/Legal Voice Chorus to this day. In the early 1980s I learned to play harmonica from Lyle Waggoner (Carol Burnett Show) when I was a propman at Paramount Studios, and blues harp from a young actor on another TV show a few weeks later. Play it for a few songs every other Sunday when we meet on the patio of a sandwich shop.

In 1985 I bought my first computer and out grew it within 6 months, when I bought a Macintosh, seeing how much better it was than anything else out there. It became an avocation, as well as a part time vocation with training, support and designing software for companies as an efficiency expert since then. I officially retired that a few years ago, but still help friends and a couple of previous clients.

From about 1990 until a year ago February I was the property manager for my parent's 3 apartment buildings until mom passed in February 2021 at 99 when I was 71, and my 2 bothers and I inherited the properties. I retired early at 62 with some health issues caused by radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1973, I hired a property management company shortly before she passed, which freed me to focus on playing and shooting. In 2010 I video taped my nephews wedding and continue to do videos, like for my uke group using Final Cut Pro editing app.
 
Last edited:

tonyturley

Active member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
706
Points
43
Darn guys, I thought I was obsessed with my hobbies, but my activities through the years pale in comparison. I built and flew model airplanes for over 30 years, and still have a lot of stuff on display in my workshop. I've dabbled in computers here and there, and have a decent amount of woodworking equipment, which leads to my still active pursuit of building ukuleles and making bowls from pieces of logs I reclaim from downed trees. I have also long enjoyed woodland hiking and biking, and always have a camera of some sort with me. For a few years my gear lust for cameras and lenses was a thing, but I've culled my digital gear to just a couple of cameras and lenses that I use, and I kept a few old film cameras just to display on my shelves. My newest activity is remodeling our basement, which means culling through scads of boxes of "stuff" from decades of hobbies and kids' activities. That also means ruthlessly dealing with hundreds of hardback sci-fi novels I've collected over the last 40 years.
 

kerneltime

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
1,993
Points
113
I will skip my teenage years as that was a complete waste, except for learning some crucial computer-related skills, pedigree, and intuition. Once I started earning money, I was bit by the photography bug, was ok at it not great, started on canon, and ended with a Fuji before iPhone and convenience killed that hobby. Cycling was one of my best endeavors. Did a few 75-mile rides and built my own titanium bike from parts, was very satisfying and the bike is pretty good. Fear of accidents and change of logistics around commute put a stop to that along with adding 25 pounds. Picked up the ukulele thanks to a Makala dolphin and Yousician app. Learned I like the sound of notes and it tickles me deep. Still going strong…
 

uketorik

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
439
Points
93
I always find that there’s something admirable and almost noble when someone dedicate themselves completely to something they love, whether it’s a hobby, or a skill they’re trying to master. I think the ukulele qualifies as both… so salute to the uke obsessives! 😁😁😁
 

ploverwing

Duck Wrangler and Rabbit Herder
Staff member
UU VIP
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
1,424
Points
113
I did drawing, painting, then printmaking for a number of years (you can see my printmaking here). Couldn't stand the smell of my inks while I was pregnant and just never got back to it; the studio converted to a feed and equipment dump and I had no desire to make it back into a studio (which still houses a full sized litho/etching combo press under piles of other stuff). I'd learned to crochet in my late teens and that took over from printmaking for a while (learning how to make amigurumi toys for my daughter when she was little). I wanted to make more clothing, and did quite a few crochet clothing (sweaters, dresses and skirts), but wasn't satisfied entirely with the results. Then I taught myself to knit about 6 or so years ago. Winter is my knitting time, I knit a sweater a month, approximately. I hate boring knitting, I prefer lace, colour work (like Norwegian or Icelandic style, for example), and cable (like Aran style), or interesting construction techniques. Ukulele is very recent, just a few months.

I was briefly fixated with learning mandolin, soap making, African drumming. I still make herbal stuff (tea, honey, salve, tincture) for us but I did go through a more fixated phase of that for a while, too.
 

Larry U

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
1,013
Points
83
Other than ukuleles (and now guitar), I've had a few hobbies that consumed a substantial portion of my daily activities.

Up until a couple of years ago, I was heavily into West African drumming (djembe, dunun, etc.) and was taking in-person lessons from several African teachers, playing for dance classes, attending festivals/camps, and generally making a lot of fun noise! Once COVID hit, the in-person activities came to a screeching halt. I quickly found that playing a drum by myself is not very satisfying and the drums went back on the shelf (where they still are). As I'm aging, I'm also finding that intense, physical activities (playing djembe for a dance class is a helluva workout!) are becoming less desirable, so it looks like my drumming days are behind me.

A few years back, I got seriously into fountain pen collecting. I have a pretty substantial collection now of both vintage and new fountain pens. I use them every day and still enjoy them, but I'm reducing my collection and selling off most of the vintage pens. I'll keep a few special vintage pens, but for the most part, I'll just keep and use some of the nicer modern pens.

Another acquisition hobby is vintage safety razors and shaving gear. Over the years, I've collected probably 40-50 double- and single-edged safety razors and an equal number of shaving brushes. The brushes have all been personally restored with new bristles and returned to usable condition. I have stopped hunting for new items, though, since I'm running out of room, quality items are getting harder (and more expensive) to find, and I can only use so many! The ones in my collection all get used regularly but I can't see adding any more. The collection will stay but I've got no plans to make it grow.
 
Last edited:

ploverwing

Duck Wrangler and Rabbit Herder
Staff member
UU VIP
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
1,424
Points
113
I quickly found that playing a drum by myself is not very satisfying and the drums went back on the shelf (where they still are). As I'm aging, I'm also finding that intense, physical activities (playing djembe for a dance class is a helluva workout!) are becoming less desirable, so it looks like my drumming days are behind me.
Yes to all of this. If covid hadn't shut down my drumming instruction and opportunities to play with dancers, I probably wouldn't be on this forum. Djembe is pretty hard on my already injured thumb, too: I have an old injury to my tendon that doesn't love percussive action (like I can't use a hammer or chop wood for long), and it's not flexible enough to completely avoid that hard wood rim of the djembe (despite a lot of work to do so). But I just kept doing it because I really loved it. I miss drumming a lot.

Oh yeah, I also did tap dancing for two years then covid hit and I've not gone back. I was fully into that fixation too, and have a pair of $300 taps to prove it. And Asian archery... But I injured my shoulder shovelling snow last year and haven't been able to get back to it yet.

Unh.
 

actadh

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
2,061
Points
48
My fixation was kick scooting. Started with a Razor A5, and had quite a nice collection of different styles of scooters. My favorite was a Sbyke A20. Rode most days and really enjoyed it. Contributed to a website as a reviewer. Then work and health issues made it difficult to ride.
 

captain-janeway

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,167
Points
63
Modifying mopeds. No one works on those little two stroke engines anymore. I'm involved with people all over the US who do this for fun to see how fast they can go (we're talking 45 mph instead of 25 lol). There are rallies all over the country. Picture 150 of them going over the Golden Gate Bridge. People walking on the side rails get a good laugh out of it.
Tearing them up is really meditative. You have to do it lot. Our motto is Mopeds Mo Problems.22.jpg
 

Jan D

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
2,834
Points
113
I‘ve had a number of obsessions over the years, many of them life-long, and some of them still active.

Reading: Life-long avid reader since childhood.
Music: Listening to and singing along with music, and playing musical instruments. Piano from the age of four; guitar during high school and university years. Discovered the celtic harp in my 40’s (definitely my deepest ongoing obsession). Plus a myriad of other instruments throughout the years that include the plucked psaltery, bowed psaltery (totally unrelated to plucked version), and hammered dulcimer. Added ukulele to the collection about five years ago.
Singing: Barbershop chorus in my 20’s, community chorus in my 60’s, singing along with recorded music - always.
Dancing: Life-long love of dancing. Discovered recreational folk dancing in my early 30’s, then joined a performance troupe that specialized in traditional dances from Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, and Croatia. In my early 40’s, I found myself single and living in Santa Barbara, California. Joined forces with another folk dancer and started learning a wide variety of couples dancing. For the next twelve years, we danced every night of the week. Wherever there was good dance music, we were there. In addition to folk dancing, we did contra dancing, west coast swing, east coast swing, cajun, zydeco, nightclub 2-step, country & western 2-step, country line dancing, clogging, and ballroom. Best years of my life.
Travel: Have always loved travel. Over a twenty year period (1975-1995), I had the good fortune to visit England, France, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Italy, Greece, Israel, Yugoslavia, parts of Bulgaria, and Turkey.
Photography: Was obsessed with photography in my 20’s and 30’s. Stopped cold-turkey when I realized I was experiencing my life (especially my travels) though a viewfinder, and missing the bigger picture - literally.
Bread (in any form): Another life-long obsession/addiction. :)
 
Last edited:

clear

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
1,568
Points
113
Total immersion hobbies --

'93-'99 surfing every single weekend; skipping work when necessary. I started by describing it as cheap downhill skiing; I ended by calling it the ultimate of everything. It brought me to Hawaii for the first time in '96. It's the first hobby that left permanent marks on my body.

'00-'02 mountain biking every single weekend. Made a trip to Moab. Close encounter with ghost and stuff. First major concussion. Waiting for my 30th bday so I can race in the masters division. Lost a lot of skin: you know, when you ski and fall, sometimes you wonder when you'll stop as you slide down the snow/icy hill; well, its the same with mountain bike except the hill is covered with rocks and gravel. Marked up my body good (mostly legs and arms).

'02-'07 shooting guns every single weekend. In chronological order: steel challenge, IPSC/USPSA, NRA smallbore pistol and rifle silhouettes, ATA trap, NRA high power, IDPA, NRA bullseye. Shooting is the safest sport; it's the only thing here that didn't put permanent mark on my body.

'07-'10 riding motorcycles every single weekend; skipping work when necessary. Good to have 5 race tracks within driving distances; dying to join amateur racing. First time ever breaking a bone (followed by many more), first time riding an ambulance, first time coming too close to death, first time knowing what true fun really is. First time ever loved life more than life itself. First time ever everything. To go fast and be in control is a wonderful feeling.

Not sure if the ukulele is total immersion hobby for me.