Are you a hobby hopper?

I must confess. I am a hobby hopper. What’s that? It’s a person who has many hobbies that focuses on one for a period of time and then loses interest and moves on to another of his/her hobbies.

The reason for loss of interest can vary. You can get tired of it or, in my case, something triggers your interest in another of your hobbies and you drop one and move to the other. The trigger could be a magazine article or a friend who shares that hobby asks you how things are going. It’s a vicious cycle for someone like me who has the monetary resources to deep dive into a hobby. I go full on. Let me explain.

most of my guitars

Hobby #1 – Guitar and music. I have a full home recording studio set up. I’ve been making and recording music for decades. I can pretty much put out my own album or EP given the time. I have drums, bass, keyboards and multiple guitars at my disposal. I’ve wrote and recorded many songs, some released to Soundcloud. I have recorded a full band in my house. I am a member of a couple of recording and mixing groups. The idea was to turn this hobby into a side business. I am currently not involved in this hobby.

Hobby #2 – Five years ago my wife and I had a date that included a gun handling class. We loved it. If you’ve never done something like this, I suggest you do. We took a class that goes over gun safety and lets you shoot a number of different weapons. It was enlightening and enjoyable. Up to that point I had never owned a gun and only shot one when a friend invited me to the gun range. After the class I bought a pistol and began visiting the gun range. I then bought a rifle, those not in the know would call it an AR15 but AR DOES NOT stand for assault rifle. It stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. So get your shit straight. And I haven’t been to the gun range in 4 years now. I am not a member of the NRA and I support background checks (we have these in Texas) before allowing someone to buy a gun. I am not currently involved in this hobby.

Hobby #3 – writing. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Writing is hard. Similar to writing lyrics being hard. I’ve competed in NaNoWriMo a few times but I’ve never completed the challenge. You can tell when I’m in a writing mode, I resubscribe to Writers Digest magazine and I re-read a number of “How to” books. But I never sit and take the time to write consistently. I have many many book ideas and I’ve got outlines (I’m not a pantser) but I’ve yet to complete more than 1/4 of a book.

Hobby #4 – comic books. I purchase and read comic books monthly. I’ve been doing it since 1982 (I took a 5 year hiatus at one point) and before that as a pre-teen. Sadly those books from my pre-teen years are gone, sold in a thrift store. But since 1982 I have been a collector and I have an extensive collection. As of this post I have just over 16,000 comics. I have a room in my house for this. I am actively involved in this hobby.

1966 Batman Lego set

Hobby #5 – Toy collecting. Going hand in hand with the comic book collecting is comic related toy collecting. This includes building Legos. I have a collection of 1966 Batman toys and statues. I love the Batman TV series that aired in 1966-1969. At one time I had a number of action figures from comics, Star Trek and Star Wars. I also have a few years worth of Hot Wheels collected. I still have many of these in boxes in closets. I have a small collection of Starting Lineup Hockey figures as well. Some are worth some money. I guess in retirement I can start selling some of these off.

Rock and Roll Over Vans

Hobby #6 – KISS. I am a KISS fan and I have a fairly decent collection of KISS paraphernalia. Including vinyl records, posters, toys, magazine and books. I’ve got a bunch. I tried to sell my collection at one point a year ago. The person bailed on me. I’ve since decided to keep everything I have and I’ve slowed down on the KISS purchases. Selectively participating in this hobby.

Hobby #7 – Vinyl record albums. I have started listening to and purchasing record albums again. I have a turntable and a small stereo that allows me the ability to listen to records again like I did as a teen. I still have 60% of my collection from my early years. Sadly I let go of a number of great original albums and I’m now in the process of rebuilding what I lost. I find myself listening to albums now more than my iTunes collection (which is huge). I am currently involved in this hobby.

Hobby #8 – photography. I’ve had a camera in my hands starting around 7th grade. I have pictures from my early teen years all the way up to today. I’ve chronicled most of mine and my families life. Of course this got infinitely easier with the coming of camera phones. But lately I’ve been getting into using my DSLR more and plan to do portrait photography, Macro photography and sports photography, combining the toy hobby with photography. I am actively working this hobby and have purchased a number of items to set up a home portrait studio. I’ve re-learned the tools and methods. I just need to start practicing this. I’ve always enjoyed photography so this is another area I’d like to turn into a side business during retirement.

So there you have it. I’ve been known to rotate through one or two of these every few months or so. For example the writing bug usually hits in October as I think about participating in NaNoWriMo. The photography bug hit a month ago when I started looking into photographing Toys. That expanded to portraiture. As I mentioned before, I have the financial resources that allow me to go and buy things like lenses and studio lights, and toys and record albums.

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