Monday, March 24, 2014

My other hobby

I'm going to tell you what my other hobby is, but first I want to go through the other hobbies that people guessed in the weekend contest.  I'll also give my thoughts on your guesses.

1.  Woodworking (3 people guessed this one)--way too labor intensive and I don't have the patience for it. I'd love to have those skills, but anyone that knows me personally would say, "No, not him."

2.  Model Rockets (1 guess)--I thought the movie October Sky was good, but not my cup of tea.  Tea isn't my hobby either.

3.  Noodling (1 guess)--I know what noodling is and although I love a good plate of fried catfish, I AM NOT sticking my arm down the mouth of one.

4.  Model ship/sub building (2 guesses)--Again, two detail oriented, but I would love to have a model of my submarine in a bottle.

5.  Jetskiing (1)--Nope.  I'm not a thrill junkie although I've ridden on a SeaDoo a couple of times.

6.  Plastic models (1)--My son went through a phase where he wanted to build models so I helped them.  Too much detail for me.  Plus, I have big clumsy fingers so those small pieces drove me nuts.

7.  Stamp collecting (6)--This was the most popular hobby for you guys to guess. Someone bought me a stamp collecting kit when I was a kid.  It had a whole bunch of stamps in it, but once I discovered it didn't have that upside down airplane stamp that was worth a bazillion dollars in it, the whole kit ended up in the back of my closet.

8.  Rodeo clowning (1)--I may live in Texas, but I don't do rodeos, I don't have a cowboy hat and I haven't been near a horse since I was a kid.  I've ridden more elephants and camels in my life than horses.

9.  Comic book collecting (1)--I had a good sized collection of comics when I was a kid, but I didn't take good care of them.  I swapped them around with a few other guys and after awhile I got tired of them.  I briefly got back into comics in the early 1990's, but it didn't last long.

10. Collecting vintage 45s (1)--By the time I started buying my own music, it was all cassette tapes for me.  Up until a year or so ago, I had about 300 old 45s, but they belonged to my wife's mother and weren't worth anything.  I tried to sell them for her, but couldn't get anything for them.

11. Sailing (1)--Way to expensive and I spend enough time UNDER the water, I don't need to be on it now.

12. Home brewing (1)--I'm not much of a drinker.  I have maybe 6 beers a year.  My father was an alcoholic and while he didn't touch a beer for the last 20 years of his life, I saw it enough of the bad side as a youngster that I just avoided it for the most part.

13. Old school video games (1)--I played Modern Warfare 3 so much I was sacrificing sleep.  Once I got tired of that I pretty much stopped playing altogether.  Sleep is more important.

14. Archery (1)--Nope.  I do think Darrell is pretty bad-ass with that crossbow on The Walking Dead.

15. Military figures (1)--No, but I like this one.  I'd do the Civil War re-enactment set up I think, but I could never paint those little figures.  I still have those big clumsy fingers.

16. Hunting (2)--I did hunt some when I was younger.  My dad was a hunter and we ate what he killed.  I don't hunt anymore and haven't been hunting in over 20 years.

17. Model cars (1)--This could have been lumped in with #6 above, but it was a bit more specific.  I still don't do it.

18. Beer bottle caps (1)--See #12 above.  I have seen a picnic table that was covered with 100's of beer bottle caps.  It was very interesting.

19. Plane spotting (1)--No.  I don't know what else to say about this one.  I once saw three F-16 fighters doing refueling exercises and that was cool.

20. R/C cars (1)--My kids have a couple of R/C cars, but nothing fancy.

21. Fishing (2)--I take the boys fishing from time to time, but I'm not very good at it so they don't have much interest.  I did catch a fish thisssssssssssssssss big once.

22. Cooking (3)--I didn't consider this one, but I love to cook.  I cook about 95% of the meals in my house and if I could afford to go to culinary school, I would.  I don't have any interest in cooking professionally,  but I do like to try new stuff.  Since I do this one out of obligation as well, I don't consider it a hobby.

23. Political memorabilia (1)--This one intrigues me, but I can't afford to start something new.

24. Historical stuff (1)--This one came the closest to be correct, but missed out on the real action.

25. Die cast cars (2)--I have a big box of Hot Wheels that belonged to my boys and I won't get rid of them. They have all been played with so it's not like they are worth anything, but I have so many good memories associated with playing with them and the boys that I want to keep them.

26. Action Figures (1)--See #25.  We still have all my older son's Star Wars figures.

27. Spelunking (1)--See #5.  I'm too big a wuss.  I didn't get claustrophobic on the submarine, but I don't want to go down into some cave.

28. Painting (1)--I'm the least artistic person I know.  We did paint my son's room last week, but I hated it and I'm sure that's not what the guesser meant.

29. Collecting autographs (1)--I was very into collecting autographs for awhile.  I requested many autos TTM from celebrities back in the 90's and sometimes got lucky enough to get some in person.  I posted many of those back in 2012.  I don't do that anymore, but here is a link to my favorite.

30. Taxidermy (2)--Eww, seriously?  So gross.

31. Guitar (1)--I wish I could play the guitar AND the piano.  I would need a Bill Murray Groundhog Day type experience for that to ever happen.

32. Photography (1)--I have a really nice Nikon camera I got for my 40th birthday.  Like the guitar, I'd love to be able to amazing photos, but I need the Groundhog Day experience.  I really enjoy taking pictures, but I don't consider it a hobby.  Maybe I should.

33. Yo-Yos (1)--Walking the dog is not for me.  I've had yo-yos over the years, but I always got frustrated with them before I learned how to do anything.

34. Bird watching (1)--No patience for that.

35. Model trains (2)--I always liked the idea of model trains and I've seen some amazing displays, but I don't have the proper space for my cards so I sure don't have room for a track layout.

36. Bicycling (1)--I have a bike.  I ride my bike.  I don't like riding my bike.  I should ride my bike more.

37. Military patches (1)--Now your talking.  I don't collect military patches, but I may start.  I like that idea a lot.

38. Old movies (1)--I like movies and my two favorite movies of all time are Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan.  I don't collect movies though.  My youngest son always gives me grief for liking stuff from the "1900's".  He was born in 2002.

39. Belt buckles (1)--See #8 above.  I love Texas and other than the slight hiccup that caused my birth to take place in Minnesota, I consider myself a Texan.  I don't do boots, cowboy hats or big Texas belt buckles.

40. Rodeo (1)--See #39.

41. Boffering (1)--I have to be honest, I thought this was a joke and an attempt to get me to do a search for a NSFW activity while I was at work.  I now know what this is and I do not do it.

42. Miltaria (1)--This might have fit in with a couple of others, but I thought it deserved it's own line.  I could see getting into collecting Miltaria items.  If it wasn't for all the things I have to spend my money on like the mortgage and food.

43. Knife collecting (1)--Never thought much about this one.  I have a few old pocketknives from my dad and grandpa, but I keep those because they have some sentimental value.

44. Elongated pennies (1)--My two boys went through a phase where they wanted elongated pennies from any tourist destination we might happen to see.  I remember they got quite a few of these at Disney World. I never got into them myself and they probably couldn't tell you where any of their pennies are located.

45.  LAST, but NOT LEAST!  R/C Airplane/Helicopter (1)--Time and money would prevent me from this one even if I wanted to do it.

I got involved in my other hobby back in early 1995.  I was a 24 year old, single college student.  I started the hobby because of something I witnessed one day in 1994 while I was still in the Navy stationed in Hawaii.  My friend's dad came to visit from California.  He brought a metal detector with him and in about 4 hours of hunting the beach, he found over $500 worth of gold jewelry.  I thought, wow, that was easy.

I didn't have time to pick up the hobby then, but when my enlistment was up and I went home, I had the time and money to get started.

 I've owned three different metal detectors in my life.  This is the one I currently own and I've had it since 1996.  I detected quiet a bit from 1995 to 1998.  I slowed down a bit and stopped altogether once my oldest son was born in 2000.  I didn't really have the time anymore and didn't go out at all until my younger son showed an interest in early 2013.  His interest quickly waned, but my interest was renewed and I've been doing it on and of again for the last year.

These are a few of the better coins I've found.  The two 1964 silver half dollars were in the same hole.  The Standing Liberty Quarter is from the 1920's.  The Barber dime is from 1915 and the Indian Head Penny is from 1894.

I've found almost $1000 in coins.  I ususally clean and cash in the regular coins, but I keep all the old silver coins and old pennies.

This is what a silver quarter looks like when you dig it up.

One of the highlights of the hobby is when you find a piece of jewelry.  Especially when it's gold.  This is a great sight.  

This the gold ring from the earlier picture.  I've found a bit of gold jewelry, mostly in my early years of detecting.  I sold most of it back when gold was at $1700/ounce.

Metal detecting is generally seen as an old man's hobby, but that's a bit of a stereotype.  The best thing I ever found was a great friend and hunting partner named Jack.  He was retired and we would go out hunting a couple of days a week.  When he passed away, I took it really hard and that was another reason I quit the hobby for so long.

I get just as excited when I find an old silver coin as I do when I pull a Rangers hit from a pack.  Generally, the silver coin is actually worth more than the hit anyway.

So that's my other hobby.  I like it because it gives me some quiet time.  It can be rewarding if you get lucky and it's decent exercise too.


  1. That is awesome -- mainly because I bought a metal detector a couple of years ago myself with the idea of it becoming a hobby for me as well. My detector isn't very good and doesn't get much use, though.

  2. Now there's a whole new spin on coin collecting!! very cool.

  3. I could move to Texas !
    I had one once, lent it to a friend and haven't seen either since!
    I would like to get another one.

  4. Interesting. I thought only people in '70s cartoons did that.

  5. You will have to keep us posted on your newest finds

  6. I've always had an interest in meta detecting. I've had a plan for at least 25 years now to buy a detector. I haven't researched them in awhile. But, back in the 90's when I first became interested, There was this $2,000.00 WHITE detector that "was to be" so awesome. I never bought one, thus never got into the hobby itself, but like scoring a71 in a round of golf, one day it will happen (the metal detecting anyways) Heck, I'd be happy shooting in the 90s, LOL.

  7. Cool hobby, I have thought about getting into it several times. Where are your favorite places to hunt? My buddies brother did it for a while and I remember him finding a really nice ring, I think that is what got me interested.

  8. awesome. I've always wanted to do that... but the sad fact is the area I live in isn't that old and there wouldn't be much to find.

    I need to move.

    That, and I'm not sure how well they work through three feet of snow. In April... yeeeeshh.

  9. Nice one, seems cool to find old coins in the ground that are a few hundred years old !

  10. A couple of my co-workers have metal detectors and use them quite often. Living here in Richmond, Virginia, there are plenty of Civil War battlegrounds that are on privately owned land that they find all kinds of stuff (bullets, cannonballs, buttons, beltbuckles and even old coins). They've tried to get me into it but I already have one expensive hobby!

  11. Ok, that is very cool! You should definately dedicate some posts to your finds as you unearth them.

  12. I thought about trying that but I AM an old man and wouldn't want to affirm the stereotype. ;-)

  13. I was right in my initial guess, well sort of. I said that your third hobby was something we had in common and I was right, but I picked the wrong one. Actually I gave up on metal detecting mainly because I wasn't finding anything worth anything. I did find a Hot Wheels police car from the 70s and the clicker thing off of a BB gun. The rest was a bunch of pull tabs, so I got frustrated. I lost the detector in a move and never replaced it. I might look into starting back up before too long. I could use the exercise.