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A Place Where You Can Rant About Your Current Special Interest!

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Yeshuasdaughter, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    Just like the title says, post as much as you like all about your current or past special interests!

    Go ahead, spill all of it!

    Can't wait to read all about it!
     
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  2. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    A big current special interest is medicinal trees. Especially oak trees. The tannins in oak leaves are such powerful medicine for bleeding, coughs, or tummy troubles. They are good for rashes and other skin problems.

    I'm also really fascinated by poisonous plants. I've been studying medicinal and edible plants for over twenty years, and although I learned to avoid the poisonous look-alikes, and learned why to avoid them, I never studied the poisonous plants in any depth.

    I'm in love with foxglove (digitalis), belladonna, and water hemlock right now. I want to learn all about them and other poisonous plants. I want to know everything about them, and their related plants. I want to know about the regions they come from and how to grow them. I want to know about their seeds, and their life cycle.

    I especially find it fascinating that certain extracts or sythetics of the plants can be made into life saving pharmaceuticals, or diluted so much that they can treat home ailments as homeopathic drugs.

    It's just so weird and wonderful, all the plants of God's creation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  3. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    My current special interest is Moroccan Trilobites. Two and a half years ago I went on a trip through the Anti-Atlas with a bunch of geologists or educated amateurs. There I met a young preparator starting in the business. My goal is to get at least one genus of trilobite from each family from the Ordovician and Devonian. So I have been purchasing from him and gifted a microabrasion tool so he could do even better work. Once complete, a local college will get the collection.

    My latest acquisition, a Quadrops flexulosa. received_480526679868716.jpeg
     
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  4. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    I rather enjoy those biochemical shadows of the evolutionary arms race between immobile plants and the mobile, voracious, animals that feed off them. And look how the Monarch butterfly utilizes milkweed toxins to punish any bird that would dare eat one, saving countless others through learned avoidance.
     
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  5. James45

    James45 James

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    Mine is trading future contract spreads on yield curves going deep into that at the minute, anything pretty abstract and complicated seems to relax me.

    Does anybody else get really deeply engaged with a topic and then seem to just drop it and do the same again? Generally I go a few years with one and then move onto to something else...although I will never lose my interest in maps and random lists of prices...
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am a serial skill learner. Drawing painting, spinning, weaving, knitting book binding, shoe making, historical costume, enamel on copper, glass molding, silver smithing...(gawd theres more!)

    Initially I deep dive into learning all I can about a subject, history, tools, technique etc. I might takes months or years with one subject. I'll move on to something else without truly "mastering" a craft but having built some skill. Every now and again though that learned skill resurfaces in renewed desire for that subject or even just because I want to make a gift.
     
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  7. James45

    James45 James

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    I on
    Yep that's exactly it, I do believe though all the different topics kind of feed into each other in unexpected ways...
     
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  8. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, of course. In my case one skill leads to another or having one skill already makes another skill easier to learn.

    When I met my husband I joked that I am not very good with modern life but at the end of the world I can keep shoes on his feet, clothes on his back, and keep him fed, all from scratch.
     
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  9. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I finally understand your avatar! I thought it was a photo of some fake eyelashes before you posted this.

    You have a really cool hobby.
     
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  10. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My close friend whom I have known since college has an absolute interest in trees. Years ago he bought a vineyard in the Niagara escarpment area known for its micro climate and tour out all the vines replanted it with every variety of tree. He lives his obsession lots of fruits and nuts trees, absolutely amazing. He is even growing bamboo.
     
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  11. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A several decades-long interest has been the interactions between plants and the world around them. I have had a 200 gallon plant aquarium with gourami fish,...no filter,...balanced. I have had collections of exotic aroids, desert plants, and currently, orchids,...of course, studying the physiology of each type of plant in order to gain further understanding of my world. I am currently learning about the difference between "dirt" and this living environment we call "soil", how bacteria and fungi are critical to growing healthy plants, how the mycelial network is not only a "carbon sink", but allows for sharing of nutrients and communication between plants. I am learning how NOT tilling up the earth before planting preserves the mycelial network, keeps carbon from escaping into the atmosphere, and significantly improves the production yields of the food-producing plants we cultivate. The vast majority of the power for my home and my two electric cars come from this huge fusion reactor called the sun,...I just collect it and store it with solar panels and a battery.

    I guess one could say, I am constantly gaining respect for nature, my place in it, learning better ways to interact with it. I am looking for ways to simplify my life by looking to nature and trying my best to understand how it works.

    I have to thank my grandfather for introducing me to "old-school" organic gardening when I was a child. He fed a family of 9 from his garden,...nothing went to waste. He was a first-generation immigrant child from Finland, where farming in the North in poor, rocky soils was a difficult thing,...and had to learn from generations before him how to do things as efficiently as possible. There is a life lesson in that. It's just been a slow progression in my life to get back to those old ways.
     
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  12. KimS

    KimS Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm so enjoying reading about other people's special interests!

    I'm in the middle of my favorite week of the year - my new years. While husband is on his yearly camping trip with his buddies, I have a reset week. I review all my routines and make improvements, deep clean the house and barn, and start the first seeds for this year's garden (zone 10a). Plus, I'll begin rough drafting my sixth book while revising the fifth. Its a lot of nice new beginnings.
     
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  13. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    My avatar is genus Koneprusia. I like my hobby because it keeps me engaged with Natural History as does my volunteer work with aquatic macroinvertebrates to measure stream quality. [edit] It actually gives me great pleasure when I have the opportunity to share and interact with HS Earth Science students. They make me feel appreciated.
     
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  14. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm really enjoying solving the mystery of Covid, nothing beats seeing the big picture, even though ever one else is are missing it all the hidden agendas become as plain as day, why can they not see it? My control chart for Ontario, just bifurcated the underlying reason being very obvious. every day one more data point picture becoming clearer and clearer.
     
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  15. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Definitely deal with a silly group of people who think l would rather do things with people, when l would rather read, investigate my interests, and say hi to my fav charmant person in my lifetime. I really am not into other people's agendas. I like to do research on the mafia to work out a storyline, and draw and cook. I keep finding myself shoved onto people l have zero interest in. I like my time, my space for the interests that occupy my waking thoughts. I love analyzing plots in movies and books.
     
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  16. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Covid has a political agenda, media agendas and even the medical and scientific agendas, all obvious. Statistics and me are like peanut butter and jam. I left AGETHA Christie behind when I was a teenager. never looked back. Got a really good back ground in mathematics in final year high school Grade 13.
     
  17. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you, Yeshuasdaughter for this thread. Yes, I have a Rant! Sorry it is so long!

    I have had the same special interest all my life. Almost seems like from birth. I have had other interest come and go, but my core interest has never diminished, it has only grown.

    My special interest is electronic circuits. As early as I can remember, about the age of five or earlier I was mesmerized by anything electronic. Not the device itself but the “guts” inside. I would drag old radios and TV’s from the dump and dissect them to see and study all those shiny and weird things inside. I didn’t have a clue how it all worked, but I was totally consumed with fascination. I was desperate to understand how all those wires and things could make music or whatever the device did.

    My Story:

    When I was about 9 years old, my uncle gifted me with the books from a vintage (1940’s) electronics technology correspondence course, along with a 1947 copy of the American Radio Relay League handbook. I was completely overwhelmed with elation.

    I had a very hard time in school. I was diagnosed as retarded. Now that I know I am autistic; I realize that it was a social issue. I can learn, but I can’t be taught. Teaching is a social thing. I spent most of my time in school deep in my own little world sitting at my desk doodling schematics… which was not report card friendly. I designed and built many circuits for the thrill of understanding the physics and seeing it work. Among many others, I built UHF oscillators complete with a highly polished copper tubing transmission-line tank circuit, audio amplifiers, a guitar amplifier and even a ham radio. Everything built from salvaged parts out of old TV’s and radios.

    As I got older, I started studying every electronics theory book in every library I could find, including the local university. Since my early single digit age, I knew that I wanted to be an electronics design engineer when I grew up, but those hopes, and desires were dashed due to my scholastic performance. I too believed I was retarded because I could not be taught even simple algebra and I knew that math was a requirement to being an electronics engineer. That realization was devastating, but I still could not shake the obsession. So, I continued studying, salvaging parts and experimenting even with no future hopes or goals.

    As I learned more, instead of salvaging parts from the radios and TV’s from the dump, I started fixing them. Once I found a brand-new TV in a dumpster behind a department store. I pulled it out, took it home and fixed it. I took it back to the store and told them I found it in the dumpster and fixed it. With a very dismissive look, the manager plugged it in, and It worked perfectly. That is how I landed my first job while still in early high school.

    After more than one setback and threats to put me in “special ed”, I barely managed to graduate high school. College was totally out; no money for tuition, but, regardless, I knew I was far to retarded to ever succeed in college. No chance of a degree. So, I would apply for jobs at local electronics repair shops. Most required at least an associates degree, but I got hired at some by asking for them to give me a test. I would ask if they had something that had them stumped or was having trouble fixing and would I get the job if I fixed it? Few shops would agree to giving me such a test – or any test for that matter, but I got the job at each one that did.

    I have only had a few jobs throughout my career. Most of them were long term and at each one, the job morphed from repair tech to engineer. While working as a repair tech at a communications company, I designed and built circuits (on my time) to add to existing systems to add features. It was hard to get the circuits approved because the equipment it was to be installed in cost in the millions. But, with each one the next was easier to get approved. One was to expand a mobile phone terminal to allow long distance calling. This was a major hit for the companies customers, especially oil industry customers.

    The key to my success, was that I learned early on that I cannot interface with customers. The social aspect of that is just too much. I have to work in isolation. Anytime I sought a new job I made sure that was an option. My last job was with a contract electronics design firm. That was my best job because my boss ensured that I worked in isolation in my dedicated lab. My boss added a sign to my door that said DO NOT DISTURB. I still don’t know if he realized I was autistic or if he just noticed that I could not work with interruptions or distractions. That job was by far the best, because since it was a contract design firm, I got to design circuits for some really cool projects. I was practically in heaven. The company grew at a super-fast pace. After about six years, we were outgrowing the building and more managers were hired. I was then working under several managers. Few understood my social anxieties. The killer, however, was when it was decided to move all the engineers into one lab. I knew I would never be able to handle that, so I quit. But I was retirement age so that was ok. Now, I have my own little retirement business in my own little lab. My designs are now what I consider unique works of art. Not something pretty to look at art, but art of the electronic circuits – my lifelong childhood dream.

    Now for my rant! It wasn’t until after I retired and looked back on my life that I realized that my dashed childhood dream of becoming an electronics design engineer still came true – even without a college degree and barely passing public school. Upon retirement I felt free to work on novel designs that thrill me. I have access to amazing parts, no more scavenging and my own lab to design and build it in. What I never imagined, however, is that retirement turns out to not be about free time as I expected it to be! It turns out that retirement is a job in itself, consumed with domestic chores around the house; fixing the house, cars, appliances, computers, doing the dishes, feeding the cats, etc. … I realize this doesn’t seem so unusual and I can’t blame anyone for any of it, but it is frustrating distractions from the work I am so obsessed to do. Things I expected to design and build in two or three months have now gone past a year. I just can’t get the time I expected to have. I guess that at this point I just want to finish at least one of my dream designs before I die. I’m only 69 at this point so I’m not too worried about achieving it. It is just so maddening that I’m not as free to work on it as I wished or expected. It is especially maddening when a new circuit idea pops into my head and I can’t wait to get the design on paper (CAD) and start building it, but there is always something in the way. I am making progress; I’m just struggling with patience. It is an obsession like an addiction that is maddeningly frustrating.
     
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  18. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You have a lot in common with one of my younger brothers, lived for electronics, now spends his time on financial stuff trained as a electronics technologist, lost interest when circuits could be simulated on computer found a way to understand how make tons of money on the stock market, not about the money just the exhileration of finding a clever way to game it interests him. he would not buy a t.V. for his family as he thought it was to mickey mouse as far as the electronics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
  19. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    I think my longest lasting special interest really started in childhood. I was raised around a lot of homesteaders. Like my grandparents had to put in the road, and when we finally got electricity it was $10 grand per power pole to bring electricity to our house. So a lot of people used generators and kerosene lamps. Although almost everyone seemed to have great big propane tanks that powered their stoves.

    I really miss off grid living. In my twenties I researched heavily into cob house building. I was sure that in a few years, I would have been living off grid. I even went to ecobuilding workshops. I learned about cob, rammed earth, straw bale houses, and earthships.

    I miss the sound of the pump. The bom-bom of it as it pulled water from the underground lake and brought it up to the massive tank on the hill. The city started growing and they built a water tank near our area, so people were starting to panic, because the private wells were suddenly going dry. We had friends whose tanks blew over in the Santa Ana winds. So there would be my father and grandfather, day in and day out, running the pump, desperately trying to keep the tank full. We had to bathe less than usual, and be really careful with our water usage. I still hold resentment against the city for what they did.

    As a kid we had friends who lived in a hundred year old adobe house, and when there was a monsoon, the kitchen wall would wash out. I watched how the dads made the mud bricks and filled in the wall, and then plastered.

    The money didn't surface to be able to buy land, so I applied at a bunch of intentional communities. But that didn't work out. Either they didn't want someone with a kid, or when I was approved, I didn't want to live in such close conditions with a bunch of strangers.

    Anyway, now I have all this useless information, seeing as I'm in the city, and don't see myself leaving any time soon. But I'm so impressed by people who actually make it out in the country. They're living my dream.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
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  20. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    There's something very aspie about Trilobites. I used to love learning about them back in school.
     
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