People Watching – A Hobby For Everyone

At the end of a long day, sometimes what you want in a hobby isn’t necessarily something that will keep your hands and body busy, but more something to relax to, something to lay back and stir the mind. You’re not always ready to come home and throw down on the chess board or jump head on into a knitting project. This is how the majority of Americans and others around the world end up squashed in front of the TV on weekend afternoons or in the early evenings.

But what happens when you’ve seen all the shows? When you really just want to get out of the house and do something, but you can’t quite think of what?

Over the years, I’ve found one of my favorite ‘inactive’ hobbies is the sport of people watching.

Yeah, it really is a sport.

The great thing about people watching is that you can do it most anywhere there’s people! I’ll go to a bookstore, a park, a coffee shop, anywhere there are people just milling around. Find a nice comfy place to sit, maybe get something to drink, and station yourself in a part where you can maybe overhear people talking. It really never ceases to blow my mind, the kind of stuff you can overhear or witness just in a half hour span of sitting, plus it’s nice to feel the sun on your back, maybe there’s a little breeze.

Parks are usually the best, as there’s always people moving around, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find great people watching places. In high school one of our favorite things to do on a boring night would be drive down to the airport and walk around the terminals seeing who got off, maybe even striking up a conversation (this is better to do if you’re with a group, as alone it could be a little creepy. 🙂 We would even go so far as to bring harmonicas and kazoos and start playing songs for people getting off their plane (yeah, we were a little weird, what can I say?), and some of those days are among my best memories of hanging out. Obviously the higher security these years makes airports a little less feasible, but try the mall! Try a busy part of downtown!

Sitting and relaxing and paying attention to your surroundings can be a hobby in and of itself. And not just a lazy TV-style act, either.

As a writer, I’ve found people watching not only to be a great form of free entertainment, but a source of inspiration and creativity-waking for my work. I’ve always believed that truth is stranger than fiction, and the characters you will run into on any given day out in the light can often far surpass what you might dream up. People are just too unusual in their own worlds. Get a free piece of the fun! Take those ideas home and work them into a story or a screenplay, maybe try to paint from memory the strangest folks you saw. Overall, I’ll take the strange local talking aloud to a dog that isn’t there, or the group of muscle heads on an outing to buy new workout clothes, or just any of the strange array of individuals our human world has to offer over a rerun of Friends or the new episode of Lost any day.

The possibilities really are endless, and you can’t beat free!

The 10 Scariest Hobbies on the Planet

Was FDR right when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”? How many times have you seen this bumper sticker? It’s really not that hard to slap a bumper sticker on the back of your jacked up 4×4 and think you’re a badass. Some of the clowns rolling around in my neck of the woods adorn their mud-mobiles with bumper stickers and a healthy set of bumper nuts. Even these guys don’t have what it takes to handle the top 10 scariest hobbies. I assure you that any of the next 10 hobbies, bumper nuts or not, will loosen up your sphincter for at least a split second.

10. Sky Diving

Anyone will tell you the scariest part of sky diving is right before you leave the plane. After that it’s just the thrill of a lifetime.

9. Kayak Shark Fishing

Shark fishing from the beach is one thing, but pulling an 8′ shark onto your kayak is completely another. Just how crazy do you have to be to let one of these guys pull you around the ocean?

8. Rattlesnake Roundup

The gimmick at a rattlesnake roundup is to go out and hunt down as many rattlesnakes as possible. Every year there are some 20,000 snakes pulled from their dens, weighed in, milked for their venom then cooked up for the masses.

7. Cave Diving

You might not think cave diving would be that scary until you’re there. Its easy to get lost, hung up on the rocks, or just simply run out of air due to lingering a bit too long with breathtaking views like this.

6. Glacier Surfing

Okay. Head to Alaska and find your favorite glacier. Wait around in freezing cold water… for it to break off. When it does, ride the tidal wave on a surf board while the ice chases you down. Holy Crap!

5. Storm Chasing

Getting up close and personal with a tornado isn’t my idea of a good time.

4. Bull Fighting

Matadors and the thousands of yearly participants in the Running of the Bulls festival all have one thing in common. They love the bulls. I just don’t get it. Sure you can dodge him a couple times but eventually he’s gonna slip that horn in your sweet spot. See, I told you we’d loosen up that sphincter.

3. Lion Hunting

Hunting. Not so scary. Becoming part of the food chain…now that’s scary! It just goes to show you how scary nature can be.

2. MMA Fight

Sure these guys are million dollar prize fighters, but there are thousands of kids out there doing this as their hobby. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good MMA match. I just can’t imagine taking a punch from these animals let alone a submission hold where my sphincter starts leaking 😉 Several guys I’ve talked to say it doesn’t hurt after the first punch. Give me a break.

1. Noodling

For those of you not familiar, noodling is basically fishing with your hands. A noodler feels around the snake infested water with his hands and feet for a large hole. Then usually goes underwater to ram their fist down a catfish’s throat. The catfish (the largest of which can be 50-70 lbs.), will latch on to the fisherman’s hand, trying to protect it’s comfy home. The noodler then has the task of dragging their catch (still latched onto their arm) out of the water and either onto shore, or into a boat. On the plus side, if they manage do all of this before they run out of air, and then retrieve their arm from the grip of the catfish’s many teeth… well, they’ve got dinner for a week.

If you’re looking for some not so scary hobbies check out the worlds largest list of hobbies.

Mixed Martial Arts as a Hobby

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is on of those hobbies I’ve never even considered. I can’t image stepping into a ring or the dreaded octagon to exchange punches with some of the animals that love this hobby. Watching this sport on tv gives makes me instantly tense. I simply can’t imaging actually participating.

Considering some other hobbies out there, MMA is a relatively cheap sport to get into. For a couple hundred bucks you can get all the mma gear you need to get started safely in this increasingly popular sport. If you’re a glutton for punishment just get yourself a pair of mma gloves and get in the ring. My guess is you’ll want to think twice about that little stunt unless you’re on the cast of Jackass.

MMA does happen to have a lot of benefits associated with it. The most obvious of those is self defense. Lets face it. If you even trained a couple times a week you’d have no problem dealing with a situation at the grocery store when somebody is getting out of hand. You’ll be able to defend your girl the next time some clown gets out of line at the bar or your favorite sporting event after they’ve had one to many.

Another benefit of MMA is the physical fitness aspect. Training in MMA will improve your cardiovascular system as well as tone up those muscles. It’s also pretty likely you’ll find a few muscles you never knew you had as well. Not only will your muscles become stronger you’ll learn the techniques to actually use your strength effectively. Another physical aspect of your body that will change is your flexibility. Some of the moves required to fight will tax every fiber of your body. You’ll also need some flexibility to get out of those nasty submission holds. The last benefit is your quickness. Being stronger and more flexibiltly will greatly increase your speed / quickness. Not only will your body be faster so will your mind.

One other cool thing about MMA is that you won’t just learn karate or judo or tae kwon do. If you’re going to excel in MMA you’re going to need some stellar wrestling skills, a man sized punch, as well as some submission techniques to keep your opponent guessing.

Hobbies for a Rainy Day – Cable Art

This is definitely not a hobby you’ll find on our most popular hobbies page.

The next time you find yourself with a couple of hours and an ethernet cable to kill, check this out! It really is amazing what the human mind is able to conjure up to kill time.

This hobby is compliments of the brilliant minds of fresh99.

Coming from a man of many hobbies this truly is a work of art. The sky is the limit on this one as there are so many different ways you could run with this. If you twist your wires right, this just might be one of those  hobbies that make money.

Two Mens Treasure Hunting Hobby

Imagine yourself out to sea with your best buddy. Now imagine looking at a computer monitor for 10 – 12 hours looking for something out of the ordinary.  That’s just what Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville do for their hobby. They basically cruise the water looking for shipwrecks.

It turns out they are quite good at hunting shipwrecks. Over the past 35 years, Kennard has managed to find over 200 shipwrecks. The past 6 years he and Scoville have been partnered up and have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their hobby. Kennard said “It’s a hobby and hobbies can be expensive”. I think that’s an understatement.

The team was on the hunt of their lives. They were in search of a 22 gun warship called the HMS Ontario. They knew the ship was only a few hours into a voyage from Niagra to Rochester when it got caught in a violent storm. Legend has it that the HMS Ontario was carrying a small fortune of gold as a year’s pay for the British garrison.

Over the course of nearly 3 years the team covered 500,000 square kilometers in search of the holy grail of shipwrecks, watching the sonar scanner for anything that might resemble a shipwreck. When the sonar starting showing the resemblance of a ship, the duo was ecstatic. They were pretty sure they had found the Ontario but they couldn’t be sure until they were able to drop a remote-controlled submersible.

Once the weather cleared and the team was able to head back out to their secret location they dropped the sub. What they found was incredible. The Ontario was virtually unscathed, as it was sunk by a rogue wave. The two crows nests are intact on each of the masts. Several of the 22 guns are still in their original locations on the deck and the anchor still in place.

The team is hoping to take a documentary team to the site to capture the ship wreck in all its glory. However, “We’re not saying exactly where it is,” Kennard says. “It’s a British war grave and we want to make sure it remains undisturbed. But it’s nowhere near Oswego.” So with that, the team moves on to their next hunt – hoping and praying it will be as big of a discovery as the Ontario.

I think it’s safe to say that none of us will ever hunt as big a treasure as these two gentlemen.  Hats off to your discovery and a remarkable hobby.