Strange hobbies of yours....

What are your “unusual” hobbies, something you like to do/collect that would seem unusual to an impartial observer?

okay, let me get this joke out of the way first…
[Egon Spengler]I collect spores, molds, and fungus[/Egon]

for me, I collect flashlights, and that collection takes on two distinct forms, first, collecting and using small, high performance lights like Inova and SureFire, I also take inexpensive cheapies and “hot-rod” them into “sleepers”

for example, I have a couple of Fulton Anglehead millitary lights, these are well-worn lights, with lots of character marks, but they still work well, they look stock from the outside, however, one of them has a MJLED PR based LED bulb, it’s an LED stuck in a standard flange-based bulb socket, this is one of my long-runtime lights, with runtime measured in weeks not hours

the other Fulton has a small section of pipe insulation jammed into it to act as a spacer/cushion for the 3 CR123a 3v Lithium batteries inside it, inside the reflector I have a Mag Instrument MagNumStar 6 cell bulb, this one has the power of a 6D cell Maglite crammed into a 2D body, it produces a quite blindingly bright light, something you’d never expect from a Fulton Anglehead

the SureFires are my daily use/carry lights, my two favorites are also modified lights…

one is a SureFire E1L Outdoorsman the Luxeon III LED has been replaced by a Seoul Semiconductor P4, the TIR optic has been replaced with a 20mm reflector, and the stock twisty tailcap has been replaced with an aftermarket shrouded clicky tailcap that also allows the light to be stood on it’s tail to be used as a “candle”

SureFire’s Luxeon TIR lights are very throwy lights, throwing a tightly focused beam a long way, however there’s very little sidespill, replacing the TIR with a reflector creates a more normal “hotspot/spill” arrangement, and the Seoul P4 LED is light years brighter and more efficient than a LuxIII, the stock LuxIII based E1L puts out about 25 lumens, my hotrodded E1L puts out at least 90-100 lumens, and I’m also running it on a rechargable CR123a for even more brightness, and “Guilt-Free-Lumens”

it’s a great little light, just a hair over 3" long, but it’s brighter than a 6D MagLite, and is regulated, so there’s no dimming as the battery drains, the only thing the Mag 6D is better at than this light is being used as a club

my other EDC (Every Day Carry) light is a SureFire A2 Aviator, this one is also modded, in this case, it sports a replacement LED ring created by one of the enterprising modders on, the stock A2 LED ring is available in a series of colors, however, SureFire does not sell the LED rings as a replacement part, you want a different color A2 than the one you have, you have to buy a whole new light…

the “Aviatrix” mod by CPF’er Atomic Chicken is a replacement LED ring, he has the same colors available as SureFire, AND a few that SF doesn’t offer, like Orange, and Ultraviolet, and unlike the stock SF ring, the Aviatrix is more than a simple LED ring…

first off, the Aviatrix has a few additional modes, it has a Low Beam mode, where one of the LEDs runs, and the other two LEDs are turned off, normal mode has all three lit, and it also has Strobe, Locator Beacon, and SOS modes, the “special” modes require 6 distinct on/off cycles to access them, so it’s hard to access them accidentally, normal operation is a quick 1-second press to switch between high and low beam LED, and the unit remembers the last mode it was in

you can mix-and-match LED colors on the multifunction ring, I have a red LED for the lowbeam mode to preserve night vision, and two white LEDs for normal LED operation

now, here’s where I modded the mod…

the Aviatrix is a very cool mod, much better than the stock A2 ring, however, the “low beam” red LED was too bright and throwy for my tastes, it threw an image of the square LED die surrounded by a dim red ring when in Low only, and when in normal mode, the white LED’s took on a distinct and noticeable pinkish tint with a darker pinkish spot in the middle, somewhat distracting…

so, I pulled the Aviatrix out of the light, and grabbed a green scrubbie pad and scuffed up the surface of the red LED dome, diffusing the light, and put the unit back together…

Voila!, now it’s perfect, on low red, there’s no more “Die-In-A-Ring” , just a nice, smooth red hotspot that falls off to a nice usable spill, and when the white LED’s are lit, the red is almost completely unnoticeable, there’s just enough red to offset the “cool blue” look of the white LED’s

my Aviator is now perfect :slight_smile:

of course, neither my family or cow-orkers understand why i like flashlights, and indeed, often poke good-natured fun at me and my collection…

…until we have a power outage, and they suddenly “need” a light, who’s laughing then
…yes, that would be me…

so, what unusual hobbies do you have?

I used to collect certifications. I’ve a stack of expired and irrelevant technical certs (renewing is boring, and getting them for work doesn’t count), a dozen or so shooting certificates, but the one that is regarded as most “strange” by people who know me is my ordination certificate. “You’re a minister?”

Last year’s thread:
What’s your most esoteric or arcane hobby or interest?

I don’t think this would be considered all that strange and it can’t be too shocking because of my user name.

I collect Wile E Coyote merchandise.

Well, when you visit a casino and join its “frequent gambler” clubs so you get back minuscule rewards for all the money you urinate away in the slot machines, they give you a card the size of a regular credit card which you insert in the slot machine. I collect those, but…

They also give you a plastic coiled thingee attached to a plastic keychain-type clip at one end and attached to the club member’s card at the other, so you can clip your card to your shirt or jacket or purse or whatever and be able to take the card out of the slot machine when you are through. The little keychain plastic clip has the casino’s name and logo on it, and…

I collect those.

But now having put in writing what I am doing and realizing just how stupid it all sounds, I think I will stop.

After I check with eBay and see if these things are collectable and I can sell them.

I collect other stupid stuff, too, but now I am sufficiently embarassed so I will say no more.

I maintain and occasionally use vintage 8-track equipment. Vinyl, too.

I’ve repaired malfing carts.

What as malfing cart?

I collect photographs of lost gloves - I did have a blog, but I haven’t updated it in ages (I still collect the photos though).

It’s a wheeled vehicle for carrying your heavy malfing equipment when you go malfing. Like a golfing cart, but for malf instead of golf.

Malfunctioning (8 track) cartridge, I would guess

Knitting humorous cummerbuns.

I’ve recently taken up spinning (yarn). Thanks to the internet this doesn’t seem so eseoteric to me as there are plenty of spinning blogs and etsy sites that let me know I’m not alone. If it wasn’t for the web, though, I wouldn’t know anyone who spins or any local fiber sources. Also I’ve yet to talk to anyone IRL (other than my mother who got me started) who realized that anyone would have such a hobby. Most people figure spinning is something only historical reinactors at colonial demonstrations do.

I collect and read cookbooks. I have a pretty vast selection of vintage ones that my husband has gotten me from the library - some from the 1800’s!

Hey, I make ropes and cords by hand! I haven’t gotten the knack of spinning yet, but it fascinates me. To be fair, I’ve only tried it with a single drop spindle for about 2 hours one afternoon, and then I got distracted by something shiny. But I like to make cords out of yarn, either braided (usually 4 strand round, but I’m playing around with others) or twisted. While I’ve met other people who know how to do it, I’ve never met someone else who actually enjoys it all that much.

I don’t know that it’s really strange, but I kind of collect cameras. I think the fact that I don’t actually set out to collect them is what makes it strange. Over the years, I have bought a lot of cameras. Every camera that comes out that is unusual, I want it. Remember the disk camera? Got one. The Polaroid cameras that made those teeny-tiny pictures that were stickers? Got one. Digital cameras that look like ink pens? Check.

My father was an excellent photographer, who apparently had the same obsession – when he died, I inherited a boatload of cameras from him. his collection even included what (at the time – 1950’s) amounted to the top-of-the-line spy camera.

I have:

[li]Yashica 635 – works and still has all attachments, including leather carry case[/li][li]Brownie Reflex[/li][li]Kodak Extra 90[/li][li]Minolta 16[/li][li]Polaroid Square Shooter 2[/li][li]another old Polaroid off which the name is rubbed[/li][li]one of those old Kodak disk cameras[/li][li]various and sundry unusual digital cameras[/li][li]2 Polaroid 600’s[/li][li]various and sundry disposable cameras[/li][li]a Polaroid digital camera that doubles as an MP3 player (I forget the name and it has wandered off)[/li][li]2 Nikon Coolpix cameras (gifts when we went to the Marlboro Ranch)[/li][li]a JVC VHSc palmcorder[/li][li]a full-sized video camera, I forget the brand and am too lazy to go look[/li][li]and a few more I am sure I am forgetting[/li][/ul]

My daughter has asked for a nice digital camera for her birthday (next Wednesday), so I have been looking at cameras lately. It’s funny, because I don’t try to collect them, but I can’t stop myself – I see cameras that I want. Like there is this really cute (although you know it will suck) Spiderman digital camera that I want. Le Sigh…

I also collect Magic: the Gathering cards. Or, more precisely, I used to collect them (and play the game) and still have them. Some are exceedingly rare – I used to know a comic book store owner who would trade me packets of cards for pizza when I managed a local pizza delivery place.

As for actual hobbies, mine are pretty boring and mundane – I sew, I play on the puter, I read, all the same ole same old. I am going to start making mead, so that will be a hobby that is relatively unusual – at least around here. I want to get into cheese-making too. I have always wanted to get a couple goats so I can make my own goat cheeses. We have the space for them, we just need to actually fence in the yard. I will let you know when/if I get on that hobby :slight_smile:

I’ve got something I think you’ll just love. check your email…

If I’m on the highway and see someone who forgot that his turn signal is on, I get in front of him and put my turn signal on too. Then I slow down just a little bit, and see how long it takes him to notice, turn off his turn signal and pass me. :smiley:

Y’know, I really wish you would stop staring at me like that.

I collect foreign (non-English) language cast CDS. Mostly Andrew Lloyd Webber.

P.S. You have not heard “Chicago” till you’ve heard it in Russian!

I collect my Chow’s hair - will you please spin it for me? I only got a few skeins from a nice nurse I knew who spun before she became ill. I have about ten paper-boxes full and they’re really light, so cheap to ship. I think I paid her about $80.00!

I have recently started collecting handicapped parking symbols, and have published a website with a gallery: .

They are not standardized, so there is wide variety of designs used in parking lots. If you see any interesting or unusual ones, there is an email on that website to submit your pictures, or you can send them to me at the email address in my profile. Please include the name of the business and the city it is located in. I will be happy to give you credit under what ever user name you want.

I might be able to do that eventually, but not yet. I’m still collecting equipment, and one thing I don’t have is carding combs. To prepare loose fiber for spinning the fibers have to be alligned by carding. Another consideration is whether you’d want it blended with any other fiber for strength/durability. Dog hair is a slightly short staple, so blending it with a little wool can make it more cohesive as a yarn. I know this because I looked into spinning my australian shepherd’s fluff. Goodness knows she makes enough of it!

Out of curiosity, how did the nurse process what you’ve already got? Is it pure 100% chiengora? What is the thickness? How many plies?

Keep collecting and check back with me in a few more months. :slight_smile: