The Many Interests Man

Lately I’m really interested in many things and activities simply because I feel bored with my life for the last 6 months. Well, previously, when I have relationship with a girl, most of my time was spent with her, the remaining time will be spent in front of computer (or laptop), whether it was just for gaming, or browsed the internet. I don’t want to spend my time too much in something that might be unproductive simply because I’m a single man now. Rather I would learn many new things, that might be useful for my life in the future.

TL;DR. Here are the list of my interests and some of the aspects that may be useful from my perspective:

Cooking

For some people, cooking is something that should be handled by woman, but I don’t like that way of thinking. Many professional chefs are men, and it means I can also do this, and perhaps proficient with this kind of activity. There are many things that you need to learn when you want to acquire this ability, such as cutting (vegetables or any ingredients), setting the ingredients, frying, boiling, tasting and perhaps washing :p Well, you need to keep your cooking and eating utensils clean, right?

Improvement aspects:

  • Patience, you need to wait ’till your dish cooked. If you are not have this virtue, just stop and let other people do the job before you make awful and inedible dish.
  • Accuracy, in cutting, tasting, time, measuring ingredients. Don’t let your dish too sour, too bland, or burnt.
  • Bravery, sometimes you have to feel pain from heat and knife cut, and it’s important if you have pyrophobia, or simply fear of fire or heat.
  • Knowledge, you’re not going to eat one kind of food for an entire month right? You have to make different dishes everyday, and you have to know where to buy the ingredients, how to cook, etc, unless your money doesn’t allow you to do that and you might end up eating instant noodles everyday.

Gardening

The other unusual activity that might be chosen by a guy since gardening for many people is something that should be done by woman. This activity is somewhat dirty activity because you have to interact with many dirty material. The first is the soil, and then there is fertilizer that may come from some nasty material that you should not think about, and perhaps you have to interact with some “animals” like earthworm and bugs. However, in the end, your effort may pay back after the tree is growing big and produce sweet fruits, and the flowers blooms and spread the sweet fragrance to their surrounding. What’s more relaxing than looking at the colorful flower field, when eating healthy fruits? :)

Improvement aspects:

  • Patience, hey, trees, flowers and plants don’t grow in mere hours! They take about days, months or even years to be mature enough so you can see the fruit of your effort. Water and weed them diligently every day.
  • Knowledge, if you want to grow plants, the easiest way is throw the unknown seeds and pray there will be no pests, no bad weathers, no droughts, no floods, no disasters and they can live by themselves, and you just enjoy the output exactly like what you hoped for. However it’s not as easy as that. Usually different plants have different way to treat. So your knowledge should be broad enough to know how to shower your plants with love… Ummm, not love, just water.
  • Resource and time management, growing plants is not as easy as it’s heard. You need enough water, you need good soils, you need time to take care of them, and then the time to enjoy them. Fail on one of these, you might need to redo all over again from seeds. Make sure you have enough resource and time for the plants you grow.

Masonry, Carpentry and Construction

When cooking is associated with woman, then this one might be the most manliest things that a man can do (unless you are crazy enough to do more than this). The activities that you can do here are cutting, measuring, drilling and nailing. Not just stone, concrete and wooden material, but sometimes you have to deal with metal. Handling this kind of job would need strength and stamina, but they’re absolutely kinda easy when you have learned at least the basic to do them. For example, the first time I did drilling was several weeks ago, and I successfully drilled the ceramic and concrete on the kitchen to place hooks for cooking utensils without any issues. What I did was just looked at my father did the jobs some months ago, remember and copy the technique, searched the information on internet, and voila, everything was done.

Improvement aspects:

  • Accuracy, you have to measure your material before drilling or cutting it properly, because everything you do cannot be undone. Well, perhaps can be undone, but why undone if you can do something perfectly from the beginning?
  • Bravery, not all places are at the same level with your height, sometimes you have to use ladder and feel what’s the pain of acrophobia. Also the cutting tools are sharp, and the electrical powered one will sure hurts you if you are not careful enough.
  • Planning, almost similar to accuracy, some activity cannot be undone and some material will be garbage if you do mistakes. So you have to plan something properly before doing all of this.
  • Strength, do this and you will get more muscle for sure. Hey, moving materials from one place to another place is not easy.
  • Coordination, the worst thing you can have in this kind of jobs is injured, and it’s very important to have someone close to you when that happens. Your partner can also assist you in doing your job. That’s why many high risk jobs, especially in height usually done in pair, rather just alone.

Music (Guitar)

Okay, just let your mind empty for now, and start thinking, what the world would looks like if there are no music? … Well, some of you might say that it will be to calm, other may say bland, because music is simply the spice of life (besides love). As far as I know, one of the most affordable and accessible music instrument is guitar. If you can’t afford to buy a guitar, ask your friend, and you might almost get someone that have guitar with them from the first person you ask, or know who has one. You don’t need to think “I will be a guitar professional and be a master like Sungha Jung (YouTube personality)”, it’s might be too far, unless you’re fully serious to learn and to practice for many years.

Improvement aspects:

  • Creativity, in fact, music doesn’t need to be “as if” when you play an instrument, and when you singing. You can improve it with other notes, rhythm, speed, and everything else. It’s limitless, so why don’t you just release everything on your mind? Well, unless your room is isolated enough from your neighbor or you’re good enough, you should try to limit your improvement with volume and notes. :p
  • Accuracy, yup, this aspect reappears in this one once again. Notes and rhythm should be in sync, although you may use some improvement there. But still, the first thing before you improve yourself is simply do something as good as possible, and in the music, just follow the original notes and rhythm. Another note, in guitar, you have to move your fingers fast enough on the fret board :)
  • Flexibility and strength, this one combined as one, simply because in guitar you have to push the string with enough power before you can generate nice sound, and at the same time your fingers must be flexible enough to reach “difficult positioning” in many occasions.

Writing

Like this one, of course. This is not something new for me, in fact I have written many posts here and there, but stopped since I graduated from my college. Actually, writing is not just limited to do blog, you can also create novels, or write some story. If you have enough imagination, you can also end up as a script writer, for movies or games. Perhaps you can also be a reporter for citizen journalism which is popular lately.

Improvement aspects:

  • Creativity, letters going to a word; words going to a sentence; sentences going to a paragraph; and in the end, paragraphs going to a story. With enough creativity, you can create many things with your words.
  • Communication, sometimes you write for other people, so you must know how to communicate with your readers. No one like messy, unstructured, uninteresting articles. Write your things, and proof-read your writing before publishing it. Sometimes you have to receive harsh comments from your reader, so prepare yourself and just reply with reasonable answer so you don’t look like a fool. Well, those are advices from me, based on my experiences in the past. :p
  • Linguistic, in writing, you communicate using a language. If you feel comfortable with your primary or native language, so write with it. However you might want to try using different or secondary language to reach more audiences, perhaps English, despite of you knowledge and experience in those language. The world doesn’t end when you write wrong grammars or spelling errors; it’s end you when you surrender, when you have the chance to be success and learn more things.

Electronics

As a (kinda) science geek, I love to experiment with many kind of electronics. It was a pity that I don’t get any tutorial in this field when I was in high school, though the junior in my school got it. Still, if you are interested in some activity nowadays, you can find many learning material on a world we known as internet. With electronics, there come times when you be electric shocked, no matter how careful you are in handling what you do. Actually, I’m also an electrophobia, which mean I feel the fear of electric shock even if I know it’s a low voltage. However after learning some facts about electricity, I can easily try to overcome that fear and be more brave about it.

There are several things you can do in this field, such as, soldering, build a circuit, learning physics, and in the end: programming. Nowadays you cannot do electronics without programming. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t be enough and enjoyable because the interactivity will be limited without any programmable code.

Improvement aspects:

  • Knowledge, oh right, you cannot do electronic carelessly of you might end up in blowing your circuit, components, or burn up your house. I’m serious here. Short circuit, especially in high voltage electricity is a real dangerous and might be lethal. You must have basic knowledge about electronics before you do this and that, and of course basic mathematics. And never play with high voltage electricity if you’re not a professional or electrician, which I mean always play with low voltage direct current (DC) tha’s below 12 Volt.
  • Planning, in electronics, one single mistake can cause mess in all your projects, for real. You don’t need to be over-accurate in electronics, for example when you measure the voltage or current, but you still need planning. Soldering is the part where you must plan before you messed up with your prototype board or the real printed circuit board. And if you have an electronic device that you don’t know any schematic of the circuit which you want to fix on, perhaps you may want to stop and let the professional handles it for you.
  • Careful, simply because playing with electricity might be lethal. Never play in high voltage if you’re not ready. And always check and recheck any component and devices (especially soldering iron and electrical cord) have been placed on the right position.

Gaming

This is the most wrong interest I do in my life, and I regret this very much. Just kidding. Gaming might be addictive, but still everyone who do this should be able to control him/herself. Many researches [citation needed] found that playing electronic games can improve your ability in visual, cognitive and motor functions.  Of course it’s under certain condition: play in limited time and play games that’s useful. Many people also claim (including myself) that playing games may improve the linguistic ability, since many games are launched in English, so they force the players to learn English. Some games also teach people about history, some science, strategy and many more. Even some games are designed to teach the players not to surrender easily, simply because the difficult is ridiculously hard, or even perhaps seem impossible to be passed.

Improvement aspects:

  • Reaction and accuracy, many games force the players to react in both fast motion and high accuracy. First person shooter (FPS), strategy and rhythm games usually emphasize this aspects. Whether you shoot first, or your enemy will shoot your first in FPS. In strategy games, you have to plan some actions simultaneously and determine when to attack and when to defense. In rhythm game, you have to press the button in certain beat step, and at the same time tap your mouse or keyboard key in fast manner to get the perfect point.
  • Cooperation and interaction, lately many games are released as multiplayer games, i.e. you can play the game with your friends or even unknown people all around the world using internet connection. By playing together, the players have to coordinate each other and cooperate to win the game. Type of games that emphasize this aspects are MOBA like DotA 2 and League of Legends. Other type that might need interaction is MMORPG (search the abbreviation yourself), in which you might trade or do jobs together with people to accomplish your mission.
  • Multitasking and management, which usually happens in strategy game. You must move an army, then build your base, and then check your inventory, and keep harvesting resource around you, and at the same time build your defense. One wrong move and decision may cause chain effect that end up on losing the game, and you might be the target of anger from your partners.

Programming

The worst of the worst, the last of the last. As a programmer, of course this is what I do, and what I interested into. So why not place this in the top of the list? The answer is: “Why should I?”. Not much to talk about, let’s just move to the improvement aspects.

Improvement aspects:

  • Logical Thinking, programming without logic is simply magic. If you don’t like to use your brain and thinking all the time, stop being a programmer. That’s all.
  • Designing, programming without making a design (system design or UI design) is messy sketch, and you torture and kill your brethren that will read your code and continue your work by doing this. That’s all.
  • Tenacity, sometime when you compile your program for the first time, it’s error. Recompile the second time, it’s run perfectly. Recompile it for the third time, everything stops again. Unless you believe in black magic that can solve this problems, what you need is simply determination to find and solve the issues.

Conclusion

For today, that’s what I can write about the activity I interested in lately. You may want to try many things, especially if you are still young, and your future is still uncertain. On the worst case scenario, even when you are in hard time, you can do something rather than just being idle, and perhaps your interest might save your life more than what you expect. In the end, what you need to do the interests is determination and commitment. Without these two words, your interests will just fade away in several months before even you make anything useful from those interests. :) Hopefully I can also keep all my new interests burned up.

Hope you get about what I’m thinking and can start doing something that might interested for you. If in the future I have other interests, I will share them here, of course with my own comment and perspective. :) Cao…

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