Topic of the Week: Your other hobbies

Ah the high seas look more tempting with every new subscription service and every time they all raise their prices.

It’s all and has always been a question of convenience.


It’s somewhat known here that I paint miniatures. It’s become a separate hobby to gaming for me now. Previously would paint armies/forces for wargames now board games give me the fix and painting is a more meditative type hobby. Does the pulse lowering that @Acacia was talking about recently somewhere. Chuffin’ love it. In addition to the meditative flow state I also think the crafting something aspect is good for the soul.

I used to play football(soccer) for fitness and fun. Now thanks to long COVID I play to keep me able to walk up stairs with collapsing. I got out of watching when Sky bought it up and I refused to give me money to Murdoch’s evil empire. I was young though so easy adjustment really. At one point I did my coaching badges and worked for a premier League team for a bit in their community coaching. Most enjoyed the adult disability groups, felt most meaningful rather than kids in the park which was money generating and scouting.

I used to code as a hobby but long COVID has stolen that hobby from me too. The hope is commercially available vaccines will allow me to do it better again I was doing stuff until September this year when I got a 4th bout. Just before I started year 2 of my degree so not much time any more as it’s a computer science degree.

I also listen to a lot of music. Extreme metal would be the largest portion of my listening time, the really gribbly harsh end mostly but various technical, proggy or Avant Garde stuff and some really 80s originals ala Dio and various NWOBHM things. Then I love experimental weirdness from Muisque Concrete to ambient, drone, industrial, noise and things in that sort of space. Also massively in to 60s Ska and Rocksteady. Then there is Frank Zappa which took over at one point. I spent around 2 years listening to almost exclusively Zappa and it’s not all encompassing now but I still regularly listen to his works. Back in the days I owned thousands of albums before demos, singles, splits and EPs got involved and ended up DJing a bit around London. Did a metal night and a few Ska nights with bands. First time a friend heard from a friend of theirs I didn’t know how good I was was one of my proudest moments.


I’m a little surprised by the density of metalheads on here? I mean, I saw the “what are you spinning” thread and saw it was a lot of hardcore stuff but I thought that was just the thread. What are the chances that we are 2/3rds metal fans but have zero birders?

Metal is one of the few genres I’ve never really explored. That which I have heard seemed repetitive and muddy but I’ll admit that’s more of an impression than a review.

I didn’t know you were such a soccer/football fan! I didn’t mention it as it didn’t fit into my categories and my inventory was long enough, but soccer was my sport, too. A broken leg in senior year of high school benched me for my last season. I also found out later that I have an off-the-charts grass allergy (like, literally. The doctor draws extra boxes on his chart to show me where my allergy is) that turned my legs to cement by the end of 90.


Would it be rude to say I’m never surprised by the density of metalheads, wherever they are?

I believe it might, and therefore shall say no such thing.


In my local circles there are three things that seem to go together well: techies + games (all of them) + metal. That’s just the way it is. The next generation seems to be turning out the same.

And like with SFF books, there is so much metal music to explore that I rarely ever go out of my way to listen to anything else except maybe some nostalgic stuff from my younger days. It is a genre absolutely worthy of being a hobby. I got late to the party (in the latest of 90s starting with goth metal and Sins of Thy Beloved) and don’t know all that much (unlike my partner, the real oldschool metalhead in this house who seems to have absorbed all the music and knowledge, when we met the only thing he would wear were metal shirts–mostly Blind Guardian) and even so I could go on about it for hours. It’s almost as bad as boardgames in that regard.

If you’ve found the metal you encountered repetitive, I am sure we can provide you with some not so repetitive recommendations :wink: Also: have you listened to metal on high enough volume? Just saying… the louder the better.


I was speaking to someone who was in charge of a region’s education a while ago. They were saying that contrary to popular opinion that the metal fans were invariably drawn from the most intelligent pupils in any school. I’d suggest that the 3 things you have together there all require the capability for abstract thought and the enjoyment of it, which is rarer than you might think.

@Acacia I will not recommend you anything though, you won’t be digging the thematic content of the metal I listen to by and large. Repetitive is fair from the outside but a lot of metal genres are very technical and far from repetitive but there are sub genres that are very repetitive and make a point of it.

In some ways I’m not. I’m turned off by the commercial/politics side of it and the tribalism with the aggression that can be wrapped up in that. That aside, love playing it. I have a commanding mouth and organise everyone around me. Constant chatter which mainly pisses off players who are useless && selfish. This does however correlate with mini wargames. It’s all potentials, threat ranges and shapes.


I found a “best metal” playlist on youtube with no credentials but seemed an easy place to check in. It’s good. A lot of dudes with their shirts off who can’t stop touching their faces.

I think the lines between genres are all spectrums now so I do have some metal or metal adjacent stuff in my collection, based on the couple songs I heard. It’s not exactly what I thought of when I think of metal.

Didn’t mention before, but I collected board games from about '95 to '07. From '07 to '17 I spent a ton of time on my music collection, just listening, downloading, hopping from one band to similar bands, curating… every day. In '17 I had a New Year’s Eve party where I didn’t have the right game and here we are 6 years and 200 boxes later and it’s time to put a pin in that, too.

Starting again, following the threads from bands to adjacent bands and listening and choosing just sounds like work now. And, as you mention, there’s a lot of themes like harm or self-loathing through the genre (obviously not all but you can’t help but run into it) that I don’t have the margin for right now.

I did a quick search on White Metal as a safe beachhead, but it’s interesting how diverse and incoherent (I don’t mean that pejoratively, just can’t think of a better word) “metal” is. Someone called Wytch Hazel sounded like Tantric and 80’s hair bands, just overlapping guitars and basses with a lot of repetition. Hard to make it through a song. Someone called Flyleaf was pretty dang good but a wildly different sound, bordering on grunge and indie with, I don’t know what you’d call it, metal power behind it. I’ve heard Dragonforce, which someone called speed metal, and wasn’t too excited musically but had to listen in awe to whatever muscle control can play a bass drum that fast.

Anyway, metal. I’ll stick a pin in it.

Edit: Just realized I used “stick a pin” twice there to mean wildly different things. Language.


I was thinking of the anti-religious/satanic ones but if you’re not digging that too then that’s a tough one.

Give me some genres and examples of specific bands/songs you like and I’ll see if I can get some metal suggestions to try that suit. It’s an interesting and very difficult challenge. Not least as I don’t have any streaming so it’ll be interesting to work out how to get you to actually listen to some suggestions that are hugely obscure that I’ll no doubt come up with.


PM to not derail too far…


Ouch, hobbies.

That thing I haven’t got that much time for…

Growing up in the 90s I was very much a sports fan, following local clubs in Gran Canaria that were doing quite well in basketball (CB Gran Canaria) handball (Cadagua Galdar) and voleyball (Guaguas Las Palmas and then a myriad of different sponsoring names, They were quite good and won a few national championships in the 90s) but footie was the biggest of them all, although I was no good at it (as basketball, even though I am 6’5"). I support UD Las Palmas (they are back in First Division!) but I love FC Barcelona since the days of Cruyff’s “Dream Team” winning 4 consecutive leagues and a Champions League (I believe it still was European Cup back then).

Since I have moved to NZ, I watch a lot less footie, but I have replaced it with Rugby Union, which I always struggled with until I played one year in University and got the rules a lot better, so when I moved to the UK in 2003 I was very much into it, not just watching the odd 6 nations/World cup final. I support Bath Rugby (I went to a few games when I was living in Chippenham) and the local Magpies of Hawke’s Bay Rugby (they lost the final this year, bloody Taranaki ruined the dream).

In my 30s I did take on historical fencing to try and keep active, and I did practice it until I moved to NZ. I have considered a few times to start something here, there is only a re-enactment group in Hawke’s Bay with a very different vibe to what I used to do.

I have always been a frequent video game player, very much nearly every game in Playstation 2 and 3 I had copies for. After children, the amount of time I can dedicate to it has dwindled, so I play more often now just a bit in the evening, mainly old games, Total War or Crusader Kings occasioanlly, or board games like Root, Lords of Waterdeep, Wingspan or Raiders of the North Sea on Steam.

I am another metal head, I listened to a lot of grunge and hard rock-heavy metal since my teens, although besides reggeaton, I can listen to any kind of music. These days I am very much into Tool, I love to listen to them on my earphones while at work on my desk.

I used to be an avid reader, but these days my reading habits are fleeting in their intensity. This last year I have had a good wave of historical/fantasy novels that I have ticked off the list. These days I am reading the Sharpe Novels or anything from Christian/Miles Cameron that falls on my hands. Other favourite writers are Joe Abercrombie and Ben Aaronovitch.

I have retaken on RPG, I have been playing 2 solids years of 5th Ed D&D, with a weekly group on Wednesdays that I am DM for locally in Hastings.

And my most recent hobby is listening to podcasts, many in Spanish. The Wild Project and Brandon Sanderson’s are my most listened to.

8 Likes is popular in the bits of Mastodon where I hang out. Links to youtube and multiple streaming platforms.


We could also have a thread.


Yes I forgot to add rugby. I used to be an avid fan and went regularly to games (especially when I lived in Leicester (Tigers are my team) but now I only really get to watch internationals, and then often only if Wales are playing!! Although I did manage to watch most of the World Cup, even if it was just on my phone while I was working! I also used to coach mini-rugby, I was one of the coaches for London Welsh for a couple of years.

I also dabble in NFL - I played for 3 years at Uni (British uni football is probably about the quality of junior school football in the US!! If that… :rofl:) and have been a fan since the Channel 4 programmes of the 80s.


@Griffster77 @Captbnut

I had a London Monarchs hat from when I visited England (when I was 9). Is that still a thing? Or is that the Channel 4 programme from the 80s?

The Canadian Football League is reportedly quite good and even lures some top US college players. The fields are wider, making a better running game, and they have a few rules that better protect players. Despite all that I never hear about it except when some prize running back defects North of the border.

Watching Sunday Football is a great pleasure for me, but the 1-2 punch of kids and the Chargers moving from San Diego to Los Angeles pretty much killed that pasttime.


The London Monarchs were part of a European league that has fizzled out.

Hey, if I can still support the Bengals after all the fallow years we had, you can stick to supporting your team!! :rofl: :rofl:


San Diego has a number of teams, but the Padres (baseball) and Chagers (football) are (were) the big ticket ones. The Padres have always had a close relationship with the city, despite being poor (read: losing). We started making a run at titles with a middling payroll and then the owner lost half the payroll in a divorce and we were back to one of the lowest payrolls in the league… Baseball doesn’t have the same profit sharing agreements as, say, Football so the team talent disparities are bigger and more persistent.

That said, Padres do things for the city. A few big names stick around, taking what’s called the San Diego discount, to be hometown heroes (Trevor Hoffman, Tony Gwynn, etc.). There’s a real mutuality; they belong to us.

The Chargers were antagonistic from the start. They would blackout their home games if they felt they didn’t sell enough tickets. Annually they would try to extort the city for a new stadium. They would threaten to leave every two to three years in exchange for concessions. They gave nothing back. We still supported them but it was a toxic relationship. And they lost anyway - if you want to be a diva you’ve got to at least back it up.

When the city finally called their bluff and they left most people just took a deep breath and said “glad that’s finally settled.” I wasn’t sure where my heart would be, but the first time I saw the “Los Angeles Chargers” on TV I was instantly rooting against them. I’m happy to see they arrived a year after the Rams returned and are (hopefully) struggling to generate a fan base up north.

Eagles or Colts if I had to choose. Probably Eagles, given how close they are to me (Philadelphia). But I need a watching habit to become an actual fan again.

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Denver Broncos fan for almost 40 years here so I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs over the seasons - and often during a season too: see the last 13 weeks, in fact. Only played for a brief summer season in my teens but was interested in coaching while at uni and got to meet a few players and reknown coaches at seminars. Listening to Chuck Noll talking about defense was fascinating.


I went to the inaugural World Bowl at the old Wembley.

You’re best not watching the Chargers. World of disappointment.

At least I know the Bears suck


I, too, am a Broncos fan. Living in Kansas City (or close enough).


What’s wrong with the Chefs?

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