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Thread: Things you started doing during the pandemic

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    Things you started doing during the pandemic

    Are there any new hobbies or habits you've developed over the last one or two years? I've started playing board games with my wife - ironically beginning with Pandemic (in its Pandemic Legacy Season 1 incarnation). We'd previously played the occasional board game with friends, but usually just at their place, and we'd not played any two-player board games, but ever since we started playing the first Pandemic Legacy game, we've been playing 2-3 games most weeks. I've also bought a bunch of other games that we're hoping to get into, mainly cooperative ones: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (though that one's not strictly a board game) and Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, and the two other seasons of Pandemic Legacy. It's been very enjoyable so far, and I'm looking forward to getting started on these other games.

  2. #2
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I've started playing board games with my wife - ironically beginning with Pandemic
    That sounds like the exact opposite of irony.

  3. #3
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    My daughter really misses going out to eat, so I now periodically host evenings for my wife and kids* where I make a menu using PowerPoint, prepare and serve up their choices while acting like a waiter, with some restaurant ambience looping on YouTube.

    It's mostly just a bit of fun, but enough cheer to warrant it now being a burgeoning family tradition.

    * My youngest is just over a year old, so in reality, the dopey little asshole just grins at the others getting excited, he's not really involved per se

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Maybe give the wee one a picture menu!

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well, I wanted to understand quantum physics so starting from like 15 months ago or so I started taking some basically self-made courses, homework and all, each one basically a month apiece: Calculus 1 & 2 (again), Linear Algebra, Statistics & Probability, Classical Physics, Wave Mechanics, Electro-Magnitism, "Modern Physics", and fiiiinally Quantum Theory 1, at least the first third or half of it so far. While I'm stoked to finish it off and keep this train rolling through QM2 and on to QFT, that's going to take another big investment in the math, so I'm good for now.

    Now that I'm on the other side of my basic goal, though, I'm can't say I'm all that different, but i do understand some fundamental things about the universe a lot better ... like why there's no worries shaking a carbonated drink hard as long as you don't open it (and why); the mutual relationships of voltage, current, resistance, impedance, magnetism, and all of that; how to solve the SR twin paradox; what Planck's constant actually is (quantized action); etc.

    The thing I feel best about probably is that I have a basic image in my mind about what fundamental reality might actually look like. The image keeps getting revised and updated as I learn more, and I imagine it'll keep getting updated. But it's a lot better now than it was.

    The basic image I have right now, if you're curious, is that reality is a vast number of springy meshes that overlap in the same space on top of each other. Each mesh wobbles with waves propagating through them, carrying the info of a wave function state like a fundamental string in Matrix Theory. Sometimes two meshes can propagate waves to each other (when they're "in contact") and sometimes they can't (when they're not in contact, i.e., "at a distance", and you spend "action" to reel them into or away from contact with each other), and sometimes they can be in contact but no signals propagate because they're mutually scrambled or encrypted to each other, like massive ocean waves running straight through random surface waves (when they're decohered into separate worlds. But if you knew the scrambling code, you could apply it in reverse to one world like a deencryption key and the random background energy would cohere back into a separate world).

    I could go into a lot more detail, but a post like this isn't the best format for that. It's got me really curious and engaged though. All of this business with holography, AdS/CFT correspondence, ER=EPR, etc., is endlessly fascinating.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    That's fascinating, Dema. I recently tried to learn about the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem, but I've forgotten what little calculus I knew from my one semester of engineering, so I have to relearn math to proceed. So far slow going.

    What I have been making progress in is woodworking (cliched pandemic hobby, I know, but I enjoyed it high school and have always wanted to pursue it but have never had the space until now). I turned my small garage into a shop and built a heavy workbench meant for using hand tools. I still use the table saw for big cuts, but I've been trying to stick mostly to hand planes, chisels, and backsaws for the majority of the work. Here's what I've made since the pandemic:

    A built-in bookshelf at the top of our stairs


    My workshop


    The bench itself


    A low bench for sawing


    And finally some real furniture, a desk for my wife's mom

  7. #7
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Nice!

  8. #8
    Man, that workbench looks too nice to actually work on.
    Last edited by Brethren; 5th Aug 2021 at 09:48.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    It does. I would be afraid of accidently drilling through it while I worked on it or something.

    And I've never quite understood how people think of the forces of the universe as meshes and the like. To me it's areas of energy. Some opposing and some interacting. Individual bits with forces of their own and collective masses made of those with a collective force unique to the whole.

  10. #10
    After publishing two adventure novels this past year, I started in earnest an effort to complete a sci-fi opus I've been working on for years, virtually restarting from scratch. If all goes well, the first volume should come out late 2022.

    There's another thing but that will call for a separate notice at the appropriate time

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Man, that workbench looks too nice to actually work on.
    Thanks. It's already full of dents and scrapes, and yeah, I did accidentally drill through it a little bit once. It's five inches thick, though, so it can be resurfaced many times. Workbenches in this style are traditionally joined together with drawbore pegs, not glue, so they tend to last for hundreds of years. I'm hoping mine will outlive me and be used by future craftspeople.

    For those interested, I posted a photo build diary of the bench, which took place over many months last year.

  12. #12
    The bench just looks really solid. I built my workbench years ago out of a solid core door I bought 2nd hand, and I thought it was pretty damn sturdy, but this puts mine to shame. Again, nice work.

    No pressure, but you're kind of required now to build more things.

  13. #13
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    You need a massive rustic douglas fir eurorack case now

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Jafaville New Zealand
    Started 3d printing during lockdown. Made a proton pack Also, lights up with sound.

  15. #15
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Since I have CFS, I was pretty much living life as in lockdown long before Covid, so my life did not change as dramatically as it did for normal healthy people. I did stop going to the gym, and bought some more home equipment. I probably lost some muscle mass, but got overall more fit. Slimmer, less bulky. I was already in the habit of taking long walks, but with the lockdown, that became one of the very few forms of exercise available, so I did that more and for longer. I was very much aware during lockdown #1 that I would later look back fondly on how quiet and empty the streets were, and how calm and peaceful the city felt. Not so much in lockdowns #2 and #3, when people stopped caring.

    Back in my home country, 12-odd years ago, I used to have quite a lot of plants. Since moving over here, none. Until now. With too much spare time, I bought a couple of plants, and some tomato seeds, so for the better part of this year, my tiny flat has turned into a small jungle. I did manage to kill a few cactuses, but so far, everything else seems to still be alive. No tomatoes yet, though.

    For exercise, I usually walk a lot, but since lockdown #1, I've been trying to avoid people, who at the time tended to congregate in the parks I would usually go to, so I had to think up other plans. This meant that I more or less by accident discovered a lot more local back streets, and local geography than I probably otherwise would have. Now I know my way around this part of the city a lot better than only two years ago.

    But really, due to my illness, I was already doing most of the stuff already, it was just ramped up a little bit. For my birthday last year, my stepdaughter got me a card that said "You were social distancing before it was cool". How true.

    [Edit]

    One thing I did do a bit more was to focus a bit more on my music. I'm not an actual musician and I never will be, I don't have the talent, but I quite enjoy making noise. Most of it will never escape my headphones, because quite frankly, it's... with the best of will, shit. There are two or three tracks that I'm slowly beginning to feel a bit proud of, but they will need a lot more polishing before they're done. And there's about 500 half-assed pieces of crap that will never go anywhere. The other day when I was drunk I thought that maybe I'd try to learn playing the cello, but that'll probably never happen, I can't play the instruments I already own. But I do love the sound of a cello. Maybe I should start with something simpler, like the ukulele I got 14 years ago and still can't play. Any day now. Except it's in a box in a country far, far away. I'm getting pretty good at playing the drum machine.

    [Edit again]

    I often make jokes about me being an old fat middle aged white guy. Some of that is mildly exaggerated for comedy value. I'm only about 4 kg overweight, which I consider to be pretty good for a guy turning 50 this year. But it's such an open goal to clump all of those bits together, to highlight how irrelevant I am. Point being that young people should ignore everything I say. I have no desire to join the Gammons.

    I'm still boringly white and middle aged and male and heterosexual. Sorry about that. But hey, at least I'm poor, so I have no power over anything, so surely that must be good.
    Last edited by Gray; 10th Aug 2021 at 23:40.
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  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    And I've never quite understood how people think of the forces of the universe as meshes and the like. To me it's areas of energy. Some opposing and some interacting. Individual bits with forces of their own and collective masses made of those with a collective force unique to the whole.
    I was thinking of responding to this and never got around to it. But today's episode of Space Time explained exactly what I wanted to say in an intuitive way. Rather than summarize it badly, I'll just let anyone interested watch it from that link above. The bit that explains this part is 4m30s to 7m13s, but it's good to watch the whole thing. (And interesting because the topic itself is so interesting!)

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Indeed. But it still doesn't make me think in 2D about wave functions. 2D just seems how we simplify when it isn't simple or 2d. It's interesting that the first thing I thought of was communication when the instantaneous particle reaction thing was first mentioned on here. How long back? Ten years ago? And here that is what he talks about. Only then he throws in 4D with time and 5D with multiple universe splitting when all you need is sender and receiver knowing about each other and observation of yes-no reactions to form Pictures much like the 01 we are doing now. Multiverse just muddies the use of a tool for me. We can talk to our space travelers. That and 3D understanding of waves is plenty for me. I'll leave the other for the larger minds. And we can even produce those by manipulation of DNA if we (and by we I mean those smarter than myself) are brave and meticulous as we will have to if we expect to cross vast stretches of space. There had better be some water bear DNA mixed in for those trips. Hell, throw in the 4D and maybe we are the "grays" visiting ourselves to sample and get back to a semblance of human.

    I think I've said all this before but maybe it was multiverse me.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2021
    Location: Germany
    Well I stopped doing any sport and started to cook more in Berlin property here. And I am surprised but my dishes come out really tasty and I enjoy the process of cooking now. Before I wasn't much into it. Also started to listen to more music
    Last edited by Colone; 24th Aug 2021 at 04:14.

  19. #19
    New Member
    Registered: May 2020
    Location: Legnica, Poland
    I got back to building airplane models. The hobby was absent during my whole teens and twenties. Now, during the pandemic, I found it again amusing.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Some absolutely classic pandemic hobbies in this thread.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ajay View Post
    I got back to building airplane models. The hobby was absent during my whole teens and twenties. Now, during the pandemic, I found it again amusing.
    Very cool! Is that a Bf 109?

    I finished a PBY Catalina last year that I had received several birthdays ago... First model since I was a teenager! Not the best but not too shabby

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: The great state of Idahohiowa
    Wrote a novel and published enough stories to turn them into a fiction collection. They'll be coming out in 2022.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: May 2020
    Location: Legnica, Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by raph View Post
    Very cool! Is that a Bf 109?

    I finished a PBY Catalina last year that I had received several birthdays ago... First model since I was a teenager! Not the best but not too shabby
    Yeah, that's 109 together with mig-15 and mig-17.
    I always liked how Catalina looks! Think you motivated me to get one.

  24. #24
    New Member
    Registered: May 2020
    Location: Legnica, Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombras View Post
    Wrote a novel and published enough stories to turn them into a fiction collection. They'll be coming out in 2022.
    Maybe you could let us know once it's available?

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    holy shit Sombras! Good to see you again.

    also dont go to the members list and sort by posts, which I just did. So many names there I had (almost) forgotten about. Gave me some weird ass feels, like a dusty breeze passing me by in an underpass.
    Last edited by PigLick; 22nd Aug 2021 at 07:49.

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