So what are your other interests/hobbies?

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So let’s see if we can find more common interests with one another. What are your hobbies? Care to share what you do for a living? Involved in any other groups? Any interesting facts you would like to share? I know we had the introductions thread, and I am hoping to expand on that.

(Forgive me if this thread is redundant.)

I will go first.

I am involved in a San Rocco festa band in Aliquippa every summer. I have played flute/piccolo for the past 15 or 16 years.

I have a bunch of pets.

I am a physician assistant in orthopaedic surgery (hip and knee replacements).

I used to go to a lot of shows at Roboto, Laga, etc., and i still enjoy ska.

I grew up in center township.

brian j

Things I enjoy:

* Being a dad.

* Rock climbing!

* Reading, mostly non-fiction

* Programming (this is also what I do for a living)

* Writing (I wish I could do this for a living)

I grew up in Lincoln-Lemington


I love snowboarding, skateboarding, and videogames.

I grew up in Clairton.

For work: I ship acrylic / plastic stuff via fedex / ups/ freight.


Displaced farm boy, from the backwoods of York County. (No-one ever actually drove a tractor to school, but no-one batted an eyelash at rifles in the gun-racks in the student parking lot either.)

Ex-goth/industrial fringe boy. Never could pull off pasty and anemic, so went for barbarian in black leather instead. (I still occasionally miss the Babylon, dammit. Nothing like a night spent swilling Red Deaths and dancing spastically to ‘Temple Of Love’ over and over and over…)

Used to be really into the Society for Creative Anachronism, D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and bad Euro-techno.

Currently into neo-vaudeville, steampunk, and chap-hop music; fiddling with various forms of craft and hackery in the basement shop; and perpetual home improvements.

Professionally, I get paid to write code. Or at least pretend to.


I like board games, hiking, camping, gardening, and FOOD.

Graduating CMU with a M.S. in May, looking for jobs.

Grew up in NM, TX, OK, moved here for college.


• photography (freelance photog and I collect/repair/use vintage cameras)

• graphic design

• mobile design

• I’m also a typography geek, but I’m terrible at it.

• fabrication (metals, woods, plastics, electronics)

• writing (I write for, iphone related content)

• new media (I organize podcamp pittsburgh every year, I do media consulting of all sorts, social media, promotions, branding, relations)

• camping/hiking/exploring

• science and technology in general

• grew up in Cape May, New Jersey. Moved to PGH in September


Flock of Cycles!


Besides biking, I love hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking, traveling, gardening, cooking and taking pictures of all of the above.

I am a mix between a computer geek and a scientist. I do a fair bit of programming, writing grants, making pretty figures and presentations, and I get to run simulations of chemical/biological systems on really big computers. This is the most fun part of my job. The least fun part of it is that it leaves me with no time to do all the things I listed above. It is a temporary position, so if anyone if you know anyone hiring…

I grew up in Minnesota and went to grad school in California.


I have a job where I have to be a semi-public figure, which can be exhausting and stressful. So, I’ll just share a few fun tidbits here and enjoy getting to know some of you better “in real life” through rides &tc, hopefully.

-When I was much younger, I learned to play foos ball and asteroids from teenaged Iranian exiles & was actually pretty good at both at one point.

-I used to be in a “noise band” in the 90s and got to share billing with such diverse acts as Coolio, Sleater Kinney, Deerhoof, Yo La Tengo, and Merzbow (before some of them got “big.”)

-I was a vegetarian for a very long time and am a pretty good cook

-I did the layout for the label on Mudhoney’s first 45

-I used to do community radio


Hm, I guess my main hobby is food.

I love trying new things and ingredients, reading about chefs and food.

I am planning on opening a small, not-for-profit cafe (maybe co-op?) in my hometown, as much food as possible coming from local farms and businesses. All revenue either goes back into the restaurant or to work toward starting an Edible Schoolyard in each of the local schools, and to push toward school lunch reform.

I also like to dream.


@robjdlc: +1 on the typography geekiness

@dwillen: your raised beds look amazing!


Backpacking, x-country skiing, mountaineering, ex-iceclimber, reading (mainly mindless fiction). I was a military brat, born in California and lived up and down both coasts. Graduated from Georgia Tech and have lived in Pittsburgh for 22 years (in Aug).


Totally forgot I love to cook. Derp.


Of course I’m a cyclin’ fool, I lead lots of rides from spring through fall – look for Team Decaf Tuesdays and Saturdays. Generally, we ride 20 -25 miles at a C pace (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours).

Cool to find out there are other gardeners. My flavor of gardening is more like landscaping – tons of perennials make up my yard. I grow dozens of canna – a tall, large-leafed tropical flower that has to be brought indoors over the winter.

I’m an indie music fanatic – my favorite bands change so frequently, it’s silly to mention them. I love it when I meet someone else who shares my musical taste, it’s kinda rare. If you’re an indie fan and we meet someday, we’re going to have a lot to talk about.

See that glowing orange ball to the left? That’s my company logo. Self-titled as Creative Director, me and my 4-man design firm (three are women) create websites and print media, an occasional video, and lots of Flash widgets and little animations. Check out samples of our web design or graphic design work on our website.


I grew up in New Jersey, and have lived in Pittsburgh for 30 years now. I’m a software developer by trade.

I’m into live theater, computer-related stuff, and science fiction. I’m also interested in typography, transit issues, web design, and photography.


I am an architect, though I can’t say I’m passionate about it. I hate suits and I despise sucking up to people with overinflated egos, which is really what it’s all about. Fortunately I work with a guy who lives for that. I am much happier out in the dirt with the guys who are putting down the concrete, brick, and lumber.

I have 2 children who burn off most of my time for interests and hobbies, which I get grumpy about, but I can already sense the day when they will grow up and move away, and I will be heartbroken.

I love anything outdoors, and would generally rather be out in the woods than indoors. Yet I also could not live without the arts and music and cities. So, that’s tricky.

I like to go fast in and on things.

I am an excellent mechanic.

That’s a lot more than I thought I would come up with.


Grew up in the nether regions of New York State. (Nearest city is Montreal.) Came to PGH in 1990 to attend CMU for physics. Moved away in ’99 and moved back in ’08. [If anyone here was at CMU from ’90-’94, I was the guy who was always in Wean Hall that wore a long black cloak and was on roller blades.]

Now, I’m a software developer, and in my spare time I errr…. develop software. Right now I’m splitting my time between developing a website for my upcoming wedding and a project called Gibson which is a way to visualize network security in 3D. [I’m not the lead on that project, just helping out when I can.]

I also read quite a bit, sci fi, history, skeptical movement (Martin Gardener, Micheal Schermer, James Randi, etc…)

I am the primary cook in my household. Kid of a single parent, I started cooking in 4th grade and find it very relaxing. (Actually signed up for my first official cooking classes at the end of March.)

Back when I had a larger yard, I did some organic gardening. Hoping to start that back up this year, in my smaller city-sized lot.

This year I’m also hoping to start volunteering with either 9 mile run or the steel valley trail council. (Time is short right now, so I won’t start that for a month or two.)


Grew up here

pretty much my main hobby is having hobbies.

Right now main hobbies are

home brewing

Paper Sculpture

I used to podcast, and I enjoy anything creative.

For work (for however long im still employed) I do mechanical design and drafting.


That’s weird, I clicked on the topic and was somehow redirected to


I’m just gonna let people keep replying and slowly highlight things I forgot.

Every tuesday night I record Awesomecast – a video podcast covering the weeks news in tech.


whats the link to awesomecast… if only I could look stuff up online.. like a search machine or something


I enjoy other things that let me push my


– Winter Backpacking / Camping

– Hiking

– Cathedral of Learning Stairs

– Yoga


– xc skiing when the weather is right.

– writing. Have a crappy blog, have done

some stuff for Urban Velo, Dirt Rag,

Cyclocross Magazine.

I work for Howard Hanna Shadyside to fund

my fun. Buying or selling a haas? Use me!


Seen 23 winters in/around Buffalo NY and almost 30 here.

* Grew up playing pit crew to my father’s love of enduro motorcycling

* Consequently learned how to navigate most anywhere without a map (secretly I was an early successful experiment in implanting GPS chips… –jk)

* As a kid, and as late as 19, enjoyed jumping from tree to tree in a stand of pines planted about 20 feet apart (not kidding)

* Bicycling on public roads since about 7

* Unicycling since about 15

* Avid record collector, especially 78s, especially *early* 78s like pre-1930. The music changed radically after the invention of the electric microphone in the late 1920s. Check out the cylinders website for some wonderful examples, like this one.

* Numismatics, i.e. coin collecting, though I haven’t bought much in recent years.

* Short-wave and DX radio, and back in the age of analog TV, DX television.

* I enjoy reading aloud, and for 11 years read to the blind every week on the Radio Information Service.

* I write a lot. The hand-written and typewritten blog goes back to 1981.

* Toastmasters! I’m trying to overcome a bad case of childhood stage fright, with some success.

* I collect and study Bible translations, but am not a Christian. I also own (and occasionally read) a Koran.

Gee, what else? Oh right:

* I seem to have this thing about public transit. 20,000 bus rides in >20 years is an accurate estimate.

Work? Well, at the moment I’m on the hunt, but when I’m working, I’ve been “the build guy” in various programming departments.

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff.


Joe- good one

Steevo- we will use You if we have to move. We watch the Howard Hanna showcase of homes on Sundays and I think we have seen your brother (?) As an agent on there.


work – engineer for your friendly neighborhood nuclear power plant developer. I am female Dilbert. Dilbertina?

fun – everything you wouldn’t expect Dilbert to do. Anything active, anything organic, gardening (composting makes me giddy), sustainable, community, free, sharing, people powered. In my personal time I’d be a card carrying luddite, but cards are too new-fangled.

other groups – Sustainable Monroeville, Transition Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Garden Experiment, penn hills community development corporation, steel dragon kung fu.

other tidbits – was headed towards professional bassoonist until I realized I hated performing. Have two mentally deficient cats. From Vancouver originally, raised in Squirrel Hill, lived in Mali (west africa) for two years in Peace Corps. I speak Bambaran and French (West African), dabbled with Arabic (levantine) and Russian (high), working on Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean (for work and fun) (I’m NOT a polyglot, just curious and determined). I read linguistics thesis papers for fun.

I do not know what I want to be when I grow up.


i’m originally from the buffalo ny area. i moved to pittsburgh for cmu in 1998, then stuck around with a job as a research programmer (in hip/knee replacements, incidentally). then i “worked” as a freelance software developer for two years. and now i’m back in research, coming up with fun algorithms for finding the patterns in the noise.

i played football in college, but hockey has always been my sport of choice as a spectator, and i watch most every game with friends at a shadyside bar.

my special lady friend is vegan, and around the time we started dating, i developed an overwhelming fondness for cooking. as a result, i became a darn good vegan chef, if i may say so myself.

that led to the discovery of one of my absolute favorite things in the world, which is baking bread and pizza. i would likely bake about 4 loaves/pies per day if i had time and enough people to eat them. it is an endless quest for absolute perfection in flavor and form that drives me, and i hope to someday have an oven with which i can advance the quest properly.

i may have come into that from a general love of the fermented grain, as one of my favorite things my whole adult life has been beer. not just swilling as much of it as i can, though i’m sure there’s plenty of that, but studying it and appreciating it and brewing it. there have been very few rooms indeed that i’ve been in where i wasn’t the person most knowledgeable on the topic of beer.

i also dig games, when they’re done properly. i’ve played my share of tabletop and computer role playing games, and i also have a fondness for games that provide a good study of game theory.

and, like most everyone i know, i never do enough reading. i just finished lord of the rings for the first time (which is very strange for a geek of my calibre), and i’m wondering if i can put up with tolkien’s writing long enough to get through the silmarillion.

dag, there’s so many things off the top of my head that i’d put on this list if i actually had time to do them. how do i find time for biking?


I’m a statistician working with anesthetic drug complications by day. I pretend to work and they pretend to pay me.

I do some music and dance things. I swing dance. I used to call some tradional squares and contra dances. I might take that up again.

The music I do tends to be a kind of acoustic garage rock. Which has little application in either swing dance nor traditional set dances. I love jitterbugging to punk-a-billy, but I don’t get much chance.

My main musical thing is acoustic rock jams in my living room every other Satruday afternoon. Sometimes they are good enough that it’d be proud to do the saem music onstage. Sometimes so bad that if it wasn’t my home, I’d leave.

I’ve recruited one person from here and hope to get others. I give free music lessons to a couple of people who come to the jams, although the jams themselves are not -and won’t be- lessons.

Maybe tie my jams in with my pet bicycle busker band project.

I do too much reading “I shoulda been asleep hours ago.” Mostly history and biography, but that is becasue after a few thousand novels, even a “great novel” is kinda of a waste of time.

I do openwater swimming- sometimes in the river with Sarah, who posts here occasionally, and some other posters. I love lakes and have close personal relationships with a number of them.

I bow down in awe to ejwme’s alpha-Geekitude!


just another software developer during the day.

hobbies include:

house renovation

woodworking (especially as part of the reno)

mandola & mandolin (I play with the pittsburgh mandolin orchestra)

vegetarian cooking


and I often indulge in online flight simulation during the winter


I do web design, online ad fulfillment and now video production(!) for a publishing company serving the paint and coatings industry.

I like:

* other outdoor stuff, especially kayaking – I volunteer trip lead for Venture Outdoors

* I’m part of a community theatre group, Stage 62, in Carnegie (too far for biking, :)

* swimming and playing softball (500 freestyle, 3rd base)

* music and concert-going, mostly of the indie rock variety lately

* watching ice hockey (Go Pens!)

* art, making it and looking at it

* books and movies and games (video/board/card)

* trying to play guitar, but I’ve been singing all my life

* Photo documenting my travels

* I can juggle, give a good back massage and play a mean game of ping pong too!

Grew up in Saltsburg, PA.

dag, there’s so many things off the top of my head that i’d put on this list if i actually had time to do them. how do i find time for biking?

HV, how else do you expect to get TO all of these things? :)

EDIT: I have to say beer (Grimbergen Dubbel) and food (ALL OF IT) too! I’m a wanna be cook, but lack the motivation/confidence…


I build and/or fix houses. For money.

I hold elected office. I do get paid for this, but it’s not a lot, so this is NOT for the money.

I ice-skate with my kids. Or we play street hockey in the alley. Or tackle football on the carpet. Or “hockey fight” in the kitchen (yeah, it’s pretty much what you’re thinking-my five-year old yanks my shirt and kicks my ass).

I read-as often as I can. Usually history or fantasy. I would like credit for having completed Moby Dick. I am currently reading Return of the King, Fromkin’s “Way of the World”, something called “The Ordeal of Total War” and a dual Hitler/Stalin biography.

I read “Prisoner of Azkaban” to my daughter every night. Last night I read “Private I. Guana” to my son.

I am a nascent beer-guy: love the Magic Hat holiday variety pack, love East End’s Big Hop – really loved the seasonal Big Hop. I contend you cannot beat a very-cold High Life on a hot day, and I’m gonna stand firm on that.

Attended two high schools nearby, graduated a college about 90 minutes away, but had the opportunity to live in Montana, Seattle, Los Angeles and Montana (again), and travel for previous work a lot over a six-odd year period before coming to Pittsburgh. I think of it as coming here, because I had been gone so long, it was more like the next place than a return.

Love Pittsburgh: it is what you make it. The grass is not greener anywhere else.

Amateur “student” of architecture and design, history, animation, and whatever my second-grader’s homework is tonight. Am currently trying to avoid politics, as I tend to obsess and make myself miserable.

I have two waffle-, three french toast- and four pancake recipes. My kids and I make breakfast every weekend together (and I am always on the look out for new recipes – so send them my way!).

I would like to bake better. To know how to can fruit. To know how to grow grass (not grass, just grass). To know better how to maintain my bike.

If I could give my kids three things they would be: unconditional love, intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something.


Mick – my husband considers me the alpha-dork, rather than an actual geek. I think actual geeks tend to be more accurate than I am :D (though I suppose correcting someone online is more dweebish than dorkish or geekish… semantics!)

And have you ever tried Scottish Country Dancing? It’s like old timey square dancing with bagpipes (or ullian pipes or whatever) and no caller. And everybody (well, most people) wears plad and drinks a lot. My parents love it. Like my mom goes to dance workshops some place in the carolinas, and stepdad writes music to dance to. You might like.


@ Ejwme

I haven’t done any Scottish dancing. I understand it’s pretty technical and – not having a caller- you actually have to LEARN the stuff.

I imagine your mom went to the JC Campbell School in Brasstown. I’ve been there for their winter dance & music week a few times.

Oddly enough, the English pretty much wiped out trad Scottish dancing in Scotland. The major place in the world it’s done is Cape Breton, Canada. University people from Scotland go there to learn the traditions to teach in Scottish studies.

For traditional contras and English dancing, the best music for dancing tends to be deadly boring for prolonged listening. Less so for Irish music/dancing. Scottish fiddlers are awesome, not sure how their dance music would be.


@ejwme: AlphaDork has a certain ring to it… ever considered changing your handle?

Nick D

-I was born in Pusan, S. Korea and as a baby, looked like a mini Kim Jong-il. I grew up in the east suburbs of Pittsburgh, adopted by a great family.

-I recently started working on a book about my adoption and how it shaped my outlook on life. I will probably never finish it.

-I attended Pitt for mechanical engineering. Four and a half years later, I dropped out while pursuing a degree in economics in order to focus on business ventures.

-I currently hold shares in two privately owned business–neither of which have turned a profit. Working in small business, I do everything from graphic design, merchandising, buying, R&D, and wholesale and retail sales, to sweeping floors, painting, and hanging drywall. I also spend a fair amount of time helping other entrepreneurs with getting businesses started–most of them have profited.

-One of my businesses specializes in high-end car care. The other is currently transitioning to produce a collection of stylish, self-adhesive, retro-reflective, bike graphics.

-Along with Dan W, Kayla G, Rob de la Cretaz, and Jane K, plus encouragement from BikePGH, we formally organized Flock of Cycles to enable us to do more cool things for the local community.

-I enjoy annoying my girlfriend.

-I raced cars for a bit, and I am very mechanically inclined and have excellent problem solving abilities. I probably would have made a good mechanical engineer.

-I like: photography (though I wouldn’t call my self a photographer), cooking, eating, beer, NPR, Mad Men, cars, motorcycles, bikes, and anything in between.

-I aspire to be Don Draper, mostly to annoy my girlfriend.

-I own, love, and hate a modified Aprilia SR50R that gets 110+ mpg.

-I hate science and the state of Ohio. (Only because Dan and Noah love them, respectively.)

-I also still enjoy ska.

-Most of this post is supposed to be funny.


“-I enjoy annoying my girlfriend.”

Brilliant. Reminds me what the thing I forgot was: “My wife tolerates me.”


I forgot: I also like cats. as in, when I’m a 60-year old unmarried schizophrenic, I’m going to own at least 20 of them.


besides bikes, my main hobby is bikes. for real, stef thinks i’m going to leave her for a downhill bike one day.

at work i am a flash developer, illustrator, designer and animator. i also do most all of those things on a freelance basis. i’m kind of an online media guru and have been doing banner and rich media online advertising since before y2k. before that i was a bike messenger.

i moved to pittsburgh from the family farm in western ny in the 90s for aip, moved back to rochester in 2000, survived the first dot-com bubble burst (and will hopefully ride out the coming one as well) and moved back here in 2005.

in my spare time i hang out with stef and our zoo, find reasons not to finish the house or the back yard, watch LOTS of movies, read a few books, play rpgs on my xbox (trying to get people together for d&d is nearly impossible these days) hike, take pictures, camp, build trails, listen to a ton of music and grow my beard.

i also enjoy ska, the kind played in england and jamaica up till the mid eighties. not the kind stef likes.

also i’m pretty good at trivia.


dbacklover: :)

I also forgot, percussionist of 17 years or so.




Ok here it goes…

I’m a project manager and AVP for a bank. You would never guess this by my appearance.

I also ride a motorcycle

Led Zeppelin is the greatest band of all time

I was once a bouncer in a nightclub

I like greenbeans

I like to fish and I have been too drunk to fish


I like to not do my homework. Why, I’m doing that right now!

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