Skills acquisition?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by sour_grapes, Jul 28, 2018.

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  1. Jul 28, 2018 #1

    sour_grapes

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    I sense a lot of us here are lifelong learners, eager to acquire new knowledge and skills (beyond winemaking, even :) ). I am thinking of avocational pursuits, but things that are beyond just "hobbyist" activities, maybe activities that require training. I would be interested to know what skills or training you decided to acquire later in life (and possibly why).

    For example, I always wanted to know how to weld; a few years ago, I realized that a proper structural welding course required a daytime time commitment that I could not meet, but I could take an adult-education welding class (aimed at artists) in the evening. Now, I am casting about for a new challenge. For reasons that I cannot quite identify, I have always wanted to get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). I may yet do that, but I also may look for something else.

    I would love to hear about other training that you undertook, and how you feel about it.
     
  2. Jul 28, 2018 #2

    balatonwine

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    Personally, my main learning interests these days are inward and backwards. Psychology and history about the human condition.

    I am still learning agriculture. But if one only counts the time I spend.... that seems more and more my "day job*" now......

    * Still not an income source, however. :)
     
  3. Jul 28, 2018 #3

    Stressbaby

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    My friend and neighbor across the street took an evening welding class with his wife. Turns out his wife is a far better welder than he is. She's an artist as well and has made some interesting metal sculptures.

    I have no other avocational interests that require training - most of mine (greenhouse/tropical fruit growing, winemaking, horticulture, landscape design) fall into the "obsessed hobbyist" category.
     
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  4. Jul 28, 2018 #4

    mainshipfred

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    Brother, my list could be huge. Unfortunately running a company involves a lot of time. Throw in all the time I spend researching about wine making and trying to get an occasional round of golf my time is limited. Since making wine I would really like to take some chemistry and sommelier classes. I used to play the banjo and have a tenor sax which I think would be very fun to learn to play. Steel drums and piano as well. Always had an interest in restoring old cars but besides time have no place to store them or even one. Restoring an old boat would be another but it would have to be a big one with enough room to work. It's getting harder to climb around small engine compartments but it would allow me to use both my mechanical and carpentry skills. BTW my boat partially submerged a few weeks ago and is probably totalled but that's another discussion. Good topic, I could go on and on. but if I were to do anything it would probably be a chemistry class.
     
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  5. Jul 28, 2018 #5

    sour_grapes

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    So sorry to hear of your boat mishap, Fred!

    Thanks everyone for the thoughts so far.
     
  6. Jul 28, 2018 #6

    mainshipfred

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  7. Jul 28, 2018 #7

    Mismost

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    I always wanted to be a short order cook. I admit it isn't much of an aspiration, but I like the near instant gratification of a job done well. My current job shows results months to years later. Fact is, I am seriously considering retiring for this much higher paying job just to try cooking. Don't need the money but long for the experiences.
     
  8. Jul 28, 2018 #8

    NorCal

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    I gave up my spot in the garage restoring old cars to make wine. I’m pining to rebuild a 60’s roadster again. I found with old cars, it really made me learn a lot of things; mechanical, electrical, fabrication, welding, body work, paint...
     
  9. Jul 28, 2018 #9

    Jal5

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    Sorry about your boat! Condolences
     
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  10. Jul 29, 2018 #10

    sour_grapes

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    I hear you. I have thought about going back to waiting tables (25+ years later), just for the heck of it. Also for the chance to see good cooking in action. I appreciate your sentiment and attitude!
     
  11. Jul 29, 2018 #11

    sour_grapes

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    Yeah, I have long wanted to do a restoration project. It is people like you, who do it so damn well, that make it difficult for doofuses like me to dive in! :) The thought of body work and paint scares me. From time to time, I get semi-serious about doing an engine swap.
     
  12. Jul 29, 2018 #12

    meadmaker1

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    For me one thing leads to the other and its all the way or nothing for me.
    Currently the bee keeping that lead me to wine making is slowly funding itself bigger and bigger. The idea being to acquire/ expand to, enough colonies to justify the trip to the almond fields. The pay off is pretty good. But it would take at least 20 to make the trips worth it. 100 to make it worth doing for other crops, they'd be nearer to home but they dont pay near as well.
    20 hives is a pretty fair commitment for someone with a full time job.
    But as a part time occupation for a Simi retired me, 100 would be doable for several years to come, Perhaps opening doors for my grandchildren
     
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  13. Jul 29, 2018 #13

    BernardSmith

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    I am teaching myself how to make cheese.
     
  14. Jul 29, 2018 #14

    NorCal

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    I’d like to learn that too. I’m swapping wine for cheese with a not so local cheesemaker in the next few months.
     
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  15. Jul 29, 2018 #15

    BernardSmith

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    There are a number of quite good books on cheese making and thee is a very good discussion forum. My own spin on cheese making is to make use of the cultures found in kefir (I make my own kefir) rather than buy freeze dried lab made cultures. Not really into eating kefir so about once every three or four weeks I take all the kefir and make a hard cheese from the kefir itself but about once a week I use about 1/4 cup of the day's kefir to inoculate the milk and make hard cheese that way. Squeaky curd cheese is one of our favorites - it does not need to age at all but it makes use of many of the techniques used in hard cheese making - including cheddaring. But cheese making is a little like brewing - You need to be prepared to set aside 4 hours or more to make a cheese (although there are cheeses that take only a few minutes of your time (Chevre, for example) although the cheese itself may need to drain for 24 hours...
     
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  16. Jul 29, 2018 #16

    sour_grapes

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    No whey! ;)

    Coincidentally, I was eyeing up sausage making this morning...
     
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  17. Jul 29, 2018 #17

    LouisCKpasteur

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    In my late forties I got it into my head that I wanted to do falconry (I'm mid fifties now). Hanging around the falconry forums (there are such things, just like this here winemaking forum) I chanced upon a guy who lived relatively close and was willing to sponsor me. Falconry is heavily regulated and my state only has about 100 licensed falconers, which is pretty average. It's a hard pursuit to break into for that reason - because it follows an old world Master-Apprentice relationship that can sour for any number of reasons, so people who have licenses put you through the ropes. Anyways, I still have my license, but no hawk. A family members long bout (still ongoing) with a terminal disease made it impossible to devote the time necessary to falconry, and there is a big time commitment. Anyways, sitting in my companies conference room one night a year and a half ago after an IT disaster I realized I needed another hobby to fill the void. Went home, got drunk, and ordered a bunch of winemaking stuff. I hope to return to the hawks - trap a new hawk- in September '19. Meanwhile, I ain't giving up the winemaking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  18. Jul 29, 2018 #18

    sour_grapes

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    Wow, very cool. That is inspiring. Thank you for sharing that. :r
     
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  19. Jul 29, 2018 #19

    Boatboy24

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    That's very cool. For a long time, I wanted to go to the British School of Falconry up in Vermont. Still a bucket list item, but sadly, they closed. There is another place up there (also in Manchester) that I would love to visit - The Green Mountain Falconry School.
     
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  20. Jul 30, 2018 #20

    LouisCKpasteur

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    I noticed from your profile you're in the Virginia area. Like Michigan, they have a Falconry Association that has meetups a few times a year to show the general public what they're all about. There's one coming up in August for the Virginians. However, I'm guessing if you want to see the birds in action instead of just perched you'd have to go to one of the winter meetings.

    One thing that gave the willies about the intersection of my interests in winemaking and falconry is Aspergillus (the mold) that is an enemy of the grape as well as a killer of captive hawks. Lost one bird that way. Induces horrible respiratory distress in hawks.
     

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