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You asked for it, here it is! What I do in my spare time...

Steve's Hobby Page!!

 

MUSIC
Drums  -   Percussion  -   Bass  -   Piano  -   Guitar
CRAFTS
Welding  -   Woodworking  -   Photography
SPORTS
Scuba  -   Sailing  -   Raquetball  -   Golf  -   Frisbee  -   Pool  -   Swimming
LEISURE
Computers  -   Poker  -   Chess  -   Reading  -   Writing  -   Films

 


Drums

I've been drumming since 5th grade, and it's still probably my favorite thing to do. Check out my Drumming Page for more...

Percussion

I'm playing Toca congas (Conga, Quinto and Tumba), bongos, and timbales. I learned from Stuart Paton in Burlington, Vermont, who is an outstanding teacher. I've played mostly with Mike Canarie (see The McCormack Brothers on the set lists page for mp3 samples), but love the instruments and am always looking for opportunities.

Bass Guitar

I play electric and acoustic (not upright, just acoustic). The guy I've paid the most attention to in most of the bands I've played in has been the bass player, and I've been fortunate to play with some outstanding players. It was probably inevitable that I'd develop an interest in the bass, and learning the instrument and then playing with other musicians has been one of the most rewarding musical activities of the past few years. I'm playing mostly Fender equipment (P-bass, fretless Jazz, and the BG-29 acoustic), although I sometimes use a Washburn 5-string. I'm mostly playing rock, but trying to learn other styles as well.

Piano

I took lessons as a kid, and continue to play whenever I can. I'm pretty lousy, but I have a lot of fun. I do (alright, that should say "did") all of my composing on the piano, and I teach music theory there.

AcousticGuitar

I'm no better than a noodler, and my hands are too big for me to play electric even halfway decently, but I can play acoustic OK.

Welding

This is a recent addition. Since I was a little kid, I've been fascinated by "rolling ball sculptures," like the ones in the Boston Museum of Science and elsewhere, particularly by a guy named George Rhoades. My uncle was a welder and amateur sculptor, and I recently (unfortunately) inherited his equipment and began to pursue this old interest. I've also acquired a flux-core arc welder, and am learning the skills, but it's a slow process and I'm not very good yet.

Woodworking

Another interest I've had since I was a kid. I learned everything I know from Norm Abram of The New Yankee Workshop and This Old House. I've built a few projects around the house, many with the help of my father-in-law Al Wilkinson, who is an accomplished woodworker himself. When we bought our first house, Julie & I framed, wired, and drywalled, and did the finish work on two enormous rooms in our basement. The renovation included wall-to-wall built-in recessed bookshelves and a few other interesting woodworking challenges - and I haven't done much since then.

Photography

I shoot with a Nikon FM given to me by my dad. I've got a few of my shots hanging around the house, but nothing particularly impressive. I mostly shoot landscapes, and have been influenced by my dad, Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell. Galen Rowel is the more modern version of Ansel Adams, and shot incredible landscapes in color. Genetically, it's not hard to see where I got the interest - both of my grandfathers were also amateur photograpers, and my dad has gone as far as to show in a a gallery and to win a couple of prizes. I recently started messing around with digital, and am using the Canon PowerShot S60. Maybe some day I'll post some pictures.

Scuba

I always wanted to learn to scuba, and finally got both my basic and advanced certification in 2004. I've only dived in New England, but am hoping to branch out. The diving is even more fun than I thought it would be, and less expensive than I would have predicted.

Sailing

I've been sailing since I was about 5, starting at summer camps on a "Sunfish" (a small, fast, single-sailed boat that's great for learning on). Later, I joined the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center in Vermont, where I sailed "JY's" and "Hobies," both two-sailed boats (a main and a jib). They're a little bigger than the Sunfish and a lot more fun. Lake Champlain is a really beautiful place to sail and often has great conditions. Since I moved to Massachusetts, I haven't had much opportunity to sail, but I'm always interested...

Raquetball

What can I say about raquetball? I've been playing since college, but I'm still not too good. I'm always looking for other people who are worse than I am - if you fall into this category, let me know and we can play sometime. I'm pretty easy to beat, because I do what my father describes as "guarding the door" - meaning that I play mostly in the backcourt, so I'm vulnerable to kill shots. Please don't tell Alan Cook about this, or he may start beating me.

Golf

I took up golf a few years ago, at about the same time I decided to become a doctor. I have no idea how that works. Sorry...
I've broken 100 once. But I have a lot of fun, and I don't take forever on the course.

Frisbee

I've been playing with frisbees since I was old enough to throw a tantrum. My favorite frisbee activity is disc golf, which I learned as a kid in summer camp, and played all through college. I organized and ran the "Big Al Invitational Frisbee Golf Championship" twice a year at the University of North Texas (yes, I should have spent more time studying). We drew competitors from all over the region - Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana - and it was a fairly big event. My big moment was the day I beat the Texas State Amateur Champion. Oh, the glories of youth...

Recently, I've played a few professional courses and had a blast. I'm about midway between Buffumville Lake near Sturbridge MA, and the incredible new course at Wickham Park, near East Hartford, CT. The Wickham Park course was started by a friend of mine, Dave Morad - he says I can claim credit for getting him interested in the sport back when I was his counselor at Northeast Music Camp - early 90's. We're all getting old.

Pool

I'm always up for a game of pool. I'll play anywhere, and I'll probably kick your butt. Or maybe not.

Swimming

I should probably take this off the list, since I haven't swam laps anywhere outside of scuba lessons in years. I still love it, though, and I've been swimming since I was 3 or 4, so it stays.

Computers

I got into computers when I was still in junior high school, which means that I did my first programming on the Commodore Vic-20. Now, I do most of my Windows-based programming in Javascript, Perl, Visual Basic (I used to use QuickBasic back in the DOS days). For the web, I program in ASP, Javascript, or Perl, and I hand-code my own HTML (which is what you're reading right now - it's the language in which web pages are written). For the Palm, I experimented with a Pascal environment called Pocket Studio, but came back to my BASIC roots and am now writing all of my Palm apps in NS-Basic. I've taught a few courses in programming for UVM Continuing Education, and I've been running my own computer consulting company, "Anisman Technologies," since about 1992. My rates are pretty reasonable. And, I could use the money. So next time you need a computer consultant, drop me a line...

Poker

I got caught up in the Texas Hold-Em craze started by the World Series of Poker, and have joined a weekly game. I'm a rank amateur, and I play for small stakes only because I'm good enough to know how bad I really am.

Chess

At one time, while I was an undergrad at the University of North Texas, I used to play the same guy (Kent Klee) three games of chess every day. The deal was, whoever had more wins at the end of the semester got a free meal from the other one. I used to be pretty good, and I ended up winning this contest three semesters out of three (the payoff was McDonald's), but those days are over. I'm always up for a game, if you don't mind winning too much. I think the only guy I can still outplay is my father.

Reading

My favorite authors of all time are: And my Top 20 books that I'd want with me on a desert island:
  1. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  2. Truman, by David McCullough
  3. Cider House Rules, by John Irving
  4. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  5. How to Get Off a Desert Island
  6. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
  7. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
  8. The House of God, by Samuel Shem
  9. Letters to a Young Doctor, by Richard Selzer
  10. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
  11. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
  12. A History of Knowledge, by Charles Van Doren
  13. The Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra
  14. Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game), by Herman Hesse
  15. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  16. Straight Man, by Richard Russo
  17. Ever Since Darwin, by Stephen Jay Gould
  18. My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
  19. Aequanimitas, with Other Addresses, by William Osler
  20. Internal Medicine, by Harrison, etc.

If anyone knows a way I can get John Irving to autograph some books (all right, more than some - I've collected all of them in hardcover), please let me know. That's something I'd like to get done before I die, someday.

Writing

What can you say about writing? I guess it's, like, pretty cool and stuff. You know?

Click Here for links to loads of stuff I've written.

Films

I'm a bit of a movie fiend. Usually, I've seen most of the movies that are out in theaters, which makes video rentals difficult. Oh, well - such is life.

The Greatest Movies of All Time:

  1. Cinema Paradiso
  2. The Godfather, Parts I and II
  3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  4. Annie Hall
  5. The Holy Grail
  6. The Life of Brian
  7. True Romance
  8. The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh
  9. Pulp Fiction
  10. When Harry Met Sally
  11. This is Spinal Tap
  12. The Princess Bride
  13. Anything with Al Pacino in it, except for Revolution and the more recent stuff (although Looking for Richard was great)

I've amassed a relatively decent collection of DVD's - available here, if you're desperate for insights into my character.

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