Things to Do, No TV

Okay, I was thinking too hard about what to post today.  But when I checked my blog stats (its a miracle that someone actually looked at this thing!), I noticed a search term of “things to do no tv.”  This is the perfect post.

Here is a list of things I’ve been doing since getting rid of my TV:
1.  Surfing the net.  This might sound a little similar to watching TV, but I have learned a lot about coffee, aviation, cooking, finance, and motivation.  I consider surfing the net to include blogging, so its fair to say that I’ve been checking the “tag surfer” regularly. I really enjoy seeing that other people have problems, some better and some worse, than I do.  This can cost a bit since I have super duper high-speed cable, but you can find cheap dial-up (cough-cough) for much of nothing.

2. Reading.  I’ve got tons of books that I’ve purchased at the bookstore and never really read.  Some of the titles include The 8Th Habit, Rich Man, Poor Man’s Guide to Investing, Your Life or Your Money, Getting Things Done, and the  Sharpe’s series of novels by Bernard Cornwell.  I have a number of others, but these are the ones in my “active” pile.  I’ll pick a book depending on my mood.  The cost here varies whether or not you use your library, book swap, or local bookstore.

3. Paper Models.  Previous posts show off a few of the paper/card models that I’ve assembled.  The most ambitious of which is the “Sikinami” model of a Japanese patrol boat.  Others include various characters I’ve found while surfing the net.  The cost is pretty minor as the models are free downloads with the only real cost being paper, ink, and electricity to print them.

4. Cooking.  One thing I’ve gotten away from in recent months is making enough food to have left overs that I can take to work for lunch.  After balancing my checkbook the other day, I decided to set a micro-goal of preparing a large amount of food on the weekend and then taking my lunch to work at least three days this week.  Right now, I am in the process of making chicken marengo, later in the week will be some type of pasta dish.   Other things I enjoy making from scratch (no cheating in my house!) are pancakes, rough puff pastries, scones, cakes, omelets, pasta dishes, casseroles, salads, bread and cookies.  I would recommend picking up the Joy of Cooking, which has been an absolute good send in my kitchen. I’ve also got something to talk to my grandmother about since she has one of the first editions.  The Victory Garden Cookbook is also one that I really enjoy looking through just before I head off to the farmer’s market.   The cost varies here according to how complex and how fresh of food you want to prepare.

4. Photography.  Just pick a location and go shoot as many pictures as you can.  Sometimes I will go for a walk through the neighborhood and photograph trees, flowers, and other interesting shots as I find them.   The other day I took a walk on the pier and came home with a great panoramic of the coast, a few shots of seagulls and some interesting artistic shots of weathered wood.  Photography can happen anywhere and it encourages you to become more intimate with your surroundings. Photography can cost quite a bit depending on the type of camera you have and how much film developing costs.  I use a Canon Rebel XT digital SLR with various lenses.

5. Writing.  I enjoy writing whether it is in my journal or writing a short-story.  I once took a class with a nationally acclaimed author…. something Murphy.  His advice was to write non-stop for ten minutes each day.  Write about what is on your mind of pick a topic.  Sometime, I get a sentence stuck in my head, which stays there until I write about it.  So, I will start off the session with that sentence.  An example, “The sun glistened off the side of the cruise ship as it limped through the heavy seas.”  You can then take the short-story anywhere you want.   The cost is quite low as paper and a pencil/pen really do not cost that much. You can also do it on your computer, but that is cheating.

6. Painting.  I really enjoy watercolors. I will either paint a picture as I see in my head or try to paint a favorite photograph of mine.  The topics are endless and watercolors are very subtle, yet powerful.  I am still an amateur, but I am slowly getting there.   Cost is relatively as paper and watercolors can be purchased relativey cheaply from any art supply store.

I am going to stop there.  I am sure you can come up with countless things to do without a TV.  Other things I am considering is learning to play an instrument, learning a foreign language, and volunteering in my community.  The choices are countless and before long, you will find yourself being more motivated and productive.



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