A Hobby Obsessed Vet

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New Member
Jan 8, 2023
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Sautee, Ga
What is good everyone? I am Skåldy, a rather dumb guy who lucked out pretty hard in life all things considered. I am 31 yrs old and currently live just outside a little German themed vacation town called Helen Ga. I enlisted in my senior year of High School. Went on to do that for about 4 years with a single deployment as a Cavalry Scout. But by the time I got back from the one, it was all surgeries and therapy for a long time. Over a decade now since I got hurt and "went crazy." I was lucky enough to leave with all my fingers and toes and without any majorly visible scaring. Since then I have been medically retired 100% P&T/IU. But honestly, I found a better way than the gangs of therapists and mountains of meds. And that is with hobbies! An active mind can actively work out it's problems, but a stuck body is a stuck mind, at least in my opinion and experience.

I am married with 2 kids, and like to consider myself a southern man who values Respect, Country, Family, and the things my Pagan heart finds attractive. I am rather the homebody since I tend to be rather pernicious when I feel confronted, which for me is a much lower bar than a healthier person's. The way the VA puts it to me is that my fight or flight is broken, and I have no flight. So basically, I WILL throw myself in front of even certain death to attempt to stop what my brain has deemed a threat, even if the "threat" is a walmart greeter, I respond to it all the same.... The VA has basically advised me to stay home, and to only venture out when I am escorted by "a handler" (typically my wife, or other family members who are also vets). Even still, I may leave my land once or twice a month unescorted, typically to ride my motorcycle, and I NEVER talk or interact with others when alone like this. Hence why my hobbies tend to start at raw material (that I usually source directly from my land or through my donation boxes) and evolve into a finished item, otherwise I would run into materials problems on almost all my hobbies. This is also how I control the cost of projects, after acquiring the tools, each board foot and pound of metal gets cheaper and cheaper to produce. Some days I am unable to sit down, and some days I can't stand up thanks to my mind... But I try and make this "defect" work for me and I attempt to turn it into my super power. I refuse to be beaten by my own mind, if it won't let me stand, I do stuff on my computer, and if it won't let me sit, I produce anything I can think up with my atrocious amount of tools. I used to be big into keeping reptiles, but the worse my head got, the less I was able to effectively care for them. War made me a killer, but I still put an animal's health and well being over my desire to keep them as a pet. I mean, I am crazy, not an animal abusing psychopath! I was eventually lead to relinquishing all pets and live stock aside from the dogs. The kids couldn't handle the dogs leaving, and again, not a psychopath, so I am not gonna torture my kids like that. They are simply to young to understand my problems, nor do I want to bother the kids with literal war, I did it so they don't have to. Luckily, dogs are easy enough to take care of. And a good source of "calm" for my mind...

My recent obsession is brewing, but from one end of my house to the other, out to our two sheds and a 15x30 pole barn that is filled, to randomly placed every where on my land there is evidence of full "set-ups" or "stations" for a multitude of various hobbies and the weather and my mood basically determine what I do from day to day. Mostly recently we started acquiring materials for a traditional pizza oven, the Wife is an amazing cook who does traditional from scratch food almost every meal and she recently asked for a pizza oven, so we build it. My son and I are even building a "Viking village" out in the woods, a permanent off grid bushcraft area where we plan to process our hunts and tan leathers and potentially a root cellar. We currently process hunts next to the garage, and it makes the area rather nasty and the wife wants it moved. Everything from a saw mill (although it is broken ATM), to a full suite of wood power & hand tools down to whittling/hand carving and power carving. Trying to convince the wife to let be build a watermelon trebuchet, but she says I gotta talk to the neighbors first and make sure no one is gonna sue if I accidentally hit their car or something during a misfire or other failure... Leather working and costume making has a large room in the basement... Then there is my station for gold reclamation from computer parts (<-- this hobby is a money pit and is hyper dangerous, I do not recommend). Blacksmithing, general metallurgy, smelting, and casting personally my 4 favorite tasks, I get to hit things and not get into trouble, and melted metal is prolly the prettiest thing I have ever seen... it's like water, but its not like it all lol and IDK how to explain it better than that. I have a neighborhood metal drop off for a recycling effort. Basically I'll do anything on YouTube that catches my interest and is reasonably affordable and buildable, to a scale of actually recouping my costs on it, mostly with the recycling. People drop off bags off bags of soda/beer cans and I melt them into bars of fairly pure aluminum and get a pretty penny for it. Basically, I work around here without having a job just to keep myself busy. Although, this hobby is obviously for me and whomever I freely share it with. Not tryna piss off the law, plus to sell stuff like this, I would assume one needs a coterie of nefarious friends but alas, all my friends get government checks and have security clearances. So no one even thinks too heavily about messing with the law.

Tomorrow (Monday 9 Jan 2023) the last of my brewing supplies are supposed to arrive, and I will be starting my first batch of mead! The current plan is 6 gallons, 20lbs of local honey, d47 + nutrients and energizer. Initially, EC-1118 came with one of my other orders, and I opted to not use it because of the chance of making a "rocket fuel." I plan to stop fermentation around 13%. Measurements are based on an old family "blue mead?" recipe, that I translated and scaled to size. But is basically reduced to a traditional mead for simplicity and learning the skill and until I figure out how to recreate several aspects of it including a specific "mushroom yeast?" mix they used that I have so far failed to translate to English partially due to their penmanship and fading ink... I really don't understand their recipe and THIS is a rough basic first attempt to familiarize myself with brewing before I even attempt whatever wild variants my ancestors were doing.

Thanks for reading about me, I am looking forward to extracting every ounce of knowledge I can from you all!
the simpsons GIF


NOTE: if a word is in -"?"- it means I am not certain I am using the right term or even talking about the right thing...
Welcome , good luck with the Mead , I haven't brewed any yet but it is on my short list . also FWIW crazy is relative , I'm a deep sea diver , me and all my friends and coworkers used to be considered crazy ... now what I'm seeing passed off as normal in society has seriously raised the bar on that term .
Cheers, Rich
Welcome! My brew buddy was infantry in Afghanistan and got rung by an IED but he got home and is raising a son now. The hobbies are great because they are a link to people, including people online in this nice community. Funny that my buddy is also into blacksmithing, woodworking, etc etc... He also got involved in a songwriting project for vets that was really cool. I suppose ya gotta watch your intake when you start making big batches of beer (I drink soooo much more than I used to) but it's a wholesome community here and a really fascinating hobby you will love. Feel free to DM me, I can help with recipes, questions or just shoot the breeze.
And... another welcome to HBT!

Homebrewing and reading these forums can become obsessive, even addictive. You may have noticed we talk about much more than just beer, wine, meads, and such.


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