Lately I have been volunteering at the public library. I try to promote the written word as much as possible.
I am handy with computers: though I took no course work in computer science, I self taught myself some rudimentary Perl and Python. I can also put together computers and repair them myself. I have even recently repaired my MacBook Pro, which seems to be designed in such a way as to discourage anyone but Apple technicians from getting inside them.
I am something of a gearhead: I like cars, and though I generally don't work on my own car, I am literate enough in how cars work to be able to diagnose major problems and fix simple ones.
Thomas Mann, and in particular The Magic Mountain and Joseph and His Brothers. Mann represents everything I love about novels of ideas.
Plato's Republic, Campanella's The City of the Sun, Thomas More's Utopia, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and Fritz Lang's Metropolis (here we have a film). In other words, I really enjoy allegories, and when I was an undergraduate one of my pet projects was to trace the development of allegories from antiquity through the present.
Elizabeth Eisenstein's The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Marshall McLuhan's Gutenberg Galaxy, Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy. I really enjoy reading theoretical works about the development of literacy and printing in the West.
I like to listen to a number of radio shows/podcasts on my iPod, including Car Talk and CarTech Live. I also enjoy the cultural and news programs put out by Deutsche Welle, both in English and Russian.
I like catching a variety of British TV shows online, including shows that have not been on in decades, such as Yes Minister.
I like Romantic and Modernist composers, especially Bruckner, Wagner, and Mahler. I prefer parodies of popular music, such as those by Weird AL Yankovich and Rhett & Link, to the originals. For example, I have no idea what forms the source material for this music video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ov1DDjHt8c), but I sure that whatever it is it is not as good as the parody.
I like the national cuisines of Italy, China, and Greece, or at least how immigrants from those countries adapted their cuisines for Americans since I have never visited those countries. I sometimes enjoy Mexican food, but when it is prepared in certain ways it does not agree with me. And though I like Russian culture, there is not much to be said about borshch and shchi. Crepes and sour cream are fine, though.
2. Evernote. This sounds like a product endorsement, but actually this is the most useful app that I have used in a while. I just wish that something existed between it and Zotero in functionality (i.e., more metadata, more fields! I love to organize!). See my blog post on this topic: http://bibliofillip.blogspot.com/2011/01/hope-for-all-purpose-document.html
3. Drobo. Because I couldn't live without my data, and I don't think there is any better form of local backup. (Another product endorsement, apparently. At least people can't claim that I am not being original here. Yeah, yeah, I need my computer, cell phone, and the Internet too, but so do 300 million other Americans. You need to know the things that I and a maybe a handful of other geeks need.)
4. A large desk. To judge from the selection of desks in office furniture stores, it seems that the expectation is that you are supposed to make do with a small laptop table for your work. This would be impossible for me. I need large surfaces to lay my work out on.
5. A car. I rode public transportation for a number of years before buying a car at the beginning of graduate school. Believe me, there is no going back. Especially in a city like Tucson which has awful public transit. Traveling ten miles across Tucson used to seemed like a Homeric journey in a bus. Now in a car it is nothing at all.