I enjoyed finding the elusive whole sand dollar at Seaside. A friend of mine pointed out when I was astonished at her collection, "just go north of Seaside about half a mile and you'll find buckets of them..." so I did ..."and soak them in bleach for a day when your done...then they won't stink to high heaven," she added.
Composing and playing music are my favorite hobbies, followed by photography. And of course Algorithms, Algorithms, Algorithms fill out the top of my list of favorite things.
My early musical years were spent playing violin and singing. In middle school, I switched to the cello and enjoyed that fantastic instruments through my teens. I was the lucky recipient of quality voice training during Madrigal and general choir then too. Something I use most from any musical lessons I took. I remember a cello instructor's concerned look when I picked up a guitar in that time frame (we may lose him...), much to my surprise. Violin was a summer gig for a while, until Grandpa Sam taught my older brother and I how to golf, then we had fun with that for a few years.
Saint Saens Cello Concerto #1 was my 'competition piece' in the only 'Solo and Ensemble' competition I played in (1984, Utah), for which I received a perfect, score, followed by my accompanist, the Wizz Kid Steve Thomas, who got the ever elusive and rarely given perfect+ (he seemed to have an easier time with the accompaniment than I did with the solo, though I'm not sure anyone else has ever gotten the score he did). All the two of us who competed before him could think was, "it was good to go first!" Steve and I got our perfect score for playing Vivaldi's Concerto in G for two cellos at regional's, but didn't want to stick around all day to play it at state - as we'd already done our solos and there was quite a wait for the duet judge (and what more was there to prove? Steve getting two perfect+ scores.... maybe being dragged down to perfect by playing with me and our Bassoon/pianist Wizz Jeff - who, after the regional judge gave him his perfect Bassoon score, shook his hand and added "you've got to come play for me at BYU, you're already better than everyone I've got" Jeff was 16 at the time, and like Steve, was competing at this particular event on his non-primary instrument).
Finance, Accounting and Software Engineering occupied my college studies, resulting in Bachelor of Science (BS - BYU) and Philosophy Doctorate (Ph.D. University of Arizona) Degrees. Interestingly enough, a friend studying Electrical Engineering found music theory, and having to learn piano on the fly impossibly difficult compared to Electrical Engineering or Physics, though he was and is an excellent woodwind player.
One of my favorite field of study comparative statements comes from my friend Rob, who puts it, while Physicis, Electrical Engineering and Calculus are fun and involved, they aren't as particularly difficult or satisfying as composing something you really like. Rob was the first non-MIT graduate to make it into Oracle Corp's engineering staff, quite successfully porting the RDBMS to the PC - Rob can also play everything that doesn't require five finger picking (I call him my five fingered friend behind his back). I also enjoy the late Professor Billy Ray Hays comments on composition "now to do that well is something else!" Dr. Hays was a Physics/Math undergrad, Computer Science MS/Ph.D. and long time faculty in Computer Science at BYU. He was a good father and I enjoyed writing a memorial song for him.
Guitar became my instrument of choice once my college studies were complete - and my 'Classically trained pianist turned metal-head guitarist turned software engineer' friend from school helped me pick out an electric guitar. I like em all - electric, nylon and steel acoustic, bass. Just plain fun.