Author Archives: patrick-hobbyjam

Ian Filippini

Ian Filippini

Ian Filippini, Santa Barbara native, is the president of Filippini Wealth Management, an independent wealth management firm offering clients comprehensive financial planning services. The company, which is based out of Santa Barbara, California, specializes in services pertaining to real estate, insurance, tax planning, and estate planning — along with a host of other services designed to create a convenient full-service option for its clients.

Filippini, has served as the president of Filippini Wealth Management for many years. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Filippini spends time in and around Santa Barbara.

 

What is your hobby?

Although I don’t have the time for it as I once did, I enjoyed playing golf in my youth.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I learned to play at a very young age and was quite fortunate to live in such close proximity to Pebble Beach.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the humility the game instills in you as well as the instant camaraderie that exists among all golfers regardless of skill level.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

It’s not that often that I am able to play, but I competed in a few youth tournaments here and there back in the day.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

A set of golf clubs is an obvious prerequisite, and I am quite pleased to report that the set of Miura blades I bought so many years ago still has plenty of life in it.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I rarely need to stock up on golf balls and tees, and anything I might need before a round is typically available in the pro shop.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I highly recommend that all golfers — beginning and experienced players alike — read or re-read “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.” The illustrations are beautifully done and so many golfers can benefit from something as simple as adopting the proper grip.

 

How has this changed your life?

Since I played so often during my youth, I learned some critical life lessons that I continue to apply to this day. Golf repeatedly reinforces the importance of hard work, consistency, patience, and humility, among many other qualities that are beneficial in any endeavor.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Swing mechanics are important, but the mental side of the game is of equal importance and usually deserves greater attention from most golfers — especially beginners.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I don’t have much time for my hobbies, but I do enjoy all the hiking trails that so perfectly showcase the natural beauty of the Santa Barbara region.

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Janet Sirmon Hobby Jam

Janet Sirmon

Recognized by her peers as one of the industry’s most knowledgeable fine art photography dealers, Janet Sirmon, the owner of Janet Sirmon Fine Art Gallery, has spent several decades serving a distinguished and discerning client base of museum curators and private collectors. Janet, an alumnus of the famed Pratt Institute, is known for her expertise across the full spectrum of the photography medium, especially with regard to the Czech artists of the 1920s through the 1940s. On the occasions in which the gallery does not demand her immediate attention, Janet enjoys pursuing several hobbies and holds yoga and running in particularly high esteem.

 

What is your hobby?

Obviously, I am deeply passionate about photography, but I also enjoy running and engage in yoga practice on a regular basis.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started running when I was a teenager. Growing up my family was always physically active – it’s just part of who I am.

Tell us what you love about it.

In addition to the mental, physical, and spiritual health benefits, I love that running and yoga seem to complement each other so perfectly. Running encourages creative thought and makes it possible to move through space in such a natural way, while yoga encourages a deep, calming kind of inner reflection.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yoga and running are both quite popular throughout Los Angeles, so I attend a yoga studio in my neighborhood and am part of a running group that meets up every weekend.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Just running shoes and a yoga mat! I should have mentioned how much I appreciate the

simplicity of both pursuits.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There is a running-specific shoe store nearby, and I try to change out my shoes every 200-300 miles. The yoga mat is a bit more durable, but if I ever need to make a change my yoga studio has new ones available.

Are there any good books for beginners?

“Zen and the Art of Running” is a good one for beginners.

How has this changed your life?

Since I’ve been running and practicing yoga on a consistent basis, I’ve felt incredibly energized each and every day.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Build up mileage slowly to prevent injury, and take along a buddy!

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Skiing and golf. The great thing about Southern California is that during the winter months you could conceivably do both in one day

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Hamish McLaren

Hamish McLaren

After achieving remarkable success across a number of entrepreneurial endeavors, Hamish McLaren believes that the time has come to focus his attention on helping others build successful businesses of their own. This belief ultimately inspired Mr. McLaren to found McLaren & Associates Consulting, a firm dedicated to supporting and guiding aspiring entrepreneurs as they pursue the kind of unique and innovative ideas that were so central to McLaren’s own success. With his principal focus centered around his new consulting firm, Hamish McLaren is still able to vigorously pursue his longtime hobby and can often be found conducting business out on the golf course.

What is your hobby?

Although there are many days when it feels more like a blessing or a curse than a simple hobby, golf often dominates my free time.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

A number of my classmates already played golf, so I started playing while attending Notre Dame. At first, I thought it would be good for business, but it ultimately became a pursuit I deeply enjoy for reasons outside of business.

Tell us what you love about it.

There are many days in which I meet with clients and discuss business strategy while playing 18 holes, and I love the fact that it is one of the few games in which this is an acceptable practice.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’m a member at two private courses and also meet up with a few other groups on a regular basis for competitive rounds.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Yes, one of the golf’s great curses is that it is so easy to endlessly tinker with your clubs until they are just right. I’ve bought club-making equipment, used club components, and have far too many shaft options to choose from.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

The group I play with on a regular basis is made up of individuals with similar tinkering habits, so we will trade clubs and other supplies with each other whenever possible. Otherwise, there is the pro shop as well as a few online forums with healthy classified sections that are just loaded with all kinds of different options.

Are there any good books for beginners?

The USGA’s “Rules of Golf,” should be in the bag of every beginning golfer. For instructional advice, I believe in-person lessons are best for a beginner who wants to make quick progress.

How has this changed your life?

Golf has made sure that I have access to an impressive office or conference room wherever I happen to be. I have held some of my most productive meetings on some of the world’s greatest courses, all while playing a game I deeply enjoy.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Learn to be patient, and take great care to abide by the rules of etiquette each time you play.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Yes, I also enjoy sailing as well as the occasional fishing trip.

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Phillip Brenner Hobby Jam

Phillip Brenner

With more than 22 years of experience in the field of urology, Dr. Phillip Brenner has remained at the forefront of innovation within his profession and has utilized his prodigious insight and expertise to assist patients in need of treatment for urological cancers. Dr. Brenner, who was previously the head of the urology unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, specializes in treating prostate and kidney cancers and has performed over 1,000 open radical prostatectomies and 750 laparoscopic procedures. Trained at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Brenner possesses an international reputation as a thoughtful surgeon whose foremost concern is always with the wellbeing of the patient.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy the outdoors, so my main hobbies are sailing, skiing, and tennis. 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I’ve always enjoyed physical activity, and skiing has always held a unique appeal for me since I also enjoy watching professional snow sports. I started skiing young and have enjoyed it ever since.  

Tell us what you love about it.

For skiing, I love that I can cover so much ground and see so much of a particular location in a single day, all while staying healthy and fit.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, there are a few groups I am a part of. There are group ski trips that are scheduled throughout the winter. 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

The skis themselves were the biggest expense, but I also have some gear.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

A married couple I ski with on the weekends owns a ski shop in Sydney, so I always get all of my supplies from them, even if it means waiting for a special order to come in.

Are there any good books for beginners?

This is a great list of books to get the beginner and seasoned skiier alike, excited about the sport.

How has this changed your life?

Skiing has made my life better in so many ways. I find the act of skiing to be quite relaxing, but it is also a great endurance workout that helps me stay fit. As if that were not enough, the social component has also been quite rewarding.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

For all sport hobbies, it is easy to go overboard on equipment that you might not need for a while — or perhaps at all — so my suggestion is to slowly add equipment according to need as you begin to become more serious about your choice of hobby.

 

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Marty Stallone Hobby Jam

Marty Stallone

An innovator in the field of finance and land development, Marty Stallone has utilized his insight and expertise to solidify the status of Metropolitan Development Group as the leading land development company in the Eastern Pennsylvania region. The broad-based land development company has completed projects that include residential, commercial, and industrial properties.

Mr. Stallone, the executive vice president of Metropolitan Development Group — or MDG, as it is often called — is a graduate of Cornell University and has been instrumental in the success MDG has enjoyed in recent years, a product of Mr. Stallone’s expertise in cash-flow analytics, risk management, finance, and the management of all other corporate functions.

What is your hobby?

Although I rarely have the time I’d like to devote to my hobby, I have always been passionate about the outdoors and about fly-fishing in particular.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My family enjoyed fishing a great deal and we all learned how to fly-fish at a very early age.

Tell us what you love about it.

I like that it is a quiet and often solitary pursuit, not to mention the fact that it is an incredibly relaxing hobby.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I have a few colleagues that enjoy fishing as much as I do, and it is fairly often that we’ll plan a fishing trip as long as our schedules permit it.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Yes, I have invested quite a bit in equipment over the years, but my favorite rod and reel is the same one I’ve used for years after it was passed down to me through several generations of my family.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I do try to shop local wherever I happen to be, but there are times when I give in to the convenience of the digital marketplace.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I learned everything I know about fishing and fly-fishing from friends and family, but I have been told that River Music by James Babb is filled with excellent advice.

How has this changed your life?

I’ve found that fly-fishing is not only a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, but it is also a great way to contemplate new ideas or to refine ideas that are not quite ready to be implemented.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Like so many other pursuits, fishing is best enjoyed when the focus is primarily on the process rather than the outcome. If you believe in the process and adhere to the principles associated with that process, you will ultimately achieve the outcome you are seeking.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy playing golf as well as several other sports, but it is rare that I can find the time to really commit to sharpening my skills in the way I’d prefer.

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Kim Dao Hobby Jam

Kim Dao

Kim Dao is the founder of the Kim Dao Blog, a digital journal in which Dao is able to share her insights on a variety of subjects that include international travel, makeup, and fashion. When she first founded her blog, Dao had no idea that it would become one of the most frequently visited online resources on the aforementioned subjects or that she would have to expand on such a significant basis in order to meet the needs of her readers. Dao, born in Australia but now living in Japan, is a major social media influencer and is active on YouTube as well as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Snapchat, along with countless other social media platforms.

What is your hobby?

I’m so passionate about makeup and fashion that my interest in both probably extends beyond the typical definition of “hobby,” but I love devoting my free time to anything relating to either one.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I really wanted to figure out how makeup artists and fashion designers were able to use the tools at their disposal to create a certain look, so I devoted a lot of time and energy to learning everything I could until I was able to do the same.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love that I can use makeup as a way to complement a look or to highlight a certain feature, which really adds an invaluable degree of versatility.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are a number of groups — both online and in person — that I am part of, including several I am responsible for leading.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Yes, I have had to invest a lot in makeup supplies and makeup equipment, but I’ve been getting a lot of complimentary makeup supplies from some really great brands because of my large social media following.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

One of my closest friends in Japan owns a store that has a great selection of makeup supplies, so I buy most of my makeup stuff there.

Are there any good books for beginners?

“The Art of Makeup,” by Kevyn Aucoin. This book should be on the bookshelf of any aspiring makeup artist who is just beginning to become interested in the field.

How has this changed your life?

Since my blog is partially devoted to makeup and I discuss the subject so frequently through social media, it has allowed me to develop relationships with so many wonderful people simply because of our shared interest in makeup and other beauty products.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Reach out to professionals whose skills you admire and ask questions about how they developed those skills. I’ve met so many professional makeup artists who are more than willing to share everything they know with up-and-coming artists in their field.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to write and I travel often, so my hobbies often overlap with one another in a really enjoyable way.

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James Knight HBJ

James Knight

James Knight is AMD’s Virtual Production Director based in Los Angeles, CA.  In addition to being Performance Capture Supervisor on Columbia Pictures’ The Amazing Spiderman, he spent four years managing the motion capture for James Cameron’s Avatar. Additionally  he has done Performance Capture and Virtual Production for films including I Am Legend, 2012, Hulk and Prince Caspian and various video games including, Batman Arkham City, Scene It, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Gotham Racing. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES), on the Board of Directors at the British Academy’s Los Angeles chapter (BAFTA-LA), and a member of the Scientific and Technical Achievement Committee at The Academy (AMPAS).

What is your hobby?

Biuld robots with my son

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My little boy is fascinated by anything technical. As a little boy, he say life sized Transformers at Universal in Los Angeles, and ever since he’s been thrilled about robots!

Tell us what you love about it.

Well firstly, I love any activity with my son; and the fact that this is technical and requires creativity is a huge bonus. I’m pretty technically inclined, so I do enjoy building parts and figuring out our own innovations, if you want to call them that. Mostly I’m happy if they just end up standing!

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

A close friend of mine actually is part of Robot wars, so we’ve been invited to be part of that.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Well, my little boy wanted VEX IQ robots to begin with, so we have those. We bought a Meccano, Meccanoid which is fun to build. Lately we have been more assertive and we’re building our own robot with parts we’re machining in a friend’s shop that is used to build animatronics for Hollywood features!

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Lately we buy most of our supplies at radioshack and varioius different websites

Are there any good books for beginners?

Two books that we loved. Robots for Beginners and Almost Human: Making Robots Think.

How has this changed your life?

I’d say it’s more affected my son’s life. He is now very much into robots, how they move, solve problems and help humans. The biggest thing is this has brought me really close to my son.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Start small – you’ll get frustrated if you try to go too big too fast.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Yes. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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Reed Gusmus HBJ

Reed Gusmus

Exuding an entrepreneurial spirit along with an unmatched passion for innovation, Reed Gusmus has consistently excelled in his role as the director of marketing at QASymphony. Responsible for driving growth, acquiring new customers in need of exceptional test management tools, developing revenue-generating strategies, and a great deal more, Reed brings an exceptional level of expertise attained through many years of relevant industry experience.

As the director of marketing for the Atlanta-based QASymphony, Reed has displayed an infectious enthusiasm for both digital marketing and JIRA test management that has served him well in his critical leadership role. While Reed’s deep commitment to his professional responsibilities occupies a great deal of his time, the marketing and advertising expert still manages to maximize the free time available to him by pursuing his interests in aviation, photography, and travel.

What is your hobby?

I have several hobbies that have occupied my free time for many years now: aviation, photography, and travel. I’ve managed to find ample time for all three in spite of my busy schedule.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

The concept of perspective is something that has always intrigued me, which is why my favorite hobbies all provide the opportunity to experience a different and entirely unique perspective.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love that photography makes it possible to capture a unique moment in time that also conveys a potentially meaningful message to the viewer.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, but I have been thinking about founding an aviation group or a photography group in the Atlanta area.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I have several cameras and still enjoy using actual film, so I’ve invested a lot into my photography hobby over the years. I’ve made some serious investments in aviation and travel as well.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Even though I can find most everything I need online, I still frequent the local photography shops out of loyalty. The opportunity to discuss the more nuanced subjects associated with photography provides some added motivation as well.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Most of what I learned about photography came from courses I took in both high school and college, so I have always advocated for a more hands-on approach to education when it comes to photography.

How has this changed your life?

It has helped me stay grounded no matter what else might be going on around me. Certain aspects of photography have a meditative quality that I value and appreciate quite a bit.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Get yourself outside to capture the moments that interest you most with whatever camera you have at your disposal. If you find that you enjoy it and want to learn more about it, sign up for a class or read up on the subject until you are able to accomplish whatever goals you happen to have.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Yes, there are quite a few other hobbies I enjoy from time to time. While I do find these other pursuits enjoyable, nothing has compared to the joy I derive from photography, travel, and aviation.

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Jon Giaan HBJ

Jon Giaan

A self-made multimillionaire, Jon Giaan founded Knowledge Source as a way to provide useful information regarding the many different paths to wealth and prosperity. Giaan, an expert property investor who created a property investment portfolio valued well in excess of $35 million that only continues to grow, has utilized Knowledge Source as a platform through which the most ambitious investors are able to connect with the most knowledgeable and successful teachers in the industry. The Melbourne, Australia, resident continues to inspire up-and-coming investors and has helped countless Knowledge Source subscribers achieve the kind of wealth and financial security that lasts a lifetime.

What is your hobby?

Though I only became serious about it recently, my main hobby is photography.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Visual arts and culture have long been passions of mine, and photography allows me to capture the visual representations of culture I often encounter while traveling.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love that since there are so many nuances and subtleties to the art form there will always be something more for me to learn and new skills for me to master.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

One of my oldest friends studied photography for many years, so he is the closest thing to a formal photography group I can cite.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I bought several different cameras and lenses for different kinds of photography, but most of my other equipment was given to me by a friend. Fortunately for me, he really has more camera equipment than he knows what to do with and is more than happy to part with whatever I happen to need.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

It has become a bit harder to buy supplies at a physical shop, so most of my supplies are bought through online retailers.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Though it is hardly a traditional book for a beginning photographer, my perception really changed after reading Hitchcock/Truffaut. Even though it is about filmmaking, the attention to detail and the advance planning that went into every shot and every sequence helped me develop a more discerning eye for photography.

How has this changed your life?

It has really altered the way I look at things and has allowed me to see both the literal and figurative angles that I would have likely missed if not for photography. It has also served as a potent reminder that no matter how much you learn about any subject, there is always more that can be learned and there are more skills that can be developed.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice is to delay investing in expensive equipment until you really understand what the equipment is capable of. Practice with what you have and learn as much as you can so that you ensure your money is well spent.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love being outside and love to read just about anything, so one of my favorite hobbies is to simply sit under a shady tree with a good book in my hands.

patrick-hobbyjam
Dymphna Boholt HBJ

Dymphna Boholt

The author of a popular series of books covering subjects ranging from investing to asset protection, Dymphna Boholt’s professional career truly defies categorization. An immense success in every professional endeavor she has pursued, Dymphna has gone from working as a jillaroo as a youth on a cattle station in Central Queensland to a career in finance to founding her own accountancy practice, but it is her current work that brings her the most personal and professional satisfaction. As the founder of I Love Real Estate, Dymphna is able to share her extensive expertise with others by publishing articles to her digital platform, hosting speaking engagements, and offering mentoring programs and services, each of which revolves around the goal of helping others achieve their financial goals through shrewd investment strategies.

What is your hobby?

Since moving to the Sunshine Coast, I have really developed an even deeper appreciation for the unrivaled beauty of nature, so I spend a lot of time hiking and bird watching with my wonderful family.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

After purchasing a 32-acre piece of unspoiled land on the Sunshine Coast, I became interested in learning more about the wildlife that surrounded us and took up hiking and bird watching as a hobby.

Tell us what you love about it.

What I love most is the fact that it allows me to spend time with my family entirely free from distraction.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, not yet. At the moment it is just my family and I, but I think we might eventually join a bird watching group as we look to broaden our horizons.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

We invested in a set of binoculars for every member of the family and also bought some books on bird watching along the Sunshine Coast.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Before we got serious about it, I just used an old set of binoculars that had been in my family. After that, we started looking into specific binoculars for bird watching from online retailers.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes, and I would recommend that anyone interested in bird watching should start with a book about the specific birds commonly found in their region.

How has this changed your life?

It has given me yet another reason to spend quality time with my family while enjoying the simple beauty of nature.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

I think it is a hobby that is best enjoyed when not taken too seriously. Our main focus is on enjoying each other’s company while hiking and bird watching; that way we enjoy ourselves even if we don’t see a rare bird or any bird at all.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’ve found that I enjoy any hobby that allows me to spend more time with my family, so I’ve taken up a lot of new hobbies lately based on the unique and ever-changing interests of each member of my family.

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