We’re still more than three weeks away from the official start of the ski season, which is always the best time of year to relax, hang out with friends, spend some time on the couch, catch up on movies, or spend some time with your hobbies.
If you don’t have a hobby, now wouldn’t be a bad time to get one. All you need to get started is on the Internet.
For the musically challenged
Want to learn a musical instrument? The Internet can help get you started.
For guitar there are literally a dozen “Learn to Play” websites out there, but one of the best I’ve found is at http://guitar.about.com/library/blguitarlessonarchive.htm , and the 11 lessons they have posted by instructor Dan Cross. The do it yourself website eHow ( www.ehow.com ) also has some tips to get started.
Want to learn to play piano? Try www.learn-piano.org and follow the lessons and links.
Want to learn to be a DJ? Check out www.djvibe.com/learn/mix/ and DJ101 and 202.
If you want to try your hand at digital music creation, then you can either get an Apple with Garageband, or download some free authoring software. Try Hammerhead ( www.threechords.com ) to build your own drum riffs, or Audacity ( http://audacity/sourceforge.net to make complete tunes. Stomper Hyperion ( www.lysator.liu.se/%7Ezap/stomper/ ) is awesome for the electronica set.
For Do It Yourselfers
Want to turn your staircase into a chest of drawers? Turn your old carpet into a lounge chair? Inhabitat.com is an online magazine that celebrates sustainable design concepts, finding ways to make small spaces more livable, and recycling all sorts of materials into funky and functional furniture and products. This is a great place to go for ideas and inspiration. Some of the projects seem pretty simple.
If you’re looking to do something a little more basic, like fix a leaking faucet or tile the bathroom, there’s heaps of good advice at eHow ( www.ehow.com ), wikiHow ( www.wikiHow.com ), and HowStuffWorks ( www.howstuffworks.com ).
If you have a room you’d like to renovate but just don’t know what to do with the space, check out http://floorplanner.com — just type in the dimensions of your space, and use this online software to move furniture around and try out layouts without straining your back.