This is stuff that actually AFFECTS THE REAL WORLD. I mean, it amazes me that I now have the basic abilities required to make devices that DO STUFF. Now that I've built some kits, made some basic circuits, and loaded code onto chips, I've started thinking about the world around me and what parts make up the devices I use every day. I now routinely take things apart and stick the pieces I want into static bags. Just today I grabbed an old night light with a light sensor on it, tore the plastic off it and found a tiny little circuit with the sensor, a resistor, and a transistor hooked up to the prongs for the outlet. My plan is to unsolder the bits off the board and rebuild the circuit and figure out how to hook it into my Freeduino.
Because now I'm thinking things like: I can make automatic blinds that open and close according to the amount of light I want in the room. I can make a pseudo-random cat treat feeder which dispenses occasionally when my cat steps on a pedal, and use that to break my cat's bad habit of constantly wanting food and waking me up at all hours (he'll mess with the feeder instead). I can hack that new Jedi mind trick/EEG reader toy that's coming out this holiday season and create a thought controlled puppet/robot.
I'm in a whole new world. I only wish I'd started down this path sooner!