...and again and again, while I wait in the queue.
That excuse may be the most pathetic thing I've ever heard.
NASA claims that the US government still owns these artifacts. I think they're mistaken. The artifacts are not salvage, but rather abandoned property. NASA intentionally allowed them to be abandoned more than 40 years ago with no stated or demonstrable intention of ever recovering them. Since they were outside the territory of any US state, I don't think they are subject to any form of escheat. I think Bezos has clear title and ownership. If there's some US law providing to the contrary, I'd be interested in seeing the legal citation.
If Bezos wants to give them to NASA out of his own generosity, that's great, but I don't think he's under any actual legal obligation to do so.
I only have that problem if I'm working a lot of overtime for the day job, or working at an extremely boring or unpleasant day job. I try to avoid those, though sometimes there's not much choice.
I'm sure that having hobbies or personal projects that are non-computer-related would be good, but I don't really have any. However, my computer-related personal projects are so dissimilar to my day job that they almost do seem like different fields to me.
I also was very lucky that a very-long-term project project in which I invested a huge amount of time (thousands of hours) starting in 1995, with absolutely no expectation of financial reward, actually started making me a non-trivial amount of money starting in 2009. I'm certainly not going to claim that this is a likely outcome, but it can happen.
As an example of a small and very obscure personal project, in July of 2011 I rewrote the Apple I ROM monitor to work on an MC6800 microprocessor (rather than the 6502), because the Apple I hardware design was theoretically capable of being configured for the MC6800. It's of no practical value whatsoever, and will never make me any money, but I submitted it as a RetroChallenge contest entry and actually won second place and a small prize. Just recently someone in Australia actually installed an MC6800 in an Apple 1 replica, did a little hardware debugging, and got my monitor code running on it. (I'd only run it in simulation with MESS.) It was very satisfying watching the video on Youtube.
"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain