Stuff I am up to and I update this page pretty often


Languages: I have spoken Spanish since I was seven. I have a BA in Spanish. I am learning Italian again. I bought a "Teach Yourself Swedish" book in 1994 in college. I had a magnetic pull towards Sweden and I am finally learning Swedish. I took ten units of Italian in college. I had been curious about a dead language called Akkadian. I am finally learning it. It is from ancient Iraq. Also I had been curious about Dutch. I am learning that too. Though my Spanish is a lot better than the other languages I just listed. When I was at SJSU there was a copy cat who signed up for the same classes I had taken. That was too weird. I am also trying to learn Estonian, Lithuanian, and Latvian now. I started learning Egyptian hieroglyphics in October 2018 with a language that is dying out called Livonian from Latvia. I started learning a Spanish related language called Catalan and it is pretty easy to learn. I started learning Gallego, Provencal, and Euskadi from Spain also.

Martial arts: I had taken Russian martial art in the 1990s. I did not realize at the time I was close to being a hot shot in it. I mastered it in August 2018. I stopped in 1999 because I got hurt pretty bad while practicing it with one of my people in town. I almost broke my leg in practice back then. I know enough to be a martial arts instructor but I am worried about being hurt. My mom gets 15 minutes of exercycle riding a day now.

Genealogy: I really worked on this from 2015 to 2017. I found about 90,000 people pretty quickly and I wondered if some of the people I knew in my college years were distantly related to me. I have found distant relatives also. My mom found out that the neighbors to the north have the same family genealogy book we do. We're related to them though unfortunately they had to move.

Music: I got tired of some of the music I listened to in high school and I bought some that I almost got into years ago. I had always like Mr. Mister, The Human League, Steve Winwood, and Steve Miller. But I had not bought anything from them before.

Computer programming: I had kind of learned C around 2001. I got busy and I forgot a lot of it. It was hard. Then in 2015 I started reading it all over again. I am close to mastering it. I am also working on learning assembly language and java. I can work on this site faster than before because I have learned more than ever about computers. I do not play computer games often but I am trying to reprogram xchomp run on NetBSD. I have an older desktop computer and a newer Android tablet. A lot of what I do requires a desktop computer. Recently a USB hard drive died that I used in my computer and in a DVR. I found out that the warranty had been extended. That was good but there was a ton of red tape to get this thing back to the factory. I got it back and it was wrapped in tons of cardboard rolls to protect it from breaking. But there was zero anti static wrapping. I finally got the stuff to use a tablet more like a computer. I bought a keyboard and adapters to use it that way.

Photo scanning: I scanned my photo albums. It took about four or five months with breaks. It was worth it. I did my negatives that were not printed when I developed film years ago. And my slides looked more like poster prints than pictures. I was impressed with my slide scanner. I scanned some of my negatives from the 1970s. I was shocked at the difference. I think the photo printing we had was not quite as good as it should have been. These negative scans looked a lot different than what we paid for back then. Also if I do a negative scan of a photo from 1990 it looks better than anything out of a digital camera taken now.

Humor: I read that Alex Jones got going on 12/31/1999 that a "nuclear war" was underway. That the Austin airport was a "concentration camp" and that "drugged up patsies" were being rounded up by the government. He said 4,000 warheads were going to land in the US. It was crazy and it was funny. The funniest video I have seen is "The Glenn Beck Deception" taken from "Police State IV: The Rise of FEMA." I had not heard at all about David Icke when he said he was the "son of the godhead" in 1991 in a press conference. He got going about how the moon is a UFO and that the world was about to end.

Astronomy: I have three telescopes and several giant binoculars. I live in an area that put in LED street lights. I could not believe how much better stargazing was. It was pretty good to begin with. In the 1980s I lived in a place that had horrible light pollution. I saw a Falcon 9x launch by accident. I could not tell what it was at first but I sure saw it in my telescopes. I could not get a picture in time though to put on here.

Scanners and shortwave: I listen to these a lot. I heard hurricane coverage well on shortwave in the summer of 2017. I listen to Radio New Zealand a lot also on 13840 khz.

Yard work: I have gotten better at this over the years. I do this six days a week usually for about ten minutes a day. I recently planted fourty feet of black eyed peas and scarlet runner beans.

Cats: There were families of cats that lived in my neighborhood in the 1990s. My current tuxedo cat is descended from them. You cannot pet him more than 90 seconds or he starts biting. A cat in another part of the neighborhood looks almost exactly the same as he does but it is a lot smaller than my cat. Another black cat that likes to sleep in my yard is related to all of the cats from the 1990s. A cat down the street was related to a Russian blue cat I had for quite a while. The cat families around my neighborhood were tuxedo cats, orange cats, Russian blue, and silver tabbies. Also I used to see a cat that would chase slow moving cars!

Real life George Costanzas: I have known them. In 2005 this one guy tried to snow me that he had snooped around on a doctor's computer when the doctor was out of the room. He claimed he saw "hypochondriasis" by his name. When I first met this guy in 1994 he went on and on about stuff he "might" do such as working or looking for a job. Or maybe he was going to go to college. I figured people were really going to make fun of him. Also he and his identical twin brother could not cook canned ravioli at age 26. He also would randomly call up people he knew and ask them to buy him a Subway sandwich with no explanation. It was very specific. And he did not pay for it at all. Also he had helicopter rides and ambulance rides from being a hypochondriac. Thank goodness he moved away.

Worst car experience: My mom had a Chevette in the late 1970s until 1985. I think this thing was turned into a tin can about six weeks after she got rid of it. The roof leaked and it had a foot of water in it after a big storm. Then it overheated on Highway 17. The accelerator got stuck at the end. That time my mom gave a ride to her friend and her friend's parents and the accelerator got stuck on I880. I think it had only 60,000 miles on it. I am glad I did not learn how to drive on this thing! And I have no idea how it made it over the grades near Willcox, Arizona, Yuma, Arizona, and near Octillo on the way to San Diego. Then it went up Pacheco Pass in 1980.

Most nervous car ride: I do not hate BMW cars but a 1970s BMW was overheating badly almost the whole way from Corpus Christi to El Paso on US90 to I10. That ride was a doozy. It had a cracked cylinder head before El Paso. One of those photos is on my US90 West page. We did 35 MPH in second gear on an automatic almost the whole way.

Concerts: I went to one in high school. It was ok on some of it. Some of it was "light beer rock." I did meet a Venezuelan celebrity in person named Mariela Alcala about a year later. That was harder to do since I spoke Spanish with her. I liked that a lot more than a "light beer rock" concert. Also when I did my genealogy I realized my nearest lost relatives were living in Malad, Idaho, in Preston, Idaho, and in Pocatello, Idaho. I am distantly related to someone in the alternative movie Napoleon Dynamite.

Death in the Family
I am not blubbering but I have really faced this since 2008. Five relatives have died since then. One of them is younger than my mom. Also my mom's first husband died recently. Around 2003 we heard from him and to make a long story short he had been a mile away from us on business and we did not know about that. Also a family friend died in 2012 around age 60 and she went from healthy to dead in almost no time at all. One of my 1980s friends died in 2012. One of my friends was recently killed in a bike accident in October 2018 and he was about my age. I had known him since 1997. I missed the funeral and there were big incidents there against his widow. It does not help that since 1996 probably 20 of my friends have moved from my town and from SJSU.

Be careful about neighborhood friends
Boy I sure learned my lesson with a couple I had known since I was 23. I had serious misgivings about running around with them at all at first. He was 20 years older than I was. I really should have known. I moved into a new neighborhood in 1993 and I was around them a lot for years. He was at my house a lot. I did not care for them at first but I did not know them. They wore me down over time. They were a couple that did not go together at all. In fact they did not know each other that well at all. She was a crackpot psychologist who quite frankly had no business working in mental health. They split up but would not divorce for ages and ages. He ended up moving out of the country to earn enough money to support her. His kids really got him into drugs. I mean this guy was retirement age and he did every drug imaginable. He moved back somehow to my area and he barely could tell who I was at all after he was away only 18 months. It really showed that he had "amnesia" and he tried to be clingy with me. She took up with a married guy while she was still married and there was an article in the town paper about how "we are just friends." Yeah, right. They finally moved away and I never breathed such a sigh of relief. I figured this guy was a white collar crook to pay for alimony and his drug habit. Also even though she was in her fourties she started taking showers once a week. Or every two weeks. Also she would explode at people for no reason. They really discouraged people from doing well with regular, long term non-expensive health problems. After they moved far away it hit me that they made a horrible first impression and reliable people did not like them. Never run around with people like that. I just was not writing a lot of things about myself before. There was no real reason I was not writing a page like this.
Being a morning person
I got into this after a while. I would have done better in college had I gone to bed earlier. I am up at 7 AM now. My life is really going well and I am super busy.
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 2018 | Contact info for Eric Buchanan