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

Languages: I have spoken Spanish since I was six. 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 dead languages called Akkadian and Sumerian. I am finally learning them. 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, Finnish, 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 or Occitan, and Euskadi from Spain. I also started learning Icelandic. It is related to some of the rest of what I have been learning. I learned German in seventh grade for a while and I went back to it. It was pretty easy to learn again. In short I speak English and Spanish well. I can read these pretty well: Italian, Gallego, Occitan, Catalan, Swedish, Old English, Middle English, German, and Dutch. I can understand Latvian 25% now. I can read some of: Livonian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Sumerian, Akkadian, ancient Assyrian, ancient Babylonian, Irish, Euskadi, and Icelandic. I do not get to use verbal Spanish a lot. I have used it a lot lately and I have gotten better at it.

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. I started learning karate and tai chi off downloaded books recently also. I started learning Wing Chun Kung Fu in 2019 and Tai Chi strikes. Praying Mantis Kung Fu seems pretty easy to learn. I am learning all these martial arts: Russian martial art, Tai Chi, Karate, Wing Chun kung fu, Shaolin kung fu, Northern Praying Mantis kung fu, Black Tiger kung fu, and judo. I'm not the only one exercising. My mom gets 20 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, java, C#, C++, python, and perl. 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 do know not to give free tech support in general because it is worth money. I have had people actually give me discounts and even freebies on: yard work, veterinary care, auto repair, etc. I was pleasantly shocked and I really thanked them. I have read horror stories about people taking free computer repair work for granted and mistreating the people who helped them. If it is free then it is worthless to them. And I am really basing this about the stuff that happened to a long time friend. He worked in high tech and had a busy life. Then it got to be too much and he got "laid off" from free tech support. I mean he stopped doing it! He even quit high tech to become a lawyer. I got the hint that doozies happened to him. Then again people take computers for granted anyway! I have an older desktop computer and a newer Android tablet. A lot of what I do requires a desktop computer. I use three window managers: KDE (3 and 4), icewm, and xfce.

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 nuclear 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." Also Alex Jones says "Glenn Beck has five guys watching everything I do." 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. I had no idea I heard skip from far away on VHF air band (air traffic) for years. I looked up some of the frequencies I had heard and they were farther away than I figured I would hear. I have heard Tonopah, Boulder, Las Vegas, and Nellis AFB.

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 forty feet of black eyed peas and scarlet runner beans.

Real life George Costanzas: I have known them. 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 for doing nothing. Also he and his identical twin brother could not cook canned ravioli at age 26. One time in 2004 my mom and I gave him a ride to Oakland. He basically hijacked this to be something all about him. He even said "I am really hungry but I don't have any money." We did not fall for it. We were getting ready to leave and he said "do you want to hang out?" Everything was all about him. In 2005 this 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. 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 having "heart attacks." It was from being a hypochondriac. He also punched out some of the sheet rock in his house. Thank goodness he moved away. I should have known better with this guy. I kept thinking of how much he reminded me of losers from my public schools. The kind that had to move to another school district to get away from ridiculed. The kind of hot heads that would flip out if anyone made fun of them at all. The real life George Costanza had a mom also was like something off Seinfeld. She was complaining in the 1990s about a divorce that happened in 1987. At every social event she recited all of it like it was a play. "On July 3rd, 1987, he filed. On July 5th I saw the other woman. On July 6th he took all our furniture. Thursday he took all the silver." Someone would say "this Thursday? Call the cops!" "No, I meant in 1987. Then on July 8th I saw an attorney." The catch was that her ex-husband sent her a ton of money with no obligation for years and she never told anyone that. She never gave him any credit at all. But you could not talk to this woman without hearing every event from her divorce recited blow by blow. People avoided them. The kids I knew that were really made fun of as teenagers wound up being made fun of even more when they tried teaching public schools. One of my friends from junior high and I became friends when we told a guy to stop reading the book called "Dune." This guy reading "Dune" might have had trouble in the work place and I bet it was because he was blowing his top a lot at an early age. He would turn bright red and huff and puff in elementary school. There was that guy I knew in junior high who had to change schools to something across town in another school district to get away from being made fun of. It was that bad since he ran for class president and the popular kids tried to vote him in to make fun of him more. His nickname was "Peabody." In later years this guy blew $10,000 on plastic surgery on his face! One of my friends and I could not believe that the smelliest kid in my public schools took showers once a week or every two weeks until high school. In high school the best he did was take a shower every two days. He went back to taking showers once a week as an adult!

Worst car experience and worst moving 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. When we moved out of Texas I was not there for the actual move. This fat guy without a shirt on says to my mom "got any coffee lady?" My mom blew up at him. "Do I look like a coffee pot!" Later he went over to the Circle K that was close to our old house and he chugged a bunch of orange juice. The moving company did not pack up stuff when they should have. The guys that were sent to the house were really creepy. I think they were fired over this. The move was a disaster. And these guys lost a lot of my stuff. Other moving company guys took our stuff out of state. My mom and I do not drink but there were people over at the house a lot that did. It was more than suspicious that all the booze "disappeared." Also these moving guys dumped a sports car off in a bad neighborhood no where near our house.

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.

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. He and my mom lived in Mississippi before I was born. 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.

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.

I have Baltimore Colts autographed photos of Greg Landry and Bert Jones. I bought them around 2011. I bought a big pack of Swedish stamps recently also. I did buy a Latvian book about World War II. It is a hard to find book that was published in 1963.
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.


 2018 | Contact info for Eric Buchanan