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My Interests

Home How Humans Learn Other Interests The People's Oscars! A.J.'s Page of Humor A.J. Sounds Off

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  Click HERE to go see some really cool chess cartoons and graphics!  (Maybe put some on your own web-site!!)

 Click  HERE  if you want to purchase a chess book ... or other chess stuff. 
  (Tell them where you found this link.) 

  Here I will list my hobbies and interests.  

  (Page last updated on:  Thursday, June 20, 2013 .)  

  •  Chess.  I am very interested in chess. I have been avidly playing the game since I was about 4-5 years old. I am a U.S. Chess Federation Life-Master. I have won over 100 U.S.C.F.- rated weekend Swiss's. I have a library that is now close to, or over --- 2,000 books. {This is not counting pamphlets and magazines.} I have a very large database of chess games by mostly Masters that is over 2.5 million now - on my computer. I have won dozens and dozens of trophies over the years. I currently make my living by teaching chess and a little computer consulting on the side. I am also pursuing web page design.  

  •                        You should visit my Cool Chess Site to see more.


  •  Martial Arts.  I took classes as a very young lad. I also had to learn the 'Defense Arts' as part of my job in the Military. (I did like 3.5 years in the U.S. Army National Guard, and 2 hitches as a Combat Security Policeman in the U.S. Air Force.) I remain interested in the art of the defense, even though I am not currently, actively practicing them. The unique thing about Martial Arts is the control and self-reliance that you develop because of it. I think it has helped me master control of myself and my emotions. This has been good for my chess and was one of the very important reasons I was ever able to even become a Chess Master!  

    (Martial Arts is also a hobby, I have read many books about people such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, etc. ... I also like their movies!) 

  •  I enjoy building web-pages.  I am learning at a very fast pace. Its very challenging and you get to be very creative. I also am beginning to enjoy creating art and graphics on the computer. Its fascinating. I use MS Paint, MS Image Composer, MS Gif Animator, MicroGrafX Draw, and Corel Draw. The things you can do on a computer are unlimited. 

  • I enjoy solving puzzles. (I usually start every day solving a few games of "FreeCell" just to get my brain working. An MS rep once told me there were some games you could not solve, but I have never found one that I could not solve ... IF I was willing to try 50 times - or more. My wife, Julie, also enjoys doing this as well.)  

  •  Movies    

    I enjoy watching movies. I especially enjoy the "action-flick" genre. 
    I like "Karate" movies too, although most of them are impossibly silly and totally improbable. (As are just about any premise Hollywood comes up with!) Two of my favorite series of movies were, "The Dirty Harry," movies, and "The Lethal Weapon," series. I am also a big fan of Jackie Chan.  

    ---> The other night, {Jan. 2002} my wife asked me to make a list of:  
       "The 10 Movies I Would Take To A Desert Island."

    (No fair marking a trilogy as one movie, you HAVE to separate them.) So here is my list: 
    (In NO particular order!) "Back To The Future," (#1.); "Jumpin' Jack Flash;" "The Ten Commandments;" "Ben-Hur;"  "Lethal Weapon I;" "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan;" "Die-Hard I;" "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," (#1.); "Jurassic Park," (#1.); and "Lion King," (#1.). I would also have to sneak "Searching For Bobby Fischer," in there somewhere too. (Even if I had to leave '10 Commandments' at home!) In fact, I am still ticked at Hollywood. I thought "Searching ..." was one of the best movies ever made and I am still upset that NO ONE got a single Oscar nomination. ALL the actors of that movie did a bang up job. 

    ( I also like the movie,  "Independence Day."  I have seen it at least 100 times. Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum do a great job here. And Judd Hirsch - from Taxi - is VERY convincing as the Jewish Father. This movie should have gotten at least a few Oscar nominations. It was VERY well written!!  I also like the movie,  "The Rocketeer."  {1991} This movie stars Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connolly, {what a dish!}; and Timothy Dalton. )   

    Go to and check out my list there.  

    January 12th, 2004:
      As I sit working on my computer - for seemingly endless hours on end -  
      the movie: (tape) "Lord of The Rings" (Part I) is playing on my TV. As a youngster,  I was 
      (and remain) endlessly fascinated by these books.  Words cannot even begin to describe my 
      thrill and excitement at seeing J.R.R. Tolkien's works turned into movies. I also felt it was truly 
      criminal (!) that Hollywood did not see fit to reward the actors in the first or second volume of the 
      picture-tale with at least one Oscar! 

    January 19th, 2004:  The last few days I have been watching a few films - while I was working - that 
      my room-mate had loaned me. One I just finished watching was the movie entitled: 
    "A Few Good Men."  
      (1992 - Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, & Demi Moore.)  I don't think I have ever seen a better movie in 
      terms of writing, character inter-action, and just pure acting. This is a movie I have seen dozens of times, 
      and I am sure I will watch it many more. You can tell a really true classic, it never wears thin. 
      ("I want the truth!"  -  "The truth, the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!") 

    October 04th, 2004:  Some other movies that I really like?  "Chariots Of Fire," (1981) is without question 
      one of the finest films ever made ... it has also aged really well. (Oddly enough, The lady in here who plays 
      the love interest of Abrahams,
    {Alice Krige}; is also 'The Queen Of The Borg' in, "Star Trek: First Contact.")   
    (1984) is also another movie that I really like ... that features excellent acting and has also aged 
        very well.  (Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen did a really fine job in this movie - not a lot of violence, either.)  

       "Star Trek: First Contact"
    (1996)  ... also contains some really fine acting. In particular, the scene in the 
         Captain's Boardroom where Patrick Stewart and Alfre Woodard are arguing - is easily one of the finest 
         and best-acted scenes of the entire movie. (People forget Stewart started as a stage actor.)  

    December 04, 2004:  The new movie, (new for me at least) ...  "The Last Samurai,"  with Tom Cruise. 
      Made in  2003,  this movie should have won 50 Oscars ... but I sincerely doubt that it will win anything. Most 
      people only see the violence, and not the beauty of a fantastic script and story. The acting is also as fine 
      as anything I have ever seen coming out of Hollywood. I give this move 5 Stars, my highest award. *****  

    August 25th, 2005:  I just saw the last half of the movie, "Major League." (Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, 
      Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo, Bob Uecker, etc. - 1989)  The critics hated this one ... but I loved it!! (You have 
      to be both a fan of baseball and understand the loyalty of Cleveland fans ... two points that were lost on some  
      poor sap, like Leonard Maltin.) Its funny, well written, was well executed and also had 'big names.' {4 stars}  

  • Science-Fiction - I have not read much lately, but at one time I had a collection of around 500 good sci-fi books. I also like watching sci-fi movies. I even have written a couple of stories for various magazines. (And I actually got paid for it!) 

    Some of my favorite works? Off the top of my head, I'd have to say "The Foundation Trilogy," and any sci-fi book by Larry Niven. Ever read, "The Protector?" [Series.] Or "Ring-World?" Another one of my all-time favorite sci-fi books, is "The Hunters of the Red Moon," by M. Bradbury. (I think she is like the daughter of Ray Bradbury.) Its not really sci-fi, but I also greatly enjoyed "The Lord of the Rings" series by J.R.R. Tolkien. Also, the writings of George Orwell [ "Animal Farm" ]; should be required reading for kids in High School. ("Power corrupts, and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely." Truer and wiser words were never spoken!) I also enjoyed the BOOK, "Jurassic Park." (The movie wasn't bad either.)  
    (I have also written many stories in the Science-fiction genre. Several have actually been published!)

    I'd also have to classify some of Stephen King's stuff as good sci-fi ... and I would have to say both "Fire-Starter" and, "The Dead Zone," were good science-fiction!  (To me, anyway.) 

  •   And even though I have not done it lately, I greatly enjoyed building model cars. I once built one that won like 2nd prize for ages 12 & under in the State of Florida. Maybe one day, (IF I can find the time!!); I will resume this most enjoyable hobby. 

  •  I am very much a family person. I now have three kids and enjoy very much just spending time at home.  (I look forward to maybe teaching my girls chess.)

  •  I also enjoy dozens of other hobbies - from gardening, to carpentry; to just about anything you think of. I also enjoy cooking for my family and close friends. It is cool to create in the kitchen, making a 
     brand-new dish. 

  •  I am deeply interested in God. I am a Born-Again Christian and I attend (member) of East Brent Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. I grew up in churches of all denominations. (From Presbyterian, to Methodist, to Baptist, to charismatic, to "Full-Gospel," to "Assembly of God," & many others. Like the man said in the movie, "Red Planet."  .... 
    'Science cannot ever answer the REALLY interesting questions.') 

  •   Psychology.  I am deeply interested in this subject.  Click  HERE  to learn more.  

  •   Uh-oh ... we got an XBOX. (And I really like to play Halo.)  [read more]  

The Greatest Chess Puzzle  [more
By Aryan Argandewal  (March, 2004.)

Many people who know me - or think they know me - think all I do and/or think about is chess. And nothing could be further from the truth. 

As a small boy - about 3.5 years old - I was totally and completely fascinated by DINOSAURS. (My mother got me to read by promising to buy me books about dinosaurs.) I was completely consumed - for a great many years - by Paleontology. Before I was seven, could name practically any dino from its picture. Ankylosaur, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, T-Rex, Apatosaurus, etc. I was determined to become a "dinosaur man." (But my Grandmother put her foot down. It was dirty, grubby, and sometimes dangerous work. And it paid next to nothing. "Be a Doctor," she said.) But I still love the subject. {When I was in the Air Force about 20 years ago, I was given almost 3 weeks off as a reward. I stunned everyone by spending almost all of this time at a [fossil] "dig" in Arizona, instead of heading to a lake that was laden with bikini-clad babes.) 

Then I got interested in Astronomy - I had a cheap little telescope, (a few friends had better ones); and I used to look at the stars almost every night. I have read dozens, (if not hundreds); of book on this subject. I lost interest one summer. I was supposed to go to a summer camp where all we would do was to study the stars. A relative sent the money, but it was used for something else. My intense passion for the subject practically died. 

Another interest of mine - aside from my nearly all-consuming passion for chess - is the study of ancient civilizations. (Archaeology, to be specific.) 

One interesting fact I read at least 10 years ago concerns the PYRAMIDS of South America. (Yes, I said pyramids.) Many of these sites lie in deep jungles, or are 'holy' sites to the local natives. Because of their nearly inaccessible locations, or because of government restrictions, many of these sites are relatively unexplored. One find there - at one S.A. pyramid - especially intrigued me. 

The scientists found a clay tablet and a piece of a jar of pottery. The clay tablet looks VERY much like a modern day chess board, the picture on the piece of pottery jar appears to be two men sitting down ... and playing chess. (Carbon-dating of this find suggests it is very old, perhaps older than any relics of Egypt.) 

So the origins of our favorite game might be much older than we all imagined. 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 1993 - 2008.  

  Copyright    A.J. Goldsby, 2009.  All rights reserved.  

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