Freedom Of Speech, Until…

You never know who is reading you. Something I wrote about the Catskills a couple of years back attracted a response from a Turkish woman. She wrote to me that she knew the area well: she had attended (of all places) the State University of New York at Binghamton!

We had a laugh. She had also left the US recently and was living once again in Istanbul, but remained interested in south-central New York state, where Binghamton is located, in particular. Occasionally, she’d ask me about the snow and frigid temperatures – she didn’t miss either in Istanbul! she always said – and inquired harmlessly about other aspects of life thereabouts. She also knew I-84 pretty well, and we’d joked about that “endless” and “dull” highway.

Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.
Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.

We ended up following each other on Twitter. She tweeted mostly in Turkish, which left me mostly at a loss. But she did offer an occasional observation in English and/or a link to something in English; usually it was innocuous and apolitical. Often what she shared was humorous.

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A World Without Internet?

A conversation – in person – the other day prompted me to wonder about this: Suppose I just stopped right now and never again did another thing on the Internet?

And that would include giving up even basic email.

Free Stock Photo: Close-up of an enter button.
Free Stock Photo: Close-up of an enter button.

We all know how uptight we can feel if the net is unavailable for even a short time. (“What? No wifi? Arrgh!”) So what a strange feeling it would be if you knew you’d never use it again? You’d never post another thing?

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Chasing “Love”: From England To Odessa To Moscow

You may remember “Melvin.” He is the ex-husband of a friend of ours. Back in August, he moved to Bulgaria.

For some years before, he had been involved with a woman from Odessa, Ukraine whom he’d, well….met on the internet. We don’t know really what went on there, but he’d been to visit her numerous times. A year or two ago matters were apparently taken up a notch: a house was bought there (uh, he’d bought it for her in HER name only: I kid you not), lots of money was also sent her way, and he was planning on moving there to be nearer her….

Free Stock Photo: Windows start button on a computer screen.
Free Stock Photo: Windows start button on a computer screen.

….and then, she, well, “vanished.”

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I Almost Relocated Yesterday….

…and in saying that I don’t mean moved here to Tenerife permanently. I’m referring to having almost stopped posting to this web site. In preparation to do so, I had already created a new blog home over at Tumblr:

Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.
Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.

Why? Because I’d had certain “technical difficulties” since Tuesday. They were related to my rjnello-dot-com domain. In the three and a half years since I had purchased it through WordPress, I had NEVER had even a SINGLE problem with it…. prior to Tuesday.

WordPress investigated it for me. The Help person was actually helpful, as well as friendly; but she came back to me saying there was nothing WordPress could do. It seems another company called, uh, it starts with the letter “G,” is at the center of it.

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Broadband-less In Tenerife

I have not vanished. The broadband in our friends’ apartment complex – the entire building (a couple hundred flats) broke down on early Wednesday morning. We’re told it’s being repaired.

So we have to wait. I can’t really use any of my expensive mobile net here to post – photos especially. It uses too much data.

As soon as the broadband is back, I’ll be back here as well. One good thing to come of it has been I’ve been getting not only some reading done, but some (new novel) writing done (finally) too!

Have a good weekend.:-)

Password Change “Specialist” Arrives

Like you, we’ve heard about the horrors in Brussels. We were sitting at London’s Gatwick Airport early on Tuesday when we read on the net what was happening in Belgium – minutes before boarding a flight of our own. However, since our departure, except for flashes courtesy of the expensive data on our phones, we had been without the Internet until late yesterday afternoon (UK time).

So in that respect I was not unhappy we were unable to access much news. Like in Paris last November. Like in London in July 2005 (when the Tube line we use regularly – the Piccadilly – was attacked). Like in Madrid in March 2004. Like four passenger planes being suicide-hijacked and crashed into skyscrapers by “religious” maniacs in September 2001, it’s too upsetting….

I’ve been to Brussels a couple of times and liked the city a lot. There’s nothing I can say someone else hasn’t already said, or won’t say better. So we’ll leave it and talk about something else here.

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The Unpredictable Visitors

That “Fun With New Zealand’s Flag” post – from the (northern hemisphere) summer of 2015 – has in the last few days brought in tons of Kiwi visitors. It continues to do so. Until it suddenly “reappeared” within my “top visits” post list, frankly I’d almost forgotten about it.

I am no “expert” on New Zealand. (I have been there once, 15 years ago, to Wellington and Rotorua, and did like the country a lot and would go back, but that’s about it.) I read now that the flag change referendum is due to start March 3. (Those in favor of keeping the current design are polling well out in front – for now at least.) I’m guessing amidst the approaching vote there, my modest post must have ended up sorta “highly-ranked” in Google or something:

Screen capture of my Top 5 visitor countries on Sunday.
Screen capture of my Top 5 visitor countries on Sunday.

That “top country” visitor breakdown is perfectly “normal” – except for New Zealand.

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Geography Questions (With No Incorrect Answers)

Good morning! A group participation post. Don’t you just hate those?

Don’t groan, I won’t be going around “the room” looking to each of you individually, putting you on the spot. No need to avert your eyes or slide down in your chair; there are no wrong answers to these two simple questions. You may share your replies in the comments if you wish – which would seem obvious, I suppose, given naturally I can’t compel you to answer, of course.😉

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Don’t Think You Aren’t Missed

Ahem. While I’ve got your attention, I’d like to say this. I think it needs saying.

I admit it, I can become “attached.” If I don’t see posts for too long from those I check regularly, I find I feel a bit down. I wonder, where did you go? Is something wrong?

If you are going on hiatus, perhaps to take a cruise….

Cruise ship. Key West, Florida. [Photo by me, 2014.]
Cruise ship. Key West, Florida. [Photo by me, 2014.]

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I Can “Like” That At Last!

As you may know, this blog has been the center of my authoring universe since my very first post back in (what seems so long ago) 2013. I’m only (again) starting to come to grips with my official Facebook page, which has been up a few months. Up to now, Facebook has really been mostly just an extension of this blog:

Facebook page screen capture.
Facebook page screen capture.

I’m visiting briefly with Dad again – after driving down from the Catskills here to the Poconos in Pennsylvania, 2 and 1/2 hours away. Last night, he was having a snooze in front of the television. When he sleeps, I don’t disturb him. (Understandably, he’s often miserable and stressed since Mom’s death.)

Earlier, a commenter on a several months’ old post on here got me to thinking. So with Dad sleeping, I thought why not FINALLY figure out how to “Like” Facebook pages from my Facebook author page?

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