London Vlogger Has Not Been Kidnapped

Welcome to our continuing 2016. The last Friday in July. We simply have to end this week with this:

Enfield? I used to live in Enfield. I have relatives there, too!

Imagine if she lives around the block from them? Or right near our old place?

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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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Avoid Social Media Junksters

As you know, I don’t usually post twice here in one day; but I wanted to share this in a timely manner. Three accounts followed me on Twitter at some time earlier today. I noticed them a little more than an hour ago.

Three sudden new followers out of the blue all about the same time when you hadn’t tweeted anything for nearly 24 hours? That’s always suspicious. I screen captured them. Notice anything, uh, “interesting” about them?:

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A Musical Taste Of Summer

As you know, we are borrowing our friends’ holiday apartment here in Tenerife, in Spain’s Canary Islands. The clocks went forward last night here in Western Europe. So it was darker an hour later this morning than it was yesterday….

Pre-dawn today, around 7:45am, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Pre-dawn today, around 7:45am, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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Am I “Feared” Like J.K. Rowling?

Scrolling Twitter briefly last night, I happened to see a tweet from someone I follow, and who follows me back. It was harmless stuff about a Fox News host. Vaguely wanting to see if the host had responded, I clicked on the name of that relatively well-known news personality who had been @’d in the tweet.

When I did, I discovered that that Fox news woman had “blocked” me. I couldn’t see her timeline at all. I sat there bemused because I had not the slightest idea why.

Screen capture of Twitter "Support" page.
Screen capture of Twitter “Support” page.

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Dueling iPads At Dawn

We can forget – or we choose maybe to try to overlook – how competitive writing can be. Given the nature of the craft, that isn’t surprising: some authors will invariably achieve more success than others. Clearly, though, as in other walks of life, chasing success can also bring out the worst in some people.

There used to be a time that when honor was deemed at stake gentlemen took to the dueling field with pistols to settle their scores. Today, we’ve moved on. In our more egalitarian world, we ALL can throw dirt at each other on social media.

In the writing realm, those in the same genre seem the most likely to go head to head. If you ever find yourself in the line of fire between feuding authors, the best thing to do is run. At the very least, try to take whatever cover you can find.

Free Stock Photo: Soldier in gas mask with cloud of smoke.
Free Stock Photo: Soldier in gas mask with cloud of smoke.

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See You Next In The 18th Century

It is a great way to start the new year: yesterday, the light bulb went on over my head. I don’t recall precisely what had led my mind down this route. However, one irritation certainly helped encourage me.

We see this a lot. Recently on Twitter, I encountered yet another person who authoritatively tweets easily debunked false/misleading Thomas Jefferson quotes. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this person do it, and, fed up with saying nothing, when I finally pointed one out to him as provably false evidently he thought joking about it justifies messing around with the historical record. He chose not to delete, or even to amend, that tweet, and as of today it remains up for his “100,000” Twitter followers and anyone else to stumble upon as “fact”:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Seeing that nonsense may have helped clarify my thinking. I know now what I’m going to try to do for my fourth novel. After my mind focused on the idea, I clicked around on the net to scope out any similar books and I’ve seen nothing exactly like it so far.

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“Keep the Faith and Believe In”

Having been mostly in a generally downer (and I admit, sometimes foul) mood due perhaps unsurprisingly to my uncle and then my mother dying two weeks apart in October, Patrina Morris has been a great musical discovery. It’s tough to stay miserable with music like this coming out of your iPhone. How about some Sunday bossa nova:

What we can stumble on thanks to social media. Her site is PatrinaMorris.com. She is also on About.me, as well as Twitter and elsewhere. Keep the Faith and Believe In and other songs are available on Amazon and iTunes.

Given this is relatively off topic compared to what I normally post, why have I told you that?

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Trump-ed Up Hysteria

In recent days, we have all encountered it on television and the internet. We are lectured by bombastic voices that all people holding the Islamic faith overseas should not be allowed to set foot in the U.S. (temporarily, of course, we are also dutifully informed by some) because it’s a religion that includes terrorists. At a single stroke, a billion people have all been decreed terrorists by faith association.

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Yes, a tiny number of Muslims born in the U.S., and recent immigrants, have turned to a terrorism they claim they undertake in the name of Islam. Some of those have even moved abroad to join terror groups. I’m unaware of anyone in the U.S. government asserting that troubling issue should be ignored.

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Advice To Start Your Day

If you’re local – meaning you also visit the Catskills here in upstate New York – unfortunately there’s not much snow here yet. Windham Mountain had been making snow, but it rained yesterday. I grabbed this photo a little while ago from the lounge window:

Windham Mountain's ski trails. No appreciable snow yet. [Photo by me, 2015.]
Windham Mountain’s ski trails. No appreciable snow yet. [Photo by me, 2015.]

As we know, we can’t do anything about the weather. As we also know, though, social media is full of self-help suggestions and “gurus” sharing with us how we can be happier inside of ourselves. We stumble on them constantly.

But do we really take their sage advice to heart?

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