Natural order & how I got to Germany

my boydog Louis wasn’t even embarrassed

If you’re new here, this blog is purposeless. Truly.

Essentially I’m writing to eventually connect with potential clients.

Or to be more clear, they know me elsewhere or meet me at some networking event, which I despise by the way, and then we connect on LinkedIn or tumblr or some other stumbling social media site and then at some point they google me or actually read my card and go to my website.

So connecting with clients isn’t the point exactly. Having content here is what matters. Then they see it and they hire me for some work.

Weirdly, it happened this week. A guy for whom I normally do translations, told me he liked my writing. Seriously, it was that out of the blue.

I thought my audience was Jarrod & one, if not both, of my twin cousins Carrie and Crissi. Is anyone else really reading regularly? Oh, Josephine in Perth. She reads a lot. Sometimes the blog.

If I know Josephine, she probably reads whatever I write. I used to write a lot about tea. Even had a tea blog.

She didn’t even like tea, but she read that blog. Weird, huh?

Sometimes I’m busy translating or teaching, and there’s no way to manage blogging, as well.

It’s just how it is.

Yet blog I must, so…

Here’s another post. On my miscellaneous blog, which just keeps going and going. Without much noticeable purpose.

Aside from the client thing I mentioned.

Not to get off track here, but somebody asked me to blog about how I got to Germany. Seems like a weird question, but I’m nothing if not amenable. Ask your questions and I’ll answer them in a timely manner.

Ask them in the comments. Not the godforsaken Feckbook comments either. Comment right here on the blog.

Like a civilised person.

Were you born in a barn. Jeez!

So, back to your question, whoever it was.

How did I get to Germany? On a plane of course. What kinda question is that?

Have always wanted to take a boat, but haven’t managed it.


So, what else?

Oh, boydog Louis. In the photo above. His sister was cleaning him in the photo.

Any of us would’ve been mortified to have our sister licking our nether regions out in public.

Not my Louis. No way.

He let it all hang out.

beeps and burps

The video above starts with the woman asking her father how he’s getting along with the new iPad he was given recently. He answers that it’s just fine while he finishes cutting vegetables on it, rinses it off, and then loads it into the dishwasher.

Have been hearing a lot of noise from luddites lately. It’s understandable. Technology isn’t always easy to get accustomed to.

And rather than admit that it’s difficult or frustrating, it’s easier to say, ‘Why do I even need that newfangled gadget?’

The iPad? You don’t need one. You really don’t. It’s just a lot of unnecessary hype.

Unless you’ve actually used one. Then it’s an entirely different story.

I’m curious why I take to certain social media so easily (and so whole-heartedly) and not others. Nothing about MySpace attracted me. I had a lot of friends who did it, and it was certainly a place where musicians could display their work. But it looked somehow childish to me. Not childlike – childish. Definitely not in a good way.

Facebook? It was exciting at first. There were so many people with whom I thought I’d never be in contact again. For the first while, I was there all the damned time. Now? Not so much.

I really enjoyed StumbleUpon at first, and always think to myself, ‘You found such interesting sites with that one – you should go check it out again…’, but then I never do. And tumblr is something I heard people rave about for so long. I set mine up, and then couldn’t figure it out. So it lay dormant for half a year or so. I’ve since decided to put photos of my dogs Ella and Louis there. I suppose I’m using it a bit like flickr was intended.

Oh, I have flickr, too. And audioboo. And have just started using Storify. I really like it. There are times when I’ve had wonderfully bizarre conversations on one of the above-mentioned sites, and I’ve wondered how I could even begin to explain to an innocent bystander how that online conversation got to the ridiculous conclusion it did.

What led someone to suggest making a whole week of Sneaky Fucker posts? All the Twitter mentions of Sneaky Fucker Week? Where could those be assembled? Well…that’s what Storify appears to be for. Little did the creators of Storify know that they could’ve potentially be such an important part of the history of the internet. If only I’d known how to use that sight when all the Sneaky Fuckery was going on.

But I find myself pondering all of this and those luddites I mentioned at the beginning of all this. They have a point, you know. When I try explaining some conversation I’ve had, and setting up the scenario takes half an hour, because I have to explain who HazelBlackberry in Perth, Australia is or why ‘You don’t know my life‘ can send me into hysterics…when that happens and they cock their head and look at me like I’m a madman, they have a point.

Another thing I didn’t get into was Second Life. It seemed so ridiculous to me. Wait, you set up an avatar and could play a character and buy things with money that only existed there? When folk don’t understand social media, I try to remember how both MySpace and Second Life were incomprehensible to me.

There are all sorts of little beeps and burps that some sites use to tell you about what a friend just said about you on Facebook. Or Echofon whirs when there’s a mention on Twitter. Don’t even get me started on Tweetdeck and/or HootSuite. The idea might be great, but the constant cacophony whenever I have either of them open nearly makes me murderous (before you tell me you can mute all of those things, I’m well aware of that – I’m trying to make a point).

Recently heard someone ponder what sort of endorphins might be released when we get such audible signals. That someone out there in the universe that is the web has gone out of there way to tag me in his quest to conquer Farmville. Someone else has written a new blog that a few months ago I’d have written in an RSS feed at some point in the next few days, but today? Today, I get an alert on my phone. My phone buzzes, I salivate, my hands go digging in my bag or under the pile of newspapers that I’m neglecting because I’m reading the latest about someone buying Mashable for some astronomical amount of money. That vibrating phone means someone out there wants my attention.

And I, by God, am going to give it to them.

perplexed by an unsolicited package

masonry men in Berlin

This is the perfect blogpost for tumblr. That site still confuses and irritates me, but I’ve been spending more time there and eventually I’ll understand how to better create tumblr content.

But…this: what I’m about to write…it’s not a full blogpost. It’s an unfinished thought. It’s the beginning of a story and the promise of more to come. Perfect for microblogging.

Though I don’t post something here everyday, I do try to polish my work before I throw it up here. As you know, I am particularly fond of whimsy and when I employ a bit of it, I get the best response. I’ve somehow found and attracted a tribe of bloggers whose humour I appreciate and who *get* me. Not sure how it happened all of a sudden, but I’m very appreciative.

Enough introduction…on to the story I came here for.

The other day, I received a package in the mail with a book in it. Because of our work, my wife and I get quite a bit of unsolicited material. Brochures, books, and a wide variety of samples arrive by post and it seems there’s always something that needs to be assessed.

But this package was somehow different. For one thing, the letter accompanying the book was hand-typed. Haven’t seen that in a while. Secondly, the only contact information was an address. A street address.

No telephone. No fax. Nothing.

Most intriguing of all? No website. No email address.

Weird, eh? That’s what I thought.

Like something out of a Paul Auster novel.

Would you have ignored it? Well, you’re better at ignoring your curiosity than I am.

Several days later, I wrote a polite letter asking a few questions. Still curious what this was all about (the book sitting ominously on my desk), his letter arrived and I was even more perplexed.

Soon enough, a new letter arrived.

It turns out he didn’t include any web-related contact information, because he doesn’t use the internet. Not at all.

The plot thickens, eh? More on this when I have more to report.



a Dachshund wrestling the devil on his newly built bridge

the devil's bridge

Have been in the car quite a lot in the last few days. I’ve lived in places where you really need a car and then I’ve lived in places where public transportation makes having a car unnecessary, and I much prefer the latter. But I’m no Luddite. As I stumble through life, I’m in awe at what marvels have been accomplished by earlier people. Many people would list recent technological advances as mind-blowing, but I often haven’t even gotten round to appreciating them because I’m still pondering the things that were built long ago. Such as the devil’s bridge that’s pictured above.

The legend is that there was a peasant tired of walking all the way down to the valley on one side and then back up the other. He made a deal with the devil where the bridge would be finished overnight if the peasant agrees that the devil gets the soul of the first living thing that crosses the bridge. The peasant tosses and turns in the night worried that someone’s going to lose his soul on account of his selfish pact.

Early the next morning, the devil’s standing on the opposite side of the bridge as the peasant arrives and it dawns on him that he’s going to be the first one to cross and lose his soul. In the last possible moment, he picks up a stick and throws it as far as he can toward the devil. The peasant’s dog fetches the stick and the devil is furious that he’s lost the soul he was expecting to collect.

You know the obvious question, right? What about the dog’s soul? The legend has it that the devil storms off in a furious state, but why wouldn’t he be as happy with that dog’s soul as the peasant’s? In his position, I think I’d have more use for the dog’s soul. Really.

Anyway, I know it’s a fable…not sure what its telling was supposed to teach to its listeners, but there it is. Maybe the point was that you could beat the devil if you thought of a solution quickly. Or if you treated your dog as if he was dispensable, you’d be able to get ahead in life.

You all know this is an incredibly dog-friendly blog, so we’re not going to mindlessly swallow this nonsense. This blog has even been called a Dachshund Blog, which I’m beginning to think wouldn’t be such a bad thing. How would a Dachshund handle this scenario? He’d definitely go running after the stick. No question. Devil be damned, as it were.

And you can say a lot about a Dachshund, but you could never accuse him of lacking soul. My suspicion is that whatever the devil does with the souls he’s won in such trickery, he’d be a bit overwhelmed by the over-sized Dachshund soul that he unexpectedly got his hands on.

I’ve often said that I can’t work tumblr properly. If I were good at tumblr, I’d go locate a cartoon of the devil wrestling a Dachshund.  Can any of you locate one of those?