Blogging on a Tablet

This is a blog post about nothing more than blogging, and having to do that on a small device after years of using a PC.
With decorating going on, using the small office room is not an option today.

So I have retreated into the living room, and for the first time, I am attempting to do my blog and emails using a Tablet, specifically the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Going from a bright 24-inch monitor to a so-so 10-inch screen is a big jump for me. And having to use the irritatingly sensitive keypad device instead of hammering a keyboard is very frustrating. I make endless mistakes, even more so as the device keeps using its own suggested words, instead of those I wanted to type.

Over the years, I have realised that many of my fellow bloggers are happy to use ‘pads’ to write their blogs on. Some even use mobile phones, which sounds incredible to me. The tiny print on Tablets and phones is at the limits of my failing eyesight, so I take off my metaphorical hat to those of you who manage this every day.

Until the painter is finished, this will be my only blog post today.

Then I will return to the PC, and count my blessings.

Got the painters in

That title means something else, in English slang. Apologies to anyone who found it offensive. I just realised, after publishing.

But in this case, it just means that the decorating continues, at least until late tomorrow. In practical terms, this means that I am unable to get access to the PC, when the painter is doing the various doors in the hallways/corridors.

So, no new posts, and a delay in replying to all the blogs I follow, or comments received on my own blog. Sorry.

It should be back to normal on Thursday, ready for Easter. That’s until the carpet layers start work, soon after. 🙂

Best wishes, Pete.

Book Review: Race Against Time

Remember when the world was supposed to end, in 2012? It didn’t of course, and this novel by fellow blogger Jack Eason offers a fascinating theory about why there was no Mayan Apocalypse.

Combining archaeology with adventure, then adding a touch of science fiction, this enjoyable roller-coaster of a story packs in a host of fascinating characters too. From eminent academics, to the Russian Mafia, Vatican cardinals, and even a beautiful female alien, everyone in this book is wonderfully described, until you can picture them all on their hazardous quest.

Using a theory of how Earth was once populated, and protected from natural disaster, we are taken on a world tour of interesting ancient archaeological sites. Each one holds part of the key that will save mankind from destruction, and our heroes must combat not only a secret organisation, but also the ancient demon it serves. This is not ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’, but it has equally exciting elements, and a tension that endures right to the last of its 158 pages.

The author undoubtedly knows his stuff, and compliments that knowledge with detailed research, convincing geographical detail, and a wide understanding of travel by sea and by road. And he also knows when to insert the required action, so that no chapter is ever dry, or feels dull to read.
I finished it in just two sessions, keen to discover the fate of the characters that I had readily invested in.

This is ‘old-school’ adventure, in a very good way, brought up to date by ecological issues, and a theory that is all too easy to believe.

Here are some links to the book on Amazon.

And here is a link to Jack’s own blog.
https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

Blogging: Basic Errors

For years now, I have been banging on about new bloggers who embark on the process of blogging without really trying to understand anything about how it works. Regular readers and followers can look away now, as I will be repeating myself here. A lot.

Everyone loves to get genuine new followers. After all, building that community is an important part of being a fulfilled blogger. Yet despite previous posts from me, and many others, so many new bloggers continue to make the most basic mistakes, both in communication, and etiquette.
At the risk of being very boring, here I go again.

Following.

You do not follow someone’s blog by adding the words ‘Please follow back’
For the thousandth time, be told that this is not Twitter or Facebook.

If you decide to follow a blog, try to occasionally read and comment on a post. Clicking ‘Like’ in the Reader is not following.

If you are too busy to follow so many blogs, then just ‘unfollow’ them. It’s easy.

Contact.

There is very little point being a blogger if other bloggers are unable to see or read your posts. If you do not link your Gravatar image to your site, then you will be impossible to find, and end up wondering why nobody ever reads your blog.

If you only want to follow a blog by email, that’s fine. It probably means that you don’t want to have your own blog.

Making your blog accessible ‘By request’ seems rather superior, and also totally pointless to me. I am not about to fill in lots of personal details for the privilege of being able to view your blog, believe me.

Sort out your comments thread. Having to add name email, website, etc every single time I want to leave a comment is tiresome.

If someone takes the trouble to leave a relevant comment on one of your blog posts, then have the decency to acknowledge that.

Religion.

If people have decided to be religious, that has usually happened by the time they are writing a blog. By all means enjoy your religion, but please stop telling me that I am doomed because I have none. There are so many evangelical blogs out there, and they all look and sound the same.

Be nice.

If you don’t agree with a point of view, or just want to criticise a writing style, that’s fine. Healthy debate is to be encouraged in blogging. It would be a dull life if we all agreed all the time, I get that. And ‘banter’ can be fun. But avoid harsh sarcasm, sniping, or deliberate rudeness. There is no place for such things in our community.

Blogging can be such a rewarding activity. You can make lifelong friends, expand your knowledge, and discover so much too. But just like so many other things in life, there are some ‘natural rules’ to follow. You should not have to be reminded what they are, as they fall under the category of commonsense and decency.

Best wishes to you all, and happy blogging!

Spam: New Proxy Lists

For the last few weeks, I have been notified of an increasing number of Spam comments on my main blog. I noticed that despite various names and website addresses, they all had the words ‘new proxy lists’ attached to the text.

I looked that up, and discovered that there are numerous companies offering this service, in countries all around the world. The main purpose appears to be to hide the IP address of anyone sending out all this junk, so they cannot be blocked by the recipient, or investigated by the providers.

It goes without saying that none of us should ever click onto one of those links, and also be vigilant in clearing out our Spam Folders.

On a lighter note, many of the made-up names used by these companies are simply hilarious. They remind me of the invented names of characters in pulp romance novels, or sci-fi books. So as a service to budding authors who may want to use some of those names, I present a selection here.

Madison Migl

Emerita Yurko

Eldridge Hoerl

Sterling Larousse

Elenora Kapnick

Jerrica Woodby

The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2019 Vote is LIVE!

As you know, I have been nominated in Best Entertainment Blog, second one down. I have cast my own votes today, but if anyone feels inclined to vote for me on this linked post, it will be much appreciated.

The Annual Bloggers Bash

It’s that time of year again… The 2019 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards are now open. As always, we had a huge number of nominations. So let me thank everyone who took the time to nominate their fellow bloggers. Without you guys nominating, there would be no bash awards. To the awards:

Winners will be announced at the Bloggers Bash in London on June 15th. The winners post will go live here at 6pm on the same day. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, please click the link below:

Buy your bash ticket
Voting is open until 21:00 (BST) on the 24th April 2019

View original post 1,246 more words

Book Review: The Summer of Madness

This book by fellow blogger Alex Raphael caught my eye, and I bought a Kindle copy recently. It is hard to think of it as a novel though, as at just 41 pages, it felt more like reading an elongated short story. In many respects, it also felt like the introduction to a much longer book, and could perhaps still serve as that in the future. But don’t concern yourself with the length of this book, instead consider the freshness of the idea, the clever execution, fluid writing style, and interesting characters.

Because this has all of those, betraying an underlying talent for the modern-day fairy tale that makes for a simply delightful read.

Kurt is typical of so many young men in the twenty-first century. Consumed by his passion for video games, and hanging out with his friends, he fails to notice that the best thing in his life, his girlfriend, is being sidelined into obscurity by his behaviour. One day, she has reached the end of her tether, and leaves him. Of course he is shocked, and divises a plan to win her back.

That plan is the strength of this book. It is a great idea, and easily pictured by the reader. Knowing that Wuthering Heights is her favourite book, Kurt takes himself off to the train station in the town, and sits on a chair, reading the novel aloud. Placards nearby tell everyone why he is doing this, and that he will continue to do it every day, until he gets her back, or she comes to tell him it is really over.

I loved that, perhaps because it is also one of my favourite books, but mainly because as a plot device, it just works so well. Kurt interacts with the growing crowd who have become interested in his actions, attracts the attention of the Press, and keeps reading the book, extracts of which appear in the text. I am not going to even suggest the outcome, or it would spoil the ending. But I read this in one sitting, and wanted more when it finished.

Here are some links to buy a copy, or find out more. Amazon US and UK sites are both there.

And here is a link to Alexander’s blog.
https://alexraphael.wordpress.com/