Post #1

I have no illusions that this blog will result in anything that could be mistaken for the Pietá, but even Michelangelo’s first hammer strike on the journey to that masterpiece was probably equally non-descript.  But, you gotta start somewhere, right?

And so, in this wishy-washy age of “be responsible for nothing, but take offense at everything,” I offer the following for the thin-skinned:

All right, all right, I apologize. I’m really, really sorry. I apologize unreservedly. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact and was in no way fair comment and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.  Spoken by Archie Leach (John Cleese) to Otto (Kevin Kline) in “A Fish Called Wanda.”

In other words, Dear Reader: read this blog at your peril (for some of you, that means, “I’d turn back if were you”).

For the less faint of heart, why start now?  ‘Cause it seems like everyone is blogging?  That by itself would seem reason enough not to.  No, it is out of frustration: there is so much crap impacting the air waves (ok: internet) that goes unanswered – or worse, triggers a response so ludicrous as to be pathetic – I just couldn’t sit on my keyboard and not join the fray.

There are a few of you (important to me, but statistically insignificant to the rest of the world – sorry) that I have tormented with my writings for years, and you will see some of the old stuff; I beg your forbearance – there is much more new to come.  The “old stuff” for the blithely uninitiated is mostly travelogues, the new stuff is mostly fiction, and scattered throughout will be my comments on current events (or, events that would have been non-events if not for “electronic media” – which begs the question of whether or not “media” can be virtual).

The blame for writing about my travels can be firmly placed on the shoulders of Mark Twain and his “Innocents Abroad.”  The travels themselves were all paid for by somebody else (which is the only way to go); but it means somebody else was throwing the darts at the map of the world, not me.  Keeping a diary was often the only way I had to cope with the “adventure”; inflicting my views on others came later.  For the more mathematically inclined, I have spent a significant amount of time in 24 countries (I don’t count airport layovers as actually being in-country; the shortest stay something around a week; the longest, 44 months).  I do not count the land of my birth as a foreign country, although in a few years, I might be able to.

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