Tuesday, May 29, 2018



Or--- This Place is NOT a Site of Commerce

In late May, a writing friend wrote in a panicked state and asked if she should close her personal blog because of the new EU rules that went into full enforcement May 25.

I’ve never heard of the  EU GDPR compliancy regulations

So I took a crash course. Bottom line is that it doesn’t apply to blogs like mine, where I sell noting. Blogger (a Google product) may sell your data and certainly mine, but I have never made a cent, nor intend to monetize this blog.

Check this here, if you are worried:

Does GDPR apply to me?
It applies to you if you process personal information AND are processing it as part of an enterprise. Article 4(18) defines enterprise as ‘a natural or legal person engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form, including partnerships or associations regularly engaged in an economic activity’. So basically, it seems that if you aren’t making any money through your blog you are ok. If you are making any money, then you need to read on…

 I think these privacy protections may even help some who are worried about the selling of our data. But I’m not even sure about that.

This blog and my website are not monetized by me. In fact, my website is not monetized by anyone directly as it is not a “free” product to me.

Yes, I do know that if it’s “free,” we are the product. So I’m the product, not the merchant.

I add that I do use Statcounter for both my blog and website. Statcounter claims to be GDPR compliant. I personally cannot be sure who they share what data with, but I do not ever get anything identifying any individual IP address, nor sell such.

But let it be stated here that if you wish to unsubscribe because of concerns regarding your data, or avoid ever looking at my website, I will be sad but it is a personal choice, and it is your choice.

Call the preceding sentence my "privacy policy compliance," and a repeat that I don't sell anything, most especially my valued precious readers. Not now, not ever.

I write  about what I am doing and thinking, and if you buy my book(s) you pay someone who may or may not pay me indirectly. But data mining is not part of what I get or do. Same for my worried colleague.

Hey, I’m lucky if I get your attention for five minutes, and I’m grateful you care.

In addition, I have taken the steps to secure my website with encryption (SSL certificate) and both this Blogger blog and my personal website are now https compliant, something techies have been urging for a while.  I do care to be a good citizen of the Internet world, because I care not only for myself, but for anyone who interacts with me.

Be not afraid, people. Not everything is out to get us. The Internet is fraught with possibilities for abuse, but so many benefit, too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22nd in History

I stay away from politics on the Internet, because I have found that is makes good people behave and talk like bad people. Sometimes very bad people.

If you have followed any of my posts for any length of time, you know my fascination with “this day in history.” Lots of things happened on May 22nd, this date in history. But the most interesting will bring out the venom of the politicos.

May 22nd 1799, Napoleon declared Jerusalem for the Jews. Anyone who knows anything knows that it is central to the Jewish ancestral tradition in a way it is to no other tradition. But, whoa, don’t start me on that one.

May 22nd 1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed. Looky here; unions were both the best thing and what built the American middle class, or a cancer on our country— depending how your politics navigates your mind. Please don’t start.

May 22nd 2015, Ireland declared Gay Marriage legal by popular vote. I like that this was done by popular vote and not by judicial decree, because legal marriage is a “communal acknowledgement” of status rather than a personal feeling. But, please, don’t start me on that one. (Well, I was the one who started— so woe on me.)

So here are some I hope we can celebrate together without bringing out the trolls and poisons that hatch in the mud:

760 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
1819 1st steam propelled vessel to cross Atlantic (Savannah leaves Ga)
1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns in New York State when they stumble upon a large gaping hole in the ground

^All on May 22nd.

But I saved my favorite for last:

                 May 22nd, 1849 Abraham Lincoln receives a patent (only US President to do so) for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions..

Oh, I forgot. There are some who are still mad about Lincoln. I’ll celebrate anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Little Ones’ Perspective

Bringing a new young kittenish feline into a home that already had two fully-grown self-possessed cats, we followed the careful guidelines for introduction.

It was fascinating to watch how all involved navigated the situation.
The new cat, Nougat, was eager to make friends. But she learned very quickly that she must go slowly and carefully. The sheer difference in size necessitated thoughtfulness, and she is one smart kitty.

I noted how, when she needed to reach her food bowl or navigate to the other side of the room past the others, she moved in impossibly slow motion as to not trigger the big ones’ hunter/prey chase response. One such chase and one large claw making contact with her fur taught her this lesson.

She also does her best to avoid passing below uninspectable surfaces, where someone can pounce on her. She appears calm and contented with the others present only if she has a good escape route and sees us, her human protectors, from the corner of her eye.

This got me thinking about how it feels to be little, which got me thinking about writing for newer, smaller people—i.e. children.

Because this is pretty much how children feel all the time.

There are many kid-characters in books who are spunky, powerful, save humanity, and speak up when others don’t. I think these are inauthentic kids. They may serve some fantasies of grownups who wished they had done something back when, but these stories reek of falseness.

When “keeping the child in view,” as Dickens wrote, a good refresher would be to watch a kitten making her way into an established group of bigger guys who know their way around.

Go, Nougat. You can do it, girl.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Only Addiction

It’s too easy to look down on addicts. If you have never experienced such an affliction, you can feel smugly superior to the poor souls who allowed themselves to succumb. How pathetic they are, and how low they descend, risking everything for a fix.

I don’t seem to have the personality or misfortune to have had such challenges.

The first is a matter of propensity over which anyone can make decisions not to risk exposure. Long ago, at the age of five or six, I watched my nicotine-dependent father go out on a stormy, drenching rainy Friday night, hail a cab (expensive) to the outskirts of town, (Jerusalem) where the one and only small kiosk sold cigarettes on the Sabbath. He thought he had stashed an extra pack, but couldn’t find it.
It was a lesson in what not to do. No cigarettes, ever. Don’t want to have to haul that monkey on my back.

The second, the matter of luck, has to do with things that can happen and leave a person dependent. With two herniated discs in my lower back, I remember realizing how addiction to painkillers can start, and how understandable and insidious the process is.
That was two years plus ago. When my doctor prescribed narcotics, I never took them. I chose not to haul that monkey on my miserably aching back, either. But some folks don’t know what the doctor had given them before it’s too late, and the climb out of that hole is steep.

But I don’t feel superior, because I do have a sort of addiction, or maybe it’s closer to a dependence. Can you guess to what?

Yes, I can stop. I did without difficulty while pregnant. Twice.
And, NO, I don’t want to.

So there. Maybe this feeling of "I *need* my coffee" gives me a peek into addiction, and maybe what I really need is that insight and compassion in addition to the caffeine. Because smugness is unattractive and worse.

Oh, and one other thing--

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Sign of Our Times

A Sign for Our Times

Some folks put declarative signs on their lawns or windows. Signs in support of a political initiative/sentiment, or a candidate, or their aunt Ida.

Our public spaces are covered with signs, too. Those tell us what to buy and how much fun we’ll have when we do.

It’s a free country, so put ‘em up if that’s your thing. But it decidedly isn’t mine.

Frankly, I feel inundated. Flooded. Practically choked.

So you will forgive my delight when, while walking with a friend, I spotted this one—

Make of it what you will. That’s part of its beauty.