Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, 5th April, 2011


3 Months , 5 days – still sober.


A night alone.

Last night, for only the second or maybe the third time since Noo has been with me, and for the first time at night, she went out with some friends, to Bai tio in Walking Street. I had been urging her to go out with her friends for quite a while, as I was anxious for her not to get too bored with living with someone twice her age and I think it is healthy for her to interact with people closer to her own age. So I had no qualms in acceding to her request, when she asked for permission to go out with her friends. She left at around 6.30 pm and told me she would stay in Pattaya with friends for the night as it would not be safe for her to drive back to the lake on her motorcycle in the wee hours – a proposal that had my total concurrence.

My initial, knee jerk reaction to the news that Noo would be leaving me all alone for the night was to immediately start planning an evening of misbehaviour. After she had left, I thought for a while that I would indeed go out, and was trying to decide where to go; but the longer I sat at my computer, the more I realised that I was being ridiculous and that it would do me no harm to spend the evening indoors, much as I had been doing more or less non-stop for the past 3 months. In the end I came to the conclusion that I would stay at home.

I am not good at being alone at night and this is one of the many reasons that I ended up as an alcoholic. During my previous relationships, in particular my last marriage with Dang, I was continuously subjected to countless evenings and nights when I was left alone. This always resulted in me going out by myself and trawling the bars in search of solace and female company. So just one night alone in three months didn’t  exactly a justify me making a return to the ‘bad old days’ and I had no problems in getting through this test of my new found sobriety and resolve.


As it turned out, I made myself very busy with a new little project on my computer before I sat down to do some marathon TV watching. I say marathon, because, try as I might, I couldn’t get to sleep and ended up watching movies until past 4 in the morning, when I finally was able to drop off.

Noo arrived back this morning, a bit later than she had promised, but I wasn’t too bothered. I trust her completely and know she didn’t get up to anything untoward.


Twitter

Yes, folks, Mobi is now on twitter and you can find me at:

http://twitter.com/mobithailand

Last night I set up my new twitter account and have linked it into my blog so that you can read my recent tweets in the right hand column and there is also a link which will take you directly to my Twitter account.

Yesterday was the first ever occasion on which I looked at anyone’s twitter account. I have always considered the whole idea of ‘twittering’ a bit silly and pointless, to say the least. But in a spirit of:  if you can’t beat them join them, yesterday I started to look at a few of them, and while there was no conversion on the road to Damascas, I have started to appreciate that in certain situations they do have their uses and can be of value.  I found that the news organisations that have twitter accounts are very useful, giving as they do, ‘breaking news’ headlines with links to the full story. I am already following a number of general news and sports news tweeters and have already found them an excellent source of instant, reader-friendly information.

As for the individuals and celebrities who twitter their own personal rubbish to their friends, well, I suppose it is fine for those who like to tweet and read these tweets, but this mainly inane quasi-social interaction is little different to what has already been happening for several years now on Face book. (see my Face book rant below).

The main reason that I have got into the twitter world is so that I can link my tweets to my blogs, and vice versa; the main purpose of which is to let my readers know when I update or post a new entry in my blog and hopefully I will attract some twitter ‘followers’, who will pass the word  around  and I can increase my blog readership.

It is early days, as I only started tweeting last night, so I will see how it goes and if I can attract any ‘followers’ and if so, will it widen my readership? I do quite like the fact that I can tweet from my mobile phone, although I note with some frustration that Thailand is one of the few countries in the world that has not come to an arrangement with Twitter to facilitate the sending and receiving of ‘twitter texts’ via a 2 digit text service. I have an unlimited internet usage on my mobile so for me it is easy to use the web service, rather than texting.

(Even countries such as Afghanistan, Fiji,Tonga and Uzbekistan are on a very long list of countries that do have such twitter text services. I suppose it is par for the course in a country that hasn’t even rolled out 3G yet and the rest of the world, including neighbouring, impoverished Cambodia, is already well advanced in 4G technology).

I can see some very positive uses for twitter that I failed to see in my brief foray into the world of Facebook. One thing that immediately struck me about Twitter is how careful they are to inform you of your rights to privacy and how easy it is to delete twitters and other information and even how quick it is to deactivate your account. They seem to bend over backwards to protect your privacy, let you call the shots and not allow intrusion – all of this is the complete antithesis of Facebook, bloody Facebook.

The unacceptable  face of Facebook

So what’s my beef with Facebook? I can do no better than re-print an email I sent to my family and friends last January, informing them that after a great deal of time and effort, I had finally succeeded in deactivating my Facebook account. Here is what I wrote:


“This is to advise all my family and friends that as of 12th January I have de-activated my Facebook account.

In due course I will arrange to delete my account completely but as with so many things with Facebook – this is a problem which I have yet to resolve.

I am taking this action because I find Facebook extremely intrusive and I am forever receiving mountains of emails from people I don’t know who wish to be my ‘friends’.

At first I thought that if I ignored these requests they would go away. But they don’t!! If ignore them I get a new email reminding me that I haven’t answered their request. Then I get yet another one reminding me that I STILL haven’t replied to their request. I get the feeling that if I continue to ignore these fatuous requests, that in a few years’ time my email box will contain thousands of emails every day reminding me about reminders about reminders that I still haven’t responded to.

Now I am fully aware that I am a grumpy old fart, and that in today’s hi-tech age I am being anti-social, ungracious and downright ungrateful by rejecting offers of new friendships from people I have never heard of. But I come from another era, when I would have to know someone personally for at least five years before I could consider him or her a friend. A lover takes less time, but a friend – never.

Now before you write and tell me that I can filter these invitations and other intrusive emails that daily swamp my email server, let me just say that I simply haven’t got the patience for such nonsense any more. I don’t care how many filters I can switch on or off, how many dongles I can activate or deactivate and how many boxes I can check or uncheck, I am simply not interested.

I know that my life of leisure in the sun may seem to be indolent and in need of titillation, but I can assure you that Facebook is not the medium that is going to titillate me. There are far better instruments of titillation than Facebook in my tropical paradise.

So I am so sorry that I will no longer be able to exchange inane comments and drivel with people I have never heard of and even more sorry that I no longer will be able to exchange my most private photographs with a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of the vet who treated my dog.

This is not a chain letter or a copied joke email. Believe it or not, I, @£$%^$£@!, (aka Mobi Dark), wrote it all by myself, without any assistance from my trillions of friends on Facebook.

Of course, those of you who really, really know me can always contact me at my old fashioned, 20th century style email address, and even on Skype,( if you write to me first and ask me for my user name . I don’t even give this out to ALL my friends).

So farewell to Facebook and I hope, to the millions of unrequited and soon to be unsent emails in my inbox.

And hello to all my family and real friends – may I wish you the best possible 2011, which for this sexagenarian, will be mercifully Facebook- free. I hope!!!

PS: Please note how to send an email to multiple recipients without publishing all their email addresses for every spammer in the world to see. There is a little ‘send’ facility entitled “BCC”. For those who are unaware – this means BLIND COPY. It’s how we send one email to many without the others on the list receiving details of all the other recipients’ email address and substantially increasing the chances of spammers getting hold of it. Grrrr!!!”




Dog day afternoons

As promised here’s a some pics of my newly shaven two little ‘rats’, Somchai and Yoghurt, plus a few more photos of my lovely, cuddly, Cookie.

 

 


 

Afghanistan (follow up)

I was listening to a debate on BBC radio five live this morning about Muslim fundamentalism in general and the outrages that are still going on in Afghanistan, in particular. It was a good debate with some intelligent speakers, including a Muslim gentleman in the studio who told us what we already knew – that all this violence, cruelty and subjugation of women that is perpetrated by fundamentalists is not in accordance with main stream Muslim thinking and is not supported by Quran teachings.

The other interesting point that was made, and one with which I whole heartedly agree, is the fact that all the western spokesmen, including politicians, and even senior military personnel, have not condemned the perpetrators of this violence but have confined themselves to condemning the nutcase preacher who burned the book in the first place. It is almost as if that he was the sole cause of all these deaths and only he is to blame. By implication, once he burnt the book, then no blame can be attributed to the murderous Afghan thugs who set about killing innocent people. It was all to be expected and they were only carrying out their divine duty.

Doesn’t it make you want to puke?


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