U.S. Citizen Unnatural Deaths Around The World

My fellow Americans, as we know the summer travel season is now well underway:

Screen capture of the U.S. State Department web site.
Screen capture of the U.S. State Department web site.

Turns out Americans die abroad much the same ways as at home. Most non-natural deaths are not a consequence of terrorism or war. Other than in certain places, they are due mostly to accidents and suicides.

At that State Department page, using the drop down menu you may choose a month/year period combination and country. After a click you’ll discover how, and precisely where, Americans there died of non-natural causes between 2002 and 2014. Isn’t our government helpful?

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Alfred The Great Was Here (In The Vicinity Someplace)

I’ve been up here, near the Westbury White Horse, a bunch of times. However, I’d never taken any photos of this, but finally did yesterday. So how about some English medievalism/ Anglo-Saxon romantic legend for a Wednesday morning:

[Photo by me, 2015.]
[Photo by me, 2015.]
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Social Media Overload

The way information flies at us is now unprecedented. Masses comes our way, and we “gulp” down lots. But it’s hard to know how much we honestly can process.

Moreover, social media conveys a happy impression that we all live, more or less, in the same “space” – if not precisely the same geographic place. We’re seemingly required as well to have opinions on just about everything happening, and everywhere. And we have to have them immediately.

Free Stock Photo: A beautiful Chinese girl sitting tired at a desk.
Free Stock Photo: A beautiful Chinese girl sitting tired at a desk.

You find yourself worn out now and then? I do. This weekend was one of those times.

Saturday morning, one of my Twitter lists had displayed this. All at the same time. Seriously:

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Roman All Over The Place

Took the nephew sightseeing to Bath yesterday as planned. From our front door, it’s 11 miles (says the sat-nav) to the city center. We made sure we got there early.

We got in ahead of the crowds. Arriving shortly after its 9am opening, there was no waiting: of course we did the remains of the ancient Roman baths (which we hadn’t had a chance to go with him back in January):

Upon entering the remains of the Roman baths, looking down from above. In ancient times, this was covered. [Photo by me, 2015.]
Upon entering the remains of the Roman baths, looking down from above. In ancient times, this was covered. [Photo by me, 2015.]

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A Joy Departs

My sister-in-law lost her younger sister about two weeks ago. We’re going to her funeral in Essex today.

As a toddler, Donna had been a victim of medical malpractice that led to traumatic brain damage. Her family received a huge compensation package from the National Health Service (NHS). The money was set aside to make sure she was properly looked after for the rest of her life.

And every pound and pence would be needed. It was projected she would not live to 21. But she far outlived medical estimates.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an older woman in a wheelchair.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an older woman in a wheelchair.

Donna never grew “old.” But, for over 35 years, she had been unable to do almost anything for herself. Her parents and family – her mother especially – mostly looked after her.

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Ten Years On: The Day’s A Blur

July 7, 2005 was like any other normal day. A few days a week I took public transportation – either overground train, or tube – to my university office in north London where I then worked. Other days I drove. I liked to vary the commute.

That day, I’d pre-booked the car in with a dealer for a routine service, so drove to work a bit early. Being near the college, they would send someone over to my office, collect it, work on it, and return it by the end of the workday. Ho hum.

As usual, by 8:30 they’d picked up the car and taken it away. I think it was on my desktop sometime around 9:30 when I first saw the BBC web site update: there were rumors of electrical fires/ explosions in a couple of tube stations.

Very odd stuff, to say the least. I remember colleagues shaking their heads.

Screen capture of BBC web site.
Screen capture of BBC web site.

And I remember one – the first one to suggest it – saying these sounded like bombings.

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Devon’s Beautiful…. And One Rental Agent’s An Idiot

Thanks for your indulgence last week. There was supposed to be internet at our rental house in Devon, but there wasn’t. And even, as I’d also said, getting internet on our phones along that coast – near Woolacombe – turned out to be a major challenge.

The house wifi hadn’t just broken either. It had been down for some weeks, and the rental agent knew it, but had not told us. Although, when we arrived, in an email she claimed that she’d had.

Funny, we never got *that* email weeks before about the net being down. Oh, but we got the others looking for money, of course.

We’d never met her in person, and still haven’t – and we won’t, and why we won’t is something I will explain below.

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Unexpected Interruption

We are on a short break in Devon. Problem is the rental house doesn’t have the promised internet.

Arrgh!

And getting mobile net on the phone in this rural coastal area is unpredictable at best. I’m sitting outside a shop right now, and just had a pile of emails come thru! I was able to check Twitter as well finally.

You feel so lost without the net nowadays. I’m seeing if anything can be done. If not, well, I’ll get lots of writing done on my down time.

Hopefully, all will be back to normal next weekend. If not before, see you then. :-)