Creepy FaceSpook

I am no fan of Facebook, but have been on there a while. In 2013, with the release of my wife’s first memoir, of her rather incredible experiences in Cyprus and Europe, we engaged “social media experts” who lectured us about “branding,” and, for the first time since 1999, I used my real name online. On Facebook.

That lasted about a year. I came to my senses, and my Facebook name has since  been constantly changing, and ridiculously so. Moredecai Grammerhell Thorpewallow Strathpeffer? Sounds good to me!

So Sure, Facebook remembers my real name, but even so, what just happened is creepy. Too creepy.

People You May Know yesterday: two I do know. Two I didn’t know were on Facebook. Two who have no mutual friends on Facebook. And two with whom I have virtually no electronic contact.

Also two I rarely see in person, but have, both, in the last two weeks. One, Chuck: I needed to contact him a month ago (didn’t even know he was in Uruguay), but had neither email address or phone number. The other, Burkhard, from Namibia. I do have his phone number and email, but aside from lunch together a month ago, my physical visit to his house a week ago, have had no electronic contact.

No phone number, no emails, and certainly no Facebook Messenger or mutual friends

And yet: people you might know, according to FaceSpook.

OK, let me read your mind: Blah blah blah.

I understand. But this:

Chuck’s last Facebook post was in 2014.

Burkhard’s was in 2012.

Not friends on Facebook, no mutual contacts on Facebook, neither posting in the last three years, and no contact other than physical visits, and two utterly inactive Facebook accounts suddenly flagged as “People you might know” – ?

I’m outta here.

The little one, two months later

dog with small puppy
Beginning of December: 3.3 kilos
puppy sleeping in basket
One month later: 6.5 kilos
dog with puppy
Today, two months later: 11+ kilos (can’t get him still enough on the scale to get an accurate reading!)

And he’s apparently learning from his older brother:

dog on couch
Benji in November 2015
puppy upside-down on couch
The little one, today.


Road trip, Austrian style

You may recall my fascination with the unwieldy vehicles that arrive here,  most often from Germany. I’m equally (actually,  more) amused when I see a perfectly ordinary car that managed to brave the same territory.

Here’s one that has been traveling in South America for five years, driven by an Austrian who sold his restaurant and took to the road.

Austrian Land Rover, South America tour

He said that if he had a dollar for every time his rig had been photographed, he would never have to work another day in his life. I believe it!

Austrian Land Rover, South America tour

He leaves for Austria in a couple weeks. His final preparation will be to take off the front bumper, which extends forward maybe 30 cm, and strap it to the roof. Turns out the shipping company charges for a set length (I’m guessing 5 m), and with bumper in place this vehicle exceeds that.

Just pay a little extra? No, €1,300 without bumper, but €2,600 with — that’s good pay for an hour of simple mechanical work!