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An Introduction to George Orwell’s 1984

Revisiting an introduction to George Orwell’s 1984. It has been less than a year since Donald Trump took office. Now it is becoming clear that his actions are leading to the subversion of American institutions. All of the government agencies seem to exist for the sole purpose of restructuring themselves. DOJ is far from embracing the notion of justice for all. Supreme Court is in the process of defending the federal government instead of the people. The progress of the Civil Rights Movement has been set back and all minority rights are being trampled upon! So has Orwell’s 1984 being update for our generations?

The Trump campaign, his subsequent election, and his follow through, has many people re-reading this science fiction novel. It is my belief that this has much to do with his flipping the purpose of American institutions, such as the EPA and the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is now under a person that fought against the Civil Rights movement. And the Environmental Protection Agency plans to deregulate most controls on the protection of the environment. So looking at an introduction to 1984 might be useful in evaluating the present situation.

Ricardo Montoya Ochoa

Introduction

George Orwell‘s 1984, like many works of literature, unmistakably carries with it literary traditions reaching back to the earliest of storytellers. Among the literary traditions that Orwell uses is the concept of utopia, which he distorts effectively for his own purposes. Utopia, or Nowhere Land, is an ideal place or society in which human beings realize a perfect existence, a place without suffering or human malady. Orwell did not originate this genre. In fact, the word utopia is taken from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516. The word is now used to describe any place considered to be perfect.

In 1984, Orwell creates a technologically advanced world in which fear is used as a tool for manipulating and controlling individuals who do not conform to the prevailing political orthodoxy. In his attempt to educate the reader about the consequences of certain political philosophies and the defects of human nature, Orwell manipulates and usurps the utopian tradition and creates a dystopia, a fictional setting in which life is extremely bad from deprivation, oppression, or terror. Orwell’s dystopia is a place where humans have no control over their own lives, where nearly every positive feeling is squelched, and where people live in misery, fear, and repression.

The dystopian tradition in literature is a relatively modern one and is usually a criticism of the time in which the author lives. These novels are often political statements, as was Orwell’s other dystopian novel, Animal Farm, published in 1945. By using a dystopian setting for 1984, Orwell suggests the possibility of a utopia, and then makes very clear, with each horror that takes place, the price humankind pays for “perfect” societies.

Historical Background

Orwell wrote 1984 just after World War II ended, wanting it to serve as a warning to his readers. He wanted to be certain that the kind of future presented in the novel should never come to pass, even though the practices that contribute to the development of such a state were abundantly present in Orwell’s time.

Orwell lived during a time in which tyranny was a reality in Spain, Germany, the Soviet Union, and other countries, where government kept an iron fist (or curtain) around its citizens, where there was little, if any freedom, and where hunger, forced labor, and mass execution were common.

Orwell espoused democratic socialism. In his essay, “Why I Write,” published in 1947, two years before the publication of 1984, Orwell stated that he writes, among other reasons, from the “[d]esire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.” Orwell used his writing to express his powerful political feelings, and that fact is readily apparent in the society he creates in 1984.

The society in 1984, although fictional, mirrors the political weather of the societies that existed all around him. Orwell’s Oceania is a terrifying society reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union — complete repression of the human spirit, absolute governmental control of daily life, constant hunger, and the systematic “vaporization” of individuals who do not, or will not, comply with the government’s values.

Orwell despised the politics of the leaders he saw rise to power in the countries around him, and he despised what the politicians did to the people of those countries. Big Brother is certainly a fusing of both Stalin and Hitler, both real and terrifying leaders, though both on opposite sides of the philosophical spectrum. By combining traits from both the Soviet Union’s and Germany’s totalitarian states, Orwell makes clear that he is staunchly against any form of governmental totalitarianism, either from the left or the right of the political spectrum.

By making Big Brother so easily recognizable (he is physically similar to both Hitler and Stalin, all three having heavy black mustaches and charismatic speaking styles), Orwell makes sure that the reader of 1984 does not mistake his intention — to show clearly how totalitarianism negatively affects the human spirit and how it is impossible to remain freethinking under such circumstances.

The Role of the Media

Orwell spent time in Spain during the time of Franco’s Fascist military rebellion. Although he was initially pleased with what he considered to be the realization of socialism in Barcelona, he quickly saw that dream change; such a political climate could not maintain that kind of “ideal” political life. The group with which Orwell was associated was accused of being a pro-Fascist organization, a falsehood that was readily believed by many, including the left-wing press in England. As a reflection on this experience, in 1984, Orwell creates a media service that is nothing more than a propaganda machine, mirroring what Orwell, as a writer, experienced during his time in Spain.

Orwell worked with the BBC during World War II when certain kinds of restrictions limiting what news could be disseminated were common, and he became disturbed by what he perceived to be the falseness of his work. It is noteworthy that Winston Smith, the main character in 1984, works in the media and is responsible for creating what is, essentially, deceptive propaganda. In fact, it is Winston’s position in the media that gives the reader the most insight into the duplicity of the society in which he lives and therefore, the society that Orwell most condemns.

The Setting

The setting of 1984 is Oceania, a giant country comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles; Australia; and the southern portion of Africa. Oceania’s mainland is called Air Strip One, formerly England. The story itself takes place in London in the year 1984, a terrifying place and time where the human spirit and freedom are all but crushed. In the novel, war is constant. The main character, Winston Smith, born before the World War II, grew up knowing only hunger and political instability, and many of the things that he experiences are hyperboles of real activities in wartime Germany and the Soviet Union.

It is important to remember that Orwell based 1984 on the facts as he knew them; hunger, shortages, and repression actually happened as a result of the extreme governmental policies of these countries. The war hysteria, the destruction of the family unit, the persecution of “free thinkers” or those who were “different” or not easily assimilated into the party doctrine, the changing of history to suit the party’s agenda, were all too real. Orwell’s speculation of the future is actually a creative extension of how the masses were treated under Franco, Hitler, and Stalin.

By setting 1984 in London, Orwell is able to invoke the atmosphere of a real war-torn community, where people live in “wooden dwellings like chicken houses” in bombed-out clearings. His intent clearly was to capitalize on a memory that every reader, especially a British reader, was likely to have. London in 1984, then, becomes not just a make-believe place where bad things happen to unknown people, but a very real geographical spot that still holds some connection for the modern reader.

In 1984, the world is sliced into three political realms — the super states of Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. Orwell drew these lines fairly consistent with the political distribution of the Cold War era beginning after World War II. Each of these three states is run by a totalitarian government that is constantly warring on multiple fronts. By creating an entire world at war, Orwell not only creates a terrifying place, but he also eliminates the possibility of escape for Winston, who is forced to live within his present circumstances, horrible and unremitting as they are.

Oceania’s political structure is divided into three segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2 percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat, the working class. Although the Party (Inner and Outer) does not see these divisions as true “classes,” it is clear that Orwell wants the reader to see the class distinctions. For a socialist such as Orwell, class distinctions mean the existence of conflict and class struggle. In Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, for example, the few people who comprised the ruling class had a much higher standard of living than the masses, but in these nations, as in 1984, revolt was all but impossible.

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Everybody’s’ leaving town. Seems they’re moving to L.A.

Back in time El Paso, Texas was isolated from most of the United States. Hardly anybody ever left. This was in the forties an fifties. But then started the trickle in my family. Los Angeles and the rest of California were the main places. It was almost a religious thing,  the pilgrimage to L.A. and back. They inadvertently came back to El Paso. Then one uncle, Frank Ochoa on my mom’s side of the family, and then another on my Dad’s side, Jose Montoya left. They would come back to visit but they were gone, never to come back accept for a brief visit. These were the first ones to leave our parochial town.
I never thought that I would leave. I loved the city,  the thought of leaving never entered my mind. I stayed put. There were not many jobs to be found, those that existed did not pay much. But, I figured that with enough schooling I would be able to find work. Got married not long after high school graduation, and then the kids came. I had kept on going to school, went to night school at Burge High School and El Paso Tech. I was interested in My interested electronics and did well in classes related to that. There were few jobs in electronics in town. I had to get whatever jobs that I could to support my young and growing family. Worked food service at first and just managed. The only way to get a decent job was if you knew someone that could open doors for you. I thought I could make it on my own, and so I struggled.
After trying to find work and finding only food service jobs paying low wages I finally got smart. Deciding to ask for help, I found it in a couple of uncles that worked for one of the biggest employers in town, Farah Manufacturing. My uncle Joe Farah got me into the garment factory. Later Uncle Eddie Ochoa got me into their research and development shop. More tales to tell later on the eleven or so years that I spent at Farah. It was a great learning experience, leaning to work with people, knowing how to go up the corporate structure, but best of all applying my basic electrons classes. In the end, I had to leave. Problems within Farah family over control of the company and attempts to unionize created an unstable environment. And so I left Farah.
I am skipping over a lot of history but that will be the next step in telling the story related to my leaving El Paso for better pastures. My oldest boy had a good job in town working for an electronics company. The second son only found work in food service. My older brother had lived in Dallas for some time, so I suggested to my second eldest that he look for work in Dallas. It did not take him long to decide to go there where he found jobs easily. The electronics company my eldest worked with started one of many restructuring steps. Eventually, he too left for the Dallas area.  The story is still incomplete but let me just stop here to say that I too followed in seeking work in Dallas.

 

Shopping in Morelia

Lin and I took a quick shopping trip to Morelia to get our medicine, get groceries and do other shopping. Morelia is about an hour’s driving time from our home in Patzcuaro. The day started out a bit overcast, cool, with a little bit of rain.

Here are pictures taken a stop to get gasoline for our car. You can see how the weather was early in the day.

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By the time we got to Costco, the sun had come out and it got warmer. We got our med and did some looking around to see what was new. Turns out that they had moved many things around. So we are going to have to orient ourselves again. Lots of stuff to see. Christmas season is upon us, or will soon be as seen by the displays of Christmas trees and decorations. One time caught my fancy. Don’t know if you can tell that the Carousel was in motion turning.

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I noticed at the Costco pharmacy a sign saying that for every peso contributed by it’s customers to the disaster relief fund for the earthquake and hurricane areas, that they would match the contribution by the same amount. Glad we found a place to do this. There were many places in both Patzcuaro and Morelia where on could take food, clothing and other items. But what really helps is cash.

Onward to Walmart Super-center. We need a few more things that we could only find at Walmart. They have the best produce, and many goods imported from the US. So we got those and head toward the exit a bit tired by now. Walmart anywhere in the world it seems, does things ass backwards! Line were long even with many cashiers open. There were to stations that were supposed to be specially for seniors and customers with their own ecology approved shopping bags. Both were closed. I went to customer service to complain. They said that they would send someone over but they never did! Finally got out of there even more tired. But we still were trying to find a couple of items lacking from our list. So off to McDonald’s for a burger and just a bit of relaxation before continuing. But that was not to be!

I felt this as good photo op to illustrate Fall season in our area. This is from the produce section at Walmart.

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McDonald’s was so noisy that the server could not hear our order. Kid were screaming, our minds were echoing those tiny screechy voices. But we did get food and drink, enough to continue to our next destination, Chedraui. This is a really cool supermarket that often has American and foreign staples not found elsewhere. We did find most of those things remaining on our shopping list. Only thing is that it was taking forever for the cashier to keep the line moving and then it stopped! Was this a curse that was going to follow us from store to store? Cashiers were tallying long lists. I did not get it why they had stopped doing their normal work. Got a good answer. Shoppers were donating item to disaster relief. The store would be moving those goods to those in need. So that needed to have an accurate accounting of the items. So I have little to complain about in that regard.

America’s Crisis Of Disconnection Runs Deeper Than Politics

Fast Company

Brené Brown: America’s Crisis Of Disconnection Runs Deeper Than Politics

By Brené Brown/Sep 12, 2017

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Our national self-sorting into liberal and conservative enclaves is tracking with rising rates of loneliness. Why, and at what cost?

[Photo: Flickr user Molly Adams]

For 20 years, I’ve taught at the University of Houston, the most racially and ethnically diverse research university in the United States. I recently asked my class of 60 graduate students whether their political, social, and cultural beliefs aligned with their grandparents’. About 15% of the students said yes or pretty close, while the remainder described everything from mild embarrassment to mortification when it came to their family members’ politics.

One African-American student said he saw eye to eye with his grandparents on just about every issue except the one that mattered most to him: He couldn’t come out to his grandfather even though the rest of his family knew he was gay. A retired pastor, his grandfather was “dug in” around homosexuality. A white student talked about her father’s habit of addressing waiters in Mexican restaurants with “hola, Pancho!” She had a Latino boyfriend and said it was humiliating. But when I asked these students whether they resented their grandparents or were willing to sever bonds with family members over political and social divides, the answer was no across the board.

You might think that the exhaustively documented polarization of American society would lead to more social interaction; if we’ve hunkered down, ideologically and geographically, with those we perceive to be just like us, doesn’t that mean we’ve surrounded ourselves with friends and people with whom we feel deeply connected? Shouldn’t “you’re either with us or against us” have led to closer ties among the like-minded?

In fact, the opposite is happening. At the same time that cultural and political sorting is on the rise, so is loneliness.

HARDWIRED FOR CONNECTION, AND NOT GETTING IT

In his 2009 book The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, the journalist Bill Bishop observed that in 1976, fewer than 25% of Americans lived in places where the presidential election was a landslide. In other words, we lived next door to, and attended school and worshiped with, people who held different beliefs than ours. We were ideologically diverse. In contrast, in 2016, 80% of U.S. counties gave either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton a landslide victory. Most of us no longer even live near people who are all that different from us in terms of political and social beliefs.

This shift has tracked closely with another pattern over a similar time period. In 1980, approximately 20% of Americans reported feeling lonely. By 2010, according to AARP researchers, that figure had more than doubled. University of Chicago neuroscientist John Cacioppo defines the phenomenon as “perceived social isolation,” which basically means that we experience loneliness when we feel disconnected. Maybe we’ve been pushed to the outside of a group that we value, or we lack a sense of true belonging. At the heart of loneliness, Cacioppo believes, is an absence of meaningful social interaction–an intimate relationship, friendships, family gatherings, or even community or work group connections.

As members of a social species, we derive strength not from our rugged individualism but from our collective ability to plan, communicate, and work together. Our neural, hormonal, and genetic makeup support interdependence over independence. As Cacioppo explained in a 2013 TEDx Talk, the key to reaching adulthood “is not to become autonomous and solitary, it’s to become the one on whom others can depend. Whether we know it or not, our brain and biology have been shaped to favor this outcome.”

Cacioppo points out that biological machinery of our brains warns us when our ability to thrive and prosper is threatened. Hunger is a warning that our blood sugar is low and we need to eat. Thirst warns us that we need to drink to avoid dehydration. Pain alerts us to potential tissue damage. And loneliness tells us that we need social connection. He explains, “Denying you feel lonely makes no more sense than denying you feel hunger.”

Yet we do deny our loneliness. We feel shame around being lonely (as if feeling lonely means there’s something wrong with us), even when it’s caused by grief, loss, or heartbreak. This isn’t just sad–it’s actually dangerous. We’ve evolved to react to the feeling of being pushed to the social perimeter by going into self-preservation mode: when we feel isolated, disconnected, and lonely, we try to protect ourselves. That means less empathy, more defensiveness, more numbing, and less sleeping. In this state, the brain ramps up the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening–narratives that often aren’t true and exaggerate our worst fears and insecurities.

IF FEAR IS HOW WE GOT HERE, HOW DO WE GET OUT?

To combat loneliness, we must first learn how to identify it and to see that experience as a warning sign. Our response to that warning sign should be to find connection. That doesn’t necessarily mean joining a bunch of groups or checking in with dozens of friends. Numerous studies confirm that it’s not the quantity of friends but the quality of a few relationships that actually matter.

But if you’re anything like me, and you find yourself questioning the idea that starvation and loneliness are equally life-threatening, consider this 2015 meta-analysis of studies on loneliness, in which researchers found the following: Living with air pollution increases your odds of dying early by 5%. Living with obesity, 20%. Excessive drinking, 30%. And living with loneliness? It increases our odds of dying early by 45%.

No, there’s no evidence that sorting ourselves into politically distinct enclaves has made us lonelier; it’s not that simple. But one core variable driving that society-wide compulsion also happens to compound loneliness, and make it so life-threatening: Fear. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of the pain of disconnection. Fear of criticism and failure. Fear of conflict. Fear of not measuring up.

I started my research six months before 9/11, and I’ve watched fear change our families, organizations, and communities. Our national conversation is centered on, “What should we fear?” and, “Who should we blame?” I’m not an expert on terrorism, but after studying fear for 15 years, here’s what I can tell you: Terrorism is time-released fear. Its ultimate goal is to embed fear so deeply in the heart of a community that fear becomes a way of life. This unconscious way of living then fuels so much anger and blame that people start to turn on one another. Terrorism is most effective when we allow fear to take root in our culture. Then it’s only a matter of time before we become fractured, isolated, and driven by our perceptions of scarcity.

In a hardwired way, the initial trauma and devastation of violence unites human beings for a relatively short period of time. If during that initial period of unity we’re allowed to talk openly about our collective grief and fear–if we turn to one another in a vulnerable and loving way, while at the same time seeking justice and accountability–it can be the start to a very long healing process. If, however, what unites us is a combination of shared hatred and stifled fear that’s eventually expressed as blame, we’re in trouble.

If leaders race to serve up an ideological enemy to rally against, rather than methodically identifying the actual perpetrator, we’ll be emotionally distracted from the unraveling that’s really taking place in our homes and communities. When this happens, what feels like a rallying movement is really a cover for fear, which can then start spreading over the landscape. As fear hardens, it expands–becoming less of a protective barrier and more of a solidifying division. It forces its way down in the gaps and tears apart our social foundation, already weakened with those delicate cracks.

OUR BUNKERS CAN’T PROTECT US

In the U.S., our three greatest fault lines–cracks that have grown and deepened due to willful neglect and a collective lack of courage–are race, gender, and class. These are conversations that need to happen; this is discomfort that must be felt. Still, as much as it’s time to confront these and other issues, we have to acknowledge that our lack of tolerance for vulnerable, tough conversations is driving our self-sorting and disconnection.

Can we find our way back to ourselves and to each other, and still keep fighting for what we believe in? No and yes. No, not everyone will be able to do both, simply because some people will continue to believe that fighting for what they need means denying the humanity of others. That makes connecting outside our bunkers impossible.

I do believe, however, that most of us can build connection across difference and fight for our beliefs if we’re willing to listen and be vulnerable. But if we’re not even willing to try, the value of what we’re fighting for will be profoundly diminished. True belonging has no bunkers. We have to step out from behind the barricades of self-preservation and brave the wild. When we race to our customary defenses–of political belief, race, religion, you name it–we don’t have to worry about being vulnerable or brave or trusting. We just have to toe the party line.

Except doing that is not working. Ideological bunkers protect us from everything except loneliness and disconnection. Huddled behind them, we’re left unprotected from the worst heartbreaks of all.

This article is adapted with permission from Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. Published by Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Copyright © 2017 by Brené Brown. All rights reserved.

From the New Yorker Cartoon Chronicle

I am not what one would call “a whiz” or even “adept” when it comes to new technologies. You tell me the Internet travels through tubes and I’m going to smile vaguely, nod, and not ask any follow-up questions. When I first got an iPhone, I mainly used it to stream radio broadcasts of baseball games.

But I am grateful that there’s a cloud somewhere filled with all the photos I’ve ever taken of other people’s dogs and babies and that I can now casually dial Timbuktu on my way to Trader Joe’s, as presciently depicted by Gahan Wilson, in 1993:

Little did Gahan know the cell-phone strut would soon be hands-free, or that we mostly wouldn’t be talking, just staring blankly at a screen.

So back to the handheld-computer pros list: I can Google images of different bug bites rather than having to pay to disrobe in front of a medical professional, even if Kamraan Hafeez advises against it:

And cons: I’m disheartened that the latest iterations of the iPhone, announced this week, didn’t even incorporate some of these apps and services devised by Roz Chast:

To be honest, the new iPhone X Face I.D. feature gives meet the heebie-jeebies. The spooky promise by Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing that “the team has worked hard to protect your face data” apparently didn’t sit easy with Farley Katz, either:

Indeed, in this case, follow-up questions abound: Can identical twins unlock each others’ phones? What are those thousand infrared dots doing to my pores? I’ll await your answers, Tim Cook. In the meantime, allow me to propose an alternative unlocking technology, thought up by Paul Noth:

—Emma Allen

It was immediately upon the announcement of the new iPhone that I took an elevator to the top floor of One World Trade Center, broke through numerous secured doors, and climbed the spire at the top of the building. Why did I do this clearly illegal, but very cool-sounding activity, you ask? I wanted to fling my old iPhone like a Frisbee and break it in a dramatic fashion, because a newer, more expensive iPhone now exists. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that it’s only on pre-order, and so now I will not have a phone for some time. Until my new phone arrives, I will spend my time reading this Daily Shouts piece from last year about new iPhone features that I wrote with Jason Adam Katzenstein. I will also spend a lot of time in court for the criminal charges I incurred by climbing to the top of the building and slinging an iPhone off of it.

—Colin Stokes

My Grandparents Undocumented Illegal Aliens?

 

Grandma Montoya, Dad’s mom crossed from Mexico into the United States in 1910. She lived a quiet life in El Paso, Texas. She raised sons and daughters Three of her sons joined the military and went off to war. Over the years, she never thought of applying for citizenship. Later, when she wants to visit a daughter in Mexico, she was told that if she did that, she would not be able to return home. Dad was born in Texas in the town of Stanton. I don’t know if that makes him the first generation of the Montoya’s born in the United States? Dad had four kids, three sons, and one daughter. I was of course on of the sons. I don’t know if that would make us second generation Americans?

My grandparents could be called undocumented immigrants. Let’s put this into historical context. Around the turn of the century, there were few requirements for entering the country. You paid for an entry card and that was about that there was to it. The US and Mexico were equal in most ways. So begs the question, what changed?

So I am starting to feel like I am not a legitimated American. If you can follow the chain of evidence you might come to the same conclusion. Grandparents upon entering the country did not apply for citizenship. Could it be, that their sons and daughters shouldn’t for citizenship themselves? What about their children? So that might well bring into question my status and, that of my own children.

Is there such a thing as an illegal alien?

My Log Cabin Story

My log cabin story. To start, I wasn’t born in a log cabin! And, I did not have to walk for miles and miles to get to school either. I will just have to call this my adobe homestead story instead. I did walk to school. I could have taken the bus. Bus  passes were available at school at very low cost. But had other plans for that money. Like going to the movies. And other neat thing that a teen might want! Besides, it was good exercise walking to school. My only sacrifice was on chilly mornings. But. only when I dressed in a T-shirt. That was cool! Double entendre meant.

The adobe homestead part? I was with Gram. Her place came under the Texas homestead act. It had super-thick adobes. They were so thick that they insulated the house against hot weather. No need for air conditioning.

This is my log cabin story. Not as stated in the title! It was a place full of love. And, I loved it!

I enjoy telling stories. The best story tellers may well be those who tell stories about themselves.

Want to hear another one?

Greek Tragedy 2.0

Greek Tragedy 2.0

Why the disconnect by Americans and the Brit Brexit. An excellent post by my friend Gary.

The Mexile

A hundred and fifty five years ago, the Greeks chose the second son of Queen Victoria to replace their recently deposed king. Alas for any dreams Alfred may have had for a lifetime of sunshine and mousakka, Vicky had other plans. Alf did not get to swap Buckingham Palace for Athens, having instead to settle for being the Duke of Edinburgh. The world is a funny place though. The Greeks’ second choice was grandfather to a young boy, Philip, who would one day trade Athens for Buckingham Palace. He’s still there, serving as the Duke of Edinburgh. The whole episode was part of a great game of

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I Love my HUAWEI smart phone

Sitting at home looking a CNN reporting on hurrcane Irma. I have also been on my cell phone texting back and forth with my daughter. She is in Hileah, Florida. Irma has passed by leaving high winds and lots of water. Our conversation was cut off due to power failure. We, my wife and I, are in central Mexico, far away from loved ones. If it were not for our computing devices we would be pretty much cut off from the US.

I came to Mexico fifteen years ago, and found it to be the land of phone land lines. ATM’s had yet to arrive. There was the beginnings of cell phone communications. These were sketchy at best. But, there have been an upward evolution of communications. The bank ATM’s now speak to other ATM’s and the world! We have internet and wireless! For a long time we clung to our landlines.Preferring them over experimenting with cells. That is old school now. We have smart phones with which we can call anywhere in the United States and Canada. Don’t know any one in Canada. Who knows when we will meet someone from that area.

But let me get back on-topic. My daugher  is in midle of a serious storm! How were to stay in touch, and try to find out how she was doing? I amold fashioned. Dad said to us, if you don’t have business to get off the phone! My phone conversations tend to be brief, to the point. I don’t like to using the phone. I’ve made good use of Skype as a telephony tool. That is because I get to see the person on the other side of the conversation. This was an emergancy, and I’ve paid for international calling. What harm can it do to communicate with my daughter using my smart phone? Don’t care too much for the audio on cells but texting should work.

It was wonderful! I got across, and have been texting ever since this morming. Never a dull moment. Not being good at spelling, the spell checker on the phone works well. Not only that,  the app guesses what I am am going to type next. It works well. I can type away much faster on my cell phone than on my computer keyboard!

I love my HUAWEI smart phone!