Bill, blog news, healthcare, travel

My Yerevan travel series is underway now…

I have the first two travel posts from our Armenia trip up on my travel blog now. There will be more posts coming, and I have a feeling that due to the nature of this particular trip, the travel blog will be taking my attention for at least the next few days. But that doesn’t mean I won’t come on here and go off about something… it just means that right now, travel blogging will probably capture most of my time. It’s a labor of love. God knows, I don’t make any money from writing about our trips!

If I hadn’t gone to Armenia last week, I’d probably be travel blogging about Bill’s dental woes. He went to the Wiesbaden dentist this morning to have his sinus lift and implant installed. I know he was nervous about the procedure. He was so worried that he had me go with him, just in case he needed me to do the driving. If he hadn’t been to the dentist today, I probably would have written a second travel post by now. I don’t know if I’ll get to it today or not. I may have lost the urge to write, as it’s getting darker outside.

Bill was actually fine after his procedure. The dentist was quick and very skilled, and he had Bill fixed up in a jiffy. Bill said the dentist asked him if he took medicine to “water down” his blood. Why yes… he does take 81 milligrams of aspirin every day. The dentist knew, because he said Bill bled a lot during the procedure. But overall, it went off without a hitch. In two weeks, he’ll go back and have the stitches removed. Then, in six months, he should have a new artificial tooth!

I was impressed by the dental office in Wiesbaden. If I didn’t enjoy Dr. Blair so much, I think I’d switch offices. But Dr. Blair gives me a reason to visit Stuttgart, plus I know he does very good work. We still need to go see him for cleanings. Maybe that’s what we’ll do the next time we go somewhere.

Sorry this is such a mundane post. Like I said, I’m a bit preoccupied by my trip to Yerevan. It already almost feels like a dream now. It’s crazy how comfortable I was in Yerevan after all these years. I still know the city well, and although it’s more painful now, I can still walk all over the city without too much trouble.

I’d better get back to writing, before I forget the juicy details. 😉

blog news, travel

We’re off the boat now!

What an epic vacation! We are now in Copenhagen, and we’ll be here until Sunday morning. We will fly back to Germany, and then it will be time to do a lot of writing. I am feeling recharged and ready to write… and make some new music videos. After I take a nap, of course… 😀

We had a very good time on our trip. It was the most expensive trip we’ve ever taken, but we’ve had lots of time to see and do new things, interact with new people, and enjoy life. Enjoying life has left me a bit tired, but now I have lots of great photos for my photo stream and plenty of new stuff to write about. And yes, I also plan to get back to my usual mode of complaining about politics and religion.

I don’t know where or when our next trip will be. I suspect it may involve taking in a new furry friend, which we’re both ready to do now. As it is, I’m ready to get back to see Noyzi. I’ve missed him. I even had a nice dream about him this morning. I’m sure he’s been a good boy who probably needs a good brushing.

So, if you’ve been waiting for an update, here it is… and I’ll be back soon with new book reviews, complaints, gossip, and whatever else. To the few of you who follow this blog regularly, thank you for your patience.

The featured photo is of our new hotel room. It’s pretty nice!

blog news, true crime

The Internet is really sucking HARD today…

I don’t know why, but I’ve been having some pretty serious and annoying Internet issues this morning. Lately, our Internet connection has been very fragile, even before I got the new computer. I’m still trying to move files and unload some of the resource hogs from my old computer, so it might still be useful for awhile. But the freakin’ Internet connection really blows.

It’s hard to tell why the Internet is sucking so much, especially today. I have noticed that lately, the Fiberglass Internet Vodaphone guys have been trolling the neighborhood, trying to get people to sign up for their service. Since installing it involves excavation (I think), that will be up to the landlord.

Fortunately, my new computer is willing to accept my phone as a hotspot. I’m sure my old one would, too, but for some reason, I could never successfully get it to do that in the past. It’s possible this is a system issue, and not something with our house or our particular connection. Whatever is going on, it’s very annoying.

I’ve been trying to read a book my friend, Mary Beth, suggested… It’s a true crime book that I’m finding very triggering. The woman involved is like an extreme version of Ex. She does cruel, narcissistic things that are like Ex, but magnified a lot more. It amazes me how many truly abusive and perverse people are out in the world, free to wreak havoc until they finally get caught going too far.

What’s scary is, these folks, by and large, appear to be “normal” to those who don’t know them. Anyone who sounds the alarm is branded as crazy, bitter, jealous, a liar, etc. It really is crazymaking. Things don’t usually improve until people start to compare notes. That’s what has been happening in our situation. Bill and his daughter have been talking to each other and realizing that their experiences were similar. They also confirm to each other than being out of that environment is much better than being in it.

In the book I’m reading, it’s pretty clear that people knew the crazy abusive woman was crazy and abusive, but they were children… and they felt totally powerless to take any action. I’m sure they feared for their lives.

I have been reading for a week or so, and thought I was further into the book than I actually am, apparently. I think I will try to do a lot of reading today, so I can review the book and move on to the next one… maybe one that doesn’t have to do with true crime.

As for my computer/Internet woes, I’m sure they will pass in a day or so. I’m getting closer to having everything set up the right way. I’m kind of missing the times when we didn’t have to worry about such things to get through the day, but just about everything is connected to the Internet now. Even our freakin’ lights are connected to an app.

Maybe it’s time to get a new router… I don’t know. Anyway, I think I’ll take advantage of the downtime and read more of this book, so I can post a review. It’ll also give me a chance to rest my hands and the backs of my thighs, which are still aching from Wednesday’s big office makeover.

Edited to add: I managed to fix the Internet issue. Just needed to unplug from the router instead of the wall. But I’m still thinking I’ll try to do some reading… before someone on the Internet pisses me off and makes me feel like ranting.

blog news

Why the Overeducated Housewife Facebook page is no more…

Early this morning, I woke up to a very irate private message on this blog’s soon to be defunct Facebook page. The person who wrote to me is apparently angry about a true crime blog article I reposted last year. This person claimed to be a family member of someone whose murder I had originally posted about in 2014, when I lived in Texas. They found the repost, decided it was inappropriate and “false”, and sent me a threatening message through my soon to be defunct Overeducated Housewife Facebook page.

I tried to respond to the person on my iPad, but because I didn’t have the app installed, I had to go on my computer. I sent a response to the person, explaining that the original post was written based on a newspaper article I read in my hometown paper in 2014. I don’t know anyone involved in the crime, but had simply read the newspaper article, was shocked by it, and wrote a reaction post that consisted of my opinions. The original post was based entirely on public information provided by the news. My opinions were mostly and genuinely sympathetic.

A few weeks after I wrote the original post in 2014, someone claiming to be from the family found it, and sent me a private message through the Facebook page. That person was upset, but hadn’t wanted me to remove the original post. Instead, they had asked me to expand on it in a follow up post, including information about how the local police department had failed the victims. They even chatted with me and provided more information about what happened. Naturally, I felt terrible for the person who contacted me, and could totally understand why they wanted someone to provide information that wasn’t in the papers. I was happy to write the follow up. I wrote the post, and they thanked me profusely and even wrote “God bless you”. That was the last I heard about it for over eight years. That post was visible on my original blog for almost five years, until I quit using Blogger.

I moved my original blog from Blogger to WordPress in 2019. Sometimes, for varying reasons, I repost old Blogger content to this newer blog. In 2021, I reposted that old true crime post because it was slightly relevant to some new content I wrote last year. It was also a somewhat popular post. I didn’t update it, and specifically stated on the post that it was posted “as/is”– that is, just as it was originally written in 2014. Then I promptly forgot about it until early this morning, when I got that message from another alleged family member who was upset about it.

That person claimed that my post had “made it hard for the family to move on”… even though that content had been available for several years on the original blog, and was up for over a year on this one, apparently completely unnoticed by the people in that family. They were also upset that I posted the name of the surviving child, which I only did because the name had already been printed in several newspapers. The first person who contacted me didn’t provide that detail; it came from reporters. But they were threatening ME with legal action for simply providing information that was already and still is widely and publicly available.

As I was thinking about what the person wrote, and realizing that I wouldn’t be going back to sleep, it occurred to me that the Facebook page for this blog has mostly caused me grief. Many of the people who followed it were friends of mine, so they were already seeing the links I put on my personal page. Many of the people who connected with me through the page were people who didn’t want to comment publicly, but were just angry about my opinions and wanted to leave me abusive comments in private. Since Facebook has been extremely annoying recently, due to its draconian bots and uncivilized comments, I decided that today, I would start the process of deleting the official Facebook page for this blog. I figure that anyone who really wants to read my blog can find it through Google, and if they want to contact me, they can leave public comments on the posts in question. That way, there’s no confusion; they have to provide a name; everyone will see what they wrote; and they are somewhat more likely to be civilized.

While I was at it, I also decided to delete a group I was running that hadn’t been active in a long time. Facebook doesn’t make it easy to delete groups. I had to manually remove all of the members, which was tedious and annoying. But that’s one less group I have to worry about, and one less avenue for strangers to harass me through social media, simply for voicing an opinion or sharing content they don’t like.

I’m not too worried about the legal threat. Based on Statcounter, I can see that the person didn’t read very carefully– I documented that their stay was about 2 minutes– and they probably don’t realize that I don’t live in the United States, and that would complicate finding an appropriate venue for any lawsuit they might want to bring. The post in question, which was public this time for 16 months, has a total of 140 hits. That’s a big whopping nine hits per month; actually it’s less than that, since they hit the post this month and probably solely because of their visits, it has racked up more than 14 hits in August 2022.

Even if I were to factor in the hits on the two posts I wrote for the original blog and consolidated for the repost, there were 998 hits total for both posts– for the less than five years the posts were available on the older blog. Somehow, I doubt my post caused any significant harm to the person who contacted me about it. Counting both blogs and all forms of those posts, my thoughts on that particular true crime story got maybe 1200 hits total. That’s over a course of about 8 years. So… maybe 150 hits per year… again roughly 14 hits per month. Explosive stuff.

Yes, a lawyer could contact me about that post, but it would be a complicated endeavor that would probably cost the potential plaintiff a lot of money and aggravation to initiate. And I also don’t think they would get more than big headaches… because although they were under the mistaken impression that I do this for “big bucks”, the truth is, so far, I’ve only made about $100 on this blog. That’s not even enough to pay for the WordPress subscription, and it took me about a year to do that. I am also well-insured, with legal and liability insurance in Germany, and liability/umbrella insurance in the United States. I don’t think a lawsuit would be very satisfying for them, at least not monetarily. What’s very sad to me is that the person could have simply made a respectful request, and I would have been happy to help them. There was no need to be threatening, insulting, and hateful. I consider that harassment, and if it happens again, they might want to consider the possibility that I could take legal action against THEM.

Anyway… I like to write about true crime, and people are very interested in those posts, but I’m not here to cause anyone psychological pain, and I’m not interested in lawsuits. While most true crime posts are not problematic, and there is no law against writing about news articles, that one caused angst to someone. That’s reason enough to remove the content, especially since it was so old and no one else cares about it, anyway. So I removed the post, and am shutting down the Facebook page. I think it will make my life simpler. I also think it will make things tougher for the haters.

blog news, business, history, money

A grateful thank you to all of my readers…

Yesterday was somewhat less annoying than Wednesday was. There were no unexpected visitors; Aunt Flow vacated; I didn’t get involved in any online pissing matches; and as of this morning, I crossed the threshold allowing me to be paid for writing this blog. And so, today’s post is going to be focused on gratitude for everyone who has been reading this rag. Some of you have been surprisingly faithful readers, and I really do appreciate it. I know sometimes I can be cranky, negative, and gross, but it does my heart good to know that some people don’t seem to mind. Or maybe they just read so they can snark. Either way, I make a few pennies when people read, and they’ve now finally added up to enough that I can actually get paid.

Love me some Andrew Gold.

I’m actually impressed by how quickly this happened on WordPress. I moved my original OH blog from Blogger in February 2019. It was one of three blogs I had on that site, and all three were earning spare change through AdSense. During my heyday, I usually made enough money on Blogger from all three blogs to cash out every nine months or so. To do that, I had to earn at least $100. Remember, I had THREE blogs going, so they weren’t earning much individually. The original blog was the fastest earner, but the travel blog was also pretty popular before we moved to Wiesbaden. None of them were making big bucks, though.

At this point, I only have one blog left on Blogger. That would be my Dungeon of the Past music blog, which is mainly about music from the 70s and 80s. I don’t update it very often anymore, and right now, I have almost $98 sitting in AdSense. As soon as that blog earns the last two bucks I need to cash out, I’ll probably discontinue it. However, at this point, earning those last two bucks could take years! I usually only make a few pennies a month from just the music blog. This past month has been an exception. Looks like I made about 60 cents this month.

In July of 2019, when I moved the travel blog to WordPress, I immediately set up ads for that blog only. At this writing, the travel blog has made a grand total of $5.09. That amount is the whole total since the blog was created, having collected ad revenue since July 2019. COVID-19 was pretty devastating to my travel blogging, since we’ve been locked down and unable to go as many places. I suppose I could have been creative and come up with other travel related content, but to be honest, I had kind of lost my motivation. Happily, since COVID restrictions are loosening, I think we’ll be traveling more soon. In fact, next weekend, we will be on vacation. I am delighted to report that the travel blog is now consistently earning more than it ever has.

This blog has only been running ads since July 2021. In nine months, I’ve earned enough revenue to be paid. As of today, the “new” OH blog has made $109.61. That’s got to be because people are actually reading this stuff. So thank you! Writing is really all I ever wanted to do with my life, anyway, and while $109 isn’t enough to live on, it’s still money that I made, doing something I love doing! I do love to write, even if I do complain a lot about first world problems. I probably won’t be getting the $109 payout until June, which is fine. I’ll possibly get it just in time for my 50th birthday!

I didn’t want to run ads when I first started writing on this space. Like most people, I find ads annoying, and sometimes I want to write about topics that advertisers don’t like. But I was curious to see if this blog could make any money, which was why I turned on the ads. At first, I did it as an experiment, but then when I noticed that this blog made a lot more than the travel blog did, I decided to keep the ads going, just to see how long it would take before I made enough to cash out.

I know I have some readers who met me on the now defunct review site, Epinions. Those people are also writers, and they know the pleasure of seeing monthly “income share” come in. I remember my first month on Epinions, I wrote a rant about my cell phone service provider. I was really just looking for a place to vent, because I was pissed. I didn’t even know I could make money writing on Epinions. But when I saw that the review made 19 cents, I decided to write more. I spent almost eleven years writing on Epinions, and I made about $12,000, just reviewing stuff I was using anyway. Considering that I usually wrote in low paying categories like books, music, and travel, I think I did alright!

Sometimes I still miss Epinions, but that site became decidedly less fun as it was dying. I like writing on my own site now, since I can curse with wild abandon, add photos and videos, and don’t have to worry about obnoxious advisors, leads, or just oddball members lowballing ratings or leaving petty criticisms. 😉 That’s not to say that I can’t take legitimate criticism, per se. It’s just that some of them wanted to criticize things like how often I wrote, or disagreed with my review… or, in some cases, they would try to correct me when they, themselves, needed to edit.

I remember one particular Epinionator felt just fine about leaving me a low rating because she felt that instead of using Preparation H on my asshole, I should be using apple cider vinegar. And, as she commented, she signed off with the annoying phrase, “sharing the light”. I ranted about that incident on the original version of this blog. I’ll probably repost it today because, what the hell… I know some readers will get a kick out of that little taste of nostalgia.

Those kinds of comments and ratings were not supposed to happen. We weren’t supposed to downrate because we disagreed with the review; we were supposed to rate based on the quality of the review. Like, the rating was supposed to be based on how informative and well-written the review was, not someone’s personal opinion about the product or the reviewer.

Anyway, not long after that “asshole” incident, in which I was advised to use vinegar instead of a soothing cream on my bum, I ran across a review by this particular writer. I gave her a slightly lower rating (helpful vs. very helpful). I think she genuinely earned the rating I gave her. She sent me a pissy email full of excuses as to why her review was the way it was, and why I should give her a higher rating. I couldn’t help but shake my head. A few weeks later, the site went belly up. It made me sad at the time, but then I realized that it was for the best. If Epinions were still going, maybe you wouldn’t be reading my first world rants here, and I would still be dealing with people like that person!

$109 is not a lot of money. In fact, it’s not even enough to pay my subscription fees for this site. But it’s a good start! It feels good to make money again. I do, on occasion, get weird, rude, or mean comments from drive by visitors; but this blog, by and large, attracts far fewer crazies than Epinions did. Like, for instance, the woman who went absolutely batshit nuts because she was posting rubber stamped reviews of her Canon camera under multiple listings and getting tons of “not helpful” ratings. Even though people tried to explain to her how the site worked, she didn’t get it… and she raised holy hell. It caused quite a drama! I don’t think she ever did learn how Epinions worked. After a weekend of rampaging with inappropriate comments and ratings, she was kicked off the site.

Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with that kind of nonsense here. Most everyone who reads this blog is perfectly nice. Or, at least they are basically respectful, which is really all I ask. It’s a bonus when people come back for more, even when I’m in one of my crotchety moods. So, once again, thank you! Thanks for reading and commenting– no need for ratings, here. And thank you all for being a friend. Thanks for helping me turn my opinions into something that has actual worth. It means more to me than most of you will ever know.