Other Questions and Answers

Why are your post dates so strange? Did you really make 12 posts on 10th May? How do you find time for anything else?

I am not a person who rushes into things. I like to plan out in advance. The moment I have an idea for a future post I like to record it and put in some basic details so I don't forget. I therefore create a new draft post on the blog. As it is draft it doesn't appear publically but I see it on my list every time I log in. There isn't any structure to the order in which I chose to make my posts. Basically I go for whatever appeals to me in the mood I am in. Sometimes I will create a new post there and then based on what is on my mind but often I will look through my list of planned posts and chose one of those. Bizarrely though, when I make the post Blogger assigns the date of the original creation and not the date that it was published on. Frankly this is crazy and causes all sorts of problems including making posts appear out of order in summary lists. Under normal conditions I never make more than one post a day and often it is much less frequently.

Doesn't the name Exile imply you have some regret about leaving the country of your birth and moving to the USA?

No. It won't surprise readers that I have not always regarded myself as fitting easily into society. I have attitudes and opinions which are not mainstream. I used the name Exile on a talker (early form of Chat Room) which is where I first met a friend that set in sequence a pattern of events that led to me meeting my future wife and eventually moving to the US. This friend is now deceased and I decided to use the name Exile again for this blog as a private way of remembering and honoring her.

Why are you not more open about who you are and what your original country is?

I have been on the internet long enough to have no delusions about privacy. If someone wants to track me down they will. However I am by nature an intensely private person and writing a blog is already a highly untypical move for me. I am sharing my private thoughts with the rest of the world and am not inclined to be any more open than I already am.

I also do not want personal information to impact on how people receive my views. There is more than enough information to determine my original country, but for this blog its only significance is where American practice differs. The key fact for this blog is that I am an immigrant, an outsider who is now commenting on the USA whilst seeking to blend in and make this my home. I have observed people who modify their views on what is said based on the country of the speaker. If I was from a country highly-critical of the USA I would not want that to color people's reception of what I have to say, just as if I was from a country which was a close ally I would not them to want them to let that cause them to judge my views more favorably.

Why do you not list the blogs you follow? Are you really so arrogant you are only interested in your own opinions and don't follow anybody else?

Blogs are a great way for family members to keep in touch and distribute photographs and news. However this kind of blog doesn't interest me at all. There are plenty of pictures and little text normally. What I am seeking is detailed writing which offers me insight into your life, your politics, your religion, your attitudes etc. I don't necessarily want to agree with you but I do expect blog writers to open a window onto their world for me.

Not counting professional blogs like Fringebloggers.com and Wow.com I follow twelve blogs or so. They are extremely diverse, their are ones about corruption in US politics, about what it feels like to be an adopted child, description of life as a pagan and analyses from a muslim perspective and some that are just general musings of life but which caught my attention due to their humor or observational skill. Whilst I know other bloggers like traffic and it can flatter the ego to see a list of followers, not everyone I follow would necessarily feel comfortable with me and therefore I think it is best for me to simply stay an unseen observer.

Do you care if no one reads this blog?

No. There is a desire in all of us to be popular and loved. However I write this blog because these are views I hold and I want to try to take my abstract feelings and make them concrete. If anyone else finds this interesting or helpful, great.

Where do your images come from?
Many images have a url or site name on them. I also make extensive use of Jon Sullivan's invaluable public domain images site. Though I have my own camera, I really haven't had opportunity to take enough photos to keep this blog supplied.