The Wing-Friends and Other Books

In Blogger's slideshows images are greatly reduced, so lose much of their impact. And captions added to them in Picasa Albums vanish, so the images shown above are: the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Earth, Earth with New Zealand circled, New Zealand, Auckland & the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island, some native NZ forest, a Fantail and chicks, various doves, etc.

(If you want to see the first ten images in their original size, they are in a posting made on the 24th of November 2011.)

My book The Wing-Friends is an imaginative tale of a small brave boy, a magical adventure, a magnificent Pegasus and the wonderful Kingdom of the Pegasi. It has been given very good reviews, and virtually every reader on Goodreads has so far awarded it five stars. It is available here. Some of my other writings are available as e-books, such as The Lower Deck, which is an over-the-top take on Waiheke happenings--sort of.

Monday, 21 May 2012


There has been a great deal of hype and hoo-ha about Facebook recently, but those of us who have discovered Google Plus know how much better than Facebook it is. Unfortunately, we cannot delete ourselves from Facebook, only render our accounts inactive, but mine has been zapped and I shall never go back.

Google Plus, Google+, G+ has been well named. It is a plus in every way. It has a simple interface that is a delight to use, every aspect is easy to configure (including privacy), and the brilliant concept of Circles fits perfectly the way we arrange our lives.

On Facebook everyone is a 'friend.' That is silly. 'Friend' is a precious word that cannot and should not be applied to hordes of people.

But on Google+ you have Circles. You can call them whatever you please, and put whoever you please into them. You get a few Circles to start you off: Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Following. You can drag people into those ones, you can create new ones, you can rename any Circle any time. You can have oodles of them.

And the people you put in your Circles only know that they are in one, or more, of your Circles. They do not know which one.So you could have a Circle you called Ratbags of the Universe, or Best Photographers in the World, or Rocket Scientists, or Fellow Waihekeans, Sweeties, or whatever is appropriate, and put people there. You just enter names, and drag their pictures into a Circle or Circles (people can be in multiple Circles).

Postings on Google+, unlike on Facebook, can be edited, so if you made a typing error, or just want to change or add something, you can. And you can make them as long or short as you please. You can of course add pictures, videos, text, links.

And there are Ripples, where you see, live, how postings are rippling across G+ as people share them.

Then there are Hangouts. You can get together with up to nine other people on your webcams. You can jump from a posting directly to a Hangout if you want to change from postings to a live meeting about that post. And Hangouts on Air enable you to broadcast to the world on YouTube, which is also part of Google and is integrated with Google+. As are GMail and Google Search and other Google stuff.

When you go on to Google+ that black bar at the top of your browser changes. Your name, with a + in front, is added at the left-hand end. So that is what Google+ means, Google plus You. Everyone on Google+ is Plusser.

I could go on and on. But if you are on Facebook not Google+ you are using a second-rate service. Third rate, or worse.

It has been going less than a year but is already heading to towards 200 million users. It took FB eight years to get the 900 million it claims to have. I hope that does not count my deactivated account...

Google search is used by two-thirds of the 2.3 billion users of the Internet. So which will win? Google+ or Facebook? The best, of course...

To join Google+ click here

Or just click on the +You link at the left-hand end of the black bar at the top of your browser (assuming you have Google as your homepage).


Footnote, made in May 2013. Google+ used to exhibit good design, which made it a pleasure to use. But then to my dismay it did a revamp and ditched so much good design and displayed so much insensitivity to how the human mind works that I ditched it. No more Google Plus. Which is a pity, because the G+ idea is superb, but I cannot stand bad design. And I have far more interesting things to do, things that do not involve being constantly annoyed by foolish shortcomings. G+ is becoming as dictatorial and take-or-leave it as Facebully. So I chose to leave it. My account remains, to be a point of contact, but I do not.