Introducing Myself

My name is Toby. I’ve been an active member of and contributor to Facebook since I joined on September 29, 2008. I have over 1,000 friends on Facebook (and yes, I do know them all).

It is time to close that chapter of my online life. Why am I leaving Facebook? Read this entry for my reasons.

Extricating myself from Facebook will take time, and with this blog I hope to continue to share my thoughts, observations, and pictures with those interested in continuing to follow and communicate with me online.

To those of you who don’t know me, a little bit about me:

  • I love travel and languages. I have lived abroad twice, was fluent in German, and have studied Swedish, American Sign Language (ASL), Vietnamese, and Japanese.
  • I’m an occasional blogger. I have blogged extensively about my travels to Japan and my family history. I have also blogged a little bit about my extraordinary experience as an exchange university student in the former East Germany.
  • I am an enthusiastic participant and booster of karaoke. I used to be a hater. Here’s the story how I evolved. Since the pandemic, I’ve been hosting karaoke parties online (over 10 so far). I have a blog dedicated to how to host karaoke online. In January, 2021, two local TV stations aired stories about my parties.
  • I am a musician and play multiple instruments. My primary instrument is the viola and have been performing with the Newport Symphony for over 15 years. Yes, I enjoy viola jokes and have probably heard and retold any you know.
  • I am a frequent and passionate donor of blood platelets. If you would like to help people battling cancer or leukemia, or help those who are undergoing major surgeries, consider donating platelets!
  • I enjoy stillwater (lake) fly fishing, a small and mostly-unknown subset of fly fishing, but a sport I predict will explode in coming years. My wife, a top stillwater angler in the nation, blogs about the sport here. She also has her own online store for fly fishing gear including a line of flies she designed herself.
  • I love model railroading. I currently have no layout of my own, but enjoy participating in model railroad ops sessions, in which people simulate a real railroad operations (building trains, following schedules, etc.). I’ve begun building model railroads in my mind…
  • I love photography. Although I do have a heavy DSLR, I am finding I take more and more photos with my smartphone and sometimes a waterproof Olympus TG-3. I expect to post many pictures here.
  • I follow world events and politics and enjoy discussions and respectful debate. I invite and welcome such discussions here, but encourage people to heed my Social Media Good Citizenship guidelines.

Welcome! I hope you enjoy what you see here.

You are welcome to forward, share, or post anything you see here if you are so moved. I ask only that you post the link or include full attribution.

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