Sunday, 19 November 2017

293. WANTED: Your opinion


Today has a double entry.... This one, is to my Community. The first, shorter one, is the one I sent in. It took me some 10 minutes to write. The second, longer one, took far longer and I worked on it with my former wife and daughter. But when I sent it to my sons,  both expressed concerns... They won me over, but here I post them both. I eliminated the actual email addresses.


WANTED: Your opinion

You may have seen the old guy in his Smart Car, with the logo on one side:, Your Community Connector, the other side stating:, Your Community Connector.  What’s the deal here; just another local Hornbyite doing his nutsy thing?

Love or hate the Internet, for most of us, it now runs our lives. When Bill Gates states: “On the Net, a little late is too late” and Bill Gross tells you: “The single biggest reason why startups succeed is TIMING,” take heed, and listen! (See The fact that potential success is decided by Timing with a whopping forty plus percent is amazing.

If truth be known, the old fella’s been at it for some ten years now, trying to get his ‘Online TIMING’ right, and he just won’t quit!

To clarify: It all started in 2008 with the Postal Code based website But problems with the original web-developer created delays and by the time it ran user-friendly smoothly, in 2010, replaced by one’s IP address, Postal Codes were out of style.

Sheer stubbornness got him to his present and he feels this Time his ‘Timing’ is the online ‘Button.’ Being beyond his prime at 78 J, he is looking for your sane and realistic input. What’s your take Hornby? Pursue, or quit? Make logos on both sides of his Smarty Car the same, or grin and bare and take’ em down, acknowledging defeat?  Your opinion will be appreciated. Please reach me at:   Thank you!  Jan Steen


 WANTED: Your opinion

Ten years ago this Christmas friends wanted to invest in one of my early website ideas. ‘Let’s get it built and put it online, Jan.’ Although I expressed we might be too late with the concept, their response was: “Let’s do it anyway, it’s only money!” Flattered by their intent to invest, I set out to find a suitable web-developer. We ultimately settled on a web-development company in Ottawa who thought it a brilliant idea: “If you can pull this off, you’ll revolutionize online classifieds and retail sales as we know it.”
Impressed by their feedback, a contracted launch date for July 11, 2008, was set!

Before Craigslist became a household name, the concept for an Online Classifieds based on Postal Codes came to me around 1997 while buying several brass horns on eBay. Determining someone’s online location via Postal Codes did in fact become a crucial online tool for about a two-year period. It became a reality at the very same time we were about to implement it. However, our contracted timeline with the developer was not honored. Months beyond its contractual launch date and some one thousand and twelve (1012) emails later ‘Jansite Inc.’ was left with a still unfinished, badly built, and user-UN-friendly and unacceptable site. Does a contract still mean anything, or is it just another email? I would soon find out. 

Once rebuilt, the site did become a well-functioning, user-friendly, but, all too late, since Postal Codes had been replaced by one’s ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Shaped by a four-year internment in Japanese prison camps in Indonesia, my interest in how mankind functions turned me in to an entrepreneur with eclectic tastes. The freedom to turn ideas in to reality is a privilege. Still, life’s a trip, wrapped in ‘luck of the draw,’ lived moment to moment in a happenstance of time and place. The problem with curiosity, enthusiasm and ideas is it can take a lifetime to discover their potential pitfalls.

Love or hate the Internet, for most of us, it now runs our lives. When Bill Gates states: “On the Net, a little late is too late” and Bill Gross tells you: “The single biggest reason why startups succeed is TIMING,” take heed, and listen! (See The fact that potential success is decided by a whopping forty plus percent of Timing is amazing.

As such, GOPOCO.COM’s short window of opportunity came and went, while my efforts trying to retrieve the investment by chasing the ‘non-conforming online contractual aspects’ through legal claims in court, became my daily nightmare for some six years. I battled the system in both BC and Ontario. To no avail, the large, well-positioned web-developing company in Ottawa had legal insurance and devoured me in my Self-Representing Litigant efforts.

I discovered that the courts are not about justice; they are a business, strictly serving those trained in well-oiled legalese.
My last Court appearance was in January 2016, in Victoria, when I filed a claim against the BC Ministry of Justice. I held them responsible for provable erroneous dismissals rendered by one of their employed Judges. In a Chamber’s Court setting (just the three of us - no public) a Supreme Court Judge and a Ministry Defense Counsel (both working for the Ministry), decided to ignore my materials presented and summarily dismiss my claim for ‘unnecessarily taking up the Court’s Time.’  Their verdict was yet another example of inconceivable illegal collusion.  

Although I do prefer it to other systems, I have come to realize first hand our purportedly ‘democratically just’ and ‘developed’ Western World is equally blatantly corrupt.

So here I am after this ten-year sojourn, approaching my Hornby Community. I am asking you to help me decide whether a site I feel whose TIME has come, is indeed worth pursuing. Would you, over your morning’s coffee or honeyed apple-cider vinegar please assess: , and gaze in to the future potential of its regional e-commerce and localized entrepreneurial business presentation. Can you appreciate its bioregional objectives towards self-sufficiency? Can you think of it as an online local newspaper that includes business, calendar, classifieds, art, and community events for the entire region, keeping in mind the site is not there to compete with, but to enhance and promote what has already been achieved? And NO, it is NOT Facebook!

I will welcome your feedback. Thank you. Jan Steen   Reach me at:            


292. “Non, je ne regrette rien.” (Edit Piaf)

STATVIEWS @ 19,918

I fondly recall my senior and former Landlord pal, Robert, stating circa 1962, after I had graduated from Theatre School in London, England: “So you are going back to Canada are you?” ‘YUP!’ I might have responded, or ‘EH?’…  “Well, don’t stay too long, ‘cause you’ll just be a big fish in a little pond.”

Although at the time such British ‘isms’ blew over my still mostly Dutch raised head – I was taking him ‘literally’ rather than figuratively - after all, in such a vast space as Canada, ‘How could one be a big fish in a little pond?   

Irony is, whatever geography you end up plying your innate self in, through character and circumstance one ekes out their applied existence. And, as such, in retrospect, ‘je ne regrette rien.’

Although his friend Joris puts the staunchly Dutch character well, by “ Echoing the Calvinist insistence on “being true to oneself.” The Dutch are almost compulsively truthful. Most consider politeness a cowardly form of hypocrisy. Bluntness is a virtue; insincerity and backhandedness are cardinal sins.”…

I feel I have managed to side-step some of the more innate intolerant (‘beknopte’) Dutch righteous views. ‘If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much!’ or, ‘You can tell a Dutchman, but you can’t tell him much!’ There can be an impenetrable air of snob superiority about these globetrotters who can be found in almost every Upper Dean spot’s university on the globe.  

But then again, there is always the point in conversation in which generalities creep to the fore; allowed, they ultimately separate (discriminate) the wheat from the chaff. I’m told Rudolph Steiner stated: “Before there is language, let there be meaning!”

Intriguingly, where the English allow for an acceptable ‘OK’ upon being asked: “So how’r ye doing?” The Dutch simply wouldn’t buy it!  “ ‘OK?’.. Schiet now op! Je zegt daar niets mee jongen!” The Dutch want to know exactly where you stand, if they ‘bother’ to even ask you. They’re an invasive lot; they own you. The least you can do is give them the details of your present situation.

But then, it must also be realized that most Brits aren’t really that interested in how you are… so, the shorter the answer, the quicker you can move on. Like after a visit: “Hope to see you all soon again.”  Not so, it’s the last thing on their mind; more like: ‘Thank God that’s over!’ J 

 That’s why English makes for such a perfect global tongue. En passant, I should add that in general the Brits do not much like the Dutch. Whether this is a remnant from all the sea battles between them, I’m not sure…. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

291. POSTURING > The New Reality?

STAT-VIEWS@ 19,582

Technology with its inherent alienation, can either save or kill us. Too much in the head, we are loosing our grounding. Mesmerized, our eyes lock on flashing hand-helds, each nano-second feeding us new information........ All the while our feet are up our nostrils.

Will posturing become the accepted norm of being? 


POSTURING  *    a particular way of behaving that is intended to convey a false impression; a pose: 

Unseen, you can be anyone you want to be. Have you picked your favorite Avatar yet? 

To get your way, tell them what they want to hear! Whisper what they want to see; allow them to be anybody, anywhere...Play to their emotional vulnerabilities, whatever emotions they still suffer from and are influenced by. Feed them what makes them feel instantly ’GOOD!’. The quick hit guarantees immediate results. No work

The Trust* Paradox!” I read in an About Us statement for a chosen ‘Foundation Model’ for a website’s motto about inspiring people development and operational excellence. It is described as a “unique innovation development program.”

Trust  noun

firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something: relations have to be built on trust | they have been able to win the trust of the others.
• acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation: I used only primary sources, taking nothing on trust.
• the state of being responsible for someone or something: a man in a position of trust.
• literary a person or duty for which one has responsibility: rulership is a trust from God.
• literary a hope or expectation: all the great trusts of womanhood.
Law confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.
• an arrangement whereby property is held in a trust: a trust was set up | the property is to be held in trust for his son.

* Paradox.
"a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory:"

Since Trust and Paradox are at war, how, in all sensibility, can they combine to live together as a model for ‘enhancement?’ Beats me...


Electricity runs on a Positive, a Negative, and a Ground. All three are required to complete the circuit. Our bodies are the same. Without grounding, we short-circuit. It is as simple as that.

About a month ago I was asked to dowse* for water for a new Community garden plot. Although we are all pretty much alike with our arms, legs, organs and some 5.5 litres of blood,  essentially we should all be able to 'find' the water lines that run through the ground fissures. However, most individuals have difficulty focussing enough to tune in to their bodies and allow their innate abilities to come to the fore and speak.

Finding 'lost' objects may be a little harder, but essentially all so-called 'lost' objects are to themselves not LOST at all! They are very much existing in what ever place they happen to be at. It's just that 'YOU' have forgotten or simply do not have the notion to retrieve them. It is called 'memory.'

As such, concentrating on the object, with rods in hand, you essentially ask to be taken TO those objects. I have 'recovered' lost, hiding chickens this way; chickens that had scattered when an Eagle came to pick one up for lunch. Several had, head first, crawled in to spaces they would have otherwise perished in. Yes, a chicken's brain can not think in reverse...:)

The point I am making is that it is becoming clear to me that the rapid stages of technological  'advancement' are morphing us humans by making us increasingly vulnerable to its ploys.

Our In-ner-nets are being overtaken by the all invasive In-ter-Net. Are we okay with Big-Brother taking over our identity? Are we going to be safer functioning as a single blob? Are we prepared to give up our individual grounding?

Our evolutionary human senses are at war. Is this a mass preparation towards bot-ism, or will the experiment fail, and we self-destruct through bot-u-lism?

Remember how during the cold war * the nuclear clock was sitting at 3 minutes to midnight?
Well folks, maybe our all powerful Mother Gaya is telling us:
"This place needs to get rid of most- a- you's guys!  Enough = enough!"

Will posturing become the accepted norm of being?
There is little time left to figure it out.


* [Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, grave-sites, and many other objects and materials without the use of scientific apparatus.]

cold war
ˈkōl(d) ˈˌwô(ə)r/
  1. a state of political hostility between countries characterized by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare, in particular.
    • the state of political hostility that existed between the Soviet bloc countries and the US-led Western powers from 1945 to 1990.
      noun: the Cold War

Saturday, 30 September 2017

290. How a Web-Developer can Hold a Client Hostage!

STAT-VIEWS @ 19541

So you're an entrepreneur with a clear project idea. You are looking to have a web-developer build you an efficient, attractive, user-friendly, interactive e-commerce website. You have looked around your neighbourhood and gone beyond to find reliable, affordable talent.

Developers mostly charge by the hour. $50 is at the low end; many demand $75 or more! 'Ouch' you go, wondering what is actually achieved in an hour. You can have it done in Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, go the customized PHP route; there's even other formats to create your very own CMS (Content Management System).

You are what is now hugely acceptable and encouraged - an 'Entrepreneur.' You are mostly visually oriented, a 'doer', you speak of your ideas as you envision them, while you think; you know when you like what you see, but have no clue as to what all that coding language means. It's foreign gobbledygook to you. 

You are primarily RIGHT-brain functioning. And that's exactly WHY you need the LEFT-brain 'genius' of the analytic coder's mind to explain the ins and outs of the FRONT - and BACK- END of all those symbols that interpret the intricacies of how those visuals of your website's images and info are presented and interact.

You are presently having a Skype and conversing with a 'Dev.' (Web-Developer) 'They' mostly speak in terms of "WE!" Unless you are dealing with a Project Manager of a larger company, you are likely dealing with a single 'WE,' who is mostly a 'HE!' You have absolutely NO idea who this person is, other than that you have seen some of 'HIS' sites, or someone said they used 'HIM' on some site and were sufficiently pleased.....

He works in the Joomla format, he explains. 'Oh, OK' you go. It's a 'Format' used by millions of coders across the world, on tens of millions of websites. Its complexity lies somewhere in between Wordpress and the more highly intricate 'Drupal.' It has 'Open-Source' software code, created and maintained by tens of thousands of coders across the globe. It is made freely available for use to anyone; hence its 'Open Source' identity. "Oh, OK" - you go! But, though the 'Software' is FREE, you are still paying to have your very own site put together with this 'Open Source Software.' ----

So far, you like the demeanour of the young individual; you've had a pleasant Skype and you feel you can afford his hourly rate at $27.00 CAD (a lot less than most others you have checked, but short of going off-shore to - say India, where you have noted hourly charges as low as $10.00 USD). You decide to go ahead, and give the 'DEV' your 'Credentials' (Username and Password) allowances to enter your Website-to-be Hosting Account, so that the 'Front End', and 'Back-End' can be created with access through your C-Panel. You're not completely stupid.

The word 'Budget' did get mentioned; but you stated you don't per-se have an actual 'BUDGET;' you want to take the 'Pay-As-You-Go' route. The words 'Contractual Agreement' have also been mentioned. You don't want to bother with that either, since you know someone who had a highly itemized Contract with a large, well-established Web-Developing company that had gone hugely sour at some point. He took them to Court. They had a high profile law-firm, while the person represented himself. It cost him thousands of dollars over a number of years, while the firm had Insurance. It ended up going absolutely NO-where. All was a complete waste of time and money. "The Courts are not about justice..." as a lawyer once stated. Apparently the legalese is strictly 'Business.' While the Rules are bent by 'Argument', the operative ploy is about 'Winning!' Due process, fairness and 'accountability' are mere front-end posturing while your back-end gets shafted. Democracy at its finest. 

So I set up my PayPal paying agreement with the 'DEV,' who is seeking an UP-front payment of $500. Using my calculator, I configure that's some 19 hours at $27. PH. Wrongly you think that might just do it, since after all you were told that all of this 'Joomla Software' is "freely available to everybody;" that all that is required is to move the necessary 'Data-Base' Files in to the 'Back-End' of your account; to transfer the 'Freely-Available-Existing CMS' in to your account set up as well, and then start working on the HTML 'look and feel' of your site. You transfer the money, and think the 'Working Relationship' has now begun.

But the first week nothing happens, since you are told your new 'Dev' is "finishing off another job, and won't start on your site until the following week." You remember succinctly when you first spoke with the 'They/ WE,' that he had told you he was readily available....

NOT so! ..... And little do you realize your nightmare has only just begun. You have handed a perfect stranger the keys to your car and house, and, as the paying owner of your private Hosting Account you now share equal Administrative 'Super User' access with God knows WHO!

You start working together, and being introduced to the ins and outs of the ‘Open-Source’ format of the ‘off-the-shelf-available Software'. As a User/Browser you have travelled on hundreds of websites over the past 20 + years. You start asking questions: WHY is this – like THAT? WHY is something else not more like …. and you give an example.
 “ ‘Cause that’s just the way the format was created” you are told by the impatient Dev. “Well” – you argue, “ It’s NOT user-friendly and I just do NOT like it. It’s far too complicated and confusing, as far as I’m concerned…”

So he grudgingly complies with your wishes by bringing in what are called ‘Modules’ and ‘Plugins.’ And as the months go by, you keep paying many additional hundreds of dollars, as more and more of the original ‘FREE FORMAT’s set example is changing. It’s far too late to acknowledge you should've NEVER taken that route.  

The relationship has become unpleasantly heated, but, long deep in to the quagmire, you realize you are bound and stuck with it, like being in a BAD MARRIAGE!

‘HOW’ to get out of this mess? 
When you finally DO decide to cut the umbilical cord and change the 'Credentials' to keep your 'Alter-Ego Dev' from doing you any possible harm (because they are in fact capable of shutting you out entirely; I've been there!) ... you take a deep breath, and baffled and depleted, again, go looking for the perfect online match, to complete your vision. All appears to be a perpetual merry-go-round. 

And THAT’s  the average story between a Client and Developer.  
I know it Takes Two to Tango, but this system SUCKS!