Note: Those of you on the paid service will notice I used the normal post numbering scheme and not the one for subscribers. This is called “free sampling”.
You will recall my site logo… This one…
And why is this logo memorable?
Answer: Because you just said you recalled it! That’s the power of suggestion from PS20-034 – Suggestions? You want some of me?
But seriously, it’s because I am very fat and I have no ass and a very tiny dick. And I have monocular vision due to cataracts. I’m chinless since birth, bald since 19, and my tongue was excised and my mouth was sewn over in the last Recognizance of Bail. I feed through my gills. And I have no idea how to match colours in my wardrobe. It is not a rainbow flag, it’s my closet.
You can now never unread that, and you will always remember my logo.
Now, let’s say, instead, you’re quite a popular global novel virus and you want to do a little extra to be remembered by everyone.
Do you chose:
The popular one that looks like a hand knitted dildo, or
The one that makes sense by actually LOOKING like a virus
’nuff said… be whatever you want, but be memorable.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!
Letterkenny, Wayne: Season 8 #2
Stand up for truth in logos! Don’t fall for COVID-19….
… is advice worth twice what you paid for it!
See what I did there?
BTW, a lot of you have expressed various stages of impecuniosity. So, Bob Lepp & Ass. hereby waives your June payment. Just pay the 50% late payment interest fee in July. And Peg tells me I should not call her an Ass., since she has always been an Assoc.
The easiest way in WordPress is to simply copy/paste the URL link and wrap some words around it to make it obvious what the link will reveal.
So, let’s say you find a great documentary about your business or your interests to share. Just go in your browser to watch the video and copy the URL from the “combo box” at the top. Usually block it with your mouse, then right-click and select “copy”, come back to your posts and use right-click “paste”.
Example: Use Google to find all the TVOntario Documentaries and pick one. Then make up the words to tell people by clicking what they will see. As:
Then go on and find more sites that are similar to what you imagine for yourself.
Toronto’s most dysfunctional suburb
IVOR TOSSELL PUBLISHED OCTOBER 16, 2009 UPDATED MAY 1, 2018 PUBLISHED OCTOBER 16, 2009
Perched on Yonge Street, about 40 kilometres north of Toronto, Aurora is perhaps best known for being home to the Stronach family, who rule over the auto-parts company Magna and whose daughter, Belinda, once represented the riding in Ottawa.
On first blush, this town of 50,000 seems decorous, right down to its gingerbready GO station. Locals have a habit of badging each other with labels like “20-year resident” or “50-year resident.” Adults sing along to Jerusalem at a concert in a local park, sometimes led by the mayor herself. In a nod to its Asian residents, the city has allowed them to remove numbers they deem unlucky from their addresses.
But behind this courtly setting is a political vortex of loathing and retribution, a sterling example of urban politics at their most dysfunctional: An integrity commissioner fired. Accusations of slander, conspiracy and harassment. Angry, anonymous ads popping up in the local newspaper. At the heart of this conflict is an 80-year-old politician, who one leading counterpart suggested should be checked for Mad Cow disease after she took to a combative form of blogging.
What on earth happened in Aurora?
The first thing to know about Aurora is that it’s not Vaughan.
Unlike that sprawling, scandal-plagued city – its image tarnished by questions over expenditures and conflicts of interest – everything in Aurora is smaller, prettier and more personal.
An election in 2006 brought changes to the clubby old ways. In a tight three-way race, Ms. Morris – then a town councillor – upset the incumbent, Tim Jones, who’d held the job for 12 years. A long-time backer of MP Stronach, Mr. Jones also had the endorsement of her auto magnate father, Frank.
Mayor Morris – Phyllis to most everyone – had made a name for herself during the campaign as an environmentalist. With a sing-song, Shropshire accent that vibrates with nervous energy, she took power with promises of decorum. “Many of us don’t see it as a blood-sport,” she says, “We see it as a public service.”
From the outside, at least, things seemed to be going well. The New York Times sent a writer up to report on Ms. Morris’s quest to legalize backyard laundry lines. (To this day, people keep sending clothes-pegs to her office.) She also brought in a code of conduct in 2007 that required councillors to “accurately and adequately communicate the attitudes and decisions of council, even if they disagree with the majority of council” and forbade them to publically disparage town staff.
Rancour ensued, the council splitting into pro- and anti-mayor groups with the mayor’s side holding a majority.
“The level of hostility and animosity has been present from the very first day,” says Alison Collins-Mrakas, one of the new councillors at odds with the mayor.
Closed-door council meetings were marked with “cursing and screaming” says Grace Marsh, another rookie councillor who found herself on the wrong side of the majority.
Some councillors also didn’t seem interested in staff advice they didn’t agree with. In one instance, they overruled the advice of their chief planner during a road-paving project, and spent tens of thousands of dollars improving the driveways of well-organized ratepayers. The town was upgrading the street from suburban to city standards, lowering the levels of the road and making for awkward access to driveways.
Bureaucrats would find their judgment being questioned in public council meetings. Ms. Marsh – herself a former town employee of 10 years – says she saw city staff being berated at closed-door meetings. Council members – though not the mayor herself – were “calling people stupid, [saying] ‘You’re an idiot, you don’t know how to do your job.’ I had staff members calling me in tears,” she says.
Since the council took office, all but two of the town’s top tier of public servants have retired, left for other municipalities or were terminated.
Ms. Morris denies the charges of discord. She says the staff turnover is on par with previous administrations.
“You can’t keep everyone forever, but you can make it [look]ugly if you want to.”
In June, 2008, Ms. Marsh resigned in disgust, and rather than have the town pay for another by-election, Ms. Morris led council to appoint a runner-up from the last election – who became a loyal ally. The decision divided council even further.
“I often feel that it’s difficult to have any constructive or rational debate,” says Ms. Collins-Mrakas, an academic by trade. “If you take a position, it’s all very personal.”
But it was the new council’s lone elder voice who really roiled the water.
Sitting on her back porch in one of Aurora’s twisty, low-slung 1950s suburbs, cradling her silver-tipped cane between her legs, Ms. Buck lets out a hoot. At 80, she’s been in politics longer than many constituents have been alive, even having been mayor herself in the mid-seventies.
“Politicians, by their nature, are congenial people. They want to be liked,” muses Ms. Buck in her thick Scottish accent, shaking her head. “This council is an aberration.”
First elected in 1967, she’s known for having encyclopedic knowledge of the town and the lungs to vent it. She’s known for being ornery, having once whacked a fellow councillor, a newspaper proprietor, over the head with a rolled-up copy of his own publication. (All was soon forgiven, though Phyllis Morris was appalled.) And more recently, she’s famous for bringing city hall into a legal morass.
From the get-go, a member of the mayor’s faction expressed dislike of Ms. Buck – her polarizing style and her cantankerous approach. One was an e-mail from a mayor’s ally sent to the council that advocated that Ms. Buck be checked for Mad Cow disease. In another email, the same councillor called Ms. Buck a “jack ass” – followed by eleven exclamation marks.
In the meantime, Ms. Buck felt she was being shut out of discussions, constantly interrupted, her motions largely ignored.
“I said,” she recalls, “if they won’t give me a role, I’ll create a new role for myself.”
Entitled “Our Town and Its Business,” with a picture of a smiling Ms. Buck in the margin, it was at first more opaque than incendiary, full of writing that alludes slyly to incidents and avoids naming names. (Still, she hadn’t gotten six months in before calling her own nephew “abysmally bloody ignorant.”) One of Ms. Buck’s postings in November, 2007, which attacked council for the road upgrades, especially raised hackles.
“Do I take exception to mine and my neighbours’ tax money being spent that way? Damn right, I do,” she wrote. “Had I voted for that, I would have been in breach of trust to the people who elected me. Malfeasance is the term used in the Oath of Office.”
Ms. Buck also used the old media, filling countless column-inches of local newspapers with critical commentary. (Among her many topics: How much money was the town spending on outside lawyers?) “It was always my primary role anyway to keep people informed of what the issues were and what my position was,” she says. “I don’t believe in being shy or backward about telling people what I think. A lot of people like you to tell them what they think.”
It was enough to drive the majority on the council to distraction. And it put Ms. Buck’s candour at odds with the mayor’s desire for civility.
“What is difficult is if council has made a decision, and it’s time to move on then. The vote is over. You move on,” says the mayor.
Over the past summer, a nasty dispute erupted about how some remarks a citizen made before council were recorded in the meeting minutes. This led Ms. Buck to muse online about how the minutes could be “doctored.”
Having instituted a code of conduct and hired an integrity commissioner – respected ethicist David Nitkin – Ms. Morris handed him the first and last case he’d see: a formal complaint against Ms. Buck, broadly accusing her of maligning staff in public.
Exactly what that case was remains a mystery; the full complaint has never been released, nor has exactly what Ms. Buck is said to have said. A posting on the town website accused Ms. Buck of breaching the code of conduct in several places, including “unfounded and completely unmerited public criticism of staff” on her blog. A legal opinion was attached, though exactly which blog posts were thought to be troublesome, and why, were never specified.
Mr. Nitkin was not impressed by the complaint. He declined to be interviewed for this story, citing contractual obligations, but in a report he sent back to council, he slammed the complaint as “inappropriate in that the way in which it was crafted, politicized and communicated may be, and may be seen to be, wholly political.”
The next day, the mayor’s faction of council met in camera and voted to dismiss him. The remaining three councillors, sensing trouble from the e-mails flying around, stayed away. Within days, a senior bureaucrat in charge of keeping the town in line with provincial laws – who had joined the town six months earlier – abruptly retired.
“It’s unfortunate that Aurora would find itself – with all the good that’s going on in this town – even remotely being questioned for the simple fact that we’re trying to raise the bar of decorum and accountability,” says Ms. Morris.
The dismissal of Mr. Nitkin exacerbated the tension, bringing unfavourable media attention.
An anonymous blog, called Aurora Citizen, has become a hotbed of anger. Widely suspected to be run by a former councillor, perhaps with political ambitions of his or her own, its posts attract dozens of heated, nameless comments. Ms. Morris also finds herself facing a series of increasingly hostile ads that an anonymous group, calling itself the Aurora Coalition, has been printing in a local newspaper owned by a former councillor. One of them presented a statement of the town’s legal fees, tallying up hundreds of thousands spent on legal opinions, many relating to the code of conduct and Ms. Buck’s blog.
Ms. Buck has announced her intention to sue the mayor and most of council for libel, stemming from the affair. (Ms. Marsh is helping her set up a fund, and says she’s already accumulated thousands of dollars in donations.) Still, she will likely face a new integrity commissioner, and a new attempt to censure her.
Elections, which once brought hope for change to the city, are coming in 2010. Will the mayor run again?
“I hope to retain that commitment without having that light taken away. I have to believe that it’s the right thing to do. I have to believe it. I do believe it. As long as I have that commitment burning in me, I’ll continue to put myself up for office.”
Ms. Buck also sounded determined. “Oh yeah,” she said. “Unless I’m dead.”
So, it’s COVID-19 and you have a PC problem, but so many companies are not even answering their phones. What to do?
I can connect remotely to your PC, talk to you on the phone and I can guide you to the fix for your problem.
The cost to you is an hourly fee, adjusted for your ability to pay. If you’re rich, you pay the full hourly rate. If you’re retired like me its likely free if you can help me with some problem I am having.
I cannot fix hardware and if your PC is not able to run my remote support software, or you are not on the internet, then I likely cannot help. Except to recommend any Apple tablet or PC as being better than Windows… I am quite biased… about computers.
Those of you getting the private posts have already:
Found an ISP
Made up a catchy domain name
Chose WordPress as your web site and blog software
Created your theme for how your blog looks.
Learned the difference between a “post” and a “page”
You were asked to write your first post…. but stop now.
Before you write your first post in your new web site, you need to understand what the Wayback Machine is.
This is NOT to be confused with a normal Time Machine, which takes YOU forward and backward in time. Like when someone can tell ahead of time they are going to be arrested in 3 weeks.
No, the Wayback Machine takes ANYONE, and it takes THEM….. only one way … well, way back. And what it goes back IN is its immense set of copies of YOUR old and current web site records from YOUR new web site.
You know this if you once had a website back “in the day”. Say earlier this century. You got out of that candle making and sales business, you thought, but to the Wayback Machine…. your business has never left this world. Its flame burns, its heart beats still, and everyone can see it. And what it looked like as you updated it.
And what is there is your name, your old cell phone numbers back then and what email addresses you once used. And every claim you ever made in selling candles can be seen. So, if you claimed you were Golden Horseshoe Champion Candle Maker of 2004… that better have been true. Because TODAY, people can check both web sites, your old one and the annual Golden Horseshoe Candle Contest back to when it began. And you better have won that contest!
If you posted something almost 16 years ago even, say October 14, 2004…. that is still out there for people to copy/paste from.
Post the facts – just the provable facts
So, in your NEW web site … be sure you do not post something you DO NOT WANT out there FOREVER. You must assume your words are being copied by the Wayback Machine and anyone else with any kind of interest in your words. And of course, when other people click “Save as” on your web pages they keep personal copies of what you once posted.
Remember also, police know how to spell “Wayback” too. Because sometimes witnesses lie and their words as they appeared from 2004 forward can be verified. So, an accused person might ask the police to go way back and prove what was really posted. Or, a claim I make about a web site from 2004 can be verified by police. It should work both ways for me.
Let’s say a man goes to police and claims that back in 2017 I disparaged him online in my blog. And I decide to research HIS old web sites, and I find out from his old www.Scammed-Again.com that he made living of falsely accusing people if they did not pay a ransom, well, that would help me in outré.
So, to develop a safe web site, go now to the Wayback Machine and look up your old web site or the one you have today. Then, use the various snapshots to go back and see how your web site and business skills evolved over time.
Police and the Wayback Machine
BTW, should you post something police say they object to, but it is not quite the words you wrote…you can use the Wayback Machine to correct them.
And, keep in mind, because police can use it to look at what your website ONCE looked like, they need to prove when someone OTHER than the “Internet Archive” displayed it for them. It is hardly fair to print off a person’s 2004 web site TODAY, then tell the court YOU displayed that just last week.
I learned this the hard way, so don’t you do the same. Keep your posts factual and provable.
Now, go check your old websites on the Internet Archive, and be ready to think fast!
Next lesson: Graphics, photos, videos… how to show ’em off
Let’s see if we can keep our neighbors fed during the pandemic.
Cancelled 5/20/20 due to lack of interest of the Pantry and no Aurora businesses of 500 offered had any interest.
How will you convince people it’s safe to come back inside your business?
Answer: Show them how you are handling health and cleanliness in your Google Maps Listing! Get a Street View tour linked to your business on Google Maps.
If you run a business, you know people will come back only if they see a safe place to visit. So get a virtual tour inside your shop so the world can see how clean you will be INSIDE without having to step inside.
Order a tour, pick the number of photos you need and I’ll calculate a cost that you can pay in food or cash at the Aurora Food Pantry. Once you’ve paid them I’ll activate the tour.
You must surely get more customers back more quickly, and, those who are hungry now get fed.
Your only authorized and active Street View photographer is now able to work during COVID-19.
There are a few “good” things that happen in emergencies… people find out what they REALLY are capable of.
The Court system in Ontario is operating some court rooms not ONLY paperless, but also People-less! They are using teleconferencing to have judgements made for emergencies such as incarcerations and bail reviews.
And, every business found out that, to survive, they need an internet “face” just to keep selling during such events. People have to know a business is open to some extent and what products and services they are providing.
And Street View on Google Maps lets any size of business show off how their business is adjusting INSIDE so people feel comfortable coming back.
Show the people how you have modified your business to stay safe. Give them a virtual tour inside your restaurant or bar and show them how social distancing will work in the near future.
Or, show them how you can build them a fence or do landscaping socially distanced,
And, there is no easier way to show EVERYTHING you have on the shelf now ready for purchase and delivery.