Two messages I sent this morning, for business advice

One went out to Team Forleo because you never know what tips they might come up with, though I am not holding my breath.

Another one went to Karyn Greenstreet who’s been a wonderful business coach for decades, together with her English husband, who is also her business partner. I interacted with her when I was still based in Amsterdam. I still benefit from the many good tips she and the people she works with have doled out over the years.

Is that not done here in Portsmouth? Well, deal with it.

And stop making my mouse pointer sticky just to fuck with me some more. 

(Asking for advice in England? Been there done that. Too often all you get is abusive shit or useless crap flung into your face, sometimes peppered with a few insults about daft Americans.)

Dear Lee / Charles / Charlie / Charley

I sometimes get the impression that you think that if you make it impossible for me to make a living, I will move in with you.

This is not how it works.

If you continue to make it impossible for me to support myself, the last thing I would do is move in with ANYONE, with the possible exception of my Dutch siblings, who you do not want me to be in contact with because you think they are evil or otherwise flawed.*

This just isn’t how it works as seen from my side.

It may look totally logical from your side – I get that – but the main thing you often do, sadly, is make me fearful and angry and this is why I would not at all move in with you or with anyone else.

I often feel that you are keeping me prisoner. I do not feel “loved” by you. 

Am I willing to talk with you about this? Yes, of course, but I would like to have someone present who can serve as an intermediary because… you very often scare me (but also make me angry). And I often seem to make you angry and frustrated. So I need a translator. And you need a translator. Can you understand that?

I am sorry that I undoubtedly often gave you the wrong impression. (That is why I need a “translator” to talk with you. Know what I mean?)

*(Yes, my siblings are much more materialistic – always have been – and they concern themselves more with appearances, but that does not make them evil. You also have to keep in mind that they continued to interact with my dad for a long time – decades – and may still have some healing to do because of that (and that had not occurred to me until recently as I already cut off all contact around 40 years ago) and that is not the only thing that affected my siblings that they may still have to do some healing about. They’re humans, not robots.) 



(Another attempt to find out what else I may be dealing with besides Portsmouth’s regular community bullying. Because the many hints for so many years about who this was supposed to be simply have never added up for logistic reasons. That person is part of it but whatever is going on extends beyond him and does not even seem to be primarily coming from that person – though that is hard to know for sure, under the circumstances.)


More hacker interference

So, this morning, my 32-bit computer has already frozen twice. First, during an e-mail I was composing and second, when I was about to write this post.

See, after the computer froze the first time, I spotted yet another mysterious browser tab opened, about the app “Sensemaker Collector”.

Some 10 days ago, I found two new tabs opened on the site “chemist 4 u”. I did not know about that site, had not visited it, but had been looking for something of which I didn’t know whether it was available in the UK (IPA, also known as rubbing alcohol, I believe). 

Within the past months, I have browser tabs seen opened on the topic of marriage, about the song “Exile” by Tailor Swift and a few other bits and pieces. Roger Daltrey doing a u-turn on his assessment of the effect of Brexit, too, popped up on my screen recently.

My immediate downstairs neighbour was doing some new strange stuff overnight again. (It seemed to have woken me up.)

There is more. On 14 January 2021, I received a once-only automated gmail reply to a message sent on 13 January. That was odd, as autoresponders tend to act instantly. Was there a gmail outage on 13 or 14 January? I checked. YES, THERE WERE GMAIL PROBLEMS THAT DAY! (You have no idea how pleased I was to discover that! When you’ve been subjected to all kinds of hacking for a long time, including messing with e-mail, all you want is logical explanations for any deviations that have nothing to do with hacking.)

Why “blocking a hacker on Facebook” does not work

For years, I have been scoffing at police officers who say things like “just block the person on Facebook” when your equipment gets hacked.

Today, someone asked me a question that puzzled me for a moment and it got me thinking.

Most people really have no idea what “getting hacked” means.

It means that someone takes full control over your equipment and can override – and change and delete – anything you do.

This is what happens when big companies get hacked. Someone gets into their equipment or gets into the “thing” that they are (like Twitter). They may do damage – break stuff – but they may also simply copy lots of data. Because when big names get hacked, it is frequently to get at data that can be sold on the black market. Credit card data, for example.

Because it is these big names that make the news when they get hacked, it seems that a lot of people may think that when a person “gets hacked”, it has something to do with those big name companies. Like Facebook. Or Yahoo. And that it is just your password that got stolen, so all you need to do is change your password and block anyone who is hassling you.

But that is not what getting hacked, as an individual, is.

Getting hacked is comparable with, say, your heating’s thermostat going completely haywire and you having no control over it. (Picture an invisible person standing there in your home and fiddling with the thermostat.)

It won’t help you to go change the thermostat setting at, say, the McDonalds in town. You need to get your own thermostat fixed and possible your heating system as well because it may have been affected. You may even have to get a whole new heating system and redo the wiring. Or more, such as do something to the water pipes.

But going to McDonalds or KFC – or Argos or any of the other places that have a lot of online orders – and changing the setting on the thermostat there won’t help you one bit.

Messages sent to Clair Stevens at PCC

I received a phone call this afternoon that I could not answer for some reason. When I tried to call the person’s switchboard/central number, the call would not go out. When I called the person’s direct line, I got a voice mail message telling me that she was unavailable. I left a voicemail and sent the e-mail messages below.


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Ouch! The Netherlands!

Okay, I fume a lot about England, but have also already admitted that the Netherlands has handled the pandemic badly. They should have had real lockdowns from the start.

Imposing a curfew was bound to meet with resistance, but what’s been going on, the smashing up of the shops of store owners who have nothing to do with any of this, it breaks my heart.

Those are scenes I’d be quicker to associate with England, not with the Netherlands.

I am ashamed of my home country at the moment.

Here we go again (also: workplace bullying)

Lots of “honking” from the flat under mine and, presto…! My computer freezes again and I have to flip the power switch on the wall to get my computer out of the freeze. 

And my computer – again – asking me if I want to leave the site. And no, it had nothing to do with browser windows or tabs.

Very funny. 

Now here is the thing that I want employers in southeastern England and London – where the incidence of workplace bullying is relatively high – to be much more aware of… If you have such people like my downstairs neighbour as employees, you may also have other employees for example having to wonder much too often whether their cup of tea contains any urine.

Either of these groups of employees may be very talented. But to what extent are they able to benefit your company, when one spends too much time bullying others and the other spends too much time being very tense and jittery?

Not all workplace tension can be resolved easily. But some of it can. And you as an employer have a duty to do your best-est to help your staff be the best they can be. If you don’t, some of your staff may quit and then sue you for constructive dismissal.

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The need for good data protection practices at utility companies

I just received a call from a utility company and yet again found myself dealing with someone who does not understand that asking me for my name, address and date of birth has nothing to do with data protection.

My name and address are all over the internet, for starters, because I am a company director. My year of birth therefore is too. My birthday is available from so many organisations and companies! Half of Portsmouth, so to speak, has access to these data and many people outside of Portsmouth have access to them too.

If someone calls me about a complaint and thinks that it is okay to snub me when I challenge the company’s data protection practices and ask “How do you know that this is me and not for example one of my neighbours?”, I am not impressed.

(What’s more, how do I know that the call came from a utility company and not from someone who wanted to have my “confidential” data?) 

Watch this video below. Pay attention to the WOMAN who calls from her phone which displays the MAN’s phone number on the screens of the parties she calls and who sounds like a MAN when she does that. 

Are EU citizens in the UK the world’s only undocumented legal migrants?


In case you didn’t know that… indeed, legally residing EU citizens in the UK have NO PROOF of that so there is never a guarantee that when they leave the country for a holiday or a work visit abroad, they will be let in again.

Why? If you need to ask that, you’re asleep.

But why did the EU go along with this???

Brexit, cultural differences and negotiation styles

Captions below. More information and some tips under the captions. Also available on YouTube.


“It was a Trumpian use of alternative facts,”
said one EU source.

(It is not tied to the Trump era, however. I first ran into the above in Southampton, in 2006 or 2007. It’s part of the silly games the English often play. It renders you powerless and speechless, pulls the rug out from under you, thus putting them in the driver seat. Be prepared for this. Stay focused!)

…as a British official put it:
“They found it very difficult to deal with our obstinacy. It was wearying.”




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