short notes

short notes … #01-1
“home” is not just a place on the map.

Home is where your heart is” they say, and that statement sounds near perfect to describe how I feel about my designated place on earth. Gunlaug's farm – named “Jordet” (“the field”), can be found in the low hills in Southern Norway, about seven kilometers (4.5 miles) north of Mandal town (in municipality of same name), in Vest-Agder county.

In legal papers from a century or so ago, the place is named “Det Gamle Jordet” (“the old field”), which indicates that it has been known and run as a farm for a long time. Some old sources also mention that one field in particular was known for having the best soil for agricultural activities of all fields in the wider area.

The farm covers about 290 da (72 ac) of land in these hills, and earlier gene­rations have left signs of activity all over the place. Stone fences and stone walls built several hundred years ago, along with equally old roads and paths providing access to a range of farm resources, show how people for generations have made good use of the land for agricultural purposes.

To Gunlaug “home” is this place and neighborhood, where she grew up and has spent the best part of her life. Her parents took over this farm when Gunlaug was about eight years old – in July 1958, and Gunlaug took over ownership of it in December 1978.

Historical and emotional attach­ment to this particular place on earth is very strong in her, and leaving it for any length of time is not easy – she gets home­sick.

Names on tiny and larger patches of woods and farm­land, carry meaning far beyond being mere names to her, as they describe earlier uses and tell tales about people who are long gone. Each path, road and rock on her farm speaks to her in ways “an outsider” like me can not fully perceive. I have no problems under­stand­ing how she feels about it all though.

Gunlaug's farm is very much her place on earth, where she, and members of her family who walked this ground with and before her, have put their marks up through local history. I get to hear quite interesting stories from as far back as she can remember, and also what earlier generations have written down and told her. Besides, she shares the land itself with me, so I can see, live and absorb it all.

Note that Gunlaug inherited the right to buy this piece of land, and with rules and laws related to agricultural land here in Norway being as they are: formally she can not share ownership to it with anyone.

Formalities do of course not affect how we share everything in practice, and also eco­nomi­cally. Thus, all along I have been as involved in the keeping and running of Gunlaug's farm as I have wanted to be.

To me “home” as such could be almost anywhere, as I do not feel attached to any geo­graph­ic place on earth, neither historically nor emotionally. Gunlaug's farm has of course been given a geo-position I can key into my GPS-units in case I get lost on my way home (which luckily hasn't happened yet), but apart from that: where in the world it is located is not important to me.

What really matters is that Gunlaug is here (– you expected that, didn't you?). Another factor is that within the borders of Gunlaug's farm I have been given plenty freedom to affect and modify my surround­ings – make them work for me, and for an active mind like mine that really does matter a lot.

Another very important factor is that Gunlaug's farm is strateg­ically placed in a pro­tected area – the town of Mandal's water supply is here, which means it is almost impossible for anyone to get building-permits for new houses/homes and/or industry anywhere near us. As I definitely prefer solitude and the silence of nature over busy and noisy towns, it is good to know things won't change all that much around our place in my lifetime.

The day we got a proper internet con­nect­ion at home – in the summer of 2013, the last bits of the mate­rial­istic and intel­lectual side of living here also fell into place for me. Now life here at Gunlaug's farm is “just perfect” for this old technocrat.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 09.aug.2014
last rev: 14.sep.2014

short notes … #01-2
Gunlaug's farm assistant.

Ever since Gunlaug and I got together in 1995, calling myself “Gunlaug's farm assistant” has been my kind of fun when being around friends and neighbors in the area. It is a fine job title, and one that I also like to use on the web and in most other forms for public and private relations.

Before I met Gunlaug, health issues had forced me to permanently retire from my position as mechatronic automation engineer and private business owner. Being without a job was not a very satisfying position to be in, and for years I had compen­sated by doing voluntary work within my fields of expertise when I had the energy.

Now I could see no better way to live on in early retirement, then to put what was left of my physical and mental capac­ities to good use along­side the women I had fallen in love with. So, when I chose to settle on Gunlaug's farm, I also consciously chose to share as much as possible of the daily work on the farm with her.

I had no false expec­tations of “farm romantics” and a lazy life in the country-side, when I took on the role as Gunlaug's farm assistant. I was born and grew up on a small farm on the West Coast of Norway, and also spent many a summer on a medium-size dairy farm in my youth. Thus, most of how a farm is run, was well known to me.

Dairy farming is hard work all days of the week and at all hours, and – especially in growth-seasons – allows for very little time off for anything else.
On the other hand, it sure didn't hurt our romance that we shared everything and lived and worked together on her farm, from very early on in our relationship.

rough ride at times…

In late 1997, while we were in the process of upgrading farm buildings and sur­round­ings to meet new requirements at the turn of the century, Gunlaug experienced a serious down-turn. Norwegian health services almost killed her by sheer incompetence, but in the beginning it did not look too bad.

As a side-story: within days of my wife ending up in hospital, the hired-in farm assistant quit her job on the spot in an attempt to trick or trumph me into more than double her salary for less work. People can be “quite nice” to you when they know you're in deep trouble…

Well, I have taken on worse challenges in life. Literally from one day to the next I simply had to take on and learn all I did not already know about dairy farming. I did so with very little guidance and support from anyone – rather the opposite, and for the next half a year or so I pretty much ran the farm alone.

If not before, now I really was “Gunlaug's farm assistant”, and as a full time job too.

With my wife sick, and all the upgrading work that had to be finished both indoors and outdoors while running the farm – all in sync with the seasons, at times the work-load felt a tad on the heavy side. For the most part it went well though, and I found the work on the farm immensely rewarding. That, in addition to that it kept my mind focused on some­thing other than the serious situation my wife was in.

As Gunlaug came around to parti­cipate in farm work again, we simply divided the various roles between us in such a way that she did what she could handle, and I did the rest. Having a real job to go to every day, sure helped Gunlaug recuperate from her close encounter with death.

farming as life-style…

Although there never has been much money in farming here in Norway – especially not on relative small farms like Gunlaug's and most others in our area, compared to most other occupations farming stands for a very healthy life-style. We both made the most out of it over the following years.

We continued to develop and run the farm together, until it was my turn to go down – in late 2013. Gunlaug then decided to quit dairy farming for good, and as a result I sort of lost my role as “Gunlaug's farm assistant”.

Not that it matters what work title I give myself. The farm is still very much a living entity that must be kept up and maintained. It is only the main focus that has been shifted a bit lately.

These days I got as much to do on the farm as I feel like doing, and I see no changes to that in the fore­see­able future. Suits me fine.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 09.aug.2014
last rev: 09.aug.2014

short notes … #01-3
privacy rules and self-censoring.

That we “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, is how it (ideally) should be in courtrooms. When it comes to publishing private information in the public sphere on the other hand – on the world wide web for instance, that degree of open­ness and honesty should neither be expected nor provided.

Sure, it pays off to always “tell the truth” – also when it comes to private matters, and telling “nothing but the truth” also makes perfect sense. But, telling “the whole truth” should be reserved for courtrooms.

When we always “tell the truth, and nothing but the truth”, we are making it easy on ourselves in that we do not have to remember what lie we told about what and who, to whom and at what occasion. This approach is highly recommended.

If we in addition also “tell the whole truth” when publishing information on private matters, we almost certainly are going too far in sharing finer details not only related to ourselves but also to others, in the stories we share with whoever reads what we publish.
Apart from that our tales will become boring stuff to most people if/when we expand them too wide and include all details, we are opening up ourselves and whoever we include in our stories, to exploitation and attacks by people with less than honorable agendas. This is definitely NOT recommended.

my very own privacy rules

1: I always aim at “telling the truth and nothing but the truth”, when going into private matters in what I publish. Same is of course also true when publishing regular, non-private, stuff.

2: I always aim at “telling as little as I can get away with”, when going into private matters in what I publish. This is of course not true when publishing regular, non-private, stuff.

3: My reasoning for including and/or excluding something / anything in whatever I publish on any subject on my own sites, is nobody's business but mine.

4: My reasoning for writing and otherwise present my stuff the way I do at any given time, is also nobody's business but mine.

…and that is basically it on the subject.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 12.aug.2014
last rev: 12.aug.2014

short notes … #01-4
what do you think?

When people ask me what I think about their work, I usually have to stop and actually think, before responding. What other people do – for a living or otherwise – is not something I usually spend much time on formulating opinions about before being asked.

I quit wondering about anything humans anywhere do and/or how their heads are screwed on or pointing, a long time ago. I just expect each of them to have personal reasons for whatever he, or she, is doing, and unless a person has something to do with me personally he can keep his reasoning to himself.

When it comes to evaluating other people's web-work, unless someone asks me for my very personal opinion on their work, I keep my opinions to myself. Life is so much simpler when one doesn't have to express ones opinions on anything presented by others.

With the daily flood of copycat web-sites popping – or pooping – up all across the web, I find it easy to say that “yours is as good as any I have looked into lately”, and leave it at that. Such a comment is usually true anyway, and I prefer to express my true opinions whenever possible.

Don't expect me to initially go much beyond “it looks OK” even for the best working and most good-looking web-site, as spreading meaningless superlatives around about everything is not my style. Even the worst web-site ever launched is in my opinion “not too far off” compared to the average web-sites, so talking it down is not my style either.

Those who want my honest opinion on everything down to the more minute details, should be prepared to pay up for a proper report. I can't see the point in serving detailed evaluations of anything without being properly paid. Being honest is hard work…

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 17.aug.2014
last rev: 20.aug.2014

short notes … #01-5
reluctant web designer and developer.

That headline may be a strange intro, but this is “me” introducing myself as web designer, and I like to call a spade a spade. I have been in this game for too long, maybe…

Anyway, from time to time I'm asked to take on or take part in site development, which usually means someone wants to exploit my expertise as front-end coder and solution developer. That's fine with me.

As I am in the enviable situation that I can pick and choose in what I want to spend time on – on and off the web, I tend to look for reasons why I should favor one project over the others in web design.

If I find a request realistic and well presented, I may respond positively. I like doing something different from time to time, so projects that offer a chance to develop something other than the usual dime-a-dozen web-sites are preferred.

To less realistic requests I tend to respond with a “thanks, but no thanks” or something of that nature, whereafter I continue to work on whatever projects I have going – on and off the web.

Seriously: I have next to zero interest in the commercial world as it manifests itself on and off the web, and will only involve myself in web projects I come to feel something for.

For the most part I am more than happy with sharing my time between my own interests in the real and the virtual world, and let others work out how to promote their own interests and products.

what I do on the web…

Primarily I am a front-end coder and web developer producing web sites for myself and others, and as such I am focusing on delivering web design solutions that just work for my clients and their clients.

All the nice wording you can find on other front-end coders and web developers sites, is implicit in how I do business. I have been doing this since 2004, and see no point in adding superlatives and/or to inflate my knowledge and expertise related to web-design and -solutions.

Much of my activity in web design over the last 12 years has been related to making other designers' projects work as intended across the existing range of browsers at any given time – something I still do a lot of. So it should not surprise anyone that I do not put a large portfolio on display, despite the fact that I have had a hand on the code behind hundreds of web sites.

Simply put: I don't mind that others take all the credit, once I am paid my share for my contri­bution.

I am perfectly capable of competing on quality with any producer of web design solutions you can find, but competing isn't an important part of what I do here. Making all the various bits and pieces fall together and “just work”, is much more interesting, and I master my crafts better than most.

The actual web design – look/feel – can be delivered by a dedicated designer, or it can be part of the job I take on – along with the client. I do not copy other people's designs – cannot see the point, but there are few ways to design something totally unique for web sites today.

For those interested in such matters: “access for all” is one of my mottos in web design. Basic accessibility is built into my web-work, without any specific requests for it.

knowing ones value…

In general I ask for $125.-/hour for any and all web related work, and I get to choose whether to do an entire job myself, or if I find it more productive to hire in others – under my leadership – for parts of it.

I estimate, and keep track of, how many hours each part of a job takes, and I won't start working until I have received payment for the first 25 hours of each part. Only the simplest and most basic of web-sites can be produced in that amount of time, so expect to pay a lot more for yours no matter who produces it.

End-product is delivered – and/or it is made to work as agreed upon – when I have received full payment for the entire job. I trust everyone, but prefer to only spend as much time working for others that I am actually paid for.

Any additions or modifications at a later date are priced the same as above, and a certain amount has to be paid in advance.

In general I do not touch work others have been involved with. This also goes for when others have introduced code to what originally was my work, so do not expect me to clean up after others unless this has been agreed to in advance.

If I like a project very much, the price for my continued contribution – beyond the first 25 hours, is negotiable. Other than that there isn't much to be discussed when it comes to pay, but all else regarding my activities related to serious requests for web design services and assistance is very much open for discussion.

how to contact me…

My mail address is found below my signature, and all serious requests will be responded to. Can not be easier.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 18.aug.2014
last rev: 20.aug.2014

side notes.

short notes…

for when long articles don't make sense.

There are cases where added blocks of information may be found useful for complete­ness, but where these blocks will tend to distract from main subjects, and also add un­neces­sary file-weight if they are fully included in regular articles.

In such cases I may write short notes containing this added information, and add links to them from my regular articles. This way I am in effect making the added infor­mation available, but optional.

Short notes may consist of a single paragraph and/or a picture, up to maybe a dosen paragraphs – as much as can easily be made to fit into a single short note block, containing details about and/or expansions on a subject.
From one to as many as half a dosen such short note blocks may find their place on a single short notes page.

Each of these short note blocks is a short but complete article in itself, and is in most cases not related to anything else on that page. I sign, date and update these blocks as individual articles.

selected quotes…

You are the guiding star 
of someone's existence.
— Carrol Bryant The sky is not the limit.
We are…
— Georg Sørtun The secret to creativity is knowing 
how to hide your sources.
— Albert Einstein Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies 
of their culture will never be understood, 
let alone believed, by the masses.
— Plato The more real you get
the more unreal the world gets.
— John Lennon I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou

wise words…

Sometimes, you just need a break.
In a beautiful place. Alone.
To figure everything out. The person who says something is impossible
should NOT disturb the person who is doing it. A wice physician said,
The best medicine for humans 
is “CARE and LOVE”
Someone asked. 
What if it doesn't work?
He smiled and answered
“Increase the dose” Sometimes, you have to get knocked down 
lower than you have ever been
to stand back up taller than you ever were. There is always a way. advice upgrade advice upgrade navigation