Goddard Recovery Day

Yesterday, 2 October 2014, was a recovery day for the residents of a Goddard Avenue home in Orlando, Florida. Troy and I had lost two important items in our lives due to accidental casualties in their daily activities: Quad-copter propeller and Ziggy’s Big Blue Ball (BBB).

ARDrone2   Ziggy Big Blue Ball

The prop failure was caused by too many learning-curve practices that resulted in crashes that ultimately caused a motor to fail. Below is an illustration of what had to be replaced to get the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 back up and running. The blue rectangle contains the parts that were first replaced on each of the four arms: Prop, two gears, and axel. The hardest part of this exercise was aligning the axel at the top of the prop so that the C-clip slid into the microscopic slot at the end of the axel.

So, Troy and I replaced all the props and mechanical pieces to test if the motor would start working; it didn’t. So Troy ordered the replacement motor and it arrived the day before yesterday.

prop arm graphics

Yesterday morning, I replaced the motor and leg, the latter had continued to break off in crashes with any minute stress, like replacing the motor. The yellow arrow above identifies the motor that also included a small printed circuit board (PCB), see below, and the white arrow indicates the seam in leg where I glued the leg back (it actually stands slightly taller than the rest so it is no longer a flat plane when on a flat surface).

Drone MotorThe above illustration is to give you an idea how small the parts are for this drone. The six microscopic screws had to be pressure inserted into the PCB holes and then aligned beneath the top casing where the last three screws secures the top, the board, and into the bottom casing of the prop arm. It worked, first time trying!

This time I purchased Loctite Impact Resistant Superglue to glue the leg back on the base of the prop arm. Before, I had tried Loctite Special Plastic Superglue that didn’t appear to bond properly. Well, after a day of practice, the copter has crashed twice, using the new glue, and the leg is still attached.

The other replacement was a late evening ball playing incident that resulted in an unretrievable ball in the dark. After many days of rain, the ball was not needed because it was too wet to walk or play ball in our neighborhood park. This afforded me time to search the local area, not remembering (it was late) where I threw the ball.

At lunch, still yesterday, I ate at Beefy King before searching the stores for a replacement ball. After the first pet store, Frank found the ball at Sports Authority, a little further down the road. It worked. Ziggy is now suckling and flying in the sky for his Big Blue Ball!

Ziggy Flying

And finally, below is a cropped picture from the drone test flight yesterday of me flagging the drone while wearing the Oregon State University tee-shirt that Rob Ranck gave me. This is just days before Frank planned to drive to Tampa to meet up and celebrate Rob’s anniversary with his wife Cathy.

Frank Flagging

While at Beefy King, a patron cheered me and said, “Go Beavers!” It took me a minute to figure out what the guy was saying!

Terminating a Business and Trust

29 September 2014

This article attempts to document the actions that occurred between Frank Gould, Les Stone, Rob Ranck, and the Gigafast team. Rob had originally provided Les and Frank with a contact, the president of Gigafast, to source a specific product that provided a single device that removed the requirement for three power outlet devices, all combined into one: Gigafast PE928-POE HomePlug AV EoP/PoE Adapter.

Since 12 June 2014, Frank worked with Les to test and confirm the EoP/PoE adapter worked and would be a product to offer with the, at the time, only product COP-Systems would offer: YardCam350. Then Les decided that he wanted to be the distributor for the adapter only, and Frank withdrew his work on that product alone.

During this time, Frank spent hours working with the different software products to make sure the YardCam350 would operate to deliver dewarped fisheye lens video for general use and surveillance playback. Les constantly picked at everything Frank provided. From calling Frank an unprofessional windows user and an embarrassment for demonstrations to getting hung in a loop putting down Apple products or “Watts equals Volts times Amps” (W=VA). Constantly complaining about what Frank did or said.

Troy Mueller, Frank’s partner, complained about how much bickering Les and Frank exhibited while working together. Frank then started working to manage Les’s behaviors and after a ballistic phone call that Frank hung up on, Les finally started to calm down. Frank still had to be diligent in stopping Les from getting hung in a loop, arguing about every little detail.

One of the big opportunities that came up with Frank working with Cracker Creek recreational and historical park was a potential YardCam350 order. This was something Frank had shown the part-owner who suggested Frank write up a quote to mount the camera down by the shoreline to watch for returning watercraft rental customers. Frank and Les visited the property during this exercise to gather information and test the power circuits for that quote. Frank mentioned to Les afterwards how well they had worked together solving problems and pushing each other over the technology hurdles. Frank then spent hours putting together a specification and calculating the expenses, permits, and final quote.

One interesting observation about Les was during the permit process after Frank sent the following email to the Port Orange City Permit Office:

I called your office a couple days ago and Julie suggested I send you an email to ask you the questions I was asking her. I’m putting together a proposal for an outdoor webcam at the launch site at Cracker Creek, 1795 Taylor Road. My partner (Les Stone, copied) and I have already installed a similar product in Orlando and we needed different permits for different things. For instance, I’m in the county, not city, and the county required a low-voltage permit. My partner, who is in city limits, had to get the permit just to erect the pole.

So, our question is what permits will we need to install the products described below. We’re in the process of finishing up a proposal for Cracker Creek to consider but we need the final cost for any permits or other requirements. If you have any further questions, please call me at my number below. We appreciate your time.

Camera Installation Configuration:

  • Network into switch off router and into Cracker Creek office network.
  • Wireless Bridge from office LAN to pavilion network switch.
  • Switch provides EoP in pavilion and exits to launch site through power outlet.
  • Launch site power outlet used to provide network connect and PoE power to camera.
  • Outdoor CAT-5 wire underground in conduit from power outlet to DockCam pole near Spruce Creek.

[Cracker Creek map excluded – see on specification]

On a subsequent phone call, Les informed Frank that his email (above) makes no sense to him, the map is confusing, and that one of them will have to call to explain what we are really asking to get. After talking to the permit officer, Frank was happy to write the following email back to Les:

He also said he had no problem understanding what we’re trying to do, so your comment about my email [being incomprehensible] was invalid. He even told me to bring that map for the application submission. I will use the map I sent him since that’s all he knows or has seen.

A little later, Les was sending email about “forward manual,” which only confused Frank with the vague change request Les was attempting to ask. After Les wrote back that he had no idea why Frank couldn’t figure out what he wanted changed, Frank decided to provide the details of what was not making sense. Part of the confusion was the wrong words Les had used and the missing illustrations, mentioned below, showed up in Word for Frank as blank or blacked out boxes.

Writing requires you understand and communicate a concept as concisely as possible and attempt to cover all angles, and that includes clarifying illustrations (which I can’t see). For instance, when the subject of the sentence is singular, all references back to that subject must be singular or the reader cannot understand the sentence. Words also have multiple meanings, such as manual and forward. When you use two ambiguous words together, their meanings get lost and a writer has to add additional words to give it clarity. Otherwise, it’s a failure to communicate, especially for those who don’t speak English as their first language.

From your insistence, I think you’re trying to say “manual foreword,” not “forward.” I assumed you knew the difference, which is why I said it makes no sense.

What ended up happening is that Frank and Les sat down together in front of a PC to edit the final versions for both the COPS-928-POE user manual and the data sheet.

On 10 September, Les sent an email to Gigafast with the product label changed to a different part number than Gigafast and Frank had previously adopted and published. Frank was blind-sided without discussing the change and it made no sense to change from COPS-928-POE to CP-928-POE, as Les proposed in his email. Frank was livid and wrote a furious email asking why he changed it before discussing with him and how it affects multiple systems. Les offered to meet for breakfast the next day to discuss. Here’s the email prior to deciding to meet after Frank’s furious email.

I don’t recall us discussing the part number, you may have told me or mentioned it. You made a random number that’s where it came from not me, and your e-mailed label earlier was when I saw it and went Oh No. I didn’t like what you had, your number was searchable if I remember. I should have picked up the phone as we decided earlier to discuss.

Les had mentioned in past conversations that they hadn’t discussed the part number but Frank didn’t think a discussion was necessary, unless he objected to it, which he didn’t at the times he said we hadn’t discussed the part number. In hindsight, Frank should have realized that Les was saying he objected to the part number, but that was never spoken. Also, Les admits he should have picked up the phone, of course, because Frank had no idea he wanted to change the part number. Then Frank sent him the following examples, one from Gigafast, the other from the store website Frank was in the process of building for COP-Systems.

Gigafast COP-System lable

COP-Systems Store Product

During Frank and Les’s breakfast meeting 12 September, it took Frank a while to calm down from all his pent up anger about the changed part number. Frank asked why and Les replied, “because of the search engine.” Frank was dumbfounded and asked “what the hell does that mean?” Les couldn’t provide any valid reason for the change, and Frank finally said, “You use your company name anywhere you can.” Frank had already used it for all the different brands so users can differentiate the products, like vivo-[existing product number] for Vivotek products, and HP- for Hewlett Packard products.

Because of his insolence and arrogant decisions regarding the part number change, Frank told him he would quit because he can’t have things changing behind his back. There were too many things to do going forward, he didn’t have time to go back to change things, especially things that don’t need to change.

Les finally calmed Frank down to finish discussions about the website and products. Les agreed to call in the future to discuss things with Frank before sending email or making changes. Frank reminded Les that he needs to test market the four Gigafast units on eBay and put together packages and/or kits. Les agreed to make progress on these action items.

Frank continued to research the BigCommerce.com and Ordoro.com to determine what it will take to automate the order and delivery processes. Frank was also working on an interactive infographic as an automated order entry site to capture information from customers who want to do it themselves to install a surveillance camera, from several makes and models, for inside and outside installations.

This was a major potential content marketing tool that would guide the customer through the steps to measure, determine lighting amounts throughout the day, order any new network equipment, and finally place an order using their input. This order would go to Ordoro to complete the packaging, and if the customer needed it to be setup and configured for their network, the ordered products would be sent to COP-Systems to configure the equipment and/or software, customized for the customer.

For the next meeting, the following Wednesday, Les picked up Frank and went into a tirade about Frank thinking COP-Systems was a global corporation with endless funds.

After Les finished, Frank calmly replied, “I have been working on automating the order process so that if we do start selling large quantities, we have a path to solve that problem. I don’t want to be in a position where we can’t deliver products because we’re overloaded with orders and lose business because we can’t deliver. As for corporate thinking, I am working on this as a small business which is why we decided to use BigCommerce for the order entry at a low monthly subscription price without contracts, and Ordoro to deliver the products, some drop-shipped from manufacturers. It may take a while to get Ordoro up and running but we can fulfill the initial orders manually until it’s fully operational.”

Frank also told Les that he had made an appointment with Ordoro in October because they are so busy with other customers (Frank’s assumption). This was not a good start for a company that needs to support their new users, like COP-Systems. Then Les showed Frank his penciled list of packages; however, Frank noticed all the manufacturers were BrickCom, something the two hadn’t discussed. Les was supposed to create packages with the existing COP-Systems products. Frank said nothing about this.

Frank eventually worked on the final version of the installation manual that he edited from the draft Gigafast sent for COP-Systems to edit and distribute. This manual would be included on the CD inside the COPS-928-POE box. Frank had fought for months to exclude the CD and felt the manual should be downloaded from the COP-Systems website, for many reasons.

Les believed the CD was something customers expected but Frank said that the CD is called gold plating. Les didn’t understand that concept so Frank explained it as something that’s included with a product that it doesn’t need, like the CD. Frank also reminded Les that in the past, he had told Frank that he should not use the CD provided with a product but to go directly to the vendor’s website to download the latest version. That advice never persuaded Les.

With the final version of the manual, Frank decided they should get Rob’s opinion about any copyright issues and/or other comments. On 15 September, Frank sent an email to Rob with the draft manual and some final questions about this release, knowing time was running out. Because Rob is a very busy person and had just lost three days due to some kind of a stomach virus after a trip to Paris, France, Frank knew that it would be a stretch for Rob with such a short deadline.

Rob is also a very generous person with his time but this time, he was not able to commit time, anytime soon. The deadline was 19 September but Frank assumed it was delayed until Sunday after Les said Gigafast would not be able to do anything with it at the end of the day on a Friday afternoon but only after returning to work that next Monday when it will be there for them to proceed. Turned out that Les was only saying that hypothetically and he had not changed the deadline to the following Monday.

Of course, if the manual were online along with any other download materials, the deadline would not be as close; it was only because they needed the manual to burn the CDs that were to go into the final product packages. Which brings up the final issue that Les refused to deviate from and that’s a software utility.

For months, Les had been trying to get Gigafast to send the software to test and understand its operability with other HomePlug devices, from other vendors. Frank again said this should be on the website to download, mainly because of the utility software delay from Gigafast and the deadline.

Then Rob replied with an email, on 18 September, containing answers to the list of questions from Frank; the answer that stood out from all the questions was the following:

I don’t see the 928-POE listed in the HomePlug Certified products list. Perhaps Gigafast has done the testing and just hasn’t posted it to the system – you’ll need to check with them. Also, that’s the old certification logo, the official one is shown here: http://www.homeplug.org/products/cert_mark/

This created questions back to Gigafast with the following answer regarding certification, received at 2:29AM, 19 September:

For PE928-POE, this product haven’t apply for HomePlug certification yet. So you may not use HomePlug [certification] logo on this device.

Then later that day, Frank and Les discussed the certification issue above on the phone and decided Frank would draft an email asking more details about this product release. Below is the initial draft version Frank sent to Les:

Greetings all,

It appears we have a bit of a misunderstanding. When we started this transaction, Frank sent the data sheet detailing the product we are purchasing. Now, based on the email below [Randy’s from this morning], it appears the device is not HomePlug certified. We need the product to sell as a certified HomePlug device as it was represented in your data sheet.

The other issue is the PPU software. Since we cannot provide a user manual for our customer’s, it appears that we won’t be including that with this product. Besides, we never received the software to even confirm that it will work for our customers.

At this point, we need to postpone any production plans for our order until these issues are addressed and we know exactly what we’re getting. We do not want to find out any other surprises until we’ve taken time for due diligence regarding the PE928-POE.

Please take a moment to document exactly what we’re NOT going to get that is defined on the attached data sheet. HomePlug is mentioned eight times.

Les called to discuss Frank’s use of certain words that might be interpreted wrong by non-native, English-speaking people, like “surprises.” Frank told Les to work on his own version and then call to discuss. Instead Les sent the following email to Frank:

I’m having an issue with the second sentence that say’s Frank sent the data sheet. That means you sent them back their PE-928POE data sheet attached to one of your correspondence. Were specifications the content of that e-mail? Let me know or send copy so I understand context. I doubt they would remember getting it back maybe we should say ‘they provided us the PE-928POE data sheet and that’s what we bought.’

Later that same day at 2:35PM, Rob called Frank and spent about 26 minutes discussing this product release. He told Frank that they needed to play like the big-boys by putting everything online and use a QR code to guide the users easily to the download site. For the HomePlug certification logo, it cannot be used on any literature, but the “HomePlug AV” can be used because it is compatible, just not certified. He added that with other similar “alliances,” like USB and WiFi, they’re not all certified because of time-to-market and batched certifications. Rob also spent time discussing the manual and suggested it be stripped down excluding all the extraneous information about security and alternate configurations.

Frank immediately called Les at 3:04PM to inform him what Rob said, including all topics in the paragraph immediately above. Frank suggested they take the weekend to think about these issues and not send anything for the next communication to Gigafast until they had discussed all final release changes. Frank also offered to take a shot at Rob’s suggestions about the manual online and QR codes. Les did not say anything different, so Frank assumed he agreed to this plan.

Frank spent the whole day Saturday creating a new installation manual and based it on an example installation manual he had from NetGear. This significantly reduced the number and sizes of the pages and got directly to the point about installation. After creating a landing page and uploading the manual, Frank sent the email below to Les, Saturday afternoon at 3:45PM. NOTE: The links below have been changed to this WordPress.com site to illustrate from this document what was actually on the COP-Systems website, that Frank created. The QR codes included below are the actual links to the original site; click on them below to go to the duplicate destinations. You may alternatively try these codes to go where Frank had originally created them; however, that may have changed over time and these QR code decoded links might not work, today.

Below is the QR code to the temporary website where I created a landing page with a link to the new pdf Installation Manual. I think this is what Rob was talking about, dump the non-important info.

QR-Code-DS-pdf

Below is the QR code that goes directly to the pdf. Keep in mind, we still need to migrate this over to cop-systems.com before the final version.

QR-Code-DS

Sunday morning, 21 September, Frank woke up to a copy of an email from Les to Gigafast sent at 11:33PM the night before. Below is the email Les sent to Gigafast:

Greetings,

It appears we have a bit of a misunderstanding. When we started this transaction, my associate Frank Gould copied back the Gigafast PE-928-POE data sheet which detailed the PE928-POE product we are purchasing, and which we made our decision to OEM our own product. Now, based on Randys email from September 19, 2014 stating “PE928-POE, this product haven’t apply for HomePlug certification yet. So you may not use HomePlug logo on this device.” We need the product to sell as a HomePlug AV Powerline certified device as it was represented in your data sheet.

Since we have not heard a factory schedule at this point, we need to postpone any production plans for our order until these issues are addressed and we know exactly what we are getting. We want to find out if we can get our model certified and if so how long will it take. Also are there any other specifications on the PE928-POE data sheet that are incorrect.

The other issue is the PPU software. Since you cannot provide a user manual for our customer’s, it appears that we won’t be including this software with this product. When we were first asked about getting the PPU software we were told that most customers do not include that software, so maybe acquiring licensing is an issue. I have purchased numerous Powerline devices and every one came with the PPU Privacy software. We never received a copy of the PPU software to even confirm that it will work for our customers.

We need to know about certification of the device and how we can proceed from here.

My best,

Les

Les Stone
COP-Systems
http://www.Cameras-On-Patrol.com
Theft and Vandalism Deterrent Systems

Because Frank believed Les agreed to wait to discuss this next correspondence (above) to Gigafast (since it was pretty serious and significant), besides the fact Frank had sent him a draft copy of the manual with QR codes, Frank was floored and totally angry at what Les wrote to Gigafast. First, Gigafast was doing COP-Systems a favor to supply their product, to a very small business, and through Frank’s close friend. Second, Frank told Les that HomePlug certification wasn’t necessary and the president of HomePlug advised how to handle this, compatibility was still approved and had been tested at Frank’s residence over months for the COP-Systems application. Lastly, Les opposed the use of a web download method that Rob and Frank both recommended and would buy time for the final deliverables.

After all these Les-created and self-imposed barriers to entry, Frank decided that he could no longer trust Les in business. These experiences proved that Les was not aware of his behavior and failed to deliver items he had committed to provide to the team. Frank sent his resignation email, 21 September at 5:41AM, as follows:

From the beginning I said I wasn’t interested in working on getting this product as the only thing we distribute in this country. You then convinced me that it was the corner stone to differentiate our offering from others, which made sense.

Then we found a discrepancy in their data sheet that I brought up with the President of the HomePlug alliance and was told it doesn’t have to be certified to sell as a HomePlug compatible device. No one said we needed to be certified with a HomePlug logo, although it was deceptive in their literature.

Now you have demanded from someone who has offered you an opportunity of a lifetime to demand it be certified, something that makes no difference, costs more money, and time. You were supposed to think about this and consult with me before taking any action. But, in your infinite wisdom, you wrote this email [to Gigafast demanding certification].

Thus, You’re On Your Own now. I am tired of your late night email and stupid single and simple-minded decisions. This is why companies choose to not provide products because the recipient company has no empathy for those competing in a global market, especially as a bottom feeder offering.

For my full evaluation of this project, you have not provided anything that we’ve agreed you’d provide: package kits, camera model offerings, and test market results. Instead, you buy a camera while drunk, try to make me buy it, then send an email without my consent even though it is to a supplier that is intimate with my friend and could damage his relationship.

I had already given up depending on what you say because you constantly write that we’ll meet up tomorrow then nothing happens, no call, no nothing. However, I trusted you as a friend to not do something Jay Rogers would do, but you did. You lied to me. How can anyone depend on someone who does that? What kind of business relationship does that portend? Which is why I shouldn’t be surprised you’d send something behind my back after we agreed to discuss this before taking any action. I guess that’s my stupidity for trusting yet another “friend” to do what he agreed to do.

So, I can only hope that you make it on your own and that you might find the time to write me a check for the items I’ve provided: Hi8 camera [eBay asset dump] and 4 [Gigafast] PE928-POE adapters. No charge for the months of research to build a prototype store website, marketing content, Windows laptop product evaluations, and such. Just another educational expense for me at the price of a friend.

Best of luck.

Frank then sent an email to Rob to give him heads up about his severed business relationship with Les and for any damage control he might need to help with this issue. Rob replied requesting copies of the email Les sent. Frank forwarded that to Rob and included the following email from Gigafast:

Sorry for the miss communication. This product haven’t got the certification yet, we will apply it together with our other models. I just know that the price for getting the certification is the same as you apply for one or for several models. So we will apply for the certification all at once. As you know the certification guarantees their conformity and high level of interoperability with other products on the market. And we are sure PE-928POE is compatible with other devices.

Without the certification, you can still put HomePlug logo on the user manual, because we are the member of HomePlug Alliance. I have confirmed about this issue.

Randy will email you the software for you to confirm shortly.

Les then sent the following email to Frank on 24 September:

Hello,
Hope you’re havening a good week, I have a check for you. Let me know if you want me to just mail it or will you give me a few minutes to review BigComm to see if I can possibly comprehend it. I was on it yesterday for a while and the foundation you have built is a great start. Since I have the framework it will be a lot easier to just monkey see monkey do to remaining products. I have quite a list going I was almost finished with for phase 1 when we stopped.

The main thing I can’t figure out is where do you create a relationship with the vendors to have inventory of the other products on COPS site.

If you want to put me in the I’m done with you, like Jay category just let me know and I’ll mail the check.

Thanks for all you have done for me in the past. Say hello/goodbye to Troy

L

$117 was the take on the Hi8 minus the 10% And $117 for the PE-928POE You paid $35 for wire transfer. So I have a check for $240 if that’s Okay?

Just remembered You have some Brickcoms?

If you are talking to me do you want to test the PPU?

Frank replied with the following email, 25 September:

I had to look up “stupid is as stupid does” and there’s not a lot of information regarding that phrase. In essence, though, it says that intelligent people who do stupid things are actually stupid and not so intelligent. However, I believe it has more to do with emotions than being stupid, just selfishness and arrogance. This has been one of those epiphany years where people with Masters degrees, honorary PhDs, and magna cum laude still make stupid mistakes and decisions.

However, when one of these friends gets into a position that jeopardizes a close friend’s business partner’s relationship because of a stupid decision, I have to honor the friends who are doing me a favor, as I was trying to do for you. I apologized for your decision and insolence but it is the last time. Your behavior has been nothing but grievance and damage control for me. You behave like you want to fail, opposing what we agree to do and my recommendations. What kind of business relationship do you think that is?

I have spent hours trying to work with you and keep you from going ballistic, repressing me, and fighting some demon inside you when it comes to working on this project. I, on the other hand, have tried to show appreciation and respect with positive reinforcement for your accomplishments. The only positive reinforcement I’ve seen or heard from you is the “great start” on my BigCommerce “foundation,” below [in this document, it is in the email above].

Then you don’t even remember my educating you on what I’ve been trying to build. The reason you can’t figure out the product relationship is because it’s not in BigCommerce. Can you remember where it is? Did you listen to anything I’ve said? Apparently not. The answer is in an email I sent you.

Yes, I have both of your Brickcom cameras sitting by the front door. At this point, I am still raging with anger inside for what you did. I don’t see any apology but that’s probably because you have no idea what you did wrong because you don’t listen to me or can’t remember

If you read this far, I would like to give my life some time away from this stupidity so I can resume my posture and emotions. Kindly mail me a check and let me know when you’ll be away so I can drop off the cameras and the keys to your house (and also after I get my car back from Magic Mechanic), while you’re gone.

As for the PPU, I tried to unzip that file from Randy on Windows and mac but it failed. I would like an operating version of it, if you were successful unzipping and running it. The only reason for this is for me to see how this product fully works, after all the time I’ve wasted on it. If you can, put a copy on your camerasonpatrol.com server and I’ll download it from there.

Of course, there was never an apology, remorse, or conciliatory response. He did send an email with the unzipped PPU software link; however, he provided it in DropBox, again not on his camerasonpatrol.com website, showing how he was not following my instructions and not setting it up for a download, for potential customers. Then, on 27 September at 10:25PM, yet another late night email, Les sent the following:

Frank,
I am still staggered that you blew up at me for the e-mail that I sent to Gigafast that you had originally authored. I did not originate that the device needed to sell as certified. You found out from Rob it wasn’t. After I had received your e-mail about Rob saying it wasn’t certified, I called for us to discuss as you asked. You were upset at Gigafast, even used the term fraud.

We talked for 11 minutes then 3 more [minutes,] 10 minutes later. I said I would clean it up, and you said OK I don’t care what you do. I knew better but took you at your word, how could I change what you said to much? You did not say pass it on as the e-mail for you to send to Rob when we talked on the phone. Just send it to Gigafast

The next day you go off your rocker.
Please read below and tell me how my reply is more offensive than what you wrote?? Plus they gave a quick easy answer, no harm no foul other than your foul temper.

Robs relationship was never jeopardized. AND IT WAS YOUR COMMENTS I SENT. I DIDN’T WRITE THAT, YOU DID!!!!!!!!!!.

—–Original Message—–
From: Frank A Gould
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2014 2:14 PM
To: Les Stone
Subject: PE928-POE

I am thinking we send this email to all the parties we’ve worked with so far, including Jay and Rob. I’ll try to contact Rob before we send it so he has a heads up and maybe send him an advanced copy to make sure we’re not missing something else or offend his business partner. Give me a call to discuss.

FRANK YOU WROTE THIS! A

Greetings all,

It appears we have a bit of a misunderstanding. When we started this transaction, Frank sent the data sheet detailing the product we are purchasing. Now, based on the email below [Randy’s from this morning], it appears the device is not HomePlug certified. We need the product to sell as a certified HomePlug device.

The other issue is the PPU software. Since we cannot edit the user manual to meet our customer’s need, it appears that we won’t be including that with this product. Besides, we still have not received the software to even confirm that it will work for our customers.

At this point, we need to postpone any production plans for our order until these issues are addressed and we know exactly what we’re getting. We do not want to find out any other surprises until we’ve taken time for due diligence regarding the PE928-POE.

Please take a moment to document exactly what we’re NOT going to get that is defined on the attached data sheet. HomePlug is mentioned eight times.

I WROTE THIS. All I did was clarify the items and who said what where B

Greetings,

It appears we have a bit of a misunderstanding. When we started this transaction, my associate Frank Gould copied back the Gigafast PE-928-POE data sheet which detailed the PE928-POE product we are purchasing, and which we made our decision to OEM our own product. Now, based on Randys email from September 19, 2014 stating PE928-POE, this product haven’t apply for HomePlug certification yet. So you may not use HomePlug logo on this device. We need the product to sell as a HomePlug AV Powerline certified device as it was represented in your data sheet.

Since we have not heard a factory schedule at this point, we need to postpone any production plans for our order until these issues are addressed and we know exactly what we are getting. We want to find out if we can get our model certified and if so how long will it take. Also are there any other specifications on the PE928-POE data sheet that are incorrect.

The other issue is the PPU software. Since you cannot provide a user manual for our our customer’s, it appears that we won’t be including this software with this product. When we were first asked about getting the PPU software we were told that most customers do not include that software, so maybe acquiring licensing is an issue. I have purchased numerous Powerline devices and every one came with the PPU Privacy software. We never received a copy of the PPU software to even confirm that it will work for our customers.

We need to know about certification of the device and how we can proceed from here.

1. Frank called Les (at 3:04PM on 19 September) for the 11-minute phone call mentioned in the email above to explain what Rob had suggested (in their 26 minute call starting at 2:35PM) about certification, user manual, utility software, and to take time to think about a response and to discuss before sending anything. On this 3:04PM call, they did not discuss the previous email draft (that Frank mentioned as fraud), as Les asserted, other than to wait to discuss before sending any response. From his action of sending the original draft-edited email content without discussion, it appeared that Les either didn’t listen to Frank or decided on his own that he must demand Gigafast certify the device. This is the behavior that Frank didn’t understand but in hindsight, it could be passive aggressive behavior (i.e. Les didn’t understand the instructions/agreements) or inferiority/superiority complex (i.e. Les wasn’t going to follow advice from industry experts: Frank and Rob). Instead of working as a team, Les sent the wrong email at the wrong time without any consultation, just as he had done with the part number. From the email below sent 21 September (same day Frank resigned), it appears he realized his mistake and attempted to reverse directions, yet again (there were no discussions about this email below, after Frank sent his resignation email, above, Frank was not communicating):

Hello,
After further discussion I wanted to let you know that we would accept the product without official HomePlug certification. We are comfortable with the performance of our samples and we know they are compatible devices.

I now understand there may be extra cost on your part to have a product certified. My concern was that the PE-928POE was presented to us as a Homeplug certified device on your data sheet, so we were expecting it.

Please let us know what the status is for our device, and we look forward to proceeding as soon as we get answers to this issue regardless of official certification.

We trust and respect you and your company and look forward to our continued association.

My best,

Les

Les Stone
COP-Systems
http://www.Cameras-On-Patrol.com
Theft and Vandalism Deterrent Systems

2. Frank believed his second call to Les was to assure he does not send anything until they had a plan for the product release (however, he could be wrong on this, it could have been a plethora of other issues and topics or something he forgot to tell Les that Rob had suggested). During this call or the previous call, Les said that QR codes would be dead in 10 years. Frank responded that that didn’t make any difference for this project and the AR Drone 2.0 box has four QR codes for different features for their product and it appears to be a contemporary industry standard.

3. At 3:45PM on 20 September, Frank sent Les a draft manual and QR codes to use instead of a CD, as Rob suggested. Les never acknowledged Rob’s recommendations mentioned in item #1 above, nor that he received the draft manual email. Frank used the most reliable email address for Les, because he has so many email addresses that fail and the one Frank used had been the most repeatedly proven successful.

4. Les had agreed to call before changing or sending any changes, in general, but he failed to do so with his final email bomb demanding certification.

5. On 29 September in the morning, Frank received the following email with no additional details:

Dear value customers,

It is my pleasure to service you during my time at Gigafast. I am sorry to announce that today is my last day at Gigafast. In the future if you need any service or information, please feel free to contact the director of sales team.

Sincerely,
[Gigafast sales rep]

Frank replied to Les’s 27 September email above with a link to this article to explain Frank’s position on all these transactions and behaviors. However, the purpose of this article is to document this business relationship failure.

Epilogue

Around 3 December 2014, Les texted the following to Frank:

I’ve been really pissed at you since yesterday.  Get the feeling that Robs job was your preferred gig and wanted any excuse conscious or not to blow me off. In a dream I see me hand you $6k and you just burn it in front of me. Same difference I guess.

The sad part about this message is that I had told Les in a meeting subsequent to my resignation email that he has no obligation to purchase the products for $6k. I recommended he cancel the order. His response was that it was his moral duty to complete the transaction.

His accusation about Rob’s job was misinformation he dreamed up because I had no idea about Rob’s project until I met with him the first week in October 2014.

Family Spring Vacation 2014 @ Ponce Inlet

We packed up late the morning of Thursday, 8 May 2014, to take our three dogs to the beach for a day in the sun. We arrived around 10:30 to an empty beach with only a fisherman and his partner. He caught a whiting, released it, and left. The beach was empty for a few minutes then it filled to be sparsely populated.

Layla, Freddie, and Ziggy Arrival Shot

Some visitors just walked the beach while others lasted an hour or so. We stayed there until about 2PM, under the shade of our 10 foot tent.

Empty Ponce Inlet Dog Park

It was a gorgeous day with a nice consistent breeze that reduced the heat index lower than the 90°F actual temp.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

The Ponce Inlet lighthouse was a minute phallic symbol lurching in the background. Amazing technology for those days. I used my iPhone to take these pictures and a laptop to color correct the images.

End of day photo

Troy top, Layla left top, Freddie right, and Ziggy bottom. Layla and Freddie are ½ brother and sister Rottweilers and Ziggy is a Boston Terrorist (Terrier).

This is our end-of-day photo just before we departed to visit Cracker Creek. When we got home, the dogs were nothing but bags of bones.

Aquaponic Gardens Update – End of Summer

This is the continuation of our aquaponic gardens story for 2013. For the most part, we’re down to just okra and sweet basil in the cycle tubs. The 300 gallon tub contains the largest alacasia plant and mini banana plants that I have ever seen.

Frank with Acacia and Banana

Frank with Alacacia (left) and Banana (right)

The tomatoes have all been eaten by either us or vermin or rats.  They eventually stopped but the ones on the left were totally consumed by the vermin.

Hot Weather Tomato

Hot Weather Tomato

The other tomato I started from the branch that rotted off the original plant is pictured below from mid-August.  Today it is twice this size and has been besieged by pesky little caterpillars.

Tomato Restarted from rotten center top

Tomato Restarted from rotten center top

What’s fun about the caterpillars is that the mosquito and blue gill fish love them and fight for them. The two clips below are two different caterpillars. In the first clip, the blue gill consumes the bug and in the second clip, the mosquito fish run with it and one finally consumes it.

Then finally, half way through summer, we got peppers to grow. The tabasco plant has been covered with fruit and is still blooming. The fruit are starting to turn orange and will eventually turn red.

Tabasco Peppers

Tabasco Peppers

The jalapeño pepper took a dive, for some reason for about a week, then it popped out with a batch. Both peppers are great additions in Troy’s great salsa.

Jalapeño Peppers

Jalapeño Peppers

And finally, returning back to the aquaponic garden, the swamp hibiscus is now over 6 feet tall.  I’m 6′ 2″ and it’s about a foot taller than me. This is also the longest it has continued to bloom, primarily because there are more plants and spread out over a longer period and branches, like the one below. It bloomed multiple times as it grew to this height.

Frank and Hibiscus

Frank and Hibiscus

Frank Gould and Troy Mueller Travels

This page contains a webpage Frank created documenting several trips and video edits that he’s published for personal or professional purposes.

Journey

Timeframe

Format

Peru Amazon Expedition

July 2001

Blog

Brazil Expedition

February 2002

Web Video

Troy St Johns River Boat Arrival

June 2003

Web Video

Amazon Explorama

July 2003

MoPIX Video

Key West Street Entertainer

January 2004

Web Video

Dry Tortugas

April 2004

Web Video

Key West Drag Queen Races

April 2004

Web Video

St. Johns River Houseboat

June 2004

Web Video

Cottonwood, Nevada Visit

July 2004

Clearwater Ranck Visit

July 2004

American Red Cross

August 2004

St. Johns River Houseboat

June 2005

Costa Rica Research

August 2005

El Salvador (Intro)

January 2006

Web Video

Venezuela

June 2006

Blog

Venezuela Spanish Immersion

December 2006

Web Album

St. Johns River Houseboat

April 2007

Red Rock Canyon – Nevada

June 2007

Florida Everglades

July 2007

Lake Mary Lacrosse Game

February 2008

Web Video

 

Goddard Aquaponic Garden – Mid-July Report

It’s time again to report on the Goddard garden projects. What’s happened since last time:

  • the tomatoes have filled out and some have maturely fruited
  • the green beans have been fruiting in the aquaponic tubs
  • the terrestrial green beans have grown out and are blossoming
  • the okra has now become critical mass where we have enough same young-aged fruit to eat in a meal
  • the corn has matured to blossom
  • the huge corn stalk turns out to be a different plant than expected

I have not taken photos of all of these topics but instead just the more notable ones. For instance, the tomatoes fare as follows:

  • the heat resistant tomato have immature fruit that are not growing
  • the rotted-out center brach we restarted has filled out nicely with flowers but no fruit
  • the original producer has about fruited out with a couple left to mature

Then on 18 July 2013, a caterpillar ate throughout the young fruit on our heat resistant plant, photo below.

Tomato Fruit Caterpillar Damage

We have not been successful ripening any of the fruit on the vine from the original tomato plant. Perhaps it’s the container being too small and/or the amount of rain we’ve had this year. A person told us yesterday that it has been 30 days since central florida has seen a whole dry day. It’s a blessing and hassle but I appreciate it more than fires and constant watering the yards plants.

As for the aquaponic green beans:

  • the original “volunteer” plant has about fruited out, as well, and leaves are browning
  • the second batch of plants has small fruit and we’re going to seed these
  • the third batch has small fruit that are maturing and we’ll seed these too
  • the final batch, the seeds from the volunteer, have just exposed secondary leaves

The terrestrial green beans have filled out nicely. We have some caterpillar that cuts and curls the leaf over itself to create a shield around it, which I uncurl and throw the worm into the water for the mosquito fish to snatch. The caterpillars love the plant and the fish love the caterpillars. You can see some of the damage in the picture below. In the center left leave, on its left side (facing it), that’s where the caterpillars have cut and curled the leaf.

Green Beans Terrestrial

Okra Fruit

The okra fruit have matured beyond edible on this specimen because it was the first to fruit. Now the others are blossoming and we’ll have enough to eat in a single meal, soon.

The corn plants grew no taller than a meter/yard and the fruit were as small as a lighter: Munchkin plants.

Corn Patch

Corn Cob

And the huge, never touched by bugs, corn plant? It turned out to be a millet seed plant. You can see in the picture below how similar the leaves look to a corn plant leaf. Not sure where that seed came from. Could have been in bird poop or mixed in with our seeds when we planted the corn. I wish the corn had been so successful.

Millet Seed Plant

Our Ziggy Loves to Suck Big Hairy Ball

This is a short story post about our 10 month old puppy named Ziggy. I shot some footage and thought I’d post it online. We got him a big blue ball that we hoped would not get stuck under the couch but it does. It’s the perfect size for his mouth and he often suckles it like a mother’s teet.

Here’s him playing with the hairy saliva covered ball:

Goddard Aquaponic Gardens – End of June

This is an update with new pictures of sprouts, blooms, and fish as of 29 June 2013.
Bean Sprouts composite

This picture is of the volunteer green bean plant’s first fruit sprouting next to the parent plant. We started these in an incubator containing only perlite, and only two of the five beans sprouted (This is a composite picture where the top sprout is copied from a different exposure and added to the bottom sprout, which is in focus in the background image).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below is the summer squash bloom in front of a recently pollenated bloom and now fruit. This is the only plant that survived. The previous fruit on this plant rotted at the end and we discarded it. This was our first attempt at raising squash and may need to make adjustments for future crops.

Summer Squash Bloom cropped

The picture below is our corn “field.” These are all miniature plants, as illustrated by the Sharpie pen in the lower left of the shot. This crop has had a hard year with two cutworms (actually caterpillars) and other small caterpillars. The two front plants took the major hits with the cut worms and their stalks and leaves were badly damaged by the insects. One anomaly is the larger plant in the background where it has exceeded the height of its siblings and still has not extended its male flowers, called tassels. Towards the base of the plant, the female floral organ can be seen. Here is a web page of the corn plant anatomy.

Corn Plants cropped

The picture below is the first bloom of the okra plants this season, with more buds immediate above this bloom. We should have a large quantity of fruit again from this year’s crop.

Okra Bloom cropped

Our tomato plant has not done well with fruit maturation. The picture below shows several that started to ripen but rotted out before they matured. In addition, we had some vermin problems with a few unripened fruit, all of which we had to discard. As reported earlier, we have started the middle section of this plant and it has grown into a nice sized starter plant that we will pot in a larger container. We believe the problem with the plant below is the pot is too small, the roots are root-bound, and the plant cannot support its fruit or leaves due to these deficiencies.

First Tomatoes

And finally, Troy went fishing again five days ago, mainly to remove smaller tilapia that are over-populating the pond. In one attempt, he caught a blue-gill, as pictured below. This one now lives in the shallow end where it can consume baby tilapia and reproduce. Based on a website page, this is probably a female but they say it’s not easy to sex unless they are breeding.

Blue Gill Caught

Goddard Aquaponic Gardens – June 2013

This is the second post about the Goddard Aquaponic gardens story (Click HERE to view Part I) now one month after the previous post in May. Since then, the corn stalks have grown some and are about to bloom after being top eaten by a cut worm and several small caterpillars. The okra has filled out nicely, but several of the squash plants have rotted out on the ends, probably due to major rain storms, and were removed, and the beans have matured and started growing new pods. The tomato plant also got a nasty caterpillar during the rain storms, while we were prevented from inspections, and the center stalk rotted out thus allowing us to restart the stalk as a new plant.  The pictures below attempt to show our progress. Squash last month on left and now on right getting ready to bloom (bud):

Aquaponic Summer Squash Squash Bloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okra now on left and in bloom on right:
Okra Squash BasilOkra Blooms

Volunteer green bean plant from January now loaded with beans:

Green Beans OldSecondary green beans blooming on left and with bean starts on right:

Green Bean Flowers zoomGreen Beans Starting zoom And next, our terrestrial Tomato plant with fruit starting to ripen:

Tomato Full

In the picture above, you can see there are some branches missing in the top center where the bamboo poles stick out. That is where the center stalk rotted out. Below is the stalk in soil after it started sending out roots above the rot in a cup of water. We planted it in soil to hasten the root growth and restart it as a new plant. The milk crate is to prevent Ziggy from toppling the plant while playing ball on the back porch. Tomato Restart Below is the evil Hornworm caterpillar that ate the center tops off the Tomato plant above. It was euthanized minutes after Frank took this picture. Tomato Catepillar And finally, a picture of the third Swamp Hibiscus flower of this season. In the background, you can see the second blue Pickerel Weed flower of this season. Swamp Hibicus Later that afternoon, I downed two large Golden Goddess bamboo trunks with dead ends at the top so that I can use them for fence planks.

Bamboo Trunks Downed

Then later that evening, we were hit with another downpour rainstorm. After a long deluge of rain, one of the bamboo trunks bent over, weighed down with 5 dead Acrocomia Palm fonds. Bamboo Trunk Bent Down Then, within minutes, we heard a large SNAP and the trunk broke near the top of the bend. Bamboo Trunk Snapped An exciting end of a busy day in the aquaponic garden.

Goddard Aquaponic Gardens – Summer 2013

Aside

26 May 2013 – This blog is an attempt to document the 4525 Goddard pond conversion to Aquaponic farming. The picture below is a bird’s eye view of the whole pond with blue gill, tilapia, flag fish, gold fish, and mosquito fish. The tarp at the top is covering the deep end to reduce the amount of sun that might encourage algae blooms. There are a total of 5 tubs in two sizes:  100 Gallon and 300 Gallon.

Goddard Pond Bird's Eye View

Goddard Pond Bird’s Eye View

The shallow end was fenced off to prevent fish from entering the shallow end but that didn’t work. The tilapia babies were able to invade along with the blue gill and have grown up on that side. Unfortunately, the tilapia have eaten the water lilies that were planted to offer more shade. They’re trying to grow back and so far haven’t been affected by the tilapia this year. At least they eat the Cuban tree frog tadpoles in the shallow end so we’re not propagating invasive species. Also in the shallow end, the tub functions a dual purpose of filtering detritus from water through gravel as well as creating a current to prevent stagnation. In the picture above you can see the 300 Gallon tub at the top of the picture (south side) and below is a full shot of the tub. The banana plant is a miniature variety, the alocasia (right) is a metallic variety, and nestled below that is another alocasia of the velvet variety.

300 Gallon Tub with Banana and Alacasia

300 Gallon Tub with Banana and Alocasia

The 3 tubs below line the north side of the pond and contain 2 types of substrate:  hydroton (bottom) and river gravel (top 2). The top 2 use the same pump to fill the tubs. The hydroton tub disperses water from the pond across the bed in the ladder tube hydration system.  To see how a bell siphon flush system works, watch the video below.

Once the bell flush system exceeds capacity, the water begins to flush out of the tub and back into the pond, as illustrated below.

North Tubs Blaring

North Tubs Blaring Return Water

The day I shot most of these photos, a native lily bloomed in the shallow end amongst the lily pads in the picture above.

Water Lily Flower

The tub below contains the green beans and basil spice. The plant to the far right is a green bean that volunteered itself from last year and sprouted around January 2013. The other green beans from this year’s crop, planted in early April, appear towards the center and right front of the picture. The tall plants in the back are basil.

100 Gallon hydroton substrate with green beans and spices.

West 100 Gallon hydroton substrate with green beans and spices.

Focusing in on the more mature green bean plant, this volunteer has grown compact and tight, as illustrated in the picture below.

Volunteered Green Bean from 2012

Volunteered Green Bean from 2012

Focusing even closer on the volunteer green bean plant, the picture below shows the beans and flowers maturing under the leaves.

Aquaponic Green Beans Closeup

Aquaponic Green Beans and Flowers

The picture below shows the summer yellow squash, also planted in early April. This is the middle tub that also contains okra.

Aquaponic Summer Squash

Middle 100 Gallon Tub with Gravel Substrate – Aquaponic Summer Squash

The picture below is the eastern tub with an okra plant, a row of corn, and an eggplant.

Corn Rows

East 100 Gallon Tub with Gravel Substrate – Aquaponic Corn Rows

Corn Start

2 Week Old Aquaponic Corn Start

In the picture left you can see a closer view of the 4 week old seedling. Due to the amount of nutrients and substrate contents, these aquaponic plants grow slower. In addition, this year has been cooler than normal and we’ve even had to endure a hailstorm in May. And finally, the eggplant. This specimen, pictured below, is about 3 years old and has never produced any fruit. It has bloomed constantly during the summer months but never became fertile. Normal life cycle is typically 1 year, so this is the end of this one and will be removed soon.

Aquaponic Eggplant - Non-producer

Aquaponic Eggplant – Non-producer

The main point of this blog is to log our experiments and learn to grow larger crops for better sustainability and reduced grocery expenses. We are also experimenting with 5 gallon buckets using soil, as pictured below of our tomato plant.

Terrestrial Tomato Plant

Terrestrial Tomato Plant

In the picture above, the first tomato appears just below the middle right side of the plant. There are about 5 more smaller fruit in various places throughout this specimen. Although the tomato is not aquaponic, it is an experiment to expand our backyard to a sustainable farm opportunity. Stay tuned for more