Monday, February 28, 2005
Gorse Fox phone Barney Rubble to wish him a happy birthday for tomorrow. He has been busy demolishing a chimney, but was have a quiet evening. He's looking forward to meeting up with GF+SV in Tenerife in the near future.
If the Gf wasn't so cool he could lose his equanimity!!! Do all government contracts have this problem?
Sunday, February 27, 2005
As the day progressed, we saw clouds marching across the skies punctuated by bright sunshine. The clouds occasionally threatened a few snowflakes, occasionally dumped snow, then again then sun would burst through and everything would clear in minutes. As the GF sits watching the Carling Cup Final, in brilliant sunshine, he reflects that 10 minutes ago he couldn't see the end of the garden through the snow, and teh temperature outside plummeted 4C in the space of a few minutes.
Gorse Fox headed out along the beach for a walk. He walked westwards, thinking how lucky this coastal strip is. The sun was blazing along the coast whilst inland half a mile away the skies were dark and ominous. Luck ran out! Within 5 minutes of these thoughts the weather closed in and snow was driven across the route. This photo shows the local flora sculpted by the prevailing south-westerlies, but in this case the snow is being driven from a north-easterly direction.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
The Gorse Fox headed to Millets to look at their boots. Berghuas, Brasher, Karrimoor, Hi-Tec were all there. Berghaus were the first choice, but once the GF had tried them on he realised they were not suitable, absolutely no give in the soles, and quite high on the leg. He would have been walking round in a Frankenstein-like gait... now he's not elegant at the best of times, but there's no reason to exagerate it !!! Eventually a pair of Karrimoors bubbled to the top of the list but GF decided to check various other stores first.
Leaving the store the mobile phone rang... and rang... and rang. Press the keys as he did, nothing happened. The screen revelead that the Silver Vixen was calling, but GF could do nothing. Whilst trying on the boots he had dropped the phone and obviously damaged it. The phone stopped ringing.
Hoping that the Silver Vixen would make her way to the centre of town, GF waited in the middle of the walkway. The phone started to ring again. Again it was the Silver Vixen. Again the keyboard would not respond. GF thought he'd use a call box, but realised he couldn't remember the number... so just had to wait and hope.
Sure enough she turned up, and problem was explained. Together they returned to Millets and decided to buy the chosen boots. The young assistant heard us talking about the phone and promptly took the phone from the GF and fiddled about for a moment and fixed it in a trice. It's moments like that that make you feel old.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Today is another day's vacation for the GF. No plans yet... just see how things pan out.
What dangerous times we live in when our power-hungry government can erode our liberties with such arrogance.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Stopped off at the Tudor Cafe in the High Street for a bite to eat, and sat in the window watching the world
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Today he called. he has a new supply, and has just delivered a load for us.
Very busy and interesting morning... if you are the Gorse Fox or his Esteemed Client. If you aren't then it was immensely boring and probably of no interest. However, the Gf found out that the long awaited contract signature was forthcoming overnight. However, it was on a temporary authority, not the full one. So the contract is about to suffer another round of ping pong. GF has already made the suggested changes and sent them on to the trolls. Let's see how long it takes.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
- GF received an email from his Cousin Sparky (who is married to the Time-Bandit and lives in Toronto). It was very nice of her to remember.
- GF received an email from his beloved Aunt in Toronto. It is always a pleasure to talk or exchange email with her... and hopefully we will see her this year as she has been debating a UK trip.
- And in keeping with the title of this post, the Forces of Darkness were trounced 3-1 by Bayern Munich last night.
Sir Lancinglot commented "You should always support the English Team in European games.".
The Gorse Fox pointed out that there was not a single English player on the team (they were probably still in decompression chambers after their last outings).
The Gorse Fox thanks the Forces of Darkness for losing, and so making his Birthday complete.
The Silver Vixen had given a fair deal of thought to the GF's birthday, and been saving up for a while to contribute to the purchase of a GPS. GF suspects she is glad that he likes going on long walks, but is concerened that he can find his way back! Now, the GF just has to find a suitable GPS device.
Cousteau-cub and Urban-cub are going to chip in to get GF some more tickets to go up to Spurs. However, with C-c's duty rosta, U-c's bad back, and GF+SV's impending vacation, this may have to wait a little while.
Monday, February 21, 2005
GF was just on the phone to Esteemed Client at Worcester. They are already getting some snow. GF gloated that the sun was still shining on the South Coast... put the phone down, and went to tell the Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub. On returning to his study he observed that the snow had started here. That was a short gloat !!! Having said that, by the time the GF had written this post, the snow had stopped again (though the sun hasn't re-appeared), so gloat mode is re-enabled.
Monday saw the GF working from home with a wide variety of reports and reviews to complete, ranging from the geographical "spatial" systems to export systems. An interesting calvalcade of problems and opportunities to consider and review.
Shadow called to confirm that signature was NOT forthcoming on project last week. The GF is glad that he was not holding his breath).
Despite forecast, sun is shining on the South coast, and it's not too cold. Latest estimate is that snow will hit Tuesday and Friday. Hey, ho!
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Smuggler's Cottage in Ferring. Note that one of the features of flint walls here in Sussex is that they are not random, but rather the flints are laid in ordered rows.
Just after taking this photo, the Gorse Fox was tucking the camera away when an elderly woman stopped him and said "That's rather small, isn't it?"
The Gorse Fox stopped. Checked his trousers were done up, thinking, "Well it is rather cold, but that's a very personal remark for and elderly lady", and the realised she was referring to the camera.
The general public should focus their attention on the real villain of the piece. (And it's no good going off to the pub to drown your sorrows... that is heavily taxed too).
Saturday, February 19, 2005
She provided an update on Auntie P. who has been a little depressed of late, but seems to snap out of it when challenged. We also discussed the difference between the way in which women and men communicate... recent experience re-inforces the GF view that for women communication is an end in itself, whereas for men it is merely a transport for carrying data between sender and recipient. For women, problems are there to be discussed and dissected, for men they are there to be solved, i.e. there is no point in discussing a problem if there is no attempt to find a solution. Venus and Mars guesses the Gorse Fox. Now this should not be misconstrued as a disagreement between SV and GF, we were in fact discussing the trials and tribulations of couples today.
After a lunchtime snack, the GF (in serious need of exercise after a sedentary week) headed off for a walk. It was a bright afternoon, with a cold northerly wind. It never ceases to amaze the GF how peaceful and quiet this area can be. In the hour or so he was out he saw 3 cars, and about 10 people... that was it. It was like having the world to oneself
Friday, February 18, 2005
The Gorse Fox headed back from Worcs mid afternoon. traffic for him was no real problem, but again the A34 seemed the slowest part of the journey.
Last night's hotel had none of these features. This meant that as the bathroom slowly filled with steam, the shower fluctuated between stone cold and scalding hot as other residents flushed toilets and ran water to wash or shave. Now this could be be viewed as apalling, but the Gorse Fox is ever an optimist, and he saw this as an opportunity to get some early morning exercise running back and forth, in and out of the fluctuating stream.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Meanwhile GF did his bit for the local economy by strolling back to the city centre to find a restaurant. Strolling past the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory up to the Cathedral the GF stopped to look at the beautiful architecture of the old Gateway and Cathedral. These were nicely illuminated and on the cold crisp evening.
GF looked at he menus of numerous eating places, but ended up eating at Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant. Excellent food, and excellent and friendly service. GF Spent some time, on returning to his room, trying to get the IR or Bluetooth connection working to his mobile phone so that he could connect to web as the phones in the hotel would not allow internet connections. IR/Bluetooth is great theory, but so far the practice eludes the Gorse Fox.
Good meeting with Esteemed Client... and news that we should have contract signature overnight. Excuse the Gorse Fox's cynicism, but he will not be holding his breath. (He recognizes that the Esteemed Client is not at failt here... but rather her contracting trolls).
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Cousteau-cub called. She had been looking at changing some financial arrangements only to find the quotes you get on the internet don't turn out to be available when you actually phone up to investigate further. She was less than amused. However, she is considering having a couple of weeks vacation in Thailand in order to see her friends and get a burst of sunlight.
Heard from Betty & Barney Rubble, they have decided to visit Tenerife to get some sun and were asking for opinions on some of the areas. Discussed pros and cons of several and put them in touch with San Andres. Later they called back to confirm they have selected S-A, and will be there at the same time that we are. That'll be nice.
Off to Worcester again tomorrow. Trying a different hotel again.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
As a result the Silver Vixen's trip to Brighton, she has returned with a cheeky little haircut and subtle warm blonde colouring. When the artistes had finished their tonsorial spectacular the Silver Vixen had to go back - she was under strict daughterly instructions - via Cousteau-cub's house in order to wake her (she was on night duty) to show her... and then stop off at Urban-cub's flat to show her.
The Gorse Fox was the last to see it. Looks real good, and makes a change sleeping with a blonde. No apparent drop in intellect so far.
The corollary to this is that Cousteau-cub has this very day visited the same emporium of tonsorial dreams and had her lagging streaked or sprayed or something. She's very pleased with it, so that's good enough for the GF & SV.
Not too much to report today. Very busy building an inventory of systems used or linked to by Esteemed Client. Need to have sufficient to discuss at Worcester later in the week.
Monday, February 14, 2005
The Gorse Fox had to go to London to see his auntie. Simon Templar had asked him to come and visit and help her make some difficult decisions. The trouble is the old dear is ga-ga... speaks with authority and yet makes little sense. Living on her repuation and the riches of the past, rather than her current no-longer rigourous intellect.
The jouney was relaxed, and it seemed strange entering the palatial halls as a visitor again. Simon Templar came down to escort me up to the meeting. Saw lots of familiar faces as we went up the stairs... nice to see these people, but old nightmares were lurking at the back of the mind. We discussed things at length, and had lunch while we talked. It was interesting how things had changed... there appeared to be less confrontation, and more intellectual rigour than I remember. It was clear that finally she was understanding the edifice we had created for her.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Saturday, February 12, 2005
- 66 additional taxes
- 1018 new crimes
- in excess of 500,000 extra civil servants
- The Sout-East Regional Authority - an unelected Quango to over-ride what the electorate of the South-East wants- because they weren't doing as they were told
- longer waiting lists in the NHS
- decriminalisation of class C drugs
Has now made 6 new pledges for the up-coming election.
- Your family better off
- Your child achieving more
- Your children with the best start
- Your family treated better and faster
- Your community safer
- You country's borders protected
Obviously we believe that he will fulfil these pledges, based on his track record for honesty and truthfulness, what else could we do? After all, he told us about WMD in Iraq, (oh no that wasn't right was it). He said there'd be not income tax rises (that was true, just 66 other taxes). He promised Gordon Brown... no, no, not that one either. OK I give up. Are there any promises he made that he kept? Has anyone observed him telling the truth?
These pledges are suitably bland and subjective as to say nothing. I'm sure many jouralists and bloggers will rip them apart and show them for what they are. Here are a few of my first thoughts:
- Your family better off
As long as you are on benefits - if you actually earn money and contribute to the economy you will continue as a cash cow for us in this self-serving, power-crazed, venal government; or if you are a pensioner because we have already robbed your pension funds and driven many out of business; or live in the South of England, because we are re-directing your subsidies up north, then capping your councils so that they cannot raise extra revenue.
- Your child achieving more
Because discipline is now so lax in schools that they can do what they like without fear of sanction, and when sanction or exclusion is imposed it will be over-ridden.
- Your children with the best start
Which is why school playing fields have been sold off, and school trips are rare because of fear of litigation, and Universities are closing Maths and Chemistry departments, and kids will leave university with vast debts
- Your family treated better and faster
By joining longer waiting lists to get onto waiting lists, before being treated by medical staff that we have asset-stripped from other countries
- Your community safer
Which is why we will allow 24-hour licensing for the sale of alcohol, have decriminalised some drugs, and will double the number of roadside revenue collection units (Speed cameras)
- You country's borders protected
By ID-cards... I can't start to express my contempt adequately
Is there anyone actually stupid enough to vote for them again? Surely when you have been mugged twice you don't go back and invite the mugger to do it again.
Friday, February 11, 2005
- Esteemed Client asks for simple piece of consultancy.
- Tells her contracting department to issue a Request
- Request arrives at Gorse Fox three weeks later
- Ellen MacArthur sets sail from Falmouth
- Gorse Fox develops ideas for response and visits Esteemed Client to confirm
- Gorse Fox writes response and submits it to review process
- Review process has changed, but nobody has been told, trolls will not review unless it goes through new process.
- Submit document to new process requesting it is reviewed and released by certain date
- Requests totally ignored
- Christmas comes and goes
- Ellen MacArthur is in the Southern Ocean making great progress
- New Year starts
- Petty changes requested by trolls are made
- Document released to Esteemed Client
- Esteemed Client's trolls take over.
- Trolls return with 3 comments
- Respond to 3 comments and submit to review process
- Ellen MacArthur on the home stretch
- Trolls argue amongst themselves, time goes by
- Wrong Document gets released without covering notes
- Wrong Document gets released with covering notes
- Right document gets released with covering notes
- Ellen MacArthur arrives back in Falmouth
- Esteemed Clients trolls debate and question each other
- Time goes by...
- Still no signature
I wonder why Government costs so much? Could it be there is waste in Government? Could it be that they waste so much time trying to start any particular task that there is no way it can be completed by the required date? Could it be that they are unable to differentiate between that upon which they sit and the articulated joint in their limbs?
What me bitter?
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Interesting... head of the Church of England has adulterous affair with married woman. Now decides to marry her.
One smells a whiff of hypocrisy... somewhere.
Jenny Bond just referred to them as "comfortable together like pair of old slippers"... though the last word may have been slappers!
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Shadow was at Worcester so we had a good update session. Also, Miss Ellie's replacement (yet to be christened) and Clint were both there so there is a head of steam beginning to form.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
27,000 miles, alone for 71 days, sailing an 8 ton yacht through the oceans; catching sleep in 10-15 minute naps; hauling 8000 square feet of sails, which you may change up to 15 times a day.
This is a superhuman feat. When you see what the human spirit is capable of you have to give thanks to whatever Supreme Being that you believe in.
What an awesome achievement
Monday, February 07, 2005
One always fears that the romance and excitement of property-purchase overcomes the logic. She and Sir Lancinglot seem to be taking it seriously... so let's hope it all works out for them.
Busy day for the Gorse Fox today. Lots of abrasion to start the week, nose feeling sore already. Shadow called with feedback on contract... The Gorse Fox responded in a professional manner. It is no wonder we pay so much tax, when you see how much time the Gorse Fox has wasted waiting to do something constructive for HMG.
Silver Vixen went into Brighton again today. She has decided to remodel and redecorate her hair at some posh salon. They need to do a skin test first to ensure the paint they plan to use doesn't react with her skin in an unwanted fashion. Gorse Fox looks forward to Friday and thinks it should be fun... and looks forward to the outcome of the decorating frenzy.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Had a quiet morning reading through a number of documents. Cousteau-cub has been with us for a couple of days, so Gorse Fox took her back to Brighton at lunch time.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
GF thinks that we have become so complacent with our lives, but so disillusioned by the denizens of Westminster, that these (insert own derogatory adjective) people will serve a further term.
Friday, February 04, 2005
- I assume it is regularly used by Americans because a) the bedrooms were heated to the point that you could fry eggs on the carpet, and b) the windows would notopen; and c)the public spaces had the distinct residual smell of cigars
- The Gorse Fox did not sleep well
Waking early he headed for the shower, but finding no appreciable water pressure decided on a bath. (Yep... must be the first bath for a couple of years!).
Going down to breakfast the Gorse Fox noticed the predominant source of discussion throughout the restaurant was the fact that the water had failed and nodoby could shower or bathe. The pump which supplied water to the building had failed.
"Mmm.." thinks the GF, "I managed to bathe at 6:30. Oooops." GF was probably the first person to notice the water problem, but assumed it was a naff shower, then used all of the stored water for his bath, leaving all the other guests high and dry (and smelly).
GF paid his bill, and slunk away quickly.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
The quack is writing to C2BAX to try and get a consultation.
Gorse Fox is staying in Tewkesbury. Dark on arrival, but looks very smart.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
There was this woman, all brassy and mouthy. She came charging out of the courts building, f-ing and blinding, and accosted a woman outside and started a catfight with her**.
As the fight progressed the windows of the Courts building filled with on-lookers. The best part was that the security guards stood there laughing, whilst watching the entertainment.
It's nice to realise that reasoned debate is still so highly regarded in parts of Sussex.
**Thinks... is the cat used a weapon? Do you have to treat it first to stiffen it? Do you sharpen part of it? Do you use it as a club, a lance, or a sword? Which end to you hold?
GF has used them a couple of times and got some real good deals.
It was a magnificent game - passionate and committed. The GF's non-partisan status changed withing the first 10 minutes, however. It became clear that the Forces of Darkness were intent on winning at all costs, and that cheating would be a part of their game plan. This is not acceptable. However, this backfired when it also became clear that they were coming up from their dives too quickly, and the "bends" were setting in. MU soon got the measure of them and gave them a well-deserved good hiding.
I'm embarassed to say it... but well done MU.
Let me add, when I rule the world:
- Players that pull shirts will have to wear a pink shirt, false pig-tails, ballet pomps, and boxing gloves for 4 games.
- Players that argue with referees will be suspended for 8 games, for each offence
- Players who drop down, as if shot by a sniper, then get up and run around with no sign of injury after a free-kick is awarded, will have their toe-nails removed, there and then. (Give them a genuine reason to limp).
- Players who feign injury after they are accidentally caught in the face will have to spend half-time in the ring with Mike Tyson.
- Players that dive (i.e. cheat) will be suspended for a complete season, with no right of appeal
Mmmm... re-reading that list, the Forces of Darkness would be in a bad way. That appears to be their normal game plan!
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have lapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.
From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.
My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.
Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.
Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:
- To make an appointment to see me.
- To query a missing payment.
- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
- To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
- To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.
- To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
- To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.
Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year.
Your Humble Client
The Gorse Fox is mightily impressed.
The morning started well with a phone call from Tinkerbell. She was eager to catch up with progress, on her return from two weeks vacation in South America. She had had a wonderful time and was all fired up and ready for action.
The Gorse Fox explained.
T: What about project x?
GF: Stuck in the "process".
T: What about Project y?
GF: Stuck in the Process
T: What about poject z?
T: How's the client feeling?
At the end of the call Tinkerbell's lights were very dim, and she was bemoaning the fact that she no longer had a gas oven. The Gorse Fox must conclude that this morning he managed a passing impression of Mrs Raven... bringing conflict where there was peace, and despair where there was happiness.