Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Fox's Den

The Gorse Fox has been playing with SketchUp and managed to create this scale version of the house in West Sussex that he shares with the Silver Vixen.

The dotted construction lines can be removed, but GF still has to draw the windows and doors, and add the other textures. Posted by Picasa

Shakespearean Insulter

Gorse Fox likes to point you, dear reader, at useful websites (like Google's SketchUp). Today he brings you the Shakespearean Insulter. Going to that site just now the Gorse Fox received the following quote:
"There's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine. It is all filled up with guts and midriff."
Given this week's news about the Prescott... Gorse Fox had to chuckle at its currency.
The little corner of West Sussex which is inhabited by the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen is immensely tranquil. Part of this tranquility is achieved by adherence to a covenant that is signed by by all the residents. This covenant directs that the weekend should be peaceful and that the use of noisy equipment should be limited to Monday through Friday... though in exceptions, it could be permitted up until luncthime on Saturday. Adherence to this means that we can sit outside without the drone of lawnmowers, strimmers, chainsaws, and so forth... indeed all we can usually hear is the sound of birds and the lapping of the waves on the shingle beach.

The Gorse Fox is therefore limbering up in readiness to build the last of the deck frames, using nothing beyond normal hand tools - quaint, but neighbourly.

[File under: ]

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gorse Fox, as you probably know, likes Google and its tools and products. The latest offering from their stable is Google Sketchup. Gorse Fox has been playing with this and thinks it is another excellent tool.

What is it?

It's a 3D sketching tool. It allows you to draw in virtual 3D space but creating standard 2d shapes (rectangle, circles, arcs etc) on a 2d plane, then enable you to extrude the shape into the third dimension. Go download it. Run the tutorial, and you will very quickly be able to create your own 3d models.

[File under: , ]

8th Circle of Hell - another candidate

Gorse Fox read this morning's paper, and there on page 47 was a clear candidate for the 8th Circle. Celebrity lawyer (known as Mr. Loophole) managed to free a millionaire on a technicality.

The driver was prosecuted for drink-driving and has served a three-year ban before for drink-driving. In this incident he caused a road traffic accident that nearly wiped out a family. Then he ran away and was found in a field claiming he was looking for a phone to summon help. He refused to give a breath test... but a blood test two hours later showed him to be almost twice over the limit.

The snivelling little lawyer said the client should have been charged with failing to provide a specimen. There was no dispute as to whether he caused the crash, or whether he was drunk. The cretin of a judge allowed this defense.

This is not justice. The Gorse Fox hereby condemns both the lawyer, the judge and the driver to 8th Circle of Hell without parole or reprieve. These snivelling, bottom feeders are a disgrace to society and a affront to human dignity.

Update: the lawyer is quoted:
"people who drink and drive are despicable" but believes his clients are entitled to his best advice, without moral judgement

Sorry, mate. That's where we differ. They deserve to feel the full force of the law and you should be doing everything in your power to ensure they do. But, Gorse Fox recognizes that as a lawyer you probably have little concept of morality. He also wanders how Mr. Loophole would feel if this driver, free and driving again, ploughed into him or his family?

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox has spent the day recycling a huge pile of wood (delivered yesterday by a nice chap with a lorry and big crane) into small pieces of wood and huge piles of sawdust. This rates as just about perfect, as far as the Gorse Fox's idea of fun is concerned.

He now has 3 of the 4 frames, that will form the base of the deck, built.

[File under: ]

Friday, April 28, 2006

Trains that were built 7 years ago.... one year before the current disability legislation are being withdrawn from service because the Disability Police have determined that the electronic signs are 3mm smaller than they should be.

Now without trivialising disability, isn't this unbelievably stupid? Let us make the assumption that 1% of the travellers are visually impaired... 1) they've been managing up to now; 2) thousands of non-impaired passengers will be inconvenienced (just in case)....

Just switch the damned signs off entirely.

Gorse Fox wants to go and hit something.

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox stopped for lunch. He gazed out of the kitchen window, waiting for the kettle to boil. A neighbour hove into view dragging her dog, which she walks briefly every day. Nothing strange there.

But what was the young boy doing, dressed in a full bio-hazard suit, wandering along about two paces behind?
(Apologies: Gorse Fox couldn't get to his camera in time for a piccie).

[File under: ]

Sunset

The Gorse Fox loves good photos and the wonders of nature. Cousteau-cub has just returned from a break in Thailand and has been adding a few photos to her blog. Do pop over and have a look, and leave her some nice comments

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox always thought Jeff Randall was a bit of an arrogant pompous prat who, because he worked for the BBC, thought he was more important than reality dictated*. However An Englisham's Castle referred the Gorse Fox to his piece in the Telegraph.
...if we used commercial criteria to assess Labour's record in power, some of its ministers would be in serious trouble. They wouldn't get through the door of a speakeasy, much less the British Standards Institution.

Ooooh, yes. Jeff you're beginning to rise up in estimation
Now, has anyone in the Labour Party or Government gone over the loans scandal? Or recent education screw-ups? Or the immigration debacle? Or the tax-credit over-payment fiasco? Is anyone likely to go?

Come off it. Ministers love to urge businessmen to clean up their act, but you couldn't trust this mob to clean a kettle.

Ok... you may have just peaked.

* This is a flaw that is evident in all people that the Gorse Fox has ever encountered at the BBC. One day, he'll lift the lid and reveal what he really knows and thinks about them!

[File under: ]

The England Project: A very British politician

Such eloquence:
The England Project: A very British politician

Yellow (Road) Peril

Adam Smith Institute Blog reports that Dave the Chameleon wants to do something about the school run, and American-style school buses may be a solution.

Gorse Fox commends the idea.

Indeed the ASI go further and recommend in one of their publications The Paratransit Light Vehicle picking up customers from their home and taking them to work. The idea was not taken up.

Gorse Fox says it's a shame... he would use the service between his base in West Sussex and Worcester.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Science has gone too far

Gorse Fox reads with horror:
The Holy Grail of the food industry has been found. The flatulence-free baked bean

Now what's the point of that? Where's the fun? Gorse Fox thinks that science has gone a step too far. Enough is enough.

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox wondered... is it child abuse to be brought up as the offspring of a politician? Why?
  • You would be pilloried at school as every new scandal is broken in the press
  • You have no parental concept of right and wrong
  • You have no concept of truth or lies
  • You have no concept of honest or dishonesty
  • You would be dragged out on photo shoots whenver the parents were in need of votes or sympathy


[File under: ]

Sleaze

In a moment of boredome the Gorse Fox muttered the rallying cry:
That will give new hope to pensioners, new hope to young people, new hope for the low paid and families, new hope for industry.

New hope for the whole of the British people.

We've had enough lies.

Enough sleaze. Enough excuses. Enough poverty. Enough unemployment. Enough failure. Enough is enough

Where did he drag that up from? You guessed it, John Prescott at the Labour Party Conference.

Gorse Fox shook himself... his mind wandered. It wouldn't come back. Would it get lost?
"They are up to their necks in sleaze. For these politicians, morality is just about not getting caught. But morality is more than that, it's about right and wrong. We are a party of principle. We will earn the trust of the British people. We've had enough lies, enough sleaze."

quoth John Prescott in 1996.

No. Gorse Fox must be mistaken.

[File under: ]
Well the press are now all over our little problem. We just have to await the results of the lab tests to confirm the strain. meanwhile boxes of tissues and packets of lemsip are being sent to East Anglia.

[File under: ]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bit of a panic may be brewing... could be a few opportunities arising for people to shine in the face of adversity.

More soon.

[File under: ]
The Gorse Fox met up with the Abbot, Boston and Mick for dinner. The group ate at Saffron in Worcester. This restaurant is a very pleasant Bistro style. Conclusion was that this was certainly worth a further visit, and is highle recommended by the Gorse Fox.

Conversation ranged across many subjects until the Abbot brought us back down to earth with the revelation that his dishwasher is broken. We discussed this, and pointed out that 1) he has children, therefore it should not be a problem; and 2) isn't that what 999 is for?
"Hello, what service do require?"

"Dishwasher repairs please, and please hurry we're running out of cups"


[File under: ]
So Prescott is not only incompetant, he is also morally corupt and considers faithfulness to his wife, and adherence to his marriage vows as mere incovenience.

Repugnant oaf.

The Gorse Fox also worries about his paramour. Will she get victim support?

[File under: ]

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pedant-General

Maybe this should be one for the Pedant-General. Melanie Phillips posts on serious subject of last week's bomb in Tel Aviv. She start her piece:
"I was not a million miles away from Tel Aviv when last week’s ...


Gorse Fox got to thinking about this and realised that he too was within a million miles of Tel Aviv. Furthermore, if he had been a million miles away, he'd have been late home for tea.

[File under: ]
A coach sits in the car park of the hotel. It proudly proclaims its home town of Blackpool. The hotel is almost full and Gorse Fox get stuck behind two elderley Lancastrians.

The woman stops.

She turns to her husband (lover / partner / toy boy).

"I don't care what they say, I'm taking my shoes off tonight".

Gorse Fox hadn't realised this was problem in the north (maybe Muppetlord can shed light on it) but at least in Worcestershire shoe-removal seems trouble-free.

[File under: ]
"Can you walk back to Sidbury along the canal path, from here?" asked the Gorse Fox. The young waitress looked blank for a moment. "Oi down't know" she said "Oi'm from Dod-lye" she offered.

Gorse Fox walked back along the sidewalk!
??
[File under: ]

Bowlers

Gorse Fox was sitting waiting for his pizza, musing on the reversed
baseball caps worn by the "crew". What stupid fashion!
But then he remembered bowler hats... and thanked his lucky stars that he
never had to wear that most ridiculous of all headgear, and that nobody
else does in these enlightened times.

The misty grey of morning of Sussex is beginning to clear and brighten in Worcester.

The Gorse Fox pondered, during his drive, on the suggested new motoring rules. Inching along the A34 he decided that limiting trucks to the first lane would be his biggest preference... as truck after truck played leapfrog in attempt to bring the car traffic to a standstill. Differential speed between overtaken and ovetaker was approx. 0.000000001 mph.

As he pulled off the motorway towards Worcester he dodged a side-swipe from a distracted woman. "Berk" he assessed... and realised this too could be a motoring offence.

[File under: ]

Monday, April 24, 2006

Charles "get back in your cage boy" Clarke has been spouting:
A "pernicious and even dangerous poison" is present in the British media, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said today.

The politician accused parts of the Press of making incorrect and over-simplified statements about his Government's record on civil liberties. He said journalists had transferred totalitarian qualities to democracies such as the UK and the US following the collapse of "genuinely dangerous" dictatorships.

Well Charlie boy... perhaps if we ever got one iota of truth from Labour we might not be so suceptible to the media distortions. perhaps if Alastair Campbell hadn't corrupted so many political messages, we might not be so distrustful. Perhaps if we hadn't seen our civil liberties being eroded by ill-conceived legislation sold on fallacious and dubious claims we might be a bit more understanding.

[File under: ]
Blogger's been a bit erratic today. GF submitted several posts during the morning that had still not turned up by lunchtime.

[File under: ]
The Sunday Times asked people to suggest new road laws. The three laws that came top were
  1. allowing left turns at red lights;
  2. confining heavy lorries to the inside lane on motorways; and
  3. having an insurance disc displayed next to the tax disc, as French and Irish drivers are required to do, as part of a strategy to counter the rise in accidents involving uninsured drivers.

Gorse Fox is impressed. All immensely sensible.

Another that caught his eye, also receives his total backing:
But the last word should go to Claire Aindow from Bolton, Lancashire: “I respectfully suggest the abolition of all road traffic laws, to be replaced by a single offence: driving like a berk. For example, driving at 90mph down an empty motorway at 10pm with good road conditions: fine. Driving at 90mph in the fog at 6pm on the M62: driving like a berk. Parking neatly, even if your large Jaguar is slightly outside the bay: fine. Causing hold-ups in a multi-storey by not going to the top straight away (where there is always space): driving like a berk. Should the legislators wish to discuss this further, I am at their disposal.”


[File under: ]
Gorse Fox has just upgraded his wireless network at home. The new MiMo enabled 802.11g kit should improve throughput and provide better coverage at the various blackspots in the house. The new access point comes with a top panel with blue lights indicating the various aerials that are in use... and this got the Gorse Fox reflecting on the fact that his study is beginning to glow like the cockpit of a 747.

He has lights for:
  • The aerial selection of the wireless access point
  • The status of the ethernet for the wireless access point
  • The status of the power of the wireless access point
  • The status of the printer
  • The status of each of the ports on his USB 1 hub
  • The status of each of the ports on his USB 2 hub
  • The status of the power on his ADSL modem/router
  • The status of each of the ethernet ports on his ADSL modem/router
  • The staus of the ADSL connection on the ADSL modem/router
  • The staus of the connection for the wireless keyboard
  • The status of the optical mouse on the PC
  • The power status light on his screen
  • The power status light on his PC
  • The disk access light on his PC
  • Charging staus light on his cordless phone
  • Phone signal light on cordless phone

  • The status of his laptop mouse
  • The staus of the laptop power
  • The status of the laptop wireless connection
  • Gorse Fox is currently ignoring his Linux PC which is switched off, and therefore not contributing to the festive lights)


[File under: ]

Sunday, April 23, 2006

BBC NEWS | Health | 'Best ever' NHS claim condemned

Best ever' NHS claim condemned

Well IF our government really wanted to know why people are fed up with politics, they need look no further that their own latest assertion:
A government claim the NHS is enjoying its "best year ever"
...
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt made the assertion in a BBC Radio Five Live interview


Just in case you haven't been keeping up: The NHS is facing a financial deficit of more than £600m with some 7,000 job losses having already been confirmed.
The RCN surveyed 660 hospital-based senior nurses ahead of its conference starting in Bournemouth on Monday.

Some 45% said that there have been redundancies or a reduction in nursing posts where they work.

Nearly 60% said that they did not have enough staff to give their patients the standards of care they would like.

Gorse Fox concludes that the current government is so unfamiliar with truth and fact that they no longer understand that they are lying cretins and have no place in public life.


[File under: ]

Recycling

Gorse Fox has had a deeply satisfying day.

Ecologically aware (and keeping an eye out for Dave the Chameleon), he washed the cars in the rain (avoiding the need to use a hose)... and then spent the rest of the day recycling perfectly good wood into skirting boards and piles of sawdust. The former were fitted to the south-west bedroom... which as lain without since GF fitted the floor in 1999. (Well, there's no sense in rushing things). The latter will be saved to put down on the floors if John Prescott (the pot-bellied pig*) ever visits.

* The Daily Mail reports, today, that the Chameleon stunt has backfired and a survey thought it to be positive for Dave, and that Saint Tony was perceived as a snake, Prescott as a pot-bellied pig, and Cherie as a leech. Can't really find fault with that!

[File under: ]

Squeeze them until they squeak

In Labour's continued policy of squeezing the middle classes (i.e. those who are employed and earn money) The Mail on Sunday reports:
Millions of families will be forced to pay a new surcharge on their energy bills to help poorer people cover their fuel costs under radical proposals being considered by Ministers.

...

The suggestions accepted by a Government advisory group, sparke outrage last night

You don't say !

Oh well... as GF will be a pensioner one day (God willing), he assumes that he will benefit from this (as the pension he has been payng into for years is being stolen by The Robber Baron)

By the way, did the Gorse Fox forget to mention that this bright idea came from EDF the French energy giant. The same one that employs Gordon's brother as a PR advisor. (Could it be they are trying to avoid a windfall tax?


[File under: , ]

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gorse Fox spoke with his brother-in-law. His operation over, he is well on the way to recovery and is back home. He has gained a little hardware, however. Apparently the check X-ray taken before his discharge revealed that part of the jig used when working on his hip has been left in his leg.

Ooops!

Lots of emabrassed faces, and a date set for him to return and the hospital to retrieve its hardware.

[File under: ]
Sir Lancinglot and the Urban-cub joined us at the Gorse today. The weather was fabulous and too nice to spend indoors. S-L took control of the sabre-saw and stumps of old hedges were reduced to sawdust and twigs.

Bit by bit piles of debris accumulated - twigs, hedge, carboard, insulation, masonite, old OSB. Taking the seats out of Felicity it was loaded to the gunwhales, and S-L white van was also loaded full. Finally, the whole lot was disposed of.

There's something cathartic about a good clean-up of accumulated rubbish.

[File under: ]
Forces of Darkness held at the gates. Spurs, who dominated the game, came away from thier last Highbury game with a draw. A win would have been more satisfying and more deserving... but the consolation for the Gorse Fox is the fury of the whingeing Wenger. Gorse Fox relies on the BBC to explain:
Davids broke down the left and slid a perfect ball across for Keane to tap in at the far post.

As Keane celebrated, Arsenal's players took out their anger on Davids, who they felt should not have played on with Eboue lying injured in the centre circle after colliding with Gilberto.

And with the game threatening to boil over, Wenger and Spurs counterpart Martin Jol squared up on the touchline - and later refused to shake hands after the final whistle.

Now the Gorse Fox watched this incident and saw nothing untoward. Yes, a man was down... but with Arsenal's usual habit of falling down at the drop of a hat - who can tell whether a player is injured or just feigning as they usually do? The referee had already told Pires to get up several times when he had gone down. If it had been any other team, you would obviously suspect injury... but the Forces of Darkness spend so much time crying wolf that it seems perfectly reasonable to ignore it... even if you have seen it.

One final thought - what the hell are Arsenal doing in the English Premiership? When was the last time they had an English player in the team?

[File under: ]

Friday, April 21, 2006

An Englishman's Home is Someone Else's Castle

The Odious Deputy Prime Minister is at it again. According to today's papers:
"Large suburban gardens could be seized and replaced by blocks of flats under plans being considered by John Prescott"
It would appear that:
any backgarden more than 100ft long would be deemed prime land for redevelopment
.
Now, normally Gorse Fox would be furious at such a suggestion, but on reflection:
  • John Prescott is an incompetent hack
  • Every single policy he has espoused in the last 7 years has failed (without exception)
  • Therefore there's no need to worry



[File under: , ]

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A discussion over lunch drifted to the subject of Trolls, and how Stoker has just managed to get a request signed, therefore beating the trolls in battle (and thus deserving of a bottle of champagne).
Stoker explained that he has a friend who has similar problems with Trolls and said friend has discovered their actual base location - Handbrake House.

[File under: ]

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dual Controls

New chairs have been delivered at the premises of the Esteemed Client. Inventory labels have been stuck to the back explaining they are "Chairs/Dual Control"...

The Gorse Fox assumes the dual controls are provided so that an instructor can help beginners learn how to use the chair safely. It is not clear, however, what sort of test must be passed in order to allow solo use of said chairs.

[File under: ]
A slow grind through Swindon and again at Birdlip added to the Gorse Fox's journey this morning. The grey of the south coast gave way to rain as he approached Worcester.

GF hears the BBC received complaints regrading the Labour party broadcast last night. Gorse Fox thinks "Damned right". He thinks the perpetrators should crawl back under a rock and hang their heads in shame and embarrassment.

[File under: ]

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Election broadcast

Well, Gorse Fox always knew these conniving, snivelling, scoundrels who currently govern in the name of Labour are devoid of ideas... but today's election broadcast was pure theatre. Not one single proposal of their own... just 3 minutes of knocking "Dave".

If the Gorse Fox wanted to watch childred going "Ner ner nee ner ner" in the playground he would have bought a house near a scholl, or got a satellite feed of American political broadcasts.

[File under: ]

Hip hip today !

Gorse Fox's "young" brother-in-law is having his second hip fixed today. GF & SV's thoughts are with him and they hope his recovery is swift and fairly comfortable.

[File under: ]
Some fairly savage budget cuts across the "Department". Gorse Fox's projects are not affected, but many of his colleagues are in a state of uncertainty. As GF was dependent on some of the other projects, he has some rethinking to do!

[File under: ]

Monday, April 17, 2006

Looking down the River Arun. The evening sun highlights the sliding bridge as small pleasurecraft slowly drop with tide. Posted by Picasa
The evening sun drops over the River Arun. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have just had a splendid meal at The Arun View - always so good for fresh fish.

Eating early, we were able to sneak in without a reservation. Posted by Picasa
Back on Kingston Gorse, a spring afternoon's view along the eastern part of Middleway. Posted by Picasa
North Cottage and Lighthouse Cottage from the West Kingston greensward Posted by Picasa
The pond at the corner of Kingston Lane, by East Kingston House, is filling again, and seems to be home to several ducks.

Gorse Fox listened for while, but could not detect any sneezing... so assumes them to be healthy! Posted by Picasa

What are Words Worth?

The entrance to Kingston Gorse is lined with drifts of daffodils (or is it hosts of golden daffodils) at present. Posted by Picasa
Gorse Fox must brave the Bank Holiday traffic to take Cousteau-cub back to Brighton. He could be gone some time !

[File under: ]

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter.

Gose Fox and the Silver Vixen have both cubs and Sir Lancinglot attending Gorse Towers for lunch. Sir Lancinglot has been teasing the Silver Vixen, but now that the football has started he's setted down.

[File under: ]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gardening news

Mark has a few choice words to say on the subject of decking: Blognor Regis: Gardening news.

Gorse Fox has now decided to adopt plan C. All he has to do is design it!

A brief work of explanation regarding the deck on the east patio... this is a (currently) dead space alongside the house that is dominated by a huge concrete slab that once provided the foundations for a huge shed. The plan is to press this area into use by doing a little carpentry.

[File under: ]
Deck foundations on the east patio are off to a slow start. A great deal of head scratching was undertaken yesterday as Silver Vixen decided she wanted the support posts positioned differently, and Gorse Fox found a lot more concrete than he was expecting. The movement of the posts meant that some re-design is necessary to ensure adequate support at the back of the deck. The unexpected concrete has also provided challenges.
  • It has meant that the support for the posts is now likely to be different, and that means that he needs to work from level concrete pads.

  • In turn that means he has to build the level concrete pads, which means creating some shallow formers (shuttering).

  • The design chosen for the formers required cutting some holes in OSB, and that meant using GF's jigsaw.

  • But GF has lent the jigsaw to Sir Lancinglot, so GF went out and bought a new one.

Well, you know what it's like when you go to buy power tools (faint Simian grunts can just be heard in the background). GF ended up with a JCB! He should probably explain that this is not a large wheeled contraption with a backhoe and grab, but rather the make of jigsaw chosen. Just for good measure he also picked up a 1000W SDS drill, which should enable him to penetrate further into the existing concrete before laying the pads.

[File under: ]

Friday, April 14, 2006

Anti-American

Gorse Fox was just pondering... who is more anti-American?
  1. Iran
  2. Sunni-Iraq
  3. The BBC
Discuss.

[File under: ]

BBC NEWS | UK | Anti-Americanism 'feels like racism'

BBC Online reports a view from a Ms Cox: Anti-Americanism 'feels like racism'
Ms Cox, 29, says she has been called, among other things, "terrorist", "scum", "low life", and feels that she is constantly being held to account for the actions of President Bush and for US
foreign policy...

...She has travelled widely in other parts of Europe, Mexico, Canada and Australia but says this is the first time her pride in her country has been challenged in such a vitriolic way.

"People would make jokes about Americans but I didn't experience the pure hatred I have had since I came to live here.


This is followed by some online Vox-pop that is enlightening. One suggestion made was:
You can always ask them if they've ever voted for Tony Blair.


another that caught the eye was:
It is little wonder that there is such a dislike and misunderstanding of Americans and American foreign policy when you consider the thread of anti-Americanism that runs through almost every related story that the BBC presents. Who do you think you are?
Eddie Chalmers, Dundee, UK


Gorse Fox will not give airspace to the more rabid, negative comments.

Gorse Fox submitted his view, but doubts it will see the light of day... guess why.
I'm not American but I too am fed up with the snide ignorant jibes of the trendy liberal left. America has been and continues to be a net benefit to the world and its economy. In general the people are open, hard-working, intelligent, and friendly.

Unfortunately the bias from the media - and I would accuse the BBC as being the worst culprit - only seems to report the negative side of any story featuring the US.

I do not agree with everything the US does, but I could say the same of the UK, France, Germany, Iran and so forth. I would not, however, pillory and abuse their citizens for collective shortcomings. Strange how Political Correctness works when you abuse the Welsh, but not when you abuse the Americans. Utter hypocrisy.

[File under: ]

On Deck

Silver Vixen wants a deck covering and extending the east patio. Gorse Fox has drawn his plans... and now needs to create the foundation of such a structure... he is now off to do battle with tape measure, pick-axe and shovel.

[File under: ]

Pensions

Gorse Fox was thrilled to be reminded by Litllejohn in the Daily Mail:
"...that Gordon Brown - who is taking £7.3 billion a year out of private pension funds - can look forward to a £100,000-a-year-retirement income, at today's prices, paid for out of our taxes.

And if he was to receive such a huge pension in the private sector, it would require a pot of more than £3 million and would attract tax at a penal 55 per cent."

Gorse Fox cannot adequately express his contempt.

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox just installed latest security fix from Microsoft... can no longer access his home network from his desktop machine... and can no longer share his printer... and even looks as if he may not be able to access the web from said machine.

Be warned. Murphy works for Microsoft.

[File under: ]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Silver Vixen has taken the cubs. They are having a girly afternoon. Urban-cub's wedding dress has arrived at the bridal shop.... so they are going to check it all out and pay for it. As the GF said, "girly stuff".

[File under: ]
According to a headline in the Times Online today "Godfather was betrayed by need for clean pants". How many times do you hear that one!

[File under: ]
Gorse Fox took dinner with Graham Norton & Thelonious on Tuesday night. Subjects discussed were both wide, varied, and of course significant! One story, related by Thelonious made the GF chuckle:
"I used to go out with a vegetarian. To impress her, I even joined her in a nut roast for Christmas. What really pissed me off though was the cat sitting by the table eating prime steak."


[File under: ]

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

ABS

Gorse Fox thanks the geek who came up with ABS braking. He has just been driving back from Worcester and withing 7 miles of home had to rely on the technology.

Gorse Fox set cruise at 70
A Pillock decides to pull across dual carriageway in front of him
Gorse Fox stands up on brakes
Gorse Fox stops without making contact - somehow
All car drivers arround him stand on brakes
Cars are skidding and slewing everywhere
Pillock continues as if nothing has happened
Gorse Fox opens car window to disperse aromatic interior


[File under: ]

Pinball

Well that was a day! Gorse Fox now thinks he knows what a pinball feels like. From first thing there have been conference calls, interruptions, summons, discussions, interruption, more conf(interruptions)erence calls.

[File under: ]

Test

This is a test post from the Gorse Fox's new whizzy phone.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Gorse Fox left the bright dawn of Sussex and traversed the country to the rain and gloom that was Worcester this morning. Stange as it my seem to some, it was nice to be back catching up with the GF's teams and all of the excitement of the last few weeks. Unfortunately it was also a case of catching up with the impact that the trolls have had whilst GF has been away.

Cousteau-cub has started her journey home from Thailand... and Silver Vixen has spoken to her several times today - the first time whilst she was on the boat to Phuket, the second whilst she was negotiating heavy traffic but finally managed to chat with her and is planning to meet her at the airport in the morning.

[File under: ]

Monday, April 10, 2006

Buffalo Theory

With thanks to Old Father Time who reminded the Goirse Fox of this classic wisdom from "Cheers":

One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Here's how it went:

"Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

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Why does the Gorse Fox get problems with his VPN when he has the biggest backlog of work to get through?
Is it illegal to break Murphy's Law?

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gorse Fox may have been away for two weeks, but how can he have accumulated 594 emails on his work email account?

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Retro-blogging

A little retro-blogging is going on. Gorse Fox is slowly inserting some illustrative photos covering the past couple of weeks' entries. (It's nice to get back to fast internet links)

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Goodbyes, quick check-in, A300, early landing... and next thing we know the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox are back in West Sussex being greeted by Urban-cub.

Great holiday, but as always, it's nce to be home.

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It's not easy preparing to fly home when this is the view that greets you as you wander round the complex. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox returned to Restarant Los Abrigos for the final night of the holiday. Again the food was superb. SV had the prawns again, but GF went for sea bream.

The food was superb, and again GF gives his strongest recommendation. Posted by Picasa
The south and the south east coast were hot and clear, the rest of the island appears shrouded in low cloud. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen continued their relentless pursuit of nothing... nada... relaxation.

An early morning foray to the shop brought the daily paper confirming the text mesg GF had received yesterday regarding a suspect dead swan in North Britain. No doubt that will be causing his colleagues a little disruption.

GF enjoys sitting and watching the world go by... and reflecting on the people he sees and hears. Last night he overheard a foursome at the next table who were almost self-lampooning caricatures. They hailed from Southport and spent the evening
  • Talking loudly so that other conversations were drowned out.
  • Saying how cheap it was to eat out at 70E per couple per night
  • Say how much they missed ASDA whilst here
  • Comparing the injuries they have acquired whilst drunk
  • Explianing the only food shopping they do is for bread and cereals, as when they get home from work they have a couple of pints then "go out on the lash"
  • Compared experiences of waking up in their or their neighbours front gardens "after a bit of a sesh".
and so it went on.

Gorse Fox cannot help but reflect on a) how boring his life must seem; b) how happy he is with that; and b) how lucky that fact is.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The cloudbank was moving north and east as the setting sun caught its trailing edge. Posted by Picasa
As the last few days of the holiday accelerate away like a descending elevator without brakes... squeezing the last ounces of relaxation out of the time becomes more important.

In a concerted effort to do as little as possible, the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox spent a quiet day with books, sitting out in the sub-tropical sunshine. A frisson of activity interrupted the reading when we had to stroll to the pool bar for some light lunch and a jug of sangria... but we soon got over it.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fine ceramic tiles decorate the front of this house and brighten up the street. The house (or maybe shop) looked pretty deserted, though the open windows gave lie to that. Posted by Picasa
Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox zigged and zagged through the town without specifically heading for anywhere. The small side street opened up and there at the top of some steps was this bronze Posted by Picasa
One of the parks that are spread throughout the older part of the town Posted by Picasa
Not quite Las Ramblas but one of the many streets leading up from the port Posted by Picasa
Santa Cruz nestles at the foot of the Mountains of Anaga Posted by Picasa
Heavy grey clouds filled the eastern sky as the sun rose over southern Tenerife. Not being certain of the weather the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox decided to head north and mooch around Santa Cruz.

As the explorers headed north it became clear that it was not going to be clear. The cloud covered most of the island, but at least it was still dry and the temperatures were still in the 20s. The first foray into the town was fruitless. Gorse Fox had parked at a big department store and as they started to explore, it became clear this was not in the centre of town. Have wandered about on the periphery for a while, they returned to base camp (the department store) and bought a map!

Moving on the car was repositioned in the car park by the docks, and the exploration continued in the old part of the town. Strret cafes spilled onto the pavements and narrow streets radited up from the port. The Plaza de Espana was being resurfaced and looked like a bulding site, but it was clear that it would make a great meeting place in the future. Whilst Santa Cruz would not make it onto GF's list of top ten cities of the world, it did have a quaint charm (in the older quarter) and some magnificent buildings.

The cloud never lifted, and the greyness flattened the colours of the surroundings. This was not a flattering day on which to visit a sub-tropical city for the first time.

By mid-afternoon we decided to head back to the south. There we found that we were right on the trailing edge of the cloud bank, and were able to sit in the warm afternoon sunshine and enjoy!

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox were reminded that Cousteau-cub was diving with Whelk this week in Thailand by the sight of these divers at Las Galletas preparing for their adventure. Posted by Picasa

Hissed off

A strange day for the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox.

Initial plans were to visit Palm Mar, then Las Galletas, then walk along the Costa Silencio. It all started well - the developments at Palm Mar do not seem to have moved on since last year, but friends tel us that they are very nice and also expensive. After a vrief tour, we moved on.

Las Galletas is a nice fishing town. It is istill predominantly inhabited by locals - not the inevitable incomers that have invaded so much of soutern Tenerife. Fishing boats were still selling their catch direct from the harbour wall as we went by. Much of the urban renewal that was evident last year has come to fruitition and there are nice clean walkways and boulevards where last year there were bulldozers and piles of rubble.

Costa Silencio was next on the agenda, and after a few moments we realised we had vistied this last year. This is a quiet tourist village with a wide spectrum of properties ranging from grotesque 1960's Gulag-style apartments to exclusive very attractive developments of fine houses with gardens and underground garages.

We then started to head back and GF took a turning earlier than planned, and decided to follow it to see where it went. This was a mistake. The road ran parallel to the autopista then looped under the road and up a gorge on the other side. The inquisitive side of GF's nature got the better of him and he followed it across a small bridge over the barranco and off between the banana plantations.

GF mentioned earlier in the week about the damage the winter rains had caused to the roads, and the huge potholes that spread like a rash across the Island. Driving between the plantations, GF found the mother of all potholes. There was no way to avoid it so we bumbed our way through. An ominous hissing became immediately evident. The confluence of wheel rim against tarmac, under the influence of both gravity and momentum had proved too much. Air was rapidly leaking from the tyre so GF had to stop. Fortunately all Patricia's cars are well maintained, so there was a spare in the trunk... though it was one of these confounded "get you home tyres". With the wheel soon fixed we abandoned plans for any further exploration and went back to the complex. GF explained what had hapened to Jose, and bBy late afternoon, Jose had knocked to say everything was fixed.

The other stange thing for the day was GF's whizzy new phone. It has sat there quietly fro the last 10 days... but today it started to make strange noises. Examining it, it has become clear that it has started downloading GF's email from work... a temptation to which he will not succumb!

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Installation art along the Geranium Walk frames the surf. Posted by Picasa
Surfers make their way out through the Atlantic rollers Posted by Picasa

Geeks

The geek sat down at a table across from the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox. There was no doubt that he was a geek. His friend looked normal, and had probably convinced the geek to emerge from his bedroom computer suite because it would do him some good. He sat there in sunshine, blinking in the brightness and looking confused by the scantily clad bodies that were walking by. Life isn't like that when viewed through the glow of a bank of computer monitors.

This got the Gorse Fox thinking. He admits that he probably fits into the genus of Geek, within the overall taxonomy of humankind. But, he wonders, what did geeks do in the years BC (before computers). The late 20th and early 21st century have given purpose and form to life as a geek. The computer industry is founded on them... but what happend to people with the geek-gene before that? Not everyone could live a life of science oin the halls of academe. Not everyone could become an accountant (after all, even geeks have personalities - however limited). They could not enter Law, as geeks tend to be honest and trusting. Gorse Fox assumes thay just existed bookish lives doing unfulfilling jobs...

This reverie came to end as the Geek got up, and led by his friend made his way towards the beach. At first Gorse Fox thought the smile on his face was the result of the topless sunbathers ranged out before him... then it became clear, it was the sheer volume of silicon between his toes, it must have been like walking on the mother lode.

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The day started hot. By late morning the usual temperate warmth was more tangibly crispy. The south coast of the island and the views up to the mountain were crystal clear.

After yesterday's touring, another walk was called for, and so the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox decided to head from Los Christianos. We bumped into Malcolm as we went to retrieve the car. Malcolm has been the trusty chap who looks after the hire cars, first for Jack, and more lately for Patricia. He only works part-time now, but was eager to talk and regaled us with tales of some of the people who have rented their cars over the years. The one that stuck in the mind of the Gorse Fox was the Irishman who had driven up to El Teide and then come back down the mountain relying on brakes alone (no engine braking)... and got cross when the brakes faded. On those hairpins and unprotected drops he's damned lucky to have survived.

We headed the 13km round the corner of the Island onto the west coast. The temperature, which had been 31C in the south dropped 6 degrees as we crested a rise and turned onto the west coast. Thought unplanned, this would be far more comfortable for the walk.

This whole stretch of coast is fringed by the Geranium Walk, which starts at one end of Los Christianos and continues through Playa las Americas, Torviscas, and on to la Caleta. We strolled along the front, watching the surfers frolic in the waves and headed up the coast a way. This walk can be a bit like running the gauntlet for reps trying to sell everything from cameras, sunglasses, restaurants, cheap flights, cheap phone calls, and even Thai massage. Gorse Fox thought about this ast offer, but remembered that he hadn't packed a tie - so that was out.

We stopped at a favoured restaurant as we retraced our steps. It was here that we saw the Geek (q.v.).

Back on the south coast the temerature had reached 32C so we spend a quiet afternoon reading in the garden.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Further round, the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox stopped by Los Roques de Garcia.

This outcrop of rocks nestles in the middle of the national park in the shadow of the almost snow-free side of El Teide. Teide is the most extreme example of the volcanic growth out of the fissures that caused the collapse of the original island. Posted by Picasa
The massive wall of Las Canadas, part of the earliest rock formation of the island. Posted by Picasa
Volcanic detritus litters the floor of Las Canadas.

The original huge mass of the island was flawed by huge fissures. In the end vast portions of the island collapsed down into the sea. The wall at the back of this picture is part of the original island formation.

The fissures that caused the collapse were weaknesses in the earth's crust and caused an upwelling of magma and the formation of the volcanoes and the remains that we see now. Posted by Picasa
On TF24, heading towards Las Canadas and El Teide.

There are several "miradors" along the way where you can get wonderful views of the east coast, the west coast, or Mt. Teide. Over the years the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox have stopped at them all... but there are some we particularly like. Posted by Picasa
The jagged northern coast, continually attacked by the Altantic has yielded its softer rock, and left this rock arch. Posted by Picasa
The steep sided valley, topped with low cloud, almost looked like a location for Lord of the Rings. It was very atmospheric and almost imparted a feeling of foreboding, yet intrigue to explore. Posted by Picasa

Punta del Hidaldgo

Though overcast, it was still pleasantly warm as the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox parked the car just beyond Punta del Hidalgo and set out to see where the paths took us. Posted by Picasa