Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lunch


Lunch
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The plan for Sunday had been to head for sunny Berkshire and have lunch with the Gorse Fox's sister and her family. The journey, though not that far, seemed interminable - not helped by the wet weather.

We had a splendid feast and then settled down to peer through loads of new photos on the computer and old photos in albums (still looking for evidence that 1996 actually happened - GF has no family photos from that year, and it would appear neither does his sister).

We also spent some time coming to grips with Mask's "Rock Legends III" - which takes air guitar to a new level. Great fun, and both Mask and Blade were very good - and it even included a track by Mountain (a band that Cousteau-cub and the Gorse Fox had been discussing only last night).

Lovely day - despite torrential rain throughout.

Rattling

An ominous thunder is rolling back and forth along the coast. Not the usual clap that shakes the senses, but rather a long ominous rumble that sounds like a fleet of 40-ton trucks driving into "The Gorse". A steady rain is falling and though well past eight, it is still very dark.

The Gorse Fox assumes that yesterday was summer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Serenade

BBQ over, dishwasher on... we sit in the garden listening to the live music drifting across from a neighbour's garden. Not sure who the artist is but seems to be immensely talented and provides a huge repertoire from Dire Straits to the Shadows and just about everyone in between.

Scramble

What a strange afternoon. The Gorse Fox and his whole family sitting quietly in the garden chatting as the sun beat down. The silence only interrupted by a Messerschmidt and five Spitfires.

Typical summers day really!

Mischief


Mischief
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Signs of the Times The Gorse Fox thinks that there has been mischief afoot. He found these neatly lined up signs at the corner of Hythe Avenue and Grand Avenue in Worthing. Whatever you may think of the vandalism involved, at least they were neat and tidy in their disposal of the displaced signs.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cow gets head stuck in washing machine - Telegraph

Cow gets head stuck in washing machine

Now that's not a headline you see every day. The Gorse Fox assumes the cow was being Bold and was Daz-zled by the machine and having taken, at first, and Aeriel view he though it would be a Comfort to get a closer look.

Delete

The Gorse Fox asks himself if all Microsoft products are the spawn of the devil or whether they just pick on him to make life difficult. Today's succubus was MS Project... it's not that it's broken it's more that it is malevolent in the way in which the action of the delete key changes its action depending on its context.

Thinking about it, the Gorse Fox is willing to bet that the author probably listened to Country & Western music as well.

The Gray Monk: President Brown .....

The Gray Monk: President Brown .....
possibly the best post the Gorse Fox has seen this year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Late and irritable

It was late before the Gorse Fox got back to the South Coast. Meeting had run on and he was late leaving the office. He was also irritable. He's been put under pressure for weeks to get additional resources in place - and now that he has some people lined up there are debates over whether we really need this person or that person.

As he left the meeting he noticed the virtual cat skulking away realising that if it got too close it would get a sound kicking.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not a lot

It has been a frustrating day. Various meetings, various telephone
calls and interrupts and one major problem that the Gorse Fox has not
managed to solve yet. The problem lies not with the technological
underpinnings of the design, but rather the way in which the
management information needs to be reported... and the risk of
creating inconsistent views of that data,

The plan for the evening involves the consumption of fine Indian curry.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Honesty in Advertising

So the Gorse Fox went to the canteen as his normal purveyor of baguette based consumables was closed.

He examined the menu and made up his mind to try the vegetable lasagne. It met its trade description. It was a bowl full of peas with a lasagne topping.

Some people really know how to live it up!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Can't wait

The Gorse Fox cannot wait for the latest guide from Arun DC. It appears, according to The Telegraph, that neighbouring Chichester District Council have published a document, which is distributed to all staff and council members, but is not a rulebook but rather a guide to help staff and members find the correct words.

Oh sorry, did the Gorse Fox not explain - it's the latest directory of PC Speak. Phrases that are now considered offensive:
The man in the street
Manning the switchboard
Old woman
Old fool
Old codger
Pah!

Political Correctness is a cancer gnawing at the heart of the English language. The Gorse Fox will not be assimilated. Treat everyone(*) with respect and use the English language as it was meant to be used. If someone is old and female she is an old woman. If someone is hung up on political correctness they are an old fool.

If Arun DC publish something in a similar vein the Gorse Fox will complain at the waste of his Council Tax.

(*)Except the people that have so little intellect and so little to fill their lives that they worry about Politically Correct phraseology.

Sands

The Gorse Fox and the local council have long been concerned about the loss of sand from our beach. Bedrock (chalk and clay) can clearly be seen at low tide, where once there was sand. Marks on the breakwaters show that we have lost nearly a metre in the last year or two.

The Council has been looking into this and one possible culprit was identified as offshore dredging on the Ower Banks. Discussion with the Crown Estate this week seem to have discounted this - and several hours of reading of reports and forum entries (from Haipsburgh) have made for an interesting afternoon.

The Gorse Fox is fairly convinced that the dredging is not the cause. The shape of the shallow bay and recent wind conditions make him believe that longshore drift is a far more likely cause.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lazy

The Gorse Fox had to get Cousteau-cub to the railway station early this morning. She was off to meet up with some friends from Phi Phi for a couple of days. The weather was grey and damp with a penetrating drizzle covering the coast.

By late morning the weather had changed and we were bathed in glorious sunshine but a certain laziness had set in. We watched the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, which was spectacular, China have certainly stage managed a brilliant games. It was good to see so many World and Olympic records broken - yet so few drug scandals (6 the GF had heard).

GF, though initially uninterested, was delighted with the Team GB performance - particularly as they beat the Aussies.

The handover of the flag to Boris went smoothly and the segment with the London Bus amused the Gorse Fox as the dancers waiting by the bus stop hurled their newspapers away to celebrate the British habit of littering. It won't come as a surprise that the highlight for the Gorse Fox was Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis's set. GF wonders if she will make guest appearances on the LZ's next tour - if it ever happens.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

SIlk

With a cackle and a screech and a blur of flowing black silk the Silver Vixen's friends swooped in to drop her off and sip some brimstone before launching back into the skies over Sussex. There were some worried looking newts about, and GF saw two bats with white sticks stumbling from the kitchen.

They had had a good day disrupting the normality of Selsey and swooping aimlessly around and around the various roads that should have brought them home. There had been reports of UCPs(*) but they left before anyone had time to investigate.

(*)Unidentified Cackling Patchworkers

Shredding


23/08/2008
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The skip was not quite as large as the Gorse Fox expected. The pile of ex-tree, however, was huge. There was only one thing for it: Shred the smaller material so that it would pack down nicely.

Fortunately Cousteau-cub was on hand to help and for six and half hours we chopped, cut, and shredded bit of tree.

Branching out

The Silver Vixen is awaiting the arrival of several fellow members of the coven. The plan is for them to take a single broomstick (thus reducing their combined besom footprint) across to an event at Selsey.

The Gorse Fox will be left to his own devices.

Unfortunately those devices involve the translocation of last weekend's removed trees from the south east corner of the garden to a skip on the north-west drive. This, in turn, may require judicious use of the shredder to ensure that everything fits in the medium sized dumpster.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Terms and Conditions

The Gorse Fox has just received and email containing the following - (as usual, he acknowledges the original author, who ever that may be)
EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2008

NEW OFFICE POLICY

Dress Code:
  1. You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.
  2. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.
  3. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.
  4. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.
Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to
allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the 'Chronic Offenders' category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.

Lunch Break:
  • Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.
  • Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
  • Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management
Pass this on to all who are employed!

Making the Grade

We heard last night that The Mask had received his GCSE results... and scrpaed through with 3 A-stars and 8 As. Obviously a slacker, eh!
Congratulations.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PM

The Gorse Fox spent much of the day working with project managers to get some shape on the work that has to be achieved over the next few months. He can assure you, he has not sold his soul to the devil. It was a practical necessity. He will have to complete this work in the morning, when he can work uninterrupted at home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All out

The Mexican's wife reminded the Gorse Fox of the heady days of the 70's when the Unions ruled the workplace and were intent on self destruction. She recalled how they would be called out on strike for the smallest reason, but the best was when it was too cold in the factory (the Gorse Fox seems to remember there was a trigger temperature of about 68F) - so they would march out and stand in the rain and snow for several hours in protest. Doh!

Serenade

The Gorse Fox finds it a little disconcerting to sit in his room at
the hotel, watching TV but being serenaded by the chap in the next
room.

At this point it is not irritating... hopefully he will shut up soon.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

WR1

The Gorse Fox left home a few minutes after five this morning. It was
still dark but the roads were quiet...

At least until Air Baloon hill where a truck had broken down on the
hill and the Gorse Fox lost about 40 minutes while the police sorted
it out.

In the office it was a frantic day with people queueing to get
information from GF... and several meetings requiring his utmost
attention.

Plan is a quiet (and early) Chinese meal tonight with Deep Blue and
the Mexican's wife.

--
Sent from Google Mail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just Big and Green

A trip up the A24 took us near Horsham to visit Architectural Plants.

What a place!

This centre concentrates on the development and sale of some stunning specimens of the more unuasual (and often larger) plants. We had heard it mentioned on various TV shows, but this was the first visit - and it was well worth the trip.

Needless to say we were unable to leave without a suitable purchase... but that was no problem in this case as it did fit in the car.
Posted by Picasa

35 and counting

It was 35 years ago today that the Silver Vixen was daft enough to marry the Gorse Fox. As is traditional, GF has the day off so that we can spend the day together. The weather looks a little suspect and there is a gale blowing across the south coast so we are heading inland.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wildlife

The next couple of hours was spent wandering around the Bright Sea Life Centre, which (with two free tickets) was excellent value for money.

This Lion Fish was caught by Cousteau-cub making eyes at its own reflection.
Posted by Picasa

Brighton

It was a windy but clear day. With the whole family on holiday today it was decided that a trip to Brighton was called for.

The old West Pier is still looking forlorn as its skeletal remains try to resist the continual pounding of the sea.

A few old fishing boats line the promenade. They are probably more decorative than utilitarian nowadays. They still look serene as they bask in the morning sun at the top of the pebbled beach.

Urban-cub, the Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub posed briefly against the summer sky. It's so nice to have the whole family together.

Whilst in the car, with the cubs sitting in their traditional seats (Urban behind the Silver Vixen, Cousteau behind the Gorse Fox) GF threatened to take them down to Cornwall - just like in the old days. And "No, we are not nearly there yet".

A slighly unusual angle for this photo of the pier.
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There's an idea...

Let's stitch up the motorist. A quick recap...
  • People are finding it difficult to pay for the fuel they need to get to work
  • People are about to find their annual road tax doubled on cars bought sine 2001 (despite initial promises they wouldn't)
  • People can't boorow money to buy cheaper cars because of the credit crunch
  • The second hand value of their existing cars has plummeted because of the road tax price hike
Now we learn from the The Telegraph "Spy-in-the-sky" paves way for road pricing".

Theresa Villiers, the shadow Transport Secretary, said: "It seems that Labour's unpopular plans for a national road pricing scheme are alive and well.

"They are determined to press ahead with their untried and untested spy-in-the-sky national project even though it looks like an IT disaster waiting to happen. Ruth Kelly should start listening to drivers and scrap these pilots for a national road pricing scheme that is unnecessary and unwanted."

It should come as no surprise that

British motorists already pay some of the highest taxes in the world and with Government finances under severe pressure the pay-as-you-drive scheme could prove a valuable source of extra revenue for the Treasury.

And in case you were in any doubt as to the reason for all this:

It is understood that there is greater enthusiasm in the Treasury than the Department for Transport for road pricing.

When the scheme was first floated by the Blair administration 1.8 million people signed a petition on the Downing Street website calling on the Government to abandon the scheme. But since when has the population had any say in our Parliamentary Democracy.

The Gorse Fox wonders who in their right minds would drive in the most congested areas at the most congested times out of choice. People do it because they have little or no choice and therefore this proposed taxation is just punitive with little hope of changing the degree of congestion

Stats

Upgrading the blog template yesterday, Gorse Fox had lost some of his statistics. He has now worked out how to re-instate the various counters so all is well again in the State of Denmark County or West Sussex

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rubble

Despite the weather forecast it was a nice day again. Betty and Barney Rubble came down from the Midlands (well, Basing) to visit us at the coast. Lunch was taken at the Spotted Cow(*) which, though busy, was very good.

A stroll around the nearby garden centre ensued, and then once back home a further stroll along the beach.

A gentle day, in summary.

(*) Despite the Gorse Fox's increasing knowledge of endemic and exotic diseases of animals, he is thus far unable to recognize the reason for said spots!

Headlines

In a typically supportive way the Gorse Fox notices that the headline in the Time Online refers to "Paula Radcliffe fails in Olympic Marathon Bid".

The Gorse Fox begs to differ - anyone that has made the qualifying grade, turned up, and completed the course has not failed. They may not have won, but they did not fail.

Euphemisms

Reading the Olympic coverage this morning, the Gorse Fox notices that "plucky" is now an accepted euphemism for "loser"... if that loser happens to be a media favourite.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Always wary...

Always wary of potential attack, Cousteau-cub camouflaged herself when we stopped for a break. You can never be too sure whether natives with poison darts may emerge from the forest.
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Incognito


Incognito
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The Silver Vixen had decided that the Euonymous trees (once shrubs) in the bottom corner of the garden had to go.

With Cousteau-cub at home and adopting her alter ego persona of Demolition Girl this was going to be a busy and fun day.

The Gorse Fox ascended to the the canopy among the howler monkeys and exotic birds. (Ok this bit may not be quite accurate, but he's always wanted to visit the Amazon rain forest).Once up there among the branches he started to hack just as Cousteau-snipped, sawed, and pruned.

According to...

the Mail British motorists are "overcharged by £1" every time they fill up.

Surely not. Do you mean to say that oil companies have learned a lesson from the tax man and recognised that the motorist is a cash cow?

Now let the Gorse Fox spell this out again:
  • 50 litres of petrol costs, at present, £57.95
  • Of this, £24.15 goes to the oil companies and the petrol station
  • and £33.80 goes to the tax man
So who is it that is ripping-off the motorist?

Friday, August 15, 2008

TGIF

Well it has been a strange week. The work load has been increasing all week, but the Gorse Fox has been told to recruit help - but being August that is easier said than done. He has finally sent out the next release of his design for the next part of the programme. He has consolidated the outstanding design questions (only 255), and started to try catching up with outstanding emails.

Despite this, the fact that he has had the last couple of days at home has helped hugely as he has been able to concentrate on moving things forward.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Council

The Gorse Fox chaired the Parish's Planning Meeting. Usual sort of coverage... and a couple of members of the Parish turning up to make representations.

It always interests the Gorse Fox how different people approach things in different ways. One petitioner was quiet, respectful and armed with facts and scientific references - the other was strident, rude, and offered little but bluster and emotion and a misunderstanding of what was to be discussed (though, to be fair, the Agenda may have been misleading). He finds this latter approach tantamount to (attempted) bullying. It's funny, but the reaction the Gorse Fox has to fight in such situations is the almost irresistible urge to to do the complete opposite of what such a person wants (even if it coincides with what he wants).

Despite this the meeting was over in a couple of hours and was, in general, conducted with good humour.

Slinky

The Gorse Fox just received an email with this closing thought:
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES - NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.
It's a thought !!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

End to end

It has been one of those end to end days where meetings and interrupts have got in the way of any focussed work. GF has now headed back south to spend the next couple of days working at home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lifeblog post


Lifeblog post
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
It was a very quiet night in Worcester. None of the usual crowd were out and about, primarily due to holidays, but also other commitments.Pizza Express was a little more busy - and very noisy. Gorse Fox enjoyed his meal but was glad to get back to the peace and quiet of the hotel.

Done

The second day of the workshop completed, Gorse Fox headed off to Worcester to log on and try to catch up with a couple of days of email.

The hotel seems to be full of American/Canadian schoolchildren who are over here participating in a Choir Festival. (A bit like the Olympics but without the smog and 600 people from the BBC).

Monday, August 11, 2008

CV5

Monday morning has seen a gentle drive through West Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire to the outskirts of Coventry for a couple of days of workshops at the University (again).

The focus is predominantly planning and shaping rather than design.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunstrip


Sunstrip
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The beach at Kingston Gorse. Out at sea a bank of cloud rumbles along the channel. To the north, a further bank of cloud hugs the South Downs, but we are basking in our own micro-climate. It's very windy, but quite warm.

Happy Birthday

It was 30 years ago today that the population of the world was first graced with the presence of Urban-cub.

She has been a delight ever since.

Happy Birthday
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Unreasonable

It is utterly unreasonable that the paper boy does not adjust his delivery times to suit the variations in the Gorse Fox's habits. He should know that GF has arisen early on Sunday and deliver accordingly.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hens

It's Urban-cub's birthday weekend (though the big day isn't until tomorrow). With Loopy Lou, the Princess and Cousteau-cub she is heading up to London to take in a show and harass all and sundry before an overnight stay and return tomorrow.

We will, of course, be keeping a weather eye on the news to determine the level chaos that they create in their wake.

Friday, August 08, 2008

‘Fakeproof’ e-passport is cloned in minutes - Times Online

According to the Times Online ‘Fakeproof’ e-passport is cloned in minutes... so those 3000 passports that were stolen in transit last week are not useless as we were assured by the Home Office. We learn that
Using his own software, a publicly available programming code, a £40 card reader and two £10 RFID chips, Mr van Beek took less than an hour to clone and manipulate two passport chips to a level at which they were ready to be planted inside fake or stolen paper passports.
So it is not even a major effort investment. Wouldn't it be nice if just once the Government would actually tell us the truth about something instead of burying their collective heads in the sand and assuring us that all was well under control.

Of course "Id Cards" will be alright. Tosh and piffle. The ex-CIA agent who was famous for his fraudulent escapades (and the subject of a film with Leonardo Di Caprio) has already poured water on that one and said that they will be cloned within weeks of availability.

Gadgets

Those who know the Gorse Fox will realise that he he is likes bright shiny gadgets.

This is the latest gadget - a small foldaway keyboard that he can use in conjunction with his mobile phone. Now, a QWERTY keyboard is not a traditional accessory for a phone, but as this phone also provides internet access, the ability to write notes, the ability to write to his blog and so forth, a proper keyboard is actually a very useful addition.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Choices

The Gorse Fox was making adequate progress along the highways of the south whilst listening to various podcasts. Warning signs indicated trouble on the M27 and as he approached the last few miles of the M3 it was clear that the knock on effect was rippling outwards.

Simple choice - stay in the queue or cut through Eastliegh.

Wrong choice would be to cut through Eastliegh, he found out in retrospect. Eastliegh had roadworks in progress and major diversion. The roads were almost gridlocked.

GF eventually escaped.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Blindfold

And so it came to pass that the Gorse Fox arrived at Spur 0 in order to bid adieu to Andrex. It turned out that he was busy playing chess with a blindfolded DeepBlue. The contest waa Express had a queue stretching out into the street so we headed on to the tapas resyaurants interesting, though brief. Deep Blue took the game in about 10-15 minutes.

Gorse Fox headed off with two senior members from the client in order to grab some food. Pizza Express had a queue tretching out into the street so we headed onwards to the tapas restaurant. As usual this was excellent value for money and the food was superb.

Back at Spur 0 (where they had called in a take-away), GF was interrogated as to why he kept a blog (for fun, and to let off steam, and to keep the family up to date), and then became the possible target of a drinking game, 'Iron Man'. Deciding he was probably more like Rust Man, he bid his fond farewells and slid out into the night.
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Hurry along now

Not much to report - fairly typical and busy day. Though the Gorse Fox can report that Andrex (his paparazzo) has provided some video of last night's entertainment from spur 0. It is being uploaded to YouTube as we speak but could be featured (as xrr puts it) on the next episode of "When Architects Go Bad".

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lifeblog post


Lifeblog post
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
This is just a test entry featuring the cubs and checking lifeblog feature on the phone itself as opposed to using it through the PC

In the dark

It was depressing to get up this morning for the Gorse Fox's drive to Worcester and realize that it was still dark, and that he needed to use the light in the bathroom for the first time in in weeks. Even when he left the sun had not clambered above the horizon... though the eastern sky was beginning to turn red.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Trap Sprung


Trap Sprung
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Tha trap was sprung - Urban-cub entered like a whirlwind as usual and sat down to tell us about her day and her plans for the week. Mid-flow, Cousteau-cub wandered in and enquired if she wanted to pop outside for a smoke....There was a loud squeal... and a second or two later the tissues were passed round as the emotions exploded.The Gorse Fox loves it when a plan comes together.

Home at last


Home at last
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Well the big secret that has been tormenting us since Easter is that Cousteau-cub has come home from Thailand in time for urban-cub's 30th at the weekend. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen headed up to Heathrow first thing this morning to meet her... and then to decide how best to spring the surprise.It was so lovely to see her after so long... and stop pretending that it would be another few weeks before she got home.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back garden


Back garden
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Random photograph taken this morning to test a geo-tagging feature on the phone. GF is not quite sure how well it works, but this was a way of testing it.

Update: the geo-tag did not seem to get registered automatically on Flickr, but the Gorse Fox has subsequently realised that there was a setting he needed to switch on in his Flickr profile.
The geo-tag shows up just fine in Google Earth via Picasa.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

More tapping

The Silver Vixen has been out at her coven during the day - harassing, no doubt, the menfolk of Worthing.

The Gorse Fox has spent a riveting day at the computer polishing the material that he plans to submit to Starfleet for their deliberations on his future. This is another one of the processes that haunts the Gorse Fox.

Talking of processes... GF had to deal with Starfleet at its best yesterday. It went something like this:
GF had to return the laptop of a an employee who was leaving the company. He asked what had to be done... "Take it down to deployment as you are in Starfleet on Thames" came the response.

Gorse Fox walked down to Deployment. "Hello, my man. I have a laptop that I wish to return" he explained.

"What's your returns number?" shot the reply from a man with piercing eyes and pointy little beard.

"I do not have a returns number. Where do I get one" responded the Gorse Fox. It was then explained that there was an online form to complete, and that would reveal a returns number. Gorse Fox returned to his desk, with the laptop, and passed this news on to his assistant who kindly filled in said form and told him the returns number.

Gorse Fox returned to the Deployment department.

"Hello, my man." quoth he "I wish to return this laptop, as its owner is no more. is bereft of company status, and has gone over to the dark side. My returns number is xxxxxx"

A withering look pierced the air. "Have you only just got that number?" said the person behind the eyeballs. The Gorse Fox replied in the affirmative. "Well it's not valid for 24 hours you'll have to come back on Monday"

The Gorse Fox had no intention of coming back on Monday. It was clear, however, that the person behind the eyeballs and pointy little beard had no authority to react to the conditions, so GF returned to his office and picked up the phone to call the part of Starfleet that owns the process.

"Hello, my man, sorry Madam; I should like to speak to the department head." There was a sharp intake of breath. "Can I help?" she said.

The Gorse Fox explained his predicament. The woman at the other end of the phone was most sympathetic and said "there's nothing we can do - the process is run from the US".

The Gorse Fox decided it was time to dig his heels in. "Let me put it this way. I am not walking out of this building with the laptop. Can I leave it with reception?"

"No" she said "not without an authorised returns number, and that takes 24 hours".

"Can I leave it with the Post Room?"

"No" she said "not without an authorised returns number, and that takes 24 hours".

"Can I leave it with security?"

"No" she said "not without an authorised returns number, and that takes 24 hours".

"Well" said the Gorse Fox "I'm leaving to get my train, I am not taking it with me, I will just leave it here on the desk"

"You can't do that" she said.

"Watch me" he said.

There was a pause and Gorse Fox was asked to wait while the line went on hold. The phone played Handels Water Music but then after a few minutes she came back on the line.

"I'll tell you what - take it down to deployment. I've just phoned the man with the piercing eyes and pointy little beard and told him to accept it"
.

GF thanked her profusely and returned the laptop to Deployment. All was well in the world. The fabric of the Universe had not been ripped asunder by the breaking of the process.

It was a victory. A small one. But still a victory.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Mulberry


Mulberry
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
To round off the day the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen drove through the hordes of hooray henriettas leaving Goodwood and headed for Ramsnest where they met up with GF's sister and brother-in-law for a splendid meal at the Mulberry Bar and Grill.

We had tried it out a couple of months ago and been so impressed that we thought a return trip was warranted.We were not disappointed. The service was attentive without being obtrusive, and the simple menu was excellent.

We heard all about Sis's family trip (with Mask and Blade) to Florida and saw some of the photos. It's 19 years since the Gorse Fox took his family there... and though much has changed, the main attractions are still there and have been augmented by new ones.

Though a late night by our standards - it was a really enjoyable evening and we plan to arrange another in the next couple of months.

Diddly-dum diddly-dum diddly-dum

Well that's not strictly a very good title as the new welded rails don't cause the background paradiddle that old trains delivered. Be that as it may, GF managed to spend the time on the train reviewing documents on his way to Starfleet on Thames. The train was surprisingly quiet - due, no doubt, to holidays.... but having said that the journey back was packed and GF had to stand much of the way.

Cards and Town

The Urban-cub is having a real run of bad luck and finding things hard going. Yesterday was her pay-day so she popped to a dispenser to get some cash... went to work then went to garage for fuel etc... only to find her account had been stripped during the day. She's in contact with the bank... but so far there is no resolution. U-c has had enough.

Gorse Fox has to drag himself up to to Town and is preparing to head for the station. He could really do without this trip but has do a 1-2-1 and an exit interview as well as try and catch up on some document reviews, contribute to a contract if necessary, and try to see what resources may be available to help out.