Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All done

The day seemed endless.

The usual journey was accompanied by technology news from various podcasts.
Once at the office the meetings started and seemd to fill the day -
though having said that several were cancelled and with different
priorities emerging the day turned out to be very different from the
plan.

At the end of the day some fine Austrian beers were calling the Gorse
Fox and his colleagues. A most pleasant aperitif before retiring for a
pizza.

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

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mixing

A day of mixture:
  • It started dark and grey and ended up bright and sunny
  • GF started with a busy diary that seemed to clear itself
  • A large email inbox seems to have become self-limiting
  • Additional snippets of information have become available for the Parish wiki
All in all a strange day... but Worcester beckons tomorrow!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Diversion

Roadworks closed the railway bridge at Arundel for the weekend. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen had arranged to visit Betty and Barney Rubble in Old Basing... so needed a diversion. Traffic reports yesterday were not promising so the route chosen was through Storringto, Pulborough, Petworth, Midhurst and so forth.

What an excellent choice that turned out to be. On a glorious autumn morning with the leaves just starting their preparations for their grand finale the route was spectacular. Traffic was light and despite the longer route it only added about 10 minutes to the journey.

A super day was enjoyed (we think of it as help the aged) by all and was crowned by a very fine Sunday lunch at The Wellingston Arms near Stratfield Saye. 

Good weather, fine food, good friends - perfect!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Design

A stunningly nice day again today.

The Gorse Fox spent some time cleaning his car which so reliably hauls him up and down the motorways every week. It has been a while since it received any TLC - but today seemed the perfect time.

Most of the rest of the day was spent working on the Parish Design Statement, which GF offered to draft for the Parish Council. Once some of the illustrations were included it became rather unweildy as a document to circulate to the Council so he converted it all to a wiki. He just has to hope that his fellow councillors are able to get involved.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Success

The recent, and seemingly endless grilling by Starfleet's Guardians has finally reached a conclusion and the Gorse Fox has passed through to the other side, becoming one of the Guardians in his own right.
What a relief!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Gorse Fox managed to get away at a sensible time and cruise sedateley across country back to the coast. As usual on the journey he was accompanied by various scientists, technologists and comedians who had squeezed themselves into his iPod intent on educating, informing or amusing him during his journey.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Older

The Gorse Fox has just written a long and inspired post which within a
few words of its completion suddenly disappeared before his very eyes.
He will try again, but may not have quite the same melifluent flow as
last time.

The long and meeting filled day started with a rather explosive
exchange of views in the office. GF was not involved, but was amused
by the invective and vigour employed by the protagonists.

After end to end meetings the Gorse Fox felt beckoned by a foaming ale
of Austrian origin with colleagues in Spur 0.

Then the siren song of a dough-based comestible covered in vegetables,
anchovies, and pepperoni attracted the Gorse Fox and his colleagues to
a local emporium, giving the owners a chance to reduce their stock of
fine wines.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Worcester Evening


Worcester Evening
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
The day had been pleasant, if cool. Work had been interesting and GF had made a lot of progress.The receptionist at the hotel had done GF proud. As he checked in she noted the room allocated and commented that it wasn't a very good one for such a regular customer... and so again he was upgraded to a suite. Very comfortable!After his call home, he headed out for short walk in the Worcester evening before joining up with his colleagues at the Indian buffet.A fine day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hippy Birthday

Cousteau-cub reaches another milestone in her current sojourn on this planet. It is a shame she is so far away - but Gorse Fox & Silver Vixen spoke to her yesterday and know that she'll have a whale of a time today.

Happy Birthday.

Open source

The Gorse Fox is great proponent and user of Open Source software. In his latest forage through the network he discovered OpenProj

With a name like that it won't surprise you that it provides software to assist in the satanic arts of project management - and is very viable alternative to MS Project (particularly as it is free) and readily interchanges data with it if necessary.

GF is getting to a stage that he needs very little software that actually costs him money. Almost everything he finds himself using is open and free.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beating the bounds

The Gorse Fox has made the most of the glorious weather and wandered around the Parish taking photos of every road, lane and avenue. he also took some of the Greensward as shown here.

These photos will be used to illustrate the Parish Design Statement on which he is working.

A quiet Sunday was also an opportunity to phone Cousteau-cub over in Thailand. She's back and working hard, and GF's first call interrupted her while she was teaching a course, so he had to call back later.

She had organised a clean-up on the island for the last three days. She explained that it had been a great success and that they had cleared 500 kgs from the beaches and 60 kgs from the dive sites. She was just settling down to put her feet up and watch the football when we called.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunset

This could well be the perfect end to a lovely day as the sun spills its palette across the western sky and the silhoettes of wind-blasted trees stand like sentinels at the edge of Kingston Gorse.
Posted by Picasa

Brighton

So we collected the Urban-cub and headed along the coast a ways to Brighton. It was a gorgeous day and we found that we were by no means alone! To make matter more interesting some roadworks along the front narrowed the traffic to a single lane... but we were soon through and searching for a car park with spaces.

As we left the car park we noticed a restaurant on the corner "Wokmania" - advertising an Oriental buffet for £7.90 - the information was filed away and headed about our business among the famous Laines (top picture).

Having wandered about and checked out the information being sought we then headed back to the main drag - the Cafe culture was clear to see on a day like this and it is quite obvious why Brighton and Hove are such a magnet to the young and sociable.

A bit more shopping found the Gorse Fox being re-shod at the farriers in an effort to reduce the impact of his bruised heel(*). Silver Vixen and Urban-cub browsed the shops for a bit and then we headed back to Wokmania.

Gorse Fox was impressed. Huge selection of Oriental dishes - Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian - laid out to select from. People grazed back and forth. The quality, choice and selection were superb. Will have to return on another occasion - or convince them to open an outlet in Worcester.

(*)Blamed on Gordon Brown.
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Shades of Blue

What a fabulous start to the day. Blue sky stretches from edge to edge. GF is convinced that blue sky is uplifting and makes people feel better even if the temperature is cool.

GF can feel a trip along the coast to Brighton in the offing

Friday, September 19, 2008

Loitering

There are some signs that make you thing "Doh!"

Now who was this aimed at? What would cause the council to put a sign such as this? What sort of problems had they been having?

30 minutes would imply some degree of constipation to the Gorse Fox... but preventing return within the hour would imply serious subsequent problems are rife, and what happens to those affected?

Clamped probably.
(Taken in Cornwall back in 1991)
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Guardians

The Gorse Fox had his last session with the Guardians and Starfleet this morning. This seemed much more relaxed than the previous encounters... and now he just has to wait.

The Solver Vixen has chosen International Talk Like a Pirate day to drive up to Buckingham and visit family. GF supposes anything be better than hearing him growl his vowels, peer round and eye-patch, and clean up after a one-legged incontinent parrot.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Again

Very productive day at work, though GF had to fetch his iPod to provide some filter for the noise and chatter that was surrounding him. Gregorian Chant is still a great calming influence and after a few moments helps him concentrate such that he can tune out almost any other distraction.

Again GF was later leaving Worcester than planned. The latest changes to the road layout near Swindon added further delay and despite a moderately clear run from there, it was well after 8 before GF arrived back home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mussiman

At the end of a working day that was characterised by wall-to-wall meetings, the Gorse Fox met up with colleagues for a quiet dinner at the Thai buffet. Booking a table for 10, GF sat down and waited as people trickled in over the following hour.

A very sociable dinner was enjoyed by all, and of course the beauty of the buffet is that you can eat at your own rate. The disadvantage was that it took an inordinate time to get separate VAT receipts for the participants... and a ticking off from the proprietor for not telling him in advance.

Meanwhile... GF had monitored the progress of the weekend's eBay item as DHL carried it across country from Manchester to Hatfield, Hatfield to Brighton and then it just seemed to sit "in Transit" in Brighton.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keypounder

The Gorse Fox has been keypounding. He only had one short meeting during the day so was able to hammer away on various documents and spreadsheets almost uninterrupted. A day to be relished.

A small select band met up after work at the local fine dining establishment known as "Pizza Express". A great deal of rubbish was discussed before we called it and headed back to our respective hotel rooms.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The lights, the pain...

GF has been subjected to further interrogation by Starfleet's guardians. This is like a Chinese water torture. Drip, drip, drip...

Today his interrogator was from Deep Tech in Milan:
Why you do this now?
Why you not do that?
...and so it went on for about an hour. By the end GF was eager to return to his cell study and start bouncing a baseball against the walls get back to his presentation and plans

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Golden touch

The Gorse Fox's golden touch on eBay has continued. He's managed to win yet another auction, purchasing a brand new vacuum cleaner for Urban-cub for £26.... which is satisfying since it seems to retail at Curry's for £99.00

Bright

This weekend seems to be summer. Two consecutive days of sunshine. That hasn't happend too often this year... and the Gorse Fox blames Gordon Brown. Not for any scientific reason - just because he and his sycophantic, small-minded, control-freak cabinet should be held to blame for everything (including GF's bruised heel).(*)

So what have we learned this week?
  • The government is going to help with fuel bills
  • This help comes in a recommendation for better insulation
  • If you can't afford it - borrow money to install it
  • Because of the credit crunch you can't, of course, do that
So what we have is just the usual fatuous hot air from ministers who are cosseted by our taxes and the prospect of gold-plated pensions.

(*) Ok, perhaps this doesn't stand up to objective scrutiny.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quote, Unquote

The Gorse Fox just heard a great quote...
"She may not be diagnosable, but she certainly has parts on order!"

Friday, September 12, 2008

DOA

Starfleet's engineers have declared the Gorse Fox's laptop beyond economical repair. An order has been placed for its replacement. He's even been offered a loan machine in the interim. That all happened with amazing speed.

Now he waits with interest to see how long the next stage takes!

Tempting fate

The Gorse Fox tempted fate. Only yesterday he was saying how reliable his laptop had been, and how it was approaching its 4th birthday. 

This morning, the screen went blank on him - mid-email. This is not convenient!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beating the Credit Crunch

So it came to pass that the Gorse Fox was sitting in the Chinese Restaurant with his colleagues. The conversation ranged across many subjects but paused briefly at "The Deed Poll" where GF described how to go about a name change and that such a change only cost £34.

This triggered some lateral thinking. It costs a fortune to buy a personalised number plate. It then costs £80 each time you transfer it from one car to the next. Wouldn't it be cheaper to take that standard number plate and just change your name to match the car? Well, that was the idea from R133UJH.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Memorable Day

It's been a memorable day.

Urban-cub has reset her name - and is delighted.

The large Hadron Collider started up successfully - and the people who
had been taking stupid pills and trying to close down the experiment
were proved wrong - so GF was delighted.

And probably most memorably - England won at football, though nobody
saw it because it was shown on Setanta - and Gorse Fox was amazed.

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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Days done

Urban-cub's laptop is giving trouble. The wireless connection is droppring regularly, and finding it difficult to find and maintain a connection. In a degree of desperation GF has ordered a USB Wireless key. GF's friend, Mr Amazon should deliver in the next day or so,

He had to deal with a US colleague in Starfleet who is coming to the UK. GF expects most Starfleet employees to be well-travelled. So he was surprised when his colleague asked how to use the telephone in the UK; GF patiently explained that our phones have unique numbers and that by keying those numbers into a phone a connection is made. The colleague was delighted and went on to explain that this is just how it works in the US.

It was a new colleague's birthday so a decent wine was ordered with tonight's pizza.

The Five o'clock start drags GF back to his room early to fall asleep in front of CSI:Miami as he does most Tuesdays. He's seen the start of every episode in this new series... but hasn't seen the conclusion of any of them.

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

And another...

Gorse Fox has another colleague joining the team in an attempt to reduce the 96 days project work that one of the team has to achieve in 28 days.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Head and shoulders

The Gorse Fox seems to have done something to his neck and has spent a fairly uncomfortable last 72 hours. It's strange; not the usual discomfort when looking sideways - but rather a discomfort when looking up or down. He has not definite idea what caused it, but suspects it may have been a been a violent sneeze of all things!!!

He just hopes that a day in front of the laptop doesn't exacerbated it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chipping away

It had been a strange day. Much of the morning spent working on Parish business (trying to draft the Design Statement) then during the afternoon GF finally got round to trimming the bottom of the kitchen door, and now that it would close - actually put a handle on it! (Now sense in rushing these things).

Gone

Cousteau-cub should be settled in Phuket by now - it seems so strange that yesterday morning she was here with us, and now 24 hours later she is a quarter of the way around the world.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Scans

Much of the day was spent scanning photos from the box that Cousteau-cub had found. It is strange how old photos evoke such strong feelings.

Subdued

It is a little subdued. The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen took Cousteau-cub to the airport first thing this morning and saw here through to Departures. That's the last time she'll be seen for anoth 10-11 months.

It's been great fun having her at home... and she will be surely and sorely missed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Squall

A squall battered the coast, rain crashed against the window like waves crashing on the beach. Visibility was almost nil. A heavy teak table was tossed across the garden and splintered. A stack of chairs was flipped and was blown 12 feet across the path. The Gorse Fox has never seen anything quite like it... but 20 minutes later it had settled again.

Found - 1996

Cousteau-cub has been rooting about in the loft. She has found a missing box of photos and 1996 has been found! GF will enjoy wandering through those later.

And she's off...

Cousteau-cub has just got confirmation of her tickets and heads back to Thailand on Saturday morning. 

Updates

Mmmm. New version of Picasa from Google, and a new browser called Chrome. Gorse Fox like Google's offerings so will certainly give them a try.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Accelerating

The pace is beginning to accelerate at work and at home.

At work the plan is coming together and his new colleague is already beginning to show his value by picking up some of the tasks that have been backlogged.

The journey home was slow - an accident on the M4 had caused a huge tailback that added about 40 minutes to the journey. It was a great relief to finally cross the level-crossing, turn off into Kingston Lane and see home appear through the front windscreen.

At home things are are also moving quickly - Cousteau-cub seems to have got almost everything sorted out, and is now just waiting to get her flights back to Thailand... in fact she is hoping to get tickets for Saturday's flight. (So there'll be no long good-byes, this time round).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Farewell

It was a busy day again with several meetings and discussions and
further emerging requirements for resources.

It was also a sad day in that we hadsay farewell to to excellent
colleagues that we could really do with retaining. Certainly the loss
has caused some consternation among significant members of the client.
Oh well, the Gorse Fox is rarely surprised by the way these things
work.

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

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Speedboat

A VW Speedboat would probably have been more appropriate to the drive
up to Worcester this morning. The Gorse Fox ploughed through the
spray, eventually bursting out of the soaking south into the sunny
Midlands.

The day was busy but interesting as we moved things forward a bit
further and GF managed to bring a new member into the team. He is
meant to provide GF with additional bandwidth as the Gorse Fox is
pretty swamped at present. It is a great relief.

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

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Mill

The Gorse Fox is sitting in one of Starfleet's offices on the banks of the Thames. He is up before a panel of several Admirals this afternoon. He wouldn't say that panic is setting in, but there does appear to a lot of wear in the carpet between his desk and the loo.