Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today was no different. They had bought a Wii for Christmas as a "family" gift. (Blade works in a Gaming store so has access to such things). Once lunch was out of the way the cables, the remote, the nunchuks, the steering wheels and goodness knows what else came out.
We started with a simple 10-pin bowling game (Urban-cub got several strikes and was seen to celebrate accordingly).
The Silver Vixen had a go and soon got the knack (in danger of becoming a future Wii-whiz).
We moved on from bowling to Tennis, Baseball, Boxing, some driving games and goodness knows what else.
It is easy to see why these consoles sell so well and how people get drawn in to play together as a family.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
- He started jiggling and rotating the rods...
- It didn't work.
- He then tried the rods in the drain itself.
- It didn't work.
- He went back to the inspection cover and jiggled again.
- It didn't work.
- He returned to the drain and tried plunging it, scraping it and generally fiddling.
- There was a huge belch and the water disappeared.
Monday, December 22, 2008
- Long stick (for rootling about)
- Big screwdriver (to undo manhole cover)
- Trowel (to lift debris)
- Bucket (to receive debris)
- Power washer (to cover the surrounding area in debris)
- and so on
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The drive back to the South Coast was very slow. The whole world seemed to be on the move and the A34 and M3 were particularly slow and congested. Eventually, GF staggered in through the door to be greeted by chaos.
Urban-cub was trying to put her wardrobes together in the hall. Like most modern furniture it had been designed to be put to together once and never touched. This was the second time (at least) that these had been dissassembled and on each occasion more damage was done to the various fixings and the cheap chipboard. As we trid to lift the unit on its side it collapsed. GF had to resort to double-threaded screws strategically placed to maintain the unit's integrity.
Next it had to be moved into the bedroom.
This is when it became clear that the bed had to be dismantled to make way for it. And this is when the Urban-cub managed to kick the footrail of the bed into GF's shin.
Eventually everything was in place. Enough was enough. Day was done,
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The day at Worcester was spent esconced with a confusion of project
managers in a conference room with a couple of Smart Boards.
Meanwhile back on the south coast, Urban-cub is continuing her move...
piecemeal. Bit by bit her belongings are creeping into our house. The
big bits are being moved this evening, so she'll probably move in by
Tonight promises another concert by Cardinal Sin and the Bum Notes.
The last of their Stadium(*) gigs before Christmas.
(*)OK it's not a Stadium, it's a pub. (A very small pub)
Sent from my mobile device
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The Gorse Fox was up and on the road soon after 5 heading across country to Worcester. The roads were quiet and the journey trouble-free.
Once in Worcester the day started with the normal daily review and then the Gorse Fox spent most of the rest of the day driving the now infamous spreadsheet whilst gaggle of project managers offered advice as to what numbers should be entered.
Day done, and PMs trying to enter the findings into a project plan, GF hopped back into his car and headed back to the South Coast.
That was a tiring day.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Skype allowed us to chat with Cousteau-cub until the line dropped after abot 45 minutes. Here it was grey and dull, cold and damp. There she was barbecueing outside their house at 11 pm. It was 37C and too hot still to go indoors. The tourists have dropped off a bit, probably due to a combination of the credit crunch and the recent protests at Bangkok airport. She's still managing to dive just as much but is often teaching one on one instead of groups.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The saga then began:
- He logged onto his Online banking account. The signal was poor in the hotel so he kept losing the connection.
- He went down to reception where the signal was stronger, logged on again and went to the relevant section to set up the transfer only to be rejected as he needs a special card-reader to authorise the the transaction. (Cousteau-cub has changed banks so he could use the existing transfer he has used in the past). He doesn't have one. It takes about a week or so for one to be provided and set-up.
- He phoned the bank. They couldn't help on the telephone banking desk but realising he was a Private Banking customer put him through to the Private Banking desk.
- The Private Banking desk couldn't help because he needed to be authorised for level 2 services. Apparently he hadn't requested this. (Gorse Fox not only had requested these services he even knew hs password and pin and secret question.... but "Computer says No").
- Only solution was a visit to the branch.
- The Gorse Fox would head out at lunchtime to do do this.
- The work on the spreadsheet model took over - Thursday was a 16 hour day - the bank would have to wait (for some reason they're not open at 11pm)
- So the Gorse Fox headed out into Saturday's gale to the Bank.
- The bank couldn't transfer the money because Cousteau-cub banks with a different organisation. (Gorse Fox thought that's what the clearing house was for). In the end he withdrew the cash (plus some extra because with all of the delays C-c has probably incurred some charges) and walked round the corner to her bank (praying it was open on a Saturday) to deposit the money.
Gorse Fox thought these online services were meant to make life easier... but because he may be laundering drug money or financing terrorism life has to be made intolerably frustrating.
Friday, December 12, 2008
GF expected the review to be somewhat tense... but actually it was very positive and whilst there were some areas where some changes were needed, in general it seemed well received.
GF got on the road early in the afternoon and was relieved to be home soon after dark.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Meetings started early again and then the rest of the day was spent
working on the Gorse Fox's estimating model (it makes climate models
seem trivial in comparison).
An exec turned up at the end of the day to pass on the latest
information from Starfleet (or at least our part, thereof).
Then it finally hit weird.
Online banking claimed that the Gorse Fox couldn't do what he wanted -
and the help phonelines claimed he could never have done it. Inb fact
he was trying to transfer some money to Cousteau-cub as he has done
many times before. There was no quick way round it... he'll have to go
into a branch.
Then he went to Spur 0... it was pie night. Everyone was expected to
bring and share a pie. GF, warned, had brought three pizzas. He was
abused - they're pizzas. So GF burst into song "When the moon hits
your eye like a big pizza pie; that's amoure" (ok he didn't sing -
that would be unfair on the gathered throng - he just quoted). With
this incontrovertable proof he was allowed in and pie night continued.
It was great fun.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Today was not an exception.
Armed with hot coffee GF was driving north by 0500. Podcasts kept him
occupied as he crossed the country and watched the temperature drop
bit by bit as he got closer to Worcester.
The morning was not one of life's pleasures... but as the meetings
finished and the work started the day improved immensely.
At the end of the day GF called the Silver Vixen to check on her day,
which was evidently equally stressful but for very different reasons -
it is always hard to say a final farewell to a loved one. Today was
Aunti P's final act.
Finally a pizza and some red wine called and GF and his colleagues
answered. It was only polite, so to do.
Sent from my mobile device
Monday, December 08, 2008
Town. It makes a change, but does mean a fairly late trip home. The
Silver Vixen has gone up to Buckingham so it is not too inconvenient.
He has been at an interesting meeting for Starfleet leaders who are
dealing with The Fedferation. GF had to present what has been going on
in Worcester - just to keep the city folk appraised.
Dinner was interesting - it was too late to wait until he got home, it
was not feasible to go to dinner in town, so he stopped at Wasabi for
some Chicken Teryyaki and Udon Noodles. Excellent evening meal enyoyed
on the train as the Gorse Fox splattered it all over his fellow
travellers as the noodles flapped about between the container and his
Sent from my mobile device
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The Gorse Fox helped out when a little muscle was needed but spent the second day of the weekend buried in spreadsheets to keep the esteemed client happy.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The Gorse Fox buried himself in admin - first expenses, then back to yesterday's spreadsheet. Not the ideal way to spend a December weekend but when you are getting "design by committee" progress is ephemeral. At least he is not expecting any further changes to pop up during the weekend.
Urban-cub spent the day setting up advertisements for her flat, taking photos of things she wanted to sell on eBay and and generally ticking off the items on her "action plan". Very organised!
The Gorse Fox thought he'd check on the progress of his aunt but phoned the wrong number and had a very pleasant chat with a complete stranger... it didn't help that when he said his name she obviously knew someone called the Gorse Fox and it was a little while before the penny dropped at each end of the phone line that neither end knew the other!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
The day has been spent buried in spreadsheets - which means that it has been a day of little stress and great pleasure. The Gorse Fox likes developing complex spreadsheets riddled with mathematics and complex relationships.
Looks like Urban-cub may be moving back in with the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen for a while. This will be fun... and we look forward to it. (She will however have to find new homes for the cats as GF is so allergic to them).
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
The Abbot and the the Welshbloke were given chef's whites and set to work.
The Gorse Fox and the other victims were given T-shirts... largest one being 36in chest. Much huffing and puffing and several minutes of contortions made it clear that the Gorse Fox's athletic frame was not going to fit into the said T-shirt. So off he went to start taking orders for the starters and main courses. It was a a terrific evening with great fun had by all present.
There was a quiz - which the Gorse Fox's table won, and a "guess the baby" where photocopies of baby photos had to be identified. This was all very fine, but the Gorse Fox's picture was guessed to be the late Andrex!!! One of the other tables won that - but then three of the people featured were at that table.
There seemed to be a worrying decline in red wine stocks throughout the evening, but it was not immediately evident why. Various "thick heads" this morning may provide a clue.
Monday, December 01, 2008
GF heads out soon after lunch for the cross-country drive.
Urban-cub was on the phone first thing and has invited herself round for dinner with the Siilver Vixen this evening so at least the void created by GF's early trip will be filled by U-c.