Friday, July 31, 2009

Bolting home


The chap in Hove may have looked smug - but not because he was successful. It became clear that a chap had got on the train and padlocked his fold-up bike to the bars near the train door. Trouble was (evidently) he hadn't got the key.

The guard kept trying to phone ahead for help and the poor cyclist moved further and further from his planned destination. When it got to Littlehampton it was due to turn round and head back after a short break... question was whether engineers, the British Transport Police, or the Fire Brigade could rescue the bike in time.


Eh? Engineer just joined the train at Hove with huge set of bolt cutters. Lots of huffing and puffing... and then the unmistakable click of the bolt cutters closing on something... and he wandered away. No idea what was going on.


Urban-cub is home from Worthing Hospital. Now some tlc from mum and dad while she recuperates.

TGIF - honestly

The Gorse Fox has had a frantic day. The train was quiet this morning (which was pleasant).

Once at work he was at work the fun started with GF conducting a three hour review of an "interesting" bid. That finished, he had a few minutes to grab lunch followed by end to end teleconferences. One 30 minute gap served useful as it allowed him to get across to Victoria prior to the next call.

Last call was taken on the station with phone on mute.


Always interested to read Freecycle's updates... "Offered: Sand between town and seafront"

Mmm... that's what the Gorse Fox calls enterprise. He is now watching out for people advertising pebbles.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Credit where it's due - Urban-cub and Silver Vixen have both commented on how excellent the staff have been at Worthing Hospital.


Well Urban-cub is on the mend now. Silver Vixen has spent much of the day with her and GF has managed to talk with her. Not coming home today, but doing well.


Urban-cub returned from theatre around midnight - she was comfortable and all went "routinely". Will learn more today.

(Funny how different people have different perspectives on "routine")

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Silver Vixen is still at the hospital with Urban-cub... all a bit sudden. Waiting for news.


Silver Vixen is with Urban-cub as she spends time in the diagnostic hands of the NHS.

3 or 4

A little disconcerting getting into a lift and pressing 3 and the lift skips 3 and dumps you at 4. Engineer was in yesterday and all of the numbers seem to be offset by one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


BBC have just featured on the news a piece talking about the rapid retreat of the Greenland glaciers on the west coast... The Gorse Fox would point out the following text:

The Ilulissat glacier has indeed retreated dramatically in recent years - more than 15km in the last decade alone - but plenty of evidence suggests such rapid change in the ice is not unprecedented.

In fact, over the last 10,000 years (a period of long-term warming since the end of the last Ice Age), the glaciers on Greenland's west coast have been through many periods of advance and retreat.

Four thousand years ago, the Earth was significantly warmer than it is now, and accordingly the glacier retreated; but the evidence suggests it was perhaps only 20km back from its current position.

In other words, the Ilulissat glacier may reach a point in its retreat where the dynamics of the ice sheet make further regression very difficult, and very slow.

This from the BBC's website and needless to say this bit wasn't included in the news report.


Long day... all done


The Gorse Fox saw his first tourist wearing masks to avoid swine flu. Silly thing is that analysis has shown that they are not likely to protect the wearer from the Swine Flue, but they may protect other people from the wearer if they are a carrier.

Monday, July 27, 2009


The Gorse Fox learned some important lessons today. Firstly, it's easy to keep people happy if you let them change the colours of the various cells in their spreadsheets (makes you wonder if he's a closet project manager)... and secondly they get quite excited if you respond to their update requests within a few minutes.

GF has a new colleague working with him. Seems like a nice chap and has already got stuck into the work.

Unexpectedly he got away from the office slightly earlier than expected. This meant that he could get to the station in time for his usual train. Unfortuantely there had been a breakdown and that was causing disruption so in the end the Gorse Fox benefited little from the short meeting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Attempting to get some material off of the Sky+ box drove GF to reviewing several options and in so doing reminded him of a gadget that he acquired several years ago. This Hauppauge box allowed video to be captured directly as MPEG files. After a lot of digging abou the box was retrieved, the software downloaded and reinstalled and cables were plugged into all of the appropriate sockets. A few moments later the video was streaming down to the computer and all seemed promising... until the Gorse Fox realised that the image was only being captured in black and white.

This reminded the Gorse Fox that when he had been trying to save some old VHS recordings he had experienced a similar problem, but thought it was related to the the tape player rather than the gadget. It was evidently the gadget.

Back to the drawing board.


Lovely sunny day on the coast. Stiff breezw, but we are used to that.

The Gorse Fox is trying to decide the best approach for retaining some old Sky+ recordings which are cluttering the drive... but is also strangely interested in but somehow wonders if it is too soon to plump for such a device.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


The Gorse Fox has been fancying a curry all afternoon. He mentioned this to Urban-cub and that got her craving a curry also...

When the Silver Vixen returned from her outing to the craft and fabric show we dragged her along to Monsoon where we indulged in an excellent example of the cuisine of the sub-continent.

Be upstanding

The Gorse Fox forgot to mention the greeting that he and Silver Vixen received yesterday. As we walked back into the stadium just before the start of the second game the whole stadium stood up and cheered.
Gorse Fox explained to the chap at the end of the row that there really was no need, just make room for us to walk by and get to our seats.


Just linked the HDMI port on the Silver Vixen's laptop to the TV. Very impressed with the quality of the pictures and images dispayed.

Heading Home

Like most modern stadia Wembley empties quickly. We were soon by the car and preparing for the trip home. At this time of night we expected the trip to be easy once we had escaped the car park, the immediate vicinity.

This proved right. The fight to exit the car park was predictably foul, but we were saved by a second exit being opened giving us the opportunity to sneak out the back. From then on we just pottered home with the only incident being when a passing car threw up some road debris that smashed into our windscreen and frightened the living nighlights out of us. Amazingly the glass remained intact (though heavily marked) and we were able to continue (having opened the side window to freshen the air).
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Friday, July 24, 2009


Before the main event there was an hour to fill. The plane was to get a bite to eat then settle down and read the programme whilst taking in the atmosphere. We had made this plan in blissful ignorance of Wembley Stadium's utter incompetance at organising their facilities. Now let's start with a few facts:
  • The event was on the first day of the school holidays
  • The event was well publicised
  • Spurs have a huge following (and probably consider Wembleyt to be their second home)
  • Celtic have vast travelling support
  • Barcelona are the reigning Champions of the Champions' League.
  • There was a 60 minute gap between the games
Against this background Wembley Stadioum had only opened a few of their bars and restaurants and those that were open had not prepared sufficient food. People were getting fractious and Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen were lucky to get their "chicken" and chips before the kick-off. As we regained our seats with a couple of minutes to spare the Gorse Fox concluded that this was not haute cuisine. No doubt Posh Bloke would have had silver service in one of the boxes, but we had queued 55 minutes for some rubber disguised as chicken.

The game itself started slowly. Whilst Spurs huffed and puffed and made some probing attacks, Barcelona seemed to contraol the pace and the midfield. Having said that, they rarely looked dangerous, but did finally make a breakthrough with a scambled goal in the first half.

During the second half Spurs looked more purposeful and industrious. Their attacks always looked dangerous, whereas Gomes was rarely troubled by Barca. The game looked as if it was heading for a disappointing 1-0 to Barca when Harry Redknapp shuffled his deck, bringing on some substitues. Within a few moments it had paid dividends with an equaliser. This re-invigorated the team and they fought hard to clinch a winner but in the end were beaten by the clock.

Overall a satisfying display and an immensely enjoyable evening.
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Celtic dominated their match. The normal green and white hoops were discarded for what the Silver Vixen described as "psychedelic bees".

The football was entertaining, friendly, and a great result for the bhoys... winning 5-0.

Needless to say Celtic's supporters - though small in number - were very loud and loyal (those that were in the ground that is is... many were still outside in the various local pubs).
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The journey to Wembley was horrendous. A trip that should take about 2 hours stretched out to three and a half. Everybody and their dog was on the road at the start of the school holidays. Traffic reports were coming in thick and fast from all over the country... and I guess we were fairly lucky that we were able to keep moving, albeit at a snail's pace.

We finally arrived in the vicinity of Wembley where we wasted a further fifteen minutes trying to find the entrance to the car park. You would have expected this to be marked on the pre-booking form, or on their website, but no. The idea apparently is to drive round aimlessly until you see an official who can direct you.

Wembley Stadium itself is most impressive. The Gorse Fox attended games at the old Stadium many times, but this knocks the socks off. We made our way up the steps and round the perimeter to our entrance and then after a cursory search we found our way in. The Celtic -vs- Al Ahly match was in progress, but we needed cups of tea first. We took our seats in time for the second half. What a view! The middle tier provided comforatble seats, adequate leg room and cover from the occasional down pours that troubled the early part of the game.
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The crack of bone against post

The Gorse Fox is very excited (well in a subdued way as befits a gentleman of his stature). He and the Silver Vixen are off to Wembley to enjoy some car parking followed by some football. The Gorse Fox will be supporting Celtic in the first game (several members of his extended family have played for, and indeed in one case captained, Celtic in the past)... and of course support Spurs in the second game (which he notices will be televised on Sky Sports 1 - watch out for him, he will wave!).

Though it is a day off he had a few work items to clear... but he can't stir himself to the required degree of enthusiasm at this moment - they will have to wait until the morning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The Gorse Fox sat on the train observing his fellow passengers. A large woman swept onto the train - she looked remarkable like Jo Brand, but older, very blonde and much more fearsome. Over the sound that leaked through his iPod earphones he could hear her holding court. She was bemoaning the bad press that "Health & Safety" receive and cast spells and curses upon the Daily Mail.

For your Health and Safety the Gorse Fox suggest giving her a wide berth (though frankly that is the only type suitable in this case).


GF has been dealing with three separate projects today. It's difficult to remember which is which... (the phrase "drilled, bored, or countersunk" comes to mind).

Looks like he will be leaving later than usual. Not best pleased, but needs must!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Extra tasks

The Gorse Fox had another good though busy day. It seems so strange working on a Starfleet site day after day after so long of working from home or from client sites. What is nice is bumping into old friends that the Gorse Fox hasn't seen for years. Some have aged, but many (like the Gorse Fox) haven't changed at all over the years.

Checking today's version of the plan GF seems to have acquired about 8 further tasks... oh well, keeps himout of mischief.

GF has a teleconference every evening. This is interrupted by diving into the tube for 5 minutes before reconnecting when GF arrives at Victoria station. This is always interesting as you can guarantee that when a question is directed at him, it's during his stealth period... and they have to repeat the question when he returns to the conference.

Gorse Fox has arrived home to find the Silver Vixen filling buckets with water and mixing various potions. Normally, the coven prepare potions in secret - but tomorrow she has a workshop to attend and she's trying to get everything ready in advance. (When GF first saw the buckets he assumed she was just making tea).

Well done

Just heard that Urban-cub is down-selected as one of the nominees for a regional award.

Gorse Fox is chuffed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well the Gorse Fox has been very busy. The upshot of the planning meeting was that loads of tasks ended up on GF to fix and all in short measure. It has been a full day, but fun.


The Gorse Fox hears that Beloved Aunt has broken her foot. With the football season starting in a few weeks this will probably mean that she's confined to the benches until it's fully healed.

GF hopes she's feeling better soon

Monday, July 20, 2009


Gorse Fox has spent significant parts of the day in a planning meeting at Starfleet's offices by the Thames, the result of which is that he seems to have picked up lots of stuff to keep him out of mischief. Needless to say this has coincided with him being asked to help out and take on the technical lead on another large opportunity. The next few weeks look busy!


The Gorse Fox has heard from a reader. The reader claims that GF has turned into a grumpy old man... Gorse Fox would dispute this and make the following points.
  1. he has not turned into it... he just has more recent examples of utter irritation than he's had ina while;
  2. he's not grumpy... he's the model of whimsy, fun and optimism;
  3. he's not an old man... he's chronolgically challenged.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The Gorse Fox has always been amazed that there aren't more utilities or web-sites that provide facilities for printing blogs. That's not to say there aren't any. In fact GF quite liked Blog2Print, though he thought the pricing a bit steep.

He has a utility that he has written in Python which will work pretty well with Blogger - providing a chronological extract in html format. This he can then open in Open Office or MS Word and fiddle with the final layout before converting to PDF for printing. At some stage he must tidy this up so that he can make it available.

He has used this today to prepare a file for printing that contains the complete "Posh Bloke" blog (which seems to have stopped growing of late).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Got the little devil

Urban-cub's laptop has been misbehaving for about 10 days. It's previously robust network behaviour suddenly failed and neith Urban-cub nor the Gorse Fox could remedy the situation.

Gorse Fox does not like to be beaten so he decided to try again... and if all else failed to re-install. Well for a long time it looked like all else had failed. He had managed to get successful network connectivity to the other computers around the house but could not get out to the internet. His first inclination was that we had a firewall problem - but after finally tracking down all of the various logs and checking them, it became clear that nothing unusual was being blocked for this machine. Eventually he started digging deeper and deeper into the various setting and eventually found some dedicated DNS addresses identified in the TCP/IP settings. Resetting these to "automatic" solved the problem and everything burst back into life.

GF heaved a sigh of relief... and, no doubt, so will Urban-cub when she wakes up! (Bit of a late night, you see)

Friday, July 17, 2009

A good week, done

Looking back on the day, the Gorse Fox declares himself satsfied. It was, what might be called, bitty but GF accomplished a great deal. Spreadsheets were extended and provided greater degrees of dynamic analysis, plans were prepared and the Gorse Fox heard that his security forms were already in progress and his proof of identity would be retuned by special delivery.

Meanwhile he had run the batch job that updates his metablog and in an effort to optimize its backup regime attempted to change the target directory... That's when things went a bit awry. He managed to lock himself out of his own blogging system. A few distracted moments during a later teleconference saw that issue nailed, however, and normal service was resumed.

As the Gorse Fox sits here the faint smell of curry can be detected and GF takes that as a hint to sign off.

Pope breaks right wrist in fall

We learn form the BBC that the Pope breaks right wrist in fall

Infallible, yes. But not indestructible. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The attempt by an 800 ton train and a human being to occupy the same physical space at the same time rarely ends well for the human being. This was the case earlier when the coming together a train and human being near Streatham Common caused the railway lines to be closed and train services disrupted.

The Gorse Fox had made his way across to Victoria in time for his normal train, but the concourse was a chaotic mass of commuters trying to determine their best course of action. GF retreated to a quiet corner and watched the message boards and tried to make out words from the sounds that emanated from the public address system. It was clear that the Gorse Fox and Victoria were likely to be spending some time together...

Every now and then sufficient clarity would allow "London Bridge" and "Sussex Coast" to be picked out from the public address system. GF decided that this was likely to be a hint and took himself off to the tube and returned across town to Monument where he walked across the bridge to London Bridge. Again the concourse seemed like utter chaos, but GF headed for platforms and saw a Littlehampton train scheduled to leave almost immediately.

It would be unseemly to run, blasting comuter out of the way without say "I'm Sorry" or "Excuse me", so GF strode out a little more purposefully - and climbed into the end carriage. He had to stand, but at least he was aboard. Some ten minutes later the train finally left, and despite everything GF was still home within 30 minutes of his usual time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breezing through

There strong winds scouring the coast today. GF wasn't too troubled as he caught the early train up to town. He had a good gossip with a friend from the Cabinet Office... which always brightens the journey.

At the Starfleet offices GF cracked on with the background work as the team spent time with the prospective client over the river. He managed to bump into some of the execs who run the old client engagement. So, again he was able to catch up on news and gossip regarding what's going on.

He caught an early train home only to find that it was far more busy and frantic than getting the usual train... what was interesting was that the Silver Vixen was able to track his progress and knew therefore that he was on the way. GF's phone contains a GPS and he has linked it with a Google service called Latitude. This in turn allows authorised people (in GF's case the Silver Vixen and Urban-cub) to see where he is by tracking him on a map on her laptop.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Train was slow coming home... but not busy. Unpleasant discussion between fellow travellers discussing decapitation and witnessing knife crime. Unpleasant subject made particularly worse by the fact that they seemed to be glorying in it like excited teenagers. Shame they were in their 30s....

Any price

An interesting day by the Thames.

Mother Superior called, out of the blue. It would appear that she has been catching up with old friends... and it appears that there are changes afoot.

For Gorse Fox the normal work continues as usual... and whilst interesting it is probably not worthy of wider exposure at this time. It's strange joining a project part way through and working with the pricing engine as it moves towards fruition. Today the emphasis was on system and service management.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What next

The Gorse Fox has been working at home today. There was no real necessity to meet face to face with anyone, and 5 hours of commuting would just reduce the working day. From about 07:00 GF was tapping away at the computer, catching up on the weekend e-mails, setting up conference calls for the day and working out what he would try to achieve in the day.

GF couldn't believe how much he had already achieved when he stopped for breakfast at 08:30... but was soon back at work. Calls came and went, items got ticked off the list, and new opportunities were brought to his attention... and hopefully there's something very interesting waiting just round the corner for GF to get stuck into!!

All in all... a really successful day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Good and bad

The Gorse Fox has had a mixed day. Several problems seemed to fill the morning with frustrations... Urban-cub's WiFi would not connect, direct LAN connection would not work either, the main PC crashed 3 times and GF was not pleased.

Once the WiFi hub had been reset the PC seemed to stop crashing - and a deep diagnostic scan of the hard drive revealed no problems.

So much for the bad...

The good was that we finally managed to get through to Cousteau-cub. She is loving the Phillippines though a 4:30 start in the mornings means that she has to get to bed early each evening. The island is quite small - she can walk round it in an hour - and she only gets electricity for about 4-5 hours a day. Needless to say, internet access is very limited.

Anyway, it was great to hear from her finally... and know that all is well.

Nailing you colours

The Gorse Fox, whilst thinking about Global Warming, re-red an open letter that was sent to to the US Congress at the beginning of the month. It was written by 7 renowned atmospheric scientists:
The facts are:
The sky is not falling; the Earth has been cooling for ten years, without help. The present cooling was NOT predicted by the alarmists' computer models, and has come as an embarrassment to them.
The finest meteorologists in the world cannot predict the weather two weeks in advance, let alone the climate for the rest of the century. Can Al Gore? Can John Holdren? We are flooded with claims that the evidence is clear, that the debate is closed, that we must act immediately, etc, but in fact THERE IS NO SUCH EVIDENCE; IT DOESN'T EXIST.
The proposed legislation would cripple the US economy, putting us at a disadvantage compared to our competitors. For such drastic action, it is only prudent to demand genuine proof that it is needed, not guesswork, and not false claims about the state of the science.
Finally, climate alarmism pays well. Many alarmists are profiting from their activism. There are billions of dollars floating around for the taking, and being taken.
Oh, and if you are tempted to say "But that's only 7 scientists" the Gorse Fox would point out that there were on 52 scientist involved in the IPCC report, yet a petition by over 700 scientists refuting it has been ignored.

Global Warming is NOT about science it is about politics and activism.

BBC Science deniers

Anyone with a modicum of sense and scientific training will have realised that the BBC long-ago departed from their neutral stance on reporting, and that now opinion is spouted as fact, and news regarding BBC-favoured doctrine is spun rather than reported.

We now have further evidence of this in the interview with Peter Sissons which is reported in today's Mail on Sunday.

In a wide-ranging attack, he also claims it is now 'effectively BBC policy' to stifle critics of the consensus view on global warming. He says: 'I believe I am one of a tiny number of BBC interviewers who have so much as raised the possibility that there is another side to the debate on climate change.>

'The Corporation's most famous interrogators invariably begin by accepting that "the science is settled", when there are countless reputable scientists and climatologists producing work that says it isn't.

'But it is effectively BBC policy... that those views should not be heard.'

In the full article he goes on to cite his interview with a green activist after a march in London and the reaction that he got when he pointed out that the climate wasn't actually playing ball. Excellent stuff.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going oot

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox boarded the train for London. It was going to be nice to meet up with the Canadian cousins. The journey was pretty uneventful, though the tube was absolutely packed for the last leg of the journey. We walked up from Embankment to Covent Garden and hovered around the west end of the Apple Market watching and waiting for our tourists.

Through the magic of mobile telephony we finally met up, Nutty Cousin, Squiffy Sarah, Marvellous Matthew and Bashful Mark were looking well and there was so much gossip to catch up on. We headed for TGI Friday's to grab something to eat before they rushed off to the theatre. We had a lovely couple of hours catching up on the sports that Marvellous Matthew plays, gossop about work, gossip about family, holiday destinations and so forth.

All too quickly the time ticked by and they had to rush for a taxi to get them to the theatre. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox wandered back to the station and caught the train home. It was all over so quickly.

Not the News

Gorse Fox would like to point out that Michael Jackson is still dead.

He doesn't mean to be insensitive... but hasn't this circus gone on long enough

The March of Progress

The Gorse Fox refers you to the linked article in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle a rather depressing, but brilliant view of progress over the past 40 years.


Now the Gorse Fox should start by making it quite clear that he is NOT cognisant of the facts of the case. He knows nothing beyond what has been reported (and we all know how accurate that is likely to be).

The Gorse Fox has this sneaking suspicion that this sad case of a teacher assualting a pupil is not quite what it seems. Of course we are told that he was a good boy, of course he used to carry the shopping for his mum, of course butter wouldn't melt in his mouth... however, the Gorse Fox knows well that his persona was veryy different at home from that which was displayed in class or when mingling with classmates. Gorse Fox suspects that what we have is a teacher that has been tormented and terrorised once too often and he has snapped.

Gorse Fox does not condone this response, but he is amazed that it does not happen more often. He blames the abject liberals and educationalists that destryed the concept of discipline and respect on the altar of freedom of speech and stupid ideas leaving us with cases of feral students and cowering teachers.

He knows this is the extreme... and many are well behaved and studious, but there is no longer any credible sanction against ill-discipline and disruptive behaviour. 

(In the spirit of transparency, GF should note that he was caned at least once a year throughout his school years - he doesn't look back on this as brutalising, but on his own stupid fault for breaking school rules or not learning his Latin vocabulary).

Ad iudicium omnes

Friday, July 10, 2009


One of the showers has been playing up. It became almost impossible to turn the water on or off and to adjust the temerature. GF phone his trusty plumber, but he would not countenance coming to fix it. GF eventually contacted the manufacturer and their service engineer turned up. 

They will only do the work if the water to the shower can be isolated. GF had crawled into the loft space to turn the isolation valves. They, however, had evidently been equally affected by the limescale that was (no doubt) the source of the problem.

WD40 would not shift it
GF's scredriver would not shift it
GF's BIG screw driver would not shift it.

The only solution was to take drastic action. The main stop cock for the house was switched off and all of the taps opened. The tanks emptied and all was ready when the engineer arrived. Needless to say the maintenance took about 5 minutes, and cost a lot of money. The shower is now fixed and all is well.


Mellors turned up first thing (as usual for a Friday). Gorse Fox noticed after a while that he had brought his totty with him. That's the first time for quite a while that we have seen her. Well he was chirpy enough and got the job done.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


A busy day was not helped by the train's insistence on sitting in a siding for 10 minutes on the journey to London. GF is not sure whether some previous train had been cancelled but ours was heaving by the time it was half-way.

Work continued on the hunt for needles in haystacks, but was briefly diverted by some detailed discussion on modelling tools. This was bothe interesting and frustrating as it revealed how much GF had done, but also how much was yet to do (and how many concepts were still unclear in the way in which the tooling worked).

GF had to get away early in order to get to the Council meeting. This started later than usual, and unusually had a couple of member of the public in attendance. Whilst nothing too controversial was discussed, the meeting seemed to drag on, and GF was glad to get home.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The Silver Vixen was still staying with Betty and Barney Rubble... yesterday's NGS open day was very successful despite the occasional showers and today she was joining them on a trip to Hampton Court Flower Show. Again whilst they had the odd shower they had a very full day.

Gorse Fox meanwhile had to go to Basingstoke for a deep-dive into some of the design aspects of various text analytics engines so that he could evaluate whether there are any gaps in our proposed solution and also understand where the performance challenges would arise. It was a really good and interesting day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


BBC complaining about sport moving to "pay TV"...
Hold on; since when has the BBC been free?


The Gorse Fox is working at home today. 5 hours of travel seemed a little pointless when most of the rest of the team are away in various meetings.

The Silver Vixen has gone to see Betty and Barney Rubble and help them with their NGS Open Day. This has been very successful so far, so SV is lending a pair of hands.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Today saw a break in the weather. The wall-to-wall sunshine of the last week or so was interrupted by grey clouds. The Gorse Fox was even subjected to the indignity of a couple of spots of rain as he waited for the train to carry him to London.

It was a good day with further progress on the current project. This was made easier when GF met up with Deep Blue for a brain dump on one of the modelling tools which meant that GF's efforts were accelerated by the greater familiarity.

Quiet journey home through the rain around London, but once back on the south coast it was reported by theSilver Vixen that it had remained dry throughout.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Technical Giant

After the success of yesterday's technological efforts, the Gorse Fox decided to install the new external Hard Drive in order to move some files around.

The drive was connected to the power, the USB cable connected to the hub, Windows emitted a sound and voila - Nothing! GF had to return to debug mode. Could this be the PC or was it the drive?

He disconnected it and connected it to a laptop - Windows emitted it's sound and voila - still nothing. GF restarted the laptop. Nada.

Could it be the cables? He checked they were firmly seated in the sockets and tried again, niet.

Then he noticed that he had picked up the wrong cable and had been attaching his external DVD drive instead of the HDD all along. This could just be the source of the problem! Someone must have laced the local water supply with stupid pills - GF drank deeply!


The Gorse Fox wonders ig it is a coincidence that in the same week that the BBC have reported: Police dogs found dead in hot car

Maybe not!

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Isn't it astonishing that you can pick up a phone almost anywhere and talk to people virtually anywhere on the planet... one of the true technological miracles of our age.

Cousteau-cub is now in the Phillippines and has a new phone number. We tried to call her a couple of times, but the call rang out, so suspect she was either working, asleep, or somewhere noisy.

So much for technological miracles!


There was a moment on Friday that the Gorse Fox looked back on with consternation. He was on one of the many phone calls that filled the day when, of a sudden, thyere a diminuendo of sound as the background hum of his PC faded to nothing. It was as if the plug had been removed. A faint aroma of TCP filled the room. The PC was dead.

Being brave and grown up about these things he gave it a gentle kick and ignored it until this morning. Removing it from its housing he unplugged all of the cables and took the covers off. No visible signs of the problem were evident, but GF was sure it was the PSU. Phoning his local supplier he checked that suitable units were in stock... and headed off towards Portsmouth.

A couple of hours later GF was home clutching a new PSU (and some memory and a new external disk). He removed the old PSU and replaced it with the new one. He had upgraded the power from 145W to 650W with a view that he was not going to overload this one! A few minutes later the computer was running its disk-check. GF fitted the memory and put the covers back on. The computer started and all was well.

Well almost. GF is having to fiddle about as it keeps suggesting a "Safe Mode" start. He hasn't got to the bottom of this yet, but isn't too worried at this point as everything seems to work.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Whilst he's in a mood to rant

Whilst thinking about the video below, he remembered the Jenny McCarthy Body Count
This a website that keeps track of the damage being done by one US-based ill-informed "celebrity" who has been campaigning against vaccines of various types.

Now at first a few cranks deciding to risk their children to serious illness can be understood. Now that the science is in, and so conclusively proves her position to be untenable the continued campaign is actually dangerous and if more people follow we can get to a state where the "herd immunity" is lost and the diseases in question become rampant again.

People like her (and Prince Charles for that matter) should leave the science to scientists and genuine qualified medical practitioners and stick to opening shopping centres and talking to flowers.

Just a drop

Some clips are too good not to share.

The Gorse Fox is what our Colonial cousins would call a "skeptic". Actually, he isn't. He is just a bloke with an enquiring mind that looks at the actaul peer reviewed evidence in real scientific journals.

Don't bother pouring one of those for the Gorse Fox!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Well that was a good day. Very busy, but some real design work for a change. Spent much of the day drawing swimlanes to show the way in which information flows around a system. Interesting for the Gorse Fox... but boring for readers.

A quiet journey home and a fine Weissbier.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Embankment Station was hot and it was busy. A breath of wind driven by the approaching train cuased a ripple of movement. The train clatterd to a stop and the announcer helpfully suggested:
"Use all the doors and pass right along the cars please".
The Gorse Fox decided that this was bad advice when the train and the platform were so busy, and despite the instruction to the contrary he used only the one door in the one carriage.