Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two halves

The first half of Saturday was a tedious exercise in going back through notes, diaries and so forth to document some material for work. What GF had expected to be an hour's exercise turned out to take over three. The Silver Vixen gave up and went off to Porpoise Place to meet up with Urban-cub and get on with the decorating.

Eventually GF was finished and went over to join in the DIY for the rst of the afternoon.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Weird

Did you know that in Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

Mmmm.

Profession

"You look very professional - do you work here?" 

The Gorse Fox did a double take - "Who me?"

"Yes, do you work here?"

The Gorse Fox had been standing near the entrance to the new IKEA at Southampton awaiting the Silver Vixen and Urban-cub who were busy checking that IKEA plumbing was up to scratch. He had picked up a pencil and a tape measure and it would seem that that is sufficient to make hime look professional. GF explaine he was just waiting for someone - and pointed out the tape measures.

His protaganist picked up a tape measure and put it round his neck and grabbed a pencil. With a smile he said "Ok, I'll take over now" and the Gorse Fox moved away with a grin (It's nice to find someone with a sense of humour).

The trip to IKEA had two objectives - to look round the new store and to find some stuff for the GF's study. The trip was a success on both counts and several hundred hours later we emerged, blinking back into the light. Food was the next priority and after looking about we stopped at a pub called The Quayside. Ciabattas, wings, ribs, chips, tuna, bacon and so forth were laid out in front of us and soon we were satisfied.

Finally we had to head into the town centre to find Maplins and try to get a product that would improve the TV signal around the house. 

A nice day off was somewhat ruined however by the ingress of work issues into the day

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All Done

Last day of work for a while... the Gorse Fox has a few days of leave. The day has not been a breeze however. There were so many loose ends to tie up that he hardly had a chance to stop for tea or coffee. 

He thinks it's done now - time to put his feet up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well well

The Gorse Fox notices that media haven't made much of last month's report from Japan. Fortunately, The Register paid for its translation and revealed some of the findings
Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology.
Read the article - it's an eye opener

Qualifications

According to Robert Peston's blog, evidence given to the Treasury Select Committee by the head of the FSA reveals "that in the past, when deciding whether someone was fit-and-proper to be a senior banker, almost the only consideration for the FSA was whether the candidate was a crook". The Gorse Fox assumes this information was needed as some form of positive qualification.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pavillion

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen headed off to the theatre in Worthing. We went to see "Totally Looped" which is a travelling show where a number of talented stand-up comedians have to improvise from a number of suggestions given by the audience.

The Gorse Fox's luck regarding theatres continued. As we arrived there was notice that Sanjev Bashar was ill and was being replaced by someone else (this reminds him of the two occasions when he has tried to see Elkie Brooks to be foiled by her illness on both occasions),

Anyway, the show was excellent with some clever improv and also the dubbing of random film clips by the cast based on themes provided by the audience. Great fun - and very clever. Thoroughly entertaining evening.

Statistics

So research published today has shown an increase in cases of Type 2 Diabetes of 75% in the last 10 years. This is being blamed on diet and obesity. The Gorse Fox would point out the following:
  • The current government have been in power for the whole of that time.
  • People were eating before they came to power
  • It is only since they came to power that this has increased
  • People are still eating
The Gorse Fox suggest it is not the eating - it is the political regime!

Vote for someone else and cure Type 2 Diabetes !!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Strange

The day has been strange. The car had to be dropped at the garage and then work commenced.

Phone calls punctuated the morning but one was most unexpected. A nice lady called and said how much she liked the Gorse Fox's photo of Lancing Chapel and could she take a copy and blow it up. GF was more than happy to acceed to the request and enjoyed a pleasnat few minutes chatting.

Late afternoon the car was collected and new tyres installed... and then work continued. The last call of the evening was with New Zealand (not all of it) at 20:00.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hub

Today is the anniversary of the Gorse Fox's first appearance on this planet (depending on your view of reincarnation, that is). As a result, the house has been the hub or nexus for the world's international communication network today.

Beloved Aunt has been on the phone from the western extremes of the Commonwealth (where it was still snowing), and Cousteau-cub has been on the phone from Koh Phi Phi where she had just finished a night dive and it was in the high 30s-C.

Little and large

You can see the difference in size between a regualr laptop and the new netbook that GF has acquired. It is only a fraction of the size and weight... but still has all the basic function that GF would require. What it doesn't have is a CD/DVD player - but it's a long time since he's used that anyway.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Toys

The Gorse Fox has treated himself to a new toy. 

He has bought a Samsung NC10 netbook. This is small (10.2") screen and an almost normal sized keyboard. Seems like a terrific little machine - but GF did have trouble setting up the wireless connection. For now, the only way he can get it to connect is by removing the wireless network security. Given how remote GF is, this does not pose much of a threat.

This is ideal for travel, having a very long battery life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The morning was spent on the phone with a schedule of overlapping phone calls. This worked pretty well - in particular the last call which went really well and introduced one of the greenhorns to one of the Directors.

The afternooon was spent reviewing documents.

Mellors turned up in the afternoon to do some tidying up beyond the south terrace. He was by himself this week - no sign of his totty.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Greenhorn

The Gorse Fox brought two new members to the team. One of them, it turns out, went to school with another of his chaps. Much of the day was spent briefing them and showing them round.

He finally got away soon after five and started the long drive home accompanied by discussions on Amazon's Kindle 2, the Palm Pre, copyright, the snowfalls of last week, the brain's response to envy (and schadenfreude), Kangen water, and so forth. A trouble-free, but interesting drive.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Curry

It has been a quieter day than expected - but a lot was achieved. GF has interviewed several more candidates to join the project and made offers to a couple (well, by that he means two - they are not a couple).

After work we met up - The Mexican and his wife, Frodo, Deep Blue and a new colleague - at a restaurant that GF had not tried before. Anarkali (or however it was should be spelled) was a bright and vibrant purveyor of fine Indian food. It was very good and worth a return visit. Deep Blue gave GF a lift back to the hotel in his new Merc. He is very taken with it and GF was impressed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Inca

It has ben a good day. Gorse Fox has managed to move a number of issues forward - rejected some candidates but accepted others. A new young lady has joined the team and is obviously an Excel guru - and therefore very welcome.

Quite a cluster of us met up for dinner at Pizza Express with plenty of wide ranging discussions and conversations covering film, TV, work, travel, fossils, and pre-Columban America. Very stimulating.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bits

It has been a day of bits. Loads of bits. Nothing that took more than 30 minutes or so... just loads of them. Not many opportunites to surface up until now, but GF has decided that's it for today. He's back to his usual early start for his cross country trip in the morning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Visitors

Pleasant day with a visit from Betty and Barney Rubble and much catching up on respective families. Lunch was taken at The Spotted Cow in Angmering which was (as usual) very crowded - but the food was excellent.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cove

Another day spent at Urban-cub's flat decorating. In here normal organised fashion she had a list of tasks to be performed and a subset documented specifically for the Gorse Fox. Most wer completed quite quickly, but one posed a conundrum. How to hide the space at the top of a partion wall which was too big for a simple filler? GF had run out of filler anyway. He headed to the great orange DIY emporium to re-stock and whilst there saw some coving.

Back at Porpoise Place he showed effect. It was evident that U-c and the Silver Vixen were underwhelmed. However, it would look good if the coving crowned the whole hallway, he was told. He headed back to the great orange emporium and loaded up with 9 more lengths of coving, and some pre-formed corners... and several hours later the hallway was complete.

U-c was going out for the evening so the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen went to a restaurant in Littlehampton that they had not tried before. The food was very good and good value too. The restuarant itself was, however, family friendly. This apparently means that you can bring your family and allow the children to run riot whilst you shout at them from behind your beer glass. GF is evidently getting older (or it may be that he had a pounding headache from the paint and adhesive fumes) but there are times when he longs for a family-hostile restaurant.


Friday, February 13, 2009



Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Pitching in Another day at Stamford Bridge. It had been a quiet evening and GF had an early night. A leisurely start to the day was spent reading the brief for the morning's exercises. The course kicked off with a Starfleet update and then it was back into role play. It is a while since GF has been on a course, but he must say that it was exceptional. It was a little galling to find oneself at Stamford Bridge - but at least it wasn't the Emirates (in which case he obviously could not have attended).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

CFC

The Gorse Fox was on the first train out of the village this morning -
he had to be at Stamford Bridge for an early start to a two day
course on negotiation techniques. (He supposes that if he was any good
at negotiation he'd have arranged a later start).

There are a couple of hundred Starfleet captains on the course making
sure they have sufficient training to deal with Klingons and other
carbon-based life-forms that we might encounter.

The first day was superb and GF managed to network with a number of
colleagues. He made time during one of the breaks to head out into the
stands and take a couple of photos for Cousteau-cub.

Overnight he is staying in one of the hotels attached to the ground.
He's just walked back through the snow from dinner and is destined to
have a quiet evening with some reading and coursework.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home early

Well not quite. Gorse Fox headed home a day early this week because he is scheduled to be on a course in London for the next couple of days... and he wasn't home early as the journey was a bit slow and he got caught for abou 15 minutes by the level crossing, which after a long drive is alway immensely frustrating.

Things to prepare and football to watch - must go.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

onwards

The forecast 8 inches of snow turned out to be illusionary, at least
in Worcester. The rain pounded down throughout the night, but never
turned to snow fortunately. However, GF was pleased that he came up a
day early as it was clear that part of his normal was indeed affected
by the cold white stuff.

The office was interesting - GF started with a telecon with his new
manager, which went well. Sounds as she's going to be a great asset.
Then from there he started a series of meetings that would fill the
rest of the morning.

The afternoon was far more productive.

The streets of Worcester were quiet this evening as GF joined up with
the Abbot, Frodo and our Scottish friend. A fine meal followed at the
salubrious Pizza Express... and now the Gorse Fox is esconced in his
suite winding down for the evening.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Monday, February 09, 2009

Changing Plans

The Gorse Fox started the day with some telephone interviews. Then
there were a number of telephone queries, some documents to review
and some spreadsheets to tune. All was going well.

Then GF saw that the weather forecast of last night was essentially
unchaged. This meant that GF could expect up to 8 inches of snow in
the morning. On the other hand he could drive up to Worcester this
afternoon and not worry overmuch.

That was it - a late afternoon drive through the heavy rain and then
the sleet and increasing snow. Checking in to the hotel there was a
mix up over his room - but the replacement suite was adequate
compensation for the confusion.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Paint

Most of Sunday was spent up to one's arms in paint. The Gorse Fox, Silver Vixen and Urban-cub returned to Porpoise Place and contined with the decorating. At one point the nasty little neighbour from upstairs came to complain - Urban-cub was in no mood to put up with this so the Gorse Fox suggested that he walked away whilst it was safe to do so, and closed the door on him.

Cousteau-cub texted to explain she had laryngitis, so will have to use SMS this week.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Auto

Urban-cub has a problem. She shares her car and the owner now wishes to sell up. This means that she will be without transport and that is not a good thing here on the Gorse. To try and get a view of the options open to her the Gorse Fox accompanied her around all of the various dealerships and frnchises around Rustington, Goring, Durrington and Worthing. We saw Honda, Peugot, Toyota, Skoda, Renault, Nissan, Ford and (of course) VW.

She now has a good view of the market and can start to decide on her best course of action.

The Silcver Vixen decided to skip the sewing day with her coven and stay put to practise some new quilting techniques.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Insults, storms and teacups

Gorse Fox notices that Clarkson has been lambasted for referring to Gordon Brown as a "one-eyed Scottish idiot". 

Apparently the Scots are taking great offence. The Gorse Fox is at a loss: there is no argument that he has one-eye, and there is no argument that he is Scottish. Whether he is an idiot or not is a matter of opinion - but surely that is for him to take offence at - not the Scots as a whole. 

Or is it rather that they are offended that Gordon Brown is Scottish and don't wish to be associated with him?

Squeezing it

It has been a busy day for the Gorse Fox. A number of telecons, a stack of emails, CVs to review, new tasks to define, interviews and so forth. he was glad when he got to the end.

Since then he has been playing with Python - another programming language (one that he hadn't really tried before). He quite likes it. It seems fairly well structured and quite quick for an interpreted language.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Whether or not

Overnight the heavens dumped several inches of snow over Worcester. An eerie quiet ensued as the snow muffled the sound of the traffic. Clearing the car the Gorse Fox wondered whether the hill up to office would be passable but in the great scheme of things it was trouble-free. Work was a bit like the Marie Celeste (well, other than the fact it isn't a sailing ship, wasn't found deserted in the fog, and didn't have half-eaten meals everywhere) in that it was very quiet - many of the locals who live in outlying villages were trapped by the hills.

More heavy snow was forecast for during the day so once the most important meetings were over GF decided to head back to the balmy warmth of the south coast. Though concerned about what he might meet on the way - the jouney was trouble-free and it was a pleasure to get home at a sensible time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Nights

SO the Gorse Fox has now left the world famous Worcester Pie Night.
The night is in full swing, but GF needs all of the beauty sleep he
can get.

What about the pies? There were pork pies, game pies, curry pies,
steak pies, chicken pies, chicken and leek pies almost every pie you
could shake a stick at. They were delicious... and followed by
crumbles, cobblers, and treacle pies.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Forecast

The forecast is for a heavy fall of pies. Tonight is "Pie Night" again at the Cardinal's Hat. This is Worcester's answer to Anthropogenic Global Obesity

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Jam

It seemed innocent enough... it was, after all, a journey the Gorse
Fox makes week in and week out. Because of the weather he left a bit
later than usual.

All was well until he arrived at Chichester, then things went awry. GF
joined the back of a traffic queue - the A27 had been closed. Traffic
was barely at a crawl. GF was stocked up with snacks, drinks, warm
weather clothes (just in case) and settled back with his podcasts. It
took two hours and twenty minutes to do the first twenty-two miles...
and overall the journey to Worcester took about five hours.

Worcester seems to have got off very lightly and though cold was pretty clear.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snow

Well the south east got hit with some snow. Not a lot down here on the coast (maybe a couple of inches) - but it was nearly 10 inches deep around London. Needless to say chaos ensued on the roads, but GF had the advantage of working from home today. Word has it that Worcester has a light dusting... and so he will trek up there in the morning (having cancelled the course that he was meant to attend).

More snow is forecast overnight so we will see what the morning brings!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Snow

The Silver Vixen headed off early to Ardingly for a quilt show. Urban-cub stayed in bed, and the Gorse Fox spent the morning reading and researching.

As the afternoon wore on a few snow flakes bega to drift across the garden. Withing half an hour it was looking quite wintery. The Silver Vixen reported a "white out" in Ardingly and it became clear it was heading our way.

As an aside GF was looking for a toll with which he could format and print a "blogger" blog. He doesn't want to spend any money and get a formally bound print (he's found sites that do this) - but he does want to create a PDF in chronological order. He knows he could write the code to do this... but can't believe there isn't something out there that will do this already.

End of Peer

Great quote from Peter Hitchins in the Mail:
Actually, it is still not too late to bring back Hereditary Peers, decent incorruptible old coves who have Britain in their bones and blood. Why do we believe that "democracy" is the answer to everything when it so frequently elevates idiots and crooks to power?