Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
involved Chineses food and beer.
The GF finds it interesting when people try to explain to him how to
change an Excel model to show something different.... when GF
actually devised the model originally, and probably has more than the
smallest inkling as to how it works.
He also finds it enthralling that a mathematical model produced to
support a particular exercise has grown wings and people have chosen
to put significant faith in it beyong it's original purpose without
remembering the daily admonitions that it could only be verified by
developing detailed plans and feeding the information back (providing
a feedback loop).
There are times when a Gregorian Chant starts to play in the back of
the GF brain... and he can only be grateful that it does.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
A quite afternoon in the garden chatting about all and sundry, examining the flora, and discussing the results of Barney's woodwork whilst drink tea and eating cake. If we had resorted to croquet it might have been a scene from a period drama.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Why does our dreadful government spurn the Ghurkas? Brave soldiers who dedicate many years of the lives to serving our Queen and Country... but our Government don't think they are worthy to live here. Recent legal rulings say they should, but our shameless Government don't. The Gorse Fox finds this a deep embarrassment.What is it about violence in the City? GF hears that the half-brother of footballer Jermaine Defoe had been attacked and killed. Why have things sunk to such a level that violence seems to be the answer to everything.Why do some contestants on Britains Got Talent never listen to themselves on tape before applying to go on the programme
Friday, April 24, 2009
Eventually he headed to the car park, fired up the Aga and headed for the South Coast. Podcasts from the Naked Scientists, the Onion News, Buzz Out Loud, Skeptoid, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, and several other kept him informed and amused during the tedium of the drive.
There's something cathartic about the first sight of the sea, the smell of beach, and the peace of this little corner of Sussex. All the stresses of the week just seem to drop away. It's nice to be home.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
is preparing a number of presentations and other materials for later
in the week. As an aid to this he has been using a mind papping tool.
He has used such tools since since the early 90s but the old licensed
version of Mindmap didn't get transferred to his new laptop - and at
the current price there was no way he was updating the license.
He tried Freemind, but has always found it a bit clunky so resorted to
some Googling and found Xmind. This seems to do the trick nicely, and
is free. So far so good.
After work we met up at a fine establishment that purveys meals based
on recipes from the Indian sub-continent. A most pleasant meal.
Sent from my mobile device
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
- I'm sorry about the new 3609 new laws we have passed to restrict your freedom
- I'm sorry about lying regarding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
- I'm sorry about the sleaze and spin
- I'm sorry that you are watched by CCTV wherever you go
- I'm sorry that we demand that your ISP retains all your email and phone contacts
- I'm sorry about Ed Balls and Lord Mandelson (but at least Prescot has retired)
- I'm sorry about the economy
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Plans were to dine at the Mulberry this evening with the Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in law, but events have conspired in such a way as to cause us to cancel the booking. This is not an issue as long as everyone is ok.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
GF is now back in his room after the Course Dinner - which was very good and good fun (if you like geek-speeak for several hours).
Everything is set for the first presentation tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
course. It's certainly interesting, though GF really dislikes the
role-playing that is involved. What is strange is that the case study
is familiar to the GF as he was involved in periphery of the original
exercise on which it is based.
Does seem strange being on a Starfleet course but having such limited
network access - almost no mobile phone signal, limited GPRS or 3G but
some WiFi which gives a sporadic access.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
If we can't think for ourselves, if we're unwilling to question authority, then we're just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.
Friday, April 10, 2009
|When I claim expenses I must submit receipts for the expenditure.||When I claim expenses I am trusted because I am a Gentleman|
|When my expenses are submitted they are verified and exceptions have to be explained and signed off by a manager.||When my expenses are submitted I hope that nobody checks them|
|If I submit an expenses claim fraudulently I will lose my job||If I claim expenses fraudulently I will take some stick from the media (if they find out) but my colleagues will rally round and explain that it was a simple mistake or it is a “right”.|
|When I go to work I have to pay for any meals or drinks that I may consume||When I go to work I get a subsidised bar and restaurants.|
|When I travel to my normal place of work I have to pay my travel costs||When I travel to work I am provided with first class rail travel, a car, or mileage expenses.|
|I would love to be able to afford a little pied a terre to reduce my commute time||The British Taxpayer provides me with a an allowance for a pied a terre so that I can attend Parliament (even though the place that I have bought is barely closer than my own home, and it only takes 25 minutes to commute).|
It is my “right”.
|When I retire I will exist on a pension that I have spent my whole career accumulating||When I retire I will get a cracking pension, but we don't want to focus on that at this time of “credit crunch”.|
|When I get my pension I will pay a substantial amount of tax to help pay for the pensions of MPs, Civil Servants and to pay of the debts that these MPs have created.||When I retire I will get a cushy job as a “consultant” on a Quango or Government inquiry and get supplementary payments.|
|When I get my Council Tax bill over 20% of the value will go towards pension funds of local authorities – but my pension will not rise to accommodate this. So I will be paying out of my pension to pay for theirs.||Those greedy Local Authorities are milking us through Council Taxes (thank goodness I get a reduction on my second home).|
|When I retire I will get poorer year on year because of the continued increases in Council Tax and inflation||My pension is Index-linked. (Isn't everybody's?)|
|When I retire I will be eligible for a Bus pass – this will help me reduce my dependence on cars. However, there are no buses in my rural community; and I won't be allowed to use the pass for long distance travel||In order to optimise the transport network we have reduced the subsidy for rural buses.|
|If I want a new dining room table I must save up and buy it||I put it on expenses|
|If I want a new cooker, I must save up and buy it||I put it on expenses|
|If I want a tumble dryer||I put it on expenses|
|If I want a new entertainment system with two widescreen TVs, set-top boxes, and DVD players, I must save up and buy them||I put it on expenses|
|When my company has a bad year I do not get a pay rise.||When the economy is crashing I will award myself an inflation-busting payrise – and ensure that people in public services get their independently assessed payrises cut so that we are seen to be managing the economy and controlling public expenditure.|
|When I buy a house (remember when you could afford to buy houses) that exceeds the tax threshold I have to pay Stamp Duty||When I buy a house (or the taxpayer buys one for me) I put the Stamp Duty through on expenses|
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Not wishing to take the car out, we decided on going for a walk and headed down through the commercial centre of San Blas and down across the new residencial centre towards Los Abrigos.
The quaint little fishing village of Los Abrigos hasn't really changed over the last two years - the hartbourside still being lined (essentially) the same collection of restaurants. One or two have changed hands and had a bit of a facelift, but little changes.
Retracing our steps we returned to the villa. The six miles we had covered was sufficient exercise for the day... and we had to prepare for the evening's football.
A dinner of chicken and prawn fajitas was cleared away, the wine was opened and getting a chance to breathe as we settled down for the grandstand view afforded by the widescreen TV. The Gorse Fox notes that there was very little chanting or violence at this venue - and in general the Silver Vixen was well behaved.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
After some deliberation it was decided that the car was the best escape - The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen could head along the coast and stop wherever we wanted - if and when the weather broke. Seemed like a good strategy - and as we turned north up the west coast it seemed liklely to pay-off as the n-w corner of the Island seemed clear.
We dropped down onto the coast raod, for a change, and zigged and zagged toward Los Gigantes, then started to climb towards Santiago del Teide. From there, the plan was to cross the mountain pass and drop down to Masca, then continue through the mountains to Buenavista and along to the lighthouse Faro de Teno. However, the cloud had closed in once more and the attractions of Masca nd Teno are pretty irrelevant if you can't see them!!!
We reconsidered. We turned around and headed up the west side of El Teide. Visibility dropped as we penetrated the cloud and the temperature plummeted to 6C. We carried on and finally as we climbed through the 1900 metre mark we popped out of the top of the clouds into bright blue sun-drenched skies. The temperature shot back up and we decided to linger.
Making our way to the Parador for a comfort break and some sandwiches we marvelled at what a contrast there was between the clear blue of the mountain and the miserable grey of its cloud covered ramparts. The Parador was busy with cyclists, walkers and tours. In fact GF would say it was the most cyclists and walkers he had ever seen up there. (The Parador is at one end of the 16km Siete Canadas (seven ravines) trail, and there was a constant trickle of hikers arriving at the end of their trek).
Eventually we moved on. Stopping for the odd photos and then at Boca Tauce choosing the route down the southern flanks of the mountain. We immediately dropped back into cloud and saw very little of the scenery down as far as Villaflor, but as we left there and continued to San Miguel the cloud started to clear and by the time we were back down near the villa - the sun was out.
It had turned out to be really good day - though completely unexpected.