Monday, August 31, 2009


The day has been spent at the computer again - finishing off a major proposal for a client. The sun has been blazing down across the coast. Urban-cub and the Silver Vixen have been making the most of it - GF has popped out every now and then for 10 minutes for a break.

Day finished off with mountains of beef, pork and chicken being immolated on the BBQ. Feeling most content.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


It was good to get through to Cousteau-cub on the phone.

What with her recent travels to and from the Phillippines and Singapore and changes of Sim card and phone number it was hard to keep up for the past few weeks... but now she's back in Thailand it was much easier.

Shame that she's obviously suffering from a cold!

Day of Rest

Sunday has often been referred to as a day of rest.

Not this week it's not.

Gorse Fox is helping colleagues complete the writing and collation of the documents that will be delivered to our client on Tuesday morning. He can't complain really, the work is not too onerous and he quite enjoys writing... and more to the point the proposed project is really interesting and poses plenty of challenges for the little grey cells. (Not that he expects to work on this project - even if Starfleet does win the business).

Saturday, August 29, 2009


One should not wallow in the discomfort of others (Arsenal supporters excepted). The Gorse Fox was amused to see Arsene Wenger sent to the stands at the end of the game at Old Trafford, and hears that the Gunners have signed a new sponsorship deal with "Scuba Warehouse".

Leaving it late

Well Aaron Lenon scored for Spurs in the 4th or 5th minute of injury time - that's what the Gorse Fox considers leaving it late! 100% record still intact.

Friday, August 28, 2009


The Gorse Fox notes (with some satisfaction) that Arsene Wenger is upset that one of his players is being charged with "deceiving the referee" - or what the rest of us would call cheating. It was about time that this diving was stamped out and what better place to start (now that Ronaldo has gone to Madrid).


The Gorse Fox remembers why he used to hate travelling to London on Fridays. Every serious delay he has ever had travelling back was on a Friday.

Gorse Fox left the office, content. It was a sensible time and he had a comfortable walk to the tube - which was there waiting to whisk him to Victoria.

That's where it all went pear shaped. There had been (another) fatality on the line near Wandsworth and no trains were moving in or out. He spun on his heels and headed back to the tube to head back across town. A talentless busker jumped aboard and serenaded the journey with some tuneless Bowie song (GF supposes the word tuneless was superfluous as it was Bowie).

Striding across London Bridge he arrived at the eponymous station only to find there had been knock on delays. However, his train was soon available and he sat down with a degree of relief... it may still be late - but at least he has a train!


The Gorse Fox peeled back an eye-lid to glance at hus watch. He instantly snapped into full wakefulness - the alarm had not gone off and he would be hard pushed to make the train. He then remembered the carpenters' adage about "measure twice, cut once" so he peered once more at the face of the clock. He had misread the dial - a further 45 minutes of slumber were permitted. All was well.

The Gorse Fox is likely to be working during the weekend - this means that he is unlikely to see the World Gravy-Wrestling Championships scheduled for next two days. How can he possibly miss such important sporting fixtures

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This week is becoming a bit of a treadmill. It was nearly ten before he got home last night having worked on the train most of the way back... then saw the news and went to bed.

Back on the train heading for town again. Suspect that today will be at least as long... and hold out little expectation of a weekend or Bank Holiday. There is still so much to do and so much depends on input from other people.

Good to see that Spurs continued their good start to the season with a 5-1 win over Doncaster in the League Cup. The Gorse Fox received his supporters pack last night (not that it amounts to much - nor that he will get to see many - if any - games)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back and Forth

The Gorse Fox arrived home last night in time to see the Bishop. The SIlver Vixen had arranged for him to have dinner with us as he is on his own whilst the Aunt is still in hospital. It is clear that the last nine months of worry and the comings and goings to the hospital have taken their toll and he was looking a little frail.

He had not, however, lost his sense of humour and regaled us with various tales of his mischievous youth.

It was nice to see him and to hear that Blodwyn will be soon moved on for further rehabilitation as she has been making such progress.

GF is back on the train for London this morning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The Gorse Fox has finally achieved a degree of respite from the various configuration discussions, permutations, and spreadsheets... a nail has been driven in the ground for now.

He now turns his attention to responding to a 139 x 15 compliance matrix. Oh joy!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Gorse Fox was troubled as he went to bed last night. The spreadsheet which had occupied most of the weekend seemed to have gone horribly wrong. As if from nowhere 17 additional configurations plonked themeselves into the calculations. Check as he did he could not find the cause... nor confirm the validity (or otherwise).

This morning a colleague returned from holiday. In a couple of words he solved the problem - he realised he had not stored the configurations with everything else and GF's spreadsheet had managed to dig them out and identify them. The spreadsheet was right after all. GF was vindicated and found it hard to wipe the smile off his face all afternoon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oh my Lord!

The Gorse Fox has just had a daddy-daughter moment with Urban-cub. This has involved him sitting with her as she watched X-Factor. He should make it clear that he has never seen this show before... and trust that he may not ever see it again.

Don't these victims wannabe performers have friends? ...friends who may tell them that they have no talent and can't hit a note. In fact in many cases can't get within a thousand yards of a note.


Despite an hour or two in the garden, most of the day has been spent working. The frustrating thing is that GF thinks he's just cocked-up his spreadsheet and can't get it to reconcile properly with what is known.

Unfortunately time is getting very short... and he doesn't have the luxury of time for errors.


Well a quiet afternoon in the garden turned into a free airshow (without the crowds) as various aircraft flew along the shoreline towards or back from Shoreham.

GF was all fingers and thumbs with the camera to start with but finally got the knack in time for the return of the Vulcan, below.

There were so many planes that it seemed as if Kingston Gorse was being used to launch an attack!

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Saturday, August 22, 2009


There are some events that should be marked as special occasion. One such event was the completion of 60 years in this existence for the Stich Witch. So it was that the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox found themselves bobbin' along to the depths of Worthin to participate in an arcane ritual involving the immolation of previously sacrificed and basted animals accompanied by offcuts of herb and vegetable matter.

Gorse Fox, ever cautious,  hunted round to see if there was evidence of a ducking stool or indeed a pyre, but it was clear that the evening was to pass without the birthday girl (and he says that loosely!) being stitched in some dramatic grand finale.

The Gorse Fox selected a location with care. Early attempts at juggling were bcoming dangerous as GF tried to hurl dumbells into the sky from lengths of string attached to drumsticks... he decided that for everyone's sake he should desists and retired to the fat quarter of the garden.

The Stitch Witch circulated, clearly intent on not being pinned down and the Gorse Fox watched as , needled by the gathering gloom, guests cottoned on to the areas where the Commander had put up lights. As the sun disappeared the Gorse Fox (dressed in a short sleeved shirt) began to feel that he would have been better off with a bit of wadding to sit on and a quilted shirt to keep of the chill.

Gracie Fields was there. Indeed the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox had collected her en route. It seemed pointless her bring her broomstick when the Silver Vixen could - with some judicious tacking - sweep by on heres and pick her up and the make a bolt for the party.

As we left we could see that some high cloud had bubbled up and created a patchwork of shadows across the night sky. It had been a lovely evening and, dropping Gracie Fields back to rejoin her familiar, we were soon home. 

Parting shot

Last view as the Vulcan disappeared below the trees
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The highlight of the afternoon's traffic was the Avro Vulcan as it swept low along the shoreline from east to west. GF was a bit slow focussing in so this was the only decent image he got.

What a sight!
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Just sitting in the garden enjoying the sun with Urban-cub and the Silver Vixen. What a perfect afternoon. The peace only broken by birdsong and the occasional rumbling of aircraft engines as they headed to or from Shoreham Airshow.
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Lazy days

The Gorse Fox was a little slow to emerge today... it must have been nearly eight before he woke. Tea made, breakfast and newspaper consumed, he returned to the spreadsheet that has dominated the last few days. A few more hours on that has started to pay dividends in terms of clarity.

GF also got his pension illustration this morning from Starfleet - who, after so much loyal service, have treacherously decided to close the scheme around which GF has been planning the future. It amuses the Gorse Fox that the letter comes from the "Pensions Trust" - which quite evidently is one thing you cannot do.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Cells

Gorse Fox has been buried in spreadsheets again since 0630 this morning. Not riveting but GF likes working with spreadsheets.

The Silver Vixen went to visit Aunt in hospital... after 9 months she was in remarkably good humour. She also saw the Bishop another aunt and GF's cousin. What a family occasion!

Great lines

Frankie Boyle commenting on Mandelson...
"He wants to become Prime Minister because they just aren't evil enough"

Thursday, August 20, 2009


We heard from family - it seems that our dear Aunt (as opposed to Beloved Aunt) is making progress and has finally be transferred Worthing Hospital for a couple of weeks before moving on to St Richard's at Chichester for rehab.

With her being at Worthing we should get a chance to visit.


GF seems to have spent the day looking at cells as he continued to consolidate dozens of different spreadsheets and documents into one and try to make all of them coherent.

The bid response has to be in in about 10 days and there is still tones to do. Gorse Fox has decided to work at home for the rest of the week to try and make a dent in it. Despite all of the work - it was a fun day and there was a lot of good humour buzzing run.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

West Dean

From Itchenor we headed back towards Chichester and then onwards towards Midhurst. The planned destination was West Dean (where we went for the Chilli Fiesta a week or so back).

Part of the plan was a bite to eat in the restaurant before wandering around the gardens. When we got there, however, the only option was cream teas. We took these outside and sat there attracting legions of wasps to our jam and cream. Undeterred, we munched our way through the scones and washed them down with several cups of tea.

Sated, were cleared away and headed for the gardens.

We moved on and found our way to the sunken garden (currently being refurbished) and then on to the pergola. It was gorgeous - framing views across the downs, and reflecting the structure in the ponds.
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Is it...

... a boat, is it a plane?

This was a vessel that GF had never seen before. It seemed to be a dinghy that, at speed, rose on planes to skim several feet clear of the surface.


Today was the 36th Anniversary of the Silver Vixen tying herself to the Gorse Fox. Such a day is day to spend together - not spend working. So it was that SV and teh GF found their way through the traffic to the quiet little harbour at Itchenor.

It was a perfect day... and had brought visitors out to the coast in their droves. This meant that the journey that should have taken 45 minutes at worst - actually took 90 minutes. Once out of the car, however, Itchenor was quiet and we took a gentle stroll down to the harbour.

We bought tickets for the Harbour tour. The traffic had done us a favour (strangely) in that the delay had reduced the time that we had to wait for the tout to start. Heading out from the slipway the boat took us in a long loop towards East Head and the entrance to Chichester Harbour before turning back toward Itchenor.

It was perfect. Bright blue skies, calm waters and little boats and yachts skimming across the waves. There were sights of Bosham, Thorney Island, Hayling Island and of course West Wittering. There is something about a trip like this - it's like wiping a blackboard - all the stresses and frustrations of recent days just disappeared.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What a perfect day. (Side note to readers - please detect a degree of
sarcasm in the words written here). The Gorse Fox's helper is off sick
and today required significant amounts of effort. Questions and
demands of the project came in thick and fast as we tried to scrub the
numbers to hit the targets. Spreadsheets were combined and linked and
recombined and refreshed and slowly the numbers started to make
sense. It is now gone 9pm and GF has just closed the spreasheet.

As he sighed with relief the tyrain company announced that they
couldn't be bothered to stop at Angmering tonight because they were
running late. Perfect end to the day really!!!

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, August 17, 2009


Starfleet made the news today regarding their proposed change to the Pension scheme. There seems to be an increasing backlash. The Gorse Fox will make no comment.


The Gorse Fox has been sitting in the office next to a colleague who has evidently returned to work too early from an illness. He has been coughing and spluttering whilst trying to hide behind his tissues.

Now GF has a slightly sore throat... and is irritated!

Home now and just completed the Ocado order.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Positive start

It was a quiet day. Urban-cub had gone out with friends for a BBQ, the Silver Vixen was pottering in the garden and the Gorse Fox was pottering on the computer with the Parish Design Statement and the questionnaire for the Parish Action Plan.

It was too nice to stay in all day so GF made his way round to drop some historical papers with a neighbour before taking a gentle stroll along the beach. The tide was on its way in, but there was still plenty of room to walk on the sand (once the tide is too far in, only the pebbles are left exposed).

To make the afternoon just about perfect Spurs started the season with a 2-1 win over Liverpool.

Memory champs meet for UK contest

Memory champs meet for UK contest
The Gorse Fox had forgotten all about this.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Much of the day spent writing questionnaires using Google's forms. Must say the Gorse Fox is very impressed - considering it is free technology.

Friday, August 14, 2009


A long week - Over.

Gorse Fox had another stimulating day on the Southbank of the Thames attending meetings and reviews whilst simultaneously catching up on email, completing hardware configurations, analysing bid text and clarifying various communications. Who said men can't multi-task.

Managed to get away earlier than expected and was home soon after eight... just as the Silver Vixen was going out to have dinner with the Stitch Witch and Gracie Fields round some local cauldron.

The Urban-cub and Gorse Fox phoned for some Chow Mein befor watching last week's (recorded) Gadget Show.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bad start

The Gorse Fox dressed in a crisp white shirt and headed for London for another thrilling day. Arriving at the Southbank the Gorse Fox grabbed a coffee and promptly spilled it all down his shirt. The tune "Things can only get better" ran through his mind - then he remembered it was the theme for Nu-Labour 12 years ago. Depressed by the omens he got on with his work.

In the end, the omens proved wrong... and though frantic at time it was a good day, made better by the train being late at Victoria meaning that GF got away earlier than expected (by getting an earlier train that was running late).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some days

Some days you just wonder...

The Gorse Fox got away from Southbank and headed for the train. Tourists evidently don't understand that the Gorse Fox (when heading for the station) is a man on a mission. Bodies were hurled aside and pushed from bridges as he strode purposefully towards the tube. The question was whether he would arrive at Victoria in time to get some cash and get something to eat before the train left.

He was cutting things fine, but Nat West kindly hurled some money out of the slot in return for a quick browse of his bank card - then he ran (yes, heshould know better at his age) to Wasabi - but the queue was too long so executing a graceful and nobchalont pirouette he swung into Ixxys and ordered a bagel...

Leaping aboard the train he settled down to spill crumbs all over his keyboard as he spent the journey home looking for some new permutations of the solution that may change the price dynamics.

The train left on time... and arrived on time. Striding across the footbridge the Gorse Fox approached his car and plipped the key.


He plipped it again


He remembered there was an emergency manual key embedded in the fob and extracted it... but couldn't release the lock cover. He searched round for a cat to kick (metaphorically) and phoned home for the spare keys. The Silver Vixen came to the rescue and just before 10 GF settled down with a pear cider.

As he said... some days!


Always a joy! GF is spending today and the next 2 days in meetings

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting longer

The work days are getting longer as our bid activity proceeds and London conspired to try and prevent GF getting to his train. He managed to get away with about 25 mins to spare but that was insufficient to walk and take the tube (the usual route).

He hopped a taxi and it immediately got caught in roadworks and then by (quite literally) every set of traffic lights (including some extra lights for more roadworks) on the way to Victoria. He got to the station by the skin of his teeth... leapt on the train and then settled down to read various papers, documents, and schedules ready for tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Senior Moments

An so our events secretary booked a table for 8 at 8 at the new Thai restaurant. All was well... and the guests were primed to turn up.

Mid afternoon the cakes and balloons were transported to the new restaurant... much to the surprise of the staff. There was no such booking... in fact it was booked at their sister restaurant in Worthing. Ooops!

Fortunately, they had space and the booking was duly moved.

The event itself was great fun and the food was excellent... and of course Urban-cub was now even more senior


Today is Urban-cub's birthday. A truly special person and a joy. Happy Birthday.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Just Brilliant

In this post the Gray Monk has nailed it.

Simply brilliant.

Beyond chilli

After we had eaten we continued to tour and sample the stalls before heading back to the restaurant for some cold drinks. The heat was taking its toll.

Then we moved away from th fiesta and made use of the time to look around the extensive gardens, greenhouses, and indeed the arboretum (once we had found it). Gorse Fox should point out that nody had actually misaid it - it was more a case of members of the party being cartographically challenged (in that we didn't have a map).

The gardens are very pleasant and even on a day such as this were really quite tranquil and well worth the visit. Indeed GF and the Silver Vixen were so taken with the place that they went back and took out a membership so that they could come and visit at any time at no charge.
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Well they didn't expect that

As we made our way from stall to stall we saw example of chillies being used in every imaginable way - as dips, as chutneys, as sauces, as powders, as jellies, as chocolate ingredients, as fudge ingredients, and of course in many different kinds of cooking.

The Gorse was eager to try several of the sauces and dips and despite some fairly clear warnings of peril, impending doom, severe burns, shock and who knows what he did try most of the sauces that he wanted and was surprised that they weren't as toxic as he had been expecting.

We stopped early for lunch - before the throng. Can you guess what was chosen? (The Gorse Fox, even now is shaking his head - not quite sure what came over him). Let's recap on some of the choices. There was a huge Paella being prepared, there was a haog roast, there was venison steaks, there were organic sausages, there was beef in chilli (sliced), there were pakoras, there were samosas, there were bhajis, there was curry, and there was a Moorish BBQ.

So we stopped and had a slice of focaccia with salad and feta cheese. (Anyone would think this was Islington and we were a bunch of braying trendies!!!)
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Hot, hot, hot

The Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen had arranged to meet up with Betty and Barney Rubble at this year's Chilli Fiesta at West Dean House.

The weather was kind and the turnout was stunning - there were thousands of cars streaming into the site all loaded with friends and families... and with an entrance fee of £7.50 per person looked to be a good day's business.

There appeared to be about a hundred stalls each vying for our attention and the chance to assault our taste buds (or or gardening prowess - depending on your fancy). Despite the heaving mass of humanity we managed to tie up with Betty and Barney and indeed Gorse Fox saw Captain Slog there with his wife.
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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Word Processing

Despite the weather the Gorse Fox has been sitting at his computer most of the day. There were changes to apply to the Parish Design Statement after Thursday night's review. Having finished the changes and sent the document out for a further review the Gorse Fox then started playing around with Google Sites to create a new Wiki for the Parish Design Statement.

Now he needs to think of the best way to do a do a good online questionnaire.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Why is that when you have the least time available, and the most jobs and calls queued up... someone decides to set off the fire alarms?

In Town Tonight

(Well today, actually).
Gorse Fox had to get the early train up to London for a day of calls, meetings and goodness knows what else.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


There was distant cackle, the skies grew dark, and a whoosh as several broomsticks swept into view. Silver Vixen's friends had arrived for the afternoon.


How do you spread the news when Twitter appears to be down?

No Photos

The Metropolitan Police have apparently been given guidance as to the use of cameras by members of the public and journalists:
The guidance also makes it clear that people are entitled to film and photograph in public whether or not they are media professionals.

"Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel," it says.
Well that's a useful carification after all the nonsense that has been reported recently regarding police demnding to see photos, security guards forbidding photography and so forth...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Progress / Retrogress

In the 11 hours GF has been working today he has been on the phone for 7 of them. And people wonder why progress can be slow!


So, have you noticed how many people start their sentences with the word "So"? It seems to have become prevalent over the past couple of years. The Gorse Fox now plays "So-bingo"... watching for how long a meeting or call can run before the answer to a question begins just so. Average seems to be about 90-120 seconds.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Science is fighting back

MMmmmm... another item of interest that you won't find documented by the BBC. German Scientists have written an open letter regarding the "pseudo-religion" of Climate Change. A number of quotes catch the eye... but GF particularly likes:
The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming.
Gorse Fox would point out that this is not limited to Germany. He also liked the parting shot:
Do you not believe, Madam Chancellor, that science entails more than just confirming a hypothesis, but also involves testing to see if the opposite better explains reality? We strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this subject and to convene an impartial panel...
Can you imagine the media frenzy if such ideas were to be allowed and real scientists were allowed to openly debate this without interference from politicians? It doesn't bear thinking about.... now where's Tomas de Torquemada?

Monday, August 03, 2009

In Town

Another long day in London juggling two projects. No face to face meetings planned for tomorrow so GF will be working at home.

Unpleasant train journey back as the railway carriage seemed to be populated by people eating foul smelling fast-food (when will they learn that sushi, terriyaki chicken and noodles are good and smell pleasant - burgers and chips smell absolutely foul).

Urban-cub had prepared a fine chilli con carne for GF's return - and with the addition of a Scotch Bonnet it was perfect.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Gorse Fox has spent virtualy the whole day writing reports for work. Not amused.

At least he managed to talk with Cousteau-cub at lunchtime (as did Silver Vixen and Urban-cub, of course). It was good to hear that all was well with her. Her current stint in Malapascua is due to run for another 4 weeks and then she's heading back to Thailand to a new job.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

For the Record

Gorse Fox has just sent the first two Video8 tapes to be converted to DVD. GF decided to get it done professionally and has picked the first 2 of 16 as a trial. Everything handled by recorded delivery and payment not requested until the process is complete. Seems like a good service.

GF will report back - but in case you wish to try them out they can be founds at

Been Hads

The Gorse Fox has recognised that he's one of the "Been Hads". He quietly (all right, maybe not quietly) gets on with getting up early, going to work, earning money to pay his mortgage, feed and support his family, accumulate a pension, pay his taxes, insure and license his car and conduct his life in concert with the laws and customs of the land.

Meanwhile we learn that:
  • Local councils have a hole in their pension scheme - and council taxes must go up to fill this shortfall. (Meanwhile, Gorse Fox's company have told him that after 25 years of contributing to his pension that they're closing the scheme and he'll have to find some other arrangement).
  • Travellers are to be given laptops and WiFi access from publis expense. (Meanwhile Gorse Fox has had to save up to purchase the laptops used in his household).
  • Government is to fund gap years for students. (Meanwhile Gorse Fox has to look carefully at the numbers to determine whether a two week vacation is affordable this year).
  • (Some) Councils are to tax car parking spaces at work - and it is up to companies to decide whether to pass this cost on to their workers. (Meanwhile public transport fails to serve many out-of-town communities making car journeys the only viable way to get to work).
And where are all of these funds coming from? From Gorse Fox's pocket - and that of every other hard working but credit crunched individual in this country. The only people that seem to be immune from this are the political classes (with their gold plated pensions) and the indolent.

Makes you proud!


The Gorse Fox received and email from Old Father Time.
Caught a bit of Hardtalk on BBC news yesterday, tough questioning to get at the truth. Rough gist of some I heard........ Interviewing a bloke in Greenland - population 54,000, 80% Inuit.......
Q:- Is the receding ice affecting your way of life now you can't go out on it to hunt.
A:- Yes, I think our young people will not learn how to hunt.
Q:- It's serious for you then.
A:- Well no, we can fish for longer now.
Q:- It must have affected the village.
A:- Yes, we went down to 32 people with some leaving but we're back up to 50 now and new houses are being built. 
Q:- With higher temperatures and the ice reducing on the land, that must have an affect.
A:- Yes, we can now grow our own vegetables instead of having to import them, also geologists can work. Gold and Silver has been found and they think that we have 1/3rd of the world's gas and 1/6th of the world's oil.
Q:- Doesn't that worry you, drilling and mining.
A:- Nope
Q:- But supplying more oil will only contribute to more CO2 which has caused the warming (his conditioning showing), doesn't that worry you.
A:-Nope. I don't think he got what he was looking for....

Gorse Fox had to chuckle - it's fun when the grand inquisitors don't get the answers they want.