Monday, November 30, 2009

Ignore CO2

Interesting quote just extracted from a German scientific report "Falsi cation Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics":
The main strategy of modern CO2-greenhouse gas defenders seems to hide themselves behind more and more pseudo-explanations, which are not part of the academic education or even of the physics training. A good example are the radiation transport calculations, which are probably not known by many. Another example are the so-called feedback mechanisms, which are introduced to amplify an effect which is not marginal but does not exist at all. Evidently, the defenders of the CO2-greenhouse thesis refuse to accept any reproducible calculation as an explanation and have resorted to unreproducible ones. A theoretical physicist must complain about a lack of transparency here, and he also has to complain about the style of the scienti c discussion, where advocators of the greenhouse thesis claim that the discussion is closed, and others are discrediting justifi ed arguments as a discussion of "questions of yesterday and the day before yesterday"
The paper is good reading (but contains lots of maths).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Naming Climategate

The Gorse Fox was amused by this entry in James Delingpole's blog in the Telegraph:
Climaquiddick, they’re calling it now. Why? Because the liberal media aren’t reporting it with the glee and enthusiasm and foaming self-righteousness they accorded Watergate. Instead, they’re giving it the grudging, embarrassed non-coverage the libtard MSM invariably does to a story they’d rather, ahem, drown.

Climategate

As the US Media, the Telegraph, and the Mail start to acknowledge the ramifications of the revelations from the Climate Research Unit - it is interesting to watch the frantic rush by the BBC and other debate-suppressors to release as many "Climate Change" stories as possible this week to divert the focus.

It was also interesting to see the University of East Anglia recognise the damage that has been done to its reputation and the announcement that it will release all of the data as soon as possible... strangely enough that's all that people wanted to start with. You see when a massive political and media hype-machine kicks into gear people automatically get suspicious. When scientists won't release their data - people suspect they are hiding something. When every climatic event is put down to man made CO2, and when every possible worst case scenario is spouted as fact, people switch off. Put all of these together and you have a perfect storm of distrust. Lay out all the data, describe the facts and show how they are incontrovertibly supported by the data and you will get consensus and support.

It reminds the Gorse Fox of Starfleet (and for that matter, many large corporations). They get a good idea, and they "brand" it. Because it's a good idea the brand is suddenly extended to a mishmash of ideas or products - not realising that this actually dilutes the brand rather than reinforcing it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Empty

The Gorse Fox has enjoyed the day. The Silver Vixen was away with her coven, Urban-cub was feeling a bit rough so GF spent a day at the keyboard tidying up one of his websites and considering the best approach for moving another one.

It was also an opportunity to show support for Empty Shops Radio and so the Gorse Fox made his way into town and popped in to see how the inestimable Mr Vobes was getting on. It is clear that the venture is taking off and the venue was really quite busy. GF was introduced to a couple of people - both of whom he found he had an affinity with - the first being a radio engineer for a well known broadcaster (with whom the Gorse Fox has worked); and the other being a specialist on local pubs and their history. (Ok, whilst the Gorse Fox is not a specialist in the history of local pubs, he feels a moral affinity with anyone who has dedicated so much effort to such an arcane branch of knowledge).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Keyboards bashing

Deadline for the staff appraisals approaches so the morning was spent trying to tie them down - needless to say there are still a couple of inputs outstanding. By lunchtime the subject had changed and the Gorse Fox was considering designs for continuity of processing when core networks were not available - much more interesting, if a little ethereal.

When work drew to a close he was back to the family websites trying to complete the transfer (and partial redesign) of pages across to his new host. Only one sub-domain left to handle now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wales?

Gavin and Stacey, followed by QI with Rob Brydon, followed by the News with Huw Edwards. The Gorse Fox is concerned that some Welsh people are actually escaping and being quite public about it.
(They've probably come over here to steal some of our vowels)

Spy vs Spy

The Gorse Fox was recently invited, as a result of some discussion regarding climate, to join an "invite only" website. At first flattered, he became concerned when he entered and read some of the material. Some was naive, and some made him feel uneasy.

Sleeping on it, he resolved to voice his concerns... and so at seven o'clock this morning he was writing a note to MI5 !!!

All change, for the day

The Gorse Fox had received intelligence that one of his staff was hosting a meeting at a nearby Starfleet office. As GF had a small award for him he decided to gate-crash the meeting under some false pretence and then surprise him in front of his colleagues. This meant driving up through Surrey and into the northernmost reaches of Hampshire first thing. The whole plan came together rather well, and GF enjoyed springing the surprise.

Back in his home office the afternoon was overtaken by calls, appraisals, more calls, and telecons. GF is in danger of picking up some work that will involve some travel to Glasgow - he quite looks forward to this as the work in question looks very interesting and may fill in some of the time lost to delays on the bid he was working on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pass along

A quiet day again, not a lot to see here.

The Gorse Fox has had an interesting day trying to reconcile various spreadsheets with his master sheet. This took longer than expected and was followed by a return to staff appraisals.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Service

The Gorse Fox's motor is having a quiet day at the garage, being serviced. The Gorse Fox is having a quiet day at home working on staff appraisals. The Silver Vixen was out, so the car will have remain at the garage ovenight as it is too wet and too late to collect it now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Next they'll come for the Gorse Fox

The Gorse Fox has written to his MP.
 Dear xxxxxx

I am sure that you have been made aware of the recent incident where data was leaked from the Climate Research Unit. This appears to have confirmed that some of the facts for which we are told scientists have a consensus are not what they seem. It is clear that models have been developed with little of no traceability, data is stored and managed in a haphazard fashion, and the scientists have obfuscated at every turn. The emails show they have stifled reasoned debate and used their high-level contacts to discredit or remove critics from their review panels. We are patronisingly told that some of the information is being taken out of context, and that some is too complex - well I'm sorry, but when I am paying for this research (as a taxpayer) I want to understand how they came to their conclusions.

Let me nail my colours to the mast. 
Do I believe there is Climate Change? Absolutely. Climate is a dynamic system - it is constantly changing.
Is it caused by man's emissions of greenhouse gases? No.
Do man's emissions contribute? Possibly.
Should we reduce pollution? Yes - it's good housekeeping.
Should we conserve resources? Yes of course - we are only custodians of the planet for future generations.
Should we worry about the increase on CO2? Not really. It has only increase from 280 to 380 parts per million in the past 100 years.

Reasoned debate has been stifled in the wider community also. The Government propaganda machine runs TV adverts regarding CO2, the BBC admits that it will not permit critical views to be aired, the Guardian suppresses or deletes forum comments that are not "on message" and our discredited Prime Minister is leading us headlong to the precipice of that is the Copenhagen Climate summit. Even today the BBC's website was showing the totally discredited "hockey stick" graph. I am fed up with being told the science is settled, when it clearly is not. 


It is time that we there was a free and open discussion of these matters and that the Government stopped relying on hysteria and propaganda, and the BBC were forced to show even-handed coverage of the topic. (For goodness sake, they allow the BNP more air time than climate debate). Reading the degree of comments that have added to the various blogs and fora that have exposed this latest leak, it is quite clear that I am far from being in the minority in wanting genuine debate, open access to data, and peer reviews of the science. The scientific method has nothing to do with consensus - it is about creating an hypothesis that can then be tested and critically analysed.

Is it just coincidence, I wonder, that scientists have said today the "Global Warming May Stop until 2015" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/charlesclover/3341068/Global-warming-may-stop-scientists-predict.html).

Sir, it is time that the silent majority were heard. I would like to think that you would raise this with Mr Cameron and in Parliament, and will not be satisfied with platitudes about consensus.

Yours Sincerely,
The Gorse Fox
The Gorse Fox is sure a nice warm concentration camp awaits. Resistance cannot be tolerated by the climate taliban. GF just wishes more people would write to their MPs about this... it is high time that the tide was turned.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Storms

Storms again hammered the coast during the morning but by lunchtime there was some respite. Being the last day of the Gorse Fox's vacation it seemed like a good opportunity to do something different. It is a long time since a visit to the cinema registered on our agenda.

We headed for Chichester and settled in for the afternoon performance of 2012 (the latest disaster movie). It was a great yarn and featured reference to both the Mayan calendar and the research of Charles Hapgood - the latter being of great interest as the Gorse Fox remembers reading an excellent novel (The Hab Theory, by Allan W. Eckert) and counts it among the best he has read.

The film was an excellent way to spend a grey and wet afternoon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Warming

It is a warming feeling to realise, whilst reading the comments on the news sites regarding the release of the leaked emails and files from CRU that the Gorse Fox is not alone. It appears that many thinking individuals conclude that

  1. climate change is occuring - it always has
  2. man may contribute, but is not the cause
  3. politicians have created a gravy-train for scientists
  4. scientists are censoring debate
  5. media such as the BBC and The Guardian are trying to suppress debate
  6. research has been fraudulently represented
  7. politicians are using it to raise money
  8. the silent majority is waking up
  9. some of the media are waking up - but they will be vilified by the gliterati, the BBC, and politicians
  10. the counter-spin is already beginning in the halls of Westminster and Broadcasting House

Happy Birthday

Today is the Silver Vixen's birthday. The anniversary of her arrival among us... and hence a great day for humanity.

Swan Upping

Yesterday evening the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen headed inland to meet up with his sister and brother-in-law in Chiddingfold. Of late these meetings have been at the Mulberry, but a recent change in the menu meant that the choices were quite limited.

This time we headed for the Swan Inn. We had had eaten there once about 8 or 9 years ago but had read that it was under new management. What a choice this turned out to be. The place had been seriously refurbished inside and they had put significant thought into the menu (for both restaurant and brasserie). The service was attentive and chirpy and the food could not be faulted. Lovely place, and certainly worthy of a return trip.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflecting on Global Warming

The Gorse Fox has been reflecting on the various revelations we have seen of late regarding the fraudulent adaptation of data - and must conclude that a degree of Global Warming is indeed man-made. Man-made by the discredited (but still worshipped by the BBC) scientists.

Global fraud

So we learn from Devil's Kitchen (click link in title) and Bishop Hill that the University of East Anglia's systems have been hacked and their files and emails made public on the web. What they appear to show is that the numbers and predictions that the Global-Warming-fundamentalists have been using are fraudulent.

Are we surprised? Not at all.

Will we hear this part of the story on the BBC or the main news media? Not a chance.

Are we still being conned? Absolutely.

Fluid

Plans for today were fluid. We had to hang around during the morning to await the Ocado delivery... and this gave the Gorse Fox a chance to write his annual appraisal while the weather was still somewhat hostile. We decided to see how things went. Well for Ocado they didn't go well. Their delivery van was involved in a road accident and we had to await a replacement van. This pushed us past the point where we could go to the cinema and still be hope in time to go out for the evening with the Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law.

And so it is that we are having a quiet afternoon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Relief

What a relief... the EU decided not to select the execrable Tony Blair as President. That honour has been given to the Belgian Herman van Rompuy

Gunwharf

Thursday saw a trip westwards. Perhaps not and exciting trip, but a simple trip to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth to meet up with friends, have a something to eat and do some retail therapy. We were lucky to be travelling west as a breakdown on the eastbound carriageway had caused several miles of tailbacks.

Meeting up with Betty and Barney Rubble we stopped for coffee before strolling along the Loch Fyne restaurant for a splendid lunch. After that we wandered around the shops and picked up odds and ends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh Drear

Having left the charms and delights of Rye the Gorse Fox decided to take an alternative route back to the West. He headed towards the coast at Hastings with a view to following the road through Bexhill and Polegate.

What an eye-opener that was. This area was like a Victorian version of Beirut without the charm. The Gorse Fox knows there was a battle at Hastings, but you would have thought they could have spruced it up a bit by now.

Mermaid St

Possible the most photographed street in Rye is Mermaid Street. We had stopped for lunch in a bar down by the river... the sound system leaked Coldplay into the room and slowly diners lost the will to live and asked for strychnine chasers or razor blades for their wrists as Chris Martin droned on and on. We couldn't wait to escape, but left the number of the Samaritans on the table - just in case.

We then headed back into the town and up Mermaid Street. This is delightful and the houses are wittily named "The House with Two Front Doors", "The House with the Seat", "The House Opposite", "The First House" and so forth. As you can see we had the place to ourselves and wandered to and fro' to make sure we saw all there was to see.

Rye is well worth the visit.
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A Pocketful

Despite seriously inclement weather in the North (where it's meant to be) it was still 15C and dry down in Sussex - though to be fair it was very grey. The question that we struggled with was where the day would take us. An early favourite was Chichester, but that seemed too easy and too close.

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen headed out to the east again. Since the wall came down between East and West Sussex neighbours from the west have become regular visitors to the east to see how our fellow county-men used to live under earlier regimes. Our destination was Rye.

Rye was one of the Cinque Ports and an important town in the early middle ages. Now many miles inland, it used to be on the coast until serious storms in the 13th century silted up a huge area and left the town, quite literally, high and dry.

Rye has been well served by its council and has been cleverly preserved such that it it still functions perfectly as an old style town and a torist attraction whilst accommodating gradual and sympathetic change. We made the most of this strolling back and forth through the lanes and streets and delighting in the lack of "High Street names".
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Critics

The Gorse Fox found it a little disconcerting. We had stopped for a coffee and enjoyed a lobster sandwich. A trip to the rest room seemed to be in order, prior to the journey home. As he walked into the Gentleman's convenience he was aware of some framed newspaper article on the walls, and thought little more of it. When comfortable again he glanced up to find the article in front of him finished with a quarter page advert with a srtap line shouting "Endowment Shortfall"

In his defence he would point out that there was a very cold wind and he had been wearing lightweight trousers.

Beachy Head

A trip to this part of the downs is not complete without looking down on the Beachy Head Lighthouse. There was a stiff wind blowing as the Gorse Fox edged toward the cliff to get this photo - he couldn't help but wonder what it must have been like on Saturday with a full-blooded storm battering the cliff tops and the storm-driven waves crashing against the lighthouse.

GF found the trip somwhat nostalgic as he remembers coming to Eastbourne on holiday as a young teenager. AT the time the family would stay at the Imperial Hotel, and it always seemed to be sunny! He also remember one year (1966) rushing home to North London in time to watch the World Cup Final.
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Seven Sisters

The week's vacation continues. The Silver Vixen was due at the hospital, but once the appointment was over we headed east along the coast. deliberately sticking to the coast road. We passed Brighton Marina, Roedean, Rottingdean and Saltdean before climbing over Telscombe and dropping through Peaqcehaven to Newhaven. Thus far, one community had pretty much merged into the next and there was little to distinguish between them except the road signs.

From Newhaven we climber through Seaford and then burst into open downland. Wetsdean, Friston and East Dean revealed their quaint churches as we turned south and headed for Birling Gap and then east again to Beachy Head.

As you can see, we had the downs almost to ourselves as we looked west past the Belle Toute lighthouse along the Seven Sisters
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Sinking

It was around this time (as we continued our walk around Rottingdean) that the Gorse Fox got that sinking feeling. You know how it is. Someone (in this case the Silver Vixen) says something quite innocuous like "Let's get a cup of tea and a snack". You think, "Good idea" and autonomically your hands move to you pockets.

The sinking feeling began. Trouser pockets did not contain a bulging wallet. Check jacket, he thinks. Side pockets, breast pockets, inside pocket... all conspicuous by their absence of the bulging wallet. Check inner fleece jacket. Side pockets, inside pockets all empty.

Mental checklist started - where was it last time it was seen (on desk in study, when GF picked it up to come out). No jackets on at time... must be in trousers. Trouser pockets re-checked. Nada.

What was in it? Cash (but not a lot), credit cards, debit cards, train pass, Tottenham Hostspur membership card, National Trust Membership card, stamps... this was going to take a lot of sorting out. Despite the Silver Vixen offering to pay for the tea - the Gorse Fox was sufficiently concerned to spurn the offer of a snack and we headed back home. It was evident that there would be many calls to make.

Arriving home he went straight to the study... and there, sitting nonchalontly on the desk, smirking mischievously at him, lay the absent wallet. The Gorse Fox gave it a stern talking to and suspects it won't have the affrontery to try that trick again.
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Pond Life

Continuing our walk we passed the church and ended up outside the museum, looking across the village pond. This serene setting would once have been the heart of the village and the source of drinking water for both the villagers and their animals.

We went into the museum for a nosey about - the Silver Vixen finding an exhibition of Threads, the Gorse Fox one on Kipling (who once lived in the village).

The village really was a most charming spot - and yet was only a couple of miles east of the hub-bub that is Brighton.
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Rottingdean

The early morning winds had dropped and the torrential downpours that plagued the rush hour were over. It seemed like an opportunity to take a run out with the Silver Vixen and see some of the Sussex villages. She had visited Rottingdean during the summer and suggested we start there as the Gorse Fox had not been there before.

Parking down by the front - getting a bit of a shock as we saw an ex son-in-law wander by - we put on our coats and prepared to stroll around the village. Ex son-in-law wandered back past the car. GF looked very carefully - it was not him after all, just a doppelganger.

We wandered through the lanes and found our way to this superb (but private) courtyard. It was too pretty to ignore. Despite its apparent age, it is only some 80 years old and was built as an hotel. It was billetted by Canadian soldiers during the war, and has now been split into individual dwellings.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sussex vernacular

The Gorse Fox doesn't know if this is a Sussex vernacular style of architecture - or just a gorgeous old cottage. It was charming, nestling in West Street opposite the church.
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Ditchling

The Silver Vixen had a not in her diary about a show in the Village Hall at Ditchling. We had commented that it was strange to have an event on a Sunday & Monday... but checking on the website we confirmed the dayes.

We headed out in the low winter sun and made our way past the Jack & Jill windmills at Clayton and on into Ditchling. We managed to find a parking spot behind the Village Hall and then made outr way to the entrance. It was closed. In fact all of the entrances were closed. There was no sign of the event, no people, no posters, nothing.

Rather than waste the trip we took a stroll around the quaint little village.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Matchwood

The storm continues. The Gorse Fox has just run an errand of mercy to Worthing (The Silver Vixen was out of Jasmine Tea) and even in the time he was out the fury of the storm has wreaked havoc. A squall line turned the sky black and dumped huge amounts of water as the wind intensified. Struggling to hold the car door he headed back from his sortie passing bins, hoarding, trees, and shrubs blown and blowing across the roads. Armour would not have been out of place as he tried to avoid flying debris.

Along the beach front at West Worthing several beach huts had been damaged, one was lying on its back and several others had been turned to matchwood. Even here on the Gorse there's debris near the pond blocking half of the road.

What is all the Fuzz About?

We read today in the BBC headlines:
The growing number of private security companies policing UK streets is a worrying development, senior police figures say.
Well the Gorse Fox would suggest that there is an easy remedy for their concern, achieved through a number of simple steps:

  1. Spend more time on patrol
  2. Spend more time on your feet instead in cars
  3. Accept new technology to reduce paper-work
  4. Ignore targets - just do what is right (not what is politically expedient)
  5. Stop relying on cameras and CCTV to do your job for you
  6. Be polite
  7. Cuff hooligans round the ear
  8. Target known/suspected criminals
  9. Make the lives of suspected troublemakers and pushers intolerable

Then people wouldn't need private security patrols. Seemples!

High Tide

Well, strictly speaking, the Gorse Fox missed High Tide by about 40 minutes, but the storm was still pounding the beach. Spume was being driven like kamikaze bubble bath across the shingle and slammed into the Gorse Fox and his camera several times.

A few hearty dog walkers braved the elements, hanging on to their dogs in case they decided to do kite impressions.
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Zephyr

The fury of the overnight winds has not yet abated. Trees are wildly thrashing from side to side as rain smashes against the house. The forecast says it will get worse during the day, before blowing itself out this evening. GF may have to put on some waterproofs and stroll down to the beach as high tide approaches. There is something  elemental about the fury of a big storm at the coast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All change

As the Gorse Fox starts a week's holiday he has embarked on some change. After 10 years with his current web host he has decided that there are more cost effective hosts available. The process has now begun to move his web sites and domain registrations to the new host. He suspects that this will not go smoothly!

Wind

Strong winds are buffeting the coast. It looks as if a neighbour has lost a large tree (well, not exactly lost it - the Gorse Fox suspects he knows exactly where it is as it overhangs his driveway).

This is just the precursor to the 70mph+ winds that are forecast for Saturday. Definitely a case of battening down the hatches.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Council

The Gorse Fox can barely contain his excitement as the time approaches for another riveting Parish Council meeting. Probably needs to take a paper bag with him in case he hyper-ventilates.

Recovery

One of the features of many Microsoft office tools is their uncanny ability to crash at the most inopportune moments. Having said that they are quite good at finding the crash files and offering them to the user to examine, rename and continue. In general this works well and recovers most (if all) of the work.

The exception to this is when you select the wrong file, and throw away the alternatives... then distribute it to your colleagues.

Afternoon has been spent re-writing the file. Ho hum!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Propaganda Minister

According to the article linked to in the title line, Lord Mandelson is to become a modern day Joseph Goebbels as he becomes the Minister for Information. He could also make history as the first minister to make weekly televised briefings. They would be broadcast direct through the Downing Street website.

At this stage they are not mandatory viewing and are not being beamed on all channels, internet streams, cinemas, sports stadia, and billboards simultaneously. One would guess that it will come as the Government gets ever more desperate. (Probably at about the same time they start filling in the voting papers for us).

Shhhh

It's been a quiet day in the home of the Gorse Fox. He has been working on a number of bits and pieces related to the (hopefully) upcoming project. Various governance, project, and configuration aspects... ready for calls tomorrow. There was a flurry of phone calls late in the day - but the rest was quiet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What fun

GF has spent the last hour transcribing questionnaires into the computer - it would appear that filling in an online questionnaire is just to difficult for many. Understandable in the case of the more elderly... but not the rest.

Bad start

The Gorse Fox has not had a good start... he has spent the last hour working on the development of a project plan for a sub-project... and the software has just crashed, and the file is corrupt... so GF has to start again.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Death throws

The Gorse Fox notices that Rupert Murdoch is threatening to block Google from indexing his newspaper sites. Sounds like the the death throws of dead tree media that has been unable to adapt to the new world of the internet.
Smatterings of the recording industry and movie industry.

Plans

The Gorse Fox has had a busy day reviewing project plans and developing additional detail for aspects of the project. Unfortunately it looks as if the decision regarding the project is being delayed. Given some of the deadlines that the project faces - delays at this stage are not helpful - and it may mean that Starfleet are not going to be chosen to do it.

Once finished, plans continued to feature in his activities as he reviewed various plans in preparation for this week's Parish Council planning meeting on Thursday.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Content

It has been a most pleasant day with friends.

Waiting

As a gentle rain washes the south coast, the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen await the arrival of Betty and Barney Rubble. A pleasant day is planned with lunch at the Thai restaurant in Rustington.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Continuing a theme

Continuing the theme that Gorse Fox started earlier today he has just read Clarkson's latest missive. Pure genius. GF only wishes he was as eloquent and reached as many readers.

He finishes:
I see no reason to be miserable. Yes, Britain now is worse than it’s been for decades, but the lunatics who’ve made it so ghastly are on their way out. Soon, they will be back in Hackney with their South African nuclear-free peace polenta. And instead the show will be run by a bloke whose dad has a wallpaper shop and possibly, terrifyingly, a twerp in Belgium whose fruitless game of hunt-the-WMD has netted him £15m on the lecture circuit.

Ah, maybe not

The Silver Vixen pointed out that it was bonfire night and that the barrage that had been going on for the last hour or two wasn't the Estate Defense Force snapping into action... but just neighbours having a parties.

Protection

Obviously the recent debate over security gates for the Estate has left some concerns over protection. Tonight the Gorse Fox has witnessed what seems like a scene from the first few days of the invasion of Baghdad. Rockets and various incendiaries rent the night sky as neighbours tried to get the range of some hidden intruders. Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) patrolled the skies over the estate looking for targets as the next barrage of missile was fired into the neighbours. Evidently there were some casualties as you could hear whoops of excitement across the gardens. (We have put the flak-jacket on the cat).

We take Estate security seriously here.

Upgrade

Whilst the Silver Vixen has been out with her coven, the Gorse Fox has made the most of the time and upgraded her laptop to Windows 7. Being and Acer, like GF's desktop, the driver disk he received yesterday was equipped with all of the relevant code. All went remarkably smoothly... and the long standing printer sharing problem we had experienced with Vista has melted away.

Research

Research published this week showed that when the sick give up hope they actually feel better. The Gorse Fox wondered to himself if that was the Government's strategy for the next election. Finally reduce the population to utter despair, hope that they give up - and then feeling better they vote again for the government that:

  • Destroyed the nation's pensions
  • Gave away its sovereignty
  • Sold its gold reserves at the low point of market
  • Presided over the biggest recession in living memory
  • Took us to war
  • Made us the most watched in the world
  • Added nearly 4000 new laws to the statute book
  • Promised a referendum in their manifesto - and refused to go to the country

and if the Gorse Fox could be bothered he could probably add several thousand more items to the list.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Reboot

The Gorse Fox was pleased when his nice Mr Postman dropped and envelope through the door containing the Windows 7 disks for his new computer. He was well prepared. Backups were done, spare drives spinning and hot (in case they were needed) and various articles reviewed to ensure there would be no unpleasant surprises.

CDs were duly inserted and the process began. Some 2 hours later it was over. Everything seems to work that worked before... and some things that were giving trouble - still give trouble (namely printing across the home network). Initial impressions are that Windows 7 is a lot faster than Vista.

Most satisfactory.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Response

The Gorse Fox responded to the invitation.

Dear xxxxx
I am indeed thrilled to be enrolled in the course identified below. I have studiously reviewed the attachments regarding the course and its logistics, but find no mention of any time-travel or time-travel enabled device. As the course was held three week ago, I will find attendance difficult without bending the space-time continuum (not currently in my research portfolio). I must therefore respectfully decline the offer to attend this course, and assume that as this was more than 14 days ago I will not be liable for the penalty charge.

Timetravel

Starfleet is an extraordinary organisation; perhaps the greatest technology company on the planet. There are times, however, that its mastery of technology defies the Gorse Fox. This very morning he has received a notification:

Your enrollment in TLMC4GB - Technical Leadership Communications Master Class has been approved, and you are confirmed, unless you are on the waitlist. If you are on the waitlist, you will receive a notification if your enrollment status changes. Your manager has been informed of your enrollment. 
Please add this offering to your calendar.  Please check for an attachment below regarding logistics.  If an attachment is included, it will contain important instructions that you must read. 
Is this so strange? Well as the course was scheduled and took place several weeks ago, the Gorse Fox can only assume that there is some new Wellsian means of transport available that GF hasn't yet come across. Maybe that is part of the reference to the logistics in the attachments

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Misread

The Gorse Fox misread the headline "Sinn Fein MPs should still be allowed to claim hotel expenses when in London"... thought it said explosives.

Ooops.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nearly done

The Silver Vixen has been spending every spare minute for the last week or two trying to get one of her quilts finished. She's on the final leg as she completes the binding. The Gorse Fox has seem may quilts over the last few years - both close up and in photos. This one is a real masterpiece and whilst it has been time consuming and filled many months it is looking superb.

Town again

The Gorse Fox was back in London today. It was an interesting day - should we continue with the work, or should we call a halt. The pros and cons started to fill the slides, the sums started to stack one way, the reality of the project was on the brink. Recommendations were made - and now we wait.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Legend of Sleepy Hellhole

The Gorse Fox had to make his way to "The Department" today. This was his first meeting with them for many, many months. With a spring in his step he bounded from the train and skipped away from Victoria heading for one of many indistinguishable government buildings. Despite yesterday's rain it was bright and sunny and a pleasure to be out and about.

He sprung, cat-like, into the Square and entered the building.

It was at this point that a pall of depression descended. Whilst awaiting his escort for the building, he watched as faceless, humourless zombies shuffled in and out of the airlocks, sneaking outside for a cigarette or wandering off to some meaningless meeting in some remote building or office. The Teddy Bear arrived to escort the Gorse Fox to his meeting room. The recently refurbished offices were chaotic and untidy. More of the Zombies sat there staring at the glowing screens in front of them. Their hands clattered occasionally against the keyboards. Propaganda was hanging from the pin boards and walls. Lighting was reminiscent of a Tromso back street in mid-winter. It was good to be back at the heart of Government, knowing that their collective finger was firmly on the pulse.

The meeting revealed much that the Gorse Fox chooses not the share at this time. He would say, however, that as he left he heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Free speech

Not with this Government. If the science doesn't fit the political method then silence the scientists. That's what has happened to the Government drugs advisor. Disgraceful.

Contact

Delighted to have made contact with Cousteau-cub for the first time in weeks. Evidently they are working hard (with long hours) and have just moved into their own place closer to the dive shop.

Spelled G.N.U.

The Gorse Fox faced several problems during the on-going saga of Microsoft Money and personal finance software. (To recap - the files that MS Money creates on one machine do not work on the new machine - with exactly the same version of the MS Money software, and files it exports from old machine will not import into the new machine).
  • How would he structure the Spreadsheet to prove a single input sheet for transactions that automatically summarised them against separate account sheets?
  • How would he import OFX and QIF files into OOCalc?
The first issue was soon resolved with some judicious use of MATCH and OFFSET functions and GF was pleased to see the automatic population of individual account sheets from the input sheet. A test run of 1100 transactions was applied in the blink of an eye.

The second problem was more intractable. GF found a routine online that purported to meet the bill - but on examination of the detail it seemed to fail and just ignore certain transactions. Plan B might be to rewrite that code - but not wishing to gain a long-term maintenance load, GF decided to review once more the product he examined yesterday.

Eventually he downloaded the open source GnuCash. It immediately was able to consume all the files that Microsoft had barfed on and in about 3 minutes GF had a working personal finance system again. The underlying paradigm is a little different and will take some acclimatisation, but so far it looks pretty good. He'll stick with it for now and keep the OOCalc sheet as Plan C!

If it can...

As November starts with a vengeful blast of torrential rain and high winds - the Gorse Fox reflects on the fact that Urban-cub was meant to be accompanying a friend of hers to an external photo shoot. He suspects this falls under one of Murphy's many Laws.