Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
GF strolled through the streets looking for something that caught his fancy. Ironically, he ended up at Pizza Express. So all in all, it was not the change that was planned.
Clusters of teenagers dressed to the nines are gathering outside the hotel. Obviously their "prom" is being held here tonight. GF is glad he's on the top floor, on the back of the building. He suspects that he is in the quietest spot, all things being considered.
Happy birthday sis!
(This was probably the trigger that caused the Gorse Fox to become interested first in miniatures, and later in nano-technology).
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
It was threatening to be a lovely day. However, a sea mist hung along the coast leaving the beach like the set of a horror film… with the mist drifting by and revealing the odd walker, or the sail boat.
Only a hundred yards inland the sun was beating down on the Gorse, but the beach remained stubbornly shrouded.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
At least she has their deposit to hang on to!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Then it was back to day job, and catching up on the progress made by some of the trolls that GF referenced in yesterday's post. By late afternoon it was time to manage the weekly call for the preselection of candidates for Starfleet's inner circle of technical specialists. Hopefully we will put forward 7 or 8 candidates for election this year, if they make they mark.
Silver Vixen was outfit the day with the Gorse Fox's sister. They met up in Chichester to drink tea, eat paninis, and cause fear and confusion in the clothes, shoe, and bag shops of this genteel town.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
His biggest concern at present is a subset of the the project that seems intent on working separately from the rest and have approached their work by throwing a batch of project managers at the problem - but no solutioners, architects, techies or whatever. As a result we are seeing plenty of plans but no actual progress. The Gorse Fox is puzzled at how a troll can produce a project plan, when no techie has actually designed a solution or explained the approach, first. This will be GF's next crusade.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The conclusion, so far, is that we have to find an alternative. This alternative will challenge the assumptions and expectations of the contract... And at this point the alternative has not been identified. This is a problem that will simmer away in the back of the head until a solution is found or invented. This is the part of the job that Gorse Fox likes most.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
This morning, a day's vacation at his disposal, GF phoned to check. He evidently has trust issues. Having negotiated the irritating push button menus he ended up in a US call Centre. They were very polite, but unable to do anything - the Gorse Fox would have to call the local bookings department... he started to respond that that had been his intention all along but the line went dead.
He phoned back. Again he arrived at the US Call Centre - he asked to be transferred to the local Bristol bookings department. The agent thanked him for his custom and assured him that he was being put through. Again the line went dead.
He phoned back and negotiated his way to the switchboard operator. Explaining his dilemma she put him through to the local booking clerk. Sure enough his change to the booking had NOT been applied and he was still expected tonight. Helpfully, she made the required changes and even gave the number for her direct line.
Everything sorted - GF is pleased that his trust issues forced him to check - he would have been significantly annoyed if they had charged him for not turning up today.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
This afternoon, Cousteau-cub popped up on Skype and we were able to chat with her online for nearly and hour.
Between the two of them it has made a perfect day.
Similarly, Google have their Mantra "Do no evil".
Then on the other side of the coin there are several large Corporations and companies that, over the years, have exhibited to the Gorse Fox a culture of endemic dishonesty and aggression. One, that will remain nameless - but hit the news again this weekend will always trigger the memory of Gorse Fox sitting out the Chief Financial Officer's office for a major retail giant - along with a technical salesman from said company. We were collaborating on the provision of some leading edge solutions at the time - GF was designing and providing the basic hardware platform - and Sam's company was providing some critical software.
We had been summoned, because the project was slipping. I asked Sam while we were waiting - when are you going to deliver the required release of code. He said it was at least 6 months away - 4 if we were really lucky. We were then ushered into the CFO's office. He immediately rounded on Sam - When will he deliver the required software release? Without batting an eyelid he responded "Early next week".
Such mendacity has been a feature of almost every interaction I have had with that company... yet they still make vast sums of money and lock their victims into exorbitantly priced license deals - one feature of which is that they cannot discuss the performance of the system.
And don't get me started on another well known and amazingly well trusted Corporation. Those stories will have to wait until after retirement!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
(Now, where are the tissues?)
Thursday, June 16, 2011
At about 10 o’clock last night, there was a rattling of the door handle to the Gorse Fox’s luxurious suite at the Hilton. He ignored it.
The rattling continued and the sound of voices filtered into the room. It soon became clear that someone was trying to insert their access key into the door, and the door was standing firm. This continued for a few minutes.
Gorse Fox thought it was time to investigate and removed the chain, and the slipped the deadlock. He opened the door and poked his head out. An elderly French lady staggered back and cried “Mon Dieu”, then “Je suis desolee”… and wandered off.
The Gorse Fox closed the door, remembered the Abbott, and wondered what things had come to!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
And so the Gorse Fox went to Cribbs Causeway and found a restaurant called Preview Grill. It is a buffet style, with a choice of Indian, Chinese, Italian and so forth. The problem lay in the choice (very limited), freshness, and quality. Not a place that finds it way onto the "must return" list.
Now, the Gorse Fox is still dazzled by the sight of the Silver Vixen. Even the sound of her voice can scramble his neurones. So as he left the car, he phoned the Silver Vixen for a chat. The sound of her voice obviously started the scramble process, and the clustering of grey cells queuing up to visit Dignitas proved too much. When he left the (never to return to) restaurant, he couldn't find the car. The landmark that he had committed to memory turned out to be one of many... But which? And as he searched for said vehicle the rain started to fall.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It seems that teachers, who's salaries are paid by the taxpayer wish to strike. The reason? Pension changes.
Well Gorse Fox has news. Most of us in the private sector have already had to sacrifice chunks of our pensions, and work longer, and contribute more towards what is left.
Teachers expect support from those who have already been clobbered. GF suspects not. Indeed as far as he is concerned they can go whistle.
In the afternoon we were looking at a particular design to solve one of their problems. It is the only practical solution and they recognise that. Problem is that their security people will probably fight it tooth and nail for weeks until they are finally beaten into recognition of the reality.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Heating bill is probably quite high though.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Betty and Barney Rubble visited from the wilds of Hampshire which was nice. A fine lunch and lots of chat made it, as usual, great fun.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Packing the car was like doing a rubic cube in the dark, trying to find a way of getting mother-in-law's stuff into the car. What with walking frames and seating frames and a narrow boot opening, this was a an interesting challenge. After twenty minutes or so the puzzle was complete and our erstwhile guest was installed in the front seat and we delivered her to Silver Vixen's sister.
Returning home everything was soon back to normal.
Friday, June 10, 2011
The Gorse Fox has received an email from a friend form way back when.
Citing the following list of complaints, apparently received by Thomas Cook Holidays, you have to sympathise with the worrying thought that “they walk among us, and are allowed to breed (and on the evidence of 1997 until 2010 were allowed to vote)”.
- 1. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."
- "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned
- "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."
- "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."
- A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".
- A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she'd been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the "do not disturb" sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
- "The beach was too sandy."
- "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."
- A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
- "Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."
- "We bought' Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five dollars from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.
- "No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."
- "There was no egg slicer in the apartment..."
- "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish..."
- "The roads were uneven..
- "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home."
- "I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."
- "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation'. We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying here?"
- (After a Spanish Holiday) "There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish, the food is Spanish. Too many foreigners.."
- "We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."
- "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."
- "I was bitten by a mosquito - no-one said they could bite."
- "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."
The Gorse Fox happily acknowledges the original collator of this information, which has obviously been provided as a public service and needs to be considered when planning the future of education and democracy as a whole.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Have interviewed a couple of colleagues about joining the team next week. Have to decide which one to pick and get him on board next Wednesday.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Work was fairly full of tasks that for some reason would not do themselves and so GF has attended meeting, written presentations, updated documents and spreadsheets, signed off expenses, rejected expenses, signed of a professional certification case, requested feedback on staff, reported his findings of a project review, and set up a series of teleconferences to select the right candidates for Starfleet's technical inner circle for the UK. Just stuff.
Was puzzled by the headline that the Lords had rejected a Government proposal to demand a referendum whenever there was a major transfer of responsibility ( read sovereignty) to Europe. Sorry my Lords... But your are wrong, out of touch, and do not represent the people.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Tonight he walked out of the car park and up to the hotel as a coach load of tourists tumbled out of their luxury couch and poured into the hotel.
GF smirked. They would spend ages checking in.
The smirk was premature. They were already checked in and firing a huge queue for the lifts. GF is staying on the tenth floor. It could be a long wait.
Failing brain cells kicked into gear. There is a mezzanine floor a few steps up from the lobby. If he could catch an elevator there... And so he bounded like a mountain goat up the stairs, pressed the button and leapt into and empty lift.
One of life's little victories.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Staying in the City Centre this week, GF met up with a colleague and headed for an Asian restaurant that GF has tried before. Great food and good company.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
This got the Gorse Fox thinking... the way in which photos are handled by the iPhone seems very clunky - as good as the photos are. Was there an app that would allow the simple transfer of photos from the iPhone to the iPad? Of course there was... et voila encore the app is downloaded to both and the photos whizz through the ether and find their way magically onto the iPad. Though having done that, it is amazing how many photos the Silver Vixen has got of the Gorse Puma.
Saturday, June 04, 2011
The Puma escaped this morning. He was allowed out with Silver Vixen and her Mother, but he leapt onto the wall and down into a neighbour's garden. Said neighbour has a bull terrier of some sort - so GF was dispatched to retrieve the puma before it became breakfast. Needless to say, the puma heard GF approaching and leapt back over the wall. He's confined to barracks again at present.
Friday, June 03, 2011
This morning Mellors spotted the hedgehog again. By now he was limping (the hedgehog, not Mellors) and it was clear that he had been injured. Silver Vixen leapt into action (leaping may conjure an exaggerated picture of activity, to be fair) and sought the nearest vet or animal hospital. By the time contact had been made and advice provided, the hedgehog had disappeared.
Eventually the spiky chap reappeared, was boxed up and carted off for treatment. Again, all is well.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
The journey back to sacred Sussex was somewhat delayed by a wide load, but the entertainment afforded by the latest audiobook kept GF amused.
Once home GF learned that the trip taken by the Silver Vixen along with Urban-cub over that last couple of days had been a complete waste of time and money because the planned physio appointment was missed because of crazy concept of punctuality and the illusion that you can get from Buckingham to Aylesbury and find a parking space in 15 minutes or less. Silver Vixen was less than amused when she found out.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
After work GF headed straight for Saffron's, the local Indian restaurant, where, perversely, the waiters wear red waistcoats (why not saffron?).