Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sassy

By recent standards, it has been a moderately quiet day. The peace was mainly a result of of a big workshop involving most of the usual protagonists, but it did mean that the Gorse Fox was able to get several documents finished and sent off to the client.
Once the documents were out of the way, then it was time to wade into the list of open issues, and even there some progress was made.

Back at the hotel GF is planning a raid on a nearby purveyor of Indian foods and comestibles in the company of a couple of colleagues.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jam

The day started with the realisation that for the first time in several months, the Gorse Fox had to turn the light on in the bathroom. Harbinger of autumn, without doubt. A strong fresh coffee made everything seem better as GF headed out onto the Queen's highway.

It would seem that centrifugal force can catch out the unaware. A motorist, it seems, had tested the limits of his cars turning ability. The result was that the car had flipped and a huge tailback of traffic formed. The Gorse Fox was lucky - the monitor on the car had warned him and he diverted just as he reached the end of the queue.

Taping of jams, there seems to be a logjam of documents awaiting completion or release. GF needs to become Mr Grumpy for a while.

Very nice dinner this evening with a couple of colleagues.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Bank Holiday

Well it is the Bank Holiday and Urban-cub, true to her word, has been along with Pete to move the last of her stuff. It took several car loads and two days of activity – but it is done.

She’s just changing her Electoral register entry as well… so GF & the Silver Vixen are officially the only two occupiers now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Silver Lining

They say that every cloud has a silver lining...

Today started with the worry of Hurricane Irene impacting New York and The Gorse Fox's cousins in Connecticut.

By early afternoon the news was looking dreadful from White Hart Lane. Spurs were 5-1 losers to Man City. Things were looking bleak.

But then Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat to the NE Seaboard was reduced, and Arsenal (the true Forces of Darkness) were utterly demolished 8-2 by Man Utd.

Rarely could a day have turned around so utterly satisfactorily. A silver lining.



iDontObey

The Gorse Fox was updating his iPod, but Apple was downloading the latest iTunes update. A message popped up asking if the Gorse Fox really wished to stop as he was Sync-ing the iPod. He responded “Don’t Quit”.

So it Quit anyway.

There’s few things more irritating that arrogant software

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Android Phone Updates Frustration

The Gorse Fox is great proponent of the Android-based phones and has been a faithful user for about 18 months. However, he does get frustrated with the lack of storage on the phone itself – and this limits the applications that can be downloaded.

Now, before you yell, the Gorse Fox knows that with the 2.2 version of the code (Froyo) he can move some apps to the huge SD card he has installed. He’s done that. But still, every time the updates come in – the phone’s storage fills up and GF has go through and trim out some app or other.

Today, was just such a day, but he determined to have a more concerted attempt at finding a longer term solution.A bit of web browsing came up with a work around – though it didn’t work exactly as described, so GF will explain what he had to do.

  1. You can download the Android SDK but do check the pre-reqs first. GF didn’t and had to go back to install the Java SDK.
    Once they are installed check that you have the latest Sync Software from HTC (if you have an HTC device).
  2. Set up the Android phone for USB debugging. On the phone, go to Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging
  3. Connect the android phone to a USB cable and connect that to the PC. The USB drive for the phone should be installed.
  4. Now, open a command window on the PC and navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools folder (or wherever!) and run the adb command:

    adb devices

    This should return the serial number of your device and prove that you have an open path to the phone. Now end the command:

    adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2

    and this should set the default to the SD Card for future installations. Note that if you need to reset this, you use the command: adb shell pm setInstallLocation 0
  5. Now you can go through your apps on the phone and move most of the to the SD Card. GF has found a few that won’t move, but most transfer just fine.

The original source of this info was http://www.getele.com/how-to/how-to-install-apps-to-your-sd-card-on-android-froyo.html but Gorse Fox found a couple of minor errors in the procedure – which is why he has re-written it here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Disruption

With a Bank Holiday weekend ahead, you can forecast a degree of disruption on the roads and on the rails. What the Gorse Fox did not expect, however, was dead broadband. He came down, had breakfast and fired up the West Sussex data centre – only to find that it had no connections to the outside world.

He reset the router. It didn’t work.

He restarted the computer. It didn’t work.

He fired up the 3G modem. It couldn’t get a signal.

He fired up the iPad (with a different 3G service) and got just enough of a service to look up the BT phone number.

Eventually, after more restarts, and more reboots the service stuttered back into life. It spent the rest of the morning failing and reconnecting, but finally seems stable now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hmmmm

Bitch of a day, with queue 3 deep at GF's desk at one point. Very glad to be back in Sussex tonight.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Helium

Now and then, the Gorse Fox feels as if he has dropped into a parallel universe. So it was when he sat down in the Mexican restaurant. Blonde, good look eastern European waitresses and a table surrounded by a strange cross section of humanity all of whom seemed to have helium charged voices with broad West country burrs.

Finishing quickly, GF ordered the bill and escaped through a Stargate as quickly as he could.

By the way. The Gorse Fox is two thirds of the way through Paul Sussman's "Last Secret of the Temple" and must commend it to the reader. Excellent book so far.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meeting

The Gorse Fox has had a number of meetings. One was at the top of the building at the far end, as far as you could get from the GF office as you could get. It was scheduled for two hours and took the full time. GF made his excuses, he had a further meeting to attend.

He headed back to his office and checked the laptop... Where to now?

Ahhh, there's the rub. It was back in the same room he had just left, with the same people as the last meeting. He marched back up and wandered back in. "Ah, you're back then!"

Meanwhile back in Sussex the Silver Vixen had two new tyres fitted to her broomstick - courtesy of e-Tyres. Superb service, as before.



Monday, August 22, 2011

NoNet

The Gorse Fox is back in Bristol. He made the most of the last part of the school holidays to whistle across the country without let or hindrance. Next week or the week after the kids will be back at school and the journey will stretch by 20-30 minutes.

At work the day went remarkably smoothly and GF made a lot of progress. Once done he headed for some chicken at Nandos, then headed for the hotel where he tried to get the new wifi access point working... And failed. Will have to have a chat with pet network specialist tomorrow.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cert.

The Gorse Fox had a quiet day much of which was, again, spent working on his re-certification within Starfleet. This meant working through old project information, old designs, and distilling the information into the forms that need to be filled in. The chore is nearly complete now... But it is still frustrating that so much spare time has to be expended on tasks such as this. After all, it is not as if it is a 9 to 5 job during the week.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Perfect

It is a perfect day down here on the South Coast. Not a cloud in the sky, hardly a breath of wind – really quite hot. On top of this we learn that The Forces of Evil have been defeated 0-2 at the Emirates Stadium, that Arsene Wenger blames it on bad luck, and that Piers Morgan (a follower of the satanic horde) is at his wits end.

Yes, a good day all round.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Special

It was a special day. Work would not impinge. The mobile phone was left at home. The laptop remained in the laptop bag. Today was special.

It was 38 years ago that, in an episode of brief insanity, that the Silver Vixen married the Gorse Fox. He suspects, that due to her caring nature, she viewed this as a long term "care in the community" scheme.

To celebrate, we headed up to London and along to The Globe to finish the tour of the Museum that we had started last week with Agent Mulder and his family. We roamed round and finished the exhibits before heading for a cup of coffee, glass of wine and a salad at Pizza Express.

From there we took a river boat down the Thames to Greenwich where we spent the afternoon strolling through the old Naval College, the Maritime Museum and the Queens House. There was so much to see, but the highlight was the imposing architecture itself.

Ice crematoriums and a cup of tea rounded off the Greenwich visit and a fast Thames Clipper delivered us back up to Embankment. From there it was a short hop to Victoria where some fine Tapas rounded off the day nicely.

Brilliant day.



Greenwich

 Our destination was Greenwich, home of the Royal Observatory (which we didn't visit), the Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum, and Cutty Sark (currently being refurbished after a major fire), and the Queen's House. This was the first time that the Gorse Fox had ever been to this part of London and was impressed by the grandeur of the buildings, the open spaces, and the general feel of the area.
 
 
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River trip

Having finished the Shakespeare Museum at the Globe, and had luch at a nearby restaurant we decided that a trip down river would be next on the agenda. Waiting at St Katherine's Dock for the boat that would take us down river, we had an excellent view of Tower Bridge.
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Globe?

Heading toward Shakespeare's Globe, it only seemed fitting to take effect some wide angle views in one of the several silver Globes that are placed in walkway beween St Paul's and the Millennium Footbridge.
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St Paul's Cathedral

Arriving in London we made our way across to Mansion House. Then walking along Cannon Street towards St Paul's, we stopped for some photos.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why

Why does alcohol-free beer taste so bad?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Workshops

The Gorse Fox has just finished running a four hour workshop with attendees from Starfleet and from the Clients and their newly acquired company. There was a number of issues outstanding and it was important to get them exposed, discussed, and hopefully resolved.

Fairly successful - the work seemed to come together, and though some new items came to light... Most got nailed.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You're not Melvin

The Gorse Fox has had the sort of day that he hopes will quickly be erased from memory. Stepping in to fill in all of the holes that certain colleagues have left, the Gorse Fox has become the bottleneck on a number of converging streams of work. This is all very fine, until things get political and those who should have done the job claim they are being delayed. PMs being PMs cluster round in mutual defence. Architects, being architects, ignore the politics and get on with the job in hand.

When the day was over, GF headed off for something to eat and then returned to his hotel. As he marched in and crossed the foyer and elderly lady stepped out and announced "You are not Melvin". Somewhat bemused, GF acknowledged her perspicacity and continued (bemused) to his room, locking it carefully behind him!



Monday, August 15, 2011

Back in Bristol

The Gorse Fox had to get going early... He wanted to fill up with diesel before getting into the main journey, so he pottered off to the first and usual garage only to find it closed. The next one restored his faith, however.

Once at work the day progressed quickly and pretty well. The nonsense of the previous weeks seems to have settled a bit, so GF was able to catch up with his issues-list.

Dinner was at Nando's and then GF headed back to check in to the hotel for a quiet evening.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photographically

A quiet day was mainly filled with capturing a batch of old photos and then trying to work out the year in which they were taken and who all of the subjects were.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Liming

After the house viewing was complete, the Gorse Fox prepared a jug of Sangria and awaited the arrival of the Silver Vixen’s cousin Trevor (Rik) and his wife Sue. Living just along the coast, we don’t see them as often as perhaps we should, but we seem to be making up for missing opportunities at present.

Catching up on family gossip was the first order of the day. This was followed by education, politics, identifying photos, the iPad2, blues, vitamins, kidney stones, and goodness knows what else. All of this was interrupted by a trip into Worthing for a nice meal at “Liming”.

It was the first time we had been to this Mexican restaurant for about a year or so – but the standards had not dropped. The choice was still good, the service attentive, and the food both tasty and well presented.

A good day.

Excitement

The Gorse Fox took a call from the agent. They have a viewer for the house. An hour of panic set in.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Little victories

Sometimes it is the little victories that give the most pleasure. Starfleet decreed that people with low utilisation should be "encouraged" to do better. This fair enough, except when the people involved are in that position through no fault of their own. GF was put in a position where he was meant to provide the "encouragement" but when he read the details he was irritated by the threatening if not intimidating wording.

GF responded in the strongest terms.

Four hours later the wording had been changed. Little Victories, eh?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Catching up

Working at home, the Gorse Fox had a good day catching up on a number of outstanding design issues.

When the work was over GF and the Silver Vixen headed out to meet up with Urban-cub and Pete. It was time to give her the birthday gifts we had collected and sit down together over a nice meal and catch up on the news and gossip.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Canapes

Back at the hotel where Agent Mulder, his family, and Beloved Aunt were staying, we joined them in the executive lounge for some drinks, and canap├ęs. This was meant to be a light snack before dinner – but in the end we kept snacking until the thought of dinner passed!

It had been a super day – but it was clear that jet lag was catching up with them all. The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox said their farewells and headed for the station.

All was going well. The train left on time and was quiet. We should have got home by 23:00.

Hmm.

An announcement informed us that we should swap ends of the train. The front carriages were now heading for Eastbourne. The rear carriages would be ours.

The story unfolded. When a train travelling at 70 mph tries to occupy the same space as a person – it never works out well for the person. Our line was closed.

The train aborted its southbound journey and head north to Three Bridges, then took and alternate route towards Bognor, eventually disgorging us at Barnham. We then had to wait for an eastbound train to collect us and drop us at our intended destination. This little escapade added an hour to the homeward trip.

Bed was a welcome sight.

Globe

After meeting up for a long and enjoyable lunch at the “Lord Moon of the Mall” (which, ironically was in Whitehall, not The Mall). Laura decided jet lag had kicked in and left the party.

IMG_0316We grabbed a couple of taxis and headed for Shakespeare's Globe. Most of the family in the first cab, GF following in another. GF’s taxi driver swept past the first cab as he railed at rioters, immigrants, workshy, and generally everyone that wasn’t him. This obviously overwhelmed his brain because he got lost and GF turned up several minutes after the rest of the family.

We bought our tickets for the tour and started at the museum. This proved to be far more interesting that GF was expecting, and he disappointed when the call came through that the tour was about to begin.

IMG_0326An amazonian* guide with a stentorian voice bellowed at us to gather round and she ushered up into the theatre itself. She then went on to explain how the various classes of society would stand or sit in the different parts of the theatre and how performances would continue whatever the weather; how all actors were male (even playing female parts); and how it was considered somewhat dissolute and that was why it was south of the river.

Good tour and thoroughly worth the trip.

* This doesn’t mean she work for Amazon or did the commentary by mail order.

Cabinet War Rooms

IMG_0295This was an intriguing chance to look back at the way in which, deep below ground, the War Cabinet and their analysts and aides conducted the prosecution of World War II.

An audio guide was provided to explain the exhibits, but also to quote from speeches and debates. It is clear that Churchill was a great leader – and whilst not always agreeing with the advice from his staff – was careful to understand their advice.

IMG_0298The tour included the large underground Churchill Museum. This covered the long life of the great man, from his early days in the Boer War to his last days in retirement.

Around the room were pithy quotations from the great man, as well as photos, charters, and day-by-day diaries.

The Gorse Fox found it very inspiring.

Touring

The thing about meeting up with family from afar is that as well as catching up on all of the news, you get a chance to “do the tourist thing”. So it was that we headed along the strand to Trafalgar Square where everything was the picture of normality.

IMG_0290After a brief moment of choice most of us headed for the Cabinet War Rooms, whilst Scully and the lovely Laura headed for the National Gallery.

I predict...

A quiet day in London with Agent Mulder, his family, and Beloved Aunt. Nobody would dare disrupt their State visit.

Happy Birthday

Photo111Today is Urban-cub’s birthday. Like her elder sister she was a blessing that we were delighted to receive and have treasured ever since.

The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen hope she has a fantastic day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Back home

Gorse Fox is looking forward to seeing Agent Mulder, his family, and Beloved Aunt. He has taken a day's vacation tomorrow, so has returned home from Bristol during the early evening.

It seems as if the youth of Britain are as excited to see the family as we are, thought I feel they are perhaps a little over-exuberant.



Monday, August 08, 2011

Cable

Cable is broken, TV system is down in the hotel. Looks like a very quiet evening. GF has been presented with a bottle of wine in recognition for the inconvenience. Well, there wasn't much that he wished to watch anyway!



Ribs

The day didn't pan out as planned, but they rarely do. GF presented himself at the office with his mental checklist of things to achieve. Immediately these were thrown out the window as the client decided that they may decide to do something different and could the Gorse Fox get together with some of their people to come up with some new ideas. Oh yes and we want the analysis by the end of the day.

Analysis done, options sent back, the Gorse Fox headed of some some ribs and salad, and then back to check in to the hotel.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Weekend

Nice quiet day starting with more work on the Gorse Fox's case for recertification. Then a few chores were required and a trip around the DIY shops. We need to consider a new porch and had to look at some door styles and get a view as to what would make most sense.

Leaving the DIY store we went into Currys to look at new fridges for mother-in-law. What really interested the Gorse Fox was the argument going on between a couple with a faulty phone and the management who were refusing to honour the terms of the insurance policy because their particular model was no longer available. This is the sort of disgraceful behaviour The Gorse Fox has witnessed so often at Currys and Dixons... And they wonder why he always refuses the extortionate insurance.

Whilst there, Silver Vixen saw a vacuum cleaner that she liked and by buying one we could leave one upstairs and leave the other downstairs. With her mobility problems, this makes a great deal of sense. What made the Gorse Fox chuckle was the advertising flash on the box proclaiming the cleaner had "Autosave". Now, GF has seen word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation tools with Autosave, but this is the first vacuum cleaner. He assumes it saves all the dirt so that it can be restarted if it fails or needs to be rebooted.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Weekend

The Silver Vixen had a day out with her coven. The Gorse Fox helped her load the sewing machine on to the back of her broomstick and waved her goodbye.

Work-life balance being what it is, the Gorse Fox then opened up the laptop and started ploughing through the labyrinth of links that finally revealed the new site where he has to write up his case for recertification. (Starfleet insists that it's troopers stay up date with the skills and that they have to achieve and then maintain their certification every three years). Once the labyrinth had been navigated GF quickly reviewed the nature of the forms to be completed.

The rest of the day was spent remembering and then writing up a number of the projects that GF has worked on in during the last three years.

So much for Saturday!


Friday, August 05, 2011

Trolls

Battle with trolls continued. It intrigues me that someone would want to deliver the wrong solution slightly late, rather than the right solution only slightly later.



Duck

The Gorse Fox has spent 40-odd years in this business without ever really getting involved in networks. He had to break his duck today as the client needed yet another report that nobody was writing. Girding his metaphorical loins ( real loins were left alone) he hit the keyboard and several hours later the deed was done.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Seething

The Gorse Fox rarely loses his equanimity. He may have the occasional moan, but is very slow to anger. The journey home nearly changed all that.

The traffic was light and fast moving, and GF was enjoying the narrative from his audio book.

The phone rang. It was a troll. Not just any troll, but the one whose team has spectacularly failed to resource up for their job, and has failed to come up with the requisite design for their project.

He launched into a diatribe regarding the risk to programme dates and changes to the solution arising from the documents that GF has written. GF pointed out that his so-called solution did not exist as he and his team had never defined it. GF had defined it because it was needed – and he had actually taken the time to understand the problem that was being solved.

The conversation ranged across several topics. “Why aren’t you installing this on the file farm in Surrey?” he asked. “Have you asked them if they have space in Surrey?” I responded. (Needless to say they don’t).

“It’s silly copying the data to the West Country, we have faster links to Surrey from Europe” was another statement. GF explained that the data in question was not in Europe… it was actually in the West Country and we already had the ability to install fast links.

GF has no doubt this will resurrect on Friday. But he completed his journey home without incident and with a wry smile.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Pass along now please.

Not a lot to report. It has been a very busy, but uneventful day. Gorse Fox did have to spend some time working with Starfleet colleagues from across Europe evaluating some innovative projects for a major award. This is the second year GF has sat on this panel and was again very impressed with the brilliance of some of his colleagues.



Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Happy Birthday

Good grief, the GF has just realised he has 5 relations who have birthdays today! A dear aunt, 3 cousins, and an aunt-by-marriage.



Traffic restrictions

The Gorse Fox had a strange day at work which included a request for a quiet chat from one colleague, who, after receiving GFs avuncular attention, ended up in tears.

Things could only improve from there... But somehow GF ended the day with more work than he had started with.

After stopping for supper GF decided to head off with his camera. That is where the traffic restrictions intervened and the plan to take some photos of the Clifton Suspension Bridge were thwarted by the lack of places to stop legally anywhere nearby. This was a source of immense frustration and GF resolved to spend more time with the maps, and return another day.

Monday, August 01, 2011

That is better

The Gorse Fox tends to start early. Jasper, the cat, decided that his version of awake supersedes that of the GF... And soon after four this morning he was wandering up and down the GFs body, purring and nudging him. He headed off when there was no reaction, but GF was now awake.

On the road he was delighted to find how much quicker the the journey was with the holiday season in full swing. However, the use of the iPod in the car on Saturday reset it's memory of where the audio book had got to, so no book this morning.

Work was fun as it was time to return to the day job and pass the baton back to the returning Programme Manager.