Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waste

The Gorse Fox was working at home – he had promised today and tomorrow to help a bid team with their work. Despite several chasers, instant messages and emails, they failed to make good use of GF’s offer until 17:45 when they wanted his considered input to the design of a massive storage system and the supporting network. Doh!

Much of the rest of the day was spent polishing one of GF’s famous spread-sheets that is being used by the bid team to construct the technical operational model… so the day wasn’t wasted. It’s frustrating however that GF could not have contributed more – but if they are too busy to speak to him there is little he can do.

At the end of the day we had a couple come to view the house. They seemed very positive, so we will have to see what comes of it. AT the moment their house is on the market, but not yet sold.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Busy

But not frantic...

Best part of the day was an online chat with Cousteau-cub first thing.

Rest of the day went much as usual, though part of the drive home was interrupted by a teleconference.

Nice to be home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Licenses

Yes, again.

This time it is to report that after stripping the software off of the laptop, clearing the registry, and deleting all the directories that seemed vaguely associated with it, the Gorse Fox finally managed to get the software working. This is the outcome of several days of effort.

Who says computers are hard to use?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Good day

The traffic was kind as GF headed across country, making up for the slower than usual start involving a trip to the diesel shop.

Work went well, and GF seems to have picked up another side project. What is nice is that it is back in the media space and closely aligned to a project he was working on eighteen months ago. Will have to see how it works out, and what GF can do to ensure the experience pays off.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Disgust

The Gorse Fox rarely gets seriously wound up. Today was one of those rare cases.

Why?

A bunch of well fed, middle class, intellectually challenged protestors marched on Rothamstead to complain about the development of GM crops. Their misplaced protest ignores the fact that GM crops have been responsible for saving, quite literally, millions of lives across the world. Indeed the use of GM could be the only way that the world has any chance of sustaining its burgeoning population.

How dare these ill-informed do gooders preach their anti-GM creed, the cost of which is death and starvation across wide swathes of the planet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Triumph

Like the motorcycle manufacturer – there is a touch of irony hidden within.

Roy Hodgson started his reign as England football manager with a “triumph” of Norway. The Gorse Fox knows that Norway are difficult to beat (it comes from running round the fjords)… but whilst the team won, it was hardly a triumph.

Watching the game reminded the Gorse Fox of the school playground. He makes the following observations:

  1. It doesn’t matter how much your club pays you, if you give the ball away each time you receive it, then you are worthless.
  2. Defending is an art form beyond the ability to just hoof the ball up the pitch to the opposition.
  3. Passing the ball to your goalkeeper is just giving the ball to the opposition by proxy. Since Paul Robinson, there has not been an England goalkeeper who can distribute the ball accurately.
  4. If you retain possession of the ball your opponent cannot score (though you could always do something stupid and score an own-goal).
  5. Every attack does not have to culminate in an immediate attempt on goal. Patience and mobility may provide a better opportunity.
  6. If your team mate on the ball seems to be having trouble, MOVE, and give him an outlet – don’t just stand there wondering how he’ll get out of it.
  7. Kick-and-run as a strategy was discredited when Howard Wilkinson was around – it is unlikely to return (even in the playground).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Irrational

Somehow it doesn’t seem right that some software designed to help you design computer systems is so hard to get working. Finally cracking the licensing issues and installing the prerequisite database software, Gorse Fox thought he’d be off and running. Fat Chance. Whilst the installation confirms that the underlying databases have been built – the software seems incapable of accessing them. And colleagues wonder why the Gorse Fox often ends up building his own tooling!

IMG_0049Fabulous weather today. The car was alerting the Gorse Fox that it needed a service so it was left at the dealer at the start of business. Late afternoon the call came through confirming the service was complete, so GF took a walk along the beach to the dealership.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Licenses

Gorse Fox has been working at home. It was varied but started with some effort directed towards some system modelling software. Licensing problems were eventually overcome, but GF still has some residual issue defining the correct encyclopaedia as its basic repository.

GF had volunteered to help set up some elective sessions at a forthcoming event. A couple of hours in the middle of the day was spent writing the synopses for a choice of sessions which would be discussed later in the day.

GF also had to deal with the closure of a performance improvement plan for a colleague. This had proved successful as the focus has clearly helped him adjust his working behaviour and GF has no doubt that he will go forward from this with a positive and improved attitude.

The final excitement of the day was the arrival of Gorse Fox's Raspberry Pi.m More on this in the future, but it is essentially a £30 bare bones computer which you have to build and develop. Sounds like a "project".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meetings

Gorse Fox seems to be spending the whole day in meetings or teleconferences. In many cases these are informative and productive.
It would be nice if today's complied.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Licenses

Starfleet likes its troopers to use its products where possible. This, to be honest, makes sense - or at least it would do, if only it made it a little easier to obtain the correct licenses to allow you to run the code. GF has spent several hours trying to license a particular tool. This requires a Host Name and a Host I'd. Code is provided to look up the name and I'd and allow them to be cut and pasted into the license. Having tried this, GF can confirm it is broken and consequently he cannot run the tool.

Meanwhile, in real life, Keith the plumber returned and worked from first thing through to mid afternoon. Overflow sorted, finally.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Interesting

Well, it was for the Gorse Fox. He found his way back down to Bristol and caught up with last week's activities. He started to experiment with linking a drawing tool to a spreadsheet. At first he failed to achieve much of value, but after fiddling about for a while, the process became clearer and it may now become a part of the regular toolkit.

Talking of tool kits, the Silver Vixen reports that Keith the Plumber has spent most of the afternoon sorting out a leaking overflow. As usual, he has done a super job, though will be returning tomorrow to finish.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Aftermath

Well as the Gorse fox remembers it, it was Geography after math.

However, returning to the point, Chelsea's win will please Cousteau-Cub but means that Spurs are denied Champions League football and are destined for the Europa League next season. Disappointing.

A quiet day today

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Support

It is difficult. Natural reaction is to support the English team... But if they win, then Spurs miss out on Champions League football next season.

Concern

GF and the Silver Vixen are still concerned over Cousteau-cub’s health – seems she may have dengue, or appendicitis… The main concern is the lack of positive diagnosis.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Graduation

Well, that’s probably an exaggeration, but the Gorse Fox has completed the course that he was attending – and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is so nice to switch off and do some serious education occasionally.

Mid-afternoon, GF was asked to present to the class and explain the rationale and the tooling he used to create a massive system design for a well-known broadcast organisation. This seemed to go down well.

Leaving Winchester at peak of the rush hour increased the time for the journey home by 50%… but it had been a good week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

At the chalkface

Another long day near Winchester. The course is really very good and GF is learning a lot.

Good news is that we already have three new viewings booked.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On course

As we try to pick up the pieces, GF is at least home overnight as he is attending a course at Starfleet near Winchester during the day.

Course is good and being conducted by Deep Blue which makes it fun

Silver Vixen has been controlling matters. Back in touch with the agents, back in touch with the builders, and back in touch with the solicitor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pooh

Buyers have pulled out. Not amused.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Progress

Again the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen have turned round the problem and thrown it back. The calls made to the Estate were fruitful, and an email confirming the consent has been received by our Solicitor. This has been sent straight to their solicitor with a request for Exchange of Contracts.

On top of this, GF has heard from his nutty cousin confirming that there will be a Canadian contingent at his Belated Birthday Bash in the summer.

The only negative news is that Cousteau-cub seem to have Dengue. Our thoughts, prayers, and wishes are with her. Hopefully she will have a quick recovery.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just stuff

Incredible end to the football season. At least Spurs finished fourth, but the Gods of football can be capricious... And the forces of darkness managed to come third. Now we just have to see whether we make it to the Champions League.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Holding Pattern

The holding pattern continues. Day was spent working with the virtual 3d models of what we could do if ever the move goes ahead. It was the first really sunny day for a while, so it seemed a shame to sit inside, but GF wanted to “see” what an orangery might look like at the back of the house.

Eventually, with the illustration complete and printed, it was time to escape to the garden and spend some time enjoying the sunshine and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Least Resistance

It is often easier to take the path of least resistance (in fact, the Gorse Fox would assert that by definition, that is the case). So it is that the latest demands of the purchasers’ solicitors were dealt with. Letters were exchanged and the Gorse Fox contacted members of the Board of Directors of the Estate. A universal response declaring the stupidity of the request was followed by a willingness to help and close the matter down. Again, we have turned matters round with 24 hours or so… so let’s see what they come up with next.

Meanwhile the Gorse Fox spent a frustrating day fighting with some of Starfleet’s internal systems. He needed to approve some professional certification cases, but the tool used to do this was intent on descending into a recursive error. The only way out was to crash the system. After losing this battle following several hours of effort, GF sent a message to the powers that be to explain the problem and to tell them to register the approvals for him.

Opportunity came up to help with another project. Unfortunately, and you may find this hard to believe, this one is not going all tickety-boo. The dilemma facing the Gorse Fox is: can he really make a worthwhile difference when all he can offer is a day or so each week on a programme that has been running for a year and has another 6 months to run? He certainly needs to think about how he would agree some sensible terms of reference.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Frustration

Despite a good day at work, the Gorse Fox is frustrated. A letter arrived from the solicitor, and again the buyers’ solicitor is prevaricating. GF is so cross that he cannot respond tonight. This will take a cool head in the morning.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Silver Vixen spent the afternoon out at the shops with Urban-cub looking for the odd items that will assist the smooth running of life in general. She shuffled through the front door behind a stack of storage crates of various sizes and accompanied by a nice table runner for the seemingly mythological new house.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ribs

It was a fairly ordinary, though quite productive, day at the office. Nothing out of the ordinary to report, just the usual dissembling from certain parties and frantic will to succeed from everyone else.

It was clear, as the day came to an end, that the Gorse Fox was in need of a plate of ribs. Climbing into his personal transport module he headed for Cribbs Causeway and a a plate of TGI Friday's finest.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Back out west after a very long drive this morning, GF has been trying to maintain composure whilst frantically trying to respond to a slew of questions from people who haven't read the material that has been written for them.

On top of this we have the latest from the Estate Agent relaying that the purchasers want the Estate agreement (not Council, or Planning Dept - they have that) for the extension that was built 25 years ago. Clearly this was prior to GF & the Silver Vixen owning the house and clearly they have not read the Deeds that were provided. The Deeds show that the house does not need said permission or acceptance. We may well get them retrospectively, but that would set an uncomfortable precedent for the purchasers. At this stage, we will do anything to move things along.

Monday, May 07, 2012

More 3D

Another day spent with the 3D modelling tools – interspersed with a wander through GF’s latest expenses and a trip to fill the car with diesel ready for this week’s trip to the West Country.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

3D

Most of the day was spent in a physically vegetative state whilst the brain was frantically processing shapes, perspectives, cut-aways, and projections for a 3D model of the new house.

Sketchup (free from Google) is such a powerful tool, but has some usability quirks that take a little self-education – fortunately there are many hundreds of YouTube videos to coach you on the techniques.

Long way to go still, but various models are taking shape.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Acers

Over the years the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen have collected a number of acers (the trees, not the computers). When moving to Sussex some got left behind as they were too well established to disturb – others came with us, but of these several were lost to the harsh salt winds, or not finding the right spot to plant them.

Now we have quite a selection of very healthy specimens. Once again we prepare to move and have to concede that quite a few of these will have to stay behind. We received a voucher during the week which advertised a 50% discount at a local garden centre and so headed off to examine what was available. We have returned with 4 new specimens in pots. These will come with us and will make up for some of those that will be left behind.

Reflections

So the mid-term elections have taken place and several people have voted. The result has been a swing towards Labour which the media are portraying a “huge”.

The Gorse Fox, having watched this cycle many times, sees it as entirely predictable. This time, however, it disappoints him. This time, the circumstances are different. The Country is trying to recover and now doesn’t like the treatment.

The voters seem to be like heroin addicts – two years ago they finally broke away from the pusher who had systematically destroyed their hopes and lives; now they are going through a painful “cold turkey” to put them on the road to recovery but they have bumped into their pusher again. They have forgotten the destruction wrought at the hands of the pusher, they just don’t want any more medicine.

Thinking of the “pusher” reminds the Gorse Fox of a great definition for the Labour party in today’s paper:

Ineptocracy – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers

Friday, May 04, 2012

That’s better

There is something cathartic about seeing your solicitor and having a good whinge. Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox have had the opportunity to chat with our solicitor and raise the various issues that had been delaying progress.

Following on from that, GF phoned the Estate Agent and reprised the whinge for his benefit. Said Agent, concerned for his commission, leapt into action and we soon had a return call with some more positive news.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Trouble

The Silver Vixen has received a call from the purchasers. It is clear that this is not going to be an easy transaction as they seem to be finding one reason after another to prevaricate. At least there is a scheduled meeting with the solicitor tomorrow.



Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Short week

Well, GF suspects that history will record that it lasted 168 hours, but in terms of the time spent in Bristol, GF was able to foreshorten the week to accommodate a Starfleet meeting scheduled for Thursday in London. Early afternoon saw the usual planning and design meetings but GF still managed to slip into his stealth vehicle at a sensible time and sweep across country to Sussex and home.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Broadband - not

In preparation to move GF contacted BT several weeks back to cease service at old home and install services at new one.

Last week GF called BT to reset the dates. Well so he thought. Actually they they handled one line impeccably, the other line (carrying our broadband) was cancelled despite the clear instructions.

GF has now spent a stressful 30 minutes trying to find someone in BT who could fix said cock-up. Fortunately a lady called Shelley put herself out and went on to recover the situation. Only tomorrow will tell if it is sorted, but GF is confident she knew what she was doing.

Flippers

The drought in Southern England continues with another day of torrential rain.