Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bricks and Mortar

The Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox had an appointment with the builder's agent. They now had a show home decorated with the colour choices we had made and we had an opportunity to go and look.

This turned out to be be better than expected when we realised we could see our plot from the upstairs window.
Progress has been good in the last few weeks and the house is almost up to roof height.

There is also quite a view up to the South Downs from the emerging edifice, though some of this will be lost as the development grows.

The agent is now trying to bring the completion in to fit with their financial year-end which may bring us even further forward.

Only time will tell.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Signals

For a few days now, Vodafone seems to have been having problems in our area. The usual 5-bar signal seems to have dropped to 1 bar when there is any service at all. This is generally inconvenient for the Silver Vixen and, as the Gorse Fox's work phone is on the VF network, means that GF finds it difficult to work from home in such conditions.

It dawned on him, that this was what it used to be like at the old house. That is when he remembered he had a femto-cell which allows the first stages of the mobile phone call to be hauled over the internet. Finding the femto-cell was easy. Finding an ethernet cable was easy. Finding the right power adapter for it was much more challenging.

After digging through a load of crates and boxes, the right power supply was located and plugged in. Lights began to flash. A few minutes later there was a solid 5-bar signal again.

Sorted.

The Silver Vixen missed all of this excitement, having gone of to Chi to get her hair done and raid the shops.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

That's it

Positively, absolutely, that's it. Project is over for the Gorse Fox. Does the happy dance. Get strange looks from fellow train travellers.

New challenges from next week... but admin tomorrow

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Last day

Today was the Gorse Fox's last dat at the offices of this particular client. He cannot express in words the relief at finishing there - one more day of reviews tomorrow and then hands can be metaphorically washed and a very unpleasant episode of his working life consigned to the annals of history.

He feels sorry for those he leaves behind - but will do what he can to send the messages back to the mother ship. Management by screaming and waving your arms in the air whilst running about a lot is not the best approach to a multi-million dollar project.

Must say that the Gorse Fox looks like he's ready to celebrate.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In town

The day started very early. The Gorse Fox had a touch of catarrh which interrupted his sleep and had hime wide awake at 0400. He managed to stay in bed for a further 90 minutes but then had to get going.

The trip was uneventful except for the general chitter chatter of the early commuters who now include the Gorse Fox in their little collective. It does make the journey go quicker and they are a nice bunch. Once at the office the Gorse Fox settled down to the backlog of project related emails. It seems incredible to him the utter inanity of some of the questions and requests he gets from the glory boys.

A couple of review meetings today in preparation for the release of the contract next week. Seemed to go well, though the big one is on Thursday.

SIgnalling problems seem to be disrupting train services this evening. Oh the joys of commuting.

The Silver Vixen has had a tea party this afternoon with some of her coven. Sounds as if she had a great time - but will have to get details when home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

On the up

It was a very pleasant day's work. The Gorse Fox was working from home and the day was dedicated to personnel evaluations and appraisals. As always, he is blessed by the exceptional nature of his team; that blessing however can cause problems as he tries to differentiate between people and decide how best to evaluate them fairly.

Back up to town tomorrow, but this is the downhill slope.

Genealogy 101, Part 2

And firstly Good Morning to Mrs Tiggywinkle.

Storing the Data

The data exists either in paper format, in digital format, or both (in fact I am hoping to have digital copies of all the paper documents, over time).
Paper Documents should be stored in the Archive box, in the folder for the associated family, and in the generation where it is relevant.
The digital data is stored in a number of places:

  • Doculib
  • Photolib
  • Family
  • Web site

Document Library

This library (stored in /Public/Doculib ) contains digital images of certificates, letters, and documents of all kinds related to the family.
To make some sort of sense and simplify the location of the documents, the following standards have been adopted for naming the images

YYYY-TT-MMM (ref) Name(s); comment

Table 1 below shows the definition of these components.

Table 1 Naming Format for Document Library
YYYY
Is the year of the event or the document
TT
Is the document type
where:
A
Admon (Probate, Wills and Admons)
B
Birth
M
Marriage
D
Death
DV
Divorce
C
Christening/Baptism
CN
Census Entry
I
Interment
G
Grave
P
Press report
PL
Passenger List
O
Obituary
L
Letter or Invitation
R
Remembrance Card
S
Order of Service
TD
Trade Directory or Telephone Directory
MMM
Is the month of the event
(ref)
Is the official index reference for the document, if known
Names(s)
Is the name or names of the subject(s) or author
Comment
Any relevant explanatory comment

Figure 1, shows a clipping from the Doculib folder, and clearly demonstrates the use of the naming conventions. You can immediately see how it makes the location and retrieval of information very easy.


Figure 1 Example of the Doculib library and use of naming conventions

Backup

The basic document storage is backed up as follows
  • Public/Doculib (on the 1TB WD NAS MyBook) is backed up to /Public/Doculib_Backup (on the second 2TB NAS WDNAS2TB), and  
  • it is separately backed up to J:\Google Drive\Backups\Doculib which is uploaded to the Google Drive on the web.

Photo Library

The photos, discussed above, are stored in /Public/Photolib (on the 1TB WD NAS MyBook)
The Picasa controls and index are stored in c:\Users\Andy\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2

Backup

The basic photo storage is backed up as follows:
  • /Public/Photolib (on the 1TB WD NAS MyBook ) is periodically copied to
  • /Public/Photolib_Backup (on the second 2TB NAS WDNAS2TB) Individual folders in the Picasa library are replicated to Google+ albums on the web.

The Picasa control files are similarly copied to a second drive, and to the web storage in Google drive

Family Library

Other information is stored in the j:\family folder on the PC – most significantly this stores the database used by “Family Tree Maker” and which is, essentially, the master database for all of the genealogical information.
The folder also contains sub folder for each of the primary family groups:
Brian
Roe
Gorse Fox
Taylor
And in turn these have sub-folders for the next generation of families.

Backup

The basic genealogy storage is backed up as follows
  • j:\family library (on the PC) is backed up up J:\Google Drive\Backups\family which is uploaded to the Google Drive on the web

Tooling

Managing all of genealogical information requires the use of various tools. The primary tools used on the local machines are discussed below.

Family Tree Maker

This is a Windows program, so runs on the PC. This manages and maintains the genealogical database.

Picasa

Discussed above, manages the digital photo library. Again this is on the PC, at the time of writing.

Excel


Is used to manage individual facts (factoids) gleaned from various documents. For example, the file currently contains over 900 entries and allows me to see:
  • What documents I have that refer to a particular individual,
  • What documents I have for a particular family,
  • Where people lived over time
and so forth. This has proved immensely useful when cross-checking facts. (And of course, every entry cites the source and in most cases links to the image in the Document library discussed above.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Genealogy 101

Over the years Gorse Fox tried a number of different approaches to gathering, recording, and storing genealogical information. Some of these have worked some have been less successful. This guide is his reference to his current view of best practices.

Types of Information

There is a wide spread of information sources, and many components come together to create the genealogical map that build up, fact by fact, over the years.

  • Family Stories
  • Family Papers
  • Photos
  • Press cuttings
  • School reports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Census entries
  • Entries from Parish Registers
  • Military Records
  • Employment Records
  • Will and Admons
  • Invitations
  • Change of Address cards
Each of these (and no doubt many other sources) can be a rich mine of family information.

Keeping Records

But what do you do with this information?
1.     Identify

  • Create a reference number that will uniquely identify the source, whether physical or digital. 
  • If the artefact comes from an official source (such as the GRO), then retain is call number as part of the reference.
2.     Mine

  • Mine the source for all relevant information. 
  • This goes way beyond the obvious data regarding the subject of the material. Don’t forget to look for addresses, witnesses, parents, siblings, occupations, and so forth.
3.     Record

  • Enter each separate fact gleaned from the document in the Genealogical Facts spreadsheet or database as a separate entry. (So a change of address card for a married couple would probably have two entries, one for each of them. 
  • Each entry would contain the data, the identity of the document, the person, and the address.
4.     Store - Store the source material.

  • Retaining the paper copy if it is available (that goes in the archive box in the folder pertinent to the subject family).
  • Scan the paper copy and save in /Public/Doculib on the NAS[1] using the reference id discussed above.
  • If the document was already a digital image, then store it in /Public/Doculib, renaming it with the reference defined above.

Having kept the raw information, it is now imperative that it is recorded in the master database. (For the Gorse Fox this is currently stored on the PC using Family Tree Maker). Start FTM and navigate to the person for whom you wish to provide additional information. Add the information then use the CTL-S key to create a reference to the source data. Whilst you are reviewing that individual – check the notes that you have on record. These may need updating or embellishing now that you have further facts.

Photos

Photos provide useful information and best of all they put faces to names. Photos are handled slightly differently from other sources.
The Gorse Fox's photo library is managed by Google’s Picasa. Photos are filed by date, with a folder for each year and within each year a folder for each date for which we have photos.

Paper Photographs

Traditional Photos can be easily damaged, mislaid, or fade over time. The first thing to do is to digitize them. Scan the photo at a minimum of 300dpi.
Name the photo. I have used a number of schemes for this. Sometimes the event, sometimes the name of the event, other times the names of the people featured. Whatever you choose, store the photo in the folder for the correct year in /Public/Photolib.

Digital Photographs

Digital photos are stored in a similar fashion within the Picasa library. At the time of writing we have over 27,000 photos filed.

Organisation of Photos

As explained above, photos are filed by date. However, there are further mechanisms in play to help with retrieval.

Albums

Picasa supports the concept of Albums. This means that any photo can be part of an album or multiple albums. For example if I have a photo of John, Paul and George, the photo is filed by the date it was taken, but also it can feature in an album for John, and album for George, and album for Paul, and an album for the Beatles. (Though there is just the one copy of the photo).

Face Tagging

Picasa has a feature whereby it can identify object in photos that it believes are faces. You can then assign a name to that face and it will remember it and if it detects the face elsewhere, in other photos, it will ask you to confirm it to be the same person.
The face tags are organized such that there is, effectively, and album for every person you have identified.

Geo-Tagging

Modern cameras and smart phones are able to save a GPS tag in the EXIF data that accompanies photos. This means that the location at which the photo was taken can be accurately identified.
Picasa will show pins on a map to identify the locations of the photos – if known.

Older photos will not have the Geo-tagging data, but that does not mean they cannot be located. If you know where the photo was taken you can drop it onto a map and the appropriate geo-tag will be generated and stored with the photo.

[The Gorse Fox will continue this at a later date]

Location, location, location

The Gorse Fox has spent much of the day going back through his records and plotting the locations where family have lived over the the years. These have been plotted on Google Maps and linked so that you can trace the progress of a family from their earliest detected records, house by house, to where they live now.

It's been quite an interesting experience and - like most genealogical exploits - frustrated by a few dead ends.

Back to work tomorrow - with a day at home doing personnel work, then the last few days on the current project. The Gorse Fox is still interested to see how they get on with their approach to the programme. Simply explained they are going to build a car showroom but haven't yet worked out how or where they are going to build cars and what they will look like... but the important thing is having the showroom - even if they can't put anything in it.

But hey, what does the Gorse Fox know - he's only been doing this for 42 years.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Roots

Genealogy has long been a keen interest fro the Gorse Fox. He has traced back many generation in both his own and the Silver Vixen's family. Much of today was spent gathering more and analysing more of the data that has been discovered.

As usual, this meant coming to a number of dead-ends, but also produced some new discoveries - or at least some coincidences that seem too great to be anything other than cause and effect. For instance, the Gorse Fox's maternal family had farming interests in Essex.

 It now turns out that his Gt-gt-grandmother came from Essex, at a time when the family she married into were Londoners with now apparent link to the country.

Indeed, she hailed from the Parish adjoining the land that would become the family farm, within a generation. She lived, according to the census, on Mundon Road and at the south end of the road is Sharp's Farm - which was the family dwelling.

His research also showed up an error in the census transcription - where someone had misread  and transcribed a name erroneously. Fortunately the system allows corrections to be be requested so in the future this should not confuse researchers the way it did the Gorse Fox.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Outage

We were out.

The day was dedicated to the huge blue and yellow cathedral of Swedish furniture. It only takes about an hour to get across to West Quay from here and we were soon parked and weaving our way through the various room displays. Obviously, the new house was at the back of our minds - and particularly the suitability of a particular shelving range which we had seen in their brochure.

In real life it turned out to be every bit as suitable as we had hoped and indeed more flexible that we had expected.

We continued to meander through the store, but whilst there was plenty to look at - little else caught the eye. We stopped for lunch in the restaurant, commenting how quiet it was compared to our last trip. Obviously Friday afternoon is a good time to visit.

Finishing at the store we headed home.

Settling down with a cup of tea and our projects we were soon interrupted by an outage on the broadband service. This seemed to last for a couple of hours or so... but put an end to the Gorse Fox's research for the day.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gem

It turned out to be a gem of a day. We arrived in Chi and went to the optician - GF's glasses were a little loose and he needed them tightening. The technician noticed a blemish on one of the lenses and not on sorted out the frame, but also ordered a replacement lens.

From there - we headed to the jeweller where we found a super piece that sorted the Silver Vixen to the ground and tied in well with the ring we got for the 40th wedding.

After that we met with Betty and Barney Rubble and had a lovely lunch in Prezzo and after a further spell of shopping - afternoon tea in Maison Blanc.

Meanwhile text messages and phone calls had been coming in all day to wish the birthday girl a happy day. Urban-cub called from the top of one of the fells in the Lake District, and Cousteau-cub from the middle of storm on Koh Lanta. On top of all this we heard from the builder that the new house may be ready a month earlier than expected and they are still trying to bring it even further forward.

A gem of a day.

Silver Vixen

It is the Silver Vixen's birthday today - all focus is on her.

After the card opening ceremony at breakfast, next we have a trip to Chi to meet with Betty and Barney Rubble for lunch,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Downhill

The journey went steadily down hill (metaphorically) - overall journey to work this morning 3 hours and 20 minutes.... all because of overruning engineering works on a section of track that our train does not use!

Pah!

Good start

The Gorse Fox thinks the milk was off. There was ice on the car. There was overrunning engineering work and the planned train was terminating halfway to London.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Strange

It was another starngely satisfying day. Fairly busy, but not crazy - and undisturbed by people dosed up on stupid pills.

The design meeting went well and the Gorse Fox presented the strategy upon which he had been working. He expected some reaction and comment, but actually it just got nodded through - which was good.

The clients external internet connection crashed early afternoon - this was a great contributor to the peace of the afternoon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Good one

despite the Gorse Fox's expectation (given some of the undiscussed events of Friday) today was a remarkably good day.

Slides to accompany the document written last week were produced and filed before the first meeting of the day. That meeting only ran for an hour instead of 90 minutes - and the Gorse Fox seemed to answer all the questions that his colleague had lined up for him.

Next it was a case of assessing a load of changes to get some idea of the impact on the project. This took a significant amount of digging about - but again we cam to a satisfactory result.

Finally, confirmation of the charging scheme for Gorse Fox's new role came through as he was about to leave the building.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Autumn

Autumn has its moments. The Gorse Fox had started the day slowly. A leisurely breakfast and reading the papers on the iPad, then into the study for a bit of Genealogy.

The Silver Vixen headed for the garden to do some more tidying. This seemed to involve a great deal of snipping and a little while later the rambling rose was rambling all over the lawn. The Gorse Fo x went out to help cut it up... and a couple of chilly hours later all was done.

Coming in, there seemed to be only one one satisfactory answer to finishing the afternoon. SO it was that the Gorse Fox warmed the first mulled wine of the season and settled down for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Replication

The Gorse Fox has found some OpenSource File-Synchronisation software for the Mac (FreeFileSync) that will enable him to extend his backup regimes, and protect his data without the external intervention of the PC.
Seems good so far - though GF still needs to work out how to automate it.

Talking of replication, the grass around the house seems to have been both replicating and growing. GF decided it was time to give the lawns a hair-cut. That done, the Silver Vixen has started on the borders. A trip to the tip is on the schedule for this afternoon.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Not my fault

The Gorse Fox notices a headline in the press today:

"Will the world end in 100 days? After the Mayan 'end of the world' that came and went, get ready for the Viking Apocalypse on 22 February"
Well 22nd of February is the Gorse Fox's birthday and whilst he is certain that reaching 62 will be apocalyptic - he had no plans to end the the world.

Stand easy!

High

Well despite the on-going trials and tribulations of the project and the serious impact it is likely to have on the Gorse Fox's annual appraisal, the week is ending on a high. The Gorse Fox is taking the Silver Vixen out for meal at the local restaurant. That is the way to finish the week.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Little Inspiration

The Gorse Fox has been waiting to find time to re-write some code to run on his nice shiny Mac. Without this re-write he was unable to copy blog posts from this blog to his private internal blog where he also records his historical diaries.

It suddenly occurred to him that an interim step would be to enable remote access to the underlying MySQL database, and perform the updates from the PC.  A quick change to the security settings for MySQL, and the definition of new credentials in the code on the PC and voila, it was done.

Most satisfying.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Better

Well that was unexpected...

Firstly the Gorse Fox has managed to arrange to work from home tomorrow,

Secondly, he has had a productive day, and

Thirdly, he has been offered a new job in Starfleet and they want him to start at the begining of December.

This last bit of news was the icing on the cake. The job was one that he discussed about 4-6 weeks ago. It had all gone quiet and he thought the opportunity had lapsed. But no, it was just the ponderous way in which Starfleet moves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Too soon

And so it came to pass that the Gorse Fox spoketh too soon.

The train journey ran to time all the way to Ford - less than 5 minutes from the destination station. It was there, however, that satan intervened and cast his wickedness upon the train front. This wickedness meant the train could not moveth forward, nor could any train about it move for it blocketh the line.

Our train remained outside the gates that represented heaven at that time of night. Eventually, the souls trapped in this limbo were shunted back to Ford Station where they were allowed respite whilst the agents of motion decided on a plan of action.

The souls in limbo, amongst which the Gorse Fox numbered himself, were loaded back onto the train. The train of the righteous would be rolled back so that the train of wickedness could move backwards out of the way. We rolled back and waited, expecting to see a train full of tortured souls roll past. Nothing happened.

A voice came from above and the train began to move. We would be taken back to Littlehampton and cast adrift. So it was that the Gorse Fox found himself on Littlehampton station in the middle of the evening. No transport was available for the souls of the righteous, they had been cast adrift in a hostile land. The Gorse Fox called the Silver Vixen who was willing to mount her chariot of light and rescue him; but lo! another voice came from above.

The train of wickedness had been moved. The righteous could go to a new train and it would cary them to promised the land. It would firstly be coupled to another train, and then head off into the night. The righteous returned to the train. The driver mounted the cab and then spent fifteen minutes trying to couple the train to the additional coaches. Wickedness had spread from the other train. This train, too, had been smote by Satan. Coupling could not be achieved.

So it was that some time later the righteous finally left the desolation of Littlehampton for the promised lands of Barnham. Having left work soon after five, it was approach nine by the time the Gorse Fox arrived home to the Elysian fields of home.

Good

Yes, in summary it was good.

Nothing special, just good.

They office was busy but quieter than usual and there were no interrupts to the progression of work.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Writing

An uneventful day. 

Back up in London the Gorse Fox managed to spend most of the day writing a design strategy that needs to be ratified over the next week. It was moderately easy to write - but quite hard to illustrate. Eventually the job was done and the document sent for initial review.

Bit of a delay getting home - rains running late, but at least they were running and once we had disgorged the Croy-Magnons at  East Croydon, the journey became quite tolerable.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hants

It was time we met up with Betty and Barney Rubble. We headed across country on this cool, crisp autumn morning. The sun made the autumn colours positively glow as we headed through the downs. 

After a coffee and quick catch up we headed for Basingstoke and La Tasca where we had booked for lunch. It was a lovely way to enjoy a leisurely lunch. After that, we headed back for an afternoon of chat and gossip (and cups of tea).

Lovely day.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Data mining

The Gorse Fox has spent most of the day mining data. This is data from the Census, and from other certificates, data that provides more insight into the the history of the Silver Vixen's family. In doing so he has realised that twice, the Silver Vixen's family and the Gorse Fox's family actually lived in the same road in years gone by. Extraordinary.

Several times he thought he had made a breakthrough and found some new information - but each time it just corroborated what he had already found in earlier research.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Testing

Working from home doesn't really mean "home" necessarily. The Gorse Fox had to take the car for its MOT. So he was up early and drove back to Goring-on-Sea to deposit the car at the maternity ward from whence it was delivered.

They informed the GF it would be a couple of hours for the test and for a scheduled change in brake fluid. They gave him a coffee voucher and he left them to it. Strolling across to a small coffee shop he settled down with a strong coffee and a satisfying breakfast and punched into their WiFi. By twenty to nine he was logged on and working as usual.

Needless to say the car passed the MOT and GF headed back to Fontwell. Logged back in, and continued to deal with a teleconference discussing the definition of shared services and which should be included and the fresh definition of scope that had been distributed by the client, overnight.

Overall a good day.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Security

The Gorse Fox noticed that today was "take you parents to work day", but found that security weren't impressed by two coffins.

Zombie walk

The Gorse Fox sees from the Worthing Herald that they have just had a charity Zombie Walk. 

What puzzles the Gorse Fox is a) how could you identify them as Zombies as opposed to the normal Worthing shopper; and b) how were they prised out of the mobility scooters (or obescycles as Simon Evans would say).

That's good

It was a surprisingly good day.

One of the two bits of work that had dropped onto the Gorse Fox's desk was voluntarily taken on by a colleague (and he's done an excellent job of it). The other was proper design work which the Gorse Fox thoroughly enjoys.

On top of all this he saw a resource plan for the project that shows the completion of his escape even earlier than planned... so only 3 weeks left on this particular grind stone. (Not that anyone has told the Gorse Fox, but that seems par for the course).

Working from home tomorrow - so that is always a bonus.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Change

The bitty work of the past few weeks seems to have come to an abrupt end as two big chunks of trouble have dropped onto the Gorse Fox's desk. Needless to say, both are needed in the same time frame.

Oh well 144 days to go!

The Gorse Fox has booked some vaction too. This should cover some time around the Silver Vixen's forthcoming birthday and also clear Xmas.

Victoria looked troublesome this evening, but despite announcements and warnings, the train was only 2 minutes late leaving.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Same old, same old

Another riveting day at work. The Gorse Fox can hardly contain himself. Absolutely nothing of importance or interest to report. However it does look as if the Gorse Fox has an escape date from this project... though nobody has told him yet.

On the subject of escape, Gorse Fox received a pension illustration through the post. It was better than expected - given the intent to leave early. Indeed, it seems that it is achieveing what the Gorse Fox expected at normal retirement date, 18 months early. Whilst that takes the pressure off - it doesn't necesarily incurr a precipitous decision.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Start the week

It was a good start to the week. The early train was not too busy and the tubes were bening. The Gorse Fox got to the office early and got his head down to some serious design work. This continued most of the day, with only the briefest interva to address some contractual requirements that will need to be documented over the next week.

On a completely different subject the Gorse Fox is shocked by the death of the two young girls in Gosport at the weekend. But, for heaven's sake, what was a 14 and 16 year old doing walking the streets at 0415 in the morning!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

MinusIQ | The pill to lower your IQ permanently

http://www.youtube.com/v/z9pD_UK6vGU?version=3&autohide=1&showinfo=1&feature=share&autohide=1&autoplay=1&attribution_tag=z7sgzQd4Tj5Vz8ni0On-1g

This explains so much. Maybe a trip the Pharmacy is needed.

(Evidently most of our current Government Opposition have been popping them for ages - how else could you explain their recent pronouncements and the fact they think the electorate is stupid enough to have forgotten their last spell in office.

MMmmm, come to think of it... maybe it's been leeching into the water table)

Progress

After a Sunday breakfast featuring fine sausages, bacon, and eggs (a rare treat), the Gorse Fox headed to the station.

No it's not work.

He has lost his car parking permit (which he assumes blew out of the car at some point during the week when he was loading or unloading). He needed a replacement - but this, it seems, is not a straightforward request. After much debate, humming, and looking at the screen, the ticket officer finally stamped a blank card, signed it and wrote the expiry date. That will have to do!

Then the Gorse Fox headed off to the new house to take some photos of progress since our last visit, about a month ago. Actually, there is little or no visible progress on our house - but the house next door but one is coming along quickly.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Budgets

The Gorse Fox has spent much of the day working with downloaded bank statements and a white-hot spreadsheet trying to determine budgets and spending over the next year or two - given that before too long he will have to rely on a pension, rather than his current salary.

Interesting exercise.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Satisfying

It was a satisfying day. Emails had arrived and it was clear that a colleague was trying to extend one of the Gorse Fox's spreadsheets. After a quick glance it was clear that the algorithm upon which his changes were based was incorrect and the way he had gone about it broke the structure of the spreadsheet. After a discussion, the Gorse Fox said that he would make the necessary adaptations to achieve what had been wanted.

Starting on this, it became clear that there was an underlying bug in the spreadsheet. Not a big one, in terms of impact, but a significant one in terms of the effort required to put it right. After three false starts GF finally sorted it out.

Fontwell Park Racecourse - a mere 5 minutes walk from home - had arranged a firework display and all of the locals had been invited, free of charge. The evening was a bit wet early on, and we were concerned about Jasper the cat. In the end we remained at home and despite the thunderous bangs, Jasper slept through it.