Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cousteau-cub

Sounds like Cousteau-cub is suffering a bit a present. She is heading back to the hospital so that they can keep an eye on here and administer the meds on a regular basis.

We are all keeping our fingers crossed that this is a short episode and they can get things back under control.

And there's more

Another day working at home (no complaints there then!).

Today has been a mix. Several new documents created and added to the canon, and a bit more refinement of the spreadsheet which took centre-stage yesterday. At this rate, the Gorse Fox will not have quite finished by the time he retires. (Well there is a further 120+ documents to write or modify).

GF has also spent the latter part of the day reviewing material prior to performing a bid review in the morning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Choices

There are days when you have to make choices. Not life-changing choices, but design choices. The Gorse Fox has had such a day.

The reality of working in Starfleet is that we have to use various tools to do our jobs - but tools that Starfleet themselves create are not available to us. So it is that the Gorse Fox is try to bend Excel to his will and develop an easily maintained, but dynamically adaptable spreadsheet to define the structure of the way in which we run these large-scale programmes.

He has now developed three separate approaches, each of which has its advantages, and each has its disadvantages. Now he has to balance these designs and chose the best. That can be a choice for another day.

Watched the Bayern Munich -v- Real Madrid Champions League semi-final tonight - what and excellent game, and satisfying result.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Real Work

Today was back to real work, rather than the teaching of the past couple of weeks.

Now, by real work, the Gorse Fox does not mean deep-pit mining, road building, fire-fighting, or indeed anything that would constitute or imply heavy labour. No, anyone that knows the Gorse Fox would realise that would be a silly concept. What he means is that he spent the day at the computer increasing the portfolio of documents and intellectual assets that underline the area of computing services in which he currently specialises. He suspects that this will be the theme for the week.

Meanwhile, judging from the emails he has seen from his commander, Starfleet may just have dropped his retirement request through the gaps. This seems to have induced a degree of panic in the Starfleet management who have now restarted the process.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wheels

It's Sunday and after a slow start we did have an appointment with a representative of Mr Henry Ford's esteemed company of carriage manufacturers.

We turned up early and made use of the time to pour over the particular Model T that was of interest. In the showroom it seemed larger than its dimensions suggested and inside it was comfortable. The boot seemed adequate and it ticked most of the boxes on the mental checklist. A drive was next on the agenda.

At the appointed hour, the representative arrived and took us to a car that had been prepared for us. He drove us round and out of Chichester, pointing out various aspects of the car and the performance achieved from the small 3-cylinder engine. Stopping in a pub car park we swapped drivers and the Gorse Fox took over. The test drive continued. The car was very stable and felt solid. The engine was quiet and responsive, and the instrumentation was easy to read and informative. We wound through the countryside and villages near Bosham before heading back to the dealership.

Our verdict was that we had found a definite contender - but we did want to try the model with an automatic gearbox.

Back at home the spreadsheet was updated. Some contenders were promoted others dropped. The list is narrowing down, finally.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cars again

The weekend car search theme continued. Today we  were scheduled to test drive the Yaris Hybrid. This was an impressive little car and well-loaded with features,

Initially, the dealer came out with us to ensure we were comfortable with the features, but then we were let loose, alone. Around town it was benign and and easy to drive. The battery seemed to do most of the work. Then, on the open road, we got a chance to see a bit more of its performance. GF picked a course that included some fast roads, some winding roads, and a route up and over the South Downs. This was where the car started to show its flaws. It was really not comfortable on the hills and struggled to get much above 40mph, and on fast roads it was able to keep up but had no power left to overtake. Additionally, after 15-20 minutes we were both getting quite uncomfortable. So, all-in-all our verdict was that it was a nice car - but that it was not at the top of the list.

More cars to test drive tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Another one done

Well, that's another course completed and great fun it was too. The Gorse Fox enjoys teaching these courses, and it's very satisfying to see the interest in the class and to hear their experiences.

By mid-afternoon it was time to clear up and clear out. GF told the SatNav to take him home and headed out into the rain. The SatNav was, evidently, feeling mischievous a decided to take GF the shortest route without too much regard for traffic. Eversley, Fleet, Farnham... where he just sat in traffic for about 30 minutes, then on to Haslemere, Midhurst, Goodwood and home. The 45 miles had taken nearly two hours. At least he had been listening to a new book on the way across.

Looks like the Silver Vixen has some troubles with here laptop. It is rather erratic when it comes to connecting to the printer, and has a number of niggling issues. GF is planning to rebuild it over the weekend. (as long as he can find all the pre-requisite software in the boxes from the house move).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ducking and Diving

The Gorse Fox has been ducking and diving. There is pressure for him to get involved more directly with some customers. Starfleet's first quarter results have put the pressure on to ensure we are earning revenue wherever possible. This isn't easy as he has a lot of commitments which would mean that he can only get involved sporadically... and only for a short time.

Jean-Luc Picard has taken up the GF's case and is pushing back.

Meanwhile, in real life, he has been teaching again today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teaching Again

The Gorse Fox is back in Starfleet teaching again. The load is a little lighter this week as we have a rota of three lecturers. So it is that today, GF only had one module to present. However, it did mean that he could get on with some of his method-development work.

During the afternoon, one of the class exercises overlapped some of his recent changes - so he asked one of the teams to pilot his new material. Whilst giving some helpful feedback, it was clear that it was very well received and significantly easier than the old method (used by the residual teams).

Whilst working away - GF received a message inviting him to work for 6 weeks on a new client (with his old division). He has respectfully declined, for now. He is not sure, however, how long this will hold.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ssh, walls have ears

The Gorse Fox has been working at home prior to heading across to the wastes of northern Hampshire where he will be be teaching for the rest of the week.

The morning was punctuated by a scheduled visit from an MoD Vetting Officer who came to get GF's view of an acquaintance who has applied for a post in HMG. It was interesting as GF has not had to do this for many years, but it is clear that it is still very thorough and some may consider it intrusive. The Gorse Fox has no reservation, however, when it comes to ensuring people are suitable candidates for sensitive jobs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Still searching

Monday has seen the car search continue.

We started with the Peugeot and Citroen garages. Whilst they had some nice cars, the Peugeot 208 was the only model that may have fitted the bill - but the requirement for the automatic gearbox and increase in the VED category that comes with that, ruled it out.

Then we headed to the Ford garage. All of the reviews of the cars GF has been considering seem to conclude that the Fiesta and the Polo are the best cars in the class. It seemed logical, therefore, to go and look at one of these. More importantly to sit in one as the Silver Vixen has traditionally found the seats to be be uncomfortable in Ford cars. We looked around the showroom and found a Fiesta of the specification we would require. The Silver Vixen sat in it and we examined it in detail. The conclusion was that it was a contender, and as such we have arranged a test drive next weekend.

Then the Silver Vixen had an idea. What about the Mini. So we headed to Rustington in the hope that the Mini showroom was open. It was. So we poured all over the new Mini Hatch in the Cooper specification. It was quirky and comfortable and we decided a test drive was required. The salesman, ever eager, took us out straight away and the Gorse Fox had a chance to drive the car. It was really very nice. The engine was tight and responsive, the ride was comfortable, and the seats were ideal. On top of this, it was a fun car to drive. It did look a little cramped in the back seat, but how often do we use the back seat in our existing cars? This has become another definite, if expensive, contender.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

NomRomCom

The forecast was for heavy rain. The forecast was right.

The morning was a leisurely affair occupied with magazines and brochures. The afternoon started at Nando's for some lunch. (Not quite the traditional Easter Feast). We settled at our table and selected our choices from the menu, then went to counter to order. They were busy but had only one person taking the orders. The Gorse Fox arrived just behind a you bloke who was clearly not au fait with the concept of a menu at the table and making a list. Unfortunately he was one from a table of twenty, and he was making their choices as he ordered. Really quite strange, and very annoying for those of us stuck behind him.

As usual for Nando's the food was predictably good and we enjoyed what we had. Non, nom, nom.

After our meal we wandered along to the cinema where we indulged in the latest RomCom - "The Love Punch" - with Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall. It was a totally inoffensive little film with some hearty chuckles (if not full blown laughs) all the way through. As demanded by the genre, there was a feel-good conclusion. It was a good way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Driving around

The Gorse Fox may have mentioned that we are considering changing our existing cars as part of the transition to retirement. Whilst we still need a "family car" the second car only needs to be a little run-around for the GF. So it was that a few weeks ago we started looking at the specs of various vehicles and considering the pros and cons of each - on paper.

Today we stepped up a gear (see what I did there?). We had an appointment to try the VW Move Up! and so it was that we found ourselves driving round Chichester and the surroundings in this cute little car. Actually it was surprisingly good, and for most people would be a perfectly adequate second car. The gearbox was light and the car very responsive. Unfortunately, though, the seats didn't quite adjust enough for the Silver Vixen to be comfortable - and so it drops down the list.

We always had a "favourite" for the main family car. The question was whether that would be comfortable for both of us. (The Gorse Fox finds the Silver Vixen's RAV4 uncomfortable and get back ache and sciatica if he is in it for long - whereas it is perfect for her). We headed for the Nissan dealer and took a Qashqai out for a drive. This was a much longer test drive and gave us a chance to get comfortable and have a really good look around. Our initial review was that it fitted the bill perfectly - at least as far as we could tell with only the Gorse Fox driving. The demonstrator was a manual gearbox, so the Silver Vixen was unable to try the driving - but we have booked an automatic to test drive in a couple of weeks time.

Whilst in the dealership we also looked at the new Nissan Note. This had not been on our original list, but having looked at it, it has nudged its way into contention. We have more cars to test drive next week and will make our decision based on comfort and running costs.

With rain forecast for Sunday, Gorse Fox cracked on and mowed the lawns when the fun part of the day was over.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Visitors

It certainly was a Good Friday. The Gorse Fox's sister and brother-in-law came to visit. They are always good company and we had a lovely day.

We drank coffee and chatted for a couple of hours, discussing small cars, computer backup regimes, and sharing the latest news on the various children. It was interesting to realise that GF's sister actually drives one of the cars that's on his mental short-list (it was just a shame they brought the other car today).

We wandered down to the Old Stables for lunch. They were clearly busy and we would be in for a bit of a wait. This was no problem as we settled in for a long and leisurely meal. As we were finishing, Urban-cub walked in. She had received offers on her flat and needed to consult over whether any was acceptable, and if so which she should choose. Throughout the next couple of hours her phone buzzed with calls back-and-forth to the agent. By the end of the exercise the price offered had risen by six thousand pounds and she had accepted an offer and taken the flat off the market. This was excellent news.

We went across to Bersted Park to show J&T the new house and its show house. This was interesting as we bumped into some residents and heard from them of some of the teething problems they had experienced, and their view of the after sales service they had received. One does suspect that, as in many areas, the treatment you receive is related to the attitude with which you deal with people. Somehow, it seemed unsurprising that they had not received the service they wanted. Hopefully, we will not have the degree of problems they experienced.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Working at home

The Gorse Fox had a good day following up on the Madrid class. Some of the discussions had triggered a number of ideas and GF spent the day exploring and developing some of these. A bit more refinement is needed but it is certainly looking ready to publicise and discuss on the course he is running next week.

Not much else to report unless you want a discussion on self-adjusting, dynamically merging worksheets in Excel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lunch

The class lunch was an epic affair. We wandered back to Calle Cartagena and piled into a small, almost unnoticeable restaurant. After a few moment of discussion with the proprietor, jugs of beer arrived closely followed by the first course - Mussels with a light salsa served in the shell.

It was two o'clock and all was well.
The beer flowed and the conversations ranged from one subject to the next and back. The second course arrived - Jamon and Manchego.

The house elf shuttled back and forth and more jugs of beer arrived and every time you finished your bread roll, another would magically appear.








The courses continued to arrive and by three-thirty we were 5 courses down and preparing for the main event.
Three huge cast iron paella dishes arrived with what the Gorse Fox could on describe as a paella-soup. All of the usual paella ingredients seemed to be there, but is was served in a seafood bisque with huge pieces of lobster breaking the surface. Though messy, this proved to be absolutely delicious.






It was four o'clock and Capt. Picard and a couple of German colleagues were getting worried about getting their flights.
GF and the others paid our bill, and grabbed a taxi to the airport. GF was in no hurry - he had several hours to wait, but the others were cutting it fine. He hopped out the taxi at Terminal 1 and left the others to complete their journeys.

Despite warning of Bank Holiday chaos - the airport was relatively quiet and GF was soon sitting in the VIP lounge, sipping on some sparkling water, and watching the activity on the airfield.

He finally got back to Gatwick about ten o'clock and drove home. It had been a very nice day - but it was lovely to get home to the Silver Vixen.

That's it

The Gorse Fox has just delivered the last of the lectures for which he is responsible. Only another 90 minutes to go (taught by Capt. Picard) then we are heading off as a team to have lunch together.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conviviality

The Gorse Fox just enjoyed a most convivial evening with colleagues. Jean-Luc Picard, Alun-the-Intense and Norbert (from Germany) all came along to the local restuarant where we had enjoyed pizza and a wine last night.

Tonight the Gorse Fox chose tagliatelle with seafood - and was delighted with his choice. Assisted by a nice rioja it eased the slightly sore throat and satisfied a rumbling tummy. If the Gorse Fox has to return he will certainly choose that again.

Day Two - done

Well that's day two of the course complete. The class was far more animated today - particularly when we tried to impose UK working practices. In the end we adapted and follwed Spanish practices which meant a break to go an get coffee at the coffee shop and a 90 minute lunch at a local restaurant. What a civilised approach to work.

Voice is holding up at present, but fear it may disappear over night.

Another colleague has arrived from the UK this evening so no doubt we will head out to dinner as a group

Look who's talking

Half way through day two and GF feels as if he is losing his voice. He is frantically downing bottles of water to try and keep the pipes lubricated.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day one - done

Well that's the first day done. The class seemed to run well and the students were attentive and engaged.

Capt Picard and the Gorse Fox headed back to the hotel for a cold beer and then headed off to grab something to eat when the restaurants opened.(GF will never get used to this idea that you can't eat before eight in the evening.)

Interestingly Capt. Picard's retirement plan is based on property rental - and he has shown an interest in the house that Silver Vixen's mum lived in.

Manana

The course started late - getting our colleagues together is like herding cats. It appears that agendas are merely indicative!

Civilisation

The Gorse Fox  really likes Madrid and the civilised approach to work. He strolled along to the Starfleet offices, then met with his local colleague. We strolled around to the lecture theatre (which is "state of the art") and got set up and ready. Then it was time for a coffee, so we left the building and wandered along to a nearby coffee shop where we sat down over coffee and churros.

Very civilised.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coach?

Madrid airport is huge. So huge that we seemed to land and then taxi from Bilbao or Toledo or some such distannt point. The Gorse Fox suspects that the flight time is scheduled based on 90 minutes of flying and an hour of driving round the airport.

Never mind, Gorse Fox arrived early and was esconced in his hotel by 20:20.

On the move

After a quiet morning the Gorse Fox and the Silver Vixen strolled down to the Old Stables for some lunch. we were early enough that it hadn't become too busy and we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch before strolling home.

Early afternoon the Gorse Fox headed off to the airport for his flight to Madrid. He must say that travelling on a Sunday afternoon or early evening is so much more relaxeing than trying to fight your way out on a Monday morning - particularly the Monday of Easter week. Gorse Fox parked and whistled through security before heading for the lounge to sip a cold drink and watch the planes lining up for take-off.

The next few days should be fun - teaching again.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Loss

It is a day of loss. It started with a trip to the barber where the gorse Fox lost his long flowing locks. It continued with mowing the lawns where the grass managed to lose half its height.

Finally, the Gorse Fox has to lose some of his boys' toys. So it is that he has written to the Stitch Witch and given her a list of all the tools(*) he wishes to pass on to a new home (her husband is an enthusiast and part of a collective of like minded individuals):

  • Router Table
  • Heavy duty router
  • Table saw
  • Compound mitre saw
  • Dust extractor
  • Thicknesser planer
  • Morticer

So finally, as he approaches retirement and would have time to use the tools, he needs to get rid of them because there will not be sufficient space in the new house/garage for a workshop.

C'est la vie.

(*) Gorse Fox should point, for the elimination of all doubt, that none of these tools should be used in quilting or other fabric-based pursuits.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Distraction

The day started with a teleconference involving one of GF's old colleagues from his last job. It is clear that GF has made a wise move, though evident that some of the news and issues we had highlighted twelve months ago are finally being recognised and a major re-planning exercise is under way. It's such a shame that the arrogance and self-importance of some the so-called leaders is such that they have wasted a year before recognising we were right.

Then Gorse Fox returned to yesterday's exercise and continued to work on some supporting spreadsheets. As he was working he hit a snag and decided the best solution was to do something in a linked spreadsheet that he could then reference. This was complex. This was very complex. In fact it took him several hours of experimentation and deep thought. During these few hours he was interrupted by a series of phone calls. These calls distracted him to a degree.

Eventually, the code was completed and worked. Gorse Fox was feeling very smug. What he had done was really very clever. The problem was that the various distractions had made him forget why he wanted to do it in the first place. So now he is scratching his head, looking at some clever code in a spreadsheet with no idea how or why he was going to use it.

Doh!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another Slice of Pi

The new Raspberry Pi arrived in this morning's mail.

Because the Gorse Fox had already prepared the SDCard on which it runs, it took less than 5 minutes to put in its case, attach it to the network and power it up (most of that time was finding a screwdriver to assemble the case).

Current plan is that this will acts as a dedicated appliance to manage the home network and its domain.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Accelerator

Reviewing the process (or method) by which we help our clients move their data centres, it was clear that there needed to be a "Lite" approach that we could apply for the smaller or less sensitive project. The Gorse Fox has been wading through the material and carving out an accelerator for such projects.

First he has identified those parts of the project that are required for all projects, then he has been chipping away at the other parts, discarding those that may not be necessary for the target projects. Having done that he has now started developing a set of sample documents that could be packaged up and used as templates for such a project. There's still a bit more work to do, but GF is quite please with what has been achieved so far. He can see an opportunity to package the lot together in a single distribution file that can be seeded into each new "lite" project.


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Research

Today has been about the three r's: reading, research, and reviewing.

The problem with working for an organisation the size of Starfleet is that there is always some other bit of work someone has done somewhere in the universe that overlaps what you are doing. The trick is to bring these together and make the most of the hive-mind. GF has been looking at this today as he researched tooling options for our projects in preparation for next week's course.

This, in turn, lead to more reading and with a degree of concern entering his consciousness some serious review (if not re-write) of one proffered document.

As an aside - a second Raspberry Pi ordered this morning. This will run as a dedicated DNS server/cache on our home network.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Marie Celeste

The Gorse Fox had to visit the Starfleet offices just along the coast from home. A couple of meetings were scheduled and he had to return an old laptop. Being the Easter break for most schools, the traffic was light and GF was pleasantly surprised by how quickly he made the journey.

The old laptop was first on the agenda. It has sat in the corner of his current study, and his last study for a couple of years. The hard drive had been cleared and the system shutdown. He was impressed therefore when he arrived at the transfer station to see that when the operative opened up the machine and pressed the button, it fired up immediately - the battery evidently had retained some power over the last two years.

The first real meeting of the day was changed to a telecon as the other invitees all had other priorities that meant they couldn't travel. Meeting was good, however, and for the first time on this subject (tooling) GF felt we made some real  progress.

The afternoon's meeting was the completion of a "Lessons learnt" exercise for a project that was now finished. This turned out to be very interesting as some really valuable recommendations arose.

One thing that GF did notice about the Starfleet offices - they were like the Marie Celeste. What a contrast from Sao Paulo - there they had 3000 people in the building and a huge thriving restaurant. Here, various blocks of the building had been sold off, and even in the oldest residual part there were few people about.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pottering around

The Gorse Fox has been pottering about on the computers. Some reviewing of the (private) master blog got him thinking. At the moment this is hosted on his MAC - but wouldn't it be better to have a dedicated server?

So he started to look at the Raspberry Pi again and this got hime reading various write-ups and and the results of other peoples experiments. It seems like a feasible approach - but GF still has a few reservations.

  • By default the Pi uses an SDCard as its storage. GF would rather have something more flexible.
  • If he continues to use Wordpress as the blogging platform he will need MySQL for the DB.
  • Should the DB server be on the same machine or should he set up a separate MySQL server?
  • Can he make the MySQL service (wherever he chooses to install it) use his external NAS device as a storage repository.

Lots of thinking needed, and then a final decision that will allow him to continue (fairly) seamlessly and with the data security and protection he requires.

In the midst of this deliberation he did manage to have a chat with Cousteau-cub for the first time in several weeks. It was good to hear from her and learn that, whilst very busy and quite tired, she isn't feeling too bad.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Lost year

As the Gorse Fox continues his occasional burst of transcribing old diaries, he has just realised that he has almost no record of 1984. He assumes Big Brother was keeping an eye on whatever went on that year because GF evidently didn't. Even his photo record for that year was a little sparse.

It was, however, the year that GF joined Starfleet - that much he does remember.

Progress

It seemed like time to check on progress.
It has been about a month since we last checked and in theory we should be moving in in about three months.

Clearly the building is watertight, but the decorative tiles are yet to be hung on the right hand side of the house. With the long telephoto lens it was possible to make out some features we had previously missed - and allowed us to start a "snagging list".

It's a shame they have put up that fence as it prevents us from seeing the progress on the ground floor.

We were pleased to see the list price of the house has risen by £10,000 since we paid our deposit(and fixed the price) - so we are, in theory, already making money on the deal.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Tidying up

The journey to Buckingham was, as ever, slow but when we arrived we opened up the house and got stuck in immediately.

The house may not be big, but is was cosy and ideal for a person on their own, or indeed a couple just starting on the housing ladder.

Over the past few years, everything had been done to bring it up to standards - with new insulation, new double-glazing, and Paul had gutted and rebuilt the bathroom with a walk-in we-room/shower

The lawn has taken a bit of a beating over the winter. The lack of direct sun and the incessant rain has encouraged a lot of moss. Whilst it all looks lovely and green, a great deal of it is moss and will need to be sorted out by the next owners. The one advantage of this is that mowing was a lot easier than expected and raking up the cuttings took no time at all.

The Silver Vixen got on with tidying up the raised beds and by mid-afternoon we were done and after a stop to deposit the sacks of cuttings and other detritus at the dump, we headed home.

Gardening

Today we are heading for the late Mother-in-Law's house to do some tidying up in the garden and if the weather is inclement, the house. The idea is to get it ready to go on the market.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Half day

The Gorse Fox had a busy morning. Notes had come through from a colleague in preparation for a "Lessons Learned" exercise GF will conduct next week. These needed reviewing, tidying up and documenting properly.

Email has arrived from HR. Looks like GF's retirement had slipped through the cracks - so it was a good job his natural cynicism kicked-in and he checked. New HR partner seems to be on top of it though, so hopefully there should be no issues.

AT 12:30, the laptop was closed. It was a half day.

GF did manage to have a quick chat with the Coventry Hobbit. He hadn't seen the Thai contingent online for a while so was pleased to make contact and hear that all was well and things are settling down.

Quiet afternoon started with mowing the lawn. The sun broke through briefly, and GF spent a pleasant hour wandering aimlessly around behind the mower.

Silver Vixen was off to help with the after-school sewing club, so GF was left to his own devices. This meant that he had some time to transcribe a couple of extra diaries and subsume them into his private digital journal (which stretches back to 1965). This was fun and brought back many memories, but did highlight to GF that there are many entries among the 11,500 in the journal that have gone through some conversions that have changed quotes or exclamation marks to strange ASCII characters and need to be sorted out. GF can feel the need for some code.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Admin

The Gorse Fox is back at work. Work, however, is focused on admin today: expenses for the work last month, expenses for the course he was teaching the week before last, and expenses for the Brazil trip. These were then topped off with a request for permission to travel to Madrid to teach again, then on the assumption that permission would be granted, booking the flights and the hotel.

Starfleet is in danger of becoming totally constipated with process... as accountants try to cost and control every instant of the working day. The Gorse Fox thinks that Starfleet would actually perform much better if it spent a little less time worrying about Earnings per Share, and a little more time worrying about its employees and how they are treated. An appreciated and motivated worker will be far more productive than those treated as cannon fodder.

Gf wrote to his new manager and HR today to ensure that the processing of his retirement was under way and had not been dropped down the cracks when he transferred to the new department.

55 working days to go...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Traveller's Tales - A Case of Brain Fade

The Gorse Fox had two incidents of brain fade during his recent trip.

The first, if you have read the blog, was the failure of his power adapter. Though it would power USB devices, it would not power normal 3-pin UK plugs. The Gorse Fox resolved to sort this out. He has trip to Madrid coming up, and needs to be ready. He took the plug out of the case and started to look for any fuses or other feature that may need to be reset. This is when he noticed the On/Off switch on the side - and it had been switched to Off. His eyes rolled. He switched it On - and behold, he had power.

Stupid.

The second was as he settled at the airport prior to the flight home. He was considering whether there was enough power left in the iPad (see above) to watch a film on the flight - if necessary. As he considered this he realised that his earphone were missing from his iPad bag. Cursing silently his carelessness he decided that this was important and he would go to a suitable shop in the airport and get some new ones. Selecting a suitable pair, at a reasonable price, GF paid and headed back to wait for the plane. He stripped the packaging away and discarded it and then sat down. He opened his case to remove the iPad. (His case is a Samsonite, and has 3 covered cubby holes near the hinges). As he grabbed the iPad, he caught the cover of one of the cubby holes, and there were his "missing" earphones. He had put them away safely so he didn't lose them during the week - and forgot.

Still stupid.

ToiL

In the Prison Service they call it ToiL - Time off in Lieu. The Gorse Fox, having lost the last two weekends travelling is taking today as ToiL.

After a slow start GF and the Silver Vixen headed for Chichester

It was a lovely sunny day and we had some errands to run now that some of the final documentation is available regarding the administration of the Silver Vixen's mum's estate. (And paying in GF's latest Premium Bonds win).

Errands run, we headed for Costa and leisurely coffee. This raised the subject of the superb coffee GF had last week - dispensed by the Nespresso devices in the hotel. We resolved to go take a look at the nearby John Lewis's store - and after considerable debate and discussion - left clutching the aforementioned machine.

It comes with 16 capsule, each of a different type. It will take a little work to narrow down the flavours we like best, but research of this kind is important.

Back to work tomorrow (for a day and a half!)