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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Air Guitar

Now here's an invention worth watching for:
Finnish computer science students have devised a system which enables air guitarists to hear themselves 'play'.
If you have never seen the World Air Guitar Championships, the GF commends them to you. They are usually held at the end of August in Oulu, Finland. Watching the webcast one year GF & the Cousteau-cub nearly had asthma attacks from the laughing.
The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the air guitar.

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Sally's Traffic

The Gorse Fox spent part of yesterday evening in Sally's Traffic.

Heading back down to Sussex from the insurance event at near Birmingham he found himself sitting on the M40 whilst three lanes of traffic sat there waiting for the road to be cleared of debris from an earlier accident. It was frustrating, but reminded the GF how lucky he is with his normal route to and from Worcester. Having said that, cars had been abandoned in the snow on his normal route, the night before... good job he was halfay up the Malvern Hills.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pull out

Old father Time has sent Gorse Fox an email... Not sure of the original source, but it's worth an airing.
Interesting Thought for the day: - Gotta love the logic.

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: Pull out of Washington D.C.

In God We Trust
GF should have taken his flak jacket last month!

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Gorse Fox now understands why his insurance premiums keep rising. Today he has been speaking at a conference held by one of the big companies, held for their IT designers. There seemed to be hundreds of them.

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It was a slow drive across to Malvern in the snow, but nothing too troublesome. The hotel chosen was on the side of the Malvern Hills, with a car park on a steep slope. As the snow had settled, parking was an interesting exercise. The slobbering of a St Bernard as it padded past the car alerted the GF to the conditions.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Snow has started to fall, and GF has booked into a hotel on the side of hill. Smart move eh?

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Monday morning sees the Gorse Fox in Worcester. He went to bed in Sussex, woke up with the alarm and assumes he drove up here... but to be fair must have been on auto-pilot for some of the drive.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Simply Insane

Gorse Fox has been out with the Silver Vixen looking for a new car for her. Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota have featured in the selection. Some are now being eliminated (Honda seemed to tinny and internally seemed cheap and plasticy; Nissan didn't have waht was needed in a suitbale price range etc).
What was not considered was the Bugatti Veyron, discussed this day by the great philosopher of our time (Jeremy Clarkson).
"Make no mistake, 200mph is at the limit of what man can do right now. Which is why the new Bugatti Veyron is worthy of some industrial strength genuflection. Because it can do 252mph. And that’s just mad — 252mph means that in straight and level flight this car is as near as makes no difference as fast as a Hawker Hurricane."

He goes on (and on):
you can top 400kph.

That’s 370ft a second.

You might want to ponder that for a moment. Covering the length of a football pitch, in a second, in a car.

Err... what about stopping?
Factor in the carbon ceramic discs and you will pull up from 250mph in just 10sec. Sounds good, but in those 10sec you’ll have covered a third of a mile.

That’s five football pitches to stop.

Would this suit the Silver Vixen? GF suspects it is a little low slung for her exquisite frame... which is just as well at £810,000.
Some stats: 1001bhp, 0-62 in 2.5sec, top speed 252mph. GF would like one just to irritate the speed fascists. In fact he would like one just to think that he had £810,000 spare to spend on a car!!!

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Black Dog (in the Mail on Sunday) talks of the vote on smoking in public places and Sir Liam Donaldson's wish to see a total ban, and that fact that he nearly resigned over it. It goes onto tells us:
[he] was nearly pushed by bully boy ex-Health Secretary John Reid. "Reid couldn't abide the way Donaldson put public health above Labour's interests and was desperate to get rid of him".
Says it all really doesn't it?
We also hear that MP Sadiq Khan was prevented from visiting the earthquake zone in Pakistan. he was told his "career is f*****". Why? He voted against the government over the terror bill.

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Checking his blog statistics Gorse Fox finds a recent visitor arrived via a search engine on a quest for "winter attire for watching a game at Highbury". The Gorse Fox has probably not addressed this subject before, but suggests:
  1. A Bible, a candle and a bell (to exorcise the Forces of darkness), and
  2. Aqualung and flippers, (in case you are brought on as a subsitute - after all, divers need to be equipped), and
  3. Ensure you have ready access to a decompression chamber (see 2, above)
  4. Ensure you have something arranged regarding decontamination afterwards.
There! Hardly a trace of disapproval evident. A well-balanced, and objective piece of advice!

By the way, had you heard that the Forces of darkness have release perfume. It was featured on the radio yesterday. it's called something like "Arsenal 1886" and Arsenal Is Classified As A Sharp, Oriental, Floral Fragrance... and as the Daily Mirror says:
JUST one disappointment about the new Arsenal perfume, available now at Perfume Shop stores.

It's called 1886 Cologne. And not Eau De Arse.

But there's an upside. With an alcohol content of 80%, it's upholding a fine Gunners tradition.
personally GF would be suspicious of any perfume with the word Arse involved.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Grandmaster of Iron Crotch

Gorse Fox would also like to bring your attention to this post. He will leave you to read the article, but brings the following excerpts to your notice:
An assistant then kicked him hard between the legs before he lashed himself to the vehicle.
Jin-Sheng, originally from Taiwan, is the grandmaster of Iron Crotch, a branch of Qigong said to have 60,000 followers worldwide.

Its practitioners are known to lift hundreds of pounds with their genitals to increase energy and sexual performance.

Gorse Fox is not sure that he can top that, but is just of to weigh his laptop.

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Well Yer Honour...

Gorse Fox has just caught up with this item The art of flashing. Gorse Fox has heard some excuses in his time but:
A US student who was arrested for indecent exposure at a careers fair says it was a work of performance art.
Gorse Fox is not sure he will think of highlighter pens quite the same way in the future. You'll have to read it to find out why.

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Domesticity is the order of the day for the Gorse Fox. An early trip to the shops for some silicon eating gel was on the agenda. A leaking seal near the base of the shower needs to be fixed before a new floor is laid next week.

Hope to find time for a walk today as guests are expected on Sunday... but don't hold out much hope.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Red Card

George Best has just received the final Red Card. Gorse Fox was not a great fan, but RIP.

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Informed opinion

Gorse Fox has directed his readers to The Trouser Quandry Resolution in past. Given his own interest in sneezing birds he was delighted by the latest post from this learned source:
Coming so soon after the Asian Bird-Flu hysteria and its disappointingly-low casualty figures of a blue-tit with a bit of a cough, a chicken with a sore throat and two parrots who needed a lie down in a darkened room for a couple of hours, the tabloid newspaper editors were - of course - getting desperate for a new scare story. All of them were on the look out for something - anything - they could use to whip the unthinking hordes into a frenzy of ill-informed speculation, panic and instinctive newspaper purchase.

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Gorse Fox wonders at the irony: Brown accused of pension sabotage. Apparently:
Chancellor Gordon Brown has been accused of trying to scupper proposals for the future of pensions before they are even published.
Well, that bit is understandable... he's tried to scupper existing pension schemes by stealing £5Bn per year from them. But then we hear:
Mr Brown is believed to oppose raising the state pension age to pay for restoring the pensions-earnings link.

On Thursday night, he said reforms must be "sustainable, fair and affordable".

Well, Gorse Fox suggests that if he wants them to be fair, he changes MPs pensions so that they mirror the average private pension afforded to the rest of us. That would be FAIR... and then the rest of us would feel a little happier about him fiddling while our pensions burn (a hole in his pocket).

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

A flake of snow is expected. The met Office have been warning of it all week. GF suspects that affected areas will grind to a halt, and local authorities will say:
  • There was no warning
  • It was the wrong sort of snow
  • It melted then re-froze washing away the grit
  • So what

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And finally...

In his final post from a quick scan around Ananova, GF commends to you this article
regrading interesting iPod developments:
Boffins have invented a sex toy that connects up to an iPod and vibrates in time to the music.

The vibrations get faster as the music gets louder on the £25 iBuzz, reports the Sun Online.

GF thinks that this is nothing new. Indeed did Kiki Dee not sing "I got the music in me, I got the music in me, I got the mu-sic in me"

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Order me a new Dyson

Ananova reports "Cleaners 'hoovered cash from slot machines'":
Two cleaning ladies are being investigated for using industrial vacuum cleaners to suck cash out of casino slot machines.

This is where the continued suction of the bagless Dyson is so valuable.
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Back in deepest Sussex beavering away at various chores related to sneezing birds and so forth. The phone has interrupted progress throughout the exercise... but GF is winning.

Now, whilst on avian subjects, the GF was amused by this little item from the ever informative Ananova:
A cheating husband was exposed after his wife's parrot mimicked his voice calling out another woman's name.

Frank Ficker, 50, has now been kicked out of the family home by wife Petra, also 50, after she heard their 12-year-old parrot Hugo impersonating him on the phone to another woman,

I'll bet that's one parrot that Frank wishes had had Bird Flu.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Gorse Fox tried to link in through the t-Mobile Hotspot at his hotel last night. He offers a word of warning. Connecting to the Hotspot went smoothly, and the login screen popped up for GF to provide his credentials. As the login window disappeared... GF was unsure whether he was logged in or not. Normally a window is returned with a logout button.... but not this time. He then embarked on an attempt to reconnect - but that was rejected as it claimed he was already logged on. There was still no evident way, however, for him to log off. In the end he gave up and disconnected.
Trying again this morning, the same problem was evident - t-Mobile claiming GF was already logged in. He phoned the helpline, and sure enough had remained logged in since last night. Will phone billing department when they open... but susect this has been a costly lesson. Suggest that you always check you are logged-off as well as disconnected.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What a foul drive to Worcester. The clear coast soon gave way to mucky mist and frost. The winsdscreens became coated in road grime, and the Gorse Fox forgot the pleasures of driving.

Soon after arriving, the Mighty Atom turned up and we started on a staccato induction as GF had to take one interrupt after another.

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Gorse Fox, Urban-cub, Cousteau-cub, Sir Lancinglot and the Silver Vixen all went out for a splendid meal at the Imperial China in Worthing to celebrate the Silver Vixen's Birthday... possible tell-tale photos to follow.

GF is about to head across country to Worcester.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Bag snatcher knocks himself out

Oh, this is just priceless: Bag snatcher knocks himself out
A man has been charged with robbery after allegedly snatching a woman's handbag and then running into a wall and knocking himself out.
Gorse Fox will chuckle about this right up to the point when the man sues the owner of the wall.
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Britain is ready to go nuclear

According to The Times Online
Less than two years after a government paper called nuclear power an unattractive option, the Prime Minister has become convinced that building nuclear power stations is the only way to secure energy needs and meet obligations to reduce carbon emissions.

GF thinks this is good and sensible news at a time when we we had seemed to be increasingly dependent on foreign energy sources. The best part of this, however, is the furore it it will cause amongst the eco-mentalists who have been tring so hard to move us back towards the stone age.
It is rare for the Gorse Fox to find anything positive coming out of the current cretinous government, but this is the exception. Never thought he'd say it but "Well done Tony Blair!". Now must go and lie down in a darkened room.

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Another cold and crisp night. A small monkey was just seen wandering by clutching his lap. The sun glistens off a couple of brass sperical objects rolling down the road in front of him.

The Gorse Fox sits at the breakfast table as the Silver Vixen opens her cards and presents. Slowly, the Gorse Fox is disappearing under mountains of discarded wrapping paper. He has a day's vacation today to celebrate the auspicious anniversary of the Silver Vixen's birth back near the middle of last century. Plans for the day are fluid - Cousteau-cub should be joining us at some point, and if we find somewhere nice to go this evening, no doubt Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot will join us.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

You can knock me down..

Nearly missed this... World dominoes record is toppled.
A new record for knocking dominoes over was set in the Dutch town of Leeuwarden when a team set up and toppled more than 4,250,000 of them.
That's a heck of a lot of pizzas!

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Gorse Fox is the world's least confrontational person (if that's quite ok with you). As a result he rarely complains in shops and restuarants even when service or quality is poor. Now Gorse Fox has seen an alternative approach in this story.
A US woman was arrested for calling 911 after a restaurant served her cold onion rings.
Now GF wonders if our local Police Force could intervene when GF gets bad service? He guesses not... but maybe the Fire Brigade?

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Homemade Blue Movies?

Gorse Fox wonders who feels more upset by this story.
A Canadian teenager is in trouble after selling her mum's camcorder - with a home made blue movie still inside.

Lawyer Robert Beninger said his client didn't know the tape was in the camera.
I'll bet !!!

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There is a rent in the fabric of the Universe. This has resulted in the Forces of Darkness climbing above spurs in the Premiership. There can be no other conceivable explanation.

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Gorse Fox's brother-in-law is in the wars. For several years he has been suffering from pains in his hips. Though he is severeal years younger than the GF it was evident that condition was becoming more severe.

Yesterday they took him into hospital and re-surfaced the ball and socket joint in one hip. GF is not qute sure what material is used, probably a bit of 80-grit sand paper to get a nice key and then would have thought that a nice hard-wearing Wilton would be nice and soft, but long lasting... or maybe a nice vinyl (but they can be cold to the touch).

Anyway. GF's thoughts go out to him... here's hopping for a speedy recuperation.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gorse Fox has just watched Barcelona give Real Madrid a lesson on how to play football.

The score was 0-3, but what amazes the GF is the lack of passion. Beckham (as usual) worked his socks off, and the goalie Ike Casillas saved Real Madrid from even greter embarrassment. They were, however, the only two R-M playes who seemed to have any commitment or passion. The rest Los Galacticos seemed to be sulking at the fact they were being played off the park. Instead of digging-in a fighting they went AWOL. No application, no attitude.

What R-M need is new manager who understands that a a great team works together as a unit, building on each others strengths... it is not a bunch of talentred individuals doing as they please. They also need to build a solid and dependable defense... not keep treating their defenders as the poor relations.

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Perils of Genealogy

Genealogy is one of the Gorse Fox's many pursuits. It can be an intriguing and an infuriating pastime. Now and then it throws up a real surprise.

GF has been contacted through Genes Reunited by someone trying to track down his father. The person has a somewhat obscure middle name, and could immediately by located in GF's database. However, he was linked to a distant cousin with who GF has no contact.

The seeker was fairly desparate, and sent several emails. GF was dubious and cautious. He decided to contact another cousin who has a closer link to this part of the family. The cousin has now contacted GF and filled in several details... and will contact the distant mother of the cousin involved (as it was her partner being sought).

It seems that he was a trusted baby-sitter... you can fill in the details yourselves!
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Another cold crisp morning greets the Gorse Fox as he starts to plan the day's proceedings. It is the Silver Vixen's birthady on Monday, and so there are certain inevitable requirements to be fulfilled at the local shops.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

That was a week!

Project Management wallahs met with client to provide a reality check. Sounds like they missed the spin meister, but (grudging) agreement was reached.
Lesson to be learnt is that if it take 1 woman 9 months to produce a baby:
  1. 9 women cannot do it in 1 month (however hormonal they are)
  2. Setting a 1 month deadline makes no difference. It's the nature of the thing.
  3. It's no use trying to design round it.
GF would add that the design process is like the conception. It's the fun bit.

(Note: Any parallels drawn between Project Managers and hormonal pregnant women are merely forged in the reader's mind and have no foundation in writings of the Gorse Fox!)

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Swiss driver attacks Gatso with pick-axe

The Register reports on this heart-warming story: Swiss driver attacks Gatso with pick-axe. The story relates enraged Swiss driver has smashed a speed camera off its mountings with a pick-axe after the Gatso snapped him doing 50mph in a 30mph zone...
Not satified with that, he then ran the offending camera over with his car, drove it up a mountain and chucked it off a cliff, in the process successfully destroying both Gatso and film...

The Gorse Fox has a new hero

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What a ridiculous time to be up and about, when there's actually no need to be.
Gorse Fox was awake, and it was evident that this was not going to change. Rather than disturb the Silver Vixen more than necessary, he decided it was time to get up. Stupid!

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Middle Class

Gorse Fox notes that Sir Ian Blair believes that Middle Classes look down on the Police Force. Gorse Fox has thought about this, and can speculate from his own position:
  • GF is (at best) middle class
  • GF has the utmost respect for individual policemen
  • GF also has great respect for their authority and leadership during major crises
  • GF thinks they have a very difficult job, but
  • GF has a diminishing respect for the "Force"

Now what's behind this:
  • The political posturing of the police hierarchy
  • The apparent obsession with targets which seems to divert resources to "easy targets"
  • The reliance on speed cameras for gathering fines without any significant traffic controls to monitor poor driving.
  • The arrest of a walker for using a cycle path under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
  • the stopping of 600 people in Brighton under the new terror laws
  • The time delay in getting assistance when calling the police
  • The prosecution of a woman for eating an apple while driving.

But more significantly the Police Force are the public face of Law and Order, and
  • They are expected to enforce ridiculous laws
  • There appears to be a bias towards the perpetrator not the victim
  • The inability to get convictions because of trivial and inconsequential technicalities
  • The apparent disconnection between the judiciary and real life
  • The use of Human Rights legislation to avoid prosecution
  • Trivial and vexatious prosecutions

and these latter items are NOT really the fault of the Police.

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It has taken since March to get ADSL and our wireless router installed in Worcester. But it's there. It's been installed. Its been activated, and it's been de-activated. Security have thrown a strop, and the earlier agreement that we had has been ignored.
GF has delegated this to Stoker to deal with at present...

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First conference call of the day complete... and so another frantic day begins. Where is the Gorse Fox? Well he should be in The Surrey Hills, Worcester, London and Peterborough. Deciding, however, that even his schizophrenia is insufficient to allow his presence in four such diverse locations at once... he has remained in Sussex.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Urban-cub and Sir Lancinglot joined the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen for dinner. Nice to see them... though the Silver Vixen sees them quite often, GF doesn't so it was nice.

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A frantic morning... and now GF heads up to the Surrey Hills. It is NOT for walk, however, but rather to meet with colleagues and continue to prepare for sneezing fowl.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You can't have it all

Don't you just love users. GF has just been on a long conference call. It basically went like this:
  1. Given: we cannot deliver solutions to every one of your requirements (finalised yesterday) by your Target date.
  2. This is the list we can deliver
  3. This is roughly when the the other bits will be available.
HMG responds:
  1. Understood
  2. Good
  3. We want these as well.
Doh! Refer to 1, and restart process... several times.

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The possible future incursion of sneezing birds continues to exercise the mind of the Gorse Fox and consumes most of his processing capacity at present. Macro design is complete, and rapid development has commenced alongside micro-design. Dates are a real challenge for the team.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Gorse Fox has spent several hours chasing a receipt. He is preparing his expenses and could not find the receipt for a significant expenditure.
  • Laptop back emptied and re-packed
  • Overnight bag emptied and repacked.
  • Pile of magazines rifled and discared
  • Pile of mail rifled and re-stacked
Panic beginning to set in.
Then it occurred to the GF; Starfleet are pretty advanced, did the receipt come by email? ... et voila! Expenses completed.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Painting not Perambulating

Gorse Fox's domestic duties continue today with the painting of the Silver Vixen's lair sewing room. So GF is afraid there's no walk to report, and no photos of the South Downs to bring you.
If he gets time he may stroll along the beach later.

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A leaked document in the Mail on Sunday tell us that the Odious Deputy Prime Monster's continued destruction of England will continue with the eradication of the Shire Counties. That level of administration will be regionalised.
Gorse Fox was just reviewing some of the recent ideas from New Labour and the ODPM:
  • Destruction of the Shire Counties (County Councils)
  • Appointment of unelected Regional Authorities - after a referendum said they were not wanted
  • Removal of trial by jury for some cases
  • Assumption of guilt for motoring offences and imposition of fines without trial
  • Attempted eradication of "English" identity
  • Human Rights - and the persecution of victims instead of perpetrators
  • Deification of minorities
  • Villification of Christian traditions such as marriage and Christmas
  • The politicisation of Police, and the Intelligence Services.
  • The proposed introduction of Identity Cards removing the right of an English Citizen togo about his daily business without proof of his right to exist.
  • Introduction of additional taxation if you have a nice view, live somewhere nice, or have smartened up your property.
Now the Gorse Fox wonders why he voted for these cretins... and then remembers that HE DIDN'T.

UPDATE: Peter Hain on today's lunchtime interview had the bare faced cheek, the effrontery to say that Labour is the "party of civil liberties". (yeah! like Kim Jong Il is the leader of the free world)

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

There is a primal satisfaction in the conquest of Argentina in this afternoon's football. That satisfaction is heightened by:
  • The fact that England were losing until 5 minutes from the end.
  • The fact that the play acting and diving of the South Americans got them nowhere (well except for the second goal).
  • The fact that another attempt to handle the ball** into the net failed
  • The fact that the England Team put in a good performance all round.

**GF would like to point out that this is cheating, but seems to be acceptable in South America as long as it is undetected. That is NOT sport and disgusts the Gorse Fox.

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Domestic duties are the order of the day. Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox went out to look at some toilets.
GF should probably clarify that statement. They went out to a showroom to look at some toilet displays**, with a view to purchasing.
Having lived in their current house for 6 years, it seemed an appropriate time to buy a toilet. But what sort: dual flush? auto-flush? corner mounted? pedestal? wall mounted? oval? square? circular? the choices seem endless. GF must sit and ponder.
**No, somehow that doesn't sound quite right either. Where, in todays liberal world, do you go to see a toilet display?
A fly-past?
An event with fireworks? or maybe
Some carnival involving floats perhaps?

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The Poosh triggered the Gorse Fox to revisit the online quizzes. Disconcereted by the revelation that he is 67% Lara Croft and 67% Neo, he went back to his mathematics texts... and then his wardrobe. All things being equal, he has decided he doesn't have the clothes to be Lara Croft, so will stick to Neo.
You scored as Neo, the "One". Neo is the computer hacker-turned-Messiah of the Matrix. He leads a small group of human rebels against the technology that controls them. Neo doubts his ability to lead but doesn't want to disappoint his friends. His goal is for a world where all men know the Truth and are free from the bonds of the Matrix.

Lara Croft


Neo, the "One"


Indiana Jones




William Wallace


James Bond, Agent 007


The Amazing Spider-Man


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Terminator


Batman, the Dark Knight


El Zorro


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

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Friday, November 11, 2005

The Truth Laid Bare

Melanie Phillips... always a good read, but what a start:
The tragic epitaph of this society might well be that, at its moment of greatest danger it was led by a politician who appeared to bend over backwards to ensure that the public refused to believe a single word he said — even when he was telling the truth

Disappearing up the fundament of spin. Don't just sit there. Go read it..

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Philosophy and the Supreme Being

No, not Diana Ross.
The ever learned Norm brings us the post: normblog: Socrates is a bird

This reminds the Gorse Fox of pseudo-syllogism from his youth:
God is Love,
Love is Blind,
Ray Charles is Blind,
Therefore Ray Charles is God

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Troll attack

GF has just been on the receiving end of a Troll-logic attack. To summarise:
  • Esteemed client has £x to spend by Financial Year end
  • GF is able to realise most of this value as long as he moves quickly.
  • He needs to deploy 2 programme managers - revenue = £x/20; Gross Profit 3%
  • Deploying said Programme Managers will enable the other projects to happen providing revenue of £x - (£x/20) at Gross profit of >14%
  • Trolls won't allow programme managers to be deployed because of low GP on their £x/20.
  • £x - (£/20) is therefore not achievable... and to the Trolls, this is good business!!
GF has an overwhelming urge to kick something.

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The Silver Vixen woke.
Why did you have an emboidered chest?She asked.
Evidently last night's dream had been vivid!
"It's more colourful than a tattoo" responded the Gorse Fox, "and it can be unpicked".
Note: Must be more careful with these herbal teas before bedtime.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bottom feeding scum suckers

Some unspeakable scum have stolen boxes of poppies and the collecting boxes from a store in Chichester. It is estimated they could raise £100 per hour selling these poppies. GF suspects this would not go towards the British Legion or any other veteran's organisation.
Some things make the Gorse Fox wish to utter a meaningful curse.

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Gorse Fox listened to the evening news. As the bulletin came to an end and the newscasters summarised, they said:
...and the day after his first defeat in parliament, in a show of support Labour's big guns lined up behind Tony Blair.

GF muses that such a show is only support if the barrels aren't trained on your back!

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The Perorations of Lady Bracknell: If Lady Bracknell ruled the world....

Gorse Fox has just discovered the very excellent blog of Lady Bracknell, and points you to this example of genteel erudition: The Perorations of Lady Bracknell: If Lady Bracknell ruled the world....
Gorse Fox is working at home. Intention was to get some work done. End to end conference calls have put paid to that idea! Never mind, at least there is no commuting involved.

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To Protect and Serve

Betty Boop is an elderly lady, and acquaintance of the Silver Vixen. The fire brigade recently visited to check her smoke alarms... and got chatting.

Betty Boop explained she is security conscious after an attempted break-in. She heard two youths trying to get through her patio doors, but they gave up. She was (understandably) terrified and stayed in bed. She called the police, but thay said there was nothing thay could do, as they had gone and she had no description. Betty Boop has taken this in her stride and dismissed it.

The Fireman was horrified by this, he said that if she ever had a similar experience, she should call 999 and ask for the fire brigade. They would turn out in minutes with two tenders.

Worrying really that the Police will stop 600 people in Brighton for walking past the Conference Centre when New Labour are there, arrest a woman for walking along a cycle path, want 90 days to hold someone without charge, but can't be bothered to visit an old lady under threat... thank goodness the other emergency services have a different view! So you heard it here first... when under threat call the Fire Brigade because the Police can't be bothered

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Long and difficult day... but at least it was successful!

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Gorse Fox is beginning to feel like a regular commuter. He is heading back to London today for a series of en-to-end meetings. GF expects one of them to be a bit fractious, but believes he will survive!

GF sees that scientists are hoping to prove the existence of gravitational waves (according to the BBC). GF was underwhelmed at first. Then realised this may explain why his weight varies.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why is it that on the night you really fancy a Chinese Take-away, they are closed?

And whilst on the subject of inponderables (or is it Murphy's Law):
  • Why do the Level Crossing gates always close as Gorse Fox approaches, when in a hurry. But never when he's not?
  • Why does the knuckle-dragging 20-stone mouth-breather sit next to Gorse Fox on the train (as she did this morning)?
  • How does John Prescott hang onto his job? In any commercial enterprise his record of failures and disasters would consign him to unemployment.
  • Why do the BBC still make Eastenders?
  • Why is that on evening the Gorse Fox really fancies a hot curry, he has a long train or car journey the following morning?

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Battle won. No concessions required.

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Tuesday sees the Gorse Fox heading for the London train again. Today he has meetings with "the other department". This should prove interesting as they appear to believe that all departments revove around them, and that they should own and control everything!

GF has worked out his strategy, and knows where he will compromise, if necessary, but he never starts a battle that he can't win!

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Monday, November 07, 2005

She Came, She Saw, She Whispered

Cousteau-cub spent a long weekend in Belgium. Saw Brussels, conquered the bars of Ghent, and came home to Brighton having mislaid her voice somewhere.

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The Politics of Envy

We learn this weekend of another idea from the Odious Deputy Prime Monster. The Daily Mail reports:
In a sinister echo of the ancient Window Tax, the price of a pleasant outlook will be added to bills when the revaluation of houses and flats goes ahead.

The Valuation Office has already been instructed to take into account improvements such as conservatories and extensions, extra bedrooms, additional parking space and the construction of patios or terraces.

Gorse Fox is speechless.

No he's not

  • This is the politics of envy
  • As you develop and invest money oin your home you pay TAX... now the uspeakable cretin expects you to pay tax on the result
    Not once
    but evey year
  • This is Council Tax - it is about what you consume and the services you want. It has nothing to do with your view or whether you have a conservatory.

Words splutter in indignation from the Gorse Fox:
The politics of envy is not strain'd
It droppeth as corrosive bile from the ODPM
Upon the householder beneath: it is twice taxed;
It taxeth him that gives and and gives to him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned dick-head better than his crown;
His vengeance shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and stupidity,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of success;
But the ODPM is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the depths of hatred,
It is an attribute to Stalin himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest Saddam's
When the ODPM seasons justice. Therefore, householder,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Vengeance
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the householder there.

With apologies to Willie Waggledagger

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Gorse Fox is frantically busy today trying to write up a the completed design documents for the big project that is focussing so many minds at present. However, alongside that he has had several distractions:
  1. An hormonal colleague who misinterpreted a perfectly innocent email and threw a strop. He took several plactory emails and phone calls to soothe.
  2. A crusty colleague who has just been the subject of an unwarranted verbal onslaught from some berk in a meeting and was concerened that he might have revealed something secret. He hadn't. The guy was berk.
  3. He needs to contact someone in "the other department" but they won't return his calls.
The joys of work!

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

You can smell it as soon as you walk in the house. It's really quite noticeable.

On Friday the carpet wallahs turned up. Silver Vixen had a procession through the house all day in the Gorse Fox's absence. The carpet wallahs laid the new underlay for the bedroom, then manhandled the new capet up the stairs and round the corner into the bedroom. The sheer size of that task nearly beat them. Such a large carpet is not only heavy, but the roll sports a significant diameter and inbuilt rigidity that makes cornering a bit like driving a Cadillac down a country lane**.

There was a lot of grunting and shifting, but the carpet was soon down. Unfortunately it was flawed. There were cuts in the surface and it was de-laminating from the backing all over. It would have to go back. Silver Vixen took pity on them and told them to get the replacement on order, but leave the flawed one in place for now.

Silver Vixen & Gorse Fox will have to wait a bit longer before they move back into their room.

**Involves a lot of lurching and heart-stopping moments.

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On Friday the window wallahs turned up. The Silver Vixen took them to the various windows with we we had trouble, and they set to work eradicatng the squeaks. This was a great relief as last night saw another gale battering the house... and all was silent. No errant squeaks. Peace.
This morning GF woke. What was that sound? it was a squeak!
The wind had veered and found a new and interesting angle at which to batter the house. In doing so, it found an untreated flaw in the window fixings. The window wallahs will have to return.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Slindon - Eartham profile

We continued south into Slindon Wood, and back up to the Park Pale and the car park that had been our starting point.
Another walk was done. The blood was coursing through the veins, and the Gorse Fox's companions seemd to have enjoyed the stroll.
We had covered about 8.75 miles in all, climed about 600 feet (GF's map and GPS disagree on the exact ascent) and reached a maximum height of 358 feet.**
A walk always seems nice, whether it is alone savouring the solitude and silence, or with friends stimulated by the conversation and banter. Was it a Yomp Romp? Probably, and this is the Slog's blog.
James, Mark, thank you once again for your company.
**GF received a letter from his nephew, Blade, this morning. This details his recent trip to India and the Himalayas, and his trek at over 5,000 metres... makes this stroll seem rather sedentary.

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The Folly and Nore Wood

The Folly and Nore Wood
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Dropping back south, the trio made the most of a local hostelry in Eartham. Conversation only paused for the on-take of fluids. Note the use of the word conversation. This implies a multi-way exchange of views and ideas... this in direct contrast to the verbal diarrohea from which blondie evidently suffered last night, on the train (see earlier posting).

Setting off from the purveyor of fine ales we headed east past The Rookery (which ironically was full of pheasants), and turned south past Puck Lane Coppice. Again, the view opened out and we could peer back towards the Folly

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About Stane Street

About Stane Street
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Popping out onto the road the trio reached the old Roman Road Stane Street. The National trust kindly put up a few words of description.
Chichester Museum also tells us:
Stane Street originally ran from the invasion port at Fishbourne to a river crossing at today's Pulborough. The new town of Chichester grew up on the line of the road, which then became the link to the provincial capital at London. Some of the line of Stane Street is still in use as a road, particularly parts of the A285 between Chichester and Halnaker and the A29 between Pulborough and Slinfold. The best preserved part of the road runs across The Gumber towards the top of the Downs at Bignor Hill.

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The Plain

The Plain
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
At the northern leg of the route the trio made their way through the attractive beech woodland of Eartham Wood, near a spot marked as The Plain on maps.

At this point we had just completed the steepest climb of the afternoon... which compared to previous weeks had been pretty wimpy. It did get the heart pumping, and GF reflected that by the top he probably looked like a knuckle dragging mouth-breather**.

**Any resemblance to the Odious Deputy Prime Monster is purely intentional.
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Mark & James on Little Down

Mark & James on Little Down
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Striding across Little Down, Mark and James left the aging Gorse Fox as he drew his trusty camera (yet again).

By now the sun had disappeared, and the temperature had dropped somewhat. The clouds were taking on an ominous hue**. Undeterred we strode on.

**This is nothing to do with Hugh Edwards the BBC newsreader. Though the BBC's legendary disregard for objective reporting was another subject covered by the trio.

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Across to Nore Wood

Across to Nore Wood
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
By this time we had deviated from the original planned route and adopted the adapted route shown. We had skirted Slindon by the College, and headed up Butt Lane towards Little Down.

Conversation ranged back and forth, and aspects of the world were put to rights: multi-culturalism, teenage angst (and lesbian friends), digital cameras, David Davis, avian flu (and perversions associated with transmission to humans), the smell of manure (and consequent reminiscenses of Northern Ireland), Roberto Calvi, Pope Benedict and conspiracy theories... and so on.

At this point on Butt Lane there was a view across towards Nore Wood and the Folly.
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Slindon Bottom

Slindon Bottom
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Butchers Copse gave way to Slindon Wood, and the path became Park Pale. The old Slindon Park on the southern part of the estate still has the impressive bank and ditch of its medieval park pale. This earthwork would probably have been topped by a fence in order to keep the deer within the park.[File under: . , ]

Butchers Copse

Butchers Copse
Originally uploaded by Gorse Fox.
Leaving the car the intrepid trio headed off into Butchers Copse, following a clear bridleway.

It was about 15C and whilst clouds scudded across the sky, there was plenty of bright sunshine. Mark was familiar with the are, as a result of his mountain biking activities. For James and the Gorse Fox this was new.

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Slindon - Eartham loop

Today's walk was planned as loop starting at the bottom of the map and rotating clockwise... However, the whole nature of the walk changed when the trekkers realised they had been talking so much they had missed a turn. The resulting route was the one shown here.

James (give me David Davis) had stirred GF to walk, and having posted the intention Mark (sssh, don't mention the blog) phoned and agreed to meet up. So the trio of trekkers converged on the car park and headed off into the woods.

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A phone call from James has stirred the Gorse Fox from his lethargy... there's a walk coming!!! Good job he had several planned from previous weeks.

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Big Government

As the number of civil servants continues to rise, a quote from Gerald Ford returns to Gorse Fox's conscioussness:
"The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have."
GF had never thought of Gerald Ford as being a great thinker or philosopher, but the continued machinations of Gordon Brown and ludicrous destructive flailings (and failing) of John Prescott, make him re-assess.

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Cherish Silence

The elderley foursome got on the train soon after Gorse Fox and settled into the seats nearby. As they sat down the elegant blonde started to talk to the companions. The train pulled out of Victoria Station and started its journey south. At Clapham Junction she took a breath whilst one of the companions said "Oh yes" and then continued.

By East Croydon the two male companions were asleep, but blondie was still in full flow.

The Gorse Fox drifted off, not waking until Haywards Heath.

Blondie was still holding forth, her male companions were still asleep and the female was looking desperate. We had heard about Jo; about Katie; about the strong-willed (disobediant) grandchild and her phone calls; about Bob Geldorf's sartorial elegance; about Chris Eubanks and his 4x4; and so many more subjects of utter disinterest to us all. Her husband stirred, opened one eye, looked at the female companion, and decided that sleep was probably the best approach and settled back down. Blondie continued, and the train approached Hove, where the other couple - with a looked of sheer relief on their faces - left the train. GF is not sure but their seemed to be a spring in their step as they made their way down the platform.

Blondie continued - her husband now awake. Were they in the right part of the train? What a nice day it had been. They must do it again... and on and on.

At Worthing the train split. The sound of panic briefley entered her voice Are we in the right section? Which carriage are we in?. Appeased she reverted to drivel. At West Worthing she and her her husband (who I can only assume to be a saint, or deaf) left the train. The normal peace of an English railway carriage was restored.

Gorse Fox wonders how women (because he has never known a man to do it) can do that. How can they talk about such drivel, for so long, without any encouragement from their listener. GF says Cherish Silence! and last night's train journey re-inforced that belief - in spades.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Another long day. With the exception of "the other department" everything and everone is lined up. A successful week.

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As GF rushed (well, walked briskly** to the railway station last night he beheld a strange sight. About 50 yards shy of the big sports centre stood what he can only describe as a businessman with a case at his feet. He stood with his weight on his left foot whilst the right foot rested nonchalontly behind. He peered across the wide pavement towards the traffic and appeard to start rotating his head... Well, ok, not 360 degree rotations, but certainly 270 degree back and forth. Pfff, London, eh?

**It would not be seemly for a man of Gorse Fox's years to rush.

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Gorse Fox's brain was up and about by about 03:30, fortunately body decided that was stupid and stayed in bed hoping the Silver Vixen may release few square centimetres of the duvet. Some chance! Good job it was mild night.

GF has to head back up to London today. He thinks the lost time earlier this week is almost recovered (even if he isn't). He has had to suggest that "plan B" be implemented alongside "plan A" in order to ensure we have a fall back position. This was not the news that they wanted to hear, but agreed it was a sensible contingency given the tight timescales.

On a separate note, it looks like GF has the go-ahead to bring the Mighty Atom to join the team at Worcester.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Long day. Another one expected tomorrow.
No comment.

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The squeaking window continues to irritate as a major gale drove in off the sea last night.

The Gorse fox is up and about preparing for a trip to London to do battle with the bird brains. He suspects the changes he's made will give them a "reality check", given the week lost to the "other department".

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gorse Fox was suspicious from the start.
The other department don't have a good track record, but they insisted they should be part of the solution. So GF has spent 7 days working on the design with their system at the heart of the model.
Today they admitted they can'y do it.
GF has had to go back to the drawing board, having lost a week that cannot really be spared.
GF is not amused.

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An evening spent refining design models may not seem riveting, dear reader, however the Gorse Fox continued to tweak and fiddle throughout the evening.
Staying in a hotel means the GF gets some time to watch Breakfast TV. The news this morning is that Council Taxes will have to rise considerably next year. Needless to say HMG claims they're cyring wolf. One suspects the truth is somehwere in between. What you can be sure of is:
  • More pensioners will find their pension cannot keep up
  • Councils in the South will still subsidise those in the North
  • The Dail Mail will froth and fizz

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Gorse Fox has sore fingers or incipient RSI. A day's hard slogging over a laptop, with a trackpoint mouse, was followed by a meal at a Chinese restuarant. Adept as he is with chopsticks, GF has managed to consume about two thirds of the meal whilst painting the table cloth and walls with the other third. Maybe that's why they use flock wall-paper, so the debris has something to stick on to.

Back in the hotel there are project estimates to complete and design documents to polish.

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Gorse Fox is back in worcester. Excellent drive up through the leafy lanes, lit by the glow of the early morning sun.
Planned agenda for the day already disrupted, but nevertheless much progress made. Recent modelling activities have proved immensely useful, and helped move thing forward.
New colleague joined the team today.

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