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Thursday, June 30, 2016


Thursday - it must be admin. So it was that the morning started with spreadsheets followed by the arrival of the week's shopping, thanks to Ocado. Once we had the basics completed we headed up to the garden centre to get a further planter and some compost.

The rest of the day was spent debugging. The test version of the private blog (on "tawnyowl") works perfectly, but when built on "peregrine", the internal links all fail. At first the Gorse Fox though ht it was something in his code and spent hours pouring over the logic and the database structure. Then it occurred to him to try an empty "site" with just the initial opening posts. This too demonstrated the same problem... it wasn't the Gorse Fox's code after all.

After a lot more checking, the Gorse Fox has decided to rebuild "peregrine" from scratch in case he had created any differences from "tawnyowl". He will use his new configurator with the same configuration scripts used for "tawnyowl". That can wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Coding and kicking

The Gorse Fox has had a good day. The rain held off while we played football. The game itself went well with a 5-1 win and the final goal coming from the Gorse Fox after a surge through the middle and quick one-two with a teammate. Very satisfying.

Back home the Gorse Fox got on with a tuna salad lunch and carried on with his coding. The Silver Vixen was in Worthing at the funeral of a friend from one of her sewing circles.

The coding and testing continued until the whole of blog and private blog were copied and merged. There's a little tidying up to complete, but essentially the job is done.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Oh dear

Well what a disastrous night for English football. Entirely predictable, but disastrous all the same. Fancy getting beaten by Iceland. As a long term follower, however, it was not a surprise. The Gorse Fox has had a day to hear armchair analysis by all and sundry. He isn't clever enough to know what the answer is (unlike so many).

The Gorse Fox had his usual Walking Football session this morning. Six more games played: lost 1, drew 4, and finally won a game. Some good football played today (certainly England International level).

We have noticed that a neighbour several doors down behind the house is having a garden room of some sort built. It became clear this afternoon that this is being done by Outside Interests, the firm that built our Orangery. It will be interesting to see what they do. It is a much small house than ours and is in the middle of a terrace - so they have less scope than we did.

Popped in next door for tea this afternoon. The Gorse Fox should have been coding but somehow couldn't collect his thoughts, so it was a good distraction. The weather closed in around tea time and we have heavy rain now (at least we brought the washing in before it got started).

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tapping away

The Silver Vixen is out for lunch with a friend so the Gorse Fox has been tapping away at the keyboard. More code developed and the whole blog re-built. This has cleared up a few incipient problems that the Gorse Fox had detected. (It's a shame he cannot automatically correct his spelling and grammatical errors at the same time).

It's time now to refocus the work onto the old private blog. That will occupy the mind for a while.

Chicken is in the oven - after all, we need to be ready for the football this evening. Spain -v- Italy and England -v- Iceland. It should be a good evening.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Very pleasant day today. Bright start but even when it clouded up a bit, it stayed warm. Today's football was indoors (as it usually is on Sundays). There was a big event going on at the Arena, but they were using the outside pitches and didn't trouble us at all.

Our game went well. Just the usual training game with mix and match teams. It ended up at about 12-9, and the Gorse Fox was on the losing side, but it was great fun and there was a lot of lovely football being played by both sides.

Once home, the Gorse Fox returned to his code. A few more tweaks and then he ran a complete import of this blog into the test version of the private blog. It ran for about an hour and completed without incident. It did show up that there were some codepage differences between Blogger and the Wordpress database. This means that the Gorse Fox has some rather odd symbols in the data, here and there. Having spotted this, he can write some additional code to sort this out before he does his final import. Looking good, though.

Next steps are to write the importer for the data from the old version of the private blog into the new version. This needs to ignore duplicate entries and properly categorise the posts that are found. Now that the Gorse Fox has the techniques sorted, it shouldn't take too long to write. The Gorse Fox is frustrated, however, that he still cannot work out how to get the labels/tags out of blogger. More research needed.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Last night was very enjoyable. It was Tinkerbell's birthday and the Sonning Crew met up for drinks and then strolled along to the local Indian Restaurant where we spent several hours enjoying a very fine meal, some excellent conversation, and general banter.

Today saw a mixed start - sun, clouds, and showers; so it continued through much of the day.

The Gorse Fox retired to his study. The keys tapped and tests started, some modifications were made and soon the tests began to run through to completion. The Gorse Fox is feeling very pleased with himself. Blog posts are being extracted, transferred to the private blog, categorised, and cross-referenced in such a way that the Gorse Fox can make future modification when he has worked out how to extract tags from Blogger.

Next step will be to work on the old version of the private blog and extract just the non-Blogger entries and merge them into the new one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Slow progress

The code is progressing and the Gorse Fox is beginning to understand the relationships between the different parts of the WordPress database tables. He has had to include an extra table to use as a cross-reference between this blog and the private one.

There are still problems with some of the SQL logic that have to be ironed out but that will shake-out during testing.

The code is stretching to about 1000 lines so far and there's a long way to go. At least he can reset the database at the drop of a hat as he has kept an empty version as backup.

The Silver Vixen has been at a work shop today, but now she's back we are planning to go out for dinner tonight with the neighbours as it is one of their birthdays today. Meanwhile, the Urban-Cub has a few days off so has come round for a visit.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good progress

The Gorse Fox has made a lot of progress today. The problem he had been experiencing handling links in the new private (though still empty) blog turned out to be an apache module that hadn't been enabled and a security file that hadn't been built. With that sorted, the Gorse Fox could return to the actual blog content and wrote the next part of the routine that will write the blog posts. As before, all of the database calls are currently disabled so that he can see what is going on without actually hitting the database tables.

The next steps in the development will be to modify any internal blog-post to blog-post web links. The code can already identify these links "in-flight" but they still need to be modified to their new details (once the Gorse Fox has worked out what they will be).

When the Silver Vixen got back from her hair appointment in Chichester, we took the opportunity to walk round to the Polling Station to cast our votes in the EU Referendum. If you do not vote you have no say. If you do not vote you cannot complain. Apathy is the toxic to democracy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


The Gorse Fox had football. It was damp and there was light rain making things miserable. Despite this, we had a good turnout. The sides were well balanced and the Gorse Fox was doing well. He had swerved round a couple of tackles and had a couple of shots on target (though stopped). The next time he got the ball he side-stepped and did a slick turn along the touch line. This is when it all went a bit wrong. One of the opponents was clearly going to stop the Gorse Fox at any cost and barrelled across the pitch and smashed into him. The Gorse Fox took off and crashed into the fence. An expletive was heard as the Gorse Fox tried to get up. He had a dead leg. So it was that he spent the rest of the game in goal - unable to push off from his left leg (which even now, several hours later, it very sore). He was not a happy bunny.

We ordered some new planters several days ago. They were due to arrive between Friday and next Tuesday. They actually turned up today. That's service.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


John Lewis are have a clearance sale. As honoured customers we were invited to come and raid the shop prior to normal opening. So it was that at 8:00 this morning we wandered into the Chichester store and started our raid. The Silver Vixen had a list of things to pick up - all of which seemed to have offers. An hour later we left, clutching our goods, satisfied that we had saved some money (given that we needed these items anyway).

The Gorse Fox headed straight to Worthing for his regular football. This went, much as usual, to the script. The Gorse Fox ended up on a team with heart rather than hope... and ended up losing all six games. To add injury to insult he has stirred up his weak ankle and is feeling sore. However at least he (and his team) all played better than some of the England squad last night. In fact even Dennis, who walks on crutches and sits an watches the games, would be more effective that Jack Wilshere was.

The afternoon has been spent progressing with his code. Lots to do still, but making progress.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fang Farrier

The Silver Vixen was at the dentist this morning so the Gorse Fox took the opportunity to accompany her to Chichester and while she was being tortured, he went to the bank, the shops, and grabbed a coffee.

The banks are becoming more automated and now you are greeted by an array of machines that can handle most transactions. The Gorse Fox had a cheque to deposit (it's so nice to have got rid of the Timeshare and actually got a rebate form the fees). The problem is that depositing cheques is such a rare occurrence that the Gorse Fox always has to ask for guidance... and would probably be better off going straight to the cashier to start with.

Once all was done the Silver Vixen met up in the coffee shop and once properly caffeinated we headed to Hillier's. We had reserved an hydrangea last week and had been informed of its arrival. It looks very promising now, back on the deck, snuggling by the fence - though the Gorse Fox suspects that it will be moved in the next few days.

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice arrive a day early this year (because it's a leap year)... and has started with heavy rain. It looks as if it might brighten up a bit later.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


With Cousteau-Cub living in Thailand, it is difficult for all of the family to get together for Father's Day. What is possible though is for us all to make contact. So it was today. Cousteau-Cub used Facebook to leave the Gorse Fox a message and managed to phone (using Viber) for a quick chat. Meanwhile, Urban-Cub and her family joined us for lunch at The Gribble Inn. It was a lovely day and the Gorse Fox felt spoilt.

In other matters, the code has developed further but the Gorse Fox has noticed a problem in the output - several blog posts, of the thousand or so in his test, seem to have random chunks of text missing. He suspects this is going to take some tracking down.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


The Gorse Fox got a brief email from Cousteau-Cub. She had been to the doctor, in Trang. It appears that her bought of illness over the past week or so is actually the result of peptic ulcer caused by the prolonged use of the medication she takes. Looks like she is going to have a very bland diet for the next month or so whilst she takes more medication to sort out the ulcer.

Most of the rest of the day was spent getting very frustrated trying to get simple bits of code to work. This is code that, in his preferred language, he could code and test in two or three minutes. Writing in this different language it took the whole day to get the right incantation. Never mind, in the end he sorted it out, and tomorrow he can make progress.

The evening was spent with a bit of binge-watching. We made the most of our Amazon Prime subscription and waded through a batch of Bosch (Season2) episodes. We have saved the last two episodes for another evening, but have thoroughly enjoyed the series.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Dodging showers

The Silver Vixen is out with her coven today. They have pooled transport and taken just one large broomstick up to the Quilt Show at Sundown Park. This meant that Jasper has been left in charge, and the Gorse Fox is around to make sure he is fed.

There have been some torrential showers this morning, and as this is written, there is thunder rattling round. There was, however, a brief respite mid-morning and the Gorse Fox took the opportunity to walk round to the shops to recycle some Nespresso pods and to pick up some cash from the ATM. The sun was shining through his little trip, but soon disappeared when he got home.

AT home he has been working (and he uses that word in its loosest term) on his current code project. As explained, a lot was dependent on getting to use OAuth 2.0. Well, the Gorse Fox can report that he has cracked it and his basic code is now working. He can now successfully access his blog from a program. Now the basic framework is in place, he will refine the code over the next few days.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Very Wet

Well today there was a bit of a change. The bright start soon gave way to wave after wave of heavy rain. Not very conducive to going outside, so the Gorse Fox stayed in to write code and then watch the football.

The code is now, no more than a series of ideas which are dependant on the Gorse Fox mastering the Google APIs. There seems to be so much conflicting advice that this could take some time. (Well, it's not as if he has to go to work!)

The afternoon's football, between England and Wales, was a bit of a heart-in-mouth game, with an England winner in the last minute or so. A good game by both teams, but England do need to get a bit more clinical in front of goal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Hillier Gardens won a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. Today we had the chance to go along to the local Hillier Centre to see one of their managers talk about how they go about putting their display together. It was an excellent talk and fascinating information. They have several teams with up to about 40 people working on the site for 12 days. Huge lorries are dispatched to arrive at 9, 10, and 11 day after day. In the end they sent some 4,500 plants, using about 2,500 thereof; there was 35 tons of rock, 7 tones of bark, and heavens knows what else. The chap also talked about some of the specific stars of their display - Acer Moonrise, some dianthus, some hydrangeas and so forth. It was an excellent couple of hours.

Leaving Hillier we found that a couple of new acers had leapt into our trolley.

The afternoon was spent with a touch of pruning the existing acer s, then up to the study to rebuild "peregrine". The rebuild, using the new configurator, took about 30 minutes from scratch. Next step will be to automate the backup of the database before the Gorse Fox starts to build the blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


The Gorse Fox had his regular football appointment this morning. As usual the two hours were split into two separate sessions. The first session was fairly unsuccessful - three games, two losses and a draw. The second session was better - a win, a draw and a loss. The Gorse Fox was pleased to score a couple of the goals in our win, and was pleased with his performance over all.

The afternoon was quiet and much of it was spent at the keyboard. The Gorse Fox started with a fresh download of the Master image for his RPi. Then he ran through the automatic configurator. It ran through without any problems and we ended up with a clean build of "tawnyowl", running a WordPress blog. Now the plan is to use this as a test bed, whilst rebuilding "peregrine" using the same system.

Monday, June 13, 2016


The day seemed to be configured with rain. There were occasional dry bits and even some sun, but the overall view was wet.

The Gorse Fox spent much of the day at the computer. The RPI Configurator needed some refinement and the Gorse Fox started building the Pi again from scratch a couple of times just to prove that the system worked. It does.

Now the Gorse Fox has configured WordPress and phpmyadmin. The process for these needs to be added to the automated process - but that's a project for later in the week. Once that's done the Gorse Fox will use the process to rebuild the Pi known as "peregrine". This is planned to be the long-term private blog server. Once instantiated, the Gorse Fox will have to write the code that will enable him to transfer his existing public and private blogs to "peregrine".

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chatting and Jealousy

Nice episode of online chat with Cousteau-Cub this morning. It's always nice to catch up with her and get all the news from Koh Lanta. We decided that we wouldn't meet up with her in Bali in September, as we had previously discussed. The logistics were just too complex, given their time limitations and need to move about from place to place. We will probably leave it until early next year, then go and visit her in Thailand.

It was nice to play football in the dry, despite the rain. The Gorse Fox has come to the conclusion that his team mates are jealous of his boyish good looks (either that or he has a case of sympathy for Beloved Aunt and his Little Sis). Twice he was hit in the face by the ball from almost point blank. He now has a small cut under one eye and a bruise on the side of the bridge of his nose. It's such a good thing that he wears the safety glasses. All in all, despite the injuries, it was a good game and the Gorse Fox scored several goals in his sides 10-7 win.

Had a lovely afternoon taking tea at the neighbours'. They have just returned from holiday and it was a chance to catch up and to hear all about the Caribbean in the Spring, Sandals, and Virgin Atlantic (First Class). It all sounds wonderful and as it was a celebration of their Ruby Anniversary, we're glad that they had a great time.


Well after a couple of weeks of good weather, the Gorse Fox has woken up to heavy rain. It's a good job that today's football is indoors.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


The Gorse Fox has been stuck to his keyboard all day. What was thought to be a moderately simple task has turned in to a bit of a mission. The utility he wanted to us on "tawnyowl" has not be built for the this platform. No worries, the Gorse Fox has access to the development files and thought he would just do the build himself. Not something he has done since the late 1980s but surely it would come back to him, once he started.

It did. It came back to him what a dogs dinner the tooling was for this style of machine. Each time he took another step forward, another set of pre-reqs reared their head. Each had to be installed then he could retry. This went on for hours. Finally he has got it working (to a point) and the utility is now built and the test program runs. Time, he thinks, for a clean up of the system image. Even that seems to be taking an inordinate length of time.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Around and about

The Gorse Fox had an appointment in Chichester this morning so he and the Silver Vixen took a leisurely drive into town and then split up. The Silver Vixen had her own mission and headed in one direction, the Gorse Fox in the other. As he was early for his appointment he stopped into Rymans. The Gorse Fox has a thing about stationery and is perfectly happy to kill time wandering around looking at the pens, paints, paper, pads and so forth. As it happened he picked up a block of 800 sheets of paper, ideal for making quick lists or notes. As he was paying he noticed a sale on portable external USB hard drives. Seemed like an opportunity to grab one and use it on the Raspberry Pi... so he left clutching both paper and disk.

The Silver Vixen found her way to a shoe shop and that was where we met up. She spent some time tormenting the assistant before finally settling on a new pair of shoes.

Back home for lunch, the off to Sainsbury's. Wine was needed in case Her Majesty drops in over the weekend to celebrate her 90th... of for that matter, in case any of the neighbours drop in... or for that matter, in case they don't.

Euro 2016 starts tonight. Lots of football to watch over the next month.

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Another lovely day and this time the Gorse Fox didn't have to think about football. In fact he was pretty sedentary today. Usual admin to start with, then he retired to the study and continued refining and testing his RPI Configurator. He must say that the simplicity of the idea and approach really makes its use quite simple.

The test Pi, "tawnyowl", has now developed to the point that it has an "apache" web server running with a "php" driver. After  lunch, the Gorse Fox sat in the Orangery and spent the afternoon reading up on options regarding MySql installation. The question is should he install directly on the Pi or install on an attached USB drive. The jury is out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016


In deepest recesses of the Gorse Fox's sleeping mind he could hear an alarm. He dismissed it. It was a car alarm somewhere in the distance. The alarm stopped. The Gorse Fox dropped back into deep sleep.

The alarm recurred. Again he dismissed it. This continued for a while. In the end the Gorse Fox decided he wanted to at least know where the offending vehicle was. It turned out that it was his car. Oooops.

Alarm was switched off and the Gorse Fox returned to bed.

Dawn broke. There was no araldite nearby, so the Gorse Fox left it broken. He dozed off and awoke when the feline alarm stuck his paw up the Gorse Fox's nose. Clearly he wanted food.

It was a hot one again. Clear blue skies with hot sun. The Gorse Fox made sure he had plenty of water with him - football would be hard work. So it turned out. Grown men started by bickering and shouting at each other like silly little children. Eventually we calmed them down and the game kicked off. The Gorse Fox was off the pace, but didn't do too badly. The eventual score was a draw. We were all dripping and pretty flushed. It had been a good workout, even if somewhat marred by the childish display at the start.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


It was another hot and sunny day. Forecast was good but with strong chance of thunder storms later. The Gorse Fox was taking no chances - he took twice as much water with him for today's football. He wasn't going to chance dehydration.

The games today were hard work. Maybe the Gorse Fox was a bit slow off the mark after the last couple of days, but it took several games before he got into his stride. Recovery times being what they are, it seems that the days of being able to play two full 90 minute matches in a day are long gone. The Gorse Fox was struggling to get going for the third in three days. It was all very tight today with really nothing between the teams. This made it much more fun and competitive. Towards the end of the two hours it had clouded over and there was thunder rumbling around.

Back home the skies were still clear and there was no apparent threat from storms. In fact as the afternoon wore on the temperature just carried on heating up. We'll see if anything develops.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Hot stuff

A glorious day with temperatures in the mid-20s and not a cloud to spoil it (until late afternoon when some thin high cloud drifted in).

Monday was tournament day. A new format had been devised and today was the first attempt at combining a tournament-style event with a league. Multiple 20-minute games would be played, but they would accumulate points just like a league. This would be repeated next month and then we would see how things worked out.

Arun Amblers had three games today. We won the first 2-0 against Worthing Strikers "A" team, then drew 0-0 against Brighton Dolphins, finally we drew 1-1 against Worthing Strikers "B" team. Not a bad showing really, and the Gorse Fox felt we played well. We could have done with one or two subs as the heat was clearly getting to a couple of our players. (Next month we have Worthing Sharks, Lancing, and Bognor as opponents).

Meanwhile, the Silver Vixen had been to the garden centre to get the last few items for our larger planter. They have all been planted up now, and look really nice. She has done a superb job of the garden.

Sunday, June 05, 2016


Today is turning into quite a sizzler. There's not a cloud in the sky and the sun is baking down on this corner of the realm. (Note: it may be baking down elsewhere, but the Gorse Fox can only report what he can see from his own observation).

Sunday's football was indoors at the Arun Sports Arena. This was a good thing. Whilst not air conditioned, the size of the hangar meant that it was still fairly cool, despite the sunshine. It was a good game, though the Gorse Fox did end up on the losing side. It was a good warm-up for tomorrow's tournament.

Back home the Silver Vixen is working with her sewing machines and the Gorse Fox is just chilling, now. Having said that he has been fiddling with the Pi configurations. It seems that, despite all the online documentation, the successful setting of a static IP address is as much a feature of taking a hammer to your router, as it is to getting the configuration files right  on the Pi. The Gorse Fox had followed all the tutorials and the configuration files were correct on "tawny owl" but the IP address would not reset. In the end he had to reprogram the BT Home Hub router which kept re-assigning the same old wrong address. Pah! So much for automation.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

More code

Nothing much to report. The Gorse Fox spent most of the day at the computer. It started with a download of a new base image for the Pi. This was installed on "tawny owl" and some basic mods and updates applied before this was cut as the new Master image.

With the new master image the Gorse Fox started on his coding of the configurator. He hit a snag fairly early on and wasted a lot of time trying to debug a problem in this code which wasn't actually there. His code was fine. The problem was the way in which a NAS drive was mounted and needed to be mounted with different user and group permissions from the default.

Eventually the code was working and the first confutation script file suit and tested. Voila! It works. The Gorse Fox can move on and refine the code and build further scripts to perform subsequent stages of the configuration.

Late in the afternoon we were asked to witness the signatures of our neighbours, so popped round and joined them for a cup of tea in the garden.

Friday, June 03, 2016


The Gorse Fox finds that writing code (programming) is still one of the great pleasures in life. He had this idea that the way in which he currently configures each Raspberry Pi separately and then documents it was somewhat impractical as he moves forward. Wouldn't it be easier to have a single base image upon which he can run a configurator that builds the specific Pi image that wants. This would effectively be self-documenting as the specific configuration files would specify all the variations required for a given image.

The Gorse Fox is not sure how long it will take him to write all the code to manage this idea, but he has made a start and finding it immensely therapeutic to be designing and writing code. Plan is to try this out on the Raspberry Pi known as "tawnyowl" before retrofitting to "redkite" and "peregrine".

As it was a bit grey and overcast, and certainly cool, we decided to pop across to the Haskins Garden Centre at Roundstone. We wanted some garden lights, but also it was a chance to mooch around the displays and also to grab a coffee and a scone. (For scone, read large boulder smeared with jam and clotted cream - naughty, but nice).

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Change of Plans

Thursday is often dedicated to domestic and administrative chores. The Gorse Fox was planning to follow the usual plan then do some development on the Raspberry Pi. The he read an email newsletter from Martin Lewis (The Money Expert). He pointed out that there have been a number of breaches of security among websites and email addresses and passwords have been stolen (over the past few years).  This links you to the article. From there there is a link that allows you to check if any of your email addresses have been, potentially, compromised. The Gorse Fox found that his email address at LinkedIn and at Adobe were in the cache of stolen items. As a result, the Gorse Fox, spent much of the rest of the morning going though and checking his accounts and changing his passwords to complex 12-digit codes - trusting his password manager to remember them (hopefully).

The Gorse Fox sees that his little sister has been testing the limits of gravity and the ability of the human face to act as a brake when accelerating at 32 feet per second per second. The face does stop when it hits something solid - but does tend to change the colouration thereof. He really hopes she is feeling better soon.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


This morning's football was fun. The Gorse Fox was on the side with fewer people but still we managed to win. Indeed win convincingly. The Gorse Fox was pleased with his contribution of a couple of goals but even more pleased that he bamboozled one of ex-professionals several times. This is rather satisfying as he does have the habit of rubbing your nose in it when he does it to you. Indeed the Gorse Fox got a cheer when he did it the third or fourth time.

The 8-1 win was somewhat marred by a bit of "handbags at dawn" between a couple of players. One obviously has anger management issues and wasn't having a good day. It all blew up over a perfectly innocuous tackle, but Mr Angry lost the ball for the umpteenth time and blew. You would say "grow up", but somehow one expects it is too late for that.


The Gorse Fox has commented before about "living on the edge". He decided to push the bounds even further today and has put on socks that say "Friday" on the soles.

Who said that retired people don't have fun - after all, you only live once (unless you are Buddhist).