Weekend in Selkirk

Borders General Hospital
View of the car parked at the Borders General Hospital; Mum has a blue badge so we could park legitimately in the disabled spaces.

On Friday evening I drove down to Selkirk to see Mum; the first time I’d been down for months.

My plan/agenda was:

  • spend some time with Mum
  • install Mum’s new BT Synergy 4500 phones
  • update the antivirus software on Mum’s laptop
  • put up a hook on the back of the kitchen door
  • hang some pictures
  • take a wreath to the cemetery
  • move some things out to Mum’s newly constructed shed

Here’s what we did:

  • spend some time with Mum
  • install Mum’s new BT Synergy 4500 phones
  • update the antivirus software on Mum’s laptop
  • put up a hook on the back of the kitchen door
  • hang some pictures
  • take my sister Jenni to Accident & Emergency at the Borders General Hospital, where she was diagnosed with shingles
  • take Jenni to the local pharmacy for her newly prescribed medication
  • take Jenni and her cat Myla to the vet for an emergency consultation. One quick injection of antibiotics later and we were driving back from St Boswells to Selkirk
  • move some things out to Mum’s newly constructed shed

It certainly wasn’t an uneventful visit, but I did get to spend some extra time with Jenni, which was lovely. I do love my Mum and my sister.

Accident and Emergency?

While sitting at A&E it occurred to me that the department might be better called Accident and/or Emergency, because Accident and Emergency implies that both conditions need to be met before a patient will be treated.

Scenario #1

Receptionist: Hello, can I help you?
Patient: Yes please, I’ve had an accident.
Receptionist: An accident, excellent. Tick. Now, can you tell me: is this an emergency?
Patient: An emergency? Well, no … I suppose it could wait until Monday to be seen by my local general practitioner.
Receptionist: I’m afraid that is going to have to be the case, you see this is an accident and emergency department.
Patient: Oh.
Receptionist: Don’t worry, it happens quite a lot. You see, what you are wanting is an Accident and/or Emergency department.

Scenario #2

Receptionist: Hello, can I help you?
Patient: Yes please, it’s an emergency!
Receptionist: An emergency, excellent. Tick. Now, can you tell me: was this the result of an accident?
Patient: An accident? Well, no … I was in a street brawl and my opponent deliberately attacked me with a variety of poorly executed moves he’d learned from a Playstation 2 game.
Receptionist: Ah … you see this is an Accident and Emergency department.
Patient: Oh.
Receptionist: What you want is the local Deliberate and Emergency department.
Patient: I see. Sorry to trouble you, I shall go in search of such a medical department, thank you for your assistance.
Receptionist: You are very welcome. I hope you stop bleeding presently.

You see, the government spend far too much money reorganizing the NHS in ridiculous ways every couple of years, without thinking it through. This method would allow some kind of basic triage to be determined before the patient walks through the doors. You’d have three departments:

  1. Accident and Emergency
  2. Accident and/or Emergency
  3. Deliberate and Emergency

Simple.

Is it Christmas?

No

Online calendar applications, such as Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar and CalendarHub, are getting increasingly more popular these days.

They enable you to keep track of your busy schedule no matter where you are. With the right software or plugin you can even synchronize them with your main desktop calendar such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple iCal, or with your PDA.

Well, here’s a highly specialist calendar application: Is it Christmas?. It even has its own RSS feed.

It does only one thing, but it does it very efficiently and very well: it tells you whether today is Christmas or not.

My only criticism is that it doesn’t tell you in which time zone the site is hosted.

For example, San Francisco is 8 hours behind UK time, so if the site is hosted in London and some poor kid in SF might check out the site at 16:01 his time and spoil his whole Christmas experience by opening his presents a day early.

Maybe it should be called Is it Christmas (give or take 12 hours, depending upon in which time zone you live)?.