Assumption

I needed to buy tickets for the Alumni Carol Service, so decided it was just as quick to cross the lane into St Salvator’s Quad than to go upstairs, pop the form into an envelope and drop it into the internal mail.

Conversation went a bit like this:

Gareth: Hello, I’m from Business Improvements and …

Lady: Is that for the carol service?

Gareth: Yes

Lady #2: Are you … Hamish?

Gareth: No, I’m Gareth

Lady #2: That’s what I meant

Gareth: Then yes, I’m Gareth.

Lady #1: Aren’t you … doing prayers for us?

Gareth: No, I’m preaching.

Lady #1: Then … you don’t need to buy a ticket.

Gareth: These are for my wife and her family. I just assumed I’d get in free

I do.

Inbox zero at Google Tech Talk

I started watching this a few months back, but have just discovered it again: “Inbox Zero” Google Tech Talk at 43Folders.com.

Follows the Getting Things Done (GTD) / Take Back Your Life (TBYL) method, the video is just short of 60 minutes, but it’s great.

UPDATE: for some reason the short bit between the last two commas went missing when I published. Browser troubles, perhaps — I was using Opera. That will explain David’s comment below.

A tale of two content management systems

Spent the morning today checking out TERMINALFOUR TransferManager, which synchronizes a local publish of your website to a remote server. That was a profitable morning’s work as we worked out how it works, and what implications it has for the University website.

At lunchtime I’ve just downloaded and installed Drupal 6 beta 3 to my localhost test server to play around with. Initial impressions are good.

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.