E. Henry Thripshaw’s Disease

Over the last 5 years or so, I seem to have developed a habit of mistyping words and I’m curious to know if anyone else does it? …or can I name the condition after myself? 😀
As a bit of background, I’m a touch-typist, so type fairly quickly without looking at the keyboard.
Anyway, what happens is that I’ll start typing one word, but I’ll mash that word up with the next word, before I then type that next word. What’s particularly annoying/frustrating is that I only seem to do it if the mashed word is itself a valid, correctly spelt word.
As an example, I was just typing an email with the phrase “…you’ll end up with the same end result”, except what I actually typed was “…you’ll end up with the send end result”.
On a bad day, I can do this several times in a single email (or a blog post). So, before I hit the send button, I’ll usually have to re-read the email a couple of times to try and catch the glitches (as the spellchecker doesn’t catch them).
So, am I the only person in the world who does this?!

Co-operative Group advertising in Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers

a copy of the email I’ve just sent to the Co-operative, who I’ve banked with all my working life…

To: customer.relations@co-op.co.uk
Dear Sir or Madam
I am writing to express my disappointment that the Co-operative Group has decided to continue advertising in Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers: http://bit.ly/mzXiTI
As a banking customer of nearly 20 years, I have been extremely proud of your ethical stance. However, I believe that this is compromised by your public support of his newspapers at this time. By continuing to advertise in them, I also feel that the Co-operative Group is implicitly condoning their unlawful and highly immoral reporting practices.
In order to help me decide whether or not to close my bank account, I would be grateful if you could respond within 7 days with an explanation as to why you believe your continued advertising is in the best interest of your existing members and customers.
Dave Pattern


Joe, our beloved cat for the last 4 years, passed away this evening at 6:30pm.
Just before Christmas, he started to go off his food and was initially diagnosed with kidney disease. Despite having high levels of toxins in his blood, he responded well to the first round of treatment.
Throughout January, he had to go back to the vets on a regular basis and the diagnosis was eventually changed to renal lymphoma (cancer of the kidney). By then, we’d had good days (when he was back to his old self and running around the house) and bad days.
Once the lymphoma had been diagnosed, Joe’s only hope was a course of chemotherapy, which he began on Monday. Although the chemo did have a positive effect, sadly his kidneys were already too damaged and his energy drained away on Tuesday. He went back on a drip at lunchtime today.
With the prospect that he might not make it through the night, Bryony and I took the decision to say goodbye to Joe before he started to suffer too much. We were both with him at the end and he slipped away peacefully.
We’d like to thank the staff at Donaldson and Partners and, especially, Sid, the vet who looked after Joe, who was our rock throughout.
Joe was such a central part of our lives and we’ll miss him. We’re both so glad that we’ve got so many happy memories of him 🙂
Bryony and Dave

Spam of the Day

—–Original Message—–
From: XXX@durrex-pump.com [mailto:XXX@durrex-pump.com]
Sent: 08 December 2010 15:31
To: Library Support
Subject: Life is life!
Hello My Friend!
I write to you the letter, and I hope to receive the answer from you.
My name is Marina.
I the young woman, me of 29 years, I have brown hair. I the beautiful woman 🙂
And live in Russia, city Volzhsk.
My city is in 910 km from Moscow.
And if you wish to get acquainted with me, I shall be very happy to answer your letter.
And I would like to tell why I write to you.
The matter is that in 2 weeks I shall visit the UK or I can visit other country in the Europe.
My dream to have Christmas in UK.
And Now I have the plan to visit UK.
But I have no friends or relatives in the UK or other country in the Europe.
And while I at all do not know what country better to visit.
Tell to me more about your country or city? What interesting?
I shall have the tourist visa, and I can visit any country in the Europe.
But main my purpose, it to find the good friend for me.
The man for serious attitudes and if you are now alone?
You have not the wife or children I ask you to write to me the letter.
And we could learn better each other.
I have not boyfriend, and I have not children.
To write to you the letter, I have addressed in agency of acquaintances, and to me give yours e-mail.
It not a spam or other bad things. So, please, answer me!!!
My letter, this offer to acquaintance and to learn better each other.
In my next letter I will send you my photo!!! I hope you will be like see me. 🙂
And I would like to receive your photo too.
Please, answer only my personal e-mail: XXX@rambler.ru
The best regards,
Yours Marina.

Inspiring the iGeneration, Wolverhampton

I seem to be following Brian Kelly around at the moment — having managed to pick up his cold at ILI on Monday, I gave a presentation after him at the “Inspiring the iGeneration” event in Wolverhampton yesterday.
My presentation (which was a hotch-potch of survey stats, recent news items, and examples) is available on Slideshare. There’s also some photographs on Flickr, including…
igen_012 igen_007 igen_009

CILIP: “Re-imagining the Library” Executive Briefing

I’ve got the great honour of speaking at the CILIP “Re-imagining the Library” Executive Briefing next week, although I’ll admit that I’m not looking forward to the journey down to London — getting up at 5am always disagrees with me, plus my body will think it’s lunch time at 9am!
I remember reading a librarian’s blog post where she said that short presentations are the hardest and I’ve got just 15 minutes …that’s only 900 seconds! Plus I’m the last on before lunch, and I know how fidgety I get at conferences if the speaker looks like he might start eating into the precious lunch break 😀
Looking at the final version of the presentation, I can’t help feeling I’m trying to cram too much in… but there’s so much I want to talk about! Rest assured, I won’t be stood there talking in a slow boring monotone — I’ll be gabbling 10 to the dozen like a demented chipmunk on helium.[1]
After timing myself this morning, there should be exactly 9 seconds spare for quick questions at the end. I did consider adding subliminal images of sandwiches and cakes to the “any questions?” page to try and ensure that no-one asks me anything that I can’t answer in 3 words or less (preferably “Q: Is it time for lunch now?”, “A: Yes!”).

[1] I did originally type “chipmonk”, which presumably would be a deep fat friar?[2] Also, if you do a Google search for “ten to the dozen“, it proudly tells you that…

ten to the dozen = one trillion

…yet it does understand what a bakers dozen is 😀
[2] this is why I never tell jokes during presentations

“I’m in the mood for watching a film about…”

Via this post on Lorcan Dempsey’s blog, I noticed that the Internet Movie Database now has genre keywords and tag clouds.
For example, library brings up a cloud where murder appears to be the largest tag. The list of films matching the chosen facet(s) is ordered by rating, so you get instant recommendations for whatever mood you’re in.
It’s also fun trying to guess which films might match multiple facets — 10 points if you can name a film that matches both “library” and “flame thrower” without looking!

“Welcome to LibraryQuest…”

I had a really good meeting with Iman and Andrew Wilson (from Huddersfield based Blink) on Friday morning to see if we can set up a new project that combines the library with all (or some) of the following: gaming, RFID, serendipity, attracting non-users, improving book findability, and generally having fun.
Blink have done some really funky stuff with RFID at MAGNA near Rotherham and at the local Media Centre, and Iman did a cool project that combined the OPAC with social networking.
One of the ideas which was briefly kicked around the table has really grown on me over the weekend –turning use of the library and the library services into a game. In a similar way to many MMORPGs, you would earn (or even lose) points as you interacted with the library.
For example, any of the following might gain you points…
1] bringing a book back on time
2] bonus points for returning a book that fulfils a hold request
3] borrowing a book
4] bonus points for borrowing a book that’s previously had low circulation or not been borrowed recently
5] bonus points for borrowing a book that’s outside of your normal borrowing subject areas
6] using the automated systems for renewing books (e.g. OPAC or telephone renewal system)
7] using the other services provided by the library (e.g. electronic resources)
8] visiting the library
…and the following might lose you points…
1] bringing a book back late
2] not paying fines promptly
3] breaching the library policy on acceptable behaviour
The more I thought about it, the more it started to dove-tail with store loyalty/reward cards — we often penalise “bad” library behaviour (e.g. through fines) but rarely reward “good” behaviour. I always feel sorry for students who have never been fined before and then genuinely forget to bring some books back — maybe they could “cash in” some of their well earned points to offset a fine?
Perhaps points could also be converted into printing credits, or exchanged for low cost materials (e.g. ring binders, USB memory sticks, binding materials)?
Hmmm… I wonder how students would react to seeing something like this in their account page in the OPAC?
“You currently have a library score of 5,182 points and are ranked #176 out of all Applied Sciences students. You have gained 287 points in the last 7 days.”

Creatures of the night

Those who know us well will know that we get a lot of wildlife around (and sometimes inside) our house, some of which appears in this Flickr set.
In recent months, a pair of tawny owls (Wikipedia/RSPB) have taken to hunting in a patch of woodland opposite our house. In fact, one of their favourite perches is to sit on top of the telegraph pole opposite our bedroom window. Occasionally they’ll start calling out to one another (RSPB audio) — they’re so close that you can hear them in every room of the house and it’s slightly eerie when you’re trying to fall asleep.
My attempts to grab some photographs of the owls this evening wasn’t a great success — the autofocus on my digital camera steadfastly refused to lock onto the owl in the low level lighting conditions, although (frustratingly) it would slip in and out of sharp focus as it tried.
So, here are possibly the worst photographs ever taken of an owl!!! 😀
owl_002 owl_004 owl_003 owl_001