Two more gone

This week saw two men who I greatly admired leave this life.

Firstly Bill Frindall, the doyen of cricket scorers, died at the age of 69 from Legionnaire’s Disease. Tributes are seen here, here and here.

I can’t imagine there being a greater contrast between the meticulous, organised “Bearded Wonder” (as he was first called by Brian Johnstone) and the wild corousing of folk music’s enfant terrible John Martyn yet they were both dear to me, possibly because their differences illustrate characters to which I might aspire but could never achieve. In Bill there was the dedication and ability to dot every i and cross every t, time after time after time; whereas in John there was a man of truly original, god-given talent which he continued to use (and some would say abuse) until his death.

I shall miss them both in the meantime here’s something to remember John,




Bedouin dentistry in Essex

I had read about this desperate measure from Essex to spend their budget (what other reason can they have?) but hadn’t seen any photographs.

They have appeared on cb’s blog here.

Crazy days.

The Monday Morning Quote #26

To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.

William James

The Weekend Read – The Impact Code by Nigel Risner

I was at a presentation that Nigel gave to Gloucestershire Independent Dentists on Friday. He treated the delegates to an energetic and provocative afternoon (never an easy time slot). One of “exercises” told me more about my own behaviour than anything I have learned in quite a while – thanks Nigel.

So of course I left with several of his books and this is the one I have been browsing, Burns celebrations permitting. Buy it here.


Celebrating the New Kid in Town.

A great selection of photographs of Barack Obama’s inauguration Day from The Boston Globe.


Not a surgeon by instinct.

I read this excerpt from the excellent Jobbing Doctor Blog and have realised that after 30 years I am not an “instinctive” surgeon and am far better suited to coaching.

You could always tell the students in my year who were likely to favour surgery. They tended to be blokes, were more ‘flash’ than Jobbing Doctor, and looked at matters in a very logical and planned manner. They felt the need to ‘do something’. In that era (pre-ultrasound) they were very much of the opinion that if the history, examination and basic investigations did not give you the answer, then you best option was to proceed to surgery. Anything peculiar in the body they didn’t like, they removed it: their overriding epithet was:

‘If in doubt, chop it out’

Surgeons love modernity, and gadgets. They are always at the forefront of new technical developments in clinical medicine. New operative techniques (keyhole surgery, stents, endoscopic surgery) are their meat and drink, and I have always noted that surgeons tend to approach a problem with action rather than inaction, saying that non-surgeons tend to practice medicine by :

‘Pills, promises and post-mortems.’

Now I am sure that ‘Lord’ Darzi is a good man, and a gifted surgeon: but that is what he is – a surgeon. His knowledge of politics is partial, and his understanding of general practice is rudimentary. As a result of which, all that has come out of his review is worthy, laudable, aspirational and, unfortunately, not practical. When you find that people disagree with you, you can listen (which, to be fair, he has), but then make changes – which he hasn’t.

The Monday Morning Quote #25

I keep six honest serving-men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling from Elephant’s Child (Just So Stories)

Microsoft v General Motors

Sadly, this is probably apocryphal but as a Mac user I loved it.

At a recent computer expo, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and you’ll love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash now and then.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it and open the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and much easier to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water, temperature, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation!” warning light.

7 . The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

The Weekend Read – Tribes by Seth Godin

I have little to say about this book by the author of Purple Cow, The Dip & Meatball Sundae, except – buy / borrow /steal it, read it and then read it again next week.

Get it from Amazon here.

Free download of his book “Unleashing The Ideavirus” from his blogsite here.

The Ten “Traits of Excellence” Tom Peters

From Tom Peters

The Ten “Traits of Excellence”: 

True to Himself. 
Story Teller. 
Thrive Past Failure. 
Politician Extraordinaire. 

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