2009-02-01

Once a Librarian...

Now, over the years I've done some pretty geeky librarian things, such as assigning Dewey Decimal Classification call numbers to the non-fiction in my library, several thousand volumes worth, and ordering book jackets to protect the dust jackets, but I think I'm now starting on an ├╝bergeek undertaking, to wit, creating a bibliography for a book I'm reading. We'll see how long I keep this project up, n'est ce pas? [And as a former Spanish student, I've no clue if I either spelled or used that French phrase properly, so there, nyah!]

The book: Leonard Lee, The Complete Guide To Sharpening, The Taunton Press, Newtown, CT 1995. And yes, Leonard Lee is Founder and President of Lee Valley Tools, which right off gives him some street cred, added to by the very scholarly technique used in the research for the book. One of the things he did in researching the book was work with one of Canada's foremost electron microscopy technicians in analyzing the tools and the impact various sharpening techniques had on them, and where possible using tools from the same production run to as nearly as possible present the results of different sharpening techniques on the same tool while still having different tools to physically compare, to remove as many variables as possible from the project. In other words, the scientific method lives!

But the book lacks one thing, a bibliography. Works are mentioned as they are come across, but not in full bib format. While the first item mentioned, being a publication of The Taunton Press, is easily tracked down, the second item is a dissertation published in 1950 in Finland, and while the Author is given, I suspect that the True name of the publishing entity is not Finland Institute of Technology, but rather something akin to that in Finnish, and that, to those of you who know me, is what got me interested in making a bibliography for the work.

So, we'll see how long this obsession lasts, and how far I actually get on this project. The spreadsheet has been created, the first two items entered, and I'm about to start searching for a certain Finnish Dissertation from 1950...

The frustrating thing is that there are so many other, more practical things I should be doing, but this demonstrates precisely how irritating my disability is; I can't control what grabs my attention, and if it doesn't grab my attention I'm not able to force myself to work on it. This has resulted in short term brilliance throughout my life, followed by substandard performance once the obsession is appeased; in many classes I was doing A work up until a certain point, that point being when I'd gotten from the course what I was interested in, and then my work would plummet such that I'd come out with a B; this is how I know that my mind really does mesh with COBOL, I got an A in that class, well deserved too as I came out of it understanding the language better than the GTF teaching the course, but enough, off to Finland!

[Later...]
Well, that was easy! Searching Google under Eero Kivimaa, the sixth item was a patent application which provided the bibliographic information required. Seems he's gone on the great things, numerous patents over the years, numerous publications; good street cred.

Didn't even get to try to locate an appropriate Finnish repository and track it down that way, just searching his name was enough. Could not have done it this easily ten years ago, twenty years ago it would have been well nigh impossible without the resources of a major research library and for pay online searching. How the world has changed! Of course, properly I'll need to verify this with another source, to confirm the validity of the posted information.

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