Ridiculously random thoughts

– There must be interest in the HP Touchpad because I can’t find one to save my life. I spent the better part of three days chasing down internet leads and visiting all the places in Fresno that used to sell them. HP obviously had the price wrong. Just a few weeks ago I was willing to purchase a 16GB model for $299, but ran into a problem at the Staples I visited. With that said I was never willing to pay $499 for the same model.

– HP used to make awesome calculators. I used to collect HP calculators, and still have several vintage models. I’ll never forgive HP for discontinuing the HP-11C. It’s still my favorite calculator. Mine was stolen from my high school locker in 1987. I’ve never replaced it. My next favorite is the HP 32S. I used it until the day I stopped being a pharmacist.

– In my opinion the Asus Eee Slate EP121 remains the best option for a slate tablet PC available today.  The problem is the battery life; less than 3 hours. That’s a deal breaker for me.

– In my opinion the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the premier Android tablet on the market. Still not compelling enough to make me buy it. Hoping the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet offers more. I’m ready to try another slate.

– Looking for a new phone. Eliminated iPhone and Windows 7 Phone. BlackBerry has nothing exciting enough to compel me in their direction. Looks like I’m sticking with Android. Droid 3 is at the top of my list. It’s not 4G, but I’ve become quite accustomed to a physical keyboard. Hated the physical keyboard when I bought my Droid. Go figure.

– You know, Windows Live Writer is pretty cool. I started using it a couple of months ago. Simply type what I want, wait for an internet connection and publish it. Simple.

– The Oakland Raiders took Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft. That’s funny. How could they go wrong given their history of drafting quarterbacks: JaMarcus Russell 2007, Andrew Walter 2005, Ronald Curry 2002. Need I say more?

– Speaking of Terrelle Pryor. The NFL sure taught him a lesson. Let me see if I have this straight. Break the rules in college. Check. Get to play in the bowl game. Check. Decide not to declare yourself eligible for the NFL draft. Check. Get suspended. Check. Enter supplemental NFL draft. Check. NFL says whoa their son, you broke the rules so we have to punish you severely. Check. Pryor has to wait a couple of extra months before earning millions. Check. I don’t see a difference in the outcome. Do you?

Median household income in 2009 in the US was approximately $50K. Median NFL player salary is approximately $770,000. That means the average person in the US has to work about 15 years to earn that. Think about that for minute. Now do the math on these (all rookies by the way): Cowboys signed Tyson Smith to a four-year, $12.5 million deal which is entirely guaranteed. Bengals signed A.J. Green to a four-year, $19.6 million deal, all of which is also guaranteed.Denver signed Von Miller to a four-year, $21-million deal. The players are complaining that these contracts are “low”. Chew on that for a while.

– My girls started back to school on Monday. Bummer. The last place on earth to learn anything is in school. The schools focus too much on testing, instead of focusing on thinking.

– Data is no longer king. What you do with the data is. The more data you collect, the more confused you become. Figure out how to use it and you’re no longer confused.

– Anyone besides me hate the character (Brenda) that Kyra Sedgwick plays in the Closer? She’s a real hypocrite.

– A friend of mine told me today that one of the physicians in the hospital where he works “is out of control”. Would you allow an employee or contractor you hired to get out of control and keep working? Didn’t think so. So why do hospitals?

– Three services worth paying for: Evernote Premium, SugarSync and Google Music. I know, I know, Google Music is in beta and it’s free. When they start charging, I’ll pay for it.

– Decided to sit down and read for pleasure a bit over the weekend. Grabbed Dominant Species by Michael E. Marks for my Kindle DX. Half way through it. So far, so good.

– The Kindle DX is still my favorite reading device. An LCD screen just can’t compete with eInk for that purpose. Period.

– Healthcare has forgotten about the patient. We spend a lot of time working on protocols, evidence based medicine, technology, efficiency, rules, regulations, “safety”, etc. Somewhere along the trail we left the patient behind.

– Healthcare and education are over regulated. The rules and regulations are suffocating everyone in these professions. Who suffers the most? The patients and the students. We’ll all pay for it latter on.

– “Business” is killing innovation. In my opinion “businesses” rely on the sheep effect instead innovating. And we all know what happens to sheep. I’ll give you a hint, it ain’t pretty. So is innovation dead? Not yet, but the days of truly innovative thought may well be over. I think we’re in for incremental changes from here on out.

– Form has overtaken function. Too bad because function is where it’s at.

– The average person is uh, uh, hmm. I’ve met many people in my 41 years and very few look beyond their shadow. “The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.” –Gifford Pinchot. We’re in trouble.

– Trying to find an Arizona Cardinals game to attend this year. Here’s the schedule. The Steelers game looks promising. Seahawks game would be nice – New Years Day.

– Google+ is great, but I find myself going back to Twitter time and time again. Why? Because it’s so easy to post things on Twitter.

– Never got into Facebook. Friends and Family, but nothing “professional”. Don’t care for the games either.

– By the way, photo sharing apps for smartphones are the worst idea ever. I’ve seen about all the photos of food, beer bottles, cats, dogs, mountains, oceans, beaches, etc that I can handle. People should be required to take a class before they’re allowed to use them.

– Saw Conan the Barbarian (2011). Not as good as the original (1982) with Schwarzenegger, but still worth seeing.

– It’s been a dry movie Summer for the Fahrni crew. I’m going to have to double my efforts if I have any chance of seeing 50 movies in the theater this year. Things could definitely be worse.

– Most of the presidents in my time have at least given me a sense of leadership, control. I don’t get that with President Obama. From him I get the feeling he’s pulled off one of the biggest practical jokes in the history of the United States. Funny.

– Just ate my bodyweight in cheesecake. Time for a nap.

Ever wonder why forklifts have roll cages?

I’ve driven my share of forklifts. I had several manual labors jobs before deciding to become a pharmacist. In fact, it was those manual labor jobs that helped me decide to go back to school and become a pharmacist in the first place. But that story is for another time.

I was searching for something completely unrelated to forklifts when I came across the video below. I was both horrified and amused.

Lenovo continues to impress, this time with customer service

I’ve been using a Lenovo T410S for several months now. It’s a great machine, but I’m not here to talk about that. Recently I took the T410S on a trip and busted the case just to the left of the trackpad. Bummer.

I jumped online and opened a ticket with Lenovo through their customer service portal. A few days later a box with appropriate shipping materials arrived. I packed it up, delivered it to the UPS store and sent it on its way. A few days later I logged into the Lenovo customer service site to check the progress of my repair. Imagine my surprise when I entered my ticket number and nothing appeared. A few minutes later I was on the phone to Lenovo. The gentleman on the phone was polite and courteous, but ultimately he couldn’t help me because my help ticket was no longer in their system. Doh!

Needless to say I was in a bit of a tiff wondering what the heck happened to my laptop. The next day I called the UPS store only to find out they couldn’t help me either. Double doh! Anyway, as I was ranting to my wife and threatening to hurt people I’d never met there was a knock at the door. When I opened it there was the UPS man headed back to his truck, and on the doorstep was my laptop freshly repaired by Lenovo.

Lenovo came through like a champ. They turned the repair around in just a few days and returned my machine to me in perfect condition. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

More fanboy douchebaggery

Someone, actually several people, posted this on Google+ today “Android is No. 1 in 35 countries, approaches 50% global market share”. The article attached to the headline can be found here.

Simple, right? Of course. It’s just someone passing on a bunch of shipment numbers from an article.

Enter the Apple fanboy:

#1 by what measure? Sales volume (# of units)? That is interesting, but Android still appears to be a very very distant 2nd (or maybe 3rd) in terms of application ecosphere for both users and developers. Compared to iOS, the typical Android app is flaky/buggy and incomplete….Android may be selling a lot of handsets, but they have a very long way to go to be the “#1″…”

I hate it when someone throws out an opinion like it’s fact. Saying something is better than something else with nothing more than an opinion is absolute worthless. Can you say something is faster? Sure, if you have the numbers to back it up. Bigger? Yep, piece of cake. Tougher? Absolute, if you have the data to prove it. More apps? If you know how to count. But to simply say something is #1 because the alternative is “flaky/buggy” makes you sound like a complete idiot. Unfortunately this is typical of the conversations I get into when iPhone users see that I use an Android smartphone or when I say I prefer Android over iOS. They just can’t understand why I’d use an “inferior device”. First of all I don’t think my Android smartphone is inferior. Furthermore I have reasons to choose Android over other operating systems, but they are my own. My opinion, my choice, my smartphone.

Is Android #1? I don’t know. I don’t care. And just in case you were wondering, the next time you feel the need to tell me how great your iDevice is, do me a favor and keep it to yourself.

Taking a break…

I started this blog more than two years ago at the behest of my brother, Robert. He and I used to spend a lot of time talking about technology and he encouraged me to put my ideas in writing in the form of a blog. It took quite a while before I finally took his advice, but eventually I got around to it.

It’s been quite a lot of fun, but my desire to keep up this blog has finally run its course. I find little interest in pharmacy technology these days as everything has turned into rehashed content presented under the guise of something new. The technology world has become one of followers with few true leaders and I find myself becoming more and more disgusted with “revolutionary” products and ideas. There are few real thinkers left in the world.

I watched Iron Man 2 last night with my girls. At one point in the movie Tony Stark tears his house apart to build the equipment necessary to synthesize a new element. Funny I know, but that image isn’t much different than one of the founding father’s of this country. Men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the like weren’t beyond punching a hole in the floor of their home to build a clock for example.  Those men were truly revolutionary thinkers. My brother and I have discussed the loss of such minds over time, and it’s disheartening.

I told myself when this blog was no longer fun that I would stop. Well, I’ve reached that point. I find myself generating more rants than informative posts these days. In fact this post went off in the direction of a rant for just a moment. I had to reel myself back in just to finish it up. But I’m not ready to completely give up on the idea of having a blog just yet. After some thought I’ve decided to just ignore it for a while and see if my interest returns. I’m skeptical that my interest will be jump started, but I think it’s worth a shot. Most of the time when I tire of something it’s usually for good. We shall see.

For now I’m taking a break.


Is the HP Touchpad too little too late?

Daring Fireball:

To me, easily the most appealing iPad competitor. But I think the Pre is the most appealing iPhone competitor, and it hasn’t fared well. HP has matched the iPad’s pricing: $499/599 for 16/32 GB Wi-Fi models.

I think the problem facing HP is summed up in the sub-head on this promotional page:

The ultimate in entertainment with Beats Audio and Adobe Flash.

That’s not a compelling answer to “Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?” I mean, who has even heard of “Beats Audio”?

Update: Lots of feedback arguing that Dr. Dre’s Beats brand has good consumer recognition. I remain skeptical that this is a flagship selling point for a tablet, though, no matter how popular their headphones are.

And Glenn Fleishman had a good quip:

Whenever a hardware maker has to put the name of another company
in its ads as a selling point, it may already have lost.

via daringfireball.net

I don’t typically agree with anything this guy says, but I can’t ignore this post. Unfortunately he’s spot on. The HP ecosystem is incredibly well designed and for all intents and purposes is probably the best tablet/smartphone UI on the market.

While Dr. Dre’s Beats brand does in fact have a solid consumer following it won’t be enough to make the device compelling. And as I mention here, HP needs to expand their line of smartphones to compel consumers to make the transition; or at least design a device that people can’t ignore, i.e. like Apple and the iPhone.

Drug shortages, the self-fulfilling prophecy

It seems that every pharmacy I visit lately has an excess of certain medications bursting from their shelves. It’s a strange thing as discussions involving inventory tend to focus on reduction, not accumulation.

I’ve seen boxes of enoxaparin, midazolam and propofol stacked to the ceiling in pharmacies throughout various parts of the country. When I inquire about the reasons behind the large quantities I typically get one of the following responses: “it’s on backorder so we ordered as much as we could get” or “it was hard to get so we ordered extra”.

Drug shortages have become quite a problem over the past year. ASHP has dedicated significant time and resources to the issue. They’ve even gone as far as establishing a website where you can go for the most up to date information. In addition they’re calling for action to help support the Preserving Access to Life Saving Medications Act.

With that said I think part of the problem is pharmacies over ordering medications on backorder, thus contributing to the shortage. Think about it. Reminds me of the Eric Cartman novel marketing strategy, dubbed the "you-can’t-come" technique. Tell people they can’t have something and the go crazy trying to get it.

There are reasonable alternatives to many of the medications on the drug shortage list. It’s a real shame to see pharmacies not utilizing a better strategy.

Pharmacy Director needed…programming experience required?

As I alluded to in a recent post, I still get a fair number of emails and phone calls from pharmacy recruiters; actually got one of each today.

The following recruiter email arrived in my inbox a few days ago. I found a few things very interesting. Feel free to read the entire job description, but pay particular attention to the highlighter sections.
Continue reading Pharmacy Director needed…programming experience required?

Laptop want versus laptop need

marco.org: “The right laptop to get is the one that will be able to serve most of your needs, most of the time, with the fewest compromises on factors that matter to you.
Almost everyone can point to a handful of situations in which a given Apple laptop is impossible, impractical, or frustrating to use for a particular task.
Most people put far too much consideration on size and weight. There are situations in which this matters, such as the tray-table example, but evaluate your own situation before deciding based on that: How often do you travel on planes, how much time during the flight would you realistically be working on your laptop, and how bad would it be if you couldn’t?”

I don’t personally use an Apple laptop, but the information in the article can be applied to non-Apple machines as well. While I don’t agree with the author’s conclusion that people put far too much consideration on size and weight, I can certainly relate to the problem with tray-tables on planes. I for one put a lot of consideration into size and weight when choosing a laptop. It’s important to me. Thin and light with good battery life tops my list of desirables when I’m looking at a new machine. I also prefer laptops with screens around 14” in size.

Unfortunately my desired screen size directly impacts my ability to use laptops on planes. I fly in cattle-class where the seats are designed for petite women less than 5’6”. And for some reason the person sitting in front of me always wants to lie in my lap. Anyway, my 14.1″ Lenovo T410s laptop doesn’t fit on the tray-table comfortably between me and the reclining ding-bat in front of me; really irritating (that’s a totally different post).

What’s the solution? Get a smaller laptop obviously. Just sayin’.

Why Disney should run healthcare

My oldest daughter’s competitive cheer team qualified for the World’s Cheer competition in Orlando, FL. The competition was held a couple of weekends ago at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. There were teams from all over the world; Czech Republic, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, New Zealand the US, among others. It was big, really big and Disney handled it without incident.

Here are some observations:
Continue reading Why Disney should run healthcare