Saturday morning coffee [September 1 2012]

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right is from Stanford University. I took my daughters on a site visit to the Stanford campus in the Summer of 2011. The campus is beautiful. This is the last time I will use this particular mug. I haven’t decided whether to simply put it in storage or smash it to pieces and throw it in the trash. I’m a little upset with Stanford. My daughter applied to Stanford in late 2011 and was promptly turned down. My daughter has the highest GPA that can be earned in high school, graduated Summa Cum Laude, was Valedictorian, took the maximum number of AP courses allowed (received A’s in all of them), did community service, was on the Forensics team, part of the leadership club, did school cheer, was part of two National Championship Competitive Cheer teams (outside school activity), etc, etc. She really wanted to attend Stanford, and they broke her heart. Their loss. My daughter will be attending UCLA this fall. I’m very proud.

- The Expendables 2 was #1 at the box office last weekend. My family and I saw it. Great movie. It was exactly what I wanted. It was action from beginning to end. Remember, I go to movies to be entertained, not to be enlightened. And I was entertained.

Sylvester Stallone: I heard you were bit by a rattlesnake.

Chuck Norris: I was and after 5 days of agonizing pain… it died.

–  Recipe of the day: Snickerdoodles. I love Snickerdoodles. Just Sayin’.  This comes from Simply Scrumptious Creations. You can also find more at the creator’s personal weblog (The Life of a Simple Chef).

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Cookies Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

Coating Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

Beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree, then beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until fully incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with a silicone liner (can use basic pan spray if you do not own a Silpat).

– This was a great week for the tablet PC world. IFA 2012 – the world’s largest consumer electronics trade shows – is going on in Berlin and innovative products are coming out of the woodwork in droves. I’ve seen new Windows 8 Phones and new tablets from the likes of Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Asus, HP and Dell. It’s been a good week for tablet enthusiasts like myself. I would love to spend this entire post telling you about them all, but that would be ridiculous. You can get some idea of what was announced at the Blogging Windows website. I am very excited about what I saw coming out of IFA 2012 this week. I love this stuff!

– Along with a new Windows 8 Phone and a slew of tablets, Samsung announced two really cool products at IFA 2012: The GALAXY Note II and the Samsung Galaxy Camera. I think the Camera is quite brilliant and I’m giving it serious consideration as my “point-and-shoot” of choice. I’ve been looking for a new one for a while. The more I see from Samsung, the more impressed I am with the company and their continuous stream of cool new products.

– Everyone knows that it’s back to school time, which is kind of a bummer for me. I love summer time. There’s no pressure to do anything. Everyone sleeps in, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want to, and so on. School just gets in the way of life. With that said, one of the cool things about back to school is that you start to see weblogs about all the things that kids “need” to properly return to the grind. One of the best series is from Engadget who has an entire “back to school guide 2012”. It includes stuff like Accessories, Bags and Cases, Laptops, etc. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.

– Baxter took a hit this week as it was announced that the FDA has issued a class 1 recall of Baxter’s Automix Automated Nutrition Compounder System. Why? Well, it appears that “the incorrect key response failure and the intermittent electrical failures may lead to improperly mixed TPN solutions (eg, incorrect volumes, incorrect solutions, and/or solution incompatibilities). “For critical components of TPN, such as Potassium Chloride and Calcium Chloride, large variations in dosing in highly vulnerable patients could lead to serious injury and/or death“”. The manufacturer is recalling all serial numbers of any units with the following name and product codes: Automix High Speed Compounder System , product number 2M8077; Automix Plus High Speed Compounder System, product number 2M8075; Automix 3+3 Compounder System, product numbers 2M8286 and 2M8286K; Automix 3+3 Compounder System with Accusource Monitoring System, product number 2M8287. This is a big deal for Baxter. Every acute care pharmacy I’ve ever been in uses one of these bad boys to compound TPNs. Yikes!

– Can Pharmacists Fill the Gap in Osteroarthritis (OA) care? Apparently the can according to an August 28 article in Arthritis Care & Research. “Patients in the intervention group [one-on-one consultation with a pharmacist, who offered an OA screening questionnaire, education, pain medication management, and a referral to a physiotherapist-guided exercise program] had a significantly higher quality of OA care (as measured by a quality indicator pass rate) than those in the control group, with a 45.2% (95% confidence interval, 34.5% – 55.9%) difference between the 2 groups. At 3 months and at 6 months, participants in the intervention group saw significantly greater improvement in their overall pain and function scores compared with those receiving usual care by Western Ontario and McMasters University Osteoarthritis Index score (P < .01 for all comparisons) and by other measurements..Dr. Marra concluded, “Our findings suggest that pharmacists can effectively initiate interventions that address the gaps in OA patient care. With the rise in OA, collaborative care presents a novel approach in prevent[ion of] and treating those with knee OA.” – Pharmacists are a resource that is rarely tapped to improve patient care. That, boys and girls, is a crying shame.

Evernote Clearly was recently updated. The new functionality is pretty nice. You can now highlight portions of the article you’re working on or change the theme to better accommodate your reading tasks. The only thing I’ve found lacking is a way to edit tags before clipping to Evernote. Overall it’s a great application. And since I use Evernote like a mad man it’s literally a must have for me.

VB/Mobile: “Apple today said that Samsung’s Galaxy S III flagship smartphone and Galaxy Note infringe on its patents in a separate court case.” – Apple has officially become lower than whale shit, and that’s on the bottom of the ocean.

– I’ve been thinking about our legal system lately. It’s finally occurred to me that our legal system has nothing to do with right or wrong, moral or immoral. It’s about legal and illegal. Did you know that in Arkansas a man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month? Or that in Iowa you may shoot Native Americans if there are more than five of them on your property at any one time? Would anyone actually do either of these in good conscious? Not likely, but it’s legal.

– HP has released Open webOS into beta. I think webOS is a great operating system. I have an HP TouchPad that I fire it up once in a while and I find the UI refreshing. It’s quite similar to the UI on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Or should I say that the UI on the PlayBook is similar to webOS? Anyway, I wish I had the time and inclination to do something with Open webOS.

Fast Company: How To Specialize Yourself Right Out Of A Job: “”Over the past decades, there has been a growing sense that the critical role that a generalist plays in society is being forgotten, with dangerous consequences for culture,” Phipps recently wrote on The Huffington Post. “In discipline after discipline, experts have raised concerns that our knowledge base has privileged depth and detail over breadth and context.”” – This is where pharmacy is heading. All you “clinical specialists” out there should take heed.

– I’m still looking for an alternative to taking digital notes without the use of my tablet PC. You can see my rant about where here. I’ve looked at Livescribe, but don’t think it’s the solution I’m looking for. It’s big and bulky, and it requires special paper. Recently I’ve been reading about IRISNotes. The one benefit that I can see over Livescribe is that IRISNotes doesn’t require special paper.

– Things that make you go hmmm. Evernote has announced a deal with Moleskine to create the Evernote Smart Notebook. “Evernote Ruled Smart Notebook features the unique “Evernote ruled” page style with dotted lines designed to ensure a clean image when digitally capturing your notebook. Smart Stickers introduce Smart Tagging into your workflow.” Don’t laugh, I’m serious. The notebooks run about $25 each and they’ll be idiots everywhere lining up to purchase them. I’ve been taking photos of my notes for a while. When I finish writing something down I simply snap a quick photo of the page with Evernote and voila, instant Evernote note.

– Interested in having a keyboard with a built in display? No, me neither, but there’s one out there if you’re interested. Smarttype, “the smart keyboard with a screen“.  Honestly, it reminds me of the AlphaSmart device built on the Palm OS many years ago. Take a look at the image and video below – AlphaSmart image on top. Am I right or what. See the similarity?

– There’s an interesting article at Health Affairs Blog about medication adherence. Just in case you were unaware of the problem, lack of medication adherence by patients costs the United States healthcare system billions of dollars each and every year. Yes that “billions” with a “B”. There are all kinds of programs and studies out there looking at the problem, but honestly it boils down to one simple thing – human nature. Humans do strange things and there really isn’t much you can do about it.

– More on adherence. From the September issue of The American Journal of Medicine: Adherence to Drugs That Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: Meta-analysis on 376,162 Patients. Results: The summary estimate for adherence across all studies was 57% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50-64) after a median of 24 months. There were statistically significant differences in adherence between primary and secondary prevention: 50% (CI, 45-56) and 66% (CI, 56-75), respectively (P=.012). Adherence was lower for thiazides (42%) than for angiotensin receptor blockers (61%) in primary prevention (P=.02). There were no other statistically significant differences between any of the drug classes in primary or secondary prevention studies. Adherence decreased by 0.15% points/month (P=.07) and was unrelated to age or whether patients paid for their pills. Conclusion: Adherence to preventive treatment is poor and little related to class of drug, suggesting that side effects are not the main cause. General, rather than class-specific, measures at improving adherence are needed. – Like I said, human nature.

SkyDrive for Android is now available. I started using it this week. It’s actually not too bad. Sometimes I’ll come across a file type that my Android smartphone won’t open, but I can live with that. For the most part it’s a keeper.

– I decided to install Ubuntu on my Lenovo X201 Tablet this week. The install went smooth as silk. I’m now dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu. My digital pen still works just fine, and with all the add-ons for Chrome I’ve had no problem doing the things I normally do. Two things I can’t seem to work out are a replacement for Microsoft OneNote and a replacement for Evernote. Still searching, but it doesn’t look good. The one thing I really don’t like about Ubuntu is that its UI is incredibly similar to the Apple OS. I find that disturbing and in poor taste. I’ll see if I can change the look and feel. If not I’ll uninstall it.

– Sometimes it’s hard to know which way to run. During one of the NCAA football games on Thursday night a Kent State linebacker (Andre Parker) ran 58 yards in the wrong direction after recovering a muffed punt. Fortunately for Andre you can’t advance a muffed punt in NCAA football. No harm, no foul. But it was entertaining.

And with that I bid you adieu. Have a great weekend everyone.

2 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [September 1 2012]”

  1. Pretty prolific post. I’m guessing that you probably had more than one cup of coffee, huh?

    Sorry about your daughter’s disappointment. Sometimes things happen for a good reason that we don’t realize until later. She’s smart and beautiful and I’M SURE she’ll succeed at anything she wants to do.

    Enjoy the rest of your Holiday!

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