Saturday morning coffee [October 6 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 the historic Cafe Du Monde New Orleans. I picked it up while in New Orleans for ASHP Midyear 2011. Worst ASHP Midyear I’ve ever attended, but that’s another story. You can read more about my trip here. Café Du Monde is a landmark in New Orleans and you can’t call yourself a tourist if you don’t stop in for some of their famous Beignets (French donuts).  The Beignets was good, but the coffee was better.I liked the coffee so much that I brought some home along with the mug you see to the right. While the coffee is still good when I make it here at home, it was much better sitting at Cafe Du Monde eating Beignets with my wife.

Hotel Transylvania was #1 at the box office last weekend. I haven’t had the opportunity to see it, but it’s on the Fahrni family agenda for this weekend. My wife and I saw Looper last week. Still not sure how I feel about Looper. Typically I know whether I liked a movie or not by the time I leave the theater. Not this time. It was a good movie, but different. I’d recommend you see it given the chance, but if you miss it I won’t hold it against you.

– “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” –  Albert Einstein – One of the things I run into a lot with adults is their lack of imagination. I work with a lot of people that couldn’t imagine their way out of wet paper bag. Perhaps if their parents would have read fairy tales to them when they were young….just sayin’.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake w/Brown Sugar Glaze [Recipe] – Dude, I love eating pumpkin things this time of year and these look like they’ll do just fine. File these under “keeper”.

Lifehacker – How to Know When It’s Time To Quit: “You’re consistently experiencing more frustration than reward”, “You can’t envision a possible solution or continuing this way.”, “Spending time on this keeps you from more rewarding endeavors or seriously damages your well-being. … On a similar note, it’s a huge red flag if your current situation is taking a toll on your mental and/or physical health.”, “You’re staying for the wrong reasons…If your decision to stay is based more on fear than on faith, you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons.”, “Your friends keep telling you to quit” – I find the article interesting because during my career I’ve left jobs for each of the reasons listed above. Seems like fair advice.

– Ever heard of the RFID in Healthcare Consortium (RHCC)? Me neither until recently, but now that I have I think it’s pretty cool. The RHCC is “a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting the use and adoption of RFID, RTLS, Auto-ID, biometrics, Nano, NFC, RFID, RTLS, sensors and wireless technologies in the healthcare, assisted living and nursing home industries.” I’m in. Where do I apply? Check out the video below on their vision for a technology complex highlighting all this cool technology.

– There’s a nice little article over at Gizmag that lays out some of the new Windows 8 tablets that are due to hit the market in the next few months. As I’ve said many times recently, it’s a good time to be a tablet PC fan. Included in the article are the Microsoft Surface Tablet, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC, the Asus Vivo and the HP ElitePad 900. To me each has something unique to offer and you could make an argument for any of them. So, with that in mind I’ll take one of each.

– Have you ever had to write a “value proposition”, a.k.a. value prop? Unfortunately I’ve had to try to write a few over the past year. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and to be honest I haven’t been able to figure it out. Every time I put something on paper it sounds lame and/or cheesy. Anyway, I came across this article earlier this week that help lay it out. It’s one of the better articles I’ve read on writing a value prop. According to the article “Value proposition is something real humans are supposed to understand. It’s for people to read…The best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you’re on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.” I think that’s pretty solid advice. One of the things I’ve noticed since becoming a product manager is that “business people” like to use business jargon instead of making things clear.

Wasp Barcode: “The barcode is a fundamental part of how we obtain goods—from scanning items for price comparisons, adding goods to a wish lists and checking out purchased products… Today is the 60th Anniversary of the barcode.” – Congratulations to the barcode for being 60 years old, and boo to healthcare for barely getting around to adopting it. There’s a great infographic at the Wasp site that runs through some cool tid-bits about barcoding. Check it out.

– I’ve been looking for an Android coffee mug. They’re harder to find than one might think. Well, finding one that I like is harder than one might think. If you have any suggestions please send them my way. My current choice is this one from the Google online store.

Technology Review (Published by MIT): “Researchers have used computational modeling to precisely simulate how a drug inhibits a target enzyme known to spur cancer’s spread, capturing the interaction at the quantum-mechanical level.” – Don’t let the significance of that escape you. The study illustrates that there may be a quicker, more efficient way to study drug design, which will ultimately lead to better drugs coming out faster.

- The story of steroid-related meningitis deaths has been all over the internet the last couple of days. As of just a few hours ago the death toll has reach 47. Turns out the methylprednisolone that was compounded by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham Massachusetts was contaminated with a fungus. That’s some bad mojo right there. Sad, very sad. Don’t think quality control is important? Think again.

– Pharmacists continue to provide benefit. A recent paper in BMC Psychiatry talks about pharmacists being used to help curb the inappropriate use of anti-psychotic medications in patients with dementia. The conclusion of the study: “The pharmacist-led medication review successfully limited the prescribing of anti-psychotics to people with dementia.” The entire article is available for free – as all medical research articles should be – so go check it out.

– Speaking about open access articles, here’s another one from BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making. The article looks at inserting hyperlinks into electronic test result communications that are sent to physicians.  Yeah, you read that right; hyperlinks. Welcome to the 20th century. The hyperlinks were aimed at a website that contained information on the breast cancer screening program and breast cancer in general. The article concluded that “The results suggest that hyperlinks in electronic test result communication could be a feasible strategy for combining and sharing different types of healthcare information.” I think anyone alive today working in healthcare knows what a hyperlink is and what happens when you click it. Time for healthcare to come out of the stone age and make better use of existing technology.

- Looks like a 32GB Nexus 7 is on the way. Love the device, but haven’t purchases one. I’m not sure why, but my inner self keeps telling me to hold off until the end of the year. I’ve come oh so close to buying one a couple of times. I just think we’re going to see a lot happen between now and January 1, 2013. So until then I’ll hold off.

– I really think I need one of these: Android Robot Style Rechargeable FM/MP3 Player w/ Stereo Speaker. It just looks cool [image to the right].

– This is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a while. The LiveWatch V is an Android smartphone that has built in sensors to perform the following tests: one-lead ECG, body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels as expressed by heart rate variability. First creative use I’ve seen for Android in healthcare. Exciting stuff.

– I love what I’m seeing from Project Austin at Microsoft. It’s pissing me off that I can’t download a beta version of it though. Actually you can, but it requires a lot more tech savvy than I have. I tried following their instructions, but ultimately gave up as my frustration mounted and I couldn’t get it to work. The most recent post from the Project Austin team – part 3 of 6 – talks about ink smoothing. Pretty cool stuff.

– The Galaxy Note 2 is one awesome looking device. This is a device that I would have in a heartbeat. Kevin Tofel over at GigoOM got his hands on one. Check the video below if you’re interested in his initial impression and a quick overview of the Note 2. Be sure to read his update here as well. His second review takes a look at one of the main features of the Note 2 that was initially absent on his unit.

– My beloved Cardinals got spanked by the Rams. The score was 17-3, but the game was never that close. When I watch the Cardinals play I really miss Kurt Warner. Kurt was not only an incredible football player, but a great human being. He is one of the few professional football players to have ever played the game that I would like to meet in person. Just for the heck of it lets take a look at some of his professional accomplishments while he was in the NFL:
  • Super Bowl XXXIV MVP following the Rams victory over the Tennessee Titans.
  • Only the 6th player to win both the league MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same year (Bart Starr in 1966, Terry Bradshaw in 1978, Joe Montana in 1989, Emmitt Smith in 1993, Steve Young in 1994 – Some pretty good company)
  • Holds Super Bowl record with 414 passing yards (Super Bowl XXXIV versus Tennessee Titans)
  • Holds Super Bowl record for most yards passing with no interceptions – 414 yards (Super Bowl XXXIV versus Tennessee Titans)
  • Second highest yardage total in Super Bowl history – 365 yards (Super Bowl XXXVI versus New England Patriots)
  • Highest completion percentage, career -65.75%
  • Highest average passing yards per game, career – 261.2 yards/game
  • Highest rate of games with 300+ yards passing – 45.2%
  • Most consecutive games with 300+ yards passing – 6
  • Most games with a perfect passer rating – 3
  • Highest completion percentage, regular-season game (minimum 20 passes): 92.31, September 20, 2009 (24/26)
  • Highest completion percentage, game (minimum 10 passes): 100.0, Kurt Warner, December 18, 2005 (10/10)
  • 13 career playoff games: ranks first all-time in completion percentage (66.5%), yards per attempt (8.55), and second in passer rating (102.8)

– I’ve made a conscious effort lately to do more fun things and put work aside after hours. Life’s just too short. I made a new rule rule not to open up my laptop on planes anymore if I can at all help it. Instead I’ve taken up reading for pleasure while in transit, and recently finished One Shot by Lee Child on a trip to Chicago. Good book. I liked it so much that I’m looking at reading more in the Jack Reacher series.  I also grabbed Viking Warrior by Judson Roberts from the Kindle lending library. More for “young adults”, but I enjoyed it enough to read the second book in the series, Dragons from the Sea. Polished that one off during a recent flight delay in Seattle. I’ve also started playing games on my tablets again. I’ve been known to play a video game or two in my day. Currently my favorite game is Samurai vs Zombies Defense for Android. I’ve been playing it on my Samsung Tab 7.0 Plus tablet. It’s addicting [screen shot below].

Well, that’s it folks. My family is up and with all the activity and interruptions it’s taken me over an hour to finish the last few lines of this post. I polished off the coffee long ago and am working on my first Diet Pepsi of the day. Have a great weekend everyone. Watch as much football as you possibly can.

2 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [October 6 2012]”

  1. Dang Jerry, we need an RFID, RTLS center in Fresno… Tell when me when and where RFID has an alarm :idea: ( expiration date timer) dinged today by an expired bag ( expired by 2 hrs ouch).

  2. Hey Keith – We could start one at CSU Fresno. Why not? We should give them a call and see what they have going on in terms of RFID/RTLS research. No harm in that. As far as an alarm for expiration – it’s a good idea. You can actually do that now if you have the infrastructure in the hospital to read the RFID tags, which can have any information you like attached to them. Unlike a barcode, RFID tag information is virtually unlimited. – Jerry

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