Year end thoughts 2012

fathertime_babynewyear2This is my final post of 2012. Random thoughts about things that I’ve seen, heard and/or read over the past twelve months.

Twenty-twelve was an interesting year for the Fahrni clan, and not in a good way. We lost one of our own and had some bad things happen. We also had some good times, but it won’t be a year that I’ll miss all that much.

We all survived the Mayan Apocalypse

We experienced the last repeating date of the century: 12-12-12

I gained 20 pounds. How did that happen?

I grew a full beard. I’ve only had a full beard one other time in my life and that was about ten years ago. This one has a lot more gray in it.

I stepped away from work a little bit and actively tried to have more fun.

I worked on writing two books. Didn’t complete either one.

I lost a great deal of respect for law enforcement in 2012. I had a couple of scrapes with the law. Nothing major: my first ever speeding ticket and a parking ticket…that I received in front of my house.

I saw another year filled with useless patent trolling from the likes of Apple. I sure hope 2013 is better, but I doubt it. If you can’t compete on innovation, take ‘em to court.

My wife finally decided to untether herself from Apple. She put her iPad down in favor of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus that I bought for her at the beginning of 2012. She’s successfully migrated her music and video to Android and has been quite happy with the results. The iPad is now collecting dust.

UCLA became my new favorite NCAA football team to cheer for; obvious reasons.

My most used technology this year: My Lenovo T410 laptop and Samsung Nexus smartphone. The laptop for work and the Nexus for just about everything.

Twenty-twelve was the year of the tablet. I know I’ve said that before, but can you think of any time in history when so many people were talking about so many different types of tablets? I can’t. Whether you prefer iOS, Android or Windows; 7-inch, 10-inch, bigger or smaller; WiFi, BlueTooth, 3G/4G; pen or penless, there’s a tablet for you.

Coolest new Windows tablet in 2012: Microsoft Surface. Say what you will about the insanity that is Windows RT, but the hardware is very nice, and the touch cover is pretty cool.

Coolest new Windows tablet in 2012: Dell XPS 12. Honorable mention goes to the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga. The one knock I have on both of these is lack of pen support. With that said, both are different enough to hold my interest.

Best new pen-enabled Windows tablet in 2012: Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro. Very nice machine. I love what Samsung is doing with the S Pen.

Best 7-inch Android tablet in 2012: Nexus 7

Best 10-inch Android tablet in 2012: I don’t know. I’ve played with several, but have not had an opportunity to lay my hands on the Nexus 10, which has received rave reviews from many. I’m also going to mention the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 because of the S Pen.

Coolest piece of inexpensive technology in 2012: Raspberry Pi. I really need to get one of these to play with.

Mobile payments became more mainstream in 2012.

Coolest non-consumer based technology of 2102: NASA’s Curiosity Mars landing.

Best professional sport in 2012: NFL, no question. With that said, the brand is growing weaker and weaker every year under the rule of Roger Gooddell. It’s easy to do whatever you want when the brand is strong. What’s going to happen when Gooddell has weakened the brand to the point where the NFL isn’t #1 anymore? Only time will tell.

Biggest surprise in the NFL in 2012: The resurgence of the Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts.

Most overused phrase in the NFL in 2012: “It’s a game of inches.” While I find this phrase to be incredibly true, the NFL has become a game where the receivers, running backs and quarterbacks all run out of bounds or slide down to prevent getting hit. If you really wanted, or needed that extra yardage you’d put your head down and get it.

Rookie of the year in the NFL 2012: Multiple. This was the year of the rookie quarterback. Robert Griffin of the Washington Redskins, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks all deserve consideration.

Worst professional sport in 2012: Major League Baseball. Oie! It’s like watching paint dry, only more painful. What’s it say about your sport when I know more about the NHL strike than I do about your championship game, i.e. the World Series? I found out that the SF Giants won the World Series when I happened to see them on the cover of a magazine while buying groceries.

Dumbest move by a professional sport in 2012: NHL strike. Those fools.

Twenty-twelve was the year that NFL tried desperately to ruin the NFL with all the changes to the rules and the referee strike. It took the worst call in the history of the game to finally get things settled.

Worst penalty ever created in the NFL: pass interference, defensive. It’s the only penalty in the NFL that could potentially be worth 98 yards; throw the ball from your own 1-yard line and get pass interference in the other team’s end zone. That’s just stupid. Not likely to ever happen, but it’s theoretically possible. “The penalty for defensive pass interference is an automatic first down at the spot of the foul. If interference is in the end zone, it is first down for the offense on the defense’s 1-yard line”

Penalty that should be called more, but for some reason receives an incredible amount of hey-the-NFL-needs-more-offense-bias: offensive pass interference.

Worst rule changes in the NFL: anything to do with the quarterback. Seriously, if you touch these guys you’re guaranteed 15-yards and a fine from Emperor Goodell. And the worst part of it is teams are taking advantage of it with a new breed of running quarterback. Hey, what would you do with a guy that can run, but defenses aren’t allowed to hit. I’ve seen it over and over this year where a defender pulls up on a quarterback only to be dupped and have the quarterback turn up field for an extra 3-4 yards. Massive failure in the game.

Best NFL announcer: Troy Aikman. He tells it like it is, “that’s a bad call”. I can appreciate that.

Best goal-line stand in college football in 2012: Notre Dame vs. USC November 24, 2012.

Biggest surprise in college football in 2012: Are you kidding me? Notre Dame. I’ve been a Notre Dame fan for a long time, and it’s good to see them doing well again. Will they hold up against Alabama? Not sure, but I’m looking forward to one heck of a clash.

Best social media platform for 2012: Twitter. Runner-up goes to Google+. I’m starting see more and more out of Google+. I still think Twitter is the most useful for what I do with social media, but Google+ is gaining ground.

Worst social media platform for 2012: Facebook. I still use Facebook to keep up with friends and family, and I love their timeline, but it’s becoming obvious that it’s a dying platform. My friends and family are starting to leave Facebook and delete their accounts, which leaves me with no reason to use it.

Most surprising social media platform for 2012: LinkedIn. I don’t make good use of LinkedIn, but I have friends and colleagues that use it with great success.

Biggest mistake in the social media space in 2012: Instagram and their TOS screw up. Those guys really screwed the pooch on that one.

Best new non-hardware related technology of the year: Google Now. It’s pretty cool if you take the time to use it.

Coolest new technology concept of the year: Project Glass by Google

Coolest new piece of technology I received this year: Samsung Chromebook. I’ve only had one since Christmas, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Biggest failure by an established technology company: Apple with Apple Maps. What a disaster.

Best syncing solution across multiple computers: Dropbox. Last couple of years it was Sugarsync, but they’ve disappointed me this year with several poorly designed changes to their previously awesome app. If you use Windows as your operating system of choice, SkyDrive might be the right choice for you. SkyDrive has improved significantly in 2012.

Best “cloud” based back-up solution in 2012: Sugarsync remains king of the hill, for now. I’m evaluating other solutions. Sugarsync made some significant changes toward the end of 2012, and not for the better.

Best clipping, note, idea, do everything application for 2012: Evernote. I use it so much that I pay for the premium version.

Best cloud based music service in 2012: Amazon Cloud Player. I switched to Amazon about midway through the year. It’s been solid to date. Runner up goes to Google Music, which makes a lot of sense for me because I use Android on my smartphones and tablets.

Most indispensable piece of software on a tablet PC in 2012: Microsoft OneNote. Seriously, this is a great application if you use a tablet PC. I haven’t found anything to replace it for my own personal use, although Evernote comes close.

Beat desktop Office Suite Software in 2012: Microsoft Office remains the standard. Google Docs (Drive?) is getting better, but still has a ways to go.

Best browser for Windows computer in 2012: Google Chrome. Firefox gets the runner-up nod.

Best web-based email client in 2012: Gmail

Best desktop email client in 2012: Microsoft Outlook. Lot of people hate it, but it’s a powerful piece of software.

Best browser for Android in 2012: Dolphin Browser. I use it on my Android smartphone and table. Solid choice with a lot of great plugins. Chrome comes in a close second, but its lack of speed puts it behind Dolphin Browser.

Best computer-based PDF editor in 2012: PDF Annotator. What can I say? I use it all the time. It’s a fantastic companion for anyone using a pen-enabled tablet PC. And at $69.95 it’s a bargain.

Best screen capture utility: FastStone Screen Capture. Great little app.

Best desktop operating system: Still Windows, boys and girls. While Windows 7 remains king of the hill, I’ve come to appreciate Windows 8 for what it is, which is an operating system best used on a tablet.

Most talked about operating system in 2012: Windows 8. Say what you will, but it’s created quite a stir.

Best alternate “desktop” operating system: Ubuntu. Installed on my Lenovo x201t tablet near the end of summer. It’s easy to install, has a nice user interface, and plenty of free applications.

Best new smartphone for 2012: Samsung Galaxy SIII. Runner up goes to the LG Nexus 4.

Best new not-a-smartphone-not-a-tablet device: Samsung Note II. I don’t know what to call this class of device, but I’m really not fond of the term “Phablet”.

Favorite family trip of 2012: Texas. You can read about our trip to Texas here, if you’re interested.

Bets airline: Tough call. I don’t like most airline companies as I feel like they’re all pretty bad. I try to use United whenever I can, but I think Alaska might be better.

Worst airline:  They’re all pretty crappy, but American takes the cake. They suck.

Worst thing that happened to me while traveling in 2012: I got stranded in Denver while returning from Dulles on work related business. This is one of those travel horror stories. Arrived at Dulles. Flight delayed twice due to inclement weather. My seat, a beautiful aisle seat near the front, didn’t actually exist on the plane. Serious, the row didn’t exist. United had retrofitted the plane and remove the aisle, so I had no assigned seat. New seat: middle seat all the way in the back of the plane. No room for my carry on so I was forced to check it.  Four and a half hours later I arrive in Denver only to find out that the last flight to Fresno had already left. United gave me a “hotel voucher” and sent me on my way. Calls to my company’s travel agent was no help. What good are travel agents anyway? I’ve never actually benefitted from one. Oh, yeah, they wouldn’t give me my luggage because it had been gate checked. Arrived at hotel at 1:00am to find that they didn’t accept United “hotel vouchers”. They had one room left. I took it. No luggage. No toiletries. Bought a tooth brush and comb. Flight at 6:00am. Napped for a couple of hours and returned to airport. Flight delayed until 11:00am. Went to clothing store in DEN and bought a set of clothes. I just couldn’t take it any longer as I’d been in my clothes for almost 48 hours by then. I felt like Jack Reacher, only not nearly as cool. Finally arrived in Fresno just after 1:00pm; home, shower, food. Worst trip ever.

Best car rental company: Hertz. No question.

Best hotel chain in 2012: Marriott chain of hotels. Hilton properties gets the runner-up.

Beat RSS reader, desktop: Google reader

Best news reader, mobile: Flipboard and Google Currents.

Best Twitter client, desktop: I’ve pretty much tried them all and I still like using the Silver Bird plugin for the Chrome browser.

Best mobile operating system for 2012: Android. It’s come a long way.

Biggest change to a mobile operating system in 2012: Windows 8 Mobile (Windows Phone?). I have a few friends using Windows 8 smartphones. Microsoft has done a good job with it.

Best Twitter client, mobile, smartphone: I like the native Twitter app for Android.

Best Twitter client, mobile, tablet, Android: I prefer Plume. It’s seems to be the one most suited for use on a larger screen, i.e. a tablet.

Best sports commercial of 2012: The Cam Newton PLAY 60 NFL commercial. Can’t stand Cam Newton, but the kid in the commercial is funny as heck.

Technology that I purchased or received as a gift in 2012: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Samsung Chromebook. All pretty good technology, but I have to say that the PlayBook is probably the best tablet I’ve ever used. Too bad RIM will soon be extinct.

Saw 48 movies in the theater in 2012.

Best movie theater in Fresno in 2012: Edwards Fresno Stadium 22

Best movie theater popcorn: Edwards Fresno Stadium 22

Best movie theater I was in in 2012: Don’t know the name of it, but I was so impressed that I took a photo of the inside. It was big, really big, had a Piano in the middle, an ice cream parlor, etc. I stumbled across it when I was traveling for work in Milwaukee, WI.

Wisconsin Theater

Best movie that I saw in a theater in 2012: The Avengers, no doubt about it.

#1 movie at the box office in 2012: The Avengers

Worst movie that I saw in a theater in 2012: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. It was terrible. Can anyone remember what the last good Nick Cage movie was?

Most anticipated movie of 2012: Hard to say, but based on the hype I’d have to say that it comes down to The Avengers, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, or The Dark Knight Rises.

Most disappointing movie of 2012: The Dark Knight Rises. I’ve been a Batman fan for a long time, a really long time. And I thought the movie was good, but they could have done so much more with it.

Best drama series I watched on TV in 2012: Sons of Anarchy. Honorable mention goes to Walking Dead.

Funniest YouTube channel in 2012: How It Should Have Ended. Dude, this is some funny stuff.

Best restaurant style burger in 2012: John Howie Steak House in Bellevue, WA

Best fast food style burger in 2012: Five Guys Burgers and Frys in Fresno, CA

Best BBQ ribs in 2012: Rainin’ Ribs BBQ & Smokehouse in the Seattle area, WA

Best pizza in 2012: Pretty much anywhere in Chicago, but Pizzeria Uno is the best

Best pancakes in 2012: Hash House A Go Go in Las Vegas, NV.

Most read blog at in 2012: RFID tracking of refrigerated meds in the pharmacy. RFID was an area of interest in general at my website in 2012.

Best thing about being a product manager in 2012: Visiting different pharmacies to see how different people do things. It’s truly been a learning experience.

Worst thing about being a product manager in 2012: Paperwork and the painfully slow speed at which the machine turns.

Most overused words in healthcare this year: mHealth, big data, ACO and meaningful use. Isn’t big data just data? Yep. When are people going to realize that mHealth is just another part of healthcare. Don’t even get me started on what ACO’s aren’t and what a monumental waste of resources meaningful use has been.

Technology with most potential for healthcare that absolutely no one is talking about in 2012: Near Field Communication (NFC)

Weakest link in health information technology in 2012: Standardization and interoperability. No one wants to play with the other guy and everyone wants to do it “their way”.

Most underutilized resource in pharmacy in 2012: Data. Everyone collects it, but no one knows how to use it.

Best new source of healthcare related/science news: Medical Xpress:

Technology website that fell from grace in 2012: Engadget. Used to be a great site. Not so much anymore.

Best new technology website in 2012: The Verge. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly worthwhile.

Coolest new pharmacy technology that I saw in 2012: The new Grifols Phocus Rx product with components build into an IV hood. Still can’t find any online information, but I did see it at ASHP Midyear 2012 in Las Vegas. Trust me, it exists.

Worst thing to happen to pharmacy in 2012: NECC compounding debacle

Area of greatest interest in pharmacy in 2012: The IV room. Why? See item directly above.

Biggest story in pharmacy in 2012: Drug shortages. This continues to be a major problem.

Biggest medication related story in healthcare in 2012: Pain meds

Pharmacy technology that failed to meet expectations in 2012, again: Robotics

Thing missing from pharmacy in 2012: Passion

Best thing to happen to medical literature in 2012: Open access

Best conference attended in 2012: HIMSS12. Great conference. I would like to return again someday.

Worst conference attended in 2012: ASHP Midyear. Not that the conference was bad per se, but it didn’t compare to HIMSS12. Also I was stuck being a demo jockey at Midyear; never fun.

That’s it everyone, my year end thoughts for 2012. Happy New Year.

5 thoughts on “Year end thoughts 2012”

  1. Thanks for a year of interesting posts!

    Agree with most items, although I tend to be a standard deviation closer to Apple fan boy that you.

    Couple of others for you.
    Best web email client – AOL (yes them) Alto.
    Best hotel chain, that is not a hotel chain – (booked more rooms than Hilton in Dec 2012) Had some great experiences with them this year.

    When is the book coming out? Cool.

  2. Appreciate the feedback, John. And yes, my views tend to fall a bit to the left when it comes to the fruit company, but I won’t hold it against you.

    – I’ve been playing with Alto lately. Very interesting concept. I agree that it’s pretty cool and worth mentioning.
    – Thanks for the tip on I’ll certainly give it a look.

    The book will likely never hit the shelves. Just can’t seem to make myself sit down and finish it.

    Happy New Year!

  3. I have been reading this blog for a while, though this is my first time commenting. I really enjoy this site, especially Saturday Morning Coffee.

    I would suggest for Worst penalty ever created in the NFL the new penalty this season for when a coach throws his challenge flag on plays that would be automatically reviewed. It’s a fifteen yard unsportsmanlike and, more importantly, the review is cancelled, which has allowed obviously wrong calls to stand. I can understand a simple delay of game penalty, but this rule is ridiculous.

    I don’t have much of a problem with pass interference being at the spot. Is it fair to college receivers that defenders can do ANYTHING to save a touchdown and only be penalized 15 yards? My problem is with how NFL officials botch the calls. How many times does this get called when the defender did nothing wrong? Consistency in the calls would solve most of the problem, IMO. Yes, I know, not going to happen.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks for commenting. I can’t really argue with anything you said. The penalty for the challenge flag is rather silly. I look for them to do something about that in the future. I can’t imagine them letting such a rule remain in place.

    And as far as consistency goes, what can I say except you’re right.

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