Saturday morning coffee [November 2 2013]

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” ― Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

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 below comes straight from the corporate offices of ScriptPro in Mission, Kansas. I found myself there earlier this week. It’s an impressive place. The ScriptPro campus encompasses several city blocks housing everything from administrative personnel, to warehouses full of ScriptPro hardware, and even research and development. Most of you probably know ScriptPro as the maker of systems for outpatient pharmacy prescription filling, but that’s not all they do. I was surprised to learn that they do a lot lot more, not only in the outpatient space, but in the inpatient space as well. When I first arrived a nice young lady offered me coffee, which I gratefully accepted. During my conversation with the President and CEO of the company, Michael Coughlin, I mentioned that the coffee mug I was using reminded me of a pharmacy mortar. He said “if you like it, keep it”. Now it’s part of the Fahrni coffee mug museum.


Apparently I’ve been drinking coffee wrong for years, or at least at the wrong time. According to NeuroscienceDC, “Although your cortisol levels peak between 8 and 9 AM, there are a few other times where–on average–blood levels peak again and are between noon to 1 PM, and between 5:30 to 6:30 PM. In the morning then, your coffee will probably be the most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike.”

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa was #1 at the box office last weekend. Hard to imagine, but then again we are a society full of depraved individuals. It also helps that this is the time of year when we’re between the summer blockbusters and the holiday movie season. Don’t expect Bad Grandpa to hang onto the #1 spot for long. That honor will likely go to Ender’s Game, which has gathered quite a cult following over the years. I read the book several years ago and wasn’t impressed.

The most visited post at over the past 7 days remains Why pharmacy continues to fail.

Happy birthday to the barcode. “On October 7, 61 years ago, two gentlemen by the names of Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver set out to help automate the checkout process at grocery stores. What they came up with would soon change how product information was stored and retrieved by a variety of businesses across a multitude of industries.” –

Compounding pharmacies continue to take a beating. I believe we are witnessing the final days of pharmacy compounding as we know it. “Henry Ford Hospital identified Wednesday the types of mold it found in two vials of medicine supplied by a South Lyon compounding pharmacy. One of the vials was contaminated with penicillium, a fungus that rarely causes illness, and the other contained aspergillus, which has been known to cause illnesses, especially among those with weakened immune systems, the hospital stated in a press release issued Wednesday.” –

Ever heard of a website called wallbase? I came across it yesterday while looking at the featured desktop over at Wallbase has some of the most amazing computer wallpapers I’ve ever seen, like the example you see below which is currently gracing the screen of my Lenovo tablet PC.


Asthma is one, if not the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Depending on your data source it affects nearly 40 million people of all ages, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention costs the United States more than $56 billion annually. Asthma is particularly difficult on kids who often struggle with the use of inhalers. Which is why I wasn’t surprised by a recent article in the Journal of Asthma that found that most parents didn’t know how to properly use their child’s inhalers with a spacer. See a pharmacist. We can show you how to do it right.

Google had a big week. They announced major changes to Google+ hangouts and photo editing, which is cool, but definitely not what everyone was waiting for. The biggest news from Google this week was the announcement of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4, KitKat. The Nexus 5 is sporting some serious hardware, including the smokin’ Snapdragon 800 process along with a 4.95-inch 1920 x 1080 display, and wireless charging. You can grab a 16GB version directly from the Google Play Store for a mere $349 with no contract required. Yes I went to buy one, and yes I was smacked down because apparently Verizon just isn’t cool enough to have the phone on their network. Major loss for Verizon, and for Verizon customers.

Android 4.4, KitKat is cool. Check it out below. “SynDaver Labs creates synthetic cadavers that will provide indispensable learning opportunities to UA medical students. SynDaver Labs also created the world’s most sophisticated synthetic human tissues and body parts, which means medical schools and laboratories can reduce or eliminate live animals, cadavers and human patients in clinical training and surgical simulation.” – This is all taking place at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Jump over to the website and take a look at the cadavers. They’re both cool and creepy. This would make a great horror flick.

Well, well, well…seems as though one of the hospitals here in the Central Valley has been misbehaving. “At Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, a surgeon left the OR after instructing a physician’s assistant to finish the surgery, which the assistant was not trained to complete. The patient suffered major blood loss, cardiac arrest, and loss of oxygen to the brain. At the completion of a state investigation, the patient remained on life support.” And the penalty for such a shameful act? A measly $75,000. – HealthLeaders Media

I’m still evaluating new machines for myself. I’d really like to get one some time around the first of the year. Currently at the top of my list is the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga. The ThinkPad Yoga is the business line of the consumer Yoga machines from Lenovo. Similar folding design, but much different under the hood. The ThinkPad version offers the 4th Gen Intel Core i7 (“Haswell” processor) with up to 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB HD. No, the 1 TB HD isn’t SSD, but I can live with that as I found myself running up against space issues with my previous SSD-based laptop (180 GB).  The clincher for me is the pen support offered by the ThinkPad Yoga.  It’s all about the pen. If you can’t draw on the screen it isn’t worth having. These devices are rumored to begin shipping some time in November. Looking forward to getting my hands on one.

I always find articles about creative personalities interesting. The Guardian featured a piece on “the daily routines of history’s most creative minds”. 1) Be a morning person. Check. 2) Don’t give up the day job. Check (Ha! I don’t technically have a day job). 3) Take lots of walks. Hmm, not my style. Although I do frequently walk from the couch to the refrigerator. 4) Stick to a schedule. Nope, I’m all over the board. 5) Practice strategic substance abuse. I think I’ll pass on this one, unless you’re willing to count caffeine. 6) Learn to work anywhere. I find this difficult and have not mastered the skill. It takes discipline that I simply don’t have.

This is great time of year to be a sports fan. All the major pro sports are going on at the same time: NHL, NFL and the NBA.

Last week UCLA suffered a heart-breaking loss to Oregon. UCLA hung tight for a half, but just couldn’t keep up with OU’s offense in the second half. That’s the real difference between the NFL and college football. In college, when playing an inferior opponent good teams will pull away in the end.

Games worth watching today: Miami at Florida State – I dislike both programs. I have no one to root for, Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, Michigan at Michigan State – #21 versus #22, interesting, and finally Colorado at UCLA – Hey Colorado isn’t very good, but you should always watch UCLA play. And I like trying to pick out my daughter on TV when they flash to the cheerleaders.

I’ve been watching football for many, many years, and last week was a great week for watching NFL football. The end of the Dallas – Detroit game was one of the most amazing endings I’ve ever witnessed. I actually jumped off the couch when Stafford scored. My wife and daughter thought it was hilarious. I don’t typically get animated when watching football. And not to be outdone, the end of the Bengals – Miami game was also a rare event in the NFL. Only 3 games in the history of the NFL have been decided by a safety in overtime. What a great finish to a good game. Here’s the best part. I recorded the game and watched it late Thursday night after my daughter’s volleyball game. I extended the recording by 30 minutes just in case the game went over. Total recording time: 3 hours 35 minutes. The game ended at 3:31.

Don’t forget to roll your clocks back tonight; actually at 2:00 AM Sunday, November 3. Yay, extra hour of sleep. Or in the case of the poor night pharmacist at the local hospital, an extra hour of unpaid work. Doh!

Have a great weekend everyone.

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