Saturday morning coffee [August 2 2014]

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

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 is relatively new. I picked it up in Las Vegas at M&M World during one of my daughter’s volleyball tournaments earlier this year.

Yellow M&M Mug

‘Lucy’ was #1 at the box office last weekend. Took my family to see it. Didn’t think much of it. My wife thought it was decent, but my daughter and I both thought it was pretty weak, especially the ending. Don’t expect it to hold the #1 spot through this weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy will likely pummel everyone into submission and take the #1 spot by a wide margin. It’s definitely on my must-see-movies list. I’ll probably see it later today. If not today, tomorrow for sure.

54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day []. I expected that number to be higher for some reason. But then again, I didn’t start drinking coffee until my second year of pharmacy school after my first daughter was born. Go figure.

My ASHP membership recently expired. I think I’m going to renew, but haven’t felt any sense of urgency.

I have been using an ASUS VivoTab Note 8 off and on for past few months. It’s an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet with Wacom digitizer and pen. I’ve found it to be quite capable. I use it to take handwritten notes, read email, search the web, play games, etc. I’ve even had it connected to a full size external keyboard and mouse a few times. However, I’ve had several problems with the Wacom digitizer not working properly, and I’m not the only one. Mention of the problem is all over the Tablet PC forums. I’ve been in contact with ASUS with no real luck. I gone through firmware upgrades, software updates, and even replaced the drivers with different versions. No luck. It’s a real shame because it makes this otherwise great little tablet nearly useless for me. If you need, or want, a tablet with pen support I would recommend you look elsewhere.

My brothers and I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) during our early teenage years. Gary Gygax was synonymous with D&D during my stent with the game. There’s a fascinating article on the Medium website about how Gygax lost control of the company behind D&D. Hat tip to my brother, Robert for sending me the link.

UCLA found itself in deep trouble earlier this week as a 93-year old water main broke on Sunset Blvd. near the campus. My daughter is a student at UCLA and she called me with what I can only categorize as excited anxiety. She was amazed and horrified at what she was seeing. She sent me a photo of the student book store area under a couple feet of water. The entire campus was affected. I’ve read some estimates as high as 10 million gallons of water wasted. Crazy.

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014 Jul 25: “The presence of dosage PME [Prescription Medication Error] in the manual prescriptions written within mixed prescription systems [computerized physician order entry (CPOE) + manual prescriptions] suggests that manual prescriptions should be totally avoided in neonatal units.” – You think? Neonatal medicine is different from any other kind of medicine pharmacists practice. Dosing is all weight based, but dependent on gestational age, among other things. I can’t image moving back and forth between prescription systems in this environment. The article only highlights the problems with only partially implementing new technology.

ZDNet: “The availability of the docking station fundamentally changes the value proposition of the Surface Pro 3. If you’re comfortable with the device as a tablet and laptop, its ability to transform into a full-strength desktop PC could tip the scales.” – The Surface Pro 3 is such an impressive machine. It’s hard not to like what Microsoft is doing.

Speaking of the Surface Pro 3, models with Intel Core i3 and Core i7 processors are now shipping from the Microsoft Store. $799 will get you a Surface Pro 3 with Core i3 processor, 4GB or RAM, and a 64GB SSD. It’s a good deal, but I think the Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD is a better deal at $999. If you have a chunk of money burning a hole in your pocket you can always spring for the Core i7 with 8GB of RAM and a a 512GB SSD, which retails for $1949. That’s a lot of dough, but you’re getting a lot of computer for your money.

NVIDIA released a new tablet called the SHIELD tablet. The tablet uses NVIDIA’s latest Tegra K1 chip, and is designed for gaming. The tablet itself runs Android on a full HD (1920 x 1200) 8-inch screen, with front-facing stereo speakers, dual 5MP cameras, and a stylus. The tablet has received rave reviews regarding its speed and build quality. And here’s the kicker, it can be yours for $299. That’s an amazing price point for this tablet.

This is great. From Muscle and Brawn: 100 Reasons Not to Squat or Deadlift. My initial reaction when I read the title of the article was like “what, that’s crazy!” Then I read the list and laughed. When I was a younger man, squat and deadlift were always part of my weekly workout routines. They’re incredibly taxing, and give you a “certain look”.  Here are a some of my favorites from the list:

…You are a pansy
…You may crap yourself
…The gym doesn’t have a pad to put on the bar to protect your puny traps while squatting
…Chuck Norris already lifted today, the gym is now closed for repairs

ERJ August 1, 2014 vol. 44 no. 2 332-340:  “New benzodiazepine users were at significantly higher risk for outpatient respiratory exacerbations and emergency room visits for COPD or pneumonia compared to non-users. Risk of hospitalisation for COPD or pneumonia was also increased in benzodiazepine users, but was nonsignificant. There were no significant differences in intensive care unit admissions between the two groups and all-cause mortality was slightly lower among new versus non-users.” – This is pretty interesting. I never considered benzodiazepines a cause of respiratory exacerbation. Benzodiazepines in general do not depress the respiratory system, even in overdose. Not by themselves anyway. The article doesn’t exclude the use of benzodiazepines in COPD patients, but it certainly should make you think long and hard about your decision, especially in the outpatient setting.

Fast Company: “There aren’t many exciting developments in the toilet paper industry. Kimberly-Clark is trying to change that with Scott Naturals Tube-Free, a line of tube-free toilet paper set to debut Monday at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the northeastern U.S.” – I saw a commercial for this at some point this week. It may not sound like much, but Kimberly-Clark estimates that the U.S. goes through 17 billion toilet paper tubes annually. I think this is a great move by the company. I also think it’s one of those things that has people looking around thinking “why didn’t I think of that”. Nice work Kimberly-Clark, you’ve done something that makes me want to buy your product.

33 days until the NFL kicks off it’s 2014 regular season. Hurry up already!

Have a great weekend everyone.

2 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [August 2 2014]”

  1. Jerry, we saw Guardians last night — and just in case you hadn’t already guessed from my ravings over on Twitter — we LOVED it. It’s not often that my wife says that she wants to go back and see a movie again at the theatre, but this time she did.

  2. Thanks for the review. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while. Really looking forward to putting it on my already-seen movie list.

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