Saturday, August 31, 2013

Retro Asteroids Tie


Express Yourself in Business Casual

There are some situations where ties are a requirement. Big board meeting. Trade show presentation. Explaining to the emperor why construction on his "Death Star" project is running behind.... All of these situations call for a tie. Since wearing a tie usually isn't a pleasant experience, we figured we'd try to dull the pain a bit by giving you something that is just a little geeky.

Product Specifications

* When the situation calls for a tie, wear this!
* Chock full of personality, just like you
* Current Tie Flavor Available: Asteroids
* 100% silk, 56" long and 3.5" wide

But nobody really wants asteroids, do they?

Friday, August 30, 2013

1-Up Power Up for Pizza

When you need energy to make it through the mushroom kingdom on you way to rescue Princess Peach (again), level up your game with these 1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls.

1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 cup mushrooms, diced
½ cup onions, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
20 slices pepperoni
5 slices mozzarella cheese
½ cup basil pesto
6 drops green food coloring
edible ball bearings

Full Recipe HERE

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I FIXED IT with iFixit

Ok, so my iPhone 4 is over two years old now. I used to go a full day of texting, tweeting, and talking on the phone for almost 12 hours on one charge. Then the time started dwindling. My use might have increased too. Too much TapFish I guess. All I know is that the last 30 days I was able to get maybe 4-5 hours before needing to recharge.

So I looked for an alternative to getting the battery replaced by my carrier or by Apple. I found a website with videos that made it look so simple... and for $30 I could replace the battery myself.


So I did it. I went to iFixit and placed my order. In a few days I had everything I needed, including the tools, to replace the iPhone battery. Mine was stuck in there pretty good with the adhesive, but I pried it out and installed the new battery. I closed it up and replaced the screws and powered up with a new battery! I can fix things! I made fire!

Unfortunately... I discovered that after I put everything back together I somehow messed up the volume controls on the iPhone. I think in the process of prying out the battery I messed up the connector to the volume buttons. I wasn't a big use of the volume buttons anyway, except it was really handy to use to take a picture when in camera mode.

Oh well. At least I have battery power again and Verizon isn't going to get me for a new iPhone with those insane new adapters. Really guys? After all these years and all the Apple AND 3rd party peripheral devices that require the connector, you go and change it? Really? I mean seriously, that's reason alone NOT to get an iPhone 5. Yeah, I'm pissed off... deal with it. I have so many cables and docks and stuff to plug my iPhone in now and I'M NOT BUYING ALL NEW ONES! And your converter thing is $30? Bogus! It's a $1 connector, and you want $30?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"My Wife Say I need EXTRA Small"

That's what he said to me.

He is short, little man with a foreign accent, obviously still struggling with "the English." He's very nice and polite and stepped right up to the pharmacy counter and said: 

"My wife say I need 'extra small.'"

"Extra small what?" I replied.

"Extra small condoms. Where are the extra small condoms?"

"We have condoms on aisle five, down on the right. Would you like me to show you?"

"No, it ok. I just have to get 'extra small.' My wife say I need extra small." he says again with no remorse or any hint of regret. Apparently "size" is just an American thing.

He strolls off. I honestly don't know if we carry "extra small" condoms. Since that day I have looked online. The only sizes I see on the Trojan website are All Fits, Regular, Large, and Extra Large. Perhaps the "All Fits" is the equivalent of "Extra Small." I don't know.

And now for some tasteless images associated with this terrible topic:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Why it takes TIME to get your Rx Filled

We're completely aware of your situation. You went to the doctor. Your appointment was at 9 am. You were there at 8:50 am. You waited until 9:15 before they called your name, weighed you, took your temperature and blood pressure, then sat you in an examination room to wait another 20 minutes before being seen by the practitioner. 

We go to doctors too. We know the procedure. We don't like it any more than you do.

By the time you've left the doctor's office with prescriptions in hand, you've had enough. All you want to do is go home, curl up in your Snuggie and watch The Walking Dead. BUT you have to stop by the pharmacy first. And by the time you get to the DROP OFF window (or in some cases, the PICK UP window because the logic of the two terms escapes you entirely) you're sick of the world. We can see it on your face. You want your prescription filled IMMEDIATELY and you expect us to slap a label on something and hand it back to you over the counter.

Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. No matter how long you had to wait at the doctor's office, you're going to have to wait a little longer. I'm sorry, but YOUR health is too important to us at the pharmacy to risk hurrying just because you want to go home.

When you drop off a prescription, this is what happens:

1. We verify who you are with what is in our database. If you're new to our pharmacy, we have to put in all your information. We need to add you into the system, build a computer profile, add any allergies to medications, and add your insurance information.

2. We type in your prescription, translating what the doctor has written using Latin abbreviations into English. We need to make sure we're putting in the right medication, strength, dosage, and instructions. You might think this is simple, but this is by far where most mistakes occur. 

Doctors and prescribers, for some reason, think anyone can read their scribble. We're good at it, but not perfect. There are just going to be times where we have to call the prescriber to clarify what was written, and this takes time. If the prescriber had just taken 30 seconds longer to make sure what they wrote was easy to read it would save 10-20 minutes at the pharmacy.

Consider for example the following, taken from an actual prescription:

Yeah, I know... almost completely unreadable. This doctor CONTINUALLY writes like this and no matter how many times we've called the office, they act like we're NUTS for not being able to decipher his crazy writing.

You would think that the medical review board or someone, somewhere would be all over this kind of crap to stop it, but no, they aren't. Pharmacists get hit with this nonsense every single day. If we can't read it, we have to call the doctor's office, and that takes time. MOST of the time we have to wait until someone calls us back, and that makes YOU, the patient, WAIT.
(By the way, the above Rx translates to: Percocet 10/325mg, Take one tablet by mouth every three hours as needed)

Other times we can read the prescription but it doesn't make sense. Here's another example:

This is a prescription for Ambien, 5mg, Take one tablet by mouth as needed every twelve hours. BUT YOU DON'T TAKE AMBIEN THAT WAY. I have no idea what the doctor was thinking, but if the patient actually took it the way it was prescribed it could be dangerous and/or deadly. You'd be surprised how often we get prescriptions with simple stupid mistakes like this... unfortunately most pharmacists do not have the capacity to "fix" the situation without calling the doctor... and that takes time.

3. So we FINALLY know what it is the doctor wants you to take. Now we run a check on the computer. MOST of the time, we get what's called a DUR (drug utilization review). This is where the computer stops the process and the pharmacist comes over to check everything out. The computer may have detected a drug interaction with something else you're taking, or it could just be something easily fixed like a days supply issue. The point is that IT TAKES TIME TO FIX THIS AND GO ON.

Now we can send off the information electronically to your insurance company. We're billing them in your behalf. Most of the time this is a smooth operation and we get a paid claim telling us how much to charge you for the co-pay. Like I said, MOST of the TIME it is a smooth operation... but sometimes it isn't. There's a whole business of ferrets why it doesn't work... sometimes your insurance info has changed, or the insurance wants a "Prior Authorization" or they just don't want to pay for it, period. So at that point we have to communicate with you about the issue. This takes time.

4. Depending on the outcome of number 3 above, the next step is to fill your prescription. Unfortunately for you, you're not our only customer. We're doing the same thing with other clients who have dropped of their prescription before you, and your prescription will go into a queue until we can get to it. 

Most of the time this isn't long (because we work fast) but it still takes time. Remember, other people are dropping off prescriptions too. And the phone... that damn thing, it never stops ringing. People call all the time and ask to talk to the pharmacist just to have the pharmacist put in their Rx number into the computer and process it. The technicians can handle this. The automated system can handle it -- in fact, that's the first thing it asks you when you call. But these people need the extra special attention of the pharmacist. This takes time!

5. Finally, we have a chance to start working on your prescription. We need to pull the correct drug and match the NDC (national drug code) with the label we've printed. We count, pour, lick and stick the label. Then it goes on to the pharmacist.

6. The pharmacist checks to make sure everything is correct, clarified, appropriate, and above all safe for the patient. We once again match the written prescription with what has been printed and filled. We check drug interactions AGAIN. We check to make sure you're getting what was prescribed AGAIN, and make sure it is appropriate for you and your condition. By the time the pharmacist puts his/her initials on the filled prescription, it has been checked and double-checked and re-checked and checked one more time just to make sure. THIS ALL TAKES TIME. We're the LAST link in the chain of safety and we know that. BEFORE the medication leaves the pharmacist we HAVE to make sure it is correct. And that takes time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tired of Volunteering?

Do you volunteer too much? Is your family missing you while you're off cleaning some old lady's yard? How about work? Don't you do enough in 40 hours? Tired of being manipulated into extra "free" work?

Keep this PEN in your pocket. When you're asked to sign up to volunteer for something, this pen will remind you to STOP! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Feminist Make-up Tips

I salute the author! A plethora of fun sayings:

"The powdered ashes of Susan B. Anthony"

"...just like the woman's spirit through the millenia of misogyny."

"...a hint of Amazonia ferocity."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


A recent visit by a regional pharmacy manager at my grocery store pharmacy summed it all up in just a few words. She was visiting and going over our numbers– you know– to find something to complain about as usual. She saw someone at the pick-up window and immediately announced to the technician and myself, “YOU have a CUSTOMER.”

That’s when it dawned on me. My regional manager has been sucked into the corporate world way of thinking… to ME the person at the counter was a PATIENT, and that’s where all the problems start in retail. Until upper management figures out that while they are customers of the grocery, they are patients of the pharmacy and need to be treated as patients… including the most important aspect: PATIENT SAFETY. 

And until upper management, MBAs, and bean counters figure out that profit is secondary to safety, issues will continue to surface regarding patient safety everywhere.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The term "POLYPHARMACY" can mean several different things:

1. A patient sees two different doctors. Each prescribes the patient Vicodin. The patient gets the prescriptions filled at two different pharmacies and pays cash. That's Polypharmacy.

2. A patient has different medications on her profile transferred to various pharmacy chains in order to take advantage of the $25 transfer coupons. That's Polypharmacy.

3. A patient sees ONE doctor but gets multiple prescriptions for the same condition. That's Polypharmacy.

SITUATION NUMBER 1: Most cases of Polypharmacy are the result of the first example above. This is so common with the misuse of narcotics that for years it went undetected unless pharmacies communicated with one another about the same patients. Most states now have a prescription drug monitoring program to help with this problem. Pharmacists can log into a website and see the narcotic history of the patient's drug use. Pharmacies are required to submit narcotic logs to the local Board of Pharmacy which indexes all the drugs by patient. From there any pharmacist at Goofmart Pharmacy can see if I.B. Takingtoomuch is filling Vicodin at Jimmy's Pharmacy or Wigglegreens or wherever. It's a valuable tool.

I'm sure you can see the danger of a patient getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors. Nobody dislikes pain more than I do, but serious harm and/or death can result from the misuse of narcotics. When you add benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Valium) and alcohol to the mix, the danger skyrockets.

SITUATION NUMBER 2: Considering situation number two above... this is a problem that gets generated by pharmacies themselves. These decisions are made by muckity-mucks at the corporate level who don't have a clue as to the danger here. Sure, it SEEMS reasonable to go after business any way you can. Walfart Pharmacy has clients and we want them. Let's offer an incentive to get them to come to our pharmacy and thus shop in our grocery! Let's offer them $25 to transfer a prescription. Who cares if there is inherent danger to overloading pharmacists with having to take the time to manually call all over creation to transfer a prescription over the phone and risk getting the wrong information or making a mistake in transcription? It's all about the bottom line.

In case you don't know, pharmacies DO NOT share patient information with one another when they transfer a prescription. Suppose your drug profile is extensive and you usually get your meds at Pharmacy A. You transfer one of your medications to Pharmacy B and then bring in another prescription to Pharmacy B -- a med which interacts with another medication on your profile at Pharmacy A. The pharmacist at Pharmacy B HAS NO WAY OF KNOWING what is going on. Yes, the pharmacist will counsel you on interactions, but the potential for a mistake or error or drug interaction increases dramatically when you have your medications at different pharmacies. As tempting as the transfer coupons are to your budget, you're best off to stick with one pharmacy for safety.

SITUATION NUMBER 3: You might know someone with two medicine cabinets. They take soooo much medication that they can't keep it all in one cabinet (25% of people over age 65 take 10-20 medications daily). I have patients like that in my pharmacy. I have a couple of ladies who literally see a doctor several times a week and they're bringing in new prescriptions every week for something new. Some doctors get so overwhelmed with these patients and/or are so prescription-writing-happy that they write for anything and are unaware of how this could affect the patient. No one wants to see grandma suffer, especially grandpa, but most prescribers are unaware of the extensive amount of drug interactions, especially when multiple medications are involved.

Here's the bottom line:

If you see multiple doctors for the same prescription, YOU have a problem. Get help HERE. There's people out there who want to help. 

If you use multiple pharmacies for your prescriptions, STOP. Find a pharmacy and stay there. If you need to get something at another pharmacy, give the new pharmacy a complete list of your medications.

If you're taking a large list of different medications, ASK for a pharmacy consult. Your doctor or local pharmacist will be happy to enter all your medications into a drug database and discuss interactions with you.