Appropriate Cold Weather Dress

As we head further into winter and slowly inch into colder weather let me break down a few things. To be honest here, it saddens me that I have to spell any of this out, but since I haven’t figured out how to bottle common sense and sell it I’ll break it down.

Dress in layers for starters. Indoors or outdoors you should dress in layers. That way as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day you can remove or add to help regulate body temperature and keep yourself at a comfortably warm temperature and also keep yourself from any unnecessary sweating. One of the quickest ways to become cold is to have moisture of any kind on your skin or soaked into your clothing and sweating will do just that. Here’s a clutch tip from scouting. Always have an extra pair socks at hand.

Speaking of socks, can someone explain to me socks with crocs or sandals? If you are one of those people that thinks this is an ok fashion choice I hope you roll an ankle. (Side note: if you allow your signification other to walk out in public dressed as such it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.) As for that being your excuse that allows you to wear them in colder weather that makes you an even bigger idiot. Please don’t send me links showing these new “outdoor socks” either. They are garbage and as I stated before. Moisture will be your undoing.

Let me pontificate on one more point. Ladies, if you are going to wear a skirt in cold weather so be it. Your dress choice is your own, but I beg of you some common sense please. Get the thick thermal tights. Helps retain body heat better. Props to my wife on that one. (Honestly hate hearing about how cold someone is and then realizing underdressed they are. I have no sympathy for self inflected problems.) secondly if you opt for the mini/micro skirt there’s no a pair of thermal tights that are going to help you but me thinks that if that was go to choice I doubt tights of any kind were a thought.

I could go on about other proper cold weather attire for hours but since I have better thoughts to get down I’ll stop here. These are just some general thoughts I have and the two most egresses problems I have noticed since the temperatures have started dropping.

Balancing Your Checkbook

Keeping your checkbook balanced is very important. A skill few people know how to do correctly or at all for that matter. (To be honest I couldn’t even tell you where my check register is. Just check my online account every couple of days against what I purchased to make sure everything is kosher.) However, doing so at the register is not the place to do it. Take your receipt place it in your check book and deal with it later. Do it in your vehicle if it something that will bother you that much or better yet wait until you are in the comfort of your own home and can file away receipts in a timely manner.

If you are the only person at the register I honestly don’t care, but when there is someone waiting or multiple people for that matter common courtesy dictates you get the hell out of the way. Whomever is running the register is most likely not going to ask you to move. (No one wants the negative customer service review.) It is just easier to let the person(s) behind them shame them into moving.

This all ties into a couple of things I have mentioned in the past. First, the post about keeping your head on a swivel. Using checks is a time consuming process. Wherever you are using them is most likely going to be busy so get it together and get out of other customers way and stop tying up the person running the register. They most likely have three other tasks running through their head that they know need to be completed yet have to wait for you to hammer out a check.

Secondly, I have pontificated about how checks are an archaic form of payment. There are just way to many other payment methods that exist in which your bill can be settled up with. Most of which are safer and easier.




Why Didn’t You Remind Me?

One of the things that continues to baffle me is why patients think we should remind them that they are due to get their medication(s) refilled. Does the gas station call you to tell you to refill your gas tank? Does your grocery store remind you to get more food for your refrigerator? The answer to both is no. So why some patients place the responsibility to know when to refill your medication on the pharmacy is completely beyond me.

At least once a week I have someone say to me, “I’ve been out of my medication for three days. Why didn’t you guys call me?”. Seriously, if you are relying on the pharmacy to remind you to pick up medication that is most likely life sustaining you are in for a rough ride. There are a litany of things I would love to say to the patients at that point, but since I have to answer to “the man” at the end of the day I apologize to the patient and tell them to give me a few minutes so that I can fill their medication they so dearly need now.

Several innovations have been created so as to help mitigate this problem. Automated refills. Phone call reminders both automated and personal that a medication is due to be filled and/or that it is ready and to come pick it up. E-mail reminders. There’s also an app with an alert function. If we could send carrier pigeons we would. Yet despite all that, we will still get people coming in wondering why we didn’t call them to fill their medication.


Drive Thru Requests

Every once in a while we’ll get an odd request in the drive-thru. It’s normally for some random one off item in the store. Although we are not obligated to one of us will leave the pharmacy and grab said item. (We we’re given a list of items that you can purchase via the drive thru which we will go get. Although we were instructed we are not obligated to get anything beyond that list we normally will anyway just to avoid a bad customer review.)

So my story takes place about an hour before close. Random SUV pulls up and driver asks I can get an OTC item so they don’t have to come in. I ask what it is and it was something I never heard of before. (Two things to keep in mind: 1st this would be the fourth time this evening that I was being asked for an oddity item 2nd the drive thru speaker system is showing its age.) After a few minutes exchange I finally figure out what they want and inform them I would have to venture on to the sales floor to look for it and would be a minute.

I was gone maybe 30 seconds and the instant I rounded the corner to be able to see out into the drive thru again the requester had pulled a David Copperfield (Disappeared) on me. Just up and gone. Normally I wouldn’t give a damn, but I had already put some effort into figuring out what they wanted and seeing if we had it and then the potential customer just peaced out on me. (I was in the middle of other tasks as well.) To say the least I was annoyed.

Rare is the time we get to go above and beyond the normal requirements of our job, but when one does it’s superbly annoying that one couldn’t deliver. Could care less about the recognition just hate having my time wasted. It happens enough with things I have little control over.


Epinephrine Pens

For those of you Facebook hero’s that have discovered how cheap epinephrine is by the ampule is now touting that everyone should be asking their doctor for a script of that and for a syringe please stop. I applaud your good intentions, but it truly isn’t a viable option. Pull up a seat and I will explain.

Yes, it is a cheaper….a lot cheaper. However, there is a trade off here and it’s time….that when it comes to the need to use epinephrine to counter act an anaphylaxis reaction there is precious little of. You see when opening an ampule of anything you first need to sterilize the top with an alcohol swab and then essentially crack the top off. (Each ampule does have an etched line around the neck to help with breaking it off) Even in an ideal setting you don’t always get a clean snap. (Since were talking about an emergency situation use you can most likely throw any semblance of a clean break out the window.)

Now that the vial is open remember to sterilize the top again. You must also make sure that before drawing any of the solution out of the ampule that you are using a filter tip needle on the syringe. Don’t want to draw up any glass shards. You may keep the person from suffocating, but failing to use the filter tip may result in micro pieces of glass being injected into a person. This could result in internal micro cuts throughout the body causing internal bleeding and/or high susceptibility to infection.

Let’s assume that you have done everything correctly to this point. (Did you draw up the correct amount of liquid?) Now you need to switch needle tips. (The filter tip doesn’t trap the glass, it just keeps it from contaminating the epinephrine in the syringe.) With the tip now changed you are ready to administer.

My point here is that again although this is a cheaper alternative it is not a viable alternative. It is a time consuming process in order to ensure the safety of the person receiving the medication. Which is why the brand name Epipen comes in the preset pens. Unless beyond the shadow of a doubt you know you can safely transport and maintain the integrity of the ampules, syringe, and needle tips don’t. You also have to ask yourself are you the kind of person that can maintain their cool to help administer the correct needed dose to save someone.

I’m sorry, but it is a much better idea to pony up the money from the pens than it is to try and quickly get through that process. Since I’m already on my soap box and I have everyone’s attention let me enlighten you to something that the manufacturer of Epipen doesn’t want you to know. THERE IS A GENERIC ON THE MARKET.

That’s right boys and girls there is a generic to Epipen on the market. It is significantly cheaper. (By a couple of hundred dollars.) The problem is that there aren’t enough studies out to prove that it’s an “AB” rated generic. To translate there isn’t enough data that allows for pharmacies to just change it to the generic that exists. When getting a prescription from your doctor for an epinephrine pen ask them to write it for just that. Saves time and money.

That way you don’t have to wait for congress to legislate something and you could start hitting the manufacturer in the bank account. Instead just lean on your legislature to start making inquiries into why the FDA is dragging their feet on getting the “AB” rating studies done.





What’s the Number for 911?

The advent of 911 for calling emergency services has to be one of the best tools created for the general public. Significantly more efficient than having to remember a 10 digit number in order to call for help and that’s assuming you have the ability and/or time to dial all ten digits.

I am writing about 911 because in the past year or so a private ambulance company charted by the local hospital chain has started advertising pretty heavily in our area. Which is fine by me, but the problem lies in the fact that part of their advertisement encourages people to not call 911 but to call their number instead. There is a litany of problems with this, but I’ll try and curtail it to a couple of key ones.

911 operations centers have multiple operators available around the clock even on holidays and if the local 911 center is overwhelmed for some reason the neighboring one can normally pick up some of the overload. As for the private ambulance company I don’t know if it’s just going to one person or multiple people. It is also unknown as to what their “call centers” hours/days of operation are.

911 also has a priority system built based on geographic location and time of day and day of week. (Not all towns have round the clock paid duty crews in my area.) This is so that if the 1st due for an area is out of service because they are already responding to a call, unable to fully crew their ambulance, or might be having their rescue vehicle serviced the next best option can be sent to the call for help.

Now I’m sure the ambulance company has some sort of priority system in place where they do know who is or isn’t responding to a request for services and which vehicles are crewed and operational and which aren’t, but what happens if a call comes in and there aren’t any available units. Is the person told they’ll have to wait? I know they aren’t going to be calling a competitor and asking for backup and I also doubt they’ll be calling 911 for said person either.

Please understand that I am not involved in FIRE/EMS services in any way, but I also know how to use common sense. I have talked with friends that are part of ambulance companies and have done some of my own personal research. I know the private ambulance company is trying to drum up business, but they are going about it the wrong way. There is an established and mostly efficient system in place in which people can call and get emergency help. Although I can appreciate competition, creating a separate entity along side 911 is not the way to break into the market.

There are lots of private ambulance and fire companies for that offered their services to other 911 response centers and started as backups in the priority chains and moved their up to first call. That makes sense to. Again, I get it, they are a business and trying to survive, but you don’t get to use a business tactic that could cost someone their life.

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas???

If you work retail like I do you have probably already seen some merch or heard the higher ups mention something about Christmas already. I know….nuts right? It’s 90 or 100 something degrees out and were already looking towards Christmas. Let me put it into perspective for you.

It was July 1 and I was watching from Pharmacy land the back to school stuff be put out already. A lot of students were barely 2 weeks into summer vacation and they already are getting that reminder that they’ll soon have to return. I’m starting to digress here, but it helps to illustrate my point.

At this point in the year the back to school section has been consolidated to half its original footprint and some of it even clearanced out already. Some of the top racks of the shelves have been added back on and the first round of our Halloween candy has arrived. With that candy normally some sort of Christmas stuff arrives. Now that’s not to say we are going to be putting it anytime soon, but it’s in the store none the less. It was explained to me that its part of the strategic stocking plan.

Bullshit! I’m sure in some small capacity it is, but as far as I’m concerned that stuff can sit in the warehouse until the week before November 1st. I’m not trying to be scrooge, but I’m not going to be in the Christmas spirit until after Halloween I don’t need a constant reminder that it’s almost time until then.

Pokémon Go

Alright I’m going to jump on the band wagon and talk about it. Just to clarify……yes, I am 30 years old and yes, I am playing Pokémon Go. I grew up when Pokémon when it first hit the US so the nostalgia is strong here. I will also point out that my wife, brother in-law, most of my friends, and some of my co-workers are also playing. My point being is that judge me however you want I really don’t care one way or the other.

I have always been walking throughout my neighborhood as part of my exercise routine and my natural curiosity has always led me to explore and find the interesting and historical parts of it. What the Pokémon Go app has done is add a more fun component to my walk (I have used augmented reality apps in the past, but none that really maintained my attention) and extended my time walking. I have yet to fully experience the social aspect of the game, but I’m sure that will come with time.

And with the good comes the bad…..or more like the dumb. So in the local news Pokémon Go has been the go to story for a variety of reasons, but one has stood out the most to me. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 people got locked inside a cemetery while hunting Pokémon. Now, I don’t hang out in cemeteries, but I’ve noted on more than one occasion that much like state and municipal parks they close at sunset. (There are signs.) What was even more annoying was there were grown ass adults there and used ZERO common sense.

What got me mad though was that at least two police officers, and fire truck, and I believe an ambulance crew were taken off availability while they tracked down the care taker to let these idiots out of the cemetery. What’s the big deal you ask? Gee I don’t know maybe these emergency services personal would have been needed for an actual emergency oh and the waste of tax payers dollars tying up these resources.

Please for the love of cake people. Use common sense when playing. This is tame in comparison I’m sure of the things to come. Above all though have fun and enjoy.

Share The Road

When I am driving any vehicle I willingly share the road with any other motorist. Don’t care what you are driving as long as it is a mechanized (has an engine) vehicle. However, what I won’t tolerate is a bicyclist expecting the same treatment. I understand that most states/counties have “share the road” laws making anyone on a pedal bicycle supposedly equivalent to a motor vehicle, but honestly I don’t agree with that assessment.

When you are on a bicycle you are not able to maintain anywhere near the speed a motor vehicle can and maneuver ability is questionable. Visual acquisition is also sometimes sketchy even with reflectors and brightly colored clothing. At night is actually much worse. Which brings me to my story.

The other evening when I was commuting home from work I came upon slow moving traffic. Everyone in the traveling lane is trying to merge into the passing lane so as to get around someone slow moving. I thought it was just one of the municipalities moving their front end loaders to another work site for the next day. Most of them have the for site to move their heavy equipment during the late evening so as to minimalize the disruption of traffic. Being as there is a constant flow of traffic in the passing lane I have to wait my turn to move over.

When I finally get to move around other vehicles I find that its a lone bicyclist causing the traffic issue. Instead or using the sidewalks or moving to the side of the road to allow traffic to pass easier she decides to ride the center of the lane holding up traffic. Granted the law says she is allowed to ride in the middle of the lane and be granted the same clearance and space as any other road vehicle I honestly just don’t care. A bicycle is not equivalent to any truck, car, or motorcycle. Shit its not even equivalent to Vespa scooter.

When on a bike trek with my boy scout troop we always try and stay off roadways unless absolutely necessary. And when we are on the streets we maintain a single file line as far to the side as possible so vehicles can quickly and safely maneuver past us.

Space Saver Tires

One innovation I will never understand is the space saver spare tire. I get that the point of it is to allow for the vehicle to have a spare tire while still giving it an adequate amount of trunk space/ not require a large extra storage space be built into a vehicle. That’s about the extent of my understanding on it.

Other than allowing you to essentially limp your vehicle to a service station to obtain a new full size tire or repair your original tire, the space saver is essentially useless. There are drastic safety limitations on space savers. Last I remember is that the tire is only good for a couple of hundred miles or so and when driving on it you cannot exceed 35 mph. If the space saver is being used on a major highway you are now a huge safety concern. You’re either going too slowly for the flow of traffic or a possible accident waiting to happen because the high speeds could cause the tire to break off. Also, if the weather is bad (snow or rain) forget maintaining proper traction.

At the end of the day I would like to see two things happen. First space savers just need to go away. The car companies can figure out how to redesign the storage bays so they always accommodate a full size tire. If not you’ll just have to figure how to transport the extra beer cooler to the game another way. Secondly, I want cops issuing safety violation tickets for having a space saver mounted just like they do for having a head/tail light out. It’s a safety thing people. All too often I see people driving cars with more than one space saver tire or a space saver that is clearly bald. Fix the problem within 3 business days and the ticket goes away.

Better yet get me Tony Stark on the blower. We’ll get that hover car hammered out in a weekend and in production by the end of the month.