RANT: There’s a time to NOT shoot from the hip!


> Optimism— Why not?

Optimism — Why not? — It depends!

Depends upon where the waterline is relative to your nose! Personally, I’d suggest that there’s a time for optimism (i.e., bet on a positive outcome) and a time for pessimism (i.e., bet on a negative outcome). I think everyone does that almost instinctively. My personal rule is: “Does the Titanic sink if I hit the iceberg?” Optimism is appropriate when an adverse result won’t have catastrophic consequences? Pessimism is almost obligatory when the result would be catastrophic, irreversible, or uncorrectable.


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INTERESTING: Remove “offensive” terms from the works of Mark Twain? No!


A State of Education—Some Views of a Nontraditional Student
by Cathy L.Z. Smith
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

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The origins of creative works are as important as the works themselves, providing context and accountability. The desire, for instance, to remove certain “offensive” terms from the works of Mark Twain condemns us to travel those same paths again, ignorant of the wisdom that has preceded us in our social evolution. Likewise the recent Canadian decision to censor the works of Mark Knopfler, on the ever more shrilly-cited grounds of “hate speech”, cramp and shrink our culture. It is impossible to change opposing attitudes once it’s made impossible to explore and discuss them.

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Some one said “those, who don’t remember history, are doomed to repeat it.”

The meme to rewrite history is contra-suvival. And thus in my morality is wrong. It’s also inefficient and ineffective. But that’s a different objection.

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INTERESTING: Carlina White, followed her instincts to reunite


Cold Case Solved: Carlina White Reunites With Parents
White Was Kidnapped as a Baby 23 Years Ago From a New York City Hospital

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Carlina White, separated from her family when she was kidnapped as a baby 23 years ago, followed her instincts to reunite with her biological parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson. “Carlina was a missing link and we have gotten her back in the name of Jesus, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,” Pat Conway, White’s godmother, said. On Aug. 4, 1987, worried parents Joy White and Carl Tyson took their feverish baby daughter to Harlem Hospital’s emergency room. The visit turned into horror when…

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As much as I like happy endings, there is a LOT more to the story.

Gooferment screw ups: <1> Hospital; <2> School; … must be others.

It would seem that there are a lot of charges to be investigated and filed in this case.

Technology had a role in finding with the computer aged photos.

Perhaps, this will have a happy ending?

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INTERESTING: Heuristics; my ROTs (Rules of Thumb)


Re-Consider the Rules of Thumb You Use in Everyday Life.

from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

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My adventures in the lands of happiness research led me to the concept of heuristics. Heuristics are “rules of thumb,” the quick, common-sense principles people apply to solve a problem or make a decision. They aren’t “rules for living” that you consciously try to apply; rather, they’re deeply embedded, often unconscious, rules that you use to make decisions, answer a question, or decide a course of action.

*** and ***

My children are my most important priority.

Exercise every day.

People don’t notice my mistakes and flaws as much as I think.

My husband is my top priority.

“Yes” comes right away; “no” never comes.

Get some work done every day.

Whenever possible, choose vegetables.

I know as much as most people.

Try to attend any party or event to which I’m invited.

My parents are almost always right.

Ubiquity is the new exclusivity.

If I’m not sure whether to include some text in my writing, cut it out.

When making a choice about what to do, choose work.

I’m too busy to do that.

There’s no wrong decision.

Always say hello.

People in business, small or large, will take advantage of you if they can.

What would my mother do?

Actually, this is good news.

Say yes.

This is the fun part.

Do nothing, go nowhere.

Do everything all at once.

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  1. Frau is Job #1.
  2. Doctors and nurses are educated and experienced resources; they are not the Pope and this ain’t matters of faith and morals.
  3. Fool me or make a fool of me once; no second chances.
  4. Stop lights are the Universe telling me to slow down and look around.
  5. In a decade, will I care? Will anyone? So, why do I now?
  6. MYOB!
  7. Go for the gusto; go “big” or go home.
  8. I am not my “job”. I am not who I was or am; I am what I will be.
  9. Focus on Quadrant 1 activities: “Important” and “Urgent”.
  10. Your priorities are not NECESSARILY mine. Your lack of planning doesn’t constitute n emergency on my part.
  11. Begin with the end in mind. Planning is everything; plans are meaningless.
  12. 7 P’s (PPPPPPP)
  13. There is no such thing as “over communication”. There is ALWAYS someone who is out of the loop thru NO fault of their own.
  14. There is no substitute for good written DOCTRINE; there’s no excuse for failing to do “LESSONS LEARNED”.
  15. Don’t get mad; get working.
  16. NEVER assume that the organization’s objectives are aligned with yours; figure them out and protect yourself.
  17. There’s no substitute for accurate written records; remember the hearsay rule.
  18. Can’t cheat an honest man. Live life as if you’re going to explain your conduct to your Mom, Grandmom, and the Creator.
  19. Life is not like Jeopardy. There’s no extra credit for rudely shouting out the answer.
  20. The only “dumb” question is the one that you don’t ask. If you’re thinking it, someone else is too.
  21. The Shouldas, couldas, and wouldas will make you miserable; discard them asap. One year amnesty on mistakes.
  22. Set up systems that are automatic; your intentions have to be backed up with actions.
  23. You are neither as smart as you think; nor as dumb as you act.
  24. Do quick tasks; partition and schedule big ones. Do something to advance the ball. Dispatch the long running tasks quickly.
  25. Multiple “top priorities” means you have no priorities.

What are yours?

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INTERESTING: Constantly putting up a front is psychologically taxing; physically?


The Masks Men Wear by Brett & Kate McKay on August 8, 2010

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Researchers who study primates, like baboons, have learned never to tranquilize a male in front of his rivals. Once the male goes down, his competitors see the opportunity to pounce on him and will viciously attack the helpless baboon. No such problem exists when researchers tranquilize female primates. One can see then why male primates that are sick or injured will put on displays of vitality and vigor when their rival is around, only to go back to licking their wounds when once again by themselves. Biologists theorize that perhaps our human ancestors dealt with same issue-they couldn’t appear vulnerable or their rivals would see an opening, an opportunity. So our male ancestors learned to hide weakness and act tough. But constantly putting up this front can be psychologically taxing.

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So that’s why men die sooner than woman? Keeping that front up is hard work.

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TECHNOLOGY: When a hospital’s IT system is dangerous to patient care


Interesting. I finally had time to go thru the exit documents that they made her sign before they let her go. Those instructions are ten pages of virtually unreadable “barbara streisand”. Let’s examine what the hospital bureaucrats — no doubt advised by lawyers — wasted paper and toner on.

Under the heading of “just stupid”, this patient doesn’t smoke, virtually never has. (Me either. Ever kiss a smoker? Yuck. And it makes your wee willie shrink up prematurely. For boys and girls. Look it up. That should be enough to get any youngster to quit. Unless the don’t like using. TMI? Hey this is life. Face it. Like the blog title says.) So why are there THREE separate sections of this load of “barbara streisand” about quitting smoking. One section might be a mistake, two an oversight, three is just no one reads the “barbara streisand” pumped out.

Under the heading of “downright dangerous”, are the two pages of medication instructions. (I have yet to exit the hospital with Frau where these are correct. From my memory, EVERY time we’ve left — and we’ve left a lot — there has been at least ONE serious fmpov error.) SO let’s take score of these instructions.

— We have duplicate instructions on insulin. Literally, separated by incorrect insulin instructions. Luckily, DIABETICDOC#3 was clear with her instructions about what she wanted Frau to take. “Regardless of what is in your discharge instructions”. (So obviously the docs know that these instructions are cobbled together “barbara streisand”.) And, give her even more credit, Frau’s discharge was just a rumor when she gave her exit instructions. (You have to like someone who’s on top of their game. You could almost hear her say: “I don’t care what everyone else is doing. My part of the problem is done right.” She should be in charge. Her or the cleaning lady. Both have their act together.)

— In two items, dosages have been changed which MAY or MAY NOT be correct. (If the lesser dosage is right, then where are the RXes for the new form. Since these dosages were NOT given in the hospital, we’re assuming that this is wrong.)

— Two of her important medications have no instructions at all; so in one case we resumed her old regime and in one case we did not. (Maybe that’s right, maybe that’s wrong.)

— The instructions might as well be written in Babylonian cuniform. It has chemical name, followed by another chemical name in parenthesis sometimes, dosage, instruction, start date, the phrase “ordered as”, and the brand name. (Boy that’s as clear as mud.) The start date is always identical. No where does it say “Take it”. (I know that’s “obvious”. But we are dealing with humans here.) And there’s no indication of what doctor ordered what? (Did my cardiologist really order me to take this cardiac drug or is it one of the other docs covering for him? Who gets sued when it’s wrong and kills me?)

The entire ten page document is a virtually unreadable. I have 20/20 corrected vision. And, I know the tricks one can play with fonts and kerning to pack print on a page. There is a mix of fonts, bolding, and compression that make it a mess to try and read. (Didn’t these folks ever hear of “information mapping”?) As “evidence”, I have a the input from a sample of one, Frau. After scribbling her name on the last page, with it being literally the last thing between her and the door, she look at it, said to me “it’s junk. Can you see if there’s anything important in it?” And, that’s an opinion I can agree with.   

How would I improve it?

Well since not everyone getting out of the hospital has 20/20 vision or a Patient Advocate (PiA) to worry about the “barbara streisand”, I’d completely redesign it using the principles of Information Mapping. It’s not a form; it’s a letter. Signed by the principle doctor and nurse.

It should say. “In order to recover, we want you to take” and then a simple list of drug, dose, and time. And, leave the chemical jargon to the pharmacist. If the patient take Nexium, don’t tell them to Esomeprazole Delayed Release.

For each specialty, it should say: “your DIABETICDOC want you to take:”.

Then a section on follow ups. And don’t tell the patient to do the work. “We have taken the liberty to schedule the following appointments. DIABETICDOC on August 31 at 10AM, BLOODDOC on August 13 at 10AM, CARDIODOC on September 15 at 10AM. You, of course, are free to reschedule these as needed.” (Wow, do some value adding work? What a novel idea.)

Print it all in a nice clean 16 point font and we’re good to go.


Information Technology Architecture and Business Process Reengineering are so easy when someone just cares about the results.

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RANT: Client satisfaction calls

Day before yesterday, I received two phone calls. Both wanting to speak to Frau, who was sleeping. Caught them on the first ring. And told them BOTH to call back tomorrow between 4 and 6 PM.

(On Saturday? You expect us to work on Saturday. Yeah, if this is so important. Otherwise don’t bother us. You have the need for this dumb call; not us.)

Yesterday morning, Frau was sleeping on the couch. She’s had a rough few weeks so it was good. Sure enough, the insurance called to “follow up on her care”.

Woke her up!

<Expletive Deleted>

Told the lady: “Thanks for waking her up and disturbing her. Some Customer Satisfaction.”

Frau took the call. Answered a few dumb questions. Like her birthdate, and when she got out of the hospital.

I’m “with out urine”. Polite way of saying <Expletive Deleted> <Expletive Deleted> off!

Can’t wait until Monday, when I plan to call the insurance company, and try to chat with the honcho in charge of follow up!

The hospital satisfaction surveyor never called back; fine with me.


Who designs this nonsense?

(Glad you’re reading this spleen venting.)

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