Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cantina Laredo Review

I have now been to Cantina Laredo three times. Of course, we have been to Los Vallarta somewhere nearing 100 times I think. Those are the only two mexican restuarants we have nearby (unless you could fast food mexican).

Cantina Laredo has a nicer environment, but they don't see to be very good at table management. Los Vallarta will get you in and out much faster.
Advantage: Tie

Los Vallarta has the best margaritas by far. They kick Cantina's butt without even trying. Plus, you can get a margarita the size of Mexico and enjoy the evening a lot more!
Advantage: Los Vallarta

Cantina Laredo kicks Los Vallarta butt with moderate effort here. However, Cantina Laredo gives these really small bowls of chips and is very stingy about refilling them. For example, we had one bowl of chips today for 5 people (each bowl holds maybe 15 chips). Los Vallarta has good chips and salsa, but the rest of the food is so so.
Advantage: Cantina Laredo

Los Vallarta looks like Bern's steak house compared to Cantina Laredo. The first waiter we had was good. The second waitress was so very bad that I wanted to walk out and never come back. The third waitress was so much better than the 2nd, but she was very slow on drinks and again was very stingy with chips.
Advantage: Los Vallarta

Cantina Laredo is in a much nicer location, and it is next to the Brass Tap for after dinner drinks. Los Vallarta is in a strip mall.
Advantage: Cantina Laredo

Winner – I think it is a tie. If you want to get a good buzz more than you want good food, then Los Vallartas is your place. If you want better food than margarita, then Cantina Laredo is your place. If you want good service more than all other criteria, Los Vallarta is for you. If you want other things nearby, Cantina Laredo is your best bet. Go with your mood but bring patience with you if you go to Cantina Laredo!

Healthcare Reform

Today, I responded to a request for information on healthcare issues. So, I decided that I would cheat and use some of them for my blog post of the day.

Briefly, from your own experience, what do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
This question is too general. Most of the issues are symptoms of a larger problem. I think the biggest problem is that the consumer, the patient, feels like he is entitled to health care in a way that is very different than housing, electricity, water, and other basic necessities. The health savings accounts where the patient is responsible for paying out of pocket up to a certain amount (as long as that amount isn't too high) but gains access to preventive services at no cost and has a maximum out of pocket for ALL medical serivices including medications puts some of the responsibility back on the patient. Providers feel that they need to order too many tests to cover their liability, and the patient doesn't care a lot of the time if they have extra tests because they aren't usually paying for each individual item. Also, there is no penalty to the patient for causing some of the issues by lack of proper preventive care and for lack of nutrition and exercise. All of this together causes costs to skyrocket from every angle. On top of this, ancient processes and systems are used in healthcare to generate and maintain paper records where electronic records will dramatically increase efficiency, improve patient care, and reduce cost.

How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources of information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?
I chose my primary care doctor because of his schedule (open 8 - 8 Monday through Friday and 8 - 6 on Saturday and 8 - 3 on Sunday. I chose my urologist (kidney stones) based on a recommendation of a friend and then stayed because I liked him and the way he treated me. I think patient satisfaction ratings in combination with measuring quality measures for chronic disease conditions and penalties to those who do not achieve (lower rates of pay or fines for sloppy quality) are the best ways public policy can help. As an employee, I must meet certain performance objectives to get salary increases, to keep a job, and to have a potential for bonuses. Not meeting those requirements cost me increases, bonuses, and possibly my job. Why should medicine be different?

Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem? Yes, we have. With kidney stones, I have to have a lot of CT scans and then lithotripsy or uteroscopy to get them out. The medical bills have been staggering at times - even after insurance. Additionally, MANY medical bills are denied or partially paid, and it takes a HUGE amount of work to stay on top of those issues, to talk to the insurnace company about them, and to make sure the corrections are made. Policy makers should make the charges and payments part of healthcare MUCH simpler and easier to follow from a provider, patient, and payor view. It is much too complicated and has way too many risks.

In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?
I think people should have access to plans regardless of their employer. I think employers can contribute to this as a benefit, but the plans should be available to the patient. Part of the problems in health care are the solutions available to smaller companies and available to certain jobs are much more expensive to get coverage AND to get care when the patient goes to get care.

Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role
be in a reformed health care system? See above question

Below are examples of the types of preventive services Americans should receive. Have you gotten the prevention you should have? If not, how can public policy help? Yes, I have gotten the prevention I should. I think discounts on coverage/care or a deduction on taxes would help patients be more active in prevention. Also, you might have to pay a higher cost when you get a disease you didn't have preventive care to receive.

Just thinking about this and thinking about the big picture is pretty outrageous. Hopefully, some meaningful reform will happen sometime soon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Work and Pre-Op

Today was the first day back to work after Christmas. It is always a bit shocking (or change of state-ish as Travis says) to return after a few days off. I had a very productive day, and I also got my pre-op visit done. I have to say that the medical world as a patient is a very messy world. I never cease to be shocked by all that goes on.

Today, I had the job of having my information put into the hospital application. Since it didn't go so well, I am thankful it wasn't the software I work on. She went through and asked me all of these questions, and then she saved. I watched as I was curious of the interface. It was very thorough, but it was cumbersome. She couldn't go through the list as a typical nurse would ask questions. She was forced through some odd items. However, since this is what I do, I was entertained. However, she then was kicked out of the application. She could not log back in. She tried and she tried and she tried and she tried. No luck. Of course, the Anesthesiologist then comes in and can't access ANY of the info that was just put into the application. So, she starts ALL over again on paper. They never could get my information back, so the nurse had to put it all in again. Of course, this is my fourth time having surgery at this hospital for kidney stones, so it is pretty embarrassing that they can't just pull up my info from last time. They did have some cool new handprint gadget for accessing your records. And they did have a signature capture device for the consents. However, all bonus points for those was evaporated by the rest. The nurse said that every afternoon the application goes down. The anesthesiologist said that every afternoon the application goes down. Hmmm...I am sensing a pattern. This software happened to be by a company that starts with a C. I did laugh that the nurse said that she heard that it was the cheapest software available and that is why they have it. I have a feeling that most users have no idea the expense in software, training, maintenance, etc that it takes to get an enterprise system going and to get it working properly. I guess it is all a matter of perpective, but it was interesting to be on the end user side. My urologist uses the software that I work on, and it is always interesting to see them use it. It makes me think that I should go on a road show as a patient at several practices that use our software to see what happens!

Of course, getting this lithotripsy scheduled has been a bear, and even today they said that they would call me on Friday to let me know the time!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chris Driving, Titans Losing, We will miss Grams and Papa

Today, we relaxed around the house with Wii, PS3, keyboard playing, and showers. We left for Buffalo Wild Wings around noon to watch the Titans with Grams, Papa, and Uncle Mark.

View from the back of the van (Chris is driving!)

Apparently, we didn’t leave early enough as there weren’t seats for us. L There was a Grill 54 restaurant, so we went there. The service was pretty slow, but the food was good (most of us had burgers and they were HUGE!). The Titans apparently forgot that they were supposed to PLAY today, and they were stomped. I guess it is hard to get motivated when you already know you are in the playoffs, have a bye week, and have home field advantage. So, we cut them some slack. Morgan said it best as we were leaving, “Why do Grams and Papa have to go home? Why can’t they just get a part time house here?” We have loved having them here and will miss them.
Chris did a lot of driving (especially after Katie forgot her book at the restaurant and we had to go back to get it!). Mike and I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get our new elliptical machine today. It was quite the effort to get it upstairs (it is HEAVY) and to get it put together. The man at the store said it would take 30 minutes or so. I think it took us 2 hours (and Mike is good at these kinds of things!). Whew…I am so excited to have it though! I will need it too because we opened the basket that Deborah sent the kids and had ice cream with all kinds of toppings!!! YUM…

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Movie Day

Today, we took it pretty easy at home (slept late, late breakfast/brunch), and then we went to see Marley and Me at the new theater by our house. We bought the tickets online, so we just picked them up at the kiosk. LOVE that. Of course, Mark was late with Grams and Papa, and he thought it was funny to pretend that he thought the movie was 2 hours later when I called to check on them. What a comedian! The concessions at the new theater is a bit different. It is like going through a cafeteria line. You get popcorn, self-serve your drinks, pick up candy, etc and then pay on the way out of the line. It works pretty well, but it was different. From my theater working days, I like the idea of trying different things. I am not sure it is much more efficient, but it is new. :)

The theater has a dining area where only adults can go. Since we had the kids, we had to sit in the “regular” theater seating. Even though we got there early, the theater was full, and we had to sit in the third row. Man it was close! The seats were nice and rocked. The movie was fantastic. It definitely ranks in the top 5 movies I have seen this year. It even made the entire family cry. Been a long time since a movie got everyone! I thought it was pretty typical of relationships and it was great with the people/pet relationships. It was just a great movie. After the movie, Chris drove us to the new mall for Morgan to get the book Twilight. Katie has been reading it and is now on the second book, so Morgan is now wanting to join in. She seems to love it so far. Chris is getting better at driving. It is fun to watch him learn.

After that, we went home and relaxed for a bit. Mike and I ended up falling asleep on the couch. Awww...

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After Christmas

Gift cards were burning holes in the kids' pockets, so we went shopping today. Michael wasn't feeling well, but he was a trooper anyway. We went to Best Buy where he picked out his electric keyboard, and the girls got Sims expansion packs. Amy looked at elliptical machines again.

I have been getting requests to join Facebook, so I finally made the plunge today. I am still figuring it out, but I couldn't believe that I let Mike and Mark both beat me to a social networking event! :) So, now that I am there, come on and comment on my wall! :)

We went to Travis' for a party in the evening, and the new margarita machine got a workout! I think it was a huge hit. Mike must have made 20 pitchers of margaritas, and the kids had virgin strawberry daiquiris. The Bond boys were hysterical, and Heather C finally arrived late with Aidan and Sean. Sam even remembered his bathing suit this time! Abhijeet was wanting the chicken wings from Publix so much that he went to pick them up! The sushi was a huge hit and was demolished pretty quickly. Kim had her new baby there, and she is adorable. Jennifer proved that she is fantastic with babies (we think we might have to ask her to babysit!). Mark McCune even showed for a while! It was lots of fun and it was great to unwind after the hectic holiday schedule.

The Bond Boys hamming it up.

Morgan and the Bond Boys

Camden and the adorable oven mitt

Jennifer holding Kims' Beautiful Baby

Camden Scolding Uncle Mark

Riley (the previously shy one) singing Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Morgan's FAVORITE when she was younger)

Hysterical Moment when the hot tub drained and the jets were pelting the kids (listen for "turn off the jets, turn off the jets")

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Group Photos and Evil Mike

Waiting for Mike's report on the MyVu glasses...(Amy is so jealous!)

McFalls and Gleasons (And Abhijeet!)

Raided these from Morgan's Camera today

Merry Christmas!

I am back from my blog holiday, and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I needed a little break, and it has been pretty stressful with work, holidays, and kidney stones (I am getting them blasted by lithotripsy on Jan 5). I was in Atlanta last week, and my family arrived Monday/Tuesday for Christmas. Cleaning, shopping, working, etc was pretty hectic, but thankfully we made it to Christmas and have now survived the holiday!

Grams and Papa came in on Monday (they drove down), and Mike came in on Tuesday. I worked on Tuesday and part of the day on Wednesday, and I am off until Monday. :) Grams and Papa braved the traffic to get Mike during rush hour, and then we all went to the new mall for dinner. Cantina Laredo, which was very good the first time we went, was very bad this time in the service department. The food was good, but the service was horrific. In fact, it was so bad that I asked for a manager and NEVER had one even bother to come to the table. They did rescue us by sending a different server - thankfully. My mom didn't care for the margaritas (I like them though), and she said her food was so so. I had the fajitas and they were great. Morgan asked for some plain cheese dip early on, but they didn't bring it for over 45 min). Also, we asked for water and margaritas several times with no luck. She was dreadful. Thankfully, the new waiter was much better and turned the service around.

Mike and Mark stayed at our house, and it was really nice to have the family all together. It was too bad that the kids weren't here though. They didn't come until today as they were in Atlanta with Dana's family.

I took Morgan to the doctor on Christmas Eve as she was still hacking away after 5 days of the antibiotic and 12 days of coughing. He gave her an inhaler (which took a while to convince her that inhalers were not only for kids who have asthma) and some prednisone. Hopefully she will be better soon.

We had fantastic paella for dinner (Papa makes the best paella/jamballaya),and it was just fantastic to be around each other. Mike and I did some last minute shopping to try to work around Mark's apparant dislike for the presents that we got him. It was hysterical. Mike and I were cracking up). It was almost as if he knew what we had gotten and was messing with our heads.

We hung out Christmas Eve and even sang some Christmas songs. Morgan woke up the earliest she has in years for Christmas morning, and we got up around 7:45. Santa was very good to us, and we had a great time today. I got a new watch that looks nice for business, a Margaritaville margarita machine, a Tennessee serving tray, earrings (4 pair!), a beautiful Mom bracelet, a wine club membership, some euros for our trip, gift cards, money, and more! The family even got a blue ray player from the cats! :) The kids arrived around 2, and Alice, Marion, and Matthew arrived a little before 2. Abhijeet came over for dinner too! We had a fantastic time and a fabulous dinner!

I hope everyone had a fantastic day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Morgan's Christmas Concerts

On Thursday, Morgan's chorus at her school had a concert. It was in the cafeteria and was very nice. There are three music teachers at her school, and Mr. G was my favorite. He was hysterical and entertained the parents.

On Friday, the same chorus performed the same concert but at the new Wiregrass mall here. The new mall is HOT as it is outside and very nice. This area has been very starved for a mall, and the new one is very popular. Right now, they are doing a Christmas lights show as you can see below (a very quick samples).

Here is a sample of my favorite of her chorus songs. It is called Pinata!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Scary Pharmacy Incident

So, I have to go back for another visit next week for lithotripsy. There is some new machine that will supposedly work better for my remaining stones, so I will get them all blasted next week too.

I got a new prescription for Urocit K (Potassium Citrate) which is supposed to get the pH of the urine to a level that kidney stones won't form. So far, I have been taking 1 tablet twice a day. So, today, the doc upped my dose to 2 tablets twice a day. Well, the Walgreens pharmacist misread the script and filled it as THREE times a day. I was looking at it and thinking, "Didn't he say twice a day??" So, I call the pharmacy and ask him to verify it. He says, "that b and t look an awful lot alike" and then he says, "oh, it must be twice a day as he wrote for 120 tablets and 4 tablets a day times 30 days would be 120 tablets." HOLY SHIT. This is a perfect example of why we need electronic prescriptions and e-prescribing. My doctor wrote the script at the bedside on a pad, but if he had done it on the computer it would have been legible, accurate, and would have been waiting for me when I got to the pharmacy. When we were in Hilton Head for Thanksgiving, the doctor faxed Morgan's script (not e-Rx but better than handwritten or printing). When we got to the pharmacy, it was all ready to go. LOVE to see what I do apply to ME for a change. I wish it had been the same today. Postassium is not exactly something to mess around with either.

Regardless, I am home, safe, and on pain meds trying to feel better before I go in again for the "new and improved" lithotripsy."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in Hilton Head

Even feeling badly, it was great to be with family for Thanksgiving. Once again, Mom and Dad had quite the spread every single day, and we enjoyed being together. Unfortunately, Morgan and Mike started feeling badly on Wednesday night, and they both got progressively worse.

The Vols won, and the Titans won. The rest of the family had a rough weekend.

It was not fun on the way back. It took us 9 hours to get home, and it rained the entire way. Traffic was awful, and Morgan and Katie were both feeling badly. Katie now has the sore throat that Morgan and Mike have. Lovely. Mark and I want to spray ourselves with Lysol every day.

By today, both of them had fevers. YUCK...

I am ready to get these stones out. Will be a happy day.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


It was hard to watch Fulmer and the last game of his at Tennessee. I have respected him so much, and I am thankful for all he has done for Tennessee. Although I think it is time for new blood, I also stuggle with the fact that he has given so much to the university and it seems unfair to have him leave like this. He is a true Vol all the way through. THANKS PHIL!

It appears that Lane Kiffin will be the new coach. He is certainly young! I can't believe that the coach at Tennessee is younger than I am. WHOA...He seems to have fire, and I am excited to see what he can bring. He was respectful when talking about Fulmer which gives me hope.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leaving for Thanksgiving???

So, I struggle with the stupid pain this morning, and I go to the doctor near my house. They are nice and get me into a CT scan. Of course, by this time, Morgan is getting off the bus and I am supposed to be going to get the kids. Poor Morgan got home before I did, and she didn't see my messages on her phone before she got home. I was racing home, and she was fine before I got there.

We went to the CT place where they rushed me into the CT (it was after hours and they were super great). I go to get the kids, and the doc calls and says I have two stones. Lovely. I get the kids, and Mike is landing around the same time. Mark comes and drives my car so that we can still go to Hilton Head. Thanks Mark! We didn't make it there until 3:00 am, but we made it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

YIKES...Kidney Stone

As I stand up from my first presentation, I get the all too familar kidney stone pain. I make it through the other two presentations (barely), and I head to the airport (Thanks Amy!). I get back to Tampa, and I thankfully have pain meds at home. I survive the day and night. Freaking stones.

When I got to the airport, my car was next to Mike's car...awwww.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Miami Again

Today, I flew to Miami again on the little itty bitty Continental plane. I am starting to like this flight. It was smooth again, and I slept most of the way. I am reading Nelson Demille's Gatehouse, and it is really good.

I stayed at a Crowne Plaza. I checked in, and I wandered around to my room. It was many buildings and it was quite odd. I got to my building and to my room. The room was huge!!! Morgan could have done back handsprings if she were there.

I go to get a drink. No machines. Only a mini bar. Oh look, you have to have a key. I call the front desk, and they confirm. I walk all the way back to the front desk and get a key. I get my diet coke. All is right with the world. Then, I go to hook up to the internet. Awww wireless. I call the desk, and they confirm that it is wired and you have to get a cable from the front desk. For the love of GOD! Do they not think that people want internet in this day and age? Are people not thirsty? Couldn't they ask this information when I checked in? I get the cable, and all is right with the world again. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to me, cha cha cha, kum ba ya, HOOH! Today was a great day. Mike and Morgan were wonderful to me all day. I got to take a nap. Morgan made me cake. I got awesome cards (with GIFT CARDS - my FAV). THEN, my friend Denise had a party for me at her house. She had awesome food, and there were two margarita machines. Gotta love it. I got gifts and everything. It was kind of chilly, but they have a beautiful new lanai with a firepit (and a pool/hot tub). Plus, I am still younger than Mark...:)

Mara showing her love for their Margarita machine

Denise's new maragarita machine

Gotta love cups with maragitas and your name on them

Ha Ha - Mark thinks he is funny with the candles (PS, you are older than I am!)

Don't catch your hair on fire! Whew...thank goodness I quit smoking...

Morgan in Victorias pajamas having fun

Little Alexis hamming it up

Friday, November 21, 2008

Birthday Lunch Early

Today was a rare day. Tony came to lunch! We went to Vallartas (Mike's favorite restaurant but he wasn't there) for lunch. It was great to have lunch with the gang and to be in the office for a bit. After work, we went to Friday's for a quick birthday happy hour. I played the part of Travis though and spend more time on the phone than I did visiting with people. Of course, it was Travis who had me on the phone for a chunk of the time! Mike was also calling, and I got crabby and told them to let me enjoy my happy hour! Sorry Mike!

After Friday's, I went to Chuck E Cheese with Morgan, Alexis, Kylie, Mara, and Mara's mom. It was hysterical to watch her mom get so into the tickets. Apparently, they have been saving tickets for over a year to get to 10,000 to redeem them for a pinball machine. They are at 9,600 (well they were before we went). The kids (and Mara's mom) had fun, and Mara and I had a good time talking. Mike then surprised us by showing up (he said he wasn't coming). We had a great time visiting. Reminded me of when Heather, Ashley, Brittany, Morgan, and I used to go to Chuck E Cheese every week when the girls were little in Nashville.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Atlanta for Orientation

I have been in Atlanta for the past three days for employee orientation. I have to say that it is nice to go through an event like that. It truly makes you feel part of a company and helps you know where to go. The HR staff did a great job of putting it together. We had people bingo which I won (you had to be loud and talk to people - my kind of game!). Of course, we had a few nights of social activities as well. :) It was a mini reunion of sorts, and it was great to see people from out of town. I even saw an ex-Misys person I knew there!

We stayed at the Westin, and it was nice. The only thing I have against Westin hotels is that they don't have drink machines. They do have the mini bar, but you have to get a key (annoying), it costs more (duh), and there are limited numbers of each item (seriousy, two diet cokes for three days??? can't you fill it at least?). Otherwise, the meeting space and food were great.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday at Home

We started today with breakfast casserole. It is a fantastic beginning to any day. Let me know if you want the recipe but I am sure you have had something similar. It is eggs, mushrooms, sausage, milk, mustard, cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and bread. Yummy.

We are going shopping today for clothes for the kids and shoes. We are so excited to have a new mall near us. FINALLY. It is really nice to have it nearby.

The Sand Hill Cranes are back. They love to come to the back door and get bread fed to them. Here is a picture. There were two when we first moved here, but now they have a baby. It has grown so much in the last year that it is hard to tell the baby from the mom. They leave every year and come back in the fall every year. We love them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday at Home - Amazing!

Today began with Mike kissing me goodbye in my dreamy state as he rushed out to the baseball games. I was SO happy to be in my bed and to not have to rush somewhere. Finally, a day at home that I could sleep in. HA HA...jokes on me. Morgan, who has been sleeping really well on the weekends, comes in before 8. Grrrrrr....

She wants to make breakfast. She makes biscuits and brings them upstairs. Very sweet. We hang out and watch QVC. Gotta love QVC. I bought a top, a new wallet, and a Christmas present. :) Of course, I REALLY wanted a flat screen TV, but I was a good girl and didn't get it since Christmas is coming. :)

We hung out, watched football, took a little nap, enjoyed the new couch, and just relaxed. After that, I went the store to get some groceries for dinner, dessert (Morgan was wanting to make cake), breakfast, and lunch stuff. We had pasta and bread for dinner. Mike added ground beef to red sauce and we had some white sauce to mix in. It was awesome. As Morgan is making her cake, I realize we are one egg short for the breakfast casserole I was going to make. Grrrr....back to the store for eggs. I made the breakfast casserole and put it in the refrigerator, and I helped Morgan and Katie with the cake and icing. It was delicious!

Friday, November 14, 2008

FRIDAY and the Bond Movie - Quantum Solace

TGIF! I was very happy to see Friday roll around. I did the last of the demos for this week, and then I headed home to work on many of the items that have been waiting on me all week. After I made a dent in those, Mike, Morgan, Chris, Michael, and I went to the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, with the crew. It is a tradition in the Bond Medical Group and the previous Bond Technologies crew. At the last one, Kim was authoritative when trying to get the picture of the crew, and she ended up with an interview and a job in Implementation! Two years later, she and her husband Shane, a long-time Bond man, came to the movie on their first outing after having their beautiful new baby! What a difference two years can make!

The Bond movie was good, but I didn't think it was great. For one, what is up with not having gadgets??? That was always my favorite part of the movie. NONE. Not a single gadget. :( Also, how can you have a Bond movie without sex or tons of sexual innuendos? Of course, Morgan thought it was the "worst movie ever." So glad I paid $7 for a ticket and $10 for popcorn, a water, and a bunch a crunch for that response.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

LONG day of Demos

Today, the demos started at 7am and went until 8pm. Now that is a long day of demos! I can't imagine how hard it is for the people watching to absorb all of that information. Thankfully, they weren't in the whole day or I am sure they would have been overloaded. They had sessions that they attended based on their roles. It was a nice way to do it.

We met to go over tomorrow's demo script, and then grabbed a quick bite to eat (and a much needed Blue Moon). Then, I tried to catch up on email and hit the sack to be ready for tomorrow's demo.

Unfortunately, I did not get to say goodbye to Krishan as this was his last day in Tampa. At least I will get to see him on Monday. I am not sure I want to go back to the office that I was sharing with him. How lonely it will be. There are many things and people I am thankful for surrounding my experience with Bond, and Krishan is definitely one of them. I am excited for him that he and Mona can be together as a married couple should (especially newlyweds!), but I hope they figure out a way to live in Florida soon!

On another note, Brian and Tom's 3rd anniversary with Bond/MediNotes/Eclipsys is today for Tom and tomorrow for Brian. Unbelievable that it has been 3 years. In some ways, it seems like a million and in some ways it seems as if it cannot possibly have been 3 years already. Tony had already come, and Luke was there. They were the next ones though, and I remember how exciting it was to have them come onboard. I truly do not think you could have a better development team than the one that I have worked with over the last few years.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All Day Demo Prep

Today was all day of demo prep. Long day but good. I learned a lot. It is fun to learn more about the inpatient software. I have been in the ambulatory world for so long that it is very fun to see the similarities and differences in the pain points.

I met some people who used to work with Medic years ago. It is so amazing how so many people have at one point worked at Medic or with Medic. Such a small industry.

Mike took Morgan to Cracker Barrell since I couldn't be there. She loves Cracker Barrell's pancakes. I am glad they got some time together without me. Good bonding time. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today, I was working on demo prep for a large demo we are working on. It was amazing to watch all of the pieces come together.

Morgan had cheer, and I got to catch up with some of the moms. I have been traveling so much that it has been crazy. Morgan's team seems to be doing well. It is amazing to watch them gel over the practices. They do some pretty hard stuff, and they work really hard. Their first competition was cancelled, so they don't have one until December now.

If you ask my brothers, today is the day that I should have been born. Mike was born on 9/9, and Mark was born on 10/10. Of course, if I had just gone along, I would have been born on 11/11. Of course, I have to be different so I doubled it. Two brothers. Multiplied by 2. It works. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Productive Day

I worked from home today, and I was on conference calls all day. However, I had a very productive day regardless. :) It is nice to see progress being made.

Morgan came home on the bus today, and it was nice to not be rushing around everywhere. I didn't even leave the house all day. Morgan made me dinner - a hot dog cooked on a cookie sheet on top of the stove. We had a long disucssion about pots, pans, skillets, cookie sheets, etc and their uses. :) The hot dog was actually pretty good though. The pan didn't survive as well and will need to be replaced. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Krishan's Farewell Dinner

Thanks to Abhi for the pictures!

We didn't do much today except laundry and cleaning until we went to see Madagascar II for Krishan's farewell gathering. It was excellent. The lemur makes the movie, and it was hysterical. After the movie, we went to Olive Garden for his dinner.

Rant about Olive Garden. I worked at Olive Garden in college, and we would accomodate very large parties ahead of time. Either our Olive Garden is different or they have changed this policy. While Olive Garden has never taken reservations, they would accomodate the large parties (like 20 people or more). So, I called on Saturday, and the very rude phone person said that they didn't take reservations and basically hung up on me. So, I decided I would wait until Sunday. I called around 1:00 and said that we were bringing 20 - 25 people in at 7:30 that night and that I wanted to let them know so that they could be prepared. She told me that they didn't take reservations. I asked if I could speak to the manager. She didn't even acknowledge me but clicked the phone on hold. Can you say RUDE? So, the manager gets on the phone and says that they can't do anything to help. I tell him that I need to determine if we should go somewhere else but that the person we are having the dinner for picked Olive Garden. I am thinking he would surely want the business of 20 - 25 people. He says he can't do anything to help.

If everyone hadn't already been told where to go and if Krishan weren't vegetarian which causes some difficulty on finding places he likes, I would have told the manager that we would go somewhere that valued our business. However, because it was Krishan's thing, I was brave. When we show up, they know we are coming and have us down on the list. Someone got there at 7:15 to get us on the list, and we didn't get to sit until 8:15. The BEST part was that the RUDE hostesses just glared at us the entire time like we were causing them major trama. Unbelievable. I believe that things work out in the end, so I think that the very rude hostess will get what she deserves.

Then, we had wonderful service by our wait staff. The food was actually pretty bad, but the waitress was wonderful.

The most important thing (as my mom says) is that we got together to celebrate Krishan and to wish him well. I am still in denial that he is leaving. Thankfully, we will still work together closely, and I will get to see him in a week in Atlanta. :) Krishan, we all wish you the best of luck!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fantastic Saturday

Today was a great day. We slept in, and Morgan made us peanut butter cookies first thing this morning. :) She is definitely my daughter. :) We watched College Gameday (even though I do not officially acknowledge that football season is going on), and we watched most of the Kentucky-UGA game. Of course, Tennessee is SO pitiful that they lost to WYOMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable. I am not sure why Fulmer is even finishing the year coaching at this point, but I guess it doesn't really matter with a record of 3 - 7. What's another loss?

Then, we went to furniture shopping. We have needed a new couch for over 2 years. We finally got one today (well, we paid for it but won't get it until Wed). WOOO HOOOOO! I am so excited. We decided on a 4 person couch. We currently have a recliner and a massage chair to make 6 total seats. Until now, we have only had 5 (makes it hard when you have 6 people in the family). So, we are excited to have a seat for everyone now without squeezing 4 people on the couch. :)
I pretended to back up when Mark was standing behind the car. He then was slinking through the parking lot pretending like I was going to hit him. It was so hysterical that I was crying through my laughter.
After shopping, we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. We watched Iowa play football in the freezing cold, and I was so tickled to see people dressed in all of those cold weather clothes. Love Florida. It is 63 here tonight, and that is chilly for us. :)
I had my 9 year old (Mike) and my 10 year old (Morgan) picking on each other the WHOLE way home. Morgan was copying everything Mike said on the phone when he was talking to the kids, so then Mike started picking on her back. Then, when I was trying to talk to my mom, he started copying everything I said. Man!
It was nice to spend time with the fam without baseball, cheer, work, or anything!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today was pretty good - overall a great week. I felt like I made a lot of progress by the end of the week. My brain was so tired by the end of the day. We had a very quick happy hour at Friday's after work, and then I went to the gym to watch Morgan tumble. She was doing a great job on her full, and I got it on video so I will post it here.

After the gym, Morgan and I raced to a high school football game to see Katie do her baton. Of course, it took almost an hour to get there in traffic, and then she didn't even perform. They danced in the stands, but they didn't go on the field. :( The band was really great though, and I enjoyed seeing them.

We went to the "Funny Man" for dinner, and we had a great time. Morgan dubbed Japenese Hibachi grill places the "Funny Man" when she was 2 because she loved the jokes they made, the volcano from onion rings, and the FIRE! FIRE! We hadn't been to one in a long time, so it was nice.

This is the first weekend in a LONG time that we are all in town and have NO required events. LOVE IT.

Morgan's Full

Here it is in all its glory. I will try to get some better videos this week.

Katie at Baton

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Working Hard

Have you ever noticed that some people are just naturally hard workers and that others are not? As I get older, I notice more and more that some people will just get a ton of things done no matter what the circumstances and others won't. I am constantly trying to make sure that Morgan is a worker. Today, she didn't do her math homework at the gym "because she needed help." I sit down with her, and it was something she certainly didn't need help with. When I called her on it, she said, "ok, maybe I was just lazy." So, we had a nice talk about working hard and about being lazy. She seems to get that she wants to be in the first group and not the second. I hope she remembers this later. :)

Morgan was doing her full tonight by herself without a coach even standing close to her. Hopefully I can get it on video tomorrow. It is beautiful. Thank goodness since we could have gone on some nice trips for what that full cost in lessons! Of course, being mom, I had to bring that right back into the lazy and hard work discussion. Hard work is what got the full. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saddened by Election But Will Support Him

One thing I can't stand about the democrats over the last 8 years is that they constantly tried to cause trouble for Bush and other Republicans. Bush certainly didn't do all the right things, but he certainly didn't do all the wrong ones either.

I do not want to be that way, and I hope that Republicans will not do it either. I certainly was not for Obama, and I have not quite accepted that he has been elected. However, I believe in America's system and in the voice of the people. America has elected Obama, and I wish him the very best as that means the best for our country. I hope that everyone can do whatever they need to do to get past it and pull together for the good of the country.

Morgan came home from school saying that "Obama is going to make the school day longer for 4 of the days and then we won't have school on one day." I am not sure where she is getting this, but it is all over her school. She was very worried because her mom works. She also said many kids were saying something bad would happen to Obama. I certainly hope that is not the case, and I can't even understand why 10 year olds are talking about that. Whoever is sending this stuff to school with their kids should be ashamed.

At least my county voted for McCain, so I did my part. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NO Line at poll

Voting took no time as there was no Line at all. it was on paper ballots which is pitiful, but more on that later!

Seriously, what is up with the paper ballots? The pen/marker that I used bled through to the other side. I was nervous about it, and I heard on the radio that one precinct had touble. Florida banned machines after the last election as they felt that there was no paper trail. If you use the right machine, they print a paper trail.

Monday, November 3, 2008

McCain at the Rally

Today, Morgan and I got up at 5:00 am (yes, that says 5:00 am) to go to the McCain rally in Tampa. We left the house at 5:40 am and got there at 6:10 am. Uncle Mark was already in line, and we were happy to see him. The line is moving slowly due to security checks. The website says that the rally is from 6 - 9. Well, apparently, they forgot to tell McCain that. :)'

I had told Morgan about Papa taking us to see Ronald Reagan when I was a child. He also took us to see John Glenn and even Geraldine Ferrarro. I have seen both Bush presidents speak, and I even saw Al Gore in Tennessee. The Reagan Rally is what started my love of politics. My best friend at the time, Nicole Murray, was the niece of Jimmy Carter. I loved hearing Reagan speak, and I went and told Nicole ALL about why he would be a great president (remember, this is 3rd grade). She was NOT happy with me. Obviously, she thought Jimmy Carter was the best. We had a student election at school, and we didn't speak for several days. She finally forgave me for putting Reagan down on my paper. A love of politics was born. :)

So, I was thrilled when Morgan said she wanted to go - even more shocking since it was at 6 am, and I thought she wouldn't miss any school since it would be over at 9 (she starts school at 9:40). So, we stood there for over 3 hours waiting for him to arrive. There were bleachers behind the podium, and we could have gone there because of Morgan, but Mark and I thought it would be better to be looking at him when he spoke. If we had known that it was going to be 3 hours, we might not have made that decision. :) The people around us were very nice though, and the cheers were very fun. We especially loved, "We want a HERO, not a ZERO!"

I had forgotten what a production a rally is. There was a guy who made sure that an equal number of pom-poms were there. The signs were handed out as you weren't allowed to bring in signs. Secret Service yanked some people outside and they didn't come back. One man who we dubbed Joe the Plumber, was taken out but he got to come back in. If anyone had anything Obama or negative, they had to leave.

Several people spoke, mainly local reps and a local business owner, and then the bus arrived. Alscott spoke, Charlie Crist spoke, and then McCain. McCain did a great job. Morgan got to stand right in the front (maybe 5 feet from McCain), and she loved it.

After the rally, he came by the crowd quickly, but he didn't sign her sign. She was disappointed, but she still had fun. Even knowing that he probably won't win, it was fun to go and see him.

McCain Rally Pictures

McCain Rally

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Relaxing Day

Today was pretty calm. We all enjoyed the fall back extra hour, but I know I will hate the early darkness that it brings. We made breakfast at home, and then we went to the new bookstore. was like the weekend before Christmas or something. We had to stalk people to get a parking spot. I guess that proves that people needed some new shopping and a bookstore. Mike said, "Hmmm....i think the economy is doing ok." LOL... We ran into Mark at the bookstore also. Too funny.

We went to Belk's to pick up the cereal bowls that Grams got us. They are beautiful. Thanks Grams!

We went back home and started on homework. Chris had to make an ad, Katie had to do a paper, and Morgan had to do a character analysis.

All in all, it was a good weekend. It wasn't a cruise, but it was good. Maybe next time Mike's ex will be nice and let the kids go on a cruise. Then again, she actually wanted Mike to go grocery shopping for her tonight so maybe not. Reality check!

I can't believe that the election is in 2 days. WOW....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kennedy Space Center

Today, we got up at the crack of dawn (ok, ok, it was only 8 but that is early on a weekend!), and we met Krishan, Mona, and Krishan's dad to go to Kennedy Space Center. I hadn't ever been, and I was really excited. Mike and the kids had baseball and softball all day, so they didn't go. I enjoyed the ride over (only 2 hours - I always forget that it is that short!), and we got there around 11:30. We got the up close tour, so we went exploring until our tour at 1:40. We did the simulator that they said cost 60 million to build. Krishan said he couldn't see how it cost that much. I tried to explain that anything the government does costs 10 times as much (if not more) than it does when non-government companies do something. I used that as a time to exlain why republicans are better because they believe in private companies and people determining how the work is done and the money is spent. Bad Democrats. :) The simulator is fun, but it could have been a lot better.

After the simulator, we went into the model of a shuttle (or orbitor as I found out it is supposed to be called). It was amazing to see how large it is. Then, we went to get lunch. Morgan had chocolate ALLLL over her, so we bought a t-shirt and she changed into jeans.

At 1:40, we went on the bus with BZ as our narrator. He was pretty good and told lots of interesting details. We saw an eagle's nest that was as big as a king sized bed. He told us about the carrier that takes 8 hours to take the shuttle to the launch pad. We saw the launch pad that sent people to the moon and the one that launched Columbia and Challenger. We saw alligators. We heard about the 400,000 gallons of water that rush onto the launch pad to lower the sound waves and to prevent them from bouncing back up to the shuttle and causing damage. We learned that if you are within 3 miles of the shuttle launch that the sound waves will stop your heart and bust your ear drums. We saw where the space station parts are worked on, where the shuttles are stored, learned about the escape baskets and the escape vehicles. We saw the HUGE US flag painted on the building. We learned that there are 14,000 employees at Kennedy. Amazing operation. Great tour.

We then went to see an IMAX on the moon. It was pretty good. I never really thought about the fact that only 12 men have been there. Tom Hanks was a great narrator in the movie. I also didn't know about the moon vehicle that crashed. Glad they made it out. It was interesting to see the astronauts leave their pictures of them and their families behind. I wonder if anyone has ever found them?

We made necklaces for all of the family (they can be luggage tags), and we got some t-shirts. Morgan really liked the freeze-dried ice cream, and she got some freeze-dried chocolate also (SHOCKER).

The drive back was good, and we met Mike and the kids at Vallartes. I am starting to feel like the Vallartes are my relatives.
It is official - college football is over. When Florida and Alabama are both in the top 4 AND UGA, Auburn, Mississippi State, AND Tennessee lose, it is time to focus on the NFL. GOOOO TITANS!