Friday, February 29, 2008

Overdue for an update - HIMSS, Acquisition

Wow, I haven't updated this in over a week. Last Saturday the 23rd, I drove to Orlando for the EHRVA meetings before HIMSS. The EHRVA is the EHR Vendor's Association, and it is an organization where EHR vendors meet to discuss what is going on in the industry and try to work together toward the common goals of increasing EHR adoption. The meetings were great as always. We had Dr. Kolodner speak with us over dinner. He was a great speaker even with Laryngitis. Sunday, we went to the EHRVA reception, and then we went to the HIMSS executive reception. I saw many people I knew over the night. It is always good to run into people you have worked with in the past and it is good to meet new people too. :) To make it better, my Vols beat Memphis to get the #1 ranking in basketball. Sunday night, Tony, Jay, Phil, and I had a good time at Don Pablos.

Monday, I saw Bill Frist speak as the opening speaker of HIMSS. I thought he did a pretty good job. He added some humor with his comments that Democrats care more about Healthcare right now because their primary voters are demanding it and that Republicans will get more into it later. He talked some about how even in the 80's, he was reporting data on the transplants electronically because it was required to report infections, complications, etc. He seems to be more into Global health and children's issues, but it was interesting to get his perspective. He seems to be a good advocate for HIT.

I went to a few other sessions on Monday that mainly discussed interoperability and quality. Nothing really new, but it is always good to hear other groups speak to gain perspective. Also, the acquisition of Bond by MediNotes was announced on Monday. While I am sad to see the Bond era end (scrubs anyone?), I think this will be good for the product and will get it into production much faster. Bond Clinician is a fabulous product that uses cutting edge technology. Now, it will have the staff to sell it and get it out into more hands. :)

We went to the Histalk reception on Monday night. It was a BLAST. It is so amazing to me that this blog is done anonymously and done so well. I love reading it, and it is a must check site for me every day. As we arrived, Healthia Consulting had a table set up with name tags already printed. Two free drink tickets were given out, and the bar was flowing (even though it was awfully expensive after the first two drinks). I met several people from Ingenix, and we discussed ENS a little. It sounds like they are overcoming some of their struggles from the past year. I met several other people from different places. I enjoyed Jonathan Bush's speech at the reception (wow 8 awards out of 18!). I had never met him, and I really enjoyed hearing his take on the industry. He is definitely deserving of the "CEO you would most like to have a few beers with" award that he won at the reception. The video of the awards was hysterical and very well done. I was very impressed. Travis, Don, Mike, Tony, Phil, Jay, and I all had a celebratory toast. We ended up in the Peabody bar, and it was fantastic. Scott joined in later, and we had a great time. Later, we went to Howl at the Moon before heading back to the hotel and hanging out. It was a VERY late night, but it was one of the most fun nights I have had in a while.
Fun Mike was definitely out. Mad Dog came to party. We celebrated. It was a blast.

Unfortunately, the morning came. :) Boy, it was ROUGH to get up and going. I got back in gear pretty well by 10, but I was struggling the rest of the day. I attended two classes - one on PHR's and one on Web 2.0 and Healthcare. The PHR class was pretty good. There were a lot of questions after the panel finished, and the discussion was interesting. I am not sure where I think PHR's will end up, but I think there are many issues that will keep them from taking off for a while. For example, I do not think physicians will trust patient-entered information as much as clinician entered information. I think EMR's that will feed PHRs and that will provide a basis in the future. The Web 2.0 session was awful. He just talked about the portal they set up instead of an EMR. He continually bashed EHRs, and the portal was just a Sharepoint kind of solution. I saw no web 2.0. I walked the Exhibit hall for a long time and looked for interesting new things. I had a blast at the Avaya booth. They had some cool software to call patients and get information by prompts, and they had some pretty neat disaster recovery and mass contact of providers.

After the show, the Medi-Bond crew went to dinner at an Italian restaurant. We didn't know that it was a long way away, so we all climbed into a mini-van for the cab trip of a life. The cab driver acted like he knew where it was, but then he kept asking where it was again. $45 later, we exited the nasty hot cab. Dinner was good. We all experienced Mr. Bill for the first time where you guess the total bill amount. None of the Bond crew had beginner's luck.

I will update more later. I am still trying to absorb coming home from HIMSS, the science fair project from hell (this will be a post, trust me), and then this acquisition stuff. Then, Mike's mom, Alice went into the hospital. Talk about a busy week.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I will write more later, but Morgan is FINALLY over her fever and has finished her antibiotic. :) Woo HOO. We went to Atlanta for the Cheersport National Championships. It was SO amazing. There were stages A - H, and each stage was about the size of a typical competition. Unbelievable. There were SO many great teams. Unfortunately, Morgan's team got 8th place. :( But the girls had a great time, so it was a fun trip anyway. I will write more details later!

I hope I have some good pictures as Morgan even did facials! I was amazed. She smiled really big both days and made cheer faces.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

1st Place and 2nd Place

Poor Morgan did not feel well today, but she was certainly a trooper because she didn't want to let her teams down. We started the morning with Advil, and we alternated Tylenol with Advil all day to try to help her feel better. The mini team rocked and got 1st place again (undefeated at 3 for 3). The youth team did well, but they had 9 girls with strep throat and Alexis hurt her neck and couldn't perform. A girl from a different team filled in for her and learned the whole routine in the morning. She did amazing. Morgan got a little dizzy during her tumbling, but she did really well. She wanted to go straight home, so they let us leave early. I was shocked to see her temperature was 103.8 when we got home. That was AFTER a lot of tylenol and motrin. I got some fluids in her, some food, her next dose of antibiotic, more motrin, and more tylenol, and I finally got it down to 100.8. Crazy. Needless to say, she will be home from school tomorrow. After the run in about the antibiotic I sent to school with her last time, I can't even imagine the school nurse's call if she went to school.

It was so nice to walk out of the fair with Morgan wearing two medals and a trophy. Last year, her team was in 5th or 6th place. What a nice change.

I finally got my Mardi Gras posts and pictures in, so go back some posts to catch up!

As of my counter, I hit some big milestones this week. I have now saved over $1,000 that I would have spent on cigarettes. I have also added 21 days to my life and chosen to NOT smoke over 6,000 cigarettes. WHOA. That is a LOT. I am so proud of myself. 8 months, 35 lbs, exercising, big changes.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sick Again

I have been battling with this stupid kidney stone already this week, and I was really bummed that the Gasparilla 5K race was not sounding very fun. I decided that I would go and just walk most of it. Since I kind of started the whole idea at the office, I felt like it wouldn't be fair of me not to go. So, Heather C and I were going to leave early to pick up Abhijeet on our way. Mike S, Mark Mcc, Luz, and Debbie were also running or walking. Linda went through a lot of trouble to book it all, and Bond even paid our entry fee.

At 4 in the morning, Morgan comes into our room crying. She is burning hot, and I know she has a fever. I take it after searching for the thermometer and advil in my sleep, and her temp is 102.1. UGH. Since Michael had his first baseball practice of the season, Katie had a parade and her first softball practice of the season, Morgan had a birthday party in the afernoon, and I had the race in the morning, it was already going to take quite a bit to get it all done. Morgan was going to go with Mike to baseball and the parade. Well, I knew at 4 am that it wouldn't be that way now. So, I emailed to the crew and let them know that I was stuck. I am really bummed. Heather also called at 6 to tell me that her whole house has a stomach bug. Poor thing. I understand that everyone else did well though.

I took Morgan to the doctor, and the strep was negative. Since she just finished antibiotics on Tuesday, he thought we should wait a day to see how she does before starting more. We had no sooner walked through the door when the phone range. Her test had turned positive after we left. So, we got back in the car and she got a shot of Rocephin again. He gave her Omnicef this time - 1.5 tsps once a day for 7 days. Gotta love it. Of course, for the second time, this is the saturday before her cheer competition with a fever. Loving it.

We hung out at home today recovering. We were both pretty pitiful. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Mike did make Jambalaya for dinner. It was very spicy but good. We all watched Bring it on 4, and I thought it was awful. I thought the first 3 were better. This one had way too much sexual references in it for me to feel comfortable with Morgan watching it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Holiday Inn Carondelet Vs Hilton Garden Inn- New Orleans Hotel Comparison

I decided that these two hotels needed to have their very own post. Keep in mind that Mike is a frequent traveler to both, so you would assume frequent traveler treatment.

We start with the view

Holiday Inn (nice view of an alley wall)

Hilton Garden Inn View - Nice view of the city

Bed at the Holiday Inn - Notice that even though the front desk continuously said we had a queen bed (the reservation was for a King, the "queen" matress does not even fit the queen head board. What kind of hotel room has ONE double (full) bed in it??? Also, notice the wimpy mattress that isn't even as tall as the night stand.

Hilton Garden Inn Bed - notice the nice fluffy mattress that is taller than the night stand. Notice that the bed is a nice size (king) and notice that the bed fits the headboard. As an added bonus, the room has a mini fridge and microwave.

Ahhh...Holiday Inn at its best. This is supposed to be the thermostat. I know, I know, it is a lot to ask that you be able to adjust the temperature of your room. FOUR DAYS of requesting a new room - nothing until 5 hours before check out time. Unbelievable.

This sign cracked me up (well, after I finished cussing about it). I supposed that if you yank the thermostat out of a hotel room so that people are baking, that COULD count as conserving energy. Interesting...

Generally a dumpy hotel room - AND SMALL
Nice decorations at Hilton Garden

Nice, spacious, clean lobby (with a nice breakfast) at the Hilton Garden

Mike gives the Holiday Inn Carondelet in New Orleans two thumbs down. Amy adds her two thumbs to make it four thumbs down.

We think there should be some new commercials....
Hey, you look tired. You just don't seem to be on your game. Oh, I just slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Trust us, if you are staying in New Orleans near the Quarter and are choosing between Holiday Inn and the Hilton Garden Inn (they are approximately the same price), PICK THE HILTON!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras Decorations are everywhere

Cool float in the Zulu Parade (started at 8am and was still going at 2pm)
Notice the beads hanging - The Zulu's hand out painted coconuts but we didn't get any. :(

These guys were dancing and having a great time

Did you raid the Bond inventory room for CDs? Interesting outfit choice.

Woo Hoo! The release did get installed at the first client around midnight of Fat Tuesday. Sounds like a good reason to celebrate! :) We miss breakfast at the hotel as they decided it was a good day to stop serving breakfast at 10 instead of 10:30. Nice. Love it. We check out and pull our luggage to Mike's next hotel (a Hilton Garden Inn right around the corner). The checkout lady acts surprised that we are upset and then tries to tell us that we could have been moved earlier. We start dropping the names of those we spoke to along the way. She says she will not charge us for the frequent traveler points. We will see. We will see.

As we walk into the Hilton, it is astonishing how wonderful it is. Nice, clean, friendly staff. Mike says, "I am home." Of course, I think Hilton and Hampton Inn's do have him for a significant number of nights, and it probably rivals his home bed. :) We get to the room and it has a nice King bed. I am jealous. :)

We go check out the Zulu parade for a bit and say bye to our jewelry making friend Leroy. We head off to the airport in a cab. Mike is picking up a rental car, but he stays with me for a bit. Of course, in typical Amy fashion, my flight is delayed again. I was supposed to land at 6:40 so that I could get Morgan from cheer at 8:30, but that plan is out the window. Grams has already flown home, and I should have expected it when we planned the departures and arrivals. It wasn't so bad though. Mara took Morgan home, and I got her from there around 10:10. It is good to be home. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lundi Gras

Mike enjoying Mother's
It was fun reading the articles on the wall at Mother's. The couple in front of us pointed out a picture of some cardiologists eating friend shrimp and oyster po boys. :) Good for the heart.
The band entertaining until Rex, Kind of the Carnival, arrives
It was very cool watching the water spray so high
The coast guard carrying Rex (the Kind of Mardi Gras)

The colors being flown on the Coast Guard Ship
Mike standing at the Mississippi river (looking at the Cajun Country map)

The Ferry to Algeers and a Riverboat
Gotta love the Captain! Steve, we didn't tell him about the bar mat. Don't worry

The Monday before Mardi Gras is called Lundi Gras. We slept in, and then I spent several hours trying to figure out how to get the release out the door. Once satisfied, we called Larry to thank his for the craps lessons, and then we went to Mother's for Shrimp Po Boy sandwhiches. Mother's definitely has one of if not the best Shrimp Po Boy. We talked to a nice couple who lives there (he was a surgeon), and a group of people from Peru. One the way there, I couldn't remember exactly where it was, so I turned on the Navigator. As the group from Peru approached us and asked how to get to Mother's, I told them that we were going there too but that I needed to follow the GPS. It was pretty funny walking through the streets based on the driving directions. We found it though. :)

After lunch, we went down tot he river for the Lundi Gras festivities. There was a stage where bands could play, and we had a good time with our big beers, the music, and the view of the Mississippi river. We went to the mall for a quick bathroom break and suffered through the long lines (of course, the men's line was quick). Then, we hung out in Brookstone in the new massage chairs and the foot massage machine. Man, that felt GOOD! I had always wanted to see what those rodeo looking exercise machines were like. I am not sure that is for me. :) We got a hurricane and went back by the river (after multiple restroom trips through the line and a trip through a cooking store looking for a recipe book). We got out just in time to see Rex, the King of the Mardi Gras Carnival, arrive on a US Coastguard boat. It was very cool. I had never been to this event, and I have since learned that it is a newer portion part of Mardi Gras. I guess it used to happen long ago (first one in 1874 but the name Lundi Gras was not applied until 1987 when the tradition was brought back).

After the arival of the King, we watched the fireworks over the river. They were really nice. Then, we walked to Harrah's. Unfortunately, this was not our night, and we lost the money were allocated to play with (of course, we kept most of it at the hotel). Mike drug me away, as I wanted to try again. :) Sometimes, he is really smart. :) We ate at Fudrucker's at the casino on our comps, and we did get the rolling cooler/chair gift out of them. :)

I should also mention that we never did get to move rooms. I forgot to provide that update, but every time we tried to move, they said they were overbooked and didn't have anything.

So, Monday night, it was HOTTTTTTT in our room. It was unbearable. Mike had cold wash clothes against him to cool off, and I was miserable. Now, I don't usually get that bad in the heat, so that should tell you how bad it was. Mike, who likes it cold, was drenched and soaked. Of couse, our lovely room didn't even have a thermostat to change the temperature (not that the hotel had cared up to this point). I called down to the desk and complain again about the temperature and about not having a thermostat to adjust it. So, they send some maintenance man to our room. Mike is not happy that this guy is coming to the room at 5am, but he gets dressed and has him come in. They guy says, "Oh, there isn't a thermostat." NO SHIT!!!!!!!! So, the front desk lady then says, "Well, we can move you to another room." At that point, it was a very good thing I didn't have a weapon. I told her that I was insulted that she would offer to move us when we had been trying to do just that for 4 days. Unelievable. So, I plaster wet washclothes on me and I finally get a little sleep.

Shrimp Po Boy

Mmmm we love mothers

Shrimp po boys and Gumbo

Money shot 2 from new orleans

We love Craps as taught by Larry. We played the Come line and even played some hard ways. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday at Mardi Gras

Happy Engagement Anniversary Mike! We got engaged on Super Bowl Sunday 4 years ago!)

Harry Lee was a sherrif in the New Orleans area, and he died recently. He was honored in the parade. A nice tribute, or maybe a little creepy, was given by throwing miniature Harry Lee doll looking magnets into the crowds. Mike brought some home to share the creepiness with our kids by hanging them on the fridge. I want my face on an aligator float and minature doll magnets to be thrown to drunk people at Mardi Gras. That's hot.

FUN MIKE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I like these drinks. Kidney stone? What kidney stone? These beads are fun. Can we go play craps now?

Scary, Mike with a spear at Mardi Gras

Talk about scary. This dude had some issues. He was really excited about this hood that was thrown from the float. He was a pretty cool guy though.

Cool float. Look at all the trash everywhere. It is always amazing to see all the trash and then to see it all cleaned up by the morning.

Gotta love girls walking around with no shirt on and paint on their boobs. Yes, honey, we can still see them.

Annoying bead snatching man and a float. This guy would snatch beads from right in front of people. This is definitely in the top ten list of how not to win friends at Mardi Gras

Gotta love the creative spirit and the all American male

I am sure his momma is proud

LOOK! It's Chandrashekar!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chandrashekar, his friends, FUN Mike at Court of Two Sisters

Super Bowl Sunday at Mardi Gras in New Orleans!!! Woo Hoo! We watch parades and hang out on Sunday. We got lots of beads, wandered down Bourbon, had big beers, and loved every minute of it. We ate breakfast on the lovely paper plates at the hotel, and we ate roast beef po boys at Court of Two Sisters on Bourbon (at the quick place off of Bourbon - not the fancy restaurant). Chandrashekar from Gebbs is working on an assignment in New Orleans, and he called to get together. He and his co-workers met us at Court of Two Sisters. It was really great to meet Chandrasheker after spending countless hours on the phone and in email. I always thought he did a good job but that his hands were tied at Gebbs with poor management and shady ethics (trying to hide issues so that they didn't have to re-write things). He said that they would rejoice when Morgan had a dentist appointment or something becasue they knew that they would get out of a call.

After meeting with Chandra, we started walking back to the hotel. We didn't realize there was a parade going on, and we got stuck at Canal and Bourbon. There was a wacky guy there with some sign telling everyone that they were going to hell. The sign was rather large and annoying. I asked him if he would move somewhere else, but he said that is where he wanted to be. I told him that I thought people would get hurt, and he said that it wouldn't be him so he didn't care. Nice Chrstian thoughts. We discovered that being next to him was actually a pretty good thing though as the floats would throw big bags of beads at his sign. We got some of the best beads of the trip standing there. Several fights broke out while we were waiting also, and a man, lady, and little boy were taken away. It must be awful to be a 3 year old boy and watch your mom get dragged away in handcuffs. I guess the man was with them, but I am not sure. One of the policemen said it was a fight over plastic beads, but he did say that she didn't get arrested but was just taked somewhere farther away and warned.

When we finally could cross, we went to the hotel to get rid of some stuff and to watch some of the Super Bowl. I watched in sadness as I realized that none of my super bowl numbers were winners. We decided to go watch the parade down by Harrah's on the canal side so that we could go to Harrah's, parades, and Bourbon street regardless of when the parade was over. We had our big bears in our cajun koozie (the brown paper bag that fits over your beer). :) After a while of watching the parade, we went to Harrah's to play Craps. We ended up playing until 6am, and we both won!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to the Larry school of craps!!! We had it going on, and we were even playing hard numbers. :) We played for the dealer, and we had a great time. My feet hurt SO badly, and I was so happy to get into bed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday at Mardi Gras

Hair of the Dog to start the day - Gotta love Big Beers for $4

Hanging with Mike, Beth, and Stacy

Something about seeing the Flag being carried that gives me goosebumps. (Not sure what the dude with the beads is doing)

Ahhh...New Orleans. I had forgotten how fun it can be. We started the morning with breakfast at the hotel. The line was pretty long, but the food wasn't too bad. They had eggs, biscuits and gravy (don't even want to think about WW points for that!!!), cereal, milk, bagels, bacon, sausage. Pretty standard. We ate there, and then we called Beth to see what they were doing. Beth is on her way to the parade, so we agree to meet at St. Charles and Canal.

As the parade is going, we start catching some beads and talking to a local couple. They are kind enough to share the King Cake that they brought from home. It was yummy. They were very cool. Mike and I bought necklaces for the girls that are gold wire bent into their names and then have a hanging heart with their birthstone. Mike and I think that we should learn to make these as we watch Leroy making a ton. Beth and her friends arrive, and we have a good time hanging with them at the parade. We end up walking to Bourbon to eat at the Bourbon House Restaurant. It was really good. We had some oysters and po boy sandwiches. Apparently, I was slurring my words a bit, but it was lots of fun hanging with them. We go back and check out more parades. We run by the room to drop off our loot, and then we head to Harrah's. We hav a great time playing, but we didn't really win much. Beth says that she has some comp meals at Harrah's, and she offers to take us to dinner. We went to Riche, and it was delicious. I had a steak that was very good. Mike and I are fading at this point, and we head back to the hotel. :)