The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

My Desert Oasis

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 12:13 pm on Monday, April 30, 2012

Nothing is sweeter than holding a round trip ticket to Palm springs…except holding a ONE WAY ticket I suppose. haha..

Pharmacy Chick abandoned the pharmacy for a week to bask in the golden soaked sands of the desert.  Since this was a golf vacation,  PC preferred to avoid the sand, instead hoping to find wide fairways and short putts.   Occasionally she found both.

She also found more INsight, INsanity, and (probably) INcontinence than anyplace in the world.

As I grow older,  the draw of PS grows stronger every day.  I find I have more in common with the environment each and every time I go.  And, every time I go, I find I leave a bit of myself behind….so I can come back and claim it later.  I don’t think I will ever OWN property down there, but I will certainly rent for longer amounts of time as the years progress.

But before we settle back and wax nostalgic about my desert oasis,  we do have to remember it IS a  PC vacation, which means that calamity and fruitcakes must present itself with some regularity on the trip. It started at the airport:

After thinking we had scored a “first in line” at curbside check in at 0’dark thirty , we found ourselves at the end of a security line that was longer than some par-3 holes I have played.   a TSA agent wandered the long line admonishing us to have all of our ducks in a row, or face dire consequences ( not the least of which would be castration by nail clippers by the person immediately behind you if you slow everybody down).  I commented to Mr Chick that we should have a beer and popcorn vendor selling 3 ounce beers.  Who cares if its 6 am.  I was ready to start drinking as soon as I saw the 300 foot line of humanity. I remembered reading about some man who stripped to his ..um..shorthairs..the previous week  after some TSA agent decided he was shifty looking when this man declined to have the peep-show scanner display his wares.  I found out it was in Portland Oregon.  Poor Oregonians,  I guess all that rain is getting to them. Can’t blame him I guess.  You notice they never show YOU what your scan looks like.

Since the flight left before I usually get up each day, once I found my seat I bundled my ears up in noise cancelling headphones, wrapped my neck in a brace and went to sleep before take off. I was grateful that the required “screaming child” on every flight was many rows back and was either suffocated by his parents or shoved into the cargo hold because after take off, his ear-splitting screams ceased.   Never sleeping well on a plane, I wandered in and out of conscious awareness until I felt the plane heave a bit as it began its decent into the thermal inversion smog of LA . I didn’t even get my 50 calorie snack or my apple juice….sigh…  Stepping onto the plane it was 39 degrees,  Stepping off it was nearly 70…at 9 am.  Nice.  We made a superman type transformation in the nearest bathroom: walking in as freezing ” northerners” and walking out as California “flip flops”.  My shoes never saw the light of day again.

Some random observations:

Ever people watch in a different city?  In my home town, I must be immune to the colorful characters I live among.  Each city has its own interesting folks and Palm Springs is no different.

There is also  an entire industry of taking care of peoples possessions while they are not there.  In fact,  I propose to you that the richer a person is, the more likely they are to buy expensive stuff they never use.   There is a particular house I admire covet that I have to drool over every time I play the course it is situated on.  My buddy who plays there nearly every day said he has never seen a human inside that house in the 2 years he has played at this course.    Big and Gaudy is the rule.  Ive seen Bentley Golf carts,  Hummer Golf carts,  Jaguar “Jag-u-war” golf carts, some with complete air conditioning, and a sound system better than the one that powers my home theater. I would prefer to walk, but that is not an option.  You Ride…or you Ride… ok?

One night we decided on a quick dinner at a buffet house.    It was HomeTown buffet or something like that.  They should re-name it LaCasa Buffet.  We were the only non-hispanics in the place.  Good food tho it was ai rconditioned into major discomfort.  As is my custom, I grabbed a light fleece from the car before we entered, and I had it upon my body before we sat down!

I would hate to be a delivery guy in the desert. Not only is it hot and you are in a truck with no doors, but every place you go is gated and walled in.  the list of codes you have to have on file must be endless. We helped out a UPS driver when his code didn’t work in our rented development. ( no comments please..he WAS a UPS driver and the code had just changed).

This is a day-town.  It seems that many businesses close at 5-6 pm daily, which is rather uncommon in today’s 24-7 society.  After dinner everybody retreats to their homes and aren’t seen again until the next day.  Our friend, whose house we usually stay at, goes to bed by  9 pm daily. ” everybody does”. he says.  Well, he cannot speak for everybody, but if you look at the traffic, etc after about 6 pm, it makes perfect sense.  He bemoans a late softball game, ( 7pm) because he is tired.

For the first time in years, we went to a Costco.  My host friend wanted pizza for dinner and he likes their pizza.  We dont shop at there because with only Mr Chick and myself, we just dont need bulk stuff..and when we DID have a card for Costco, we always spent too much money on junk we really didnt’ need.  So, good bye Costco card.

Its harder than you think to find a good Mexican restaurant.  “Good” is defined differently for Mr Chick and myself.

We were told to bring our swimsuits. so we did. But we also learned our friend doesn’t heat his pool anymore.  Too expensive.  Even at 95 degrees outside, a cold pool is just too cold to jump into, but dangling my tired feet in the cold water felt good.

Speaking of expensive, we learned that buying a home can be cheap in the desert….but maintaining it is NOT.  Our friend said that if he heats the pool and uses air conditioning as he wants to , his utility bill is $1500 per month.  He said he is “lucky” when he can get away with $700 electric bill.  He also has to pay for the gardener, and the pool guy, and the HOA fees. Believe it or not, he un-retired after “semi-retiring” from his home based business to keep up with the bills.

we had a nice time golfing for the week, the final day topped off the excitement when PC aced the 7th hole at the course we were playing.  Lightning struck again! whoo hoo!  After completing our final round, and obtaining the perfunctory congrats for the 1,  we packed up and headed to the airport where more lightning would strike again..only this time with no celebration:

Since we were flying out of Ontario ( cheaper) we arrived early–you never know about the traffic.  We settled nicely into the airport chairs 2+ hours early and prepared to read our books and mags, when we heard a garbled message over the P.A. We didn’t pay much attention to it until some guy came and sat down next to us and fired up his cell phone ” I see our flight is delayed and possibly cancelled to Home..I will try to get another flight”.  We asked him about this and apparently  ths garbled message was informing passengers of this crucial information.  We dashed out of the gate and back to the flight desk, where others had congregated for the same reason: get another flight home. These lucky souls got flights from the same airport..we weren’t so lucky.  ” We have one out of Orange county in 2 hours with a layover at X, and you can take a taxi at our expense, but your luggage will stay here until the flight makes its return to HERE and we will send it home”. It took him ( what seemed like) forever to re-book our two tickets as the people surrounding us zipped thru with their new tix. ( wtf?)

We took the flight, dashed to the cab, and prepared for the 50 mile trip to an airport in 5:00 pm LA traffic.  We held little hope but prayer that we might make it on time.  Both of us had to work the next day. Prayer paid off as we zipped thru an unusually light friday traffic. With no luggage, we managed to arrive at the gate with about 15 minutes to spare before boarding.  Our 2 hour flight turned into a 5 hour (+ layover) adventure that finally got us home at midnight.

And Hell to pay at work the next morning…

A 5 year old in an adult body?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:05 pm on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My tech deserves a medal:  Overheard at the drop off window ( customer just handed tech a rx to fill..)

Can I sit down?  Probably only at the front of the store, there aren’t any chairs at this time

Why arent there any chairs? Because we are under construction at this time ( see big sign?)

Why are you under construction? To enlarge the pharmacy and add more seating.

why do you need more space?  To provide more room for our customers and improve the services we offer

Why?  was it too small?  Yes, we are growing and we needed more space to accomodate the people.

Why did you have to remove the chairs?  So they can finish the construction  ( tech is reaching for sharp instruments now…)

When will it be done? Your guess is as good as mine…( Im sure she is going to kill this man)

So where did you say those chairs were?…..



Cheaper by the visit?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:08 pm on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This old bloke came to the counter today to pick up  his prescriptions,  a statin and an eye drop.  Each were $6 copay on his Medicare D sponsored plan.  I rang him up and told him his total was $12.  “It was only $6 last time” he said.  Confounded, I said that Yes, and they still ARE $6.  Nothing has changed.  He stood there looking at me like I was trying to rip him off.  ” Then why are you charging me $12?’…” because you have your pills and your eye drops..thats $12…to which he replied, “no, they are $6.  This conversation was going to be circular I could tell…“EACH” I carefully said.  ” 2 prescriptions at $6 EACH are $ 12 dollars total”. I went to the computer just to verify my accuracy and he had been paying the same copay all year…each month for the two rx’s…$6.00.

” Yes, but I am getting BOTH OF THEM TODAY…so they should be $6! They are, sir…$6 each…you have to pay one copay for every prescription you bring, if you bring me 5 prescriptions, you will pay  $6 for each one= $30.  You don’t pay $6 for all of them together.

He paid me the $12, but is convinced I am ripping him off. ” I never pay $12!!”  ..and by the looks of it he probably never did..according to the dispensing record he came in on different days ..picking ONE up at a time..til today…when he got “ripped off” for getting both on the same day.

I can’t win.

Easter Greetings!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:03 am on Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter everybody!   On this Resurrection Sunday the Lord has blessed us with sunshine ( something not seen here much lately!).  PC, Mr Chick and some friends will be heading to a lovely buffet shortly after having had  celebrated Jesus’ Rising last night. And, not to be outdone, since the buffet is at the golf course, perhaps Ill practice and burn a few of those calories off on the range! ( then slip quietly home into a comfortable chair and watch the final round of the Masters)…funny how both the Christian Holy week and golf Holy week coincided this year! LOL

On this occasion I wanted to step out of the pharmacy coat and comment on something that was all over the internet and facebook over the last couple of weeks.  Some pastor had put up a message board in front of his church that said ” God prefers kind athiests over hateful Christians”.  Wow.  All I can say is that created thousands of comments all over the US. One of my FB friends tagged me in that photo and put it on my wall.

I took it off.

Let me explain why.

Lets break it down into parts:  1) ” God Prefers”….I think its pretty nervy to make an assumption that we can KNOW with authority what God Prefers in any certain circumstance.  Unless its specifically written in the scriptures, I think we should remember that HE is the creator…WE are the creation, and should make no statements regarding what God prefers. I am no bible scholar but I am pretty sure that the words “kind athiests and hateful Christians” are NOT in the Bible.  There is a lot of evidence in the Bible that describes the Lord’s character, but  in the end I have always come to the conclusion that he loves everybody.( not necessarily all that we do or say however).

2) “Kind Atheists” Also I think its also pretty haughty of any human to assume that God is bound by our request to make a preference if given a choice between two things.  Why do we think that God would choose any of these things?   There are lots of “kind (people who do not believe in any diety)” but what evidence is there that they are preferred? Show me in the scriptures and I will measure the evidence.

3) “Hateful Christians”.  I present to you that this is an oxymoron.  the word CHRISTIAN is a very charged and polarizing word.  It doesn’t mean the same thing to any 2 given people.  To some it means “conservative right wing republican gay haters”, but to me its simply a term that says ” I follow Jesus Christ and call him my Savior”.  wow…two very different definitions.  If you HATE…you probably aren’t a Christian..no matter what you call yourself.  I could call myself a tomato but it doesn’t make it so.

Like removing that photo tag from my facebook page, I am going to remove any thought that I know all what God prefers, unless specifically stated in Scripture.  When asked what was the GREATEST commandment, Jesus was pretty specific  “ Love the Lord with all your heart, your soul, and your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” And with that my friends, I think …..if you nail that last sentence, I am theorizing you pretty much will nail all that God Prefers.

Blessings to you all!

PC

Perhaps I should be more observant…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 3:40 pm on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All this talk about back up’s reminded me of a story I want to confess share with you all.

A while back my IT Buddy was installing a second hard drive on my desk top upstairs.  I just wanted more storage for pics and stuff.  He was upstairs and I was downstairs hanging out with his wife.  I decided to check on things and bring him some cookies.  I noticed he was pulling some information off a laptop and transferring it to my computer.

I said ” Hey, nice laptop, is it new?”.

He looked at me like I was stoned…” PC..its YOURS”.

“carry on…”  I left him the cookies…as he was roaring with laughter.

Hard Software..no April fools

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:32 am on Monday, April 2, 2012

One of Pharmacy Chick’s dear friends suffered a complete meltdown over the weekend.  One of their daughters ( or their friends) accidentally downloaded a virus into their computer.  Unfortunately it managed to get pass whatever virus checker they had and it systematically ate up the functionality of the computer.  My friend is a systems analyst  so he knows computers..so to be unable to recover HIS computer with HIS personal experience is disastrous.  He was able to recover his files, but had to wipe everything else completely clean and start over with a clean install of his operating system.    When Mr Chick did something similar a while back I just carried the entire laptop into a geek type business and said ” fix it”.

Stealing from my friend’s playbook, I decided to back up my hard drives.  You might think that an external hard drive would  be the most simple thing in the world…however leave it to a software writer to make it complicated.   All I had hoped I would be able to do was 1) plug in the drive..2)With simple directions, Decide what I want to back up–entire hard drive or select files..3) then view on the hard drive what I did to make sure what I backed up was indeed there.  The packaging would lead you to believe its that simple.

It. is.not.  IN fact, I had to dig deep into windows explorer to see if the backup worked, and even then the file extensions were un-openable.  I cannot open bmr’s, vng’s or xml. there are also other file extensions that I cannot even remember that are on the back up  drive, so I cannot really peer into what I backed up to see if everything is there.

Does everything have to be in a language that I only half understand?  I mean the words are in English. Its just that the meanings often dont make absolute sense or completely explain what you are doing. And, the current trend is to not include instructions with software, other than installation.  Good luck with asking a question.I mean, all I really wanted to see was a list of the files I backed up to verify they were properly done…

Have any of you ever seen the Ally bank commercial where a blue blender is placed in a drycleaner with a sign that says ” use blender for help”.  Its completely senseless..and the facial expressions of the people are priceless , but the metaphor is spot on with regards to the nonsense of buying (and using) software ( and hardware) with no manuals or the real ability to get help.  If you haven’t seen the ad, its http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYF3dqrpnxU

( actually, ALL of their ads are funny)

Software may claim to be “intuitive” to use, but in actuality..its not for many of us. I still dont know if all my files backed up. all I can see is the file size is 50 G so I am left assuming that 50 gig of data is one it someplace…

Hopefully its recoverable data!