chipped off

Lets’ face it, the general public is just stupid.  Plain and simple, people are dumb.  While the majority are this way from birth, the remaining few are converted to dumbness by advances in technology. Take going to the pharmacy and the seemingly simple task of ‘checking out’.  It’s horribly complicated in today’s society.  Worse, you receive miles of receipt tape offering everything from Depends coupons to ‘points’ for signing up for some damn retail program that promotes unwanted inquiry.  And, random comments about said programs … .  I hate listening to people bitch and moan about things neither of us can control.  I actually hate talking to people in general, but it’s kinda part of the job.  So, … .  I keep telling everyone to buy my book so I can move on from My Life As A Retail Pharmacist.  But it’s not happening as quickly as I would like, okay.  Trust me, I NEED to move on.  Let’s get this shit to go viral.  And, everyone, especially me, will be happy.

Semi-rant on stupidity is over.  Back to this amazingly complicated retail task of purchasing items.

The newest advancement to baffle the struggling consumer is the chip called the EMV.

  • Banks/credit companies are issuing new cards, which look like their old cards but are fitted with a small metallic high-tech chip
  • EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa — the three companies that created the standard
  • The chip’s goal: keeping thieves from easily accessing consumers’ personal information
  • the high-tech chip creates a unique code for each transaction, making it difficult for criminals to duplicate consumers’ information
  • if fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is responsible for the fraud
  • EMV technology won’t protect consumers with online purchases
  • Gas stations have until 2017 to replace readers at pumps

Yes, I believe the intention with this concept is good.  It’s decreasing fraud.  Unfortunately, the ‘conversion’ is not so good.  Few establishments are chip-enabled.  And, if they are enabled, the chip reader is so damn slow.  It’s just agonizing.  The impatient customer complains and the innocent cashier is trapped in retail hell, listening to the customer’s opinion about technological advancements.

Me, I handle every interaction like the person is, in fact, stupid.  I tell everyone what to do in the fewest words possible, thwarting comments and questions with the look of  ‘don’t even think about it’  on my face.  And, it works.  I buck the system.  Most actually prefer my method – I ask what is needed and handle things from there.  My goal is to streamline each transaction.  Unless, the customer is on the phone, of course.  Then, then I talk so much the customer gets really mad and has to end the call.  Once the person hangs up, I complete the sale swiftly, grinning at my ‘little’ success.

Hopefully, my rant was too … painful. Though nothing can be as painful as a Depends coupon.  When you’re only 51.

It’s ALL about the money

the BUZZ on that Feed

Let me qualify something first –  I am going to sound like a thirteen year old drama magnet when I say this, but …

“BuzzFeed knows me better than I know myself.”

Okay, I apologize.  It’s over.  On with the post.

Technically, it IS my thirteen year old daughter’s fault I was even introduced to the site.  But it is fun. We sit on the couch together and take quizzes.  It’s time I get to spend with my daughter.  So I’m going to take some quizzes.  Hell, I’ll do as many as she wants if it means spending time together.

BuzzFeed -

  •  is the leading independent digital media company delivering news and entertainment to hundreds of millions of people around the world. The global, cross-platform network includes the site and mobile apps, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and many other digital platforms.
  • is the irreverent US news and entertainment website taking the social web by storm. The site is said to be one of the fastest-growing on the internet, with more than 40 million people a month viewing viral hit.
  •  is accused of using other people’s content. But its mix of the serious and stupid poses a fresh challenge for traditional media companies as they battle for web users’ time and attention. Its flexible approach to advertising – shunning the tired model of banner ads in favor of sponsored content – makes it a trailblazer in the rise of the social web.

 quizzes - 

How can picking one out of nine different donuts predict this?

You have a very kind heart and a generous spirit. You’re always taking care of everyone else, even when you don’t realize you’re doing it. Just make sure to take care of yourself along the way. Take a little “me” time and treat yo’ self!

That so totally describes you, daddy,” said my daughter. Smart kid. And, I didn’t even have to pay her to say that.

This Picture Test Will Reveal Your Deepest Fear

Your deepest fear is failure. The thought of not succeeding or achieving your goals and dreams lingers over you a lot and it’s always in the back of your mind. Sometimes you work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen, but sometimes you can cave and fall into the mindset of “what’s the point of even trying?” Everybody fails at things in life though, and the beauty of it is you can learn from your mistakes and try again. After all, some of the most powerful and richest people in the world failed before they succeeded.

I decided NOT to include the fucking quiz that revealed my correct age.  No one wants to test fate with that link.  I guess I should be happy it didn’t predict me older eh?

Damn BuzzFeed! I hate you – (drama implied)

updates and understandings on past posts

To have been truly DONE with January, I should’ve penned this post BEFORE I Welcomed February in a tyrannical rant.  This biannual recap of my musings is appropriately scheduled, though.  Unfortunately, the rest of my life … is not.

One of the reasons January was so awful, I had a sinus infection for practically the entire month.  And, it still hasn’t gone away.  The adverse effects to the antibiotic numbed/changed my taste buds.  Translation –  PBJ’s aren’t appetizing.  Gasp! Worse, coffee – my most favorite thing in, like, the world – tastes … bad almost nauseating.  Even bigger Gasp!

See, my rant was truly justified.

pbj and the Family Guy

So, here are those afterthoughts of previously posted material.  After, I’m looking for a complete catharsis to be move onward in this damn year.

  • I miss El Nino. Traverse  had more snow in December than all last winter combined. January wasn’t too bad – February is looking pretty grim, though. Fortunately, I’m still doin the D3 thing
  • In Tangled, it really WAS a cast iron skillet Rapunzel used even though it was referred to as a ‘frying pan’.  The latter is just easier to dialogue – especially for a Disney cartoon.  Oh, and Rapunzel  NEVER once complained about the weight of her skillet. You go, Rapunzel
  • caramelizing onions is my favorite cast iron skillet  ’to do’
  • Entertainment Weekly mentioned that this is the fortieth anniversary of Rumors by Fleetwood Mac.
  • I still don’t have Canadian maps on my GPS.  I still don’t care.
  • Maybe I should actually stick with Christmas cards.  I sent New Years greetings this year on time - ever since my life has been quite the cluster.   Note to self – Christmas in July  2018? Anythings gotta be better than New Years 2017.
  • Hollywood has to work on this whole ‘happily ever after’ thing.  LaLaLand was an incredible movie that truly does deserves the praise it’s received.  However, like Into The Woods there is NO real happily ever after. The main stars get their own ‘happily’ just not together and definitely not ‘ever after‘ .
  • Along with the row machine, I’ve been spending time on the stair stepper.  It’s not the same as those 115 stairs in the east stairwell of the hotel in Canada, but my butt likes it.  Buns of concrete, baby.
  • No marquee maxiums worth mentioning except the only clubs I like are sandwiches. I have no idea what that means, nor do I care.
  • I still suck at poetry.
  • would you rather use a well-rehearsed cliche’ or just tell the person to ‘shut the fuck up and mind their own business.’  Any guesses on my answer? Hint: italics
  • Haven’t had any Mead recently.  Though I’m still told I need to drink more. Hard cider?  Maybe Vodka?

I decided to close with one of my daughter’s favorite songs.  Don’t let the title mislead, she IS way alright.

This couch potato therapy session is officially over.  Begin catharsis.

Aum … .

Welcome February

I AM done with January.  Let me rephrase that – I AM so fucking done with January.

Normally, I like the month.  I look at January as a low-key, low-stress month – a welcome break from the crazy months that proceeded.  A settling into winter with comfort food and even more comfortable … flannel? I was trying to think of some fun ‘comfort’ wordplay to go along with food, but couldn’t.  So I’m sticking with flannel.   Anyway, even though the month is 31 days long, it rarely seems burdensome.

Conversely, February was the month I often dreaded.  Yes, I love the thought of February – not because of Valentine’s Day.  Remember, it’s me.  I would never love February because of Valentine’s Day, okay? Think about it. February should be an easy month.  I mean, it IS only 28 days.  For some reason, though, it’s never easy. I’m not sure whether it’s the cold, the snow, or that damn Cupid.  But, the month drags.

Now since everything I’ve come to know and expect  for decades is out the proverbial  window, I am at a precipice – ready for what February has in store.  So, it better be … better than January.  I try to keep my expectations realistic. Oh, yeah, if that  Groundhog decides to fuck things up, one of Cupid’s arrows will make him rethink that shadow shit.

comfort … song


Time to talk shop – well, OTC pharmacy shop, that is.  Vitamin/mineral  supplements are sometimes a natural alternative to pharmaceutical preparations when preventing or treating physiological conditions.  Be warned – researching what you need for what you have then actually going out and getting it can be rather confusing.  Unfortunately, the manufacturers think  more is better.  Shit, just buying Tylenol is a pain in the ass because there are so many options OF THE SAME THING – tablets, capsules, caplets, liquid, chewables. It’s very overwhelming. However, one particular mineral is actually confusing because of its versatility not its duplicity of availability.


Magnesium is a mineral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of this natural occurring mineral in the blood. Magnesium is very important for the normal functioning of cells, nerves, muscles, bones, and the heart. Certain situations cause your body to lose magnesium faster than you can replace it from your diet. These situations include treatment with diuretics, a poor diet, alcoholism, or other medical malabsorption conditions.

Before I decided to pen this post, I asked an intern about the difference in magnesium preparations.  I’ve been out of school over twenty-seven years, I have no fucking clue.  She said that  the majority of  Magnesium products do the same thing – treat a deficiency of magnesium in the body.  If that’s all that is needed, purchase whatever product is on sale and call it a day. Medical professionals have their go to favorites for each disease state and sometimes it really does make a difference.

Magnesium Oxide (MgO):

MagOx 400 is a favorite if cardiologists used for patients that have compromised cardiovascular conditions that warrant supplementation.

Magnesium Citrate (‎C6H6MgO7):

This form of magnesium is an osmotic – translation – it increases water in the intestines.  Even simpler terms – it’s for constipation.  And, the liquid formulation called Citrate of Magnesia is like Liquid Plumber, baby.  Within fifteen minutes you are cleaned out and will continue to be cleansed for some time after.  Caution – don’t leave the  bathroom.

Another, less invasive preparation, is Calm.  A powder that can be mixed with juice to relax the muscles and keep you regular if needed.  In no way will this ever replace Xanax, especially for those gay summer weddings, but it does … calm.

Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4):

This is Epsom Salt.  Health benefits from either soaking your feet or taking a bath in Epsom salt, include: soothing muscle aches, treating sunburn, and removing splinters

 Lastly, Magnesium is even available in the Carbonate formulation which the chalk used by gymnasts, rock climbers, and weight lifters.

Few elements in the Periodic Table have equal versatility.  And, speaking of that Table … .

the Periodic Table song

elemental humor

Image result for mg periodic table


Atomic Number: 12

Atomic Weight: 24.305

Element Classification: Metal

These dreams

Back in July 2014, I posted   I dreamed a dream.  Below is a summary of my dream.  Though, I must say, the entire post is rather witty.  And, that was over two years ago  - kinda’ proud of that.

So, I’m in pharmacy school, plugging along, and wham I fail a class or something equally school/career altering happens that makes me re-evaluate my future/options.  Pharmacy school, like any professional degree, has classes that are sequential.  You have to pass Pharmaceutics I to go on the Pharmaceutics II.  Since the classes are only offered in specific semesters, the entire schooling tract revolves around the forward movement – passing each class.  You fail – your fucked.  In this dream, however, I never get passed the decision – I’m always faced with the decision or ,better yet, panicked by what little options exist. Often I wake up realizing I’ve had the dream, yet knowing  no resolution occurred.

Once again, my rambling  ”… has nothing to do with the show  Les Miserables .  But … everything to do with  days gone by AND this hell I’m living - retail pharmacy, of course. “ 

As you may have guessed, I am still having the same damn dream; twenty-five years and counting.  However, not as often AND it has continued to change. Just not enough for me, okay. Situations and supporting characters appear, then disappear, over and over and over again.  Still, the fact remains – I fail and I am faced with the “what the fuck am I going to do now” scenario right before I awake.  One last tidbit of information that I didn’t include in the summary – I think about ‘change’, especially in my professional life, more now than I did back then.  Hm… .

In a recent conversation, I picked the brain of someone who might know something or another about dreams.  He stated that this dream is the ‘classic’  and most frequented dreamed dream.  And, regardless of my conscious efforts, there will never be resolution in my dream.  Before I could protest this unfortunate circumstance, he mentioned that there may be a way to creatively manipulate my dream.  By doing this, the new events may somehow offer a solution by shifting certain elements of the dream, changing the emphasis.  Then failure may not be the issue.  Hmm … .

Instead of it always being from my  protagonistic  point of view, I was instructed to use my conscious state to think about the dream from different perspectives.    Better yet,  personify the location. What would ‘the school’ say or how it would ‘react’?  Could the ‘supporting characters’ actually change the outcome if they were now the primary focus?  Hmmm ... .

Don’t worry, the hmm…  stops here.  I’m not that obsessive.  It really is only a dream.  Rarely do I have luxury of time to consciously think about such a trivial subject.  It’s tempting, though.  Very tempting.

Heart – These Dreams

Dream on!

the cast iron skillet


  • 1 cup white self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • Enough buttermilk to make batter very thin (about 1 cup)


  1. Oil a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven as oven preheats to 450°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together to make the batter. Pour batter into hot skillet.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

courtesy of Elizabeth Kelly  a friend of Lodge and a contributor to the cookbook A Skillet Full.

First, I have never tried this recipe.  But it is from the be all, end all of cast iron skillet websites.  I’m thinking it’s probably pretty good.  Secondly, I still have yet to bake  in my skillet.  Though corn bread or some upside something or another would be my first choice.  That being said, I am very proud of my cast iron cookware.  Technically, this is my second skillet.  I had one decades ago.  I was young and stupid and, … long pause … I let it rust.  Gasp!  Martha Stewart would be appalled at my culinary negligence.  Believe it or not, I have matured.  Now, I treasure, if not pamper, my current cast iron skillet – a Father’s Day present to myself over five years ago.

M. Stewart seasons the skillet


  1. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is naturally non-stick.  Cast iron pots and pans aren’t coated with synthetic materials
  2. Cast iron cookware retains heat
  3.  cook with cast iron pots and pans to boost your iron intake.
  4. Because cast iron cookware is made from the same base material that builds engine blocks, they are guaranteed to last a very, very long time. In fact, the more you cook with it, the better (and more seasoned) it gets.
  5. cheap – very cost effective


  1. heavy – only in 2017 would someone complain of such a thing.  Shut the fuck up, you culinary wannabe pansies. My grandmother weighed 92 pounds. She never complained about anything.  You go, grandma.
  2. susceptible to rust  - isn’t everything.  (witty metaphor usage, eh?)
  3. high maintenance – I have a wife,  two daughters, and work retail pharmacy.  Comparatively, nothing is high maintenance.

true story 

One night I came home from work and panicked.  I saw my cast iron skillet IN THE DRYING RACK  STILL WET.  My youngest daughter boasted that she had cooked some eggs and cleaned up the dishes USING SOAP.  Damn kids. How can you get mad at that?  I didn’t of course.  Instead, I remained calm, dried the skillet and immediately re-seasoned.  (dramatic sigh of relief).  By the way, she said nothing about it’s weight.  She’s thirteen.  You go, daughter.

A Tangled skillet

I figured this was an appropriate post.  It’s January.  Cooking and baking comfort food is pretty much all there is to do when it’s, like, below zero and snowing.  And, that Lodge website (under the recipe) is quite fun.  While you wait for it to load, a cartoon egg ‘cooks’ in a skillet.  Fun.

Order up!

row, row, row your Black Concept 2

stationarily at the gym.
healthily, healthily, healthily
you will always be … trim.

See, that’s why I leave the poetry to my mother.  Though, it’s much better than my original ending of  … you will always have flexible hips. That doesn’t  rhyme.  Furthermore, is  stationarily  even a word? Ugh! I think I’ll just stick with blog posting.


I have bad hips, especially on my left side.  It’s a familial issue.  My younger sister had both hips done at age forty.  My younger brother has similar difficulties.  But, shit, I can barely tie my shoe some mornings.  And, it’s not a motor skills impairment, okay. Damn joint just won’t budge.  It really is bothersome.  So, I decided to take back my hips.  Actually, I’ve been working on it for the last few months, trying different exercises to see what route would be most beneficial.   And, the Black Concept 2 rowing machine seems to fit my lifestyle the best.

I have never been a stationary anything, especially the treadmill – so fucking boring as far as I’m concerned.  Physical Therapy can be quite expensive.   I have tried yoga – you know, that Bikram ‘hot’ yoga shit.  Well, that didn’t agree with my body either.  Besides, each session was a two hour commitment AND there were sweaty, half-naked people with open sores on their backs. Gross.  That’s a post in itself. Lastly, changing things up at the gym takes both time and creative energy.  I’m not that patient, considering I usually only have 39 to 43 minutes to workout.

One day, I overheard some dude bragging about the rowing machine. I tried it on my next visit and … .  I liked it.


  • burns two to three times the amount of calories than Spinning,
  • works 9 major muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps.
  • an amazing cardio workout.
  •  great for injury prevention, rehab and runners
  • low impact alternative to other activities.


legs, hips, arms – arms, hips, legs     ( NOTE: if you reorganize this list, it DOESN’T work )


  •  don’t grip too hard - the handle should travel in sync with your seat for the initial leg drive portion of the stroke.
  • drive with your legs
  • hinge at the  hips –  sit up tall, and wait
  • focus on a consistent, steady movement – feel the flow as you row (that last part was all me – I should really abandon all attempts of rhyming. I think it’s best.)
  • breathe properly – easier said than done.  Yet the key to, like, everything.


Seems easy enough, eh? Umm, NO! This is hard work.  The next day I  just ache.  But, it’s a good ache.  Yes, I know I’m fifty-one. Believe me, even a twenty-five year old would ache.  Hopefully,  with patience, the end product will be achieved.  I will once again be able to tie my shoe.  Now if I could master that whole using a fork and spoon thing.  Hmm … .

Eminem rocks this video row


Let’s talk alcohol. Traverse City and the surrounding area ferment. distill, and hop at any chance to make drinks of the unmixed variety. (get it – hop – beer) Since I know very little about, well, anything, especially alcohol, I’ve decided to educate myself.  And, dedicate a post every so often to what I learn about spirited beverages and the intricacies that go into their production.  Chemistry and ‘recipes’ are involved.  I’m a pharmacist that cooks. I think I can handle this.  As for the blog, think Ode and MasterCard moment walk into the local tavern with   as the bartender.  Really, it’s not that complicated. And, if it’s totally lame, I’ll do the whole Blogger’s Anonymous thing.  Okay?

So, … .  Let’s begin.

Here in Northern Michigan there are countless tap houses and tasting rooms that serve some of the best beer, hard cider, whiskey, wine and …


noun: a fermented beverage made of water and honey, malt, and yeast.  Thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man.

The history of mead may go back more than 8,000 years. The oldest known meads were created on the Island of Crete. Wine had not yet been created. Mead was the drink of the Age of Gold, and the word for drunk in classical Greek remained “honey-intoxicated.

The tapestry of mead history is rich and wonderful. References are littered throughout history and literature. Chaucer speaks of making Claret sweeter with the addition of honey. In 1771 Smollett writes that knowledge of mead-making is considered one of the arts of a true country gentleman. Queen Elizabeth was known to have her own favorite recipe, including rosemary, bay leaves, sweet briar and thyme. But perhaps Howell, Clerk to the Privy Council, said it best in 1640 when he wrote, “The juice of bees, not Bacchus, here behold, Which British Bards were wont to quaff of old; The berries of the grape with Furies swell, But in the honey comb the Graces dwell.

Internet sources:, ,

Mead: A Taste of Honey

Unlike life, this post has great timing.  New Years Eve is fast approaching.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not of fan of the holiday.  NYE is like a birthday – high expectation / low yield.   Even when there are no-expectation-whatsoever, that yield bar still takes a hit.  I blame women. Oh, and retail pharmacy customers, of course.  That’s when this whole mead thing will come in handy.  Alcohol makes everything better, right? I’ve never been a big drinker myself.  Though, I’ve recently been told I should think about drinking more.  Honey-intoxicated does sound interesting.    Hmmm … . Anyway, what better way to put this Random Nonsense to use than to drink mead, celebrating the New Year.

Because there is no better example of the expectation/yield concept, I will close with this ‘challenged’ couple in a ‘balanced’ movie clip.

Happy 2017

NYE with Harry and Sally

Oh, yeah, please drink responsibly.  I need all the followers I can get.

« Older

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: