I've always had twisted coworkers

I randomly just remembered one of the funnier things that's ever happened to me at work...and it was back when I was an editor! I share it now for general entertainment.

Back story: I worked with J, who liked to draw strange cartoons. Why? I don't question these things. We had a freelancer T, whom I'd happened to overhear on the phone with another colleague, saying he appreciated being able to work from home because he was disabled. We also all knew that he was gay.

Meanwhile, J was preparing a package for T and included a sketch of Captain Cupcake. It was a drawing of a cupcake wearing a pirate's hat and an eye patch, and it had a peg leg. Why the cupcake? I do not ask why.

Later that evening I mentioned the phone call, and J put down his beer (we weren't at work anymore).

"I just sent a drawing of a cupcake with a peg leg to a disabled gay man?"

"Um, I guess so, yes."

"And you didn't think you should MENTION THIS?"

"Um, I guess not, no."

There was hatred and bitterness.

Fortunately, T did not take offense to Captain Cupcake...

You WANT this $12 Sport band for your Apple Watch

Well, maybe you don't, but if you have an Apple Watch and are tired of the color you originally bought, $12 is a fantastic advantage over Apple's $50.

These come in the usual colors for both sizes of Watch and, like, Apple's, include three parts for two sizes. I got the pink one (pictured). I have had the blue that came with my original order, and I like it just fine, but one does crave a bit of change.

I can't distinguish this from the Apple one other than looking at it; it has the same squishy feel, latches in the same hole, and resists dirt. My skin doesn't itch. It arrived in a few days (it wasn't a Prime offering when I bought it last week).

What's not to like?

I also bought one of these from Zenok leather. Apparently I am overcome with a need for variety. Expensive? Hellz yeah. BUT not as pricey as an Apple one, and this is an independent crafter. I've bought notebooks from this Etsy shop before and trust the products.

HIPAA Is Overrated | OnlineLPNtoRN.org

"HIPAA is not what it is made out to be. Nurses must use caution and professional judgement, but we need not gag ourselves into complete silence. If we discuss a patient or situation in such a way that no one without their own inside knowledge could know with certainty who it is, it is not a HIPAA violation!"

The summer is KILLING me

I'm not blogging much lately; I'm not much of anything lately. We're having our usual heat wave, only this year I'm out in it rather than sleeping through the heat of the day. It isn't going well. For 7 years I've been a night crawler, which is excellent in the summer. For the most part I was inside in a dark air-conditioned place during the heat of the day. Now I'm in and out of a hot car all day.

For years I joked about being a light-fearing vampire. I really don't like the sun. It's bright and hot. I have no desire to be out in it. It makes my eyes hurt, and the whole experience is just generally unpleasant for me. However, it isn't funny now. I think I had good reasons for being a night owl, because now that I'm not, it's really a difficult adjustment.

There is horrible fatigue. There are puking headaches. There is nausea. A coworker finally mentioned that it must be like having to move to another climate in a different time zone, and I think it kind of is!

Ah well. I can't expect for years of habit and conditioning to be reversed instantly. I'm sure I will adapt. This schedule has to be healthier in the long run, and I'm already exercising much more consistently. I just think it's ironic that so much attention goes to how to survive night shift where here I am having the worst time moving to days!

This recruiter? Is a MORON

Background: I applied for a job a few months ago within the umbrella of one of those giant healthcare companies. A different facility, just within the same giant company. I drove through a snowstorm to get to my interview, was searched and then sniffed by dogs, and waited at least 30 minutes. At which point I got a PHONE CALL saying "we were just told not to bother interviewing you, because you won't be hired." Any particular reason? "I'm sure you know." Well, no. This is all very cloak-and-dagger. (I found out that someone who doesn't like me may or not be involved with a higher-up there, but far be it from me to suggest that politics could affect my job prospects.)

Needless to say, I was angry.

I've subsequently found that I dodged a bullet because it's a horrible place to work, so, it all came out in the wash.


Yesterday, out of the blue, I got a recruiting letter from this company, wanting me to apply for the SAME JOB, and offering me a sign-on bonus.

Needless to say, I was angry.

I replied politely, explained the situation, and suggested that they focus on retention and professionalism rather than recruiting if they're having to beg people they chased out of the place to come there with a big bonus.

This goes in my all-time "are you kidding me" bucket.

Updates on my fascinating life, thoughts on Apple Music, and...?

Hey, I survived another 4th of July! I have a new salaried job (hospice case manager), so not only did I NOT have to work the 4th in an ER, I didn't have to work at all. And I got paid anyway. That's some awesomesauce right there. I used Friday to jet down and spend the day with my grandparents in their assisted living apartment. I can only hope that if I live to be 95, I'm doing as well as they are.

They're 95. 95! I hope I got most of my genes from this side of my family.

They're 95. 95! I hope I got most of my genes from this side of my family.

On the actual 4th I got up early and drove home to dog-sit, because one of my pit bulls goes ape from Things That Make Noise. This includes thunder and fireworks. She turns cartwheels and pants until she froths. So I drug her and sit home with her. I know how to party, people.

So, during my trip into the pits of Southeast Kansas, I experimented more with Apple Music. Typically I fuss over playlists in Spotify and download them all for offline listening, but I resolved to see if Apple Music would "just work." Aside from Beats 1, for which I had to turn on my VPN, it actually did. There are dead zones down there; I got much better reception in rural Italy than I do in my hometown. Nevertheless, by some dark magic, the music never even jittered. Beats 1, by the way, holds no attraction for me. I've given it a good try, but my music tastes manage to exclude every song they play, ever.

I listen to a lot of music. I have a huge iTunes library. I've been happily paying Spotify $9.99 for years. I have already canceled my subscription there. For my needs, Apple Music is a slam-dunk.

  • The stuff I stream integrates seamlessly with my existing playlists, so all those smart playlists keep working with my streamed music.
  • The "for you" recommendations are creepily good.
  • My Apple Watch playlist now syncs streamed music to my watch, so I am finally freed of lugging my iPhone out to exercise. I want to listen to NEW music when I'm out!
  • Thus far I have discovered only one track I wanted that Apple Music didn't have, and I listened to some weird stuff.
  • I like the iTunes Match simulation well enough.

It packages all of the things I actually DO with music into one service. It's not a particularly user-friendly service at first, but as I recall Spotify has been through a lot of interations at this point. I've been doggedly trying to make subscription services work, back from the Napster and Rhapsody days, and now I have a solution that finally works.

I hope Apple makes a lot of UI improvements to it, though. iTunes needs to be nuked and repaved.

Beyond Scrubs review: I love these scrubs!

The folks at Scrubs and Beyond asked me to review their new scrubs line, Beyond Scrubs. I picked out a set and gave them a spin, and they are without a doubt my favorite scrubs to date. I used to think that scrubs couldn't be that complicated, but as anyone who wears them soon realizes, it is extremely difficult to find a combination of material, fit, and storage (pockets, loops, hooks, and so on), not to mention style, that you like. These, though, are that perfect combination.

Abby yoga-inspired Beyond Scrubs pants

Abby yoga-inspired Beyond Scrubs pants

I ordered an Ellie V-neck top and, with grave misgivings, the Abby yoga-inspired pants. I felt like yoga + scrub pants must surely be a horrible idea, yet the actuality of the pants looked pretty good, so I went for it. I got the pewter, which has bright pink accents around the inside seams.

They are incredibly comfortable, to start with. The material is soft and vaguely stretchy without seeming too thin, and the stretchiness somehow allows them magically to fit like normal scrubs while feeling custom-tailored. I normally wear drawstring scrub pants because the elastic ones fall down, and although the drawstrings crimp my middle, I'd rather be crimped than pantsless. These yoga-style scrub pants have a wide, comfortable elastic waist that stays up. I loaded my pants pockets with all the stuff I normally carry plus a few dollars in quarters, and they still stayed put. No hitching at my waistband. The pants have side slits at the bottoms, too, which I prefer.

The top is a fairly typical style but achieves exactly the right length to cover my waistband when I bend over while not extending so long that it looks like a sail when I'm standing. The arm holes are large enough that they don't catch at my arms, too. Apparently I gesture like a windmill during normal conversation, because scrub tops typically nip my upper arms. These don't, but the top fits so that a bra won't show anywhere—no need for an undershirt. The pockets hold a normal amount of stuff. As with the pants, the top somehow manages to look like the rest of my scrubs yet to fit a lot better.

Magical though they may be, these scrubs have two drawbacks. The first is that the material is very wrinkly. I'm not an ironer (I'm not sure that I even own an iron), and if I don't snatch the laundry immediately out of the dryer, these scrubs look like accordions. The second is the inclusion of zippers. There are heavy zippered pockets, one each on the top and pants. The zippered pocket on the top is lined rather heavily, and it adds some bulk. The zippers aren't a huge deal, but they seem unnecessary.

Finally, Beyond Scrubs are definitely affordable. They fall somewhere between the generic scratchy kind and the designer label ones. But wait! NNR readers can snag a set for 20% off until June 2016: just use the code NNR20.[1]

  1. 20% off your entire purchase. Offer valid through 06/30/15 on the regular price items. Excludes Dansko, Littmann, Workwear, Birkenstock, Code Happy, Barco, Grey's Anatomy, Cherokee, Dickies, Koi, Alegria, HeartSoul, NrG by Barco, ICU by Barco, previous purchases, gift cards, shipping, and tax. Not to be combined with other offers or discounts.   ↩

Are you a good nurse or a bad nurse?

I'm a bad nurse. I have just spent 3 days in bed with a fever and crud. During that time I piled blankets on myself when I had the chills (during the heat wave) and didn't push fluids. In fact I didn't eat or drink anything at all because I just didn't feel like going that whole 20 feet to the kitchen. Admit it: who actually does all the stuff you tell patients to do?

I'm really over being sick. This latest bout of drud is arguably my fault. I had a ridiculous sinus infection and prayed for my head to drain; I should have been more specific. NOW it's draining. OK, point taken. The grass isn't always greener.

I see a definite trend here with my immune system, that being that working nights seems to be a thing of my more youthful days. I put in notice and am moving on to a Day Job. A Day Job That Is Not in a Hospital. I look forward to health, a regular schedule, and doing something different.

I'm Excited about Apple Music

Apparently, though, I'm in a minority group with that excitement. I get it. Ping was Apple's last foray into this type of thing, and it catastrophically failed. Actually, it wasn't even catastrophic; it was THAT BORING.

I have a lot of music, meaning I own a lot of music that lives on my laptop in my iTunes library. It lives also in the cloud through iTunes Match, a service that I like just fine despite the criticism it gets. I don't think $25/year is highway robbery for storing all of my music and freeing me from having to find a cable to sync each device I want my music on. Ain't nobody got time for that.

In addition to all that tunage, I have been paying $9.99/month for Spotify since it arrived on US soil, and I'm happy to pay it. I'm one of those people for whom this type of streaming service makes sense because I listen to so much music. If I really like it, I'll buy it and add it to my iTunes library, although I'm getting fuzzier about remembering to do thi s. It's too easy to pull playlists together between iTunes and Spotify and never need to know "is this music I own, or is it streaming?"

Subscription services are starting to nickel and dime me, so I regularly pause during my monthly bill-paying and evaluate whether I really need each one, "need" being, of course, subjective. I don't pause too long over Spotify. Yes, $120 a year for music I don't get to keep sounds like a terrible idea; however, it works for me, because I'm the type of person who used to buy a couple of CDs a month back in the old days. I basically used them the way I use Spotify, to find new stuff I liked. If I liked it, I kept it, but if I didn't, well, the return on used CDs wasn't so great. I don't think I'm wasting any more money with streaming, and there's a good chance I'm not even spending as much money on music since I try before I buy.

All that said, Apple Music looks to possibly allow me to slim down my subscription round-up by combining iTun es Match and Spotify functionality, and that sounds fantastic to me. I don't care at all about the live radio or the Connect (that sounds like Ping, which didn't work the first time either), but the ability to stream (and cache for offline listening) the entire iTunes library will effectively replicate what I use Spotify for. I dare to hope that it will be even easier to combine owned and streamed music within the same ecosystem. This hope revolves around two major unknowns: will Apple Music actually replicate iTunes Match functionality, and are they serious about streaming ALL that music?

If the answers are yes, what's not to like? Apple Music is one of the three things that excited me about the keynote, the other two being Watch OS 2 and the Notes.app enhancements. I'm pretty easy to please.