Monday, December 06, 2010

Walgreens CFO and Pharmacy Pres report 8.6 percent growth

In 2009, Walgreens CFO Wade D. Miquelon reported that the then planned Heath Care Reform Initiative was "good" for Walgreens.

That view, considering the at times wildly skewed information on the policy, was rarely reported. In 2010, at its annual Analysts' Meeting, Walgreens President of Pharmacy Services Kermit Crawford outlined the retail giant's plan to become one of the nation's largest providers of health care services.

Now that plan's performing extremely well for Walgreens. It's latest press release reports that sales have increased 8.6 percent over the same month in 2009. Moreover, the news is the clearest sign yet that for a business that plays host to 6 million people each day, an economic turn-around is in the near future.

It's also a sign that the business process Wade Miquelon said the firm was in the process of implementing is now also working well. This is what Mr. Crawford said: "Considering the warm fall weather around much of the country and a lack of flu virus circulating, we're pleased we have provided more seasonal flu shots than we did at this point last year, when we ran out of flu vaccine supply in mid-October," said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. "With the typical peak of the flu season still two to three months away and National Influenza Vaccination Week beginning Sunday, now is when consumers should protect themselves, their families and their friends before holiday gatherings begin. We've made it easier than ever to get immunized by offering flu shots at every Walgreens, every day with no appointment necessary."

With the constant GOP drumbeat against Health Care Reform, it's important to remind all that American Business likes the plan.  Walgreens has based its entire business around it and made a bet on its future.

Obama Compromise on Bush Tax Cuts Dooms all 99ers...Why Mr. President?

President Obama announced moments ago a compromise with Republicans on the Bush cuts that will doom the unemployed 99ers. Why Mr. President? What have we done to deserve a death sentence?

Obama said the compromise provisions include a 2 percent payroll tax cut for next year, extending jobless benefits for 13 months and extending tax cuts for all Americans -- including the wealthiest -- for two years.

The agreement extends unemployment benefits for 13 months for 2 million Americans who had been scheduled to lose their benefits at the end of the year

Unfortunately the President did not make clear that the UI extension is only additional time to file for UI extensions already in place, for the more recently unemployed. The compromise DOES NOT include additional weeks for 5 to 6 Million Jobless Americans who have already exhausted the UI benefits passed in 2008 and 2009.

Mr. President, Tax Cuts do nothing for the millions of Americans who have no income thanks to you giving in to every whim of the Republicans without thought to helping the 99er Nation.

The only thing we can do now is vocally and incessantly relay our feelings about this Presidential “Slap in the Face” to every News outlet and Washington insider with a vote which can potentially STOP this fiasco before it is passed.

If every unemployed American would just step up and voice their outrage over wealthy Americans getting extra money they do not need - while 99ers continue to go hungry, homeless and die every day in this country - we might just have a chance to work in more weeks for those who need it most - despite Obama’s lack of decency in throwing the 99ers under a bus we’d likely soon be sleeping under.

REMEMBER: To contact the Whitehouse  [Comments:202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461] and tell Mr. Obama Tier 5 to Survive - NOW! Show your outrage over this and stop the Compromise NOW unless the 99ers are included.

Contact you legislators:

What is YOUR question 4 POTUS? Call WWR toll free:1-866-USA-0021 (872-0021) It could be asked at next news conference

Do Not allow Washington to keep the 99ers invisible until we are all DEAD!

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

Sarah Palin slammed by PETA for shooting Caribou on TV

A scene featuring former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shooting Caribou in the heart from her show Sarah Palin's Alaska has gotten the attention of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

This blogger first saw a clip from Palin's show on Chris Matthews' Hardball show on MSNBC fifteen minutes ago before this writing, and sent a quick email to PETA in Washington.

Within six minutes, came this email containing the statement of PETA Vice President Dan Mathews:

Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show, but the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots.

Sarah Palin aims for cruelty
It's one more slam on the former gov, as she inches closer toward an anticipated announcement that she will run for President of The United States.

First, establishment Republicans like Barbara Bush have weighed in saying she should "stay in Alaska," and her son Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush recently switched his support for Palin from "yeah" to "nah" because, he said, he "never goes against" his own mother.

Second, with this scene, Palin has clearly screwed up. The idea that Palin would allow a scene featuring a cross-hair at the heart of an animal is totally psychotic. Just because a person is a hunter doesn't mean they have to slam visual evidence of it, and its cruelty, in the public's collective face.

Just what Palin was thinking, if she was thinking at all, is a good question.

Here's the scene, and I warn you it's graphic.  But I present it to piss you off.  If you have a heart, it should.  If you don't, you'll be upset with me for my take.  So be it.

Here it is:

Sarah Palin Weighs In

On her Facebook page, Governor Palin shows, sadly, that she just doesn't get it:

Tonight's hunting episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska "controversial"?
Really? Unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch
or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight's episode. I
remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy. :)

Ok. The question for Governor Palin, is just how does she want to take this? Does this she favors whale-hunting? Why do we have to see Palin shooting an animal in the heart? On television?

If this was done as a ploy for ratings, it's a pretty low moment in Palin's history.

Amber Heard Comes Out of The Closet
Entertainment Weekly reports that at the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) event in Los Angeles, CA on Friday Amber Heard (from Pineapple Express, Zombieland and The Stepfather) announced that she is a lesbian. She also introduced her girlfriend Tasya van Ree.

Heard told

“I think GLAAD is one of the many reasons that I, as a 24-year-old, can come out. I think that organizations like GLAAD make that possible, because if it weren’t for opinions being changed, people being influenced, people being engaged to do the right thing, then there would be no prerogative for anyone to come out. Like I said, I can’t be a part of the problem. I hate the idea of a label just as much as anyone else, but I’m with who I’m with, I love who I love… “

Elizabeth Edwards' Cancer spreads to liver

Elizabeth Edwards
This news about Elizabeth Edwards, the now-separated wife of 2008 Presidential Candidate John Edwards, is just painful for this blogger to report.

According to People Magazine, Elizabeth Edwards has explained that her cancer has spread to her liver.

A visit to Edwards Facebook page revealed an area of mostly white space and three notes indicating a recent status change.

It's sad news for the once politically active wife of a man who, until his personal failing in cheating on his wife was revealed, seemed to be just one step from the White House, either as President or Vice President.

Tumblr Blog Site still down as of 4:07 PM EST

Wow. The popular blog site Tumblr is still down as of 4:07 PM EST.

The last time this blogger remembers such a long outage period was for Blogger in early 2008. And even that one wasn't as long as this one. As memory serves, the outage was for about 5 to 7 hours; the Tumblr down time is double that, and still going.

The reason? A mysterious database cluster issue.

Stay tuned.

Don Meredith, Dallas Cowboys, MNF Legend, passes

Don Meredith
Don Meredith, better known for his time as Monday Night Football analyst, than Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, passed away due to a brain hemorrhage on Sunday. "Dandy Don" was 72 years old.

Meredith was the Cowboys first quarterback, a 3rd round draft pick out of SMU first to the Chicago Bears, then traded to Dallas. He wore the same jersey number 17 for both SMU and the Cowboys, and played in some of the NFL's most memorable games. Foremost among them was "The Ice Bowl" NFL Championship in 1967, where Dallas had the Green Bay Packers on the ropes until Packers QB Bart Starr scored on a sneak with just seconds left.  (See the video at the bottom of this post.)

No, Don Meredith never got a Super Bowl win or appearance for the Cowboys, but he, with Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry, General Manager Tex Scramm, and Director of Player Personel Gil Brandt, did give the team a heart and soul that's unforgettable. It's hard to say a person was "lovely" if you didn't know them, but when so many praise a person like Don Meredith for his charm, you have to go with it.

What I will remember most is how Meredith, perhaps more than Howard Cosell (rest in peace), made Monday Night Football fun to watch. You never knew what he was going to say, or what kind of verbal joust he would get into with Cosell. Unlike today, the relationship between Meredith and Cosell made Monday Night Football fun to watch, regardless of the matchup.

In fact, I wonder if ESPN's Monday Night Football of today can have that same level of banter. People are so sensitive now, it's fair to ask if Jon Gruden would haul off and bash Ron Jaworski in the mouth.

But I digress.

What I will also remember is Don Meredith singing "Turn Out The Lights" whenever a team was being blown out of the stadium. And Don Meredith was the one Monday Night Football host who referred to Oakland Raiders Legend Otis Sistrunk as being from The University of Mars because he was bald.

That was before Michael Jordan.

It's hard to find good videos of Meredith, but here's one by SMU Video on YouTube, of Don singing "Varsity" on the day his number was retired at SMU:

Don Meredith, RIP.

The Ice Bowl:

Black Swan- a cinematic portrayal of schizophrenia? By Dr. Christina Villarreal

The highly acclaimed psychological thriller "Black Swan," directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder, is a fascinating story of a young ballerina's emotional plight in the competitive world of professional ballet. Portman plays Nina, a principal ballerina for the NYC Ballet Company who has newly acquired the lead in Swan Lake, a classic story depicting the virgin/whore dichotomy that men face when choosing a lover. Nina is overshadowed by her controlling and emotionally abusive mother (played by Barbara Hershey) who is convinced she "gave up" her career for parenthood. The film brilliantly captures the brutal physical and emotional demands that ballerinas face in their short-lived career span. Through my lens as a clinical psychologist, Aronofsky clearly enriches the film with a storyline that points to Nina's first psychotic break, likely triggered by a combination of her genetic heritability, childhood experience of abuse, age, and the heightened environmental stress placed upon her as principal ballerina. As a mental health professional, I am often fascinated by clinically accurate depictions of mental illness. While Black Swan appears to be a loose cinematic portrayal of the onset of schizophrenia, it likely leaves untrained viewers confused about the diagnostic details of schizophrenia. This article serves to explain schizophrenia and it's diagnostic criteria and known causes.

Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split personality, (professionally referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder.) Schizophrenia is actually a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a maze of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. The behavior of people with schizophrenia may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which occurs when people lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.

Schizophrenia is a disease that typically begins in early adulthood
; between the ages of 15 and 25. Men tend to get develop schizophrenia slightly earlier than women; whereas most males become ill between 16 and 25 years old, most females develop symptoms several years later, and the incidence in women is noticably higher in women after age 30. The average age of onset is 18 in men and 25 in women. Schizophrenia onset is quite rare for people under 10 years of age, or over 40 years of age.

Schizophrenia varies in severity from person to person. While some people experience a single psychotic episode, others have many throughout their life. Some lead relatively normal lives between episodes and others suffer tremendously and remain unstable. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to worsen and improve in cycles known as relapses and remissions.

What are the different types of schizophrenia?

* Paranoid schizophrenia: People with this type are preoccupied with false beliefs (delusions) about being persecuted or being punished by someone. Their thinking, speech and emotions, however, remain fairly normal.
* Disorganized schizophrenia: People with this type often are confused and incoherent, with nonsensical speech. Their outward behavior may be emotionless/flat, inappropriate, silly or childlike. Often they have disorganized behavior that may disrupt their ability to perform normal daily activities like showering or preparing meals.
* Catatonic schizophrenia: The most notable symptoms of this type are physical. People with catatonic schizophrenia are generally immobile and unresponsive to the world around them. Their bodies are often very rigid and stiff, and unwilling to move. Occasionally, these people have peculiar movements like facial grimacing or strange postures. Or, they might mimic a word or phrase just spoken by another person. People with catatonic schizophrenia are at increased risk of malnutrition, exhaustion, or self-inflicted injury.

What Causes Schizophrenia?

The exact cause of schizophrenia is not yet known. It is known, however, that schizophrenia -- like cancer and diabetes -- is a real illness with a biological basis. It is not the result of bad parenting (i.e. the 'schizophrenogenic mother' or personal weakness. Researchers have uncovered a number of factors that appear to play a role in the development of schizophrenia, including:

1. Genetics (heredity): Schizophrenia tends to run in families, which means the likelihood to develop schizophrenia may be passed on from parents to their children.
2. Brain chemistry: People with schizophrenia may have an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. They may be either very sensitive to or produce too much of a brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a substance that helps nerve cells in the brain send messages to each other. An imbalance of dopamine affects the way the brain reacts to certain stimuli, such as sounds, smells, and sights and can lead to hallucinations and delusions.
3. Brain abnormality: Newer research has found abnormal brain structure and function in people with schizophrenia. However, this type of abnormality doesn't happen in all schizophrenics and can occur in people without the disease.
4. Environmental factors: Evidence suggests that certain environmental factors, such as a viral infection, poor social interactions, or highly stressful situations, may trigger schizophrenia in people who have inherited a tendency to develop the disorder. Schizophrenia more often surfaces when the body is undergoing hormonal and physical changes, such as those that occur during the teen and young adult years.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

If symptoms of schizophrenia are present, a physician will perform a complete medical history and physical exam. While there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, a physican may use various tests, such as X-rays and blood tests, to rule out a physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.

If a physican finds no physical reason for the schizophrenia symptoms, he or she may refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist- mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, and use specially designed interview and assessment tools for their evaluation. The therapist bases his or her diagnosis on the person's report of symptoms and his or her observation of the person's attitude and behavior, and may include interviews with family members. A person is considered to have schizophrenia if he or she has characteristic symptoms that last for at least six months.

Can Schizophrenia Be Prevented?

There is no known way to prevent schizophrenia. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid or reduce frequent relapses and hospitalizations, and help decrease the disruption to the person's life, family, and friendships.


For professiona referrals or questions, please contact this author at or visit her website at

Wikileaks link gets Malware attack on

Wikileaks is bad for your Internet health. The reason why PayPal and have stopped providing hosting services of any kind to the online classified documents distributor is that they've been the focus of intense Malware attacks. This blogger knows because was also attacked last week.

A direct link to Wikileaks was installed on Friday; within two hours, a source of traffic from a malware site grew in page view proportion. When the link popped up on the traffic reports, which are monitored several times each day, my first thought was "That's Wikileaks," and took the link down.

The malware link's traffic contribution went away within 25 minutes.

So it's not that PayPal or Amazon disagree with Wikileaks or have an issue with Julian Assange's dating habits, only that they want to see their sites remain going concerns. They serve millions of people, so why give up commercial activities for one site's content?

Tumblr Blog Site down for 14 hours and counting

Tumblr, the New York City-based blog site that has caught on with the college undergrad set, is down, and according a number of sources, has been for 13 hours now, and counting, as of this writing at 9:22 AM EST.

On Twitter, Tumblr staff reported the problem via this tweet:

tumblr Tumblr
We're working quickly to recover from a major issue in one of our database clusters. We're incredibly sorry for the inconvenience.
13 hours ago

What specifically happened, other than that "major issue in one of its database clusters” is not exactly known, but TechCrunch Robin Wauters' calls the entire issue as being due to Tumblr's own success. Erick Shonfeld, also in TechCrunch, reported that Tumblr increased in online traffic size by 1.4 billion page views in October alone, or a 1.540 percent growth rate in one month.

Blog outages are, in this era of the semi-professional and professional blogger, not fun to deal with.  But that stated, Tumblr's not commonly used for commercial blogging efforts.  

From what I understand from talking to those who use it (I use Blogger and Wordpress), the attraction is in what is best called "interblog interaction."  In other words, Tumblr's more like a social network than a standard blog site.

Tumblr is named after what is called the Tumblelog, or as Jason Kottke wrote in 2005, "a quick and dirty stream of thoughts."  He points to a blog called as being the first Tumblelog.    Note, it's not "Tumbleblog" but "Tumblelog," but whatever the case, Tumblr's not logging for anyone at this point. Stay tuned.