Twittering, Work, and a General Catch up.

I think the last time I was really regular about keeping a blog was Scotland.  Before that it was the long stint I spent while on crutches (and being Daclaren’s blog buddy, though she far outclasses me!).  Now, I’m so sorry I have to sneak everyone in.

My “tweets” should be appearing on my blog — so if you are ever curious, don’t feel bound by the dates I post, I’m pretty good about getting some kind of 140 character message in, even if it’s to tell Brent Spiner I find his posts amusing, or to try and pimp the Gorn Cannon idea to mythbusters.    I know, according to all the world I’m lame for microblogging, and that’s really just fine with me.

Work has been going nuts, which in my field of work is rather expected.  Duane’s advice to me rings in my head — “You’ll never get a job because things are running smooth.”  And that’s fine.

On the home front, the dogs are doing well.  Darren got my clarinet restored completely, and I got him a banjo.  I’ve decided to follow in Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman’s footsteps, and to learn swing.  To that end, I am ditching the Pomarico Crystal Emerald mouthpiece for a vintage mouthpiece that is ACTUALLY made by the master who also, you got it, helped Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw with such issues.  Of course, the mouthpiece will get here before the reeds, but HEY.  It’s something.

Along those musical lines are two other purchases:  A Didgeridoo, and an Autoharp.  Maybe we can play the Autoclub on the Autoharp!

Interestingly enough ,swing was music that was discouraged by three main people in my life — My clarinet teacher (“You’re so talented at your Mozart”), my band teacher (“Clarinets have no place in jazz band!”), and my grandmother (“go play your Mozart!”).  

So, now I’m going to play my instrument my way!  YAY!

So, some good things to note:

Manny runs a great music shop here in LA to restore instruments:

1507 N Gardner St
Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 876-9662
JunkDude is an AWESOME place to buy COOL music instrument accoutrement, and their customer service is unbeatable.  I can’t wait to play my mouthpiece!  
My Twitter, in case you were wondering.
Back to work with me, dear reader!  Notice you are now singular — I do have blog stats 😉 
Just kidding.  I’ve got at least two in my fold!

Road random

It is raining, and has been since yesterday around noon. Now I am soggy and tired – it’s been a long week! The older I get thr mire amazed I am that I used to have so much energy on a Friday night! Now, it is the day of peak exhaustion!

It’s been a good week – though busy, and I am looking forward to the weekend. Last weekend we watched seasons two and three of doctor who, and who knows what is in store for this weekend! I am sure it will involve a trip to the dog park!

Speakinf of those cute canines, they are doing well. Cujo is liable to start oxytocin related deaths. Cesar seems to abate now and then on his unending lust for the blood of the innocents.

In my constant quest for news of the weird (I always hope there is a zombie apocalypse starting somewhere), I finally started using digg. Thus far it has vastly amused me, and I am sure I will find a way to integrate it into this site (and twitter as well, though you can subscribe to my updates in many formats including text messages, though I can not guarantee the content). I just don’t have the time, and while my blackberry is wondrous, I am not sure of all the functions on mobile wordpress.

Mmm…the weekend is so close I can smell it!


Autobus Animosity

I don’t have a car, so the state of ‘road rage’ is rather impossible for me.  At least when it’s put like that.  I tried to come up with something cute, like “Bus . . . ” something . . . or “Commute . . . ” something, but all I came up with is the stinking title.

I am starting to develop INTENSE rage around my commute.  This morning was a great example — while I was standing on the bus, this woman stood directly behind me and jammed her bag into my back.  Then, she would whip her head around, hitting me with her nasty ass ponytail, while she blathered to some friend of hers.   Everytime she did this, her bag would push me forward, into the bar.  I couldn’t move because, well, there were people everywhere and no, I’m not going to stand on the bus without anything to hold on to.

Eventually I get really pissed off — this is at about ponytail whack #20 and bag bitchslap #15.  I take my headphones out and turn my head.  Since she’s talking to her friend, her ear is about six inches from my face.  And I say “I’m so sorry my back is in the way of your bag, but I want to tell you, IT DOES NOT BEND THAT WAY.” and I stood firm enough where SHE got knocked forward as she jerked away.  She starts moving, of course it’s so crowded she can’t go anywhere and ends up almost taking my arm off with her other bag.  And I say to her “Just where do you think you’re going to go?  Stop pushing me around.”

She froze, thank God, and I managed a block or two unmolested before lots of seats cleared up.

My commute is the number two place for me to have murder fantasies.  I know it’s awful, and no, I would NEVER do it, but boy — when I get someone who insists they get on the train before you get off of it (Come on, people, the driver can see you getting ON — they can’t see the people trying to exit.  What the fuck.  Wait two fucking seconds.  There is NOTHING THAT IMPORTANT that you are going to get done in those two seconds that is going to make you look like less of a jackass, or improve your life any.  Jesus), or steps in front of you, baby on hip, rolling over your foot with their stroller (and why would they bother to apologize?  Of course they don’t!) — when these things happen, my brain starts thinking of grabbing people by their ponytails, shoving my supernice pen in such a way it traps them on the escalator they just HAD to get on in front of me, and watching them get choked to death with the scarf they threw in my face because of course all their SHIT isn’t a part of the area they are taking up, and to think about someone being behind them in Los Angeles  . . . why that is unheard of.

Few other places have I fantasized about murder (other than work) than on my commute — and it’s actually rapidly taking the number one spot.  I mean, at least with my commute I have a wide range of victims at my disposal — killing the same person over and over again . . . meh.

Jen and I had a long discussion about rage in general, and my rage at my commute in particular.  It’s been heightened the last couple of days because of my wonderful employer, but that’s a different story for a different day.  A lot of my rage has to do with the fact that I’m a very, very polite person.  This means that I am absolutely fucked with on my bus journey home.  Jen called courtesy the oil of society — that it makes it run smooth.  So why the hell aren’t people MORE polite the more people are around?  Look, I understand I don’t get to have four feet of personal space anywhere I am in Los Angeles — but why do people have to be so shitty when they are in proximity of each other?  The more I try to be polite and note the lack of politeness in others, the more enraged I become.

I tried to see if anyone else had bus rage, and the first scan of my google search reminded me of our beheading friend from many months ago.  The other big slew of articles dealt with this ad:

Bus Rage Ad Pulled by Greyhound following Canadian Incident[/caption]

Which was apparently pulled by Greyhound following that whole murder / cannibalism thing.

I did uncover this article about a bus driver taking some rage out on a passenger for not having the right change.

There’s lots of information on road rage out there, some of the more entertaining bits being incidences that involve ‘special’ vehicles like a bus or a land mover, but nothing really about bus rage itself.  Except for Greyhound.  God, it’s one thing to think about doing something vs. actually doing it — right?  RIGHT?  Anyway, lots of information on road rage, and even some on “wrap rage” (have kids?  An action figure collection?  Then you know what wrap rage is all about), and even air rage.

But, apparently my malady does have a cute name — “Ride Rage,” though it isn’t used very often.  I did dig up this blog that expresses a lot of my rage at people who don’t think about where their backpack is, or being jammed between two really big people — all that stuff that pisses me off on a daily basis.

So — how am I going to fix it?  I don’t know that I can.  I can just keep my headphones on, tune out, and try to forget what rude fuckers I’m surrounded by.

Just so you know, the newest piece of equipment on the assist is the 8 gig Microsoft Zune.  W00t Zune!  If you’ve got one, I’m under “PubliusEnigma” on the Zune network.

Catch Up

So, October was a busy month, folks, and I am kind of back to my little journal.  A catch-up:

1.  I worked on a yard haunt.

2.  This was my super-bitchin Halloween costume:

From Yard Haunt

3.  My stepdaughter was in town.

4.  My job blew up.

5.  I ate the rest of my excuses (but for one week, little else, because I had the divine experience of fasting!).

What have YOU been up to?  Inquiring minds want to know!

I am Cassandra

I was talking the other day to Lou Ann, and explaining why the name “Cassandra” is one that has followed me not only in my career, but in my personal life. Hi, I’m Jamie, and I’m an analyst. And, I am a very, very good one, if I do say so myself (see resume below).

As an analyst, I have the very deep honor of being paid to think. And I really do consider this an honor — can you believe it? People think I’m smart enough to let me think on the job. Analysis in the IT industry, and in healthcare, is an interesting mental exercise — you have to try and predict what could possibly go wrong, and figure in some time to fix it, in addition to just doing the work. I’m sure you’ve noticed that computers don’t always do what you may want them to do.

Analysis, at least in a systems sense, is actually a balance of two abilities — one, the ability to look at data and extract information, and the other is to be able to formulate data to extract from — in other words, not only do analysts analyze, but they model as well. And I’m good in this super sick way at modeling.

And I guess I get a little sensitive, as anyone would after years and years of practicing a discipline and a way of thinking, that I don’t get listened to, or I get dismissed as ‘paranoid’ or ‘uncooperative.’

And, this story was told before. Many, many hundreds of years ago. The story was about a woman named Cassandra. I like to think she would be one hell of an analyst. She was a young girl that Apollo fell in love with, and he gave her the gift of prophecy. When shit went south, he spit in her mouth and made it so no one would believe her. So, she was right, but no one would believe her. After that whole Trojan war bit, since our friend and genius analyst Cassandra was actually Trojan, she was given to Agamemmnon as part of his spoils of war. So, with his new Trojan super smart concubine in tow, Agamemnon returns home. But, there was this family fued going on, and his wife, Clytemnestra was completely won over by his brother. So, her son, Orestes, and her daughter Elektra conspired to kill Agamemnon pretty much the moment that he walked back into the castle. It’s kind of funny to note, by the way, that both the Elektra and the Oepidal complexes don’t work name-wise because the issues they describe simply aren’t in the myths — while Elektra did cheer Orestes on, she wasn’t exactly dealing the killing blows. More like . .. hiding behind a curtain and egging him on.

Anyway, so before Agamemnon walks into the castle, Cassandra flips out. Tells him everything — that they are going to get killed, and this is a general bummer. Agamemnon ignores her, takes her by the hand, drags her into the castle, where both meet a horrible and bloody death. This isn’t where the Orestian saga ends, but this is where I’m going to stop telling the story because I’ve made my point.

The point is this. Know I am an analyst. Give me credit that even the things I say that might make you uncomfortable or make you think I’m paranoid that I probably have a reason for thinking them. Know that I probably have data to back up my argument. Don’t marginalize me. And, to answer your question, of course I probably think about things too much!

Business Systems Analyst / All around tech goddess seeks safe harbor

Email me for full company names


To obtain a full-time or contract position in the Greater Los Angeles area that capitalizes on my skills and experience, and allows me to grow and develop as an employee as well as feeling that I am asset to my employer.


Intelligent, enthusiastic, results-driven Business Systems Analyst with over 12 years of experience working in all areas of data analysis: collection, analysis, warehousing, forecasting, and reporting, with over 9 years of analysis experience within the healthcare field, including operations, clinics, and finance.

Technical Skill Profile

Operating Environments

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows NT 4.0 / 2000; Windows 3.1, Windows 95 / 98 / ME; Microsoft DOS; VAX / VMS; Linux (Suse / Ubuntu) / Unix

Over 15 years of experience in networking issues (LAN’s, WAN’s, 802.11a/b and g) from co-administrating home LAN of 7 machines

Productivity Tools

Expert in MS Excel. MS Word, MS Power Point, MS Access, MS Visio, MS Front Page, MS Project.

Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Acrobat Distiller, SoundForge, DVDLab

Database Query & Reporting Tools

Expert in Crystal Reports 7.0 – 11.0, InfoMaker 7.0 and 9.0, QuestVista 4.20 / 4.31, Cognos Impromptu, Hyperion Brio, Cognos BI 8.3, Microstrategy.

Proficient in SPSS 9.0, Clementine 11.1, Business Objects, SAS, TOAD.

Specialized Tools & Packages

VARiS 6.23 and 7.0, Epic Revenue Cycle, Epic Clarity, Epic Cadence, Epic Bridges, PeopleSoft 7.5/8.0, DBS, Cerner; Rational Rose (UML, Use Cases), HL7 Interfacing, LANTIS, IMPAC


SQL Server 2000 / Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 11.9.2 / 12.5; Oracle 8i / 9i, SQL Server 2005, Universe


Highly Proficient in SQL (T-SQL and PL/SQL)


Programming Languages include ANSI C, C++, Pascal, and Cobol, and some Visual Basic

Professional Experience

October 2006 – Present: A G T

Senior Business Intelligence Analyst / Senior Consultant

Brea, California


· Conducted training for Health Care Vertical for sales, technical, and the company overall.

· Domain / Subject Matter Expert for Healthcare.

· Participated as a Senior Consultant in several contracts and engagements.

· Performed technical interviews for healthcare candidates.

· Mentored various contractors.

· Wrote healthcare articles for website.

· Published Healthcare RSS feed for customers and internal consultants.


Staffing engagements for several teams including the Systems Integration, Care Vue Reporting, and Oracle Database Implementation Team.

· Performed clinical data validation across 40 metrics and 200 patients.

· Created and maintained reports in Hyperion Brio, Business Objects, and Oracle.

· Created and maintained information regarding Care Vue reporting in to facilitate proper Help Desk escalations and workflow to minimize internal downtime on clinical reports.

· Updated documentation for CDR.

· Served as an analyst on software development projects.

· Performed technical and functional requirements analysis for end-users of Oracle databases and HL7 interfaces.

· Assisted in documenting clinical data repository and its related interfaces.

· Documented functional, technical, and clinical requirements for clinical, scheduling, and A/D/T interfaces from to Epic Bridges.

· Created Use Case, and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.


Pre-sales and analysis for a enterprise wide corporate data warehouse.

· Formulated content of response to RFP as it related to Domain Expertise in Health Care.

· Conducted interviews of 40 data stakeholders to establish and document complex functional requirements of a large-scale health care data warehousing project.

· Articulated needs as Domain / Subject Matter Expert for internal developers.

· Assisted the organization in formulating metrics.

· Authored the algorithm for the data warehouse’s Master Patient, Master Provider, Master Procedure (CPT), and Master Diagnoses (ICD-9) list.

· Authored reports to assist in the CMS, HEDIS, and Joint Commission reporting.

· Assisted in the data modeling and overall design of the data warehouse.

· Authored reports, including automated HEDIS scoring and alert-based reports

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.


· Conducted interviews with 16 employees to establish scoping requirements for a large-scale data warehousing project.

· Wrote Business Intelligence Road map that included a full, phased project plan to assess all data requirements and sources.

· Acted as pre-sales in order to secure the engagement.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.


· Conducted interviews with 30 employees to establish scoping requirements for a large-scale data warehousing project.

· Wrote Business Intelligence Road map that included a full, phased project plan to assess all data requirements and sources.

· Acted as pre-sales in order to secure the engagement for the Business Intelligence Road Map / Project Scoping.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.

April 2006 – July 2006


Senior Analyst, Physics Associate (Contract) Glasgow, Scotland

· Developed data standard for B O C after evaluating national data needs including MCN data, internal reporting needs, and unique UK healthcare issues.

· Proposed national cancer data standard for Scotland based on current clinical data capture and the cancer registry system of other nations.

· Developed reporting suite for VARiS to fit all data needs.

· Successfully organized a Go-Live and Implementation date for two months following my arrival to the department.

· Developed an infrastructure of highly trained employees to support VARiS within Beatson Oncology Centre.

· Assisted in the development of clinical QA protocols for physics, dosimetry, and radiotherapy based on IRMER regulations.

· Authored training materials.

· Re-architected system to match B’s needs.

· Re-engineered processes and system to work together.

· Conducted 25 hours of lecture theatre training and 18 hours of super user training, and sucessefully planned and implemented a ‘train the trainer’ plan that encompassed 250 users, and personally trained 150 of them.

· Liased for HL7 interface between VARiS and legacy Patient Administration System.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

February 1999 – April 2006

U P M  C

April 2004 – April 2006

Oncology Network Coordinator / DBA V

· Consulted and trained Alliance Oncology (2 department site) on the setup and usage of VARiS to fit their business structure.

· Consulted and trained LCCC from having no PC’s at all to being a fully operational site on VARiS. Recommended business structures and data reporting to the Board of Life Care Cancer Center.

· Delivered over 150 hours of in-clinic training and 40 hours of lecture-style training.

· Wrote training manuals specific to data needs of the department.

· Documented charge process, scheduling process, and treatment processes in VARiS for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

· Implemented database and reporting structures to facilitate daily uploads of VARiS charges data into billing system to assist in capturing over 1000 charges per day.

· Assisted in development of implementation plan for charges at all VARiS sites. Implemented database and reporting structure to support daily statistical reporting, including the use of a model structured on a rolling 90 business day period. Coordinated vendor and internal resources on VARiS 7.0 Implementation project.

· Developed predictive financial reports based on patient scheduling with less than 1% error rate.

· Documented Historical Business Structures and Statistical Reporting Methods.

· Developed capture method to report on usage of Clinical Pathways for Administrative, Finance, and Clinical use, with appropriate HIPAA controls in place.

· Documented site-specific usage information for VARiS as implemented on a multiple-site multiple-accelerator clustered server, and fitting the complex business needs of a global / hospital-based radiation oncology administration.

· Certified as an honest broker to de-identify patient information into HIPAA compliant information for use in clinical research studies. Co-Manager of Honest Broker System for the department of Radiation Oncology.

· Developed daily statistical package for radiation oncology treatments, starts, and clinical pathways.

· Developed method to combine data from four sources for daily statistical reporting and ad hoc reporting.

· Developed Referral Trending Report for the Referral Trending Initiative which combined data from Cognos, IMPATH, SEER data from the state tumor registry, VARiS, and EPIC to analyze upward and downward trends in referral patterns across physicians and specialties within the entire UPMC Network.

· Developed training materials on the use of EPIC/Clarity data warehouse with intent for Radiation and Medical Oncology Statistical Gathering in addition to standard financial reporting. Created and Administered 8 hours of training on use of Crystal Reports with the Clarity database, including fundamental database principles.

· Served as liaison between individual sites and the central billing office.

· Assisted in the implementation and setup and found vendor funding of a Reports Server to help guarantee the integrity of the main VARiS clustered server.

· Assisted in the evaluation and implementation of LANTIS. Assessed usage and cost associated with implementation of a system-wide information system.

· Developed a solution for VARiS to IMPATH data exports via NAACR format.

· Advised SuperUsers group of physicists, therapists, and dosimetrists how to set up rights access, and coding templates in VARiS 6.2 and developed multiple options for implementation in VARiS 7.0 that maximized the use of the database structures and the abilities of VARiS 7.0.

· Developed complete VARiS reporting package of 30 reports for version 6.235 and version 7.0.

· Administered 120 training hours to staff in 10 locations prior to VARiS upgrade to supplement on-site Applications Training and Clinical Implementation Courses. Trained staff in usage of RT Chart, Vision, Patient Manager, Time Planner, Activity Capture, and 4D Treatment Console. Served as a trainer

· Assisted in coordination of setup of VARiS 7.0 Training PC’s prior to the upgrade connected to test migrated data.

· Developed database for Head and Neck IMRT Outcomes project and the Breast IMRT Outcomes Project, a QA project on Head and Neck Outcomes spanning 350 patients.

· Coordinated data gathering efforts within the clinics.

· Coordinated with separate departments on acquisition of supplementary data.

· Developed data quality checking method using several reporting systems to assist in full casefinding.

· Served as main honest broker of the data for use in Quality Assurance Initiatives.

· Project Manager on HL7 Implementation. Assisted in the development of specialized interface utilizing zsegments to transmit radiation oncology record and verify specific information.

· Managed Radiation Oncology Reporting department.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.

June 2003 – April 2004

Cancer Centers (Finance)

Financial Analyst III

· Implemented PeopleSoft 7.5 Financial Reporting. Within weeks, streamlined statistical reporting process from 30 days per report to standard daily statistical package according to the business needs and structures.

· Responsible for the reporting of all radiation oncology statistics for a fast-changing, multi-site, multi-system company.

· Implemented E&M Coding Distribution Reporting via Crystal Reports using HCFA standardized data and organizing information into charts for ease of dissemination.

· Utilized over 6 databases and reporting tools to do cross-business and cross-system reports and analysis.

· Responsible for the design and implementation of system structures in PeopleSoft 7.5, while meeting the special-needs demands of grant and special purpose fund accounting.

· Designed and implemented VBA code in Access to accommodate stringent medical billing needs.

· Designed, implemented and maintained Cancer Centers Dashboard reports.

· Designed modules to Access database to wrap several databases into one low-level data warehouse to facilitate statistical reporting needs and improve data access and analysis.

· Served as a liaison for the setup and implementation of a new EPIC Service Area for billing needs.

· Designed and developed VARiS reporting structures using InfoMaker, facilitating straight upload of data into Access billing databases and saving 2080 man hours a year. Assisted in the development of business procedures to ensure data integrity of VARiS while preparing for a database upload into Siemens IMPAC.

· Implemented combined Excel / Access solution to facilitate multi-department dashboard financial and statistical reports to fit corporate schema.

· Assisted in creating journal entries for month-end and year-end close. Designed reporting structures and upload process for budgets.

· Built budget revenue and expense model from billing data and PeopleSoft data that could be easily altered for on the fly analysis by accountants and managerial staff.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.

February 1999 – June 2003

CMI (USO) (Finance)

Accounting Clerk / Business Analyst Pittsburgh, PA

· Ad hoc Crystal/Clarity reporting for CFO, COO’s and Financial Anaylsts.

· Published monthly income statements and detail trail balances for over 200 physician practices via PeopleSoft 7.5.

· Created monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports analyzing Coding Distribution in regards to HCFA standards and benchmarking of productivity via Crystal reports.

· Organized and maintained financial report distribution system and reporting structures according to intricate business structures.

· Designed, developed, and implemented an Access database for Budget 2000 and 2001 for over 200 physician practices.

· Designed reporting and system structures for Budget 2002 and 2003, and trained employees on Budgeting system.

· Wrote and compiled Financial Analyst training materials in 2000.

· Designed Access database to analyze fee schedules.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

· Utilized RMS to manage project and resources.

August 1996 – January 1999

Q, Inc.

Administrative Assistant Pittsburgh, PA

· Designed, developed, implemented, and maintained a weekly quality assurance / performance program for over 70 employees spanning 10 departments.

· Collected data and investigated troubled cases for quality assurance program.

· Converted QA program to Access database and corresponding “Performance Enhancement Training” Program.

· Assisted PET implementation in Qualex labs nationwide, including written documentation and on-site or in-house training and setup.

· Newsletter Editor.

· Compiled Departmental reports, lab-wide labor hour and performance, and financial reports.

· Customer Service Representative from August 1996 – November 1996, provided customer satisfaction in over 40 QA cases a day, and worked with staff to ensure that the source of error was understood.

· Created Use Case and Process modeling using UML

Soft Skill Profile

Technical Analysis, Functional Analysis, Process Re-engineering, Project Management, Reporting, Forecasting, HIPAA, Healthcare, Accounting, Administration, Clerical, Data Processing / Collection, Editing, Interviewing, Problem Solving, Training, Sales, Testing, Planning, Implementation.


BA in English Fiction Writing, University of Pittsburgh.

References available upon request.