Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So this past week was the User's Group Meeting, where thousands of our customers descended on us for a week of entertainment and classes. The employees of Epic, in the meantime, are called to volunteer and- and I hesitate to mention this heinous crime- wear business casual. Hence the tie and vest in the pic above.

Speaking of dressing up, apparently some employees celebrate Formal Friday, because every other day is a casual day. I think I might play along with that one...

Anyway, I volunteered for a lot of different positions. I got to help do costuming for the big musical production (in which many musicals were parodied by switching the focus to Epic software, but still quite good and funny), play lunch catering host (and get to steal lots of tasty food!), and play traffic cop. Hence the yellow vest above. Most of this last job was rather boring, but one thing made up for it:

Golf carts. Buzzing around the campus, driving anywhere I please (even on sidewalks) was awesome. Every single person I saw driving a golfcart had a smile on his or her face, and for good reason. It's full of yippee!

I also attended a few classes and learned a bit of what to expect from a go live and what can go wrong then and thereafter. So I have a bit of an idea of what's coming, though I'm sure the actual thing will be much different. Oh well, sounds like fun!

Until next time...

Do your duty and repent tomorrow.
- Mark Twain Speaks, Paul Fatout; More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Epic, Week 2

Week 2 at Epic proved to be a bit more interesting. We took a course called Epic 360 which familiarized us with how work flows through a clinic and a hospital and how our software allows the clinicians and staff to do their jobs. It was pretty cool finally getting to understand all of the medical lingo which I am sad to say that I never learned from the doctor in my family. Thanks Dad.

We were also exposed to how Epic handles tests around here- fast and quick! We started our course on Tuesday and wrapped up with an exam on Friday, which thankfully I passed. Half an hour later we started our MyChart Fundamentals course which wrapped up that day. If it weren't for the Users Group Meeting this week I may have taken the test on Monday, but thankfully I have a bit more time to prepare.

This week's photo tour is going to one of the featured perks of the Epic campus: the treehouse! Called Endor, my office mate Laura and I decided to take a break from MyChart studying to take a quick jaunt and explore it.

The treehouse was constructed from leftover wood from Campus 1 construction as a cool place to have meetings.

But it's not just office space.

There's a second floor!

And even a secret third floor with a trap door!

A little dark, but that's a swing chair/hammock there on the second floor.

There's also a path that goes underneath the treehouse...

... and leads to Pelennor Fields! And yes, that is the name.

A view of Deneb from the rear

And a campsite...

... complete with outlet. The BEST kind of camping!

Until next time...

"There is nothing that training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach or below it. It can turn bad morals to good, good morals to bad; it can destroy principles, it can recreate them; it can debase angels to men and lift men to angels. And it can do any of these miracles in a year -- even six months."
- "As Regards Patriotism" by Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Epic, Week 1

I'm starting on my second week at Epic so I thought I would let you all know how it's been so far. The first week was mostly orientation into Epic's corporate culture as well as the physical campus of Epic itself. You know those pics I had up a week earlier? That was only 1 half of the campus! There's an entire other half here, even crazier than the first!

Anyway, we didn't get to learning how to use the software until this week, and so far it seems pretty self explanatory. Granted, I'm still getting a grasp of the technical terms and the flow of work from clinic to hospital but the trainers have been doing a good job getting us to not only understand the technical side but also the wider world of healthcare and how they interact.

We also had what is known as a Home Day on Monday, where all the Epic employees in the States get together for a big meeting. We can actually fit all 4,000+ employees quite easily in our huge 5,400 seat theater, though this won't even be big enough to fit all of us and the guests for UGM- though I'll get into that more in a couple of weeks.

For the next couple of weeks I'll try to take pics of a different building. We'll start with the one that I've been assigned to, Formalhaut, which is NYC themed. I'm on the ground floor (themed as the subway) with an excellent view of the treehouse. My officemate seems very nice and I'm getting along well with the other new hires here. They're ramping up our course schedule very quickly and I'm busy most of the time, but I guess that means I'll never be bored.

So, Formalhaut:

Until next time...

"There is one thing very sure--I can't keep my temper in New York. The cars and carriages always come along and get in the way just as I want to cross a street, and if there is any thing that can make a man soar into flights of sublimity in the matter of profanity, it is that thing."
Letter written to San Francisco Alta California, June 5, 1867 by Mark Twain

Monday, September 6, 2010

Taste of Madison and EPIC Photos

Hey everybody! The video is being stupid so I can't get it to upload for some reason and I don't really want to post it on YouTube. So until that all gets resolved, here's some other things that have been going on:

This past weekend Rachel and I were busy spending money. First was the ginormous farmer's market that went all the way around the capitol. There were hundreds of people slowly moving clockwise around the square inspecting the various merchandise that the hordes of stalls had to offer. We managed to snag many kinds of tomatoes that we had never heard of before (Striped German anyone?) as well as some delicious trout and other assorted veggies.

Speaking of food, we went to Taste of Madison on Sunday. Kind of like Taste of Minnesota, it too featured many stalls around the capitol and people moving slowly clockwise around it... but this time the food was cooked, and there were some cool bands playing. Most interesting thing that I ate there: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Egg Roll. Yum!

Since Monday was Labor Day neither Rachel nor I had work. So, in preparation for my exciting debut tomorrow, we decided to head to Epic to check out the place. Fortunately the weather was gorgeous and my car was able to direct us there without a hitch. I even managed to take some pics this time... enjoy!

Until next time...

"To be envied is the human being's chiefest joy."
No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity in which pretty much every facet of my life has been altered beyond recognition. Many of you probably know or have heard of most of these, but let's just put them down for the record.

  • On Thursday, August 12th, my poor car, the Alpacamobile, was flooded while waiting patiently on a street in Uptown for me to return. When I came back there was 6 inches of water in my car and a debris line from the flash flood that went halfway up the outside of the doors. While still drivable, the damage to the seats, carpeting and electronics totalled the car. May it rest in peace.
  • On Friday, August 20th, I had my last official obligation with the Community Technology Empowerment Project and said goodbye to my coworkers, students and friends. This was much more emotional than I thought it would be, as apparently I have done some good over the past two years and people wanted to let me know that. I'll definitely miss my time there, though it is good to be moving on.
  • On Saturday, August 21st, Rachel and I piled our belongings into a U-Haul and drove to our new apartment in Madison, WI. With help from both our families we got moved in and Rachel took the initiative to make our apartment look awesome. A video tour of the place will be my next post. Suffice it to say, it's really nice to have multiple rooms all to our own!
  • On Thursday, August 26th, I obtained a new car while visiting my family back in New York. Pics of the car will appear at some point, as it is a beaut. Still miss the Alpacamobile though...
  • On Tuesday, August 31st, I finished my second term of service with CTEP with one final hour's worth of work in my last week on the job consisting mainly of e-mails.
  • And on Tuesday, September 7th, I am going to be starting my new job at Epic.
So far in Madison I've spent my time unpacking and rearranging things in our apartment. I've hung out with Rachel's grad program friends a bit and they seem like a nice bunch of people. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

I'm also going to be mustering up my courage to check out some of the geek stores in the area starting with Misty Mountain Madison tomorrow for their Warhammer open play night. I figure that's one way to make new friends in this strange land, right?

Anyway, many more posts to come, as now I definitely need to post somewhere in order to talk about all of my adventures. To all of you, I miss you, and as long as I try to keep in contact so should you.

Until next time...

"It is the epitome of life. The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity."
-Letter to Edward Dimmit from Mark Twain, July, 19, 1901