Monday, 26 August 2013

09:20 – Costco run and dinner with Mary and Paul yesterday.

As Barbara will tell you, I tend to spread like kudzu. I presently have kit components stacked in the kitchen, den, dining room, library/living room, workroom, my office, the downstairs finished area, and the downstairs unfinished area. My stuff just spreads. And that’s just the science kit stuff. We also keep stored water, probably something like 300 or 400 liters, in 2- and 3-liter soda bottles, crammed into every free space downstairs. So before our Costco run yesterday, I suggested to Barbara that we replace that stored water with bottled water from Costco, which should be more space-efficient to store. She buys it anyway, in cases of 35 500 mL bottles which translates to 17.5 liters per case or 8.5 two-liter soda bottles. So I told her that for every two cases of bottled water we buy we can empty and recycle 17 two-liter bottles. She was delighted. I figure that once we get up to 20 cases of bottled water, all the 2- and 3-liter soda bottles will be gone.

So, just as we got to the checkout line at Costo, they opened another register. Paul and I got in that line with their cart, with Barbara and Mary right behind us with our cart. After Paul and I got checked out, we were standing watching our stuff being loaded back onto our cart and I commented to Paul that although the math told me it was true, those two cases of bottled water just didn’t look like the equivalent of 17 two-liter bottles in terms of cubic. He agreed with me but, as he said, when the math says one thing and your intuition says another, the math is always right. Assuming you do good math.

At dinner, we were talking about allergies. Mary has terrible allergies to dogs, cats, horses, and presumably other mammals. So bad that it’s possible that they’d be life-threatening without antihistamines. She has to get herself all drugged up on antihistamines before she can even ride over to Costco in our SUV. And this season has been horrible for allergies. I go years without taking an allergy pill, but lately I’ve been taking a loratadine (Claritan) every evening because my eyes have been itching and burning so badly. Given the constant rain for the last two or three months, I suspect it’s mold spores.

And Colin has been suffering badly as well. Barbara has been giving him diphenhydramine, which doesn’t seem to help much. I’d been meaning to check on loratadine in canines, and I finally did it after we got home. I turns out that loratadine is generally safe in canines, with a usual dosage of 0.5 mg/kg once a day, so Barbara gave Colin a 10 mg loratadine tablet this morning. That’s a light dose; for his body weight he should be getting 15 to 17 mg, but we wanted to start out easy. She gave it to him about 7:00 this morning. At 8:15 he was still scratching, but we’ll give it a chance.

One thing I didn’t realize is that the effectiveness of different classes of antihistamines varies widely in dogs, even more so than in people. One class or one specific drug may be completely ineffective and another very effective. So, if the loratadine works, great. If not, we’ll try chlorpheniramine maleate or one of the others.

Work on science kits continues. I’m trying to finish up the virtual school AP chemistry kits in the next couple of days. Today, I need to get the batch of pH 7.0 buffer standardized and dry some stuff to constant mass.