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.


This entry was posted in dogs, friends, science kits. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Monday, 26 August 2013

  1. brad says:

    Ah, your science kits are spreading like kudzu. When you first said that you were spreading, I was thinking perhaps you had solved the cloning problem…

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That, too. Every science kit comes with free DNA specimens from Barbara and me, for anyone who wants to clone us.

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    brad wrote:

    “When you first said that you were spreading…”

    I thought he was admitting to putting on weight.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Nah. I’m a lean, mean fighting machine.

  5. Lynn McGuire says:
  6. Lynn McGuire says:

    My daughter’s white Seal point Siamese cat sneezes constantly. He is half in half out (goes in and out constantly through doggy door). He is a riot at night time as he lays in the bushes and thinks that you cannot see him.

  7. OFD says:

    “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.”

    I’ve been wondering about that; my own allergies were more sporadic and seeming to gradually fade away in recent years but this year has been kinda bad; every day lately for weeks, with the streaming nose and eyes and itching and sneezing repeatedly. One Benadryl wasn’t doing the trick; I don’t take anything anymore unless really necessary and I’ve had to take two of those now every day. Wondered if it was mold, pollen or just the endless dog and cat hair and dander around the house. Or all of the above, probably.

    I see our brilliant overlords and masters are preparing for the next Sandbox Domino War in Syria on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, when just last week everyone was saying it was the “rebels” who did that. It’s really becoming like Oceania and Eastasia and whichever enemy du jour is lately. So pretty much still the old neocon playbook; from Tunisia through Libya to Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria; soon, Iran. Let’s have another world war and a Soviet-style police state at home. Because in other news the regime is preparing its legions for a massive economic collapse and a combined military and police response to large civil disturbances and unrest.

    This could get interesting; fighting multiple overseas war fronts while tamping down rebellion at home. Speaking of which, choppers are flying low-altitude overhead here right now (noon). Also been seeing military vehicles in convoys on I-89, northbound.

    Hold on; someone’s hammering on the door, I’ll be

  8. jim` says:

    I had nasty hay fever until I got contact lenses. Makes you go hmmmm. My theory is that they trapped so much pollen underneath them that my immune system finally fought back and developed antibodies.

    It’s funnny how animals react differently to drugs. When I flew from Ohio to Seattle I sedated my ferrets with Valium, but it really only slowed them down. The small one, weighing in at a whopping 650 grams, need 2 mg to acheive only mild tranquilization. Human dose is 5 mg.

  9. Lynn McGuire says:

    Been noting that the Academy chain here in Houston has ammo on the shelves now for all calibers except 44 mag and 44 special. They do have limits on 22 lr and 9 mm at two boxes per day.

    However, my Wal*Mart is still out of pistol ammo except for a couple of 25 cal.

    Speaking of which, choppers are flying low-altitude overhead here right now (noon). Also been seeing military vehicles in convoys on I-89, northbound.

    Getting ready for the Canada annexation by the USA. 57 States, here we come! People just thought that was a mistake by Obummer.

  10. CowboySlim says:

    Time to call United Van Lines, I can’t think of anyone around here with severe allergy issues. Oh yeah, stop off in AZ or NV for your guns and ammo.

  11. Lynn McGuire says:

    Hey OFD, better put some oil in that house tank or stock up on a lot of pellets:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57600023/farmers-almanac-predicts-a-bitterly-cold-winter/

    “The Farmers’ Almanac is using words like “piercing cold,” “bitterly cold” and “biting cold” to describe the upcoming winter. And if its predictions are right, the first outdoor Super Bowl in years will be a messy “Storm Bowl.””

    “Modern scientists don’t put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time.”

    80% correct? Really?

  12. brad says:

    Any chance it could be ragweed? It’s getting to be the season, and last I heard the stuff was spreading pretty much unchecked. Almost anyone with any sort of allergy is allergic to the pollen.

    As for the winter, I surely hope it isn’t worse than the one just past. That was long and cold for us; then after a warm May we had a relapse to heating season for pretty much the entire month of June. Bring on the global warming, *I* say.

    Speaking of which, I read somewhere recently that the terminology is changing again. Since “global warming” has turned out to be a dud, they went to “climate change”. But the climate is doing just fine – few hurricanes, nothing spectacular anywhere – so now the new panic name is going to be “carbon pollution”. Never mind that (a) they probably mean carbon dioxide and (b) neither carbon nor carbon dioxide is much of a pollutant. Still, it will probably serve to keep the trough full a little while longer…

    Government regulations. We’ve been told that our heating system no longer meets modern emission requirements for NO and NO2. We’re allowed 150mg/m3 and our heating system produces around 220mg/m3. Anyone know what the basis of these numbers is?

  13. Lynn McGuire says:

    Government regulations. We’ve been told that our heating system no longer meets modern emission requirements for NO and NO2. We’re allowed 150mg/m3 and our heating system produces around 220mg/m3. Anyone know what the basis of these numbers is?

    Did they actually measure your furnace? Or did they write down what type of oil? natural gas? wood pellet? Propane? burner that you have and just lookup what kind of NOX emissions that you have from a table.

    Are you getting fined? Do you need to replace your burner with a Low-NOX burner? Do you need a new catalytic converter for your heater?

    Oh wait, you live in the land of the Swiss. You need a windmill or some other type of renewable energy.

  14. brad says:

    Hi Lynn

    Yes, they measure it every couple of years. No fines or anything. Our system was grandfathered for a long time, but we’ve been told that this runs out in 2015.

    Renewable energy: We use our masonry stove quite a lot – we burn 2-1/2 to 3 cords of wood a winter. Even though (or because?) it’s an ancient thing with an ordinary open chimney, it is essentially unregulated. Possible the combustion temperatures aren’t high enough to produce much NOx? Dunno, I’m not a chemist, but it surely produces plenty of particulates.

    Actually, this house would be great for solar – we have a huge south-facing roof. But retrofitting the pipes and the heat-storage into an existing building – the costs are just not reasonable. So we’ll stick to oil heating. Possibly we can get away with just replacing the burner – I hope so.

  15. Lynn McGuire says:

    Unmodified oil burners run at over 3,000 F which creates a lot of NOX. You need a low NOX burners which staggers the oil combustion by controlling the fresh air to the burner. That drops the temperature of the combustion process which produces less NOX. Not cheap but easily modifiable for most furnaces.

    Back when I used to work at Morgan Creek Steam Electric Station in Colorado City, TX, I would follow the trail of brown NOX in the air on still mornings from Sweetwater, TX where I lived. Natural gas burners run at 3500 F and create lots of NOX also.

  16. MrAtoz says:

    On Syria, Kerry is yelling WMD, WMD. Do we have ANY national security interests there? Did Obummer learn nothing from Bush (after bashing him). Kerry’s now a war hawk? WTF, over.

  17. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] We’re allowed 150mg/m3 and our heating system produces around 220mg/m3. Anyone know what the basis of these numbers is? [snip]

    Maybe St. Algore has an equity position in a company that produces heating systems that achieve the lower numbers?

    And Obama can’t be a war monger, he got a Nobel Peace Prize!!!

  18. SteveF says:

    Kerry’s now a war hawk?

    Sure. He’s too old to be drafted. It’s personally safe for him to bang the drums.

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    I figure that once we get up to 20 cases of bottled water

    I keep 10 cases of the 35 packs of 500 ml Ozarkas at the house on the back patio. They get with with ambient temperature but no sun on them.

    Kerry’s now a war hawk?

    Sure. He’s too old to be drafted. It’s personally safe for him to bang the drums.

    You do know that Kerry did a tour of duty in Vietnam as a river rat, right?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry_military_service_controversy

    Kerry sure is a lot more Hawkish now with a Democrat President. Way too hawkish if you ask me. I am surprised that he is not for getting our troops out of the middle east.

  20. SteveF says:

    You do know that Kerry did a tour of duty in Vietnam as a river rat, right?

    Of course. It’s seared — seared! — into my memory. I also seem to recall that he pimped a couple of BS purple hearts into finishing his tour “a bit” early, like eight months short of a full twelve-month tour. Conceded, one of the PHs seems like it was for the real thing, but the other two are BS. I took worse injuries in the Army with no medal being mentioned. (Not only weren’t we in a shooting war at the time, but purple hearts aren’t given for friendly fire. Bummer, that. That said, I wouldn’t have accepted even if offered. Scratches and bruises.)

    Now, you could and can argue that the US shouldn’t have been in SE Asia and that’s a reasonable position. You could and can argue that the military draft is an abomination in a free society, and that’s a reasonable position, too. Neither of those applied to Kerry. Not until years later, anyway. He went into the branch least likely to see combat, tried to stay out of combat, and got out as soon as he could finagle a way. He didn’t say a word to help others stay out of harm’s way. It was all about him and his precious hide.

    I despise chickenhawks like John Kerry.

  21. Lynn McGuire says:

    Can I argue that the USA should not be in the middle east? And this is with a USMC son who did two tours of duty in Iraq. He loved the people but has decided that we cannot win there due to the following unresolvable conflicts:
    1. Brother against brother
    2. Brothers against the father
    3. family against the tribe
    4. tribe against the nation
    5. nation against all other nations

    These people will never live in peace. Who died and made the USA the world cop?

  22. OFD says:

    Whew, that was close. I had to give up a bunch of you guys’ names and locations but they finally kicked me loose. The threats to make me watch the Miley Twerky Achey Breaky Cyrus thing again put me right over the edge. Cruel bastards.

    Agreed with both SteveF and Lynn; Kerry is a pansy chickenhawk weasel and has been his whole fucking life. And yeah, we need to be outta the Sandbox and the Suck permanently. There are nothing but lose-lose situations for us there.

    But nobody consulted US, so they’re about to launch Cruise missles into Syria which will kill some civilians and Assad’s people will put those all over the net immediately. Then Iran and Russia will get involved, along with Turkey and Israel. Hold onto yer hats!

  23. brad says:

    “Can I argue that the USA should not be in the middle east?”

    Preaching to the choir – there’s just no reason to get involved, outside of possibly some sort of UN peacekeeping action. Like I cynically commented on the Saturday thread, the military-industrial complex needs another war to keep the contracts flowing.

    While it’s probably impossibly to prove one way or the other, the prevailing theory here seems to be: (a) the government had nothing to gain by attacking a random bunch of civilians with nerve gas, (b) the rebels need outside support and (c) Syria was falling off the news radar. So (d) The way for the rebels to get back in the news and get outside support: gas a bunch of your own people and claim the government did it.

    Convenient for the US administration, which is looking for an excuse anyway…

  24. Miles_Teg says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-27/britain-readies-for-possible-military-strike-against-syria/4916596

    Even the Poms seem to have caught the bug.

    Why can’t our betters leave people to sort out their own problems.

  25. Ray Thompson says:

    Preaching to the choir – there’s just no reason to get involved

    Oh yes there is. It should be obvious.

    How else can the generals with all their (rarely earned) bling and shiny baubles maintain their position of power and garner the large budgets from congress. Much of said money being used to develop and buy the latest and greatest toys of mass destruction. The generals and higher ups are using conflicts to support their piggy banks and funding. There is no other justification for developing many such weapons systems.

    There are also many defense contractors whose very existence depends on lots of money being spent on the military machine. Such companies lobbying hard to have US intervention where it really is none of our fucking business.

    Congress and the noble self appointed king are too stupid to realize they are being manipulated by the war machine. Syria is a civil war and for that asshole Obama to get the US involved is insane.

  26. bgrigg says:

    “Who died and made the USA the world cop?”

    That would be the British Empire.

  27. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Kill them all. Allah will sort them out.

  28. Lynn McGuire says:

    “Who died and made the USA the world cop?”

    That would be the British Empire.

    Nah, we stole it while they were not looking. There was certainly no official ceremony of transfer. Unless you count the UN locating itself in the most expensive real estate in the USA.

    Reminds me of that picture of the baby alligator riding the adult alligator:
    http://dailypicksandflicks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/that-one-dad-he-called-me-a-gecko-funny-baby-crocodile-alligator.jpg

    Can we throw out the UN also?

  29. Dan Schnebly says:

    Over the last few years the Kirkland water bottle packaging has gotten lighter and flimsier. A more efficient use of materials to be sure, and I’ve yet to see any of the new bottles leak spontaneously, but I keep an eye on the stack in my garage just in case.

    The question of whether cases or 2-liter bottles are more space-efficient depends on the size and shape of the available storage space. If you’re talking about a 5’x5’x5′ cube, cases of half-liter bottles will fill the space more efficiently than 2-liter bottles. Filling nooks and crannies inside cupboards may be a different story.

  30. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    True. I’ve noticed how flimsy the bottles are. Barbara’s been buying them for years, and they’re a lot thinner than they used to be. Still, when we were at Costco Sunday they had cases of them stacked six or seven high with nothing separating them.

  31. Lynn McGuire says:

    True. I’ve noticed how flimsy the bottles are. Barbara’s been buying them for years, and they’re a lot thinner than they used to be. Still, when we were at Costco Sunday they had cases of them stacked six or seven high with nothing separating them.

    Stacking them is not a problem. Cutting the plastic film cover with a pair of scissors is the problem. One needs to use a pair of scissors with blunted heads or be very careful to not poke the bottles while cutting. I have been known to pierce a couple of bottles before throwing the case in the fridge for cooling.

  32. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Huh. Us Real Men just rip the plastic by brute force.

Comments are closed.