State of Me

First: A nice spring picture, featuring Kodi:

Second: A status report on the events in my house:

I’m delighted to say that with one major exception, the house renovations are done: All of the house has new carpets and flooring. This was necessary because prior to this all the carpet in the house was the same carpet as was here when the house was built fifteen years ago. It was time, basically. The new carpets and floorings are just lovely and I’m sure I’ll post photographs at some point, but for the moment, hey, take my word for it, it’s lovely.

The one exception to everything being done is of course my office. It’s been repainted and refloored, but I hired a local cabinetmaker to do a custom desk and shelves, and they’re not installed yet. For me the critical thing there is the desk, since once that’s in I can bring my desktop back in and get back to work in there; I have the temporary set-up but I notice what I actually end up doing is wandering about the house with the laptop. Yes, very much like the Israelites in the desert. Although hopefully it won’t take 40 years to get a desk. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be here later in the week.

Beyond that, spring is here and it is lovely, which means I need to stock up on Claritin sometime soon. If that’s the price one pays for not having three feet of snow on the ground, I’m only too happy to pay.

And how are you?

61 thoughts on “State of Me

  1. Isn’t Claratin a great drug? I love the stuff.

    Me? I’ll be in Japan in under a week and a half. I’m hoping we’ll get the chance to say hi to Charlie Stross while we’re in Tokyo.

  2. Urrg! Juniper and Cottenwood pollin started up two weeks ago here in central New Mexico. We still had snow on the ground, up in the mountains, and my eyes look like I should be an evil emperor somewhere. Can only do Benedril or Claritin at night, otherwise I’m a zombie. Bleah!

    Spring! You’re headin’ the right way for a smack-bottom!

  3. It may be spring, but where I am, it feels like we went straight from winter to summer. And it will only get hotter. I think I preferred the snow. At least I don’t have allergies.

  4. Glad to hear things are going smoothly!

    I’m doing just swell, thanks for asking! The grad school semester is wrapping up, I’m getting ready for MaxFunCon, and the weather in Baltimore is gorgeous.

    Hope you and the family are well!

  5. I just stocked up on Claritin. For the price I paid this stuff better be freaking magic. I usually take Alavert when I don’t want to pass out (which is when I take Benadryl) but it’s stopped working and I’ve never taken Claritin before.

  6. I’m trying to figure out what happened to spring here in Utah. It snowed last night. grumble grumble

  7. John? I think the question on everyone’s mind is: How many times have you slid across the hardwood floor in your socks?

  8. Doing good I’m at work right now :( but hey got to make a living somehow. It’s raining out and very overcast which makes the last few days of beautiful weather that we had feel like a distant dream… ah well.. gald you love the new floors and hoping you get your new desk so you can crank out that SUPER SECRET PROJECT..

    When is the next update on that by the way?

  9. I’m doing all right, thanks for asking. Thanks for the picture of Kodi, too. Boy, if ever a still photo was ripe for the tyranny of teal and orange, this is it. Thanks for not giving in to the temptation.

  10. It’s still cold and grey in Seattle (surprise). Hopefully the sun comes out before summer is over.

    btw, Flonase works wonders.

  11. I would like to recommend Costco’s generic alternative to Zyrtec as a wonderful once-a-day allergy relief delivery system. Called Allertec, it’s powers of ten cheaper than Zyrtec and wonderfully effective (on me at least).

  12. We had spring/summer back in Feb in the Pacific NW, so it looks like we’re getting our due grey weather again.
    Otherwise, things are good. Glad to hear your renovations are almost on the complete side. I can only imagine how much of a mess that must have been.

  13. I started to eat local honey last year and it’s helped with my allergies. Now I just take an Actifed at night and I’m good for a while.

    The mud season here is on, in theory, though it’s been so warm we’ve seemed to skipped right from winter to late spring.

    It’s all good.

  14. Just did a sleep study laste night so I still have gunk in my hair and grogginess in my brain. On the plus side my work in progress novel is coming along nicely and a friend of my was nominated for the John W Campbell award so there are plenty of smiles.

  15. Lovely spring. I envy (and covet) that lush grass.

    As a comment for others:
    To save money- buy Claritin under the active ingredient of Loratadine (generic) instead of the name-brand. Drugstore.com has some better deals. It shouldn’t cause drowsiness at normal doses (generally 10mg PO qd), but try taking pseudophedrine (decongestant/stimulant) with it if it does; it doesn’t seem to be contraindicated and apparently that’s what is in Claritin-D, so it should be just fine.

    @LizC-Alavert and Claritin are both loratadine. Not saying that Alavert won’t work because sometimes the fillers and packaging mechanisms alter the drug’s action enough that there is a difference in tolerance and whatnot. Seems that eating before taking the oral medication helps its bioavailability: http://www.rxlist.com/claritin-drug.htm . There are also dissolving tablets, which should increase bioavailability by decreasing first pass-effect in theory, but apparently they end up at the same dosage.

    -Which is to say that I’m a first year med student, and by no means an expert on anything. So, don’t necessarily trust anything I say. I’ve just been taking loratadine on and off for years.

  16. I swear, that dog is smiling. Great shot.

    We’ve had cold rain for a week, but today the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and you can positively hear the grass grow. The downside is, I’m stuck in the stoopid office. Ick.

  17. Just an FYI: The active ingredient in Claritin, etc., is Loratidine, and you can buy generic for WAY cheaper at all the drug stores around these here parts (I got 180 pills for under $20 at Target).

    Enjoyed the giant thunderstorm last night and have all the windows open today. Yay spring!

  18. I’m endlessly happy that I don’t suffer from hayfever and other such allergies. Apart from that spring has sprung (although in this part of the left coast it appears to have sprung a leak) and all is well with the world.

  19. I moved from Columbus to Austin, TX, which is apparently the allergy capital of the US and so far it’s holding true. I’ve never had allergies hit me this hard.

  20. I’m fine, although a bit stressed (big fundraiser I’m running this weekend).

    That Kodi picture looks like you (badly) Photoshopped Kodi on a landscape picture. Don’t know why – maybe it’s just me.

  21. We’re drowning in greenish-yellow pollen, here. The sky is, in fact, green instead of blue, there is so much of the stuff. There are drifts of it on vehicles, roads… I’m staying inside, where it’s safe.

    (Oh, and it’s almost 90F outside, we seem to have skipped ahead to Summer sometime this week.)

  22. Chris Gerrib @ 30:

    That Kodi picture looks like you (badly) Photoshopped Kodi on a landscape picture. Don’t know why – maybe it’s just me.

    It’s not just you.

    I don’t think it is, but that was my first reaction.

  23. I caught a sale on Walgreen’s generic Claritin last year, ended up with a 90 day supply for less than $12.

    @20 Bob aren’t those studies wonderful? The last one I did took almost 24 hours from start to finish.

  24. Not doing to bad today. It’s a lot better today at work than yesterday. The Oak tree pollen in really going strong down here in NOLA. I parked my car under an Oak on Sunday and when I came back my red Saturn was green with all the Oak pollen. At least thats better than the buckmouth caterpillars that drop on you and sting you from untreated trees! The Long Neddle Pines are about to start pollenateing soon. My “pride of Mobile” azaleas are in full bloom and they are beautiful!! I only have 17 more days with the seniors and the Class of 2010 will be history!!! I think I’ll go home after school today and get a moon pie and a R.C. cola!!!

  25. John- that is one GORGEOUS Akita-inu you have (my favorite breed). Look on the bright side, flooring-wise. I bought a 100 year old farmhouse with beautiful linoleum over mar-lite over Hardwood flooring. It took 2 dumpsters and over 3 weeks just to get the old crap out and the even older floors sanded back to life! Enjoy the updated home.

  26. It’s currently in the 80s here, and my office is uncomfortably warm. According to the weatherman, tomorrow night it will be in the 30s, and thus my office will be uncomfortably cold.

    I am reminded of why a local chum of mine goes everywhere at this time of year with a grocery bag of clothing, so that she can completely change her seasonal wear at the drop of a hat, back and forth, back and forth, wherever she is.

    Hail, spring!

  27. Out here in Utah, we just got the three feet of snow on the ground. We might have spring about May 31.

  28. We certainly hope your metaphor is incorrect in other aspects; that wandering in the wasteland thing didn’t work out too well for Moses.

    Otherwise the daughter-unit will be making a speech about what a great dad you WERE when she picks up your Nebula+Hugo for The God Engines.

  29. I’m suffering from post-Easter letdown, or maybe a cold, but the weather is beautiful here in Hoboken, New Jersey. The ornamental pear trees that line many of our streets are nearing peak bloom, and the tulips in my back yard are blooming. I need to get to a garden center and buy annuals to put in. As soon as I recover from whatever this is.

  30. I don’t suppose you are having a local Mennonite furniture maker do it, are you? Because I love that stuff and it would be extra cool if science fiction money helped pay for hand-made Mennonite furniture.

  31. I’m aching from the first lawn-mowing of the year. The grass is always so sappy and tough to mow at this time. Still, I shouldn’t complain, most years I start mowing in mid-March. The cold winter’s had this one tiny benefit.

    Lovely picture of Kodi. Also of your blossom tree.

  32. Your lawn looks beautiful. Who mows your lawn? Your Akita is beautiful. Mine looks all scraggly, shedding her coat in big clumps. Daily brushing with the Furminator helps just a little.

  33. I don’t know if it’s the verdant background contrasting with Kodi’s orange brightness or what, but that photo looks surreally unreal for some reason.

    Spring quarter has started, and I’m now enrolled in a program I actually like and am excited by, so yay me. (Would still rather have a job, though.)

  34. But if I was in Ohio, I wouldn’t need the Claritin. I noticed that on my last trip up north. It’s Zyrtec for me anyways here in Florida. Pretty much every day. What’s one small pill next to the 9 prescription pills I take in the morning. And the multivitamin, vitamin D (yes, I live in the Sunshine State!) and magnesium oxide. And the fish oil pills.

  35. Scalzi, that’s a gorgeous dog…lucky you.

    @Josh Jasper, #1

    Bring claritin if you’re at all prone to allergies. Japan has HUGE pollen levels right now…mostly pine, but also plenty of others. I’m blessed with non-allergies, but I’m a rarity here.

    Two weeks…you’ll probably miss the sakura. They’re in full bloom right now, and gorgeous.

  36. I don’t know if John manipulated the pic, but that’s pretty much what grass looks like, about a month from now. This heat is way too early for Ohio.

  37. re: #34, 30: hey that’s what I was gonna say!

    John, here in NoVA its currently insanely hot, but is supposed to return to normal spring soon (I got up at 5am, it was already 70. the car thermometer read 100 when I was on the beltway at 4 yesterday. weather.com assures me it won’t even be 65 tomorrow, but I’m not sure I believe them.

    I am computing twice as much now that I have a non-retail job, and have to wear wrist braces to avoid carpal tunnel. so I look like a mummy or zombie with the arms out straight when I type. and I keep making typos! no fun. but I’d rather have typos than carpal tunnel. and at least I can reach the backspace with my mummy arm impression

  38. We have Cedar Fever here in Texas. Some moron decided that Juniper from the Middle East would look pretty in their yard about 100 years ago. It has taken over the hill country and explosively release pollen in a red cloud. 5 minutes in that and I’m wheezing like a chronic smoker, Zyrtec helps some.

  39. Costco version of Zyrtec for me…cheap, effective, and, if taken at night, slight sleep assistance. Win, win, win.

  40. First on Claritan…I get 300 tablets for something like $12 at CostCo. It does a great job on allergies as far as sneezy and running eyes, although their “24 hour” bit is ridiculous…maybe 8-12, tops.

    However, what worked far better was to see a doctor and start taking flonase and qvar. I also get asthma, so that was the primary goal of treatment…but I’ve notice my other allergies are just gone. I’ve taken one claritan in the last week, which is way less than usual.

    Finally, that picture of Kodi is just fantastic. I would be looking for a state fair to enter it in so you can add that to your awards.

  41. Ahh -Claritan. I confuse doctors a lot with Claritan. It’s the only medication I’m allergic to (break out in hives), and most of them do a serious double-take at the weird woman who’s allergic to an antihistamine.

  42. Is that a picture taken on this planet?

    Well, since oak pollen season is here in TX, and this is the worst it’s been in 25 years, I am fortunate enough that the company I worked for changed health insurance companies just in time.

    Aetna will not help pay for Allegra, which is the only allergy pill that works for me, but our new (and old, we had them 3 years ago) insurer does.

    The doctor said Claritin was useless, and I pretty much agree. He did mention that Allegra is safer than taking aspirin and should be OTC by now.

    He did also mention that the Zyrtec generic version can be bought a year supply at a time at Costco for about 15 bucks.

  43. Eh. That should read company I “work” for. I hope I’m not being prescient in some way, lol.

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