July 09, 2006
Recently, I've been posting to Six Apart's new blogging service, VOX. You'll have to be in my network of friends and family to see any of my posts. If you want an invite, drop me a line.
November 27, 2005
My good friend Todd took the nerd test and scored in the 95th percentile. Just to see how close I would be to his score I just took it and was in the 92nd percentile. Damnit, I thought I was going to beat him! I think I would've scored higher a few years back. Still, no denying the nerd in me. Make that the Supreme Nerd in me. Studying physics as an undergrad just does that to you.
October 10, 2005
I just got a nifty Sony Ericsson S710a cellphone. Its notable feature is that it's got a great little camera for a mobile phone: a 1.3 megapixel CCD plus a strong LED for light. The picture quality isn't half bad. It's not print quality by any means but for a phone it's not bad. The camera does make the phone quite big for a cellphone. It's not not horribly large even though it's definitely gordo in comparison to the Moto RAZR.
Now that I have it I've got a great reason to start using the Flickr account I set up a while back. It turns out to be quite easy to post the pictures from a mobile phone to Flickr. They provide an email interface that takes email attachments sent to it and adds them to your Flickr account. With this feature, it becomes dirt simple to take pictures with your phone and have them posted to Flickr. They'll even tag all your pictures uploaded this way with a set of tags for you. I've chosen one tag: moblog. They also have a feature where they'll also post the pictures to your blog but I haven't decided to hook that up yet. I'd rather have a small number of thumbnails across the top of the blog than a post per picture.
November 28, 2004
My nasal passages are always stuffed up. I'm told it's allergies but I never get the feeling that I'm being diagnosed properly by a doctor. It doesn't matter what I do, I can never breathe clearly through both nostrils. It's been like this for years and there is no abatement in sight. But having said that, I'd like too share a remedy that I've been using recently that has been working quite well for me.
My earliest attempts to treat this condition was back in college when I started taking Seldane regularly. It helped but it wasn't perfect by any means. In fact, a few years back, it got to the point where I had to breathe through my mouth almost all the time. Of course, it didn't help that my room back then was as dusty as could be -- not that that made me dust it. Every now and then, I'd do a couple squirts of Afrin but that stuff is nasty. While it helped with the symptoms for a short while, the symptoms would actually rebound with double force when it wore off. Still, any respite from this condition was welcome. One thing that did help, was doing inhilations over highly salted boiling water. And while I always felt better afterwards, I never did them with any regularity.
Incidently, Zornitza tells me that in Germany there is a product sold in most pharmacies that greatly aids with inhilations. Some kind of head covering, it is. I've yet to find it in the States, so if anyone knows where I can get one, I'd appreciate the reference.
Over the years, I've tried various other remedies but nothing so far has been consistently good enough to be considered a long-term solution. For the past few years, my fix has been two squirts of Nasonex up each nostril and a Claritin(generic Costco Loratadine) every morning. Between the two, I can breathe at 70% - 80% effectiveness -- the problem being that one nostril consistently won't clear up completely. But happily, with this concoction, breathing becomes something I doesn't bother me too much.
Now as it happens, my good friend Laurel also suffers from these symptoms. And six or so months ago, when we were both lamenting hay fever and suffy noses, she turned me on to the Neti. At first, I was quite hesitant about using it but I eventually caved in because, let's face it, nasal congestion sucks and frankly I'm willing to give almost snake oil decongestant a go. The Neti pot is not snake oil, however, it is a wonderful ancient remedy that can be used for treating all kinds of nasal ailments. The basic premise is somewhat disgusting but believe me that it works. Well, at least for me it does. Briefly, it takes the idea of a nasal inhilation and, "takes it up a notch".
The Neti cleansing procedure is as follows. A Neti pot is a small ceramic pot that is filled with warm, highly salted water(various companies sell pure NaCl for this purpose at exorbitant rates). Then the nozzle of the pot is placed in one nostril and the Neti is raised above the nose with the head over a sink. This causes the salted water to enter one nostril and with the head tilted approriately, the brine leaves through the other nostril, modulo some excess that can end up in the back of the throat. The process is then repeated with the other nostil. In effect, what happens is that the entire nasal cavity is washed out with warm brine. And while there is a slight burning sensation during the cleansing process, the end results are just marvelous. Afterwards, I am not only able to breathe freely through both nostirls but my sense of smell is also heightened. Warm brine is quite the elixir, indeed.
Yes, this is gross. And I won't go into what ends up in the sink. But on balance, I'd rather have that gunk in the sink rather than in my head. So if you suffer from hay fever, allergies or nasal congestion I think you owe it to yourself to try rinsing with a Neti. Once you do, I'm sure you'll agree with me that the results are just fabulous. And while I'm not willing to give up my meds, the Neti is a wondeful tool in any decongestant arsenal.