Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hardwood and flowers make a nice day!

Hardwood and flowers make a nice day!  Early yesterday morning we set off for Salt Lake City, to visit the MacBeath hardwood store.  This sort of trip was one of the main reasons I bought my utility trailer, and I was very pleased to see how well it worked for the job.  I was hoping to get red oak for my framing wood, but even MacBeath didn't have enough.  In fact, the only reasonably strong hardwood they had in stock in sufficient quantity was yellow poplar.  That's not an ideal choice, but it should be plenty strong enough for my job.  I got 45 pieces of random length 1x4s, all between 11' and 12' long.  That's a lot of hardwood!  I had been planning to use oak 1x3s, but moving to 1x4s will make the poplar frames very nearly as strong as the smaller oaken frames.  Below the poplar sticks are eight sheets of Baltic birch plywood.  These are all “cabinet grade”, meaning no patches, no knots, and no interior voids.  Both faces of each sheet are birch, though one side is better quality.  I only care about both sides on some of the 1/4" thick sheets, and I got lucky on them: both sides of those sheets are darned near perfect.  When I got done loading the trailer, the guy at MacBeath helping me estimated the weight at 600 lbs.  The trailer behaved well, most especially at highway speeds.  For the portions of our trip along I-15 north of Ogden, we were traveling at a steady 80 mph, and the trailer acted like it was glued to the road.  It only got bouncy on some very rough city streets in Salt Lake City.  Very nice!  Oh, and the Tesla didn't feel any different at all driving with the loaded trailer.  I couldn't detect any difference in performance, except for the battery consumption (roughly 20% higher than with no trailer, though only at highway speeds). 

After we got home and got the lumber unloaded, we went to Rudy's Greenhouse to find some color for our porch and balcony pots.  We picked out seven of their hanging baskets, which we're going to just steal the plants from.  So pretty!  Transplanting these is on the agenda for this afternoon...

Enquiring minds apparently want to know...

Enquiring minds apparently want to know...  Two people have written me in the last few days to see if my use of diphenhydramine as a sleep aid is still working.  Short answer: yes it is, just as well as when I started several months ago.  I've settled on a dose of 12.5 mg (I chop 25 mg pills in half).  When I can remember (that's infrequently :) to take it an hour or so before I go to bed, that dose is darned near perfect.  With more experience, I have a better idea of why it works for me.  I wake up nearly every night sometime between 1 am and 2:30 am.  Before I started using diphenhydramine, there was an excellent chance (at least 3 of 5 nights) that I would not go back to sleep.  Since I've started the diphenhydramine regimen, I go back to sleep almost every night.  I'm now regularly getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night, and occasionally getting even more (one memorable night a couple of weeks ago I slept for 10 hours – and if that doesn't seem remarkable to you, it certainly is to me!). 

I haven't seen any side effects yet at this dose.  If I take even slightly more (like 15 mg) I start to have “morning sedation” – well-described in the list of side-effects for diphenhydramine.  That's a groggy state that caffeine and a shower won't wake me up from – I have to just let it wear off, which can take several hours.  At even higher doses, the morning sedation is deeper and longer lasting.  I've tried 10 mg doses, which seems insignificantly different than the 12.5 mg dose I've settled on – and it isn't reliable in letting me fall back asleep in the middle of the night.  I'm surprised at the sensitivity of the dosage, but there it is.

Last night is a good example of my experience with this drug.  I took my 12.5 mg dose just before I took my evening shower at 9 pm.  I took my shower, went to bed, read for a while, and was lights-off and ready to sleep at 10:15 pm.  I woke at 1 pm, went back to sleep within a few minutes.  I woke up at 5:15 am, got up and felt almost no morning sedation.  By the time I took my shower and had my morning tea, I was wide awake.  This sort of thing may be normal for most people, but for me it's still quite novel. :)