Category Archives: SC Post

Down, but not out

SC here, Puzzlepaws just got back from her birthday trip.  While she got some awesome stuff for the blog, she brought home an unwanted bit of con swag…”con plague”.  Nothing major, just a miserable cold.

With her disease, her immune system is compromised (it is too busy attacking her body to defend it.)  The “good” news: while she’s sick, she’s not in pain as her Fibromyalgia goes into remission while her body attacks this cold instead of her.  The “bad” news: Puzzlepaws has to take some pretty strong medicine to beat the cold down, so she’s essentially bedridden (and asleep) while she recovers. (Thus why I’m here.)

Thankfully, “pretty strong medicine” is available Over-the-Counter (OTC), with ID.  Why “with ID”?  Puzzlepaws (and myself) are part of the (large) subset of humanity for whom phenylephrine simply does not work.  Unfortunately, NyQuil® stopped including pseudoephedrine HCL years ago (because yahoos use pseudoephdrine HCL to make methamphetamine).  Walgreens® to the rescue!

Walgreens® makes a “Night Cold & Flu” that is what NyQuil® used to be.  (You can’t feel a cold if you’re in a coma.)  Unfortunately, it works just like NyQuil® used to: You take your dose, wait 10-30 minutes, then wake up 10-12 hours later. You feel better, but you lose the night and part of the day.  Rinse, repeat as needed until you can function again.  If you need this medicine, you have to ask for it at the Pharmacy (no buying it online), then you have to produce ID (Federal Law) before they will sell it to you.  (And then you can only buy so much in a month…which varies by state.)

While this is only a cold, it brings up a good point.  Diseases like what Puzzlepaws has are the reason for a thing called “Herd Immunity”.  This is what happens when people who are otherwise well get immunized (Eek, Needles!).  In a well-immunized society, a preventable disease has a hard time getting a foothold because most of the population is immune to the disease.  Thus, individuals like Puzzlepaws (those with compromised immune systems) have a lower chance of getting truly nasty diseases because those around them can’t get those diseases.  So we protect the most vulnerable individuals in our population by being immunized against the diseases that might kill them. (Example: The flu for me is 2-4 days of misery, then all better!  As for Puzzlepaws, she is looking at 10-21 days of misery.  That misery is extended if she gets complications like: bronchitis, pneumonia, or other incidental infections.  Any of these complications could hospitalize or kill her.)

If you’re going to haul out the “vaccines cause autism” (or any other similar argument), don’t bother.  You won’t get the argument you want, but you will get blocked.  If you can’t say something nice…

NyQuil® is a Registered Trademark of The Proctor & Gamble Company.

Walgreens® is a Registered Trademark of the Walgreens Company.

Disclosure: The opinions are my own.  All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

#walgreens #nyquil

Nifty Device From Toy Fair 2019

Hello?…Is this thing on?

Hi, SC here.  Puzzlepaws is unexpectedly out of town for an extended period (longer than expected due to “track maintenance” and “curfew”), so I decided to do a post (or two).

While we were at Toy Fair 2019, we came across a vendor selling this thing called an “iCaddy”. The original design was (not kidding) built out of toilet paper roll cores.  The basic concept is simple: a compact, durable phone and tablet stand, with replaceable charger, and cord storage. The iCaddy website calls it a mobile device multitool!

Front and Back.jpg
The item as we received it.  The model featured on the front is the creator, Katrina.

We received the cat print, which is perfect for PuzzlePaws! Currently, iCaddy has thirteen different patterns.

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Box and contents including: iCaddy with accessories, introduction letter, sticker, and creator’s note.

The entire unit was easy to assemble, instruction were provided in the introduction letter.  The charger fits in a secure pocket in the section of the iCaddy that isn’t used for cord storage.

icaddy_802_Cats_15_1024x1024@2x
This is the travel mode, nice and compact, easy to throw in a bag!

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While the iCaddy is not intuitive in its use, a bit of fumbling and looking at the back of the box allowed me to place it in its two configurations: Tablet Mode and Phone Mode.

Tablet Mode.jpg
Tablet Mode
Phone Mode.jpg
Phone Mode

The iCaddy appears to be incredibly handy.  It holds the tablet incredibly securely (I was not worried that it would fall or tip), while the Phone Mode left the phone available (with minimal fumbling) if you had to take a call.  While it is not shown, there is sufficient space at the bottom of the phone to charge it while it is on the stand.

I was a little leery of “built-in storage”, but I’m pretty sure an engineer was involved in this design.  The cover is secure, but easy to open.  The storage is large enough to contain: earbuds of your choice, charging cable for the iCaddy battery, and a phone charging cable up to about 3′ in length.  It snaps securely closed once loaded.

Internal Storage.jpg
Internal storage

Surprisingly enough, the iCaddy came with earbuds.  Being an audiophile, included equipment comes in three forms: surprisingly good quality, name brand, or crappy.  (Not to say that name brand doesn’t also come in “crappy”.)

I compared the audio quality of the supplied earbuds (no brand listed) to my standard set of Skullcandy Ink’d earbuds.  While I couldn’t do a direct comparison as I don’t have that equipment, I was not disappointed.  The iCaddy earbuds have a good weight and a decent range, they fit my (admittedly standard) ears comfortably, bass support was good with little distortion (even at near-painful levels), the lyrics were not muddy, and the cable felt sturdy.  For an included set of earbuds, these were excellent.

The only glaring thing not included?  A charger.  As chargers have basically become ubiquitous (I think I have about 10 in the house not including the computers), a special charger just for the battery is really unnecessary.  The battery will charge with just about any 0.5A to 1A charger outputting 5V.  Charging time is reported to be about 3.5 hours.  Having owned similar chargers, they will supply about 1 fully battery’s-worth of power for a typical phone.

Overall this is an excellent product with a great design.  Since this is Convention season, I’m sure the iCaddy will be torture-tested in the field.

Where to buy: The iCaddy is available on their website for $24.99 USD. It may be available in mass market retailers eventually.

iCaddy : Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product from the manufacturer in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Life reminds us that some things only depart for a while

Greetings All!

TL:DR – SC had to medicate PuzzlePaws for pain, so the next post will be late.

SC here, PuzzlePaws is feeling a touch under the weather.  She had an ambitious post planned and was about halfway through the initial filming when her knee (which has almost NEVER been a problem before) declared that now was a good time to report Level 9+ pain for no reason (i.e. injury, impact, weather, etc).

She tried to tough it out and “walk it off” with only OTC painkiller and a muscle relaxer, but the knee wasn’t having any of it (9 -> 7).  I caught her at it, dosed her with Rx painkillers, and sent her to bed for the rest of the day.

At this point, PuzzlePaws can’t string two words together and is grumpily sleeping.  She should be fine in a couple of days (or in less pain).

Chronic diseases are like this.  You’ll get some periods of time where the symptoms are tolerable to non-existent, and then…WHAM! Level 9-10+ pain.  You can’t work through the pain, because it is ALL you can think about.  When you medicate the pain, you can’t work because the medications steal your brains.  (For reference, PuzzlePaws’ pain tolerance is about 2-3x higher than a bog-standard human’s.  A “9” on her scale would put most people (likely unconscious and/or vomiting)  in the hospital.)

Posts from me will be rare (other than the occasional snarky edit here and there). I will be posting how-to videos on the Patreon (and occasionally here) when I have the time.

Ciao, SC

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!