I’ve realized that I have a problem. During my formative years I was effectively trained to associate gyms and locker rooms with misery, pain and humiliation. This makes it very difficult to maintain a regular exercise regime. Oh, sure, there’s biking and walking. Unless it’s summer, when it’s too hot, or winter when it’s dark and wet and sometimes cold, or spring when I’m in allergy hell. So I find myself thinking about exercise machines.

At least the squirrels are cute

Spring is here, and the garden is bursting with new life. Oozing, wriggling and crawling with new life. We can broadly divide the contents of the garden into the following categories: Neoptera terreorus, or things which I am scared of. This category includes anything with more than 4 legs that is over 1cm in its largest dimension. Eukaryota mortis nausicam, or things which I am revolted by. This category includes piles of dead leaves, dead and rotting things, dessicated insects, and so on.

Maybe we were insane after all

Sara just found our first Texas cockroach. Meanwhile, I seem to be allergic to the Southern live oak, which is not exactly ideal given the location of our house. On the plus side, the cockroach was nowhere near the kitchen, and my allergic reaction isn’t as bad as it was from being allergic to maple and living in New England.

I sniff weasels

Sara wants pets. I’m allergic to cats, and dogs need a lot of walking. Lizards and birds aren’t cuddly. Spiders can be furry, but we need a pet I can stand to be within sight of. So, our attention has been converging on mustela furo, the domestic ferret. Of course, first I need to check I’m not allergic to ferrets. It has been known to happen. So tonight we went to an ‘exotic’ pet store, and I handled a ferret.

I want a cat

The company working on hypoallergenic cats has stopped the research, as a result of lack of funding. So, no cat for me, dammit. I suppose I need to try sniffing some ferrets, to see if I’m allergic to them.


It’s peak hayfever season for me. That’s what I get for living in New England and being allergic to maple. I woke up with my nose blocked, and resorted to the neti pot. It’s like a watering can, except it’s designed to be fitted nasally. You fill it with salty water at body temperature, hold your head sideways, stick the spout in the upper nostril, and pour. If you do it right, all the nasty crap up your nose gets rinsed out into the sink.