Phenylephrine: Say What?

It’s winter again and that means everyone has a cold. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. But a lot of people are suffering from stuffy noses, coughs, sinus pressure, and the list goes on.

You head to the store looking for some medicine and you quickly find yourself looking at a wall full of options. Suppressants, decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines; what do they all do and which ones do you need?

Well, I’m no doctor so I’m not going to tell you what to get and what not to get, but I will tell you what I learned in looking into some of the drugs for congestion relief.


This stuff is for realz. I say that for three reasons: (1) people make meth from it, (2) they sell it behind the counter, and (3) it seems to be the only true nasal decongestant drug that works.

But I’m afraid to take it, BECAUSE THEY MAKE METH FROM IT!

I know people who swear by it, so again, I’m no doctor. I’m just a guy afraid to take pseudoephedrine.

The Substitute

Once I started looking closely at the drugs in the various cold meds I realized that they really are all the same. This is what I found in most cold/cough meds: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine.

Now acetaminophen is the primary ingredient and that’s the same as Tylenol. The only other ingredient I’m going to get into is phenylephrine, because I was buying this medicine for the nasal decongestant and phenylephrine is listed as the decongestant drug.

This is what Wikipedia says about phenylephrine: “Phenylephrine is marketed as an alternative for the decongestant pseudoephedrine, though clinical studies show phenylephrine to be no more effective than placebo.”


For those that don’t know… “placebo is a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.” This according to the dictionary.

No wonder my nose is still stuffy.

Enter, Neti Pot

I’ve used a Neti Pot for quite some time since I generally have sinus trouble. However, what I didn’t know is that you can use it up to every two hours throughout the day.

So after I took this placebo nasal decongestant for weeks since I’m too afraid to take pseudoephedrine, I finally turned to the good old Neti Pot. And it works pretty well. For me.

Once again, I’m not telling anyone what to do for their situation. I’m simply relaying some info. Do what you will. And I hope you find something that helps because sinus pressure is a real pain in the nose/face/head.

Handwritten Blog: Memories of a Girl I Never Knew

I’ve wanted to create a handwritten blog for some time now. The subject matter has unfortunately eluded me.

Today I stumbled upon a website titled, “Memories of a Girl I Never Knew.” It’s beautifully simple, and all done by hand.

There’s just something elegant about a website that showcases handwritten text only.

Up, Up and Away!

My wife bought me some model rockets for my birthday this year. Since then I’ve slowly worked at building and finishing each one.

Finally a few weeks ago we were ready to launch one for the celebration of our son’s first birthday. Our family gathered in the middle of some soccer fields, we did the countdown, and then nothing.

What?!? Are you serious?!?

I labored over this stupid rocket, followed all the directions along the way, and now my whole family was anticipating the thrill of seeing a cardboard tube with plastic wings get blasted into the sky by some cheap explosives.

Long story short: it didn’t happen.

I could go into detail and document the sequence of events that resulted in mass disappointment and hours of troubleshooting, but I’ll spare you.

In the end, my wife and son were the only ones that saw the first of hopefully many of my rockets fly into space (well, not quite space). But it was perfect. The explosives ignited. The cardboard soared. The parachute deployed. The model was recovered in one piece.

Oh, and we documented it so our family could experience the thrill virtually. One day my phone will successfully upload it to Youtube and I’ll post it here.

Summer Time

Summer is a perfect time to put your feet up, relax, and enjoy some sunshine. If you aren’t too busy, that is.

Here in the midwest when the weather gets nice the plans get heavy. Pool parties, barbecues, little league, swim lessons, yard work, vacations, and more yard work. We have to squeeze it all in while we can because next thing you know it’s twenty degrees out and we’re exchanging gifts next to an indoor tree.

No matter how much I try to slow things down during the summer months time simply gets the best of me. Perhaps it’s related to that old saying, time flies when you’re having fun. Summer is incredibly fun despite a busy schedule. Heck, even yard work is enjoyable when the sun is shining.

But let’s be honest, the first thing to get dropped during this busy time is blogging.

The Pietasters in Red Vinyl

Last night my first Ska record came in the mail: oolooloo, by The Pietasters.

I fell in love with Ska music in the ’90s when CDs were popular. Rarely do I listen to CDs anymore.

But I love listening to records.

I thought it was appropriate to make The Pietasters my first Ska vinyl since they’re my favorite Ska group. And, oolooloo was available as a reissue in red vinyl. How cool is that?

Hopefully this is one of many Ska records that will make it into my vinyl collection.

Elias Canetti on Personal Growth

“I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”

– Elias Canetti

Goodbye Old Friend

After 13 years I finally made the decision to part with my Jeep Wrangler. Although it was an amazingly fun car to own, the reasons for trading it in far surpassed the reasons to keep it.

Don’t get me wrong, the car itself was in great shape. I put a mere 70,000 miles on it over 13 years and recently upgraded the tires, replaced the battery, and painted the wheel trim. And it should be noted, I never once had to take the car in for issues.

So what are all these reasons for trading it in? Well, the primary one is my future son. The Jeep isn’t the safest vehicle to haul a baby around. Aside from that, it’s a pain to put an umbrella in the back seat, let alone a child.

Inevitably my son will someday hear this story and think I’m lame. “You had a Jeep Wrangler?!? And you got rid of it?!” I keep thinking of that Harley Davidson commercial where the guy says he opted for a dinette set and not a motorcycle. I’m that guy.

Oh well. I loved the time I had with the Jeep, but this is a new chapter.

And about those other reasons for trading it in… Well, let’s just say in a headwind the Jeep did not perform well. It’s nice to finally drive the speed limit on the interstate.

Call Me Mr. Button

I went to put on my blazer this morning and noticed a button was about to fall off. Normally this would result in putting the blazer back on its hanger and waiting until the right moment to mention the issue to my wife in hopes that she could fix it in a timely manner.

Not today, though.

Recently I decided if I can learn how to install wood floors and reroof my own house, I’m pretty sure I can learn how to sew a button. So I took to YouTube.

After about 10 minutes of watching a couple different videos, I was sewing buttons. Not only did I acquire a new skill, but I forever changed moments like the one this morning from “Oh crap” to “No problem”. It’s a good feeling.

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