11:53 – Well, we’re now down to zero kits in inventory, having sold the last five yesterday. Barbara is off on a day trip with her friend Bonnie, and I’m working on more kits while I do the laundry. By far the most time-consuming part is building the chemical block, which contains 44 chemicals and 6 test tubes (packed in the foam block for safe shipping). We do them in batches of 28 because there are 28 labels per page. That’s 1,232 containers to fill and label per batch, of which 13 chemicals (364 containers per batch) have to be individually sealed with tape to meet small-quantity exemption shipping requirements.
I’ve tried using heat-shrink cap bands, but that’s actually more time-consuming than applying tape manually. While I was looking for a better way to seal caps, I happened to notice a roll of ScotchBlue masking tape that Barbara had bought for a painting project. I tried using it to seal a cap, and it worked so well that Barbara was unable to twist off the cap without first removing the tape. That’s good enough to meet shipping requirements, so that’s what we’re using now.