Day: June 27, 2012

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

07:40 – I just started reading An Unmarked Grave: A Bess Crawford Mystery. It’s set during WWI. Bess is a British nurse serving in France. She could be my grandmother, literally.

My father’s mother was born in 1893. She trained as a nurse, and joined the US Army when we declared war on Germany. At the time, women were allowed to serve in the US Army only as nurses, and all US Army nurses were women. Age 24, she went to France and spent the rest of the war caring for wounded and ill US soldiers. She survived the flu epidemic. That’s all I know. I don’t know if she served at a field hospital or a base hospital in Paris, or both. She never talked about it. Nor did my father, who may himself not have known.

In fact, grandma wasn’t much for telling stories about the past, period. The only one I remember was the one about December 7th, 1941, when she said she was literally almost lynched as a German spy. She’d hung a quilt over the railing to air it out. Unfortunately, the quilt (which we still have) was white with a pattern of large red swastikas. At the time, my grandmother and other quilters still thought of the swastika as an obscure Indian symbol. Even so, grandma had some quick talking to do to calm down her outraged neighbors. Someone had reported it to the police, who came out to interview her. I think I remember my dad saying that she also got a visit from the FBI. She must have satisfied everyone, because she wasn’t arrested. They let her keep the quilt, which she packed away for 20 or 30 years.

13:05 – We just got an order for seven chemistry kits, which is the most we’ve sold to a single buyer. I think the previous record was four. That order takes us down to eight chemistry kits in stock, with another 30 nearly ready to assemble. I had planned to do 30 forensics kits as the next batch, but I think we’d better do 30 more chemistry kits next instead. Given that we don’t expect orders to peak until August/September, it looks as though we’ll sell a lot of kits this year. Now, the only problem will be keeping up with the orders. We’re still shipping the same day for orders we receive before 11:00 a.m. our time, but that’s likely to start slipping soon.

I’m also placing purchase orders for larger numbers than I’d have believed just a few months ago. Yesterday, I ordered a case of 216 9V batteries and 4,000 coin envelopes. Chemicals that I had been ordering 100 g at a time I’m now ordering 500 g or a kilo at a time. By necessity, I’m spreading out, with raw materials, components, subassemblies, and finished inventory stacked all over the place. Fortunately, Barbara has a sense of humor about it. At least so far.

16:14 – Oh, yeah. With regard to the failed two-day EU summit that commences tomorrow, don’t even bother reading the news articles. The two sides’ positions are already set in concrete, and they’re entirely irreconcilable. France, Italy, and Spain demand that Germany pay their bills, but refuse to give Germany any control over how its money is to be spent. Germany, personified by the new Iron Lady, Angela Merkel, says that’ll happen over her dead body. And she means it. There’s really not any reason to hold this summit. If Germany does not give France, Italy, and Spain what they’re demanding, the three of them collapse, Italy and Spain sooner and France a bit later. If Merkel tries to give them what they want, she’ll be overruled at home, if not crucified. She’d certainly lose the election next year. And, even if somehow Germany agreed to pay all the bills, that simply means Germany will be dragged down with the rest. It’s not going to happen. Everyone knows it’s not going to happen. And yet everyone talks about this summit as though there’s actually even the slightest hope of anything being accomplished. Cloud-cuckoo land indeed.

Read the comments: 67 Comments
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- // end of file archive.php // -------------------------------------------------------------------------------