09:43 – CNN and the other left-leaning news sources seem to agree that the race is now a dead heat, which tells me that Obama must be lagging badly. On Wednesday, I’ll check the election results with the same enthusiasm I have for checking the results of the Super Bowl or World Series. Which is to say none.
I’m still working on building more of the current kits, but most of my time recently has been devoted to designing and prototyping a couple of new kits and writing the manuals for them. One of those is the LK01 Life Science kit, which we intend to make available in early 2013. The contents of that kit are semi-finalized. There may be minor adds or deletes as I write and do the lab sessions, but no major changes. One change I made from the biology kits is going from a sleeve of 10 sterile plastic Petri dishes in the Biology kit to a pair of glass Petri dishes in the Life Science kit. Two glass Petri dishes actually cost more than a sleeve of 10 plastic ones, but they also occupy a lot less cubic. I’m striving to make the Life Science kit fit the smaller Regional Rate Box A rather than the Regional Rate Box B we use for the Biology kit. The difference in shipping cost is significant, maybe $4 on average, as is the amount of space needed to store finished-goods inventory. So I just ordered a case of the glass Petri dishes. They require extra care in packing, but we can deal with that.
I also ordered some chemicals, both for the new kits and for the current ones. For the first time, I ordered some liquids in 2.5 L bottles rather than 500 mL or 1 L bottles. The cost is much lower in 2.5 L bottles. For example, I ordered one 2.5 L bottle of reagent-grade 28% ammonia for about $22 plus shipping. That amount in smaller bottles would have cost about twice that. In the past, I’ve avoided ordering the larger bottles simply to conserve storage space, but the lower unit costs of the larger bottles are becoming compelling.