Friday, 16 November 2012

07:14 – I had an interesting conversation with our mailman yesterday. I commented on the $15+ billion loss the USPS had just reported, and he commented that much of that was because of the $11+ billion USPS is forced to pay to fund health care for future retirees, something that no other federal agency does. I said that in the long run it didn’t really matter because none of us were ever going to see the pensions and retirement health care that we were supposedly paying for now. He agreed completely and commented that he thought it was time to start stocking up on canned food. I said, “We already are,” and he replied that he and his wife were as well.

Over the weekend, we’ll build another 30 chemistry kits and another 30 biology kits for inventory. Although sales are much slower now than they were in August/September, slow is relative. So far this week, we’ve sold two forensic science kits, two biology kits, and four chemistry kits. We’re still in good shape on forensic science kits, but we’re down to only three chemistry kits and two biology kits in stock.

10:12 – I just finished making up the last chemical but one for the chemistry kits. (That one is starch indicator solution, which I make up in the kitchen rather than the lab.) As usual, I waited until last to make up the hazardous/obnoxious chemicals, finishing up with 6 M sodium hydroxide, which’ll dissolve a glass stirring rod if I’m not careful. So, today I’ll fill and cap the final six or eight sets of 30 bottles for the chemistry kits. I’ll leave the sealing to Barbara. She likes to shrink the cap bands on the 30 mL bottles of regulated chemicals with the heat gun.

As always, I feel a bit hypocritical when I’m working with chemicals for the kits. I always wear splash goggles, of course, but I don’t wear gloves for any of them. Having concentrated bases or acids contact my hands doesn’t really worry me. If it happens, I just rinse the stuff off with cold water. I do draw the line at concentrated hydrochloric, nitric, and sulfuric acids, though. Those I’ll handle without gloves. But anything much more hazardous/corrosive than those I’ll wear gloves for, if not double gloves.

15:46 – Barbara is leaving work an hour or so early this afternoon to go run errands and then have dinner with her parents and a couple of friends. I just finished the last set of bottles for the chemistry kits. We now have 30 of each chemical and 60 of several. So I decided to knock off early, too, and watch some more Heartland reruns.

When I started watching Heartland reruns yesterday, I noticed that Netflix streaming was showing 67 episodes. That’s 13 episodes from series one and 18 episodes each from series two, three, and four. Until yesterday they had only 45 episodes available: all of series one and two and the first 14 episodes of series 3. But then I checked the Netflix website, which is still claiming to have only those 45 episodes. Oh, well. I prefer to watch streaming, but I have series three, four, and five on disc.