10:32 – I’m doing laundry while Barbara continues to clean and organized the finished area in the basement. When she finishes down there she’ll start labeling bottles. She has to go over to her parents’ house to meet a real estate agent mid-afternoon, but otherwise we’re in for the weekend. The roads and sidewalks are still covered with ice. Fortunately, it’s to warm up enough today to melt off some of the accumulation.
I’m still organizing and counting our raw materials inventory for the science kits. We’re in good shape on most stuff and great shape on some. Both to minimize working capital and storage requirements, I try to maintain raw materials inventory at pretty low levels on stuff that’s easy to get and has multiple sources. On the other hand, I try to maintain pretty high levels of stuff that’s frequently back-ordered, particularly if it’s inexpensive and/or available from only one source. For example, we have only one reasonable source for the 5/10/15X pocket magnifiers we use in the biology, forensics, and life science kits. I ordered 300 of those last week. They arrived yesterday. I can order those, if necessary, from another of my wholesalers, but at a cost about 75% higher. Same deal on alligator clip leads. I can buy those nearly anywhere, but one of my suppliers sells them at about 60% the price other suppliers charge. (They’re exactly the same product…) So I ordered 500 each of the black and red leads, which also arrived yesterday. It’s worse for a few items that are single-source. For example, the exact stainless-steel spatula that we use in all of our kits is available from only one source, and they’re sometimes backordered. Without those, we can’t build kits. The things cost us something like a buck each, plus shipping. We’re down to low inventory on that spatula, so I’m going to order 500 next week and up the re-order quantity to 200 on that item. I don’t mind devoting $200 to $500 in working capital to an item that’s a showstopper.
13:23 – Barbara was in the shower about 11:30 when her sister called to tell her that their mom had fallen and had some cuts and scrapes. Tom, the guy from the retirement village, was in their apartment with them. He said it didn’t look too bad, but Barbara’s mom wanted to call 911. So Tom called, expecting that they’d just patch her up and leave. Instead, the EMTs transported her to the hospital. I guess at her age the fact that she hit her head (her face, actually) was enough for the EMTs to decide she’d better be seen by the doctors. They took Dutch along, too, because he fell while he was trying to help Sankie get up. Barbara called a little while ago from the hospital. They don’t know yet if Sankie will be admitted or sent home. I hope the former, because I think she needs to be under observation at least overnight, if not longer.