Saturday, 16 February 2013

08:20 – It’s spitting snow as I write this. Barbara is coming home this morning. Frances will be covering tonight at their parents, and they’ll discuss whether their parents can get along without one of them starting Sunday night. I hope so, because Barbara and Frances both need their lives back.

I labeled and capped 63 125 mL bottles of the fertilizer concentrate yesterday, to go with the dozen bottles I already had in stock. I may just go ahead and make up another 75 bottles, which’d give me enough for 150 biology kits. The solution is completely stable, so shelf life isn’t an issue. As with many of the solutions in our kits, we add 1 mL/L of 10% thymol solution as a preservative. Thymol at 100 mg/L inhibits growth of molds and bacteria.

I also discovered that the Vita Grow Part C powder (pure monopotassium phosphate) had doubled in price since I ordered it less than a year ago, from $18 for four pounds to $36. That means that for about the same cost, I can just make up the fertilizer A concentrate from reagent grade phosphoric acid and potassium hydroxide. It’s also quicker. I can just dilute 149.3 mL of concentrated phosphoric acid to about 3.5 L, dissolve 224.3 g of potassium hydroxide in that dilute acid solution, make it up to 4 L, and the solution is complete.


17 thoughts on “Saturday, 16 February 2013”

  1. I’d be curious as to what the overall inflation rate, from your purchases for the last year of business, works out to. Not the amounts – none of my business – but the rate.

    The CPI is reportedly 2% or so, but I’d guess for real world purchasing it’s between 5 and 10%.

    Food, by looking at what I buy, is near the top end of that. My cable bill went up by around 8%, electricity a lot – but it’s California and there is little relation to a free market rate around here.

  2. It varies dramatically. Some of the chemicals and equipment we buy for kits have jumped by literally 100% or more, while others have remained about the same or even decreased in a few cases. Ignoring the 10% worst cases and the 10% best cases and just looking at the 80% middle ground, I’d guess the increases have averaged maybe 15% to 20%.

    Some of that is a result of us sourcing a lot of items from India and China. The cost of those items has increased because of the US inflating its currency relative to India and China and some is a result of skyrocketing international shipping costs.

  3. Bob, it’s good to hear that matters are currently improved for Barbara’s parents. However, without trying to push anyone particularly, I’d like to recommend that Barbara and Frances take just a little time to relax and kick back, then take the time to make some firm decisions on policies about what they’ll do next time things take a dive downhill. I think we all know that’s going to happen, and the sisters can’t go on and endure what circumstances pushed them into this time. I’m sure it would be better for all concerned, even if their parents wouldn’t at first think so, if there are firm decisions made and actions/policies spelt out in advance for whatever comes next.

    Tension and stress doesn’t so much come from having to deal with events, as it does from having the responsibility but not knowing how you’re going to do so.

  4. No. California elects mostly left-wing nuts. North Carolina elects mostly right-wing nuts, with a heavy fundie emphasis.

  5. We had a case here a few years back, wherein a dancer at one of the local late night ballets was arrested for displaying parts that weren’t supposed to be show, per the legislation. At trial, she removed her top & bra, and demonstrated to the jury the difference between ‘au natural’ and ‘covered in theatrical latex makeup’. She was acquitted.

  6. I’ve got no problem with toplessness for either sex in public, but I’d rather see full nudity restricted to the beach or other defined areas, like parks. Some beaches could be nude, others merely topless and others topless for men and non-topless for women. Just go to the beach or park you prefer.

    At our age I don’t think most of us should be displaying our private bits in public. Well, apart from your southern correspondent, who is still the Adonis he was 30 years ago.

  7. Well, apart from your southern correspondent, who is still the Adonis he was 30 years ago.

    Why thank you Miles.

  8. I’ve got no problem with toplessness for either sex in public, but I’d rather see full nudity restricted to the beach or other defined areas, like parks. Some beaches could be nude, others merely topless and others topless for men and non-topless for women. Just go to the beach or park you prefer.

    I have no problem with nudists as long as they only practice it in the privacy of their own homes. From what I’ve heard, the type of people who are nudists are the type of people who need clothes the most.

  9. I was talking about Ray, of course. He’s given me quite a few goodies over the years so I’m highly motivated to be nice to him.

  10. Bill wrote:

    “I live in Southern Canada!”

    Sorry, no sympathy from me. (I sympathise with you being born Cannuk – you had no say in that – but where you live is your choice.) Won’t somewhere better let you in?

  11. Dave B wrote:

    “I have no problem with nudists as long as they only practice it in the privacy of their own homes. From what I’ve heard, the type of people who are nudists are the type of people who need clothes the most.”

    Well, we can all be nudists at home! (No Bob, Bill, Chuck or Ray, no need for photos to prove it.)

    I knew a couple of nudists at work in the early Eighties, they were normal, fit guys, but nudism isn’t for me. I don’t want to make other guys jealous and don’t want to be constantly having to fend off advances from women – I hate saying “no” to them and they get all teary when I won’t let them have their wicked way with me.

    Unless at designated beaches and parks I don’t really agree with nudism. Partly it’s the hygiene issue, partly I think clothing is good for protection from the elements. And clothes are nice because they have *pockets* for carrying stuff. From what I’ve heard nudists can be as ideological and puritanical as any liberal Democrat or conservative Republican.

  12. I don’t know, I think I see people dressed in stupid-looking clothes often enough, that seeing them naked could not be worse. There was a young guy who lived near us in Berlin, who had a whole body tattoo of a snake, starting at his foot and winding around his leg and body to his upper chest. The most awesome tattoo I have ever seen. But the guy often went around town in the skimpiest of Speedos or cutoff jeans with nothing else on. Did not really bother me—or anybody else. Staring is a national pastime in Germany, and he sure got a lot of that.

  13. Well I spent many many hours here

    http://www.avilabeachpier.com/information/pirates-cove.html

    but mostly back in the 70s an 80s when I was slightly more fit. Not that I wouldn’t go now but usually go to a state beach in northern SLO county that’s closer to where we stay. Usually warm and sunny but fog could roll in and cool quickly. Debauchery was rare but when such behavior did occur it pretty well ignored. Voyeurism was not uncommon especially from assholes up high on the cliff but they too were ignored.

    The one thing you learn is not all men are created equal.

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