10:01 – I told Barbara yesterday morning that the change in her demeanor was profound following her and her sister’s decision that they would no longer attempt to parent-sit nights. She’s shed a very heavy burden, and it’s obvious just looking at her. She’s smiling and laughing again. She and Frances will continue to see their parents frequently to take them to doctors’ appointments and so on, but they’ve laid down the law to their parents, telling them that they, their parents, are now responsible for watching over each other at night. If something happens to Sankie, Dutch will be there to summon assistance, and vice-versa. There’s no need for Barbara and Frances to put their lives on hold just so one of them will be there every night on the off chance that something bad will happen.
Costco run and dinner with Mary and Paul yesterday. We decided that once the weather improved a bit we’d head out to shoot some clays. It’s been a long time for all of us. As I said to Paul, we shouldn’t put this off much longer. We need to Become One with Obama. Before we do that, I’m going to buy a 12-gauge 870 pump shotgun in open cylinder choke for myself and maybe a 20-gauge 870 pump for Barbara, assuming I can find any for sale. Walmart is out of stock at every store within a 50 mile radius. Paul suggested that Barbara might want to try Mary’s 20-gauge 870 pump before we decided between 12 and 20 gauge for Barbara. My concern isn’t with light clay loads, which Barbara could easily handle in 12 gauge. My concern is that a 12-gauge with magnum buckshot or slug loads is more weapon than just about any woman can handle comfortably. For that matter, it’s too much gun for many men. Free recoil is roughly twice that of a .30-06 rifle, which very few women can use comfortably for more than a couple rounds at a time. What I may do is take along a few magnum buckshot loads to the clays range and let Barbara try shooting them. My guess is that she’ll decide a 20-gauge would be plenty.
Lab day today. I need to make up a bunch of different solutions for the biology kits. All of those on my current to-do list are completely stable, so I planned to make up a bunch of each. For solutions that are used only in the biology kits, I’d intended to make up enough of each for about 125 kits, which is to say two liters for solutions we supply in 15 mL bottles and four liters for ones we supply in 30 mL bottles. Unfortunately, I’m low-stock on some of the required chemicals. For example, I’m down to about 15 g of eosin Y sodium, which is only 1.5 liters worth. I have 100 g on order, so I may just wait until it arrives. For solutions that are used in both the biology kits and the life science kits, of which eosin Y is one, I’d intended to make up about 250 kits worth, four L of those that we supply in 15 mL bottles and eight liters of those that are in 30 mL bottles.