Saturday, 4 May 2013

08:40 – Barbara’s father is back in the hospital. She made a quick stop at the supermarket and library on the way home from work yesterday, and then headed out to cut the grass while I made dinner, timed for 6:30. Around 6:15, Frances called to say that their dad had fallen while getting out of her car on their way back from a doctor’s appointment for their mom. He wasn’t injured, he’d pretty much just sat down rather than actually fallen, but he wasn’t strong enough to get up. Frances got a couple of the staff at their retirement village to help get him up and into his wheelchair. Frances said it wasn’t an emergency, and just to let Barbara know to call her when she finished mowing the lawn. She said they couldn’t leave Dutch with just Sankie to help him, so they were going to have to start staying over there at night.

As I was talking to Frances, my call-waiting beeped, but by the time I was able to hookflash over to the new call it had been disconnected. The caller ID showed it was Barbara’s parents’ apartment calling, so I called back. Sankie answered the phone, obviously very upset. I asked if she’d just called, and she said she had. She said Dutch had fallen and Barbara needed to come over right away to help them. I asked Sankie if she meant that Dutch had fallen again, in the apartment, or if she was talking about his fall out in the parking lot that Frances had just told me about. She was obviously confused, and just hung up. So I called Frances’s cell phone back. She’d been out in the parking lot moving the car, and arrived back in Dutch and Sankie’s apartment just as I called. She said her mom was talking about the fall she’d just told me about, and that he hadn’t fallen again.

I heard Barbara just finishing up outside. When she came upstairs, I told her what was going on. She called Frances back and told her to call 911 and have Dutch transported to the hospital. Barbara said Dutch’s symptoms were exactly what they’d been the last time they’d brought him home from the hospital and had to turn around immediately and take him back. She told Frances that she was going to change clothes, eat a quick dinner, and then head over to the hospital.

Barbara left around 7:00 for the hospital, and got home about 2:30 this morning. I’m sure she’ll post more details on her page when she has time to do so.


10:24 – I’m still trying to get a reasonable projection of what our science kit sales might be for the year. A big part of the problem is that our sales are extremely seasonal. More than 90% of our sales last year occurred in the last seven months of the year. Put it this way, in 2012 we had higher sales in our biggest month (August) than in the first six months of the year combined. And in every month so far in 2013, we’ve had higher revenue in that month than we had in the entire first quarter of 2012.

The scary part is that in 2012 we shipped less than a dozen kits on our biggest day. If the current sales trajectory holds up, in 2013 we may need to be prepared to ship 60 or more kits on a big day, which obviously means we’ll need to have a boatload of kits in inventory come July. I’m not even entirely sure that I can process 60 orders and ship 60 kits in one day. And, of course, the other scary part is what happens if somehow this sales increase is just a blip. I’d hate to end up with several hundred kits in inventory and no orders to fill.

16 thoughts on “Saturday, 4 May 2013”

  1. Wow, DBD nailed the Palm Beach sheriff in today’s comic:
    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2013/05/04/

    I am referring to the new hotline where citizens can report people who hate the government:
    http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/bradshaw-gets-1-million-for-violence-prevention-un/

    ““We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ””

  2. I know you don’t have all that much data, but have you graphed it? I find it much easier to see trends in a graph than a bunch of numbers. Make the graph logarithmic and it can reveal a lot about growth rates. (When looking at the history of stock prices I like to see a nice CAGR line (compounded average growth rate), but your seasonality will make things difficult.)

    I once worked for a company selling a line of consumer product that was extremely popular at Christmas. Each Christmas season the company would have to take extreme measures to be able to ship everything – everything else about the business (like IT changes) ground to a halt for three months. We also had a small demand peak around Easter. What was fascinating was that we were growing so fast that the Easter peak, which we took in stride, was as high as the previous Christmas peak, that had been all but impossible to handle just a few months earlier. The only reason I knew about that Easter peak was that my boss kept a graph (by hand on graph paper) of monthly sales over several years.

  3. I don’t suppose you could use government accounting methods in your forecasts and payments? Make up whatever numbers make you look good, adjust them “unexpectedly” if you really have to, and pay your suppliers with scraps of paper backed by your full faith and credit.

    Hmm. No, that won’t work. Unlike the US federal government, you’ve demonstrated that you have some integrity. Well, I’m sure you can think of something.

  4. I know you don’t have all that much data, but have you graphed it?

    No, I haven’t, but mainly because the error bars on anything I did would be so large that it’d be meaningless.

    At this point, I think I can say with some confidence that, barring a huge economic disruption, I’m reasonably certain that our revenues for 2013 will be at least twice those of 2012 (which, interestingly, was my original goal; 250 kits total in 2012 and 500 in 2013), and that I would not be at all surprised if 2013 revenues were five or six times those of 2012.

  5. The bit about the Jewish population in Palm Beach brings back my memory of the allegedly rigged voting in that infamous national election a few years ago; somehow the polls showed the majority there voting for Pat Buchanan and he had a lotta fun with that; said, in effect; ‘c’mon, we know those folks down there didn’t vote for me’ as he about fell over himself laughing.

  6. Wow, DBD nailed the Palm Beach sheriff in today’s comic:

    Yeah, when they announced the creation of the Heimatsicherheitshauptamt, I suggested that Ridge should be given the rank of Oberstgruppenführer and a nice black uniform with silver piping, Pournelle told me I was exaggerating and that it would never come to that. I wonder if he’s reconsidered in the light of everything that’s happened in the last decade, including his own run-in with them.

  7. No doubt we have no shortage of people working for the State who would happily don black uniforms with silver piping, colorful armbands and spit-shined jackboots. Actually they probably won’t wear those kinds of uniforms because they are so redolent of the Holocaust which is the only genocide they care to talk about or have mentioned. They’ll be looking into Red Army and Red Chinese outfits, most likely.

    80 here today and folks walkin’ around half-nekkid again and boats out on the Bay. Mrs. OFD now out in a kayak and OFD himself just gobbled down a 3/4-pounder cheeseburger and some chips. Now for some ice cream. Yes, life is grand on the Bay today…

  8. I just wish Al Gore and his ilk would shutup. We set a new low temperature record here in South Texas for May this morning, 42 F. I think that God is taunting these people and we are getting a piece of the action. My pool was up to 80 F last Wednesday and is back down to 68 F. I was all ready to jump in and enjoy. Now it is too cold again. Yes, I know, I am a wimp. Come August, I will be wanting to throw blocks of ice in it.

  9. OFD wrote:

    “…OFD himself just gobbled down a 3/4-pounder cheeseburger and some chips. Now for some ice cream. Yes, life is grand on the Bay today…”

    Hm, it’s late afternoon here and I haven’t had anything today but a bowl of sliced peaches. A pizza or hamburger would go down well… 🙂

  10. “I just wish Al Gore and his ilk would shutup.”

    The thing with the Global Warming crowd is that anything fits their predictions. More hurricanes. Check. Less hurricanes. Check. Cool summers. Check. Warm summers. Check.

    I’m currently reading Heaven and Earth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_and_Earth_%28book%29 by Australian mining geologist Ian Plimer. He’s debunking AGW:

    ‘In the book, Plimer likens the concept of human-induced climate change to creationism and asserts that it is a “fundamentalist religion adopted by urban atheists looking to fill a yawning spiritual gap plaguing the West”‘

  11. fundamentalist religion adopted by urban atheists looking to fill a yawning spiritual gap plaguing the West

    Bingo. That’s why I seldom bitch about religion practice or religious faith. Rather, I bitch about the deficiency in most human brains which causes them to seek some larger, more important purpose for their meaningless lives. It’s fine to work toward some larger, more important goal that will help more than yourself, but the problem is how the deficient seeks that goal in the first place.

    There’s also the deficiency in seemingly the vast majority of human brains which causes them to want to control other humans. That’s a separate issue with unfortunate synergistic effects when combined with the faith deficiency.

  12. “The thing with the Global Warming crowd is that anything fits their predictions. More hurricanes. Check. Less hurricanes. Check. Cool summers. Check. Warm summers. Check.”

    I just said almost this exact same thing to Mrs. OFD yesterday during my usual several hours of ranting about stuff when she’s back for a day from her travels. Whatever the weather event, these clowns seize upon it as still more evidence for their “religion.”

  13. I wondered which member of the peanut gallery would chime in with that… 🙂

  14. We use those all the time around here in this household. Also, if someones says “Outstanding” someone else will chip in “out standing in the field.” Ha, ha. Droll witticisms from Anglo-American peasantry. Or more likely, the booj-wah-zee.

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