Sunday, 9 June 2013

09:13 – Barbara is cleaning house and ironing this morning before she heads over to have lunch with her mom.

Amongst everything else keeping us busy, we’re still working hard to build more science kits. Fortunately, Barbara has a sense of humor about the business taking over the house. The basement–both the finished and garage areas–is full of boxes, as is the living room, my work room, and part of the den. And I just keep ordering stuff. Yesterday, I ordered a case of 500 Petri dishes.

Speaking of which, we’re constantly working to improve the kits, both from the customer’s point of view and to make it faster and more efficient for us to build them. Our first batches of biology kits included a sleeve of 10 disposable polystyrene 90mm Petri dishes. From our point of view, the downside to those was that they took up a lot of cubic in the kit boxes. From the customers’ point of view, the downsides were that, first, although the disposable Petri dishes were conveniently pre-sterilized, they are one-use, so once they’re used you have to buy more. Second, the dishes weren’t individually wrapped but supplied in one sterile plastic sleeve, so it was very easy to contaminate the whole sleeve if you weren’t very careful.

So we switched to providing a three-pack of 75mm glass Petri dishes. The upside from the customers’ point of view is that glass dishes can be washed and sterilized, allow them to be reused indefinitely. The downside is that they’re fragile and easily broken. The downside for us is that a pretty high percentage of the dishes arrive here broken. Our wholesaler credits us for breakage, of course, but it’s still a pain in the butt to deal with all that broken glass. Also, it’s time-consuming to bubble-wrap the dishes into three packs to make sure they survive shipment to the customer.

So, although we’ll continue using those 75mm glass Petri dishes until we run out of them, I decided yesterday to switch back to plastic Petri dishes. However, rather than use the polystyrene (non-autoclavable) dishes, we’re going to start providing a six-pack of 50mm polypropylene Petri dishes with the biology kits. Polypropylene is autoclavable, so the PP dishes can be washed, sterilized, and re-used repeatedly, and we’ll no longer have to deal with the breakage issue.

12:15 – It’s still spring, but the heat is starting to get nasty. It’s 86F (30C) out there right now, and the humidity must be 70% or more. It’s bearable in the shade, but of course Colin wants to walk where he wants to walk, and that’s often in the sun. I half-seriously thought about wearing shorts, which I haven’t done more than a couple of times in the 30 years Barbara and I have been married. But I do have a pair or two of tennis shorts in one of my drawers. (Yes, despite the fact that I’m a guy, I actually do have more than one drawer.)

I’m not sure where the tennis shorts came from. I think Barbara must have bought them for me before she realized that I never wear shorts. I never wore them even when I was playing long serve-and-volley tennis matches in high summer. Mainly because I fell down a lot, usually lunging for volleys. If you’re wearing shorts, that’s bad on grass, worse on clay, and horrible on hard courts.

13 thoughts on “Sunday, 9 June 2013”

  1. Oh my goodness gracious! We have sunlight today here in Retroville! Awesome! 74 degrees, supposedly, and blue water, looks like an ocean hahbuh.

    Weather liars tell us, however, that we are back to another week of rain and t-storms after tonight.

    Unless an asteroid smacks into the Earth and blows us all to Kingdom Come, that is.

  2. Can I get some recommendations for plug ins for Firefox? Chuck recommended some sort of download helper for grabbing stuff off YouTube, the name of which I’ve forgotten. (Video Download Helper, I think. Just remembered.)

  3. “It’s bearable in the shade, but of course Colin wants to walk where he wants to walk, and that’s often in the sun. ”

    Get a go-cart, hook Colin up to it and give him his head. He gets sweaty and worn out and you don’t. Win-Win.

  4. Miles_Teg; don’t forget your security plug-ins for FF: NoScript, Ad Blocker, and Better Privacy, at least. While you’re at it, look into the CryptoHippie site’s recommendations and maybe consider using Tor as your FF browser.

    Mr. Bob has probably been on the NEA’s bad boy list for a while now and I’m guessing some other lists, too. Like many of us.

  5. Thanks, I’ve heard of NoScript and Ad Blocker, will look at the others as I have time.

  6. Oh shit, thanks for reminding me, Lynn; I didn’t mean to bash just muslims. I’ll get right on bashing the other Official Permanent Grievance Whores; just did it on FB for a couple of groups, as it happens. Surely that will get logged.

  7. Let’s work toward the resurgence of the rumor that the reason Muslims don’t like pigs and alcohol is because ol’ Mo got hammered one night, stumbled into a pig pen, and met his grisly demise. Then, once that’s taken root, spread the meme that the best way for a Muslim to get to paradise is to imitate the prophet. We’ll open up liquor shops near pig farms and profit both spiritually and monetarily.

  8. I heard that rumor differently; it was that Mo crawled into the pig pen hammered so he could have his way with one of the sows and while he was doing that he got porked himself by one of the boars and passed away in orgasmic ecstasy.

  9. I like OFD’s version as I was thinking the same thing. Except perhaps he was so damn ugly and smelled so bad the sow rejected his advances.

  10. Ran into the weirdest error on a pair of USB external drives today. I could power the drives up and connect them to my home pc. And one of the drives was making this Godawful seeking sound that was reminding me of a dying goose. So I googled everything, mucked with my windows 7 x64 registry based on some bad internet advice and fragged the registry so bad that my pc had to roll back the registry to reboot, swapped the usb cables, etc.

    I finally got smart and swapped the external power supply to the external usb hard drives. Turns out that was the problem. The old power supply was giving just enough power to communicate but could not start the usb drive up. Everything is now good with the newer external power supply. Amazing.

    I hate computer hardware!

  11. Just an FYI; people are evidently being “probed” now for anti-hadji comments they make on their FB pages; so far just famous or semi-famous celeb or semi-celeb types that have more of a public following.

    We’re probably safe here, he said, giggling uncontrollably. (and thinking of years of discussions involving chemical stuff, explosives, computers, firearms and anti-hadji rhetoric…)

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