Thursday, 13 June 2013

10:14 – Barbara visited her dad twice yesterday, morning and afternoon. Then she came home to make dinner and we passed a relatively ordinary evening and night. Frances just called to give us an update. At the nurses suggestion, no one stayed overnight with Dutch, who’s refusing to talk to anyone. Barbara plans to head over to Hospice this afternoon to visit Dutch, although it may be pointless if he continues to refuse to talk.

Work on science kits continues. Barbara is downstairs now building 120 solids bags for chemistry kits. I’ve already built 60 of the small parts bags that are used in both chemistry kits, so the next step will be to build 30 sets of chemicals bags for each of the two chemistry kits and assemble 30 each of the final kits. With what’s already in stock, that’ll give us sufficient finished-goods inventory of both chemistry kits, the biology kit, and the life science kit.

I’m concentrating on filling bottles. Barbara had already labeled 60 sets of each for the chemistry, biology, and forensics kits, but I decided to do batches of 120+. The reservoir on our automated dispensers holds two liters. We slightly overfill bottles, which means one reservoir filling is sufficient for 120+ 15 mL bottles, usually 125 or so. So I’ve been filling the 60 labeled bottles and then filling 60+ more unlabeled bottles. That much more efficient than filling batches of 60, because it halves the time needed for setup and teardown/cleanup between batches.

We’d originally planned to introduce an AP Chemistry kit next year, but we may do it sooner than that. I was just contacted by a state department of distance education that wants us to produce kits for their students who are taking AP Chemistry at home. They actually want two types of kits, an equipment kit and a consumables kit. The state organization will purchase equipment kits, which they’ll lend to students’ families for the duration of the course, after which the families will return those kits. The families will purchase the consumables kits. The problem is, the course starts in mid-August, which doesn’t leave much time to get components ordered and in stock, build the kits, and ship them to the students. This time of year particularly, components are often back-ordered, so it’s possible we won’t be able to meet their schedule.