Day: September 1, 2013

Sunday, 1 September 2013

10:05 – As expected, August was our biggest month ever for science kit sales, about double August 2012. (I was hoping to triple sales month-on-month, but as Mick Jagger famously sang, you can’t always get what you want.) We passed total 2012 sales in mid-August, so meeting our initial goals of doubling sales year on year should be reachable. If last year is any guide, we should do about half our total 2013 sales in the final four months of the year. September is starting out pretty well, with three kit orders so far this morning.

Meanwhile, we need to do more about getting downstairs organized and some of the stuff that’s currently upstairs moved downstairs. I’m going to pick up one of these shelving units just to make sure it’s suitable. If so, I’ll install more of them. That’ll help with the intermediate goal of getting the finished area downstairs cleared out. Currently, there are stacks of boxes in there with stuff like hundreds of test tube racks, thousands of beakers, etc. That’ll let us move the two 6-foot tables we use for building kits out of the unfinished area and into the finished area. That way, if we want to use the finished area for normal stuff, it’s simply a matter of folding those tables and moving them out of the way.

If (when) we need more space, I think I’ll just buy a car cover for my Trooper and park it at the end of the driveway. That’ll free up enough space to install several more of those shelving units. At one point, I was thinking about getting a shed built at the end of the drive but it’d need to be a large one with power, heating, and cooling, which’d make it an expensive proposition. Eventually, we plan to relocate, probably up to the mountains, where we’ll buy or build a home and a work building. But that’s probably several years off, so in the meantime we need to plan for expansion here.

13:15 – Barbara and I just got back from a run to Home Depot for shelving and some 70-quart plastic storage bins and Costco for some storable food. Home Depot had some of the 4-foot (1.22 meter) shelving units down near floor level and one set up as a display model. They had four of the 5-foot units in stock, but they were on the top shelf. I seriously thought about buying a 4-foot unit instead. The 4-foot units were $99 and the 5-foot ones $129, so the smaller units actually provide more bang for the buck.

Getting the 5-foot unit down was a major production. They closed off that aisle and the adjoining one and brought in, well, not a fork lift, exactly. More of a portable elevator. The operator rode in the movable part up to the ceiling, latched onto the box, and lowered it down to floor level. The unit weighs close to 100 pounds (45 kilos). At checkout, the woman asked if we needed help loading it into our vehicle. Barbara immediately said no, but I was thinking it won’t be too much longer before we’ll need to answer yes to such questions.

At Costco, we picked up three more 17.5-liter cases of bottled water, two dozen cans of tuna, a dozen cans of chicken, a case of soup, two boxes of canned pork & beans, boxes of canned peas, corn, black beans, and probably some stuff I’ve forgotten, along with a 25-pound (11.4 kilo) bag of rice. They didn’t have small cans of fruit, only #10 cans and plastic cups, so we passed on those. Eyeballing it, I’d guess we got two person months of emergency food for $120 or so.

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