07:54 – Winter has returned to Winston-Salem. It’s currently 21F (-6C), with a stiff breeze. The forecast calls for freezing rain over the weekend and lows next week as low as 14F (-10C). For around here, that’s really cold. Colin doesn’t appear to care about cold. He wants to go out and sniff regardless.
The deadline for the S.P.A.R.K. competition is the 7th, but I want to have our entry submitted today if possible, and if not over the weekend. Come Monday, I want to be back at work on the earth science manual and on building more kits.
I got email from PayPal late yesterday afternoon to let me know that that complaint for non-delivery had been resolved in our favor. I checked the account and sure enough the money they’d held was again showing as available.
10:59 – Barbara just called to say she’d changed her plans. She was going to head over to her mom’s place after work and take her mom out to dinner and to run errands. With the weather forecast as it is, I wondered at the time if that was a good idea. Barbara said she and her sister had talked about it and decided not to do it. By the time Barbara got over to her mom’s place, it’d be well below freeezing with a stiff wind. That’s no weather for a woman in her 80’s to be out in.
I know that a lot of Northerners scoff at our piddly little cold spells, but it’s really no joke. Northern homes are equipped to deal with really cold weather, with heavy insulation and high-capacity furnaces. Many Southern homes aren’t equipped to deal with temperatures much below freezing because they seldom experience weather that cold. When we replaced our furnace a few years ago, I intentionally chose a model large enough to keep us warm when outside temperatures are below zero Fahrenheit (-18C). And then we have our natural gas logs, which on high put out another 60,000 BTUs per hour. Even during a power failure when the furnace can’t run, those natural gas logs put out enough heat to keep the whole house reasonably warm and to keep any pipes from freezing. Many of our neighbors aren’t so well equipped.
14:56 – We’ve had a busy start to the new year. Through this afternoon, we’ve sold a third as many kits as we did in all of January 2013, which itself showed a six- or seven-fold increase over January 2012. Or, another way of looking at it, we’ve already sold twice as many kits so far this month as we did the entire month of January 2012.
The only problem is, we’re backordered on the CK01B chemistry kits. One customer ordered four of them this afternoon. I shipped her the two we had in stock and told her the other two will ship Monday. So, I’m madly building CK01B kits. I actually plan to ship her the two backordered kits tomorrow if at all possible. And I really, really need to build more forensic kits as well.