Saturday, 1 February 2014

09:55 – Barbara got home about 10:00 last night from visiting her mom in the hospital. Sankie is not doing well. Barbara and Frances are convinced that she has a better chance to recover if she’s at home, so they’re going down to Thomasville again this morning to meet with representatives of the home-health company that they’re hiring to provide someone to sit at home with Sankie around-the-clock. They’ll bring her back to her apartment Monday, and hope to get her re-engaged with her normal daily activities. As it is, Sankie is pretty much non-responsive, and being in the hospital is not addressing that. I think the fundamental problem is that Sankie can’t face life without Dutch, and unfortunately there’s nothing anyone can do to bring Dutch back.


Although sales tailed off late in the month we still had a good January, with kit sales more than twice those of January 2013. February has historically been by far our slowest month, so it’ll be interesting to see how we do this month.

We do only 20% to 30% of the year’s business in the first half of the year, so we need to use these slow first six months to prepare for the July through December period and in particular the August/September rush. That means getting as much as possible of the labor-intensive stuff out of the way now, things like labeling containers. The chemistry kit, for example, has something like 50 bottles, vials, and envelopes, so being prepared to ship 500 chemistry kits means having about 25,000 labeled containers prepared ahead of time. And that’s just for chemistry kits.


14:39 – Here’s something we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming years: California cuts off water to agencies serving millions amid drought

And not just California. Any area that depends on the Colorado River for its water as well as other semi-arid Mountain states are in severe danger of running out of water in the near future. Recycling and conserving may help short-term, but it’s not a real solution. The problem is that there are too many people, too many farms and ranches, and too many industries for the available water to support. And much of the Southwest has been eating its seed corn for decades by pumping fossil water out of the ground at rates literally 1,000 times or more the rates at which it’s replenished. In the Eastern states, no one thinks much about water rights. In the West, water rights are increasingly becoming a matter of life and death, sometimes literally.