Saturday, 1 February 2014

By on February 1st, 2014 in Barbara, science kits

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.

28 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 1 February 2014"

  1. Lynn McGuire says:

    “Fourth Circuit Holds That Defendant Can Be Guilty of Criminal Violation of Armed Export Control Act Even Without Specific Knowledge That the Exported Item Is a Regulated “Defense Article””

    Be afraid. Be very afraid of Mordor. They are even eating their own now.

    This is the kind of nonsense that makes one want to gather a mob and go burn the nearest feddie building.

    Bob, you need to very careful shipping outside of the USA. Me too and I do ship to Jordan and several other borderline countries.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    IIRC, so far the only foreign countries I’ve shipped to are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. Probably 95%+ of our shipments outside the US go to Australia, Canada, and the UK, with most of that 95% being shipments to Canada.

    I’ve been dithering about limiting foreign shipments to Canada only, although I hate to cut off Australia and the UK.

  3. Stu Nicol says:

    Sounds like what they do with drug possession cases. For example, 1/4 oz. of marijuana is misdemeanor personal use. 1/4 lb. is felony sales.

    7,000 rounds for personal use or sales?

    (Note: I am not making a personal value judgement regarding cannabis or ammo.)

  4. Lynn McGuire says:

    Sadly, it is not just the Southwest that is having water problems. We here in the Land of the Houston metropolitan area are busy shutting down our wells due to subsidence. All of the big wells (over a million gallons per day) are suppose to be shutdown by 2017.

    But, the Great State of Texas is in a drought west of I-45 (interstate from Houston to Dallas). So the rivers do not have any water in them (the Brazos is about a foot deep by my house, normally 10+ foot deep). But we are hurriedly converting to surface water (rivers) with a bunch of $100+ million water plants. And no water.

    Too many people living in the USA. And more showing up in droves and ready for free handouts. I have no solution for this.

  5. SteveF says:

    I have no solution for this.

    This sounds like a perfect place to apply Furlong’s First Rule of Interpersonal Conflict: Very few human problems cannot be solved by one or more deaths.

  6. dkreck says:

    Those damn Canadians have all the water. We need to take our fair share. A water pipeline right next to the XL. Add one from BC to California as well.

  7. bgrigg says:

    You already use up more resources than the rest of the world. Please deal with your overpopulation of the west without stealing our resources.

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    Hey, you Canadians need to stop sending us your excess population. You can have Justin Beiber back today. We will negotiate on Michael J. Fox later.

    We, the USA, just need to turn all those rivers from flowing north into Canada and pump them over the Rockies. Shouldn’t be more than a couple of hundred 72 inch pipelines. And pumps, lots and lots of pumps. Make Keystone look like a kiddie toy.

  9. Ray Thompson says:

    Georgia is trying to get the state line between Georgia and Tennessee moved north a couple of miles in one specific location. That location happens to contain part of the Tennessee River. Georgia wants the water and figure this is a way to get that water. But that TN river water feeds the Misery river which feeds the Mississippi River. Georgia would suck all that could as Georgia ran short of water a couple of years ago.

    This will end up in the supreme court with Georgia claiming there was an error in the placement of the state boundaries. It was fine for dozens of years until water became an issue.

  10. bgrigg says:

    Lynn, don’t blame Canada, blame your own porous border! You guys coulda (woulda shoulda) said “NO”!

    You got him, you can keep him. We wouldn’t mind Michael J. Fox back, though. He’s nice.

  11. ech says:

    If you read the article, the guy apparently knew that ammo was on the munitions list. His defense was “I didn’t know my specific ammo was on the list”.

    I’ve been through export control/ITAR training and the Feds take it very seriously. Boeing, IIRC, was found guilty of exporting controlled data and was fined $50 million and couldn’t get new Federal contracts for a month. Two rules of thumb:
    – if it’s a physical item that can be used by the military to kill or spy on people, it’s covered by export control
    – if it’s data and has numbers on it, it’s covered by export control.

    Taking a blueprint of a covered item out of the country is a violation.

    Emailing it to someone over the internet (not an intranet) is a violation unless it’s encrypted well enough, since it could pass out of the US while being emailed and be intercepted. (And you can bet that there are governments snagging any email from US defense companies that pass through their borders!)

    Disclosing that data to someone that is not a US Citizen and doesn’t have permanent residence could be a violation.

    Sending data to overseas branches is a violation.

    Getting an export permit takes 30-90 days, IIRC, if your staff knows what it is doing.

  12. dkreck says:

    Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.

  13. bgrigg says:

    Why do Americans always have to make things into a fight?

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I think it goes back to when George III invaded us.

  15. bgrigg says:

    Long time to hold a grudge! 🙂

  16. dkreck says:

    Please don’t take my comments too seriously. After all, Beer drinking lumberjacks are okay.

  17. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Well, we Americans are self-selected for orneriness. Come the Revolution, all the law-abiding British subjects left for Britain or Canada. The ones who were left were pretty much summed up by the famous Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

    Geez, one of our *states* declared war on Canada and invaded it. The federal government had a hell of a time getting them to stop doing that.

  18. SteveF says:

    And if the US Second Amendment were given proper respect by the various US governments, we’d have private citizens with the ability to wage war on foreign nations.

  19. bgrigg says:

    dkreck, here’s a river for both of us!

    I presume Bob is referring to the Aroostook War (AKA Pork and Beans War), when Maine decided it wanted more of New Brunswick. My favorite is the San Juan Islands Pig War in 1859, and which finally ended in 1874.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yep, although the actual cause was NB wanting more of Maine. 😉

    I don’t count the Pig War because that was US forces versus British.

  21. bgrigg says:

    Sure, that’s how you tell it!

    Why don’t you count the Pig War? Canada was federalized in 1867, before the event ended. The Aroostook took place even earlier, in 1838-39.

    Point of fact, Canada and the US have never had any formal antagonism, it was always between the British and the US. However, I can certainly understand how some people may feel Bieber and Dion are in fact hostile acts of war. Consider them shots across the bow and start being nicer to us, or we’ll send down the bad singers! So far, we’ve kept them close to home.

  22. Lynn McGuire says:

    Geez, one of our *states* declared war on Canada and invaded it. The federal government had a hell of a time getting them to stop doing that.

    Well, General Pershing invaded Mexico from Texas in 1916 but that was under President Woodrow Wilson’s orders.

  23. Lynn McGuire says:

    And if the US Second Amendment were given proper respect by the various US governments, we’d have private citizens with the ability to wage war on foreign nations.

    We don’t now? According to former USMC son, the contractors in Iraq were better armed than the Marines were. And no rules of engagement.

  24. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Consider them shots across the bow and start being nicer to us, or we’ll send down the bad singers! So far, we’ve kept them close to home.

    I’ll forgive Canada a lot for Neil Young.

    And just about anything for Amber Marshall.

  25. SteveF says:

    How about a ransom note from the US to Canada: We have Justin Beiber. Send us Amber Marshall or get him back.

  26. Miles_Teg says:

    Bill wrote:

    “Why do Americans always have to make things into a fight?”

    In the C19 the US wanted a huge chunk of BC, their slogan was “54 40 or fight.”

    Nothing’s changed.

  27. Lynn McGuire says:

    I’ll forgive Canada a lot for Neil Young.

    Agreed except for “Southern Man”.

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