Sunday, 23 August 2015

09:03 – We need to make up more biology kits today. We’re down to seven finished biology kits in stock, which might last a few days or might last just one day. We’re in a little better shape on chemistry kits, but not much. We have 15 of those in stock, so building another batch of those is next.

Barbara goes back to work tomorrow. Five weeks left until her last day. Between now and then, I need to get us both signed up for Obamacare. It’ll be a big change, having her at home all day, but a good one for all of us. Colin will be delighted, once it sinks in that it’s not just a weekend, but permanent. Of course, it’ll be even harder for him when she goes on trips, because by then he’ll be expecting her to be home all day every day.

With Barbara available full-time, we’ll be able to ramp up the science kit business, both in terms of volume and the number of different types of kits we offer. Doubling our full-time staff from one to two should allow us to triple or quadruple sales volume and revenues, which is about as big as I want to get.

I’ve been wanting to expand down into middle-school science kits, including earth science and physical science, as well as adding AP-level kits for biology and chemistry. I also want to add classroom kits. We already sell a lot of our homeschool kits to homeschool co-ops, public and private high schools, universities, and so on, but having kits specifically for classroom use should allow us to expand that business significantly.

23 thoughts on “Sunday, 23 August 2015”

  1. Barbara might want to consider making a “short-timers” chain to remind her and others that she has only so many days and a wake-up. Used to be a common adornment in the military. Usually not too elaborate, sometimes just small paper clips linked together. At the end of the day the bottom one is removed and the “short-timer” is allowed to proclaim their number of days and a wake-up. Short-timers are also allowed to begin each conversation with their number of days and a wake-up. Not to rub it in or anything.

  2. Haha, I remember when I finished the “Basic” training and security police likewise in TX, the bastards shipped me to north-central Maine in the dead of winter, after I’d gotten used to the TX heat, natch. I was a FNG there and used to hear the older guys nearing the end of their enlistments bellowing “Short!” many times a day. And stuff like “I’m so short I can walk under doors.” “I’m so short I’m surprised you can still see me.”

    And then it would sink in that I still have a four-year sentence to serve. “Cause duty over there in the dead of winter sucked. Guarding nuke warheads and nuke-armed jets from possible commie attacks from the surrounding deep forests and six feet of snow.

    Got used to the bitter cold, with chill factors regularly hitting 50 and 60 below, and they gave me orders for ‘Nam, with a stop back in TX for combat training. Got used to the heat again in TX, which sucks, but when I exited the plane in ‘Nam the heat and humidity (and overpowering stench) hit me like a ton of bricks. Making TX seem like a cool and moderate Paradise. And that takes some doing!

    And going by the actuary tables and suchlike, many of us here on this board can say we’re short! If I get another twenty years it will be surprising.

  3. This just come across my RSS Reader; short but hits the high points.

    The smoke from all the forests burning around us has been pretty bad, falling particulate been going on for 4 days now. My wife has asthma and must wear a mask whenever putside the house. She has been going through my supply of N100 particulate masks at the rate of 3 to 4 a day. Reordered some more yesterday, getting a slightly more durable type this time.

  4. That guy hit the basics, but it seems as though he was/is leery of firearms defense and only mentioned pepper spray as a defensive measure.

    My bail-out bag stems from the possible need to get HOME from someplace, like an office at work, assuming I couldn’t just hunker down there for a couple of days. So it includes the items listed in the article, but I also pack CC with spare mags and a small repair kit. Plus a Bow-Fung with the regular long whip antenna and some spare longwire to string up. The first aid kit includes a tourniquet and major trauma clotting bandages with the usual stuff.

    And thank goodness he mentioned a flashlight, namely, a hand-cranked one. Can those generate enough lumens to blind a potential attacker at night?

    My paperbacks are the Douay-Rheims pocket Bible and the 1549 BCP; if I have enough room, I shove in the Oxford Shakespeare history plays and sonnets, all in one volume, not too thick or heavy.

  5. “My wife has asthma and must wear a mask whenever putside the house.”

    With those conditions, I’d be wearing a mask outside the house, too; I’ve had severe bronchial asthma and it ain’t the least bit fun when ya can’t breathe.

    Hope youse guys will be OK out there.

  6. @OFD, you must be my brother from another mother. For that matter most of the folks here seem to be part of an extended family. Like minds attract each other.

    BTW, I am a low profile kind of guy (my everyday driver is a 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan). However I do have a tactical cane and know how to use it.

  7. My “every-day” vehicle is a 2011 Toyota RAV4, color silver, and blends in nicely with the zillions of other silver cars out there, unlike my old 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 with rusting rocker panels and doors. I stripped off all the veteran-type and gun stickers a while back and now sport minor-league baseball decals (Paw Sox and VT Lake Monsters) with a Red Sox rear license plate frame and the front one a Patriots frame. See, I’m just a sports guy, into local teams and suchlike, no worries about me, I’m harmless.

  8. Short-timers are also allowed to begin each conversation with their number of days and a wake-up.

    I put my countdown timer (Months, Days, Hours, Minutes, and Seconds) on the main welcome page for the organization’s main application website. Everyone sees it when they login.

    Not to rub it in or anything.

    Indeed I did. With much pleasure.

  9. Oh my, prepping and BOBs hitting the mainstream, and in a useful if offhand way.

    OF COURSE I have some reaction 🙂

    Hand cranked flashlight. NO just no. Not in your BOB. If you want one in your supplies great but they are bulky, balky, and inefficient. MUCH better to have a small efficient LED flashlight and a spare battery or 2 (for comfort or working light) and your EDC flashlight for other uses.

    MAYBE???? a filter and tablets? How about YES FILTER!! YES TABLETS! I’m glad he listed the folding bottle. One thing to remember, the tablets are small but need time to work, and they lose potency over time.

    Don’t wrap electrical tape around anything that will be exposed to heat (like in your vehicle) or oils or plastics or rubber. It will turn into a sticky (but yet ineffective at sticking) mess. If you need to protect something use a carrier (lots of battery cases available), or wrap in paper, then tape.

    Food- power bars. MREs are bulky. Maybe a couple of envelopes of freeze dried, something that will taste ok unheated as backup. Caffeine or your stimulant of choice. A normal fork or spoon is fine. The weight you save with a titanium spork is just not significant enough to make it worth the money. A scout mess kit and silverware is a lightweight choice, if you REALLY think you’ll be cooking and eating.

    Cooking, well, pretty unlikely in a Get Home, but in a BOB, a tiny backpack stove, with appropriate fuel. Or look up ‘penny stove’ and carry a bottle of HEAT(TM) as fuel. You can carry your stove in a backpacking pot.

    Sleeping bag? Tent? You’re bugging out, not camping. If you are undertaking a long trip across country, maybe. But a plain colored poncho, 10×10 ft piece of black 6 mil plastic, and a couple of heavy black contractor ‘cleanup’ bags will be smaller, and almost as good.

    I’d consider the first aid kit as mandatory and basic, not extra credit ‘if you have room.’ MUST include moleskin. Should include bug juice.

    Same with a good multitool and a good knife. NOT OPTIONAL.

    Where’s his compass and map?

    If you normally wear shoes you couldn’t walk 10 miles in, then good shoes and socks. Sneakers or cross trainers might be a better choice for walking a distance than boots as they are lighter and more ‘normal’ looking.

    A more appropriate change of clothes is good. MINIMUM- waterproof windbreaker (or you’ll be wearing your garbage bag) and a hat. Choose wicking, fast dry fabrics in preference to some clothes you no longer wear. Some sort of lightweight glove is good, I’ve been using the plastic coated knit gloves, in a 10 pack from costco. They are form fitting, provide good dexterity, pack small, and are not fatiguing.

    MONEY! At least a hundred, in small bills, more if you can swing it. This is an essential tool in your bag. NOT to be used for anything else.

    Encrypted thumb drive with important documents, family photos, contact numbers and addresses. Not really a survival tool, but a recovery tool.

    GHB and BOBs are a favorite topic for discussion and war-gaming. Get SOMETHING together now. Improve it later.


  10. Well, why shouldn’t the advice in an MSM prepping article be as bad as that on many “prepping” websites?

  11. Indeed.

    He takes maslov, and then ignores it or jumps well past it- from blanket to condo, so to speak.

    You see some of the assumptions and lack of seriousness too.

    He thinks bugging out will be like camping. That is NOT likely. It’s a lot more likely to be like homelessness, where every minute is a struggle not to be killed, raped, robbed, or beaten.

    He thinks first aid is a luxury. Why do it yourself when you can go to the ER or call for the red bus ride? Well, we know for a fact that there won’t be much EMS for the common folk. He’s also never walked any distance or camped as both those activities shred your hands and feet. Just working in the yard results in scratches, scrapes, sun exposure, and bug bites.

    He thinks personal security is the default state of the world. I’m glad he mentioned ‘some preppers’ who think camo and tacticals are a bad idea. At least that is starting to sink in, but I think it probably came more from his disdain for the kind of people who wear camo.

    And the nod to bugging in was nice, but then he wrecked it with the “if it gets too bad, just give up and die” attitude.

    I hope his article caused some folks to think about it, and maybe start the journey. That would be the best thing.


  12. Speaking of prepping,

    Hit a couple of good sales yesterday. Although one had a lot of personal purchases (pony brand pipe clamps for $2.50 each was just irresistible, welding visegrips for $1.50, other woodworking stuff for SO cheap) it had some prepping too.

    I couldn’t say no to a lantern case for $2 and a colman water storage/carrier/dispenser for $1.50. I got a large roll of stainless steel wire suitable for making antennas for a buck. A variety of clip-on belt pouches were 50c each (useful for ammo pouches, misc gear, etc) There was a 30 pound box of 7.62 that they decided not to sell me at the last minute, which was a bummer. Some fishing gear, some other misc smalls, and off to the next sale.

    The next sale was a “hoarder” according to the family, but I think of hoarders as saving garbage and useless stuff. This guy had storage units FULL of tools, .mil surplus, cases, radios, bags, all kinds of stuff. I got a pair of motorola worksite radios with chargers for $5 (will need antennas, batteries and cleanup), dozens of power supplies to sell (garmin mostly), a nice medic bag, and a 5.11 backpack for $25 (broke my rule about tactical gear, but couldn’t say no.) A 5.11 multiple mag holder for $1, some personal stuff, and a nice tool carrier backpack for $3. I passed on the .mil shelter tents, and I have most of the tools, but I’ll be going back today for better pricing on some handheld marine VHF radios, and some test gear. Also, they kept bringing stuff out, so there will be new stuff as well. Part of the sale was like visiting an army navy store. There were dozens of .mil cases, ammo boxes, NATO gas cans, so much stuff.

    I’m assuming the family cherry picked the good stuff, but there was a ton of stuff left.

    Other than that, the heat has returned. 102deg at my weather station, 100 in the shade, and not a breath of air movement. That pretty much rules out working outside today. We’ll see if the shade moves around enough for me to get anything done later.

    Well, off to shop!


  13. You know, one of the items that I seldom see mentioned is goggles, which are essential both for shooting and other purposes. I’ve taken an ejected round in the face more than a few times, and if someone is shooting at you you’re liable to get sprayed in the face with wood/stone/concrete fragments.

    I don’t have them specifically on my list of preps because I normally have several hundred chemical splash goggles in stock, which are perfect for shooting goggles as well. I reorder several cases any time I open my last case of 100, so I always have plenty to go around. They come in sleeves of 10 goggles, and I’m wondering if I should add those as an SKU on my business page for any of you guys who want to buy a bunch.

  14. Hmm, thought I was unnecessarily overenthusiastic about goggles and eyewear in my comments about PPEs of a couple of days ago.

    My thought is good, comfortable safety glasses, in a contemporary style, and also in a sunglass tinting, bought by the box. Goggles for anything that might splash nasty on your face. The problem with goggles is that they are even more prone to fogging than safety glasses when outdoors or exerting yourself. Faceshields for ebola, chainsawing, and metalwork. has a wide selection. Other PPEs too.


    If you don’t already have a favorite pair or style, you might want to buy 1 of each in 10 styles. Everyone’s head is a different shape and what works well for me, might not work well for you.

    Adjustable length legs, adjustable nose pads, vented brow pad will all help with comfort and utility.

    Personally, I like UVEX, Genesis or Protege’. If you wear glasses, you will have more dificulty finding a comfortable pair. You might look at adding side shields to your regular glasses, especially if you already use plastic lenses. Safety glasses are also available with bifocal ‘cheaters’, inverted bifocal (for working overhead), and for bigger heads (fatheadz).

    In any case, treat them like the valuable tools they are. Don’t set them down on their faces. Don’t clean them improperly. I could keep a set nice for a long time when I worked in a shop. I just wore them. I never took them off or set them down. I cleaned them properly. I stored them in a good case. If you have good glasses and take care of them, you won’t even notice them on your face until they do their job and catch a chunk of something instead of your eye.


  15. My aunt just sent this to me. Does anyone know if it is true? All true?



    The criticisms of Trump are amazingly missing . When interviewing those who work for him (or who have or have had business dealings with him) negative stories are, curiously, lacking . After all the employees he’s had and all the business deals he’s made there is an unmistakable lack of criticism. In fact, long term employees call him a strong and compassionate leader and say he has far more integrity and high moral standards than many people think.

    And while it may surprise many, he’s actually humble when it comes to his generosity and kindness. A good example is a story that tells of his limo breaking down on a deserted highway outside of New York City. A middle-aged couple stopped to help him and as a thank you he paid off their mortgage, but he didn’t brag about that. Generous people rarely talk of the charitable acts they bestow on others.

    But as much as all this is interesting, the real thing that people want to know is, what is Donald Trump’s plan for America. It’s funny how so many people say they don’t know what it is, or they act like Trump is hiding it. The information is readily available if people would just do a little homework. But, since most Americans won’t do their own research, here, in no particular order, is an overview of many of Trumps positions and plans:

    1.) Trump believes that America should not intervene militarily in other country’s problems without being compensated for doing so. If America is going to risk the lives of our soldiers and incur the expense of going to war, then the nations we help must be willing to pay for our help. Using the Iraq War as an example, he cites the huge monetary expense to American taxpayers (over $1.5 trillion, and possibly much more depending on what sources are used to determine the cost) in addition to the cost in human life. He suggests that Iraq should have been required to give us enough of their oil to pay for the expenses we incurred. He includes in those expenses the medical costs for our military and $5 million for each family that lost a loved one in the war .

    2.) Speaking of the military, Trump wants America to have a strong military again. He believes the single most important function of the federal government is national defense. He has said he wants to find the General Patton or General MacArthur that could lead our military buildup back to the strength it needs to be. While he hasn’t said it directly that I know of, Trump’s attitude about America and about winning tells me he’d most likely be quick to eliminate rules of engagement that handicap our military in battle. Clearly Trump is a “win at all costs” kind of guy, and I’m sure that would apply to our national defense and security, too

    3.) Trump wants a strong foreign policy and believes that it must include 7 core principles (which seem to support my comment in the last point): American interests come first. Always. No apologies. Maximum firepower and military preparedness. Only go to war to win. Stay loyal to your friends and suspicious of your enemies. Keep the technological sword razor sharp. See the unseen. Prepare for threats before they materialize. Respect and support our present and past warriors.

    4.) Trump believes that terrorists who are captured should be treated as military combatants, not as criminals like the Obama administration treats them.

    5.) Trump makes the point that China’s manipulation of their currency has given them unfair advantage in our trade dealings with them. He says we must tax their imports to offset their currency manipulation, which will cause American companies to be competitive again, drive manufacturing back to America and create jobs here. Although he sees China as the biggest offender, he believes that America should protect itself from all foreign efforts to take our jobs and manufacturing. For example, Ford is building a plant in Mexico and Trump suggests that every part or vehicle Ford makes in Mexico be taxed 35% if they want to bring it into the U. S., which would cause companies like Ford to no longer be competitive using their Mexican operations and move manufacturing back to the U. S., once again creating jobs here.

    6.) Trump wants passage of NOPEC legislation (No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act – NOPEC – S.394), which would allow the government to sue OPEC for violating antitrust laws. According to Trump, that would break up the cartel. He also wants to unleash our energy companies to drill domestically (sound like Sarah Palin’s drill baby, drill?) thereby increasing domestic production creating jobs and driving domestic costs of oil and gas down while reducing dependence on foreign oil.

    7.) Trump believes a secure border is critical for both security and prosperity in America. He wants to build a wall to stop illegals from entering put controls on immigration. (And he says he’ll get Mexico to pay for the wall, which many have scoffed at, but given his business successes I wouldn’t put it past him.) He also wants to enforce our immigration laws and provide no path to citizenship for illegals.

    8.) Trump wants a radical change to the tax system to not only make it better for average Americans, but also to encourage businesses to stay here and foreign businesses to move here. The resulting influx of money to our nation would do wonders for our economy. He wants to make America the place to do business. He also wants to lower the death tax and the taxes on capital gains and dividends. This would put more than $1.6 trillion back into the economy and help rebuild the 1.5 million jobs we’ve lost to the current tax system. He also wants to charge companies who outsource jobs overseas a 20% tax, but for those willing to move jobs back to America they would not be taxed. And for citizens he has a tax plan that would allow Americans to keep more of what they earn and spark economic growth. He wants to change the personal income tax to:
    Up to $30,000 taxed at 1%
    From $30,000 to $100,000 taxed at 5%
    From $100,000 to $1,000,000 taxed at 10%
    $1,000,000 and above taxed at 15%

    9.) Trump wants Obamacare repealed. He says it’s a “job-killing, health care-destroying monstrosity” that “can’t be reformed, salvaged, or fixed.” He believes in allowing real competition in the health insurance marketplace to allow competition to drive prices down. He also believes in tort reform to get rid of defensive medicine and lower cost.

    10.) Trump wants spending reforms in Washington, acknowledging that America spends far more than it receives in revenue. He has said he believes that if we don’t stop increasing the national debt once it hits $24 trillion it will be impossible to save this country. Even though he says we need to cut spending, he does not want to harm those on Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. He believes that the citizens have faithfully paid in to the system to have these services available and that the American government has an obligation to fulfill its end of the bargain and provide those benefits. Therefore, he wants to build the economy up so that we have the revenue to pay those costs without cutting the benefits to the recipients. He disagrees with Democrats who think raising taxes is the answer and says that when you do that you stifle the economy. On the other hand, when you lower taxes and create an environment to help businesses they will grow, hire more workers, and those new workers will be paying taxes that become more tax revenue for the government.

    11.) Trump also wants reform of the welfare state saying that America needs “a safety net, not a hammock.” He believes in a welfare to work program that would help reduce the welfare roles and encourage people to get back to work. And he wants a crackdown on entitlement fraud.

    12.) Trump believes climate change is a hoax.

    13.) Trump opposes Common Core.

    14.) Trump is pro-life, although he allows for an exception due to rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

    15.) Trump is pro 2nd Amendment rights.

    16.) Trump’s view on same-sex marriage is that marriage is between a man and a woman, but he also believes that this is a states’ rights issue, not a federal issue.

    17.) Trump supports the death penalty.

    18.) Trump believes that there is a lack of common sense and innovative thinking in Washington (Hmmm… looks like he believes in horse sense!). He says it’s about seeing the unseen and that’s the kind of thinking we need to turn this country around. He tells a personal story to illustrate the point:

    “When I opened Trump National Golf Club at Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles, I was immediately told that I would need to build a new and costly ballroom. The current ballroom was gorgeous, but it only sat 200 people and we were losing business because people needed a larger space for their events. Building a new ballroom would take years to get approval and permits (since it’s on the Pacific Ocean), and cost about $5 million. I took one look at the ballroom and saw immediately what needed to be done. The problem wasn’t the size of the room, it was the size of the chairs. They were huge, heavy, and unwieldy. We didn’t need a bigger ballroom, we needed smaller chairs! So I had them replaced with high-end, smaller chairs. I then had our people sell the old chairs and got more money for them than the cost of the new chairs.

    In the end, the ballroom went from seating 200 people to seating 320 people. Our visitors got the space they desired, and I spared everyone the hassle of years of construction and $5 million of expense. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a little common sense.” On top of his saving years of construction and $5 million in expenses, he also was able to keep the ballroom open for business during the time it would have been under remodeling, which allowed him to continue to make money on the space instead of losing that revenue during construction time. Donald Trump’s entire life has been made up of success and winning.

    He’s been accused of bankruptcies, but that’s not true. He’s never filed personal bankruptcy. He’s bought companies and legally used bankruptcy laws to restructure their debt, just as businesses do all the time. But he’s never been bankrupt personally. He’s a fighter that clearly loves America and would fight for our nation. Earlier I quoted Trump saying, “I love America. And when you love something, you protect it passionately – fiercely, even.” We never hear that from Democrats or even from most Republicans.

    Donald Trump is saying things that desperately need to be said but no other candidate has shown the fortitude to stand up and say them. Looking over this list of what he wants for America I see a very necessary set of goals that are long past due. Before we criticize someone because the media does, maybe we should seriously consider what he has to offer?

  16. The list of Trump positions are in some cases, in conflict with what he has said in the recent past (i.e. he’s spoken out in favor of single payer). The idea that we can “sue OPEC” is laughable. In what court? Tort reform, while a boon to medicine, is a state issue – not federal. He’s been pro-choice in the past.

  17. “…in conflict with what he has said in the recent past…”

    Like all the rest of the politicians since the days of classical Greece and Rome. As Barnhardt points out, and we have all heard before, just knowing that someone is running for an office of power should be enough to disqualify them.

    He’s just another conniving, scheming, lying scumbag who happens to have a few billion dollars to throw away without much pain and who can gin up beaucoups sound bites to the delight of the media and innernet.

    Again like Barnhardt says, I’d only show up at any of these bastards’ executions.

    I see they’re floating Biden a bit more stridently now, and chattering about Bernie’s crowds. BFD. It’s Empress Cankles all the way, a steamroller. Nobody gives a shit about classified emails on a server somewhere; most Murkan derps can’t even grasp the salient details of this alleged story anyway.

    A bloody pox on them all.

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