Wednesday, 16 September 2015

08:56 – This is the time of year when I’m interrupt-driven. Someone orders a full forensic science kit, FK01A+B+C, and I’m down to just one of the FK01C kits in stock. Better build more. I could go a week or a month before I get another FK01C order, but someone could order ten of them tomorrow. My inventory records show I have enough of the components in stock to build 18 more, so I head downstairs to build those 18. It turns out I have 18 of everything I need except Modified Griess Reagent Part A, of which I actually have only 4. No idea where the other 14 went. So I make up a liter of Modified Griess Reagent Part A, which is enough to fill 33 bottles. Fill those, print out 33 labels, and label the bottles. Back to the assembly table, where I make up and bag the 18 FK01C kits. And now I’m down to zero stock on everything I need to build more FK01C kits than the 18 I now have on hand. On to the next thing we’re short on.

Until a week or so ago, I thought we were in decent shape on the CK01B chemistry kits. Those normally sell in pretty small numbers. The larger and more expensive CK01A chemistry kits usually outsell the CK01B kits by about 10 to 1. But we’ve had a flood of orders for CK01B kits, including three this morning. So I guess I’d better put together another dozen or two CK01B chemical bags. Oh, wait. I just found a bin full of those downstairs. Turns out I built those bags Monday and had completely forgotten doing so. It’s no wonder that my inventory gets completely screwed up this time of year. When I’m building batches of 30 of one type, it’s easy to keep the inventory updated. When I’m interrupt-driven, stuff falls through the cracks and comes back to bite me later.

10:53 – Sometimes, for whatever reason, one leaves oneself unprepared for something that’s important, in which case one just does the best one can and hopes for the best.

By this time, we’d hoped to be at least preparing to move up to the mountains, but it hasn’t worked out that way. With colder weather on the horizon, I’m concerned about heat. If we have a power failure, we can heat the house with our natural gas logs and our natural gas water heater will continue to work. Natural gas is the least likely utility to fail, so I’m not overly concerned, but it’s still at the back of my mind.

If the natural gas did fail for some reason, we could use the wood-burning fireplace downstairs. The problem with that is we have very little firewood. If we were up in the mountains, I’d have ordered a couple or three cords delivered, but for obvious reasons I don’t want to do that while we’re still in Winston-Salem.

Our next fallback is the catalytic propane heater, which is safe to run indoors and will suffice to keep one room at a livable temperature. Counting the 20-pound propane cannisters, we have enough propane to keep that heater running for a couple weeks. Barbara is taking a vacation day tomorrow to run errands, and one of her stops is to fill a new 20-pound propane cannister we bought at Costco. If we did suffer a natural gas outage, the first thing we’d do once it became obvious that the problem was severe is drive over to the Walgreen’s a mile or so from here and load up on Blue Rhino propane cannisters while there were still some to be had.