09:07 – The guys got the driveway dug out and graded and got the forms in place yesterday. They were planning to pour the concrete this morning, weather allowing. Yesterday evening and overnight, we got 2 inches (5 cm) of rain, with some hail. Ricky called at 0700 this morning and said the forecast for today was iffy enough that he planned to put off the pour until Monday, which is fine with us. Better safe than sorry.
Email from Jen overnight. She wanted to know what the shelf life of the potassium iodide was and asked if I had any recommendations about storing it. I told her the shelf life was probably about another 4.3 billion years, and that I recommended storing it in solution form to make it easy to measure out doses. A 100-gram bottle of KI is 760+ adult doses, at 131 mg/dose. I suggested dissolving the 100 grams of KI in a gallon (3.8 liters) of water, and then dividing that into four labeled one-liter bottles, each containing 190 adult doses, at 5 mL per dose. That way, doses are easily measured, at one teaspoon per adult dose, a half teaspoon per child dose, and a quarter teaspoon per infant dose.
I warned Jen that potassium iodide is easily oxidized by atmospheric oxygen to elemental iodine, which will give the solution a pale yellow color. There’s no real downside to that–the same amount of iodine is present as before–but some people can’t stand the taste of iodine (versus iodide ions, which have no taste other than a slight saltiness). To prevent that, Jen can add a vitamin C tablet to each bottle to act as an antioxidant.
Jen also asked if there were any other chemicals I’d recommend storing in bulk. I told her that other than the obvious–salt and baking soda–the other one I store in bulk is magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), which has several uses, notably as an effective laxative. We keep about five kilos of it on the shelf.