Saturday, 29 April 2017

09:21 – It was 64.3F (18C) when I took Colin out at 0715 this morning, sunny and calm. The cows are back in the field along our back property line. Until six months or so ago, there were always Black Angus cows in that field, anything from half a dozen to three or four dozen at a time. They often clustered right along the back fence. Then last autumn they disappeared from that field. About the only time we saw them was every few weeks in a field up along the ridge line several hundred yards to our west.

When I took Colin out this morning, he did his usual. Trotted down to the bushes along the road, sniffed them thoroughly, and peed on them. But this morning, he spent hardly any time doing that and then headed toward the back fence at a fast trot. When I walked around the side of the house to see what he was up to, I saw him down by the fence with half a dozen cows watching him. They got used to him pretty quickly after we moved in, and vice versa. They don’t pay much attention to him, and he ignores them unless they get too close to his fence. Then he does his stalk/pounce/ferocious growl routine and they quickly scatter. This morning, everybody ignored each other.

I noticed that one of our hand sanitizer bottles was getting low, so I checked Walmart, Amazon, and Costco to see what they carried. Walmart had Purell, Barbara’s preferred brand, at a good price, so I went ahead and ordered a case of twelve 12-ounce dispenser bottles and a 2-liter dispenser bottle, which I’ll actually use to refill the smaller bottles.

We keep bottles of hand sanitizer in each bathroom and the kitchen, as well as the small dispensers Barbara keeps in her purse and her car, so we go through a good bit of it. It’s effective against most pathogenic bacteria and some but not all pathogenic viruses. It kills enveloped viruses (those with a lipid envelope surrounding the virus) but isn’t nearly as effective against non-enveloped viruses.

The key determinant of effectiveness is the percentage of alcohol, either ethanol or isopropanol, that the sanitizer contains. The optimum is about 65% to 85% ABV. Any less than 65% and the sanitizer becomes much less effective, and more than 85% is actually counter-productive. Most of the name brands are 70% ABV, but the generics and house brands are often less. The CVS generic, for example, is IIRC 63%, and I’ve seen no-name stuff that contains 45% or less alcohol.

With this new order, we’re up to maybe 8 liters, give or take. One squirt is typically 2.5 mL, which is plenty. At that rate, we have enough on hand now for maybe 3,200 applications. That’s enough for the four of us for probably a year if I extend it with the 91% IPA that I keep a couple gallons of on hand.