Tuesday, 1 August 2017

07:18 – It was 61.7F (16.5C) when I took Colin out at 0625, mostly cloudy and calm.

We got a lot done on science kits yesterday. We’ll get more bottles filled this morning. Barbara is volunteering at the Friends bookstore this afternoon. I’ll get more solutions made up and bottle labels printed while she’s gone.

As usual this time of year, we’re in limiting-quantities mode. For example, Sunday we made up 18 chemical bags for the CK01B chemistry kits because of the chemicals we needed we had only 18 of one in stock. Yesterday we built those 18 CK01B kits and stacked them in the finished goods inventory closet.

After updating the chemical bottles inventory, we looked at the next mini-project. We’re down to about a dozen of the BK01 biology kits, and the limiting quantity on those is 11. So we’ll make up 11 more biology chemical bags and get those 11 kits built. Meanwhile, building the 18 CK01B kits took us down to zero potassium permanganate bottles in stock. Those are required for both the CK01A and CK01B kits, so I made up more potassium permanganate solution. We’ll next label and fill 120 30-mL bottles of that. That makes the limiting quantity for CK01A and CK01B kits the 8 bottles of phenolphthalein we have in stock, so we’ll get more of that made up and 120 bottles labeled and filled. And so on. Rinse and repeat.

Email yesterday from Cassie, whom I hadn’t heard from for three months or so. She and her husband have reached steady-state on prepping. They have more than a year’s worth of LTS food for themselves, including a lot of home-canned meats. Cassie isn’t local, and her husband’s parents retired to Florida, so they don’t have any close relatives living locally. Most of their friends and neighbors are fairly well prepared just by virtue of living in a rural area, but they are accumulating extra LTS bulk foods so they can help friends/neighbors out if it comes to that.

They’re content with their preps in non-food areas. They talked about electric power and decided they didn’t need to do much in that respect. They have a generator that originally belonged to her husband’s parents, and have four 6-gallon gas cans filled with treated gasoline. which they periodically transfer into their vehicles’ tanks and refill with fresh gasoline. They figure that’ll cover them for normal short-term emergencies.

They did buy a 100W Renogy solar kit on Amazon along with a bunch of Eneloop NiMH rechargeables and 12V chargers, an AC trickle charger, and a pair of small deep-cycle batteries locally. They keep the batteries trickle-charged on house current, but can switch over to the solar panel if mains power goes down.

They’ve tested that and found that it works to keep them in AA and AAA cells for their LED flashlights/lanterns, radios, and so on. They have spring water and are willing, at least for now, to do without stuff like refrigeration that would require a larger solar installation, more batteries, and an AC inverter.