Friday, 1 September 2017

08:22 – It was 62.5F (17C) when I took Colin out at 0700, foggy and damp. We’re expecting rain, heavy at times, all day.

Barbara brought back four 20-liter cases of bottled water from her Costco run, and also picked up a large bag of dog food and a new ball for Colin at the pet store. She said he already had plenty of dog food, but it didn’t hurt to stock up.

She always fills her gas tank when she stops at Costco. Yesterday, there were long lines at the gas pumps when she arrived, so she decided to go in and do her shopping before filling her tank. When she finished her shopping and went back out to the gas pumps, they were just changing the price of gas.

There’s a lot of that going on, and the shutdown of the Colonial One pipeline won’t help matters. Apparently, they’ve given no estimate of how long the pipeline will be down. The whole line in the affected area needs to be inspected, and much of it is underground. The usual panic-buying is drawing down gasoline supplies much faster than normal, so before long we’ll probably have gas stations shutting down for lack of fuel.

One of the things I had on my calendar for today was to call Blue Ridge Co-op to have them come out and top off our propane tank, but I may hold off on that. This is normally a good time of year price-wise to buy propane, but with the mess going on the price has probably skyrocketed. And we’re probably down from a ten-year supply to a 9.5-year supply, so it doesn’t really matter. I do feel sorry for people who heat with oil. They’ll probably suffer from sticker-shock if they try to fill their tanks right now.

10:19 – One of the things about filling all these chemical bottles and building all these science kits is that I have to generate a continuing flood of orders for stuff that we’re getting low on.

Yesterday, Barbara mentioned that we were out of wood splints (used in chemistry kits), and I already knew that we had only 25 grams or so of phenolphthalein powder left. Ordinarily, I’d order those two items from American Educational Products and Fisher Scientific, respectively.

But I decided just for the hell of it to check Walmart. They didn’t carry phenolphthalein, although one of their third-party vendors did carry the AMEP woodsplints, but at a ridiculous price. So I went over to Amazon. They didn’t carry lab wood splints, but they did offer packs of 1,000 5.25″ wooden coffee stirrers, so I put five packs of those in my cart. Then I did a search for phenolphthalein powder, which Amazon was offering with Prime at $11.00 for 100 grams of ACS Reagent grade. That was cheaper than Fisher Sci, so I just bought a supply of phenolphthalein from Amazon. Geez.