No, I am not making a Meth lab. I already have a day-job

by Terry 6/3/2008 1:10:00 PM

Naturally, when I tell people I am building a chemistry lab in my garage the first reaction people have, almost universally and without exception, is to say, "are you making Meth?" and, "dude, you’re going to get put on a government watch list."

Okay, they don’t always say "dude", but the affect is about the same.

So, to be clear, I am not building a Meth lab. I am not sure what the margins on Meth production are, but I am fairly certain that my day job, or any job at all, pays more than the risk is worth. I have no desire to, and this is not an exhaustive list, go to jail, kill or injure any family, friends, guests or associates, poison the neighborhood or blowup my house.

At a break in class today, one of my coworkers (friends really, as I have worked with all of these guys for years) suggested I go to Walmart and buy some blue tarps and propane tanks to leave around my yard. Apparently all meth-labs in the northwest are littered with blue tarps and propane cylinders. I added that I need to get a trailer in the back yard with a couple of flat tires. I am thinking I can get a good deal on a used FEMA trailer.

Joking aside, my reasons for building a lab in my garage are as follows.

  • I want to relearn, learn and practice lab sciences. Had my course in life been a little different, I would have been a scientist or engineer of some kind; physics being my favored branch when I was in college.
  • I like to teach and share knowledge. I think I have always been this way. I give or loan books to anyone who is interested. I teach martial arts and look for new ways to teach and I teach a class on leadership at a local martial arts school (DMW Martial Arts). I am often enlisted at work specifically because I balance teaching and learning software practices. Going back to my previous reason, I want to share my love of science; particularly with kids.
  • I have wanted a decent chemistry set since I was a kid. I am reliving my childhood dreams, now that I can afford it. Thankfully I have relatively inexpensive dreams. Robert Bruce Thompson made the dream a reality by doing much of the hard work and publishing the results in Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture.
  • My garage is the only place I can build a lab. Karen would not allow me to use the kitchen.

There are only a few things keeping me from starting the labs in Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture; time and money. I did not plan on building a lab (reading Robert Bruce Thompson’s journal, and the quality of his book is what added fuel to the spark) and it does take some money. Being a single income family I have to budget this kind of expense. So Karen and I are setting money aside with every paycheck and I will make purchases as I have the cash. While I wait to assemble the lab and supplies I will start managing my time. Now that the garage is clean I can work in the garage on nagging projects that need doing for the home. This will get the projects done and get me working in the garage regularly. I am hoping Karen and I can work together, both on the labs and on garage projects so we can spend the time together.

I also want to contribute back to other people. Kids in my neighborhood, for example; I can give to them almost directly. I cannot imagine where I would be today if someone when I was a youth in my neighborhood had mentored me in the sciences with access to a lab. I also like to experiment and write. I expect I will devise my own experiments once I get my skill back in order. I will post my efforts and results here and in the Home Chem Lab forum (http://forums.homechemlab.com) as appropriate.

If I do get on some government watch list, it will not be because of any intentionally illegal activity. I intend to be transparent on what I am doing. While I know ignorance of the law is not a defense of illegal activity, I will make efforts to avoid ignorance. I most certainly will not put myself on a list by making a Meth lab. Besides, my yard is too small for the white FEMA trailer.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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