How do you Harvest Rice?

Rice Harvest  3

My brother-in-law Francis holding up the bountiful harvest! RICE! In the Philippines rice in the field is called “palay.” Milled rice in the sack is called “bigas.” Finally, when cooked up it’s called “kanin.”

And, just how do you harvest rice?

Not sure.  But, somehow I feel like I’m a part of the rice harvest this year.

You see, my wife and I have a 1500 square meter block of land in the Philippines that my brother-in-law Francis and sister-in-law Rose use to plant rice.  The land is located in Sual, Pangasinan about a 4 hour drive north of Manila.  You can look out from our front porch and see Lingayen Gulf.

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How is income tax like stolen furniture?

Income Tax

Who thought it was a good idea to give the federal government the power to tax citizens directly?

Nice Furniture.  Where’d you steal it from?

The income tax reminds me of a story.

Many years ago, when I was a young lieutenant in the United States Air Force stationed in Denver, Colorado, a security policeman told me how he got into big trouble with the First Sergeant for being involved with “stolen furniture.”

“The First Sergeant calls me in his office and then reads me my rights!  I had no idea what I was doing there; what I was being charged for; what I’d done wrong?” He blurted out.

The security policeman kept talking; I kept listening intently.  “He asked me if I was at Joe’s party on Saturday night.  I said ‘Yes’.  Then he asked if I knew all the furniture in Joe’s apartment was stolen?  Course I said, ‘No!’  I had no idea.  Then the First Shirt got half way up out of his chair and leaned over his desk and yelled at me ‘Well, you should have known!'”

Then the upset security policeman asked me rhetorically, “How was I supposed to know Joe had stolen furniture at his place?

Finally, he expressed his feelings most eloquently exclaiming, “What was I supposed to do, walk into Joe’s house and say, ‘Hey nice furniture, WHERE DID YOU STEAL IT FROM?'”

The security policeman’s story has left me traumatized.  Now, whenever I walk into someone’s house and see nice furniture I have all I can do keep from asking, “Hey, your furniture is very nice.  Is it stolen?  I have to ask otherwise I could be an accomplice to a crime.  That’s of course if it’s stolen, but it probably isn’t … you didn’t steal it right?”

What does this have to do  with income tax?


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3 C’s of Success

Michelle Bridges and Dave

Michelle Bridges at the Alice Springs Convention Centre last night following her inspiring talk to a huge enthusiastic audience.

Michelle Bridges was ‘in da house’ last evening at the Alice Springs Convention Centre sharing her insights and wisdom.  She demonstrated her command of the stage and her ability to communicate; getting her powerful message across – with positive impact – to a large audience.  Even though I was sitting with say 400 other people, I felt Michelle was talking directly to me; as if we were having a conversation.

She captivated the room.  We – the audience – sat perfectly silent listening intently to her every word.  And she delivered.  Her message was hard hitting, full of value, practical and easily applied.

Did I mention she was very entertaining as well?  She brought us up to exciting highs, then some short lows where we pondered hard hitting questions, then she’d have us rocking back and forth in our seats laughing.  Michelle is a polished public speaker.

I felt the most salient point of Michelle’s message was her “3 C’s to Success.”  But, before discussing the “3 C’s” I’d like to share some other aspects of her hard hitting and inspiring message.

Michelle’s told us her message, advice and/or suggestions are like a bunch of jackets.  We – the audience – are welcome to try them on.  And, if you like a particular one or more – great.  If not, that’s great too.  She only asked that before trying on one of her “jackets” – “take yours off first!”

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When is it ok to have a big hole in your roof?

Evaporative Cooler is gone! One of the few times when having a hole in your roof may be considered a good thing!”

Before today I really couldn’t think of any reasons why it would be ok to have a big hole in your roof.  After all, if having a big hole in your roof is ok, then the follow-on argument might be, ‘Why have a roof at all?’

But, today is different.  Today I learned that having a large square hole in your roof can be a good thing.  Granted the hole is only temporary and will be repaired very shortly but it’s a good sign – a sign that something good has taken place.

So, here’s the occasion when having a hole in your roof is ok …


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How to make your ugly Evaporative Cooler look great!

Evap Cooler Stand

This is how you make an ugly Evaporative Cooler look good … GET RID OF IT! This is the feature we made today from the brickwork that used to hold up the evaporative cooler. Now this area looks great!

Do you have an ugly evaporative cooler?  If so, I’ve found a solution to making it look great!  One minute you have an ugly old calcium laden gigantic metal structure sticking out of your roof or taking  up some important living space in your back yard and the next minute – it’s all beautiful!

I dreamed of this day.  The day my ugly evap cooler would look good.  Well, that day has arrived.  And, I’d like to share with you how I did it.

But, first let’s discuss evaporative coolers … what are they?  How do they work?  Why would anyone have one?

Well, evaporative coolers are very popular here in Central Australia; Alice Springs to be exact.  Virtually every older house has at least one.  You see them in all different kinds of places on the home.  It seems the most popular spot is on the roof.

Apparently, someone years ago discovered the concept by hanging a wet towel in front of a fan.  The cooling effect from this setup can be quite refreshing especially in a dry climate area like Alice Springs.  Next thing you know someone decided to capitalize on this concept and the evaporative cooler was born.  They started popping up everywhere.

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