Monday, June 29, 2009

A Cow Fart Tax?

If politicians have their way, soon farmers will be charged for the flatulence emitted from their livestock. Otherwise known as the "cow fart tax," this proposed law would require farmers to pay as much as $180 per livestock head, varying on the amount of methane flatulence the type of animal produces - more in the case of dairy cows. My brother who owns these elk in the above photo, could get charged over $100 per head. Both large farmers and the nearly extinct small farmer will be severely punished, to the point of financial ruin. This is on top of decreased milk prices and rising costs of production. Who will benefit from this law? Definitely not the farmer nor those businesses related to agriculture. Certainly not the public, who will see a rise in costs of dairy products.
I'm all for the idea of reducing greenhouse emissions, but singling out the farmers and unfairly punishing them for flatulence is simply abusurd. Perhaps Busch's Baked Beans will be next....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rolling Wisconsin Hills

I snapped this picture on top of one of the hills I traverse on my daily walks near my parents' home in Wisconsin. From here, one can see other rolling hills planted with various crops, small farms, marshland, and Highway 41. Increasingly, one can also see large windmills in the horizon - one of Wisconsin's few reliable alternate energy sources.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hear it Grow

Over the past few days we've had some warm and humid weather here in Wisconsin. Going past the corn fields on my daily morning walks, I can see a marked height change in the corn. What looked like puny corn last week is now over knee-high in some spots! It is said that in ideal conditions (such as the hot, humid weather we had), one can actually hear corn grow. I've never taken the time to actually test this, but I can definitely verify it amazing growth spurt.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

When visiting a Tamil Nadu farm during the harvest festival of Pongal, a young girl was all to eager to show us their John Deere tractor. Having been raised on a farm where we owned John Deere tractors, I immediately took notice. It wasn't the first trademark green & yellow tractor I had seen in India. Indeed, John Deere has a manufacturing plant in the Western India city of Pune. This should help make the price of the tractor cheaper (vs. importing) and also make parts more available - that is, if they are needed.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Last night in Chennai

It's a Friday evening, the last day of school. Walking home from the principal's house, I thought about the scenes that wouldn't be part of my framework for a couple of months - men selling coffee from their bicycles, whole families riding a motorbike, women zipping by on their scooters wearing a sari, the selling of coconuts on the corner, a field full of passionate cricket players, auto rickshaws, girls walking hand and hand, wearing salwar school uniforms, the man ironing clothes using charcoal iron. All these things have become a part of my everyday life.

Tomorrow evening I'll be in the quiet rolling countryside of Wisconsin with my family. What a change.

Until later.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Produce at Your Doorstop

Now that you've had your cooking gas delivered by tri/bicycle, purchasing some vegetables is the next task. Although you can go to local stalls or grocery stores, your neighborhood might also have a vendor wheel up his cart piled up with colorful produce. Now that's convenient!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cooking Gas Delivery

In India, bicycles & tricycles are a common utilitarian vehicle. They can navigate through narrow lanes and congested traffic. As a definite plus, they don't contribute to the serious automotive pollution plaguing cities. This tricycle was parked in front of an apartment building in my neighborhood, delivering canisters of cooking gas. Each empty canister weighs 12 kg, so you can imagine what kind of load these skinny guys pedal around the neighborhood.