Income Taxes
To Compost

Dateline: 8 February 2016 AD

I accomplished something this year that I've never been able to do before. I got all my income tax numbers together in January, and to my accountant the first week of February. In the past, I've crammed to get everything together by the first of April. I'm getting much better at the bookkeeping thing.

I made less money with my Planet Whizbang business last year than the year before. Based on last month's sales (along with the economic news I've been reading), I think 2016 may be even less prosperous. But it's not a crisis. We can live just fine on less. And if I make less, I pay the government less. I like that part.


(click picture for enlarged view)

Meanwhile, over in Nigeria, the Capsfeed company is making and selling chicken pluckers, as you can see in the above picture. But they are not Whizbang chicken pluckers. They are Capsfeed pluckers. The only difference being the name. The bumper sticker is a hoot. I sell a sticker exactly like that, but with "Whizbang" in place of the word, "Capsfeed."

I've given Capsfeed permission to be the "official" distributor of Whizbang/Capsfeed poultry pluckers on the continent of Africa. I don't make any money on the sale of the pluckers, but I hope they do. And I hope my Whizbang plucker design can be a big help to a lot of small-farm enterprises over there.


I neglected to mention last October that this blog was honored as a Best 250 Prepper Website. That was kind of a surprise. The Deliberate Agrarian is #175 on the list, right between Practical Preppers and Last One Alive.

I'm not sure this blog can be rightly labeled as a pepper website (I think it defies a single label). Nevertheless, The Deliberate Agrarian is honored to be recognized for something. 

If you go to the link, you'll find this blog is in the company of other neat websites like, Survival Punk, The Prepared Ninja, Survive The Apocalypse, Geek Prepper, Pampered PrepperPrepper Chimp, Total Survivor Dad and...... Tattooed Homestead.


Marlene and I used to eat out once a week at Panera, which is far and away my favorite "fast food" eatery. But since my son and his wife (Jimmy & Bekah) started The Glenside Diner in our hometown last month, we are now making it a point to eat there once a week.

Actually, Marlene eats there more often than me (she's much more social than I am). Marlene has even made a couple of cakes for the diner. One was a carrot cake (my favorite), which sold fast and got rave reviews.

The picture above was one of my Glenside Diner meals last month. It is a Rachel "melt," with broccoli salad. Very good.

For those who donated to Jimmy & Bekah's "diner dream" in December, or other readers who took an interest in the project, I can report that the new Glenside Diner is doing well. These winter months are typically slower than the summer months, but new people are coming to the diner and I'm hearing good things.


(click picture for a larger view)

The Glenside Diner closes at 2:00 every day (except Fridays when they are open till 8:00). So, I have figured out that if I go to lunch at the diner around 1:00, or shortly thereafter, the place will not be too busy. That's when I snapped the picture above.

Please note the red walls. Pam Baker, a reader of this blog, was 100% right on when she advised us that the diner walls needed to be painted red. Many people have commented about how much they like the new color. Several have asked exactly what paint and color it is because they want to use the same color in their home.

If you look closely, you'll also see a frame on the wall to the left of the door. It contains a thank you to those who so kindly gave to the GoFundMe "diner dream" campaign, along with all the names of those who contributed.

Above the door, there is a plaque that says, "Count Your Blessings."


Our town has a voting machine just like this one. But we can't use it anymore. Now we have to use  a paper ballot and feed it into a computerized machine that reminds me of a paper shredder. I liked the old voting machine better.

November last, I was reelected for the 5th time to my town board (some call it a town council). It was my intention to not run again for the position after 16 years. 

I made the decision not to run again back in 2012 after having to deal with a lot of anger and some withering verbal abuse from people in my town (including a couple of fellow board members) because I opposed hydrofracking. I was the lightening rod for ire.  I think I may have had a mild case of PTSD when the whole episode came to a close. :-)

I decided that I would tough out the remaining three years and then move on to other things (non-political things). But come last year I was told there was no one else in town that wants the job. Would I please run to fill out the term of another board member who moved to Florida? I caved in. Two more years....

NY State has a 2% budget cap in effect for municipalities. Many towns around us are having trouble staying under the cap every year. My town doesn't have that problem. Our budget increases have been below 2% for all my years on the board.

So, in discussing this at the last board meeting, I asked our Town Supervisor (who has put our budget together for longer than I've been there) why it is that other towns are crying the blues and having so many problems keeping their budget under the 2% cap. His answer: "Because they spend too d__n much money!"

I am pleased to report that our town board is the lowest paid board in the county (out of 32 municipalities). One of my perennial contributions to the budget process is to make it clear that I don't think we should be giving ourselves a raise, and that being the lowest paid board in the county should be a badge of honor. I haven't gotten any real resistance to the concept. The "job" pays $800 a year.


I got an English lesson with this book edit.
(click to see larger view)

January and February are the slowest mail-order months of the year for my Planet Whizbang business. It's a good time to get caught up with different projects. Like, for example, making the edit changes to my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners

I paid someone a year ago to go through the book and find all my mistakes. Well, every single page has red pencil editing marks on it! 

The edits are minor, but they are many, and I've been dreading the process of fixing them all. But I'm on it, and I'm almost done. 

Once the fixes are all made, I will be offering the book in PDF format, at a reduced price. I don't think I'll be doing a paperback reprinting of the book until next year.


It was just a few days ago that I blogged here about David The Good and how he was such a prolific garden writer and movie maker. I didn't realize then that he was producing an hour-long movie based on his best selling book, Compost Everything. Check out the movie trailer above. I'm looking forward to this movie!



Lady Locust said...

Don't know about you, but I like knowing that my taxes are done, and I don't have to think about them again until next year. A small relief. Also, wanted to say how good of you it is to let your plucker be reproduced with no compensation just for the benefit of others. Not many would do that. Says a great deal about your character.

Anonymous said...


I thought the same thing regarding Mr. Kimball. Fine character, indeed!

Ouida Gabriel

Herrick Kimball said...

Thank you. I have to admit, though, that it is a relief to have someone in Africa who I can refer people from that country to when I get e-mail inquiries. Besides that, anyone can make and sell a Whizbang-Inspired plucker. I have no patent on the design.

What I would like to see is some enterprising people in Africa (and other countries) build a business around selling Whizbang wheel hoes. I don't think they have wheel hoes over there, and I think they would appreciate how incredibly efficient the wheel hoe is.

David The Good said...

Thanks for the link to the trailer, Herrick. I think you'll enjoy the film when it comes out.

Any errors in the Planet Whizbang Idea Book I own were more than overshadowed by how great that book is... I don't remember seeing mistakes but I do remember the great inspiration.

Pam Baker said...

Dear Mr. Kimball,
I am overcome with emotion that you would mention my name in regards to your family's work at the diner. You all were already headed down that same track...
We too have our taxes done and I am grateful to not have it hanging over our heads. It helps to have a family member who is a professional in the tax preparation business.
I would add my two cents worth, regarding your fine character. Indeed, you are one of the most honorable folk I know. I proudly proclaim my appreciation on my bumper with your sticker...and often refer people to your website for all manner of information.
I must confess, I prefer a un-wheeled scuffle or stirrup hoe but if I had more garden might make a difference. Since using the DeWitt fabric, I didn't even use my stirrup hoe last season.
Well, I must get back to work.

Herrick Kimball said...


Thanks. The edits were all pretty minor. The vast majority of them were to change straight quote marks to curly quotes. Then there were many edits related to commas (I tend to use too many), periods (I didn't use enough), or capitalization. Then came a few improper words or misspellings.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Pam—

Well, I can say the same.... My use of any kind of hoe (wheeled or not) to cultivate in my garden has almost been eliminated since I started using the DeWitt fabric. It has truly made gardening easier and more satisfying.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Hello Herrick,
Thanks again for your help in building a chicken plucker. I took your design and slightly modified it by:
Utilizing a gas engine
Building the frame out of all steel
Mounting it on a small trailer for highway travel
Coupling the engine to a 10:1 right angle direct drive gearbox (3000/300 rpms)
Keeping the tub solid at the bottom, except for a small cut-out opposite the engine
Mounting two plucker fingers upside down (opposite direction)to shoot the feathers out the cut-out hole in a neat pile on the ground.

You keep coming up with amazing ideas, keep them coming and God bless....

James Johnson said...

Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
Glad to hear conversation about the wheel-hoe and DeWitt fabric. I've been trying to avoid using Round-up to kill weeds in my garden for years, by using undiluted white vinegar, during HOT weather, for that's when vinegar works best. However, that's getting old. It is quite effective, but takes many gallons all during our summer. What I was wanting was to find something I can make and use (vinegar) by my own hand when everything in our country goes south. However, now I think I will look into the fabric, to give myself a break!