Disaster Response, Human Generosity

Dorian befuddled us. Hurricanes usually follow their path and move along. Dorian sat. And sat. And sat over the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, leaving over 13,000 homes in ruin, the islands literally decimated, and much of it underwater. 

Dorian devastation in Bahama Islands.
Photo: New York Post

After sparing the eastern coast of Florida, she still threatens the Carolinas as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. 

Hours after the news from the Bahamas, and even before Dorian plays out in the Maritimes, tens of thousands of charities, churches, communities, and individuals across the U.S.A. sprung into action—including many in Ohio.

When Dorian was expected to hit the eastern shores of Florida, Duke Energy sent 1,500 workers from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to stand by—a literal army on wheels. Now boat owners from all over Florida are organizing flotillas to quickly ship tools and shelter material that can be used to quickly build temporary shelters.

The human response after a disaster is one of generosity. After Hurricane Katrina, 50% of Americans reached into their pocket, and 75% did so after 9/11. Casualties from Dorian are real and help is urgently needed. So far fewer than 30 deaths have been reported, but the real casualties are weeks and months down the road from lack of access to medical care, clean water, everyday nutritional needs, reasonable and safe shelter, and personal security.

There are dozens of large and small charitable avenues to help the Bahamas. One of those is Team Rubicon Disaster Response working in partnership with our local Mathew 25 Ministries. Learn more »

Cincinnati’s Dog Days of Summer

August this year in Cincinnati has been warm, or hot (depending on who you ask) with temperatures for the coming week in the upper 80s to the low 90s with mostly sunny skies. It’s what we call “the dog days of summer.”

The Dog Days have nothing to do with panting dogs, and everything to do with the Dog star Sirius—the brightest star in the summer sky. In ancient times, the Egyptians believed that the sun’s heat combined with Sirius’s heat to make August extra hot. They noted that when Sirius the Dog Star rose soon after the summer solstice, summer rains increased and the Nile River rose and flooded the land.

Traditionally, Dog Days of Summer last 40 days from July 3 to August 11, the same time of year that Sirius the Dog Star rises at dawn. Sirius is only 8.6 light years away, so it’s easy to spot on a clear night. It is easily the brightest star in the summer sky and the brightest star in the Constellation Canis Major.

In Greek mythology, the “dog” in Canis Major follows Orion, the great hunter. In art, the dog is often seen chasing a rabbit represented by the constellation Lepus. There’s a small dog depicted in a nearby constellation called Canis Minor. 

You can read the mythological stories behind these stars and constellations here.

To find the Dog in the summer sky, we suggest using or downloading a stargazing app for your mobile phone. Here’s a handy list of the top recommendations for 2019 for both Android and iPhone.

What do the Dog Days of Summer have to do with small business accounting and daily money management? Nothing. Yet knowledge can be fascinating!

Busy vs Productive, Which Are You?

We seem to be busier these days. We have less free time to take a walk, or read a magazine with a cup of coffee, or linger over lunch with friend. When we are “doing” something, we rush so we can get on to the next project or appointment. 

Are we becoming more productive, or are we just being busy?

Productive people are efficient. They know how long something should take, come prepared to tackle the task at hand, and finish on time.

Busy people think about what they need to do. They research it thoroughly, write notes and lists, organize their workspace, overthink the task beyond reason, and at the end of the day, have nothing to show for it.

If you are a busy person, but want to become more productive:

  1. Commit to just one task at a time.
  2. Carve out the time to do it, and stick to the schedule.
  3. Give yourself time to get it done.
  4. Give it your full attention; be present in the moment until the task is done.
  5. Reward yourself when it’s done to reinforce the behavior.

Busy people committed to becoming more productive will, at first, underestimate how long something will take. If this is you, simply extend the time allowed until your mental task clock naturally readjusts.

If daily money management is your roadblock to being productive, consider having a professional do that task for you.