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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Monday, August 30 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Etoys revisited

Every time I consider the topic of etoys (computer-related technologies), I'm reminded of Jesus' sermon point recorded in Matthew 6 and Luke 12, the nub of which is, "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" When I've preached on that text, which goes on into the lillies of the field and the birds of the air, and the fact that all are consumed by death in the end, I've stressed that no matter what we acquire, we're just as surely to die sooner or later, and when that happens all our acquisitions will make not a whit of difference or advantage over those who acquired nothing.

Still, etoys are fun, and more than anything else I've encountered in life, they give the illusion of making life "richer" even if they're not capable of extending it a second longer than the measure God's allotted. But if you drive faster (and escape a fatal car crash, a big "if"), you'll have more time to live, right? This is the insidious allure of our etoys, but that selling point was also, I've heard and have no reason to doubt, the allure of automatic washers and dryers when most people didn't have them, vacuum cleaners, and many other appliances. Remember when you thought how nice it would be to have the coffeemaker set to automatically brew your breakfast while you took care of your morning abultions? How many were won over by that temptation? And how many still bother setting up the automatic coffeemaker the night before to have it ready on rising? Some, I'm sure; but I'm betting it's not the majority of those who invested in that kind of coffeemaker in the first place. (And we all know coffee that's set out of the refrigerator all night isn't as fresh-tasting as that taken out, opened, and brewed after getting up.)

I bought my microwave oven (over 20 years ago, and it's still working!) primarily to heat up coffee, and I've not used it for that task more than a half dozen times. And I chose it on the basis that it was big enough to cook a Thanksgiving turkey and have never tried cooking any poultry in it (other than "cooking" frozen chicken or turkey TV dinners)! But I certainly have had my money's worth from it in other food preparations and, more frequently, shortcuts.

Remember when you thought email was the best thing since sliced bread? How much time it would save! Also how much more convenient the cell phone is? Does email save anyone time? More likely, especially since the advent of the spam scourge, it requires more time for a task that didn't exist in our lives five or ten years ago. Cell phones are certainly more convenient than the one family phone in the hall between the kitchen and dining room of our youth, and...well, knock wood, my own experience of them hasn't ended up in more time wasted than before, and they have probably saved many lives. However, it's questionable whether the lives saved because emergency crews are able to get to emergencies quicker because cell phones are on the scene are enough to offset those lost in car crashes attributable to use of the cell phone while driving.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Foreign approach

People in other countries sometimes go out of their way to communicate with their English-speaking tourists. Here is a collection of signs seen around the world.

Hotel elevator, Paris: PLEASE LEAVE YOUR VALUES AT THE FRONT DESK.

Hotel, Yugoslavia: THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

Sent by Mike Harris  

Thought for today

I'm complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent, generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split; it's shredded.

Jack Paar, Tonight Show host, 1957-62 

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