Thursday, January 29, 2009

Conserving energy

Conserving energy is something I am quite good at. Not in the sense of being "green" -- I'm as wasteful as the average American in that regard. But in the sense of not putting a lof of effort into physical tasks, I do an excellent job of conserving energy. I used to watch TV lying down in my bed ot sofa, but now I have a recliner, which takes much less effort to get up out of. Should I ever be inclined to do so.

Anyway, at work today I received an email from our facilities management team, letting us know about new measures being implemented to reduce energy consumption. Most of them were pretty insignificant gestures (such as asking people to turn of desk lamps), but maybe it all adds up -- it is a big company. I was inspired to join in the spirit and came up with my own list of new policies my office could estabilsh to save evern more energy:

(1) Refrigerators will be turned on only between the hours of 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, when most people are likely to have lunch. Also, the refrigerator thermostats will be set to a constant 85 degrees.
(2) Microwave ovens will be set to heat for no more than 25 seconds at a time, after which they will be disabled for 30 minutes. Timers will be set on the microwaves’ power outlets to allow operation only between the hours of 10:30-11:00 AM and 1:00-1:30 PM, to avoid using power at the same time as the refrigerators.
(3) All men’s work chairs, and those of women more than 25 pounds overweight, will be equipped with thermal capture devices to channel heat from captured gasses back into the heating system. During summer months these devices will also function as a heat sink to draw excess energy out of the buildings.
(4) Men and women with more than 25% hair loss will be seated near windows and connected to high capacity lithium batteries (via jumper cables attached to their ears) so the sunlight reflected off their heads can be captured as solar energy.
(5) All toilets will be equipped with new detectors and set to flush only in the presence of “#2”.
(6) Overhead and desk florescent lighting will be replaced with black lights, which use 50% less energy. The lights will also be disconnected from any electrical source to further conserve energy.
(7) Computer monitors will be replaced with cardboard cutouts with a pretty picture of rolling green hills and blue sky with light fluffy clouds.
(8) All electrical outlets will be filled in with a silicon-based sealant.
(9) The cafeteria will serve only raw meat.
(10) Summer office dress code now includes wearing nothing but thong underwear to work. However, obese persons choosing this option should also keep in mind that workplace violence policy extends to any permanent damage done to co-workers’ eyes and digestion.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Dying Testimony

From "Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved", Compiled By Solomon Benjamin Shaw (first published in 1898)


Near the town of K___, in Texas, there lived and prospered, a wealthy farmer, the son of a Methodist preacher, with whom the writer was intimately acquainted. He was highly respected in the community in which he lived. He was a kind-hearted and benevolent man; but, however, had one great fault -- he was very profane. He would utter the most horrible oaths without, seemingly, the least provocation. On several occasions, I remember having seen him under deep conviction for salvation, during revival meetings. On one occasion, during a camp-meeting, he was brought under powerful conviction. He afterwards said he was suddenly frightened, and felt as if he wanted to run away from the place.

Just one year from that time, another camp-meeting was held at the same place, and he was again brought under conviction, but refused to yield; after which he was suddenly taken ill, and died in three days. I was with him in his last moments. He seemed to be utterly forsaken of the Lord from the beginning of his sickness. The most powerful medicines had no effect on him whatever.

Just as the sun of a beautiful Sabbath morning rose in its splendor over the eastern hills, he died -- in horrible agony. All through the night previous to his death, he suffered untold physical and mental torture. He offered the physicians all his earthly possessions if they would save his life. He was stubborn till the very last; and would not acknowledge his fear of death until a few moments before he died; then, suddenly he began to look, then to stare, horribly surprised and frightened, into the vacancy before him; then exclaimed, as if he beheld the king of terrors in all of his merciless wrath, "My God!"

The indescribable expression of his countenance, at this juncture, together with the despairing tones in which he uttered these last words, made every heart quake. His wife screamed, and begged a brother to pray for him; but he was so terror-stricken that he rushed out of the room. The dying man continued to stare in dreadful astonishment, his mouth wide open, and his eyes protruding out of their sockets, till at last with an awful groan,

"Like a flood with rapid force,
Death bore the wretch away."

His little three-year-old son, the idol of his father's heart, was convulsed with grief. This little boy, then so innocent, grew up to be a wicked young man, and died a horrible death. Oh how sad! When we reflect that in hell there are millions of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, hopelessly lost, given over forever to the mad ravages of eternal, pitiless wrath, ever frightened by real ghosts, tortured by serpents and scorpions, gnawed by the worm that never dies; and when we reflect that this, the future state of the wicked, will never abate its fury but, according to the natural law of sin, degradation and wretchedness, will grow worse and more furious as the black ages of eternity roll up from darker realms, we turn for relief from the sad reverie to the Man of Sorrows, who tasted death for every man, then to the beautiful city. whose builder and maker is God, to the bliss of the glorified who will shine as the stars for ever and ever; then with renewed efforts we continue with gratitude to work out our own, and the salvation of others, with fear and trembling. -- The Ambassador