Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Washing Garbage

When I was kid, now admittedly that was a long time ago, I used to open a can, dump out it's contents and throw the can in the garbage. The can, after all, was just a container whose purpose had already been served. So it was open, dump and throw. Back then, microwave ovens hadn't been invented and most people cooked their meals from fresh meat, fish, fowl and vegetables which don't really generate a lot of waste. Meat came from the butcher wrapped in paper and veggies came in whatever natural wrapper God gave them. Potato peels, apple cores watermelon rinds and corn husks all got thrown on the compost heap, which did what compost heaps do, and ultimately furnished rich loamy soil to feed the garden.

Then we got more sophisticated and dinner now comes pre-cooked and pre-packaged to make things more convenient and consequently produces a lot more non usable garbage that we're quickly running out of places to store. The empty plastic and foil containers can't be composted, so now we need to recycle them. Of course gone are the days when you can open, use, and throw. Now after use, the empty container has to be stored for weeks and if you live in a townhouse like I do, there is no room anywhere to store enormous garbage, recyclable, and organic waste bins. There is barely enough room in the garage for the car, let alone these huge bins and smaller bins won't hold weeks worth of garbage. So that means they need to be stored in the house, the only remaining space. To avoid the stench of rotting garbage we have to carefully wash all of these containers before storing them.

This week again I marvel at how far we've come as I wash out cans, bottles and tubs, literally washing garbage before I pitch it out.

I'm all for protecting the environment, but I wonder if governments were really sincere about reducing waste if they couldn't find some way to reduce the garbage at the source. You know what I mean. Every time you bring something home from the store it's wrapped up like a mummy. Component parts are wrapped in plastic bags and then fitted inside protective styrofoam blocks with cardboard spacers holding things in place inside the cardboard box, which is inside shrink seal cellophane. Overkill much?!!??

A long time ago, when a lot of the jobs went overseas because of the cheaper work force, one of the ways a manufacturer could still claim the product Canadian made was if a certain percentage of the product was made here. In practice, that meant that it could be identified as Canadian, even if the only thing Canadian was the packaging, as long as the Canadian content dollar wise, met the threshold. Guess where some of the excess packaging started coming in?

In all fairness, since most of the manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, the products that we use every day have to come back from overseas to be sold here and in all that travel you don't want something like a large TV to get a hole poked in it just because it wasn't sufficiently protected.  But somewhere, somehow, there has to be a happy balance.

In the interim, I'm stuck here, washing garbage.


Monday, April 16, 2018

High Efficiency - NOT

After many many years of faithful service it's about time for my old washing machine to be retired. It washes clothes perfectly in a very short amount of time but lately it's been getting stuck now and then and when I go to throw things in the dryer, the machine is still full of water. It takes a little nudge before the machine will go into the spin cycle and empty out. It's a small irritation, but it's prompted me to look for a new machine.

I loathe front loading machines. I'm tall enough that I don't have a problem reaching down into a top loading machine and I've always considered front loading machines stupid. It makes no logical sense to me to have a door where the water is. In my opinion it's an accident looking for a place to happen. IF there's a leak in the door seal, there will be water all over the floor, which is never an issue with a top loading machine.

A couple of years ago one of my sisters, (I have 5 of them) replaced her old machine with a front loading model because she's short and another of my sisters recommended it. Ever since I've been listening to her complain about how inferior her new machine is, how it doesn't get the clothes clean, and it takes so much  longer to do a load of laundry.

Knowing that I might have some issues, I started doing some research. I discovered that in addition to being a dumb idea, 20% of front loading machines develop issues with mold, mildew, bad smells and clothes coming out of the washer dirtier than when they went in. That stupid front door seal needs to be carefully and thoroughly dried after each use, or the build up of stagnant water just stinks and gets dumped into your next load of laundry. Really impressive. Front loaders were never on my shopping list, but finding out about that little problem would have permanently removed them from my wish list if I had been looking at them. I know another alternative is to just leave the door open and let it air dry, but that means the door is permanently open where you can trip over it and if you do frequent washes, the fold over gasket that's used on some machines can still trap water that doesn't fully dry out.

Another thing I discovered is that most top loading "high efficiency" machines don't have an agitator, even when agitators clean better. One of the reasons I was given for not having an agitator is that it wears clothes out. Nonsense. I've always used a machine with an agitator and I have clothes that are older than my machine that are still going strong after hundreds of washings. I've seen dozens of reviews where people have complained that there clothes end up in a tight ball, and badly wrinkled due to the constant spinning of the non agitator machines.

It was at that point that I discovered the new "high efficiency" machines take about 50 minutes to go through a normal cycle. Really? 50 minutes?!?!! My old machine takes about 20 minutes to wash a load of bedding. The delicate cycle takes about 7 minutes. The dryer takes about 30 minutes to dry a load of bedding, maybe 40 minutes if it's flannel sheets. Which means I can wash and dry a load in less than an hour.

The comes the kicker. The longer 50 minute cycle, because it doesn't use enough water will probably not actually get really dirty clothes clean. They'll probably have to go through a second cycle if they're really dirty. So, my old machine can take badly soiled clothes, like the things hubby wears to work on the car and have them clean and fresh smelling in 20 minutes, but a new "high efficiency" machine will take 50 minutes to go through a cycle, but probably it will take 2 cycles to actually get the clothes clean, or nearly 2 hours.

I asked the sales people to explain to me how that was more efficient. Nobody had an answer, so I went back and did some research. It turns out that what the new machines are more efficient at is using less water and less detergent. They're not really more efficient at all, when efficient is measured in terms of cleaner clothes, less use of electricity, or more important to me, less use of my time. In a small household, we still have a couple of loads of bedding, a couple of loads of towels and 3 or 4 loads of clothes every week. I can't imagine how a large family copes with the issue. Especially when you're trying to fit that in around the less expensive hours of electricity consumption.

So, the so called high efficiency washing machines, use less water and less detergent to do a less effective job of cleaning clothes. Some machines reportedly don't use enough water to even get all of the clothes wet. Without an agitator, they ball the clothes up in a knot leaving them badly wrinkled. Supposedly, these high efficiency machines spin the clothes so well that they need less dryer time which is where they save on electricity. Except that the new dryers now have a steam cycle to put moisture back in the clothes to take out the wrinkles that the washing machine put in!!!!!!

I think I'll just get my Mr Fix It to replace the worn parts on my old machine so that I can efficiently enjoy really clean clothes in short amounts of time.

An extra note: I heard several sales people telling me that people are adding a wet towel to their wash which adds the water in the towel as well as increasing the weight of the load to trick the machine into adding more water. Which is probably good for most things, but some items are liable to come out with a lot of extra fuzzy bits from the towel.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Resurrection

Easter, is for Christians, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. There are some atheists and skeptics who not only don't believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, but they also question whether or not he was crucified. These people however are very few and no historical authority gives them any credence. It is a historical FACT that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.

Since I want to talk about history, not speculation, here is a significant FACT. The writer of 1 Corinthians, who is believed to be Paul, wrote his letter sometime between 52 and 56 AD. What is significant about the date, is that it is only about 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus which was somewhere between 30 and 33 AD. To put it in perspective, the attack of 9/11 was 2001 or 17 years ago. An eye witness of the attack could give you a very precise and accurate description of what happened on that day. There are a lot of people alive today who were eye witnesses of those events and well able to corroborate what happened.

I mention this because Paul gives in the first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 15 verses 3-8, an impressive list of people who saw Jesus die, get buried and live again.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."

So according to Paul there were over 500 people that saw Jesus alive again after the crucifixion. People who were eye witnesses to his death and eye witnesses to the fact that he was alive again afterward. You can trick one or two people, you might trick 30 or 40 people, but there is no way you could trick 500 people into believing a lie.

Why does this matter? Simply because if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then he was a liar and a charlatan. But he wasn't a liar, he didn't perpetrate an elaborate hoax. Just like the events of 9/11, the events of Jesus' resurrection took place in the open where people could see for themselves the truth of it. You, yourself know about what happened on 9/11, or if you're too young, you know of several people that can tell you what happened because they experienced it first hand. 9/11 is roughly as far in our past, as the death and resurrection of Jesus was in Paul's past, when he wrote that letter to the Corinthians. So we're not talking ancient past, we're talking about a current past.

If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, Christianity is a vain hope. 500 eye witnesses makes for very reliable information. Jesus DID rise from the dead and since He did we have hope for our own resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 goes on to state, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Death has no power over the person who puts their trust in Jesus.

Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you're not sure, you can be. Romans 3-23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" You've sinned. If you've ever lied, stolen, or cheated, you've sinned. Romans 6:23 states, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." So you've sinned and the penalty for sin is death, BUT God gives you the gift of eternal life. Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus paid the penalty for OUR sin by sacrificing himself. Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." The penalty has already been paid, you just have to avail yourself of it by confessing the Lordship of Jesus and believing in your heart the God has raised him from the dead. Then go share with someone what you have done. The Gift of everlasting life is yours just for believing on Jesus.

John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

If you have followed those steps you have passed from death to life everlasting. You belong to Jesus and He'll never let you go, you will spend eternity with him. You don't have to doubt about where you'll be, you'll be in heaven with Him. There's no better time than Easter to make that decision that will change your life forever and you too can be resurrected.