Saturday, September 08, 2012

Continental DWS mileage/wear update

Just thought I'd post a quick update regarding the Continental DWS tires I have on the MINI. I've had them on for 10 months and about 19,000 miles now. Rotated them today and took measurements. The ones that just came off the front were down to about 6/32nds of tread. The ones that were on the rear were about 6.25/32nds of tread. Assuming the wear is linear, when I hit 2/32nds I should be somewhere between 38-40k miles. Which will be a little disappointing given the 50k mile guarantee they have. If it ends up at that level, I guess I may qualify for a small credit if I buy another pair of Continentals.

The good news is, the switch back to an all-season and longer treadwear means I am still a ways off from having to buy new tires, which was part of my goal as I was tired of buying new tires every year. Should be able to make it to some time next summer.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor should not be slavery

A little while ago I dropped my daughters off at a friend's house. A small group of girls were going to spend some of their time off as we celebrate Labor Day by getting together to make some bracelets.  They will make them out of para-cord.  Beyond that, I don't know much about the bracelet making process. What I do know is that even though making bracelets could be considered work, in this case it is just a fun activity for some children.

Unfortunately, not all children are so blessed to be able to spend time just being kids. Instead, some children end up spending time being slaves. Slaves? Yes, you read that right, slaves. If you observed the U.N.'s recent "day" to recognize the end of the slave trade, you may be thinking, "huh?" Sadly, slavery is still alive and kicking in our world.
"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last week I happened across an effort underway to address child slavery and child trafficking issues in Africa - the Mercy Project. The Mercy Project is currently working in Ghana where extreme poverty weighs heavily on all who live there. Unfortunately, the poor conditions are putting mothers in a bad position - either watch their children starve to death or sell them to someone who will take care of them. These people who buy the children promise they will take care of them by providing food, housing, and an education. That is all a sham though as the children are really sold into slavery to work in the Ghana fishing industry. Bought for only $20, these child slaves are forced to work 14 hour days, 7 days a week, usually on nothing more than a single meal per day and a dirt floor to sleep on. The Mercy Project estimates there are 7,000 children in slavery in the Lake Volta fishing industry, some as young as 5 years old.

To help raise awareness of the issue of child slavery and child trafficking, the Mercy Project has produced this short documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4Dwv5KbMYI

Mercy Project is working eliminate the slave trade in Ghana and the economic structure that allows it. They are hopeful that later this month they will be able to free their first group of children.

If you would like to help or would like more information, please visit the Mercy Project's web site at www.mercyproject.net. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @mercyproject.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Beginnings and Endings

I always find it interesting when I "see" connections being made. A couple days ago I had written about rebooting this blog and yesterday I had been thinking about some possible entries. Today I decided to check out a new devotional using my Logos software - Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. The entry for today focuses on Acts 2:1-41, the story of Pentecost. As the devotion writer Rebecca Kruyswijk notes, the story is about beginnings. They may not have realized it at the time, but the early Christians who were present were part of the beginning of the new Christian church.

As we spend time this weekend celebrating Labor Day, many people see it as a time of ending. The end of summer, the end of vacations for a while, the end of their time off from school. Many are preparing themselves to put their noses back to the grindstone until the next big batch of holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas - roll around and they get another respite. Likewise, for Jesus' followers, it would have been an easy time to bring things to an end. The reign of the Messiah on earth had seemingly come to an end. Time to get back to being good members of the Jewish community and paying attention to their customary work.

Fortunately, those early Christians did not see things that way. Instead, they tapped into the enthusiasm of Pentecost and began their work of spreading the gospel. We need to do the same thing. As we start the fall season, we can all renew our efforts and excitement in spreading the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.