Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
On April 16th what type of water heater you can put into your home will change as new federal regulations are set to kick in decreeing only water heaters which are more energy efficient.
The new water heaters are supposed to be greener, better and cost-saving, according to the Department of Energy, possibly saving as much as $365 per year. They're designed to cut your bills because they also cut the amount of energy they use.
But the new models will also be more expensive to buy and install what with the new efficiency technology and the taller, wider size. Good news though, for anyone needing a new water heater right now as they will be allowed to be manufactured until April 15th and sold until they run out. If you think yours is on its last legs and like that old style you might want to be changing while you still can.
I am surprised by the new units they're describing because some years ago we had a tankless water heater installed in Collinsville and its the best thing we ever did. It is so energy efficient that the gas company sent someone to the house to see if there was something wrong with our meter. The best part is how little space it takes up as it hangs on the wall. And, you never run out of hot water nor does it have a pilot light which keeps heating all day long whether you're home or not.
Good news for us, tankless heaters will be A-OK under the new regulations.
From Market Watch: "Sales of 50 Million Dollar U.S. Homes surged in 2014". In 2014, there were more sales of U.S. homes worth between $50 million and $99 million than in the previous 10 years combined.
Actually there were merely 20 homes in that price range that sold last year, but who's counting. Most were in the New York City area. Financial critics claim: "The reality is if you buy a $100 million personal residence, you’re sinking that money into an asset that brings you no income and costs you money to have it. You could have sunk that into a real estate investment trust that could pay you millions of dollars a year."
Seriously, though, who really needs a 50 million dollar home? And what in the world is in that house which makes it worth the money? I'd guess much of the cost is due to location such as private ocean front, but still... Too bad the reporter of this piece didn't find it necessary to include a photo of one of these homes.
So many long time stores are shutting down and Radio Shack is the latest due to bankruptcy and there is some talk that Amazon will take over the stores in the chain. Radio Shack joins so many well known and long time businesses: Barnes and Noble, Borders, Sears, Famous Barr, possibly Office Depot, etc which have ended their run. In the case of Radio Shack it looks as though Amazon is considering buying the properties to use as pickup and drop-off centers for its online customers and to showcase its hardware.
It makes me wonder how stores like Dillards and JC Pennys has managed to hang on.
Today number ten speaks to me. "Bad decisions make good stories." We came over to Collinsville yesterday and spent the night because Dale is officiating at a funeral for a wonderful man. He realized this morning that he'd left his graveside liturgy book back at the sem. So I volunteered to go over there at 6:30 to get it. When I got to the sem house I found I'd left the house keys back in Collinsville so I went hunting for someone in the security office who could let me use the general master for 5 minutes. When I got into the house I went straight for the book Dale needed but made the mistake of seeing he'd emailed me his Meyer Minute so I could get it sent out. I put the book down on the desk next to the computer, sent the Meyer Minute, got up and saw the newspaper outside so went and tossed that in the car and left. I got all the way back to Collinsville before I noticed I'd left the book back on the desk at the sem. Ugh.
Local pastors are really great friends to other pastors in need and through the good graces of Pastor Walther at Good Shepherd who agreed to lend his book, Dale is finally all set.
Haha. Just had to use that kind of post title as a nod to all those crazy Facebook posts. But it's true we were taken aback and I guess it's because we just never go to movies. First off we encountered the computer ticket paying machine out front of the theater. This was new to us and although we are very computer competent, navigating through that series of questions was a pain and had us starting over several times. But we made it. Dale asked one of the employees in the lobby if there wasn't a way to just come in and pay cash somewhere. She said yes and pointed vaguely at a counter where nothing was happening. Also surprising-the cost for both of us was 9.32. Much less than we had imagined.
However the most shocking thing to us was our first look at the actual theater portion. We walked in and were looking at a sea of huge red comfortable looking seats with about 4 feet of leg space between each row. I mean, these seats were huge and cushy. The last movie we went to had the traditional seats where you pushed the seat portion down and then sat upright for a couple of hours. These seats we discovered, were actual recliners!
Wowser! Are all movie theaters like this now? This was comfort beyond measure. Innocents abroad in 2015 movie theaters. That was us.
We saw American Sniper and it was a strong film, a war movie to be sure with lots of shooting and things exploding. But the last ten minutes took our breath away and kept everyone in the theater in their seats when the credits began scrolling. No one moved for some time. Very powerful. There are no good words to explain the emotion.
Today I am thankful for the many thousands of people who will stand out in the Washington DC cold to march for the lives of the unborn. While members of the Catholic church get most of the press and bring most of the marchers, Lutherans are out there in force as well and have been for 42 years.
It's still hard to get the mind around the fact that life needs supporting. You can follow the Lutherans who are in DC today for the March for Life on Twitter by going to #lcmsmfl
Just about the time the morning light begins to take over the dark you can hear all kinds of sounds if you stand outside. Birds chirping, the hit of a single hammer, indecipherable buzzings, helicopter roars, car doors closing, distant traffic, isolated voices, single dog barks, crispy leaves rustling, all still invisible but heard.