Wednesday, April 02, 2008

When Zeffie Got a Clue (And Governor Jim Doyle Didn't)

Sometimes it seems like everything I read is about one topic. It has sure seemed that way since reading this article in TIME magazine last Friday. It's about corn based ethanol not being the clean fuel alternative that media would have you believe. The Amazon rain forest is disappearing at an amazing rate because farmers are trying to cash in on the high prices corn is commanding. But ethanol actually creates more global warming than oil does, and the use of corn of fuel is causing soy beans to go up in price as well (again, more destruction of the Amazon). And because so much corn is going for ethanol, the price of food is going up. So instead of being the next great energy resource, ethanol is actually increasing global warming and causing more people to go hungry. And so Wisconsin's governor Jim Doyle has decided that we should encourage the use of corn based ethanol with his Clean Energy Wisconsin initiative . Rising gas prices are causing price increases on a wide variety of things, especially food, and when you throw in the rising price of corn, our economy is not getting better. Yet the Big Oil reps have the nerve to ask for tax breaks. Jesse and I currently spend 25% of our income on gas, and it cost us $1100 to heat our home this year. If every cornfield in the US were used for making corn based ethanol, it would only be 20% of what the US uses in one year. Corn isn't the answer. Someone needs to find it quickly, and if they could make Jim Doyle wake up, that would be great too!

When Zeffie Got a Clue by Peggy Darty is the third book in the Cozy Mystery series starring Christy Castleman. When little Zeffie comes into Christy's second hand store with a jewelry box, Christy buys the box in sympathy for the girl's sick grandmother. But hidden in the lining of the box is evidence from a murder eight years old. Christy dives right in to solve the cold case with help from her Aunt Bobbie and boyfriend Dan. I read a lot of these mysteries, but Christy stands out as a fun, strong character. While she does tend to run off putting herself in danger, she is far more careful than most heroines, and her relationship with Dan and her family is solid. Christy's faith really defines who she is. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next entry.

I'm kicking off a new book contest today. Generation NeXt Marriage by Tricia Goyer is a Christian marriage guide for Generation X. As the first generation of latch key children who often faced divorce in their own families, they view marriage differently than their parents and grandparents. The book has faithful advice, great song lyrics from the 1970s and 80s, and anecdotes from couples about how their marriage works, all tied together by Tricia's grounded faith and insight. If you'd like to enter, drop me an email at clockstein at (replace @ for at) before midnight on Saturday, April 5th. I'll post my review on Sunday along with the winner. Good luck!

One quick note: please pray for Tricia and Nathan today. The transplant team is out looking at a possible pair of lungs for her. This would be the best birthday present for Nathan ever.