Friday, July 28, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
When I left her place, I got a phone call from the provider. He gave me a direct phone number, to get right back in, without going through the voice mail menu. I told him it would have to wait until the next day. He suggested I connect a laptop to her system. If the same problems surfaced, we would suspect a problem with the modem.
This morning, I hooked my laptop into her DSL modem, and it purred like a happy kitty cat! I remembered that yesterday, she told me that she had gotten an internet worm. Norton Antivirus had intercepted it. Since her internet was not working correctly, I couldn't research that. With my laptop hooked into to her internet, I researched it a bit. I googled "portscan Norton" and got a bunch of pages where people with Norton Antivirus talked about how Norton would inform them of a worm, and they would get knocked off the internet for 30 minutes or so. One post said that they had talked with Norton about it, and Norton people told them to disable the Internet Worm Protection and the problem would be solved. After all, Norton still has the Auto Protect Enabled.
I went back to Mom's computer, disabled that, shut the system down, hooked her back into her DSL modem, and voilá, no problems, except for a security notice from Windows XP that said that she was operating without a firewall. I enabled the Windows XP firewall protection (not Norton's), and she is surfing smoothly. Evidently, her Norton system decided to enable their own firewall (Internet Worm Protection), disabling the Windows XP firewall that she had previously enabled. She knew nothing about that action.
I have had my moments of rage with both Norton Antivirus and McAfee. I used McAfee early on, and then I got upset at them. Later I switched to Norton, and was happy at first. At OCC on our network, computers are protected by a corporate version of Norton. On my own computers (I use my own computer at work), I run AVG. I recommend it. Not only that, but now, once again, you can get a free version. I have computers running AVG free, and Kim uses a Dell laptop with a commercial version on it. There was a small window of time last year where new users (or computers) could not get the free version, unless they had previously used it. Kim's Dell laptop was new, and so I bought 2-years' worth of protection from AVG. Now, anybody can get their free version, which should be adequate for any home user need. Check it out here.
That's about it for now. Some people trust in the Nortons or in the McAfees. I don't. I trust in the LORD!
Rant completed. I hope you have a great day!
Friday, July 21, 2006
David and Rose:
Me and Alex haven't stay here long time, but nearly two weeks, so really has a little unwilling, everything in here, specially you!
Thank you very much for your to cook after all the time. At the same time, and thank you very much for your to take us to play. For instance--amusement park, go shopping, go to chapel, birthday party, play bowling, go to another city, and watched movie . . . and very thank you for your present, I really love it.
In Joplin, I felt all people are very friendly and funnly. In your house, I felt very well and you cooked food and ice cream are very delicious! In here, I eat very fully every day, and learned knew lots of things, so is very happy, interesting day, I very love everything in here. If I have opportunity, I must can come back here again.
When I will go back to China, I can miss you, and don't forget your kindness to us. I return the hope and often keep in touch with you at QQ. And hope if you have opportunity, also come China, OK?
Last, it's forever happy to bless you!
From Ricky & Alex 7-19-06 evening
Wesena Jordan got bilingual Bibles (NIV and Chinese). We consulted the Chinese teacher if it would be all right to give the students Bibles, and were told that they should be gifts from the host families. We got two of the Bibles on Monday. On Tuesday, I had their Chinese names engraved in gold letters on the front, and wrote a note to them on the presentation page. That was the gift mentione in the letter above. I also went to Good News Productions International, and got each of them a Source of Love Deluxe Pack for each of them. I think they came to the U.S. with the idea that Jesus is the "American God". The Source of Love could show them that He is every bit as much as He is Chinese as He is American. For an independent review of the film, click here.
On Monday night, we took the boys bowling. I was completely out of form! Normally I break 100. The last time I bowled was last summer in Tulsa, and I rolled a pathetic 89 or something like that. I rolled a 224!
Since the boys wanted to play more than one, they kept going, but the second game, they wanted to play just the two of them. Then they wanted a third game, so I played again. I didn't do as well, but still did much better than I normally do, 177!
Scooter Licensed. The Roketa Catalina is now an officially licensed vehicle in the state of Missouri. It has been dreadfully hot here. I did not ride on Wednesday, but will probably ride most days now. Since Kim and I will be sharing the Hyundai, I'm going to go ahead and change the timing belt on it next week. The husband of one of my former students, from Honduras (he will be a student in the fall) is a cracker jack mechanic, and will do the work for me. Taking it to a dealer would cost hundreds of dollars, so I can help him out, and he can help me out. He hasn't enrolled yet (August 21), but I imagine I will have him in OT History. I've had just about all of the most recent hispanic students in my OT class.
Here you can see a photo of my scooter illegally parked (on the sidewalk but in the shade) in front of OCC's library.
Kim Ready to Return. Kim will leave Thailand on Sunday. They will have a de-briefing in Florida. When she gets there, she will be able to call us, as she has a cell phone there. I think they should hit Joplin on the 28th. Hooray! They've had a great two months. You can read about it here, if you haven't already been reading her updates.
I hope that you and yours are doing well. May our Great God smile on you!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Only one thing! This helmet is too big for the kid in the photo!
Oh, well, I'll pick him up in the SUV in about 45 minutes, and go see the movie, Cars.
Have a nice day!
I'm in a weird mood. PotPorridge (in the title above) is my chosen word to describe what this post is about: Potpourri.
Chinese Boys. We've enjoyed having Alex and Ricky Martin with us. We've taught them to play Uno, and though playing card games is not my favorite thing to do, it has been fun. Tuesday night I went to Joe Becker Stadium in
Here is a photo taken by
I will be going to preach tomorrow at
Alex and Ricky Martin went to College Hts. Christian Church last Sunday (probably over 1800 in attendance, and tomorrow they will accompany me to a small church (60) in a small town in
They will be with us through Wednesday night. Not sure how it will work out, but on Thursday they will go to MSSU for their daily activity. All the host families will meet at Ewert Park for a potluck, after which all the Chinese kids will go to Trish Udell's home (Trish is an ESL teacher at MSSU) to camp out, until 3 AM when they leave for the Kansas City airport.
Scooter Update. I took the scooter for its first ride yesterday. It was fun! The first place I drove it was to a motorcycle/ATV mechanic. There was a short in the wiring harness that was causing the horn problems. I had not been able to fix the problem. I left it there, walked to the Joplin Public Library to hang out, then went back to pick it up. All is fine now, and in a little bit I'll go get it inspected. The scooter has a broken tail light lens (tab was broken off when the scooter arrived). I contacted the dealer, and they will send me new lenses. I'm hoping that the paperwork arrives in today's mail (the dealer confirmed that it is "in the certified mail"). If so, I can get the license plate on Monday. Look for photos later!
May God shine on you and yours!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I've learned some about scooters. This is what I have done to it:
- fixed seat latch problem
- changed oil
- changed fuel filter
- changed gear oil
- hooked up a "float charger" system to keep battery charged up if parked for several days without running it.
Tomorrow I'll finish the setup. Hopefully everything will go well. If it is ready in time, I may drive it to Barney's Lube on 32nd St. to get the Missouri State Inspection.
Report written at the request of Charissa. Look for photos later!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
This is how the sentence, "Hello, my name is David." is rendered in Chinese:
Ricky Martin and Alex are from Southern China, about a 3 hour trip to Hong Kong. They are from the city of Guangzhou (Canton), but attend a boarding school about two hours drive from Guangzhou near a village called Wenquan.
See below a map of Southern China (Hint--the maps appear to be very small on the blog. If you would like to see a larger image, just click on each map):
See below a map of the area near Guangzhou (both Guangzhou and Wenquan are highlighted):
Tomorrow morning I will finish translating for the Weekend Intervention Program, then preach in Spanish at Christ's Church of Oronogo. We'll have lunch with the Chinese boys and some former English teachers in China, then watch the final match of the World Cup of Soccer from Germany. The game begins at 12:30 PM (actually before we will get back from church). Because of the DVR, we can easily have lunch, then begin to watch the game (already in progress). Technology is cool! I think I will be cheering for Italy (is that just because the U.S. tied with Italy?).
Hope you have a blessed weekend.
Friday, July 07, 2006
When I asked them about e-mail, they replied, "We don't use e-mail. We use QQ!" And thus began my education about instant messenging in China. QQ is the primary (maybe the only) instant messenging system used in mainland China. I googled "QQ Chinese" and found a good place to start. I thought that I would just download it, and away they would go. Maybe I chose the wrong download mirror, but it took a loooooonnnnnggggg time to download. They were happy though. Since I have administrative rights on that computer, and I had granted them limited rights, I downloaded/installed it on my profile, thinking that it would appear under their profile. I was wrong. Maybe the download had an option to "install for this user only, or for all profiles", but I didn't see it, since the site was in Chinese anyway!
Once it finished downloading the boys went to work, and I went back upstairs, and soon to bed. I'm not sure how long the boys were messaging. This morning, Ricky Martin gave me my own QQ number, with password and everything. My QQ name is David. He also told me that both he and Alex were already in my buddy list. I messed around with QQ a little at the office. It was a much faster download. It was all in Chinese, so I don't know what I'm doing. When I got home, I got on the computer at home, and tried to change the password (that's wise). The text about the boxes I was clicking on were all in Chinese--in short, I don't know what I did, but I can't login as myself anymore, either with the old password or the new one that I thought I was setting. I'll have to let the boys help me out.
I am translating for Weekend Intervention Program at Ozark Center, so I'll be busy all weekend. Rose will pick the boys up in a little bit at MSSU, then take them to an American Chinese restaurant (she has a coupon), then to Precious Moments. Tomorrow, Steve & Charissa (Rose too) will take them to Branson. They'll have lunch at Lambert's in Ozark, MO, then on to Branson Landing, and finally to Celebration City. They'll stay there for the fireworks, so even though I will be translating all day long, I'll get home quite a bit before they do. They should be pretty well tired out!
On Sunday, I'll translate early, then leave in a hurry to preach at the Spanish service at Christ's Church of Oronogo. Tonio, their minister (one of my students) is accompanying the College Hts. Christian Church short-term mission trip to Saltillo, Mexico, where he is from. I was going to preach for him one other time (Easter Sunday 2005), but I missed a connecting flight from Chicago.
A Chinese young man who is a believer and attends College Heights church (student at MSSU), Ellen Wohlenhaus and Anna Flory (who have taught English in China) will come over for lunch. The boys will want to watch the the final of the Fifa World Cup between Italy and France. About the same time, the Cubs are playing on TV as well, but I can't think of too many good reasons to watch that!
Another mundane matter: my scooter is now at the UPS Freight Terminal 78 miles from my house. It will be delivered to our driveway on Monday between 1-3 PM.
May you all have a blessed weekend!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Last night, close to midnight, a van full of Chinese students pulled into our driveway. We agreed to keep 2 Chinese students, participating in the special Summer International English Program at Missouri Southern State University.
As far as I can tell, all of the Chinese students are from Southern China, down close to Hong Kong. The two boys that are staying with us speak a little English already, but from talking to some of the other hosts, not all of them do. We will have Anna Flory and Ellen Wohlenhaus (who have both spent extended periods of time teaching English in China), as well as a Chinese student who attends College Hts. Christian Church over for Sunday lunch.
The older of the two boys (pictured above and to the right) is Wang Zhen Hua (English name is Ricky Martin). He is 15 years old. The younger (pictured above and to the left), is Chen Xiao Kang (English name is Alex), a 12 year old. They will be with us most of the rest of July, and will have activities all day long (Monday-Friday) at MSSU.
I took these photos with my cell phone. I'll post better pictures of the boys later.
Hope you have a nice day!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Sickness. Nathan was sick on the flight up from Texas. We went over to her parents' home tonight, as did all of their friends. About 4:30 this afternoon, Emily got sick to her stomach, and was pretty much miserable. Nathan felt much better today, and had a fun time playing with his cousin. We will have an extended family cookout tomorrow. Greg and fam were planning on being with us for lunch, but have other commitments later in the day. My Mom and sister and her family, as well as Steve and Charissa will be over.
The Scooter is On its Way! I just checked with UPS Freight, and the scooter is on its way from Fontana, CA. According to the map of deliveries from Fontana, CA, it should take 3 days. The holiday messes everything up. It should arrive at a UPS Freight station in Springfield, MO (70 miles from here) on July 10 (a week from today). I will have delivery to my house with lift gate service, so I don't know if it will be that same Monday, or maybe one day later. Here is the evidence:
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Have a happy 4th of July, and be safe!
Sunday, July 02, 2006
This morning at church, right before the message, we had special music. It was written by Michael W. Smith:
Michael W. Smith - There She Stands Lyrics
When the night
Seems to say
All hope is lost
But i know
I'm not alone
There she waves
To the place
Just when you think it might be over
Just when you think
the fight is gone
Someone will risk his life to raise
There she stands
There she flies
Reminds us with red
Of those that died
Washed in white
By the brave
In their strength
When evil calls itself a martyr
When all your hopes come crashing down
Someone will pull
her from the rubble
There she stands
seen her flying torn and tattered
We've seen her stand
the test of time
And through it all the fools have
There she stands
By the dawn's
And through the fight
Being a rather critical sort, I wondered where the gospel appears in the song. I also wondered how such patriotic songs come across to non-US citizens. Within our fellowship, we have some international students. I'm reminded of a chorus that we sang when I was a kid: "This world is not my home. I'm just a-passing through." The Apostle Paul spoke of a citizenship that trumps our Fatherland:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Eph 2:19-20).
I love my country, and I can get moist eyes when contemplating the flag. I suppose it is even appropriate to have patriotic sermons on the Sunday before the 4th of July. I just wondered how it might strike foreigners among our fellowship.
Our preacher today was Kevin Klein, longtime staff member at College Hts. church . He began with some facts about Lady Liberty, who stands in front of Ellis Island in
Kevin Klein did a fine job in highlighting Lady Liberty, but moved on to the more important point, of highlighting what he called
Kevin cited Dr. James Kennedy's book, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, highlighting how it has been the positive influence of the church that has positively impacted civilization. The following major components of life are better because of the positive leavening influence of the church:
- Value of human life
- Representative Government
- Fair Trade
- Art, Music and Literature
So on Tuesday, I will be thankful for those who paid the price for the freedom we enjoy. I will pray for our soldiers that are in harm's way. But I will give greater thanks to God, who has taken me from being a stranger and an alien, and has made me a citizen of the Patria Celestial!
This morning we were awakened by a phone call from Kim! Yippee! The Myanmar team in now in place in Thailand, joining a group of from NMS-Intl that has been there. They are staying at a Youth Hostel in Northern Thailand. They have pretty much been incomunicado. The internet did not work for them in Myanmar. She wrote the weekly updates posted to the Myanmar/Thailand updates, but just sent the update via the e-mail of the national missionary they were working with. They were not able to read the comments left on their update site. Even though they are in a village, there is internet access there. They may be able to read the updates left on their site.
Each team member was supposed to be allowed 30 minutes. We went over that just a little. But it was good to hear her voice. Pray for her, that God will use them for His glory during their time in Thailand.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Scooter Bait and Switch. I've had some moments of angst this week as the who scooter thing begins to unravel. The world of the Chinese scoots is an interesting world. I had done quite a bit of research on the Chinese scooters, and had decided that the Tank brand of scooters was an excellent value for the money. You can spend a lot more money on Chinese built scooters, and you can also spend a lot less money. Basically, my decision to get a Tank was a compromise. I would spend in the medium range to get a scooter with a lot of happy riders. Tank scooters have an active online users group, with people knowledgeable about maintenance, and willing to help the novices (like myself). Stan Jessup has a lot of helpful suggestions. He wrote a piece titled Should I Buy a Tank?, which I read, and decided to "go for it." John Ebberts and Commuter Steve were also helpful in the decision. In the end, based on the Ebberts document, I decided to purchase through the same company that he had used. I thought it would be better, especially since that company is located less than 200 miles from where I live, instead of "half way across the country" (as had been the case for Ebberts).
The vehicle that I purchased (or that I thought that I had purchased), was the same vehicle that Ebberts purchased. Stan Jessup has lots of help on that particular scooter. What I didn't realize is that the company through which I purchased is phasing out Tanks in favor of a very similar line of Chinese scooters, branded with the name Roketa. About the time I'm waiting for the scooter to ship, I start seeing complaints about my dealer doing a bait-and-switch, and "I ordered a Tank and they sent me a Roketa." Users around the country (on the forums) are saying all manner of negative things about my dealer. I'm doing a slow burn, because I have invested hours in studying up on the Tank model. Another forum I have looked into belongs to a guy in Kansas City that goes by the moniker ScootDawg. On his forum I found another customer from my same dealer that thought she ordered a Tank, and got a Roketa. As it turns out, in reality, it is for all likely purposes, very similar. And in terms of quality, it may actually be a bit better. ScootDawg has a bricks and mortar dealer in the KC area who used to see Tank, and now is selling Roketa, because he is happier with the service. The normal warranty on the Tank model I was going to get was 6 months on parts. When I purchased, I was given an additional six months warranty. I thought the dealer was giving me better service, when in reality, the Roketa model I will receive comes with a standard 12 month warranty.
So, I feel better about the situation. People who thought they were getting the Tank model I ordered have received two similar models of the Roketa, one which may be a little of a downgrade, and another that may be an upgrade. I have a tracking number. My scooter was supposed to ship last night (as it turns out, it will come from California, not from Kansas). I contacted the dealer this morning to see if they could confirm that the scooter had shipped. My contact was through an online support mechanism, kind of like an Instant Messenger transcript. At the end of the "conversation", I can e-mail myself a copy of the entire conversation, so I have a written record of what they have told me. I was on "hold" (just waiting for the response) for a long time, and when Henry came back, I was told that they filled up two trucks with scooters yesterday, but most of them were smaller 50cc scooters, and that my scooter (one of the larger ones) would be picked up on Monday.
Realizing that with this mixup, I want an upgrade rather than a downgrade I asked about the specific Roketa model name I would receive. I mentioned that I had read about some who had received a Bali (what I consider to be a downgrade), while others had received a Catalina (the upgrade). I now have a promise that I will receive the Catalina.
I'm still skeptical, so I asked him how he could do it, since, hypothetically, there are scooters waiting in a warehouse to be picked up on Monday, and one of them has a shipping label to my house. It might be a Bali model, which I don't want. He told me that early Monday, they'll check and make certain that if my address is on a Bali model, the shipping label will be taken off and put on a Catalina.
You can see what the Catalina model looks like here to the left. I'll contact the company on Monday and try to confirm what will happen. The setup for the Catalina model is quite a bit easier, as it comes more assembled than the Tank's. If you are interested, here is a PDF file that describes what is done to finish the assembly of a Catalina. Quite a bit easier than the Tank Touring Deluxe!
Honey-Do-Jobs. There have been a number of honey-do jobs this week, but Rose has done most of them. While I was in BB camp, she was steaming old wallpaper off of our main bathroom walls. I helped just a little bit last weekend. I may have won some brownie points for being helpful early on. She did the lion's share of the work. That room was painted with a multi-step process. A coat of Kilz paint (lavender) was put on the walls first, then a green paint with a glaze was added, with a bag technique. It looks pretty nice. Today we went to Home Depot and got some stuff. I changed the light fixture in the bathroom, and one downstairs. I wasn't in a very good mood, so I need to repent. I skipped the wedding of one of my colleagues (I really don't enjoy weddings). Most of the colleagues were there, and kept calling me from Rose's cell phone to tell me that they were at a wedding.
Perspectives Course Close-Out. I also had to send the closing report of for the Perspectives Course. In the past couple days, I have been in conversations with a member of the Perspectives Task Force from Springfield. All of the Joplin Perspectives finances were run through an account with a campus ministry in Springfield, and that account needs to lie dormant. Sometime within the next two weeks, Chris De Welt and I will meet with people from the Campus Ministry in Springfield to begin planning for the Perspectives Course that will be held during the Spring Semester 2007.
They're Coming Tomorrow! Emily's sister Val had a baby a few weeks back. Greg will preach Sunday morning, then the family will fly to Tulsa. They'll get into Joplin late Sunday night. Emily and the boys will stay a couple weeks. Greg will be taking his normal day off on Monday this week, instead of his normal Friday. Tuesday is a holiday, and he will fly back home on Wednesday, in time for church that evening. I have to be on campus early Monday morning, but after greeting the new boss, will make an exit. Rose will be taking a Breakfast Casserole over to Emily's parents' home. We'll have an extended family cookout at our place on Tuesday, and Greg and Emily will be here for that.
Greeting the New Boss! Yes, I have a new boss. Mark Scott is still my immediate boss, but as of today, Matt Proctor is the president of Ozark Christian College. A voice mail memo went out last week. A pretty good number of us will line up in the hallway towards the president's office before 8:00 AM, to greet him on his first day at work as president of the college. We'll have a prayer meeting of sorts for him, then I'll run over to Benson's for awhile. I saw on the college website that as part of the convocation exercises on August 21, there will be a special inauguration of Matt Proctor as president.
Whew! That's quite a bit! May the LORD bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, and give you His peace!