Saturday, July 01, 2006

Glad the Week is Over!

Basketball Camp. Whoa! This week wasn't all that fun! For most of the week, I worked at OCC's Sr. High Girls Basketball Camp. Compared to the Jr. High camps that I had worked a couple weeks before, this was a cakewalk. In reality, however, I probably enjoyed the Jr. High weeks more, though. Why? Because during the Sr. High camp, I co-coached a team. It was easier for me to take a back seat role, and assist than try to split responsibilities in a true co-coaching situation. From Sunday night until Thursday afternoon, however, it was nothing more than basketball camp.

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 term
s 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 c
ame 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!


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