Sunday, June 4, 2017

Blog for June 4, 2017

New wheels for "my truck"

 If you have been following this blog, you will recall what happened to one of the trucks we have had for sale; the wheels were stolen and the truck left on blocks. We discovered later that a hole had been drilled or punched into the bottom of the gas tank and the gas drained out as a part of the same theft. While I was away dealing with the flooding incident in our home in Sandy, the Church insurance wheels had turned and approval given for the repairs. This week I found some rims somewhat like those that were stolen and had new tires mounted on them, so baby again has “shoes”! Now what remains is for the new gas tank to arrive and get it installed. We have plugged the hole in the tank with a flathead screw and rubber gasket so hopefully it will hold a little gasoline, at least enough to enable driving it to the repair shop.
You might wonder why I am reporting on this particular vehicle so much; I have had eyes on it since it became available for purchase and I am seriously considering buying it and driving it home.
We are down to the last few cars to sell (including “my truck”), and with no new cars coming to us for many months, the dust will finally settle. This will allow my replacement to ease into the job without the pressure to move and sell the older cars. He will, however, have something to deal with that I have not. In July a crew will arrive from Salt Lake to install TIWI devices in each of our cars. Most of the missions in the U.S. and Canada already have them. TIWI devices are smart devices that will monitor speed, acceleration, deceleration, lane deviation, and location information for each of the mission cars. Of course, some of the missionaries view these as Big Brother looking over their shoulders to track where they are at any given time and how they are driving, which is possible, but the real purpose is missionary safety and to save the Church money. Inside the car the device will alert the driver that he/she is exceeding the speed limit. It beeps to warn the drivers should the car wander over into someone else’s lane. These devices are used by many trucking companies and commercial fleet operations. Use of these devices has shown to reduce operating costs and control speeding. From a Vehicle Coordinator’s point of view, there is some additional record keeping involved, and since these devices operate from cell phone towers, there will always be problems associated with their proper operation such as when they get out of range of cell phone towers.
Our office mates, the Sefciks, are busy training their replacements, the Stephensons. As it turns out, Elder Stephenson is a real car guy and so is willing to do what he can to the help the car cause beyond his job as Housing Coordinator. This will be wonderful for new Vehicle Coordinator as the job can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially when car sales is involved. Our replacements are due to arrive sometime during the 3rd week of this month so we will have about a week to 10 days to accomplish what training can be done during that period. We have talked with them by phone and were able to share some of our experiences and provide some advice as to what and what not to bring. They are eager to arrive and get started. They are from Sandy as well and already know one of the MLS couples (also from Sandy) who are serving over in the British Columbia part of our mission.
As you have read in a previous blog, we extended a month so we could provide some training to our replacements. Had we not extended, we would have left for home on May 30th. It seems strange to contemplate going home. I had a taste of it when I was home recently dealing with the flooding disaster in our home. With so much to be done when we return, we won’t have much time to be idle or bored. We were already planning to finish the interior painting started before we left for our mission, and we are planning new carpeting when the painting is completed. Now, unfortunately, we have the entire basement apartment in our home to tackle when we return in addition to what we had already planned to do. Then there is the yard, which needs so much attention we won’t know where to begin. We will arrive too late to plant a garden so that is off our list.  We have begun some early packing and will soon be offering some of the things we have for sale that we do not plan to take back with us; a keyboard, a portable air conditioning unit, and a stationary bike. Some items like small bookcases we will donate to the mission.
Since our annual passes to Heritage Park will expire soon, we returned yesterday to revisit some of our favorite sites. We have mentioned Heritage Park in several previous blogs. It is a wonderful historical park with many historical buildings from Southern Alberta that have been brought to the site and restored. 80% of the buildings are restorations while the other 20% are replica buildings. It is like a step back in time to the turn of the 20th century including a restored steam engine and passenger cars that make the trip around the park every 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, the paddle wheeler is not yet back in service. We have loved the place and returned often last summer. I had hoped to place a few pictures in the blog from the park from last year (they show more detail than the pictures taken yesterday); however, my laptop continues to be locked up with a terrible attack of malware. I’ll include a few pictures that we did take.

Heritage Park Main Street

Wagon ride around the town included some fun descriptions of buildings and events.

No, not Enterprise, Utah. Not sure where this building came from. It houses some of the draft horses used in the park.

These little guys were speaking Russian.

Have a great week!

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