Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time to Work on the Car Again
We had to retire the Old Blue Goose that my daughter drove.  She was a good old car but just had too many expensive issues to fix.  We donated her organs to the U-Pull-It junk yard and acquired a '96 Corsica with lesser issues.  When we bought the car, we knew it would need some TLC.  The front brakes were replaced and then there was a wheel issue.  Can anyone see the problem?  Anyone?  Anyone?
Yes, you are correct.  Two lug nuts are missing.  Not only are they missing but the studs are twisted off.

After two hours of repair, the problem is once again under control with all five lug nuts tight and the tire is secure.

 Unfortunately the very next night while on the way to Walmart for a poster board for her  school project my daughter had this happen.  It blew out the back window and crunched the fenders so much that the back doors couldn't be opened.  Since this was an old junker, I expect the insurance will just total the car then it becomes what is the car worth.  With 180K miles, I don't think it will be worth much.  My daughter went to the ER and she only had bruises and they gave her pain pills.  She's still stiff and sore with pains around the ribs.
 Once again we are down to one car.  Depending on reimbursement we get for the car from the insurance company will determine whether we can get a car right away or have to save awhile to purchase another.

Now the next thing is to fix the kitchen sink that started leaking.  Nice.  I better get to it so see ya next time I have a free moment to blog.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joplin Missouri Tornado

Most have heard of the tornado that tore through Joplin Missouri on May 22 in late afternoon. It was a mile wide and stayed on the ground for two miles. This tornado was one of the most destructive single tornadoes on record. In its path only total destruction remains. Television reports and video snippets do not begin to give the perspective of the magnitude of destruction from this massive tornado. This picture is one snapshot of what is a mile wide and two miles long. Nothing was left undamaged in its path. It was hard to imagine how anyone lived through this destruction but story after story has been told about how lives had been spared.

In the background you can see the now famous St. John's Mercy hospital. This is a nine story building that was virtually destroyed from the power of the tornado. The windows were blown out and the tornado was able to generate enough lift on the building to twist the building four inches off the foundation. In the fore ground, you can see what happened to many cars in the parking lot of the hospital.

This is a picture of one of the service trucks of the hospital. I would say that it is a standard 26 foot straight truck. This truck I would guess was rolled up the hill from the hospital and hurled against this tree. The massive power from this tornado literally wrapped the truck frame around the tree. On the right side you can see the back tires and on the left side you can see the cab and front of the truck.

This is a picture of the backside of the tree with the bent frame. That had to be one tough tree to stand strong against a force like that.

This is a closer look at the truck frame bent around the tree.

Here is the temporary care facility that is maybe a mile from the destroyed hospital. The camera couldn't capture the entire facility and this is only about half of the unit.

The overwhelming magnitude of destruction of property and the emotional trauma to the families in this situation was personally very emotional at times. To hear the heart wrenching stories of total loss or death in the families gave me a totally different perspective on what's important in life.

More later. In the mean time be safe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Alabama bound and not bound

Here are two of the vehicles in our Alabama convoy. We, 30 folks, expecting to be deployed on Monday May 2 to or near Tusculoosa, Alabama. We staged these two vehicles as well as another flat bed trailer with a ScatTrac (similar to a Bobcat) with front end attachments to move and pile trees. We had loaded up 120 gallons of drinking water, a portapotty, two generators, a small freezer, and many coolers to carry food. Our chainsaw trailer was ready to go as well as a large tent trailer with tables and chairs. We were staged and ready to go for a fully contained independent crew. The word came from above to hold fast and wait another day until details could be sorted out. Tuesday came and went as well as Wednesday. Thursday the word came that we were to stand down for now. Many factors went into the decision. It seems that because of all the TV coverage every man with a chainsaw that was any where close to the area piled into their vehicles and headed toward the area of concern. Search and rescue were still going on as they tried to find the missing people. Power had not be restored and home owners were not allowed into the areas of devastation yet. Our crew needs to have signed permission to work on tree removal before we can do the work for liability purposes.

We diverted back to a building project in Burlington Kansas that we originally had intended on doing electrical work on Monday May 9th after having to unload all the chainsaw stuff and reload these two trailers with electrical stuff. Upon arriving at Burlington Kansas to work on electrical for a new church multipurpose room, we found no roof yet. Ah, electric and rain water just don't mix. After spending a day trying to find some thing to do, I just returned home. So even though it was a disappointment, I am quite certain there will be great opportunity to serve in the coming months.

Thank you for your prayers. Even though it looked like they were not required, it could have been quite eventful if we had deployed and had the flood waters block our trip back home. So for now we will have to be vigilant in prayer for those that are struggling to survive through the tornado stricken areas and now the flood ravaged areas. I have received word that in the flood areas the rats and snakes are invading the living areas of the shelters to avoid the flood waters. Pray for those in these areas to be protected from all dangers known and unknown.

Thank you again for praying for our safety. I truly believe we were not in harms way because you prayed.