david maxey

February 27, 2009

Car Alarm

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 8:13 am

one_way_car_alarm_system

Car theft is a major problem in Khabarovsk. No one leaves their car parked outside at nights by the side of the curb. Cars have to be kept in special high-security lots, or impregnable garages to keep them from being stolen. It is unheard of for a car not to be equipped with an alarm system. Consequently, the church’s min-van, which I drive, is decked out with a state-of-the-art alarm system that is guaranteed to be theft-proof. I am  now a true believer in this guarantee. The only problem is, it works just a little too good.

Before I get into what happened, let me explain to you something about the alarm system. The system itself is hidden somewhere inside the dash of the van; I’ve never seem its innards and I don’t want to. The part of the system that is visible and functional is in the guise of two small electronic remotes. One of them is used to basically open and lock the vehicle’s doors. The other one is simpler in design but of much greater import. The idea is that without its presence in the car, the car simply will not run no matter what you do. Now to the thick of things…

Yesterday evening we had a glorious leader’s meeting at the church. After the meeting, since it was late and cold, I invited as many people as possible fit to cram into the van so I could drop them off at various stops on my way home. Everything started out fine. We were exhilerated from the meeting and the fellowship freely flowed. All of a sudden, on the way down an icy and steep hill, the van’s engine suddenly cut off. I managed to steer the van to the curb, where we safely came to rest. At the same time, the alarm system’s lights began to blink wildly and I knew that it was to blame for the engine failure. Now it was time to figure out why it stopped the car.

To make a long story short, we discovered that several contacts in the simple remote, the one that you can’t drive anywhere without it being in the car, had come loose and rendered the remote completely useless. No matter what we did, the car wouldn’t budge. We had to call on the aid of a brother in our church who owns a soldering iron to come and fix the remote. He came to our rescue, took the remote home while I waited in the car with several other church members, soldered the contacts, and returned the remote – a true hero indeed. A little after midnight, I was finally able to make it home without further incident.

I don’t know if this alarm system would stop a  dedicated car thief, but it certainly stopped its owner, the very one it’s supposed to serve! Perhaps the next time we buy a vehicle we’ll install the economy alarm system.

February 24, 2009

Defender’s of the Fatherland Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:15 am

eaten-cake

February 23rd is a celebrated holiday in Russia. It is officially labeled”Defender’s of the Fatherland Day”. As you can imagine, it does carry military connotations. In fact, I would consider it to be Russia’s version of “Armed Forces Day”. As it stands, this venerable holiday actually serves to honor all men (since all men are technically speaking defenders of the Fatherland especially in Russia where military service is compulsory), which makes it somewhat similar to “Father’s Day”. The point is, that February 23rd is the official holiday wherein men are honored and celebrated as a whole.

In light of this glorious event, the church staff (all female except for our live-in guard, Sergei) wished me a Happy Defender’s of the Fatherland Day today. They came up with a clever greeting card, spelling out English words in it using the Russian alphabet. Best of all, they gave me a beautiful cake from my favorite coffee shop “La Vita”. We all had a wonderful time celebrating, and best of all, we scarfed down the cake in short order. Everyone agreed that I was the best defender of my piece of cake, which though not as important as the “Fatherland” was certainly more tasty!

February 20, 2009

I Walked the Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 3:10 am

walking-the-dog

No, I have not abandoned ship! There are lots of excuses, all of them related to time, that I could give for being unfaithful to this blog, but I won’t give even one. I have, however, discovered a problem that keeps me from blogging more frequently – I am a writer. When I sit down to write, it’s hard for me to share something like, “I took the dog out for a walk today.” I have an inward drive to write something substantial, and substantial takes time. The good news is, I have come to the realization that it’s OK to write about walking the proverbial dog. Every post doesn’t have to be Shakespeare or Apostle Paul level revelation.

I make no promises about how often I will post from now on, and I refuse to allow this blog to condemn me, BUT my intention is to do it more often, even if all I have time to say is – “I walked the dog.” Now, if only I could find time to walk the dog!

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