Thursday, August 31, 2006

Welcome to the machine...

Uncle Kurt had his interview at The Wishing Well today. By his description, it was pretty pathetic.

Pathetic, as in, typical dumb-ass non-prof nonsense.

From what I gather, to be accepted in to the WW program, a person has to be homeless. And perfect.

One can't have any addictions.
Can't be handicapped.
Can't have an illness like cancer, hepatitis B, or AIDS.
One must work or be able to work.
One must be willing to jump through their hoops for 12 months...

...then the WW can add you to their trophy list as someone they've "fixed", cash in some United Way money, get some media exposure, and live happily ever after.

Well hot damn! Someone please spray paint an addendum to that damned sign outside their building:

"Your United Way investment dollars at work HERE!

...creating false dignity one trophy at a time"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

1000 words

In my quest to prevent Obi-Wan's story from fading away, I have borrowed this photo "to share with a few friends"...

This is Obi-Wan (front row, center, wearing some kind of mechanics apron) and some coworkers at "Homer Mann's Gulf Station" at N. 1st and Grape, sometime in the late 1950's.

His boss, Mr. Mann is on the front left (with the big mutton chops). The guy who looks like Pee-Wee Herman was some loyal customer who befriended Obi-Wan. And the 2 guys in back were other workers, one was named Tiny.

Plenty more where that came from...if interest arises.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

whoring after other gods

The following text from Eugene Peterson. He's known for his translation of The Book called "The Message".

It's very prophetic in nature, so I think. Kind of Amos-ish or Isaiah-like.

Thanks to Agent G13 of the Boston agents for sending my way to this guy who posted this Peterson text and unknowingly let me copy it here.


“American pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn’t the remotest connection with what the church’s pastors have done for most of twenty centuries.

A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted…. It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills.

The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns–how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.

Some of them are very good shopkeepers. They attract a lot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. Yet it is still shopkeeping; religious shopkeeping, to be sure, but shopkeeping all the same. The marketing strategies of the fast-food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs; while asleep they dream of the kind of success that will get the attention of journalists.

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.”

- Eugene Peterson

Monday, August 28, 2006

dignity revisited

Uncle Kurt was released from the hospital Friday evening, one week after being admitted for not being able to keep food down. They diagnosed that his problem was an esophagus issue, which was cured by antibiotics.

But as the doctors checked him out they found multiple other problems: hernia, possible gall bladder issues, and some growth on his lung. They did some tests and will probably report the results at a later date. But for now, Uncle Kurt is A-OK and out of the hospital. The family and I got to spend a little time with him this weekend.

At the hospital, Uncle Kurt somehow had to visit with a social worker of some sort. I guess it's because they found out he was homeless.

This social worker suggested that Uncle Kurt check out The Wishing Well*, a well known local homeless shelter/rehab non-prof. The WW is not really a "shelter" as in, "come spend the night any ole time". Like all non-profs, it's a program.

It's a machine.

The WW houses a homeless person or family and trains them to manage their money for up to a year as they work out in the community. I'm sure the WW counsels through other personal issues as well.

The WW is real good at what they do: produce functional, independant, "productive members of society" (Agent Wife hates that term).

I have a fair amount of respect for WW. I worked with them loosely for 2 years during the izzy group's ministerial contraband gig. I made some good contacts there and I liked them OK.

But they are what they are: a machine. And although dignity may be the desired end product, dignity doesn't always exist throughout every cog.

So it goes.

I drove Uncle Kurt to the WW this morning to inquire about getting an interview for possible inclusion into their program. For some reason, I never thought about suggesting WW to Uncle Kurt in the past. It should work well for him now that I think about it. He wouldn't need to seek employment since he's 68 and receiving monthly SS pay. Plus, he'd gladly pitch in with chores around their facility. And he's not an addict, which is the only kind of homeless people WW deals with (the easy ones).

I really don't quite know how to put into words the small levels of undignity that was shoved at Uncle Kurt (and me) as we inquired of the interview process. I don't know how to put it without sounding whiney.

Non-prof machines like WW always have 47 hoops to jump through in order to receive the desired service. And the people working there usually expect everyone to know what hoops to jump through and in which order.

Sitting on the bench in the lobby, we were forgotton about. So I nudge Uncle Kurt to go ask the lady what we're supposed to do. Then the lady chews him out for ignoring a sign that's hidden behind a plant telling visitors to not go past the lobby. Then a second lady chews him out because he was supposed to CALL to get an interview as opposed to showing up in person like he did.


As a person who once had "counter power"...or like any employee working with the public, I can fully understand being on edge. It comes with the gig and those frustrations must be faught often.

But how does one foster and embrace dignity to the poor while working within a machine?

Is dignity within the machine possible? Is it possible within every cog??

*as always, all names changed to protect the guilty

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tales from the desert

Originally, I had planned a huge elaborate report of my current dwelling in the wilderness.

That ain't happening anymore.

I'm tired of whining and complaining.

My wilderness experience mostly involves my financial realm - or lack of funds. It also dabbles a bit with the question "what is my faith group/ekklesia (ie: church)?". But that's getting more obvious to me daily. Thank you CEO.

But the financial all time faith hero George Muller (Uncle George) absolutely refused to tell others his needs. He fully believed the CEO would provide as promised.

And so do I.

If I whine and complain and write about my needs on this blog, then what faith is there? I would be manipulating readers to have sympathy and therefore, possibly donate something to my family (assuming readers knew how to find me).

No more.

I want my faith to be real. I want to sacrifice. Like the young woman who commented on the last post with her sacrifice story. Basically, she chose to come to the CEO on her own. Yet to do so, she had to leave her boyfriend of 6+ years. He paid the bills and he was the daddy of her two kids. To follow jesus, she had to sacrifice security, comfort, stable kids, then embrace immediate loneliness.

That's faith. That's sacrifice.

I'm going to live that way.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Anyone out there ever been in the wilderness?

I'm serious. I need to know.

What was it like? How long were you there? In hindsight view, what was its purpose for you?

I think I've been in this desert-like place for 3 and a half years. I'm trying to embrace it, but feel the urge to run from it (if possible).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

a day in the life

7:15am - try to wake up

7:30am - coffee in the backyard with the dog. Try to talk/listen to the CEO. Mostly pay attention to coffee and the dog.

8:10am - make home-made pecan waffles. An Agent B family recipe. The pecans are my addition to the original recipe. Hang out with family.

10:50am - hang out at Obi-Wan's. He was having a late breakfast of oatmeal. I brought my work gloves in preparation to pull up some gangly watermelon vines from his garden and do a little mowing, maybe even tilling. Obi-Wan reminds me that it's Sunday and I'm not supposed to work on Sunday. At least that's what his mother always told him. I knew this would happen, but it was the only time I could do it. End up listening to him preach and listening to local churches on TV preach.

noon - Put Agent Offspring #1 down for a nap. Have lunch. etc.

1:50pm - Receive a rare call from Uncle Kurt. Learn that he is in the hospital and has been there for four days.

2:10pm - at hospital with Uncle Kurt. Seems in really good shape and spirits. Said that earlier this week he couldn't keep any food down for about four days. The interim director at the baptist beach head (where Agent S and family used to be) took him to a doctor who admtted him to a local hospital immediately. Uncle Kurt's been on anti-biotics and seems fine. He may get out tomorrow or Tuesday.

2:30pm - at Uncle Kurt's camp near the outskirts of the legendary Hobo Jungle to retrieve some personal items, etc.

2:50pm - back at hospital. Uncle Kurt asked about The Table and how that property was going that I was persuing. I explained the whole saga from Table Report #008. He's still very positive that something will happen someday.

4:15pm - back home. Sebastian and Jenny come over. They always want to play with (get attention from) Agent Wife and our kids. I think I have a short fuse with them sometimes, especially involving my new born, Agent Offspring #2. They want to touch AO2 on the face and get right up in AO2's face, etc. I'm sure these actions won't kill a new born and I'm not some paranoid parent about germs either. There's just something about sweaty, hyper neighborhood kids wanting to coddle my newborn that makes me snappy. So it goes.

5:50pm - at The Sanford's backyard BBQ that they called us about earlier to invite us to. I think the occasion was that it was Sunday August 20, 2006. So a good BBQ with plenty of Bud Light was needed. All the men (speaking Spanish) were on one side. All the women (speaking English) on the other. I was somewhere in the demilitarized zone. Good food. Plenty of free beer. Loud latino music from The Tiger's trailer home off a CD that skipped every so often. The cure was to hit the side of the trailer. Anyway, what more could you ask for?

7:10pm - delivered a plate to Obi-Wan from the Sanford's. He didn't seem to be doing too well. Had a bad cough on top of other things. But now he wouldn't have to cook.

8:45pm - bath time for AO1, then AO2, then me.

10:52pm - blog report. Hang with Agent Wife. Good night.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Table Report #008

Had a surprise phone call from Sylvia this morning (owner of the property that I'd love The Table to be located in). She has never contacted me before.'s been a nightmare trying to freaking contact HER, just to RENT a piece of property. Now I know why.

She's flakey.

I've suspected this a long time. But I'm always willing to give anyone a chance. I mean hey, nobody's perfect. I'm sure not. And what if I was mistaken and she wasn't flakey? Maybe she was just having a flakey day when I first met her.

But when a woman, who owns a piece of property I'd like to rent, claims to be a follower of the CEO, then proceeds to dictate every little spiritual aspect of my life in order to POSSIBLY rent a store front...

Well...I not only closed this friggen door. I slammed it shut. Hard.

I don't need a landlady who's going to cause any problems in this venture.'s nice to deal with fellow agents of sorts. But I think this woman would be a huge obsticle for The Table. Like a landlord who decides to show up and be a wanna-be prophet and pastor in everyone's life.

I'm really being nice here on this report. I'm holding back.

But I am flipping tired of flakey christians. What kind of witness is it to claim to be one of the CEO's children when there's no freaking GOOD fruit in your life?

In this case, I needed a landlord. And I'd much prefer a godless, athiest landlord who took my rent and kept their end of the deal as opposed to a christian landlord who was flakey as hell and wanted to dictate how things were going "spiritually" with The Table or anything for that matter.

I once hired a guy to do some sheetrock mudding, tape/bedding, and texturing in Obi-Wan's dining room ceiling. He turned out to be a flakey christian. Not only was his finished work embarassing, but he wasted most of my work time by sitting with Obi-Wan trying to get him SAVED. You asshole. Obi-Wan is not only saved, but he could teach YOU a thing or two about letting the fruit of your life bring glory to the CEO. That flake was fired and a christian that was only semi-flakey. But the job eventually got done.

Learned my lesson. Hire godless pagans next time.

My head's spinning. I get insensed by this stuff.

The Why Man said it best in a recent comment here somewhere. Something like: "if Jesus were walking the earth today, there would be christians trying to lead Jesus to Jesus".

Needless to say, The Table will exist someday. The dream is not over. I may have to start at square one again, but I trust the CEO will open better doors in the right timing...whenever that is. Meanwhile, I'm just casting nets.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Testimony #016

An anonymous card made its way to Agent Wife & I through Pastor Hawking tonight. It contained an encouraging note and cash.

Just when we were damn near broke. Thank you CEO.

Gone fishing #001

Some bold moves were made today in my future and therefore, provision.

The CEO is the provider of all.

But like The Book states in John 21:1-6, sometimes you just gotta throw a net out.

I throw nets out all the time.

But the net I threw out this morning could actually bring in real results. I knew I had a good chance at this fish bounty before I threw it. But this morning, I learned just how realistic of a shot I have at this deal.

I'll be less vague in future reports, should it come to fruition. And I won't know for a couple of weeks.

Should this come to pass, I'll have to trust in the CEO's unusual reasoning for it hapening...because there's no way in hell I would have ever gone towards this.

But I had a peace about it the whole we'll see.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Table Report #007

Still hot on the trail for The Table.

Pastor Hawking's potential fund-raising abilities for this dream of mine to be operational for a solid year has got me seeking potential properties. There's not a huge wealth places that would be rent-able as is - ie: affordable rent, functional kitchen, and located in the poverty pockets of town. But there's a few leads...

#1 - My friend (and izzy board member) The Insurance Man and I had coffee last week. Through conversation about my current property search he told me of an acquaintance of his that has some sort of non-prof deal that gave properties away to other non-profs. Yes...I am interested in a free place. So...we'll see if there's any fruit in that endeavor. Not holding my breath too tight.

#2 - FINALLY...I tracked down Sylvia, the owner of a prime location mentioned in report #005. She tell me she's going to discuss this with her husband and get back with me. I politely yet forcefully asked that she PLEASE call me even if the answer is no. I want to know if this location is a closed door or not.

Sylvia is a follower of the CEO. She may be a little charismania-ish, but that's OK because I've dealt with charismatics for 3 and a half years. I can fake it and speak their language if necessary.

There's something about her that just doesn't seem right. She's not very business-like and seems more concerned about specific details of The Table than any other land lord would be.

That can be a good thing. Or a nightmare.

more on membership

Folks are still adding their $.02 to the Membership post from a few days ago. I'm enjoying the input from all.

...just letting you know.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Yesterday, Obi-Wan got a rare visit from a beloved family member. His niece from Waco and her husband came by for the afternoon.

Obi-Wan has about 4 nieces around Texas who check on him fairly regularly. Regulary as in about once every month or 2. And usually with a phone call. But they have been known to drop by for an afternoon.

I've met this niece before about 6 months ago. Back then she was concerned for Obi-Wan's age and health and offered for him to move in with her and her husband in Waco. Obi-Wan politely refused. He's got his home and way of life. Plus, I and his home health care worker Nurse Gollum* visit him most every day. So he's not alone.

This visit, the niece and her husband insist on Obi-Wan going into a nursing home.

This is not the first time a person has suggested this to him. Nor is it the first time one of his friends or family members have tried to convince me to agree with them that he should move into one.

Getting old: it's a touchy subject. When people who love you (or appear to love you) have perceived needs in your life, they're going to suggest solutions whether you like it or not.

Fact: Obi-Wan is old. He is 89. He is an insulin dependant diabetic. His lower legs need daily attention. His hands are nearly frozen into a clutching position. He can hardly walk anymore. About the only thing he can do for himself is cook. And that's looking more impossible daily.

Everyone on the planet thinks he needs to live at a nursing home.

I don't.

His overall health and morale is very high when he's at home. Why wouldn't it? He's in his familiar surroundings and routine.

When he's away from home, such as the hospital, his health gets much worse. Plus there's the weird food, schedule change, etc.

Obi-Wan's stubborness is infamous. He's gonna do what he wants to do, period. That's probably why we get along.

But there's one thing about him that I've witnessed over the past three years:

When it's time for Obi-Wan to change something in his life because of his age, he'll do it in his timing.

For years Obi-Wan refused to ride those electric carts at the grocery store. I think he was too prideful. Plus he wants to keep strength up in his legs. But one day at the store HE knew his strength was down and suggested riding in the cart himself.

When I first met him three years ago, he was still mowing his own yard. The following summer he finally allowed me to do it as his balance got worse.

He knows his limitations.

If Obi-Wan needs to go into a nursing home, I believe he'll know it himself and he'll be the one to suggest it.

* - Nurse Gollum has yet to be introduced here on the agent b files. She is a major character in the life of Obi-Wan...a character I keep a strong eye on.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

old faces

Ran into a few faces from the past tonight in two different outlets. And the faces were from two different eras in our lives.

First, Jack and his family invited us to a graduation party for him as he's finishing his masters degree this weekend. We saw a few folks from the original incarnate of mission church, in which I and later Agent Wife was a small part of 10 years ago.

We received encouraging words from one of AW's professors from her masters program days. So rarely when asked "what are you doing these days" and we say "waiting on the lord" do we get encouragement and understanding. Thank you CEO.

Second, later at HEB grocery store we run into "Double O" from the old izzy ministry days. I love Double O. I really miss him. Bad.

Double O is a major alcoholic. Bad. he had a 40 ouncer that he tried hiding under his arm while talking to us in the parking lot. He and his wife Alice have 2 daughters. And I hear they're now grown up and have babies of their own. Double O and his family often lived with his inlaws when they were destitute and broke, which was often. The father-in-law wouldn't let Double O sleep in the house so he slept out in the tool shed.

Occasionally Double O and family would get on their feet, but the the alcohol probem made them fall. Every time. Tonight we were informed that he and Alice have separated. That's something I never would have seen coming since she's stuck by his side for almost 20 years.

I'll never forget the time Double O sat in my office drunk (he's always a little drunk) and broke down with his story. I asked why did he grasp alcohol so tight. I expected another run of the mill excuse-type story.

"You want to know why I drink?". He went on to tell me things he's never shared with anybody. His own wife never knew.

When Double O was about 12 or 13 some grown man in his neighborhood raped and molested him. Ever since, he felt ashamed and embarassed. He always felt less than a man from then on. He turned to drinking to forget the pain. And the drinking turned into an addiction that's killing him. And now he has no family left.

Years later Double O sat in a court room watching his rapist get sentenced to prison for molesting some other kids.

He looked horrible tonight. I'm surprised he's lived this long.

At my testimony and sharing, he wouldn't reach out to Jesus back when he shared all this with me. He even avoided contact with me for months afterward. I never brought up his story again.

I suppose there's still hope that Double O would trust Jesus and seek refuge from the bottle.

I have no idea what it's like to be raped and molested at the age most people's sexuality is established. I can't judge his addiction. I'd be an alcoholic too if that happend to me. Reach out to him CEO. He needs you.

Two old faces. Glad we received the encouraging words before running into our nearly defeated friend.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Much talk on several of the blogs I participate have mentioned tradition lately.

Denominational church tradition.

All have mentioned their likes and dislikes, pride and prejudices of their denominational heritage and/or background.

Is is wrong or sinful of me to not want a tradition?

Am I incorrect or foolish if I do not spend much time looking back at heritage?

These are sincere questions I ask. Not cynical trivial ones in passing.

I've never liked clubs much. Any kind of club.

In college I avoided joining any kind of social club, even the good ones that actually served the community and got made fun of by the rest of the clubs on campus.

Somehow or another I just didn't want to be pigeon-holed as something. I guess.

I read a lot of obituaries. It's the only way I can tell if old friends of mine from the old izzy ministry days have passed. Those folks usually had short life spans.

Obituaries always list every organization the dead person was ever a member of. Church, civic, political, military, patriotic, etc.

I don't want to be a member of anything.

If I had any say so, I'd hope my obit would read:

Agent B
He was a member of nothing.
He was just a guy. He loved Jesus.
He leaves behind a beloved wife________ and children_______and_______.

So it goes.

What do I care how it reads. I'll be dead.

I can only hope and pray that the identifying marks of jesus will be on me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

no mercy

Being a secret agent has its ups and downs.

In addition to my current assignment from the CEO, I have inadvertantly stumbled into an advanced level graduate program titled poverty immersion/seclusion study (piss).

Piss is basically a hands-on course on what it's like to truly be in typical yet various poverty situations.

Piss is not working with the poor. Piss is not being with the poor.

Piss is just being poor.

Piss poor.

Once upon a time I was on the other side of that proverbial counter doling out help, food, assistence, love, even jesus to poor people.

For 2 years I have been on the poor people's side of the counter.

Let me tell you...this can kind of suck. Here was my most recent experience and lesson:

Last month we finally hit a low place where we could not pay a bill - our mortgage. The money was not there. It was a lousy feeling.

Having worked with poor people in the past, I noticed that they tend to run and hide from situations like late bills and debt collectors and such. I had always counseled them to face the music. Contact your debtor. Explain your situation. Give them a plan. And do not run.

Now I know why they run.

My mortgage came due on the 1st. It was officially late on the 16th. So on the 16th I called them. I engaged them. I showed them I was not an irresponsible chicken and was not running from them. I was prepared to explain that I was, you know, a secret agent (OK, missionary) with a sporadic income and had only around $100 to my name so I'll send $100 and send the rest when the CEO provides. I needed at least $500 more.

Bingo! My engage tactic worked. The lady on the phone was real nice and volunteered to drop the late fee! Woo-hoo. I hadn't asked for that. But, as far as my $100 partial payment goes...I had to work that out with the collections dept. Fine. So she transfered me.

Big mistake.

Collections department people are not human. Those jack asses were giving me hell for offering to only send a $100. They couldn't understand that I was calling them...and offering some money as opposed to absolutely nothing. They even threatened to send it back if I only sent a partial payment instead of the full amount. They had no mercy.

Well good. That'll be $100 more dollars I'll have in my pocket as opposed to nothing.

The whole ordeal was slightly belittling, but rolled off my back.

Being piss poor has showed me why the poor, who are already beaten upon with life's difficulties, would run from something like this.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

come visit us on sunday

Agent Wife relayed a recent story to me.

She was at an event involving Princess - her little sister (with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters), Princess' mom and relatives, and a pastor of one of the relatives.

After this event and upon leaving, the pastor goes up to Agent Wife and says, "you should come visit us this Sunday".

A common thing for a church pastor to say.

But why?

...a few answers we threw around...

Why Sunday? Why not visit each other NOW?

Why assume that I really need what you have to offer at your church? You don't know of my relations with Jesus and the head CEO.

Do you assume I'm "lost" because of the company I keep (Princess & family)?

Why do you really want me there? Are you that concerned about my salvation? Or is it to have more people present, thus make you feel better about yourself? Or to generate better tithes & offerings thus job security? Thus, your job is really a politician, trying to please the masses...or salesman, trying to sell your church to me. I'm not interested. I want to be real.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

jus' ain't the same

Obi-Wan had a mild stroke during his hospital stay.

Nobody noticed. Agent Wife and I alerted at least 2 different nurses about a day or so after the fact. I guess there's nothing one can do after a stroke.

I still don't like that hospital.

Obi-Wan's been home since 5pm Wednesday. He's still pretty weak and not quite adjusted to his routine. That's expected.

I think this stroke has really altered him. He's just not his chipper self anymore. He can barely cook for himself now, much less get around. I'm hoping this is just a temporary strength issue.

There's a pressing need in me to do 2 activities with Obi-Wan that he's been hammering about for months:

1) Go to church with him.

Yeah, sure...I'm not real big on church. But he's asked me to go several times when he feels like "getting out one Sunday". I've left the ball in his court on this one. And I haven't reminded him of it because I think there's more too it. You see...Obi-Wan loves to "show me off" to his long-time friends who rarely contact him these days. I hate that.

And I once dropped him off at the door of his church 3 years ago, then realized he was using the opportunity to show the ushers how his "white" neighbor brings him to church because nobody from the congregation offered.

I don't play that game.

2) Go fishing with him.

He's mentioned this many times, but I thought he was kidding at first. He's serious. His hands are crippled and he can barely get around. But he wants to sit at the edge of a lake with a fishing pole in hand.

I need to get on this when his strength is up.

He dreams of fishing during his sleep.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Table Report #006

It's been a long time since I've written one of these reports.

Today I hung out with 2 of my favorite people from the cast of characters within the agent b world: Pastor Hawking and the Hippie.

It began last night. Pastor Hawking, of all the humans on earth, calls me at home. He rarely calls me:

PASTOR HAWKING (in that semi-swank, cerbral palsy sounding voice with a texas accent while trying to immitate a dope pusher): "Haay maan. Whatter you doin?"

AGENT B: "Nothing. Standing in my backyard with a hose feeling sorry for my pathetic garden. I need to just kill it off. It's become a waste of water"

PH: "Listen. I think I've found a place for The Table. And I'm pretty sure I can come up with the cash to fund it for the first a way that's legal. Ah-HAW...HAW...HAW..."

As reported in the above link, PH and The Hippie and their church is getting the boot from a local coc megachurch who owns the dilapidated property that they've occupied for 10 years, ministering to (in PH's own words) "the people in our society who broke into your house last week and stole your grandmother's stuff...that's why rich people won't ever support our church. Ah-HAW-HAW-HAW".

PH & co have found a store front for their church and have been dilligently remodeling it themselves. They hope to move in soon.

The store front next door to their new meeting place is a former restaurant which PH thought would make an excellent location for The Table. PH & I arranged to meet the realtor at the restaurant this morning.

I wasn't too impressed with this place. Filthyness and bad decor doesn't turn me off. Those can be remedied cheap and easy. But lack of key (expensive) kitchen equipment...and fire damage in the back by the central AC/furnace unit that looks fishy turns me off a little. And the rent was pretty high to my liking.

Plus, I wasn't real gung ho about the location. It's on the north side of town where most poor people live and businesses have left over the years. But it's way off the homeless beaten path. But I suppose the homeless would migrate towards The Table wherever it's location ends up.

This location by PH's new church meeting place use to house a greasy spoon diner until 6 months ago. We needed to go talk so we decided to get lunch at that greasy spoons new location.

Man. Talk about good eating. I had a bacon burger with a side of second-hand smoke. It reminded me of the glory days of The Dixie Pig back 15 years ago.

While there, we inquired with the owner why she left her previous location. The fire in the back is what initiated her move. It was the fault of poor wiring. The city came in and inspected it and determined it needed $40K to get it up to code.

Scratch this location from our list.

I then shared with PH and The Hippie about the location I found last February. They sounded excited about the location and PH is still convinced he could raise the money to get it up and running for the first year. He's good at that kind of stuff. I'm not.

I am going to try to get a hold of that owner of the property again...and event that has proven futile in the past. But we'll see.

All in all...a very encouraging day. It's not often a guy gets to conspire to create his dream with others who are equally excited about it. And Pastor Hawking and The Hippie are just cool guys to hang around. If I were writing a novel, I couldn't have dreamed up better characters...

heat update

Last night Obi-Wan called from the hospital.

His doctor is sending him home today. I'm picking him up sometime soon.

CEO - I thank you for this answer!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Poetry is not natural to me. I suck at it. Bad.

But if I were to write a poem now, it would be titled heat.

Somehow, if I were actually good with words, I'd tie in imagery of heat to words like draining, tiring, hopelessness, "on empty", etc.

Then I'd tie those words to situations I am currently in:

1) Obi-Wan: still in the hospital. Still facing potential amputation. The reports I gather go back and forth. I was not present during his doctor's visit yesterday. But I did get to talk to some head nurse of the doctor's office or something. She gave a positive outlook. Something about a non-surgury process that sucks the plaque out of clogged veins in his legs.

Then I call last night and he says his doctors said there was no hope. Something must be amputated.

I've never cried over another man's legs before. Or even mine for that matter.

Then this morning a different doctor said that maybe some sort of rehab is what he needs.

Basically, all of this is being filtered through Obi-Wan's poor communication skills. So I really don't know what's happening yet.

2) All vegetation in the fair mother city is dried up. I dug up half of my garden as it's a charred wasteland. I salvaged the okra and bell pepper plants (which haven't produced jack). They are hearty plants but are proving to be a waste of water this year.

Amazingly enough, the garden I planted for Obi-Wan is doing great. It's not a heavy producer but it's lush and green. Okra give off real well. And tomatoes and peppers are doing better than I could have guessed. Plus, volunteer watermelons are doing real well. His garden is shaded by a pecan tree for half the day, and the side of his house the other half. Therefore, it holds moisture for a long time. Plus, his soil is excellent.

As I'm told and as I read...Jesus lived off the people he ministered to. I wonder if that's kin to Obi-Wan giving me all his garden produce. He doesn't want it.

So, I'm getting fresh produce this year. Just not from my own back yard.

CEO - please bring relief from this oppressive heat. In our weather and our lives.