Tuesday, July 22, 2008

return of the jedi padawan

My master plan is back on track with my starting a part-time job with my jedi master (the house flipper) this week.

I was fairly sure it might come back around again. And if it didn't, I would have kept volunteering for him in the afternoons as I found time. This flipper is valuable to work with, as he specifically teaches me many areas of the over-all flipping business as well as various trade skills I lacked experience in. I am convinced it was no coincidence that we hooked up.

This is the step in the direction I've been waiting for. Thank you CEO.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

evang-e-droppings #016

The offsprings joined me on the evang-e-dropping eradication operation this weekend. We netted an above average collection of tracts: 45. Last week I netted 50, and that was after being absent for the previous two weeks.

In some ways, I still hear no exact rhyme or reason from the CEO to carry forth in this operation. But something within me yearns for it. So I carry on, my wayward son.

In a weird roundabout way, I feel this is a form of worship to the CEO. I only know to explain this as follows:

One of the most influential teachers of my life was my high school photography teacher Mr. Byrne (and I've dubbed him this moniker because he looked just like David Byrne from The Talking Heads...and my teacher was a fan of his).

I was in Mr Byrne's photo classes for three years. And by the way, these were art classes with photography as the medium, as opposed to some sort of photo journalism based class.

Once we were studying some modern twentieth century artists. I remember Mr. Byrne teaching that the "art" behind Jackson Pollack's work was not the final product. His art was the actual making of his product.

The physical action of standing on a giant canvass slinging paint WAS the art as opposed to the canvass hanging in a gallery, which many might find ugly.

Call me nuts, but somehow I can relate. I feel that physically collecting evang-e-trash and recyclables and other trash IS my worship.

Or so I assume.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

no hype please

To add to my fledgling resume of writings amidst the world wide waste-o-time, I recently submitted a slightly re-worded (and retitled, by editors) report from a few months ago to Jesus Manifesto.

Join in or create a discussion there, if need be. Thank you for your support.

Monday, July 14, 2008

neighborhood updates 7.14.08

OBI-WAN: My dear friend, mentor, and favorite grease cook Obi-Wan is going deaf. Fast.

We don’t know the cause, outside of the obvious (old age). I took him to a hearing doctor appointment over a month ago. They did a full hearing test and evaluation and concluded that he needs hearing aids.

Unfortunately, this venture is being funded by the Veterans Administration (VA). The doctor’s office should have duct-tape their results to a turtle’s back and send him towards the VA headquarters in Big Spring, two hours west of the fair mother city. That would have resulted faster results.

Instead, we wait by the mail box in hopes of correspondence from Big Spring, approving a voucher for a free special phone and possible hearing aid(s). And thus, I have vowed to call Big Spring (a special number given to me by the doctor’s office) every day until I have made a complete ass of myself, hoping to make it clear that Obi-Wan’s hearing is getting worse daily.

No wonder most Americans don’t want government funded, full coverage health care. The VA is our only home-grown example.

JENNY: Our 10-year old friend was eating lunch with us the other day and announced that she wants to get baptized. Out of the blue.

I think she occasionally attends a church with some cousins or a friend. And so I assume she has made this decision from her soft heart.

I confess, my repressed church of christ upbringing got all giddy over her announcement. Every christian troupe and denomination has their own identifying trademarks or over-emphasis on specific biblical passages. The coc’s is baptism.

I think I kept control of my pushy, inner child baptizer. Although I did mention to Jenny that she didn’t have to wait for any big special ordeal to fulfill this decision. Jesus was baptized in some dingy old river.

And the Sanfords next door have an above ground pool filled with algae.

THE SANFORDS: Day in and day out, the Sanfords are somewhat predictable. I haven’t seen too many surprises pop out from them in our five-plus years of living twenty feet away from each other.

Unfortunately we missed their big fourth of July bash which also serves as Frieda’s birthday party, as we were on vacation.

As I understand it, The Tiger and The Bulldog are STILL waiting for a court date due to their crime involvement from a year ago.

This is amazing. The judicial and justice system are ridiculous. I’m not hammering for these young friends of mine to get justice as much as I want to see them grow up and face the music. I know from experience that these things really work on The Tiger for the better.

But to date, they’re barely getting a slap on the wrist.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


There’s a new character in the agent b world. Chucky is the coolest guy I’ve ever met. Ever.

Chucky and I work together when I’m on the jedi padawan volunteer gig. He’s related to the jedi master and has worked for him the longest of any worker. Something like six years. And Chucky is only 21.

He reminds me of Hank on Corner Gas (Americans wouldn’t know, unless you recently found it on cable). Except Chucky isn’t dumb like Hank. For a 21-year old, Chucky is brilliant. He’s incredibly talented and knowledgable in all avenues of trade work. Yet he’s very mild mannered and friendly and not an arrogant jackass by any means. He's always available to teach me some trivial task that I'm too inexperienced (or stupid) to figure out.

And his subtle, confident, timely one-liners keep me on edge. I love it.

Chucky confided to me that house flipping and trade work is not his passion or forte. Instead, he’s real into automotives. He drives this cool old beater pickup truck with some loud spiffed-up racecar engine. He hopes to go to some school in Houston where he can become a certified mechanic as he pursues his dream to have his own shop and build race cars on the side for fun. But all of that pivots on his wife finishing her trade school studies. Plus they’re raising a few toddlers mixed in there somewhere.

Those of us in the westernized, middle-class culture idolize academicians who make book knowledge their identity. But over the years I’ve witnessed how most high school and college graduates are very shallow in both the common sense and street-smarts departments.

I tink my bottle of abby ale to the Chuckys of our world. You are often my greatest teachers and role models.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

testimony #040

It has been ridiculously too long since a testimony report. That's not due to a lack of them. More like my taking the CEO's handi-work for granted. Here's a random potpourri of things I thank the CEO for:

1)Being in Houston last week reminded me how pathetically little money Agent Wife and I make and live on. Yet we always have what we need when it's needed. Even unnecessary events like vacations. Agent Wife was flown to Canada on a cousin's air miles. How cool.

2)I love beer. Especially good beer. Like micro brews and such. And I've somehow had ample opportunity to try several as of late. Life is too short for one kind of beer.

3)Since age 16 I have wanted to drive a truck. I borrowed money for various house flipping tools (such as a truck) several months ago. After 3 months of looking, I finally found what I've dreamed of. And it's even my favorite absence of color (like this blog). I've never felt like a badass behind a wheel before.

4)Our garden is excellent this year. Killer crops of green pepper, tomatoes, spinach (now dead), okra, jalepenos, yellow squash, and sunflower seeds. Even our peach tree finally gave a good crop, first time in five years. Also, our pecan tree is looking good which is funny, as this year should be its off year.

5)I'm going to be a dad again in maybe six months. I still haven't wrapped my head around the thought of having three kids. They will outnumber us...

And I'm sure there's a bunch more that I can't remember now. Thank you CEO.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

road trip return

Agent Wife was retrieved from George Bush Intercontinental Airport Saturday so we returned to the fair mother city today.

The Millenium Falcon faired well. Although her weather-cracked tires need replacing badly, and the AC now only works on full blast (in conjunction with the power windows that don't work - it's freeze or melt, baby), she'll still kick your car's ass. She may look like a hunk of junk, but she'll outrun the empire.

And today she passed the 250,000 mile mark. There ain't nothing like her. But I admit...secretly I fantasize about owning a new(er) mini-van or gas efficient SUV (if there is such a thing) for our growing family. Until then, the Millenium Falcon remains.


As much as I despise Houston (the birth place of consumerism* and title holder of "America's Fattest City" for three years running), I actually had some good getaway and reflection as well as time with the kids (hell...I was full time Mr. Mom).

I met up with some old friends from the fair mother city ten years back. They were there at the very very beginnings of my faith journey, back when I battled depression thirteen years ago. Now he's a project manager for a high-end home builder and she's a children's pastor at a vineyard church. He offered me a job anytime I wanted to move to Houston. Which proves that Houston has so much economic opportunity that a jackass like me with no five-year resume to speak of can get a job by word of mouth.

Too bad we don't want to live there.


In case you haven't read the most recent Agent Wife Files report, I direct you there now to save myself more typing. Basically...like usual, we have hit the ground running upon our return. Her friend's one year old child is back in the hospital. And there's yet another tragic death amongst the vast poverty culture we have inroads with. Her little friend Princess's cousin was murdered recently. Not to sound heartless, but I'm not surprised. We've known this kid since he was 9. He was either going to kill or be killed, or so it seemed.

CEO - help us all.

* - just my own musings and conspiracy theories, mind you.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

toll road church

More reflections from the Houston mega-empire landscape...

Being in Houston for the last week and few days, I've had to drive around on Beltway 8 a few times: once to take Agent Wife to the airport, then again last night to visit old fair mother city friends in the Sugar Land area.

Beltway 8 is a toll road. It was being built around the time I graduated high school here and moved for good, so I'm not overly familiar with it.

More than once I saw a few nice looking church buildings facing the toll road. I'm sure there are some back roads entry to these churches, but the toll road seems like the most likely route to get to them.

I assume these churches only further insulate themselves from the poverty in this city by their location. As if being located deep in the suburbs isn't enough. They are also located on a road that you must pay to use.

Just thought that was really weird, if not slightly disturbing. Any thoughts?