Winged taxi driver

My last paycheck was good enough to pay the July rent by its lonesome, without the money I had saved from the previous one. And I could afford $20 in gasoline today. Praise be to God.

I got a good 7½ to 8 hours in at inventorying a Kmart Supercenter in Chillicothe yesterday. Praise be to God.

And as I expected, the Census Bureau has invited me to their training for verifying vacant and deleted addresses. I’m not quite sure I know what that entails. Praise be to God.

But I must confess to still being a tad faithless, and wondering why God would choose to leave my car, electricity, and Internet in big jeopardy.

Last night, I drove Wolfdog out to a Western Union money station at the corner of Cleveland and Weber because none of the local Kroger stores had access to the WU servers. While I was at that place, I picked up a copy of the Employment Guide.

I think this little periodical is a colossal waste of newsprint because at least half of it is given to advertisements for trade schools and colleges, leaving precious little space for ads from actual employers seeking help. One little one column by two inch ad caught my eye, though, one wanting taxicab drivers.

I would obviously be desperate to consider such a line of work, but taxi driver does have much in common with some of the other jobs God has allowed me to have in recent years, jobs that at first forced me to talk to real people via telephone, and then moved me on to meeting real people face to face. It’s also the direct result of a serendipitous discovery made while helping those less mobile than I. It does follow several patterns.

I have the skills to be a taxi driver. My driving record has been free of violations since the mid 1980s and free of accidents since 2004, when I drove a security cruiser and had to take a falling tire from a flatbed truck full on rather than swerve around it at freeway speeds and probably spin out, taking 5 or 6 other vehicles with me.

To this day, I still believe I made the best possible driving decision. Give me the exact same scenario, and I’ll do the exact same thing.

I will not count the hit and run punishment Ooo Shinee took late last May. I was not behind the wheel. And the more I think about it, the more the word “punishment” seems to fit. The hoods in this ‘hood don’t take kindly to any form of snitching to the feds, even if it is only names, genders, races, and birth dates.

Anyway, to bring this back to driving taxis for a living, I’m sure I can do this job, and I’ll most call the number in the morning.

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Myth and fact

Let me let you in on a little thing God let me in on tonight.

MYTH: God cannot move in a miracle in your crisis because you do not have enough faith.

FACT: God created the earth and the heavens at a time when there were no humans around to provide the faith. The sea, the land, the atmophere, all the animals, the Garden of Eden that was to provide Adam and his descendants with food, everything came before Adam drew his first breath. Human faith had zero hand in all that. If God needed human faith to get anything done, He’d have gotten nothing done.

If God can do all that creating on zero faith, then God can provide my needs for a job and money on anywhere from 1% to 99% of the required amount of faith. That’s a very comforting thought, as there is no way to gauge how much faith I have or how much faith I allegedly need.

What is faith? It is confidence that God can and will give me what I ask, in accordance with His promises. I have the creation story to tell me that God can do it, and I have Luke 12:29-32 to tell me that God will do it.

Guess what. I think I’ve just demonstrated that I have “enough” faith.

Dale the salesman

Dale is a grizzled old geezer who lives just a stone’s throw from my own one-bedroom flat. He appears very desperate to sell me stuff. So far this afternoon, he’s offered me his computer printer, and a telephone shaped like a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

My God, where is he getting the idea that I’m the guy with all the cold hard cash? And why is he coming after me with more stuff to sell, as if I am holding out on him?

It’s not like I’m living like a sultan surrounded by shapely belly dancers. I’m trying to hang onto my money. I figure with what I have on hand, I should be able to pay Thursday’s rent even if my penultimate Census paycheck comes in at an anemic $300 and change.

I feel bad for him. I really do. He doesn’t make being freshly unemployed from the US Census Bureau very easy. And nor does Santander Consumer, who collected $250 just six days ago. They’re getting on my cell phone with a vengeance, trying to get my car payments back on track. They care not one whit for my rent.

I need to get to bed. I need to be up at 3:00 AM for an inventory count.

Retraction: Pastor Sid

I have personally conversed with Lynne Applewhyte of House of Prayer’s pastoral staff. She tells me that Carl Honeycutt, under the  avatar name Sid Lamilton, left House of Prayer, and Second Life, to pursue a career outside the ministry. It’s as simple as that. Nobody asked him to leave the pastorship of HoP with the possible exception of God Himself. Lynne also denies that Pastor Samuele Shepherd ever counselled with HoP’s pastoral staff in the days immediately after Carl left.

There is nothing wrong or untoward about the circumstances under which Carl Honeycutt left his Second Life ministry. I was wrong to imply in any way that there was. I am deeply sorry for the hand I took in needlessly soiling an innocent man’s reputation, and I want to make it right. To that end, I have removed the post titled “HoP Pastor Steps Down”, as there is no room for inaccurate material in this blog.

I thank God I said nothing at all about the “other misdeeds”, or I would have been as guilty of libel as any blogger can possibly be.

I am reminded of a strong disagreement I had with the content of a sermon preached Rev. Nowintimeasnare Foxtrot at last March’s Let It Rain revival. I committed the egregious error of writing about it here first ahead of meeting with Rev. Nowin privately to tell him of my objections. Although circumstances here are quite different, the sin I committed is absolutely the same.

I gossipped!

Yes, I was right in boldfacing and italicizing that word. This sin needs to be laid out before you, naked as a jaybird, so you can see all its ugliness before God. I was wrong to do it, and ask the forgiveness of all and sundry, especially that of Carl Honeycutt.

The recent developments have impressed upon me how remarkably small a world the Internet can be. Content from one site is regularly plagiarized to another, usually for the purpose of framing it with a sponsor’s advertisements. The may account for how a backlink to BSC got into a page on Facebook.

The stats page of my blog tells me that new readers, contributing to a high spike of 50 readers overall last Friday, accessed this blog from a page on Facebook. I still haven’t found the exact Facebook page that makes reference to Page 5 of BSC. I would appreciate it if you can tell me where I can find this link.

In any case, I find myself questioning my involvement in blogging. If I am forever bound to publish nothing about wrongdoing until I have privately warned the wrongdoer, away from prying eyes, then what good is this blog?

That is a good question. Maybe it falls to me to provide a good answer.

End of Census NRFU

The Non-Response Follow-Up phase of my work for the U.S. Census ended Tuesday. I performed well at it, and I fully expect to be called back in a week or two for verifying vacant and deleted addresses.

The paycheck I got Wednesday was good, and most importantly, PNC Bank did not find any tiny fraction of an excuse to take any of it. A surprise charge from Intelius People Look-up had me 98¢ overdrawn over last weekend, but I disputed that as an unauthorized charge, and PNC reversed that, and the overdraft fee that it caused.

I agreed to make a car payment to Santander Consumer for Wednesday, and I spent Wednesday chewing my fingernails almost up to the second knuckle. The confirmation email I got that morning had me thinking that the payment would go through before my pay was safely out of that digital limbo called a pending queue. Fortunately, the Santander payment didn’t show up until today.

Sadly, out of work is out of work. There was this career fair going on at the Aladdin Shrine Center yesterday, but I willfully missed that and did two loads of laundry instead. It would be wasted effort to go there with my clothes reeking to knock a buzzard off a gut wagon.

Ooo Shinee is fueled up and ready for the upcoming week of inventory work, and I believe I’m set up well for paying the rent next Wednesday. All is going to plan, and I did the best I possibly could, and got the best I could possibly hope for.

After that? Well, I don’t quite know. Kindly keep me in your prayers.

Nasty tendencies

I’m starting to notice this as I move about in Second Life and in recent years in real life.

It seems that I have to be convinced that it is in my best interest to learn something before I take the time and effort to learn it. There are advanced building techniques and LSL scripting available to be learned in SL, and you will be among the more sought-after and admired people if you learn them, if not the most well-paid. It’s the same way with the computing world at large.

However, if I attempt to learn any of this, I quickly reach a point where my mind rebels and refuses to take in any more of this much-coveted knowledge.

Something inside me asks some pretty tough questions. What’s in it for me? How will it get me what I want? The stuff I learn has to be useful, or I won’t learn it.

And don’t give me that garbage about how people will pay me to know it. I’ve been down that street before. Twice. I’ve studied two disciplines, Environmental Safety and Computer Administrative Assisting, only to find out people won’t pay me to know those things. Both were a waste of time and tuition money. Computing and the Internet are giving rise to new disciplines that you must know to earn any appreciable money, but I don’t want to be burned again. I therefore learn only what benefits me and helps me do what I’m responsible for. Screw everything else.

I just thought of something. This reluctance to do anything because it’s proven itself in the past to be a waste of resources. Could this be … management? Am I learning to manage things? Have I learned enough about managing things to possibly consider getting a management position? I don’t have management experience.

I can’t hang onto an entry level position long enough to lead my own team. Maybe that’s what’s wrong. At my advanced age, maybe employers expect me to have some management experience under my belt, and perhaps toss me away as useless without it. I probably have what it takes intuitively to lead a small team, but I don’t have the formal management experience one would expect of me by this point in my life.

Speak to me. The comments are open. What would you suggest?

RGIS and Census

Non-Response Follow-Up will officially end after tomorrow. We’ve been directed to bring back all our questionnaires and binders, done or not done, and report to their office Sunday morning at 10:00. After that, we will begin verifying vacant addresses.

RGIS Inventory, dead silent until today, burped out a full slate of six inventory counts for the week ending July 2. I was thrilled to see this. In confirming my schedule, I wrote back, “Woo-hoo! I’m ready for all of it. Bring it on!”