For reasons somewhat unknown to me, other people find great humor in my own background, which includes a substantial amount of time living in the ghettoes of East Tampa and South Central Los Angeles. Perhaps my intellectual nature and somewhat prim and reserved personality makes it difficult for people to avoid the ironies of thinking of me as the most unlikely of gangsters, but today provided plenty of opportunities for me to regale my coworkers with stories about my thug life while we were having lunch together, drinking sweet tea and eating BBQ, as I am wont to do as often as possible. Shortly after we returned from lunch, one of those coworkers had designed a mock-up for a report we have been working on, and he changed the name of one of our lead sources to Underground Chicken, which prompted a lot of laughter and prompted me to retort, “That’s a waste of good chicken.” Chicken is for eating, after all, not for sticking underground .
One of the important but often neglected aspects of life relate to supply and logistics. Although I do not believe that I have any particular native skill for the study, for one reason or another I have often found myself dealing with matters of supply and logistics. From childhood, the importance of being a wise steward of very limited resources has been brought often and forcibly to mind, and I would like to think that the lesson has been well-learned, within constraints. There are many things that one can be a wise steward of. My generally organized and orderly ways make it generally easy for me to work with others and provide timely reports and information to assist the plans and projects of others, and I tend to find myself often provided with various projects, wherever I have been, that have required the skillful use of time, money, and other resources. Even the events of our lives are resources to be stewarded wisely—I seek not to let even the experiences of life be wasted, and as a result of my memory and reflectiveness, I find that other people view my life as more exciting than it usually has been, and I have found amusement and food for thought even in the face of a fairly mundane life .
Like many people, I am a creature of habit. When I drive to Tacoma, like I did this evening, I am usually trying to avoid the Portcouver traffic, so there’s a way I tend to go. There is a restaurant I stop at along the way, in this case in the late afternoon on my way to Tacoma, where I ordered chicken tenders and fries with salad, and did some reading. I managed to finish a book that had been given to me by a friend of mine although I have the book in my other library, and to start reading another book that will likely be a difficult one because the author writes about herself in ways that are also true of me. Even when I am sitting and reading, I am all too aware of what is going on around me, when the noise of children playing or the sound of people talking disturbs the quiet I am trying to find in reading the book. Peace is often elusive to find, when there is the tricky balance of being around others, and yet not a part of others, and not ostracized or excluded either. It is hard to find the balance between so many competing constraints, not only for myself but for others as well.
This evening, when I arrived at my destination, and when others arrived as well, there were a lot of conversations, most of them taking place as I was typing, that involved the question of waste. There are a lot of things in this life that are a waste. There are friendships and relationships wasted because of poor communication and other difficulties. There are talents wasted because those talents come in unpalatable packages and political difficulties. There are broken ties as a result of squabbles and foolish divisions where the blame is widespread. Our lives are full of difficulty, full of futility, but yet we are responsible for what we say and what we do, and have to make the best of life even though we have control only over what we do, and not how others will interpret it or respond to it. All we can do is the best we can, and hope that we receive better than we deserve, whether that is in underground chickens, or in mercy and forgiveness for what we say and do. Let us know what we have been given, and what to do with it, so that nothing is wasted and everything ends up in its proper place, however long it takes or however difficult the process is. For all things are not as they belong, at least not yet.
 This is something I do fairly regularly, as one might imagine.
 See, for example: